poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Ellen Goodman
Washington Post Writers Group
The right finds a lesbian
After decades of opposing gays, GOP feigns shock for Mary Cheney

BOSTON -- Let me see if I have this right. The Republicans are now accusing the Democrats of being insensitive to gay Americans? Or to one gay American at least?

After John Kerry mentioned Mary Cheney in the third debate, talk radio hosts finally found a lesbian they wanted to protect. Even the homophobic wing of cable TV rallied to the support of a family with a gay offspring.

Meanwhile Dick Cheney described himself as "a pretty angry father." And Lynne Cheney said of the senator: "This is not a good man."

What's wrong with this picture?


Civil unions plan for same sex couples

Homosexual couples will be able to enter civil unions in South Australia under proposed new laws.

SA Liberal backbencher Mark Brindal has introduced a Civil Unions Bill which he said would enable same sex couples who wanted more than de facto recognition to legally formalise their relationship.

He denied the proposed laws would pave the way for gays to marry.

"A civil union would expand on recent government moves to provide same sex couples with legal recognition within South Australia but is not a marriage," Mr Brindal said.


Clergy rally against banning gay marriage
Amanda Garrett
Plain Dealer Reporter

It has been more than 100 years since the Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson's great-great-grandmother was prohibited from marrying her great-great-grandfather.

She was Irish and he was black - mixed-race marriages were illegal then in Virginia.

Such racist laws seem outrageous now, and perhaps did even then to Ohioans, whose progressive laws permitted mixed-race marriages.

Yet a century later, Ohio voters are being asked to support a measure that is just as discriminatory, just as morally reprehensible, said Jackson.


Nasty Lesbian Visitation Battle Goes To Appeals Court

(Galveston, Texas) A nasty court battle between a Galveston lesbian and her ex-partner over visitation rights to their six year old daughter is heading to the appeals court.

The birth mother, Julie Anne Hobbs, is fighting a district judge's ruling earlier this month that Hobbs' ex-partner, Janet Kathleen Van Stavern had equal parenting rights. y


65,000 Gays In Military

(Washington)  A new report from the Urban Institute estimates that, by even conservative counts, 65,000 lesbian and gay Americans are serving in the United States Armed Forces, on active duty, in the reserves and the National Guard.

The report, Gay Men and Lesbians in the U.S. Military, using estimates from the 2000 Census 2000 found that the length of service for gay men is equal to their heterosexual colleagues, while lesbians typically serve longer than their straight counterparts.

The Institute is a non-partisan economic and social policy research organization.

"The positive contributions of 65,000 gay and lesbian Americans to our armed services and our national security cannot be ignored," said C. Dixon Osburn, Executive Director of Servicemembers Legal Defence Network (SLDN). 


Pro-Gay Methodists Urged to Exit Denomination Graciously
Jim Brown & Jody Brown
Agape Press

Pro-homosexual members of the United Methodist Church (UMC) are being asked to make a "gracious exit" from the denomination.

The United Methodist Action Committee of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) is calling for the "peaceful departure" of Methodist clergy who cannot abide by the church's standards on marriage and sex.  Same-sex unions and the ordination of clergy sexually active outside of traditional marriage are officially barred by the denomination


The Sin of Pride
A new generation of gay and lesbian students is challenging homophobic policies at religious colleges.
By Janelle Nanos

At 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning in June, Grant Turck crept across the Pepperdine University campus with a couple of cans of paint in hand. Turck, a 21-year-old Pepperdine student, was about to partake in a venerable school tradition: painting “The Rock,” a boulder that has doubled as a billboard in the middle of the Malibu campus for decades. In a few hours, hundreds of incoming students and their parents would be streaming by, touring the campus as part of an open-house weekend. First, Turck coated the Rock in red paint. Then he scrawled in white letters, “Will your gay son or lesbian daughter be safe at Pepperdine?” Turck knew his stunt would turn heads at the conservative Christian school. For a few hours, his words silently questioned the sleeping campus. But by early morning, a school official had added his own touches, enlisting two students to help him cover over Turck’s message.

