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International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
YHAJAIRA MARCANO BRAVO, VENEZUELAN TRANS ACTIVIST HAD TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY DUE TO POLICE HARASSMENT AND IS ASKING FOR PROTECTION
Date: May, 22nd, 2006
仙台クラシックフェスティバル 概要を発表 ３日間で１０１公演 (読売・宮城版 2006/05/17朝刊)
チケットは来月２３日から発売。詳細はホームページ（ http://www.bunka.city.sendai.jp/sencla/ ）。
［クラシック小話］モーツァルト／交響曲第３９番 野中圀亨（寄稿） (読売・西部版 2006/05/17夕刊)
’０６米中間選挙：風は吹くのか／５ 分裂する道徳観 保守層取り込む切り札 (毎日 2006/05/20)
毎日新聞 2006年5月20日 東京朝刊
New York Post Editorial
JIM MCGREEVEY'S NON-CONFESSION
May 23, 2006 -- Well, look who's back.
Disgraced former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey resurfaced this week to hawk his new book, "The Confession."
Good title - for McGreevey is a man with much to confess.
Sex sells, and McGreevey plainly wants sales: His book focuses mainly on the events and lifestyle that led up to his dramatic departure from politics two years ago - when he declared to the world that he was a "gay American."
But while an autobiography is obviously the author's effort to tell the story of his life, the writer's not entitled to his own set of facts. And the emphasis on clandestine trysts keeps in the background - in the closet? - a more uncomfortable truth.
Jim McGreevey is not the first politician to be caught up in a sex scandal.
And he's not the first to be brought low by a scandal involving gay sex.
What made McGreevey's confessional so memorable is that it was likely the first time a politician admitted to an affair to draw attention away from the far broader corruption that permeated his administration.
No, McGreevey wasn't the first Jersey pol to engage in pay-to-play influence-peddling - but he certainly took it to new levels.
But the ultimate reason McGreevey was driven from office is simple: He appointed a person with whom he was having a sexual relationship - Israeli-born Golan Cipel - to a highly sensitive office for which he was manifestly unqualified.
With a War on Terror under way, the governor installed his boyfriend - a non-resident immigrant who couldn't pass a background check - as state homeland security chief.
Were Cipel a woman and all other details the same, McGreevey would have - appropriately - been run out of town with nary a second thought.
Alas, the gay angle conveniently obscures all that - and lets McGreevey play for sympathy as a tortured soul forced to lead a double life.
As opposed to just another garden-variety corrupt elected official from New Jersey.
Which he was, in spades.
The New York Times
N.Y. / Region
McGreevey Says Political Career Was Pursued as Painful Lie
By DAVID W. CHEN
Published: May 23, 2006
TRENTON, May 22 — Former Gov. James E. McGreevey was so determined to climb up New Jersey's political ladder that he hid the fact that he was gay by masquerading as a womanizer, according to an excerpt from his memoir, scheduled to be published in September.
Mr. McGreevey's political drive and ambition made it easy for him to recognize and accept that he would have to lie the rest of his life, according to the excerpt. Yet the secret of his homosexuality compelled him to engage in anonymous gay sex at bookstores and highway rest stops, though the excerpt does not say when or where those encounters took place.
Mr. McGreevey, a Democrat who was elected governor in 2001, disclosed his sexual orientation in August 2004 when he announced that he was resigning from office because of an extramarital affair with a man he did not identify. Aides to Mr. McGreevey said the man was the governor's former homeland security adviser.
The excerpt from Mr. McGreevey's memoir, titled "The Confession," was released in Washington over the weekend at BookExpo America, the publishing industry's annual convention, and was first reported on Sunday by The Star-Ledger of Newark.
But in interviews on Monday, the book's publisher, Judith Regan, and friends of Mr. McGreevey who have read other chapters, said that the memoir goes well beyond his struggles as a twice-married gay man who kept his sexuality secret. They also say that the book serves as a kind of behind-the-scenes manual to the levers of power, politics and money in New Jersey.
"The book is very frank about New Jersey politics, and he's going to name names," Ms. Regan said in an interview on Monday. "He's very frank about what politicians need to do about getting elected. And I think it takes a lot of courage to say this is what happened."
Mr. McGreevey, 48, has generally kept a low profile since leaving office in November 2004. But his official portrait as governor is scheduled to be unveiled at the New Jersey State House in a private ceremony this summer. And after his book is published on Sept. 19, he is scheduled to make an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show.
In a 16-page section released over the weekend, Mr. McGreevey talks about trying desperately to reconcile his public ambition and his private reality through a "metaphorical amputation." He writes achingly about other closeted gay men, like Roy Cohn and Rock Hudson.
