Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for September, 2012

Lady Gaga v. Papa Ratzi

Timothy Kincaid

September 24th, 2012

Joseph Ratzinger (you may know him as Pope Benedict XVI) was in France this weekend to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ lobby against the human rights of French gays. (Parisdespaches translated by Google)

“The family is threatened by a conception of human nature that is defective (…) defend the family and life in society is nothing but retrograde prophetic” Benedict XVI stated in particular at this meeting , before recalling that “marriage and family are institutions that must be promoted and defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature, since whatever is injurious to them is in fact caused injury to the society itself.”

You know, the usual “gay marriage will destroy society itself” routine.

Meanwhile just your little ol’ average Catholic girl, Stefani Germanotta (you may know her as Lady Gaga) was asked her opinion on the matter. (Pinknews)

Speaking slowly to allow a simultaneous translator to keep up with her, Lady Gaga today told Europe 1 radio: “I think that gay marriage is going to happen. It must. We are not actually equal — humanity — if we are not allowed to freely love one another.”

After being asked on the Pope’s recent comments, Lady Gaga said: “What the Pope thinks of being gay does not matter to the world. It matters to the people who like the Pope and follow the Pope. … It is not a reflection of all religious people.”

That’s actually a pretty smart response. In a nation that is at least nominally Catholic, coming from someone raised Catholic, it’s a reminder that he may have a title but when it comes down to it, this is just some guy and his views only matter if you like or respect him or think he speaks for God.

Harvard Group Seeks Posthumous Degrees For Gay Students Expelled in 1920

Jim Burroway

February 29th, 2012

Students and faculty at Harvard University are calling for posthumous degrees to be awarded to seven students who were expelled from the university in 1920 after a secret campus court determined that they were gay.

The secret courts began when Cyril Wilcox, a Harvard undergraduate, committed suicide on May 13, 1920  after telling his older brother, George, that he had been having an affair with another man. Shortly after Cyril’s death, George intercepted two letters from a Harvard student and a recent graduate. George took these letters to Harvard’s Acting Dean, Chester N Greenough who, after consulting with Harvard President Abbot Lowell, formed a special five-man tribunal which became known as the “Secret Court.”

The court launched a wide-ranging witch hunt, with Greenough summoning each witness one-by-one with a brief note. The Court’s inquiry was exhaustive, posing questions about masturbation practices, sex with women or men, cross-dressing, overnight guests, parties, and reading habits. The scope of the inquiry soon expanded to area businesses, cafés and bars. At least seven students were expelled, ordered to leave Cambridge and reported to their families. They were also told that Harvard would disclose the reasons for their expulsion if employers or other schools sought references. One student killed himself after being questioned by the court. Four others unconnected to Harvard were also deemed “guilty.” The school couldn’t punish them directly, but they did pressure one café to fire a waiter.

The university officially apologized in 2002 after the Harvard Crimson discovered boxes of papers marked “Secret Court” in the university’s archives. In response to the latest call for posthumous degrees, a university spokesperson said that Harvard doesn’t award posthumous degrees, except in the rare cases where students had completed their academic requirements but died before degrees could be awarded. Students and faculty members are planning a rally during a campus visit by Lady Gaga, where she will formally launch her Born This Way anti-bullying foundation.

You can learn more about the “secret court” in our Daily Agenda from May 23.

Gaga’s marriage push

Timothy Kincaid

June 16th, 2011

I don’t tweet. Lady Gaga does.

Which means, if I understand this correctly, those of you who decide to check BTB will get my opinion when you get around to reading it, while 10,958,546 people get Gaga’s opinion more-or-less immediately.

And here is what they have been reading today: