Thursday, December 29, 2005
Presiding over what some describe as the "strongest bully pulpit in the world," Pope Benedict XVI, just eight months into his tenure, has unilaterally targeted gay men and lesbians as moral threats to society.
From banning gay priests to publicly lobbying against same-sex marriage rights in Spain and Italy, Pope Benedict XVI appears to be taking a swift approach to excluding gay people
from equal rights across the globe.
It is really difficult to argue with The Washington Blade's
choice. This new pope not only looks like the Grinch, but he's a hardcore homophobe. All I can say is the man clearly has issues - and in the spirit of the holidays, I'll leave it at that.
If you have any other nominees, please feel free to share them.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
"Homosexuality is a psychological and psychiatric disorder, there is no question about it. It is a purple menace that is threatening the proper design of gender distinctions in society." - Dr. Charles Socarides
Dr. Charles W. Socarides, a well-known psychoanalyst who maintained that homosexuality was a a sickness that could be cured, died on Sunday at Metropolitan Hospital Center in New York. He was 83.
This is a man who hurt a lot of people, ruined lives and helped spawn a fraudulent industry of ex-gay quack "cures." He was bitter because in 1973 the American Psychiatric Association took homosexuality of the list of mental disorders. This decision unraveled his life's work. His anger about this decision caused him to team up with the religious right to demean and dehumanize gay people.
He was a frequent guest on television programs and wrote a half-dozen books about homosexuality. They included "The Overt Homosexual" and "Homosexuality: A Freedom Too Far" and "A Psychoanalyst Answers 1,000 Questions About Causes and Cure and the Impact of the Gay Rights Movement on American Society." In 1992, Dr. Socarides helped found the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality 9NARTH).
Our condolences go to his family. His son Richard Socarides is openly gay and was an adviser to the Clinton White House on gay and lesbian issues. Richard is a very nice man and we send him our thoughts and prayers in this time of mourning.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Folks, this story is just outrageous.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush decided to skip seeking warrants for international wiretaps because the court was challenging him at an unprecedented rate.
A review of Justice Department reports to Congress by Hearst newspapers shows the 26-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court modified more wiretap requests from the Bush administration than the four previous presidential administrations combined.
The 11-judge court that authorizes FISA wiretaps modified only two search warrant orders out of the 13,102 applications approved over the first 22 years of the court's operation.
But since 2001, the judges have modified 179 of the 5,645 requests for surveillance by the Bush administration, the report said. A total of 173 of those court-ordered "substantive modifications" took place in 2003 and 2004. And, the judges also rejected or deferred at least six requests for warrants during those two years -- the first outright rejection of a wiretap request in the court's history.
This past year, my weekly column has opined on key issues affecting the American people. Heroes have been lauded, hypocrites exposed and crucial gay issues brought to the fore. Here is a snapshot of the tantalizing topics discussed in 2005:Adultery in the Military:
It is time the military bring back adults who care more about winning wars than declaring a self-righteous war on adultery. We might be doing better in Iraq if the Pentagon started paying more attention to the military affairs of our country than the private affairs of our countrymen.Air Force Academy:
In 1967, Israel defeated the entire Arab world in six days. In less than six months, the United States crushed and occupied Iraq, driving Saddam Hussein into a rat hole. It took the allies roughly six years to win World War II. Yet, the military tells us it is going to take six years to root out anti-Semitism at the Academy?Andrew Sullivan:
Sullivan went overboard. His apparent message: "Hey, AIDS is no big deal. Don't worry if you get infected, you'll barely notice." Wow, what an advertisement for the bug! Where can I get that HIV? Sullivan makes it sound more like a panacea than a pathogen. The disease suddenly comes across as highly desirable, if not intoxicating - like a blissful combination of Viagra, Spanish Fly, Prozac and Ecstasy all rolled up into one.Bill Frist:
In the next couple of weeks, Frist may decide to take the so-called "nuclear option" and eliminate the Democratic minority's ability to filibuster President Bush's extreme judicial nominees. This radical move would amount to a government shutdown. The Democrats are unlikely to collaborate in such a puppet government, where the marginalized minority's only role is to help legitimize banana republic Republicanism.Brokeback Mountain:
In essence, we all have our own secret Brokeback Mountain and the movie subconsciously asks people to find their purpose and embrace their passion, because life is short and fragile. It is this searing, powerful message more than the fact the messengers are gay that will ultimately help people understand the struggles of gay people, and more importantly, themselves.Bush's America:
America under Bush is a political Red Light District where the greatest sacrifice one can make is to lie in the name of loyalty. It is a twisted world of politicians pimping policy for perks and political prostitutes trading their reputations for riches.Bush's Second Term:
In his second-term, he had desperately hoped to avoid lame duck status. Thanks to a failed stew of policies, reality has taken control of the Bush presidency and he is now paddling for his political life in the sewage-filled duck pond that was once known as the city of New Orleans.Cable News:
It's dawn in the largest city of the most powerful nation in earth's history. I pick up the remote control and surf through an endless array of digital cable channels looking for real news, and it is simply nowhere to be found. Sadly, America's news stations have given up hard news about distant lands for fluff that is hardly news about fantasyland. Or is it Michael Jackson's Neverland? Am I the only person mourning the evaporation of real TV news in the morning?
