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Beyond Gay: The Book

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  • Agatha Christie: Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories

    Agatha Christie: Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories
    My latest heroin...the little busybody old lady from St. Mary Mead who hides devastating powers of observaton behind her white hair and erstwhile knitting and an unshakeable commitment to logic. Where I all too often stumble about mired in sentimentality, Miss Marple's investigations remind me of the power and need to remain clear eyed. (*****)

  • Edited By Garth Battista: Bicycle Love: Stories of Passion, Joy, and Sweat

    Edited By Garth Battista: Bicycle Love: Stories of Passion, Joy, and Sweat
    Ok, a bike-geek book for sure. But if you get into pedaling around, if you daydream about your bike and scout the internet looking for upcoming bike events you can do....well, you will probably find at least part of this book speaking to you. (****)

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Christmas 2005

  • Happybrennan
    A number of folks have complained that even though I have a digital camera, I haven't been using it enough. Thus I tried to take some pictures of the Godkids from Christmas Morning, 2005.

May 13, 2005

Man Sues Gym Over Gay Sex

DavidbartongymOn the heals of the previous post about what, in at least the mind of the New York Times, goes into making a popular gay vacation spot comes the news that  man is suing the David Barton Gym group for breach of contract and emotional distress after he says the management could or would not stop the gay sex going in the gym's shower areas.  Carlos Sosa says the management of the gym also refused to refund his money when complained many times about the behavior.

What makes this story coincidental with the previous Times story are some of the comments from other gym goers:

“Don’t go to a known gay gym if you are a heterosexual homophobe,”   patron Stephen Dimmick told a Post reporter. “I know they’re insanely   strict on it.”

Orlando Hernandez, another customer, echoed those sentiments.

“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” he   told the paper. “If it is going to make a difference to him, then he should   go to a straighter gym.”

Get it?  If you go to a self-identified gay gym, well, you better just expect seeing sodomy in the showers and if that bothers you don't choose a gay gym, especially one which one man alleged "sells itself as a “sexual” place for gay New Yorkers."

It's just one more indication of the way that identity and sexual behavior have become almost entirely intertwined.  It is just a widespread cultural assumption that if you self-identify as gay you must at least endorse, if not actually practice, gay sex.

October 06, 2004

KC To Try Tennis To Fight Back Public Sex


Where one town has decided to turn cows loose into parks which are known as sites for public sex, Kansas City has decided to bring back the tennis courts.

Penn Valley Park — and the Liberty Memorial in particular — have long been associated with cruising for anonymous gay sex. But new visitors to this area of the park are discovering that hearing about it and seeing it are two different things.

Recently a family tennis outing was interrupted by the sight of men disappearing into the bushes.

“A little girl was asking in Spanish, ‘What are they doing?'” recalled Pauline Rios, who wants to start a Latino tennis league for youths. “That really got to me.”

Even in daylight, men cruise the drive that encircles the tennis courts north of the former BMA tower at 31st Street and Southwest Trafficway. Sexual acts often are visible. Some men expose themselves when vehicles approach. Even police and parks department employees get solicited.

“You would not believe how bad it is,” said Detective Cliff Balicki of the Kansas City Police Department's vice unit.

Even after an arrest, “10 minutes later the place is jam-packed,” Balicki said.

Just as renovation and higher security have greatly lessened the problem at the Liberty Memorial, officials hope improvements can do the same for the west side of Penn Valley Park.

A new master plan for the entire park is in the final stages. The loop road around the tennis courts is to be removed before the end of the year. Brush is to be cleared. A skateboard park, walking trail, new lighting and a playground are to be installed in the spring. And the BMA building is slated to become residential.

The Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department hopes all that positive energy in a previously secluded place will drive out public sex acts.

Continue reading "KC To Try Tennis To Fight Back Public Sex" »

September 10, 2004

Sex In Your Parks? Turn Loose The Cows!


A town in Holland whose residents have been upset about couples having sex in its local park are considering turning Highland cattle, pictured at left, loose to graze in the area.

