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News: Hate Crimes, Lady GaGa, Pope Condoms, India, James Franco

 roadBipartisan federal hate crimes bill reintroduced in House by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL): "Beyond providing tougher penalties for crimes explicitly targeting LGBT people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act also gives local law enforcement officers more resources for investigations and prosecutions of bias-motivated crimes as well as training on the issue."

World road World Without Us about Earth after demise of man to be made into film. But who will star?

 roadLady Gaga: bisexual performance artist (NSFW).

 roadHelen Davis, Denver mom who became gay rights champion, dies of brain tumor.

 roadTop 5 gay bars in Iowa in which to celebrate marriage equality (And perhaps meet your future groom?).

 roadThe ring: Marc Jacobs' proof of engagement.

 roadGay rights advocates seek spousal benefits in Maryland: "Last year, state legislators passed bills that allow same-sex partners who meet certain criteria to make medical and burial decisions for each other. They also made domestic partners eligible for tax benefits that married people currently get when transferring property. This year, activists want domestic partners who own a home together to be exempt from the hefty state taxes assessed on property when one partner dies."

 roadSex and the City sequel gets release date.

 roadLevi Johnston tells Tyra Banks he practiced safe sex "most of the time."

Mohat  roadParents blame school bullying for teen's suicide: "The lawsuit -- filed March 27, alleges that the quiet but likable boy, who was involved in theater and music, was called 'gay,' 'fag,' 'queer' and 'homo' and often in front of his teachers. Most of the harassment took place in math class and the teacher -- an athletic coach -- was accused of failing to protect the boy."

 roadJohn Cameron Mitchell to direct Aaron Eckhart, Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole: "The story, which David Lindsay-Abaire adapted from his own stage play, traces the life of a happily married couple that is disrupted by an unexpected tragedy and the emotional journey they must undertake to regain happiness. Eckhart will play Kidman's husband, who is trying to hold on to the memory of his dead son while dealing with his emotionally removed wife." 

 roadMore James Franco Howl shots.

Popecondoms  roadPope condoms selling like hotcakes in France.

 roadMichael Phelps training with Navy Seals.

 roadVisually-impaired Indian CEO Karan Goel produces film about plight of gays in India: "When I was 15, I found out I was suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa (an eye disease). When people found out, they started distancing themselves from me and began boycotting me. I went ahead to finish my studies through correspondence but later left that too. I feel such discrimination also happens with homosexuals in India. Later, I went abroad to do my graduation from San Francisco State University and there I realised how liberal people were about homosexuality, unlike here. When I came back to India, my father suggested that I do something for society. He said, ‘Let’s make a movie!’ And homosexuality was a subject that came immediately to my mind."

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Comments

  1. The suicide story is painful and infuriating. The schools are responsible for providing a safe setting. If they can't then parents (and sometimes gay organizations)should sue the school district, the county, the city, the state...some damn body.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 3, 2009 3:39:41 PM


  2. more power to the Mohat's on their quest for justice. where were the adults, where were the teachers? what a surprise that the main enabler was also an athletic coach. fuck him. he might have done something to help the boy, but he didn't.

    Posted by: nic | Apr 3, 2009 3:47:04 PM


  3. The teen suicide is horrible. I agree, the school is responsible for the safety of their students.

    While reading the quick mention above, I was wondering if the boy was really gay. It doesn't matter, it doesn't, this abuse should never happened. Any one in the legal profession have any take on the legalities of holding the school CRIMINALLY responsible? In leu of Lawrence King's tragic death, school's need sensitivity training and to take the initiative in protecting ALL their students.

    Posted by: CJ | Apr 3, 2009 3:52:56 PM


  4. Wish I was back home in Omaha tonight, which is just across the Missouri River from Council Bluffs, Iowa -- where Omahans typically only go for:
    1. beer (bars/liquor stores stay open an hour later)
    2. sailing (riverboat casinos)
    Adding a #3: gay weddings!

    Too bad I can't celebrate at The Max tonight...
    http://www.themaxomaha.com

    Posted by: EchoMark | Apr 3, 2009 3:53:08 PM


  5. you know, bullying is so damn hard to get a hold of.

    i was never bullied, but i remember people who were, and when teachers stepped in, it was only a "ok, we'll stop bullying around this teacher" sort of thing. and then it would happen either outside of school or somewhere else. teachers can't always step in and solve it. very unfortunate. :-/

    Posted by: liz templin | Apr 3, 2009 4:25:40 PM


  6. Jeezus, when a person uses words like, "queer", "faggot", "that's so gay" and "homo" to a person who's not self identified as gay it's NOT anti-gay and it has nothing to do with homophobia. And to challenge adults or to attempt to stop kids from making these comments to another kid, even if it drives him to suicide, would be a violation of the sweet little assailant's free speech rights.

    Isn't this the reasoning of UFC President, Dana White, in an earlier post on Towleroad, as well as most of the people who commented on the Dana White story?

