poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Attack galvanizes gay community

When three men beat and slashed Micah Painter with a broken vodka bottle outside a gay bar last month, they left him seriously injured. They also wounded many others in the gay community who took the assault as a personal attack.

It was a kind of attack not seen in years in a city known for its acceptance of homosexual people.

"This type of viciousness is not something the community has seen," said Meighan Doherty, an activist in the gay community. "It's really hit home for a lot of people."

As Seattle police continue to investigate the brutal attack on Painter, a 23-year-old landscaper and personal trainer, many in the gay community are organizing to raise awareness of assaults on gays and other hate crimes


Police Say Assault Was "Hate Crime"

Northern Kentucky police now say an assault outside a gay bar in Newport was a hate crime.

Police say Steven Ard beat 19-year-old Matthew Ashcraft with an aluminum baseball bat.

Ard is charged with first degree assault. Investigators say Ard was yelling slurs at another man when Ashcraft stepped in to help. Ard says he was acting in self defense.

Ashcraft is still recovering. He suffered a fractured skull, a blood clot, cranial bleeding and hearing damage.


Gay couple's split months after vows adds fuel to debate
By Tracey Kaplan
Mercury News

They've lasted considerably longer than the 55 hours pop diva Britney Spears managed to stay married, but a same-sex couple who tied the knot in San Francisco three months ago already are seeking to dissolve their union.

The couple's breakup after more than 10 years together puts the spotlight for the first time on the flip side of same-sex marriage: divorce.

``I would love to think that gay people will do a better job with marriage than heterosexuals,'' said Frederick Hertz, an Oakland-based attorney and co-author of ``A Legal Guide for Gay and Lesbian Couples'' who represents one member of the couple. ``But chances are they'll make as many mistakes as straight couples.''

Opponents of gay marriage Friday seized on the breakup as a sign that same-sex marriage was doomed, while gay-rights activists pointed out that about half of all heterosexual marriages also eventually fail. The breakup also highlights a tricky legal situation that all 3,955 same-sex couples who got married in San Francisco will face in the event they decide to sever ties or one person dies.


Metro issue stirs statewide gay-rights group
Staff Writer

A new gay and lesbian group formed to fight for gay rights in the state legislature is instead turning its attention to a local fight brewing at the Metro Council.

Several dozen members of the new Tennessee Equality Project will meet next week to discuss the stalled reappointment of gay rights supporter Maria Salas to the Metro Human Relations Commission, the city agency charged with overseeing civil rights complaints.

Salas' appointment was deferred at the Metro Council meeting Tuesday on a vote of 27-10. The vote came amid speculation that some council members objected to her outspoken support for a Metro ordinance — since defeated — that would have guaranteed certain employment rights to gay and lesbian Metro employees.

Councilman Mike Kerstetter, who asked for the deferral, said the vote had nothing to do with gay rights.


Debate stirred on gay marriage
Tribune Reporter

WASHINGTON - New Mexico's senators are taking opposing sides in the debate on a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in all states.

Albuquerque Republican Pete Domenici said the amendment is needed to protect traditional marriage in New Mexico between a man and woman from "activist" judges, lawyers or clerks like Sandoval County's Victoria Dunlap.

Silver City Democrat Jeff Bingaman said New Mexico's courts already have stopped Dunlap, and the Senate debate "is a waste of our time."

Debate began Friday and continues Monday.

Bingaman said the amendment doesn't have the necessary two-thirds support in the Senate. He said most New Mexicans agree it is not a matter for the Constitution.


More Gay Couples Plan To Wed In New Paltz
State Health Dept.: Same-Sex Marriage Is Illegal
by The Associated Press

NEW PALTZ -- Another 17 same-sex couples plan to wed Saturday in the Hudson Valley, joined by a heterosexual couple to show support.

The village of New Paltz has become a focal point in efforts to legalize same-sex marriages in New York. Mayor Jason West presided over the first same-sex marriages in the state in February. Since then, dozens of couples exchanged marriage vows at public ceremonies.

The state Health Department has told municipal clerks not to give same-sex couples marriage licenses, saying it is illegal under state law. Court cases are pending over the constitutionality of that order.


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