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Roundup archives: November 2007

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

Nov 30, 2007

According to Pat Robertson, God is using the transcontinental I-35 Highway to purify America from sin. Wait, the most direct route from Montreal’s Village to the beaches of Guadelajara purifies the country from sin?

The South American country best known for Homer Simpson’s hilarious mispronounciation is set to OK civil unions.

Broadway’s stagehand strike, which shut down productions for two weeks, comes to an end. So are we getting our Brokeback Mountain musical any sooner?

Nov 29, 2007

Democratic presidential candidates in the US announce AIDS action plans that include ending abstinence-only education but do not mention promoting condom use. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that plan!

Harper Tories cut funding for AIDS community groups in Ontario by 30 percent. Read more about the Conservative government’s AIDS plan here on Xtra.ca.

And despite the photos of army conscripts in their underwear and a promise of military hazing rituals, this story about the Russian army is actually too sad to joke about.

Nov 28, 2007

New South Wales introduces a Bill allowing sperm and egg donors to block their reproductive material from going to gays and lesbians. Is the thinking that gays can scrape all the reproductive material they need off the walls of the baths?

Meanwhile, Grenada mulls blocking gay cruises from entering the island. It’s somewhat understandable, given the last time the island faced an invasion.

Sure to be on every gay man’s Christmas list: Stupid.com markets a talking Larry Craig doll.

Nov 27, 2007

Brian Bates wins election to Doraville City Council, becoming the first openly gay Republican elected to office in the state of Georgia. So, does this mean Bates’ inevitable sex scandal will be with a member of the opposite sex?

Oh, did you think that was this week’s Republican gay sex scandal? No, this is this week’s Republican gay sex ‘scandal.’

Surprise, surprise. The Roman Catholic Church of England comes out against a Bill that would enhance lesbian couples’ access to in vitro fertilization, saying that it would deny the role of the father in a child’s life. The Church is just bitter since many of its Fathers aren’t allowed within 100 metres of children, pursuant to court order.

Nov 26, 2007

Australians toss off former PM John Howard in favour of a labour coalition that’s pro-gay-rights.

Romania elects its first European Parliament MPs in a campaign that has seen politicians go hard after the porn star vote. It’s surprising at first, but actually, porn stars are the largest occupational demographic in Romania.

Hey, we can all be porn stars! Canoe shows us how.

Nov 23, 2007

City of Toronto plans to spend $700,000 to get into the street meat business. Is it wise to spend that much money to get rid of wieners in the middle of a financial crisis?

Soap hunk Marcus Patrick is fired from Days of Our Lives after a photo spread in Playgirl and multiple photos released of him stripping at a gay bar in West Hollywood.

Italian porn actress is also a teacher and everyone knows about it and is cool with it. Or are they? What? How do both these stories exist in the same universe?

Nov 22, 2007

A BC Anglican Bishop says the church faces a “full-blown schism” over same-sex marriage blessings. Does anyone else think “full-blown schism” sounds just a little hot?

Who’s the bigger size queen? Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty for demanding more representation for Ontario in the House, or House leader Peter Van Loan who’s accusing McGuinty of being “small”? You decide.

Newsflash: Animals like to have sex! And you thought your dog just liked the peanut butter.

Nov 21, 2007

The UN dramatically cuts back the number of people it estimates are living with HIV/AIDS, claiming that better surveying methods have turned out fewer people living with the disease. See, Bono’s Red Campaign is already working!

A gay city councillor wins the mayoralty of Vallejo, California, hours after being arrested for public drunkenness. In accordance with the wishes of yesterday’s student journalist, I will take all appropriate pleasure in seeing a gay politician humiliated and disgraced for his indiscretion.

A 20-year-old Italian choir boy is dismissed from his Padua choir after publicly coming out. I assume his priest informed him that the Catholic Church has no use for gay boys over the age of consent. He’s going to appeal to the Bishop, who, I imagine, will ask him to spend long hours on his knees in the rectory. I could really go all day with bad gay Catholic jokes here, but I think you get the idea.

Nov 20, 2007

Somalis found the country’s first public gay web site for their country, which will help queer Somalis disseminate information and organize for queer rights. For those taking notes, the order of importance in Somalia is now: queer rights, then functional government, peace, potable water…

A wiley club promotertricks Boy George into acknowledging a £36,000-debt by pretending to be an autograph-seeking fan. Boy George’s first clue should have been that it’s the year 2007, and he claimed to want his autograph.

A student journalist lashes out at the hypocrisy of gay rights advocates who gloat in the outing of Republican anti-gay politicians. Uhm, but when we do it, it’s cute!

