Notorious gay serial killer/cannibal/necrophiliac Jeffrey Dahmer made a name for himself in the early 1990s when he was convicted of raping, murdering, and eating seventeen men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He was sentenced to fifteen terms of life imprisonment in February 1992. In November 1994, he was beaten to death by another inmate. Now, his killer is speaking out about that fateful day.
On the morning of November 28, 1994, Christopher Scarver bludgeoned Dahmer to death with a 20-inch metal bar in the shower. He tells the NY Post that he did it because Dahmer used to sculpt severed body parts out of prison food, drizzle them with ketchup, and taunt other inmates with them.
“He would put them in places where people would be,” Scarver says. “He crossed the line with some people — prisoners, prison staff. Some people who are in prison are repentant, but he was not one of them.”
Scarver was locked up for killing his former boss during a robbery in 1990, in which he walked away with just $15 cash. Though he never personally interacted with Dahmer, he says he had heard about what the 34-year-old cannibal had done and was “fiercely disgusted” by it.
On November 28, he and Dahmer, as well as a third man by the name of Jesse Anderson, were sent to clean the prison bathrooms by correction officers. They were unshackled and left them unattended. After getting their cleaning supplies together, the three men split up. Scarver followed Dahmer toward the staff locker room. On his way there, he grabbed a metal bar from the weight room.
“I asked him if he did those things ’cause I was fiercely disgusted,” Scarver recalls. “He was shocked. … He started looking for the door pretty quick. I blocked him.”
Scarver proceeded to clobber Dahmer in the head until, he says, “he ended up dead.” Afterwards, he killed Anderson as well.
Scarver believes the guards are partly responsible for the killing, saying they intentionally left the men alone together in hopes that he would murder Dahmer.
“They had something to do with what took place,” he says.
Upon learning of her son’s death, Dahmer’s mother, Joyce Flint, angrily told the media: “Now is everybody happy? Now that he’s bludgeoned to death, is that good enough for everyone?”
Scarver was sentenced to two further life sentences for the killings. He claims that he spent 16 years in solitary confinement for killing Dahmer. Today he spends his time writing poetry, which he self-publishes on Amazon.
h/t: NY Post
Following Oklahoma's lead, a Texas Republican lawmaker has removed LGBT protections from a bill regulating vehicle-for-hire services like Uber and Lyft.r
During a committee hearing last week, Paddie introduced a substitute version of the bill with this nondiscrimination provision:r
Of course, neither Texas nor federal law includes LGBT protections. Paddie's office didn't respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment.r
"That the non-discrimination provision was included in the draft is a sign of the changing landscape in Texas," Equality Texas legislative specialist Daniel Williams told Towleroad. "We're not there yet, but the fact that the bill was introduced with inclusive non-discrimination protections shows the increasing bipartisan support for equality."r
Debbee Hancock, a spokeswoman for Uber in Texas, pointed us to the nondiscrimination policy in the company's Code of Conduct, on which the original version of the bill apparently was based.r
"It is unacceptable to refuse to provide or accept services based on a person’s race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, gender identity, age or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law," the policy states. "This type of behavior can result in permanent loss of access to the Uber platform."
