October 17, 1995 |
Almost a year after the conservative Republican tide surged across America, the gay and lesbian movement is still grasping for a coherent strategy to navigate the treacherous political waters. The rise of the right exposed a truth that had begun to become apparent during the gays in the military debacle of 1993: There is no agreed-upon set of priorities within the gay "movement," but a checkerboard of discrete, underfunded and often fractious local, state and national entities.
July 26, 1995 |
Smart, winsome Candace Gingrich only wants to do the right thing. The lesbian sister of right-wing pol Newt Gingrich was in Philadelphia yesterday to offer words of encouragement to folks who haven't come out of the closet, to talk about her own coming-out, to urge lobbying for gay and lesbian equal rights. But she wasn't confronted by troops of angry Young Republicans. Rather, many in the crowd at the University of Pennsylvania's Christian Association (motto: "Unity of Spirit, not Uniformity of Opinion")
March 7, 1995 |
There was another Gingrich on Capitol Hill yesterday. This one was slight, bespectacled, a vegetarian and a lesbian. Candace Gingrich, the 28-year-old half-sister of House Speaker Newt, joined other homosexual activists lobbying members of Congress for antidiscrimination laws and continued federal funding to fight AIDS. A registered Democrat, Candace declared that her famous brother was "maybe misinformed" on homosexuality, that his avowed policy of toleration for gays was "not enough," and that they disagreed "on about 90 percent of the issues" facing America today.
February 13, 1995 |
Bumper stickers say "Nuke Newt," and T-shirts declare "Newt Happens (When 61 percent of Americans Don't Vote). " Business is brisk at a downtown store operated by the National Organization for Women, which for more than a month has been selling products targeting Newt Gingrich, the first Republican speaker of the House in more than four decades. It's a clear sign of a mixed blessing. While the conservative takeover of Congress is bad for their agendas, moderate-to-liberal groups - from civil-liberties organizations to environmental coalitions - admit it's good for recruiting and fund-raising.
November 1, 1994 |
Here's a quiz: What do all of these organizations have in common: Greater Philadelphia Professional Network? Spruce Street Singers? Renaissance Education Association? Human Rights Campaign Fund? Even if you're a gay man or a lesbian, you'd never know from the names of these groups that they are gay or gay-related. As a gay man who, like so many others, struggled for years without role models or leaders, while coming to terms with my sexual orientation, I find it morally reprehensible that so many gay and lesbian groups continue to veil themselves behind oblique names.
October 4, 1994 |
Activists from the Philadelphia chapter of Act Up lay down in the street outside a fund-raising event for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rick Santorum last night to protest his lack of support of legislation advancing gay and lesbian rights. A half-dozen GOP senators from across the country attended the event at the Hotel Atop the Bellevue, scene of a violent clash three years ago between police and Act Up protesters opposing the AIDS policy of then-President George Bush. Supporters said the event brought in an estimated $300,000 for Santorum's campaign.
July 13, 1993 |
Listen up, straight America, we need to talk. As I've always suspected, a lot of the misunderstandings between Americans at large and American gay men and lesbians is due to not talking the same language. Thanks to a recent survey, however, we in the gay and lesbian community now have a better idea of how to get our points across in ways that straight America has told us are palatable. The survey was conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Fund, a gay and lesbian political action committee, to find out how to talk to Middle America and have it listen to our concerns.
May 19, 1993 |
The gay community's leading advocate on Capitol Hill said yesterday that President Clinton's plan to let declared gays serve openly in the military is dead. But Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.) offered a compromise similar to one that a Pentagon task force is drafting - one that would would allow homosexuals to serve, so long as they act straight while on duty. Under Frank's proposal, homosexuals would be free to declare their sexuality and practice it off base and out of uniform.
January 31, 1993 |
In opposing President Clinton's attempt to lift the ban on homosexuals in the armed forces, U.S. military officials have raised specters ranging from the threat of AIDS to invasions of privacy to the morale-busting spectacle of gay drill sergeants dancing cheek to cheek in noncommissioned officers clubs. The wide range of arguments reflects both the emotional nature of the issue and what senior military officers freely admit is a lack of hard evidence to buttress their case. Instead, they say, their opposition constitutes a mostly subjective judgment about gays and about the unique nature of military life, in particular those qualities that contribute to a cohesive and effective fighting force.
January 19, 1993 |
Like other gays, George Beier and John Caner have never known a president who welcomed them as part of America. No president seemed comfortable with their concerns. None openly offered support. But here comes Bill Clinton. Among many gays and lesbians, his inauguration is being welcomed with quiet joy - a historic watershed with a personal message of acceptance. "The way Clinton accepts gays and works with them, he's saying, 'It's OK to be who you are,' and that's really important," said Beier, 29. "With Bush it was, 'It's OK to be who you are - if you're like me.' " Beier and Caner, a gay California couple, are joining a sizable group of gays and lesbians traveling to Washington for the Inaugural.