Palm Springs Hub

Gay Stories: A Gay City Councilman Talks About Moving His Family and Adopted Daughter to Higher Ground



Guestblogger Nathan Manske and Marquise Lee are halfway though a 3 month trip around the United States collecting stories for their I'm From Driftwood site. We're finally ready to start catching up with some of the stories collected over the first half of the trip along with some of the insight into what they're seeing now. Anyone can submit their own story via IFD.

Driftwood We had made our way to Palm Springs, CA, a gay mecca in the middle of the desert, where it supposedly rains only 7 days out of the year. As our weather luck, or lack thereof, would have it, the rain fell and fell some more for the entirety of our only full day there, flooding most of the streets in the flat terrain. But our spirits wouldn't be dampened because we would soon be getting a story from Scott Hines, the openly gay city councilman of nearby and much-more-conservative-than-you'd-think Rancho Mirage.

The rain had finally stopped the next day but the streets were still flooded. After navigating and hydroplaning our way to Rancho Mirage, we met Scott at City Hall. My first impression was how handsome he was and how firm of a handshake he gave. I quickly went from swooning to fuming, however, after hearing his story about gay adoption and the sacrifices his family had to make because of anti-LGBT adoption laws in his previous home state of Tennessee. Of course I support gay adoption, of course I'm against anti-gay ballots and measures and propositions and referendums, but until you put a face or a person or a story with an issue, it's just an ideal. Meeting Scott and hearing about his family made it personal. I hope it does for other folks as well.


Additionally, the IFD boys arrive in NYC this weekend. The crew will be having a Reading Event+Screening on Friday, December 10 at the LGBT Center on 13th St., Room 310. They will talk about their adventure on the road as well as show some of the Video Stories they've collected. There will be a live story reading by NYC native Jay Blotcher and an introduction by OutQ Radio Host Michelangelo Signorile.

Previously in this series...
A Survivor's Account of an Unbelievable Hell Called Home [tr]
A Mayor's Coming Out [tr]

Continue reading "Gay Stories: A Gay City Councilman Talks About Moving His Family and Adopted Daughter to Higher Ground" »

News: NOM, Thomas Beatie, Palm Springs, Marc Jacobs

 road Maggie Gallagher made an appearance at NOM's lowly-attended bus tour stop in Columbus. The organization's president, Brian Brown, was conspicuously absent.

Thomas road Thomas Beatie is expecting baby # 3.

 road Gay businessman claims police brutality after incident at hotel: "We were threatened with criminal trespass for simply trying to go into the hotel to visit friends staying there, in addition, another guy was CHOKED for no apparent reason."

 road Video: Billy Corgan collapses on stage.

 road UK Study on gays and lesbians and drug use: "(The study) finds the LGBT community tend to be early users of new drugs and says improving links between such minorities and health officials would identify risks before drug use became widespread."

 road The Evangelical Lutheran Church reinstates barred pastors.

 road Levi Johnston continues to pursue acting jobs.

 road According to Zachary Quinto, we won't see a new Star Trek flick for a little while.

 road Palm Springs Police Chief responds to accusations that the department is anti-gay: "I recently met with LGBT committee members, Warm Sands hoteliers and residents, the Human Rights Commission and city staff to dialogue on improving the relationship that has been affected by the public outcry over the enforcement operation. I certainly understand the constructive criticism we have received and taking the appropriate action steps. We have scheduled LGBT cultural diversity training for all members of the department."

 road New Brazilian gay tango festival. Says one dancer: "Tango is so sensual and for me dancing with a man is more sensual when leading or following, there is a little flirting and I don't want to flirt with a woman." 

Mirror  road Amazing "invisible house" is really a mirrored, cubed structure that is part of a hotel complex in Sweden.

 road Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone are definitely broken up, so says the latter via Twitter.

 road Even nerds can be violent.

 road The USDA's Shirley Sherrod tells Anderson Cooper that Andrew Breibart is really being racist and vicious against a black president.

 road Toyota believes that if you drive with a glass of water on your dash, you could save on fuel. Well, not literally.

 road Apparently this girl focused too much on the "sex" in Sex & the City and not enough on the "city" part.

Is The Palm Springs Police Department Anti-Gay?

