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Saturday, June 14, 2003

The Stranger (Seattle Area Weekly) has a hard hitting series that goes after Gay Health Leaders who are giving ambiguous public health messages.

Thanks to the behavior of a small minority of gay men in the Seattle area, syphilis is at extremely high levels, HIV infections are spiking, cases of gonorrhea have doubled, and cases of chlamydia have tripled. What is the gay men's health movement doing about the problem? The Stranger asked local gay health leaders, and concluded they're making excuses and ducking tough questions as the problem gets much, much worse. More.....

Now this one reminds me a bit of Randy Shilts's "And the Band Played On". This article talks about how too many gay health leaders avoid giving clear unambiguous messages that would help reduce the spread of STDs and AIDS. From the article:

Gay men's health leaders often insinuate that to be gay and promoting messages of sexual restraint smacks of internalized
homophobia. They say that to target specific subgroups within the gay population smacks of discrimination. They say, like Rofes, that presenting gay people with a strong message will prompt us to behave like children, indulging in the very behaviors mommy and daddy tell us to avoid. Now, which is really the anti-gay, discriminatory, infantilizing stance: The position that says gay men should be told exactly what is going on, no matter who it offends, and held to the same basic moral standards for behavior as everyone else? Or the position that says gay men are incapable of dealing with issues of morality and the truth about the health of our community? Which of these two positions really smacks of internalized homophobia

EY: Exactly.....

More excerpts from the article:

Imagine a young gay man who is recently out and searching for a sense of his new community's acceptable limits. Imagine an older gay man who has gotten himself into a bad situation and wants to be told how to get out. Imagine gay men of all ages looking for role models in leadership positions to tell them how to navigate the pitfalls of gay life.

Or, if you don't like to imagine, go online and buy The Gift, a documentary on bug chasers that was screened on May 24 at the Seattle International Film Festival (www.thegiftdocumentary.com). This horrifying movie, made by lesbian filmmaker Louise Hogarth, features Doug, a young gay man who came from the Midwest to San Francisco looking for a strong, accepting gay community and found that the people most willing to accept him were the ones who wanted to give him HIV. So Doug became a bug chaser, and guess what? Now he has AIDS. When he explains why he courted HIV infection, he offers a damning indictment of the current gay men's health leadership. He says no one ever told him getting HIV was bad. He says that in the nonjudgmental universe created by gay men's health leaders, the only message he ever heard was that being HIV-positive is--well, positive. He says he wishes the gay community would stand up and say what he now knows: That being positive is not positive; it is negative, a horrible condition that you shouldn't want and you shouldn't spread.

Doug is an idiot for not realizing this on his own, but his statements show how irresponsible it is for gay leaders to think that their nondirective, nonjudgmental approach to health promotion is sufficient. Kids like Doug, who have fled often awful family situations and are looking to the leadership of the gay community for guidance, can't get by on just cheerleading proclamations of gay positivity. They need the gay groups to act in loco parentis--as de facto parents. These guys need--and, as Doug proves, want--someone telling them how to behave, someone telling them what's good and bad, someone telling them who the assholes in the gay community are, how to spot them, how to avoid them, and how not to become one themselves.

EY: Meanwhile a followup discussed how an editor of one of the Seattle Gay Newspapers quashed a hard hitting ad campaign.

Last week, at least one local gay institution appeared not to be changing its tone. According to an e-mail sent to The Stranger by Seattle Gay News columnist Beau Burriola, a recent piece Burriola wrote was spiked by the gay publication's editor in chief, George Bakan. Why? Burriola's column criticized local gay health leaders for failing to do more to stop the rising HIV rates. Bakan says he and Burriola are resolving "concerns" and the article will run when those are addressed. "It's called being an editor," Bakan says.

This is not the first time Bakan has been accused of throwing his weight around to promote his own gay health agenda, according to one source familiar with Bakan's tactics. Last year, when some young queer health activists were lobbying Lifelong AIDS Alliance to use in-your-face ads for a $60,000 media campaign, Bakan helped torpedo the edgy ads by saying he would refuse to print them, the source (who was on the ad campaign committee) says. The edgy ads lost to bland ads, which, as we noted last week ["The Immoral Minority," Eli Sanders, June 5], were highly ineffective.

Bakan said he was opposed to the edgy ads, but doesn't remember threatening not to run them. "We would have run any ad that the campaign came up with," he says.

