The Daily Agenda for Sunday, May 29

(d. 1994) The poet, playwright, journalist, theater director and social activist was born in Parras, Coahuila in Mexico. She became a noted radio announcer at the age of 20 before turning to the stage. Her interest in literature became apparent in the 1950s when she participated in a public reading program, Poetry Out Loud followed in the 1960’s with the publication of her one-act play El Cántaro Seco (The Empty Pitcher).

In the 1970s, she became an acclaimed theater and film director. Her 1970 film, El Efecto de los Rayos Gamma Sobre las Caléndulas (The Effect of Gamma Rays on Marigolds), was a critical hit, earning the Theatre Critics Association Award. It was also very controversial for being gay themed. She drew death threats and the film was protested by the brother of then-President Luis Echeverría, which was no small thing: President Echeverrí­a had been the hardline Interior Secretary during the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre, when the Mexican government opened fire on protesting students ten days before the 1968 Summer Olympics. But such was Cárdenas’s influence that not only was the film shown in the Mexican capital, but in a major theater on Avenida de los Insurgentes no less — Insurgentes being one of the principal boulevards in Mexico city. It was a huge success.

She came out as a lesbian in 1974 during an interview on the public affairs television program 24 Horas. That act made her the first publicly declared lesbian in Mexico. That year she founded El Frente de Liberación Homosexual (FLH, the Gay Liberation Front). In 1975, she co-wrote with Carlos Monsivais the Manifiesto en Defensa de los Homosexuales en México. On October 2, 1978, as part of a commemoration of the 1968 Tlatelolco student massacre, she headed the first Gay Pride march in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas. She continued her advocacy throughout the 1980s through her plays, poetry and public statements. She died in 1994 of breast cancer.

Gene Robinson: 1947. When he was elected Bishop of the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of New Hampshire in 2004, he became the first openly gay, non-celibate priest to be elevated to the episcopate. His election was so controversial, he wore a bullet-proof vest during his consecration. In a BeliefNet interview the day after he gave a prayer at the opening of President Barack Obama’s inaugural celebrations, he talked about his journey toward coming to terms with his sexuality:

I’ve been the reparative therapy route. I did that. My own experience is it doesn’t work. I think what it does it that it teaches gay and lesbian people to become so self loathing that they are willing to not act in a natural way, and deprive themselves of the kind of love and support that makes life worthwhile, that makes sense of our own lives and being. I can’t be supportive of that. It only underscores the way the church has gotten this wrong. God doesn’t ever get it wrong but the church often does.

Bishop Robinson formally retired in January, 2013.

His 1981 role as a gay schoolboy in the stage version of Another Country proved to be his break, opening the way for his screen appearance in the 1984 film version with Colin Firth. In 1989, Everett moved to Paris and came out as gay, which he said may have damaged his career. Wags would say that the 1987 flop Hearts of Fire may have been a factor. But his appearance in the 1997 film My Best Friend’s Wedding and 2000’s The Next Best Thing showed that his career wasn’t entirely over — although it did appear that he would forever be typecast as the heroine’s gay best friend. In 2009, he told the British newspaper The Observer:

The fact is that you could not be, and still cannot be, a 25-year-old homosexual trying to make it in the British film business or the American film business or even the Italian film business. It just doesn’t work and you’re going to hit a brick wall at some point. You’re going to manage to make it roll for a certain amount of time, but at the first sign of failure they’ll cut you right off… Honestly, I would not advise any actor necessarily, if he was really thinking of his career, to come out.

In recent years, Everett has remained active in British television and in the lead role of a London production of The Judas Kiss, about Oscar Wilde’s downfall and 1895 gross indecency conviction. And as a former sex worker himself, he has lately championed the decriminalization of sex workers and their clients. And ever the iconoclast, he criticized those who advocated for marriage equality in Britain, saying, “I find it personally beyond tragic that we want to ape this institution that is so clearly a disaster.”

