The Seattle-based author and “Savage Love” advice columnist has launched a YouTube channel that allows gays, lesbians and their straight allies to post messages of encouragement to young teens and tweens questioning or struggling with their sexuality. The site, launched September 15, features at least 200 videos and is part of an effort to deter gay youths from committing suicide. There have been about 500,000 views of the channel so far, with more than 6,000 people subscribing to it.
Savage, considered one of few gay relationship columnists in the country, posted his own video September 21. In it, he and a friend named Terry share their own stories of growing up gay. They talk about religious conflicts with family members, keeping secrets and facing unspeakable episodes of harassment in high school. “What I want people to take away from this is that it gets better,” Savage urged his viewers, “But you have to tough this period of your life out, and you have to live your life so that you’re around for it to get amazing — and it can.”
They have waited nearly 30 years for the sentence of their daughter’s killer to be carried out. Technicalities, however, will force the family of Susan Jordan to wait more.
On Wednesday, California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation delayed the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown because there was no way a judge would be able to issue an order before Friday. Drugs needed to perform the lethal injection expire Friday, and will not be replaced until 2011, a spokesman said.
The family has yet to respond to this latest news. In early September, however, they wrote letters both to Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger describing the harrowing effect 30 years of waiting has had on their lives. The letters were obtained by Riverside affiliate KESQ.
In her letter to Brown, Angelina Jordan, Susan's mother, said the delays have placed attention unfairly on Brown, rather than on her daughter. Susan was 15 when she was raped and strangled by Brown in a grove as she walked home from school. “You and your lawyers have had the audacity to plead for your life by unjustly dragging out your sentence for 30 years,” she wrote. “Your day of accountability is now upon you. The Jordan family will be watching.”
Susan’s siblings, James Jordan and Karen Jane Brown, wrote separate letters to Schwarzenegger. They mourned for their father, who died 14 years ago with no sense of justice. The two also wrote poignantly of their older brother Brian, who was 19 at the time of Susan's slaying and refused to give his sister a ride home from high school the day she died. Brian “has been emotionally and mentally troubled by this event ever since,” Karen said. “It will only be when Brown is executed that “my family would have closure and justice would truly be served,” James added.
In 2005, the Denmark-based newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. The illustrations by artist Kurt Westergaard set off international demonstrations, violence and even caused deaths across Europe and other parts of the world. Many Muslims believe it is heresy to picture Mohammed, and a cartoon of a man with a bomb in his turban was certainly provocative.
Today, Flemming Rose, the paper’s cultural editor, released a book about the decision to publish the cartoons and the response that occurred. "The Tyranny of Silence" republishes all 12 of the cartoons, reports CNN.The response to the book has been swift, with diplomats from Denmark meeting with Muslim leaders in 17 countries. While Denmark will not interrupt the book’s release, it doesn’t want a repeat of 2005, when Danish embassies were temporarily shut down, officials said.
Rose has long favored free speech over cultural sensitivity. However, he told reporters Wednesday: “By reproducing this page, I did not intend to offend or insult anybody. [But] those cartoons are part of history."