Gay Chat News: The Good, the Gay and the Ugly

Anne Hathaway – who is set to play Catwoman in the new Batman film next year – has spoken out about gay marriage. Being a New Jersey girl with a gay brother, she has called on her home state to follow New York’s lead. Quoted from Interview magazine, the Devil Wears Prada star said; “They need to get on the New York bandwagon and legalise gay marriage.” This is most prevalent as a lesbian was refused a wedding dress in New Jersey last week due to the fact she was marrying another woman.

A noted supporter of gay rights, the Hollywood star hopes other US States will follow suit. As well as her on-going support for gay rights, Hathaway has also recorded a video message for the It Gets Better campaign.

It isn’t very hard to understand why there is still so much prejudice and diversity inAmericawhen you think that there were still fifteen States that outlawed sodomy until 2003. Florida was one of those States and even though they still don’t accept it, they cannot legally enforce their own ruling on sodomy thanks to the government.

It’s strange to think of Florida clinging on to this law for so long, especially as the Sunshine State is home to a very large and diverse group of clusters such as Miami Beach, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and even Disney World. But it must say something about the mentality and tolerance of some of the heterosexual populous. In fact a once celebrated teacher of Social Studies has recently been suspended from teaching after making anti-gay comments on his personal FaceBook account. “I’m watching the news, eating dinner, when the story about New York Okaying same sex unions came on and I almost threw up. And now they showed two guys kissing after their announcement. If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool as same-sex whatever! God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable???”

I am a big believer in freedom of speech, but this man is a school teacher (for Social Studies… maybe he needs to go back to school himself!) He is shaping young people’s minds and how they will perceive the world as adults. Closed-minded and bigoted people should not be allowed to teach in schools (or be in government… yes, I do mean you Michelle Bachmann!)

For as long as I can remember, gay men have been banned from donating blood in the UK. This has always been a bone of contention and just another shocking blow for equality. To say gay men are at a higher risk is factually wrong. There is a higher infection rate of STIs with heterosexuals, homosexuals are more likely to get checked out at the clinic than their straight counterparts – and we get free condoms and lube in every gay bar and club. The gay community is now more savvy when it comes to STIs and probably more cautious ever since HIV/AIDS hit our community three decades ago.

A new petition is currently online calling for an end to the gay blood donation ban. We here at Gay Chat Towers signed it today and know that there is an evidence-based review underway with an announcement of any changes from the health association likely to be soon.

But this is not the first time a call on the ban has been incited. In 2008 an identical campaign was put forward (bloodban) and still hasn’t achieved its goal of 5000 signatures. This new petition has already reached almost that in a matter of weeks. Maybe people have now realised that this on-going saga is not just about equality, but about saving people’s lives.

My boyfriend, best friend and I were watching old music videos on YouTube at the weekend. Late at night and rather inebriated, we danced around as we watched Club Tropicana and couldn’t believe just howcamp George Michael and Andrew Ridgley look in that video. How did we not know about George back then? (Okay, we kinda guessed.) Even though they are both very flamboyant, they are still surrounded by and flirting with scantily-clad women. It’s a little unsettling to look back at now!

Since the break-up of 80s pop sensation Wham! George began a successful solo career that wasn’t even damaged by his very public, gay outing in 1998. The music video “Outside” which played homage to and glorified his cruising habits was seen by most as harmless fun – all except Marcelo Rodriguez of course, who was the officer that caught George in the LA public toilet.

George has done a lot for gay rights and HIV/Aids charities over the years. Being a close friend of Elton John who runs the Aids Foundation; together they have performed at money-raising galas and many charity gigs. But George has never really being known as a gay activist even though he has been out of the closet for thirteen years. In NME Magazine recently, George addressed this point by saying he plans to release a gay album to make up for “letting the gay kids down”.

It’s pegged to be a dance album and will be a collaboration with gay/gay friendly artists. “I’ll be 48 when the album comes out, but I have to say that gay men’s relationship with dance music probably doesn’t end at the same time as straight people’s does.” Ain’t that the truth George!

