poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, October 08, 2004

Gay National Boycott Begins
by Beth Shapiro Newscenter
New York Bureau 

(New York City) A one-day national work stoppage and economic boycott called by a gay marriage advocacy group began Friday morning.

The Boycott for Equality called on gays and lesbians across the nation to drop out of the U.S. economy for the day by staying home from work, not shopping and not using cell phones. 

The boycott also asks people to withdraw $80 from their bank accounts and hold onto the money to symbolize the average daily contribution of gay and lesbian people to the economy.

Estimates indicate that America's lesbian and gay population spends an average of $1.4 billion each day, totaling $500 billion a year. But, the effect the grassroots effort to show the clout of the gay dollar will have may not be fully known for several months when major companies release financial reports.


Gays, women call for boycotts
One-day actions designed to show economic muscle
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Get ready for an economic "flu" of sorts.

The Atlanta-based Boycott For Equality is asking gays, lesbians and sympathetic heterosexuals nationwide to skip work, halt shopping, turn off cellphones and send an $80 ATM receipt to elected officials today — all to showcase their spending power.


Boycott For Equality
By B.A. Klaene

Boycott For Equality is calling for a national boycott today to draw political attention to equality in marriage and the workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.

"This event brings into focus the economic contribution of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens," said Dale Duncan, co-founder of Boycott For Equality. "And people understand money."


Boys in pink skirts? School finds nothing funny about it

There were guys in chiffon skirts, brassieres and fitted sweaters, and gals with painted-on mustaches at Hastings High School yesterday despite official efforts to put the kibosh on "Cross-Dressing Day."

As part of Spirit Week, students had already celebrated Pajama Day, '80s Day and Dress to Impress Day. Then educators saw yesterday's provocative theme promoted in posters around the school and asked student government leaders to announce an alternative: "New York Pride Day."


"first annual intersex awareness day,''

Mark your calendars: Oct. 26 would be designated as the city's "first annual intersex awareness day,'' if a proposal by Supervisors Bevan Dufty and Tom Ammiano is approved by the full board.

The idea is to bring better understanding and awareness of the condition, in which people are born with sexual ambiguity.


Hate fliers turn up again in Newton
By Jennifer Roy / Tribune Staff Writer

NEWTON -- Anti-Semitic fliers condemning the war in Iraq and interracial sex have turned up on several Newton streets this week, two months after the same group littered lawns with fliers against gay marriage and desegregation.

     The National Alliance is taking credit for anti-Semitic fliers that also warn against "sex with (blacks) and AIDS," Sgt. Ken Dangelo said yesterday.

     A 52-year-old Jewett Street man stopped an officer on Pearl Street Monday night after finding three plastic bags containing the literature and rocks in his yard, Dangelo said.


Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) An alternate lifestyle parade will be held in Taipei Nov. 6, but will not be financially supported by the city government as was the case last year, an organizer of the event said Friday. The 2004 Taiwan Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade will be an ad hoc arrangement since the city is not funding the event this year, according to a spokesman for the organizing committee, Wu Hsu-niang.


Queer Solidarity With Ethnic Minorities

PrideAlliance calls upon the queer community to support the March for a Multicultural Aotearoa in Wellington this month.

"Many heterosexuals participated in the counter-protest against Destiny Church's homophobia in August," said PrideAlliance spokesperson Kelly Buchanan. "Now it's our turn to show support for the wider community."

The march has been organised by MCA (Multicultural Aotearoa) in response to an anti-Asian rally planned for the same day by fascist organisation the National Front. This far-right white supremacist group has been linked with numerous violent crimes against people and property in the Wellington region.

"Though their current public focus is Asians, the National Front is also a virulently homophobic group," said Ms Buchanan. "They participated in Destiny's anti-Civil Union rally, and are just as much a threat to us as they are to Jews and non-whites."


Gay Baiting Favored Weapon in Republican Election Arsenal
By Brent Brumley

Despite the Marriage Protection Amendment being defeated in the House of Representatives by a 227-186 margin last week, Republicans continue in this election season to use gay issues as a favored campaign weapon.

In a sound defeat, 27 moderate and conservative Republicans joined 158 Democrats and 1 Independent on September 30 in opposing the Marriage Protection Amendment—previously called the Federal Marriage Amendment—on the House Floor.

Since the constitutional amendment was first proposed last February, many voters saw the proposal as a cynical political ploy to distract them from foreign policy and domestic challenges facing the country.

“They’re blasting the radio as they pass the gas station on an empty tank,” said Cheryl Jacques, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “The Republican leadership has continued to focus on this divisive measure while critical security needs are neglected. This is a pathetic attempt to distract voters from the issues that matter.”


Tension grips gay rights caravan
Rona Marech, Chronicle Staff Writer

Denver -- The nearly four dozen riders on the National Marriage Equality Express -- a caravan of activists traveling cross-country to fight for marriage rights for same-sex couples -- were on edge.