But he says that he learned how to pretend by watching how others acted in a world in which "sex and politics are inexorably intermingled" in New Jersey political life.
Tales of torment: First look at McGreevey book
Sunday, May 21, 2006
BY JOSH MARGOLIN
Newark Star-Ledger Staff
WASHINGTON -- Former Gov. James E. McGreevey felt as if he were "marching slowly into hell" as he fought to overcome his homosexuality and failed, engaging in anonymous trysts with men at highway rest stops even as he polished the image that would propel him to the state's highest office, he writes in his tell-all memoir.
McGreevey's publisher released 16 pages of excerpts from the book, "The Confession," yesterday at Book Expo America, the publishing industry's largest annual convention.
The former governor, in his first public event since resigning from office in a gay sex scandal 21 months ago, spent about 90 minutes on the floor of the Washington Convention Center, signing copies of the excerpts and exchanging pleasantries with scores of people who lined up to meet him. The 384-page book is due out Sept. 19.
"I'm doing great," McGreevey, 48, said in a brief interview afterward. "I'm in a good place."
McGreevey's easy manner stood in contrast to the tone of the excerpts, which portray a tortured man struggling to subjugate desires demonized by his Catholic faith and by his family. Disclosure of his secret, he was certain, would derail the political career he coveted.
"I knew I would have to lie for the rest of my life -- and I knew I was capable of it," McGreevey writes. "The knowledge gave me a feeling of terrible power."
Nowhere in the excerpts does McGreevey mention Golan Cipel, the one-time aide with whom the governor engaged in an extramarital affair. Indeed, the excerpts don't delve at all into the scandal, which exploded into view Aug. 12, 2004, the day McGreevey told a nationally televised news conference, "I am a gay American."
Also absent are potshots at McGreevey's political foes.
He does, however, comment on the role that sex plays in New Jersey politics, saying the two are "inexorably intermingled."
He calls the annual League of Municipalities conference in Atlantic City, for example, a "pickup convention."
"All around me, pickups were taking place in plain sight," McGreevey writes. "People would be talking about the event for weeks to come -- who got lucky, who got stiffed, and what everybody else thought about it.
"This was a terrible place not to be straight."
That connection between sex and politics also could be found in New Jersey's go-go bars, which McGreevey says he frequented as a way to deny his homosexuality, both to himself and to others.
"It was amazing to me how often we ran into local political operatives in such places -- because a great deal of New Jersey's backroom business is conducted by men while folding bills into the waistbands of women dancing in their laps," he writes. "It was like ancient Rome, or some tawdry modern variant in which aspiring politicians did their level best to be seen at clubs with names like VIP and Cheeques. I was one of those young men."
Much of what was released yesterday focuses on McGreevey's inner turmoil and his attempts to become a straight man. He stared at Playboy centerfolds. He prayed. He read psychology texts. And he turned increasingly toward sex with women.
"As the years went on, I became as avid a womanizer as anybody else on the New Jersey political scene," McGreevey writes. "But my attraction was largely artificial, my sexual performance a triumph of mind over matter."
What he really craved, he writes, was a relationship with a man, and because he couldn't have one out in the open, he resorted to hushed encounters.
"As glorious and meaningful as it would have been to have a loving and sound sexual experience with another man, I knew I'd have to undo my happiness step by step as I began chasing my dream of a public career and the kind of 'acceptable' life that went with it," McGreevey writes.
"So, instead, I settled for the detached anonymity of bookstores and rest stops -- a compromise, but one that was wholly unfulfilling and morally unsatisfactory."
Because McGreevey gives no sense of place or time for such encounters, it's impossible to know how far along he was in his political career when they took place.
Throughout his political rise, from state Parole Board member to Woodbridge mayor to governor, McGreevey became a student of human behavior, a means to help him carry on the charade.
"I studied the moves, figured out what worked and what didn't, practiced and perfected my perfect inauthenticity," he writes.
The excerpts do not touch on his two marriages. McGreevey's first wife, Kari Schutz, lives in British Columbia, Canada, with the couple's 13-year-old daughter, Morag. McGreevey separated from his second wife, Dina Matos, after his resignation. Matos lives in Springfield with 4-year-old Jacqueline, the couple's daughter.
McGreevey called writing the book a "tough process" and joked that "The Confession" was "on the ninth redraft." He collaborated on the book with David France, an author and former investigative reporter.
"It's painfully honest," McGreevey said. He declined to elaborate beyond adding that he believed "a lot will resonate with readers."
