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Guest Perspective

Debating Iran  

Is there a battle over Iran? In Washington and London, yes. Nations with immense military machines at their disposal argue the merits of peace and war. Comment
From the Editor

Defending Iran’s Gays

As the dust settles following the worldwide July 19 vigils that marked the one-year anniversary of the killing of two young men in Iran, it is worth contemplating why these simple events caused such a stir. Comment

Unbreakable Beauty

My first experience seeing a Dale Chihuly sculpture was jarring. After visiting the New Orleans Museum of Contemporary Art in 1996, I came upon a foyer with a giant hand-blown glass chandelier consisting of dozens of individual, Medusa-like forms in subtly shifting blues, silvers, and whites. It was utterly surreal and the rest of the exhibit, “Chihuly Over Venice,” with its monumental scope including an entire ceiling of clear glass dotted with colored bulbs and swirls, forever changed my opinion of blown glass as an art form. Comment

Two More Metro Area Marriage Setbacks

On July 12, trial judges in two cases with significant implications for same-sex marriage rights in the New York metropolitan area issued rulings. Comment

Trial In Unprotected Oral Sex Case

A panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruled on July 7 that prosecutors had alleged a prima facie case—that is, one that on its face supported charges—of reckless endangerment against Samuel Cordoba, who is HIV-positive, for having unprotected oral sex with another man, and therefore reversed a trial court’s dismissal of criminal charges. Comment

The World Heads to Chicago

With two international gay sports events competing only days apart, some might have worried that the Gay Games would never happen. But watching thousands of LGBT athletes fight their way into the Hilton Hotel on South Michigan Avenue in the heart of Chicago on Saturday, July 15, the day of the Games’ official opening, demonstrated that any doubters were wrong. Comment

The Battle Over Iran

One year ago this week, two young men, variously reported to be between 16 and 18, were hanged in Mashad, Iran. The initial reporting stated that the youths, Ayaz Marhoni and Mahmoud Asgari, were gay lovers executed for their homosexuality. Quickly, however, human rights groups, most prominently Human Rights Watch (HRW), pointed to evidence that the two may in fact have been punished for the rape of a 13-year-old boy. While condemning the death penalty, particularly for minors, HRW and other groups cautioned against turning a case of child rape into an international gay rights cause célèbre. Comment

‘Steering Procreation’ Judicial Chic

Barely a week after the New York Court of Appeals embraced the bizarre argument, first floated by the Indiana Court of Appeals, that it is rational to exclude same-sex couples from marriage in order to encourage opposite-sex couples to provide stable marital homes for their casually or accidentally conceived children, the same argument attracted new adherents—three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Comment

New York Marriage Ruling’s Broader Consequences

It seems that every article about the New York Court of Appeals ruling against same-sex marriage in Hernandez v. Robles has repeated Chief Judge Judith Kaye’s final line in dissent that “future generations will look back on today’s decision as an unfortunate misstep.” Regrettably, few reporters have indicated just how large a step backward the decision is. The ruling that the New York State Constitution does not require marriage equality is bad enough, but the unfortunate precedents set in this case could impair the struggle for our equal rights for years to come. Comment

New Briefs

Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Fails in U.S. House While war raged in the Middle East, the U.S. House of Representatives took time out to debate President George W. Bush’s Marriage Protection Amendment […] Comment

Mid-Summer Spectacular

New York might not be clamoring for yet another dance festival, but its newest one—La MaMa Moves!—exemplifies what remains attractive about this city. Curated by Nicky Paraiso and Mia Yoo, this series has all the bold intermingling of styles and cultures that we’ve come to expect from La MaMa—Ellen Stewart’s legendary experimental theater. Comment

MASHAD HANGINGS ANNIVERSARY MARKED IN MIDTOWN VIGIL

Roughly 50 people held a vigil in Midtown Manhattan near Iran’s Mission to the United Nations to mark the one-year anniversary of the hanging of two Iranian teenagers who were killed, participants said, because they were gay. Comment

LIFEBeat Sorry, But Says No More

African-American gay and lesbian leaders are calling on LIFEBeat, the music industry AIDS group, to make amends for promoting a reggae concert featuring “murder music” artists Beenie Man and TOK by doing a benefit for the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG). Comment

