Go home SOIN logo
Sexual Orientation Issues in the News
who we areenhancing curriculumresearchget involvedlive issuesworkshops
         Live Issues    

Click here to view issues by subject heading.

Search the live issues:

Click here for Live Issues archive.


Suggest examples of coverage to raarons@aol.com

Please include all necessary links in your e-mail.

Take Our Virtual Survey

 Washington Blade, November 12, 2004 · Washington Post, November 4, 2004 · 365 Gay.com, October 28, 2004 · The News Enterprise Online, October 28, 2004 · Southern Voices.com, October, 28, 2004 · Associated Press, October 28, 2004 · 365Gay.com, Sept 13, 2004 · United Press International, July 2, 2004 · Editor & Publisher, July 1, 2004 · Gay.com, June 29, 2004 · New York Times, June 27, 2004 · New York Times, June 23, 2004 · 365Gay.com, June 22, 2004 · The Detroit News, June 21, 2004 · Mid-Hudson News (New York), July 19-20, 2004  · Associated Press, June 17, 2004 · 365Gay.com, June 14, 2004 · The Journal News, June 14, 2004 · Los Angeles Times, June 13, 2004 · Associated Press, June 12, 2004 · Associated Press, June 11, 2004 · The Hook, June 10, 2004 · Lowell Sun, June 9, 2004 · New York Times, June 8, 2004  

This section, which grows frequently, offers up-to-the-minute examples of articles representing the spectrum of social, political and cultural issues that constitute the journalism landscape. The fulcrum issue involves sexual minorities, but the teaching lessons inherent are common to the craft of good journalism.

Educators can lift these stories from the Web as appropriate to the segment or course they are teaching. For example, journalism and society – the Eminem controversy pitting free speech against civil liberties. Or, journalism and the law – the Boy Scout decision. Or, journalism and privacy – the recent story of an editor who announced in his magazine that he is the lover of an (unnamed) major-league baseball player of some note.

We update this section regularly with abstracts of topical sexual-diversity articles available online. They range from articles raising issues of ethics, statistical accuracy, stereotyping or sensationalism, to articles embodying sophisticated, in-depth analysis. They follow in reverse chronological order.


Subject Areas: Covering Politics and Government

Washington Blade,
November 12, 2004

Gays explain why they voted for Bush
'National security more important than marriage'


Michael Winn, 62, a health care industry professional who lives inDeerfield Beach, Fla., said he voted for George W. Bush for presidentthis year after having voted for Al Gore four years ago.

Winn is a gay man and a lifelong Democrat, although he admits he "strayed" from his party in the 1980s when he voted for Ronald Reagan.

"When 9/11 happened, I thought President Bush was so wonderful because he brought the country together," he said. "He began the war on terrorism, which I strongly support."

Winn makes clear that he disagrees with the president on some issues, such as a constitutional ban on gay marriage and stem cell research.

"But I feel the issue of national security is more important than the issue of gay marriage and the other issues I don't agree with him on," he said.

Winn is among those who put a face on the 23 percent of gay voters that a national exit poll claimed voted for Bush, breaking from the 77 percent of their gay brothers and sisters who reported voting for Democrat John Kerry.

The 23 percent of gay voters who backed the president translate into more 
than one million gay male, lesbian, or bisexual voters, according to the exit poll, a figure that stunned and baffled many gay activists.

The percentage was nearly identical to the level of gay support for Bush four years ago, and for Republican nominee Bob Dole in 1996.

Kerry waffles hurt

But to voters like Winn and James Warren, 41, a resident of nearby Oakland 
Park, Fla., there should be no surprise over why they chose Bush over Kerry in the key battleground state of Florida.

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top]

Subject Areas: Covering Politics and Government

Washington Post, (opinion)
November 4, 2004

A Victory for 'Values,' but Whose?

By Joel Achenbach

To understand why America skewed red on Election Day, you might talk to Gary Bauer, the conservative activist, former Republican candidate for president and creator of an organization called Americans United to Preserve Marriage. 

The group spent a million dollars in Ohio, Michigan and across the country. It warned voters that a nation led by John Kerry might be one in which homosexuals could get married -- and not just two at a time. 

"Most Americans don't want to sit down and explain to their children why they live in a country where men can marry men, why there's polygamy -- because that would naturally follow, we would argue," Bauer said yesterday. 

If two men could marry, so could three, four, or more, Bauer said. Moreover, he said, "textbooks could not talk about 'mothers' and 'fathers.' They could only talk about 'parents.' " 

Not long ago, this might have been considered a somewhat fringe viewpoint, a trifle alarmist -- "polygamy" just isn't something you hear people talking about in Washington political circles -- but gay marriage now seems essential to any conversation about the 2004 election. The exit polls pointed to a huge boost for Republicans from voters who said their biggest concern was "moral values." 

