Tag: Rights

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There’s Actually Some Good News About The Rentboy Case

There’s Actually Some Good News About The Rentboy Case
If you’ve been wondering what’s going on with Rentboy.com since law enforcement shut it down last summer, the answer is, uh… well, not much, really. Writing for The Nation, Laura Duggan reports that prosecutors have already asked for four delays in the 30-delay deadline to indict senior Rentboy staff, and it seems as though they’re scrambling for charges that’ll actually stick.

Last August, the NYPD and Department of Homeland Security together raided the offices of popular male escort site Rentboy.com, simultaneously arresting seven senior staff members — six of whom were at home and one whom was vacationing in South Dakota. Company CEO Jeffrey Hurant and the other six employees got arrested and charged with conspiring to violate the Travel Act, a rarely-acknowledged antiquated law related to traveling over state lines for sex. With such a coordinated raid, prosecutors surely hoped for charges a little meatier.
Rentboy wasn’t an internet brothel because, for one thing, there is no such thing as an internet brothel. Rentboy didn’t employ escorts; it simply offered them ad space. If a guy wanted to list himself on Rentboy, he did. There were no minors – the site thoroughly checked IDs – the investigation into the site yielded no trafficking victims, and as far as anyone has suggested so far, no evidence of illegal activity on the bookkeeping side.
Red carpet at the 2014 Hookies(image via stolethetv)
Special Agent Susan Ruiz used words like “internet brothel” and “global criminal enterprise” to describe Rentboy, an organization which in recent years has done little to hide the nature of its operations. She also took the time in her official report to explain that she had never heard of a rimjob before. Someone needs to get out more often.
In fact, Rentboy quite vocally promotes its work and its advertisers, throwing a lavish awards ceremony called The Hookies each spring in which Rentboy members compete for titles like Best Top, Best Daddy and Best Boyfriend Fantasy. The nominees are usually among each year’s most prominent porn performers – this year awards went to Boomer Banks and Rocco Steele, two of the most widely recognized performers in New York. This year’s awards were held in a club at the Out Hotel, the much-maligned but highly visible gay hotel located just blocks away from Times Square.
While Rentboy CEO Jeffrey Hurant and six senior staff members still await their fate, there may be a silver lining. A diverse network of organizations — including Amnesty International — are suddenly aware that sex work decriminalization is the safest option for everyone, and that consensual sex work is a very different concern than human trafficking.
Furthermore, while the national media covered protests against the Rentboy raid, groups like the Hookup Collaborative and the National Coalition of Rentboys and Allies have sprung up to fight for national sex worker rights. Meanwhile, escorts have scrambled to advertise on offshore websites, hoping the new sites will have the same client reach that Rentboy once did.
(Featured photo via See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)
Unicorn Booty – Unicorn Booty brings you the best news, pop-culture, and opinions on the web!

These 27 States Will Try To Pass Anti-LGBT Laws In 2016

These 27 States Will Try To Pass Anti-LGBT Laws In 2016
According to a new Human Rights Campaign report 27 state legislatures will try to pass anti-LGBT laws this year — Happy New Year, everybody!
Some legislators have wasted no time in getting anti-LGBT bills on the docket, with new bills already introduced in Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee.
(via Human Rights Campaign)
Nearly all of those states will float bills that would allow businesses to refuse services to LGBT people (religious refusals). In fact, every single legislature in the south and southwest has these discriminatory ordinances up for discussion, with the exception of Texas and Nevada. That’s only because the legislatures in those states aren’t scheduled to meet at all this year. In Colorado, anti-gay lawmakers are pushing for a referendum so that voters will get the final say as to whether people can legally cite religious grounds as an excuse not do their job.
Legislators in 11 states could be voting on anti-trans bathroom ordinances too with 5 states considering laws preventing cities from enforcing their own non-discrimination ordinances, just like Arkansas did last year. In brighter news, pro-equality legislators in Michigan are hoping voters will pass a non-discrimination ballot measure during the November elections.
As for the rest of the states, there is some good news! States in the northeast and west coast might pass bans on harmful ex-gay conversion therapy, anti-bullying legislation and bills that would make it easier for trans people to change their identity documents.
Also, even though a total of 151 individual anti-LGBT bills were filed last year, most of them failed. Some, however, just got pushed back to this year. Oh well, looks like 2016 is gonna be another busy year on the political battlefield.
(Featured photo: Colorado State Capitol via yosoynuts/Flickr)
Unicorn Booty – Unicorn Booty brings you the best news, pop-culture, and opinions on the web!

