poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, November 05, 2004

S.C. next to ban gay marriage?
State legislators from area to push for statewide referendum on 2006 ballot

When the next wave of referendums seeking to ban gay marriage sweeps across the nation, expect South Carolina to be among the states trying to do so.

In Tuesday's national elections, voters in 11 states amended their constitutions to ban gay marriage.

State Rep. Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill, has already requested that House staffers begin researching those amendments to help with drafting one for South Carolina. He plans on pushing to have the issue appear on the ballot for the 2006 gubernatorial election.

"I see absolutely nothing but positive from having that question on the ballot," Simrill said. "I would think in South Carolina, the numbers would be a good majority if not a super-majority."


Too many voting ’irregularities’ to be coincidence

Right now there is no hard proof, but the circumstantial evidence is a mile high. Looking at all of these ’irregularities’ it’s hard to imagine how one could conclude that this election was clean.

1. There were complaints in several states about the touchscreen voting machines not working properly.

Roberta Harvey, 57, of Clearwater, Fla., said she had tried at least a half dozen times to select Kerry-Edwards when she voted Tuesday at Northwood Presbyterian Church.

After 10 minutes trying to change her selection, the Pinellas County resident said she called a poll worker and got a wet-wipe napkin to clean the touch screen as well as a pencil so she could use its eraser-end instead of her finger. Harvey said it took about 10 attempts to select Kerry before and a summary screen confirmed her intended selection.


Language of gay marriage ban may allow civil unions
By WILLIAM McCALL, Associated Press Writer

The language of the state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage could require courts to decide whether it also permits civil unions between same-sex partners, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The amendment approved Tuesday by Oregon voters is open to interpretation because -- unlike similar amendments approved in 10 other states -- it does not contain explicit language forbidding same-sex marriage, said Dave Fidanque, ACLU spokesman.

"In every other state that considered one of these constitutional amendments, the language was unambiguous," Fidanque said.

Kelly Clark, attorney for the Defense of Marriage Coalition, said the amendment that Oregon voters approved with Measure 36 is clear.


No Surrender

President Bush isn't a conservative. He's a radical - the leader of a coalition that deeply dislikes America as it is. Part of that coalition wants to tear down the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt, eviscerating Social Security and, eventually, Medicare. Another part wants to break down the barriers between church and state. And thanks to a heavy turnout by evangelical Christians, Mr. Bush has four more years to advance that radical agenda.

Democrats are now, understandably, engaged in self-examination. But while it's O.K. to think things over, those who abhor the direction Mr. Bush is taking the country must maintain their intensity; they must not succumb to defeatism.


Donation helps P'town gay-marriage fund

PROVINCETOWN - As political analysts count strong national opposition to same-sex marriage among the reasons President Bush won re-election, gay-friendly Provincetown continues to bolster its legal fund to defend the rights of gays and lesbians to marry.

Even though Provincetown prides itself as being a bastion of tolerance, it appears to be well out of step with much of the rest of the nation, where ballot initiatives in several states affirmed the institution of marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

Provincetown this week received a substantial financial contribution to its Same-sex Marriage Defense Fund. The special tax-deductible gift fund was created by the town to defray any legal costs that may arise from the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts.


Assaults at ‘gay haunt’
By Sally Henfield

TWO men have been assaulted in separate incidents at a notorious gay road side haunt in Hanworth, which saw one of the men being hit over the head with a brick before being robbed.

The first assault occurred on Monday afternoon at the lay-by on Country Way on the A316, which leads into the M3. A gentleman in his sixties received minor injuries after a gang of youths started to throw stones at him. Four youths have since been arrested and released on bail, a fifth is still being sought.

Later that evening a man was stopped by a four individuals wearing balaclavas who demanded money from him. The man was hit over the head with a brick, receiving minor head injuries.


Forum Focuses on Queer Homeless Youth
NYU event draws together experts and young people who have lived on the streets

Dressed in a black blazer and a skirt, Johnnie Ray Artis, 23, known to friends and acquaintances as Charlene, stood in front of about 70 people at New York University’s Cantor Film Center last Thursday evening.

“My words are gonna be harsh––even though I don’t do this often,” she began, taking a deep breath.

Artis was one of four homeless young people who spoke at a community discussion held October 28 on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) youth who find themselves living on the streets. The discussion, organized by The Queer Economic Justice Network in cooperation with a host of homeless and gay advocacy groups, included a youth speak-out, a panel presentation by experts in the field and an interactive question and answer session.

