Quest New LogoQuest News     Volume 12 No. 23   December 8, 2005
Compiled & written by Mike Fitzpatrick
  
Top Story:
Update: Amendment Passes On Party Line Vote - Bigotry Robs GOP of Two Votes (click here)
The Amendment Battle Begins Anew
Nearly Seven Hundred Pack Sole Public Hearing November 29
Madison - If the Republican strategists spearheading the so-called “Wisconsin Marriage Amendment” thought they might slip the required second passage of the bill under the holiday radar, they likely were surprised by the overwhelming turnout for the Hearinglegislation’s sole public hearing November 29 here.
  Hundreds of people jammed into the joint Judiciary Committee hearing at the Capitol to argue over whether the Wisconsin Constitution should be amended to ban all legal recognition of unmarried couples regardless of sexual orientation. A total of 678 people either registered their opinion or spoke about the amendment during the seven hour marathon session.
  Tension at the hearing was evident even before testimony began. At the close of the Pledge of Allegiance, which ends with the line "with liberty and justice for all," amendment opponents shouted the last two words.
  Rhetoric from the amendment’s supporters certainly did nothing to ease such feelings. Long-term committed gay couples were characterized as “sexual terrorists” by one supporter, while another claimed same sex marriage would lead to bestiality.
  One comment by an expert witness supporting the amendment took nearly everyone, even backers, by surprise. Marquette Law School professor Christopher Wolf stated "It's absurd to say everybody should be treated equally," which prompted strong follow-ups by Senate committee members Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) and Fred Risser (D-Madison).
  The centerpiece testimony for amendments supporters came from Family Research Institute of Wisconsin Executive Director Julaine Appling, who piled a three foot high stack of petitions to her side as she began her comments. The pile contained 56,000 signatures of citizens supporting the amendment according to Appling. However, the number was also about two-thirds of 75,000 supporters had touted they had obtained in numerous press releases and interviews in the last several months.
  One interesting no-show on the supporters’ side at the hearing was long-time anti-gay activist Ralph Ovadal. Apparently Ovadal’s name had been submitted as a pro-amendment speaker but he failed to respond when he was repeatedly called to testify by the committee.
  Amendment opponents, however, far outnumbered supporters. At 4:47 PM committee co-chair Dave Zein (R-Eau Claire) said there were no pro-amendment speakers left to testify. Though two or three added their names to the list after the announcement, the committee heard only opinions against the amendment for the final two hours.
  The highlight of the opposition to the amendment came in the testimony of Richard Taylor and Ray Vahey. Taylor and Vahey are a Milwaukee couple who are in a 49-year committed relationship and were closeted about their union until earlier this year.
  Vahey told the committee the impact of the pair’s inability to have their relationship legally recognized: “Our taxes have been higher for 49 years, because we cannot file jointly,” he said. “Richard couldn't get medical, dental, long term care or pension option from my last job. The survivor of us has no right to the other's Social Security. We are beneficiaries of our IRAs, but we cannot own them. Our estates will be taxed and higher rates.”
  Vahey also noted that his partner was a World War II veteran who fought in the battle of Okinawa. “He needs no lecture on patriotism or values - family or otherwise.”
  “Others in our community face attempts to deprive them of their jobs, their homes and even their children, or to prevent them from adoption,” Vahey continued. “In thousands of ways our dignity is attacked, and our very humanity and right to exist are questioned. As the old song goes, ‘They curse us just for being what we are.’”
  One of the most chilling moments of the day came when Michael Thomas, a Manitowoc Count Health and Family Services administrator, choked back tears as he recounted what happened after his late partner was shot in front of him because he was gay. Thomas testified that he was not allowed to be at his partner’s side as he died in the hospital. “He died alone in a room with me peering through the glass because they wouldn't let me be with him,” Thomas said. “After 20 years with my current partner, I don't want the same thing to happen again.”
  Reverend Kurt Anderson of Christians For Equality told the committee the amendment legislation effectively contradicts the First amendment of the U.S. Constitution. “For churches that have raised the bar from tolerance to acceptance, and encourage same-sex marriage, deserve to practice their religion equally and without government interference,” Anderson said. “It is for this Legislature to preserve the separation of church and state for which our forefathers and foremothers fought with such courage.”
  Prior to the committee hearing Action Wisconsin and Center Advocates jointly held a news conference that offered comments by Anderson, Taylor and Vahey. Statements were also made by Patrick Flaherty of Center Advocates,  Janie Ocejo representing the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Rev. David Dragseth of Milwaukee’s Lake Park Lutheran Church and Madison couple Bill Briggs & Al Poliarco with their three children.
  Later in the day amendment opponents held an interfaith vigil in the Capitol rotunda, where workers were decorating the centerpiece two-story tall holiday tree. Both amendment supporters and opponents took breaks from the hearing to watch the progress on the decorations which were barely started at the beginning of the day but nearly complete by the hearings 7 PM closing.
  The amendment legislation - known as AJR-67 in the Assembly and SJR-53 in the Senate - will first see a Senate vote that may occur as early as December 6. Strategists reportedly are seeking a quick vote in the upper body as there have been numerous hints of wavering support among Republican moderates, according to Capitol insiders. The Assembly vote is now not expected until 2006, possibly as late as February or March. Republicans there hold an overwhelming majority.
  If passed by both houses, the amendment will be on the November 2006 ballot, along with a gubernatorial vote,   the re-election bid of U. S. Senator Herb Kohl and all the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