EY: These articles are troubling. I would encourage people to go and read the entire articles.


Friday, June 13, 2003

New York Times Editorializes about Ashcroft and Gay Pride

The Justice Department may be violating the law, including its own rules against discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. Senator Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, has called for the Committee on Governmental Affairs to see whether any civil rights or civil laws have been broken. He also wants it to investigate whether the department engaged in a cover-up when it denied ever telling DOJ Pride its event had to be canceled.

These actions would be unacceptable if Mr. Ashcroft were postmaster general. But as attorney general, he is responsible for fighting the sort of discrimination — and misleading statements to Congress — of which he now stands accused. There is no way Mr. Ashcroft can champion justice nationally if he cannot do so in his own office.


Meanwhile the NY Times also reports that it seems as if the DOJ might be lying about the Pride celebration and that Sen Lautenberg may call for hearings on the matter.

Group members, however, said department officials told them in several recent conversations that the June 18 event was being canceled because President Bush, unlike former President Bill Clinton, had not recognized Gay Pride Month in a White House proclamation. Group members said they were told that Attorney General John Ashcroft's office had ordered the cancellation.

In a voice mail message played today for a reporter, an official in the Justice Department's equal employment office was heard telling a DOJ Pride representative late last month: "The attorney general's office has decided that we will not have a DOJ Pride program this year. I just wanted to give you as much of a heads up on that as I could."

Last week, the official acknowledged to a reporter relaying the decision to DOJ Pride representives.

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, who last week condemned the cancellation of the gay pride event, said today that he planned to call for a Congressional hearing into possible civil rights violations by the Justice Department in connection with the incident.

"This is the politics of a cover-up," the senator said in a statement.


All this is still a side show - when the main show is the Pryor Nomination.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

The Free Republic is debating the issue of Gays and the Republican Party

Why is George Bush courting homosexuals?

Money. From what I understand now, some of these homosexual groups don't really care or give a damn about the socialy conservative agenda of the republican party, they simply view it as the group that lost but they like the economics side of the party and they are willing to contribute.

As long as we do not change the identity of our party, or our platform or in anyway deviate away from the social conservative agenda we have, I say, take there money and there votes.

If gay groups are more concerned about tax cuts and are willing to help elect people who will oppose them on social issues, great. If however, they are going to do anything to alter the social conservative agenda of the party, then send them there money back and alientate them.

Its not good politics to ever sacrifice part of your larger base in exchange for a smaller part of your opponents.

At the last Republican convention, social conservatives were not even allowed to speak. People like Phyllis Schlafly and Patrick Buchanan were not allowed to speak.

If Bush would have done that, he would have lost the election, and Pat Buchanan isn't even a republican anymore, he's in the reform party. If Bush had wanted to loose the 2000 election then having them speak would have been just the ticket.


12 posted on 06/06/2003 5:24 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")

EY: Well I don't think that the GOP is taking money from gays without giving something back. Otherwise why all the howling from the usual suspects in the Leviticus Crowd?


Wednesday, June 11, 2003

HRC also focuses on the trivial

I get an action alert in the mail asking me to take action on DOJ Pride. Well I do it. I think Justice is going on a slippery slope with this one - and I urged them not to sponsor any employee events - or they need to also sponsor DOJ Pride. But I also asked this question:

Why this action - and not an action on Pryor? ...... Seems like it is more important to get letters to Senators on Pryor. Log Cabin Republicans has come out in opposition to Pryor - and if HRC did an action alert on this - I'd encourage folks to take action on this one. The C&Fers are totally nutty about this whole Pride thing - see the latest on their site - but they also did send an alert yesterday to have people call senators on the judiciary committee.

Eva Young
President
L

LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS APPLAUD DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE REVERSAL
June 10, 2003

WASHINGTON) Log Cabin Republicans applaud the Department of Justice reversal of a ban on DOJ Pride holding their annual pride event at the department. The event will now take place as scheduled in the Great Hall at the Department of Justice.

DOJ Pride, the gay and lesbian employee group at the Department of Justice, had been told last week that they could no longer hold their annual event.

"It is a start, for sure, but we need to make sure that the commitment that Attorney General Ashcroft made to members of the United States Senate and Log Cabin Republicans is made whole - complete and equal treatment of all Department of Justice employees. We call on the the Attorney General to make this happen," said Patrick Guerriero, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans.

