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New gay marriage ruling appealed in California
Thursday August 5, 2010 (Associated Press) Supporters of California's
same-sex marriage ban have filed an appeal after a U.S. Federal Court judge
overturned the controversial law.
The appeal was filed late Wednesday to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Both sides had said they would appeal if they lost. The appeal was filed by
Protect Marriage, a coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored
"This ruling, if allowed to stand, threatens not only Prop 8 in California
but the laws in 45 other states that define marriage as one man and one woman,"
said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, which
helped fund the 2008 campaign that led to the ban's passage.
The outcome in the appeals court could force the U.S. Supreme Court to confront
the question of whether gays have a constitutional right to wed.The appeal follows
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling Wednesday that the voter-approved
ban was unconstitutional.
Proposition 8 outlawed gay marriages in California, five months after they
were legalized by the state's Supreme Court. The proposition was approved by
52 per cent of California voters in a referendum and passed by the state legislature.
Two gay couples who said the ban violated their civil rights were plaintiffs
in the challenge.
Proposition 8 "fails to advance any rational basis for singling out gay
men and women," Walker wrote in his ruling. "[This law] does nothing
more than enshrine … that opposite-sex couples are superior." The ruling
is significant in that it's the first such ruling in a federal court.
Despite the favourable ruling for same-sex couples, gay marriage will not immediately
resume in California. The judge issued a temporary stay that stops his ruling
from being implemented. He said he wants to decide whether to suspend his decision
while it goes through the appeal process.Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont,
New Hampshire and Washington, D.C., all grant same-sex couples the right to
Massive community pressure forces Pride Toronto to backdown on draconian censorship policy
OUTeXpressionsWednesday June 23, 2010. The public reaction PTs latest
public statement issued at 5.30 pm today is slow. Pride Toronto has reversed
its May board resolution banning the term "Israeli Apartheid" and
will instead require all participants to sign and abide by the City of Toronto's
The social group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid the target of the ban has
declared a victory and congratulated the queer community for pushing Pride Toronto
to reverse its censorship decision.
This is a victory for the Palestine solidarity movement, which has faced censorship
and bullying tactics from the Israel lobby for far too long,” says Tim McCaskell,
a member of Queers
Against Israeli Apartheid. “The Israel lobby learned a tough lesson today
about our community’s proud history of standing up to censorship and human rights
During a meeting of the Coalition for Free Speech on June 17. One of the participants,
who is a volunteer with Pride Toronto and is also a well know lesbian who handed
back community award, remarked that PT wasn't going to censor the banned words
(Israeli Apartheid ) on any signs. We wonder why Pride Toronto waited a week,
before making this public announcement, if this was common knowledge.
It's unclear whether the planned alternative pride events, will go ahead. Another
question remains whether the Toronto queer community will now give up its fight
to overthrow Pride Toronto's current of Directors. If that isn't possibly make
policy changes, that Board will have to live with, so this messy affair never
happens again and finally can QuAIA now march as such with their signs and their
Pride Toronto - Press Release 23 June 2010 Pride Toronto to no longer
restrict language in the Parade. Pride Toronto has announced that its recent
resolution to restrict the use of certain language during the 2010 Parade has
been replaced by the requirement that each participating group read, sign and
agree to abide by the City of Toronto’s Declaration of a Non-Discrimination
Policy, and that all groups that uphold this policy are welcome to participate
in the 2010 Pride Parade.
During a meeting between members of the board of directors, the executive director
and well respected LGBT community leaders Pastor Brent Hawkes of the Metropolitan
Community Church, human rights lawyer and Pride Lifetime Achievement award winner
Doug Elliott, and 519 Executive Director Maura Lawless, the board unanimously
voted in favour of a proposal presented by the three.
The proposal is two-fold: The purpose in the short term is to resolve the impasse
that the organization has found itself in since moving to disallow the term
‘Israeli Apartheid’ in the Parade, based on complaints from community members
and the assertion by the City of Toronto that the phrase contravenes various
City policies. The decision caused widespread dissatisfaction in the queer community
and allegations of censorship.
The first motion places the responsibility for determining a violation of City
policy back in the hands of the City, as our review process has not established
that violation. The second motion establishes a representative advisory panel
of community leaders that will lead a broad based community consultation process
with diverse queer communities to recommend a set of strategic principles and
a decision-making framework that will help shape future festivals.
