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News: GLSEN, RuPaul's Drag Race, Hawaii, John Mayer Twitter

 roadGLSEN meets with Education Secretary Arne Duncan to discuss bullying in schools. Exec. Director Byard: "It was moving to witness these students and teachers sharing their personal stories of pain, rejection, resilience and hope with the nation’s top education official. Secretary Duncan showed great compassion for their experiences, respect for their perseverance and dedication to identifying effective responses to school climate issues."

Kanye  roadComplex: Kanye West does whiteface.

 roadJake Gyllenhaal dines out with Amazing Race contestant Mike White.

 roadLesbian named head of U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

 roadAnchorage, Alaska drag bars change to appeal to straight customers.

 roadStraight bachelorette parties putting strain on gay bars in Chicago. "The women are a hoot, and some can be just delightful. But because not everybody can get married, watching them celebrate, it's such a slap in the face. Prop 8 just reopened the wound."

 roadUK Videogame designer suing Microsoft: "He said mocking emails were sent around his workplace with headings such as 'I'm Jim and I'm Gay' and 'Me and My Favourite Men'. He said the firm did not have policies to deal with his complaints."

 roadREPORT: John Mayer chose Twitter over Jennifer Aniston: "The source said: 'John suddenly stopped calling her or returning her emails and when she would finally catch up with him, he'd say: 'I've been so busy with work. I'm sorry I haven't had time to call you back.' The source added: 'Jen was fuming. There he was, telling her he didn't have time for her and yet his page was filled with Twitter updates.'"

 roadZac Efron won't be taking the Kevin Bacon route.

Hawaii  roadDemocrats seek to break deadlock on Hawaii civil unions bill: "Opponents, led by conservative Christian church groups, have lobbied against the bill, saying Hawaii voted against gay marriage in 1998 and that the issue should not be taken up again. Now supporters of the bill say a recent statewide survey done by QMark Research and Polling shows 81 percent support for equal treatment for couples no matter what their gender. For the Senate Democrats, the issue is whether they have enough votes to either pull the bill from the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is deadlocked 3-3, or fashion a compromise by amending the bill in committee. An amended bill would require passage by the Senate, sending it back to the House for either approval or a conference committee later this spring."

 roadThe Indigo Girls are back.

 roadAnd a four-piece Ukranian band covers Katy Perry's "Hot & Cold".

Ukpenis  roadInspired by an Iron Age fertility symbol, UK teen proceeds to create his own on the roof of his parents' home so he can see it from Google Earth.

 roadHate crimes surge in Kent, UK.

 roadJennifer Hudson taping secret Idol concert tonight.

 roadRuPaul winning dance chart drag race?

 roadOUT interviews the real winner of RuPaul's Drag Race (spoilers).

 roadPolice to receive honor from Sacramento gay group.

 roadSarah Palin a hypocrite on "special needs" children.

 roadFormer Gawker editor Choire Sicha penning book on 'death of New York': "It used to be, you came to New York and you got a job as an assistant, and sooner or later you got to have part of your boss’s job and you moved up. There was sort of a continuum. There was a thing called a career in New York...For me, what the recession for young working people reminds me of is HIV in the early 90s, when my generation of gay men decided there wasn’t much of a future. I feel like I hear from people now, and they’re like, 'fuck tomorrow!' Which seems completely reasonable to me. And whether that’s based on a real understanding of the economy or on what we’re getting through the filter of the media, it doesn’t matter– it’s a completely appropriate response to the moment we’re in."

News: Tom Brady, Gay Bashings, Obama Threat, Providence, XBox

 roadChicago man targeted Obama with letters containing HIV-infected blood?: "In the weeks leading up to Obama's inauguration, Saad Hussein, an Ethiopian refugee in his late 20's, sent an envelope addressed to 'Barack Obama' to offices of the Illinois government in Springfield, Ill., according to court documents. The envelope contained a series of unusual items, including a letter with reddish stains and an admission ticket for Obama's election-night celebration in Chicago's Grant Park."

