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ACLU Sues San Bernardino Sheriff's Department Over Anti-LGBT Discrimination

San bernadinoLGBT inmates at the West Valley Detention Center, both current and former, have filed suit against the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department for discrimination and abuse faced behind bars. The prison system often separates LGBT inmates for their own safety, but that discrepancy should not reinforce and legitimize the difficulties they have faced according to the suit, from name calling to longer jail sentences. 

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The suit cites several cases in which gay inmates were allegedly denied equal access to drug rehabilitation and educational programs. Gay inmates were allowed less time out of their cells and were unable to participate in work programs that would reduce their sentences, the suit claims.

"In the United States, we punish people because of the crime they commit, not because of who they are," said Melissa Goodman, an ACLU attorney who filed the suit along with the law firm Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt, LLP.

The 'Althernative Lifestyle Tank' where LGBT inmates are kept became a personal hell for the fifteen people filing suit alongside the ACLU, including Peter Guzman who claims he was kept in his cell for up to 23 hours each day.  

Guzman, who spent seven months in West Valley awaiting trial in a fraudulent check-writing case, said that from his cellblock he could see that straight inmates were often out of their cells. Sometimes, violent offenders who were straight served food to the gay inmates as part of a work program that gay inmates were denied access to, Guzman said...

 
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's office, along with deputies and sheriff John McMahon, are being named in the suit, and for good reason: they either enforced or committed the in-jail discriminatory behavior.

Mckibben[Former Indiana sheriff deputy and West Valley inmate Dan] McKibben (pictured far right with partner Sean), 51, said he once saw deputies beating a gay inmate. Deputies, he said, regularly used gay slurs when addressing inmates.

McKibben, who spent about two months in the gay cellblock, said he was appalled at the behavior of those who'd taken an oath to uphold the law.

"When you're sworn, you're sworn. And I took that oath," he said. "These guys, every other minute, were violating that."


UK Psychic Sally Morgan Fires Husband, Son-In-Law After Homophobic Rant At Skeptic: VIDEO

JohnMorgan

Mark Tilbrook, a skeptic handing out leaflets aimed at debunking UK-famous psychic Sally Morgan (below right) was harangued several months ago by the talent's husband, John (above), and son-in-law/manager, Daren Wiltshear. They did not stop at general un-pleasantries, though, instead attacking Tilbrook's sexual orientation and adding a few savory notes of homophobia for good measure. The two men claimed to know a great deal about the skeptic's personal life, calling him a "poof" and asking, "One of your boyfriends been up your arse?" 

SallyMorgan1Pink News reports:

Mr Tillbrook says: “I decided earlier this year to leaflet outside various psychic stage shows, encouraging members of the audience to ask themselves questions about psychic ability.

“My first three visits were to shows by Sally Morgan, and on each occasion her husband John Morgan approached me. I found him to be threatening and abusive.

“After being threatened during my first encounter with John Morgan, I felt it necessary to have a camera with me when leafleting, to record events and provide evidence of the threats I faced.”

Tilbrook has reportedly received legal threats from Morgan. Those will likely stop, however, as Sally Morgan fired her husband and son-in-law following the release of Tilbrook's video. Pink News reported that the two men are no longer involved in her psychic act and are barred from attending her shows.

Sally Morgan said: “I have come from a family background that has always been very accepting, many of my friends are gay and I have always felt happy that I am often referred to as a gay icon through my work.

“I am utterly ashamed and devastated at the behaviour of my husband John and Son-in-law Daren and neither of them will have anything to do with my work, my business and right now I honestly have no idea what is going to happen to my marriage.”

Good on you, Sally, though you'd think her psychic powers could have predicted that her husband was a jerk...

Watch Tilbrook's video of the events, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "UK Psychic Sally Morgan Fires Husband, Son-In-Law After Homophobic Rant At Skeptic: VIDEO" »


Coronado, California Residents Give Gay Couple Heckled By Homophobe a Beautiful 'Do-Over' Wedding: VIDEO

Coronado2

Last month we reported that Arizonans Oscar De Las Salas and Gary Jackson were holding a wedding ceremony in Centennial Park in Coronado, California when it was interrupted by a man in a nearby building shouting "go home fags" and other anti-gay slurs.

The incident prompted an apology from the city of Coronado and the condo complex's Home Owner’s Association as well as an investigation by police.

Local residents and merchants who were also disturbed by the heckling banded together to organize a "do-over" wedding for the gay couple yesterday. The ceremony, organized by Coronado attorney Alisa Kerr and officiated by Mayor Casey Tanaka, ended up being a beautiful display of love in the face of hate.  

