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Federal Judge Again Tosses Gay Couple's Lawsuit Against Airline Over Sex Toy Taped To Luggage

Bridgeman

A federal judge has again thrown out a gay couple's lawsuit against United Airlines alleging that a baggage handler removed a sex toy from their bag and taped it to the outside to humiliate them. 

Last week we told you how the lawsuit from Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger was finally headed to trial four years after the incident. But after three days of testimony, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt granted summary judgment to the airline. 

The Houston Chronicle reports: 

Hoyt decided that the plaintiffs never proved their case, which remains a "whodunit," the judge noted, because no one with TSA or United was revealed as the definite perpetrator in the mystery of the rifled and manipulated bag.

"If you have two operatives and you do not eliminate one of those operatives by clear and convincing evidence, then you cannot go to judgement. There's nothing to submit to the jury – especially in light of the fact that you didn't sue both of them," Hoyt explained from the bench.

"You have not presented clear and convincing evidence that TSA did not handle these bags and cause the situation that occurred. … In fact we know TSA handled these bags. We know that they scan them and in many instances they go into bags."

The couple's attorney says he plans to appeal Hoyt's decision. Hoyt initially threw out the case in 2012, only to have it reinstated by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In case you're wondering, United Airlines maintains a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.  


Two Denver TSA Agents Fired For Conspiring To Feel Up Good Looking Passengers

Screenshot 2015-04-17 14.52.46

Two TSA agents posted at Denver International Airport have been fired after it was discovered that they had worked out a scheme allowing one of the agents to grope unsuspecting male passengers as they passed through security checkpoints. TSA authorities were first alerted to the situation earlier this year thanks to an anonymous tip. An investigation of the two agents revealed that a clever--though troubling--system where the male agent would identify male passengers he found attractive at which point his female accomplice would flag them to be pulled aside for pat-down inspections.

During its investigation of the pair, TSA officials observed the male agent patting down unwitting passengers’ groins and buttocks with his bare hands, which is strictly forbidden according to TSA regulations. Both of the agents, whose names have not been released to the public, have been fired from their jobs. According to a third TSA employee from the same airport, however, their “game” wasn’t exactly a well kept secret.

“There was more people that knew it was going on,” another employee, who asked to remain anonymous, explained to a local CBS affiliate. “They made it seem like a game, they were having fun with it…I had heard them saying it was just a game. It’s a really sick game to play.”

The female agent who confessed to her participation in the scheme admitted to having lure at least ten passengers into the ploy.

"These alleged acts are egregious and intolerable," TSA officials asserted in a public statement. "TSA has removed two officers from the agency."

While it’s been established that numerous passengers were knowingly groped by TSA employees, the Denver District Attorney’s office finds itself in an interesting position regarding what to do with them. As it stands now none of the men who were touched have come forward expressing any concerns. It’s unclear whether any of the men knew what was being done to them. The one man that the TSA investigation observed being touched hasn’t reached out to the TSA and so the organization isn’t technically able to file any type of charges.


TSA May Stop You from Boarding Your Plane if Your iPhone isn't Charged

IphoneThe TSA has announced a new set of airport rules regarding electronic devices.

Last week, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson directed TSA to implement enhanced security measures at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States.

As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening.

TSA will continue to adjust security measures to ensure that travelers are guaranteed the highest levels of aviation security conducted as conveniently as possible.


TSA Changes Policy To Accommodate Gay Couples

Cesar Zapata and Hunter Carter

The security theater organization that is the TSA has made some changes to their screening processes and will now recognize same-sex couples and screen them together in the same way that opposite-sex couples are, the Washington Blade reports.

The change was prompted by a recent trio of incidents involving American Airlines personnel separating partners during security screenings and check-ins at the airport, most recently César Zapata and Hunter Carter, pictured above, as they attempted to fly out of Medellin in Colombia.

