Tuesday, November 03, 2009

News and Pop Culture Round-Up

Crooner Pat Boone wants Kevin Jennings gassed

Pat Boone, the singer turned conservative political commentator, says the White House needs to be tented in order to get rid of the “parasites, vermin, roaches, rats, worms, and termites” that have found their way into the government. Amongst Boone’s list of “political voracious varmints” is Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, who was appointed by Obama as assistant deputy secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools within the U.S. Department of Education.

It's time to end the use of gay slurs in hockey

I used gay slurs more times than I'd like to admit. Six months after I left my last professional locker room, I felt a twinge of regret, followed by a full-out, stomach punch of regret. And by the time I finished the first draft of this column, I was disgusted with myself. At the time, it seemed harmless. After all – when you think about the NHL, AHL, ECHL and more, can you call to memory a single open homosexual among them? There was nobody in my team's dressing room to offend, right? The lack of a homosexual presence in hockey must mean one of two things: either homosexual men don't play the game or they don't feel comfortable admitting it — in which case I, and my brethren, were offending some teammates with our close-mindedness, and furthering what must have been unsettled feelings of fear and general exclusion.

Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy

An esteemed professor rightly takes AIDS denialists to task, but his valuable history of the movement is at times a caustic read. On the first page of the preface to his book, Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy, Seth Kalichman describes his initial encounter with an academic colleague who had written a Web-published screed against the 'AIDS myth'. "I mean I was really angry," he writes, with a sense of frustrated dismay that permeates the book. The dismay is understandable; Denying AIDS is not merely a history of the movement skeptical to widely accepted mainstream science about the disease, but also a detailed account of the author's personal journey, via lecture halls and message boards, into this world.

Oklahoma state agency rejects "I'm Gay" license plate

An Oklahoma agency has rejected the request of a gay man who wanted to purchase a vanity plate for his car declaring "I'm Gay." "I always thought vanity license plates were to express something about yourself," said Keith Kimmel, the man who requested the plate. "Me being gay is one of my leading traits, so I thought, Hey, why not?" However, the Oklahoma Tax Commission, which regulates license plates, said Kimmel's plate would violate its policy of banning offensive language. Kimmel countered that "favoring certain viewpoints is not allowed" under the U.S. Constitution, according to KOKH News.

South Africa welcomes gay tourists while homophobic violence persists

Travel companies inviting gay and lesbian travellers to "paint the town pink" and claiming that South Africa has some of the most enlightened human rights policies in the world aren't technically wrong — but the push to attract gays from abroad stands in sharp contrast to the violence suffered by homos in that country. In reality South Africa is divided into two different worlds, separated by ethnicity, money and geography, with one of the highest HIV-infection rates in the world.

Danish club fires footballer for 'I hate gays' comment

Polish goalkeeper Arek Onyszko has been fired by FC Midtjylland, a Danish football club, for making homophobic comments in his autobiography. The player's book, titled F**king Polack, was released yesterday. In it, he detailed his hate of homosexuality. Onyszko wrote: "I hate gays, I really do. I think it’s f**king disgusting to hear them talk to each other as if they are girls. I can’t be in the same room as someone who’s gay. Look at them kissing each other – it’s sickening." He also likened gays to "vomit" and attacked female sports reporters.