British government apologizes for appaling treatment of Alan Turing 55 years later

Alan Turing was a World War II code-breaker. He was also gay.

Fifty-five years after the mathematician committed suicide, Downing Street has apologised for the “appalling” way in which he was treated because of his sexuality.

According to Winston Churchill, Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany.

His pivotal role in cracking intercepted messages helped the Allies to defeat the Nazis in several crucial battles.

BBC: Alan Turing Profile

The Failure of #amazonfail

If we wanted to deny Amazon all benefit of the doubt, and to construct the maximum case against them, it would go something like this: it was stupid to have a categorization system that would allow LGBT-themed books to be de-ranked en masse; it was stupid to have a technological system that would allow that to happen easily and globally; it was stupid to remove sales rank from sexually explicit works, rather than adding “Safe Search” options; it was stupid to speak in PR-ese to the public about something that really matters; it was stupid to take as long as they did to dribble an explanation out.

Stupid stupid stupid stupid, yes, all true. If it had been a critique of those stupidities that circulated over the weekend, without the intentional mass de-listing, it would have kicked off a long, thoughtful conversation about metadata, system design, and public relations. Those are good conversations to have, we need to have them, but they are not conversations that would enrage thousands of people in the space of a few hours and kick off calls for boycotts and worse.

Clay Shirkey: The Failure of #amazonfail

(via StephenWalling)

Iowa gay marriage ban ruled unconstitutional

The Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage Friday in a unanimous and emphatic decision that makes Iowa the third state — and the first in the nation’s heartland — to allow same-sex couples to wed.

In its decision, the high court upheld a lower court’s ruling that found a state law restricting marriage to between a man and woman violated Iowa’s constitution.

“We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective,” the Supreme Court wrote in its decision. “The Legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification.”

MSNBC: Iowa gay marriage ban ruled unconstitutional


Over 100 homosexuals to be executed in Iraq this week

More than 100 prisoners in Iraq are facing execution – and some of them are believed to have been convicted of a ‘gay crime’, the UK-based Iraqi-LGBT group revealed this afternoon.

According to Ali Hili of Iraqi-LGBT, the Iraqi authorities plan to start executing them in batches of 20 from this week. There is, said Mr. Hili, at least one member of Iraqi-LGBT who are among those to be put to death.

And the London-based group, which believes that a total of 128 executions are imminent, is calling on the UK Government, international human rights groups and the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to intervene “with due speed” to prevent “this tragic miscarriage of justice” from going ahead.

“We have information and reports on members of our community whom been arrested and waiting for execution for the crimes of homosexuality,” Mr Hili told UK Gay News.

UK Gay News: Iraqi Gays Sentenced to Death for Their Sexuality Face Execution

(via The Agitator)

The Beautiful People

This really piqued my interest.

FTM decides to get pregnant, carry child

pregnant man

To our neighbors, my wife, Nancy, and I don’t appear in the least unusual. To those in the quiet Oregon community where we live, we are viewed just as we are — a happy couple deeply in love. Our desire to work hard, buy our first home, and start a family was nothing out of the ordinary. That is, until we decided that I would carry our child.

I am transgender, legally male, and legally married to Nancy. Unlike those in same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships, or civil unions, Nancy and I are afforded the more than 1,100 federal rights of marriage. Sterilization is not a requirement for sex reassignment, so I decided to have chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy but kept my reproductive rights. Wanting to have a biological child is neither a male nor female desire, but a human desire.

Full Story: the Advocate.

(via Grinding

Occult Homophobia – Some Choice Quotes

“What people have to remember is that Wicca; man and woman, God and Goddess is a fertility cult – a heterosexual fertility cult.”

Wiccan author Keith Morgan, interviewed at Autumn Link-Up ’89

“The Wiccan cult stands for fertility and re-creation and not the sexual union between two ‘spiritual’ members of the same sex as some groups like to believe.”

Kevin Carlyon, Hastings & St. Leonards Observer, 1985.

