The Daily Agenda for Monday, December 31

Jim Burroway

December 31st, 2012

TODAY IN HISTORY:
Is Homosexuality Normal or Not?: 1971. That was the burning question for Life magazine, and they tackled it pretty much the way everyone did back then: by talking to a lot of straight people about gay people, but without quoting from a single gay person. Featured in the article was noted anti-gay therapists Edmund Bergler (despite being dead for nearly ten years), Lawrence Hatterer (who conducted electric shock aversion therapy), Irving Bieber, and Charles Socarides — who would later go on to co-found the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). The article tried to present a rundown on what makes gay men gay (there was virtually no mention of lesbians in the article), and then, without quoting from a single “homosexual militant”, asserted that these militants opposed all research on homosexuality. All of this led to the article’s final two paragraphs:

Whether liberationists choose introspection, militancy, or violence as a course of action, the basic stumbling block remains the same: heterosexual antipathy to homosexuality. Will this ever change? Dr. Hatterer has observed that society’s tolerance of homosexuality is increasing but he doubts that we will ever accept it as a desirable “alternative lifestyle.” Nonetheless he and virtually all other psychiatrists advocate repealing the laws that violate this minority’s civil rights.

On the question of “normality,” much remains to be learned. In opposing all inquiry, the militants expose fears of what science might find out about them. Dr. (Evelyn) Hooker’s task force on homosexuality makes the sensible recommendation that the National Institute of Mental Health fund a center for the study of all sexual behavior. “It is essential,” says the report, “that a study of homosexuality be placed within the context of the study of the broad range of sexuality, normal and deviant.”

You can read the article here.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY:
Jennifer Higdon: 1962. Who says playing flute in a Tennessee high school band is a dead end? It certainly wasn’t for Jennifer Higdon, who majored in the instrument at Bowling Green State University where she also began composing. After graduation, she served as Composer-in-Residence with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Gren Bay Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Fort Worth Symphony. Her one-movement tone poem blue cathedral, inspired by her brother’s death from cancer, has become among the most performed modern orchestral works by a living American composer. Her Violin Concerto, which premiered in 2009 in Indianapolis, was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. That same year, her Percussion Concerto won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Higdon lives with her high school sweetheart, Cheryl Lawson, in Philadelphia, where Higdon teaches composition at the Curtis Institute.

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?

Hunter

December 31st, 2012

For the time, the Life article was surprisingly even-handed, although it’s instructive that the author(s) didn’t manage to include any actual statements from “militants” or any other gays — only attributed attitudes. It’s hard to believe that no one would speak for attribution at that point. There’s also the fact that relying on psychotherapists to any degree was questionable: they were, after all, basing their findings on patient populations, so there’s built-in bias in what passed for their study populations, and they were markedly resistant to any broader research. Interesting take on the attitudes at the time, though.

Hunter

December 31st, 2012

PS — Happy New Year to you all.

Steve

December 31st, 2012

Those “therapists” weren’t interested in objective research. After all they made money from “curing” people, so saying that being gay is an illness was in their best interest. They would either have structured their “studies” to produce a desired outcome (like Regnerus) or suppressed any inconvenient data.

Bose in St. Peter MN

December 31st, 2012

The full 11-page spread in that Time magazine is intriguing: Homosexuals in Revolt: The year one liberation movement turned militant. Keeping with the militant theme, only a couple of the gay people in photos is smiling out of the dozens shown. Troy Perry even looks somber and angry in the two shots of him.

Fun, too, to see that Jack Baker’s successful run for U of MN Student Association included posters of him wearing high heels.

In contrast to more recent coverage, it’s interesting that the reporter didn’t go to the Catholic Church or any other religious voices, so there were no scary quotes about gay people being an abomination or ruining the country. Of course, those sorts of condemnations weren’t needed from religious leaders with a sub-head like “A direct assault on laws and customs.”

And yet, in the segment about the MCC and Perry, the reporter tips his hit in an unexpected direction: “[Perry’s] Sunday sermons, flavored by the Bible Belt, are laced with a wit that easily demolishes the traditional view of homosexuality as evil.”

Easily demolished? Wow.

Donny D.

January 1st, 2013

Bose in St. Peter MN wrote,

In contrast to more recent coverage, it’s interesting that the reporter didn’t go to the Catholic Church or any other religious voices, so there were no scary quotes about gay people being an abomination or ruining the country.

No, there generally wouldn’t have been back then, because the big mission of the straight, oh, excuse me, MAINSTREAM print media was to convince every one of their readers that gay people are “sick”, so the quotes were all from psychologists and psychiatrists, tending heavily toward the latter. And there might or might not be a quote from a cop. Always against us, of course.

WildwoodGuy

January 3rd, 2013

Jim,
Thank you for introducing me to Jennifer Higdon. I had never heard of her… and then suddenly, after you introduced us to her, I discover that my local classical radio station is hosting her *LIVE* this coming Saturday evening 1/5/13 at 8P PST on a show by local host Robert McBride. You can hear the program live at http://www.allclassical.org/
at 8p PST or, if you can’t catch it live, listen to it on demand by going to the website and hitting the ‘Audio Archive’ option, select Club Mod. They archive 2 weeks worth of shows for each of the locally created content.

As always Jim, you help to introduce us all to new artists and people I’ve never heard of before, and I want to thank you for that! (I never heard of Michael Tippett… and then realized his big work A Child of our Time had aired on Club Mod on Saturday, June 30. Yes… I listened… but didn’t realize the significance at the time.

Thank you Jim, for everything you do and for all the new things to which you introduce this old fossil.

G.I. Joe

January 5th, 2013

To be fair, the article actually quotes two homosexual by name (although anonymously, so it could be made up). I actually find it quite positive for 1971.

Compared to the 1966 TIME magazine article Bose mentions, it’s light speed ahead in terms of positivism and optimism.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

FBI Reports Massive Surge In Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes in 2015

Baptist General Convention of Texas Warns Churches in Dallas and Austin Over LGBT Inclusion

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.