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Getting Ourselves Back to the Garden

Wandering through the “Greater New York 2005” show at P.S. 1 brought to mind Rousseau—both Jean-Jacques and Henri. In my mind, the 18th-century philosopher of noble savagery leads to the early 20th-century painter of proto-surrealist tropics. Comment

Gay Marriage in a United States of Europe

At the end of May, France will vote on a new European constitution. A unified European nation with its own constitution sounds glorious. A no vote from France could end the project. Comment

Foreign Service HIV  Ban Upheld

In a sweeping rejection of a discrimination lawsuit claim brought by an HIV-positive job applicant for the Foreign Service, a federal judge ruled on April 20 that statutes mandating that new officers be available for worldwide assignment justify an absolute ban on hiring HIV-positive applicants. Comment

Honoring the Masters

As night falls, the row of windows looking out over the Bruckner Expressway forms the backdrop in the wide performance space of the Bronx Academy of Arts and Design during Arthur Aviles’ dance performance of “Mi Tito! Mi Celia!” The April 23 performance was a choreographed view into the BAAD world and into Aviles choreographic style. Comment

Irish Gay Group Honors Priest

In 1988, Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, sanctioned John McNeill, a Roman Catholic priest who was outspoken in his advocacy for the rights of gay Catholics, expelling him from his religious order, the Society of Jesus. Ratzinger was the leader of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office responsible for enforcing doctrinal orthodoxy. Comment


The Virginia Supreme Court ruled 5-to-2 on April 22 that state officials must issue birth certificates to out-of-state same-sex couples who adopt Virginia children. Comment

Judicial Filibuster Compromise Nixed

Even as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist addressed a television audience that organizers of “Justice Sunday” claimed was 61 million in the Christian right’s effort to mobilize support to end Democratic filibusters on the Pres. George W. Bush’s judicial nominees, a smaller gathering in Darien, Connecticut, included one of the key figures who has sparked the high-profile showdown between Capitol Hill Democrats and Republicans. Comment

Evolution Kaleidoscoped

All the modern things like cars and such have always existed; they’ve just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment listening to the irritating noises of dinosaurs and people dabbling outside… Comment

Religious Freedom Shouldn’t Be a Weapon

As Stefen Styrsky reported in last week’s issue, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry, in a rare—even surprising—show of unity with Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, is sponsoring the Workplace Religion Freedom Act (WRFA) that he says will strengthen civil rights laws by requiring that employers make “reasonable accommodation” for their workers to practice their faith on the job as long as such accommodations don’t create “undue hardship” and are only “temporary and tangential” to the employees’ essential functions. Comment

Bluntness for Scalia

Services Comment

Art and Commerce

Undeniably, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) was one hell of an angry guy, but it is also true that this man who died very young was one of the most vibrant and alive artists of his time. Comment

Christian Law Students Denied Bias Claim

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White has rejected a claim by the Hastings Christian Fellowship (HCF), an organization of Christian law students, that Hastings Law School in San Francisco violated the federal constitutional ban on establishment of religion, and their due process and equal protection rights when the state-supported school refused to extend official recognition to the organization. Comment

Confirmed Dead & 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, 1,573 service members have died, 1,430 of them since Pres. George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Thus far, 12, 147 service members have been wounded in action. Comment

Curtain Rises on “Before Night Falls”

Martín spoke by telephone with Gay City News while packing to leave the Bogliasco Foundation near Genoa, where he had a month-long grant to work on “Before Night Falls.” Comment

Cowpokes After Hours

Art Miller’s “Habana Series” closed this past weekend at ATM Gallery’s new Chelsea space, but the exhibition’s photographs can still be found on the gallery’s Web site at and in its in-house portfolio of images. Comment

Lifting Military’s Sodomy Ban

Pentagon lawyers have asked Congress to repeal the military’s ban on consensual sodomy, according to a document recently released by the Service Members Legal Defense Network (SLDN), an advocacy group for gays and lesbians in the military. Comment

Summertime Melodrama

There’s a very good reason that the Thayers’ summerhouse is infested with flies, and it’s not just that it’s Maine in the summer where the fly is jokingly referred to as the state bird. The new production of Ernest Thompson’s “On Golden Pond” drips with so much cloying sweetness that it’s a miracle that the Cort Theatre isn’t overrun with ants as well. Of course, once you realize that the sugar is really an artificial sweetener, the inherent falseness of this entire undertaking becomes as clear as the titular pond. Comment

Sexuality and Spirituality Collide

Widescreen looked bigger in the ‘50s, when directors made cinema luxurious in order to compete with television’s convenience. Over the past few decades, even Cinemascope films have been tamed by the demand that they remain legible on a home monitor. Few recent ’Scope films consistently use every inch of the frame: Wes Anderson’s work is an exception. Comment

Sweet Charlotte

There was no way I was going to miss Charlotte d’Amboise’s final performance in “Sweet Charity” on April 16. As it turned out, there was a bargain, as the box office offered orchestra center fourth row seats for $50. Comment

