A gunman opened fire in Oslo’s night-life district early Saturday, killing two people and leaving 10 seriously wounded in what police are investigating as a possible terrorist attack during the Norwegian capital’s annual Pride festival.
The shootings happened around 1 a.m. local time, sending panicked revelers fleeing into the streets or trying to hide from the gunman. Investigators said the suspect, identified as a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen originally from Iran, was arrested after opening fire at three locations in downtown Oslo.
Olav Roenneberg, a journalist from Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, said he witnessed the shooting. “”I saw a man arrive at the site with a bag. He picked up a weapon and started shooting,” Roenneberg told NRK. “First I thought it was an air gun. Then the glass of the bar next door was shattered and I understood I had to run for cover.”
Organizers of Oslo Pride canceled a parade that was set for Saturday as the highlight of a weeklong festival. One of the shootings happened outside the London Pub, a bar popular with the city’s LGBTQ community, just hours before the parade was set to begin.
WARNING: The video below may cause some distress. Please view at your own caution,
49 years ago on June 24th, 1973 the final day of Pride Weekend, thirty-two lives were lost when an arsonist set fire to the UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The UpStairs Lounge fire is the deadliest fire in New Orleans history and now the second largest mass murder of LGBT people ever in the United States
The gay club was, located on the second floor of a three-story building at the corner of Chartres and Iberville Streets in the French Quarter and L was one of a rare few left in the French Quarter that had a wooden exterior.
That Sunday, dozens of members of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), the nation’s first gay church, founded in Los Angeles in 1969, got together there for drinks and conversation and to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Stonewall . The club hosted free beer and dinner for 125 patrons. The atmosphere was evem welcoming enough that two gay brothers, Eddie and Jim Warren, even brought their mom, Inez, and proudly introduced her to the other patrons.
At 7:56pm, a buzzer from downstairs sounded; bartender Buddy Rasmussen asked Luther Boggs to answer the door. To answer it, you had to unlock a steel door that opened onto a flight of stairs leading down to the ground floor. Boggs opened the door to find the front staircase engulfed in flames, along with the smell of lighter fluid. In the next instant, he found himself in unimaginable pain as the fireball exploded, pushing upward and into the bar.
The ensuing 15 minutes were the most horrific that any of the 65 or so customers had ever endured — full of flames, smoke, panic, breaking glass, and screams.
Metal bars on the UpStairs Lounge windows, meant to keep people from falling out, were just 14 inches apart; while some managed to squeeze through and jump, others got stuck. Reverend Bill Larson of the MCC clung to the bars of one window until he died. When police and firefighters surveyed and began clearing the scene, they left Larson fused to the window frame until the next morning.
MCC assistant pastor George “Mitch” Mitchell escaped, but soon returned to try to rescue his boyfriend, Louis Broussard. Both died in the fire, their bodies clinging together in death, like a scene from the aftermath of Pompeii.
Thirty-two people lost their lives that Sunday 45 years ago — Luther Boggs, Inez Warren, and Warren’s sons among them.
A police officer at the time dismissed the French Quarter lounge as a place where “thieves” and “queers” hung out and their was little interest in solving the case. There were no City Hall press conferences or statements of condolence from the governor, and no civil authorities publicly spoke out about the fire, other than to mumble about needed improvements to the city’s fire code. The detectives wouldn’t even acknowledge that it was an arson case, saying the cause of the fire was of “undetermined origin.”
News coverage, both print and television, made every effort to omit the fact that the fire had anything to do with homosexuals in the community, even though a gay bar and members of a gay church congregation had been involved. The stories that appeared included quotes from local citizens that can only be described as ignorant, such as a cab driver who said “I hoped the fire burned their dresses off,” and one woman who opined that “the Lord … cooked them.” Local talk radio hosts were making jokes such as, “What do they bury the ashes of queers in?” The answer: “Fruit jars.”
To this day no one was ever officially charged with the crime. The only suspect in the attack was Rogder Dale Nunez, a local hustler and troublemaker who had been tossed out of the bar earlier in the evening. Nunez escaped from psychiatric custody and was never picked up again by police, despite frequent appearances in the French Quarter. A friend later told investigators that Nunez confessed on at least four occasions to starting the fire. He told the friend that he squirted the bottom steps with Ronsonol lighter fluid bought at a local Walgreens and tossed the match.
The List of Victims
Partners, Joe William Bailey & Clarence Joseph McCloskey, Jr. perished together. McCloskey’s sisters and two nieces attended the Memorial Service. His niece, Susan, represented McCloskey in the Jazz Funeral.
Duane George “Mitch” Mitchell, assistance pastor at MCC, died trying to save his partner, Louis Horace Broussard.
