It has been a rough week for Peter LaBarbera.
First, the American was denied entry into Canada by Canadian border guards. The president of ‘Americans For The Truth About Homosexuality’ claimed he was going to a pro-life convention in Saskatchewan, but had been flagged by officials because of his extreme views against gays. His luggage was checked. His phone was checked. He was told to go home.
He appealed the decision and was, eventually, allowed to enter the country and attend the convention.
Well, yesterday he was taken into custody when he and Canadian-based hater Bill Whatcott started to hand out anti-gay leaflets at the University of Regina. The two were asked to leave, refused, and were arrested for trespassing.
“The materials were graphic and the materials were disturbing," explained the University’s vice president, Thomas Chase. “The materials, we felt, could harm members of this campus community who we have a duty to protect and support.”
“I think freedom of speech has its limits,” added the University Pride Centre executive director Leah Keiser, “and when it starts inciting hatred and violence, as I personally believe this has been, that’s a line I think we should stop crossing, because we’re not talking about opinions anymore — we’re actually hurting human beings.”
You can watch him get arrested here.
Whatcott, LaBarbera arrested on U of R campus [Leader-Post]
A Weymouth, Mass. adult store was torched last weekend by a man who later said that one of the reasons for the arson was that God just doesn't like pornography.
Jon F. Fernald, 44, told police that he had been a customer at Amazing Intimate Essentials and that he blamed the store for getting him addicted to porn.
Rather than just not going to the store anymore, he chose to burn it down with some gas he stole from a nearby garage. Also destroyed in the fire were two other businesses and an apartment housed in the same building (no one was hurt).
It wasn't all Fernald's doing though: he told police that voices in his head had egged him on.
When the officers apprehended him as he ran from the fire they asked him what had happened. Fernald replied, “I’m mentally ill and sometimes I do stupid things.”
Right on two counts there, buddy.
Last May, the Children’s Commissioner for England released a report titled “Basically ... porn is everywhere,” which examined 276 research papers on teenagers and pornography. It was not able to establish a causal relationship between teen viewing of porn and risky sexual behavior, such as not using condoms or starting to have sex at an earlier age than they might otherwise.
The US meta study, "The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents: A Review of the Research,” was conducted by West Chester University in Pennsylvania and published in Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention. It looked at over forty studies and also could not find conclusive evidence of negative consequences to teens watching porn.
However, researchers remain cautious. After all "neuroscience tells us that young minds are still forming and thus malleable, and they tend to respond to emotionally charged material in ways that adults don’t. Given that pornography is emotionally charged, it would be shocking if it had no impact."
Last month, Nabisco released an ad for its Honey Maid graham cracker snack. The “This Is Wholesome” spot featured families from all walks of life, including same sex couples. Needless to say, haters responded with some nasty comments. But Honey Maid turns it all back on them, with what has got to be one of the best turn-the-other-cheek messages we've seen in a while, enough to melt even our cold, porny hearts.
Last October, art school student Clayton Pettet (pictured, left) announced that he was going to lose his virginity to another man, in front of an audience, as a piece of performance art. His work, called Art School Stole My Virginity, is planned for this week.
Then last month, a second young artist came out of the woodwork and claimed to have inspired Pettet's project. John Bingham said he met Pettet a few years earlier and had suggested doing a similar piece. He then announced that he would actually follow through on the idea in a piece called Art School Stole My Sexuality. In it, he would be penetrated by both a male and female partner, in front of an audience. (He planned to have his parents in the audience. Ick!)
Bingham has now pulled out of his project, claiming the “outrageous, pornographic and self-abusive performance” would not benefit his career as an artist.
He also took a shot as his rival, Pettet. "It's porn, it's not art, he's abusing himself and making a fool of himself at the same time," Bingham said. "I won’t be attending or buying any of his paintings."
It gets better. Bingham then claimed that Pettet's performance would be a lie because the two had sex a few weeks ago, alleging that Pettet is no longer a virgin. Meow!
Pettet has not responded to Bingham's comments. He's probably too busy anal douching.
An openly gay former British soldier is causing quite a stir in the UK after he penned an editorial saying that true equality for homosexuals can only be accomplished when gay saunas are closed down.
James Wharton wrote his opinion piece for the new LGBT lifestyle mag Winq. He claimed the existence of gay saunas - where he said men congregate to have anonymous sex with strangers, often in an alcohol and drug-infused haze - only "feeds the haters."
"Sex saunas need to be history," he wrote. "The time has come to close them down. ... [They are] thorns in our side that mark our community as different for the wrong reasons.
"If we don’t, we feed the haters and we hand the bigots who remain a vocal minority ammunition with which to attack us."
Of course, with that logic we should stop letting men wear ass-less leather chaps or perform in drag, because that dastardly vocal minority will whine about them. (Oh, and no more anal sex. Bigots don't like that, either!)
