Table of Contents

CanadianGay
presents
THIS DAY IN GAY HISTORY
based on: The White Crane Institute's 'Gay Wisdom', Gay Birthdays, Gay For Today, Famous GLBT, glbt-Gay Encylopedia, Today in Gay History, Wikipedia, and more …

Collected by Ted

February 14

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c.2000 B.C. - 1200 B.C.Ganymede, a beuatiful shepherd boy, was abducted by Zeus , king of the Gods, from Mount Ida, near Troy. Ganymede had been tending sheep, a rustic or humble pursuit characteristic of a hero's boyhood before his privileged status is revealed. Zeus either sent an eagle or turned himself to an eagle to transport the youth to Mount Olympus.

In the Iliad, Zeus is said to have compensated Ganymede's father Tros by the gift of fine horses, "the same that carry the immortals", delivered by the messenger god Hermes.

In Olympus, Zeus granted Ganymede eternal youth and immortality and the office of cupbearer to the gods, supplanting Hebe. All the gods were filled with joy to see the youth, except for Hera, Zeus's consort, who regarded Ganymede as a rival for her husband's affection. Zeus later put Ganymede in the sky as the constellation Aquarius.

Plato accounts for the pederastic aspect of the myth by attributing its origin to Crete, where the social custom of paiderastía was supposed to have originated. He has Socrates deny that Ganymede was the "catamite" of Zeus, and say the god loved him non-sexually for his psychē, "mind" or "soul," giving the etymology of his name as ganu-, "taking pleasure," and mēd-, "mind." Ganymede, he points out, was the only one of Zeus's lovers who was granted immortality.

In poetry, Ganymede became a symbol for the beautiful young male who attracted homosexual desire and love.

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 (Click for larger)

c.2000 B.C. - 1200 B.C. – In Classical myth, Hyacinth was a beautiful boy and lover of the god Apollo, though he was also admired by the West Wind, Zephyr. Apollo and Hyacinth took turns throwing the discus one day. Hyacinth ran to catch it to impress Apollo, was struck by the discus as it fell to the ground, and died.

In one telling of the tale, the wind god Zephyrus was responsible for the death of Hyacinth. His beauty caused a feud between Zephyrus and Apollo. Jealous that Hyacinth preferred the radiant archery god Apollo, Zephyrus blew Apollo's discus off course, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth.

When he died, Apollo didn't allow Hades to claim the boy; rather, he made a flower, the hyacinth, from his spilled blood. It's a very moving story that has been the basis of many works of art over the centuries.

According to Ovid's account, the tears of Apollo stained the newly formed flower's petals with the words ai ai, the Greek cry of grief. The flower of the mythological Hyacinth has been identified with a number of plants other than the true hyacinth, such as the iris.

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c.1200 B.C. – In Greek mythology, Patroclus, or Patroklos, was the son of Menoetius, was Achilles' beloved comrade and brother-in-arms.

In his youth, Patroclus accidentally killed his friend, Clysonymus, during an argument over a game of dice. His father fled with Patroclus into exile to evade revenge, and they took shelter at the palace of their kinsman King Peleus of Phthia. There Patroclus apparently first met Peleus' son Achilles. Peleus sent the boys to live in the wilderness and be raised by Chiron, the cave-dwelling wise King of the Centaurs.

In a post-Homeric version, he is listed among the unsuccessful suitors of Helen of Sparta, all of whom took a solemn oath to defend the chosen husband against whoever should quarrel with him, which brought both the young men into the battle against Troy.

In the Iliad, the two heroes have a deep and meaningful friendship. Achilles is tender towards Patroclus, while he is callous and arrogant towards others. In Athens during the 5th century BC, the relationship was often viewed in light of the Greek custom of paiderasteia (man-boy love).

When the tide of war turned away from the Grreks, and the Trojans threatened their ships, Patroclus convinced Achilles to let him don Achilles' armor and lead the their troops into combat. In his lust for combat, Patroclus pursued the Trojans all the way back to the gates of Troy, defying Achilles' order to break off combat once the ships were saved. Patroclus was stunned by Apollo, then finished off by Hector, hero of the Trojans.

After retrieving Patroclus' body, Achilles returned to battle and avenged his companion's death by killing Hector. Achilles then desecrated Hector's body by dragging it behind his chariot instead of allowing the Trojans to honorably dispose of it by burning it. Achilles' grief was great and for some time, he refused to dispose of Patroclus' body; but he was persuaded to do so by an apparition of Patroclus, who told Achilles he could not enter Hades without a proper cremation. Achilles sheared off his hair, and sacrificed horses, dogs, and twelve Trojan captives before placing his lover's body on the funeral pyre.

