Skip to comments.Brief history of the modern childlove movement
Posted on 03/03/2007 9:23:28 AM PST by Calpernia
NAMBLA describes itself as a "support group for intergenerational relationships," and uses the slogan "sexual freedom for all." According to the group's web site, its aim is to "support the rights of youth as well as adults to choose the partners with whom they wish to share and enjoy their bodies." Google Search of NAMBLA's IP http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=184.108.40.206&btnG=Search
One of the group's arguments is that age of consent laws can unnecessarily criminalize sexual relationships between adults and minors (particularly boys). http://www.warriorsfortruth.com/nambla.html In 1980 a NAMBLA general meeting passed a resolution, proposed by Tom Reeves, which said: "(1) The North American Man/Boy Love Association calls for the abolition of age-of-consent and all other laws which prevent men and boys from freely enjoying their bodies. (2) We call for the release of all men and boys imprisoned by such laws." http://www.warriorsfortruth.com/nambla.html This policy was still in NAMBLA's "official position papers" in 1996.
NAMBLA advocates a comprehensive youth rights platform of which sexual freedom is only a portion. In addition to supporting the repeal of age of consent laws, NAMBLA has also opposed corporal punishment, rape, and kidnapping, and has declared that sexual exploitation is grounds for expulsion from the group. http://www.qrd.org/qrd/orgs/NAMBLA/nambla.replies.to.ilga.secretariat
Although some sources allege that NAMBLA has used the slogan "sex by eight is too late" or "sex by eight or else it's too late", this motto is properly attributed to the René Guyon Society.
NAMBLA emerged from the tumultuous political atmosphere of the 1970s, particularly from the leftist wing of the Gay Liberation movement which followed the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. Although discussion of gay adult-minor sex did take place, gay rights groups immediately following the Stonewall Riot were more concerned with issues of police harassment, nondiscrimination in employment, health care and other areas.
Not until a "sex ring" of underage boys brought intense media scrutiny in Boston in the closing weeks of 1977, and police closed down the Toronto-area gay newspaper The Body Politic for publishing an article titled http://clga.ca/Material/Records/docs/hannon/ox/mbm.htm Men Loving Boys Loving Men did the subject of adult-minor sex garner enough attention to prompt the formation of a group like NAMBLA.
In December 1977, police raided a house in the Boston suburb of Revere. Twenty-four men were arrested and indicted on over 100 felony counts, including child pornography and statutory rape of boys aged eight to fifteen. Suffolk County District Attorney Garrett Byrne alleged that the men used drugs and video games to lure the boys into a house, where they photographed them as they engaged in sexual activity. Byrne accused the men of being members of a "sex ring", and said that the arrest was only "the tip of the iceberg." The arrests sparked intense media coverage, and local newspapers published the photographs and personal information of the accused men.
Staff members of the gay newspaper Fag Rag believed the raid was politically motivated. They and others in Boston's gay community saw Byrne's round-up as an anti-gay witchhunt. On December 9, they organized the Boston-Boise Committee, a name intended as a reference to a similar situation that unfolded in Boise, Idaho in the 1950s. The group sponsored rallies, provided funds for the defendants, and tried to educate the public about the case by passing out fliers. It would also later spawn NAMBLA.
District Attorney Garrett Byrne was defeated in his re-election bid. The new DA said that no man should fear prison for having sex with a teenager unless coercion was involved. All charges were dropped. The few who had already pled or been found guilty received only probation. http://www.ipce.info/host/radicase/ch_13_notes.htm#9
On December 2, 1978, Tom Reeves of the Boston-Boise Committee convened a meeting called "Man/Boy Love and the Age of Consent." Approximately 150 people attended. At the meeting's conclusion, about thirty men and youths decided to form an organization which they called the North American Man/Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA for short.
Some gay rights groups immediately following "Stonewall Inn", perceived age-of-consent laws as governmental tools to suppress homosexual behavior rather than as the safeguards against the sexual abuse of small children that they claimed to be. In many states that didn't explicitly criminalize homosexual behavior (the sodomy laws), age-of-consent laws were significantly lower for heterosexual couples than for homosexual couples. For example, in the state of Massachusetts, "Lawrence v. Texas", the age of consent for heterosexual couples was as low as 13 (with parental approval) but was 18 for homosexual men.
Consequently, a number of gay rights groups opposed age-of-consent laws at the time of NAMBLA's founding. A "Gay Rights Platform" http://www.rslevinson.com/gaylesissues/features/collect/onetime/bl_platform1972.htm formed and adopted by about 200 gay activists at a convention in Chicago held by the National Coalition of Gay Organizations (NCGO), called for the "repeal of all laws governing the age of sexual consent" at the state level. (The NCGO, which was formed at the Chicago convention, primarily consisted of New York's Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), which was composed of many small gay activist groups organized mostly on college campuses throughout the U.S.). The GAA opposed age of consent laws and had hosted a forum on the topic in 1976. The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition also supported eliminating the existing age-of-consent laws.
