On June 28th, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City in a routine assault on the gay community. The result: three days of riots and the beginning of the modern day gay rights movement.
Now, 46 years later, the Supreme Court of the United States has declared that gays have a constitutional right to get married! We've certainly come a long way!
"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion, representing 5 of the 9 judges.
In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law.
The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
Making the win that much better is knowing how pissed Justice Antonin Scalia is right now. He wrote the dissent for the four Justices who disagreed with the ruling.
"If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the court that began: 'The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,' I would hide my head in a bag," Scalia wrote. "The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."
There's going to be a lot of partying this weekend!
Imagine being paid $43,000 for hanging a bunch of rainbow color lanterns in your front yard. Well, that's what happened to one woman in Overlea, Maryland.
Single mother Julie Baker received a nasty anonymous letter from one of her neighbors that complained about her rainbow-themed yard decorations. The writer said the yard was becoming “relentlessly gay" and it wasn't acceptable.
Dear Resident... Your yard is becoming Relentlessly Gay! Myself and others in the neighborhood ask that you tone it down. This is a Christian area and there are children. Keep it up and I will be forced to call the police on you! Your kind need to have respect for GOD.
A Concerned Home Owner.
Challenge accepted. Baker started a GoFundMe campaign to raise enough money “to make my home even more ‘relentlessly gay.’ If we go high enough, I will see if I can get a rainbow roof!”
She continued: “Put simply, I am a widow and the mother of four children, my youngest in high school and I WILL NOT relent to hatred. Instead, I will battle it with whimsy and beauty and laughter and love, wrapped around my home, yard and family!!!”
In just five days, she has raised over $43,000. That's $38,000 more than she was asking for.
On Sunday, she wrote two thankful she was to the 3,300 strangers who donated money. “I am so full of gratitude not only for the enormous gift you have bestowed on me, but for all of the kindness you have chosen to take up and hold as banner of hope,” she said.
Baker, who identifies as bisexual, said that initially there was nothing queer or political about her rainbow filled yard. "The point of the rainbows isn't about being gay," she said. "It's because we love rainbows. I have a rainbow tattoo on my arm. We're going to decorate the white siding of our house with them."
Doesn't A Concerned Home Owner know you can't win against a rainbow?
Woman Fights Homophobia With Her “Relentlessly Gay” Garden [GOOD]
Baltimore woman trolls homophobe who accused her of having ‘relentlessly gay’ yard [Raw Story]
In Lithuania, every young man is obligated to give his country nine months of military service. However, gay men are, apparently, not welcome.
Applicants for service are selected randomly to take a psychological assessment to determine if they have the right qualities to serve. Recruits are asked if they like flowers or have ever considered becoming a florist. Say yes, and you are totally gay and unfit to serve.
Men are also asked if they ever wanted to be a woman. Say yes, and you're not welcome.
"I use it as a criteria to screen them out," explained psychiatrist Kęstutis Ramanauskas. “Even though it is claimed that it is not a disease, but it is. Wrong orientation is a psycho-behavioural disorder. Even though some disagree.
“But a person like that will be bullied in the army, he will not be able to serve out the nine-month term.”
The Lithuanian Minister of Defence disagrees. “Our laws and decrees do not include any discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation," he said. "The army is open to both heterosexual and homosexual individuals, we do not reject troops fit to serve in Lithuania’s Armed Forces by [that] principle.”
Maybe he should tell the military's psychiatrist that.
PornHub hopes that with a little help from horny fans, the website will be able to raise the $3.4 million needed to make the first porn video ever to be shot in space.
The site has started a crowdfunding campaign called the "Sexploration" on Indiegogo. Porn stars Eva Lovia and Johnny Sins (pictured) have been selected as the two models to appear in the film.
"Our work is definitely cut out for us," a representative said. "We need to train and outfit our crew, consult with a dedicated team of specialists, purchase custom modified film equipment and completely fund the use of the shuttle that’ll take us on our journey to space.
