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Roundup archives: January 2008

Each weekday, Xtra.ca tells you what stories have queer people talking.

Jan 31, 2008

Colin Farrell to be best man at older brother Eamon’s same-sex wedding. Shit, imagine the bachelor party.

Ontario judge advances wacko theories on how you can catch HIV/AIDS and demands that an HIV-positive witness in a sexual assault trial wear a mask to so as not to leave HIV all over the place. The judge is now being investigated for misconduct by the Ontario Judicial Council and being considered for a promotion by the Harper government.

In the wake of yet another Harper-government scandal, Judge Gomery, whose report into the Liberal-era sponsorship scandal led to the fall of the Martin government, says he’s disappointed in Harper for all the obvious reasons. Mr. Gomery, could you please repeat your disappointment every night on the news from now until the upcoming budget vote?

Jan 30, 2008

Nothing that happened in the world today is more important than cheeseburger in a can. What could possibly be a greater threat to civilization?

Catholic bishops agree to participate in the residential schools commission investigating sexual abuse at church-run schools for native children, but only so that they can argue that church staff were also victims of the system. “Priests are the real victims” appears to be the new official Catholic policy.

German airline offers the world’s first nudist flight. I’m of two minds here. Nudity is great, but sweaty bare asscracks on seats shared by lots of people…let’s just hope the skids stay on the tarmac.

Jan 29, 2008

Italian parliament devolves into anti-gay slurs and worse in the wake of defeat of the government’s gay rights agenda forces the resignation of prime minister Romano Prodi. You’d be surprised, but this is far from being a low-point in Italian parliamentary decorum.

The porn industry plans to switch to Blu-Ray. On an unrelated note, I will continue to burn torrents onto DVD-Rs.

A rumoured New Kids on the Block tour is not happening after all. Presumably, Joey McIntyre is too busy responding to piles and piles of fan mail still unread from the 1990s.

Jan 28, 2008

Gays in Aspen prove their supremacy over straights on the ice. Then, apparently, pose for cheesy beefcake shot.

We haven’t had a Republican sex scandal in a while, so let’s try out a Democrat sex scandal. Some bearish-looking guy claims to have done drugs with and performed oral sex with US presidential candidate Barack Obama, and questions whether his alleged drug use makes him a suitable candidate for president. The accuser, Larry Sinclair is willing to take a polygraph, but I think the truth of his statements can be pretty much grasped by looking at pictures of Barack Obama, and then looking at Larry Sinclair.

Virgina lawmaker introduces a bill to ban displaying replicas of human genitalia on vehicles. I had no idea this was an issue, but you can apparently order a pair of totally gay bumper nuts in a variety of colours (no pink) for only $24.95. I don’t even own a car, but I totally want one of these now.

Jan 25, 2008

Italy’s relatively queer-friendly government collapses after only 20 months in power.

The Bloc makes election slightly more likely by putting forward a list of demands for the next budget Harper can’t possibly meet, even though it does seem really nice. $3.5 billion for post-secondary education, plus money for culture and the environment. No matter how Harper falls on this one, I’m temporarily happy.

Penticton BC is ordered to pay a local artist $14,000 to replace his broken wang.

Jan 24, 2008

Better late than never? Al Gore stands up for gay marriage, ten years after standing up for the Defence of Marriage Act as Vice-President.

Noted asshole Fred Phelps of godhatesfags.com and godhatesamerica.com infamy plans to protest memorial services for Heath Ledger, probably for his performances as a mass murderer, sexy Catholic priest, heroin user, and, oh, yeah, butt-fucker. Also, how long has Fox News been citing Wikipedia as a source in its articles?

Ontario health minister George Smitherman blasts the federal Tory ban on gay organ donation, and while it’s nice that one of the provinces’ health ministers is actually concerned, does it always have to be the gay one who stands up for us? Manitoba health minister Theresa Oswald, I’m looking at you. In fact, why don’t we all fire off a letter to her (minhlt@leg.gov.mb.ca) and ask her to stand with Smitherman against this stupid policy?

Jan 23, 2008

Sad news: Brokeback Mountain star Heath Ledger dies of an apparent, unconfirmed drug overdose. Sorry, no punchline on this one.

Sexist? Automotive consultant Dennis DesRosiers tells premier McGuinty to “stick to his knitting” after McGuinty proposes surcharges on South Korean-made autos. I hope this gets as ugly as the last time some moron used that phrase in a political debate.

