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The Daily Agenda for Friday, May 24

Jim Burroway

May 24th, 2013

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Alkmaar, Netherlands; Birmingham, UK; Cambridge/Kitchener/Waterloo, ON; Chicago, IL (Bear Pride); Eilat, Israel; Eskilstuna, Sweden; Melbourne, FL; Pensacola, FL; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Tralee, Ireland; Washington, DC (Black Pride).

Harvey Milk Day Events: Various locations and dates.

Other Events This Weekend: International Mr. Leather, Chicago, IL; Matinee Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV; As One In The Park, London, UK; Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, New Orleans, LA; Great Plains Rodeo, Oklahoma City, OK; Inside Out Toronto Film Festival, Toronto, ON.

30 YEARS AGO: Pat Buchanan Declares AIDS “Awful Retribution”: 1983. “The sexual revolution has begun to devour its children,” proclaimed Pat Buchanan in a New York Post op-ed that was relayed in newspapers across America. “And among the revolutionary vanguard, the Gay Rights activists, the mortality rate is higher and climbing.”

By 1983, the known AIDS epidemic was about to reach its two year mark. A general panic was spreading in the gay community, and a general backlash was brewing everywhere else. Buchanan fueled that backlash with this op-ed, warning that no homosexual should be permitted to handle food. He also warned that the Democratic party’s decision to hold their 1984 convention in San Francisco would leave their delegates wives and children at the mercy of “homosexuals who belong to a community that is a common carrier of dangerous, communicable and sometimes fatal diseases.” And he attributed all of it to divine retribution with his now-infamous money-quote: “The poor homosexuals… they have declared war upon nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution.”

Buchanan had a flair for the dramatic turn of the phrase, having served as an opposition researcher and speechwriter for President Richard Nixon. He would go on to become communications director for the Reagan White House from 1985 to 1987. In 1992, as Buchanan ran for the Republican nomination for President, he again called AIDS “nature’s retribution for violating the laws of nature in many ways” (see Feb 27). His speech before the Republican National Convention later that summer brought the term “culture war” to a nationwide audience.

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?



May 24th, 2013 | LINK

Headline: “Abbotsford’s gay youth set to launch Pride parade in heart of Bible Belt”

“On Saturday, 200 people are expected to take part in Abbotsford’s [British Columbia, 45 miles east of Vancouver] inaugural Pride parade.”

“”Pride has been silenced because of the fact that we are a predominantly religious and conservative community,” said [John] Kuipers, one of the organizers. The message they get is “you can’t be queer and be a Christian.””

Read more:

And, as a reminder that regardless of rules and regulations, individuals can be incredibly cruel and petty:

“But Abbotsford still has a long way to go, says Shelley Stefan, a University of the Fraser Valley visual-arts faculty member. She’s been out at the school since 2006. But recently, the 39-year old was refused a short haircut at two Abbotsford barber shops.”

Jonathan Justice
May 26th, 2013 | LINK

Pat projects a lot, doesn’t he?

I am not so much talking about what he does sexually, as the vicious authoritarian political sensibility he pretends that the rest of us are afflicted with. Making culture war was a bad idea in the Germany that came to think it could win World War I, and then World War II, and it is a bad idea for the rest of the planet as well.

The irony of Buchanan reanimating a program that Bismark used to attack Catholics in the 1870’s to defend his version of Catholic faith is pretty rich, especially given that the targeted population turned the thing around to become an essential partner in the governing coalition in about ten years.

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