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SF Gay Bar Discriminated Against Blacks



by The Associated Press

http://www.365gay.com

April 27, 2005 11:00 am ET

(San Francisco, California)
A bar owner in the predominantly gay Castro neighborhood violated numerous city civil rights codes by discriminating against black patrons, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission has ruled.

The case has been closely watched by the city's gay community, many of whom said they were incredulous that an establishment in what's considered one of the country's most progressive and socially liberal neighborhoods would actively keep black customers out of the popular nightspot Badlands.

In particular, the commission said club owner Les Natali referred to blacks as "non-Badlands customers" who should be discouraged from patronizing the club.

"The Castro should be a place of homecoming for gays worldwide and this was a betrayal of everything this community stands for," said Don Romesburg, organizer for the community group And Castro For All, which filed the complaint. "That's why it's so important that we hold them accountable."

After a 10-month investigation, the commission found the club required multiple forms of identification from some black customers, used discriminatory hiring practices, applied a dress code only to black patrons and denied entry using other policies rarely applied to whites.

The 11-member commission, which was formed in 1964 to protect residents' civil rights, has no power to punish privately owned businesses, said Larry Brinkin, who works as a compliance officer for the commission.

But Brinkin said the report could support a complaint asking state regulators to pull the club's liquor license. He also said the report sends a "strong message that discrimination in our city and businesses is abhorrent."

John Carr, spokesman for the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, confirmed the Badlands investigation is ongoing.

If the club is found to have violated state discrimination laws, Carr said penalties could range from a warning to the loss of a liquor license, depending on the severity of the charges.

He did not say when the probe would be complete.

Natali's lawyer, Paul Melbostad, disputed the findings and said recent Badlands ads solicit black customers.

"(Natali) has many very satisfied African-American customers and he welcomes every racial and ethnic group," he said.

Melbostad said Badlands has served 500,000 customers during the cited period between 2001-2004 and many of those customers were black.

Marvin Miller, 38, remained unconvinced. He said he was elated by Tuesday's commission decision.

Miller, who is black, said Natali badgered him for several pieces of identification at Badlands in 2003. When he finally showed a press pass for an independent cable access show, he said Natali relented and let him in. Miller left the club and has not returned since.

"I was humiliated," he said. "I felt alone and helpless and angry."

The commission interviewed about 60 people before reaching its conclusions.

For years, Badlands has been a hotspot for young, single gay men, including those visiting during Gay Pride weekend. Romesburg said he hopes the findings will show the club's practices are "not only hurting our own community but reflecting poorly on our community to the rest of the world."

http://www.365gay.com/newscon05/04/042705sfBar.htm

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quote:
Originally posted by jazzdog:
This shit is to funny, gays who probably have cried about being descriminated aganist, now discriminating aganist blacks.


Funny, perhaps. But no funnier really than blacks coming out against civil rights for gays. The existence of racism within the gay community is no more of a surprise than the existence of homophobia in the black community.

BTW, the reaction on gay internet forums where I have posted this story has been a pretty universal desire to see them get their licour liscence revolked permenantly, and get shut down and put out of business.

quote:
I guess that sameness of struggle that gays are always comparing themselves to with African Americans is officially over.


The "sameness of struggle" is in my mind a red herring. There's alot more complaining being done about it than there is people actually doing it in the first place.

Aside from a few one-liner throwaway comments that you might encounter in the heat of arguements on internet forums, most "comparrisons" have been of a more serious nature than your remark suggests.
Oh please, gays have been walking around projecting themselves as the ultimate victims of discrimination where in reality they are about 400 years behind what blacks have endured.

It just proves in my mind that no matter how much someone assumes they are being discriminated they still have enough to discrimnate against blacks.
quote:
Originally posted by jazzdog:
Oh please, gays have been walking around projecting themselves as the ultimate victims of discrimination where in reality they are about 400 years behind what blacks have endured.


You're going to have to show me where that claim was made, and what individual(s) and/or organization(s) made the claim, because this is the first that I've heard of it.

quote:
It just proves in my mind that no matter how much someone assumes they are being discriminated they still have enough to discrimnate against blacks.


Again, does this surprise you? Surely you've known gays with predjudices against blacks, blacks with prejudices against gays, latinos with prejudices against blacks, latinos with prejudices against women, etc, etc, etc...(I could go on and list every permutation possible, but you get the idea)

What does this all prove in your mind? That nobody ever faces discrimination? That's silly.

It's not a contest. There are no prizes that go to the group that can claim the most descrimination.

It's just people standing up and fighting for their rights, and the rights of others (or not, as the case may be).
You just to hate admit that for all "our struggle is the same" bullshit, gays look down on blacks just like everybody else. No surprise to me or I bet alot of people on this site. And while you are right about winning a race on discrimination, its just alittle disappointing don't you think that when a group of people tied their experience to a group of people who have suffered the worst man can dish out for over 400 years and then turn and do the same lowdown shit.

And that sameness of struggle you so casually threw off as not actual happening as much is BS, from Marches to meetings the tied in to the black struggle as being upfront and often, that comment alone proves you bias in this matter and I think proves that you are being just alittle dishonest in your opinion on this matter.
I'm not blaming all gays for racism but this story is just so unbeliveable especially considering whether you believe it or not the effort to tied gay rights with the civil rights battles that blacks fought.

My accusation about the dishonesty was based on your statement that the tied in to the black struggle was largely overblown because I think if you looked you would see that it is a very real issue that gays have continually used much to the consternation of many blacks.

Gay Racism in the Castro


By Keith Boykin
May 4, 2005 10:49 AM




In his classic poem "Tongues Untied," black gay poet Marlon Riggs reflects on his experience of moving to San Francisco decades ago. "In this great gay mecca," he writes, "I was an invisible man, still. I had no shadow, no substance. No history, no place. No reflection."

Marlon Riggs is not alone. Black gay men have complained for years about racism in the gay community, but many of these complaints have been dismissed by the larger gay community as the rantings of a few. Now comes a new report from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission that confirms what many of us have known all along: racism is alive and well, even in the legendary Castro district of San Francisco.

The report, issued last week, came after months of protests by people of color and their allies, who complained about the owner of a bar called Badlands in the Castro. I first learned about this incident back in March, when I visited San Francisco and took part in a book signing across the street from Badlands. I asked Calvin Gipson, the former president of the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration Committee, Inc. and a member
of a group called And Castro For All, to tell me more about the incidents at Badlands. He responded in this interview.

1. What is And Castro For All?

And Castro For All has its origins from a group called IsBadlandsBad?, a multi-racial group of friends who noticed that there was a pattern of discrimination against African-Americans and women at Badlands bar. Badlands is one of the most popular bar/dance clubs in San Francisco's gay neighborhood, The Castro. This group developed a campaign to uncover, publicize, and challenge documented patterns of race- and gender-based discrimination at local Castro businesses, specifically bars owned by Les Natali, Badlands and The Detour. The IsBadlandsBad campaign is now a project of And Castro for All. And Castro for All (AC4A) is a fiscally sponsored project of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center dedicated to fostering a genuinely welcoming Castro neighborhood and broader Bay Area community by promoting awareness and dialogue about bias within the LGBT community and exposing actions that undermine inclusion.

In 1998, I founded Black Rap, an African-American group of LGBT people seeking to increase the visibility of African-Americans within the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration which is the largest event in San Francisco. I began receiving complaints about mistreatment of Black people at Badlands as early as 2001 (the bar opened for business by Les Natali in 2000). Black Rap joined forces with And Castro For All in June 2004 to expose discrimination practiced by Les Natali and his businesses, Badlands and The Detour.

2. What was Leslie Natali accused of doing, and what examples can you provide?

Les Natali has been accused of the following acts of discrimination against African-Americans and women:

African Americans reported that they were asked to produce multiple forms of picture identification which was not applied to other races, asking to show the doorman that they have money before entering the bar, being asked to leave without cause, having to wait for white patrons to be served even though they were first in line, selectively applying a dress code, not being allowed to enter the bar if they were carrying a bag or backpack, and employees being told by Les Natali to not forward Black applicants to him for interviews and that African Americans are "non-Badlands customers", for example.

Kaya Nati filed the first complaint with the Human Rights Commission in 2001 when Les Natali told him that it was not "costume night". Kaya is an immigrant from Jamaica and, at the time, was an outreach worker for San Francisco's Stop AIDS Project. He was dressed in afro-centric clothing. Les literally ordered him to leave, retrieved Kaya's bag from bag check, threw it on the sidewalk and told the doorman to give him his money back. Kaya died on Tuesday, April 12, two weeks to the day before the HRC findings were released.

After attending church the night of September 11, 2001, Gertrude East, an African American woman, entered Badlands with friends. Within moments, she was ejected without cause. She and several witnesses report that Natali told her white friends, "You can stay, but that's not welcome here." Ms. East and her friends called the police, who, upon arrival, said, "Let me guess: Wrong color or wrong gender?" and told Natali, "You should be utterly ashamed."

In 2002, I entered the bar and noticed I was being watched suspiciously. I bought a drink and hung my jacket on a hook located under a cocktail table and went to the dance floor to dance. When I returned to the table, I reached under the table for my jacket and was accused of stealing my own jacket. I was continually challenged by both staff and patrons until I announced that I was the former president of the San Francisco Pride Parade.

Several former Badlands employees, sworn under oath to the Human Rights Commission, have testified that Natali instructed doormen to selectively enforce an illegal 2-ID policy against many African Americans and engage in a host of other indirect means to exclude Blacks' admittance and create a potentially uncomfortable environment for those who did enter. In fact, the more than 20 patrons, witnesses, and former employees who have signed sworn testimonies recount three civil rights violations against patrons including unfair scrutiny, unwarranted denial of entry, and eviction without cause

3. Given the years of anecdotal reports of race discrimination in the lgbt community, are you surprised by the discrimination in this case?

I am never surprised by racial discrimination in this case or within the LGBT community. My family is from Oak Grove, LA and I am old enough (44 years) to have experienced racial segregation in the south. I have walked on the Black side of the street, have entered through the back doors of white people's houses, have eaten in segregated restaurants and have sat in the Black section (balcony) of a movie theatre. I am also of the integration generation and was bussed to white schools in Denver, CO beginning in the 5th grade. We had racial riots when I was in junior high school. White kids would throw eggs at our busses as we were arriving to school and the police would be present to send us back home when riots erupted among the races. Because of my history with racism, I am never surprised when I am confronted by it – even within the LGBT community.

I am disappointed that racism as blatant as that of Les Natali has been tolerated in San Francisco. San Francisco is one of the most liberal cities in America. The Castro is a destination for queer people from all over the world. It is a special place of freedom and self-expression. It can shimmer as if it were the Land of Oz. I came to San Francisco as a gay man for one reason: to be free. I did not expect that I would be in such a strong battle of fighting against discrimination within the LGBT community. It feels no different than the struggles I experienced in the Deep South. There is something wrong when we as an oppressed people in the LGBT community are oppressing our own who are also fighting in the struggle of equality and freedom.

4. What did the city's Human Rights Commission find in its report?

Following an exhaustive ten-month investigation, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission has forcefully concluded that Les Natali has violated numerous civil rights ordinances in his discriminatory practices in employment and patronage against people of color. The finding is definitive validation of the testimonies of dozens of former patrons, employees and organizations who have courageously come forward over the past four years with experiences of discrimination at the hands of Natali and his staff. The Human Rights Commission released in their report on Tuesday, April 26 that Les Natali and Badlands violated Article 33 of the San Francisco Police Code by discriminating in employment and public accommodation on the basis of race. The report found:

· an inconsistent door policy illegally requiring multiple forms of I.D. from some African Americans

· Natali referred to African Americans as "non-Badlands customers" who should be discouraged from patronage

· Natali unfairly denied entry to African Americans "through the use of a ˜No Bag' policy that was rarely enforced against white patrons

· Natali selectively applied a dress code to African American patrons

· Natali's "hiring practices . . . were discriminatory towards African Americans"

· Natali "discriminated against an African American woman when she was ejected for the bar for pretextual and unjustified reasons"

The report also concluded that discriminatory practices such as those described above are inimical to the public welfare. They create intergroup hostilities and impede social and economic progress for the entire citizenry. Discriminatory practices in employment and public accommodations also prevent members of minority groups from achieving full development of their individual potential and from contributing fully to the cultural and business life of the community. The commission is in full agreement that the discriminatory practices discussed above diminish our city and are contrary to its goals and policies. The commission finds and concludes that it is essential for business establishments in San Francisco to be free of discrimination and that all customers, employees, and job applicants be allowed to take full advantage of the services and opportunities presented. (Note: I have attached the commission report for the editor's review).

5. How has the white gay community in San Francisco (included the patrons at Badlands) responded to the charges?

We have had a very wide-array of support from communities of all colors, ages, genders and backgrounds. Over 30 leaders from all different parts of our community have signed a letter of support for our work to fight discrimination and hold the LGBT community up to its values of diversity, justice, and inclusion. We have strong support from members of our board of supervisors and LGBT elected leaders.

Even with our vast community support, we have found that there are white people that refuse to believe the charges or simply don't care. On Saturday April 30, we had over 70 protesters picketing Badlands and distributing leaflets informing the community of the HRC finding. We boldly disrupted Badland's evening income but there were plenty of people willing to cross the picket lines for a drink. Racism exists. Discrimination based on race exists. I believe that it is time for white people to begin talking to other white people about their racism. Who will say something when they see a person being mistreated? Have conviction and take a stand. We will continue to fight and struggle as long as there is silence in the community in regards to equality and inclusion.

6. What do you do now?

The Human Rights Commission is an investigative body. The matter now goes before San Francisco's Entertainment Commission, which issues a local license for all activity within a bar/club, except for the serving of alcohol, including DJs, go go dancers, pool tables, live entertainment, arcade and video machines etc. The Commission can revoke or suspend his license among several possible courses of action.

