North Carolina authorities are accusing a couple of using zip ties to bind their 4-year-old daughter's wrists and ankles to a baby gate. Raleigh police say 26-year-old Gerald Thomas Swinehart and 28-year-old Marlaine Victoria Coffey are accused of tying the child to a gate with plastic ties normally used by electricians. They also say Swinehart pushed or kicked the girl so hard her lower teeth broke through her lower lip.
Read the juicy deets over yonder on Line Out.
Jonathan Eig, one of the best sportswriters out there, did today what he does best: reframe the question.
The ongoing controversy over whether Manti Te'o is gay, homophobic comments by NFL players, and so on, along with the release of 42, the new movie about Jack Robinson and Branch Rickey integrating MLB, led Eig to ask a new question: not, When will some gay athlete come out while still playing professionally? No, he asks:
What if [some team owners] made it a mission to discover and sign the first openly gay player? What if an owner told his scouting department to find such an athlete, and made it clear to the athlete that he was committed to his success on and off the field, as Rickey did for Robinson?
Would it matter if the owner were motivated in part by the desire to make money? Would it matter if he were trying to broaden his team’s fan base? Would it matter if he were responding to political pressure?
The anti-gay haters argued before the Supreme Court that marriage needs to be reserved for straight couples because straight sex makes babies. This is not a new argument. And it goes like this: since gay couples have to plan to make babies—since we can't get drunk and adopt one night—we don't need marriage. Because, um, you see... marriage is about kids, it's about raising children, and children that are planned for don't really need married parents. The families of planned-for children don't need the rights and protections of marriage. Because they don't. They just don't. Only unplanned children need married parents. (And, of course, planned-for children with straight parents—they should be allowed to marry on a technicality.) And everyone knows that if you let gay people marry, well, then lots and lots of straight people will refuse to marry. Because why would straight people want to get married if gay people were getting married? Straight people hate gay people so much! And this will lead to lots more children being born to unmarried straight parents. Because that's how much straight people hate gay people: straight people hate gay peopel so much that they'll harm themselves and harm their own children in order to express their contempt for gay people. Because straight people suck.
Which brings us to this morning's big news: Lindsay Lohan may be pregnant. Can you see the logic in the anti-gay haters' argument now? The fact that there might be a fetus steeping in a puddle of gin inside Lindsay Lohan is the #1 reason why marriage must be reserved exclusively for heterosexuals. Reserve marriage rights for heterosexuals and Lindsay will do right by her gin-pickled child... just like Lindsay's straight parents did right by her.
The defense-of-traditional-marriage rests its case, your honor.
A top Republican in Georgia has sounded an ominous warning that legalization of same-sex marriage may also lead to fraud. Sue Everhart, chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party, told the Marietta Daily Journal in a story published Saturday that once gay nuptials are legally permitted, there will be nothing to stop a straight person from exploiting the system in order to claim marital benefits. “You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow,” Everhart said. “Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits?"
This nightmare scenario—straight people getting married (or staying married) for the benefits!—happens all the time. If Ms. Everhart wants to prevent straight people from marrying other straight people for their "wonderful health plans," as opposed to their awesome oral/anal/bondage skills, she should support a single-payer health-care plan. If the United States had a health-care system like Canada does, no one would marry—no one would have to marry—to obtain benefits. Linking health care to marriage is 1. unfair to single people and 2. tempts gay and straight to marry for the all the wrong reasons. Not for love, not for life, but for Aetna.
As for this...
Everhart also expressed a distaste for homosexuality, which she argued is unnatural. “Lord, I’m going to get in trouble over this, but it is not natural for two women or two men to be married,” Everhart said. “If it was natural, they would have the equipment to have a sexual relationship.”
After screaming and yelling for years—for centuries—about the evils, the dangers, the health risks, the immorality, the irresistible allure, etc., of all the hot and sweaty buttsecks the gays were having, the haters are now suddenly claiming that we can't have sex at all. We shouldn't be allowed to marry, says Chicago's Cardinal George, because gay people can't consummate our marriages. We don't have the equipment to have a sexual relationship, says the chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party, so we shouldn't be allowed to marry. I don't know how we went from gay sex being sick and sinful and irresistible—they used to argue that gay sex had to be illegal and gay people oppressed because otherwise everyone would turn gay and the human race would go extinct—to gay sex being impossible. But here we are.
