Kelly Sans Culotte

2002 | 2001 | 2000

Neither Democrats nor Republicans are our friends
In Marriage Fight Energizes Queers, you can see the contradictory approach of the Democratic Party and its leaders to the LGBT community's struggle for elementary and necessary civil rights.

Cogswell observes the inaction of the Democrat-controlled city council in New York on marriage, and the opposition of Kerry and the Democrat-controlled legislature of Massachusetts and their defiance of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, as well as Clinton's role in signing the D.O.M.A. We all remember his role in "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", and the victimizations and military lynchings that followed. Others have pointed out the disloyal comments Barney Frank made about getting married as he wheels and deals with our rights in the Congress.

The same criticism could be made of many other city and state leaders and legislative bodies controlled by the Democratic Party. They approach our struggle with timidity, duplicity, and outright betrayal. It's a wretched, decades- long chronicle of treachery. (We could be worse off; at least we're not "protected" by something like the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Other groups have had a harsh journey too.)

This is particularly unacceptable now that the subject is marriage: a simple and necessary arrangement for coupling, for expressing love or commitment. How human, how basic, how minimal. It's not a campaign to tax churches or take away Pat Robertson's mansions. We're not demanding that homophobes lose parenting rights, or that the seminaries and schools that promote homophobia be closed, or that homophobes like Robertson and the Pope, or their politician friends be indicted and arrested for fostering a climate that promotes lynching. Those are all honest goals, but this is about marriage. And most of these Democrats are against our right to marry.

I'm not talking about activists in the Democratic Party. They are not the enemy; they're just not very bright. They make a serious error when they project their own wishes and ideas onto deceitful politicians who will promise everything and deliver squat. It's an ancient shell game practiced from Alcibiades to Caesar to Napoleon to Clinton, and these grassroots Democrats who get betrayed time after time ought to wake up.

Cogswell comments that "Democrats might still get the bulk of the queer presidential vote in November, but after that party hacks should beware." I hope she's wrong, but the closer we get to the election the more feverish and panicked the 'get out the vote' frenzy will become. Soon they'll be screaming "vote for Hindenburg to Stop Hitler." Bush is no Hitler, although he and the religious right are very dangerous.

I hope people in our communities will vote for any socialist or communist party or independent candidate who supports us, and who will help us change society fundamentally, so we won't have to put up with the murderous bigotry that's ruined or ended so many of our lives.

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are our friends. Supporters of those parties are simple-minded, pathetic innocents. The leaders are no better than Johnson or Nixon, etc. They will adapt to our demonstrations and activism, and they may be forced to make the occasional concession, but they are the enemy. And for now, the rulers of this country.

Bill Perdue
Las Vegas, Nevada
March 16, 2004

No Either/Or in Human Rights
I'd like to thank The Gully for starting a discussion on the plight of lgbt people in the Middle East. However, I find it a bit unnerving that conservative gay hawks are using charges of homophobia in places like Palestine, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt to support military actions against these countries.

For instance, Paul Varnell, in his article, Israel, Palestine, And Gays in the Indie Gay Forum, asserts that American gays should not support Palestinian efforts towards independence because the Palestinian Authority (PA) is homophobic, and that to be critical of Israel's treatment of Palestinians would mean that queers would be putting the right to self-determination of an entire people ahead of gay rights, and that would be wrong.

Queer progressives should be on the look out for these backwards arguments. If we were to judge whether or not a country is "good" based on how gay-friendly it is, the US would be in serious trouble. Should we support an invasion of the US by countries whose governments are much more gay-friendly such as South Africa? I hardly think so.

We must also counter the narrow-minded arguments of queer conservatives that bombing Middle Eastern countries is good because it will "free" oppressed gays. The peace movement, the fight for a just peace between Palestinians and Israel, and the fight for gay rights all over the world are not mutually exclusive. Each is intertwined with the other as we see in The Gully's article, Gay Israel: No Pride In Occupation.

