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Timing of Senate Vote Unclear

This week, as hundreds of gay and lesbian newlyweds celebrated their weddings in Massachusetts, opponents of same-sex marriage efforts have increased their lobbying on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment proposal that would prohibit same-sex marriages. In the House of Representatives, lawmakers have greeted the amendment with less than enthusiastic support, with Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the judiciary committee chairman, conducting hearings, but giving outspoken opponents of the amendment, including Democratic colleagues such as New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, as much time to testify as proponents of the amendment. Comment

The Respect of Their Peers

More than 150 people turned out on the evening of May 12 for the 16th annual Publishing Triangle Awards honoring gay and lesbian fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting. Attendees included major publishers and literary agents such as the poets and writers Minnie Bruce Pratt, Christopher Bram, Joan Nestle, and Marilyn Hacker. Comment

The Party Starts in Cambridge

Two days before Massachusetts made history by becoming the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry, state Rep. Byron Rushing, D-Boston, offered a prediction to a crowd of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) teens and their supporters attending Boston’s Youth Pride celebration. Comment

The Party Starts in Cambridge

Two days before Massachusetts made history by becoming the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry, state Rep. Byron Rushing, D-Boston, offered a prediction to a crowd of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) teens and their supporters attending Boston’s Youth Pride celebration. Comment

The Love that Did Speak, Extensively

I have been long inclined to up the Brophy ante. I loathe the Enlightenment (against which Mozart campaigned his whole short life long, making Beethoven and Berlioz, Schubert and Schumann—that crowd—possible) and so give me the 19th century every time, certainly every time it can be handled the way Graham Robb does in “Strangers: Homosexual Love in the 19th Century.” Comment

The Commander In Chief’s Tough Choices

Pres. George W. Bush is standing by his man, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, one of the architects of the war in Iraq. Comment

Sweatin’to the Oldies

By GUS SOLOMONS JR. Comment

Super Hero Narratives

Oil on canvas. Large and medium-size paintings. The color is energized, yet more akin to the brown and yellow hues of old prints, or comic books, than the lurid candy shell tones of much contemporary painting. Comment

Reporting the Iraq War

A first rate film, “Control Room” arrives in theaters in the wake of revelations about American torture of Iraqi detainees. Director Jehane Noujaim films the workings of Al Jazeera, the Arabic TV station, from the onset of America’s invasion of Iraq until the fall of Baghdad. Comment

Reading Room

THURSDAY MAY 20 Comment

NEWSBRIEFS

Three days before his home state was set to begin recognizing same-sex marriages, Kerry reiterated that he does not support extending equal marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. Comment

Moving Beyond the Stepford Queer Image

Most groups that fight for marriage rights make every effort to present an image of marriage appealing to mainstream America. We present what is essentially a nuclear family, only gay, with parents and children living middle class lives that we hope middle class America will be able to sympathize with. Comment

Massachusetts Hoists a New Beacon

When Mary Bonauto stepped to the microphone in the Cambridge City Council Chamber shortly before midnight on May 16, she invoked Dr. Martin Luther King’s oft-quoted observation that “the arc of history is long but bends toward justice.” Comment

Love Thy Neighbor…or Not

“There’s a direct parallel in exploring how you treat your neighbors and how your government treats a foreign country,” said Christopher Shinn, the keenly perceptive 29-year-old author of “Where Do We Live,” in the Vineyard Theatre’s spring newsletter. “The play struggles with the way that our most intimate relationships reveal our basic orientation to the world of others, especially neighbors and strangers.” Comment

Leadership, and Its Absence

Sometimes keeping score is the very best thing we can do. Comment

Lesbian Resistance Fighters

They were heroines, no matter which way you look at it. Comment

Kabul, With More Perspective

One of the things playwright Larry Kramer distinctly remembers about reviving his AIDS play “The Normal Heart” 19 years after its debut was Tony Kushner forbidding him to rewrite a single word of the original script. Comment

His Eyes Set on Mayor’s Office

“I don’t think I’ve made any secret that I’m thrilled to be comptroller and I think we’ve used this office in ways that benefit the people of this city,” William C. Thompson said toward the end of an interview in his One Centre Street office. Comment

Head Trip

By GUS SOLOMONS JR. Comment

Glitter in a Magpie’s Eye

I came away from a recent gallery hop feeling jaded. Everything looked and felt overwrought, canned, freighted with meaningless chatter—lots of production value and not much substance. In short, the experience was if I had spent the evening at XL. Comment

