poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, August 01, 2004

The lethal effects of women who seek power
Advances for women & gays draws Inquisition's ire

One year after the Vatican disgraced itself around the world with an attack on gay marriage, the spiritually abusive old men in Rome are up to their hateful mischief again. On July 31, 2003, Cardinal Ratzinger, the loathed head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (more infamously known as the Inquisition), caused considerable damage to the credibility of the Catholic Church leadership when he published his Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons.

"Grotesque ... bizarre" wrote the Ottawa Sun about the 2003 hate letter. "Shocking and cruel", said the U.K.'s Guardian. "Intolerance and hate," Austria's Salzburger Nachrichten commented. It was hard to keep up with the world-wide condemnation that followed within 24 hours of the letter's release.

Far from being chastised, the Vatican seems bent on celebrating its vacuousness and villainy every July 31. This year, they've released a Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of men and women in the church and in the world.

The letter begins "The Church, expert in humanity ...."

Right-off, Ratzinger claims a competency that his Church has so ruinously demonstrated it does not have. It would be laughable, if it was not also damaging to those within their faith community and beyond. The Catholic Church may have expertise in some fields, but the Church's response to human sexuality and human rights is a terrible failure and speaks louder than any claim of expertise in humanity.


Law leaves same-sex genetic parent in cold after split-up
California case highlights legal, technological rift
By Maura Dolan
Tribune Newspapers: Los Angeles Times

SAN FRANCISCO -- The petite woman in a pinstriped suit recalled her last visit with her 8-year-old twin daughters. It had been months since she had seen the girls, and a court had just ruled that she had no legal right ever to be with them again.

"I told my girls they needed to know that every moment of the day, every minute of every hour, they are in my mind and they are in my heart," said the 42-year-old Marin County resident, her face wet with tears.

Known in court papers only as K.M., the woman is the girls' genetic mother. She could not bear a child because of a diseased uterus; her partner, a woman known in court as E.G., was infertile. K.M. donated her eggs to her partner. Using a sperm donor, her partner conceived, and the women raised the twins together for five years.

Three years ago, the couple split up. K.M. says her former partner no longer allows her to visit the girls or talk to them. Courts have ruled that K.M. has the legal status of an egg donor and no parental rights, in part because she signed a standard donor form at the fertility clinic.


Admission af gays and lesbians by ZIBF condemned

The President and founder member of the Destiny of Africa Network Reverend Obadiah Musindo has strongly condemned the admission of gays and lesbians to this year’s Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF).

Reverend Musindo says allowing these people to parade their immorality in public destroys the very moral fabric that binds Zimbabweans together.

He says homosexuality is unacceptable in Zimbabwe adding even the word of God condemns such immoral behaviour.

The Reverend further notes that any organisation that operates in this country legally should respect the President who has since condemned homosexuality.


Suffolk expands benefits
Bypassing legislators, panel offers health coverage to partners of county workers in committed gay or heterosexual relationships

Avoiding long-standing opposition from county lawmakers, a Suffolk labor-management committee has quietly approved a resolution extending health benefits to domestic partners of county employees.

The committee, made up of nine county union leaders and nine appointees of County Executive Steve Levy, agreed unanimously earlier this month to offer benefits to same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples who can demonstrate they are in long-term relationships. Children of eligible partners would also be covered.

Providing the coverage "would make sure that someone in a 10-year committed relationship would have a way to cover the cost of cancer treatment or dealing with diabetes," Levy said yesterday.

The change will take effect Sept. 1 and the committee, which oversees the county's health insurance program, will review the financial impact after 18 months. About 19,000 people - employees and retirees - belong to the Employee Medical Health Plan. County officials said it was difficult to predict how many members would take advantage of the new benefits, but estimated the cost would add $190,000 to the $190 million program.


Weekend marked by gay pride events

SAN DIEGO – The 30th annual parade for the area's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is scheduled for today, part of a Pride Weekend around Balboa Park reflecting the issue of same-sex marriage.

The two-hour-long parade will feature a group of couples married when the San Francisco was issuing licenses, said Frank Sabatini of San Diego LGBT Pride.

The group also includes partners who were unable to take advantage of the opportunity, Sabatini said.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom issued the licenses in defiance of state law and eventually had to stop the practice. San Diego County did not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


Unforeseen side effect of gay marriage
Steve Chapman

I don't know if gay marriage will have all the bad effects predicted by conservatives, but it's already having one they didn't foresee: driving them stark, raving mad. They've set out to prove they can devise one remedy after another that not only is unnecessary but also worse than the problem it's supposed to fix.

Their discombobulation began when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court struck down the state's ban on gay unions and ordered the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Never mind that the ruling had no effect beyond the Bay State. From the reaction, you'd think same-sex marriage was going to be mandatory for all. The call went out that something, anything, had to be done.

First, critics of the decision offered a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions anywhere in America. Despite being endorsed by President Bush, it blew up on the launch pad. Constitutional amendments need 67 votes to pass the Senate, and this one attracted only 48 supporters.

So conservatives promptly came up with another idea. If you can't amend the Constitution, you can make it irrelevant. They propose to do this by taking the whole issue away from federal judges. In July, the House of Representatives approved the Marriage Protection Act, which effectively bars any federal court, including the Supreme Court, from hearing challenges to laws against same-sex unions">Krafty


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