Last Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) held a “March for Marriage” in Washington, D.C., rallying opponents of marriage equality before marching them to the Supreme Court.r
Senator Ruben Diaz - the only Democrat who opposed marriage equality in the New York Senate - was the only elected lawmaker who spoke at the event but he was ably assisted by the likes of Rev. Erick Salgado and Peter LaBarbera from Americans For The Truth About Homosexuality.r
Human Rights Campaign asked a number of NOM supporters why they are so adamantly against marriage equality.r
The reasons given range from typically mundane (one man says "nature is nature" but admits he's not quite sure what that means, a woman is convinced that "marriage is one man and one woman") to seriously worrying (gay people are choosing to go against god and bringing about the destruction of American).r
Canada and Mexico would appear to be safe for now.r
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
Here is audio from the marriage arguments before the Supreme Court today.r
Our legal editor Ari Ezra Waldman has posted the first part of his initial analysis HERE.r
Listen to the audio recordings of both questions below:rr
New Music is brought to you by Deadly Music! which covers mostly independent indie, alternative, electro pop, post rock and ambient music, with a bit of everything else deadly thrown in for good measure.r
Compilation: “50 Bands and a Cat For Indiana Equality”r
Joyful Noise Recordings has just released 50 Bands and a Cat For Indiana Equality, a compilation of indie / alternative tracks to support LGBT groups in Indiana in their fight against controversial “right to discriminate” laws.r
Taken from the album is “The Ceiling” by Thee Oh Sees.r
You can buy the album in physical and download formats here.r
Peter Broderick - Colours of the Nightr
Always to be relied on to do something completely different, the album would appear to be the closest that Broderick has come to pop in a prolific career that has included modern classical piano solos, electronica, folk, installation soundtracks and most everything in between.r
Have a look at this quite brilliant live performance of album track “Colours of the Night (Satellite Version)”.rr
Listen to new tracks from PINS, Slow Down Molasses and Nicky William, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
PINS - “Too Little Too Late”r
Also set to be released on Bella Union on June 8th is the new album from the all-female Manchester, England-based indie rock quartet PINS.r
With a slow motion video, which sees PINS dressed exclusively by Saint Laurent, cut between visuals of screaming and swearing girls amidst overflowing glitter and powder, “Too Little Too Late” is the perfect taster of the band’s new album.r
“Writing the ‘Too Little Too Late’ lyrics was very cathartic, they spewed out like hot lava from an angry volcano. It is a middle-finger-to-the-world kind of song and the video mirrors that notion. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!”r
Slow Down Molasses - “Home”r
Slow Down Molasses is a five-piece dreampop / indie rock outfit that sounds like a fusion of fuzzy Slowdive and my bloody valentine with a cinematic soundscape that suggests indie road trips accompanied by Arcade Fire and all-out pop at its heart.r
“Home” is taken from the forthcoming album Burnt Black Cars.rr
Nicky William - Falling Upwards EPr
Sweden’s Nicky William (previously just Nicky) is known for two things – his remarkably rich and distinctive voice and the scandal that erupted following his silly decision to cover Michael Stec‘s “Fake Love,” rename it “Wake Up” and call it his own.r
We were so disappointed – as were many others – when the facts came to light, all the more disappointing in hindsight because if he had just covered it, “Wake Up” still would have been remarkable and secondly because when he does his own thing, we are definitely on team Nicky.r
With an EP Falling Upwards due out soon, we’re expecting huge things from young Nicky. Everyone makes mistakes and with songs as good as “Future Love” and “State of Mind” you can forgive him entirely.r
Watch the video for the chirpy Scandi-pop crowd-pleaser “What If” below.r
The Supreme Court is still hearing argument in a consolidated case, Obergefell v. Hodges, about whether the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the freedom to marry for gay persons. The first part of the audio of that argument has been made available. Although Towleroad will be analyzing the oral argument more comprehensively in the days to come, here are some initial reflections.
Many of the questions focused on the fact that gays marrying is a new thing, especially with respect to the thousands of years during which marriage was an exclusively opposite-sex institution. The questions to Mary Bonauto (right) came predominantly from Justices Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Alito.
Justice Kennedy asked several questions in which he admitted that, in his head, when thinking about this issue, he kept going back to the word "millennia." Marriage has been for a man and a woman for a long time. Justice Alito spoke about how gays marrying was a totally new thing. They wanted to know how it is okay for the Court to make such a swift change.
Ms. Bonauto let the first 15 minutes of her argument get away from her. She failed to answer the question directly, a reality that forced Justice Breyer, a likely vote in favor of marriage equality, to jump in and demand that she answer the question directly. Sometimes that happens; he was helping.
Ultimately, Ms. Bonauto noted that there is nothing wrong with the Court making a decision now. The Fourteenth Amendment says all "persons," and it doesn't matter how long some state of affairs has existed. If, per our understanding of equality demands today, discrimination exists, the Fourteenth Amendment demands it be erased. What's more, any suggestion that the states should be allowed to decide for themselves and "wait and see" how same-sex marriage in some states affects the institution of marriage, Ms. Bonauto noted that the desire to "wait and see" has never been a legitimate justification for continued discrimination.
This first part of the argument seemed rough for Ms. Bonauto. She was peppered with questions from a hot bench, and received only two softballs from Justice Ginsburg. Don't be disheartened. Justice Breyer often chimes in to force oralists to stick to the questions, and Ms. Bonauto was just getting started.
Justice Alito brought up the polygamy argument: if the Court decides for marriage equality, what prevents polygamists from demanding a similar right?
Ms. Bonauto said that states can always jump in to say that polygamists are different. There are a host of social, health policy, and other reasons why more than two people in a union might be detrimental to one or several persons in that union, none of which are at issue here and none of which exist between two committed, loving persons of the same sex.
