Sexual Politics on Forgotten Piers 24 Now Romney Confounds 14 “Two “Tw Tw wo Guvnors” Clown Around 28 God, Pickup Truck & Lesbian Singer 25
VOLUME ELEVEN, ISSUE ELEVEN MAY 23-JUNE 5, 2012
CHRISTINE QUINN WEDS KIM CATULLO, P 17
THE PRESIDENT COMPLETES HIS EVOLUTION, P 15
© GAY CITY NEWS 2012 • COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
The Lab School in partnership with the Meatpacking District Improvement Association Presents:
Barack Obama Blesses Gay Marriage The president completes his evolution even as forks remain ahead on the road; City Council Speaker Christine Quinn weds attorney Kim Catullo.
Illustration by Michael Shirey
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A bisexual love triangle brutally played out in a fighting ring
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FROM THE EDITOR The President and the Judge Laudable courage and craven lack of judgment
PAGES 32 & 35
| May 23, 2012
Kevin Cathcart Looks Forward BY PAUL SCHINDLER
n the LGBT civil rights struggle that will surely stretch years into the future, Kevin Cathcart must be counted a longterm player. In 1992, “happily living in Boston,” where he had run the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) since 1984, he was tapped to lead what was then known as the Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund when its executive director of six years, Tom Stoddard, decided to move on. W ith a series of dinners around the country that culminated in the May 7 Liberty Awards gala in Manhattan, Cathcart has now celebrated 20 years at Lambda Legal and, without sugarcoating the challenges ahead, shared an “optimistic” outlook on the state of the struggle four days later in an interview in his office at the eastern tip of Wall Street. When Cathcart first came to Manhattan, Lambda had only two offices and 17 of its 21 staffers were located in New York. Its annual budget was just $1.6 million. Four years before the dramatic therapeutic advances on HIV, the LGBT community could not know when, if ever, it would emerge from the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic; in fact, in 1997, Stoddard would die from complications of the virus. In the legal arena, advocates were still reeling from the 1986 ruling in Bowers v. Hardwick, in which the Supreme Court rejected, on a 5-4 vote, a challenge brought by Lambda to the Georgia sodomy law. In the majority opinion, Justice Byron White wrote, of Lambda’s argument about the freedom of gay people to engage in sex, "to claim that a right to engage in such conduct is ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ or ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ is, at best, facetious.” Four years after Cathcart arrived at Lambda, the group was again before the Supreme Court with a major civil rights suit –– this time its challenge to Colorado’s Amendment 2, a voter initiative that barred the state and localities from enacting sexual orientation non-
discrimination protections. In 1996, Lambda prevailed, the court finding that the amendment limited the access of gay people to the political process for no reason rationally related to the interests of the state of Colorado. Only anti-gay animus, the 6-3 majority found, could explain its enactment. Lambda’s victory in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case, which struck down the nation’s remaining sodomy laws, was the most important LGBT civil rights gain yet. In a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court, finding anti-gay bias as the only explanation for sodomy laws aimed at same-sex behavior, ruled that consensual private adult sexual conduct was protected liberty under the 14th Amendment’s due process clause. Less than six months after the Lawrence victory, the Massachusetts marriage equality ruling won by the group Cathcart formerly ran, GLAD, irrevocably changed the thrust of legal advocacy in the LGBT community. Lambda, which now has five offices, 92 staff members, and a budget of more than $13 million, has been a key player in the explosion of gay marriage litigation. As with every group pressing the issue, there have been advances and setbacks. In 2009, the group won a unanimous verdict from the Iowa Supreme Court recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry there. Less than three years earlier, in contrast, New Yorkers were staggered by a 4-2 defeat at the Court of Appeals, in a case also brought by Lambda. Later in 2006, Lambda won a major –– though not complete –– victory when the New Jersey Supreme Court found the Legislature must give same-sex couples all the rights and benefits of marriage by whatever name they choose. The Legislature chose the name civil unions, and Lambda is now back in state court challenging that law. Lambda’s most recent marriage lawsuit is its first federal case seeking marriage rights at the state level. The group is arguing that Nevada’s 2009 domestic partnership law, which grants same-sex couples “the same rights, protections, and
benefits” and “the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties” as marriage, denies them of their federal equal protection rights because it treats two classes of people “similarly situated… in every way” –– straight married couples and same-sex domestic partners –– differently. Upbeat about the strength of Lambda’s suit in Nevada, Cathcart described it as “a classic textbook case of equal protection.” He noted that its logic is not new, only the group’s choice of courtroom venue. In its challenge to the New Jersey civil union law, Lambda has also asserted a federal equal protection claim along with state constitutional claims. The New Jersey suit is backed by strong empirical findings from a state commission chartered to examine the success of the civil union statute, which several years ago unanimously concluded that it failed in its stated purpose of guaranteeing equality for samesex couples. Taking the Nevada law to federal court has significant potential for shaking up the marriage map. The same logic would apply to other civil union and comprehensive domestic partnership jurisdictions –– including Delaware, Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii, in addition to New Jersey. In fact, Cathcart clearly believes the impact could go further than the litigation currently challenging California’s Proposition 8. He said he is “optimistic” about how that case will turn out, but explained that the endpoint will likely be a ruling specifically focused on the circumstances in California. When the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) hired Ted Olson and David Boies, opponents in the Bush v. Gore case that decided the 2000 election, to challenge Prop 8, the star litigators said they were committed to taking the issue of marriage equality all the way to the Supreme Court. Lambda, along with other established LGBT litigation organizations, were initially hostile to the effort, arguing that the current ideological configuration of the high court made it unwise to raise the issue there at this time. Three
Lambda Legal’s helmsman for 20 years upbeat in a long battle
Kevin Cathcart at the Liberty Awards gala with Maverick Couch, a 16-year-old Ohio high school student fighting his suspension for wearing a T-shirt that reads “Jesus Is Not a Homophobe,” and Couch’s mother, Tonya.
years later, Cathcart credits the attorneys and AFER with “doing a great job” –– but he doesn’t expect the California case to get to the Supreme Court. The 2010 victory AFER won before District Judge Vaughn Walker found that the right to marry was “fundamental” and that the 2008 voter initiative violated the due process and equal protection rights of same-sex couples. In February, however, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld Walker, but on considerably narrower grounds, finding there was no rational basis for depriving same-sex couples of rights they had enjoyed since the California Supreme Court granted marriage equality in May 2008; the only plausible explanation for the amendment, it found, was constitutionally impermissible animus and moral disapproval. Cathcart couldn’t predict whether a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit would re-hear the case, but he expects the narrow February grounds to be the Ninth Circuit’s final word on the matter, one way or the other. Should AFER lose before a larger Ninth Circuit panel, he said, the high court would have no reason to take up any appeal, since it likely has little appetite for the gay marriage question. There would be more reason for the court to entertain an appeal from Prop 8 supporters should they lose, but it could conclude that a narrow ruling applying only to California was something it could leave alone. Cathcart has an opinion on that. “I think we have a pretty
clear idea,” he said. “There is a clear path to how this ends. And I am optimistic that it is going to be upheld.” That optimism is not based on any change in his 2009 view that the current court is inhospitable to gay marriage claims. “I still think that that’s the truth,” he said. As confident as Cathcart is in the arguments Lambda is making in Nevada and New Jersey, he said he was “absolutely” sure that federal court challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will get to the high court ahead of any of the pure right to marry cases. In July 2010, a district court judge in Boston struck down DOMA’s section 3, which deprives legal same-sex marriages of federal recognition, on the grounds that it denies Massachusetts same-sex couples their equal protection rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment and interferes with the prerogatives of the State of Massachusetts in administering certain federalstate programs, in defiance of the 10th Amendment. Earlier this year, a San Francisco judge also struck down DOMA’s section 3 based on Fifth Amendment equal protection grounds in a case where an employee of the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenged its denial of insurance coverage to her same-sex spouse. GLAD and Lambda have brought similar lawsuits in New York and Hartford on behalf of same-sex couples whose marriages are legal in New York and several New England states. At least one of those cases,
CATHCART, continued on p.6
May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
Failed Juvenile Intervention Led to Anti-Gay Murder Charge Judge finds “good intentions, boundless optimism” didn’t curb Luis Tabales’ downward spiral BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
uis Tabales first appeared in Queens Family Court in April of 2010. Then 15, he had been arrested for weapons possession, criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment. He was arrested for attempted burglary 12 days later. John M. Hunt, the Family Court judge who heard the case, found that he was a juvenile delinquent. The city’s Department of Probation recommended that Tabales be placed in the Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI), an alternative-to-detention program run by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) for youths older than seven and less than 16. In JJI starting that June, Tabales agreed to abide by a curfew, attend school, stop using marijuana and other drugs, and not get arrested again. The Tabales family received multisystemic therapy (MST) from a psychologist at the Child Center of New York (CCNY), a private agency with an ACS contract to perform the therapy with some of the roughly 250 juveniles who are enrolled in JJI every year. It did not work. Tabales was arrested for fare beating in September 2010. He tested positive for marijuana six times between July 31 and November 3. Tabales missed 19 therapy appointments. His mother missed others, and she resisted enforcing elements of the therapy. He frequently skipped school and regularly violated his curfew. Eventually fearing for her son’s safety, Tabales’ mother wanted Probation to issue a violation petition to Hunt so he would be detained. CCNY talked her out of it, but the agency eventually closed his case on December 13. Ter minating a case is the “most severe sanction available” to ACS and CCNY, Hunt wrote in a 98-page decision he issued on March 14 of this year. Probation, the city’s Law Department, and Tabales’ attorney were informed, but Probation wanted to place Tabales in an inpatient drug program and did not cite him for violating the terms of his agreement. In 2011, on January 9, Tabales was arrested in the Bronx and indicted on 11 charges, including robbery and assault, which are violent felonies. On January 25, he was arrested and charged with attempted robbery and assault in Brooklyn.
Last year, on March 12, Tabales, now 17, and five other young men were accused of using anti-gay slurs as they allegedly beat Anthony Collao to death on a Queens street. Their charges include murder, manslaughter, gang assault, and robbery, with some charged as hate crimes. Collao, 18, was straight. Two days later and nine months after Tabales entered JJI, Probation delivered a violation petition to Hunt. It sent an amended petition to the judge on April 29 of last year. “Luis T. self-destructed amid a perfect storm of good intentions, boundless optimism, and the city’s ambitious policy of utilizing communitybased alternative to placement programs,” Hunt wrote. “It is clear to this court that the therapeutic interventions provided to Mr. T. in this case failed miserably.” It may be a measure of Hunt’s anger about this case that he adhered to the legal requirement to not identify Tabales, but his footnotes cite press reports on the Collao murder making clear who he is referring to. The failure was not Probation’s alone, Hunt wrote. The CCNY psychologist filed monthly reports with Probation that “under-reported the frequency and nature of the violations of the conditions of probation,” and that psychologist, his supervisor, and a psychologist who was consulting on the case “merely treated the multiple violations of probation as behavioral issues to address through further expansion of the MST services being offered,” Hunt wrote. The judge called MST a “nebulous therapeutic program.” In 2008, Hunt had another juvenile — Ronald B. — who violated his 2007 probation requirements. He was placed in JJI. In May of 2009, probation informed Hunt that Ronald B., who had since tur ned 17, had been arrested for robbery three months earlier and pleaded guilty a month before. Ronald B. was by then serving one-to-three years in an upstate prison. Though the case was closed, “those administering the JJI/ MST program are encouraged to thoroughly review the circumstances of this case so that structural and programmatic problems can be identified and changes implemented where necessary,” Hunt wrote in a 2009 decision on the case. The Bloomberg administration has long wanted to reform the city’s juvenile justice programs. New York State
Anthony Collao, a straight youth killed last year by a group shouting anti-gay slurs that allegedly included Luis Tabales.
holds many juvenile delinquents, and the city pays for their detention in upstate facilities that have been harshly criticized by former judges, advocates, and some in government as ineffective and expensive. In the state budget for the current fiscal year, Governor Andrew Cuomo included the Close to Home Initiative, a program that allows New York City to house and counsel all but the most serious juvenile delinquents in the city. “We can do far better at a fraction of the cost,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a joint committee of the State Legislature in January. “By keeping the kids more closely connected to their families, their schools, their churches, and communities, we’re confident that we can improve public safety, save money, and help more kids stay out of trouble and help them make new starts in their still young lives.” In an affirmation filed with Hunt, ACS said it is collecting data on the performance of JJI and MST when enrollees are participating and after they leave the program. It did not share that data with Gay City News, so it is unclear if the Tabales and Ronald B. cases are aberrations. ACS did not comment on the Tabales case. In a statement, Probation said, “Advancing public safety is the [department’s] primary concern, and we consider it a tragedy whenever a
citizen or client is the victim of violence. Probation is working with prosecutors to standardize and expedite the process by which we recommend juvenile clients for revocation. We remain committed to the practice of referring clients to high-quality programs that can provide the services and resources they need to get back on track while continuing to actively supervise their cases.” In a statement, CCNY also expressed regret for Collao’s death and added, “We fulfilled our responsibilities by filing monthly reports to the Department of Probation, in which we explicitly r ecounted Luis’s behaviors... [W]e infor med the Department of Probation that we could no longer work with Luis because of the family’s lack of engagement. This termination happened months before the horrible incident took place. The Department of Probation conceded in court that it should have reported him back to the court for violation of probation much sooner. All of this is part of the court record.” Hunt concluded that the Tabales “case was treated dif ferently from those cases where a juvenile probationer has not been ordered to participate in the JJI/ MST program, and his case should serve as a red flag amidst the current rush to replace institutional placements with community-based alternatives.”
