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August 31, 2009


Buju Banton is a Jamaican reggae performer whose music includes some of the most virulently violent lyrics ever written. Many of his songs advocate beating, torturing and killing gays, lesbians and transgenders.

Obviously, this is homophobia in its extreme. But given the culture Banton comes from, it's not really a very big surprise. As I've written about before, the current Jamaican government strongly supports and encourages violence towards anyone who is, or even just appears to be, gay. As many of you know, because of the intransigence of the government's position, Jamaica is still under a large scale boycott of the island and the island's exports.

Well now, because of his unwillingness to capitulate to the concerns of the worldwide GLBT community and other civil rights, humanitarian and anti-violence organizations, Buju Banton is paying the price. In fact, he may very well end up sacrificing his entire career to his homophobic hatreds.

According to a story at LezGetReal.com, Banton was scheduled to kickoff a US tour with appearances at House Of Blues locations in Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas and Houston as well as a number of other venues throughout the country.

When news of this second attempt at a US tour reached the LA Gay & Lesbian Center, a campaign was organized, with help from the liberal website change.org, to stop the tour.

In a very short period of time, promoter Live Nation, which owns the House Of Blues venues, received nearly a thousand angry calls from the GLBT community and our supporters. They quickly issued a statement canceling all of Benton's US appearances.

To give you a little background as to why Benton is still shunned, LGR also reported:

Banton has drawn the anger of gay activist groups for years, in large part because of the violently homophobic lyrics of his 1992 single “Boom Bye Bye,” which proposes pouring acid on homosexuals and shooting them in the head.

In 2004 he was also tried and acquitted on charges that he participated in the beating of six gay men by a gang in Jamaica.

Two years ago, Banton signed up to the Reggae Compassionate Act, promising not to perform songs that advocate homophobia, in a deal brokered by Stop Murder Music activists.

He later denied that he had made any such commitment.

Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center issued a statement that said:

“I hope this victory sends a deafeningly loud message to other promoters and concert venues that singers who glorify violence against LGBT people, or any group of people, should never be welcomed. It shouldn’t be necessary for us to pressure promoters to do the right thing; people like Banton should never have been booked in the first place.”

Box Turtle Bulletin is keeping a close eye on other scheduled performances by Banton. "In addition to the four House of Blues dates mentioned earlier, AEG Live/Goldenvoic have announced the cancellations of scheduled concerts in Los Angeles (Oct. 14), in San Francisco (Oct. 10), and Philadelphia (Sept. 12)."

Check out Box Turtle Bulletin's blog story. In it, they list dates and locations for other scheduled performances throughout the country.

As more of us find out about Banton and his US Tour, more pressure will be put on the remaining venues that haven't canceled his appearances yet. If you see your city listed in BTB's published itinerary, call or email that establishment and voice your concerns. It would also be very effective if you notified your local media and/or wrote a letter to the editors of your local newspapers letting them know the kind of person who's coming to their town to perform.

August 25, 2009


We've heard vile rhetoric from right wing religious fanatics before but this guy is so far over the edge, he's fallen off the cliff! If anyone deserves to be shattered off the rocks on his way down and splattered across the canyon floor, Pastor Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist church here in Tempe, AZ is that person.

Yes, I know that statement sounds somewhat extreme and certainly doesn't show any kind of compassion for another human being, BUT - this guy is about as vile and as dangerous as any so-called human being could be.

When you publicly call for the wholesale execution (as in kill them dead) of a whole class of people who you just simply don't like because of nothing more than who they are, AND you call for the execution of the President of the United States because he supports reproductive freedoms and speaks out in support of the LGBT community, then you don't deserve any kind of compassion that would allow you to continue freely spewing such vitriolic hatred in public.

In explaining to his followers how gays are out to rape their children in order to recruit them Anderson said that the only way to stop them is to kill them:

You want to know who the biggest hypocrite in the world is? The biggest hypocrite in the world is the person who believes in the death penalty for murderers and not for homosexuals. Hypocrite. The same God who instituted the death penalty for murderers is the same God who instituted the death penalty for rapists and for homosexuals - sodomites, queers! That's what it was instituted for, okay? That's God, he hasn't changed. Oh, God doesn't feel that way in the New Testament ... God never "felt" anything about it, he commanded it and said they should be taken out and killed.