    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 3, 2009 4:29:20 PM


  7. i was bullied horribly right up through 8th grade which is when my parents,bless their hearts, pulled me out of public school and sent me to a series of alternative schools. this was the best thing to happen to me as, not only did the bullying stop, but i also developed a social life as well and turned into a much happier american teenager.

    if my parents had not seen what was going on i probably would have met the same fate as the kid in the article.

    Posted by: alguien | Apr 3, 2009 4:37:47 PM


  8. Does that mean the pope supports barebacking? I don't get catholics...

    Posted by: henry | Apr 3, 2009 4:44:10 PM


  9. According to the Plain Dealer of Cleveland-
    the boy was not gay -he just happened to have an affinity for the arts-horrors!
    Still a very very long way to go in this country-----

    Posted by: Nick | Apr 3, 2009 4:51:37 PM


  10. ZEKE,

    I get and appreciate your point, Zeke. Dana White was definitely wrong. I was angry that at the fact that White was being "understood" and forgiven by gay people who never "understand" or forgive others who do/say the very same thing White did. And those "others" tend to be of a darker hue.

    This tragic case illustrates the point that name-calling against a vulnerable human being is cruelty. There should be ways to stop it in an environment where you must be. Kids are required to attend school. The schools must guarantee their safety. Even if gay slurs are used against non-gay children they should be banned in the school building, and the offending kids/teachers/nta's should be disciplined.
    If there is a pattern of gay children being bullied and tortured, then gay organizations (not just parents) should get involved. Sometinmes, some parents don't give a damn OR side with the tormentors.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 3, 2009 4:55:08 PM


  11. I grew-up a couple suburbs over from Mohat's town. It's a very middle of the road, almost entirely white suburb with a large high high school (almost 3000 kids). It has some wealth as well as some real poverty, but is mostly middle income people. Politically, it's hardly liberal, but certainly not full of wingnuts. The school has never been outstanding academically, but it isn't horrible. There is a redneck element here, but it sounds more like the jock types were the problem. The school is the kind of large, middling subrurban high school where no one would care unless there was a law suit or some other external pressure. Friends of mine have had to deal with the school system with a special needs kid and its been the kind of situation where you couldn't assume that anyone will look out for your kid's welfare w/o being fairly aggressive. My school system (similar demographics, etc.) let a high school teacher who obviously was doings something wrong with male students teach for many years. It's that kind of climate. I hope the parents and the lawyer make the school and the school board miserable.

    Posted by: Rich | Apr 3, 2009 5:46:42 PM


  12. i sent an email to the school's website, the text of which appears below. this was the response:

    Thanks for submitting your comments about your child's school. We appreciate your taking the time to provide your insights.

    The goal of our Reviews and Ratings system is to enable parents to share their experiences about a school with other parents. We've found the most valuable reviews are those that express your opinion in a respectful way. The review should be concise and relevant to the overall quality of the school.

    We do post both positive and negative reviews, but they must meet our editorial guidelines, which you can see here: http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/static/guidelines.html/ca/

    Unfortunately, we're unable to post your review because:

    The review presents a serious allegation about the school which we don't have the capacity to verify. Since this is a serious matter, we suggest you bring this matter to the attention of the school and/or the proper authorities.

    The review does not meet our editorial guidelines.

    The comment should be directed towards the school. GreatSchools is an independent organization and is not directly affliated with the school.

    To give you an idea of the kind of positive and negative reviews we accept, here are two samples of reviews we have posted:

    "I have two children currently attending this school. It is a warm and caring community with wonderful parents and wonderful teachers. The quality of the instruction has been great and my kids have been challenged and pushed to do their best consistently. Parent groups like the PTA and Dad's Club do an amazing job of fundraising and building a sense of community. In addition, the school is a community where kindness and respect do not take a back seat to the curriculum. It is a wonderful place for my children to spend their days and I am pleased to be part of such a great community."

    "The parents at this school have worked very hard and have fought tooth and nail to keep desirable programs, like art and music, afloat. And of course, the kids are great! Unfortunately, leadership is lacking at this school and the teaching my child received was very uneven. Personal experience with some teaching staff was extremely unprofessional. A small school like this one doesn't afford much choice when teachers aren't meeting your child's need. And the principal is doing very little to weed out those teachers who are just "biding their time," while they waste the precious time of the students they are trained professionally to serve and inspire."

    Your review:

    how comes it that a boy is driven to suicide under the supposed eyes of school officials? is that math teacher/coach still employed? what a disgrace.

    GreatSchools relies on parents to help other parents by providing insights on the experiences you've had with a particular school. We encourage you to re-submit your review with the above in mind.

    Thanks again for being a valuable member of GreatSchools.

    Regards,

    GreatSchools

    GreatSchools is an independent, nonprofit organization that inspires and empowers parents to be involved in their children's educational success.
    ReplyReply All Move...InboxJuno_Mail

    ok, back to reality, i may have not aimed at the very heart of the school, but when one googles the web-site for the high-school, should one not get the school rather than a PR firm to deflect criticism?

    Posted by: nic | Apr 3, 2009 7:30:02 PM


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