News Bites for March 5, 2014

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Aiken files for Congress

Singer Clay Aiken, best known for his runner-up finish on the hit television talent show ‘American Idol’ has officially filed paperwork to run for U.S. Congress.

Aiken surrounded himself with friends and family Thursday in Raleigh, N.C. where the 35-year-old singer is seeking to represent the people of North Carolina’s Second Congressional District. Aiken, a North Carolina native, told reporters at the state board of elections office that lowering unemployment would be one of his top priorities. He is running as a Democrat in the primary election set for May.

SPLC tracking Seattle bar case

The case of a man trying to burn down a popular Seattle gay club is on radar of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok described the incidents during a conference call with journalists. “The man poured gasoline on a stairwell with 750 people upstairs in the club,” Potok said. Seattle police arrested Musab Mohamad Masmari on Feb. 1 in connection with the attempted arson of Neighbours nightclub. King County Superior Court documents state Masmari, 30, told friends “homosexuals should be exterminated.” Potok said the case is “influx” and, thankfully, patrons of the bar acted “extremely quickly” to prevent a likely catastrophe.

Shepards praise Collins at NBA game

The parents of the late Matthew Shepard met with Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins last week, praising pro basketball’s first openly gay active player for coming out.

Dennis Shepard told ESPN, “Some kids are still living hidden lives, living in fear, and the more you see Jason and others encouraging them to be themselves, they'll understand they can get to the top of whatever ladder they're climbing.”

Dennis and his wife Judy drove from their home in Casper, Wyo. to Denver to see the Nets take on the home team Nuggets. Collins scored his first points of the season in Brooklyn’s 112-89 win.

Scruff a hit in Russia

Scruff, the popular gay men’s dating app, was apparently a big bit during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Scruff spokesman Adam Mischlich claims the app was one of the most used social networks at the Games.

“It solved a lot of problems that concierges could not,” said Mischlich.

Scruff is translated into 14 different languages and has more than six million users. Scruff, Mischlich says, continually explores what it means to be “masculine” in today’s world. The app and its founder, Johnny Scruff, are slated to appear on the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Florida Gay Dems Caucus to meet

The Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus will hold a special membership meeting on Saturday, March 14 in Tallahassee.

The meeting, located at the Family Tree Community Center, 2415 North Monroe Street, is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is one of two statewide meetings to conduct necessary Caucus business. It is being held during Equality Florida’s annual Lobby Days at the Capitol.

Dolphins Dems President Tim Ross said roughly 90 business items have been proposed to Caucus membership, including changing the organization’s name. Reports on current legislation working its way through Tallahassee will also be given. For more information or to join, visit www.floridaglbtdemocrats.org


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