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Man Arrested for Bomb Threat Directed at Activist, Gay Rights Demonstration in Puerto Rico

SerranoA man has been arrested in Puerto Rico for a bomb threat directed at LGBT rights activist Pedro Julio Serrano and an upcoming LGBT rights demonstration, the AP reports:

Special Agent Moises Quniones says the suspect was taken into custody at home in San Juan on a cyberbullying charge. Joseph Morales Serrano is accused of using the micro-blogging site to post a threatening message directed at activist Pedro Julio Serrano ahead of gay rights demonstration. The two men aren't related.

The message in Spanish said "watch out during the demonstration, it can end like in Boston," an apparent reference to the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing.

The suspect is to appear before a judge today and faces up to five years behind bars.


News: Meningitis, Puerto Rico, Rob Ford, China, Russia

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Epidemiologists puzzled over NYC's Meningitis outbreak: "What is concerning is that it is largely restricted to men who have sex with men. So we don’t really understand why that is.” Have you been vaccinated?

Pr6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Thousands marched in support of gay rights in the capital of Puerto Rico of San Juan: "Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and Sen. Ramón Nieves Pérez, who sponsored the sweeping anti-LGBT non-discrimination bill the Senate on Thursday passed by a 15-11 vote margin, unfurled an LGBT Pride flag from the balcony of City Hall as marchers passed."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Britney Spears claims the leaked version of her upcoming single is just an early demo.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Colin Egglesfield knows how to wear a t-shirt.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d North Korea launched three short-range guided missiles in a northeastern direction earlier today.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Sookie flips the paparazzi the bird.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d The very first film to be adapted from a David Sedaris short story set to open Outfest.

6a00d8341c730253ef0191023e55b9970c-800wi6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Gawker wants to raise $200,000 so they can purchase and publish the videotape of anti-gay Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. Also, don't expect to hear Ford air his weekly radio show this weekend.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Some promising yet frustrating news out of China on the International Day Against Homophobia: "Activists said they felt encouraged when the communist party's official mouthpiece China Central Television published a Weibo post on Friday morning advocating respect for the LGBT community. But the post was soon deleted without any explanation."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Could Smell-O-Vision be coming back - in a mobile form?

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Reacting disapprovingly to today's momentous legalization of same-sex marriage in France, Russia's Children's Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov said this morning that his country will now consider changing its child adoption policy with France.


Puerto Rican ATM Spits Out 'We Hate Fags' Receipt

Receipt

A bar called El Ocho de Blanco and an ATM operator in San Juan, Puerto Rico have distanced themselves from an incident in which an ATM at the bar spit out a receipt with the message "We Hate Fags" printed on it, the HuffPost reports:

The ATM company’s president Jorge Torres said “someone from the outside gained access to the system and programming of the machine.” Torres said his company did not intentionally offend the LGBT community and would upgrade its ATM security to make sure nothing like this would happen in the future.

LGBT activist Pedro Julio Serrano thanked the companies for disavowing the homophobic message in a blog post, but also lamented that it happened in the first place. He said the incident made it clear that the island should pass a law proposed by Puerto Rican Sen. Ramón Luis Nieves criminalizing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.


News: Scott Fujita, Female Todd Akin, Sink Hole 'Abnormal Sexual Oriented'

1NewsIcon "The evolution of the nation's 'first gay president'"

Fujita1NewsIcon Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita thinks most NFL players will have no problem with an out and proud teammate. "I would argue that the overwhelming majority would be fine with having a teammate who was gay... Once a guy comes out, yeah, it'll be very newsworthy. It'll be a huge, huge breakthrough and then it'll be another one and another one and another one. Then it'll be just another guy in the locker room."

1NewsIcon But there are still plenty of hurdles for gay athletes to overcome.

1NewsIcon The ACLU had no choice but to defend a Connecticut student's right to wear an anti-gay t-shirt. Said ACLU CT legal director Sandra Staub, "The First Amendment was written to protect unpopular speech, which is naturally the kind of speech that will always need protection. The ACLU has fought hard for same-sex marriage and we couldn't agree with Seth less on that issue, but he is absolutely correct about his right to express his opinion."

1NewsIcon Outgoing California GOP chairman Tom Del Beccaro predicts his party will be debating the "difficult issue" of marriage equality for years to come.

1NewsIcon Meanwhile, Celeste Greig, head of the California Republican Assembly, said rape victims don't typically get pregnant because "it's an act of violence, because the body is traumatized." She's the female Todd Akin!