In a clear and unambiguous attempt to incite murder, he continued his rant with this:

You know why God wanted the sodomites in the Old Testament to be killed? You know why every good king of Israel, the Bible says they got rid of the sodomites in the land? You know, the good kings that came after the bad kings who had allowed the sodomites to infest their land, they had infiltrated ... King Asa got the sodomites out of the land, Jehoshaphat exterminated the sodomites that were left from the days of his father, Asa. Why? Because the sodomites are infectious, that's why. Because they're not reproducers, that goes without saying, they're recruiters.

Following up on that absurd statement, he said:

"The sodomites are recruiters and you know who they are after? Your children. They are being recruited by the sodomites. They are being molested by the sodomites. They recruit through rape, they recruit through molestation, they recruit through violation"

"Our country is run by faggots. You know who was the man who was the architect of the bailout? His name is Barney Frank, he is a pedophile..."

"That's who just sold our country into fascism. That's who just sold our corporations to the government. That's who sold out our country, a faggot!"

And about President Obama:

"God Hates Barack Obama, I hate Barack Obama. I hate Him. God wants me to Hate Barack Obama." "Someone who commits murder should get the death penalty."

That kind of public oratory is, at the very least, an attempt to incite weaker-minded individuals to violence. At worst, it's a blatant attempt to incite them to murder. Somehow, I just don't think the founding fathers intended for this kind of despicable elocution to be included under their concept of "freedom of speech." Or even, for that matter, "freedom of religion." What sane, rational person would?

I just hope that the Secret Service doesn't allow this idiot to use his church and religion as shields against prosecution. They should go after him with the same fervor they would go after anyone who threatens the life of the President of the United States. At the very least, his church's tax exempt status should be permanently revoked.

The three primary sources I used for this story are:

Part of Norman Lear's national organization, People For The American Way which was founded in 1981 as a civil liberties advocacy organization. It also energetically opposes the interjection of religion into politics.

This link also has two audio files of Anderson making these ridiculous, dangerous comments.

"An Online Magazine in the Reality-Based Community."

One of the most aggressive, intensive and in-depth LGBT news and commentary sources on the net.

Yesterday, msnbc weighed in on Pastor Anderson's outrageous and dangerous comments. Here's what was said:

I'm glad they chose to devote air time to exposing this lunatic but I have to take exception to one of the commentator's comments. She said that she's "...not accusing him of taking action in any violent way, in any criminal way..." In my opinion, using words to incite deranged and unstable individuals to take violent action is the same thing as taking that action yourself. Culpability has got to be assigned to those who use their positions of power and authority to actively incite violence. They are as guilty as the actual perpetrators themselves and should be prosecuted as accessories before the fact.

If this isn't done with swift, sure and strong action against these people then this country is going to break down into violent and deadly enclaves pitted against each other. If that happens, then virtually all reason and all civil law will be lost.


Yesterday morning I received an email from Queers United asking a group of us to blog about two upcoming Dr. Phil shows.

I haven't seen any of the past shows that dealt with LGBT topics but I do know from multiple past postings that on several occasions, especially when dealing with transgender/transsexual issues, his guests (some of whom were only in their early teens) were marginalized and even "blamed" for the way they were.

Even more disturbing was that the so called "experts" he had on to discuss these highly sensitive issues, supposedly from a "professional" viewpoint, were from the notoriously homophobic Focus On The Family so you can imagine the impression the viewer was left with. Dr. Phil even went so far as to include a link to FOTF on his show's website.

Well, now it seems that he's at it again. According to a Monday posting at Queers United,

His upcoming shows continue to raise a red flag merely by their title and description alone and considering his past actions we do not expect any change.

One show called Teen Experimenting With Bisexuality? has this description:

"Did your teenager recently tell you he/she is bisexual? Maybe you caught them engaging in same sex activity? Are you torn with how to react?

Do you feel that what your teenager is doing is just a phase? Or maybe you feel like girls kissing girls is the new teenage fad? Do you feel strongly opinionated on the subject?"

This insinuates that bisexuality is not a psychologically sound or stable orientation. We would applaud a show on bisexuality, but not one that gives credence to the myths surrounding it.

Another show that is alarming is called Struggling With Sexual Identity?

"Are you a woman struggling with sexual identity? Maybe it's causing problems with an addiction? Or maybe you feel you might be in denial about your sexuality?

Did you think you knew who you were but then something or someone opened your eyes to a new you?"

The shows title raises a red flag because proponents of "ex-gay therapy" often use the terms "struggling" and "sexual identity" to refer to GLBT people.

