poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Opponents of marriage amendment start "decline to sign" campaign

Opponents of a proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages have started a campaign against it.

The group called ``Equality North Dakota'' says the proposal would drive young people out of the state and promote discrimination. It's launching what it calls a ``decline to sign'' campaign.

The group hopes to stop the North Dakota Family Alliance from getting enough signatures by August Third to put the issue on the November general election ballot. The alliance needs 25,688 signatures by August Third.

Former Fargo mayor Jon Lindgren says the amendment would drive young people out of the state and promote discrimination.


Groups urge 'no' to petitions
By NATALIE STOREY, Bismarck Tribune

Like many teenagers in North Dakota, Sara Berger has a mom who is a good cook. She says dinners are fairly typical at her house, with one notable difference -- her other mom does the dishes.

Berger is a pretty 16-year-old who is a good student at Mandan High School. She has a boyfriend, friends, a job and two lesbian moms who she likes to play rummy with. She says she's living proof that children of same-sex unions can turn out just as normal as children with heterosexual parents.

"People in favor of the marriage amendment often argue that it is in "children's best interests" to have both a mom and a dad, and that if the marriage amendment wasn't passed, it would jeopardize children and the sanctity of marriage," Berger said. "I'm here to say that it wouldn't."

Berger, along with a half-dozen others, spoke out Tuesday against the proposal to place an amendment to the North Dakota constitution on the ballot that would define marriage in the state as between a man and a woman, exclusively.


Study: Northern Ireland needs better support for mothers of gay sons
Ben Townley, UK

Northern Ireland is suffering from an absence of support networks for mothers of gay sons, according to a study that is set to be published for wider reading across the province.

According to Cathy Falconer, mothers who are looking for guidance or answers after their sons come out are faced with a brick wall across Ulster, which has seen recent accusations of homophobia.

She said that personal experience when her own son came out led her to conduct the study as part of her MSc in Guidance and Counselling.

“My son, Barry, was 17 when he told me he was gay. That was four years ago. I was totally devastated. I was literally falling apart,” Falconer said recently.


Ex-officer charged with murder
Rios held without bond at Biggs center.
By MIKE WELLS of the Tribune’s staff

Trace DNA evidence found under the fingernails of murder victim Jesse Valencia prompted Special Prosecutor Morley Swingle to charge ex-Columbia police Officer Steven Rios today with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Rios remains in custody without bond at the Biggs Forensic Center in Fulton State Hospital. The charges were filed after a four-week investigation, in which police refused to call Rios a suspect.

Valencia, 23, a junior history major at the University of Missouri-Columbia, was found with his throat slashed June 5 in a yard near his East Campus neighborhood home. He was last seen about 3:45 a.m. that day walking home from a party. A neighbor overheard an argument sometime before 4:30 a.m. coming from Valencia’s apartment at 1414 Wilson Ave., police said.


First Court Hearing Date for 3 Pride Parade Arrestees (Halsted 3)

Arrestees face felony charges of aggravated battery in altercation with anti-queer fundamentalists who invaded the Parade.

[Chicago] On Tuesday July 6th at Branch Court 42 (Belmont and Western, Room 2) at 9 am, defendants Robert Bernstein, Jeremy Hammond, and Neal Rysdahl will attend their first pretrial hearing regarding the altercation that occurred at the Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade involving a confrontation between anti-gay protesters and the Queer and Trans Caucus of CAN, culminating in the arrest of the 3 anarchist pro-queer activists.

The incident stemmed from Republican “Family Values” Congressional candidate for the 4th District Anthony Lopez-Cisneros who fraudulently invaded the Pride Parade with a contingent of homophobic religious fundamentalists. We’re asking why the three defendants were arrested, rather than the bigots who violently ambushed Pride. In turn, why did Chicago police officers perpetuate the violence by assaulting the 3 defendants and other queers? Homophobic fundamentalists chanting anti-gay epithets in the Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade is the same incitement as Nazi infiltration of Holocaust Survivors’ events. Their banners even read “God Hates Fags” and “AIDS is a cure, not a disease.”

We want Cook County State’s Attorney Dick Devine to drop all the charges against the Halsted 3 immediately. Legal defense contributions can be made payable to the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network (CABN), with “Halsted 3 Defense” in the m


Homosexuals protest police ‘atrocity’
Kathmandu: Homosexuals or male having sex with male (MSMs) protesting against the police atrocity and human rights violation, in front of the Singha Durbar, were thrashed by the police.

The rally organised by the Blue Diamond Society (BDS), began from Bhadrakali at 4.30 and moved toward Singha Durbar to submit a memorandum to the prime minister but because the office time was already over they could not do so. And the police beat them up and ordered to leave the place saying staging protests around Singha Durbar was banned.

BDS in its statement has called for an "immediate end of sexual oppression and assault on sexual minorities from the police and society." Likewise, it has demanded a thorough investigation on violence against the sexual minorities by the police and other parties calling on the authorities to punish the perpetrators. It has further called for de-criminilisation of sexual minorities and secure their rights.


