Tag Archives: New York Times

GAY HISTORY – March 18, 1986: William F. Buckley, Jr. Proposes Tattooing All “AIDS Carriers” in New York Times Op-Ed

William F. Buckley was an American conservative author, journalist and commentator who founded National Review magazine in 1955. He hosted 1,429 episodes of the television show Firing Line (1966–1999), where he became known for his transatlantic accent and wide vocabulary. Buckley also wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column.

On March 18th, 1986 two op-eds appeared in The New York Times’s editorial page under the heading, “Critical Steps in Combating the AIDS Epidemic.” One was written by Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, and the other by Buckley. Dershowitz’s column, in keeping with the general hysteria of the day, was not without its alarmist elements. He repeated the belief that “AIDS may, in fact, be transmissible by tears, saliva, bodily fluids and mosquito bites” — a contention that was quickly refuted by those more familiar with the disease. But he also pleaded that “the flow of solid data should not be polluted by personal moralism. … We have a right to know the hard facts about AIDS, unvarnished by moralistic prejudgments.”

That recommendation contrasted sharply with Buckley’s op-ed. Buckley acknowledged that many who see homosexuality as morally wrong also saw AIDS as a “special curse of the homosexual, transmitted through anal sex between males.” But that didn’t stop him from trying to claim that those who “tend to disapprove forcefully of homosexuality … (tend) to approach the problem of AIDS empirically.” And how did Buckley “empirically” approach the AIDS crisis?

We face a utilitarian imperative, and the requires absolutely nothing less than the identification of the million-odd people who, the doctors estimate, are carriers.

How?

Well, the military has taken the first concrete step. Two million soldiers will be given the blood test, and those who have AIDS will be discreetly discharged. …The next logical step would be to require of anyone who seeks a marriage license that he present himself not only with a Wassermann test but also an AIDS test.

But if he has AIDS, should he then be free to marry?

Only after the intended spouse is advised that her intended husband has AIDS, and agrees to sterilization. We know already of children born with the disease, transmitted by the mother, who contracted it from the father.

…The next logical enforcer is the insurance company. Blue Cross, for instance, can reasonably require of those who wish to join it a physical examination that requires tests. Almost every American, making his way from infancy to maturity, needs to pass by one or another institutional turnstile. Here the lady will spring out, her right hand on a needle, her left on a computer, to capture a blood specimen.

Is it then proposed …that AIDS carriers should be publicly identified as such?

The evidence is not completely in as to the communicability of the disease. But while much has been said that is reassuring, the moment has not yet come when men and women of science are unanimously agreed that AIDS cannot be casually communicated. Let us be patient on that score, pending any tilt in the evidence: If the news is progressively reassuring, public identification would not be necessary. If it turns in the other direction and AIDS develops among, say, children who have merely roughhoused with other children who suffer from AIDS, then more drastic segregation measures would be called for.

But if the time has not come, and may never come, for public identification, what then of private identification?

Everyone detected with AIDS should be tattooed in the upper forearm, to protect common-needle users, and on the buttocks, to prevent the victimization of other homosexuals.

A year later, Buckley “withdrew” his proposal under the unique kind of protest that only Buckley could muster:

Sixteen months ago, in a thinking-out-loud exchange with Professor Alan Dershowitz, I suggested that perhaps AIDS carriers should be tattooed discreetly, to guard uncontaminated sexual or needle partners from danger. This proposal reminded everyone of Auschwitz, and I have seen, in print, that Mr. Buckley “wants to tattoo all homosexuals.” It is as though anyone who found a use for barbed wire was secretly a concentration-camp fetishist. Never mind: I quickly withdrew the proposal for the simple reasoning that it proved socially intolerable. I have ever since been waiting for a socially tolerable alternative to be proposed…

But in 2005 when the news media would initiate a new round of hysteria over an imaginary AIDS “superbug,” Buckley was there again, suggesting that the tattoo idea be revived:

The objective is to identify the carrier, and to warn his victim. Someone, 20 years ago, suggested a discreet tattoo the site of which would alert the prospective partner to the danger of proceeding as had been planned. But the author of the idea was treated as though he had been schooled in Buchenwald, and the idea was not widely considered, but maybe it is up now for reconsideration.

The so-called “superbug” was a phantom, but Buckley’s Buchenwaldist proposal was, apparently, serious — serious enough for him to raise it again unapologetically 20 years later adding; “If the protocol had been accepted, many who caught the infection unguardedly would be alive. Probably over a million.”

Buckley died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, on February 27, 2008. Ronald Reagan’s widow, Nancy, commented, “Ronnie valued Bill’s counsel throughout his political life.”