World & National News:

South African Supreme Court Backs Gay Marriage
Johannesburg - On a continent where politicians, church leaders and traditional figures often harshly condemn homosexuality, a South African lesbian couple who wanted to wed won the case for same-sex marriage in their nation’s Constitutional Court here December 1. However gay activists who hoped for immediate weddings will have to wait. Instead of immediately legalizing same-sex marriages, the court gave Parliament a year to bring the country’s marriage laws in line with its constitution.
  South Africa will now become only the fifth country to permit same-sex marriage.
  The landmark ruling ordered the Government to stop delaying legislation that would allow two Pretoria-based white Afrikaner lesbians, Marie Fourie and Cecelia Bonthuys, to marry.
  “The common-law definition of marriage is declared to be inconsistent with the constitution and invalid to the extent that it does not permit same-sex couples to enjoy the status and the benefits coupled with responsibilities it accords heterosexual couples,” judge Albie Sachs said.
  The Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Canada are the only other countries to have legalized same-sex marriage.
In Britain, civil partnerships for same-sex couples will become legal on December 21..
  The Constitutional Court decision will require the definition of marriage to be changed from a union between a man and a woman to a union between two persons. Last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the couple, declaring that the current law was discriminatory. But they discovered that they were still unable to register for a church wedding and petitioned the Constitutional Court.
  The judges of the Johannesburg-based court ordered the Government, by 10 votes to one, to amend the country’s marriage laws within the next 12 months. The dissenting judge had wanted the decision to be implemented immediately.
  The court said that if parliament did not act, the legal definition of marriage would be automatically changed to include same-sex unions.
  The decision breaks an important taboo in Africa, where homosexuality is widely condemned and even outlawed in some countries. Two Nigerians are facing the death penalty if convicted of sodomy. In neighboring Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe frequently attacks homosexuals and lesbians as worse than dogs and pigs.
  Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has outlawed gay sex, declaring it to be against the order of nature. He recently ordered detectives to find gays and lock them up and charge them.
  South Africa’s current constitution is among the most liberal in the world. It was the first country to outlaw discrimination against gays and lesbians.

While the decision was welcomed by the nation’s gay community yesterday, some groups questioned the need to delay its implementation. “Why wait 12 months?” asked Thuli Madi, from the lesbian and gay rights group Behind the Mask. “If parliament does not do anything in 12 months, we can marry anyway, so why not make it effective now?”
  In the wider South African community, however, the ruling has caused some disquiet. Leading churches, in what is still a deeply conservative country, have called for a referendum on the issue. The African Christian Democratic Party called for an amendment to the constitution that would nullify the ruling.
  Same sex relations were decriminalized in South Africa only seven years ago and prejudice against gays is rife. This year, a minister from the Dutch Reformed Church was defrocked because of his homosexuality.

