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Houston Voice, May 27, 2005
File 011
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Houston Voice, May 27, 2005 - File 011. 2005-05-27. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 17, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1945/show/1930.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2005-05-27). Houston Voice, May 27, 2005 - File 011. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1945/show/1930

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, May 27, 2005 - File 011, 2005-05-27, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 17, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1945/show/1930.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, May 27, 2005
Contributor
  • Fisher, Binnie
  • Crain, Chris
Publisher Window Media
Date May 27, 2005
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 011
Transcript EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION Executive Editor CHRIS CRAIN Editor BINNIE FISHER Con-espondents BRYAN ANDERTON, DVANA BAGBY, LOU CHIBBARO, JR.. JOE CREA. MUBARAK OAHIR, LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN, MIKE FLEMING, MATTHEW HENNIE, JOHNNY HOOKS, PHIL LAPADULA RYAN LEE, BRIAN MOY- LAN. KEVIN NAFF, YUSEF NAJAFL KEN SAIN, RHONDA SMITH, STEVE WEINSTEIN. ANDYZEFFER Cartributoi-s DON MAINES, DAWN RORIE, ELLA TYLER, SHANA NICHOLSON, JA CHAPMAN. RICH ARENSCHIELDT AND ANAS BEN-MUSA PhotograplMS DALTON DEHART. KIMBERLY THOMPSON FYoductiMl Manager JAMES NEAL Webmaster ARAM VARTIAN SALES & ADMINISTRATION Genera) Manager JASON WILSON jwilson a houstonvoice.com Classified Sales / Office Administrator JOHNNY HOOKS - ihookio.houstonvoice.com National Advertising Representative Rivendell Media • 212-242-6863 Pubfclw- WINDOW MEDIA LLC President- WILLIAM WAYBOURN Editorial Director-CHRIS CRAIN Corporate Controller- BARNETTE HOLSTON Art Director-ROB BOEGER Director of Operations-MIKE KITCHENS Director of Sales- STEVEN GUERR1N1 Director of Classified Sales- NATHAN REGAN Marketing Manager RON ROMANSKI ^harper CHARTER MEMBER Established 1974 as the Montrose Star. 500 Lovett Blvd. Suite 200 Houston, Texas 77006 (713) 529-8490 Fax:(713)529-9531 wwwii04Jstorooi-ce.com Office hours: 9 a.m.-530 p.m. weekdays To submit a letter Letters should be fewer than 400 words. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. We will withhold names upon request but you must include your name and phone number for --wtfication. Please send mail to Houston Voice, 500 Lovett Blvd. Suite 200, Houston. Texas 77006: fax (713) 529-9531 or e-mail to edrtorahoustofiwice.com. Opinions expressed therein do not reflect those of the Houston Vote. All material in Houston Voce is protected by federal copyright law .md mjy not be reproduced without the written consent of Houston Voce The sexual orientation ol advertisers, phctoyaphers. writers and cartoonists published herein is neither »iferred or implied The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation at that person or persons. Houston Voce accepts unsolicited editorial material but cannot take responsiMity lor its return The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit any submission All rights revert to authors upon publication Guidelines lor freelance iwtltwtMS are available upon request Forum HOUSTON VOICE MAY 27, 2005 PAGE 10 editorial Culture Wars get personal Amsterdam's welcome mat to gays won't be restored by using the law to silence Muslim fundamentalists. Gay Americans are all too used to such arm-twisting tactics. By CHRIS CRAIN N THE WEEK FOLLOWING the violent attack in Amsterdam on my boyfriend and me by seven men angry that we were holding hands, the Dutch media have focused a tremendous amount of attention on the assault. In a 20-minute story on Holland's answer to "60 Minutes," and in radio and newspaper reports in newspapers, and on countless news and blog sites, the gay-friendly Dutch have struggled to place the attack in a broader context. Was it an isolated incident or the latest in a series that suggests a changing climate in the Netherlands that no longer fits the country's legendary reputation as open and tolerant toward all? Particularly incendiary has been my description of our attackers as having "Moroccan-like features" and accents. I was generally aware of tension over immigration policies in Holland, but of the more than 700 messages I've received, roughly half have focused almost exclusively on the assumed cultural and religious heritage of our attackers and the dangers many native Dutch feel from their version of the "Culture Wars" we have fought in the US. for years. The other half of the messages dealt instead with the anti-gay motivation of our attackers and urged my boyfriend and me to return to Amsterdam, and to hold hands in the street without fear. We have been touched more than we can say by this show of support. from abroad and at home. All of the messages were sympathetic and some dealt with the cultural conflict in a thoughtful, careful manner. But many Dutch residents were particularly blunt in their disgust for the changes they see in