Saturday, April 17, 2010

NEWS: Politician Outed, Gay Man's Death a Mystery, Constance McMillen to Attend NYC Pride and Much More!

Assemblymember outed by political friend

The LA based Stonewall Democratic Club meeting Monday night was supposed to run smoothly, with the club’s endorsement roster expected to safely pass on a consent vote. But the unexpected happened when someone pulled incumbent Assemblymember Mike Davis’ name, which, by club rules, meant three people could speak for and three people could speak against his endorsement. One straight Davis supporter argued for the Assemblymember’s endorsement because, she said emphatically, “He’s gay!”

Apple rejects app from a Pulitzer cartoonist
Apple has rejected an iPhone application from a Pulitzer Prize-winning American cartoonist because it believes he ridicules public figures. When U.S. cartoonist Mark Fiore submitted NewToons in December, Apple told him his cartoons violate its iPhone developer program licence agreement, according to Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab. The policy blocks applications that contain content that Apple considers problematic.

United Church of Christ's new gay-inclusive ads

The United Church of Christ (UCC) recently released two new ads that uplift families and couples—including lesbian and gay families and couples. “The Language of God” ads are part of the UCC’s “God is Still Speaking” campaign that invites viewers to an open and affirming denomination. The ads depict an array of life experiences and identities including two women being married, gay men with their child and other positive images.

Gay Canadian man's death stumps British police

British police have issued a national appeal for information about a gay Canadian man whose body was found in a Manchester canal on Feb 24. An autopsy revealed that Anthony Muise, 53, of Thornton, Ontario died of a single puncture wound to the chest. Police are treating Muise's death as "unexplained," while they try to piece together his final movements.

Racism, homophobia corrodes online video gaming
It's not just cyberbullets that are exchanged during firefights on the XBox Live version of "Call of Duty." Many gamers also exchange hate speech over their headsets as they stalk each other across the virtual battlefields. Players trade racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic insults so frequently that game makers are taking steps to tone down the rhetoric. The comments would shock parents who may not realize their children are constantly exposed to language that might make a sailor blush. Most parental concerns have focused on violence, not language. One gamer told an opponent he presumed to be Jewish that he wished Hitler had succeeded in his mission. Many exchanges involve talk of rape or exult over the atomic bombing of Japan. There are frequent slurs on homosexuals, Asians, Hispanics and women. READ MORE

Gay rights activists protest Turkish minister
A handful of activists interrupted a meeting on gender equality Thursday, demanding that a Turkish official apologize for saying recently that homosexuality is a disease. The minister, Aliye Kavaf, was giving a speech when the demonstrators began shouting slogans, asking her to apologize for last month's remark. Kavaf ignored the protesters and went on with her speech as cameras turned toward the demonstrators who held banners reading: "Don't hate, apologize." Moments later, men in dark suits covered the mouths of the protesters and dragged them out of the hall. "I believe homosexuality is a biological disorder," Kavaf had said in March. "I think it is a disease that needs treatment." Homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, but gay people say they lack legal protections and face stigmatization in the Muslim nation. Gay rights groups have been calling on the government to amend the criminal code to state clearly that discrimination on basis of sexual orientation, as well as gender identity, is a crime.

No charges in homophobic attack on UK policeman
It has emerged that no one is to be charged by police in relation to the homophobic attack on gay trainee policeman James Parkes. Mr Parkes suffered fractures to his skull, cheekbone and eye socket during the October 25th attack, in which he was set upon by up to 20 youths in Stanley Street, part of Liverpool's gay village. Police arrested 15 people during their inquiry by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided there is insufficient evidence to charge them. Two of the teenagers arrested, aged 15 and 16 have had their bail cancelled. Police are reviewing evidence relating to the other 13 and some may be re-interviewed. A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said: "The investigation into the assault is ongoing and all the evidence is being reviewed."

