4th January 2003 (# 2) News Clippings Digest
- 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
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 )
Gay Focus at Holocaust Museum
By Elizabeth Olson
WASHINGTON - They were called the "175ers" - homosexuals that
Nazis arrested, beat, used as prison labor and sometimes castrated.
Charges were brought under Paragraph 175 of the German
which outlawed "unnatural indecency" between men, starting in 1871.
Nazis broadened the statute to make "simple looking" and "simple
reasons for tracking and rounding up gay men.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum here, where two
visitors a year learn about the persecution of Jews under Hitler, has
decided to focus exhibitions on other groups, beginning with
For two years the museum's researchers combed records, mainly in
The somber result is "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945," an
exhibition that is running through March 16 at the museum, at 100
Wallenberg Place SW, and will then travel to New York, San Francisco
other cities. (More information ushmm.org.)
While tens of thousands were incarcerated and an unknown
killed, few homosexuals told their stories then - or later. For
after the Allied victory they were subject to the same criminal
Hitler's regime had used to pursue them. The law was expunged in
it was only last May that convicted "175ers" were pardoned by the
Only fragments of their brutal treatment in the Nazi era are
Robert T. Odeman, for example, who wrote cabaret songs, was
homosexual offenses in Berlin and sent to prison. After he was
police arrested him again, citing his letters to a half-Jewish
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
be part of an effort to remember the Holocaust's other victims, who
not only gays but also the handicapped, Gypsies, Poles, Soviet
war and Jehovah's Witnesses.
Since there was so little testimony from the victims or the
survivors, the museum built the exhibition around disturbingly
Nazi records. Photographs, cartoons and art from the era show that
out homosexuality became a priority for the Nazis even though an
Ernst Röhm, chief of the storm troopers, helped bring Hitler to
he was murdered in 1934, barriers to pursuing gays were swept away,
homosexuality was equated with treason.
In a country where bonding began early in all-male youth
Nazis publicly campaigned to stamp out "indecent" acts. Yet "a
number of cases of homosexual activity were found in just about
of the Nazi apparatus, from the storm troopers to the Hitler Youth
movement," said Geoffrey Giles, a University of Florida historian,
contributed some of his research to the exhibition. While "deviant"
were a convenient tool of denunciation in the Hitler Youth, where
homosexuality was cited for 25 percent of those expelled, there was
fear that such behavior was learned and could spread through the
Such behavior had to be righted, the Nazis argued, because
homosexuals were jeopardizing Germany's future generations by
have children. Lesbians, by contrast, were often spared, because
be re-educated to assume roles as wives and mothers.
In the Weimar Republic, courts restricted the 1871 law, which
a sentence of two years' imprisonment, to acts of physical contact.
400 people were convicted until the start of the Nazi era; then the
of convictions rose tenfold.
By 1936 the Gestapo leader Heinrich Himmler had established
Central Office to Combat Homosexuality and Abortion, and
gays was legalized. Over all, as many as 100,000 men were arrested
charged with homosexual acts. About half were convicted and
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
German military. The Nazi Party feared that an exemption "could
many as three million men," said Mr. Giles, who is writing a book
homosexuals and the party. When World War II began, accused and
"175ers" could legally mingle in the ranks. About 7,000 were
were forced to return to military service, where they were sometimes
suicide missions on the front lines.
The Nazis distinguished between offenders who had "learned"
behavior from others and the "incorrigibles," who actively sought
The so-called incorrigibles were sent to concentration camps, and by
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
Phillips, the exhibition's curator. "That included hormone
other experiments. Also, there was a notion that homosexuality was
developmental and those forced to work in disciplined hard labor
Mr. Odeman's case was unusual, according to historians,
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
badly in the camps was that they were isolated by fear of
each other and so were easier prey for camp guards, Mr. Giles said.
Why where the Nazis so diligently anti-homosexual? There
claims that Hitler was gay, but Mr. Giles believes the Nazi focus on
stemmed from close relationships among German men in wartime
"The defining relationship for the older Nazis was World War
they set out in the 1920's to reproduce that feeling of
Giles said. "But those relationships could stray into the
and that's what they feared."
