Vice Mayor of Richmond, CA Jovanka Beckles is the city's first openly lesbian councilwoman and was elected to her position four years ago in 2010. Since then, she's has been the target of a constant barrage of hate speech, both from members of the public and from her fellow council members. Mark Wassberg took to the podium to call her filth and dirt, and that it's ok for him to say that because of the First Amendment. Last month, Ken Davis hurled so much hate that Beckles snapped, telling him to "get the fuck out of my face," an outburst that her fellow councilmembers felt was entirely appropriate.
She even receives grief from some fellow councilmembers, though, such as Corky Boozé, who engages in shameless victim-blaming and saying that Beckles invites the attacks on herself for having a short fuse and having a disagreeable lifestyle.
She's got a short fuse. Some people don't care for her lifestyle. I don't care for it myself, but she takes that in a homophobic way. I'm not homophobic - my ex-wife is a lesbian. She says she's a black Latina. Well, you're either African American or you're not. If she's really black, then why does she throw black people out of City Council chambers for speaking their mind? She just says she's black around election time.
The absence of logic is mind-numbing. Fortunately, Beckles takes it all in stride and is actually energized enough to run for re-election. Contact Beckles here to show her support, and contact Boozé here to let him (politely) know that hate speech is hate speech, no matter how many lesbian ex-wives one has.
Benny Longoria of Tulsa, OK was found dead in his apartment on June 20th, but despite Longoria's body being found naked and the apartment covered in blood, Tulsa police are allegedly refusing to investigate the case as suspicious. Dallas activist C.D. Kirven was contacted about the case as it was suspected to be one of HIV/AIDS-related discrimination.
Tulsa Police Sgt. David Walker claimed that Longoria's death was a combination of ethanol abuse and HIV/AIDS, but Longoria's physician Dr. Frances Haas has not signed a death warrant nor has he confirmed any cause of death. Under these circumstances the Tulsa police are supposed to be investigating the death as suspicious. Additionally, Longoria's body was cremated, allegedly at the request of the police due to his HIV status.
Tulsa police are countering this claim and saying that the original Dallas Voice piece contains false information. They released a statement, saying:
Mr. Longoria’s death was not suspicious in nature therefore it was not further investigated. The Tulsa Police Department does not investigate deaths in which there are no signs of foul play and the individual’s attending physician will sign the death certificate. The Tulsa Police Department responds to many natural deaths in which the attending physician signs the death certificate and there is no autopsy conducted.
Sgt. Walker and other members of the Department have spoken with the family members of Mr. Longoria several times to provide information reference area funeral homes, the medical examiner’s phone number as well as providing them with the victim’s obituary.
The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner claimed that Longoria's death was of natural causes, and that the request for cremation came through legal forms signed by Longoria's family.
As anticipated, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments in Bostic v. Rainey, the case challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage led by Prop 8 attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies.
Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner reports:
What distinguishes Herring’s filing, representing Virginia State Registrar of Vital Records Janet Rainey, is that his is the first request to the Supreme Court by a party that backs the position of same-sex couples that the ban is unconstitutional.
As to why the Supreme Court should hear the case challenging the Virginia ban, specifically, the brief states, “Virginia’s same-sex-marriage ban is one of the most stringent in the country. It goes further than [California’s] Proposition 8 by barring and refusing to recognize civil unions and by preventing same-sex couples from adopting children. It also goes further than Utah’s ban, which at least preserves contractual rights exercised independently of the same-sex-marriage restriction. Virginia law voids ‘any contractual rights created by’ same- sex marriages entered into in another State.”
Said Herring in a statement earlier this week:
"Throughout this case, I have fought for the fundamental rights of Virginians and the quickest possible resolution. I believe the district and appeals courts ruled correctly in striking down Virginia's discriminatory marriage ban, but it has long been clear that the Supreme Court will likely have the final word. I want that decision to come as soon as possible and I want the voices of Virginians to be heard. This case has moved forward at an incredibly swift pace, and I look forward to a final resolution that affirms the fundamental right of all Virginians to marry."
Read the petition below:
>> AUGUST IS HERE: HAVE YOU SIGNED UP FOR TOWLEROAD'S POP-UP SUMMER CAMP IN PROVINCETOWN?
VIDEO: 'Religious' restaurant patron taunts gay man: "f**king fa**ot".
LIVING WITH A MAN: James Franco slams 'homophobic' Gawker article.
HATE: Church cancels man's funeral after finding out he has husband
FUN FACTS: About your favorite childhood toys.
INTERVIEW: 'Please Like Me' writer-creator-star Josh Thomas.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @TLRD FOR UPDATES...
EBOLA: Everything you need/want to know about the headline-making virus
BUTTERFLY AWAY: Cute kid's reaction to butterfly on nose
ALT-J: "Left Hand Free"
40 ACTORS: Auditioning before they were famous
For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.
Megan Fox isn't worried about Shia LaBeouf's long-term stability: "I haven’t talked to him in a couple of years, but I don’t worry about him. He’s a brilliant kid, talented and funny."
Kooky anti-gay Tea Party SNL alumni Victoria Jackson has lost her bid for a seat on a county commission in Tennessee.
Could telenovelas help put an end to homophobia within the Latino community? "We need more novelas like Que Pobres Tan Ricos to challenge long-standing traditions of religious intolerance and machismo culture that many people still follow. We need novelas to show people how to compromise old dogmas and learn to respect other human beings despite their differences. We need them to help in the battle against sexism. We need to open the minds of Latino families because "less than half of LGBT Latino youth have an adult in their family they can turn to if worried or sad".
Missouri Baptist leader has been arrested for attempting to solicit sex with a dog via Craigslist.
Uganda's Attorney General has filed a notice that he will appeal last week's ruling striking down the country's Anti-Homosexuality Act.
2012 GOP Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan will attend the Log Cabin Republicans Spirit of Lincoln Dinner next month (featuring a keynote address from Mary Cheney)
Woman uses Nike+ app to draw penises all over San Francisco.
Anti-gay Fox News contributor Erick Erickson says countries that embrace LGBT equality are "bent on suicide"
Longtime ally Daniel Radcliffe on expanding LGBT visibility in the media: "The way gay people have been depicted [in entertainment] has changed so much in the last few years and hopefully that is what is normalizing it for everyone...Stories are now beginning to be told that include all different types and kinds of sexuality and characters who aren’t there for the sake of being gay, they just happen to be gay. It's actually the stories around their lives that are what keep us interested. I do think that in the next generation we will see an even bigger difference in how gay people are shown in the media and in film because people are getting over it, finally.”
A first-look at the unauthorized biopic made-for-TV move based on the 90s hit show "Saved By the Bell"
'Ex-gay' pens article over at Christian Post on why he hates the word gay: "I hate all the presuppositions attached to it. Like the presupposition that a fixed gay (or straight or bi, for that matter) sexual orientation is a legitimate reality. I don't believe that sexual orientation, as culture at large defines it, is real — and I know that I am in the teeniest of the tiniest minorities in holding that position. People who don't follow Jesus or embrace a biblical worldview laugh in my face — pretty hysterically, actually — when I tell them that I don't view sexuality through the lens of "gay" or "straight" or "bi."
Wentworth Miller is a silver fox on set of 'The Flash,' taking on the role of supervillian Captain Cold
Madonna is out vacationing in the south of France with her kids and some friend/possible boyfriend/dancer Timor Steffan
Conan O'Brien and Larry King split a pot brownie on air, proceed to get the giggles.
Paul Hard shares heartbreaking story of why he's suing Alabama to challenge the state's ban on same-sex marriage: "The nurse that I saw in the emergency room that said, 'I’m sorry, but I can't let you see David,' apologetically and very tearfully later on said, ‘I’m sorry. I would have let you in if I could,'" Hard said. "This law makes unwilling accomplices of decent people. Very often folks here in Alabama say, 'You know, I voted for that law, but I would never have put you through what you’ve gone through."
Barack Obama had the nerve to interrupt CNN's weekly episode of The Sixties to break the news that the US would begin air strikes in Iraq against ISIS.
New report on LGB parenting shows that "despite confronting heterosexism in a variety of social contexts — including the health care system, the legal system, and the school system — LGB parents and their children are functioning quite well"
Armed, right-wing militias are gathering along the Texas border. Don't worry though, they have a state lawmaker's blessing.