News
3 min

Ghomeshi-gate, gay CEOs and Matthew Shepard

Your Daily Package of newsy and naughty bits from around the world

Everyone wants to talk about Jian Ghomeshi (Canada)

There’s no avoiding it. Jian Ghomeshi, and his firing from the CBC over sexual abuse allegations, will be the topic of the day. And, of course, everyone on the internet wants a piece of it.

Dan Savage thinks we should all keep “open minds and operational bullshit detectors” but ultimately concludes that this looks more like abuse than kink. Green Party leader Elizabeth May defended Ghomeshi on Twitter, then retreated into a more neutral stance after the blowback began. Christie Blatchford at the National Post defended Ghomeshi and called his accusation by the Toronto Star “another sordid modern tale of bullying, another low-water mark in journalism, and another man vilified by anonymous accusers.” Justin Beach, who runs the “Friends of the CBC” group, wrote at The Huffington Post that he can’t support Ghomeshi just because he likes his radio program, but he won’t condemn him yet either. Erin Gloria Ryan at feminist site Jezebel thinks, regardless of Ghomeshi’s guilt, that he responded to the allegations like a “creep.” Other feminist sites said that even suggesting Ghomeshi’s possible innocence is a manifestation of “rape culture.”

Not everyone wanted to pick a side, however; there has been plenty of neutral analysis as well. Law professor Brenda Cossman at the Globe and Mail points out that you can’t legally consent to assault causing bodily harm in Canada, making much of BDSM illegal regardless of circumstances. Howard Levitt at the Financial Post says that Ghomeshi’s proposed $50-million lawsuit against the CBC almost certainly has no legal merit. Nick Patch, in MacLean’s, writes about Ghomeshi’s international clout.

There’s no word yet on the official name for this scandal, but “Ghomeshi-gate” seems to be in the lead.

The debate over Matthew Shepard’s murder continues (Wyoming)

On Saturday, The Guardian published an article by Julie Bindel about a new book suggesting Matthew Shepard, a gay man murdered in Wyoming in 1998, was killed because of drug trafficking and not because of his sexuality (I posted this in The Daily Package yesterday morning). Yesterday afternoon, progressive think-tank Media Matters jumped in and said the book is a thoroughly discredited work of fiction. Shortly after, Andrew Sullivan, at The Dish, came to the book’s defence and praised Bindel’s reporting.

Anti-gay attacker tackled by bystanders (Texas)

A video shows bystanders defending a man from an anti-gay attack at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport last week. The assailant became angry at a man wearing a pink shirt and began yelling about “queers” before kicking and slapping the man. Another man in a cowboy hat tackled the attacker, who was then removed by police.

Read more at Syracuse.

John Browne: Gay CEOs have it tough, but coming out sooner is better (UK)

Andrew Cave writes in Forbes about BP CEO John Browne’s book The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out Is Good Business. Browne was fired from BP after he gave false information during a court appearance (out of panic, he says) while trying to get an injunction against a tabloid newspaper trying to out him. Browne says being gay in business has its challenges, but he would have been better off if he had come out sooner.

Read more at Forbes.

Gay Syrian refugee faces double discrimination (Middle East)

James Longman writes for the BBC about Jawad, a Syrian refugee to Lebanon who was turned in to the police by his own family, forced out of his home and raped by armed militia men. Longman describes how gay men in the Middle East face threats from their own families and how European colonial laws helped make the region the anti-gay world it is today.

Read more at the BBC.

Nationalists attack LGBT protesters (Russia)

Three LGBT protesters in the Russian city of Lipetsk were met by approximately 100 nationalist counter-protesters, Gay Star News reports. After one nationalist threw a tomato, police — naturally — arrested the LGBT protesters. The nationalists then tried to overturn the police van holding the protesters.

Read more at Gay Star News.