SOUTH AFRICA: Oscar Pistorius Removed From It Gets Better Project
The It Gets Better Project is set to launch in South Africa this week andorganizers say they will not be using a video message recorded for them by Olympian track star Oscar Pistorius, who stands accused of murdering his girlfriend.
The campaign, which is to be launched at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre at 7pm, has the support of numerous celebrities, including models Shashi Naidoo and Kerry McGregor, Mr Gay World 2011 Francois Nel, television presenters Sade Giliberti and Jo-Ann Strauss, and struggle hero Ahmed Kathrada. In his video, which will no longer be included in the campaign, Pistorius said: “Just remember that you’re special. You don’t have to worry. You don’t have to change. Take a deep breath and remember ‘It will get better’.”
Kevin Clash, Elmo’s Puppeteer, Resigns From Sesame Street
The New York Times reports:
Kevin Clash, the longtime voice and puppeteer behind Sesame Street’s Elmo character, has resigned in the aftermath of allegations — which Sesame Workshop had previously said were unfounded — that he had an underage sexual relationship. In a statement released Tuesday, Sesame Workshop said: Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street. Mr. Clash has played Elmo on “Sesame Street” for decades. He was profiled in a documentary last year, “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey.” The sexual accusationswere made public last Monday, then later recantedby a 24-year-old man who has remained anonymous. The episode led to Mr. Clash coming out as a gay man, something he had not previously discussed in public. “I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter,” he said in the statement last week. Production of “Sesame Street” was unaffected by Mr. Clash’s leave of absence and presumably will not be affected by his resignation, either. Mr. Clash had been helping to identify other puppeteers who could play Elmo for some time, and they filled in for him while he was away from work, a Sesame Workshop executive said last week.
Puppeteer Kevin Clash ,Voice Of Sesame Street’s Elmo, Accused Of Relationship With Teenage Boy
Kevin Clash, the voice actor behindSesame Street’s beloved character Elmo, has taken a leave of absence after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy.Earlier this summer, the accuser, then a 23-year-old man, reached out to Sesame Workshop alleging Clash had a relationship with him when he was still a minor.After the accuser came forward, Sesame Workshoptookimmediate action. The company “conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated.
Although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, [their] investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage and he was disciplined.”Clash, who would have been 45 years old at the time,acknowledgedthe relationship. However, he “insists it only took place AFTER the accuser was an adult.”“I had a relationship with [the accuser]. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not,” ClashtoldTMZ.Meanwhile, the accuser has hired the same firm that represented one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky rape case.
Despite Clash’s absence, the company has no plans toremovethe character from the show. According to an official statement, Elmo “will continue to be an integral part ofSesame Street.”
UPDATE: The New York Times reports that the young man who accused Sesame Street actor Kevin Clash has recanted his claim that their relationship began when he was underage:
Andreozzi & Associates, a law firm that said it represented the accuser said in a statement that “he wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.” The statement added, “He will have no further comment on the matter.” The accuser’s identity has not been disclosed. Mr. Clash said through a spokesman: “I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further.” Sesame Workshop had no immediate comment on when Mr. Clash would return to work. On Monday, TMZ said that the accuser, now 24 years old, contacted Sesame Workshop last summer and claimed that, beginning at the age of 16, he had a sexual relationship with Mr. Clash.
PHILADELPHIA: Top Catholic Official Convicted Of Child Endangerment
In a historic verdict, today a Philadelphia jury found a high-ranking Catholic Church official guilty of child endangermentfor shielding the crimes of pedophile priests. This is the first time an American church official has been convicted of such charges.
Monsignor William Lynn helped the archdiocese keep predators in ministry, and the public in the dark, by telling parishes their priest was being removed for health reasons and then sending the men to unsuspecting churches, prosecutors said. Lynn, 61, had faced about 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted of all three counts he faced — conspiracy and two counts of child endangerment. He was convicted on one of the endangerment counts and acquitted of the other two counts, leaving him with the possibility of up to seven years in prison.
On cross-examination, Lynn acknowledged that he had not helped the 10-year-old altar boy raped by the Rev. Edward Avery in 1999, seven years after Lynn met with another Avery accuser. “And I’m sorry about that,” Lynn said. Avery is in prison after admitting the crime. One of the key exhibits was a gray folder found in a locked safe at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The folder contains a list of 35 suspected predator-priests — and was compiled by Lynn in 1994. At least one priest on the list was a parish pastor until this year. Lynn, the former secretary for clergy, testified that he created the list from secret church files containing hundreds of child sex-abuse complaints.
The witch-hunt has come to an end, and those who have been clamoring for blood lost big time. What made this a witch-hunt was the decision of former Philadelphia D.A. Lynne Abraham to summarily ignore what she was empowered to do in 2001: she was given the charge “to investigate the sexual abuse of minors by individuals associated with religious organizations and denominations.” Had she done so, those cases of minors who may have been sexually molested by ministers, rabbis, and others, would have been investigated. Instead, absolutely nothing was done about these cases.
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.
Ireland: Priest’s PC Autoplays Porn Slideshow To Congregation
Father Martin McVeigh was giving a talk to 26 parents and one 8-year-old kid when computer disaster struck. He connected his USB drive into a PC to start his Powerpoint presentation and, instead of the word of God, a hardcore gay porn slideshow started—thanks to Windows’ autoplay. Some parents—who were there to hear McVeigh talk about First Communion—were angry. Others were in shock. Just like McVeigh. He was so embarrassed that, according to witnesses, unplugged the USB drive and walked out of the room without uttering a single word. Later he declared to the press: I don’t know how it happened but I know what happened. There are people making innuendoes who weren’t even there but in this day and age these stories grow. Well, Father, I think there’s little space for innuendo after showing gay porn in church. McVeigh, however, claims there is an explanation for all this. The Archdiocese of Armagh, where the parish belongs, called the police and gave them the USB stick for inspection. The police told them there was no crime in gay porn and the drive didn’t contain any pedophilia. It was just normal gay porn.
According to The Ulster Herald, “an emergency meeting was held in the parish last night.” You know, because gay priests are such a rare event that emergency meetings need to be held with the utmost urgency, so everyone can slam someone who mistakenly made his sexual preferences public. Embarrassment is not enough! To the fire with him.
National Council Of La Raza, A Latino Rights Group, Condemns NOM
Think Progress reports:
The National Organization for Marriage continues to face fall-out over the confidential strategic memos released last week that reveal its intent to “fan hostilities” between marriage equality activists and African-American and Latino communities. Adding to a chorus of groups condemning NOM, the National Council of La Raza’a Vice President Eric Rodriguez said on Friday that the group’s tactics are “stunningly cynical” and rival those of the anti-immigration movement:
The cravenness on display from NOM is reminiscent of another bastion of intolerance, the anti-immigrant movement. They too have enough political savvy to realize that first, Latinos are an important demographic and voting block and second, that movements built on bigotry and intolerance are most successful when their shameful agenda stays hidden from the public. […]
If NOM had stopped its indefatigable scheming for just a moment to learn something about our community, this diabolical plan would never have been hatched. First, not all Latinos are immigrants. Second, Latino immigrants welcome integration into American society. Third, Latinos are not foolish enough to believe that NOM has our best interests at heart. And, fourth, despite what NOM may think, the Latino community overwhelmingly supports LGBT equality. The Movement Advancement Project released research recently that showed that 74 percent of Latinos “support marriage or marriage-like legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples.”
Some have been incensed that the NAACP support for same-sex marriage is equating the gay movement to our struggle for civil rights and racial equality. We disagree. The African-American struggle will forever stand as one of the greatest civil rights movements in modern history. After 400 hundred years of slavery, the achievements of some basic civil rights, 100 years of marching, protesting, court battles and violence that led to our freedoms and many gains in society is a wonderful legacy. As we continue the struggle for total equality in America, we must also fight for the total equality for others, whether it is another race or another group. Thus, the NAACP is the best organization to join the fight for equal protection for LGBT couples to help them overcome the same irrational arguments that were once used to justify slavery and the law of “separate but equal.”
While the memos were rife with evidence of NOM’s insidious agenda, its blatant manipulation of racial politics continues to stand out as the pinnacle of an agenda built not around “protecting marriage” but promoting anti-gay intolerance.
NOM Looks For Glamorous Unintelligent Celebrities As Spokespersons
“Hollywood with its cultural biases is far bigger than we can hope to be. We recognize this. But we also recognize the opportunity - the disproportionate potential impact of proactively seeking to gather and connect a community of artists, athletes, writers, beauty queens and other glamorous non-cognitive elites across national boundaries. (This is applying the Witherspoon and IAV model to non-intellectual elites.)”
“The strategic goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” reads a portion of the memo, describing an initiative called the “Not a Civil Right Project.” The project’s goal, according to the memo, is to recruit blacks who oppose gay marriage to serve as spokespeople for the group, then “provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.” Another initiative, described under the heading “Internationalizing the Marriage issue: A Pan-American Strategy,” is to convince Hispanic voters that efforts to legalize gay marriage would force them to assimilate to “the dominant Anglo culture.” The memo suggests that the strategy was inspired by successful efforts to outlaw same-sex marriage by initiative in California in 2008, when the measure passed with strong support from black voters, who turned out heavily to support Barack Obama for president. Brian S. Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, did not immediately return a call for comment on Tuesday.
The “Prince Of Persia” (And Grandson Of Rita Hayworth) Andrew Embiricos Dies At 25 For Autoerotic Asphyxiation
Somehow we missed this New YorkObserver profile on the late Andrew Embiricos, which explains that his cause of death was, as Michael Musto suspected, due to autoerotic asphyxiation. Embiricos was the son of Princess Yasmin Aga Kahn—herself the daughter of ’40s screen siren Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly Khan —and therefore a direct descendant of Persia’s esteemed Aga Khan line. The 25-year-old heir’s death raised eyebrows because he was found face up with a plastic bag over his head and had a history of kinky behavior—including a brief stint in 2007 as an XTube star (in such gems as Chelsea Bareback Whores). The Observer reports that the NYPD still considers Andrew’s death a suicide, but friends and family maintain it was an accident:
“As far as the NYPD is concerned, there is no suspected criminality and it appears to be a suicide,” a police spokesperson told SCENE. But while the final cause of death has not been issued by the Medical Examiner’s office, pending further testing, Embiricos’ best friend Jake Dingler, who was present when the body was found, confirms toSCENE: “It wasn’t a suicide. The coroner explained to Andrew’s mother that it was autoerotic asphyxiation. And the cops came to my apartment and talked to me about it.”
The article also contains some interesting details about Embiricos’ life, like the fact that the wealthy heir worked at a tanning salon:
Before he re-enrolled at Fordham, Embiricos had lots of time on his hands, and made an unexpected move, taking a day job at a West Village tanning salon, where he worked for two-and-a-half-years. “The prince of Persia is working at Portofino,” laughs [close friend Chris] Tuttle, speaking of the hours Embiricos clocked behind the front desk. “He wanted to prove to people, perhaps even his mother that, ‘Yeah, I can go work an $8-an-hour job that I enjoy.’ He was great around people and he took pride in selling tanning packages and lotions.”
It concludes on a note that warns against trying autoerotic asphyxiation:
Is Embiricos’ accidental death in some sense a cautionary tale about the dangers of autoerotic asphyxiation, about facing one’s fears and anxieties rather than masking or mollifying them with extreme measures like AEA, or the other risky behaviors that preceded them earlier in his adult life? “Andrew wasn’t much into caution,” quips [his friend Chuck] Attix. “Other than the pain his XTube videos caused his family, I’d never heard him express any sort of regret for anything he’d done. He certainly wasn’t ashamed of anything he did. The way it was originally reported suggested that he intentionally killed himself and that somehow the events of the rest of his life lead him to do it and that was just not true. That’s what was frustrating to friends, to give that impression—like he gave up or something. That wasn’t his style.”
Adds [friend Will] Wikle: “He was a very compassionate and tender-hearted person. For all of his shock value and talk about sex, at his center he was a very sweet, caring person. I do think he would never want anybody to die [like this]. I’m certain that he did not intend to die.”
Don’t do AEA, kids. A mind-blowing orgasm can easily be had with a safe partner—or alone—and think of the pain and humiliation you’d cause your family and friends if it ended tragically. Andrew was just getting into the swing of his life—liking his new job, over the depression and wild-child years he’d just experienced. What a terrible time to lose him.
MONTANA: Leading Anti-Gay Activist Charged With Six Felony Fraud Counts
Pastor Harris Himes (above, at the microphone), the most well-known anti-gay activist in Montana, has been charged with six felony counts of theft and fraud related to a business scheme he allegedly orchestrated with another pastor.
Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman said Harris Himes turned himself in Wednesday morning after learning that there was a warrant for his arrest. District Judge James Haynes issued bench warrants on Tuesday for Himes and James “Jeb” Bryant after attorneys for the state Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance filed six felony charges against the two. The charges included theft, fraud, conspiracy to commit both, failure to register a security and failure to register as a salesman of same. According to court records, Himes and Bryant claimed to own a business, Duratherm Building Systems, and promised at least one investor a large return on his $150,000. But the investor claimed to have never received any returns or confirmation of sale, nor could he get his money back.
According to the above-linked story, Harris frequently testified and campaigned against proposed pro-gay legislation. We know him here on JMG as part of the Not In My Bathroom anti-transgender rights group.
In February of this year I posted video of Himes testifying that homosexuality was a “sin worth of death” and therefore gay people should not be allowed to rent homes in Montana. Thanks to Himes and others, Montana’s state legislature then passed a bill outlawing all LGBT rights laws, at any level in the entire state.
RELATED: Himes is also the president of the far fringe-right Montana Eagle Forum and in his dual role as pastor/lawyer he performs pro bono work on behalf of the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund. He blogs at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government site.
UNRELATED: Two nutjob anti-gay whackos taken down on the same day! I am chortling until my chortler is sore! O frabjous day, indeed!
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