Adam Tenney
Queens, New York
November 23, 2003

Americas Coverage
It is great to know that there are gay and lesbian people in the US who really care about informing themselves and changing the world for the better.

Too often, people who have been historically discriminated against become complacent. The gay and lesbian identity could easily become just another "lifestyle choice," implying that the people they love are mere commodities or affections subject to a moment's whim.

This is why I commend some of the articles that I've read in The Gully, especially the articles concerning events in Latin America, an area with which most US people are incredibly ignorant.

We are humans-becoming, and not merely being. We must not mutely let the corrupt, fearful, powers-that-be define our reality for us, creating a world marked by ecological destruction, violence, and hatred. No, some of us will not obey — no how, no way.

Keep thinking and helping develop a better world.

Steven Hunt
Orlando, FL
July 28, 2003

US Elections 2004
In November 2004, U.S. citizens will elect their new President. The outcome of these elections directly influences the lives of citizens around the world.

In an effort to establish global democracy, theworldvotes.org gives people all around the world a voice in the forthcoming U.S. Presidential Election.

Ensure that your voice is heard by casting your vote electronically and add momentum to a worldwide drive to establish global democracy.

With best regards,

Wiebe de Jager
Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy
Korte Vijverberg 2
2513 AB The Hague
The Netherlands
July 25, 2003

An Unusual Point of View
The letter by Peter Anestos responding to my article AIDS and Human Rights in Cuba: A Personal Memoir presents a rather unusual point of view. I, too, am against hijacking and terrorism. But I also believe in a fair trial. The hijackers who were executed were captured on Monday, April 7th, tried in a trial that lasted several hours on April 8th, and convicted and sentenced to death. The "appeal" process took two days, and they were executed by firing squad on April 11th. Does Mr. Anestos really think that this is reasonable. If so, why not just shoot them on the spot?

And one of the dissidents sentenced to 25 years in prison was sentenced for the crime of "maintaining contact with foreign journalists." Does Mr. Anestos equate maintaining contact with foreign journalists about issues related to politics as a crime worthy of 25 years in prison?

Richard Stern
San José, Costa Rica
June 1, 2003

WHO's Health?
This week in Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization (WHO) representatives are gathered for the annual World Health Assembly. But one nation that desires nothing more than to cooperate with the WHO to protect the health of its people, and all people, is barred from attending. As in years past, Beijing's bullying has ensured that Taiwan is denied any role in the WHO. The ongoing global outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has demonstrated to the world just how unfair, irrational, and dangerous excluding Taiwan from the WHO is.

When the health and safety of millions is at stake, political posturing must be dispensed with. The world has learned as much by watching in horror as Beijing stalled and denied the severity of the SARS epidemic, leaving their own people scared and confused and allowing the virus to spread abroad. Taiwan's 23 million people need representation in the world's largest and most important health organization. If the WHO truly has "health for all" as its goal, Taiwan must be allowed to join fully in efforts to fight SARS and be granted a role in the WHO now.

Jung-tzung Yih
Director, Information Division
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York
May 20, 2003

Cuba Free and Open
In his piece, AIDS and Human Rights in Cuba: A Personal Memoir, Richard Stern admits that people with AIDS in Cuba "are satisfied" and receive "good medical attention, that retroviral treatment programs are widely accessible, that the country has the lowest incidence of AIDS in the region, and that, according to his star witness, "Cheo," there is no discrimination. But, he says, human rights matters "do not exist" there. Apparently the human right to life with dignity — a right largely denied to people with AIDS in the "democratic" United States — doesn't rate much in Stern's moral universe.

As for the recent crackdown, I find it "astounding," to borrow Stern's word, that he would dignify violent hijackers, kidnappers, and paid agents of a hostile foreign power with the name "dissidents." In its ongoing war of survival against the mightiest power on Earth, a war that has featured invasion, terrorist attacks, mass murder and an ever-tightening economic embargo, what is "astounding" about restrictions on free and open assembly in Cuba is not how many there are, but how few.