While the lIiad never explicitly stated as such, in later Greek writings, such as Plato's Symposium, the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles is held up as a model of romantic love. In the 5th and 4th centuries, the relationship with Patroclus was portrayed as same-sex love in the works of Aeschylus, Plato and Aeschines.

From the times of Classical Greece, and especially in Hellenism, to the time of the Romans, the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus was presented as loving and pederastic, although these roles are anachronistic for the Iliad. Achilles is the most dominant, and among the warriors in the Trojan War he has the most fame; Patroclus performs duties such as cooking, feeding and grooming the horses, and nursing yet is older than Achilles. Both also sleep with women.

In the 5th century BC, in Aeschylus' lost tragedy the Myrmidons, Aeschylus regarded the relationship as a sexual one and assigned Achilles the role of erastes(older lover or protector), since he avenged his lover's death even though the gods told him it would cost him his own life), and Patroclus the role of eromenos (boy lover). He tells of Achilles visiting Patroclus' dead body and criticizing him for letting himself be killed. In a surviving fragment of the play, Achilles speaks of their "devout union of the thighs".

Plato presented Achilles and Patroclus as lovers in the Symposium, written around 385 BC. The speaker Phaedrus holds the two up as an example of divinely approved lovers. He also argues that Aeschylus erred in saying that Achilles was the erastes, "for he excelled in beauty not Patroclus alone but assuredly all the other heroes, being still beardless and, moreover, much the younger, by Homer's account."

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c.1040 B.C.Jonathan, Son of Saul, born; No one knows exactly when the biblical Jonathan was born, of course. But let's just assign this date to this sweet young man, whose presence in "Holy Writ" has always been an embarrassment to fundamentalist preachers everywhere.

The story of David and Jonathan is well known from the Hebrew bible. It is not explicitly stated that there was a sexual relationship between them but the passionate language is certainly that of lovers.

"And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soulof Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. "

The love of Jonathan for David, a love so deep that he foreswore his father out of loyalty to his beloved, has provided literature with both a powerful trope for male love and one of the most oft-quoted lines of Scripture, spoken by David at the death of his friend: "My brother, Jonathan, thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women" (2 Samuel 1:26).


A Modern View of David and Jonathan
(Click for Larger)

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c.940 B.C.Asher was a son of Solomon, Caleh a shepherd. By some accounts these were the two lovers in the frankly erotic love poem, the 'Song of Songs', widely used as a metaphor for the love between God and humanity. Usually presented as conventional heterosexual love, there is increasing recognition that the lovers were probably both men.

A translation by Dr Paul R Johnson directly from early texts includes the frankly homoerotic:

"How delightful you are Caleh,
My lover-man, my other half.
Your pleasing masculine love is better than wine.
The smell of your body is better than perfume.
Your moustache is waxed with honeycomb.
Honey and milk are under your tongue.
The scent of your clothing is like the smell of Lebanon."

A review of this book, posted on the Wild Reed, notes that:

"It gets to the heart of the question of whether the Hebrews and early Christians were fundamentally homophobic, or whether, as John Boswell has maintained, homophobia was a later addition. Johnson has consulted with many Hebrew scholars, who reluctantly concede the validity of his revolutionary word-for-word translation."

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270St. Valentine. No no no...Don't jump to any conclusions. St. Valentine was not Gay, but neither did he have anything to do with the holiday for lovers that bears his name. That St. Valentine, one of the more boring Christian martyrs, is the patron saint of lovers is a mere fluke. You see, the Norman word galatin, meaning a lover, was often mispronounced valentin, and through a natural confusion of names, St. Valentine became associated with love.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

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1902Jan Gay, born Helen Reitman (d.1960), used the pseudonym for involvement in a study of the gay community called "Sex Variants", conducted by Dr. George W. Henry and sponsored by the "Committee for the Study of Sex Variants, Inc.", which Helen founded.

Born in Leipzig, Germany, she and her mother went to live with her maternal grandmother, in Adams County, Illinois when her parents divorced.

Helen studied at the Missouri University of Journalism and in 1922 started working for the Chicago Examiner. Although she and her father lived in the same city in those early years, they did not see each other. But in 1926, dressed in male attire, she rode the rails from Chillicothe to Chicago to see her father after 18 years of separation. The newspaper in Chillicothe noted the event with recollections of her grandfather who had been a famous hobo, having traveled over a million miles without paying a fare.

