February 17, 2011 at 4:53 pm EST | by Staff reports
National news briefs: Feb. 18

Calif. man busted for drugs on gay cruise

ORLANDO, Fla. — A gay California man was arrested in the U.S. Virgin Islands on suspicion of selling drugs to fellow passengers on a Caribbean cruise, officials said last week according to a report in Watermark, a Florida-based gay news outlet. Steven Barry Krumholz, 51, of West Hollywood, was arrested on board the Allure of the Seas in St. Thomas, said Jeffrey Quinones, a spokesman in Puerto Rico for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The ship had just come from the Bahamas on a charter billed as the “world’s largest gay cruise.” Customs and Border Protection agents boarded the ship Wednesday and found drugs on another passenger, who said he had placed an order with Krumholz before the trip and picked them up while on board, according to an affidavit submitted by one of the investigating agents. Agents searched Krumholz’s cabin and allegedly found more than 142 ecstasy pills, nearly 3 grams of methamphetamine, a small quantity of ketamine and about $51,000 in cash, the agent said.

Gay porn studio plans crackdown on theft

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Gay porn studio and distributor Corbin Fisher is ready to crack down on possibly tens of thousands of gay porn thieves, according to a report from South Florida Gay News. Marc Randazza, counsel for the company, said it’s taking a huge hit from online content theft. Corbin has 40,000 IP addresses of users who have illegally downloaded the studio’s material. Recently the company offered an amnesty deal for users that would exempt them from any lawsuits brought forth by the company. The deal consisted of a one-time fee of $1,000 and as a bonus they received a one-year subscription to their website. Only 20 people came forward to accept. That amnesty deal has ended. Now Randazza says he is willing to offer a second amnesty deal to SFGN readers for a one-time payment of $1,900. Those that come forward this time though will not receive a one-year subscription to their website. Randazza said the company recently won a lawsuit against an illegal downloader that resulted in a $250,000 judgment in their favor, the Gay News reported.

New York man sentenced in anti-gay crime

MANHATTAN — A Queens man pleaded guilty this week to punching the bartender at a gay bar in the West Village while spouting an anti-gay and racist rant. He is expected to serve prison time, according to DNA Info, a New York-based news service. Frederic Guinta, 25, was charged with attacking bartender Greg Davis, 38, at Julius Bar on West 10th Street on Oct. 11. Earlier that day, Guinta also tried to steal a patron’s wallet at Ty’s bar at 114 Christopher St., he admitted Tuesday.

Ind. House votes to ban same-sex marriage

INDIANAPOLIS —  A constitutional ban on same-sex unions passed the Indiana House, 70-26, this week in a major step toward writing the ban into the state’s founding document, the Indianapolis Star and many other media outlets reported Tuesday. The measure has passed the Senate several times in recent years but has died repeatedly in the House, which until this year was controlled by Democrats. A constitutional amendment must be approved by two separately elected legislatures in succession and then by voters, so it would take at least three years for the measure to be included in the constitution. The Senate approved a constitutional same-sex marriage ban in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010. The entire legislature approved a constitutional amendment once, in 2005, when Republicans also controlled the House.

Washington State introduces marriage bill

NEW YORK — Washington State Sen. Ed Murray and Rep. Jim Moeller introduced legislation Monday that would grant same-sex couples there the right to marry, several other media outlets reported this week. The bill is seen as having a good chance of passing but it’s likely Washington residents will also get to weigh in. Washington is the only state that won an expansion of gay rights at the ballot box when Referendum 71 passed by 53 percent in 2009.

Hawaii House approves couples bill

HONOLULU — The Hawaii State House passed a bill last week 31-19 that provides equal rights and responsibilities of married couples there to non-married couples, including same-sex partners. After minor changes were made in the House, the bill now heads to back to the Senate for agreement on the amendments before heading to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature. The bill is nearly identical to a civil unions bill passed last year but was vetoed by the former governor.

Pro-gay minister acquitted by church court

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The highest court in the Presbyterian Church (USA) last week acquitted a minister who officiated for the wedding of a same-sex couple. The General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission said Rev. Jean Southard did not violate the denomination’s “Book of Order” but also said the church still interprets its policies to mean a “same-sex ceremony can never be a marriage.” She was found innocent by a lower court, a ruling that was reversed on the Synod level, before last week’s acquittal. Southard, who’s straight, married a lesbian couple in Massachusetts in 2008.

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