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WHAT A DIFFERENCE A GAY MAKES
Sept. 14-20
by Sukie de la Croix
2003-09-17

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1998

U.S.: PFLAG votes to include transgendered people in their mission statement. * Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher appear on ABC's Good Morning America. * Openly gay candidate Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer (ret) wins the Democratic primary in Washington's 2nd Congressional. * Vice President Al Gore speaks at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington, D.C. He says: 'Equal opportunity for all, special privileges for none.' * The FDA approves the anti-AIDS drug Sustiva. * Under the threat of violence, gay playwright Terrence McNally's newest work Corpus Christi opens at New York's Manhattan Theatre Club. * Cher talks to Oprah about Chastity: 'I wanted her to grow, get married, have a child, get divorced and live happily ever after.' * Canada: Michael Hendricks, 57, and his lover of 25 years, Rene Leboeuf, 43, file suit demanding the right to marry. * Europe: The European Parliament passes a resolution denouncing Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania and Romania for unfair treatment of gays.

1993

U.S.: Empathy, the latest novel by Sarah Schulman, is on sale in bookstores. * The District of Columbia's sodomy law is overturned. * Closeted gay actor, Raymond Burr, who played Perry Mason for nine seasons between 1957 and 1966, then returned to TV screens as wheelchair-bound Ironside, dies of liver cancer at age 76. * More Than A Woman, an aptly titled intimate biography of Bette Davis, written by James Spada, is in bookstores. * The U.S. Justice Department rules that Bruce Gressin, and his lover, Dr. Alan Kurtsman, can adopt a child from a Russian agency, and orders that a visa for the child be issued. * The Rev.Theodore Jemison of Baton Rouge, La., head of the nation's largest Black denomination, tells the National Baptist Convention in New York City that: 'Men should be men. There are people in high places doing wrong. We have all these things: men who don't want to work and men who wear ladies' clothes.' This brought roars of approval from the crowd.

1988

U.S.: During one of her husband's speeches, Sallie Dornan, wife of U.S. Rep. Robert Dornan, tells a heckler to, 'Shut up, fag!' She later apologizes. * More than 1,000 people fill San Francisco's historic Union Square to protest the Republican presidential candidate George Bush. The crowd chant: '40,000 dead of AIDS: Where was George?' * An open question from a reader published in Lesbian Connection reads: 'I would like to hear how others handle being called 'sir.' I find it hard to say, 'I'm not a sir, I'm a dyke.' Is there a little less bold way to handle it without losing self-respect or embarrassing others who are with you?' * Norway: The International Lesbian and Gay Youth Organization announces a new international penal plan.

1983

U.S.: Actor Robert Preston hosts the 3rd annual Alliance for Gay Artists Media Awards ceremony. * A book written in 1978 by Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell is reprinted. How Can You Clean Up America contains the following passage on gays: 'In my age, we laughed at queers, fairies, or anyone thought to be homo; now they are coming out of the closet and I now believe the growing, spreading cancer of homosexuality is so serious it could destroy mankind.' The book's forward is written by Anita Bryant. * Canada: Disco/New Wave star, Grace Jones, is detained at Toronto International Airport by customs agents, who seize a leather bracelet with one-inch-long spikes, which are classified as a weapon in Canada.


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