News Bites for March 11, 2015

Local, national, and world LGBT news bites...



LGBT Magazine Published in Algeria

El Shad, a magazine published in French, claims to be the sole source of LGBT content in the North African nation of Algeria. Homosexual relationships are forbidden in Algeria and punishable by imprisonment up to two years or fines upwards of two thousand Algerian dinars. The magazine, at great risk, published its first issue on Nov. 20 (Transgender Day of Remembrance) last year. Its name, El Shad, translated into Arabic means “abnormal.” With a landmass of more than two million square kilometers, Algeria is the tenth largest country globally and largest on the African continent.


Congressman Reimburses Taxpayers For Travel Expenses

U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock is reimbursing the federal government thousands of dollars he racked up from billing errors. Schock, 33, is considered a rising star in the Republican Party. He is a bachelor and represents Illinois’ 18th Congressional district in Washington, D.C. Schock has recently reimbursed taxpayers for travel expenses while attending a Chicago Bears football game. Investigators were able to calculate Schock’s airfare expenses by tracking his Instagram social media account. Schock first caught the media spotlight by posing bare-chested for Men’s Health Magazine. He brushes off ethics complaints by quoting Taylor Swift song lyrics, “Haters are gonna Hate.”

Mets Bring Bean In To Play Ball

Billy Bean, a former Major League Baseball player, has been hired by the League to serve as Ambassador for Inclusion. Bean is an openly gay man. Now 50, Bean said it took him 32 years to fully accept his sexuality. Bean came out in 1999 after playing parts of six Major League seasons. He was introduced to the New York Mets last week in what General Managers around MLB are hoping can start a successful conversation about the true meaning of teamwork.


Cross Burned In Lesbians’ Yard

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a case involving two elderly women who stated they found a burned cross in their yard. The women, both age 70, live together in a mobile home inside the Saddlebag Lake Resort community, 10 miles outside of Lake Wales. Virginia Austin, the homeowner, told a Polk County newspaper she discovered a “burnt” wooden cross on her property in the early hours of Feb. 21. Austin alleges she and her companion Laura Tomayko are being targeted because they are gay. The couple has filed a civil suit against management of the mobile home park.


Miami Representative Denies Throwing Punch

Frank Artiles, a Republican Florida Representative, told The Miami Herald he did not punch a man at a Tallahassee bar last week. Artiles, a former Marine, denies hitting an aide to U.S. Congressman David Jolly at a bar mere steps from the State Capitol. Artiles blamed the accusation on “political enemies” targeting him for contentious positions in House chambers. Artiles, 41, has angered transgender activists with HB 583 which seeks to establish single-sex public facilities such as bathrooms.

Bunnies Coming To Wilton Drive

Bonnets, a traditionally elegant Southern headdress, are expected on full display during an April event in Wilton Manors. Headlined, “Bunnies On The Drive… A Bonnet and Garden Party” this April 4 soiree comes to Richardson Park inside the Island City. Organizers state the event is “family friendly” with activities for children. A suggested donation of $10 is asked to benefit SunServe and the Share-A-Pet non-profit organization. Event hours in Historic Richardson Park and Nature Preserve are from 1 to 6 p.m. with a “Gym Bunny” contest scheduled later in the evening at the nearby Village Pub. Details can be found on Facebook.


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