poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, June 05, 2004

White urges protestors to do more for gay rights
San Jose Knight Ridder Newspapers

SAN JOSE, Calif. - (KRT) - As the limousine carrying them to a church in San Jose passed some gay protesters, Mel White remembers Jerry Falwell saying: "If they weren't here to give us attention, I'd have to invent them and pay for them myself."

That was in the 1980s, when White was ghost-writing the Moral Majority founder's biography. Like Falwell and other fundamentalist Christians, White, a former pastor raised in that faith, believed homosexuality was a sin. But he no longer believes as he once did. He came out in 1993 and has been countering anti-gay messages ever since.

As White returns to the region this weekend, as speaker and co-grand marshal at Gay Pride events in Santa Cruz, gays and the religious right are once again entwined in a public morality debate. With defense-of-marriage legislation pending in 38 states and President Bush supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage, White says, those who support full rights for gays need to do more than just vote to keep religious conservatives from gaining political ground.

"Unless we do something, soon, we won't have the right to disagree," he said. "I'm talking about boycotts, strikes, protest. I'm calling for war, but a non-violent war."


Bishop Olmsted Suspends Priest for Refusing to Remove Name from Gay Document

PHOENIX, June 4, 2004 ( - Following Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted's April order that nine priests and one religious brother remove their names from a document by an activist organization for homosexual clergy, all have complied except for Fr. Andre Boulanger. Last week bishop Olmsted suspended Fr. Boulanger from priestly ministry.

The document, No Longer Silent: Clergy for Justice, stated "Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We affirm that GLBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God."

Within two weeks of bishop Olmsted's order, eight of the ten had removed their names; last week, the ninth, but Fr. Boulanger defiantly persisted in his stand.

A suspension means a priest may not celebrate Mass, preach or hear confessions. Olmsted told Fr. Boulanger his suspension stands "until such time as I have assurance from you that you do indeed believe and teach what the Church teaches about the call to holiness for homosexual persons," according to an Arizona Republic article.


Homophobia kills, literally
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Though President Bush rarely mentions it -- too many conservatives in Congress are uncomfortable with amending the Constitution to ban same-sex unions -- conservative preachers and right-wing activists can't let go of gay marriage. They're still using its "threat" to traditional families to rally their parishioners, lest they forget to be judgmental and unwittingly slip into love and mercy.

Nowhere are the front lines in the battle against gay marriage tended with more care than in conservative black churches, where ministers regularly denounce homosexuality as an abomination. It is a curious approach they would no doubt characterize as "tough love," as they pray for the gay members of their flocks to be delivered from their affliction.

It's too bad that some of that prayer time is not devoted to fervent supplication that black churchgoers be delivered from the affliction of homophobia. Bigotry fuels the scourge of AIDS in black America, and the plague is making its greatest inroads into the population from which come the worker bees of the black church: black women.

Black women accounted for 72 percent of the new cases of HIV among women from 1999 to 2002; studies have found that a black woman is 23 times more likely to be infected than a white woman.


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