News Round-Up: December 21, 2020

Joe Manganiello makes a great sexy Santa

Some news items you might have missed:

Sexy Santas: I realized I haven’t been on my game when it comes to sexy Santas this year, so I’m hoping to make up ground a bit with the snap above of Archenemy star Joe Manganiello at the beach 😉

Right Wing Watch: Right-wing pastor E.W. Jackson declares that Drag Queen Story Hour is “the equivalent of pedophilia” and says parents who take their child to such an event “need to have their children taken away from them.”

CNN: Donald Trump has turned to a fringe group of advisers peddling increasingly dubious tactics to overturn the results of the election, creating a dire situation that multiple senior officials and people close to the President say has led to new levels of uncertainty at how Trump will resist the coming end to his tenure.

Christmas Music: Tayla Parx contributes this short but sweet track, “Ain’t A Lonely Christmas Song,” to the 2020 Atlantic Records holiday release, Still Home For The Holidays.

The Hill: Thousands of Trump supporters are planning a virtual “second inauguration” for President Trump on Jan. 20, the same day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. More than 60,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they plan to attend the event being billed as “Donald J. Trump 2nd Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.”

New York Times: A former Justice Department attorney pens a personal apology for the work she did in the Trump administration and for failing to push back more.

Elle Magazine: A journalist who covered the case of now-convicted pharma bro Martin Shkreli fell in love with him, quit her job, divorced her husband,…and then Shkreli ghosted her.

Variety: Outfest and GLAAD have partnered to produce a PSA with the cast and artists from the soundtrack of Hulu’s queer-centric rom-com, Happiest Season, to discuss the importance of finding chosen family for LGBTQ people during the holidays.

Proposed Law Would Fine/Jail Librarians For Drag Queen Story Hours

A lawmaker in Missouri has proposed legislation that would strip public libraries of state funding if they hosted Drag Queen Story Hour events.

Authored by state Rep. Ben Baker, the “Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act” would also allow for librarians to be fined or jailed if such events were held.

Baker is forthcoming about his opposition to drag queens reading to children telling the Kansas City Star, “They’ve had these drag queen story hours and that’s something I take objection to and I think a lot of parents do.”

“That’s where in a public space, our kids could be exposed to something that’s age-inappropriate,” he added. “That’s what I’m trying to tackle.”

Baker’s bill would require each library to create five-person panels, or oversight boards, which would hold public hearings and decide what ‘material’ is age-appropriate.

Librarians who went ahead with events deemed ‘inappropriate’ by the board could be fined $500 and sentenced to a year in jail.

Baker alleges children seeing drag queens might lead to questions or a conversation with parents about ‘adult themes’ that parents may not feel ready to have.

But Cynthia Dudenhoffer, president of the Missouri Library Association, says oversight already exists in the form of a board of trustees elected or appointed by the community.

In an official statement, Dudenhoffer objected to the proposed legislation calling it “censorship.”

What’s missing from Baker’s view on the issue is attendance at Drag Queen Story Hours is all completely voluntary. No one is forcing children to attend such events.

Local performers are already planning to protest the legislation in the state’s capital on March 7.

Tanner Rambo, a Springfield promoter who represents two drag queens organizing the protest, told the Springfield News-Leader, “This kind of bill is just bad policy.”

“You’re talking about people in big, goofy dresses telling stories in funny voices and trying to get kids interested in reading, which I think we should all want,” said Rambo.

He added, “If you want to disagree philosophically, you can. Don’t go. These aren’t things people are mandated to attend.”

Rambo also notes that Baker has a history of anti-LGBTQ animus having proposed legislation that would allow adoption agencies to turn away gay couples looking to adopt if doing so offended their ‘sincerely held beliefs.’

The Star reports that while Kansas City’s public library hasn’t held Drag Queen Story Hours, such events at St. Louis public libraries are among the most popular with hundreds attending.

I have to add that I agree with Mr. Rambo. The point of Drag Queen Story Hours is to encourage children to suspend belief and explore their imagination while embracing a message of diversity and acceptance.

The American Library Association has fully endorsed these types of programs, in any iteration, as a right to intellectual freedom. They have even curated a collection of resources for individuals seeking to bring Drag Queen Storytime to their libraries or community spaces.

Packed house at Drag Queen Story Hour in Wichita

News Round-Up: January 22, 2020

Matthew Camp (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: I’m still in a Matthew Camp kinda mood since I met the woofy hunk (above) at the GayVN Awards Monday night. #EvenBetterInPerson

Instinct: After being canceled by Netflix earlier this year, PopTV has picked up Season 4 of One Day At A Time, with a premiere date of March 24th at 9:30 pm ET/PT. The LGBTQ-inclusive reboot of the 70’s classic follows the Cuban-American Alvarez clan, an immigrant family living and loving in California. The luminous Rita Moreno co-stars as sassy grandmother ‘Lydia.’

NY Times: The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is now underway. Use this link to check for the latest developments in the trial. Today, Trump set a new Twitter record as he lashed out at House managers seeking his removal from office.

NBC News: Missouri lawmaker proposes bill criminalizing public libraries’ drag queen story hours. Under the proposed law, librarians would be subject to fines or jail time for holding such events.

Yahoo Finance: Michael Bloomberg has spent more than a quarter-billion dollars on political advertising since joining the Democratic presidential race, far outpacing all other candidates. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has spent $209.3 million on broadcast television time, $13.7 million on cable, $1.1 million on radio and $27.2 million on digital.

WXII-12: A Wilkes County pastor was arrested Thursday on more than 100 counts of felony sex offenses that span 15 years, detectives said. Rodney Dean Luffman, 58, of Pleasant Ridge Road, was charged with 115 felony sex charges — 80 counts of indecent liberties and 35 counts of sexual offenses. One of the victims was as young as 4 years old, and the other was as old as 16 when the offenses occurred.

Gay Student Found Dead Of Apparent Suicide After Video Protesting Drag Queens Went Viral

Wilson Gavin arguing with drag queen Diamond Good-Rim

A conservative gay student who led a protest against a Drag Queen Story Hour this weekend was found dead of apparent suicide early Monday morning.

The death of Wilson Gavin, 21, came one day after he faced intense backlash on social media when video clips that went viral showing he and 15-20 fellow students from the University of Queensland Liberal National Club storming into the Brisbane Square Library.

Note: The Liberal National Party in Australia is a center-right party.

The group began chanting “drag queens are not for kids” as Gavin was recorded arguing with drag queen Diamond Good-Rim.

The Daily Mail reports the students were protesting against children “being indoctrinated with radical gender theories.”

Organizers of the event, Rainbow Families Queensland (RFQ) said, “They entered the event chanting and scared the children. Some parents got them outside the room where they continued to chant loudly.”

Hours later, Gavin was found dead at Chelmer Railway Station, reports The Star Observer. Emergency medical technicians say he died from critical injuries but have provided no further details.

This wasn’t Gavin’s first time to protest LGBTQ issues.

In 2017, he helped lead the “Our Voice. Our Vote.” group that opposed legalizing same-sex marriage.

Wilson Gavin on Sky News in 2018 (screen capture)

During an interview with ABC Radio’s Patricia Karvelas, Gavin said, “Marriage has always been an institution between a man and a woman.”

Arguing that schools would “teach students about LGBTQ people” and churches would be forced to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies, he expressed concerns about what he called “the negative ramifications that can come directly from same-sex marriage.”

Sally Rugg, an LGBTQ activist who campaigned for marriage equality in Australia, tweeted, “Wilson Gavin was gay. I don’t know why he campaigned against SSM. I don’t know why he was so angry at a drag queen. I don’t know why he took his life. But I wish he was still here so he could have found us all. We would love him and forgive him. We do love and forgive him.”

If you or someone you know are thinking about suicide and need someone to talk to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, you can call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue Australia on 1300 22 4636.

One Million Moms Rants About Drag Queen Story Hour At Whole Foods

Bigoted anti-LGBTQ group One Million Moms (really just 94k) is throwing a new temper tantrum, this time aimed at Whole Foods Market for hosting a Drag Queen story hour.

In an email to their supporters, the group moans about the retailer who “once promoted organics and clean food” saying the upscale grocer is now “saturated in absolute filth, exploiting America’s children to be ‘groomed’ by drag queens.”

Pointing to a Drag Queen story hour held in Atlanta, Georgia, One Million Moms calls the events an attempt to “indoctrinate children into transgenderism and homosexuality” and “to normalize the LGBTQ lifestyle.”

The group is equally mad at Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for having the nerve to endorse the “disturbing” events.

OMM may try to paint a picture of “child exploitation,” but the fact of the matter is the events have been hailed across the country for encouraging children to get more involved in reading.

The drag queen aspect works because children have no preconceived ideas about bigotry or judgement, and allow their imaginations to take flight during the story hours.

And when you think of it, where does OMM’s get off trying to deny a child learning about being fabulous?

Personally, this just makes me want to go spend money at my nearest Whole Foods Market.

FYI – those so-called ‘one million moms’ have generated just barely 7,000 signatures on their sad little petition.

So, there you go…

News Round-Up: March 23, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

• DWTS and ANTM champ Nyle DiMarco (above) is living for the west coast sunshine – “Sun’s out, guns out!”

• The Alabama senate unanimously voted for a bill this week that would eliminate marriage licenses because some judges in the state don’t want to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

• The organizers of Houston’s Drag Queen Story Time project are calling it quits after harassment and death threats by so-called Christians.

• The House will vote next week on a measure rejecting President Trump’s ban on transgender people serving openly in the military.

