August 19, 2003 - World Net Daily: Vasquez criticized for designating "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month" at Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: August 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: August 19, 2003 - World Net Daily: Vasquez criticized for designating "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month" at Peace Corps

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 11:45 am: Edit Post

Vasquez criticized for designating "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month" at Peace Corps





Read and comment on this op-ed piece written by Joseph Farah from the World Net Daily that criticizes Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez for designating June as "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month" in the Peace Corps:
"George Bush's Peace Corps is contributing your hard-earned tax dollars to the cause of cultural revolution specifically the promotion of the radical homosexual political agenda.

Imagine, folks, every year from now on, June will be designated by your federal government as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month by official proclamation of the president of the United States. Your tax dollars are being used to enshrine the Stonewall Inn bar in Greenwich Village and surrounding streets and parks as a historical monument to the pointless mayhem that took place there for four nights in 1969."
No one should be surprised that Peace Corps Volunteers believe in tolerance and respect for other people's way of life. It's the "Peace Corps" not the "Hate Corps," Mr. Farah. Read the op-ed at:

PC Peace Corps*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.



PC Peace Corps
Posted: August 19, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

George Bush's Peace Corps is contributing your hard-earned tax dollars to the cause of cultural revolution specifically the promotion of the radical homosexual political agenda.

One recent example is a proclamation by Bush's Peace Corps director, Gaddi Vasquez, designating June as "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month" in his agency.

"Pride Month is a time to appreciate and celebrate contributions that Gay and Lesbian [Americans] have made to our society," Vasquez said in making the proclamation. "The Peace Corps is committed to maintaining a diverse workforce reflective of our nation's citizenry. Creating a work environment where each employee and volunteer is valued and afforded mutual respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, is a key element of the Peace Corps organizational culture."

June, Vasquez pointed out, "commemorates the 1969 'Stonewall Rebellion,' which marks the birth of the modern gay civil rights movement."

Just as Bill Clinton did annually, Vasquez and other Bush appointees hold up as courageous heroes those who touched off the homosexual-rights movement 30 years ago in what they call the "Stonewall Rebellion."

Clinton went so far as to have his National Park Service add the Stonewall Inn, plus nearby park and neighborhood streets surrounding it to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

I bet you're beginning to wonder what this Stonewall Inn is and what the "rebellion" there was all about. Personally, I'm getting extremely sick of how this event has been twisted by some very twisted people.

Here are the actual events of Friday, June 27, 1969, as recorded in the New York Times, other newspapers and the accounts of the most famous homosexual chronicler, Martin Duberman, author of "Stonewall."

Police raided the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village because of reports the establishment was selling liquor without a license.

As police began loading some patrons into a paddy wagon, a crowd gathered. Bottles, beer cans and garbage cans were hurled at officers. An uprooted parking meter was turned into a makeshift battering ram, blockading some of the police inside the bar and then setting it on fire.

Reinforcements were called out to rescue the police officers trapped inside, but the rioting continued for two hours with a total of 12 arrested. The disturbances continued for four successive nights.

Rebellion? Historic? Is that how our national leaders truly view this tempest in a teacup? A bar is raided because its liquor license is not in order. That must be the harassment. A few people are arrested. That must be the mistreatment. That touches off rioting and arson. That must be the courage.

The Stonewall riots of 1969 are now being mythologized as something comparable to the Boston Massacre. Hel-loooo. This was a riot outside a bar, folks. Get real. If I were a homosexual political activist which, thank God, I'm not I would be embarrassed that the seminal event of my "resistance" movement was a skirmish outside a "gay" bar. I'd be mortified that the way my colleagues define freedom is the ability to drink alcohol in an unlicensed club. Hey, I'm as much of a rebel as the next guy, but this is ... well ... pathetic.

But the most unbelievable part of it is that the president of the United States buys into the whole lie or at least gives his Peace Corps director the permission to spend taxpayer dollars promoting this event and the homosexual agenda in newspaper ads.

Do Bush and Vasquez suggest to young people today that it is appropriate behavior even courageous to riot outside bars because of police actions? Are they advocating violent civil disobedience? It would seem so, if Stonewall is now deemed a heroic action. It's a strange position for a president of the United States. Even stranger for a "Peace" Corps director.

Imagine, folks, every year from now on, June will be designated by your federal government as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month by official proclamation of the president of the United States. Your tax dollars are being used to enshrine the Stonewall Inn bar in Greenwich Village and surrounding streets and parks as a historical monument to the pointless mayhem that took place there for four nights in 1969.

Before next June rolls around, you may want to let your president know what you think about this kind of pandering. You might want to let Peace Corps Director Vasquez know, too.



August 20, 1999 - Gay Peace Corps Volunteers 'serve everywhere'



Gay Peace Corps Volunteers 'serve everywhere'

Gay Peace Corps Volunteers 'serve everywhere'

This article was originally published by the Washington Blade on August 20, 1999.

by Kai Wright

Dan Barutta holds the fates of about 1,000 lives in his hands each year.

An estimated 10,000 people apply to join the Peace Corps every year. About 3,500 of those are accepted. Barutta and his colleagues in the placement office decide where they will serve. Sometimes, that's no problem: An applicant trained in agronomy and crop science who speaks both fluent Spanish and Bangla is fairly easy to place. Other times, it can be more complicated -- particularly when there are personal circumstances to consider, such as when the candidate is a proudly out Gay recent college graduate and the placement office is inviting him or her to serve in, say, Uzbekistan, an Islamic nation between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan.

