Katherine Bradacs, a State Trooper, and Tracy Goodwin, a U.S. Air Force vet, are a lesbian couple attempting to overturn South Carolina’s ban on same sex marriage. On Monday the couple submitted a lawsuit petitioning U.S. Judge Michelle Childs to review the state’s ban in hopes that she would find it to be unconstitutional. Such a decision would force South Carolina to officially recognize same sex marriages, like Bradacs and Goodwin’s, that were performed out of state.r
“There have been more than 40 federal and state court decisions striking down bans on marriage equality,” their brief reads. “Five rulings have been issued by federal appellate courts covering four circuits, dozens have been issued by federal district courts, and at least 14 have been issued by state courts. Only two decisions have upheld a state’s same-sex marriage ban.”r
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson are named as defendants in the lawsuit and are required by law to file a document stating their official legal positions by tomorrow.r
“When our brief is filed, it will speak for itself,” said J. Mark Powell, a spokesman for the attorney general. “This matter will be resolved in a court of law – not in the court of public opinion.”r
Both Haley and Wilson have recently affirmed that they have no intention of rolling back the ban without a legal battle.r
“This issue is in the hands of the courts--our state marriage law stands until the federal courts make a clear judgment on it,” asserted Doug Mayer, Haley’s communications director. “Gov. Haley is duty bound to support our law and that’s what she will do.”
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) is set to hold it's 27th world conference in Mexico City next week.r
According to an article in the Washington Blade, Judy and Dennis Shepard, parents of Matthew Shepard, will be speaking to members of the group, which is an umbrella organization of more than 1,000 local and national groups devoted to advancing LGBT rights worldwide and monitoring laws that protect or persecute LGBT people. The group is also known for its maps of the world which highlight LGBT rights in different regions, like Europe.r
“Dennis and I are excited to be able to meet so many amazing activists from ILGA next week,” Judy Shepard told the Blade. “We’re very much looking forward to learning from the other participants.”r
ILGA expects more than 400 activists from over a dozen countries to be there for five days of panels, meetings and discussions. The conference runs from October 27th through the 31st, with other U.S. attendees including Ty Cobb of the Human Rights Campaign and Shawn Gaylord of Human Rights First. The location of the event is notable as Mexico is currently experiencing some growing pains over LGBT rights, with massive protests against marriage equality after it was voted in for the Coahuila province earlier this year.
Yesterday, noted opponent of gay marriage, Bishop Thomas Joseph Tobin (pictured) has sounded off about the recent Synod that considered gay marriage. Documents from the Synod, in some drafting stages, included highly progressive language (for the church) on gay people — for instance, mentioning the "gifts and qualities" gay people have to offer.r
In yesterday's post, Tobin submits a bullet list of scattered observations from the Synod — in his words "random thoughts." Tobin says it is an "enormous challenge to maintain pristine doctrine" in response to the "experiential, personal, and difficult needs of married ocuples and families."r
On gay marriage, Tobin is mostly cryptic, but it comes as little surprise when he hints at distain for "media agenda" — presumably liberal and pro-gay. Of the Synod, he wonders:r
Have we learned that it’s probably not a good idea to publish half-baked minutes of candid discussions about sensitive topics, especially when we know that the secular media will hijack the preliminary discussions for their own agendas?r
You may remember Sweet Cakes Bakery in Oregon, one of the first bakeries to make a stink about making cakes for gay weddings. The anti-gay attitudes of owners Melissa and Aaron Klein resulted in quick condemnation from activists, and the protests and investigations by the state's Bureau of Labor soon caused the bakery to close up shop and move "in-home."r
A year and a $150,000 fine from the state of Oregon later and the owners of Sweet Cakes are finding an unlikely new supporter in the form of gay evangelical conservative Matt Stolhandske, who wrote a fundraising column in the Washington Post. Interestingly, Stolhandske doesn't appear to be a self-hating homosexual, an ex-gay, or even spouting the tired "religious freedom trumps all" falsehood. In fact, he even calls out the Klein's flimsy argument of endorsement of a "sinful" lifestyle:r
This [lesbian] couple didn’t ask the Kleins for their blessing. They simply asked to pay for a cake. Last I checked, a pastry is not moral approval of a religious ceremony.r
Furthermore, he explains that his motivation is that he doesn't want the family - who may potentially be bankrupted by the fines - to suffer. In his own words, "[T]his is what an olive branch looks like." This olive branch doesn't come with a dismissal of the Klein's behaviors, however:r
I don’t want them to suffer. But I am also pleading with them and other Christians to stop using the name of Jesus to explain to the LGBT community why we don’t deserve access to the civil rights afforded to heterosexuals through the legal institution of marriage.r
Turning the other cheek, forgiving trespasses, reaching out with an offer of reconciliation to prevent further suffering and unhappiness and engender peace...it's like Stolhandske actually read the teachings of Jesus and appears to be making an effort to live by those moral decrees. Right-wingers, take note.
