News Round-Up: June 23, 2021

Out Olympian Gus Kenworthy
Out Olympian Gus Kenworthy
Gus Kenworthy (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

OK Magazine: Out Olympian Gus Kenworthy (above) tells the gossip mag that the 2022 Winter Olympics will be his last after which he’ll turn his focus to acting and TV hosting gigs.

The Advocate: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has vetoed a bill that would have banned transgender girls and women from competing in school sports designated for females calling it “a solution in search of a problem.” Edwards, a moderate Democrat, said in an online statement. “Even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue.”

Boy Culture: Britney Spears had her day in court, wants her life back, and Matt Rettenmund has her full (explosive) statement to the court. This is a wild ride, folks. I’m not a Britney fan, but I think folks should give her her life back and let the chips fall where they may.

International pop star Britney Spears
International pop star Britney Spears (image via Instagram)

Raw Story: Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation requiring students, faculty and staff at Florida’s public universities and colleges to register their political views with the state as a way to encourage “intellectual diversity.”

New York Times: Graydon Young, of Sarasota, Fla., admitted to conspiring to breach the U. S. Capitol building as part of a military-style “stack” made up of members of the Oath Keepers militia and disrupt the certification of the Electoral College vote. As part of his deal with the government, Mr. Young agreed to cooperate with prosecutors — the second member of the Oath Keepers to provide assistance to investigators. He faces an estimated 63 to 78 months in prison.

Mediaite: Former NRA president David Keene accepted an invitation to address what he thought was going to be its graduating class of 2021. Instead, the 3,044 chairs in the audience were left completely unoccupied. And not because it was a dress rehearsal as Keene was told, but to represent all of the should-have-been 2021 high school graduates who were killed by gun violence, “The Lost Class.”

Trump Supporter Charged In Defacing Pride Memorial

Alexander Jerich (mug shot)

Incidents like this really beg the question “What were they thinking???”

Alexander Jerich, 20, turned himself in to the police Thursday afternoon after cellphone video went viral showing him purposely defacing the LGBTQ Pride rainbow walk in Delray Beach earlier this week.

CBS12 News reports Jerich was charged with criminal mischief over $1,000, reckless driving, and evidence of prejudice (felony enhancement).

Under a new law (Section 806.135, Florida Statutes “Destroying or demolishing a memorial or historic property”), this would be considered a 2nd degree felony. Jerich could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

Nicholas Coppola is a member of the Palm Beach County LGBTQ Community Center in Lake Worth Beach, and one of the leaders behind this rainbow artwork that was years in the making.

“There are many things that indicate this is a hate crime targeted against the community,” Coppola said. “I hate to say I was saddened, but not surprised. There’s a part of me that expected it. Unfortunately, we deal with this every day.”

The city had just unveiled the new intersection on Saturday. The artwork was dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando five years ago.

Florida Bar Hosts Illegal Male Strip Revue Complete With Full Nudity

Gary Kirby - owner of the Westside Sports Bar & Grill
Gary Kirby - owner of the Westside Sports Bar & Grill
Gary Kirby (mugshot via BCSO)

A sports bar in West Melbourne, Florida, was raided by police for reportedly violating several city ordinances after presenting an all-male strip revue.

Undercover police officers armed with body cameras attended the “Men of Utopia” show on Thursday night at the Westside Sports Bar & Grill after the soiree had been advertised on Facebook.

Among the list of city ordinances violated include giving lap dances, touching customers in “certain areas of their bodies,” and displaying male genitals, reports Florida Today.

Mind you – this is all during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Poster for Men of Utopia all-male revue
(image via Facebook)

Gary Kirby, the owner of the bar, admitted to police officers he knew the performance was illegal according to the police affidavit. And yet, he still went ahead with the eye-candy cavalcade.

He was arrested and charged with operating an adult entertainment establishment in violation of municipal ordinance.

This isn’t Kirby’s first brush with flouting local laws and public guidelines. Apparently, the 31-year-old has enjoyed making a name for himself as an anti-masker.

I know, I know…who’d believe they have lax rules about the coronavirus in Florida???