Although he claimed he was not a prude, he admitted that he was turned off by the idea of these bathhouses. "For me as a gay man, the notion that there exist within our communities a series of places that actively promote the convening of gay men for participation in sex of shades various and in groups of all sizes rather revolts me – and I‘ve been round the block a few times, believe me."
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell disagreed. '‘It would be very wrong if the gay community became proscriptive and moralistic over consenting adult behavior," he argued. "Plenty of gay and bisexual men use saunas without resorting to drugs or unsafe sex. A small minority may act recklessly and that should be challenged but it would be wrong to penalize the majority."
Gay former soldier: ‘If LGBTs want equality, shut down saunas’ [Gay Star News]
James Wharton responds to backlash over closing gay saunas [Gay Star News]
Gay Soldier James Wharton "Shut Down Gay Saunas" [The Gay UK]
After receiving a lot of pressure from human rights groups, politicians and business leaders, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill that would have allowed business owners to turn away gay customers if they felt serving a homosexual would compromise their religious beliefs.
Brewer said that the legislation would have "unintended and negative consequences," potentially tarnishing the state's reputation, scaring away business and leading to unexpected lawsuits.
"I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner's religious liberty has been violated," she said. "It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and nobody could ever want."
Sadly, seven other states are considering "religious liberty" bills like the one almost passed in Arizona. At least for today, though, we can revel in the knowledge that there are a lot of unhappy bigots out there. Suckas!
Arizona governor vetoes anti-gay bill passed by right-wing legislature [The Guardian]
Jan Brewer, Arizona governor, vetoes anti-gay bill [CBC]
It is now official: being gay in Uganda can land you in jail for life. President Museveni (pictured) signed the new anti-gay legislation into law on Monday.
Museveni said he wanted to see scientific proof that homosexuality was not a choice before approving the bill. A group of MPs provided him with a report based upon the findings of the country's 'top' scientists.
The report stated: "Homosexuality is not a disease but merely an abnormal behavior which may be learned through experiences in life. In every society, there is a small number of people with homosexuality tendencies. ... The practice needs regulation like any other human behavior especially to protect the vulnerable. There is need for further studies to address sexuality in the African context."
That was enough for Museveni, who, upon signing the law, said that gays were all prostitutes and that oral sex gave people worms. (Obviously an educated man.)
Africa's Mail and Guardian discovered that the report was - surprise, surprise - doctored. The scientists actually said that people did not choose their sexual orientation, and that homosexuals had always existed in Africa and homosexuality was not introduced to the continent by Westerners.
To make matters worse for the local LGBT community, the tabloid Red Pepper published a list of the top "200 homos."
"The media witch-hunt is back," tweeted Jacqueline Kasha, a Ugandan lesbian activist named on the list.
The West has started to take a stand, however.
The Netherlands stopped a $9.6 million subsidy to Uganda's judicial system. And Norway and Denmark said they will redirect $17 million earmarked for the Ugandan government to non-governmental agencies in the area.
The US, however, seemed less willing to act. Secretary of State John Kerry revealed that his government would look at the aid being sent to Uganda. "Now that this law has been enacted, we are beginning an internal review of our relationship with the Government of Uganda to ensure that all dimensions of our engagement, including assistance programmes, uphold our anti-discrimination policies and principles and reflect our values,'' he said in a statement.
Canada and the UK have also been critical of the new law, but have not stated if aid will be affected.
Europeans Stop Uganda Aid After Antigay Law [Wall Street Journal]
Ugandan tabloid prints list of 'homosexuals' [CNN]
Last week, Arizona politicians passed a law that would allow vendors to deny service to gay customers on religious grounds. The bill, known as the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," was approved by Republican-controlled legislature on Thursday.
The bill was heavily inluenced by the Center for Arizona Policy, a social conservative group that opposes abortion and gay marriage. The group claimed the bill was a response to increasingly "activist" federal courts that were allowing same-sex marriage.
"The world is upset with how Russia has treated gay rights... I think it's time for that same anger to be directed towards AZ," countered state House minority leader, Democrat Chad Campbell, through Twitter.
Governor Jan Brewer has not said whether she will sign the bill or veto it. "It's a very controversial piece of legislation," Brewer said. "I will make my decision probably by next Friday, if I do decide to sign it."
Soon gays will only be able to drink from certain water fountains and be asked to sit at the back of the bus. Can this really be happening in 2014?
Wary Arizona businesses urge veto of anti-gay bill [LA Times]
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer: ‘I’ve Got Plenty of Time’ to Decide on Anti-Gay Bill [ABC News]
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released a new web video highlighting the role that American extremists have played in the passage of Russia’s draconian anti-LGBT laws. The video details how more than a dozen Americans, including National Organization for Marriage (NOM) President Brian Brown have traveled to Russia in the last year to meet with policy makers and lobby for these laws. (Geez, homophobes are ugly!)