A look behind-the-scenes at Watch What Happens Live! reveals that when Arizona-bigot-destroyer Anderson Cooper is having a quiet, contemplative moment, his thoughts may be far from the CNN newsroom.r
Find out what he's thinking, AFTER THE JUMP...r
The NSC account added: "In their mtg w/ @frankmugisha, NSC’s Grant Harris & Steve Pomper reiterated U.S. support for freedom, justice, equal rights for all Ugandans"r
Tempe, Arizona has passed an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance, the Arizona Republic reports:r
In interviews with The Arizona Republic, Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell and other council members said the GOP-controlled Legislature is out of touch with its constituents.r
The council’s 7-0 vote was “another action that shows we don’t discriminate in our community,” Mitchell said Thursday. “We’re moving in the right direction in terms of equality.”r
The city ordinance bans discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations at restaurants and hotels, but includes exceptions for religious organizations and social clubs.r
Businesses or individuals that discriminate in Tempe on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, gender, religion, national origin, familial status, age, disability and U.S. military veteran status face a civil sanction with a fine up to $2,500.r
Three other Arizona cities - Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff - have similar laws.
The CW today released the world's first look at Grant Gustin (Glee's gay Warbler) in his new role as The Flash, a spin-off of the network's Arrow series. Gustin appeared in Arrow's two-part season finale in December but was not in superhero form.r
Production on the pilot is scheduled to begin next week.r
What do you think of Gustin as the super-speedy superhero?
Police in Jordan have arrested 10 people at a party hall in east Amman who were reportedly at a 'gay and lesbian' gathering, AFP reports:r
“The administrative governor of the Marka area, Adnan Qatarneh, ordered the arrest of the 10 gays and lesbians after they held a reception at a party hall on Wednesday to get to know each other,” he told AFP.
“The arrests were made to prevent a disturbance of the peace,” he added, without elaborating.
Homosexuality is not illegal in the conservative desert kingdom, although it is widely seen to be unacceptable.
“There are no laws in Jordan to deal with homosexuality cases,” another security official said. “It is up to administrative governors to decide how to handle such issues, including any period of detention.”
How about this?
Well for New York based graphic designer Michael Patrick, the early Street Fighter (especially the introduction of badass female Chun Lee) and Madonna’s in-your-face gay-is-ok attitude made a lasting impression. So naturally, he’s bringing us Ultimate Gay Fighter.
Theres Ford Jacobs and Carrie Cupcake
Gogo Gary and Barwell
Timmy Spears and Devon Devastation
If you haven’t already guessed, Ultimate Gay Fighter features a cast of all-gay characters, and since Patrick released a trailer for it online it’s generated a fair share of backlash. From the left.
It’s clearly meant to be over-the-top, but some of the stereotypes have struck nerves. Like the black character Shawdee Killah who wields a deadly gold chain in the shape of a noose.
We’ve been hearing a lot about gays and gaming lately, and understand that for Patrick, Ultimate Gay Fighter is an irreverent nod to how he felt as an adolescent finding respite in the gaming world, a place where he could behave unconventionally without any real world consequences — even explore gender nonconformity by playing as female characters.
It’s a nostalgia that’s clearly a thing for grown-up gaymers. Especially the ones who grew up to design games themselves. Like this admittedly hot sex scene from 2009′s Dragon Age: Origins.
The animated fun starts at the 1:40 mark:
Patrick is now shooting for a higher-quality release of his game, using the hullabaloo it sparked as a way of reaching gaming partners with deeper pockets than his own.
And he isn’t going to let a little bad press get in his way. LGBT gaming is “extraordinarily new, and that’s why people are going bananas,” he said. “But it’s not stopping me. This game is going to come out.”
Here’s the trailer:
Read the full story here
Gay-friendly employer Walt Disney World announced this week that it will no longer provide charitable funding to the Boy Scouts of America, due to the recent policy change that still prohibits gay men from serving in the highest ranks of the organization.
