Sunday, January 16, 2005

Daily News Round Up (1/16/05)

Bush Drops Gay Marriage Amendment
by Paul Johnson Washington Bureau Chief

Washington) President Bush said Sunday that he will not press the Senate to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Washington Post Bush said that he remains opposed to gay marriage but believes there aren't the votes in the Senate to ensure the amendment would be adopted.

"The point is, is that Senators have made it clear that so long as DOMA is deemed constitutional, nothing will happen. I'd take that admonition seriously," Bush told the Post.

GOP isn't giving gay marriage same sense of urgency now

By Michele McNeil

House Republicans once deemed the need for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage as "important," "critical" and even "grave."

Republicans considered passing that amendment so crucial last year that they walked off the job to make their point, killing dozens of pieces of legislation.

Two weeks into the current legislative session, with Republicans in control of the House, there's been no effort to advance this amendment -- even after they used the gay marriage issue against Democrats in the 2004 campaign.

Principal Kills Student Newspaper Stories On Gay Group

by The Associated Press

(Lilburn, Georgia) Berkmar High School students opened the school newspaper to a blank editorial page after the school's principal ordered the staff to yank two opinion pieces about a new club for straight and gay teens.

Gwinnett County school officials said Principal Kendall Johnson told the staff to remove the editorials because he felt it would disturb students during exam time.

"Mr. Johnson was not going to allow there to be distractions from what they are about teaching and learning," Gwinnett Schools spokeswoman Sloan Roach said. "The point/counterpoint was inflammatory in nature and could be disruptive."

Gay Ski Week causes stir in Telluride

By Janet Urquhart

Several Telluride representatives are expected in Aspen this week to check out the goings-on at Gay Ski Week with an eye toward the future of their resort's fledgling ski week.

Telluride is expecting perhaps 500 attendees for its second Gay Ski Week - as opposed to the 2,000 to 3,000 or so participants who are expected for the 28th annual Gay Ski Week in Aspen - but the Telluride event has not gone unnoticed.

A letter to the editor of the local newspaper, the Telluride Daily Planet, questioning why Telluride Mountain Village would sponsor the gay-oriented event, sparked a flood of replies in support of the village's involvement. Mountain Village is located on the opposite side of the ski area from the historic town of Telluride. The resort is located in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado.

The gay Lincoln controversy

By Christopher Capozzola

EVERY GENERATION, it seems, gets the Lincoln it deserves. And so C.A. Tripp's portrait of a Lincoln for the ''Queer Eye'' generation should come as no surprise. In ''The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln'' (Free Press), the therapist and former Kinsey sex researcher argues that Lincoln was homosexual in both thought and deed, with as many as five intimate lovers and a psychological outlook shaped by his same-sex desires. How timely to learn that the icon of the Republican Party once composed a poem about the marriage of two men. Having already provided potential talking points for Log Cabin Republicans and sketch material for ''Saturday Night Live,'' Tripp cannot fail to intrigue readers. But does he have what it takes to convince them?

Tripp was not the first to take up the question of Lincoln's sexuality, but he pursued it for the last 13 years of his life with unparalleled zeal and a breathtaking confidence in his own conclusions. By the time of his death in 2003, Tripp had amassed the world's largest database of Lincolniana, currently housed in the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Ill. As he pored over the textual fragments, he began to find what he was looking for.

In Tripp's book, Lincoln, described by one woman who rejected his marriage proposal, as ''deficient in those little links which make up the chain of woman's happiness,'' evades eligible women while panting after a dashing military officer and a handsome bodyguard. Tripp depicts a loveless nightmare of a marriage, even comparing Mary Todd Lincoln's lack of empathy to Hitler's. Lincoln sneaked sly references to same-sex desire into his bawdy humor, and penned passionate letters to Joshua Speed (signed ''yours forever,'' a phrase he never wrote to his wife), with whom he had for four years shared a single bed above Speed's store in Springfield. And Tripp puts forth this tidbit, recorded by Washington socialite Virginia Woodbury Fox in her diary in November 1862: ''Tish says, ‘there is a Bucktail soldier here devoted to the President, drives with him, and when Mrs. L. is not home, sleeps with him.' What stuff!''

What would Martin Luther King do?

by Brandt Williams

St. Paul, Minn. — Martin Luther King Jr.'s youngest daughter participated in a march in Atlanta in December 2004, in support of a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. The Rev. Bernice King has said she doesn't believe her father died to give homosexuals the right to marry.

She is not the only black religious leader who believes this.

"Most people want to say he was a great civil rights worker, but he was a great preacher," says the Rev. Bob Battle. "A preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

HCA HOSPITAL CHAIN: Benefits extended to gay partners


At first, the benefits handout to employees from their human resource staffs at Sunrise, MountainView and Southern Hills hospitals in Las Vegas created about as much buzz as patient complaints about hospital food.

It appeared to be the same ol', same ol', the kind of material insomniacs read at night to help them nod out.

But included was a listing for a new eligibility category that HCA, the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain, made available to its nearly 200,000 employees at 190 hospitals across the nation, including its three in Las Vegas.


At January 16, 2005 at 8:47 PM, Blogger Elle said...

Whoa! They left DOMA behind? I knew that Bush hadn't always so fervently opposed same-sex marriage, but this is still a surprise. Imagine how mad some of those "moral voters" are going to be.


At January 17, 2005 at 12:22 AM, Blogger Thomas said...

I know. Their response will be interesting to see.


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