An article in today's San Francisco Chronicle questions the gay-friendly reputation of Palm Springs, at least as far as law enforcement in that city goes. The criticism stems mainly from recent sting operations that have targeted gay men.

Last summer, Palm Springs police used undercover officers to arrest 24 men in a gay neighborhood for allegedly trying to engage the officers in sex. While few in the gay community defend anyone having public sex - whether gay or straight - the anger is over the unusual charges in the case: The men are charged under Section 290(c) of the California Penal Code, making those who are convicted register as sex offenders for life, their names added to a police database.

That charge is essentially a life sentence, defense lawyers say, and has never been used against straight couples arrested for similar activity in Palm Springs. Adding fuel to the community anger is surveillance tape shot inside a patrol car during the sting. One officer can be heard using an anti-gay slur, while another officer laughs. 

The lawyer for several of the men arrested, Roger Tansey, tells the Chronicle what the sting operation consisted of:

"A typical scenario," Tansey says, "would be a couple of cops, who were dressed in tank tops, would walk around grabbing their crotches and staring at the defendants' crotches saying, 'Show me what you got. Show me what you got.' In no case did they come upon any man already having sex." Tansey adds that "in many cases the defendants were reluctant to participate and wanted to go back to a room or someplace more private and were coaxed to stay and allegedly expose themselves by the officers."

City officials fear a possible boycott from the LGBT community and, of course, a potential financial hit for the city has sparked a review of the stings.

The economic fallout on the city is not lost on City Manager David Ready, who says, "Palm Springs is very concerned and spends a significant amount of resources on tourism as our driving economic factor. So anything that affects tourism is of great concern to the city. That being said, the chief is doing his internal review of this sting operation, and he will be making recommendations on our policy going forward."

The Chronicle also points out that the Palm Springs Police Department has only one openly gay person, a lesbian, on the force.

News: 50 Cent, Grolar Bear, Ryan Kwanten, Morocco, Hung

Road New massive oil plume discovered under water in Gulf.

50cent RoadRapper 50 Cent lost a lot of weight.

RoadPolice say murder in Oak Lawn neighborhood of Dallas isn't a hate crime.

RoadChris Evans is offering free licks. Who's first?

RoadPalm Springs Police Department accused of bias against gays: "These allegations stem from a police operation that led to the arrest of 24 men in Warm Sands last summer...In response to the accusation of bias, the District Attorney in the case said, 'it doesn't matter to us whether it's one orientation or another. What we do is follow the law and the law prohibits sexual conduct in public.' The Palm Springs Police Department declined to comment."

RoadNoah Mills didn't have to show any skin for Sex and the City 2 audition.

RoadJean-Paul Gaultier stepping down at Hermes: "Christian Lemaire, the creative director of apparel company Lacoste, will replace the designer who earned rave reviews from the fashion world during seven years at Hermes. Lemaire has worked at Christian Lacroix, launched his own clothing line, and revitalised Lacoste since 2001."

RoadOnion: Kids to be taught about both hellfire Bibilical death and environmental extinction!

Smokering  RoadThe volcano in Iceland blew a smoke ring.

RoadThe 'Hung' season two trailer is skintastic.

RoadSecond-generation Grizzly-Polar bear hybrid shot and killed in Alaska.

RoadStephen Gately's widower Andy Cowles to receive large sum of money: "Stephen Gately's widower Andy Cowles will receive nearly £1 million from his husband’s estate. The Boyzone singer – who died in Majorca last October as a result of a congenital heart defect - didn't leave a will at the time of his death, but according to figures released yesterday (26.05.10) by the Probate Registry, Andy will still receive the huge sum. Although mystery had surrounded Stephen's lack of a will, including reports at the time of his death that a version of it had gone missing, his internet entrepreneur civil partner will inherit £450,000 outright, as well as half of the rest of Stephen's estate – worth £519,910 – and his personal possessions."

RoadArjan chats with BT.

Kwanten  RoadRyan Kwanten won't be dropping his drawers for Playgirl: "He did, however, have an idea for a couple of his costars in Playgirl. "Maybe Stephen [Moyer] and Alex [Skarsgård] can do a little tandem," he cracked."

