poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Hundreds gather against family law changes
Lynda Hansen, Brisbane

Participants in the annual Pride rally at King George Square on June 12 had plenty to be angry about. The event followed the announcement of the federal government’s intention to exclude same-sex couples from the definition of marriage (backed by the Labor Party) and the reactionary response to a recent episode of the ABC children’s show Play School, in which a girl visited an amusement park with her two mums.

Queensland Pride started 15 years ago, and has continued to create a voice for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

The rally was chaired by long-time GLBT community activist Gai Lemon, who encouraged the 350-strong crowd to write letters to politicians about the family law changes. Speakers included solicitor Denise Maxwell and Carmen Parsons from the Action Reform Group, who stated that GLBT rights have been systemically eroded over the last few years.


Faiths unite for service in support of gay rights

WHITE PLAINS — As worshippers placed carnations in a basket in front of the church, one by one, each mentioned something they brought to their community, uttering words like sharing, kindness and sense of humor.

When they were finished, the Rev. Deb Morra invited them — Unitarians, Jews and Protestants alike — back to take a different flower, a representation of the gathering's sense of togetherness in what organizers billed as one of the first interfaith gay pride events of its kind in Westchester County.

"Faith is a strong part of our life. We should not abandon that," said Peggy Borgstede, a lesbian who worships at Memorial United Methodist Church in White Plains and who chaired the event for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Interfaith Partnership of Westchester County.

About 30 people from six Westchester temples and churches attended the service, held at the Community Unitarian Church of White Plains on Rosedale Avenue.


Fort Collins hosts city's first Pride in Park
Story by Kim Spencer

A Greeley woman performed at Saturday's Pride in the Park festival in Fort Collins, the first of what organizer's hope will be an annual celebration of diversity.

Judith Avers is a gay rights supporter as well as a singer. She said she was proud of Fort Collins for having this event because it helps give an honest perspective on the gay and lesbian community. She said she had been looking forward to this performance for the past month and a half.

The experience was kind of emotional for her because she felt like she was in such a safe environment and could be herself, she said.

"I hope next year it is Greeley that has an event like this," Avers said. "It would be cool to sing at a pride in the park in the town I live in."


Those who marched in 1976 remember the hate and the fear

"It's more comfortable now, You can be mayor. You can just be who you are."
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE -- Billy Ackerly remembers walking through the dark bus tunnel under Union Station and exiting into the light of Kennedy Plaza, surrounded by hate.

"They looked at us like we were freaks, yet we were their neighbors, their coworkers and their children," said Ackerly.

It was the first gay pride march in Providence. He was wearing a vest with no shirt and a tri-cornered hat, a nod to the 1976 Bicentennial celebration that gay activists had fought to participate in. Dorothy Noller remembers spectators throwing rocks and bottles.

Yesterday, Ackerly and Noller returned for the 28th annual gay pride festival and parade. The gay community has come a long way since that first march, they said. They feel safer and more accepted, but their fight for equal rights isn't over.


Foes Confounded by Limited Outcry Against Gay Marriage
By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer

He has preached for months that gay marriage could be the downfall of Western civilization, but the Rev. Gary F. Smith is worried that the message is not getting across to his flock at the Church of the Nazarene in Leesburg.

"There's quite a bit of lethargy in the pews," he said. "By and large, it's a lay-down-and-roll-over-and-play-dead attitude."

Across the country, evangelical Christians are voicing frustration and puzzlement that there has not been more of a political outcry since May 17, when Massachusetts became the first state to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Evangelical leaders had predicted that a chorus of righteous anger would rise up out of churches from coast to coast and overwhelm Congress with letters, e-mails and phone calls in support of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

But that has not happened.


South Asians in US wake up to gay identity
Maya Mirchandani

Gay pride is being celebrated not just in Brazil but by South Asians in the United States as well.

Even though a precedent has been set for same sex marriages after a new marriage law in Massachusetts, the debate over granting legal status to such unions is still raging.

But ironically this community, a minority twice over in the states, first for being South Asian and secondly for being gay are totally left out of this debate.


The Gay-Marriage Flap
The government is out of step with public opinion
By Eric Pape

June 28 issue - At the Begles town hall, near Bordeaux, Stephane Chapin and Bertrand Charpentier stepped out of a chocolate-colored Rolls-Royce—one in a pinstripe black suit, the other in white. Watching uneasily was the local mayor, Noel Mamere. He had presided over many weddings, but never one like this. Riot police faced off against protesters. The wedding vows, closed with a kiss, played repeatedly on the nightly news. Mamere himself wept openly.

The first gay marriage in French history, earlier this month, has highlighted a cultural chasm, revealing that touchstone religious and social issues can still flare up in strikingly secular France. Since announcing that he would oversee the wedding, Mamere has been condemned by angry churchgoers, been sent a package of feces and received so many death threats that the Interior Ministry assigned him a bodyguard. Serge Dassault, owner of the conservative French daily Le Figaro, penned an op-ed piece accusing people like Mamere of trying to "destroy the basis of our society" and the concept of family. The Justice Ministry launched efforts to nullify the marriage, and last week Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin signed a disciplinary measure suspending Mamere from his mayoral duties for one month.


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