The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Pastor Sean Harris encouraged parishioners to beat their gay sons.
The increasingly ugly battle over North Carolina's Amendment One reveals a cancer at the core of fundamentalist religion and the desperation of the anti-gay movement, which now seems utterly unrestrained by any sense of decency. The supporters of Amendment One have revealed themselves not only as liars and fanatics, but also as advocates of child abuse and violence. The frightening thing is that they may prevail.
The opponents of equal rights routinely lie about glbtq people. They regularly spout discredited "research" from hate groups and simply manufacture nonsensical "slippery slope" arguments to frighten people. However, the campaign on behalf of North Carolina's Amendment One, which would require that the state recognize no relationship other than the marriage of one man and one woman, vividly demonstrates the increasing desperation of the anti-gay movement and its lack of any moral restraint.
The Vote for Marriage NC organization, which is leading the campaign in favor of Amendment One, no longer makes any pretense of conducting a civil discussion of policy. Its campaign is now frankly a campaign against gay people, who are routinely described as "perverted" and "depraved." In addition, it has blatantly made the campaign an expression of religious belief.
Typical of the campaign's spokespeople is Pastor Patrick Wooden of Raleigh's Upper Room Baptist Church. This pastor has an unhealthy fascination with gay men's sex lives and, more particularly, with anal sex. At every opportunity, he claims that gay men have so much anal sex that they have to wear diapers and that "I know of a case where in a hospital a homosexual male had a cellphone lodged in his anus and as they were operating on him the phone went off, the phone started ringing!"
When challenged by Pam Spaulding as to the veracity of these spurious claims, he admitted that they were false, but justified them because, by definition, "homosexuals as a group are defined by who they sleep with" and by extension, since his religious view is that homosexuality is a sin, this is what drives him to speak out. In other words, he thinks it perfectly acceptable to lie in the name of God.
If Wooden and his lies are vile, the sermoneering of Pastor Sean Harris of the Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina is downright repulsive. As the video clip below documents, in the midst of a sermon in support of Amendment One, Harris literally calls for beating gay children.
Perhaps the scariest thing about this video is the fact that the congregation clearly approves of the child abuse advocated by the pastor, and, even worse, the Berean Baptist Church operates a school.
After an outrage across the blogosphere, Harris issued a lame apology. On his MSNBC show The Last Word, Lawrence O'Donnell analyzes the pastor's apology.
Other ugly incidents in the campaign have included a redneck teenager making a video in which he shoots a "No on Amendment One" sign. That video was removed from YouTube after it attracted the attention of gay activists. But another bigot promptly posted his own contribution to political discourse, this one showing him urinating on a "No on Amendment One" sign.
One would think that the ugliness of these tactics would boomerang against the campaign for Amendment One. Apparently, however, that is not happening. The latest polls indicate that Amendment One will pass even though a majority of North Carolinians say that they are in favor of either same-sex marriage or civil unions, both of which are banned by the amendment.
The problem seems to be that the electorate is ill-informed and uneducated about Amendment One and also about gay people.
Protect All North Carolina Families, the group spearheading the attempt to defeat Amendment One, made a strategic decision not to focus on gay people, but rather to describe the harm it will cause all unmarried families and the state generally, as described here. Their ads have featured almost no gay people, focusing instead on issues such as domestic abuse and on the children of unmarried heterosexual couples.
In his Live from Hell's Kitchen blog, David Mixner lauded the organization's approach, contending that "Many voters, if they feel that it is a vote about approval, will not vote for the rights of the LGBT community. The key is have those who might not fully approve of the LGBT community find a way to overcome their discomfort and give them a 'hook' to vote for full equality."
However, by failing to educate the state about gay people, Protect All North Carolina Families has allowed the opposition to define gay people as depraved sexual perverts and to make the campaign about religious belief.