"We have worked tirelessly since this unfortunate decision took place to educate administration officials on the unfairness of this matter. We will continue to work for our community to make sure that gay and lesbian DOJ employees enjoy the same and rights as all Justice Department employees including the appropriate funding of these type of events," concluded Guerriero.

The C&Fers and the FRC on Bush Administration Pride Celebrations

Peter LaBarbera has been busy attending the Bush Adminstration Pride Functions. He then writes "exclusives" about the events.

From the article:

It appears that DOT may be planning to allocate some monies on "gay pride month” activities. (Another "gay" affirming DOT event is planned soon, according to our source at the Department.) Culture & Family Report has obtained an email sent by an employee at the Office of Civil Rights of the Federal Transit Administration (TCR, or “Transit Civil Rights”), noting a request that TCR “contribute $300 to the Gay and Lesbian Pride Month Event.”

The DOT source who supplied Culture & Family Report with the email said that TCR is just one of several civil rights offices at DOT. Thus, if other civil rights offices are also giving money, much more taxpayer funds will likely be used for "gay pride" celebrations.

The DOT spokesperson, speaking on background, said he would check into the question of whether the Department is planning a homosexual-affirming event, and ascertain how much if any DOT funds would be spent on it.

He also said DOT Secretary Norman Mineta has not yet issued a favorable message for "gay pride month," as he did last year, but that he "may do so."

LaBarbarera also shares an email about the USDA Pride Celebration:

TO: All USDA Employees
FROM: Lou Gallegos, Assistant Secretary for Administration
SUBJECT:Gay and Lesbian Pride Month Celebrations at USDA
One of our nation's greatest strengths is the rich diversity of its people. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans form an important part of this national tapestry and have contributed to every facet of our society. All too often, however, these citizens have been marginalized, discriminated against, and even attacked for who they are.

Fortunately, the Federal Government has taken steps to prevent this form of discrimination in our workplace. The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 bars discrimination in hiring and promotion based on any factor, such as sexual orientation, that is not related to job performance and experience. Furthermore, Executive Order 13087 specifically prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in the Federal workplace, and USDA has included sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination policy statement since 1993.

However, preventing discrimination is not enough; diversity should also be celebrated. USDA is known as "The People's Department." The services we provide touch the lives of every American, and we are proud that our employee population is a microcosm of American society. Thus, it is only fitting that we recognize, respect, and welcome all of our employees and customers within the USDA family, without regard to sexual orientation.

On June 11, 2003, the Department will hold a Gay and Lesbian Pride Month celebration at 10:00 a.m. in the Jefferson Auditorium of the South Building in Washington, D.C. The keynote speaker at this event will be former Congressman Steve Gunderson (R-Wisconsin). I encourage all Headquarters employees to join me in attending this event, and I also encourage employees outside of the Washington area to hold Gay and Lesbian Pride Month celebrations in your offices or work sites during the month of June.

EY: The C&F article ends with suggesting that people write the President asking that no taxpayer money go to any administration pride function in any cabinet agency.

Meanwhile the FRC bleats about this one also:

DOJ's Gay Pride Week: In or 'Out'?

For the third year in a row, President Bush declined to issue a proclamation recognizing June as Gay and Lesbian Pride month. "The president believes every person should be treated with dignity and respect, but he doesn't believe in politicizing people's sexual orientation," said White House Spokesman Scott McClellan. Despite earlier reports that cabinet officials such as Attorney General John Ashcroft were nixing the celebration, the Department of Justice is taking an ambiguous position, allowing the event but requiring DOJ employees to fund it themselves. The agency wants it to be clear that it will not be sponsoring Gay and Lesbian Pride galas as it did last year. David Smith, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, and other activists are up in arms, criticizing both Bush and Ashcroft and claiming that their "callous" indifference to Gay Pride Month is an enormous setback for human rights. "Sponsorship sends an important message to the employee group: that their work is valued." What? Isn't that what a salary is for? The fact is, and John Ashcroft would confirm it, the work of homosexuals is valued exactly the same as heterosexuals. What the activists are obviously seeking is special recognition and privileges. The DOJ doesn't set aside other months to affirm married people or mothers or singles. Besides, one would think that with the ongoing war against terrorism, homeland security concerns and plenty of plain old street crime, the government would have better things to do with taxpayer dollars and federal employees' time than to celebrate personal sexual preferences.





