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The News You May Have Missed

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By Michael S. Rose | June 2008
Michael S. Rose is Book Review Editor and Web Editor of New Oxford Review.
Gay Graveyard

A special graveyard has been opened for Danish homosexuals in Copenhagen, where the “gay” activist organization Rainbow has reserved 36 places for funeral urns in a section of the municipal Assistens cemetery. Ivan Larsen said he and his “partner,” Ove Carlsen, wanted to be close in death, as in life. They cofounded Rainbow a year ago in order to offer members a funeral urn site for the equivalent of $560. “We have our own places where we can meet and have fun — gay bars and such. That is why we wanted our own graveyard,” Larsen, a Protestant priest, told Radio Denmark (April 8).

‘Religion, Flesh & Power’

Christoph Cardinal Schön­born defended a retrospective exhibition at Vienna’s Cathedral Museum honoring Austria’s renowned artist Alfred Hrdlicka, who recently turned 80. But Cardinal Schön­born drew the line at Hrdlicka’s depiction of the Last Supper as, in his words, a “homosexual orgy,” depicting cavorting Apostles lounging on the dining table and engaging in sex acts. It was supposed to be a highlight of the display. Though Schönborn ordered that painting to be removed from the exhibition hall, he praised Hrdlicka’s initiative: “I still hold the opinion that we must welcome the fact that artists who do not share our faith, or are still searching for belief, occupy themselves so intensively with biblical subjects.” Museum director Bernhard Boehler defended his decision to host the artist’s controversial versions of biblical imagery in a museum tied to the Catholic Church: “We think Hrdlicka is entitled to represent people in this carnal, drastic way” (Reuters, April 7).

Push-Button Suicide

A German lawyer and politician has unveiled Europe’s first suicide machine. Dr. Roger Kusch, 53, head of a suicide-assistance society in Germany, said, “Press one button, and seconds later death arrives.” He calls it “an act of Christian love.” The lethal-injection machine can be rented and is then collected to be re-used to painlessly kill other clients at the push of a button. Kusch said he will be present at the first suicide, but there is no indication yet when that might be (Daily Mail, March 28).

Mr. Mom?

Thomas Beatie is expecting his first child in July. That’s correct: The pregnant Beatie is a man — well, sort of. Beatie, from the state of Oregon, was born a woman but had a sex change in which she had chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy, but no change operation to her reproductive organs. She stopped taking testosterone injections in order to get pregnant. She and her “wife,” Nancy, resorted to home insemination after buying an anonymous donor’s sperm from a cryogenic sperm bank (Sydney Morning Herald, March 26).

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