The State of California's Alcohol Beverage and Control Board, which issues liquor licenses, will soon conclude their investigation of Les Natali and his businesses. They can revoke or suspend his liquor licenses which can put Les Natali out of business.

We will BOYCOTT Badlands until City and State agencies enact penalties commensurate with the extensive scope of Mr. Natali's civil rights violations. Justice demands a strong recourse!

Boycott Details:

WHEN: Every Saturday from 10pm onward

WHERE: In front of S.F. Badlands on 18th Street between Castro and Collingwood Streets

WHY: To demand accountability for widespread racial discrimination and create inclusion in the Castro

We want to see an end to discrimination in the Castro and elsewhere. Period.
We want the owner of SF Badlands and the Detour to be held accountable for violating city and state civil rights and anti-discrimination laws. We want businesses in the Castro to commit to non-discrimination based on race, gender, and other identities/attributes – for patrons and for employees. We're San Franciscans, after all. We want to support and affirm individuals and businesses in the Castro and elsewhere that share our beliefs in equality and fairness. We want to remind people that discrimination isn't just a straight thing; it happens within our own LGBT community. We want to support our friends and others who have suffered as a result of discrimination and mistreatment. We want to speak out so that heinous acts like these never happen again, not in our community and not in our City.

We want to help create a space where we can all have fun together: all of us, one community, in its many gorgeous shapes and sizes and colors. We want to remind our community and ourselves that we can work together to make a difference.

In December 2004, AC4A launched the LGBT community Anti-Discrimination Hotline. If you experience discrimination in The Castro please call And Castro for All's Anti-Discrimination Hotline at 415-865-5542 for moral support, help filing a complaint, and/or legal referrals. For more information regarding the Human Rights Commission Report, Badlands, Les Natali or discrimination in The Castro, visit http://www.andcastroforall.com

http://www.keithboykin.com/arch/001378.html

Racism and Reaction in the Castro"”A Brief, Incomplete History


By Don Romesburg
Ph.D. candidate in U.S. History
UC Berkeley


The most recent troubles surrounding the Badlands are just the latest incarnation of a long-standing struggle in the Castro's LGBT community regarding racial discrimination and exclusion. This brief history suggests three conclusions:

  • Racism has always been a problem in the Castro, despite periodic efforts to curb it.
  • Periods of activism have provoked tangible changes to specific businesses and practices.
  • Businesses and the community in general have been slow to respond to calls for reform, doing so only when pressured by community action, bad public relations and loss of revenue.

Isn't it time for a real change?

Formal and informal campaigns against racially discriminatory practices at gay bars have been ongoing since the 1960s around the United States. In San Francisco, in September 1975, over 120 people from Bay Area Gay Liberation picketed the Mine Shaft, calling for a boycott of the bar due to "racial and sexual discrimination, an arbitrary dress code and goon tactics," including a selectively enforced requirement of up to three forms of valid ID for admittance. The group and the bar's owner reached a compromise agreement two weeks later when the three-ID policy and the "weird clothing" ban were abolished.(1)

In 1982, the San Francisco chapter of Black and White Men Together (BWMT) formed the Employment Discrimination Project to survey gay bars on their hiring and work practices regarding race. They met with the Tavern Guild (a consortium of bar owners, managers, and employees) and the Golden Gate Business Association (gay and lesbian business owners) to discuss their concerns. In 1983, following the release of survey findings quantifying widespread job discrimination against gay people of color, BWMT assembled a Task Force on Racism in the Lesbian/Gay Community to combat racial employment discrimination in gay-owned businesses. Over 50 representatives from lesbian and gay organizations attended its first meeting. One concern discussed was the issue of discriminatory "carding" practices for bar patrons.

In November, the Task Force secured hearings before the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC). The spokesman for the Tavern Guild said it had a nondiscrimination clause in its code of ethics, and acknowledged discrimination existed, but didn't see how the organization could organize proactively around the issue of race. Longtime lesbian activist and HRC commissioner Phyllis Lyon replied, "If it is possible for the organization to move as a whole in a direction around orange juice [at it did in the campaign against Anita Bryant in 1977] and beer [as it did with Coors], then it can also move in a direction around hiring people of color!" No immediate action occurred.(2)

In 1984, both African American and Asian American groups fought discriminatory door policies at bars across the city. Henry Chappell reported a double-carding incident at the Watering Hole on Folsom. Wearing a dress, heels, and a shawl, Chappell, an African American self-identified transvestite, was asked for two forms of picture IDs as a means of excluding him from attendance. BWMT hoped that San Francisco would adopt a regulatory model for admittance based on Atlanta's carding ordinance, which mandated that no bar could demand more than one valid ID per person.(3) In part due to pressure from such actions, the City eventually passed a similar ordinance.

Around the same time, the Asian Lesbian and Gay Alliance (ALGA) conducted an informal study of various S.F. gay bars. One of the organizers later recalled, "White guys could sail through with no restrictions, but once color was added to the mix, the barriers went up." The Midnight Sun and Castro Station were Castro bars particularly notable for their anti-Asian discriminatory practices. When confronted, the owners rationalized their multiple ID policies by claiming that it was difficult to visually discern Asian men's age. ALGA picketed the Midnight Sun, attracting media coverage with placards such as "Discrimination in the Gay Community Demeans Us All." During a KPFA radio debate, one participant recalled a bar owner claiming, "Your people don't drink," and "It's a cruise bar; we would lose other clientele because they don't want to cruise your type." (4)

In 1990, BWMT joined the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance, the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, GLAAD-SF, ACT-UP, and other groups and individuals to picket against alleged racist policies at the Midnight Sun. One demonstration leader said, "When I first moved here [the Castro] eleven years ago I didn't see any women or people of color, and now eleven years later I still do not see any people like me." In a letter to other bar owners, the Midnight Sun owners made things to go from bad to worse, saying, "We were raped [by the demonstrations] and the police stood by and watched," and alleging that "these people were not customers or people you normally would see in the Castro."(5)

Now, over a decade later, we are reigniting a movement to bring about changes that will make the Castro as inclusive and diverse as a symbolic heartland of the worldwide GLBT community should be. Considering the past, we expect that there will be some who will attempt to deny a problem exists, or who will insist upon engaging in practices that make some members of our community feel lesser and left out. We are confident, though, that many will join with us. Don't you want to be on the right side of tomorrow's history?

----------------------

1. Coming Up! (26 Sep 1975) and (9 Oct 1975).

2. "Charges Fly"; "Human Rights Commission Hearings Concluded," BWMT/SFBA Newsletter (Dec 1983). In June 1985, following sustained pressure from BWMT and the findings of the SF HRC, the Tavern Guild issued a press release stating it had began an investigation to "identify and resolve persistent discrimination employment practices," adding that it encouraged "member businesses to voluntarily increase the presence of ethnic minorities in their businesses." See "EDP Forges Ahead," BWMT/SFBA Newsletter (October 1984); BAR (20 Sept 1984); "BWMT-SF to Leaflet Bars," Coming Up (Sept 1984); "Tavern Guild Admits Discrimination," BWMT/SFBA Newsletter (July 1985).

