poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Unions call to "Unite Against Facism" in upcoming elections
Ben Townley, UK

The Lesbian and Gay Committee of UNISON is to host a meeting prior to the upcoming local, London and European elections, in a bid to encourage more LGBT people to go to the polls on June 10th.

The meeting, scheduled for the 26th May and supported by Stonewall and the Coalition Against Racism, is a direct response to the growing popularity of far right extremist politicians from parties such as the British National Party (BNP).

In a statement promoting the event, the groups involved say the June 10th elections will see the biggest attempts to grab seats for such parties.


New Rules on Sperm Donations by Gays
New York Times

Men who acknowledge having had homosexual sex within the previous five years will not be allowed to make anonymous sperm donations under new rules that the Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce today.

New York State already bars gay men from donating sperm anonymously, and most of the nation's sperm banks have similar restrictions because of concerns over transmission of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.

But a prominent gay rights group nonetheless denounced the new federal rules. Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said that the regulations were misplaced because H.I.V. tests were fast and very effective.


Mrs. Bush welcomes gay-issues debate
Won't endorse amendment effort
By Mary Leonard, Globe Staff

BURBANK, Calif. -- Laura Bush yesterday called gay marriage "an issue that a lot of people have a lot of trouble with," but she stopped short of endorsing a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex unions.

In an interview aboard an Air Force plane that carried her on a two-day, four-city campaign swing, the president's wife said she would welcome a national debate on the issue of gay marriage following the weddings that began Monday in Massachusetts. She said she agreed with the president that the American people, not a few judges, should have a voice in setting the important social policy.

"It's something people should talk about and debate," Mrs. Bush said. She said Congress could be an appropriate place for that debate to begin, but she refused to say that she supported passage of the proposed constitutional amendment that her husband endorsed earlier this year.

"I'm in favor of the debate," she said.


48 Catholic congressmen warn bishops on bigotry
By Alan Cooperman, Washington Post

WASHINGTON -- Forty-eight Roman Catholic members of Congress have warned in a letter to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., that US bishops will revive anti-Catholic bigotry and severely harm the church if they deny Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

The letter's signers, all Democrats, include at least three House members with strong antiabortion voting records.

"For many years Catholics were denied public office by voters who feared that they would take direction from the pope," they wrote. "While that type of paranoid anti-Catholicism seems to be a thing of the past, attempts by church leaders today to influence votes by the threat of withholding a sacrament will revive latent anti-Catholic prejudice, which so many of us have worked so hard to overcome."

The three-page letter, dated May 10, was sent to McCarrick because he heads a task force of US bishops that is considering whether and how the church should take action against Catholic politicians whose public positions are at odds with Catholic doctrine.


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