| May 23, 2012
May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
FDA Committee Urges Pre-Exposure HIV Drug GMHC lauds recommendation of Truvada; critic likens it to Tuskegee experiment BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
n advisory committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that the regulatory agency approve the use of Truvada, an anti-HIV drug, for HIV-negative people in certain risk groups to prevent them from becoming infected with the AIDS virus. On May 10, the 22-member Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee voted 19 to three to approve the use of Truvada for gay and bisexual men. The drug was recommended for any HIVnegative person who has a partner who is positive in a 19 to two vote, with one abstention. The committee was less enthusiastic about recommending that Truvada be used for others who may acquire HIV through sex. Twelve members supported that, eight opposed it, and two abstained. While pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), as this use of Truvada is called, has support from leading
AIDS groups, including the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and Project Inform in San Francisco, it remains controversial as it proposes to give a powerful drug with serious side effects to otherwise healthy people. “This new drug indication is the baseline, or building block, for a new type of biomedical HIV prevention,” said Marjorie Hill, GMHC’s chief executive officer, said in a May 11 statement. “While we do not have all the necessary information about how the public will respond and potentially utilize this medication for prevention, our constituents, clients, family, and loved ones deserve complete support to advance HIV prevention.” AIDS groups see PrEP as a welcome addition to their limited arsenal of HIV prevention tools and hope it will reduce new HIV infections among gay and bisexual men, which have remained stubbornly high and unchanging for years. Truvada, marketed by the pharmaceutical company Gilead
CATHCART, from p.3
Cathcart said, “is a winner” at the appellate level. If that’s true, the Supreme Court would have no choice but to take the case, since the federal government could not recognize same-sex marriages in some federal appellate circuits but not others. The issues raised in the DOMA litigation, he explained, are also “an easier conceptual challenge and lift. We’re not asking the court to tell any state what to do.” Instead, the goal is to change the way the federal government treats gay and lesbian couples who marry in states where it is legal. He likened the DOMA issue to what Lambda came up against in its sodomy litigation. When the Georgia sodomy law went before the high court, more than half the states still had such statutes. By 2003, only 13 did. “Thirteen states is easier,” he said. “They were no longer being asked to tell a majority of states what to do. In 2003, they were only asked to bring a small minority along in a clean-up operation.” Despite the marriage referendum loss in North Carolina several days before, Cathcart was upbeat about the prospects for success in Novem-
Sciences, is a combination of two anti-HIV drugs, emtricitabine and tenofovir. Tenofovir is known to cause damage to kidneys and can lead to a loss of bone density, which creates the risk of fractures. Other Truvada side effects can include weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. The rationale for PrEP is based on three large studies. A study of 2,499 uninfected gay and bisexual men and transgender women in six nations found that the risk of becoming infected was cut by 42 percent among participants. A study of uninfected heterosexual men and women and another of sero-discordant couples, where one partner is positive, found the infection risk was cut by 62 percent to 75 percent. The committee was apparently not convinced that this better data, compared to that for gay men and transgender women, warranted a more general application of PrEP. “Basically it’s a Tuskegee experiment for gay men,” said
ber, when Washington State, Maryland, Maine, and Minnesota may also be voting on marriage equality in one fashion or another. “If we win a couple of those and also get marriage back on line in California,” he said, “it makes it feel more inevitable than it did before.” Conceding that a loss of three or four contests in November would be “a terrible thing,” he noted, “We have shown we can win in the courts and in the legislatures in far worse times.” Pointing to the overwhelming rejection of repeal efforts earlier this year by the Republican-dominated New Hampshire Legislature, Cathcart said, “I can’t be more surprised by North Carolina than I was by New Hampshire.” Cathcart was effusive in his praise for President Barack Obama’s comments two days earlier endorsing marriage equality. “It didn’t feel like, ‘Oh, I got forced into it,’” he said. “It felt like the best part of the last campaign. It sounded like he finished evolving. He did it beautifully.” Asked if he was troubled by the president’s statement that marriage will “continue to be worked out at the local level,” Cathcart said, “No, he was recognizing the state of play. In
Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who opposes PrEP. For four decades beginning in 1932, the US Public Health Service let some 400 African-American men with syphilis in Tuskegee, Alabama, go untreated to observe the disease course in them. “I think it’s going to be catastrophic for HIV prevention efforts in this country and particularly among gay men,” Weinstein said. “I think that it’s the easy way out; it’s telling people that there is a magic pill.” Some PrEP opponents have raised concerns that the Truvada regimen could erode adherence to condom use, the most effective prevention measure. “I don’t question the efficacy of PrEP on an individual basis, but I’m not confident it will work on a population basis,” Sean Strub, a longtime AIDS activist and the founder of POZ magazine, wrote in an email. “I am concerned that the focus on PrEP will harm behavioral-based prevention efforts.” A major issue for PrEP is
2012, marriage jurisprudence is state by state. Federalizing the issue too soon is unlikely to be good.” Despite a lengthy discussion of marriage equality, Cathcart made a point of emphasizing that the issue of nondiscrimination on the job is probably what concerns LGBT Americans more than any other. Lambda’s hotline got about 7,000 calls in 2011, and “employment is the largest single thing people call us about, year in and year out.” The group’s offices in Atlanta and Dallas cover 20 states, none of which offers any nondiscrimination protections above the local level. He praised Equality Florida’s success in pushing for municipal and county ordinances, but said that “local laws are never as strong as state laws.” Noting Census findings that show impr essive numbers of same-sex couples raising children in regions such as the South, Cathcart said that offering them legal protections could have “a snowballing effect... If you don’t feel safe in your job or in your housing or regarding custody of your children, it’s effectively a gag order. It is not safe to be politically active.” Pointing to a recent decision from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of a transgender woman fired
whether those taking the drug will be able to follow the regimen given the side effects. After the study of gay men and transgender women ended, the FDA measured the “plasma and intracellular emtricitabine and tenofovir concentrations” and found that “less than half of the subjects” taking the drug had “measurable drug levels,” the FDA wrote in a guidance. An analysis of those who became infected during the study produced an estimate that only 10 percent of participants had “intracellular drug concentrations consistent with daily dosing” requirements of PrEP. Such “poor adherence,” as the FDA called it, could render PrEP ineffective. “The public health benefit of Truvada for a PrEP indication can only be achieved with access to Truvada and strict adherence with the recommended dosage regimen,” the FDA wrote. “These are the two key factors to achieve efficacy for Truvada for a PrEP indication.”
by the Georgia General Assembly as well as a ruling last month by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding a transgender woman denied a job by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Cathcart said, “We are amazingly closer than we were just a year ago to having gender seen as sex for discrimination purposes.” However, future progress, in the courts and federal agencies, he warned, is dependent on the election outcome in November –– not only for president but for control of Congress as well. “We desperately need to pass ENDA, and we need it to be trans-inclusive,” he said of the long stalled effort to enact the federal Employment NonDiscrimination Act. Still, Cathcart does not see a strong push on marriage equality as inconsistent with any other goal Lambda has. “I sort of believe in a rising tide theory on marriage gains,” he said. “We litigated Iowa because we thought we could win and because we thought it was critical to have a heartland victory.” In other words, married gay and lesbian couples in the Midwestern farm belt are well positioned to change hearts and minds that have too infrequently been engaged.
| May 23, 2012
Dharun Ravi Gets 30 Days in Rutgers Webcam Spying Defense prosecution announce plans to appeal
at WNYC and WQXR Wednesday, June 20 at 7 PM Join WNYCâ€™s Richard Hake and WQXR vice president Graham Parker for an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Networking Event in the intimate setting of The Greene Space.
BY PAUL SCHINDLER
harun Ravi, a 20-year-old former Rutgers Univer sity student, convicted on March 16 in connection with incidents in September 2010 in which he used a webcam on his dormitory room computer to spy on his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, was sentenced to 30 days in jail, three years of probation, 300 hours of counseling on â€œcyberbullyingâ€? and on â€œalternative lifestyles,â€? and a $10,00 fine. The jail time was based on concurrent 30-day sentences for six of the 24 counts on which Ravi was convicted. He was found guilty of multiple counts of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness and evidence tampering, and evasion of apprehension. Judge Glenn Berman ordered that the sentence â€” which will be served in jail, not state prison â€” begin on May 31, but gave Ravi the statutorily mandated ten-day stay to file an appeal, which his attorney said they planned to do. â€œI have no intention of granting a stayâ€? beyond that period, Berman said, noting that he does not believe that â€œan appellate question that has to be addressedâ€Ś exists.â€? In a statement several hours after the sentencing, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan said that while his office â€œdid not request the maximum period of incarceration for Dharun Ravi, it was expected that his conviction on multiple offenses of invading the privacy of two victims on two separate occasions, four counts of bias intimidation against Tyler Clementi, and the coverup of those crimes, would warrant more than a 30-day jail term. The imposition of this term is insufficient under the sentencing laws of this state, the facts that were determined by a jury, and long-standing appellate precedent. Consequently, this office will appeal the sentence.â€? Clementi, 18, was entertaining another man in their room at the time of the spying. Several days after the spying began, Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge. A star violin player from Ridgewood, New Jersey, he was described, at the time of his suicide, as a shy young man who had only recently come out to his parents. In his sentencing, Berman emphasized that Ravi was not convicted of contributing to Clementiâ€™s death. He also said he would recommend that the defendant,
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Tyler Clementi, a highly regarded violin player, was described as a shy college freshman at the time of his suicide.
an immigrant from India, not be deported, though he added that a final decision on that was not his, but rather to be made by federal immigration authorities. Berman was otherwise scathing in his comments about the defendant. â€œI havenâ€™t heard you apologize once,â€? he said. While the pre-sentencing letter prepared by Raviâ€™s attorney offered an apology to Clementiâ€™s family, the judge said, it did not mention M.B., the 32-year-old man who was also caught on video as he spent intimate time with Clementi. It was a letter from M.B. urging that Ravi not be deported that led the judge to make his recommendation on that question. Berman noted that Raviâ€™s pre-sentencing letter also failed to acknowledge the seven charges related to his cover-up for which he was convicted. Stating that the witness best able to describe Raviâ€™s behavior was dead, the judge pointed out that Clementi had called the defendantâ€™s behavior â€œwildly inappropriate.â€? Berman did not allow the jury to hear those words, but said he could not put them out of his own mind in coming to a decision on sentencing.
RUTGERS, continued on p.34
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May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
CELEBRATING A YEAR OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY federal level, for all same-sex couples nationwide. On May 21, the newly consolidated group held its national gala, “We Are the American Family,” at the 404 NYC Event Space in Midtown. The group honored US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the marriage equality campaign group at Congregation
B'nai Jeshurun (whose Lisa Safir and Dale Bernstein are shown here with Erik Bottcher, a staff member in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office), and out gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts and his partner, Patrick Abner (shown here with country music star Chely Wright).
Fifteen years after Marriage Equality New York launched its efforts in the Empire State — and less than a year after the victory of gay marriage in Albany — MENY has combined with its sister organization Marriage Equality USA to continue the drive for full equality, at the state and
AIDS WALK DRAWS 45,000, RAISES $6 MILLION The 27th annual AIDS Walk New York, which raises funds for Gay Men’s Health Crisis and more than 40 other service organizations in the tri-state area, drew 45,000 participants to the 10-kilometer walk centered on Central Park. Among those participating were (pictured) Michael Urie and Nick Jonas, who are co-starring on Broadway in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” “GMHC has been there from the beginning,” US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told the crowd on hand. “They were there the first day when men were dying in New York and San Francisco, and all across the country. I'm very proud to say that 30 years later, GMHC is still here fighting against this disease, and will win the fight against this disease."
JIM OWLES KICKS OFF PRIDE SEASON Getting a jump on a busy LGBT Pride season, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club held its annual awards ceremony on May 13 at Elmo restaurant in Chelsea. The honoress included former Mayor David Dinkins (shown with club president Allen Roskoff), Broadway and television actress, singer, and dancer Bebe Neuwirth (shown hugging Roskoff), who just finished a run of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Classic Stage Company, and Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterborn, founders of AIDS Memorial Park, which has won agreement from city officials to dedicate a portion of the park being created as part of the St. Vincent’s Hospital campus redevelopment in commemoration of the battle against the epidemic.
| May 23, 2012
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May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
Living In Two Cities: Tarif And Evelyn Warren BY SUSIE DAY
n May 14, Evelyn Warren and Michael Tarif Wa r r e n , a t t o r neys at law, held a press conference. They stood outside the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse and announced that their case, Warren v. City of New York, had been settled. They had dropped their lawsuit against the city and the NYPD officers who had beaten and arrested them five years before. Early in the evening of June 21, 2007, the Warrens were driving in Brooklyn when they saw police chasing a young man into a McDonald’s parking lot. The cops tackled the youth, handcuffed him, threw him to the ground, and began kicking him in the head. The Warrens pulled over, got out of their car, and respectfully asked one Sergeant Steven Talvy of the NYPD Street Narcotic Enforcement
Unit why he and his officers were battering someone who was obviously helpless. At the press conference, Tarif Warren, with his usual softspoken dignity, described how Sergeant Steven Talvy yelled at them to “get the ‘F’ back in your vehicle, stay the ‘F’ out of our business.” The Warrens got back into their car. But, said Tarif, “because the police weren’t wearing identification or badges, we started taking down license plate numbers of what we thought were police vehicles. Sergeant Talvy saw us, came over, and began to punch me on the left side of my head, bursting both my lips. When my wife asked why he did that, he punched her in the jaw. Then he yanked me out of the vehicle with such force that he ripped all the buttons off my shirt and ripped the entire left pants leg of my suit. He slammed me up against the vehicle, handcuffed me, and shoved me in a police
van, injuring my shoulder and my head. Something that will always be with me is the wild rage I saw in Steven Talvy’s eyes. Evelyn and I knew that if I had made one slight move, we would not be here today.” Tarif and Evelyn were charged with resisting arrest, obstructing government administration, and disorderly conduct — offenses carrying seriously penalties. But after a year of court dates, prosecutors dismissed the charges, confessing to the judge that they had no evidence. New York City, while admitting no wrongdoing in the settlement, awarded Evelyn and Tarif $360,000. And so a traumatic event upending the Warrens’ lives is resolved. Life for Evelyn and Tarif can return to normal. Right? Have I mentioned that the Warrens are African-American? Did I need to? Do you need to ask the race of the youth whose
beating they tried to stop? China Miéville’s book “The City and the City” takes place in two cities occupying the same geographical space. One city is upscale and thriving; the other, in decline. What keeps the cities inviolably separate is the conscious perceptions, sculpted from birth, of their citizens. To travel between cities without a permit is worse than criminal; to be in both at once, unthinkable. In New York, New York (they had to name it twice), there are also two cities. On one hand is the city of Nor mal. Nor mal residents assume that, though unfairness may exist, their world is basically all right. Normal life allows one to ignore or “unsee” the city of Pogrom. Pogrom, on the other hand, runs on fear and a paranoiac onslaught of police and the courts against mostly brown and black people. Pogrom oper-
ates impersonally, under the cool, reptilian assumption that atrocities are a useful way to manage a dangerous population. Pogrom’s stop-and-frisk practices, its beatings and arrests coexist alongside the hardworking, God-fearing people of Normal, who, given the benefit of the doubt, are simply trying to live their lives. On June 21, 2007, the Warrens chose to transgress boundaries — they lived in both cities at once, without a permit. At the press conference, Evelyn and I talked. “To witness Sergeant Talvy beating my husband, who was offering no resistance and doing nothing wrong,” she said, “has taken a mental and emotional toll on me. I’m no longer as open or receptive to people. I don’t nurture my relationships. It’s like I’ve gone into a shell.”
WARREN, continued on p.11
| May 23, 2012
Queer Youth Complain of West Village Stop and Frisk
itting on the West Vi l l a g e p i e r s o n a sunny Friday afternoon, Tamir Tanner scowled when the New York City Police Department (NYPD) practice of stopping and frisking was mentioned. “ I t ’ s j u s t n o t f a i r, ” t h e 27-year-old said. “It’s really not fair to anybody to be stopped and frisked.” Tanner estimated that he had been stopped by police in the Sixth Precinct, which patrols Manhattan’s West Village, about 10 times in July of last year. “They rolled past,” Tanner said. “I guess I looked suspicious to them... I started to feel like they had a problem with me.” According to a report by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), police stopped and frisked 685,724 people citywide in 2011. Fifty-three percent of those stopped were AfricanAmerican and 34 percent were Latino. They were also disproportionately young and male. Police stopped and frisked 97,296 people in 2002. While there were relatively few stops and frisks in the Sixth Precinct in 2011 — just 2,954 — 76.6 percent of those stopped were African-American and Latino. Just eight percent of the residents in that precinct are African-American or Latino, so it is apparent who the police are stopping — the queer youth of color who enjoy hanging out in the West Village and
who have been the subject of complaints by some residents there. “We do know that a lot of our constituency... are stopped in the West Village,” said Ellen Manny Vaz, the communications director at FIERCE, a group that organizes among LGBT youth of color. “These numbers are not surprising. They definitely coincide with what our members are reporting.” The NYPD, which did not respond to an email seeking comment, has argued that stop and frisk is a necessary anticrime strategy that has contributed to New York City’s low crime rates. Part of the police rationale for the practice is that it deters those who may carry a weapon because they fear that weapon will be found during a stop and frisk. The NYCLU report found that the tactic is producing diminishing returns. In 2003, police recovered 604 guns after stopping and frisking 160,851 people. Stops grew by more than 300 percent in 2011 over 2003, but police recovered 780 guns last year. At 176 more guns than in 2003, that is a 29 percent increase. The report did not say if any guns were recovered in the Sixth Precinct as the result of stop and frisk. The NYCLU press office could not answer that question. That stop and frisk is being used in the Sixth Precinct is odd. It has been and remains a low-crime precinct. There was one murder in the Sixth Precinct last year compared to 515
WARREN, from p.10
Though relieved the case is officially over, Evelyn described how disheartened she is that the NYPD hasn’t changed; that, after the incident, Sergeant Talvy was even promoted to lieutenant. In fact, Talvy and his officers were in court last week for jury selection, before the case settled. “It was like they were at a ball game, laughing, kidding around like they had no real concerns. It’ll sound crazy, but the defendants’ table was behind ours, and it
citywide. That precinct reported six rapes in 2011 compared to 1,414 citywide, 44 robberies compared to 19,752 citywide, and 38 felony assaults compared 18,579 citywide. Opponents of stop and frisk say that beyond violating the rights of those who are stopped, it also alienates people in the communities where it is practiced. There is some evidence of that in the West Village. “I hate it, I hate it,” said Eliezer Pardo, 32, who was passing time with a friend on one of the West Village piers that jut into the Hudson River. “It makes a lot of us stop coming out here... They don’t treat straight people the way they treat gay people. They harass gay people.” FIERCE’s Vaz seconded that saying, “It’s not really helping to create safer communities. In fact, it causes negative relationships.” Pardo said he has prior arrests, and he added that some of the youth who hang out in the West Village do break the law, but, in his view, that does not excuse the NYPD’s use of stop and frisk. “To be realistic, I can’t blame it all on them because a lot of the people out here, they don’t act right,” he said. “I under stand why they do their job, but they take it overboard.” West Village residents have for years been complaining about the young people of color who hang out there. Efforts to reach an accommodation in 2005 and 2006 made at the local community board were unsuccessful.
was just killing me that if we went to trial, Talvy would be sitting behind me.” Later, I described this case to a friend. He’d seen a clip of the press conference on TV news; he was clearly upset that these upstanding people were treated unjustly. But when I mentioned two black men, Ramarley Graham and Kenneth Chamberlain — an 18-year-old in the Bronx and a 68-year-old in White Plains — who were recently shot to death in their own homes by police, my friend backed off a little. “It’s always been this way,” he
Tamir Tanner (top) and Eliezer Pardo were among youth who complained of NYPD harassment in the West Village.
said, trying to Normalize the situation. “Maybe it’s worse under Kelly and Bloomberg, but things have always been this way.” Tarif and Evelyn came of age during the era of civil rights and black nationalism. Different as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were tactically, they shared a conviction in an inherent human goodness. They believed things don’t have to be this way. That’s why Evelyn talks about “remaining vigilant.” “In spite of what’s happened to us,” she said, “I hope, if we
GAY CITY NEWS
BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
GAY CITY NEWS
NYPD uses tactic less in Lower Manhattan than elsewhere, but targets people of color
were confronted with the same situation, we’d do the same thing.” The point is, you usually don’t realize which city you live in until something like this happens to you. “What they want is to frighten people so no one stops and bears witness,” Evelyn added. “If people have the courage to say, ‘No, what you’re doing is wrong and I’m not going to move on,’ then maybe one day, something will change.” Then maybe one day, we will all live in the same city.