In a related development...
Terry and I did the impossible last night. So we're not just gay guys anymore. We're superheroes. Or something. Because we do the impossible! All the time!
You remember Party Crasher—the World's Best Column™ in which various Stranger writers wrote about parties we crashed (except that we were actually invited by you lovely people)—don't you? There was the gay orgy. There was Lindy West looking for a wizard. There was Rager of the Lost Ark. There was the Drunk Oscars with Anna Minard. There was a Very Special Fistmas. And who could forget the Robot Valentine's Day Massacre? And, as they say, so much more.
Now we can't remember why we ever stopped, and we were thinking about reviving Party Crasher, and then we thought: WEDDING CRASHER! You know the gays can get hitched now here in Washington State too, which is sort of the impetus here, but we also just love weddings—gay, straight, man and goat, whatever. So, introducing Wedding Crasher: in which The Stranger comes to your wedding, drinks (only their fair share) of your booze, dances to your music (whatever it may be), and celebrates your love (ditto)!
Our pledge to you: Whichever one of us has the pleasure of attending* will bring a gift (maybe hers-and-hers Stranger t-shirts, but a gift). We will dress up. We will be nice (this is LOVE, after all!), both while we are there and in the writing-up afterward. We will dance. And your wedding will be memorialized in the timeless pages of The Stranger and the timeless pixels of the internet.**
The fine print: While we are honored if you choose to invite us, and we sincerely offer you the warmest best wishes on your impending nuptials, we regret that we cannot attend every wedding, so we will give preference to the especially weird- and/or wonderful-sounding ones. We further regret we cannot attend weddings outside Seattle (unless you would like to fly us to wherever it is happening, preferably Puerto Vallarta, and put us up in a hotel).
Would you like The Stranger to crash your wedding (by which we mean attend as a well-behaved invited guest)? Send your wedding invitation to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Wedding Crasher, 1535 11th Ave 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA, 98122.
* The magical and dapper Sarah Galvin will be the Wedding Crasher to start! She will be the best guest ever.
** Unless something goes weirdly awry, which of course it won't! LOVE!
Los Angeles police arrested a 24-year-old man late Saturday night for allegedly leaving his 2-year-old daughter in his truck while he was drinking at a Van Nuys, California strip club. KTLA-TV reported on Sunday that authorities charged Santos Barillas with child endangerment after finding him allegedly drunk inside the vehicle while the child sat in the back seat. Police said a witness reported seeing Barillas passed out and resting on his steering wheel.... Witnesses at the club told police they saw Barillas in the club without the child, who was subsequently released into her mother’s custody by Child Protective Services.
First, let's check in with the Welsh secretary:
The Welsh secretary, David Jones, has been criticised for claiming that gay couples "clearly" cannot provide a "warm and safe environment" in which to raise children." Jones, who voted against [marriage equality], told ITV Wales's Face to Face programme: "I regard marriage as an institution that has developed over many centuries, essentially for the provision of a warm and safe environment for the upbringing of children, which is clearly something that two same-sex partners can't do."
And... meanwhile in Florida:
A Daytona Beach man is facing a child-neglect charge after police say he left his baby daughter in a cold and unattended car while abusing his wife. Robert Mirsky, 19, and his wife were arguing about his recent weight gain in Ormond Beach about 11:20 p.m. Saturday in the 100 block of West Granada Boulevard. Reports show that Mirsky was intoxicated and started to verbally abuse his wife, Ashley Mirsky... The affidavit states that while Ashley Mirsky was driving, Robert Mirsky kicked the steering wheel from the backseat of the car causing the key in the ignition to break and the car to swerve—with his 23-day-old daughter sitting next to him. After almost crashing the car, Mirsky's wife managed to stop, get out and then tried to remove their daughter from the backseat. Mirsky grabbed the child and punched his wife in the face. She ran to a nearby Texaco gas station at 5 S. Yonge St. and tried to call for help but was stopped by Mirsky who grabbed her by the neck and took her phone. The child was left unattended in the car.
