Local, national, and global news briefs...



‘Rent’ Takes Up Residence in Cuba: 

American rock musical “Rent” is enjoying a successful run in Cuba. Director Andy Señor Jr. told the Sun-Sentinel audiences have responded favorably in Havana and everyone is excited to be a part of the first joint American-Cuban Broadway collaboration. Performances of “Rent” at Havana’s Bertolt Brecht Theatre are in Spanish and all shows have sold out. Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment is producing the musical through March in collaboration with the Cuban National Council of Performing Arts. General admission tickets cost 50 cents.

French Politician Condemns Tunisia

French politician Jean-Luc Romero took to Twitter to denounce the Tunisian government for incarcerating a homosexual Swedish man. Romero, 55, a Socialist from the Ile-de-France region tweeted France must fight for universal decriminalization of homosexuality.

Several European news agencies are reporting a gay man from Sweden has be arrested and jailed in the tiny mostly Islamic North African country for the crime of homosexual acts. The man has yet to be named. Under Tunisian law, homosexuality is a crime punishable with a maximum two year prison sentence. Romero, a married gay man, is a longtime advocate for HIV/AIDS services.


Gay Man Suing Lowe’s For Harassment: 

Adam Haimowitz, a gay man, is suing Lowe’s Home Improvement, a North Carolina based appliance retailer, for wrongful termination and enduring a long period of sexual harassment. Haimowitz filed his suit in federal court in New York citing several examples of a “frat house mentality” at Lowe’s where he worked for 11 years. Haimowitz was terminated in August after he testified against the company in another sexual harassment case involving an employee at the Orangeburg, N.Y. store.

Gordon Playing Well For UMass

University of Massachusetts guard Derrick Gordon is having a solid junior season for the school’s men’s basketball team. Gordon, made headlines last year when he announced he is gay.

He’s averaging 10 points per game, second best in assists and leading the team in steals. UMass (14-9 overall, 7-3 Atlantic 10) was riding a four-game winning streak into Wednesday night’s game at Saint Bonaventure. The 6-foot-3 Gordon scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as UMass defeated Fordham last week. UMass coach Derek Kellogg told the Associated Press the game was Gordon’s best “in a UMass uniform in a long time.”


Florida Mulling Definition of Sex:  

The Florida Supreme Court is weighing the definition of sexual intercourse in the case of a man charged with not disclosing his HIV positive status to his partner. “In the history of Florida law, the specific term sexual intercourse has always been interpreted to mean reproductive sexual conduct,” Brian Ellison, attorney for defendant Gary Debaun, told the Associated Press. Debaun is charged with violating a 1986 law requiring HIV positive people to disclose their status to sex partners.

Florida Dems Caucus Changes Name

Members of a caucus within the Florida Democratic Party elected new officers and reaffirmed its name change at a meeting Saturday in Gainesville.

Inside the Bayard Rustin Community Meeting Room of the Pride Center of North Central Florida, the FDP’s LGBTA Democratic Caucus was born with a mission to educate, advocate, support and elect. Terry Fleming, of Alachua County, is the Caucus President. The group was formerly known as the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus. Sally Phillips, membership coordinator, said the “A” in the title stands for allies. “We have allies everywhere and this is to show we are inclusive.”


Boater Raising Awareness of HIV/AIDS

A rower seeking to raise funds for HIV/AIDS awareness will have his boat on display at the Miami International Boat Show. Victor Mooney recently completed a row across the Atlantic Ocean in honor of his departed brother. “Gay and bisexual men are more severely affected by HIV than any other group in the United States,” said Mooney. Mooney’s boat will be at the Miami Beach Convention Center for this weekend’s show. He is halfway to raising the $20,000 he needs to repair the boat and set sail for New York. Mooney says his boat was damaged by pirates off the coast of Haiti.