McGreevey's publisher is banking on that. ReganBooks, a division of HarperCollins, will pay the former governor up to $500,000 for his memoir. When the book is released in September, McGreevey is to embark on a national promotional tour, including a scheduled interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The book already can be ordered on Amazon.com, which is packaging it with the gay cowboy film "Brokeback Mountain."
Book Expo America -- where publicists, authors, editors and distributors converge -- is a good place to tout upcoming offerings, and McGreevey's publisher, Judith Regan, wasted no time in doing so.
"He's more honest than, I think, any author that I've ever published," said Regan, who has released books by such celebrities as Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern. "Both personally and professionally, he's telling all."
She said that while most politicians have been trained not to reveal their secrets for fear of losing their jobs, McGreevey has overcome that taboo.
Yesterday he seemed completely at ease. He walked into the expo with his usual wave and sat down, black marker in hand, as a line of people waited for him. He posed for photos with some autograph-seekers and exchanged handshakes or hugs with others.
As each person approached, McGreevey looked intently at the name tag and greeted each one by first name. Some called him "Jim." Others stuck with "Governor." For each one, McGreevey had a broad smile and his familiar "How ya' doin'?"
By the end of the 90-minute session, he had signed more than 125 copies of the excerpts.
Some asked McGreevey whether he had a love interest at the moment.
That love interest, Manhattan financial adviser Mark O'Donnell, accompanied McGreevey to Washington but did not attend the expo. The two recently have been house-shopping in Union County. In the meantime, McGreevey continues to live in a two-bedroom rental apartment in Rahway.
Those who showed up to meet McGreevey expressed support.
Edward Thomas of Ridgewood was ecstatic to be photographed with the man he voted for twice, during McGreevey's unsuccessful run for governor in 1997 and when McGreevey won in November 2001.
"He's a high-profile gay man," Thomas said. "We need more of those. It's very difficult to come out of the closet."
Peter Balis, director of online sales for the Wiley publishing group in Hoboken, talked with McGreevey about marketing.
Balis said McGreevey may have a hard time selling the book.
"I think it's going to be a book that's going to require some unique marketing," Balis said. "I think he had a lot of fans in New Jersey, but he's going to have to do a lot of outreach to the (gay and lesbian) community if he's going to sell as many copies as Judith Regan hopes he's going to sell."
While the excerpts released yesterday do contain some salacious bits, they also contain the kind of workaday material common to political memoirs: a recounting of McGreevey's education, his family life and his aspirations.
He writes at length about a relationship with a woman he met at Catholic University. Later, when McGreevey went to Harvard for a graduate degree in education in 1981, he reconnected with her. McGreevey doesn't name the woman, referring to her by the pseudonym "Laura."
She would serve as a date for him -- his "beard" -- when needed.
"Had I been straight, I surely would have fallen in love with her," McGreevey writes.
In the absence of romantic fulfillment, McGreevey pursued a career in politics with an almost single-minded purpose, and he believed a job at the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office would help him.
He landed the job through a family connection, McGreevey writes, calling the process his "first taste of politics New Jersey-style."
McGreevey believed he could mask his ambition, much as he had his homosexuality. But he writes in the book that a colleague, Caroline Meuly, saw through the facade.
"She saw something much more private," McGreevey writes. "Not my sexuality, but my ambition, especially my naked intention to use this job as a stepping stone to political office."
Staff writers Mark Mueller, John Wihbey, Nyier Abdou, Joe Ryan and Kathleen G. Sutcliffe contributed to this report.
Feminist Daily News Wire
May 23, 2006
California Senate Bill Set to Improve Equality of Education for LGBT Youth
The state of California is one step closer to achieving equity in education for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, after a bill introduced to the state legislature by openly gay state Senator Sheila Kuehl was passed by the Senate. Current anti-discrimination laws include protections for students based on race, sex, disability, and religion. California State Senate Bill 1437 (SB 1437) would amend the law to include categories of sexual orientation and gender to existing criteria used to create courses of study designed to promote diversity in the public school curriculum. In addition, SB 1437 would prohibit the inclusion of official teaching materials that reflect adversely on people because of their sexual orientation or gender.
Research by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Net demonstrates that harassment based on sexual orientation causes an increase in suicide rates and truancy in LGBT students. Kuehl’s office notes that most perpetrators of hate crimes believe they are not breaking any social norms by attacking those they perceive to be lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual. Inclusion of LGBT contributions to the larger curriculum can then create a safer environment for students by increasing awareness of issues among peers: A study by the National Center for Lesbian Rights found that 67 percent of students in a study who were taught LGBT issues in the curriculum felt safer at school.
