poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Immigration web site flooded with queries from U.S. anti-Bush visitors

OTTAWA (CP) - Canada's immigration website is being flooded with a record-smashing number of visits from U.S. Democrats dismayed by the prospect of four more years living under President George W. Bush.

His re-election has some long-faced U.S. liberals apparently musing that perhaps Canada's cold winters, high taxes and strained health system are more easily endured than their commander-in-chief. A new record was set within hours of Bush's acceptance speech as six times more Americans than usual surfed the site Wednesday. The overall number of 179,000 visitors was almost twice the previous one-day record set last year and a whopping 64 per cent of visitors - 115,016 - were from the United States. .


Openly Lesbian MCC Church Leader Is New Sheriff of Dallas, TX

Metropolitan Community Churches
From The MCC Communications Department

Openly Lesbian MCC Leader Lupe Valdez
Elected Sheriff of Dallas County, Texas

Dallas, Texas - On November 2, Lupe Valdez, a longtime member and lay
leader of Metropolitan Community Churches, was elected as the new Sheriff of Dallas County in Texas.

The Dallas Morning News describes Lupe's election as a "breakthrough
victory." An article under the headline "Valdez scores historic victory" notes that Lupe is the first woman and the first Hispanic to be elected Dallas County Sheriff in this heavily Republican county.


Published on Thursday, November 4, 2004 by The Progressive
A Letter to Incredulous Friends Around the World
by Matthew Rothschild

Dear friends:

I'm sorry. I really am.

I know it must be impossible for you to understand the choice the American public made on November 2.

It's almost impossible for me, too, and I've lived here all 46 years of my life.

Why would Americans choose, by a margin of more than 3,500,000 votes, to return George W. Bush to office after all that he's done?

After he pulled out of the Kyoto Accords?

After he trashed the ABM Treaty?


Parliament raises legal status of homosexual couples
Coalition enables lesbian, homosexual partners to adopt children and receive pension benefits
By William Pratt

The ceremony looked like any other wedding. There were roses, kisses and tears to celebrate the special occasion.

But one thing did set this service apart from the rest. The couple being united were two women - Angela Gobelin and Verena Lappe. And they were among the first to take advantage of a new federal law on Aug. 1, 2001, that allows homosexuals to seal their relationship in a civil ceremony.

“It is wonderful that there is now a ritual for people like us,“ Gobelin said shortly after her ceremony was completed in Hamburg on that summer day three years ago.

Last Friday, the national government coalition that cleared the legal aisle for homosexuals took another legislative step that brings gay and lesbian couples one step closer to having the same legal rights as heterosexual couples. The national parliament passed a law that, among other things, grants homosexuals the right to adopt the children of their partners and allows surviving partners to draw the federal pension benefits of their deceased partners.


Gay parents express chagrin on 36 vote
A Salem couple says amendment chips away at civil rights
Statesman Journal

Heather Burns and her partner, Colleen Henery, have stayed together, loving and committed, for 20 years.

They parent two daughters, ages 8 and 5.

They make for a tight-knit family, belonging to a larger, welcoming community at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem.

The couple's enduring bonds won't unravel in the wake of Tuesday's voter approval of a statewide ban on gay marriage, Burns said Wednesday.


ACLU seeks to allow students to exhibit gay-pride messages
Associated Press

WEBB CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A southwest Missouri high school student who was told he could not wear a T-shirt with a gay-pride message to class is getting support from the American Civil Liberties Union.


Gay-rights activists look to the courts
By Lornet Turnbull
Seattle Times staff reporter

A year that brought gay and lesbian couples hope, when the potential for legitimate marriage seemed euphorically within reach, came to a dispiriting end for many of them Tuesday at the ballot box.

Voters in 11 states — in the Northwest, throughout the Midwest and in the Deep South — amended their constitutions to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

Opponents of the bans had expected broad defeat but had hoped at least that a well-oiled, well-funded campaign in Oregon would prevent a nationwide shutout.


Electing to Leave
A reader’s guide to expatriating on November 3
Posted on Wednesday, November 3, 2004. Originally from Harper's Magazine, October 2004. By Bryant Urstadt.