FRC report on Pryor Hearing

Hearing Gets 'Pryor-itized'

The hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee today was "Pryor-itized." Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor did
not back down from his strong pro-life and pro-family views under very hostile questioning from Democrats Ted Kennedy,
Chuck Schumer, Pat Leahy & Co. President Bush's judicial nominees have come to expect rough handling from Senate
Democrats, but some of the most aggressive grilling today came from Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Sen.
Specter, who is pro-abortion, interrogated Mr. Pryor on his pro-life views. Sen. Specter cited a statement from Mr.
Pryor calling Roe v. Wade an "abomination." Under the cross examination Mr. Pryor stood by his characterization
of Roe. That ruling, he said, "led to the slaughter of millions of innocent unborn children." Mr. Pryor went on:
Roe is not supported by either the text or the structure of the Constitution. This is pretty strong stuff from a
nominee to the federal bench. Typically nominees are coached to be noncommittal and inoffensive under Senate
interrogation. Mr. Pryor's advantage is that he can point to a solid record as a state attorney general enforcing laws he finds personally offensive, even such outrages as Roe v. Wade. Sen. Schumer questioned whether Mr. Pryor, given his deeply held beliefs, could set aside his personal convictions and apply the law fairly and equally. Sen. Schumer routinely pursues this line of questioning with nominees who are known to be active, believing Christians. Mr. Pryor is a devout Roman Catholic. Sen. Schumer seems to suggest that people of faith should be disqualified from service on the federal bench. This issue erupted into a nasty exchange between Sen. Pat Leahy and committee chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch. The intensely hostile questioning from committee Democrats left little doubt that Mr. Pryor's nomination will be next in line for a filibuster. All of this can get very confusing, which perhaps explains why at one point Sen. Schumer said Mr. Pryor had been nominated to the 5th Circuit, when in fact, he's been appointed to the 11th. Sen. Schumer must have been thinking of Judge Priscilla Owen and Judge Charles Pickering, both stalled nominees to the 5th Circuit.

EY: I looked on CSPAN's site and couldn't find this hearing. I hope that there are others who can report on it.

Eva

And Homosareperverse responds

Oh, Eva, I'm sure Mr. Horowitz was already aware of your association with Rusty...This was definitely from Horowitz. He and I had a debate a few weeks ago about homosexuality and Republican party. I have those email messages, too.

=================================
Yeah and I have lots of friends who I disagree with. I don't decide I have to agree with someone to have email correspondance with them.

Eva

Rusty's response to Horowitz's remark....

It is the real Horowitz.
After all, when pressed and in private they all show there true colors.

What does "hope he wears his condoms" mean? Is that a sick "gay = whore" remark?

>Says alot about idiots who "think he is moderate and ok" doesn't it. Guess he's not so "gay friendly" after all...but then again i'm not stupid enough to fall for those kind of "compassionate conservative" lies.

R.

Kirk Zimpher aka "homosareperverse" forwards the following message allegedly from David Horowitz of Frontpage Magazine. He gratuitously mentions my name - and association with Log Cabin Republicans to imply that Log Cabin Republicans officially agrees with Rusty Morris on this particular point. David Horowitz then responds with:

From: David Horowitz
To: Kirk Z
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2003 4:10 PM
Subject: Re: Silent Slaughter

This is a silly leftist. I hope he wears his condoms.

EY:
That's a rather ironic comment - since as I understand it, Rusty Morris is in a committed relationship with a partner. Also ironically - gay leftist Michelanelo Signorile agrees with Horowitz's points in his recent essay much more so than would homocon Andrew Sullivan.

Apparently Kirk had sent a message to Horowitz which gratuitously mentioned me.

Kirk Z wrote:

From a friend of the Minnesota President of the Log Cabin Republicans, Eva Young....Personally, I thought this was a great
piece, though.

From: "Rusty Morris"
Date: Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:52 pm

Well you are talking about a HETROSEXUAL, Horowitz is nothing but a lip service str8 version of Andrew "queen of the bareback assimilatiion Queers" Sullivan. Horowitz or any other of the pother mouthpieces yakking about issues like this...is the equivilant of me having the nerve to tell Women I know it feelis like to give birth or , what wearing a tampon feels like. R.

