Uniting American Families Act
Spanish Uproar over Gay Marriage
2008 March on D.C. Debated
Robin Tyler, a lesbian activist who has organized LGBT marches on Washington in previous decades, said that “we are under siege” and is issuing a call for an April 2008 march in the run-up to national elections in the United States. “The truth is,” she said, “we have no federal rights to sacrifice. Not one. We have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.” She is asking those who agree to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joel Lawson, a former Senate aide who helped organize the “March for Women’s Lives” last year, is opposing the call. “A national march doesn’t deliver results unless a much larger effort is aimed afterwards at state and local organizing.” He said the real target isn’t Washington, which is “deaf to us,” but “statehouse chambers, living rooms, and church halls where perceptions of us must be moved.”
NY Right Winger Wants Warning Labels on Gays
Rev. Bill Banuchi, director of the Christian Coalition in New York, wants to require gay people to be forced to wear “warning labels.” He said, “We put warning labels on cigarettes because we know that smoking takes one to two years off the average life span, yet we ‘celebrate’ a lifestyle that we know spreads every kind of sexually transmitted disease and takes at least 20 years off the average life span.” His “data” is from the right-wing Family Research Institute.
German dictator Adolf Hitler required gays to wear pink triangles in his concentration camps. Conservative columnist Bill Buckley proposed tattooing the buttocks of people with HIV early in the AIDS crisis.
Spokane Mayor Finds Jesus, May be Recalled
Pride in Poland
In Warsaw, more than 2,500 marched in the LGBT pride parade this past Saturday, despite a ban on it by Mayor Lech Kaczynski, the leading candidate for president of Poland in October. Police did not interfere and stepped in to control a counter-demonstration by 200 from the League of Polish Families, a right-wing party, who were shouting “Euthanasia for Gays! Concentration Camps for Lesbians!” and throwing eggs and rocks, injuring three, the Irish Times reported.
Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Jaruga-Nowacka and deputy parliamentary speaker, Tomasz Nalecz, participated in the gay march and voiced their support for LGBT rights. The Times reported that after the rally, all 2,500 participants “danced the Birdie Dance (in Polish ‘Kaczuszki’) dedicated to Mayor Kaczynski.”
Log Cabin Gets Seat on NY State Party Board
The New York Republican State Committee has voted to give a standing seat on its executive committee to the gay Log Cabin Republican club, sparking outrage from right-wing state Sen. Serphin Maltese of Queens who is a founder of the state’s Conservative Party, The New York Times reported. Maltese called Log Cabin “disloyal” for not supporting the anti-gay George W. Bush for president last year. Log Cabin is one of six interest groups to gain seats on the board.
Maltese was successful in getting the Republicans to scuttle plans to reduce the membership of the 62 county leaders in the party to eight on the executive board. The consolidation moves were seen as a play by Governor George Pataki for more control over the party apparatus.
The President’s Stomach for Bigotry
Patrick Guerriero, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, said in an interview in the Los Angeles Times that he spoke to President George W. Bush and Karl Rove at a White House Christmas party in late 2003, urging them “not to divide the country over the issue of gay marriage.”
Guerriero said of Bush, “He was gracious as he always is, but I walked away realizing that this issue was not going to go away.” He reminded Rove that a million gays and lesbians had voted for Bush in 2000.
“The impression I got in the room that night was that the polling make it a very easy political decision [to run against gays], and the only question was whether the president would have the stomach for it,” Guerriero told the newspaper.
Bush came out for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Log Cabin did not endorse him in 2004, but Bush got an estimated 23 percent of the LGBT vote, down marginally from 25 percent in 2000. Rove’s strategy of dumping on gays, the newspaper said, meanwhile significantly expanded the evangelical vote for Bush in 2004.
“Crystal-Free and Sexy” in New York Parade
The HIV Forum is putting together a float in this year’s LGBT Pride Parade in New York called “Crystal-Free and Sexy.”
“We know that sexiness comes in all shapes and sizes,” the group announcement said, “so all are welcome to march to demonstrate to on-lookers that gay men are sexy without crystal meth in their lives.”
For more information on participating, go to hivforumnyc.org.
Ban on Gay Parents at Catholic School
St. John the Baptist School in Costa Mesa, California, sparked protests from some outraged parents when it permitted the children of a gay male couple to attend. The school, the diocese and even the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights stood by the right of the kids to go to the school.
The Los Angeles Times reported this week on new admission guidelines at the school that require parents of kids there to show “appropriate conduct, in order to support the school’s mission and provide positive role models to our children.” A May 6 memo from a parent obtained by the newspaper said that this means children of same-sex couples may attend as long as the parents agree “not to present themselves as a couple at school functions.”
Sister Mary Vianney, principal for the last 31 years, opposed the new policy and her contract was not renewed.
A lawyer representing the parents told the Times, “It’s sad the nun is leaving, but I also think that it may be the best thing in the long run if she is impeding the teachings of the church.”
Anglicans Stack Deck against Gays
The Rt. Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, has appointed an international tribunal of clergy and laity to “help bring peace to the Church’s long-running dispute over homosexuality.” Its aim, the newspaper said, “is to get warring factions talking directly to each other,” but conservatives are being given a majority. The appointment of an openly gay bishop in the New Hampshire diocese, Gene Robinson, has proved the most divisive issue in the international church.
European Boost for Marriages
The European Parliament voted 360-272 on June 8 in favor of a report that urges member nations to recognize legal same-sex marriages or unions performed in other nations. It was authored by Claude Moraes of the United Kingdom and also outlines guidelines for protection of minority rights.
World’s Biggest Group Hug
At the Christopher Street Day parade on June 13 in Hamburg, Germany, 16,000 people embraced each other for ten seconds, setting the world record for a group hug that was set last year by 5,117 high school students in Canada. There were 22,000 people at the Hamburg parade.
Scotland Moves Toward Joint Gay Adoptions
Following the example of England and Wales, the Scottish government has announced plans to let gay and lesbian couples adopt their children jointly. At present, only one member of the couple may adopt as a single parent.
The Czech Republic’s Parliament has rejected proposals for recognizing gay and lesbian relationships several times, most recently in February. Now, new Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek is putting forth a registered partnership bill that he calls “a good law” but which his government is neutral on. There are new elections in the Czech Republic in mid-2006 and gay groups believe if they can’t get the bill passed before that, its chances will decline, the Prague Daily Monitor reported.