Studio 69 in Almaty, Kazakhstan set up shop at the intersection of Pushkin and Kurmangazy, streets named after Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly. To make the club's location memorable, an ad poster was designed showing Pushkin and Kumangazy themselves intersecting...at the lips. Cue moral outrage.
20 activists filed a lawsuit on August 25th claiming the poster "insulted both Kazakhs and Russians," while a descendant of Kurmangazy is threatening to file suit for defamation. Meanwhile, everyone is overlooking that the poster, in addition to being clever and memorable, riffs on the photograph from 1979 of East German leader Erich Honecker and the Soviet Union’s Leonid Brezhnev kissing in East Berlin. Still, even though the poster won an award for advertising firm Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan, the firm backpedaled saying, "[W]e officially announce that this poster will not be printed, posted or published in paid media.”
Fortunately, everything lives forever on the internet so it's only a matter of time before an individual prints his own posters to hang.
In 2012 the Williams Institute, UCLA’s national think tank, published a study estimating that up to 40% of homeless youths (minors between the ages of 12-17) identified themselves as LGBT. An overwhelming 68% of participants in the study reported having experienced rejection from their families and about 54% were abused as a result of their being LGBT. Moreover, over 80% of the respondents to the study were racial minorities.
More often than not, queer youth across the country make a disproportionate percentage of cities’ homeless populations. Despite that fact many cities, like the District of Columbia, suspect rely on statistical reporting methods that are likely underreporting the actual numbers. Most of the research being done on the makeup of homeless youth populations relies on numbers reported by adoption networks that queer kids are avoiding.
In a study published earlier this week the Williams Institute found that on average, LGBT adoptees were twice as likely to experience poor treatment within the foster care system as compared to their straight-identified peers. Similar to D.C., LA is dealing with an incredibly large homeless queer youth problem and a dangerous shortage on shelters to house the population. The study, according to chief executive of the Los Angeles LGBT Center Lorri L. Jean [pictured below], is the first of many steps necessary to draw attention to a group of at-risk people that are generally invisible.
"We need to know who these kids are because only if we know who they are can we help them," she told the LA Times. "People refer to it as the 'dirty little secret' that there are so many LGBTQ kids in foster care, but nobody's been able to document it."
In addition to publishing statistics that could better inform the ways in which public resources could be better allocated to service the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans youths within Los Angeles, the authors of the study hope to spread awareness within the youth community that they are not alone.
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Abercrombie & Fitch to ditch all logos from its apparel starting next spring.
Ex-Michele Bachmann aide Kent Sorenson pleads guilty to charges that he concealed payments received in exchange for defecting to Rep. Ron Paul's rival campaign during the 2012 Presidential elections. Sorenson faces up to 25 years in prison.
Terrifying fact of the day: severed snake heads can still bite - and often do.
Chelsea Clinton has announced that she will be leaving NBC News to focus on her baby and other work.
Liam Hemsworth buys himself (and his beard) a new $6.8 million home in Malibu.
In case you missed it (or don't have HBO) The Normal Heart is now available on DVD.
According to the Irish Mirror, a gay flight attendant has been jailed for one year for sexually assaulting a sleeping straight man while at a party.
Rep. John Lewis reflects on gay civil rights icon Bayard Rustin. "[Rustin] was a good organizer, a good planner, just brilliant. He was very concerned about how the march would go. And one thing that I will never ever forget, a few days before the march he wanted to know whether we had enough latrines. He said, “We cannot have any disorganized pissing on the mall.” And everybody thought that was so funny."
Robert Downey Jr. takes his ego out of the equation and admits Guardians of the Galaxy is the "best Marvel movie ever" Did you think so?
Looks like Tony Sopranos fate will forever be uncertain.
Kirk Cameron's upcoming Christmas movie seeks to "glorify the true reason for the season"
TIME names Mariah Carey the 'ultimate pop star'
The Supreme Court of Colombia has granted limited adoption rights to same-sex couples, provided at least one of the parents is biological.
Britney Spears breaks up with boyfriend David Lucado after her dad finds out he's a cheater.
Last June, Chicago couple Steven White and Matt McCrea were kicked out of a taxi for sharing a closed-mouth second-long kiss. In October, Lambda Legal stepped in to file a complaint on behalf of the couple with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, then commented, "A taxi-cab company, like any other business in Illinois that offers services to the public, is bound by the Illinois Human Rights Act to not discriminate based on sexual orientation, among other protected categories." However, as NBC 5 Chicago reports, that complaint was rejected "because the department said it had no jurisdiction over corporate entities." The couple has now filed a lawsuit against the taxi cab company:
"It's ludicrous to suggest that a cab company is not responsible for the discrimination enacted by its drivers," the couple's lawyer, Christopher Clark, said. "They should be liable under the law for the conduct of their agents."
The suit claims the driver, who is not named in the suit, complained the men were "making sex" in the cab in May 2013. McCrea and White, who were heading into the city from O'Hare, say the driver began flashing the interior lights of the vehicle and then swerved on to the shoulder of the Kennedy Expressway and demanded they get out miles before their intended destination.
Meanwhile, the driver was issued several violations and fined close to $2,000 because of the incident.
Watch a news report on the couple's latest legal action, AFTER THE JUMP...
For the past week or so, the World Congress of Families has been scrambling to find a venue to host its upcoming summit this weekend. Four venues cancled on the virulently anti-gay organization, and for a brief window of time it appeared as if the summit might not be able to secure a location. Luckily for them (and not for anyone else), the group was able to find a Christian organization that agreed with the organization's nutty beliefs and policy positions and offered to host the conference.
Now, however, the organization is struggling to hold onto the Australian politicians who originally agreed to attend the conference, The Guardian reports:
“Tolerance is a critical value in a western liberal democracy like Australia,” Andrews said in a statement to Guardian Australia.
“It was for this reason that I intended to address the World Congress of Families meeting in Melbourne tomorrow.
“The calls for me not to attend demonstrate the intolerance of the Greens and the left – instead of arguing their case in the public arena they seek to shut down debate.
“Equally, I cannot support intolerance from other quarters. As I have been informed today that the event is now to be hosted by Catch the Fire, I have decided not to attend.”
The founder of Catch the Fire, a controversial evangelical Christian group, is preacher Daniel Nalliah, known for his anti-Islamic and anti-abortion views. He once blamed the Black Saturday bushfires on Victoria’s abortion laws.
Other politicians dropped out after finding out about Catch the Fire's involvement and also after the Australian Senate passed a motion denoucing the WCF and calling on MPs to boycott the conference.
The new venue location has not been disclosed to the public, but protestors say they plan to demonstrate outside the Catch the Fire headquarters.
Check out news coverage of the controversy, as well as the WCF's reaction to politicians dropping out, AFTER THE JUMP...