May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
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The President and the Judge BY PAUL SCHINDLER The man whose job description often has him dubbed “the leader of the free world” has announced his support for the freedom of gay and lesbian couples to marry. That’s not too grandiose a way to characterize President Barack Obama’s eloquent words during his May 9 endorsement of marriage equality. Focusing on faith, family, and country, he expressed himself in the most traditional and American of language. Careful to respond to the religiosity of gay marriage opponents by mentioning his own Christianity, he pointed to “the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated.” His teachers, however, were not only his God –– they were also US service members in uniform, members of his staff, friends, college Republicans whom he encounters when visiting campuses, his wife, and even his two young daughters, about whom he said, “It wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow
their friends’ parents would be treated differently.” In other words, the president evolved through many of the same conversations and experiences that have changed attitudes and moved hearts across the nation. Some have noted the president only acted after a sudden three-day media frenzy erupted in the wake of Vice President Joe Biden’s “Meet the Press” appearance; he had no choice, according to the most unflattering interpretation. As Nathan Riley points out on the opposite page, that assessment misses the reality that idealism and pragmatism often live in uneasy balance with each other. Could anyone doubt that sooner or later the president would have taken the stand he did? Many news reports asserted Obama had long been discussing the move and given serious, perhaps final consideration to a plan of doing so before the election in any event. Biden, in fact, was likely aware of the president’s deliberations; when posed the question by David Gregory, he certainly knew the days of Democrats dancing on the head of a pin on gay marriage were drawing to a close. Several voices in the blogosphere also complained about
Obama’s assertion that “this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue.” Some charged the nation’s first African-American president is falling back on a discredited state’s rights argument. As Arthur S. Leonard lays out on page 16, questions of federal and state impact on marriage are complex. States have traditionally defined marriage, and federal legislation has take up the question only once –– in 1996, with the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act. Federal courts, however, do play a role in ensuring that any state marriage scheme meets federal constitutional standards, as the Supreme Court did in 1967, when it struck down the remaining bans on interracial marriage. Given the administration’s conclusions about the equal protection flaws in DOMA, Leonard suggests, the Obama Justice Department could well make similar arguments in friend-of-the-court briefs when right to marry cases are brought in federal courts. We should rightly expect that of the president, but nothing he said to ABC should lead us to conclude that is unlikely. The president’s laudable leadership stands in stark contrast to the inexplicably craven posture taken by Middlesex County Judge Glenn Ber man as he sentenced
Dharun Ravi in the 2010 Rutgers web spying case. Ravi used his computer camera to spy on his roommate, the late Tyler Clementi, as he shared intimate time with another man; he invited others to dial into a follow-up spying session he planned; he tweeted the humiliation visited on Clementi; he deleted Twitter and cell phone records to cover up his crimes; and he suborned perjury from the woman with whom he viewed Clementi and his guest. For that, he was convicted on 24 counts of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness and evidence tampering, and evasion of apprehension. The judge was certainly right in not sentencing the defendant to anything close to the 10 years he could have gotten, and he was also correct in recommending to federal officials that the 20-year-old immigrant from India not be deported. Still, after speaking of Ravi’s conduct in unsparingly scathing terms, noting, “I haven’t heard you apologize once,” his sentence of 30 days in jail raised the immediate question of what on earth he would say when meting out a one-year, five-year, or 10-year sentence. Despite an extended turn for the courtroom camera that beamed images around the globe, Berman handed down punishment that seemed suited to a prank, not a pattern of illegal conduct that assaulted a young man’s dignity.
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Dharun Ravi, Homophobia, and Race BY KELLY JEAN COGSWELL
hristine Quinn, the head honchessa of New York’s City Council, tied the knot with another girl on Saturday, May 19, the same day the NAACP came out in support of marriage for all. I was happy to hear the announcement, but not particularly surprised. Just like I wasn’t surprised either by the idiot black preachers in North Carolina raising their hands to God and inciting their congregations to hate.
Some people evolve. Like Obama. Like the NAACP. Others don’t. Mitt Romney. The most Reverend Ruben Diaz. The Holy See. The only big ugly secret about black homophobia is that it’s just like white homophobia, only with a different color scheme. The epidemic is particularly virulent in fundamentalist churches and in communities (and nations) of all races where people are poor and angry –– and their spiritual immune systems are already compromised, no matter how loud
they pray. It’s tempting to focus our attention there. That’s real homophobia –– queers getting denounced from pulpits, hatred formalized in anti-gay laws that almost always lead to attacks and gay-bashing. If not executions. But hatred is almost as insidious when it’s that casual kind of bigotry people indulge in because jokes need their butts. It’s nice to have somebody around that you can kick for a laugh. Reduce in size to pump up your own ego, which so often feeds on
the shame and humiliation of others. It’s why Dharun Ravi doesn’t feel guilty for the death of Tyler Clementi, his roommate at Rutgers. He’s not a homophobe. Not him. It was just a prank, setting up that webcam. It’s not like he chased Ty into traffic wielding a baseball bat. Or pushed him from the bridge. I remember myself at 18, and the panic and horror I felt when the door to my dorm room popped open and my
COGSWELL, continued on p.13
| May 23, 2012
Hijacking the President’s Idealism on Gay Marriage BY NATHAN RILEY
gr eat hijacking has begun to rob President Barack Obama of a nar rative that credits his idealism in his support for marriage equality. One reason the hijacking gained traction is a false notion of what idealism is. Simply put, many feel that if something is heartfelt, it shouldn’t be tar nished by calculation. That places an impossible bur den on the rational thinker, much less a leader seeking reelection. Doubting such a leader’s sincerity can be toxic, reinforcing widespread cynicism. Does Barack Obama really believe in gay rights? Wasn’t it only self-interest and not his convictions at play? The mainstream media didn’t lead with this interpretation, but I hear it in conversations with my friends, who remain tempered in their enthusiasm, even suspicious, especially the youngest among them. A New York Times poll found that 67 percent of respondents doubted his good faith in his gay marriage evolution. But evidence from Obama’s record points in a different direction — he made his decision because of his beliefs, his ideology. No president in US history has been as friendly
COGSWELL, from p.12
roommate walked in and saw me messing around with a girl. She retreated as fast as she could and was actually pretty cool about it, saying to put a note or something on the door next time. But there wasn’t a next time, not in that room anyway. I was too ashamed. I can’t imagine what I would have done if I’d found out other people had actually watched. Seen me fumbling with a girl almost for the first time. Me touching her, her touching me. If my roommate had spread the word to 150 of her Twitter followers making fun of me, I
to the LGBT community. Granted that he was pushed, but the pr essur e on him was largely fueled by an increasingly impressive record of progress. Ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, whatever others may say, truly was an initiative orchestrated by the president, who enlisted the cooperation of the Department of Defense. His Justice Department’s refusal to support the Defense of Marriage Act leaves the Republican House of Representatives to defend in court the law that prohibits the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages. On Obama’s watch, the nation has also enacted a hate crimes law that protects the LGBT community; his administration has initiated federal government policies protecting transgender Americans; the president has ordered essentially all hospitals to grant visitation to same-sex partners; and his Affordable Care Act opens up medical care to all LGBT people. And these achievement by no means exhaust the list. Based on this record, it is clear the president is a believer. Not only a believer, he takes risks and works to reduce the likelihood of backlash against LGBT initiatives. Obama’s decision to back marriage equality is a leap into the unknown.
No one can be certain it will help his reelection. The first Gallup tracking poll after his announcement found the president losing support, and it pushes evangelical Christians more willingly into Mitt Romney’s camp. Right-wing religious leaders who had supported Rick Santorum in the Republican primaries were quick to shift their support to the former Massachusetts governor, as the president’s move overshadowed lingering GOP discord. The bottom line: When it came time to decide a tough call, Obama made the idealistic choice. Idealistic yet rational, the president’s announcement fits into a grand strategy of making the election a choice between a good man and a hardnosed businessman with a streak of cruelty. Romney wants to tur n the election into a referendum on the economy alone. Mar riage equality reminds many Americans that they are comfortable with the president’s character. Barack Obama offered personal reasons — heartfelt reasons — for abandoning the civil union compromise that had been the national Democrats’ consensus position for the past decade. He is friends with couples in committed relationships; he sends his daughters to a school where
they have friends who have same-sex parents. His evolution was guided by his Christianity, he said. The president told Democrats unhappy with his decision, especially in swing states and districts that could easily go Republican, that his stance allows them to draw a critical distinction with their opponents. Romney supports a federal constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage equality in all 50 states. Democrats, showing unity, can remind voters how their election reversals of two years ago emboldened a right wing pushing the Republican Party toward reactionary policies. Financial backing for the president’s reelection showed an immediate bump, but there is no way to tell yet how voters in battleground state like Florida, Nevada, Ohio, or Colorado may factor the president’s decision into their choice in November. Months before the election, it is impossible to predict whether the president has helped or hurt the cause of liberalism. But he will no longer be damned for evading the issue. The pressure from the LGBT community and that generated by Vice President Joe Biden’s May 6 comments on “Meet the Press” succeeded because the president could no longer con-
tain the contradictions of his own position and in his own conscience. In his interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, he said, “I asked myself right after that New York vote… if I had been a state senator how would I have voted? And I had to admit … I would have voted yes.” The time had come to move from civil unions to full equality for LGBT couples. It’s certainly true there was a carefully orchestrated campaign to move the president, that the LGBT community and its friends are important cogs in his fundraising machine, and that they weren’t shy about making their wishes known. The community deserves credit for pressing the issue in an election year, but the campaign was effective because the president was receptive and ready. In the end, the president’s position may prove not that difficult politically. Obama voters differ on samesex marriage, but they are unlikely to change their vote based on that disagreement. What used to be a Republican wedge splitting Democrats has become at worst a neutral matter of opinion to likely supporters of the president. The announcement may yet turn out badly, but it has at least an equal chance of going well, defining Barak Obama as a pragmatist with a clear and compelling idealist bent.
would have been desperate, too. Especially if she continued to issue invitations promising more fun to come. Ravi posted “People are having a viewing party with a bottle of Bacardi and beer in this kid’s room for my roommate” and “Be careful it could get nasty” and “Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes, it’s happening again.” The word “rape” springs to mind. Where the point isn’t the physical attack, the sex, but the dominance and humiliation. Because let’s be honest. Ravi knew what he was doing. Had a clear intent to diminish Tyler,
make him less than human. Multiply his shame with the number of witnesses. He didn’t need a pulpit to assemble a jeering mob. It worked. Tyler apparently viewed Ravi’s Twitter posts 38 times. Tried to tell the school administration and take appropriate action. He asked for a different roommate. Tried to tell himself it wasn’t that big a deal. But it didn’t work. He couldn’t live with the humiliation. Killed himself. Was pushed. If Ravi lied about what he did and tried to cover it up, erasing tweets, getting rid of posts, it wasn’t from shame. It was just because it would be an awful
lot of trouble. It’s worth saying his homophobia had nothing to do with his ethnicity, though India doesn’t exactly embrace queers. In fact, this kind of jolly American bullying shows his perfect assimilation into a country that talks a lot about equality, but doesn’t really aspire to it. Queer activists are no better. Half our failures are because our campaigns have been blinded by race or class. The exit polls on the Prop 8 debacle in California showed African Americans had been important movers in dumping same-sex marriage. But was the problem that black people were
somehow intrinsically more homophobic than white ones, or that our wise gay leaders saw those differences, believed they were more than skin deep, and abandoned the fight? They rarely shape campaigns for poor neighborhoods, especially ones that are full of minorities. As if they never vote. It’s time to for us all to admit that equality shouldn’t just be a goal for the LGBT community, it should be our whole strategy. We should see everyone as a potential partner, as capable of change. In fact, we should demand it. The NAACP has opened a door. We should dash through it. Celebrate.
May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
Romney Now the One Whose Position Confounds BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
t is understandable if lesbian and gay voters were confused by Mitt Romney’s reaction to President Barack Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage. “I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name,” he told KDVR, a Colorado television station, on May 9. “My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate, but that the others are not.” Colorado’s Legislature is currently wrestling with a civil union bill. Romney made similar comments at an appearance in Oklahoma later in the day. While the presumptive Republican nominee for president has consistently opposed gay mar -
riage and wants to amend the US Constitution to bar such unions, he has held varied positions on how government should treat same-sex relationships. Romney’s position now is that he supports domestic partnerships. He appears to believe that those give fewer rights and benefits to same sex-couples than either civil unions or mar riage. That would be news to domestic partners in California and Nevada, where such legal arrangements are marriages in all but the name. Romney typically says hospital visitation and health coverage are the rights and benefits that should be available to domestic partners, but he has not said if partners should receive other benefits. In 2003, after Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that the state must allow gay and lesbian couples to wed, Romney, then the Bay
As president embraces equality, Republican denounces civil unions he once supported
State’s gover nor, and some state legislators wanted the court to allow the Legislature to instead enact a law creating civil unions, with all the rights and benefits of marriage, but not the name. At the time, multiple press outlets reported that Romney supported the legislation, with one calling it a “Vermont-style civil union law.” The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rejected that civil union option in early 2004, and Romney immediately pressed the Legislature to take steps to amend the State Constitution to ban gay marriage without offering gay and lesbian couples any alternative partnership rights. In an April 29 story this year, the Los Angeles T imes r eported that “some conservative activists criticized Romney for opening the door to civil unions” during the Massachusetts marriage fight. Some on the right wing oppose gay marriage and civil unions, arguing that they are marriage-lite. Romney appears to be playing to those conservatives by refusing to endorse civil unions. Romney’s chameleon-like approach to many policies was noted by Republicans as early as 2008, when he first sought the GOP presidential nomination. Senator John McCain’s campaign produced a 200-page book of Romney opposition research, which went public earlier this year, and it details his policy shifts and sometimes polar -opposite changes going
back nearly 15 years. On gay issues, Romney has opposed and endorsed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), federal legislation that would ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and he opposed and endorsed ending the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Responding to questions from reporters on May 9, Romney said that gay marriage was a “very tender and sensitive topic.” In 2005, in South Carolina, he vilified gay couples, according to an ABC News report two years later. “Today, same-sex couples are marrying under the law in Massachusetts,” Romney said. “Some are actually having childr en bor n to them. We’ve been asked to change their birth certificates to remove the phrase mother and father and replace it with parent A and parent B. It’s not right on paper. It’s not right in fact.” While political campaigns tend to emphasize different issues in primary campaigns as opposed to general elections, Romney is taking that practice to an extreme. In March, Eric Fehrnstrom, a longtime senior Romney advisor, likened the campaign to an Etch-a-Sketch. “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign,” Fehrnstrom said on CNN. “Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-a-Sketch, you can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”
| May 23, 2012
Obama Nod Followed Three-Day Biden Storm BY PAUL SCHINDLER
resident Barack Obama’s stunning May 9 announcement, in an interview the White House hastily arranged with Robin Roberts, a co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” that he supports marriage equality quieted a storm brewing for the 72 hours since his vice president’s Sunday “Meet the Press” appearance, but the longer term political impact is not yet clear. Polls on the question have largely been inconclusive, and the general findings in matchups between the president and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney continue to show a razor -thin race. Conservatives have gloated that the move will solidify reluctant evangelical Christian support for the Republican nominee, while news reports emphasized the importance of gay money bundlers to the Obama reelection effort. “At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” the president told Roberts. Obama’s embrace of gay marriage came three days after Joe Biden told NBC’s David Gregory, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights." After “Meet the Press” aired, the president’s reelection team tried to knock down the view that Biden’s statement amounted to an endorsement of marriage for same-sex couples. “What VP said — that all married couples should have exactly the same legal rights — is precisely POTUS’s position,” tweeted David Axelrod, senior strategist for the reelection campaign. Last year, the administration announced it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act against legal challenges and endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would give legally married couples federal recognition. A literal reading of Biden’s statement could be seen as supporting Axelrod’s effort to walk back the conclusion that
NBC political director Chuck Todd put out on his own Twitter feed immediately after “Meet the Press” concluded — that the vice president had just endorsed gay marriage. Todd’s reading of Biden’s comments, however, was shared by essentially the entire press establishment — not surprisingly since the vice president also said, in the same interview, “What people are finding out what all marriages at their root are about… is who do you love and will you be loyal to the person you love?” That sentiment left little room for campaign officials and the vice president’s own spokesman to argue that Biden’s heart was not on the side of gay and lesbian couples wishing to marry. Events soon moved at warp speed. By Monday’s mid-day briefing from White House press secretary Jay Carney, the effort to spin Biden’s appearance on “Meet the Press” was hopelessly out of date. In 45 minutes of questions, more than a dozen reporters — nearly every one given a chance to query Carney — pressed him to explain how the vice president’s comments did not break new ground and when the president would clarify his own thinking. In its Tuesday edition, the New York Times, writing that “Every so often, candidates running for high office say what they really think about an important issue,” argued, “It would be good for a broad range of Americans to see [Obama] articulate a clear position of principle and then defend it before the voting public.” To do anything less, the newspaper declared, would run the risk of the president “dampening the enthusiasm of allies without gaining the support of equality’s opponents.” That afternoon, the White House reached out to ABC News to arrange the sit-down with Roberts. Obama had never before explicitly “evolved” — in the language he repeatedly employed — beyond his support in the 2008 campaign for civil unions. His comments to ABC were striking in the traditionalist approach he took to explaining his change of position — talking about family, faith, and country as considerations in his thinking.
