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Six-Year Sexual Relationship Between Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg Put in Closet by MoMa Exhibit


Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern notes some troublesome closeting by the Museum of Modern Art:

The Museum of Modern Art currently has on display a wonderful, compact installation titled simply “Johns and Rauschenberg.” Featuring art culled from the museum’s permanent collection, “Johns and Rauschenberg” focuses on works painted by each artist during the mid to late 1950s, using Robert Rauschenberg’s recently acquired Canyon as a centerpiece. The introductory placard describes the two artists as being “in dialogue with one another,” explaining how their works from this period led the way “beyond Abstract Expressionism” and toward Pop Art. At the heart of the installation is the relationship between the two men, an intensely collaborative yet highly competitive connection which pushed each artist toward his own artistic triumph.

It’s a nice narrative, as far as it goes. But it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns were lovers during this six-year period of collaboration, and their relationship had a profound impact on their art.

Stern thinks the MoMa is concerned about offending its patrons. Meanwhile, everyone seems to be toeing their line:

In an attempt to justify this re-closing of the artistic closet, MoMA’s press office first informed me that Johns and Rauschenberg “wish to be described” as just friends. (Rauschenberg died in 2008; Johns is 82.) When I asked whether the artists specifically requested such a label, the museum’s representative walked back the claim, instead stating that they “have been referred to that way [as friends, that is] historically,” but the rep would not say whether the artists themselves insisted on the “friends” phrasing. Neither would the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, which officially had “no reply” to the question, or the Matthew Marks Gallery, Johns’ dealer, which failed to respond to repeated inquiries.

Posted Feb. 27,2013 at 11:57 AM EST by in Art and Design, News | Permalink | Comments (22)

Marilyn Musgrave Shocked by 'New York Times' Report She Flipped on Same-Sex Marriage: 'What in the World?'

Staunch conservative Marilyn Musgrave is denying a report by the NYT that she signed a SCOTUS brief being filed by Republican leaders opposing Proposition 8, KDVR reports:

Musgrave“I’m very befuddled by this story,” Musgrave told FOX31 Denver. “There’s absolutely no truth to that. I’m reading it thinking, ‘what in the world?’ I wasn’t even aware of it. I have not changed my position. I’m trying to imagine where anyone would get that information and I can’t figure it out.”

Wrote the NYT in its report:

The list of Republicans on the brief now tallies more than 100, organizers say. It now includes Beth Myers, who ran Mr. Romney’s 2008 campaign and was a senior adviser to him in 2012, and Marilyn Musgrave, a retired Colorado congresswoman who was once rated the most conservative member of the House by the American Conservative Union.

Ms. Musgrave, who lost her bid for a fourth term in 2008, was an unsuccessful sponsor of a constitutional amendment to bar same-sex couples from marrying; she once warned that if gay couples were allowed to wed, “the next step is polygamy or group marriage.”

KDVR adds:

Musgrave’s former district director, former state Rep. B.J. Nikkel, has signed the brief.

Nikkel, who did not run for reelection last year after her seat was re-drawn, became the first Republican to vote in favor of a civil unions bill last May and has become a strong advocate for LGBT rights.

On the eve of the committee hearing last May when Nikkel ultimately voted to support the bill, Musgrave left her a long voicemail message pleading with her to vote against it.

UPDATE: NYT issues correction.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that former Representative Marilyn Musgrave, Republican of Colorado, had signed on to the brief. The brief was signed by her former district director, for himself.

Posted Feb. 27,2013 at 11:37 AM EST by in Federal Prop 8 Trial, Gay Marriage, News, Proposition 8, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (8)

Homophobic Montana GOP State Senator Jason Priest Struts His Stuff in Gay Comedy Troupe


Montana GOP State Senator Jason Priest (above, right) is being denounced for the "highest form of hypocrisy" by the blog Montana Street Fighter, which asks what a lawmaker with a dismal record on LGBT rights is doing performing with a gay comedy troupe.

They write:

Most Montanans became familiar with Priest’s abhorrent homophobia when he posted offensive slurs on Facebook.  While running for the Senate, Priest referred to economist John Keynes as “a big homo” and said that Democrats were giving Americans “the dry thumb.”...

...During the last legislative session, Senator Priest earned a 13% on the Montana Human Rights Network’s legislative scorecard.  Priest supported legislation that was aimed specifically at protecting bigots while limiting LGBT rights.

More recently, as Montana Street Fighter reported, Priest helped pass a motion aimed at gutting Planned Parenthood of Montana.  Planned Parenthood is one of the only affordable health care centers that provides hormonal treatments for transgender clients.  In addition to providing essential services to the transgender community, Planned Parenthood offers health education, resources, and service referrals to the entire LGBT community.

But apparently Priest has no trouble strutting his stuff with a gay comedy troupe called The Manhattan Prairie Dogs, the site continues:

On Sunday evening, Priest left a lengthy comment here on Montana Street Fighter.  The bulk of his comment did not address his attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and similar organizations.  Instead, Priest proclaimed that he was not a homophobe.

It’s safe to assume that Priest was responding to a photo of him posing with other members of a gay comedy troupe called the Manhattan Prairie Dogs.

