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FREE VOLUME TWELVE, ISSUE FIFTEEN JULY 24 - AUGUST 7, 2013

Trans Slay Conviction Nixed 04 Stonewall Plaque Scuttled 10 Weinergate Steps on AIDS Forum 09 Strangers in a Bar 19

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Let Freedom Ring FRANCESCO@GAYCITYNEWS.COM • 646-452-2496 • GAYCITYNEWS.COM


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July 24, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com

FILM

COVER STORY

14 Carlos Menchaca: Demanding government show up 06

POLITICS

THEATER

“The Canyons” saves Bret Easton Ellis from Hollywood 20

PERSPECTIVE Hoylman celebrates activist first session

Unexpected returns drive intriguing plays

Trayvon Martin & the Zimmerman verdict

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CRIME

Hate Crime Conviction in Trans Woman’s Slaying Thrown Out Jury confusion led it to deliver “inconsistent” verdict, NYS appellate panel finds BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD

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ury confusion about how to deal with a defendant charged under New York’s hate crime statute has resulted in an appellate ruling setting aside as “inconsistent” the guilty verdict in the homicide of a transgender woman. Dwight R. DeLee, who was 20 at the time, was arrested for shooting and killing 22-year -old Lateisha Green while uttering anti-gay statements in Syracuse in November 2008. The indictment charged him with murder in the second degree as a hate crime — based on what the prosecution argued was DeLee’s per ception of Green’s “sexual orientation” — murder in the second degree, and criminal possession of a weapon. Prosecutors in hate crime cases customarily alternately charge with and without the hate crime enhancement so that a jury can convict on the underlying crime even if they determine it was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was targeted because of their sexual orientation. When the trial concluded, presiding County Court Judge William D. Walsh, with no objection from the defense or the state, added to the jury’s charge lesser -included manslaughter charges, with and without hate crime specifications, resulting in a rather cumbersome charge and

verdict sheet. Jurors subsequently asked several questions, provoking “clarifications” that were not models of clarity. The jury evidently concluded the prosecutor had met the burden of proof on manslaughter in the first degree as a hate crime, but in filling out the verdict form, thinking that it was following the judge’s instructions, it indicated “guilty” for manslaughter in the first degree as a hate crime but “not guilty” for manslaughter in the first degree. The defense counsel moved to vacate the verdict as inconsistent, arguing that a “not guilty” verdict on manslaughter meant the jury believed the prosecutor had failed to meet its burden of proof, and thus the verdict of “guilty” of manslaughter as a hate crime could not stand. Walsh rejected the motion, but an Appellate Division panel, on July 19, voted 4-1 to reverse the verdict, accepting the defendant’s argument. “To find defendant guilty of manslaughter in the first degree as a hate crime, however, the jury must have found that the People proved beyond a reasonable doubt all of the elements of manslaughter in the first degree, plus the added element that defendant selected the victim due to his sexual orientation,” the court wrote. “It therefore follows that the verdict is inconsistent.” Dissenting, Justice Erin Peradotto argued that the non-hate-crime

Lateisha Greenn was 22 at the time of her slaying.

manslaughter charge should be seen as a lesser -included charge of the hate-crime manslaughter charge — that is, an alternative charge to consider if the jury did not accept the prosecution’s evidence of hate motivation. From that perspective, the “not guilty” verdict on manslaughter one would not be seen as inconsis-

tent, but the panel’s majority was not buying this. Reviewing Walsh’s charge to the jury and his subsequent clarifications in detail, Peradotto made the case the jury could have been misled into thinking it could pick between the two manslaughter charges and find guilty on one of them and not on the other. “In my view,” wrote Peradotto, “the jury’s verdict is reasonable and logical based upon the elements of the crimes as charged to the jury and, therefore, should not be disturbed.” The jury’s notes to the judge, she wrote, indicated it was convinced “the fatal shooting of the victim constituted a hate crime, but that the jury was grappling with whether to convict defendant of the hate crime of murder in the second degree, manslaughter in the first degree, or manslaughter in the second degree.” Once it determined Delee was guilty of manslaughter in the first degree as a hate crime, it went on to the indictment’s second count and found him not guilty of “ordinary” murder — as well as all the lesser offenses. The jury thought of the non-hate c r i m e m a n s l a u g h t e r c h a rg e a s a lesser -included offense, and dealt with it accordingly. Peradotto noted that the jury’s foreman, in a sworn affidavit a week after the verdict, confirmed her

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LEGAL

Immigration Court Settles Remaining DOMA Issue for Binational Couples Justice Department panel says, like Homeland Security, it will look to where a marriage took place BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD

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hortly after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA) ban on federal recognition of samesex marriages on June 26 in Edie Windsor’s constitutional challenge to the 1996 law, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the immigration service under her department would recognize samesex marriages that were valid where they were performed, using the “place of celebration rule.” Her announcement, which varied

from the standard practice in immigration law of considering whether a marriage was recognized where the couple was residing — the “place of domicile rule” — was not binding outside her department. One administrative body whose opinion on this question is crucial is the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which is in the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. On July 17, the BIA indicated it too has opted for the “place of celebration rule,” in a decision on a US citizen’s pending petition seeking lawful resident status for his same-sex spouse. Serge Polajenko, an American citizen, filed a Petition for Alien Rela-

tive, called an I-130, in March 2010, on behalf of his immigrant husband, Oleg Zeleniak, after the men married in Vermont. The petition was denied three months later on the ground that DOMA barred immigration authorities from recognizing same-sex mar riages. Polajenko appealed to the BIA, which issued a decision in April 2012 sending the case back to the director of the National Benefits Center in Homeland Security to address two issues — first, whether the PolajenkoZeleniak marriage was valid under state law, and second, whether the marriage qualifies as “bona fide” as required by the Immigration and

Nationality Act. By that time, the Justice Department was on record as finding that DOMA’s Section 3 was unconstitutional, and it had stopped defending the statute in litigation, but was committed to continuing to enforce it pending an adverse ruling from the Supreme Court or congressional action. Sending the case back to immigration officials in Homeland Security for these further determinations was, in effect, a holding action. The questions posed by BIA are two distinctly separate issues, the second one focused on the require-

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NEW VOICES ON THE CITY COUNCIL Carlos Menchaca: Energetic in Demanding Government Show Up BY PAUL SCHINDLER

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n Satur day, July 20, a s m o s t o f N e w Yo r k crumpled under the seventh day of the worst heat wave in memory, Carlos Menchaca and Antonio Reynoso, first-time City Council candidates from different Brooklyn districts, pedaled 15 miles on bicycle from East Williamsburg to Sunset Park, greeting voters and drawing attention to where the city has and hasn’t made progress on creating safe bike lanes. The outing certainly highlighted the two candidates’ youth and vigor — Menchaca is 32, Reynoso only 29. And it doesn’t hurt that bicycling is probably more on the minds of voters this year than it has been in any election in the post-Model T era. But the symbolism runs deeper, going to the core of the appeal both men hope to convey as harbingers of a new politics in the city. Reynoso is running in the September 10 primary against Vito Lopez, the 72-year -old disgraced Albany fixture who resigned his Assembly seat in May amidst sexual harassment accusations from multiple women on his staff. Menchaca is challenging Councilwoman Sara González, 64, who has represented District 38, which includes Sunset Park, Red Hook, and Windsor Terrace, since a special election in late 2002; under the city’s tortured term limit scheme, she is allowed four more years in office. Not only is Menchaca standing up to the Brooklyn political machine controlled until recently by Lopez, he is also aiming to become the city’s first MexicanAmerican elected official as well as the first out gay member of the Council from Brooklyn. Not that he is unknown among the city’s political movers and shakers.

For the past several years, Menchaca worked on Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s staff, doing community liaison work focused on the LGBT community and HIV/ AIDS issues. Before that he spent five years in Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s office, with responsibility for capital budget and economic development issues. His decision to make the race for the Council — and take on an 11-year incumbent in the process — he explained, only came in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which hit Red Hook with devastating impact. Living in nearby Park Slope at the time, Menchaca recalled jumping on his bike after the storm cleared and heading over to the area, where blocks and blocks were submerged under water, homes and businesses were shuttered and evacuated, and large housing

Carlos Menchaca campaigns before a festive crowd in Red Hook.

forced González and her representatives to repeatedly dispute that characterization. In demonstrating that he is “active,” Menchaca does not shy away from the mantle of being an activist. “Government has to show up,” he told a group of interested voters at a house party early in the campaign. The government showed up at critical points in his own early life. One of seven children raised by a single immigrant mother in an El Paso, Texas, public housing project, Menchaca’s family relied on food stamps, Medicaid, and Head Start. His good fortune was that those safety net supports were only part of the equation. At the house party, speaking of his mother, he said, “She made sure I went to school every day.” His promise recognized by others early, “mentors helped me go to college,” he said. He was the first in his family to earn a degree. That college was the Jesuit University of San Francisco. A Catholic university could be a challenging place for a young LGBT student to seek an education, but Menchaca became the school’s first out gay student body president. Acknowledging the Catholic Church’s problematic posture toward gay people, he said he profited from his time there learning the values of discipline and social justice the Jesuit tradition instills. When he finished college, Menchaca was chosen as one of that year’s 64 Coro Fellows in Public Affairs, who go through full-time, nine-month graduate level on-the-job leadership training. It was that program that brought him to New York. As he launches his own political

In demonstrating that he is “active,” Menchaca does not shy away from the mantle of being an activist. projects, where residents depend on elevators, were without power. “Government was nowhere to be s e e n,” M encha ca r eca l l ed . Notably absent, he has since argued, was González, a point he said residents made over and over to him in the days he spent volunteering in the recovery effort. When, early this year, he decided to challenge her, the theme of a councilmember missing in action and the contrasting image of himself as “a candidate who is visible and active” became central to his campaign — so much so that press coverage has

career after nearly a decade in city government, Menchaca seems determined to harness the discipline and commitment to social justice he valued in his education to a public style that is energetic, embraces new ideas, and looks to mobilize diverse communities to empower themselves. The 15-mile ride he embarked on with Reynoso highlighted their endorsement by StreetsPAC, a group that works to improve the safety and calm of the city’s thoroughfares through improvements like slow zones, pedestrian plazas, and bike lanes. Since the start of his campaign, he has talked about participatory budgeting, an innovation introduced by Council newcomers from recent election cycles who invite constituents to help plan the allocation of member item dollars each district receives. When González recently began to talk up the idea herself, Menchaca said that evidenced her lack of innovation and community engagement absent his challenge. Much like Barack Obama when he ran for his first term, Menchaca talks about the act of campaigning itself as a form of people mobilization. “The community is refreshed to see this kind of campaign,” he said. “People are responding well to me knocking on their doors. I have the energy they want to see in government.” His Mexican-American roots, he said, resonate well in a district the city estimates is roughly 44 percent Latino and 33 percent Asian. “My narrative as an immigrant is important here,” he said, noting that he recently received the endorsement of the Muslim Democrats of New York City, a group that represents a growing demographic in District 38. Menchaca has also made important strides in attracting labor support to

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OTHER VOICES ON THE HORIZON City Council elections this November could result in the largest contingent of LGBT-identified legislators — a total of eight. Though Speaker Christine Quinn is term-limited, and seeking election as mayor, incumbents Rosie Mendez of the Lower East Side, Daniel Dromm of Jackson Heights, and Jimmy Van Bramer of Sunnyside will each win another four-year term. Quinn’s seat will also stay in LGBT hands, with a heated primary contest underway between attorney and activist Yetta Kurland, who won nearly a third of the vote in her challenge to the speaker in 2009, and Corey Johnson, who has served as chair of Community Board 4 in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. In East Side District 5, Assemblyman Micah Kellner, who first ran for office as openly bisexual and has since married his longtime girlfriend, is contesting the Democratic primary for an open seat there being vacated by Jessica Lappin. Mel Wymore, formerly the chair of Upper West Side Community Board 7, is transgender and seeking the open seat in District 6, now held by Gale Brewer. In the central Bronx, Ritchie Torres, who has headed up Councilman James Vacca’s initiatives on housing, is running in District 15.

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an insurgent candidacy. He has been endorsed by powerful unions, including SEIU 1199, which represents healthcare workers, 32BJ, representing building services employees, and the Hotel Trades Council, as well as the city’s Central Labor Council. He is also the only Council candidate challenging an incumbent to have the support of the Working Families Party this year. González is not without her own loyal friends in labor, including the Transport Workers Union, the United Federation of Teachers, and the United Food and Commercial Workers, who offered her cover on her Red Hook record by lauding what she did to help speed the reopening of the Fairway Market there and get its 350 employees, sidelined for four months, back to work. Asked if he was disappointed not to win those endorsements as well, Menchaca said, “The power of the incumbency is real. Whether she was a leader or not, expecting any of these labor unions to go my way was something I knew would be difficult. While I feel a little bit disappointed, what I think we are seeing in a larger narrative — and this is a beautiful thing for a challenger to be able to say — is that I am the labor candidate.” Labor, he said, is looking back at 12 years in the wilder ness under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and eager to embrace “candidates who are associated with the progressive mood in this

election.” If Menchaca has made impressive inroads into labor, his efforts with other elected officials have yielded considerably less. His campaign got an early boost from an endorsement by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, a leading Latina lawmaker whose district straddles Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. While Lopez was still Brooklyn’s Democratic boss, González supported a challenger he put up against Velázquez in the 2012 primary. The congresswoman is now supporting González’s ouster. Most everybody else is playing it more conventionally. The Daily News reported that more than 20 Council members, including Menchaca’s old boss Quinn, attended a recent González fundraiser, and half a dozen show up on her campaign finance filings as donors. Still, Menchaca questioned how deep their support for González is. “What I will say is that a 10-year incumbent should be able to gather every Council member,” he said. “My relationships with people, particularly people who I’ve worked with on HIV/ AIDS and other progressive issues, are important to me. I am hoping to get some of them out on the campaign trail, even if at the very end. But I have been careful not to press them to go beyond their zone of comfort. Even a non-endorsement in this race is a telltale sign.” Another telltale sign is a $100 con-

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CITY COUNCIL, continued on p.26

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POLITICS

Hoylman Celebrates an Activist First Session

Manhattan’s freshman gay state senator makes his mark in Albany despite being in the minority

patient’s background. Dr. Joshua Cohen, a neurologist at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Headache Institute, said there are some people who should never be vaccinated. Guillain-Barré Syndrome is relatively rare, but it can paralyze the muscles that control breathing and so is life-threatening, and anyone who has manifested its symptoms should avoid vaccination. Cohen’s concern is that such individuals won’t be identified if a doctor doesn’t participate in vaccination screening. On the other side of the debate were members of the Legislature who want to curb rising medical costs by expanding the service delivered by low-cost providers like pharmacists and physician’s assistants. Some thought other diseases for which vaccinations are available should have been added to Hoylman’s meningitis bill. After listening to the arguments, Hoylman decided that only the addition of a meningitis vaccine could be justified and offered his conclusion to Senator Kenneth LaValle, the bill’s Long Island Republican co-sponsor. “We discussed it on the merits,” stressing that “the problem is one of access especially for a person who might not be out to their doctor or don’t have doctors,” Hoylman said. The two reached agreement and the bill passed without opposition. This impressive achievement for a freshman legislator was not a one-hit

wonder. Dealing in his first term with the aftermath of the St. Vincent’s Hospital closing several years before, Hoylman declared in a statement, “Shortages of hospitals, emergency rooms, and primary care physicians have led to a proliferation of new health care service delivery models across the state. But regulations on urgent care centers, mini clinics in pharmacies, and the like are lacking and vague.” Instead of berating the New York State Department of Health for not doing its job, Hoylman crafted a resolution that enlisted the department’s support by asking it to study the emerging problem and correct the “vague” rules. That effort could have significant ramifications for better health care delivery statewide. For a freshman legislator in the minority of the Senate to pass two measures of general interest is a noteworthy achievement. Westchester’s Andrea StewartCousins, the Democratic leader in the Senate, attended, as did Jim Yates, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s chief counsel. Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, Hoylman’s West Side colleague, offered him a warm introduction. In a telephone interview after the fundraiser, East Side Senator Liz Krueger freely offered Hoylman kudos, disputing the suspicion harbored by some that after serving as general counsel to the Partnership for New