California Court Rules High Schools Cannot “Out” Gay Students
Los Angeles - A federal judge here ruled December 1 that a high school does not have the right to reveal a student’s sexual orientation without his or her permission.
  The American Civil Liberties Union brought the lawsuit on behalf of Charlene Nguon, a senior in Orange County’s Garden Grove Unified School District, who claimed the principal violated her privacy rights by telling her parents she was a lesbian after he disciplined her for being affectionate with her girlfriend. The school sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, but Judge James Selna of the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California allowed the suit to move forward.
  “We are pleased that the court recognized that the school does not have the automatic right to disclose a student’s sexual orientation just because that student is out of the closet to his or her friends at school,” said Christine P. Sun, a staff attorney for the ACLU. “Coming out is a very serious decision that should not be taken away from anyone, especially from students who may be put in peril if they live in an unsupportive home.”
  Nguon was repeatedly disciplined during the 2004-05 school year by Santiago High School Principal Ben Wolf for displaying affection for her girlfriend. The straight-A student was even suspended for a week and eventually asked to leave the school, which she did halfway through the spring semester of her junior year. Last summer, she was allowed to return to Santiago, but her disciplinary record has not yet been cleared.

Pope’s Anti-Gay AIDS Day Message Follows “No Gay Priest” Decree
Rome -  Pope Benedict XVI’s World AIDS Day message- released through Vatican officials - opposed the use of condoms, blamed gays for the spread of the disease, and praised the Catholic Church’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. The anti-gay messages Ratzi The Nazifollows less than a week after the release of a “no gay priest” edict that has many Catholics around the United States in an uproar.
  Reminding Catholic’s that the Church opposes the use of condoms, the Pope’s World AIDS Day message said that only by restricting sex to within marriage can the disease be prevented. He also blamed gays, who he called a “pansexual culture that devalues sexuality” for the spread of HIV/AIDS.
  However in a personal weekly address earlier, the Pope said he was encouraged by the Church’s efforts to combat the disease, adding “I feel close to those sick from AIDS and their families, and I invoke for them the help and comfort of the Lord.”
  Earlier this week the Vatican officially released heavily leaked decree on gay priests. The long awaited document banning gay men and those who “support gay culture” has sparked outrage and disgust from victim advocates, clergy and gay and lesbian rights groups.
  For months snippets of the documents have been leaked to the press, causing speculation as to how sweeping the ban will be and if it would officially have the pope’s support. However, the document released left little room to wonder about any nuances.
  The statement claims that gay men and lesbians are “objectively disordered” and the Church “cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’”
  The bishops, Episcopal Conferences and Superior Generals are charged with enforcing this ban. Spiritual directors, who have a sacrosanct relationship with their seminarians, according to theologian Mary Hunt, are ordered to discourage gays from seeking ordination.
 Seminary visits, which began in September, give the church a means of enforcing the ban. It is clear that the ban applies to gay men but it is more confusing as to what supporters of “gay culture” may mean, Emory University religion professor Mark Jordan said.
  “It’s an attempt at mind control,” claimed Harry Knox, director of the religion and faith programs at the Human Rights Campaign foundation. “It’s an attempt to cut off debate about the issue. It seeks to silence seminarians and priests who are coming to understand that gay people should be fully included in the lives of the church. It could apply to straight priests as well.”

Gay Republican Congressman Will Not Seek Re-Election
Phoenix - Arizona Republican Congressman Jim Kolbe, 63, is calling it quits after 11 terms in the House. Kolbe made headlines in 1996 as the first member of his party’s delegation in Congress to acknowledge being gay. In announcing his decision not to run, Rep. KolbeKolbe said that he was confident that he could have won re-election, but that it was time that he and his district “walk down different paths.”
  Kolbe was given a speaking slot at the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. Even though he was addressing trade issues, not LGBT concerns, the spotlight on him infuriated the religious right in the party. Fundamentalist members of the Texas delegation stood and turned their back on Kolbe as he spoke.
  Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, praised Kolbe’s public service, saying that with Democratic Representatives Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Barney Frank of Massachusetts, “he sends a message of hope to LGBT young people that any American can achieve their dreams regardless of sexual orientation.” He said Kolbe was “instrumental in overturning the ban on domestic partner benefits for District of Columbia government employees.”
  Patrick Guerriero, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, said Kolbe “never wavered in making a conservative case that all Americans should be treated equally regardless of sexual orientation,” and cited his opposition to the federal anti-gay marriage amendment and his contributions to fighting the global AIDS pandemic. Kolbe was chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations, controlling US foreign aid. He has not announced future plans.

