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Hung Jury in Araujo Murder
After an Alameda County, California declared a hung jury in the case of three men charged in the murder of transgendered teen Gwen Araujo, after almost ten days of jury deliberations, Sylvia Guerrero, Araujo’s mother, sat in the emptying courtroom and wept. The three men accused of killing Araujo were led off to wait in jail, perhaps for another year, for a new trial. The jury considered first-degree murder charges against the three defendants, but when they deadlocked they did not consider lesser charges of second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. Guerrero’s child, who was 17 at the time of the brutal killing more than a year and a half ago, was baptized Edward, called herself Gwen, but was known to the alleged murderers only as a girl named Lida.

Former Cop’s Murder Rap Upheld
In a middle-of-the-night online chat in 2002, Jon Brewbaker, a 32-year-old former police officer, arranged to have sex with Jonathan Shanks, a gay-20-year-old college student, according to an account provided by Brewbaker. The night would end in disaster for both men, Shanks shot to death and later on Brewbaker sentenced to 23 years in prison for second-degree murder.

The Tough Fight for Compensation
On June 15, the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund was closed. The minimum award given to claimants was $250,000, and the average was about $1.8 million. "Over 98 percent of eligible families who lost a loved one voluntarily decided to participate and submitted claims to the Fund," wrote Kenneth R. Feinberg, special master of the Fund. But some of the 24 openly lesbian or gay surviving partners of women and men who perished in the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon feel differently, according to sources familiar with the confidential outcome of claims cases.

Schumer Predicts Amendment Failure
New York Sen. Charles Schumer expressed confidence this week that the Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution, limiting marriage to couples of one man and one women, which needs a two-thirds majority to clear the Senate, will not only fall short when the Republicans bring it to the floor on July 12, "but we are close to getting a majority" in opposition. 40 nay votes are necessary to stop it from coming to the floor for a vote; if that effort fails, supporters of the effort would still need 67 votes to send the amendment on to the 50 states if the House also approves it by a two-thirds margin. Three-quarters of the state legislatures would then have to approve it for it to become part of the Constitution.

Opening Up Marriage in Massachusetts
On Thursday, June 17, two lawsuits against the state were announced, challenging the decision of Gov. Mitt Romney to deny marriage licenses to out-of-state, same-sex couples who do not attest to their intention to move to the state. One, filed in Suffolk Superior Court on June 18 by Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the Boston-based legal rights organization that also won last November’s Goodrich case permitting same-sex marriages in the state, is on behalf of eight out-of-state gay and lesbian couples, including one from New York City. The other suit represents 12 cities and towns in Massachusetts.

D.C. May Recognize Gay Marriage
Mayor Anthony Williams of Washington, D.C. is expected to issue a directive before July 4 instructing city agencies whether or not to recognize same-sex marriages legalized elsewhere. According to Peter Rosenstein, a member of the mayor’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Advisory Committee, Williams told a June 1 meeting of the committee that he would issue such a directive within 30 days. Rosenstein also said that the attorney general for the District of Columbia, Robert Spagnoletti, has advised the mayor, a Democrat, on whether current district law prohibits recognition of same-sex marriages performed in the 50 states.

Serving a Diverse Asian Community
Cultural competency is one of the hottest issues discussed by HIV prevention professionals and activists trying to find the best way to put across simple and effective public health messages. Imagine trying to structure a culturally competent prevention program that meets the needs of a community made up of 49 distinct racial and ethnic groups. That is one way to describe the mission facing the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS

New HIV Oversight Raises Concerns
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has proposed new rules governing the content of HIV prevention materials that AIDS advocates are charging will favor ideology over effective HIV prevention efforts. "The guidelines seem to be addressing more moral issues and concerns instead of what it takes to affect HIV transmission," said Ronald Johnson, associate executive director of GMHC. "As I read them, they put moralistic values over public health values." The proposed guidelines would require AIDS groups to pre-clear all their CDC-funded HIV prevention materials with a review panel to be created by their state or local health department.