York, which represents the business community, “he would be in their pocket. It’s not true. He is voting his conscience. He gives a damn. He’s figuring out the process quickly.” With a sly chuckle, Krueger added that in the current political climate, he understands the risk “of being challenged from the left.” Hoylman is taking a lead in curbing the New York City Housing Authority’s plan to allow market-rate housing to be built in parking lots and other vacant property adjacent to NYCHA projects. He wants these programs reviewed by city agencies, the City Council, and local community boards like any other land development proposals in the city. “As it currently stands, the public will have no say,” he said. Stewart-Cousins praised Hoylman’s skills as a lawyer. He supports tough ethics law changes that would advance campaign finance reform and stiffen a provision taking away the pension of legislators convicted of corruption — something that currently applies only to those first elected recently. Under Hoylman’s formulation, any legislator who accepts per diem expense reimbursement, no matter when first elected, would put their pension at risk if convicted of a corruption abuse. “These legislators hurt their families when they betray the public trust,” he said of what would result from his approach. “I hold public officials to a higher standard.” Hoylman is on the Senate Codes Committees that vets criminal law changes, and he promised to work with Kathleen Rice, the Nassau district attorney, to persuade the State District Attorneys Association to support a proposal to end the use of condoms as evidence in prostitution cases, a measure approved by the Assembly in this year’s session. AIDS advocates warn that using condom possession to arrest individuals discourages safe sex practices among sex workers as well as young people, many of them LGBT. After six months in the State Senate, it is already clear that Hoylman’s efforts are generating high expectations.

crime,” Peradotto wr ote. “Defendant did not simply shoot the victim for some other ‘non-hate’ reason or no reason at all, and thus the jury determined that defendant was not guilty of ‘ordinary’ manslaughter in the first degree. In my view, this is in accord with ‘the fundamental princi-

ple that the jury should be permitted to render a verdict that fully reflects defendant’s culpability.’ Jurors are not legal experts and, given the instructions that were provided in this case, I cannot conclude that the jury’s verdict was inconsistent, illogical, or contradictory.”

The panel majority’s opinion in this case creates a disconcerting result and points up the imperative of judges articulating a comprehensible jury charge for hate crime cases where the prosecutor is also charging defendants with the same crime but without a hate crime element.

BY NATHAN RILEY

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interpretation of the jury’s actions. “The jury determined that defendant shot the victim because of his sexual orientation and thus that defendant was guilty of manslaughter in the first degree as a hate

DONNA ACETO

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jubilant Brad Hoylman entered his fundraiser with his face flushed and pep in his step. Though suits were everywhere, the freshman state senator arrived with his shirt open and casually dressed in khakis, his daughter and husband in tow, looking completely at home, confident he was among friends. He had come from the June 26 rally at the Stonewall bar celebrating the US Supreme Court decision driving a stake into the Defense of Marriage Act, the law prohibiting the federal government from recognizing married gay couples or offering the associated benefits to them. Clearly the rally was the high point of his day but he hugged his daughter, introduced his “partner, oops” he said shaking his head, “my husband.” Like his predecessor, Tom Duane, Hoylman brings a much needed confidently gay perspective to the State Senate. The Supreme Court decision was personal — it brought justice to both his community and his family. His husband, David Sigal, was equally elated, and they had brought their young daughter, Silvia Hoylman-Sigal, to both the rally and to the fundraiser. The personal and the political intertwine in their lives. Having just completed his first session in the State Senate, the West Side Democrat appears to have the makings of an influential legislator. Clearly he has a broad vision of the public interest. He acted promptly to stop the spread of meningitis among gay men, shepherding legislation permitting pharmacists to offer meningitis vaccinations, a bill strongly supported by Dr. Thomas A. Farley, the city’s health commissioner, and Chelsea’s Dick Gottfried, the longtime chair of the Assembly Health Committee. This legislation improves health care access for sexually active gay and bisexual men who are at highest risk for contracting meningitis. The legislation, however, was not without controversy. The Medical Society of the State of New York believes it is risky to give medicines without knowing a

Senator Brad Hoylman, with husband David Sigal and daughter Silvia, at the June 26 rally celebrating the DOMA win at the Supreme Court.


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HEALTH

AIDS Rent Cap Key in Forum Hijacked by Weinergate Mayoral hopefuls appear before

DONNA ACETO

more than 100 at GMHC forum stalled by gossip press

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner employs his customary campaign practice of standing up to answer questions at forums.

BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

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mayoral forum on AIDS issues was lent a circus-like atmosphere as revelations that Anthony Weiner, one of six candidates for the Democratic nomination for mayor, continued sending sexy text messages and nude selfies after that practice forced him to resign from Congress in 2011. “If you want someone who’s going to check the right boxes then vote for anyone,” Weiner said at the start of the July 23 forum and added with unintended irony, “If you want someone who’s going to shake things up then I’m your candidate.” A website, The Dirty, reported that day that it had obtained text messages and nude selfies Weiner sent to a woman who was not named in the story. That relationship continued through mid-2012, the website reported. The forum, which was held at the West 33rd Street headquarters of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, was before a crowd of over 100 in a seventh floor dining room, with additional audience members seated in an overflow room on the sixth floor. The forum was sponsored by three dozen gay and AIDS groups, but was delayed by nearly 40 minutes as Weiner held a separate press conference in GMHC’s offices before a mob of local

and entertainment media, such as “Inside Edition,” a TV gossip show. Some members of the media expected Weiner to withdraw from the race. Some paparazzi were also on hand for both events. Those photographers began to hover near the front of the room as the 90-minute forum neared its end. As it happened, Weiner was the last candidate to speak and the paparazzi swooped in near him to get photographs as he stood for his closing statement. When he finished, Weiner was engulfed in a crowd of photographers and journalists who followed him out of the room. As the forum opened, Sal Albanese, who represented a Brooklyn City Council district from 1983 to 1998, expressed frustration with the “latest psychodrama involving Mr. Weiner.” The other candidates, some of whom had suggested in earlier press reports that Weiner should quit the race, remained mum during the forum on the most recent Weiner shenanigans. GMHC invited Randy Credico to join its panel of seven candidates. The comedian and activist only added to the theatrics. “I tried cocaine for 25 years, I didn’t like it,” Credico said early in the forum. Referring to Weiner, he added, “His scandals are nothing.” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, an out lesbian who represents

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HISTORY

Plans for “Private” Stonewall Plaque Scuttled Lack of participation by public, 1969 vets derails commemoration effort BY ANDY HUMM

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he private Historic Landmarks Preservation Center (HLPC), which had announced plans to “commemorate the Stonewall Inn and the Stonewall Rebellion” with a plaque and a ceremony on July 16, abruptly canceled the event hours before it was to take place. As Gay City News reported the previous day, the plaque created for the occasion was not reviewed by anyone who participated in the June 1969 uprising nor were any of its veterans invited to speak. “It’s outrageous and unacceptable,” said Jerry Hoose, the veteran gay activist who “fought every night in the riots — all four from beginning to end.” In comments made before the cancellation was announced, he added, “I’m so tired of that bar being glorified. It was this horrendous place where something great happened. I’d like a plaque where we had the first GLF [Gay Liberation Front, formed in the wake of Stonewall] meeting at Alternate U. on 14th and Sixth.” The idea for a plaque at the Stonewall came from out gay State Senator Brad Hoylman, who represents the Village area where the uprising took place. “It was obvious to me and others that you could walk right by the site of the rebellion and not know it happened there,” he said. He explained, however, that after making the suggestion to the HLPC, he was not involved in planning the event. When HLPC canceled the July 16 ceremony, Hoylman said, “I hope we can get the process rebooted with community participation and with the veterans themselves.” He added, “What I’ve learned is that there isn’t a public process for these plaques. These types of markers are handled by private individuals and it is an area in which the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission should involve themselves. It should not be up to private groups to recognize the city’s cultural and historic landmarks.” When HLPC initially announced its plans, its release said Hoylman has been asked to read a poem “written for this occasion” by Maureen McLane of NYU’s English Department. McLane told Gay City News she is a longtime friend of Hoylman’s.

The other speakers listed in the release were Jordan Roth, an out gay Broadway producer and NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee member; Roberta Kaplan, who successfully argued the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act’s denial of federal rights to married same-sex couples; Richard Socarides, a White House aide to President Bill Clinton, who signed DOMA into law in 1996; and historian Martin Duberman, who wrote a 1993 book on the rebellion called “Stonewall.” None were at Stonewall for the uprising. Duberman said he was asked to review the text for the plaque but, noting that was some time ago, said he did not recall the precise language. The HLPC’s “cultural medallion program” was started 15 years ago — mostly to mark places where prominent individuals lived — by a wealthy Democratic fundraiser, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, a for mer member of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, who served on that body longer than anyone else ever has. Reached by phone on July 15, she refused to discuss the event in advance of it or explain why Stonewall veterans were not invited to speak or involved in preparing the plaque’s text. When Gay City News called her for comment after the cancellation, the person who answered the phone said she was not available and hung up before a message could be left. David Carter, author of the 2005 “Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution” that was turned into a PBS-TV documentary, “Stonewall Uprising,” was also not consulted about the plaque or ceremony. He worked on a grant from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation in 1998 to “research the history of the Stonewall Inn and Stonewall Uprising as a basis of an application to place the inn, surrounding streets and sidewalks, and Christopher Park [across the street] on the National Register of Historic Places,” he said. “We got that in 1999, the first time that a site had been placed on the registry solely because of its role in LGBT civil rights history. The same research was used a year later to try to get it listed as a National Historic Landmark and that succeeded. I like to tell people it has the same designation as the Statue

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LEGAL

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Prop 8 Proponents Ask California Supreme Court to Halt Marriages BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD

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wo weeks after samesex marriages resumed in Califor nia on June 28, Proposition 8’s proponents filed a petition with the California Supreme Court seeking a stay of Judge Vaughn Wa l k e r ’ s 2 0 1 0 o r d e r, w h i c h t h e Supreme Court allowed to go into effect when it ruled the proponents did not have standing to appeal it. The proponents’ latest tack challenges the right of anyone other than the two same-sex couples who brought the federal court challenge against Prop 8 to benefit from Walker’s ruling, which struck down the 2000 voter amendment. The proponents, represented by attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona and DC-based right-wing litigation group, argued that California Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris misinterpreted Walker’s order and unlawfully ordered all 58 county clerks in the state to resume issuing marriage licenses. Those clerks, instead, the proponents claimed, have a duty under the California Constitution to continue enforcing “the law” under which only different-sex couples can marry. On July 15, three days after saying it would accept briefs from both sides on the issues raised by the proponents, the state high court denied their petition to immediately halt the issuance of marriage licenses pending a resolution on the merits.

brought by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) on behalf of two plaintiff couples, Judge Walker ruled that Prop 8 violated the plaintiffs’ 14th Amendment rights, which, he held, gave same-sex couples a federal constitutional right to marry. Walker ordered that “Defendants in their official capacities, and all persons under the control or supervision of defendants, are permanently enjoined from applying or enforcing Article I, Section 7.5 [Proposition 8] of the California Constitution.” Those defendants were the gover nor, the attorney general, the director of the state’s health department, and the county clerks in Alameda and Los Angeles Counties, whose refusal to issue marriage licenses to the plaintiffs gave them standing to bring their lawsuit. None of these defendants appealed Walker’s ruling, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the Prop 8 proponents to do so. Last month, the US Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, found that the proponents did not have standing to appeal Walker’s decision and ordered the Ninth Circuit to dismiss the appeal. Two days later, the Ninth Circuit lifted the nearly three-year stay on Walker’s order. Anticipating these developments, Governor Brown had asked Attorney General Harris for an opinion about the scope of Walker’s order. Her June 3 letter to the governor, released publicly on June 26, said it was “statewide” in scope and that the Department of Public Health should instruct county officials “they must resume issuing marriage licenses to and recording the marriages of samesex couples.” Denouncing these developments, the proponents argued that Walker, since retired, did not have authority as a trial judge to order relief for anybody but the plaintiffs, since they did not bring the case as a “class action” on behalf of all similarly situated same-sex couples nor did they join all the county clerks in California as co-defendants in the case. At the heart of the proponents’ argument is a section of the California Constitution which provides that no “administrative agency” of the state can refuse to enforce a statute unless an appellate court has declared it unconstitutional. In doing so, they are blurring the distinction between the

The proponents were in the wrong court if they wanted to challenge the scope of Walker’s order, the attorney general said. The law the proponents cite in their petition — a measure limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples — was adopted by California voters in 2000 in Proposition 22, which was thrown out by the State Supreme Court in May 2008. In November of that year, voters approved Prop 8, which enshrined the language of Prop 22 in the State Constitution. A few months later, the state high court found that Prop 8 had been validly adopted. In response to a federal lawsuit

CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE

Last-ditch effort aims at a state court circumventing a federal court order

California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

2000 voter-approved statute, declared unconstitutional by the state’s highest court in 2008, and the subsequent constitutional amendment, which, of course, is not a statute. The section of the State Constitution the proponents point to mentions only statutes. The pr oponents’ br oader argument relies on the State Supreme Court’s decision in 2004 striking down the marriages okayed by San Francisco Mayor Gain Newsom that year. The court said officials such as a mayor and a county clerk did not have authority to refuse to enforce the existing marriage statute based on their own determination the law was unconstitutional. Since the US Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit ruling that upheld Walker’s 2010 ruling — not based on the merits, but rather because the proponents lacked standing to appeal — the proponents are now arguing there is no appellate decision finding Prop 8 unconstitutional. Attorney General Harris promptly replied to the proponents’ petition, arguing the high court should not halt same-sex marriages pending resolution of the claims since they would not cause irreparable harm to the proponents, who are not personally injured in any way, and because they were unlikely to prevail on the merits. The state constitutional provision

the Prop 8 proponents cited, Harris wrote, “has no application where officials are acting under a federal court order.” She cited a 2000 ruling from the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that found the provision does not excuse state officials from complying with federal law. The attorney general also argued that in earlier stages of the Prop 8 litigation all the parties acknowledged at one time or another that Walker’s order “applies statewide.” The proponents, Harris concluded, were asking a state court to “modify the scope of the district court’s injunction” but even the State Supreme Court does not have authority to modify a federal court order. The proponents were in the wrong court if they wanted to challenge the scope of Walker’s order, she argued. They should instead be petitioning the federal district court in San Francisco, Harris maintained, though of course the US Supreme Court has already determined they do not have standing to bring any action concerning Prop 8 in federal court. Responding to Harris’ arguments, the proponents claimed that the State Department of Public Health does not control or supervise the county clerks and so Walker’s order technically does not apply to them. But Harris also relied on the high court’s 2004 ruling striking down the Newsom same-sex marriages. Since, according to that ruling, county clerks per form a purely ministerial function of enforcing state law, argued Harris, they are under the control and supervision of the Department of Health. The department is charged by state law with administering marriage law through the county clerks. The California Supreme Court sided with Harris’ argument opposing an injunction on any more same-sex marriages. However, it has ordered the state to file papers opposing the proponents’ petition by July 22, and the proponents will then have until August 1 to reply. In the meantime, same-sex couples can continue to get married in California while the Prop 8 proponents’ unlikely legal claims are sorted out. On July 19, the San Diego County Clerk filed a similar suit alleging that state officials had exceeded their authority in ordering clerks statewide to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The clerk, Ernest Dronenburg, asserted that he “suffer[s] irreparable harm” from having to act in violation of what he sees as state law. Harris, in a written release responding to Dronenburg’s suit, said it “offers no new arguments.”


