What’s the Deal?
The Department of Justice is proposing regulations to implement a federal law designed to combat child pornography, known as Section 2257. The law was first enacted in 1998 and was amended in 2006 and significantly expanded to include regulation of the Internet.
While many of the regulations pertain to companies that produce adult entertainment magazines and videos (and are extremely burdensome), they would also affect anyone who uses an adult social-networking site. Here’s how:
- The regulations would require the people running a site to get and maintain personal information from every user (that means you) who posts a “sexually explicit” photo, including your photo ID (driver’s license, passport, or military ID).
- The regulations would allow the Attorney General to conduct warrantless searches at will on the sites’ records, including your personal information.
- There are few safeguards over what the FBI can do with the information it obtains.
- If a site operator fails to comply with the regulations, he or she would face a prison sentence of up to 5 years.
- For more detailed information on Sec. 2257, go to http://www.thetaskforce.org
Obviously, none of this has anything to do with child pornography. Instead, it is a blatant attempt to end the ability of consenting adults to use adult social-networking sites to meet other people for sex. Obviously, if these regulations go into effect, they will kill this industry.
Knoxville rejects Nazis and Klan.
Saturday May 26th the VNN Vanguard Nazi/KKK group attempted to host a hate rally to try to take advantage of the brutal murder of a white couple for media and recruitment purposes. http://www.volunteertv.com/special
Unfortunately for them the 100th ARA (Anti Racist Action) clown block came and handed them their asses by making them appear like the asses they were.
Alex Linder the founder of VNN and the lead organizer of the rally kicked off events by rushing the clowns in a fit of rage, and was promptly arrested by 4 Knoxville police officers who dropped him to the ground when he resisted and dragged him off past the red shiny shoes of the clowns.
Updated & Revised August 29, 2007
New! Listen to this dramatic reading of what happened, by Paul Hipp.
Doesn't the whole notion that we have police pretending to be gay so they can arrest gay people for their assumed intentions of having sex sound a little absurd to anyone?
Is it not relevant to reflect upon and draw connections to the countless stories we hear time and time again of homophobic harassment and brutality from police towards
queer people? At what point do we need to be afraid of making extended eye contact with another man?
Why express horror at the fact that some members of our community get off in bathrooms or in parks? Why does it terrify some people so much? What harm has it done to anyone physically or psychologically?
Most men who cruise for sex with other men do it discreetly with no intention of getting caught or disturbing others. That is why airport cruisers often use luggage (as CNN reported is even written in the Craig police report) to block view of their actions. And it is why they cruise late at night in secluded park areas. Some of the cruisers are closeted gay men, some are bisexual, some are trans or genderqueer, and others are openly gay men - all who enjoy anonymous public sex.
Take a moment to imagine that you are trapped in an airport for the day. All the sudden you are feeling very horny. A cute gay guy glances your way. You make eye contact, and he follows you into the bathroom. You think to yourself, "Okay, from here we can figure out how to hook-up." He is in the stall next to you. You tap your foot. He taps his twice. You wave your hand a little under the wall of the stall. BAM! You're arrested for your supposed intention of being "lewd."
Why can't an airport staff person simply knock on the door if two men are having sex too loudly or occupying a stall for too long? Why do we need police to trick men into thinking they are cruising them?
It is my belief that encouraging a strong and negative social stigma around the notion of public sex environments and cruising encourages a more homophobic and sexphobic society which makes it more difficult to spread quality trustworthy safer sex information.
What is important is for people who engage in any consensual sex to know about the risks involved, and to know how to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading a HIV/AIDS - using condoms for anal sex.
I love when right-wing republicans are outed as huge hypocrites. But I do not love how police continue to target and terrify our community with unethical stings, raids, and entrapment.
Updates & more: MSNBC's Tucker Carlson says he was "bothered" by a man in a park and then went back and grabbed him by his balls and assaulted him. (THAT'S A HATE CRIME TUCKER!) In the next sentence he says he is the "least anti-gay person you'll know." (Watch Video Here) Then he continues, like many people, to talk about how unsafe it is for the children to have men cruising for sex with men. Men who have sex with MEN are not pedophiles. This whole notion that the guys cruising for sex are out there grabbing our children is made-up, homophobic, fearmongering.
