poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Poll: Majority back same-sex marriage

Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs Tove Fergo has urged the Church of Denmark to heed the will of the people - a new PLS Rambøll survey finds a majority in favour of the right of gay couples to marry
55 percent of the Danish population supports the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry in the state-sponsored Lutheran church. 37 percent are opposed, and eight percent are undecided: this according to a new poll by Rambøll Management for daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Ecclesiastical Affairs Minister Tove Fergo responded to news of the poll figures, encouraging the nation's bishops to consider public opinion in sanctioning same-sex marriages.


Comics Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi Accused Of Supporting Gay-Hate Singers
by Steph Smith Newscenter
Chicago Bureau

(Chicago, Illinois) Comedians Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd Monday were accused of supporting reggae music that calls for the murder of gays.

Jamaican singer Capleton is scheduled to perform at Chicago's House of Blues on Thursday. The Chicago Anti-Bashing Network, at a news conference outside the R&B club said that if the concert is not cancelled it will stage a demonstration on Thursday.


Film Promoting Gay-Straight Conversion Targets National Coming Out Day
by Ed Welch Newscenter
Los Angeles Bureau

(Los Angeles, California) A conservative Christian group is pushing to have a film promoting "gay conversion" shown in schools during National Coming Out Day next month.

The one-hour film profiles people who claim to have been transformed by faith into giving up homosexuality for a straight lifestyle.

“I Do Exist” was directed by James Kragel and is produced by Warren Throckmorton, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania and its Director of Counseling at the Christian college.


Anwar release burnishes Badawi's image

HONG KONG -- Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has unexpectedly taken a meaningful stride away from the authoritarian rule of former Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohammad. As a result, the charismatic former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will now be free to influence the course of Malaysian politics, though he will not be free to hold formal political office until April 2008.

Anwar was sentenced to six years in prison in April 1999 for corruption, and to nine years in prison in August 2000 for sodomy. Many regarded these as trumped-up charges, indicating, more than anything else, that Mahathir could not tolerate a powerful rival and kept the Malaysian judiciary under his thumb. Consequently, until now, Anwar's numerous appeals against his convictions were all rejected. He had already completed his sentence for corruption, six years with time off for good behavior in April 2003, and was now serving his 9-year sentence for sodomy. On Sept. 2, his final appeal against the sodomy charge was due to be heard by Malaysia's Federal Court. Anwar feared that this appeal would also be rejected.

Rival gay group out to get drag queens
    Ndivhuwo Khangale

A rival gay group is behind the metro police's threat to arrest masked participants in the Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade.

"We are the ones who brought the Regulation of Gatherings Act to the attention of the police - it is like they didn't study it well," David Baxter, spokesperson for the conservative Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GLA), on Monday.

After an outcry over the threat to arrest drag queens and other disguised revellers in Saturday's parade in Johannesburg, metro police on Monday backtracked and gave the organisers the green light to strut their stuff.

But the GLA has vowed to make sure drag queens in particular are arrested for contravening the apartheid-era act.

"We are totally against such events - they harm our image"This stipulates that the faces of participants in marches, protests, demonstration or gatherings may not obscure their faces with masks or paint.


Social Security, union clash over sexual orientation contract provisions
By Amelia Gruber

Social Security Administration officials are trying to remove language protecting employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation from the agency's labor contract, union leaders claim.

During negotiations on renewing the contract, SSA officials proposed eliminating a clause that allows gay, lesbian and bisexual workers to file discrimination grievances, said Witold Skwierczynski, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 220.

AFGE officials convinced SSA to add the language to the contract during 2000 negotiations, after President Clinton issued an executive order establishing a uniform policy protecting federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation


Connecticut town considers denying permit for Boy Scouts

City officials in Norwalk, Conn., are considering denying a permit for the Boy Scouts to use a beach for a recruitment drive because of the Scouts' discriminatory policies regarding gay members.