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July 24, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com

freeHIVtest.net


| July 24, 2013

ACT UP Protests Mt. Sinai’s Denial of PEP Therapy

HEALTH

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AIDS activists see wider problem in lack of awareness, promotion of pre-, post-HIV exposure interventions

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embers of ACT UP protested outside of Mt. Sinai Medical Center after a gay man who had recently had unsafe sex visited the emergency department there and had difficulty getting a regimen of anti-HIV drugs that can prevent infection with the virus. “These people are not given care,” said Jim Eigo, a member the AIDS activist group, during the July 17 protest at the Upper East Side hospital. “It’s such a wasted opportunity.” On July 5, the man arrived at a Mt. Sinai clinic after having unsafe sex. With the clinic closed for the holiday weekend, he was referred to the hospital’s emergency department where he was told that there is no such thing as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). The man was asked to leave the hospital. He had initially called ACT UP, which referred him to Mt. Sinai. When he was refused PEP, an ACT UP member contacted a relative who is a senior medical staffer at the hospital, who intervened, and the man was given PEP. In a July 17 statement that the hospital issued in response to the ACT UP protest, the man thanked Mt. Sinai and said, “At the ER after the initial confusion over talking to the right person — at one point I may have spoken to a janitor on accident — I was checked in, I was given the medicine within 20 minutes, and then referred to the clinic so I think they will handle my costs without a problem.”

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WEINERGATE, from p.9

Chelsea and the West Village, was with her ailing elderly father and did not attend the forum. “I think that we do know her track record,” Janet Weinberg, GMHC’s chief operating officer, told the crowd at the start of the forum when announcing that Quinn would not be there. The agency, which has received millions in city contracts and City Council discretionary funds, is a Quinn booster and there are certainly those in the community who argue that the boosterism is deserved. Seven GMHC staffers, including Weinberg and Marjorie Hill, GMHC’s current chief executive officer, have donated a total of $1,625 to her campaigns for City Council and now the Democratic nomination for mayor

Mt. Sinai, which has a contract with the city health department to deliver PEP, is clearly sensitive about the incident. In addition to the patient, the hospital issued statements from Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the city health department that praised Mt. Sinai. PEP has been used for over 20 years to treat healthcare providers who may have been exposed to HIV, typically by a needle stick. The 28-day course of antiHIV drugs must begin within 72 hours of the exposure, though the closer to the exposure the better. PEP began infor mally in the US among healthcare workers. The US Public Health Service issued its first guidelines on using PEP for occupational exposure in 1996. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first guidance for non-occupational exposures in 2005. The New York State health department issued PEP guidelines on non-occupational exposures in 2004. ACT UP has compiled a log of six examples, ranging from 2009 to the July 5 incident at Mt. Sinai, in which people were either denied PEP or encountered obstacles to getting PEP at six New York City hospitals. Four of the six occurred in late 2012 or 2013. “When I have six different incidents at six different hospitals over the last four years, something is wrong,” Eigo said. That this well-established intervention should encounter any obstacles to its delivery is a comment on the state of HIV prevention in New York City. Government and AIDS groups have not promoted PEP and it is probable that most New York City gay men are unaware of

the intervention. A 2011 study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections found that just 201, or 36 percent, of 554 men who were interviewed in two New York City bathhouses were aware of PEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the process of taking anti-HIV drugs on an ongoing basis to prevent infection.

When Gay City News contacted the city’s 311 system in April, that system had no information about PEP. On July 17, an operator advised that a caller should visit a healthcare provider or emergency room “immediately” to get PEP, though the emergency system does not list the emergency departments or clinics that are funded by the city or state to deliver PEP.

since 2007. The forum was a mix of substance and the insubstantial with an audience that was not at all shy about expressing its approval or disapproval of the answers the candidates offered. Asked how they would select members of New York City advisory bodies, such as the one that decides how the city should spend the roughly $100 million in AIDS funds it receives annually from the federal government, all the candidates said they would consult with community groups. When Bill Thompson, the former city comptroller, suggested he would put Hill on the AIDS advisory board that drew a chorus of loud boos. Hill, who has headed the AIDS agency since 2006, started a paid leave on July 1 and will return on October 1. Two senior GMHC staffers said that

reports that Hill would leave GMHC after the three months of paid leave were incorrect. The forum’s most serious issue was a proposed 30-percent rent cap for people with AIDS receiving public assistance. Dating back at least to 2006, advocates have tried to close an anomaly in housing aid to certain clients of the city’s HIV/ AIDS Housing Administration, by providing sufficient support so that their out-ofpocket rents are no more than 30 percent of their monthly income. Such a cap already exists for tenants in public and congregate care housing — but not to those in the private rental market. Applying the cap uniformly requires action from the State Legislature and the Bloomberg administration has successfully fought that change.

“We don’t elect a mayor to turn away from those most in need,” said Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate. John Liu, the city’s comptroller, agreed. Adolfo Carrión, the former Bronx borough president and City Council member, said it was time “to get Albany off our back,” though he had earlier warned the crowd to “beware of the theatrics” of the other candidates. “I think what you’re looking for in a leader is somebody who under stands the seriousness of these issues,” said Carrión who is running on the Independence Party line. “In a Carrión administration, the ser vices to this community will be of the highest order.” The forum was moderated by Oriol Gutierrez, the editor of POZ magazine. Gay City News was among the event’s sponsoring organizations.

GAY CITY NEWS

BY DUNCAN OSBORNE

Members of ACT UP on July 17 protest the hurdles a gay man encountered getting PEP treatment at the Mt. Sinai emergency room.


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July 24, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com

Monday, July 29

7:30 p.m.

that illuminate our gender identities and the complexity with which we relate to them, reclaiming our "sexy" in the midst of exotification and sexual abuse, survival strategies, and fluidity. Mainstage; $12 in advance; $15 at the door; $10 for students & seniors.

7:30 p.m.

The HOT! Festival runs through Saturday, August 3. Dixon Place’s mainstage and cocktail lounge — at 161A Chrystie Street, between Rivington and Delancey Streets on the Lower East Side — are the venues for all performances. For more information on the festival offerings and to order tickets, visit hotfestival.org.

Friday, July 26 & Saturday, July 27 7 p.m.

Conceived as a "public service announcement," Sacha Yanow’s “THE PRINCE” is a solo performance that follows a lonely prince and her struggles with her potential, fantasies, and connections as she prepares to be special while never leaving the safety of her bedroom. Unfolding as an episodic parable, the show explores an intimate psychological landscape drawing from Yanow's personal history and family mythology, as well as queer/ feminist history. Mainstage; $12 in advance; $15 at the door; $10 for students & seniors.

10 p.m.

"THE LOUDEST SHOW ON EARTH” is an exploration of the queer urban existence as seen through the eyes of two of the queerest urbanites ever — Lea DeLaria and Maggie Cassella. Rageful. Angry. Musical. Funny. And loud. Many F-bombs will be dropped. Bring the kids! Mainstage; $15-$25.

“COROMANDEL” is a vibrant musical odyssey for children and adults, sung by the bizarre characters of poet Edward Lear. In six 10-minute operas, Lear propels the audience through a bizarre, colorful land running amuck with strange sounds, quirky creatures, and new friends. Music and lyrics by Trevor Bachman, with dramaturgy by Teri Madonna. Mainstage; $12 in advance; $15 at the door; $10 for students & seniors.

Tuesday, July 30 7:30 p.m.

“FIGMENT” is a dance-theater, multimedia piece from David Macke’s {Your Name Here}: A Queer Theater that explores the world amongst those living, the dead, and the space in-between. Fe(lix) Namasté and John Swartz perform a story of those who have been beyond the threshold, met with death in their dreams, and came back with deeper wisdom, using an original music score and movement. Mainstage; $12 in advance; $15 at the door; $10 for students & seniors.

Wednesday, July 31 7:30 p.m.

Leigh Hendrix’s “GET AWAY FROM ME I LOVE YOU” is a maybe post-post-modern performance collage with dancing, pop music, lip sync, and feelings that is all filled up with leaving — leaving people, leaving places, leaving selves in search of a future transformation that won't stop getting interrupted by the people of the present. This is story of how you stay until you go. Cocktail lounge, free admission.

GET ON TO GET OFF OFF.

10 p.m.

Justin Vahala’s “WHAT LEAVES THE WIND HAS LAID” tells the story of two men who cross paths in an enchanted bathhouse, ruled over by a mysterious madam. In this archetypal tale of love and loss, the characters struggle to find their way in the steamy halls where every corner is filled with fresh temptation and trauma. Vahala, Paul Leopold, and Carolyn Gilliam star. Mainstage; $12 in advance; $15 at the door; $10 for students & seniors.

Thursday, August 1 7:30 p.m.

“I AM YOUR GIRLFRIEND” is performance artist Hari Nef’s autobiographical dreamscape. A wry backward glance into the gendered self, “I Am Your Girlfriend” is a pastiche of drag performance, confession, and new media that illuminates the soaring ambivalence and bittersweet redemption of discovering, exploring, and presenting queer identity without compromise. Cocktail lounge, free admission.

7:30 p.m.

In “BARE BONES UNBOUND,” Samantha Galarza and Natalyn Tremblay are two lovers literally bound together, unraveling the complexity of their identities, stories, fears, and desires. In the process, they exhibit our bodies and their stories — stories of internalized trans/ homophobia

More local numbers: 1.800.777.8000 / Ahora en Español / 18+

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Saturday, August 3 8:30 p.m.

In “WE ARE CALIGULA,” Susana Cook brings back the meanest man in history in a delightfully witty and savagely funny play that will be one of the summer’s biggest guilty pleasures. The cruel and brutal Roman emperor who thinks he's God is dissected, lampooned, and spliced with the everyday acts of normalized cruelty that people do in the name of entertainment, pleasure, and protein — and because they taste good. The musical score is by Julian Mesri. Mainstage; $12 in advance; $15 at the door; $10 for students & seniors.

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In “ELECTRIFY GENDER!,” Aimee Herman and Essence Revealed celebrate the spectrum of gender and sexualities through burlesque and performance art. Gender is bent and retranslated, twisted into a new discourse as the performers question how bodies can experiment with the many versions of masculine and feminine inside. Mainstage; $12 in advance; $15 at the door; $10 for students & seniors.

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| July 24, 2013

FAMILY PRIDE

DOMAcile

If you think getting married & starting a family tested your relationship, try buying property together!

The Supreme Court made making this decision more appealing, especially when you buy property in New York State as a legally married same-sex couple. I’m Rob Seitz & I’ll help you buy or rent commercial & residential property in New York, especially in Westchester & The Bronx. “We never felt like just another client of Rob’s. He was attuned to what we needed as two moms with three babies. He found us the perfect place to continue our new family life together in Westchester.” Nicole and Darra, Pelham, NY

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SPENCE-CHAPIN Adoption Service and Caring Since 1908 We Can Help You Grow Your Family Spence-Chapin is fully committed to equality in adoption and we remain dedicated to placing children with stable, loving forever families. Through our Partnership Program families can benefit from our expertise in the adoption field as we offer a selection of pre- and post-adoption services to parents who are adopting domestically and internationally including home study, post-placement services, and expectant parent counseling.

Call us to learn more: 212-400-8150 www.spence-chapin.org

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FROST VALLEY YMCA WHERE FAMILY COMES TOGETHER FAMILY CAMP Aug 25-30, 2013

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The end of summer is bittersweet, but this week is a perennial favorite for many of our families who join us year after year to celebrate all that the season has to offer. Take a canoe or kayak for a ride. de. Or try other camp favorites: the ziplines, s, high ropes, giant swing, archery, horseback riding, sports and games, arts & crafts. There’s something for everyone! JUST 2 HOURS FROM METRO NY/NJ! TEL 845-985-2291 WEB frostvalley.org EMAIL info@frostvalley.org


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July 24, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com

FRI.JUL.26

GALLERY Males in Pictures

“Boy! Oh, Boy!” is an arrestingly beautiful collection of male photographic portraiture by 12 of the most influential contemporary artists working in this specialized genre. The exhibition features works by Kevin Amato, David Armstrong, Doug Ischar, Paul Jasmin, Christopher Makos, Josh McNey, Slava Mogutin, Jack Pierson, Walter Pfeiffer, Richard Renaldi, Paul Solberg, and Arthur Tress. Casa De Costa, 11 Stone St., sixth fl., btwn. Broad & Whitehall St. in the Financial District. Through Aug. 15; Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. More information at casadecosta.com.

Reading Women

AUGUST 3: Tommy Femia gets happy in "Judy and Liza Together Again ."

Inspired by legendary transgender activist Sylvia Rivera’s essay “Queens in Exile, the Forgotten Ones,” curator Alexis Heller presents “Queers in Exile: the Unforgotten Legacies of LGBTQ Homeless Youth,” which employs oral history, photography, archival footage, and other work to explore the tradition of creativity and activism among street-involved queer youth from Stonewall to today. The exhibition features work by Samantha Box, Gerard Gaskin, Richard Renaldi, Andy Warhol, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Diana Davies, Leonard Fink, Richard Wandel, and Carol Polcovar. Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 26 Wooster St., btwn. Grand & Canal. Tue.-Sun., noon-6 p.m., through Jul. 28. Presented in tandem with the 2013 Fresh Fruit Festival. More information at leslielohman.org.

PERFORMANCE They Might Say Anything!

“RISK!” is an evening of emotionally raw and completely uncensored personal storytelling hosted by out gay comedian and actor Kevin Allison. Tonight, Allison welcomes Dan Kennedy, Seth Herzog, and Joel Kim Booster for another edition of stories that are often funny, touching, embarrassing, enlightening, sexy, and emotional. The People’s Improv Theater, 123 E. 24th St. Jul. 25, 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10; $11.34 at tinyurl.com/mog4mtr. Past “RISK!” performances in podcast form are available at riskshow.com.

CABARET Patti is Back

54 Below welcomes back “our girl singer,” twotime Tony winner Patti LuPone, who performs her

SUN.JUL.28

Visual AIDS, a group that utilizes art to fight the epidemic by provoking dialogue, supporting those who are HIV-positive, and preserving a legacy, presents “Not only this, but ‘New language beckons us,’” which couples newly commissioned texts from contemporary artists and writers with archival objects drawn from the Downtown Collection at NYU’s Fales Library. Andrew Blackley curates. Fales Library, 70 Washington Sq. So., btwn. LaGuardia & University Pls., third fl. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m., through Jul. 27. For more information, email info@visualaids.org or visit visualaids.org.