Nov 19, 2007

It’s all over the blogosphere, but mainstream English news hasn’t picked it up yet: Nicaragua has quietly done away with its anti-sodomy laws, adopting a new Penal Code last week.

It’s a classic good-news-bad-news situation for at least one person: Alvaro Orozco, the gay Nicaraguan refugee claimant who has been fighting deportation from Canada for more than a year, and is now in hiding. The end of legally sanctioned persecution of gay sex in Nicaragua takes out a pillar from his case, but if he is deported, at least he can’t be legally prosecuted for having gay sex.

Of course, since the new Penal Code doesn’t do anything to actively protect gays from discrimination or hate crime, it’s a mixed gift at best. With a grain of charity, I’ll buy that the Nicaraguan legislators are actually trying to slowly advance human rights for gays in the country, rather than simply outsourcing gay persecution to gangs and thugs who do it more efficiently.

Nov 16, 2007

An expert claims we’ll be having sex with robots by 2050. I wonder what institution accredits experts in robot sex? This also seems like more distraction to keep our minds off the jet packs that likely still won’t be ready.

Speaking of weird fields of expertise, scientists at McMaster University have found a fish that reproduces orally, and is boasting of having found the oral sex gene. McMaster students will take sex where they can find it, I guess.

The Tories pretty much confirm my suspicion that their plan to add more seats to the legislature is purely partisan, in a roundabout way.

Nov 15, 2007

Democracy by Harper:

The Canadian Press reports that Harper is reintroducing legislation to expand Parliament, creating 22 more seats representing BC, Alberta, and Ontario. Unreported by the Canadian Press: The reason this bill didn’t pass in the last Parliament is because it was opposed by pretty much everyone: The Ontario government resented the fact that it still wasn’t getting enough seats to be fairly represented, and the Bloc decried the fact that Quebec got no new seats at all, despite its own imbalance relative to the smaller provinces.

If the bill were to pass anyway, it could make the next election very interesting. The five Alberta seats would likely all go Tory, although it’s possible that an additional riding in Edmonton or Calgary could carve out a Liberal niche. Depending on where the BC seats go, they could be anyone’s game: the largest ridings are currently along the coast, on the Island and in Vancouver. One to watch is West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast, which the Liberals took by a razor-thin margin last election, and which is currently the largest riding by population in the country. Conservatives are generally stronger in suburban Vancouver and on the coast, where the lion’s share additions are most likely to go.

And in Ontario? My guess is Toronto will continue to get shafted relative to the rest of the country, because the largest ridings in the province are actually in the 905 and in other cities in Southern Ontario. These are key battlegrounds for all three parties, and the additional ten seats could go to any party, but clearly the Conservatives have done their math on this. This also explains why Harper’s not proposing a full representation for Ontario: any more additional seats would have to be allocated to Toronto, which would be Liberal strongholds.

So why did Quebec get shafted? Well, Quebec ridings are generally larger than the average riding, but the largest are all on the island of Montreal, where the Conservatives are not competitive. Any seats added there would likely go to the Liberals or the Bloc.

Democracy by Harper: when you can’t earn a majority, build it yourself from scratch.

Nov 14, 2007

Chantal Hebert illustrates the dangers of using obscure Latin phrases in her headlines. I assumed when the Sovereigntists were confronting their “annus horribilis,” it was going to be another story about Andre Boisclair.

Three years after it launched, people still find it hard to understand that things posted on Facebook can be seen by your bosses, it seems. People, it’s not that hard to figure out. I took down all the pictures of my girlfriend when I started working at Xtra…

Details magazine ends its long-running and decreasingly tolerable “Gay or…” feature with a cheeky poke at itself.

Nov 13, 2007

This week’s Republican gay sex scandal follow-up: Florida state representative Bob Allen was found guilty of soliciting a sex act in a public washroom.

The new season of the Janice Dickinson Modelling Agency will include a face familiar to a certain segment of the gay population. OMG Blog speculates that Rodrigo de Carli (Claudio Martin) left porn because his sex faces were too weird, and after watching “Deceived” it’s hard to disagree (NSFW).

Ellen Degeneres is a scab. Also, she’s crossing the Writers’ Guild picket lines and doing her show without her writing staff. Imagine, the Ellen Degeneres Show, but less funny.

Nov 12, 2007

Harper orders Mulroney probed, but I have a feeling it’s not going to be as hot as it sounds.

Transsexual is the new gay on TV, according to The Seattle Times. And in case you were worried that the writers’ strike would impede this great progress for trans rights, fear not. There’s plenty of reality shows to fill the void.

Noted bigot Ann Coulter’s official web site was hacked and replaced with this letter.