3. Henry Michael Judge Chappell, "Not Welcome Here," BAR (9 August 1984); "Carding Practices Challenged," BWMT/SFBA Newsletter (Sept 1984). Bars for men were not, unfortunately, the only ones engaged in discriminatory practices. In November 1982 at Ollie's, a popular Oakland lesbian bar, an argument broke out between a black lesbian patron and a white bouncer over a contested ID. The bouncer called the police. One of the African American women recalled, "We decided there was no point in talking anymore and left. The cops were shining their headlights at us as we left. It was frightening." Soon after, a delegation of black lesbians met with the owner, demanding the bouncer's termination, a public apology, hiring more African Americans and putting more black artists on the jukebox. Although the owner capitulated under threat of boycott, she withdrew her agreement soon after. In October 1983, Asian American lesbians protested an "Oriental Night" that the bar sponsored. See Trinity A. Ordona, "Coming Out Together: An Ethnohistory of the Asian and Pacific Islander Queer Women's and Transgendered People's Movement of San Francisco," Ph.D. diss., University of California, Santa Cruz, 2000, 187-188, 203; Maxine Morris, "Incident at Ollie's," Coming Up! (Dec 1982), 9; Letters to the Editor, Coming Up! (Feb 1983), 6; BWMT/SFBA Newsletter (May 1983).

4. Dino Duazo, "Look Back in Homage!" Lavender Godzilla (Apr 1999), 1,5; Quotes from Ordona, "Coming Out Together," 182-183.

5. Jonathan Aronowitz, "Confronting Racism and Sexism," The BWMT Bridge (July/Aug 1990). This protest had followed a similar action in January 1990, when BWMT joined with GLAAD's San Francisco chapter, the local ACT-UP, and the Harvey Milk Democratic Club to successfully wage a "Racism is Anti-Gay" picket of the card shop Does Your Mother Know. The store manager insisted the "humorous" racist greeting cards and other materials, such as "pickaninny" magnets and "sambo" salt and pepper shakers, that he had purchased were top sellers, and refused to remove them. It took only one weekend demonstration of 200 people to prompt the owner's response"”an agreement to never again sell such items and the termination of the manager responsible. See "Victory in the Castro," The BWMT Bridge (Feb 1990); "Racism Is Anti-Gay" flier, African American Ephemera, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Historical Society.

http://www.isbadlandsbad.com/archives/000039.html

SF Calls For Penalties Against Gay Club


by The Associated Press

June 15, 2005 11:00 am ET

(San Francisco, California) The city's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution urging city and state agencies to penalize a gay nightclub that a city commission said discriminated against blacks.

The decision comes a little more than a month after San Francisco's Human Rights Commission found that Les Natali, the owner of a popular gay nightclub called "Badlands," violated local civil rights codes.

"The city has taken a strong stand against discrimination," said John Newsome with And Castro For All, the organization that pursued the case.

In the resolution, the board urged the city attorney, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the San Francisco Entertainment Commission "to impose penalties to the fullest extent of the law to ensure accountability for discrimination."

The Board of Supervisors can take no punitive action against the club.

The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control earlier confirmed an investigation into Badlands. If the club is found to have violated state discrimination laws, officials said penalties could range from a warning to the loss of its liquor license.

Natali's lawyer, Paul Melbostad, called the decision "outrageous" and said And Castro for All is "acting like a vigilante group."

"This is a shameless act by the board and it's legally meaningless," Melbostad said. "All it shows is that the members of the board were afraid that if they didn't vote for the resolution And Castro For All would accuse them of being racist."

The Human Rights Commission found after a 10-month investigation that Badlands required multiple forms of identification from some black customers, used discriminatory hiring practices, applied a dress code only to black patrons and denied entry using other policies rarely applied to whites.

http://www.365gay.com/newscon05/06/061505sfBar.htm
Engaging in 'gay' sex is just a practice people happen to pick up on due to exposure just like any other non heterosexual activity...i.e. bestiality or pedophilia. It has nothing to do with the dynamics of race. But because so many whites practice it they decided to exploit the black civil rights movement to promote its public acceptance. They know most whites would far rather promote the liberation of any form of sexual activity then to focus on equality for the people they've been abusing all these years – and putting their race based social welfare system at risk.

The pro-homo propaganda move served as a convenient diversion from all the murdering, police brutality, housing and job discrimination blacks face that no one wants to do anything about, including the EEOC, Civil Rights and Justice Dept. Therefore, they pretended that those things actually applied more so to people based upon whether they engage in ˜gay' sexuality, which allowed them to place more of the focus on whites. Who certainly win more cases for discrimination claims based upon sexuality and/or sexual harassment then blacks ever have for the non-stop racism which is continuously ignored, encouraged or invalidated by these ˜protective' agencies.
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
shemika, you put homosexuality on the same level with bestiality and pedophilia??


Why not? They actually have groups of them already trying to promote and justify pedophilia and bestiality in the same manner they've already done with homosexuality. It was only a matter of time because that's all it really boils down to, a lack of healthy sexual boundaries. People will try anything if no one is looking and after a while it becomes normalized because people recruit/influence others and it becomes customary.

Did you see Oprah's story about the constant rape of babies in Africa and how frequently children are molested in the US and else where. I don't care how frequently or common these things become, they are STILL unhealthy and inappropriate and no amount of politicizing and propagandizing will sell me on any of it, INCLUDING homosexuality. I respect my womanhood as well as the womanhood of others.
quote:
They actually have groups of them already trying to promote and justify pedophilia and bestiality in the same manner they've already done with homosexuality.


Can you provide a link or a name of one of these groups? I'm aware of NAMBLA, a relatively small group that promotes man/boy pedophilia, but no organization that promotes bestiality.

quote:
People will try anything if no one is looking and after a while it becomes normalized because people recruit/influence others and it becomes customary.


I'm not understanding where you are coming from here. Homosexuality has been present for a very long time. There's evidence of it in many ancient societies and was not always stigmatized. If anything, I would say it's become less normalized than before.

quote:
Did you see Oprah's story about the constant rape of babies in Africa


No, I don't watch Oprah. But it's my understanding that the rape of babies in Africa had to do with the large amount of misinformation surrounding AIDS. People mistakenly believed that sex with a virgin could cure them of the virus.

quote:
and how frequently children are molested in the US and else where.


It is overwhelmingly little girls who are sexually molested (and obviously not by gay men). IMO, one set of people are predators who abuse an unwilling partner (children in the case of pedophiles, animals in the case of bestialists) and the other is comprised of willing adults who share a mutual attraction. Whether or not you agree with what gay people in do in their bedrooms, I don't see how you can lump those groups together.
They're all lumped together because they all have to do with a lack of respect for healthy sexual boundaries.