WED.JUL.31

CABARET Nalbone Scores a Duplex

Singer and model Gregory Nalbone heats up an already hot July stage at the Duplex, bringing his assured vocals, signature style, and sexy edge to an impressive range of standards, ballads, and pop — from Gershwin to Jagger and beyond. Debbi Burdett directs, and David Schaefer is on piano. 61 Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. S., in Sheridan Sq. Jul. 31, 9:30 p.m. The cover charge is $15 at the duplex.com or 212-255-5438, with a two-drink minimum.

POETRY Straight Out of the Bowery

THU.AUG.1

MUSIC Feminist Folkies from Tel Aviv

THEATER Bette Davis Comes to Dinner, Stays a Month

On May 28, 1985, star-struck Elizabeth Fuller’s dream came true Bette Davis came to dinner at her dilapidated New England cottage. Four weeks later, as a hotel strike in New York raged on, she was still there. “Me and Jezebel,” Fuller’s candidly funny dayto-day account of trying to please the irascible queen of Hollywood, it getting its 20th anniversary OffBroadway revival. The Snapple Theater Center, 210 W. 50th St. Wed.-Thu., 8 p.m.; Sat., 5 p.m., through Oct. 26. Mark S. Graham directs. Tickets are $73.75 at tickemaster.com.

Shakespeare With a Harlem Twist

Classical Theatre of Harlem’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” interlaces the stories of four lovers — one of whom is betrothed to a man but sentenced to death for her love of a woman — and a comical troupe of bumbling actors from the human world with those of a fairy kingdom in the supernatural realm. Director Justin Emeka, an Oberlin College professor, creates an enchanted, concrete jungle where African spirits celebrate the playful and fickle nature of love through music, dance, and magic. Marcus Garvey Park, Richard Rogers Amphitheater, Fifth Ave., btwn. 122nd & 124 Sts. Through Jul. 30; Tue.-Sun., 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. More information at classictheatreofharlem.org.

As part of the third annual New York City Poetry Festival, a trio of spoken word artists and writers — Samuel Jablon (Phati’tude, BOMBlog, Two Coats of Paint, the Huffington Post, and Hyperallergic), Amy King (“I Want to Make You Safe”), and Emanuel Xavier (“Pier Queen,” Americano: Growing up Gay and Latino in the USA,” and “If Jesus Were Gay & other poems” — appear in “Bowery Poetry Club Bow Wow.” Governor’s Island (visit govisland.com for directions), Jul. 28, 2:50 p.m. The festival takes place Jul. 27-28, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free, but a $10 donation is suggested. For a complete lineup and more information, visit poetrysocietyny.org.

CABARET The Fabulously Wrong Old Woman

Michael Schiralli directs Broadway’s bitter favorite, Jackie Hoffman, in her cabaret show “Old Woman, New Material” that will leave you in stitches! Hoffman, who is hilarious and always edgy and wrong, debuts new original songs and rips some Broadway standards to shreds. Musical direction by Will Van Dyke. 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St. Jul. 28, 9:30 p.m. The cover charge is $35-$45 at 54below.com, with a $25 food & drink minimum.

ILYA KONSTANTINOV

THU.JUL.25

GALLERY In Exile, But Not Forgotten

new show “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda … played that part.” The evening features songs from roles she coulda played, woulda played, if someone had just asked her, or shoulda played, except she’s not a boy. LuPone will draw classic tunes from “Hair,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Funny Girl,” “West Side Story,” “Kiss Me Kate,” and “Peter Pan.” 254 W. 54th St. Jul. 25, 7 & 9:30 p.m.; Jul. 26, 8:30 p.m.; Jul. 27, 8:30 & 11 p.m. The cover charge is $85-$95 at 54below.com, with a $30 food & drink minimum.

“Chick Lit: Revised Summer Reading” features work by 26 female artists who consider the interplay of the literal and the psychological. Each artist explores how literature has influenced them — whether children's books, feminist poetry, historical texts, science fiction, Greek mythology, mystery, or romance. The exhibition, curated by Molly Rand and Pilar Vahey, includes embroidery, prints, sculpture, drawing, painting, photography, and collage. Tracy Williams, Ltd., 521 W. 23rd St. Through Aug. 9; Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. More information at tracywilliamsltd.com.

MON.JUL.29

GALLERY Putting New Words to Life-Altering Experiences

Israeli feminist rock/ folk artists Rona Kenan and Tamar Eisenman present a concert drawing on traditions from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, San Francisco, New York, and Odessa that is filled with virtuosic guitar playing, original poetry and ample groove. The women appear in a program sponsored by A Wider Bridge, a non-profit aiming to connect the LGBT communities of Israel and North America. Manhattan Jewish Community Center, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St. Aug. 1, 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 at awiderbridge.org/rona-concert; $25 at the door.

THEATER Parking Lot Kings

To commemorate the bones of Richard III being found in an English parking lot, the Drilling Company presents Shakespeare's tragedy of the crook-back king. The company interprets the play as a reflection of the political conflict sweeping government institutions today. "The current climate is as acrimonious as the War of the Roses," explained artistic director Hamilton Clancy. Municipal Parking Lot, Broome St. at Ludlow St. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m., Aug. 1-17. Admission is free. More information at shakespeareintheparkinglot.com or 212-873-9050.

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14 DAYS, from p.16

Trying to have a baby? We CAN HeLP!

FRI.AUG.2

THEATER Are You Keanu?

Jaime Keeling’s parody of the 1991 Keanu Reeves/ Patrick Swayze extreme action blockbuster movie “Point Break” delivers the extreme ‘90s sports thrills, senseless action, and the unintentionally hilarious dialogue of the original to various New York City venues styled as punk-theater settings. FBI agent Johnny Utah is abused by the bureau, hazed by the LA surf community, and bromanced by one truly radical sonofabitch — wave-catching guru Bodhisattva. In a twist that promises laughs, the role of Utah is performed by an audience member selected nightly in an impromptu “Are U Keanu?” contest. The Bell House, 149 Seventh St., btwn. Second & Third Aves., Brooklyn. Aug. 2, 7:30 p.m. (you must be 21 or older). Also at Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St. Aug. 10, 8 p.m. (you must be 19 or older). Tickets begin at $26 at ticketweb.com.

FILM Chillfest Heads to Asbury Park

Customarily presented in Jersey City, the LGBT film series Chillfest has spent the summer at the beach — specifically Asbury Park. The summer schedule concludes this weekend with Yen Tan’s “Pitstop,” a story about small-town America in which Gabe, a man recovering from an ill-fated affair with a married man, finds solace in his relationship with his ex-wife and daughter, and Ernesto evades his life at home with his ex-boyfriend by spending time in the hospital with an ailing past love (Aug. 2, 10 p.m.; Aug. 4, 2 p.m.); and “The Wedding Banquet,” Ang Lee’s celebrated comedy about a gay New Yorker who stages a marriage of convenience with a young woman in need of a green card to satisfy his traditional Taiwanese family (Aug. 3, 9 p.m.). The ShowRoom Cinema, 707 Cookman Ave. at Bond St., Downtown Asbury Park. Tickets are $10 at theshowroomap.com/.

SAT.AUG.3

CABARET Get Happy with Judy & Liza Rick Skye and Tommy Femia, named "Best Duo” in 2012 by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, bring “Judy and Liza Together Again,” an evening of the mother-daughter duo’s most memorable songs, parodies, laughs, and general holler-and-whooping. A song list that includes “Maybe This Time,” “New York, New York,” and “Over the Rainbow” climaxes with a finale medley of “Get Happy” and “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Musical director Ricky Ritzel appears as Mort/ Pappy. Don't Tell Mama's, 343 W. 46th St. Aug. 3, 17 & 31, 8 p.m. The cover charge is $25, with a two-drink minimum. For reservations, visit dontellmamanyc.com or call 212-757-0788.

MON.AUG.5

CABARET Some Helluva’n Enchanting Evening

Paulo Szot, the out gay dashing operatic baritone who scored a Tony for his turn in “South Pacific,” presents a program of songs from the American Songbook as well as Brazilian and jazz favorites. 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St. Aug 5, 7, 8 & 11, 7 p.m.; Aug. 9-10, 8 p.m. Cover charge is $40$70 at 54below.com, with a $25-$30 food & drink minimum.

WED.AUG.7

COMEDY Man Eats Man

In another edition of “Homo Comicus,” funnyman Frank DeCaro (SiriusXM Radio) hosts a snark-infested night of biting comedy from a gaggle of gay and gayfriendly comics, including Michelle Buteau, Sherry Davey, Luke McCollum, Danny McWilliams, and Jason Scarlatti. Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd St. Aug. 7, 8:30 p.m. The cover charge is $20, with a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212-367-9000.

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THEATER Shakespeare Americana

“Under the Greenwood Tree” is a musical re-imagining of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” using original text and an indie-Americana score. Rosalind, Orlando, and the rest of the Bard's timeless cast of characters wander throughout the Forest of Arden with instruments in tow. Tyler Phillips and Carly Howard direct this Phillstock Entertainment production. Flea Theater, 41 White St. btwn. Church St. & Broadway. Aug. 8-10, 13-17, 7 p.m.; Aug. 10-11 & 17-18, 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 at theflea.org; $20 at the door.

SAT.AUG.10

DeAr guys who like guys And GALS who like gAls, life, liberty And the pursuit of hAppiness begAn with Me.

PERFORMANCE Outdoors, Loud & Proud

Director/ actor John Cameron Mitchell (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “Shortbus”) and cabaret goddess Mx. Justin Vivian Bond headline the third annual “Out in the Woods,” the LGBT music festival at Easton Mountain Retreat Center upstate. Reverend Yolanda, reputedly the alien lovechild of Tammy Faye Baker Messsner and John Waters, emcees nine hours of fun that also include performances by John Kelly, Namoli Brennett, Rachael Sage, Freddy Freeman, Gary Wayne Ferris, Sister Funk, Jorge Avila, Nhojj, Martin Swinger, Sean Kagalis, Jay Saturn with Nikkita, Brett Avery, and Justin Vahala. 31 Herrington Hill Road, btwn. Intervale & Waters Rds., Greenwich, New York, about 30 miles north of Albany via I-787. Aug. 10, noon-9 p.m. Admission is $30, $20 for those under 25 at outinthewoodsmusicfestival.org, where you can find complete information on the day’s lineup and on directions to Easton Mountain. All proceeds benefit Easton Mountain’s residential summer camps for more than 100 LGBT young people from the New York City and Boston areas.

P.S. Get your history strAight And your nightlife gAy.


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July 24, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com

THEATER

Comings and Goings Unexpected returns drive three intriguing plays

I

BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE

THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNING

f Gilbert and Sullivan had teamed up with Kaufman and Hart, the result might be something like “The Explorers Club,” a silly, sprightly, and ultimately endearing comedy by Nell Benjamin set in a London gentleman’s club in 1879. The club is devoted to science, and the members, in stereotypically buffoonish Victorian fashion, fall all over themselves and each other (sometimes quite literally) to talk about their expeditions aimed at uncovering new flora, charming poisonous snakes, training guinea pigs, and finding the East Pole.

Roundabout at the Laura Pels Theatre 111 W. 46th St. Tue.-Sat. at 7:30 p.m. Wed., Sat.-Sun. at 2 p.m. $71-$81; roundabouttheatre.org Or 212-719-1300

When the club’s young president, Lucius Fretway, proposes a woman for membership, life there goes topsyturvy, especially when the woman in question, Phyllida Spotte-Hume, arrives to give a lecture along with a savage, whom she calls Luigi, she has rescued from an obscure nation and is proud of controlling with a spoon. Well, almost. When Luigi is presented to Queen Victoria, greeting her in his native fashion, an international crisis follows that embroils the Queen’s guard, revolutionary Irishmen, and a small army of lethal monks who have just arrived from the antipodes. Of course, it all works out in the end, but getting there is a lot of silliness. Benjamin manages to poke fun at the cavalier sexism and racism of the characters, while making it plenty clear these are the kind of fools who hurried the sundown of the British Empire. Marc Bruni has directed the piece with a rapid-fire pace, filling it up with sight gags, slapstick, and a recurring joke involving cocktail glasses that is as impressive as it is funny. The cast is virtually perfect. Lorenzo Pisoni as Lucius combines his unique talent for physical comedy with a persuasively lovestruck desperation for Phyllida. Lucius is always on a slow boil or the verge of a breakdown and seems to be the only character who knows what fools he’s dealing with.

Lorenzo Pisoni, Carson Elrod, and Jennifer Westfeldt in Nell Benjamin’s “The Explorers Club,” directed by Marc Bruni.

STAN BAROUH

MTC City Center Stage 1 131 W. 55th St. Tue.-Wed., Sun. at 7 p.m. Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. at 2 p.m. $85; nycitycenter.org Or 212-581-1212

JOAN MARCUS

THE EXPLORERS CLUB

Jan Maxwell and Jennifer Van Dyck in Howard Barker’s “The Castle,” directed by Richard Romagnoli.

Jennifer Westfeldt is delicious as both Phyllida and her twin sister. Carson Elrod is marvelously funny as the monosyllabic Luigi, and David Furr as the bombastic and idiotic Percy, the club member just back from the East Pole, is hilarious. The rest of the company — Brian Avers, Max Baker, Arnie Burton, and John McMartin — attack their parts with gusto, and even if their characters are stereotypical, they still land every moment and score every laugh. It’s rare to find such unfettered and accomplished comedy that demands nothing of an audience but that they

have a good time. Even in this beastly weather, it’s worth the trek to MTC, where you’ll be amply rewarded for your theatrical exploration.

father only understands as a fantasy he tries to recapture or recreate. Denham conveys so much with a look, a slouch, a halting word that his character becomes a symbol for all the victims of greed and narcissism the Tom Durnins (read: Bernie Madoffs) of the world have created. The dynamic between father and son here is as disturbing and poignant as Willy Loman and Biff’s in “Death of a Salesman” — and is as much a reflection of our times as the Lomans were of theirs. Willy was inept and a dreamer, but Tom is a cruel and selfish man. T rying to insinuate himself back into the family and his old law practice, he shows he has not been humbled in the slightest. His facility for denial, his efforts to force his way into his old roles, and his rage at being rebuffed are as harrowing as any sociopath Hitchcock could imagine. In addition to Denham’s rich and detailed performance, David Morse does an extraordinary job as Tom. Even when he attempts to be loving, there is a chilly gamesmanship in his actions that no amount of humiliation can diminish. Lisa Emery is excellent, as always, as Tom’s estranged wife Karen. Sarah Goldberg is lovely as Katie, the damaged soul James tries to reach out to, and Rich Sommer is good as Chris, the son-in-law Tom tries to manipulate to get back in touch with his daughter and ex-wife. Scott Ellis directs with a sure hand that keeps the tension high throughout and elicits affecting realism from his actors. If only life’s Tom Durnins would really disappear.

Actors like Christopher If you ever fantasized Denham don’t come along that often. In the new play “The about living in the Middle Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Ages, a trip to “The Castle” by Dur nin,” he plays James, the son of the title character, a disgraced lawyer just released from jail. James’ confrontation with his father and his capitulation to him tell us everything about the history of their relationship — a reality the son knows but the

Howard Barker, now being staged by the Potomac Theater Project, will quickly disabuse you of any romantic notions. This dense and brashly lyrical piece is both entertaining

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FILM

Strangers in a Bar In nod to Patricia Highsmith, Jamie Babbit explores sexuality’s dangerous secrets

Farmer Jon Founder

Kelly Taylor Brewmaster

IFC FILMS

Brewing Sweet Memories Shawn Ashmore, Madeline Zima, and Agnes Bruckner in “Breaking the Girls,” directed by Jamie Babbit.