Last French “Pink Triangle” Holocaust Survior Dies
Paris - Pierre Seel, the last known surviving French gay victim of the Nazi concentration camps, died at the age of 82 in Paris November 25. Seel’s story was featured in the award-winning documentary about the Pink Triangles, the homosexual victims of SeelNazi repression, “Paragraph 175.”  In the film Seel recounted his arrest and torture for being gay  which included his multiple rapes, and being sodomized with a wooden stake. Seel also described how the Nazis fed his lover to be eaten by dogs before his eyes.
  According to blogger Doug Ireland, when Alsace-Lorraine was annexed by the Germans in 1940, the Nazis systematically began to weed out “anti-social” elements. They directed the French police to establish the notorious “Pink Lists” to keep track of homosexuals, a task the French carried out with enthusiasm. One of their targets was Seel, an Alsatien, who was arrested at the age of 17 by Vichy France’s police for being homosexual. 
  Seel was turned over to the Nazis, and subsequently sent to the concentration camp of Struthof, the only German concentration camp on French soil during World War II. While in the camp, he discovered that his 18-year-old lover had also been arrested. Seel related that discovery, and the horror that followed it, in his 1994 autobiography, “Moi, Pierre Seel, déporté homosexuel.”
  Seel wrote (as translated by Ireland): “All the inmates were summoned to stand at attention in the camp’s assembly ground. The camp commandant and all his troops were there. Into the center of the square we were ordered to form, two SS men dragged a young man. With stupefaction I recognized my beloved, Jo - he and I hadn’t seen each other since a few days before my arrest.... The loudspeakers played noisy military music as the SS men stripped him naked, and violently jammed a metal bucket over his head. They unleashed on Jo the camp’s ferocious guard-dogs, German Shepherds, who began to rip at his flesh - first his genitals, and his thighs, and then they devoured Jo before our eyes. His screams of pain were amplified and distorted by the bucket over his head. Frozen in place and trembling, wide-eyed at seeing so much horror, I had tears running down my cheeks. I prayed that he would rapidly lose consciousness....”
  After his memoir was published, and following a TV appearance with other deportees, Seel - a small, frail man then in his 70s - was assaulted and beaten in the streets by a group of young people shouting “dirty faggot.”
  Seel was buried November 28 in the cemetery of Brames, in the Lot-et-Garonne department of France.

HRC Issues LGBT-Friendly Holiday Buyer’s Guide
Washington, DC - Fair-minded consumers have a powerful new tool for advancing workplace fairness with the November 30 release of the Human Rights Campaign’s buyer’s guide.  The publication - “Buying For Equality”
- highlights corporate policies on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality and empowers consumers to make purchasing decisions based on a company’s score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s nationally respected Corporate Equality Index.
  “LGBT Americans are changing the policies of corporate America at the check-out line,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said. “With an estimated $610 billion worth of buying power, this guide empowers our community to easily support companies that take a stand for fairness.”
  Hundreds of popular American brands are listed in the publication, drawing simple distinctions between products, services and retail outlets that consumers use on a daily basis.  For electronics purchases, the guide illustrates Best Buy’s 100% score over Circuit City’s 43%.  For pet food, Iams’ 86% tops Alpo’s 29.  Other comparisons include: Aquafina over Poland Spring, Shell over Exxon-Mobil, and Balance Bar over Powerbar.
  Seventy percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are very or extremely likely to consider a brand that is known to provide equal workplace benefits for gay and lesbian employees, according to research by Witeck-Combs Communications and Harris Interactive.
  The buyers guide harnesses the power of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index - a nationally recognized scorecard of corporate policies affecting their LGBT employees including domestic partner benefits and non-discrimination policies.  This year, a record 101 companies scored a perfect 100% on the index - more than seven times the number of 100% scores when the index was introduced in 2002.
  “Ensuring equality for all employees on the job is good for the bottom line and corporate America is responding in historic numbers,” Solmonese added.  “We are using our collective purchasing power to continue to influence change.”
  The guide is available online at www.hrc.org/BuyersGuide.