PETE SOUZA/ THE WHITE HOUSE
Politics of gay marriage embrace unclear, but he felt the love when hitting the road
President Barack Obama during ABC “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts' interview with him on May 9.
“As I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed, monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” he said. In his remarks, the president acknowledged the critical role demographics play in people’s attitudes toward mar riage equality. “It’s interesting, some of this is also generational,” he said. “You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy,
but are very clear that when it comes to same-sex equality or, you know, sexual orientation that they believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are samesex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents, and Malia and Sasha — it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.” Obama, making a Christianbased argument for full equality, said that his wife, Michelle, helped him wrestle with the
issue and that their faith played a critical role. “In the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated,” he said. The president’s interview came less than a day after North Carolina voters, by a margin of 61-39
OBAMA, continued on p.16
May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
Marriage Equality and States’ Prerogatives The president’s embrace goes far, but federal constitutional road still ahead of him BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
n his dramatic May 9 interview in which he announced his support for marriage equality, President Barack Obama said, “I have to tell you that part of my hesitation on this has also been I didn’t want to nationalize the issue. There’s a tendency when I weigh in to think suddenly it becomes political and it becomes polarized. And what you’re seeing is, I think, states working through this issue — in fits and starts, all across the country. Different communities are arriving at different conclusions, at different times. And I think that’s a healthy process and a healthy debate. And I continue to believe that this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue, what’s recognized as a marriage.” The president, then, while saying he thinks same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, also stated his view that that this a local issue to be resolved by each state. On that latter point, he’s both correct and incorrect. Numerous federal rights and benefits turn on whether a couple is married, and prior to 1996 any marriage sanctioned by a state would qualify a couple for
those federal rights and benefits. The question of whether a marriage was recognized for federal purposes — while in some sense a matter of federal law — was determined by reference to individual states’ law. But when Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, it made marriage recognition a matter of federal law by stating that only the union of one man and one woman could be considered a marriage for federal law purposes. Departing from our historical practice — at a time when no state was providing marriage licenses to same-sex couples — Congress and President Bill Clinton enacted, for the first time in American law, a federal policy under which some marriages recognized under state law would not be recognized by the US government. The Supreme Court had made it a federal issue three decades earlier — in 1967, in Loving v. Virginia — when it ruled that the 14th Amendment applies to state decisions about who could marry whom. In that case, the high court ruled, on alternative grounds of due process — the fundamental right to marry — and equal protection, that a state could not base eligibility to marry on the race of the individuals. Though it is
OBAMA, from p.15
percent approved a far-reaching constitutional amendment barring any legal recognition for same-sex couples. Press reports indicate that in some heavily African-American districts, the measure won two-thirds or more of the vote. The president carried North Carolina in 2008 — but by only 14,000 votes. Pundits have speculated about whether an endorsement of same-sex marriage by the president could dampen turnout among black voters, his strongest base of support. A CBS/ New York Times poll taken at the end of that week found that 25 percent of voters said they were less likely to vote for the president in the wake of his embrace of gay marriage, but 16 percent were more likely to do so. Fifty-eight percent said the announcement did not factor into their view of the race. Potential negative impact was most pronounced with Republicans, among whom, the
up to the states to determine the qualifications for marriage, that determination must be made consistent with the 14th Amendment guarantees of due process and equal protection, under which the state must show a compelling justification if it is going to interfere with individual choice in the selection of a marital partner. In opposing constitutional same-sex marriage claims, some courts have tried to narrow Loving v. Virginia to its facts — an interracial different-sex marriage case — and state that the fundamental right identified by the Supreme Court was the right of a man and a woman to marry regardless of race. But to do that is to make the same error the high court made in Bowers v. Hardwick — the 1986 ruling that upheld Georgia’s sodomy law — in identifying the right at issue too narrowly and failing to place the case correctly in context. The Supreme Court corrected that error in Lawrence v. Texas — the 2003 ruling striking the nation’s remaining sodomy laws — which overruled Bowers and stated it was wrong when it was decided, because the right at issue was not, narrowly construed, the “right of homosexuals to engage in sodomy” but rather the right of any person, regardless of sexual ori-
poll found, Obama had no more than five percent support anyway. Forty-three percent of GOP respondents said they were less likely to vote for the president now. Among Democrats, twelve percent said Obama’s pro-equality stance made them less likely to support him, while 29 percent said they were now more favorably disposed. Among independents, 22 percent said they were less likely to vote for Obama now and 14 percent said they were more likely to. An ABC/ Washington Post poll found that, among registered voters, equal percentages — 46 percent — viewed the president’s stance favorably versus unfavorably. The share of favorable responses versus unfavorable grew to 49-43 among independents and 70-23 among Democrats. Women and voters under 30 were disproportionately inclined to view Obama’s shift on gay marriage in positive terms. This polling may do no more than con-
entation, to intimate association with a consenting adult partner. The Hawaii Supreme Court got this analysis right in its 1993 decision that provoked DOMA, when it said the state’s refusal to issue marriage licenses to samesex couples was a form of discrimination on the basis of sex, because the state had erected a classification based on sex as a qualification for marriage. Under Hawaii’s constitution, sex is a “suspect classification” — which means that any state action that makes eligibility for a right or benefit dependent on the sex of a person could be upheld only if the state offered a compelling justification. In a subsequent trial, the judge found that the state government had failed to do so and ordered that same-sex couples be allowed to marry. The judge’s decision never went into effect because Hawaii amended its constitution. In the Proposition 8 case, US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, in 2010, ruled that the 14th Amendment requires California to allow same-sex couples to marry. As in Loving v. Virginia, the court based its ruling on both due process — the fundamental right to marry — and equal protection. On appeal, a Ninth Circuit panel affirmed Walker, but on the narrower ground that the
firm what intuition would suggest — that Obama helped himself with his base and hurt himself with those not inclined to support him in the first place. The bigger question is which side will be more energized by his move. The following week’s cover of Newsweek showed the president with a rainbow halo, for a story in which gay writer and blogger Andrew Sullivan enthused that Obama was “the first gay president,” an allusion to Toni Morrison’s famous statement that Bill Clinton was “the first black president.” But conservative John Podhoretz seized on the prospects of an anti-gay backlash hurting Obama, tweeting, “And Newsweek gives Romney an in-kind contribution worth $20 million.” During his interview with Roberts, the president acknowledged that events got ahead of him on the gay marriage question, saying, “I would have preferred to do it in my own time, on my own terms.” Still, numerous press
record provided no support for finding that California voters in 2008 had a rational basis for rescinding the right to marry for same-sex couples after the State Supreme Court had ruled in favor of a state constitutional right to same-sex marriage earlier that year. Because the adoption of Proposition 8 was an act of raw politics, not a reasoned judgment based on valid policy concerns, it could not meet even the least demanding level of judicial review, the panel found. That case has not yet reached the end of its appellate road. So, as a matter of Executive Branch authority and legislative authority, marriage has traditionally not been a subject for federal law, as the president observed. However, both DOMA and Loving v. Virginia have made it a subject for federal law. The Obama administration has already answered the question whether the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages by abandoning any defense of Section 3 of DOMA and filing briefs in pending cases arguing that it is unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment, which binds the federal government to comply with due process and equal protection principles.
EQUALITY, continued on p.34
reports indicated he planned to move before the election, likely in an appearance on ABC’s “The View.” In fact, Obama was slotted for that show the following week, and as his schedule rolled out in the days after speaking with Roberts, it was not at all clear that the timing hadn’t been fortuitous. First, he headed to Los Angeles for fundraisers with his supporters in Hollywood, a crowd with strongly pro-gay sentiments. The following week, in addition to his stop at “The View,” he made use of his time in New York to speak to the graduating class at Barnard College — another gay-friendly audience — and appear at an LGBT fundraiser in Chelsea headlined by Ricky Martin. It’s not known if a single additional ticket was sold to any of these events, but there is no doubting that the mood at each was supercharged in a way it simply would not have been two weeks earlier.
| May 23, 2012
In Highlineâ€™s Shadow, Christine Quinn Weds Kim Catullo May 19 Chelsea ceremony draws stateâ€™s top political leaders BY PAUL SCHINDLER
n the highest profile same-sex wedding since marriage equality became a reality in New York State last July, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn married her partner of a decade, attorney Kim Catullo, in an early evening ceremony on May 19 at the Highline Stages in Chelsea. In fact, the wedding of Quinn, first elected to the Council representing Manhattanâ€™s West Side in 1999 and speaker since 2006, and Catullo, a product liability attorney at Gibbons PC, was also one of the biggest social gatherings of political elites in Manhattan in recent memory. When Representative Charles Rangel, the Harlem Democrat who is the dean of the New York City congressional delegation, and his wife arrived in a red Mustang convertible just past 6:30 p.m. â€” well after the scheduled start of the ceremony â€” he joined roughly 275 other guests, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, US Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten
Gillibrand, and fellow Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Nydia Velasquez, and Joe Crowley. At 7:02, a spokesman for the couple, who are both 45, emerged from the ceremony, in the West 15th Street venue that sits in the shadow of the famed elevated urban park from which it takes its name, to announce that the brides were officially married. Quinn, dressed in a full-length, cream gown designed by Carolina Herrera, was walked down the aisle by her father, Lawrence. Catullo, wearing a cream silk evening suit from Ralph Lauren, was accompanied by her father, Anthony. The couple exchanged rings designed by Doyle & Doyle. A mix of â€œSomewhere Over the Rainbowâ€? and â€œWhat a Wonderful Worldâ€? was played as the bridal party entered the ceremony. Catullo walked down the aisle to the strains of Bruce Springsteenâ€™s â€œIf I Should Fall Behind,â€? while Quinn made a more traditional choice with Beyonceâ€™s rendition of â€œAve Maria.â€?
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Kim Catullo and Christine Quinn exchange rings as Justice Judith Kaye officiates.
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May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
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| May 23, 2012
May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
Cock Sure A bisexual love triangle brutally played out in a fighting ring wearing vixen. Poor John. Even after his headn st a g i n g “C o ck ,” M i ke B a r- spinning encounter with W, he contlett’s brashly titled play about fesses to M, “I still wack off to you love, bounda r ies, a nd indeci- every night.” Enraged at John’s vacillation, M sion, t he creators have ta ken t he concept of “t heater in t he yells, “You’re small. You’re a halfarse. You’re a lame duck. You’re a round” quite literally. They have transformed the Duke stream. I want a river.” The epic clash reaches its crescentheater into a sort of micro-arena, with five concentric tiers of seats do toward the end of the 90-minute, looking down on a cir cular play- intermissionless drama at a dinner ing space about 20 feet across. The party where M and W meet for the first time, forcing whole setup evokes John to face some the sort of cockfightCOCK fundamental truths. ing rings common in The Duke 229 W. 42nd St. Entering the fray is Britain befor e they Through Jul. 22 M ’ s d a d F, s e r v i n g wer e outlawed (the Tue.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sat. at 2 p.m. as sort of referee of inhumane practice Sun. at 3 & 7 p.m. the spectacle. is still legal in some $79.50; dukeon42.org Or 646-223-3010 While the drama’s countries). title and characWhich is entirely fitting, since this astonishingly ter names may err on the gimmicky potent piece of theater features a side (I presume M stands for man, p a r t i c u l a r l y v i c i o u s b o u t a m o n g W for woman, and F for father), the John, a budding bisexual afraid of conceit is anything but. Under the labels, M, his caustic, pushy boy- razor-sharp direction of James Macfriend, and W, a clever cardigan- donald, this production is stripped BY DAVID KENNERLEY
Jason Butler Harner, Amanda Quaid, and Cory Michael Smith in Mike Bartlett’s “Cock.”
to the bone — no scenery or props, and costumes (by Miriam Buether) that could have come from the actors’ own closets. There is a lighting design credit (Peter Mumford) although the harsh, even light never seems to change.
All the better to view the true backdrop — the faces of audience members, alive with expression, which serve to intensify the experience. In keeping with the cock-
COCK, continued on p.23
Searing Examination (Little Observation) Mark Ravenhill’s leads us into the darkness of our collective compromise BY ANDY HUMM
art in a scripted exchange that could have done with more spontaneity, stumbled upon out gay Mark but was nevertheless historically R a v e n h i l l ’s b r e a k t h r o u g h valuable. “pool (no water),” a 2006 work, “ Shoppi n g a nd F uck i n g ” i n London in 1996, drawn by the is making its American premier at then-outrageous title only to the little 9th Space and is in many find a terrific play with an even more ways perhaps his darkest work, not provocative plot about drug dealing by using shocking language but by getting inside the and gay teen prostiheads of people like tution. It was a knife POOL (NO WATER) us who can collecto the anus — literalOne Year Lease Theater Company 9th Space tively go bad when ly, for one character. 150 First Ave. at 9th St. an opportunity presRavenhill’s 2002 May 26 at 2:30 p.m. ents itself. I saw it “Mother Clap’s Molly May 23-26 at 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday after House” at the Nation$25: 9thspace.org Or 212-352-3101 noon that might be al Theatre about described as “theater cross-dressing 17th (no audience),” as century male prostitutes illuminated some lost history the five game players performed for in a less compelling drama. And we about ten of us. The play just got a money review saw him at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn last year on stage inter - from the New York Times that ought viewing the legendary Bette Bourne, of Bloolips fame, about his life and 䉴 POOL, continued on p.23
SCOTT J. FETTERMAN
Richard Saudek in the One Year Lease Theater Company’s production of Mark Ravenhill’s “pool (no water),” directed by Ianthe Demos.
| May 23, 2012
COCK, from p.22
fight theme, scenes are divided by an audio signal, like a bell between fighting rounds. Be forewarned that the arena, constructed of unfinished plywood with the thinnest of cushions for seats, is highly uncomfortable. Per haps that’s all part of Macdonald’s evil plan, for pain and its avoidance seem the nucleus of the play. Make no mistake, “Cock” tackles some thorny issues rarely seen on stage. For starters, the typical comingout scenario is flipped on its head. Instead of a supposedly straight guy with a girlfriend succumbing to the power of cock, there’s a supposedly gay guy with a boyfriend falling for pussy. In the gay world, declaring you’re a bisexual is usually met with derision — it’s tantamount to saying you’re a Republican. Bartlett has the smarts to recognize that life is not always black and white and is happy to explore shades of sexuality. And he does it with sensitivity and acerbic wit. “I’ve never really looked at women,” John admits to W. “I find them a bit like water. When you want beer.” M dismisses W as a “blip” in John’s otherwise homosexual life. During a brilliantly staged sex scene, which was surprisingly steamy even though no clothes are actually removed, there was quite a bit of nervous laughter in the audience. And horrified expressions. Overall, the four -person ensemble delivers outstanding per for -
POOL, from p.22
to guarantee life for it beyond its current run through May 26, but there were still seats available online at this writing on May 19. Perhaps that is because it holds a mirror up to how easily we can succumb to base motives when we are trying to sur vive — but in this case, not survive something life-threatening, just the drift into irrelevance. “pool” opens promisingly with the actors already arrayed on the stage war ming up, their faces projected onto screens that are really the tops of upright benches put to clever multiple uses as the only set. The plot tur ns on a successful member of their circle who has a horrendous accident and how the envious friends try to make something profitable out of her calamity. Not to give too much away, but projections are not employed again, even though I was longing for them
mances. As the scared and confused John, Cory Michael Smith delicately evokes the agony of not knowing what he wants and ear ns our empathy despite his dull personality. Jason Butler Harner tackles the M role with tart-tongued ferocity. His M is a brute, but we still detect a wounded boy inside, hungry for love. My only quibble is that some of his outbursts could be modulated for greater effect — a little stridency goes a long way. Amanda Quaid invests W with just the right balance of intelligence, year ning, and sensuality. Cotter Smith makes the most of his undeveloped role as the levelheaded F. “Cock,” which comes to Off Broadway after a sensational run at the Royal Court Theatre in London, recognizes that it’s tough to make a decision when you don’t know what you want or who you are. Do you boldly go where you’ve never gone before or take the path of least resistance and stick with the devil you know? As for the overly provocative title (which “family” newspapers including the New York T imes can’t even print, altering it to “The Cockfight Play”), it’s only natural to want to assign a specific meaning. It may be a reference to the male sexual organ. Perhaps it refers to the winner -takeall fight. Or maybe it’s what you do to a gun right before you pull the trigger. As this fiercely original, wickedly taut drama asks, why do we have to choose just one?
given the fact that the characters — a group of youngish artists — are engaged in a loathsome video art project. To the credit of the ensemble — Estelle Bajou, Christopher Baker, Christina Bennett Lind, Nick Flint, and Richard Saudek — they create this drama just with their human instruments over 60 minutes of cerebral engagement under the direction of Ianthe Demos. Ravenhill’s script is smart, trenchant and unsparing, but this is more a story told to us — often in a soporific rhythm — than a riveting drama. There are some diverting characterizations, but the focus is on getting us into their sick little heads — and ultimately into our own, as we struggle with our consciences in response to temptations, especially while part of a cohesive group. Still and all, Ravenhill continues to be one of the most original writers for the stage today. Easily worth the 25 bucks.