Artis continued her story, saying that she was born to parents who were comfortable economically, but that “things began to go downhill” when her father died. After becoming homeless, the first shelter she found her way to with a friend was Covenant House, the city’s largest facility, located in Chelsea. She thought she could trust her friend, and told him that she was bisexual. Soon, she began to be abused verbally and physically. At one point, she said, the other youths in the shelter threw batteries at her. Artis complained to the staff, but Covenant House officials said they saw


Anti-gay Republicans win U.S. Senate races

WASHINGTON — The Bush campaign strategy of using the gay marriage issue to help energize President Bush’s social conservative base appeared to pay off Tuesday, as the GOP expanded its majorities in both houses of Congress. Several newly elected GOP senators are virulently hostile to gay rights.

In South Carolina, Republican Jim DeMint, who said in a campaign ad that the “government cannot approve and promote homosexuality,” won handily over Democratic challenger Inez Tenenbaum. In early October, DeMint found himself on the defensive and during his first campaign debate with Tenenbaum, he advocated banning gays from teaching in public schools.

In what was expected by pundits to be a close race, Republican Oklahoma Senate candidate Tom Coburn trounced his Democratic opponent, Brad Carson. Coburn, who most recently chaired the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV/AIDS, has said that the gay “agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today.”


Schools upset over affiliation with gay youth group

ROSEBURG, Ore. - A task force supporting gay youth in Douglas County has upset several schools over the use of their names on its letterhead.

A letter issued by The Coalition for Sexual Minority Youth was sent to media outlets last week to advertise the formation of a monthly club called 'Club Queer.' It helps disenfranchised youth gather safely without threats.


Texas Board of Education to vote on changing textbooks to define marriage

AUSTIN The Texas Board of Education will vote soon on whether to approve textbooks that one board member says should be changed to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Board member Terri Leo says some middle-and-high-school health books contain "asexual stealth phrases" that disregard a state ban on recognizing same-sex civil unions. Leo wants language like "individuals who marry" changed to "husbands and wives.


Socialist is Bulgaria's First Gay Politician to Come out

A young member of the Socialist Party is the first politically involved Bulgarian to openly acknowledge his homosexuality.

Ivelin Yordanov, 26, works in a non-governmental organization and has committed himself to the fight against discrimination toward homosexual persons, according to reports in local 168 Hours Weekly.

A party which defends different sexual orientations can only win points, says Yordanov, an Economy University graduate from the town of Dobrich.


Campus community reacts to Proposal 2
By Kate Finneren
Central Michigan Life

Campus community members opposed to the now approved Michigan constitutional “marriage protection” amendment are questioning state voters’ motives.

Proposal 2 bans same-sex marriage and could jeopardize public and private companies’ ability to offer domestic partnership benefits.

It was one of 11 such measures appearing on state ballots and passing Tuesday. The Michigan amendment was approved by 59 percent of the state vote and about 55 percent of the Isabella County vote.

James Jones, co-president of the CMU Association for Lesbian and Gay Faculty and Staff and the foreign languages, literature and cultures department chairman, said the amendment was passed out of fear.


Interfaith group to protest Atlanta Catholic archbishop
Soulforce urges bishops to see ‘sanctity’ of gay members

A national gay-supportive religious organization wants Roman Catholic bishops to withdraw attacks on gay citizens and instead recognize the “sanctity” of their lives.

Soulforce, an interfaith movement dedicated to ending what it terms spiritual violence against gay people, plans vigils at the Archdiocese of Atlanta and other local Roman Catholic Church chanceries throughout the country on Nov. 9.

The vigils are planned after failed attempts to bring about dialogues with local bishops, according to officials with the Lynchburg, Va.-based group. The Nov. 9 date is also an attempt to receive attention for their cause before the bishops attend the national U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Nov. 14 in Washington, D.C., said Chris Merritt, spokesperson for Atlanta’s Soulforce chapter


Sign upsets residents
ByTim Leeds/Havre Daily News

Havre city officials were preparing to take legal action to remove a sign - derogatory to homosexuals and containing an obscene phrase - that had been placed across from City Hall when the problem resolved itself. The sign disappeared overnight.

The sign was installed by Havre businessman Erik Meis on Tuesday night or early Wednesday. Meis acknowledged today that he put up the sign but declined to comment further.

The sign, on a fence on property owned by Meis on the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Fourth Street, made a derogatory comment about homosexuals, apparently in support of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The sign read: "Silly Faggot, Dicks are for Chicks."


