Sunday, November 1st, 2009

(Click above image to embiggen)

This afternoon, while playing in the bi-weekly Euchre tournament at the Right Corner bar downtown, I was browsing through a box of old photos and picked up the one you see to the right here, of a young male stripper apparently accepting a tip in his G-string out of the mouth of an older gentleman wearing a Changes jacket. At least I presume the stripper’s accepting a tip because if the older man were doing something else with his mouth to the stripper, I don’t think they’d have been in front of an audience and someone with a camera.


(Click above image to embiggen)

The Changes jacket confirms the photo’s location, the old Changes gay bar that was on 5th Street across from the Spaghetti Warehouse, although I already knew that was probably where the photo was from. Harold Kivell, who died in April of this year, was the owner of the Right Corner, perhaps the smallest and least well known of Dayton’s current gay bars, established by Harold in the early to mid-1990s after his previous bar, Changes, lost its lease when Reynolds+Reynolds took over a group of terra cotta buildings near Fifth and Ludlow, including the one in which Changes was. When Harold set up at the Right Corner, he brought with him some Changes memorabilia including several of the old hand drawn posters, such as the one to the left, which I photographed in the Right Corner, promoting various shows held at Changes. Now that Harold’s gone, a couple boxes of his old snapshots are on the counter at the Right Corner for patrons to look through, reminisce over and take a few. I don’t know if the stripper in the photograph is the “Gregory A.” mentioned in the poster (which promotes primarily Neil Gregory’s New Attitudes), but that poster does appear in its original setting in a couple of the other photos I saw.

I’d guess the photo and the poster to be from the 1980s. Although I was old enough by then to go to bars, I didn’t really go out much until I came out in 1991. I did make it to Changes a time or two, but I don’t really have any memories from there. Instead my gay adolescence occurred mainly at Jessie’s City Café on Ludlow. Still, I know Harold meant a lot to many people in Dayton and that a lot of people did go to Changes, so it seemed fitting to scan one of his snapshots and memorialize Harold and his bar on the web.

Monday, November 2, 2009
No more residential white pages unless you ask

“The Real White Pages®” by AT&T for Greater Dayton for 2009–10 have out since March and it’s taken until today for the company for which I work to realize that we’re not listed. A nice little old lady couldn’t find our number.

I haven’t used a phone book to find a telephone number since sometime last century. The first thing I do when new phone books land on my doorstep is to recycle them. I don’t want them taking up space.

The Real Yellow Pages for businesses
You’ll still get the Yellow Pages, though who uses those either?

AT&T doesn’t even want to bother delivering residential white pages, having gotten approval in many areas across the country, including Ohio, not to deliver them except when customers specifically request copies.

However, there are still about 410,000 people in Ohio without computers and another 82,000 people with computers but no Internet access, and they still let their fingers do the walking, as I found out at work today.

We’re not in “The Real White Pages®” because our office phone service is through new-fangled VoIP (specifically, 8x8, a decent enough hosted-VoIP provider about which I’ve written previously). It took me several phone calls and quite a bit of waiting on hold before I finally got the right number, so to save future Googlers, here’s the 411 on “foreign” listings in the Dayton area white pages — call 800-971-7200 to get current rates (currently $36/year) and the listing enrollment form.

Friday, November 6th, 2009
Verizon Wireless logo

Today a Verizon Wireless store manager accused me of blackmail.

Here’s a scenario that I could agree would be blackmail. Let’s say I walk into a Verizon Wireless store, ask to speak to a manager, and tell him I want to buy a Droid and I want $15 off, and if he doesn’t give me $15 off, I’ll write about his refusal to do so on my blog. That would clearly be blackmail.

However, that is not what happened today.