In all fairness to the Welsh secretary, I suppose it's possible that Ashley and Robert Mirsky have created a warm and safe environment for their daughter in their home. But in their car? Not so much.
Well, here’s some medical research we hadn’t heard about. Generations Radio host Kevin Swanson, who last week delved memorably into feminist theory, tells us this week that “certain doctors and certain scientists” have researched the wombs of women on the pill and found “there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb…Those wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.”
Please go read the entire post. The religious right really is coming for your birth control, straight ladies and gentleman. And why do they want to ban birth control? Kevin Swanson explains:
Women [are] fighting and not being happy with the role that God put them in that he laid out in Genesis. So whenever you seek to desire, when women seek to desire the men’s role, they lose the part and the idea of what children does, not just for the kingdom and not just does with their family, but does for their gender role.
God put you on this earth to crap out as many babies as possible, ladies. And while the number of human beings on this planet went from one billion in 1800 to seven billion today, and while we're on track to hit fifteen billion human beings by the end of this century, and while it might seem like maybe you ladies could take a century or two off at this point and just enjoy sex for the fun of it and cut waaaaaaaaaaaaay the hell back on the number of babies you're having, you don't want to do that because eventually your uterus will be so crammed with the bones of little dead babies that you'll rattle when you walk.
And stop desiring the men's role, will you?
Researchers at Louis H Lafontaine Hospital, affiliated with the University of Montreal, tested the levels of cortisol—a stress hormone—and other indicators of strain in homosexuals, bisexuals and heterosexuals. "Contrary to our expectations, gay and bisexual men had lower depressive symptoms and allostatic load levels (a measure of body stress) than heterosexual men," lead author Robert-Paul Juster said.
The study also found that gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals who were out to friends and family had lower levels of cortisol—the stress hormone—compared to gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals who weren't out to friends and family. But it's the "gay and bi guys are less stressed out than straight guys" finding that people are latching on to. Stephen Colbert says the answer is obvious: gay guys don't have to deal with women, and bitches be all crazy and shit. (But what about bi guys, Stephen?) Yesterday, Andrew Sullivan linked to Joseph Stromberg's analysis of the study: being out isn't just a matter of integrity or dignity, but of public health. Encourage gay and bi men to be out—instead of doing the opposite—and their stress levels will drop, improving their mental and physical health.
But no one is talking about why cortisol levels are higher in straight guys and what can be done to bring their levels of cortisol down to gay/bi levels. Shouldn't the mental and physical health of straight guys matter just as much?
So, hey, maybe all straight guys come out as gay or bi—would that help?
Probably not. Performance anxiety alone—fear o' the dick—would be enough to send most straight guys' cortisol levels skyrocketing. No, what straight guys most likely need is something we out gay and bi guys have: a sense of security in our sexual identities and the sense of freedom that comes along with it.
While some folks—cough, cough—do sometimes question the professed sexual identities of some individual bi-identified guys, no one ever thinks an out bisexual guy is secretly straight. And no one scrutinizes out gay dudes for signs that they might not really be gay. Gay guys can be drag queens and/or leather guys (or both over one long weekend), we can be twinks or bears (or both at different stages in our lives), we can be musical-theater queens or heavy-metal fans (or both—wait, no, not both, never both). So long as you're into dudes and out about it, no one wonders if you might be secretly straight. A guy who comes out as queer is consequently free to do pretty much whatever and whoever he wants. He can be as butch or femme as he wants to be. Are you interested in stereotypically gay things like fashion, art, and musicals? Go for it, cocksucker. Are you interested in stereotypically straight things like football, baseball, and basketball? Go for it, cocksucker. You're free.
Straight guys aren't nearly as free—sexually speaking, I mean. Yes, yes: Straight guys run the world, the bastards, but when it comes to sexual identity, straight guys are pretty screwed. And this is because male straightness is defined by two negatives: To be a straight guy means (1) not being a girl and (2) not being a fag.