The relative acceptance or indifference to opposition of the age-of-consent began to change at the same time as accusations that gays were child pornographers and child molesters became common. Judianne Densen-Gerber, founder of the New York drug rehabilitation center Odyssey House, argued that gays were responsible for child pornography. In 1977 former beauty queen Anita Bryant staked a similar position, starting the "Save Our Children" campaign. "The recruitment of our children," she argued, "is absolutely necessary for the survival and growth of homosexuality."
Bryant's campaign focusing on the alleged "recruitment" of boys by gay men succeeded in overturning a law that had protected civil rights for gays in Dade County, Florida. As a result, the age-of-consent issue became a hotly debated topic within the gay community, and disputes over the age of consent issue within and between gay rights groups -- many of which directly or indirectly involved NAMBLA -- began to occur on an increasingly frequent basis.
Disagreement was evident following the conference that organized the first gay march on Washington in 1979. In addition to forming several working committees, the conference was responsible for drafting the basic organizing principles of the march (the five demands http://www.rainbowhistory.org/mowprogram.pdf [see p. 23]). Originally, the Gay Youth Caucus had won approval for its proposal demanding Full Rights for Gay Youth, including revision of the age of consent laws. However at the first meeting of the National Coordinating Committee, a contingent of lesbians threatened not to participate in the march unless a substitute was adopted. The substitute, authored by an adult lesbian and approved in a mail poll by a majority of delegates, stated: Protect Lesbian and Gay Youth from any laws which are used to discriminate against, oppress, and/or harass them in their homes, schools, job and social environments.
In 1980 a group called the Lesbian Caucus Lesbian Gay Pride March Committee distributed a hand-out urging women to split from the annual New York City Gay Pride March because the organizing committee had supposedly been dominated by NAMBLA and its supporters. The next year, after some lesbians threatened to picket, the Cornell University gay group Gay PAC (Gay People at Cornell) rescinded its invitation to NAMBLA founder David Thorstad to be the keynote speaker at the annual May Gay Festival. And in the following years, gay rights groups attempted to block NAMBLAs participation in gay pride parades, prompting Harry Hay to wear a sign proclaiming NAMBLA walks with me as he participated in a 1986 gay pride march in Los Angeles.
Thus by the mid-1980s, NAMBLA was virtually alone in its positions and found itself politically isolated. Gay rights organizations, burdened by accusations of child recruitment and child abuse, had abandoned the radicalism of their early years and had "retreat[ed] from the idea of a more inclusive politics," opting instead to appeal more to the mainstream. Support for "groups perceived as being on the fringe of the gay community," such as NAMBLA, vanished in the process. Today almost all gay rights groups disavow any ties to NAMBLA, voice disapproval of its objectives, and attempt to prevent NAMBLA from having a role in gay and lesbian rights events.
The case of ILGA illustrates this opposition. In 1993, the International Lesbian and Gay Association, of which NAMBLA had been a member for a decade, achieved United Nations consultative status. NAMBLA's association with ILGA drew heavy criticism, and many gay organizations called for the ILGA to dissolve ties with NAMBLA. Republican Senator Jesse Helms proposed a bill to withhold $119 million in U.N. contributions until U. S. President Bill Clinton could certify that "no UN agency grants any official status, accreditation, or recognition to any organization which promotes, condones, or seeks the legalization of pedophilia, that is, the sexual abuse of children". The bill was unanimously approved by Congress and signed into law by Clinton in April 1994.
ILGA had passed a resolution in 1985 which stated that "young people have the right to sexual and social self-determination and that age of consent laws often operate to oppress and not to protect." In spite of this apparent agreement with NAMBLA on the age of consent issue just nine years before, ILGA, by a vote of 214-30 expelled NAMBLA and two other groups MARTIJN and Project Truth in early 1994 because they were judged to be "groups whose predominant aim is to support or promote pedophilia." Although ILGA removed NAMBLA, the U.N. reversed its decision to grant ILGA special consultative status. Repeated attempts by ILGA to reacquire special status with the U.N. have not been successful, but the group does exercise consultative status with the European Commission.
Gregory King of the Human Rights Campaign later said that "NAMBLA is not a gay organization ... They are not part of our community and we thoroughly reject their efforts to insinuate that pedophilia is an issue related to gay and lesbian civil rights." NAMBLA responded by claiming that "man/boy love is by definition homosexual," that "man/boy lovers are part of the gay movement and central to gay history and culture," and that "homosexuals denying that it is 'not gay' to be attracted to adolescent boys are just as ludicrous as heterosexuals saying it's 'not heterosexual' to be attracted to adolescent girls."
In 1994 the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) adopted a "Position Statement Regarding NAMBLA" saying GLAAD "deplores the North American Man Boy Love Association's (NAMBLA) goals, which include advocacy for sex between adult men and boys and the removal of legal protections for children. These goals constitute a form of child abuse and are repugnant to GLAAD." Also in 1994 the Board of Directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) adopted a resolution on NAMBLA that said: "NGLTF condemns all abuse of minors, both sexual and any other kind, perpetrated by adults. Accordingly, NGLTF condemns the organizational goals of NAMBLA and any other such organization."