They are ALL about having SEX. And of course homosexuality is going to spread the most because those practicing it are in constant pursuit of a same sex, human partner. Therefore, the more prevalent the pursuit, the more potential there is to influence more humans. Especially since humans are decision makers who mimic each other. Many of these activities were also supported during the ˜free love' hippie age and on college campuses...look at how these men have anonymously sought each other at public restrooms and rest stops for a casual encounter.

I don't know where you get you stats from, but it appears everyone is able to conjure up some numbers to support their view, so I pay little attention to them. There's no way of knowing the exact numbers of who is doing what sexually. Perhaps at one time girls were being sexually abused the most, but based upon the times I sort of doubt that's the case now.. .but I admittedly don't know...and nor does anyone else. It's not as if people doing these things are going to honestly answer a pole. Males are still far less likely to admit to being molested than females, it's always been a stigma for them to do so.

So WHAT if homosexuality has been around? So has incest, pedophilia, bestiality and every other behavior under the sun. Does that make them healthy or appropriate? NO it does NOT.

A woman can't even be sure a man is what he presents himself to be sexually due to this cultural disrespect for their God given gender identity...the physical and mental health of themselves or anyone else for that matter...All being abandoned for the pursuit of some flash-in-the-pan experience.
Last edited {1}
quote:
They are ALL about having SEX. And of course homosexuality is going to spread the most because those practicing it are in constant pursuit of a same sex, human partner.


Gay people are quite willing and capable of "settling down," but besides that, aren't pedophiles also in constant pursuit of a same sex, human partners (since you seem to believe most pedophiles are men who desire boys.. you stated "Perhaps at one time girls were being sexually abused the most, but based upon the times I sort of doubt that's the case now")?

quote:
Therefore, the more prevalent the pursuit, the more potential there is to influence more humans. Especially since humans are decision makers who mimic each other.


Do you agree that gay people are a minority population in this society? It would seem then that gay people would overwhelming mimic straight people and become straight (since sexuality is a habit that one "picks up") and the number of gay people would steadily decline, not influence more people to adopt it.

quote:
look at how these men have anonymously sought each other at public restrooms and rest stops for a casual encounter.


Look at how heterosexual men line up on street corners for casual sex with prostitutes. Look at how heterosexual females have sex with men they just met at a party/ina bar/etc. Casual or risky sex is not exclusive to gay people.

quote:
So WHAT if homosexuality has been around? So has incest, pedophilia, bestiality and every other behavior under the sun.


I was responding to your statement: "People will try anything if no one is looking and after a while it becomes normalized because people recruit/influence others and it becomes customary."

quote:
A woman can't even be sure a man is what he presents himself to be sexually due to this cultural disrespect for god given gender identity


Confused I don't see where gay people are confused about gender identity. That's transexuals and transvestites. Gay people seem to solidly identify with the gender that corresponds to their physiology and seek out someone who is the same. I think the negative attitude toward gay people, particularly in the Black community, is what creates the situation you mentioned (women not being sure their mate is who he says he is). These men are too embarassed/ashamed to come out of the closet and so they marry women and have children and all the while they are having sex with men behind the family's back on the down low. I would rather support those who are out than encourage anyone to live a lie and put my physical and emotional wellbeing at risk. Being married does nothing to change these men's behavior. They cannot force themselves to be attracted to women any more than you or I could force ourselves to be attracted to the same sex if we sudden woke up one morning and the roles were reversed.
I see you've uttered the same standardized pro-homo drivel everyone else does. Sorry, I don't buy it. I'm not wasting a lot of time disputing such nonsense, it's not a creditable argument at all and you know it. But people will say just about anything when they want to excuse inappropriate behavior. Those men raping those babies know full well it won't cure AIDS, but any excuse will do.

In the case of homosexuality...the wrong, unhealthy, misuse of the human anatomy is equally as inappropriate as molesting a child, incest or bestiality. I'm sure the ones who engage in those acts also have an attraction to it...and if you use your logic I guess that would make those acts ok as well.

According to you, they seek out someone who is the 'same'. That certainly doesn't apply to those innocent children who are molested. And you well know it doesn't apply to homosexuals either. They make advances at whomever they happen to get the hots for, with no regard to whether the other person practices homosexuality or not. They are eager to ˜show' them, and are often so arrogant they attempt to manipulate them with persistent and unwanted advances or deception.

I've seen how aggressive they act and how insulted and angry they become when someone rejects their advances or tells them they're not into that. And men are especially aggressive when it comes to sex, which is what concerns me. That is a sick joke to claim men are too embarrassed to admit they are homosexuals so they marry women. I don't buy that one bit or feel sorry for their selfish asses and that pathetic flash-in-the-pan they trade over their and anybody else they can sway's manhood for...sad. The only gays concerned about their conduct these days are the ones afraid of being locked up for molesting children perhaps. All they care about is their own ass ...that's all ANY sex fiend cares about...Gay, straight, bi, all of the above, or whatever they chose the label themselves.
quote:
I'm sure the ones who engage in those acts also have an attraction to it...and if you use your logic I guess that would make those acts ok as well.


That is not my logic at all. As I said before: "IMO, one set of people are predators who abuse an unwilling partner (children in the case of pedophiles, animals in the case of bestialists) and the other is comprised of willing adults who share a mutual attraction. Whether or not you agree with what gay people in do in their bedrooms, I don't see how you can lump those groups together.

quote:
According to you, they seek out someone who is the 'same'. That certainly doesn't apply to those innocent children who are molested. And you well know it doesn't apply to homosexuals either.


YOU are the only one who insists on lumping together child molestors and gay people!

quote:
They make advances at whomever they happen to get the hots for, with no regard to whether the other person practices homosexuality or not. They are eager to ˜show' them, and are often so arrogant they attempt to manipulate them with persistent and unwanted advances or deception... I don't buy that one bit or feel sorry for their selfish asses and that pathetic flash-in-the-pan they trade over their and anybody else they can sway's manhood for


No straight man can be manipulated or swayed into having sex with another man. A straight man is not going to wither up and die if he's hit on by a gay man, even an aggressive gay man. Do you have such contempt for straight men who aggressively hit on women who are plainly not interested in them? You keep subscribing all these negative attributes exclusively to gay men and don't seem to recognize that straight men do the same things in pursuit of sex or relationships.
"(San Francisco, California) The city's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution urging city and state agencies to penalize a gay nightclub that a city commission said discriminated against blacks."

What has become of the Black community, in that so many Black people would be so upset that they are being turned away from a Caucasian owned gay club.

The ACLU, and Caucasian trial lawyers, are again using Black people, namely Black people who are allowing themselves to be used, to make a financial killing, for an issue that is of no benefit to the Black community.

This issue should be trashed, period, period, period.

