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Sturdy Partnership Law Takes Effect

California’s new domestic partnership law went into effect on Sunday, and the rules quietly move the state’s gay couples closer to marriage than any other state in the union outside of Massachusetts, according to West Coast gay and lesbian advocates. Comment

The Long Push For a Vaccine

“There’s something killing the virus,” she said, adding quickly that the reason remains a mystery. Comment

Significant Gay Gain in Montana

In a 4-3 decision announced on December 30, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that excluding same-sex partners from participation in the dependent health benefits coverage offered state university employees violates the state constitution’s equal protection requirements. But in presenting its rationale for the ruling in Snetsinger v. Montana University System, the court was even more divided that than the one-vote majority indicates, with some striking gay rights assertions articulated and rebutted. Comment

Seeing, Hearing, Tasting the Art

Winter holiday exhibitions are the flip side of the summer group show. Comment

Propaganda Bested By History

A cartoon Jew out of Julius Streicher’s ferociously anti-Semitic newspaper, Der Sturmer—only this is an animated cartoon, or a brief fragment of one—a hook-nosed, humpbacked caricature Jew, clumps into some dark, conspiratorial woods as the sound track bizarrely supplements that image with the patched-in lyric of a soupy, sentimental German song of that era: “A star that has fallen from heaven, straight into the human heart…” Comment

The Times’ Curious Reticence on Sontag

The obituaries of Susan Sontag correctly celebrated her work as an author and critic. Unfortunately, the majority of the Sontag obituaries shared another feature. They did not mention Sontag’s relationships with other women, most notably her companion, photographer Annie Leibovitz. Comment

Three Cities, Two and a Half Weeks

“New York is too depressing during the holidays,” said the boyfriend. “Let’s go away! Comment

7 days

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 |Jan 06 - 12, 2005 Comment

Winter Masterworks Previewed

Yanira Castro is not coming to a theater near you. She prefers to map her work out in a terrain dissociated from conventional performance venues and bring the energy of the particular space into her work. It can be both a refreshing and discomforting experience for audiences used to sitting passively. Comment

Virginia Keeps Fire on Gay Marriage

The upcoming legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly will consider an amendment to the state’s constitution banning same-sex marriage. Comment

HOW YOU CAN HELP

As people around the world scramble to add their private assistance to supplement official government relief efforts in the Indian Ocean Basin, there are numerous worthy avenues that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender New Yorkers can pursue to make a difference. Comment

newsbriefs

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 |Jan 06 - 12, 2005 Comment

Surviving Texas

If you’re in the mood for a romp, scoot over to the John Houseman where “Lone Star Love or the Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas” is kicking up its boot heels. Comment

This Is A Test—An Important Test

Cynics might say that even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Comment

Eastchester Rolls Back Gay Benefits

In a 3-2 vote, the Town Council of Eastchester, New York ended a four-year-old program that extended health benefits to the domestic partners of its employees. Comment

Demanding AIDS Lessons

Advocates for AIDS education in the New York City public schools are criticizing the Bloomberg administration for not implementing state and city mandates for AIDS lessons in the schools, and accusing the city’s Department of Education for failing to educate thousands of children about the risks of HIV transmission. Moreover, critics charge, revisions to the curriculum, originally scheduled to be implemented this past fall, have twice been delayed and will not be in the classrooms until the fall 2005 at the earliest. Comment

Mending Fences Worldwide

The row of tiles adorning a section of the fence around Mercer Park—on Mercer Street between Bleecker and West Third Streets—blends in well with the black metal onto which it is bolted. The vibrant array of colors likely catches the attention of passerbys, and there is something distinctly New York about the display. One tile depicts the entrance to a subway station. Another depicts a woman running to catch a train. Comment

Good Scribbling

At a recent holiday gathering, another art critic was overheard saying, in reference to Sam Reveles, “This one does scribbles.” Comment

