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National News
National News
by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Gay New Yorkers protest sex-shop arrests
Several dozen Gay New Yorkers protested near Mayor Michael Bloomberg's mansion February 14 over what they say are bogus arrests of Gay men in adult video arcades.

The activists claim undercover police officers have been hitting on Gay men, then, after the men agree to have sex, leading them outside, offering them money, and arresting them for prostitution, whether they accept the money or not.

At least 50 men have been victims of the sting, the activists said.

The motive for the arrests is to create a pretense for shutting down the shops, the activists said.

The arrests have been condemned by openly Lesbian City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and openly Gay state Sen. Tom Duane, among others.

Hawaii House passes civil-union bill
Hawaii's House of Representatives passed a civil-union bill February 12 by a vote of 33-17.

The measure now advances to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where its fate is unpredictable.

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle has not taken a position on the legislation.

The proposal would grant civil-union couples all the state-level benefits, protections and responsibilities of marriage.

Hawaii presently has a reciprocal-beneficiaries law that grants registered same-sex couples limited spousal rights. Similar limited laws are in place in Maine and Washington.

Five states - California, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont - and Washington, D.C., have full civil-union laws that grant all state-level spousal rights.

Massachusetts and Connecticut let gay couples marry, and New York recognizes same-sex marriages from states and countries that permit them.

The other countries that let Gay couples marry are Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa and Spain.

Beau poses nude
Beau Breedlove, the 21-year-old man who had sex with Portland, Ore., Mayor Sam Adams just after Breedlove turned 18, has posed nude for the May issue of the Gay porn magazine Unzipped.

The revelation of the affair nearly ended Adams' career earlier this year. Adams was 42 years old at the time of the brief relationship and, when asked about it during his mayoral campaign, had denied it happened. The men claim to still be friends.

"Beau Breedlove was extremely professional at his first erotic photo shoot in Los Angeles this past weekend," Unzipped online editor Sean Carnage told Advocate.com February 18. "He came to L.A. to prove that the Portland scandal does not define his sexuality. The photos portray the real Beau - a confident and extremely handsome young man who is openly sensual, openly sexual and has nothing to hide."

Firemen win case over forced pride parade appearance
Four San Diego firemen won a sexual-harassment court case February 17 after being forced by the Fire-Rescue Department to drive their firetruck in the city's 2007 Gay pride parade.

John Ghiotto, Jason Hewitt, Alex Kane and Chad Allison had returned to court for a second trial over the matter after a previous jury couldn't agree on whether they'd experienced severe or pervasive sexual harassment.

The new jury decided they had, but only awarded them $5,000 each in damages, plus an additional $14,200 to one firefighter who transferred to a different station, suffering a cut in pay as a result. In the first trial, the men had sought up to $1 million each.

The city continues to see the case as bogus and plans to appeal the verdict. Deputy City Attorney Kristin Zlotnik told the San Diego Union-Tribune she's looking forward to writing the appeal and feels very strongly that no harassment happened.

The men claimed that while driving their truck in the parade, they had to look at barely clothed men simulating sex acts and engaging in public displays of affection. They also said parade-watchers shouted lewd remarks at them and made vulgar gestures. As a result, the firemen said, they later suffered headaches, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome, among other stress-related maladies.

San Diego LGBT Pride Executive Director Ron deHarte commented: "The mini-sized payout the jury awarded for emotional distress to the firefighters speaks volumes about the so-called notion that they endured severe or pervasive trauma while wearing earphones, sitting six feet off the ground inside a fire truck with the windows rolled up and a roaring diesel engine powering them along a one-mile parade route. This is the same parade route followed by hundreds of public-safety and law-enforcement officers annually who are unconditionally welcomed with applause by cheering crowds."

With assistance from Bill Kelley
pictures: NY sex protest
Ron deHarte
 

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