I don't know any gay guys who worry that people don't think they're gay. But I get letters every day from straight guys who are not only worried that people might not think they're straight, they themselves are worried that they're not straight. While gay and bi guys are free to do whatever girly or faggy shit we wanna do (look at the picture they used for story in the Telegraph!), straight guys are not allowed to do girly or faggy shit. And when a straight guy does something girly or faggy—or gets caught doing something girly or faggy—his sexuality is called into question. Did you have a feeling? You must be a fag. Did you attend a Broadway show? You must be a fag. Did you use a butt plug and like it? You must be a fag.
This isn't just something that straight guys do to themselves and each other: My Savage Love inbox overflows with letters from girls convinced their boyfriends are gay because their boyfriends like having their nipples played with or their boyfriends cross-dress or their boyfriends enjoy anal play. (I get letters every day from straight girls who are worried that their boyfriends are gay because their boyfriends want to fuck them in the ass!) It doesn't matter how crazy their boyfriends are about them or how much time their boyfriends spend facedown in their pussies. Just one girly and/or faggy interest—even an interest in anal sex—is enough to call a guy's heterosexuality into doubt.
And you know what? I bet it's pretty fucking stressful, too—no, wait. I know it's stressful. I spent a few years trying to pass for straight. I policed my voice, my mannerisms, and my interests because I didn't want anyone to think I was gay. If it got out that I spent the weekend memorizing every song in Camelot or reading Pride and Prejudice and having a good cry at the end, no one would think I was straight. I wasn't straight, of course, and after I came out, I stopped having to worry about passing for straight. It was a big relief.
Straight guys, on the other hand, never get to stop worrying about passing for straight. And it's not even enough to be a straight man. A straight guy has to worry about being the right kind of man—a manly man, a "real man." Gay guys don't waste a lot of time worrying about whether people will think we're "real men." We had to get past that particular hangup before we could come out as gay. But straight guys know they're constantly being scrutinized for evidence of gayness or not-real-man-ness—by themselves, by each other, by their girlfriends and wives—and that scrutiny can make a guy paranoid and insecure. I mean, judging from my mail, constantly having to worry about whether you pass for straight is really fucking stressful.
It might be enough to make a guy's cortisol levels spike.
Polyamory is having its pop-culture/mainstreaming moment and sex writer, speaker, researcher and polyamory advocate Andrea Zanin, a.k.a. Sex Geek, isn't impressed:
Polyamory is resolutely presented in the media as a thing heterosexuals do, except sometimes for bisexual women who have a primary male partner and secondary female partners. It is exceedingly rare for lesbian, gay or queer poly configurations to be included in mainstream representations of polyamory, even though LGBQ circles are absolute hotbeds of polyamorous activity, and LGBQ people have a long and illustrious history of non-monogamy, recent enthusiasm about marriage notwithstanding. Go to just about any LGBQ gathering—even the most mainstream—and you can’t swing a cat without hitting at least half a dozen people who are doing some sort of non-monogamy, from regular “monogamish” bathhouse adventures to full-on poly families. It’s so common that it feels (gasp!) normal.
But if the mainstream media were to give too many column inches to LGBQ polyamory, then people might think poly is a gay thing, and that wouldn’t sell nearly as many magazines. So the typical polynormative hype article goes something like, “Meet Bob and Sue. They’re a poly couple. They’re primary partners and they date women together.” Or “they each date women on the side” or “they have sex parties in their basement” or sometimes, though more rarely, “Bob dates women and Sue dates men.” Mainstream representations rarely break the “one penis per party” rule, which is exactly as offensive as it sounds. You don’t get Bob dating Dave, or Sue dating Tim and Jim and John while Bob stays home with a movie. Because whoa! That’s just going too far. I mean, playing around with women is one thing, but if you bring a second man into the picture, don’t the two guys need to, like, duke it out? Prove who’s manlier? Because evolutionary psychology! Because nature! Because when there is a penis (and only one penis) involved it is real sex and that means a real relationship and we must have a real relationship to have a primary-secondary structure and we must have a primary-secondary structure to be a poly couple! (Hmm. So maybe this part does relate to my other three points after all.)
All of this creates a situation where polyamory is presented as a hip new trend that edgy straight folks are trying out, and boy, are they ever proud of it. Needless to say this whole framing varies from clueless about queers to downright offensive.