Mrs. Willie Inez Warren died with her sons, Eddie Hosea Warren and James Curtis Warren.
Pastor of the MCC, Rev. William R. Larson, formerly a Methodist lay minister.
Dr. Perry Lane Waters, Jr., a Jefferson Parish dentist. Several victims were his patients and were identified by his x-rays.
Douglas Maxwell Williams
Leon Richard Maples, a visitor from Florida.
George Steven (Bud) Matyi, A rising young songwriter, perfumer and singer who had recently appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. His Body was Identified and buried through the help of his personal manger and his wife. The Cornman Family of New Orleans.
Reginald Adams, Jr., MCC member, formerly a Jesuit Scholastic. Partner of entertainer Regina Adams.
James Walls Hambrick Horace “Skip” Getchell, MCC member.
Joseph Henry Adams
Herbert Dean Cooley, Upstairs Lounge bartender and MCC member.
Professional pianist, David Stuart Gary.
Guy D. Anderson
Donald Walter Dunbar
John Thomas Golding, Sr., member of MCC Pastor’s Advisory Group.
Professional linguist, Adam Roland Fontenot, survived by Douglas “Buddy” Rasmussen, who led a group to safety.
Gerald Hoyt Gordon
Kenneth Paul Harrington, Federal Government employee.
Glenn Richard “Dick” Green, Navy veteran.
Robert “Bob” Lumpkin
Four men were buried in Potter’s Field, Ferris LeBlanc, Unknown White Male, Unknown White Male, Unknown White Male, the City refused to release these bodies to the MCC for burial because they could not be identified
The Supreme Court on Friday overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion in a 6-3 vote, a momentous break from a half century of rulings on one of the nation’s most controversial issues.
The court’s ruling does not make abortion illegal, but with access to the procedure no longer deemed a constitutional right, states can now move to ban it.
Breyer/Sotomayor/Kagan: “With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.” From Roe … to Sorrow. It truly is sad.“
You can read all 213 pages of the Supreme Court’s decision by clicking HERE.
The Biden administration proposed a dramatic overhaul of campus sexual assault rules on Thursday, acting to expand protections for LGBTQ students, bolster the rights of victims and widen colleges’ responsibilities in addressing sexual misconduct. The proposal, announced on the 50th anniversary of the Title IX women’s rights law, is intended to replace a set of controversial rules issued during the Trump administration by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The proposal is almost certain to be challenged by conservatives, and it is expected to lead to new legal battles over the rights of transgender students in schools, especially in sports.
Love ya Joe. But still waiting on the Equality Act in the first 100 days, It’s now 942 days before the END of your first term.
The Rev. Francis Higginson, a preacher with a Puritan bent in the Church of England, left his parish and, in 1628, accepted an offer to join the Massachusetts Bay Company. In 1629, the Company was granted a Royal Charter to establish a “plantation” in New England, and Higginson and several of his Puritan followers were given permission to establish a colony. Higginson obtained six ships, each armed with cannons to protect against pirates.
The fleet set sail on May 1, 1629, with 350 Puritan settlers, 115 head of cattle, 41 goats and, apparently, five “beastly Sodomiticall boys.”
An entry in his diary for June 23, 1629, reads:
Tewsday the wind n:E: a fayre gale. This day we examined 5 beastly Sodomiticall boyes, which confessed their wickedness not to bee named. The fact was so fowl we reserved them to bee punished by the governor when we came to New England, who afterward sent them backe to the company to bee punished in old England, as the crime deserved.
According to the laws of England at that time the crime deserved death by hanging. But it was never documented ehat happened to those “beastly boyes” after they arrived back in not so jolly olde England.
As for Higginson his fleet was greeted in Salem, Massachusetts by a small group of settlers, led by John Endecott. In Salem there were five houses besides Endecott’s. They had no trained minister, however, so Higginson and Samuel Skelton began conducting services immediately. Higginson drew up a confession of faith
The following winter, in the general sickness that ravaged the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Higginson was attacked by a severe fever, which disabled him, and finally caused his death.
In the new Blumhouse-produced horror film They/Them, a mysterious masked killer stalks a gay conversion-therapy camp.
The film’s cast also includes Claws/True Bloods: Carrie Preston, Anna Chlumsky, Quei Tann, Anna Lore, Darwin Del Fabro, Theo Germaine and Kevin Bacon, who portrays Owen Whistler, the owner of the conversion-therapy campand brings his career full circle from Camp Crystal Lake.
They/Them premieres Aug. 5 on Peacock. Watch the film’s teaser trailer below.
