January 7th, 2013
Merry Christmas! Yes, today is Christmas day — if you grew up in or are a member of an Orthodox Church which follows the Julian calendar. That would include churches in Ethiopia, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Moldova. (Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian, Antiochian and others celebrates Christmas on December 25). Christmas day formally ends the 40-day Nativity Fast. In Russia, the main celebration takes place on Christmas Eve, where the family returns home from services for the traditional “Holy Supper” consisting of 12 dishes, one for each of the apostles. In Georgia, people dress up and go an an “Alilo walk” and wish each other Christmas greetings and hand out sweets to children. Serbs spread their Christmas celebrations out over three days with numerous feasts, gatherings and traditional activities for each day.
Court Hearing In Lawsuit Against Scott Lively: Springfield, MA. Last March, the Center for Constitutional Rights announced that they were suing Scott Lively in Federal District Court on behalf of Sexual Minorities Uganda for Lively’s “decade-long campaign he has waged, in coordination with his Ugandan counterparts, to persecute persons on the basis of their gender and/or sexual orientation and gender identity.” He is being sued under the Alien Tort Statute, which provides federal jurisdiction for “any civil action by an alien, for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” Oral arguments on Lively’s motion to dismiss are set for today before Judge Michael A. Ponsor at the Federal Courthouse in Springfield, Massachusetts. Oral arguments are set for 11:00 a.m. For those planning to attend either the hearing or a planned rally, CCR provides this advice:
WHEN: You are advised to arrive at 9:00am. The hearing is at 11:00am, however, word is that Lively’s people have been advised to arrive at 9:30am. It also takes one hour in advance to allow time for going through courthouse security. After the argument, there will be a press conference and rally in front of the courthouse, organized by CCR and the Stop the Hate and Homophobia Coalition of Western Massachusetts.
Prior to the hearing, starting at 10:00am, the Stop The Hate And Homophobia Coalition is organizing a “stand-out” along State Street in front of the courthouse, where we will be holding supporting signs and informational flyers.
CCR and Sexual Minorities Uganda are also organizing a Twitter Rally from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. EST using the #StoptheHate hashtag. CCR will hold a press conference in front of the Court House after the hearing, which is expected to take less than two hours. You can learn more about the lawsuit at the CCR’s website. Vince Warren, CCR’s Executive Director, wrote this op-ed for The Washington Post.
THIS MONTH IN HISTORY:
Phyllis Lyon Kills Ann Ferguson: 1957. When the Daughters of Bilitis began publishing The Ladder in October 1956, it’s masthead identified its first editor as Ann Ferguson. In the second issue, Ferguson penned a short article addressing the first problem they encountered in publishing what would become the nation’s first magazine for lesbians. As Ferguson explained it, too many people feared “that names on our mailing list may fall into the wrong hands, or that by indicating interest in this magazine a person will automatically be labeled a homosexual.” She assured readers that subscribers included all kinds of people, including lawyers, social workers, psychiatrists, business, and other professionals. She also assured readers that “Daughters of BIlitis is not outside the law — we advocate no illegal actions by anyone.”
Ferguson revealed that the organization had obtained legal council and would file for incorporation under the laws of California. She also explained a recent Supreme Court decision which upheld the rights of citizens to refuse to reveal to Congressional committees the names on subscription lists or lists of purchases. So in addition to the organization’s own bylaws prohibiting the disclosure of The Ladder’s subscription lists, “the decision also guarantees that your name is safe!”
Ferguson had been at the helm for only thee months when the January 1957 issue included this startling announcement:
ANN FERGUSON IS DEAD!
I confess. I killed Ann Ferguson. Premeditatedly and with malice aforethought. We ran an article in the November issue of THE LADDER entitled “Your Name is Safe”.” Ann Ferguson wrote that article. Her words were true, her conclusions logical and documented — yet she was not practising what she preached.
Somehow it didn’t seem right,
She spent some time considering the situation. Then came to a conclusion. At the November public discussion meeting of the Daughters of Bilitis we got up — Ann Ferguson and I — and did away with Ann. Now there is only Phyllis Lyon.
Seriously, my pseudonym was taken in the first place without much thought. Somehow, it seemed the thing to do. But all it did was create problems. If you’re going to write under a pseudonym then you should go by that name in personal contacts. But everybody connected with the Daughters of Bilitis already knew me as Phyllis and the attempt to call me Ann confused everyone, including me.
I’m sure that I’m not placing myself in any jeopardy by using my real name — and I’m only simplifying matters and practising what I preach.
Phyllis Lyon (see Nov 10) with her partner Del Martin (see May 5) were among eight women who founded the Daughters of Bilitis in 1955 (see Oct 19). In 2008, they Phyllis and Del became the first same-sex couple to be legally married in the state of California. Del passed away later that year. At last report, Phyllis still lives in their home in San Francisco.
[Sources: Ann Ferguson. “Your Name Is Safe!” The Ladder, 1, no. 2 (November 1956): 10-12.
Phyllis Lyon. “Ann Ferguson Is Dead!” The Ladder, 1, no. 4 (January 1957): 7.]
Jann Wenner: 1946. He founded Rolling Stone in 1967 when he was just 21, after borrowing $7,500 from family members. In 1977 he founded Outside magazine, and in 1985 he bought a share of US. In 1995, he separated from his wife, Jane Wenner, to live with Matt Nye, a former model and fashion designer. Jann and Jane have never divorced — she is still vice president of Wenner Media — and Jann and Matt are still together. In addition to the three sons he had with Jane, Jann and Matt also have three children.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.