At attention: A federal court orders a Canadian soldier to salute a queen when so ordered.

Jan 22, 2008

Twin half-assed apologies: High school principal apologises for welcoming anti-gay bigot Rev Ken Hutcherson to speak to students about Martin Luther King Jr, but fails to acknowledge why the guy was offensive. Also, the coolest Australian ever.

The Globe publishes back-to-back articles damning and praising the Canadian human rights system.

God, I’m going to have to start reading The Sun (UK) more often. UK man sentenced to one year supervision for distributing a DVD of his ex-girlfriend performing oral sex on a dog.

Jan 21, 2008

Police investigate claims that someone’s putting pics of Californian high-school swimmers on gay porn web sites. Creepy, or first-amendment right?

Berlin opens the world’s first gay old-age home. It’s also the only old-age home where the elder abuse is optional and costs more.

And finally, finally, Stephane Dion offers a glimmer of hope that the Liberals may topple the Harper government over the budget.

Jan 18, 2008

US presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee calls for US Constitution to be amended “so it’s in God’s standards.” I’m sure he’s talking about a death penalty ban, right?

And the US is drafting laws that would allow it to spy on the content of any e-mail, file transfer, or web search. Given the inevitable chill on free speech, expression and association — not to mention taking a big bite out of privacy rights — um, the government seems to, well, yes, hate freedom.

Things aren’t much better in Africa, where three Cameroonians were sentenced to hard labour after being convicted of homosexuality, and six Moroccans lose their appeal of a conviction for hot Moroccan gay sex.

Jan 17, 2008

British man with 13.5″ schlong wishes people would stop treating him like a freak. Might I suggest he stop wearing skin-tight silver-metallic pants?

Rent will close on Broadway after 5,100 performances — all of them, with the possible exception of the ones that featured Scary Spice in the role of Mimi, at least marginally better than the shitbomb film adaption.

Strange stallfellows? The ACLU defends Larry Craig’s right to solicit for sex in public bathrooms.

Jan 16, 2008

Over in Eastern Europe, Serbia’s burgeoning gay rights movement gets some of the candidates in Sunday’s presidential elections to answer a questionnaire on gay rights. None of the front-runners respond, but one of the candidates without a hope in hell of winning is very supportive. For some reason, this feels eerily familiar.

A gay security guard at Heathrow airport is suing on grounds of sexual orientation discrimination following alleged repeated sexual advances and groping from a female co-worker. For some reason, The Sun titles this story “My Gay Airport Torment” — is the airport gay, or the torment?

Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe predicts an election will be called within a month. While the prospect of a Harper-less Canada is tantalizing, just remember that this guy has also predicted a referendum and independent Quebec are just around the corner for the last ten years.

Jan 15, 2008

Spanish’s opposition Conservatives pledge not to repeal same-sex marriages if elected in March. Does Harper know? Also, can anyone explain why this story about Spanish politics is tagged with a photo of La Tomatina?

A picture appearing to show two college basketball players kissing after scoring a goal causes a flurry of protest in Kentucky. Don’t see what the fuss is about. As far as pictures of people eating each other’s faces go, it’s still marginally less appalling than this.

HPV will get you even if you only have sex with one person ever. Usually STI fear-mongering is the domain of abstinence educators, but this article seems to deflate even what they’re preaching. But I bet it makes the folks at Merck-Frosst happy.

Jan 14, 2008

The Times of India reports on the mainstreaming of gay characters in Bollywood. It may just be me, but I always giggle uncontrollably when people say “Bollywood” and restrain the urge to point out that they just said “ball” and “wood.”

In news sure to give new meaning to the term “Pacific Rim,” Time magazine reports that it keeps getting easier to be gay in China.

The Globe reports that BC is still waiting for the big one, which perhaps explains why Vancouver is picked as Canada’s top gay destination. That’s fine by this Torontonian, as long as the bottoms still come here.

Jan 11, 2008

News for medicinal pot smokers: Courts strike down rules that effectively make Health Canada the only commercial provider of medicinal pot. Expect big pharma to leap in and provide better service in an entirely altruistic manner because they’d never screw anyone over.

UK exhibit unearths Rome’s first gay emperor.