According to a Disney spokesperson, “their views do not currently align with the BSA.”
Walt Disney World has reportedly subsidized local chapters of the BSA in the Orlando area as part of its “Ears to You” program, which awards grants to organizations Disney employees volunteer for. According to Reuters, doing so would violate the company’s Standards of Business Conduct, which prohibits “harassment or discrimination” based on “sex, sexual orientation, and gender identification.”
The news was confirmed by BSA Central Florida Council Board President Robert Utsey in an email to local members on Thursday:
We recognize that many Scout Units have received financial support over the last several years from this grant opportunity and are sad to see it go. The National BSA Council has reached out to WDW to try to resolve the situation, however, according to WDW, their views do not currently align with the BSA and they are choosing to discontinue this level of support. We will continue to keep an open line of communication with them, but at this time, are unable to reverse their decision.
The decision is being praised by Zach Wahls, co-founder of Scouts for Equality, a national campaign to end discrimination within the BSA. “We’re never happy to see Scouting suffer as a result of the BSA’s anti-gay policy, but Disney made the right decision to withhold support until Scouting is fully inclusive,” he said in a statement. “Scouts for Equality will continue to advocate for a fully inclusive membership policy, to help build a stronger Scouting community that is eligible for the support of Corporate America.”
The 18-year-old is theater student at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, Lancashire, England. He identifies as bisexual.
Kennedy claims the mob beat him, knocked him to the ground, and started stomping on his face, splitting his lip and forcing several of his teeth up into his gums.
After the attack he posted a picture of himself on his Facebook wall, along with the following message:
Here is my face after a homophobic attack, 4 of my teeth are gone, not fallen out but deep inside my gums and cheek, one is sitting under my cheek inside my gum on the right side bottom of my nose. My face is swollen and it was worse yesterday, both my knees are badly injured and I struggle to walk and my whole face is constantly throbbing and I’m now on 4 tablets a day for pain and infection and may require surgery to sort the damage.
All of this and what was their motive? because of my f**king sexuality. something that doesn’t concern ANYONE else minus me and the person I fall for, either man or woman. A sex life is private and has nothing to do with no one, needless to say it’s absolutely disgraceful to violently attack someone because of who they are. My confidence has gone; I’m utterly embarrassed to be seen in public, the only reason I am putting this picture up is because I want you to see me as an example. An example why homophobia is wrong and it’s disgusting that it’s still around in 2014.
The picture has received over 47,000 shares.
But at least one person is calling Kennedy’s foul.
Someone who simply refers to themselves as “mufcgeeza” on YouTube has uploaded a video calling the teenager a liar. The video is monetized and comments have been disabled. We don’t want to add to the video’s view count by including a link, so we’ll just describe it to you:
The two-minute video opens by calling the whole story a “hoax” and suggesting Kennedy faked his teeth injuries in the photograph by using a “gum shield or another form of covering over his teeth.” It then claims the injury under his right eye “doesn’t even look real!” then goes on to say Kennedy could have drawn it on “using ink from a red pen.” It then accuses Kennedy of fabricating the story in hopes of building a Facebook following and becoming a celebrity. But the icing on the cake comes towards the end of the video, when it says: “A quick glance at [Kennedy's] education provided further evidence that he was suitable for the part of victim in a homophobic attack…” then cuts to a screenshot of Kennedy’s Facebook profile showing that he is a theater student. “He’s a natural for the part!” the video chirps.
Lancashire Police say they are investigating the incident, although they cannot confirm whether it was a hate crime.
According to a 2013 report on hate crimes in the UK commissioned by the Stonewall Organization, many LGBT people in the UK who reported hate crimes to police complained of unsatisfactory results. Fewer than one in ten victims said their reports led to a conviction, and two in five said their reports were not recorded as homophobic incidents.
Out soccer stud, occasional model and author Robbie Rogers will appear on the cover of Attitude‘s April issue as “Football’s First Gay Superstar”, a title he earned after abandoning his intolerant UK team and signing with the LA Galaxy last May.
Along with Jason Collins and Michael Sam, Rogers is inspiring a new attitude toward LGBT players in major league sports, but he revealed his journey to self-acceptance wasn’t entirely smooth in the accompanying 14-page article. He says struggling with his own mental health was one of the motivating factors that caused his premature retirement last year.
“25 years of self-hate doesn’t go away just because you come out,” he says:
Definitely in my career there were so many times when I struggled with my mental health. That affected the way I played.
For younger people that are closeted and they see that it’s illegal to be gay in Qatar, then they know that the World Cup’s going to be there and maybe they’re football fans? That’s so damaging on their psyche, on their mental health.
My thing was that I was done and I was going to [come out] on my own terms, away from a football club. I was going to take some time to myself and no-one was going to try and persuade me to do that while I was back in football and no-one was going to persuade me to do it in any other way.
The feature will also include eight exclusive photos as part of The Style Issue. The print magazine will hit shelves on March 5, but you can download a digital version today.
"My Seal Team 6 just went to Seal Team 8.5".r
Watch (warning: contains political incorrectness), AFTER THE JUMP...r
Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia filed a motion earlier this week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to intervene on behalf of all Virginia's same-sex couples and their families in Bostic v. Rainey.r
As you may know, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and the ACLU and Lambda Legal have been leading separate cases challenging Virginia's gay marriage ban. AFER's case has already had a hearing and in mid-February, Judge Arenda Wright Allen struck down Virginia's gay marriage ban based on their arguments.r
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals now has the case.r
Lambda and the ACLU want in on this now, and issued a press release announcing the motion:r
"We represent a class of all same sex couples in Virginia for whom the denial of marriage inflicts a variety of harms, and they deserve to be heard," said Greg Nevins, Counsel in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta. "The Bostic appeal could decide the fate of not only both couples involved, but also the entire class of over 14,000 same-sex couples in Virginia who we represent."
The Harris case is awaiting decision from the court. Once that decision is issued, it will be appealed to the Fourth Circuit. In the meantime, allowing the Harris class action to intervene in the Bostic case now will allow the two cases to be consolidated on appeal without delaying or disrupting either case.
"From the beginning, both of these cases have proceeded on parallel tracks, and for the good of all couples in the state, we hope it will remain that way," said Joshua Block, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. "This motion just ensures that all affected couples have their day in court."
The Bostic v. Rainey case is very well positioned to be the next marriage case heard before the Supreme Court and any groups who are there will get the benefit of a national spotlight and credit for its ultimate victory.r
The Washington Blade notes that plaintiffs in Bostic aren't happy about the motion:r
Matthew D. McGill, co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the Bostic case, questioned why the two groups petitioned the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to join the Bostic case.r
“The addition of new parties to the case at this late stage risks delaying the proceedings, and there is not a moment to lose when gay and lesbian couples and families across Virginia – and other states in the Fourth Circuit – are experiencing real harm,” said McGill. “We hope the Harris plaintiffs and their lawyers will continue to support our shared goal of marriage equality by filing an amicus brief alongside us.”r
A source involved in the legal process who asked to remain anonymous told the Blade there are “grave and serious consequences for an unwarranted ACLU intervention.” These could include the possibility that other groups from West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina that fall under the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ jurisdiction could seek to join the case if allowed.r
“If intervention were granted, it could adversely slow down the current appeals process – and time is critical when it comes to attaining marriage equality for all Virginians,” said the source. “There is not a day to lose. Groups like the ACLU can be supportive by simply filing amicus briefs.”r
BY DAVID MIXNERr