“We are extremely grateful to the community leaders that took the time to work
on this proposal and help us examine ways to resolve this impasse,” says Pride
senior co-chair Genevieve D’Iorio. “The Board’s intention has always been to
make the best decision possible to ensure the success of Pride and we believe
that this proposal is a really constructive way forward.”
“There are a large number of people that are sad at the way the community is
currently torn over this issue,” says Pastor Brent Hawkes. “Pride has found
itself in the middle of a difficult situation and we felt it was time to step
in and see how we could help.”
Doug Elliott agrees. Recently during a keynote address at the Law Society of
Upper Canada’s Pride Event, Elliott spoke out about the history of Pride and
the way it has changed over the years. “It’s not always possible to meet everyone’s
demands,” he says, noting that some of the demands Pride has experienced are
‘unrealistic’. “This solution upholds City policy without unfairly requiring
Pride to interpret that policy regarding a controversial legal question. Hopefully
this will allow a harmonious Parade this year, while a consultative process
unfolds to allow community members to have their say in a constructive way about
the future rules for the Parade and the ongoing relationship between Pride Toronto
and the broader LGBTTIQQ2SA communities.”
In a recent press release The 519 called for public consultation and offered
its support and resources to help find a resolution. Lawless stated “This proposal
reinforces how important it is that the diverse queer communities help shape
the future of Pride and I think the Board has shown great courage and foresight
in committing to consultation and planning for the future.”
The two motions comprising the proposal are as follows:
That the board of directors approve the following resolutions:
1. Be it resolved that the motion of May 21st regarding language restrictions
of groups participating in the 2010 Pride parade be replaced by the requirement
that each participating group read and sign and confirm to abide by the City
of Toronto’s Declaration of a Non-Discrimination Policy and that all groups
that uphold this policy are welcome to participate in the 2010 Pride Parade.
Any groups that refuse to sign will not be permitted to participate.
2. Be it resolved that Pride Toronto appoint a panel of LGBTTIQQ2SA leaders
and friends to recommend a policy to protect and advance the qualities of Pride
and ensure it is true to its core values and principles. The mandate of the
group would be to consult with the community to develop recommendations to ensure
a Pride that values and promotes freedom of speech and individual expression,
inclusiveness and respect, pluralism and diversity, equity and fairness, celebration,
humour and fun, and to make recommendations regarding Pride Toronto’s ongoing
working relationship with the broader LGBTTIQQ2SA communities.
Over the coming days, Parade participants will receive a copy of the City’s
Anti-Discrimination Policy with a request to sign and return it ahead of the
Parade. Meanwhile, the team at Pride Toronto will be working hard to finalize
arrangements for the 30th anniversary festival and we look forward to the community
coming together to celebrate what Pride means to each one as an individual.
* Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning,
2-Spirited and Allies
Syria cracks down on gays , at least 25 men arrested!
Toronto OUTeXpressions Newspaper Exclusive. Wednesday June 23, 2010.
Syrian authorities have raided more than four different private gay parties
over five weeks between March and April, arresting more than 25 men on their
last raid. Indictments have been officially submitted against them; most of
the arrested guys are charged with "having a homosexual act", others
are charged with dealing and/or buying and consuming illegal drugs, a few are
charged with organising illegal "obscene" parties, facilitating drug
dealing and consuming, and encouraging homosexual acts. Many of the arrested
men were in a gay party for the first time in their lives, while all of them
are still under police custody because their families refused to bail them out
or even visit them. The fact that the Syrian secret police has accused them
of homosexuality is enough to put them in grave danger from their families and
neighbours even if they are released without charges.
Private gay parties are not the Syrian authorities only target; they are also
raiding cruising areas. Although no arrests have been made to GME’s knowledge,
the presence of what is called in Syria "security agents", commonly
known in other parts of the world as the "secret police", is frightening
to gay men who are now avoiding these areas. Interestingly, police men do not
approach all men in cruising areas claiming that they only try to investigate
"suspicious men"; a term that refers to "gay men".
GME is following the case against the 25 men. A senior officer handling the
police campaign against the gay men in Syria said "Syrian authorities'
major interest is the safety of people, we targeted those parties only because
of the increasing rate of drug use, while our presence in those parks and squares
is because of the increasing rate of robberies." GME is very concerned
about the welfare of the 25 men. We call on the Syrian government to free the
25 men and drop all charges against them and secure their safety, in line with
the words of the officer, we believe that “the safety of people”, including
gay ones, are paramount. We urge Syria to repeal the antiquated Article 520
of the penal code of 1949, and thus resolve the problem of a need for secret
parties and having gays and lesbians safety compromised.
