poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, July 09, 2004

Gay Leader to Fly to Florida to Support Ellis & Guy Rubin's Lawsuits for Marriage Equality

NORTH HILLS, Calif., July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- On Monday, July 12, the Executive Director of the Equality Campaign --, Robin Tyler and her partner, Diane Olson, will fly to Florida in support of two lawsuits, their 4th and 5th, filed by attorney's Ellis and Guy Rubin, seeking to overturn Florida's ban on Gay Marriage.

First, at 11 AM they will be at the main entrance of the Hillsborough County courthouse in Tampa, joining the attorney's who will be representing a lesbian couple.

At 3 PM, they will be at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, with the attorney's, who will be representing two gay male couples.

Robin Tyler, who produced the main stages for three gay Marches on Washington, is the cofounder of She and her partner were the first couple to file suit in California, for being denied a marriage license in Beverly Hills. Olson's grandfather, Culbert Levy Olson was the first Democratic Governor of California, who ran on a platform of 'separation of
church and state.'


Gays, lesbians launch court application to marry

Gay and lesbian organisations took the last legal step in their 10 year journey towards equal rights on Thursday when they filed a court application to have same-sex marriages recognised.

"Recognition of (same-sex) marriages will eradicate unfair legal restrictions against lesbian and gay people and assist in removing the stigma associated with the community," said Evert Knoesen, director of the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, on Friday.

The application was filed by the Equality Project and 18 other applicants in the Johannesburg High Court.

It argues that the Marriage Act of 1961, which expressly prohibits same-sex couples from entering into the institution of civil marriage, is unconstitutional.


Group to monitor pulpit politicking
Tribune news services

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A group that advocates separation of church and state plans to send volunteers to area church services to make sure there's no election-year campaigning from the pulpit.

The Mainstream Coalition, headed by Caroline McKnight, is sending letters to more than 400 churches in the Kansas City area reminding them of IRS rules, which forbid tax-exempt groups, including religious organizations, from participating in political campaigns for or against candidates.

Coalition volunteers will visit churches and report major violations to the IRS.

After the Kansas House voted in May against a referendum on a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, prominent Kansas ministers vowed to rally their congregations to defeat lawmakers who opposed the measure.


Rally to protest proposed ban on gay marriage
Tucson Citizen (AZ)

The youth project of Wingspan, a local advocacy group, is sponsoring an event Sunday to rally opponents of a proposed U.S. constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

A vote in the U.S. Senate on the Federal Marriage Amendment is set for Thursday.

The measure would require that marriage be between a man and a woman and in effect ban gay marriage in the United States.

On Sunday, Wingspan's Eon Youth Center and Wingspan's youth empowerment summer project will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at 314 E. Sixth St., one block west of Fourth Avenue.


Gay Couples Queue for Same Sex Weddings
By Matt Adams, PA News

Gay couples queued for two hours today to sign the country’s first same-sex wedding waiting list book.

More than 100 couples entered their names in the pink suede-covered book in a bid to be among the first to marry legally under the Government’s proposed Civil Partnership Bill.

One couple arrived in a pink Cadillac to sign the book at Brighton Town Hall.

The city, often dubbed the country’s gay capital, is planning to become the UK’s flagship city for same-sex weddings when the Bill is passed, which it is expected to be in 2005.


Undecided senators FMA battle targets
Amendment supporters quietly remove sunset provision from bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With a vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment just days away, supporters and opponents of the gay marriage ban are embarking on last ditch lobbying efforts in an attempt to sway undecided senators to their side. Some senators locked in close re-election bids have said opponents of same-sex marriage have flooded their offices with calls, urging them to vote “yes” on the amendment that the Senate is scheduled to take up next week.

Social conservatives have targeted Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who is heading into a close primary contest on Aug. 24 with a more conservative opponent, state Sen. Mike Miller. An ad campaign sponsored by Focus on the Family has appeared in several Alaskan newspapers. Charles Kleeschulte, Murkowski’s communications director, said his boss supports an amendment that would ban gay marriage so long as it allows the state to determine who can receive marital benefits. Kleeschulte said Murkowski is waiting to see the final resolution before she casts her vote.

Using a similar ad, Focus on the Family has also targeted Ohio Sens. George Voinovich (R) and Mike DeWine (R) for failing to support the FMA. Marcie Ridgway, press secretary for Voinovich said her office receives hundreds of phone calls a day, mostly from individuals opposing gay marriage. Voinovich has said that the traditional institution of marriage must be protected but that the FMA is not necessary now.

This week, gay activists learned that the latest version of the FMA in the Senate omits the customary “drop dead” provision that stipulates that ratification of the measure by the states must occur within seven years of the date Congress passes it. The last amendment to pass Congress without such a provision was the 27th Amendment in 1789. It was finally ratified, 203 years later.


Smoltz compares gay marriage to bestiality
Braves players claim anti-gay quotes in AP article are ‘inaccurate’

Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz and catcher Eddie Perez reportedly made anti-gay comments last week during interviews with the Associated Press, including Smoltz comparing same-sex marriage to legalizing bestiality.

The AP article, published July 3, examined homophobia in professional sports and the prospects of a gay player coming out in baseball, basketball, football or hockey.

But Smoltz spoke specifically about the most dominant social issue in the gay rights movement, marriage equality, sparking one local activist to demand an apology.

“Smoltz, a devout Christian, criticized those who want to legalize gay marriage,” the AP reported. “‘What’s next? Marrying an animal?’ he asked derisively.”


PFLAG’s Tseng to advise Kerry on gay issues
Former PFLAG director had similar role under President Clinton

After two years on the job, David Tseng, the most recent executive director of Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays, decided to trade parents for politics.

Tseng, who stepped down from his post as the head of the national office of PFLAG in June, said this week he left the group to work on the John Kerry presidential campaign as a pension policy consultant and an adviser on gay issues.

“I hope that I can help our movement in this capacity as well,” Tseng said. “I think it’s one of the most important elections of our lifetime. The prospect of another four years of active intolerance by the executive branch should be unacceptable to any GLBT American.”

It’s not a new role for Tseng, who arrived at PFLAG in June 2002 after spending several years working in the Clinton White House as a pension policy consultant. He called Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards, one of the most gay-friendly tickets ever, and said that a record 200-plus gay delegates will attend the Democratic National Convention this month in Boston.


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