X-Men director Bryan Singer and actress Michelle Clunie (Queer as Folk) are expecting a child, Singer's rep Simon Halls announced to E!'s Marc Malkin:r
"I can confirm that Michelle Clunie and Bryan Singer are happily expecting a baby together in early 2015. Best friends for 25 years, mother and father are both very excited about the upcoming birth and look forward to co-parenting the child together. The pair have been planning this baby for years and have been trying for the last two."r
Since her role as Melanie Marcus in Queer as Folk, Clunie has played a recurring character on Make It or Break It and has had numerous guest appearances on shows such as Bones, NCIS, The Mentalist, The Closer, and CSI.
Madelynn Taylor, a 74-year-old U.S. Navy veteran from Boise who has been battling for the right to be buried beside her late wife Jean Mixner in the Idaho Veterans Cemetery, has won her fight, NCLR reports:r
Idaho officials agreed to Taylor’s request following the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ (NCLR) recent victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which found that Idaho’s ban on marriage equality violated the U.S. Constitution. The court ordered marriages to begin on October 15, 2014, and directed the state to recognize the marriages of couples who married in other states.r
Taylor served in the Navy from 1958 to 1964. In late 2013, Idaho officials denied Taylor’s request to be buried in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery together with her late wife, citing Idaho’s laws prohibiting marriage by same-sex couples. NCLR and Boise attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham of Ferguson Durham PLLC filed a lawsuit on Taylor’s behalf, challenging the exclusion as a violation of the due process and equal protection guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.r
“Words can’t describe how incredibly grateful I am for all the work that went into making our wishes possible,” said Taylor. “Idaho is where some of our best memories together are and it’s where I want to spend eternity with Jean.”r
Said Ferguson: “Lee deserves credit for shining a powerful light on the injustice and indignity caused by Idaho’s former exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Her persistence, visibility, and refusal to accept inequality are a model for us all.”r
Taylor's story, as you may recall, inspired a fellow veteran named Barry Johnson to offer his burial plot to her when he heard of the disgusting discrimination and injustice she faced.r
Watch a video on Taylor's battle, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
A stage play about the life of gay Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas is in development, Wales Online reports:r
Alfie has been involved in the production, which is described as telling “a great Welsh story about sport, politics, secrets, life and learning to be yourself.”r
Full details about the show’s tour, and its cast, are to be announced in the new year.r
Writer Robin Soans is known for his documentary verbatim plays based on interviews with real people, and it is being directed by Max Stafford-Clark.r
The announcement said: “This is the story of two Welsh names bruised, but not beaten, by media speculation; Gareth “Alfie” Thomas, 100 caps for Wales, once its captain, now the world’s most prominent gay sportsman; and his hometown, Bridgend.”r
National Theatre Wales' artistic director John McGrath said: "National Theatre Wales has always set out to tell great Welsh stories, and they don't come much greater than this. Gareth Thomas is a hero to thousands of people, and his journey from world-class rugby player to world-class gay rights campaigner is extraordinary.r
An upcoming movie about Thomas stars Mickey Rourke. Over the summer Rourke told Jimmy Kimmel about a scene in which he shares a bath with another man:r
“There’s a scene where I’m in the tub with another guy and I remove my teeth at the front and put them on the edge of the bath – you know, before we get it on."