Interestingly enough, both the gay left and the theocrats go after Andrew Sullivan and the barebacking story. FrontPage Magazine's Tammy Bruce goes into much greater detail:

Here are a few things we do know, and which even the Thought Police cannot ignore. Unprotected sex among gay men is now common. The bathhouses are reopening and business is booming. "Barebacking," another lovely term to describe having unprotected anal sex, is all the rage and featured on the covers of gay magazines. Syphilis is at epidemic proportions amongst gay men.
But Andrew Sullivan knows all this too well. While his dismissal of the seriousness of the bug chasing problem (he calls it an ‘urban myth’) irritates me, his own flagrant hypocrisy is stunning. Richard Goldstein, in an article by the Village Voice, revealed Sullivan’s own predilection for barebacking and other supposed urban myths:
Using the screen name RawMuscleGlutes, Sullivan posted on a site for bare backers (the heroic term for gay men who have sex without condoms). He was seeking partners for unsafe anal and oral intercourse. Sullivan revealed that he was HIV-positive and stated his preference for men who are "poz," but he also indicated an interest in "bi scenes," groups, parties, orgies, and "gang bangs."

On this Bruce sounds much like Gay Leftist Columnist Michelangelo Signorile

One phenomenon I was not happy to be among the first to report on, in a column in Out in 1997, was that of “bareback” sex—a name given to it by its practitioners, gay men who had concluded from the new combination drug therapies (and the media coverage that sensationally touted them as a virtual cure) that the AIDS epidemic was no longer a threat and had thus decided to forgo condoms entirely. For barebackers, unprotected sex is not a slip-up in the heat of the moment, but a firm decision to give up on protection, whether they are HIV-positive or HIV-negative. I came under tremendous attack for that column from various quarters. Some charged that it was sensational, that I’d focused on a small group of men who were far from the mainstream, though at the time a check of screen names on America Online alone showed an unlimited number of men advertising for bareback sex. Others charged that unprotected anal sex was mostly occurring among men who were HIV-negative and in monogamous relationships, but many of the men I interviewed were either in open relationships or were single and engaging in multiple-partner sex. Their HIV status far too often was not the same as their sexual partners’.

Looking back, not only have the critics, sadly, been proven dead wrong, but I was reporting only the tip of the iceberg: bareback chat rooms and Web sites have sprung up all over the Internet during the past five years, and studies have shown remarkably high rates of unsafe sex among gay men. Depressingly, but not surprisingly, the latest reports have also shown rising infection rates for HIV. Data available from New York City shows the incidence of new infections among gay men rose to 8.4 percent by 1999. In San Francisco, the incidence rate rose from 1.3 percent in 1997 to 3.6 percent in 1999. Even as combination therapies are lowering viral loads and thus the infectiousness of those taking them, the sheer amount of unprotected sex now occurring is fueling rising rates of infection, and the AIDS epidemic among gay men continues to expand rather than contract. And combination therapies are failing many, and also showing long-term dangerous side effects.

Given everything I've witnessed about the rise of barebacking in the past several years, I could not help but be taken aback by a story I became privy to that has lit up the Internet over the past several weeks. The same was apparently true for many others, because it was the hot topic of discussion on message boards, from the gossipy gay site Datalounge.com to the gay conservative site Independent Gay Forum, from the often liberal Salon.com to the rabidly right-wing FreeRepublic.com. The HIV-positive gay writer and pundit Andrew Sullivan, the information contended, had an assumed screen name on America Online with a profile that advertised for “bareback” sex and which linked to two Web pages where he posted headless photos and his sexual tastes, one of which was on BarebackCity.com.

Beyond the sensationalism of the “bareback” sex revelation, what was most jarring to people who’d received this information was the sheer incongruity between the public persona that many rightly or wrongly perceive as Sullivan’s—conservative, moral, devoutly Catholic, marriage-minded, judgmental toward the sexual behavior of politicians and other public figures, and arrogant toward the ghettoized gay scene—and the person depicted on the sites, a gay stereotype more extreme than any of the Village People, someone very much in the gay sexual fast lane, all pumped up and describing his "power glutes," ravenously eager to hook up but letting prospective partners know that “no fats, no fems” need apply.

EY: The point here is that the "gay right" doesn't automatically criticize irresponsible sexual behavior in the gay community and the "gay left" doesn't automatically enable it.

Anti-Gay Court nominee Pryor has his day in Court - or in the Judiciary Committee.....