A SECURITY worker had sex with a man he had picked up at a gay bar and then beat him to death, a court heard.

The attack happened on February 13 at the victim's home at St John's Road, Balby, Doncaster, after he went home with Peter Sanderson Bennett (25), of Howard Street, off Pellon Lane, Halifax.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how Michael Petriw, aged 39, died 24 hours after the assault and had injuries consistent with being punched and kicked in the head six times.

He made a desperate 999 call when Bennett turned on him after the pair had sex.

Bennett denies murder and told police he attacked Mr Petriw in self-defence after he tried forcing sex on him


Gay ambassador assailed by Romanian newspaper
State Department, Romanian president praise Michael Guest

The State Department and the president of Romania have issued strong statements of support for the gay U.S. ambassador to Romania, Michael Guest, following a yearlong onslaught of articles in an English language newspaper in Bucharest accusing Guest of corruption and mismanagement.

A State Department spokesperson this week strongly denied a report in the newspaper, Bucharest Business Week, that the White House had “recalled” Guest from his ambassador’s post because of alleged improprieties.

The spokesperson, Margo Squire, said Guest completed a three-year assignment as Romanian ambassador and would be returning to Washington in July to begin a new assignment in the U.S. Foreign Service, where he has served with “distinction” for more than 20 years.

She said his three-year term had been set at the time Guest was named to his ambassador’s job by President Bush in 2001 and that the newspaper articles had played “absolutely no role” in the timing of his departure.


Gay rights opponents give up referendum effort
By: Associated Press

(Santa Fe-AP) -- Opponents of a gay rights provision in state law have given up trying to get a referendum on the November ballot to overturn it.

The opponents decided not to try to submit petitions for a referendum to the secretary of state by Friday’s deadline.

The attorney general had said in an opinion that the Human Rights Act is among those laws not able to be overturned by voters.  But the opponents could have tried to submit signatures anyway, then gone to court when the petitions were refused by the secretary of state.
Instead, state House member Earlene Roberts, a Republican from Lovington, says the opponents will focus their energy and resources on trying to a get a federal constitutional amendment passed banning gay marriage.


Gay couple to challenge local authority by getting married

SAN JUAN (AP) – Pedro Julio Serrano, president of the Puerto Rico For All organization, announced his intention to marry his partner Leo de Jesus in Massachusetts in order to challenge the ban of gay marriages in Puerto Rico.

The couple also announced their intention of adopting a black Puerto Rican girl.

"We are still working on the legal strategy. We want to get married because then we would be a legal couple to society and the state,” Serrano said in published reports.

The couple plans to go to Massachusetts in September.


Top Three Car Insurance Companies in New York Will Respect Gay Couples' Marriages

The three largest car insurance companies in New York -- which, together, provide insurance to a third of all drivers in the state -- will respect the marriages of same-sex couples, providing them with the same rates and coverage as married heterosexual couples, Lambda Legal said today. In recent months, Lambda Legal has been working with couples throughout the state who were married in Canada to ensure that their marriages are fully respected.

"New York law requires respect for marriages that were validly performed elsewhere. As more same-sex couples get married, it's critical that they receive rights and protections - from the government as well as the private sector," said Alphonso David, Lambda Legal Staff Attorney. "The insurance industry is making a strong statement for fairness, and we're working with other businesses and government agencies to secure similar results."

Allstate, State Farm and Geico auto insurance companies -- which are, in order, the top three providers in New York -- have agreed to comply with state law and respect all same-sex couples who are legally married, David said. Electric auto insurance also treats its legally married lesbian and gay clients equally.

Lambda Legal discovered that Geico had previously respected the marriages of only some same-sex couples while denying the same benefits to others. Two New York couples, who worked with Lambda Legal and pay for Geico auto insurance coverage, were treated unequally by the insurance giant. But Geico recently reversed its inconsistent practice and said it will respect all same-sex couples who are legally married.


Gay Verger Denied Job
A gay cathedral verger has had his offer of employment over turned after telling them that he had a male live-in partner.

Lee Taylor, one of four vergers at Southwark Cathedral in South London, claims that he was offered the job at St Davids cathedral in Pembrokeshire, Wales, but that the offer was withdrawn by the Dean, the Very Rev Wyn Evans, when he said he was bringing his live-in partner.

“I went from feeling successful when they offered me the job to feeling very unworthy. They gave me something and then took it away again. That’s what makes me angry,” Taylor told The Times.

According to the newspaper Taylor was so keen to work at St David’s that he was willing to take a cut in salary, from the £12,000 he earns at Southwark to little more than £9,000 in Wales.

Taylor claims that after his interview he was told that he was “the right person for the job” but when he said that he would be bringing his male live-in partner he had a call from the Dean who told him he would not be offered the job.


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