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4th January 2003 (# 2) News Clippings Digest

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  • grahamu_1999 <grahamu_1999@yahoo.com>
    4th January 2003 (# 2) News Clippings Digest 1. NEW YORK TIMES Gay Focus at Holocaust Museum 2. REUTERS Wacky religious cult claims Dutch lesbian couple to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 8, 2003
      4th January 2003 (# 2) News Clippings Digest

      1. NEW YORK TIMES Gay Focus at Holocaust Museum
      2. REUTERS Wacky religious cult claims Dutch lesbian couple to
      have cloned baby tomorrow
      3. MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE Gay former teacher sues Lutheran school
      alleging discrimination
      4. NEWPORT DAILY NEWS (Rhode Island) Most welcome mayor's new
      liaison to gay and lesbian community
      5. MIAMI HERALD Gay and civil rights groups denounce New Year's
      shooting of gay man in South Beach as one of the worst hate-crime
      attacks in the county in years

      New York Times, January 4, 2003
      229 W. 43rd Street, New York, NY, 10036
      (Fax 212-556-3622 ) (E-Mail letters@... )
      ( http//www.nytimes.com )
      http//www.nytimes.com/2003/01/04/arts/design/04HOLO.html
      Gay Focus at Holocaust Museum
      By Elizabeth Olson
      WASHINGTON - They were called the "175ers" - homosexuals that
      the
      Nazis arrested, beat, used as prison labor and sometimes castrated.
      Charges were brought under Paragraph 175 of the German
      criminal code,
      which outlawed "unnatural indecency" between men, starting in 1871.
      The
      Nazis broadened the statute to make "simple looking" and "simple
      touching"
      reasons for tracking and rounding up gay men.
      The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum here, where two
      million
      visitors a year learn about the persecution of Jews under Hitler, has
      decided to focus exhibitions on other groups, beginning with
      homosexuals.
      For two years the museum's researchers combed records, mainly in
      Germany.
      The somber result is "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945," an
      exhibition that is running through March 16 at the museum, at 100
      Raoul
      Wallenberg Place SW, and will then travel to New York, San Francisco
      and
      other cities. (More information ushmm.org.)
      While tens of thousands were incarcerated and an unknown
      number
      killed, few homosexuals told their stories then - or later. For
      decades
      after the Allied victory they were subject to the same criminal
      statute that
      Hitler's regime had used to pursue them. The law was expunged in
      1994, and
      it was only last May that convicted "175ers" were pardoned by the
      German
      government.
      Only fragments of their brutal treatment in the Nazi era are
      known.
      Robert T. Odeman, for example, who wrote cabaret songs, was
      convicted for
      homosexual offenses in Berlin and sent to prison. After he was
      released,
      police arrested him again, citing his letters to a half-Jewish
      friend. Mr.
      Odeman was sent to a concentration camp, from which he and two others
      escaped in 1945.
      He died in Berlin 40 years later without knowing that his
      story would
      be part of an effort to remember the Holocaust's other victims, who
      include
      not only gays but also the handicapped, Gypsies, Poles, Soviet
      prisoners of
      war and Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Since there was so little testimony from the victims or the
      survivors, the museum built the exhibition around disturbingly
      meticulous
      Nazi records. Photographs, cartoons and art from the era show that
      stamping
      out homosexuality became a priority for the Nazis even though an
      openly gay
      Ernst Röhm, chief of the storm troopers, helped bring Hitler to
      power. When
      he was murdered in 1934, barriers to pursuing gays were swept away,
      and
      homosexuality was equated with treason.
      In a country where bonding began early in all-male youth
      groups, the
      Nazis publicly campaigned to stamp out "indecent" acts. Yet "a
      considerable
      number of cases of homosexual activity were found in just about
      every part
      of the Nazi apparatus, from the storm troopers to the Hitler Youth
      movement," said Geoffrey Giles, a University of Florida historian,
      who
      contributed some of his research to the exhibition. While "deviant"
      acts
      were a convenient tool of denunciation in the Hitler Youth, where
      homosexuality was cited for 25 percent of those expelled, there was
      also a
      fear that such behavior was learned and could spread through the
      corps.
