The holiday season is upon us, and families everywhere will gather around the table tomorrow and give thanks for one another.
But maybe there’s someone in your family who you’d really rather just not hear speak.
In Pat Robertson’s clan, that’d have to be Pat Robertson.
His show The 700 Club did a story about the religious faith of the pilgrims, and warned viewers that the progression of gay rights threatens everything they worked blood, sweat and tears for.
Funny how he doesn’t mention native genocide — what does Jesus think about that one, Pat?
“Ladies and gentlemen, our warning should be today, we can’t lose that. And when you have courts that are taking away the very essence of our democracy, the ground from which this great country came, when courts are saying that is unconstitutional, when they’re exulting aberrant lifestyles and saying that’s constitutional, when they’re defying the very essence of this nation, they are sowing the seeds, not of a new, prosperous nation but the destruction of the one that’s already here.”
Oh Pat, shut up and pass the string beans.
Here’s the clip:
A general rule in business is always alienate potential paying customers, and one Lafayette, Louisiana bar is really acing it.
Bar Code, a downtown lounge set to open soon in Lafayette, wanted to make it extra clear that they aren’t associated with a gay bar in Richmond, VA, also called Bar Code. See where the confusion could come from?
They took to Facebook to clarify:
But a name is just a name, right? Except here’s the gay bar in Richmond:
And here’s the definitely-not-a-gay-bar in Lafayette:
Here’s the response the new bar received:
File this under the ‘social media fail’ category.
A bill legalizing same-sex marriage was introduced in the Australian parliament today. Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm was the sponsoring member of the Freedom To Marry legislation which would would allow Australians to wed regardless of “sex, sexual orientation and gender identity”. The proposed bill has an exception for ministers or clergy to opt out of same-sex marriage ceremonies if it is against their beliefs.r
"All my bill does is prevent the Government from stopping two people from getting married on the grounds that they are not a man and a woman," said Leyonhjelm. "It does nothing more, and it requires nothing more than tolerance."r
This would be the second time a marriage is considered by the Australian parliament. In 2012, a similar bill was defeated by an overwhelming margin, with just 42 members of their House of Representatives in favor and 98 members against. However public opinion down under has changed remarkably, with 72% of Australians in a recent poll in favor of same-sex marriage. Still the current Prime Minister Tony Abbott has advised against introducing the bill making its passage questionable. Also, the nation's high court struck down a local jurisdiction's attempt at marriage equality in 2013.r
But Leyonhjeim hopes that given the shift in local public opinion and the fact that same-sex marriage is currently recognized by 13 countries worldwide and a number of states in the U.S., it might be enough to sway some votes in the conservative legislative body. He also plans to appeal to a more basic, democratic idea. "When the law says that LGBTI people can't marry, in an important sense, it is diminishing their liberty."
Ty Herndon hanging with friends backstage at the Grand Ole Opry after Monday's show (Via Facebook fan page)r
Country singer Ty Herndon has been feeling the love after his surprise coming out last week. In a follow-up interview with People magazine, he says the positive reaction he's received "blew my mind" and he's been overwhelmed by the support he's gotten from his fans as well as out show folk like Ricky Martin, Lance Bass, Chely Wright and even Leann Rimes.r
Since his statement last week, Herndon has had two public performances filled with emotion, tears, and even a little bit of history. Herndon's first performance after his surprise announcement last week was to a sold out crowd in Robinson, Illinois on Saturday night. It was, he said, an emotional show that ended with a standing ovation. Then on Monday night, Herndon took part in a Christmas benefit for kids at the Grand Ole Opry making him the the first out male country artist to appear on the famed stage.r
"My knees were shaking!" he recalled, choking up a bit. "Walking out on the Grand Ole Opry stage as an open, free, happy, godly gay man is not something I thought I'd see in my lifetime. We knew that history was being made up there, and it was humbling."r
As he adjusts to his new role as an out/loud/proud performer, Herndon states he is also looking forward to being a force for change in parts of the country where being gay is still a challenge. "There's so much work to be done in the South with all these kids that are struggling so greatly with finding love and support and finding a place to go to feel loved and supported."r
Herndon says he is feeling especially thankful this Thanksgiving week for all the support he's received and is looking forward to spending a quiet holiday in Nashville with his family and his partner.
