TV & Radio
Barring Gays From the Priesthood (4 Letters)
Published: September 24, 2005 - New York Times
To the Editor:
Re "Vatican Expected to Exclude Gays as New Priests" (front page, Sept. 22):
Presumably, the Roman Catholic Church's concern about gays in the priesthood stems from a desire to protect children from sexual abuse by priests. If that is true, then it would be wise for the church to look at the data before deciding on a plan of action.
Reliable studies show that pedophiles (those adults who sexually abuse children) are overwhelmingly heterosexual. In fact, homosexuals are statistically underrepresented as those who sexually abuse children.
What is forgotten in all of the hysteria about priest sexual abuse is that pedophilia is about a sexual attraction to children (most often, regardless of their sex) and about access.
If priests are overwhelmingly abusing boys, it is not about their being homosexual but about that being the population to which they have access.
Further, women have far lower rates of sexually abusing children than men do. So if the church were really serious about protecting children from sexual abuse by priests, gays would not be excluded from the priesthood and ordination would be extended to women.
New York, Sept. 22, 2005
The writer is assistant dean at the Columbia University School of Social Work.
To the Editor:
As a heterosexual Episcopal priest who has been a close friend and colleague to several Roman Catholic priests over the years, some gay, some not, I find the Vatican's plan to bar homosexuals, even those who are celibate, from becoming priests not only wrongheaded but also sad and self-defeating.
Celibacy itself, once recognized as a charism, a gift from God to a selected few, was wrongly imposed on the entire guild of the ordained; now to add this layer of self-hatred could sink the church.
Clearly, this is intended to prove to the world the church's determination to rid itself of the plague of pedophilia. That is a separate issue. This will only further demoralize a once noble vocation.
Jacksonville, Vt., Sept. 22, 2005
To the Editor:
You report that now "homosexuals, even those who are celibate, will be barred from becoming Roman Catholic priests."
Brothers, let me extend my hand to you in our mutual exclusion. I am a woman. In consolation, remember: those who are first will be last.
Denise D. Cordes
West Chester, Pa., Sept. 22, 2005
To the Editor:
Why doesn't the church bar priests who have sex with children? That would be less controversial and more to the point.
Hartford, Sept. 22, 2005
ローマ・カトリック教会当局者「独身であっても同性愛者が司祭になることは許されない」 - NYT
子育て環境『後進国』 (東京 2005/09/24朝刊)
Baltic state may have highest HIV rate outside Africa: officials
Fri Sep 23,11:33 AM ET - AFP
Around one in 100 Estonians is believed to be infected with HIV, giving the small Baltic state the highest incidence of the virus which causes AIDS outside of Africa, officials said.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, one in every 100 people in the 15 to 49 age group may be infected with HIV, Maarike Harro, director of the National Institute for Health Development, told a news conference.
"The infection of people with HIV is out of control in Estonia," Harro warned.
A total of 4,910 people in Estonia were registered with the authorities as being infected by HIV, and 468 new cases were added in 2005.
The population of Estonia, which joined the European Union last year, is 1.4 million.
"In cases per million people, Estonia is in the worst position in the world, outside Africa," Harro said.
"There are many unregistered cases in Estonia, so the figure of the HIV-positive people may be one- or even two-thirds higher than the official figure," Social Affairs Minister Jaak Aab told journalists.
Harro said that although the number of cases had fallen since last year, "We have to take urgent measures to combat AIDS and HIV."
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS allocated 80 million kroons (five million euros, 6.2 million dollars) to Estonia Friday to combat the spread of AIDS in the next three years.
The money comes in addition to 50 million kroons (3.2 million euros, 3.9 million dollars), which the Global Fund gave to Estonia for the years 2003-2005.
"The aim of the Global Fund programme in Estonia is to stem the spread of HIV by the year 2007," she said.
The groups most affected by HIV in Estonia are young people in the capital Tallinn and the mainly Russian-populated eastern part of the country.
Sixty-five percent of those infected with HIV are under 25, while men aged 20-24 who are intravenous drug users are the biggest risk group.
