poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, June 05, 2004

French government moves to punish mayor for holding "illegal" gay wedding

A shopkeeper and a male nurse exchanged rings and kisses in France's first gay wedding, but the conservative government immediately moved to punish the mayor who presided over what it considered was an "illegal" ceremony.

Noel Mamere, mayor of the suburb of Begles in the southwestern city of Bordeaux and a leading figure in the opposition Greens party, celebrated the wedding of 31-year-old shopworker Bertrand Charpentier and 34-year-old nurse Stephane Chapin in a blaze of publicity at the municipal building where he works.

"I'm proud of this wedding.... I don't consider myself an outlaw," Mamere told the couple, who arrived at the building in a brown Rolls-Royce to applause from gay rights supporters, while dozens of opponents held a small protest nearby and 200 police kept watch.

"Our wedding is a first. I hope many more will follow," he said


Groups: Gay Marriage Issue Not Congress's
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A grouping of Christian, Jewish and Sikh organizations is urging Congress to reject a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

Twenty-six organizations, ranging from the 2.3-million-member Episcopal Church, USA, to the 60,000 represented by the Alliance of Baptists, said in a letter to Congress that it was not government's job to enshrine laws reflecting a specific religious view.

"We believe the federal marriage amendment reflects a fundamental disregard for individual civil rights and ignores differences among our nation's many religious traditions. It should be rejected," they wrote this week.

Spurred by the legalization of gay marriages in Massachusetts, a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage has the strong backing of some of the nation's larger religious groups, including the Roman Catholic Church's Conference of Catholic Bishops, the 16-million member Southern Baptist Convention and the 30-million member National Association of Evangelicals.


Missouri to host nation's first gay marriage vote since re-emergence of issue
Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Ever a bellwether state, Missouri will provide the nation's first ballot-box battle on gay marriage since the contentious issue flared up following the court-ordered allowance of same-sex marriages in Massachusetts.

Missouri is one of at least seven states this year where voters will decide on proposed amendments to state constitutions limiting marriage to one man and one woman. But Missourians will be voting in August, with most of the rest in November.

Consequently, supporters and opponents alike are looking to Missouri - a state that generally mirrors the nation demographically - as a test of whether similar amendments might succeed elsewhere.

Missouri "is going to be a sort of bellwether of how this is going to play out in November" and also could build momentum for an effort to amend a gay marriage ban into the U.S. Constitution, Kristie Rutherford, director of state affairs at the Washington-based Family Research Council, said Friday.


City Hall turns away gays
Staff Writer

Dozens of gay couples came to the city clerk's office Friday hoping to receive marriage licenses but were turned away after the clerk's office handed them each a 50-page packet outlining the limits to the rights of same-sex couples.

"He was cordial," said Sando Scherrod, 27, of the East Village, who came with his partner of eight years, Bert Ongkeo, 29. "But after reviewing our ID's, he apologized and said he could not give us an application and instead gave us this. It took, like, a minute."

About 75 couples began gathering on City Hall's steps around 7:30 a.m., an hour before City Clerk Victor Robles' office opened. By 8:50 a.m., dejected but not surprised, pairs began to emerge with the thick packets in hand.

The packet included an advisory opinion from the city Law Department explaining same-sex marriages are not lawful in the state, city rules that govern the application process at the City Clerk's office, a court decision and an informational handout explaining the benefits of the city's domestic-partnership program.


Log Cabin expands national ad campaign into Texas

The gay political group Log Cabin Republicans will begin airing its 30-second television commercial--which seeks to stop the Federal Marriage Amendment--in San Antonio this weekend during the Texas Republican Party state convention.

"The antifamily constitutional amendment tramples on the principles of freedom and equality that the U.S. Constitution is meant to protect," said Log Cabin Republicans executive director Patrick Guerriero. "Supporting this amendment is a violation of the GOP's conservative principles."

Log Cabin's commercial includes excerpts from statements made by then vice-presidential candidate Dick Cheney during his 2000 debate with Sen. Joe Lieberman. Referring to the legal recognition of same-sex relationships, Cheney said, "That matter is regulated by the states. I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that's appropriate. I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area." Log Cabin kicked off its ad campaign on March 10. The Cheney commercial has been airing in Washington, D.C., and 11 states.

"Leaders of the Texas GOP should understand that they can be good and loyal Republicans by opposing efforts to write discrimination into the Constitution," said Carla Halbrook, a Log Cabin national board member from Dallas.


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