Heck San Fransisco, and Massachussetts, are about the only areas where gay marriage is being legalized by the court system.
you need to quit thinking so small....black people are individuals and just because their issues don't pertain to you do not mean that they are not important to others.....hell, tehey might think you are talking a bunch of bullschit about child custody and social workers and just say if your parents were worth a damn you wouldn't have had the experiences you have.....but that is important to you...to the point you bitch and moan about it daily...I could give a damn less about gay rights....but I will not dismiss someone else's issue as not important just because it is not important to me.....and to be honest, black people like yourself need to get off of crying about your community and work to prepare your young more for a global world....you rail on affirmative action that allows black people entry into various fields and colleges so they can WORK for their success....but you bitch and moan because some rich black like MJ does not spend enough of HIS money by your standards....not if that is not a welfare mentality what is?
"you need to quit thinking so small....black people are individuals and just because their issues don't pertain to you do not mean that they are not important to others.....hell, tehey might think you are talking a bunch of bullschit about child custody and social workers and just say if your parents were worth a damn you wouldn't have had the experiences you have.....but that is important to you...to the point you bitch and moan about it daily...I could give a damn less about gay rights....but I will not dismiss someone else's issue as not important just because it is not important to me.....and to be honest, black people like yourself need to get off of crying about your community and work to prepare your young more for a global world....you rail on affirmative action that allows black people entry into various fields and colleges so they can WORK for their success....but you bitch and moan because some rich black like MJ does not spend enough of HIS money by your standards....not if that is not a welfare mentality what is?" by the dynamic pompous professor

...in this case thinking small, or "just saying no" would be my trump playing card. I definitely do not want to think big,....big in the way of joining the ranks of any pervert movement, that will cut my lifespan short!

In this case, thinking big won't benefit me! Yep, the perverts of San Francisco, Massachussetts, and the Black perverts begging to get in, can hang tough together, perhaps catch Aids/HIV together, and inevitably perish together.

......just don't send any of them my direction!


Sincerely,

Michael Lofton
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yep.....make fun of people's misfortune....but when you faced a challenge in life....it left you bitter and bitching about someone else's shortcomings when your problems could have been caused by you and yours...I see why things work the way for you that they do....you are too filled with hate and lack compassion....so life itself is teaching you a lesson.....stop and look at who you have become........
"yep.....make fun of people's misfortune....but when you faced a challenge in life....it left you bitter and bitching about someone else's shortcomings when your problems could have been caused by you and yours...I see why things work the way for you that they do....you are too filled with hate and lack compassion....so life itself is teaching you a lesson.....stop and look at who you have become........by Kevin41

......it is not like these individuals didn't have a choice. They brought the misfortune on themselves all by themselves, because it is common knowledge that homosexuality promotes HIV/Aids.

....now if a university professor, in a Kevin41, chooses to promote perversion in homosexuality, that is on you. Just don't expect the heterosexuals to condone this activity, because you do!

...and as for the reality of my family, I'm not about to place any of it on this perverted thread and topic. I want to keep this B.S. topic as far away from any information I have posted regarding my family as humanly possible.

....now you and ricardomath, can have a one on one discussion on homosexuals, marriage of homosexuals in San Francisco, the Constitutionality of gay rights, etc., etc.
nope...I do not promote anything Lofton...I just do not force my values on others.....you are so stupid to say such a thing....and as usual you cannot find anything in here where I promoted homosexuality, religion or anything else.....I just have compassion for people who make mistakes......regardless of whether I agree with them or not.....i do not celebrate the misfortunes of others....and that is why my life has been great without problems....you on the other hand have had many problems......and your personality will lend itself to causing you more down the line.....what you said is downright low...so if you find it in yourself to spite people who have a deadly disease........you should understand why your life has had the obstacles it has...and why you have the anger you do.....because you are a vile, lowlife specimen of a human being...plain and simple......
well Lofton.....so now I'm a homosexual huh? Why have you reduced yourself to name calling when your thing is calling others vulgar and profane and schit like that...I am more of a man than you will ever be......because I did not grow up and only move 2 blocks from my parents because i needed them everyday like an infant.....and I do not whine and cry to the public about my personal hangups like a little bitch.......but that is okay......I guess you ran out of things to say....so you called the pompous one names......thats kool because i am real thick skinned....I don't have any bitch in me that I know of.....despite the labeling you gave me...... Razz
naw...you not a man...you are child....you call names and are always afraid to stand up for what you believe what was done to you.....and you are eve afraid to committ to what you say...you'd rather take a more comfortable passive route in matters, such as avoidance, deflection or diversion.....stand up and get some balls...learn to fight and stay in the trenches...don't always tuck your tail and run......that is not manly at all........
"Hey, Lofton

What's with all this gay bashing?

That's not your style.

Are you trying to branch out?" by ricardomath

.....nope I'm not into gay bashing. Homosexuality is not high on any list of concerns that I would have any interest in. That is unless, homosexuality arrives at my doorstep, then I would have to send the individual or group of individuals packing, just as quickly as they arrived.

Homosexuality, and promoting causes for illegal or undocumented immigrants must be very important to you, because after all, you, more so than I, have chosen this as the topic of discussion, or lean to promoting or supporting causes for illegal immigration, undocumented immigration and gay rights!

Sincerely,

Michael Lofton
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Owner accused of racism shuts down black gay bar


Christopher Curtis, PlanetOut Network
Friday, July 22, 2005


Community activists in San Francisco say their fears were realized Wednesday when a bar owner accused of racism closed down the city's only gay bar catering to a predominately black customer base.

Les Natali, the owner of the Pendulum, has faced two investigations for another bar he owns, SF Badlands.

In April, San Francisco's Human Rights Commission ruled that Natali enforced a stricter dress code on African Americans, demanded multiple forms of I.D. from them, and discouraged them from entering his bar.

In June, San Francisco's board of supervisors unanimously passed a resolution urging city and state agencies to take action against Natali.

But a year-long undercover investigation by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) stated on July 14 that it found no signs of discrimination.

ABC launched its investigation after Natali applied for a liquor license for the Pendulum.

The organization leading the protests, And Castro For All (AC4A), warned California regulators that if Natali obtained the liquor license, something bad would happen to the bar.

"This is definitely a case of the chickens coming home to roost," Don Romesburg, a AC4A spokesperson, told the PlanetOut Network. "It seems with the ABC ruling, Natali is above the law. And without any penalties for his civil rights violations, he can act with impunity."

On Thursday night, AC4A held a demonstration outside Badlands and the Pendulum. "He fired the employees without notice, severance, and without any hope," said demonstrator Calvin Tipston to KRON-4 TV. "That's wrong."

But Berin Nakamura, the Pendulum's general manager, told the PlanetOut Network that employees knew the bar was closing for remodeling and were offered a very generous severance package.

"I believe there are some people who feel they were discriminated against," said Nakamura. "Natali's business had made so much money catering to young professional white males that he didn't needed to extend himself to minorities, but I don't think he's a racist at all."

Natali's attorney, Stephen Goldstein, made the case to KRON-TV to put the matter to rest. "I think the findings of the (California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control) completely exonerate Mr. Natali."

http://www.gay.com/news/article.html?2005/07/22/3
NO ESCAPE - Male Rape In U.S. Prisons

PRISONERS VOICES

"” R.G., Delaware, 9/6/96
When a man gets raped nobody gives a damn. Even the officers laugh about it. I bet he's going to be walking with a limp ha ha ha. I've heard them.