“Thus the blasphemy of the homosexual formula, for it denies Babalon and breeds devils in chaos.”

Kenneth Grant, Nightside of Eden.

Many more at Phil Hine’s web site.

(via Lupa).

David Cronenberg on Gender

The other day I watched eXistenZ. Afterword, I reached into the box of old Mondo 2000s that Bill Whitcomb recently gave me, and pulled out an issue at random. It just happened to have an interview with David Cronenberg (an excerpt from Cronenberg on Cronenberg, which I was also flipping through). Here’s an interesting bit where he talks about gender:

William Burroughs doesn’t just say that men and women are different species, he says they’re different species with different wills and purposes. That’s where you arrive at the struggle between the sexes. I think Burroughs really touches a nerve there. the attempt to make men and women not different – to pretend that little girls and boys are exactly the same and it’s only social pressure, influence, and environmental factors that make them go separate ways – just doesn’t work. Anyone who has kids knows that. There is a femaleness and a maleness. We each partake of both in different proportions. But Burroughs is talking about something else: will and purpose.

If we inhabited different planets, we would see the female planet go entirely one way and the male another. Maybe that’s why we’re on the same planet, because either extremes might be worse. I think Burroughs’s comments are illuminating. Maybe they’re a bit too cosmic to deal with in daily life, but hear it reflected in all the hideous cliches of songs: “You can’t live with ’em, and you’ve can’t live without ’em.”

Burroughs was fascinated when I told him about a species of butterfly. They couldn’t find the male of one species and the female of another. One was huge and brightly colored, and the other was tiny and black. It took forty years before lepidopterists realized were the same species. When Burroughs talks about men and women being different species, it does have some resonance in other forms of life. But there are also hermaphrodite version of this same butterfly. they are totally bizarre. One half is huge and bright and the other halve – split right down the middle of the body – is small and dark. I can’t imagine it being able to fly. there’s no balance whatsoever.

(See also my article on Breyer P-Orridge).

Ex-ex-gay minister speaks out against ex-gay movement

There’s psychological damage when change doesn’t occur, when sexual orientation remains homosexual. I certainly heard stories and knew people who committed suicide. I’ve seen what I believe is a higher incidence of risky behavior and alcohol and drug use among a lot of people who go through an ex-gay ministry. A lot of it is because of spiritual conflict that emerges going through that, feeling betrayed by God, feeling betrayed by the church.


Legally, I believe they should be allowed to exist. But I don’t believe they should be state-sanctioned. Ex-gay ministries are primarily religious. They should not be allowed to go into public schools any more than representatives of a church, mosque or synagogue. But Exodus Youth [an Exodus International outreach group] is distributing brochures and flyers in public high schools. They are telling teenagers that they should be willing to sacrifice their sexuality because Jesus sacrificed his life for us. So they should be willing to give whatever God asks in exchange for salvation.

Full Story: Intelligence Report.

(via OVO).

(Particularly relevant if this is true).

The Cereal Box Conspiracy Against the Developing Mind

By Michelle Handelman and Monte Cazazza in Apocalypse Culture:

Breakfast with Barbie appeals to the precious libido of pree-teen girls and boys. The pink motif of the box is targeted for girls, and perhaps sissy boys rebelling from their puppy dog tail stereotype. But the image of scantily-clad Barbie showing lots of plastic flesh might be just the perfect breakfast companion for the developing heterosexual boy. The result of this may be to confuse a young boy’s sexual orientation. This may be welcomed by food manufacturers, for market surveys have found gay men to be more avid shoppers than their hetero counterparts. For the girls, the pink design of the Breakfast with Barbie box suggests nothing more than pre-pubescent female genitalia. To this end, an optical illusion that appears on the Breakfast with Barbie cereal box panders to the primal fears of a young girl’s sexual self-discovery. In between Barbie’s legs an undefinable form emerges very pink and very erect. Is it a giant clitoris? A tongue? Daddy’s penis? Further investigation reveals the form as Barbie’s pink sunglasses which rest upon her knee.

Full Story: deflection 7.

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