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News: Sean Penn, Nova Scotia, Parrots, Channing Tatum, HIV

road.jpg Homeless man gets 35 years in prison for spitting on a police officer and saying he was HIV positive.

Pennroad.jpg Sean Penn slams Obama's "phenomenally inhuman and unconstitutional" voting record, expresses optimism: "I don't have a candidate I'm supporting and I'm certainly interested and excited by the hope that Barack Obama is inspiring. I hope that he will understand, if he is the nominee, the degree of disillusionment that will happen if he doesn't become a greater man than he will ever be. This is the most important election, certainly in my lifetime, and maybe ever."

road.jpg You'll never guess who is broke and living in a trailer with 20 parrots? Well, actually, you might.

road.jpg Marriage equality bill introduced in Minnesota legislature: "The Marriage and Family Protection Act was introduced by Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, and Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, on Friday. The bill would make marriage a gender-neutral proposition in Minnesota, allowing same-sex couples to marry. It would also protect religious institutions that have moral objections to same-sex marriage from being compelled to perform such ceremonies."

road.jpg Spains's Operacion Triunfo (the equivalent to our American Idol) recently featured a hot gay kiss.

road.jpg McGreevey: Dina paid for the wedding, and honeymoon.

Rychenroad.jpg All's well in the land of Ry-chen.

road.jpg Toronto Lutheran parish to defy church, risk expulsion, ordinate gay man: "Lionel Ketola will be ordained tomorrow night by a non-traditional American Lutheran group that ordains gay candidates. Their ordinations are not officially recognized in Canada or the United States. But despite that, he will then be hired by Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Newmarket, Ont., as an associate pastor, where he has interned for the past two years. Members of Holy Cross will also take part in the ordination ceremony."

Channingroad.jpg Channing Tatum's GI Joe gear looks less than comfortable.

road.jpg Police in Brighton, UK appeal for witnesses following attack on gay man by gang of youths: "About seven boys verbally abused the man, spat on him, forced him to the ground and kicked him in George Street. One member of the group was wearing a hooded top and another had white three quarter length tracksuit bottoms with a navy stripe, police said."

road.jpg Gay pride group to march on county offices in Nova Scotia: "The group will raise the gay pride flag during a 7 p.m. ceremony at the town’s Water Street gazebo to mark the International Day Against Homophobia. The gazebo is a couple of blocks from the Municipality of Pictou County’s administrative building, where the gay pride flag will not fly. A February resolution banned all except government and First Nation flags from the county’s official flagpole. The municipality said the controversial policy doesn’t target gay pride groups specifically, but allows equal treatment of all organizations that want the county to fly their flags."

road.jpg Joe Lieberman defends pastor John Hagee: "He represents a lot of people in this country, particularly Christians who care about the state of Israel."

road.jpg The legacy of Illinois' first openly gay legislator, Larry McKeon, who died this week: "Chicago had never held a meeting like this, for gays and lesbians interested in becoming cops, and for an hour and a half, bleached by ceiling lights, they asked questions. Two officers, among the few on the force willing to say they were gay, answered. Was the department planning to form a special gay unit? No. Did the department intend to set gay quotas? No. Was there a space on the application for sexual orientation? No. Leaning against a wall, watching, was the man who'd organized the meeting, Larry McKeon."

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Comments

  1. The story about the HIV positive man getting 35 years in prison for spitting on a police officer highlights the continued ignorance about HIV even though we have known for over 20 years how HIV is, and is not, transmitted. Maybe by the time the guy gets out of prison we'll all be aware that scientists agree that HIV cannot be transmitted through sweat, tears or saliva.

    Posted by: peterparker | May 16, 2008 1:51:38 PM


  2. Your opening quote of Sean Penn concerning Obama is totally wrong.

    Posted by: Gary | May 16, 2008 1:58:17 PM


  3. Does anyone understand the Sean Penn quotation? It's meaningless to me.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 16, 2008 2:01:47 PM


  4. Yes, PETERPARKER, I thought the same thing. Of course, it's Dallas, aint it?...but there are plenty places in this country where such ignorance pervades. Even if Texas has a "three strikes" policy with mandatory sentences, that sentence is too harsh.

    Isn't it something, he's been positive since '94 and currently--no major illnesses. Living on the streets, I doubt he's been on any regular medications, or even a decent nutritional regimen. The virus truly affects different people in different ways.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 16, 2008 2:10:49 PM


  5. Sorry. My bad. Your quote checks out on 3 sites. I had previously read a different version on a UK site. And becoming better than one will ever be is an impossibility.

    Posted by: Gary | May 16, 2008 2:13:42 PM


  6. Though there are pictures of Channing Tatum in the gallery, the image you've posted here is Ray Park as Snake Eyes.

    Posted by: America's Gayest Nerd | May 16, 2008 2:18:47 PM


  7. Will somebody please TERMINATE Joe Lieberman?

    Thanks in advance.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 16, 2008 2:51:22 PM


  8. At first, when I read the headline about the man getting 35 years for spitting, I immediately thought of..."wow, talk about excessive punishment"

    Then after reading, he has had several run ins with the law including violent offenses on county/state/federal employees.

    As a person involved heavily in Criminal Justice, it's hard to have to pick whether the decision to put that man away for a minimum 17.5 years with such a charge. He's an habitual defender so logic would dictate that longer incarceration would be more beneficial... yet on the other hand, it's hard to not see how a 3-strikes law can be seen as unconstitutional. By having your history looked at, you are essentially being judged on it for a second time, which can be interpreted as double jeopardy.

