Tag Archives: porn

Republicans declare porn, but not guns, to be ‘public health crisis’

The Republican Party yesterday adopted an amendment to its draft party platform declaring internet porn a “public health crisis.”

The move has unleashed a new volley of criticism against the GOP for banning the classification of gun violence as a public health issue.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has signaled that he’ll accept the party platform, which delegates continue to amend today in Cleveland ahead of next week’s convention.

Porn is just one of the issues on which the party’s religious right has exerted its influence on the draft platform. The platform also opposes President Obama’s executive order allowing transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity. In addition, it calls on the Supreme Court to overturn its decision last year legalizing marriage equality and calls for support of so-called “pray-away-the-gay” therapy.

The porn provision, introduced by a member of the fundamentalist Christian group Concerned Women for America, states: “The internet must not become a safe haven for predators. Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and well-being. We applaud the social networking sites that bar sex offenders from participation. We urge energetic prosecution of child pornography, which closely linked to human trafficking.”

The amendment passed with little debate.

Some critics of the porn amendment cited evidence that few users of porn experience ill effects. Other critics ridiculed the hypocrisy of the porn amendment, given Trump’s well-documented lascivious lifestyle.

The Daily Beast opined, “In the 2016 Twilight Zone, it’s no surprise that the Republican Party is attempting to label a largely victimless non-crime as a public health crisis, while simultaneously facilitating the epidemic of gun violence in America.”

“While there have been exactly zero porn-related deaths reported in the United States this year, there have been more than 28,000 shootings, including 7,239 gun murders so far in 2016, according to the Gun Violence Archive,” reported the Daily Kos. “Those staggering figures include 181 mass shootings and nearly a thousand people shot by police.”

The Guardian reported that at least one delegate blamed the nation’s epidemic of gun violence on marijuana. The British newspaper quoted delegate Noel Irwin Hentschel, who said, “All the mass killings that are taking place — they are young boys from divorced families and they are smoking marijuana.”

Not surprisingly, delegates rejected a proposed amendment to encourage states to legalize cannabis oil for medical reasons. Some of them linked marijuana use to the nation’s heroin epidemic.

The American Medical Association has labeled gun violence a public health crisis and vowed to put its considerable lobbying muscle to work in Congress against the NRA, which has prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun-violence.

“Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, the Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us … determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries. An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital,” said AMA president Dr. Steven J. Stack in a press statement issued last month.

 

XXXtra XXXtra: Court nixes new rules for New York’s X-rated businesses

A court gave a green light to what’s left of the city’s red light district this week, turning aside the city’s desire to further restrict its racy adult establishments by finding new rules are unconstitutional.

The 3-2 decision from the state Supreme Court Appellate Division was derided by two dissenting judges as resulting from a “mechanical and mathematical approach” to analyzing changes the city has tried to make for 14 years in a 1995 law that reduced the number of businesses offering sexually explicit materials and chased others from residential areas.

The city has claimed that adult bookstores, movie houses and strip clubs were “superficially complying” and have made a sham of rules requiring that they limit the space devoted to a sexual focus to no more than 40 percent of their space if they want to exist in areas where sexually explicit businesses are otherwise not permitted.

The appeals ruling conformed with the conclusions of a lower-court judge who analyzed 13 stores such as Thunder Lingerie, Blue Door Brooklyn and Video Excitement, finding they did not have graphic signage such as “XXX” and there were “almost no garish neon lighted signs, no hard-core sexual images or language on them.” The judge also sided with dance clubs including Bare Elegance, Lace, Private Eyes, Pussycat Lounge, Vixen and Wiggles.

The city went after sex trade establishments in 1995 after a study begun two years earlier by the city planning office concluded that the rapidly growing number of adult businesses led to increased crime rates, deteriorating community character, reduced commercial activities and decreasing property values. New zoning rules banned the establishments from residential districts and manufacturing and commercial districts where residential development also occurred and required they be located at least 500 feet from churches, schools and day care centers.

New rules approved in 2001 would have made it more difficult for businesses to qualify as non-adult establishments by imposing tougher restrictions regarding signage, displays of merchandise and booths for viewing adult movies.

The additional restrictions had not been enforced because of a lengthy legal battle.

The city’s law office said it was reviewing the ruling.

Erica Dubno, an attorney for the businesses, said: “Obviously, we’re very pleased with the decision. We believe that it was well reasoned and carefully considered the issues.”

She said at least several dozen businesses had closed after enforcement of the law began in 1998 and those that remained in business were careful to change signage to better fit neighborhoods. She said people walking by might not know some establishments have adult-oriented materials or entertainment.