Gay rights groups must surrender Prop 8 docs
An appeal filed by California gay rights groups Equality California, No on Proposition 8, and the Campaign for Marriage Equality that sought to overturn a federal judge’s order forcing them to surrender documents related to Proposition 8, has been rejected by a Federal three-panel judge. The groups argued that the documents are confidential internal communications protected by the First Amendment as political speech, but Chief Judge Vaughn Walker – the judge presiding over the case – required the documents as a stipulation of issuing a ruling.

Quake kills over 1000 in Tibet region of China
The number of people known to have been killed by a massive quake in China's Qinghai province has risen to 1,144, officials say. Another 417 are still missing in the remote mountainous region and 11,744 have been injured, a rescue spokesman told the Xinhua news agency. Thousands have been left homeless, with many having to sleep outdoors in freezing temperatures. Premier Wen Jiabao has promised "all-out effort" to rebuild the area. Heavy lifting equipment began arriving on Friday in the remote Himalayan region by road from hundreds of kilometres away. Food, tents and medical supplies are arriving too but rescue workers say there is a critical need for further supplies. An estimated 15,000 houses have been destroyed in Yushu county, leaving thousands of people homeless people and casualties waiting for help.

Lt. Dan Choi to attend Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast
The San Diego Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Coalition invites you to join 1,000 of your closest friends on Friday, May 21, 7:30-9AM at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront (1 Park Blvd.) in downtown San Diego, for the 2nd Annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. Featured guests will include Dan Choi, Natalie Jones and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo. The event will be emceed by San Diego’s own Mayor Jerry Sanders and his daughter Lisa Sanders. This popular event is nearly sold out, with only 20 tables remaining.

No cannibalism among the Donner Party?
When I say “Donner Party,” you say what? If you said anything other than “cannibalism,” I’d be surprised. In my mind at least, the connection is so strong that several times in past years when I was typing “Donner Party” it came out “Dinner Party.” Well, that association may be changing. Gwen Robbins, an anthropologist at Appalachian State University, has found “no evidence of cannibalism among the 84 members of the Donner Party who were trapped by a snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the mid-1840s.”Robbins is hardly the first scholar to assert that the Donner Party cannibalism story was perhaps just a story. As the A.S.U. press release puts it: “The legend of the Donner party was primarily created by print journalists, who embellished the tales based on their own Victorian macabre sensibilities and their desire to sell more newspapers.”

Constance McMillen to lead NYC Pride parade
Constance McMillen, the gay Mississippi teen whose school board cancelled prom rather than let her wear a tuxedo and take her girlfriend as a date will serve as the grand marshal of the gay pride march in New York City. Constance McMillen, 18, might not have gotten her high school party, but she will be the honoured guest when thousands march through New York on June 27. Heritage of Pride, which runs the pride parade in NYC, announced her appointment Thursday. “I never dreamed so many people would support my fight to take my girlfriend to the prom, much less that I’d end up being asked to be a grand marshal at NYC Pride,” McMillen said in a release Thursday. “I’m really honoured and touched to be asked to be part of this celebration.”

150+ rally against homophobia in Waterloo, Canada
Surrounded by more than 150 friends and allies, Waterloo residents Jenny Kirby and Zoey Heath shared a kiss in front of the downtown Huether Hotel on Saturday. Two weeks ago, that same display of affection earned the young couple scorn from the owner of the hotel restaurant, leading to a grassroots rally and "kiss in" to highlight homophobia in the region. "One incident of homophobia isn't the problem. The problem is that it happens a little bit every day," says Kirby, 18, a student in psychology and film studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Disgraced gay Senator gets jail, probation for DUI

California state senator Roy Ashburn was sentenced to two days in jail and three years probation after he pleaded no contest Wednesday to two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol. In addition to his sentence, State Sen. Roy Ashburn, who represents District 18, will pay fines and fees of about $2,000, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office. Ashburn’s driver’s license was suspended and he will have to attend a class for DUI offenders.