In about 1927 (possibly earlier), Helen met Eleanor Byrnes and the two women became very close and moved in together in New York City. They traveled together to Mexico that year and on the ship manifest back to New York Eleanor gave her name as Eleanor Byrnes Reitman. By 1930 both women had changed their names to Jan and Zhenya Gay when they took another trip to London. Both women would keep the names through the rest of their lives.

In Jan and Zhenya wrote an illustrated a childrens book called "Pancho and His Burro". It would be the first of over 45 children's books that Zhenya would illustrate during her life.

Jan, who was already well identified as a lesbian, may have already visited the Institute for Sex Study with Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin - probably with Zhenya in 1927 or 1930. Or she may have met Magnus during another trip that Jan and Zhenya took in 1931, sailing back from Bremen in September of that year.

During this trip they visited various nudist camps in Germany and Switzerland which prompted Jan to write her book "On Going Naked", which she published in 1932, with "decorations" by Zhenya. The book was so successfull that she started her own nudist colony in Highlands, New York called the Out-of-Doors Club.

Her book was also quickly adapted into a "roadshow" film called "Back to Nature" which was shown in theaters across the county in the Summer of 1933 to adult only audiences. In order to promote the book, film and club, Jan invited several journalists from the Associated Press, United Press and NEA Service to observe and write about the camp. The Out-of-Door Club, the most exclusive and famous of the nudists colonies of the time, started a nudists movement in America which became extremely popular and lasts today. She continued as the Director of the camp at least through 1933 and was in charge of interviewing all of the guests before allowing them in.

It was also while she was in Germany that she learned to conduct interviews with homosexuals for gay studies. She continued on her own, conducting over 300 interviews with lesbians in Berlin, Paris, London and New York City. She wanted to publish the interviews in order to start a movement to decriminalize homosexuality in the United States. When she attempted to publish her findings she was turned down, but advised that her work would be accepted if further studies were conducted with medical professionals.

In 1935 she developed the "Committee for the Study of Sex Variants, Inc" and conducted additional interviews with Dr. George W. Henry, who published the findings as his own book "Sex Variants, A Study of Homosexual Patterns". However, Dr. Henry did note (at least in the 1950 single volume edition) that "Miss Jan Gay", had been influential in the project and had brought all of the subjects, whom she knew personally, into the study.

Helen died from cancer at the age of 58 in San Rafael, California on September 12, 1960.

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Bishop Peter Ball with Prince Charles

1932 Peter Ball (d.2019) was a British bishop in the Church of England and convicted sex offender. In 1960 he and his twin brother (Michael Ball) established a monastic community, the Community of the Glorious Ascension, through which Ball came into contact with many boys and young men.

He was the suffragan Bishop of Lewes from 1977 to 1992 and the diocesan Bishop of Gloucester from 1992 to 1993, when he resigned after being cautioned for sexual abuse; he continued to officiate at several churches after that.

In October 2015, Ball was sentenced to 32 months' imprisonment for misconduct in public office and indecent assault after admitting the abuse of 18 young men over a period of 15 years from 1977 to 1992. Further charges of indecently assaulting two boys, aged 13 and 15, were allowed to lie on file in a contentious decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). He was released on licence in February 2017 and died two years later.

Peter Ball was the first Anglican bishop to be sent to prison since 1688, when King James II committed seven bishops to the Tower for their opposition to his Declaration of Indulgence.

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 Added 2022

 

1948 – James Edwin Bacon Jr, known as Ed Bacon, is a retired priest in the Diocese of Los Angeles in the Episcopal Church and was the rector of All Saints Church, Pasadena, 1995–2016. As an ordained priest, he was known for his active support of LGBT rights, peace, and interfaith causes. He retired to private life on May 1, 2016.

In 1967, while a student at Mercer University, Bacon had a chance encounter with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the baggage claim in the Atlanta airport. That chance meeting inspired Bacon, who was already familiar with Dr. King’s writings, to reread the Bible through a new lens. It was then that Bacon realized the Bible’s focus was not about tribalism and separation, but rather it was about overcoming fear-based tribalism and separation with inclusion and universal compassion.

A progressive spokesperson on issues of faith and justice for all regardless of race, gender, faith, or sexual orientation, Bacon has been featured in national media including being a guest panelist in the Spirituality 101 segment of The Oprah Winfrey Show’s “Living Your Best Life” series. In January 2009 his statement to a call-in viewer that “being gay is a gift from God” received national attention. As a result, Bacon was invited to return to the show and soon became a regular on Oprah’s Soul Series on Oprah & Friends Radio, recording two shows a month for eighteen months.