Which in hind-site explains a helluva lot.

Gay History – November 1: That Certain Summer, The Children’s Hour, and the Gay Games

That Certain Summer

November 1

1932: The New York Times reviews the play “Incubator,” which dealt with the consequences of homosexuality in an all-male school for delinquents.

The show tells the story of Frank Martin who is sent to an all-male state Training School and falls in love where he falls in love with other criminals, learns their “tricks” and emerges a bitter member of society.

The show ran for only 7 performances.

1934 – Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour opens on Broadway. The drama is set in an all-girls boarding school run by two women, Karen Wright and Martha Dobie. An angry student, Mary Tilford, runs away from the school and to avoid being sent back she tells her grandmother that the two headmistresses are having a lesbian affair. The accusation proceeds to destroy the women’s careers, relationships and lives.

In the 2nd film version made in 1961 starring Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn in the 1996 documentary film The Celluloid Closet,  MacLaine said that she and Audrey Hepburn never talked about their characters’ alleged homosexuality. She also claimed that Director William Wyler cut some scenes hinting at Martha’s love for Karen because of concerns about critical reaction to the film

1937:  Dr. Tom Waddell a gay Olympic Deathlon athlete and founder of the Gay Games is born.  Originally named the Gay Olympics in 1982 the international sporting event was later renamed the Gay Games after the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) sued Waddell for using the word “Olympic” in the original name.

Tom Waddell died from AIDS on July 11, 1987, aged 49, in San Francisco, California. His last words were “Well, this should be interesting.” His battle against HIV/AIDS is one of the subjects of the award-winning documentary Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt

1948:  WMCA, a radio station in New York, broadcast a show in response to a letter from a man who was arrested after a police officer made advances. A judge who was a guest stated that the author of the letter had no right to complain about the entrapment and that police should use such tactics to weed out homosexuals.

1972: The landmark TV movie That Certain Summer airs, starring Hal Holbrooke and Martin Sheen as a gay couple who reveal their relationship to Holbrooke’s teen son.

In an interview with the Dallas Voice, Martin Sheen reminisced, “I thought it was wonderful. There was a great deal of freedom in it because it wasn’t about advocating a lifestyle or a sexuality. It was about two people who adored each other, and they weren’t allowed to have a relationship that involved their sexuality.” When asked if at the time he was concerned the role could affect his career, he responded, “I’d robbed banks and kidnapped children and raped women and murdered people, you know, in any number of shows. Now I was going to play a gay guy and that was like considered a career ender. Oh, for Christ’s sake! What kind of culture do we live in?”

You can watch That Certain Summer on Youtube by CLICKING HERE

1999:  Nancy Katz became Illinois’s first openly lesbian judge when she was sworn in as a Cook County associate judge.

1999: TV’s Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart) enjoyed a prolonged kiss with her office nemesis, Ling (Lucy Liu). Seventeen million viewers tuned in, and it was the show’s largest audience during its run.

 

New York Times Editorial Board Slams North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law: Expect Major Consequences For Hate

New York Times Editorial Board

From the editorial board of the New York Times:

By promoting the ludicrous idea that transgender women are inherently dangerous, the law endangers citizens who are already disproportionately vulnerable to violence and stigmatization. Transgender men go largely unmentioned in bathroom bill debates, but that could change. James Parker Sheffield, a transgender man with a beard, exposed the foolishness of the law in a tweet to the governor. “It’s now the law for me to share a restroom with your wife,” he wrote, attaching a photo of himself.

North Carolina could face serious economic repercussions from the law. It can expect a backlash from leading employers, a potential cut in federal education funding and lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the law. American Airlines, which has a hub in Charlotte, and PayPal, which recently announced it would create 400 jobs in the state, are among several companies that have already criticized the law.

Mr. McCrory, who is running for re-election, may have assumed the bill would help him in a tight race against Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat who called the measure shameful. “Not only does this hurt North Carolina families, but it hurts our economy as well,” Mr. Cooper said in a video message. Voters should reject the candidate who made the state a pioneer in bigotry.

While I’m happy to see that a major companies like Bank America and PayPal have begun to speak out backlash has begun, but it won’t mean anything unless the companies in question actually do remove their headquarters and business from the state

Please reach out to the following companies;  Bank of America IBM, American Airlines, PayPal, and Apple and tell them we appreciate the talk.  But its nothing without the walk.

The New York Times Slams Rentboy.com Raid

Rentboy domain seized

While hundreds of other “straight” escort sites remain open for business the editorial board of the “Old Gray Lady” aka the  New York Times is “baffled” by Homeland Security’s raid on Rentboy.com.

