The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) to the United States Constitution, which
is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791. The Tenth
Amendment restates the Constitution's principle of federalism by providing that
powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states by
the Constitution of the United States are reserved to the states or the people.
an enormous victory for marriage equality, a federal judge in Boston, Thursday,
July 8th, ruled, in two separate cases, that a critical part of the
federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
one challenge brought by the state of Massachusetts, Judge Joseph Tauro ruled
that Congress violated the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when it
passed DOMA and took from the states decisions concerning which couples can be
considered married. In the other, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, he
ruled DOMA violates the equal protection principles embodied in the Due Process
Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
few years ago the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland conducted guided tours that
centered around homosexual behavior among the zoo animals. Unfortunately,
the one hour tours were held in the early evenings, at a time when most
were asleep. But this did not stop the gay zoo tours from being a
success. Though there was no same-sex activity in evidence, tour guide
Myriam Schärz assured her tourists that same-sex behavior is a common
animal life: “I don’t know of any species that is exclusively
Schärz told “swissinfo”, Switzerland’s news and information platform. “Right here in Zurich we once had a gay flamingo couple who remained
for life. In Cologne Zoo they have a pair of lesbian penguins who each
year steal an egg from one of their neighbors and treat it as their
The last time I wrote about same-sex behavior among the so-called
species was in 1999. Later that year the standard work on the topic, Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity by
Bagemihl, was published. “On every continent, animals of the same sex
each other out and have probably been doing it for millions of years,”
wrote. “They court each other, using intricate and beautiful mating
that are the result of eons of evolution. Males caress and kiss each
other, showing tenderness and affection toward one another rather than
hostility and aggression. Females form long-lasting pair-bonds – or
just meet briefly for sex, rolling in passionate embraces or mounting
another. Animals of the same sex build nests and homes together, and
homosexual pairs raise young without members of the opposite sex. Other
animals regularly have partners of both sexes, and some even live in
groups where sexual activity is common among all members, male and
female. Many creatures are ‘transgendered,’ crossing or combining
both males and females in their appearance or behavior.”
According to Bagemihl, “Homosexual behavior occurs in more than 450
different kinds of animals worldwide, and is found in every major
region and every major animal group.” But we don’t need Bagemihl for
anecdotal evidence. Hardly a week goes by that we don’t hear stories
same-sex oriented otters or rabbits. You don’t have to go to the Zurich
Zoo to learn about “the indiscriminate and almost insatiable sexuality
apes” or “how gay male dolphins use their lovers’ blowholes for sexual
gratification.” Just last year a review paper by Nathan Bailey and
Zuk of the Department of Biology at the University of California in
concluded that “same-sex behavior is a nearly universal phenomenon in
kingdom, common across species, from worms to frogs to birds.”
“Female western gulls sometimes pair off for several years and
other while incubating eggs,” Steve Hogan and Lee Hudson wrote in Completely
Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia. “Similar behaviors have been
documented among female sage grouse, male mallard ducks, and female and
greylag geese and turkeys.” According to the authors of Out in All
Directions: The Almanac of Gay and Lesbian America, same-sex behavior
documented in all kinds of animal species, including antelope, bugs,
butterflies, cats, cattle, cockroaches, crickets, dogs, donkeys,
elephants, flies, geckos, guinea pigs, hamsters, horses, hyenas, lions,
mice, moths, octopuses, orcas, porcupines, raccoons, rats and wasps. “In
1994,” according to the Almanac, “two male flamingos in the Rotterdam
Zoo in the
Netherlands got the nesting urge and set up a same-sex co-habitation. After the two repeatedly sought to steal eggs from female flamingos to
them as their own, the zookeepers decided to provide them with a
egg. he proud parents successfully hatched their own little chick, and
remained faithfully by the side of the baby flamingo for a while.” The
whole world knows about Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins at the
Park Zoo in New York who lovingly hatched and raised an adopted chick,
Tango. (The story of Tango and her two daddies appears in 2005's
often-censored children’s book, And Tango Makes Three, by Justin
Gay animal behavior seems to alarm religious conservatives almost
as the human variety, and they have tried their best to deny it. Those
do admit that same-sex behavior exists in the animal kingdom try to
away as being playful antics or dominance behavior to assert hierarchy. “Some conservatives and religious groups now admit that homosexuality is
in the animal kingdom, but many of them have also put forward theories
explain the phenomenon,” said Myriam Schärz of the Zurich Zoo. “Some
that homosexuality only occurs when animal populations become too large,
animals only turn to homosexuality when they have no other alternative ,
, , But
there is no evidence to back up the population theory, and there is
proof against the harem argument. Dominant silver-back gorillas, for
instance, have frequently been seen engaging in homosexual activity and
deliberately shunning available females.”
