Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Missouri: Dept Of Justice Finds Ferguson Police Engaged In "Racially Biased Enforcement"

Ferguson, Missouri

USA Today reports that the Department of Justice has found the Ferguson Police Department engaged in racially biased policing:

A Justice Department review has found that the troubled Ferguson Police Department engaged in a pattern of racially biased enforcement during suspect stops and used unreasonable force against a disproportionate number of African American suspects, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the findings

In 88% of cases in which Ferguson police documented the use of force, that force was used against African Americans, according to the official who is not authorized to comment publicly. In addition, in all 14 canine bite incidents for which information about the race of the suspect was available, the person bitten was African American.

The Justice findings, while not unexpected, comes six months after the fatal shooting of a black teenager by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Russell Tovey Is "Baffled And Saddened" Over Response To "Effeminate" Comments

Russell Tovey, out actor and current star of HBO's Looking, took to Twitter last night to address a atatement he made in an interview with The Guardian in which he expressed gladness that his father didn't allow him to attend a famous acting school because it helped "toughen" him up and possibly avoid being "really effeminate."

“I feel like I could have been really effeminate, if I hadn’t gone to the school I went to. Where I felt like I had to toughen up,” Tovey said. “If I’d have been able to relax, prance around, sing in the street, I might be a different person now. I thank my dad for that, for not allowing me to go down that path. Because it’s probably given me the unique quality that people think I have.”

The statement was heard as an attack on effeminate gays from one of the "straight-acting" gays, which has become a sort of "in-tribe" issue within the LGBT community.

I should add a disclaimer here: I did attend acting school where I did dance (if not "prance") in the streets (and the Broadway) as I enjoyed a sense of freedom about living out my life exactly who I was and still am. My father never had an issue with me being one kind of person or another, except succeeding at life. I thank MY dad for that.

My personal opinion? I don't think Tovey meant to disparage gays who may not be as "manly" as he considers himself. I think the statement was inartful, but not hateful.

I do believe that when you live on one side of the spectrum, it's hard to understand the other side. In his comment it's clear that Tovey is glad he didn't turn out "really effeminate." But the comment comes across as a passive-aggressive swipe at those who are; a lot like some of the joking that goes on regarding "bottom shaming." As if being masculine (or a top) is preferable or more manly.

When folks put those ideas out there (which they are certainly allowed to do) it becomes a line of demarcation. It separates us. It says "masculine > effeminate." Or, along the same lines "top > bottom."

Is Tovey the "worst gay ever?" No. Sadly, we have better (worse?) candidates for that title.

And no, I don't think this was an intentional slight to gay men less "masculine" than Tovey.

But I do wonder - where exactly is the line that would have clearly defined this as "gay on gay" bullying?

Tovey took to his Twitter account to address the tempest:

I surrender. You got me. I'm sat baffled and saddened that a mis-fired inarticulate quote of mine, has branded me worst gay ever

If you feel I have personally let you down, I'm sorry, that was never my intention

I'm proud to be who I am and proud for others We're in this together, I want you to know whatever you think I meant, I didn't

I'm gonna ride this out, and one day we will all look back on this moment with a half smile of fascination and amusement

Until that day I'm gonna carry on being me #lowersflag x

Charlotte City Council Votes Down LGBT Protections 6-5

The Charlotte City Council fell short last night in passing legislation that would have added sexual orientation and sexual identity to the city's protected classes.

From the Charlotte Observer:

After a contentious meeting on Monday, Charlotte City Council voted down the most controversial ordinance it has considered in years, a nondiscrimination proposal that would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to protected categories.

The measure failed 6-5, after a marathon meeting that featured hours of emotional debate and comments from supporters and opponents. Council members Michael Barnes, Kenny Smith, LaWana Mayfield, Ed Driggs, John Autry and Greg Phipps voted against it.

Before the final vote, council members had removed the section of the ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. That issue drew the most vigorous opposition from dozens of speakers.

Monday, March 2, 2015

North Carolina: Charlotte City Council Considers Adding Sexual Orientation To Public Accommodations Ordinance

The city council of Charlotte, North Carolina, is considering today whether to add five characteristics – marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression – to protected classes already listed in the city’s public accommodations.

From Charlotte's WFAE:

First, it would make it illegal in Charlotte for taxi drivers, restaurants, or any commercial business from discriminating against customers who are gay, lesbian or transgendered.

Seventeen states and more than 200 cities and counties across the country have enacted similar laws. It makes sense for Charlotte to do the same, says Chris Sgro, executive director of the gay and transgender rights group Equality NC.