Superpowers love their geographic boundaries despite the fact that most have no basis in history. Time and time again we have seen world wars, civil wars and senseless violence break out over who really belongs in what country. We have seen literally millions die over these artificial barriers.r
Most of the nations in the Middle East were created by energy companies, Africa was cruelly divided by colonists around the early part of the 20th Century, the Balkans have been the source of one war after another, and numerous ethnic groups are still fighting for their 'homelands'.r
With each passing day, the stakes in Ukraine grow higher and higher. Civil war is a real possibility, the resumption of the Cold War is not out of the question, thousands could still die, and entire cities could be destroyed. Any sane person only has to look to Syria to see the consequences of endless civil war.r
Count me among those who were moved to tears by the barricades in Kiev. The entire scene was right out of Les Miz except with a different ending. You could literally hear 'the people sing' as they gave their lives for freedom. If just somehow we could just hit 'pause' and that would be the end of the story.r
Unfortunately, that is not happening. President Putin, who has blood on his hands in Syria and so many other places, is determined to use any means necessary to exert the influence of the Russian Bear and save his own sad face. The major powers have a very narrow window to restore sanity to this situation and seek creative solutions before the entire world and the people of Ukraine are thrown into another spiral of brutal violence.r
Right now it is clear the Russians and their surrogates are determined to keep the strategically placed Crimea. This peninsula on the Black Sea has historically been the source of much pain. Over half a million died in the Crimean War between the superpowers in the mid-1800's. Stalin deported the entire population of Crimean Tatars from the peninsula and most died in that process. Crimea became completely Russian and currently most of its population are Russian speakers.r
In 1954, Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev 'gave' Crimea to the Ukrainian people. Khrushchev, who was a native Russian, rose to power through the Ukrainian Communist Party. Some say it was an act of madness created in a drunken stupor and others consider it a brilliant move by the Russian leader.r
Ukraine is split between those who consider themselves Europeans and those who have a historic bond to Russia. The split has been clear in election after election. There are enough facts and figures to sanely partition Ukraine now before it is too late. Minimally, give the damn Crimea back to Russia where it historically belongs.r
Drawing the 'line in the sand' over fake boundaries is inviting massive violence, international confrontation and death and destruction. Over what?r
Read this National Geographic article on the history of the Ukraine to fully understand why we can fully resolve this crisis peacefully and sanely. The history of Ukraine has been one of great struggle and a place that major powers have used and abused over time.r
The solution is simple. Let the European section continue as the Ukraine and allow the Russian section to vote on their future either as Russians or a new nation. Finally, return Crimea to the Russians.r
America has a unique opportunity to look at the concept of nation states in an innovative way that is more suited to the 21st century and not a return to the 19th Century. Let's embrace it now or the consequences may be horrific.
The ACLU has filed a brief asking a federal judge to issue an injunction blocking Wisconsin's gay marriage ban while the issue is fought in court, the AP reports:r
The organization filed a motion on Thursday with U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, seeking a preliminary injunction that would essentially invalidate the ban until the lawsuit is decided.
In a brief accompanying the motion, the ACLU argued it’s entitled to a preliminary injunction because it’ll likely win the lawsuit and the ban imposes irreparable harm on same-sex couples.
The lawsuit was filed on February 3 by the ACLU on behalf of four couples.The first hearing is March 27.
Jimmy Kimmel points out in one of his finely-sourced supercuts that although the rain is "desperately needed" in Los Angeles that hasn't stopped the city from going into complete panic mode.r
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
While making an appearance on Arsenio this week (yes, that’s still on), legendary former NFL player Deion Sanders admitted that — GASP! — he has played with gay players.
In fact, gays have been on every team that he’s played for.
While we could’ve done without the fact that Sanders claims to “neither condone nor condemn” gays and the fact that homosexuality is mentioned in comparison to drug and alcohol abusers, the interview is definitely supportive of newly out NFL hopeful Michael Sam.
The delivery was a bit awkward, but the message was clear: Michael Sam and the gays that will undoubtedly follow in the NFL have an ally in Deion Sanders.
We just can’t wait for the day when there are enough openly gay players in the NFL to have a team of their own.