poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

House takes up gay marriage issue again

WASHINGTON -- Continuing Republicans' election-year focus on gay marriage, the House is considering legislation to keep federal courts from ordering states to recognize same-sex unions sanctioned outside their borders.

Supporters said Wednesday it is needed to protect state bans on gay marriage from federal judges who might rule that a gay marriage that took place in Massachusetts, the only state where it is legal, must be recognized by other states.

"This bill is really a reaffirmation of states' rights," said Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., chairman of the House Rules Committee.

The Marriage Protection Act would strip the Supreme Court and other federal courts of their jurisdiction to rule on challenges to state bans on gay marriages under a provision of a 1996 federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.


The Doctor Is Out
Trinidad's transgendered sex-change(sic)surgeon knows what her patients are going through.

Folks in Trinidad were relieved to learn last year that the town's only hospital had obtained the services of Dr. Marci Bowers, an obstetrician and gynecologic surgeon with a distinguished resumé. The community had lacked a board-certified OB/GYN for years, and physicians of Bowers's caliber -- former chair of her department at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, named one of "America's Best Doctors" by the American Research Council in 2002-2003 -- don't usually choose places like Trinidad to practice.

Yet Bowers had strong professional reasons for making the move. She'd been trained by Dr. Stanley Biber to take over his thriving work in sex-reassignment surgery (SRS). Over the past 34 years, Biber has performed more than 6,000 of these operations, primarily male-to-female, earning Trinidad the title of Sex-Change Capital of the World. But the eighty-year-old Biber was forced to end his pioneering efforts when he could no longer obtain affordable malpractice insurance ("Sex Change," November 27, 2003).

Bowers has other qualifications for the job that extend beyond her surgical skills. She hadn't been in Colorado long before the news began to spread that Bowers herself is a member of the transgender community; she "transitioned" from male to female in 1997 while working at a clinic in downtown Seattle. "There's a New Doc in Town, and She's One of Us!" proclaims a recent article in the Transgender Tapestry, a national quarterly magazine.

As the only SRS practitioner who's taken her own medicine, so to speak, Bowers has a special empathy for her patients' plight of feeling trapped in the wrong body. "You find out that people have these feelings at a very early age -- three, four, five years old," she says. "I don't care if you were a starting lineman for the Nebraska Cornhuskers -- whatever it is, it's probably something in the brains or the genes. It's an important journey for a certain segment of the population to take."


Many South Dakota delegates favor gay marriage
Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. - About half of South Dakota's delegates to the Democratic National Convention support the idea of gay marriage, according to a survey by The Associated Press.

The survey of 21 of the 22 South Dakota delegates found that nine favor gay marriage while six oppose it. Another six did not answer the question or said their views do not equate to favoring or opposing gay marriage.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards, both oppose gay marriage. But they also both oppose a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage, saying they want to let states decide the issue.

Many South Dakota delegates said they see the issue much as Kerry does. He backs civil unions, which would give same-sex couples the same rights as married couples without being formally married.


Demand Equal Marriage Rights
- Regardless of Party –

Protest for Equal Marriage Rights during the Democratic Convention
8:30 PM: Monday
July 26 Outside the Avalon
15 Lansdowne St, Boston

After its July 14th defeat in the Senate, the threat of an anti-gay Constitutional amendment at the federal level has receded for the time being.

Unfortunately, other threats are beginning to loom larger. Chief among them is the threat to equal marriage rights in Massachusetts, the one state where we've won it.

John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, says that while he opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment, he also OPPOSES gay marriage and says he SUPPORTS a proposed anti-gay amendment to the Massachusetts State Constitution.

In other words, he calls for destroying equal marriage rights in the only state where we have it!!


Majority of Kansas' Democratic delegates favor gay marriage
Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. - A majority of Kansas delegates to the Democratic National Convention favor allowing gay couples to marry, making the state's delegation more open to the idea than the convention as a whole - and the party's presidential nominee-in-waiting.

The Associated Press surveyed 39 of Kansas' 41 delegates, and 22 of them said they favor allowing gay marriage. Eleven said they oppose gay marriage, and the remaining declined to say if they favored or opposed the idea.

That means at least 54 percent of the Kansas delegation favors gay marriage. Nationally, the AP surveyed about three-quarters of the more than 4,300 delegates attending the convention next week in Boston, and 41 percent of those questioned said they favored gay marriage.

For the Kansas delegates, support for gay marriage came from all four generational groups, even the oldest.


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