poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, June 03, 2004

MSPs to pass on partnership bill

MSPs are expected to hand a decision on whether to introduce civil partnerships in Scotland to Westminster.

The move is likely to come despite a report from the Scottish Parliament's justice committee finding a series of flaws in the Commons bill.

The legislation would enable same-sex partners to register their relationship and gain legal rights similar to those of married couples.

Critics warn that aspects of the UK legislation may be difficult to amend.

Some opponents have also accused ministers of cowardice, claiming they want to avoid a repeat of the epic Section 28 controversy - the row over the repeal of laws barring the promotion of homosexuality in schools.


Swiss Parliament Accepts Registration of Same-Sex Couples

June 3 (Bloomberg) -- The Swiss parliament accepted a government proposal, allowing same-sex couples to register their relationship and gain some of the rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples.

Under the law change, which was accepted by a majority of upper house lawmakers in Bern, Switzerland, registered partnership would be identical to marriage for tax, social security and inheritance purposes. The lower house had approved the measure in December 2003.

Denmark became the first European nation to introduce registration for gay and lesbian couples in 1989. The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, France and Finland are among countries that have since followed in removing hurdles to the recognition of same-sex couples.

``The law change gets rid of a lot of ugly discriminations,'' said Moel Volken, director of Switzerland's Pink Cross organization of gay people with about 2,300 members, after the debate in parliament. ``It's not yet equal rights as married couples but it's a solution to a lot of problems.''


Episcopal bishop caught amid split over gay marriages
By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff

Episcopal Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, caught between his support for gay marriage and the clear prohibition against it in canon law, is facing scattered opposition from liberals and conservatives as he labors to keep both in the diocesan fold.

At least two local Episcopal priests, the Rev. I. Carter Heyward, a professor of theology at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, and the Rev. William Blaine-Wallace, the rector of Emmanuel Church in the Back Bay, have already officiated at three same-sex weddings, in defiance of instructions Shaw issued in the weeks before such unions became legal in Massachusetts.

In addition, two Episcopal parishes, Our Saviour in Arlington and Our Saviour in Milton, have decided to stop having clergy officiate at heterosexual marriages while homosexual marriages are prohibited, and Episcopal Divinity School, the only Episcopal seminary in New England, has decided to bar all Episcopal marriages in its chapel as a form of protest.

At the same time, a handful of parishes that oppose Shaw’s support for the ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire are affiliating with a new national network of conservative parishes and are considering ask ing Shaw to allow another, more conservative, bishop to minister to them.


Shin Bet guards Jerusalem mayor over Gay Parade threats

The Jerusalem Municipality has decided to assign a personal security guard to Mayor Uri Lupoliansky following threats to his life mainly by members of the ultra-Orthodox community, denouncing him for agreeing to hold the capital's annual Gay Parade Thursday night.

Lupoliansky, though an Orthodox Jew, did not object to the annual parade, which first took place in Jerusalem in 2001. At the time of last year's parade, Lupiolansky was interim mayor.

The ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem were filled with posters condemning Lupoliansky. The streets were also filled with posters warning children to stay away from the homosexual "sinners" and not walk near the streets where the parade is to go through.

Jerusalem Police on Thursday detained right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir and two other Kahane Chai members who were found loitering near the Jerusalem Open House, the Gay Pride Parade headquarters. The right-wingers were released after questioning, Israel Radio reported.


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