“Humans seem to be the only species where homosexuals are not
accepted in society,” Schärz said. “Animal societies tend to stay
together and accept each other. Of course, animals do get excluded
but that tends to happen if they get injured or if they are not liked,
than because of their sexuality.” Here is another instance where we
could learn from the animals.
Jesse Monteagudo is a freelance writer and animal lover who lives
Florida. Send all gay animal tales to him at email@example.com.
People who sign petitions calling for public votes on controversial
subjects don't have an automatic right to hide their names, the Supreme
Court ruled Thursday as it sided against Washington state voters worried
about harassment because of their desire to repeal that state's gay
The high court
ruled against Protect Marriage Washington, which organized a petition
drive for a public vote to repeal the state's "everything-but-marriage"
gay rights law.
Petition signers wanted to hide their names because
of worries of intimidation. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in
San Francisco refused to keep their names secret. The Supreme Court
stepped in and temporarily blocked release of the names until the high court could
make a decision.
The court now says disclosing names on a petition for
a public referendum does not chill the signer's freedom of speech
enough to warrant overturning the state's disclosure law.
Chief Justice John Roberts, writing the 8-1 judgment
for the court, said it is vitally important that states be able to
ensure that signatures on referendum petitions are authentic. Only one member of the Court, Justice Alito, affirmatively
indicated his belief that petitioners’ have a strong argument for an
exemption from Washington’s disclosure law because of the potential for
“threats, harassment and reprisals.” ven Justice Scalia, one of the
Court’s core conservative members, concluded in his concurrence that,
“[r]equiring people to stand up in public for their political acts
fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed.”
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Different Light Bookstore and ADLBooks.Com
Different Light Bookstore opened it's doors in November 1979. As
with all of the independent gay bookstores during that time, our stores
became meeting places to promote GLBT writers, as well as gathering
places for GLBT activists. And our independent gay bookstores served us
well in working towards the equality we have achieved today and are
working for in the future.
are aware, from surfing the net to reading the few newspapers
and magazines that are still in print, our gay community bookstores,
publishers and many other gay community small businesses are closing
their doors. It is a fact that businesses are only as good as their
customer and vendor bases. And as history as shown us, change is
my belief that the GLBT community is the best read and highest achieving
groups of people anywhere in the world. I also believe that in the
future when the digital revolution has settled down that community based
businesses will again serve as a place of social interaction that the
human condition needs so badly.
saying this, A Different Light Bookstore and ADLBooks.com "need your help and support" to
continue to be a presence in San Francisco and online for our
communities that we ship to all over the world.
every customer in our store and online who receive our new product
updates would commit to investing $10, $20 or more each month in
purchasing our products, that would be an enormous step in continuing to
preserve this very important part of our community.
effect of this action is more then just keeping our
business operational, but it also trickles down to our vendors. Equally
important, your support will help keep and create local jobs that are
so important to our community.
are two actions that I would like you to consider. The most immediate
action is of course stopping by our store or signing onto our website
and buying a great book, gift, movie, magazine or DVD's.
more serious request, and one that I think would set a stage for
preserving GLBT literature for the future is that you might consider
buying 1-10 copies of each Queer Classic and "donating" it to a school, university, GLBT
Center Library, local libraries or any of your favorite organizations.
