poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Man fined for "gay haircut" attack
Ben Townley, UK

A man has been told to pay compensation by a Blackburn court, after he attacked another man for having a "gay haircut".

Ryan Hammond must pay £450 to Damien Cassidy, after he attacked him at a petrol station.

In what the prosecuting team claimed was an "unprovoked attack", Hammond shouted abuse at Cassidy for having the hairstyle, claiming it was "gay".

After receiving no response other than a request to "leave it out", Hammond smashed the window in Cassidy's car, punched his victim and grabbed him by the jaw.


Anti-gay group threatens disruption for Belfast Pride
Ben Townley, UK

A sinister group claiming to be a "Christian coalition" has pledged to disrupt this weekend's Pride march in Belfast, and set up a website that accuses lesbian and gay people of being "perverted".

Additionally, the Stop the Parade (STP) organisation has accused gay people of using the Pride parades to "recruit" children.

In a statement released today, the group threatens to hold a "vociferous protest" against the Pride celebrations, attacking the "scandalous" decision to allow the march to take place.

They also warn that their demonstration will not be the last to be held across the country.


Oz Opposition Party Agrees To Gay Marriage Ban
(Sydney)  The Australian Labor Party has agreed to support government legislation that would ban gay marriage and prevent the government from recognizing same-sex marriages from abroad.

The agreement is an about face for Labor which has a history of moderately supporting LGBT issues. Equal Rights Network spokesperson Rodney Croome accused Labor of a backflip and of trying to "wipe gay marriage off the electoral agenda".

The Liberal government of Prime Minister John Howard wants to have the law passed within two weeks, clearing the way for an expected September 18 election.

With Labor's support the bill is insured passage and erased as an issue in the campaign.  But, it will also derail a Senate bid to hold hearings on the legislation. The small Australian Democratic party had been using the hearings to stall the bill until the end of the session so it would die.

Democrats' justice critic Brian Greig, who is openly gay, accused Labor of scuttling the Senate inquiry "in a panicked electoral decision to remove this decision from the federal election campaign".


Focus Turns To Louisiana
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana) Following Tuesday's passage in Missouri of an amendment to the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage the focus has shifted to Louisiana which will vote on a similar amendment on 18 September.

Louisiana and 37 other states already have laws that define marriage as solely between a man and a woman but supporters of the Louisiana amendment say the state's DOMA could be overturned by judges.

National LGBT civil rights groups huddled in morning meetings to conduct a post mortem on the Missouri campaign to avoid similar mistakes in Louisiana.

"We need to find out why so many more people than expected turned out to vote," Seth Kilbourn, the National Field Director for the Human Rights Campaign told  "Was it because of the amendment or because of the primary for governor?"

The amendment passed by more than 70 percent in the conservative state.


Gay couples flock to Richmond
By Ross Lydall, Evening Standard Local Government Correspondent

Richmond has become the gay capital of of the South-East.

A handful of councils in London hold services to allow gay people to cement their relationship in public, watched by friends and family.

But Richmond is unique in also having a "registered partnership register" - an official document verifying a couple's love for one another.

As a result, couples are travelling to the borough from across London and the South-East as they await government proposals on equal rights for gays to become law.


Fears rise over two killings in 15 months
By Peter Kononczuk
Staff Writer, The Prague Post

The killing of a gay American has caused shock in Prague's expatriate community, with some warning that after a string of deaths, the city is becoming increasingly dangerous for those who purchase sex.

At the Pinocchio bar in Prague 3, a popular spot for picking up male prostitutes, young men with bleached-blond hair, white T-shirts and flawless tans greet middle-aged customers.

Under the ultraviolet lights, clients and their companions drink beer, chat and swap jokes. But others are more somber. Much of the talk in the bar, which advertises itself as "the biggest gay center in Prague," has been revolving around the death of one of its regulars.

Police are unwilling to release full details but the man's friends identified him as Roy Breimon, a 54-year-old artist from Washington, D.C., who had lived in the Czech capital for about five years


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