poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, June 07, 2004

Anti-gay-marriage petition drive hits hectic pace
The clock is ticking for people seeking 100,840 signatures
Statesman Journal

Two weeks down, less than four weeks to go.

For supporters of a state constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples, it has been a hectic couple of weeks since they got the go-ahead to begin circulating petitions. The proposal would write into the Oregon Constitution a definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Like sponsors of other initiatives, they have until July 2 to gather the signatures required to qualify their measures for the Nov. 2 general-election ballot. They will need 100,840 valid signatures for a constitutional amendment.

“We’ve gotten thousands of requests for petitions,” said Tim Nashif, a spokesman for the Defense of Marriage Coalition, organized by the Oregon Family Council. “We are optimistic.”


Gay Couple's Relationship To Get Bishop's Blessing
Episcopal Church Divided On Issue

GREENBELT, Md. -- Two men from Greenbelt, Md., are preparing to have their 10-year relationship blessed by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

The Right Rev. John Bryson Chane will conduct the ceremony Saturday for Michael Hopkins and John Clinton Bradley, and in doing so, will establish a new level of acceptance for homosexual couples.

Last year, the Episcopal Church voted to allow bishops the option to bless same-sex relationships in their dioceses.

According to the Washington Post, Chane will be only the second bishop in the nation to publicly bless a same-sex relationship. The other is the Episcopal bishop of Los Angeles.

Through a spokesman, Chane said he's not out to make a political statement, but other church members say his actions will only further divide an already fractured denomination.


Gay Boycott Of Coors Gaining Steam -- Again

DENVER -- A national boycott of Coors beer is being resuscitated after spending years simmering under the surface. The revival is coming with the U-S Senate candidacy of former Coors Chairman Peter Coors, who has said he supports a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.

The boycott started in 1974 as a protest of Coors Brewing Company's anti-union position, but grew to include the gay community over company lie-detector tests asking whether prospective employees were homosexual.

The boycott faded in 1995 after the company began supporting high-profile gay causes and offering its gay employees benefits. The company is placing full-page ads in gay newspapers and magazines around the country explaining that it is independent from the political views of its former chairman.

But anti-Coors sentiment is rising in some parts of the country. A group called the National Lawyers Guild, which stresses social activism, is running ads in about a dozen gay publications. The ads say that Coors profits are flowing to Coors family members who support what they call right-wing homophobic groups.


Row over anti-gay sex education group deepens
Ben Townley, UK

The row over a Christian group that visits schools in Northern Ireland to teach sex education is deepening this week, after it was criticised by a candidate for the European Parliament for its homophobia.

The Love for Life project has been visiting children throughout the Ulster region, but was criticised last month for statements on its website that suggest sexuality can be changed.

Now Eamon McCann, a Environmental Alliance party candidate in this week's European elections, has called for the region's educational authorities to strip the group of its funding until it removes the online references.

"[Love for Life] presents homosexuality as a phase or aberration, or a condition brought about by trauma," McCann told the Belfast Telegraph.


Court's authority over marriage law challenged
By Cheryl Wetzstein

Lawyers in Massachusetts are preparing for a federal court hearing today on whether the state high court had the power to change the state's marriage law by itself.
   "We will argue that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court exceeded its power when it redefined marriage from the 'union of one man and one woman' to the 'union of two persons' " in the Nov. 18 high court decision, Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, said of today's hearing before the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

    The so-called Goodridge decision, named after the homosexual couple that brought the issue to court, legalized same-sex "marriage" in Massachusetts as of May 17.
   When the Massachusetts court bypassed the legislative and executive branches to change state marriage law, it upset the separation of powers in the state and violated the plaintiffs' rights, under the "guarantee clause" of the U.S. Constitution, to have a republican government, said Mr. Staver, who with other conservative lawyers represent 11 Massachusetts lawmakers and a Boston resident.


Anglican Church warned of "devastating consequences"
Ben Townley, UK

The Anglican Church has been warned of the "devastating consequences" of supporting lesbian and gay relationships, from dissenting evangelicals within.

The comments came after the Church's Canadian branch agreed to postpone a debate on whether same-sex relationships should be endorsed, but made an amendment "affirming the sanctity and integrity" of lesbian and gay relationships.

But the amendment has angered some bishops attending the Canadian synod, with nine taking to the stage and declaring their opposition.

They said that by supporting same-sex relationships, the Canadian Church would be straying too far from scriptures.

Their protest was quickly matched by the Archbishop of the West Indies Drexl Gomez, who released a statement on Saturday attacking the amendment.


Bigotry of black churches takes toll
By Cynthia Tucker

ATLANTA -- Though President Bush rarely mentions it -- too many conservatives in Congress are uncomfortable with a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions -- conservative preachers and right-wing activists can't let go of gay marriage. They're still using its "threat" to traditional families to rally their parishioners, lest they forget to be judgmental and slip into love and mercy.

Nowhere are the front lines in the battle against gay marriage tended with more care than in conservative black churches, where ministers regularly denounce homosexuality as an abomination.

It is a curious approach they no doubt would characterize as "tough love," as they pray for the gay members of their flock to be delivered from their affliction.

It's too bad that some of that prayer time is not devoted to fervent supplication that black churchgoers be delivered from the affliction of homophobia.

Bigotry fuels the scourge of AIDS in black America, and the plague is making its greatest inroads into the population from which come the worker bees of the black church: black women.


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