poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, July 08, 2004


A city pupil is changing school to escape the bullies who have made her life hell.

Young Blaize Trigg, 12, from White City, has been the subject of bullying every since she started at Beaufort Community School.

"They call me names, they push me, they shove me and they just torment me all the time,

"I now get scared every time I go to school," she said.

With her mother Claire in a gay relationship, young bullies have seen Blaize as a prime target.

As she approaches the end of Year Seven, it appears that nothing can stop the personal attacks so the family have decided to withdraw Blaize from the school.


Federal court rules in favor of removing antigay banners

A federal judge has ruled that police in Madison, Wis., did not violate a minister's free speech rights by ordering the removal of antigay banners from highway overpasses. U.S. district judge John Shabaz said Wednesday that police had ordered the banners, reading "Homosexuality Is a Sin," removed from the pedestrian overpasses along the city's Beltline not because of their message but because they caused potential traffic hazards to drivers. The Reverend Ralph Ovadal of Monroe, chairman of Wisconsin Christians United, had sued the Madison police department in May, alleging it violated his free speech rights by ordering him to remove the banners last year. Police ordered Ovadal on September 2 and October 11 to remove the banners from pedestrian overpasses near Verona Road and near Park Street.

Shabaz denied Wednesday a request for a temporary injunction that would have barred Madison police from ordering the removal of the banners. The judge said such a ban would have been overly broad and would have prevented police from acting to ensure public safety. In order to grant the injunction, Shabaz said he would have had to find that the lawsuit had a reasonable chance of success on its merits. But the judge said that without making a better case it has very little chance to succeed. Ovadal said the case will go forward. "We think that the pedestrian overpasses are a safe and effective way to conduct our message," the minister said. "We will prove that at trial," which was set for November 22.


New Mexico supreme court rejects same-sex marriage

The New Mexico supreme court on Thursday rejected a county clerk's request to issue more marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The court, in a one-page order without comment, unanimously denied a request from Sandoval County clerk Victoria Dunlap to lift a temporary restraining order that prevents her from handing out more licenses to gay couples. Dunlap issued more than 60 same-sex marriage licenses on February 20 but stopped that same day when Attorney General Patricia Madrid declared that gay marriages were not legal under state law. Dunlap contends New Mexico laws support marriage for same-sex couples and that she should be allowed to resume issuing licenses to them. The attorney general says state law limits marriage in New Mexico to a man and a woman.

The supreme court, in a March 31 action, extended a restraining order that had been granted by a district court after Dunlap threatened to resume issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The same-sex marriage dispute remains pending in a case before state district judge Louis P. McDonald. Dunlap, whose term expires at the end of the year, had asked the court to dismiss the temporary restraining order, arguing that it had been in place longer than allowed under procedural rules. Madrid, in written arguments filed with the court earlier this week, said the supreme court's March 31 order was not subject to time limits governing district court procedures for restraining orders in civil cases.


House Republicans vow to vote on marriage ban before election

Leading Republican House of Representatives members who were once unenthusiastic about President George W. Bush's call for a constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples now say they plan to bring the idea to a vote just before next November's election. Senate Republicans have vowed to force a vote on their version of the Federal Marriage Amendment during the week of July 12, shortly before Democrats convene to nominate Massachusetts senator John Kerry as their candidate to unseat Bush. "We feel like marriage is under attack. Marriage is a spiritual bond between one man and one woman," House majority leader Tom DeLay, a Republican, said Wednesday. "I came to realize, in the end, we're going to have to do a constitutional amendment if we want to protect marriage." He said House Republican leaders expect to debate the constitutional amendment in September. Amendments to the Constitution require approval by two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate and ratification by three-fourths of state legislatures.

Kerry and his vice presidential candidate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, oppose same-sex marriage but support civil unions. Neither would support a constitutional amendment. It is unclear whether Kerry or Edwards would leave the campaign trail next week for a vote on the issue, reports the congressional newspaper Roll Call. Privately, Republicans acknowledge they are eager to get both men on the record opposing the amendment, because they believe such a vote would hurt them in the South and Midwest.

House Republicans also plan to debate a measure that would give state courts rather than certain federal ones jurisdiction in same-sex marriage cases. A bill dealing with jurisdiction would leave decisions about legalizing same-sex marriage in state courts and prevent federal judges from hearing cases that challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage in federal law as the union between a man and a woman. Republican representative John Hostettler has written the legislation to remove marriage matters from certain federal courts. In a May statement explaining the bill, he said, "Simply put, if federal courts don't have jurisdiction over marriage issues, they can't hear them. And if they can't hear cases regarding marriage policy, they can't redefine this sacred institution and establish a national precedent for homosexual marriage."


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