As reported here earlier, Log Cabin Republicans have opposed the Pryor Nomination to the court of appeals. Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Patrick Gueriero states: "An analysis of Mr. Pryor's work finds compelling evidence that he would be a jurist incapable of fair-minded review of matters of concern to gay and lesbian Americans."

The Anti-Gay Family Research Council is trying to say that the opposition to Pryor is a Democratic thing:

Senate Dems Exercise 'Pryor' Restraint

The Constitution explicitly prohibits religious tests for public office. Yet Senate Democrats are perilously close to barring practicing Christians from holding federal judgeships. In effect, the Democrats are telling judicial nominees to check their faith at the door. Bush nominees Charles Pickering, Carolyn Kuhl, and Leon Holmes have been attacked because they take their faith seriously. Tomorrow, the Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the nomination of Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the 11th Circuit Court. The same lynch mob that has gone after other superbly qualified Bush judges is poised to filibuster yet another confirmation and deny yet another nominee the simple fairness of an up-or-down vote. What's the beef with Mr. Pryor? He is a Catholic who holds pro-life, pro-family views and this offends some Democrats. Mr. Pryor's personal faith and opinions, however, have not prevented him from enforcing the law fairly and without bias, as even Democrats in Alabama testify.

EY: The question is whether any of the democrats in Alabama who are saying Pryor is fair are Gay Democrats. The original Bowers V Hardwick decision (written by JFK appointee, Byron White) quotes anti-gay passages from the bible - specifically, the Leviticus passages in support of the decision. The issue isn't a judge's faith. The issue is whether they will try to impose their personal religious beliefs on this country with their court decisions.

But this is not enough for the wrecking crew in the Senate. Another rap against Mr. Pryor is that as Alabama AG he filed a brief in the Texas anti-sodomy law case. But, as an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal pointed out, Mr. Pryor's defense of marriage law is neither unusual nor extreme. Most telling is Mr. Pryor's point that it should be left to the people of Texas and Alabama, not unelected judges, to decide whether to keep statutes favoring the protection of marriage. This is precisely the sort of judicial restraint we should expect in federal judges. Given the attacks that already have been launched by the extremist interest groups allied with the Senate Democrats, it appears likely that Bill Pryor is in for some rough handling. FRC will be at tomorrow's hearing. Stay tuned.

EY: The Concerned Women for America are also urging their crazed followers to push for this nomination.

Eva

Seems that the DOJ's story is different today than what they said to DOJ Pride

Justice Department officials did not return calls Friday about the issue. But spokesman Mark Corallo said yesterday it had never banned the events and attributed the imbroglio to "miscommunication."

He said the department had told DOJ Pride, a group that supports its gay employees, that Justice could not sponsor any events without a presidential proclamation. The Bush administration has declined to issue a statement honoring Gay Pride Month.

But, Corallo said, the department told the group it could still hold its event; it just wouldn't be sponsored by Justice. DOJ Pride had planned a ceremony next week in the Justice Department's main auditorium to honor two lawyers who have defended gay rights.

"They were told -- very clearly -- that, like any properly constituted employees association, they could request the space, it would be granted and they could have their event," he said. "It just would not be officially sponsored."

Corallo said he did not know why the department waited several days to clarify its position.

That did not satisfy Marina Colby, president of DOJ Pride. "I can't believe they said that," she said. "We were told we couldn't have the event at all, even if we paid for all of it."

She called the announcement a "partial reversal," but said it was still discriminatory. Colby said the department sponsors other heritage and diversity events, such as those honoring Black History Month or Hispanic employees. Last year, Justice sponsored the group's gay pride event and Deputy Attorney General Larry D. Thompson addressed the group.

Sen. Frank J. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said yesterday he will ask for hearings on what he called "possible violations of the civil rights by the Department of Justice against their own employees."

As for DOJ Pride's awards ceremony, Colby said she did not know if the group will still hold its event in the main auditorium.

EY: According to an LCR board member (posting on an LCR private chat list), LCR was talking with people in the Justice Department. It seems that they have reversed themselves particially. It is really interesting that LCR puts out a press release on the matter - then Justice reverses themselves.

From Steven Miller's Culture Watch

The Show Goes On.

Some positive domestic news: The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reversing its decision to ban a gay employees group from holding its annual pride event onsite -- although the DOJ Pride get-together won't have the sponsorship of the department as it has in the past, and as other events currently do, says the Human Rights Campaign.

