compiled by Howard Israel
“While any work that dares to address relevant cultural sensitivities might be misinterpreted by some or offend others, we believe the overwhelming majority of the audience will understand and appreciate the film’s inarguably positive intentions, which we’ve seen demonstrated whenever we have shown it.”
– Universal Studios in a statement concerning the controversial movie “Bruno,” The Huffington Post, July 21. The Sacha Baron Cohen movie was recently denounced by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which claimed that the movie reinforced negative stereotypes.
In today’s sports world, gay athletes reside firmly in the closet. They attend underground parties and live in the social shadows. They have been led to understand that for a man, being gay means being weak, and being perceived as ‘weak’ on the playing field means being done. They also disproportionately come from poor or working-class backgrounds. To risk their jobs is to risk their golden ticket. This is why the athletes who have come out of the closet have done so after they retire. The reasons for staying in the closet are manifest. The evangelical Christian organization Athletes in Action, with connections to groups that promote reparative therapy for gays and lesbians, holds sway in many locker rooms. Athletes commonly add ‘no homo’ after compliments, as in ‘That’s a nice shirt – no homo.’ Yes, the locker room is not exactly what anyone would call a nurturing environment.”
– Dave Zirin, sports columnist, in his blog titled “Who Will Break the Glass Closet,” examining the possibility of out gays and lesbians in professional sports, http://www.edgeofsports.com, July 1.
“There are some larger lessons here. Perhaps it is time to rethink the idea of constantly electing middle-aged heterosexual men to positions of high importance.”
– Gail Collins, in a column titled “The Love Party,” about South Carolina Republican Governor Mark Sanford’s confession that had been unfaithful to his wife by disappearing to Argentina where he was having an affair with a woman for the past year, New York Times, June 25. Governor Sanford is on record as opposing same-sex marriage, civil unions and gay adoptions.
“Oh, marital infidelity. You’re just another run-of-the-mill human being whose simple moralizing about the sanctity of marriage is only marred by the complexities of their own life. Well, just another politician with a conservative mind and a liberal penis.”
– Jon Stewart, host of “The Daily Show,” responding to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s admission of an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina, Huffington Post, June 25.
“When President Obama recently chose Sonia Sotomayor as his Supreme Court nominee, he singled out her ‘practical understanding of how the law works in the everyday lives of the American people.’ It is now time for Obama to apply that standard to the families of gays and lesbians who choose to serve in the United States military. A practical understanding of the effects of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ on the partners of gay service members would quickly reveal its failures. Any practical understanding of the effects of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ would reveal that the law is ineffective, inequitable and should be repealed immediately.”
– Abe Forman-Greenwald, producer of “In Their Boots,” a documentary series about the impact the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are having on the families of service members, including the partners of gay and lesbian military personnel, in a column titled “The Hidden Effects of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, ” http://www.AlterNet.org, June 23.