They'd encountered little hostility and a lot of warmth in the places they'd visited in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. On Wednesday, they had visited Laramie -- the town where Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, had been brutally murdered six years ago. Most considered the stop a highlight of the trip, but that horrible tragedy and the personal memories of violence the visit triggered were on their minds Thursday morning when one of the caravan passengers inexplicably disappeared.

Sometime after midnight Wednesday, Anthony Perez, a documentary filmmaker following the journey for the new gay and lesbian channel, the Q Television Network, walked out of his Denver hotel room without his cell phone or card key. He did not show up when the riders met in the hotel lobby the next morning. He didn't make it to the breakfast meeting with local gay and lesbian supporters or to the rally in Denver's Civic Center Plaza. When Perez still hadn't shown up by 11 a.m., the scheduled departure time, the bus left without him. Bewildered, Roland Torres, the other half of the documentary team, stayed behind and notified police.

The group's leaders, concerned that the riders might encounter anti-gay violence in the American heartland, had been lecturing from the start about safety. "I'm very, very angry," organizer Molly McKay said of Perez's disappearance. Her eyes were red-rimmed. "If you can't commit to the buddy system, take the next bus home."


Gay marriage battle heads to Pa. court

PHILADELPHIA — A Bucks County judge was set this week to hear arguments over a Pennsylvania law that bans same-sex marriage, the Intelligencer reported. Two gay men from New Hope who unsuccessfully tried to apply for a marriage license earlier this year are being sued by a group of state legislators, according to the newspaper. The two men had discussed a possible challenge to the state’s Defense of Marriage Act, but have not yet done so, the Intelligencer reported. The defense and some legal experts contend the case should be thrown out because the men have not yet actually challenged state law, according to the newspaper. “Where’s the case? You ask almost any lawyer about it and they say, ‘Huh?’” Larry Frankel, legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, which is helping represent the men, told the Intelligencer.


Health authority warns gay community on rare STI
Ben Townley, UK

The Health Protection Agency has unveiled a new "enhanced surveillance" programme intended to stop a rare sexually transmitted infection (STI) getting a foothold in the gay community.

The initiative will focus on lympogranuloma venereum (LGV), a treatable STI that has seen a large spike in the gay and bisexual population of the Netherlands and France.

A cluster of cases were first seen in Rotterdam in December 2003, but quickly spread to Antwerp and Paris. A total of 157 cases have been seen in the three cities since then; previously it had been fairly obscure.

The new UK initiative is intended to stop the STI spreading into the UK's gay and bisexual community.


Ga. Supreme Court asked to review marriage ban
Plaintiffs hope to overturn trial judge who tossed out suit

After suffering a setback in Fulton County Superior Court last month, opponents of Amendment 1 asked the Georgia Supreme Court to strike the gay marriage ban from the Nov. 2 ballot.

Johnny Stephenson — a partner with Alston & Bird, a law firm leading the challenge to the proposed amendment on behalf of seven plaintiffs — filed an appeal with the state’s high court on Oct. 6. The appeal disputes Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance Russell’s Sept. 29 ruling that the principle of separation of powers prohibits Georgia’s courts from intervening in pending legislation, dismissing the lawsuit.

“It is well established that the judiciary’s role among the coordinate branches of government is to provide relief to claimants who have suffered, or imminently will suffer, actual harm,” Stephenson wrote in his appeal


Anti-Gay House Leader Chastised For Ethics Violations 
by Paul Johnson Newscenter
Washington Bureau Chief

(Washington) The House ethics committee has rebuked Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) for the second time in a week for questionable conduct.

The committee sternly warned the Texas Republican to temper his behavior, but stopped short of censuring him.

The committee accused DeLay for creating an appearance of giving donors special access on pending energy legislation and using the Federal Aviation Administration to intervene in a Texas political dispute.

Last week, the same committee admonished DeLay for offering to endorse the House candidacy of a House member's son in exchange for the member's favorable vote on a Medicare prescription drug bill.


Arkansas justices refuse to remove marriage amendment from ballot

The Arkansas supreme court on Thursday refused to strike an anti-gay marriage amendment from the state general election ballot, ruling in a split decision that the proposal, as presented to voters, is sufficiently clear. The court voted 5-2 to present the issue to voters.

Backed by more than 200,000 signatures, the Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee proposes changing the Arkansas constitution to read, "Marriage consists only of the union of one man and one woman." More than a dozen states are considering similar bans, triggered by a Massachusetts supreme judicial court decision last year to recognize gay unions in that state.


House and Senate Republicans kill hate-crimes bill

For the second time in four years, Republican-led congressional negotiators have ripped out a hate-crimes prevention bill that had been added to spending legislation. The move, which was expected by national gay rights groups, effectively kills any kind of new protections for gay Americans, lawmakers said Thursday.

