poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Calls for more security, after anti-gay attack
Ben Townley, UK

Police in Bournemouth have been accused of neglecting the city's gay community, after a group of revellers were attacked when leaving a club.

Around 15 young people hurled bottles and rocks at the group of men leaving the Opera House club last weekend. Although usually a straight club, the Opera House also has a gay night once a week.

One of the attacked said that because of the known animosity in the area, some police officers should already have been situated outside the club.

The unnamed victim told the Bournemouth Daily Echo that this foresight could have protected him and his friends from the abuse.


Local group to protest Banton concert
Ben Townley, UK

Gay groups in Milton Keynes are set to protest an appearance by Buju Banton later this month, as the campaign against homophobic lyrics continues to spread.

Banton is set to appear at the city's Empire nightclub on September 22 and, so far, the venue owners have refused to pull the plug on the gig.

Previous threats of protests have seen cancellations of concerts by the stars at the centre of the row across Europe and North America.


Cardinal challenged to gay debate

LESBIAN activist Monica Hingston has challenged her cousin, Catholic Cardinal George Pell, to a public debate on the church's attitude towards homosexuality.
Cardinal Pell is well known for his public sermons against homosexuality and sparked controversy when, as Archbishop of Melbourne, he refused gay activists holy communion.

In January, he refused to respond to a publicised letter from Ms Hingston calling on him to condone same-sex relationships, an action the Vatican has ruled out.

In her latest invitation, Ms Hingston, a former Catholic nun, urged her second cousin to debate the issue with gay Catholics at the closing of gay film festival QueerDOC.


NGO helps gay couples tie knot
Samrat Choudhury

For the deeply-in-love couple who are waiting for their wedding date — which has tentatively been set "a month from now" — there's trepidation. "We met four months ago at a party, and it was love at first sight," says B, a 21-year-old M Com student. His life partner-to-be is a 28-year-old engineer.

All of which is the way it is in most weddings, but this one is different: both the people getting married are male.

Lakshya, a Vadodara-based organisation that works for the rights of gay people, is planning to facilitate the marriage. “It's a way to prevent the spread of AIDS,” says Sylvester Merchant, the organisation's 25-year-old programme officer.

"In multi-partner relationships, the chances of HIV infection are more. In the MSM population -- men having sex with men — people often have multiple partners. Marriage would discourage this," says Merchant.


More companies providing benefits to gay couples

As the debate surrounding same-sex marriage plays out across the country, companies in increasing numbers have quietly decided to offer the same insurance benefits to gay couples as they do to married couples.

The Walt Disney Co., The Boeing Co., Parsons and Amgen Inc. are among several high-profile companies that provide insurance benefits for gay couples.

In all, about 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies offered health benefits to gay couples at the end of 2003, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. And of the top 50 firms, about 68 percent provided such coverage.

That's because about a decade ago a cluster of health plans introduced "domestic partner benefits" -- policies that target same-sex and opposite-sex partners who live together.


Gay Rights Group Lobbies BBC over Mobo Awards
By Tony Jones, Showbusiness Reporter, PA News

A gay rights group today called on the BBC to drop a planned broadcast of the MOBO awards if two singers they accuse of homophobia are not removed from the nominations.

OutRage! has written to the BBC’S director-general Mark Thompson and chairman of the board of governors, Michael Grade, outlining their concerns about the Jamaican artists Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel who are up for honours in the best reggae artist category.

Organisers of the Music of Black Origin (MOBO) awards, launched in 1996, have stated they do not condone homophobic lyrics and work closely with the Black Gay Men’s Advisory Group.

Controversial singer Beenie Man, who has also been accused of homophobia, did not make it onto the reggae artist shortlist this year after organisers emphasised on the public ballot forms they did not support music that clearly incited violence towards gay people.


Oklahoma Politicians Want Say In Court Decision On Anti-Gay Amendment
by Newscenter Staff

(Oklahoma City) Two Oklahoma Republican lawmakers who support a proposed amendment to the state constitution to ban gay marriage want to intervene in a lawsuit which seeks to disallow the issue from going to voters.

Senate Republican leader James Williamson of Tulsa and Representative Thad Balkman of Norman are asking the Supreme Court of Oklahoma to let them intervene in the case.

The Oklahoma Civil Liberties Union and a gay rights group filed suit in the state Supreme Court to have asks the justices to declare the question illegal and prevent it from going to voters in November.

The suit says that the wording of the ballot question is vague and violates the rights of gays and lesbians.


Maine Governor To Reintroduce Gay Rights Bill
by Newscenter Staff

(Augusta, Maine)  Maine Gov. John Baldacci on the weekend said that he will reintroduce gay rights legislation next year.

If passed the state-wide anti-discrimination law would combat bias based on sexuality in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit.

The Legislature has twice passed such a law in recent years, only to have it rejected by voters.

Lawmakers passed a gay-rights bill in 1997 and then-Gov. Angus King signed it into law. But opponents forced a so-called "people's veto" referendum in 1998, and voters killed the law. The Legislature embraced a gay-rights law once again in 2000. That time, lawmakers sent it to voters for final action, and it was defeated again.


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