Women make up one third of the newly registered cases of HIV, outnumbering men in the 15 to 19 age group.
A total of 73 people are registered in Estonia as having developed full-blown AIDS.
"We have to work closely with schools, army recruitment centres and organisations working to integrate non-Estonians, to reach possible at-risk groups," Harro said.
Asian nations face deadly TB-HIV threat-WHO
By Michael Perry
Fri Sep 23,10:30 AM ET - Reuters
Drug resistance combined with a deadly double infection of tuberculosis and HIV is posing a serious threat in Cambodia, Vietnam, China and the Philippines, said the World Health Organization.
The WHO said tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in HIV-AIDS patients in the Asia-Pacific region and growing resistance to a variety of drugs is fuelling a rise in cases.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that mostly attacks the lungs. It is an opportunistic infection that once contracted by a HIV patient sees each disease speed the progress of the other.
In the Western Pacific, which stretches from China to Fiji, more than 1.5 million people were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2004 and about 120,000 people are expected to die of AIDS in 2005, said a WHO report on tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS.
People with HIV are up to 50 times more likely to develop tuberculosis (TB).
"HIV and TB are the leading killers among the infectious diseases today and together they form a deadly partnership," said the report released on Friday at a WHO conference in Noumea, capital of New Caledonia in the South Pacific.
"In the region, TB-HIV has not reached epidemic proportions but is already serious in some areas," it said.
The Asia-Pacific region accounts for a third of global TB cases, with China, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines representing 80 percent of the region's tuberculosis, said the U.N. health body.
The WHO estimates tuberculosis is spreading globally at a rate of one person per second. Every year eight to 10 million people contract the disease and two million die, it said.
The WHO said a global target of reducing tuberculosis prevalence and deaths by half from 1999 to 2010 was in jeopardy because of a rise in TB-HIV, warning tuberculosis deaths could rise significantly unless the fight against TB-HIV was intensified.
"TB-HIV co-infection threatens to reverse the steady progress toward achieving this goal," said Dr Shigeru Omi, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific.
The WHO said greater surveillance of the deadly co-infection and better access to medicines in developing countries was required to stem the spread of tuberculosis and reduce the death rate.
WHO's Western Pacific regional adviser on tuberculosis, Dr Dongil Ahn, said the emergence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis, particularly in China and Mongolia, was making the fight against the disease more difficult.
Ahn said that in three of the Chinese provinces where MDR surveys were undertaken, up to 10 percent of new patients were due to MDR. In Mongolia, around 18 percent of prisoners with TB had multi-drug resistance.
"It is very hard to treat and the cost of TB medication for MDR is very high, about 100 times the cost of medicine for ordinary TB," Ahn said.
The cost of treating ordinary tuberculosis is about $240 a year, compared with $1,500 to $2,000 for MDR/TB, he said.
September 23, 2005
Gay Men Ponder Impact of Proposal by Vatican
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN - New York Times
Word that the Vatican is likely to issue instructions soon that could bar most gay men from joining the priesthood has set off a wave of anger and sadness among some gay priests and seminarians who say they may soon have to decide whether to stay or leave, to remain silent or to speak out.
"I do think about leaving," said a 30-year old Franciscan seminary student. "It's hard to live a duplicitous life, and for me it's hard not to speak out against injustice. And that's what this is."
In telephone interviews on Thursday with gay priests and seminarians in different parts of the country, all were adamant that their names not be used because they feared repercussions from their bishops or church superiors.
"I find that I am becoming more and more angry," said a 40-year-old priest on the West Coast who said he had not decided whether to reveal his homosexuality publicly. "This is the church I've given my life to and I believe in. I look at every person I come in contact with as someone who's created in the image and likeness of God, and I expect that from the church that I'm a part of. But I always feel like I'm 'less than.' "
The fears by gay priests and seminarians intensified this week after news reports from the Vatican that a long-awaited church document will bar gay men, even those who are celibate, from becoming Roman Catholic priests.
