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Baltimore Set Ablaze with Riots After Funeral of Freddie Gray; National Guard Called, Curfew Set

As you are probably aware, Baltimore erupted in riots following the funeral of Freddie Gray yesterday, the 25-year-old man who died while in police custody.

RiotsAt least 15 police officers have been injured, and the National Guard has been called in. Businesses have been destroyed and looted, and vehicles set ablaze.

A 10 pm - 5am curfew has been instituted starting on Tuesday by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the Baltimore Sun reports:

She drew a distinction between peaceful protesters and “thugs” she said engaged in rioting Monday intend on “destroying our city.”

“It’s idiotic to think that by destroying your city, you’re going to make life better for anybody,” Rawlings-Blake said.

At Rawlings-Blake's request, Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency and activating the Maryland National Guard. The order does not affect citizens' rights, but is required to activate the Guard and authorize federal assistance, Hogan spokeswoman Erin Montgomery said. It is not "martial law," Maryland National Guard Adjutant General Linda Singh said.

The governor is sending 500 state troopers to Baltimore and requesting as many as 5,000 officers from neighboring states, he said in a press conference.

Let's hope for peace.


Earth Swallows Entire Block in Baltimore in Terrifying Gulp: VIDEO

Baltimore

The heavy rains on the east coast yesterday may have been what caused the earth to loosen in the Baltimore neighborhood of Charles Village yesterday, creating a sinkhole/landslide that sent more than a dozen vehicles tumbling down a steep embankment.

Now there is incredible video taken as the earth gave way.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Earth Swallows Entire Block in Baltimore in Terrifying Gulp: VIDEO" »


Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Chapter Placed on Probation for Rejecting Pledge Because He's Gay

Back in October, Towleroad reported that Alpha Iota, the Morgan State University chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, was under investigation at Morgan State University in Baltimore for rejecting Brian Stewart, who pledged the fraternity because his pastor and mentor from his youth was a member.

StewartStewart is gay, and that's the reason he was rejected, he said, a fact he discovered when a friend showed him some anti-gay online banter between two frat brothers.

Over the Christmas holiday, the WaPo reported that in early December the fraternity was placed on probation until fall 2015, and barred from participating in university events or hosting its own as a result of the investigation:

Kappa Alpha Psi leaders at Morgan State, and at the fraternity’s national headquarters, did not challenge the authenticity of the text-message exchange when it first became public, and they did not return requests for comment on the university’s probation decision.

Although it is unclear exactly what happened with Stewart’s application, the incident exposes a growing tension at many HBCUs between the conservative, religious values at their core and LGBT students who demand fair treatment. That tension comes as many of these schools struggle to attract and graduate enough students and stay financially afloat.

Stewart says he is no longer interested in pledging the fraternity but filed the complaint to raise awareness about the bigotry he experienced.


Gay Wedding Video of the Day Donavan and Ricardo

Partner

Writes filmmaker and friend Johnny Leon about the wedding of Donavan and Ricardo at the Corradetti Glassblowing Studio in Baltimore: "The two most touching moments were probably when they read their vows in their own languages, and when they broke down in tears after the ceremony and hugged their respective mothers."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Don't miss our other recent Gay Wedding and Marriage Proposal videos...
Gay Wedding Video of the Day: Shannon and Sandy [tlrd]
Gay Marriage Proposal of the Day: Jeanne and Alissa[tlrd]
Gay Marriage Proposal of the Day: Will and RJ [tlrd]
Gay Wedding Video of the Day: Jordan and Devon [tlrd]
Gay Marriage Proposal of the Day: Spencer and Dustin [tlrd]

Wedding2

Continue reading "Gay Wedding Video of the Day Donavan and Ricardo" »


Baltimore-Area Police Chief Accused of Calling Officer a 'Fag' and a 'Rump Ranger': VIDEO

Larry Tolliver, the police chief of Anne Arundel County, has been accused of making homophobic slurs against an officer who testified in a corruption trial against former County Executive John Leopold. Tolliver allegedly called the officer a "fag" and a "rump ranger" and reassigned him and two others as retribution for their testimony.

TolliverTolliver is denying the charges, the Capital Gazette reports:

He said allegations he reassigned officers who had testified against former County Executive John R. Leopold are false. Tolliver did, however, admit to using off-color language about homosexuals, though he said he didn’t recall using it at the workplace. The allegations surfaced in a letter dated Monday from County Councilman Jamie Benoit, D-Crownsville, to County Executive Laura Neuman.

Benoit alleged Tolliver reassigned three officers from the department’s Intelligence Division to the Southern and Western Districts and relieved the major who oversaw the unit as “retribution against the very officers that led to the removal of the most corrupt elected official in our county’s history.”

Another officer left the unit voluntarily before he could be reassigned, Benoit wrote.

Benoit said one of the officers, a 20-year-veteran of the police department, filed a complaint against the police chief for making anti-gay slurs.

Benoit wrote that in the complaint against Tolliver, the police chief is alleged to have told the officer, “I didn’t know you that you were a fag” after looking at a picture of him.

Tolliver also reportedly called the officer a "rump ranger", according to WJZ.

Chief Tolliver refused to answer questions on camera but said in a statement, “I in no way, shape or form am homophobic. I don’t encourage any negative attitudes or feelings towards homosexuality and don’t question anyone about their sexuality…I fully support a culture of diversity in the agency and it is something I have worked very hard towards, specifically in our recruiting efforts.”

Watch a report from WJZ Baltimore, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Baltimore-Area Police Chief Accused of Calling Officer a 'Fag' and a 'Rump Ranger': VIDEO" »


Brendon Ayanbadejo Cut by the Baltimore Ravens

Marriage equality ally Brendon Ayanbadejo's contract was terminated by the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, Newsday reports:

B_ayanbadejoAt tonight’s Straight for Equality Gala in Manhattan where he and Vikings punter Chris Kluwe were being honored, Ayanbadejo said his non-football activities were a factor in the Ravens’ decision.

“My bark is louder than my bite,” he told Newsday. “I make a lot of noise and garner a lot of attention for various things off the football field. When that starts happening, why do you have that player around?”

Ayanbadejo said he understands it’s just a piece of the ultimate decision. The three-time Pro Bowler as a special teamer said he knows the Ravens can find players to do what he does for less money and conceded that his productivity has gone down in recent years.

“But,” he said, “I don’t necessarily think that teams want this type of attention.”

The Ravens say it had nothing to do with that:

"We are surprised that Brendan would indicate that," said Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne. "We have always respected Brendan's opinions and his right to express them. He was released for football reasons, period."

UPDATE: Ayanbadejo denies he said he was cut because of his views.

Just a heads up I did an interview today and no way said I was cut because my views. I said my talk was louder than my production and at 36 when you are not producing it is a fair move. You can find cheaper guys to do what I do. Ravens are the best organization in the nfl period!

Joe Jervis says he spent much time on Twitter last night reassureing fans and denouncing homophobes.


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