Last September, he garnered local headlines when he banned the wearing of face masks in his bar.

In July, the West Melbourne City Council had unanimously adopted an emergency ordinance requiring masks at major retailers to try to curb the spread of COVID-19 as well as directing storefront businesses to post their mask policies on entry doorways.

Interviewed by Florida Today, he said that he agreed “there is a virus,” but citing what he believed is a one-percent death rate, he told the press, “We are statistically just as likely to get hit by a train.”

Kirby also held an anti-lockdown St. Patrick’s Day celebration where – you guessed it – face masks were prohibited.

The bar’s Facebook page is full of posts mocking people following public health guidelines regarding the pandemic.

(image via Facebook)

Florida Moves To Outlaw Handing Out Water To Voters

Voters stand in line waiting to vote

Voters stand in line waiting to vote

A Florida lawmaker has introduced legislation that would follow Georgia’s lead in barring handing out water or food to people waiting in line to vote within 150 feet of a polling venue.

Via Politico:

“It’s influencing the vote and that’s what we are trying to stop because they are a captive audience,” Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill), the bill sponsor and the former chair of the Republican Party of Florida, said at a hearing Monday. “The 150 feet area is supposed to be a safe zone where they are not going to be bothered by a campaign.”

Ingoglia also said that nothing in the proposal would prevent local election supervisors from handing out water to people in line if they wanted. “I just think it should be a function of the government,” he said.

So, people not affiliated with any campaign  – folks who just want to encourage people to stay in line and vote, Democrat or Republican – can’t hand someone a bottle of water? #srsly

News Round-Up: February 22, 2021

My four-year-old Scarlett is tired of being patient about dinner time
My four-year-old Scarlett is tired of being patient about dinner time
Scarlett is done waiting for dinner time

Some news items you might have missed:

Life: Scarlett (above) is apparently tired of being impatient waiting for dinner. #HaveAGoodNightFolks

The Advocate: When MSNBC launched The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart in December, the move made Capehart the first out LGBTQ+ person to host one of the vaunted Sunday morning political talk shows.

Variety: “Mayor Pete,” directed by Jesse Moss, will take the audience inside Pete Buttigieg’s quest to be the first openly gay president in US history. The documentary (set for release later this year) will show Buttigieg at home in Indiana with his husband, Chasten, and go inside his campaign’s early days as well as Buttigieg’s historic, contested victory in the Iowa caucuses.

Revry: The streaming LGBTQ platform continues its celebration of Black History month. Check out the series Giving Me Life – A dramedy series about six Black and Latinx friends of diverse sexualities as they struggle to live and love in New York City.

New York Daily News: People who wear glasses could be up to three times less likely to get coronavirus, according to a new study conducted in India. The preliminary study suggests that glass-wearers may have the extra protection because they tend to touch their eyes less frequently than most people.

USA Today: A new Suffolk University/USA TODAY Poll finds 46% of Trump supporters would join the Trump party if the Trumpster created one. Good, it would effectively split the Republican party. I’m down for that.

Miami Herald: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered flags to be flown at half-mast to honor hate monger Rush Limbaugh.

However, the official flag protocol in Florida is specific about when state flags are to be lowered: certain holidays honoring veterans; if a present or former governor of Florida dies; if an active service member from Florida dies; if a prominent state official dies; or if a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty. #ThatsNotLimbaugh

Podcast: Country Star TJ Osborne Comes Out, Pete Buttigieg & More

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this episode of The Randy Report podcast:

• Country music star TJ Osborne comes out as gay

• Pete Buttigieg becomes first openly gay White House Cabinet member approved by the Senate

• President Biden issues memorandum promoting/protecting LGBTQ rights abroad

• Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says passing The Equality Act is a “priority”

• A white Florida man shoots and kills his Black lover but only gets one year in prison

• Out singer/songwriter John Duff drops his latest pop bop, “Do It”

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

You can subscribe/listen to The Randy Report on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Soundcloud and wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

If you enjoy catching up on LGBTQ news in a quick podcast, please consider sharing with your friends or on social media 🙂

Man Disables Security Cams In Advance Of Brutal Hate Crime

Stock photo of a crime scene

Stock photo of a crime scene

A Florida man has been arrested after cutting the power to the home of a gay couple and then brutally attacking one of them.