MelissaEhteridgeHer debut album was completed in just four days after her record label rejected her first effort as too polished. That stripped down album, titled simply Melissa Etheridge, not only defined her sound, but it yielded a hit single, “Bring Me Some Water” and a Grammy nomination. In 1992, she won her first Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance on the strength of her third album, Never Enough. Her breakthrough album, 1993’s Yes I Am, was certified Platinum and garnered her a second Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for her single “Come to My Window”. Her 2006 song “I Need to Wake Up” was recorded for Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

She came out publicly in 1993 and has been a committed gay rights advocate ever since. She is also a committed advocate on behalf of the environment and breast cancer research, having herself undergone chemotherapy for breast cancer in 2004 and 2005. In an interview with Dateline NBC, she discussed her recovery and her use of medical marijuana while undergoing chemo. In 2011, she announced her separation from her wife, Tammy Lynn Michaels, after seven years together. They have two children, fraternal twins, who were born in 2006. Etheridge also has two children from her previous long-term relationship with Julie Cypher. In 2013, she announced her engagement to television producer Linda Wallem who, coincidentally, shares the exact same birth date. They married in 2014, two days after they both turned 53.

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka

The Michigan native began his acting career on the stage, and then in guest roles for TV on The West Wing, Crossing Jordan and in seven episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Those appearances in Mother led to rumors that Burtka was romantically involved with one of the series’ stars, which finally prompted Neil Patrick Harris to publicly acknowledge in 2006 that he was gay. In 2010, Burtka and Harris, who have been together since 2004, became fathers to fraternal twins, a boy and a girl. Birtka had cut back on acting to run a Los Angeles catering company and work as a full time chef, but last year he returned to Broadway for a role in It Shoulda Been You.

Canada’s Conservatives End Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

May 28th, 2016

Canada has enjoyed marriage equality for nearly eleven years. Canada’s Conservative Party is only thirteen years old. And with its founder, former Stephen Harper out of politics after losing last year’s general election to the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, the party has some catching up to do. It took one step in that direction during a part convention in Vancouver this weekend:

But a majority of delegates at a Vancouver convention agreed on what they don’t want: to be considered obsolete in a country that officially legalized gay marriage more than 11 years ago. The measure to effectively recognize gay marriage passed 1,036 to 462.

‘Obsolete’ was the same word former Harper lieutenant Jason Kenney used Saturday to describe long-standing Conservative Party policy which declared marriage was a “union of one man and one woman.”

The Calgary MP, long considered a standard bearer for the party’s conservative wing, was unequivocal about the need to jettison the traditional definition of marriage from Conservative doctrine. “I think it’s a no-brainer. This issue was resolved 10 years ago. There is no point in having … obsolete language about something that was changed in law and society a decade ago,” the Calgary MP said.

The Globe and Mail reports that the party’s social conservative contingent “appeared reduced in strength and voice” during the convention. The Tories are expected to chose a new leader a year from now.

Ghana: Muslim Cleric Says Gay Sex Causes Earthquakes

Jim Burroway

May 28th, 2016

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

But only when it’s really, really good. Amirite?

Speaking in an interview, a local cleric, Mallam Abass Mahmud, said “Allah gets annoyed when males engage in sexual encounter and such disgusting encounter causes earthquake”.

…“Should we allow such a shame to continue in our communities against our holy teachings?” he asked. He answered that “certainly no,and we are very happy to chase away such idiots from our Zongo communities”.

It’s no laughing matter though. According to News Ghana:

Man gays … have since left their known places of abodes with their current whereabouts unknown. Youth of such Muslim communities are known to have inaugurated special task force to fight what they commonly describe as the importation of the “whiteman’s culture”.

Same-sex relationships are punishable in Ghana with up to three years’ imprisonment. In 2003, a prominent Christian pastor in Ghana warned that God would send “earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, fire outbreak, volcanoes and the bad things that happen in the Western countries” if Ghana’s sodomy laws were repealed. In 2011, a regional minister ordered a general roundup of all gays in the western region.