A record number of LGBTQ candidates are running for all levels of office this year, motivated in part by red states passing scores of laws targeting LGBTQ people. LGBTQ voters are among the fastest-growing parts of the electorate, and also have higher turnout than other voters. Yet there are only 11 out LGBTQ lawmakers serving in Congress. At least 104 LGBTQ candidates have mounted campaigns for House or Senate seats this year. Some of those campaigns have already ended, but as of last week, 57 candidates are still actively running, according to data provided to Axios by the Victory Fund, which supports and tracks LGBTQ leaders.
It’s a very safe bet that most f these are ‘blue’ in affiliation as the GOP doesn’t recognize GAY. BUT Bisexual Krysten Sinema has proved that wrong in the past. So just to be safe. RESEARCH BEFORE YOU VOTE.
A brutal murder that took place over 45 years ago in San Francisco just a few days before it’s annual PRIDE celebration shocked and catalyzed that city’s gay community and resulted in exposing the mostly hidden to the public- eye violence against gay people.
On the night of June 21, 1977, Robert Hillsborough, and his roommate, Jerry Taylor, went out to a disco for a night of dancing. They left sometime after midnight and stopped for a bite to eat at the Whiz Burger a few blocks from their apartment in the Mission District. When they left the burger joint, they were accosted by a gang of young men shouting anti-gay slurs at them. Hillsborough and Taylor ran into Hillsborough’s car as several of the attackers climbed onto the car’s roof and hood. Hillsborough drove off, and thought that he left his troubles behind him. What he didn’t know was that they were following him in another car. Hillsborough parked just four blocks away from their apartment. When they got out of the car four men jumped out the other car and attacked them again. Jerry Taylor was beaten, but he managed to escape. Robert Hillsborough wasn’t so lucky.
Robert was brutally beaten and stabbed 15 times by 19-year-old John Cordova who was yelling, “Faggot! Faggot! Faggot!” Witnesses also reported that Cordoba yelled, “This one’s for Anita!” Neighbors were awakened by the commotion, and one woman screamed that she was calling the police, which prompted the four attackers to flee. Neighbors rushed to Hillsborough’s aid, but it was too late. Hillsborough died 45 minutes later at Mission Emergency Hospital. Cordoba and the three other assailants were arrested later that morning.
Because Hillsborough was employed as a city gardener, Mayor George Moscone followed longstanding practice and ordered flags at City Hall and other city properties to be lowered to half-mast. He also directed his anger to Anita Bryant and California State Sen. John Briggs, who was running for governor and an anti-gay platform. Anita Bryant’s anti-gay campaign in Miami which resulted in the defeat of a gay rights ordinance three weeks earlier had inspired Briggs to hold a new conference in front of city hall the week before Hillsborough’s death to announce a campaign to remove gays and lesbians from teaching. Moscone called Briggs an anti-homosexual “demagogue” and held him responsible for “inciting trouble by walking right into San Francisco, knowing the emotional state of his community. He stirred people into action. He will have to live with his conscience.”
Hillsborough’s death also struck a deep nerve in the gay community. ”We live in a paranoid state,” said Harvey Milk, who was preparing his run for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, “and the death of Robert is only the culmination of a lot of violence that’s been directed at us.” San Francisco’s Pride celebration, which took place just a few days later, attracted a record-breaking 300,000 people, and it became an impromptu memorial march as participants erected a makeshift shrine at City Hall.
Cordova was charged with a single count of murder, along with Thomas J. Spooner, 21. The other two passengers in the car were not charged.
Cordova was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to only 10 years in prison. Charges were later dropped against Spooner.
The parents of Robert Hillsborough filed a $5 million lawsuit accusing Anita Bryant of conducting a hate campaign against homosexuals. Hillsborough’s parents claimed and rightfully so that Miss Bryant’s public comments constituted “a campaign of hate, bigotry, ignorance, fear, intimidation and prejudice” against their son and other homosexuals. This, they said, amounted to a conspiracy to deprive Hillsborough of his civil rights.
U.S. District Judge Stanley A. Weigel dismissed the case saying that he lacked jurisdiction because Miss Bryant lives in Florida.
40+ years later the violence against LGBT americans continues to this day. We must never forget those who lost their lives to hatred and bigotry.
Robert L. Hillsborough Born: March 10, 1944 Died: June 22, 1977
TMZ.com reporting that Elon Musk’s transgender daughter has filed legal documents in Los Angeles County Court to legally change her name in an effort to be recognized as female, but also as a way to distance herself from her infamous father.
Vivian Jenna Wilson turned 18 in April, and if the court recognizes the petition, she will be issued a new birth certificate reflecting the gender and name change.
TMZ reported that the official reason stated: “Gender identity and the fact that I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.”
Forty two years ago on June 20, 1980 the absolutely GAYEST, non-gay movie musical comedy ever made, a movie so bad it may have single-handedly actually killed disco. Can’t Stop the Music opened in theaters across America starring the then he/him Bruce Jenner (now transitioned to Caityln), Steve Gutenberg Valarie Perrine, and the Village People.
