Sunday, June 5, 2011

Observations from the Gallery 6.5

More often than not a Sunday at the gallery ends up being an afternoon filled with art chat, or more precisely art gossip. Nothing material ever seems to get done as chat ranges from where the Whitney came up with half a billion dollars for their new museum to the usual who is sleeping with who gossip. It sometimes amazes me how much info you can get out of a single bottle of wine on a Sunday. But we aren’t always so damn shallow. Things can take a serious turn depending on events and the mix of acquaintances passing through. Today was such a day.

One topic was the happenings over at the New York Times where Jill Abramson became the first woman executive editor in the Times' history. Abramson than turned around and promoted Dean Baquet to managing editor, the first African-American to hold that position. These changes followed the hiring of Frank Bruni who is the first openly gay writer on the opinion page. Abramson, who spent last year running the Times' online side, replaces Bill Keller who was known for his tirades against social media. Maybe a sign of the times, no pun intended.

A more negative topic of conversation revolved around New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz who called homosexuality a lifestyle choice. Saying in a statement released after Mayor Bloomberg's speech in support of gay marriage “there is no just comparison between America’s struggle to overcome the evils of slavery and the promotion of the lifestyle of homosexuality.” Last month Díaz headlined an anti-gay marriage rally in the city at which the Rev. Ariel Torres Ortega said this:

"Committing sexual acts between man and man. And receiving the retribution of the things that they have done from straying away. And because they did not take God in count. God gave them over to reprimand their mind to do things that are not right, being against all justice, fornication, perversity, aberrations, malignity…those who practice such things are worthy to death, not only do they do it, but those who also practice it."

Now as you know I have never had a religious bone in my body so I'm not quite sure what he is trying to say other than gays should die. However I'm still holding out hope for lesbians, maybe he thinks we can be reformed somehow. I talked to a guy today who is 'religious' and straight and is just totally disgusted by that statement. He just hopes there is a special place in hell for such a man, I'll let you figure out what he meant by special place.

For the record you can read the full text of Mayor Bloomberg's speech here or watch it here.

“And the question for every New York State lawmaker is: Do you want to be remembered as a leader on civil rights? Or an obstructionist? On matters of freedom and equality, history has not remembered obstructionists kindly." Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

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