1NewsIcon A handy breakdown of where Illinois lawmakers stand on marriage equality.

Princecover1NewsIcon The artist still known as Prince performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and will soon be coming to a city near you!

1NewsIcon Dalmatian puppies go gaga for peanut butter.

1NewsIcon Jennifer Lawrence is spending her post-Oscar time setting up dates for Silver Linings Playbook costar Bradley Cooper.

1NewsIcon Justin Bieber had "the worst birthday ever" after his Circus-themed party devolved into a fracas.

1NewsIcon Great news from PR: "The advance of gay rights across the United States is spreading into Puerto Rico, making the island a relatively gay-friendly outpost in a Caribbean region where sodomy laws and harassment of gays are still common. The governing Popular Democratic Party is pushing a bill through the legislature that would outlaw discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, a step taken by about half of U.S. states. Another bill would extend a domestic violence law to gay couples."

1NewsIcon A Virginia spa admits to booting a transgender woman because they have a policy against "any abnormal sexual behaviors and orientation." "It is our policy not to accept any kinds of abnormal sexual oriented customers to our facility such as homosexuals, or transgender," Spa World in Centreville said in a statement. "We strongly enforce this policy for the safety and the comfort for (sic.) our customers, and also to promote a healthy reputation for our business.... Also, for the safety and the comfort for young children at Spa World, we strongly forbid any abnormal sexual behaviors and orientation in our facility." Virginia laws allow this to go on.

Justicekennedy1NewsIcon Shifting public opinion may very well sway Justices Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts toward marriage equality, especially the more moderate Kennedy: "Throughout his long career, Kennedy has been willing to make major changes in the law on issues including the death penalty, gun rights and gay rights... But before signing on to major changes — abolishing the death penalty for young murderers, for example — he has wanted to feel comfortable that the change was in line with public opinion and the trend in the law."

1NewsIcon The Florida sinkhole that swallowed a man continues to grow.


Mitt Romney Announces His Puerto Rico Win: VIDEO

Drudge_romney

Mitt Romney gives a plug to his cheerleader Matt Drudge in a video from Puerto Rico, which he swept.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Reuters reports:

With about 60 percent of the ballots counted, Romney had about 83 percent of the vote, according to Puerto Rico's electoral commission. Rick Santorum was in second place with just under 8 percent.

With Puerto Rico's Republican Electoral Commissioner Jose Enrique Melendez declaring Romney's victory official on Sunday night, he was poised to sweep all 20 delegates.

Daily Kos laughs at the antics of both Mitt and Santorum in PR, here.

Continue reading "Mitt Romney Announces His Puerto Rico Win: VIDEO" »


Ricky Martin Speaks Out Against Puerto Rico's Attempt to Remove LGBT People from Hate Crimes Protections

Ricky Martin spoke out yesterday about a move by the Puerto Rican Senate to exclude LGBT people from hate crime laws there, Hispanically Speaking reports:

Martin“I’m very sad about the turn the discussion on Criminal Law is taking in Puerto Rico that proposes the elimination of aggravating factors in cases where crimes are committed out of prejudice toward the victim,” the openly gay star said on his Web site.

Martin said that while great nations focus on providing their citizens with basic rights, some politicians in Puerto Rico are doing just the opposite, “promoting inequality and hate.”

“They ought to do their homework and review a little the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…which says that everyone - the citizens - are equal before the law and have, without distinction, the right to equal protection under the law,” he said.

(blog post)

PuertoricoThe Puerto Rican House is expected to vote on the measure this week after an extraordinary session was convened by Governor Luis Fortuño, EDGE reports:

Representative Héctor Ferrer and Sen. Eduardo Bhatia joined LGBT and Dominican activists at a press conference on Sunday, Dec. 4, to criticize the proposed amendments.

"To eliminate these groups as protected categories is to invite the commission of hate crimes in Puerto Rico," said Ferrer, as Vocero reported on Dec. 4 "It is a setback in the country’s public policy."

"In an advanced society, this is dangerous for society," added Bhatia, as Primera Hora reported.

Political affiliation, age and disability would remain part of the revised hate crimes statute if legislators approve the new penal code and Fortuño signs it into law. Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force accused both Senate President Thomas Rivera-Schatz and Fortuño of homophobia.

Almost two dozen LGBT Puerto Ricans have been murdered there since 2009.


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