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Transgender Woman Escapes Captivity After Two Horrific Years as a ‘Sex Slave’ in Louisiana

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A Louisiana trio has been arrested and charged with enslaving and torturing a Minnesota transgender woman for two years, New York Daily News reports:

An assistant town marshal said he found the woman on Saturday night near an intersection in Natchitoches Parish with a logging chain wrapped around her body.

The victim told cops she’d been held against her will and forced to perform sex acts and do hard labor for her captors, KATC reports. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated for multiple lacerations and bruises. The logging chain had to be removed by Natchitoches firefighters.

Natchitoches Sheriff Victor Jones Jr. said this was the most “severe and disturbing” human trafficking case he’d ever investigated.

Ambre-tubbsThe three suspects – David Rodriguez Jr. (above), Christina Marie Harper (above), and Ambre Tubbs Lomas (right) – turned themselves in on Wednesday and face multiple charges of human trafficking, aggravated second-degree battery, second-degree kidnapping/false imprisonment, and offenses against computer users. 

Investigators learned that the victim had met Rodriguez and Harper online. She agreed to move into the couple’s home and was promptly forced to hand over her cash and give up her motorcycle. She was then tattooed and registered as a slave on a website.

The victim says she was forced to do a daily list of chores that included sexual acts. In addition, she was required to serve meals, take care of pets, install a swimming pool, and remove fallen trees. If she didn’t comply, she says she was brutally disciplined by Rodriguez, Harper, or Lomas. She claims she was beaten, tased, doused with urine. She also said she had letters carved into her body.

When she told the couple she wanted out of the arrangement, she was allegedly chained in the woods, fed once a day, and given small amounts of water and urine to drink.

The woman is now in protective custody. Two teens who were also living in the home were taken into the custody of the state’s child protective services.


LA Governor Bobby Jindal To Award Anti-Gay 'Duck Dynasty' Star Phil Robertson

Yep

Remember Phil Robertson, the reality show star of A&E's Duck Dynasty who compared homosexuals to drunks and terrorists and called gays ”insolent, arrogant god haters”? Yeah, well, Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is going to give him an award for Entrepreneurial Excellence:

The governor has called the Robertson family, whose Duck Commander empire is based in West Monroe, La., “great citizens” of the state.

A&E says the Duck Dynasty season premiere on June 11 will feature an appearance by Jindal, who will present Willie Robertson — CEO of the family’s business — with an award.

In February, Jindal was at Duck Commander headquarters to present the first Governor’s Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence to the Robertson family. The award is aimed at honoring “homegrown Louisiana businesses that grow and provide more opportunity, more jobs and more commerce” for the state…

Sure, Robertson’s business, Duck Commander, reportedly has millions of dollars in annual sales, but the man also thinks black people were happier before civil rights and that it’s okay to marry 15-year-old girls.

Robertson’s other conservative supporters include Sarah Palin and anti-gay Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress.

(via Crooks and Liars)


Friday Speed Read: Louisiana, Maine, Texas, Jason Collins, Idaho, Mary Cheney, Health Benefits

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

Stgermain‘I MIGHT HAVE THREE VOTES’:

Here’s how much support there is in the Louisiana House for barring discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity: “I might have three votes,” State Rep. Karen St. Germain told the Baton Rouge Advocate. Germain announced Tuesday she was withdrawing her bill to seek such protections.

MICHAUD SLIPS IN MAINE POLLS:

Openly gay U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud had a small lead over incumbent Republican Governor Paul LePage at the top of April, but now, he appears to have fallen behind. The first poll, by a more liberal polling group, showed Michaud’s bid to unseat LePage supported by 44 percent of voters surveyed, compared to 37 percent for LePage, and 14 percent for independent candidate Eliot Cutler. But by mid-April, a survey conducted by a Portland-based firm found LePage at 38.6 percent to Michaud’s 37.2 percent, and Cutler at 20.3 percent.

TEXAS ‘CANNOT DISCRIMINATE’: Nellermoe

A state district court judge in San Antonio, Texas, ruled Tuesday that because the state grants a presumption of parenthood to the husband of a child’s birth mother, it must do the same for the same-sex spouse of a child’s birth mother. The ruling came in ALFL v. KLL, a divorce and custody proceeding involving a lesbian couple who married in Washington, D.C., in 2010, gave birth to a child using donor insemination in 2013, and is now seeking to divorce in their home state of Texas which bans recognition of same-sex marriages. Echoing U.S. v. Windsor and a recent federal court decision in San Antonio, as well as the “best interests of the child,” Judge Barbara Nellermoe wrote that the state “cannot discriminate against same-sex couples” and that the state’s ban against allowing same-sex couples to marry violates the child’s right to equal protection of the law. Two similar cases are currently awaiting a ruling from the state supreme court.

J_collinsNAMED TO PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL:

President Obama on Thursday named openly gay pro basketball player Jason Collins to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Collins entered the NBA in 2001 and played for a number of professional teams before coming out as gay last year. He currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets. The White House press release notes Collins is “a partner with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students.”

A FINAL BATTLEGROUND: Madelynn_taylor

A state cemetery for military veterans in Idaho recently refused a lesbian veteran’s request that her same-sex spouse, who died two years ago, be buried with her when she dies. Madelynn Taylor, 74, said she knows the two could be buried together in a federal cemetery for veterans but that she has close, long-held ties to Idaho, according to KTVB-TV. A spokesman for the Idaho Division of Veterans Services told the station their hands are tied by the Idaho ban on recognizing same-sex marriages.

