May 28, 2016

Congressman warns of gays in space

Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert addressed the US House of Representatives this week to warn against a threat we're sure no one had thought of before: gays in space. 

Gohmert was apparently trying to illustrate the disasterous consequences if the federal goverment was not allowed to discriminate against homosexuals should a handful of Americans be chosen to flee the planet and repopulate somewhere else. Gohmert's mashup of the Holy Bible and The Martian envisioned a spaceship Noah's Ark that had to include homosexuals out of political correctness. And what good would they be, not wanting to reproduce? (Apparently neither in vitro fertilization technology nor turkey basters would be on board)

This is his argument: 

I really wonder how many people in this body who had the ultimate power to decide whether the human race would go forward or not… Whether it was an asteroid coming, something that would end humanity on earth, as dinosaurs were ended at one time… Ok we’ve got a spaceship that can go, as Matt Damon did in the movie, plant a colony somewhere, we can have humans survive this terrible disaster about to befall. If you could decide what 40 people you put on the spacecraft that would save humanity, how many of those would be same sex couples? You’re wanting to save humankind for posterity, basically a modern day Noah, you have that ability to be a modern day Noah, you can preserve life, how many same sex couples would you take from the animal kingdom and from humans to put on a spacecraft to perpetuate humanity and the wildlife kingdom?

Is there any way we can send Gohmert on a one way rocket trip somewhere far, far away? 

May 27, 2016

Report finds that UK's extreme porn ban is stupid

A new report by the libertarian Adam Smith Institute concludes that Britain's prohibitions on "extreme porn," in effect since 2009, are socially useless and unduly target sexual minorities for activities that are harmless.

According to the law, banned materials must be intended for sexual arousal, realistic and "grossly obscene." In  addition, they must depict at least one of the following: 

- Acts of non-consensual penetration 
- An act which threatens a person’s life 
- An act likely to cause serious harm to the breasts, genitals or anus 
- Bestiality
- Necrophilia

Report author Nick Cowan points out that a significant minority of the British population enjoy sexually aggressive fantasy scenarios but do not pose a specific risk of committing violent or sexual offences. While there is some evidence claiming a correlation between individual use of pornography and sexual aggression, other evidence suggests this is not a causal relationship and that, if anything, increased access to pornography can actually reduce measurable social harms.

The reason for the legislation was to reduce violence against women, but there is no evidence it has had such an effect. There are many other ways to reduce violence against women through criminal justice, education and economic reform. 

The report points to the United States as an example of a better way, where the doctrine of free speech shows that it is possible to simultaneously fight damaging forms of expression (like actual rape and child pornography) and maintain strong protections for innocuous fantasies. 

The UK is now primed to introduce another level of Internet censorship, requiring porn sites to verify users are over 18 by having them submit ID such as their  mobile phone number of social insurance number.

It's not clear if the new rules will affect free sites that aren't based in the UK, such as BananaGuide, which has no intension of asking visitors for ID.

We really do have to ask, in the year 2016, should Parliament be legislating sexual morality? 

May 25, 2016

Trump Supreme Court nominee may have gay porn past

Homophobic Federal Appeals Court judge Bill Pryor, who presidential hopeful Donald Trump has named as a possible Supreme Court nominee, may have posed nude in the 1980's. In 1997 Badpuppy got a hold of the images, publishing several scans of  what numerous people in the know say was indeed Bill Pryor. The images are not longer on Badpuppy, by the way.   

The allegations first came to light in the fall of 2013 on an Alabama law blog called Legal Schnauzer.  According to the blog, Alabama law enforcement officials became aware of the images at Bad Puppy in 1997, not long before Pryor was named state attorney general. Legal Schauzer claims that multiple unnamed officials familiar with the matter confirmed that the pictures were, in fact, of Bill Pryor, taken while he was a student at Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana Monroe) from 1980 to 1984. 