Wolverine  roadA wealth of new Wolverine images.

 roadTom Brady says "I Do".

 roadSkip Bayless stands by Troy Aikman gay rumor.

 roadNew York gay group expresses optimism over marriage equality chances this year.

 roadRihanna photographed in Mexico for first time following Chris Brown attack.

 roadSame-sex marriage arguments heard in Providence, Rhode Island.

 roadOpenly gay Liverpool City Councilman Steve Radford speaks out about acquittal verdict in hate crime killing of teen Michael Causer: "The question has to be asked whether the 10-2 jury not-guilty verdict into Gavin Alker means Merseyside society thinks it’s acceptable to beat up gay people? Because, if the evidence was so clear and the people involved acknowledge their part in the attack, we need to ask if the real problem is in Merseyside society. This signals that being gay means you don’t have the right to be free on the street, that’s the sad fact."

 roadDean Trial to begin for Jonathan Russell Gunter in brutal beating of gay man in Oak Lawn neighborhood of Dallas: "Dean, 43, is awaiting yet another surgery to repair and replace teeth, but perhaps the most devastating  impact of the brutal gay-bashing he suffered seven months ago has been psychological. Once a very active, fun-loving person, according to his friends, Dean said he now has little energy and suffers from depression. 'Anybody who’s been around me before and gets around me now is going to realize that I’m different,' Dean said recently...Jonathan Russell Gunter, 32, is charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison." 

Seattle  roadVigil set for Seattle gay bashing victim at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 28 by the pillars on Boren Avenue and Pike Street.

 roadRehab for Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.

 roadMicrosoft stands by as lesbian harassed on XBox 360.

 roadPBDs, McAllen, Texas gay bar, celebrates 25 years: "The bar, located at 2908 N. Ware Rd., has done some re-inventing since owner Drew Clark on February 18, 1984, choosing to brand it with the acronym for his nickname, poor baby Drew."

 roadFred Phelps and the WBC to be counter-protested at Chicago-area university this Sunday. Incidentally, River Forest is this blogger's home town.

 roadSupreme Court ruling suggests Casper, Wyoming may never have to accept Fred Phelps' hateful Matthew Shepard in hell monument.

Lagerfelt  roadKarl Lagerfelt finger puppet does New York Fashion Week.

 roadPro-gay Catholic Brazilian priest suspended for supporting free distribution of condoms: "The Rev. Luiz Couto has been suspended from his work in the northeastern state of Paraiba. Archdiocese spokesman Eisenhower de Albuquerque says the church took the action because of Couto's public stance 'in favor of the use of condoms, his support of gay marriage and his opposition to priestly celibacy.' Couto spokesman Jose Moreira says the priest is not a gay-marriage advocate but is an opponent of discrimination 'including discrimination against homosexuals.'"

 roadHomophobic workshop held in Uganda: "Stephen Langa, Executive Director of a Ugandan group, Family Life Network, has announced that his group will be holding a workshop from March 5th to 7th to provide insight on the causes and treatment of homosexuality; provide practical tips on how to prevent homosexuality behaviour in youth; expose the homosexual agenda, their tactics, strategy and methods of recruitment; and provide information and guidelines on how to respond to the homosexual agenda in an organization, community or nation."

Microsoft Bans More "Gay" Names from XBox Live


In last Friday's tech column, I noted that Microsoft had banned a gamer from Xbox Live for using the gamer handle "theGAYERgamer", apparently because it has the word "gay" in it.

Today, Kotaku reports that the homosexual 'cleansing' continues. They've also banned "RichardGaywood", an Xbox Live player from the UK, who is actually using his real name.

Microsoft explained the ban on "theGAYERgamer" last week: "We recieved a complaint on the Gamertag and determined that it did indeed contain sexual innuendo. Now granted, there could be an argument that the text is not pejorative to homosexuality and should therefore be allowed. But there is no context to explain that. Gamertags are visible to everyone and it would be hard for me to defend to a parent of a young child who saw it that the name did not contain content of a sexual nature."