Motorola Droid
The fun new phone I got today
runs Google Android 2.0

What happened today is that I went to Verizon Wireless in Beavercreek to buy one of the cool new Motorola Droid phones. I waited patiently for a sales rep — they weren’t particularly busy so the wait was only a few minutes, played with a Droid for a minute or two, told him I wanted one, waited while he did the necessary paperwork, signed where he told me, waited while he transferred my contacts for me, got handed the phone and a bag of goodies and left, a low maintenance happy customer with a new toy.

I headed to Caribou Coffee, bought an iced chai and sat down to play with my Droid, and … discovered that I couldn’t make calls on it. “Your mobile phone has not been activated. Please contact a Verizon Wireless sales center.”

“Oh shit,” I thought to myself. I’ve made the stupid mistake of walking out of the Verizon Wireless store without double-checking that the phone I just bought actually works. Shouldn’t have to do that, of course — checking that the phone works before the customer walks out the door is the salesperson’s job, isn’t it — but mistakes happen. I got back in my car and drove back to Verizon Wireless in Beavercreek.

When I get there I ask to speak to a manager, and I get a nice woman right away. I explain my problem, she takes my phone, pushes some buttons on it and apologizes — the guy who sold me my phone hadn’t finished activating it. I accept the apology and ask for a $10 or $15 credit for my inconvenience. She tells me she’ll have to talk to her boss. Fine. I wait a few minutes and she comes back and says she can’t offer me a credit but that I can have 50% off on any accessories I might want to purchase. I don’t want to purchase any accessories. That rewards them for their mistake by turning the “compensation” they’re offering into additional sales for them. Can I talk to her boss? Sure.

Her boss, the manager of the store, a guy named Nick, comes to talk to me, and says they don’t do credits. That’s just unheard of, he says. Companies don’t do that. I ask Nick if he’d rather I write about this incident on my blog, and that’s when he says I’m trying to blackmail him.

Here’s the thing, Nick. Companies do in fact do this kind of thing. Mistakes do in fact happen, and I can understand not offering credits when many customers will be happy with just a heartfelt apology, but, as I told Nick, I know from personal experience that, some companies do in fact offer credits as a token way to compensate for mistakes on the part of their employees. For example, last year when I spent hours on the phone with Time Warner resolving a Road Runner issue that turned out to be their fault and not mine, I asked for and got a $10 credit. $10 didn’t cover the cost of a month’s RoadRunner or even the cost of my time spent convincing tech support droids that the problem I was experiencing wasn’t my fault, but it made me feel better.

It’s not like I was asking to get someone fired. I just spent $200 on a phone and am going to be spending $30 more each month on service — $15 is nothing to the corporate behemoth of Verizon Wireless. Which is more important? Saving $15 while pissing off a customer by calling him a blackmailer and getting bad P/R on the Internet? Or spending $15 — 7.5% of the retail cost of a Droid and less than 1% of a 2-year service contact — and making a customer feel that his wasted time was somewhat compensated for?

I don’t know if I’m getting a credit or not. Nick agreed to put my request in his system and send it up the corporate food chain. At this point, I don’t particularly care about the credit. What I’m getting instead is the satisfaction of teaching Nick a lesson about customer service.

Update 11/21/2009: Got my credit. Nick now knows that giving a customer a small credit as a token of a company’s regret for poor service is in fact not unheard of, even at Verizon.

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I graduated from Fairborn High School. Well recently, after having spent several years packed away in a box in my mother’s attic, my high school yearbooks have resurfaced, and tucked away in my 1983 yearbook was a program for a production of Our Town, held November 12–13, 1982, the first production of the first year of the post-Baker/Parks Hills merger Fairborn High School.

Cover of the Our Town program
(Click image to embiggen)

Dave Kraus and Trina Kittle
The Stage Manager (Dave Kraus)
and Professor Willard (Trina Kittle)
(Click image to embiggen)

Although I’d forgotten about this production for years and years, having seen the program again I do remember now. That Bob Stemen (about whom I’ve written previously) was in the play I remembered, but I had not remembered that Katrina Kittle was also in it. Well she was, as you can see from this photo of English teacher Dave Kraus and her in their roles as the Stage Manager and Professor Willard, although if you look at the cast listing (either to the right or in the PDF version of the program) you’ll note that Katrina was then billed as “Trina.”