For years, most American seminaries and religious orders have not barred gay candidates outright, instead trying to discern in each case whether the man was capable of living the celibate life.
The ban would pertain only to candidates for the priesthood, not to those already ordained.
The church is also beginning an examination this month of American seminaries in which faculty members and students will be interviewed on admissions policies, adherence to Catholic moral doctrine, adequacy of preparation for celibacy and whether there is "evidence of homosexuality" in the seminary. Their reports will take years to complete.
Church officials say those measures will help address conditions that led to the priest sexual abuse scandal that resurfaced in Boston in 2002 and spread to many dioceses. A study commissioned by the American bishops found last year that nearly 80 percent of those abused were boys.
Some conservative priests welcomed the changes. The Rev. John Trigilio Jr., president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a conservative 400-member group based in Harrisburg, Pa., said that barring gay men from seminaries was "for their own good," just as the church once barred epileptics from the priesthood.
"It's pretty much the same thing," Father Trigilio said. "The work and the ministry of the priesthood is going to be too demanding and will put a strain on them. He's going to have to spend five to eight years in a seminary where he's only going to be with men."
One gay seminarian in his 30's responded that such reasoning was "ridiculous" and that he has lived harmoniously for four years with a group of mostly heterosexual seminarians.
"Homosexual men are socialized differently," he said. "We have spent our whole lives living and working with other men. We've been on the same school teams, shared the same locker rooms, been in the same fraternities, and we are accustomed to being around people to whom we are attracted. To suggest that because one has a homosexual orientation one is unable to control one's sexual impulses is, frankly, insulting."
He said "it would be hard to imagine" staying in the seminary, because "I take very seriously the church and the authority of the episcopacy."
Gay priests say they are being scapegoated for crimes committed by pedophiles and covered up by bishops who never faced any discipline. The interviews made clear that they now had the strong sense of being persecuted by their own church.
"I feel like a Jew in Berlin in the 1930's," said a 48-year-old gay priest who has spent 18 years in a religious order. He said he was considering donning a pink triangle - the symbol used by the Nazis - and getting heterosexual priests and members of the laity to wear the triangles as a protest.
Many of the gay priests said that the expected Vatican policy and the seminary visits would drive gay priests more deeply underground and create the same unhealthy, sexually repressed climate that prevailed in seminaries before reforms in the 1980's and 90's.
Some priests say they fear that by rejecting homosexual candidates the church will only worsen its shortage of priests. "It's like they have this plan to empty the church," said a gay priest on the East Coast.
Some church conservatives argue that, on the contrary, if seminaries bar homosexuals, more heterosexuals will step forward.
Sister Katerina Schuth, a professor at St. Paul's Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul who studies Catholic seminaries, said there was no evidence for that theory and added, "That is reasoning and speculation by people who have not spent any, or much time in seminaries."
Among parishioners at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a working-class ethnically mixed neighborhood, worshipers leaving a Mass yesterday were divided on whether the policy would be helpful.
Helen Dunn, a retired teacher, said it was important to weed out gay men at the seminary level, "because that's where the problems start."
"They're looking for something they can't get," Ms. Dunn added.
Bruno Basedy, 55, an immigrant from Colombia, said that homosexuality was "no good" and demonstrated acceptable conduct by singing the theme from Wagner's wedding march.
But Max Gonzalez, 52, a retired phone company worker who arrived at the church just after Mass ended, said gay priests "don't bother me, as long as they're not bothering the kids."
Patrick Murphy, 37, an unemployed man who attended the Mass, said that while he considered homosexuality "an abnormality of the soul," he did not feel it was incompatible with a calling to serve God, nor did he think it appropriate for the church to try to purge celibate gays from the seminary.
"A person who chooses to be celibate is doing a noble act," Mr. Murphy said. "They're choosing to become sexual martyrs. So their sexuality shouldn't be exploited."
Several priests in New York said they were troubled by the direction that the Vatican seemed to be taking.