If the bill passes, curriculum may include such items as the 1978 assassination of San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk or the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion in New York. Initially introduced on February 22, the bill passed in the Senate earlier this month and currently awaits a hearing in the State Assembly in the coming weeks, followed by consideration by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Gays' place in textbooks: Debate is on
By Judy Lin -- Sacramento Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 12:01 am PDT Monday, May 22, 2006
Story appeared on Page A12 of The Sacramento Bee
Lance Chih first read Walt Whitman's inspiring poetry in his state-approved 10th-grade literature textbook. It was easy for the newly out-of-the-closet teen to connect with the beloved poet's messages, particularly those about celebrating one's own individuality and identity.
"The ones we read in class, it meant something to me," said Chih, now 18 and about to graduate from Folsom High School.
He thinks it would have been helpful, though, to learn, too, that Whitman's groundbreaking lines carried more than one man's view on slavery, the working man and the American landscape. Whitman's work, such as the Calamus poems, a series written in 1860 that articulated intense affection between males, later made him the poster child for the gay liberation movement.
But Chih didn't learn that in class. He learned it a year later through his own readings and through friends in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Right now, California textbooks rarely broach the subject of sexual orientation. Students like Chih might see brief references to gays or lesbians in their social science textbooks, such as when being taught about the AIDS epidemic.
Senate Bill 1437, a state measure recently approved by the Senate that will now be vetted in the Assembly, seeks to change that by recognizing the contributions of the LGBT community in the social science curriculum in the same way the state has come to recognize the achievements of women and minorities.
The measure as currently drafted doesn't spell out how that would be accomplished; those decisions would be left up to the California Board of Education.
Supporters say passage of the bill could perhaps prompt teachers to expand a class discussion on literary greats like Whitman and Oscar Wilde, who was convicted and jailed for homosexuality. They say history books could teach about the gay rights movement and California politicians like Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to serve on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Opponents argue that the bill is unnecessary and carries an ulterior motive -- to force schools to promote homosexuality and alternative lifestyles. Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families, calls SB 1437 a terrible infringement on a parent's rights because it teaches about something they may not support.
"It's a deceptively written bill that would do tremendous harm to our children," Thomasson said.
"The core of the bill is an absolute mandate requiring all textbooks, all instructional materials and all school-sponsored activities to positively portray transsexuals, bisexuals and homosexuals as role models for children as young as kindergarten."
Even if the bill makes it to the governor's desk, it's unclear whether he would sign it. While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed several gay rights bills, he vetoed one that would have legalized same-sex marriages.
The Republican governor has not taken a position on SB 1437. Neither has the state Board of Education, an 11-member body appointed by the governor.
Charged with adopting textbooks for grades K-8 and interpreting legislation, the board reviews the social studies curriculum every six years. The next time will be in 2009, with revised textbooks expected to reach classrooms in 2011.
Currently, the state's social sciences curriculum framework -- the blueprint on what schools should teach -- does not address gays. However, the state does say districts may consider holding a "factual, substantiated discussion" about homosexuality for middle and high school students in their health classes.
Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, who wrote SB 1437, sees it as a natural progression of the times. A statute was first inserted into state education code in 1968 to recognize the contributions of "American Negroes, American Indians and Mexicans." The statute has been revised over the years to erase politically incorrect terms and to include women and Asians.
Kuehl made history herself as the first openly gay lawmaker elected in California.
Equity California, which sponsored the bill, had lobbied unsuccessfully to include gays in textbooks the last time the Board of Education conducted a review, said Geoff Kors, executive director of the LGBT advocacy group. The Board of Education is advised on the changes by a curriculum commission made up of 12 members.
"What prompted us was the lack of inclusion," Kors said. "All the studies showed that there's a devastatingly high rate of suicide among these youth."
A national survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, found that bullying and harassment of LGBT youth remain pervasive in schools.
The survey showed that three out of four students hear derogatory remarks frequently at school. Nearly nine out of 10 students hear "that's so gay" in reference to being stupid or worthless.
Kors said an adverse climate contributes to lower grade point averages among these youths and a higher propensity to drop out.
Sen. Bill Morrow, R-Oceanside, agreed that bullying and harassment have no place in school. However, he doesn't believe the bill is a panacea.
Morrow, who spoke out against the bill on the Senate floor, called the legislation unnecessary, noting there's nothing in the state's education code preventing schools or teachers from discussing homosexuality.
"It's not unreasonable to ask our school officials and those setting the curriculum ... to use their common sense," Morrow said. "If there is a logical link that the person's sexual proclivity has influenced their contributions, then by all means."
One example he used was California's gay rights movement. "It is part of our history, it is part of our present," Morrow said.
Opponents suggested the bill may even backfire on teachers who don't call attention to the contribution of gays.