    From what I remember, I think what's holding it up was previous USSC cases that dealt with habitual offenders, though I can't cite the specific case because of memory. I just remember that the perpetrator was given the longest sentence possible with his final offense being a bad check (though he has had a violent criminal past).

    IMO, because of Mr. Campbell's violent history, I think, with our current system of justice, that the punishment was correct.

    I just really wish that the current justice system would step back, just a little, from the all-punishment model vs. happy medium model of punishment and/or rehabilitation.

    Posted by: Nate | May 16, 2008 3:13:51 PM


  9. Yeah, Christian fanatics like Hagee support Isreal but they still hate American Jews. I guess they figure Jesus'll come back and turn everybody Christian...but then Jesus was a practicing Rabbi, why would he turn away from his religion? Explain, Reverend Hagee.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 16, 2008 3:29:41 PM


  10. OY

    Lieberman

    Hagee has said that the holocaust and antisemitism is a good thing for Jews because it will lead them to becoming xtians. He has said that Jews must become xtians.

    Lieberman has alzheimers, dementia, or was replaced with a goy pod person.

    Is there no right wing ass the man will not kiss?

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 16, 2008 4:09:54 PM


  11. I forgot to post this link

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/5/16/82049/5729

    1999 sermon being the worse

    There is even video

    Lieberman needs to be slapped silly by his bubby

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 16, 2008 4:15:16 PM


  12. NATE...the HIV positive homeless man was tried for and convicted of harrassing a public servant with a deadly weapon. The prosecutor considered the man's saliva a 'deadly weapon'. Clearly a number of numbskulls in Texas believed that it is possible to transmit HIV through saliva when, in fact, scientists agree that the saliva of a person with HIV is incapable of causing infection because saliva is not a cell rich body fluid. HIV negative people can kiss HIV positive people or share their eating utensils without danger of becoming infected with HIV because saliva is incapable of transmitting HIV. This homeless man, who clearly has a very troubled past, was convicted based on ignorance of HIV and the way in which it is and is not transmitted. It is disheartening to me, an HIV positive person, to see that some people posting on towleroad, a blog written for the GLBT community, apparently also fall into the camp of people who don't understand HIV transmission.

    Posted by: peterparker | May 16, 2008 5:08:09 PM


  13. What the hell is Sean Penn talking about?

    Posted by: soulbrotha | May 16, 2008 8:13:17 PM


  14. Yikes! I didn't realize you really read these comments. I see you've gone back and change the pic. (To a nice sorta ass shot!) :)

    Posted by: Aman Chaudhary | May 16, 2008 8:46:04 PM


  15. Peterparker,

    I never mentioned anything about his HIV status. I know the possibilities and impossibilities of the transmission of HIV already so please don't assume that I didn't know. That's unfair.

    If you reread my statement, I was torn between the ins and outs of a 3 Strikes Law thing.

    I also mentioned, that after reading the title, that the charge was way excessive; however, habitual offenders don't get the benefit of the doubt and he also had a resisting arrest charge.

    Resisting Arrest can be classified as a felony and in any state with a 3 Strikes Rule would pretty much mark the end for the criminal.

    I never mentioned anything about the jury partly ruling that his saliva was used as a deadly weapon... even if that charge was not there, I'd highly suspect that the sentence would be the same due to his "habitual status."

    Posted by: Nate | May 17, 2008 6:17:34 AM


  16. Hey Andy
    Nova Scotia is a province in Canada, not a town. I'm sure you know that, but the way your blurb is worded it makes it sound as if Nova Scotia were a town. The only reason I care is because I live in Halifax, one of the cities in Nova Scotia. Pictou is a small town about 2.5 hours away.

    Posted by: SGL | May 17, 2008 9:13:49 AM


  17. NATE...my apologies...I have a history of meeting people here on towleroad who do not understand the basics of HIV transmission and are therefore irrationally phobic of HIV (Hi, Josh K.!)...I'm afraid I assumed you fell into the same category based on the fact that you indicated in your first post that you agree with the decision to convict an HIV positive homeless man for the crime of 'harassment of a public servant with a deadly weapon' simply because he spat on a police officer...although the article's description of the arrest (as reported by the arresting officer) indicates that Mr. Campbell was resisting arrest, it is worth noting that nowhere in that article do they mention that he was charged in that instance with resisting arrest...unless I am missing something, Mr. Campbell was charged, tried and convicted only of harassment of a public servant with a deadly weapon.

    Posted by: peterparker | May 17, 2008 3:01:53 PM


  18. No worries Peterparker, I understand where you are coming from and I can see how my post may have presented that.

    Although I don't know the full outcome of the case, there were probably two counts in the case: assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. If Mr. Campbell was charged for both, which he was, NYT should have stated whether or not he was found guilty (or not guilty) for resisting arrest; however, they did not say anything about it.

    After thinking more about the case, I really really think that Mr. Campbell should have went for an immediate appeal on the deadly weapon charge only. I think I remember reading that he refused to appeal.

    The reason I'd like him to appeal is because this case will set precedent for future related cases which is of course, not a good thing at all. While I think spitting is a form of assault or at least incitement to violence as it is a physical act, not a mental one, it is certainly not a deadly weapon. Without the resisting arrest charge and criminal background, that would have merely been misdemeanor assault.

    I really hope that specific charge gets appealed and overturned because it's absurd. I think it's unfortunate that some prosecutors take dirty measures to win and that charge was a prime example of that.

    Posted by: Nate | May 17, 2008 6:28:09 PM


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