CommunityPam's House Blend

Some news from the states

A number of stories popped up yesterday and today…

* Massachusetts: [UPDATE: He was captured, on Saturday and died in the hospital.] Still on the run, 18 year old Jacob D. Robida is believed to be getting help from friends to hide after his ax/gun rampage at a gay bar this week, injuring three (police, big surprise, found Nazi paraphernalia and anti-Semitic writings in his home). It’s suspected that his Myspace web buddies are assisting him with shelter and money. One of the victims, Robert Perry, was well enough to return to Puzzles bar Friday night, the scene of the attack after being released from hospital yesterday. (Blend posts 1, 2, 3, 4)

* Kansas: 365gay and KAKE (Topeka) feature an icky interview with Fred Phelps (who will be picketing Coretta Scott King’s funeral). It’s an interesting read; nothing new, except it’s fun seeing such a concentrated offering of The Rotting Cryptkeeper’sTM rants in a news story.

* Tennessee: A gay teen who was forced into Love in Action’s “de-gaying’ program by his parents is speaking out against the horrorshow facility. He’s also going to be participating in a documentary exposing the tactics of the organization. LIA was investigated by the state last year for handing out prescription drugs without a license. (WREG):

A 17-year old Georgia boy says he was handcuffed by his parents and brought to Love in Action in Memphis. “You can’t talk to anyone, can’t look anyone, can’t contact anyone, except a counselor,” former Love in Action client DJ Butler makes the religious ministry sound more like a prison than a counseling center for gay men and women.

“They shame you, put you down, call you stupid, you know, tell you the feelings your feeling is stupid,” says Butler.

…In the past year the state has threatened to shut down Love in Action if they didn’t get a license to treat patients which includes handing out prescription drugs. Butler says he was given prozac during his stay. “They said they don’t do that but they did it.”

The state pulled their ultimatum last fall after Love in Action agreed not to take any more patients needing medical treatment. But in return, Love in Action slapped the state with a lawsuit blaming Tennessee for lost clientele. “So they’re losing business, this time last year, they had 22 participants, now they have nine,” says Kellum.

Note: that this is not the teen “Zach”, who was the subject of a lot of attention last year when he was placed in LIA by his parents. My posts on that are here.

* West Virginia: a marriage amendment bill is on its way, and there is strong bipartisan support. The bible beater faction pushing it in this state is called West Virginia Family Foundation (an affiliate of the American Family Association, btw). The attorney for this band of bigots, Kevin McCoy, feels that the amendment is necessary to prevent any legal ruling that could overturn the state’s DOMA. “This amendment will settle the matter once and for all by erecting a permanent wall around the sacred institution from the reach of activist courts.” The bill is co-sponsored by Delegate John Pino, D-Fayette, and Sen. Robert Plymale, D-Wayne.

* Idaho: another state, another amendment battle. This one is HJR002. Testimony from residents was taken yesterday before the House State Affairs Committee considering the measure. Two quotes from the article:

Donna Yule of Boise told the panel she has three sons — two married, and one gay and in a committed relationship. “The dumbest argument I’ve heard is from those people who seem to think that somehow his loving relationship poses some kind of threat to their own marriages,” Yule said.

“Normalcy is a man and a woman; God made us that way,” said Katherine Frazier of Boise. “Now we’re seeing that normalcy is supposed to include anything.”

In the end it voted 13-4 in favor of advancing the proposal. The bill must win approval from two-thirds of the full House and Senate before proceeding to voters on the ballot in the fall. The last go-round for this bill resulted in defeat in the state Senate.

* Maryland: I didn’t get to mention the fact that the Dems there managed to kill that marriage amendment bill, which had generated a lot of heated debate in the legislature (earlier posts here and here). 365gay reports that it was rejected on a unanimous vote in the Judiciary Committee of the Gen Assembly after Dems amended the bill to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman — but also allow civil unions with all the rights of marriage.

* Alabama: Kathy at Birmingham Blues has noted the unhinged crap coming out of Chris Matthews’s mouth of late. He’s speculating that liberals or gays must be responsible for the six church burnings this week. Kathy:

Now Chris thinks the homos are burning churches in Alabama. Yeah, because I can tell you there’s a well-organized of militant gays here who go around burning down buildings — NOT!

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding