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04/19/2007


Amy Winehouse Stalks Table of Cocktails After Hotel Cuts Her Off

Winehouse

Brit tab The Sun reports that Amy Winehouse is on the island of St. Lucia at a spa for a "health kick" and while she starts the day withyoga and exercise, it rapidly goes downhill from there:

"...by lunchtime bikini-clad Amy is relaxing with a drink on the beach or even openly smoking joints by the pool. Come nightfall and she is hitting the bottle with pals — despite the booze ban agreed by her management and staff. The Rehab star also baffles guests with her mood swings. One said: 'One minute she is very pleasant, saying, ‘All right darlin’ and chatting to people and having photos taken. The next she is throwing things and swearing her head off.' ... She was spotted creeping up behind one woman, asking for a cigarette and then sprinting away with her cocktail. A source at the £200-a-night resort said: 'We keep catching her crawling past bars, or hiding behind chairs. She grabs guests’ drinks and runs off, like a squirrel with a nut.' Another guest said: 'She’s like a child craving attention. It’s embarrassing. She comes in for dinner barefoot and in her bikini, even though the dress code is smart casual. Then she will go and sit on her balcony topless playing the guitar when everyone is trying to sleep.'"


Daniel Craig and Andy Cohen Soak Up the Sun in St. Barts

Cohen

Bravo's gay Senior Vice President of Production and Programming Andy Cohen was spotted by INF hobnobbing with 007 Daniel Craig on the beach at St. Barts over the holiday.

Craig later reprised his famous dripping-wet emergence from tropical waters, to Cohen's and fellow beachgoers' delight, no doubt, AFTER THE JUMP...

Cohen2

Continue reading "Daniel Craig and Andy Cohen Soak Up the Sun in St. Barts" »


As Puerto Rico Votes Down Gay Marriage Ban, Caymans Proposes One

Late last week, Puerto Rico voted down a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the Advocate reports:

Puertorico"Rep. Victor García San Inocencio says Resolution 99 failed on Thursday to make it to the house floor for voting, effectively killing the proposal for this legislative term. The measure would have amended the U.S. territory's constitution to establish that marriage is between a man and woman and that no other types of unions could be recognized. Thus, it would have made it harder to allow civil unions or grant marital rights to unmarried couples."

Meanwhile, a Cayman Islands lawmaker has proposed a sinister measure:

Cayman"Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush has filed a Private Members Motion proposing an amendment to the Marriage Law that would define marriage in the Cayman Islands as being between a man and woman. The motion also proposes the Marriage Law only recognise a person’s gender at birth and that no other form of civil union be allowed in the Cayman Islands to recognise same–sex partnerships. The motion was filed with the Legislative Assembly Monday and Mr. Bush wants House Standing Orders suspended to allow the motion to be dealt with during the current meeting of the House."

Given recent events, it's a surprise a ban on same-sex kissing wasn't proposed as well.


Cayman Islands Dept. of Tourism Apologizes to Gay Kiss Arrestee

Cayman Islands Director of Tourism Pilar Bush sent a letter of apology to Aaron Chandler, the 23-year-old Massachusetts man I posted about yesterday. Chandler was arrested last Thursday in the Caymans after kissing his partner on a dance floor while vacationing there.

ChandlerSaid Bush in the letter, which Chandler received on Friday: "On behalf of the entire Department of Tourism, I apologise for your upsetting experience and want to assure you that the Cayman Islands is a welcoming jurisdiction to all people. What happened to you was an isolated incident, and is not representative of Cayman. We know that thousands of gay and lesbian visitors travel to the Cayman Islands every year and enjoy their vacation."

Chandler told the Cay Compass that he appreciated the response: "I should say that, yes, her prompt decision did ease the anger for me a bit. In addition, it’s just good business sense for Ms Bush to have apologised to me. The [Department] of Tourism surely doesn’t want to have someone leave the Cayman Islands not wanting to come back."

Bush had reportedly told Chandler that she would call him at his hotel, but he did not receive the call prior to leaving on Saturday. There has been no word from the Royal Cayman Islands Police, to whom Chandler also complained.

Previously
Cayman Islands Police Arrest Massachusetts Man for Gay Kiss [tr]


Cayman Islands Police Arrest Massachusetts Man for Gay Kiss

Aaron Chandler, 23, from Amherst, Massachusetts, was arrested in the Cayman Islands last week after kissing his partner on a dance floor. The arrest was preceded by two confrontations with an unidentified local who asked them to stop what they were doing.

