poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, August 06, 2004

Devon and Cornwall sign up for hate crime initiative
Ben Townley, UK

Police in Devon and Cornwall are the latest to sign up to a nationwide project tackling hate crime.

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary has signed up to the True Vision project, which was launched earlier this year in a bid to simplify the reporting process for victims of homophobic and racist crime.

The project is also looking to raise awareness of hate crimes, and reassure victims that their case will be treated responsibly and confidentially.

The homophobic section of the project will be launched tonight in Torquay, with police officers attending Rocky's Night Club to fill the gay community in on how they are protected.


Bollywood style gay film in India

Mumbai: Most of the top Bollywood stars have been in drag (cross-dressing) - Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and even the star of millennium Amitabh Bachhan, usually for a song-dance routine or for comic interlude.

Otherwise drag queens have been relegated to the sideline - stereotyped and ridiculed.

Gulabi Aaina (The Pink Mirror) - a Bollywood style short film on Indian drag queens is being screened at the British Council, Mumbai on August 6. The film's director Sridhar


Scottish Churches "outraged" at gay first
Ben Townley, UK

Churches across Scotland are reportedly outraged at the revelation that a same-sex couple in Inverness have been blessed by a Church of Scotland minister in a commitment ceremony.

The ceremony, between Karen Sloan and Jacqui Clark, took place in July and an unnamed hotel agreed to host the reception for the couple.

The story only broke this week, after the couple returned from a honeymoon and spoke to the local press of their joy at being married, even if the ceremony was not legally binding.

They said that they believed it to be the first for Inverness and the Highlands.


Los Angeles city council supports binational gay couples

Gays and lesbians in the United States should be allowed to sponsor their foreign-born partners for residency, says a resolution unanimously passed by the Los Angeles city council on Thursday. The vote to urge Congress to pass the Permanent Partners Immigration Act makes Los Angeles the largest city in the nation to take such a position. "No one deserves special rights because they happen to love the right person," said council member Eric Garcetti, who introduced the resolution. "Because of inequalities in our immigration laws, gay men and lesbians in committed relationships are separated and treated as second-class citizens. The Permanent Partners Immigration Act would provide same-sex couples with the immigration rights currently enjoyed by married couples."

According to a report by City News Service, current immigration law allows citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor spouses and family members for immigration to the United States. Doug Haxall of Immigration Equality, an organization that works for the cause, told council members many gay couples live under the constant threat of foreign-born partners being deported when their visas expire. "Los Angeles is a city of great diversity. We have citizens from all walks of life--gays and lesbians, many immigrants--and our city more than most is impacted by current immigration law," he said. Sixteen countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, and the United Kingdom, recognize same-sex couples for immigration purposes, Haxall said.


Candidates' views differ on gay unions
Appeal of act case will be job of next attorney general
Jim Camden

Candidates for Washington's governor and attorney general disagree on whether the state can prohibit gay marriages, but they are unanimous in saying they will push for a state Supreme Court hearing on a ruling allowing such marriages.

Wednesday's ruling by King County Superior Court Judge William Downing contradicts the state's Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Denying same-sex couples the right to marry violates both their state and federal constitutional rights, the judge found. The effect of the decision is on hold until the case is heard by the state Supreme Court.

Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire, who is running for governor, said Thursday in Spokane it was her duty as the state's top legal officer to defend laws the Legislature passes. Her office argued the case before Downing, and it will prepare an appeal of Wednesday's


3-letter word sparks Scrabble scramble

NEW ORLEANS -- It wasn't a four-letter word, but it was close enough to cause a stir at the National Scrabble Championship Thursday.

In the final round, eventual champion Trey Wright played the word "lez," which was on a list of offensive words not allowed during the tournament.

Normally, no word is off-limits, but because the games were being taped for broadcast on ESPN, certain terms had been deemed inappropriate, including the three-letter slang for lesbian.

"There are words you just can't show on television," Scrabble Association Executive Director John Williams said.


Missouri’s gay marriage ban resonating in US
Both sides tout impact of vote
By Alan Cooperman, Washington Post

WASHINGTON -- Following an overwhelming vote to ban gay marriage in Missouri, both sides said Wednesday that an issue that has gained little traction in Congress seems to be resonating with the American people and could play a growing role in this year's congressional and presidential elections.

Gay rights groups said they learned a hard lesson from Missouri's passage of a state constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage and would put up a tougher fight in other states where voters may adopt similar amendments this year. But they expect to lose.

"Sadly, I do think a lot of these state ballot initiatives will succeed despite our best efforts to stop them," said Cheryl Jacques, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group, and a former state senator in Massachusetts.


Kerry / Edwards: 'No Objection' To Missouri Gay Marriage Ban
(Cape Girardeau, Missouri) Senator John Edwards, campaigning on Thursday in Cape Girardeau, said he and running mate John Kerry have "no objection" to this week's vote in Missouri to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage. 

"We're both opposed to gay marriage and believe that states should be allowed to decide this question," Edwards said in an interview Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Kerry said the issue is one of states rights.  Both Kerry ad Edwards oppose amending the US Constitution to stop gays from marrying.

Kerry is already on record supporting a similar amendment to the constitution of his home state, Massachusetts.  Both members of the Democratic ticket support giving limited rights to same-sex couples.

On Tuesday, Missouri became the first state since the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts to vote on amending its constitution.  More than 70 percent of voters supported the amendment.


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