The names of people who signed petitions seeking to overturn Washington’s “everything but marriage” same-sex domestic partner law won’t be released publicly following a federal judge’s temporary restraining order.
Sponsors of Referendum 71 went to U.S. District Court in Tacoma Wednesday seeking the order. U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle has set a full hearing on the matter for Sept. 3.
The names of everyone who signed Referendum-71 petitions are publicly available under open-government laws. A gay-rights group says it wants to post all the names online. But the R-71 campaign says that could lead to harassment.
Nick Handy, state elections director, said in a statement: “Referendum petitions become public records under the law once they have been turned over to us by sponsors. Our consistent practice has been to make these available upon public request. By early next week we will be in a position to make these available, and absent a court order, our intent has been to respond to public records requests in a timely way.”
Backers of R-71 turned in about 138,000 signatures Saturday. They need 120,577 valid voter signatures to qualify for the fall ballot.
Election officials suggest submitting about 150,000 signatures to offset any invalid signatures. Dave Ammons, spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, said usually about 18 percent of signatures checked turn out to be invalid.
The process of counting and verifying the signatures could go until the last week of August.
See IDs of gay partnership foes could be released next week Seattle Post Intelligencer
Prosecutors won’t pursue a case against two men accused of trespassing on LDS Church property earlier this month. An LDS Church security guard detained a gay couple on Salt Lake City’s Main Street Plaza on July 9 after observing the pair “kissing and hugging,” according to a police report. Derek Jones and Matt Aune were cited for trespassing after refusing to leave. The incident led to two kiss-in protests against the church in Salt Lake City and one in San Diego. Aune has said the couple’s display of affection was modest, but officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns the plaza, released a statement that the two men were “much more involved” than a “simple kiss on the cheek.” It said the couple “engaged in passionate kissing, groping, profane and lewd language, and had obviously been using alcohol.” In a statement released Wednesday, Salt Lake City Prosecutor Sim Gill said the trespassing case against Jones and Aune has been dropped. Gill said despite that Main Street Plaza is owned by the church, there “continues to be a mistaken belief by many visitors that there is a public right of way.”
Prosecutors won’t pursue a case against two men accused of trespassing on LDS Church property earlier this month.
An LDS Church security guard detained a gay couple on Salt Lake City’s Main Street Plaza on July 9 after observing the pair “kissing and hugging,” according to a police report.
Derek Jones and Matt Aune were cited for trespassing after refusing to leave. The incident led to two kiss-in protests against the church in Salt Lake City and one in San Diego.
Aune has said the couple’s display of affection was modest, but officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns the plaza, released a statement that the two men were “much more involved” than a “simple kiss on the cheek.” It said the couple “engaged in passionate kissing, groping, profane and lewd language, and had obviously been using alcohol.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Salt Lake City Prosecutor Sim Gill said the trespassing case against Jones and Aune has been dropped.
Gill said despite that Main Street Plaza is owned by the church, there “continues to be a mistaken belief by many visitors that there is a public right of way.”See Prosecutors drop case against gay couple accused of trespassing on … Salt Lake Tribune -
State officials won’t resist a temporary restraining order that would block public release of petition signatures for a gay-partnership referendum.
The case centers on Referendum 71, which would ask voters to approve or reject expanded partnership rights for gay couples.
The names of everyone who signed R-71 petitions are publicly available under open-government laws.
A gay-rights group is planning to post all the names online, so partnership supporters can talk to those people about the referendum.
But the R-71 campaign says that could lead to harassment. So they’re asking a federal judge to keep the petitions secret, until they can make their argument in court.
Author E. Lynn Harris, best known for his novels portraying black male characters conflicted with their sexuality, died Friday in Los Angeles at age 54. Host Michel Martin offers a remembrance of the bestselling author, who talked about his writing as a guest on Tell Me More. See E. Lynn Harris Made Sexuality A Bestseller
The Chicago Public Health Department’s alarming report, released Friday, that suggests the HIV infection rate among gay men in Chicago is nearly 20% has drawn varied responses from Chicago’s gay and lesbian community.
ChicagoPride.com surveyed a number of gay men on a busy Saturday night in Boystown.
From Waveland to Buckingham, the responses were varied with one common undertone that gay men no longer think HIV is a death sentence. And despite extensive media coverage on the recently release report, many were unaware of the report and its contents.
“I’m not at all surprised by these statistics.” Said thirty-something Al joined by Jared and Jamie outside of the Center on Halsted. “The fact that a lot of our own community members are not aware of their status is probably because of their fear of knowing.”
“We are very closeted in the U.S. regarding educating our youth,” added Jaime.
Some do not believe the numbers and conclusions published in the report.
“You can work the numbers however you want,” said Matthew a bartender at Buck’s. See Chicago HIV report sparks reaction
Vermont Freedom to Marry says it spent more than $293,000 lobbying lawmakers and the public on the same-sex marriage bill that was approved by the Legislature, far outspending its opponents.
In lobbyist disclosure forms filed Monday with the Vermont Secretary of State’s office, the pro-gay marriage group reported spending about $65,000 between April 1 and June 30 — some of it in the week leading up to the Legislature’s April 7 vote.
Take It to The People, which opposed the measure, spent about $10,000 altogether but none in the reporting period.