Gay bishop blasts presidential race
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE -- Questioning the meaning of "moral values" and warning of arrogance and hegemony, Bishop V. Gene Robinson said at Colby College on Thursday that the tragedy of polarization was an inability to admit vulnerability or doubt.

Robinson prefaced his wide-ranging speech by warning that his remarks were "unfiltered and unanalyzed." He went on to criticize both Republicans and Democrats for exploiting fear in the presidential campaigns, took a dig at the religious right and called for replacing the idea of "winning" with the idea of "reconciliation."

"It's astounding that Bush won't admit he's done anything wrong (on Iraq)," he said. "And (Democratic presidential candidate John) Kerry won't admit that he has no better plan to get the United States out of Iraq. Because we didn't want to talk about that, let's talk about gay marriage instead -- the greatest 'weapon of mass destruction.' "


Nfld. women challenge provincial marriage laws, seek licence to wed

ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. (CP) - Two gay couples have filed a lawsuit against the Newfoundland and federal governments, making the province the latest battleground for same-sex marriage in Canada.

It is the first court challenge of marriage laws in Newfoundland and Labrador - one of six provinces and territories where homosexual unions are not recognized by law. "We love each other (and) we built a home together," Lisa Zigler, one of four women involved in the lawsuit, said Thursday. "We are a family and this is the last step of getting official recognition as a family."


D.C. Transgender Prostitute's Killer Gets 10 Years
By Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writer

A Northeast Washington man who killed a prostitute last year after realizing that the prostitute was not a woman was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison.

Derrick A. Lewis, 23, who pleaded guilty in August to voluntary manslaughter while armed in the death of Aaryn Marshall, said only a few words during yesterday's sentencing in D.C. Superior Court.


GOP Senator Weighing Switch To Democrats
by Newscenter Staff

(Washington)  Rhode Island Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee is reportedly considering jumping to the Democratic Party.

New London, Conn. newspaper The Day reports that Chafee is unhappy with the GOP under President Bush, which he says has moved too far to the right.

“Clearly we're trying to digest the situation,” Chafee spokesperson Stephen Hourhan told the paper. “Ultimately, it's a question of what he wants to do and when he wants to do it.”

U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, (D-Conn.) told The Day that Democrats would welcome Chafee with open arms.


Students walk out to protest gay-marriage ban
The Associated Press  

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The students at North Eugene High School were too young to vote in this week's election, but they were old enough to be upset with the adults who cast ballots.

 More than 100 students walked out of their classes Thursday to protest the approval of Measure 36, the proposal to ban gay marriage that was decisively approved by Oregon voters.

Kristin "Khushi" Shrestha, 16, said the protest grew out of the frustration students felt Wednesday morning.

"Everybody came to school and they were so depressed," she said. "Our world is changing before our eyes. Our rights are going down the drain, and there's nothing we can do about it because we can't even vote yet."


Kerry refused to take Clinton's antigay advice

A new report from inside the John Kerry campaign suggests that in the final weeks of the campagin former president Bill Clinton advised Kerry to come out in favor of ballot measures that wrote antigay marriage discimination into the constitutions of 11 states. According to the latest issue of Newsweek, "Looking for a way to pick up swing voters in the red states, former president Bill Clinton, in a phone call with Kerry, urged the senator to back local bans on gay marriage. Kerry respectfully listened, then told his aides, 'I'm not going to ever do that.'"


Heath plans to fight Maine gay-rights bill
Staff Writer

Saying he feels "emboldened" by Tuesday's election results, the head of the Christian Civic League of Maine is calling on state lawmakers and Gov. John E. Baldacci to abandon a planned push for a new gay-rights law.

In an interview Thursday, Michael Heath celebrated that 11 states on Tuesday approved constitutional bans on gay marriage and that conservative Christians apparently had a profound effect on the presidential race. He also spoke of a growing cultural struggle, and claimed Americans on Tuesday rejected the "agenda" of homosexuals such as Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the leader of the New Hampshire Episcopal Church.

"I think we're at the beginning of a cultural renewal, where the red states are asserting themselves," Heath said, using shorthand for states that voted Tuesday for George W. Bush. "I don't think the world view of the blue states is going to prevail."

Maine, of course, is a blue state, won by U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry on Tuesday. But Heath believes Mainers do not favor gay-rights legislation, even though Maine is the only New England state without a law prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians.


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