poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, August 16, 2004

Ulster preacher angers over "gay agenda" comments
Ben Townley, UK

A Baptist preacher in Northern Ireland has angered local gay rights groups by claiming lesbian and gay people were pursuing an "agenda".

The comments come as the province continues to see attacks on LGB people, most recently culminating in death threats made against one couple in Derry.

Pastor Mark Bradfield told the Belfast Telegraph that, while he is against this violence, he is angry at the apparent respect that gay people are given.

"There is an agenda to let this very small homosexual minority gain a huge foothold within society and get laws changed to suit themselves," he told the newspaper, adding that LGB people had "chosen their own path".


India News: Gays, male prostitutes under police scanner

New Delhi, India : Police have swooped down on dozens of male prostitutes and transsexuals catering to affluent gays in Delhi while probing the grisly murder of two young men that shocked the capital.

The bodies of Pushkin Chandra, the son of a retired bureaucrat, and a man identified only as Vishal were found Saturday in the first floor annexe of a sprawling mansion at Anand Lok in south Delhi owned by Chandra's parents.

Police suspect the involvement of more than two people in the murders and there are strong suspicions that the killers were transsexuals.

The naked bodies of the victims were found in a room where Pushkin usually stayed and met guests. Senior police officers said the victims were gays who had close links with male prostitutes and transsexuals.


Revolutionary support offered for hate crime victims
Ben Townley, UK

A first of its kind job post has been created in Darlington, with a view to offering support and advice to those touched by homophobic hate crime.

The person who gets the job, which will be funded by Comic Relief, will offer support and advice for victims of homophobic violence in the region, as well as help for witnesses of such crimes.

It is thought that this position in the criminal justice system is the first of its kind in the UK, the Darlington and Stockton Times reports.

The newspaper says it follows increasing attacks in the area, and will also aim to help increase the reporting of anti-gay crime to police officers.


Tuteur asked to issue gay marriage licenses, refuses
Register Staff Writer

John Tuteur passed up his chance to be a civil rights hero for local gay men and lesbians Friday morning.

Tuteur came out of his office to explain to about a dozen gay protesters, who were demanding the right to marry, that he wouldn't do anything surprising.

"You're certainly welcome to ask for the licenses, but we will refuse to give them to you." Tuteur told the group, explaining that although he was sympathetic to their cause, a personal policy he developed long ago prevented him from acting. "I don't take positions on things I can't influence ... I just want you to understand I'm not going to be your champion on this issue."


Baton Rouge judge to hear suit over gay marriage ban on Monday

BATON ROUGE, La. A judge in Baton Rouge today is scheduled to hear arguments in a lawsuit over a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriages.

Louisiana already has a law stating that marriage can only be heterosexual, but supporters of an amendment banning gay marriage want to protect that law in the Constitution.

A group called Forum for Equality filed suit, arguing that the ban would violate the Louisiana Constitution's guarantee of individuals' rights to enter into contracts and own property. Forum for Equality lawyers argue that the amendment would invalidate contracts which gay and lesbian partners have drawn up to own houses together or to share responsibility for children.


Gay marriage ban challenge looms
By Paul Osborne

A COALITION of gay rights groups is considering a High Court challenge to new laws banning gay marriage, but the government is not concerned.

Labor voted with the coalition in Parliament on Friday to pass a bill defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman and banning the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages.

The Equal Rights Network, a coalition of gay rights advocates, has engaged lawyers to examine a High Court challenge to the laws.

Constitutional expert Professor George Williams, from the University of NSW, today said the challenge would be difficult because Australia did not have a bill of rights to protect citizens from discrimination.


Group to watch liberal churches
Coalition created by famed atheist's son forms group to monitor liberal churches for tax violations

A conservative religious organization is keeping an eye on local churches, threatening to report any that endorse or disparage political candidates in violation of their nonprofit status.

The Big Brother Church Watch, a group sponsored by the Religious Freedom Action Coalition, is sending volunteers throughout Virginia to sit in church pews and take notes.

If there is any indication of an endorsement of, or objection to, a specific political candidate, the group has said it will report that church to the Internal Revenue Service, which could revoke their tax-exempt status.

The group is targeting so-called "liberal churches" such as the Metropolitan Community churches, Unitarian Universalist fellowships and African Methodist Episcopal churches.


Coverage of Delhi's double murder has gays on the boil

NEW DELHI: A double murder here has put the spotlight on the country's gay community, which has for long complained of ostracism and demanded repeal of an archaic law that makes same gender sexual activity illegal.

With the discovery of the bodies of a USAID official and his friend on Aug 14, both allegedly homosexuals, there has been a slew of reporting on the community.

"There is a distinct lack of respect for the dead," said sociologist Peter D'Souza. "There is voyeurism even in death which is shameful.

"Look at what they are covering about the murder - the gay angle, police saying they found pornographic material involving pictures of naked men. The private lives of people are being put to ugly scrutiny in a time of great grief for a family."


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