Msgr. Denis Herron, pastor of St. Teresa's Church in Woodside, Queens, said a commitment to celibacy was more important than a seminarian's sexual orientation.
"Some people can't make that commitment, and that can be heterosexuals or homosexuals," Monsignor Herron said. "I'm concerned that this could turn into a witch hunt."
Ann Farmer and Andy Newman contributed to this report.
ローマ・カトリック教会当局者「独身であっても同性愛者が司祭になることは許されない」 - NYT
加州知事選、大物俳優対決実現か (TBS 2005/09/23)
Oregon gay marriage activists sue state
Thu Sep 22, 6:25 PM ET - Reuters
Gay rights activists are suing the state of Oregon, saying that an amendment that voters added to the northwestern state's constitution last year banning gay marriage was unconstitutional.
Oregon was among the first states to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples last year, when Portland's Multnomah County issued the licenses to about 3,000 same sex couples before a court put a temporary halt to the marriages.
As a lawsuit over the marriages was moving through the courts, voters passed the amendment to Oregon's constitution. Eventually Oregon's Supreme Court sided with the anti-gay marriage forces and nullified the marriages in April 2005.
"Measure 36 is unconstitutional," Roey Thorpe, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon said of the ballot measure Oregon voters approved last November.
Arguments are scheduled to be heard in Marion County Circuit Court in the state capitol of Salem on Monday.
"The measure is just fine," said Christian Roggendorf, an attorney for the Defense of Marriage Coalition, which is named in the lawsuit.
Attorneys for the state did not comment, but in a brief said: "Regardless of the wisdom of the people's choice, however, plaintiffs' legal challenges to the measure fail."
The plaintiffs are a group of same sex couples - some are not yet married, some were married in March 2004 and later had their marriages nullified, while others married in Canada.
Basic Rights Oregon's attorneys are expected to argue that the initiative was "an improper and invalid exercise of the initiative power."
■子供の健康と命を守る視点で (産経 2005/08/30)
参院議員・山谷えり子 (産経 2005/09/19)
AI Index: AMR 51/142/2005
Transgender woman ill-treated and raped in jail
Kelly McAllister, a white transgender woman, was ordered out of her parked truck on 16 August 2002 by deputies from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD). When she refused she was reportedly beaten, pepper-sprayed, hog-tied,(1) dragged across the pavement face down and eventually put in a patrol car. She says her repeated requests to use a toilet were refused and, while she was still in the car, she defecated in her clothing.
Kelly McAllister was charged with assaulting the police and taken to Sacramento County Main Jail. Sheriff’s deputies, jail personnel and other inmates reportedly subjected her to humiliating and threatening treatment, including transphobic(2) verbal abuse, such as calling her a "she-male". She says she was strip searched by male guards.
Following a separate incident on 6 September she was returned to Sacramento County Main Jail for three days, during which time she was put in a bare, cold basement cell. When she complained, guards reportedly threatened to strip her naked and put her into a metal restraint chair.
Kelly McAllister states that she suffered more transphobic verbal abuse. Later, guards put her in a cell with a male inmate, who was much taller, heavier and stronger than her. She alleges that the inmate repeatedly struck, choked, bit and then raped her. Hospital medical staff who treated her injuries confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted.
Kelly McAllister filed a complaint about the rape, which the SCSD investigated. The accused inmate accepted a plea of "unlawful intercourse in jail" and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment. However, the SCSD did not investigate the alleged abuses by its own deputies and corrections officers.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S CONCERNS
The principle of "due diligence" in international law means that any State must take appropriate steps to:
- prevent abuses;
By failing to protect Kelly McAllister in custody and by putting her at particular risk by holding her in a cell with a male prisoner, the authorities are responsible for her alleged ill-treatment and, in the case of the rape, torture. Furthermore, the SCSD has yet to conduct a thorough investigation into Kelly McAllister’s allegations of police abuse or the actions of its deputies leading to her rape.