No Second Act for Cheney’s Pulp

Email Mike Signorile at Mike@Signorile.com. Comment

Egg Donor Has No Parental Rights

Deciding a novel question, a unanimous three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal ruled on May 10 that a lesbian who donated her eggs so that her domestic partner could become pregnant was precluded from asserting rights as a parent to the resulting twins, because she waived those rights when she made the donation with the understanding that she was not intended to be the children’s legal mother. Comment

Dems Reassure Gay Leaders

At a May 13 meeting between Democratic senators and gay leaders in Washington, D.C., Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Barbara Boxer (Cal.), and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) affirmed the Senate Democratic leadership’s commitment to blocking any version of a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. Comment

Dance Card

Philadelphia’s renowned dance company, Philadanco, begins their touring season on May 18th at the Joyce Theater. The performance will be split into two programs.  The first is a collection of repertory pieces performed by the ensemble with “Elegy” by Gene Hill Sagan, “Sweet in the Morning” by Leni Wylliams, and “Steal Away” by Alonzo King. The second program is entitled “We Too Dance…African American Men in Dance, includes “Back to Bach” by Eleo Pomare, “A Place for Peace” by Nathan Trice, and “Blue” (New York Premier) by Christopher Huggins. Comment

Coast Guard Nixes Sodomy Challenge

A unanimous five-judge panel of the U.S. Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals has refused to vacate a conviction for consensual sodomy, finding that it must continue to apply the military sodomy law until a higher appeals court can determine that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas requires the military to abandon such prosecutions. Comment

City AIDS Czar Quits

“This is a paramount opportunity to really make a difference in what I call the heart of the epicenter of the epidemic,” Oldham said. “Harlem is really disproportionately affected by AIDS.” Comment

Cinemascope

PEOPLE SAY I’M CRAZY John Cadigan is a large, bearded, often morose, sometimes not morose, sometimes far worse than morose, schizophrenic in his early 30s. Katie Cadigan, one of his two sisters, […] Comment

Bronx Hosts Marriage Forum

Last March, when thousands of evangelical Christians convened in front of the Bronx County Courthouse and called for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, alarm bells went off for the borough’s leading gay activists and others, who began organizing to formulate a calculated response. Comment

Blinded by The Light

You’re in Park Slope with your honey, you’ve just had a fabulous dinner, and you’re both up for a show. You’d like to see a play, but your partner is in the mood for comedy. There’s no need to fear; the Neo-Futurists are here, with their innovative show, “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.” This combination play/improv performance is like theater for the reality TV generation. Comment

As God and Monsters

Much as I enjoy hearing the Met orchestra play Wagner, I didn’t feel up to a full “Ring” traversal so I elected for the one-off “Das Rheingold” of April 22 and through a friend lucked into May 8’s “Götterdämmerung,” always an apt season closer, though the final stage-collapsing tableaux seemed a little muted this time around. Comment

AIDS Walk Raises $5.42 Million

of annual GMHC event Comment

An AIDS Hero Remembered

The Second Annual Butterfly Awards were conferred on Monday evening, May 17 at a midtown Manhattan nightclub. The event honored Wayne Fischer, a New York City native and gay high school teacher, who died in 1997 after a long battle with AIDS. Fischer became an outspoken advocate of implementing curricula in the city’s school system to educate young people about safe sex practices. His niece, Bari Zahn, a New York City attorney who is a staunch supporter of gay rights, along with Ann Bennett, a friend of Wayne’s, established a non-profit group, Living Beyond Belief, to combat AIDS and honor high school seniors who work on behalf of curbing HIV infections by educating their peers about the disease. Comment

A Dream Un-Deferred

Sean Combs may be the biggest marquee name in the current revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” but his performance, while generally solid, never really ignites, leaving the heavy lifting of this heartfelt play to the other members of the cast. Comment

Young and Queer in the Heartland

A sensitive and moving drama, “The Mudge Boy” deals with a young man in the heartland coming to terms with both his homosexuality and his grief for his recently deceased mother. This heartfelt film, written and directed by Michael Burke, is an unexpected gem—filled with fine performances and artfully composed images. What is more, this quietly observed character study packs an intense emotional wallop. Comment

Torture and U.S. Policy in Iraq

After months of silence on reports of systematic torture of Iraqis, the U.S. media has finally opened its eyes. Comment

The Life of a Gender Pioneer

And then there was the time that Jackie turned up at a Busby Berkeley audition for the Broadway revival of “No, No, Nanette” in a battered U.S. Army jacket—and a turban made of torn stockings. Comment