Directed by Rhoda’s television mother, Nancy Walker and written by Allan Carr & Bronté Woodard, CSTM is a VERY VERY loosely based-biography of disco’s Village People which bears absolutely no resemblance to the actual story of the group’s formation done in spectacular campy gaudy technicolor!
The story is about Jack Morell (Steve Guttenberg)-a reference to Village People creator Jacques Morali- who gets a break DJing at local disco Saddle Tramps. His roommate Sam Simpson (Valerie Perrine), a supermodel newly retired at the peak of her success, sees the response to a song he wrote for her (“Samantha“) and agrees to use her connections to get him a record deal. Her connection, ex-boyfriend Steve Waits (Paul Sand), president of Marrakech Records (a reference to Village People record label Casablanca Records), is more interested in getting back with her than in Jack’s music (and more interested in taking business calls than in wooing Samantha), but agrees to listen to a demo.
Sam decides Jack’s vocals won’t do, and recruits neighbor and Saddle Tramps waiter/go-go boy Felipe Rose (the Indian), fellow model David “Scar” Hodo (the construction worker, who daydreams of stardom in the solo number “I Love You to Death“), and finds Randy Jones (the cowboy) on the streets of Greenwich Village, offering dinner in return for their participation. Meanwhile, Sam’s former agent Sydney Channing (Tammy Grimes) orders Girl Friday Lulu Brecht (Marilyn Sokol) to attend, hoping to lure the star back. Ron White (Bruce Jenner), a lawyer from St. Louis, is mugged by an elderly woman on his way to deliver a cake Sam’s sister sent, and shows up on edge. Brecht gets Jack high, which unnerves him when her friend Alicia Edwards brings singing cop Ray Simpson, but Jack records the quartet on “Magic Night”. Ron, pawed all night by the man-hungry Brecht, is overwhelmed by the culture shock of it all and walks out.
The next day, Sam runs into Ron, who apologizes, proffers the excuse that he’s a Gemini, and follows her home. Spilling leftover lasagna on himself, Sam and Jack help him off with his trousers before Jack leaves and Sam and Ron spend the night. Newly interested in helping, Ron offers his Wall Street office to hold auditions. There Glenn M. Hughes, the Leatherman climbs atop a piano for a rendition of “Danny Boy”, and he and Alex Briley, the G.I. join up. Now a sextet, they get their name from an offhand remark by Ron’s socialite mother Norma. Ron’s boss, Richard Montgomery (Russell Nype). Overwhelmed by the carnival atmosphere, insists the firm not represent the group, and Ron quits.
Ron’s new idea for rehearsal space is the YMCA (the ensuing production number “YMCA” features its athletic denizens in various states of undress—along with The Simpsons Movie, the film is one of the few non R-rated offerings to feature full-frontal male nudity). The group cut a demo (“Liberation“) for Marrakech, but Steve sees limited appeal and Sam refuses his paltry contract. Reluctant to use her savings, they decide to self-finance by throwing a pay-party.
To bankroll the party, Sam acquiesces to Channing’s plea to return for a TV ad campaign for milk, on the condition the Village People are featured. The lavish number “Milkshake” begins as Sam pours milk for six little boys in the archetypal costumes with the promise they’ll grow up to be the Village People. The advertisers want nothing to do with such a concept, and refuse to air the spot. Norma then steps in to invite the group to debut at her charity fundraiser in San Francisco. Sam lures Steve by promising a romantic weekend but Ron is taken aback by the inference that she’d go through with the seduction, and Sam breaks up with him. On his private jet, Steve prepares for a tryst, but it’s Jack and his former chorine mother Helen (June Havoc) who show up, to hash out a contract. Initially reluctant, Helen seduces Steve with her kreplach and before long they’re negotiating the T-shirt merchandising for the Japanese market.
In the dressing room before the show, Ron, relieved to learn Sam didn’t travel with Steve, proposes to her. At one point, Montgomery shows up to rehire Ron as a junior partner representing the group. Following a set by The Ritchie Family (“Give Me a Break“), the Village People make a triumphant debut (“Can’t Stop the Music“).
Can’t Stop the Music would later that year to go on to have the dubious honor of becoming the first winner of the Worst Picture Golden Raspberry Award.
So everyone raise a toast. With a milkshake of course to Can’t Stop The Music!
They don’t make em’ like that anymore. Thank Goddess.
TRIVIA: Can’t Stop the Music would later that year to go on to have the dubious honor of becoming the first winner of the Worst Picture Golden Raspberry (Razzie) Award
Above the Village People’s late, great Glenn Hughes singing “Danny Boy” in the film “Can’t Stop the Music