This argument is a canard. This case is not about polygamy or polyamorous relationships. The case before the Court is whether there is any justification for what is obvious discrimination. But these arguments keep popping up because they are ways to scare the population who has less exposure to gay persons.
Justice Scalia had an exchange with Justice Kagan that barely allowed Ms. Bonauto to speak.
Justice Scalia disliked the idea of constitutionalizing the issue because, for example, if the Court says the Constitution guarantees a right for gays to marry, how could that not force a minister to marry two men? Justice Kagan said that nondiscrimination laws have never forced that to happen, but Justice Scalia was concerned about saying that once the Constitution weighs in, there couldn't be exceptions. We can always make exceptions to state laws, not to constitutional requirements.
Justice Kagan stepped in again. She noted that many rabbis refuse to marry a Jew marrying a non-Jew and yet the Constitution bans discrimination on the basis of religion. Justice Scalia sat silently after that.
A protester started screaming at this point. He was quickly escorted out. Mr. Doug Hallward-Driemeier, a Washington lawyer who has argued 15 cases before the court, comes next for the plaintiffs.
Follow me on Twitter.
Ari Ezra Waldman is Associate Professor of Law and the Director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a B.A. from Harvard College. Ari writes regular posts on law and various LGBT issues.
Maybe this fight will be more complex than some have thought. The oral arguments are an opportunity for the Supreme Court to examine the presumptions of both sides, so the lawyers are grilled relentlessly. What comes across most clearly so far is the ideological conflicts of a deeply divided court, where the balance shifts based on a single vote.
Reading the tea leaves from the arguments, we can make a few observations about the trends–the good, the bad, and the ugly…
Justice Anthony Kennedy pointed out that the definition of marriage has excluded gays and lesbians for “millennia,” but then again, there wasn’t much time between Brown (school desegregation) and Loving (interracial marriage). Kennedy is probably on our side, so more likely than not he’s playing devil’s advocate here, setting up the marriage equality advocates with a softball pitch. But maybe not: Kennedy did not sound entirely convinced about the inevitability of marriage, as had been widely presumed.
Samuel Alito pointed out that the Greeks approved of same-sex relationships, so maybe history is on the side of the queers after all? The conservative justices asked if this meant that every culture that has excluded LGBTs is “irrational” and “invidious.”
Of course, they are both, but the marriage equality lawyers can’t just come out and say that.
Who Decides Definition
John Roberts asked if the plaintiffs were asking to redefine marriage, or to join it. (The answer is to join it; but the burden of proof, when asked that question, is on the couples.)
Mary Bonauto ended her argument with a nice little flourish: this case is not about whether states or courts will decide marriage, she said. It’s about whether the individual will be allowed to decide who to marry, or whether the government will decide for him. BAM. Nice one, Mary.
Groaaaaan. We hate it when this argument comes up. For one thing, polygamy is more of a straight thing than a gay thing — it’s historically been about one man owning a ton of wives. (Although we may sometimes wish we had multiple husbands!) This has nothing to do with gay marriage, of course; it applies equally to straight marriage. (“If you’re going to let two straights get married, why not a whole bunch?”)
Anyway, marriage inequality advocates love to bring this question up, and the lawyers for the couples were ready. Why exclude polygamy from marriage? Because that would be an actual disruption to the institution in a way that allowing same sex couples to wed would never ever be. Duh.
Photo by stephen_d_luke
Reports that 25 surrogate babies from Nepal have been airlifted to same-sex Israeli couples in the wake of Saturday’s devastating 7.8 earthquake have sparked a new conversation about the practice of international surrogacy.
Israel currently does not allow same-sex couples or single parents to pay for surrogacy in the country, though an initial measure was passed last fall to make it legal. It has not been put up for a vote.
So Israeli gay couples look elsewhere with hopes of starting a family, and Nepal has become a popular location, with companies specifically set up to connect couples with Nepalese surrogates.
Many European countries have outlawed this practice, with critics claiming it exploits poor countries.
One company, Tel Aviv’s Tammuz Surrogacy International, says it has been in direct contact with all of its 52 clients, and that some pregnant women will be allowed entry into Israel to give birth in safer conditions.
The fate of many, however, remains unclear. On Sunday, some 240 soldiers and officers took off from Israel to Kathmandu to assist search and rescue efforts.