"” J.G., Minnesota, 9/7/96
Most often the victom who reports a rape is again victomized by officials who write this inmate victom a disciplinary report of propaganda; officials do this in order to avoid law suits resulting from the rapes.

"” E.R., Iowa, 9/9/96
When a man finally gets his victim, he protects him from everyone else, buys him anything, the victim washes his clothes, his cell, etc. In return, the entire prison knows that this guy has a "BITCH" or "girl." This gives power to the aggressors ego. In here, the egos multiply a lot more than in society.
Now I've seen this happen many many times. The response from the guards is "the strong survive," "who cares," or they join in on the teasing, tourmenting, etc.
"” R.L., New York, 9/9/96

A lot of guys don't say enything about what happens to them, because they got to live there. What if they told, what could happen to them . . . I know you think they should tell what happens to them. But until you put yourself in there shoes you don't know what you do. Some prisons are hard. Fights, killings, ect. everyday. One thing guys don't like is guys who tell on others. What are your chances if you told on someone?
"” M.F., Ohio, 9/6/96

I'm in protective custody have been since Feb of 95. My rape is known thru out the system as everyone know the person who did it likes to brag so its unsafe for me to be in population as now I'm a snitch, homo and my safety would be in jeopardy.
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
No straight man can be manipulated or swayed into having sex with another man. A straight man is not going to wither up and die if he's hit on by a gay man, even an aggressive gay man. Do you have such contempt for straight men who aggressively hit on women who are plainly not interested in them? You keep subscribing all these negative attributes exclusively to gay men and don't seem to recognize that straight men do the same things in pursuit of sex or relationships.


Being hit on by a member of the opposite sex is a complement, but being hit on by a nagging persistent homo is an insult. And most members of the opposite sex don't get insulted, accuse you of discrimination, and try to assault people because they don't want to have sex with them. Also, there aren't whole warehouses of women being sexually assaulted by members of the opposite sex that can't file charges against them. Men in prison are routinely sodomized and robbed of their manhood against their will and NOTHING is done about it.
shemika, I suspect that you don't really care about the plight of straight and gay men and women raped in prison, but I'll post this anyway, just in case.

I actually worked with a group that was trying to bring attention to the issue of prison rape and prison reform. The group was started by an undercover journalist who was gang-raped in prison and contracted AIDS. I've read and heard first-hand countless stories of what goes on behind bars. The issue of prison rape has very little to do with gay men aggresively pursuing straight men for sexual pleasure. Rape is always a crime of power, especially in the prison system. There are some things you should understand about prison rape before you try to categorize it as something gay men do to strip straight men of their manhood:

1. First, very few men who practice gay sex in prison are actually gay. Once they are released, they return to sleeping with women. They sleep with other men out of lonliness and isolation from the opposite sex (There are a variety of positions and techniques men in prison use to make their bodies seem more woman-like during sex so that their partner can imagine he is sleeping with a woman. This is also why transgendered or transvestite men are usually kept segregated; their feminine appearance is very arousing to a man who may never have contact with a woman ever again. When they are not kept segregated, they can sometimes live quite a comfortable life behind bars, receiving gifts and favors from men hoping to win their affections/companionship), as a bargaining tool (Certain sexual acts are pleasurable no matter who you are receiving them from. It is the body's natural response to orgasm when aroused to a certain level. This can be used to gain favors/protection in prison from other prisoners and guards), or as a means of abuse (there is no more dehumanizing experience on the planet than being raped). It's not so simplistic as "He's so hot, I'm going to rape him!" It is not at all uncommon for men who have slept with each other in prison to maintain contact on the outside and introduce each other to their respective families and never sleep with a man ever again. The dynamics of prison lend themselves to that kind of relationship.

2. Second, prison guards use rape as a means of controlling prisoners. Anyone who is discovered raping another man is classified as an "Aggressive Homosexual" and often times segregated from the general prison population. When guards wish to punish certain prisoners, they will put them in this segregated population of rapists to be taught a lesson. The same way that you have "brown nosers" in real life who will do anything to curry favor with those in charge is the same way that you have prisoners who will agree to "teach these lessons" in exchange for the mundane things that are luxuries in prison (extra phone time, candy, passing a message, etc). Prison guards will often advise a new prisoner to pair up with a particular older prisoner who has lost his partner in order to receive protection. These officers feel they are doing prisoners a genuine favor because they know that they cannot protect each and every prisoner 24/7.

3. Third, there are indeed "warehouses" of women being sexually assaulted by the opposite sex that can't file charges. They're called "Women's Prisons." Women in prison are frequently raped by not only other female prisoners, but also by male and female guards. Prisoners are treated as less than human. Guards are placed in a position of power over them and they must submit to receive even the most basic of things. Anything they have, is for the taking by those in power.
bs Oh pleaze Frenchy, I'm not entertaining your romanticized definition of what it means to be 'Gay'. Being homosexual merely means willfully engaging in homosexual sex....Which is why men who pick up the practice in prison often continue to practice it once they get out....Often pursuing children and anyone else venerable enough not to be able to defend them selves. You sound the same way the raped men described the prison staff, who stereotyped them as being the gay ones just because they were raped and the rapist were not accused of being gay – obviously intended to portray homosexuals as helpless victims when in fact they are often the aggressors who end up bullying and breaking to will of others. Who may gradually adapt and become the same. And I would certainly take the word of the prisoners themselves over yours. Your observations are ludicrous and typical mainstream propaganda I won't swallow. And women in prison are also assaulted by other women as well. Women who practice this conduct often become as aggressive toward each other and as insensitive as the worst males they love to complain about. If you buy into such hog wash you are the one who doesn't care but simply makes excuses for aggressive self serving homosexuals.

giveup Well, I obviously care enough about the plight of HUMANS not to reduce them to convenient labels in order to propagandize unhealthy conduct. It's the sexual conduct being defended here, not the people behind it. None of you could care less about the people involved at all, all that matters is your siding with anyone waving an 'I'm a homosexual' flag.
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October 16, 2004 - The New York Times

Ex-Inmate's Suit Offers View Into Sexual Slavery in Prisons


By Adam Liptak, NY Times

http://www.prisonactivist.org/

AUSTIN, Tex., Oct. 12 -
The inmates at the Allred Unit, a tough Texas prison, mostly go by names like Monster, Diablo and Animal. They gave Roderick Johnson, a black gay man with a gentle manner, a different sort of name when he arrived there in September 2000. They called him Coco.

Under the protocols of the prison gangs at Allred, gay prisoners must take women's names. Then they are assigned to one of the gangs.

"I was forced into oral sex and anal sex on a daily basis," Roderick Johnson says. "Not for a month or two. For, like, 18 months."

"The Crips already had a homosexual that was with them," Mr. Johnson explained. "The Gangster Disciples, from what I understand, hadn't had a homosexual under them in a while. So that's why I was automatically, like, given to them."