Reuters, January 4, 2003
Second Cloned Baby Due Sunday, Says Dutch Movement
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The world's second cloned baby is due
born on Sunday by natural childbirth to a Dutch woman, the head of
Raelian sect in the Netherlands said on Saturday.
"She will have a normal birth. It is due tomorrow, but maybe
be a bit early or bit late," Bart Overvliet, Dutch chairman of the
The child, a girl, was created by Clonaid, the same cloning
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
evidence to support its assertions about last month's birth.
Clonaid was established by the Raelian movement, a religious
that believes aliens landed on Earth 25,000 years ago and started
race through cloning.
The founder of the movement, Claude Vorilhon, who calls
"Rael," told CNN's Connie Chung on Friday that Clonaid and the
movement are "very different" and he could not personally vouch for
accuracy of Clonaid's claims.
Overvliet said the Dutch woman involved in the latest birth
lesbian who plans to raise the baby with her partner and is not a
the Raelian movement.
"It's a lesbian couple, but she is not a member of the
got in contact with Clonaid by herself," said Overvliet, a 45-year-
Cloning a human is forbidden in the Netherlands, but nothing
law forbids the birth of a cloned baby, a spokesman for the Dutch
Clonaid, which says it has a list of 2,000 people willing to
$200,000 to have themselves or a loved one cloned, announced its
breakthrough on December 27 and said four more cloned babies would
by the end of January.
Cattle, mice, sheep and other animals have been cloned with
success. Some of these animals have shown defects later in life and
of human cloning say it is unethical to subject a baby to these
The Raelians dismiss fears about cloned babies suffering
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
cloning. They say on purpose that it has a lot of faults and
defects," Overvliet said.
Clonaid's work is a logical progression of in-vitro
(IVF), the technique used to help infertile couples have children,
said. "Human cloning is more of an extension of IVF, cloning of
actually less complicated than of animals," he said.
The Raelian Movement, which claims 55,000 followers around
has around 30 members in the Netherlands, but none of them so far
expressed interest in being cloned, he said.
Aliens who created humans and then departed for their own
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
interviews with France 2 television and BBC Two in Britain that DNA
the baby born to an American woman had been put off because the
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/ )
Former teacher sues Lutheran school alleging discrimination
Pam Louwagie, Star Tribune
Late in his career as a Lutheran pastor, Roger Franzen went
every day teaching religion and counseling students at the Lutheran
School of Greater Minneapolis with a secret, he said He was gay.
After leaders of the school and the Lutheran Church-Missouri
found out and talked to him, he resigned. He's claiming in a
Hennepin County District Court that his resignation was forced.
the school and denomination for discrimination and invasion of
But attorneys for the Bloomington school and the denomination
maintain that Franzen left voluntarily. They argue that the court
dismiss his suit, citing separation of church and state.
Franzen, 53, who sued under the name "John FR Doe," had told
in 1998 about his sexual orientation. They divorced and wrote a
her family explaining why. Her brother, a Missouri Synod pastor in
state, told his church officials, who relayed the information to
in Minnesota, according to court documents.
Franzen met with school and denomination officials and agreed
resign in spring 2000 after teaching the school year while remaining
"closeted and celibate," he said in a deposition. He said that he
wanted to give up teaching, but that officials "made it clear that
would be, from their perspective, the best thing to have happen," he
Attorneys for the school and denomination argue that state and
federal law prohibit courts from intervening because the claims
church's constitutionally protected doctrinal position on
"The courts simply cannot review issues of church belief, doctrine or
governance," wrote Steve Plunkett, a Minneapolis attorney for the
Attorney Leatha Wolter of Minneapolis, representing the
it is "specifically exempt from these types of allegations."
Franzen's attorney, Jeff Anderson of St. Paul, said the
denomination retaliated against Franzen for his sexual orientation,
the line of what's allowed under separation of church and state.
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@... )
Most welcome liaison
By Janine L. Weisman/Daily News staff
NEWPORT - The naming of the first liaison officer between the
office and the city's gay and lesbian community brought applause
brief ceremony Friday at City Hall, as well as a sales pitch of
Robert Rosenberg, president and CEO of the Newport County
& Visitor's Bureau, presented statistics from a tourism industry Web
showing that gay and lesbian travelers are just the kind of folks
wants to welcome here. Gays and lesbians are likely to travel as
and are thought to have more disposable income.