HEARTLANDBREWERY.COM EMPLOYEE OWNED BY GARY M. KRAMER

J

amie Babbit’s films — “The Quiet” and “Itty Bitty T itty Committee” among them — address strong female friendships. Her wild and provocative new feature, “Breaking the Girls,” which has a script co-written by Guinevere Tur ner and Mark Distefano, is no exception. It may be her most potent film yet.

BREAKING THE GIRLS Directed by Jamie Babbit IFC Films Opens Jul. 26 IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. ifccenter.com

Sara (Agnes Bruckner) is a law student who tends bar. One night she meets Alex (Madeline Zima), and the two become fast friends and lovers. Sara, however, may really be pining for Eric (Shawn Ashmore), who is dating Brooke (Shanna Collins) — a classmate who gets Sara fired from the bar, which in turn costs her her scholarship. Sara copes with her losses by spending more time with Alex, who pr oposes — a la “Strangers on a

T rain” — that they swap murders. Alex will dispatch bitchy Brooke, if Sara can get rid of Alex’s annoying stepmother, Nina (Kate Levering), an artist. “Breaking the Girls” depicts what happens next, but it is best to let audiences discover that for themselves. In a recent phone interview, Babbit discussed the villainous lesbians who populate her film. “My initial instinct in this film was that I’ve always been more interested in ‘Wild Things’ and ‘Bound’ rather than ‘Lianna,’ ‘Claire of the Moon,’ or ‘Bar Girls,’” she said. “I am a Patricia Highsmith fan. When I saw ‘Strangers on a T rain,’ there were two great male parts. The female parts were lame and pathetic. I wanted to give those juicy roles to women.” Women do get the choice material in the film. “Breaking the Girls” uses conventions of the crime genre — women as victims, women as gold-diggers, women fighting against women, and women who desire a man — before the denouement, which is explicitly lesbian and feminist. Babbit is proud of this accomplishment, explaining, “Gwen [Turner] and I thought about what Highsmith would have written if she’d been

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BREAKING THE GIRLS, continued on p.23


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July 24, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com

FILM

“The Canyons” Saves Bret Easton Ellis from Hollywood Screenwriter’s story of cinema’s death offers him new artistic hope BY GARY M. KRAMER

B

ret Easton Ellis, famous for creating wealthy, louche, and amoral characters, has created some fabulously reckless film industry folks in his smart screenplay for “The Canyons.” The writer described the film — which is both seductive and sinister — as a “neo-noir,” perhaps because it is a sordid tale of sex, betrayal, and violence set in Los Angeles, 2012.

Christian (adult film star James Deen), is a film producer romantically involved with Tara (Lindsay Lohan). This fun-loving couple frequently invites guys over for sexual activities that range from voyeuristic masturbation sessions to a fourgy. Despite this freewheeling arrangement, when Christian suspects Tara of cheating on him with R yan (Nolan Funk) — an actor in his new movie whose girlfriend, Gina (Amanda Brooks), is Christian’s assistant — he becomes hellbent on revenge. It’s possible to look at “The Canyons” not as a noir per se, but as a dark comedy of manners — one where anything is cool except for lying and betrayal. “I was thinking about this notion of transparency,” Ellis said when asked about this interpretation. “There is this struggle between this old guard that thinks it’s dangerous and this new guard that thinks transparency is a good thing. You can’t get away with things you once got away with because of technology. And in Hollywood, with its anonymous sources and stars keeping their lives private and this dying of cinema… there’s no going back. There’s too much infor mation out ther e, too many people wanting transparency.” Tara and R yan are strivers who have romantic feelings for each other and lie to their lovers, whom they use to better their lives. Christian, intriguing and flawed, may do unsavory things, but he is always

James Deen and Lindsay Lohan in “The Canyons,” directed by Paul Schrader.

honest. And he is never apologetic or ashamed. Asked about the way he created the character of Christian, Ellis exclaimed, “That’s who James [Deen] is! That’s how I am. Why do I write these characters? I don’t know. They just resonate with me. I think for every script to work there has to be something personal in it, something you identify with. People talk about the surface amorality of my characters, but I do not approach them that way.” Christian is not the audience pleaser, Ellis explained. “I don’t think he has to be likable,” he said. “Christian does care about Tara. It is an important relationship, and I think he loves her.” The couple’s escapades allow him to “do whatever he wants,” Ellis said, but when Tara steps out on him, “he feels deeply wounded and betrayed.” Viewers, he continued, will identify with R yan, “because he’s so trod upon. He has the least power in the film. I thought of actors I know and they do hit a level of desperation and get fucked over. A lot. And that’s based on someone I know well.” Christian, already suspicious and untrusting, reaches his breaking point, Ellis explained, “after Tara has him make out with another dude.” The moment’s startling quality is true to the story, the screenwriter insisted. “I don’t believe you can force shock,” he said. “You have to be drawn to this material. I wasn’t thinking about being shocking — it was, this is what

is going to happen. I don’t think you can effectively get to someone if you are faking it.” Ellis elaborated on the film’s portrayal of bisexual behavior. “That’s how I am and how I’ve always been,” he said. “I relate to that and I like it and I want to see it. It comes from an emotional place. You write the book you want to read. You write the movie you want to see. I’m not trying to make a statement about sexual fluidity.” Explaining he likes to include queer sex in his work, he added, “I think it also brings a tension to things and complicates things. And I like to see if

JEFF BURTON

Directed by Paul Schrader IFC Films Opens Aug. 2 IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. ifccenter.com

IFC FILMS

THE CANYONS

Bret Easton Ellis wrote the screenplay for “The Canyons.”

the actors go for it.” Go for it they do, and audiences will be titillated by the result. Dean, Ellis said, was ideally suited for the role of Christian. “I was thinking about Deen when I was writing this,” he explained. “I thought of this nice-looking guy being dark. I see that in his porn — a goofy guy next door in one film who shows a vastly different side in another.” Dean delivers an incredibly magnetic performance that includes a full frontal scene that should remind viewers why he is successful in porn. Though the character of Tara was not written for Lohan, Ellis said he did not specifically have another actress in mind. “Lindsay came in and changed the character,” he said. “The girl in the script was more vulnerable. I imagined Tara softer, not aggressive and challenging Christian. Lindsay gave it a spin and it worked.” Countering press reports of Lohan being difficult during filming, Ellis praised her professionalism. It may be that rumors about the film’s problems are just one of the industry’s ways of cutting this microbudget film down to size. The screenwriter, in turn, views the movie business with a critical eye. The screenplay, he said, is “a summation of everything I’ve been through [in Hollywood]. Working on indie films — and they’ve more often than not gone off the rails — it’s been

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| July 24, 2013

IN THE NOH

Randy and Renee

A Winning Combination!

After “Queer,” a triple threat’s long-awaited star turn BY DAVID NOH

andy Harrison is forever burned into the consciousness of a gay generation for playing Justin Taylor, the ultimate irresistibly innocent twink on the groundbreaking TV series “Queer as Folk.” Since that show wrapped in 2005, he’s carved out a solid theatrical career for himself in New York and regionally, and is now appearing in Chad Beguelin's play “Harbor” for Primary Stages (59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St., through Sep. 8; primarystages. org/harbor). Meeting him, I had to ask where he kept his Dorian Gray portrait because damn!, he still looks so young. “Oh, you can still be a twink when you’re 35!” he laughed. “It just takes a lot of caffeine and a lot of alcohol! But I love this play, so funny, sweet, and touching, about a well-off married gay couple in Sag Harbor. I’m a struggling writer, sort of kept by my successful architect husband, and I’ve run away from an abusive, white trash past. My estranged sister shows up with her teenaged daughter I haven’t seen in over 10 years, and our cozy system is sort of shattered. It’s real people struggling with real stuff. I’d read the script a few years when they did it out of town and I loved it, so when the audition came around I said, ‘I know this part!’ So excited to be doing it with a great cast and the rehearsals are so mellow and fun.” Originally from New Hampshire and Georgia, Harrison started acting in community theater when he was six, was schooled in Ohio and, after a toe-dabble in Los Angeles, is now a firmly based New Yorker. “Queer as Folk” happened shortly after he moved here at 22: “I was freelancing with an agent and was doing a showcase when I auditioned for it on tape, as most of it was being cast in LA. The New York casting director hadn’t even marked my tape for the show’s producers to watch, but they accidentally somehow saw it and said, ‘This is the guy.’ “They flew me out twice. I didn’t do well in that showcase and was doing theater in St. Louis, thinking of moving to LA. I had never been and thought it was all a fluke, but a chance to visit LA for free, and somehow I booked it. It lasted five years, a really good gig in Toronto, which was a blessing and a curse. Good in that it brought us all together. We were all displaced and for most of us, it was our first

PRIMARY STAGES

R

PLAY. DINE. UNWIND.

Randy Harrison stars in the Primary Stages production of Chad Beguelin's “Harbor” through September 8.

big job, so we bonded. The crew was amazing and we had great Canadian independent film directors. The curse was we were there from September to April every year, so cold. I love Toronto, but I wasn’t in LA or New York and unable to begin a career outside of the show. Once those five years were up, I had to start from scratch here, which definitely makes me feel like I’ve earned where I’ve gotten to. “We in the original cast see each other periodically. Every once in a while people pay to do these events where we all do meet-and-greets with fans, so we see each other once a year doing that. Our fan base is intense, not what was back then when we’d do crazy tours at T ower Recor ds with DVDs, such a scene, but a lot of Europeans come, from the showings over there. Much more so than for the original UK version of the show, which I don’t think got out of that country much, and we also apparently have a big fan base in South and Central America.” I went to an early New York Times sponsored “Queer” event and was startled by how seriously the fans took it: “Yeah, it was their life. They thought we were the characters, but now it’s maybe been a long enough time and I’ve aged enough. But, yeah, some people still think I’m Justin!

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22

July 24, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com

BOOKS

My Kind of Town St. Sukie de la Croix brings to life 19th, 20th century queer life in the Windy City BY DOUG IRELAND

Q

ueers have sought the freedom and anonymity of cities as long as cities have existed, and unearthing our hidden urban homosexual history is critical to an understanding of our community’s culture. While New York’s s queer past has been amply and excellently chronicled in studies by George Chauncey and Charles Kaiser and amplified in dozens of biographies and novels, the story of sexual dissidents in Chicago has remained largely unexplored.

CHICAGO WHISPERS: A HISTORY OF LGBT CHICAGO BEFORE STONEWALL

But now the University of Wisconsin Press has published “Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago Before Stonewall,” by St. Sukie de la Croix, the nom de plume of Darryl Michael Vincent, a British-born journalist for the gay press who has lived in and chronicled queer Chicago since 1991. “Chicago Whispers” details how, as early as the Civil War — when Chicago became a major supply base and headquarters for the Union Army — a 60-plus-room sex spa called Under the Willows included cubicles rented to male prostitutes. By the end of the 19th century, the city’s First Ward — which encompassed the Levee District, the city’s “red light” vice axis — was represented by Alderman “Bathhouse John” Coughlin, a former “rubber” in a gay bathhouse who owned several Turkish baths notorious as queer gathering and trysting places. From 1896 to 1908, “Bathhouse John” hosted the First Ward Ball, an “annual debauchery” featuring prostitutes of both sexes and female impersonators. Staging the ball involved a shakedown of the First Ward’s saloon and brothel keepers, who were forced to buy tickets to it, thereby filling Bathhouse John’s campaign coffers. But the “largest commercialized vice district into the country” was doomed when a “fire-breathing evangelist” preacher led a crowd of 15,000 in a march on the district to demand a crackdown. A Vice Commission was established and nightly raids on the

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN PRESS

By St. Sukie de la Croix University of Wisconsin Press $29.85; 326 pages

“dens of perversion” followed. The last brothel closed in 1914, according to de la Croix. Female and male impersonators were all the rage in the Chicago music halls in the last quarter of the 19th century, and de la Croix gives us portraits of a number of them. Another important feature of Chicago queer culture was its African-American blues and jazz scene, and the number of singer-songwriters who made reference to homosexuals and lesbians in their songs is truly astonishing. De la Croix quotes the lyrics to quite a few of these ditties, like “Sissy Man Blues,” which crooned: I woke up this morning with my ‘poor kinda business’ in my hand God, if you can’t send me no woman, Then send me a sissy man But how many of us know that the

sentimental standard “Pretty Baby” — featured in the 1951 Doris Day movie “I’ll See You In My Dreams” — was originally written by openly gay singer Tony Jackson as a song to his male lover? “Per for ming was one of the few ways that African-American women, especially lesbians, could be financially independent,” which helps explain the large number of lesbian blues and jazz singers from Chicago, from Alberta Hunter to Ethel Waters. The Little Review, an influential Chicago literary magazine founded by lesbian Margaret Anderson and her partner, Djuna Barnes, published Ernest Hemingway and a host of gay and bisexual writers like the cigar-smoking Imagist poet Amy Lowell, Witter Bynner, Hart Crane, Max Bodenheim, and the black poet Mark Turbyfill. The chapter on the Little Review is one of the best in the book — with one exception. De la Croix asserts that a

1915 Chicago lecture by Edith Ellis, the British novelist and wife of pro-gay sexologist Havelock Ellis, was “the first in America to call for equal rights and tolerance of homosexuality.” That’s plain wrong, since such a discourse had long been a feature of American anarchism since the trial of Oscar Wilde two decades earlier, as the San Francisco gay historian Terence Kissack demonstrated in his important 2008 book, “Free Comrades: Anarchism and Homosexuality in the United States, 1895-1917.” Indeed, homosexuality and sexual freedom had been a staple in the packed lectures of anarchist leader Emma Goldman (whom de la Croix cites on several occasions in his book) for years before Ellis’ talk. But de la Croix is on firmer ground with his finely-researched portrait of Henry Gerber, the Chicago postal clerk who in 1924 founded America’s first gay rights organization, the Society for Human Rights (SHR). The Ger man-bor n Gerber later recalled that it was while serving in World War I as an editor of a US army newspaper for the troops stationed in Germany that he discovered Magnus Hirschfeld, the pioneer German homosexual liberationist, and his Scientific Humanitarian Committee in defense of queer rights. Gerber managed to publish two issues of the SHR newsletter Friendship and Freedom before he and SHR’s secretary were arrested in a police raid. Gerber’s diaries, illegally seized by police, contained the incriminating phrase “I love Karl.” Following his arrest, Gerber was suspended from the post office, and the SHR came to end. But Gerber continued, and in 1930 founded Contacts, a mimeographed monthly newsletter that served as a meeting place for homosexuals. By then, he had re-enlisted in the army, in which he served for 21 years, retiring with the rank of staff sergeant in 1945. Gerber’s lonely combat on behalf of gays is still an inspirational one. In 2001, Gerber’s home on North Crilly Court was declared an official Chicago Landmark. “Chicago Whispers” is filled with stories, including many first-person accounts of queer parties, balls, and nightclubs in the first several decades of the 20th century, that bring back to us the lively and extensive same-sex culture that flourished in those years in the Second City. For example, in 1930 the entertainment paper Variety featured

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| July 24, 2013

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THE CANYONS, from p.20

frustrating and exhilarating. ‘The Canyons’ became the expression of that.” Ellis talked about a “moribund film industry,” and the brilliant opening and end credit sequences of “The Canyons” feature closed movie theaters in various stages