U-T San Diego reports:

The ceremony came off absent heckles or other such distractions.

The guests mostly included those who donated one gift or another and others who contacted Kerr and her friends with offers to help. It mattered little that they did not actually know the couple.

“I came because of the synergy they created with the attempt to turn this around,” said Rob Crenshaw, who brought his wife, Laura, to the party. “A wedding is supposed to be the happiest event of your life.”

Jackson and de Las Salas brought about 25 friends who were unable to make the August affair.

“We’re two men in love,” de Las Salas said. “That’s all.”

More photos and video of the ceremony, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Coronado, California Residents Give Gay Couple Heckled By Homophobe a Beautiful 'Do-Over' Wedding: VIDEO" »


Coronado, California Residents Give Gay Couple Heckled by Homophobe a 'Do-Over' Wedding

Coronado

Last month we reported that Arizonans Oscar De Las Salas and Gary Jackson were holding a wedding ceremony in Centennial Park in Coronado, California when it was interrupted by a man in a nearby building shouting "go home fags" and other anti-gay slurs.

The incident prompted an apology from the city of Coronado and the condo complex's Home Owner’s Association as well as an investigation by police.

Now, residents and merchants in Coronado are throwing the couple a "do-over" wedding, the San Diego Union Tribune reports:

The goal of the second ceremony is giving the couple a more positive experience and showing that Coronado is a welcoming community where discrimination won’t be tolerated.

“The people of Coronado, who said they wouldn’t tolerate what happened to us, have created a happy ending,” said Oscar de Las Salas, who will marry Gary Jackson again next week. “We never expected this. It’s incredible.”

The "do-over" wedding was led by four young women who were horrified by the incident and the effort has snowballed, the paper reports, throwing the couple a wedding that would normally cost between $15,000 and $20,000:

Loews Coronado Bay Resort donated a 300-seat venue, Coronado’s Blue Bridge Hospitality restaurant chain will supply the food, Coronado Cupcakery is handling the wedding cake and Vigilucci’s Ristorante contributed champagne for the toast, Kerr said. Many other local restaurants and merchants have also made contributions, she said.

Coronado residents are determined to show that their town is one that is welcoming to LGBT people. The police investigation is continuing.


Lesbian Couple Alleges Hate Crime Following Assault In Long Beach

Jamie jarvis meg taylor

A lesbian couple in Long Beach, California, has claimed that an attack last Saturday evening was a hate crime, reports Long Beach Post.

Jamie Jarvis and Meg Taylor said they were attacked by three African-American females while returning home from a party near Broadway and Esperanza Avenue.

According to Marlene Arrona of the Long Beach Police Department, the altercation occurred following the suspects honking at the victims and one of the victims giving the suspects a “hand gesture” in response.

Jarvis said:

“Meg and I were jumped coming home from a birthday party. We just got out of the ER. This should have never happened and I thought my girl was dead. I’m not ok with this. Please help by keeping your eyes out. The girl in the SUV had two toddlers with her. Is this how we want our youth raised? Please spread the word.”

According to Arrona, one of the victims was transported to the hospital, where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries. The suspects have not been located and it is not clear whether this is being investigated as a hate crime or not.

In a comment on Long Beach Post’s Facebook report - which appears to since have been removed - Jarvis addressed other comments which suggested that the attack may not have been a hate crime:

“[Taylor] flipped them off. But who stops and pulls their car over to start yelling, “Dumb white bitch, dyke bitch, go tell your girl to f*&k a dick….then attacks people...THIS IS A HATE CRIME. FULL OF HATE. THESE LADIES HAD NO BOUNDARIES.”

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Brazil No-Hope Presidential Candidate Goes On Televised Homophobic Rant

Levy Fidelix

The penultimate televised debate before next weekend’s presidential election was overshadowed by a homophobic rant by fringe candidate Levy Fidelix, reports The Guardian.

Fidelix, a conservative and former journalist with no hope of winning, was entitled to almost as much screentime as the leading candidates.

On the Sunday debate, he said that gay people “need psychological care” and are better kept “well away from” other people.  He also suggested that Brazil’s population would be reduced by half if homosexuality were encouraged because “the excretory system” does not function as a means of reproduction.

Although his comments went unremarked upon by the three main candidates – including former environment minister Marina Silva, who earlier this month reversed her support for same-sex marriage – his insults and the other candidates' failure to address them quickly dominated post-debate discussion on social networks. 

According to the most recent polls, incumbent Dlima Rousseff will win the first round on October 5th and then face a run-off with Silva on October 26th.


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