This week in gay news
It's true. I LOVE writing about fun and fanciful things; pop culture, art, music, fashion, new technology. All 'stuff' that is at the forefront of minds for stylish and happening gay men and women everywhere. (well most of us anyways)
The truth of the matter is though, I have a responsibility to report on events that are happening around the world and here at home that really impact our community. The SAD truth, is that more often then not, this news is of a depressing nature.
Let's begin in the old US of A.
From Boston and the revered halls of Harvard comes this story:
Approximately 40 books dealing with LGBT issues were vandalized with what appeared to be urine in Lamont Library on November 24, according to a report filed Friday by the library security staff to the Harvard University Police Department.
HUPD spokesman Steven G. Catalano wrote in an e-mail that the vandalized books' subject matters included lesbian and gay issues and same-sex marriage. Due to the nature of books, HUPD is currently investigating the incident as a bias crime.
"The HUPD has zero tolerance for any bias-related incidents or crimes," Catalano said.
Brainard said that the library staff assessed the value of the vandalized books before reporting the incident, accounting for the space of two weeks between the incident and the report to HUPD. The books—which Brainard estimated to be worth a few thousand dollars—will be discarded due to the severity of the damage.
Sad- especially when you consider that Harvard is supposed to house America's best and brightest...
From Washinton DC, this little update in regards to the US Military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) Policy:
The effort to repeal hit a brick wall last week with the defeat of the motion to reconsider debate on the defense authorization bill, better known as the NDAA. But there a variety of Plan B's -- some more optimal than others -- that could rid the United States of a shameful, discriminatory policy that threatens national security and robs it of talent in the midst of two wars and other challenges around the world.
The legislative route is the best.
Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post reports: "As I have long argued, DADT is an act of Congress and ought to be abolished by an act of Congress. And President Obama made it clear last night that he wants Congress to keep at it during the lame-duck. That's why a stand-alone bill -- S.4022 -- introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is perhaps the best route to repealing the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who got repeal through her chamber in May thanks to the tireless work of outgoing Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), said last night that she stands ready to move on the Senate measure.
As one activist told me this week, it would be a massive failure for Congress to walk away for the holidays while 65,000 continue to serve in silence and others aren't even allowed to serve at all."
From Africa, comes these frightening reports.
The Washington Post has published an article today on the recent increase in anti-gay sentiments and horrific violent crimes against gays and lesbians all across Africa.
"'It has never been harder for gays and lesbians on the continent,' said Monica Mbaru, Africa coordinator for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, based in Cape Town. 'Homophobia is on the rise.'"
So what's the reason for the increase?
"The growing tide of homophobia comes at a time when gays in Africa are expressing themselves more openly, prompting greater media attention and debates about homosexuality. The rapid growth of Islam and evangelical forms of Christianity, both espousing conservative views on family values and marriage, have persuaded many Africans that homosexuality should not be tolerated in their societies."
American gay rights advocates are helping one side but American anti-gay Christians are helping the other, especially when it comes to Uganda's "kill the gays" bill: