This Florida Court Doesn’t Really Care About Your Gay Feelings, Rights, Lives, Children

THIS SUCKS: You may have heard this story because it’s one of the most heartbreaking ones out there — only moments after boarding an R-Family Cruise in 2007, Janice Langbehn’s partner of 18 years, Lisa Pond, suffered an aneurysm and was sent to the Jackson Memorial Hospital, where the hospital refused to allow Langbehn or their children access to Pond, despite Power of Attourney papers faxed immediately from Washington (their home). Lisa Pond died about 18 hours after being admitted.

Some selections from Langbehn’s 2007 speech to the Family Equality Council:

A social worker appeared to inform me that I was — and I quote — “in an anti-gay city and state.” He explained that this meant I would not be allowed to see Lisa or make decisions about her care ...

“For five hours, Lisa lay at Ryder Trauma Center moving toward brain death and yet no one was there to hold her hand and talk to her and tell her how much she was loved.”

The Southern District of Florida’s court has thrown out Lambda Legal’s case against the discriminating hospital filed in June 2008 on behalf of Langbehn, the Estate of Lisa Pond and their three children. “The court’s decision paints a tragically stark picture of how vulnerable same-sex couples and their families really are during times of crisis. We hope that because of Janice’s courage to seek justice for her family in this case that more people better understand the costs of antigay discrimination.” You can read Janice’s take at Justice Denied, Justice Delayed. (@towelroad)

PEACE: If Gavin Creel wants to go to the National Equality March, the entire cast of Hair will go to the National Equality March! The artistic director of the Public Theater was concerned that canceling a matinee wouldn’t go over well with producers, but to his surprise they were totally up for it — it’s an inspiring story, much like the musical itself. (@nytimes)

Sidenote: Autostraddle is going! Riese, Alex, Brooke, Internicaine Katrina, Intern Lily, Intern X, Intern Emily, Intern Hot Laura and Intern Elizabeth are DEFO going. Really you should go! It’s gonna be fun!

ETA: Intern Tirna = ALSO GOING.

ETA #2: Intern Lola = ALSO IS COMING.

“We are really counting on New York to get on the buses and trains and come down. We need New York. This isn’t Lollapalooza or a circuit party.” (Cleve Jones)

GENDER: Know what’s a truly responsible use of advertising? Capitalizing on a gender scandal to promote your strip club. South Africa’s Teazers threw up this ad, playing off track star Caster Semenya’s forced gender testing.” (@queerty)


NICE LEADERSHIP: The new president of the U.N. General Assembly believes homosexuality is unacceptable Under the Bush administration, the United States had initially refused to support the resolution [to condemn human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity], but the Obama administration reversed that position, announcing full support for the measure in May. (@go magazine)

HATE CRIMES: The gay Marine whose billboard was vandalized speaks out:A spokeswoman for the board says, “It’s banned because the story is based on gay life… There are a lot of sex scenes. It’s contrary to our culture.” (@san fransisco chronicle)

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3213 articles for us.


  1. My home state of Florida is constantly disappointing me with their court rulings. Living there for parts of the year and being involved in the South Florida LGBT community I can tell you a major reason for that is the seeming inability of the various groups to work together. Also queer men and queer women don’t either. Have to work as a team to get things done.

  2. I’m scared to read the Florida case because I will probably break down and cry. The world is really fucked up sometimes.

  3. LOL! SA just can’t do anything right these days! But come on, every one knows Mavericks is the strip club to go to. Fuck Teazers!

    • Right? It’s spelled wrong! Also the breast implants of the woman on that billboard are making me so uncomfortable!

      • For serious – you’ll get something just walking into that place. Anyone coming to SA for 2010- give that place a miss (obvs you don’t need me to tell you this thanks to this advert)! Mavericks or House of Rasputin instead people!

  4. Every time I read the new+politics fix, I can feel my blood pressure rising, and I want to go punch a conservative coworker or two. I vote that the Autostraddler of the day be placed at the end of these posts like you used to do with the how do you like us now. That would certainly make us all feel better.

  5. I agree re: blood pressure / punching. Maybe my homophobic, conservative, beatle-hating, bird-loving coworker…hypothetically.

  6. Well color me sheltered. I was staring at that billboard trying to figure out what it was advertising and didn’t realize it was for a strip club until I read the explanation. Also I think if I were on a plane I would want to be sitting next to that barbie girl in case I was in need of some emergency flotation devices.

  7. I try and avoid news first thing in the morning because I know it will start me off on a bad note. I will be angry and/or crying. I heard about that Florida case before and defo cried. And then got angry. Now I’m angry again. Gah!

  8. faaaaa….. BALLS!!! i dont know what to say. Florida sucks. alot. i was soooo hopeful for Jan and the kids. stupid. i dont know what to dooooooo…….. feelings feelings. ugh… you dont even KNOW the magnitude of how upsetting it is. lame

  9. I’ve been loving Autostraddle’s coverage of the NEM (I’ll be there!) but I have to take issue with one thing: as a fan of the musical, I feel that it’s pretty far off the mark to call “Hair” a “cute and heartwarming little story.” The show has an uplifting side, but I think that what makes “Hair” so relevant to the fight for equality is that it’s NOT a happy, cute story — it’s about the struggle between dissent and responsibility, and the repercussions of standing up (or not) against the system. Just a thought!

    • Yeah, you’re totally right. I was being facetious, but it’s not clear that I’m being facetious, so I am going to change that sentence! I hope I spelled “facetious” right. Hm.

  10. Florida… having a social worker tell someone they are in an “anti-gay city and state” is totally bizarre and seems like it should be a tragic scene out of a movie from years ago.

    The idea that a person in a position like that would be taught that the appropriate response to someone requesting to see their partner of the same sex is to tell them the city/state they are in is against them is repulsive.

    I’ve always thought of Florida as a pretty fun place because I had a great time at Disney World, but that’s really all I’ve known about it so far. Disney World has put a shiny happy haze over the state of Florida for me for years, NOT ANYMORE.

  11. Did anyone else read that UN general assembly president story and wonder about the quality of people in leadership positions in the UN? He was quoted as saying that the majority of countries don’t accept homosexuality, but the article gave the number of countries supporting the decriminalisation of homosexuality as 67, with 57 against. That would be a majority in support, Mr Treki, you idiot.

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