Issue 398


Queer As Folks

Yorek and Hart Crowned ICOM Emperor XIX and Empress XIX

At Coronation XIX on August 14 at the Minneapolis Radisson Plaza Downtown in Minneapolis, Steven Yorek and Roxie Hart were crowned Emperor XIX and Empress XIX of the Imperial Court of Minnesota (ICOM). On September 11 at the Gay 90’s, the organization will host Investiture XIX, at which the monarchs will install their Line of Succession, including the Prince Royale and Princess Royale. Read the rest of this entry »


Reparative Therapy Lawsuits?

It’s time to stop reparative therapy! A week ago, I met another younger man who went through gay “reparative therapy.” This wonderful man in his mid-20s had horrid stories about what occurred in “reparative therapy.” This is nothing short of modern-day torture.

My conversation with this young man is what prompted my letter. Unfortunately, I have heard this type of story a few other times, and each time, I have been appalled.

The American Medical Association’s position on reparative therapy, which is listed under Patient-Centered Policies, states that the organization “opposes, the use of ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.”

When I think of lawsuits against those running “reparative therapy,” I first think of a huge reward for pain and suffering. Then, I think of recouping the cost of “reparative therapy,” and recouping the cost of real therapy to help one recover from “reparative therapy.”

Further, if youth are forced into “reparative therapy,” I interpret this as child abuse. Just as the legal system has forced parents to give children cancer treatment when the parents would rather only use prayer, it seems the legal system could stop parents from forcing GLBT youth to attend harmful reparative therapy sponsored by religion.

I see the potential for some significant legal lawsuits with huge rewards as a way to stop “reparative therapy” abuse of our GLBT community. I challenge our community (including straight allies) to figure out how to get this done.

Jerome Hager

Letters are subject to editing for grammar, punctuation, space, and libel. They should be no more than 300 words. Letters must include name, address, and phone number. Unsigned letters will not be published. Priority will be given to letters that refer to material previously published in Lavender Magazine. Submit letters to Lavender Magazine, Letters to the Editor, 3715 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407; or e-mail <>.

Big Gay News

National News

Iowa Group Hopes To Oust Pro-Gay-Marriage Justices

The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, who failed to receive the Republican gubernatorial nomination in June, has announced he’s starting a group called Iowa for Freedom. It aims to oust three of the Iowa Supreme Court justices who were part of the unanimous 2009 ruling that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. The trio will be on the ballot in November. Vander Plaats told reporters, “They clearly legislated from the bench by saying Iowa will be a same-sex marriage state.” He added that the ultimate goal of the organization is to “preserve liberty, and protect our rights.” Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Campaign President to Appear at Local Gala Dinner

Interview with Joe Solmonese

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve GLBT equality. No Excuses: The 21st Annual Twin Cities HRC Gala Dinner takes place September 11.

National HRC President Joe Solmonese and actress Kristen Johnson will appear at the event, along with Senator Al Franken, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Representative Keith Ellison. Local entertainers Foxy Tan, Erin Schwab, Nic Lincoln, and Jon Herseth will perform. Read the rest of this entry »

Stonewalling and the Stonewall Legacy

Target and Twin Cities Pride Keep Mum on Sponsorship

After Mark Dayton won the Democratic gubernatorial primary on August 10, his Republican opponent, Tom Emmer, swiftly launched hyperbolic ads warning that Dayton and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner want to “impose” same-sex marriage on Minnesotans.

Target Corporation recently donated $150,000 to MN Forward, a political action committee that backs antigay Emmer. Ironically, Target is known for its inclusion of GLBT employees. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Townsend

The Art of Aging
Through Sept. 5
Minneapolis Central Public Library
300 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.
(952) 847-8000

As you enter this numinous exhibit, you see two large photographs by Bette Globus Goodman that look right into the faces of a woman confronting cancer and a woman with many wrinkles. It sets the tone for a viewing experience that makes no apology for looking at aging candidly. A wistful edge to it all recalls the distant faded past.

Karen Searle uses cord and clothespins to signify a clothesline, with little-girl dresses knitted from copper wire and painted. Another clothesline displays little-girl images like those you’d see in a locket. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Record

Disconnect from Desire
School of Seven Bells

Here’s a bit of cool electronic pop for the final hot days of summer. School of Seven Bells—a trio made up of Benjamin Curtis (formerly of Secret Machines), and twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza (drawn from the wonderfully named On! Air! Library!)—make music that is loaded with space and mood, but also has a real musical drive. If you were around in the early 1990s, think Curve, but with Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins as the vocalist. On their second album, School of Seven Bells unleash 10 of their signature tunes, from the appropriately swirling “Dust Devil” to “Joviann.” Lots of acts draw on the superficial sounds of the past, but School of Seven Bells embraces these influences as just part of their sound. Even a cut like “Carmarilla,” which brings to mind genre godfathers Kraftwerk, also clearly is a song from 2010. Toss in the pure joy of opener “Windstorm,” and you get plenty of musical pleasure. Read the rest of this entry »

Homecare Assist

My family went through an ordeal recently: moving my grandmother from her one-bedroom apartment to senior housing. Her new home, affiliated with her beloved Moravian church, is more than most of us could ask for in her circumstances—spacious, comfortable, and flexible enough to provide her with more care if she needs it. Moreover, homemade meals, daily social activities, and outings keep her quality of life high. She was not exactly thrilled to be leaving her apartment, though, and our family was hard-pressed to help her scale back her intimidating amount of possessions. But it was inarguable that caring for herself, and keeping her apartment clean and organized, became too much for her. Read the rest of this entry »

Fighting Words: “Ground Zero Mosque”

In 1978, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defended the rights of the Illinois Nazis of the National Socialist Party of America to stage a march in Skokie, a heavily Jewish community, many of which were Holocaust survivors.

Today, as emotions reach white heat over the issue of building a “Mosque at Ground Zero,” Abraham Fishman, head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), says of the bereaved, “Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would characterize as irrational.”

Really? Of course, the bereaved are entitled to whatever positions their emotions dictate—but should feelings trump the Constitution for everyone else? Free speech? Freedom to worship? The simple legality of erecting a within-code building on private property?

As Valerie Dixon—among others—pointed out in The Washington Post, “Islam did not attack the United States on September 11, 2001. Criminals attacked this nation.”

Just so, Christianity did not blow up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City—rather, a criminal from a Christian background.

Citizens of some 90 countries were killed on 9/11, numbers of them Muslims. Despite ADL’s position on the superiority of survivor anguish, not all the bereaved agree.

In a moving August 16 Newsweek piece, two mothers who lost firefighter sons spoke out. One was adamantly against the center, while the other declared, “If we manage to get it built, and can avoid violence in the process, the world can see that we believe in and practice freedom of religion.”

And the center itself? After objections to the name “Cordoba House,” it became “Park51,” from its Park Place address. Planned for its 100,000 square feet are a large Islamic “prayer room” (the mosque?), classrooms, an auditorium, galleries, a restaurant, a swimming pool, a gym—and a memorial to 9/11 victims.

Never was it thought that Park51 would be on “Ground Zero.” It would not even be visible from the 16-acre site.

One of the founders, Feisal Abdul Rauf, for 30 years has been imam (pastor) of an existing mosque, a tiny storefront just 10 blocks north.

President Barack Obama remarked, “As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.”

Obama added later that he wasn’t passing judgment on the wisdom of building at that location, but “on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about.”

Waffling? No. The two are entirely different issues.

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