"If they don't do it under this bill, they'd be subject to lawsuits," Morrow said.
Chih, a soft-spoken teen, can speak only from his own experience. The same year he came out to his father, he found himself sitting in his bedroom holding a kitchen knife to his wrist. Another time he took antidepressants and chased them with a bottle of Advil.
In his first suicide attempt, he left a voice mail on his high school counselor's phone.
"You told me to call whenever I thought about hurting myself, and I'm thinking about it now," Chih said, reciting his message.
Police officers arrived 15 minutes later and Chih was taken to a hospital, and later transferred to a mental hospital. Several relapses followed before he recovered.
"There was this emptiness. I just felt like I was falling, but not falling," said Chih, who has found new purpose advocating for gay rights.
Chih said he has had to seek out his own heroes in literature. A swimmer who once competed in the butterfly and freestyle relays, Chih admires the story of Olympic diver Greg Louganis, who revealed he was HIV positive when he hit his head in the 1988 Seoul Games and bled into the pool. He later came out as a gay man in his memoir, "Breaking the Surface." He now has AIDS.
While Chih had to wander the aisles of bookstores to find such heroes, he's hoping other students will only have to open their textbooks.
"These people that are already being taught having done great things -- to find out they're gay and have done great things. What we're hoping for is with that knowledge, (students) are not going to be as closed-minded or bigoted," Chih said.
Thomasson, of the Campaign for Children and Families, countered that a person's sexual practice has no place in academics.
"Does that mean kids have to learn who Abe Lincoln slept with?" he asked. "It detracts from it. It makes young kids squirm and giggle and older kids think the talk is about sex instead of somebody's true achievement."
The debate has already reached some classrooms. John Barris, who has taught English, history and other social science classes at Cordova High School for more than three decades, brought in a newspaper article about SB 1437 and ignited a class debate.
Barris believes the achievements of gays should be taught in the classroom, but that teachers need not identify them as gay.
He said Kuehl's bill is flawed because a teacher's decisions should be based on the accomplishments and contributions of that individual, not his or her sexual orientation.
"I'm not going to teach that (homosexuality is) good or bad," Barris said. "I'm not going to leave you out, but I'm not going to put you in just because you're gay."
Chih believes there are lessons to learn. For example, the gay rights movement was sparked by civil disobedience. The 1969 Stonewall riots in New York was one of the first times in modern history a significant body of gay people resisted arrest when police raided gay bars.
Students whose memories may include the slaying of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard in 1998 could get a civics lesson on the subsequent push for hate crimes prevention.
"It's not talked about in U.S. history. It should be," Chih said.
About the writer:
The Bee's Judy Lin can be reached at (916) 321-1115 or email@example.com.
Los Angeles Times
School textbooks should be inclusive
May 20, 2006
Re "The fallacy of feel-good history," Opinion, May 16
I am a bit more comfortable with textbook publishers giving a "feel-good," inclusive, egalitarian, even pride-inducing history than with Diane Ravitch's version of history in which she would instill humility and a recognition of folly in the "pressure groups" she cites. A textbook is a starting place for young scholars, and it can be taught as such, not as the official history or the final word.
As for the dull writing, I would think the state Board of Education is able to influence that a bit. Do inclusiveness and sensitivity preclude drama and engaging narrative?
Ravitch worries that, with California's requirements that history texts portray all segments of the population equally rather than focusing exclusively on rich white men, the history being taught will become "inaccurate and dishonest."
I presume she must mean relative to the texts of my childhood — the ones that taught us how Columbus "discovered" America, how European immigrants "settled" the continent, how Abraham Lincoln single-handedly freed the slaves (who didn't really have it that bad) and how that nice man Woodrow Wilson one day decided to let women vote.
If California requires future historians to remind us that real history is made by the heroic struggles of real people of all sexes, ages, religions, races, incomes, sexual orientations and ability levels, this will be a vast improvement.
San Francisco Chronicle
One for the textbooks
- Debra J. Saunders
Sunday, May 21, 2006
THE MORE irrelevant a bill is, the more likely it is to pass in the California state Senate. This month the Senate passed by a 22-15 vote SB1437, sponsored by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, that would require that California textbooks contain "age appropriate" information about the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in California and American history.
For those of you unfamiliar with Kuehl, she is the child actress who played Zelda in "The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis," as well as the first openly lesbian state legislator. Ergo, if passed in the Assembly and signed by the governor, her bill likely would place Kuehl in California textbooks.
That's nice for Kuehl, but I cannot believe it is good for California students. When close to 11 percent of seniors have flunked the high-school exit exam -- thanks to a Superior Court judge, they now can flunk the test and still graduate -- it is clear that California students need more education, not more political indoctrination.
