Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gay spouses can't get green cards; TNR writes about the CIA, KGB, and homosexuality in the Cold War

There are two stories in the international arena about “gay rights” and equality that catch attention.
One is a report in the New York Times Monday February 18, 2013 , p. A8, by Julia Preston, “Forced to choose : love or country: Gay Americans with foreign born partners”, link here. The online title is more telling: “With no shortcut to a green card, gay couples leave U.S.”  It is apparently illegal for a same-sex couple to get a green card without some other reason (employment), which of course is possible for a heterosexual married partner.

There is a particularly interesting article on p. 32 of the February 25, 2013 issue of TNT. The New Republic, by Reuel Marc Gerecht  (illustrated by Oliver Munday), “Spooky Sex: The Randy culture of the CIA”, link. (probably, you need to pay to see it all; that’s OK; I bought a print copy). The CIA may be becoming more “conservative” in the sexual behavior allowed of its agents, even though since the 1990s it’s been OK to be gay – as long as you’re completely open (which certainly contradicted “don’t ask don’t tell” for the military, since in practice civilians and uniformed armed forces members could work together, as did gay journalists who traveled with the Marine Corps in Afghanistan and Iraq).  Bill Clinton, in fact, had issued an XO protecting gay employees and agents in 1995.

The article makes the interesting point that the old Soviet Union KGB sometimes targeted gays, not because of any vulnerability to “blackmail” (that was far more likely with heterosexual infidelity) The article says, “the KGB believed homosexuals were more narcissistic, more prone to see themselves as disconnected from the group, than heterosexuals”. 

My own novel manuscript ("Angels' Brothers") a covert "part time" ex-military CIA agent, now approaching 40 and raising a nice family in Texas, gets sent on a mission to work with a gay college student who may turn out to be more than human, as the planet prepares for a divine invasion, which may not work out well for some people.  It's all psychological: no shootouts, relatively few chases, little violence.  
I remember being asked in the summer of 1972 if anyone had ever tried to “blackmail” me during a top secret security clearance interview, for my job at the Navy Department (NAVCOSSACT in the Washington Navy Yard).  And, after being station at the Pentagon after basic training in the Army in 1968. I was suddenly and mysteriously (but harmlessly) transferred to Fort Eustis in late September, after a bizarre rumor mill.  That was a lot safer than Vietnam.
I notice that the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TNR us Facebook cofounder  (and North Carolina native) Chris Hughes, 29, whom Wikipedia describes as openly gay and provides an uncomplimentary mugshot. Hughes looks much better in his television appearance on Sunday morning news shows (I think on ABC).  Andrew Sullivan, recall, was editor in the 1990s.  

Hughes must be a wealthy man from his Facebook participation, as well as General Catalyst Partners.  It seems as though, unlike Aaron Swartz, he didn't do anything to anger the DOJ, and unlike Mark Zuckerberg, he didn't anger the "Winklevii" (as Piers Morgan and Mark both call the twins).  It strikes me that at a social level, dormitory life at Harvard around 2003 and 2004 would have been much better for me that William and Mary had been in the fall of 1961. It would have been a blast for me. (If only I could get into a time machine and recover the hair on my legs!) Yes, times do change.  I think that 2003 was the year that Harvard was in the midst of its controversy over barring military recruiters because of "don't ask don't tell".  Maybe people there read me online and learned something.
An "old chestnut", maybe?

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