Caregiving by the Gay Community
LGBT people over 50 have a slightly higher rate of caregiving for their parents, partners, and friends than their heterosexual counterparts. That’s one of the conclusions of a new joint study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, Pride Senior Network, and the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.. "Far from shying away from family responsibilities, this study shows that gay people are equally if not more devoted to family members and loved ones in need," said Matt Forman, NGLTF’s executive.

Pride Kicks Off With A Rally
Roughly 1,000 people turned out for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Rally held in Manhattan’s Bryant Park on June 20. With the gay marriage debate galvanizing the queer community across the nation, there were few comments from the rally stage on the topic. Emceeing the rally was comedian Kate Clinton who opened the event with a long riff on the topic and a poke or two at President George W. Bush.

A Beautiful Evening
The LGBT Community Center held its 21st Annual Garden Party on a beautiful summer solstice evening in the West Village Monday.
As it has ever since it temporarily lived in swing space in the far West Village while its home on 13th Street was being renovated, the Center held its bash at the John Seravalli Park between Hudson and Gansevoort Streets.

Pride In Our History
Richard C. Wandel from the LGBT Community Center’s National History Archive provides vintage pictures from the early post-Stonewall gay movement in New York City.

Fetish, Fun, and Sun
On a brilliant opening day of summer, the Gay Male S/M Activists held their annual S/M-Leather-Fetish Block Party, this year on 28th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.

Confirmed Dead and Wounded
June 17-23,2004
Nine members of the United States Armed Forces died this past week in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. One servicemember died in Afghanistan.

Volume Three, PRIDE ISSUE
, June 24 -30, 2004

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Perspective/Legacy of a Legal Ruling
The Lawrence Decision, a Year Later
It was one of those rare moments when you just know that you’re witnessing history. A year ago, while waiting to hear the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Lambda Legal’s case challenging Texas’ "homosexual conduct" law, I thought about the last two decades leading up to that moment. I remembered sitting in the same chamber 17 years earlier when the Supreme Court issued a stinging defeat and upheld Georgia’s anti-gay sodomy law. But, last June, as Justice Anthony Kennedy read the Court’s decision, it became clear that we hadn’t just won, we’d won big. Some people in the room openly wept as Justice Kennedy read the decision. It takes many years for the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court to take shape. The cultural impact of the Lawrence decision began immediately, though, and we’re already starting to see its significant ramifications.

Perspective/History and Our Lives
Don’t Trust Anyone Under/Over 40 (Pick One)
During the official week of mourning following the death of Ronald Reagan, as I seethed with anger at the deification of the man who reigned carelessly over the first eight years of the AIDS crisis, I noticed a disturbing disconnect. Gay men my age and older understood my ferocious reaction to his demise—and were grateful for a chance to vent. Younger gay men were baffled or even stunned. Some wondered aloud about the connection between Reagan and AIDS. Others told me plainly not to speak ill of the dead. These were no Republicans Most were socially conscious types with plenty of politically correct credentials. Still, their direct knowledge of the 1980s had filtered in between classes in grade school. Could they be blamed for lacking a visceral response to the lies of omission that accompanied Reagan’s apotheosis?

An emerging crisis
Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea Our Problem to Fix
The last thing we gay men need to hear is more bad news about our sex lives. Last year there were announcements about continued increases in HIV diagnoses and syphilis cases, and earlier this year new data came out about how crystal meth use might be fueling the spread of HIV and STDs. Now there are reports of increasing cases of gonorrhea among gay and bisexual men, a growing number of which are resistant to commonly used antibiotics.
Gonorrhea may not seem like a big deal. But with an estimated 700,000 people infected in the U.S. each year , gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. And like syphilis, it may be contributing to new HIV infections in our community.

