February 26

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Events

  • 1564 - "Come live with me, and be my love, / And we will all the pleasures prove," - Writer Christopher Marlowe was baptized in Canterbury, England on this date. So little is known about Marlowe's life, and so much has been written about him over the centuries to create a persona to match his work, he is now considered gay by default. What is known is that he was a firebrand as a youth, that he was a anti-clerical rebel, that he was in trouble with the law, and that he was dead of a stab wound at the age of 29. Many of his surviving works contain homoerotic references. His epigram reads "All they that love not tobacco and boys are fools." Love boys? Well, maybe we need to revise that conventional view of him - just a touch.[1]
  • 2002 - The verdict is in. The teacher is out. - U.S. District Judge Frederic Block issued a ruling on this date rejecting Peter Melzer’s argument that the Board of Education violated his First Amendment rights when it discharged him from the Bronx High School of Science faculty because of his NAMBLA activities. Melzer began teaching in the public schools in 1963, and in 1968 joined the faculty at Bronx Science, where he earned tenure as a physics teacher. According to Block’s opinion, he "received numerous teaching commendations and all of his evaluations have been satisfactory." There is no evidence that he ever initiated sexual activity with any of his students or any other underage people, or violated any policies of the Board of Education in the course of his employment. "It is doubtful whether any degree of disruption to the internal affairs of the school could justify Melzer’s firing if he simply were a passive member of an expressive association espousing unpopular, indeed repulsive, notions of age-related parameters of homosexual relationships" [E]ven if such organization be deemed unlawful "'those who join an organization but do not share its unlawful purposes and who do not participate in its unlawful activities surely pose no threat, either as citizens or as public employees,'" wrote Block, quoting language from a 1966 Supreme Court opinion. "It is equally uncertain whether Melzer could be fired simply for external disruptions... since 'the reaction of a community cannot always dictate constitutional protections to employees.' However, the Court need not grapple with these issues since it has found that Melzer was discharged solely because of the likely disruption to the internal operations of the school as a consequence of the public exposure of the activities in which he participated during the course of his active, not passive, membership in NAMBLA... Given the limited First Amendment value that the Court ascribes to Melzer’s protected activities and the nature of his public employment, Melzer’s dismissal from the teaching ranks, under the facts and circumstances of this case, was warranted."[1]

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Author unknown. "This Day In Pedo History: February 26", 2003. Retrieved on 3-10-15. 


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