Barutta, an openly Gay man who has served two tours of duty of his own, actually gets this a lot. There's no empirical data to prove it, but anecdotal evidence suggests there are a disproportionate number of Gay people serving in the Peace Corps.

The average age of a volunteer is 29, but the most common age is actually more like 25, still fresh from college. This can create problems, Barutta explains, because a civic-minded Gay volunteer who has spent the last couple of years leading Gay pride rallies on campus doesn't always take kindly to the word "discretion."

"It's a safety issue," Barutta explains. "The worst thing that we could do is place someone overseas who wants to wave the rainbow flag down the streets of Manila and gets beaten up. So, it's our job to educate people. We really encourage Gay and Lesbian people to apply, and we love talking to them if they'll come out to us during the application process. But they've got to know that serving as a volunteer can seem sometimes as semi-in, semi-out of the closet."

Barutta is the president of a roughly 30-member Peace Corps Gay employees group, and he's made a name for himself among recruiters around the country as a good person to refer Gay applicants to for advice. He says he talks to several a year, as do other placement and recruitment officers. It may seem like a dangerous thing for Gay people to do, but Gays are volunteering in all corners of the globe.

Barutta says part of the reason may be that the agency has a built-in culture of tolerance -- that people involved in the Peace Corps are by definition a little more open-minded than the average person.

"Generally, Peace Corps is seen as a very Gay-friendly place, and it is," said agency spokesperson Brendan Daly, adding that there's also no shortage of Gay staff.

Barutta encourages recruiters to place rainbow stickers or pink triangles up in their booths and offices to show potential applicants that the agency is Gay-friendly. He works as a recruiter himself at Gay pride parades back in San Francisco, where he's from, as do any number of "returned" volunteers (there are no "former" volunteers; it's considered a lifelong experience). And when applicants come out during the process, the agency tries to help them navigate the potential complications.

"I'd say, ÔOK, I'm thinking of inviting you to Uzbekistan. Get on the Web, call people in the community, talk to returned volunteers from there, there may be some people who are Gay and Lesbian who you can get in contact with,'" Barutta says, explaining how he deals with people in this situation. "ÔFind out more about what it's like being in a Muslim culture as a Gay person or a Lesbian person, let's talk.'"

One resource he has is to connect an applicant with a network of Gay returned Peace Corps volunteers. In 1991, a group of Peace Corps volunteers in D.C. created a group for Gay returnees. The Peace Corps agency was hosting its 30th anniversary celebration here on the Mall that year, and the group rented a booth at the festival to announce its presence.

"We jst got a lot of attention from people who said, ÔOh, this is fabulous,'" says Dennis Gilligan, who was involved then and is now the "alpha volunteer," as he puts it, of the D.C. chapter. "Although some of us had felt that Peace Corps had a larger than, um, norm percentage of Gay folks, it wasn't until they started slapping down their names and phone numbers and addresses and donations and whatever that we said this is just very real. So that got us off to a good start."

Around 100 people from all over the country joined the group that weekend. Those from San Francisco went home and started a chapter of their own, which also ballooned in size and ultimately became the seat of the national group. Today, the group has five chapters -- in D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, New England, and southern California -- and is an official affiliate of the National Peace Corps Association.

Gay volunteers' experiences cover the spectrum, say Gilligan and Barutta. Some have to adjust from living an out, active college life to a more measured life in a not-so-Gay-friendly village. Others, such as Barutta, come out during their tour. Barutta came out to himself and his fellow Peace Corps volunteers during his first trip to Jamaica in 1981. He was 24 and just out of school.

"I was there, sitting in that lonely little apartment every night, thinking, ÔOh, my God, what are my needs? Oh, my god,'" he recalls. He approached his friends and the medical officer in the country, and they helped him work through it.

His case, he says, is textbook for how things should work for volunteers struggling with their sexual orientation. The agency has a curriculum for medical officers on dealing with Gay issues. And Daly says that any mental health need, including dealing with a traumatic coming out process, would be grounds for flying a volunteer home for counseling.

But Barutta stressed that the support network of Peace Corps volunteers is the best place to find help. For Elizabeth Fuhrman, that was the case a few years ago when she was serving in Sri Lanka. Fuhrman had served earlier in Honduras, in the mid-1980s, but was not out even to herself then. When she began serving in Sri Lanka in 1993, she was just beginning the process of coming out. She says she didn't expect much support from the Peace Corps staff, but she found it among a few friends she met while serving. She agrees with Barutta that, given how much time new volunteers spend together during training, this is the best place to seek help with just about anything.

"You are with them in training for three months," she explains, "and you are really isolated. So you get to know people in your group intensely."

Increasingly, Gay volunteers are forming formal and informal groups of Gays serving in different countries. Both Fuhrman and Barutta have participated in such groups during their service. The groups meet sporadically and are hard to keep together because of the turnover, but just the attempt to create them reveals the increasing public space for Gays around the world. For Gilligan, that's the great thing about his group and Gay Peace Corps volunteers in general.

"We are here," he says, "and we serve everywhere."

For information about the Gay returned Peace Corps volunteers group, go to www.geocities.com/~lgbrpcv/ or write to P.O. Box 33248, Washington, D.C., 20009 for the D.C. chapter





Click on a link below for more stories on PCOL

8/17/03
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