Back in July, we reported on two Al Qaeda coordinated attacks against alleged homosexuals in south Yemen. News out of the country today indicates that another attack has been carried out, with the victim dead from gunshot wounds.r
r"Armed Al-Qaeda suspects on a motorbike opened fire on 29-year-old Salem Ahmed Hasan in a market in Huta," capital of the southern province of Lahj, the [security] official said, adding the man died immediately.r
He said the man was targeted because the attackers thought he was a homosexual.r
Another four men have been killed in similar attacks on supposedly 'gay' men in Huta this year.r
Although weakened, the [Al Qaeda] terror network still carries out hit-and-run attacks against army and police targets.r
During their control of areas in southern Yemen, the Islamist militants imposed a strict version of Islamic law on residents, executing or lashing those they accuse of various crimes. Those accused of theft had their hands severed.
Previously, out speed skater Blake Skjellerup announced that he would wear a rainbow pin to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, despite being threatened with penalties by the IOC and Russian government. Unfortunately for him, though, that means actually qualifying for the Olympics, which is much easier said than done for an unfortunately large number of Olympians. Those not fortunate enough to make their way with sponsorships must pay certain costs out of pocket, such as travel, lodging, food, and so on, not to mention the everyday costs of actual training. When asked by Out magazine what it takes financially to get to the Olympics, Skjellerup replied, "bankruptcy".r
That's why he has taken to Indiegogo to crowdfund his quest to qualify for Sochi. According to the campaign's official page:r
"For Blake to qualify for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, he will need to finish in the top 32 at the World Cups this autumn. These four key events are:r
Sept. 26-29, Shanghai, Chinar
Oct. 3-6, Seoul, South Korear
Nov. 7-10, Torino, Italyr
Nov. 14-17, Kolomna, Russia"r
At a minimum, this means coming up with a minimum of $15,000, which the campaign has luckily already raised. In actuality, however, costs for these events will likely be closer to $33,000, which the campaign has still yet to raise. If you're curious as to why costs for competing are that high, the page breaks down precisely where all that money goes:r
- "Travel for Blake, his coach and his physio therapist to all four World Cup events. Without our support, he will travel alone -- in places like China and Russia -- and will not have his coach or physio therapist at any of these crucial World Cup events. Having his support structure with him at these competitions is critical to his success." r
- "His physio therapist with him for the two weeks leading up to the final two World Cup events. Without our support, he has no physio therapist preparing him for the two races that specifically determine whether he qualifies for the Olympic Games." r
- "Accommodations closer to the training center in the two weeks before the qualifiers and before the Olympic Games. To cut costs, Blake lives over an hour away from the training center and must take the train every day. Our support will allow him to save over two hours of travel each day before the qualifiers and the Olympic Games and let him focus exclusively on his training." r
The campaign has already received support from organizations such as You Can Play project, Outsports, It Gets Better Project, GLAAD, Athlete Ally, Pride House International, Here Media, and the NOH8 campaign. Perks for the Indiegogo campaign include personal thank yous, personal and/or signed photos, private Skype chats, and corporate sponsorship status.r
Watch Blake himself tell you his story and about his Olympic aspirations AFTER THE JUMP.r
You can view the Indiegogo campaign and donate HERE. rrr r
I wouldn’t know who One Direction were if they fell on my head. I’m older than them, they should treat me with respect. I blocked all the band, I couldn’t be bothered to hear anything they said but I couldn’t help winding up their fans…One tweeted me saying: ‘My mum says you’re a horrible old has-been.’ I tweeted back saying: ‘Your mum’s probably an old, fat ugly bitch.’…I was having such a laugh, fighting with One Direction’s fans all night. I did say some vile things, I had too much sugar. But I really enjoyed it…The odds are one of One Direction must be gay. I think everyone is a bit bisexual deep down, so the odds are they are probably all bisexual. They’re rock stars so it’s what you’d expect, isn’t it? I’d be disappointed if they weren’t.Tattoos don’t make you butch. Look at me.”
As my friend and fellow blogger Kenneth Walsh points out, our pal Frank Anthony Polito's book Band Fags! has been "Boy Cultured" as a play—one of the leads has been changed from white to black, as happened with my novel and the film of the same name.
I wish I could see Band Fags!—the '80s-themed coming-of-gay-age novel was tubular.