Amnesty International is also concerned about the reported transphobic abuse by Sheriff’s deputies, which could have sent the wrong message to inmates that Kelly McAllister could be abused with impunity. Sacramento County Main Jail has reportedly recently adopted policies and procedures regarding the detention of transgender individuals.
Amnesty International is further concerned about the cruel and dangerous restraint methods allegedly used during Kelly McAllister’s arrest and the use of pepper-spray. Police should only use force when strictly necessary and then it should be proportionate
Police abuse of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the USA remains a serious problem, despite significant progress in the recognition of LGBT people’s human rights. Amnesty International (AI) has documented abuses including profiling, discriminatory enforcement of certain laws and regulations, and sexual, physical and verbal assaults. AI’s findings suggest that police tend to target individuals who do not conform to gender "norms" and that transgender people suffer egregious police brutality, including torture.
For further information see: www.amnestyusa.org/outfront
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Please write letters to Sheriff Lou Blanas and Captain Mark Iwasa:
- Express concern at allegations of ill-treatment of Kelly McAllister by Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department deputies, corrections officers and inmates in August and September 2002;
SEND LETTERS TO:
Sheriff Lou Blanas
Sacramento County Sheriff's Department
711 G Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: +1 916.874.5332
Salutation: Dear Sheriff Blanas
Captain Mark Iwasa
Sacramento County Main Jail
651 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-2400
Fax: +1 916.874.8984
Email: email@example.com; or firstname.lastname@example.org
Salutation: Dear Captain Iwasa
(1) The wrists are handcuffed behind the back, and the ankles are tied together with a strap linking the wrist and ankle restraints.
(2) Transphobic means values or behaviour expressing prejudice towards transgender people.
米：警察官によるLGBTへの暴行・迫害が広がっている - アムネスティ
Breast cancer threat ignored
Deaths rising but menace kept off the radar: advocate
By ERIC PRIDEAUX
Japanese women must bring about radical change in their country's health-care culture to stem a worrisome increase in breast cancer, a prominent cancer-awareness advocate said ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
Vickie Paradise Green
According to the National Cancer Center in Tokyo, about one woman in 26 is diagnosed with breast cancer -- an incidence rate that has grown markedly in recent years to make it the most common form of cancer for women here.
In 2003, the most-recent year for which data are available, nearly 10,000 women died of the illness, the center said.
"Today, 26 Japanese women are going to die from breast cancer. And tomorrow, and the day after that," said Philadelphia-born Vickie Paradise Green, a businesswoman and founder of Run for the Cure, a Tokyo-based nonprofit foundation dedicated to combating breast cancer in Japan.
Unlike the West, which has fewer taboos about visiting gynecologists or taking breast examinations, lack of awareness in Japan discourages women from getting regular checkups that can spot breast cancer before it is too late, Green said in a recent interview with The Japan Times.
Improved education, she said, must provide Japanese women with the tools to help themselves.
"Where is (the) healthy breast regimen? Where are they taught this? They're not," said Green, a 25-year resident of Japan who serves as president of Tokyo-based custom publisher Paradigm.
"In the United States, you learn this from your early teen years," she continued. "You learn how to self-examine. You get clinical examinations from your gynecologist and from the age of 35 -- younger if you have a history of breast cancer in your family. You're getting annual mammograms. It doesn't happen here."
Since its establishment in June 2004, Run for the Cure has so far awarded a 3.3 million yen grant to a breast-cancer support group and is currently considering assistance to other organizations.
It has also distributed thousands of educational brochures on self-examinations to clinics and hospitals around Tokyo.
Run for the Cure expects to raise more than 10 million yen in additional funds this year from donors, which have so far included such major corporate names as Citigroup, Johnson & Johnson K.K. and Mitsubishi Estate Co.
In its ongoing efforts to raise funds, Run for the Cure will hold a 5-km walk/5-km run in Tokyo on Oct. 22 starting at Hibiya and proceeding around the Imperial Palace. On Oct. 28, it will throw a Pink Ball cocktail-and-dinner party at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo in Roppongi. For further information, please visit www.runforthecure.org/
The Japan Times: Sept. 23, 2005