June 915, 1999
La Cage Aux Folles Pop Quiz?
A Fort Myers middle school came under attack from angry parents for scheduling a “cross-dressing day” as part of their end of the school year theme week. About a quarter of the students participated in the event and school officials insist it was all in fun. It goes without saying that the following day’s theme, “estrogen in the boys’ Jello, testosterone in the girls’ milk,” was put on indefinite hold.
The Friendly Skies Just Got Friendlier
Say so long to quickies in cramped and uncomfortable airplane lavatories. The now seemingly-ironically named Virgin Atlantic Airlines recently announced plans to install full-sized double beds in private cabins on board their aircrafts. With no requirements for marriage certificates and no bar on same sex couples, free love on round trips between London and New York will cost approximately $10,000 per couple (the same as two individual business class tickets).
Homophobia Alive and Well
In Virginia, where state law makes it a felony for consenting adults to engage in oral sex, guilty pleas from three men charged with soliciting sodomy from undercover police officers in a Roanoke park brings the total number of similar convictions to twelve. Offenders can face up to five years in prison, but so far bleeding-heart Judge Clifford Weckstein has only imposed $1000 fines, twelve-month suspended jail sentences and five-year bans from all city parks for this “crime against nature.”
According to the Associated Press, a British commemorative stamp honoring the late bisexual singer Freddie Mercury has drawn much criticism from social conservatives, including columnist Simon Heffer, who recently wrote in the tabloid Daily Mail: “The queen we would rather see on our postage stamps is not stripped to the waist and wearing spray-on red trousers.”
Is This a Dagger I See Before Me (Or Are You Just Happy to See Me)?
A recent production of “Macbeth” ended tragically in an Orlando, Florida night club: the owner of the club and three thespians/exotic dancers were arrested after they abandoned their authentic Elizabethan G-strings and pasties to perform the opening witches scene in the buff. The stunt was an attempt to challenge a local anti-nudity ordinance passed last November which forbids complete public nudity except in cases of legitimate theater or “bona fide performances.”
In related news, five male members (the actual men, that is) of the organization The Right to Be Naked were arrested in London after exposing one too many pounds of flesh during a staged demonstration outside Buckingham Palace. As one of the five climbed naked onto a statue of Queen Victoria, light through a yonder Palace window broke; it has yet to be confirmed whether it was Queen Elizabeth’s.
From The Land Down Under Scrutiny
A new Internet censorship bill passed on May 26 is expected to be ratified by the Australian House of Representatives within one week in an attempt to make the Net safe for children. Scheduled to take effect January 1, 2000, the proposed law would require Australian Internet service providers to block content rated X by the Australian Broadcasting Authority. Should they fail to comply within 24 hours of notice, domestic Internet hosts could be fined as much as 18,000 U.S. dollars. And since the bill doesn’t deny Australian ISPs the right to remove or deny sites before they have been prohibited by the ABA, they are likely to voluntarily block anything even remotely sexually related. Censored website proprietors will have little legal recourse. Goodbye, Australia, it’s been nice knowing you.
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