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Posts Tagged ‘glbt issues

[LINK] On the affair of John Waters and homophobia

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Some days ago, Joe. My. God. linked to an interview in the Irish Independent with journalist John Waters. Waters, recently the subject of wide criticism across Ireland and the world for homophobic statements, is unhappy that people aren’t happy with his bigoted statements and are saying so.

“I was walking down the street and a guy on a bicycle shouted ‘you f***ing homophobe’ at me before cycling on. I was in a coffee shop on another occasion and a woman waddled over to me with a pram and told me I should be ashamed of myself before walking off. They are cowards, they shout something and keep walking, they don’t want to engage.

“I was frightened almost in a metaphysical way, that people could be so full of hatred. That, in accusing me of hatred, they could manifest a hatred infinitely greater than anything I could possibly imagine.”

[. . .]

Describing the lowest point, he said it was the realisation that no one would speak out in his defence.

“You have a certain hope that somebody, somewhere knows you for who you are, you kind of have some kind of naive hope that one of these people are going to stand up and say ‘hang on, this is wrong, this is not this guy’ and that moment never came.”

[. . .]

In a passionate interview, Waters also defended previous statements he made on gay marriage and adoption which have landed him in hot water.

Questioning gay adoption, he drew parallels with two brothers taking paternal responsibility of a child.

“If two brothers who love each other in a particular way decide ‘we would like to adopt a child’ this society would regard that as an absurdity, they would laugh them out of court.

“Yet if two men who are involved in a sexual relationship go forward to adopt a child we are told now, that should be okay? I find that really hard to understand, intellectually. Why is it that it is okay but it is not okay for two brothers or two straight men? I think that’s a legitimate point.”

He went on to describe as ‘satirical’ the fight to introduce gay marriage, when the core of the traditional family unit remains so broken.

“There is something fundamentally wrong to go off then and to come up with a peripheral issue, which gay marriage is in my view, and to deal with that first, when the raw bloody core of our family law and our family life in this country . . . that is satire. It is a mockery of reality to actually deal with something so peripheral and marginal, when there is such a wound at the heart of our culture. So I make no apologies for calling it a satire. It is satirical.”

He defended his use of the word ‘buggery’, questioning why anyone would take offence to the term.

“People are selectively finding things offensive to suit themselves. But what is so offensive about the word buggery? I mean it’s a phenomenon, it’s a word to describe a physical function. My definition is anal penetration by men. It is very clear what it means. It is a term to describe a physical function, end of story. Why is it offensive? If the act is not offensive to people, why should the word to describe it be offensive?”

