poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Missouri Supreme Court hears arguments on timing of gay marriage vote

Missouri's Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a fight over the scheduling of a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Missouri's secretary of state and fellow Republicans want the referendum on the November ballot during the presidential election, when large numbers of Republicans are likely to go to the polls.

Democrats opposed to the ban, including Gov. Bob Holden, want the issue on the ballot for the Aug. 3 primary elections.

The seven-member Supreme Court gave no indication when it would rule.


Woman Challenges Court Order Against 'Homophobic' Comments
State Appeals Court Asked To Overturn Judge's Ruling

DENVER -- A court order barring a woman from exposing her adoptive daughter to anything homophobic after the woman left a lesbian relationship should be overturned because it is so vague it could require her to black out portions of the bible, her lawyer argued in court Tuesday.

The order unfairly limits Cheryl Clark's parental right to raise her 9-year-old daughter as a Christian, attorney James Rouse told a three-judge panel of the state appeals court.

The judges did not immediately issue a ruling.

Clark, a psychiatrist, raised her daughter with her former partner Elsey McLeod, a psychologist, until converting to Christianity and leaving the relationship 2 1/2 years later.

After the couple split up, Denver District Judge John W. Coughlin ordered Clark to share custody with McLeod because the girl saw both women as parents.

He gave Clark sole responsibility for the girl's upbringing, including religious instruction, but told her not to expose her to anything "homophobic."


Zanzibar's gay community fears tough new law will force it into twilight zone
Jeevan Vasagar in Zanzibar
The Guardian

Sabri Ali sashays through the narrow alleys of Stone Town, the warren of 19th century streets at the heart of Zanzibar, attracting delight and disapproval in equal measure. Children glance at him curiously and teenagers mimic his catwalk strut. Some men give him hostile stares. A woman in a bui bui, the flowing black veil worn by Muslim women on the east African coast, calls out in Swahili: "By Allah, he looks fine!"

And he does. Sabri's eyebrows are plucked, his glossy hair is swept back and he has dressed for the evening in an olive-green trouser suit and a ruffled, black satin blouse.

But few gay men on Zanzibar dare to be so bold. Last month, legislators passed a bill bringing in stiffer penalties for gay sex, a sign that a mood of conservatism may be creeping over the traditionally tolerant island. As in most African societies, homosexuals in Zanzibar have been regarded with disapproval and scorn, but until recently there was a willingness on the island to turn a blind eye to discreet gay relationships.

Although, contrary to earlier press reports men convicted of gay sex will not risk being jailed for life, the crackdown has caused dismay among members of the gay community.


Church faces split on gay blessings
Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent in Niagara
The Guardian

The Canadian Anglican church was close to endorsing same-sex blessings last night, in defiance of pressure from other parts of the 77 million-strong worldwide church communion.

A two-hour debate at the Canadian church's synod, meeting at Brock University near Niagara Falls yesterday, preceded a vote late tonight which will decide whether the church allows its 30 individual dioceses to decide for themselves whether to bless gay couples.

If it does, Canada may not only be split off from the rest of the Anglican church, led by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, but it may divide internally as well.

On Monday the synod's lay and clergy members elected the most liberal of four candidates to serve as the Canadian church's next primate, in a sign of the way the church may be moving.


The Following Statement was Released Today by Joe Murray, US Convener of The Rainbow Sash Movement Concerning Cardinal Francis George of Chicago

CHICAGO, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- In Cardinal Francis George's memo issued to all the priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago the Cardinal said, "The policy of the U.S. Conference of Bishops is to not give Communion to those wearing the Sash." This is a misleading statement, to absolve the Cardinal from his personal responsibility for denying Rainbow Sash Members Communion at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago on Pentecost Sunday. According to the Catholic News Wire Service, a USCCB spokesman, David Early, told Catholic News Service,
the National Conference of Catholic Bishops has no such policy.

In the interests of reconciliation I believe Cardinal Francis George should issue an apology to Cardinal Roger Mahony of LA, Archbishop Harry Flynn of Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Bishop Mathew Clark of Rochester, NY. These Bishops gave Rainbow Sash Members Communion. Also, I believe an apology is due Cardinal George's priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago, for putting them in such a difficult and awkward position. Finally, I prayerfully hope the Cardinal will apologize to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community of Chicago for the harm he has caused our community; especially those that were denied Communion on Pentecost Sunday.


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