I used to watch CNN Headline News and in thirty minutes I was updated on the day's incipient events. Today, the morning show is nearly devoid of substance and has devolved into the Cackling Nonsense Network. The consequential decisions of world leaders have taken a back seat to what or who Britney Spears does in the backseat. Headlines have been replaced by punch lines and serious business has been supplanted by lightweight banter. By the end of a half hour show, the chances are you have laughed more than you have learned.
The television news culture has become ancient Rome. The whole point is to attract photogenic freaks into our personal, HDTV Coliseums to sate our cynical viewing amusement. When Osama strikes and New York is burning or Washington is radiated from the dirty bomb because Homeland Security is monitoring dirty web sites, TV executives still won't get it. The clueless media will throw up their hands and ask, ˜What happened?' And the pretty faced news "botoxracy" will deadpan interviews with "unqualified experts", quite possibly on the administration's payroll, who will tell Americans that there is no way that Homeland Security could have known such an attack was coming. Oh, and by the way, the Department needs more power and financial resources.Condom Fatigue:
The latest harebrain notion to toxically slither into the gay vernacular is "condom fatigue." This is the theory that the rules for safer sex have to be reinvented because people are fed up with using prophylactics.
Well, I don't particularly like stopping for red lights either because it tends to slow me down. I'm also over the gym and would prefer that the government declare TV watching an aerobics sport and cheese fries a food group. Unfortunately, there are laws of nature and common sense that can't be defied no matter how annoying or cumbersome.Conservative Whining:
Failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork described President George W. Bush's selection of Harriet Miers for the high court as a "kind of a slap in the face to the conservatives." We used to be able to tell who the conservatives were by the bad suits. Now, we can identify them because they have red welts on their faces.Ellen DeGeneres:
Without Ellen's bold step into the unknown, there would likely be no Will & Grace or gay characters sprinkled throughout network and cable television. Rosie O'Donnell, would probably still be rhapsodizing about a dream date with Tom Cruise.Focus on the Family:
Bad parents do not cause homosexuality, as Focus on the Family preaches. The notion that gays can go straight is imaginary hocus pocus from Focus.Gay Israel:
After a recent spasm of anti-gay violence in several countries, the merits of founding a nation where persecuted homosexuals can escape rampant abuse is worth exploring. Each day we wait, more gay people die. No other minority would allow their brethren to be gratuitously killed and neither should the GLBT Community.Gentrification:
If only the coffee shop Big Cup had changed its name to the Luxurious Latte it might have survived. The downfall of the Big Cup is indicative of dramatic changes taking place in gayborhoods across America, where artists are pushed out, as art dealers move in.Harriet Miers:
The nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court is driving the right wing crazy. The last time they were this angry, it was over another presidential worshipping White House groupie. But at least Bill Clinton didn't nominate Monica Lewinsky to the Supreme Court.Hurricane Relief:
I'm having serious qualms about writing a check for Hurricane relief. The way I see it, I already gave my fair share for the effort on April 15. President George W. Bush, however, decided to squander this money on tax breaks for Cappuccino Conservatives and attacking a nation in the name of 9-11 that had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks.Jim Guckert (Jeff Gannon)
: Although George W. Bush once owned The Texas Rangers, anyone who has seen him at a press conference knows that his favorite sport is really softball. Bush's penchant for puff helps to explain the mercurial rise and fall of "reporter" Jim Guckert, who went from working in a cyber-whorehouse to covering the White House as a "correspondent" for conservative Internet magazine, Talon News.
When not reporting conservative news, Guckert was a member of Bush's "ownership society." In fact, he owned seedy gay sex websites including HotMilitaryStud.com, MilitaryEscorts.com and MilitaryEscortsM4M.com. While other reporters covered a beat, Guckert's beat was under the covers.
You've got to hand it to this White House. When they couldn't get the media to buy their spin, they bought the media. And now, when they couldn't get the media hook they desired, they simply got a hooker. Unfortunately for Bush, his ringer was a Ringling Brothers sexual circus.Judiciary:
At first, it seemed reactions by right wing reactionaries to the Terri Schiavo case had at least a modicum of sincerity. But it has become clear that Schiavo was just a pawn in a larger, more diabolical scheme to fundamentally emasculate the judiciary and mold them into "yes men" for an out of control Congress.LOGO:
The new gay television network should produce a knock-off of Survivor, where 10 "ex-gays" are airlifted and placed on an island stocked with sex addicted A&F Models. Each time an ex-gay breaks down and sodomizes, he is booted off the island.