Going Global in the New Year

As we begin another increasingly globally-interconnected year, world music continues to offer a greater variety of refreshing sounds. The following CDs are this critic’s menu for some of the most interesting offerings, even with some imperfections, for 2005. Comment

History and Healing

In its lyricism and narrative structure, reminiscent of the metaphorical “magical realism” of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “Gem of the Ocean,” August Wilson’s latest play, is the story of an African-American community less than 40 years following the Civil War. It is a timeless, and intrinsically American, story of human survival, religious faith and the intrusiveness of technological change. Comment

letterstotheeditor

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 |Jan 06 - 12, 2005 Comment

Illinois Prison Sex Assault Overturned

An Illinois appellate court reversed the conviction of Stanley Jones for the aggravated criminal sexual assault of Timothy Kester on the grounds that Jones’ attorney was not allowed by the trial judge to question potential jurors about their attitudes towards homosexuality. Comment

Judge Rules Arkansas Gays Allowed to Adopt

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 |Jan 06 - 12, 2005 Comment

Confirmed Dead and Wounded

The following members of the United States Armed Forces died this past week in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since the inception of hostilities, 1,339 service members have died, 1,197 of them since Pres. George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Thus far, more than 10,252 service members have been wounded in action. Comment

Penguins Reinforce ‘Gay Phase Theory’

In a bittersweet tale of middle-aged gay love, involving the birth of a surrogate child during a stay in a private “condo,” two male Chinstrap Penguins at the Central Park Zoo have apparently dissolved their same-sex partnership, with one of the frocked gentlemen, well, now shacking up with a female. Comment

On the Edge

Robert Ryman uses a systematic approach that yields instinctual results. In an exhibition of recent works at Pace Wildenstein in Chelsea, the self-taught artist continues his long-term exploration of white paint, scale, support and composition. Ryman is now tackling integration, working ”to incorporate white and the dark ground as one”, according to the exhibition’s artist statement. Comment

Monet’s Paradigm of Modernity

The redesigned Museum of Modern Art is nothing if not dramatic. The soaring ceilings, six-story drops from glass-partitioned passages and gymnasium-sized atrium all add up to an invigorating new space in which to view the world’s most important collection of modern art. Comment

Queering the Modern

Jana Sawicki in her essay, “Desexualizing Queer Politics, quotes from David Halperin’s book “Saint Foucault:” “Queer is, by definition, what ever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominate. There is nothing in particular to which it refers. It is an identity without essence.” Comment

newsbriefs

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 353 | Dec. 30, 2004 -Jan 05, 2005 Comment

Where 2004 Was A Good Year

A year of disappointments on the political front, 2004 proved to be a pretty good one for modern dance, in terms of both productions and announcements about the future. Comment

When ‘Lousy’ Means ‘Brava!’

New York’s conservatories offer excellent and rare operas into 2005 Those European arts writers who pity Manhattan opera goers as a pathetic herd forced endlessly to endure endless rounds of Zeffirelli’s […] Comment

letterstotheeditor

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 353 | Dec. 30, 2004 -Jan 05, 2005 Comment

Trans Leader Sees Progress

Sitting in her small office at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, Carrie Davis remarked on the progress that transgendered people have made. Comment

Susan Sontag Is Dead at 71

Social activist, author and intellect had complicated relationship within gay community We also publish: […] Comment

Marine Kills Trans Prostitute in L.A.

During a fatal early-morning encounter following a police helicopter pursuit, a Los Angeles police officer shot and killed Patrick Vallor, a 22-year-old marine decorated for combat service, who earlier that evening murdered a transgendered prostitute in Hollywood. Comment

Judge Rejects MTA Partnership Claim

A state trial judge on Staten Island has rejected a lawsuit seeking domestic partnership health benefits for the New York City-registered partner of an employee of the State Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority (SIRTOA), a subsidiary of the both the New York Transit Authority (TA) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Comment