RoadMariah Carey may have a bun in the oven.

RoadTrue Blood headed to the big screen.

RoadThousands welcome Elton John to Morocco: "Politicians from the opposition Islamist PJD party said the gay British star was not welcome in the conservative north African kingdom and that granting him such a profile would tarnish Morocco's image. Organisers said the singer's private life was irrelevant and went ahead with the show, the highlight of the week-long Mawazine World Rhythms festival that has become the cultural showpiece of Morocco's secular-leaning monarchy."

RoadMom's life ruined by American Idol result.

RoadThe real reason gay men are single? "I don't know how women do it, but if I'm not attracted to a guy physically I can't have sex with them no matter how emotionally attracted I am to them. I guess that's the main difference between men and women. For men, intimacy is a consequence of sex; for women it's a pre-requisite. Maybe that's why so many of us gay men are single for so long. If we could direct our sexual desire from physical to the emotional we'd lead more fulfilled lives."

Photo: Britney Spears at the White Party Palm Springs


Britney Spears inspired a mini-meltdown when she showed up at the annual White Party in Palm Springs. This was the shot being passed around on Twitter last night. Meanwhile, this was happening on the main stage.

UPDATE: The photo was originally taken by the lovely Pandora Boxx, from RuPaul's Drag Race. Follow her on Twitter @ThePandoraBoxx.

News: Rio, Chaz Bono, Hockey, Ricky Martin, Jersey Shore, COBRA

 road  Chaz Bono gender reassignment complete. Requests name change.

Waterfall road  Massive waterfall proposed for Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics.

 road  Photo: Amanda Lepore reports for jury duty.

 road  Senator Barbara Boxer introduces Equal Access to COBRA Act: "...would allow many domestic partners the same access married spouses currently have to COBRA health coverage if their partner loses a job."

 road  In a random survey of 52 NHL players 42% said they believe there is a gay player in their locker room.

 road  Meghan McCain talks marriage equality at George Washington University: "I am saying make room for all of the Republicans, and let's start evolving with the times. We must evolve or we'll die."

 road  UK Eastenders soap opera storyline to feature gay bashing: "BBC chiefs are preparing for a barrage of complaints when, once the affair is exposed, Christian falls victim to an anti-gay attack."

 road  Carrie Prejean sued by PR firm for $65,000.

 road  Things that were legalized before same-sex marriage.

 road  Why Ricky Martin coming out matters.

Boygeorge road  Boy George on his early years: "My parents had been very mystified by me for ages. They were quite despairing about it all. I was into the New Romantic style of the early Eighties, and even before Culture Club hit the big time I'd been DJ-ing and creating my image. I'd go home with clippings of myself in magazines – I was even on the cover of Stern, one of the best-known magazines in Germany – and my parents didn't know why. Finally, they dared to ask, 'What do you do?' and when I said, 'I've got a band', they were really relieved. At last they understood there was a good reason for my androgynous looks and flamboyant personality."

 road  Lawyer walks out on Canadian lesbian heckling case.

 road  Adult child of gay parents speaks about Boulder Catholic school's decision to expel two students because their parents are gay: "They are just as Catholic as my children, as any other baptized child in that school. I’m quite upset that the church has reneged on their baptismal promises."

 road  Check out the new 'Jersey Shore' pad in South Beach.

Franco road  James Franco's brother Dave scores himself some attention

 road  Retired Presbyterian minister again faces charges she violated church law by officiating at weddings of gay couples.

 road  Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson on the court challenge to civil unions in New Jersey: "Representing the same committed loving couples it fought for in the last round, Lambda Legal reactivated its New Jersey marriage case, Lewis v. Harris, filing what's known as a 'motion in aid of litigants' rights.' That motion seeks to compel the state of New Jersey to follow the law and obey a high court order now more than three years old."

 road  Aaron Eckhart has a mighty fine beard.

 road  Demographic changes near Palm Springs may put gay man in Congress: "Pougnet represents the new face of Palm Springs. He’s openly gay and openly critical of Bono Mack for not holding more town hall meetings on health care reform. And he’s one of the backers of a petition demanding that Congress repeal the 'don’t ask, don’t tell' policy for gays and lesbians serving in the military."


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