Step Lively Upon Watching

There are many reasons to see the intellectually and theatrically spellbinding new production of Tom Stoppard’s “Jumpers” now delightfully bouncing about the stage at the Brooks Atkinson with unforgettable performances by a magnificent cast. Stoppard’s linguistic antics and director David Levaux’s direction are back at the top of their games. Comment

Shock and Awe has Become Terrorize and Disgust

“Shock and Awe” is how U.S. military commanders described what Iraqi soldiers and civilians would feel as their cities were bombed day and night during the first few days of the U.S.-led war against Iraq. More than one year later, shocked and disgusted are the words that describe the reaction to the photographs across television screens 24 hours a day, around the world, depicting U.S. soldiers sexually humiliating and degrading Iraqi detainees. Comment

Sakia Gunn Memorialized

On the evening of Tuesday, May 11, hundreds of New Jersey residents gathered in Newark to mark the first anniversary of the death of Sakia Gunn, a 15-year-old lesbian who rebuffed a man’s sexual advances before he stabbed her. On a balmy evening, not unlike the night she was killed, Sakia’s friends and family thronged the intersection of Market and Broad Streets to remember a young woman who proudly identified as a lesbian. Comment

Roy Simmons Still Makes the Cut

With that in mind, former NFL football player Roy Simmons, the HIV-positive, openly gay athlete who played in the Super Bowl for the Washington Redskins and as an offensive lineman for the New York Giants, reached out with a message to keep youth healthy. Simmons was diagnosed with HIV in 1997, and was the feature of a New York Times profile about being gay and positive on Nov. 30, 2003. Comment

Revival Soars with Tony Nominees

Roundabout’s long-delayed production of “Assassins” has finally arrived on Broadway at Studio 54, and the wait has been worth every second. Comment

Reading Room

THU MAY 13 Comment

Pentagon Uses Gay Sex as Tool of Humiliation

Gay and human rights activists are responding with condemnation to the images and reports of torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military personnel that, in some instances, used forced simulated gay sex, threats of male rape, and anti-gay slurs as the means to humiliate those prisoners. Comment

NYC Cracks Down on Dissent

With the Republican National Convention just a few months away, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is rolling out the red carpet for the delegates and giving the bum’s rush to those who want to send a message different from the one expected to come out of Madison Square Garden. Comment

NEWSBRIEFS

“To win in November, Sen. Kerry must have the enthusiastic support of the LGBT community,” said Matt Foreman, director of the Task Force. “Picking Sam Nunn would send a terrible signal to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.” Comment

Nadler Calls For Federal Bullying Law

Rep. Jerrold Nadler wants to give states an added incentive to stop bullying in schools. Comment

Minimalism Right-Sized, Reframed

“Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated): Art from 1951 to the Present” charts the history and development of Minimalism, which along with Pop, has been the most influential artistic vocabulary and logic to emerge since Abstract Expressionism. Comment

Life During Wartime

Although set during World War II, “Strayed” relegates the war’s specifics to the film’s opening and closing15 minutes. The heart of this movie lies in the lengthy central section, a four-character chamber drama. This portion could easily be reconceived as post-apocalyptic sci-fi or worked into any number of other rationales for isolating four people in a country house. Comment

Head

Howard Dean was widely scorned by political pundits last December when he said that the United States was no safer even after Saddam Hussein, the deposed Iraqi leader, had been captured. Comment

JASON GOES WEST

West stood up in front of the crowds and told them, that while he may have been second with gay marriage, after San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom started marrying couples in February, he had been planning his move for a long time. Comment

Gay Marriage a Go for May 17

The first same-sex marriages that will be performed in the United States without any question about their legal validity will commence at the stroke of midnight on May 17 in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a resistant state government surrenders to a November ruling of the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. Comment

Firing Rumsfeld a Viable Option

Rep. Charles Rangel, a Manhattan Democrat and veteran lawmaker, has introduced eight articles of impeachment against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Rangel, an opponent of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq, is outraged over the prisoner abuse scandal that has rocked the Pentagon and created an international dilemma for the United States. Comment

Father, Son Against the World

It’s an interesting choice of life model, since Belmondo’s character is himself an imitation of the Humphrey Bogart tough guys of Hollywood’s golden era. Like the characters Belmondo portrayed on screen, Jared is very handsome, charismatic, and a small-time crook. He supports himself and his son Ben by lifting wallets from unsuspecting tourists and businessmen in New York. The two share an apartment (the mother’s out of the picture) in Greenwich Village, though how they’ve managed to rent an apartment there on a pickpocket’s salary is never explained. Comment

