Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Jane (Addams)!


from Jane Addams:

Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation. Jane Addams

Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we often might win, by fearing to attempt. Jane Addams

We have learned to say that the good must be extended to all of society before it can be held secure by any one person or class; but we have not yet learned to add to that statement, that unless all [people] and all classes contribute to a good, we cannot even be sure that it is worth having. Jane Addams

I do not believe that women are better than men. We have not wrecked railroads, nor corrupted legislature, nor done many unholy things that men have done; but then we must remember that we have not had the chance. Jane Addams

The excellent becomes the permanent. Jane Addams

It is always easy to make all philosophy point one particular moral and all history adorn one particular tale; but I may be forgiven the reminder that the best speculative philosophy sets forth the solidarity of the human race; that the highest moralists have taught that without the advance and improvement of the whole, no man can hope for any lasting improvement in his own moral or material individual condition; and that the subjective necessity for Social Settlements is therefore identical with that necessity, which urges us on toward social and individual salvation. Jane Addams

Psychologists intimate that action is determined by the selection of the subject upon which the attention is habitually fixed. The newspapers, the theatrical posters, the street conversations for weeks had to do with war and bloodshed. The little children on the street played at war, day after day, killing Spaniards. The humane instinct, which keeps in abeyance the tendency to cruelty, the growing belief that the life of each human being -- however hopeless or degraded, is still sacred -- gives way, and the barbaric instinct asserts itself. Jane Addams

It is doubtless only during a time of war that the men and women of Chicago could tolerate whipping for children in our city prison, and it is only during such a time that the introduction in the legislature of a bill for the re-establishment of the whipping post could be possible. National events determine our ideals, as much as our ideals determine national events. Jane Addams

GAY WISDOM for Daily Living...

from White Crane a magazine exploring
Gay wisdom & culture

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May 21

1860 - Organizer, peace activist and founder of Hull House, JANE ADDAMS was born on this date. She was also the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Throughout her life Addams was close to many women and was very good at eliciting the involvement of women from different classes in Hull Houses's programs. Her closest adult companion, friend and lover was Mary Rozet Smith, who nurtured and supported Addams and her work at Hull House, and with whom she owned a summer house in Bar Harbor, Maine.

1917 - Today is the birthday of RAYMOND BURR, American actor best known for his "Perry Mason" lawyer roles. Early in his career Burr invented fictional wives and a son (and in some cases their fictional deaths) to throw reporters off the scent of his real life. Fortunately for Burr, he found some peace towards the end of his life with his longtime companion Robert Benevides, who not only was credited as production consultant in 21 Perry Mason TV movies, was also Burr's "long-time companion" for 30 years until the actor's death. Benevides remains the proprietor of the vineyard they created together in Healdsburg, California.

1923 - ROBERT WOOD - author of historic book Christ and the Homosexual (1960). Wood's book is considered one of the first positive treatments of homosexuality and Christianity.

1925 - Today is also the birthday of longtime gay activist and historian FRANKLIN KAMENY. Kameny lives in Washington, DC and still remains active in gay politics and community building. In 2006 the Library of Congress formally accepted Kameny's archives and collection of materials from his groundbreaking protests of the 1960s. It's the first archive of its kind in the national library.

One of the most significant figures in the American gay rights movement, in 1957, Dr. Kameny was dismissed from his position as an astronomer in the Army Map Service in Washington, D.C. because of his homosexuality, leading him to begin a Herculean struggle with the American establishment that would transform the homophile movement and spearhead a new period of militancy in the homosexual rights movement of the early 1960s".

In 1961, Kameny argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that a federal policy calling homosexuals a security risk was "no less odious than discrimination based upon religious or racial grounds." It was the first civil rights claim in a U.S. court based on sexual orientation.

Also in 1961, he and Jack Nichols co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington, an organization that pressed aggressively for gay and lesbian civil rights. Dr. Kameny is credited with bringing a more aggressive new tone to the gay civil rights struggle. Dr. Kameny and the Mattachine Society of Washington pressed for fair and equal treatment of gay employees in the federal government by fighting security clearance denials, employment restrictions and dismissals, and working with other groups to press for equality for gay citizens. In 1968, Dr. Kameny, inspired by Stokely Carmichael's creation of the phrase "Black is Beautiful", created the slogan "Gay is Good" for the gay civil rights movement.

Kameny and Nichols launched the first public protests by gays and lesbians with a picket line at the White House on April 17, 1965. With support from New York's Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, the Mattachine Society of Washington expanded the picketing to the Pentagon, the U.S. Civil Service Commission, and to Philadelphia' s Independence Hall for what became an Annual Reminder] for gay rights.

1977 - 750 gays and lesbians and supporters in Minneapolis protest the appearance of Anita Bryant who had arrived to perform at the opening of a fruit warehouse. We searched but there are no reports of protestors throwing rotten fruit that day.

1979 - The WHITE NIGHT RIOTS were a series of events stemming from the sentencing of Dan White, which was deemed lenient by many, for the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, an openly gay City Supervisor of San Francisco. White, a former policeman, firefighter and himself a former San Francisco City Supervisor, was found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder, a ruling that was seen as controversial to many in San Francisco's gay community. The protest began on May 21, 1979 as a peaceful march from the Castro District to City Hall. As soon as the sentence was announced, word ran through the Gay community and groups of people began walking to the Civic Center where City Hall was located, and by approximately 8:00 PM a sizable crowd had formed. According to the documentary, "The Times of Harvey Milk," the crowd began screaming at police officers calling for revenge and death.

1985 - The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down Georgia's sodomy laws as unconstitutional. The ruling is overturned the following year by the Supreme Court in the case of BOWERS V. HARDWICK.

1996 - Hungary legalized same-sex civil unions, becoming the first ex-communist country and the 5th country worldwide to do so. The Parliament voted 207-73 in favor of the Bill.

2000 - The Academy Award winning English theatre and film actor, particularly known for his warm expressive voice, SIR JOHN GIELGUD died on this date. In 1964 he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in "Becket." In 1981 he won for Best Supporting Actor, for his role as the durable butler in "Arthur." In 1952 Gielgud was convicted of "persistently importuning for immoral purposes" (cottaging) in a Chelsea mews. Instead of being rejected by the public, he received a standing ovation at his next stage appearance. Biographer Sheridan Morley writes that while Gielgud never denied being homosexual, he always tried to be discreet about it and felt humiliated by the ordeal. Some speculate that it helped to bring to public attention a crusade to decriminalize homosexuality in England and Wales. Longtime partner Martin Hensler, 30 years his junior, died just a few months before Gielgud's own death in 2000. He only publicly acknowledged Hensler as his partner in 1988, in the program notes for "The Best of Friends" which was his final stage performance. Despite going to Hollywood to appear alongside Charlton Heston in "Julius Caesar" in early 1970s, Gielgud would avoid Hollywood for over a decade for fear of being denied entry because of the arrest. The Globe Theatre in London was renamed the Gielgud Theatre in 1994 in his honor.

2003 - Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, a conservative Christian Republican from Eastern Colorado, introduced the Federal Marriage Amendment (written with the help of Robert Bork) into the United States House of Representatives with 108 co-sponsors. The proposed amendment to the United States Constitution would define marriage in the United States as a "union of one man and one woman." The FMA also would prevent judicial extension of marriage rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples. The Amendment was last brought up for a vote in 2006, when it failed to receive sufficient votes for passage, although the majority of the House voted for the amendment. The Republican party's 2006 loss of a majority in Congress makes it unlikely to be brought up for passage anytime soon.

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