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Los Angeles Rams celebrate LGBTQ+ community with Pride events

In recognition of Pride Month, the Los Angeles Rams will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community through a series of initiatives

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Graphic courtesy of the Los Angeles Rams NFL Team

WEST HOLLYWOOD – In recognition of Pride Month, the Los Angeles Rams will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community through a series of initiatives. As part of the celebration, the Rams are teaming up with West Hollywood staple, Hamburger Mary’s, for a themed Bingo Night and kicking off a partnership with the Varsity Gay League (VGL).

Rams partner with West Hollywood Staple Hamburger Mary’s for Themed Bingo Night; Announce Partnership with Varsity Gay League

Each June, Pride events are held throughout the country to commemorate and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. The entire month is dedicated to uplifting voices, honoring culture, and supporting LGBTQ+ rights. 

 

Below are events the Rams are supporting in celebration of Pride Month: 

Rams Bingo Night at Hamburger Mary’s 

The Rams are teaming up with West Hollywood staple, Hamburger Mary’s, for a themed Bingo Night. Rams Cheerleaders will join Hamburger Mary’s famous drag queens to host Bingo and a live auction. All attendees will receive a Rams Pride t-shirt and a portion of the proceeds raised during the event will benefit the You Can Play Project, which has partnered with the Sports Equality Foundation to help ensure safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches and fans. 

When & Where: 

The Bingo Night will take place at Hamburger Mary’s located at 8288 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046 on Wednesday, June 23 from 7 – 9:30 p.m. PT.  

Rams to Announce Partnership with Varsity Gay League 

On Saturday, the Rams will announce a partnership with the Varsity Gay League (VGL), which is one of the original queer recreational sports organizations in Los Angeles. While VGL offers a variety of sports year-round, the Rams are supporting their expansion by sponsoring their first flag football division this fall. The Rams also will host game day watch parties throughout the season for VGL participants at Gym Sports Bar and Grill, VGL’s official league bar in West Hollywood. 

When & Where: The Rams will host a celebratory kickoff party at Poinsettia Park located at 7341 Willoughby Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046 on Saturday, June 26 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. PT.

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West Hollywood

Federal Jury convicts Ed Buck in the drug deaths of two Black men

Also convicted on charges of maintaining a drug den, distributing methamphetamine & enticement to cross state lines to engage in prostitution

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ED Buck at the time of his arrest by a Federal Task Force (Blade file photo)

LOS ANGELES – Barely four and a half hours after being handed his case for deliberations, a federal grand jury convicted the former West Hollywood resident and Democratic political activist/donor Ed Buck on the nine-count indictment of charges he supplied the methamphetamine that killed two Black men during ‘party-and-play’ encounters at his flat.

Buck was also convicted on charges of maintaining a drug den, distributing methamphetamine and enticement to cross state lines to engage in prostitution.

The conviction could mean that Buck, 66, will be facing a sentence where he could spend the rest of his life in prison for his actions that killed Gemmel Moore, 26, in July 2017, and Timothy Dean, 55, in January 2019. The convictions for supplying the meth that resulted in death each carry a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The verdict concluded a two-week trial that featured harrowing testimony of Buck’s accusers and victims which was shocking. Prosecutor’s use of Buck’s seized videos offered jurors a disturbingly graphic look at the chilling indifference displayed by Buck as he victimized those unfortunate to enter his flat.

Buck would solicit his victims on social media platforms, including Grinder, and on Adam4Adam, a gay hook-up site. Buck’s profile solicited men who shared his underwear fetish and wanted to “party and play.” His profile also contained a ‘Rose’ emoji which symbolized that he was generous or in plain terms, willing to pay cash for his “party and play.”

Jurors heard testimony from several of the Black men victimized that Buck’s preference was to personally inject victims, and he pressured or incentivized victims to let him do so, sometimes offering large cash bonuses to coerce a victim to agree to an injection or additional injections. At other times, Buck simply injected victims while they were unconscious.

“I know this has been an arduous, lengthy and difficult process,” U.S. District Judge Christine A. Snyder told jurors after she read the verdict shortly after 2 p.m. Pacific.

Christopher Darden, a lawyer for Buck, told the jury his client was on trial “for conduct that millions of people engage in.” He dismissed the witnesses against Buck as manipulative escorts and drug abusers who used Buck for his money, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“The evidence is going to show that these grown men made a conscious decision to go to Ed Buck’s apartment for whatever reason,” Darden said in his opening statement.

Ludlow Creary II, another of Buck’s attorneys, argued that his client did nothing more than enjoy party-and-play sessions involving drugs and sex with men he met online. Buck could not be held responsible for the serious medical conditions that caused the deaths of the two men at his apartment 18 months apart, Creary argued in court.

“This is a subculture, a lifestyle that may be shocking to some of us,” Creary said during his summation. “Everyone involved was there voluntarily.”

The Times noted that Assistant U.S. attorney Chelsea Norell called the defense’s strategy “despicable victim shaming.”

Buck showed no emotion as he heard the verdicts.

U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder did not set a sentencing date, but scheduled post-trial motions on Aug. 9.

“It was a tremendous honor to vindicate the rights of the victims,” Norell told reporters after the verdict was read.

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West Hollywood

Arrest made in a kidnapping in West Hollywood bar & nightclub district

Detectives seek to speak with any additional witnesses or anyone who has had contact with Diaz on the night of the incident or in the past.

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Photos courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department announced in a tweet that deputies had arrested Fernando Diaz, 50, at 3 a.m. Friday morning after he was seen allegedly carrying an unconscious woman to a van and then driving off. Diaz was released on bond a day later, officials confirmed Sunday.

Diaz’s bail amount was set at $100,000 and he was released on Saturday after posting bond, according to the Sheriff’s Department’s inmate locator.

Detectives seek to speak with any additional witnesses or anyone who has had contact with Diaz on the night of the incident or in the past.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Cynthia Mejia at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station Detective Bureau by calling 310-358-4028 or [email protected]

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood City Council approves hotel worker ordinance

The newly approved policy is among the strongest and most progressive hotel worker ordinances to date in the Los Angeles region

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Hotel workers march prior to a city council vote July 19 on a protective ordinance (Photo via Maria Hernandez)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – Late Monday night the West Hollywood City Council voted 4-1 in favor of a hotel worker ordinance that would provide thousands of the city’s hotel employees with needed workplace protections.

The newly approved policy is among the strongest and most progressive hotel worker ordinances to date in the Los Angeles region. Similar ordinances have been passed previously in Santa Monica and Long Beach. 

“Tonight’s vote makes clear: recovery in West Hollywood will include everyone,” said Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “I am honored to stand with our courageous hotel workers, and I am proud to see the City of West Hollywood choose to treat our frontline hospitality workers with dignity and respect.”

The policy would ensure workers in the hotel industry, many of whom have dedicated decades of service to the industry, have jobs to return to as the economy reopens, and are protected from various forms of abuse, including threatening sexual conduct.

The policy also contains a series of measures to address the constellation of industry-wide problems that existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as inadequate compensation for heavy workloads, and the lack of comprehensive, standardized training. 

Hours before the anticipated vote, hundreds of WeHo hotel workers and allies marched to West Hollywood City Hall in favor of the policy.

“For years my coworkers and I were the invisible workforce that built the tourism industry in West Hollywood. Tonight, the West Hollywood City Council saw our humanity and stood with us. On behalf of our city’s hotel workers I want to say thank you for ensuring these protections and passing this policy,” said Norma Hernandez, who worked as a housekeeper at the Mondrian for 12 years and was a fierce advocate for the law.

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