No Second Act for Cheney’s Pulp

Email Mike Signorile at Mike@Signorile.com. Comment

Eliciting Truth From a Trick

The scenario is the worst nightmare for some married men. A friendly drink with an attractive guy in a bar leads to an isolated incident of sex. Not long after, the married man’s wife is diagnosed with HIV. What to do next? Comment

Demands for Prison STD Treatment

On the morning on Friday, April 30, chanting “health care is a right, not just for the rich and white,” activists and former prison inmates brought their demands to the Harlem State Office Building on 125 Street before a hearing was held on prison health policy. The protest highlighted systematic neglect of prisoners’ basic rights to treatment for HIV, hepatitis C, and other STDs, as well as the state’s refusal to distribute condoms in prison. Comment

De Kooning’s Enduring Masterpieces

In 1926, William De Kooning arrived as a young man in New York from Holland, got a job as a housepainter, and became friends with art scene luminaries like Gorky, Rosenburg, Hess, and Motherwell. In the years that followed, De Kooning became one of the most important painters of the Abstract Expressionist movement, along with Rothko, Newman, Pollock, and Kline. Comment

Dangers In The Night

I’m sitting in the back seat of a white Cadillac Coupe de Ville with three women I’ve never met, when suddenly this fellow in a trench coat and fedora runs through the parking ramp and disappears. A woman in a fur jacket and hat strides through in the opposite direction. We realize there’s another trench-coated guy behind our car, watching. The woman in fur reappears, retracing the same path. A blonde in a flimsy cocktail dress strolls in the cool evening, smoking. A man on crutches limps up the ramp with his date. Another woman runs desperately on one broken high heel, escaping from who knows what. The woman in fur returns. Comment

Dance Card

Philadelphia’s renowned dance company, Philadanco, begins their touring season on May 18th at the Joyce Theater. The performance will be split into two programs.  The first is a collection of repertory pieces performed by the ensemble with “Elegy” by Gene Hill Sagan, “Sweet in the Morning” by Leni Wylliams, and “Steal Away” by Alonzo King. The second program is entitled “We Too Dance…African American Men in Dance, includes “Back to Bach” by Eleo Pomare, “A Place for Peace” by Nathan Trice, and “Blue” (New York Premier) by Christopher Huggins. Comment

City’s Point Man on Meth

Eight days before Brett Larson officially became the director of the Office of Gay and Lesbian Health in the city’s health department, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the health commissioner, said that office would take the lead on responding to crystal meth use among gay men in New York City. Comment

Cinema Verité Brazilian Style

“Spider Woman” director discusses “Carandiru,” his film on prison massacre I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been thinking about sitting next to a roaring fire with Brazilian […] Comment

Cinemascope

PEOPLE SAY I’M CRAZY John Cadigan is a large, bearded, often morose, sometimes not morose, sometimes far worse than morose, schizophrenic in his early 30s. Katie Cadigan, one of his two sisters, […] Comment

A SMALL POT OF GOLD

As a musical, “Finian’s Rainbow” fits squarely in the “chestnut” category. In fact, when my 82-year-old father heard it was being revived, his response was a dismissive, “Oh, not that old thing.” Comment

Art Turns Out for Marriage

On Monday, May 10, a stylish after-work crowd gathered at the Kashya Hildebrand Gallery in Chelsea for an exhibition of designer posters hosted by Art for Equality, an organization recently formed to support the struggle for marriage equality. Comment

‘America’s Dostoevsky’ Honored

Patricia Highsmith’s life has remained as shrouded in darkness as the best of her legendary crime novels. Largely unheralded in this country during her lifetime, and cursorily labeled “the mystery girl” by critics, Highsmith was best known for her character Tom Ripley, who was the subject of five of her books and several film adaptations. Comment

All the Boasts Have Now Turned Sour

The photographs of the torture of Iraqi prisoner mistreatment are a political scandal that threatens the neo-conservatives in the Bush administration. Donald Rumsfeld’s departure would mean that other Iraq hawks would have to be fired, possibly even including Vice Pres. Richard Cheney who is a close Rumsfeld ally. Comment

7 Days & 7 Nights

In collaboration with the Union Theological Seminary, Out and Faithful: LGBT People and Religion series examines how religious beliefs and practice play in the development of gay pride and the evolution of alternative congregations to give LGBT people a safe place to worship. Panelists include the Rev. Pat Bumgardner of the Metropolitan Community Church and Rabbi Ayelet Cohen of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah. 7 p.m. at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13 St. $6 for members, $10 non-members. For information call 212 620 7310. Comment

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