State News:

Mike Tate Named “No On Amendment” Campaign Manager
Action WI, Center Advocates Hire Veteran Wisconsin Grassroots Organizer
Madison – A day after over 700 people packed a hearing on the constitutional ban on civil unions and marriage, Action Wisconsin AW logoand Center Advocates announced the hiring of an experienced, full-time campaign manager.  Effective December 1, Mike Tate will lead the effort to defeat the amendment at the ballot box in November 2006.
  “Mike Tate has a high level of experience, a strong background in Wisconsin politics, and fresh ideas. By hiring him, we are taking a   major step forward in defeating the amendment in 2006,” AW board president Tony Sheehan said. “He will build a tremendous campaign that mobilizes a majority of Wisconsin voters to oppose this harmful, far-reaching amendment.”
  Tate has an extensive political resume in Wisconsin. In 2004, he oversaw one of the largest grassroots voter mobilization efforts in Wisconsin political history as the deputy director of America Coming Together. Tate was also the state director for Governor Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. In 2002, he worked as the state field director for Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk’s gubernatorial bid and as a regional political organizer for AFSCME council 40 in the general election. Tate has worked for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and is a former national vice-president of the College Democrats of America.
  “Wisconsin will be the first state in the nation to defeat a constitutional ban on civil unions and marriage, and I’m excited to lead the effort,” Tate told Quest. “This effort is critical for families in Wisconsin, families across the nation, and everyone who is tired of the way these amendments are being used to divide our country.  Wisconsinites will draw a line in the sand next November and send a  powerful message that they stand squarely for fairness and equality for all our citizens.”
  The proposed ban on civil unions and marriage must still clear the required second vote in the state Legislature. Although Action Wisconsin and the Milwaukee-based Center Advocates have been working hard for over a year to pressure key lawmakers, it seems likely the amendment will pass the Legislature and be sent to a statewide vote.
  Action Wisconsin is the statewide advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families. The group has built a partnership for the campaign with Center Advocates, the equal rights group based in the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.

Wisconsin Lawyers Oppose Anti-Marriage Amendment
Group Cites Court Rulings Overturning Similar “Flawed Language” In Other States
Madison -Lawyers Against the Amendment (LATA), a group of attorneys and legal scholars across Wisconsin, responded with concern for Wisconsin families when a committee of the state legislature announced over the holiday weekend that it will hold hearings tomorrow on a proposed state constitutional amendment that would prohibit domestic partnerships and civil unions for all Wisconsin citizens, and would ban marriage for same-sex couples.
  “Wisconsin statutes already limit marriages to opposite-sex couples,” explained Tamara Packard, civil rights attorney and co-founder of LATA. Earlier this year, LATA sent letters signed by over 345 lawyers and scholars statewide to members of the legislature cautioning that the proposed amendment goes well beyond limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, and endangers Wisconsin families by jeopardizing existing legal protections in the areas of estate planning, family, criminal and constitutional law.  LATA warned that the proposed amendment could threaten the well being of a large number of children with same-sex parents in Wisconsin because it would render uncertain the legal arrangements their parents make to ensure that both parents will be responsible for raising the children, to dispose of property, and to make health care decisions within the families.
  “It was our hope,” said Packard, “that the legislature would take seriously its role in safeguarding the rights of all hard-working, tax-paying Wisconsin families, and drop the proposed amendment once they understood the devastating effects it would have on families.  Instead, they have chosen to play politics with the lives of real Wisconsinites by unveiling this mean-spirited, holiday season ‘gift’.  This amendment would be the first in the history of Wisconsin to restrict, rather than protect, individual rights. Using the state constitution to single out a group of people for discrimination undermines respect for the constitution, laws and citizens of this state.”
  Another danger the group outlined for the legislature is that the amendment’s broad language - to ban any legal arrangement that is “substantially similar” to marriage - could result in numerous lawsuits as the state’s courts struggle to determine what the amendment means.  The language of the proposed Wisconsin amendment is similar to the language of constitutional amendments passed in Nebraska and Michigan.  The Nebraska amendment was struck down as unconstitutional in federal court; the Michigan amendment spurred controversy and ongoing litigation over whether health insurance benefits already offered to domestic partners violated that
amendment.
  “The legislature has been warned, both by LATA and by its own Legislative Council, that this amendment, if it passes, will go far beyond restricting marriage.  It will threaten the ability of gay citizens to provide for their families, as well as impede the ability of the legislature and others to grant rights and benefits to domestic partners in the future,” said Packard, referring in part to a 2004 Legislative Council memo concluding that litigation ultimately may be necessary to determine the amendment’s impact on domestic partner benefits. “Despite these warnings, the sponsors continue to minimize the impact this amendment could have on Wisconsin families and on Wisconsin’s legal system. The truth is that the language is so broad and overreaching that it can be used to hurt families and children. By claiming otherwise, the amendment’s supporters are throwing sand in the eyes of Wisconsin voters.”