their country. "This kind of behavior is exactly why the Dutch would like to see the Moroccans go back home rather sooner than later," wrote one woman in a typical message. "Because they are miles apart from Dutch culture." "You seem to think that those Moroccans only hate gay people?" wrote a resident of Leiden, near Amsterdam. "Forget it! They hate everyone who isn't Moroccan. For years our government is telling us to be tolerant, to try to understand 'our new Dutch." This is where it leads." Andrew Sullivan kindly helped spread initial word about the attack on his eponymous blog, and like many others couched the Dutch Culture Wars in explicit religious terms. "Hatred of open and proud homosexuals is intrinsic to Islamist fundamentalism, as it is to Christian fundamentalism," he wrote. "The struggle against both is the same one — at home and abroad." Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Program at the Human Rights Watch, also blamed the attack in part on "global fundamentalism" — mainly U.S. televangelist Pat Robertson and the new Catholic pope. He went on to claim our assault was the natural response of a Muslim minority routinely discriminated against by native Dutch. "There's still an extraordinary degree of racism in Dutch society," Long said in an interview with PlanetOut. "Gays often become the victims of this when immigrants retaliate for the inequities that they have to suffer." MY OWN VIEW IS THAT MANY OF OUR well-intentioned supporters are approaching the underlying cause of hate violence in fundamentally misguided ways. Long, in particular, only fans the flames of hate by blaming our attack on Dutch society, which has enacted the most progressive gay laws in the world, for producing an anti-gay attack. There was no racist component to our attack, as he implies. Our attackers would have reacted at least as viciously to two men of their own ethnicity who walked the street as lovers. Long's brand of "blame the society" political correctness is a distraction from the very real cultural clashes happening in Holland and elsewhere. In his role at Human Rights Watch, Long has no business being an apologist for hate, and for the bias-motivaied violence it produces. It's also too easy to point the finger at America's favorite target - fundamentalist Islam. We were walking back to our hotel room in the wee hours on Saturday morning through a street full of holiday revelers. Our attackers were not on the corner for morning prayers. I do not mean to discount the influence of religion on culture. I grew up in the American South, where fundamentalist Christianity provided aid and comfort for the racist oppression of blacks and continues to rally opposition to equality for gays. But the contribution of religion here is more indirect, and I'm not sure much can be accomplished with non-Muslims blaming a faith about which we are mostly ignorant for the culture we think it has produced. Life in a multicultural society means accepting that others will not share our religious beliefs and that no one group should lay claim to representing "normal society" demanding all others succumb. THE DUTCH CULTURE WARS SHOULD not be fought by shutting down the borders or by using the law to silence those who do not share the country's tradition of tolerance. Those are the arm-twisting tactics of the cultural conservatives who control the majority party here in the U.S. If we really believe our own rhetoric — about freedom of thought and tolerance of other cultures and values — then the best response is more openness and more speech, not less. Too often those who advocate for openness and tolerance get dismissed as soft-headed or naive, and they can be. Some Dutch media have purposefully ignored the cultural conflict that played a role in our attack by refusing to report any details about our attackers. Tolerance should not mean burying your head in the sand. Others, like Long from Human Rights Watch, will view hate violence through a P.C. lens, apologizing for the attackers if then- minority status "trumps" that of those who were attacked. A more vigorous approach to openness would make the case for a society where each group is entitled to its own values, but not to impose them on others whether through laws or through fists in the streets, This approach would publicly call upon good people from across the ideological spectrum, including those religious and cultural leaders who condemn homosexuality, to also condemn a brutal street beating of those who do not share their views. I've been asked many times in the last week whether gay tourists should steer clear of Amsterdam until the climate there improves. I certainly hope that isn't what happens. I am proud that my boyfriend and I stood up for ourselves by walking the streets of Amsterdam hand in hand, and by not running away when we were confronted. I would urge other gay tourists, as well as gays and our allies living in Holland, to stand up for themselves, too, and not run away figuratively, either. Chris Crain is H executive editor of the Houston Voice and can be reached at
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