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Sunday, May 19, 2013

NYC in throws of another hate crime

From The New York Times:

Authorities are investigating the overnight shooting death of a 32-year-old man in New York’s Greenwich Village as a hate crime after police said the shooter may have hurled anti-gay slurs. "This clearly looks to be a hate crime," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters on Saturday.

Photo: Robert Stolarik

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ugandan gay rights group sues American evangelical

While "Kony 2012" captures the world's attention, the issue of gay and lesbian persecution in Uganda persists, particularly after that country's "Kill the Gays" bill was revised and re-introduced this year.

But lest you think the anti-gay vitriol was a purely Ugandan creation, the gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda recently filed suit against American evangelical Scott Lively.

From the New York Times:
The Ugandan legislature considered a bill in 2009, proposed by one of Mr. Lively’s Ugandan contacts, that would have imposed the death sentence for homosexual behavior. That bill was at first withdrawn after an outcry from the United States and European nations that are among major aid donors to Uganda, but a revised bill was reintroduced last month. 
Mr. Lively is being sued by the organization Sexual Minorities Uganda under the alien tort statute, which allows foreigners to sue in American courts in situations alleging the violation of international law. The suit claims that Mr. Lively’s actions resulted in the persecution, arrest, torture and murder of homosexuals in Uganda.
Scott Lively is the founder and president of Abiding Truth Ministries and author of the notorious "Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child."

Anti-gay evangelical Scott Lively

Pride reveler takes nudity charge to court

It seems San Diego police have a different definition of nudity than the rest of us. Will Walters, 30 learned that the hard way when police tried to serve him a citation for his loincloth.

According to Will, the loincloth was worn over thong underwear and his privates were completely covered.

From MSNBC:  
A local man filed a complaint against the city after a police officer arrested him at a Pride parade for public nudity. A police officer who encountered Walters at the beer garden apparently thought the display bordered on illegality.
"He said I needed to sign this citation or I was going to jail," Walters recalled in a Dec. 2011 interview with NBC San Diego.
"I said, 'Well, you're going to have to take me to jail, because I'm never going to sign something I'm not allowed to read,’” he said. “All I wanted to know was, how can I correct a problem, and what's the problem? And the problem was presented to me, and I said, 'that’s ridiculous.'"
Walters has now filed suit against the San Diego Police Department in the Southern District Federal Court. Walter's attorney, Chris Morris pointed out the "selective enforcement" of the law, citing many beach events where attendees often wear much less.

"Our main goal in filing the claim was to bring change to the city and its policies," Morris said on Tuesday. "That change is just not going to happen without court supervision."
Will Walters in his loincloth. 
Photo: MSNBC

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Navratilova to compete in DWTS

Tennis great Martina Navratilova will trade in her tennis shoes for dancing heels as a contestant in the 14th season of Dancing With the Stars. The list announced today also includes R&B great Gladys Knight, and former model William Levy. Levy is best known for his appearance in the Jennifer Lopez video for her song "I'm Into You."

Navratilova is known as one of the greatest women of tennis. She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and 31 Grand Slam doubles titles. She came out publicly in 1981.

Martina Navratilova

Monday, February 13, 2012

WA Governor Gregoire signs marriage equality into law

Broadcast with live streaming over the Internet, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire today signed marriage equality into law. The swift and efficient move by both the governor and the state legislature makes Washington the seventh state, plus the District of Columbia, where full marriage equality is realized.

Washington State legislators Ed Murray and Jamie Peterson were thanked for being the main sponsors of the marriage equality bills.

"The sky will fall rhetoric is simply not true," she said. "The truth is respectful, welcoming societies make stronger economies." She went on to thank Microsoft and other corporations who call Washington home.

"Isn't it time to support stronger families and make Washington state stronger?" asked Governor Gregoire. "We in this state stand proudly for equality."

Washington Governor, Christine Gregoire

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Angry moms want Ellen fired

An organization ominously named One Million Moms is ticked off at their favorite department store, JC Penney for hiring out lesbian talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokesperson.

"Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families," the million (or so) moms write on their website. "DeGeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store. The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there."
One Million Moms is an off-shoot of the rabidly anti-gay American Family Association. The parent organization did not respond to requests for comment.

If JC Penney isn't careful, the furious mob of moms will decide to buy their jeans elsewhere.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Maine readies for possible third vote on marriage

With their pursuit of a marriage equality referendum in November, marriage equality and gay rights advocates are once again pushing to move Maine inline with the rest of New England. Delivering over 100,000 signatures calling for a reversal of the 2009 that took equality away from Maine, organizers say the majority of Mainers have changed their minds and now support full equality.

From the Wall Street Journal:   
Advocates said Thursday that their polling and observations convince them voters are ready to do just that in a campaign that could cost $4 million to $5 million.  
After the Legislature approved gay marriage three years ago, opponents forced the question before voters, who overturned the law 53 percent to 47 percent. If Mainers approve gay marriage this time around, the state would be the first to do so by a popular vote.
"Many people have changed their minds," Betsy Smith, executive director of EqualityMaine, said at a news conference at the State House. 
Smith cited the results of a poll in December by Goodwin Simon Strategic research that showed 54 percent of 800 likely voters favored allowing same-sex couples to marry in Maine.

However, marriage equality advocates recognize it will be a fight. Religious leaders, specifically the Archdiocese of Maine, have spoken out against gay marriage and remain adamant foes.

A statewide referendum vote would happen if the Republican-led legislature decides against the measure in an up-or-down vote, or if the governor rejects it. For now it appears a statewide vote is almost inevitable.