Documents relating to the court case Curley v. NAMBLA and others provide further information on NAMBLA's structure and activities. In March 2003 Judge George O'Toole of the Massachusetts federal court found that in the 1990s (the period being considered by the court), NAMBLA was controlled by a national Steering Committee, "a group which purposefully directed NAMBLA's outreach activities generally."
The court documents also shed light on some of NAMBLA's activities, including that:
:"NAMBLA was established as an unincorporated association in 1978 to encourage public acceptance of consensual sexual relationships between men and boys. Its principal place of business is New York, and its primary mechanisms of public outreach include its Bulletin, a quarterly publication sent to dues-paying members... Gayme Magazine, a NAMBLA publication mailed periodically to dues-paying members and sold at some bookstores; a NAMBLA website... TOPICS, a series of booklets providing more focused consideration of issues related to "man-boy love"; a prison newsletter; Ariel's Pages, a NAMBLA project through which literature concerning "man-boy love" was sold; and membership conferences.
:"The Steering Committee, through several of its members, also formed "Zymurgy, Inc.," a Delaware corporation, which was operated as a profit-making arm of NAMBLA. Although the defendants describe the Bulletin, Gayme Magazine, Ariel's Pages, and Zymurgy, Inc. as separate and distinct from NAMBLA, it appears from the materials submitted, including minutes of Steering Committee meetings, that the Steering Committee controlled all of these entities, providing monies to initiate and support various projects and freely transferring funds among them."
:"In addition to managing NAMBLA's financial matters, the Steering Committee also directed the association's policy, political, legal, and public relations efforts. Steering Committee members held frequent meetings and retreats during which they discussed NAMBLA's public image, formulated the association's outreach efforts, and nominated spokespersons. Members of the Steering Committee in close coordination with each other, created and maintained NAMBLA's website, and wrote, marketed, sold, and otherwise disseminated a variety of publications. Working in Massachusetts, William Andriette served as the editor of the Bulletin and Gayme Magazine. He did not act alone but rather under the supervision of the Steering Committee in producing these publications and in holding himself out as a NAMBLA spokesman.
:"In addition to the financial support and supervision provided by the full Steering Committee, the content of the Bulletin was guided by the "Bulletin Collective," an editorial board comprised of NAMBLA members from across the country who contributed and edited articles, screened photos and pictures, and participated in coordinating the production and distribution of the publication."
Judge O'Toole found that Dennis Bejin Joe Power, David Thorstad, David Miller (also known as David Menasco), Peter Melzer (also known as Peter Herman), Arnold Schoen (also known as Floyd Conaway), Dennis Mintun, Chris Farrell, Tim Bloomquist, Tecumseh Brown, Gary Hann, Peter Reed, Robert Schwartz, Walter Bieder and Leyland Stevenson were or had been members of the NAMBLA Steering Committee or had held other leading positions in the organization.
(The full text of these documents can be seen here.)
More recently, media reports have suggested that for practical purposes the group no longer exists and that it consists only of a web site maintained by a few enthusiasts. NAMBLA maintains a web site at http://www.nambla.org that shows addresses in New York and San Francisco and a phone contact in New York, and offers publications for sale, including the NAMBLA Bulletin.
NAMBLA is identified as a lobby group in Jon Stewart's America: The Book A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction (2004), and is also alluded to on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, often tagged on to an existing lobby group's acronym for the parody.
Gay groups, Christian groups, anti-sexual abuse organizations, law enforcement agencies and other critics see NAMBLA as a front for the criminal sexual exploitation of children. They say NAMBLA functions as a meeting place for male pedophiles and pederasts and their sympathizers. A number of alleged NAMBLA members have been charged with and convicted of sexual offenses against children.
Onell R. Soto, a San Diego Union-Tribune writer, wrote in February 2005: "Law enforcement officials and mental health professionals say that while NAMBLA's membership numbers are small, the group has a dangerous ripple effect through the Internet by sanctioning the behavior of those who would abuse children." http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20050217-2208-manboy-daily.html
Suspicion pertaining to the group's activities led both the U.S. Senate and U.S. Postal Service to conduct investigations of the group, both of which concluded without allegations of legal impropriety.
NAMBLA responds to the criticism that it is a "front for criminal and sexual exploitation of children" and that it advocates sex between men and boys by stating unequivocally that "NAMBLA does not engage in any activities that violate the law, nor do we advocate that anyone else should do so". Since sex between adults and minors is illegal, it is presumably included in NAMBLA's avoidance of advocating activities that violate the law.
NAMBLA rejects the widely held view that sex between adults and minors is always harmful, arguing that "the outcomes of personal experiences between adults and younger people primarily depend upon whether their relationships were consensual,". In support of this position NAMBLA cites research such as A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples, which was published in the Psychological Bulletin in 1998. NAMBLA devoted a web page to a brief overview of the study under the heading "The Good News About Man/Boy Love," and claimed the study showed, "On average, nearly 70% of males in the studies reported that as children or adolescents their sexual experiences with adults had been positive or neutral."
http://web.archive.org/web/19981205120531/www.nambla.org/metaanalysis.htm Some researchers dispute the findings of the meta-analysis http://www.ipce.info/ipceweb/Library/rbt_files.htm
Gay rights groups opposed to NAMBLA contend that their reason for disavowing NAMBLA has always been their sharing of the general public's disdain for pedophilia and child sexual abuse (as expressed in issues statements). These gay rights groups reject NAMBLA's claims of an analogy between the campaign for gay and lesbian equality and the abolition of age-of-consent laws, and view NAMBLA's rhetoric about "the sexual rights of youth" as a cover for its members' "real agenda".
