poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Gay couple sues town of Secaucus
Charge firefighters with harassment
By Sarah N. Lynch
Journal staff writer

SECAUCUS - Two gay men who claim they've been harassed by members of the volunteer fire department for the last three months have filed a civil suit against the department and the town.

The complaint, filed Thursday in state Superior Court in Jersey City, also names the Secaucus Police Department, Fire Chief Frank Walters, Town Administrator Anthony Iacono, Mayor Dennis Elwell and 30 unnamed individuals as defendants.

The suit claims harassment, discrimination, retaliation, negligence and violation of state civil rights laws.

The plaintiffs, Peter de Vries and Timothy Carter, say problems escalated after an incident on April 25, when the couple asked a boisterous group of off-duty firemen returning from an awards dinner in Cliffside Park to quiet down. The firefighters retaliated by throwing rocks at their house and issuing death threats to the men, according to the suit.


Domestic partners awaiting their day
New registration law takes effect Saturday
Star-Ledger Staff

For Marty Finkel and Mike Plake, South Orange village is the place to be this weekend.

A new domestic partnership law making New Jersey the fifth state in the nation to give gay couples many rights accorded married people takes effect Saturday. In South Orange, officials will begin registering couples as soon as they can -- a minute after midnight.
Finkel, 45, and Plake, 41, who lobbied for the law, expect to be the first couple officially recognized as domestic partners in New Jersey.

"Everyone in the state is welcome," Finkel said. "It is very exciting."


Group fights same-sex marriage ban
By JAMES A. FUSSELL The Kansas City Star

Calling a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Missouri “immoral” and “against the spirit of the Declaration of Independence,” several area families gathered Monday to oppose it.

“People who are pushing this amendment are trying to make second-class citizens,” said John Carey of Kansas City. He and his partner, Dudley Hogue, would like the right to get married.

The families appeared at a Monday news conference on behalf of the Constitution Defense League, a group formed to defeat the measure. The proposed law would amend the state constitution to define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

Missouri voters will decide the issue Aug. 3.


Nepal's gay community angry over police "atrocity"
Ben Townley, UK

Gay rights activists have been beaten by police officers in Nepal, after they protested over the country's lack of equality for sexual minorities, according to local press reports.

The group's rally took place outside the country's seat of government, the Singha Durba, in Kathmandu earlier this week the Himalayan Times says.

It was organised by national gay rights group and support network the Blue Diamond Society (BDS), which had intended to deliver a letter to the Prime Minister calling for the decriminalisation of homosexuality and equality for the LGBT community.

However, when arriving at the parliament building the protestors were attacked by the police and beaten. The officers claimed protests outside the parliamentary buildings were banned, the newspaper claims.



The Bloomberg administration might be having second thoughts about promoting an experimental high school serving gay and lesbian students.

The Department of Education's budget halts the planned expansion of the controversial Harvey Milk HS in Greenwich Village, according to funding figures obtained by The Post.

Enrollment at Harvey Milk HS was scheduled to jump to 170 students in September, from 100 students this past school year, when it converted from a small program to a sanctioned, stand-alone high school.

The city put $3.2 million into renovations so the facility could accommodate the rapid two-year expansion.


Lawyers want to repeal gay adoption ban
The Florida Bar's family law section voted to fight the ban. The Bar's governors will decide whether it can proceed.
By Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE - Family law attorneys want to get rid of Florida's ban on adoptions by gays.

By unanimous vote, the executive council of the family law section of the Florida Bar has decided to push for a repeal.

"Fundamental fairness demands that healthy parents should be allowed to adopt regardless," said Evan Marks, a Miami attorney who became chairman of the section last month.

Florida is the only state in the nation with a complete ban on adoption by gays, whether single or as a couple.


Child-care czar sees dark motive in firing
By Thomas Caywood

The state commissioner charged with protecting kids in child care, a lesbian planning to marry her partner, is refusing to step down after a top Romney deputy asked her to resign last week.

    ``I'll be talking with a lawyer to review my options,'' said Office of Child Care Commissioner Ardith Wieworka, who said she assumes she'll be fired today.

     Gov. Mitt Romney's stand against gay marriage - which took him to Capitol Hill last month to urge passage of a proposed U.S. constitutional amendment to ban it - has Wieworka questioning if her pending nuptials are the unspoken reason for her being asked to leave after eight years as commissioner.

     ``I'm certainly wondering it,'' she said.


Societies polarised by rising profile of homosexuals
By Terry Kirby, Chief Reporter

Widespread acceptance of homosexuality in many areas of society has been accompanied by a rise in the number of countries where it is punishable by death and a polarisation of attitudes elsewhere, according to a new book.

Although gay and lesbian people are more prominent in society than ever before, the price of this attention is that they are now being persecuted in many parts of the world where they were previously unnoticed.

The book, Sex, Love and Homophobia, by Vanessa Baird and published by Amnesty International, is an overview of the history of gays and lesbians and their current status around the world.

In the foreword, Archbishop Desmond Tutu says the persecution of people for their sexual orientation is every bit as unjust as the crime against humanity that was apartheid. "This is a matter of ordinary justice," he says. "We struggled against apartheid ... because black people were being made to suffer for something we could do nothing about - our very skins. It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given."


Local same-sex couples will apply to marry

Several gay and lesbian couples plan to apply for marriage licenses July 16 to draw attention to Colorado’s legal prohibition of same-sex marriages.

That will come two days before 50 same-sex couples have a symbolic ceremony in Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs.

The couples know they’ll be turned down for licenses, but they want to make a point, said Frank Volz, who plans to apply for a license with his partner, Brian Lund.

“I’m hoping that people will put a face to us and realize we’re not freaks, we’re not monsters trying to disrupt anyone else’s life,” Volz said.


Duke Ends Pact With YMCA Over Domestic Partners
by Newscenter Staff

(Durham, North Carolina) Duke University has pulled the plug on a deal with the YMCA after the agency said it would not honor the university's domestic partner plan.

Duke offers the same-sex partners of its staff and faculty the same benefits it offers married couples.  

Under an agreement with the 'Y', Duke promoted the agency in its employee handbook in exchange for Duke employees receiving discounted memberships.

But, the YMCA has refused to provide family memberships to same-sex couples.  The two sides have been arguing over the issue since April. 


Keeping it queer
By Polly Bush

A new contestant has emerged in the lead-up to this year's federal poll, with the launching of a political party prepared to take on the Howard Government's gay wedge issue - or at least, take the issue up to a higher level.

The Keeping-It-Queer (KIQ) Party, launched today, has been formed as a direct response to the Government's recent policy announcements to legislate against marriage and overseas adoption rights for gay and lesbian Australians.

While the new Party opposes the Government's policies, Party President Les Beyan said the Coalition's "regrettable" position left it no other option but to work with the Government in further creating a segregated society.

"If John Howard wants to create an Us-and-Them Society, the KIQ Party will ensure we roll out these reforms to all spheres of Australian life," the new Party President said.


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