Katrina’s one of just a few people from my high school years with whom I’ve had some contact since. Outside Dayton she’s probably better known as an author, but in Dayton Katrina remains an active thespian in community theatre. If you haven’t read her books, you should, and be sure to catch her in the Dayton Theatre Guild production of The Hallelujah Girls opening Thanksgiving weekend.

Although I’ve complained about parts of my time in high school, I enjoyed most of my classes and liked learning and most of my teachers. Dave Kraus, pictured above with Katrina, was one of my English teachers, and I don’t suppose it’s bragging too much to link to something else I found in one of my yearbooks, namely this note from Mr. Kraus praising me for having had, as a freshman, “the highest point total in all three of [his] predominantly sophomore Novels classes.” Yes, I was a nerd and good in school, for all that matters years later (as the Rev. Melvin Younger pointed out back then).

  
Cast
(in the order in which they speak)
Stage Manager Dave Kraus
Dr. Frank Gibbs William Fulmer
Joe Crowell Scott Hoag
Howie Newsome Kelly Green
Mrs. Julia Gibbs Tracy Walters
Mrs. Myrtle Webb Angi Deel
George Gibbs Eric Purtle
Rebecca Gibbs Kim Kurowski
Wally Webb Joseph Vap
Emily Webb Carla Beck
Professor Willard Trina Kittle
Mr. Charles Webb Don Griffith
Mrs. Taylor Missy Ross
Mrs. Lawson Sharen Truex
Mrs. Scott Denise Riley
Simon Stimson Bryon Hollis
Mrs. Louella Soames Vanessa Atkin
Constable Bill Warren Bob Stemen
Si Crowell Jeff Cox
Sam Craig John Danish
Joe Stoddard Jeff Ross
Mrs. Benson Krisi Zamagni
Mr. Carter Don Kennedy
Mrs. Allen Kim Clark
Farmer McCarthy Mark Collins
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

(Click to embiggen)

As you might have gleaned from Sunday’s remembering post, my mother’s moving and in the process is coming across some old stuff. Today’s interesting item is a letter she and my father received in February 1971 from my great-aunt Kathryn and my great-uncle Frank, a letter (typed—Aunt Kathryn typed all her letters) I’d never seen before.

My sister and I were pretty close to Uncle Frank and Aunt Kathryn, closer than you might expect people to be to a great-aunt and -uncle, but perhaps that was, in part, because they were more closely related to us than a typical great-aunt ant -uncle. Uncle Frank was my maternal grandfather’s younger brother, and Aunt Kathryn was my maternal grandmother’s older sister. Yes, my grandparents and great-uncle and -aunt were brothers married to sisters.

By the time I was born, my grandparents and Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Frank all lived in east Dayton, a few blocks apart, my grandparents on 4th Street and my great-aunt and -uncle just down the hill on Wright Avenue. Many was the time that my sister and I would walk down the hill with Grandfather to Aunt Kathryn’s and Uncle Frank’s, often to visit Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Frank but just as often to get their mail and check their house.


(Click to embiggen)

As you can see from the envelope, Uncle Frank and Aunt Kathryn wintered in Florida, hence the need for my grandfather (with help from my sister and me) to check on their summer home here in Dayton. You can also surmise from this that my great-aunt and -uncle were somewhat better off financially than my grandparents, which isn’t surprising considering that they had only one son, as opposed to my grandparents’s three children, and that both Uncle Frank and Aunt Kathryn worked outside the home. That they helped my parents buy the house my sister and I grew up in is news to me, but that they were able to do so is not. For example, I knew Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Frank could afford to take a trip around the world in the 1960s.

