Today in Libya U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens as well as three aides were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate. The attack, which occurred in the eastern city of Benghazi, is thought to have been launched in anger over a recent film disparaging the prophet Muhammad. President Obama as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both released statements today in which they condemned the attacks.
Mitt Romney also spoke today in response to the attacks. He, however, used the moment to attack Obama, a move which has led to condemnation from both the Right and the Left. Obama later noted that Romney seems to "shoot first and aim later".
In other Romney news, the Boston Globe took a close look at his past ugly interactions with gay people.
The attack in Libya has been dominating the headlines today however, the most talked about single post on Towleroad featured the topic of judgmental gay men. Why are we so judgy? Is it even true that gay men are generally judgemental? Psychotherapist Matthew Dempsey offers some answers in his new video.
Yesterday Barney Frank reiterated his stance against gay Republicans. Today the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud both issued responses to Franks statements. Not-so-shockingly, they don't see eye-to-eye with Frank.
New NBC comedy The New Normal already made headlines when it was banned by one Utah affiliate. The show, which was created by Glee creator Ryan Murphy, is centered around the story of a gay couple trying to create a family through surrogacy. Our Ari Waldman takes a look at the show from a legal standpoint.
Some good news out of Washington state, where it seems that the Marriage Equality referendum is polling very well. In other potentially good news, two more DOMA cases have been sent before the Supreme Court.
Christopher Whittle was arrested on Friday in Halifax, Nova Scotia after spraying a 14-year-old girl with pepper spray for harassing his partner with homophobic slurs. Whittle says he "snapped", the CBC reports:
Whittle said this was not a planned attack. But he said the girl has been taunting his boyfriend who works at the mall for weeks. Whittle said the slurs began when his partner wore beads from gay pride to work.
"This was happening every few days. She was coming and making comments about him being gay, and basically just taunting him for who he was, calling him a faggot, fruit whatever," Whittle said..."After so much of this going on, and seeing how this affected him – someone you love being tortured in this way, it does something to you. It really does."
Whittle says he had no idea the girl was so young:
"I do regret how I handled it. I could have handled it differently. But at the time I guess I was just so upset with everything that had gone on, that's how I reacted."
Whittle has a court date in late October.
A behind-the-scenes video of Ben Cohen's 2013 calendar to benefit his anti-bullying StandUp Foundation has hit the web.
Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...
And you can order it here.
Back in December of last year I wrote about the Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania and its denial of admission to a student, known under the pseudonym Abraham Smith, over his HIV-positive status. Since that time, the Department of Justice and the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania became involved, filing a lawsuit with the boy's parents and charging the school with violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The school reversed its decision last month.
Today, the DOJ announced a settlement in the case:
Under the settlement agreement, the school is required to pay $700,000 to Smith and his mother, adopt and enforce a policy prohibiting discrimination and requiring equal opportunity for students with disabilities, including those with HIV, in the school’s programs and services, and to provide training to staff and administrators on the requirements of the ADA. The school must also pay a $15,000 civil penalty to the United States.
“Children should not be denied educational opportunities simply because they have HIV,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “This settlement sends a clear message that unlawful discrimination against persons with HIV or AIDS will not be tolerated.”
“This is a very significant case, affirming the rights of persons with HIV, and we applaud the school for working so cooperatively to amend its position on this matter,” said Zane David Memeger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The ADA requires public accommodations, including private schools such as the Milton Hershey School, to provide individuals with disabilities, including people with HIV, equal access to goods, services, privileges, accommodations, facilities, advantages and accommodations.
The school's excuse at the time of the denial of Smith's admission said that “in order to protect our children in this unique environment, we cannot accommodate the needs of students with chronic communicable diseases that pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.”
60 Minutes Steve Kroft asked President Obama about Mitt Romney's remarks on Libya.
Said Obama: "There's a broader lesson to be learned here. Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later and as president one of the things I've learned is you can't do that."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
The Washington Post, in an editorial today, called Romney's remarks a "discredit to his campaign," explaining:
Mr. Romney’s first rhetorical assault came Tuesday night in response to a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which was also besieged by demonstrators Tuesday. His statement claimed that the administration’s first response was “to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” In fact the embassy statement was issued before the protests began; referring to an ugly anti-Islam film that was the focus of demonstrators, it condemned “those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious belief of others.”
Mr. Romney did not then know the extent of the Benghazi incident — his statement referred only to “the death of an American consulate worker.” So it was stunning to see the GOP nominee renew his verbal offensive Wednesday morning, when the country was still absorbing the news of the first death in service of a U.S. ambassador since 1988, as well as the loss of three other Americans.
FEMALE VOTERS: Both parties tried to turn them on at the Convention.
FELINE ON THE FENCE: Chillest cat ever?
GAY SLANG: Mike Diamond and Matinga explain it (graphic language).
YOU STILL KNOW: Gay-themed music video from Vietnamese artist Vy Thai.
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