So the wrong candidate has won, and you want to leave the country. Let us consider your options.

Renouncing your citizenship

Given how much the United States as a nation professes to value freedom, your freedom to opt out of the nation itself is surprisingly limited. The State Department does not record the annual number of Americans renouncing their citizenship—“renunciants,” as they are officially termed—but the Internal Revenue Service publishes their names on a quarterly basis in the Federal Register. The IRS’s interest in the subject is, of course, purely financial; since 1996, the agency has tracked ex-Americans in the hopes of recouping tax revenue, which in some cases may be owed for up to ten years after a person leaves the country. In any event, the number of renunciants is small. In 2002, for example, the Register recorded only 403 departures, of which many (if not most) were merely longtime resident aliens returning home.

The most serious barrier to renouncing your citizenship is that the State Department, which oversees expatriation, is reluctant to allow citizens to go “stateless.” Before allowing expatriation, the department will want you to have obtained citizenship or legal asylum in another country—usually a complicated and expensive process, if it can be done at all. Would-be renunciants must also prove that they do not intend to live in the United States afterward. Furthermore, you cannot renounce inside U.S. borders; the declaration must be made at a consul’s office abroad.


Conservative Group Calls For Canadian Referendum On Gay Marriage
by Jan Prout Toronto Bureau

(Toronto, Ontario) With gay marriage legal in six regions of Canada and before the courts in two others a rightwing organization Thursday called for a national referendum to put an end to same-sex unions.

Friday, a court in Saskatchewan is to rule on gay marriage, and today, two Newfoundland lesbian couples launched a lawsuit against the federal and provincial governments challenging the province's traditional definition of marriage.


White House claims mandate for Bush agenda

The White House claimed a second-term mandate Thursday for President Bush's agenda. The president reached out for the broad support of Americans on Wednesday, even those who voted against him. The president immediately called for renewed attention to a constitutional ban on gay marriage and moving "this good-hearted nation toward a culture of life."

"Reaching these goals will require the broad support of Americans," Bush said as he asked Sen. John Kerry's disappointed supporters to back him--even though many of his proposals are anathema to those who opposed his reelection. "I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust," he said. "When we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."


Federal amendment may be next gay marriage battle zone
By David Crary
The Associated Press

Elated by an 11-for-11 rejection of gay marriage in state elections, conservatives Wednesday urged Congress to follow suit by approving a federal constitutional amendment that would extend the prohibition nationwide.

The state victories ``are a prelude to the real battle,'' said Matt Daniels, whose Alliance for Marriage has pushed for congressional action. ``Ultimately, only our Federal Marriage Amendment will protect marriage.''

Gay activists, though dejected by the overwhelming rebuff, vowed to keep fighting in the courts for marriage rights. Several lawsuits are pending, and more are planned.

Matt Foreman of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force described the election results as ``a right hook to the chin ... but certainly not a knockout.'' Said Oregon activist Roey Thorpe, ``On the road to equality and freedom there are always setbacks.''


Nepal's only gay organisation wins Thai honour:

[World News]: Kathmandu, Nov 4 : The only gay organisation in Nepal fighting for the rights of sexual minorities and a regular target of police crackdowns has won a prestigious award instituted by the Bangkok-based first gay Internet portal.

The Kathmandu-based NGO Blue Diamond Society is among the five recipients of the 5th annual Utopia Awards, described by the hosts as "Asia's leading gay human rights celebration".
The three-year-old unique Nepalese body has been chosen for its work to protect the health and human rights of Nepal's sexual minorities, a press release issued by Utopia said.

The other winners of the awards, to be handed out in the Thai capital Nov 19, include Malaysian Billy Wong (for his work helping to establish the world's largest network of gay Asian/non-Asian groups), Thai dancer Pakorn Pimton (for his work related to AIDS and founding the Bangkok Gay Festival), and Thailand's first pride parade and Thai bar owner Poonsak Sanchan for his community building and founding of the Phuket Gay Festival and Parade.

The award ceremony will be conducted Natee Teerarojjanapongs, currently running for election as Thailand's first openly gay senator.


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