"The Republican leadership has unconscionably ignored the will of House and the Senate and stripped the hate-crimes prevention provisions," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a California congresswoman. "The needs of law enforcement--which have repeatedly requested federal assistance in solving and preventing a wide range of violent hate crimes--have been ignored."

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would add real or perceived sexual orientation, gender, and disability to federal hate-crime laws, thus allowing the federal government the ability to provide critical assistance to state, local, and federal law enforcement to combat violent crimes against victims because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, gender, or disability. It was included by the Senate as part of the Defense Authorization Bill.

"This is a sad day for America," said Wisconsin congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. "All Americans, regardless of their race, gender, disability, or sexual orientation, have a right to feel safe in their communities. Hate crimes are different than other violent crimes because they seek to instill fear and terror throughout a whole community--whether it is burning a cross in someone's yard, burning a synagogue, or a rash of physical assaults near a gay community center."


Lesbians 'marry' in Laramie
Associated Press

LARAMIE (AP) - Two lesbian women and an opposite-sex couple exchanged vows at the University of Wyoming six years to the day after a notorious attack on a gay student.

Wednesday's event in front of the Wyoming Union was part of the Marriage Equality Caravan 2004, in which same-sex couples whose marriages in San Francisco were invalidated are headed, along with supporters, to a rally in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

The tour stopped in Laramie on the anniversary of the day two men tied University of Wyoming freshman Matthew Shepard to a fence outside town and pistol-whipped him. He died at a hospital


Borrell enters EU gay ‘sin’ row

Rocco Buttiglione is not suitable to be the EU’s new justice chief, the European Parliament president has said.

As MEPs prepare to vote on a new European Commission, Josep Borrell has given a clear indication of his views.

The outspoken Buttiglione has outraged some in the parliament with his conventional Catholic views on homosexuality and women.

With such views Borrell suggests the Italian would better put in charge of root vegetables than given the EU’s growing justice brief.


Political Disclosure Rules Equate Domestic Partners With Spouses
Gay and lesbian officials embrace decision calling for conformity with conflict-of-interest laws.
By Robert Salladay, Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Gay and lesbian public officials with domestic partners must comply with the same financial disclosure requirements as married spouses under new regulations approved Thursday by the state.

David Roberts, a candidate for City Council in Solana Beach, had requested a ruling last April from the state Fair Political Practices Commission over whether his partner is considered a "spouse" under the state's conflict-of-interest laws for public officials.

The answer is yes, the commission said Thursday. Under its rules, public officials would be required to publicly disclose property, stocks and business interests considered community property with their domestic partners, and they could not vote or make government decisions that would affect those mutual interests.


Lesbian starts own event after her work was banned from first
Nina Gougis - Staff Reporter

For many years, Diane Johns has been a member of the DeKalb County Quilters’ Guild, serving one term each as president, secretary and treasurer.

Almost 20 years later, it was the controversy over her pro-homosexual artwork that sparked disagreement and tore the group apart.

The controversy began when the DCQG board of directors banned her quilt, “The L-Word,” from their Harvest of Quilts show because it contained derogatory references and could be offensive, said Jill Draves, DCQG president.

The 25-by-25 inch quilt, inspired by the television show, had quotes from lesbian composers and writers and included phrases such as “diesel dyke,” “sappho” and “butch.”


Senate slur prompts apology
Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Tensions between two of the state Senate's most powerful senior members erupted into name-calling Wednesday night, with a Philadelphia Democrat using a derogatory term for homosexuals to denounce Republican leaders.

The language shocked members of a chamber that prides itself on decorum, and on Thursday President Pro Tempore Robert C. Jubelirer, R-Blair, called for an apology from Sen. Vincent C. Fumo.

"He called me a faggot is what he called me. And then I said, 'What did you say?' and he screamed it," Jubelirer said. "That was just wrong. If he has an issue with me, that's fine, but to use that term, 'faggot,' to me was a black mark, not only on him but the institution."

The incident occurred around 10 p.m. after Republicans invoked an obscure parliamentary procedure to cut off debate on a package of changes to the slots-gambling bill passed in July. The move short-circuited the Democrats' hopes of bringing up amendments of their own, and Fumo went ballistic, according to witnesses.


Top court grills gay-wedding foes
Bill threatens religious freedom, opponents warn Many institutions have changed, one justice says

OTTAWA—Several Supreme Court of Canada judges challenged conservative arguments yesterday that letting gays wed would wreck the "ideal norm" of heterosexual marriage and undermine social and religious institutions.

During the second day of landmark hearings into whether Ottawa can extend the legal right to marry to same-sex couples, there were pointed questions from the high court bench to the opponents of gay marriage.

There was also a striking admission from the lawyer for the attorney-general of Canada, who said even the government is not sure how strong the religious-freedom protections are in draft legislation recognizing same-sex marriage.

Constitutional scholar Peter Hogg, speaking for Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, said courts will have to deal with concerns on a "case-by-case basis."


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