Former FHS student punished by Missouri school for gay-pride shirts
BY TRISH HOLLENBECK Northwest Arkansas Times
A gay student who formerly attended Fayetteville High School has been disciplined by his new high school in Webb City, Mo., for wearing T-shirts bearing gay-pride messages.
The American Civil Liberties Union has come to the defense of high school junior Brad Mathewson, who was sent home twice to change his shirts this month because the principal, Stephen Golhofer, cited concerns that other students may be offended by the shirts. "This school allows its students to freely express their views on gay and lesbian rights, but only if they’re on the anti-gay side of the issue," said Jolie Justus, a member of the legal panel for the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri, noting that bumper stickers in favor of Missouri’s recently passed anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment are ubiquitous in the school’s hallways and parking lot. "This is a classic case of censorship. Brad Mathewson has the same constitutional right to political speech and expression that the Supreme Court says all students have," Justus said.
Webb City Superintendent Ronald Lankford said Friday that he had to be careful about commenting on the case and was still investigating all the details. He said he was not prepared to make a comment at this time on a letter faxed to the district by the ACLU. He also said a St. Louis attorney specializing in school-related legal issues is being consulted on the school district’s behalf.
'To be attacked is the not infrequent experience of homosexuals. But, reluctant to be enrolled in the ranks of gay martyrdom, I kept quiet'
By Harry Mount
The playwright and actor Alan Bennett has revealed that he was so severely beaten up in a homophobic attack that he almost died.
While holidaying in Italy, he and his partner were set upon by two youths. Mr Bennett was struck on the head with a length of steel scaffolding and taken to an emergency clinic, where he needed 12 stitches from a doctor he later nicknamed Dr Death.
The assault took place in 1992, while Mr Bennett and the journalist Rupert Thomas were taking an evening stroll in Ladispoli, a small seaside town 12 miles north of Rome. Mr Thomas, editor of World of Interiors, shares Mr Bennett's home in Camden, north London.
Writing in the 25th anniversary edition of the London Review of Books, the playwright relates how he was attacked on the eve of his 58th birthday, after being confronted on the seafront in "harsh, assertive, jabbering" Italian by two young men. At first, he says, he tried to veer away from them.
African hardliners set deadline in gay bishop row
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
Conservative Anglican Archbishops in Africa have set a February deadline for the liberal American Church to "repent" for consecrating a homosexual bishop.
In a statement issued yesterday, the leaders of most of the continent's 20 provinces challenged liberal bishops to comply with the Windsor report, published 10 days ago to heal rifts over homosexuality.
The African Archbishops did not announce plans to develop a rival Anglican Church, but the threat remained implicit in their statement, which showed that they did not intend to apologise to liberal bishops for illicitly "adopting" conservative parishes in America.
They said that the onus was on the liberals to "move beyond informal expressions of regret for the effect of their actions to a genuine change of heart and mind".
Berlusconi backs down on EU justice post
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says he will find another candidate to replace his controversial nominee as Justice Commissioner of the European Union.
Giving in to criticism from the European Parliament, Italy has decided to withdraw its controversial candidate for EU Justice Commissioner Rocco Buttiglione.
Chicago's Gay & Lesbian Hall Of Fame Display
The State of Illinois will host a display based on the 2004 inductees into Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in the lobby of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago, on Monday, November 1 and Tuesday, November 2, 2004 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Photos and biographies of inductees will be on display, highlighting their achievements and contributions to the City of Chicago.
This display is sponsored by the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations' Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in celebration of Gay and Lesbian History Month, which is traditionally observed in October.
The 365Gay.com Election Special
Voters go to the polls in 4 days and with the race a virtual dead heat the outcome is of vital importance to all of us. We examine the top 5 Senate races, the top 10 in the House, and the states with proposed anti-gay constitutional amendments.