Posted by: Lauren--NY | May 13, 2009


Welcome to the new blog.  I’m not quite sure yet what the angle will be, but I hope it will be at times informative and at times funny, preferably both.  Check out the About page to get an overview.  The main site is here:  Please also enjoy the links on the right-hand side of your screen.

I want to open this with an example of what I consider to be heroism.  Other than the obvious choices–servicemen, fireman, war correspondents and journalists who practice in countries with limited protection for press freedom and for their personal safety (you’ll hear a lot from me on that subject) there are average people all over the world committing acts of heroism, and ironically, they aren’t getting any press.  I’ve seen it in my own country when average people with average incomes dropped everything to pick up where FEMA left off after Hurricane Katrina, some of them quitting their jobs and moving cross country to get the job done, because as heroes usually do, they saw no alternative.

However, I want this blog to have an international flavor (and I want to enlist your help with that, dear readers, so comment away) so this evening I would like to tip my hat to a small group of heroes that didn’t get any mainstream press, at least not in America.  This past Sunday, Kazakhstan News reported that an Arab gay group in Beirut, Lebanon gathered peacefully in the streets–not to protest for marriage, because Lebanon isn’t there yet.  They gathered merely to protest for the beatings and the murders to stop, and for the right to wave their rainbow flags.

Lebanon’s only overt LGBT rights group, Herem, organized this protest in response to what they said was the beating of two gay men by police, but also in response to the recent spike in murders of members of the LGBT community in their region.   The Lebanese government prohibits homosexuality, as their Article 534 states that such sexual relations “contrdict the laws of nature.”

There is no government support and very little media support for this cause in Lebanon.  Herem stands alone.  It humbles me greatly to envision what these people face and that they risk their lives  and the well-being of their families to try to change this law, and to win hearts and minds without the security of the police or the support of the media that they would receive if they were elsewhere.

Think of these people for a few minutes when you read this.  Thank you for indulging me and allowing me to honor these courageous people in my small way, and if you would pass this information on to your friends and colleagues I would be eternally grateful.

Read the full article here:

Welcome to the Grotto.

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  1. this is a beautiful blog lauren! you have a brilliant mind, and a compassionate heart. we look forward to reading more of what you have to say here on the grotto. and we always love tributes to heros. 🙂

    much love to you and your family,

  2. It may not be politically correct but I have a hard time respecting a culture that doesn’t respect all of its citizens. What ever happened to live and let live?

  3. You are off to a great start Lauren. Very, very professional, and a startling and poignant opening piece. I’ve said it before, and that article proves it, you are “The Font” when it comes to information – especially rather obscure into. If CNN doesn’t hire you as a paid resercher, they are crazy!

  4. Amazing story. One can only imagine what the penalties are if convicted of homosexuality in their country. Heroic even to whisper their desire for equality…here’s to hoping the whispers soon become a roar!

  5. Nice article and a nice start to your blog. Looking forward to many more great articles.

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