Scott Bradley's Postmodern Jukebox is back and this time serving up a sultry James Bond-esque version of Ariana Grande's "Love Me Harder." Cristina Gatti lends her vocals and channels the legendary Shirley Bassey.r
Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...r
And in case you've missed previous jams from Postmodern Jukebox, check out their retro-infused covers below:r
Josh Sabarra is not afraid of putting it all out there. In his delicious new memoir, Porn Again, the marketing executive and television producer shows an affinity (not to mention a flair) for dishing. Mostly about himself. But don’t be fooled by the title or its subliminally salacious cover (note the subtle placement of a cock front and center) — this is not a book about porn. “People see the title,” Sabarra says, “and the first thing they think is, Oh, were you a porn star? And I’m like, ‘Have you seen my stomach? They wouldn’t hire me for anything.’ But porn was a big influence.”
So was Hollywood, which provides a major backdrop for the story, detailing Sabarra’s journey from an insecure, bullied kid from South Florida who doesn’t fit in with his peers and instead forges a series of touching (and, in one case, tragic) friendships with adult women to a 40-year-old openly gay man who’s learned to accept and love himself. Oh, and along the way, he lands some really cool jobs that allow him to work and party with celebrities and afford to hire off-duty porn stars for sex. It’s a wonderful life, as they say.
Or at least that’s what everyone thought. Says Sabarra: “I would meet people outside of L.A. who would say, ‘Wow, it’s so amazing what you do for a living,’ or ‘You’ve met Jennifer Lopez?’ It makes you appealing to people. And when you’re somebody who’s grown up being bullied and marginalized and told you’re not good enough — and then all of a sudden people think you are, you’ll take it however you can get it. I was addicted to getting approval from other people.” But as Sabarra discovered, it’s not all glitz and glamour. The ill-at-ease kid who thought hobnobbing with celebrities would make him feel cool eventually realizes that hanging with the rich and famous isn’t a guaranteed pathway to self-love.
Does this sound a bit familiar? Sure. No one has ever accused Hollywood of churning out original plots. But what makes Porn Again such a fun read is the author’s wit, honesty, access to celebrity dirt, and sheer brazenness when it comes to detailing his sexual exploits. Which, by the way, are graphic and in abundance.
“People will say, ‘Why would you want people to know that about you?’ or ‘Why would you be so frank about this?’ And I guess I sort of saw it as this period at the end of a sentence. ‘I’m turning 40 and this is what happened before and now I’m going forward this way.’”
Rebirth is another of the book’s themes, a process he encounters both professionally and personally. And oh, yes, sexually. Despite getting a late start — he remained in the closet and a virgin until opening up to his parents about his orientation at age 31 — Sabarra makes up for lost time, both in the bedroom and in his openness with his family. There are plenty of delightfully cringe worthy anecdotes in which the author calls his mother to detail his previous night’s dalliance with a rent boy (“You can’t keep spending $300 every time you want to have sex,” she cautions) or elicits his father’s opinion when selecting a new porn flick for his collection (“Mom and I are treating,” his father tells him during a trip to his local sex shop, “so pick the movie you want more”), but for Sabarra, this feels perfectly natural. “Before I came out,” he says, “on a scale of one to ten, I was so private that I was a zero. Then once I finally felt free enough to let it all out, I went to ten.”
Besides, he says, “my father’s a urologist, so things that relate to southern body parts were never taboo in our house.”
They’re not taboo in the book either. After enduring an unfulfilling relationship he falls into just after coming out, Sabarra discovers real passion during an encounter with actor Alan Cumming. “He was very friendly and a great guy,” Sabarra says, “but it had much more gravity for me than it did for him because there were feelings for me that were there that obviously weren’t there for Alan, and understandably so.”Sabarra insists that his reason for sharing this story is a personal one rather than an exploitative one — after all, how many people get to have a sexual awakening with their celebrity crush? “That’s a big deal,” he says. “The first fulfilling sexual experience of my life — at 35, 36 years old — and it’s with this person I’d always had a fantasy about.”
