The Daily Agenda for Wednesday, February 6

Jim Burroway

February 6th, 2013

Boy Scout Handbook, 2nd ed. (1914-1916), with cover art by the famous gay illustrator J.C. Leyendecker.

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Boy Scouts of America Concludes Annual Board Meeting: Irving, TX. The Boy Scouts of America’s annual governing board meeting winds up for the last of its scheduled three day get-together today. The big item remaining on the agenda is the proposed elimination of the Boy Scout’s ban on gay scouts and scout leaders, and replacing it with a policy which will allow local troops to decide for themselves whether to discriminate against gay people. Anti-gay activists have been working overtime in trying to defeat the proposal. One group, Texas Values, has scheduled a 10:00 a.m. prayer vigil and rally at the BSA’s national headquarters in Irving. On Monday, former gay scouts and leaders hand-delivered 1.4 million petition signatures urging the organization to lift its ban. We’ll find out what the board decides sometime today.

Events This Weekend: Cologne Street Carnival, Cologne, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, LA; Germany; Sydney Mardis Gras, Sydney, NSW; Sitges Carnival, Sitges, Spain; GayWhistler Winter Pride, Whistler, BC.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
Reagan Orders AIDS Report: 1986. In a message sent to Congress two days after the State of the Union Address, President Ronald Reagan made his second public mention of AIDS:

We will continue, as a high priority, the fight against Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). An unprecedented research effort is underway to deal with this major epidemic public health threat. The number of AIDS cases is expected to increase. While there are hopes for drugs and vaccines against AIDS, none is immediately at hand. Consequently, efforts should focus on prevention, to inform and to lower risks of further transmission of the AIDS virus. To this end, I am asking the Surgeon General to prepare a report to the American people on AIDS.

Reagan’s first mention of AIDS was during a news conference five months earlier (see Sep 17). That last sentence in the report to Congress came as a surprise to Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. As he wrote in Koop: The Memoirs of America’s Family Doctor, the White House had worked keep him out of the loop during the AIDS crisis. So when Reagan made the public announcement, Koop jumped at the tasks, working feverishly to complete the report, and to thwart administration official’s attempts to delaye or shelve it. The Surgeon General’s Report, which called on schools and parents to have “frank, open discussions” with very young children and teens about AIDS, was finally released in October (see Oct 22).

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY:
Ramón Novarro: 1899. The Mexican leading man was hailed as the next male sex symbol after Rudolph Valentino died. His first major success was in the 1923 silent film Scaramouche, but his greatest fame came with 1925’s Ben-Hur. His transition to talkies was mildly successful, but not enough for MGM to renew his contract in 1935. Besides, MGM feared trouble: Novarro had already rejected Louis B. Mayer’s demand that he enter into a “lavender marriage.” From 1935, Novarro worked only sporadically in films and television, but fortunately he made some wise investments in real estate early in his career. He was murdered in 1968 by two brothers who he solicited for sex, but who beat him mercilessly in an attempt to get him to reveal where he kept his money. They left with $20, leaving Novarro to choke to death on his own blood.

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?

MattNYC

February 6th, 2013

BSA punted. To May.

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