Something else about my aunt Kathryn and uncle Frank that I knew but had forgotten was that they knew my paternal grandparents, who also wintered in Florida. Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Frank probably knew my paternal grandparents better than I did. They certainly saw them more often. In this letter they mention spending the “night with Florence and Augie” before heading off to Mexico.

Friday, December 13th, 2009

Tonight I saw the Dayton Playhouse’s production of Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi, a play that reimagines the myth of Jesus. Corpus Christi first premiered eleven years ago, in 1998, and I first saw it six years ago in Cincinnati. That 2003 production was by Know Theatre Tribe (see archive.org’s copy of their Corpus Christi page) in an unconventional theatre space called Gabriel’s Corner housed in a church building. I enjoyed the play six years ago, but I enjoyed it even more tonight.

Corpus Christi has driven conservative Christians crazy since before its premiere, and tonight’s production in Dayton was no exception. The sidewalk into the Dayton Playhouse’s theatre was lined with protestors, quiet and polite but bearing signs complaining about the blasphemy of the play and promising to pray for all involved in it (I told the bearers of one prayer sign that I’d pray for them too).

I’m sure that these protestors, if at some point they google Corpus Christi and run across my little review here, will think my reference to Jesus’s story as “myth” just to be more blasphemy along the lines of McNally’s play. Yet I mean no disrespect to the historical Jesus (if there was one, and I’m inclined to think there probably was) nor to the idea of Jesus, nor do I think that Jesus, at least not the Jesus in whom I believe, would be offended by my talking about his story as myth. I don’t choose the word “myth” because I think the story of Jesus is made up or not real; instead “myth” comes to my mind in reference to Corpus Christi because of truth.

The truth I mean is not literal truth. Obviously Jesus was not born of a Brooklyn Jewish Mary in a sleazy pay-by-the-hour motel in Corpus Christi, Texas, to the sounds of johns fucking prostitutes. Bishop Forsyth of South Sydney needn’t point out that Corpus Christi is “unhistorical and untrue” — McNally isn’t asking anyone to believe that Texas was ever under Roman rule. McNally isn’t even asking people to believe that the historical Jesus was in fact gay (for someone who is asking people to believe that, read a post I wrote in 2004 about the book The Man Jesus Loved).

Bishop Forsyth and others outraged by Corpus Christi are quite right that the play is “unhistorical” but they’re quite wrong about its being untrue. The bishop and his fellow protestors need to read some Joseph Campbell and learn about the power of myths. For anyone who has ears to hear there is indeed truth to be found in Corpus Christi.

That truth is not primarily that Jesus was gay, although Sean Frost’s portrayal tonight of a 17-year-old Texan Joshua going to prom with a girl and then not wanting to do what was coming naturally to all his straight classmates that night certainly rang true to me — in high school I went through the motions of dating and even kissing girls and went to prom with a girl, but like Joshua, I never sealed the deal. I also spent too much time staring at boys on whom I had crushes, enough to attract the wrong kind of attention, just as Joshua does in Corpus Christi. And let me mention here that I found Mark Diffenderfer, who played the masculinely and aggressively gay Judas, to be quite hot.

 

No, the primary truth to be learnt from Corpus Christi is something one might expect even those protesting the play to agree with, for despite the liberties McNally takes, he remains faithful to the most important lessons taught by the Jesus of the Gospels. Love your neighbor, and realize that your neighbor isn’t just the person who shares your demographics and lives right next door to you but that the people who make you most uncomfortable, the lepers, the homeless, the faggots, the tall-haired Pentecostals, whoever, are also your neighbors.

People who focus on Corpus Christi’s literal untruths and protest the play miss this most important truth. What Jesus would want isn’t protection from blasphemy — as depicted both in Corpus Christi and in the Book of Matthew, if Jesus wanted protection from blasphemers, “Do you think [he] cannot call on [his] Father and … [have] at once … twelve legions of angels” to provide such protection? No, instead what Jesus wants is for us to recognize the divinity in each of us (shown beautifully in the introduction/baptism of each of the actors/disciples at the beginning of the play).

