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The father of one of the victims has finally been charged in the murder of a Houston lesbian couple committed last year.
James Cosby was indicted on capital murder charges Tuesday in the deaths of his daughter, Britney Cosby, and her girlfriend, Crystal Jackson, who were both 24. James Cosby has been in jail on a charge of tampering with evidence since shortly after the murders.
The bodies of Cosby and Jackson were found near a Dumpster outside a convenience store in Galveston County in March 2014. Autopsy results showed Cosby died from blunt force trauma to the head, and Jackson — who had a 5-year-old daughter — died from a gunshot wound.
From KHOU-TV's report on James Cosby's indictment:
Investigators later found a lot of blood at Cosby's Houston home.
According to court documents, they searched Cosby s bedroom and found large areas of blood on surfaces throughout.
A criminal complaint filed in court says detectives also noticed a missing window shutter on Cosby s home. They found a shutter matching the missing one covered in blood near where the victim s bodies were found. Detectives say Cosby's thumb print was on the shutter.
Following James Cosby's arrest, Britney Cosby's mother told KHOU that he "didn't like the idea of her being gay." Cosby's mother also told the The Houston Chronicle: “He would throw it in her face,” adding that her daughter quoted James Cosby as saying, “Don’t throw that gay (expletive) around in this house.”
In addition, Houston civil rights activist Quanell X, who was advising the family in the wake of the murder, told Fox 26 he “found writings about homosexuality on Cosby’s Koran indicating he may have had an issue with his daughter’s sexual orientation."
James Cosby had been released from prison in October 2013, where he served time for failing to register as a sex offender after being convicted two decades before of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman.
This week's TowleREAD comes from author Wayne Hoffman from his new novel An Older Man, a follow-up to his debut novel Hard.
Hoffman spoke with Towleroad about the excerpt he selected to read:
Moe Pearlman was the main character in my debut novel, Hard, where he was a horny, daddy-chasing, twenty-something cub in late ’90s New York City, fighting for sexual freedom in the midst of a crackdown on adult businesses and the ongoing AIDS crisis.
In my new novel, An Older Man (Bear Bones Books), Moe is back, but now he’s over forty, overweight, and going gray. For someone used to being the adorable younger guy chasing after older men, that’s not particularly easy. But Moe’s whole conception of himself is challenged when he spends Bear Week in Provincetown.
Still singular in his focus and sexual appetites, Moe hopes he’ll find a hot older guy — at tea dance, walking down Commercial Street, or cruising the Dick Dock — and have an intense summer fling. But things aren't going exactly as planned. Joining him on vacation is Moe’s ex-lover Gene and Gene’s new boyfriend Carlos, so Moe has no reason to feel lonely, but when the older objects of Moe’s affection start looking right past him in favor of younger rivals, Moe is shaken to the core. One thing is certain: When Moe gets on the ferry to go home after a week in Provincetown, he won't be the same man he was when he arrived.
In this excerpt from the first chapter, Moe has just arrived in Provincetown, and he’s headed to the Dick Dock on a bear hunt.
For those of you who are going to be in Provincetown for Bear Week, Hoffman will be reading from both Hard and An Older Man and signing books at the Marc Jacobs Reading Room at the Provincetown Public Library on Thursday, July 16 at 7 pm.
As part of its sponsorship of TowleREAD, Audible is offering a free download of Hoffman's novel Sweet Like Sugar at Audible.com with a 30-Day Trial membership for Towleroad readers.
Listen, below (warning: graphic):
Wayne Hoffman is the author of three novels: An Older Man, Hard, and Sweet Like Sugar, which won the Stonewall Book Award. His short stories and essays have also appeared in such collections as Best Gay Stories 2010, Mama’s Boy, Fresh Men 2, Boy Meets Boy, and others. A longtime journalist, he has written for the Washington Post, Village Voice, Out, The Forward, Billboard, and elsewhere; he is currently executive editor for Tablet magazine. He lives in New York City and the Catskills.
Out lesbian actress and model Ruby Rose, seen most recently on Orange Is The New Black, has released a new short film, Break Free, "about gender roles, Trans, and what it is like to have an identity that deviates from the status quo."
