poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, June 11, 2004

Supporters of marriage amendment want November vote
By DALE WETZEL, Associated Press Writer

Supporters of a ballot initiative that would define marriage in the North Dakota Constitution said they hope to put the issue on the November ballot.

That would require gathering petition signatures from at least 25,688 North Dakota voters in less than two months. Christina Kindel of Bismarck, chairwoman of the initiative campaign, said Thursday she believes the Aug. 3 petition deadline can be met.

The amendment would define marriage as being between a man and woman, and would prevent legal arrangements for gay couples from having the same status as marriage.

Backers of the measure held a news conference in the state Capitol on Thursday to announce the petition drive. A group of opponents looked on, holding signs that urged North Dakotans not to sign the petition.


Gays abroad need our help
It’s time the gay rights movement at home began focusing on the fate of gays in those countries where the treatment is still brutal.
By James Kirchick

IN THE MIDDLE of our struggles over gay marriage, the Boy Scouts and sodomy laws, it is easy to develop blinders when it comes to what might initially appear to be peripheral causes. Surely, the past five years have been the most eventful in the gay rights movement with acceptance reaching an all-time high.

If current trends are any indication, the American gay rights cause should even be concluded within the next several decades. Gay marriage will eventually become reality across the country, and legal discrimination will come to an end.

This will not, of course, erase homophobia from society; no more than the Civil Rights Act of 1964 erased racism toward blacks. But equality for people of all sexual orientations in the United States will at the very least be written into law, thus realizing the accomplishment of the modern gay rights agenda.

But throughout the world, gays face barbaric oppression that is almost medieval in nature. Up until Afghanistan was liberated in late 2001, the Taliban would regularly flatten gays with massive stones.

Robert Mugabe, the dictator of Zimbabwe, has cracked down on gays and publicly labeled them “worse than pigs.” Egypt imprisons homosexuals, and Saudi Arabia beheads them.


Rhea Co. commission to consider gay marriage ban again

DAYTON (AP) -- Rhea County commissioners are still battling the issue of same-sex marriage.

In March, county commissioners approved a resolution seeking to ban gays and declare homosexuality a crime against nature.

Two days later they rescinded the action, claiming their intent was to support a ban on gay marriage.

Now commissioners will consider a resolution urging state and federal lawmakers to adopt Tennessee's current marriage law as amendments to the U.S. and state constitutions.


Youth suicide rate drops 25% over decade
CDC notes sharp decline in self-inflicted shootings

ATLANTA -- The suicide rate among American youths and teens fell about 25 percent in the past decade, reflecting a significant drop-off in gun suicides, the government said yesterday.

In fact, a steep drop in self-inflicted shootings among 10- to 14-year-olds helped make suicides by hanging or other forms of suffocation more common than gun suicides in that age group, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

CDC researchers did not say why they believe the overall rate dropped, but a specialist in adolescent medicine said that restrictions on children's access to firearms and a decreased stigma over sexual orientation have played important roles.

Sexual orientation has been a factor in many suicides among young males, said Dr. Charles Wibbelsman, chief of the Teenage Clinic of Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. But with society's growing acceptance of homosexuality, the number of suicides has declined, he said.


'Gay' blackmailer gets sentenced to seven years in jail
REIGN OF TERROR: The 43-year-old Chou Ming-teh was convicted of running a scam for the past two years in which he blackmailed 100 men

The Kaohsiung District Court yesterday sentenced a man to seven years' imprisonment for extorting money from more than 100 homosexual men over the past two years, a radio station reported.

Chou Ming-teh, 43, had been running a scam for two years in which, posing as a homosexual, he would meet men in Internet chat rooms and, as soon as the men had mentioned their names and where they worked, would threaten to tell their companies that they were gay unless they paid him money, the station said.

"Over the past two years, Chou has extorted large sums of money from more than 100 gay men, and from some of them, he extorted money several times," it said.


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