During Holy Week 2021, the New York Times broke the story that GOP firebrand Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was under federal investigation for possible sex trafficking of a minor and related offenses. Begun by the William Barr Justice Department, the investigation has been ongoing for more than a year, with the FBI characterizing Gaetz as a “subject”, not a “target.” Gaetz stands accused of multiple incidents involving exchange of cash or goods for sex, but so far only one allegation of underage trafficking; if proved, Gaetz faces up to life in prison. Gaetz’ response to the story being made public has been a staunch denial, and a rather tortured quasi-justification alleging a complicated and improbable blackmail and extortion scenario at the root of the investigation.
Tag archive: Eros
In a surprise 6-3 decision June 15th, the United States Supreme Court ruled that gays and transgendered individuals are in fact protected by Title VII of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, which already prohibits discrimination in the workplace on sexual grounds. Conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the bloc of four liberals in essentially grandfathering in sexual orientation and gender identification to the nearly sixty-year-old law. Well, duh.
The senior Justice in the majority determines who will write the decision, and John Roberts wasted no time in passing this hot potato along to junior Justice Gorsuch, perhaps the unkindest cut of all for conservatives, who have put up with all manner of crudity, ignorance, and anti-Christian-values shenanigans from Donald Trump, all in the name of the justices he would appoint to the Supreme Court, whom they assumed would rule in support of their views. As historian Jon Meacham recently opined, “they sold their souls to Trump for the Supreme Court, and now find that his check has bounced.”
On Saturday, July 6th, 2019, as he was returning from Europe, billionaire investor and repeat child molester Jeffrey Epstein was again arrested on charges of sex trafficking minors. Epstein’s prior arrest on similar charges in 2005 had led to a controversial non-prosecution agreement with federal attorneys in Florida, resulting in a light 13-month jail sentence, for which he received a twelve-hour work-release six days a week. After his arrest at Teterboro Airport investigators found a cache of thousands of photos of nude young girls on CDs in his home.
Epstein is accused of trafficking dozens, perhaps hundreds, of underage girls, some as young as 14, who were paid initially for massage, then sex acts, and used to recruit others. The alleged crimes were committed both at Epstein’s Pam Beach, Florida estate and his Manhattan home. In 2008 Epstein pled guilty to lesser state prostitution charges after secret meetings with then US Attorney Alexander Acosta, currently serving as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Labor.
On Palm Sunday 2019 South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg became the first openly gay candidate for the Democratic nomination for US President, in a speech before more than 6,000 supporters. Known affectionately as “Mayor Pete”, Buttigieg had been turning heads with a $7 million haul for his campaign in the first quarter of 2019, even before making his candidacy official. Third place showings in recent polls of Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as several attention-grabbing interviews and speeches, mark him as a potential force to be reckoned with in the Democratic Primary contests.
RuPaul is quite possibly the world’s most famous drag queen, an entrepreneurial pioneer who seemed almost single-handedly to have brought drag culture into the American mainstream. An overnight sensation several decades in the making, RuPaul is an accomplished performer, actor and recording artist, host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, a drag competition show on VH1, now in its tenth year, which has won three Primetime Emmys. Acknowledged as the most commercially successful drag queen in history, in 2017 RuPaul was included in Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Jussie Smollett is a biracial actor and singer, who came to national attention in the hit Fox drama “Empire”, where he portrays a gay black man caught up in the backstage machinations of the music industry. Smollett is himself gay, and very publically so, coming out on Ellen DeGeneres’ show in 2015. He began his acting career as a child, in such films as “The Mighty Ducks” and “North”, before moving into commercials and guest spots, then returning to a lead role in 2015 with “Empire”. Smollett’s portrayal has received international acclaim as “groundbreaking” for gays of color.
On January 29, 2019, Smollett filed a report with the Chicago Police Department alleging he had been attacked and brutalized by two white men in the street, who hurled fists and both racial and sexual epithets at him, including putting a rope around his neck. According to Smollett, the attackers yelled “This is MAGA country!” as they assaulted him, an apparent reference to Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign theme. Smollett claims he fought them off, and was released from the hospital the next morning with only superficial injuries.