Comic Singer/Songwriter Barry Weber In Concert At Harmony Cafe
Appleton - He’s been dubbed “the Phil Ochs of the new millennium.” The Fox Valley Scene identifies him as “that rare performer who can make audiences laugh while he educates them about the state of the world.” The Des Moines Cityview concurs: “His Barry Meyertongue is sharp and lyrics clever...if he weren’t singing, Weber would probably be writing for The Onion.” And singer/songwriter Barry Weber will perform one night only - Monday, December 19 - at the Harmony Cafe, 124 North Oneida Street here.
  The 24 year old Weber, a former Wauwatosa resident and a graduate of UW-Oshkosh who now lives in North Carolina, will perform his edgy, clever, insightful political folk originals at the cafe beginning at 7 PM.
  According to Weber’s official biography, Barry fell in love with traditional folk music “in between drinking binges, rum orgies and frat orientations gone horribly awry.”He became the folk music coordinator of his college radio station, and worked as an intern for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in 2002.
  Using the college radio studio, Weber recorded two CDs: Glorified Demos in 2001 and “The Bush Song”...And Other Songs I Shouldn’t Sing in 2003. Throughout 2002 and 2003, Barry was a dedicated rally performer at several peace movements throughout Wisconsin, leading crowds through self-penned folk rewrites as well as many songs of his own. His two most popular originals, “The Bush Song” and “Talking Post-9/11 Blues” peaked at #1 and #14 on the local CMJ radio charts, respectively.
  Barry relocated to Asheville, NC in 2003. He was the1st place winner of the Fondy Acoustic Music Alliance (FAMA) Songwriting Contest in 2004. Earlier this year, he released his first new CD in two years: We’ll All Get To Heaven If We Get God Drunk. Weber’s website at: www.barryweber.net offers downloads of some of his most popular songs, including two versions of “The Bush Song” and “The Lord Loves A Faggot.”
  Seating for the Weber concert will be open. For more information about Weber’s appearance, contact the Harmony Cafe at 920-734-2233 or online at: www.harmonycafe.org.

SAGE To Tour Historic Pabst Theater
Milwaukee -  SAGE/Milwaukee members and friends will have the opportunity to walk a one-hour tour of the city’s  historic Pabst Theater Tuesday, December 13. The tour will begin at 11 AM at the Pabst Theater box office located in the Milwaukee Center and will include the fascinating sets of the current production, “A Christmas Carol.”
  The Pabst Theatre was built in 1895 by brewing magnate Captain Frederick Pabst, and designed by architect Otto Strack in the tradition of the great European opera houses. Its opulent baroque interior includes an Austrian crystal chandelier, a staircase crafted from white Italian Carrara marble, and a proscenium arch, highlighted in gold leaf, framing the stage.
  The Pabst Theater rose from the ashes of a theater known as Das Neue Deutsche Stadt-Theater (The New German City Theater), which had been built by Pabst in 1890. When informed of the fire while on vacation in Europe in 1895, Pabst reportedly cabled his staff to “rebuild at once!” In just eleven months, the theater was rebuilt.
  Today, The Pabst Theater is the centerpiece of Milwaukee’s downtown theater district, a magnificent example of architecture of another time and era that serves performers and audiences of the 21st century as it did at the turn of the 20th century. The Pabst Theater, a National Historic Landmark, stands on the northwest
corner of Wells and Water streets in downtown
Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  The cost of the tour will be $4 per person. To participate either call Raymond Konz- Krzyminski at 414-617 1152 or join the group by 10:45 a.m. on the the day of the tour.

Milwaukee LGBT Community Center Launches Victim Outreach/Advocacy Program
Milwaukee - The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center’s Anti-Violence Project expands its ability to support LGBT victims of LGBT Centercrime with the hiring on a Victim Outreach/Advocate. The Advocate will be responsible for educating LGBT people about violent crimes such as domestic abuse and sexual assault through community outreach efforts. In addition, the Advocate will work directly with victims of crime by providing telephone and in-person crisis intervention; accompanying victims to the hospital and other appointments; serving as a liaison with service providers and offering information about resources. For more information about the Victim Outreach/Advocacy Program, contact Kathy Herbst at 414-271-2656 or via email at: kherbst@mkelgbt.org.