But perhaps the biggest lesson Sabarra leans during the period detailed in the book is about listening to himself over the din of celebrity and fame. Which comes in great part from his role as gay BFF to TV host Ricki Lake. It’s clear from the way he describes her that Ricki was an important figure in his life — they were linked both professionally and socially — but when she carelessly discards him in favor of the new man in her life (it happens more than once, actually) and then clandestinely fires him from her show, he learns the hard way to trust his own instincts when it comes to people. “I’m grateful to Ricki,” he says, “because if she hadn’t come into my life when she did, I don’t know that I would have figured out what my own boundaries are.”
While the backstabbing certainly pained him, Sabarra understands to an extent. “A lot of these people are not capable of being friends the way you and I could be friends,” he says. “Their lives just don’t allow for it. They’re always traveling, they’re catered to, everybody does things the way they want, and a lot of people go along with it — as I did, to some degree.”
Not that Sabarra has soured on celebrities. He knows from experience that it is possible to have a real connection with one. “Nancy Grace and I have been friends for twenty years,” he says. “Our friendship started before she was famous, and she hasn’t changed at all over that period of time. She’s been tried, true, and loyal from the day we met. If I called her tomorrow and said, ‘Nancy, I need five hundred thousand dollars and I need you to not ask any questions,’ she would fly here herself with a suitcase full of cash. She’s an example of somebody who is totally unchanged by the notoriety and who is able to be a real friend, independent of whatever’s going on in her professional life.”
Sabarra contends that nothing he wrote in the book was meant as retaliation. “I was very careful about only telling things that furthered my story. The book is about me. Ricki is not the star of this, Alan Cumming is not the star of this. They’re the accessories.” And if you think that’s simply PR spin, he can handle that. “I have battled so fiercely to overcome the self-esteem issues that I cannot let a stranger eat away at me,” he says. Besides, “I don’t think anyone should ever apologize for telling their truth.”
As for the advice the 40-year-old Sabarra would give his 20-year-old self, “You have to know what kinds of people to pay attention to in your life. But I don’t think you can know that at twenty. I don’t think you can know that certain voices should be stronger, or how to be really discerning about the people you allow to affect the way you think about yourself as a person. You could certainly tell a twenty-year-old that, but they might not recognize that until they’ve been through some battles.”
Porn Again: A Memoir is available now. For more about Josh Sabarra, go here.
You’d have thought that you’d see a Muslim governor in Mississippi before you’d see marriage equality, but it turns out you’d be wrong. A federal court has ruled that the state’s ban on marriage is unconstitutional. Just to underline how inevitable marriage equality has become even in the South, a federal judge in Arkansas struck down that state’s ban just hours before.
The ruling is on hold for two weeks while the state prepares an appeal. There are now 35 states where marriage equality is the law or been found constitutional.
Judge Carlton Reeves determined that Mississippi’s ban on same-sex marriage amounted to “state-sanctioned discrimination” and concluded that “same-sex couples should be allowed to share in the benefits, and burdens, for better or for worse, of marriage.” Reeves also addressed the state’s decades-long history of homophobia, calling Mississippi out for “a constellation of state laws that treat gay and lesbian Mississippians as lesser, ‘other’ people.”
It’s worth noting that both Reeves and Kristine Baker, the judge in the Arkansas case, were appointed to the bench by Obama. (Just in case you ever wonder about the consequences of elections.) It’s also worth noting that the lawyer representing the couples challenging the law was Roberta Kaplan, who represented Edie Windsor before the Supreme Court.
Reeves’ ruling is an earthquake in a state that just this year passed a bill making it legal to discriminate against LGBT people if you say Jesus told you to do so. Needless to say, heads immediately began exploding across the state as opponents of anything gay struggled to adjust to the 21st century.
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, which is headquartered in Tupelo, called on Gov. Phil Bryant to disregard the ruling altogether.
“There is one and only one short range solution to a runaway judiciary on the issue of sodomy-based marriage: a governor with the testosterone to stand up and just say no,” Fischer said. Because the judiciary has no police force, Fischer argues, “If its unconstitutional rulings are ignored, what will the Supreme Court do?”
One side effect of the Mississippi ruling is to prove data geek Nate Silver wrong. Silver had predicted that Mississippi or Alabama would be the last state to legalize marriage equality based on changes in public attitudes. Alabama isn’t looking good for Silver either.
