1. Here is the obituary for Tyron Garner, who died on Monday of meningitis. We remember the name of the man with whom he was arrested for violating the Texas Homosexual Conduct Law, because it is John G. Lawrence's name that is memorialized in the case name Lawrence v. Texas. The obituary tells the story of the arrest this way:
Shortly before 10:30, an unidentified man called the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and told the dispatcher that “a black male was going crazy in the apartment and he was armed with a gun.”Garner is described repeatedly as very quiet and unassuming. R.I.P.
The caller turned out to be Mr. Eubanks, who told deputies he was jealous of Mr. Garner, with whom he argued that evening and had fought physically in the past.
Mr. Garner and Mr. Lawrence were then alone together in the apartment, fueling Mr. Eubanks’s rage.
Mr. Eubanks stood at the door when the police arrived and directed them to go inside, where, he said, a man was threatening neighbors with a gun. No gun was found, but the police entered with trepidation. Inside, a still-mysterious man on a telephone directed them to a bedroom in the back.
They shouted out several times and entered the bedroom. They said Mr. Garner and Mr. Lawrence were engaged in sex. One deputy said they continued obliviously for as long as a minute. Another deputy said they stopped immediately.
Why the deputies enforced the sodomy law, a rarity, is unclear, wrote Mr. Carpenter, who said he doubted that the officers actually saw any sex. He dismissed widespread speculation that the event was staged as a vehicle to test the law, saying that among other reasons, the men were too inarticulate for appearances in the news media.
2. Here's a story about the "revival" of activism against the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (datelined Madison, Wisconsin):
In August the gay rights group Soulforce opened a national campaign by recruiting openly gay people, including the three young men in Madison, who would have enlisted in the military if not for “don’t ask, don’t tell.” [As part of that campaign, two young people who were rejected as applicants on Tuesday at a recruitment center in Chicago returned there on Wednesday and engaged in a sit-in. They were arrested but later released without charges.]Republicans, Republicans... spare me. The Democrats aren't gay rights heroes on this. There are 201 of them in the House, and you know they have constituents who are more likely to want the policy changed, so it's less politically risky for them. I'm not impressed by either party on this issue. [ADDED: Captain Ed links to the NYT article and states his strong support for allowing gays people to serve in the military.]
The move to change the policy faces stiff resistance from the Pentagon and Republicans in Congress, who, in a time of war during a tough election year, have no longing for another contentious debate about gay troops. The House bill, introduced last year by Representative Martin T. Meehan, Democrat of Massachusetts, has picked up 119 supporters, but only five of them Republicans.
3. Next, "Is This Campus Gay-Friendly?" A few days ago, I heard a street preacher try to alarm the passing students with the news that Madison is the "Capital of Lesbianism," but nevertheless, my campus is not mentioned in the article. The article reports on the book “The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students," and I wonder how well the book does at really finding the places that are truly friendly to gay people:
Jeremy Marshall, a 20-year-old junior at Duke University and the president of Duke Allies, a student organization for those who support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, said he was surprised Duke was listed among the top 20 friendliest schools.Googling, I see that UW did end up somewhere near #20 on the Advocate's list. I think we'd be much higher if it weren't for some issues at the state law level, which must have affected how we were scored on the 20-factor checklist.
“I don’t think Duke has warranted that position yet,” he said. “We were ranked one of the most homophobic schools in 1999,” by Princeton Review.
Mr. Marshall said he believes tolerance will improve eventually, but he was unhappy with the funding to Duke Allies this year and said that homophobic slurs can still be heard on campus.
The school has several gay awareness programs that make it look “good on paper,” Mr. Marshall said, yet “the real challenge is changing the hearts and minds of students.”
4. This isn't directly a gay story, but it's on my list of things I found interesting, from one of the articles in the fashion section: "a men’s suit of heavy blue shirting with an 80-inch-drawstring waist." There's a photo on the second page of the article. Of course, a skinny guy is modeling it, but the text of the article indicates these pants would be useful for a man with some "body flaws" to hide. I can't really picture a fat guy in 80-inch waist drawstring pants that purport to be part of a suit. If there is one thing that hides a man's body flaws, it's the traditional suit, with unobtrusive pants. This thing on a fat guy would not only keep him looking fat, it would make him look crazy.
CORRECTION: Sorry I had 1, 2, 3, 5 on those items all day. There actually was a fifth item on that list I referred to, but it didn't fit the theme and it became the next post. Hence the foolish numbering! That was not some "hidden theme" of innumeracy or some inside joke. Corrected.