Terry Gee

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Gaga Targets Gay Discrimination

Lady Gaga has scored yet another hit for gay rights by persuading retail giant Target to reconsider its funding of anti-gay causes. In return for the rights to sell an exclusive edition of the singer’s new album Born This Way, Target has also agreed to start donating to gay charities.

In a meeting that Gaga describes as being “intense” the Poker Face singer took Target to task over its funding of causes that advocate discrimination against gay people.

Target has previously come under fire for a $150,000 donation it made to U.S. political action group MN Forward who supported high profile Republican nominee Tom Emmer in his bid for governor, Minnesota in 2010.

Emmer is on record as supporting a state constitutional amendment banning civil recognition of same-sex marriages or its legal equivalent. It has been reported that Emmer’s bid campaign included funding to fiercely anti-gay Christian youth ministry You Can Run But You Can’t Hide International.

Despite publicly apologising for the donation Target has continued to support causes branded questionable by gay rights activists. The company does however pay benefits to partners of gay employees and staff members have praised the firm as a gay-friendly employer.

Gaga’s deal with Target includes a special edition of her forthcoming CD release Born This Way, which includes extra tracks and remixes exclusively available from the discount retailer. In return Target has agreed to discontinue funding causes with anti-gay links and instead fund more gay charities.

In an interview with Billboard, the 24-year-old superstar said: “That discussion was one of the most intense conversations I’ve ever had in a business meeting. Part of my deal with target is that they have to start affiliating themselves with LGBT charity groups and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they’ve made in the past… Our relationship is hinged upon their reform in the company to support the gay community and to redeem the mistakes they’ve made supporting those [antigay] groups.”

Here at the Haus of Gay Chat we already think Gaga is God, and the Target deal yet another example of her continued commitment to gay rights. We highly recommend rushing out and buying her new album when it’s released worldwide in May. Go gays! Go Gaga!

Gary Cosby

Story Update March 9, 2011 The partnership between Lady Gaga and Target has dissolved. No official statement has been made, however it has been reported that the deal was ended by mutual agreement. GC

The Gay Social Network – from Chat to App

The world’s first and most successful Internet dating service, Match.com was launched in 1995. Since its trailblazing inception (predated only by a handful of dial up date services) it has achieved over 20 million sign-ups and Internet dating has exploded all over the World Wide Web.

But as far as virtual dating goes, the gay community had it sussed out years before.

Gay men and women had to get savvy early on in regards to social networking. Homosexuality was illegal up until the 1960s.  But thanks to the Sexual Offences Act 1967 gay men could declare their sexuality and finally canoodle – if only in private.

Prior to that date however, the gay community had no choice but to get very creative in regards to where and how they met publicly. A gay language, a take on the slang form Polari, was adapted as a subculture code in order for gays to communicate in public without arousing suspicion.

Gay men, lacking places to mix socially, resorted to meeting in bathhouses or public parks they dubbed ‘cruising grounds’. Acknowledged by the gay community as safe havens for men to hook up, ‘gay cruising’  usually took place in remote spaces like commons and lay-bys, out of the general public’s view.

Of course gay social interaction wasn’t confined to cruising areas only. Private gay clubs and parties were in full swing long before it became legal. Gay club culture sprung up commercially everywhere during the 1980s with gay publications becoming readily available, paving the way for gay social interaction.

The subtle and inventive methods gay men used to meet one another during the ‘dark ages’ of gay social connectivity was in reality a primitive precursor to what we call social networking today.

It was the advent of gay chat lines in the 90s however that enabled gay interconnectivity to really take off. Gay men started using gay chat dating services to network with one another, worldwide.

Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and the plethora of online dating sites available to us today weren’t even invented when gay men were connecting globally via gay chat lines.

It was inevitable that gay dating on the Internet would prove to be an instant hit. Throughout the 90s gay online social networking flourished to such an extent that it is now rare to meet a gay man without at least one gay social network profile.

