National Gay News

Antigay Dr: Talks Trip with Male Escort

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Posted on www.Advocate.com
May 10, 2010
www.Advocate.com
By Advocate.com Editors

Dr. George Rekers, the antigay Family Research Council co-founder who reportedly took a trip to Europe with a male escort, spent part of his Tuesday trading messages on Facebook with people inquiring about the story connecting him to rent boy "Lucien."

JoeMyGod blogger Joe Jervis posted a comment Rekers made on his Facebook page after he asked the antigay Christian leader how "to find the hottest male prostitutes." Rekers wrote that the article about him and Lucien was a "mixture of truth and falsehood."

He reiterated the claims he made to the Miami New Times that he didn't know Lucien was an escort until they were midway through their vacation, saying he hired the young man because recent surgery requires him to have assistance carrying his bags.

He continues: "I have spent much time as a mental health professional and as a Christian minister helping and lovingly caring for people identifying themselves as 'gay.' My hero is Jesus Christ who loves even the culturally despised people, including sexual sinners and prostitutes. Like Jesus Christ, I deliberately spend time with sinners with the loving goal to try to help them."

Later he said he wanted the media to leave Lucien alone because "already the press has been stressful for him."

e Lancet.

Gay Cop Arrests Preacher for Antigay Comments

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Posted on Advocate.com
May 04, 2010
By Julie Bolcer

A gay police officer arrested a Baptist preacher in the UK last month for telling a passerby that homosexuality is a sin.

According to the Daily Telegraph, "Dale McAlpine was charged with causing 'harassment, alarm or distress' after a homosexual police community support officer (PCSO) overheard him reciting a number of 'sins' referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same-sex relationships."

Police say the 42-year-old McAlpine, who preaches in Cumbria, used insulting language in violation of the Public Order Act, introduced in 1986 to control rioters at football games. He was held in jail for seven hours on April 20.

Christian legal defenders say that McAlpine committed no crime in expressing his antigay beliefs, and that the law is being used to curb his religious free speech.

On the day of his arrest, McAlpine was approached by a woman on the street who debated him about his beliefs, during which time he said homosexuality is a sin. The woman complained to the nearby police community support officer (PCSO), who told the preacher he could be arrested for using homophobic language.

According to the Telegraph, "The street preacher said he told the PCSO: 'I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator.'

"He claims that the PCSO then said he was homosexual and identified himself as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for Cumbria police. Mr McAlpine replied: 'It's still a sin.'

"The preacher then began a 20 minute sermon, in which he says he mentioned drunkenness and adultery, but not homosexuality. Three regular uniformed police officers arrived during the address, arrested Mr McAlpine and put him in the back of a police van."

McAlpine was released on bail and is now awaiting a trial date.

Congressional Candidates Joke About DADT Violence

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Posted on Advocate.com
May 04, 2010
By Julie Bolcer

Republican candidates for the 8th Congressional District in Tennessee attended a Tea Party forum last Thursday during which they defended the military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy and joked about violence against gay service members.

According to the Jackson Sun, Dr. Ron Kirkland, a Vietnam veteran, and Randy Smith, a veteran of the first Iraq War, joked that gay service members were "taken care of" during the forum in Paris.

"I can tell you if there were any homosexuals in that group, they were taken care of in ways I can't describe to you," said Kirkland.

Smith, who served in the first Iraqi war, said, "I definitely wouldn't want to share a shower with a homosexual. We took care of that kind of stuff, just like (Kirkland) said."

In response to an uproar about the comments, Smith issued a lukewarm apology, the Sun later reported.

"Smith said he knew of violence against gay service members in concept only and never knew of any actual incidents or anything that he could report.

"'I heard guys that said, 'If there was a gay dude I knew about, he'd fall down the line or get pushed over' ... but I haven't actually seen anything like that or seen a blanket party or anything like that,' he said. '... I've never known anybody personally to do that.'

"Smith apologized if his comments offended, but maintained he was 'telling it how it is actually; and warning about hazing — physical and emotional — that could come if 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is repealed.

"He said he has a 19-year-old gay daughter who lives in California, and that while he disagrees with her lifestyle, he understands that it is her right to live it.

"'I don't begrudge her because she's gay,' Smith said. '... I would have no problem standing beside a gay man in a time of war, standing back to back, him having my back and me having his back, but I would, as I said last night, have trouble sharing a shower with a gay man.'"

Kirkland has not apologized, the Sun reported.

Supreme Court skeptical on keeping anti-gay petitioner IDs private

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Posted on 365gay.com
April 30, 2010

By The Associated Press
04.28.2010 5:19pm EDT

(Washington) Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical Wednesday about keeping secret the names of people who signed a petition to repeal Washington state's gay rights law, suggesting citizens cannot always hide behind anonymity if they want to be heard.

Opponents of gay rights want the court to keep the names private to avoid intimidation by the other side. But several justices questioned whether allowing petitioners to stay anonymous might imperil other vital open records like voter registration and lists of donors to political candidates.

"The fact is that running a democracy takes a certain amount of civic courage," Justice Antonin Scalia said. "And the First Amendment does not protect you from criticism or even nasty phone calls when you exercise your political rights to legislate, or to take part in the legislative process."

The case, which will be decided by the court before the end of the summer, could draw a new line between voters' desire for openness in government and the right to political speech unfettered by fear of intimidation.

Opponents of the law that expanded the rights of gay couples mounted a petition drive that succeeded in getting a referendum on the "everything-but-marriage" law on last year's ballot. But voters narrowly backed the law that grants registered domestic partners the same legal rights as married couples.

While the campaign was under way, gay rights supporters sought access to the petitions under Washington's open records law. Protect Marriage Washington, the group that organized opposition to the law, objected; saying its members would be harassed if their names were made public.

"No person should suffer harassment for participating in our political system, and the First Amendment protects citizens from intimidation resulting from compelled disclosure of their identity and beliefs and their private associations," lawyer James Bopp Jr. said.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to keep the names secret, but the Supreme Court stepped in and blocked release of the names before the vote. The justices later intervened in another case in which gay rights opponents complained about potential harassment. The court's conservative majority prevented broadcast of the trial on California's ban on same-sex marriage.

Bopp said people who signed the petition faced the prospect of harassment. Scalia called that "touchy-feely, oh-so sensitive."

"You know, you can't run a democracy this way, with everybody being afraid of having his political positions known," Scalia said.

"I'm sorry, Justice Scalia, but the campaign manager of this initiative had his family sleep in his living room because of the threats," Bopp replied.

Scalia said threats should be moved against vigorously. "But just because there can be criminal activity doesn't mean that you have to eliminate a procedure that is otherwise perfectly reasonable."

Washington Attorney General Robert M. McKenna denied there was evidence of violence or threats against petition signers.

If there was proof of violence, the petition signers could ask for a preliminary injunction, McKenna said. "Such situations should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to evaluate the reasonable probability of threats, harassments, and reprisals," he said.

Making the petition names public also helps the state fight fraud, McKenna said. And "it's also about finding plain old mistakes which the state, the secretary of state, or auditor has missed."

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that while Project Marriage Washington says it wants to keep the petition names anonymous, organizers of petitions often make the names public themselves by selling the names to other organizations and using them for fundraising.

"So that would be the end of a person's privacy," she said.

Chief Justice John Roberts compared signing a petition to voting, saying a person's vote might be chilled if it was revealed which candidate they voted for. McKenna argued that chill would be no more significant than it is for having campaign contributions or voter registration disclosed.

Justice John Paul Stevens, listening to his final arguments before retiring later this summer, said there might be a public interest in seeing the names on a referendum petition to "identify people who have a particular point of view on a public issue."

"And if you have the other point of view, don't you have an interest in finding out who you would like to convince to change their minds?" Stevens said.

But Justice Samuel Alito questioned McKenna on whether his office was willing to give out the home address of its lawyers so people could show up and have "uncomfortable conversations" with them about issues in which they disagree.

"We could not release it because they can come to the office and have uncomfortable conversations with them, which I can personally attest happens with some regularity," McKenna said to laughter in the courtroom. The Associated Press is among 22 news organizations and media trade associations that filed a brief in the case supporting public disclosure of the documents.

The case is Doe v. Reed, 09-559.