(via good as you)

Does Gaming Turn You On? [tr]

Ric Weiland, former Microsoft Employee, Leaves $65M LGBT Gift

The Seattle Times reported over the weekend on the $160 million bequest of early Microsoft employee Ric Weiland, who took his own life in June 2006 after suffering from depression. The Pride Foundation in Seattle, to which Weiland left $19, was directed to distribute another $46 million among various LGBT organizations:

Weiland"It has taken more than a year to sort out his estate, and the full scope of Weiland's giving is now starting to emerge. The first disbursements began last summer and will be completed sometime this year. For the Pride Foundation, which has an annual budget of $2.5 million and endowment of $3 million, Weiland's gift of more than $19 million will significantly expand its efforts throughout the Northwest. The money will support anti-discrimination campaigns and programs to help youths, develop future leaders and provide scholarships. 'It's a gigantic investment in our equal-rights movement,' said Zan McColloch-Lussier, the Pride Foundation's director of communications. 'It will be here long after our kids' kids are gone.' Weiland gave another $46 million to the Pride Foundation to distribute to 10 national organizations over eight years."

The full list of those benefiting from Weiland's estate, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ric Weiland, former Microsoft Employee, Leaves $65M LGBT Gift" »

News: Mr. Blackwell, Iran, Jesse Metcalfe, Wii, Dykes on Bikes

road.jpg Iran claims video of aggressive action toward American ships is U.S. fabrication: "The US has released grainy footage, apparently showing small boats speeding near the American warships. In an audio recording, an Iranian radio operator appears to say 'I am coming at you; you will explode'. The Iranian parliamentary speaker has dismissed the affair as being part of a US propaganda campaign against Tehran."

road.jpg NSA report confirms Vietnam "Gulf of Tonkin" episode never happened. (via americablog)

Poshroad.jpg Mr. Blackwell releases annual worst-dressed list. The winner? "Forget the fashion spice - wearing a skirt would suffice! In one skinny-mini monstrosity after another, pouty posh can really wreck-em." See who else made it.

road.jpg Out writer Josh Kilmer-Purcell starts "Phags for Phelps" site after striking up email correspondence with Shirley Phelps-Roper: "I've long believed that the more chances America gets to see blatantly ugly homophobia in action, the better it is for the GLBT community. To quote Supreme Court Justice Brandeis: 'Sunshine is the best disinfectant.' Half humorously, half seriously, (as in everything I do) I suggested in my recent OUT column that gays and lesbians start a 'Phags 4 Phelps Dephense Phund.' Fred Phelps, if you don't know who he is, is the patriarch of a one-family-band of hate called the 'Westboro Baptist Church.'..I honestly think that the more America sees this ugly hatred, the more they shy away from it. So I suggested starting the "Phags 4 Phelps Dephense Phund" to keep them away from bankruptcy and out on the streets where they belong."

road.jpg Parkinson's Disease linked to exposure to common solvent.

Mumbairoad.jpg Madonna, Guy tour the slums of Mumbai.

road.jpg Youths arrested for alleged anti-gay attack on December 5 on the Washington Metro say they targeted victim because he was drunk, not because of his sexuality.

road.jpg Queen Elizabeth loves Wii bowling: "A Palace source told The People: 'When she saw William playing a game after lunch at Sandringham she thought the Nintendo looked tremendous fun and begged to join in. She played a simple ten-pin bowling game and by all accounts was a natural. It was hilarious. William was in fits of laughter. He was enormously impressed at having such a cool gran. And although she is 81 the Queen's hand-eye co-ordination was as good as somebody half her age.'"

Metcalferoad.jpg Jesse Metcalfe's Hollywood hair-cut.

road.jpg Anti-gay Pastor Ken Hutcherson has reportedly initiated the Microsoft stock-buying scheme I posted about in November: "It's unclear what effect, if any, the initiative could have on the stock price. It would be difficult to influence company direction -- just to gain a 1 percent stake in Microsoft, about 31 million people would each have to spend $104 to buy three shares. Microsoft has about 9.36 billion outstanding shares, and its largest holder is Chairman Bill Gates, with 858 million shares, or 9 percent of the total. Capital Research and Management Co. follows with nearly 557 million shares, or 6 percent."

road.jpg Scientists float new global warming weapon: super-hairy soya plants.

road.jpg Court rules that "Dykes on Bikes" can keep their name.

