Couple fighting for flight Airline says rule has tax purposes
By BILL HENSEL JR.
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
A former flight attendant for Continental Airlines is challenging the carrier's decision to not offer travel benefits to his same-sex partner.
The skirmish shows the increasing battles over gay marriage and extending benefits to domestic partners don't end at the courthouse steps.
David Lee retired early from Continental in 1989 and was awarded six travel passes per year, which would allow him and a spouse to travel together.
When he married Daniel Vaillancourt on April 1 of this year, he asked Continental to allow his spouse to travel with him.
The Houston-based airline refused.
Presbyterians to keep discussing gay issue
Homosexual ordination measure voted down Friday
By CHRISTINA LEE KNAUSS
Presbyterian clergy and laity from the Columbia area say last week’s vote against ordaining gays and lesbians will not halt consideration of the issue in the denomination’s churches and classrooms.
On Friday night, the church’s legislative assembly, meeting in Richmond, Va., narrowly voted down a measure (259-255) that would have allowed regional governing bodies within the denomination to ordain gay clergy and lay officers.
Conservative Presbyterians within the denomination had warned a vote for gay ordination could cause the first major split in the church since the Civil War.
The lay leader of Columbia-area churches said the vote was a good thing.
Politicians tried to define Rhea County by banning gays, but their definition didn’t match reality
by Joe Tarr
Anna Massey and Chris Denton sit at a picnic bench at Rhea County’s Cedar Point Park, munching sandwiches of white bread and processed cold cuts. A high school junior and freshman, respectively, the two just got back from a food run for one of the organizer’s of the county’s first Gay Day.
On the stage underneath the park’s picnic shelter, two hairy men in dresses sing songs and juggle. For today at least, surrounded by a few hundred gay men and lesbians, the two high schoolers are not part of the minority. They’re also probably not who the county commission had in mind when they passed a muddled resolution in March criminalizing homosexuals.
Massey and Denton have been trying to organize a gay and lesbian student group at Rhea County High, with some resistance from the school board.
Denton told a few people he was gay about a year ago. “I was just tired of being someone I wasn’t. I sort of threw up my hands and told a couple of people. It got back to my grandfather and he made me come out of the closet to my family. He’s very judgmental and he hates faggots,” says Denton, who adds that his grandfather hasn’t disowned him, he just doesn’t like to talk about it. “He loves me still.”
Row in Lords over gay link to child abuse
Ulster peer Lord Maginnis has been accused of linking homosexuality with child abuse in a heated debate in the House in Lords.
The veteran Ulster Unionist politician spoke out over new Government legislation on civil partnerships for same sex couples.
The bill will give people in gay relationships the same tax and pension rights as married heterosexuals.
But Lord Maginnis argued it should not become law in Northern Ireland, until the Stormont Assembly had approved it.
Michigan Woman Assaulted By Anti-Gay Petitioner
(Pontiac, MI) – An anti-gay activist, collecting signatures to place an anti-gay question on the November ballot, assaulted a woman who raised questions about the issue. The incident took place outside of the Oakland County Courthouse on Tuesday morning.
Rachel Lutz was on her way to the courthouse for an unrelated matter and witnessed the signature gatherer outside the building. The man was seeking support of an initiative that would ban equal rights for gay and lesbian couples. Lutz was familiar with the ballot drive to deny gay and lesbian couples access to marriage, civil unions and domestic partner benefits and began to inform potential signers about the issue, suggesting that the effort was discriminatory.
“He shoved me,” said Rachel Lutz. “I was standing by myself and did nothing to him, but obviously he was furious that I exercised my rights to free speech in favor of equality for gays. Finally, he asked if I’m a ‘lezzie’ and then he shoved me for no other reason. This really showed me, a straight ally of the gay community, the kind of real animosity these people have toward gays”
Sri Lanka gays and 'sadists' battle to change law
Sex between men is a criminal offence in Sri Lanka and lesbianism has been officially labelled "sadism", but the island's gays believe their long fight for equality is picking up pace amid regional moves to legalise homosexuality.
Sri Lanka's penal code, a legacy from British colonial rulers, makes sex between consenting men punishable by 12 years in jail, although the law is rarely enforced.
The main gay rights group here, Companions on a Journey, said Sri Lanka's turbulent politics has left activists and authorities groping for a solution to the issue of gay rights.
"We engage the minister of justice in a discussion one evening and the next morning he is out [of office]," Companions director Sherman de Rose said, referring to the sudden sackings of two governments in the past three years