Saturday, February 23, 2008

Comedy in theaters and Knesset. And the Peanut Butter Jar.

After some weeks of watching mostly drama and thriller movies, I was looking for a good comedy this weekend, just to relax from work, also from the political campaign in Spain (which has good points, for instance, as I'm following Spain's politicians I don't have time anymore to follow the candidates in the USA). The only movie I could find in theatres currently, a decent comedy (and I mean "decent" in the sense of "please don't play me another stupid American teen movie") was, of course, Juno. But this is Party for the Rights and Juno is not a comedy about homosexuality, eh? No problem, there's enough comedy worldwide. Would you believe, dear abominable readers, that YOU cause earthquakes "when putting your genitalia where they're not supposed to be put"? That's exactly the collegiate opinion of Schlomo Benizri, who declared in Israel's Knesset, this week, about the measures to be taken on Israel's readiness on earthquakes.

It must have been funny, a committee of lawmakers having experts stating about measures and all that blah blah, and then this guy comes up and says something like, "if you stop passing legislation on how to encourage homosexual activity in the state of Israel, which anyway brings about earthquakes", that's the best measure to be taken in order to prevent victims on earthquakes, and quakes themselves.

If one thinks carefully about the whole thing, it's obvious that religion, ultra-orthodox religion, is always behind such attacks. Those ultra-religious people, fanatics and fundamentalists, are quite similar to little children who aren't able to catch a good sleep without a good tale before switching the lights off. The problem, and I use "problem" here because they move towards creating a problem for us, the problem then, I say, is only that ultra-religious people do believe that their tale is true. Pastors, bishops and preachers in the USA oppose homosexual marriage saying "It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve". Funny slogan, but it's not Adam and Eve unless you defend Creationism (which is lately labeled as Intelligent Design, as if it was some sort of Italian couch or a masterpiece of Rem Koolhaas). There was no Adam and there was no Eve, there is the Theory of Evolution and that's science. And some people will still go dreaming of Peanut Butter Jars after being read the Bible Fairy Tale before going to sleep.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ego sum ecclesia

Mariano Rajoy, the Popular Party candidate, opened last midnight the election campaign in Cadiz, in what he deemed a homage to the Spanish Constitution of 1812. For those not much versed in Constitutional Law, just remind that the article 12th of the Spanish Constitution of 1812 established that the One and Only Religion to be practiced in Spain had to be the Roman Catholic. All others banned. But that was the 19th century, or is it today? Monsignor Rouco must have had several orgasms at Rajoy's words... Oops, bishops don't have orgasms, sorry. It's called "ecstatic ecstasy".

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Conversion therapy revealed

Via Ex-gay watch, the Winnipeg Sun tells the story of an ex-gay minister eventually convicted of sexual assault on one of his patients. Copying from Ex-gay Watch...

A young man is found by family to be sexually attracted to men and coerced through a fear of hell to seek “therapy” to go straight. This is the story that led a young Canadian man to seek out the help of Terrance Lewis, a minister and (former) counselor at Providence College and Seminary.

The man said Lewis started a program of “touch therapy,” which included the two kissing and fondling each other and engaging in sexual roleplaying.

“He said I was to tell no one about it because no one would understand,” the man testified.

During “touch therapy” sessions in Lewis’ car, Lewis asked him to masturbate, the man said. Lewis also admitted to fantasizing about him, the man said.

Many ex-gay therapists have practiced what they call “touch therapy,” including Richard Cohen, who extends this from touching to hugging or even cuddling on the couch. Dr. Chris Austin carried touch too far and was convicted of sexual assault, as was Terrance Lewis in the story above. While certainly not all ex-gay therapists go to this extreme, starting with the premise that sexual orientation should, or even can, be changed has led to unorthodox and at times, illegal “therapy.”

A-ha! So, the much hyped therapies to become ex-gay are only intended to become a closeted gay guy with your personal therapist, eh? Five to seven sessions of touch therapy weekly and you will be able to live a perfectly normal non-gay life. Reminds me to assaults on choirboys, which wouldn't be judged by courts because, in many cases, wouldn't be understood, or be just a matter of the divine, ethics, and moral. Religion, you know. Religion which wants to keep The Only Truth, The Key to Proper Sexual Life, The Authorized Science Guidelines, and The Door to Eternal Salvation. Were I to engage in such conversion therapies, at least I'd choose two or three hot therapists. Ex-gay ministries can call at my door with Jensen Atwood as touch therapist.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Spain pre-election promises, promises, promises...

With most eyes focused on the American campaign, I've just following, like most Spaniards, the moves of our pre-elections season. Eventually, the Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy disclosed some amount of the changes to bring about on society: contract agreements for immigrants to "behave like Spaniards" and "fulfill the existing laws" (I had never guessed that any person coming to Spain, tourist or permanent settler, had not the obligation to respect and fulfill our laws, and that Spanish behavior might mean they will have to shout and scream in bars for most of the Saturday evening, drive fast and half drunk, and learn how to throw papers and all sorts of other rubbish out of the wastecans when walking the streets); of course, on homosexuality the Party is starting to appear more the wolf they are than the sheep: the first (notice: the first) proposal is to ban homosexual marriages from adoption. It's just a first step, I'm afraid, later on it'll come the banning of homosexual marriage too. But the implications are broader: if homosexual couples can't adopt, it must be because they are not able to raise children correctly, and hence... what will we do when a lesbian couple give birth to a baby? Of course, call the social services and find a suitable home. Preferably traditional, catholic, and conservative.

On other parts of the world, Romania's Senate is trying to amend the Romanian Civil Code on marriage to explicitly forbid same-sex marriages, though that's a move which could bring about some sort of admonition from the European Union. When joining the EU in 2007, Romania had to "recognise same-sex couples registered in other member states". A couple of cases brought before the European High Court could oblige lawmakers to rewrite their homophobic moves.

And just two interesting links to finish: Patrick Chapman makes a brief but interesting critic to the NARTH Journey into Straight, showing that studies of ex-gay organizations are not always trustable, while Ziggy on High posts The Gay Agenda according to the US ultraconservatives.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Social change in Spain

EDGE Los Angeles publishes an interesting article about how Spanish society has evolved since Francisco Franco's death in 1975. Though I might not agree with some of the views of Cotarelo, it's clear that we're living in a much open place than we were under the omnipresent wings of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. However, back in 2004 when, after March 11th Atocha Train Bombings elections were held in March 14th, it was not "centrist votes" which were crucial for the Socialist party to get into power, but the mobilization of the leftist votes. This section of voters seem to be on a sort of laissez faire when it comes to polls, and mobilize only when some sort of political disaster — as could be, for instance, giving power to a party which would fulfill all the Roman Catholic Hierarchy demands — is foreseen. That is what happened in 2004, and if things go like they are going right now, with bishops interfering in the political campaign, it's quite likely that the progressive, leftist electors will vote en masse again. 

Bollywood stars on homosexuality

According to, via Topix news, an increasing numbers of Indian movie stars are asserting their own position on changing the laws on homosexuality in India. Statements on the issue by some of the most renowned Bollywood stars are:

