TV & Radio
The New York Times
March 15, 2007
St. Patrick’s Day Parade (1 Letter)
To the Editor:
“Wearing the Green, and the Pink” (editorial, March 9) criticizes St. Patrick’s Day Parade organizers for not allowing homosexuals “to wear any symbol declaring they are gay or lesbian.” The parade’s “guidelines” also discourage the wearing of green hats and sneakers and specifically say that “no displays of any kind will be permitted.”
Moreover, “shirts with advertising are not an appropriate form of dress.”
Anyone can quibble with these strictures, but it is preposterous for you to suggest that they are in any way intended to victimize gays. And it is equally important to note that while gays cannot march under their own banner, neither can pro-life Catholics.
William A. Donohue
President, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
New York, March 9, 2007
The New York Times
March 15, 2007
General Pace and Gay Soldiers
There’s a good reason that military officers avoid commenting on politics, society and public policy. The results are usually bad.
Consider the offensive comments that Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made this week about gay people. They carried a special measure of hurt coming from the nation’s highest military officer when thousands of gay men and lesbians are serving their country in Iraq.
By refusing to apologize, General Pace compounded the injury and reminded the entire country of what happened the last time the top brass took on this subject. It was Gen. Colin Powell’s public rebuke of a new president, Bill Clinton, for even entertaining the idea of allowing homosexuals to serve openly that led to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
It is a bad system, which has ruined people’s lives and hurt the military, but it still is the policy, established by General Pace’s civilian bosses, and it allows gay people to serve as long as they don’t say anything about their orientation.
Which made it all the more offensive to read that General Pace told the editorial board of The Chicago Tribune that he believes homosexuality is an intolerable immoral act equivalent to adultery.
Instead of apologizing, General Pace later said his mistake was focusing his comments on his view of morality instead of on military policy.
General Pace is wrong in every way, and out of step. An increasing number of Americans in and out of the military now recognize that the current policy is indefensible. Those Americans include Gen. John Shalikashvili, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs when the benighted policy was adopted. In an Op-Ed article in this newspaper in January, General Shalikashvili wrote that conversations with gay soldiers and marines had showed him “that gays and lesbians can be accepted by their peers.”
General Pace should still apologize for his remarks, forthrightly. Then perhaps some good could come out of his bigoted remarks if they added to the growing movement on Capitol Hill to finally allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military.
March 15, 2007
General Pace, Gays and Morality (4 Letters)
To the Editor:
Re “Top General Explains Remarks on Gays” (news article, March 14):
Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has refused to apologize for his remarks about what he called the immorality of homosexual conduct. While I understand that this is his opinion, it is not an opinion shared by everyone. But I think that most people would agree that bigotry is immoral.
General Pace demonstrates marked ignorance and bigotry, and that kind of immorality doesn’t belong in our military ... or our society.
(Rev.) William H. Carey
Ferndale, Mich., March 14, 2007
To the Editor:
In a 6-to-3 decision in 2003, the United States Supreme Court declared: “The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.”
The petitioners were gay Americans, and the case was Lawrence v. Texas. The decision of the court nullified all remaining laws regulating sexual conduct between consenting adults in America.
Gen. Peter Pace should spend less time broadcasting his unfortunate prejudices and more time respecting the law of the land.
New York, March 14, 2007
The writer is the author of “The Gay Metropolis.”
To the Editor:
It’s nothing new to gay Americans to be insulted by the Bush administration, so Gen. Peter Pace’s statement that he regards thousands of gay service members as immoral can hardly come as a surprise to anyone.
But surely President Bush or Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates or even General Pace himself should offer apologies to Britain and many of our other allies. These countries welcome gay men and lesbians into their armed services, and their gay troops have fought and bled with Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Surely decency demands that someone apologize for insulting these fine soldiers.
Portsmouth, Va., March 14, 2007
To the Editor:
It is the ultimate irony that a general in the United States Marines and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should talk of morality. The man’s job and the very nature of the armed services is to oversee and execute the job of killing human beings.
I will spare the reader a rehashing of the lengthy list of other atrocities committed during this particular war and the disproportionate horror of those acts in comparison with the issues of adultery and homosexuality.
Philadelphia, March 14, 2007
Sen. Clinton dodges question on gays, immorality
POSTED: 3:10 a.m. EDT, March 15, 2007
• Clinton now says she "does not share [Pace's] view, plain and simple"
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton sidestepped a question about whether she thinks homosexuality is immoral Wednesday, less than two weeks after telling gay-rights activists she was "proud" to stand by their side.
Clinton was asked the question by ABC News, in the wake of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace's controversial comment that he believed homosexual acts were immoral.
"Well, I'm going to leave that to others to conclude," she said.
Pace told the Chicago Tribune on Monday he supports the "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning openly gay people from serving in the U.S. armed forces. (Full story)
"My upbringing is such that I believe that there are certain things, certain types of conduct that are immoral," Pace told the Tribune. "I believe that military members who sleep with other military members' wives are immoral in their conduct."