Letters to the Editor

Please address letters to the editor to Comment

That Darn New York Times

At a moment when The New York Times is under assault from the Bush-Cheney administration for fulfilling its central journalistic mission of informing a free people, it might seem churlish to grouse about the Gray Lady’s coverage of same-sex marriage, a right which after all the newspaper does support. Comment

Idols And Others

European super-producer Paulo Branco, known for his cycle of Proust adaptations, collared the two greatest living French stars, Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu, for their sixth cinematic match under the direction of André Téchiné, whose often middlebrow fare has grown spottier of late. The resulting venture, “Changing Times,” is hung up on colonial history, but a less than historic occasion. Comment

Gat’s Got It

There’s little warmth created from the lighting’s infrared glow, the plush red rug in the center of the dance floor—or the comfy hugs Emanuel Gat and Roy Assaf give the three women—Avital Mano, Doron Raz, and Alexandra Shmurak—at LaGuardia Concert Hall, seen July 12. The asymmetrical cast of Gat’s “The Rite of Spring” sets up a foreboding sense that something will happen. Gat gets full mileage from the uneven number of his small cast who engage in a cyclical struggle for renewal. Comment

Defiantly International Movement

DaDa, one of the most important 20th century art movements, was born out of the Café Voltaire in Switzerland, 1917. Artists, performers, writers, and poets staged wild shows often erupting in chaos, and “planned irreverence” to protest the culture of war and rationality. Tristan Tzar used his media savvy to make it an international enterprise, spreading it to Berlin, Cologne, Hanover, New York, Paris, and Zurich in the years until 1924. Comment

Continuing Our March Toward Equality

History teaches us that all struggles for civil rights are long and include both disappointments and victories. Indeed, this has been the history of civil rights for the LGBT community—progress has been slow, but steady. The Court of Appeals’ poorly-reasoned, homophobic decision regarding marriage of same-sex couples is indeed a setback, but instead of depressing us, it must mobilize us, making us stronger and even more determined than before to continue our march toward equality. Comment

Christian Fundies’ Global Mischief

Following threats of violence from ultra-right political and religious groups, Latvia’s second Gay Pride March, scheduled for this coming Saturday, July 22, was banned this week by the City Council in Riga, the nation’s capital, in a vote taken as an anti-gay demonstration of some 100 people gathered outside chanting homophobic slogans. Comment

Che Será Será

The fictionalization of history to create drama is a convention as old as the theater itself. Aeschylus did it; Shakespeare, too—not to mention countless others. Their stories are designed to serve the political climate of their times rather than the truth. The ends––whether to reinforce man’s relationship to the gods or the primacy of the English monarchy in times of war––are much more important than the means as a good show beats historical accuracy every time. Comment

Brooklyn Bridge Ends Navy Career

What was outrageous, to the military, was that Davis wore her uniform and talked about her partner, both publicly. Conspicuous even in a crowd of about 500, she was singled out by 1010 WINS AM radio for an interview. In a bold move, but one she self-deprecatingly described as “between stupid and dumb,” she identified herself and her employer, figuring “it’s AM radio, nobody listens to AM radio.” Comment

A Whale of a Musical

My, how Boris Karloff has changed. He no longer has all those seams and stitches and mismatched patchworks all over his face. He no longer, in fact, has a rectangular, stony-eyed, chopping-block head, but more a handsome, sensitive, slim-chin one. Suntanned. His legs and arms no longer clunk like trunks of trees. He moves like a cat, as somebody says. And, though he is quite big, he no longer is huge. Comment

Artistic Legacies

This show kills. Curators Esti Dunou and Maurice Tuchman present a bracing alternative to the crop of dull summer group shows in Chelsea galleryland. Rarely attempted in New York’s McMuseum culture is the question of how does an artist’s interest and vitality pass forward and effect future generations? This part of the art story is usually passed over by museum retrospectives where the emphasis is on producing income-generating hype. Hobbled curators often can’t even make the case for their focus artist, much less are they able to enter into the kind of rich visual dialogue across generations that is currently on display at the Cheim & Read Gallery. Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