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BREAKING THE GIRLS, from p.19

open about her sexuality and not forced to write in coded ways.” Babbit’s debt to Highsmith is frankly acknowledged. In an homage to the late novelist, who carried a pet snail everywhere she went, Sara keeps one as a pet. “Sara’s loyalty in the end is important to me,” Babbit explained, though revealing the object of that loyalty would be a spoiler. Suf fice to say that in “Breaking the Girls,” homosexuality is fraught in the ways it was in Highsmith’s oeuvre. “One of the scenes in the film, which I initiated, is that [someone] in the end is gay,” Babbit said. “She will live a very queer life. The twists

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CHICAGO, from p.22

an article on the city’s “pansy craze” that declared, “America’s toughest city is going pansy, and liking it. Within the past six months some 35 new dim lit tearooms, created by boys who won’t throw open the doors until at least two hours have been spent adjusting the drapes just so, have opened on the near North Side… All the waitresses are lads in girls clothing… Racketeers, who have made the near North Side their playground for some years, have gone strong for these boy joints in a big way…” Indeed, de la Croix tells us that one of Al Capone’s closest associates was a same-sexer, and Capone pal Jake “Greasy Thumb” Guzik, who remained the mob’s bookkeeper long after Capone’s 1947 death, was part-owner of the Windup Lounge, a much-raided gay club in the ‘30s and ‘40s. Eighty-seven people were arrested there in one 1949 police raid. De la Croix’s book began as a series of articles in Tracy Baim’s fine queer weekly, the Windy City Times, and from there he wangled a 10-part series on the city’s queer history for the Chicago Triune. That means that many of these chapters are bite-sized, making this a perfect book for bathroom reading in spurts, as well as a useful addition to

of disrepair. “The Canyons” is as much a film about the decline of cinema as it is about the loss of love and trust. “When is the last time you went to the movies and it matter ed?,” Tara asks Gina, a question serious moviegoers will likely understand. For all his criticism of the industry, however, Ellis is satisfied with what

he was able to do on “The Canyons.” “The studio system is dead, so now we have to move to this new way of — I can’t call it filmmaking — but content creation,” Ellis said. “It’s devised to be watched on your l a p t o p . We ’ r e s e l l i n g t h e f i l m b y tweeting about it. In the end, it was a great experience. And it does reflect everything I felt about Hollywood

— my switch from entering into the high-end indie world, which is dying, to this new world of do-it-yourself. It’s been the best experience that I’ve had after projects not happening or happening and going badly. I never wrote a script so fast — and writing it knowing it won’t change gave me freedom. I realize I can never do this any other way.”

and tur ns enliven the mystique, and that’s fascinating to me — where it’s more dangerous to be gay. That’s my inherent interest in hidden sexuality.” The film’s deeply intense female friendship drives the story. By the last act of “Breaking the Girls,” the actresses face the challenge of clarifying each character’s romantic allegiance as secrets are revealed and betrayals occur at a dizzying rate. One of the actresses, Babbit said, “remembered the context better than I did!” Asked how she herself deals with betrayal, Babbit candidly responded, “Life is full of betrayals, which is something I just expect. This is why I explore that theme in my films.

That’s the cycle of relationships. People betray me in my life, but I’m still friendly with them. I’m a lesbian to the core! I’m still friends with all my exes. T h e f i l m m a k e r, w h o h a d t w o kids during a 14-year relationship and is now with another woman, is thoroughly open about her sexuality, yet her characters are more ambiguous. Sara passes on the chance to tell a young man flirting with her at the bar that she’s not into guys. “She’s kind of lost,” Babbit said. “I feel all the characters are queer. Ori ginally ther e w as a sex s cene between Sara and Eric, and I didn’t want to film that. But I really liked the pool scene — I wanted the guy

to be taken down in a titillating threesome.” The “pool scene” in question has Sara and Alex and Eric alternating kisses until the girls make clear to Eric they want him out of the pool to be alone together. “Poor Shawn,” the filmmaker said of Ashmore, who was also in Babbit’s “The Quiet” before playing Eric here. “I keep putting him in my movies as the dupe.” Audiences could be forgiven for feeling duped themselves by a twisty narrative that prompts them to recalibrate their understanding of events and motives several times before the end credits. But this “keep-viewers-guessing” quality is precisely what makes Babbit’s film so deliciously entertaining.

our hitherto hidden history. “Chicago Whispers” is gossipy and entertaining, and gives the lie to those who think that, for queers, life was a desert preStonewall. But it also reminds us how courageous one had to be in those early years to maintain an active queer life despite police prosecution and mob exploitation. In his reflective introduction to de la Croix’s book, the eminent queer historian John D’Emilio writes, “Reading ‘Chicago Whispers,’ I found it hard not to notice how pervasive gender-crossing has been. It stretches across the time span covered by the book. It exists on stage and on the screen, in public and in private, as drama and as comedy, as a form of mocking social norms and as a means of finding one’s true self. It is both individual and collective. It is something that individuals can turn on and off, and something that simply is. Gender crossing — as social role and as identity — seems more encompassing and enduring than homosexuality. Is it possible, I wonder, that 50 years from now, the reigning wisdom will argue that gay and lesbian proved to be relatively short blips on the historical screen and that transgender — or what I am referring to as gender crossing — provides the more robust framework for historical understanding?” Food for thought!


24 IN THE NOH, from p.21

“I never had any real bad stalkers but I do get scared when people get your home address and it’s on the Internet. Sometimes pictures pop of me on the subway, reading sides for my auditions, and that makes you feel violated, but generally they’re lovely supportive people who come to see my shows and those of people I’ve worked with. I don’t get recognized often anymore, but that depends on where I am. In New York, people just don’t care if they do, which is nice, unless I’m in Times Square and then, yeah, it’s ‘Hey, Justin!’ “I’ve been out since I was 15 and the other day I realized it’s been 20 years! I was out way before I did the show and never thought I’d be interviewed or on TV. I remember a Showtime publicist saying, ‘You don’t have to do this’ and thinking, ‘Why would I want to go back in the closet now?’ It was so hard to come out and such a good thing to do, especially the nature of the show was all about this. Growing up, I didn’t have many people who were out, so it was important for me to be one of those people if I ever had the chance.” Harrison is amazed by the recent amount of change that’s happened since “Queer” and hopeful, but says he and his cast members “joke about how we’re the black sheep of gayness because we never get mentioned like ‘Will and Grace’ or ‘Ellen.’ Everybody seems to ignore the fact that we ever happened. I don’t know why.” The show was also far bolder in sexual content than those others, and, indeed, more so than anything being done on network TV today, which favors gays being sexless, snappy wisecrackers and parents over them seen nude and lip-locked. I mentioned to Harrison that “Queer”’s overt nudity had me knowing his butt better than my own and he laughed, “It was crazy. It was easy in the beginning because I felt like it was so important that there be this visibility and gay sexuality put on TV so people could see it, especially those who were coming out. “So, even though — I don’t want

c

THE CASTLE, from p.18

and provocative, combining agitprop polemics with bawdy comedy, observations on the nature of government and religion, and girl-ongirl action. England in the 12th century was a mess, as men returned from the Crusades and women had to give up the power they had acquired. The threats were not so much from the infidels as from civil war. The Church,

to use the word ‘gratuitous’ — it was excessive, I felt that was intentional. We were gonna put this in your face because there hadn’t been enough out there, so I felt like socially and politically it was important. Five years down the line, though, you’re like, ‘Are you fucking serious? Haven’t we had enough of this?’ I was happy to do it, but I will never do a show with that kind of sexual content again, done with that.” Harrison has a partner but wasn’t into talking about him “because I talked about my relationships in the past and got attacked. I’m very happy with my partner now and maybe things are different now, but then a lot of fans fantasized that Gale Harold and I were actually together, and got vicious with my pictures all over the Internet with things drawn over my face. So I want to spare my current partner all of that.” MATT KARAS

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July 24, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com

The stunning Renée Elise Goldsberry is a true triple threat

talent, who’s dazzled me in her careermaking “Two Gentlemen of Verona” and the brilliant “Good People,” and is currently on TV’s “The Good Wife.” It is now her time to really take center stage as a full-out star in the Encores! Off-Center’s revival of Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford’s “I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road” (131 W. 55th St., through Jul. 27; nycitycenter.org).

Renée Elise Goldsberry stars in the Encores! Off-Center’s revival of Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford’s “I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road,” through July 27 only.

and Nancy yesterday, these amazing powerhouse women who were a duo in 1978. They’d had a couple of albums and were touring with the idea of how to give voice to what was happening to women at the time. During a club set, Gretchen came up with the title, turned to Nancy and said, ‘I got it. We’re gonna do it like a woman just got a new act and is showing it to her manager during a sound check before the big night.’ It just came to her between songs, and then they kept on singing. “It’s about Heather Jones, who has been dropped from her label, is divorced and a single mom with two kids, and makes the decision to change her act. But her manager, Joe [Frederick Weller, who did a workshop of ‘The Bodyguard’ musical with Goldsberry], doesn’t agree with her decision to let her hair grow,

I remember a Showtime publicist saying, ‘You don’t have to do this’ and thinking, ‘Why would I want to go back in the closet now?’ “This is one of those experiences,” she told me, “where you think you know it’s gonna be great and you show up the first day and realize that this is so much greater than you’d thought it would be. I met Gretchen

THE CASTLE Potomac Theatre Project at Atlantic Stage 2 330 W.16th St. In repertory with “Serious Money” $30; ovationtix.com for schedule & tickets

too, was struggling to survive with its typical political malleability, using its supposed authority about the changing mysteries of the unknown to hide its self-serving hypocrisies. Power struggles were rampant, and

the threat of imminent disaster was a daily concern. In other words, it was pretty much like today. Barker’s plot is complex, but under the direction of Richard Romagnoli, the piece is clear and gripping. Jan Maxwell gives a dynamic and galvanizing per formance as S k i n n e r, a w o m a n b r a n d e d a s a witch. Alter nately heartbreaking and hilarious, Skinner has taken up with Ann, the wonder ful Jennifer Van Dyck, while the men have been

tell how old she is, and talk about being a single mom and her frustrating relationships with men — nothing marketable.” The show was not well reviewed in 1978, but producer Joe Papp believed in it and it became an audience success, which spoke for a generation of women, many of whom Goldsberry is meeting, who know every word of it and are thrilled it’s being revived. “It naturally fits vocally right where I live,” she said, “and I have a feeling I may be the one with the mic, but it might turn into one big singalong, which I would love!” The show was written by white women originally for a white woman, and Goldsberry said, “I don’t think [director] Kathleen Marshall even thought we were making a statement when I was cast. I do think that way about roles when I have an opportunity to go in — is this a wise creative casting decision? But Kathleen just casts people who are good at doing things, and this role was done by different women who all did their own thing.” I told Goldsberry that this was really going to finally be her New York star turn after so much magnificent ensemble acting, and she said, “Is it? You’re stressing me out! [laughs] ‘Two Gentleman’ was directed by Kathleen, one of the most exciting moments of my career, fit like a glove. I do think she’s a star -maker although she doesn’t get enough credit for it. I got a lot of attention in that for doing exactly what she told me to do! “It’s only Tuesday and I have a lot to learn, but I get peace from the fact that I don’t think I would be here if I couldn’t do it. One thing about all my favorite directors is that they know everybody and can get anybody they want, so if Kathleen or Daniel Sullivan or Michael Greif asks me to do something, I guess I can do it, so I better just calm down!” Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@ aol.com, follow him on Facebook and Twitter @in_the_noh, and check out his blog at http://nohway.wordpress. com/.

away. David Barlow is outstanding as Stucley, a knight back from the Crusades struggling to recapture Ann’s affections while trying to build an impenetrable castle, only to be constantly outstripped by his assumed enemies until the competition virtually destroys him. This is challenging stuff, but the production’s boldness on a virtually bare stage resonates with theatricality that is never less than entirely engaging.


25

| July 24, 2013

WeddingPrideDirectory Celebrating gay anD lesbian marriage

ATTORNEYS Ron L. Meyers, Esq.

515 Madison Ave. in New York, (212) 644–8787, ronmeyerslaw.com Ron L. Meyers is a leading practitioner of estate planning for LGBT clients. He was a major source for the New York Times’s October, 2009 feature, “The Higher Lifetime Costs of Being a Gay Couple.”

Rumbold & Seidelman, LLP

116 Kraft Ave. Ste. 3 in Bronxville, (914) 779–1050, www.adoptionlawny.com Rumbold & Seidelman has a long history of representing the LGBT community — whether through adoption or some form of collaborative reproduction.

AUTOMOTIVE Bay Ridge Subaru

1819 Cropsey Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 234–7960, www.brooklynsubarudeals.com Visit Bay Ridge Subaru for a new or used Subaru Forester, Outback, or Tribeca. It supports same-sex couples.

Ford Lincoln of Queens

39-48 Queens Blvd. in Queens , (718) 657–8888, fordlincolnofqueens.com Leave your wedding in style in a new 2013Ford Fusion Hybrid!

Habberstad BMW

945 E Jericho Tpke. in Huntington Station, (631) 271–7177, www.habberstadbmw.com Proud supporters of the LGBT community — especially if they have a taste for luxury!

CEREMONY SITES Park Avenue Christian Church

East 85th Ave. in New York, (212) 288–3246, parkavenuechristian.com The historic building has Tiffany stained-glass windows and a 56-rank Holtkamp organ that fills hearts with the glory of music.

The Riverside Church

490 Riverside Dr. in New York, (212) 870–6802, www.theriversidechurchny.org Exchange vows where Presidents and some of the most historic figures of our time have stood then finish your perfect day in one of its event halls.

St John’s Lutheran Church

81 Christopher St. in New York, (212) 242–5737, www.stjohnsnyc.org In the heart of the West Village, St John’s Lutheran Church and Rev. Mark E. Erson, Pastor, openly accepts same-sex couples.

ENTERTAINMENT M B Sound Productions Entertainment

3034 Merrick Rd. in Long Island, (516) 322–1745, www.mbsoundproductions.com MB Sound Productions & Entertainment is a professional, high tech, well equipped, and mobile DJ entertainment company servicing the tri-state area.

Metropolitan Klezmer

(212) 475–4544, www.metropolitanklezmer.com Established in 1994, Metropolitan Klezmer brings eclectic entertainment to every event by performing vibrant versions of, trance, folk, swing, and tango styles.

FAVORS

him, her, and them. Surf through its site to quickly discover just the right thing.

your source for exquisite adornments.

FERTILITY

608 Fifth Ave. in New York, (212) 751–3940, www.weddingrings.com This Fifth Avenue jeweler has been manufacturing wedding and engagement rings since 1953. It offers an unusual assortment of its own vintage-influenced designs and classical rings.

Genesis Fertility and Reproductive Medicine

Multiple locations, Genesisfertility.com, (718) 283–8600 Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine is a nationally recognized center of excellence for comprehensive fertility services.

FLORISTS Fleurs Bella

55 E 11th St. in New York, (646) 602–7036, www.fleursbella.com Fleurs Bella creates unique, floral designs, from the smallest flower arrangement to the most lavish event decor. The team at Fleurs Bella will capture the essence of your vision.

FINANCIAL COUNSELING Prymar Associates

917 Fulton St. in Brooklyn, (718) 789–7900 Prymar Associates is a one-stop destination for event needs, financial consulting, and investment guidance. Operating for 15 years, Prymar can arrange weddings and birthdays of any size.