After all, he says Charlotte is one of the 20 largest cities in the country, "and of the top 20 population cities in the country," he says, "all of them but Memphis, Jacksonville and Charlotte have these protections."

Under Charlotte’s proposed ordinance, companies found to discriminate would be subject to a fine and could be barred for two years from getting any city contracts.

Opponents say passing the ordinance isn't fair because it would mean they would be prohibited from discriminating against gays, and that businesses might have to treat all customers fairly. Apparently, the act of baking a cake or selling flowers for a wedding now constitutes "promoting" same-sex marriage. I wonder if providing a cake for a second or third marriage (we know how the Bible feels about divorce) also promotes un-Biblical acts?

You can listen to the city council meeting live here. But, I'll warn you, the anti-gay folks are certain to get ugly.

I'll post Twitter updates as the evening goes along.

"Totally Not Gay" Michael Hoffman Rants Over X-Rated Videos

Naked bodybuilder Michael Hoffman goes on a rant about the illegal use of his likeness across the internet

"Totally not gay" Michael Hoffman took to his YouTube channel to vent about a lot of things, one of those being how his solo sex videos are being seen across the internet.

You know - those videos that he made and sold?

I keep coming back to this story because I'm fascinated by his victim-hood and how he sees his own story.

No nudity here, just a rambling rant.

Texas: 5x Married State Rep. Tony Tinderholt Files Judicial Complaint Over Lesbian Couple Marrying

Image via Memeographs

Texas state Rep. Tony Tinderholt has filed a hilarious complaint with the State Commission of Judicial Conduct over a ruling which allowed a lesbian couple together over 30 years to marry.

In filing the complaint, Tinderholt admits that he's not a lawyer, although you didn't need him to share that info to know that. He not only says that the judge didn't notify the attorney general (he did) but Tinderholt names the WRONG judge.

From Raw Story:

Tinderholt, 44, a former member of the U.S. Air Force and Army, wrote out a two-paragraph complaint to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct stating that Judge Wahlberg failed to give notice to the State Attorney General’s office when lifting a stay on the two women’s marriage.

“This judge deliberately violated statutory law, and this is unacceptable,” Tinderholt wrote.

However it was Probate Judge Guy Herman, not Wahlberg, who ruled the same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. Additionally, the State Attorney General’s office did receive notice of the ruling on Jan. 23 and chose to “not to seek direct involvement.”

According to attorney Brian T. Thompson who took part in the case involving the two women, Tinderholt’s complaint won’t hold up against either of the judges.

“It’s a shame that someone who’s taken on the responsibility of writing our laws has so much misunderstanding of the law,” Thompson said.

Clearly a standard-bearer for the sanctity of marriage, Tinderholt is currently in his 5th marriage - a former Dallas Cowboy cheerleader.

Says it all, doesn't it?

Here's his hand-written complaint:

2015-02-19 Tinderholt Complaint by laurenmcgaughy

Mark Cuban & Ann Coulter Cast As Prez/Vice-Prez In "Sharknado 3"

Please tell me this means we get to see them eaten by sharks and Ian Ziering becomes President!

Via Deadline:

Mark Cuban (Shark Tank) has been cast as President of the United States and political commentator/author Ann Coulter will assume the duties of Vice President in Syfy/The Asylum’s Sharknado 3. The latest installment of the pop culture phenomenon will cause mass destruction in Washington, D.C. before roaring down the Eastern Seaboard and into Florida. It will premiere on Syfy in July.

Previously announced cameos in Sharknado 3 include Bo Derek as May, the mother of April (Reid); Jerry Springer, appearing as Mr. White, a manic tourist; *NSYNC singer Chris Kirkpatrick as a pool lifeguard; and Chris Jericho, as Bruce the roller coaster ride operator.

The "Sharknado" movie series has become a huge money-maker for Syfy. When the sequel - Sharknado 2: The Second One - aired last summer, it became the most-watched original movie in the network's history.

An enormous part of the appeal of the films is the over-the-top/tongue-in-cheek humor played throughout the sci-fi film.

Another huge asset is the action hero studliness of leading man Ian Ziering. Like a fine wine, Ziering has aged very, very well. Take a look below from his appearances in Las Vegas as the Chippendales special celebrity host.

Yeah, that sells tickets... :)

Chippendale Of The Day: Matt Marshall

Well, hello Mr. Marshall...

Nasdaq Closes at 5008 - First Time Over 5000 Since 2000

True story: in 2000 I was performing in CHICAGO the Musical in Las Vegas with the national touring company. We played there for a year from Spring 1999 to Spring 2000.