2 male porn performers test positive for HIV after film shoot

The California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch says that it documented the on-set transmission of an HIV infection from one adult film performer thought to be working out of state — in Nevada — to another performer.

The case involves a male performer who was filmed performing with other male performers.

The newly infected individual initially tested HIV-negative in California after on-set exposure out of state — shooting films without condoms or protective barriers.

However, two weeks later, the individual in question then tested HIV-positive.

“In this case, the actor and production company thought he was HIV-negative during filming,” the statement from the state health department said. “Shortly after his negative test, HIV levels in his body rose rapidly to where he could infect other actors through unprotected sex.”

In mid-October, the Free Speech Coalition, the adult industry trade group, instituted a moratorium on adult industry filming due to reports of an industry-related infection — most likely this latest HIV case. The filming ban was lifted by the FSC the following week.

California health officials confirmed the on-set transmission after sending blood samples to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which genetically sequenced the virus found and matched it to an adult film actor.

“This is not AHF or supporters of condoms claiming that an HIV transmission occurred on the set of an adult film. This is California’s Department of Public Health and OSHA Occupational Health officials who vetted the performers’ blood samples with the CDC and concluded after genetic sequencing that this HIV infection occurred on set,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “For years adult film producers have claimed that performers who have tested HIV-positive while working in the industry did not contract HIV in the industry, but became infected through exposure in their personal lives outside and away from adult film sets. This new case puts truth to the lie that the industry has promoted year-after-year, years that sadly saw several additional performers infected while working in the porn industry.”

The AHF pushed for a law requiring the use of condoms during adult film work in Los Angeles County.

The adult film industry concedes that it did have three confirmed on–set transmissions in 2004.

Since 2004 there have been numerous other cases of performers testing HIV-positive while working in California’s porn industry, including cases in 2010 and 2013.

“There is no proof that any of these HIV infections over the past decade have not occurred on set other that the porn industry’s word, with the general public and health officials relying on the industry’s own self-reporting,” said Weinstein. “This is a tragic repeat of last year, and of 2010 as well as previous years. Won’t we ever learn?”

Wisconsin police chief pleads no contest in tea party flap

A police chief in Wisconsin pleaded no contest last week to a charge that he signed a local tea party leader up on gay dating, pornography and federal health care websites.

Prosecutors charged Town of Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen earlier this month with one misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a computerized communication system. The La Crosse Tribune reported Kelemen entered the plea in a deal that calls for the charge to be dismissed in two years if he doesn’t commit any new crimes, continues counseling and completes 40 hours of community service.

The charge stems from a feud between Kelemen and tea party leader Greg Luce. It began last fall when the tea party began holding protests on an interstate overpass in Campbell. Concerned the protests were distracting drivers, Kelemen persuaded the town board to ban signs on the bridge.

Kelemen told investigators Luce urged tea party supporters across the U.S. to bombard his department with harassing phone calls and threats in retaliation for the ordinance.

Kelemen told investigators he tried to get back at Luce this winter by using his name, address, phone number and email address to create accounts for Luce on homosexual dating, pornography and federal health care websites. He told investigators he didn’t think what he was doing was a big deal.

La Crosse police turned the case over to Monroe County authorities.

Luce told Monroe County Circuit Judge David Rice on Friday that Kelemen is getting away with a “slap on the wrist.” He said he thinks Kelemen has suffered a psychological breakdown and shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun or wear a badge again.

Kelemen didn’t address the court.

Luce has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the sign ordinance violates his free speech rights and demanding damages from Kelemen for stealing his identity. The town board has placed Kelemen on paid leave.

‘Duck Dynasty’ creator played gay porn star in popular indie film ‘The Fluffer’

The creator and producer of A&E’s Duck Dynasty played a gay porn star in The Fluffer, a popular independent gay movie that played at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival.

Scott Gurney starred in the erotic film as a gay-for-pay porn star who’s addicted to crystal meth. Gurney’s character forms an unlikely friendship with his smitten fluffer — the on-set person who fellates porn actors to arouse them for sex scenes. Gurney’s credit in the film is listed on his IMDb page.

Buzzfeed, which is among the websites that have reported the connection, wrote that its calls to both Gurney Productions and A&E, have gone unanswered.

Gurney’s appearance in the film has become a matter of interest amid the ongoing debate surrounding the redneck reality TV show Duck Dynasty. Series star Phil Robertson was suspended from the show after making condemnatory — and anatomically graphic

remarks about gays to GQ magazine. Some gay pundits have joined with right-wing ideologues in defending Robertson’s rights to speak his mind off-camera without facing employment consequences.