HEALTH & BEAUTY Bay Ridge Skin & Cancer Dermatology

9921 Fourth Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 833–2793, www.bayridgederm.com Put your best face forward with the help of David Biro, who was voted one of “New York Magazine’s” best doctors. The medical office offers Botox, microdermabrasion, and laser hair removal.

Emergency Medical Care

200 Chambers St. in New York, (212) 962–6600, www.emcny.com Emergency Medical Care is a gay-friendly healthcare practice and an efficient and compassionate urgent care concept. It is a healthcare practice dedicated to better, timely medicine.

Dr. Kate Brayman, DDS: Cosmetic & General Dentistry

44 W. 10th St., Ste. 1A in New York, (212) 505–0295, www.westvillagesmile.com Contact Dr. Kate Brayman for a great smile. Her office provides teeth whitening and porcelain veneers. Look your best on your big day and call Dr. Brayman today.

Lavaan Dental Spa

474 6th Ave. in New York, (212) 837–1833, lavaansmile.com Lavaan is the only true spa for your smile. There’s no drilling, no filling, just clean, while smiles.

INVITATIONS PaperPresentation

23 W. 18th St. in New York, (212) 463–7035, www.paperpresentation.com Paper Presentation is a unique retailer of specialty papers, envelopes, custom invitations, giftwrap, craft and art supplies, and other products to inspire your creativity.

JEwELRY The Clay Pot

(516) 860–9288, www.kupcakeswithak.com Kupcakes with a K offers over a dozen different unique flavors for you to enjoy! Sold in certain locations and through its website for your party or event.

162 7th Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 788–6564, www.clay-pot.com The Clay Pot opened in 1969 as a pottery studio and now sells designer jewelry with an impressive wedding ring selection. Come visit and see what everyone is talking about!

Lou Babs & Moogs

Greenwich Jewelers

Kupcakes with a K

95A Main St. in Port Washington, (516) 883–8585, lbmgifts.com/store Lou, Babs & Moogs opened its doors in 2002, and sells an inspiring mix of unique and useful gifts for

64 Trinity Pl. in New York, (212) 964–7592, www.greenwichjewelers.com If you’re in search of something classic, contemporary, or completely eclectic, Greenwich Jewelers is

Wedding Ring Originals

MEN’S FORMAL wEAR Black Tie Formals

Multiple locations, www.blacktieofny.com Family-owned and operated since 1970, Black Tie Formals offers tuxedo and suit, rentals and sales. It has a large inventory with many labels. Come in and try on a style and see how dashing you look!

PARTY PLANNERS 2 To Tango

(646) 302–2801, www.2totango.org 2 To Tango believes that excellent planning starts with a clear understanding of the clients’ needs, style, and wishes. It offers help finding interfaith Ministers, caterers, wedding insurance, and more.

PARTY RENTAL Classic Party Rentals

336 W. 37th St. in New York, (212) 752–7661, newyork.classicpartyrentals.com At Classic Party Rentals, exceptional customer service is its hallmark. It offers a network of party specialists that can provide everything you need anywhere you need it.

REAL ESTATE SERVICES Accurate Building Inspectors

1860 Bath Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 265–8191, www.accuratebuilding.com Accurate Building Inspectors is a full-service home and building inspection firm servicing the tri-state area since 1961.

RECEPTION SITES & CATERERS Alger House

and improved Staten Island venue can provide the perfect. elegant backdrop for your reception with prime dates still available.

Le Cirque

151 E. 58th St. in New York, (212) 644–0202, www.lecirque.com Le Cirque has offered an unparalleled dining experience for over 38 years. It welcomes you to enjoy a meal in its modern, circus-themed dining room where the food is just as exciting as the decor.

The Provincetown Business Guild

3 Freeman St., Provincetown, Mass., (508) 487–2313, ptown.org In 2004 Provincetown quickly became the number one destination for LGBT unions. The inclusive, gay-friendly spirit provides the perfect place for all couples to host a wedding, commitment ceremony, or spend their honeymoon.

reBar Brooklyn Gastropub

147 Front St. in Brooklyn, (718) 766–9110. rebarnyc.com This DUMBO gastropub located on the mezzanine of a 19th century tea factory offers seasonal New American fare, 135 beers, an organic wine list, and an extensive scotch selection.

Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel

370 Canal St. in New York, (212) 966–3400, www.sheratontribeca.com Let the Sheraton Tribeca help you celebrate your same-sex wedding. The sleek, modern hotel works with various New York City wedding venues in the area.

Tio Pepe

168 W. Fourth St. in New York, (212) 242–9338, www.tiopepenyc.com At Tio Pepe you have a choice of atmosphere. The skylight dining room supplies a touch of romance while the enclosed sidewalk cafe provides a room with a view of Greenwich Village.

Top of the Garden

251 W 30th St. in New York, (212) 643–0055, www.totg.biz Top of the Garden is an L-shaped raw loft space that lets your imagination come alive for a wedding. It’s 4,000-square feet offer seamless spaces in which to primp, prep, cook, and set up.

(212) 627–8838, www.AlgerHouse.com Alger House is a great venue for smaller weddings and corporate events (30 to 106 guests). The very private reception hall has high ceilings, custom lighting, and nearby transportation.

The Vanderbilt at South Beach

Brooklyn Museum

Villa Vosilla

200 Eastern Pkwy. in Brooklyn, (718) 638–5000, www.brooklynmuseum.org The Brooklyn Museum is an extraordinary venue located in the heart of Prospect Heights. It has oneof-a-kind backdrops for private events.

Circle Line

89 South St., Pier 17 in New York, (212) 742–1969, www.nywatertaxi.com Treat your guests — and yourself — like royalty aboard an enchanting Zephyr luxury yacht for your wedding, post-wedding brunches, rehearsal dinners, and more.

Columbia’s Faculty House

64 Morningside Dr. in New York, (212) 854–1200, facultyhouse.columbia.edu A smart and stylish choice for your unique New York City wedding, the prized University landmark has classic, flexible spaces with a surprising, modern twist.

Fort William Henry Resort

48 Canada St. in Lake George, (518) 668–3081, www.fortwilliamhenry.com The gay-friendly hotel is located on 18 acres that span the entire southern shore of Lake George. It assures that your wedding will be one spectacular memory — for you, your wedding party, and guests.

Grand Oaks Country Club

200 Huguenot Ave. in Staten Island, (718) 356–2771, www.grandoaksnyc.com Formerly the South Shore Country Club, this new

300 Father Capodanno Blvd. in Staten Island, (718) 447–0800, www.vanderbiltsouthbeach.com Boasting both a luxurious banquet hall, as well as magnificent outdoor oceanfront space, 6302 Main St. in Tannersville, (518) 589–5060, www.villavosilla.com Villa Vosilla is located in the middle of the Catskill Mountains. The hotel can customize your wedding with a cocktail party and gourmet cuisine prepared by a culinary chef from Italy.

World Yacht

81 W. 41st St. in New York, (212) 630–8100, www.worldyacht.com Operating since 1981, World Yacht at Pier 81 is the premiere destination on the Hudson River. It has four stunning vessels and is an ideal venue for romantic dinners, group outings, and weddings.

Yacht Owners Association

101 W. 23rd St., New York (212) 736–1010, www.yachtsny.com Yacht Owners Association has over two decades of experience planning events at sea, and the largest number of yachts in the tri-state area. The Yacht Owners Association can accommodate weddings anywhere from 2 to 600 guests.

TRAVEL Ace World Travel

8320 13th Ave. in Brooklyn, (347) 915–4287, www.aceworldtravel.net This full-service and certified romance travel agency specializes in destination weddings and honeymoons. It can also create custom-built itineraries.


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July 24, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com

PERSPECTIVE

Trayvon Martin, and “We Are Caligula”

PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN

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A

couple of days ago, I checked out a rehearsal of Susana Cook's new play, "We Are Caligula". It felt so retro, sitting on a folding chair and watching actual humans on the stage moving around in the flesh. It was kind of about that — flesh — and the disposable body. Who gets eaten and who doesn't. What makes somebody God enough to make the choice, and somebody else so far below human they end up on the plate. In short, with an entertaining blend of show tunes, massacres, and orgies, "We Are Caligula" explores just how our species justifies war, and racism, and homophobia, and all the other stuff that ends in us devouring each other (and animals) without a second thought. Sitting there, with sweat running down the back of my knees, I started thinking about Trayvon Martin. He's one of the black bodies that doesn't count for much, either in life or death. You could say he was killed twice. Once, quickly, by George Zimmer man, another time slowly, during the Florida trial, as bigots assassinated a whole

race. I've been wanting to say something, but didn't know what. I was surprised at how many people were shocked that Zimmerman got off. As if half the white liberals on Facebook only then discovered that Dame Justice wasn't as blind as they'd thought. I guess they hadn't noticed all the straight guys getting acquitted for shooting queers. "He came onto me, I was afraid." Or how women are always getting raped and killed while their attackers go free. And when it comes to race, I seem to remember marching 15 years ago when Amadou Diallo got shot 41 times by NYPD cops who were apparently terrified of a black man raising a wallet. Fear acquitted them, too. The only question is whether the current outrage can grow legs and take off. After all, people went out in the streets after Diallo's death, but nothing much changed. Probably because it was mostly African Americans out marching in horror. After Zimmerman's recent acquittal, they've finally been joined by plenty of my white peeps who may have had a great awakening to racism, but are probably just shocked by this specific case with the shooter clearly out of control. The vic-

tim, Trayvon Martin, so young and puppyishly cute, he looks as good on a poster as Matthew Shepard. It's not enough. Even innocent, handsome, white Matthew Shepard might have disappeared from the radar if there hadn't been national LGBT groups ready to leap on his corpse for all they were worth, sending out flyers, demanding money, using his mother with incredible effect to bring attention to hate crimes legislation. "Matthew just happened to be my son, but he could have been yours, your son, your brother, your..." Which is literally true. Queers are usually born to straights, like cuckoos dropped in the nest. Black kids, on the other hand, don't turn up so randomly in white families. So another script will have to encourage whites, whether entirely racist or merely privileged, to make the leap and see kids like Trayvon as their kin. I don't see any other way to put a stake through racism's heart. Surely not by making the opposite argument, as one blog does, smarmily calling attention to white privilege by declaring, “We Are Not Trayvon Martin.” Even if it does have a certain consciousnessraising value, in the long term

crats, the Stonewall Democrats, and the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, as well a s t h e Wa s h i n g t o n - b a s e d Victory Fund, which works to elect out LGBT candidates nationwide. (The Empire State Pride Agenda has not yet announced its primary endorsements.) Influential community leaders — including the Ali Forney Center’s Carl Siciliano, SAGE’s Michael Adams, Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson, Detective Timothy Duffy, who runs the NYPD’s LGBT Liaison Unit, Stonewall’s Melissa Sklarz, and Carrie Davis,

who heads the Community Services Department at the LGBT Community Center — have contributed to the campaign. If there is a key vulnerability Menchaca has it could be his visibility in the district’s large Asian community — roughly a third of the population — concentrated in a Chinatown district in Sunset Park. While his campaign finance filing includes a scattering of Asian names, González’s list has numerous long runs of donors with the same Chinese sur names. Asked if his campaign was

WeAreNotTrayvonMartin.com also has the unintended consequence of reinforcing the idea that human experiences are so different between races that they can't be bridged. And that racism itself is a singular set of problems. If that's the case, well, what can we really do beyond maybe getting that Florida law repealed, which allows fearful folks like Zimmerman to Stand Their Ground with a loaded gun? I actually think we'd get further with a site declaring, "We Are Trayvon Martin AND Also George Zimmer man." Because even though the system weights things heavily in favor of whites from life to liberty, individually we are not as separate as we'd like, either in our goodness or evil. And any evolution of our society's culture will require an immense joint effort of the imagination that we can rarely be bothered to make. I n " We A r e C a l i g u l a , " i t rang true when a couple of worried senators (and possible victims) got together to figure out how to depose the dangerous, bloodthirsty Caligula, but ended up deciding he wasn't so bad after all, he had his reasons, and Rome's finances were doing quite well. All things considered, change was scarier than Caligula, and frankly, required too much work. "We Are Caligula" will be performed Sat., Aug. 3, 8:30 p.m. at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St., btwn. Rivington & Delancey Sts.; hotfestival.org.

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CITY COUNCIL, from p.7

tribution from the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens, a group whose Council endorsements are other wise limited to races in that borough. The club is the political home of out gay Councilman Daniel Dromm, a Jackson Heights freshman who has on more than one occasion demonstrated a willingness to be independent in a way many of his colleagues are not. Menchaca also has the support of other key gay clubs, including Brooklyn’s Lambda Independent Demo-

doing enough to court Asian voters, Menchaca said he was “proud” to say he had just won the endorsement of the Lin Sing Association, a federation of Chinese-American groups that dates back more than a century and is headquartered in Manhattan’s Chinatown. “They told me they see Sunset Park as an extension of their work,” he explained. “They said they need a connector in Sunset Park. I will be that connector.” Adding that his campaign has outreach staff fluent in a variety of Chinese dialects, he said, “We are not writing that vote off at all.”


27

| July 24, 2013

PERSPECTIVE

The Zimmerman Verdict: Three Uneasy Pieces BY SUSIE DAY

George Zimmerman Proclaimed Honorary White Man

The Sanford, Florida Volunteer Fire Department and the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution have united across class lines to declare George Zimmerman, recently acquitted of murdering African-American youth Trayvon Martin, an “Honorary White Dude.” Mr. Zimmerman, whose driver’s license lists him as Hispanic, was lauded today in a ceremony at Sanford’s City Hall. Biff Ruttler, fireman and beloved character actor on local TV pest-control commercials, gave the award presentation speech. “George was able to use his beady little eyes to look past his brown pigmentation and feel the patriotic emotion that unites all true Americans,” said Mr. Ruttler. “Terror. A deep, abiding terror of what black people, especially black men, could justifiably do to us, based on what we’ve done to them. That Skittles-wielding punk would have grown up to be one more scary black guy if George hadn’t stopped him. George Zimmerman became an American the day he shot that kid.” Although prejudice against people of color has played a role in United States history, studies have shown that 67.9 percent of white Americans hold a particular fear of African Americans, and are more afraid of encountering African-American males on the street than of getting HIV, dying in a nuclear war, or being tortured to death by a white psychopath. Most people who attended the cer-

c

DOMA, from p.4

ment that a marriage be “bona fide,” one between parties intending to live as spouses, not a marriage of convenience entered into for the purpose of getting a green card, which allows an immigrant to live and work in the US. In response to the BIA, the National Benefits Center issued a new decision in June 2012, finding that the couple was validly married under Vermont law, but refusing to consider whether the marriage was bona fide for immigration purposes. Zeleniak was again denied a visa. Polajenko appealed once more.

emony admitted that they would normally shun Mr. Zimmerman on the street for being a “person of non-Bubba descent” or PNBD. Indeed, it turned out that Mr. Zimmerman had not been invited to his own ceremony — a “social gaffe” indicating that ethnic barriers can take time to disappear. But the fact that an adult PNBD shot to death a 17-year-old, unarmed African American, and then beat a second-degree murder charge by arguing self-defense, has “liberalized” many in the conservative white establishment, who say they have changed their feelings about Hispanics. At least those Hispanics with surnames like Zimmerman.

Banana Republic and a year’s pass to a local tanning salon. Another perk is the right not to be called a “dirty immigrant” upon presentation of the Honorary White Dude card. This card must be carried at all times, along with a free, state-issued gun.