The Daily Agenda for Saturday, May 28

From The Advocate, August 24, 1977, page 34.

From The Advocate, August 24, 1977, page 34.

Before 1970 or so, films with gay characters were either tragic (you just knew someone was going to be killed or commit suicide), or were played for laughs. By the 1980s, films turned turned even more tragic, thanks to AIDS. But there was a brief moment, say in 1974 when A Very Natural Thing debuted, when a film about ordinary love and relationships between men could be released to the general public by a somewhat alt-mainstream company, which is what New Line Cinema was aspiring to be at the time.

A Very Natural Thing is regarded as the first American film about gay relationships intended for a mainstream audience. The film’s reception was ambiguous. Straight critics thought it was too political (two men in love, apparently, made it so), while gay critics were more inclined to think it wasn’t political enough (the characters were too white, too middle-class, too heteronormative). Producer/director Christopher Larkin thought all of the critics were reading too much into the film. “I wanted to say that same-sex relationships are no more problematic but no easier than any other human relationships. They are in many ways the same and in several ways different from heterosexual relationships but in themselves are no less possible or worthwhile.”

The German silent film Anders als die Andern (English title: “Different From the Others”) tells the story of a famous concert violinist, Paul Körner (played by Conrad Veidt, who later appeared in Casablanca as Major Heinrich Strasser) who falls in love with his student Kurt Sivers (Fritz Schulz). Both men experience disapproval from their parents The real-life Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, the famous German sexologist and gay-rights advocate (see May 14), makes several cameo appearances in the film. In one scene, he explains to Körner’s parents that their son “is not to blame for his orientation. is not wrong, nor should it be a crime. Indeed, it is not even an illness, merely a variation, and one that is common to all of nature.”

Hirshfeld’s appearances appear directed more toward the audience than the characters he’s speaking to. In one flashback scene, when Körner first meets Hirschfeld’s character after discovering that an “ex-gay” hypnotherapist was a fraud (some things never change), Hirschfeld tells him, “Love for one of the same sex is no less pure or noble than for one of the opposite. This orientation can be found in all levels of society, and among respected people. Those that say otherwise come only from ignorance and bigotry.”

This film was no masterpiece. The acting is stilted, the plot is predictable. Another character, Franz Bollek, sees Körner and Sivers together, and confronts Körner in a blackmail attempt. Körner reports Bollek for blackmail and has him arrested. In retaliation, Bollek exposes Körner. Both men wind up in court, both are found guilty despite Hirshfeld’s testimony on Körner’s behalf (and another soliloquy for the audience). The judge has mercy on Körner by sentencing him to only one week. Apparently letting him go didn’t occur to the judge. Disgraced and shunned by his family, Körner kills himself. Sivers also tries to kill himself, but Hirschfeld intervenes with another polemic: “You have to keep living; live to change the prejudices by which this man has been made one of the countless victims. … Justice through knowledge!”

The film was originally released for general distribution, but it soon fell under official censorship and its showings were restricted to doctors and lawyers. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they rounded up all the copies they could find and burned them. Only small fragments of the film survives today. A version has been reconstructed from those fragments and is available on DVD. Unfortunately, the films reconstruction relies on surviving stills and added title cards, which make up far too much of the reconstructed film to make it a satisfying experience beyond its historical interest. This clip includes one of Hirscheld’s cameos (beginning at 3:10):

The Daily Agenda for Friday, May 27

From GPU News (Milwaukee, WI), May 1972, page 15. (Source.)

From GPU News (Milwaukee, WI), May 1972, page 15. (Source.)

Milwaukee’s Neptune Club appears to have only lasted about a year: “Neptune Club is believed to have been Chuck Cicirello‘s first gay bar. He later opened the Factory, which was to become the legendary Milwaukee dance/disco bar, followed by Factory 2 and 3, and other bars in later years.” As of last October, the ground floor of the building appears to be empty.

