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Governor signs 6 bills with no fanfare | Community News | News | Liberty Tribune

Posted: July 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Governor signs 6 bills with no fanfare | Community News | News | Liberty Tribune

Remember Missouri Senate Bill SB586? Unsurprisingly, it passed, and it's sure to cause upheaval in the state's sexually-oriented economy. According to the Liberty Tribune, "Gov. Jay Nixon signed [the bill] into law Friday, June 25. […] This legislation is intended to prevent deleterious secondary effects arising from sexually oriented businesses. The bill places a number of restrictions on such businesses, including a ban on establishing sexually oriented businesses near schools, day-care centers, churches, homes or other sexually oriented businesses."

It's that last restriction that sent the industry into a frenzy because it means that the overwhelming majority of established businesses will have to move or risk being in violation of the law due to sharing close quarters. But wait, there's more: "Other restrictions include…prohibition of knowingly appearing nude at such businesses." Wait, how do you unknowingly appear nude there?

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Has Social Networking Replaced Sex? | momlogic.com

Posted: July 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Has Social Networking Replaced Sex? | momlogic.com

Sounds like Bruce Sallan needs some sexual reassurance. The syndicated parenting columnist asked, "Have we sunk to androgynous roles as men and women? Are we (you?) having less sex? Are we men falling down on our jobs when it comes to making 'it' happen?" By "it," he means sex. He says, "my speculation is, there's much truth in the fact that our lives are so equal [as men and women], so focused on work and family, that sex often gets put on the back burner." Worried, he says, "my wife is often correctly critical of all the time I spend on the computer," presumably on social networking sites instead of setting the mood.

I'm not going to presume much about Sallan's situation, but to segregate one's sex life from one's online social networking activities seems, to me, like he's "doing it wrong." And by "it," I mean both sex and social networks. After all, some social networks are made for sex. Maybe he and his wife could both join FetLife. ;)

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Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits – NYTimes.com

Posted: July 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits – NYTimes.com

"On Thursday, Google is going to begin covering a cost that gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners receive domestic partner health benefits, largely to compensate them for an extra tax that heterosexual married couples do not pay," Tara Siegel Bernard reports. Google says its own employees—they call themselves Gayglers—brought up the issue. "On average, employees with domestic partners will pay about $1,069 more a year in taxes than a married employee with the same coverage." That doesn't sound fair to many people, who see Google's move as compensating for the federal government's failure to guarantee equal socioeconomic standing for GLBT employees.

Some other companies, including Cisco, Kimpton Hotels, and the Gates Foundation already do this, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Of course, the anti-gay Christian group Focus on the Family isn't happy, saying a reverse discrimination lawsuit could be forthcoming since Google's policy excludes heterosexual couples.

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Islamic Websites Offer Halal Adult Sex Aids | Green Prophet

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

It's not a sex shop, insists Abdelaziz Aouragh, the 29-year-old founder of El Asira, an Internet retailer "catering to the Islamic consumer whose passions can be enhanced without violating religious law." But it's still a "major success," Aouragh told the LA Times. Other religiously-themed sex retailers make similar assertions. "It’s not a sex shop in the Western sense but a place to help married couples, and only married couples, enjoy sex to the full," Khadija Ahmed, the 32-year-old businesswoman and founder of Dar Khadija in Bahrain says. Her shop "includes edible underwear and kinky lingerie," Tinamarie Bernard reports.

Over at Examiner.com, Tinamarie says, "Unfortunately, these attitudes are incompatible with sex-positivity." Really?

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Log Cabin Condoms Promote Offshore Drilling | News | Advocate.com

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

In Minnesota, members of the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), a GLBT advocacy group loyal to the American political right, "distributed condoms in wrappers emblazoned with the phrase 'Drill, baby, drill!'," Julie Bolcer reports. Spokesman Alan Shilepsky said his group "tries to present something unique every year at Pride," and that this was a "no brainer." The text on the wrappers added "…just don't spill" to the Republican slogan. LCR national spokesman Charles Moran said he wasn't aware of the local chapter's initiative. "[W]e leave it to each chapter to design and produce their own tchotchke," he said, "Sometimes they are a hit, sometimes not so much, but it gets people talking and having the conversation about what it means to be a conservative in the LGBT movement."

Although I don't understand how some gay people are loyal to a party that literally wants to criminalize their sex life, I do admire their willingness to inspire conversation.

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World Cup Fever: Has it Really Led to an Increase in Trafficking?

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on World Cup Fever: Has it Really Led to an Increase in Trafficking?