Mayor Alex Knopp has asked the law department to determine whether there is legal precedent to deny a Boy Scouts troop use of Shady Beach. Knopp's request came after members of the city common council's parks committee told Scoutmaster Greta DeAngelis last week that they would vote against issuing her a permit for a three-hour campfire and recruitment program October 24. The mayor said he would decline to comment until he is better informed


Ford Calls For Diversity In Automotive Industry  
by Newscenter Staff

(Dearborn, Michigan) Ford Motor Company Monday held the first automotive conference aimed at bringing diversity to the car industry.

Billed as the Diversity Forum, it attracted than 100 multinational companies for an industry-wide dialogue including broadening the number of LGBT workers in the field.

CEO Bill Ford and other senior corporate executives led a series symposiums that focused on growing diverse suppliers, building a diverse organization and multicultural marketing. 


Georgia lawmakers want gay marriage ban on ballot

State lawmakers backing Georgia's proposed gay marriage ban are asking a court for permission to intervene in a lawsuit challenging whether it can appear on the November ballot as a constitutional amendment. A superior court judge in Fulton County will hear arguments Friday in the suit, which was filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the Atlanta law firm of Alston and Bird.

The suit claims the proposed amendment violates the state constitution because the summary that voters will see asks only whether marriage should be limited to a man and a woman, while the actual amendment deals with additional issues like civil unions and the jurisdiction of state courts.


Ohio court denies request to throw out petitions that advocate gay marriage ban

An Ohio state appeals court on Monday rejected a request to throw out petitions seeking to put a proposed constitutional ban of same-sex marriage on the state ballot. The two-sentence judgment from a three-judge panel in Franklin County said opponents of the proposal did not "demonstrate their right" to get a court order rejecting the petitions. Alan Melamed, head of the campaign to stop the amendment, said the group had not yet decided whether to appeal.

Amendment opponents sued on Wednesday, saying Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell should never have submitted petition signatures to the 88 county elections boards for validation because the forms violate Ohio law by failing to include a summary of the amendment's intent. Instead, the petitions include only the 55-word proposed amendment as it would appear on the ballot. "Even though this initiative is short, it is filled in its second sentence with incredible ambiguities," said John P. Gilligan, lead attorney for the amendment opponents.


Drag kings have no illusions about playing dress-up
Knight Ridder Newspapers

COLUMBIA, S.C. - (KRT) - With her cropped hair, John Deere T-shirt and worn overalls, Bo Gray looks and sounds like a laid-back farm boy.

She's not. Gray, 22, is a fledgling drag king, part of a thriving subculture in which women dress up - often very convincingly - as men, and perform dance and lip-synch routines for an enthusiastic audience.

Gender illusionists aren't new: Joan of Arc was executed partly for wearing men's clothes. Women performing as men were popular in Victorian England, and Marlene Dietrich donned a suit long before kd lang did. Dr. Mary Edwards Walker dressed in male attire while working as a surgeon for the Union Army (and came away with the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1865)


Gay Paris mayor strikes out at French homophobia

PARIS, Sept 19 (AFP) - In a new autobiography France's best-known gay politician Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe has delivered a broadside against the country's prevailing homophobia and attacked President Jacques Chirac for failing to fulfil campaign promises to defend gay rights.  

The 54 year-old Socialist, who in 2001 was elected the capital's first ever left-wing mayor, says that French attitudes have certainly developed in the last 20 years - largely as a result of AIDS - and "in some quarters to be homophobic is seen as a sign of poor taste." 


Gays focus on politics at event
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry was represented by three booths at Pride in the Park, but gay Republicans were there, too.
By Annie Thompson

Organizers of the 15th annual Pride in the Park, which was held Sunday in Elmwood Park, called it the biggest, best and most diverse they've had.

A political emphasis could not be ignored by attendees, many of whom acknowledged an increase in political participation and activism among gays.

"Nothing will stir a movement like opposition," said Molly McClintock, a lesbian who is on the committee of Pride in the Park. "We have had a terrible time with the Bush administration and almost as bad on the state level."


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