A Winning Return to Venice

Shakespeare’s works have always made for popular cinematic adaptations, and many directors have chosen to play with time periods and presentation of the Bard’s works. In the 1990s alone, “Romeo and Juliet” set the lovers in Mexico City with MTV-style shooting; Richard III was also put in contemporary settings and Kenneth Branagh made “Love’s Labour’s Lost” a 1930s musical. Earlier, Japanese master director Akira Kurosawa took “Macbeth” and “King Lear” and recreated them as “Yojimbo” and “Ran,” set in medieval Japan. Comment

An Odyssey to Asylum

Argentinean María Belén Correa, a transgendered woman, did not originally intend to make her home in the United States. Nevertheless, in a groundbreaking decision that transgendered people hail as an important precedent, the U.S. has granted Correa, 31, a Queens resident, political asylum, based on the grounds that, because of her gender change, she faces life-threatening oppression in her native country. Comment

AIDS Leader ‘Salutes’ Bush

Marsha Martin, executive director of AIDS Action, the national lobbying group that represents HIV service organizations on Capitol Hill, is part of the host committee for a fundraiser called “Salute to A Second Term” to be held in conjunction with Pres. George W. Bush’s inaugural on January 20. Comment

7 days

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 353 | Dec. 30, 2004 -Jan 05, 2005 Comment

Collaborating With the Bard

Signior Antonio, many a time and oft Comment

A Sound that Pops, And More

These days, blonde bombshell Gwen Stefani is a girl caught between two worlds, balancing collaborations with artists like Dr. Dre, Andre 3000 and Jimmy Jam with her appearance in Martin Scorsese’s Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator” playing Jean Harlow. Comment

This Is A Test—An Important Test

The Bush administration came across as incredibly touchy this week on the question of whether the United States might be “stingy” when it comes to humanitarian relief for the tsunami-ravaged Indian Ocean basin. Comment

Confirmed Dead and Wounded

The following members of the United States Armed Forces died during the past two weeks in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since the inception of hostilities, 1,326 service members have died, 1,191 of them since Pres. George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Thus far, 9,981 service members have been wounded in action. Comment

Diary of a Mad Salesman

Exactly 30 years ago, Samuel Byck, a misguided malcontent dressed as Santa Claus, picketed the White House lawn and protested the scabrous policies of the Nixon administration. But Byck didn’t stop there. Comment

Holiday Harvest

In this holiday season, decadence is, as a certain domestic goddess-turned-jailbird once said, “a good thing,” and no more opulent display of it can be seen than the windows at Bergdorf Goodman. Those design fags really outdid themselves this year, with more creativity on display than in most Chelsea galleries. I venture to say that the “Chocolate Fantasy” window is the greatest retail display I have ever seen. Comment

Defrocked Lesbian Minister to Fight

Three days before a December 29 PBS documentary on the trials facing her Philadelphia neighborhood congregation was set to air nationwide, lesbian Methodist minister Beth Stroud an-nounced her decision to appeal a December 2 Pennsylvania church court’s ruling that defrocked her. Comment

Coward Plays with Wilde Manners

In the contemporary world of theatrical productions, the operetta is a difficult form to sell. Depending on audience’s preferences, operetta can either be a delightful confection or an enervating bore. I am decidedly in the camp that believes it is the former and so was completely won over, indeed beguiled, by the luscious, yet intimate, production of “After the Ball” currently at the Irish Repertory. Comment

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 25, 2005 Comment

News Briefs

Charles Socarides, the most prominent proponent of the discredited idea that homosexuality was a mental illness that could be “cured,” has died in New York at 83. One of his survivors is his son, Richard, an out gay man who once served as Democratic President Bill Clinton’s liaison to the lesbian and gay community. Comment

Good American Jews on the Road

Travel can be a life-affirming experience, but not if your trip is a forced march. In Aaron Hamburger’s debut novel “Faith for Beginners,” Mrs. Michaelson has dragged her husband and son to Israel hoping her Detroit suburb’s Millennium pilgrimage will be inspiration for them both. Her husband is dying slowly of cancer, and her son Jeremy, an NYU student, recently placed either a recent suicide attempt or an accidental overdose under his belt, depending on whom you ask. Comment