The term wasn't defined, and Democrats spent much of yesterday protesting that they have morals and values, too. The term is basically a code phrase for abortion and gays. For some people, particularly religious evangelicals, these issues are even more important than Iraq, terrorism, the economy, health care, the environment and education.

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top]

Subject Areas: Covering the Gay Marriage Issue

365 Gay.com,
October 28, 2004

Rare Infection Spreading Among Gay Men
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff 

(Atlanta, Georgia) Most gay men have never heard of Lymphogranuloma venereum, or LGV, but it is spreading in gay communities across Europe and the Centers for Disease Control warns it is heading to North America.

LGV is usually associated with chlamydia but the CDC said that this new strain, showing up in men who have sex with men, is marked by gastrointestinal bleeding, inflammation of the rectum and colon, genital ulcers, swollen lymph glands, and flu-like symptoms.

Cases have been reported in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden and the UK. In The Netherlands, heath authorities have reported 92 cases of LGV in the past 12 months. The country usually sees fewer than five cases per year.

Complicating the situation is general ignorance of the disease in the medical community because it is uncommon in industrialized nations and easily misdiagnosed.

Many of those diagnosed in Europe, the CDC said, were gay men who had engaged in risky sex.

Efforts to combat the disease also are complicated by the tendency of some gay and bisexual men to engage in high-risk sexual behavior.
The CDC is urging doctors across the country to be prepared for an onslaught of cases of LGV. If correctly diagnosed, the disease can be cured by a three-week course of antibiotics. Untreated it could be fatal. 

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top]

Subject Areas: Covering the Gay Marriage Issue

The News Enterprise Online,
October 28, 2004

Will gay marriage issue bring out voters?


Nicki Dempsey and Melee'a Calloway are both 19-year-old registered Democrats in Elizabethtown. It's their first presidential election, and Dempsey said she is voting for Sen. John Kerry while Calloway said she is leaning toward the president.

One thing they agree on, though, is that both oppose the proposed amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage.

"I have a best friend that's gay," Calloway said. "I don't personally believe in it, but I think people should have the right to choose."

Dempsey agreed. "It's your right," she said.

Jay L. Brooks, a pastor in Fort Knox, disagrees. He supports the amendment and says same-sex marriages are wrong.

"God's word is my guidance every day," he said. "What he says about it is what it is."

The issue has polarized both conservatives and liberals in 11 states across the country and will be included on the ballot in Kentucky on Tuesday.

The two sides have widely separate views.

Most conservative and religious voters claim the Bible says gay marriage is simply wrong by definition and to change the definition of marriage is a slap in the face of moral values. Many more liberal voters claim the Bible has no business in government, and moral values are for everyone.

While the issue has been endlessly debated in the media, state party officials say it is not likely to bring out additional voters.

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top]

Subject Areas: Covering the Gay Marriage Issue

Southern Voices.com,
October 28, 2004

Gay marriage amendment goes to voters 
State Supreme Court refuses to block ban from Nov. 2 ballot 

Friday, October 29, 2004

Last-minute hopes of blocking Georgia’s gay marriage amendment from the ballot fell flat Oct. 26, when the state’s highest court declined to rule on the constitutionality of the proposed ban before voters have their say. 

After a brutal 10-month battle, waged from the halls of the General Assembly to the streets of Atlanta and finally to the judiciary, the measure dubbed Amendment 1 now heads to the Nov. 2 ballot.

Opponents plan a flurry of outreach leading up the vote, but it is expected to easily pass. A recent Zogby International/Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll found that more than 60 percent of likely Georgia voters intend to vote in favor of the measure. 

“Our plans remain the same, despite the ruling,” said gay state Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), campaign director for Georgians Against Discrimination, a coalition fighting Amendment 1. 

“We’re continuing to warn voters about the potential impact of the amendment on Georgia’s families,” Drenner added.

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that it does not have the authority to strike Amendment 1 from the upcoming ballot, but left the door open to a post-election challenge.

“The judiciary is vested with the power to determine the constitutionality of legislation, but at present there is simply no legislation which can be the subject of a constitutional attack,” Justice George H. Carley wrote for the majority. “The election has yet to be held, and the amendment thus remains only a proposal.”

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top]

Subject Areas: Covering Schools/Impact of Teen Identity Issues

Associated Press,
October 28, 2004

LOS ANGELES -- The American Civil Liberties Union Thursday filed a lawsuit on behalf of gay and lesbian students at Washington Preparatory High School who claim they were sexually harassed by students, teachers, security guards and administrators.

"Teachers are calling the kids sinners, teachers are calling the kids unholy, teachers are calling the kids faggots, teachers are telling the kids it's not OK to be gay," Cathrine Lhamon of the American Civil Liberties Union said at a news conference.

