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Indonesia Botches Porn Blockade, Shuts Down Regular Sites – XBIZ.com

Posted: August 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Back in 2008, to the cries of "Thank you, God!" Indonesian parliament members passed a draconian anti-pornography law. Last month, they announced their (now legal) intentions of blocking all online pornography during the holy month of Ramadan, when the religious are expected to refrain from any immoral acts, including viewing porn. (Only during that one month, I wonder?)

Unsurprisingly, the country-wide filter ran into a snag as 30 websites, including news portals, were also blocked—unintentionally, according to Indonesian Information Minister's spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto. "The speed of the operation was so huge, we hit the wrong ones," he explained, but touted that the operation had successfully shut down 80% of its intended target. The blockade is being implemented with the cooperation of the country's 300 major Internet service providers.

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Judge lifts Prop. 8 stay – gay marriages on hold

Posted: August 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Last week, Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional for the should-be-obvious reason that it's an anti-gay discrimination bill. Proponents' arguments that the ruling "jeopardizes the democratic process" are forgetting that human rights aren't a democratic process, but unalienable rights that American law protects. Nevertheless, that's the argument they're using in a rambling appeal to Walker’s ruling filed before the ruling was announced.

After the ruling Judge Walker issued a stay, preventing same-sex marriages from resuming until August 18. The ban's supporters quickly appealed that ruling as well, and as the deadline quickly approaches they've become ever more anxious for a new panel of 3 Ninth-Circuit Judges, Edward Leavy, Michael Hawkins and Sidney Thomas, to extend Judge Walker's stay order. They still have no reason other than fear as to why, though.

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Playboy censors iPad app to pass Apple’s morality test – Telegraph

Posted: August 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Nipples. That's what's "obscene" and, according to Apple, needs to be censored in the App Store. To secure a spot in the App Store, Playboy Magazine agreed to self-censor the digital version of their magazine on the iPad, Matthew Moore reports. "The Playmate of the Month, one of the magazine’s most popular photo features, will only appear on the iPad as a tasteful headshot," he writes. In addition to Playboy, Apple has also not allowed a dictionary containing swear words or an application allowing users to replace the face of Jesus with a photo of themselves to exist in the App Store unchanged, all according to Steve Jobs' self-appointed role to define "moral responsibility" for his customers.

Gee, it almost sounds like the next step is restricting iPhone users from taking pictures of their non-orthodox weddings. Of course, anyone with an iPad can visit Playboy's website where uncensored pictures are still shown, nipples included.

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Russian dairy to fire women over abortions | World | News | Toronto Sun

Posted: August 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Wonder what the desegregation of Church and State would look like? Actually, you don't need to wonder, just look at Russian company "Russkoye Moloko" (Russian Milk), whose "ecologically safe" dairy products are sold all over supermarkets in the former Soviet Union. President of the company, Vasily Boiko-Veliky, has announced that his company will fire any woman who has an abortion because they "don’t want to work with killers," as well as any employee who refuses to be married in Russian Orthodox Church ceremonies.

Why the strict regulations? Well, "Boiko-Veliky said the record heatwave Russia has endured this summer was punishment for sin and that church weddings could improve things." Obviously. The crackpot Boiko-Veliky seems to think this will go over well: "I expect [my 6,000 employees] to be faithful and to repent," he said, adding he wants "to prevent future sins by employees" with the rules. He is apparently unconcerned his company's rules violate Russian labor law.

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Captain Jonathan Hopkins, West Point Grad, Hero, Fired By DADT – Lez Get Real

Posted: August 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

For 9 years, Captain Jonathan Hopkins studied, trained, and served the military as an unquestionably outstanding serviceman. "Hopkins graduated #4 out of 901 commissioned officers in West Point’s Class of 2001, where he was also ranked #1 militarily," Melanie Nathan writes. But regardless of his exemplary record, heroic service, and unequaled dedication to the military, he was honorably discharged this week because he is gay. He says that his commanding officers were "almost seemed like they regretted having to" discharge him.

On The Rachel Maddow Show, Hopkins spoke frankly about life in the military under DADT. "Judging people based on their performance is what has always mattered in the military, whether we were overturning segregation, or integration of women, or with this issue. That's what matters to keeping soldiers alive." Hopkins says he will be doing what he can to help repeal the "self-destructive" policy.