Written by Randy McDonald

April 16, 2014 at 8:02 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • 3 Quarks Daily asks whether parenthood is morally respectable.
  • blogTO has vintage photos of Toronto’s neighbourhood of Corktown.
  • Centauri Dreams notes that a small moon may be condensing out of Saturn’s Ring A.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes evidence that close-orbiting “hot Jupiters” influence their stars.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes continuing progress in teasing out evidence of Neandertal ancestry from current populations.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that some Muslim cab drivers in Cleveland refuse to drive cabs with signs advertising the upc9oming Gay Games.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money takes on the minor scandal of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s non-receipt of a symbolic degree from Brandeis University.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen seems unduly skeptical about Norway’s program of buying books by local authors for libraries, so as to subsidize literary production.
  • New APPS Blog contrasts the open citizenship of the Roman Republic with the closed citizenship of the Greek city-states, with Carthage being somewhere in between.
  • Towleroad explores continuing controversy around the use of Truvada as an alternative to condoms in HIV/AIDS prevention.
  • Transit Toronto notes the closing of several streets, notably Church Street, in downtown Toronto on the occasion of former Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty’s funeral.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that contemporary Russians like their country’s open egress to the world and wouldn’t be pleased by transit restrictions, and observes that ethnic Russians in Estonia seem to be mobilizing against Russian annexation.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • blogTO shares a visual history of the Toronto Islands. (I really will have to get there this year.)
  • At Broadside Blog, Caitlin Kelly draws lessons from the experience of a journalist who literally overworked himself to death. When should people note their limits?
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that close-orbiting hot Neptune GJ 436b, even with its comet-like tail produced by heating from its sun, isn’t going to lose its atmosphere.
  • Eastern Approaches notes that Poland’s Donald Tusk is presiding over new military spending inspired by the Ukrainian crisis.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World blog and Eastern Approaches both deal with the international consequences of ongoing Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine, the former calling for broad sanctions.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if the Russian-majority city of Narva in northeastern Estonia will be the next target of Russia.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer discusses the implication of Russian gas price increases for Ukraine.
  • Torontoist notes the impact of CBC’s announced job cuts.
  • Towleroad links to a teaser for the new HBO movie version of The Lonely Heart and reports on Barbra Streisand’s explanation as to why she couldn’t get the movie made.
  • Une heure de peine’s Denis Colombi writes (in French) about the sociology of working hours in France and among the French.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that rising xenophobia in Russia is alienating many non-Russians and reports on one Russia who argues that there isn’t a necessary conflict between liberalism and imperialism.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait revisits the skydiver/meteorite video. It looks like it was just a rock in the chute.
  • Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly writes about the benefits of leaving one’s comfort zone.
  • At False Steps, Paul Drye presents the life of Mercury capsule designer Max Faget.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Doug Merrill warns (1, 2) about the growing scope of Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
  • The Financial Times‘ Gideon Rachman argues that Russia under Putin is trying to destroy the current Ukrainian state.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the two daughters of Lyndon Baines Johnson think that American president would likely support same-sex marriage based on his principles.
  • At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Scott Lemieux celebrates the defeat of the Parti Québécois as something that would protect religious freedom.
  • Marginal Revolution hosts a discussion in the comments surrounding the economic policies of Narendra Modi, aspirant for the Indian presidency.
  • John Moyer writes about the virtues of revisiting some books (here, James Joyce’s Dubliners).
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders if Russian expansion into Ukraine will encourage imperialism generally and wonders how the ZunZuneo social networking project in Cuba was supposed to prmote democracy.
  • At the Russian Demographics blog, the author notes that Russia stands out not only among European countries but among the BRICs.
  • Window on Eurasia holds that Ukrainian Muslims prefer Ukraine to Russia and argues in favour of a sustained policy of non-recognition of Crimea’s annexation.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • The Buffer blog advises online writers as to how often they should post on different media.
  • Centauri Dreams reacts to the discovery of the ocean under Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes a recent paper claiming to set limits on a potential distant planet X and observes archeological data suggesting a 9th century settlement date for a Tongan island.
  • Eastern Approaches comments on the Hungarian election.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Doug Merrill warns that if Russia does move into eastern Ukraine, terrible choices will be afoot.
  • Geocurrents’ Claire Negiar takes a look at the Caribbean island of St. Martin, divided between French and Dutch halves.
  • Joe. My. God. links to an article examining the use of the drug Truvada to prevent HIV infection and notes that Blondie’s Debbie Harry has come out as bisexual.
  • Language Log’s Victor Mair explains what Chinese might mean when they talk about prayer.
  • Towleroad’s Ari Ezra Waldman comments on Brandon Eich’s resignation.
  • Window on Eurasia notes one Russian commentator’s argument that the Baltic States have been lost to the Russian sphere, another noting a fall in anti-Caucasian sentiment in the media as Ukraine heats up.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait evaluates a video of a skydiver almost hit by a meteroroid and finds it plausible.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that we don’t know which processes lead to stars and which to brown dwarfs.
  • Language Log’s Mark Liberman notes interesting gendered pronoun usage in a new science fiction novel.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is not sympathetic towards Brandon Eich and argues that multicultural accomodation isn’t inherently irrational.
  • Marginal Revolution seems to have grudging respect for Michael Lewis’ new book Flash Boys.
  • Towleroad notes the recent statement of Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, that embracing same-sex marriage could inadvertently lead to the persecution and murder of Christians around in the world, particularly in Africa. (One finds one’s allies where one can.
  • At Window on Eurasia, note is made of various arguments: one argues that Russian national identity is synthetic and assimilatory; another argues that, given Ukrainian public opinion, Russia’s only prospects for further expansion lie in force; still another takes note of Eurasianist threats against Azerbaijan.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • At Antipope, Charlie Stross wonders why we need to work so long when productivity and per capita wealth have skyrocketed.
  • At the Broadside Blog, Caitlin Kelly describes a week in her life as a writer.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that ancient Population III stars could, in theory, have rocky planets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales warns that the Japanese economy is about to tank.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that young conservative Ben Shapiro is now boycotting Mozilla after Brandon Eich’s departure.
  • Savage Minds has an essay by anthropologist Elizabeth Chin suggesting that Lamilly, a new anatomically-correct doll, won’t take off because issues with beauty are much more deeply embedded in the culture than the designers believe.
  • The Signal examines the proliferation of E-mail storage formats.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Jonathan Adler doesn’t like the pressure applied to Brandon Eich.
  • Window on Eurasia has two posts warning that Crimea’s annexation to Russia will destabilize the Russian Federation, one arguing that ethnic minorities and their republics will be put in a state of flux, the other arguing that Russian nationalists will be upset by the concession of so many rights to Crimean Tatars.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • D-Brief shares the news that scientists think that Saturn’s moon Enceladus has a subsurface ocean in its southern polar region.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a remarkable paper claiming that red dwarf stars are exceptionally likely to have a planet in their circumstellar habitable zones.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to an other paper on Mars suggesting that world was never very hot, even in its youth.
  • Eastern Approaches suggests that Poland is approaching the point of relative energy-independence from Russia.
  • The Financial Times The World blog reports on the failure of a US-subsidized Cuban social networking system.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas links to an account of an 1895 conversation between Paul Valéry and a Chinese friend suggesting that Chinese may have had different perspectives on technology than Westerners.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis notes Ukrainian regionalism, observing that the Europe-leaning west/centre region has inside it a strongly nationalist Galicia and a regionalist Ruthene-leaning Transcarpathia.
  • Joe. My. God. points to the story of a Floridian sex offender who tried to burn down the home of a lesbian couple and their eight children just because.
  • Personal Reflection’s Jim Belshaw explores the origin of the word “bogey” in Australian English to mean swimming hole.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Bruce Betts reports on the progress made in the search for planets at Alpha Centauri. (So far, no evidence for Alpha Centauri Bb, but then the technology isn’t sensitive enough to confirm that world’s existence.)
  • Towleroad reports on the controversy surrounding the recent resignation of former Mozilla Brandon Eich, Andrew Sullivan aligning with left-wingers and Michael Signorile making the point that Eich’s donations to people like Pat Buchanan tipped things over.
  • Window on Eurasia comments on the successful program of the Kazakhstani government to settle ethnic Kazakhs in the once-Russian-majority north of the country so as to prevent a secession.