However, Corpus Christi focuses not only on Jesus’s message of love but also on the hatred his fellow men show to one another and to him, culminating in the play’s portrayal of the Passion and crucifixion of Jesus. Here I find Corpus Christi to be very true towards traditional Christian understanding — Jesus’s betrayal by Judas and his suffering and death were preordained by God — but I disagree (ironically, probably as opposed to the play’s protestors) with that traditional understanding and its depiction in this play. I do not believe that the only way an omnipotent God could forgive humanity was by sending a Son to Earth to be sacrificed to atone for our sins. Hello, omnipotent means all-powerful and an all-powerful God could damned well decide just to forgive us, couldn’t he? No, instead I think that the historical Jesus with his radical message of defying social conventions and loving everyone ran afoul of religious and secular authorities and got himself killed.

Yet despite my disagreement with the historical accuracy of the crucifixion in Corpus Christi, I think director Michael Boyd did manage to bring truth to its depiction nonetheless. The projection of photos of protestors from Westboro Baptist Church, of defaced pro-gay Christian billboards and of Matthew Shepard and the site of his death rammed home the point that just as the historical Jesus faced hatred from his fellow humans so too are we today endangered by such hatred, especially if we try to be true to Jesus’s message. Unconditional love of all God’s children is radical and dangerous and difficult and scary.

Corpus Christi at the Dayton Playhouse runs through November 22, so if you’re reading this post shortly after I’ve written it you still have time to see it. Unlike other productions Boyd’s includes no intermission but runs straight through, but I found it very powerful and thought the time passed quickly. You might not think you could find such good theatre in Dayton, but you can.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A friend e-mailed a link to a New York Times article she liked and said she’d have posted it to Facebook, if only she knew how. Posting links on Facebook isn’t particularly intuitive, but it’s also not particularly difficult once you know the tricks:

Step 1: The icon for attaching a link doesn’t show up until after you click in the “What’s on your mind?" box:
Screen shot of step 1

Step 2: Now that you’ve gotten the stupid attach link icon to show up, click on it:
Screen shot of step 2

Step 3: Finally Facebook gives you a box in which you can paste a URL (the address, starting with “http://” of a page on the Intertubes):
Screen shot of step 3

Step 4: Many times Facebook is pretty smart about determining an appropriate title, introductory text and preview thumbnail image for a page, but sometimes it gets one or all of these wrong. Luckily you can edit the title and introduction and choose which preview image (or no preview image at all):
Screen shot of step 4

Step 5: You can also say why you’re bothering to post the link — what about the webpage whose link you’re posting makes it worth your Facebook friends’ time to read it?:
Screen shot of step 5

Another trick is that you can simply paste a URL directly into the “What’s on your mind?” box, and Facebook will figure out that you’ve attached a link, but that’s not nearly as pretty. Whatever works for you, though.

Once you’ve mastered linking on Facebook, you can set up endless Internet loops, with links on your Facebook to your blog, and links on your blog back to your Facebook links, which link back to your blog, which …

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

A propensity to be crazy

Brian Jarvis
Beavercreek City Council member Brian Jarvis
Today I lunched with Beavercreek City Council member Brian Jarvis, and it was truly one of the most bizarre conversations I’ve ever had. I came away from it with a bit of a headache, so I warn you, before you get too far into this post (jump down to the end if you like), that trying to understand Brian Jarvis might be as ill advised as trying to understand Gary Leitzell.

Why did Mr. Jarvis and I have lunch? Because of a comment he made on esrati.com, a comment in which he said, “ ‘Gay’ is like having a propensity to an addicit[sic]’s to be hooked on crack, alcohol, etc. … it’s simply an unfortunate defect in the genes.”

As many queer folk (but not as many non-queer folk) might imagine, Mr. Jarvis’s comment caused quite a bit of consternation. David Esrati’s post, about the need for Dayton to face race, has 143 comments (as of my writing this) on it, more of which are about Mr. Jarvis’s comments on homosexuality than on David’s original topic.

