Somewhere Under the Rainbow

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Conservative proponents of heterosexuality often insist that human reproduction is the chief or only reason for heterosexuality. That is a preposterous argument. They are merely trying to make a virtue of a consequence. In truth, reproducing is seldom why heterosexuals engage in sex. To the contrary, almost all heterosexuals almost all the time do not want their activity to cause pregnancy: In fact, they try very hard to avoid it. They watch the calendar, take drugs, use barriers, have operations, engage in anal sex - all to avoid pregnancy.

Gay columnist Paul Varnell

Don't tell them anything on Sesame Street

Plans by the Children's Television Workshop, long running favourite on PBS in the US and many countries, to introduce an HIV/AIDS affected muppet are facing criticism. Sesame Street, the early learning show for pre-schoolers world wide, planned to introduce the character in the South African version of the show, where the AIDS epidemic is rife. However, despite promising to limit it to a target audience who will be surrounded and maybe even effected by the disease, American Republican Congressmen are up in arms.

The shows producer announced that the new character would appear in September, in South African versions of the show, while at the International AIDS Conference in Barcelona. He left the possibility of introducing a similar character to the US version open. But the Republican group were quick to scotch the idea.

The six who sit on the House of Representatives House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter off to the President of PBS stating
'According to the Sesame Workshop, the average age demographic for 'Sesame Street' in the United States is children 2 to 4 years of age. We are concerned that what may be fitting for viewers of 'Sesame Street' in South Africa (which reportedly has the most HIV-infected people of any nation in the world), may not be appropriate for children in the United States, especially in such a very early age group.'

What is more frightening is that this letter contained a threat to the funding of the only publically funded national station in the US:
'As you know, in the United States, 'Sesame Street' is broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), which receives federal tax dollars through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), over which the House Energy and Commerce Committee has jurisdiction. How much public money is dedicated to the 'Sesame Street' series as well as this particular project that the Sesame Workshop has recently undertaken?'

the letter went on to say.

It may be another example of the Bush administration failure to recognise or attempt to help reach any resolution on the disease and continues to show the lack of awareness of events on a Global scale.

The Human Rights Campaign were disappointed by the letter signed by congressmen WJ 'Billy' Tauzin, R-Louisiana; Joe Barton, Texas; Richard Burr, North Carolina; Charles 'Chip' Pickering, Mississippi; Cliff Stearns, Florida; and Fred Upton, Michigan. Spokesman David Smith
'I would think we would be past this, but some members of Congress refuse to realize the global aspects of this disease and the different communication mechanisms needed to educate people about it. It's unclear what legislative action if any that this letter would lead to. It could be the rantings of conservative members of Congress just to appease their special-interest lobby groups.'

London Gay Rabbi Murdered

Three people, one a teenage girl, have been arrested for the murder of 37-year-old gay rabbi Andy Hinz. Rabbi Hinz's body was found wrapped in a bin bag under a railway bridge, after a man reported a bad smell from near a block of flats next to the railway bridge.

He had last been seen leaving the Black Cap, a gay bar in Camden in the company of a man in his early twenties. The alarm was raised when he failed to turn up to teach at a Jewish school where he taught Hebrew.

Police arrested three suspects, two men in their early twenties and the teenage girl, but are confused as to the motive. The investigating officer Ian West saying 'At this stage, we are still trying to establish the whether Hinz was killed for money or because he was gay or Jewish'.

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Somewhere Under the Rainbow


18.07.02 Front Page

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