      Such behavior had to be righted, the Nazis argued, because
      homosexuals were jeopardizing Germany's future generations by
      failing to
      have children. Lesbians, by contrast, were often spared, because
      they could
      be re-educated to assume roles as wives and mothers.
      In the Weimar Republic, courts restricted the 1871 law, which
      carried
      a sentence of two years' imprisonment, to acts of physical contact.
      About
      400 people were convicted until the start of the Nazi era; then the
      number
      of convictions rose tenfold.
      By 1936 the Gestapo leader Heinrich Himmler had established
      the
      Central Office to Combat Homosexuality and Abortion, and
      surveillance of
      gays was legalized. Over all, as many as 100,000 men were arrested
      and
      charged with homosexual acts. About half were convicted and
      imprisoned. Up
      to 15,000 were interned in concentration camps, where pink
      triangles - like
      the yellow star of David that Jews had to wear - were sewn on their
      uniforms. Some prisoners wore both.
      Despite Nazi zeal, no law prevented homosexuals from serving
      in the
      German military. The Nazi Party feared that an exemption "could
      exclude as
      many as three million men," said Mr. Giles, who is writing a book
      about
      homosexuals and the party. When World War II began, accused and
      convicted
      "175ers" could legally mingle in the ranks. About 7,000 were
      convicted but
      were forced to return to military service, where they were sometimes
      used in
      suicide missions on the front lines.
      The Nazis distinguished between offenders who had "learned"
      their
      behavior from others and the "incorrigibles," who actively sought
      partners.
      The so-called incorrigibles were sent to concentration camps, and by
      1943
      camp commanders were given authority to castrate homosexuals. The
      exhibition includes a photograph of an operating table.
      "They believed that homosexuality could be corrected," said
      Edward J.
      Phillips, the exhibition's curator. "That included hormone
      treatments among
      other experiments. Also, there was a notion that homosexuality was
      developmental and those forced to work in disciplined hard labor
      could
      overcome it."
      Mr. Odeman's case was unusual, according to historians,
      because some
      of the songs and poems he wrote in the concentration camp showed
      that he was
      part of a supportive gay circle. One theory about why gays were
      treated so
      badly in the camps was that they were isolated by fear of
      associating with
      each other and so were easier prey for camp guards, Mr. Giles said.
      Why where the Nazis so diligently anti-homosexual? There
      have been
      claims that Hitler was gay, but Mr. Giles believes the Nazi focus on
      gays
      stemmed from close relationships among German men in wartime
      trenches.
      "The defining relationship for the older Nazis was World War
      I, and
      they set out in the 1920's to reproduce that feeling of
      comradeship," Mr.
      Giles said. "But those relationships could stray into the
      homoerotic area,
      and that's what they feared."


      Reuters, January 4, 2003
      http//www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-health-clone-dutch.html
      Second Cloned Baby Due Sunday, Says Dutch Movement
      By Reuters
      AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The world's second cloned baby is due
      to be
      born on Sunday by natural childbirth to a Dutch woman, the head of
      the
      Raelian sect in the Netherlands said on Saturday.
      "She will have a normal birth. It is due tomorrow, but maybe
      it will
      be a bit early or bit late," Bart Overvliet, Dutch chairman of the
      movement,
      told Reuters.
      The child, a girl, was created by Clonaid, the same cloning
      firm that
      claimed last month to have organized the birth of the first human
      clone to a
      31-year-old U.S. woman.
      Clonaid's initial claim sparked widespread skepticism among
      scientific experts and the company has yet to provide DNA samples or
      other
      evidence to support its assertions about last month's birth.
      Clonaid was established by the Raelian movement, a religious
      group
      that believes aliens landed on Earth 25,000 years ago and started
      the human
      race through cloning.
      The founder of the movement, Claude Vorilhon, who calls
      himself
      "Rael," told CNN's Connie Chung on Friday that Clonaid and the
      Raelian
      movement are "very different" and he could not personally vouch for
      the
      accuracy of Clonaid's claims.