ChandlerThe Cay Compass reports: "About a half hour later – about 11pm – an unidentified woman approached the two men and asked Mr. Chandler to follow her to meet a friend. The friend turned out to be an off–duty police officer. 'He told me he did not want me to show public displays of affection,' Mr. Chandler said. 'He said it was against the law for two people of the same sex.' Mr. Chandler said he kissed his partner again, just before his party was going to leave the Royal Palms. 'The officer grabbed my wrist and told me he was placing me under arrest.' Mr. Chandler said a crowd of people – some tourists and some residents – followed the police officer while he was leading him away. 'They were asking him why he was doing this and one asked how he could do this in a British territory.' The officer called a superior, who arrived about five minutes later, Mr. Chandler said. On the way to the George Town police station, Mr. Chandler said the superior officer told him the 'law was stupid' but that he had to enforce it. Once at George Town Police Station, Mr. Chandler was made to wait to speak to an inspector. The inspector never came, but the original officer came back and gave him a stern talking to, telling him he didn’t care what he did in private, but that he could not kiss his partner in a public place. He attempted to make Mr. Chandler promise not to kiss his partner in public again and then released him."

Said Chandler: "I do display affection when I’m with my boyfriend, publicly. “It’s never anything most people would consider obscene however; usually it’s in the form of holding hands or a quick kiss."

The Caribbean has never been a safe place for gays and lesbians. While I certainly sympathize with Chandler's situation, it's important to remember that displaying same-sex affection can get you much worse than an arrest. Be careful out there.


St. Maarten Gay Bash Victim Sues, Says CBS Fired Him for Speaking Out

Dick Jefferson, the CBS News producer who was gay bashed with a group of friends in St. Maarten in April 2006, has filed a $50 million lawsuit against CBS, according to Kenneth Walsh of Kenneth in the 212.

JeffersonJefferson says that after the incident he was warned by CBS News Senior Vice President Linda Mason not to speak out about the incident because it was too controversial. After Jefferson suggested to Mason that she was violating the network's anti-discrimination policies, by "controlling what he wrote in his e-mail messages from his personal account, requiring him to ask for permission to testify in open court against his attackers (they were eventually caught and convicted) and banning him from having contact with his friend and colleague, Ryan Smith, who was still hospitalized from the attack," he says she engaged in a systematic campaign of retaliation which eventually led to his being fired.

Reports Walsh: "When he first complained about the corporate interference in his personal life, Jefferson says Mason warned him that she could force him to take a leave of absence -- which would cause him to lose not only pay but critical health care insurance -- if he continued to pursue his "gay rights" cause. After his complaint of discrimination, Jefferson says Mason embarked on a retaliation campaign. Within weeks, she attempted to terminate his contract. Failing her first attempt, he says she began a fishing expedition, and built a fraudulent case against him, placed him on probation and then ultimately fired him. 'Surgeons repaired the damage the criminals did,' Jefferson said. 'Now, it is time to ease the pain and suffering CBS News executives inflicted. I felt like I was attacked again.'"

MasonIn response to Jefferson's plans, CBS released a statement to Fishbowl NY:

"The complaint that a press release from Dick Jefferson states he will file on Monday (25) is unequivocally baseless. Mr. Jefferson was terminated at the conclusion of his employment agreement due to legitimate issues with his performance that had been previously discussed with him. His allegations that Linda Mason discriminated against him could not be further from the truth. This complaint reveals a stunningly selective recall of the "facts," both real and imagined, including omission of the extraordinary lengths to which CBS News and, specifically, Ms. Mason, went to airlift him to safety and better medical treatment -- at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars paid for by the Company -- after the attack, which Mr. Jefferson suffered while on a personal vacation. Additionally, contrary to Mr. Jefferson's claims, CBS News also supported Mr. Jefferson's right to discuss the attack publicly and to seek justice, which he clearly did. CBS policy forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the company regularly educates its workforce about complying with that and other employment policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. We will vigorously and aggressively defend ourselves against Mr. Jefferson's unwarranted complaint and his regrettably vicious and unconscionable attack on Ms. Mason's character."

CBS Eye on Homophobia? [kenneth in the 212]
Ex-CBS News Producer To File $50M Sexual-Orientation Discrimination Lawsuit Against Network [fishbowl ny]

Backstory
TOWLEROAD EXCLUSIVE: St. Maarten Gay Bashing Victim Ryan Smith Speaks About Verdict [tr]
St. Maarten Gay Bash Trial Awaits Ryan Smith [tr]
Lead Attacker in St. Maarten Gay Bashing is Arrested [tr]
St. Maarten Gay Bashing: Two Months Later [tr]
St.Maarten Gay Bashing Case Lost in Translation? [tr]
Update: Arrests Made in St. Maarten Gay Bashing Case [tr]
St. Maarten Gay Bash Update II [tr]
St. Maarten Gay Bash update [tr]
St. Maarten Gay Bash Attack Victim Speaks Out [tr]
Brutal Gay Bashing on St. Maarten [tr]


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