From here: I've worked with every one of these girls and have interviewed them and watched their careers from Day One. I was the first magazine editor to put Hilary Duff on a magazine cover, which directly led to quite a string of those. So I know whereof I speak when I say that as fascinating as this is (it can also be read as darkly slut-shaming, a #ruinedchildhood meme), it's really no different from what happens to most girls—they go from total innocence to not so much. (Granted, these images are exaggerated as they're all actresses and singers.)
But what's even more interesting to me about this clever image is the implied expectation that they would have stayed total innocents forever in the first place.
The Disney/performing aspect is probably responsible for making them old beyond their years—Miley and Hilary were having adult conversations, very adult, at 15, 16, and making business decisions you or I would feel torn about.
While it’s hard to top Liberace himself (and Michael Douglas sure did come close), Bill Murray takes a swing at it. The actor dresses as the famed entertainer and makes quite the entrance on tonight’s episode of The Late Show with David Letterman. The only thing missing was the piano.
Murray was on hand to help celebrate the host’s 20th anniversary on CBS.
Is there anything Bill Murray does that isn’t awesome?
A few weeks ago we told you about prominent Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev posting bizarre status updates on his Facebook account accusing friends of being pedophiles, lambasting gays who fled Russia, and equating the West with Putin's regime. Yesterday Out.com writer Michael Lucas composed an opinion piece accusing Alexeyev of being the Kremlin's "pocket gay," that is to say a mouthpiece the Kremlin can use to try to convince the populace that everything is fine because look, a gay man is saying so. Lewis draws the direct comparison to the "pocket Jews" of the Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Republic from the 70s and 80s and figures that it's the same thing happening all over again.r
Then again, just yesterday we told you of Alexeyev being the victim of a raid by the Russian police on his home, and someone facing such retribution from the government itself could be coerced into subservience to spare themselves from worse punitive actions in the future.r
Alexeyev, or at least whomever is in control of his social media accounts if the accusations of hacking and abduction are to be believed, saw Lucas' article and had a veritable meltdown on Twitter. He accused Lucas of slandering him, said he would now leave LGBT activism as a result, and, nonsensically, hire a hitman if Alexeyev's mother died because of the article. Alexeyev even sent Lucas an email that read [sic]:r
You are just another Jewish debile who will answer to all!r
While they cannot verify for certain that it is indeed Alexeyev writing them, Out.com has screenshots of Alexeyev's tweets.
Same-sex married couples will now have access to nursing home care through their Medicare-funded private insurance, a benefit that has always been available to opposite-sex married couples. According to the Washington Blade, in the days before DOMA was struck down:r
"Seniors with Medicare Advantage previously may have had to choose between receiving coverage in a nursing home away from their same-sex spouse or disenrolling from their plan to be with their loved one. The latter option would mean paying more out of pocket for care."r
Thankfully, those days are now over. Danielle Moon, director of the Medicare Drug & Health Plan Contract Administration Group, lays out The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services' new post-DOMA interpretation of the term "spouse":r
"In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor, CMS believes it would be impermissible to interpret the term ‘spouse,’ as used in section 1852(l)(4)(A)(iii), to exclude individuals who are in a legally valid same-sex marriage sanctioned by a state, territorial or foreign government...MA organizations therefore are required, effective immediately, to cover services in a SNF in which a validly married same sex spouse resides to the extent that they would be required to cover the services if an opposite sex spouse resided in the SNF."r
“HHS is working swiftly to implement the Supreme Court’s decision and maximize federal recognition of same-sex spouses in HHS programs. Today’s announcement is the first of many steps that we will be taking over the coming months to clarify the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision and to ensure that gay and lesbian married couples are treated equally under the law.”r
Better yet, Moon has clarified that the new guideline applies to couples, across the country, even if they live in a state that does not yet recognize marriage equality:r
“The foregoing analysis applies to individuals of the same sex who are domiciled in a state or territory that recognizes their relationship as a marriage. It also applies to individuals of the same sex who were legally married in a state or other jurisdiction without regard to whether they are domiciled in a state or territory that recognizes their relationship as a marriage.”r
Stan Solomon, conservative host of The Talk To Solomon Show LIVE, has a reputation for saying hateful and blindingly ignorant things on his show. Right Wing Watch has his most recent show, and on it he goes on a maniacal hate-rant against everyone who's not a straight, white, Christian.r
Jews, homosexuals, blacks, gays, Islamists, you may think they’re disparate groups, they’re not, they’re all tools. Because while we’re mad at these two punks, we’re mad at Trayvon Martin, that thug that deserves to be dead and I’m glad he’s dead.r
Pieces of crap, homosexuals like what’s that one guy’s name? [Dan] Savage. That faggot. That horrible, awful, terrible excuse for a human being who is at the White House promoting attacks on Christians. I hope he dies — he probably will — of every disease known.