Priest claims that he’s not a homophobe because he is “friends with gay people.”  That is the equivalent of saying, “I’m not racist – I have black friends.”


Posted Feb. 27,2013 at 11:19 AM EST by in Jason Priest, Montana, News, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (46)

Alabama GOP Official Compares Obama to Hitler, Says He's Going to Gay-Indoctrinate the Nation's Children: VIDEO


An Alabama GOP official warns of the dangers of the Common Core State Standards Initiative to develop educational benchmarks that states can voluntarily adopt, comparing Obama to Hitler in the process, Right Wing Watch reports:

During a speech at the Wetumpka Tea Party, Elois Zeanah of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women compared the adoption of Common Core to the indoctrination of children in Nazi Germany, with President Obama teaching children and imposing an “anti-Christian, anti-capitalism, anti-America…pro-homosexuality, illegal immigration, unions, environmentalism, gun control, feminism and social justice” curriculum.

“They are going to force us to pay to indoctrinate our own kids,” Zeanah warned, “this is not a novel like ‘1994’ [sic], it’s Common Core.”

Watch her rant, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Feb. 27,2013 at 10:57 AM EST by in Alabama, Barack Obama, Education, News, Republican Party, Tea Party, Teabagger | Permalink | Comments (51)

White House 'Still Weighing' SCOTUS Brief Opposing Prop 8

The Obama administration is still thinking about whether or not to file a SCOTUS brief opposing Proposition 8 while Thursday's deadline looms, the NYT reports:

WhitehouseA White House official said Tuesday morning that no decision has been made on whether to file an amicus brief; the deadline is Thursday. The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported Tuesday evening that the administration was still weighing its decision, and is “looking at options that fall short of embracing a constitutional right'’ to same-sex marriage.

Mr. Obama has made supporting same-sex marriage a central theme in his recent speeches, including his second inaugural address and has often stated that Americans ought to have equal rights, “no matter who you love.” He announced during his re-election campaign last year that, after months of saying his views were “evolving,” he had concluded gay couples ought to be allowed to marry.

Meanwhile, the WSJ (subscription) reports that Obama is concerned that opposing Prop 8 could annoy conservative justices, according to Business Insider:

"[A]dministration lawyers worry that taking such an expansive view in legal briefs could unnerve some justices in the Supreme Court's conservative wing, the people familiar with the matter said," the Journal reported.

Will it or will it not file is today's biggest question.

Inauguration_obamaThe NYT looks at the dangers of Obama NOT filing and tells him to do so:

The outcome of the Proposition 8 case is likely to affect the lives of gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans for years to come, even if the final disposition is not sweeping enough to wipe out all state laws currently banning same-sex marriage. A strong filing by the Justice Department, forthrightly declaring that denying the freedom to marry violates the Constitution, would put the full weight of the federal government on the side of justice and could influence the shape of the ruling.

For the administration to be missing in action in this showdown risks conveying a message to the justices that it lacks confidence in the constitutional claims for ending gay people’s exclusion from marriage or that it believes Americans are not ready for a high court ruling making marriage equality the law of the land — impressions strikingly contradicted by legal precedent, the lessons of history and by the president’s own very powerful words.

Adds John Aravosis at Americablog:

It’s entirely possible that the Justice Department, or someone else in the Obama administration, has found a non-gay reason for why they don’t want to file a brief in the Prop 8 case.  They’re afraid that somehow, somewhere, in some way filing a Prop 8 brief will negatively affect some other unrelated thing that they care about.

It’s just a hunch. But it’s the most logical explanation I can find for why no brief has been forthcoming in light of the overwhelming evidence in favor of them filing such a brief.

Either way, if no brief is filed, the administration is going to have to come up with a much better explanation for their actions.  The current non-explanation is not only not cutting it (triple negative, I know), but considering that everyone and his brother has now filed a brief in the case – even the Mormons have weighed in (spoiler alert: the Mormons have chosen the gay-bashing side) – the administration’s absence runs the risk of speaking volumes to the court, and beyond.

Posted Feb. 27,2013 at 10:29 AM EST by in Barack Obama, News, Proposition 8, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (7)

Republican Brief Opposing Prop 8 Now Includes More Than 100+ Names, Including Beth Myers, Marilyn Musgrave

More than 100 lawmakers and former GOP leaders have now signed on to the Republican SCOTUS brief opposing Proposition 8, the NYT reports:

MusgraveThe list of Republicans on the brief now tallies more 100, organizers say. It now includes Beth Myers, who ran Mr. Romney’s 2008 campaign and was a senior adviser to him in 2012, and Marilyn Musgrave, a retired Colorado congresswoman who was once rated the most conservative member of the House by the American Conservative Union.

Ms. Musgrave, who lost her bid for a fourth term in 2008, was an unsuccessful sponsor of a constitutional amendment to bar same-sex couples from marrying; she once warned that if gay couples were allowed to wed, “the next step is polygamy or group marriage.”

Will update with a list if/when available. The brief is scheduled to be filed by Thursday.

Posted Feb. 27,2013 at 10:19 AM EST by in News, Proposition 8, Republican Party, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (17)


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