Arlington man sentenced to 14 months for hate crime arson at mosque

Henry Clay Glaspell

U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means this week sentenced Henry Clay Glaspell, 34, of Arlington, to 14 months in prison after Gaspell pleaded guilty to a hate crime charge in connection with an arson fire at the children’s playground at the Dar El-Eman Islamic Education Center in Arlington in July 2010, according to this report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Means ordered Glaspell, who has been free on bond, to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on Nov. 21.

Glaspell also admitted that he had stolen and damaged some of the mosque’s property, that he had thrown used cat litter at the mosque’s front door and that he had shouted racial and ethnic slurs at people at the mosque on several occasions. Glaspell said his actions were motivated by hatred for people of Arabic or Middle Eastern descent.

Texas legislators passed the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, which allows enhanced penalties to be assessed to those convicted of hate crimes. But while hate crimes are frequently reported and labeled as such by law enforcement, prosecutors rarely take hate crimes charges to court for fear that it would be too hard to prove a perpetrator’s bias-based intent to a jury.

—  admin

Movie Monday: ‘Circumstance’ at the Angelika

Princess of Persia

The lesbian romance Circumstance breaks many taboos, but for director Maryam Keshavarz, it was simply a story that had to be told.

The Arab Spring has meant a significant liberalization in Middle Eastern countries. But political freedom is one thing; artistic expression is still quite another. And, for that matter, Iran is not Egypt or Libya.

Not that the revolutions in those countries mattered to Maryam Keshavarz, who made the dauntingly radical film Circumstance. Although shot in comparatively open Lebanon (where it is still illegal to be gay), the story tells a tale of two Iranian woman who enter into a romance.

For the entire article, click here.

DEETS: Starring Nikohl Boosheri, Sarah Kazemy, Reza Sixo Safai. 107 minutes. R.


—  Rich Lopez

UPDATE: Suspect arrested in D.C. shooting

Police in Washington, D.C., have charged Darryl Willard with “assault with intent to kill while armed,” in connection with the shooting early Monday of a transgender woman in southeast D.C.

Washington, D.C. police are investigating the death of this unidentified person who was found wearing facial make-up and carrying a pair of light-colored heels

According to the Washington Post, after being shot at about 1:50 a.m. in the 2300 block of Savannah Street SE, the victim walked to the Seventh District Police Headquarters to report the crime. The Post reports that the victim knew her attacker and gave his name to police. Willard later turned himself in to authorities.

The victim, who is not named in the newspaper’s article, was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover from her injuries.

In the meantime, police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a man whose body was found early Saturday, according to reports by the Associated Press. Police said that when the man’s body was found, he had makeup on his face and had with him a pair of light-colored high-heel shoes. The man appears to be Hispanic or Middle Eastern and between the ages of 25 and 30.

Police said they have no information on whether the dead man was gay or transgender, and that his body showed no signs of trauma.

The Monday shooting was the fourth time in less than two months that a transgender woman has been shot or shot at in the D.C. area. On July 20, Lashai Mclean died after being shot by a man who approached her as she walked with a friend in the city’s Northeast section. The man asked Mclean a question and then pulled a gun and shot her before she could answer, according to the friend, who was uninjured.

Eleven days later and just blocks away from the site of Mclean’s murder, a suspect approached another trans woman, asked for change and then pulled a gun and shot at her before she could answer. The shot missed and the woman was uninjured.

And in August, a D.C. police officer on medical leave was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon after he stood on the hood of a car and fired into the car containing two men and two trans women. One of the men was injured slightly in the attack.

—  admin

NYC’s Gay Middle Eastern Party

CLUB HABIBI X390 (SAME) | ADVOCATE.COMThe New York Times takes a look at the long-running Habibi dance
party, which has been bringing New York’s Arabic gay men together for nine years. Daily News

—  admin

BREAKING: Prop 8 decision from Ninth Circuit coming in 15 minutes (written at 1:45PM Eastern)

At least that’s the message that just dropped into our Inbox. Stay tuned.


**UPDATE: Not sure if the opinion will be posted on the 9th Circuit’s Perry miscrosite. But here it is, just in case.

We’ll of course embed the full opinion here at the first available opp.


*HERE IT IS: So wait, the case is going back to the CA Supreme Court? Read along and help me figure it out:


Good As You

—  admin

Join us for a live chat with Rep. Patrick Murphy, Thursday at 1:30pm Eastern

OpenLeft explains it well enough for all of us:

Please join us tomorrow, Thursday October 21st at 1:30 PM EST, for a live chat with Rep. Patrick Murphy

One of the more interesting races to watch has been that of Rep. Patrick Murphy, Democrat of Pennsylvania. The Hill poll out today has him up 46-43 over former Republican Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a remarkable swing from a poll that had him down double-digits just a few weeks ago. Murphy has always been of interest to me because he was the original co-sponsor and leader on the successful effort to pass repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the House- something stand-up for this straight veteran to do from a challenging district with a strong challenger lining up (despite the numbers on DADT, everyone was telling him to focus solely on jobs, jobs, jobs and stay away from those gay issues. Needless to say, he ignored them). He counted the votes and worked hard on the inside.

Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer endorsed him, and tomorrow morning will be final two debates. Afterwards, we’re having him here on OpenLeft simultaneously with AMERICABlog, Pam’s House Blend, The Bilerico Project, and Good As You for a live chat about his campaign, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and whatever else is on your mind.

Please join us tomorrow, Thursday October 21st at 1:30 PM EST, for a live chat with Rep. Patrick Murphy.


—  admin

Webinar for LGBT Parents Tomorrow at 3 PM Eastern

Tomorrow, HRC is hosting a webinar for LGBT parents entitled, “Creating Positive Change in Your Elementary Schools: Strategies and Tools for LGBT Parents.” Parents and educators will offer participants information on advocating for their families in their school community. This is the first of a series of Welcoming Schools webinars.

During this seminar, we will discuss bringing Welcoming Schools into your school, getting involved in your child’s school community, giving your child the vocabulary needed to talk about your family and many more topics.

RSVP and share this event on Facebook!

What: “Creating Positive Change in Your Elementary Schools: Strategies and Tools for LGBT Parents.”

When: Thursday, September 30th, at 3 – 4 PM EST.

How to Join:

Prior to the webinar: ensure that you either (a) have the Microsoft LiveMeeting client already installed on your computer or (b) have Java installed on your computer so that you can run the LiveMeeting Java application. If you are a Mac user, you will have to join using the Live Meeting Java application.

Join Webinar by clicking here on Sept. 30th a few minutes before 3 PM EST.

  • Meeting ID: WSwebinar
  • Entry Code: WS0930
  • Call in to audio portion: (888) 315-1021, passcode: 2022161588

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright