poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, July 24, 2006

Protest same-sex marriage ban on August 13

Sydney - People in eight cities and towns across Australia are taking action to protest against the federal ban on same-sex marriage, which was passed with Coalition and Labor party support on August 13, 2004.

The Australian government was the first in the world to ban same-sex marriage, setting the international benchmark for homophobic relationship legislation. Uganda, Nigeria, Latvia and Honduras followed suit.

This contrasts with the passage of same-sex marriage and civil union rights in many countries. England and the Czech Republic have enacted civil unions, and South Africa will enact same-sex marriage rights this year.

In the lead-up to the ban in Australia, same-sex couples were variously labelled as “moral terrorists of the 21st century”, “psychologically disturbed” and “unfit to raise children”. This year, the federal government took the ban on same-sex marriage a step further, overturning a law in the Australian Capital Territory to allow civil unions. At the national Queer Collaborations conference, held on July 3-7, prominent gay-rights activist Rodney Croome warned that federal banning of state laws allowing same-sex civil unions could follow.


Board to debate gay marriage

The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors may take up one of the most hot-button political topics this fall as a resolution supporting gay marriage moves slowly toward the board's agenda.

Two supervisors -- John Gioia and Mark DeSaulnier -- have said they would support the resolution, which endorses civil marriages and opposes a constitutional amendment to ban it on both the state and federal levels.

But the measure will not likely be heard until at least September, when the board returns from its summer break. It will be in the thick of a midterm election season when the issue might figure prominently in races across the country.


Gay Nups Bills Pushed in N.Y., 4 Other States 

Gay rights advocates will continue to follow a strategy employing both litigation and legislation to win full marriage rights for gay couples in carefully selected states, according to a gay rights attorney considered the lead strategist for same-sex marriage.

Evan Wolfson, executive director of the same-sex marriage advocacy group Freedom to Marry, said bills calling for legal recognition of same-sex marriage are pending and have a chance of moving forward in California, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine.

At the same time, court cases seeking to overturn laws that ban same-sex marriage are awaiting a final ruling in California, Washington and New Jersey, and similar cases are moving through lower courts in Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland and Oklahoma.


NUT seek pre-school gay awareness

Nurseries must play their part in challenging homophobia from an early age amongst pupils, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has warned.

The NUT reacted to The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) consultation from the Department for Education and Skills on policies regarding pre-school children up to 5 years old.

The report said: “By five years old many children have already internalised gender-role expectations, through the process of socialisation. Early years education, amongst other cultural and social factors, plays an important role in young children’s socialisation.


Gay activists outraged at ‘lie’

Two photographs, showing the public execution last year of two teen-age boys in Iran have angered the gay community across the world since they raced across the Internet after the Iranian Student News Association reported the July 19, 2005, execution. The two boys quickly became gay martyrs, killed, said activists, only because they desired each other and acted on that desire.

Two young men, believed to be aged 16 and 18, are seen shackled in a prison van, sobbing; one of them is then seen being led to a scaffold; other shots show the boys together with dark-hooded men placing nooses around the boys' necks; and two final images show their bodies hanging from ropes, in a large public square, as a crowd watches from a distance.

But as human rights groups looked into the initial Iranian accounts, the waters muddied. The boys, identified as Ayaz Marhoni and Mahmoud Asgari, were said to have been convicted not for homosexual conduct but for raping a 13-year-old boy. Gay journalists, writing on blogs, cited sources in Iran who said that claim was a smoke screen used by the Iranian government to deflect outrage over the execution.


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