Hal Call (Sep 20), who took over the Mattachine Society in 1953 after ousting the old guard who founded the organization (Apr 11), recalled to James T. Sears his year of studying journalism at the University of Missouri after his discharge from the Army following World War II, and the scandal that broke out after he graduated (see below):

There were scandals, yes. E.K. Johnston was a professor and in line for the deanship of the journalism school at the University of Missouri. He was held in high regard and taught us the whole science of advertising and newspaper promotion, merchandising, and direct sales. He was also a faculty counselor — my counselor.

… No, not with me, but he was involved in homosexual activities with some students after I graduated. That spread over Missouri like wildfire.

He had to resign. I was up in Brookfield running a newspaper. Some of the merchants I called on for advertising knew I was a graduate from the school. They teased me about “taking that sex course from old E.K.” I was able to laugh it off. Secretly, I was embarrassed that they were attacking him. But what could I do?

[Source: James T. Sears. Behind the Mask of the Mattachine: The Hal Call Chronicles and the Early Movement for Homosexual Emancipation (New York: Routledge, 2011 ed.): 38, 40.]

From page 1 of The St. Joseph (MO) News-Press, May 27, 1948.

From page 1 of The St. Joseph (MO) News-Press, May 27, 1948.

A veteran University of Missouri journalism professor was arrested and charged with sodomy as Prosecutor Howard B. Lang, Jr. described to reporters fantastical tales of “mad homosexual parties” and “abnormal orgies” in Columbia, Missouri. According to the Associated Press on the day of his arrest:

The prosecuting attorney said he had issued a warrant for the arrest of E.K. Johnston, for 24 years a member of the faculty of the university’s school of journalism, after a long investigation into abnormal sex orgies here and other central Missouri cities. Two other men were held in the Boone County jail on similar charges. They are Willie Coots, a gift shop employee here, and Warren W. Heathman, 35, Rolla, Mo., an itinerant instructor for the Veteran Administration’s farm training program.

Lang said both had signed statements, implicating Johnston as a principal in what he called a homosexual “ring” at Johnston’s apartment which Coots had shared for the last 15 or 16 years. At least of score of University of Missouri students and other residents here, Lang said, also are implicated in the ring. No charges have been filed against any one except Coots, Heathman and Johnston, but several are being held in jail for investigation or as material witnesses.

Heathman, Lang reported, told a near-fantastic story of “mad parties” at Johnston’s apartment and at a cabin near Salem, Mo., in which as many as 30 members of the “ring” gathered to boast of conquests and to indulge in homosexual practices.

Johnston was released after posting a $3,500 bond (that would be nearly $35,000 in today’s money), and the university fired him the next day. Other students were subsequently arrested — some were beaten by police — then released, only to be dismissed by the university and sent home to their parents, who were told why they were expelled. One of the students committed suicide.

Johnson initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of sodomy, but after Coots and Heathman testified against him, he changed his plea to guilty. His attorney then called ten character witnesses in a bid to get Johnston sentenced to probation rather than a prison term. One witness, Dr. Edwin F. Gildea, head of the psychiatric department at Washington University in St. Louis, testified, “I examined him specifically for an hour this morning to find out of he would be a mecance to society. I do not believe that he is.” Other character witnesses included the dean and two professors from the Mizzou’s school of journalism. The testimony paid off, and Johnston was sentenced to four years’ probation under a $2,000 bond. Terms of the probation included “cessation of homosexual practices.” The others also pleaded guilty and were placed on probation.