Lillete Dubey: Of course, the laws pertaining to homosexuality should be revised. They are archaic and inhuman. An individual's sexual preference is a completely private matter. It falls under the realm of the law when there's a public display of obscene behaviour. Any such conduct must be equally punishable for straight and gay persons. If gay behaviour offends publicly, the law has every right to react. Otherwise, we're the largest democracy and sexual freedom is our democratic right.
Celina Jaitley: My closest friends are gay and I wouldn't let anyone hurt them. The laws need drastic change. Homosexuality has existed since the invention of civilisation. Some of our greatest artistes today are gay. At this time of HIV and AIDS, gay rights should be our primary concern. In Britain, they've gay marriages. So why are we stuck with their obsolete laws? They left the country long back! Also science proves homosexuality is genetic.
Randeep Hooda: I've lots of gay friends, both male and female. As long as they respect my heterosexual space, I've no problems with their sexuality. As far as the gay party on Saturday night is concerned, if the partygoers were disrupting the neighbourhood's peace then they deserve to be pulled up. Alternative sexuality must not be an excuse for extra rights and privileges. If you want to be equal then fight it out in life just like any of us.
Manoj Bajpai: Yes, the law should be revised. All citizens have the right to decide how they live their lives.
Rohit Roy: I'm not very clear about gay rights and laws in India. But I must say this sort of raid gets us thinking about the priorities of the police. Shouldn't they crack down on elements dangerous to society rather than gays who just want to live in peace?
Nandana Sen: Yes, absolutely! The laws need a change. No one has the right to invade a peaceful private gathering. It's against our democratic principles to treat homosexuality as crime.
Tanushree Dutta: Oh my god! This is ridiculous. The laws need desperate change. Or maybe homosexuality is legal and the cops don't know about it?
Imtiaz Ali: Of course, the laws need to be revised. An act that is natural to some cannot be illegal in a free democracy.
Riya Sen: Everyone in a democracy should enjoy the freedom to do what he or she likes. I think it is uncivilised to question anyone's sexuality. Invasion of privacy is a bigger crime than any. Not just homosexuality, we need to open up our minds against all kinds of prejudice if we want to really go global.
Amrita Arora: Gays have just the same rights as straight people. I party with them and I find them sensitive and dependable. Why single them out to ridicule? High time people stop being judgemental about how others live their lives.
Vipul Shah: Yes, laws need revision. Nobody has the right to decide for others. It's every individual's birthright to decide his or her sexual preference. And nobody has the right to interfere. Unless they were behaving obscenely, the gay partygoers shouldn't have been raided.
Shefali Shah: I don't see why there should be laws against individuals based on their sexual preferences. It's a free world. People are entitled to make their own choices as long as their choices don't hurt anyone.
Samir Soni: I don't think the laws should vary according to sexual orientation. What is unlawful should remain so regardless of whether you are gay or straight.
Mahesh Bhatt: The state has no business to step into people's bedrooms and question their sexual preferences. It's a matter between two consenting adults.
Neil Nitin Mukesh: It's a sensitive subject that needs careful consideration.

Which reminds me to the fact that, in Spain, we lived our sexuality half in the closet and half openly, but it was only when Boris Izaguirre came out on full display of his queerness in Cronicas Marcianas, a late show which was followed by quite a number of Spaniards, when homosexuality happened to start to be viewed as something between curious and appealing... and that was the beginning of the so many changes we have witnessed in these last ten years.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Gay memorial in Berlin

Because not only Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, gays too, this piece of news is most welcomed:

A multi-media memorial to the thousands of gay men who died in Nazi concentration camps should be ready in a matter of months.

Read the full article in Pink News.

Friday, February 01, 2008

It's February First

And it seems I can be back to blogging after a (much needed) forced break. In the meantime, the world doesn't seem to have changed a lot in regards to homosexuality and our issues. Churches worldwide continue their crusade against abomination with no less strength than ever. My friend NG sent me a brief note saying that the bishop of Tenerife stepped back his former statements on homosexuality and altar boys; No, it's not true. Bishop keeps as lewd as ever, and you better not be around him if you're below 14 or he'll sue you for asking him for sexual favors. The rest of the Spanish Catholic hierarchy stepped into the political debate (we'll be on election next March 9th) by recommending to vote that party which "will never negotiate a peaceful ending to Basque terrorism, which will abolish abortion and divorce laws, and put an end to the abominable depravation of same sex marriage". Among other points, Archbishop of Madrid asked for Catechism to be re-introduced into the Spanish K12 curricula as compulsory subject, and he's expected to keep asking, as the political campaign go on, to re-introduce Catholic Religion as compulsory for Spaniards, as well as General Francisco Franco to be resuscitated from among the dead, or if such a miracle is not possible via the Vatican, at least to sanctify Franco, his generals, and all participants in the Holy Crusade that was 1936 Spanish Civil War. By March 1st, it's expected that Monsignor Rouco Varela be asking to reintroduce the Holy Inquisition, bonfires for witchcraft practitioners and for all those who can't prove to be Old Christians. By March 9th, it'll be likely that, at least in Spain, the earth to cease moving around the sun, and the latter start moving around the earth, which will become a flat planet.