4 Anti-Gay Arguments Now Being Used Against Trans People

4 Anti-Gay Arguments Now Being Used Against Trans People
Flash back twenty (or even ten) years ago, and recall the narrow-minded arguments made against the advancement of gay, lesbian and bisexual rights: Children will be endangered! Public bathrooms will become sex-crazed free-for-alls! The religious freedoms of law-abiding Christians will be compromised! Over time, each and every one of those arguments has proven false, but now we’re hearing those same arguments again… only this time against trans people. At least our enemies are recycling?

“But what about the children?!”
Remember when every gay man was going to molest a hundred kids and turn them into gay sex slaves? When lobbying against marriage equality right-wingers routinely claimed that gay men are more likely to be pedophiles;so-called family values types long argued that children shouldn’t be exposed to same-sex parents and LGB adults, because it’ll confuse them and stunt their development.
The new version of this idiocy argues that anti-discrimination laws would allow transgender pedophiles to lurk in public restrooms, where any teenage girl might fall victim to a predatory man in a dress pretending to be a trans woman. Nevermind that there’s no evidence from any law enforcement entity anywhere that this actually happens. Then again, fear-mongering is rarely based on reality.

“How can I feel safe in the restroom?!”
Most people feel pretty vulnerable in public bathrooms — after all, they just wanna pee in peace. But while some folks use public restrooms as hook-up sites, the idea that LGBT folks will use restrooms to try sneak a peek at some same-sex genitalia (or force other users into non-consensual sex) is beyond dumb. Here’s the indisputable truth: Only psychos wants to spy on you and assault you while you’re dropping a deuce, and trans people most likely feel way more uncomfortable and vulnerable than you in public restrooms.

“If we legalize this, what’s going to happen next?!”
The slippery slope of a Pandora’s Box is an easy argument to make. Way back when Massachusetts was the only state with marriage equality, you’d hear this all the time: “If we allow gay people to marry, they’re going to want to marry a box turtle next,” or “If we allow gay people to marry, what’s to stop them from marrying children next?”
Yeah, well that never happened because NOBODY WANTS TO MARRY HOUSEPETS AND INFANTS. Nevertheless, right-wing pundits are making the same arguments about trans rights. “If people can decide their own gender, what will they decide next — that they’re a dog??!” Perhaps the right-wing thinks trans-rights are our last protection against human-animal hybrids — do right-wingers harbor secret fantasies of being bald eagle-hybrids? PATRIOTISM!!!

“But what about my religious freedom?!”
Some Christian politicians love claiming that their religious freedoms are being trampled whenever someone asks them to do something that they don’t feel like do their taxpayer-funded jobs or bake a cake or anything they don’t wanna do at that exact moment. Before marriage equality became the law of the land, fearmongering evangelicals like the so-called National Organization for Marriage argued that same-sex marriage would force priests and ministers to carry on same-sex marriages against their will, when the law never suggested anything of the sort.
Unfortunately, right-wing media groups now make celebrities out of every lazybones that doesn’t feel like delivering a pizza, and the same tactics are being used against trans people. Do trans students inherently violate the religious liberty of their classmates? Will churches be required to build gender-neutral restrooms? Even if they did, would that have an impact on anyone else who happened to share a classroom or a workspace with them? No, no, and hell no.
Isn’t it funny how some people use the word “freedom” to mean the exact opposite of freedom?
Unicorn Booty – Unicorn Booty brings you the best news, pop-culture, and opinions on the web!

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“Yes, I do KNOW HOMO” Muscle Shirt

KNOW HOMO tank top

Be proud to the let the world know that you KNOW HOMO – even at the gym or on the beach! This muscle shirt is a staple for any spring and summer wardrobe. Share it with your friends, family and community that are LGBT or support LGBT identity – or wear it yourself!

“Yes, I do KNOW HOMO” Muscle Shirt

KNOW HOMO tank top

Be proud to the let the world know that you KNOW HOMO – even at the gym or on the beach! This muscle shirt is a staple for any spring and summer wardrobe. Share it with your friends, family and community that are LGBT or support LGBT identity – or wear it yourself!

“Yes, I do KNOW HOMO” Tank Top

KNOW HOMO tank top

Be proud to the let the world know that you KNOW HOMO! Share it with your friends, family and community that are LGBT or support LGBT identity – or wear it your fierce self! The female-bodied premium tank is ideal for anything from yoga and Pilates to layering over a bikini at the beach.