Queers United is asking that you send a message to the Dr. Phil show expressing your concerns about ensuring a balanced presentation of these topics. And especially a presentation that doesn't include the homophobic and discredited pseudoscience of so-called "experts" from organizations like Focus On The Family.

To send a message to the Dr. Phil producers, click here for their online contact form.

August 19, 2009


After toppling Saddam Hussein and his brutal police and military forces, hope ran high that finally people in that country would be free to be themselves. To not have to worry about being picked up on the streets or taken from their own homes to be jailed, tortured and frequently murdered at the whim of those in power.

It was hoped that the establishment of a free and democratic society would put an end to those brutal, barbaric tactics. And, for much of Iraq's populace, this seems to be the direction the country is moving towards. With one glaring exception. Homosexuals.

This past Monday, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a 67 page report titled "They Want Us Exterminated". The report documents a wide-reaching campaign of extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, and torture of gay men that began in early 2009.

The killings began in the vast Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, a stronghold of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, and spread to many cities across Iraq. Mahdi Army spokesmen have promoted fears about the "third sex" and the "feminization" of Iraq men, and suggested that militia action was the remedy. Some people told Human Rights Watch that Iraqi security forces have colluded and joined in the killing.

The Advocate reported:

The kidnappings, torture, and murder of gay men coincided with the downturn of violence in Iraq that occurred in 2008. That quiet signaled a weakening of power by militia and insurgent leaders, and the subsequent Westernization of Iraq: women ditching the long robes that once covered their entire bodies, the appearance of liquor stores, and gay men gathering together in public. Possibly in response to this, Shiite religious leaders issued decrees that condemned "unnatural" behavior.

The charge d'affaires of the U.S. Embassy wrote U.S. congressman Jared Polis, a gay politician, in April and spelled out the extreme level of violence occurring, including torture methods like injecting super glue into men's rectums. Polis visited Iraq that spring and addressed the issue with U.S. and Iraqi officials.

Below is one gay person's account that was published in HRW's report:

"They did many things to us, the Mahdi Army. ... They kidnapped [my partner] for six days. He will not talk about what they did to him. There were bruises on his side as if he was dragged on the street. They did things to him he can't describe, even to me. They wrote in the dust on the windshield of his car: ‘Death to the people of Lot and to collaborators.' They sent us veiled threats in text messages: ‘You are on the list.' They sent him a piece of paper in an envelope, to his home: there were three bullets wrapped in plastic, of different size. The note said, ‘Which one do you want in your heart?' ... I want to be a regular person, lead a normal life, walk around the city, drink coffee on the street. But because of who I am, I can't. There is no way out."
- Mohammad, in Iraq, April 21, 2009

As the report indicated, one of the most disturbing tactics was the injection of super glue into the anus of several suspected gays. This would make it impossible for the victim to defecate until the passage was reopened by very painful and often totally unsanitary "operations." Otherwise, the blockage would ultimately result in severe physical complications and even excruciatingly painful deaths. That's if the "operations" themselves didn't kill them by infections and botched procedures. According to many Iraqi gays, this kind of religiously motivated barbarism didn't occur under Saddam.

This country owes it to every LGBT Iraqi citizen to do everything in its power to pressure the Iraqi government into bringing an end to this inhuman and unfathomable nightmare that our invasion helped bring about.

Why should American money and military power be used to support and facilitate any government that would allow these kinds of astounding atrocities to continue?

August 18, 2009


Last June, Obama's Department Of Justice (DOJ) filed a highly offensive brief in support of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA). The reaction to the language used to justify maintaining DOMA was fierce and widespread.

Wide ranging objections were heard from GLBT community leaders to editorials in the New York Times and Washington Post to radio and television commentaries to countless blogs across the internet. All condemning the brief's language that, in essence, equated gay marriages to incest and pedophilia. It also stated that heterosexual marriage is "the traditional and universally recognized form" and "that awarding federal marriage benefits to gays would infringe on the rights of taxpayers in the 30 states that specifically prohibit same-sex marriages."

Well, according to an article in the Washington Post;

The Obama administration distanced itself Monday from legal arguments it had made earlier this summer, taking pains to remove and renounce language that had outraged advocates in the gay community in a case that centers on the constitutionality of a same-sex marriage law.

In a filing by the Justice Department, administration lawyers made it clear for the first time in court that the president thinks the 13-year-old Defense of Marriage Act, which denies benefits to domestic partners of federal employees and allows states to reject same-sex marriages performed in other states, discriminates against gays and should be repealed.

