"Almodovar, who is one of my best friends, is a recognized homosexual, and I never had a problem. To discuss this kind of thing at the end of the millennium is kind of absurd. I've been saying this for five years: I consider it stupid when people question somebody about their sexual option. It's old and Victorian." — Actor Antonio Banderas to Out magazine, February issue.
"If we could all learn to cut straight boys some wiggle room ... we might spark the revival of a once-hallowed institution: trade. Back in the bad old days, getting a blow job from another guy didn't mean a guy was gay, only that he was horny and hard up. Then the gay liberation movement came along and ruined everything. By insisting that it made no difference who was giving and who was getting—both guys were gay—gay liberation scared off horny and hard-up straight boys. Which is really too bad. After all, there are an awful lot of good looking straight boys out there who might otherwise indulge as well as an awful lot of horny gay boys more than willing to indulge them." — Columnist Dan Savage, Out magazine, February issue.
"More male contact than hockey, football, and wrestling." — An ad for the American version of Queer As Folk run in Toronto's Xtra! by the Canadian network Showcase.
"In all honesty, I think all gay issues are just going to be shelved for the duration of the Bush administration." — Judy Shepard, Matthew's mother, to the Miami Herald, Jan. 21.
"I'm part political pundit, part love doctor, part anthropologist, part sex therapist, part financial analyst, part sports commentator and all around millennial Nostradame." — Lesbian comedian Kate Clinton to the Long Beach [California] Press-Telegram, Jan. 19.
"I do this very subcultural comic strip. And the subculture is kind of disintegrating around me. ... I do feel worried about what my future is, you know? What is going to be the future of the gay and lesbian newspapers that carry my work? What does the Web mean to my financial viability? I'm not selling as many books as I used to. My publisher ... is being sold. So everything is really changing." — Dykes To Watch Out For cartoonist Alison Bechdel in an interview posted at gay.com, Jan. 7.
"If many in the overwhelmingly white, male and gay audience of 400 at the breakfast at The Almas Temple craved validation, [former Wyoming Republican Sen. Alan] Simpson, the master of ceremonies of the event, gave it to them big time. He spoke poignantly about the 'tragedy of Mathew Shepard,' which occurred in his own state. He discussed openly lesbian Mary Cheney and the Cheney family, and talked about how terrible it is for families to reject their gay children. And like most of the other speakers, Simpson praised George W. Bush as a uniter who'd brought a new day to the Republican Party. Not every gay Republican in the room had fallen under the unity spell, however. Washington D.C. Councilman David Catania followed Simpson, making the event's introductory remarks, and in about as respectful and polite a way as he could, he lambasted the Republican Party for its continued, blatant homophobia." — Gay.com's Michelangelo Signorile Jan. 24, on the Republican Unity Coalition breakfast in D.C.
"Any reasonable reading of the extensive Judiciary Committee testimony shows that Mr. Ashcroft's zeal has overruled prudence in cases that bear directly on issues relevant to the Department of Justice. For example, the desegregation of public schools, often under voluntary agreements supervised by federal courts, has bipartisan roots reaching back to the Eisenhower presidency. But as Missouri attorney general, Mr. Ashcroft opposed a court-approved voluntary desegregation plan for St. Louis and failed to come up with an alternative that would have ameliorated the segregated conditions. Mr. Ashcroft's tactics in blocking Judge Ronnie White's elevation from the Missouri Supreme Court to the federal bench raise problems of another sort. Judge White had a strong record of supporting capital punishment and often voted with Mr. Ashcroft's appointees on the Missouri Supreme Court. But on the floor of the Senate, Mr. Ashcroft advanced the fabricated charge that Judge White was 'pro-criminal' and had 'a tremendous bent toward criminal activity.' Before the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Ashcroft persisted in this demagogic attack, insisting that he was merely exercising his prerogative as a senator to reach an independent judgment. He was equally unpersuasive in explaining his plainly homophobic opposition to the confirmation of James Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg. Mr. Hormel is a man of sterling legal and diplomatic credentials. Yet Mr. Ashcroft declared that he opposed Mr. Hormel based on the 'totality' of his record. As President Bush likes to say, we cannot read what is in another's heart. But neither can any civic- minded participant in this process fail to consider Mr. Ashcroft's history of opposition and code-worded condemnation of those whose color, sexual preference, religious views and attitude toward abortion differ from his own. On the issue of abortion, Mr. Ashcroft swore that his 30-year history of legislative and constitutional attacks on abortion rights would not lead him to oppose the 'settled law' supporting those rights. Of equal importance, he testified under oath that he would not use his powersas attorney general to invite a Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade, the ruling that guarantees reproductive freedom of choice for American women. We urge a unified Democratic vote in the Senate against confirmation." — The New York Times before Ashcroft's confirmation.
"Presidents come and go, but a Washington clichÃ© is forever. Today we'll be lectured repeatedly on the poignancy of a president's exit (not that he's actually going anywhere), the promise of a new president's arrival, and on the glory of our Republic. We'll be reminded that there are no tanks in the streets when America changes leaders—only cheesy floats and aural assault weapons in the guise of high school bands. All true, and yet at this inaugural more than any other in any American's lifetime there is a cognitive dissonance between the patriotic sentiment and the reality. More Americans voted for the candidate who lost the election than the one who won. The Washington Post/ABC News poll says that only 41 percent believe the winner 'has a mandate to carry out the agenda' of his campaign. Even before the Florida fracas, the country's black population rejected the Republican candidate (who assiduously tried to attract black voters) by a larger margin than any since Barry Goldwater (who had voted against the Civil Rights Act). And now come calamities ignored in a campaign that dithered about prescription drugs, tax cuts and schools: an energy meltdown in the nation's biggest state, and a possible economic downturn." — New York Times columnist Frank Rich Jan. 20.
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