NEW YORK CITY: Madonna Served Summons To Appear On Gay Propaganda Charges In Russia
Russian anti-gay activists yesterday served a summons at Madonna’s New York City home, demanding that she appear in St. Petersburg for trial on charges that she violated that city’s ban on public utterances of support for LGBT people.Russia Today reports:The pro-Kremlin group Trade Union of Russian Citizens wants the Material Girl in court for blasphemy and for damaging the cultural foundations of St. Petersburg. Nine activists filed a suit against the pop star after her concert on August 9. They are seeking 333 million rubles (around US$10 million) from Madonna and from the company that organized her show. All the fuss is because of Madonna’s actions on the stage. The pop diva started her show asking fans to raise their hands with pink bracelets, which they were given on the entrance, in support of homosexual rights. It is, however, illegal to promote homosexuality in St. Petersburg. The local law, which bans so-called “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism, and pedophilia to minors,” was passed in March this year. “She insulted believers’ feelings, she promoted homosexuality when there were children at the concert and this is forbidden in St Petersburg. We, the residents of the cultural capital, suffered a colossal moral damage,” union spokesperson Darya Dedova was quoted as saying.
In the event that Madonna is found guilty, much less even appears for trial, an additional 50% of the $10M suit would, by law, be levied in order to further protect St. Petersburg from “homosexuals and pedophiles.”
NOTE: The lawsuit appears to be a civil action from local crackpots and not an official action of the government, although the plaintiffs surely have their support. The above-linked article does not mention if Madonna was home when the summons was served.
VIDEO: Here’s Madonna speech from that show.
Closet Case Ed Koch: Imprisoned Russian Punkers Pussy Riot Are As Bad As ACT UP
Former NYC mayor and closeted homosexual Ed Koch has penned an editorial praising the imprisonment of Pussy Riot, saying the jailed Russian punkers are as bad as ACT UP, who also once demonstrated inside a Catholic cathedral. You may recall that Koch and ACT UP tangled many times during his 80s reign as mayor when he resisted their calls for action. Koch writes:The Western cultural elite is rallying to the defense of the disrupters in the cathedral. Some approve of the verbal attack on Putin. Others support the denunciation of the Russian Orthodox church leadership and the church disruption because of the church leadership support of Putin. All cited characterize the issue as one of free speech. I do not. I would assume that many Pussy Riot supporters would take a different position, and rightly so, if here in the U.S. a black church were invaded and three men or women engaged in comparable conduct insulting holy places within the church and the pastor.
I recall when I was Mayor in 1989 and the AIDS activist group Act Up, unjustifiably angry with John Cardinal O’Connor, invaded St. Patrick’s Cathedral and interrupted the Mass, throwing the Communion wafers – which for Catholics are the actual Body of Christ – to the floor. Some were arrested. So far as I can recall, no one was punished. I think the decision of the Russian court to punish a hate crime was just and to be applauded, rather than condemned and ridiculed. One can argue concerning the degree of punishment, whether fines rather than jail time should have been imposed, but that is a function of the Russian penalty procedures.
Famed activist and ACT UP founder Larry Kramer once wrote of encountering Koch while Kramer was walking his dog. As the then mayor leaned over to pet the dog, Kramer said, “That’s the man who killed all of Daddy’s friends.”
RELATED: Another well-known AIDS activist tips me today that when the Independent Film Channel yesterday invited Koch to a Manhattan screening of the AIDS documentary,How To Survive A Plague, Koch abruptly unsubscribed to the IFC mailing list, to which he’d belonged for years.
Feminist Icon Helen Gurley Brown Dead At 90
Via The New York Times:
Ms. Brown, who wrote “Sex and the Single Girl,” took over at the magazine in 1965, giving it its sexually frank tone. She remained editor until 1997 and is still listed as editor in chief for Cosmopolitan International on all mastheads. Until her death, Ms. Brown was known for coming into her pink corner office nearly every day. The Hearst statement reads: “It would be hard to overstate the importance to Hearst of her success with Cosmopolitan, or the value of the friendship many of us enjoyed with her. Helen was one of the world’s most recognized magazine editors and book authors, and a true pioneer for women in journalism — and beyond.”
Final NYC AIDS Memorial Design
The final design seems to lack the appropriate solemnity, but at least it looks like an inviting place to sit and reflect.The design for the future New York City AIDS Memorial at St. Vincent’s Hospital Park was approved by Manhattan Community Board 2. The coalition will now work to seek approvals from the Department of City Planning and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. We will continue to develop the design as we also manage the capital campaign to raise the funds to build the memorial and ensure that it is beautifully and well-maintained into the future.
(Via Zack Ford)
Here’s a clip of Susan Sarandon, speaking about why it is important for New York City to have an AIDS Memorial Park:
Warren Beatty’s Transgender Son Speaks Out
Pink News UK reports:
The transgender son of actors Warren Beatty and Annette Bening has spoken about his life and experiences.
Stephen Beatty, 20, who was born physically female, began transition at the age of 14. He has made a video for WeHappyTrans.com.
In the video, Stephen says: “I identify as a trans man, a faggy queen, a homosexual, a queer, a nerd fighter, a writer, an artist and a guy who needs a haircut.”
He also spoke about the advantages of transitioning, saying: “It’s rare that my gender is misread [now that I’ve transitioned] based on my fem presentation, which I really appreciate.
“And that’s totally a privilege, being on hormones and being perceived, being read that way – as male, even though I’m presenting in a fem way. It’s totally a privilege.
“It’s nice to finally have my identity be legible to people.”
Stephen, who is a student at the Sarah Lawrence College in New York, added: “My friends have accepted me, my peers who I’m lucky to have relationships with a lot of, ever since high school, when I came out and transitioned socially when I was 14 or so.”
NEW YORK CITY: Murderer Pleads Insanity In Grisly 2011 Killing Of His Boyfriend
In January 2011 New York City’s tabloids published daily grisly updates in the case of Portuguese model Renato Seabra, who stabbed to death and then castrated his wealthy and renowned fashion photographer boyfriend with a wine corkscrew in a midtown hotel. Seabra told the NYPD at the time that he had murdered Carlos Castro in order to free him of his “homosexual demons” and that he himself was “not gay anymore.” Yesterday Seabra’s lawyer pleaded an insanity defense. A 2011 court filing from the defense advised the court that Seabra believed that he was acting on direct orders from God. Via Gay City News reporter Duncan Osborne:“Mr. Seabra developed a manic episode and became fulminantly psychotic,” David Touger, the attorney for Renato Seabra, wrote in a court filing last year. “He acted on his delusional ideas when he attacked and killed Mr. Castro. He did not appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions, as he was acting as a conduit for God.” This mental disease or defect defense, or insanity defense as it is more commonly known, asserts that because the now 22-year-old Seabra could not tell right from wrong when he killed Castro, he cannot be held criminally liable. If a jury agrees, Seabra will be institutionalized until doctors decide he is no longer a threat. His trial may start as soon as September. At a June 18 hearing, Touger and Maxine Rosenthal, the assistant district attorney who is prosecuting the case, said they wanted to go to trial soon. While some earlier press reports have noted that Seabra would use an insanity defense, none has noted that he claimed to be acting on God’s behalf. Seabra faces one second-degree murder count that alleges he intended to kill Castro. The maximum penalty for second-degree murder is 25-years-to-life.
According to a psychologist hired by the defense, Seabra suffered from “Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, Severe with Psychotic features.” Seabra first came to national fame in Portugal after appearing on a male model reality show.
NEW YORK CITY: Federal Judge Barbara Jones Declares DOMA Unconstitutional
Pink News UK reports:
A federal judge in Manhattan has joined judges in California and Boston to rule the anti-equality Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
The Defense of Marriage Act, passed under the Clinton administration in 1996, when Hawaii Supreme Court seemed on the verge of legalising equal marriage, denies gay spouses Social Security survivor benefits, the ability to file joint tax returns and health insurance rights enjoyed by straight married couples.
Just a week ago, a federal appeals court in Boston upheld an earlier ruling strike down key aspects of the federal law on the grounds of federal constitution. Earlier in May, a district court judge in California became the third federal judge to also declare DOMA unconstitutional along similar lines.
On Friday, US District Judge Barbara Jones ruled that DOMA’s efforts to define marriage intruded ‘upon the states’ business of regulating domestic relations,’ adding: ”That incursion skirts important principles of federalism and therefore cannot be legitimate, in this court’s view.”
She added that a sweeping legislation such as DOMA interfered with a federal system that put domestic relations law exclusively within the terrain of state legislatures.
The case was brought forth by Edith Windsor, whose partner died in 2009, two years after they married in Canada. Because of DOMA, Ms Windsor could not obtain the unlimited marital deduction on her late wife’s estate, and was required to pay over $350,000 in federal estate tax. She filed her law suit in November 2010, and in her ruling, Judge Jones ordered the government to reimburse Ms Windsor the tax she paid to the federal agency.
Ms Windsor, in a statement through the American Civil Liberties Union, said of her 44-year relationship with Thea Spyer: “”It’s thrilling to have a court finally recognize how unfair it is for the government to have treated us as though we were strangers.’
Although the federal government under Mr Obama no longer defends DOMA, it has yet to release a statement on the matter. That said, New York’s Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman declared the decision to be a ‘major step forward in the fight for equality.’
NEW YORK CITY: Cardinal Timothy Dolan Accused Of Paying Off Pedophile Priests
Last night, it was reported that Cardinal Dolan paid off pedophiles instead of reporting them to the authorities, when he was the Archbishop of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The New York Times reports:
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee. Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.” But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll. A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.
RELADTED: According to the NYT, at a meeting of the Milwaukee’s Archdiocese, at which the then Archbishop of Milwaukee, and now Cardinal Timothy Dolan, discussed a proposal to “offer $20,000 to the child molestors for laicization ($10,000 at the start and $10,000 at the completion the process).” Instead of salary, they would receive a $1,250 monthly pension benefit, and, until they found another job, health insurance.
Barbra Streisand’s Concert In Brooklyn?
Fan sites are buzzing after Ticketmaster posted then immediately deleted a Barbra Streisand concert date at Brooklyn’s still unfinished Barclays Center.
- Ms. Streisand’s name had been scrubbed from Ticketmaster’s Barclays listings. And an eerie and oddly constrained silence was upon the lips of those who could speak to the facts. “We are not confirming this,” said a Barclays spokesman, Barry Baum, when asked if Ms. Streisand was coming. “I cannot confirm anything, on the record, off the record, between the record,” said Ms. Streisand’s longtime spokesman, Ken Sunshine. A spokeswoman for Ticketmaster, Jacqueline Peterson, wrote in an e-mail, “We don’t have anything additional to share.”
Barclays Center, the future home of the Brooklyn Nets, is scheduled for an official opening at the end of September with a concert by Nets co-owner Jay-Z.