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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mark My Words

By Mark Segal

Sometimes the national leadership of our community makes me shake my head in wonder. The last big suggestion to come from some of our national leaders is to boycott Wal-Mart. What? There are a couple of problems with this idea.

This holiday season, Wal-Mart is expected to outpace other retailers thanks to its low prices, which appeal to Americans suffering under President Bush’s “for rich men” economic policies. Second, how can we effect this boycott if we believe our own publicity about the affluent gay market? If
we’re all fashionistas, shopping at Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus, we
wouldn’t be seen in a Wal-Mart anyway.

Wal-Mart does not seem to be a great target to bring the community together
or ask allies to join us. (This is not to say that Wal-Mart isn’t a good
boycott target in general.) On the other hand, there is an event happening
in April that, if handled well, could unite the GLBT community and our
allies. Pope Benedict XVI is making his first official trip to the U.S. in
April. Like Wal-Mart, his organization does not offer domestic-partner
benefits. But unlike Wal-Mart, Benedict has a few choice words about our

As a young man, Benedict served in Hitler Youth. He’s offended Muslims and
Jews as well. We know his positions on women’s rights, condoms and
homosexuality, and on homosexuality, let’s let him speak for himself:

“Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”

On same-sex couple adoption: “Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children.”

Benedict also led a witch-hunt in seminaries looking for priests with
evidence of homosexuality, calling homosexuality “objectively disordered”
and a “grave sin.”

A 2005 document on homosexual priests stated: “ ... the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, may not admit to the seminary and Holy Orders those who practice homosexuality, show profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture.”

This man, who speaks of morals, runs an organization that is ostensibly the
largest pedophilia organization in the world, despite a 1961 church document
that stated: “Ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty.”

How dare this man speak of morals.

This April, the Pope will visit New York City and Washington, D.C. This is a
time for action, for mass demonstrations. We should make his visit a
statement that his behavior and language is not acceptable in a civilized

At a recent “gay wedding,” Christian protesters reminded me of the hate of
the KKK toward African Americans and the hateful words of Nazi-era Germans
toward Jews.

Jews learned to never forget and this is why they speak up at any time
someone says anything slightly anti-Semitic. Let the GLBT community take a
lesson from them: This April is a time for us to speak up and speak out!

Mark Segal is PGN publisher. He can be reached at

Printed in this blog with permission by Mark Segal PGN Publisher © 2007 Philadelphia Gay News

Many refer to Mark Segal as the dean of American gay journalism. As a pioneer of the local gay press movement, he was one of the founders and former president of both The National Gay Press Association and the National Gay Newspaper Guild. He also is the founder and publisher of the award winning Philadelphia Gay News which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

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