One student said he and his boyfriend were caught kissing on the South Los Angeles campus and a security guard and an administrator ridiculed them. 

"Me and my boyfriend didn't feel very happy about it," he said.

The student also said heterosexual couples kissing on campus were not subject to the treatment he and his boyfriend received. A student identifying herself as bisexual said a teacher "outed" her to her parents, causing her embarrassment and humiliation, and told her homosexuals will go to hell.

She said she was hurt because she is a religious person.

Kevin Reed, a lawyer who represents the Los Angeles Unified School District, called the allegations "absolutely incorrect." Reed said the district has conducted 170 tolerance-based training sessions, including three at Washington Preparatory.

He said LAUSD has been at the forefront of protecting students.

"We take it very seriously," Reed said. "We've had 172 training sessions. It didn't just happen overnight. It didn't just happen because we got a phone call from the ACLU. It happened because we're committed to it."

Reed said three tolerance sessions were conducted on the George Washington Preparatory campus in 2004. Other sessions were conducted on LAUSD campuses since it partnered with the ACLU in 2002.

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top]

Subject Areas: Covering the Press and Social Movements

Sept 13, 2004

Barred From Library For Reading Gay News

By R.J. Reyes

(Honolulu, Hawaii) A man who was kicked out of the Hawaii State Library for using its computers to access a gay and lesbian Web site has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a state law that allows authorities to ban people from public property.

The law prohibits people from entering a public place for up to one year after a written warning or request to leave the premises has been issued. It was aimed at removing squatters from public campgrounds, parks and beaches.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, filing on behalf of Carlos Hernandez, said people or groups could be thrown off public property for no reason and said the law could be used to keep voters out of polling places or to bar groups such as native Hawaiians from the grounds of the state Capitol.

Attorney General Mark Bennett, who along with Gov. Linda Lingle was named as a defendant, said the ACLU's lawsuit is based on the flawed premise that authorities would abuse the law.
"Just because a statute is capable of being abused, doesn't mean that the statute is unconstitutional," Bennett said.

The ACLU contends there are no standards or procedures for issuing a warning and no way for someone to appeal. 

Under the law, "it is enough that the police officer or authorized person finds the individual to be unsavory or disagrees with the content or message of the individual's speech or activity," the lawsuit said. 

Hernandez said he was using a computer at the library on May 18 when a security guard issued a written warning telling him he was being banned for one year because he was viewing a pornographic Web site, according to the lawsuit.

He said the Web site, www.gayhawaii.com, is a resource with information on events, travel, real estate and other services for the gay community.

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top]

Subject Areas: Covering Gays in the Military

United Press International,
July 3, 2004

1,000 gays have needed military skills
By Pamela Hess, Pentagon correspondent

WASHINGTON (UPI) - Around 1,000 service members with special skills that are now sorely needed in Iraq have been expelled from the military in the last five years because they are gay, according to a United Press International analysis.

The military next week will recall from their civilian lives some 5,600 soldiers to fill out the ranks of 141,000 soldiers serving in Iraq.  The service is calling in those former soldiers who have specific skills tailor-made for the Iraq conflict - those experienced in food service, truck driving, auto repair and healthcare as well as paralegals, combat engineers, administration specialists and infantry.  It is the largest mobilization of the Individual Ready Reserve in two decades.

The IRR is a pool of former military personnel who either volunteer to be on call for duty or who, by virtue of their initial enlistment contracts, owe up to four years in the IRR after they leave the military.  An Army official this week admitted some soldiers will be "shocked" to be called up for a year's duty from their civilian lives as the IRR is so rarely tapped.

However, according to numbers provided by the Army and by the Defense Department, at least 948 gay service members with the very same specialties have been forced out of the military under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars homosexuals from serving.  Not all of the 948 are from the Army; service by service breakdowns were not available.

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top]

Subject Areas: Covering the Press and Social Movements

Editor & Publisher,
July 1, 2004

Gay Journalists and Marriage
Newsrooms must always be mindful of conflicts of interest, but deciding when
a reporter is too close to a story isn't always easy.
By Carl Sullivan

It's an old but perennial question: Can gay journalists cover gay issues? Should black reporters write about civil rights? May a 
practicing Christian fairly report on Mel Gibson's "Christ" movie?

The short answer to all these questions: it depends. It's been over three months since the San Francisco Chronicle controversially removed two lesbian journalists from the same-sex marriage 
beat, but the decision was still a hot topic at this past weekend's National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) convention in 
Brooklyn, N.Y.

After covering the first lesbian couple to get married at San Francisco City Hall in February, Chronicle reporter Rachel Gordon and 
photographer Liz Mangelsdorf, who have been partners for over four years, "owned" the remarkable news story for about a month. But when Chronicle editors discovered that the two women were married on March 9, they were 
taken off the story. The decision split the Chronicle newsroom and sparked outside protests.

