Browsing: March-April 2009

March-April 2009

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News of the day with commentary

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MORE THAN half of the world’s remaining sodomy laws-laws that criminalize consensual homosexual conduct-are relics of British colonial rule. This is the conclusion of a major study by Human Rights Watch released late last year in a 66-page report titled “This Alien Legacy: …

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PRIOR TO moving to Lebanon, I’d joke with my friends, saying that I was traveling back in time to a world that resembles that of the late 1960’s in North America: a country that lacks openly gay public spaces and where the vast majority of homosexual men are closeted due to a strict patriarchal system. Unlike the Americans in the 60’s, however, these men have on-line chat sites, the most popular of which are Manjam.com and Gaydar.co.uk.

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In the aftermath of the passage of California’s Proposition 8, a new

generation of activists emerged to protest the loss of the right to

marry one’s same-sex partner. The GLBT media has dubbed this new wave

of activism “Stonewall 2.0.”

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… The first feature-length documentary on gay themes to win an Oscar, The Times of Harvey Milk depicts with startling frankness and immediacy Harvey Milk’s political ascendancy as the first openly gay politician elected to public office in a major U.S. city.

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Forster’s legacy and prominence have soared since his death, threatening to eclipse many of his Bloomsbury peers and certainly eclipsing the reputation of Joseph Conrad, say, whom Forster revered as “our greatest living novelist,” or George Bernard Shaw, called by Forster “our greatest living writer” some time later. …

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LARGER THAN LIFE, the statue of John Betjeman (1906-1984) in the newly renovated St. Pancras International Station in London serves as a reminder of the late Poet Laureate’s love of rail travel. But its proximity to the Victorian Midland Grand Hotel has an added poignancy, for the hotel’s dining room was the scene of one of Oscar Wilde’s public humiliations.

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… An analysis of how the pro-8 forces succeeded reveals a campaign of misinformation and unlikely alliances, one that took years of planning dating back to at least the mid-1990’s. It also reveals a shrewd, media-savvy, and well-funded grassroots organization that understood California’s complex geographic and political landscape.

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WITH THE DEATH of John Costelloe, the actor who played Jim “Johnny Cakes” Witowski on The Sopranos, fans of the landmark TV series (1999-2007) lost an important player in the show’s most gay-positive, and perhaps most crucial, story line. The 47-year-old actor and former New York City firefighter shot himself late last year in his basement bedroom in Brooklyn.

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