Bacon’s stance on homosexuality and gay marriage has been well documented. All Saints Church, where he is a rector, has been blessing same-sex unions since the early 1990s, before his arrival. Prior to him taking his post at All Saints Church, Bacon had to decide whether to continue with the blessings. He decided in favor of it.

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1962Kevyn Aucoin, the American cosmetologist born (d.2002); a make-up artist and photographer who was well known for catering to the laywoman's need to feel beautiful. He worked with hundreds of A-list celebrities like Cher, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courtney Love and Vanessa Williams. He became a highly in-demand makeup artist, often acquiring $10,000 per session for photo shoots or award shows. As a published author (The Art of Makeup, Making Faces, and Face Forward), he was fond of taking celebrities (and various other men & women, including his mother) and using makeup and costume (and sometimes prosthetics) to make them look like other celebrities, or like other people entirely. He transformed Tori Amos into Mary Queen of Scots, Liza Minnelli into Marilyn Monroe, Christina Ricci into Édith Piaf, Hilary Swank into Raquel Welch, Winona Ryder into Elizabeth Taylor, and Martha Stewart into Veronica Lake, among others.

Aucoin was interested in makeup from the time he was a child,and frequently did his sisters' makeup and photographed the results with a Polaroid camera—something he'd do throughout his career. Afraid to buy makeup, he would shoplift it. The guilt of stealing and fear of getting caught made him stop.

He realized he was gay at age six, and was frequently bullied at school. His parents were initially in denial of their son's emerging sexual orientation; his mother later said, "I didn't think Kevyn was a sissy; I just thought he was a gentle child." In one instance, he had a teacher spank his bare buttocks in class, which Aucoin later regarded as sexual abuse. The bullying continued in high school, and he dropped out after being chased by several classmates in a truck. He enrolled in beauty school and had hoped to learn more about applying makeup, but ended up teaching the class instead.

Aucoin lived with his partner, Jeremy Antunes, whom he married in an unofficial ceremony in Hawaii in 2000 and thereafter referred to as his husband. He had also previously been romantically involved with Eric Sakas, who, after their breakup, remained close friends with him and became president and creative director of Kevyn Aucoin Beauty.

In October 2001, just one month after launching his own cosmetics line, Aucoin was diagnosed with a rare pituitary tumour. He had been suffering from acromegaly resulting from the tumour for much of his life, but it had gone undiagnosed. He died in May 2002 of kidney and liver failure due to Tylenol toxicity, due to an addiction to prescription painkillers used to treat the extreme pain from his condition. A musical homage, called Taxi Ride, was written for him by longtime friend Tori Amos.

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Sucsy (L) with husband Sgourakis

1973Michael Sucsy is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for creating the HBO film Grey Gardens.

Sucsy was raised in Connecticut and New York City and is a graduate of Deerfield Academy, Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (where he earned a degree in International Relations, Law & Organization), and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA (Masters in Fine Arts.)

Sucsy segued from studying international relations to film production via the advertising industry, where he worked for the award-winning agency Cliff Freeman & Partners on the first-ever Staples t.v. ads. Sucsy then pursued work as a production assistant, an art department coordinator, a production secretary, and an assistant director on feature films, commercials, and music videos in Washington DC, New York City, and Los Angeles.

In 2003, Sucsy was inspired to write and direct a narrative feature film about the famous true story of Jackie O's eccentric relatives "Big Edie" Bouvier Beale and "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale called Grey Gardens after viewing the well-known documentary of the same name. The day after he first watched the documentary, Sucsy embarked on what was to become a six-year process to get Grey Gardens made. He used primary sources including Little Edie's personal correspondence, private journals, and poetry as well as interviews with family members and friends as the basis of his original script which traced the Beales' tragic descent from riches to rags over some forty years. With Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange attached to star as the reclusive mother-daughter duo, the project made its way to HBO who, in 2006, announced that Grey Gardens was moving into production with Sucsy as its director. Principal photography on Grey Gardens began in October 2007, and it debuted on HBO in April 2009 to great acclaim from critics and audiences, both new and old to the Grey Gardens phenomenon.

Sucsy became engaged to his boyfriend, interior designer Demitri Sgourakis, on February 14, 2012, Sucsy's 39th birthday. They were married on August 15, 2015, aboard the Midnight Rambler, a sailboat, off the coast of Montauk, N.Y.

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1979: "We realize that this date, February 14th, has traditionally been celebrated as St Valentine's Day and dedicated to the expression of heterosexual affection. We take this opportunity to challenge what Christopher Isherwood has called the 'heterosexual dictatorship' by affirming for ourselves and for the world, the existence, the strength, and the beauty of gay love.