Will nude photos from thirty years ago be enough to keep Bill Pryor off the Supreme Court?  Let's remind ourselves that Donald Trump has to win the presidency first. And if he does, there will be a thousand other things to worry about. 

May 23, 2016

Another reason to love Justin Trudeau

It's Victoria Day in Canada (the only country in the world that celebrates the great queen's birthday), so an appropriate time to turn our thoughts to the True North. 

As you must know, Canada made gay marriage legal in 2005, a full decade before the United States.

Last year the US Supreme Court ruled gay marriage was a right, but there's been a huge backlash as many state governments react with fear and ignorance, aiming their intolerance at another sexual minority, the transgendered.

Meanwhile, up in Canada, Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has introduced legislation that will guarantee transgender people equal rights. 

According to Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, the proposed law will "ensure that Canadians will be free to identify themselves and to express their gender as they wish while being protected against discrimination and hate, because as Canadians, we should feel free and safe to be ourselves."

The legislation would, if passed, make it illegal to prevent someone from getting a job or to discriminate in the workplace on the basis of gender identity or gender expression. It would also would also update the Criminal Code to extend hate speech laws to include gender identity and gender expression. 

Prime Minister Trudeau will march in Toronto's Gay Pride Parade on July 3. He will be accompanied by Ontario Premier (and lesbian) Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor John Tory and City Councillor (and also lesbian) Kristyn Wong-Tam. 

Happy Victoria Day, Canada! And thanks for being you! 

May 20, 2016

Study says bears more likely to try riskier sex

gay bears
According to a new study, men who fall into the "bear" category -- gays who are big and hairy -- are more likely suffer from low self-esteem. Because of this, they are also more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior.
The Clinical Journal of Nursing conducted the study by breaking down the findings of 11 research papers. It discovered that bears often struggle more with their sexuality and body image, finding it harder to fit in.
“Before discovering the bear community, members have described harassment and discrimination from both heterosexuals and homosexuals throughout their lifespan based on weight, which led to lower self-esteem,” researchers said. “Perpetuating this perception of low self-esteem is the stereotypical image of a gay man who is usually young, slim, and smooth-skinned, an image which many men who identify as bears do not fit.”
The result: a greater likelihood of engaging in unprotected anal sex, fisting, asphyxiation, voyeurism and exhibitionism. An exact percentage of this increased likelihood was not given.
“Despite the health risks that are associated with increased BMI, the promotion of certain physical appearance that includes a higher BMI is important for men who identify as bears,” the paper added. “It helps them to recognise one another, strengthen communal bonds, and promote a gay identity that is masculine, sexual, and mature.”
So next time you're out, give a bear a big hug and tell him he matters! (Just make sure it's not a real bear, in which case run, or play dead, or do whatever it is you're supposed to do!)

May 17, 2016

Pastor lied about "fag" cake from Whole Foods

Jordan BrownJordan Brown, a gay pastor from Austin, Texas, has been forced to apologize after falsely claiming that a local Whole Foods bakery added "fag" to a cake he ordered.
Last month, Brown claimed he went to the store and requested a cake that read "Love Wins." When he picked it up, he claimed someone at the store had added the word "fag" to the message.
"This is discrimination," the 30-year-old said in a video he posted to YouTube last month. "As a 30-year-old openly gay pastor, I have had to face years of discrimination and judgement for something that I had no control over."
The openly gay founder of the Church of Open Doors sued Whole Foods. 
Well, it was all a big fat lie. 
Whole Foods released security footage of Brown buying the cake which they said proved they did nothing wrong. The company added that the employee being accused of defacing the cake is a member of the LGBT community. Whole Foods filed a countersuit.
Jordan Brown's fake "fag" cake
"The company did nothing wrong," Brown admitted in a statement. “I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story. I want to apologize to Whole Foods and its team members for questioning the company’s commitment to its values."
He added that he was sorry for embarrassing his partner, family and church, but did not explain why he did it.
He owes every single person in the LGBT community an apology for being such an ass. It's hard enough to battle for equal rights in this world without people like Brown crying wolf. Gay card revoked!

