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News: Barack Obama, Castro, Czech Masseur, Tennessee Williams

road.jpg Warsaw gay groups propose pink triangle monument to honor homosexuals killed in the Holocaust. Some city council leaders, like Marek Makuch of the Prawo i Sprawiedliwość party, are outraged: "It is a devastating idea and we shall not agree to this. I have not seen in Warsaw a monument for Catholic priests or disabled people. The triangle would be a promotion of homosexuality. We cannot compare Warsaw with Berlin – Berlin is the capitol of European homosexuality, and here we have our values."

Barackobamaroad.jpg Barack Obama takes first steps to enter 2008 Presidential race.

road.jpg Fidel Castro reportedly in "grave" condition.

road.jpg Judy Shepard and foundation are finalists for the Volvo for Life awards.

road.jpg Senate votes 87-0 to strip benefits from lawmakers convicted of bribery, perjury and fraud. John Kerry: "With this vote, we are preventing members of Congress who steal or cheat from receiving a lifelong pension that is paid for by the taxpayers." Amen.

road.jpg Rarely-produced Tennessee Williams one-act coming to London: "And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens is set in New Orleans' French Quarter, where Williams lived as a young man. When he moved there in 1939, the area's cheap rents and air of age and decay attracted artistic community and alongside them gays, transvestites and other people on the margins of society. The play concerns a gay transvestite who tries to mend a broken heart by taking up with a short-tempered younger sailor. "

road.jpg Log Cabin Republicans pressure Schwarzenegger to move on gay marriage. California LCR head: "When it comes to marriage, we believe in the fundamental fairness of the American people. There has never been a major civil rights movement that has failed in the United States."

Williamroad.jpg The Royals are ready for combat.

road.jpg Czech masseur comes out on top in discrimination case. Groundbreaking case is the first time a Czech court has awarded damages for discrimination based on sexual orientation: "Mr Sydor had been promised a job as a masseur at a health centre, but when the manager found out he is gay he refused to hire him. In court the centre's management said they had found a better qualified candidate for the job."

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  1. "Fidel Castro reportedly in "grave" condition."

    I guess "the world's finest healthcare" isn't doing him much good.

    Posted by: Tom | Jan 16, 2007 11:19:12 AM

  2. I don't know about that.

    Fidel has exceeded U.S. life expectancy--whether for someone in his age bracket, or even for someone born yeseterday--by quite a few years.

    Posted by: 24play | Jan 16, 2007 11:43:41 AM

  3. ha, that just sentence from Marek Makuch just made me a little bit proud to be a Berliner. He can keep his precious "values" where the sun doesn't shine, if they make him disrespect the victims of the holocaust.

    And Tom, you are an asshole.

    Posted by: ubik | Jan 16, 2007 11:53:31 AM

  4. I'm so happy Obama is runnning. Barack and Roll '08.

    Posted by: Shaun | Jan 16, 2007 12:38:17 PM

  5. Re: Obama:

    I'm not. He's Hillary Clinton.

    I would prefer someone like Russ Feingold. He is truly progressive.

    Posted by: Tread | Jan 16, 2007 1:07:07 PM

  6. Can someone explain to me why the gay community is so keen on Barack Obama? I've hoped for years that an electable woman or person of color would run for President of the United States. I think this country (and the rest of the world) sorely needs to see a woman or a person of color in the most powerful position in politics. But Obama has spent a mere two years in the U.S. Senate. In my opinion, that isn't enough experience to then move into the Oval Office. And Obama has voiced his opposition to gay marriage on the floor of the Senate (in fairness, that opposition came in a speech in which he opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment. But still...). I don't question anyone's right to support whomever they wish...I just don't understand the gay community's fascination with him.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 16, 2007 1:07:46 PM

  7. Peter,
    I believe Obama has the same amount of experience (or close to) JFK when he made his run for the presidency.
    Has anyone who is considering running given support to gay marriage? Feingold has said he wasn't running.

    Posted by: | Jan 16, 2007 1:39:46 PM

  8. PeterParker:

    What fascination are you talking about? If you want to be fair, then at least say the media and a whole lot of Democratic Party folk are in love with the jr. senator from IL. But it's a stretch to say the "gay community" (Gawd, I hate that phrase) is all about Obama. By the way: Sen. Clinton is also against same sex marriage. Heck you have to search long and hard to find a Dem pol who comes out for same-sex marriage (and is a viable candidate for the White House)

    Posted by: James | Jan 16, 2007 1:45:18 PM

  9. Many thanks, Andy, for mentioning the opportunity for the Matthew Shepard Foundation to win a much-needed $50,000 with the Volvo Hero contest [in Judy Shepard's name] and I hope everyone will take a few seconds to vote for her! Who would have blamed a shy, conservative woman who couldn't even recognize her son in the hospital because his face had been so badly beaten, watched him die without regaining consciousness, had to endure the site of people carrying signs at his funeral that said "Matt Shepard rots in Hell,", and the same signs at his murderers' trials where she had to further endure their attempt to blame her son's murder on him, and have ABC and Elizabeth Vargas repeat that lie 6 years later—who would have blamed her for retreating to her private grief—yet she works tirelessly, traveling from place to place to spread a gay-affirming message. That while competing with the giant gay 24-7 money-devouring organizations that dwarf the Matthew Shepard Foundation but rarely come close to accomplishing what she does simply by her presence and witness. HRC has over 100 paid employees and own their multi-story office building. MSF has 4 employees [counting her] and two small rented offices.

    Posted by: Leland | Jan 16, 2007 2:12:30 PM

  10. Gryphon...It seems to be a common misperception that Obama has relatively the same amount of experience as JFK had when he run for President of the United States of America. In fact, Obama served for seven years in the Illinois STATE Senate before becoming a U.S. Senator two years ago.

    In contrast, John F. Kennedy was elected to the United States Congress in 1946...fourteen years before he made a bid for President of the United States of America. Kennedy served three terms (six years) in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1952 he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He remained in the Senate until 1960 (that is four terms by my calculations) when he announced he was running for President of the United States of America. In 1960, Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon to become President of the United States of America.

    And my opposition to Obama has more to do with his inexperience in Washington than it does his stated oppposition to gay marriage which is, sadly, shared by every major candidate.


    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 16, 2007 2:15:26 PM

  11. Peter,
    Thanks for clarifying that and I do see the distinction now.

    Personally (and I'm being a little selfish here since Barak is my senator here in Chicago), if he decides that he is going to move up after only 1 term, I would like to see him maybe as VP. That way, he would be set to run for the Presidency 8 years later.

    Posted by: gryphon773 | Jan 16, 2007 2:30:54 PM

  12. Gryphon...I totally agree...I too would like to see Obama run for President, eventually. I hope this doesn't sound racist, but I've long wanted a person of color (or a woman) to be President of the United States. Obama doesn't yet have enough experience to occupy that position. But it would be great if he were V.P. for a few years and then went on to become President

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 16, 2007 2:38:34 PM

  13. PeterParker, Thank you for addressing the electoral experience myth that keeps gaining in currency despite the facts to the contrary. However, your calculations are wrong on JFK's Senatorial terms. Senators are elected for six years (with one-third standing for election every two years), so an eight year term of service would only equal one and one-third Senate terms. Cf. The Reps in the House are elected for two years terms; the presidential term is four years. You are correct on your other facts and I appreciate you bringing clarity to the discussion.

    Posted by: rudy | Jan 16, 2007 2:48:06 PM

  14. I just don't see the virtues of Barak Obama. He's an inexperienced political-cypher at the Federal-level; and the "Chauncy Gardiner" of the 2008 Presidential aspirants....he has no past, has no record or positions, and everyone hears what they want to hear when he speaks. And I don't care if he CAN walk on water, either.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Jan 16, 2007 2:49:37 PM

  15. Once again, Republikkklan "Tom" rears his ugly head and makes friends...

    Obama has my vote... As for his experience, let me put it this way, examine Pres. Bush's background. Given your criteria, he should have been more than able as a President, and we all now how his Presidency turned out. Experience is only (a small) part of the equation. Values, pride, work ethic, commitment, trust, loyalty, sincerity - to me those values far outweigh any necessary experience...

    Posted by: Cory | Jan 16, 2007 3:21:59 PM

  16. Rudy,

    Thank you for the correction!


    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 16, 2007 3:44:44 PM

  17. ***That while competing with the giant gay 24-7 money-devouring organizations that dwarf the Matthew Shepard Foundation but rarely come close to accomplishing what she does simply by her presence and witness. HRC has over 100 paid employees and own their multi-story office building. MSF has 4 employees [counting her] and two small rented offices.***

    and as someone who has visited different locations for different causes, i repeatedly received no response from HRC when requesting or inquiring about a simple digital newsletter to receive news of "their concern" and to comprehend the plague of the bumper-sticker legions. yet, they did receive honorable mention for their windows in the castro....does anyone remember the kostabi gallery in soho??

    Posted by: ricardo | Jan 16, 2007 4:27:03 PM

  18. Here is an interesting point of view on the "Obama for President" debate:

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Jan 16, 2007 5:46:03 PM

  19. Obama isn't running for President, he says he is, but he's really running for Vice President on a ticket with Hillary(since she is the only Dem running with a real chance of winning).

    If I'm wrong and this guy is really running to be the top honcho, then I would advise folks to remember the last 3 candidates elected without Federal office experience....Carter, Reagan and Bush. Clinton was also lacking in federal experience, and in reality he was a disappointment as well.

    Posted by: Joshua | Jan 16, 2007 10:49:04 PM

  20. Ha! Each president you listed including the one before Carter was a disappointment. Usually U.S presidents always have some underlining capitalist-militarist agenda. Is Obama the same?

    Posted by: Damon | Jan 16, 2007 11:29:20 PM

  21. Senator Obama, I believe, has every sincere intention of running, on his own, for president. I am not saying there is no possibility of your scenario of a Clinton/Obama ticket occurring, but I don't think that is his ultimate reason for entering the race at this time.

    Posted by: Michael D. Fein | Jan 17, 2007 12:07:24 AM

  22. The president before Carter was Ford, who just did and was neither exciting nor a disappointment (unless you really wanted to see Nixon in jail). Timeline for foreigners: JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II. LBJ, Carter and Clinton were true Southerners. Nixon and Reagan were from California. The Bushes were fake Southerners (actually preppy New Englanders in Texas drag). Ford a historical accident. JFK a rich Southie.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 17, 2007 12:24:40 AM

  23. How any gay person can endorse Barack Obama as a candidate for president is beyond my comprehension. What will it take for people to stop accepting the "lesser of two evils" mentality when it comes to the leadership of the very country we live in?

    Barack Obama is a bigot, and just because he's made statements like this,

    "I spend much of my time with audiences trying to educate them on the dangers of both the Patriot Act, Patriot Act 2, and the rest of John Ashcroft's assault on the Constitution…In the last three months alone, I passed and sent to Illinois governor's desk 25 pieces of major progressive legislation, including groundbreaking laws mandating the videotaping of all interrogations and confessions in capital cases; racial profiling legislation; a new law designed to ease the burden on ex-offenders seeking employment; and a state earned income tax credit that will put millions of dollars directly into the pockets of Illinois' working poor." (


    Gay marriage, to be sure not to oversimplify, is NOT the only issue that gay Americans should be concerned with. However, once again, hypocrisy rears its ugly head and Barack Obama is marked with it. As a man of mixed race, consider this:

    "Ironically, this custom by liberals and Democrats of referring to partially black people as black is simply a reiteration of the old racist, Jim Crow, "one-eighth law." In racist locales, such as segregation-era Louisiana, people with as little as one-eighth African-American ancestry were classified as black. This classification led to dramatic curtailments of freedom. In Missouri and Mississippi, "The marriage of a white person with a negro or mulatto or person who shall have one-eighth or more of negro blood, shall be unlawful and void." Obama is black only by the standards of white segregationists." (


    "We're not ready for that kind of redefinition of family in this country." (When asked about gay marriage.)


    So, to each that would suggest Barack Obama would be a good thing for this country and support him in his tentative bid for the presidency, I hope you're prepared for the next wave of isolated freedoms that only pertain to heterosexual couples. And as another poster shuddered at the definition of "gay community", I nod my head in agreement and say that we are NOT a community. Communities share common characteristics, interests, and perceive themselves as distinct. I can't see how supporting the blatant rationalization of segregation by law is anything other than blind acceptance, and I certainly refuse to be a part of that "community".

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | Jan 17, 2007 1:04:33 AM

  24. Another interesting link. Obama's views on civil/human rights. Get all your facts before you either defame or commend him.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Jan 17, 2007 2:13:18 AM

  25. For the love of god, Frontpage?

    I refuse to read such trash propaganda. Now that I know these assholes are against Obama, I'm know now that I must really research this guy because maybe he is the best thing for this country right now.

    Posted by: D-2 | Jan 17, 2007 2:31:47 AM

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