Mississippi State Rep. Alyce Clark, who has a gay son, had the appropriate response to Reeves ruling: “Maybe we won’t be last in everything.”
True, for a change. And who is going to want to hold the title as the last state to embrace marriage equality?
Milking your fifteen minutes of fame is no easy feat.
When the world met Andrew Caldwell, he was testifying to God and the Church of God in Christ convention in St. Louis that he is not gay no more, he doesn’t like mens no more, has been delivered, women women womenenn woowoowoom.
While the internet was shaking its collective head over the power of religion to delude human nature, Caldwell saw an opportunity to make a little scratch and drag out his eventual fade from the public sphere.
There were a few remixers who got to the idea first, but now Andrew’s very own self-mocking jam has hit the iTunes music store.
And to further bastardize the holy notions of church and salvation, the Church of God in Christ is threatening to sue Andrew, claiming it owns the audio sampled in the song.
If they really wan’t the $10 in total sales it’ll likely earn, we guess that’s their call.
Aptly titled “I’m Not Gay No More,” the track can be yours for 99 cents.
But to save you a dollar (and it really is a dollar well saved), here’s the track on YouTube:
They say timing is everything. And this German Shepherd has it in spades. Get your day off on the right foot, or ear, and watch this canine get down "Low" to Flo Rida, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
Ramping the fear-mongering up a notch, anti-gay litigation group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has produced a 44-page tome that attempts to convince churches that laws preventing businesses from discriminating against gay customers are actually part of a wider aim to “compel Christians to accept, endorse, and even promote an ideology and behavior that violates their faith.”r
ADF is one of a number of organizations and individuals involved in promoting harmful anti-gay laws abroad, as exposed by Human Rights Campaign’s Export of Hate report.r
According to ADF, the new book Protecting Your Ministry aims to help churches prepare “for the legal intrusions and onslaughts that have already engulfed some of your fellow believers and Christian leaders around the country.”r
It argues that “those advocating for homosexual behavior and transgender ideology will eventually target anyone who blocks the path of their political progress – including you and your ministry.”r
Helpfully, it also provides a step-by-step “action plan” on how to deal with “marriage counterfeits and those advocating for complete sexual license.”r
The book then goes on to profile a number of cases in which anti-gay business owners faced litigation for refusing to work with same-sex couples, including Robert and Cynthia Gifford, the owners of Liberty Ridge Farm in New York.r
To make it clear that ADF doesn’t really hate gay people, the book concludes with a message of hope and inclusion:r
“Preparing yourselves legally will give your group or institution greater freedom to continue presenting the Gospel clearly and effectively to your community – and that freedom may well make an eternal difference for lost and hurting souls all around you.”r
ADF just wants to help you to see the error of your ways.r
Read the book, if you can stand it, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, leader of the high court's liberal wing and beloved by many as the 'Notorious RBG' after her scathing dissent in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, underwent heart surgery this morning after experiencing discomfort while exercising Tuesday night. CNN reports:r
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 81, underwent a heart procedure Wednesday morning to have a stent placed in her right coronary artery.r
A blockage was discovered after Ginsburg "experienced discomfort during routine exercise" Tuesday night and was taken to the hospital, according to a release from the Supreme Court.r
Ginsburg is resting "comfortably" at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and is expected to be released in the next 48 hours.r
As The Wall Street Journal notes, Justice Ginsburg is the court's eldest member and has also faced two bouts with cancer, having recovered from each. She previously balked at speculation that she would retire during President Obama's tenure so Obama could fill her vacancy with a liberal judge:r
Who do you think President Obama could appoint at this very day, given the boundaries that we have? If I resign any time this year, he could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court. [The Senate Democrats] took off the filibuster for lower federal court appointments, but it remains for this court. So anybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided. As long as I can do the job full steam...I think I’ll recognize when the time comes that I can’t any longer. But now I can.r
Jimmy Fowlie's comedic web series Go-Go Boy Interrupted may have wrapped its season, but fear not fans of irreverent humor: Fowlie has released a blooper reel filled with funny outtakes from the show that follows ex-go-go Danny as he struggles to come to terms with life at 30 and leaving his former life as a boy on a box behind.r
Go behind the scenes and see what cracked the actors up, AFTER THE JUMP...r