7 Days in cinema

Recently Noted: ANOTHER WAVE: GLOBAL QUEER CINEMA “Another Wave” offers a supplement to the vision of queer cinema offered up each summer by the New Festival. It doesn’t ignore North […] Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 29 | July 20 - 26, 2006 Comment
From the Editor

The Battle Over Iran: Editor's Memorandum

One year ago this week, two young men, variously reported to be between 16 and 18, were hanged in Mashad, Iran. The initial reporting stated that the youths, Ayaz Marhoni and Mahmoud Asgari, were gay lovers executed for their homosexuality. Quickly, however, human rights groups, most prominently Human Rights Watch (HRW), pointed to evidence that the two may in fact have been punished for the rape of a 13-year-old boy. While condemning the death penalty, particularly for minors, HRW and other groups cautioned against turning a case of child rape into an international gay rights cause célèbre. Comment

Where Are The Naked Men?

Redefining what art means to be gay The rainbow banner that hangs above the entrance to the gallery is the tip-off. Unmistakable as a gay symbol and imbued with the ability to attract and repulse gays […] Comment

What My Young Friends Have Taught Me

In June, a friend’s relationship ended abruptly with a “Dear John” phone call, followed by a mood of dark despair. As he recited the memories and shattered plans that prolong his misery, he took me by complete surprise murmuring, “I guess I won’t get married.” Comment

U.S. Spying on Students Bared

Documents released last month by the Department of Defense reveal that a domestic surveillance program of college organizations opposed to the presence of military recruiters on campus was more extensive than first revealed. Comment

Trouble At Home

“Pig Farm” wants very badly to be a modern comedy. It’s full of violent slapstick, stereotypical characters, and sex—all the things that would seem to be a prescription for a laugh-a-minute romp through the process of slaughtering pigs. There’s sure plenty of blood and lots of screaming and irrational behavior, as if some producer said, “Blood and senseless violence are hot! Get me ‘The Lieutenant of Innishmore,’ but set in rural America rather than a remote island off Ireland.” Comment

Serial Misadventures

Sly, sexual watercolor trysts Carl Ferrero’s watercolor series “Three Way Tie for Last” at the Kathleen Cullen gallery’s Project Room drags the representation of private sexual […] Comment

Rorem’s Melodic Microcosm

If your idea of “Now Voyager” is a camp Bette Davis smoker about a uni-browed spinster, a fashion make-over, and not asking for the moon (when you’ve got the stars), with a lush Max Steiner soundtrack, lend me your ear and I’ll clue you in on that score. The score of the “Now,Voyager” I refer to here is one section of a monumental choral work, based on the Great White Queer Poet Walt Whitman’s epic “Goodbye, My Fancy,” set to music by Gotham’s premiere candidly queer composer and living landmark, Ned Rorem. Comment

Revealing Hidden Histories

If you walk into the Paul J. Sachs Drawing Galleries at MoMA right now you will find the exhibition “Transforming Chronologies.” Among the various works selected and arranged from the collection, is the curatorial pairing of Ellen Gallagher’s 2000 untitled work on paper with Howardena Pindell’s “untitled #4” (1973). With nearly 30 years between them, both works were constructed by conceptual and visual systems of abstraction, alluding to highly recognizable means of representation, while resisting fixed meaning. Comment

Procreative Imperatives

Birds, bees, and even gays do it Nine films into his career, it’s still a little hard to figure out French director François Ozon’s personality. Much of his work riffs on his favorite […] Comment

Optimism as Jersey Awaits Marriage Ruling

“New Jersey could be the first state in America where we not only win marriage equality easily, but where there’s almost an overnight, or a fairly quick, velvet revolution of acceptance.” Comment

New York Court Ruling’s Aftermath

The decision by the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest, denying same-sex couples the right to marry was startling in the speed at which it was arrived at (36 days after it was argued in Albany) and devastating in its rejection of evolving norms of equality and of social science research about the strength of gay parenting. Beyond the rejection and the attendant rhetoric, however, there are a wide variety of political, legal, and practical implications gay and lesbian couples should bear in mind. Comment

New Briefs

Anti-Gay Assemblywoman Indicted Comment

‘Murder Music’ Concert Off

LIFEBeat, the music industry AIDS charity, had scheduled a reggae concert for July 18 at New York’s Webster Hall headlined by Beenie Man and TOK, two of the most notorious “murder music” dancehall artists, whose lyrics have called for the hanging of lesbians and burning of gay men. Comment