Radicals like Pat Califia http://www.ipce.info/ipceweb/Library/califa_aftermath_frame.htm argue that politics played an important role in the gay community's rejection of NAMBLA. Califia says that although the gay rights mainstream never committed itself to NAMBLA or its platform, neither did it actively ostracise NAMBLA until opponents of gay rights used the group to link gay rights with child abuse and "recruitment." As evidence, subscribers to this theory point to statements made by prominent gay activists which contain political assessments of NAMBLA's impact on gay rights. One such statement was made by gay rights lobbyist Steve Endean. Endean, who opposed NAMBLA, said: "What NAMBLA is doing is tearing apart the movement. If you attach it [the man/boy love issue] to gay rights, gay rights will never happen." Gay author and activist Edmund White made a similar statement in his book States of Desire: "That's the politics of self-indulgence. Our movement cannot survive the man-boy issue. It's not a question of who's right, it's a matter of political naivete."
Some conservative Christians in the United States have used NAMBLA to attack gays in general. With the outbreak of the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal in 2002, this practice intensified. Critics of such organizations have pointed to statistics from national professional associations, such as the American Psychological Association and the Child Welfare League of America, which indicate that there is no correlation between homosexuality and child abuse.
Although NAMBLA itself has never been prosecuted, there have been a number of prosecutions of alleged NAMBLA members for sexual offences involving children or adolescents. The most recent of these cases involved a number of men arrested by the FBI in Los Angeles and San Diego in February 2005. Seven men were charged with planning to travel to Mexico to have sex with boys, the FBI said. An eighth man was charged with distributing child pornography.
According to a media report http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20050217-2208-manboy-daily.html, the FBI believes that at least one of the arrested men is a member of NAMBLA's national leadership, a second organized the group's national convention last year and a third said he had been a member since the 1980s.
Brief of amicus curae of Bill Wood and Joseph Ureneck for Massachusetts Senate Bill 2175
Gamson, Joshua. 1997. Messages of Exclusion: Gender, Movements, and Symbolic Boundaries. Gender and Society 11(2):178-199.
The Curleys v NAMBLA and others
Johnson, Matthew D. 2004. NAMBLA. An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture.
Thorstad, David. "Man/Boy Love and the American Gay Movement," Journal of Homosexuality 20 (1990): 251-274.
- Art Cohen, "The Boston-Boise Affair, 1977-78", Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, Vol. 10, No. 2. March-April, 2003.
- Benoit Denizet-Lewis, "Boy Crazy: NAMBLA: The Story of a Lost Cause," Boston Magazine
- John Mitzel, The Boston Sex Scandal, Boston, Glad Day Books, 1981
- http://www.nambla.org/ Home page of NAMBLA
- http://www.lib.neu.edu/archives/voices/gl_sexual2.htm Gay Community Responds to Revere
- http://www.qrd.org/qrd/orgs/NAMBLA/ NAMBLA-related Documents on the Queer Resources Directory - http://www.bostonmagazine.com/ArticleDisplay.php?id=27&print=yes
Boston Magazine: Boy Crazy] A history of NAMBLA, May 2001 - http://www.thecpac.com/Curleys-v-NAMBLA.html The Curleys v NAMBLA and others
- http://www.cnn.com/2001/LAW/01/08/nambla.suit.crim/ CNN: Parents of murdered child sue child-sex advocates January 8, 2001 - http://www.stcynic.com/blog/archives/2003/12/the_aclu_and_th.php
BLOG: Dispatches from the Culture Wars: The ACLU and the NAMBLA Case] December 22, 2003
- http://www.aclu-mass.org/legal/docket_2003-2004.asp ACLU of Massachusetts :LEGAL DOCKET 2003- 2004: Summary of their defense of NAMBLA
- http://www.columbia.edu/cu/thefed/v3/volume20/4/nambla.shtml The Fed goes to a NAMBLA meeting: Category:Pedophile organizations Category:LGBT organizations Category:United States organizations
>>>All you need to add is the communist manifesto 1963 and the story is complete.
I bought the book the FBI agent wrote that had the communist manifesto in.
EXCERPTS FROM NAKED COMMUNIST
I have been adding excerpts from it starting at post 27. I’ll keep adding as time permits.
Liz J. Abzug, Rebuild Our Town Downtown, Co-Chair
Wow. there’s a name I have not heard of in a long while. Any relation to NY’s famous “Bellowing Bella” Abzug?
Bella Abzug is a Chairperson of Stonewall Vets and Liz Abzug is Co-Chair.
I can’t verify family relation though.
I think the original big hat wearing Bellowing Bella Abzug is dead....for at least a decade. Gotta check on that. I always hate to google stuff until AFTER i have self-tested my middle-aged memory.
