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Three Dollar Bill

My bloody Valentine

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I was going to write a skanky column
about the handful of times I’ve had sex without a condom over the
years.

But seeing as how gay folks Stateside and further abroad have been royally
screwed in recent days, from hatchet-wielding madmen to madmen railroading
the United Nations, I decided to trash the motherfucker who on February 2
saddled up to the bar at Puzzles Lounge in New Bedford, Massachussets, a town
of 94,000 residents 90 kilometres south of Boston, ordered a drink and asked
if the joint was a gay bar.

Told that it was, 18-year-old Jacob D. Robida, dressed head-to-toe in black,
wearing a hoody like the Grim Reaper, pulled out his gleaming hatchet and
handgun and went nuts.

AP reports, “After finishing his drink, the man walked to the back of
the bar where two men were playing pool, shoved one to the ground, then
pulled a hatchet from his sweatshirt and began swinging at the man’s
head, cutting him, the bartender said. Other patrons tackled the man, sending
the hatchet sliding across the floor, the bartender said. That’s when
the man pulled out a handgun, he said. The gunman shot both pool players and
also fired at a patron who was leaving the bathroom, hitting him in the
chest.”

The barkeep—Phil, who asked that the press only use his first
name—told WDIV-TV, “Three people total shot. Two of them were
attacked with a hatchet as well. If it was up to me to determine what his
motive was, it was a hate crime because his intentions were to confirm that
it was a gay bar. Never spoke to anybody in there, he’s never been in
the bar before. And five minutes afterward, he starts attacking
everybody.”

At a candlelight vigil outside Puzzles, 150 gays and lesbians told reporters
how over the years their bar has been egged, their car windows smashed, and
how teens continue to throw rocks and bricks at the building. Worse, it took
this attack to finally draw everybody’s attention to the problem in
oh-so-progressive Massachussets.

While a madman was hacking away at gay people in the only US state where
same-sex marriage is legal—a Massachussets state law that ironically
further sets up gays and lesbians as backlash targets of violence and
discrimination—another madman, the hard-line president of Iran, Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, is leading the charge against homos at the United Nations.

Ahmadinejad, who has called for the extinction of Israel, whose regime
regularly publicly executes gay people and whose military secretly tested a
new surface-to-surface long-range missile on January 17, instructed his U.N.
ambassador to deny consultative status to two gay civil rights organizations,
the Danish National Association for Gays and Lesbians, as well as the
Belgium-based International Lesbian and Gay Association. Iran’s
successful January 23 initiative was enthusiastically backed by Sudan, Cuba,
China, Zimbabwe and the United States.

I didn’t expect any less from any of these countries, even America,
because despite the Bush Administration’s efforts to prevent Iran from
building nuclear weapons, George Dubya actually has something in common with
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: both clearly believe gay people are a
menace to society.

America, unlike Iran, doesn’t publicly execute gays and lesbians.
Instead it lets madmen like Jacob D. Robida do the dirty work for them, while
the president chooses to fuel the violence—and gives anti-gay
discrimination moral force—by backing such measures as the UN vote
against gay civil-rights groups.

Two years ago I was the closing speaker at Montreal’s Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. Legacy Committee’s MLK Multi-Faith Memorial, that year held at
Montreal’s historic black church, Union United in Little Burgundy on
the evening of Dr. King’s birthday. “Tonight, in the streets of
this city, there are an average of two gaybashings every week,” I said
to a silent, full house packed with churchgoers, Christian, Muslim and Jewish
community leaders, politicians and diplomats. “So I ask our straight
brothers and sisters to help us stop the violence.”

But dammit, if someone comes at me with a hatchet or a gun, I’ll
fucking kill the bastard. V

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