See Pro-gay marriage group spent big in Vermont Boston Herald
It’s no secret that Amsterdam is gay-friendly, but in case that slipped under anyone’s radar, Dutch tourism officials have launched a micro Web site this month proclaiming that “Everyone’s Gay in Amsterdam.”
The Web site, which is geared for American travelers, offers a “gay list” that features places like Pric, described as a “relaxed and funky gay-friendly bar” that “serves up unusual cocktails concocted by its highly-trained staff of bartenders.”
But a closer look reveals that not everyone in Amsterdam is, in fact, gay. A photograph of a seemingly happy straight couple biking along a canal? The Van Gogh Museum? A “gay locator” that doesn’t turns the entire city into an orange dot?
Turns out, “gay” doesn’t just reefer to sexual orientation, but “the attitude of the people in this grand European city,” according to the VisualMerc, a New York-based interactive agency that created the micro-site.
New York Times
PARIS — The Most Rev. Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, said profound differences among the world’s 77 million Anglicans over gay clergy and same-sex unions could divide their church into a “two-track model” yielding “two styles of being Anglican.”
The formula could avert a formal breach between liberals and conservatives but bring new strains in the relationship between the global Anglican Communion and American Episcopalians who resolved this month to open the door to ordaining openly gay bishops and to start the process of developing rites for same-sex marriages.
Archbishop Williams insisted that the issue should not be debated “in apocalyptic terms of schism and excommunication but plainly as what they are — two styles of being Anglican.”
In a lengthy message published Monday on his Web site, the archbishop offered a detailed and nuanced response to events at the Episcopal convention in Anaheim, Calif., this month when gay-rights advocates in the United States chalked up major victories over conservatives on sexual issues. The Episcopal Church is the official branch of the Anglican Communion in the United States.
The developments were seen by liberals and conservatives as likely turning points in the history of the divided Episcopal Church, reflecting the profound rifts over sexual issues within Anglicanism — the world’s third largest network of Christian churches after the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The differences have crystallized around the Episcopal Church’s consent in 2003 to the consecration of the church’s first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
The Episcopalians had agreed to a moratorium on the election of gay bishops, but it was lifted at the convention in Anaheim.
The archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, which is composed of 38 provinces worldwide. The Episcopal Church claims about 2.3 million members.
In his message, Archbishop Williams repeated his view that “a blessing for a same-sex union cannot have the authority” of the full Anglican Communion, any more than a blessing for a heterosexual couple living outside marriage would have.
That, in turn, means that as long as the broader church “as a whole does not bless same-sex unions, a person living in such a union cannot without serious incongruity have a representative function in a Church whose public teaching is at odds with their lifestyle.”
The issues have confronted the archbishop with deep divisions not simply between liberals and conservatives in the United States but also across the broader church with its many followers in Africa, Britain and elsewhere. Four conservative dioceses in the United States and many individual Episcopal churches have broken away from the national denomination to forge alliances with conservative Anglican groups such as the Anglican Church of Nigeria.
Archbishop Williams said: “There is at least the possibility of a twofold ecclesial reality in view in the middle distance: that is, a ‘covenanted’ Anglican global body, fully sharing certain aspects of a vision of how the Church should be and behave, able to take part as a body in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue; and, related to this body, but in less formal ways with fewer formal expectations, there may be associated local churches in various kinds of mutual partnership and solidarity with one another and with ‘covenanted’ provinces.”
The archbishop has promoted the idea of covenant — described by some analysts as a kind of good-behavior guide for churches — to overcome the rift.
“This has been called a ‘two-tier’ model, or, more disparagingly, a first- and second-class structure,” the archbishop’s message said. “But perhaps we are faced with the possibility rather of a ‘two-track’ model, two ways of witnessing to the Anglican heritage, one of which had decided that local autonomy had to be the prevailing value and so had in good faith declined a covenantal structure.”
The message continued: “It helps to be clear about these possible futures, however much we think them less than ideal, and to speak about them not in apocalyptic terms of schism and excommunication but plainly as what they are — two styles of being Anglican, whose mutual relation will certainly need working out but which would not exclude cooperation in mission and service of the kind now shared in the Communion.”
See Anglican Sees ‘Two-Track’ Church @ New York Times
- Archbishop warns ordination of gay clergy could lead to two-tier … guardian.co.uk
- Anglican Head Warns Of Two-Tier Church After Gay Vote On Top Magazine Archbishop of Canterbury responds to General Convention actions on … Austin American-Statesman
The cover photo of an out soldier on the British army’s official magazine is a symbol of the success of the military’s nearly decade-long policy to allow openly gay personnel, according to this article. The British military reportedly has been advising its U.S. counterparts on a strategy to repeal its own gay ban. The Independent (London)
Marriage-equality advocates are split about the timing of a ballot question to overturn the California’s Proposition 8 constitutional marriage ban. Some major backers, including David Bohnett, believe it’s better to postpone a possible 2010 vote rather than risk another defeat. But an informal poll of leaders affiliated with the Courage Campaign shows support for putting the repeal question on next year’s ballot. The deadline to file the question with the state attorney general is Sept. 25. The New York Times (7/26) , San Francisco Chronicle/Politics blog (7/25)