NEWSBRIEFS

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 318 | April 29 – May 5, 2004

NEWS

News Briefs

Mich. Bill Allows Docs to Refuse Treatment

N.Y. Marriage Action

New Paltz Mayor Jason West, who was charged with performing marriages for gay couples without licenses, had his motion to dismiss a lawsuit against him denied by State Supreme Court Judge Michael Kavanagh of Ulster County. West argued that Village Trustee Robert Hebel had no standing to bring a suit against him to stop the weddings.

This Friday, same-sex couples will go to Albany’s City Hall to get marriage licenses as part of a “Get in Line” campaign sponsored by Albany Civil Marriage Equality. Odds are they will be turned away as they have been at every other marriage bureau in New York.

Gay Candidate Censored in HS Election

Jared Gamwell, 17, is a gutsy, out gay junior at Hunt High School in Wilson, N.C., but when he ran for student government, he ran afoul of school authorities. Gammell’s handmade campaign posters proclaimed, “Queer Eye for Hunt High” and “Gay Guys Know Everything.” The school principal had the posters removed as “disruptive,” even though other another student was allowed to use the slogan “It’s Miller Time.”

The ACLU’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Project sought a temporary restraining order to get Gamwell’s posters restored, but a state superior court judge denied it. Gamwell ended up finishing last in a field of four, getting 133 votes out of 866 cast. “I’m ready to fight for the rights of students at my school,” Gammell said, “but I didn’t expect to have to fight for my own rights first.”

Anti-Gay Students Censored

Five students at Watauga H.S. in North Carolina were disciplined for wearing t-shirts with slogans such as “Homosexuality is a Sin,” “God Made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve,” and one that referenced “lisping.” The five wore them on the national Day of Silence when many gay students and their supporters in high schools and colleges do not speak to draw attention to the way in which gay people have been silenced in schools for generations. The Christian student protesters are seeking legal help from the American Family Association to have their suspensions voided. “We present our message as truth and we try not to force it on other people,” one said. “They can accept it or reject it.”

Gay Canadians on Offensive in Elections

Same-sex marriage is a hot issue in the Canadian federal elections this spring. Egale Canada, the LGBT lobby group, has issued a list of candidates for Parliament they would like to see go down. “This is about more than just the gay vote,” Laurie Arron of the group told the Canadian Press. “This is about people who care about the charter,” the fedral document on which court decisions granting marriage to gay couples have been based in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec.

Marriage Issue Erupts in France

Mayor Noel Marnere of the little town of Bergles, just outside Bordeaux, said he will start performing same-sex weddings in June because French law does not specifically prohibit it. He is with the Green Party, just like Mayor Jason West of New Paltz, N.Y. who has conducted same-sex weddings.

Out gay Mayor Bertrand Delanoe of Paris says he will not allow gay couples to marry in the City of Light. “On the ground, people are suffering not because they cannot get married but because of homophobia and the way they are viewed,” he said.

More About Kevin Spacey

Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey’s wee hours encounter with a thief in a London South Bank park known as “a gay cruising ground” has led to secret stories coming out about the actor.

Spacey’s brother, Randy Fowler, told the U.K.’s Daily Mail that their father, Geoff Fowler, was a member of the American Nazi Party who kept Nazi memorabilia everywhere in the house and raped Randy—though never touched Kevin. According to the report, the elder Fowler also “abused a teenage girl who was a relative.” Randy, who works as a Rod Stewart impersonator, lives with his wife in Boise, Idaho.

Spacey is the artistic director of The Old Vic and introduced his new season at a press conference this week. His only response to questions about the park incident was that he was paid £100,000 by David Beckham to get the soccer star’s name off the front page of the tabloids. Beckham’s infidelities have been tabloid fodder for weeks.

In 2005, Spacey will star in two productions for the Old Vic, “National Anthems,” a new play by Dennis McIntyre, and a revival of “The Philadelphia Story.” This December, Sir Ian McKellan will play the Widow Twanky in a pantomime of “Aladdin” directed by out gay Sean Mathias.

Last year, the Old Vic workshopped a musical version of “Billy Elliot,” directed by Stephen Daldry who also did the film version of that production as well as “The Hours.” Daldry, who married a woman shortly after 9/11, still acknowledges being gay. The show’s music is by Sir Elton John, a friend of Spacey’s, who is unapologetically gay.

Lesbian Golfer Embraced by Lopez

LPGA star Rosie Jones, 44, had been out to her family since she was 19, but only came out publicly a month ago when she took on Olivia Cruises, which targets the lesbian market, as a sponsor. Tour Commissioner Ty Votaw said her coming out was “another sign of the increasing marketing opportunities the LPGA and its players are enjoying.” Golf legend Nancy Lopez, who, like Jones, is from New Mexico, gave Rosie a big hug this week and said, “I love you, Rosie Jones,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Jones reported that there has been some tension among her sister professionals over her disclosure, but that most of her peers have been “really positive.”

Gay Candidate for London Mayor

Darren Johnson, is a Green Party candidate seeking to be “London’s first out gay mayor.” Veteran gay activist Peter Tatchell, who recently joined the party, supports him. The men issued a 10-point manifesto on gay and AIDS issues that promises everything from equal rights to a lesbian and gay museum.

The mayoral candidate of the U.K. Independence Party, Frank Maloney, won’t be seeking the gay vote. He said he objects to police officers in uniform holding hands and marching in gay pride parades.

Anti-Gay Mosque Might Close

The Amsterdam City Council wants the El Tawheed mosque to be shut down for its extreme views, including that gay people should be thrown from rooftops and stoned and that husbands have the right to beat disobedient wives, such as those who refuse sexual relations. The Dutch parliament is investigating the charges that the mosque promotes hate, a crime for which it could be closed down.

Andy Humm is co-host, with Ann Northrop, of Gay USA on MNN. It can be seen Thursdays at 11 PM on Time-Warner 34 and RCN 107 and is simulcast at mnn.org

Andy Humm can be contacted at AndyHumm@aol.com

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