Peter Anestos
San Francisco, CA
May 15, 2003

Out and Proud — Of Death Penalty
I am writing in response to your article, Oklahoma Kills Black Lesbian. I am a native Oklahoman as well as a lesbian. I am offended that you feel Wanda Jean Allen was only put to death because she was black and a "queer." Have you forgotten that she took the life of another human being? Or was it OK for her to commit murder because she was black and a lesbian?

As a person that has lost a close family member to murder by a spouse, I wonder what kind of value you are placing on the victim's life. Does the killer really deserve to live if they have taken the life of another? I don't think so.

I'm proud that our state has the guts to put convicted criminals on death row to death.

Tashonda Dixon
Oklahoma City, OK
February 26, 2003

Support Australian Transsexuals
The Gully has been supportive of Australian queer rights in the past with articles like Gay Labor Goes Global in Australia. We are writing to ask Gully readers to support transsexual rights in Australia by way of a simple email letter.

Our network is lobbying the government in Victoria to recognise people of transsexual background by providing birth certificates that show the true sex of the individual. Victoria is the only one of the Australian States that does not have legislated provisions to do this. Our submission can be viewed at our website at http://www.w-o-m-a-n.net.

To help us, please write to our State Attorney-General, Hon. Rob Hulls MP at rob.hulls@parliament.vic.gov.au with a copy to his Senior Legal Adviser, Louise Glanville at louise.glanville@justice.vic.gov.au. Tell Attorney-General Hulls this is a very important human rights issue with international ramifications.

The Victoria State Government is labor-friendly and Mr. Hulls is personally supportive of us, but they have to be sure that we have the facts right and sufficient outside support for this. A copy of those letters for our membership would also be appreciated.

Yours in solidarity,

Kate Clarke
Karen Gurney
AUSTRALIAN W-O-M-A-N NETWORK
http://www.w-o-m-a-n.net
February 8, 2003

Church Scandal Coverage
Over the past year, Boston-area survivors of clergy sexual abuse have grown increasingly distressed by omissions and distortions in Boston Globe reporting on the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

We have been particularly dismayed by the Boston Globe's underreporting on female victims, both because these stories are intrinsically important, and because ignoring female victims supports the Vatican's efforts to define the scandal as a "homosexual problem" as detailed in The Gully's, Priests' Forgotten Victims.

The Boston Globe should be held accountable for dismissing female victims, promoting public misperception of gay men, and resurrecting the notion that the first order of business in sex abuse cases is to put victims on trial.

Please help to protect the rights of survivors and prevent the Church from inflicting further harm by signing our letter of protest available at http://www.parcc.org. We are grateful for your help.

Susan Gallagher
Promoting Accurate Reporting on the Crisis in the Church
Boston, MA
February 5, 2003

Opposition Isn't Enough
I was so glad to read Cogswell's common sense article, Opposition Isn't Enough. I am a gay man living in Atlanta, GA and I am tired of opposing the other side just because it's the other side. Why is the gay vote just given to the Democrats? What have they done for us?

We would get more laws passed in our favor by leaving our support up for grabs. I don't automatically give my vote to anyone. I email, call, and ask questions about the issues that concern me like being able to form families, leave an inheritance to my loved ones, and pursue happiness like any other American.

Chris Mills
Atlanta, GA
February 2, 2003

The Oily Roots of Media Bias in Venezuela
Thanks to Carlos Rennseler for the information concerning the media bias in Venezuela in Venezuela's Media Mindshock. He makes important connections ignored in U.S. reports when he writes,

"There is no attempt whatsoever at independent coverage, let alone honest journalistic investigation. The worst is Venevisión, owned by multimillionaire Gustavo Cisneros, who also controls Univisión, the biggest Spanish-language network in the United States."

The connection: Cisneros and Bush Sr. and families are close friends: Bush = oil. Venezuela = oil. Is there a connection? I think so.

Millie Seewald
Silver City, NM
January 2, 2003

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