The Hilarity is Real

Along with “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “Sides: The Fear Is Real” offers the funniest stage experience in town. Comment

Who Go to Their Rescue in Time

In artist Henry Darger’s disturbing, surreal world, rich turbulent landscapes surround cookie-cutter girls—who are crucified, eviscerated and hung, often transgendered and sometimes half-human and half-animal—fighting fantastic foes. Seattle choreographer Pat Graney brings life to the inner turmoil and mysterious aura of the reclusive “outsider” artist and his opus by evoking some of the same curiously ordered pandemonium from her five female dancers. Comment

Waifs Adrift in a Romance

Last year, Kim Ki-duk’s Buddhist allegory “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring” became the most popular South Korean film ever released in the U.S. Its 2.4 million-dollar gross wouldn’t make James Cameron jealous, but it did far better than more populist Korean genre fare. Comment

Seeking Gay Votes in Brooklyn

Continuing their campaign to reach lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) voters, three of the four Democratic mayoral contenders spoke to Brooklyn’s Lambda Independent Democrats on April 20, where they continued attacks on Republican Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and boasted of their support for the queer community. Comment

Queer Youth Options Remain Slim

When Rebecca Walton arrived in New York City from Milford, Connecticut, five years ago, the transgendered woman was 18 years old and had no intentions of returning to the suburban town where she was raised as a boy. Fleeing a rocky relationship with her stepfather, she had $60 in her pocket and nowhere to go. Comment

Literature to Match the Times

Services Comment

Microsoft Showdown on Gay Rights

The leader of the National Gay and Lesbian Task force warned Tuesday that Seattle area-based software giant Microsoft could face a boycott of its products by gay and lesbian organizations and consumers if it continues to refuse its support for a Washington State non-discrimination bill. Comment

New HIV Testings Urged

A group of leading New York City doctors are calling on the city health department to implement a kind of HIV testing that identifies people who are newly infected with the virus, but are undetectable on a standard HIV test because their immune systems have not yet produced antibodies to HIV. Comment

Prolific Songtress Stops in Gotham

While Melissa Ferrick seems to be on an endless lap around America, the peripatetic singer/songwriter doesn’t see it all as one big tour, but rather a succession of smaller ones, and she’s looking forward to finishing off the current West-to-East swing, entering her final week at the Bowery Ballroom on Monday, May 2. Comment

News Briefs

Spain Moves Gay Marriage Bill; Vatican Responds Harshly Comment


For the second year in a row, the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) is planning a “physical challenge” fundraising trek—this time to Vietnam. Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

The One Campaign Comment

Queer Youth Options Remain Slim

When Rebecca Walton arrived in New York City from Milford, Connecticut, five years ago, the transgendered woman was 18 years old and had no intentions of returning to the suburban town where she was raised as a boy. Fleeing a rocky relationship with her stepfather, she had $60 in her pocket and nowhere to go. Comment

Dancing on Empty

It’s fitting that Claire Denis’ latest film, a documentary on choreographer Mathilde Monnier, turns to the subject of dance. The most memorable scene in her filmography also involves this art––Denis Lavant’s spastically joyful movements to Corona’s “Rhythm of the Night” at the end of “Beau Travail.” By conventional standards, Lavant is a terrible dancer (at least in this scene), but Denis doesn’t mock him. His performance is a true release––the first in a film about masculinity’s repressions––and cathartic both for the character and audience. Comment

Crazy, Like a Fox

There was a lot going on with very little sense of direction in David Neumann’s humorous vision of a utilitarian humanity, “Tough, the Tough,” performed by his Advanced Beginner Group at Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church April 14 to 17. Comment

Framing a Communitarian Ideal

The National Review has served as a fount of ideas for conservatives, and played a central role in creating the Republican majority that controls Washington. An article on its Web site is calling for a new strategy for ending Social Security. Comment

Giving a New Face to ‘Family’

On Tuesday April 12, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Community Center teamed up with the New York Theatre Workshop to present “Our Front Porch: Family Portraits from Queer America.” Comment

Grim Fairy Tales Turn Real

A fracas erupted after a recent performance of “Pillowman,” the latest effort by Britain’s Martin McDonagh, as dazed theatergoers slowly filed out of the Booth Theatre. Comment

Controversial Religious Bill Advances

The rights of religious people in the American workplace are all the rage these days. So much so that two U.S. senators, John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican, normally opposites on the political spectrum, are co-sponsoring a bill that would provide employees with greater freedom to express their religious beliefs at work and not have to worry about getting fired. Comment

Gay Killer’s Death Penalty Upheld

The Florida Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the final possible state appeal of a death sentence for Donald W. Dufour, a gay man convicted by a jury in the cold-blooded murder of another gay man in the course of a robbery in 1982. Comment

Civil Union Law Signed in Conn.

