poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, July 09, 2004

Gay Rights Site Runs 'Outing' Ad Aimed at the Hill
By Jose Antonio Vargas
Washington Post Staff Writer

It reads like an ominous threat: "For Years Our Silence Has Protected You. Today That Protection Ends."

The Washington Blade, the area's gay weekly newspaper, today is running a full-page ad, titled "Final Call to Conscience," that helps fuel anxiety on Capitol Hill involving what local gay rights activists call an "outing craze" over the past two weeks.

The $1,400 color ad -- paid for by the Web site (Mary as in Mary Cheney, Vice President Cheney's openly gay daughter) -- is similar to "Call to Conscience," an ad that ran in the Blade in 1996 when Congress was deliberating the Defense of Marriage Act. John Aravosis, national co-chairman of, said yesterday that as with the previous ad, this one seeks to highlight the "hyprocrisy within gays and lesbians on the Hill who work for anti-gay members of Congress."

This time, the legislation in question is the Federal Marriage Amendment, which President Bush endorsed in February, calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment "defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and woman as husband and wife."


Outed Hill staffer condemns campaign
Mikulski and Foley become newest congressional targets as FMA vote nears

The voicemail came on a Thursday afternoon, in between busy committee meetings and at the end of a hectic week for Senate staffer Jonathan Tolman. It was a confusing message — the demands vague, the voice unidentified and unrecognizable.

The call had asked for “some updates” for an article involving Tolman, the staffer recalled, and left a number. Tolman simply assumed the caller wanted a revised version of a report on environmental policies he authored while working for a downtown Washington thinktank. As it turned out, that wasn’t the article in question.

Tolman, a senior aide for the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, chaired by conservative Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, was about to become the first Capitol Hill staffer publicly outed through a campaign led by two activists.

The “article” was a profile of Tolman three years ago in Metro Weekly, a local gay and lesbian magazine, a story that Tolman said he had long forgotten about.


Anti gay cruise rally set for Sunday
By LaKEISHA McSWEENEY,Guardian Staff Reporter

With the first "family value" gay cruise scheduled to dock in Bahamian waters on July 16, a band of protesters are anticipating to again have numbers that will make politicians realise that citizens value morality over revenue.

"We have to determine what it is that we want," said Pastor Mario Moxey, chairman of The Save The Bahamas Campaign, Wednesday during a press conference at The Bahamas Harvest Church, Prince Charles Drive where he announced a massive rally against gay cruises for Sunday in Rawson Square.

"Are we going to go after a morally sound nation or are we going to go after our livestock? he asked. "Are we going to think our pocketbooks or are we going to think moral decency?

Pastor Moxey added that the numbers at the upcoming rally, the first of numerous scheduled in the coming weeks, would also force politicians to end their silence on homosexual cruises and same sex marriages.


Church to debate rules on weddings

The Church of England General Synod is expected to discuss whether to relax marriage regulations and broaden the range of places where couples can wed.

At present, Anglican church weddings can be only be held in a parish where either the bride or the groom live or worship, unless they apply for a special licence.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will be joined by bishops, clergy and lay members from all over Britain for the five-day meeting at York University.

Synod will also consider recent criminal justice developments and is expected to call on the Government to switch its focus from punishing to rehabilitating offenders.


Spanish gays quit the church

Spanish gay rights activists have handed in 1500 letters to the Catholic Church from people renouncing their faith in anger at its opposition to gay marriage, which the Socialist Government plans to legalise.

The mass apostasy on Thursday was a powerful gesture in a country where 95 per cent of people define themselves as Catholics and where the new government has outlined several measures that irk the church.

"I do not wish to belong to an institution that crushes gays, lesbians and transsexuals daily," said Pedro Zerolo, a member of the Socialist Party executive board and one of the 1500 who asked that their names be struck from church records.

The Socialist Government, which won power in April, quickly announced it would seek to legalise same-sex marriage and says a draft law will be presented in September - a radical move in a country where homosexuality was illegal until 1975.


death of an activist
by peter tatchell

brian williamsonjamaican gay rights activist brian williamson was brutally murdered in his kingston home on june 9th.

speaking at a memorial vigil for brian williamson outside the jamaican high commission in london on wednesday 23 june 2004, organised by the gay rights group outrage!. i made the following statement:

”jamaica’s prime minister pj patterson shares responsibility for the wave of homophobic violence, culminating in the murder of brian williamson. his government gives credibility to anti-gay prejudice by enforcing the ban on homosexuality and by doing nothing effective to tackle homophobic hate crimes. patterson is a coward. nelson mandela and archbishop desmond tutu say homophobia is as bad as racism. when will patterson show similar moral leadership?" 

i also asked “why won’t patterson speak out against the torrent of gay bashing attacks? why won’t he scrap jamaica’s colonial era anti-gay laws?”

the london vigil was attended by members of the black and gay communities, including gay jamaican asylum seekers who have fled to britain to escape murder in jamaica.


Homosexual Law Reform Comes of Age
Wellington (NZ)
Homosexual Law Reform Comes of Age

18 years ago this Friday, July 9th, Homosexual Law Reform passed into law in New Zealand. Some of the key players in ensuring the Bill's success will be celebrating that anniversary on Friday at Premier House, the Prime Minister's residence, along with 150 of Wellington's Gay and Lesbian community.

The event is being hosted by Hon Marian Hobbs, and organised by Rainbow Labour and GAP (Gay Association of Professionals). Key figures in the struggle for homosexual law reform who will speak include former MPs Hon Fran Wilde and Judy Keall, and activists Alison Laurie and Bill Logan. They will share memories of the campaign to decriminalise gay sex and discuss the wider symbolic importance of the victory in moving towards equality before the law for gay and lesbian people.

"We have come a long way since homosexual law reform in 1986 and then the passing 11 years ago of the Human Rights Act which banned discrimination based on sexuality," said Judie Alison, Co-Chair of Rainbow Labour Wellington. 
"Yet we still face significant homophobia from some extremist opponents, and this has been very evident as a result of the introduction of Civil Union legislation. It is an important time to get together and remember where we have come from in our fight for human rights and equality before the law," she said.


New license plates honor Boy Scouts
By Christina Bellantoni

Virginia residents will be able to buy a license plate honoring the Boy Scouts of America, along with 31 other plates the state Legislature approved this year.
 Delegate Clarence E. "Bud" Phillips, Castlewood Democrat, sponsored a bill to create the special license plates at the request of scoutmasters in Southwest Virginia.

    "The Boy Scouts is a strong organization for the building of strong young people in this country," Mr. Phillips said.
 But some homosexual rights activists said the license plate should not be made because the organization has banned homosexuals from joining.


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