poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, September 17, 2004

Fourth Canadian Province Legalizes Gay Marriage

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Manitoba has became the fourth Canadian province to legalize same-sex marriage after a judge declared the province's current definition of marriage unconstitutional.

The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed last month by three couples against the provincial and federal governments.

The couples asked the judge to declare that the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman is contrary to the equality provision in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


Gay couples hope for help from Massachusetts court
Associated Press

BOSTON — Out-of-state gay couples barred from getting married in Massachusetts are hoping the state's highest court will take up their appeal and reverse a lower court ruling that denied their request to stop enforcement of a 1913 law being used to block their unions. The law, which some say was written to be used against interracial couples, denies out-of-state couples the right to marry if it would be illegal in their home state.

Since same-sex weddings became legal in Massachusetts in May, state officials have used the law to stop nonresident couples from coming here to get married.

Superior Court Judge Carol Ball ruled in August that the law was not discriminatory, despite a concern that it violates the spirit of the state's landmark same-sex marriage decision.


Baptists taught Cherokee bigotry
Marriage was not defined by gender in Cherokee tradition, but the influence of Christian missionaries changed that.

THE CHEROKEE NATION is in a quandary right now over the issue of same-sex marriage.

Under a compact with the state of Oklahoma, marriages recorded by the Cherokee Nation will be recognized by the state. Cherokee law is very vague on gender issues in its marriage laws. The Cherokee terms used in the marriage ceremony translate as “provider” and “cooker,” not “husband” and “wife.”

Last May, a lesbian couple used these definitions in applying for and receiving a marriage license from the Cherokee Nation. After their marriage ceremony, the couple asked the Cherokee Nation to file their certificate of marriage with the state.

The Cherokee Nation court refused to accept the marriage certificate, claiming tribal authorities did not know when they granted the license that it was for a same-sex couple.


Anti-amendment fight fueled by grassroots efforts
National gay groups offer limited help to local coalition

As Florence Tang looked for a place to park on Avery Street in Decatur last Saturday, Bruce Nelson scanned outside the passenger window and remarked, “Boy, this is going to be a friendly neighborhood.”

Sept. 11 marked the fourth time Nelson volunteered to go door-to-door to persuade people to vote against Amendment 1, a proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. He said he figured the anti-Bush yard signs and bumper stickers signaled an audience receptive to his message.


Texas judge rules partner has no spousal rights
Gay man’s partner died without will

HOUSTON — A gay man who has asked a district court to consider him the surviving partner of a long-time relationship was dealt a setback last week when a judge ruled that he does not have spousal privileges.

Associate Judge Ruth Ann Stiles, who presided over the hearing, ruled that Billy Ross, 33, could not rely on the Marriage-Like Relationship Doctrine to make him the surviving partner of his eight-year relationship with John Green, who died last year without leaving a will.

The doctrine, which is currently used in New York and Washington states, would have recognized Green and Ross’ relationship and established rules for the court to follow to distribute the property.


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