Damiek Jones, 31, has been arrested and charged in the vicious stabbing attack that took place late Sunday night in New Smyrna Beach.

The victim and his boyfriend told police there were at home when the power went out. Stepping outside to check the circuit breaker, Jones ambushed the victim hitting him in the head, possibly with brass knuckles according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

The attacker, later identified as Jones, then stabbed the victim repeatedly in the back of his thighs and head. During the attack, a red bandana covering Jones’ face came off whereupon the victim recognized him.

According to the couple, Jones knew the residence had security cameras in place which would explain why he disabled power to the house.

The victim’s partner heard yelling and came to the rescue chasing Jones as he fled the scene. During the chase, the boyfriend saw Jones throw items into a neighbor’s yard.

Police were called to the home at 11:16 pm and with the aid of a police dog recovered a chisel (the presumed weapon), the bandana, and a scarf. A backpack was also found containing nunchucks, a knife, pills, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Mugshot of Damiek Jones
Damiek Jones (police mugshot)

Additionally, a journal was found in the backpack which included chilling passages detailing Jones’ animus towards queer people.

“I now understand that to hate them all is a requirement. (The victim and boyfriend) and now (names two women), all of you shall have a moment of fate to look forward too,” wrote Jones according to the police report.

In light the journal entry, New Smyrna Beach police determined Jones “committed the crime with prejudice based on the sexual orientation of the victim.”

Jones was arrested and charged on Monday with committing a second-degree misdemeanor with prejudice, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a Schedule IV substance.

He is currently being held in the Volusia County Branch Jail on $15,500 bail.

(source: Daytona Beach News-Journal)

White Man Claims Self-Defense In Shooting Death Of Black Lover, Gets 1 Year In Prison

Gardner Kent Fraser
Gardner Kent Fraser
Gardner Kent Fraser (mug shot)

Folks are outraged over the one-year prison sentence given to a white Florida man who shot and killed his Black male lover.

Gardner Kent Fraser, 32, was charged with – and pleaded guilty to – tampering with evidence in the investigation of the 2018 shooting (and killing) of 31-year-old Dominic Jerome “DJ” Broadus Jr.

But Fraser was never charged for the actual killing of Broadus. Fraser told investigators he shot Broadus in self-defense, and under Florida’s ‘stand your ground law,’ prosecutors are tasked with proving the accused wasn’t acting in self-defense.

A spokesman for the 4th Judicial Circuit issued a statement regarding the charges filed which read, in part, “The investigation has not generated evidence to disprove Fraser’s claim of self-defense.”

“The evidence in this case, Fraser’s unwavering claims of self-defense, and Florida law do not provide support for homicide charges,” added the spokesman. “We are ethically prohibited from instituting criminal charges that we cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

Dominic Broadus Sr, the father of the victim, said Fraser “fatally shot my son in the back of the head twice” to “hide his feminine, bisexual nature.”

He added Fraser attempted to “destroy any evidence of their relationship by deleting all text from his phone and destroying/hiding my son’s phone, then calling three people before reporting the shooting to the proper authorities.”

After shooting Broadus, Fraser was asked if he knew the victim. “Ahh, I believe I do” was his reply.

Police say Fraser got rid of Broadus’s phone in an effort to hide communications between the two men. Even without Broadus’s phone, police were able to determine via forensic analysis of Fraser’s phone that the two men had been involved in an intimate relationship.

Although Fraser had deleted text messages from his own phone, investigators were able to recover 115 phone calls and 35 text messages between the men from Fraser’s phone. According to reports, many of the messages and images were “sexual in nature.”

Broadus Jr.
Dominic Jerome ‘DJ’ Broadus Jr. (image via family)

Because Fraser is the son of a retired Baker County police deputy, the case was turned over to the 4th Circuit State Attorney Melissa Nelson in an effort to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.

But many locals say they believe prejudice and racial bias still came into play in the case.