Just googled Bella Abzug. 1920 - 1998. 3 terms in congress. gave up seat in ‘76 to run for senate (lost), ran for NYC mayor (lost). Liz is her daughter.
I don’t know if this Chairman Bella is a relative of them too.
In my opinion, every member of this organization should have a nail driven right through their testicles and hung from the tallest tree around. And even that is too good foro these freaks.
Thanks, I posted a link to your thread.
She is a co-chair actually. And yes, she is a lawyer and indeed “Bellowing Bella’s” daughter.
There may be some info you will want to know in this thread. See the whole thread. Especially post 91.
Thanks for bumping!
Endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans 2002
Application for endorsement:
a web site for Radical Faerie information
The Father of the Radical Faeries.
John Burnside and Harry Hay
"Confronted with the loving-sharing Consensus of subject-SUBJECT relationships all Authoritarianism must vanish. The Fairy Family Circle, co-joined in the shared vision of non-possessive love -- which is the granting to any other and all others that total space wherein each may grow and soar to his own freely-selected, full potential -- reaching out to one another subject-to-SUBJECT, becomes for the first time in history the true working model of a Sharing Consensus!" -- Harry Hay, Arizona, 1979
"The Hausa people of West Africa say that the men and women of the village who relate to each other have, each one, an eye in their soul by which they perceive themselves, however dimly, on the right path in the dark and perilous realm of SPIRIT. But the souls of those men among them who relate to other men, and women who relate to other women, have two eyes! This Two-Eyes feature, different from the way Eurocentric Imperialisms might misinterpret it, bestows neither special powers or privileges -- instead it lays upon the Two-Eyed ones a sacred responsibility. For Two-Eyed ones have the capacity of vision to penetrate the dread gloom of the SPIRIT world to discern the path that their Group, their Community should follow to discover the next resting place, where they all will be temporarily safe and nurtured, on the SPIRIT journey all must take." -- Harry Hay, San Francisco, 1991
The real Harry Hay
With his sometimes crackpot notions and radiant, ecstatic, vision of the holiness of being queer, Harry Hay refused to play the model homosexual hero
EVEN IN THE GLOW of its conservatism, America which was formed via revolution, after all has always taken a certain pride in its radicals. Even so, America prefers to remember its history-makers in sanitized versions with none of the messy, often embarrassing flaws that are usually inscribed on the souls who take it upon themselves to change the world. Thus, we prefer to think of Thomas Jefferson as a revolutionary genius, rather than as slave owner who not only had sexual relations with his female slaves but consigned his own children to slavery. The fiery stances taken by anarchist and feminist Emma Goldman in the early part of this century are softened or forgotten in her incarnations as a grandmotherly figure in the film Reds and an innocuous witty commentator in the musical Ragtime. The popular image of Rosa Parks as a tired seamstress who just wanted a seat on the bus is far more comforting than the reality: she was a skilled political thinker and secretary of the NAACP chapter that planned the bus boycott long before she refused to sit down. Even the most serious biographers of Martin Luther King Jr. portray him in rosy hues, as an American saint, not as a deeply religious man whose promiscuity and adulterous behavior tore him apart.
So it is with Harry Hay founder of the gay movement in America who died at the age of 90 on October 24. Obits in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Associated Press left the impression that Hay was a passionate activist and something of a romantic. The New York Times referred to him as "an ardent American Communist, a romantic homosexual," who was a "restless middle-aged man" by the time he formed the Mattachine Society, the first gay-rights group in the United States. The Los Angeles Times described Hays penchant for wearing "the knit cap of a macho longshoreman, a pigtail and a strand of pearls" and also noted that he and John Burnside, his lover of 40 years, lived most recently in San Francisco in a pink Victorian house.
The reality is that while Hay may have been a romantic, he was also notoriously promiscuous, and his communism was far more rabid than "ardent." And while he did wear pearls with his longshoremans cap, it wasnt a form of charming "gender-bender" chic, as the Los Angeles Times put it, but a political statement Hay first donned back when it was still quite dangerous to do so. Hay, in fact, was fanatically resistant to the grandfatherly image the modern gay movement not only tried to attribute to him but expected him to play out. The documentary Word Is Out, for instance, filmed in 1976, portrayed Hay and Burnside as paragons of gay domesticity. More recently, he was invited to address the National Gay and Lesbian Task Forces Creating Change Conference, in 1998, and was billed as a major speaker. But he was given no context in which to talk about his politics and found himself treated more as an artifact of gay history than as an activist with ideas.
Hay had strong opinions and never pandered to popular opinion when he voiced them whether he was attacking national gay organizations for what he saw as their increasingly conservative political positions ("The assimilationist movement is running us into the ground," he told the San Francisco Chronicle in July 2000) or when he condemned the national gay press in particular, the Advocate for its emphasis on consumerism. He was, at times, a serious political embarrassment, as when he consistently advocated the inclusion of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) in gay-pride parades.
