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Gay-Rights Organization Singles Out Paper for Praise In Wake of SDGLN's Numerous Difficulties With San Diego CityBeat

"Say what you will; the Reader never uses 'faggy' in its editorial content."

SIPPING A LATTE AT THE CORNER TABLE IN LESTAT'S ON PARK - The strained relationship between the recently redesigned San Diego CityBeat and San Diego's GLBT community may finally have reached a breaking point.

In a recent essay detailing the community's frustration with the paper, San Diego Gay & Lesbian News Editor in Chief Ken Williams wrote, "the irony is that CityBeat has tried to tout its support for the LGBT community and purports to care about our issues. It would be logical to suggest they may have wanted to review [mayoral candidate Nathan] Fletcher’s record on LGBT issues before writing a fawningly favorable editorial on him, especially when he has voted against many issues dear to the hearts of the LGBT community...Here in America’s Finest City, San Diego CityBeat is practicing the best of tabloid journalism these days. Oh, from time to time, CityBeat may publish a story that has journalistic integrity, but chances are that its writers are just shooting first, asking questions later. It is a mystery why CityBeat fails to practice basic journalism."

Now, however, Williams & Co. seem to feel that the otherwise progressive paper has veered from merely shoddy reporting into outright offensiveness. The boiling point, apparently, came when columnist Edwin Decker wrote about a frustrating encounter with a biker, an encounter which led him to look up the names of some California biker gangs. According to his account, he found one called "A Few Good Men (which is not what you think; though, you have to wonder how it was possible not to notice the gayness dripping off that name)."

Decker then felt inspired: "Speaking of homosexual bikers, I absolutely had to Google 'gay motorcycle clubs' when researching this column. Alas, all that came up were totally inoffensive, non-hilarious monikers like The LGBT Motorcycle Club, The Golden Gate Guards and The Spartan Motorcycle Club. What a disappointment! I was hoping for some totally awesome, totally faggy, gay-biker-gang names, like The Sodomites, or The Truck Stop Cruisers, or the queer chapter of the Mongols Motorcycle Club—The Mangols. Or how about The Fag Hags, for a motorcycle gang composed of meth-addled straight chicks who follow The Mangols. Or, my all-time favorite gay-biker-gang name I just made up: Hell’s Anals."

SDGLN's Twitter feed was quick to respond:

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San Diego CityBeat's Kelly Davis noticed the tweet and fired back:

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"What Ms. Davis eats for dinner is none of my business," said Williams when reached for comment by SD on the QT. "But I can think of several slurs involving Asian stereotypes that I might use to make a joke about her dietary choices. Of course, I won't make that joke, because I find those kinds of slurs hateful and divisive. Sadly, Mr. Decker had no such scruples."

Decker, for his part, was quick to take to his own Twitter feed in order to declare his love for gay people everywhere. (At one point, he asked "Who do I have to have sex with to prove I love gay people?" prompting Williams to reply, "I don't know - a dude?") But it was too late. This morning, GLAAD issued a statement in a press release sent directly to SD on the QT: "In light of the recent shenanigans over at CityBeat, we would like to officially commend you and your paper for your evenhanded, objective coverage of San Diego's GLBT community. And by the way, that bit on Fletcher you did a while back was totally hilarious."

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