In fact, far-right conservatives are hailing Robertson as this generation’s Rosa Parks for expressing his religious convictions about anal intercourse without fear of what they call the “thought police.”

If A&E decides to drop Duck Dynasty over the controversy, at least two other networks are eager to pick it up, according to TMZ. Both the Christian-affiliated Hunt Channel and the Pursuit Channel “are salivating at the chance to air Phil and his duck posse,” TMZ reported.

But contractual obligations could prevent the Robertson family from moving to another network.

World’s most gay intolerant nations have most Google searches for gay porn

According to Google Trends, the world’s most intolerant anti-gay nations also record the highest volume of gay porn searches. The unexpected trend was first observed and reported by Mother Jones.

Kenya, where vigilantes routinely torture and kill gay activists, ranks No. 1 globally in searches for “gay sex pics” and “anal sex pics.” Nigeria and Pakistan rank in the top five for those searches, and Pakistan ranks first for the terms “man fucking man,” “teen anal sex” and “shemale sex.”

But, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll on LGBT acceptance, Nigeria and Pakistan are two of the world’s most brutally LGBT intolerant societies. And Kenya recently passed a law criminalizing homosexuality as well as gay rights. Only 1 percent of Kenyans said homosexuality should be tolerated.

In Pakistan, where homosexual behavior is criminal, only 2 percent of the population believes in tolerance for LGBT people. Open discussion of homosexuality in the Muslim nation is virtually forbidden.

Mother Jones asked Farahnaz Ispahani, an expert in Pakistani minorities at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a former member of Pakistan’s parliament, about the discrepancy between Pakistan’s anti-gay attitudes and their behavior.

She said that part of the popularity of gay porn could stem from the fact that even highly observant Muslim males often have physical relationships with men without considering themselves gay.

“The real love they can have that most of us find with a partner, they find with men,” Ispahani said. “They mostly see their wives as the mother of their children.”  

She added the persecution of minorities, including gays, has reached an all-time high in Pakistan.

“Religious extremism is at a height today,” she says. “Hindus are being forced to convert, Christians are being burned aliv – there’s very little personal safety for those seen as ‘the other.’ So what do (gay Pakistanis) do? They turn to pornography because they can’t live their lives openly.”

Perhaps the same phenomenon explains the discrepancy in other virulently homophobic countries.

N.Y. senator called ‘political whore’ for backing gay marriage

An email ad calls a New York senator seeking re-election a “political whore” for his crucial vote supporting marriage equality.

State Sen. Mark Grisanti, a Republican from the Buffalo area, was a key vote in the passage of New York’s marriage equality bill last year. He changed his vote to support the bill, saying, in an emotional floor speech, “I cannot legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage. Who am I to say that someone does not have the same rights that I have with my wife who I love, or [to] have the 1300-plus rights that I share with her?”

Numerous right-wing groups have vowed to oust Republicans who supported the legislation. Now, as Grisanti campaigns for re-election, an ad published through emails attacks the lawmaker’s position on marriage.

The black-and-white ad, first reported on by Politico, shows two men, one of them on his knees kissing the other just above the waist. The ad asks, “How far will a politician go to get in your pant$? For his gay marriage vote, Mark Grisanti received over $750,000. Sometimes they’re political whore$.”

Another image in the ad shows two men engaging in sexual activity.

Several news sites have reported that the images come from the gay porn studio Corbin Fisher.

The disclaimer says the ad was paid for by the Committee to Save the Erie County Republican Party, which doesn’t appear to exist as a registered entity.

Grisanti is in a tough primary with Kevin Stocker that will be decided on Thursday.

Los Angeles to vote on condoms in porn

Los Angeles County voters will decide in a referendum in November whether to require condoms on the set of all local porn productions.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its partners collected more than 360,000 signatures to place the question on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Michael Weinstein, executive director of the foundation, said, “We are extremely pleased to learn that our county of Los Angeles ballot measure to require adult film producers to obtain public health permits has successfully qualified for the November ballot, particularly as that is also the presidential election and voter turnout is expected to be very high.”

The group argues the measure is needed to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and protect the actors.

If the measure passes, condoms would be require for any sex taking place for adult films. The measure also would require producers to post for display a public health permit obtained from the county that details the condom requirement.

City, state and federal regulations already exist for the adult film industry, which has opposed condom use with the basic argument that viewers don’t want to see them.

