Posts Tagged 'homophobia'

The Sexual Threat to Fundamentalism

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By Michelle Goldberg
December 29, 2008

During this holiday season—a time, ideally, of peace, empathy, kindness and transcendence—gays and lesbians have reason to feel themselves under siege by ostensible men of God. First there was the Rick Warren affair, with its concomitant message that, unlike racism or anti-Semitism, gay and lesbian equality is something decent people can disagree on. Then, just days later, in his Christmas greeting to the Roman Curia, the Pope saw fit to compare homosexuality—and, indeed, any deviation from binary gender roles—to the destruction of the rainforests. Continue reading ‘The Sexual Threat to Fundamentalism’

The Advocate: Straight Guys Tell

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By Michael Joseph Gross

From The Advocate  November 2009

You’ve heard the threats — about how gay men in the shower might bring down the U.S. military with a wink, a pinch, or a flick of a wet towel. But where’s the truth in that? What’s it really like to serve alongside gay and lesbian service members?

I don’t have permission to be on base, and I’m nervous, because when I told veterans what I planned to do, they all gave me pretty much the same warning: Any soldier I approach could call the Military Police, who would escort me to the gates and kick me out — unless they detained me for questioning.

At lunchtime on a gray September Sunday, a retired officer drove me onto the Fort Lewis Army base in Washington, about 50 miles south of Seattle, and dropped me at the PX (military lingo for “post exchange”), which is basically a food court wrapped in a mini-mall that includes a GNC store, a barber shop, a video arcade, and a folding table where a friendly old guy sells wooden American flags he carves out of what he claims are 1,000-year-old logs. (A sign on the wall behind him reads, ask me how i know the logs are one thousand years old!) Until the cops come, I am haunting the food court, walking up to straight soldiers and asking whether they’ve ever been aware of serving alongside a gay soldier and, if so, what it was like.

I’m conducting this extremely unscientific survey in hopes that the straight guys will tell some stories that might shed light on the debate about repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the federal law and Pentagon policy on gays in the military, which will be the subject of a Senate hearing this fall. DADT is based on the proposition that straight soldiers cannot work with openly gay soldiers. Supporters of the ban argue that gays, if allowed to serve openly, would harm unit cohesion, troop readiness, and morale, largely because their presence would make straight soldiers self-conscious showering or dressing in front of them. Continue reading ‘The Advocate: Straight Guys Tell’

Der Spiegel: Wave of Homophobia Sweeps the Muslim World

17  September 2009
Der Spiegel Online
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The Gay Sons of Allah
Wave of Homophobia Sweeps the Muslim World

By Juliane von Mittelstaedt and Daniel Steinvorth

In most Islamic countries, gay men and women are ostracized, persecuted and in some cases even murdered. Repressive regimes are often fanning the flames of hatred in a bid to outdo Islamists when it comes to spreading “moral panic.”

Bearded men kidnapped him in the center of Baghdad, threw him into a dark hole, chained him down, urinated on him, and beat him with an iron pipe. But the worst moment for Hisham, 40, came on the fourth day of his ordeal when the kidnappers called his family. He was terrified they would tell his mother that he is gay and that this was the reason they had kidnapped him. If they did he would never be able to see his family again. The shame would be unbearable for them.

“Do what you want to me, but don’t tell them,” he screamed. Continue reading ‘Der Spiegel: Wave of Homophobia Sweeps the Muslim World’

Treatment of Alan Turing was “appalling” – PM

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Thursday 10 September 2009

The Prime Minister has released a statement on the Second World War code-breaker, Alan Turing, recognising the “appalling” way he was treated for being gay.

Alan Turing, a mathematician most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes, was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 and sentenced to chemical castration.

Gordon Brown’s statement came in response to a petition posted on the Number 10 website which has received thousands of signatures in recent months. Continue reading ‘Treatment of Alan Turing was “appalling” – PM’

Homophobia is not just another point of view

It has been a couple of weeks since the Thio-NYU incident and I think I’ve finally figured out why it has been bothering me so much. It’s not as if homophobia and other forms of intolerance don’t already irk me enough, but for some reason, just something about Dr Thio Li-ann’s cool response to the reactions of the law school’s LBGT organization to her anti gay stance, including an open letter from NYU student Jim McCurley (reproduced here), gave me a fortnight-long sense of unease.

It wasn’t the fact that Dr Thio’s response seemed so calm and almost reasonable, so unlike her crass and tactless description of anal sex as “shoving a straw up your nose to drink” while arguing against the decriminalization of gay sex in Singapore. I did not assume for one second that she would present herself as anything less than professional in her capacity as a Professor, and especially to a more liberal audience such as NYU. It wasn’t even the irony that her course is about “Human Rights in Asia”, a topic that many have questioned about whether she is qualified to teach, given her failure to recognize the rights of homosexuals.