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May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
Recalling Sexual Politics on the Piers BY MICHAEL LUONGO
Stonewall Riots of 1969, gay expression exploded. Attached or young New York- to Greenwich Village, the piers, ers knowing only a a crumbling, largely abandoned sanitized, seemingly vestige of New York’s days as a well ordered, aff lu- shipping powerhouse, became one of the major social ent Ma nTHE PIERS: ART AND SEX and politihattan, ALONG THE NEW YORK cal centers of the overtly the gay movesexual gay WATERFRONT ment. life on the Leslie/ Hudson Leslie/ Lohman Museum of Gay and Lohman board River piers Lesbian Art 26 Wooster St., btwn. Canal & Grand Sts. president Jonin Lower Through Jul. 7 athan David M a n h atTue.-Sat., noon-6 p.m. Katz — the tan in the Closing reception: Jul. 6, 6-8 p.m. director of the 1 9 7 0 s leslielohman.org Visual Studies s e e m s doctoral proanother world. All the more reason the gram at SUNY, Buffalo and the period needs to be catalogued co-curator of the recent “Hide/ Seek: Difference and Desire in and remembered. “The Piers: Art and Sex along American Portraiture” exhibition the New York Waterfront,” an at the Brooklyn Museum — said exhibition at the Leslie/ Lohm- for young people coming of age an Museum of Gay and Les- now, it is especially important bian Art, does exactly that. The to see “The Piers” to understand exhibit, co-curated by Jonathan how different things were and Weinberg and Darren Jones, how gay sexuality is now often opened in April and has been overlooked. Katz explained, “I think that extended through July 7. “The Piers” presents more we, especially given the politithan 70 works, largely photo- cal movement of late — margraphs, but also film and even riage, military, et al. — are in recovered pieces of artwork that danger of remaking our history adorned concrete on the Lower in our current image. But ours once was one of profound dissiHudson piers. Gay life had a modicum of dence, often sexual dissidence, visibility in New York in the to a degree that seems almost 1950s and 1960s, but after the unimaginable today.”
COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
Frank Hallam’s “Sunners, Pier 5 (Exterior from Interior),” 1978, archival digital print from slide, 18.5 x 12.5 in.
He added, “There was a kind of fusion in the 1970s, almost as a political movement to refute heteronormative standards. And my God, what a thing to combine sex — and great sex — with a form of political activism, and that is what the piers were. There was very much a point that the piers were appended to New York proper. That we would not be forced off to a place that could not be glimpsed. We built a city that was a utopia on our terms.” Even straight liberals at the time understood the movement’s deeply expressive sexuality. Among them was Shelley Seccombe, the lone female photographer in the exhibit. She said she had moved to Westbeth, an artists’ housing and studio complex on Bethune Street in the far West Village, “in 1970 and began seriously exploring the waterfront soon after that.” Still a dangerous area at the time, she often brought her husband, especially when entering the piers’ abandoned shipping of fice buildings. These locations were where gay men had sex, addicts did hits, and crime on occasion confronted visitors. “I always try to be genderneutral when it comes to photography, but I guess it was an advantage to be female in certain circumstances,” Seccombe said. The piers’ blend of art and sexuality is what some exhibit photographers remember most. “I was looking for sex, and sometimes I was looking for pictures,” Stanley Stellar recalled. “Sometimes I found both on the same afternoon, and sometimes I found one or the other.” Among his favorite images is what he titled “Cyclops” — a “kind of monster monumental” celebrating an intensely sexual man he met and photographed there. “I have a lot of affection for that image because he was one of a kind — a freak and someone I never saw again after that,” Stellar said, explaining the man cruised major gay gathering spots “attracting gay men by traveling around and showing his package. And that was his calling card of life, and that was a sort of way of doing
COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
On abandoned, decaying Village structures, the revolution was photographed
Frank Hallam’s “Tava (Gustav von Will) Painting (Pier 46),” 1980/ 2011, archival digital print from slide, 18.5 x 12.5 in.
things back then.” The day they met, Stellar said, “I was looking for pictures and for sex, and I found both in him. This is a metaphor for my work at that time and maybe still. How hot can I make these pictures and get away with it, and not make them into the pornographic.” Other photographers on exhibit include Leonard Fink, Frank Hallam, Lee Snider, and Rich Wandel. The exhibit also includes seminal works of the New York avant-garde, such as Vito Acconci’s “Untitled Project for Pier 17,” Gordon MattaClark’s “Day’s End,” and David Wojnarowicz’s series “Arthur Rimbaud in New York.” The piers themselves were a canvas for art, becoming an extension of the East Village art scene, especially Pier 34, taken over by Wojnarowicz and Mike Bidlo in 1983. By that point however, the AIDS epidemic and political transformation had begun to impact the scene, along with
urban gentrification and the demolition of many of the pier structures. For Stellar, when he views images in the exhibit, he said, “what came up for me is my youth and my friends. I was young, and I had all my friends whom I no longer have anymore because they are all dead. It was a different kind of family. They had all the same physical cultural experiences of what it meant to be gay back then, but they are not here anymore.” Co-curator Darren Jones grew up in Scotland and did not see the piers until 1996, long after their heyday. He explained the exhibition “will appeal to people of all backgrounds with an interest in New York’s recent past. It functions as a social retrospective on the various uses of a now legendary place and time in Manhattan’s history. Gay men used the piers as a meeting place, an urban playground, if
PIERS, continued on p.25
| May 23, 2012
God, Flag, Pickup Truck, and Lesbian Singer then had a hit song with “Shut Up and Drive,” and later went ne does not have to to #1 on the country music listen to — or even charts with her single “Single l i k e — c o u n t r y White Female.” The film also shows how “no music to appreciate t he emot ion- one is out in Nashville” and that filled, confessional documen- country music — long representary “Wish Me Away,” a film that tative of the flag, the family, and recounts the historic coming God — may not be ready for an out of singer/ songwriter Chely openly gay performer. As end credit notes show, they may still Wright. Wright’s story of fear and not be. “Wish Me Away” only briefly courage is told through a seamaddresses the less inteprofessional gration of WISH ME AWAY ramifications her songs, Directed by Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf of Wright’s photos, and First Run Features Opens Jun. 1 coming out. videos (both Quad Cinema This is dispersonal and 34 W. 13th St. appointing professionquadcinema.com given the al), as well emphasis as interviews with the singer’s family, friends, everyone in the film places on colleagues, and supporters. the potential for damaging her The result is not just a compel- career her announcement creling portrait of a country music ated. More should have been superstar struggling with her included about how Wright’s sexuality, but also a revealing music career suffered as a behind-the-scenes look at how result of her declaration she is her public coming out cam- a lesbian. The film merely suggests that it did. paign was orchestrated. The real focus of this intimate For viewers unfamiliar with the country music star from documentary is Wright’s strugWellsville, Kansas, “Wish Me gle with a lifetime of lying about Away” documents Wright’s place her sexuality. Viewers follow her in the Nashville scene. She won years-long journey and root for the Top New Female Vocal- Wright as she goes from closeted ist award from the Academy of star to bold, out lesbian waving Country Music in 1995. She the rainbow flag at Pride events.
PIERS, from p.24
you will, to meet friends, sunbathe and relax, as well as to pursue the excitement of sexual encounters. Artists utilized the vast spaces of the pier buildings to make some of the most influential and experimental contemporary art of the 20th century. Many went on to make their names as major players in the art world.” Jones added that he learned a lot in working on the project, explaining, “Talking to the artists and photographers who were there, who saw this world come and go, and to hear their stories was one of the most moving experiences imaginable. Above all, I had a powerful sense of how fortunate I am to be able to live my life as I do today, in large part due to the progress made by earlier generations of gay men.” Katz said that what made the piers
As she wrestles with her decision to break her silence, beset by shame, Wright is likable and appealing. Personal clips of her interacting with her sister are charming and funny. And she is touching in segments that reveal a scared young woman on the brink of personal freedom. Wright explains how self-hatred led her to reject the example of out lesbian Billie Jean King. She also acknowledges botched romantic relationships, admitting she was unfair in her breakups with fellow country music star Brad Paisley as well as a woman she loved and lived with. Wright’s candor is authentic, and it provides a deeper understanding of how secretive — and tortured — she was. By articulating what held her back, Wright makes clear just how liberating her coming out was, offering, in the process, an inspirational lesson for her fans and the film’s audience. Wright’s struggle was handled with grace and tears, and she went through the familiar stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The singer weeps throughout the film, telling stories of lying about and hiding her sexuality. Particularly moving are discussions between Wright and her pastor, Reverend Dr. C. Welton Gaddy. She lets loose her tears describ-
unique in relation to 1970s bathhouses and discos was that the piers were free, public spaces. “That very openness was the key,” he said, adding, “You didn’t have to claim anything to walk into them,” including self-identification as gay. “This was a free space, and let’s not lose sight of that. The piers were democratizing,” for the poor, the young, and those new to New York who had not yet found their way. New York today has far fewer such spaces. Katz said gay New Yorkers should see the exhibit because “the arrogance of the present is that it remakes the past in its own image, and the piers bespeak a very different image and a very different politics from our current one. And while I am very much in favor of the choice for people, for example, to get married, I don’t want our sexual dissidence to get, as we used to say, ‘straightened up.’”
Chely Wright riding as grand master of the 2010 Chicago Gay Pride Parade.
ing her suicide attempt and her efforts to pray away the gay. Viewers will likely cry as well. It’s hard not to well up with tears and admiration when Wright’s father discusses how much he loves his daughter on “Oprah.” When she came out, Wright did so in a very public campaign. Talking to celebrity publicist Howard Bragman, she is seen learning how to answer ques-
tions about her self-acceptance and counter attacks from fans who might feel betrayed. His advice is useful, and it assuages her fears about backlash. “Wish Me Away” provides a valuable tool for anyone needing to find self-acceptance and confidence in the coming out process. Wright’s lessons resonate well beyond the already ample legions of country music fans.
COURTESY OF LGBT COMMUNITY NATIONAL HISTORY ARCHIVE
BY GARY M. KRAMER
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Chely Wright tells the painful, inspiring story of her coming out
Leonard Fink’s “West Side Highway, Tava Phallus,” 1977, silver gelatin print, 10 x 8 in.
May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
IN THE NOH
A Mare, a Pope, and a Goddess Three actresses who reflect every facet of their art BY DAVID NOH a r e W i n n i n gham, now appea r i ng i n Ni n a R a i ne‘s “Tribes” at Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow St. at Seventh Ave. So., through Sep. 2; barrowstreettheatre. com), was something of an acting legend in her Los Angeles youth. In the magnificent documentary, “Shakespeare High,” it is revealed that, back in the day, everyone knew of this phenomenal Chatsworth High School girl, who won all the acting competitions, often alongside her classmate Kevin Spacey. “There was something in the water of that decade,” she told me. “So many actors came out of there. The excitement of those competitions was intense, and the comedown afterwards was so severe for me that I was so grateful there would be another one, weeks away. It was addictive, incredibly competitive, but also very friendly and social. Our teachers would encourage us to direct as well, and I remember my mom asking me if I’d even started practicing my own monologue yet. I would spend the weekend working on it, which basically meant co-opting the bathroom from my five siblings and going there in front of the big old mirror.” “Tribes,” with its compassionate take on deafness, is Winningham’s third foray into this theme, after her TV work in “Helen Keller: the Miracle
COURTESY: O&M CO.
Mare Winningham stars in Nina Raine‘s “Tribes,” now running at Barrow Street Theatre.
Continues” and “Love is Never Silent”: “This is something that’s come back into my life and I think there’s a reason. When I met [partially deaf co-actor] Russell Harvard, he signed to me. I had quite a vocabulary back in 1985, but it faded away. I do know how to sign ‘I’ve forgotten everything,’ which I did to him, but then he spoke, ‘You’ll remember. My mother remembers you from the movie,’ and she’d told him, ’Oh, you can sign to her. She’s fluent.’ My bad, but if you don’t practice… Our cast needs to take some time out and maybe hire a coach to help us. We try and learn a couple of phrases every night, but it always degenerates into cuss words or tasteless phrases. I’m like the old lady, saying, ‘Come on kids, let’s get serious!’” Asked if she ever gets sick of being asked about her classic Brat Pack movie, “St. Elmo’s Fire,” Winningham laughs, “No, but I’m always surprised that it was such a cultural moment in time. I missed it somehow because I was older then than everyone that was in it and pregnant with my third kid. I really poopoo’ed it: ‘Whatever this little dude thing is, I’ll just do it.’ And then it came out and kind of defined a generation. I didn’t see it coming and am still surprised when somebody tells me, ‘That was the most important movie of my college years!’ and I’m, ‘All right, I was fat with a baby and laughing it off as best I could.’ Joel Schumacher seemed to know the zeitgeist, and we were sort of like ‘Friends’ before ‘Friends.’ Winningham’s co-actors — Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, etc. — went on to have big starry careers, where she seemed always to be a character actor, even in lead roles: “Yeah. I’m here to tell to tell other actresses who look like me that it’s not a bad thing [laughs]. There are sometimes too many glamorous, beautiful, youthful people, and they all compete. I really had my pick of the great TV movies for a 15-year run, and they were really good parts, primarily Everywoman or girl next door or person you would recognize yourself in. They were not
star roles, but character-driven. Looking like an average Joe is not bad.” Winningham does star in “Hatfields & McCoys,” filmed in Romania: “I have the best role, I think, as the matriarch of the McCoys, who thinks her husband is dead in the Civil War, with ten kids to raise. So when he shows up in the first scene, she feels like she’s seeing a ghost, and the trajectory of her character is so great because she has a little bit of psychic ability to know that no good is gonna come of any of it. She is methodically broken down, as one by one her sons are killed, and ends up in an insane asylum. It breaks your heart because all she wants is a double boiler, a very simple woman who can’t get anything she deserves or needs. “In my career, I can look back and think, ‘Okay, recognize when it’s good because you see how a lot of time goes by before you get a great part. You gotta do what you gotta do, but every ten years there’s something special and this feels like one of those.” Winningham’s Oscar-nominated “Georgia” was definitely one of those: “Great movie, and those people are still my dearest friends — Jennifer Jason Leigh, her mother Barbara Turner [the screenwriter], and our director, Ulu Grosbard, who just passed away. By coincidence, Barbara had come out here to see my play and we found out Ulu had died the day before. We went to his memorial, which was amazing, but it brought up all that special time, when we went to Cannes. I kind of owe them the high point of my career. “Oscar night was tricky, because Kevin Spacey and I — who had done ‘The Sound of Music’ in high school together — to be sitting at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion … He was right in front of me with his mom and I was the row behind with my parents, and at one point he turned around and we were both like, ‘Look where we are!’ He had Red Vines, so we were all eating licorice, and I knew I wasn’t going to win so I was just relaxed, in a stunning Vera Wang gown, soaking it all in. Mira Sor-
“Peggy Pope on Broadway with Jimmy Stewart in 1972, when he reprised his 1950 screen role in “Harvey.”
vino had won every single award for ‘Mighty Aphrodite,’ so everyone in our category knew we could all just hang. “And then Kevin won! I wish I could have shared that night with Jennifer, because she should have been nominated. But I was walking to my seat and Meryl Streep was walking toward me — My God, it’s Meryl! — and she stopped me and said, ‘Omigod, “Georgia” was so amazing. Will you do me a favor and tell Jennifer that that was one of the greatest performances?’ So I got to call Jenny and tell her that.”