In Defense of Larry Craig: Dan Whipple "In short, the crime he was arrested for ought not be a crime. If they are going to include among punishable offenses the act of wanting sex, and asking for sex, but not actually getting any sex ... there aren't enough cells in all the jails in America."
"After several months of court appearances a trial date has been set for Larry Cirignano, who faces charges of misdemeanor assault and battery and civil rights violations for allegedly shoving a same-sex marriage supporter at a rally in Worcester last December for VoteOnMarriage.org, the organization that sponsored a failed amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Cirignano’s jury trial will begin Oct. 15 at Worcester District Court according to Jennifer Nadeau, spokesperson for Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early, Jr."
Since I was actually there, let me summarize what happened. Sarah Loy, a straight and married supporter of equality, was standing in the thick of the VoteOnMarriage supporters with a sign that asked for discrimination not to be a part of our constitution. She was not standing in front of the podium, and disrupting the rally like some people accuse. Pictures taken at the rally prove these accusations to be untrue. Larry Cirignano, the former head of the Catholic Citizenship Group founded by Ambassador Raymond Flynn, left the podium after speaking and walked briskly over to where Mrs. Loy was. He put his hands on her and said, "You have to get out of here right now!" then shoved Mrs. Loy, who fell as a result, hitting her head on the concrete sidewalk. Cirignano's supporters have chimed in with a litany of allegations that include Mrs. Loy being an actress, and the whole incident being staged. As in most cases when dealing with the VoteOnMarriage supporters, both truth and logic are lacking. How on Earth could anyone have known that the now resigned head of the Catholic Citizenship Group would have taken the law into his own hands and committed not only assault and battery, but a civil rights violation? There is no way to have known this, and anyone spreading otherwise as truth is simply a liar.
Cirignano's defense claim is that Mrs. Loy was blocking the podium and disrupting the speakers. He claims he only escorted her to where she would be with the other protesters "where she belonged". Cirignano claims she fell after his back was turned, and not as a result of him shoving her as several eyewitnesses claim, one of them reporter Richard Nangle at the Worcester Telegram. Funny thing though, both the pictures and a video taken at this event show that she fell while still in the thick of the VoteOnMarriage supporters. It is clear to me that Larry Cirignano lost his cool and attacked a woman based on her beliefs. It seems clear to the judges too, who denied his plea to drop the civil rights violation charge. I would have offered a link to Massresistance.com, who had the video on their website, but they must have realized the video showed damning evidence against Cirignano, whom they support, and it was taken down. The utter lack of compassion coming from these "Christians" as they stood around the injured Mrs. Loy and glared was worth hearing first hand from the video.
It seems that the problem with leadership in the Catholic Church rises all the way to the top, where Cardinal O'Maley remains perfectly silent over acts of violence against the GLBT community, giving neither guidance nor compassion.
Local group leads crusade against all "trans" web sites, logos, and products.
Amy Cumtrada, a conservative activist from Acton, MA is not happy about what she calls a "sick and depraved tran-e-revolution." Cumtrada and others, are upset that transgender activists are launching web sites that promote "immorality."
Cumtrada's latest crusade is an all out battle against ftmAss.com, a web site that regularly advertises on local TV stations. "The name of this site sent shivers through my body. It shook me to my core," Cumtrada said in a shrieking voice during a recent phone interview. "I am deeply concerned that children will see this disgusting web site advertised on local television. There is not enough outrage."
Cumtrada concedes she is too afraid to actually visit ftmAss.com, but that doesn't deter her. Cumtrada's group MassResistance has already registered ftmAssResistance.com as a part of their ongoing campaign to combat anything that may be perceived as relating transgender individuals, and to convince companies nationwide to remove the word "trans" from their logos and products.
"This is just the beginning," explained Cumtrada. The group has sent letters to the government asking for a ban on the words "trans" and "trans fat" from food containers in grocery stores. "I personally will not ever eat a pretzel rod from a bag that highlights the word "trans," Cumtrada told us. In the next few months Cumtrada said her group plans to continue their fight by targeting Trans World Entertainment, Trans Union, American Trans Airlines, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Trevor "Douchebag" Wright, of the activist group QueerToday.com said Cumtrada needed to get a life, "Female to Male (ftm) Trans people have every right in the world to launch a web site that focuses on enhancing their butt muscles through exercise. How could anyone be against exercising?"
