Brentwood School's GSA Community
Got this in a junk foreward email. Kinda cheesy, but still makes a good point or two. And although we're no longer part of the bwood gsa, the cause lives on. Viva la (queer) revolución!10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong
01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things, like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. It could start a slippery slope, and people might even wish to marry their pets! And they'd be able to do it, because as we all know, a dog has legal standing in America and can sign a marriage contract.
04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal. It's the way things always have been and always will be.
05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour spur-of-the-moment marriage would be destroyed.
06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children. Clearly.
07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.
09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans. It would be chaos, I say!
Mon, May. 9th, 2005, 11:59 pm
This is actually a really interesting article, as strange as the title may sound. This may be the strongest biological proof of homosexuality so far, definitely something which can help disprove all of those people who think 'it's just a phase', or simply that it does not exist. Well, here it is.Gay Men Are Found to Have Different Scent of Attraction
by Nicholas Wade
Using a brain imaging technique, Swedish researchers have shown that homosexual and heterosexual men respond differently to two odors that may be involved in sexual arousal, and that the gay men respond in the same way as women.
The new research may open the way to studying human pheromones, as well as the biological basis of sexual preference. Pheromones, chemicals emitted by one individual to evoke some behavior in another of the same species, are known to govern sexual activity in animals, but experts differ as to what role, if any, they play in making humans sexually attractive to one another.
The new research, which supports the existence of human pheromones, is reported in today's issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Dr. Ivanka Savic and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
The two chemicals in the study were a testosterone derivative produced in men's sweat and an estrogen-like compound in women's urine, both of which have long been suspected of being pheromones.
Most odors cause specific smell-related regions of the human brain to light up when visualized by a form of brain imaging that tracks blood flow in the brain and therefore, by inference, sites where neurons are active. Several years ago, Dr. Savic and colleagues showed that the two chemicals activated the brain in a quite different way from ordinary scents.
The estrogen-like compound, though it activated the usual smell-related regions in women, lighted up the hypothalamus in men. This is a region in the central base of the brain that governs sexual behavior and, through its control of the pituitary gland lying just beneath it, the hormonal state of the body.
The male sweat chemical, on the other hand, did just the opposite; it activated mostly the hypothalamus in women and the smell-related regions in men. The two chemicals seemed to be leading a double life, playing the role of odor with one sex and of pheromone with another.
The Swedish researchers have now repeated the experiment but with the addition of gay men as a third group. The gay men responded to the two chemicals in the same way as did women, Dr. Savic reports, as if the hypothalamus's response is determined not by biological sex but by the owner's sexual orientation.
Dr. Savic said that she had also studied gay women, but that the data were "somewhat complicated" and not yet ready for publication.
The finding is similar to a report in 1991 by Dr. Simon LeVay that a small region of the hypothalamus is twice as large in straight men as in women or gay men. The brain scanning technique used by the Swedish researchers lacks the resolution to see the region studied by Dr. LeVay, which is a mere millimeter or so across. But both findings suggest that the hypothalamus is organized in a way related to sexual orientation.
The new finding, if confirmed, would break ground in two important directions, those of human pheromones and human sexuality.
Mice are known to influence each other's sexual behavior through emission of chemicals that act like hormones on the recipient's brain and so are known as pheromones. Hopes by the fragrance industry, among others, of finding human pheromones were dashed several years ago when it emerged that a tiny structure in the nose through which mice detect many pheromones, the vomeronasal organ, is largely inactive in humans, having lost its nervous connection with the brain.
Researchers interpreted that to mean that humans, as they evolved to rely on sight more than smell, had no need of the primitive cues that pass for sexual attractiveness in mice. But a role for human pheromones could not be ruled out, especially in light of findings that women living or working together tend to synchronize their menstrual cycles.
Some researchers see Dr. Savic's work as strong evidence in favor of human pheromones. "The question of whether human pheromones exist has been answered. They do," wrote the authors of a commentary in Neuron about Dr. Savic's report of 2001.
Dr. Catherine Dulac, a Harvard University biologist who studies pheromones in mice, said that if a chemical modified the function of the hypothalamus, that might be enough to regard it as a pheromone. She said the Swedish study was extremely interesting, even though "humans are a terrible experimental subject." She noted, however, that the researchers used a far higher dose of the armpit chemical than anyone would be exposed to in normal life.
If human pheromones do exist, Dr. Savic's approach may allow insights into how the brain is organized not just for sexual orientation but also for sexuality in general.
"The big question is not where homosexuality comes from, but where does sexuality come from," said Dr. Dean Hamer, a geneticist at the National Institutes of Health.
The different pattern of activity that Dr. Savic sees in the brains of gay men could be either a cause of their sexual orientation or an effect of it. If sexual orientation has a genetic cause, or is influenced by hormones in the womb or at puberty, then the neurons in the hypothalamus could wire themselves up in a way that permanently shapes which sex a person is attracted to.