In addition to our GLBT archives around the world, this would put our
literature in the hands of readers who might otherwise not have access
or are being censored.
are asking for your support. We sincerely appreciate and are thankful
for our customers who visit and buy from us on a regular basis.
you for your consideration and taking the time to read this note.
In the fascinating book, Marsh interrogates the
assumptions and prejudices that have combined to disparage the sincerity of
Isherwood’s spiritual life. He delves into those features of Vedanta philosophy
that enabled Isherwood to integrate the various aspects of his dharma:
his vocation as a writer, and a spirituality not based on a repudiation of his
sexuality as a gay man.
Tony-winning playwright-director Arthur Laurents' (left in picture) and late partner Tom
Hatcher’s (right in picture) foundation has established an annual $150,000 prize. The
Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award will be given for an unproduced, full-length
play of social relevance by an emerging American playwright.
The prize includes a $50,000 cash award for the selected playwright and a
$100,000 grant for production costs of the play's premiere at a nonprofit
The foundation said Thursday it's the first major award for playwrighting to
be named in honor of a gay couple. The 92-year-old Laurents wrote the books for
"Gypsy" and "West Side Story." Hatcher was Laurents'
partner of 52 years. He was an actor and real estate developer and died in
2006. Submissions from invited applicants will be accepted June 15 to September
15th 2010. The first award recipient will be notified March 15, 2011.
(left to right: Lola Pashalinski, Mario Montez, Linda Chapman)
…the great drag Superstar who reigned over the New York Underground film and theater scene from the early 1960s until the mid-1970s.
Presented by the NYU Tisch Department of Performance Studies
Mario Montez and Marc Siegel (he is a Berlin based archivist and found Mario in Orlando Fl and invited him to the Berlin Film Festival when the Jack Smith documentary was being shown in 2009…)
in conversation with Ela Troyano and Lola Pashalinski
Tuesday April 6th 7 to 8:30PM
34 Stuyvesant Street The Barney Building Einstein Auditorium New York City
Seating is limited and is on a first come basis. Please arrive early.
This is a historical event .. two
authentic legends talking about the creation of underground theater ,,,off off
Broadway .. and the queerness of the Ridiculous Theater company etc.. Mario is
75 and Lola ageless so who knows when next they will be in the same place
chatting about history, He worked with Jack Smith and Warhol as well in Vain Victory, She was an original
Ridiculous Theater member and most recently played Gertrude Stein
People may or may not be aware of the magician and professional skeptic, The Amazing Randi, but he has recently decided to come out and we think it's a fascinating conversation…listen here. He comes out as a gay man and has a rather nice conversation about it with the interviewer. He has always been a personal favorite of mine, a debunker of scams shams and magical thinking, including the $1,000,000 Paranormal Challenge...which has yet to be awarded.
I can't help but wonder if the caricature portrait of Arthur C. Clarke (another gay man and long-time White Crane subscriber) in the background on the right might be an old boyfriend?
The conversation in the interview takes some interesting turns when they posit that rationalism (i.e. non-deism) might be as powerful a tool in the gay rights struggle as assimilationist gay religiosity and gay "spirituality"; Both have an interest in debunking pseudo-science (i.e. Right Wing creationism). Here's the quote:
"I think there is something that skepticism can do with homosexuality. A
lot of cultural conservatives use a kind of pseudo
science to argue against gay wrights. And people who rail against pseudo science
should want to argue against it even if it has to do with culture war
questions like gay rights. Cultural conservatives use junk science to
argue that gay parenting leads to mentally ill children.
They use fake
science to argue that being gay is not natural; that homosexuality
is an aberration when in fact you find it widely among many different
species. So, in a real way I think gay issues are skeptic's issues." D.J. Grothe, President of the James Randi Educational Foundation, the
international educational non-profit founded by celebrated social critic
and activist James Randi.
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