"By supporting us through the purchase of one (or several!) of our amazing perks, [fans] have the opportunity to be a part of the most epic sex adventure ever caught on tape, causing lives to change, mouths to drop and boundaries to be broken."
We have always been curious about what a cum explosion looks like in zero gravity!
Fans are being offered swag for any help. And if you are a big spender, for a donation of a mere $150,000 you can choose between Lovia's or Sins' spacesuit used during production (underwear included).
Back in 2008, Virgin Galactic was offered $1 million to allow a porn shoot when SpaceShipTwo was ready to launch. Virgin declined the offer.
In just five days, PornHub has raised over $20,000.
We'd like to suggest they shoot a gay porn vid in space as well; PornHub could call it Uranus: Where No Man has Cum Before.
Nick and Sarah Jensen are so passionate that marriage should only exist between a man and a woman that the Christian couple said they would divorce if gay marriage ever comes to Australia. Their story was featured in the Canberra City News magazine.
"My wife and I just celebrated our 10-year anniversary," Nick explained, "but later this year, we may be getting a divorce. The reason has nothing to do with the state of our marriage. We were married at 21 after being high-school sweethearts for several years before that. In fact, my wife is the only woman I have ever loved, the mother of our children, my perfect match."
If, or should we say when, gay marriage arrives in Oz, the two will end the marriage but continue to have sex, maybe have more children and call each other "husband" and "wife."
They say they will still be "married" in God's eye.
Of course, this is nothing more than a publicity stunt. Nick is part of the Australian Christian Lobby, which is the main group fighting the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia.
Luckily, the article was roundly criticized by Canberra City News readers.
Said one: "Who cares if they get divorced, what two people do in their own relationship is their own business. So go about yours quietly Nick and Sarah because those of us living in 2015 don’t care for your bigotry."
Added another: "Divorce then. You have just proved ”The Sanctity Of Marriage” means absolutely NOTHING except a ploy by religious zealots to deny people their human rights. Talk about ignorant white trash attempting to guilt others."
We just want to thank the Jensen's for giving Australia one more reason to support same-sex marriage.
Target wants you to know that it is all about the gays these days, and the well known store chain has a special message for Pride month.
From the company's website:
We’re not born with pride. We take pride. Pride in celebrating who we were born to be.
Those are the powerful words we at Target want all guests and team members — of every size, color, gender and sexual orientation — to hear as we head into Pride month this week. But let us be clear: to Target, pride doesn’t just start and end in June, it is a year-round commitment. And this year, we’re going all out, supporting Pride parades, events and merchandise — all grounded by one simple but powerful manifesto: Take Pride.
"We’re making our message loud and clear: Target proudly stands with the LGBT community, both as a team member and team player through all that we do – from our volunteer efforts to our long-standing partnerships with groups like Family Equality Council and Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, to the very products we carry in our stores and online," said Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief corporate social responsibility officer at Target.
Target has not always been so progressive. In 2010, it got into trouble for donating $150,000 to MN Forward, which created ads advancing antigay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. And when some Minnesota politicians were considering a "traditional marriage" amendment to block gay marriage, Minnesota-based Target refused to take a position on the issue.
Still, we'll accept the growing support and love from Target ... but we're hoping this doesn't mean another company's float cluttering up the over-commercialized Pride parades we've been seeing in recent years.
Two attorneys are apologizing for false accusations levelled at a Hollywood executive by a wanna-be actor.
The lawyers, Jeffrey Herman and Mark Gallagher, both represented Michael Egan (pictured) in a lawsuit against TV executive Garth Ancier - as well as three others, including director Bryan Singer - which claimed the men molested Egan while he was an aspiring teen actor.
Late last year, Egan dropped all four lawsuits. Ancier then filed his own lawsuit, claiming that Egan's suit was "an avowed and very public campaign by Mr. Egan's counsel to troll for new clients who would enable them to shake down other entertainment industry executives" by creating fake stories about the "gay Mafia" in Hollywood.
Both lawyers have now apologized to Ancier. They claimed they did not know the full facts when the first took Egan's case.
"Unfortunately, I now do not believe that the allegations in the lawsuit were true and accurate," Gallagher said.