May 15, 2016

Russian Eurovision singer took some sexy pics

Sergey Lazarev
For most of us here in North America, Eurovision is not a major event. However, the song competition, which pits European country against European country, is big news across the pond.
Two years ago, Conchita Wurst, the bearded drag queen, won the contest for Austria. This pissed off Russia, which promised to leave the overly flamboyant competition in order to create a more family-friendly -- read: less gay -- version of the event. (Russia has yet to follow through in its promise.)
Well, this year Russia's rep was caught in a little bit of a fetish pic blunder. Sergey Lazarev, 33, is seen sitting naked on a bed while holding a saw towards a woman handcuffed to a radiator. The images and news spread across Europe.
Sergey Lazarev
The Kremlin countered that the pictures were part of a campaign to battle domestic violence. Other images of a nearly naked Lazarev have also been shared on gay porn sites, further angering the country's officials.
"Officials don’t want this photo getting out because it looks so weird and creepy and could scupper their bid," a source revealed. "Russia has spent an absolute fortune on Sergey, it is really desperate to win this year."
Well, in the end Russia failed to take the win for the 2016 Eurovision contest (and we feel just terrible about it ... not!) Ukraine came in first.
Now, for those of you still confused about what Eurovision is all about, here's a terrible little number that should help clear things up!

May 8, 2016

Student will not be charged for exposing his dick in pic

You'll be happy to hear that 19-year-old Hunter Osborn -- the young jock who exposed himself during a football team photo -- will not have to register as a sex offender.
The Arizona high school student faced 69 charges after freeing his willy on a dare; his penis went unnoticed, and the picture made it into the yearbook. Many of the charges involved furnishing harmful materials to minors, which could have resulted in him being labeled a sex offender.
"An assessment of the available evidence for the felony charge of Furnishing Harmful Items to Minors, ARS 13-3506.A., leads us to conclude that the evidence does not establish a violation of the statute," said County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
Now the local police can go after someone who has actually done something wrong!

May 4, 2016

High school football player shows off junk, charged with indecent exposure

OsbornHunter Osborn, 19, said he was only responding to a silly dare; now he's facing 69 counts of indecent exposure.
What could he have done? He dropped his pants during a high school photo of the football team. 
When the Mesa Police Department, in Arizona, found out they swooped in and arrested the young man. Police also charged Osborn with furnishing harmful items to minors, because many of the pupils present while the photograph was taken were under 18. (Talk about an overreaction!)
"It is still an ongoing investigation," said a police spokesman. "The number of charges may go up or down depending upon how the investigation continues."
When the photograph was first taken last year, no one noticed. The image landed in the yearbook and made it out to 3,400 students. It was also included in the school's football program. 
Mesa Public School released a statement: "The district is dismayed by the actions of the students involved in the photograph. Their behaviour does not reflect the values of Red Mountain High School or Mesa Public Schools. Upon learning of the photograph, school administration immediately contacted police and is cooperating fully with the investigation. Disciplinary action will follow ... and may be based on the outcome of the police investigation."
As for Osborn, who was 18 at the time, he said he did it on a dare and that he felt "disgusted" by it. He is now under house arrest and must wear a tracking device.
There may be a very slight silver lining: Playgirl has offered to help him out.
“We’re trying to reach this kid to get him in Playgirl. We want to support him as this was a hilarious prank, and people are too tightly wound. would like to have him pose naked and pay his legal bills,” a spokesperson said.
Playgirl? How about Broke Straight Boys? Though, given the fact that his penis is so unremarkable that it took several months before anyone even noticed it, could mean young Hunter's not cut out for porn. 