None of the language that was in the brief filed in June appeared anywhere in Monday's DOJ filing. And, in conjunction with that filing, Obama also issued a separate statement on Monday affirming that he would continue to seek repeal of DOMA.

This is certainly a step in the right direction but without a bill to repeal DOMA outright, it's still just a step.

August 13, 2009


San Diego hotelier and developer Doug Manchester was a very early financial supporter of Proposition 8. His $125,000 donation was a key factor in moving Prop 8 forward and sparked an on-going boycott of his hotels.

His reasoning in making such a large personal donation was, according to a New York Times interview at the time, because of “my Catholic faith and longtime affiliation with the Catholic Church.”

Of course we all know that the Catholic Church was one of the biggest and most aggressive forces behind Prop 8, second only to the extraordinary involvement of the Mormon Church. We also know that both religions are virulently homophobic, calling gays and gay marriages immoral and even an abomination against God.

They believe, and by logical extension so too does Doug Manchester, that gay marriage is evil and a direct threat to the very institution of marriage itself. They also believe that heterosexual divorce is just as immoral and just as much an abomination as same-sex marriage and therefore prohibit that as well.

Apparently Manchester's morality and commitment to his religion seems to be based solely on his own personal interests. Like most of the publicly avowed true believers, if there's a conflict between what he wants and what the Church will allow, then of course personal desire will instantly trump religious beliefs.

And here's the glaring hypocrisy of Douglas Manchester. After 43 years of marriage to Elizabeth Manchester, Doug decided that he was tired of it and simply moved out. This was in October of 2008 and was followed by Doug immediately filing for divorce and pushing very hard for a quick settlement of their multimillion dollar estate.

This is where it became a sad imitation of a bad soap opera. Obviously knowing the kind of man she was married too, Elizabeth hired her own lawyers as well as forensic accountants to fully assess Doug’s assets. From there, things devolved very quickly.

Doug apparently began shifting his finances around to make it harder to fully assess his worth. And, despicably, stripped their joint bank account and even stole an 8.2 million dollar tax refund check made out to both of them and deposited it his own private bank account in an attempt to force Elizabeth to agree to his terms.

This is one of those ugly divorces that is probably going to take a few more years to settle. But the actions of Doug Manchester throughout all of this ordeal has certainly spotlighted his true persona. For a man who tried to paint himself as a true and devout Christian when he gave $125,000 to defeat gay marriage in the name of protecting the institution of heterosexual marriage, he has clearly shown himself to be a crass hypocrite - completely dishonest, devious and wholly immoral.

This, to me, is the kind of person who is supporting and funding the fights against anything and everything that might, even remotely, benefit the LGBT community.

How long is it going to take the honest, rank and file religious believers to finally see the ugly, carnivorous wolves beneath the sheep's clothing?

August 12, 2009


Actor Daniel Radcliffe, a staunch supporter of the LGBT community and causes, made a sizable donation to The Trevor Project here in this country.

This non-profit organization was founded in 1998 by three filmmakers whose film 'Trevor,' about a gay teenager who attempts suicide, received an Oscar in 2004.

The Project works to prevent crises and suicides among LGBTQ youth through school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. It also maintains a free Trevor helpline which organisers say has received hundreds of thousands of calls since it began with calls increasing more than 300 per cent in just this past year.

Radcliffe is best known as Harry Potter in the wildly successful film series of the same name. He has also received critical acclaim for his sensitive and powerful performances as the troubled youth in both the London and New York productions of "Equus."

Although he maintains that he is not gay, he recently said that the gay rumours about him are "awesome." He strongly condemns homophobia and said in a statement quoted at pinknews.co.uk:

"I am very pleased to begin my support of The Trevor Project, which saves lives every day through its critical work.

It's extremely distressing to consider that in 2009 suicide is a top three killer of young people, and it's truly devastating to learn that LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.

I deeply hope my support can raise the organisation's visibility so even more despondent youth become aware of the Trevor helpline's highly trained counsellors and Trevor's many other resources.

It's vitally important that young people understand they are not alone and, perhaps even more important, that their young lives have real value."

Charles Robbins, executive director and chief executive officer of The Trevor Project said:
“We’re incredibly grateful to Daniel for his truly inspiring and historic generosity and support. He is setting a meaningful example for millions of young people around the world by embracing diversity and demonstrating that he cares deeply about the well-being of LGBTQ youth.”

This 20 year old certainly deserves all the praise and admiration he's received since starting his acting career at the ripe old age of 10 as the young David Copperfield in the 1999 film David Copperfield.

Whether or not he is or isn't gay really doesn't matter. Who he has shown himself to be is an extraordinary young man who is filled with a burning compassion for the world around him. For that, he should be incredibly proud!

August 10, 2009


The highly anticipated results of one of the investigations into the Fort Worth, Texas Rainbow Lounge raid that resulted in the hospitalization of one patron with serious head injuries, were just released this past week.

The investigation was conducted by the internal affairs division of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). It found that two TABC agents and a supervising Sergeant committed a total on 19 policy violations while conducting their now infamous raid against the Rainbow Lounge.

According to the official media blog of the LGBT Dallas Voice, Agent Christopher Aller committed eight violations, Agent trainee Jason Chapman committed seven violations and Sgt. Terry Parsons committed four violations.

Violations committed by the two agents include participating in a joint operation with Fort Worth police without approval from a supervisor; failing to submit a complaint card against the Rainbow Lounge; conducting bar inspections in unapproved attire; failing to follow bar inspection procedures; failing to report the use of force and injuries involving Chad Gibson, a Rainbow Lounge patron who sustained serious head injuries; and disrupting business during a bar inspection.

The violations committed by Parsons, who was not at the scene of the raid and has since reportedly retired from the agency, involve failing to take appropriate action against Aller and Chapman; failing to ensure Aller and Chapman filed the necessary reports; and failing to notify the sergeant’s supervisors of the raid.

Disciplinary action is pending because the three TABC employees have the right to file a written response to the report within five working days.

Fortunately, their problems won't end there because the TABC is also conducting a second investigation (still underway) into the use of force during the raid. It will take into account statements by TABC employees, Fort Worth police officers, other eyewitnesses and specialized expert witnesses. Because of the complexity and seriousness of this kind of investigation and because the force that was used resulted in serious head injuries for patron Chad Gibson, it will take longer to complete.

The Dallas Voice blog posted a verbatim copy of the actual report. If you want to check that out, go to: Dallas Voice

Thanks to the immediate and overwhelming response from the Ft. Worth community and the LGBT community throughout the country and around the world, this was one police harassment incident that was impossible to sweep under the rug. And yes, some of them did try to do just that in the very beginning - before the worldwide media descended on them.

Of course, I'll keep you posted as soon as the results from the second investigation are released.

August 6, 2009


In a ceremony held yesterday in downtown's Daley Plaza, Chicago honored all of the gay men and women who served their country proudly throughout America's march through history.

The Windy City Times, Chicago's oldest gay newspaper, reported that for the seventh year running, Chicago has held the only municipally sponsored ceremony in the country that recognizes and honors the service of GLBT veterans. It's called With Liberty And Justice For All and included the laying of a pink triangle wreath and a mayoral proclamation read by Dana Starks of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations.

The keynote speaker was Luke Visconti, a veteran, CEO of Diversity Inc, and a member of the U.S. Navy Diversity Senior Advisory Group. In his moving speech, he outlined what he believes defending the constitution means now. He said:

"Keeping liberty is disruptive. Ending slavery was disruptive, as was winning the vote for women, desegragating the military, integrating women into the military. Liberty is fragile and needs care.

I think it is time for veterans to come to the forefront to defend liberty. I don't mean just LGBT veterans but, I hate to tell you, it always is the oppressed ones who have to carry the water for the trest of us. Oppressed people have to bring society forward, it is the way it has always been. Emancipation of slaves didn't happen without a fight, women's sufferage didn't happen without a fight. People didn't get the civil rights act and voting rights without a fight and this isn't happening without a fight.

Below is a television report on the event by WSL-TV (Chicago's ABC affiliate).

It was working until sometime over night. I've tried reembedding the coding but it's not working so I think it's corrupted at WSL-TV.
As soon as I can get it working, I'll remount it.
If you want to see it before then, go to:

I was born in Chicago but because I grew up in the country just north of the city, I never really saw that side of it. It was always obscured by the many political scandals that plagued that whole area. Since then, I've come to appreciate just how forward thinking most people there were - and obviously still are. Today, I couldn't be prouder of my birth city than I am right now. Congratulations Chicago - we've both come a long way.

August 4, 2009


Air Force Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach is a decorated pilot who has flown combat missions over Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia. Now serving as the assistant director of operations for an Air Force squadron in Idaho, he has an exemplary 18 year record of serving his country with unquestioned honor and a level of bravery that most of us could never know.

