poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, June 11, 2004

Amnesty condemns killing of Jamaican gay rights activist, calls for investigation
Associated Press Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) Amnesty International on Thursday condemned the grisly killing of Jamaica's best-known gay rights activist and urged police to investigate whether he was the victim of a hate crime.

The mutilated body of Brian Williamson, 59, was found at his Kingston home on Wednesday, hours after he was seen meeting with two men. Police said it appeared that Williamson was a robbery victim since his safe was missing and his room was ransacked.

But the London-based human rights group urged authorities ``to keep an open mind as to the motive behind this killing.''

``There remains a strong possibility that Brian Williamson's profile as a gay man and advocate of homosexual rights made him a target,'' Amnesty said in a statement. ``The authorities must ensure that this murder is fully and impartially investigated.''


Canadian Gays Rally In Front Of Parliament To Save Same-Sex Marriage 
by Stephanie Levitz
The Canadian Press

(Ottawa) Gay activists celebrating one year since the courts gave them the right to marry were ringing warning bells, not wedding bells, Thursday as they told Canadians a vote for the Tories is a vote against gay rights.

Canadians go to the polls June 28 to elect a new Parliament. 

Hundreds of gays and lesbians rallied on Parliament Hill on Thursday, as Conservative Leader Stephen Harper was forced to account in Brampton, Ont. for a party candidate's anti-gay comments.

Frank Luellau, the Tory candidate for Kitchener-Conestoga, had said that homosexuality was not a natural kind of relationship.


Araujo trial jurors end first full week
By Ivan Delventhal, STAFF WRITER

HAYWARD -- The 12 jurors deliberating in the trial of three men charged with murdering a transgender teenager in Newark in October 2002 concluded their first full week of deliberations Thursday without reaching a verdict.

The jury of eight men and four women, who began deliberating June 3, concluded their deliberations for the week at 2 p.m. Thursday. They are not deliberating on Fridays and will reconvene Monday.

The jury has been relatively quiet so far, with its one major request being a court reporter's reading of the testimony of the pathologist who performed the teen's autopsy. The pathologist concluded the teen died of asphyxiation due to strangulation associated with blunt trauma to the head.


Antigay candidate loses primary in Iowa

College economics instructor Dave Mulder said education was the key issue that led to the defeat of his opponent, Iowa state senator Ken Veenstra of Orange City, in Tuesday's District 2 Republican primary. But political pundits in the state are arguing that Veenstra, an assistant majority leader in the state senate, lost because his campaign was based primarily on antigay issues, something Iowa voters had no taste for. Veenstra led an unsuccessful fight in the last legislative session to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages in the state, and he was instrumental in the defeat of a gay nominee to the state board of education. "Part of the reason for his high-profile antigay efforts in the legislature seemed to be a desire to bolster his standing with social conservatives in the heavily Republican northwest Iowa district," wrote columnist David Yepsen in The Des Moines Register. "But GOP strategists said Wednesday the tactic didn't work."

Mulder, who'll retire from his college teaching job to focus full-time on the senate, said public school educators helped him win. "I'm very strong for education, so I think I got very strong teacher support," he said. "I'm interested in both public and private education. You have to work for both." Veenstra agreed that public school supporters won the day. "They have the most influence and the most numbers," he said. In Tuesday's polling Mulder won by a margin of 54% to 46% and will advance to November. No Democrat has stepped forward.


Helena church seeks dismissal of gay marriage complaint
By The Associated Press - 06/11/04

HELENA (AP) — A Baptist church asked the state political practices commissioner Thursday to dismiss a complaint over an event it hosted supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

The complaint was filed last month by Montanans for Families and Fairness, a coalition opposing the ban.

The group accused Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church of violating state campaign finance rules by failing to report its use of ‘‘in-kind'' resources for a May 23 event urging support for Constitutional Initiative 96.

The event, the group said, transformed the church into a political committee and subjected it to campaign finance laws.

In a court filing Thursday, the church called the complaint ‘‘insufficient'' and ‘‘frivolous'' and asked Commissioner Linda Vaughey to dismiss it as ‘‘too indefinite.''


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