May 2, 2016

Judge rules Long Beach gay sex stings discriminatory

Sex in the restroomOn Friday, California Superior Court Judge Halim Dhanidina dismissed charges of lewd conduct and indecent exposure against a man.
Rory Moroney had been arrested during a sex sting in Long Beach in 2014. A vice-unit decoy claimed that the 50-year-old exposed himself in a restroom in Recreation Park.
Police said that during a two year period, they arrested about 55 men in the same restroom, following complaints about inappropriate conduct.
The judge countered that there was no evidence any such complaints took place, and found that the arrest of Moroney was based on discriminatory enforcement and prosecution
"The presence and tactics of the decoy officers actually caused the crimes to occur," Dhanidina ruled.
He continued, stating that "the arbitrary enforcement of the law as seen in this case undermines the credibility of our legal system, eroding public confidence in our ability to achieve just results." 
"This judge knows discrimination when he sees it," said Bruce Nickerson, one of Moroney's defense lawyers. "His ruling is powerful because it sends a message far beyond this case. It sends a message to police departments throughout the state who do these decoy operations for lewd-conduct cases."
Had he been convicted, Moroney would have been forced to register as a sex offender for life.
As for the police department involved in this case, it promised to take the court ruling seriously "and will evaluate how we respond to these kinds of complaints."

Maybe they should start investigating crimes, instead of creating them! 
Judge slams gay sex stings by Long Beach police, calling them discriminatory [LA Times]
Judge: Long Beach's Sex Stings 'Intentionally Targeted' Gay Men [The Advocate]

April 28, 2016

Tennessee now allows therapists to refuse gay clients

Governor Bill HaslamRepublican governors of conservative states have really gone out of their way to push an anti-LGBT agenda under the guise of "religious liberty" laws.
Mississippi, North Carolina and Missouri are at various stages of adopting bills that would protect people who cannot, because of their strongly held religious beliefs, provide service to gay people. Those protected include everyone from florists and bakers to ministers, and in some cases, large businesses.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (in this totally not doctored photo) wants to take that "protection" a step further and has signed an anti-LGBT bill that will allow counselors and therapists in the state to turn away clients based on “sincerely held principles.” (Note that it says principles and not just religious beliefs.)
The law says that counselors and therapists are protected from liability if they turn away a client whose goals, outcomes, or behaviors conflict with their beliefs.
Counselors must, however, refer the client to a provider who will see them.
The bill's sponsor, Senator Jack Johnson, claimed that “[the law] is not anti-anybody, it’s not anti-anything; it’s just pro-religious liberty.”
The American Counseling Association said the law was an “unprecedented attack” on the counseling profession.
"This is the first time in the history of the Association that any legislative body—local, state, federal—has ever passed a piece of legislation specifically targeting our code of ethics, that has never been done," said Art Terrazas, Director of Government Relations, American Counseling Association.
"This bill opens the door to blanket discrimination—whether it’s a veteran suffering from PTSD or a woman suffering from spousal abuse— and we at the American Counseling Association are not going to stand for that. Governor Haslam now has a choice. He can either follow the heroic example set by Governor Deal of Georgia and veto this terrible legislation, or he can be on the wrong side of history and legalize discrimination."
We think therapists should refuse to see Republican politicians. "Sorry, we can't treat stupid."
Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Letting Counselors Refuse Service  [Buzzfeed]
American Counseling Association and Tennessee Equality Project call on Gov. Haslam to veto Hate Bill 1840 [LGBT Weekly]

April 19, 2016

Even gay turtles deserve a home

Amnesty International Turkey conducted an interesting hidden camera experiment to see if a turtle's sexuality - or, more specifically, its homosexuality - would turn-off potential buyers. Sadly, it did.
At a small pet store, people were shown turtles in a tank. When they asked about them, the shop owner advised potential customers that they were, in fact, gay turtles. 
“Hmm… is it contagious?” asked one woman.
A man hoped the shop sells “decent ones” instead.
“That one’s decent too," countered the shopkeeper. "He is completely healthy and fine.”
“Healthy?" the man replied. "But you said he is gay!”
Yep, a gay turtle was a difficult sell. Even a couple that seemed to have no issue with it admitted, "It’s not a problem… we’ll be giving it away as a gift anyway.”
Of course, the video may seem silly at first but it was designed to highlight a serious and growing problem of homophobia in Turkey. 

