Police in Southington, CT, searched 36-year old Christian Bedard's home after he allegedly tried to extort money and a Range Rover from Minnesota Twins pitcher Carl Pavano in exchange for his silence on an alleged gay relationship the men had in high school.
Sports Illustrated reports that Pavano's sister, Michelle DeGennaro, contacted police after Bedard hit her up on Facebook and claimed to be shopping a book about his 3-year love affair with the baseball all-star and former Yankee.
According to a search warrant affidavit, Bedard wrote to DeGannaro, "I have serious juicy book offers…to the point that the only way your brother is getting out of this ... is with a heartfelt apology and a navy range rover with tan leather.""
He continued, "If I'm going to drop a 1.2 million dollar book deal I want something." He also claimed to have depositions from people he told about his and Pavano's gay love, and allegedly asked for cash.
Upset over the messages, DeGannaro went to police, who launched the search.
Officers executed the search warrant at Bedard's home on March 21 and seized items, but wouldn't say what they were. Bedard said on his Facebook page that police took his laptop computer, material relating to his relationship with Pavano and the book he was writing. Bedard hasn't been charged.
The search warrant affidavit, first reported by the Record-Journal of Meriden, includes copies of several Facebook messages Bedard allegedly sent to DeGennaro. In the messages, Bedard said Pavano was his "first love" and they had a three-year relationship when they were teenagers growing up in Southington, the affidavit says.
Bedard claims he and Carl were more or less out to close friends and family. "For years, my physical high school relationship with Carl Pavano has been well-known to my close friends and family," he said in a statement. "Carl Pavano's sister, Michelle DeGennaro, contacted me on Facebook asking under what conditions would I not talk about my relationship with Carl."
The Range Rover request was "in jest," he says, and he in no way tried to extort Pavano. "I did not attempt to extort money from Carl Pavano," Bedard said. "I have not been charged with any crime. I will allow my local police department to conclude their investigation.
"I feel a bit violated, but I hope they charge me with something, because I will bring it to trial. Finally I'll be able to tell my story and I will have my closure, which was the whole point to begin with."
Pavano had no comment.
Here, via My Journal, is a picture of Pavano and Bedard in high school:
Explaining why he thinks it's alright -- indeed, a duty -- for nations to outlaw same-sex love, hateful Liberty Counsel activist Matt Barber today claimed there's no such thing as anti-gay discrimination or violence, so arguments against discriminatory laws are disingenuous.
What’s happening is they’re using this specter of some kind of notion of ‘mass violence’ committed against homosexuals, they do the same thing here in the United States, ‘mass discrimination,’ something where there is no evidence of course against people who are engaged in these behaviors. They use that as a Trojan Horse to force, to compel nations and individuals and groups and churches that embrace traditional values, relative to sexual behavior, to push them into the closet and say ‘no, no, you have to adopt a full affirmation of these perversions.’
Barber must know the definition of "evidence," "violence" or "discrimination." Hell, let's just assume he doesn't speak English, because the words he's using make absolutely no sense.
Watch the video, via RightWingWatch, AFTER THE JUMP...
TOTAL RECALL: Sneak peak at trailer for Colin Farrell-starring sci-fi remake.
"DOUBLING DOWN:" President Obama wants Congress to end oil subsidies.
BARING ALL: A preview of this year's Broadway Bares.
DRAG: Basketball star Charles Barkley does drag for Weight Watchers, eats "man food."
For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.
Progressive Muslims from coast-to-coast are working toward more inclusive, pro-gay, pro-women congregations: "While far from accepted by mainstream clerics, these worshippers feel that the future of the religion lies not solely with tradition but with them. Women are leading congregations in prayer, gay imams are performing Islamic marriages, and men and women are praying side by side."
James Van Der Beek loves BJs.
A little gay-related blind item for all you quiz lovers.
The House of Representatives passed Paul Ryan's budget by a 228-191 vote.
To the surprise of no one, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio endorsed Mitt Romney today. He promises, however, he does not have his eye on the vice presidency, but claims President Obama's "flexibility" with Russia helped sway him, to which I say, "yes you do," and "no it didn't."
Good news in Missouri: "The Camdenton R-III school district in central Missouri has agreed to stop blocking certain nonsexual websites that pertain to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said late Wednesday night. The school district will also agree to be monitored for 18 months and pay $125,000 in legal fees and costs."
Bad news in Kansas: The state's House yesterday approved a measure allowing organizations to discriminate against LGBT people based on religious reasons.