      Overvliet said the Dutch woman involved in the latest birth
      is a
      lesbian who plans to raise the baby with her partner and is not a
      member of
      the Raelian movement.
      "It's a lesbian couple, but she is not a member of the
      religion, she
      got in contact with Clonaid by herself," said Overvliet, a 45-year-
      old
      Amsterdam salesman.
      Cloning a human is forbidden in the Netherlands, but nothing
      in the
      law forbids the birth of a cloned baby, a spokesman for the Dutch
      Health
      Ministry said.
      Clonaid, which says it has a list of 2,000 people willing to
      pay
      $200,000 to have themselves or a loved one cloned, announced its
      initial
      breakthrough on December 27 and said four more cloned babies would
      be born
      by the end of January.
      Cattle, mice, sheep and other animals have been cloned with
      mixed
      success. Some of these animals have shown defects later in life and
      critics
      of human cloning say it is unethical to subject a baby to these
      dangers.
      The Raelians dismiss fears about cloned babies suffering
      health
      problems as propaganda aimed at impeding the progress of cloning.
      "I think it is obvious that these scientists don't want to let
      cloning progress, they want to stop it because they are afraid of
      human
      cloning. They say on purpose that it has a lot of faults and
      genetical
      defects," Overvliet said.
      Clonaid's work is a logical progression of in-vitro
      fertilisation
      (IVF), the technique used to help infertile couples have children,
      Overvliet
      said. "Human cloning is more of an extension of IVF, cloning of
      humans is
      actually less complicated than of animals," he said.
      The Raelian Movement, which claims 55,000 followers around
      the world,
      has around 30 members in the Netherlands, but none of them so far
      have
      expressed interest in being cloned, he said.
      Aliens who created humans and then departed for their own
      planet have
      been monitoring mankind's progress, Overvliet said.
      "They now think we are far enough along in science so we can
      understand how we were created," he said.
      On Thursday, Clonaid chief executive Brigitte Boisselier said
      in
      interviews with France 2 television and BBC Two in Britain that DNA
      tests on
      the baby born to an American woman had been put off because the
      parents were
      anxious about keeping their identity secret.


      Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 4, 2003
      425 Portland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, 55408
      (Fax 612-673-4359 ) (E-Mail opinion@... )
      ( http//www.startribune.com/ )
      http//www.startribune.com/stories/462/3571455.html
      Former teacher sues Lutheran school alleging discrimination
      Pam Louwagie, Star Tribune
      Late in his career as a Lutheran pastor, Roger Franzen went
      to work
      every day teaching religion and counseling students at the Lutheran
      High
      School of Greater Minneapolis with a secret, he said He was gay.
      After leaders of the school and the Lutheran Church-Missouri
      Synod
      found out and talked to him, he resigned. He's claiming in a
      lawsuit in
      Hennepin County District Court that his resignation was forced.
      He's suing
      the school and denomination for discrimination and invasion of
      privacy.
      But attorneys for the Bloomington school and the denomination
      maintain that Franzen left voluntarily. They argue that the court
      should
      dismiss his suit, citing separation of church and state.
      Franzen, 53, who sued under the name "John FR Doe," had told
      his wife
      in 1998 about his sexual orientation. They divorced and wrote a
      letter to
      her family explaining why. Her brother, a Missouri Synod pastor in
      another
      state, told his church officials, who relayed the information to
      officials
      in Minnesota, according to court documents.
      Franzen met with school and denomination officials and agreed
      to
      resign in spring 2000 after teaching the school year while remaining
      "closeted and celibate," he said in a deposition. He said that he
      hadn't
      wanted to give up teaching, but that officials "made it clear that
      that
      would be, from their perspective, the best thing to have happen," he
      said in
      the document.
      Attorneys for the school and denomination argue that state and
      federal law prohibit courts from intervening because the claims
      involve a
      church's constitutionally protected doctrinal position on
      homosexuality.
      "The courts simply cannot review issues of church belief, doctrine or
      governance," wrote Steve Plunkett, a Minneapolis attorney for the
      denomination.