The moving film shows just how fluid gender can be and how performance is at the heart of our gender perceptions.
Watch it for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP... (warning: semi-work unfriendly)
The city of Bellevue, Idaho Monday passed a non-discrimination ordination that will provide protections for LGBT people against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. While the measure passed by the Bellevue City Council bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, the new protections are "subject to certain exceptions," as Idaho Mountain Express reports:
Bellevue City Attorney Rick Allington, who was not present Monday, said in an interview that the new law does not apply to churches at all, except to prohibit discrimination against an LGBT or supposed LGBT employee, such as a janitor.
“The statute is not designed to step on anyone’s religious beliefs,” Allington said. [...]
Allington said a judge would not be required to perform same-sex marriages because he or she would be an employee of the state. He pointed out that the state never added the words “sexual orientation” or “sexual identity” to its Human Rights Act.
Other exceptions to the new anti-discrimination law include not forcing people to rent rooms in their homes or duplexes to LGBT people.
The new law does not apply to some organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, or to any state or federal agencies.
The law will go into effect next month.
Same-sex marriage became legal in Idaho in October 2014.
Last night, Rachel Maddow reported on the many high profile cases the Supreme Court has yet to rule on this term. One of those cases will likely determine whether same-sex couples are allowed to marry nationwide. Given how late it is in the Court's term, many have begun looking for any hint as to which way SCOTUS will rule. The result is that even major news outlets like The Washington Post are spending time pondering wondering whether anything can be discerned about the Court's upcoming rulings based on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's "good mood" at an event she attended last weekend.
See what (if any) tea leaves we can read, AFTER THE JUMP...
The University of Oklahoma plans to construct a study lounge for LGBT students, but not surprisingly, the idea isn't going over well among some conservatives.
The Oklahoma Daily student newspaper reports that the study lounge represents a compromise between the administration and the group Queer Inclusion on Campus, or QuIC, which sought a full-fledged LGBT resource center:
Kasey Catlett, the assistant director of LGBTQ and health programs at the Women's Outreach Center, said that the study room will help build community and allow students to come together to meet people in a safe space. He also said it will allow students to hang out and be themselves. Catlett said that details like its appearance and its opening date have not been determined yet.
“It’s going to be huge ... I think it’s going to be used for a number of things, one, to have a sense of community, something that LGBTQ students have never had before," Ruggiers said. "I am looking forward to seeing what it will look like and walking by seeing students utilizing it.
An LGBT resource center was among 11 requests presented to the administration by QuIC in a report this spring, from sensitivity training for faculty and staff to gender-neutral restrooms and a vice president of diversity. However, even the LGBT study lounge has sparked outrage among right-wing bloggers, who are calling it "separate but equal."
From Adam Campbell at Liberty News Now:
However, despite QuIC loudly cheering their latest victory, in getting a study lounge built, their logic seems way off.
Namely: how on earth is segregating a group of people (in this case, gay men and women) away from the rest of the student body at all going to lead to “inclusion” on campus? Wouldn’t a private, exclusive study lounge not only breed resentment, but further hide away the gay community from the mainstream student body?
And, if gays get their own study lounge, shouldn’t other minority groups get one too? A blacks-only study lounge? A females-only study lounge?
And from Eric Owens at The Daily Caller, which posted a photo showing a black man drinking out of a "colored" water fountain next to a gay Pride flag:
Earlier this month, OU administrators proudly rolled out a campus-wide mandatory diversity training program. Every incoming freshman at the public school will now be forced to complete five hours of school-designed diversity training under the new arrangement.
The massive blueprint for compulsory indoctrination on diversity comes three months after the OU branch of the national fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon was almost literally run out of town when a video leaked on the Internet of some members singing a racist song to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know it."
The notion of addressing prejudices by bringing back the separate-but-equal doctrine keeps popping up at colleges and universities. Last year, for example, staffers in the Diversity and Equity Center at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Wash. sent a happy-hour invitation to all 300 employees of the taxpayer-funded school declaring that white people could not attend.