Last year's DOJ Pride event featured a department-sponsored speech by Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson to roughly 150 employees, causing religious conservatives to go ballistic. Fearing the religious right's wrath, it was decided that no gay pride event could be held this year on DOJ premises -- despite prior promises from Attorney General John Ashcroft. But that decision produced an outcry from gay activists and the publicity made the Bush administration appear intolerant, and so now the partial reversal follows as the department relents and the pride event goes forward.

Gays are unhappy about the lack of official sponsorship, while anti-gays are unhappy the event wasn't banned outright. So what's new?

EY: This seems like spin. Clearly the story is that the DOJ reversed themselves after Log Cabin Republicans put out a press release on this matter.



Backtracking at Justice?

Gov't Changes Mind on Gay Employee Event

By CURT ANDERSON
.c The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A group of gay and lesbian Justice Department employees aren't being prevented from holding their annual event at agency headquarters after all. They'll just have to pay for it themselves.

EY: Hmmmmm..... That's different than what they were saying before.....

That explanation was given Tuesday by Justice Department officials who said they never intended to flatly bar the DOJ Pride group from holding its awards ceremony on June 18 in the agency's Great Hall.

EY: Yeah, sure, you betcha....

Justice spokesman Mark Corallo said the only change in policy was that the DOJ Pride event would no longer officially be sponsored by the agency, meaning the group's members would have to foot any costs themselves.

EY: Well ok....

Under the Bush administration, he added, DOJ Pride had been the only Justice Department employee organization that was given official sponsorship.

EY: That must have been inherited from the Clinton administration.

``They will not be officially sponsored this year, just like every other group,'' Corallo said. ``They took that to mean they couldn't
have the event.''

EY: It would be interesting to talk to the Pride folks themselves to ask them their take.

The president of DOJ Pride did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment. Last week, the group said it was told the event couldn't be held because President Bush has not issued a proclamation designating a gay pride month as former President Clinton did.

EY: But it seems there is no comment.

Reports of the denial sparked outrage among gay and lesbian groups and from Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who wrote an angry letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft questioning the Justice Department's commitment to fairness.

EY: Not to mention Feingold pointing out that Ashcroft may have lied to the judiciary committee on this point.

Ashcroft had promised during his Senate confirmation hearings in 2001 that he would continue to allow DOJ Pride to hold its event.

EY: So now he's forced to back down - this is hilarious. It would be good to see what Ashcroft himself says about this.

David Smith, spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group in Washington, praised the department for reversing what he called its previous ``outright denial'' of the event. But he said withdrawal of department sponsorship still represents a step backward.

``Sponsorship sends an important message to the employee group: that their work is valued,'' Smith said.

EY: Pretty lame statement by Smith. Clearly the only point that needs to be made is this was a reversal by the DOJ.

Eva

Monday, June 09, 2003

Is Communication With Liberals Even Possible?
~Eve Taggart
President, Austin Log Cabin Republicans
Webmistress, http://lavenderbutnotpink.com

In my efforts to carry out the Log Cabin mission of fighting homophobia in the Republican Party and Republiphobia in the gay
community, what I'm noticing is that only in the former effort do we seem to be making any progress.

The fact is, none of the straight Republicans I've met personally have any problem with my homosexuality. Some of them are even glad to learn that not all of us are left-wing substance abusers. Yeah, we all know of particular incidents of homophobia from Republican organizations or politicians, but let's face it: we're conservatives because we would rather have a healthy economy, safe streets, civil rights, and protection from terrorists than give all of that up in exchange for the right to have sex. (And I have no doubt that if liberals ever really seized control, they'd sell us down the river without hesitation.)

On the other hand, my fellow homosexuals have subjected me to a great deal of persecution for being a Republican. Further, attempts at communicating with them, trying to explain *why* gays might choose the GOP, have only shown that conservatives and liberals, gay or straight, look at the world in an entirely different manner. This isn't just a matter of pointing out a few facts or making a couple of pithy arguments. This is a matter of fundamentally different worldviews, with underlying assumptions that are so much a part of who we are that we usually don't even question them.

I'll just give one example: the last few attacks on the LCR from gay liberals that I've read have all included one phrase: "Log Cabin
Republicans just don't get it." Get what? That Republicans don't like them!

There are two problems with this assertion. The first is that it simply isn't true. We are quite aware that our party isn't entirely keen on having us. We acknowledge this in our strategy discussions all the time. We discuss how to combat it. There is no factual basis for the notion that we don't know that the GOP isn't fond of us.