The mayor said the idea came from another nature reserve in Holland.

Park rangers there reported a downturn in public sex sessions after cows were let in to graze.

It is not known what makes Highland cows - the world's oldest cattle breed - such big passion killers.

Yesterday, one Dutch park ranger said: 'They are gentle creatures, but they do look fierce.

'And let's face it, having a two-ton hairy beast with huge horns looking at you isn't exactly going to put you in the mood for making love.'

Not to mention the risk of cowpies in the dark...

August 13, 2004

Actor Who Played Self-Identified Gay Jesus Arrested For Soliciting Online


Sometimes I marvel at how much irony there can be in tragedy and vice-versa. Or someone else reading this story might conclude that this tale relates a form of the truth, a tale that I and many other Christians have lived sadly many times in our lives.

Steven Shriner, the actor who played Peter (perhaps amidst other roles) in Corpus Christi, a play that tries to link opposition to active homosexuality with the sufferings Christ had in his life, has been arrested for soliciting sex online from someone who identified himself as a 14 year old boy. In reality, the person behind the computer screen was a much older investigator for the police.

According to the Trentonian newspaper, Shriner allegedly used his home computer in January of last year for the "express purpose of meeting and having sex with a boy."

During opening statements, Deputy Attorney General Charles Ouslander said Shriner entered a sexually explicit chat room, thinking he was conversing with a teen boy, whose screen name was Timpit6668. In reality, Shriner was speaking with investigator Brian Damiani who was typing on his undercover computer at the Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton.

Shriner's lawyer has pointed out that Shriner had every reason to suppose his correspondent's age to have been genuinely 18 since that was the minimum age allowed in the chat room. However the story appeared to suggest that the correspondent had explicitly identified himself as 14 and Shriner had pursued a meeting.

Continue reading "Actor Who Played Self-Identified Gay Jesus Arrested For Soliciting Online" »

July 27, 2004

The Band Keeps Playing - Ain't It Great!


A third of self-defined gay men in London who are sexually active have sex with between 13-30 men per year, and an additional 20% have sex with more than 30, "sometimes a lot more." That quote and data comes not from a some sort of homophobic screed but from a 43 page booklet published by Gay Men Fighting AIDS, an anti-HIV group in Britain. The preface to their booklet reads:

There are lots of things which define us as gay men, but sex has always been one of the most important. For some of us, that can mean having as much sex as possible, as often as possible, with as many different men as possible.

We do it because we like it. And over the past ten years, particularly in London, it's been easier than ever to find the men and the sex that we want. More and more men have been coming out as gay, and more
and more clubs and bars have been opening up.

Any night of the week there's somewhere to go if we want to try and find someone to spend the night with. And if all we want is the sex without the breakfast, there are loads more saunas, backrooms, sex bars and fetish nights than there ever used to be.

The cottages may have closed, but parks are still there. And with gaydar, and the rest of the gay chatrooms, it’s never been easier to arrange a shag or a shag party.

Here is a link to a PDF of the booklet. (The publication contains both language and pictures which are frank and explicit, so be aware before you choose to click.)

Continue reading "The Band Keeps Playing - Ain't It Great!" »

July 15, 2004

Priest Arrested With Vaseline...


A priest from the Diocese of Scranton, much in the news in St. Blogs of late, has been arrested and accused with soliciting a young man in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, for sex, according to a press report. When arrested in his duffle bag were found rubber gloves, Baby Wipes, and vaseline.

Asked what the items were for, he told police, "they are just in there," according to investigators.

Perrins, who had been assistant pastor at the East Fourth Street church for nearly three years, was removed from his position when church officials learned of the allegations from Luzerne County law enforcement, said Maria Orzel, director of communications for the Diocese of Scranton.

Ok, leaving aside the sadly sordid details about this story, I have some questions:

First, while I am usually the most skeptical of waving the homophobia charge, since when do police get involved in solicitations for sex? If this had been a 22 year old woman and a man had offered her $50 for a sexual favor, would the police have gotten involved? Maybe I am naive, but I thought that to be charged with soliciting prostitution one had to actually make an agreement for the act with the other party.