Continue reading…

ST Forum: Self-described feminist mentor’s actions invited a reaction

19 May 2009
Straits times Online Forum

Self-described feminist mentor’s actions invited a reaction
I REFER to Monday’s letter by Dr Thio Su Mien, ‘Gay activists a key constituency of Aware’. I would like to highlight a number of statements she made that serve no purpose other than to confuse.

I am perplexed how Dr Thio can, in the same paragraph, say that Aware’s Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) manual ‘expressly states that homosexuality is neutral and normal’, and then go on to attack the content of the CSE programme as ‘non-neutral’. Continue reading ‘ST Forum: Self-described feminist mentor’s actions invited a reaction’

ST: Mothers, talk to your kids about the birds and the bees

By Radha Basu, Senior Correspondent

The Sunday Times

May 10, 2009

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover was every parent’s dream. A Boy Scout, he scored good grades at school, loved football and helped out at the local church.

Yet, after dinner on April 6, the Massachusetts boy wrapped an extension cord around his neck and killed himself. He was 11.

Ten days later, on April 16, Jaheem Herrera from Georgia hanged himself with a fabric belt, hours after returning home with glowing grades. He too was 11.

Both families say that relentless taunts by schoolmates who called them ‘gay’ drove the boys to their deaths. The schools have not denied their allegations. Continue reading ‘ST: Mothers, talk to your kids about the birds and the bees’

Push to ban sodomy laws

5 May 2009
Sydney Star Observer
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Push to ban sodomy laws

Former High Court justice Michael Kirby has called on lawyers to help repeal laws that criminalise homosexuality in 41 of the 53 Commonwealth countries.

michael_kirby_460Addressing the Commonwealth Law Conference in Hong Kong last month, Kirby said gay law reform was an ongoing “blind spot” in the Commonwealth, which should do more to end criminal codes that punish adults for consensual, private homosexual acts. Continue reading ‘Push to ban sodomy laws’

More On The AWARE Affair

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29 April 2009

Just an appendix to yesterday’s first entry. Christian ministries and organizations claiming that homosexuals need ‘curing’ and that they can be ‘cured’ through faith and prayer, have been around for a while. But as with so many other things, the gap between their galloping optimism and the reality, is a wide one. Take Exodus International, which seeks to convert homosexuals, both religiously and behaviorally. Three years after it started, two of its original founders ‘reverted’. In 2000 its long-term chairman, John Paulk, was removed for ‘engaging in behavior which has negatively impacted on the credibility of Exodus’; which is another way of saying that he had been caught visiting gay bars. In the 1990’s in the US a man named Michael Johnston, who was HIV positive, was widely promoted by the American Family Association as a sterling example of a homosexual ‘transformed by the Lord’. He spoke widely on radio and TV and in churches. In 2002 it was revealed that he had been having unprotected sex with other males. Another Christian ministry called Love In Action started in 1973 by Frank Worthen, John Evans, and Kent Philpott, claimed that homosexuals could become heterosexual if only they would pray hard enough. McIntyre eventually committed suicide in despair over his inability to change and Evans left the project and denounced it as dangerous. He was quoted as saying: ‘They’re destroying people’s lives. If you don’t do their thing, you’re not of God, you’ll go to hell. They’re living in a fantasy world’. The third of the three founders, Kent Philpott, wrote a book called The Third Sex? in which he claimed that he had ‘cured’ hundreds of gays. Some of these ‘cured’ gays, including Evans, filed a suit against Philpott for misrepresentation (i.e. lying) and he was forced to remove his book from the market. Until 2006 Pastor Ted Haggard was head of the 14,000 member congregation New Life Church in Colorado in the US, and leader of the powerful National Association of Evangelicals. He was also well-known for his strong condemnation of homosexuality. In 2006 Haggard was forced to resign when confronted with evidence that he had been taking drugs and engaging in sex with other men. A year later Haggard announced that he had been ‘completely cured through the Lord’s grace’ and almost immediately new evidence emerged of his homosexual behavior. Continue reading ‘More On The AWARE Affair’

Reply to Recent Comments and Claims About AWARE’s Sexuality Education Programme in Schools

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April 28, 2009

Reply to Recent Comments and Claims About AWARE’s Sexuality Education Programme in Schools

1We refer to recent claims and comments about AWARE’s sexuality education programme in schools.

2Sexuality education conducted in MOE schools is premised on the importance of the family and respect for the values and beliefs of the different ethnic and religious communities on sexuality issues. The aim is to help students make responsible values-based choices on matters involving sexuality.

3Core programmes are delivered by teachers but schools do collaborate with other agencies in delivering additional modules. However, in doing so, schools must ensure that any programmes run by external agencies are secular and sensitive to the multi-religious make-up of our society. Parents can choose to opt their children out of these programmes. Continue reading ‘Reply to Recent Comments and Claims About AWARE’s Sexuality Education Programme in Schools’


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