The second problem is that it's totally irrelevant. This is politics, not therapy. It isn't about being liked. If you want to be liked, get a
dog. The fact that the GOP doesn't like us is the *reason* that our organization is needed!

I was only at this weekend's Pride Festival very briefly, but those few minutes were enough. Lots of the attendees were wearing T-shirts attacking conservative organizations or people, like the guy at the entrance gate wearing a "Faux News: We Slant, You Comply" shirt. Do conservatives wear shirts attacking the opposition? No, because most of us don't believe in negative campaigning. Even the event's name -- "Peace Through Pride" -- is a clear example of leftist lies and wishful thinking.

Then there were the booths. The Stonewall Democrats, of course, had a large and active booth. There was also the Green Party and a couple of booths promoting leftist presidential candidates, along with a handful of other left-wing organizations. All of these organizations run by straight white people only too eager to move in on an easily led minority group. And homosexuals were lining up for them. My gay brothers and sisters weren't *tolerating* having their rights taken away, they were actively *requesting* that someone take them away. I looked around and thought, "This must be what it felt like to be a sane German in the 1930's."

I presume that liberal gays only hand over their civil and property rights to organizations that claim to "like" them.

So now I'm thinking that maybe we homocons shouldn't even bother with the gay community. I mean, make enough of a presence that gays know that we're here, so that the ones who belong with us can find us, but I'm starting to think there's no point in trying to reason with the gay community at large. The arguments in favor of gay conservatism and of "assimilationism" (that is, not wanting to overthrow society just so that we can get laid) just aren't going to reach people who want to fantasize about a hippie Utopia, who are willing to hand over most or all of their property to any leader who claims to "like" them, who would rather recite inspiring slogans than settle in for the hard work and uphill fight of committing to and dealing with reality.

~Eve Taggart
President, Austin Log Cabin Republicans
Webmistress, http://lavenderbutnotpink.com

LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS OPPOSE NOMINATION OF ALABAMA ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM PRYOR TO U.S. COURT OF APPEALS.
JUNE 9, 2003
For immediate release

CONTACT: Public Affairs Mark Mead 202 347 5306 ext 112
mobile 202 297 5026

(WASHINGTON) The Log Cabin Republicans announced today that they oppose the nomination of Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th circuit. Pryor will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

"An analysis of Mr. Pryor's work finds compelling evidence that he would be a jurist incapable of fair-minded review of matters of concern to gay and lesbian Americans," said Log Cabin Republican Executive Director Patrick
Guerriero.

Of particular concern are Pryor's legal arguments offered in an amicus brief on behalf of the state of Alabama in the Texas sodomy case that is currently before the United States Supreme Court . Pryor forcefully defended the laws that allow for the government to invade the homes of Americans and arrest law-abiding citizens for private and consensual acts of intimacy. Log Cabin, and its sister organization the Liberty Education Forum, authored an opposing amicus brief that called for an overturn of these laws. " These
laws are un-American and strike a blow to the basic right of privacy for American citizens, gays and lesbians in particular," added Guerrieo.

"We call on members of the Senate Judiciary, Democrats and Republicans, to address Mr. Pryor's record on civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans. And we continue to urge the Bush Administration to select open minded and fair jurists to be placed on the federal bench. We believe that Mr. Pryor does not meet that [sic] criteria," concluded Guerriero.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Log Cabin Republicans on the nonsense from the Department of Justice
Group calls on DOJ to reverse it's decision to ban pride events at Justice immediately

June 6, 2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mark Mead - Mobile 202 297 5026

LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS CALL ON JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO REVERSE BAN ON GAY EMPLOYEE PRIDE EVENT.

(WASHINGTON) - The Log Cabin Republicans today denounced a decision by the Department of Justice to ban an annual gay pride event. Log Cabin Executive Director Patrick Guerriero today called on the Justice Department to reverse the decision immediately.

"Banning this event is unfair and unjust. After years of successful pride events, the Department of Justice is taking a step backwards towards injustice for its dedicated gay and lesbian employees.

This decision is inconsistent with the freedom of expression granted to gay and lesbian employees in other federal agencies and at the Justice Department until this unacceptable reversal, "Guerriero concluded.

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Log Cabin Republicans is the nations' largest gay Republican organization with chapters across America, a national office in Washington, DC and a federal PAC.