Not, of course, that this would made it any better, but I am just curious.

Second, I wonder what this priest's history is with sexual acting out. How many other incidents of acting out sexually has he had and could anything have been done in the past to have connected the dots before the police got involved?

July 07, 2004

Public Warned Away From Florida Beach Because of Homosex


Ah, summertime. The sun comes out, the weather gets hotter and some men just can't seem to keep....themselves to themselves, at least at one Florida beach.

The Boy Scout troop's request was innocent enough -- the children wanted to hike from one end of Canaveral National Seashore to the other. Yet a park ranger discouraged the youngsters, fearing they might see more than turtles and seashells.

"I told them, 'Well, I can't tell you not to come, but you will encounter some nude men along the way," said Ranger Eric Lugo, a 13-year veteran who heads the park's law enforcement. "And they may be having sex."
The Boy Scouts made other plans...

But, Lugo, who patrols the 24 miles of beach along Canaveral along with seven other rangers, says he frequently must write tickets -- mostly to male couples -- for having public sex. Nude sunbathers traditionally gather south of Apollo's southernmost parking lot and north of Playalinda's most northern lot.

Rangers issued 120 citations for public sex at Apollo and Playalinda beaches last year, Lugo said. Thirty have been handed out so far this year. The problem with public sex has become so bad over the last few years that Lugo said he often dissuades tourists from visiting the area....

Rangers say roughly 80 percent of the bathers at Apollo and Playalinda are men. A spokeswoman for a local gay organization based in Ormond Beach said members do not want people to associate the incidents occurring at the national park with gay or lesbian lifestyles.

"We don't have a problem with the nudity, but we do have a problem with children being photographed and with public sex on the beach," said Bobbie Pruitt with Volusia Gay Parent. "But I don't want people to think that this is a gay issue. There are heterosexuals out there having public sex and heterosexuals can also photograph children."

Ah yes, the "straight people do it too" defense. The article didn't report this, but I would be very surprised if more than five heterosexual couples shared in the 120 tickets for having sex in public on that beach last year.

Continue reading "Public Warned Away From Florida Beach Because of Homosex" »

May 17, 2004

Self-Identified Gay Group Counts Tickets For Public Sex As Violence


A self-identified gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender group in Denver issued a report in late April that found 133% increase in hate crimes against the self-identified LGBT community during the last half of 2003 over the same period during 2002, according to the group.

But the problem is that the organization apparently included in its accounts of "violence" incidents of men being given summons for having or soliticiting sex in a public area.

Continue reading "Self-Identified Gay Group Counts Tickets For Public Sex As Violence" »

February 19, 2004

Cambodia Warns Sex Tourists Will Be Arrested


See this guy in the picture. He's an American who has been arrested in Cambodia on charges of debauchery and raping underage boys. If the charges stick his arrest and conviction will be part of a Cambodian crackdown on Westerners coming to Cambodia to rape their kids and, get this, some of these guys find an economic justification for their actions.

"Some of these men actually believe that when they go abroad it is acceptable and that they are helping poor people support their families," says Carol Smolenski, executive director of End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes USA. "If you are really concerned about them, then just give them money and don't ask for sex."

And this breaks your heart:

Child-advocacy groups estimate that 2 million children worldwide are working in the sex trade. The Internet is rife with tour companies that pitch travel for legal prostitution and make veiled references to sex with children. There are chat rooms in which participants discuss the best locations to find the prettiest girls, the cleanest rooms and the cheapest prices. And the Web allows people to make arrangements to travel to countries, such as Cambodia, Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Philippines, where child sex is plentiful and law enforcement has been lax.

One destination is Svay Pak, a small town about 7 miles outside the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. There, about 30 ramshackle brothels line the streets.

Joe Mettimano, director of the child sex tourism prevention project for World Vision, an international Christian relief organization, visited Svay Pak last year.

