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The Daily Agenda for Saturday, October 15

Jim Burroway

October 15th, 2011

TODAY’S AGENDA (OURS):
Campus Pride College Fair and Prep Day: Los Angeles, CA. Campus Pride’s College Fair is an opportunity for LGBT students and their families to discuss educational opportunities with participating LGBT-affirming colleges and universities. The fair features expert advice about LGBT-friendly colleges, scholarship resources and even effective tips for campus visits. The West Coast College Fair takes place today at the University of Southern California from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. More information can be found here.

AIDS Walks This Weekend: Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Los Angeles; CAPhiladelphia, PA; Tucson, AZ and Watertown, NY.

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Bakersfield, CAJacksonville, FL;  Memphis, TN; Minsk, Belarus; Oklahoma, OK (Black Pride) and Tucson, AZ.

Also This Weekend: Floatilla, Hong Kong and Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

TODAY’S AGENDA (THEIRS):
Scott Lively Featured Guest At Americans for Truth Banquet: Arlington Heights, IL. Tonight will be a rare event in the constellation of SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups: the alignment of two of the brightest stars in one locations. Scott Lively, who calls himself Abiding Truth Ministries, will be the featured guest of Peter LaBarbera, who calls himself Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, a a banquet LaBarbera is throwing to try to raise money. And in their bizarre galaxy where truth is unrecognizable, exporting hate is good, and killing gays in Uganda is “the lesser of two evils,” LaBabera will be giving Lively something he calls a “truth teller’s award.” Moody Church pastor Erwin Lutzer will also speak a the event, which will take place beginning at 6:00 p.m. this evening at Christian Liberty Academy, 502 W. Euclid Ave. in Arlington Heights, IL, Moody Church pastor Erwin Lutzer will also speak a the event. The Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network will be organizing a protest, also beginning at 6:00 p.m. outside the venue. If you are in the Chicagoland area, please do what you can to be there.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
National Gay Task Force Founded: 1973. Dr. Howard Brown made the front page of The New York Times two weeks earlier when the the former Health Administrator for New York Mayor John Lindsay’s administration came out of the closet. Brown had resigned in 1967 when he learned than an investigative reporter planned to expose homosexuals in City Hall.  His secret was not revealed, which meant the reasons for his resignation remained a mystery until he came out 1973. The response, he said, was overwhelmingly favorable, so much so that he decided to establish a new gay advocacy group. This new group, the National Gay Task Force (later to become the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, or NGLTF) would be the first such organization with a truly national scope. According to an article in The Village Voice:

The Gay Task Force will work nationally on gay civil rights legislation and discrimination against gay parents in custody and visitation cases, and will coordinate information from all parts of the country about the progress toward gay civil rights. According to a spokesman for the group, a major coming out of the closet of other well-known people is expected in the near future.

Dr. Bruce Voeller served as its first Executive Director. Other leaders of the new organization included historian Martin Duberman, pioneering activist Barbara Gittings, and Ronald Gold who would had already played a pivotal role in the APA pending delisting of homosexuality as a mental illness later that year.

AIDS a Laughing Matter at the White House: 1982. The very first public mention of AIDS at the White House was not an auspicious one. It was the subject of jokes and laughter between the press and White House Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speaks:

Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement ­ the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases?

SPEAKES: What’s AIDS?

Q: Over a third of them have died. It’s known as “gay plague.” (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it’s a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?

SPEAKES: I don’t have it. Do you? (Laughter.)

Q: No, I don’t.

SPEAKES: You didn’t answer my question.

Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President ­

SPEAKES: How do you know? (Laughter.)

Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?

SPEAKES: No, I don’t know anything about it, Lester.

Q: Does the President, does anyone in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry?

SPEAKES: I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s been any ­

Q: Nobody knows?

SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester.

Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping ­

SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he’s had no ­ (laughter) ­ no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is.

Q: The President doesn’t have gay plague, is that what you’re saying or what?

SPEAKES: No, I didn’t say that.

Q: Didn’t say that?

SPEAKES: I thought I heard you on the State Department over there. Why didn’t you stay there? (Laughter.)

Q: Because I love you Larry, that’s why (Laughter.)

SPEAKES: Oh I see. Just don’t put it in those terms, Lester. (Laughter.)

Q: Oh, I retract that.

SPEAKES: I hope so.

Q: It’s too late.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

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