Andrea has lots of other insights into the way polyamorous relationships are being packaged and presented for the mainstream. Go read the whole thing.
If you want more celebrity bullshit posts, post 'em. And please note that the two Seahawks posts were by regular actual employees of The Stranger, and one of them was so disdainful as to actually constitute a Golden Globes post.
And the Seahawks game was more important: There's a Golden Globes every year. The Seahawks do not make the post-season every year.
A comment at the New York Daily News:
This marriage of one woman and one man was going very well until gays started to get marriage equality. This is an example of marriage equality destroying a traditional, stable, loving, caring, and supportive marriage relationship.
I don't see the connection... but gay marriage works in mysterious ways. (Thanks to Slog tipper Toby.)
"No sex until marriage," Joe Jervis reminds us. And it's "one man, one woman, FOR LIFE!"
Only it's the boys doing it. And they're guppies:
Some female animals are known to show a preference for mating with males they had observed coupling with other females in a phenomenon known as "mate choice copying." This allows them to evaluate the quality of a potential mate from a distance. For this study, the researchers set out to show that homosexual behaviour in the tropical freshwater fish Poecilia mexicana would similarly boost a drabber male's chances of heterosexual coupling.
"P. mexicana females increase their preference for initially non-preferred males not only after observing those males interacting sexually with females, but also when having observed them initiating homosexual behaviour.... As homosexual behaviour is regularly seen in small P.mexicana males, we speculate that it might represent an alternative mating tactic used by subordinate, and thus, less attractive males," the University of Frankfurt researchers wrote.
A couple was convicted Friday of sexually abusing their young son, who testified he had frequent sexual encounters with his mom while his dad offered him instructions or tips on what to do. The 14-year-old boy told jurors at his parents' sex abuse trial that he began having intercourse with his mom on his eighth birthday, about a year after his dad began showing him pornography. The northeastern Pennsylvania boy, who was home-schooled, said he didn't know that sex with his mom was wrong until years later, when he was placed in foster care.
I'm thankful for all of the straight people who threw themselves into the fight for marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state.
Near Little Saigon, the little empire of signs...
Before I say anything else—before I say what I dragged myself out of bed to say—let me say this: we did this. LGBT people came out, fought back, and changed the world. There's a fuck of a lot left to do—repealing DOMA, passing ENDA, completing the repeal of DADT (trans people are still barred from serving in the military), fighting for the rights of queers around the world—but LGBT people have come so far since Stonewall due to our own efforts and sacrifice. It has gotten better for us because we fought to make it better. We demanded better.
Now here's what I want to say: I know so many straight people in Seattle who worked unbelievably hard to approve R-74. They gave money, they volunteered their time, they reached out to friends and relatives and coworkers, all in an effort to make it possible for same-sex couples to marry. Gays and lesbians are a tiny percentage of the population. We couldn't do this on our own. A majority of the legislators who voted for same-sex marriage? Straight. The governor who signed the law making same-sex marriage legal in Washington state? Straight. The majority of the folks manning the phone banks for R-74? Straight. The overwhelming majority of people who voted to approve R-74? Straight. The president who took a huge political risk and came out for marriage equality before his reelection campaign? Straight. It has gotten better for us—better, not perfect—but it hasn't gotten better for us in a vacuum. It's gotten better for us because straight people have gotten better about us.
Whenever you feel politically depressed, remember how fast & comprehensively the straight majority responded to arguments against homophobia
— Johann Hari (@johannhari101) November 7, 2012
The LGBT community in Seattle should do a little something to thank all the righteous, awesome, beautiful straight people who worked so hard—all the straight people who fought so hard, phone banked so hard, donated so hard—to help us win the right to marry in Washington state. All the straight people who worked so hard to make our relationships and our families more secure.
So, yeah, I just wanted to get that off my chest. I've been weepy since I sat down with D.J. this morning and, over pancakes, answered his questions about what R-74's approval meant for him and his family. I sat down to write a "thank you" post after D.J. left for school but it seemed insufficient. For what our straight allies did for us yesterday, for what they did for our kids, I think some sort of big organized event is called for—a party, a bash, a celebration. I think we should thank all the straight people who came through for us in a big, public way. If a party is too impractical, well, then who about some sort of officially declared straight-allies-appreciation day? Something.