Another show should be "Metro Guy For the Queer Pig Sty." It will be dedicated to all the beer guzzling, flanel-shirt wearing, fat, pale gay men who think Universal Gear is a shop that fixes tractors. In this stereotype-breaking show, a gang of five straight Metrosexuals enters a Bear's house and teaches him how to properly shine his leather thong and trim his back hair.Losing the Battle:
If you are gay, now is time to waltz into your walk-in closet and make a choice. You can dust off your boxing gloves and prepare to fight for your rights or, you can stay silent and redecorate your closet because this is the lonely, miserable space you may inhabit in the near future. I've been fighting for equality since 1988, and this is the first time I believe we are going backwards and actually losing the battle.
The biggest mistake gay people and their allies tend to make is the naive assumption that there is a cosmic force of good moving Americans toward inevitable acceptance of homosexuality. But equality is a hopeful destination - not predestination - with history teaching us that the fist of fanaticism often stops the forces of freedom.
On whole, the nation is becoming more accepting, but the whole nation isn't calling the shots. Instead, a powerful clique of right wing theocrats is attacking the very institutions that hold this nation together.
The treacherous tide has turned, and in our sink or swim moment we are drowning - along with other minorities - in the awesome conservative wave that has consumed this fearful nation. There is no lifeguard on the way to save us. Our only life preserver is our own courageous action and it is inexplicably in short supply - like rafts on the Titanic.Magellan:
By reinstating ex-gay therapist Warren Throckmorton to its National Professional Advisory Council, Magellan signaled that the company would abandon sound science if badgered by right wing bullies. Magellan was correct the first time when their punitive actions declared Throckmorton uniquely unqualified and ill suited to offer unbiased advice.Military Interpreters:
Between 1998 and 2004, the military kicked out 20 hard-to-find Arabic speakers and six Farsi speakers simply because they are gay. It seems it is a higher priority for our government to keep these valued interpreters out of gay Internet chat rooms, than it is to have them investigating terrorist "chatter."Modern Conservatism:
If we travel from the Big Empty space at Ground Zero to the Big Easy, we find another barren hellhole that this administration promises to rebuild. However, with no credibility, who can believe what they have to say? If one thing New Orleans and New York have exposed, it is that modern conservatism is an ill-conceived experiment that has failed. It is an amoral, elitist political propaganda machine that is consumed with nothing more than achieving power and rewarding the friends of the powerful.National Day of Prayer:
I think America should also have A National Day of Competence where Bush purges his legions of hacks and patronage pals and replaces them with trained professionals. Prayer is fine, but it is not a substitute for experience and job qualifications. Until this crony cleansing occurs, don't bet on your prayers being answered.New York:
So there we were in Times Square: A bacon eating, Jewish gay activist with his fur-wearing vegan boyfriend in a confrontation with an animal rights/peace activist who clearly wanted to behead us. What's not to love about New York?
** The tolls coming into New York City from the Newark airport are absolutely, over-the-top outrageous. Anything over $15, in my opinion, is no longer a toll - it's a cover charge that requires two free drinks upon entering the city.
** The interesting thing about being gay in certain evolved parts of America is how uninteresting and unremarkable it is. A person declaring he or she is gay in Park Slope is no more eyebrow raising than a person declaring that he or she likes bialy bagels instead of poppy seed.Religious Left:
If moderate Christians don't fight for their beliefs, they will soon find their faith extinct, with Jesus forever transformed into a judgmental bigot who unfailingly votes Republican and watches Fox news.Religious Tests:
Let me get this straight. Republican demagogic leaders have all but handed out study guides and Number 2 pencils for the past twenty-five years, and they suddenly have an aversion to religious tests for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts?Socialite Sues Church:
A New York socialite who claims a priest turned him into a sodomite is suing the Catholic Church for $5 million. J. David Enright IV, 51, says Rev. Joseph Romano molested him as a 7-year-old boy at summer camp, and as a result he was unable to live as a suburban heterosexual.Tom DeLay:
For years, DeLay has boasted that his fundamentalist "worldview" guides his record in Congress. What he didn't say, was that his worldview included trips to Britain, Moscow, and the Pacific Mariana Islands, paid for by slippery lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
At least DeLay is sincere about upholding family values. In fact, The New York Times reported he is such a good family man that he funneled $500,000 to his wife and daughter for supposed consulting fees.Vatican:
To remain in the Catholic Church as a gay priest is to be the abused wife that runs back to her husband. If a gay priest sees the church as merely a jobs program, than I can understand staying. But, priests with a conscience who care about God, the church, the gay community and the truth, will realize that it is time to leave this increasingly intolerant institution in protest.Zach:
In May, 16-year old Zach told his fundamentalist Christian parents that he is gay. Horrified by the news, they vowed to fix him by sending him to an "ex-gay" boot camp in Memphis to be reprogrammed. Like a modern day message in a bottle, Zach used his Internet blog to send an SOS. Miraculously, his desperate plea for help washed up on the shores of sanity and circulated in cyberspace at warp speed.
Sunday, December 25, 2005