There is every reason to believe this legislation would dumb down history. Kuehl points out that in the past the Legislature has required textbooks that note the contributions of women, blacks, Native Americans, Mexicans, Asians and Pacific Islanders. The result can be academic tokenism -- inflating, for example, the role of women in American history when women lacked the power to change the course of events.
A more intellectually honest -- and scholarly -- approach would be to require history texts to explore the everyday lives of ordinary people. That moves history class away from the old white guys and onto the lives of women, blacks, Indians, Mexicans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, as well as homosexuals -- without telling textbook publishers what they have to say and how to say it.
Yo. Since homosexuality has been taboo in America, most gay public figures were in the closet. In a sense, then, SB1437 sends this message to historians: Guess.
It is scary to ponder which historic figures pandering publishers might decide to "out" -- gay or not. Abe Lincoln? He shared a bed with a man, didn't he? Eleanor Roosevelt? She had a close friendship with a female reporter. J. Edgar Hoover? Sorry, he was just reputed to wear dresses, so he doesn't qualify for the chapter on important contributions by transgenders.
Arguments in favor of the bill have hardly been academic. Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, told her son that if the British hadn't jailed Oscar Wilde for homosexuality "he could have been as great as Shakespeare." Talk about your tangled web.
Then there's that old standby that if California doesn't pass laws that essentially promote homosexuality, children will die. Kuehl argued, "Silence and biased messages about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people only promotes negative stereotypes and this, in turn, can lead to discrimination, harassment and violence." A Senate analysis suggested the bill could prevent teen suicides.
All hail, as New York University professor Jonathan Zimmerman wrote in The Chronicle, "history as therapy."
Or call it history as propaganda. I have no desire to gay-bash, as I recognize the trauma gay men and lesbians endure growing up in America. But there are plenty of other kids who struggle and suffer through their teens. Fat kids. Nerds. Devoutly religious kids who think homosexuality is a sin. You can't create a curriculum for all those roots of angst.
What bothers me the most is the left's -- be it noted, all those who voted for the bill were Democrats -- apparent scorn for knowledge as a jewel in and of itself. This bill threatens to rewrite history as gay advocates want it to have been, not as it really happened.
SB1437 highlights the intolerance of the gay lobby. Kuehl may think she is pushing tolerance, when in fact she is forcing her ideology onto other people's children -- whether they like it or not.
Page E - 7
同動きを受けて、同性愛者の権利拡大運動を行っているNGO, Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation（MOVILH）と私立ディエゴ・ポルタレス大学法学部人権プログラムの代表は、草案を作成中。同大学で５月９日開催された「同性シビル・ユニオンフォーラム」においてその内容が明らかにされた。
Law on Civil Union for Gays Within Reach
SANTIAGO, May 17 (IPS) - Chile may soon have a law to regulate the inheritance rights of both homosexual and unmarried heterosexual couples, according to activists and lawyers who are working on a draft version of the law.
Legal provision for common law couples was widely discussed during the last election campaign, and was included in the government plan of Michelle Bachelet, who became president in March and heads a centre-left coalition made up of the Socialist Party, the Party For Democracy, the Christian Democrat Party and the Radical Social Democratic Party.
Her rival, rightwing businessman Sebastián Piñera, was also in favour of the initiative, although his ally in the run-off ballot, Joaquín Lavín of the conservative Independent Democratic Union, proclaimed his total opposition to legalising civil unions for homosexuals.
In the present favourable political scenario, representatives of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH) and of the Human Rights Programme of the Faculty of Law at the private Diego Portales University are drawing up a draft law that will benefit common law heterosexual couples as well as gays and lesbians.
"MOVILH is promoting social participation in putting this draft law together, because we want the process to be as transparent, democratic and participative as possible," the movement's president, Rolando Jiménez, told IPS. Jiménez also actively promoted the anti-discrimination law that is in its final stages in parliament, and is expected to be enacted within the next few months.
Details of the new draft law were made public at a May 9 Forum on Same-Sex Civil Unions in Chile, held at the Diego Portales University. Panelists included Jiménez, Carlos Pizarro, a lawyer specialised in civil law, and Miguel Angel Sánchez, a leader of Spain's gay rights movement.
Sánchez is the head of the non-governmental Triangle Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting equal rights for sexual minorities in Spain, and is presently concerned with establishing cooperative links with similar organisations in Latin America.
"I have found that Chilean GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual) organisations, especially MOVILH, are tremendously active, and are setting forth very serious proposals," Sánchez, who finds many similarities between Chilean and Spanish society on this issue, commented to IPS.
