poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, July 23, 2004

Malta’s first gay parade
Mark Micallef

It was a relatively small parade, especially when compared with the sort of demonstrations seen in larger European countries. Nevertheless, Malta’s first gay parade, held yesterday in Republic Street, Valletta, delivered a political message. “We are here... we are visible now and we have a right to ourselves just like any other tax-paying citizen,” co-organiser Sandro Mangion told The Malta Independent as he marched along the street.

A number of personalities and other political bodies supported the event. These included Education Minister Louis Galea, MLP MPs Evarist Bartolo and Helena Dalli and representatives from Alternattiva Demokratika, the Alpha Party and Moviment Graffiti.

Asked how his presence at the parade fitted in with Nationalist Demo-Christian values, Minister Galea said that although his party was aligned with Christian principles, it also believed that the Church and the State are two separate entities and that government should not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

Mr Bartolo and Mrs Dalli both praised the march. “I am here because the parade is lobbying for a fundamental human right,” Mr Bartolo said. “The small attendance was expected, given the level of prejudice still present in Malta, but the statement made is nonetheless significant.”


Gay couple are first to get blessing by minister

A FORMER soldier and his partner became the first same-sex couple to be blessed by a Church of Scotland minister, in a ceremony at a pub yesterday.

Robert Wicksted, 43, who is suffering from terminal leukaemia, and Alex Valentine, 37, exchanged rings in a 15-minute ceremony at the Phoenix bar in Broughton Street, Edinburgh.

The minister, the Rev Iain Whyte, from the Edinburgh Community Mental Health Chaplaincy, began the casual ceremony. About 50 people gathered in the basement of the pub to watch the couple exchange vows and gold rings.

But Mr Whyte was keen to point out the ceremony did not mean the couple were married


Univisión execs and gay group tackle issues
TV network executives agree to undergo sensitivity training in hopes of improving the often stereotypical depiction of gay people in the Spanish-language TV network's programming.

A team of Univisión Network executives will undergo training conducted by gay-rights activists in an effort to improve the portrayal of gay and lesbian people on Spanish-language television.

''We're actually very, very excited,'' said Mónica Taher,

people-of-color media director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which has long deplored the stereotyping of gay people on Spanish-language TV.

''This is definitely the start of a long-standing relationship'' between Univisión and the gay community.


Defeat of gay marriage ban would have dire consequences, backers claim
Associated Press Writer

HELENA (AP) -- If Montanans don't approve a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages, supporters say schools will be required to teach children that homosexuality is normal and churches will be pressured to perform same-sex weddings.

Rejecting Constitutional Initiative 96 in November would be tantamount to society saying children do not need a mother and a father and that "one gender or the other is unnecessary," the measure's backers said in arguments submitted for the Voter Information Pamphlet.

Opponents of CI-96 countered it will not strengthen traditional marriage in Montana and will damage society by targeting gays and lesbians.

"What CI-96 does do is diminish the freedom to be let alone what Montanans have historically treasured," critics wrote. "CI-96 would alter the constitution to set up one vulnerable minority group for alienation, discrimination and harassment."


Cop accused of assaulting gay officer
Rosario charged in '02 with threats to gay officer

A D.C. police officer charged with threatening to assault a gay officer in 2002 is under investigation for allegedly assaulting and seeking to humiliate a second gay officer in a July 13 incident at the Third District police station.

Third District Inspector Dianne Grooms said the department last week temporarily reassigned Officer Hiram Rosario to the Seventh District while conducting an investigation into allegations that he shoved Officer Robert Schoonover and then dragged him across a room crowded with fellow officers while Schoonover was seated in a chair. The incident occurred while Schoonover and his fellow officers had assembled for a roll call meeting.

“The department is taking this very seriously,” Grooms said.

She said police officials arranged for both the Office of Professional Responsibility, which was formerly known as the police Internal Affairs unit, and the department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office to investigate the incident. Grooms said police officials also referred the matter to the United States Attorney’s office to determine whether Rosario should be charged with criminal assault.


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