another stupid day in amika.. another hate filled day in amika.. another typical day in amika.....
IF you do not act, donate money... write your representatives, go out and protest, stop participating in any group, organization, or intuition that does not give full rights to queers; you are then complicit in the hate that is filling this country.... you are complicit in apartheid....
Law threatens gays' rights, advocates say
Forum crowd overflows meeting room
By Maria Longley/staff
Casey Templeton/The News Leader
STAUNTON -- Virginia's Marriage Affirmation Act did not rescind contractual arrangements between people of the same sex at the stroke of midnight.
But a judge could broadly interpret the law, which took affect today, if a legal contract between two same-sex people is challenged in court, gay rights advocates said at an informational forum at Staunton City Hall Wednesday.
So broadly, that the judge could void a person's advance medical directive, will or custody arrangement, said panelists.
"Your legal documents are still valid," said Cathy Leitner, an attorney who specializes in estate planning and partnership contracts. "But (the Marriage Affirmation Act) is one more way to challenge those documents."
(UK)Gender Recognition Act Gains Royal Assent
By Political Staff, PA News
A measure which will enable an estimated 5,000 transsexuals to have secret changes made to their birth certificates gained Royal Assent today.
The Gender Recognition Act will also allow them to marry in their acquired gender. Churches will have the right to refuse to conduct such a marriage.
The Act will also allow sports governing bodies to make special rules for transsexual competitors.
The proposed gender recognition, to be authorised by a panel of legal and medical experts, would not require that applicants had undergone a sex change operation.
India News > Activists demand gay rights, law repeal
New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) :
Scores of gay rights activists marched here Thursday demanding the removal of a colonial law which makes homosexuality illegal.
Shouting slogans and waving banners, dozens of gays, lesbians and transvestites walked around the Jantar Mantar observatory - built by astronomer-prince Jai Singh in 1710 - demanding a change in section 377 in the Indian Penal Code.
The section bans homosexual activity, calling it "against the order of nature" and makes it punishable by a fine and a prison sentence up to 10 years.
"Isn't it high time the government looked around and realized that gays and lesbians exist? You cannot wish us away," said Akshay, who works for a Delhi-based advocacy group, Prism.
this is what homophobia does... and this is what is does everyday....
Columbia policeman charged in slaying of college student
COLUMBIA, MO. - A former Columbia police officer was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the slaying of a University of Missouri-Columbia student with whom he acknowledged a homosexual relationship.
Steve A. Rios, 27, was also charged with armed criminal action in the June 5 slaying of Jesse James Valencia, 23.
Columbia Police Investigator Mike Martin said in a statement that Rios was arrested and is in custody. He said authorities would have no further statements until a 1 p.m. news conference in Columbia.
Rios' attorney, Rusty Antel of Columbia, did not immediately return a call Thursday morning from The Associated Press.
Germany proposes adoption rights for gays
BERLIN – Three years after it moved to bring gay relationships into line with married couples, Germany's centre-left coalition government has stepped up efforts to improve homosexual rights.
This week Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrat-led Government unveiled legislation that would permit a homosexual to co-adopt the child of a gay partner.
The legislation, which faces an uphill battle for enactment in the conservative-controlled upper house of parliament, stops short of allowing gay couples to adopt children.
Instead, it would permit a parent who already has a child to offer that child for "co-adoption" by his or her gay partner. The gay partnership would have to be registered with local authorities under terms of a 2001 law granting homosexual couples limited legal rights.
Desmond Tutu: "Homophobia as unjust as apartheid"
Ben Townley, Gay.com UK
Desmond Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town and one of the men widely believed to have helped end South Africa's racial segregation, has restated his support for gay rights, claiming homophobia is "every bit unjust" as apartheid.
The comments come on the eve of the publication of a new Amnesty International book, Sex, Love and Homophobia, which is being launched this evening in London. Tutu wrote the introduction to the book, calling for more action to be done to fight anti-gay discrimination; a "matter of ordinary justice".
"We struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about — our very skins," he wrote in The Times today, adding that he will continue to fight despite - and perhaps because of - his religious faith.
"It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given. I could not have fought against the discrimination of apartheid and not also fight against the discrimination that homosexuals endure, even in our churches and faith groups."
Gays Group Condemned for Targeting Partnerships Opponent
By Amanda Brown and Anthony Looch, Lords staff, PA News
A gay and lesbian rights campaign group was today branded “disgraceful,” for targeting a Conservative opponent of the Government’s so-called “gay weddings” Bill.
Liberal Democrat Lord Lester of Herne Hill warned the House of Lords that he “deplored” Stonewall and its stand over Baroness O’Cathain, who last week led a successful rebellion in the Lords effectively making the Civil Partnership Bill unworkable.
The row erupted today during the final third reading stage of the legislation – which is intended to allow same sex couples the same tax and pension rights as married heterosexuals.
But Lady O’Cathain, who said the Bill undermined marriage and was “discriminatory and unjust”, persuaded the House last week, by 148 votes to 130 majority 18, to widen it to allow family carers who live together to share the same benefits.
Gay marriage ban issue could make ballot
Gambling expansion proposal also may go to voters.
By TIM MARTIN
Associated Press Writer
LANSING -- Michigan voters might get to decide gay marriage and gambling expansion issues in the November election, but they won't get to weigh in on ending the state's 158-year-old ban on the death penalty or the future of affirmative action.
The deadline for groups to file ballot initiative petitions with state election officials is Monday. They must have at least 317,757 valid signatures to get on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Opponents of gay marriage hope to file 400,000 petition signatures on Monday. If state election officials approve the petitions, voters will get to decide whether to change the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
"You never can be absolutely sure, but it looks good," said Marlene Elwell, director of Citizens for the Protection of Marriage. "I see no reason why we wouldn't make it."