"The first reaction is rejection due to a lack of knowledge, because it seems as though we are demanding special rights. But when well-intentioned people, who are the majority, begin to see that our families are just like their families, the perception changes and they accept that people's happiness comes first," he added.
During his visit, Sánchez spoke about the struggle engaged in by the GLBT community in Spain over the past 30 years, which achieved a landmark victory in June 2005, when the Spanish Congress approved a modification of the Civil Code allowing same-sex marriages.
Apart from Spain, where 15,000 couples have already been married, laws of this kind have only been passed in the Netherlands, Belgium and Canada. Civil unions, however, have enjoyed greater acceptance worldwide.
The Spanish activist, who himself got married a month ago, met with Francisco Estévez, the director of the Division of Social Organisations of the Ministry Secretariat-General of the presidency, on May 10. The Chilean gay movement has interpreted this meeting as a positive signal from the Bachelet administration.
"I'm not here to teach anybody anything, I've come to share our experiences in Spain, and to learn from our fellow activists in Chile, who are doing a great job," Sánchez stated.
"I think President Bachelet knows that politicians are there to serve the people of their country, and at present many of them suffer discrimination, a problem that must be solved so that we can make progress towards equality together," he added.
Sánchez emphasised that the legislation that MOVILH is promoting will benefit not only the gay and lesbian community, but also unmarried heterosexual couples, who have no legal protection of their social and property rights.
One of the forum participants, a gay Chilean man who has lived with his partner for 10 years, said that he had resorted to a number of legal manoeuvres in order to ensure that his partner would not be left destitute if he himself should have an accident or die.
The director of the Human Rights programme at Diego Portales University, Felipe González, told IPS that after discussing the draft law with social organisations, they would be meeting government officials and lawmakers to finetune the bill.
If all goes according to schedule, in a few months the government should introduce the draft law in the legislatures for fast track treatment, as otherwise "it will remain on the back burner of the parliamentary agenda," the lawyer said. It is hoped that Bachelet herself will sign the bill into law before her term ends in 2010.
In 2001, MOVILH drew up a draft law on civil unions which was submitted to Congress by 19 legislators, but was not adopted due to technical flaws.
"But it did place the demands of homosexuals in the eye of the public" said Jiménez, adding that surveys showed that 60 to 70 percent of the Chilean population were in favour of the initiative.
At the forum, some participants were unsure about what demands the Chilean homosexual movement might make in the future, once such a momentous gain as the right to civil unions has been achieved.
Jiménez warned that he thought political and social conditions were not yet ripe for issues like same-sex marriage, adoption and assisted fertility to be raised in Chile, but he assured his listeners that work would continue as energetically as before to achieve fully equal rights for sexual minorities.
Pizarro described the main points of the draft law on civil unions, stressing its provisions as to how possessions, inheritance and social security are to be treated, as well as how civil unions will be celebrated and how they can be terminated.
"The city of Buenos Aires already has a law on civil unions, and the Argentine gay community has presented a similar draft law at the national level, which has a good chance of being approved," Sánchez said.
"Similar draft laws also exist in Brazil and Colombia," a fact which encourages the activist to believe that this is a process that will spread throughout all the countries in the region. (END/2006)
The New York Times
May 23, 2006
In a Fight Against the 'Governator,' California Democrats Lack a Superhero
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
SAN FRANCISCO May 19 — As a rule, when the goal is to unseat a governor recognized in every nation where televisions are sold, who has enjoyed moments of wild popularity, and whose locution includes phrases like "girly men," it is good to avoid references to "procurement reform."
But it is this sort of earnest stuff — plus promises to repair California's budget, improve its education system, protect the environment and pressure businesses to provide health insurance — that makes for the Democratic primary campaign here.
Two fixtures of Democratic politics — Phil Angelides, the state treasurer who made a fortune as a real estate developer, and Steve Westly, the controller who made even more money as an early employee of eBay — are in a battle to take on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, in November.
For each of the Democrats, the challenge is not simply to convince voters that it is time to evict Mr. Schwarzenegger from Sacramento, but that they should return the tutelage of the state to a person with a political résumé not so unlike that of Gray Davis, the humdrum party insider recalled from office in 2003.
For Democrats nationwide, the primary on June 6 is more than another local race. It is a precursor to a critical fight in November, when Democrats are looking to gain offices — including governorships — across the country. Winning back Mr. Schwarzenegger's job, with the Republican-led recall still stinging, would be a particular achievement.
"Nationally it would be very important to win there," said Brian Namey, a spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association.
But although Mr. Schwarzenegger's popularity has plummeted since his early days as governor — his approval rating last month was 39 percent, according to a recent Field Poll — his numbers have begun to rebound. Beating him will be a tough fight for either of the Democratic hopefuls, several political analysts said.