Gay and lesbian students who attend religious universities and colleges are used to being ignored, thwarted, and condemned by their schools. But more of them are openly questioning their schools’ anti-gay policies, taking on the traditional idea that a Christian education is incompatible with being gay


Judge tosses suit on gays, marriage
Legislators wanted to prevent challenges to Pennsylvania law.
By Pervaiz Shallwani
Of The Morning Call

A Bucks County judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit filed by a dozen Pennsylvania lawmakers who want to stop a gay New Hope couple and other same-sex couples from challenging the 1996 state marriage law.

Calling their action unorthodox, extraordinary and irresponsible, Judge Mitchell Goldberg ruled the lawmakers have no legal basis to file a pre-emptive suit against Stephen Stahl and Robert Seneca, who had told the media they might challenge the state Defense of Marriage Act.


AIDS Protestors Arrested At Bush Election HQ 
by Newscenter Staff

(Washington) Twenty-one AIDS activists have been arrested after chaining themselves to the doors of the Bush-Cheney campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

Close to 120 demonstrators took part in the protest that was organized by ACT UP and Housing Works, a New York agency that provides services with people with HIV/AIDS.

The groups denounced what they call a total lack of funding by the Bush administration for AIDS initiatives in the US and around the world.

"We are here to protest the failures of the Bush administration's AIDS policies," Robert Cordero, director of federal advocacy for Housing Works told the Washington Post.


YMCA changes policy to allow gay couples to pay same rate as other families
The Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. -- The YMCA of the Triangle Area will charge gay couples with children the same membership fees as heterosexual families but won't call them "families" under a policy that covers a range of household types.

Grandparents with dependent grandchildren, couples with foster children and children living with adults who are their legal guardians will also benefit from the new policy, said the Y's chief executive officer Doug McMillan.


Mormon Church Voices View on Gay Marriage
The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement opposing gay marriage on Tuesday, two weeks before Utah voters decide a proposed constitutional amendment on the question


Gay marriage ban fight goes before Ga. Supreme Court
By Andy Peters
Telegraph Staff Writer

ATLANTA -Voters will decide Nov. 2 whether to give Georgia law an extra line of defense against the possibility that same-sex couples might try to get married in the state.

But opponents of the measure say there is serious concern that if Georgia chooses to ban gay marriage, the new law may actually do much more.

Tuesday, the state Supreme Court heard arguments from two advocacy groups who argue that the ballot referendum, as it is worded, fails to indicate that the law would do more than amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage.


Play about gay slaying will be staged despite protests
October 20, 2004

EAST CHINA TWP. -- St. Clair High School's production of "The Laramie Project" is scheduled to open Thursday despite plans by members of a Kansas church to picket the show.


Surgeries to tackle homophobic crime
By Jen Bishop

POLICE in Croydon have launched surgeries for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender residents in a bid to tackle homophobic hate crime.


Gay-union decision author denounces attacks on judges
By JENNIFER PETER, The Associated Press

BOSTON - The author of the landmark gay marriage decision that triggered political backlash across the country warned Tuesday against efforts to tamper with the independent judiciary system.

Margaret Marshall, chief justice of the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, told a gathering of business leaders that she welcomed scrutiny and criticism of the court’s decision, but she decried attempts - here and elsewhere - to subject judges to elections.


Mrs. Kerry Would Focus on 'Gay Tolerance' As First Lady
By Susan Jones Morning Editor

( - If her husband is elected president, Teresa Heinz Kerry "pledges to make gay tolerance a centerpiece of her First Lady duties," an online media company reported.

In an exclusive interview with PlanetOut -- which describes itself as a gay media company -- Mrs. Kerry made a distinction between sex and sexuality.

She told PlanetOut's senior political correspondent Chris Bull, "A lot of people, particularly those of the more fundamentalist view, think of homosexuality as a sex thing rather than a sexuality thing. They are really very different."


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