March 24, 2016

Germany proposes new guidelines for sex workers

Germany is close to passing a new set of regulations for sex workers that it said would help protect people in the industry.
The bill, which received cabinet approval this week, will be voted on by Germany's Legislature. If passed, it would become law in 2017.
First, all sex workers will have to use condoms when working with a client. Workers would also have to register with the government. They will have to receive updated health advice every two years, and will be protected from being told "the nature and scale of sexual services" should they work at a brothel.
Also, brothel owners will require permits, and those with a history of fraud, blackmail or smuggling will be refused.
Fines would cost up to $56,000 for each violation.
Cornelia Moehring, an opposition politician, doesn't think the new regulations will be of any use.
She argued that most workers "will continue working illegally and really lose any protection. Obligatory condom use can't be checked and is a pure illusion.”
Hydra e.V., Germany's sex workers’ association, agreed. The group said the bill was about “controlling us not protecting us.”
“It would minimize our already scarce chances of finding another job, if we want, or drive us into illegality if we chose not to register for these very reasons,” the group said in a statement. “Moreover, we are sure that enforced counselling and registration would not present us with the perfect environment for reporting situations of abuse or exploitation. Finally, the legal enforcement of a practice within the realm of sex, however advisable, would affect our right to sexual self-determination over our own bodies.
“Our conviction is that sex workers know best what would improve their lives.”

March 21, 2016

Celebrating men with real bodies

Egale Canada, dedicated to making the lives of queer Canadians better, has started a new campaign called m.bodiment. It was designed to help queer men of all shapes and sizes become comfortable in their own skin, while encouraging body-shamers to be more respectful towards others.

According to Egale: 

Within this framework, fat-phobia, body shaming, and discrimination based on appearance are seen as detrimental to a person’s self-esteem, and in turn a potential danger to their health. With this project, Egale is determined to open a dialogue about men’s bodies; gay, bi, trans, and queer men’s body image; mental health; and health and wellness.

In Episode 1 of a corresponding web-series, four guys talk about what it was like to take off their clothes for the first time on camera. 

You can follow the series here.

March 15, 2016

It's official: porn is a "public health crisis" in Utah

Utah has declared that pornography is a "public health crisis."
Last month, the state Senate passed a resolution promising to crack down on pornography and the "sexually toxic environment" that it perpetuates. This week, the state's House of Representatives followed suit and approved the Senate's resolution. In both cases, the decree was passed with unanimous support.
According to the resolution, porn consumption leads "to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms," and "recognizes the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the citizens of Utah and the nation." It also causes hairy palms!
The result of the resolution? Well, nothing actually.
"It's symbolic," State Senator Todd Weiler, who sponsored the legislation, explained. "Pornography is addictive and harmful, especially for adolescents. Like illegal drugs, pornography will affect the brain chemistry of an adolescent."
He fears that porn will mean fewer men will want to marry, and those who do are more likely to cheat.
In 2013, he passed another anti-porn resolution against "gateway pornography," citing Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition as an example. (And don't forget women's ankles!)
At this point, porn will not be banned in the state.
"I'm not trying to ban it," he said. He just wants to make it harder to get. "When I was a kid, you could put a couple quarters in the vending machine and you could walk out with cigarettes. Today in Utah, you have to be 19 to buy cigarettes. We didn't ban tobacco; we just made it less accessible to children."
He plans to talk to Internet Service Providers to get them to create an "opt in" option for adults who want access to porn. And he's spoken with fast food restaurants to see if they can create stricter firewalls for their Wi-Fi connections. 
"I'm in touch with McDonalds of Utah," Weiler said. "I feel confident that McDonald's will come on board. It's the right thing to do. We know that kids are using the free, unfiltered Wi-Fi to access porn."
Of course, you can cross the road to Burger King to have your burger any way you want it ... including with a side of porn.
Utah's Legislature Has Declared Porn a 'Public Health Crisis' [VICE]

Russian authorities looking into gay-positive CK ad

Yes, once again Russian officials are whining about another ad that supposedly promotes homosexuality.
A number of complaints have been filed against Calvin Klein for a recent CK2 perfume commercial. Yes, there are two same-sex couples in the ad, leading some to suggest it contains "elements of propaganda of homosexuality and peadophilia."
Now, the ad was not featured on television. It was shared through YouTube, and therefore voluntarily watched by the offended. Authorities in the city of Arkhangelsk region are looking into the reported “propaganda."
If charges are laid against the company and it is found guilty, it faces a fine of about $15,000 and a ban on selling in the country.
Here is the video:

March 7, 2016

Double, double, toil and trouble ... witches hex Martin Shkreli

WitchMartin Shkreli has more to deal with than just legal woes; he now has angry witches on his case.
The former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO came under fire last year when his company took Daraprim, a drug used to help AIDS and cancer patients, and increased its price by 5500% per pill (to $750).
He was later arrested on unrelated fraud charges, accused of using money from various investors in some of his earlier ventures to help pay back debt he owed. He was also fired from Turing.
Now witches are looking to make him pay for his past misdeeds.
“This is a person who flouts the justice system, and whose affluence shields them from being accountable,” Howl, a witch, explained. “And they’re really pugnacious about it, and really jerky about it.”
According to Howl, a wax effigy of the Shkreli, some hexing oil and herbs were used to cast the spell.
“When people think of casting hexes, it’s like dark and scary magic, the black arts, and they don’t want to get near that,” she said. “When in reality all we’re trying to do is get justice. The hex is not to bring anyone harm, but to make sure justice is served, and that there is a balance, and that balance is restored.”
Is it even possible to turn a big prick into a toad?
Witches put a hex on Martin Shkreli—and it might be working  [Daily Dot]

March 3, 2016

Indonesia embracing homophobic rhetoric

Anti-gay Indonesia

Indonesia was never the most gay-friendly country in the world, but the predominantly Muslim country is slowly becoming aggressively homophobic.

Two weeks ago, the Indonesian Defense Minister claimed the LGBTI movement was more dangerous than nuclear war.

He then added: "It’s dangerous as we can’t see who our foes are, but out of the blue everyone is brainwashed – now the community is demanding more freedom, it really is a threat."

Indonesia's top psychiatric association issued a statement that said "we need to promote, prevent, cure and rehabilitate LGBT people"

The world's first and only Islamic school for transgender women, created as a safe space for trans people to gather and pray, was forced to close after eight years.

And things have gone from upsetting to absurd 

Mayor Arief R Wismansyah of Tangerang claimed the "gay problem" is because of milk

“To create Indonesian children that are healthy, smart, and competitive, the most important thing is, from the beginning, to provide them adequate nutrition, especially breastfeeding,” Wismansyah said, "So, it’s no wonder that recently there are more LGBT." Huh?

And newspaper Bahasa Indonesia even offered advice on how to spot those icky gays.

  1. Likes to take selfies like an ‘alay’
  2. Likes to stare at other men’s behinds
  3. Likes to repeatedly stare at men he likes
  4. A gay usually cares about his appearance
  5. Up to date with fashion
  6. Smells nice
  7. Wears make up
  8. Wears an earring on one of the ears (right)
  9. Admires men
  10. Wears V neck t-shirts.
Who knew that only gays used soap? 
The scary thing is, this is sure to get much worse, making it even more important to stand up for one another in an increasingly hostile world.

February 29, 2016

Canada may soon pardon man who went to prison in 60s for being gay

George Klippert to receive pardon for being convicted of being gay.Canada was not always the gay-friendly country it is today. There was a time when being gay could land someone in prison.
George Klippert, for example, was given a life sentence simply for being a homosexual. 
In 1960, the mechanic was convicted of 18 counts of "gross indecency" and spent four years in prison. In 1965, he was convicted of four additional counts of "gross indecency" for having consensual sex with other men. 
He was examined by two psychiatrists who found him to be an intelligent and affable man. However, they also concluded that he would likely attempt to have gay sex again if freed. The state had Klippert declared a "dangerous sex offender" who needed to be held behind bars to prevent him from re-offending. He was the first, and last, Canadian to receive a life sentence just for being gay.
The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the designation in a 3-to-2 ruling in 1967, causing a furor in Parliament and the press. A month later, then-justice minister Pierre Trudeau introduced legislation that decriminalized consensual sex between two men.
“There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,” he famously told reporters at the time, echoing a Globe and Mail editorial of the week before.  
Klippert was not released until 1972. Now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pierre's son, is pushing to get  him an official pardon. Sadly, Klippert died in 1996 at the age of 69 so will receive the pardon posthumously.
“Klippert’s case was instrumental in the government’s decision to decriminalise homosexual acts between consenting adults,” Trudeau said in statement on Sunday. “As Canadians, we know that protecting and promoting fundamental human rights must be an imperative for governments and individuals alike.
“This includes gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation… but the fight to end discrimination is not over and a lot of hard work remains."
Trudeau said that similar cases will be reviewed to ensure others deserving of a pardon receive one as well.
Previous governments could have and should have done this, but it's nice to see that someone is willing to stand up and finally do the right thing.
Trudeau to urge pardon for man deemed a dangerous sex offender for being gay in 1960s [The Globe and Mail]

February 28, 2016

Grindr ... a good place for making friends?

GrindrA man took to Reddit - the online social news networking site that relies on user uploaded content - to open up about concerns he has with his relationship.

The issue: Grindr. His boyfriend of a year has admitted to using the hookup app, but claimed it is only to make new friends.

The concerned partner posted:
He's from overseas, and when I met him over the summer he had a lot of friends from his home country but unfortunately almost all of them had to go back home. ... 
I found out he was using Grindr when I saw that he'd been adding guys that I didn't know on Facebook who were obviously gay. When I asked him if he'd been using the app, he admitted to it and said that he was using it just to make friends and that his profile didn't have a picture, said he was partnered, and only looking for chats and friends.
I trusted him on this, and felt a bit at ease after talking to him but time and time again I'll start to feel uncomfortable about it. Whenever I brought it up again he'd say things like "you don't trust me, you should trust me etc...." and acts as if he's doing nothing wrong at all and that I'm the one being irrational. He's also super secretive over his phone.
Out of curiosity I downloaded Grindr to find him, and like he said there was no picture on his profile and it said that he was looking for chats and friends which was reassuring. But I also found that whenever I wanted to see him but he 'felt like being alone', I'd check Grindr and he'd be on it pretty much all night, or he'd say he's going to bed but will spend hours on Grindr after that.
Well, that's quite the pickle. We know what we'd do in this situation, but were curious about what all of you thought.

February 25, 2016

UK: Shaman takes on developers for destroying gay saunas

Gay SaunaThe gay community in the UK has called upon some very powerful help in its battle against developers who are closing bathhouses to make room for straight bars and cafes.

Supporters of the recently closed Chariot’s in Shoreditch, England, gathered with a green-clad shaman in order to cast a spell that would turn the developers' offspring gay for the next 13 generations.
The ceremony included a 'magic potion,' a mixture of glitter and human semen.
"Queer ancestors come forth," the shaman chanted as he spilled the potion. "Stand strong beside us. Banish this evil from time and space.
"We’re cursing the descendants of these property developers to be queer for 13 generations – only for us to be queer is a blessing – so this is really just a blessing on this space, to make it sacred."
Because when you want to make a point, you call in the mystics with the sparkly cum.

February 23, 2016

Canadian PM to march in Toronto's Gay Pride Parade

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau PrideFor the first time ever, Canada's biggest Pride parade will include a sitting Prime Minister.
Justin Trudeau has been very vocal in his support for LGBT rights and has taken part in Pride festivities in the past, but tweeted he was excited to join Pride again, “this time as PM.”
“[It’s] big news around the world,” Pride Toronto’s executive director Mathieu Chantelois said. “Not only because he is probably the sexiest politician alive but also because there has never been a leader of a country to walk in a parade, at least not that we know of.”
“It’s a nice way to make history,” Chantelois added.
Along with Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau (the Toronto Centre Member of Parliament), Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne (a lesbian) and Toronto Mayor John Tory are also slated to take part in the festivities. 
The Toronto Pride Parade takes place July 3. 

February 18, 2016

"Gays worse than animals" boxer loses Nike sponsorship

Manny PacquiaoBoxing champ Manny Pacquiao has learned quite quickly that nowadays there are consequences for being a small-minded big-mouthed homophobe.
The Filipino boxer has often hinted that he did not support equal rights for gays. However, over the weekend he really put his foot in his mouth.
As a candidate for the Philippine Senate, he was asked about his view on gay marriage.
"It's common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?" he said. "The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals."
He was quickly taken to task. Initially he said he stood by his comments, but later issued an "apology."
"I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals," he wrote on Instagram. "Please forgive me for those I've hurt. I still stand on my belief that I'm against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I'm not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I'm praying for you."
One of his main sponsors, Nike, has now stated that it will no longer be working with the boxer. His clothing line has been removed from the company's website.
"We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent," Nike explained in a statement. "Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community. We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao."
In an interesting twist, Pacquiao's long-time promoter Bob Arum came out in support of Nike's decision.
He said: "Manny's remarks were offensive to many people ... Nike acted appropriately."
It often makes us wonder how such stupid people make it so far in life.

February 16, 2016

Ding-dong the witch is dead

We are glad Antonin Scalia is no longer a Supreme Court judge, though we'd just as soon he resigned as dropped dead. When an individual has used his substantial power to keep discriminatory and oppressive anti-gay laws on the books, we can't say we're sad to see him lose that power. 

Appointed to the US Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in 1986, Antonin Scalia took every opportunity he had to keep gay Americans from gaining equal rights.

In the 1996 split decision, Romer v. Evans, the Supreme Court held that Colorado could not enact a state constitutional amendment that would bar gay men and lesbians from being covered by anti-discrimination laws. Scalia dissented, comparing homosexuality to horrible crimes:  " . . . I had thought that one could consider certain conduct reprehensible – murder, for example, or polygamy, or cruelty to animals – and could exhibit even ‘animus’ toward such conduct,” he wrote.

In the same case he opined that anti-gay laws were no worse than laws disdisfavoring “drug addicts, or smokers, or gun owners, or motorcyclists.” 

In 2003, Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court struck down Texas's sodomy laws, thus making same-sex sexual activity legal in every US state. Dissenting, Scalia rejected the idea that outlawing gay sex violated the Constitution. Such a ban, “undoubtedly imposes constraints on liberty,” Scalia wrote, but “so do laws prohibiting prostitution” or “recreational use of heroin.” He equated sex between consenting same-same partners with sex crimes: "States continue to prosecute all sorts of crimes by adults in matters pertaining to sex: prostitution, adult incest, adultery, obscenity, and child pornography.”

Finally, in 2015, Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that the right to  marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples.  Scalia dissented and wrote that the decision illustrated "the Court's threat to American democracy." 

So, while we don't celebrate the death of Justice Scalia, we are certainly glad he no longer sits on the US Supreme Court. 

February 13, 2016

Music for every kind of Valentine's Day

Tomorrow is the big day for all you lovey-dovey couples and die hard romantics. Yes, it's Venereal Disease Day (also known as Valentine's Day)! 

So in honor of the big day, here are some songs that celebrate various forms of love.

True love: A Great Big World with "Hold Each Other"

Something happens when I hold him. He keeps my heart from getting broken.


First love: Matt Fishel with "The First Time"

And it was on that day I touched a guy for the first time.


Unrequited Love: Culture Club with "Do you Really Want to Hurt Me"

Do you really want to hurt me ... do you really want to make me cry.


Dumped (and no longer in love): Divine with "You Think You're A Man."

You think you're a man but you're only a boy.


Love? No, I'm just horny: Gay Pimp with "Soccer Practice."

I'm a dirty frat boy on a dirty soccer team ... Go into the locker room after wrestling.


Nope, still just horny: Sebastian Castro with "Bubble"

There’s a fine, fine line, in the horny mind ... I crossed mine In the locker room.

February 10, 2016

It's AirBNB for kinky folk

KinkBNBFinally, you can rent out your place without hiding your leather, whips and chains. KinkBNB has arrived and is marketing itself as the sex-positive AirBNB.
Like AirBNB, the home-sharing site allows people to book a place to stay when on vacation, or rent out their own home to others. But not only do the listings tell you if they include gardens or swimming pools, they will also detail bondage rooms, sex furniture or toys they have available.
According to the website:
"We founded KinkBNB in 2015 as [a] service and marketplace to find fun locations and share accommodations with accepting people.
"As an online service, KinkBNB can go anywhere you want to go. Whether you are traveling across country or wanting a local adventure, KinkBNB can help connect you. Many sites offer to connect you to regular rooms, but KinkBNB specializes in adult play rooms, or accommodations with the open minded. And the perfect place [to] share your own fantasy!"
"Helping people share their spaces is a great modern way to build community, far more reaching than ever before", KinkBNB's Marketing Director Ryan Galiotto explained. "And think of the poor underused play spaces!"
First, you must request a code and be approved. 
Hopefully there's a very strict "clean between use" policy.