Pace also told the paper, "I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral, and that we should not condone immoral acts."
Clinton's spokesman, Philippe Reins, said the New York senator "obviously" disagrees with Pace and that everyone, including the general, "has the right to be wrong, but should not inject their personal beliefs into public policy."
Then Wednesday night, the campaign released a statement from the senator herself, saying, "I disagree with what he said and do not share his view, plain and simple."
"It is inappropriate to inject such personal views into this public policy matter, especially at a time in which there are young men and women in such grave circumstances in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and around the world," Clinton said.
However, it's her initial refusal to answer the question that did not sit well with some gay and lesbian activists.
"I assume that Senator Clinton -- who has spoken out strongly against military discrimination, who stands for civil unions and respect for same-sex couples -- understands that gay Americans are not immoral, and she ought to say so clearly," said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a group that advocates same-sex marriage.
Other public figures have been more forceful in taking issue with Pace's comments, making Clinton's non-answer even more problematic.
Sen. John Warner, a conservative Republican from Virginia, said, "I respectfully, but strongly, disagree with the chairman's view that homosexuality is immoral."
John Edwards, one of Clinton's rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, said, "I don't share that view," when asked about Pace's comments.
Less than two weeks ago, Clinton received a standing ovation when she addressed the leadership of the Human Rights Campaign, a major gay-rights group.
In her remarks, Clinton expressed strong support for a litany of gay-rights initiatives, including extending civil unions and domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples and allowing them to adopt children. She said she would work to pass a federal law outlawing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and propose another measure extending benefits to the partners of federal employees.
"We want to make sure that all Americans in committed relationships have equal benefits, from health insurance and life insurance to Social Security and property rights and more," she said.
Clinton also said she thinks the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which keeps gay men and lesbians from serving in the military if they publicly acknowledge their sexual orientation, should be repealed. The policy was put in place in 1993 by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
"It hurts all of our troops, and this, to me, is a matter of national security," she said.
The senator even said she "loved the fact" that she and Human Rights Campaign share the initials HRC.
Noting her work with the HRC to defeat a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Clinton said, "This is exactly the kind of partnership we will have when I am president."
"I am proud to stand by your side," she said. "Just as you always have an open door to my Senate office, you will always have an open door to the White House."
Given those remarks, Clinton's decision not to directly answer the question put by ABC News was seen by some analysts as a sign her campaign is so controlled and scripted that it's difficult for her to be spontaneous.
"Senator Clinton's style is one of caution," said Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report.
"She doesn't like to shoot from the hip. She's just not that kind of politician. I don't think she's comfortable doing that."
CNN's Carol Costello contributed to this report
Web posted at: 15:31 JST
Gay male parents get dedicated fertility program
By Jill Serjeant
Wed Mar 14, 7:06 PM ET
A Los Angeles fertility clinic has launched what it says is the first dedicated program for gay men wanting to become parents.
The Fertility Institutes, already a pioneer in the controversial area of gender selection, said it was responding to huge demand from gay male couples around the world who want their own biological children but are often thwarted by prejudice and bureaucracy.
"There are a lot of centers that dibble and dabble in this. But we are the only program for gay men that has psychological, legal, medical, surrogates, donors and patients all taken care of in one place," Dr Jeffrey Steinberg, director of The Fertility Institutes, told Reuters in an interview.
"The demand is incredible. The United States has always been busy but we are seeing more and more demand from abroad."
The last few years have seen a large increase in the number of gay men who want to father children using surrogate mothers rather than opting for adoption, which is difficult or impossible for homosexuals or lesbians in several U.S. states.
Gay male couples seeking parenthood usually have to go to several different agencies to find surrogate mothers, egg donors, lawyers and medical treatment.
Potential surrogate mothers often opt out when they discover the couple seeking a child is gay, partly because of perceptions that homosexuals have a higher risk of diseases such as hepatitis, syphilis and the HIV virus.
Steinberg gets consent from surrogates up front, tests the fathers-to-be for HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, and freezes their sperm for six months as an extra safeguard.
Steinberg has already treated about 70 gay male couples while perfecting the program. Some 40 percent were Americans, with the rest from Britain, Germany, China, Canada, Italy, Brazil and South Africa.
The average cost is about $60,000 -- and three-quarters of gay couples pay extra to choose the sex of their baby. Gender selection of babies is illegal in most countries except the United States.
"We thought they were all going to come in and want boys, but about 65 percent want male and the others want girls," Steinberg said.
Focus on the Family, an influential conservative advocacy group with evangelical ties, said it saw several problems with such schemes.
"These clinics are in business for profit and the losers will be the children because these are children who will not have access to a mother. ... It is an intentionally motherless home," said Focus spokesperson Carrie Gordon Earll.
Steinberg said he was braced for controversy after going public with the program but hoped to ride the storm.
"This is new. It is challenging. We understand people are a little intimidated, a little frightened by it," he said. "It just takes time to get used to things."