Rights Movement Divides Russia's Gay Community
Most Seem to Favor Low-Key Approach Over Confrontational One
MOSCOW -- Elena Gusyatinskaya's tiny apartment in the drab northwestern outskirts of Moscow holds a special place in the city's gay subculture. Her living room is really a gay-themed library, lined to the ceiling with books, manuscripts, magazines, movies and many-colored binders of newspaper clippings. She also offers a particular kind of public service: storage space for personal diaries that closeted gay men and lesbians are afraid to keep at home.
Join us for Prisoner's Justice Radio - 12-hours of audio broadcasting
beyond bars from 7am to 7pm on Friday August 10th, produced by CKUT's
Prisoner's Justice Day (PJD) began in 1975 in Millhaven Penitentiary
(Kingston, ON) to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of
Eddie Nalon, a prisoner in segregation awaiting medical assistance.
Over the years, prisoners continue to recognize the day by fasting and
refusing work. Topics for this radio broadcast will include, families
in prison, race and poverty, immigration and "security", Queer/trans
prisoners, music and resistance to the Prison Industrial Complex, and
Tune into CKUT 90.3fm from 7am to 7pm THIS FRIDAY August 10th and
download the broadcast online at http://ckut.ca/archives.php or
As is so often the case, queers are moving in to "renew" the neighborhood. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the location of this Diesel Spawn, it's set to be located in historic Union Square in East Somerville. Now, Union Square is important for a number of reasons, including a claim to the first American flag being raised in 1776. But historical patriotism aside, Union Square is significant because it has been an important residential neighborhood for immigrant communities and communities of color, particularly Brazilians and African-Americans. Over the past 15 years or so, gentrification has slowly begun to creep into the neighborhood. More and more young, white, college educated folk have moved in, seeing it as a cheap, hip, alternative to more expensive neighborhoods, but still able to take advantage of its proximity to uber-hipster Inman Square in Cambridge. There has also been an influx of bougie restaurants, bars, and clubs, including the lesbian bar, Toast. A lot of this has to do with public policy related to zoning and developers wanting to "develop" the neighborhood and complicit politicians who don't give a damn about immigrants or affordable housing.
So, Bloc 11 is going to be the newest addition to Union Square's "development." We see this happen again and again. It's happened in Chicago. It's happened in Boston. It happens all over. It's the same old story of communities of color/immigrants living in neighborhoods with affordable housing, developers/business folk/white queers move into the neighborhood, drive up rent, change the neighborhood, push out residents, and essentially take over in the name of "urban renewal."
Diesel Cafe is a place that attracts, for the most part, young white queers with disposable income (I mean, $2-5 drinks? honestly). Being one of very few queer, day-time, social centers outside of Boston, Diesel has attracted an admirable following that has allowed them to expand their current building to accomadate more customers. But, that expansion is clearly not enough. As Diesel invades Union Square (even under the tricky code name of "Bloc 11"...whatever that means), it's going to bring the whiteness and the middle classness, and all the socioeconomic cultural/political baggage that goes along with that into a neighborhood that, frankly, would be better off without them. It will attract even more middle class white folks to the area. It will drive up rent and alter the way space is used in a community. It will also hurt already present businesses, some of which are own and operated by community members. The only way Diesel will hire people from Union Square is if they're hip white folks who will attract hip white customers and hip white money. Oh, and as if the cafe itself weren't enough, there're also going to be opening an art space above the cafe in true gentrifying style. Nothing like a space for white artists in a cheap queer space to make art on the backs of people of color.
I know for some people, this is probably hard to hear. It's even a little hard for me to write. I have friends who work at Diesel, I enjoy hanging out there, etc. I bet a lot of us do. We may not want to criticize a place that has come to mean so much to the a large part of the queer community. But, it is precisely for this reason that we must be willing to do so.
As a place where our voices, our presence, our cash, etc, are eseential part of the success of this cafe, we have an ethical obligation to speak up. We must be able to criticize Diesel for this blatant disregard of the residents of Union Square.
We've seen this happen in other neighborhoods in Boston. We've seen it happen in the South End (used to be mostly public housing, latin@s in affordable housing before the white gays moved in), Chinatown (thank you, Tufts Med school, condos, etc.), and the latest conquest: Dorchester (D Bar, housing). There's going to be a huge condo building there soon marketed to lesbians and gays who can't afford the South End. Who gives a damn about the folks who live there now who won't be able to afford to stay in the area.