“A t t a G i r l : Ta l e s f ro m a L i f e i n t h e Trenches of Show Business” (iuniverse.com) is actress Peggy Pope’s memoir, the title of which comes from her most famous line from her most famous role as Margaret Foster, the office lush in “Nine to Five.” Meeting Pope, you can easily see why she’s been steadily employed for more than half a century — she’s a total original, with her adorable voice and accent, forthright manner, and offbeat wit, all of it masked in a genuine wide-eyed innocence that is frankly irresistible. “I couldn’t get a reading for ‘Nine to Five,’ she confessed. “And then my agent called: ‘You
wanna do it tonight? They’re going into production tomorrow.’ So I went in and the only other one there was a woman with white hair. I thought, ‘They want some old biddy.’ I had come from New York leads in regional shows and was halfhearted about this small part. [Director] Colin Higgins said, ‘Hello, but I was actually thinking of her as someone older.’ I didn’t care anymore and said, ‘You want old? There’s old in the lobby! Why don’t you get her?’ And he drew back and said, ‘I never heard an actress talk like that. Actually, because I wrote it, with a flick of the pen I could change that.’ I said, ‘Yeah, you could.’ Then I left, and they called me and said, ‘Show up.’” Pope played Agnes Gooch to Ann Miller’s Mame, “but I didn’t know how to sing, and Gooch has a two and a half-octave song with a high B flat. Ann Miller was just a delicious singer, everything perfect with the dancing, but she didn’t act really well. She’d never done a live play before, and her idea of acting was not to move when the other person was talking because the camera wasn’t on her. “Every night when I hit that high note — I would just get
IN THE NOH, continued on p.33
| May 23, 2012
May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
Clowning Around James Corden lands every joke in “Two Guvnors”; Matthew Broderick proves getting the work is not everything BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE
ment of comic inspiration that leads to genius and plays so wonder fulhere is no greater joy to be ly with the rest of the cast that one had on Broadway right now wishes the show would never end — — perhaps on t he ent i re just pause long enough so your sides pl a net, come to t h i n k of can stop aching from the laughing. The entire company is spectacular, it — than watching James C orden i n t he le ad of t he h i l a r i- directed with perfection by Nicholas ous British import “One Man, Two Hytner. Their timing is impeccable, Guvnors.” Adapting liberally from the and each of the silly characters is 18th centur y play “ The Ser va nt of beautifully rendered. Oliver Chris is hilarious as the twit Two Masters,” which tanley. Jemima itsel f was a t a keof f ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS SRooper is excellent as on classic commedia Music Box Theater Roscoe/ Rachel, and dell’arte, play wright 239 W. 45th St. Tue. at 7 p.m.; Wed.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Tom Edden plays an R icha rd Bea n has Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. octogenarian waitcreated a rollick ing $26.50-$126.50; telecharge.com er who on his first s t o r y o f o n e F r a nOr 212-239-6200 day at the pub has cis Henshall, who in to serve two madt r y i n g to m a ke h is way in the world accepts positions cap dinners up and down a flight of to ser ve both the upper class Stan- stairs. His physical clowning — and ley Stubbers and the villain Roscoe his work with Corden — leaves you Crabbe, whom we discover a lmost breathless from laughter. The play has been set in 1961, and insta nta neously is rea lly his tw in there is also a band, the Craze, that sister Rachel in disguise. Roscoe may have been killed by plays pastiche period music by Grant Stanley and has fled, with Rachel, Olding that’s just sensational. There are, I’m told, some people who’s in love with Stanley, in pursuit. These are the “two guvnors” Henshall who don’t like this kind of humor, tries to serve, and this is just one of and if you’re one of them, then this the interconnected plots too numer - may not be for you. But for everyone else, it’s a high point of the theous to explain. ater season and the most refreshing And why spoil the fun? All of this plotting is just a struc- comic treat Broadway has had in a a t u r e o n w h i c h t o h a n g p h y s i c a l long time. comedy, over -the-top gags, and the relentless pursuit, by Francis, of The only pleasure one something to eat. can possibly derive from As Francis, Corden commands the watching Matthew Broderick’s per stage with an amazing ease and is so formance in “Nice Work If You Can in the moment that when the unex- Get It” is to sit there and wonder pected happens, he simply rolls with who the producers might have hired it — and leaves the audience rolling who could actually do the role. There in the aisles. Corden is the embodi- couldn’t be a more wrong-headed choice than Broderick to play the singing, dancing playboy millionaire Jimmy Winter, who the Every Tuesday 7:30-10:00 PM In Chelsea script says is “dripping with char m.” Br oder ick’s performance is about as charm-free as it could be. Most of his per formance consists of rehashing his whiny line-readings from “The Producers.” His singing Contact Adam to Reserve a Spot is reedy, and he delivers firstname.lastname@example.org the songs as if by rote, with no understanding of what he’s saying. His Call for private bodywork & acupuncture appointments every day dancing is tentative and
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James Corden in Richard Bean’s “One Man, Two Guvnors,” directed by Nicholas Hytner.
lumbering. He’s so inept that he very standing, especially given the cir nearly sinks the whole shebang while cumstances. The reward for returntaking some of the most beloved Ger- ing from intermission is to hear her shwin songs in the American Song- sing “But Not For Me.” In fact, every book and brutally trampling them time O’Hara is on either alone or with anyone other than Broderick, she under his unsure foot. Gershwin mash-ups are nothing has the inimitable pluck and sparkle new to Broadway. Both “My One and required for a trouser role. In supporting roles, Judy Kaye as Only” and “Crazy For You” created new books to showcase the songs. the battle-axe reformer who changBut both of those had actors who es her tune when she gets a taste of demon rum is knew how to sell a numhilarious. Michael ber. Watching Broder NICE WORK McGrath as Billie’s ick, one sighs for the IF YOU CAN GET IT sidekick forced lack of Harry Groener Imperial Theatre into the role of and Tommy Tune — not 249 W. 45th St. butler at Jimmy’s to mention Judy BenTue., Thu. at 7 p.m. Long Island estate, son and Twiggy — who Wed., Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. where the bootlegmade Gershwin glow on $46.50-$136.50; telecharge.com gers had hoped to all levels. Or 212-239-6200 hide out, has all “ N i c e Wo r k ” h a s a Or 212-239-6200 the low comedy book by Joe DiPietro, meant as counwho has borrowed from Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse to terpoint to Jimmy’s sophistication. create the flimsy story replete with Unfortunately, McGrath is left to do bootleggers, pr ohibitionists who all the lifting himself, and he does it discover the sauce, chorines, and marvelously. Kathleen Marshall seems to have mismatched lovers. The book has its charming moments, but mostly directed around Broderick. She’s got exists to tie songs together and give a great ensemble, and the lavish show is nice to look at thanks to Derek performers their star turns. And there are some star turns to be McClane’s sets and Martin Pakledinaz’s had, despite Broderick’s best efforts costumes. For all their efforts, though, at sucking everything on stage into it’s unfortunate that saddled with a his own personal void. Kelli O’Hara miscast leading man, they weren’t able as Billie, the bootlegger dressed as to get passable — let alone nice — work a man who falls for Jimmy, is out- out of this rich material.
| May 23, 2012
Two Great 20th Century Operas Return Also, two great American singers in recital BY DAVID SHENGOLD avid Daniels gave an intriguing recital May 3 in Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium — a handsome space with a renovated concert series worth checking out. Part of the recital, with veteran pianist Martin Katz, drew from the countertenor’s accustomed fare — 19th century adaptations of Early Italian songs like Caccini’s “Amarilli” (a particular highlight here), some elegant, archaizing Reynaldo Hahn salon numbers, and some American folk songs. This last
set, in adaptations by Steven Mark Kohn, were very entertaining — and, in Daniels’ rendition of “On the Other Shore,” moving. Still, despite the pointed quality of his diction, it would have been nice to have the words to glance at in the program. The rest of the recital featured a collaboration with six gifted young dancers from the Mark Morris Dance Group. Simply clad, they did interpretive movement around Katz and Daniels. Morris’ choreography always derives from musical phrasing, and the visual pairings-off made sense. The results proved best in the folkish Brahms folk songs.
The three songs from Berlioz’s “Nuits d’Ete” — the up-tempo frame songs around the wrenching “Spectre de la rose” — mean so much and were compellingly sung with fine legato by Daniels, so that the dancers seemed merely distracting. I closed my eyes and listened. The dancers returned, with more welcome effect, for the encore — Gluck’s “Che faro” from the Daniels/ Morris collaborative “Orfeo” at the Met. Daniels remains one of his generation’s defining classical singers, worth traveling to hear. Fortunately, next season in New York, he’ll be prominent locally
as Handel’s Radamisto (Carnegie) and Cesare (Met), both led by Harry Bicket. John Dexter’s 1978 staging of Britten’s Melville-based masterwork “Billy Budd” remains powerful and eye-catching, if occasionally overindulgent in its symbolism. Surely it’s a mistake to have the titular Handsome Sailor and his repressed, lust-twisted accuser, Claggart, walk side by side down to the tribunal called by Captain Vere. But the piece held the rapt attention of a near-capacity Met audience May 4. Nathan Gunn has offered excellent Billy Budds to San
Francisco and Chicago; sadly, the Met came late to this. Gunn’s voice is no longer fresh enough, especially on top, to make one not notice the lack of volume for ensemble moments in this huge space. He gave a good impersonation — sincere, well-phrased — faring best in lightly scored legato sections. British tenor John Daszak, debuting as Captain Vere, offered clarity of words but not much depth of feeling in uttering them. Attractive at low dynamics, his voice turned strident and flat at full volume.
OPERA, continued on p.33
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Broken Cameras, Damaged Hope Palestinian and Israeli filmmakers team up to record occupation’s wear and tear BY STEVE ERICKSON images of a hospitalized Burnat — Davidi was largely responsible for the film’s arlier this year, the Iranian editing. The film mixes the personal documentar y “ This Is Not with the political, quickly showing how A Film” wore its poverty of the village of Bil’in became infuriated by means — parts of it were shot the encroachment of Israeli settlers and on an iPhone while its director a separation wall onto the land. The vilwas under house arrest — as a badge of lagers’ protest is non-violent; the Israeli honor. “Five Broken Cameras,” based on response is not, to put it mildly. Little about the Israeli/Palestinian footage almost entirely shot by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, also puts the conflict leads one to optimistic concluwide availability of cheap video cameras sions. “Five Broken Cameras” is a powto political use, showing off their wear erful film, but it’s far from entertaining or upbeat. The directors depict a world and tear with pride. The film is structured around the ter- where life is cheap and the threats of minal harm done to five video cameras arrest and violence are always around owned by Burnat and used to shoot polit- the corner. The entire West Bank seems ical protests in his West Bank village. At like a heavily policed slum. Over the course of “Five Broken Camone point, a camera saves his life, stopping a bullet. The image quality steadily eras,” Burnat is arrested (he serves some improves; when Burnat lays out the five time in jail and then spends an additional cameras on a table at the beginning and period under house arrest, where he conend of “Five Broken Cameras,” it’s note- tinues filming) and almost dies in a car worthy that he progressed from tiny crash. He spends two months in an Israeli hospital, 20 days of that models to much more period unconscious. His deluxe ones. At times, FIVE BROKEN CAMERAS however, “Five Broken Directed by Guy Davidi and Emad Burnat brothers are arrested Kino Lorber and shot. His children Cameras” is marked by digital noise, Burnat In Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles witness violence at a Opens May 30 young age. Burnat’s and Israeli co-direcFilm Forum camera captures the tor and co-editor Guy 209 W. Houston St. filmforum.org shooting of a small boy. Davidi leaving in footBurnat and Davidi rub age where the image the spectator’s face in the ugliness of Israbreaks up. “Five Broken Cameras” is split into five el’s treatment of the Palestinians. There’s one potential source of light segments corresponding to each camera Burnat acquired over a five-year period. in “Five Broken Cameras” — Burnat’s He began filming in 2005 and ended in children. His youngest son, Gibreel, was 2010. While he shot almost all the foot- born around the time he began filming. age in “Five Broken Cameras” — the film At the time “Five Broken Cameras” wraps never explains who photographed the up, the child is five. Each section of the
Emad Burnat’s son, Gibreel, looks over at the Israeli settlements.
film, which kicks off with the acquisition of a new camera, brings us up to date on Gibreel’s life. This approach risks coming off as sentimental and manipulative. With the rest of the film so grim, however, it doesn’t play that way. Birthday parties lie cheek by jowl with horrendous violence. If that seems jarring or even distasteful, one can only imagine how it felt to live through it. Burnat’s filmmaking seems compulsive, to say the least. His wife, Soraya, repeatedly complains that it’s a negative influence on his life. Burnat says he feels safer when carrying a camera, but quickly adds that it’s a false sense of security. Still, in filmmaking, he finds a tool to empower his community. Showing his footage of protests to a group of villagers encourages them to keep fighting. I’m not sure how
Burnat and Davidi got in touch, but Burnat seems to have gotten some funding halfway through the project. What started out as an amateur documenting his life turned into a work of greater political significance — and a film that’s traveled the world, winning awards at Sundance and a film festival in Amsterdam. If there was ever any merit to the Zionist project, “Five Broken Cameras” suggests it’s been lost in blind tribalism and grasping for land and power. It ends on a slightly hopeful note, but one can sense that Burnat and Davidi are grasping for straws. Even so, the very fact that Palestinian and Israeli filmmakers could come together and collaborate on a film dealing with such contentious subject matter offers more optimism than anything in “Five Broken Cameras” itself.
An Addict’s Long Day BY GARY M. KRAMER slo, August 31st” is a qu iet l y p ower f u l drama depicting the melancholy of a drug addict i n recover y. Directed by Joachim Trier, it boasts an astonishing performance by Anders Danielsen Lie as Anders, a 34-year-old man who is two weeks shy of completing his rehabilitation program. The film’s tone is wistful and somber, but also hopeful, as Anders temporarily leaves his rehab program to interview for a job. During the course of the day, Anders r eunites with
friends and meets strangers. He takes stock of his life — trying to reconcile his past, reconnect in the present, and consider his options for the future. When Anders meets his friend Thomas (Hans Olav Br enner) for lunch, Thomas is not initially attentive to his recovery efforts. Instead, he offers his 10-months sober friend a beer. Thomas thinks Anders wants his pity, which he adamantly does not. Anders does hope to get his friend to understand his misery, suggesting he is contemplating suicide. Thomas tries to encourage Anders that he can overcome his self-destructive thoughts, but undercuts
his persuasiveness by describing how mundane and disappointing his own life has become. Anders comes away feeling that “normal life” might not be all it’s cracked up to be. A fantastic sequence that follows has Anders sitting silently despairing in a café as he eavesdrops on other patrons whose humdrum conversations fuel his cynicism about life. As Anders contemplates weightier issues, the mindless chatter crushes his spirit. The dramatic tension in “Oslo, August 31st” comes less from Anders’
ADDICT, continued on p.33
Anders Danielsen Lie offers flawless portrait of young man in despair
Anders Danielsen Lie in Joachim Trier’s “Oslo, August 31st.”
| May 23, 2012
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May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
May 25. Pam Ann; XL Cabaret
ACTIVISM HIV Is Not a Crime
Queerocracy, a New York City-based grassroots social and economic justice group, holds a community forum, “Prosecution vs. Prevention,” examining HIV criminalization in the US and highlighting the many abuses of the criminal justice system affecting people living with the virus. The evening includes a screening of the short film, “HIV is Not a Crime,” followed by a panel discussion featuring Robert Suttle, who was incarcerated in Louisiana for HIV non-disclosure, Adrian Guzman from the Center for HIV Law and Policy, and Sean Strub, founder of POZ magazine and executive director of the SERO Project. Eric Sawyer, a co-founder of ACT UP and the civil society partnership advisor at UNAIDS, moderates. LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. May 24, 6-9 p.m. Information at queerocracy.org/events.html.
