National and world briefs

GA. Governor candidate cruises Grinder

Georgia Republican Governor candidate, Brian Kemp’s campaign ads show up on Grindr. The state Democrats claimed the banner showed Kemps hypocrisy since they consider him anti-gay. Kemp has expressed support for Georgia’s version of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Kemp’s campaign told the paper the ad could have turned up on Grindr because the user had visited Kemp’s website. Tracking technology makes it possible for advertisers to target internet users as they go from one site to another. Which explains friends saying they have friends who see banners for R C Willey and when they are looking for hiking or camping partners on Grindr.

X Marks the spot

New York City birth certificates may now show a third gender, signified by “X”, without needing a letter from a healthcare provider. Signing the law and joining California, Washington, New Jersey, and Oregon as jurisdictions with similar laws, Mayor de Blasio said, “New Yorkers should be free to tell their government who they are, not the other way around.”

Gay puppets

Many like to think that Sesame Street denizens, Bert and Ernie are gay but the team behind Sesame Street says that “They are just puppets.” Mark Saltzman, a former scriptwriter for Sesame Street, drawing on his own experience as a gay man, said that he always imagined Bert and Ernie as “loving partners.” Sesame Workshop stated how the characters “were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.” Despite the duo’s human traits, “they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.” Frank Oz, the puppeteer who created the Bert character wrote. “It’s nice that some people feel Bert and Ernie are gay,” he tweeted. “But it’s not true.” What’s next, Big Bird is not really avian but just a puppet?”

Roman Catholic nutbag

Rev. Paul Kalchik, a Roman Catholic priest in Chicago, hoped to solve the clergy-abuse scandal which some blame on a “homosexual mafia” with an “exorcism” featuring the burning of a rainbow flag that had once hung in the church. He defied orders from superiors in the diocese. Kalchik told NBC News he takes Leviticus 20:13 literally about putting gay men to death. No word on stoning mouthy teenagers, burying adulterous wives, or killing those with mismatched fabrics. Lakchik has been placed on leave by the diocese.

Batman revealed

In “Batman: Damned #1”, the first in DC Comics’ mag for mature viewers, you now get to see something only Robin used to get to see — Batman’s penis. Unfortunately, the panels have been changed considerably due to complaints from stores carrying the new comic book. Here’s a peek at Batman’s junk at — and nice abs and butt.

Grindr becomes intolerant of intolerance

Grindr announced a “zero tolerance policy” toward racism, transphobia and other discrimination on the platform. The ChiCom-owned company will ban users who use hateful language, perhaps removing options to filter potential hookups by age and race. “No fats, no femmes, no Asians’…that isn’t going to be tolerated anymore,” said Landen Zumwalt, Grindr’s head of communications. Other gay hookup sites like Adam4Adam said they encouraged users to report all types of discrimination and would ban users who failed to treat others with respect.

Brooklyn Hate Crime

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man in connection with a brutal homophobic attack early Sunday morning on two New Jersey men at one of the last remaining gay bars in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The suspect turned himself into police. The man allegedly punched a 34-year-old victim in the face and threw a 29-year-old victim against a tree, leaving both of them unconscious. No motive yet for the random attack where witnesses say he called them “f—–s” (we think it could be “faggots” or “fuckers” of “felines”, but can’t tell from the soft wire copy) before knocking them unconscious.

Romanians don’t care enough to vote

It was a victory of sorts for Marriage Equality. Romanian voters did not turn out to vote in a national referendum aimed at barring same-sex marriage in that East European country. A voter turnout of at least 30 percent was necessary for the result to stand, but election officials said only 20.41 of eligible voters participated. Both sides claimed victory in this display of apathy: Gay rights group, Accept, said it showed citizens “want a Romania based upon democratic values” and proponents, including the Romanian Orthodox Church said they were pleased to see there was a “Christian” voting block in the country.

Mandatory marriage

The U.S. will start treating gay and lesbian partners of foreign diplomats or staffers of U.S.-based international organizations like the United Nations the same as opposite-sex unmarried partners. The State Department will require unmarried same-sex partners to apply for a spousal visa, also known as the G-4 visa. It will be a problem for diplomats from all but the 25 countries who recognize marriage equality. Samantha Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the UN, predictably called the new policy “needlessly cruel and bigoted,“ and a UN official said the policy would effectively “tear U.N. staff” from their partners. A U.S. spokesman said the policy is intended “to help ensure and promote equal treatment” between straight and gay couples.

Commitment ceremony was a marriage

A Colorado court had ruled that a commitment ceremony in 2003, and more than a decade before the Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage, is a legally binding commitment. Though the pair married after the decision, a judge has used the 2003 commitment ceremony as the beginning of the “married relationship” and has ordered one of the partners to give up 70 percent of his assets, accumulated before legal marriage, to the other party. The house, cars, savings and pension accumulated before the marriage were never designated as joint property, but the judge said, “You Play, You Pay.”

Spies thought Hitler to be bisexual

A declassified CIA profile of Adolf Hitler would probably be better to have remained unseen. Written in 1942, it said that he was “both homosexual and heterosexual.” Much of the information in the profile was hearsay, with few sources. One named source is Ernst Franz Sedgwick Hanfstaengl, a personal friend of Hitler. He told agents, after escaping to the USA in the 1930s, that Hitler often stayed at a hostel, Maennerheim Brigittenau, in Vienna. Dr. Sedgwick said the hostel had the reputation of being a place where senior men went in search of young men for sexual pleasures.

The report also discussed Hitler’s “mommy” issues, “narcissistic masturbatory” tendencies, and a fruitless search for the perfect woman. The report claimed at the time that Hitler lacked “genuine disgust” for gay people, but records later revealed an estimated 100,000 gay men were arrested in Nazi Germany and between 5,000 and 15,000 homosexuals were sent to concentration camps.

Nothing’s infallible, including PrEP

A San Francisco man was infected with partially resistant HIV despite consistent use of Truvada pre-exposure prophylaxis. It is the sixth known case of HIV seroconversion despite good adherence to PrEP, according to Stephanie Cohen and colleagues from the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the University of California at San Francisco. It may have been caused by the man having sex with an HIV-positive partner with the same resistance pattern suggesting transmission of resistant virus, rather than a newly emerging resistant virus in the recently infected man. “HIV infections during PrEP use are extremely rare,” PrEP researcher Robert Grant of UCSF said. “There are only a few cases reported worldwide after hundreds of thousands of people have used PrEP and tens of thousands of HIV infections have been prevented.”

Photo: Brian Kemp

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