Because we couldn't have done it without them.
What do you say?
A Minnesota couple is accused of starving their 8-year-old adopted son. The boy was so malnourished his bones protruded and he weighed as much as a child half his age. The complaint was filed Friday against Mona and Russell Hauer, who are charged with six felonies, including neglect and malicious punishment of a child. According to the complaint, Mona Hauer brought the boy to Mayo Clinic Health Systems-Mankato on Oct. 9 [and] said the boy had eating issues and had been regurgitating his food for months..... The boy told officials the couple made him sit at the table and drink a liquid diet while the rest of the family ate. He said at times he was so hungry he ate dirty food from a compost site. He also told doctors he didn't brush his teeth and regurgitated his food "because he wanted the taste of food and he did not know when he would eat again."
"Savage Love" in October of 2009:
Last weekend the boyfriend-in-America/husband-in-Canada and I attended the wedding of some dear straight friends. And we weren't the only 'mos: There were "a number of people in attendance [without] access to the rights" our straight friends were signing up for. And all us homos were delighted to be there and deliriously happy for our friends, and not one of us would've asked them to wait to marry until gay marriage is legal in all 50 states. [Here's] what I think straight couples should do in the meantime, HTRC: Get married, make a donation to the fight for marriage equality, and encourage your guests to do the same.... And in addition to throwing some money around, HTRC, I think you should consider lifting one of the readings from my friends' ceremony.
"Marriage is a vital social institution," the reading began. "The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition."
So touching, so true, and so universal—who could argue with those sentiments? Everyone at the wedding was nodding. And the reading continued...
"It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a 'civil right.' Without the right to choose to marry, one is excluded from the full range of human experience."
After the reading—which was done by a gay friend of the couple—the officiant identified the source: It was from the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in that state. It was a lovely gesture: The gay couples at the wedding were touched and the hetero couples were reminded of the injustice that gay couples face. It would be wonderful if this passage from the Massachusetts court's ruling on marriage equality caught on as a wedding reading, HTRC.
The New York Times today:
Adrienne Baker walked down the aisle on her wedding day in August wearing high heels, a strapless ruffled dress and a slender white wristband. Her groom, Austin Vitt, augmented his dark suit with the same accessory. So did many of their 140 guests. Moments later, when the ceremony began, the divinity student who was officiating offered the first reading. It was a selection that the soon-to-be Mr. and Ms. Vitt considered the secular equivalent of Scripture, excerpts from a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in the case of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.
“Without the right to choose to marry,” the officiant, Julie Maxwell, intoned, “one is excluded from the full range of human experience.” In other words, as the court concluded in the 2003 decision, same-sex marriage is a legal and civil right. As for the delicate wrist ribbons, they were Ms. Vitt’s adaptation of the white-knot logo for the marriage-equality movement.
A firefighter in Las Vegas wanted his wife dead, so how did he go about accomplishing this dreadful crime? George Tiaffay, the husband, found a homeless man, Noel Stevens, and offered him $600 to use a hammer to slaughter his estranged wife.... "The scheme unraveled after alleged hitman Noel Stevens bragged about the slaying of Shauna Tiaffay to someone who contacted police,” according to CBS NEWS. Police believe Tiaffay tried to commit suicide once he discovered he was a suspect in his wife’s death. Now George Tiaffay and Noel Stevens are in jail, facing murder and conspiracy charges. Shauna leaves behind her 8-year-old daughter.
Zina Haughton wasn’t supposed to see or hear from her husband again for four years. He had slashed her tires and fought with her in their Brown Deer, Wisc., home, court records stated. And according to a petition for a restraining order she filed in Milwaukee County in early October, he had threatened to throw acid in her face and set her on fire with gasoline. “He said he would kill me if I left him or ever contacted the police,” Haughton, 42, said in court papers.
Less than two weeks later, police said, Radcliffe Haughton, 45, walked into the Brookfield spa and hair salon where she worked on Sunday and killed her in a mass shooting that left two other women dead and four more women wounded, one critically. Haughton then shot himself to death, according to authorities. The pair is survived by two of their children.
