VIDEO AND TRANSCRIPT: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech today on LGBT rights

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today delivered what LGBT advocates are calling a historic speech, in which Clinton declared unequivocally that LGBT rights are the same as racial equality and rights for women.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Speaking at the United Nations human rights programs headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in honor of International Human Rights Day — which is Saturday, Dec. 10 — Clinton also announced that the U.S., under the Obama administration, will from now on consider a country’s treatment of its LGBT citizens when deciding on foreign aid for that country.

Here is the full transcript of Clinton’s address:

“Good evening, and let me express my deep honor and pleasure at being here. I want to thank Director General Tokayev and Ms. Wyden along with other ministers, ambassadors, excellencies, and UN partners. This weekend, we will celebrate Human Rights Day, the anniversary of one of the great accomplishments of the last century.

“Beginning in 1947, delegates from six continents devoted themselves to drafting a declaration that would enshrine the fundamental rights and freedoms of people everywhere.  In the aftermath of World War II, many nations pressed for a statement of this kind to help ensure that we would prevent future atrocities and protect the inherent humanity and dignity of all people. And so the delegates went to work. They discussed, they wrote, they revisited, revised, rewrote, for thousands of hours. And they incorporated suggestions and revisions from governments, organizations and individuals around the world.

“At three o’clock in the morning on Dec. 10, 1948, after nearly two years of drafting and one last long night of debate, the president of the U.N. General Assembly called for a vote on the final text.

“Forty-eight nations voted in favor; eight abstained; none dissented. And the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted. It proclaims a simple, powerful idea: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And with the declaration, it was made clear that rights are not conferred by government; they are the birthright of all people.

“It does not matter what country we live in, who our leaders are or even who we are. Because we are human, we therefore have rights. And because we have rights, governments are bound to protect them.

—  admin

‘America’ first

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FOLLOW THE FLAG | Chris Evans makes a charismatic star-spangled super-soldier — and is pretty easy of the eyes out of costume, below.

Throwback actioner ‘Capt. America’ is more classic war film than sci-fi orgy

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

With three weeks of 100-degree days and counting, summer feels like it’s in full force, but for Hollywood, it’s nearly the end of its useful life. Only one more weekend in July, giving films a month to earn money before kids go back to school and their free time gets absorbed with homework. And that means the end of the Summer of the Superhero.

It has definitely been that. Starting with Thor on May 6, there has hardly been a weekend that didn’t see the debut some movie based on a comic book and/or featuring mutant, alien, magical or robotic heroes: Priest, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, Transformers, Harry Potter; Cowboys and Aliens and Conan the Barbarian are on their heels.

That puts this weekend’s big release, Captain America: The First Avenger, in the middle of the pack, but really, it’s pretty well above it. Although part of the Marvel Comics heroes universe, Steve Rogers (aka the Cap’n) is ideally part of a different era: A World War II pin-up boy who fought the Germans with old fashioned American muscle, wielding a symbolic red, white & blue circular shield. He doesn’t shoot fire from his fingers, he shoots bullets from a pistol. His herodom is oversized, but still on a human scale, and still relateable.

In many ways, the films is freed up by its period roots and the fact the hero is one of the least well-known in the Marveldom (at least among those getting their own franchises). You go to Spider-Man, you expect to see Aunt May and J. Jonah Jameson and Mary Jane. Capt. America has a nemesis — the evil Nazi Red Skull (brilliantly played with a Werner Herzog accent by Hugo Weaving) — and an iconic costume but is otherwise not tied to a strong supporting cast. You can fiddle with his origin story and not have the blogosphere inundated with sniping. You can, in short, make a superhero movie that looks more like a traditional war picture. And that taps an entirely different lobe on the male action-movie-loving brain.

Joe Johnston, the film’s director, is hardly an A-lister, having churned out lowbrow pabulum like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Jurassic Park III and Jumanji. But he’s also proved himself a stylish and occasionally sensitive director of period films, including The Rocketeer, October Sky and last year’s The Wolfman.

The former two — as well as the TV show The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (he even won an Oscar for his special effects on Raiders of the Lost Ark) — served him well on Capt. America. In addition to being generally of the same era, they have an art deco look that sets them apart visually from the excessively CGI’d flash of something like Green Lantern.

Not that there isn’t a lot of CGI — most notably, keeping hunky star Chris Evans looking like a 90-lb. weakling during the 45-minute lead up to the creation of super-soldier Steve Rogers. I don’t pretend to know how they did it, only can report, admiringly, that the effect is flawless. (The downside is that it necessarily means you get less time to stare at the yoked slab of man-meat that is Evans.)