Now, after 18 years and nine Air Medals, including one for heroism under fire during an enemy ambush near Baghdad in 2003, Fehrenbach faces discharge because last year a civilian reported to military authorities that Fehrenbach is gay.

According to an in-depth piece published yesterday by Washington Post writer Steve Vogel, the Air Force launched its own all-out investigation based on nothing more than the hearsay quality and probably revenge instigated civilian report. The result was that last September the Air Force charged Fehrenbach with "damaging its good order and discipline." How despicably ironic is that? After 18 years of exemplary service they tell him that he damaged their "good order"! That's about as cruel and callous a statement as they could have come up with.

But wait - it gets even cruder...

In April, a review board ruled against Fehrenbach, and unless Air Force Secretary Michael Donley rejects the recommendation, he will be dismissed. If he is unable to retire with 20 years of service, Fehrenbach will lose nearly $50,000 a year in retirement pay as well as medical benefits.

If he is discharged and does lose all of the benefits he EARNED over the last 18 years, it's highly unlikely that, in today's marketplace, he would ever be able to recoup any of that - provided that he's even able to find work right now! And, given the damaging label the military has pinned on him, most employers who offer more than minimum wage positions would be very reluctant to hire someone who "damaged the good order and discipline" of the military.

This whole DADT thing is getting more despicable and uglier with every passing day. It's also fermenting deep seeded resentments and almost insurmountable distrust of the military and the political leaders who allow this to happen when a simple stop-loss order from the President or fast-tracked legislation by congress would put a humane end to this cruel and unsustainable policy.

As an Air Force veteran myself, I couldn't be more ashamed of and embarrassed by our military and political leaders than I am right now. This is a great and extraordinarily vibrant country but these power brokers are making it seem little better than our most ardent adversaries.

STOP THIS STUPID POLICY NOW before anymore dedicated and patriotic service members are slandered and discharged by the very same government they risked their lives to defend!!

August 3, 2009


At approximately 11:00pm on Saturday, a man reportedly dressed in black and wearing a black ski mask entered the Gay Youth Center in Tel Aviv, Israel and immediately opened fire, spraying bullets indiscriminately around the room.

The teenagers, many of whom were very young and hadn't even come out to their parents yet, were gathered in a basement room of the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association for a group support meeting. Within minutes, two people were killed and more than a dozen where wounded.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel Radio identified a 17 year old girl from Holon and a 24-year-old guide from Givatayim as the two fatalities. Of those who where wounded, at least two are in critical condition, another six were badly hurt and several others had minor wounds. Unfortunately, regardless of the physical wounds, the psychological trauma of just being a target during such a horrendous attack like this is going to haunt everyone who was in that room for the rest of their lives.

Even though Tel Aviv has been a target of numerous terrorist's attacks, most agree that this one was not done by a terrorist. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that this was "most likely a criminal attack and not a terror attack."

Eyewitness Yaniv Weisman told Channel 10 TV that, "This was a hate crime, a premeditated attack." He said Cafe Noir (the basement club's name) was a popular spot with gay youth. The club is also a bit off the beaten path which means that you have to know where you were going to be able to find it. So this being a random terrorist's act seems unlikely.

Of course it won't be possible to know the real motives behind the gunman's attack until he is caught. But, it's well known throughout Israel that the Jewish right wing religious sects espouse the same hateful, homophobic, rabble-rousing rhetoric that our own right wing religious fanatics constantly blubber about here. It's not such a big leap to assume that that kind of shrill pomposity, especially "in the name of God," can easily lead an unstable mind to believe that they would be doing "God's work" by such horrendously evil acts like this shooting. Somewhere along the line, this needs to be stopped before more innocent people and children are killed because of those twisted beliefs.

Yes, there is the issue of freedom of expression. But even that has limits -- like it's unlawful to yell "FIRE" in a crowded theatre when there isn't any fire. Well, to me, this kind of religious rhetoric is exactly the same thing and shouldn't be protected by any law or constitution. And, I have no doubt that our founding fathers would agree.

Since this incident occurred there have been dozens of stories in mainstream medias, blogs across the internet and radio and television stations around the world. If you would like to read more, the links I've provided below are the sites I used to compile this report:

The Jerusalem Post
The Huffington Post
The Advocate.com

And here's a recent article about the continuing manhunt for the gunman...