Herman added: "Based on what I know now, I believe that I participated in making what I now know to be untrue and proveably false allegations against you. ... I deeply regret the pain, suffering and damage the lawsuits and publicity have caused you, and your family, friends and colleagues."
Ancier confirmed that both lawyers agreed to make a "significant financial payment" to resolve the case.
"I said on day one this was all absolutely false and I'm certainly pleased that's now been admitted by the lawyers responsible for transforming absurd fabrications into a real-life nightmare for me," Ancier said.
Lawyers apologize to Hollywood execs wrongly accused of sexual abuse [LA Times]
Lawyers apologize to Hollywood executives for 'untrue' sex abuse lawsuits [ABC News]
This weekend, Ireland became the first country to legalize gay marriage through a popular vote. The "yes" side won with an impressive 62.1% in support.
“I’m so proud to be Irish today,” Ireland’s Minister for Equality Aodhan O Riordain tweeted.
“We are making history but that is not what it is about,” said Maeve O’Sullivan, a 40-year-old North Dublin social worker and mother of two. “It’s about supporting people and being inclusive. It is accepting people on the most basic level, and I am over the moon.”
Same-sex Irish couples did have the right to enter into civil unions starting in 2011, but activists argued that this did not provide the full range of rights and protections afforded to married couples.
“Ireland has long been seen as a traditional conservative country,” said Tom Louwerse, director of Trinity College Dublin’s politics and public policy program. “So it shows that Ireland has become more liberal in those terms.”
Michael Johnson has received a 60 year prison sentence after being found guilty of knowingly infecting another male with the disease.
Back in 2013, the former college wrestler from the University in Missouri was accused of not telling a sexual partner he was HIV+. After the men found out, he went to the police; Johnson was arrested and also expelled from school.
Since the arrest, five other men have made similar claims. Police even found video recordings that Johnson had made of himself having sex with multiple men, which was included as evidence in the case against him.
Johnson, 23, has claimed throughout his trial that he was up front about his status.
In less than three hours of deliberation, the jury found him guilty of infecting two men and of exposing four other men to the virus. The punishment: 60 years in prison.
AIDS activist Peter Staley said the sentencing was unfair, writing on Facebook:
Missouri, and Johnson's sex partners, may well feel they got some sort of justice today, but at what cost? This verdict and sentence will make it much harder to slow the spread of HIV. Others will become infected because of today's "justice." This sentence practically screams "don't get tested" to every citizen in the state, especially young black men.
And activist Charles Stephens, director of the Counter Narrative Project, said the whole case was anti-black. "What happened to Michael Johnson is a call to action. HIV criminalization is anti-black violence, period," he argued. "You can't be against the Prison Industrial Complex without being against HIV criminalization. You can't ignore the fact that the communities most vulnerable to HIV are also the communities most vulnerable to criminalization. We must fight the clinic-to-prison pipeline."
Of course, the men who had sex with Johnson and weren't advised of his HIV status feel differently.
Later this month, the city of Vienna will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest. The city won the hosting rights when Austria's representative, drag queen Conchita Wurst, took home the trophy for her song "Rise Like a Phoenix" last year.
With a wink to Wurst, the city has placed gay-themed traffic lights at 120 intersections (where they will remain until June).
“The campaign is mainly targeted at raising awareness for traffic safety,” said Andreas Baur, a spokesman for the city of Vienna. “But it is also pegged to the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest and the AIDS charity Lifeball in Vienna.”
“The city of Vienna is setting a signal for openness and tolerance,” added deputy mayor Maria Vassilakou.
Of course, Russia will be pissed. The country threatened to pull out of the contest after Wurst's win, and promised to create a more "family friendly" and "wholesome" competition. However, the Russians relented and will be taking part in this year's show after all.
Earlier this month, Wurst thanked her Russian fans, enraging homophobic St. Petersburg politician Vitaly Milonov. “The presence of such a creature as Conchita Wurst on the European stage is not a tribute to his talent, of which he has none, but merely political buffoonery,” Milonov whined. “As for curses, he lives in hell. He himself chose the side of hell, and therefore damnation—this is polite language for someone who leads a sodomite’s life.”
