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California Activist Responds To 'Kill The Gays' Ballot Initiative With 'Intolerant Jackass Act'

Laws

Earlier this month we told you about the "Sodomite Suppression Act," the disgusting proposed ballot initiative in California calling for gays to be "put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” 

The initiative is the work of attorney Matthew McLaughlin, who paid the $200 fee and submitted his proposal to the attorney general's office. The Los Angeles Times reports that due to California's loose rules for ballot initiatives, officials are virtually powerless to stop the measure from proceeding to the signature-gathering process.

In order to qualify for the ballot, the initiative would need 365,000 signatures in 180 days, which The LA Times calls "a high bar even for well-financed efforts." And even if McLaughlin's initiative were to qualify for the ballot and be approved by voters, courts would almost certainly strike it down as unconstitutional.  

From The LA Times

McLaughlin's proposal calls same-sex intimacy "a monstrous evil" and says it would be better for gay people to die than for Californians to "be killed by God's just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating wickedness in our midst."

It also would make the spreading of "sodomistic propaganda" punishable by a $1-million fine, 10 years in jail or deportation from the state. And it would ban gay people from holding public office.

The Sodomite Suppression Act has sparked debate about whether California should reform its initiative process, and one bill in the Legislature would increase the filing fee from $200 to $8,000. 

The Sodomite Suppression Act has also now drawn a response from activist Charlotte Laws, who planned to file her own ballot initiative Monday called "The Intolerant Jackass Act," according to Slate. The Intolerant Jackass Act would require anyone who proposes a ballot initiative calling for gay people to be killed to attend one year of sensitivity training and donate $5,000 to a pro-LGBT group. From Slate:  

I spoke to Laws about her initiative—which, she readily acknowledges, is not necessarily designed to become law.

“I’m fighting fire with fire,” she told me. “The only way to counter [the Sodomite Suppression Act] is … to let people know that most people in California don’t agree with something as incendiary and hateful as what this one attorney proposed.” Laws recognizes the merit of having a content-neutral initiative system, but she believes “we have a very open-minded state and country. This is one guy, and there are millions of us who do not agree with this.”

In addition to Laws' initiative, the Sodomy Suppression Act has inspired a Change.org petition calling for McLaughlin, who is apparently in hiding, to be disbarred. The petition, which has more than 20,000 signatures, accuses McLaughlin of "moral turpitude" and calls him "a disgrace to the practice of law."

We'd say that's an understatement.   


Gallup Survey Confirms San Francisco Is The Nation's Gayest City (#7 May Surprise You Though)

Sf
(via babson.edu)

Not surprisingly, San Francisco has the highest concentration of LGBT people of any city in the US, at 6.2 percent, according to a new Gallup survey

However, there are some surprises on the list, including Salt Lake City, which is ranked No. 7.

From The New York Times:

Gallup1It might seem surprising at first that the city most associated with the Mormon Church — which believes that sex and marriage should occur between only a man and a woman — has the seventh-highest share of L.G.B.T. people, at 4.7 percent.

But another aspect of the Mormon culture — the importance of community and family — goes a long way toward explaining the pattern, people in Salt Lake City say.

Though many gay people who were raised Mormon (or L.D.S., an acronym for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) describe feeling expelled from the community, a large number still choose to stay close to their families and culture. “If you grow up L.D.S. like I did, you still have these deep Mormon values that are embedded in your DNA,” said Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, an L.G.B.T. advocacy group.

The Gallup survey includes the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas and is believed to contain the most detailed estimates yet about where LGBT people live. 

Birmingham, Alabama, has the lowest concentration of LGBT people, at 2.6 percent, but according to Gallup, the overall margin is small:  

The distribution of LGBT identity across the largest metro areas in the U.S. is relatively narrow, with a range of 3.6 percentage points from the highest to the lowest MSA among the top 50. This mirrors previous analyses of the distribution of the LGBT population across states, which show similarly fairly even distribution, at least in comparison to the many other pronounced geographic differences found on race, ethnic, political and ideological variables.

The lack of sharp distinctions could reflect in part that the geographic MSAs used in this research are large, and for most areas, include significant suburban populations around center cities. The sample sizes involved do not allow for an analysis of center cities per se, but perhaps the LGBT percentage is larger in these areas than in the metropolitan area as a whole.

Gallup2


Choreographer Bobby Newberry's ‘Flight From Paris’ Stars High-Heel Dance Expert Yanis Marshall: MUSIC VIDEO

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Choreographer and singer Bobby Newberry released a new music video for his single Flight From Paris exclusively on out.com featuring high-heeled dance prodigy Yanis Marshall known for his sultry, fierce high-heeled choreography. Newberry spoke with Out saying the video was shot at Beso Hollywood and that production was rather hectic.

Said Newberry:

"This video actually came together very quickly... I wrote "Flight From Paris" with Intyce two weeks before we shot the video—which is a super quick turn around. I worked with Yanis Marshall for one full day to create the choreography, and then we had two rehearsals with the dancers. The next day we shot the video it was definitely hectic."

Jonathan Burdine provided style for the video dressing Newberry in a black leather kilt and used pieces from Balmain, Céline, Dolce & Gabbana, Zara, Top Shop, vintage pieces and Burdine originals. Newberry tells out that he met Marshall in Paris five years ago when the high-heeled aficionado attended a workshop Newberry hosted. Newborn spoke about his relationship with Marshall and the choreography in the video.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 12.35.09 PMSaid Newberry:

"He's been a supporter of mine from the beginning, and I think he's so talented and such an awesome person. We've been planning on working together on something for a while now and this ended up just coming together so perfectly.

"I wore boots in the video, which were actually not that comfortable, LOL (sic). Yanis was in heels the entire day, naturally. I have danced in heels many times. It's definitely fun—but not my steez."

Watch Marshall and Newberry strut their stuff in the video for Flight From Paris, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Choreographer Bobby Newberry's ‘Flight From Paris’ Stars High-Heel Dance Expert Yanis Marshall: MUSIC VIDEO" »


Lance Bass And Husband Michael Turchin Discuss Their Marriage Ceremony On ET Ahead Of E! Wedding Special

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Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 3.53.56 PMLance Bass and now husband Michael Turchin appeared on Entertainment Tonight to chat with Nancy O'Dell about their wedding ahead of an E! special airing next month about it. The two married on Dec. 20 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Guests included Kristina Applegate, Gabourey Sidibe, Kris Jenner and N'Sync member JC Chasez who also sang at the wedding. Bass said to O'Dell that one of his favorite moments from the wedding is when Chasez performed for the couple.

Said Bass:

"It was one of the best pieces of the wedding...and you'll see there's a really funny moment that happens (in the E! special)."

Bass and Turchin dated for several years until Bass asked Turchin's family for his hand in marriage and proposed in September 2013. Bass mentioned in the interview that getting to the altar was no easy task considering attitudes toward gay marriage in the South.

Said Bass:

"Coming from the South it's still a huge subject - the whole gay marriage...to see my Mississippi parents walking me down the aisle, it really spoke volumes."

The E! special, Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding, airs on Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.


Queer Chicano Culture And The Reclamation Of 'Maricón'

Maricon Collective

Rudy Bleu, Carlos Morales, Manuel Paul and Michael Rodriguez: these four men are all from east of the L.A. River, are all in their 30s, all Latino, and all gay. They also all have a fondness for Chicano-inspired art and music, which drove them to create their art and DJ collective, Maricón Collective.

"Maricón", for the unfamiliar, is the Spanish word for "faggot", with all of the same hateful connotations. Rodriguez says, "Growing up, I never wanted to be [called maricón]; I didn't want to relate to it. We grew up in very machismo families and it was always looked down upon." 

The quartet named their group as a way to reclaim the term and turn it around to focus on something positive. Maricón Collective hosts dance parties, picnics and brunches throughout L.A. and provides a focus on queer Chicano art and music. Their first party last April was such a success that they wound up with booked weekends for virtually the entire summer, turning into throwbacks of the "Backyard Boogie" parties they knew while growing up, complete with a friendly and familial vibe.

LA Weekly has a thorough rundown of the group from where they've been to where they're going, and you can follow Maricón Collective on their Facebook page and keep track of all of their latest activities.


Los Angeles Compulsory Condom Measure Is 'Legislating Problems That Don't Exist'

Assembly bill

In November 2012 Los Angeles County passed Measure B, which was directed at porn production in the county and required, among other things, that porn actors wear condoms during intercourse. A subsequent attempt to spread the mandate statewide with AB 1576 last year was voted down, despite the full and vocal support of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

All of this has stirred up a variety of conversations, including the rights of grown adults to take risks, the responsibilities of their employers to protect them, the efficacy of condoms, and the utility and effectiveness of PrEP. Jim Pickett, director of Prevention Advocacy for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, is viewing all of this focus on the regulation of the porn industry as unnecessary, saying in an interview with TheBody.com:

I've never been a fan of legislating problems that don't exist. Condoms in or out of porn don't begin to address the approximately 50,000 new HIV infections in the United States every year, mostly among young, gay black men. This ruling does absolutely nothing for them and it ignores that we have a scientifically-proven, CDC-endorsed tool to prevent HIV called PrEP -- among other non-condom options. Condoms are only one method of protection; they are not alone.

There are certainly plausible arguments to be made for people wanting to emulate what they see in porn, as welll as for employers mandating measures to protect their employees, but the time, effort, and money spent into creating these measures and bills seem to come more from emotional reactions to change than genuine attempts to solve a problem. Or, perhaps more generously, are going about solving the problem of HIV transmission rates in the least effective way possible.


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