poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, June 14, 2004

Survey: gay-friendly companies more likely to see success
Kevin Davis, Network

A US study has revealed that the majority of people believe companies valuing a diverse staff, extending benefits to gay workers and their partners equally, and contracting with gay-owned vendors, are more likely to be competitive and successful.

Companies committed to diversity in hiring vendors will be more competitive in the marketplace, agreed over half (56 percent) of gay people and 39 percent of straight people polled, according to the survey by Witeck-Combs Communications and Harris Interactive.

"The data shows that diversity is a contributing factor to innovation and overall competitiveness," says National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) co-founder Justin Nelson.

"Our goal is to put an economic face on the LGBT community for people on Capitol Hill and Wall Street, as a driving force for social justice," Nelson told PlanetOut Network. "The goal of NGLCC is to level the playing field for GLBT-owned businesses to have increased opportunities for supplier contracts with corporate America.


Australia Split On Gay Marriage
by Peter Hacker Newscenter
Sydney, Australia Bureau

(Sydney, Australia)  A new poll shows that same-sex marriage may not be the wining campaign issue that Prime Minister John Howard and his Liberal government hope it will be.

The poll, commissioned by Australian broadcaster SBS, found that gay marriage has been gaining support since the last survey with the country now split almost evenly on the issue.

Thirty-eight percent of likely voters say they would favor same-sex marriage while 44 percent are opposed to gay unions. Eighteen percent of respondents said they were undecided. With the margin of error the poll shows the country almost equally divided.


Minister at epicenter of gay-marriage battle

(Original publication: June 13, 2004)

MOHEGAN LAKE — After sitting out most of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, to her everlasting regret, Unitarian minister Dawn Sangrey decided to fill that gap in her life by plunging into the battle over gay marriage.

She began by joining another Unitarian minister to marry 13 gay couples in New Paltz on March 6, one day after the state Supreme Court ordered the village's 26-year-old mayor to stop performing the ceremonies. Since then, she's traveled to New Paltz several times to perform about two dozen more same-sex marriages, making her a criminal in the eyes of the Ulster County district attorney and a hero to the tiny congregation she leads in Mohegan Lake.

"I had a chance to go to Birmingham and I hadn't gone and I always regretted it," Sangrey said, recalling the five-day march from Selma to Birmingham, Ala., led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965, while she was teaching English at Pelham Memorial High School. "I did other kinds of things in the civil rights movement, but I didn't go to Washington. I didn't go to Birmingham. I didn't do what some other activists did at the time. The thing that kept me from doing more was fear. I don't want to be afraid anymore."

Gay marriage is anathema to the Catholic Church. Most mainline Protestant denominations are deeply split on the issue. But Unitarian Universalists like to boast that they have been performing commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples for at least 30 years. Still, Sangrey took the Unitarians farther than they had gone before when she performed marriages in New Paltz by declaring that she was acting for the state as well as the church.


Tempers flare over lesbian Bollywood film

New Delhi - Rightwing activists set fire to a movie hall in the northern city of Varanasi on Monday where a Bollywood film with a lesbian theme was showing.

The rightwing Kranti Shiv Sena group claimed responsibility for the fire at the Sajjan movie hall, which caused no injuries, Zee News TV reported.

The controversial movie was entitled Girlfriend, one of Bollywood's first movies to explicitly portray lesbianism. 

Director Karan Razdan said he would not withdraw his film from cinema halls and had every right to make such movies in a democracy. He called the fire "the work of frustrated people".


Iowa State Senator Who Pushed For Anti-Gay Amendment Loses Primary
by Newscenter Staff

(Des Moines, Iowa)  Senator Ken Veenstra won't be returning to the Iowa statehouse this fall.  The veteran Republican lawmaker who led the call for an amendment to the state constitution to ban gay marriage, was defeated by his own party in last week's primary.

This spring Veenstra (R-Orange City) sponsored the marriage resolution saying Iowa's so-called defense of marriage law was not strong enough.  Veenstra argued that only by amending the constitution could the legislature be certain judges would not overturn DOMA.

Democrats opposed the motion, accusing Veenstra of being mean spirited and attempting to use gays as a means to get reelected. Gov. Tom Vilsack opposed the measure.  In the end, it was defeated, losing by only one vote.

The anti-gay measure, and Veenstra's fiery rhetoric over it, did not sit well with voters.  Orange City is in the most socially conservative part of the state, and that a Republican will represent the area is a foregone conclusion.


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