My gut reaction to Mr. Jarvis’s comment was also to be offended — my first thought was, “Oh, really? Well, fuck you!” — but I recalled an earlier comment of Mr. Jarvis’s on that post (more pertinent to the post’s topic), in which Mr. Jarvis responded to something David wrote by suggesting it would be “good for a lunchtime discussion to see exactly where you’re coming from — tough to get into specifics in a sentence or two.”

And thus I told Mr. Jarvis that his comments had offended me and asked (challenged?) him to discuss them with me over lunch. To his credit, Mr. Jarvis agreed, hence our meeting today.

My assumptions led me to create a fun “Addicts” page.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from our meeting, but I did make some assumptions, and, just as I told Mr. Jarvis on esrati.com that an assumption of his was wrong, my assumption as to where Mr. Jarvis was coming from was wrong, too. The bell Mr. Jarvis’s comments about behavior and addictions rang for me was the conservative religious “Love the sinner, hate the sin” one, and in preparation for our meeting, I pulled together some of my favorite Bible quotes that illustrate the complexities of using the Bible to argue what is right or good. (Queers aren’t the only folk who’ve been thumped by the Bible; people have used the Bible in America to thump slaves and people of color.)

Yet at our meeting, Mr. Jarvis was quick to make clear (actually this was about the only thing he did manage to make clear) to me that he was not coming from a religious context. Just as I had come to our lunch with printouts to give to him, so too did he come with printouts for me, and his were not quotes from the Bible. Mr. Jarvis told me that he had specifically steered away from using the term “sin” because of its religious connotation; he did not want to try to make a religious argument.

No, instead what Mr. Jarvis brought to our meeting was a printout of this Wikipedia article on “Biology and sexual orientation,” an article he’d spent quite some time reading because he wanted to understand what scientists had to say about homosexuality. Mr. Jarvis also told me that he in particular wanted to read evidence from peer-reviewed articles by scientists who’d tried to keep their own biases out of their work.

As it happens, I was not unfamiliar with the content of the article Mr. Jarvis brought, having found articles about the possible causes of homosexuality quite interesting. I’d already read about twin studies and birth order and the size of the hypothalmus and hormones in mothers’ wombs.

 
Scientists have clearly indicated that homosexuality is a defect, or have they?

So you might think Mr. Jarvis’s turning to science would be a good thing, wouldn’t you? Well here’s where things stopped being clear and started being crazy. Despite our having read about the same studies, despite our both being fairly familiar with what scientists have had to say recently about possible causes of homosexuality, Mr. Jarvis and I have come away from our reading with two quite different conclusions. My understanding was that the scientists involved in these studies were not making judgments as to whether homosexuality was good or bad but rather were just trying to understand its causes. Mr. Jarvis, on the other hand, thinks these scientists have been writing that homosexuality is a defect, something along the lines of spina bifida or a propensity to an addiction to drugs.

Thus Mr. Jarvis seems genuinely perplexed that anyone, especially anyone who’d read the scientific literature, would be offended at his comments.

Given that Mr. Jarvis gets that certain words have certain connotations (hence his avoidance of the word “sin”), I’m genuinely perplexed that he doesn’t get that comparing being gay to being hooked on crack or alcohol has certain connotations. And after being shown my fun new “Addicts” page, Mr. Jarvis said he didn’t care if I publicized his having made such a comparison.

I tried to get Mr. Jarvis to explain how he’d come to the conclusion that scientists were arguing that homosexuality was a defect, like a disease, as opposed to just something that is, such as eye color or handedness. He kept pointing to passages that talked about the masculinization of the fetal brain. Okay, so perhaps my brain wasn’t masculinized in the same way as that of a heterosexual baby’s, but how is that a defect? The level of masculinization of my brain doesn’t lead to ambulatory problems, physical pain or paralysis, as in spina bifida. I asked if he considered left handedness to be a defect, and he answered no, although ironically, if we’re using Wikipedia as our source for scientific evidence, the Wikipedia article on handedness talks about prenatal testosterone levels. Is there some major life activity that’s impaired by homosexuality? No, but that doesn’t matter; what matters is that scientists say it’s a defect.