Mixed Results on Asylum Claims

Gay asylum applicants achieved two wins and one loss within the past month, as gay men from Mexico and Albania won chances for reconsideration of their petitions while a lesbian from Colombia was denied further review. In the Mexican case, the Immigration Judge applied what the appeals court found was an inappropriate standard for evaluating whether the asylum applicant’s persecution required that his petition be approved. In the other two cases, the applicants’ credibility was questioned at immigration hearings, and in all three, the Board of Immigration Appeals, following the customary practice during the Bush years, rubber-stamped the results. Comment

That Darn New York Times

At a moment when The New York Times is under assault from the Bush-Cheney administration for fulfilling its central journalistic mission of informing a free people, it might seem churlish to grouse about the Gray Lady’s coverage of same-sex marriage, a right which after all the newspaper does support. Comment

Kidnapped, Raped, and Beaten

The experiences of a 25-year-old gay Iranian from Shiraz are typical of the repression suffered by ordinary gay men there. The young man chose the pseudonym Nima to protect himself. Comment

JOIN THE JULY 19 DEMO AT THE IRANIAN U.N. MISSION

Over the past year, Gay City News has devoted considerable space to reporting and documenting the horrific reign of terror that the Islamic Republic of Iran is inflicting on its gay and lesbian citizens. July 19 marks the first anniversary of the inhuman public hanging of two gay teenagers—an act that symbolizes the anti-gay brutality of the Tehran regime. Comment

European Vacation

My friends, Bill Bolter and Julian Hussey, were getting married in Bath, England, so what better excuse to plan a major Euro-jaunt? Iceland Air offers flights with a stop-off in Reykjavik, where I spent four days looking for Bjork, lost sleep because of the never-setting sun, and celebrated Iceland Independence Day on June 17—an excuse to get drunk and carouse on the main drag, and throw friends’ shoes into passing cars. Comment

Court Says Anti-Gay Amendment Can Proceed

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled unanimously on July 10 that a proposed amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution that would provide that “the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall define marriage only as the union of one man and one woman,” if passed by voters, would not barred by a state constitutional prohibition on “reversing” decisions of the courts through popular initiatives. The ruling came just two days before a state constitutional convention convened to take the first step of two required to determine whether the proposed amendment should be sent to the voters. Comment

Clinton Faulted on Response to Marriage Ruling

After the State Court of Appeals’ ruling last Thursday affirming state law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, prominent state and city politicians, some quickly, others more reluctantly, offered their reactions, ranging from approval to vehement criticism—to blandly neutral talking points, in the case of New York’s two U.S. senators. Comment

Christians Trump Law School

Voting 2-1, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, based in Chicago, reaffirmed its tentative ruling from last fall, ordering Southern Illinois University (SIU) Law School to reinstate official recognition for the Christian Legal Society (CLS) at the school, pending a final trial on the merits of the case. The dean of the Law School had suspended recognition for CLS because it formally excludes gay people from membership unless they affirm the group’s repudiation of extramarital sex. Comment

Breaking News on Gay Marriage

Volume 5, Number 28 | July 13 - 19, 2006 Comment

A Married Woman

French critic and director Luc Moullet once said that “morality is a matter of tracking shots,” an idea soon lifted by Jean-Luc Godard. If one accepts that film style implies an ethical perspective on the world—or lack thereof—is sexuality, too, a matter of tracking shots? Do camera movements have a gender? These questions are implicit in Patrice Chéreau’s “Gabrielle.” Comment

AIDS Exceptionalism Rejected

In a hotly-argued 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court ruled on July 3 that a wife could sue her husband for negligent transmission of HIV based on the theory that he had a duty to disclose the possibility that he might be infected because he was having sex with men on the side—even if he believed he was not infected. Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

7 Days in cinema

BRICK Finally, here’s a film for everyone who wishes Raymond Chandler wrote a novel set in high school! “Brick” has absolutely nothing going for it besides a gimmick-film noir played by teenagers. CC Village East Cinemas. (Steve Erickson) Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 28 | July 13 - 19, 2006 Comment

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