HAYS UNEASY relationship with the gay movement he reviled what he saw as the movements propensity for selling out its fringe members for easy, and often illusory, respectability didnt develop later in life. It was there from the start. In 1950, when Hay formed the Mattachine Society technically a "homophile group," since the more aggressive idea of gay rights had yet to be conceived his radical vision was captured in a manifesto he wrote stating boldly that gay people were not like heterosexuals. Indeed, Hay insisted, homosexuals formed a unique culture from which heterosexuals might learn a great deal. This notion was at decisive odds with the view put forth by many other Mattachine members: that homosexuals should not be discriminated against because gay people were just like straight people. By 1954, the group essentially ousted Hay.
It wasnt the first time Hay had been booted out of a group he helped create. From the 1930s through the early 1950s, Hay had been an active member of the American Communist Party. In 1934, Hay and his lover Will Geer, who later played Grandpa on the long-running television series The Waltons, helped pull off an 83-day-long workers strike of the port of San Francisco. Though marred by violence, it was an organizing triumph, one that became a model for future union strikes such as the one currently under way (but stymied by the Bush administration) at West Coast ports. During the 1940s, Hay struggled unsuccessfully to be honest about his homosexuality of which hed been certain since adolescence while maintaining his status as a member of the Communist Party, which banned homosexuals from joining. He married a follow Communist Party member and adopted two daughters even as he worked to form the Mattachine Society. But homophobia eventually won out. After the Mattachine Society gained notoriety in the early 1950s, Hay was unceremoniously kicked out of the Communist Party.
The story of Harry Hays life was that he was always a just little too radical and since he was also a bit of an egotist, too disinclined to demure for the groups with which he was involved. He was also too idealistic. Hay took the name Mattachine from a secret medieval French society of unmarried men who wore masks during their rituals as forms of social protest. They, in turn, took their names from the Italian mattaccino, a court jester who was able to tell the truth to the king while wearing a mask. As an old-time socialist, he was drawn to communism because of its egalitarian vision and, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, its stand against fascism. But he was also an actor and a musician drawn to a brand of scholarship that romanticized popular culture as intrinsically progressive and revolutionary.
Despite, or perhaps because of, Hays difficulty getting along with others, his vision of gay liberation was decades ahead of its time. His monumentally important contribution to the gay movement was his ability to communicate the notion that homosexuals made up a cultural minority with its own history, political concerns, and organizational strengths. An often-told story about Hay (retold in the New York Times obituary) recounts how he came up with a political strategy in 1948 that no one had ever voiced before: giving votes in exchange for ideological support. To wit: identity politics for homosexuals on the same model African-Americans had begun to use in organizations like the NAACP. Hay wondered out loud, the most basic form of political organizing if Vice-President Henry Wallace, who was the Progressive Partys candidate for president, would back a sexual-privacy law if he could be assured that a majority of homosexuals would vote for him. The politics of quid pro quo was revolutionary for its time. Remember, at that time it was dangerous to publicly identify as a "homosexual" you could be arrested merely on the suspicion that you might be looking for sex; many states legally forbade serving drinks to homosexuals, much less allowing homosexuals to gather together in public. Indeed, the American Psychological Associations lifting of the definition of homosexuality as a mental illness was a good 20 years away.
That said, Hays vision was not completely original. It drew partially on the work of late-19th/early-20th-century gay British socialist Edward Carpenter and, to a lesser extent, the political work of Magus Hirschfeld. Carpenter pushed the idea that people with homosexual desires were a distinct group with a well-defined identity, and thus could have a distinctive consciousness about their place in society. Hay, who was born in England in 1912 and moved to the US with his parents almost 10 years later, would have had easy access to Carpenters ideas, which were popular through the 1920s. But even though Hays notions had roots in European intellectual circles, they were truly radical in American political thought.
Political genius that he was, Hay never would have achieved what he did without his training as an organizer for the American Communist Party. He used the partys own "cell" organization to build and propagate the ever-growing Mattachine. Even the groups recruitment tactic it was as dangerous to walk up to someone and say, "Hey, are you a homosexual? Want to join our club?" as it was for someone to drum up membership for a seditious political group was modeled on the Communist Partys strategy of getting names of potential members from current members.
THE HOMOPHILE movement of the 1950s and 1960s gave way after the 1969 Stonewall riots to the Gay Liberation movement. With its roots in feminism, the Black Power movement, street culture, and the antiwar movement, the Gay Liberation movement initially appealed to Hay. It was, essentially, the movement he had envisioned in 1950 but that never came to fruition. Soon, however, Hay became disenchanted as the radical Gay Liberation movement became corporatized with groups like Gay Activist Alliance and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, whose goals were to assimilate into the mainstream rather than change the basic structures of society. Hay, yet again, was a queen without a movement.
During these years, Hay spoke out against what he saw as the increasing conservatism of the gay-and-lesbian movement. As he saw it, the gay and now, lesbian movement was far more interested in electing homosexuals to government positions than in making the government responsible to the needs of its people. It was more interested in making sure that gay people were represented in commercial television and films than in critiquing the ways mass culture destroyed the human spirit. It was too interested in making strategic alliances with conservative politicians, rather than exposing how most politicians were working hand in glove with bloodless, destructive corporations.