Sex in a rest stop: "This has been going on for a long, long time. The new ways that men meet — endlessly staring into phones, searching on hookup apps like Grindr or sites like Manhunt — haven’t changed the fact that we’re still having sex at rest areas, because they offer something different... Sex at the rest area, instead, abolishes identity; there’s a sort of freedom there to not be anything – instead, men just meet other men there; men who want the same sort of freedom."
James Franco looks rough for Spring Breakers.
President Obama addresses Planned Parenthood supporters.
Tori Spelling has a new gig as host of TLC's Craft Wars. Sounds intense.
With DADT's repeal, gay pride finds home at military academies.
Divorce between JP Morgan Chase analyst Peter Lawrence and stage star Donald Gallagher sets record for same-sex civil settlement.
Bradley Schmeling, the Lutheran pastor ousted from his Atlanta congregation for being in a gay relationship, has found a new flock.
Elton John discusses bullying.
My friend Cord Jefferson on NOM's race-baiting: "The ugly divisiveness distributed by hateful people like Brown is a bit shocking, of course, especially in its brazenness. But it’s nothing new. It’s a centuries-old strategy to hurt what could otherwise be powerful forces — divide and conquer."
Michelle Duggar thinks overpopulation is only about numbers, rather than resources: "The idea of overpopulation is not accurate because, really, the entire population of the world, if they were stood shoulder to shoulder, could fit in the city limits of Jacksonville. So if you realize that aspect of it, we realize we're not anywhere near being overpopulated."
Take a little trip inside the human brain.
Malta set to introduce civil partnerships for same-sex couples.
Anderson Cooper asked Julian Bond, chairman emeritus of the NAACP, about the National Organization for Marriage's race-baiting tactics. Bond responded thusly:
It's one of the most cynical things I've ever heard of or seen spelled out in this way. The idea that these people are just pawned that can be played with -- that black people who oppose gay marriage, that black people who support just can be moved around like pieces on a chess board. It's scary.
Bond's no stranger to the equality game, or taking on NOM's divisive tactics. During the 2009 National Equality March, Bond said, "NOM's underhanded attempts to divide will not succeed if Black Americans remember their own history of discrimination. Pitting bigotry's victims against other victims is reprehensible; the defenders of justice must stand together."
Watch video of Anderson and Bond's brief conversation, AFTER THE JUMP.
Video via Good As You.
Anchorage isn't the only place where LGBT rights are going to ballot in the near future. North Carolina votes May 8 on Amendment One, which constitutionally bans both same-sex marriage and civil unions.
Campaigners on the ground are putting their nose to the grindstone to stop the discriminatory measure, and bloggers including Towleroad have organized a moneybomb to help defeat it, but a new poll from Public Policy Polling shows the North Carolinian public is still leaning toward prohibition.
58% of voters in the state say that they'll vote yes on Amendment 1, while 38% are opposed to it. Republicans pretty universally support it, 76/20. Democrats are closely divided with 48% in support and 47% opposed. White Democrats are opposed to the proposed ban, but African Americans support it 61/30.
The findings also suggest the biggest hurdle to taking down Amendment One may be an ill-informed public.
Read more, AFTER THE JUMP...
From the study, via TPM:
Part of the problem is that voters are not well informed about what the amendment does. A 34% plurality say they are not sure on that question. Almost as many (31%) do know that it would ban both gay marriage and civil unions, but then not many fewer (28%) think it would only ban marriage. 7% actually think it would legalize gay marriage.
Those who think it bans solely marriage rights are voting 67-30 for it, so 8% of North Carolinians, while misinformed, are voting against the measure simply because they think it bans same-sex marriage alone. Of course, those who think a “yes” vote actually legalizes these unions are voting by the same margin for it.
Meanwhile, Republican Richard Vinroot, the former mayor of Charlotte and a failed gubernatorial candidate who carries a lot of clout in the state, says he opposes the proposed amendment, though not because it's discriminatory. His opposition is based in the fact that North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis himself admits Amendment One could be repealed within a decade.
"My reaction [to Tillis], was, ‘My gosh, the legislature wants us to put something in the Constitution that the leader of our party – the speaker of the House – doesn’t think will stand the test of time for more than a decade,’" Vinroot told the Charlotte Observer. “I can’t imagine amending the Constitution for something he believes is that tenuous.”
Image via Equality North Carolina communications director Jen Jones.