Zimmerman Jury: Putting the “Hood” Back in “Sisterhood”

the right to stand our own ground. We seek to uphold the proud tradition of criminalizing, beating, mutilating, and lynching black people. But in more feminine, institutional ways, like through the courts and the penal system.” Questioned why she did not mention the sixth, Latina, juror, H88 replied, “Huh? I don’t remember seeing her. When we say ‘women,’ honey, we mean white women. Don’t you know anything about the women’s movement?” Asked if, by claiming equal rights with men, she calls herself a feminist, Juror H88 paused. “Oh, no,” she replied in a shocked voice. “No, sir. Being a feminist means that you are for abortion. Abortion means the tragic and unnecessary killing of an innocent child. I could never condone that. That would be murder.”

“It’s not so much who you are racially,” said Sally Belvedere, mother and high school nutritionist, at the event. “It’s who you shoot. What made me rethink my own racism toward Mr. Zimmer man is that he showed no remorse in court. You know, I think honoring people like George as White Dudes is the modernizing tack we in the Republican Party need to take if we want to beat Hillary.” Privileges of being Honorary White Dude include a 40 percent discount at

A woman on the six-woman Zimmerman jury, known only as Juror H88, has publicly criticized Juror B37, who gave an interview recently to CNN. In that interview, Juror B37, seated in shadow to avoid identification, stated that George Zimmerman “had good in his heart” and was “justified” in shooting Trayvon Martin. Juror H88 then gave an interview to Fox News, saying that, although Mr. Martin’s killing was justified, her colleague missed the point: White women uniting to acquit Mr. Zimmerman was a “wake-up call” to the nation to implement “equal opportunity racism’” as a major crime deterrent. “Together, we said NO to violent, unarmed thugs in our neighborhood,” declared Juror H88. “And those thugs wear some real ugly hoodies, honey. Give me one a them pointy white sheets with a couple of eyeholes cut out, any day.” Juror H88 spoke seated in shadow so that her pointy white sheet with the eyeholes cut out could not be seen. “No more will our menfolk objectify us as defenseless, lily-white magnolias,” Juror H88 continued. “We women demand

We interrupt these satires for a true story that may seem satirical. In 2010, Marissa Alexander, an African-American woman, fired some shots into the ceiling of her Florida home. She did this to ward off another beating by her estranged husband, from whom she held an order of protection. The shots killed or injured no one, but may have stopped her from being killed. Believing she had done no wrong, Ms. Alexander rejected a plea-bargain for a three-year prison sentence, which would have meant losing custody of her younger daughter, only nine days old at the time of the incident. She opted to go to court to defend her action, using the same Stand Your Ground law invoked in the Zimmerman case. Unlike Mr. Zimmerman, Marissa Alexander lost her case. In May 2012, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Getting Marissa Alexander out of jail could never make up for Trayvon Martin’s death. But it might help dismantle the system that killed him. To learn more, visit marissaalexander.com.

This time, as the DOMA litigation unfolding in several federal courts made clear the issue was headed to the Supreme Court, the BIA sat on the appeal, as it did on many pending cases, waiting for a definitive ruling. The BIA’s new decision on Polajenko’s petition holds that the Windsor decision “removed Section 3 of the DOMA as an impediment to the recognition of lawful same-sex marriages and spouses if the marriage is valid under the laws of the State where it was celebrated.” The BIA decision sustained Polajenko’s appeal, noting that the

National Benefits Center had already deter mined that the marriage is valid under Ver mont law, “where the marriage was celebrated.” All that remains for that agency to do is establish that the couple’s marriage was bona fide, and not one of convenience. The ruling now becomes the precedent, and presumably a stream of rulings on backed-up appeals will follow. The BIA did not address the issue directly, but presumably the place of celebration rule also extends to marriages between US citizens and foreign nationals that take place outside the US in countries that allow

same-sex marriages. Homeland Security has been issuing green cards over the past few weeks in response to I-130 petitions in accord with Napolitano’s direction, and this BIA ruling lines up the Justice Department with Homeland Security on the impor tant issue of “place of celebration,” which means that married samesex couples will be recognized for immigration purposes, regardless of where they are living, so long as their marriages are found to be between two men or two women who intend to share their lives as spouses.

We interrupt these satires for a true story that may seem satirical, one that involves Marissa Alexander, an African-American woman.

S t a n d Yo u r G r o u n d : Whites Only


28

July 24, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com

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Federal Appeals Court Nixes Sex Sting Arrest Man snared by park ranger’s encouragement avoids a 15-day jail sentence BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD

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eversing decisions by a federal district court judge and a magistrate judge, a panel of the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has acquited a gay man convicted of disorderly conduct for groping an undercover federal ranger in North Carolina in 2009. The 2-1 decision came in an appeal brought by Joe Lanning, who was targeted in a vice sting operation at the Sleepy Gap Overlook of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville. Writing for the appeals panel, Judge James A. Wynn, Jr., found that “no rational trier of fact could find beyond a reasonable doubt” that Lanning’s “brief touch of the ranger’s crotch, done in response to the ranger’s deliberate attempt to convince Defendant that he would have sex with him, was ‘physically threatening or menacing’ or ‘likely to inflict injury or incite an immediate breach of the peace.’” Under the circumstances, Lanning’s conduct was not “obscene,” Wynn found. The US Park Service and Forest Service, claiming to have received complaints from members of the public that Sleepy Gap had become a locus of gay male sex activity, undertook a joint operation “designed to enable officers to identify and arrest men who were using the area for sexual solicitation or activity with other men.” Joe Darling, a 200-pound, 33-year-old park ranger, was assigned to undercover duty and was out looking to find gay men to arrest. He spotted Lanning, a 62-yearold retiree, on a trail near the overlook, and set out to provoke him into conduct that would provide the basis for an arrest. “As Darling walked past Defendant, Defendant grabbed his own groin and kept walking,” Wynn wrote in his summary of the trial record. “Dar ling said hello and also kept walking. Five or ten minutes later, after walking around in the woods and talking to a few other people, Darling went looking for Defendant and found him standing by himself on an unofficial trail. Darling engaged Defendant in a casual conversation about the weather for several minutes. Darling then commented that Asheville was ‘an open community,’ accepting of a homosexual lifestyle. Defendant responded that he ‘wanted to be F’ed.’ Darling replied ‘okay or yes, or some to that affirma-

tive,’ and ‘gave Lanning every reason to believe that Darling was good to go.’ At that point, Defendant — who was facing Darling and standing approximately three to five feet away from him — turned around, took one or two steps backward towards Darling, and, with his left hand, reached back and ‘very briefly’ touched Darling’s fullyclothed crotch. Darling described the touch as ‘a fairly firm grasp’ that lasted ‘very briefly,’” until he could get out the words: “Police officer, you’re under arrest.” Lanning was charged with “disorderly conduct” under an Interior Department regulation that states that a person is guilty of “disorderly conduct” if he “uses language, an utterance, or gesture, or engages in a display or act that is obscene, physically threatening or menacing, or done in a manner that is likely to inflict injury or incite an immediate breach of the peace.” District Judge Martin K. Reidiner upheld a magistrate judge’s 15-day prison sentence and $500 fine for Lanning, but did not allow the magistrate to also bar him from visiting any federal parks for two years. Lanning appealed to the Fourth Circuit, claiming the government failed to meet its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he had engaged in disorderly conduct. On the question of whether Lanning’s conduct was “obscene,” the appeals court found that “under these circumstances, we cannot conclude that anyone ‘of ordinary intelligence’ would understand that such conduct is ‘morally repulsive’ or ‘offensively or grossly indecent’ or ‘lewd.’” The term, it concluded, was “unconstitutionally vague as applied in this case.” “The real risk,” Wynn wrote, is “that the provision may be ‘arbitrarily and discriminatorily enforced,’” because this sting operation “specifically targeted gay men. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, the all-male undercover rangers arrested only men on the basis of disorderly homosexual conduct. The impetus for the sting operation: citizen complaints. Darling testified that ‘the public was concerned’ about ‘male on male activity in that area that was targeted.’ Darling testified that every single one of the citizen complaints had been about homosexuals. It may be that gay men engage more frequently in sexual activity in

c

SEX STING, continued on p.31


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| July 24, 2013

US Judge Orders Ohio to Recognize a Same-Sex Marriage

LEGAL

31

Gay man with just days to live will have union recorded on death certificate BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD

U

S District Judge Timothy S. Black has ordered that a Cincinnati samesex couple married in Maryland is entitled to a temporary restraining order requiring the local registrar of death certificates to record them as married when one, fatally ill, passes away. The July 22 ruling followed a dramatic July 11 trip by James Obergefell and John Arthur in a special medicallyequipped jet to an airport in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, where they were married in the jet while it sat on the tarmac. Obergefell and Arthur have lived together in “a committed and intimate relationship” for 20 years. Arthur is dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease, and they resolved to be married before he died. With the US Supreme Court’s ruling in the Edie Windsor case on June 26, striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, they took the

c

STONEWALL, from p.10

of Liberty, Mount Vernon, and Valley Forge.” But there is no plaque indicating that the area is on these historic lists because the federal government does not do that for private buildings. Carter is hopeful the new plaque will list those designations, but the organizers of the event would not share the text in advance. Carter also noted that the Parks Department has a sign in Christopher Park that accompanies George Segal’s sculpture “Gay Liberation” featuring a male couple and a female couple — created in 1980 but not installed until 1992 — that recounts some of the uprising’s history. Those statues

c

SEX STING, from p.28

the Blue Ridge Parkway and therefore generate more citizen complaints. Yet it is entirely plausible that the public in and around the Blue Ridge Parkway subjectively finds homosexual conduct, even relatively innocuous conduct such as that at issue here, particularly ‘morally repulsive’ and ‘grossly indecent,’ and therefore complains. If the public is, by contrast, not similarly troubled by a woman propositioning her boyfriend for sex and then briefly touching his clothed crotch, there would exist no

chance that a marriage performed in Maryland might be recognized in Ohio. This was crucial to establish Obergefell’s status as a surviving spouse, which, among other things, would qualify him to ultimately be buried next to Arthur in the family plot at Cincinnati’s Spring Grove Cemetery where Arthur wishes to be interred. It would also, of course, entitle Obergefell to federal recognition as a surviving spouse for tax and benefits purposes. Judge Black concluded, based on the Windsor ruling, that, at least for purposes of issuing temporary injunctive relief, Obergefell and Arthur are entitled to the remedy they are seeking. “This is not a complicated case,” he wrote. “The issue is whether the State of Ohio can discriminate against samesex marriages lawfully solemnized out of state, when Ohio law has historically and unambiguously provided that the validity of a marriage is determined by whether it complies with the law of the jurisdiction where it was celebrated.” Most of Black’s opinion is devoted to

reviewing the well-established Ohio rule, which has been applied to recognize a variety of marriages that could not have been performed in that state. For Black, the bottom line of the Windsor decision is that it violates federal equal protection requirements for a state to accord unequal treatment to married same-sex couples. The Supreme Court rejected all the purported justifications for the federal government denying recognition to such marriages. “Even if the classification of same-sex couples legally married in other states is reviewed under the last demanding rational basis test,” wrote Black, “this Court on this record cannot find a rational basis for the Ohio provisions discriminating against lawful, out-of-state same-sex marriages that is not related to the impermissible expression of disapproval of same-sex married couples. Consequently, Plaintiffs have demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits.” The judge also easily found that the remaining requirements for pre-trial

relief had been satisfied: irreparable injury to the plaintiffs if relief is not granted, lack of any harm to the defendants (Republican Governor John Kasich and other state officials) if relief is granted, and the public interest, which he said “is promoted by the robust enforcement of constitutional rights.” Although the court’s order only involves the local death registrar, it lays the groundwork for a more permanent order requiring Ohio to recognize out-ofstate marriages. The opinion makes no reference to Section 2 of DOMA, which purports to excuse states from affording “full faith and credit” to same-sex marriages contracted in other states, and which was not at issue in the Windsor case. For Black, however, federal equal protection clearly trumps Ohio’s antimarriage constitutional amendment and statutes. Ohio’s Republican attorney general, Mike DeWine, announced he will appeal Black’s ruling. Black was appointed to the federal district court in Cincinnati by President Barack Obama in 2009.

were protested when first created as being unrepresentative of the multiracial, multi-sexual uprising, especially by Craig Rodwell, the original owner of the Oscar Wilde Bookshop — located for decades just down the street — who in 1970 co-founded the Christopher Street Liberation Day March that is today called the LGBT Pride Parade. (Full disclosure: This reporter worked peripherally with a group led by the late Bruce Voeller, a co-founder of the National Gay and Lesbian T ask Force, that pushed Mayor David Dinkins to okay the statues’ location in the park.) The area in front of the Stonewall was dedicated as “Stonewall Place” in 1989 by Mayor Ed Koch in the midst

of his unsuccessful run for a fourth term, an event I covered as a reporter. Koch was besieged by angry members of ACT UP holding up placards that looked like tombstones attacking his failed AIDS policies. Duberman was standing next to him as the second scheduled speaker and after the mayor fled the platform, unable to be heard above the din of protests, Duberman told the crowd, he recalled last week, “I take no pleasure in sharing a platform with Ed Koch.” Jim Fouratt, one of the original members of GLF, wrote in an email, “I do not consider the Stonewall Inn a symbol of liberation but one of oppression. It remains in the same ‘family’ that it did in 1969… What needs to be

memorialized is the sidewalk and part of Christopher St. that contained the human spark that made a rebellion that has fundamentally changed the lives of lesbian and gay people of all gender expression everywhere.” Artist Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, a prominent veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion, said, “The ongoing process of things being rewritten or made up [about Stonewall] bothers me. They totally leave out the class element, which is a major component.” In her poem for the occasion, “Stonewall,” McLane, the author of three books of poems, begins, “Let this medallion stand/ for nothing planned” and says the rebellion was “a spontaneous paroxysm/ a cataclysm of visibility.”

citizen complaints and no related sting, even for otherwise identical heterosexual conduct. Simply enforcing the disorderly conduct regulation on the basis of citizen complaints therefore presents a real threat of anti-gay discrimination.” On the question of whether Lanning’s behavior was “physically threatening or menacing,” Wynn wrote, “it defies logic that Darling was shocked by Defendant’s touch when it was, in fact, precisely what Darling had been ‘stringing Defendant along’ to do — to cross a certain line” so that he could arrest him. “Facts matter,” the judge wrote. “Had Defendant and

Darling engaged in flirtatious conversation that did not involve an agreement to have sex, a reasonable person might well have felt physically threatened or menaced” by Lanning’s actions. “Likewise, had Defendant pinned Darling down and attempted to remove Darling’s clothing, a reasonable person, even one who had consented to sex, might well have felt physically threatened or menaced by that conduct.” In a similar vein, the court rejected the notion that Lanning’s conduct was “done in a manner that is likely to inflict injury or incite an immediate breach of

the peace.” Wynn and Circuit Judge Henry Franklin Floyd, who joined in his opinion, were both appointed by President Barack Obama. The dissenter, Allyson Kay Duncan, appointed by George W. Bush, accused the majority of failing to accord “the level of deference to the magistrate judge’s findings of fact required by our standard of review. I believe that a rational trier of fact could have found a physical touching such as this implying an immediate intent to engage in sexual activity in public both obscene and physically threatening or menacing.”


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July 24, 2013 | www.gaycitynews.com

GAY CITY NEWS, JULY 24, 2013  

JULY 24, 2013 ISSUE OF GAY CITY NEWS

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