Services Comment

Altered Stages

With “Dessa Rose,” Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty have set for themselves a monumental task—creating an intimate, folk musical about abused slave women in 1847. With some exceptions, they largely succeed. Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

Heroes and Legends Comment

Bad Energy

Were “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” a screenwriting assignment, the teacher would probably give it a mixed grade. Comment

Breaking Through the Anxiety

When I first rediscovered “the lost Israeli branch” of my great-great-uncle’s family in 1996, my desire to visit Israel—after years of wanting to but somehow never getting around to it—intensified. Comment

HIV Testing Regs Debated

A forum on the future of HIV testing showcased the ongoing debate about whether the state law that currently governs how HIV tests are administered is in fact preventing more widespread HIV testing. Comment

Carbon Dating

The magical Brazilian film “The Man Who Copied” chronicles the enchanting romance that develops between André (Lázaro Ramas, of “Madame Satã”), a photocopy operator, and a young shopgirl named Silvia (Leandra Leal). Bouyed by a visually inventive narrative—by writer/director Jorge Furtado, who deftly mixes animation with André’s voice over—this film is an endearing character study. Comment

‘Come, Come’ to Sri Lanka

Shantha Pandige watches silently from his brother’s home as his new house goes up next door. To get to this part of Morampitigoda, a village near the southern city of Galle in Sri Lanka, you have to cross a makeshift bridge of narrow wooden planks from the dirt road that gets you only so far. It’s been three months since the tsunami of December 26 hit Sri Lanka, and Pandige and his family are lucky. They’ve survived and at least have a temporary home built near their old one. Fatefully, their house was destroyed while his brother’s somehow remained intact. Comment

Hot Action With Ms. Right Now

Services Comment

The Shelter of Love

The horrors are planted so deep, they all but wreck the marriage before it begins for Aram Tomasian and Seta, the child bride that Tomasian, as she calls him, had imported from Istanbul to Milwaukee in 1921. It was in fact another girl’s photograph that had been sent to him—he himself, Aram Tomasian, was an up-and-coming photographer in Milwaukee—but Seta wasn’t bad looking, she was quiet, so she’d do. Comment

Theater Workers

In this day of dwindling thoughtful coverage of the arts, the presence of the American Theatre Wing’s “Working In The Theatre” seminar is all the more essential. Broadcast on CUNY-TV and open to the public (call 212-817-8215 to reserve $10 tickets), they offer an invaluable look at what it takes to actually put on a show. The last two I attended, dealing with Tennessee Williams, April 8, and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” April 14, were particularly rewarding. Comment

Stilting an Icon

Hers was one of the most iconic looks in film history, while she, herself, uncannily remains the most instantly recognizable emblem of Asian womanhood. Was it those patent leather bangs perfectly framing that exotic face—get back, Louise Brooks!—her sinuous, ultra-feminine grace, or merely that euphonious name? Comment

The Stepford Collection

Placid and composed, 15 large scale photos by Angela Strassheim convey a sense of calm with something brewing beneath. Many of the subjects in the photos are Strassheim’s born-again Christian family but their roles remain undefined. With investigation, the viewer is pulled into the tug of war beneath the perfect surface where questions of desire, innocence and belief swirl. A recent MFA graduate in photography from Yale University, Strassheim is also a certified forensic photographer. Comment

The Terror Amidst the Beauty

A slag heap is where you, well, where you dump old, used-up metal and other junk. Dave and Ashley and Fran and their friends are only in their early 20s, if that, but they’re headed for the slag heap, and they know it—in their bones, if not their heads. Comment

Why Benedict XVI Matters

The elevation of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to pope has been greeted along Eighth Avenue in Chelsea, when mentioned at all, with shrugs, dismissals and tired jokes about men in skirts. I have also heard one or two pretty ugly anti-German comments, which, when you get right down to it, are about as constructive as fag jokes. Comment

Turning Law Into Action

A crowd of about 50 transgendered people, advocates and political leaders gathered at New York University’s Kimmel Center on April 19 for a panel discussion on the new city guidelines established to implement the 2002 law that protects trans people and other New York City residents from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on their gender identity and expression. Comment


Civil unions are reserved only for same-sex couples only. Comment

Rubbery Remembrances

Each generation is marked with technological nostalgias. At the moment, we shimmer with the sweetness of the small glowing screen, already sappy with a speedy remembrance of “early” Apple computers and Nintendo. Someone should do a study on the turnaround time of nostalgia these days. Comment

Lensing a Troubled Continent

Making a movie is a complex adventure, and making a movie in Africa multiplies the challenges. Comment


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More Than the Sum

Services Comment

No Benediction, Dark Days Ahead

In the weeks since the death of Pope John Paul II, Germany’s Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger played a public role unprecedented in its visibility for the man who would go on to be chosen as the Catholic Church’s next leader. Comment

News Briefs

Race Against Time in Canada Comment

3,000 Oregon Marriages Nixed

In a unanimous ruling issued on April 14, the Oregon Supreme Court invalidated approximately 3,000 marriages performed in Portland last year after Multnomah County officials decided to follow the example of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and order the county clerk to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Comment


Schneps Community News Group

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