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Mike Verdugo Fired for Gay Porn Role? Or for Complaining About Harassment by Hollywood PD? – Broward Palm Beach News – The Juice

Posted: August 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

A police officer in Broward County, Florida, is facing revocation of his officers' license for a 15 minute appearance in a gay porn flick 14 years ago. Mike Verdugo, an officer with over 10 years of service on the force, was one of the first openly gay officers in the area. But when he came out of the closet in 2007, "suddenly everything changed," Verdugo says. He faced discrimination and even filed a complaint. Shortly thereafter, he was demoted. But the story doesn't end there.

After a reality-TV show appearance, a fan recognized him from the long-forgotten porn scene and posted a clip online. Now city officials want him off the force, despite a previous sentencing by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) of a year probation and "ethics" training, discipline for omitting the one-off porn role on his original job application years ago. Hm…witch hunt, anybody?

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UPDATE: Picking up this story, SexAndThe405 notes that AVN, an adult entertainment conference, occurred just last weekend, in the same city where Verdugo was being demonized. Coincidence? Maybe not…. But there’s good news, too. As reported by South Florida Gay News, “The State of Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission has upheld the Settlement Agreement in the case of Mike Verdugo.” This means he is “eligible to be hired by any other department if he so chooses,” one of Verdugo’s lawyers said.


COSTA RICA : Gays Unite Against Referendum on Civil Unions – IPS ipsnews.net

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Religious groups in Costa Rica have collected 150,000 signatures (mostly at Christian places of worship) petitioning the government to put a proposed law banning same-sex civil unions to popular vote, rather than have it decided by the legislature. Discussion of passing a same-sex civil union law has been ongoing in the predominantly Catholic nation since 2006.

Alexandra Loría, one of 4 lawyers who began the petition, said the referendum was timed to coincide with municipal elections and would therefore likely get a high voter turnout. She rejects opponents' arguments that the referendum is an attempt to violate human rights. "It is about human rights, which cannot be left in the hands of a group of homophobic Catholics," Ombudswoman Ofelia Taitelbaum said, adding "we are completely against" it. Meanwhile, the Costa Rican Coalition of Sexual Diversity Organisations and Groups (CONODIS) campaigns against it, and says it will take the legal fight to international courts, if it must.

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Little Women: Early puberty and what it means for girls

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

No one denies children are entering puberty at younger and younger ages but, predictably, many deny the obvious ways to prepare them before and help them through the transition. As Melanie Abrahams writes, "In the spirit of 'protecting girlhood,' there’s been a lot of brouhaha over naming the culprit of early physical maturation of girls, with both obesity and environmental factors under scrutiny. But instead of pointing fingers, we need to face the facts and focus on the changing needs of girls in our lives and around the world." She goes on to offer suggestions few others have the ovaries to do.

"One of the most obvious things we need to offer to girls is early, age-appropriate, and comprehensive sexuality education. Regardless of when they hit puberty, children should know about their bodies and their rights. … Further, early puberty illuminates the crucial need to fight child marriage on a global scale." Amen at that! "[We can't] afford to simply stick our heads in the ground."

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Porn Star Aurora Snow Goes from Barely Legal to MILF – The Daily Beast

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

There are some massive, gaping, dirty fucking assholes in the porn industry—and no, I'm not talking about the models' bodies. I'm talking about the greedy scumbags who routinely display unwarranted sexism, ageism, and any number of other "isms" you can shake a stick at (and they do). That's why Aurora Snow's story, retold in her own words, is such a worthwhile read.

"Ten years ago, I was one of adult film’s hottest stars. Now I’m 28—and dismissed by directors as over the hill. How did I go from 'barely legal' to 'older woman' so fast?" she asks. The answer? She says "producers would read my age on paper and pigeon-hole me without even bothering to see what I looked like." But rather than cry foul, Snow is embracing new opportunities: "I have been pleased to discover that thanks to the Internet, what might be bad for the industry is good for me." Now she's studying business, being approached for mainstream roles, and wants to become a lawyer. She says porn helped her find her goals.

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Sex after 50 | Life and style | The Guardian

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

According to some reports, STI rates among elders has doubled. Sadly, many use this as an excuse to express sex-negative prejudice against older people. As Pamela Stephenson Connolly writes, "the prominence and style of these articles underscores the sexual ageism that pervades our society." Of course, a number of those articles are in The Guardian, a point notably missing from Connolly's article (in The Guardian).

Nevertheless, she makes some good points: "We should be encouraging elders, including those facing challenges of illness and disability, to voice their sexual concerns without fearing our prejudice and guilt. … Perhaps the best form of safe sex for older people is exactly what one would advocate for younger people if one could get away with it; out with abstinence preaching and in with promoting fabulous eroticism in all its many, non-penetrative forms."

Must we really "get away with it," or are concerns about young people simply the other side of the same ageist coin?

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