poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, October 22, 2004

Gay youth oppose police in Village

An activist group that has had a stormy relationship with West Village residents marched through the neighborhood on Oct. 16. It demanded, among other things, an end to what they describe as continued harassment and discrimination by local residents and police.

FIERCE! or Fiercely Independent and Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment, brought an estimated 300 people to a rally and protest in Sheridan Square Park across from the Stonewall Inn. Despite a cool rain a number of gay and transgender youth talked about their experiences in the neighborhood during a press conference. Many argued that they have been pushed out.

“We are being totally ignored and they are pushing us back out into neighborhoods that are not safe for us,” FIERCE! spokesperson Angel Seda stated


Group protests at Arkansas City school
By Cindy Klose
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

They were lined up on opposite sides of the street, with signs of opposing views on a new club at Arkansas City High School.

The school board called it a First Amendment decision when it approved the Gay-Straight Alliance.  Members of a Topeka church known for their anti-gay feelings showed up Thursday morning to protest that decision. 

Yelling things like "God hates the educators and the teachers and the parents of Arkansas city," members of Fred Phelps group stood outside the high school with signs.

But they were outnumbered by students who thought it was important to support their classmates, even if they don't always agree with them.


Pro-repeal has $556K
Drake also spends for levy
Enquirer staff report

Gay-rights activists trying to rid Cincinnati's charter of Article XII have had $556,244 to spend this year, compared to $145,081 for their opponents, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday with the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

While the pro-repeal Citizens to Restore Fairness claims more than 2,000 individual and business contributors, the sources of support for the anti-Issue 3 campaign are a mystery.

The entire bankroll for the Equal Rights Not Special Rights Committee comes from conservative activist Phil Burress and his Citizens for Community Values, a Sharonville-based organization whose primary goal is "public awareness of the destructive impact of obscenity, pornography


Bettendorf civil rights provision now likely
By Tory Brecht

The inclusion of a sexual orientation provision in the City of Bettendorf civil rights ordinance appears inevitable despite growing vocal opposition, including that of Mayor Mike Freemire and his wife, Lori.

When the City Council voted 6-2 two weeks ago in favor of extending discrimination protection to gays and lesbians, all but one of the audience members who spoke up did so in favor of the ordinance amendment


`Nyack 10' lose court case, promise appeal
Associated Press Writer

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Ten same-sex couples, including the mayor of Nyack and his partner, have lost the lawsuit they filed when New York State denied them marriage licenses.

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Alfred Weiner ruled Thursday in New City that the state's domestic relations law limited marriage licenses to heterosexual couples, the plaintiffs' lawyer, Norman Siegel, said Friday.

The couples, known as the "Nyack 10," had claimed that the law did not specifically ban same-sex couples. But the judge said the Legislature's use of phrases such as "husband and wife" and "bride and groom" made its intentions clear.

The couples had also claimed that the denial of marriage licenses was unconstitutional discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but Weiner dismissed that as well.


Marriage amendment filed in Virginia
Measure follows DOMA and Marriage Affirmation Act

Virginia gay rights groups expressed outrage this week at the introduction of a proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage in the state.

Virginia House Joint Resolution No. 528, which was pre-filed on Oct. 8 for the 2005 session of the General Assembly, would add a subsection to the state’s Bill of Rights explicitly outlawing gay marriage.

The proposed amendment states: “To be valid or recognized in this Commonwealth, a marriage may exist only between one man and one woman. No provision of this Constitution shall be interpreted to require the Commonwealth to recognize or permit marriage between individuals of the same sex.”

The resolution’s main patron, Del. John A. Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake), could not be reached for comment by press deadline. Phone calls to the Family Foundation, a Virginia group that supports laws that exclude gay couples from marrying, were also not returned immediately.


Student Taunted With Gay Epithets Appeals Ruling
by Rich Peters Western Canada Bureau Chief

(Vancouver, British Columbia) A former North Vancouver student who claims he was bullied for five years is appealing a court ruling that said because he is straight he wasn't protected under the law.

Azmi Jubran, had told the Human Rights Commission tribunal that even though he is not gay he was routinely called "faggot," "homo" and "gay" while attending Handsworth Secondary from 1993 to 1998. He had a variety of objects thrown at him and was kicked and spat upon. Students threatened to drop him in acid and to rape him with a broom. During a school camping trip his tent was urinated on.

Principal Terry Shaw testified he had never seen a student harassed as badly as Jubran was, but with almost 13,000 students and only 70 teachers, he didn't have the resources to stop it completely.

The tribunal condemned the attacks and awarded Jubran $4,000 in damages.  But, the school board appealed and a judge overturned the commission decision saying that the bullying wasn't homophobic because Jubran is straight.


Gay Man Criticizes Palestinian Society
By Alex Tehranian
Special to The Hoya

A Palestinian man described the challenges of living as a homosexual in what he deemed an oppressive society last Tuesday in New South.

Disguised with a wig, sunglasses and a fake mustache, he offered only his first name, Ali. He said he was unwilling to reveal his last name or hometown for fear of being discovered by the Palestinian Authority.

Ali had harsh words for the environment he said homosexuals were forced into by the Palestinian Authority.

“There is no freedom to speak about my homosexuality,” he said. “That’s what I’m experiencing in my Palestinian society as in the rest of the Arab world.”


Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Gay Marriage Amendment  
by The Associated Press

(Columbus, Ohio)  The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a legal challenge to placing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the November ballot.

The court ruled 6-1 against opponents of the amendment who challenged the validity of the initiative as it was submitted to the Secretary of State's office.

The decision paves the way for the amendment, which bans gay marriage and prevents local or state government from recognizing same-sex couples in any fashion, to appear on the Nov. 2 ballot. This was the last pending legal challenge, both sides said.

The opponents argued the initiative was invalid because it lacked the required summary and certification from the Ohio attorney general.


Gays fear marriage ban will end benefits

Sherri Stetten was added to the health benefits plan held by her partner, Julie Stetten, a webmaster at the University of Michigan, when her new employer, a small family-owned business, didn't provide coverage.

Six years ago that seemed the perfect solution to avoiding costly private insurance premiums. Today, the Ann Arbor pair is among 213 couples in jeopardy of losing their U-M partner benefits if Michigan voters pass a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage Nov. 2.

"A lot of people are scared," said Julie Stetten, who has worked at the university for 20 years and celebrated her 11th anniversary with Sherri on Thursday.

Depending on whom you ask, the proposed ban will either eliminate benefits for same-sex couples at some universities, public school districts and cities or simply solidify Michigan's constitutional stance that marriage is between a man and woman. People on both sides of the issue agree that organized labor agreements providing for partner benefits couldn't be changed until contracts expire.


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