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Monthly Archives: October 2007

Stop Bullying

April 2007

Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union trumpeted its victory in a New Jersey courtroom. The ACLU had asked the state's Supreme Court to rule that existing anti-discrimination laws outlawed "biased-based" bullying or harassment of students. In a decision hailed by many gay groups, the Court agreed, and issued a ruling intended "to reinforce the basic principle that student-on-student sexual harassment is unacceptable."

It is easy to be sympathetic with the plaintiff, identified only as "L.W." Taunted relentlessly as early as the fourth grade with epithets such as "gay," "homo," and "fag," L.W.'s junior high and high school experience… Continue reading

The War as a Gay Issue

March 2007

Often, presidential bellicosity and mendacity go unchecked. Both Congress and the American public all-too-dutifully fall in line behind their commander-in-chief when sabers are rattled and the supposed atrocities of "the enemy" trumpeted. Banking on this deference to the executive, the Bush/Cheney administration launched the Iraq War, the centerpiece of their "perpetual" war on terror, with an orchestrated barrage of deceitful propaganda calculated to inflame the populace. Aided by a domestic press both complacent and complicit, Americans were fed a litany of concocted excuses as to why people needed to die and a trillion dollars be wasted. And fear was… Continue reading

From Stonewall to Knoxville

February 2007

Last month, police in Knoxville, Tennessee, arrested 15 men after an undercover sting operation in a park popular with cruisers. Most of those arrested were charged with "indecent exposure." Local media reported the names and ages of those arrested, and Knoxville politicians pontificated about the need to make city parks "safe for families." Those arrested face hefty fines and legal fees as well as possible jail time and lifelong registration as "sexually dangerous persons."

Careful consideration of police actions, media coverage, and community response to the cruising crackdown reveals that much work remains in the struggle for gay liberation.… Continue reading

Liberal Intolerance

January 2007


The opening years of the 21st century demonstrate how Enlightenment ideals of tolerance and personal autonomy cannot be taken for granted. Fundamentalists are resurgent in the Muslim world, while evangelical Christians now pull the levers of superpower in Washington, DC.


Whenever factions imagine themselves in possession of absolute truth or the one and only way to please God, the resulting intolerance is sure to bring oppression. That is why the American Founders sought to keep religious certitudes out of necessarily uncertain, ever-compromising secular government. People should be free to run their own lives with whatever… Continue reading

Christmas as a Gay Celebration

December 2006


As countless stand-up comedy routines attest, holidays can be tough for anyone. Getting together with infrequently seen relatives can dredge up old emotional scars, rekindle resentments, and provoke new disagreements amongst generations with differing moral codes. For gay people, holidays can be especially challenging– engendering in some a wistful sadness about how difficult it is to be gay. Indeed, many, perhaps even most, of us come from families that are not accepting of homosexuality in general and of our homosexuality in particular. (Though to be fair to our families, in some instances we have never given… Continue reading

L’Affaire Foley

November 2006


It is tempting to revel in the exposure and downfall of monumental hypocrites. There is satisfaction in knowing that J. Edgar Hoover, who liked to persecute others for their perversions, himself enjoyed donning women’s clothes. It seems just to posthumously drag Senator McCarthy’s savagely anti-gay legal pitbull Roy Cohn out of his closet. And who doesn’t enjoy watching televangelists weepily confess to the very sins they so heartily condemn in others?


Thus, one can be excused for ever-so-briefly taking pleasure in the political ruin of Congressman Mark Foley. A high-profile crusader for so-called “decency” and… Continue reading