And, apparently there are some exceptions to the ban on gay organ donors. What? I’ve read this article three times and I’m still not sure if I’m allowed to donate my kidneys.

Jan 10, 2008

Liberal MP and former Miss Canada Ruby Dhalla rescues two child thieves from police in India. Children are returned to the streets they live on with the lesson that if they’re going to steal, don’t steal from rich and powerful foreigners.

San Fran’s Dykes on Bikes are allowed to trademark their group name, rules the US Court of Appeals. Does this mean Toronto’s Dyke March will owe them royalties?

A pair of police forces are named the most gay-friendly employers in Scotland and Wales. So there’s still a lot of room for our own police services to grow on the gay front.

Jan 9, 2008

According to new regulations from Health Canada, men who have sex with men are banned for five years from donating organs. What? Discrimination from the same federal government run by Prime Minister Harper? That can’t be right. So let me get this straight: letting a man play with my main organ now prevents me from donating any of my others to him?

For some reason, a gay-porn-actor-turned-Spanish-Cosmopolitan- calendar-guy claims he has his “feet on the ground,” even though we’re all picturing him with them in the air. Incidentally, this latest gay-porn-actor-turned-something story is more evidence for my theory: by 2050, at least one-third of all people in the world will have done porn at one point in their life.

Republican presidential hopeful (*snicker*) Ron Paul, makes with the crazy

Jan 8, 2008

BC case presents a chilling reason for why we should reconsider our sex work laws.

Recently divorced French president Nicolas Sarkozy pops the question to a former model. Longtime readers will remember that Sarkozy once dated Stephen Harper.

Guam elects its first gay legislator, senator-elect BJ Cruz. Yes, his name is actually “BJ.”

Jan 7, 2008

Craig Ferguson has a hard time telling apart screen shots from American Gladiators and scenes from gay porn. Can you blame him?

Militia, the Gladiator who’s come under scrutiny after it was revealed he had previously done work in gay porn injured himself during his first competition in the premiere episode last night, making it the first time he failed to perform when going head to head with another man in front of the cameras.

More closeted Gladiator crap? Hey, remember back in the 90s when Ellen dated Nitro? God that episode sucked.

OK, none of this is news, but at least I just can’t pretend to care about Britney Spears anymore.

Jan 4, 2008

GLAAD identifies the top eight cases of anti-gay defamation in 2007. It’s actually quite impressive that they could only come up with eight cases — and it’s stretching a point to call Isaiah Washington’s use of the word “faggot” in his public denial of referring to his co-star with that word. Compared to Bill O’Reilly’s lesbian gang epidemic and Ann Coulter’s more pointed use of the f-bomb, it doesn’t even come close.

Let’s try and add some new cases to GLAAD’s load in 2008. For starters, there’s a Catholic Bishop in Spain who is claiming that gay children actually want to be molested by priests so much that they seduce them — probably with an eye to bringing down the Church, and then civilization in general, because that’s what gay people do.

And, a possible new answer to that tasteless joke, “Why can’t Helen Keller drive?”: Maybe she was a gay man.

Jan 3, 2008

Just in time for the Iowa caucuses, top Democratic Party officials, including former presidential candidate Howard Dean, are subpoenaed in a gay discrimination case. Ironically, no reports have surfaced yet of Dean screaming.

Northern Ireland politicians protest the appearance of a banner reading “Jesus is a fag” at last year’s Belfast Pride. Local gay rights group rightly defends the banner: “To not allow someone to carry such a placard would restrict freedom of speech.” The f-word is generating controversy in the British Isles in recent weeks.

NBC claims it was unaware that one of its newest generation of American Gladiators was a former gay porn actor, but while they haven’t decided if they’re keeping him on, they won’t edit him out of shows already taped. The newest version of the trashy game show debuts on Sunday, so we can all find out if porn experience gives “Militia” an edge over guys less experienced in wrestling down large, greased-up men.

Jan 2, 2008

New Hampshire’s new civil union law went into effect Jan 1, giving homos in the granite state the option to live free, or “I do.” Since it’s a new year, and I’m trying to concentrate on the positive, I’ll ignore developments in that other state today.

300 students at a Pennsylvania high school sign a petition calling on a gay student who dropped out after facing daily harassment to return to the school now that it has committed to improving it record on tolerance.

Always a queer rights leader, the Netherlands shows us what effective hate crimes law can do.