CheneyCHENEY BACK IN ACTION:

Lesbian political strategist Mary Cheney is one of several Washington Republican operatives launching a new firm this week. The outfit, according to politico.com, will be called [Voice of the People] Vox Populi Polling (aka Pop Polling, according to the new firm’s website.

THIRTY-TWO PERCENT PROBLEM: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday that, while 72 percent of all civilian workers get employer-sponsored health benefits for themselves and their spouses, only 32 percent of employees with same-sex domestic partners get benefits for their partners. The report was based on data collected a year ago.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Rachel Maddow Looks at the Weird, Weird Week in Gay Rights: VIDEO

Cooper_maddow

Rachel Maddow takes a look at a bizarre backward/forward week in gay rights: Louisiana's insistence on retaining its anti-gay, unconstitutional sodomy law, contrasted with the Prop 8 defense attorney Charles Cooper's announcement that he is planning his gay daughter's wedding!

Truths Maddow:

"Sometimes the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice. But you know what? Sometimes the arc of the moral universe runs around like a chicken with its head cut off."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Looks at the Weird, Weird Week in Gay Rights: VIDEO" »


Wednesday Speed Read: Ohio, India, Cleveland Gay Games, Scott Hines, Louisiana

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

T_blackOHIO STAY NEWS TODAY:

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black is expected to announce today whether he will grant a stay of his April 14 ruling that Ohio’s ban on same-sex couples marrying is unconstitutional. Briefs from both sides of the Henry v. Wymyslo lawsuit were due Tuesday afternoon.

OHIO BALLOT MEASURE CLEARS HURDLE:

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Monday that he has certified as “fair and truthful” a summary of a proposed ballot measure seeking to treat same-sex marriages the same as heterosexual marriages in the state. The certification is just one of several hurdles FreedomOhio, a pro-gay group, must clear to  put a question on the ballot in November. The proposed language states that marriage “shall be a union of two consenting adults not nearer in kin than second cousins…and no religious house of worship or the religious house of worship’s clergy shall be required to perform a marriage. All legally valid marriages shall be treated equally under the law.”

INDIA RECOGNIZES ‘THIRD GENDER’:

IndiaThe Supreme Court of India ruled Tuesday, “It is the right of every human being to choose their gender” and that people of a “third gender” should be given the rights of citizens. The decision in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India was written and approved by two different justices than the ones who, in December, upheld the country’s laws against same-sex sexual relations. But this latest opinion concluded, “We, therefore, conclude that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity includes any discrimination, exclusion, restriction or preference, which has the effect of nullifying or transposing equality by the law or the equal protection of laws guaranteed under our Constitution, and hence we are inclined to give various directions to safeguard the constitutional rights of the members of the [transgender] community.”

MUSLIM CABBIES BALK AT ADS:

GaygamesSome taxi drivers in Cleveland are asking that they not be assigned to drive airport cabs that are displaying roof-top advertisements for this summer’s Gay Games. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Tuesday that “some” drivers that work with taxi fleets at the airport object to the ads, saying they violate their Muslim religious beliefs. The cab companies are working with the airport and cab stand operator to replace the drivers in that fleet.

INCUMBENT LOSS IN CALIFORNIA:

MailerRancho Mirage City Council incumbent Scott Hines lost his bid for re-election April 8. Hines won only 17 percent of the nearly 12,000 votes cast. An openly gay candidate serving his first term on the council, Hines was the target of a hostile mailer during the campaign. Someone distributed to voters a postcard with a photo of Hines, the word “Fags,” and a message to “Send Hines Packing Back to Palm Springs, where he belongs.” But the Desert Sun newspaper suggested other factors in Hines’ loss may have been his youth (“in a city where retirees predominate”) and “questions about conflicts of interest.”

LOUISIANA CLINGS TO PAST:

The Louisiana House rejected a bill Tuesday that sought to remove from the state code a law prohibiting sexual relations between people of the same sex. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state sodomy laws in 2003, with its ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. Louisiana can’t enforce its sodomy ban against consensual adults in private, but the House voted 27 to 67 to keep the on the “books.” According to the Times-Picayune, a group called the Louisiana Family Forum sent a letter to legislators saying the “anti-sodomy statute is consistent with the values of Louisiana residents who consider this behavior to be dangerous, unhealthy and immoral."

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Louisiana Votes to Keep Unconstitutional Law Criminalizing Sodomy

The Louisiana House voted 66-27 to reject a bill that would have repealed the state's unconstitutional law criminalizing sodomy, the Times-Picayune reports:

SmithA House Committee passed the legislation onto the body's floor by a vote of 9-6 last week. But one of the state's most powerful lobbying groups, the conservative Christian Louisiana Family Forum, opposes striking the sodomy ban.

The law remaining on the books came under national scrutiny last summer when East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriffs' Deputies used the statute to arrest men who agreed to have sex with undercover male law enforcement officers.  The District Attorney declined to prosecute the men, and the sheriff, Sid Gautreaux, under intense criticism, later apologized for the arrests.

Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, a Democrat who represents Baton Rouge, said she brought the bill, in part, because of those arrests, which drew negative national attention to her community.

The Supreme Court invalidated all anti-sodomy laws with its Lawrence v. Texas decision in 2003 but 17 states have still not formally repealed or revised their laws.


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