"They spend on the average almost twice what other travelers
Rosenberg told the group of about 30 people assembled in the council
His remarks came after Mayor Richard C. Sardella welcomed
Hopkins as the new liaison officer from the gay and lesbian
Hopkins' selection stirred some opposition from at least one council
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
recognizing a resident who was chosen by members of GLANCE, newly
organization that stands for Gay and Lesbian Association of Newport
Hopkins, 33, director of tournaments and special events for
International Tennis Hall of Fame, will be responsible for keeping
informed of issues affecting local gays and lesbians. Newport is
home to a
large gay and lesbian population that is underrepresented, Hopkins
Newport becomes the second Rhode Island municipality to
formal liaison relationship with its gay and lesbian community.
"The mayor of Newport has done something very progressive.
hoping that all of the cities and towns, maybe even the governor,
said Lori Green, who held a similar post with the city of Providence
February until Mayor Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr. stepped down in
Rosenberg quoted travel industry statistics that suggested the
American gay and lesbian community represents a $54.1 billion travel
or an estimated 10 percent of the U.S. travel industry. Demographic
found that 83 percent of gay and lesbian travelers have household
more than $40,000, higher than the national average, while more than
had incomes of more than $100,000. Their interests included local
dining, shopping, museums, theater and architecture.
Eighty-seven percent of gay and lesbian travelers stated they
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
council was insensitive to the needs of the gay community when it
grant a liquor license transfer. The council had revoked the license
because it was attached to Club Craz at 28 Prospect Hill St., which
down in 2000 after police raided the bar and cited 30 underage
gay resident wants to open a gay bar on the same premises and
tried to acquire the liquor license.
"I think the issue's been blown out of proportion," said
said she and friends - both gay and straight - consider the liaison
"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
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/ )
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
gay man in South Beach as one of the worst hate-crime attacks in the
Two men are facing attempted murder-hate crime charges.
one of them shouted an anti-gay slur before shooting the victim in
shoulder - right after discovering the object of his attention
''I just don't recall hearing about anything this vicious in
years I've worked here,'' said Howard L. Simon, executive director
Florida branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.
"I hear about gay-bashing incidents, but I don't hear about
pulling out a gun and shooting somebody.''
Earnest Robinson, 23, of Hollywood was released from Jackson
Hospital Friday afternoon, shaken by the attack.
Robinson, who says he has feminine features and is often
a woman, was heading home after spending New Year's Eve partying at
nightclub at 1057 Washington Ave. when the attack occurred.
While walking to his car, he said, he was approached at the
Collins Avenue and 11th Street by two men, one of whom tried to pick
"They thought I was something I wasn't. I said, 'Leave me
I'm a man.' His friend was laughing at him and he got offended, and
me. I fell to the ground and that's all I remember,'' Robinson said
Police arrested Adrian Miller, 19, of Long Branch, N.J., and
Ledan, 19, of Miami as they drove across the MacArthur causeway
a.m., shortly after the shooting.
Both were charged with attempted murder-hate crime, and Ledan
also charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Officials say Miller
shooter. Both are jailed without bond.
State Attorney's Office spokesman Ed Griffith said those
could result in 15 years to life in prison. Classifying the
shooting as a
hate crime wouldn't increase the prison term significantly because
potential sentence is already so severe, Griffith said.
Robinson said that while he sometimes cross-dresses, he was
drag on New Year's Eve. Miami Beach police reports identified him
''Some people are just ignorant, stupid and hateful,''
of his attackers.
Officials said the shooting was an aberration in a city that
itself on being extremely tolerant of gays. In 1992, it became the
city in the county to give equal protection to gays and lesbians in
employment and accommodations.
''I've been at the city 10 years and there has been nothing
this. This is an extreme occurrence,'' said Michael Aller, the
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,
other incidents occurred at Twist nightclub, according to manager
Szabo. Those included one in which men threw bottles at the club
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
state Attorney General's Office, with 11 in Broward and five in
Miami Beach and Wilton Manors, a small Broward town with a notable
population, led the state with five each. Most were assaults.
And 1,393 occurred across the country, according to
by Washington-based National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
''The unfortunate reality is these crimes happen almost every
said Beth George, spokeswoman for of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance
. Staff writers Nicole White and David Green contributed to
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