Nov 9, 2007

Sex columnist Dan Savage visits Spokane to trace the steps of embattled Republican lawmaker Richard Curtis. Savage is normally reluctant to discuss his own kinks in his column, so it’s nice to see him come out as a scandalized-Republican fetishist.

The Dutch call on foreign aid recipients to treat gays better. It’s imperialism we can all support.

Toronto Maple Leafs Rookie Jiri Tlusty says he’s not gay after pictures surface of him being, ahem, really friendly with another guy. Lots of people aren’t gay, so this isn’t really news, but the Breakfast with Scot, the film about a couple of gay hockey jocks raising tween flamer opens in just one week.

Nov 8, 2007

Anti gay-marriage US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney accidentally places campaign ads on Gay.com, and Fan-Fiction.com, a site where fans post erotic stories starring their favourite sci-fi and fantasy characters. I don’t see the conflict. Most of the guys I’ve seen on Gay.com claim to be in traditional marriages, anyway.

The US House of Representative passes a bill protecting gays and lesbians from employment discrimination. Democrat leaders altered the original bill, which would have ensured trans rights as well, in order to get enough support that the bill would pass. The White House has previously said it would veto the bill anyway, making it a moot point.

Australia’s Summer Gay Day is planning to be environmentally friendly. On that note, some eco-friendly ways to dispose of your condoms.

Nov 7, 2007

British boyband McFly demonstrates a not-terribly-safe way to depilate.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, fighting for his job on the election trail, refuses to answer the important question on the minds of Australians everywhere: who would he go gay for?

ABC News appears to be working on an investigation into how people react to seeing two (photogenic) gays kissing in public. Who’d have thunk ? turns out to be no big deal.

Nov 6, 2007

MSN recommends some porn companies that would make good investments, but warns that advances in technology that may make them more profitable are also opening them up to piracy. I’m considering investing, but I think I’ll just try to find the stock on XTube (NFSW) instead of paying for it.

The Screen Writers Guild goes on strike, which will likely lead to ever more tedious reality television. Could Queer Eye possibly come back? Say it ain’t so, Tina. Say it ain’t so…

Men around the world are growing moustaches for prostate cancer in a campaign called Mo-vember. Apparently, “Mo” is Australian slang for moustache, but it doesn’t translate well on this side of the Pacific. In any event, the campaign is also a contest in which a prize will be awarded to the Best Mo.

Nov 5, 2007

Russian President and beefcake model Vladimir Putin decries forces trying to spread strife in Russia on National Unity Day. Skeptics may note that the Russian government may not be setting the best example.

A gay Virginian was ordered to remove vanity plates that read “POOFTER” from his car by authorities who deemed them offensive. Just for shits, I’m requesting my next plates to spell H8CRIMNL.

The Baltimore Sun discovers that some gay people like Hip-Hop music. It must have totally blown their minds to find gay people listening to something other than Madonna and Cher and the rhythmic sounds of penises astrogliding into asses. Not reported in this story: some gay people also eat Chinese food, play sports, watch House, and breathe oxygen.

Nov 2, 2007

Lance Bass says he was once quickie-married to a woman in Las Vegas. Just out of curiosity, how many people would have guessed back in 2000 that of any of the ‘N Sync guys, seven years later Lance Bass would be the one who managed to get his name in papers every day?

The anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church is fined $11 million for protesting at the funerals of dead US soldiers. They claim that military failure overseas is God’s punishment for US tolerance of homosexuality (as far as it goes, anyway). So what does legal failure at home, signify, Mr. Phelps?

A scientist from the London School of Economics suggests that human men will one day evolve larger penises. Xtra.ca is contributing to this worthy cause of making penises larger by placing my photo everywhere.

Nov 1, 2007

Federal Conservatives have dumped international lawyer Mark Warner as their candidate in Toronto Centre for the upcoming election/by-election, where he would have squared off against Liberal candidate and former NDP premier Bob Rae. Warner claims the dumping is because he was sending a “Red Tory” — read: Liberal — message in order to appeal to Toronto’s urban voters. Astonishingly, Warner, who holds four degrees, thinks it’s news to proclaim “Federal Conservative Party has no interest in engaging with urban Canada.”

So what does it take to be too “red” to run in a riding where the leading candidate is an Orange Liberal? Well, open praise of former MP and Interim Liberal Leader Bill Graham on his web site may have been problematic for party central. Maybe it was also Warner boasting of his attendance at the 2006 International AIDS Conference in Toronto, which the Prime Minister decided to snub.

What could the guy expect from a party that’s already dumping two sitting MPs for going against the party message? Did he really expect the party to run a guy who doesn’t know how to bark like a trained seal yet?