Highway Bust: The bad news is Al Gore Jr. was arrested for possession of pot (oh, and Valium, Xanax, Vicodin, Adderall and Soma, none for which he’d been given a prescription). The good news is he was driving a hybrid Toyota Prius.
Verdict: A jury has found that the Los Angeles Fire Department failed to protect the civil rights of a firefighter who was harassed by coworkers because she is a lesbian and black and awarded Brenda Lee $6.2 million.
Gender Bender: A lesbian who was ejected from the women’s restroom at a Greenwich Village (of all places) restaurant for looking too masculine is suing the establishment. Khadijah Farmer, joined by her girlfriend and two others, went to dinner after the pride march on June 24. While she was using the bathroom at the Caliente Cab Company, a bouncer burst in and banged on her stall door after a customer complained that a man was in the women’s bathroom.
Flushing Money? Fort Lauderdale’s mayor wants the city to fork out a quarter-million dollars for a toilet he claims will put an end to gay sex that he says is "rampant" in public washrooms on the beach, even though the police department denies there is a problem. Mayor Jim Naugle has spent the better part of a decade fighting what he has claimed to be an attempt by gays to take over Fort Lauderdale. He has consistently fought all LGBT rights ordinances that have come before city commissioners. Sgt. Frank Sousa. tells the Sun-Sentinel that while there may once have been a problem it isn’t today. "here’s no evidence, no reports or arrests made for any men having sex in any restrooms," Sousa told the paper.
Return of the Gay Rag: Kroger Co. announced that a regional gay newspaper will once again be carried in the free publication rack inside some of its Nashville-area grocery stores.
Funeral Home Murder: A gay man who raped and killed a co-worker after enduring what he claimed was constant anti-gay harassment has escaped the death penalty but will spend the rest of his life in prison. Nicholas Gutierrez, 23, was convicted last year of killing 51-year old Mary Stachowicz in 2002. Both worked at a Northwest Side funeral home. Gutierrez claimed he and Stachowicz got along well until he came out. After that he said Stachowicz constantly tried to convert him to her faith and regularly cited biblical verses condemning homosexuality.
The Fighter: You can never count Venus Williams out. (NYT)
Tabloid Fodder: OK Magazine has put Rosie O’Donnell, T.R. Knight and Dannielyn(!) on its "most influential" celebrities list.
Fancy a Dancy? Claire Danes’ latest hot boyfriend, Hugh Dancy, says he’s just got around to watching the pilot of "My So-Called Life" but has never seen the rest. Silly Brit doesn’t know what he’s missing.
The Onion or NYT? More than 4,000 new Americans were sworn in Wednesday in Fourth of July ceremonies. About 1,000 people from 75 countries took their oaths together under the spires of Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., as Gloria Estefan sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Ruling: Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday lost his bid to take former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to court for calling him a homosexual, an accusation that landed Anwar in jail for six years. He is still free to still bitch-slap him, however.