NASA creates Soundcloud account: "More than 60 samples have been added to the agency's new dedicated Soundcloud account, but listeners are unable to leave comments underneath the files. Astronaut communications, including "Houston, we've had a problem" and "the Eagle has landed", can be heard - as well as some more abstract noises made by working spacecraft and debris. In space itself, sound is unable to travel as there is no air."r
Benedict Cumberbatch continues to look historical as he plays Richard III in The Hollow Crown.r
The Hunt for Red October: "Last Thursday, a Swedish newspaper reported that the Swedish military had intercepted Russian-language radio traffic on a Russian emergency channel, and that the communications were between Russia's European enclave at Kaliningrad and a source somewhere in the Stockholm Archipelago. What followed were a slew of news and allegations — including alleged photos of a Russian submarine just off the Swedish coast not far from Stockholm, and reports about a mysterious man swimming ashore."r
Lindsay Lohan posts tweet voicing support for Brazilian presidential candidate then deletes it. Internet speculates motives.r
Michigan Governor bans sale of Tesla cars.r
Michelle Clunie, a.k.a. Melanie from the U.S. version of Queer As Folk, is having Bryan Singer's baby.r
Former Executive Editor and iconic newspaperman Ben Bradlee has died. Obituary from The Washington Post.
Monica Lewinsky is speaking out about internet bullying apparently inspired by Tyler Clementi.r
More photos from the set of Magic Mike XXL.r
Sarah Jessica Parker angers owners of Carrie Bradshaw's apartment with unauthorized photo shoot.r
Republican Congressman Trent Franks bemoans secular liberal America: "IS [the Islamic State, a.k.a. ISIS] may succeed in committing violence against Christians because "the secular left" in America is diluting the country's Christian heritage. He said that IS may rise into power just as the Nazis did even though at one point they were just "a bunch of idiots riding across France [sic] in their brownshirts."r
FBI said to be working closely with the Canadian government to determine if today's attack was a terrorist action.
As you know if you're a regular Boy Culture reader, Quinn Jaxon is one of my obsessions. I have to thank my pal Bob for pointing out this trailer (Work Unfriendly unless your boss is Michael Lucas) for an hour-long video of Quinn's totally unnecessary (like oxygen) nude shoots with James Spada.
I can't think of any naked model as gifted front and back, plus he's cute. He's not gay, not even for pay—but at least he's generous with his assets.
Never-seen footage of the late gay-rights icon Harry Hay talking about how he figured out he must be gay, and Guy de Maupassant had a lot to do with it...
If you enjoyed that as much as I did, check out the Kickstarter campaign for Free for All, which is about the important of public (or pubic, in the case of Hay's story) libraries!
A Twitter pal pointed out that this new sex column by a hustler reminds him of the voice of X in my novel Boy Culture...and I agree! Sounds like it'll be quite a ride.
In response to the brutal murder of 26-year-old trans woman Jennifer Laude, Moovz CEO Liav Eliash has issued a statement:
“Our duty as a global online community is to stand for the rights of the LGBT and to increase the awareness of the public and make them understand that everyone is FREE and EQUAL to live in a safe environment regardless of one’s gender identity or sexual orientation. This tragic killing of Jennifer Laude is beyond imaginable. No one has the right to take someone’s life based on gender identity. Therefore, our strong global team together with our users will stand with the Filipino LGBT groups by all means until the justice is served!”
Moovz brand ambassador Chris Salvatore has commented on Facebook as well.
Modus Vivendi is launching its 2015 campaign, featuring its Pride Line. Check out the gallery images above of Adam Phillips and Alex Cannon, shot by Gavin Harrison (with styling/assistance by Ant Tatton).
An especially choice photo is after the jump...