SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A California man is suing BMW of North America, claiming that the motorcycle manufacturer is responsible for his severe priapism—a medical term for a “persistent, lasting erection.” Henry Wolf is suing both BMW and the company that manufactured the seat on his 1993 motorcycle, Corbin-Pacific Inc. In a civil suit filed last month in San Francisco Superior Court, Wolf claims that after cruising on his 1993 BMW motorcycle on two back-to-back two hour rides in May 2010, he was stricken with an erection that has lasted more than 20 months.
Wolf’s suit says that the San Francisco man “is now unable to engage in sexual activity, which is causing him substantial emotional and mental anguish,” and seeks damages for personal injury, lost wages, product liability, and emotional distress.
According to automotive news blog Rushlane, “This is not the first time motorcycle riding has been linked to such problems. However, in most cases it has been seen that there may be a direct link between motorbike seat design and problems regarding infertility and impotency. Vibrations caused by the bike coupled with configurations of the seat are said to be the crux of the matter.”
New Survey Data: Rising National Acceptance for LGBT Rights, Marriage Equality
ATLANTA, GA – The results of a new nationwide CNN poll show that acceptance for gay rights—and for gays, generally—is at an all time high. In 2010, 49 percent of Americans answered “yes” when asked if they had a close friend or family member who was gay. In the survey released on June 6, a majority of Americans—60 percent—said “yes.” The results also indicated a partisan bias for both LGBT rights and acceptance of same sex marriage, with 70 percent of Democrats favoring legal recognition of marriage equality and 72 percent of Republicans opposing it.
NAACP leader Resigns Over Group’s Support of Marriage Equality
DES MOINES, IA – Last week, Rev. Keith Ratliff, pastor of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, and President of the Iowa and Nebraska branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), resigned his positions with the organization, to protest the group’s resolution last month in support of same sex marriage. Ratliff told reporters that he reevaluated his future with the nation’s oldest civil rights organization last month, when its board of directors voted overwhelmingly to endorse same sex marriage during the body’s annual meeting in Miami.
In a statement, Ratliff said, “I want to thank the NAACP for the privilege to humbly serve in such an organization and thank all those I had the privilege to work with in the states of Iowa, Nebraska and throughout the country.” Ratliff is a long-standing opponent of marriage equality, and was a vocal supporter of an amendment to the 2009 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that granted legal recognition to civil unions between same sex couples.
Biden Brags about Obama’s “Big Stick”
NEW YORK, NY – Vice President Joseph Biden—never at a loss for words—was channeling former President Theodore Roosevelt during comments he made at New York University last month that sought to refute claims by Mitt Romney that the administration lacks credibility in discussing a “military option” towards a potentially-hostile Iran.
While discussing international relations at the 181-year-old non-profit research institution, Biden said “I promise you, the President has a big stick. I promise you,” drawing laughter from the crowd of roughly 500 university students. Biden was invoking enjoinder by Roosevelt—who was president from 1901 to 1909—to “speak softly and carry a big stick” in matters of foreign policy.
“President Obama understands what Gov. Romney apparently doesn’t: It is possible—it’s indeed necessary—for America to be strong and smart—and smart—at the same time,” said Biden during the campaign visit. Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has called for a more aggressive public stance toward the Islamic Republic, which is believed to be pursuing nuclear weapons research, in defiance of international requirements.
Texas GOP Adopts Platform Calling for End to Criminalizing Same Sex Marriage
FORT WORTH, TX – At its state convention last weekend, the Texas Republican Party adopted a new platform that reaffirms the party’s opposition to same sex marriage and pornography, but end historic calls to criminalize both institutions. In 2010, party leaders passed platform language that called for a felony charge against any official who issued a same sex marriage license, or who performed a same sex marriage ceremony. The Texas Republican Party continues its opposition to gay marriage.
The 22-page platform, which lays out the party’s principles, defines marriage “as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists.”
With respect to homosexuality, it reads, “We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable ‘alternative’ lifestyle, in public policy, nor should ‘family’ be redefined to include homosexual ‘couples.’ We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.”