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road.jpg Armed gangs kidnapping gays in Iraq: "A Baghdad LGBT organization tells the news service that 12 of its members have been killed by kidnappers when their ransom demands could not be met. Another 70 have been threatened with kidnapping."

Closetroad.jpg Queerty's Dan Renzi visits New Orleans and has taken some sad and fascinating photos of the Katrina damage. It's pretty shocking that this is all still there, but given our government's response, not that shocking.

road.jpg Students at South Rowan High School in China Grove, North Carolina have been denied their request to form a gay-straight alliance. A school board meeting also produced this disturbing scene: "The decision came in a meeting that drew more than 100 spectators at the board office in Salisbury. Television video taped at the meeting showed much of the crowd erupting into cheers after the board made its unanimous decision." A parent member of PFLAG also spoke to the board and was booed as he left the microphone. Said parent Mike Clawson: "I, too, am here to speak for our children. [Homosexual students] are like everybody else's children, and they deserve the same rights as everybody else. The bottom line is, it's the law."

road.jpg Virginia Governor Tim Kaine refuses to sign anti-gay marriage bill.

12thstreetroad.jpg Gay outcry over 12th Street Gym owner's financial contributions to Rick Santorum forces him to sell his share to his partner. Gay activists had picketed outside the gym with signs that read "Santorum-free zone" and threatened a boycott. The gym has been open in the hub of the gay community for nearly 20 years. Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal: "This [sale] is a great success. If a good percentage of your business is gay and lesbian, and they're going to boycott you, it's a problem."

road.jpg Five Soulforce Equality Ride members arrested at Brigham Young University for yelling that the policies of the Church of Latter Day Saints are "killing gays." The remaining 28 members of Soulforce were allowed to stay and speak to students. Jacob Reitan: "We are here to force the issue and say, 'BYU, it's time.' We really feel these students don't understand our message."

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Comments

  1. Well that story about gay Iraqis - who can believe there even is a gay organisation in Baghdad - puts our petty whinging into perspective.

    Posted by: Peter Rivendell | Apr 11, 2006 1:06:39 PM


  2. Three cheers for the courageous ones in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. We have got to escalate and amplify our responses to the American Taliban attacking us—who are escalating and amplifying their own tactic of defending their assaults on our civil liberties and lives in the name of "religious freedom." As Bill Moyers has said: "Our democratic values are imperiled because too many people of reason are willing to appease irrational people just because they are pious. One lesson about democracy stands above all others: bullies—political bullies, economic bullies and religious bullies—cannot be appeased; they have to be opposed with a stubbornness to match their own."

    And, Peter, please spare us the Bushniac "It's not as bad here as there so shut up" absurdity.

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 11, 2006 2:16:55 PM


  3. Well how rude. And how ironic that you mention the American Taliban and yet don`t see that being kidnapped and shot, or arrested and thrashed or beheaded might not be quite bad actually.

    Posted by: Peter Rivendell | Apr 11, 2006 2:28:26 PM


  4. I was in New Orleans last week on business and saw some of the same house as Dan Renzi (his pics are from the Lakeview neighborhood). I was shocked at the extent of the devastation from one side of the city to the other....seven months after Katrina. It was far worse than I expected, in spite of all the TV news I've seen. I fear that we as a country are forgetting about what happened (IS happening) to our friends in New Orleans and other areas of the Gulf Coast.

    Posted by: jon luddite | Apr 11, 2006 2:44:34 PM


  5. How I face reality:

    It really is not that bad for gays here.

    Yet.

    Please note I am using an I statement; I am talking about how I face what I believe to be reality. I am not telling anyone else to face reality, or even casting aspersions on their progress in facing reality, or their lack of progress. Just facing my own personal little tiny reality.

    But I haven't been hit in the head with an aluminum baseball bat, shot, stabbed, dragged behind a car, had my face kicked in, gotten fired, had my kids taken away or denied my inheritance for being gay.

    Yet.

    Posted by: David | Apr 11, 2006 2:56:55 PM


  6. New Orleans is destroyed. It may take 25 years for the city to really come back, aside from touristy stuff in the quarter.

    BUT it is not W's administration's fault. The city has levee boards that appropriated something like 4 Billion dollars for levee construction over the last 40 years but spent most of it elsewhere - like on commemorative fountains. No one here thought the levees would actually break, we merely thought water would come over the tops.

    There was nothing Bush could do, and the state government screwed up federal intervention in the post flood aftermath.

    The entire state government of Louisiana is run by the democratic party, so place the blame there, not on Washington.

    PS> Baotn Rouge is now the largest city in Louisana at about 450k, No has about 300K left. Our bars were really hopping here just after the storms...(yeah, don't forget Rita, that destroyed the other half of LA.)

    In all, about 90 THOUSAND square miles of inhabited LA and Miss coast were completely wiped out.

    For internet movies of the coast, look at savethechildren.com under Katrina. We did films there about the recovery efforts.

    Posted by: ted | Apr 11, 2006 3:50:17 PM


  7. I'm also puzzled that anyone is "surprised" that just 7 months after most of New Orleans was destroyed that most of New Orleans is STILL destroyed.

    How can any city possibly be rebuilt in 7 months?

    Posted by: alan | Apr 11, 2006 4:47:12 PM


  8. Hogwash. Ace trumps a queen and a black king every time. Bush had it all at his disposal--entire government agencies, the federal treasury, the military, planes, trains, boats, trucks, buses--and let Rome burn/the Gulf Coast drown for nearly three days. The governor and mayor's incompetence does nothing to wash Pontius George's hands clean. They were fucking it up on the ground while he was in the air, blithely flying to San Diego for yet another "Ain't I Cool?" circle jerk.

    If no one buys that, then I [read FEMA/Bush Inc.] have over 10,000 fully-furnished house trailers still sinking in the Arkansas mud for sale. Your president and your tax dollars at work.

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 11, 2006 5:24:27 PM


  9. I didn't say "surprised", I said shocked. Seeing it in person had much more impact on me than TV or photographs ever could. My point is that, despite all of the hard working volunteers and other relief workers, the country as a whole seems to be forgetting. Of course I figured that one of the regular gasbags would start with the usual endless, pointless and nonsensical diatribes.

    Posted by: jon luddite | Apr 11, 2006 5:56:47 PM


  10. Ted, thank you for the Republican talking points, which are wonderful except for the question...

    Why is there a FEMA at all if the black mayor of New Orleans and the female governor of Louisiana were actually empowered to solve every problem in a disaster that affected SEVERAL states?

    Really, I'm asking you...what's FEMA for, besides giving crony jobs to old college roommates of the pillars of the Republican profiteering party? And spreading hate and blame against everyone else when FEMA didn't do their job?

    If it was the mayor's job, what does FEMA do? Just give out money to Bush's best buddies and be incompetent, apparently...and gee, isn't that what the Secretary of Defense also does? Rumsfeld, worked for Daddy and gets to flush hundreds of billions into his company with the rubber stamp of the son and the do-nothing-but-profiteer GOP Congress? Hmmm?

    Posted by: Brian nyc | Apr 11, 2006 7:23:05 PM


  11. Gas, Ted? That's just your breath blowing back in your face. Add your name to the list discussed here:

    http://www.filmstripinternational.com

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 11, 2006 7:53:41 PM


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