New Brunswick, NJ - Rutgers Webcam-Spying Defendant Sentenced to Mere 30 Days
A New Jersey judge sentenced Dharun Ravi to just 30 days in jail for using a webcam to spy on his roommate having sex with a man, a punishment that angered prosecutors and did little to quiet the debate over using laws against hate crimes to fight anti-gay bias. His roommate, Tyler Clementi, killed himself in September 2010, two days after discovering that Ravi had spied on him in their room at Rutgers University, galvanizing national concern about suicide among gay teenagers.
Ravi had faced up to 10 years in prison after a jury convicted him of all 15 counts against him, which included bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and tampering with a witness and evidence. Prosecutors vowed to appeal, and the sentence surprised even many who had called for leniency, as it came after an extended scolding by Judge Glenn Berman in Superior Court in Middlesex County.
â€śI heard this jury say guilty 288 times â€” 24 questions, 12 jurors, thatâ€™s the multiplication,â€ť the judge told Ravi, recalling the questionnaire jurors filled out in arriving at the verdict. â€śAnd I havenâ€™t heard you apologize once.â€ť Excuse me for editorializing, but shouldnâ€™t the queer community be up in arms?!
Source: New York Times
Washington D.C. - Marriage Equality Not a Factor in Presidential Election
A recent NBC News/WSJ poll shows voters are relatively unaffected by President Barack Obamaâ€™s support for marriage equality, and there is growing support for marriage equality in key constituencies â€“ including among Republicans. 62 percent of voters said the positions of President Obama and Romney on marriage equality would not affect their vote. The poll also found nearly 50 percent of Republicans under the age of 35 support marriage equality in their home states, while 68 percent of all those polled under the age of 35 support marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples. This new data reinforces previous polling that shows as marriage equality enjoys increasing majority support, it is less of a wedge issue â€“ with voters more concerned about the economy, jobs, and the budget deficit.
â€śThese numbers illustrate what we already know: in increasing numbers, Americans support marriage equality and an array of rights and protections for LGBT people,â€ť said HRC President Joe Solmonese. â€śGrowing numbers of Americans know and love their openly LGBT family members, neighbors, and coworkers. As a result, many see marriage equality as simply commonsense. People are rightfully focused on the economy and jobs - trying to play politics with the rights of an entire segment of the American population isnâ€™t going to fly in this election.â€ť
Source: Human Rights Campaign newsletter
Baltimore, MD â€“ Many Prominent African Americans Now Agree with Marriage Equality
Before their astounding 62-2 vote by their national board, the NAACP had not taken a national position on same-sex marriage, which radical wingnut bigots have tried to use to turn blacks against gay marriage. NAACP President Benjamin Jealous on MSNBC news, choking back tears, said, â€śWhen we get it wrong, it gives permission for bullying kids.â€ť He said we canâ€™t let states codify discrimination.
Jealous hopes the groupâ€™s resolution supporting same-sex marriage will encourage blacks to support marriage equality as a civil right if the question is put to voters on the ballot in Maryland or other states. The civil rights groupâ€™s resolution was significant, as only 39 percent of blacks favor gay marriage, compared with 47 percent of white Americans, according to a Pew poll conducted in April. Much of the opposition stems from churches, which have long been important institutions in the black community.
Jealous said, â€śThere is a game being played right now to enshrine discrimination into state constitutions across the country, and if we can change that game and help ensure that our countryâ€™s more recent tradition of using federal and state constitutions to expand rights continues, we will be very proud of our work.â€ť
Source: ABC News
Tupelo, MS - DC Comics and Marvel Superheroes Come Out of the Closet
DC Comics recently announced that one of their most popular but, as of yet, unnamed prominent characters will soon be coming out of the closet. Gasp! DC Comics, owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, has decided that one of their beloved superheroes will be queer.
Who will they choose? Batman, Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, Plastic Man, or another one of their characters â€śthat children look up to?â€ť
worries American Family Association and One Million Moms, who are now in a total tizzy. Thereâ€™s not only THAT scary homo news, but â€śto make matters more shocking,â€ť Marvel, now owned by Disney, followed DC Comicsâ€™ announcement with a surprise of their own. Northstar, Marvelâ€™s first openly gay hero, is going to tie the knot with his boyfriend in the current issue of â€śAstonishing X-Men.â€ť This is the first same-sex wedding in a superhero comic book. AFA and the Moms whine, â€śChildren desire to be just like superheroes. Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, â€śI want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?â€ť
Yes, actually I can imagine that, and actually delight in it!
Source: American Family Association newsletter
Maiden, NC â€“ Supposed Christian Pastor Wants to Get Rid of Gays - Permanently
In a sermon blasting President Obama for his same-sex marriage support, Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina, offered a novel â€” and horrific â€” solution to the so-called â€śgay scourgeâ€ť: build an electric fence and let lesbians, queers and homosexuals die out.
â€śI figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers,â€ť this loving bigot says in his sermon. â€śBuild a great, big, large fence â€” 150 or 100 mile long â€” put all the lesbians in there... Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they canâ€™t get outâ€¦ And you know what, in a few years, theyâ€™ll die.â€ť Worley fails to understand that gay people are born, not made, and that there would just be more queer folk coming down the line.
The not-so-holy man concluded, â€śGod have mercy. It makes me pukinâ€™ sick to think about â€” I donâ€™t even know whether or not to say this in the pulpit â€” can you imagine kissing some man?â€ť Throughout the sermon, many of his equally loving congregants could be heard calling out â€śAmen.â€ť Well, not just a man, but many men, Pastor darling!
Source: MSNBC New