      Attorney Leatha Wolter of Minneapolis, representing the
      school, said
      it is "specifically exempt from these types of allegations."
      Franzen's attorney, Jeff Anderson of St. Paul, said the
      school and
      denomination retaliated against Franzen for his sexual orientation,
      crossing
      the line of what's allowed under separation of church and state.
      Franzen
      had never acted on or advocated his orientation and had never taught
      contrary to church doctrine, Anderson said.
      "In effect, they terminated him for his thoughts - sexual or
      otherwise," he said. "That is not only wrong, it's indecent."
      . Pam Louwagie is at plouwagie@....


      Newport Daily News, January 4, 2003
      Box 420, Newport, RI, 02840
      (E-Mail editor@... )
      http//www.newportdailynews.com/display/inn_news/NEWS3.TXT
      Most welcome liaison
      By Janine L. Weisman/Daily News staff
      NEWPORT - The naming of the first liaison officer between the
      mayor's
      office and the city's gay and lesbian community brought applause
      during a
      brief ceremony Friday at City Hall, as well as a sales pitch of
      sorts.
      Robert Rosenberg, president and CEO of the Newport County
      Convention
      & Visitor's Bureau, presented statistics from a tourism industry Web
      site
      showing that gay and lesbian travelers are just the kind of folks
      Newport
      wants to welcome here. Gays and lesbians are likely to travel as
      couples
      and are thought to have more disposable income.
      "They spend on the average almost twice what other travelers
      spend,"
      Rosenberg told the group of about 30 people assembled in the council
      chamber.
      His remarks came after Mayor Richard C. Sardella welcomed
      Colleen K.
      Hopkins as the new liaison officer from the gay and lesbian
      community.
      Hopkins' selection stirred some opposition from at least one council
      member
      who feels the volunteer position is unnecessary.
      Councilwoman Kathryn E. Leonard questioned if Sardella has the
      authority to appoint such a position, but the mayor said he simply
      was
      recognizing a resident who was chosen by members of GLANCE, newly
      formed
      organization that stands for Gay and Lesbian Association of Newport
      County,
      Etc.
      Hopkins, 33, director of tournaments and special events for
      the
      International Tennis Hall of Fame, will be responsible for keeping
      the mayor
      informed of issues affecting local gays and lesbians. Newport is
      home to a
      large gay and lesbian population that is underrepresented, Hopkins
      said.
      Newport becomes the second Rhode Island municipality to
      establish a
      formal liaison relationship with its gay and lesbian community.
      "The mayor of Newport has done something very progressive.
      I'm only
      hoping that all of the cities and towns, maybe even the governor,
      follow,"
      said Lori Green, who held a similar post with the city of Providence
      from
      February until Mayor Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr. stepped down in
      September.
      Rosenberg quoted travel industry statistics that suggested the
      American gay and lesbian community represents a $54.1 billion travel
      market,
      or an estimated 10 percent of the U.S. travel industry. Demographic
      surveys
      found that 83 percent of gay and lesbian travelers have household
      incomes of
      more than $40,000, higher than the national average, while more than
      a third
      had incomes of more than $100,000. Their interests included local
      culture,
      dining, shopping, museums, theater and architecture.
      Eighty-seven percent of gay and lesbian travelers stated they
      prefer
      to do business with companies that give back to the gay and lesbian
      community, according to Rosenberg's fact sheet.
      Leonard, who was in Florida this week, disputed complaints
      that the
      council was insensitive to the needs of the gay community when it
      refused to
      grant a liquor license transfer. The council had revoked the license
      because it was attached to Club Craz at 28 Prospect Hill St., which
      was shut
      down in 2000 after police raided the bar and cited 30 underage
      patrons. A
      gay resident wants to open a gay bar on the same premises and
      unsuccessfully
      tried to acquire the liquor license.
      "I think the issue's been blown out of proportion," said
      Leonard, who
      said she and friends - both gay and straight - consider the liaison
      position
      "silly" because no one feels they are being discriminated against.