Reality show contestant takes on North Carolina's anti-trans law

Neal Gottlieb, a contestant on the most recent season Survivor, hiked to the top of Mount Mitchell, the highest mountaintop in North Carolina.
He wanted to take a stand against the state's House Bill 2, recently passed anti-LGBT legislation which forces trans people to use restrooms that do not correspond with their gender identity. So Gottlieb placed a rainbow-colored outhouse with a trans Pride flag at the mountain’s peak.
He then took to Facebook to write an open letter to Governor McCrory:
As of this morning, an outhouse proudly displaying a trans pride flag is sitting atop Mount Mitchell, North Carolina’s tallest mountain. It was placed there in protest of HB2, your state’s institutionalization of discrimination (also known as hate) against members of the trans community (also known as humans). Yes, at least for a little while, North Carolina’s highest point is an outhouse; a fitting symbol for a state that has sullied itself with shitty, repressive legislation.
Gottlieb added, "Of course you can admit that you shit the bed, reverse HB2 and wipe away the mess this harmful legislation leaves behind. We all make mistakes. Please stop dumping on freedom and admit your wrongs. We’ll all feel much better when this passes.”
This is not the first time Gottlieb has spoken out in support of LGBT rights. “In 2014 I placed a flag on the top of Uganda’s tallest mountain in protest of the country’s criminalization of homosexuality," he explained. "It’s sad that I would have reason to undertake a similar protest on United States soil, but I saw in 2014 how such an action can have far reach, call our leaders and inspire others to keep up the good fight. The idea for the outhouse and how it tied in with the “bathroom bill” came to me about two weeks ago out of the blue.”
Thank God he's on our side!

April 5, 2016

No "Wicked" for bigots!

WickedBroadway composer Stephen Schwartz has lashed out at North Carolina after the state passed a law that allows for the discrimination of the LGBTQ community for "faith-based" reasons.
He said that the show Wicked will not be allowed to take stage in North Carolina. Schwartz added that he will also withhold permissions for Godspell and Pippin.
"I feel that it is very important that any state that passes such a law suffer economic and cultural consequences, partly because it is deserved and partly to discourage other states from following suit," explained Schwartz.
He added that he hopes others will follow his example.
“If you are in agreement, you may want to join me in refusing to license our properties to, or permit productions of our work by, theaters and organizations in North Carolina until this heinous legislation is repealed,” he said.
Mitchel Sommers, executive director for the Community Theatre of Greensboro (CTG), feared the boycott could lead to “a theatrical disaster.”
“CTG’s bread and butter is its shows, which all must get royalty permission from their owners in order to be produced,” Sommers said. “If Stephen Schwartz’s ban on NC theaters producing his work is mirrored by his other Broadway colleagues, which is inevitable, what are we going to put on?”
Jamie Lawson, the artistic director for the Theatre Alliance in Winston-Salem, said that Schwartz' decision would hurt the wrong people.
“If your suggested boycott occurs, it will likely put our nonprofit theater company of 32 years… out of business,” he wrote on Facebook. “From a 45-year-old gay man who grew up in a rural town and turned to theater in the darkest hour, I would hate to see the whole state go dark because of a few bigoted individuals who care nothing about a theatrical boycott, anyway. You wouldn’t be hurting them; you would be hurting us… your supporters.”
Political bigots only seem to "soften" their position when their state's pocketbooks are hit and hit hard. A boycott by theater, film and corporations will help send the message, though hints from Wahington that millions in federal transfers may be in jeopardy is more likely to have the intended effect. 

No ‘Wicked’ for NC: Composer Stephen Schwartz bans NC shows over HB2 [The Charlotte Observer]

Stephen Schwartz Bans Productions Of “Wicked” In North Carolina After Anti-Gay Law [NewNowNext]