The Daily Agenda for Monday, July 8
July 8th, 2013
Marriage Equality Bill Reaches Report Stage in House of Lords: Westminster, UK. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will begin the Report Stage in the House of Lords today after completing the Committee Stage line-by-line examination on June 24. One hundred and thirty-six amendments have been proposed for the bill, some of which are so-called “wrecking amendments” which would either stop the bill altogether or derail its progress to eventual passage by changing the bill in ways that would be unacceptable to the House of Commons. Several amendments proposed by Lord Geoffrey Dear were already rejected at the Committee Stage two weeks ago. Two proposed amendments (amendments 4 and 8) would seek to define and establish “traditional marriage” as a separate heterosexual-only institution. One amendment (amendment 46) would protect teachers who would denounce same-sex marriage in the classrooms, and one amendment (amendment 50) would guarantee the right of parents to withdraw students from the classroom anytime same-sex marriage is to be discussed. Two amendments proposed by Baroness Ruth Deech (amendments 94 and 136) would extend all tax and other benefits of civil partnerships to all care givers and family members who share a house. And two proposed amendments by Lord Indarjit Singh of Wimbledon (amendments 96 and 134) would require that the entire bill be put to voters in England and Wales in an October referendum before it can take effect.
Once the bill completes the Report Stage on Wednesday, it will then go to House of Lords for a third and final reading on July 15. If it passes the third reading, it will then go back to the House of Commons due to changes which have been made to the bill already.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
Lige Clarke’s “Call to Arms”: 1969. Lige Clarke had cut his activist’s teeth as a member of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., where he had lettered nine of the ten picket signs carried by the first White House protest in 1965 (see Apr 17). A protege of Frank Kameny (see May 21)and lover of Jack Nichols (see Mar 16), Clarke moved with Nichols to New York in 1968, where the couple became regular columnists for Screw magazine. Their column, “The Homosexual Citizen,” is believed to have been the the first regular LGBT column to appear regularly in a non-LGBT publication. In reaction to the two nights of rioting that followed the police raid on the Stonewall Inn, Clarke issued the following “call to arms,” which echoed much of the more radical rhetoric of that rebellious age:
The revolution in Sheridan Square must step beyond its present boundaries. The homosexual revolution is only part of a larger revolution sweeping through all segments of society. We hope that “Gay Power” will not become a call for separation, but for sexual integration, and that the young activists will read, study, and make themselves acquainted with all of the facts that will help them carry the sexual revolt triumphantly into the councils of the U.S. government, into the anti-homosexual churches, into the offices of anti-homosexual psychiatrists, into the city government, and into the state legislatures which make our manner of love-making a crime. It is tome to push the homosexual revolution to its logical conclusion. We must crush tyranny wherever it exists and join forces with those who would assist in the utter destruction of the puritanical, repressive, anti-sexual Establishment.
Austria Decriminalizes Homosexuality: 1971. On July 8, 1971 an amendment to the Austrian criminal code was signed which abolished the criminalization of consensual homosexual contact. Austria’s code had criminalized both male and female same-sex contact under its “crimes against nature” clause. With the new law, male homosexual contacts with a young man under 18, male (same-sex) prostitution, and “advertising” or “encouraging” homosexuality were still criminal after that date. The latter provisions were abolished during the early 1980s to make HIV-prevention easier. The age of consent remained 18 until 2002, when it was held unconstitutional by the Austrian Constitutional Court. It age of consent is now 14 to 16, depending on the age of both parties, and consistent with the age of consent for opposite-sex couples.
(San Francisco) Police say a suspect in 14 homosexual murders has not been charged because three survivors of his knife attacks, including a “well-known entertainer” and a diplomat, won’t “come out of the closet” and testify against him. For the past year, police have been questioning a young man they call “The Doodler” about the 14 slayings and three assaults that occurred in San Francisco’s gay community between January 1974 and September 1975, Inspector Rotea Gilford said Thursday.
Interest in the case surfaced again this week after two Redondo Beach, Calif., men were arrested in Riverside for questioning about as many as 28 slayings linked to homosexual encounters.
The suspect here, his name not released, has talked freely with police but has not admitted the slayings, Gilford said. He said police are “fairly certain” they have the right man, but need the testimony of survivors who may be able to identify “The Doodler.”
In the attacks, the murderer met other men at a number of after-hours gay clubs and restaurants in San Francisco. He usually sketched them men before having sex with them and then stabbing them. Police believe the man committed the murders after feeling shame over his homosexual experiences.
Gilford said the three survivors include the entertainer, the diplomat and a man who left San Francisco and won’t answer letters or phone calls at his new express. “My feeling is that they don’t want to be exposed,” he said.
Harvey Milk, an advocate for homosexual rights, said of the victims who refuse to speak up, “I can understand their position. I respect the pressure society has put on them. Milk said many homosexuals may keep their sexual preference a secret because they fear losing their jobs. “They have to stay in the closet,” he said.
Another spokesman for the gay community, teacher Hank Wilson, said the case represents society’s “double standards” in dealing with crimes involving homosexuals. “You never year about the heterosexual murderer who had killed 12 women after raping them,” he said.
With no witnesses willing to identify him, “The Doodler” was never brought to justice.
Philip Johnson: 1906. He was only twenty-four years old and fresh out of Harvard when he founded the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He would have been regarded as a great visionary even if that had been his only accomplishment. But Johnson wanted more, and in his travels to Europe he became exposed to such masters of modernism as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Walter Gropius. Johnson’s 1932 MOMA show, “The International Style: Architecture Since 1922,” introduced modern architecture to the American public, and Johnson became an evangelist for the International Style. Johnson’s travels to Europe also exposed him to the early ideology of Hitler’s National Socialism, which Johnson also eagerly embraced. He remained enamored with Nazism until Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland, when he toured that conquered country at Hitler’s invitation. As Johnson later said, “I have no excuse [for] such utter, unbelievable stupidity. … I don’t know how you expiate guilt.”
Fortunately for Johnson, there would be a second chapter to his life. After the war, he designed his 1949 masterpiece Glass House as his own private residence in New Canaan, Connecticut. That design put him at the forefront of modernist architecture in America. In the 1950s, he teamed up with his mentor Meis van der Rohe to design the Seagram Building in New York. The steel-and-glass design would define the essential elements of American skyscrapers for the next sixty years. Johnson’s minimalist steel and glass design would also be the defining feature of his Chrystal Cathedral, which he designed for televangelist Robert Schuller in Garden Grove, California (and which was sold sold in a bankruptcy transaction to the Orange County diocese of the Catholic Church in 2011 for $57.5 million. After renovations for liturgical purposes, the building will become Christ Cathedral, the diocese’s official seat.).
By the 1980s, Johnson had decided that minimalism had boxed him into a corner, if you will excuse the pun. So in a fit of iconoclasm, he abandoned his minimalist signature by placing a garish Chippendale corbel on top of the AT&T building in New York, thus heralding the utterly lamentable post-modernist geegaws that are the bane of every tacky strip mall in North America. Johnson’s latest design is considerably more redeeming. It is also for the largest LGBT congregation in America, Dallas’s Cathedral of Hope, whose Interfaith Peace Chapel opened to the public in 2010. Johnson didn’t live to see it come to fruition. He died in his sleep at Glass House in 2005, survived by his partner of 45 years.
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