April 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm EST | by Staff reports
National news in brief: April 15

The Lakers' Kobe Bryant on the court. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia)

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant calls referee ‘faggot’

LOS ANGELES — After receiving a technical foul during a basketball game this week, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant stormed back to the bench and appeared to call referee Bennie Adams a “fucking faggot,” ESPN reported. Bryant’s reaction was caught on camera on TNT’s national telecast of the key Western Conference battle with the San Antonio Spurs. He hit his seat before sitting down, threw a towel and then yelled, “Bennie,” toward the court. Bryant then leaned back and muttered what appeared to be an anti-gay slur. TNT announcer Steve Kerr picked up on Bryant’s outburst and said: “You might wanna take the cameras off of him right now, for the children watching from home.” “The video from Tuesday’s game is under review by the NBA,” league spokesman Tim Frank said to ESPNLosAngeles.com via e-mail. Bryant was not initially available for comment. “We haven’t seen the video, so it would be inappropriate for us to comment on it,” a Lakers spokesperson told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Wednesday.

Anti-gay UNC hate crime was faked: officials

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A gay student who claimed he was attacked and branded in a hate crime wasn’t telling the truth, officials with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said Tuesday according to a report from WRAL, a regional news affiliate in the state. Chancellor Holden Thorp said freshman Quinn Matney, who told authorities he was branded with a searing hot object because of his sexual orientation, filed a false police report, according to CBS affiliate WRAL. “The alleged aggravated assault reported to campus last night (Monday) did not occur,” Thorp said in a statement. Matney, who is gay, told authorities that on April 5, a man walked up to him near a foot bridge on campus, called him a derogatory name, told him “here is a taste of hell,” and held a heated object to his skin for several seconds, leaving third- and fourth-degree burns. Randy Young, a spokesman for UNC’s public safety department, said charges of filing a false police report are likely against Matney. University officials initially called the assault a hate crime and pledged to “bring the strongest possible charges against the attacker.

Demographer: U.S. has 4 million gay adults

SAN FRANCISCO — How many gay men and lesbians are there in the United States? Gary Gates has an idea but acknowledges pinpointing a solid figure remains an elusive task, the Associated Press reported this week. Gates is demographer-in-residence at the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, a think tank based at the University of California, Los Angeles. For the institute’s 10th anniversary this week, he took a scholarly stab at answering the question that has been debated, avoided, parsed and proven both insoluble and political since pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey said in the 1940s that 10 percent of the men he surveyed were “predominantly homosexual.” Gates’ best estimate, derived from five studies that have asked subjects about their sexual orientation, is that the nation has about 4 million adults who identify as being gay or lesbian, representing 1.7 percent of the 18-and-over population. That’s a much lower figure than the 3 to 5 percent that has been the conventional wisdom in the past two decades, based on other isolated studies and attempts to discredit Kinsey. One reason, according to Gates, is that until recently, few surveys tried to differentiate respondents who identified as gay or lesbian from those who sometimes engaged in homosexual acts or were attracted to people of the same sex. All were lumped into the gay category, the AP reported. Gates found, for example, that another 1.8 percent of the adult population, or a little more than 4 million Americans, identifies as bisexual, according to his research brief published Thursday by the Williams Institute. He also estimated that 19 million people, or 8.2 percent of the population, have engaged in sex with a partner of the same sex. That includes all groups, such as gays, bisexuals and heterosexuals who have experimented with same-sex behavior. Another two studies, conducted by state agencies in California and Massachusetts, yielded what Gates thinks is the first credible estimate of the nation’s transgender population. He puts it at about 700,000 adults, or 0.3 percent of the population.

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