Thursday, August 27, 2009

Love Makes a Family

from the blog of ACLU

Martin called the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) when John and James, who had become bonded with Martin and his partner after years in their care, were about to become free for adoption. That meant, under Florida law, the state would have to seek a new family that would be eligible to adopt the boys. James was an infant when placed in Martin’s home and this is the only family he has ever known. John was four at the time and had already suffered the loss of being separated from his biological family. He was so traumatized when he arrived in Martin’s home that he didn’t speak at all. Just when he was finally overcoming that loss and beginning to bond with his new family, he could have to be uprooted once again. The thought that John would have to be put through the loss of another family was unbearable to Martin and his partner. Martin asked the ACLU if there was anything we could do.

We were committed to doing everything possible to do away with this destructive law, and of course we were moved by Martin’s story. So we filed a petition to adopt on his behalf in Florida juvenile court. We argued that the gay exclusion cannot be a basis to deny Martin’s petition because that law is unconstitutional. John and James were represented by separate counsel who argued that the law violates their constitutional rights as well.

to read thw whole story get the complete article at

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Nazis and the Gays

At one time it was fashionable to claim that the Nazis accepted homosexuality. Partly this was a way to slur the Nazis [as if they need slurring], and partly a reflection of the suppressed homoeroticism of Nazi visual expression. What was overlooked until the 1970s, and the publication of a series of articles by James Steakley in the Toronto Body Politic (quite possibly the best bi-weekly ever.

In recent years this forgetting has been overcome. Thanks to the efforts of Steakley, Richard Plant and Burchhard Jellonek, as well as the publication by Hans Heger [pseud.] of his memoirs, and the play Bent by Martin Shaw, the suffering of gays under the Third Reich has become well known. Now the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC makes sure to explicate the issues involved.

The total number of gays killed seems to have been about 15,000 [figures from Jellonek], mostly by being worked to death. Gays were not sent as gays to extermination camps. This is massively smaller than the devastation visited on Jewish, Gypsy and Serbian populations. But documenting the Nazi attacks on homosexuals is not part of a "catch-up" game with Jews, or other groups. It is rather an exposing of the possible effects of dehumanizing any group.

Recently some members of the American Religious Right [a diverse group that should no more be demonized than any other], have taken to denying the gay holocaust, and in fact asserting that the Nazi part was essentially homosexual. This is nonsense, and not one serious historian countenances the charge. Nevertheless the book - The Pink Swastika - which makes this charge has been subjected to a line by line refutation, available via here.

Visit people with a History at