Alternatively, Dr. Savic's finding could be just a consequence of straight and gay men's using their brain in different ways.
"We cannot tell if the different pattern is cause or effect," Dr. Savic said. "The study does not give any answer to these crucial questions."
But the technique might provide an answer, Dr. Hamer noted, if it were applied to people of different ages to see when in life the different pattern of response developed.
Dr. LeVay said he believed from animal experiments that the size differences in the hypothalamic region he had studied arose before birth, perhaps in response to differences in the circulating level of sex hormones. Both his finding and Dr. Savic's suggest that the hypothalamus is specifically organized in relation to sexual orientation, he said.
Some researchers believe there is likely to be a genetic component of homosexuality because of its concordance among twins. The occurrence of male homosexuality in both members of a twin pair is 22 percent in nonidentical twins but rises to 52 percent in identical twins.
Gay men have fewer children, meaning that in Darwinian terms, any genetic variant that promotes homosexuality should be quickly eliminated from the population. Dr. Hamer believes that such genes may nevertheless persist because, although in men they reduce the number of descendants, in women they act to increase fertility.
G.O.P. Consultant Weds His Male Partner
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Published: April 9, 2005
ASHINGTON, April 8 - Arthur J. Finkelstein, a prominent Republican consultant who has directed a series of hard-edged political campaigns to elect conservatives in the United States and Israel over the last 25 years, said Friday that he had married his male partner in a civil ceremony at his home in Massachusetts.
Mr. Finkelstein, 59, who has made a practice of defeating Democrats by trying to demonize them as liberal, said in a brief interview that he had married his partner of 40 years to ensure that the couple had the same benefits available to married heterosexual couples.
"I believe that visitation rights, health care benefits and other human relationship contracts that are taken for granted by all married people should be available to partners," he said.
He declined further comment on the wedding, which was in December.
Some of Mr. Finkelstein's associates said they were startled to learn that this prominent American conservative had married a man, given his history with the party, especially at a time when many Republican leaders, including President Bush, have campaigned against same-sex marriage and proposed amending the Constitution to ban it. Mr. Finkelstein has been allied over the years with Republicans who have fiercely opposed gay rights measures, including former Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, and has been the subject of attacks by gay rights activists who have accused him of hypocrisy. He was identified as gay in a Boston Magazine article in 1996.
One of Mr. Finkelstein's associates, who declined to speak on the record, citing Mr. Finkelstein's desire for privacy, said Mr. Finkelstein did not view his marriage as a political statement and had specifically decided to have a civil ceremony rather than a religious one. This associate argued that over the past 20 years, Mr. Finkelstein had identified himself as a libertarian and an opponent of big government, distancing himself from social conservatives as they have gained political muscle and dominance in the party.
Mr. Finkelstein's associates declined to provide his spouse's name. He was married at his home by a gay state official, whose name and office were not released. The ceremony was attended by relatives of both men, a few friends and a state legislator, an attendee said.
None of Mr. Finkelstein's better-known political clients, among them Gov. George E. Pataki of New York and former Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato of New York, attended, that person said. Several of Mr. Finkelstein's long-term political associates said that he had not told them about the wedding, and that they had learned about it from a reporter.
The wedding was disclosed by an associate of Mr. Finkelstein's, and he confirmed it in the interview.
Mr. Finkelstein has frequently come under criticism by gay rights groups for representing politicians who have been ardent foes of gay rights. He helped create the template for a line of attack he repeatedly invoked against Democrats, including Mario M. Cuomo of New York, describing them as liberal.
In Israel, Mr. Finkelstein used similar attacks against the Labor Party as an adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and as a consultant to the winning and losing campaigns of Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister.
Mr. Finkelstein has regularly described himself as a libertarian who supports same-sex marriage and abortion rights while opposing big government. In an interview with Maariv, an Israeli newspaper, after the American elections last year, he criticized the Republican Party as growing too close to evangelical Christians, warning it could cause long-term damage to the party.
Details of Mr. Finkelstein's relationship have appeared in regular news accounts over the years, as they did in the Boston Magazine article, which reported that Mr. Finkelstein lived with his partner and two children in Ipswich, Mass.
Still, some conservative friends said Mr. Finkelstein's marriage would roil conservatives and highlight divisions among them over the importance of social issues to their movement.
"In recent years, Arthur hasn't pretended to be a social conservative," said one longtime conservative associate, who cited Mr. Finkelstein's aversion to publicity in declining to be identified. "But this is the same man who was the architect of Jesse Helms's political rise."
This article can be found at:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/09/politics/09finkelstein.html?ex=1270699200&en=ca95af744bb6439b&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland
Gay U.S. Soldier Wants to Serve Openly
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Apr 7, 8:41 PM (ET)
By MALIA RULON
Robert Stout with his Purple Heart and Certificate:
WASHINGTON (AP) - An Army sergeant who was wounded in Iraq wants a chance to remain in the military as an openly gay soldier, a desire that's bringing him into conflict with the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Sgt. Robert Stout, 23, says he has not encountered trouble from fellow soldiers and would like to stay if not for the policy that permits gay men and women to serve only if they keep their sexual orientation a secret.