The level of vitriol is simply unreal. He later advocates for "stand your ground" type vigilantism, and though he attempts a cover-your-ass statement of equity with "I don’t give a damn if you’re white, black, pink or purple," it is completely undermined by the blatantly racist claim, “If you’re white, you’re a target. Get a gun, know how to use it, never be without it and don’t leave your family unprotected.”r
And, of course, no contemporary bigoted rant is incomplete without snide jabs from a paunchy middle-aged man at the physical fitness of the First Lady:r
They have that Michelle O-Buick butt Obama’s you know, by the way, she doesn’t eat that crap, she eats like a garbage disposal at a fast food joint.r
The videos from his show, if you can stomach them, can be seen AFTER THE JUMP...rr rrr
A strangely beautiful timelapse video of the devastating, NYC-sized wildfire burning its way through Yosemite National Park in California.r
Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...r
More, via Gawker:r
The fire is already the seventh largest in California's history, and so far 111 structures have been destroyed with another 4,000 in harm's way. Over 4,200 firefighters are battling the fire, which is only 23 percent contained after nearly two weeks. Officials, however, are optimistic. rrr
It’s a law of political physics: when it comes to marriage equality, some Republicans can’t open their mouths without subtracting from the sum total of human knowledge. The latest example: New Mexico state Sen. William Sharer, who is leading the anti-marriage charge in that state. In a walk through the groves of alternate reality, Sharer advised gays to follow the example of Alexander the Great: stop “whoring” around with men and marry “a local woman.”
In a blog post, Sharer decided to illustrate the usual tired arguments about marriage having to be limited to a man and a woman to take a tour through a version of history that you won’t find in any textbook. This included a visit to that “pre-Christian philosopher” Confucius and a review of Pocohantas’ love life to prove that marriage was valued by Native Americans “long before any Bible totin’ Christian ever walked on this continent.”
But it was really in Macedonia that Sharer hits his stride. “Alexander may have engaged in homosexual activity, but he married a woman,” Sharer wrote, confusing the military genius with an ancient prototype for John Paulk. “He directed his officers to stop ‘whoring’ around and find a local woman to marry.”
In case you’re wondering why Sharer thinks it’s OK to ruin two lives in an unhappy marriage, he quotes Alexander himself: “‘It is only through blood relations that hatred and war will end’. In other words, Alexander the Great thought that marriage was about creating and raising the next generation.”
We haven’t noticed a noticeable reduction in hatred and war since Alexander purportedly dispensed that advice, but then we haven’t been following the news much since 323 B.C.
Sharer assured Talking Points Memo that he harbored no animosity to the LGBT community. Why would we ever think that?
Photo credit: WilliamSharer.com
The owners of the Russian gallery that displayed paintings of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in feminine underwear have been arrested under the country’s “gay propaganda” laws, forcing the artist that created them to flee the country “without luggage or money.”
Konstantin Altunin said he received threatening phone calls after his paintings went public, and the fear of arrest drove him through Europe to seek political asylum in France.
“Today, I appealed to the French prefecture in Paris because I have no other [option],” he told RFE/RL in a phone interview. “I would gladly get [local residence and work permits] so that I can be useful to France and to work and pay taxes, but now, I am forced to request political asylum because I fled very quickly.”
Altunin said he, his wife and their 2-year-old son began receiving threatening phone calls shortly after his paintings were seized from the gallery. He says he left his home not intending to flee at first, but a string of police officers that arrived to harass his wife left him no choice.
Altunin called the response to his paintings “very unpleasant and very ugly.” “My wife is in tears and my 2-year-old child keeps asking where daddy is,” he said.
The artist also repealed the censorship of his art in an open letter to Putin published on Russian social network Vkontakte this morning. So, uh, good luck with that.