Fast forward to 2010 and it’s gay men who have harnessed GPS technology to create geo-social networking via mobile phones. Gay mobile dating apps are big business and are transforming the online dating industry.

At the tap of a button gay men can instantly pin point other gay men in their vicinity and be hooking up within minutes.

Long gone are the days where gay social connections were carried out in veiled ‘secrecy’. However it could be argued that the seeds of social networking as we know it today sprouted from the ingenuity of gays faced with the challenge of connecting their community.

With the click of a mouse being replaced by the tap of a gay app icon gay men are revolutionizing the dating world – connecting instantly, publicly and however they please.

Gary Cosby

UK introduces new law to protect against Anti-Gay hatred

A new law which criminalises incitement to homophobic hatred could land perpetrators with a fine or prison sentence of up to seven years.

The new offence of using threatening language with intent to provoke hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation came into effect this week and has been welcomed by gay rights groups.

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, the UK’s leading lesbian, gay and bisexual charity said: “The newly-extended criminal offence of incitement to hatred will go some way towards addressing the hatred and violence directed towards lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in Britain at a time when homophobic attacks are on the increase.

“It sends a strong signal that such behaviour is unacceptable in a civilised society. Just like race, a person’s sexual orientation is an intrinsic characteristic for which no citizen should ever feel under threat of verbal or physical violence”

The new legislation is aimed at offenders who incite genuine hatred and does not extend to all criticism or the telling of jokes with a homosexual theme by comedians.

A ‘free speech’ amendment was recently included to the measure after religious leaders and comedians expressed concern that they could face prosecution under it.

Stonewall branded the concerns alarmist: “The important new offence will help prevent and tackle acts of serious hatred against individuals defined by reference to their sexual orientation, with a high threshold for prosecutions which must be approved by the Attorney General and heard before a jury” they explained.

Throughout their campaign for the legal change Stonewall says it uncovered a range of extreme websites and material stirring up hatred against gays and lesbians.

“This new legislation will send a strong positive signal, encouraging more lesbian, gay and bisexual people to report hate incidents. Gay people are entitled to live without fear like everyone else”

By Gary Cosby

For weekly gay news, chat and dating hook up at www.maleforce.com

London to protest over gay Malawi couples’ imprisonment

Malawi may have come to the world’s attention recently via a certain pop star’s adoption escapades; however a far more disturbing event is currently bringing it world-wide condemnation.

Two of the countries gay citizens, Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga have been held in police custody since last December – their crime? – holding a traditional wedding ceremony.

Being gay is a criminal offence in Malawi. The couple is now facing up to 14 years in jail if convicted.

Information Minister Leckford Mwanza Thoto defended the decision saying: “Our laws criminalise homosexuality and what the two did was clearly breaking the laws of Malawi.”

Malawi is a member of The Commonwealth.

Despite being dependant on foreign aid (mostly from the UK) the country’s government has rejected international concern saying that Malawi is a sovereign country with its own laws and that it will not be influenced by the West in the running of its affairs of state.

Amnesty International is calling for immediate release of the couple. The group’s UK Director Kate Allen said: “The arrest of the two men solely for their real or perceived sexual orientation amounts to discrimination and it is in violation of their rights to freedom of conscience, expression, and privacy.”

Having twice been denied bail Monjeza and Chimbalanga are pleading not guilty to charges of gross indecency.

A protest, organized by several gay groups, is being held in central London on Monday – the day a verdict on the case is expected.

“We want Steven and Tiowonge released, all charges against them dropped and the repeal of Malawi’s anti-homosexuality laws

“These laws violate the equality and non-discrimination provisions of Article 20 of the Malawian Constitution and Articles 2, 3 and 4 and the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, which Malawi has signed and pledged to uphold,” said gay activist and co-organiser of Monday’s protest, Peter Tatchell.

“The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, has failed to speak out loudly against the arrest and jailing of Steven and Tiwonge, even though equality and human rights are supposed to be key Commonwealth principles,” he added.

The protest is scheduled to take place outside the Commonwealth Secretariat’s head office in central London.