NYT’s editorial :

The criminal complaint is so saturated with sexually explicit details, it’s hard not to interpret it as an indictment of gay men as being sexually promiscuous. “Based on my investigation,” Susan Ruiz, a Homeland Security special agent, wrote in the complaint, “I have learned that a sling, also known as a ‘sex sling,’ is a device that allows two people to have sex while one is suspended.” Later, she helpfully explained that “the term ‘twink’ is a slang term for a young, gay man with an effeminate manner, thin build, and no body or facial hair.”

Prosecutors can credibly argue that the site’s operators were breaking the law. But they have provided no reasonable justification for devoting significant resources, particularly from an agency charged with protecting America from terrorists, to shut down a company that provided sex workers with a safer alternative to street walking or relying on pimps. The defendants have not been accused of exploiting sex workers, featuring minors on the website, financial crimes or other serious offenses that would warrant a federal prosecution.

Gay men in the United States turn to sex work for a variety of reasons. In New York, where homeless shelters for gay and transgender youths have lengthy waiting lists, sex work can mean the difference between sleeping on a bed and sleeping on the street. For others, it is a way to afford a degree. The Rentboy.com bust may spook clients and sex workers for a while, but it would be naïve to think it will do much more. Federal authorities should consider whether continuing to spend time and money turning the website’s operators into felons is worthwhile, while far more serious crimes, including human trafficking and sexual exploitation, go unpunished.

Rentboy.com must have forgotten to make this month’s extortion payment to someone.

Just like the old days.

New York Time Editorial Writer Accuses Geeks Out of “Blacklisting” Orson Card Scott

Boycott Enders Game

In what has to be one of the most badly researched, written and most bizarre editorials ever to grace the page New York Times opinion page.  New York Times Editorial Board member Juliet Lapidos accuses the LGBT community and specifically the organization Geeks Out of “blacklisting” anti-gay National Organization for marriage board-member and virulent homophobe Orson Scott Card.

Geeks Out wants to sink the film to punish Orson Scott Card, who wrote the 1985 novel “Ender’s Game” and was one of several producers for the screen adaptation. In 1990, Mr. Card argued in the magazine Sunstone that “laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books” and “be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.” He was on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex unions, from 2009 until this year.

Both Mr. Card and Lionsgate have issued statements in response to the boycott movement, emphasizing that “Ender’s Game” has nothing to do with gay rights or really any contemporary debate. Lionsgate said that while it does not “agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card,” his opinions “are completely irrelevant to a discussion of ‘Ender’s Game.’ ” The studio’s response, though self-serving, is exactly right.

Generally, boycotts are used to pressure companies or governments to end objectionable activities; consider the boycott of Chick-fil-A to protest the chain’s financial support of anti-gay organizations. What Geeks Out has in mind is closer to blacklisting. The group wants to “send a clear and serious message to Card and those that do business with his brand of antigay activism — whatever he’s selling, we’re not buying.” This isn’t about stopping the dissemination of anti gay sentiments; it’s about isolating Mr. Card and shaming his business partners, thus cutting into their profits.

If Mr. Card belongs in quarantine, who’s next? His views were fairly mainstream when the Sunstone article appeared and, unfortunately, are not unusual today. Just 10 years ago, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his inflammatory Lawrence v. Texas dissent that Americans have every right to enforce “the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct” in order to protect themselves “from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive.” 

Lapidos makes many mistakes in her “so called” editorial.  The first being the fact that, as a writer and producer of Ender’s Game, we put directly money into Orson Scott Cards pocket, which money has been used for actions — not opinions, action — that have harmed the lives of thousands of gay Americans this she seems to simply overlook or just ignore.

The “Sunstone” article written by Card in 1990 which Ms. Lapidos mentions, and should actually read is more of a manifesto against homosexuality rather than an article and if I remember correctly at the time  it was not mainstream to promote the idea that homosexuality should be criminalized to let people know that they would never be accepted by society.  Also it is not now mainstream to sit on the board of a hate group like the National of Marriage, call for the overthrow of the government if gay marriage becomes legal,  and it’s certainly not mainstream to donate million’s upon million’s of dollars for the sole purpose of denying fellow citizens equal rights.

And perhaps whats most bothersome part Lapidos  piece is that she herself purposely fear-mongers by inaccurately using the term “blacklist” which brings back to memories of the of the 1940’s and denying employment to Jewish Hollywood screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians in the 1940’s which is incredibly moronic repugnant.  The fact that a New York Times editorial staffer does not know the difference between “boycotting” and “blacklisting” is shameful and unacceptable.

The New York Times does not allow comments on its editorial pages and there is no email listed for Ms. Lapidos  but she can be reached via her Twitter account @jlapidos

Gay History - August 24, 1970: the New York Times Runs Front Page Story On "Homosexuals in Revolt"

NY Times Editorial Board Takes President Obama Task Over ENDA – JUST DO IT!

The New York Times

The New York Times Editorial Board has come out strongly urging that President Obama sign an  executive order that would ban discrimination of LGBT employees by companies under federal contract and telling him that its time that he stand up and help push ENDA  (The Employment Non-Discrimination Act) through Congress

Some conservative opponents of the act, known as ENDA, contend it would threaten religious freedom because its exemption for employers affiliated with religious organizations is too narrow. Actually, the proposed religious exemption is far too broad and needs to be scaled back. The American Civil Liberties Union and some gay rights groups rightly point out that as it is now drafted, the exemption — extending well beyond just houses of worship to hospitals and universities, for example, and encompassing medical personnel, billing clerks and others in jobs that are not directly involved in any religious function — amounts to a license to engage in the discrimination that ENDA is meant to remedy.       

It is one thing for religious groups to further their religious mission by favoring people of their own faith in hiring, as Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act permits. It is quite another to allow the firing of a lesbian physician or transgender nurse when a hospital that is not affiliated with a religious group happens to merge with an institution that is. Under Title VII’s religious exemption, houses of worship and religion-affiliated entities are subject to the law’s prohibition against discrimination based on race, sex and national origin. ENDA’s religious exemption should treat sexual orientation and gender identity in a similar fashion. To do otherwise would leave too many jobs outside of ENDA’s protections.       

Congress has a duty to stop dawdling and approve a strong bill. In the meantime, President Obama, a supporter of ENDA, can take a significant step toward ending discrimination in the workplace by issuing an executive order barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors. He has the power to protect millions of American workers, and it is about time he used it.

The NY Times points out that protections for people of religion are indeed included in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  One of the main arguments of many right-wing extremist groups and the GOP itself is that ENDA would five LGBT individuals “special rights” and protections while they have been enjoying them for the past 50 years.

ENDA has been introduced in every Congress since 1994.  Similar legislation has been introduced without passage since 1974 unsuccessfully.

Maureen Dowd: The Mayans Were Right, It Is the End Of The World….. For Republicans

The Mayans were right, as it turns out, when they predicted the world would end in 2012. It was just a select world: the G.O.P. universe of arrogant, uptight, entitled, bossy, retrogressive white guys. Just another vanishing tribe that fought the cultural and demographic tides of history. Someday, it will be the subject of a National Geographic special, or a Mel Gibson movie, where archaeologists piece together who the lost tribe was, where it came from, and what happened to it.

The experts will sift through the ruins of the Reagan Presidential Library, Dick Cheney’s shotgun casings, Orca poll monitoring hieroglyphics, remnants of triumphal rants by Dick Morris on Fox News, faded photos of Clint Eastwood and an empty chair, and scraps of ancient tape in which a tall, stiff man, his name long forgotten, gnashes his teeth about the 47 percent of moochers and the ‘gifts’ they got. Instead of smallpox, plagues, drought and Conquistadors, the Republican decline will be traced to a stubborn refusal to adapt to a world where poor people and sick people and black people and brown people and female people and gay people count.” –  Maureen Dowd, in the New York Times.

Great piece by Maureen Dowd.

Homos for Momo!

Maureen Dowd: Why Voters Rejected Mitt Romney “The Brylcreemed boss out of a ’50s boardroom”.

“Team Romney has every reason to be shellshocked. Its candidate, after all, resoundingly won the election of the country he was wooing.       

Mitt Romney is the president of white male America.       

Maybe the group can retreat to a man cave in a Whiter House, with mahogany paneling, brown leather Chesterfields, a moose head over the fireplace, an elevator for the presidential limo, and one of those men’s club signs on the phone that reads: “Telephone Tips: ‘Just Left,’ 25 cents; ‘On His Way,’ 50 cents; ‘Not here,’ $1; ‘Who?’ $5.”       

In its delusional death spiral, the white male patriarchy was so hard core, so redolent of country clubs and Cadillacs, it made little effort not to alienate women. The election had the largest gender gap in the history of the Gallup poll, with Obama winning the vote of single women by 36 percentage points.       

As W.’s former aide Karen Hughes put it in Politico on Friday, “If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue.”       

Some Republicans conceded they were “a ‘Mad Men’ party in a ‘Modern Family’ world” (although “Mad Men” seems too louche for a candidate who doesn’t drink or smoke and who apparently dated only one woman). They also acknowledged that Romney’s strategists ran a 20th-century campaign against David Plouffe’s 21st-century one.       

