Zuck's personal head of security resigns after allegations of homophobia, transphobia, "pervasive discriminatory conduct," and "horrific levels of sexual harassment and battery"

Ex-Secret Service officer Liam Booth was the head of security for Mark Zuckerberg's "family office" and charitable foundation; two former employees accused Booth of homophobia, transphobia, "pervasive discriminatory conduct," and "horrific levels of sexual harassment and battery," saying that he had made racist remarks about Zuckerberg's wife, Priscilla Chan; that he had told a staffer that he "didn't trust Black people" and that he believed that "white lives matter more than Black lives" and had personally sabotaged Chan's attempt to hire more diverse staff; that he'd complained about the number of Black people working for the family charity; and that he'd "angrily advocat[ed] against diversity in the workplace and the movement Black Lives Matters, which he called 'reverse racism.'" Read the rest

Suspicious material in letters to Straight Pride Parade organizers turned out to be... glitter!

Organizers of the planned "Straight Pride Parade" in Boston next month called police after receiving suspicious envelopes containing a powdery substance. A hazmat team investigated and the mystery material turned out to be... glitter. From The Guardian:

The suspicious envelopes, filled with a “granular substance”, were addressed to three members of “Super Happy Fun America”, a group whose membership have previously organized and attended events, some of which have turned violent and who have links to far-right figures.

One of the recipients, Mark Sahady, is known as the leader of the Boston chapter of a group called Resist Marxism, an organization described by the Daily Beast as the new organization as a “front for [the] far-right group”.

In 2018, Think Progress reported that Resist Marxism had links with white nationalist groups, and that members had expressed antisemitic sentiments in leaked chats.

The sender or senders of the glitter parcels remains unknown.

Read the rest

The British press used to be amazingly homophobic, and the backsliding has begun

Mediawatch was a column that ran in Britain's Gay Times for almost 25 years, with author Terry Sanderson cataloging coverage of LGBT issues by the mainstream press. The archives are being posted online in a blog format, and Buzzfeed published an interview and retrospective with Sanderson himself.

Poofters. Benders. Shirtlifters. Bumboys. Lezzies. This was how British tabloid headlines referred to gay men and lesbians in the 1980s — an echo of the taunts heard on the street before a beating. The stories beneath would expand on the pejoratives, justifying them with news of “sick”, “evil”, “predatory” gays — all arising from a presumption: that readers would agree.

The twist is that the readers didn't agree. The pervasive homophobia of British newspapers was increasingly out of step with the times, revealing more about the neurotic obsessions of Fleet Street creeps than the country at large. The open bigotry evaporated in the early 1990s as circulations began to decline and reality asserted itself.

But I must admit to being taken aback by just how homophobic they were. Sanderson chronicles not merely slurs and AIDS-baiting headlines, but calls for reprohibition, pogroms and executions--all delivered in the same blurting, jokey yet seething-angry tabloid cadence that foreshadows the reactionary right's approach to social media now.

One thing stood out to me in particular: an old quote from Garry Bushell, then a columnist in The Sun, remarking that Stalin had the right idea by getting rid of the poofs. By the time I hit my teens in the 1990s and started paying attention, such talk was not merely history, but forgotten: Bushell was a mainstream TV star by then, an award-winning critic, but I never saw a whisper of that talk. Read the rest

YouTube totally blows it on response to Steven Crowder's hate channel

They demonetized Stephen Crowder for "egregious actions."

Then they said he can re-monetize if he stops selling those SOCIALISM IS FOR FAGS t-shirts.

Canada-based hate personality Steven Crowder won't be able to earn more of Google's money from his YouTube channel after a “continued review” found a “pattern of egregious actions” contrary to YouTube Partner Program policies, YouTube said to one of Crowder's bullying victims today. And then, within an hour or so, they walked it all back. Read the rest

Alabama public television won't air Arthur episode featuring gay wedding

The first episode of the 22nd season of the children's animated show Arthur, titled "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone," premiered last week but Alabama Public Television has refused to air it. Why? Because third grade teacher Mr. Ratburn's special someone is a chocolate maker named Patrick and the two are seen walking down the aisle. In 2005, Arthur spin-off show Postcards from Buster showed a lesbian couple which infuriated then-Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.) From CNN:

The storyline about Mr. Ratburn's marriage conveys a positive message, (programming director Mike McKenzie) said. But while many parents will find it appropriate, many others will disagree, he said -- "either because their children are too young, or because of their beliefs."

"Our broadcast would take away the choice of parents who feel it is inappropriate," McKenzie told CNN in a statement.

PBS Kids programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation," PBS Kids' Maria Vera Whelan told CNN. "We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS Kids every day."

Read the rest

Woman faces two years in Poland prison for art showing Jesus and Mary with rainbow halos

Elżbieta Podlesna could spend up to two years in prison for "offending religious feelings" after putting up posters in Poland showing the Mary and Jesus with LGBT rainbow halos.

From CNN

Police claim that Podlesna, 51, put up the posters in the small city of Płock, Poland. And they say they found even more posters when they searched her car and home.

Podlesna was detained by authorities as she returned from an Amnesty International advocacy tour.

As a result of the searches, prosecutors are charging her with offending religious feelings. And those charges mean Podlesna faces up to two years in prison if found guilty.

Image: Amnesty International Read the rest

University dean resigns after school denies Chick-fil-A a location on campus

Cynthia Newman, dean of the college of business administration at Rider University in New Jersey, has resigned from that position after her school denied Chick-fil-A a campus location "based on the company's record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community." (Newman will continue as a tenured professor though.) According to the university administrators, Chick-fil-A's "corporate values have not sufficiently progressed enough to align with those of Rider."

I first suspected Newman stepped down because she loves Chick-fil-A's waffle fries so much, but she says she actually has "a problem with University leadership passing judgement on Chick-fil-A’s values which are reflective with the values of the Christian as well as other faiths.”

“I endeavor every day to do exactly what Chick-fil-A puts forward as its overarching corporate value: to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to me and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with me," Newman said in her resignation speech.

From CNN:

Newman wrote that she asked administrators to apologize for offending Christians, but ultimately decided to step down after the university stuck to its original stance.

"While we respect Dr. Newman's personal decision, we maintain that the decision about choosing an on-campus restaurant franchise was in no way a judgment on religious values," Kristine Brown, a spokeswoman for Rider University, said in a statement to CNN.

"Rather, our intention was to foster a sense of respect and belonging of all members of the campus community, including those who identify as LGBTQ+."

More in the Rider University newspaper: "Dean steps down from position due to religious beliefs" (The Rider News) Read the rest

Lawyers for Kentucky governor says office of Kim Davis must pay $225,000 in legal fees

[UPDATE 1/30/2019: The headline and first paragraph of the Lexington Herald Leader say that lawyers for Governor Matt Bevin want Kim Davis to pay the state's legal bills, but a quote from one of the lawyers later in the story makes it clear they want the office of the country clerk where Davis used to work to pay the bill, not Davis personally.]

When Kim Davis was the county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, she refused a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Her illegal shenanigans ended up costing the state a lot of money in legal bills, and now lawyers for Governor Matt Bevin say she has to pay it back to the tune of nearly a quarter million dollars.

From the Lexington Herald Leader:

“Her local policy stood in direct conflict with her statutory obligation to issue marriage licenses to qualified Kentucky couples. The local policy also undermined the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s interest in upholding the rule of law,” Bevin attorney Palmer G. Vance II wrote in one brief.

“Davis had an independent and sworn duty to uphold the law as an elected county officer,” Vance wrote. “If fees are awarded, they must be the responsibility of the Rowan County clerk’s office, which should be deterred from engaging in conduct that violates civil rights — and leads to costly litigation.”

Don't feel sorry for Davis, a MAGAfundme campaign will undoubtedly come to her rescue.

Image: Mugshot of former Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis from the Rowan County Sheriff's office Read the rest

Watch 193 pride flags stop a bullet

Fondation Émergence created a great PSA they call the Pride Shield, where 193 pride flags (one for each country) show that together we can end the worldwide epidemic of violence against sex and gender minorities. Read the rest

After the Boy Scouts opens up to trans kids, queer kids and girls, the Mormons severed their 105-year relationship to scouting

The Church of Latter Day Saints insists that its decision to end over a century of close association with the Boy Scouts has nothing to do with the organization's decision to admit girls, gay kids and trans kids -- the Mormon leaders say that its launching of a competing scouting organization based on the "spiritual, social, physical and intellectual goals outlined by the church" is merely a coincidence. Read the rest

Psychiatrist who "cured" gays busted for gay sex with clients

Since last time I wrote about Toronto's leading role in "reparative therapy" for curing LGBT people, the worst gender clinic was shut down and its head was fired. Now another "expert" had his license suspended after having sex with men he claimed he was "curing" of homosexuality. Read the rest

Dumbledore to stay in closet for new Fantastic Beasts movie

A decade ago, J.K. Rowling famously told the world that Dumbledore was gay. Just don't expect it to be shown any time soon.

“Not explicitly,” Yates replied when asked if the film makes it clear that Dumbledore is gay. “But I think all the fans are aware of that. He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other.”

Yates then added a bit more about what Dumbledore is like in the new film: “He’s a maverick and a rebel and he’s an inspiring teacher at Hogwarts. He’s witty and has a bit of edge. He’s not this elder statesman. He’s a really kinetic guy. And opposite Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, they make an incredible pairing.”

Most opinions are of the kind that this is cowardly, homophobic and sad. One opinion that might matter more than yours is that of China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. But the supposedly growing influence of foreign censors on Hollywood wouldn't explain the oleaginous smarminess of "all the fans are aware."

Read the rest

Bigots who swore their religious beliefs would force them to divorce if Australia passed marriage equality renege on promise

In 2015, Nick and Sarah Jensen publicly swore that their religious beliefs would force them to divorce in protest if Australia enacted marriage equality laws that allowed for same-sex marriage. This week, Australia passed such legislation, but the Jensens were evidently lying, and now Nick Jensen told the press (by text-message!) that they meant their "public comments regarding civil divorce never envisaged me separating from my wife, but rather our marriage from the state." Read the rest

Roy Moore is still in the running because "values voters" would support Satan himself if he was anti-abortion and homophobic

The term "values voter" is taken to mean someone who votes for politicians on the basis of their personal integrity and values; in reality, polls and studies show that evangelicals who identify as "values voters" support candidates they know to be repugnant or even monstrous, if they believe that those politicians will promise to take away abortion rights and persecute queers. Read the rest

Septic masculinity: when homophobia prevents men from literally wiping their own asses

Keith Calder has been looking around on Reddit and has found a string of messages from baffled, distressed women whose male romantic partners literally don't wipe their asses because touching themselves between the cheeks might make them gay. Read the rest

Ugandan ethics chief boasts of his new magic South Korean pornography filter and its efficacy against "homos"

It's been a year since the Ugandan government placed an order with a South Korean company for a "censor gadget or machine" that would "detect homos and porn actors, especially those misusing applications like Whatsapp with sex acts." Now, they've taken delivery of same. Read the rest

Livejournal's Russian owners announce new anti-LGBT policy, fandom stages mass exodus

Mitch Wagner writes, "LiveJournal is a venerable online community that predates Facebook and even blogging. It got acquired by a Russian company a few years ago, but some of its American and British users hung on, including sf and fantasy writers and fans. Lately, I know one of my friends was scrambling to leave, but I'd been too busy to look into why." Read the rest

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