"We therefore proclaim February 14th as an annual Canadian Gay Holiday, to be known as 'PINK TRIANGLE DAY'."

— Resolution passed at the annual meeting of Canadian Lesbian & Gay Rights Coalition, July 1979.

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1979 – In Toronto Judge Sydney Harris finds Pink Triangle Press, publisher of The Body Politic, and three officers not guilty publishing obscenity.

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1984Elton John marries a woman having earlier said he was bi.

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1984Wesley Goodman is an American Republican politician who served as the Ohio State Representative for the 87th District from 2016 until his resignation in 2017, following revelations of his numerous homosexual extramarital affairs. His former district consists of the Crawford, Morrow and Wyandot counties, as well as portions of the Marion and Seneca counties.

In 2015, he was accused of sexually assaulting an 18 year old man. This was reported to Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, who confronted Goodman about the allegation and referred to other "similar incidents". Perkins withdrew his political support but Goodman did not withdraw his candidacy for the Ohio legislature, and not long afterwards he was elected. These incidents were apparently never reported to the police and did not become public knowledge until after his resignation.

Goodman described himself as a supporter of "traditional marriage", having told constituents that "The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting." In 2012 he married Bethany Peck, an assistant director of the March for Life and a former staffer for Bob Latta; they had no children and subsequently divorced. Goodman resigned his office November 14, 2017, after a non-staffer witnessed him and an unnamed adult male having consensual sexual relations in Goodman's office. The Speaker of the Ohio House, a Republican, Cliff Rosenberger, described the incident as "inappropriate behavior related to his state office", later revealed as extramarital sexual activity with a man.

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1991San Francisco becomes the first city to register same-sex domestic partners.

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1993 – on this date in New York City the Lesbian Avengers erected a papier-mache sculpture of Alice B. Toklas beside the statue of her longtime lover, Gertrude Stein, in New York City's Bryant Park.

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2007 – on this date the legislature of the African country of Nigeria, the 9th most populous nation in the world, was set to criminalize "virtually all forms of Gay expression." Legislation was considered on this date by the Nigerian National Assembly that read: "Any person who is involved in the registration of Gay clubs, societies and organizations, sustenance, procession or meetings, publicity and public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly in public and in private is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a term of five years imprisonment.''

Gay sex is already illegal in Nigeria, punishable by imprisonment in the south and death in the Muslim north. In addition to the above listed restrictions, this bill will make it illegal to possess Gay reading material and for two Gay people to meet in public or private. Nigeria is a "democracy", a federal republic modeled after the United States with a bicameral legislature. Nigeria and other countries with repressive anti-gay laws have lately been publicly censured by the US, Canada, and Britain.

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2009 – on this date a protest was held at the Upper East Side home of New York City's mayor Mike Bloomberg over the NYPD's practice of falsely arresting Gay men for prostitution at the city's adult bookstores.

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2010 – In what the Peruvian Blog de Lima calls the 2nd annual "Kisses against homophobia" street action, college students and members of the LGBT Student Bloc of Lima joined other several Gay and Lesbian couples and tried to take over the main public space inside a popular Lima shopping mall. The couples held hands and kissed as they made their way through the mall but ran into heavy security as they tried to congregate inside the mall's main gathering spot. Several couples embraced each other and kissed for the cameras once they left the building

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2010 – On this date the Mexican newspaper La Jornada reported that different LGBT rights organizations from Jalisco, Colima and Guanajuato marched down the streets of Guadalajara to demand equal partnership rights. The group, mostly made up of Lesbian and Gay members from different regional university student groups, carried signs and expressed a desire for having similar rights granted to Gays and Lesbians in Mexico City. The group gathered outside the University of Guadalajara and made their way to the city's main plaza where they staged a kiss-in as the shadow of the city's Metropolitan Cathedral fell on them.

The scene outside the Cathedral gave a better sense of how large the march was, an estimated crowd of 350. In addition to the kiss-in, eleven Gay and Lesbian couples also participated in a symbolic wedding ceremony. There were reports of homophobic insults and obscenities being hurled at marchers even as organizers expressed relief that there were no outbursts of violence.

As in Argentina, marriage equality is a red-hot topic in Mexico ever since the Mexico City legislature passed a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry in Mexico's capital city. The measure, which also explicitly would allow same-sex couples to adopt, has run into vehement opposition from right wing politicians and religious leaders - and will also be heading to the country's Supreme Court for review later in the year.

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Today's Gay Wisdom

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From the King James Version:

1 Samuel 18

1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

2 Samuel 1

17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son ....

19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!

20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.

22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.

23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.

24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.

25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.

26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.

27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

FEBRUARY 15 →

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