poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, November 22, 2004

Radio hosts vilified gays, tribunal rules
By Leonie Lamont

The radio station 2UE says it is about freedom of speech. Others say it is about freedom from shock jocks inciting hatred and fear towards homosexuals.

The Administrative Decisions Tribunal says it is not whether the word poof is derogatory, or is well accepted by gays; it is whether a discussion by the 2UE presenters Steve Price and John Laws of two gay men appearing on the reality television show The Block "incited hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of homosexual men".

Yesterday the tribunal found that it did constitute homosexual vilification, a decision 2UE said it would appeal against. The tribunal said that given the dominant position of Laws and Price as opinion makers, their comments were capable of "inciting others to more than mere mockery or derision ... [but] to severe ridicule", which was a breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act.

It said that for 50 minutes Price talked about the "young poofs", who were "renovating in their undies", had been condescending and patronising to listeners who disagreed with him, and had verged on the contemptuous when he said "... they could do all sorts of grubby things at about 11 o'clock at night".


Oregon Republican to push for law allowing civil unions
The Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. — Just a few weeks ago, state Sen. Ben Westlund voted "yes" on Measure 36 to ban gay marriages in Oregon.

Now, the Central Oregon lawmaker is hard at work drafting a civil-unions bill for the 2005 Legislature to give gay and lesbian couples some of the rights bestowed on married couples.

"It's just the right thing to do," the Tumalo Republican says. "Nothing in Measure 36 prevents the Legislature from affording equal rights and privileges to same-sex couples."

Not everyone in the Oregon Legislature agrees, though, and Westlund's sponsorship of a civil-unions law will thrust him into the middle of what likely will be one of the thorniest debates of the 2005 session


Blessings for same sex relationships increasing in C of E

The Church of England is "yielding to increasing pressure" to conduct blessings for gay partnerships as the Civil Partnerships Act recognising same-sex unions comes into force next year, reports the Times newspaper.

Ceremonies by Anglican priests blessing lesbian and gay partnerships increased by 10 per cent last year to 300 in England alone reports the newspaper.


Court Says Both in Gay Union Are Parents
By Jonathan Finer
Washington Post Staff Writer

A Vermont family court has ruled that both parties in a same-sex civil union are legal parents of a child, a contradiction of an earlier Virginia court ruling that awarded custody to the biological parent.

The cases center on Lisa and Janet Miller-Jenkins, who were joined in a civil union in the Green Mountain State in 2000 and split up last year. They are now embroiled in a contentious custody dispute over Isabella, 2, to whom Lisa Miller-Jenkins gave birth in Virginia after being artificially inseminated.

In August, Frederick County Judge John R. Prosser ruled that Lisa Miller-Jenkins is Isabella's "sole parent," citing a Virginia law that prohibits recognition of same-sex unions.

But in a Nov. 17 ruling, Rutland Family Court Judge William D. Cohen in Vermont wrote that "parties to a civil union who use artificial insemination to conceive a child can be treated no differently than a husband and wife, who, unable to conceive a child biologically, choose to conceive a child by inseminating the wife with the sperm of an anonymous donor."


Policewoman was "sacked over sexuality"
Ben Townley, UK

A leading policewoman is taking her employers to court, claiming she was forced out of her job because of her sexuality.

Chief Superintendent Patsy Lord claimed West Mercia Police encouraged her to retire after taking offence at her being a lesbian. She says this is despite her work on high profile cases and her career success.

The case comes after Lord was faced with an inquiry into bullying. Despite the inquiry clearing her of the accusations, and being attacked for wasting valuable police time, Lord says she was never given her former job back.

Speaking to the local press this weekend, Lord said she was “devastated” by the decision not to reinstate her, and was angry at being told she would be “forcibly retired”.


Democrats renew efforts on behalf of gays, Latinos
By Kate Folmar
Mercury News Sacramento Bureau

If at first you don't succeed, should you really try, try again?

It's a question that could dog Democrats as two of the most controversial social issues in California -- gay marriage and driver's licenses for illegal immigrants -- come up again when lawmakers return Dec. 6.

By tradition, many legislators use the first day of the session to introduce a favorite bill, and Assemblyman Mark Leno and Sen. Gil Cedillo don't plan to wait another day. They plan to promptly introduce bills to legalize same-sex nuptials and driver's licenses for undocumented workers, again.

On these two issues, Democrats are between ``a rock and a hard spot,'' said Larry Gerston, a political-science professor at San Jose State University.


Conservatives Now Admit Gay Marriage Not Responsible For Breakups
by David Crary, Associated Press

(New York City) "Protection of marriage" is now the watchword for many activists fighting to prevent gays and lesbians from marrying. Some conservatives, however, say marriage in America began unraveling long before the latest gay-rights push and are pleading for a fresh, soul-searching look at the institution.

"When you talk about protecting marriage, you need to talk about divorce," said Bryce Christensen, a Southern Utah University professor who writes frequently about family issues.

While Christensen doesn't oppose the campaign to enact state and federal bans on gay marriage, he worries it's distracting from immediate threats to marriage's place in society.

"If those initiatives are part of a broader effort to reaffirm lifetime fidelity in marriage, they're worthwhile," he said. "If they're isolated - if we don't address cohabitation and casual divorce and deliberate childlessness - then I think they're futile and will be brushed aside."


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