–– along with former club president Joe Hagelmann, who is, at least, a feminist. Woolworth Tower Kitchen, 9 Barclay St. at W. Broadway, ground fl. May 24, 6 p.m. Tickets are $100 at tinyurl.com/ c6728nc.
CABARET Don’t Sleep In the Subways, Darlin’
The Bronx Academy of Art & Dance (BAAD!) concludes its annual spring “Boogie Down Dance Series,” a powerful mix of homegrown Bronx work and dance from around the city. In “NoBo Dance Mix,” the rising star dance students at Lehman College in the Northwest Bronx (NoBo) take over BAAD!’s stage with an evening of new works that go from salsa to hip hop to contemporary dance (free). 841 Barretto St., btwn. Garrison & Lafayette Aves., Hunts Point (#6 train to Hunts Point Ave.). Information at BronxAcademyofArtsandDance.org.
POLITICS Here Are the Women At a recent congressional hearing on contraception, House Republicans invited an all-male panel, leading New York Democratic Representative to ask, “Where are the Women?” The Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC answers that question in its 26th annual fundraiser cocktail party, which honors Dr. Marjorie Hill, the CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, City Councilwoman Annabel Palma, and Planned Parenthood NYC
SPORTS Renewed Hope
The Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center sponsors 10 days of Pride, beginning with the Pride Preview Kickoff, at the Out Bar, 206 Main St. at Columbus Dr., Poughkeepsie. May 25, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. The Pride Preview Party, a BYOB picnic, takes place on May 27, 5 p.m.-midnight, at the Locust Grove Estate, 2683 South Rd. at Beechwood Ave., Poughkeepsie. Tickets are $10 at tinyurl.com/czkrsnm. A film festival runs nightly at 7 p.m., May 29-Jun. 1 at the HV Community Center, 300 Wall St. at John St., Kingston, with screenings of “Mambo Italiano,” “Pariah,” “Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride,” and “Aimee & Jaguar.” (Admission is $5.) On Jun. 1, 7 p.m., “Bully” is screened at the Rosendale Theatre, 408 Main St., near Keaton Ave., in Rosendale. (Admission is $5.) On Jun. 2, 5-7 p.m., the Community Center hosts a wine and cheese party. (Admission is $5.) On Jun. 3, noon-4 p.m., New Paltz, where Mayor Jason West began marrying same-sex couples in 2004, hosts the annual Hudson Valley Pride March & Festival in Hasbrouck Park, Hasbrouck Ave. at Tricor Ave. For complete information on Pride activities and a $20 Pride Pass, visit lgbtqcenter.org.
Fast and Fabulous, New York’s GLBT Cycling Club, honors the memory of John Chapman, who died last year on what the group used to call the New Hope Ride when a weaving hit-and-run driver –– never apprehended –– struck him. The 90-mile (each way) ride, May 26-28, travels from Newark’s Penn Station to the Weisel Hostel in Nockamixon State Park, Quakertown, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles northwest of New Hope. A pickup vehicle will take care of riders who run out of steam. On May 27, there will be a brief ride in Chapman’s memory through nearby Doylestown. The following day, May 28, the group will cycle back to Newark via a different route. (NJ Transit does not allow bikes on a Monday holiday, so taking the train back to the city is not an option, but the pickup vehicle will be available.) The club will meet at the World Trade Center PATH station at 7:30 a.m. on May 26 for the trip to Newark’s Penn Station. To reserve a spot and two nights at the hostel, send a $100 check, nonrefundable after May 15, payable to Bob Nelson at 165 Seaman Ave., Apt. 3H, New York 10034-1989. For more information, email email@example.com, visit fastnfab.org, or call 212-567-7160.
COMEDY Mad Men Days When Flying Rocked
GALLERY NYC's Social Activist Tradition
Pam Ann, the comic creation of Australian comedian Caroline Reid, is an air hostess who offers audiences a mix of comedy, camp, and glamour. She brings her new show, “Cockpit,” to the XL Cabaret, 512 W. 42nd St. May 25-26, Jun. 1-2, 8 p.m., with seating beginning at 6. Tickets are $30, $25 for XL members at xlcabaret.com. You must be 21 or older.
“Activist New York” is a Museum of the City of New York exhibition that examines how New Yorkers have advocated, agitated, and exercised their power to shape the city’s –– and the nation’s –– future. Among the installations examining 14 different movements over the past 350 years is “‘Gay Is Good’: Civil Rights for Gays and Lesbians, 1969-2012,” which draws on artifacts from groups ranging from ACT UP and Radicalesbians to the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and borrows from collections at the New York Public Library and the Fales Library at NYU. The exhibition also focuses on the 17th century push for religious tolerance in Dutch New Netherland, the fight against slavery and for women’s suffrage, the labor activism of early 20th century women working in the garment trades, the civil rights movement, and the efforts for historic preservation and to revive the South Bronx. 1220 Fifth Ave. at 103rd St. Daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The exhibition has an open run. Admission is $10; $6 for students & seniors. For more information, visit mcny.org.
THEATER Don't Even Ask
DANCE Springtime in the Bronx
Last year, cabaret singer Jennifer Sheehan sold out the Metropolitan Room with her show “You Made Me Love You — Celebrating 100 Years of the Great American Songbook,” which the Times’ Stephen Holden wrote was “smart and far-reaching… Ms. Sheehan gives you hope.” In her new show, “I Know a Place,” Sheehan and a trio of musicians explore the soundtrack of the ‘60s, with tunes written by Burt Bacharach, the Beatles, and Antonio Carlos Jobim and made famous by Barbra Streisand, Petula Clark, and Carole King. Feinstein’s At Loews Regency, 540 Park Ave. at 61st St. May 24-25, 29-31, 8 p.m.; Jun. 1-2, 8 & 10:30 p.m. The cover charge is $30-$75, with a $25 food & drink minimum (with the except of a small number of $30 seats). For reservations, visit Feinsteinsatloewsregency.com or call 212-339-4095.
COMMUNITY Pride in the Hudson Valley
“Gay Bomb: The Musical!” is a satirical romp inspired by the real-life plans of the US military a couple of decades back to build a bomb that turns enemy armies gay (honest!). President-elect Felching has been swept into office on his promise to defend the United States from the homosexual and Mooslem threats. Still, when faced with a new Middle Eastern conflict and his military stretched thin, Felching wrestles with moral objections before embracing the controversial chemical weapon. And then, of course, nothing goes according to plan. Michael Martin directs the romp, with music by Frank Spitznagel, book and lyrics by Chris Friden and Steve Whyte, and choreography by Anna Farkas. The Magnet Theater, 254 W. 29th St. May 25; Jun. 11, 15, 18, 22 & 29, 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 at brownpapertickets.com/ event/243612.
GALLERY Lucid Dreams Come Alive Installation artists Sheila Pepe and Diana Punter present “Lucid Dream Lounge,” which includes live performances through May. Participant Inc, 253 E. Houston St., btwn. Aves. A & B. On May 25, 7-10 p.m., Jennifer Minitti offers a fashion presentation, with go-go dancers Ryan Harman and Coco Johnson and DJ Scott Ewalt. On May 31, 7-10 p.m., Walter Dundervill dances and the soul/ punk band Sister Anne performs. Gallery hours are Wed.-Sun., noon-7 p.m. Installation runs through Jun. 3. More information at participantinc.org.
Early Haring in West Village, Brooklyn “Keith Haring: 1978-1982” is the first large-scale exhibition to explore the early career of the legendary pop artist, who died of AIDS in 1990. The exhibit traces the development of the artist's extraordinary visual vocabulary, including 155 works on paper, seven experimental videos, and more than 150 archival objects, among them rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs. Brooklyn Museum of Art, 200 Eastern Pkwy (2, 3 to Eastern Parkway) near Grand Army Plaza. Through Jul. 8, Wed., Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; first Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
14 DAYS, continued on p.35
| May 23, 2012 IN THE NOH, from p.26
there some way or another — she was such a good sport about it. She had these long false eyelashes and the only giveaway was that they would flutter while she waited for me, but very disciplined and never said a word about it. She had five wigs because she sweated so much, but she didn’t know about curtains or flies. “Once she grabbed me and said, ‘Peggy, what are the flies?’ So I told her a little bit about them, not that things could fall on you from there. She kinda lost interest, didn’t need to know about that. And she also didn’t know about the 20-pound bar in the curtain hem which made it fall right. Every night, she didn’t realize the audience who was standing up all had white hair — it was Florida — and all they wanted was to get into their limos ahead of each other. She thought it was a standing ovation, and she would go out and take another bow and the poor stage hand would be jumping on the curtain rope. Finally, they took him away to the hospital because he pulled a muscle.”
OPERA, from p.29
After William Burden’s masterful 2008 Santa Fe Vere, he would seem the natural candidate for the Met — if one didn’t know the anglophilic bent of the Met’s casting directors. James Morris’ much-acclaimed Claggart has always struck me as just unmodulated growling and posturing. Except for weak lows, however, he was in good form. Any artist who can maintain a high vocal standard in a leading role for 34 years deserves some credit. The most vocal pleasure came from the three secondary, low-voiced officers — Kyle Ketelsen, in terrific, juicy voice as Flint, welcome debutant Ryan McKinny as Ratcliffe, and the Redburn of Dwayne Croft, who in 1997 sang Billy. Other strong, telling work came from Keith Jameson (Novice), Allan Glassman (Red Whiskers), and John Moore (Donald) — all of whom relished and projected the text in good sound. Eliott Madore (as the Novice’s Friend, Gunn’s 1997 Met
ADDICT, from p.30
struggle to resist drinking and taking drugs and more in his reactions to people he comes across throughout the day. During a job interview with a magazine editor, he is candid, boldly admitting his addiction, which surprises the editor. Perhaps misreading the editor’s reaction, Anders abruptly leaves in a huf f. He is insecure about being identified as an addict, and the moment crystallizes the dif ficulties he has re-adjusting to daily life. When his sister declines an invitation to meet him, saying she is
remained a friend, arranged for her to be buried with her son, and each year since 1984, the Prix Romy Schneider is awarded to the most promising young actress in French cinema.
ebrated at French Institute Alliance Français with a retrospective of her films through June 26 (22 E. 60th St.; fiaf.
org). She became a star at 17 when she played the Empress Elizabeth of Austria in the fondly recalled “Sissi” series of movies, and went on to work with some of the most prominent directors of her time — Orson Welles, Luchino Visconti (for whom she again played Elisabeth in his “Ludwig”), Claude Sautet, Bertrand Tavernier, Joseph Losey, Robert Siodmak, CostaGravas, Henri Clouzot, and more. Her personal life was turbulent, with her husband Harry Meyen committing suicide and her 14-year-old son by him, David, dying when he impaled himself on a fence in 1981. She was found dead from alcohol and pills in her Paris apartment in 1982. At the height of her stardom, she had an intense affair with actor Alain Delon, and the film she made with him, “Christine,” a remake of Schnitzler’s “Liebelei,” which had starred her mother, Magda, in 1933, is part of the series. Lusciously photographed in color, they were perhaps the most impossibly beautiful couple in film history, enough to make Brangelina look like a pair of ouch-faces. Delon, who
assignment in this score) again puffed up his fine voice in the big auditorium; doubtless he’ll be doing Billy before long. The orchestra under David Robertson — in theory, an excellent conductor for this idiom — proved notably underrehearsed in Britten’s magnificent, demanding score. The brass section in particular made many awkward entrances, spoiling some delicate chords. The chorus sang well, but overall pit/ stage coordination was not yet ideal. Still, “Billy Budd” was a worthwhile experience. Let’s hope the Met revives this fine production and work soon. “The Makropulos Case” (May 8) also represented a revival, but thanks to Janacek expert Jiri Belohlavek’s translucent, powerful conducting and Karita Mattila’s stunning embodiment of the central vampirish siren, it made a triumphant close to the Met season. Elijah Moshinsky’s production has some odd scenic elements — what is that Egyptian tomb doing in Emilia Marty’s dressing room? — but has held up quite well.
As the 337-year-old name-shifting diva, Mattila unleashed an arsenal of vampishness and wit, looking sensational in her costumes and inflecting the text with poignancy and insight. Her voice retains much allure, though the change in color at range extremes made one doubt the wisdom — even the possibility — of her undertaking Verdi’s Amelia next season. But her Marty was thrilling. Too bad no HD filming had been scheduled. Richard Leech returned to the Met as Albert Gregor, the diva’s most besotted suitor (and also her remote descendent!). Leech displays almost none of his erstwhile beauty of tone, though with stylistic coaching, he could use his secure, loud sound in several other major Slavic tenor roles. Two rather similar bass-baritones of different generations — Johan Reuter and Tom Fox — brought strong vocalism and the needed potent presence to Prus and Kolenaty. Alan Oke (Vitek), Bernard Fitch (Hauk) and — one of the few Met
comprimarias who always sounds good — Edyta Kulczak (Chambermaid) offered outstanding cameo turns. Christine Brewer’s May 13 Tully recital of American songs with Craig Rutenberg was lovely — honest phrasing, billowing dramatic soprano tone only slightly touched in its upper register by time’s advances, and real communicative skills. Barber, Ives, and Harold Arlen all got immaculate readings. Susan B. Anthony’s final monologue from the Virgil Thomson/ Gertrude Stein “The Mother of Us All” fit her to a T. But where were all New York’s young singers — home watching Kelly Clarkson on Youtube? And, poignantly, why has New York heard this great American soprano in only two staged performances (of Strauss’s Ariadne at the Met in 2003)? If that’s to be rectified, serious planning better start very soon.
uncomfortable doing so, and an exgirlfriend does not return multiple phone messages, Anders’ pain over having failed his family and loved ones is evident. The regret that consumes Anders is presented eloquently. In perhaps the film’s best sequence, he delivers a moving monologue (in voiceover) describing his parents and his childhood, dwelling on the freedoms he was given and the opportunities he squandered. The moment might explain — without judgment or blame — how and why he became an addict. The film’s intimate, almost doc-
umentary-like style of chronicling Anders’ day is affecting. The obser vational approach allows viewers to feel every emotional shock. As Anders is repeatedly defeated in his encounters, his hopelessness becomes unbearably palpable. It is unsurprising when, late in the film, he attends a party where he drinks alcohol, steals cash, and heads to his old dealer to buy drugs. Empathetic viewers will ache watching him act so self-destructively. In the central role, Anders Danielsen Lie is phenomenal. Lie has a way of looking at the camera — directly and indirectly — and com-
m u n i c a t i n g f e a r, d i s g r a c e , a n d dissatisfaction in a single expression. Anders rarely smiles; Lie’s body language fully conveys his anguish. “Oslo, August 31st” is a r emarkable portrait of an addict and his struggle, and Lie’s per for mance is what makes the film resonate. Viewers come to clearly understand the character and his despondency. “Oslo, August 31st” may for eshadow its conclusion, but that hardly detracts from its potency. The film and Lie’s performance will be seared in viewer’s memories long after the lights come back up.
Helen Hayes, the most overrated actress to ever bear the title First Lady of the American Theater “was very domineering during ‘Harvey.’ One night Marian Hailey, who played Helen’s daughter, came to me in the dressing room and said, ‘Miss Hayes hit me!’ There’s a scene with Mrs. Chauvenet that opens the play and the older woman, who played her, could never do it to Helen’s satisfaction. Hayes told her how to make her entrance, and one night she and Marian were waiting in the wings to make their entrance. Hayes kept complaining about her, ‘Why can’t she get that right?’ and Marian, who always spoke the truth, said, ‘I think you’re making her nervous, telling her how to do it.’ Hayes stopped and said, ‘You’re very bossy!,’ and she hit her hard on the arm with her cane! Marian was as white as a sheet.”
Gorgeous, tragic Romy Schneider (1938-82) is being cel-
Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@ aol.com and check out his blog at nohway.wordpress.com.
PHOTOFEST/ COURTESY OF FIAF
The films of Romy Schneider, the French actress who died at 43 in 1982, will be celebrated at French Institute Alliance Français through June.
David Shengold (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes about opera for many venues.