Genreroad.jpg Genre takes on the cheekbones of Michael Lucas: "I am very proud that Genre chose me to be on their cover, as national consumer magazines—even if they are gay—tend to shy away from putting members of the adult community front and center."

road.jpg Wonkette has a chat with former Gawker editor Choire Sicha about the New Hampshire primaries and which Romneys might be worth molesting: "Josh. Josh is the hottest thing since bacon was invented."

road.jpg Kentucky gay rights groups thumb noses at one another: "The general advisory council of the Kentucky Equality Federation has approved a resolution not to be aligned with the Kentucky Fairness Alliance. Jordan Palmer, president of the federation, released a copy of his group's resolution noting the break. It said the group 'has received many reports from federation management and affiliated organizations about difficulties in working with current leadership of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance and particularly its chief spokeswoman, Christina Gilgor.' It added, 'It is obvious that the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, through its current executive director, is alienating many members of the Kentucky Equality Federation and its affiliated organizations and thus becoming less of an effective force in lobbying and working for improvement of gay rights in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.'"

road.jpg Simon Cowell sheds some of his moobs.

Pastor Ken Hutcherson Back for Another Round with Microsoft?

You may remember back in 2005 when Microsoft quietly withdrew its support of Washington state anti-discrimination HB 1515, and was accused of doing so because of pressure from right-wing religious leader Reverend Ken Hutcherson.

HutchersonSeattle paper The Stranger explained the bill at the time: "House Bill 1515 would protect gays and lesbians from discrimination in employment, housing, banking, insurance, and other matters by adding sexual orientation to a state law which already bars discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, and mental or physical handicap."

The controversy prompted both a letter from CEO Steve Ballmer, which Towleroad first published, in which Ballmer denied any pressure from Hutcherson in its withdrawal of support for the bill. Said Ballmer at the time: "There have been several news stories that imply that Microsoft changed its position on an anti-discrimination bill, HB 1515, because of pressure from a conservative religious group. I want to make it clear that that is not the case."

The memo prompted a letter from gay and lesbian employees at Microsoft demanding reinstatement of support and an investigation into the company's dealings with Hutcherson. Hutcherson offered details of the meeting that clearly implicated the corporation, but in the end Hutcherson never got his way.

You may also remember Hutcherson from recent claims that he made trips to Latvia as a "special envoy" of the U.S. State Department where he met with anti-gay leaders. He said the trips were sanctioned by the White House and that he had a letter proving it. Hutcherson did make the trips, but as far as I know never produced evidence of the U.S. government's letter.

Now, he appears to be back for another round, threatening executives at a shareholders meeting last week that he would be their "worst nightmare" if the company continues to support gay rights.

MicrosoftHutcherson claims Microsoft is the first corporate target "in an escalation of the culture wars between evangelicals and corporate America" and is asking "millions of evangelical activists, as well as Orthodox Jewish and other allies, to buy up Microsoft shares and demand a return to traditional values."

Said Hutcherson to the UK's Telegraph: "There are 256 Fortune 500 companies alone pouring millions upon millions of dollars into pushing the homosexual agenda. I consider myself a warrior for Christ. Microsoft don't scare me. I got God with me. I told them that you need to work with me or we will put a firestorm on you like you have never seen in you life because I am your worst nightmare. I am a black man with a righteous cause with a whole host of powerful white people behind me...Microsoft stepped out of their four walls into my world so that gives me the right to step out of my world into their world. They tried to turn their policy into state policy, making their policy something I had to submit to. And my playbook [the bible] tells me you don't submit to sin...I don't care how big Microsoft is. They are nothing but a feather in the wind of God. America basically got started with a tea party and Goliath, if I'm not mistaken, got taken down by David, who believed in the same cause I believe in. I'm going to go after the new Goliath with one little rock called a share and I'm going to make them tremble before we get through."

Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith reportedly told shareholders "it was up to [them] to continue their longstanding support of Microsoft's diversity policy, which includes an internal 'affinity employee group' called the Gay and Lesbian Employees At Microsoft (GLEAM)."

Hutcherson's past controversies have not proven that he has much power, but have shown that he can at least raise a big stink.

Pastor to take on Microsoft over gay rights [telegraph uk]
Notes from MSFT's annual shareholders meeting [seattle post-intelligencer]

Microsoft Secretly Withdraws Endorsement of Gay Rights Bill [tr]

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