poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Same-sex marriage victory
Milestone in struggle for equal rights
By Minnie Bruce Pratt

In a swirl of rainbow confetti, Hillary and Julie Goodridge entered the history books as they walked down the aisle at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Boston on May 17 to marry each other. Their 8-year-old daughter Anna, who strewed their path with rose petals, preceded these victorious lead plaintiffs in the Massachusetts court case that declared same-sex marriage legal in the state. Friends and family sang: "Here come the brides, so gay with pride, isn't it a wonder that they somehow survived!"

The happy couple--and lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans population across the country--had done more than survive. Their movement had triumphed once again, battling institutionalized discrimination by forcing the state to grant equal access to civil marriage for all couples.

The Goodridges had filed suit in 2001, along with seven other gay and lesbian couples, after being denied licenses to marry in their local municipalities. Turned down by courts at every level, they appealed to the state Supreme Court. The court ruled, in a historic 4-3 vote in November 2003, that the Massachusetts ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and gave the state six months to put a plan in place for the marriages.

This victory was won less than a year after the LGBT movement and its supporters wrested a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that effectively decriminalized same-sex love.


Picketers target Methodist church where gay pastor preached
Associated Press

A small group of anti-gay picketers from Kansas on Sunday targeted a church that until recently was the home parish of a lesbian minister.

Karen Dammann no longer preaches at Ellensburg First United Methodist Church, following a decision by the church's national conference that homosexuality is incompatible with its teachings. The seven picketers said they were targeting the church because of the support its members had shown for Dammann.

Many of Dammann's supporters attended services Sunday, greeting the protesters with rainbow-colored ribbons, messages of tolerance and yellow tape delineating a "hate-free zone."


Gay Marriage In The Balance As Canada Prepares For Election
by Ben Thompson Newscenter

(Ottawa)  Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin called a general election Sunday that will pit his creaking Liberal Party against the newly formed Conservatives the result of which could have an impact on same-sex marriage.

The election call was widely anticipated even though Martin has a year left in his mandate and the party's standing in the polls has dropped significantly the result of a series of scandals involving millions of dollars paid to ad agencies with ties to the Liberal Party.

The election will be held June 28. The most recent polls show Martin will be returned but with a minority government.  If that is what happens Martin will be forced to depend on the New Democratic Party to stay in power.

For the opposition Conservatives the campaign will revolve around the Liberal Party scandals and same-sex marriage.  Martin's predecessor as Liberal leader and Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, refused to appeal court rulings in Ontario and Quebec that overturned the country's ban on same-sex marriage opting instead to rewrite Canadian law to legalize gay marriage.  The draft legislation was sent to the Supreme Court of Canada for a constitutional opinion. 


Salvation Army Uses Homeless To Fight Gay Benefits
by Doug Windsor Newscenter

(New York City)  The Salvation Army is threatening to close soup kitchens for tens of thousands of New York's homeless and walk away from other projects if the city enacts legislation requiring firms that do business with New York to offer health benefits to the partners of gay staffers. 

The evangelical faith is prepared to give up the $70 million a year in city funding it receives and pull out of New York entirely the New York Post reports.

With soup kitchens, shelters, foster care programs, and HIV services the Salvation Army is one of the largest private aid groups in New York serving some 5 million people annually.

The Salvation Army has several multiyear contracts with the city totaling $250 million. Six city contracts worth $12.8 million are to expire June 30, by which time the bill may be law.


Irish official vows never on gay marriage, adoption

DUBLIN — Gay rights advocates decried comments by Mary Coughlan, Ireland’s Minister for Social & Family Affairs, that the nation never will be ready for same-sex marriage or gay adoption, Ireland Online reported this week. Coughlan’s comments came at a European Union conference on families and social policy, the news agency reported. Coughlan is failing to protect existing gay families with children, alleged the National Lesbian & Gay Federation, Ireland Online reported. “The Minister is obviously resisting recognition of the fact that gay couples who have children and who live together actually exist in Ireland,” Joan O’Connell, a federation spokesperson, told the media. “The Minister does have responsibility in relation to the EU — for example, the charter for mental rights provides for the rights of the child which prohibits discrimination of any kind in relation to parents and guardians.”


Marriage making divorce easier for gay couples in US

It may not be on their minds as they walk down the aisle in Massachusetts, but along with gifts and toasts many gay couples are finally getting one of the biggest benefits of matrimony: the ability to obtain a clean divorce.

Because their unions were not legally binding, gay couples have had few protections when they split and have had to rely on the inconsistent mercy of judges to obtain alimony, parental rights or a stake in the couple's finances.The single most important thing you get with marriage is divorce, a predictable process by which property is divided, debt is apportioned and arrangements are made for custody and visitation of children, said Jo Ann Citron, a Boston lawyer researching a book on same-sex breakups called The Gay Divorcee.


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