Johnston was just one of a large number of students and faculty who were caught up in a wider anti-gay witch hunt then taking place on the UM campus, spearheaded by the university’s vice president Thomas A. Brady. In the late 1940s, the university had gained a reputation as a “safe haven” for gay people, and the state legislature exerted pressure to get them out of the university. The university set up an investigative committee under Brady’s guidance, and the committee set about identifying gay students and faculty based on the interviews with those who were offered immunity in return for testifying against the others. That investigation led Johnston’s arrest along with several other students. Decades later, some of those students recalled what those times were like:

“Phillip,” a former MU student interviewed by Jim Duggins of the GLBT Historical Society, describes running into a gay friend who’d been caught “at a party out in the woods in Salem, Mo., in a cabin, having a wild time.”

“The university got rid of everyone,” Phillip says. “Each student who had been involved had his transcripts stamped, ‘This student will not be readmitted to the University of Missouri until he is cleared of charges regarding homosexual activities.’ That’s why one kid killed himself right away, and others killed themselves during the ensuing months. It was just tragic.”

Phillip and the other interviewees also discuss the 1948 dismissal of MU advertising professor E.K. Johnston. “E.K. Johnston had been at the party,” Phillip says. “He was immediately dismissed; the chancellor of the university, or whoever it was, said, ‘We had no idea. Such a respected man,’ though Johnston had been talked about for years.”

The pall of those investigations, and the attitudes toward gay people that they engendered, hung over Mizzou for decades afterward. Bob Callis, who became dean after Brady’s retirement, wrote in a 1966 memo: “The record does show rather clear evidence that several incidences of homicide and suicide were a direct outgrowth of the activities of homosexual rings in operation at that time. Damage to human life and welfare of less serious proportion than suicide and homicide is also evident from the record.”

In 2006, after UM students approved a $63 million expansion and renovation of the student union building which had been named for Brady when it first opened in 1963, a campus controversy erupted when several students uncovered Brady’s anti-gay investigations and publicized them on campus. The students formed a group called Not My Brady and called for renaming Brady Commons. After all, they argued, it would essentially become an entirely new building for a new era, and keeping Brady’s name on it, given his anti-gay policies, was no longer appropriate. The university President and Chancellor both made it clear that they wouldn’t consider the change. But when the building opened in 2010, Brady’s name was quietly dropped. It is now officially the MU Student Center.

After his arrest and conviction in Columbia, Professor Johnston moved to Kansas City, where he lived until his death in 1990.

Daughters of Bilitis Convention Program.

When Del Martin and Phyllis Lyons co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis in 1955, the tiny group only had eight members (see Oct 19). Five years later, and the Daughters were large enough to hold its first biennial convention at the Hotel Whitcomb in San Francisco. The DoB’s press release announcing the convention was met mostly with silence, with a few sprinkles of condescension here and there. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Herb Caen typified the latter when, while referring to a gay-baiting mayoral campaign the previous autumn (see Oct 7), he wrote, “Russ Wolden, if nobody else, will be interested to learn that the Daughters of Bilitis will hold their nat’l convention here May 27-30. They’re the female counterparts of the Mattachine Society — and one of the convention highlights will be an address by Atty. Morris Lowenthal titled ‘The Gay Bar in the Courts.’ Oh brother. I mean sister. Come to think of it, I don’t know what I mean.”

Two hundred women and men attended the convention, whose theme was “A Look At The Lesbian.” he convention began on Friday night with a cocktail party at Martin and Lyon’s home. The main convention occurred at the hotel on Saturday, with panels of speakers, a lunch, and a cocktail reception and banquet that night.  Just as lunch was about to be served, a detail from the San Francisco police department also showed up to have their own look at the lesbians, specifically to make sure the ladies were wearing ladies’ clothing. SFPD had a long history of harassing lesbians dressed in slacks, jeans, or shirts with the buttons on the wrong side. As the Daughters had long emphasized outward conformity in the hopes that it would put larger society at ease, they were already prepared for the inspection. Del Martin brought the police inside so they could verify that everyone — the women, anyway — were wearing dresses, stockings and heels.