Hays response was to reinvent gay politics all over again: in 1979, he founded the Radical Faeries. The spiritual core of the Radical Faeries was the same as the one Hay had envisioned for his original Mattachine Society: the conviction that gay men were spiritually different from other people. They were more in touch with nature, bodily pleasure, and the true essence of human nature, which embraced both male and female. Hays spiritual radicalism had its roots in 17th-century British dissenting religious groups, such as the Diggers, Ranters, Quakers, and Levelers, who sought to refashion the world after their egalitarian, socialist, non-hierarchical, utopian views. Unlike his dissenting predecessors, however, it wasnt millennial Christianity that drove Hay, but a belief that all sexuality was sacred. And a belief that queer sexuality had an essential outsider quality that made the outcast homosexual the perfect prophet for a heterosexual world lost in strict gender roles, enforced reproductive sexuality, and numbingly straitjacketed social personae. The Radical Faeries were something of a cross between born-again queers and in-your-face frontline shock troops practicing gender-fuck drag.
By this time, the gay movement which had devolved from a "liberation" movement into a quest for "gay rights" treated Hay as a benign crackpot. He was frequently praised as an important historical figure, but no one was really interested in what he had to say, especially since the Christian right had already begun to launch vicious anti-gay attacks with Anita Bryant s "Save Our Children" campaign of 1979 and Californias Briggs Initiative (which would have banned openly gay schoolteachers) a year later. Often the discomfort with Hay was coupled with an overriding discomfort with his long history of involvement with the American Communist Party. More often than not, though, his relationship with Will Geer was touted as proof that just like Grandpa Walton Hay was an icon of safe respectability.
Despite his 40-year relationship with John Burnside, the aging radical still proclaimed the joys of sexual promiscuity and denounced the increasingly popular mandate that monogamy was a preferable lifestyle. In his own determined, often irritating, manner, Harry Hay resisted becoming a model homosexual hero. Nowhere was this more evident than in Hays persistent support of NAMBLAs right to march in gay-pride parades. In 1994, he refused to march with the official parade commemorating the Stonewall riots in New York because it refused NAMBLA a place in the event. Instead, he joined a competing march, dubbed The Spirit of Stonewall, which included NAMBLA as well as many of the original Gay Liberation Front members. Even many of Hay s more dedicated supporters could not side with him on this. But from Hays point of view, silencing any part of the movement because it was disliked or hated by mainstream culture was both a moral failing and a seriously mistaken political strategy. In Harrys eyes, such a stance failed to grapple seriously with the reality that there would always be some aspect of the gay movement to which mainstream culture would object. By pretending the movement could be made presentable by eliminating a specific "objectionable" group drag queens and leather people were the objects of similar purges in the 1970s and 1980s gay leaders not only pandered to the idea of respectability but betrayed their own community.
In death, though, Harry Hays critics have finally been able to do what they couldnt do when he was alive: make him presentable. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign have issued laudatory press releases. (The HRCs Davis Smith says, for example, "When you were in a room with him, you had the sense you were in the company of a historic figure." A sense I certainly didnt get at a cocktail party 12 years ago, when he came across as nothing but a cantankerous old queen who was more interested in speculating about what some of the younger party guests would be like in bed than discussing the connections between 1950s communism and gay-community organizing.) Even the Metropolitan Community Church issued a statement hailing Harry Hays support for its work (a dubious idea at best). Neither of the long and laudatory obits in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times mentioned his unyielding support for NAMBLA or even his deeply radical credentials and vision. Harry, it turns out, was a grandfatherly figure who had an affair with Grandpa Walton. But its important to remember Hay with all his contradictions, his sometimes crackpot notions, and his radiant, ecstatic, vision of the holiness of being queer as he lived. For in his death, Harry Hay is becoming everything he would have raged against.
HARRY HAYon MAN/BOY LOVE by David Thorstad
The speeches that Harry Hay made at meetings in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in the 1980s and in New York in June 1994 during Stonewall 25, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that launched the modern-day gay liberation movement, are published here for the first time.
Harry, founder in 1950 of the first American gay group to survive, the Mattachine Society, cofounder of the Gay Liberation Front, Southern California chapter, in 1969, cofounder of the Radical Faeries in 1979, father of the U.S. gay movement, and grandfatherly icon of gay liberation, died on October 24, 2002, at the age of ninety. Harry was a vocal and courageous supporter of NAMBLA and intergenerational sexual relationships, though since his death many of the assimilationists in the gay and lesbian movement, including its most prominent organizations, have already sought to erase that part of his radicalism (not to mention his Communist roots and vocal critiques of their own accommodationist approach to the powers that be). In order to bring truth to the record, I have transcribed these comments.
I first met Harry in early 1983, at the time of the first of these speeches. I was introduced to him and his lovelyI almost said saintlycompanion, John Burnside, a lovable gay man if ever there was one, by lesbian activist, self-professed witch, and sometime weed partner Katherine Davenport, a mutual friend and journalist for the New York Native. I knew about Harrys past as a Communist and labor activist, as well as the central role he had played in efforts to launch a gay movement in the dreary, conformist 1950sa time when homosexuality was still totally medicalized as a sickness or excoriated as a satanic perversion. I also knew that he had developed a philosophy of same-sex love that seemed inspired by the writings of Edward Carpenter, though without the explicit intermediate sex or third sex baggage, yet retaining a hint of the idea that gay men were destined to lead society to a higher level of sexual freedom and social justice.