"I got 5 feet down the dirt road and I was approached by a young boy asking if I want young girls. He said, 'I can get you 9, 10 years old,' " Mettimano says. For an hour, he observed men going in and out of the brothels. "You hear very distinct Australian, American and European accents."

February 13, 2004

Self-Identified Gay Group Issues Guide For Public Sex


Wow. You know, in my estimate I would guess the vast majority of the American public views the notion of having sex in public, say restrooms, picnic areas, beaches as an activity to avoid, not seek and not seek to make less legally risky. But not all, clearly. Lamda Legal, a self-identified gay legal group, has issued a booklet called the Little Black Book to help men who might be arrested for having or soliciting sex in public. The book's preface notes:


Ah yes, the mean police "targetting" innocent guys just out for a stroll....please! I don't mean to mock, but there are some assertions at which I can only laugh. Especially since there are websites devoted to informing men of the public spaces, state by state, city by city, where they can find other men for public and private sex. A couple of items from the book include:

Continue reading "Self-Identified Gay Group Issues Guide For Public Sex" »

January 19, 2004

Case Filed For Polygamous Marriage

I know some folks have sniffed and scoffed when I (among others) have pointed out how slippery a slope it is upon which we stand nowadays, but then the evidence just continues to mount. Now three adults in Utah are suing to force the State to allow them to marry as a trio - and I suppose to remarry should they decide to become a quartet or quintet.

His colleagues, Scalia said, were unleashing a wave of challenges to state laws against "bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery,fornication, bestiality, and obscenity ... ."

The case was Lawrence v. Texas. Seven months later, a Utah lawyer is fulfilling Scalia's warning as he attempts to use that Supreme Court ruling to challenge the state's ban on polygamy, a felony crime believed to be practiced by thousands in the state.

The federal lawsuit filed by civil rights attorney Brian Barnard this past week involves an adult married couple, identified as G. Lee Cook and D. Cook, and an adult woman, J. Bronson, who wanted to enter into a plural marriage but were denied a marriage license by Salt Lake County clerks.

Continue reading "Case Filed For Polygamous Marriage" »

January 15, 2004

Still More On The Cannibal Trial


A while back I took some heat for this post in which I asked the question what, under our current law, particularly in the wake of the Lawrence decision, would allow a state or the federal government to make consensual cannibalism a crime, particularly if the party being eaten was not killed.

I wrote then: Suppose the two had agreed, for the sake of example, that for $1,500 Euro the man would have let Armin cut off part of him, a couple of ounces from a buttock or a few inches of skin or something, maybe enough to season a dish, add some zest to a run of the mill curry, soup or stew, but not enough to cause death or even lasting harm. Would that have been against the law? If so, why? In the wake of the Lawrence decision, what interest does society have in restricting an individual's right to define their own reality by selling themselves for food or sex or whatever in the privacy of their own home?

That question drew the ire of some folks but read on McDuff, I am not the only one asking it, including the defense lawyers in the trial.

Continue reading "Still More On The Cannibal Trial" »

December 17, 2003

More From Cannibal Trial


Ok, a while back I posted up on a bizarre item about a fellow on trial in Germany for having killed and eaten a man who had agreed to allow himself to be killed and eaten. Some folks were upset that it seemed to me, and still does, that under the logic of the Lawrence decision laws against cannibalism (assuming that there are any) as long as no one was killed and consent was given would also be judged unconstitutional.

Well, I thought then the story was just a one time headline grabber. But I was wrong. It turns out there is a gay angle to the story as well, and that is not my suggestion but the conclusion suggested by the headline of the gay news site. That link only becomes clear when you click onto another story at then end of the first in which the man on trial reports having being offered a good deal of money for the film rights to his story. That story explicitly identifies him as gay.

Warning: story is a tad graphic.

Continue reading "More From Cannibal Trial" »

December 04, 2003

How Much For Your Pound Of Flesh?

Mark Shea already has a pointer up to this story about a German man who is on trial in Germany for killing and eating a man who, he said, wanted to be killed and eaten.