"Mainstream media outlets have been reporting that 40,000 women have been trafficked into South African brothels for the World Cup," Audacia Ray writes. "That’s a pretty horrifying statistic—except that there simply aren’t any good citations that confirm it." That statistic has, in fact, been a favorite of alarming news reports since 2006, and Laura Augustín points out that it was just as uncorroborated then as it is now.

"To be fair," Audacia says, "there is some critique of the World Cup trafficking scare happening in mainstream media…but the voices of South Africans, and particularly people who work in the sex industry, were entirely absent from the articles." According to South African Researchers Marlise Richter and Tamlyn Monson, "there is no evidence" that the World Cup increased trafficking crimes. Instead, they say, it's some people's expectation.

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Is Late Better Than Never? – Libby Post – timesunion.com – Albany NY

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Is Late Better Than Never? – Libby Post – timesunion.com – Albany NY

"[T]wo bills of great importance to the [LGBT] community have passed," Libby Post, founder of Empire State Pride Agenda writes. One grants same-sex couples bereavement leave, while the other is the Dignity for All Students Act, New York's anti-bullying legislation that includes prohibitions against harassing students based on characteristics such as sex, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation for the first time in the State's history. It passed with a 58-3 vote.

"While we waited for the Senate Republicans to join their Democratic colleagues, our kids suffered. LGBT students or those who are perceived to be are the ones hardest hit by severe and widespread discrimination and harassment," Libby said. According to a 2005 survey, 72% of students hear homophobic slurs during school. While school bullies are concerning, some don't think laws are a solution.

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Editor’s note: As noted by the Feminist Wire Daily Newsbriefs, a similar bill, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) died on the Senate floor on June 10th. The Bilerico Project has an interesting analysis of why the anti-bullying law might have passed with relative ease, while GENDA remains a political piñata.


NY Bill Allows Sex Trafficking Victims to Clear Prostitution Convictions — The Curvature

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on NY Bill Allows Sex Trafficking Victims to Clear Prostitution Convictions — The Curvature

A bill amending NY State Criminal Procedure Law could let victims of sex trafficking clear their prostitution convictions. If signed into law by Gov. Paterson, the bill would be the first of its kind in the US. Although she admits it's a huge victory, Cara says, "I find the need for such legislation in the first place to be very sad. […T]he thought of women being tried in a court of law and convicted for the 'crime' of having been repeatedly raped, since that’s what non-consensual sex work is…an utterly appalling system." That's why I call it the legal system, not the justice system.

Advocates from the Sex Workers Project helped draft the bill. "[H]elping to write a piece of important and passed legislation is a major success, and one that deserves to be celebrated and applauded," Cara says. But "the Feminist Majority Foundation didn’t seem to think so." Cara outlines how a major FMF publication, Ms. Magazine, "didn’t see fit as to so much mention the Sex Workers Project’s name."

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Why Condoms for Kindergartners Makes Sense – Newsweek

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Condoms for Kindergartners Makes Sense – Newsweek

A new Massachusetts school policy "left intentionally open-ended, allows any student who is considering sexual activity to request condoms from the school nurse. That student would first get counseling—including abstinence education," Kate Dailey writes. Predictably, the policy faced "scorn and derision" after it hit mainstream news thanks to "moral hand-wringing of well-meaning but uninformed parents and pundits," like Kris Mineu, president of the Mass. Family Institute, who called it a "theater of the absurd."

"Theoretically," Kate writes, "yes, a 6-year-old could walk in and request condoms. The chances of that happening, of course, are slim—but if a 6-year-old were asking about sex, wouldn't a little counseling from a medical professional be in order? […C]ondoms don't make kids have sex. Hormones make kids have sex. Peer pressure makes kids have sex." Outright denial isn't going to change the fact that "kids develop on different timelines, and kids date outside their age range."

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The last person out of the closet? The bisexual male – CNN.com

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

"Coming out bisexual in the 1980s was an agonizing experience for [Robert] Winn, who was raised Methodist in a military family," Stephanie Chen reports. "When Winn was a teenager in the 1980s, public support toward gays and bisexuals plummeted as the HIV panic stigmatized the gay community. Bisexuals were blamed for spreading the virus to the straight population."

Robert Winn, a physician monogamously married to a woman for 18 years, is not an exception among bisexual men. "Joshua Verbeke, a 29-year-old business student at Indiana University…played along with being gay [while working with advocacy organizations] to avoid criticism and questions about being bisexual," and "John, 41, a bisexual from California, said his sexual orientation makes him open-minded."

This balanced article is a rarity, and Stephanie Chen touches on many issues: "being openly bisexual can be complicated." Stereotyped promiscuity, gay camouflage, and disease make being a bisexual man harder than it sounds.

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