Milwaukee Wave Hosts LGBT Night December 9
Milwaukee - The city’s world champion professional indoor soccer team the Milwaukee Wave will hold a LGBT night Friday, Wave logoMcCurdyDecember 9 at the U.S. Cellular Arena here. The evening will begin with the Wave’s hosting the Philadelphia Kixx.
  Following the match, there will be a free one hour concert featuring humorist and musician Pat McCurdy. McCurdy, who has recorded seven albums, performs with such energy and charisma that he can be compared to the cast of “Who’s Line is it Anyway” wrapped u  in one crazy man. McCurdy’s infectious and danceable songs  range over such off-kilter themes as driving in reverse or the relationship between sex and beer.
  Wave tickets typically range from $12-20 each. Individuals calling 414-224-9283 and asking for the “LGBT (and Straight Ally) Special” will receive $16 seats for $10.

Record-Breaking Holly Jolly Folly Nets $80,000 For ARCW
Milwaukee - ARCW’s 10th annual Jolly Holly Folly held Tuesday, November 29 at the Milwaukee Center Arboretum saw Hollly Jolly 1Holly Jolly 2record attendance and a special donation that netted the agency about $80,000, according to unofficial estimates provided to Quest. Over 700 attendees sampled signature dishes from 23 of Milwaukee’s finest restaurants and enjoyed the final dress rehearsal performance of the comic farce “Laughing Stock” by the Milwaukee Repertory.
  Immediately prior to the start of the show, ARCW’s Doug Nelson accepted at check for $50,000 from the Potawatomi Nation Foundation earmarked for housing in the Milwaukee area. “This generous donation will help ARCW in its goal of assuring no one living with AIDS will have to endure being homeless,” Nelson said.
      “Our donors look forward to this event each year,” ARCW Vice President of Development Dan Mueller noted. “It’s a wonderful night out on the town.”
  Restaurants included Cubanitas, La Perla, Ristorante Bartolotta and The Knick. The play, written by Charles Morey, is a hilarious backstage look into the world of the theatre

Feature Story:

Gutzman's "Holiday Punch" Is A Christmas Tradition
Milwaukee - Holiday Punch 2005 is Habit Forming!  Be careful!  The 27th edition of Dale Gutzman’s Holiday Punch is coming toHoliday Punch Off The Wall Theatre, and word is it’s habit forming. This fast paced, infamous holiday concoction of comedy and music which started at the Skylight Theatre  twenty-eight years ago, is one of Milwaukee’s oldest Christmas traditions. Gutzman and company satirically visit the events of the past year, the hype and hypertension of the season, and have fun with film and television parodies.
  This year’s show is no exception.
  The 40th anniversary of “The Sound of Music” and the release of a new DVD, inspires an off the wall sketch of “deleted scenes” from this famous musical. The completion of the Stars Wars saga is the basis for a rendition of “Send in the Clones.” Gutzman and gang explore some new and far out Christmas gifts, show us bizarre Christmas customs in Norway and Mexico, and do their take on the hit tv show Crocodile Hunter. The entire audience gets in on the act when the song “Home” is performed with sound effects and a wealth of unusual props.  And the Holiday Punch gang do their own version of the hit show “Grease” called  “Lard!”
  Musical moments in this 2005 edition will include; Celebration, Sleigh Ride, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, two original Christmas tunes penned just for the show, and much more.  
  The cast for this year’s comedy and music insanity consists of  Mary Henricksen, Karl Miller, Sharon Rise, Lawrence Luksasavage, Kristen Pagenkopf, Jeremy Welter, Heidi Woelhck, Samantha, as well as technical director David Roper and Gutzman himself.  The music director will be Chris Wezalek.  
  Holiday Punch entrenches itself at the Off The Wall Theatre for performances on December 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 29, 30, and two shows on New Years Eve.  Show times on Wednesday and Thursday startat 7:30 PM.  FFriday and Satruday shows begin at 8 PM. Sunday matinees begin at 4:30 PM. The New Years Eve shows are at 8 and 10:30 PM. Tickets are $22-$26; and $30 for the New Years Show.
  Reservations can be made by calling 414-327-3552. For more information, visit the Off The Wall theater website at: www.offthewalltheatre.com.

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