GME contacted the Syrian Embassy in London and Washington regarding this matter.
However up to the hour of going to press with the news item we have not received
any comment or response from either of the two embassies.
Guess who's coming for Lunch?
OUTeXpressions Newspaper Exclusive. Tuesday June 15, 2010. Eleven senior
gay editors will meet one of the most colourful charismatic gay activists in
the City of Toronto. Michel F. Paré President Queer West Arts & Culture
Tourism Toronto ask Paré to speak to 11 Senior editors from USA, Japan and
Netherlands coming for a visit to Pride Toronto on Friday July 2, 2010.
Tourism Toronto told Paré they will be hosting the group and would Michel provide
the group with a tour of Queer West Village? Paré said it was an absolutely
fabulous idea, he would be only happy too, on Friday, July 2, 2010. Tourism
Toronto invited the media to experience Toronto's LGBTQ they will here till
July 4th as guests of Tourism Toronto.
Michel will meet them at Noon Friday July 2nd at the Exhibit - That's So Gay
at Gladstone Hotel Michel will be PC with visitors. Explain to visitors why
the westend is completely different than Church and Wellesley. We will just
have to wait for the full story on July 3rd.
Here's who will be coming for lunch
1. Zero Tohmi – Tokyo Wrestling (Tokyo) - Tokyo Wrestling
is a Tokyo-based webzine with information on lesbian and queer arts, music,
and culture--rooted in a Japanese perspective. www.tokyowrestling.com
2. Yuki Keiser - Time Out Tokyo on-line (Tokyo) www.timeout.jp/ja/tokyo
3. Yvette Bax - Gay & Night Magazine is a monthly publication
with a circulation of 20,000. (Amsterdam) www.gay-night.nl
4. Aaron Drake, Editor - Frontiers in L.A. Magazine (Los Angeles)
Alternative lifestyle publication aimed at a Southern Californian, upscale gay
audience. Contains local and national news and legislation, profiles and features
on local gay subjects of interest, cultural commentary and a calendar of events
including theatre, music, the arts and film. Circulation - 38,750
5. Sarah Blazucki, Editor Philadelphia Gay News. Contains
news and features of general interest for gay and lesbian readership. Explores
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues. Circulation of 17,352. www.epgn.com
6. Gloria Casarez, Photographer - Philadelphia Gay News
7. Gary Barlow, Editor-in-Chief- Gay Chicago Magazine (Chicago)
Published for Chicago's affluent gay and lesbian community. Covers the arts,
entertainment and lifestyles. www.gaychicagomagazine.com
8. Robert Israel, Contributing Writer- EDGE Boston (Boston)
EDGE Boston currently reaches more than 500,000 unique visitors a month, and
is the largest online LGBT Lifestyle publication on the East Coast. www.edgeboston.com
9. TBD: Troy Petenbrink, Contributing Writer- MetroWeekly
(Washington D.C.) Established in 1994 and written for gays and lesbians in the
Washington, D.C. area. Contains interviews of local and national personalities,
local and national news features, lifestyle features, opinion columns, humor,
politics, arts reviews and nightlife coverage. Circulation 16, 500. www.metroweekly.com
10. Jimmy Im, Contributing Writer- Next Magazine (New York
City) Published as a guide to New York City's gay cultural scene and written
for members of the gay community. Strives to showcase the brightest up-and-coming
personalities, restaurants, theater, nightlife and travel destinations in the
New York City area. Circulation 50,953. www.nextmagazine.com
11. Dwayne Kinney, Fenuxe magazine - Atlanta High end fashion, luxury,
travel, professional services and local guide/reference magazine for the LGBT
community in Atlanta, GA.
Mr. Paré took the 14 journalist on tour of queer West Toronto and giving
them the history of the area on Friday July 2. Queer West received a Nice thank
you letter from Tourism Toronto..."Thanks so much for
being apart of Tourism Toronto's Pride press trip and presenting another side
of gay culture in Toronto (Tour of Queer West Toronto) Michel. I've referred
all the writers to your website (queerwest.org) when they do their story write
ups. Thanks again for being a valuable addition to our press trip"......
Michele L. Simpson, Manager Media Relations, Tourism Toronto