By Gary Cosby

For weekly gay news, chat and dating hook up at www.maleforce.com

Ben & Jerry’s Gay wedding

In September last year Ben & Jerry’s sweetened up the gay marriage debate by rebranding their ‘Chubby Hubby’ ice cream as ‘Hubby Hubby’ in support of same-sex unions.

Back then, In a statement issued by the company, Walt Freese, Chief Executive Officer of Ben & Jerry’s said “At the core of Ben & Jerry’s values, we believe that social justice can and should be something that every human being is entitled to. From the very beginning of our 30 year history, we have supported equal rights for all people. The legalization of marriage for gay and lesbian couples in Vermont (Ben & Jerry’s home state) is certainly a step in the right direction and something worth celebrating with peace, love and plenty of ice cream.”

In honour of the legalization of gay marriage in Wahington D.C last week resident Ben & Jerry’s super-fans Keith Spangler-Vellios and Andreas Vellios decided to return the favour by tieing the knot at their local parlour.

The new law, approved in December, came into effect just last week. Ben & Jerry’s cofounder David Catania attended the ceremony.

“Equal rights and treatment for all people was a founding principle of Ben & Jerry’s when we started the company over 30 years ago,” Jerry Greenfield, cofounder of Ben & Jerry’s, said in a statement.

“We are proud that the District of Columbia is recognizing the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry and are happy to celebrate the milestone with an ice cream wedding cake and best wishes for the happy couple.”

The district now joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont as the only places in America where gay marriages can be conducted.

By Gary Cosby

For weekly gay news, chat and dating hook up at www.maleforce.com

Gay church weddings get House of Lords blessing

Gay men and women can now marry in churches after the House of Lords voted in favour of lifting the ban on religious premises hosting same-sex unions.

An amendment to the Equality Bill, tabled by out Muslim peer Waheed Alli, received overwhelming support in the Lords which includes senior clergy in the Church of England.

Still pending House of Commons approval, the amendment gives religious venues the option to host civil partnership ceremonies.

Currently legislation forbids religious premises to conduct gay unions; however various liberal denominations have been blessing gay partnerships once a civil ceremony has already taken place.

In an interview with The Independent Lord Alli rebuked suggestion that the amendment means churches will be eventually forced to accept gay marriage.

“Religious freedom cannot begin and end with what one religion wants,” he said. “This amendment does not place an obligation on any religious organisation to host civil partnerships in their buildings. But there are many gay and lesbian couples who want to share their civil partnership with the congregations that they worship with. And there are a number of religious organisations that want to allow gay and lesbian couples to do exactly that.”

Although the amendment was backed by senior bishops in the Lords it has been strongly opposed by conservative Christians.

Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre told The Times: “What is being advanced as an issue of religious freedom today will be used to remove religious freedom in the future.

“Homosexual activists have made clear that this is not the end. It is a step towards forcing churches to conduct same-sex unions that would go against their beliefs. Changing the law will further blur the distinction between marriage and what the Government put forward as a purely secular ceremony.”

The Quakers, Liberal Judaism and The Unitarians have welcomed the amendment.

For weekly gay news, chat and dating hook up at  www.maleforce.com

By Gary Cosby

Related Link: 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7037062.ece

Gay fantasy alert! Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner to deliver at Oscars

Gay fantasy figures Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner are giving The Oscars a hand presenting awards at this year’s ceremony.

Lautner and Efron are immensely popular with gay men and straight women around the world – regularly topping hottest hunk polls.

In an attempt to bring some youthful heat to the show, producers this year have approached Efron and Lautner along with Kristen Stewart and Miley Cyrus to hand out the gongs.

Efron became a world wide star thanks to the Disney Channel’s High School Musical movies in which he played teen pin-up basketball captain Troy Bolton. The 22 year old actor has since gone on to star in the films 17 Again and Me and Orson Wells.

Lautner, currently the highest paid teenage actor in Hollywood, skyrocketed to fame in the Twighlight movies. He acquired teen-hunk status after gaining more than 30 pounds of solid muscle for his starring role in The Twighlight Saga: New Moon. A martial arts expert, Lautner recently presented at The Golden Globes.