Perspective/Letter from the Editor
Let the Sun Shine In
In the end, it’s all about love.
Each of us has to define love in our own way, and within our
community it means many different things.
Two gay men raising a young son. An older lesbian couple who have seen the world change completely in the decades of their union, and now want to have their marriage legalized. A young woman who achieves sexual fulfillment with both men and women. A transsexual woman who has completed the difficult journey from a troubled boyhood and today lives to be accepted and validated for who she is. A middle-aged man who finds comfort in sexual and spiritual communion with different men on different nights. Thirty-five years ago, when the queer community fought back with a ferocity that shocked this city and awakened the nation’s largely quiet and hidden gay, lesbian, and transgender population, America was in the midst of what turned out to be a relatively brief countercultural moment in which the word love was much in the air.

Perspective/Letters to the Editor
Readers continue to write with heated reactions occasioned by the death of former Pres. Ronald Reagan; others are commenting on the decision by a New Jersey gender rights group to return a grant from the Human Rights Campaign in protest; and a reader in Hoboken complaints that Ben Gazzara has no place in a gay newspaper.

News Briefs


No DOMA Vote in Albany

GEICO Reversal

NYC Council Sets Big Votes on Gay Issues Monday

Clinton’s Legacy in the Military

AIDS Apartheid in Thailand

Massachusetts Political Bigs at Gay Wedding

Marry and Burn

Remembering Ronnie

"Billy Elliot: The Musical" Set for 2005

Kramer at 69


Reading Room

Curtain Call


7 Days/ 7 Nights

How a Rum Hole Legalized Sodomy
I must declare an interest. I was interviewed for this book ten or so years ago, at which time it became clear both to David Carter and to me that my testimony concerning my whereabouts (the Stonewall Inn) and occupation (witness to an altercation) at 11:30 on the night of June 27, 1969, would not at all pan out in respect to the events that began taking place two hours later, in the early morning hours of June 28.

Setting Stonewall Straight
Responding to a question about his book "Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution," David Carter opened one of several dozen boxes that are neatly stacked in his West Village apartment. He rifled through it and produced one of the several thousand documents that he used in researching the book. "I really did sweat this to get it as accurate as I could," the 51-year-old Carter said.

‘A Rare and Worthy Life’
The night in 1978 that Harvey Milk was assassinated in San Francisco, Michael Denneny was with Chuck Ortlib, the publisher of the landmark gay magazine, Christopher Street, named for the street where the two sat in a restaurant. Denneny, then an editor at St. Martin’s Press, convinced Ortlib to commit $5,000 to a full-length feature on the life of Milk, one of the modern gay movement’s most prominent leaders. Denneny’s next instinct proved even more fortuitous.

Tackling the Second Novel
Stacey D’Erasmo’s second novel, "A Seahorse Year," plunges her reader into the lives of a contemporary family in the midst of a crisis, and then expertly weaves each of their stories into a commentary on the intricacies of family bonds and the limitations of human love. Perhaps because of their utter ordinariness, when the curtain closes on these characters it proves difficult for them to let go, but as each comes to realize over the course of the book, letting go must happen. This is not a moralistic story where you applaud heroes or denounce villains, and its resolution may prove unsettling, but D’Erasmo reminds us that this is the way life often works.

Engaging Erotic Awareness
Jameson Currier's new short-story anthology brings humor and light to sexual entanglements. Fans of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" might remember Mary Richard's horrifying epiphany about her romantic life: "Two THOU-SAND dates!" For some gay men, the dating process feels like it takes "2,000 years," Currier jokes. Writing "Desire, Lust, Passion, Sex" was Currier's therapy for braving the rigors of swimming in the dating pool, much as his Book of Job-like novel "Where the Rainbow Ends" allowed him to deal with his losses to the AIDS epidemic.

Help for Lesbian Abuse Survivors
Sexual abuse wears a mantle of silence that perpetuates the harm to its victims long after the actual abuse occurs. Donna Rafanello, a lesbian survivor of abuse who is now a family counselor, ends her own silence as well as that of several other sexual abuse survivors in "Can’t Touch My Soul: A Guide for Lesbian Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse." The book is a symmetrical collection of personal stories, academic analysis, and self-help advice, punctuated by pertinent quotes by everyone from Audre Lorde to Oprah Winfrey.

where i left off
june 17, 2004
The poet writes about the year since the murder of African American lesbian teenager Sakia Gunn in Newark, New Jersey.