According to court papers and his own detailed account, the Gangster Disciples and then other gangs treated Mr. Johnson as a sex slave. They bought and sold him, and they rented him out. Some sex acts cost $5, others $10.

Last month, a federal appeals court allowed a civil rights lawsuit that Mr. Johnson has filed against prison officials to go to trial. The ruling, the first to acknowledge the equal protection rights of homosexuals abused in prison, said the evidence in the case was "horrific."

"I was forced into oral sex and anal sex on a daily basis," said Mr. Johnson, who has been living in a boarding house here since his release in December. "Not for a month or two. For, like, 18 months."

The phenomenon of sexual slavery in prison has only recently emerged from the shadows. Prison rape, in general, has received sporadic notice over the years and sustained attention more recently, with the passage last year of a federal law that aims to eliminate it. But there has never been a comprehensive study of incarcerated gay men subjected to sexual abuse.

Discussing any form of prison rape is difficult. It makes many people uncomfortable. Some find it amusing.

"It has been the subject of mockery and almost sadistic glee," said Margaret Winter, associate director of the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. "But Roderick is a human being who doesn't deserve this, not in a civilized society."

The civil liberties union represents Mr. Johnson in his lawsuit, which will go to trial next summer.

Sipping a beer in the courtyard of a hotel this week, Mr. Johnson displayed the affable good nature of the restaurant manager and car salesman he used to be. He is a compact, trim man - 5 feet, 9 inches, 170 pounds - who dresses neatly, talks easily and has bright, expressive eyes.

"I'm the first person in my family to get a taste of prison," he said, with more than a little shame. His crimes were relatively minor and all nonviolent - burglary, a bad check, cocaine possession - but they were enough to send him to Allred, a maximum security prison 250 miles north of here, on the Oklahoma border. According to state prison records, Allred ranked second among the more than 70 Texas prisons in the number of sexual assaults in the two years ending in August 2003. It reported 50 out of 635, with the Telford unit in Bowie County first, with 59.

Mr. Johnson's suit says he begged prison officials to move him to a unit called safekeeping, where white and Hispanic homosexuals, former gang members and convicted police officers lived. He asked seven times, in writing.

The officials did nothing, saying Mr. Johnson's claims could not be corroborated. At prison hearings, Mr. Johnson said, officials would take pleasure in his plight. They suggested that he was enjoying the rapes, he said.

Mr. Johnson said they told him he had two choices. One was to fight. The other was to engage in sex. The officials deny they mishandled the complaints and the ugly comments attributed to them.

Carl Reynolds, the general counsel of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which runs the Texas prisons, said Mr. Johnson's complaints were properly handled.

"These allegations were investigated by the internal affairs branch of our agency," he said. "There seems to have been a lot of doubt about his motives and his ability to present evidence."

He added that the problem of prison rape was real and that Texas was committed to solving it. The new federal law, the Prison Rape Elimination Act, says that, by a conservative estimate, 13 percent of inmates in the United States are sexually assaulted in prison. The law calls for research into the problem by the Justice Department, which will recommend policy changes based on the studies.

A 2001 Human Rights Watch report on prison rape touched on the subject of sexual slavery.

"Six Texas inmates, separately and independently, gave Human Rights Watch firsthand accounts of being forced into this type of sexual slavery, having been 'sold' or 'rented' out to other inmates," the report said. Those inmates, and other Texas prisoners, told the group that sexual slavery "is commonplace in the system's most dangerous prison units." The group said it also "collected personal testimonies form inmates in Illinois, Michigan, California and Arkansas who have survived situations of sexual slavery."

State prison systems elsewhere in the country told Human Rights Watch that prison rapes were relatively rare. Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin reported fewer than 10 cases annually. Arizona, New York and North Carolina reported 10 to 50.

Mr. Johnson filed his lawsuit in Federal District Court in Wichita Falls, Tex., in April 2002, seeking protection and monetary damages. His claims were spelled out in legal papers, 300 pages of sworn testimony and a series of interviews.

Early in Mr. Johnson's time at Allred, a member of the Gangster Disciples claimed Mr. Johnson as a sort of wife. The gang member forced Mr. Johnson to make his bed, clean his cell and cook food for him on a hot pot. He also forced Mr. Johnson to have sex with him.

Mr. Johnson was later sold to the Bloods and then to other gangs, he said. Once, a bidding war broke out. He was told he was worth $100 in the open market.

"They would prostitute you out, sell you for $5 or $10 of commissary," he said, referring to credit at the prison store. "Or cigarettes. Or cash money."

Once, Mr. Johnson was raped by eight men, one after the other, he said in the suit. He was raped in cells and stairwells, he said, but the showers were the worst. "It's like throwing a piece of meat to a pack of wolves," he said.

Throughout, he was called Coco. The other prisoners used feminine pronouns - she, her - when they talked about him. "If you are homosexual," Mr. Johnson said, "you are considered a female among these men and you will take on the name of a female. You do not go by the name Roderick because that's considered disrespecting any man that's on the facility."

Gang members humiliated Mr. Johnson and other inmates for sport, in scenes reminiscent of the abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

On March 17, 2002, according to Mr. Johnson's court filings, members of a gang called the Mexican Mafia forced him and a mentally ill man known as Alazar to masturbate each other in the shower. They repeatedly forced Alazar to insert his finger into Mr. Johnson's anus and then to lick his own finger.

Thinking back on his ordeal in prison, Mr. Johnson said: "It broke my spirit. It broke my pride."

He grew up in a large farming family in Marshall, in northeast Texas. His cousin, Sharon Bailey, recalled, "We all went to church together, with my mother driving me, Roderick and his sister to Sunday school each week."

He joined the Navy at 17, visiting Thailand, Singapore and Japan on the U.S.S. Alamo. His troubles started after he was discharged, he said, when he burglarized a neighbor's house in Marshall in 1992. He had fallen under the sway of a boyfriend who ran with a bad crowd, he said.

The crime earned him a 90-day sentence and 10 years of probation. After serving his sentence, he went on to hold a series of decent jobs, but drug use and the resulting probation violations put him back in prison.

A Texas prison, he said, is no place for a gay man.

"You've got rednecks here in Texas who run these prison systems," Mr. Johnson said. "A black man suffering, especially a gay black man suffering, is right up their alley."

At a deposition in 2002, a lawyer for the prison officials, Deven Desai, questioned Mr. Johnson's religious faith, an issue with no obvious connection to legal claims in the suit.

"How do you as a Christian man balance your homosexuality with your Christianity?" Mr. Desai asked.

"I really don't feel that I'm any different from anyone else who serves God," Mr. Johnson answered.

The doctors say he has post-traumatic stress disorder, and he receives disability payments from Social Security. He shares a room in a private boarding house for former prisoners, hard by the highway.

He takes antidepressants and goes to counseling to get through the days. The nights, he said, are harder. "I'm trying to keep my sanity," he said.

http://www.prisonactivist.org/pipermail/prisonact-list/...-October/009454.html

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