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5/12/2010

Columns > Happytown

Happytown

 

This week in queer schaden- freude, the breathing world stopped for a hot minute to point and laugh at National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality board member – and Family Research Council founder – George Rekers, and we were right there with them! An explosive – or gleefully exploitative – report from the Miami New Times surfaced on May 4 detailing NARTH Vader’s not-at-all-predictable journey into hypocrisy via the great unknown of gay Internet prostitution. A photographer captured Rekers at Miami International Airport with both his gay mustache and his gay rentboy (from rentboy.com!) freshly returning from a 10-day European vacation. From that point on, the story has gone everywhere – back, forth, up, down, network morning shows, Leno, Colbert, The Daily Showodd denials, defamation threats — without even a short breath to recover from Rekers’ reported favorite maneuver, the “long stroke.” 

Now, we wouldn’t be rehashing the story here a week later if it weren’t for the diligence of our own former rentboy, Jeffrey C. Billman, who anxiously buzzed us when the news broke last Tuesday in a classic “stop the presses” move (we didn’t). See, Billman already had his own private encounter with Rekers in 2008 (see “The case against gay adoption,” Dec. 18, 2008) back when the pray-away-the-gay princess was utilized by our own atrocity (er, attorney) general Bill McCollum in his fight to keep South Floridian gay Martin Gill from keeping his two fostered kids. Rekers was one of two “experts” brought in by McCollum to explain that gay people eat babies while high on pink cocaine or something, and, according to some digging by Equality Florida, he was actually paid $120,000, twice what was originally reported – meaning the case was a fraud, meaning that Florida taxpayers were bilked for fake science. So Billman was right all along. Also, Billman is now officially gay. Carry on! 

Cheer up, George; if young boys are now too hot for you to handle, you can still rent a dog.

In the disorienting frenzy of the last legislative day, our beloved lawmakers failed to pass a bill to outlaw bestiality. Again. Yes, for at least another year you can molest goats and dogs (the usual victims of late) and walk away with a smile, so long as the cops can’t say for certain that the critter didn’t enjoy it. “Animal cruelty” remains the only statute that now applies, and well … sometimes the family cat is just askin’ for it, at least in the eyes of the law.

An anti-bestiality bill passed the Senate unanimously, but the House version never made it out of committee. House members did tack it on to an agriculture bill – but the Senate’s agriculture bill lacked that provision, so nothing got done in the end. Er, so to speak.

Legislators protest that they all want to ban bestiality, but gosh darn it, passing bills is hard. Plus they don’t want to hold a graphic debate in front of children, who flock to legislative sessions, as everyone knows. Just that sort of squeamishness is what has kept household pets nervous for nearly 40 years; buggering your beagle has been legal in the Sunshine since a 1971 court decision struck down a 103-year-old law on the grounds that it was too delicately worded to clearly define what acts were illegal. So there it is: As long as Florida legislators are embarrassed to say you can’t screw the pooch, actually doing it will retain the state’s seal of approval.

They claim a past U.S. president, 16 million members and a rich history of racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia, but Southern Baptists just aren’t the monolithic tentpole of despair that they used to be. Religion News Service reports that Southern Baptist Convention leaders unveiled a proposal May 3 to get their mojo back by calling for more money and more, well, Baptists. The proposal suggests a “refocused” North American Mission Board to infiltrate increasingly diverse populations of the country (hello, Arizona!) where foreigners might not yet know the glory and matriarchy that comes with being a Baptist. (“When you’re a Baptist, you’re a Baptist all the way! From your first cigarette to your last dyin’ day!”) Another interesting tidbit from the proposal: Baptists are cheap! Churches have traditionally asked for a 2.5 percent tithe based on yearly income, while most other Christian denominations want the full biblical 10 percent. Leaders have wizened up and will ask for 10 going forward. The report will be voted on (religious democracy?) at the annual meeting of such people in June at – where else? – the Orange County Convention Center. 

From the Let the Sunshine In desk comes news that in between prom up-dos and cat-fight acrylics, Salon Indulgentz in Altamonte Springs has decided to go ahead and fix our country … with hair! Owner Lori Wilson and stylist Jessica Welch told 580 WDBO-AM this week that they’ve teamed up with a San Francisco movement to collect hair clippings, fur and pantyhose in order to sop up BP’s oil belch that’s currently contaminating our coastlines – a plan so utterly fabulous that it just might work. Local Brit bar Kiwi’s Pub & Grille has donated 7,000 square feet of warehouse space to the cause, and Orlando’s Asphalt Restoration Technology of Florida has offered to transport the nose-hair trimmings to the spill site. The report quoted a marine science professor who said the effort would have virtually no impact on the disaster – we can almost hear the collective “WTF?!” from Locks of Love – but what’s really important is that our unwanted (and unwashed) follicles have a social conscience. 

Make-believe is dead. In the same week that a Long Island cop nearly shot down a wannabe thespian filming a scene for a low-budget indie film in which she fake-robs a store, Longwood police followed suit by arresting a couple of teen girls for the crime of throwing a surprise birthday party. The crazy fun girls were spotted by presumably obese noseys in the parking lot of Dan’s Family Restaurant on State Road 17-92 engaging in the unforgivable act of going to a party – you know kids these days and their sexting and rap music and pregnancies – and promptly clogged 911 with frantic calls about a kidnapping in between gravy-flavored belches. See, one of the girls (the smart one) blindfolded the birthday girl (the hot one) and tied her hands behind her back … go on … in order to keep their destination a surprise. Cops arrived and handcuffed them both … go on … and, even after realizing that law enforcement resources and taxpayer money had just been flushed down the toilet by panicked lookey loos, proceeded with charges. Charges! For disturbing the peace! And they have a court date! The girls told local news channels that the overzealous police gave them the full guilt trip. “They were like, ‘Have you ever had a gun pointed at your face?’ I was like, ‘No, I haven’t,’ and he was like, ‘Well that could have happened today. We could have had you on the hot pavement down on the ground with guns to your heads,’” said, like, one of them, or whatever. At that point, the girls, the cop and the diners all busted out into a show choir rendition of Chicago’s “Policeman” with full choreography and costumes, like in Glee. Because that’s another thing today’s teens do all the time. Oh, right, reality: They’re scheduled to appear in court May 25. 

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