Rep. Randy Boehning (pictured), a 52-year-old Republican legislator from Fargo, N.D. who has actively worked against extending equal rights for gay people, has been outed for having a Grindr profile.
21-year-old Dustin Smith of Bismarck, N.D. exposed the lawmaker after Boehning voted against Senate Bill 2279, which would have granted LGBT people legal protections against discrimination.
“How can you discriminate against the person you’re trying to pick up?” he said in an interview.
Boehning’s screen name? Top Man!
Smith said that Boehning, er, Top Man! sent him raunchy messages as well as an unsolicited photo of his penis in the early morning hours of March 12.
Boehning, who is single, initially declined to comment on whether he was, in fact, Top Man! But on Saturday he confirmed everything.
He called sending the x-rated photo a “lapse in judgement” before adding, “That’s what gay guys do on gay sites, don’t they? That’s how things happen on Grindr. It’s a gay chat site. It’s not the first thing you do on that site. That’s what we do, exchange pics on the site.”
Boehning went on to say that he voted against the bill because he didn’t believe his constituents would support it.
In other words: He’s more concerned about his career than his community.
As for being outed, Boehning says, “The 1,000-pound gorilla has been lifted. I have to confront it at some point.”
In a video now going viral, mother in Baltimore took to the streets as the riots were taking place yesterday, found her son, and gave him a good whooping in front of everyone. She was apparently following the instructions of the Baltimore police.r
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...r
Several juveniles are part of these aggressive groups. WE ARE ASKING ALL PARENTS TO LOCATE THEIR CHILDREN AND BRING THEM HOME.r— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) April 27, 2015
State Rep. Randy Boehning, a North Dakota lawmaker who voted against bills protecting gay people from discrimination, was caught exchanging photos of his junk to another man on Grindr, the Grand Forks Herald reports:r
Boehning refused to identify at this point who he believes is behind the purported political payback for his vote against Senate Bill 2279, the third such bill defeated in the past six years by North Dakota legislators.r
The exchange came to light when Dustin Smith, a 21-year-old Bismarck man with no known connections to the Capitol, contacted The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead earlier this month, saying he recognized Boehning from a gay dating smartphone app called Grindr. Chatting under the user name Top Man!, Boehning sent Smith sexually suggestive messages and, in the early morning hours of March 12, an unsolicited photo of his penis, according to exchanges reviewed by The Forum.r
"How can you discriminate against the person you're trying to pick up?" Smith said in a recent interview.r
Boehning has confirmed he is "Top Man!" and that he is gay.r
He also said that his family members and friends had not previously known that information but he is relieved that "the 1,000-pound gorilla has been lifted."r
Boehing will now be forced to do his boning publicly.
An anti-gay protester interrupted the start of the U.S. Supreme Court hearings on marriage equality today, the WSJ reports:r
Just as the first lawyer finished speaking, an older man with a beard and white hair shouted, “Homosexuality is an abomination!”
He was quickly removed, but his voice could be heard echoing through the courthouse as he was ejected.
HuffPost reporter Ryan J. Reilly reported on the commotion from outside the courtroom.r
More details as they come in...r
Big outburst inside the courtroom in SCOTUSr— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) April 28, 2015
Security scrambles in at SCOTUS pic.twitter.com/fhULfwu9lkr— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) April 28, 2015
Can still hear the protester screaming downstairs. Can’t quite hear what he was saying. #SCOTUSr— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) April 28, 2015
BY NAVEEN KUMARr
Nominations for the 69th annual Tony Awards were announced this morning, with new musicals Fun Home and An American in Paris racking up top honors at 12 nominations each. Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth were also revealed as the hosts of this year’s ceremony, which will broadcast live on CBS from Radio City Musical Hall on Sunday, June 7.r
Read the full list of nominations HERE.r
Click on the links below for reviews of the shows on Towleroad.r
Fun Home, the intimate family drama a lesbian coming of age, based on Alison Bechdel’s acclaimed graphic novel, racked up nominations for five of its leading players as well as for its original score, script, direction and design. The comparatively sprawling An American in Paris, a ballet-driven musical from Christopher Wheeldon based on the Cary Grant film, earned nominations for four of its leads as well as its script, design, and more. Something Rotten! was close on their heels with 10 nominations, and Chita Rivera vehicle The Visit, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s final musical, rounds out the race for best musical.r
