"Conservative" Arizona couple gets judge to gag gay SF blogger

While Violet Blue couldn't get restraining orders against her online foes (see main Sucka Free story), a couple have persuaded a judge in Arizona to issue one banning S.F. freelance writer and gay rights blogger David Nahmod from posting their names or hometown on the Internet.

On his blog, davidsopenforum.blogspot.com, and on the gay news Web site www.lavenderliberal.com, Nahmod chronicles a bizarre saga of a so-called straight conservative couple preying on his vulnerable ex-boyfriend to break up their relationship in 2005. He says his ex, Beecher Goodwin, has been "brainwashed" against him and to continue living with Stephen Polich and Kathryn Rock at their home in the Phoenix 'burbs. In his posts, Nahmod calls Rock a "sociopath" and "hatemonger."

But last month, he was served with a restraining order from the couple — effective for a year and enforceable in all states. Not only may Nahmod not approach Polich and Rock (he says he hadn't intended to), he also cannot do "anything that encourages others to harass" them, including posting identifying information online. When contacted by SF Weekly, Goodwin said his car had been tagged with the word "faggot" a couple of times, but the first instance happened long before Nahmod's first post in April.

The Phoenix couple say Nahmod's allegations simply aren't true. Goodwin says he lives with them by choice while on disability for depression and back problems, and that Nahmod is just mad they broke up. Polich and Rock have been talking to lawyers about a libel suit: "We're just going to sue to get him to stop," Rock says. "Because he has no money."

The couple should have known the gadfly wouldn't retreat without a fight. Last year, Nahmod reported a Rainbow Grocery clerk who allegedly hurled anti-Semitic remarks at him to the city's Human Rights Commission, which then launched an investigation. He challenged a previous restraining order Goodwin filed on him in an Arizona court, which was dismissed by a judge. Nahmod says he intends to fight the current one, too: "As soon as you do something that puts someone else's rights in question, you're fair game," he says. "I have every right to talk about it."

For now, Nahmod has eased off using Rock's full name in new posts. Not because he thinks he shouldn't, but to "not piss off the judge."

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