Four Who Mattered in ’05

Since Election Day in 2004, on which 11 states, by wide margins, enacted constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, the gay community in the U.S. has felt decidedly on the defensive in the struggle for equality. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 38 states have explicit legislative bans on gay marriage, another three define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and 18 states have imposed constitutional bars on marriage between two men or two women. Only one state of course, Massachusetts, has legal same-sex marriage, and the District of Columbia and four states, New York and New Jersey included, have no explicit legislative or constitutional impediments to gays marrying. Comment

Crawling from His Wreckage

At this point, consensus holds that Woody Allen hasn't made a major film since “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” 16 years ago, although some would make a case for the 1992 “Husbands and Wives.” I'm too young to judge whether “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan” were accurate portraits of '70s New York intellectuals, but the films Allen has made since “Crimes and Misdemeanors” suggest that he pays as little attention to the real world as possible. Comment

GLSEN Report Boosts Bullying Effort

The deadlock over a statewide anti-bullying law in New York may be broken in 2006 by a combination of election year politics and a new report than documents widespread harassment of the state’s students. Comment

Wrong Note Rag

I can still remember my parents and grandparents talking about Florence Foster Jenkins with great hilarity. My maternal grandmother had seen her perform on several occasions, having been, to hear her tell it, quite the gal about town in the late 1920s and 1930s. When I was a child, her favorite epithet to hurl at our local opera company’s Mimi, Butterfly, Queen of the Night, or Adele was “Florence Foster Jenkins could have sung it better.” Followed by a mean-spirited chuckle that was shared by everyone except me. Comment

War on Porn Steps Up for 2006

Not since Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, Edwin Meese, made a crusade against pornography a top priority has there been such a broad-scale attempt to destroy First Amendment protections for sexual expression and sexual privacy as the one currently being mounted by the Bush administration and congressional Republicans. Comment

Co-Parent Trumps Grandmother

A California appeals court has affirmed a decision by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Steven Hintz to award the guardianship of a young girl to her mother’s former lesbian partner, over the protest of the child’s maternal grandmother. Comment

The Dark Side of Pride

The last weekend in December, coincident with New Year’s, marks as far in the calendar as you can possibly get from Gay Pride. It’s the darkest season of the year and the furthest outlying orbit point from the last Sunday in June with its purple-painted line drawn down the center of Fifth Avenue. It represents the wintertime shadow of the hundreds of Pride celebrations in cities and towns across America and around the world. Comment

Strike Muses and Musings

Few singers possess the pure, natural beauty of voice that Rebecca Luker does, and she filled Feinstein’s at the Regency on December 15 with its refulgent sound. Not long ago, Luker seemed to be the successor to Mary Martin/Ethel Merman as Broadway’s First Lady when she starred in costly revivals of “Showboat,” “The Sound of Music,” and “The Music Man.” She made nary a mention of these in her act, preferring to focus her pipes on songs penned by women. Comment

Purple Passion

Spousal abuse. Rape. Incest. Murder. Not exactly the stuff of which Broadway musicals are made. At least not musicals that expect to recoup their investment. Comment

Sedate Rhythms, Intuitive Precision

Suzan Frecon is an abstract painter whose embrace of the medium runs deep. Her preference for mineral hues reflects a fascination with geology. Red oxide—iron without irony—is the hue that visually and metaphorically anchors her palette. At the same time, her work has long been informed by a sophisticated appreciation for the means and methods of painting. Comment

Phyllis Saperstein Recalled

The LGBT and AIDS communities suffered the loss of many luminaries and leaders in 2005, including Betty Santoro, 67, of Lesbian Feminist Liberation; bisexual activist Brenda Howard, 58; Jean O’Leary, 57, an early director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF); Jack Nichols, 67, a writer and gay activist since the early 1960s; AIDS activist and journalist Leroy Whitfield, 36; French Holocaust survivor Pierre Seel, 82; Jamaican AIDS leader Steve Harvey, killed by anti-gay thugs; Washington, D.C.’s Wanda Alston, murdered by her neighbor; and feminist writer Andrea Dworkin, 58. Comment

