Barbara Ernst and Barbara Supeno have been together for 21 years and have lived at their lakefront property in Addison, Vermont for 10. However, residents of the town have never fully welcomed the Barbaras, many of them instead treating them with outright hostility, including insults, obscene gestures, and even dead animals left on the property.
In addition, the couple believes that the town leadership tried to push them out via a variety of measures, including a town clerk refusing to file a mandatory application for the handicap ramp Supeno put in for her mother; failing to notify the couple of zoning meetings regarding their property; and a refusal to respond to filed grievances by the couple. It should be noted that the value of their property has more than tripled since they moved in.
To top it all off they've been the victims of anonymous bullies who would circulate false letters claiming the women were scam artists, and homophobic slurs spray painted outside the town offices.
Ernst and Supeno responded to the continued harassment with a lawsuit. In the lawsuit the complaints being named are defamation, false light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with prospective business relations, sexual orientation discrimination, common law retaliation and violations of common benefits clause. The defendant named for the suit is board chair Jeff Kaufmann, who is Addison’s zoning and planning administrator and, notably, is a Baptist minister.
Watch WPTZ's news report on the couple, AFTER THE JUMP...
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Prince Harry continues to give to the Invictus Wounded Warriors and gives to us all with his legs up.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's film God's Pocket gets a release date.
Jamie Lee Curtis to bring story of first gay baseball player Glenn burke to the screen: "Although his teammates and management knew the truth, Burke didn’t go public with his sexuality until 1982, in an appearance on NBC’s Today with Bryant Gumbel. It was still an act of courage, because Burke was the first ballplayer to do so."
Campaign to preserve NYC gay landmarks heats up.
All seven of Texas' openly LGBT congressional candidates won their primaries on Tuesday.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatens ban of Facebook and YouTube: "Erdoğan claims social media sites have been abused by his political enemies, in particular his former ally US-based Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, who, he says, is behind a stream of 'fabricated' audio recordings posted on the internet purportedly revealing corruption in his inner circle. 'We are determined on this subject. We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook,' Erdoğan said in an interview late on Thursday with the Turkish broadcaster ATV. 'We will take the necessary steps in the strongest way.'"
Hank Plante: On McConaughey's Dallas Buyers Snub. “Never trust a man who is his own hero.”
David Beckham appears shirtless on his balcony in Rio.
Nicholas Hoult graces the cover of the spring/summer issue of Vman.
Morrissey's new album is called World Peace is None of Your Business: "Set for late June/early July release worldwide by Harvest Records thru Capitol. Morrissey is said to be 'beyond ecstatic' with the album, all 12 tracks of which were produced by Joe Chiccarelli in France."
Judge says lawsuit from Gay-Straight Alliance against Lake County, Florida school district can move forward: "The lawsuit, which was filed in December of 2013, is the second lawsuit in less than year brought by students at Carver Middle School challenging the School Board’s ongoing efforts to block the students’ constitutionally-protected right to establish a GSA to combat bullying at their school. The judge’s order also dismissed a motion for preliminary injunction which would have allowed the club to meet immediately, but the case will continue on to the next phase, where the parties exchange evidence."
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Democrats push Obama on ENDA: “Time is of the essence,” the draft of the letter to Obama states. “Even with an executive order in place, full implementation of these protections will require regulations to be developed and finalized, a process that will take many months, if not longer, to fully put in place.”
Lance Bass talks about how Joey Fatone discovered he was gay: “Joey walked in on me with the guy I was dating just kind of sitting on my lap,” Bass revealed to ‘’Access Hollywood’’ on March 5. “Straight guys don’t do that,” he joked.
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At a CPAC panel sponsored by Focus on the Family, right wing talk show host Michael Medved called it a "liberal lie" that some states ban gay marriage, Right Wing Watch reports:
"Medved seemed to be citing the Religious Right talking point that marriage bans aren’t discriminatory since a gay person could marry someone of the opposite sex, which is the same arguments once made by opponents of the legalization of interracial marriage."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Roberto Arango, a Puerto Rican Senator who vice chaired Bush's 2004 campaign there and cast several anti-gay votes before resigning in 2011 after revealing Grindr photos of him surfaced, has come out of the closet publicly in a radio interview with Noti UNO, Blabbeando reports:
Initially Arango denied he was the man in the photos and then he acknowledged some of the photos were his but alleged he had taken them to document his weight-loss under a new diet but he never admitted whether the photos came from a personal profile on the popular gay men's hook up app or whether he was gay.
The news became tabloid fodder in the United States and Arango is still listed on several lists of the top sexual scandals to hit any politician but behind the scandal also laid the past of a man who had previously voted to deny rights to the LGBT community in Puerto Rico and sided with some of the most conservative factions in the island.
In 2004 he mocked a San Juan mayoral candidate during a political rally by implying he was gay and holding a plastic duck and making quacking noises when speaking against him ("pato" or duck in Spanish is a word often used as a slur against gays in Puerto Rico).
Arango also led failed efforts to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage or any other union that was not between a man and woman.
Watch his interview, AFTER THE JUMP...
Legislation banning the captivity of orcas for entertainment is being introduced in California by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Take Part reports:
State Assemblymember Richard Bloom, D–Santa Monica, will introduce Friday the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, which would make it illegal to “hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes.” The bill would also ban artificial insemination of captive killer whales in California and block the import of orcas or orca semen from other states.
Violators would face a fine up to $100,000 and/or six months in a county jail.
“There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes,” Bloom declared in a written statement prior to a press conference to be held at the Santa Monica Pier. “These beautiful creatures are much too large and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete pens for their entire lives. It is time to end the practice of keeping orcas captive for human amusement.”
Sea World released a statement:
“While we cannot comment on Assemblyman Bloom’s proposed legislation until we see it, the individuals he has chosen to associate with for today’s press conference are well known extreme animal rights activists, many of whom regularly campaign against SeaWorld and other accredited marine mammal parks and institutions.
“Included in the group are some of the same activists that partnered with PETA in bringing the meritless claim that animals in human care should be considered slaves under the 13th amendment of the U.S. Constitution – a clear publicity stunt. This legislation appears to reflect the same sort of out-of-the-mainstream thinking.
“SeaWorld, one of the world’s most respected zoological institutions, already operates under multiple federal, state and local animal welfare laws.
“In addition to being one of the most respected members of the business community, SeaWorld also is a global leader in the zoological and animal welfare world. We are deeply committed to the health and well-being of all of our animals and killer whales are no exception.
“Our passionate employees are the true animal advocates – the pioneering scientists, researchers, veterinarians, trainers, marine biologists, educators, aquarists, aviculturists and conservationists who for 50 years have cared for the animals at SeaWorld and also saved thousands in the wild that are injured, ill or orphaned.
“We engage in business practices that are responsible, sustainable and reflective of the balanced values all Americans share.”