• Thanks to a lawsuit by the ACLU, state-funded faith-based adoption agencies in Michigan can no longer discriminate against LGBTI people.

Sofi Tukker invite you into their new music video, “Fantasy.”

The track has been a fan favorite at concerts thanks to its intimate, introspective lyrics and vocal delivery.

The video is a sneak peek into what’s to come from the duo ahead of their world tour which will take them across five continents.

Podcast: Jussie Smollett Attacked, Rita Moreno Honored, An Armed Disruptor At Drag Queen Storytime

In this week’s podcast:

• Protester with a gun disrupts Drag Queen Storytime in Houston

• Anti-gay former county Clerk Kim Davis may have to pay big buck for denying same-sex couples marriage licenses

• New Jersey will soon have LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum in schools

Empire star Jussie Smollett attacked in homophobic, racist assault in Chicago – returns to the concert stage

• Arkansas Supreme Court reverses on Fayetteville city ordinance protecting LGBTQ people

• And my chat with the living legend and EGOT, Rita Moreno

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report.

Armed Protester Barges Into Public Library To Disrupt Drag Queen Storytime

James ‘Doc’ Greene Sr.

A protester armed with a gun barged into a Houston public library this past weekend in an attempt to disrupt Drag Queen Storytime.

James ‘Doc’ Greene Sr., who was previously issued a trespassing warning by the Houston Public Library for similar protests, entered the Freed-Montrose Library on Saturday at 1:45 p.m., just minutes before the monthly story time event.

When Greene refused to leave, library management called the police for help.

A spokesperson for the Houston Police Department told Outsmart Magazine, “A manager asked us for assistance because [Greene] was banned from the library, and would not leave when he was asked.”

“He was previously banned for filming children at the library, and has been known to cause disturbances,” she added. “Several officers had to escort him out.”

Greene, a conservative radio host for Raging Elephants Radio, was disarmed by the police, put in handcuffs, and placed in a police car. At that point, he began to complain of chest pains.

An ambulance was called and Greene was transported to a local hospital. The District Attorney declined to press charges.

At some point after the police arrived, Greene began recording the incident. He posted part of the video to YouTube where you can see he questions why he was being ejected from the library.

“How am I trespassing?” asks Greene in the video. “I want the law, I want to see the law. How many cops does it take to tell me what the law is?”

“You were given a trespass warning,” an officer responds. “They have requested you to not be on the property anymore.”

After several minutes of citing his status as a taxpayer and “member of the press,” at the 4:10 mark, Greene is shown the trespass affidavit but he disregards it.

The police then escort him out of the building where he declares for the camera, “We have a bunch of homosexuals that are molesting children, and they are doing it with your help.”

Organizers of Drag Queen Storytime say protesters are nothing new for the event, which features drag queens reading to children and their parents to encourage imagination and creativity.

On January 3, Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal dismissed a lawsuit by anti-LGBTQ activists who were attempting to stop the events.

Drag Queen Storytime has become so popular it was recently announced that there will be additional readings added to the schedule.

Haters Lose In Court Trying To Shutdown ‘Drag Queen Storytime’

Rockell Blu reads ‘Everyone Is Special’ at Drag Queen Storytime in Florida

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that Christian activists who attempted to stop Houston libraries from hosting “Drag Queen Storytime” lack standing to bring their suit, and so, the case was dismissed.

The program, which brings drag queens to children’s story-telling hours in libraries, bookstores and schools, was begun over a year ago by the nonprofit RADAR Productions.

Drag Queen Storytime encourages children to suspend belief and explore their imagination while learning to embrace diversity and tolerance.

The American Library Association has fully endorsed these types of programs, in any iteration, as a right to intellectual freedom. They have even curated a collection of resources for individuals seeking to bring Drag Queen Storytime to their libraries or community spaces.

Three men, including a pastor, filed suit against Houston Public Library Executive Director Rhea Lawson and Mayor Sylvester Turner in October 2018.

In the lawsuit, plaintiff Tex Christopher declared that “‘gay marriage’ is ‘fake marriage’” and as a Houston taxpayer and library cardholder he has standing because the library spent money on books for the story hours and paid for flyers to promote them.

More from CourtHouseNews:

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal dismissed their lawsuit Thursday for lack of standing and failure to state a viable First Amendment Establishment Clause claim.

Rosenthal said the men could not prove the threshold issue that they had been injured by the story hour because it’s unclear from their pleadings that any of them attended the events.

“The plaintiffs assert the very opposite: they purposefully avoided ‘Drag Queen Storytime’ because of its alleged immorality and potential to harm their children. Instead of witnessing the event, the plaintiffs ‘researched [it] online,’” Rosenthal wrote in a 19-page order.

To put these men in some context, it’s notable that one of the plaintiffs, Chris Sevier, has previously filed lawsuits claiming if men can marry men, then he should be able to marry his laptop computer.

Christopher now says he plans on appealing to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.