Freshly Doug Weekender

Abraham Lincoln : pic by Justin Wong

The Illinois Senate has passed the marriage equality bill 34–21. It now goes to the House, and then the Governor, Pat Quinn. The Governor issued a statement saying

“Couples across Illinois have even more reason today to celebrate their love for each other, thanks to the hard work of committed advocates and lawmakers. This historic legislation will strengthen our state by allowing all committed couples to enjoy the same legal protections and benefits of marriage.”

Residents of “The Land of Lincoln” are going to be insufferable if Spielberg sweeps the Oscars as well.

Less pleased are ‘family’ groups, frothing at the mouth again, this time over the possibility that same-sex military spouses might get the right to burial in the Arlington National Cemetery. These people don’t stop hating us, even after we’re dead.

Lot’s of Valentinesey stories about, some better than others. Here’s a nasty: students at Smolensk State University were excluded from a symbolic marriage ceremony.

The head of the political council of “Young Guards” Artem Murzak stressed that only heterosexual couples can “register love” – gays would be denied. “We say homosexuals resounding ‘no’,”  he said. Thanks Artie.

What would we really have liked for Valentine’s Day? Hubby here wanted chocolates as well as the flowers. Oh well, can’t get ’em all right. Decent inclusive sex-ed in schools might be a good one, without religious biases, age-appropriate, and starting before puberty, so as to prepare kids for the changes to come.

I made that suggestion to an organisation working on making schools safer for kids, and got a “shock – horror – inappropriate” reaction for suggesting that even primary school kids need some basic tuition. Do these people forget their own childhoods? Or walk around wearing blinkers and earplugs?

I first heard about the mechanics of sex from my peers at around seven years of age. I picked up more information over the following years, until my parents left a little book on my pillow when I hit thirteen. A lot of the early stuff was of course wrong: the book was accurate as far as it went, but too little, too late. And neither mentioned ‘gay’. We can do a lot better.

Almost forgot: apparently 40% of Londoners have had, or are willing to have, gay sex, possibly even with their best friend. Whyever did I leave?

Have a great weekend.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)