– New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took a swipe at Rand Paul and other libertarian-leaning politicians last Thursday, saying that “this strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines…is a very dangerous thought.”
– Speaking at a gay rights event in Cape Town, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said that he would refuse to worship a homophobic God. I think this merits a slow clap.
– The Russian government has assured the International Olympic Committee that its controversial new “homosexual propaganda” law will not be enforced against foreigners attending or competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The law, which effectively criminalizes most GLBT activism in the country, has sparked a backlash among gay rights activists, with gay writer Dan Savage calling for a boycott of Russian vodka.
– Speaking of Russia, politicians in the country plan on amending an Internet censorship law in order to ban the use of “foul” language on social networking sites and Internet forums. (The original law “on the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development” came into effect last September and introduced a list of banned websites.)
– Undercover police officers in Baton Rouge, La., are soliciting gay men for sex and then arresting them for attempted sodomy–despite the fact that sodomy laws were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 (none of the men have been prosecuted so far). The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office says that it will continue to enforce the sodomy law as long as it remains on the books. Goddammit.
– Five of the most extreme anti-abortion lawmakers in the U.S. (Interestingly, three of the five are women.)
– Pat Robertson on transgender individuals: “I think there are men who are in a woman’s body. It’s very rare. But it’s true — or women that are in men’s bodies — and that they want a sex change…I don’t think there’s any sin associated with that. I don’t condemn somebody for doing that.”
– And finally, U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning has been convicted of 20 charges, including espionage and computer fraud, for leaking classified U.S. military documents to the WikiLeaks organization. (Manning was acquitted of the most serious charge–aiding the enemy.) The 25-year-old private faces a maximum sentence of up to 136 years in prison.