poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

State sues Calais student over alleged gay attack
Maine Civil Rights Act invoked for March incident

CALAIS - The state attorney general sued a Calais High School student Tuesday, alleging that he attacked a fellow student rumored to be gay. Attorney General Steven Rowe announced that his office had filed a civil enforcement action in Washington County Superior Court under the state Civil Rights Act against the male student, who was not identified.

The suit alleges that on March 8, the male pushed, punched and head-butted the victim.

"The defendant stated multiple times starting in early March of this year that he intended to fight the victim after hearing rumors that the victim was gay," Rowe said in a news release. "The defendant challenged the victim to meet him in the school weight room to fight. When the victim did not show up, the defendant sought him out in the cafeteria and committed the violent assault."

Regina Taylor, chairman of the Calais school committee, said Tuesday she had been unaware of the incident, but noted that the school has zero tolerance involving such matters. "We have a civil rights team that consists of administrators, teachers and students to handle matters such as these," she said.


Wording leaves details to courts
Gay-marriage amendment
By Carrie Spencer
The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment denying legal status to unmarried couples say it's needed to protect Ohio's 2-month-old gay marriage ban from a court challenge.

But lawyers, including the state representative who wrote that law, say the amendment is so unclear that it would lead to years of court battles if it gets in the Ohio Constitution.

The Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage submitted 391,794 signatures on Tuesday to Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's office. Almost 323,000 need to be certified to get on the November ballot.


Gay marriage fight begins at PSU
Coalition of groups forms to defeat proposed amendment to state constitution
Elisabeth Meyer

The campaign to fight for same-sex marriage rights in Oregon started with an event in the Multicultural Center Tuesday afternoon.

The "No on Constitutional Amendment 36" Coalition, which sponsored the rally, is comprised of many groups, including Basic Rights Oregon, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia Willamette, Oregon Action and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Constitutional Amendment 36 proposes adding to the state constitution a restriction of marriage rights to only heterosexual couples. It would nullify the marriages of the more than 3,000 homosexual couples that were issued licenses by Multnomah County this past spring.

Oregon has a historical precedent of defeating other anti-gay measures in the past decade, such as Measure 9 in 2000. Measure 9 would have taken funding from public bodies such as schools and prisons for endorsing, or educating about, homosexuality. It was narrowly defeated.


APD charges University student with hate crime
Senior, 2 others allegedly beat, robbed gay man
By Clint Johnson

Austin Police Department detectives charged a University student and a former student with hate crimes Tuesday in connection with the alleged mid-July beating and robbery of a gay man. The two are charged with aggravated sexual assault and aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, both first-degree felonies, said APD Detective Julie Jacobs, who investigated the case.

She said the allegations stem from a July 17 incident in which Darren Gay, a 21-year-old biochemistry senior, and Donald Bockman, a 24-year-old former psychology senior, along with two other men, allegedly beat and robbed the 32-year-old victim at his home on Wickersham Lane.

Jacobs said the suspects met the victim at Oilcan Harry's, a gay bar in Austin's Warehouse District, and accompanied him back to his home at about 2 a.m.

Once there, the four men allegedly forced the victim to sodomize himself with an object at knifepoint while they used homosexual slurs and denounced gay marriage. She also said the men made references to Old Testament verses dealing with homosexuality while they beat the victim with their fists. About two hours later, she said, the suspects robbed the man and left his home. She said the victim suffered minor cuts from the knife but was not stabbed.


Gay & Lesbian Advocacy Group Launches Campaign In African American Newspapers

The National Black Justice Campaign (NBJC) announced today that it has begun an historic national advertising campaign in the African American press. This campaign marks the first time an African American gay and lesbian advocacy organization has ever launched a pro-equality ad campaign in African American newspapers.

NBJC's advertisements urge African Americans to reject injustice and discrimination and to oppose conservative attempts to tamper with state constitutions and the Constitution. The ads feature pro-marriage equality statements from Coretta Scott King, Rep. John Lewis and the Hon. Willie Brown. The first round of NBJC's ad campaign will reach 500,000 African- Americans in the following markets and newspapers: Los Angeles (Sentinel, Wave), Baltimore/Washington D.C. (Informer, Afro-American), Atlanta (Voice, Daily World and Inquirer) and Detroit (Michigan Chronicle).

"African Americans oppose discrimination in all its forms," said H. Alexander Robinson, strategic director of the National Black Justice Coalition. "This campaign is about warning our brothers and sisters about the way George W. Bush and his radical conservative allies are seeking to divide us."

"We will not stand idly by and allow discrimination to be written into the Constitution of the United States or the constitutions of any state in America," said Mandy Carter, an NBJC board member and chair of its Grassroots Mobilization Committee. "We call on all advocates for fairness to reject injustice and discrimination and to oppose conservative attempts to enshrine their prejudice."


Bush courts Catholic voters, who could play a big role in November
By Ron Hutcheson
Knight Ridder Newspapers

DALLAS -- President Bush reached out to Roman Catholic voters on Tuesday, telling a convention of Catholic activists that he considers them vital allies in his efforts to support religious charities, defend traditional marriage and promote a "culture of life" in America.

"You have a friend in this administration. You have somebody who wants to work with you to change America for the better," Bush told about 2,500 cheering delegates and family members at a Knights of Columbus convention.


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