In matter-of-fact tones in front of a hushed court, Armin Meiwes explained how an obsession with cannibalism developed as a child and eventually led him to kill and eat a fellow human being.

"I had the fantasy, and in the end I fulfilled it," he said.

He had the chance to kill and feast on other apparently willing victims, he added, saying "hundreds and thousands are out there looking to be eaten," but passed up the opportunity because they were not the right type.

Mark mentioned this item, but I don't believe he investigated its possibilities nearly enough.

Continue reading "How Much For Your Pound Of Flesh?" »

November 21, 2003

The Band Still Playing

An increase in infections among men who have sex with men have been identified in data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the driving force behind a nationwide rise in syphilis rates.

The increase was due in large part to increases in reported syphilis cases among men, particularly gay and bisexual men. At the same time, continued declines in syphilis among African Americans and women point to the success of STD prevention efforts in some areas and populations, although African Americans remain the population most affected by syphilis.

Between 2001 and 2002, the overall rate of syphilis increased 9.1 percent, from 2.2 cases to 2.4 cases per 100,000 population – the highest rate since 1999. The total number of reported cases increased 12.4 percent, from 6,103 to 6,862 cases. However, since some syphilis cases go undiagnosed, the actual number of infections is likely higher.

Although CDC does not collect syphilis data by orientation of sexual attraction, officials responsible for the data estimated that 40% of the new infections in 2002 arose from male on male sex.

Continue reading "The Band Still Playing" »

October 27, 2003

Where Lawrence Leads Us

In Kansas, a 22 year old man is asking a court to reduce his sentence for having oral sex with a 14 year old boy who was in a school for the developmentally disabled at the time. The man, who was a registered sex offender, was 18 at the time.

The offender's contention? That he should be prosecuted under Kansas' Romeo and Juliet law that criminalizes criminalizes voluntary sexual relations between generally older boys of less than 19 years of age with girls between 14 and 16 years of age. Sentences typically run from 13 to 15 months, and judges can impose a lesser penalty for couples that marry.

Limon's attorney, Tamara Lange of the ACLU, said the attorney general and state lawmakers have it wrong. She said the case presents the same equal protection question that was central to the Lawrence decision.

"Imposing criminal liability for sex between teenagers is not at issue in this case," Lange said. "The question is, Can you impose a different amount of penalty? Can you send a kid to jail for 17 years instead of 15 months just because it was with a member of the same sex instead of a member of the opposite sex?"

Now, this is off the mark in a number of different ways. First, the person was developmentally disabled and I believe, whether male or female, that should be taken into account. Second, I believe the damage done by an older boy having sexual relations with a younger one has the potential to be far worse than even that of older boys on younger girls. Third, this is not the first time the offender has done such a thing and I don't think we have much reason to believe he will not do it again.

For the record, my first sexual experiences were with older boys who, frankly, took advantage of my isolation and emotional neediness to get their sexual needs met in a convenient if perverse way. Those experiences changed my life and, frankly, if there were one single thing about my youth that I would change it would be those encounters, which were consensual only in the sense that a a boy can be manipulated into many things when the right emotional and psychological buttons are pushed.

Thanks to Domenico Bettinelli for the item. He has some good different thoughts on it here:

November 2006

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David Meets JPII

  • David_and_jpii_three
    In November 1996, through a series of truly unexpected events, I met John Paul II, at a audience in Vatican City. I have not generally told many people about this meeting; in part becuse I have been embarassed by how much I have been blessed and because I have regretted not having matured even more from the experience of grace the meeting represented. But now John Paul's days with us in the flesh may be numbered and I can feel more patience with and compassion for the man I was then. I have also come to recognize that letting more people know about this meeting is part of of accepting its importance in my life.

My Family In Christ

  • Admiretree
    Mike and Dian are among the key people in my life. They are among my best friends and their first born, Brinnaria, is my first Godchild. These are photos we took while on vacation together on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in May, 2003.