poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Gay groups speak out against NI pro-life campaigner
Ben Townley, UK

A pro-life campaigner in Northern Ireland has angered the region's gay rights groups, after she slammed candidates in today's European elections for supporting Civil Partnerships.

Pro Life Campaigner Jennifer Barber told the Derry Journal earlier this week that many of Derry's regional candidates for the European parliament were "gutless fence sitters" for their support for abortion rights and Civil Partnerships.

"The Civil Partnership Bill, which is supported by the SDLP, Sinn Fein and Eamon McCann, of the Socialist Environmentalist Alliance, is in fact gay marriage," Mrs Barber told the newspaper.

"We, in the pro-life movement, are not only campaigning for pro-life issues, but also for family issues; you can't be pro-life and against the family."


Bush: FMA failing to catch fire
Though a Senate vote seems likely, support remains tepid
By Laura Kiritsy

Is the Federal Marriage Amendment DOA? That just might be the case, if recent developments are any indication.

Four months after his high-profile announcement of support for a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, President George W. Bush indicated in an interview with editors and reporters from conservative religious publications that he's feeling a little lonely in his support for the issue. In an excerpt posted May 28 on Christianity Today's Web site, Bush reiterated his support for the amendment, but said, "in order for a constitutional amendment to go forward people have to speak. Now, I'll be glad to lend my voice, but it's going to require more than one voice. It's going to require people from around the country to insist to members of Congress for starters, that a constitutional amendment process is necessary for the country. ... I will tell you the prairie fire necessary to get an amendment passed is simmering at best."

Bush's comments came on the heels of a Washington Post story in which the Rev. Lou Sheldon, head of the Traditional Values Coalition, a leader in the fight to amend the U.S. Constitution, admitted that his phones didn't ring off the hook even after images of same-sex weddings in Massachusetts dominated the news on May 17 - a date many right-wing groups believed would be a rallying point for their efforts.

In the absence of any real outrage over gay marriage in the Bay State, Sheldon was reduced to predicting that America would finally wake up once married same-sex couples returned from Massachusetts to their home states demanding their marriages be recognized. "It's a sleeping giant out there," he told the Post. "We're talking about tens of millions of people. And when they wake up I feel bad for the homosexuals."


Leading gay activist murdered in Jamaica
By James Burleigh

The mutilated body of Jamaica's best known gay rights activist was found at his home in Kingston yesterday. The island's sole gay advocacy group called it a possible hate crime.

Brian Williamson, 59, was found by a friend lying in a pool of blood with several knife wounds, hours after he was seen meeting two men at his home, police said.

In a statement, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-Flag) mourned Mr Williamson's death and called for a full investigation by police. "The condition of his body... and his visibility as a gay man lead us to suspect this is a hate-related crime," the group said.

But police were investigating Mr Williamson's murder as a robbery, not a hate crime. A spokeswoman said Mr Williamson's safe was missing and that his room had been ransacked.


Gay-union suits may be packaged
Coordination could reduce legal wrangling, judge says
By Josh Richman, STAFF WRITER

SAN FRANCISCO -- Several gay-marriage lawsuits from San Francisco and Los Angeles should be overseen by one San Francisco coordinating judge to avoid duplicative, costly and time-consuming legal wrangling as well as conflicting results, a judge said Wednesday.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said he'll recommend this to the state Judicial Council, which will make a final decision within

a few weeks; if it agrees, it will name a judge to coordinate the controversial cases.

It was a mixed result for most of the parties.

Lawyers for the city and county of San Francisco and for a lesbian couple -- who had filed separate lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a state law against gay marriage that were consolidated into one in April -- opposed coordination, arguing their case would move faster without other, fuzzier cases dragging it down.


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Murdered Gay College Student Was Having Affair With Cop
by Newscenter Staff

(Columbia, Missouri) The investigation into the slaying of a University of Missouri-Columbia student has uncovered a secret love affair between the victim and a married officer on the Columbia police force.

The body of 23 year old Jesse Valencia was discovered last Sunday afternoon on the lawn of a residence about a block from his apartment.  His throat had been slashed, and police are not certain if he had been killed at that location or his body dumped there.

The last time anyone saw him was about 3:30 the previous morning as he left a party off campus.

Valencia was openly gay, a history major, and was from Kentucky.  He worked as a night desk clerk at a local hotel, and is described by friends as quiet "until you got to know him'.


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