Some folks might argue that this is going to be good for the community. That it's just the revitalization that a neglected community could use. Wrong. This is going to be extremely harmful. Yes, community development work should be going on in East Somerville, but not "urban renewal." Groups like Somerville Community Corporation and the East Somerville Neighborhood Association are working to do actualy community development with the community, opposed to in opposition to it.
Speak up, folks. Let your voices be heard. Don't give Bloc 11 your money. Maybe not even Diesel, if you can help it. But if it comes down to the Transnational Coffeehouse across the street, and Diesel. Go to Diesel. I don't want to shut Diesel down. I'm just opposed to Diesel imperialism.
wow... don't touch your computer for a weekend, and suddenly everyone hates you. cool.
i could post this under the comments section, but i feel like at least, this part of it should be made public.
i don't even know where to begin to respond to all of this. mostly, i'm really glad there is at least discussion going on about this. in general, i don't think we talk about issues of gentrification, racism, and classism enough in queer spaces. so whether or not you agree with me, or whether or not my "rant" is full of shit, i'm glad people are talking and getting worked up about it. there is plenty of stuff to get worked up about.
so. let's see. a few corrections on my part. for the record, a small coffee at diesel is in fact $1.25. the price range i originally selected ($2-5) was inaccurate. but 75 cents aside, the reason for mentioning that was not to accuse diesel of outlandish prices, but rather to point out that their customers have disposable incomes.
secondly, if i implied that diesel was not making any sort of effort to engage the community, then i apologize. that is not the case. i know about the community meeting. and they also have one of their employees (who happens to be a good friend of mine) doing outreach work, with the intention of, among other things, attempting to hire a demographically complex staff. if they do in fact achieve this, i will be somewhat less miffed about the whole thing. but only somewhat.
also, for the record, the building that bloc 11 is moving into has been empty for 3 years. so it's not like they are immediately kicking anyone out.
i also think it's worth mentioning a few last things. 1) i don't hate white gay people. i just hate what some white (gay) people do. for the record, i am white (feel free to call me a race-traitor. you're not going to hurt my feelings). 2) i don't hate diesel. i don't think diesel wants to harm the residents of union sq. in any way. they probably think they are doing something good for the community. like most folks doing messed up things, they have good intentions. 3) as some folks pointed out, it's not entirely fair to just be blaming diesel for what's going on. as i mentioned, there are politicians (with rumors of corruption circulating) allowing zoning to happen in a way that benefits developers rather than the residents. also, as people like gerry and brian pointed out, what is going on is part of larger social forces and institutions that are a product of living within advanced capitalism in a racist society. not to mention the commodification and consumption of queer cultures and the (white) queer feeling of "we're just oppressed enough that we can move into neighborhoods of color." diesel is a mere cog in a very large machine of exploitation. but, even looking at this from a much larger perspective, it is still important to hold individuals responsible for their decisions and the effects of their actions. while it's true that diesel is just one tiny piece of a complex puzzle of gentrification, it's still a piece that we, as queers, need to hold accountable.
Please if you haven’t already join their e-mail list to find out how you can help pass HB1722. www.masstpc.org
A special thanks to MassResistance without your mindless nonsense we would not of had such a creative theme!
On August 4th 2007 Trevor Wright will come out of the closet! You see, anti-gay zealots Brian Camenker and Amy Contrada of the hateful MassResistance blog have called Trevor a "transsexual activist," and they have insisted that he could switch his gender at any moment.
In light of their ridiculousness, Trevor is hosting a house party fundraiser for the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition at our home. And you'll have to attend to see why Trevor is coming out!
As many of you know Transgendered people are not covered by non-discrimination laws in our state. That must change.
The Mass Trans Political Coalition is working hard to pass legislation to protect people from discrimination based on gender identity and expression, but they desperately need our help. (donate online now! http://www.masstpc.org/about
Please join us for an evening of fundraising on August 4th at 7PM. The suggested minimum donation is $15. No one will be turned away. Light drinks and refreshments will be provided.
To RSVP and for directions please contact Mark or Trevor at 617.416.0552 or trevor.william.wright@gmail
We look forward to seeing you there!
Trevor W. Wright
Mark D. Snyder
Wing H. Poon