When I was president of New Yorks Gay Activists Alliance in 1975, we received a letter from Harry from Taos, where he was then living, in which he expounded his ideas, with lots of capital letters and, to me, rather strange formulations. I was excited, because I hadnt realized that he was still alive, since he had remained largely silent so far as gay issues were concerned since he was driven out of Mattachine for his radicalism. So when I met him in 1983, I prepared a lavish turkey dinner for him, John, and Katherine.
From then on, I considered him a friend. I was lucky to have spent more time with him than I could have hoped for, yet far less than I would have likedat Phil Willkies Wisconsin cabin and his St. Paul apartment; at the Stonewall 25 demonstration in New York in 1994, where Harry and John, as well as the late Jim Kepner (another early member of the Mattachine Society and a gay archivist) marched with the Spirit of Stonewall contingent that included NAMBLA; and at the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) conference in New York that same week, which expelled NAMBLA (despite Harrys vocal protests and subsequent disgust) under pressure from U.S. Senator Jesse Helms, the Clinton administration, gay congressman Barney Frank, and the gay and lesbian assimilationist organizations; at his and Johns apartment in San Francisco; at a Faerie event in Stuyvesant Square Park in New York; at several NAMBLA conferences
When I learned last September that Harry had inoperable cancer and only weeks to live, I wrote him a card that ended with a thought that expresses an appreciation for his life that I am sure many others would share: You are leaving the world an unforgettable legacy, and will be an eternal part of our gay Pantheon, along with Ulrichs, Carpenter, and Whitman.
Of course, Harry stood for much more than the comments published here. But these views were also important to him, as his moving expressions of love for Matt, the man in his life as a boy, make clear. Wherever he is, I thank him for them, and offer them to posterity.
Notice that they don't have a checkoff for your height being changed? That actually happens as people get older. But there's not a well-funded lobby for that one!
Lou Posner was the lawyer who owned:
Cops say lawyers ran midtown brothel (Big Apple)
The brothel wasn’t just a brothel. They made available to order, Premium Events.
The brothel and events laundered money through activist groups such as VoterMarch and nobloodforoil.org
The contact information of this Direct Action Network shows nobloodforoil is also riseup.net:
WHO: Direct Action Network
WHAT: DAN began as a coalition of activists during the WTO protests in Seattle, formed in the hope of maintaining a continental network of activists to share resources and facilitate future mobilization through the guerrilla tactics of direct action. In response to the situation in Iraq, NYC DAN started the No Blood for Oil Coalition.
WHY: Our mission is to bring direct action into the movement against the war. Were not organized around holding large rallies; our focus is more around civil resistance: facilitating affinity groups, organizing guerrilla action and other visible ways that show were ready to put our bodies in line to speak against this war.
WHAT NEXT: Mass mobilization on Times Square in New York City at 5 pm the day of the invasion of Iraq.
NYC DAN e-mail: email@example.com
No Blood For Oil e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicago DAN e-mail: chicagoDAN@ziplip.com
Now look who RiseUp.net is affiliated with. Email contact is RiseUp.net:
Saturday, September 29 (eve) PARADE WITHOUT PERMIT PROTEST MARCH
The unauthorized but well-planned march sponsored by the Radical Homosexual Agenda (RHA) gathers at Tompkins Square Park after 6 p.m. amd kicks off @ 7 p.m. It is planned to have the famous Stonewall Car well-known to the NYCPD symbolically leading the protest march. One of the protest issues is the unnecessary new law that any gathering of 50 or more people need a parade permit!? What is this pre-Stonewall 1968? Shame on the City Council Speaker for supporting such undemocratic trash! For further 411, e-mail the RHAs chief coordinator Tim Doody at Query@RiseUp.net.
S.V.A. Editors Note: What an absolutely treble busy day for the S.V.A. Its like deja vu 1969!
Now, go through this entire thread to ensure you have a good understanding as to who Stonewall is.
Makes you wonder how unusual the Premium Events requests could get.
*NYC DAN started the No Blood for Oil Coalition*
nobloodforoil is also riseup.net
For the planning of their protest march on Saturday, September 29th, their special guests today are logically members of the STONEWALL Veterans’ Association. There is no question that the S.V.A. has experience with “protests”. The Radical Homosexual Agenda (”RHA”) also invited the S.V.A. today to plan protest strategies and make arrangements for the protest march to feature the big blue classic convertible known as the “Stonewall Car”. Williamson Henderson of the S.V.A. originated the symbolic and visible Stonewall history idea. It was quickly embraced by both groups united in Gay respect and Gay rights cause. One of the RHA’s popular banners cleverly states: “The Stonewall Veterans didn’t ask for a parade permit!” Today’s representation for the S.V.A. is headed up by Bert Coffman. Meeting location is at Bike Space, 49 East Houston Street in the East Village @ 4 p.m. For more 411, you may e-mail the RHA at: WeWantYou@RiseUp.net.
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