An American Airlines representative said of one of the incidents that the employee “followed existing security screening rules mandated by the [TSA]." Tomás Georgi, one of the victims in a different incident, said American Airlines Director of Customer Relations Tim Rhodes “dismissed my complaints as the fault of TSA and took no responsibility.” TSA has now taken that excuse away from any airline with their new screening procedures. Of course all of these problems would be avoided altogether if the TSA were abolished given that it serves no functional purpose in terms of enhancing security, but until that day gay couples will be entitled to equal indignities as those of their heterosexual counterparts.


NEWS: Gym Selfies, The Economy, TSA, Lindsay Lohan, Same Love, Evil Giant Robots

Road Nick Jonas posted a shirtless photo on Instagram that has drawn the attention of many straight girl and gay boy fans across the web. Hugh Jackman posted a selfie too, but it showed less skin and a much more indimidating face.

Nick Jonas Shirtless Selfie Road A new report released by Dallas Fed conservatively estimates that the economic crisis that plagued the U.S. from 2007 to 2009 cost the economy $14 trillion, which is approximately one year's domestic GDP. 

Road After it was revealed that he had fallen behind in the polls, New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has released a new campaign ad, saying that "quit isn't the way we roll..." 

Road Mexican rock band "Molotov" has announced that it will no longer use the word "maricon", due to a recent anti-gay attack against a Chilean teen that cost the victim his leg. Many LGBT advocates have also called for them to stop playing their popular song "Puto". However, the band defended the song, claiming that it advocates "anyone who attempts our freedom".

Road According to the U.S. Commerce Department, economic growth was reportedly 1.7% during the second quarter, which is significantly more than many economists previously estimated. 

Road Daniel Chong, the San Diego student who was left alone in a cell by the DEA for five days before authorities realized their error, has reportedly settled his lawsuit for $4.1 million

Road Singer Mary Lambert, best known as the voice of the heartwarming chorus of Macklemore's "Same Love", has released an extended, full song version entitled "She Keeps Me Warm". 

Road X-Men fans (including this writer) are rejoicing the fact that sentinels (aka evil giant robots) will be making an appearance in the upcoming film adaptation of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Trust me, if you're at all a fan of the franchise She Keeps Me Warm
(and gay parable), this is big news. 

Road According to a new report, misconduct by members of the TSA has risen by 26% over the last three years. 

Road Game of Thrones star Kit Harington (aka John Snow) confessed at a panel recently that Season 4 will be his favorite season of the show yet.

Road Lindsay Lohan was just recently released from rehab. Based on photos, she appears to be doing significantly better.  

Road New email documents released by the Department of Defense reveal that San Diego Pride Parade Organizers might have given permission for gay servicemembers to wear their uniforms before the DOD actually gave authorization. 

Road Project Runway winner Christian Siriano got engaged to long-time boyfriend Brad Walsh earlier this week.

Road A New York Appeals Court recently declared the city's ban on "large sodas" to be unconstitutional. 

Road Kristen Stewart recently told a member of the paparazzi "you don't deserve to breathe the same air as I do". How do we know? He caught it on video.

Road In an interview with Men's Health Magazine, Tom Brady announced that he will be opening up a new sports therapy center to "help athletes train smarter". 

Road A trailer has finally been released for Ben Stiller's The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. Some film afficionados are already speculating that it could be an Oscar contender.

Road The Acedemy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has elected its first ever African-American president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs. 


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1087

TSA STOPS TODDLER YT: "A toddler in a wheelchair is stopped by the TSA at the Airport in Chicago and forced to into a sequestered area. On his way to a family vacation in Disney, this 3 year old boy is in a body cast for a broken leg. Despite assurances from his father that "everything is ok", he is physically trembling with fear while he watches his two siblings, mother, father, grandfather and grandmother pass through along with everyone else...only to be singled out."

MARRIAGE NEWS: AFER's Matt Baume with the latest on North Carolina, Colorado, and New Hampshire.

ROSIE O'DONNELL: Addresses her show's cancellation.

DONNA SUMMER REALNESS: An 80-year-old grandmother auditions for RuPaul's Drag Race.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


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