County moves forward on domestic partner registry
A public hearing on creating a domestic partner registry in the county will be scheduled later this summer.
The Thurston County Commission met Wednesday to discuss the issue and heard new details about how the registry would work.
Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater already have such registries, and the county's proposal closely mirrors the cities' policies.
The county registry fee would be $25, the same amount charged in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater.
Domestic partners study requested
Presbyterians ask if health benefits will cover them
By PETER SMITH
RICHMOND, Va. — Presbyterians voted yesterday to request a feasibility study into whether to provide health insurance and other benefits to "domestic partners in long-term committed relationships" with church employees.
The General Assembly, the main legislative body of the Louisville-based Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), voted 328-173 to request the study from the denomination's Board of Pensions, which administers benefits.
Queer Festival Brings Heartfelt Discussion
By Bridget O°ØBrien and Yang Jun
Contributing Writer, Staff Intern
The 2004 Queer Culture Festival, held in Seoul last month, may have passed by without too much notice with so many other matters taking the limelight, but there was enough activity to ensure a more progressive outlook for Korea°Øs diverse community and the future of gay marriage in the country.
While some people still flatly reject homosexuality in Korea, leaders of local homosexual organizations have addressed the issue by holding unprecedented debates on same-sex marriage. In more comfortable arrangements, the festival organizers felt film viewings would allow the gentler introduction of discussion and change.
Herriman blocks booth opposing amendment
By Rebecca Walsh
The Salt Lake Tribune
Fort Herriman Days was supposed to be a celebration of the best of patriotic, small-town America -- complete with cotton candy and fireworks.
But free speech was another matter entirely.
Herriman Mayor J. Lynn Crane balked at allowing a group opposing a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to pass out literature from a booth at the city's founders day party last Saturday. But Crane's decision may put the 5-year-old city on shaky legal ground.
"If you open a public forum, you can't pick and choose who gets to be there," said Scott McCoy, director of the Don't Amend Alliance political issues committee. "We basically were discriminated against because of who we are and our position."
Crane is out of town camping with his family all week and could not be reached for comment. City receptionist Lynda White served as his proxy last Friday, passing on the bad news to leaders of Don't Amend.
New state law called a motivator for gay community
Activists and supporters gather in Norfolk to protest an amended anti-gay-marriage law going into effect today.
BY LAUREN WILLIAMS
NORFOLK -- Hampton Roads residents filled the sidewalks behind Waterside Marketplace on Wednesday to protest a new Virginia law, effective today, that bans same-sex couples from contractual arrangements that grant privileges associated with marriage.
Gays, lesbians and their supporters signed petitions from Equality Virginia denouncing the law and a possible amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban gay marriage. They also heard from speakers from across Hampton Roads who opposed the state law.
Keith Flippan, one of the event organizers, told the crowd that the rally was an example of how powerful a motivator the law had been to the gay community.
"Why we're here is because - look at us - we've found our voice," Flippan said to a cheering crowd. "Citizens of Hampton Roads are willing to stand up and say, 'You know what? We're not going to be ashamed of who we are.' "
Activists Protest Anti-Gay Marriage Law
By JUSTIN BERGMAN
Associated Press Writer
RICHMOND, Va. -- Gay activists rallied in major cities statewide to protest a new law that critics said could nullify legal contracts between same-sex couples.
The state law, which goes into effect Thursday, prohibits civil unions, partnership contracts or other arrangements "purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage."
Critics said it could be used to nullify medical directives, wills, joint bank accounts and other agreements between gay couples.
"(The law) clearly states that gay and lesbian people in this state should not feel welcome," said Dyana Mason, executive director of Equality Virginia, the state's largest gay rights organization. "It seeks to strip the only tool that gay and lesbian couples have to protect their families."
Anti-Gay Amendment Dies In North Carolina
(Raleigh, North Carolina) A last ditch effort to force a vote on a proposed amendment to the North Carolina Constitution has failed. Senate Republicans came up two signatures short of forcing the issue out of committee and onto the Senate floor.
Thirty signatures are needed to force a rules vote. Senate Minority Leader Jim Forrester (R-Gaston) was able to muster only 28 signatures - all of the Senate's 23 Republicans and five Democrats. Democrats hold 27 of 50 Senate seats.
"I don't think there's any more that we can do," he told reporters. "We gave them every opportunity to help prevent the destruction of the institution of marriage," he said of Democrats that the GOP hoped would join them in pressing the measure.
Forrester sent certified letters containing the petition to all Democrats in the Senate asking them to sign. With this year's legislative session winding down, Forrester set Tuesday as the deadline for senators to sign up.
Group plans to monitor churches to watch for campaigning from pulpit
A group that seeks to preserve the separation of church and state plans to send volunteers to Johnson County, Kan., church services starting in July to make sure there's no election-year campaigning from the pulpit.
About 100 ministers representing Johnson County churches attended a meeting earlier this month at First Family Church in Overland Park, where the Reverend Jerry Johnston urged them to help oust Kansas lawmakers who voted against a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. "God calls a minister to speak on moral issues," said Johnston, who believes churches need to get more involved in politics.
But Internal Revenue Service rules forbid tax-exempt groups such as religious organizations from participating in political campaigns for or against a candidate.
Now a Johnson County-based group called the Mainstream Coalition, headed by Caroline McKnight, is sending letters to more than 400 churches in the county reminding them of the IRS rules on campaigning. McKnight said Johnston and other ministers need to keep partisan politics out of their sermons. "His job is to lead his flock by setting an example...not by bringing the smoke-filled room into his sanctuary," McKnight said.