When detectives investigating that unsolved July homicide went with a search warrant this month, they said they discovered something even more shocking inside: seven adopted children who recounted incidents of sexual abuse and beatings—all living in a home that had been converted into a strip club.... The kids, ages 6 to 11, told child protection workers they had seen parties at the converted strip club that stretched into dawn. They said they were beaten with sticks, belts and a metal cane. They were locked in their bedrooms without food—and threatened with a stun gun. A 7-year-old girl told authorities she was sexually abused on a bathroom floor. Several of the children said they saw it happen. Police have arrested the home owners Gregory Bernard Lacy, 60, and LaQuron Lacy, 43. They will be arraigned later this month on multiple counts of child abuse.... Despite the alleged beatings and the sexual abuse, [the children] told police they called the couple "mom" and "dad."
I realize that Christopher, Brendan, and Eli have already written about phone-banking for R-74, but I just thought I'd mention quickly what drove me to go have those difficult conversations with strangers on the phone last night. Yes, of course, I'm passionate about marriage equality. But I'm passionate about lots of things I don't volunteer for. There are two specific things that pushed me out the door and into the phone bank:
1. This piece by Paul, which explained a recent poll showing that just having a conversation about marriage equality vastly increases the chance someone will support it. "All together, two-thirds of voters who have had a conversation about marriage equality support it... In fact, support of gay marriage over the course of the poll increased from 52 percent at the beginning of the call to 55 percent at the end; the poll itself served as a conversation."
2. This post by Eli about comments from Slog reader Laura, who asked if phone-banking might be a bit emotionally easier for straight people:
I wonder if we can't call on our straight allies to make these phone calls. Listening to this kind of bull is so emotionally draining for many gay people... Straight people, please stand up. Volunteer to join the phone bank and call other people. When you have something that you know is special and you realize that not everyone has access to that special thing, compassionate humans offer a hand up to the others.
Straight people: This is about privilege. It must be acknowledged that however compassionate and empathic we are, we enter into this fight in a position of power. Maybe, like me, you sometimes wonder how you can best work for justice from a position of power? This is how. You take the privilege you have, and you use it to gain allies. Might it make you uncomfortable? Yes, totally, sure. But that discomfort, while real, is minimal when compared with actually having less rights. This is a discomfort you can bear, and should.
I am proud to be a redheaded man. Or as a young volunteer called me earlier today, a "ginger." I don't even like ginger, except on Gilligan's Island (right, guys?). But apparently this is a new slang word for redheaded people, and one I'm happy to adopt for my official campaign bio. My lovely wife, Marilyn, obviously thinks ginger guys are the cat's pajamas. But I heard another volunteer snickering that gingers are "gross." I don't know how someone could believe this: I see red hair as nonpartisan. It's not blond and it's not brown. It works across the aisle. When I followed up with this volunteer about her comment, she clarified that some people just don't like ginger pubes. I can take care of that, if it'll pick me up some extra votes! There's a Walgreens across the street. I can't decide what I should do, so I thought I would put it to you, the voters of Washington State. Do you think gingers are hot? Or not? I've read that Slog polls are legally binding (though I've never enforced them as the attorney general!). Ha-ha!
A big thank you on behalf of the gay community. Keep popping those pills, ladies. We're all hoping you'll flip Joseph Gordon-Levitt into our column soon. Because when women don't smell just right... straight guys start stuffing cocks in their asses. All those man-on-man buttfucking videos on XTube? Your fault, you pill-popping sluts! (The video was produced by an order of conservative Catholic nuns. Because, you know, who knows more about birth control than conservative Catholic nuns? It comes to Slog via Jezebel, where you can read a breakdown of the thirteen other bizarre claims made in this video.)
Albert Peterson shot dead his wife and two sons hours after going to church because he dreaded the thought of Obama winning the election, a family friend has revealed.... Albert, 57, Kathleen, 52, Matthew, 16, and Christopher, 13, were found Tuesday just after noon inside their home in Herndon, Virgina. Co-workers reported to police that they were concerned that Mr and Mrs Peterson had not reported to work for the past two days.