poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, June 11, 2004

Same-sex marriage: A workplace issue
H.J. Cummins,  Star Tribune
June 12, 2004 MASS0612

Never mind what it means for religion or politics. Same-sex marriage is a huge employee-benefit issue.

With hundreds of gay and lesbian couples saying "I do" in Boston -- and briefly in San Francisco, Portland and New Paltz, N.Y. -- employers are trying to figure out what these new marriages have set in motion.

For Minnesota companies with offices in Massachusetts, the issue is upon them. For some others, it's probably only a matter of time before someone comes back from Massachusetts or Ontario -- which both allow same-sex marriage -- and asks that the companion be recognized as spouse in a benefits plan.

For now, employers looking for guidance encounter a crazy quilt of laws, tax regulations and company policies, some of which can seem contradictory.


Nonprofit group to host gay prom
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

MIAMI - (KRT) - Steven Alicea and his friends have waited all year for Saturday night's prom where they'll ogle each other's outfits, watch the crowning of king and queen and dance to DJ-spun music.

But at this prom, girls will walk through the door hand-in-hand and there will be boys slow dancing cheek-to-cheek. The prom queen could end up being a tiara-wearing guy.

It's gay prom time.

Prideline Youth Services, a Miami-based nonprofit that offers social and educational programs to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, will host the 9th annual event at Temple Israel in Miami. The prom's theme is "Hollywood Nights."


Activists Stage Anti-Reagan Rally In San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Ronald Reagan's body was carried back to California for burial, Central American activists staged a protest Friday to remind the world that Reagan's foreign policies were linked to thousands of deaths in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

About 100 people, hoisting plywood crosses painted with the names of people thought to have lost their lives to military-backed death squads during the early 1980s, marched eight blocks through the city's heavily Hispanic Mission District in an angry answer to the accolades that accompanied the end of the 40th president's life.

"This man is a criminal. This man is a murderer and doesn't deserve any respect," said Zenaida Velasquez Rodriguez, a Honduran human rights activist whose brother, a father of three, was allegedly kidnapped by national security forces in 1981 and hasn't been seen since. "I don't forgive Reagan, and I hope he is going to hell."

Participants specifically faulted Reagan for supporting, arming and funding anti-communist dictators, military leaders or insurgents who used torture, kidnappings and murder to silence critics, including academics, students and union members.


Bethesda church decries theft of banner, flag supporting gay rights
by Ellyn Pak
Staff Writer

Leaders and parishioners at a Bethesda church say their freedom of speech and religion were violated last week when they discovered that a banner and flag, which displayed support for gay rights, were missing from their property.

Members of the River Road Unitarian Church, which is located at the corner of River Road and Whittier Boulevard, erected a banner last week that read, “Support gay rights. All are welcome here.” The banner and flag, which were placed near the entrance, were stolen at night on June 8 and the rainbow-colored flag disappeared the next night.

“We just feel very disappointed and just wonder why someone would take something off of our property that indicates our faith,” said the Rev. Lynn Thomas Strauss, one of three ministers at the church.

The church’s Social Justice Council and Board of Trustees voted unanimously to communicate their support for gay rights through a banner and sign during the metropolitan area’s Gay Pride Week, which ends Sunday. Strauss said this was the first time the church made a public statement about gay rights and support for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.


Gay marriage constitutional showdown in San Francisco
The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Legal challenges across the state asking whether the state Constitution permits same-sex marriages were consolidated into one case and will be tried here in San Francisco, a state agency overseeing the state courts decided Friday.

Gays and lesbians in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and opponents of gay marriage have filed various lawsuits that were consolidated at the request of Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who has taken no position on the matter.

The Judicial Council ordered the cases tried as one in San Francisco Superior Court. Ultimately, however, whatever is decided here will be reviewed by the California Supreme Court, which invited such challenges this spring.

The seven justices are unlikely to get the case for at least a year.


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