      "She's probably a very nice person," Leonard said of Hopkins.
      "I wish her luck. It's not a council position now, it's a
      mayor's
      position. It would be nice if she would talk to everybody."


      Miami Herald, January 4, 2003
      1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL, 33132
      (Fax 305-527-8955 or 305-376-8950 ) (E-Mail HeraldEd@... )
      ( http//www.miami.com/mld/miami/ )
      http//www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/4870829.htm
      Beach hate crime condemned
      Called one of worst in years
      By Richard Brand, rbrand@...
      Gay and civil rights groups denounced the New Year's shooting
      of a
      gay man in South Beach as one of the worst hate-crime attacks in the
      county
      in years.
      Two men are facing attempted murder-hate crime charges.
      Police say
      one of them shouted an anti-gay slur before shooting the victim in
      the
      shoulder - right after discovering the object of his attention
      wasn't a
      woman.
      ''I just don't recall hearing about anything this vicious in
      the five
      years I've worked here,'' said Howard L. Simon, executive director
      of the
      Florida branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.
      "I hear about gay-bashing incidents, but I don't hear about
      somebody
      pulling out a gun and shooting somebody.''
      Earnest Robinson, 23, of Hollywood was released from Jackson
      Memorial
      Hospital Friday afternoon, shaken by the attack.
      Robinson, who says he has feminine features and is often
      mistaken for
      a woman, was heading home after spending New Year's Eve partying at
      Twist
      nightclub at 1057 Washington Ave. when the attack occurred.
      While walking to his car, he said, he was approached at the
      corner of
      Collins Avenue and 11th Street by two men, one of whom tried to pick
      him up.
      "They thought I was something I wasn't. I said, 'Leave me
      alone.
      I'm a man.' His friend was laughing at him and he got offended, and
      he shot
      me. I fell to the ground and that's all I remember,'' Robinson said
      in a
      phone interview.
      Police arrested Adrian Miller, 19, of Long Branch, N.J., and
      Billy
      Ledan, 19, of Miami as they drove across the MacArthur causeway
      about 7
      a.m., shortly after the shooting.
      Both were charged with attempted murder-hate crime, and Ledan
      was
      also charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Officials say Miller
      was the
      shooter. Both are jailed without bond.
      State Attorney's Office spokesman Ed Griffith said those
      charges
      could result in 15 years to life in prison. Classifying the
      shooting as a
      hate crime wouldn't increase the prison term significantly because
      the
      potential sentence is already so severe, Griffith said.
      Robinson said that while he sometimes cross-dresses, he was
      not in
      drag on New Year's Eve. Miami Beach police reports identified him
      as a
      transvestite.
      ''Some people are just ignorant, stupid and hateful,''
      Robinson said
      of his attackers.
      Officials said the shooting was an aberration in a city that
      prides
      itself on being extremely tolerant of gays. In 1992, it became the
      first
      city in the county to give equal protection to gays and lesbians in
      housing,
      employment and accommodations.
      ''I've been at the city 10 years and there has been nothing
      like
      this. This is an extreme occurrence,'' said Michael Aller, the
      city's
      tourism director and liaison to gay community groups.
      Still, the Beach, famous for its gay population and nightlife
      industry, has had its share of gay-bashing. In the last two weeks,
      three
      other incidents occurred at Twist nightclub, according to manager
      Scott
      Szabo. Those included one in which men threw bottles at the club
      entrance
      and two others in which patrons were picked into fights.
      In 2001, the last year for which figures are available, 42
      sexual-orientation hate crimes were reported in Florida, according
      to the
      state Attorney General's Office, with 11 in Broward and five in
      Miami-Dade.
      Miami Beach and Wilton Manors, a small Broward town with a notable
      gay
      population, led the state with five each. Most were assaults.
      And 1,393 occurred across the country, according to
      statistics cited
      by Washington-based National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
      ''The unfortunate reality is these crimes happen almost every
      day,''
      said Beth George, spokeswoman for of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance
      Against
      Defamation.
      . Staff writers Nicole White and David Green contributed to
      this
      report.
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