"Sometimes campaigns are wars of attrition, where the approval numbers for the incumbent are low, but his campaign succeeds because the opinion of the opponent ends up being lower," said Bruce E. Cain, the director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
On the surface, Mr. Westly and Mr. Angelides seem like two versions of the same Democratic Party player. Each has served for many years in the party, with a successful hiatus in the private sector.
They hew to the Democratic center on nearly every social issue, and both have made more access to higher education a centerpiece of their campaigns. Both are from Northern California; most voters hail from the southern part of the state.
Each more or less plays the role of Mr. Rogers to Mr. Schwarzenegger's governator, making gentle, loving references to their immigrant family members (Mr. Westly's Chinese-born wife, Mr. Angelides's "ya-ya," or Greek grandma), quoting Scripture (Mr. Westly) and being exceedingly nice to schoolchildren (Mr. Angelides).
Both compare themselves to President Bill Clinton, perhaps unsurprising in a state where Mr. Clinton is more popular than almost anywhere else.
But in recent months, Mr. Schwarzenegger has stolen some of the Democratic middle ground. The governor has appointed Democratic advisers, aligned himself with Democratic state lawmakers on a huge infrastructure bond proposal and found himself with a $5 billion budget surplus because of surging tax revenue. He has even agreed to give back millions of dollars to public schools, after withholding the money last year, essentially surrendering to the demands of organized labor.
The narrative of Mr. Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign seems to be: I have made some big boo-boos, I am regaining the confidence of voters bipartisan-style, and P.S., I still have more money and fame than any Democrat who wants to bring it on.
For the next two weeks, though, Mr. Angelides and Mr. Westly are too worried about each other to worry about Mr. Schwarzenegger.
Both of the Democrats believe, in Mr. Angelides's words, that "there is a world of difference" between them.
Mr. Westly has focused his campaign on hammering away at Mr. Angelides's plan to raise taxes on the state's highest earners to help pay for education programs. His plan to offer free community college would be paid for, he said, through the elimination of waste and fraud.
Mr. Westly paints himself as the classic centrist Democrat, or the modern urban Republican, who is like his conservative counterparts on budget concerns but progressive on issues like the environment and gay rights. He takes credit for helping shore up the budget surplus this fiscal year and promises more of the same. He calls himself an outsider.
"My opponent has made a $10 billion tax increase the center of his campaign," Mr. Westly said in a telephone interview. "Raising taxes is the last resort. People want more accountability."
He has spent $32.5 million of his own money, which has bought him, among other things, an unanswered period of early advertising that has lifted his profile — and poll numbers — statewide. The advertisements helped push him 11 points ahead of Mr. Angelides — 37 percent to 26 percent — in an April Field Poll, after months of trailing him. More recent polls show the lead is up for grabs.
For his part, Mr. Angelides has tried to paint Mr. Westly as Arnold Lite, the man who agrees with many of the governor's fiscal policies, as when he supported Mr. Schwarzenegger's 2004 bond package to refinance the state's debt.
He says his opponent failed to stand up to the governor when he went after teachers and health care workers in a failed ballot initiative last year that sought to alter the rules for teacher tenure and limit unions' political fund-raising, among other things.
"Westly is just like Schwarzenegger," Mr. Angelides said in an interview. "He mouths all the words, but he is not willing to make multimillionaires give up some of their tax breaks."
For picking a fight with the governor over that ballot measure, Mr. Angelides has gained most of the union support in the state, as well as the nod from the state's Democratic caucus. He is more old-school liberal, demonstrated by the lack of amusement at the Chamber of Commerce when he told its members recently that they should contribute more to the state's coffers.
Both men are furiously running around the state pressing their cases. Mr. Angelides started a two-week tour on Thursday, beginning with a news conference in Santa Monica about the environment. Mr. Westly plans to begin a bus tour on Wednesday, with stops in Chico, Redding and Sacramento, and ending in the Los Angeles area on Election Day.
Both will try to appeal to hard-core voters who may be weary after numerous elections and the recall. Experts predict a low turnout, and a smattering of voters interviewed in Los Angeles and San Francisco seemed underwhelmed. At several events in both cities, the candidates drew the interest of a few reporters, a passel of church congregants and some fifth graders.
Some political consultants said the lack of interest was the candidates' fault.
"What they should be talking about is the gas crisis or immigration issues," said Gale Kaufman, a Democratic consultant. "But they never talk about that. Both of them are spending all their air time hitting each other on taxes, which is about as far away from what's on the mind of Democrats as I can imagine."