Milonov will need to avoid Vienna for the next little while. One look at those traffic lights and he's sure to have a stroke. On second thought ...
Thousands of gay men perished at the hands of the Nazis along with millions of Jews and other victims including Gypsies, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the disabled during World War II and the Holocaust.
The story of what happened to homosexuals in Nazi Germany is the subject of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s traveling exhibition Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945. The exhibition opens at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust on May 29, 2015 and will be on display through October 2015.
“The exhibition explores why homosexual behavior was identified as a danger to Nazi society and how the Nazi regime attempted to eliminate it,” explained exhibition curator Edward Phillips. “The Nazis believed it was possible to ‘cure’ homosexual behavior through labor and ‘re-education.’ Their efforts to eradicate homosexuality left gay men subject to imprisonment, castration, institutionalization, and deportation to concentration camps.”
In 1933, the year Adolf Hitler assumed power, an estimated one million homosexual men lived in Germany. Nazi policy asserted that homosexual men carried a “degeneracy” that threatened the “disciplined masculinity” of Germany. The Nazis charged that homosexuals’ failure to father children was a factor in Germany’s declining birth rate, thus robbing the nation of future sons and daughters who could fight for and work toward a greater Reich.
Between 1933 and 1945, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested for violating Nazi Germany’s law against homosexuality, and, of these, approximately 50,000 were sentenced to prison. An estimated 5,000 to 15,000 men were sent to concentration camps on similar charges, where an unknown number of them perished.
One man found an interesting way to make his job more enjoyable: he raided his porn DVD cabinet and brought a few choice videos to work. In fact, in two weeks he managed to get through 39 hours of XXX fun.
The as-of-yet unnamed maintenance supervisor with the Department of Public Works in Baltimore was employed at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant. He's now unemployed, meaning his hands are free for porn 24/7. Hooray!
The Baltimore Sun broke the story, reporting that the employee would watch the videos in full screen mode.
He was first caught with his pants down by management back in September. After an internal investigation, he was fired in January (though the report on the incident has only now come to light). We believe his porn stash was confiscated and is being kept for investigative purposes by a handful of diligent investigators.
“It would have been the same if he were watching sports on his computer for four out of eight hours a day,” Inspector General Rob Pearre Jr said.
The loss to the city was $1,166 in wages over the two week period. However, if the masturbating maintenance supervisor had been doing this all year, it would mean 951 hours over a 2,000-hour work year, or about $28,400 in pay. That's a lot of lube ... or hand cream ... or whatever he was using.
Given the recent news out of Baltimore, it's not the most outrageous crime, but at least it was one that was simple to address.
Randy Boehning (pictured) is a North Dakota Republican. As a member of the state legislature, he voted against Senate Bill 2279, which would have extended legal protections against discrimination to the LGBT community.
Of course, he's a closeted homo. The 52-year-old was exposed this week for exposing himself on Grindr, the popular gay hook-up app. A 21-year-old man named Dustin Smith said he recognized Boehning as a man he chatted with on Grindr, saying that 'Top Man!' - Boehning's online nickname - sent him sexually suggestive messages and a photo of his penis.
Once confronted by the media, he admitted that he did use Grindr and did send the dick pic. "The 1,000-pound gorilla has been lifted," Boehning said. "I have to confront it at some point."
He added that he was not out to many of his friends and family. (Well, he is now!)
When asked why he voted to deny gays and lesbian some legal protection against discrimination, he said he simply voted as his constituents would have wanted him to.
Smith raised an interesting point. “How can you discriminate against the person you’re trying to pick up?" he asked.
Obviously Randy Boehning has some challenges, aside from accepting himself for who he is. First, he needs to start voting for what's actually right, rather than catering to bigotted constituents. And he might want to change his name; it sounds more appropriate for a porn star (or a Grindr profile) than a politician.
Randy Boehning, voted against gay rights, outed via Grindr [Pink News]