A weakness in the film is that it spends so much time setting up Steve to become Capt. America, it eventually rushes through his actual exploits fighting Red Skull and his evil corps Hydra. It’s under two hours but could afford another 15 of his heroics. The denouement feels rushed and not wholly satifsying.)

Still, in a post-bin Laden U.S., there’s something primal and patriotic watching a man in a flag-colored costume charge boldly into danger, facing off against a flat-out villain. Even when he was originally created, Capt. America was as much a war bonds salesman as a fantasy hero, a representative of the Greatest Generation. Surely, 70 years later, we’ve outgrown such two-dimensional rah-rah jingoism.

Like hell we have. Just ask Seal Team 6.

………………………………

‘Tabloid:’ A pale London Confidential

Tabloid
When the scandal over Rupert Murdoch’s media empire broke last week, Errol Morris must have been licking his chops. In the mid of intense media coverage over tabloid journalism, the documentary filmmaker — who gave Dallas (deservedly) a bloody nose with the endlessly fascinating The Thin Blue Line and dove into the effects of unpopular wars with both The Fog of War and Standard Operating Procedure — has a new film coming out titled, serendipitously enough, Tabloid. Every Daily Show bit is as good as free advertising.
If only the film warranted more intense attention.

Tabloid isn’t anywhere near his best work, although when it comes to Errol Morris, even mediocre is event-like filmmaking. It’s stylish and stylized, from the titles (in fonts to make them look like National Enquirer headlines) to Morris’ signature interview style to the historic montages and moody, investigative score. But the focus isn’t there; it’s as if he had to make a mortgage payment and this is all he could come up with.

The subject is actually only tangentially related to journalism; it’s really about Joyce McKinney, a former Miss Wyoming who in the 1970s became romantically involved with a Mormon, only to later be accused of kidnapping him (even though it was really the Mormons who abducted and brainwashed him). McKinney recounts how the British press turned her into a maniac — labeling the scandal “the Manacled Mormon,” publishing naked photos of her that were doctored (she says) — while simultaenously she was using the press for her own purposes.

There’s a lot of fascinating stuff going on here, especially barbs tossed from a gay ex-Mormon activist at the craziness of the LDS church (magic underwear? No shit!) and a post-script about how McKinney eventually made news again years later in a bizarre story involving immortal housepets, but ultimately, it’s all unfathomable. Not a lot of questions are answered — it’s all an elaborate he said/she said/they said —although there’s something undeniably interesting in seeing Morris work his way through it, like seeing a great actor appear in an ad for orange juice: You know he’s capable of so much better, but can’t help but admire the talent he brings to such a minor work.

— A.W.J.

Two and a half stars
Now playing at the Angelika Film Centers in Dallas and Plano

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 22, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

LGBT synagogue helps bring exhibit on Nazi persecution of gays to Dallas Holocaust Museum

Prisoners at forced labor in the Mauthausen concentration camp. Beginning in 1943, homosexuals were among those in concentration camps who were killed in an SS-sponsored “extermination through work” program. (Courtesy of Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, courtesy U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

“Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933 – 1945,” a traveling exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., will be at the Dallas Holocaust Museum June 3-Sept. 5, museum president and CEO Alice Murray announced today.

Congregation Beth El Binah, an LGBT Reform Jewish congregation, is working with the museum to secure funding to bring the exhibit to Dallas and develop programming around the exhibition.

Museum spokeswoman Nanette Fodell said, “We’re thrilled and looking forward to welcoming the LGBT community to the museum.”

When Hitler came to power in 1933, he banned all gay and lesbian organizations and the 1871 law known as Paragraph 175 was enforced:

A male who commits lewd and lascivious acts with another male or permits himself to be so abused for lewd and lascivious acts, shall be punished by imprisonment. In a case of a participant under 21 years of age at the time of the commission of the act, the court may, in especially slight cases, refrain from punishment.

In 1935, it was amended to include this “Confinement in a penitentiary not to exceed ten years.”

After World War II, gays who survived concentration camps were imprisoned to finish their sentences. Time served in a concentration camp did not count toward their sentences.

Paragraph 175 was repealed in 1993.

The partnership between Beth El Binah and the museum began last summer when Westboro Baptist Church picketed both the synagogue and the museum. That day, a fundraising record was hit for a Phelps protest when $11,000 was raised for Resource Center Dallas.

Congregation President Diane Litke said, “Our friendship with the museum and bringing this exhibit to Dallas is just more good that came from Fred Phelps visit.”

The Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance, 211 N. Record St. is located in Downtown Dallas at West End Station. Mon.–Fri. 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

—  David Taffet

TRAVEL: San Francisco is Queertopia

The City by the Bay is a must visit for all gay Texans — World Series titles notwithstanding

NICK VIVION  | Special Contributor
lifestyle@dallasvoice.com

San Francisco is regularly recognized as one of the world’s most visited cities, and equally as often is dubbed the most European city in America. The Bay Area boasts a live-and-let-live ethos that has attracted a population with equal parts creativity and quirk (it’s the fictional homes of Marvel’s X-Men and Star Trek’s United Federation of Planets).

It’s also just about the gayest city in the world, a veritable Capital of the Queers — some estimates put 30 percent of the population as LGBT-identified. And despite their baseball team trouncing the Rangers in last year’s World Series, it’s still a desirable travel destination for gay Texans.

The city has welcomed the weary, the weird and the wacky for more than a century. The first wave was during the Gold Rush of the 1800s. The prospectors had no prospects — and no women. So they made do, and are said to be the ones who invented the Hanky Code to organize their newfound homo desires.

Post-World War II, soldiers of both sexes began to carve a niche for themselves amidst the already-thriving gay scene. A spread in Life magazine in 1964 maliciously declared San Francisco the gay capital of the nation, but while the tone was accusatory, it had one unintended effect: Publicity.

OPEN UP THAT GOLDEN GATE | The famed bridge, opposite page, is the best-known image of San Francisco, but for gay travelers the Castro District is a must-see destination.

“Thousands of gay people poured into California now that they knew where to go,” says Kathy Amendola, owner of Cruisin’ the Castro, about the meteoric rise of gay San Francisco in the 1960s. “In 1967, the Summer of Love exploded in the Haight. There were so many tens of thousands of people in one place at one time on such a high level of consciousness [from LSD] that it shifted energy. San Francisco could not stop people from pouring in, from the gays to the hippies. It was supposed to be the utopia: free drugs, free food and free love. Who wouldn’t come here?”

But San Francisco is more than just a cliché of drugged-out hippies and handkerchiefed homos cruising the streets. It has an energy that you can savor, a magical serenity that makes molecules vibrate more vigorously. It’s exhilarating. San Francisco is freedom from judgment, a place where people are living their lives mindfully, yet without much regard to what people think.

“We recycle 77 percent of our garbage and food. We still have that sense of utopia,” says Amendola without the slightest hint of new-age pretense. She, like most San Franciscans, is serious about her community’s shared values.

Harvey Milk was known as the “Mayor of the Castro,” and is widely credited with bringing the gays to the district. He saw the Castro’s cheaper rent and better climate when he was living over the hill in Haight-Ashbury, and jumped at the chance to open a camera store right on Castro Street.

Today, the camera store sits empty awaiting the embattled move of the HRC Store. In its window is an image of a group of people outside the Castro Theatre waving a flag that says “Gay Revolution.” Above, from the second floor where Milk used to live, is a mural of Harvey looking down on the street. On his chest is painted one of his most potent phrases: “You gotta give ‘em hope.”

Visiting the Castro is a must for every gay visitor. It’s unlike any other remaining gayborhood in contemporary society — our Mecca, and not just because there are a lot of gay people there; it also breathes history.

Milk first spoke out at the corner of Market and Castro right underneath where the Pride flag now billows. Murals abound depicting the decimation of the AIDS crisis, and how the city’s gay population rallied, protested and fought incessantly to stem the tide of deaths.

The recent opening of the GLBT Historical Museum on 18th Street is a much-needed fulcrum of our collective queer identity. The handsome museum facilitates an understanding of our history as a group, and shows those younger folks like myself the oft-unbelievable realities of gay life in decades pat.

As I stood in front of the picture of Leonard Matlovich on the cover of Time in September 1978, I nearly cried. I had never heard of him, nor had I ever noticed the large plaque commemorating him on the corner of 18th and Castro. He was discharged from the military for being gay, saying: “When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

My visit to the museum was the day before DADT was repealed; I had no idea we had been fighting for this long.
The queer experience is central to the San Francisco experience, as it is the city’s acceptance — not just tolerance — of queer people of all kinds that really makes it unique. This is not the “diversity” of New York, rather a whole-hearted commitment to queering the world.

Standing outside Hotel Abri near Union Square, hearing the buzz of four languages, it strikes me that there are so many microcosms in this city, neighborhoods so distinct they could be in separate cities or states. San Francisco, at its geographical core, is queer.

San Francisco gets under your skin, into your blood and hooks you for life. It will electrify you, and like your first true love, you will never be able to shake it.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 21, 2011.