[LINK] “Exiled from home, Nigeria’s gay community builds new life in US”

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Al Jazeera America’s Lisa De Bode has a nice extended article examining the formation of a LGBT Nigerian exile community in New York City.

Michael Ighodaro slowly rose to his feet, his bloodshot eyes scanning the room for support. The young man, who is HIV-positive, is a regular at these meetings, where he works with advocates of New York City’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to address issues of HIV education. Tonight, he invited those in attendance to participate in an international protest against Nigeria’s anti-gay legislation to be held on Friday, drawing encouraging comments from the audience.

“We want to get the world to know what’s going on in Nigeria,” he said. “Make it more aware that it’s a serious issue and that they should do something about it.”

In his native Nigeria, participation in such a protest would get the 27-year-old Ighodaro jailed for 10 years or possibly even killed.

In January, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill into law that criminalizes homosexual relationships and advocating for LGBT rights. Dozens of people were arrested following the implementation of the law, many were beaten and some were killed by angry mobs.

There are increasing numbers of reports of extortion and attacks on homosexuals by police and what Kent Klindera, director of amfAR, the foundation for AIDS research that provides support to Nigerian communities working to reduce HIV, said are “neighborhood vigilantes” who are seeking to purge the country of gays. Such reports compelled Ighodaro to organize a Global Day of Action at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and other cities in a global stand against homophobia.

The attacks he continues to hear about in Nigeria are a not-so-distant memory.

One September evening in 2012 in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Ighodaro’s ribs and hand were broken in what he believes was a homophobic attack. The following morning, a barrage of death threats filled his phone and email inboxes. Fearing for his life, he left his homeland and sought asylum in the United States. The multiple-entry visa stamped in his passport from an earlier visit to Washington, D.C., to attend an international AIDS conference became his entry ticket to a new life.

“I came here without any preplanning, without nothing, I just came here,” he told Al Jazeera. “Staying (in Nigeria) was getting more serious than everyone thought it would be.”

Written by Randy McDonald

April 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm

[LINK] “Here’s what Mexico City is teaching the rest of Latin America about gay marriage”

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Via Towleroad I came across Dudley Althaus’ Global Post article arguing that the progress of gay rights in Mexico is influencing Latin America more generally.

I’m hesitant about this argument, not least since South American countries–notably but not only Argentina and Uruguay–have seen equal or even greater shifts towards equality than Mexico, and seem from my very limited knowledge to have done so independently of Mexico. That said, Althaus does seem to have gotten the general liberalization of Mexican society done. (Noel Maurer?)

In Mexico’s modernizing capital, the word these days seems to be “keep calm, and marry on,” a nonchalance toward gay marriage that’s slowly catching on across Latin America.

Pushing that message, Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera stood witness recently to the mass wedding of 58 lesbian and gay couples, who said their vows in unison.

“This is one more event in … the city of freedoms,” Mancera, who presided over a similar ceremony in July, told the 74 women and 42 men taking the plunge. Mexico’s capital is “a city that is concerned about and working on moving ahead,” he said.

The latest gay nuptials took place at a museum just blocks from Mexico City’s central plaza — and from the cathedral pulpit of Cardinal Norberto Rivera, who has railed against gay unions as “perverse” affronts to Mexican families and the “divine project.”

But this city’s left-leaning government has been poking the eyes of Catholic leaders and other cultural conservatives for more than a decade now. Promoting diversity — sexual, political, religious — is official policy here. The Mexican capital in many ways has set the pace of social change across Mexico and the region.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 2, 2014 at 7:49 pm


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