I had my days free and somehow found myself addicted to watching CNBC all day. The stock market was just rocketing up and up. So, after discussing with hubby Michael, I decided to get involved with investing our retirement funds.

After months of watching so many stocks hit historic highs, I was confident I could do this.

Unfortunately, I invested our funds at the absolute peak of what would become the "tech bubble" of the Nasdaq. We pretty much bought in at the record high of 5,132.

The rest, as they say, is history.

We didn't lose everything but we lost a LOT. Since then we've employed a financial adviser who took over and has given us an average of about 7% return over the past 14 years.

But I've always kept my eye on the Nasdaq wondering how long it would take to regain all those losses from 200.

And now we know..

Promo: Michael Sam For Dancing With The Stars

Michael Sam with DWTS partner Peta Murgatroyd

Out NFL-er Michael Sam posted this promo pic with his pro partner, Peta Murgatroyd, on his Facebook page today.

The pic was captioned, "My promo shoot turned out great thanks to this beautiful girl @petamurgatroyd #TeamSambatroyd"

In addition to getting ready for DWTS, Sam will take part in the first ever NFL Veteran Combine on March 22nd in Tempe, AZ.

Zach King's Favorite Magic Vines Of 2014

I have no idea how Zach King does any of this, but it's pretty amazing. It's like tons of "six second magic shows" over and over.

Madonna Announces Rebel Heart World Tour With A Sock

Madonna announced her new world tour in support of her upcoming album Rebel Heart today by speaking with a sock. #BitchYoureASock

See the sock bit below, plus the actual promo video. The tour will begin in Miami on August 29th, then tour the US before heading to Europe, Asia and Australia (her first concerts "down under" in 20 years).

Madge's last tour for MDNA (2012) grossed over $300 million worldwide. Before that, her Sticky & Sweet tour (2008-2009) grossed $408 million, marking the biggest tour ever for a female artist.

To help promote the tour and new album, Live Nation announced Madonna will be the special musical guest on ELLEN the entire week of March 16-20.

For tour info head over to the official Madonna website here.

California Man Files "Death Penalty For Sodomites" Ballot Initiative

A California lawyer has filed a proposed ballot initiative which would legalize the death penalty for gays in the Golden state.

According to Wonkette, a man listed as Matt McLaughlin of Huntington Beach, California, has paid his $200 filing fee to begin what he hopes would see death and million dollar fines for "sodomites" via his "Sodomite Suppression Act."

Excerpt from McLaughlin's filing:

"Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method."

In addition, McLaughlin would like to see gays fined $1 million for each "sodomistic propaganda" incident and possible expulsion from California. Plus, none of the "sodomites" may be allowed to hold public office.

McLaughlin now needs 366,000 signatures via petition to get his legislation on the next ballot.
See a copy of the wording above.

(h/t JMG)

Supreme Court Says California Anti-Gay Groups Can't Hide Donor Names

A California group, which fought to deny same-sex marriage in their state, has been rebuffed by the Supreme Court in their attempt to hide the names of donors to the anti-gay Prop 8 campaign of 2008.

The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling against ProtectMarriage.com, the National Organization for Marriage and other supporters of a 2008 ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriages in California until the ban was overturned five years later.

The groups sought to conceal their past and future campaign finance records because they feared harassment of donors. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them in part because the names have been publicly available for five years.

State law requires political committees to identify those who contribute more than $100 during or after a campaign, along with the donor's address, occupation and employer.

Nebraska: Omaha Man Arrested For Stealing/Burning Rainbow Flag

Twenty-three year old Cameron Mayfield of Omaha, Nebraska has been arrested for stealing a neighbors rainbow flag and burning it in the street.

Via Gay Star News:

Ariann Anderson and Jess Meadows-Anderson, a married couple who live next door, said it went 'beyond vandalism or a threat' as it was a 'direct attack'.

'It's just a reminder that hate is still out there,' they said.

The two women woke up just after midnight on Sunday morning (1 March), believing their home was being burglarized.

When Meadows-Anderson rushed downstairs to check on their two girls, her wife saw a van drive off.

When they woke up again, they went to a window to see a man running down the street with what looked like a burning stick.

They then both realized he was burning their rainbow flag.

'You almost feel bad for a minute,' Meadows-Anderson told WOWT. 'He's a young man and he made a hate-filled, drunken mistake that will have a lasting effect on his life and his family.'

Later that day, a new, bigger, brighter Pride flag was flying on their front porch.

Mayfield is facing a 2nd degree felony arson charge and a separate charge for resisting arrest.

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