One thing's for certain: the Chronicle won't be the last newspaper to deal with this issue. Court cases involving marriage rights for gay men and lesbians are likely to meander through the legal system for years, filling endless inches of news columns. Roberta A. Kaplan, an attorney involved with a same-sex marriage suit against the state of New York, points out that it took 17 years for suits against interracial-marriage bans to work their way up to the Supreme Court.

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top]

Subject Areas: Covering Aids and Health Issues

June 29, 2004

Groups unite in gay men's health institute
by Patrick Letellier, PlanetOut Network

Two of the oldest and largest AIDS service organizations in the United States - AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) in New York - announced on Tuesday the formation of the Institute for Gay Men's Health, a joint project to combat HIV and develop a national health agenda for gay men.

The first partnership of its kind in the country, the project is a response to increasing rates of HIV infection among gay men nationwide, said the institute's new director, George Ayala, a nationally known AIDS expert and researcher.

Both organizations were "wanting to do business differently and to make a bold statement about our concern about increases in HIV infection rates," Ayala told the PlanetOut Network.  "We want to freshen up our HIV prevention messages and retool our interventions because we recognize that many of our current messages were developed at a time when the epidemic looked different," Ayala said.

With a staff combining 25 prevention workers from each organization, the institute will be housed in both New York and Los Angeles.  The partnership will "combine the energies, resources and expertise of the organizations ... in the epicenters for AIDS cases in the United States ... to prevent and reduce HIV transmission on a broad scale," said Ana Oliveira, executive director of GMHC, in a prepared statement.

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top]

Subject Areas: Covering Schools/Impact of Teen Identity Issues

New York Times,
June 27, 2004

For Young Gays on the Streets, Survival Comes Before Pride
By Andrew Jacobs

David Antoine's coming out last year did not exactly fill his family with pride.  A few months shy of his high school graduation, Mr. Antoine said, his mother told him to pack his bags, and he was suddenly out on the icy streets of Brooklyn, his life stuffed into a trash bag, his bed the hard back of a subway car rumbling from one end of the city to the other.

Brian Murray is still trying to find his place in what is known as the gay community.  A good night is the soft bed of a stranger and $100 in the morning.  A bad night is an empty stomach, a park bench and the rousing jolt of a nightstick on his bare feet as he is ordered to move on.

Like Mr. Antoine and Mr. Murray, his friends, Michael Leatherbury, 25, would consider cheering his gay brothers and sisters marching down Fifth Avenue this afternoon if he had a few coins in his pocket and a place to call his own.  No sense flirting with strangers, he says, when home is a lumpy cot in a city shelter.  "Being homeless is not exactly conducive to dating," he says with a shrug.  "These days, I'm not feeling very prideful."

As hundreds of thousands of people flock to New York today for the annual celebration of the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the birth of the modern gay rights movement, few are likely to give a moment's thought to their homeless brethren, a growing legion of the disowned and the dispossessed, most of them black and Latino, an increasing number of them H.I.V. positive and still in the throes of adolescence.

With just two dozen beds available for gay, lesbian and transgender youth, they endure violence in the city's shelters, camp out in doorways in Harlem or pass the night at a 24-hour Internet cafe next to Disney's New Amsterdam Theater on 42nd Street.  There, many of them trawl the Web for paying "dates" or try their luck on Christopher Street in the far West Village, where some quick work in a passing car might yield $30.  "You've got to do what you've got to do to survive," says Mr. Murray, who is 22 and has been turning tricks in the Village since he was 15.

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top

Subject Areas: Covering the Gay Marriage Issue

New York Times,
June 23, 2004

Amendment's Backers Try Again on Same-Sex Marriages
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg

WASHINGTON - Though a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage stands little chance of passing this year, the issue is nonetheless heating up on Capitol Hill, pushed by Republican leaders who are determined to force Democrats into an uncomfortable debate in the weeks before the Democratic convention at the end of next month.

In the Senate, Bill Frist of Tennessee, the Republican leader, has scheduled a vote on the amendment for the week of July 12.

On Tuesday, Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, a Republican who has emerged as a pivotal figure in the debate since his state legalized same-sex marriage under court order, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, telling lawmakers that the ban was necessary for "the preservation of a structure that has formed the basis of all known successful civilizations."

In the House, Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the majority leader, said on Tuesday that he did not want to bring up the amendment for a vote until he was certain that it would pass, and he urged the Senate to do the same.  But Mr. DeLay said he was exploring other ways to raise the issue, "to generate debate and generate support out in the nation."

With polls showing that Americans oppose gay marriage, two to one, the issue has become a powerful touchstone in the culture wars and a ticklish issue for many Democrats, who typically support gay rights.

Click here for the full-length story

[back to the top

home · who we are · enhancing curriculum · research · get involved · live issues · workshops