The convention went off without further disruptions from police, but the same couldn’t be said about some of the invited speakers. As Helen Sandoz (see Nov 2) reported in the DoB’s newsletter, The Ladder:

Saturday was a day to remember. We started out with the usual panel … the pat on the head… the understanding… the back-up by professionals. So, another homophile convention was under way in the usual manner. Then lunchtime came. An Episcopal minister served up our dessert with damnation.

Stella Rush provided more details about the brimstone delivered by Rev. Fordyce Eastburn, Episcopal chaplain at San Francisco’s St. Luke’s Hospital:

Having admitted that homosexuality was an unknown island to him, Rev. Eastburn proceeded to inform us that he felt that homosexuality was a “primary disorder of the Divine Plan.” …Homosexuals, he told us, were: 1, afflicted with a disorder of nature; 2, must attempt to stay away from their sources of temptation; and 3, should take therapy and attempt to make a heterosexual adjustment to life. (If you can’t make number three, I presume that leaves you celibate, presuming further that you’re capable of remaining  celibate and retaining your sanity.) …Well, it was a real different kind of luncheon, you had to admit that!

The gathering remained polite, despite the seething anger building in the crowd. Martin had invited Eastburn in the hopes if “open(ing) a door to communication with the church.” But Rush remembered, “It was awful — once more we were being told we were sinners. The men and women activists held up well, for they had come to accept themselves. But a gay boy I knew in L.A., who had no ties or experience in ONE, Inc., or the Mattachine and had come at my invitation, was harmed rather than helped. I lost his friendship over it.”

Things calmed down a bit, only to heat up again during a mid-afternoon debate between opposing lawyers in a gay bar case. Sidney Feinberg, North Coastal Area Administrator of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, defended the ABC’s practice of arresting gay bar patrons who propositioned undercover officers. One man at the convention rose up to ask a simple question:

“Sir,” the man asked timidly, “What is wrong with the person so approached saying ‘no’?” Mr. Feinberg asked in thundering tones whether the young man realized what he was asking. He was implying that to be protected all anyone had to do was say “No.” (Yes, it appeared as if that was what the young man was saying.) Such an implication seemed to inflame Mr. Feinberg greatly; certainly it was clear that such a thesis would put the ABC out of the job it said it wanted to be put out of. Mr. Feinberg expostulated that a man di d not have to accept the proposition of a prostitute either, did the questioner mean to imply that there should be no repression of prostitutes? There was a sprinkling of affirmations from the audience of those who believed there should be no such repression, and Mr. Feinberg became even more agitated. He stated in effect that if the audience did not even see eye-to-eye with the Law on something like that, that we would pursue two parallel lines in discussion and never come to any understanding.

Another queried, “Sir, would it be considered ‘indecent’ in a bar for men to be dancing together?” Mr. Feinberg opined that it would. The young man asked, “Why?” Mr. Feinberg said that such at hing was offensive. Another male member of the audience asked rather curtly, “Offensive to whom?” Mr. Feinberg became even more agitated, and the tension in the audience rose proportionately. “Offensive to the public.” Someone else asked, “Who decides what is offensive to the public? You?”

Finally it was Morris Lowenthal’s turn to speak. Lowenthal was a San Francisco attorney who successfully defended a gay bar that the ABC had tried to shut down. As Lowenthal detailed the ABC’s many attempts to shut down gay bars solely on the basis of the makeup of its clientele — as “resorts for sex perverts,” as ABC policy put it. The heated exchange that followed not only shocked the audience, but even made it into the Sam Francisco newspapers. Again, Rush described what happened:

Mr. Feinberg, who had been crouched over the table all this time, obviously fuming, erupted with a demand that he be allowed rebuttal time at the end of Mr. Lowenthal’s discourse.  …Mr. Feinberg was almost incoherent with fury until he calmed down a bit and tried to refute Mr. Lowenthal. Unfortunately he did not use facts, but sheer passion and sound decibles. I felt a rumble which literally rose from the floor, a very frightening feeling to one who has never been in such a position before. Mr. Feinberg attacked Mr. Lowenthal as having accused State officials of corruption, bribery and blackmail.

