S/he said: Catholics, DADT and coming out

By |2018-01-15T21:09:22-05:00April 1st, 2010|Opinions|

compiled by Howard Israel

“What’s fascinating in the steady onslaught of new incidences of previous cover-ups of child rape and molestation in the Catholic hierarchy is the notion that the hierarchs tended to see child rape as a sin rather than a crime. Hence the emphasis on forgiveness, therapy, repentance – rather than removal, prosecution and investigation. Obviously, there’s one reason for this: they were defending the reputation of the church by hiding its darkest secrets, and they were using the authority of religion to do so.”
– Andrew Sullivan, in his blog titled “Sin Or Crime?,” about the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com, March 25.

“The first definition of tolerance is a capacity to endure pain or hardship. The second definition is sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices that differ from or conflict with one’s own. The third definition is the allowable deviation from the standard. Is this what the LGBT community at large wants from America – tolerance? I do not want to be tolerated. I do not want people to feel that they are enduring pain by giving the LGBT community equal rights. I certainly do not want their sympathy or indulgence of me. Of course, I do not think that our community is a deviation from any standard; we just are. So, why do I constantly see arguments in the LGBT press extolling tolerance of us from the larger community or suggestions that we should be tolerated? What I want, and I hope the community at large wants, is acceptance.”
– Stampp Corbin, in his column titled “Words Have Meaning,” http://gltnewsnow.com, March 10.

“The notion that today’s military members are uncomfortable around gay and lesbian people is unfounded; the data prove it is untrue. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans say they are personally comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians. Seven in ten Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are personally comfortable, including 37 percent who are very comfortable. Only a quarter is uncomfortable and hardly anyone is very uncomfortable (only 7 percent). Notably, younger Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are more comfortable overall and show increased intensity around the issue (41 percent are very comfortable). Older Iraq and Afghanistan veterans also express comfort (69 percent overall, 35 percent very comfortable) but even among older veterans, very few are very uncomfortable in the presence of gay and lesbian people (only 7 percent). At least seven in ten veterans who served in Iraq of Afghanistan from across the branches say they are comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians.
– From a press release titled “Bi-Partisan Poll Of Iraq and Afghanistan Vets on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” about a recent survey conducted among military personnel who served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, http://www.VetVoiceFoundation.com, March 15.

“From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there’s not much ‘gay’ about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was – at least outwardly – totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style. … Gradually, the general attitude that I’d perceived around me began to change, and presently I find that there has emerged a distinctly healthy acceptance of different social styles of living … . In another two decades, I’m confident that young people will find themselves in a vastly improved atmosphere of acceptance.”
– James Randi, 81, as “The Amazing Randi,” magician and paranormal skeptic, publicly closeted for over 70 years, coming out in his blog titled “How To Say It?,” after watching the movie “Milk,” http://www.randi.org, March 21.

“LGBT Baby Boomers have withstood many years of discrimination and say their approach to retirement and aging has been shaped by these experiences. LGBT Boomers will approach retirement differently than the general population and most will delay retirement until they are 70. Largely single and living alone, they will rely more on close friends than family for support as they age. Boomers in the LGBT population, born between 1946 and 1964, advanced the gay rights movement. Born into a generation known for social activism, they were activists on a personal mission, forced to fight discrimination in school, in the workplace, in government, in society and among their own families. The result is a cohort of strong individuals who will continue to blaze trails as older Americans.”
– From a press release of new study titled “Still Out, Still Aging: The MetLife Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Baby Boomers,” initiate by Metlife’s Mature Market Institute and partnered with the American Society on Aging and the LGBT Aging Issues Network, http://www.echelonmagazine.com, March 18.

“Straight or gay, my generation sees homophobia as being openly racist.”
– Jeff Sheng, 29-year-old photographer, in an article titled “He Asked. They Told.,” about his book of photographs and comments of 30 closeted servicemen and servicewomen currently serving in the U.S. military and affected by its ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy, http://www.nytimes.com, March 17.

“The desire for male descendants has had many baleful consequences in China, and in recent years one that used to be hidden has come to light. Millions upon millions of women are trapped in loveless and often miserable marriages to homosexual men. Thanks to the Internet their cries for help have been heard widely enough in mainstream culture to earn their plight a commonly accepted abbreviation. They are known as ‘tongqi’, combing the words ‘tongzhi’, or comrade, Chinese slang for ‘gay’, with ‘qizi’, meaning ‘wife’ in Mandarin. It is estimated that 15-20 percent of gay men in America marry heterosexual women. A pioneering sexologist from the University of Shanghai has put the share in China at 90 percent.
– From an article titled “Homosexuality in China – Collateral damage,” http://www.economist.com, March 18.

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.