Marriage ban blasted by US state's attorney-general candidates
Ann Rostow, Gay.com/PlanetOut.com Network
All three of the candidates for attorney general of the American state of Utah have come out against a proposed constitutional amendment that will be considered by voters this November.
Regardless of party, the three lawyers agree that the amendment is written so broadly that it could backfire against heterosexual couples. It could also nullify basic rights for unmarried couples of any sexual orientation.
The amendment starts out with the usual definition of marriage as "only the legal union between a man and a woman".
Like other extreme versions of these proposals however, the language goes on to state that "no other domestic status or union, however denominated, between persons is valid or recognised or may be authorised, sanctioned or given the same or substantively equivalent legal effect as a marriage".
‘The Right to Choose’
Mayor Noël Mamere explains why he will perform France’s first gay marriage ceremony—and why he has received threats and a parcel of excrement in the mail
By Eric Pape
June 1 - Noël Mamere never expected the battle to be easy. When the mayor of the small town of Bègles, near Bordeaux, announced that he would preside over France’s first gay marriage on June 5, he promptly found himself alternately praised as a hero, denounced as a political opportunist—and threatened with banishment to hell.
The French media eagerly picked up Mamere’s April announcement. Serge Dassault, the owner of the conservative French daily Le Figaro and also a small-town mayor, wrote an op-ed accusing people like Mamere of attempting to “destroy the basis of our society.” The country’s conservative government is also opposed to same-sex marriages, while France’s Socialist opposition is divided on the issue. Yet despite the outcry, Mamere—who won 5 percent of the vote when he ran as the Green presidential candidate in 2002—is in line with popular opinion. When France legalized gay civil unions five years ago, most of the population was against it. Today, public views have shifted significantly: not only do 70 percent support civil partnerships, the majority are in favor of gay marriage too.
Virginia Gays Packing Up & Leaving
by The Associated Press
(Richmond, Virginia) A number of gays and lesbians have begun moving out of Virginia, the result of a new state law that restricts the rights of same-sex couples. The latest prepare to leave is a biology professor at Virginia Tech University.
In a letter to Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, Lynn Adler says she will leave Tech to take a position with the University of Massachusetts in Amherst this fall.
She says she is "sad and sorry" to be leaving Tech, but felt it was necessary because the laws of Virginia make it difficult for her to have a long-term future in the state.
Lesbian, gay crime victims get help
Richland sheriff establishes liaison for outreach
By SHELLEY HILL
When some marchers in this year’s Gay and Lesbian Pride parade saw a Richland County sheriff’s car there, they worried about why.
But when the marchers learned the deputy was there to tell them about a new effort to reach out to gay and lesbian crime victims, the marchers were surprised and encouraged.
“That really showed our community that you can’t just be afraid of them,” said Bert Easter, president of the South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement.
Easter said he hopes the efforts will help change the impression that police and sheriff’s deputies are “not on our side” and make gays and lesbians feel more comfortable reporting when they are victims of crimes.