Lautner’s Twighlight co-star Kristen Stewart similarly has become world famous via the film’s outstanding success around the globe. In her next movie role she plays rock’n’roll icon Joan Jett in The Runaways.

Myley Cyrus, daughter of Ache Breaky Bill Ray is also making a name for herself in tinsel town. Her next film The Last Song is set for release on March 31st.

In true Oscar’s tradition three of last year’s winners, Penelope Cruz, Sean Penn and Kate Winslet returning to present awards.

The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, which takes place on March 7, will be Cyrus and Efron’s second appearance and Twighliters Lautner and Stewart’s first.

For weekly gay news, chat and soundbites visit www.maleforce.com

By Gary Cosby

Elton John: Jesus was Gay!

Elton John has upset religious fundamentalists by inferring that Jesus Christ was a gay man.

In a new interview the 63 year old pop star said: “I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems.

“On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don’t know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East – you’re as good as dead.”

His comments have sparked a row with high profile evangelical minister Ian Watson, who recently led a campaign against gay clergy men in Scotland.

Watson told The Daily Record: “There is absolutely no truth whatsoever in what Elton John has said about Jesus being gay.

“Jesus was a Jew and Jewish law regards homosexual practices as a sin. When Jesus challenged his enemies to prove him guilty of sin, they couldn’t do it. Therefore, I have no doubt whatsoever that he was not a gay man.”

In the interview with Parade the Rocket Man singer talks candidly about his previous addiction to drugs and how he “lost the plot” during the period he was addicted to Cocaine.

“For some people a gram of cocaine can last a month. Not me. I have to do the lot, and then I want more. At the end of the day, all it led to was heartache.

“Just about every relationship I ever had was involved with drugs. It never works. But I always had to be with someone, good or bad, otherwise I didn’t feel fulfilled.

John who has been clean for many years goes on to say how he’s grown tired of being a celebrity.

In support of his religious ‘gaff’ the chaplain for Church of Scotland group Affirmation Scotland, the Rev Lindsay Biddle, said: “I think it’s wonderful for anybody, including Elton John, to imagine Jesus as being like them.

“This is very common, and in the Western world we do it all the time, imagining Jesus to be white when, in fact, he was a man of colour.”

 By Gary Cosby
 
For weekly gay news, chat and dating hook up at www.maleforce.com

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Harry – Prince for a Gay

He may only be third in line for the throne, but when it comes to gay fantasies Prince Harry is king dong.

Following a cheeky kiss with a fella for a Stella only last November, the young Prince has become one of Google’s most searched-for male celebrities. And it’s no secret that it’s gay men Harry gets in a right royal flush.

Topless photos of the 25 year old have become one of Googles top searches, and it seems Harry has another gay fetish covered: “Red hair is getting very, very trendy on the gay scene,” says Haydon Bridge, a columnist with U.K.-based gay magazine QX.

Recent pics of the royal lieutenant playing football and sporting a six pack have been an internet search favourite with gay men. And a killer-smile-bad-boy-reputation has only added to Harry’s gay pin up perfection.

The Prince has come along way since his bust-ups with the paparazzi and a Nazi fancy dress blunder that shocked his family and sparked world-wide outrage.

In 2006, inspired by his mother’s charity work for AIDS sufferers, he set up a charity, Sentebale, with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho Africa to help vulnerable children, particularly those orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS.

Last week he visited the Caribbean where his appearance at a polo match in Barbados helped raise $100,000 for earthquake victims in Haiti. He also visited the Queen Elizabeth II Children’s hospital where he met and cuddled patients.

It’s been reported that Harry will be promoted to the rank of Captain this May, which will put him on equal footing with his brother Prince William. Both are currently in training to be helicopter pilots.

Next week, in a first for the Royal Family, he is expected to attend The Brits – along with another gay icon, Lady GaGa.

For weekly gay news, chat and soundbites visit www.maleforce.com

by Gary Cosby