Saturday, August 01, 2015

At Jerusalem gay pride, six injured by repeat attacker

Many media outlets report an attack on the gay pride parade in Jerusalem.  A repeat attacker (and Zionist fundamentalist) who had been imprisoned and let out, stabbed six people, seriously wounding two.  The CNN story is here. The attacker was an “Orthodox Jew” and NOT from Islam.

On a few occasions of over the years (going back to the 1990s), US and European authorities have broken up extremist plots that could have affected gay events or venues.
Wikipedia attribution link for NASA photo of Jerusalem  


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

BSA ends organizational ban on gay adult leaders; media reports on Lousiana shooter's homophobia

The Boy Scouts of America has voted to end its organization ban on openly gay scout leaders. But the New York Times, in a story by Erik Eckholm emphasizes the objections of the Mormon Church, link here.
Local chapters would still be “free” to implement their own “rules”, but the trend obviously is that it would be difficult to defend deliberate discrimination in practice, even at the local level.
Still, socially conservative religious groups are finding cherished idea of “community morality”, that people who don’t conform to (or compete well within) biological gender roles, should be forced to conform for the good of the group (a rather military idea), harder to defend.  Younger adults tend not to believe it.  It seems related to economic standard of living.  Such a view of morality is more common with smaller, tribal communities that had constantly to defend themselves from common enemies (as in the times of both the Bible and later the Koran).
Not much has been said about how transgender people (female to male especially) might fit in, but, as with the military, that will surely come up and gain more acceptance over time.
Media have reported the public homophobia of John Houser, who killed two women in a shooting rampage at a movie theater in Lafayette, LA last Thursday.  One report here on some of his posts and supposed support of the Westboro Baptist Church is here.  His anger seems to have been directed partly at, not just at his economic circumstances, but at women who don’t submit to men.  That’s pretty familiar with some religious fundamentalism.  But there are other reports of severe breakdowns in church gatherings that he had attended.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Baltimore Pride Festival returns to Druid Hill Park

The Baltimore Pride Festival for 2015 was held in Druid Hill Park, returning to the location after using the MICA area in 2014. 
This year I saw some interesting organization with exhibits, like the Baltimore Police Department, Alzheimer’s Society, and the Baltimore Republican Party.
There were performances by TS Madison (which seemed to be going on when I visited) and Steve Grand.

There was a second stage facing the lake. 

The best food pavilion was a seafood stand, which offered, besides Maryland crab, some “non-free fish” and even alligator. 
There were plenty of dogs, including one who recognized me a second time around, 

and another who went from foot to foot in the China pavillion making herself the center of attention. 


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Baltimore Pride, 2015, follows peacefully on troubles in the city in April

On Saturday, July 25, 2015, Baltimore Pride offered its parade and Block Party.

The relatively brief parade started at 3:30 PM and went up Cathedral Street and Maryland Ave., one block west of Charles Street.

The Block Party was in two sections, part of it on Eager Street as in the past, and another large section in a block off Cathedral Street, with a performance and dance state and food in each part.  The lines were not as long for food because there were more vendors.

The Hippo started its dance part at about 8:20 PM (a little late), with male dancers, and by 9 PM or so the dance floor was filling in.  The DJ offered some unusual brass and horn music on top of the dance at times, which sounded like atonal classical dance music.

No one knew yet exactly when the Hippo will close (to be replaced by an art-decco CVS), but most observers expect it to be open through Halloween.  The Hippo plans a major “White Party” on Aug. 8.  A major issue seems to be that the owner can't simply sell the club with license to another person as is;  he had been grandfathered in.  

The area will need a large dance floor after the Hippo becomes a CWS.  Maybe the Grand Central could enlarge its third floor. 

The people attending the events were more numerously female and non-white than at similar events in DC.  There was a tone of remembering the events in Baltimore in April.

The Horseshoe Casino offered a free after party.

The newspaper Baltimore GL (July 2015, p. 5) reports that PW, a small but popular bar in Laurel MD, has lost its liquor license. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Retiring French HIV researcher warns young gay men on HIV

The woman who discovered HTLV-III aka HIV in 1984 in France, that is, Francoise Barre Sinoussi, warns that there will probably never be a “cure” for HIV even though modern protease inhibitors are managing it well for many patients.  The CNN story (in “Vital Signs”) is here.   However, the tone of an IAS 2015 (Vancouver) paper seems a little more optimistic, here
The researcher expressed concern that younger gay men might fall into a pattern that repeats what happened in the 1980s.  I was living in Dallas then, and in 1985-1986 saw a large portion of well-known popular men (including a head of the Oak Lawn Counseling Center) develop full blown AIDS and often pass away within a year.  One minor league relief pitcher, perhaps with the talent to make it in MLB, told me that he had tested positive one morning at breakfast at a popular spot, but he had not developed symptoms.
Generally, after I returned to the DC area in mid 1988, I noticed that the occurrence of full-blown AIDS among people I knew became much less frequent in the 1990s.  Medications did start to work.  Today, among younger men (locally and around the country) whom I know, I do not hear about this happening.  I think behavior is much more restrained than it was in the late 1970s, despite what one might see on the dance floor or sung about in videos. 
Pictures:  Visit to Philadelphia, July 5, to visit LGBT exhibit at Constitution Center 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

HRC promotes Equality Act, while tyrants around the world use western same-sex marriage as a proxy issue

Graeme Reid has a disturbing op-ed on CNN of how authoritarian leaders around the world use same-sex marriage in the West, and especially the recent SCOTUS opinion, as a proxy issue to make the West or the US seem like enemies, link here.
The worst countries are Russia (of course), Nigeria (with Goodluck Jonathan’s behavior before ouster from office), Malaysia (abuse of its sodomy law against political opponents), and Gambia, as well as Uganda previously.

Non-western cultures are more likely to see homosexuality as denying parents or families a lineage. But these cultures also view society much more collectively. 


Today HRC was calling supporters about the bill for the Equality Act, as explained in the blog posting here. It was introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley, Tammy Baldwin, Cory Booker, and representative Dave Cicilline.  Vox has an article by German Lopez calling it "the most comprehensive LGBTQ rights bill ever" link here The Williams Institute at UCLA has an analysis of the benefits of the bill here

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Straight dad talks obliquely about marriage equality, hypothetical gay son in popular fatherhood blog

A CNN story about weight gain in recent fathers (Issues blog today) refers to a blog by John Kinnear. It’s called “Ask Your Dad”.  I suppose if mommy blogs have created a profitable niche (like Heather Armstrong’s “Dooce”) so can daddyhood.
What I found was “Not another political post on the SCOTUS decision on marriage equality,” link here  He links to his own post about a hypothetical gay son – warning about safer sex, for one thing. 
This post concerns a narrative about an early boyhood friend who turned out to be gay.  And he notes that the world has not changed all that much because of marriage equality.  He mentions growing up among Mormon neighbors.  But, as author Gordon Merrick had noted, “The Lord Won’t Mind”.
I can recall a bizarre outdoor conversation with a neighbor’s boy back in  August, 1950, after I had recovered from the measles.  He had grown a little taller than me while I was sick.  He said something about the idea that sometimes boys marry boys. 
First picture: Pulse disco in Orlando FL, recent trip.