Anita “Baker” McGoogin, who co-organized protests in support of the Broadus family, told News4Jax, “It’s brought light on to what everyone already knows: The prejudice is here. The racism, that’s here. The favoritism, that’s here.”

Additionally, The Root has reported that Fraser’s family has “deep ties to the Ku Klux Klan.”

At his sentencing, Fraser was adjudicated as guilty, and sentenced to one year in county jail to be followed by 4 years supervised probation with community service.

Florida: Trump Plaza Dumps Trump Name

Trump Plaza in West Palm Beach voted to dump the Trump name from building
Donald Trump (screen capture)

The folks at Trump Plaza in West Palm Beach are done with being associated with the Trump name.

From the Palm Beach Post:

The Trump name has been dumped from a signature West Palm Beach condominium in the wake of the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol.

Last week, the board of the Trump Plaza condominium voted unanimously to change the legal name of the twin-tower complex. As a result, former President Donald Trump no longer will have a condo bearing his name across the water from his island enclave on Palm Beach.

The 32-story, twin-tower complex decided to cut its last link with Trump following his actions in inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The condo’s Jan. 19 vote cleared the way for residents to cast a ballot to choose a new name for the luxury condo, where units sell from $1 million to more than $4 million.

“The Trump brand is damaged, so rebranding the complex is a wise move,” said Burt Minkoff, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman on Palm Beach.

It’s not just Florida, either. Data shows buildings in Manhattan bearing the Trump name have seen their value drop by half.

“The Trump name is probably pretty radioactive right now,” realtor Mark Cohen told Business Insider.

Leopard Print ‘Karen’ Loses It At Einstein Bros Bagels

A leopard print wearing 'Karen' was arrested for refusing to wear a mask in an Einsteins Bagel shop
A leopard print 'Karen' was arrested for refusing to wear a mask in an Einsteins Bagel shop
Cindy Falco DiCorrado (screen captures)

The Smoking Gun describes these clips as “Florida woman gives Palm Beach Sheriff’s deputies an ‘advanced Karen Masterclass’ during anti-mask meltdown at Einstein Bros. Bagels in Boca Raton.”

This leopard print ‘Karen’ is registered Republican Cindy Falco DiCorrado, 61, of Boynton Beach.

While waiting for Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies to arrive, DiCorrado declared, “I’m an American and I’m allowed to breathe. And it’s against my religion. And it’s against the amendment.”

As she referenced purported legal citations proving that it was illegal to require masks inside a private business, an onlooker asked her, “Shouldn’t you be storming the Capitol?”

As you’ll see in the second clip, after being handcuffed next to the police cruiser, DiCorrado began chanting, “In the name of Jesus. In the name of Jesus. I come against these principalities and powers…this abuse, this abuse.”

After demanding to know why she was arrested, the officer informed her that she had been trespassing. “You can’t trespass in a public business,” she shrieks.

Ultimately, DiCorrado was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest without violence and booked into the Palm Beach County jail. She was released the following day after posting a $2000 bond and ordered by a judge to stay away from Einstein Bros.

(mugshot via Broward County Sheriff’s Office)

For the record, according to Broward County Mayor Steve Geller, even though local Florida governments have mandated mask use, you can’t be arrested for not wearing a mask.

BUT – a business owner can request people to leave for not following the rules, especially because a business can still be fined for not enforcing the mask mandate. The end result for noncompliance could be an arrest for trespassing.

There is NO constitutional right to buy a bagel in a store. As a spokesman for Einstein Bros. Bagels noted, those who don’t want to or can’t wear a face mask can pre-order their food and have it delivered curbside.

DiCorrado was arrested last May for trespassing and resisting at a West Palm Beach restaurant as part of a mask protest.

In 2017, DiCorrado was forced to resign from a city advisory board after “racist,” “white supremacist” and “anti-immigrant” remarks.

Wait until you see this. I’d call for a Bette Midler parody except this leopard print ‘Karen’ is already beyond the boundaries of parody.

Btw – don’t white people always say ‘If you don’t resist the police you won’t have a problem?’

Click here for more of my coverage of ‘Karens gone wild.’