"I know a ton of gay men that would be more than willing to stay in the Army if they could just be open," Stout said in an interview with The Associated Press. "But if we have to stay here and hide our lives all the time, it's just not worth it."
Stout, of Utica, Ohio, was awarded the Purple Heart after a grenade sent pieces of shrapnel into his arm, face and legs while he was operating a machine gun on an armored Humvee last May.
He is believed to be the first gay soldier wounded in Iraq to publicly discuss his sexuality, said Aaron Belkin, director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California-Santa Barbara.
"We can't keep hiding the fact that there's gay people in the military and they aren't causing any harm," said Stout, who says he is openly gay among most of his 26-member platoon, which is part of the 9th Engineer Battalion based in Schweinfurt, Germany.
Stout, who served in Iraq for more than a year as a combat engineer, said by acknowledging he is gay, he could be jailed and probably will be discharged before his scheduled release date of May 31.
"The old armchair thought that gay people destroy unit camaraderie and cohesion is just wrong," Stout said. "They said the same things when they tried to integrate African-Americans and women into the military."
Before the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, enacted in 1993 under the Clinton administration, the Pentagon had explicitly barred gays from military service. At least 24 countries, including Great Britain, Germany, France, Australia, Canada and Israel, allow gays to serve openly.
In an e-mail following the AP interview, Stout said he had been ordered not to speak to the media. "I guess they found out somehow that I was talking to the press and now they are having a fit. I will try to get everything straightened out," Stout wrote.
Martha Rudd, a spokeswoman for the Army at the Pentagon, said soldiers who are discharged under "don't ask, don't tell" typically receive honorable discharges, although the timing would be up to the individual's commanding officer. She declined to comment about Stout, saying the Army doesn't comment on specific cases.
The issue of whether gays should be allowed to openly serve in the military has received increased attention in recent months as the Army has struggled to meet its recruiting goals. Twelve gays expelled from the military sued the government in December, citing a Supreme Court ruling that declared unconstitutional state laws against homosexual sex.
The Bush administration has asked a federal court to dismiss the lawsuit.
Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey has said he opposes changing the policy, although Pentagon figures show a sharp decline in the number of U.S. military members discharged for making it known they are homosexual, falling from 1,227 in 2001 to 653 last year.
A recent congressional study on the impact of "don't ask, don't tell" said that hundreds of highly skilled troops, including many translators, have left the armed forces because of the rule, at a cost of nearly $200 million, mostly for recruiting and training replacements for 9,500 troops discharged between 1994 and 2003.
Gary Gates, a statistician at the University of California at Los Angeles, estimates there are about 65,000 gays and lesbians currently serving in the military, accounting for about 2.8 percent of all personnel. He estimates that at least 25 gay soldiers have been killed in Iraq.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a conservative advocacy group that opposes gays serving in the military, said a better way to avoid the cost of replacing soldiers who are discharged for being gay is to make it very clear to people who enlist in the military, including Stout, that they are ineligible to serve if they are gay.
"I honor and respect his service to this country, but the fact that he's wounded really doesn't change the underlying fact. ... He is not eligible to serve," Donnelly said, adding that there are many reasons why people aren't eligible to serve. "This is just one of them."
Stout said he suspected while in high school that he was gay but didn't acknowledge it until later. "Then I noticed that it wasn't a phase or anything. This is me," said Stout, who enlisted in the Army after graduating in 2000.
"The 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, when it first came out, was a good stepping stone, but it's outlived its usefulness," he said. "We've progressed past it both as a military and as a society."
Recent media polls indicate some increased public acceptance for allowing gays to serve openly in the military, with more than six in 10 Americans supporting the idea while about half supported it a decade ago. An Annenberg poll taken last fall among members of the military showed a majority opposed to such service, though half of junior enlisted personnel said gays should be allowed to serve openly.
can be found at:http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050408/D89AT6BG1.html
Hey all. I am currently trying to make posters and I want to put up quotes of people participating in the DOS.
So...WHY ARE YOU PARTICIPATING IN THE DAY OF SILENCE?
Hey guys. I need some help. Here is a rough list of those I know are or are possibly participating in the Day of Silence. I know I'm forgetting people but this is the list I have from signups. Please comment with revisions or additions!Confirmed
Ilan GoldsteinPossible but unconfirmed:
Please let me know. I need to get the list to Dr. A soonish.
Don't forget the 'Breaking the Silence' Party on April 13th at Seven (that's the day of the day of Silence). Bring your friends and your friends friends. I invited Xrds GSA and they're spreading the word!
Be there or be square!
Hey all. Here are the Button and T-shirt Designs. The buttons are already ordered but if you have any comments/suggestions for the shirts, please comment to the post.
Remember GSA tomorrow! Try to tell everyone that's involved because we're going over the final plans for the Assembly and DOS events.