While American scribes dominated the musical categories, including Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I, which racked up nine nominations including Best Revival of a Musical, British imports rose to the top of the pack in play categories, including Wolf Hall Parts One & Two, the two-part Tudor drama based on Hillary Mantel’s hit novels, which lead with eight nominations, the most for any play. The revival of Skylight received seven nods for its all-British creative team, including playwright David Hare, director Stephen Daldry, and stars Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy. Another West End import, Simon Stephens’ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, was close behind with six nominations, including Best New Play and a leading actor nom for newcomer Alex Sharp. British stars Ruth Wilson (Constellations) and Helen Mirren (The Audience) were tapped for the leading actress category from otherwise little-recognized productions, as was Elisabeth Moss for The Heidi Chronicles, which is closing Sunday due to middling sales.r
Robert Askin’s Hand to God was the most praised American play, receiving nominations for Best New Play and a leading actor nom for a virtuosic Steven Boyer, as well as Geneva Carr and Sarah Stiles. Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced rounded out the best play category, earning just a single nomination. Revivals of The Elephant Man, which received nods for its stars Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola, and You Can’t Take It With You, which received five nominations (including for Scott Ellis, who directed both), will compete with Skylight and This Is Our Youth for Best Revival of a Play.r
The season’s biggest grossing hits were the most conspicuous snubs, including Larry David’s Fish in the Dark and Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play (which received a sole supporting actor nom and none for its marquee stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick). The River, whose playwright Jez Butterworth and star Hugh Jackman have been Tony favorites in previous seasons, was completely shut out, as was a high-profile revival of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance, starring Glenn Close and John Lithgow, which steadily declined in sales over the course of its limited run.r
New musical Finding Neverland, which grossed over $1 million last week and has already announced a national tour despite opening to poor reviews, was likewise completely passed over. On the other hand, The Last Ship, which struggled to find an audience and closed after just a few months, pulled through a nomination for best score, by theatrical newbie Sting.r
Recent theatre REVIEWS...
Chita Rivera Stars in New Musical ‘The Visit’ on Broadway: REVIEW
New Musical ‘Something Rotten!’ Brings Shakespeare and Sex Puns to Broadway: REVIEW
Alison Bechdel’s Graphic Novel Comes to Broadway in New Musical ‘Fun Home’: REVIEW
Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe Open In Lavish Broadway Revival of ‘The King and I’: REVIEW
Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer Open in ‘Finding Neverland’ on Broadway: REVIEW
Ballet Meets Broadway in Dazzling New Musical ‘An American in Paris’: REVIEW
'90s Political Sex Farce 'Clinton the Musical' Opens Off Broadway: REVIEW
Possessed Puppet Comedy 'Hand to God' Opens on Broadway: REVIEW
Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy Open in ‘Skylight’ on Broadway: REVIEW
Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos: angela sterling, joan marcus, john hayned, carol rosegg)
Brad Gooch's new memoir Smash Cut chronicles 12 years in New York City as one of its brightest cultural eras becomes one of its darkest with the arrival of AIDS, taking an entire generation of gay men with it.r
"There is no way for me to separate out the story of the fabulousness and horror of the years from 1978 to 1989, and a little before and a little after, from Howard—my lover, or my boyfriend, or Friend, or whatever we were to each other," Gooch writes in the memoir, referring to Howard Brookner, the film director he met at the West Village gay bar the Ninth Circle and began.r
The memoir includes his early years as a model and struggling writer during which he came into contact with NYC icons like Robert Mapplethorpe, William Burroughs, and Madonna, as well as Tina Brown, Keith Haring, Virgil Thompson, and Anna Wintour.r
Gooch spoke of looking back at that decade in an interview recently with HuffPost Live: "It was colorful and it was our youth, but then there was a point in the middle where Howard becomes HIV positive, we're moving into the '80s, where I realize, 'Oh, I've gotten myself into the situation of going back into these memories which I haven't really dealt with in decades.'"r
Gooch has recorded two excerpts from the book for our TowleREAD series.r
In the first excerpt, Gooch offers a "smash cut" of reminiscences about meeting Howard at the gay bar in the late '70s, an observation of Howard's nephew as he makes a documentary about their life together, and the reflection of the Chelsea Hotel in his current apartment as it jogs his memories about how his life was 30 years ago.r
The second excerpt concerns a moment at the doctor's office as Howard's diagnosis worsens, and an encounter with Mapplethorpe in the waiting room.r
Listen to Gooch read two excerpts from the memoir, below:rr
RECENTLY IN OUR TOWLEROAD SERIES:
Kevin Sessums reads from his new memoir I Left It On the Mountain [tlrd]