poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, November 05, 2004

Saskatchewan court rules definition of marriage unconstitutional
Tim Cook
Canadian Press

SASKATOON (CP) - Gay couples may now tie the knot in more than half of the provinces and territories in the country after a Saskatchewan court ruled the traditional definition of marriage is unconstitutional Friday.

In a five-page ruling, Justice Donna Wilson sided with courts in five other provinces and one territory, saying existing marriage laws discriminate against gay couples.

"The common-law definition of marriage for civil purposes is declared to be 'the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others,' " Wilson wrote.

"We've turned the corner," proclaimed Greg Walen, the lawyer for the five gay couples who were challenging the law in Saskatchewan.


Pro-choice ACLU barred on campus
Similar club, not affiliated with national organization, permitted
By Andrea Ford

The American Catholic Church and the American Civil Liberties Union have been longtime sparring partners over contraception and abortion issues. This year, their historical opposition played out right here on campus when the University refused to allow a group of students to form its own chapter of the outspoken political group.

Instead, the University allowed the students to form its own group, the Villanova Civil Liberties Association, expressly not affiliated with the national organization that helped secure the legalization of abortion 31 years ago.

"It's problematic to have a group affiliated with a national organization that takes positions against Catholic teachings," said Tom Mogan, director of Student Development. "The ACLU does a lot of things that are consistent with the mission ... but there are some of their issues that are in conflict with the Catholic teaching."


Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Plead Case Before Judge

SAN FRANCISCO -- Opponents of gay marriage told a California judge Thursday that same-sex unions are contrary to the purpose of marriage itself: procreation.

Robert Tyler, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based Christian law firm who is fighting San Francisco's lawsuit trying to legalize same-sex marriages in California, also said that gay marriages are not ideal institutions to raise children, either.

In an interview, he said, "clearly, the best environment for children" is a marriage between a man and woman. A same-sex marriage, he said, would deprive a child of either a mother or father.

The ADF arguments were submitted to Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer in a case brought by San Francisco, and gays denied marriage licenses. They sued in state court here, claiming the California Constitution's equal protection clause permits gay marriage, despite a state law defining it as between opposite sexes


The War on Gays
Contributed by: Captain Flynn

You've heard of the War on Drugs, and the War on Terrorism. But who'd have thought the next war George W. Bush fought would be the War on Gays?

George W. Bush got his mandate on November 2nd. And what a mandate it was. Eleven states voted to outlaw gay marriage with constitutional amendments. Eight of them went so far as to ban civil unions .

That's right. To these states, taking away some rights wasn't good enough. They had to take away all rights.

Today we heard Stephen Harper in the House of Commons calling for the country to have a closer relationship with George W. Bush. We all remember Stephen Harper's position on gay marriage in the last election. Now, under George W. Bush's mandate, eleven states have written bigotry into their constitutions.


Boulder High School Students End Protest
By P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press Writer

BOULDER, Colo. (News 4) At least 85 students worried about war, a return of the draft and the future of the environment staged an overnight protest in the Boulder High School library before leaving peacefully Friday morning.

The students said they wanted assurances from political leaders about the direction of the country. Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., met with some of the students for about an hour after they left the library at 7 a.m.

"We're worried that in four years we're going to be at war with five countries and we're going to have no trees," senior Cameron Ely-Murdock said.


Media Matters'

Top Ten media failings in 2004


An open letter to activists from NOW President Kim Gandy

We will never give up.

As NOW activists gathered at the White House carrying signs that said "Count Every Vote" and "Democracy NOW," we learned that John Kerry would be conceding the election.

Despite pleas for the Kerry campaign to wait for the counting of hundreds of thousands of provisional ballots in Ohio, and for the verification of Florida results that were dramatically contrary to exit polling, the promise of the 2004 election is no more.

But the strength we gained, the alliances we created, the friends we made, the voters we registered, the debates we provoked, the activists we energized, the new feminists we elected to Congress and state legislatures . . . no one can take those away.

Your phone calls to friends and strangers, door-knocking in your own neighborhood or on the other side of the country, marching on Washington, emailing friends and co-workers, writing to undecided voters, organizing actions and events, contributing to NOW/PAC efforts and to campaigns across the country . . . in all those ways and more, you brought us to the edge of victory.



Homo Hate: Kerry Loses to Rove’s Anti-Gay Hysteria
by Doug Ireland
First Published in LA Weekly

The Republicans’ moralizing anti-gay crusade played a crucial role in George W. Bush’s re-election. The Rove-Bush decision to surf on the anti-gay backlash came about in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, in the spring of 2003, to overturn the so-called sodomy laws.

After that decision, there was a precipitous 20-point Gallup poll drop in numbers of those who thought gay sex should be legal, and support for civil unions also slalomed downward.

Under the guidance of Commissar Karl Rove, the Republicans crafted a strategy to make political hay out of the anti-gay backlash and to fuel its intensity, just as soon as the Massachusetts Supreme Court decided that denying marriage equality to gay people was a violation of fundamental civil rights. The tools to make gays a political scapegoat that would mobilize the 4 million evangelicals who failed to vote in 2000 — and at the same time appeal to Catholic adepts of anti-gay papal precepts — were the Federal Marriage Amendment and the 11 anti-gay state referenda on the marriage issue. These measures were seen as wedge issues to divide the traditional Democratic coalition by prejudiced appeals to blacks and Latinos. Last year, among blacks, the drop on legalizing gay marriage was, at 23 points, even sharper than the national average. A New York Times poll from August last year confirmed the backlash Gallup found, especially among blacks and Latinos, with strong majorities opposing gay marriage — 65 to 28 for blacks, 54 to 40 for Latinos. Out of numbers like these came the Bush-Rove anti-gay strategy.


Never underestimate the power of religiously-inspired hate
Whether in the Middle East or in Middle America......
by Mark Levine

Many have reacted with surprise that millions of Ohio voters who have been so impoverished by the Bush Presidency would vote to elect Bush based on "moral values," having been led to the polls by the most extreme anti-gay initiative in American history.  Ohio's Issue 1, on the same ballot as the Presidential race, passed last Tuesday.  The new law not only reiterates current Ohio law that gay people cannot marry each other:  it goes farther to deny Ohioans the right to have private contracts with each other, if such contracts provide gay couples health care or other job benefits.  Gay couples will no longer be allowed to will each other property, visit each other in hospitals, provide for their children, or have any other legal rights or contracts that would "approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."  
Their parental rights are hereby nullified.  And in Ohio (and most other states), any employer may fire gay people solely on the basis of homophobic animus. 


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