But the truth is, Romney was an unpalatable candidate. And shocking as it may seem, his strategists weren’t blowing smoke when they said they were going to win; they were just clueless.       

Until now, Republicans and Fox News have excelled at conjuring alternate realities. But this time, they made the mistake of believing their fake world actually existed. As Fox’s Megyn Kelly said to Karl Rove on election night, when he argued against calling Ohio for Obama: “Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?”       

Romney and Tea Party loonies dismissed half the country as chattel and moochers who did not belong in their “traditional” America. But the more they insulted the president with birther cracks, the more they tried to force chastity belts on women, and the more they made Hispanics, blacks and gays feel like the help, the more these groups burned to prove that, knitted together, they could give the dead-enders of white male domination the boot.” –  Maureen Dowd, writing for the New York Times.

Oh the deliciousness of this schadenfreude pie that has been lasting and lasting the whole week through.

Delicious! 

The New York Times Slams The National Organization For Marriage, Compares Them To Vermin

When a light is shined into the dark corners of American politics, it’s never pleasant to see what scurries away. Last week, a federal judge in Maine unsealed memos from the National Organization for Marriage, one of the most prominent groups fighting against same-sex marriage. [snip]

The documents brag about its “crucial” role in passage of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage that was overturned by a federal appeals court. They describe the group’s use of “robo-calls” to scare residents in different states away from supporting marriage equality. They talk of a plan to “expose Obama as a social radical,” but the most appalling portions deal with the group’s racially and ethnically divisive strategies. [snip]

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have publicly aligned themselves with the group and signed its pledge to work aggressively from the White House against same-sex marriage. Now that the group’s poisonous political approach is out in the open, Mr. Romney and the others should be racing to make clear their disapproval. We detect no stampede. – From the New York Times Editorial – Divide and Discriminate

Countdown until Brian Brown (shirt) and Maggie (Moooo-gie) Gallagher state that its a “badge of honor” to be “bullied” by the liberal New York Times in five….four….three….two….

The AP, CBS, The New York Times, and CNN Pick Up The National Organization For Marriage’s Race Baiting Scandal

National news media outlets have started picking up the story about the National Organization For Marriage’s recently exposed strategy via NOM official documents that they would fight same sex marriage and LGBT equality using race baiting by pitting Blacks and Latino’s against the LGBT community.

The New York Tines Caucus Blog:

“The strategic goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” reads a portion of the memo, describing an initiative called the “Not a Civil Right Project.” The project’s goal, according to the memo, is to recruit blacks who oppose gay marriage to serve as spokespeople for the group, then “provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.” Another initiative, described under the heading “Internationalizing the Marriage issue: A Pan-American Strategy,” is to convince Hispanic voters that efforts to legalize gay marriage would force them to assimilate to “the dominant Anglo culture.” The memo suggests that the strategy was inspired by successful efforts to outlaw same-sex marriage by initiative in California in 2008, when the measure passed with strong support from black voters, who turned out heavily to support Barack Obama for president. Brian S. Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, did not immediately return a call for comment on Tuesday.

Posted to CNN.com

A national group opposed to same-sex marriage aimed to fight it by driving “a wedge between gays and blacks” and identifying “glamorous” Latino artists and athletes to advocate traditional marriage, according to newly released confidential memos. The strategies were among several pursued by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which has actively campaigned against same-sex marriage efforts. The Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, said it obtained the documents, part of a civil action in Maine, on Monday and published them on its website. “This court-ordered disclosure shows NOM fighting a losing battle with strategy and tactics that are racially and ethnically divisive, filled with false political calculations, and out of touch with the majority of fair-minded Americans,” Human Rights Campaign said in a statement.

 CBS added a story on the NOM scandal story via The Associated Press

The leading national organization opposing same-sex marriage has sought to split the Democratic Party base by pitting African-Americans and Hispanics against gay-rights groups, according to confidential strategy memos made public by court officials in Maine. “The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” says one of the memos. It also suggests “interrupting” the process of cultural assimilation for Hispanics in hopes of curtailing support for same-sex marriage. The documents, dating from 2009, were written by the National Organization for Marriage and had been kept from the public until Monday, when they were unsealed by court officials in Maine. They were part of a two-pronged legal challenge of Maine’s financial disclosure laws. Still unresolved is whether the NOM will have to release the names of donors to its successful 2009 campaign to ban same-sex marriage in Maine.

FINALLY, some mainstream coverage. Apparently this really is scandalous enough for the bloodsucking corporate media to get some mileage out of it.

Ah well, if scandal is what it takes to get them to notice, bring. it. on baby, bring it on!