Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Seattle Man Remains Jailed On Hate Crime Charges Following Attack On Lesbian Couple Aboard City Bus, Tim Allen Tries To Explain Gay Joke And Remains Unfunny Doing So, Tiny Nevada Town Of Pahrump To Celebrate First-Ever Pride

A Seattle man accused of accosting a lesbian couple on a Metro Transit bus is now facing hate crime and harassment charges. The Post-Intelligencer reports that in court documents, King County prosecutors contend James H. Harrison, Jr., threatened to kill the women just before 9:00 am on July 28 aboard a downtown Seattle bus. According to charging papers, Harrison, 46, shouted an anti-gay slur at the women, then became increasingly agitated when one of the women confronted him about the comment. A scuffle ensued; police contend Harrisons elbowed one of the women several times before the fight was broken up. As the bus approached Harborview Medical Center, Harrison allegedly threatened to kill the women, who left the bus and contacted an off-duty State Patrol trooper working security at the hospital. The trooper detained Harrison until Seattle police arrived. Speaking with Seattle officers, Harrison allegedly admitted to accosting the women. “Harrison told police that he had been waiting for a bus when he saw the victims kissing and touching each other,” a Seattle detective told the court. “Harrison said that seeing the victims being affectionate made him angry,” the detective continued. “Harrison indicated that he reads the Bible and believes that men and women should be together but that two women shouldn’t be together.” Harrison has been charged with harassment and malicious harassment, Washington state’s hate crime law. He remains jailed.

Tim Allen says a gay reference in his new ABC sitcom was meant to be funny, and not offensive, the New York Post reporting that in the pilot episode of the new fall comedy Last Man Standing, macho outdoorsman Mike Baxter (Allen) suggests his grandson should attend a different preschool or he will end up "dancing on a parade float." Monday, Allen told a group of television writers in Los Angeles "I think it was a funny joke. So, I believe the network will probably leave it in there. It was meant to be one guy's perspective of how his view of softness will go to dancing on a float. But, we can safely hide behind, 'What are you talking about? A lot of people dance on floats. Haven't you seen the Macy's parade?' The spectacularly irrelevant and unfunny Allen added "Obviously, if you go to Santa Monica Boulevard, it's a different kind of float."

The Review-Journal reports that Pahrump, Nevada will host its first gay pride festival this month, a tiny town some 60 miles west of Las Vegas noted for its retirees and horse lovers. "We're going to bring fabulous to Pahrump," said Ernie Yuen, president of the Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE Inc. The idea for the event, planned for August 19-20, came from the folks at Saddle West hotel and casino, who were looking to attract a new clientele. "I told them I don't know if it's a good idea," said Daniel Grevich, chairman of Pahrump PRIDE, adding that the town of about 36,500 is "a little backwards." Upon reflection, though, Grevich -- who recently moved to Pahrump from Las Vegas -- became "suspicious it may be" a good idea. "There's no gay bars, no gay publications" in the town, he said. "There's no way for anybody to connect. So I thought as long as they (the casino) didn't have high expectations, let's give it a try." Organizers thought it might be a nice lead-in for the annual Las Vegas PRIDE festival, to be held this year September 16-17. That event, which draws thousands, includes a night-time parade through downtown Las Vegas. Because the large-scale Las Vegas event requires lots of planning, organizers wanted to keep the Pahrump affair simple -- maybe just a pool party. "But with the gays, it's never simple," Yuen said.

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