The audience, which had borne patiently the fireworks up to that point, became angered at tactics which it felt were not only unfair, but untrue. Also the audience was much impressed by the fact that whatever the merits of anybody’s case, Mr. Lovlenthal had at no time raised his voice, shouted or become angry.

Del Martin managed to calm the waters before open rebellion broke out, and was undoubtedly relieved when the time came to bang the gavel and move the convention to the next item on the agenda. The rest of the convention went on without interruption or aggravation. That night, they even gave out honorary S.O.B.’s — a “Sons of Bilitis” award to nearly a dozen male activists and allies. By Sunday night, while Lisa Ben (see Nov 7) delighted the crowd with her gay-themed songs and parodies, the organizers and attendees were overjoyed at the convention’s success. Sandoz ended her report in The Ladder with a note of thanks to everyone who attended, including those who were uninvited or otherwise less than welcome:

Those of us who attended will never forget the excitement, the living proof of our worth. It was a timely shot in the arm when so much is adverse in so many areas. Thank you, DOB, ABC (California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control); Vice Squad, professional folk… thank you all for letting us see you and letting you see us.

[Sources: Sten Russell and Helen Sanders (pseudonyms for Stella Rush and Helen Sandoz). “Convention Highlights.” The Ladder 4, no. 9 (June 1960): 5-6, 25.

Sten Russell (pseudonym for Stella Rush). “DOB Convention: A Look At The Lesbian.” The Ladder 4, no. 10 (July 1960): 6-25.

Marcia M. Gallo. Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2006): 60-66.

Vernon Scott, UPI’s Hollywood correspondent, filed this breaking news item:

Ask a man what he does for a living in Hollywood — or Tulsa — and if he answers “interior decorator, a deadly silence ensues. He would be better off admitting he is a safecracker or even an actor.

An interior designer is immediately suspect. Any guy who makes a bock matching puce draperies with vermillion carpets and Louis XIV breakfronts must defend his manhood, or at least stake a claim to it, or be classified as, er… well, sissy.

In most cases interior decorators would have a tough time passing ink-blot tests, much less the marine psychological examination.

This state of affairs — the overwhelming number of effeminate men in the decorating business — infuriates a red-bearded Englishman named Ian Phillips who designs interiors for movie and television personalities. Phillips has decorated the homes of such luminaries as Annette Funicello, Glenn Campbell, Mike Landon, Rod Taylor and Barbara Eden, and Mike Ansara.

“I’m fighting the control the homosexuals have over interior decoration in this town and in other major cities,” Phillips said, pounding the table. “How can these creatures express a truly masculine attitude in a home, or a really feminine touch? They’re lost somewhere in between.”

Phillips finds himself swearing lustily and throwing references into his conversation about his four years as a British naval commando to remove the onus his profession forces on him. “This profession is badly in need of young people who can bring in new ideas. But they don’t want to be tagged as something less than men because the limp-wrist characters have taken over.”

The only reference to Ian Phillips that I can find online is that he was hired as Special Interior Decorator for the 1965 film, How to Stuff A Wild Bikini, starring Annette Funicello and Dwayne Hickman. The New York Times called it “an answer to a moron’s prayer.”

President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree which repealed the law forbidding male homosexuality on this date. For several years, Moscow gay rights advocates tried to commemorate the anniversary of this historic event by conducting a gay pride march in Moscow. And every year, Moscow authorities have suppressed the march, usually violently. In 2013, Russia upped the ante when President Vladimir Putin signed into law a measure which ostensibly bans distributing “pro-homosexual propaganda” to minors, but which is so broadly written as to ban virtually all pro-LGBT advocacy anywhere in Russia.

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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.