Odysseus in Massachusetts
Just in time for the centenary of Bloomsday and the attendant attention on James Joyce’s "Ulysses" comes John O’Reilly’s "A Worcester Odyssey." O’Reilly, a photographer, lives well off the beaten track in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is kith and kin to Floral Park’s Joseph Cornell, both men making a practice of hording and accumulating objects, references, and images in all manner of permutation. The protagonist in this photo production inspired by Homer’s classic tale is a young man named Donald.

Riffing on Film Totems
Burt Barr’s work is, in many ways, unique in the field of video art. His work is technically polished and full of wit and reference to film arts of all types. Three recent pieces make up his current show at Brent Sikkema. Two screened pieces—"Roz", and "The Mile: Running Time 7:25"—are featured in the main gallery. "The Fan," in the back gallery, is not, strictly speaking, a video piece, though it does incorporate a video DVD.

What’s Gender Got to Do With It?
Leigh Bowery. Nina Simone. Klaus Nomi. Mabel Mercer. Brian Ferry. Ella Fitzgerald. It’s impossible to read anything about the Johnsons’ plaintive front man Antony without first engaging in this poker game of superlatives. My personal favorite is a hybrid one writer concocts between Evel Knievel and Maria Callas. I’m guilty of it myself. Antony’s able to laugh over what he considers an oldie, but goodie: Lotte Lenya. "That was one of the first and I always loved it," he said.

Pioneer Who Survived the Blacklist
"The Group" is a full-length script by Ronald Rand about the founding of the Group Theater, the pioneering handful of actors, directors, and playwrights who in the bleak 1930s moved American drama into the gristle of the 20th century. In its short life, about a dozen years, the Group had its impact on everything that followed in American theater, especially the kind of acting that would one day give us a Julie Harris, a Marlon Brando, a Kim Stanley, an Al Pacino, a Meryl Streep, a Robert de Niro. Group veteran Phoebe Brand, at 96, is very much with us, in an apartment right on West 43rd Street.

Life’s Richness Tested by Living
Five friends get together to celebrate one of their birthdays and end up divulging the deep secrets and painful losses that unknowingly brought them together years ago. But this play by Robert Jason Jackson is not all about regret and hurt. "Happy Birthday, Madam Alberta" combines humor, music and tales drawn from familiar portraits of contemporary black, gay life to produce a worthwhile show presented by Black Pride NYC, a non-profit organization for people of African descent.

Women (and Men) in Suits
New York concert dance fans are always bemoaning the lack of good, serious concert dance on the "left coast." Lament no more! McCaleb Dance swept into Dance Theater Workshop June 16 through 19 from La Jolla, California, with a pair of smart dances that not only showed off the choreographic finesse of artistic director Nancy McCaleb, but also the kinetic and expressive skills of Ali Fischer, Eric Geiger, Sarah Kaye, Troy Sellers, and Elizabeth Swallow, her terrific dancers and creative partners.

Pathways to Consciousness
Putumayo World Music seems to thrive on world music compilations assembled from major and independent labels. That we can smile and dance to South African Sibongile Khumalo's "Mayihlome," a song that addresses the battle against HIV/AIDS in South Africa and the need for collective effort, or enjoy Zimbabwe-born Dorothy Masuka's retro 1950s South African jazz style update "Mfan' Omncane" without knowing that she was exiled from her adopted country is simultaneously comforting and disturbing.

Innocence that Preceded Brutality
Though Otto Frank, father of the famous daughter, prided himself as a photographer, the truth—compounded, of course, by the fading and erosion of all these years—is that they are not very clear or sharp or even very interesting, most of these snapshots. They are intensely interesting, however, when one considers their subjects, the people engaged in the banality of anti-evil, so to speak.

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