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  1. I am about to commit an act of gay heresy. It wouldn’t be my first time. But it is the first time I will be challenging, not just an Article of Faith, but also a High Priestess. I’m referring, of course, to Lady Gaga, whose hit single “Born This Way†is being touted as a new gay anthem. But I can’t help it. So here goes: I neither know, nor care, whether I was “born this way.†Before you react, let me be very clear on what I’m saying, and what I’m not saying. By “born this way,†I mean “genetically hardwired to be gay,†and by “gay,†I mean having the disposition to be predominantly sexually attracted to other men. I am not saying that I was NOT born gay. I’m actually agnostic on the question. There has been a good bit of scientific research in recent decades suggesting a strong genetic component in sexual orientation. I am all for such research. But the evidence, while solid and growing, is still inconclusive. (Edward Stein’s 1999 book The Mismeasure of Desire remains an excellent argument as to why.) There may be intermediate environmental factors that also play a key role. Human sexuality is complex, and not well captured in terms of simple unidirectional hardwiring. Moreover, such research—which almost always focuses on men—does not claim to show that the same factors are operative in every case. Thus, even if most gays are “born this way,†it doesn’t follow that *I* was born this way. That’s what I mean when I say I don’t know. Now here’s what I mean when I say I don’t care. Science teaches us about how we come to have the traits that we do. It does not tell us whether such traits are good to have. It does not tell us whether acting on them would be worthy or unworthy of respect, or perhaps morally indifferent. 365gay
  2. Equality-minded little monsters undoubtedly put their paws up Friday when Lady Gaga announced that her exclusive album distribution deal with Target requires the company to support LGBT charity groups and reform its past support for antigay causes. Since last summer, the Minnesota-based retailer has been under fire, including a high-profile boycott and tarnished rating in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, for a $150,000 donation to MN Forward, a group that backed failed Republican gubernatorial candidate and marriage equality opponent Tom Emmer. "That discussion was one of the most intense conversations I've ever had in a business meeting,†the pop star told Billboard magazine, assuring fans her deal with Target was “hinged upon their reform.†The Gaga exhalation followed related news that Target updated its political giving policy upon an internal review after the 2010 election cycle. The changes, first reported in the Washington Blade on Thursday, took effect last month and entail the establishment of a policy committee of senior executives who, in conjunction with the chief executive officer and oversight from the board of directors, will guide decision-making about financial support for political activities. For the rest of the article: Advocate
  3. (Honolulu) For years, the Rev. Fay Hovey has held romantic ceremonies on the sand for gay partners who want to pledge their love in Hawaii. The couples take photos and memories with them, but they lack a legal and binding recognition of their relationship. That will change when same-sex civil unions soon become law in the Rainbow State. “They have that fantasy just like any other couple, to come and have a wedding and a honeymoon,†said Hovey, of Aloha Maui Gay Weddings, who hopes for an increase in commitment ceremonies. “When they come to Hawaii, everybody can relax in their spirits and feel included.†Hawaii lawmakers gave final approval to civil unions Wednesday and sent the legislation to Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who plans to sign it into law within 10 business days. Civil unions would begin Jan. 1, 2012, making the state the seventh in the nation to grant virtually the same rights of marriage to same-sex couples without authorizing marriage itself. The culturally diverse islands – with their swaying palm trees, picturesque sunsets and wind-swept sands – are already a welcoming place for gay tourists, including some who seek informal partnership ceremonies. With civil unions, those ceremonies would come with a certificate that’s valid in other states with civil unions or same-sex marriage, depending on their local laws. Five states and the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage. Hawaii, known as one of the nation’s premier locations for destination weddings and honeymoons, also will allow gay couples to get civil unions even if they don’t come from states with compatible laws. This could provide a boost to the tourism-dependent islands that are trying to recover from the recession. “It will certainly drive more tourism and bring more people to us,†said Michael Waddell, general manager for the Maui Sunseeker, a resort catering to gay clientele. “They come here because they can be comfortable and they can be themselves.†The Maui Sunseeker is expanding from 17 to 30 rooms by the end of the year, which will help it accommodate new visitors, he said. Honeymoons and marriages made up nearly one-tenth of Hawaii vacations last year, with more than 600,000 tourists traveling for that reason out of a total of about 7 million annual visitors, according to preliminary state government statistics. To read the rest of the article: www.365gay.com
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