poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, May 21, 2004

Romney wants licenses voided
Reilly asked to review marriage applications by out-of-state gays


BOSTON Gov. Mitt Romney said yesterday he is challenging the validity of 10 marriage licenses issued this week to gay couples who live outside Massachusetts, but he does not expect the clerks who issued the licenses to be punished.

In his first public comments since gay couples began to marry in Massachusetts on Monday, the Republican governor, who had threatened legal action against clerks who issued licenses to out-of-state couples, said he has referred the 10 applications to Attorney General Thomas Reilly.

The marriages will not be recorded with the state's Registry of Vital Statistics, Romney said, but he insisted his administration is not embarking on a witch hunt to nullify the unions of out-of-state couples.

Romney said he is merely upholding state law, specifically a 1913 statute that prohibits couples from marrying in Massachusetts if their union would not be lawful in their home states.


Judge rules against early gay marriage vote
By Matt Franck
Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau

A judge has sided with Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt in a dispute over when the state's voters will cast ballots on a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan ruled on Friday morning that Blunt cannot yet make preparations to place the issue on the Aug. 3 primary election ballot. Democrats had hoped to vote on the matter in August, rather than November, when the gay marriage issue could attract conservative voters to the polls. The large turnout could complicate Democrats election hopes, including for likely presidential nominee John Kerry.

On Thursday, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, a Democrat, sued Blunt to require him to follow Holden's request for an Aug. 3 vote.


Lawmakers criticize gay event

Two Republican legislative leaders labeled state Democrats closet liberals for lending their building for an event Thursday evening celebrating the first same-sex marriages in Massachusetts.

The event, sponsored by Central Oklahoma Stonewall Democrats, was held at state Democratic Party headquarters at 4100 Lincoln Blvd.

"By hosting a gay marriage celebration at their party headquarters, the Democrats are exposing just how liberal their party leadership really is, even in Oklahoma," Rep. Lance Cargill, R-Harrah, said in a news release.

His comments were echoed by Rep. Thad Balkman, R-Norman, who called the event "outrageous."

Both men are among the co-authors of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages that will be on the Oklahoma ballot in November.


Black gay activists rally for marriages
By Tara Deering
Tribune staff reporter

At 12 years old, Desiree Jones isn't afraid to stand up for her family.

The 6th-grader and her five younger siblings held up a banner reading "Our Moms R People Too! Gay Marriage Now!" on Thursday at a black gay rights activists rally in support of same-sex marriages held outside the Cook County building, 118 N. Clark St.

Desiree said she doesn't understand why some people want to keep her mothers, who have been together four years, from getting married.

"It makes me sad that they can't get married like they want to," Desiree said. "I just want people to know it's our life, and we should be able to live the way we want to."

The dozen or so black gay rights activists who showed up at the rally scolded black pastors who have spoken out against gays having the right to marry.


FMA backers begin new push in Congress
Group of Senate Dems vow to defeat measure

WASHINGTON .D.C — Politicians and pundits correctly predicted a flurry of activity on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage the same week same-sex couples wed in Massachusetts.

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, scheduled to hold its fourth hearing on the Federal Marriage Amendment, abruptly decided to postpone it until June 2, after Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney declined to testify due to a scheduling conflict. However, both sides have been actively mobilizing behind the scenes in preparation for a looming vote on the amendment, which the Republican leadership and some of the gay lobbying groups say will still occur, at least in the Senate.

“We are re-energizing the community with our battle call and paying attention like never before,” said Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques. “We have our allies who say they will ‘kick this FMA in the butt.’ But our allies are not in charge. Sen. [Majority Leader Bill] Frist and his team are in charge and they are saying they are confident this will come up for a vote.”


More Michigan newspapers run announcements for same-sex couples

DETROIT - More newspapers in Michigan will run announcements of same-sex commitment ceremonies than any other state in the country, putting Michigan media outlets ahead of the country in recognizing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families.

Out of 242 newspapers surveyed, ninety-eight said they would run announcements for same-sex couples if asked. At 40%, Michigan is the leading state in terms of number of newspapers willing to print announcements for same-sex couples.


Palo Alto PTA plans a new vote on gay vows resolution
By Dan Stober
Mercury News

Gay marriage is controversial, but mix it with the ``Palo Alto Process'' and things really get tricky.

A month ago, Kate Hill, the president of Palo Alto's citywide PTA Council, easily persuaded almost all of the 30 or so members at a council meeting to support a resolution opposing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. National PTA officials said Palo Alto was the first council they knew of to do so.

But the vote caused such dismay among some parents that the council will debate the issue again and take another vote June 2.

Perhaps surprisingly, the grass-roots opposition parents are complaining less about gay rights than the process. The agenda for the council's 9 a.m. meeting on April 14 wasn't e-mailed to council members until 11:40 p.m. the night before, said Shirley Lin, the parent of a student at JLS Middle School. Neither she nor other PTA members knew about the vote until it was over, she said.


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