—  John Wright

Pink triangle: Even after World War II, gay victims of Nazis continued to be persecuted

German police file photo of a man arrested in October 1937 for suspicion of violating Paragraph 175. (Courtesy of Landesarchiv, Berlin)

Dallas Holocaust Museum invites the LGBT community to International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer

The United Nations declared Jan. 27 International Holocaust Remembrance Day to mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. And while Jews comprised the largest portion of those incarcerated and murdered by the Nazis, lesbians and gays were victims, too.

During the Holocaust, gay men and, to a lesser extent, lesbians were arrested in Nazi Germany along

WATCH VIDEO OF GAY CONCENTRATION CAMP SURVIVOR

with Jews, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses and a variety of other groups including priests and political opponents.

But after the war, gay men were treated much differently than other victims.

Dallas Holocaust Museum spokeswoman Nanette Fodell drew a parallel between the Holocaust and recent events affecting the LGBT community. She said that the Holocaust began with the bullying of Jewish children in schools.

“Bullying turned into genocide,” she said.

The law that criminalized homosexuality in Germany, known as Paragraph 175, was written in 1871. The law was rarely used during the Weimar Republic, and Berlin became one of the gayest cities in the world.

However, after the rise of the Third Reich, Paragraph 175 was enforced. Even after World War II, it remained on the books and continued to be used against gay men.

Tens of thousands of gays were arrested in Germany and, after they were occupied by the Nazis, the countries of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland put similar laws into effect. Estimates by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., of the number of gay men arrested range up to 100,000.

The Nazis distinguished between those with “learned” behavior and “incorrigibles.” While those named incorrigibles were sent to concentration camps, many with s

Prisoners at forced labor in the Mauthausen concentration camp. Beginning in 1943, homosexuals were among those in concentration camps who were killed in an SS-sponsored “extermination through work” program. (Courtesy of Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, courtesy U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

o-called learned behavior were sent into the military. That group was put on the front lines and sent on suicide missions.

Those sent to camps had a short life expectancy as well. They died from overwork, starvation, physical brutality or murder.

That and other information about the plight of gays during this period has been gathered into a traveling exhibition entitled Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945. Fodell said the Dallas Holocaust Museum hopes to bring that exhibit here soon.

While Jewish prisoners wore a yellow triangle, gay men wore a pink triangle. Asocial individuals, the group that included lesbians, wore a black triangle.

Those with a pink triangle later reported miserable treatment by other prisoners as well as by their captors.
Gays were among those killed in an SS-sponsored “extermination through work” program that began in 1943.
Many of those who were liberated from the camps were rearrested after the war to serve out their terms of imprisonment. The punishment for homosexuality under Paragraph 175 was two years in prison, but time spent in a concentration camp did not count toward their sentence.

After the war, the West German government began paying reparations to those who had spent time in the camps. But in 1956, the government declared that those imprisoned for homosexuality did not qualify for compensation.

Homosexuality was finally decriminalized in East Germany in 1968 and in West Germany in 1969. But in the same way that the Texas sodomy law — Section 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code — remains on the books seven years after The U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional, Paragraph 175 was not expunged from the books until 1994. And not until 2002 did the German government grant a full pardon those who served time in prison for homosexuality.

The Holocaust museum in Washington presents a broad and encyclopedic view of the event. But the Dallas museum’s focus is tighter, with no extensive information yet on the lesbian and gay victims of the Holocaust

Fodell described the focused experience presented at the Dallas museum, located in a small, temporary space in the West End with plans to build a larger building nearby.

“We’re looking for our visitors to learn to make better decisions than were made during the Holocaust,” Fodell said. “Are you going to be an upstander or a bystander?”

The permanent exhibit focuses on three events that happened during one particular day. Much of the story is told through the personal effects and photos of survivors who moved to Dallas after the war and coverage in the local Dallas and Fort Worth newspapers.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is the first event covered in the exhibit.

The second is the story of the 20th deportation train from Belgium.

“This is the only time someone tried to stop a death train and freed about 230 people,” Fodell said.

The third event that occurred that day was the Bermuda Conference. World leaders met that day in Bermuda to discuss the Holocaust but decided to do nothing. Instead they played golf.

Commemoration

Few monuments exist to honor gay victims of the Holocaust. The Homomonument, the first, was built in Amsterdam in 1987. Since then, memorials to gay victims have been built in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne and at the site of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

However, Dallas museum officials wanted to include the LGBT community in its Holocaust Remembrance Day event.
In July 2010, members of Westboro Baptist Church picketed both the museum and Congregation Beth El Binah, the primarily LGBT synogogue in Dallas. Fodell said the two groups formed a strong bond the day of that event.

To mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the museum will hold a candlelight ceremony at 6 p.m. The memorial will begin at the museum and proceed two blocks away to the site of the planned new building.
Participants are asked to bring a Yahrtzeit candle, a traditional memorial candle lit to remember the dead.

Candlelight Ceremony commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, 211 North Record St. Jan 27 at 6-7 p.m. The museum is located at West End Station on the Red, Green, Blue and Orange lines.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 21, 2011.

—  John Wright

Northaven UMC’s members tell First Baptist to chill (and have a happy holiday)

I love when an article starts conversations. The Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas story in the Spirituality section of this week’s Dallas Voice about First Baptist Church’s GrinchAlert.com seems to have done just that.

Last week after I spoke to Eric Folkerth, the pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church, he posted something on his Facebook page about it.

He received dozens of comments.

On GrinchAlert, you can rebuke, reprimand, belittle, berate and spew your general hate for working people, many of them minimum wage, who don’t quite greet you the way you want on their busiest working days of the year. After all, what exemplifies Christmas better than trying to get someone fired.

I called Folkerth for my article because Northaven is a mainstream church and is a beneficiary of Black Tie Dinner.

He obviously has no love for First Baptist’s pastor.

One of my favorite comments on his Facebook page came from Jim Lovell, a member of Northaven who is an elementary school music teacher in Plano. Here’s his comment that is one of the most beautiful descriptions of the holiday season that I’ve seen in a long time.

“All this reminds me how much I love my job,” Lovell wrote. “Today, a 6-year old Muslim boy was so proud to give me a Christmas cookie that his mother (who wears a hijab) bought. His beaming face just made my day! Other Muslim children are sporting Santa hats. Some of the favorite songs of our Christian and Hindu children are about dreydls. Everyone is getting along and having a good time. Happy Holidays, one and all! Whatever it is that you’re mad about, give it up!”

Here were some of the other comments.

“Interesting that they are using the secular Grinch to illustrate their religious celebration,” said one.

Interesting indeed. Not just that the Grinch is a secular character, but that the character was created by Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.

Geisel began his career as a cartoonist. Before World War II, he warned of discrimination against Japanese-Americans, African-Americans and Jews. I think Dr. Seuss would be horrified at using one of his characters to spew the hatred coming from First Baptist Church.

Other comment’s on the Facebook page of Northaven’s pastor commented on how little the narrow-minded members of First Baptist actually apply the lessons of their religion.

“Don’t they have something more important to spend time and resources on? Cause if they cant think of any, they surely aren’t listening to the world around them,” said one commenter.

But that’s the point of GrinchAlert.com. You need to celebrate Christmas my way.

—  David Taffet

Looking for the gays at the Veterans Day Parade

Adm. Patrick Walsh

Parades are always a good place to take a great front-page photo. But since we are the Dallas Voice we’re looking for great LGBT subjects to be front and center in those photos. I made some calls this morning, but found no one going to the Veterans Day Parade.

I got downtown just in time for the 11 a.m. festivities.

Adm. Patrick Walsh was the keynote speaker. Walsh, who is from Dallas, is commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet. Also speaking were Gov. Rick Perry and Mayor Tom Leppert. City councilmembers and U.S. Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Jeb Hensarling were also on the podium in front of City Hall.

Nice reception by the crowd for Leppert. Wild reception for Perry. Didn’t he lose here in Dallas? Guess it was just the crowd.

So in my quest to find gay vets, I did what I always do. I asked.

The Marines had a tent. I asked.

“Hi. I’m from Dallas Voice,” I said with my press pass dangling and my largest telephoto lens attached to my camera to make myself seem more pressy. “I’m looking for any gay or lesbian vets. Any with your group?”

Gov. Rick Perry

I might as well have been speaking to them in Russian.

Oh well. Army tent nearby. “Hey. Dallas Voice here. You guys know if any of the gay vets groups are marching?”

A slow shake of the head indicated, at least to me, that I actually was speaking in English.

One last chance. The Navy. My father was in the Navy during World War II and today’s parade was in honor of World War II vets. Actually, my father did everything he could to stay out of the Navy. He and his brother, Milt, volunteered to work through most of the war in Washington. They were engineers and worked on a project that created the first radar system.That did a good job of keeping him out, until 1944 when he was drafted.

So I approached the Navy with more confidence, being from a Navy family.

“Hi. Dallas Voice. I’m looking for some gay or lesbian vets. You see any you know here?” I asked.

They laughed. I laughed. They were thinking and trying to be helpful.

“It’s OK. I got some great pics. We’ll find something colorful to use,” I said.

And we did.

Happy Veterans Day to all the LGBT as well as straight vets.

Classic Corvette Club honored WW II veterans

—  David Taffet