The industry largely is based in Los Angeles County in San Fernando Valley.

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LA voters to decide on compulsory condoms in porn

Los Angeles County voters will decide in a referendum in November whether to require condoms on the set of all local porn productions.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its partners collected more than 360,000 signatures to place the question on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Michael Weinstein, executive director of the foundation, said, “We are extremely pleased to learn that our county of Los Angeles ballot measure to require adult film producers to obtain public health permits has successfully qualified for the November ballot, particularly as that is also the presidential election and voter turnout is expected to be very high.”

The group argues the measure is needed to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and protect the actors.

If the measure passes, condoms would be require for any sex taking place for adult films. The measure also would require producers to post for display a public health permit obtained from the county that details the condom requirement.

City, state and federal regulations already exist for the adult film industry, which has opposed condom use with the basic argument that viewers don’t want to see them.

The industry largely is based in Los Angeles County in San Fernando Valley.

Download a PDF of the current issue of Wisconsin Gazette and join our Facebook community.

Friends remember victim of ‘Canadian Psycho’ as quiet

On his blog, he liked to call himself Big Bad Justin, but in reality, according to his postings and his acquaintances, Jun Lin was a quiet, unassuming man who came to Canada from China to study engineering and computer science.

As a cashier at a convenience store, he never missed a shift. He loved his cat and queued up for the new iPhone on the day it went on sale.

Now his parents are in Canada to collect the dismembered remains of the victim of a murder that has appalled the world with its gruesomeness, videotaped and posted on the Internet.

“I’m going to Canada!” he posted on May 10, 2010.

Last week parts of him turned up in parcels mailed to Canada’s two main political parties. A torso was found in a suitcase on a garbage dump in Montreal, outside the apartment building where he is thought to have been killed. Police reported that what looked like a foot and hand, separately mailed to two Vancouver schools, are thought to be linked to the case. Police are waiting for the head to turn up.

On his blog, the 33-year-old indulged his love for fashion, home-cooked food, Apple products, American TV and Andy his tabby cat.

A copy of what police believe is the video of the killing shows a bound, blindfolded man naked on a bed being stabbed to death, then dismembered.

Investigators suspect a 29-year-old Montreal man, Luka Rocco Magnotta of committing the murder and posting the video online. He was caught at a cafe in Berlin, where tabloids referred to him as the “Canadian Psycho.” Montreal police say he and Lin were dating, but no reference to the suspect has yet been found in Lin’s extensive online postings.

“I don’t know under what circumstances they knew each other, but for someone to target him, I never would have thought this,” said Zoya De Frias Lakhany, who was Lin’s friend and fellow student at Concordia University in Montreal.

Lin was a shy, straight-A computer student – “so nice, humble and honest,” said De Frias Lakhany, 21. “He was really involved in his studies and never missed class.”

On the Chinese microblogging site weibo.com, Lin wrote excitedly about moving to Canada. Upon arriving in Montreal, he kept up his mostly cheerful blogging, although he sometimes betrayed a sense of loneliness.

“Class is to begin soon,” reads one posting from last year, accompanied by a photo of an empty classroom. “I’m so nervous. Been out of school for so long.”

“I just realized I am 10 years older than my classmates,” he wrote a month later. “They can call me Uncle. It’s so crushing.”

More than 1,000 entries are scattered with photos he took of himself. In some, he stares at the camera, expressionless. In others, he makes faces or poses shirtless.

The photos were accompanied by discussions of his diet and plans for staying fit.

“My calves are getting so thick,” he complained one day. “I am on diet – chicken breast, broccoli, tomatoes, peas and whole-wheat bread.”

A few days later, he explained his weight gain: “I know why I am so fat in Canada. Butter and bread in the morning. I’m so fat,” he wrote.

Yet the photos show a slender man. Followers of his blog commented that he was cute.

Lin’s last blog entry, dated May 16, 2012, has drawn 40,000 comments, most of them expressing shock and condolences over his death. 

Friends and strangers have lit virtual candles on Lin’s blog. A Facebook page dedicated to Lin features photos of him traveling and posts demanding swift justice for Magnotta, a former porn actor who, authorities say, flew to Paris shortly after the killing and spent several days partying and evading police before his arrest in Berlin.

At the Montreal convenience store where Lin’s boss says he never failed to show up for work, a memorial is piled with flowers and sympathy cards written in English, French and Mandarin.

De Frias Lakhany said her friend seemed happy in Montreal.

“He would take pictures of the snow and post them,” she said “He was sweet, never complained and smiled all the time.”

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