May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com
RUTGERS, from p.7
The judge focused a good deal of attention on the steps Ravi took to evade law enforcement, describing that effort as “anything but isolated and spontaneous… This was cold, calculated, and methodically conceived” plan. Berman said Ravi had not “contemplated” that his conduct would lead to serious harm but had nonetheless acted with “colossal insensitivity.” Berman stated that the defendant was convicted not of a “hate crime,” but rather a “bias crime.” He said, in deciding on Ravi’s sentence, that his goal was to achieve a response that was “measured… balanced, and if possible constructive,” and would “if possible, provide a measure of closure,” even though he acknowledged that would be difficult for the Clementi family. The indictment against Ravi charged that the videotaping and live-streaming of Clementi and the other man’s private conduct by Ravi, a Plainsboro, New Jersey, resident, “intended to intimidate [them] because of their sexual orienta-
EQUALITY, from p.16
The administration has yet to take a formal position on the 14th Amendment question — whether state governments are obligated to allow equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. The Department of Justice could do this by filing amicus briefs in some pending same-sex marriage lawsuits in which it is not a party. Most marriage litigation has been in state courts, raising only state constitutional claims — on which DOJ participation would not seem appropriate — but more recently, such suits have begun to be filed in federal courts or to raise federal as well as state constitutional claims even though filed in state court (as with Lambda Legal’s challenge to New Jersey’s civil union law). It would be a natural move for the administration to adapt the briefs it has been filing in DOMA litigation and submit
tion.” The defendant, the indictment continued, had “disclosed a photograph, film, videotape, recording, or other reproduction of the image of T.C. and/ or M.B. whose intimate parts were exposed or who were engaged in an act of sexual penetration or sexual contact without the consent of T.C. and/ or M.B.” During the trial, there was testimony that the videotaping captured images of Clementi kissing another man, now 32, identified only as M.B. Prosecutors introduced evidence that on 38 occasions in the days before his suicide, Clementi went online to look at a Ravi tweet saying he’d viewed his roommate “making out with a dude.” New Jersey law defines invasion of privacy as a sexual offense. The prosecutor also charged that Ravi deleted a Twitter post alerting others to a September 21 encounter between the two gay men, replacing it “with a false post on Twitter intended to mislead the investigation.” Evidence was presented showing that the defendant provided false information to investigators and
them as amicus briefs on behalf of plaintiffs in pending samesex marriage cases that raise 14th Amendment claims. When the federal constitutionality of a state law is drawn into question, it would be appropriate — though not mandatory — for DOJ to express a view. Underlying the briefs the administration has been filing is the legal analysis summarized by Attorney General Eric Holder in his February 2011 letter to House Speaker John Boehner explaining why DOJ would no longer defend DOMA’s Section 3. The Justice Department determined that Section 3 discriminates based on sexual orientation, and that sexual orientation discrimination was comparable to other forms of discrimination to which federal courts apply “heightened scrutiny.” When heightened scrutiny applies, there is a presumption of unconstitutionality and
QUINN, from p.17
Justice Judith Kaye, the retired chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest bench, officiated at the ceremony. Kaye wrote the powerful dissent in the 2006 case when the high court rejected a lawsuit claiming a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry in New York. Tony-award winning singer and actress Audra McDonald sang “She Loves,” by George and Ira Gershwin. The band To
attempted to persuade witnesses not to testify against him. Molly Wei, also a former Rutgers student who admitted to having joined Ravi in viewing Clementi and M.B. remotely via the webcam stream, struck a plea deal last year in which she agreed to testify against Ravi, perform community service, and complete a cyber-bullying education program. Steven Goldstein, the chair of Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s LGBT rights group, which consistently pressed for a strong law enforcement response to Ravi’s crimes, expressed disappointment with the sentence. In a written statement, Goldstein said, “We have spoken out against giving him the maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and against deporting him… But we have similarly rejected the other extreme that Ravi should have gotten no jail time at all, and today’s sentencing is closer to that extreme than the other. This was not merely a childhood prank gone awry. This was not a crime without bias.”
the government has the burden of showing an important government interest substantially advanced by the discriminatory policy. Holder’s analysis determined that Section 3 could not survive this test; no important federal government interest, he concluded, was substantially advanced by systematically and across-the-board refusing to recognize lawfully-contracted same-sex marriages for purposes of federal law. If that same analysis is applied in litigation challenging the refusal of a state to allow same-sex couples to marry, the same sort of question needs to be asked: What important state interests are substantially advanced by excluding samesex couples from the right to marry? So far, the state high courts ruling in favor of samesex marriage — Massachusetts, Iowa, and Connecticut — have concluded that there is
the Max performed at the reception. Minutes after the ceremony, Kim’s nephew Jeff Catullo — who said he was just four years younger than the bride and raised as if her younger brother — and his wife and two small children emerged to describe the event as “important and kind-hearted” and filled with “a lot of excitement.” “There really wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” said Jeff, whose wife, Christine, said the wedding “was a long time coming.” Jeff said that in ten years of knowing
In a written statement, Christine Quinn, the out lesbian speaker of the New York City Council, said, “After the jury in the Tyler Clementi bullying case showed such courage, the system of justice has failed. Dharun Ravi’s bullying contributed to Tyler’s death. Yet, Mr. Ravi has shown no remorse and accepted no responsibility in the case. Still, the court sentenced him to only 30 days in jail. This is an outrageous slap in the face to all who believe in equal justice for all. I support the prosecution as they go forward and appeal this ruling.” Since the time the criminal case against Ravi emerged, however, a number of prominent gay figures — including blogger Andrew Sullivan and author and sex columnist Dan Savage, who initiated the “It Gets Better” video campaign just one day before Clementi’s suicide — spoke out against what they described as a “mob mentality” and a “witch-hunt.” In the wake of the sentencing, however, Savage tweeted that 30 days in jail was “far, far too lenient.”
no such state interest at stake. Those that have ruled against same-sex marriage have rested, generally, on some notion of legislative prerogative (as in the Vermont and New Jersey cases, finding a constitutional right to “equal benefits” but not to marriage) or the bizarre rationale of “channeling procreation” into stable households headed by different-sex married couples (embraced in 2006 in New York, for example, in a notoriously poorly-reasoned opinion). In light of the Supreme Court’s Lawrence ruling, merely preserving a traditional definition or expressing moral disapproval of homosexuality would not be sufficient, as Justice Antonin Scalia sarcastically observed in his dissenting opinion. Summarizing the state of play, then: President Obama has already taken the legal position that the refusal of the federal government to recognize lawfully-
the Council speaker, he learned that the Catullos and the Quinns were “very similar… They love good food. They love to laugh. They love to love. And they love to debate everything.” On his way into the ceremony, Congressman Rangel said, “There isn’t anything I would want for them that I wouldn’t want for any two people in love.” Quinn’s wedding came just hours after the NAACP announced its support for marriage equality nationwide and 10 days after President Barack Obama sig-
contracted same-sex marriages violates the Fifth Amendment, concluding that Section 3 of DOMA cannot survive judicial review; he has taken the political position that same-sex couples should be able to marry. The last question for him to address, to complete the circle as it were, is whether the 14th Amendment requires the states, as a legal matter, to allow same-sex couples to marry. If it does, every state constitutional anti-marriage amendment would be invalid under the Supremacy Clause, and same-sex marriage would be universally available in the US. The president’s May 9 statement marked a change of historic importance. For the first time, a sitting US president has stated that same-sex couples should be able to marry. But there is still a distance to traverse that is not solely a matter of state law, but also of federal constitutional principle.
naled his endorsement in a dramatic interview with ABC News. As she was leaving, Representative Maloney told reporters that the couple’s vows were “deep and profound,” but begged off on offering specific details, saying “that is very private.” Maloney was not dissuaded by reporters’ insistence that these very private moments were witnessed by nearly 300 people. Instead, she hurried off down 15th Street on a bright late spring evening in pursuit of a yellow taxi discharging its fare.
| May 23, 2012 14 DAYS, from p.32
CABARET Radio Daze
Two downtown divas pair up for one night of magic. Molly Pope, the new old-school diva, travels back to the golden days of radio with “The Hazard Gunpowder Melody Magazine,” a half-hour of pre-World War II songs, skits, and scandal. Next, Tanya O’Debra lends her voice to 10 characters while simultaneously staging live sound effects in “Radio Star,” a 1940s radio detective spoof. Just like the golden age of radio. Only dirtier. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. May 27, 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 at joespub.com or at the door.
O'Clock Tales.” Joining him is author David Pratt reading from his new short story collection, “My Movie.” A Q&A follows. The SAGE Center, 305 7th Ave. at 27th St., 15th fl. May 31, 7:30 p.m. Free.
GALLERY As If It's Not There “Undetectable,” an exhibition and multi-platform project presented by Visual AIDS and curated by Nathan Lee and Rachel Cook, features works by artists in a variety of media that engage the concept of a word that has come to signify new developments and modes of identification in our discourse about HIV/ AIDS. La MaMa La Galleria, 6 E. First St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Wed.-Sun., 1-7:30 p.m. through Jun. 30. The opening reception is May 31, 6-8 p.m.
AT THE BEACH “Broadway Bares in the Pines”
ADVOCACY Supporting Transgender Equality
The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund holds its seventh anniversary benefit, an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvre, and a silent auction. The event supports the big job TLDEF still faces in winning equal protection and dignity for transgender and other gender nonconforming Americans. The Art Directors Club Gallery, 106 W. 29th St. May 30, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $150 at tldef.org.
Off Sides Entertainment presents a limited run of William Finn and James Lapine’s award-winning musical “Falsettos,” which travels the long road from postsexual revolution 1979 to the horror of AIDS in 1981, and tells the story of a suburban Jewish family comprised of one man, his lover, his ex-wife, their son, and their therapist, as well as a couple of lesbians who live next door. The characters cope with their dysfunction and personal flaws, as well as the onslaught of AIDS, and somehow find they can hold themselves together as they can hold on to each other. The Theaters At 45 Bleecker Street, 45 Bleecker at Lafayette St. May 30, 8 p.m.; Jun. 2, 8:30 p.m.; Jun. 3, 2:30 p.m.; Jun. 6, 6 p.m.; Jun. 11, 8:30 p.m.; Jun. 15, 5 p.m. The Jun. 2 performance benefits the Long Island Crisis Center, the island’s oldest suicide prevention and crisis intervention agency, and its LGBT youth initiative, Pride for Youth. Tickets are $18 at planetconnections.org/ falsettos. Tickets to the Jun. 2 benefit performance, which includes a dinner, are $100.
THEATER Remember Nick and Nora? Patrick Askin’s "Nick and Nicky" is a modern-day gay comedy inspired by the classic Hollywood comedies of the 1930s. Directed by Richard Sabellico, the screenplay has a staged reading at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 26 Wooster St., btwn Canal & Grand Sts. May 31, 6-8 p.m. A reception follows the reading. RSVP at email@example.com.
BOOKS Two Gay Authors: A Storytelling Event Iconic gay author and former Lavender Quill member Felice Picano reads from his newest book, “Twelve
The GLBT Committee of Congregation Rodeph Sholom and the JCC in Manhattan celebrate Pride with a traditional Shabbat evening, including dinner and schmoozing. The guest speaker is Roberta Kaplan, a civil rights litigator who represents Edie Windsor, a widow who is challenging the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court after being forced to pay $363,000 in federal estate tax when her spouse, Thea Spyer, died. Windsor will also speak. 7 West 83 St.. Jun. 1, 6-11:30 p.m. The menu includes a traditional Shabbat meal, Israeli wine, cocktails, and dessert. Requests for vegetarian meal must be received by May 28. Admission is $38; $25 for students before May 28; $45/ $30 after that at jccmanhattan.org/lgbtq or 646-505-5708. All reservations must be made in advance of the evening..
BENEFIT "Falsettos" Pitches In for Youth
COMMUNITY Shabbat & Schmoose
Bingo for Housing Works Singer Justin Utley and drag sensation Candy Samples headline an evening of P*rno Bingo, with four rounds of the game, celebrity callers, and prizes. Tonight, the fun benefits Braking the Cycle, the late September Boston-to-New York bike ride that benefits Housing Works, the AIDS services group. The Ritz, 369 W. 46th St. May 31, 7-9 p.m.
FESTIVAL Remembering the Days of "Howl!"
“Howl! Festival 2012” is three days of fun in Tompkins Square Park (Ave. A at Seventh St.) celebrating the mischievous legacy of Allen Ginsberg, whose 1950s poem set the stage for an obscenity trial that revolutionized free expression in America. On Jun.1, 4:30-7 p.m., poet Bob Holman leads a group reading of “Howl.” On Jun. 2-3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., “The Great Howl! Out Loud Kid's Carnival” offers carnival games, funhouses for all ages, fairway attractions, arts and crafts activities, miniature golf, and continuous entertainment. “Art Around the Park” features a wide array of artistic styles and creativity, this year paying tribute to the late painter and tagger Jean Michel Basquiat. On Jun. 2 at 5:30 p.m., “Men In Skirts By House of Howl!” showcases drag performers, legendary house Voguers, and five different dance companies offering everything from ballet to house music and fashion. On Jun. 3 at 5:30 p.m., “Low-Life 6: East Village Others” celebrates the world-changing explosion of East Village culture from 1966 to 1972 and named for the seminal underground newspaper the East Village Other. All events are free. For more information, visit howlfestival.com.
Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS and the Fire Island Pines Art Project present those fabulously nearly bare boys and girls of Broadway in a Pines adaptation of the wildly bawdy Manhattan burlesque. "Bares" combines the naughtiness of burlesque and the razzledazzle of Broadway. Created by Jerry Mitchell, the show features the hottest male and female dancers on Broadway and has become one of BC/ EFA’s signature events. Whyte Hall Community Center, Fire Island Pines. Jun. 2, 7 & 9 p.m. Tickets are $100-$200 at fipap.org or in the Pines harbor, Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (no online sales during those hours).
legend Charles Busch, film star and author Ally Sheedy, artist Ross Bleckner, Frank Bruni, the first openly gay New York Times op-ed columnist, Ted Allen, host of “Chopped” on Food Network, sex-positive feminist author Susie Bright, singer and film and stage actor Anthony Rapp, and poet and author Emanuel Xavier. Lypsinka performs. CUNY Graduate Center, Proshansky Auditorium, 365 Fifth Ave. at 34th St. Cocktails are at 6 p.m., with the ceremony at 7 and an afterparty at Slate, 54 W. 21 St. at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $125; $200 for ceremony and afterparty at lambdaliterary.org/awards.
COMEDY Girls Gone Hilarious
PRIDE Jackson Heights Comes Out Big
The 2012 Queens Pride Parade & Multicultural Festival celebrates a generation of pride in that borough. LGBT activists stepped up their visibility in the wake of the 1990 hate murder of Julio Rivera, whose family will be honored as grand marshals in the annual parade, along with the Queens Center for Gay Seniors (SAGE Queens). The parade gathers at noon on Jun. 3 at 37th Ave. & 84th St. and will proceed to 75th St. The reviewing stand is at 37th Ave. & 78th St. The annual multicultural festival kicks off at 11 a.m. at 75th St. & 37th Rd. and runs until 6 p.m. Featured performers include Martha Wash, legendary in the LGBT community for her hit “It’s Raining Men.” For complete information on the weekend of pride in Queens, beginning with the May 31 kickoff party at Studio Square, 3533 36th St. in Long Island City, visit queenspride.org.
BOOKS Honoring Excellence in LGBT Lit
The Lambda Literary Foundation, which celebrates excellence in LGBT literature, holds its annual awards evening and honors pioneers Armistead Maupin, author of the groundbreaking “Tales of the City” books, and Kate Millet, who was a seminal influence on second-wave feminism. Comedienne Kate Clinton hosts and among the award presenters are Academy Award-winner Olympia Dukakis, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, director, and drag
Kick off Pride month with a rainbow-hued laugh riot of great gay and gay-friendly comics. Marion Grodin hosts a “Homo Comicus” lineup that includes Poppy Champlin, Kelli Dunham, Cara Kilduff, and Jami Smith. Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd St., 8:30 p.m. The cover charge is $20, with a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212-367-9000.
MUSIC My Big, Fat, Gay Wedding Reception
The Stonewall Chorale celebrates its 35th anniversary as the nation's first LGBT choir, Cynthia Powell's 10th season as artistic director, and the one-year anniversary of marriage equality in New York. The evening’s program includes the New York premiere of Meredith Monk's “Wedding March,” as well as some of the chorus’ favorite wedding reception tunes. It promises to be a big, fat gay party. Church of the Holy Apostles, 296 Ninth Ave. at 28th St. Jun. 7, 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 at brownpapertickets.com/event/240104.
May 23, 2012 | www.gaycitynews.com