Art World Baubles

The book is an impressive documentation of both the move and the contents of the studio itself. Cappock pulls back the curtain on Bacon’s work, showing us hundreds of photographic sources, dozens of drawings (Bacons always said he never drew), several unfinished works including his last, and views of the studio in all its glory. Comment

7 Days of Readings

ALEC GUINNESS: THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY Talent is a deep mystery, but in Guinness’ case, the secret of his celebrated range is exposed in Piers Paul Read’s new biography, one of the best actor’s biographies ever written. Read makes clear that Guinness’ chameleonic gift at submerging himself under the skin of diverse personalities was nothing less than an essential survival tactic. (David Noh) Comment

7 Days in cinema

BALLETS RUSSES “Ballets Russes” usefully renovates a neglected eminence, chronicling the company’s history 1909 as the inspiration of Sergei Diaghilev, the polymath Russian expatriate, who drew Matisse, Picasso, and Stravinsky into orbit around the nucleus of choreographers Mikhail Fokine, Léonide Massine, and dancer Vaslav Nijinksy. The highly wrought script manages the feat of compressing an 80-year history into exactly two vacuum-packed hours. Yet, it would have been more valuable still had it accurately conveyed the company’s uniquely progressive queer reality. Film Forum. (Ioannis Mookas) Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 4, Number 52 | Dec. 29 - Jan. 4, 2005 Comment

A Cowboy Love Story on the Cultural Frontier

There are two “Brokeback Mountains”—the movie, and it is a strong one, and the other, which is the impact its release will have on the nationwide cineplex audience. The most pertinent question is what impact the film will have on attitudes in those solidly Republican redoubts known as the red states. Comment

Ailey Program Dazzles

“Acceptance in Surrender” is the high-voltage choreographic debut of three Ailey dancers who put their heads together this season in response to director Judith Jamison’s call. Hope Boykin, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, and Mathew Rushing, made believers of us all. Wendy White Sasser grounded the work Sunday evening, December 18 with her solid performance of the central struggling figure. Comment

Christine Quinn For City Council Speaker

In what is likely to be a hard fought contest down to the final hours, veteran City Councilwoman Christine Quinn, the Chelsea Democrat, is battling Brooklyn Councilman Bill de Blasio for election as the City Council’s next speaker on Wednesday, January 4. Comment

Chronicling a Year’s Advances

Since Election Day in 2004, on which 11 states, by wide margins, enacted constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, the gay community in the U.S. has felt decidedly on the defensive in the struggle for equality. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 38 states have explicit legislative bans on gay marriage, another three define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and 18 states have imposed constitutional bars on marriage between two men or two women. Only one state of course, Massachusetts, has legal same-sex marriage, and the District of Columbia and four states, New York and New Jersey included, have no explicit legislative or constitutional impediments to gays marrying. Comment

Chicago’s Tippett & Puccini

New Yorkers focused obsessively on Lincoln Center need to be reminded that other U.S. cities have long-established operatic cultures. In the 19th century, New Orleans and Philadelphia led the field; but for most of the 20th century New York held sway, with the main challenge coming—before World War II and again from 1954 on—from Chicago. Comment

sample

Volume 4, Number 52 | Dec. 29 - Jan. 4, 2005 Comment

Can Gays Save Opera?

Will Berger, raconteur and crusader, turns his attention to Puccini As almost anyone who goes to the opera these days has observed, the age of the average attendee is now approximately—how shall […] Comment

Confirmed Dead and Wounded

The following members of the United States Armed Forces died during the past week in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since the inception of hostilities, 2,173 service members have died, 2,029 of them since President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Thus far, 16,155 service members have been wounded in action. Comment

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