Does the Americans with Disability Act ban discrimination against homosexuals?

An interesting strategy gay rights groups seem to have ignored came up from our debate as to whether homosexuality is a defect, like spina bifida, or something that just is, like handedness. I asked Mr. Jarvis if he thought people should be allowed to decline to rent to people who have spina bifida, and he said, no, that would be illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Well guess what? If scientists can provide clear evidence of homosexuality’s biological basis, Mr. Jarvis thinks that discrimination against homosexuals is therefore already illegal under the ADA.

Note that Mr. Jarvis did not say whether he thought that discriminating against people with disabilities should or should not be allowed, just that it is illegal. He told me that it was not his job to determine whether things should or should not be allowed. What if an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation came to a vote before the Beavercreek City Council, I asked. How would he determine whether to vote for it or against it? Well, he answered, the State of Ohio has no law against such discrimination and therefore he would vote against a local ordinance. Wow, I guess it’s good that Mr. Jarvis is not a state legislator and even better that he’s not a federal one, for how would he decide on state or federal laws?

Robbing banks is wrong only because society says it’s wrong

Not by judging the effects of actions, apparently. I asked Mr. Jarvis how anyone was harmed by gay sex, as opposed to the clear harm that comes from robbing banks, another thing, apparently, like gay sex or doing coke, that one is born with a propensity towards. Mr. Jarvis could not say how people are harmed by gay sex, but it does not matter, he said. Really? Isn’t robbing banks wrong because of the harm caused by doing so? No, Mr. Jarvis said, the only reason robbing banks is wrong is because a majority of people in society has decided it is wrong.

So what, then, about the trends for ever increasing numbers of Americans not to have problems with homosexuality or even same sex marriage? In 20 or 30 years, when the majority of society no longer says homosexuality is wrong, will it no longer be wrong? That’s right!

In trying to draw some conclusions from my conversation with Mr. Jarvis, I get these:

  • Discrimination against homosexuals is okay because homosexual behavior is a choice, except that discrimination against homosexuals is wrong because homosexuality is a birth defect.
  • Gay sex and robbing banks are wrong because society says they’re wrong, but society might change its mind some day, in which case gay sex and bank robbery might no longer be wrong.
  • Queer folk have a propensity to be homosexual, and politicians have a propensity to be crazy.

Update: Mr. Jarvis sent me an e-mail with some clarifications; I post it below in its entirety.

Saw your write-up. Only a couple of areas I would correct.

1. In the paragraph about the wikipedia article, I actually indicated that I had read many related scientific papers on the topic over the past decade and that the wikipedia article simply reinforced what I had read over the years.

2. The top-right paragraph where you indicate that "...scientists have been writing that homosexuality was a defect" is not quite what I said. What I indicated was that the scientific papers indicated that extremes (genetic, hormonal, etc.) during fetal development may result in defects which result in homosexuality. (There were a couple of additional comments you have later that I said scientists called it a defect, which also aren't correct.)

3. Regarding the comments on crack and alcohol, I think we agreed that as long as you quoted me correctly, indicating something like"... the propensity to be hooked on....." that I was okay with it.

4. Concerning the ADA paragraph. I didn't say that it would already be covered under the ADA, I said that if it were ever covered under the ADA, that it would then be protected.

5. In the bulleted list at the bottom of the page,
- the first bullet is not correct -- in discussing nature vs nurture, we did not discuss nurture so, the discussion of "choice" never really came up. (My recollection is that we focused on pre-natal.)

Just making sure that the details are correct. Of course, your call as to whether you quote me correctly.

Brian.

 
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