Data from the 2000 U.S. census showed there were some 301,000 unmarried male couples in the United States. Figures for those adopting or having biological children were unavailable.
【ロサンゼルス １４日 ロイター】 ロサンゼルスにある不妊治療の専門クリニックで、子供を欲しがる男性の同性愛者を対象にしたプログラムを開始した。
Rep. Honda riles Japan over brothel apology
Proposed House measure may have driven exchange over WWII 'comfort women'
Edward Epstein, San Francisco Chronicle Washington Bureau
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
(03-13) 04:00 PDT Washington -- South Bay Congressman Mike Honda finds himself at the center of a simmering controversy in Asia over the Japanese prime minister's refusal to apologize to "comfort women," thousands of Asian women who were forced into prostitution by Japan's military during World War II.
Honda may have partly provoked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent comments, which in turn led to angry official reaction from China and South Korea, by sponsoring a House resolution urging Japan to officially apologize to the remaining women 62 years after the war in the Pacific ended.
"The issue is about our conscience as human beings and about reconciliation," said Honda, a Democrat, who has 16 co-sponsors for his resolution. The Japanese government takes the nonbinding resolution very seriously and is using its hired lobbyists in Washington to work against the bill.
Honda's resolution received a House foreign affairs subcommittee hearing Feb. 15, which included testimony from some of the surviving women.
It was just two weeks later that Abe made his controversial remarks.
"There is no evidence to prove there was coercion, nothing to support it," Abe told reporters in Tokyo. Abe is the son of a former Japanese foreign minister and the grandson of former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi who served time as a World War II war criminal.
Abe backed away from his remarks on Friday, when in response to international uproar he said members of his ruling party will conduct an investigation into the issue of forced prostitution during World War II.
But despite the furor, Abe told the Diet, Japan's parliament, that Congress shouldn't pass Honda's resolution.
What's especially perplexing to Honda about Abe's remarks is that they contradict a statement in the early 1990s by a Japanese cabinet minister who apologized to the "comfort women." In response to international pressure, Japan created an unofficial "atonement fund" to help the survivors financially. But to get restitution, Honda said the women who participated had to sign a statement saying they understood that the Japanese government was still studying the issue and hadn't taken a final official position.
By raising the question of Japan's responsibility, Honda said Abe has fueled the controversy anew.
"Prime Minister Abe has done more for our side through his contradictory statements than anything else," said Honda, a 65-year-old Japanese American who spent his childhood in a World War II internment camp in Colorado.
Already, he said, some House members who initially opposed his resolution or were undecided have told him they now support his move. The issue will get more international attention today because Australian Prime Minister John Howard says he will raise the topic with Abe in Tokyo.
This isn't Honda's first tussle with Japan. In past Congresses, he unsuccessfully pushed legislation that would allow World War II slave laborers to sue Japanese companies for damages. In addition to Japan's opposition, the bill was opposed by the State Department, which said it violated the 1951 peace treaty with Japan, signed in San Francisco, that blocked such suits.
Abe succeeded Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi last year. Under Koizumi, Japan's relations with its neighbors skidded because of the prime minister's visits to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors war criminals including Abe's grandfather.
Abe pledged to improve relations, and in his first weeks in office visited China and South Korea. But his recent comments have delivered a sharp setback to his efforts with the two neighbors, which were occupied by Japan during the war. Along with other Asian nations, they feel that Japan hasn't done enough to admit its responsibility for wartime atrocities.
"The question of war responsibility is a personal one for Abe," said UC Berkeley professor Steven Vogel, an expert on Japan. "He has a bit of a nationalist streak. He's not an extreme nationalist, but he feels apologies can go too far."
Vogel said that Abe, like his predecessors, is caught between those in Japan who would like better relations with other Asian nations and conservatives who feel apologies undermine Japan's pride.
"Pandering to nationalist sentiment in domestic politics is an uncomfortable reality in many countries," Vogel said.
Honda, who has appeared on Japanese TV to discuss the issue, said Abe may have inadvertently helped raise the issue again by responding to the resolution and the congressional hearing. The subcommittee heard graphic testimony from surviving women who told of daily rapes at camps set up for Japanese soldiers.
"One of my goals is to access the Japanese public. If they are more aware they will say 'you're right, the government should just apologize. Do the right thing,' " he said.
Honda said his personal experience, in which President Ronald Reagan and Congress formally apologized to the tens of thousands of Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II, is what Japan must do. "A formal, unequivocal apology. That's the way it has to be," he said.
Historians say that about 200,000 women -- mostly from Korea and China, but also a number from the Philippines as well as Dutch and Australian women caught in other countries as Japan pushed its war effort -- served in Japanese military brothels throughout Asia in the 1930s and 1940s. Accounts of abuse by the military have been backed up by witnesses, former Japanese soldiers and documents.
"And my resolution is non-binding. We're not telling the Japanese government what it has to do," Honda said.
E-mail Edward Epstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared on page A - 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle
尾辻かな子活動日記 2月議会終了 (2007/03/14)