In 2013 Baronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, turned away gay couple Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll - refusing their business for their upcoming wedding. Stutzman claimed she was exercising her religious liberties in refusing the couple service, but the state of Washington asserted she was in violation of consumer protection laws. Benton County Supreme Court Judge Alex Ekstrom heard two summary motions in the state’s case against Stutzman this past Friday.r
“When it comes to running a business you cannot discriminate against someone based on their religion, based on their race, based on their age, or in this case, based on their sexual orientation,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “And unfortunately, that’s what [Stutzman] did here.”r
Stutzman is currently awaiting trial for another suit filed on behalf of Freed and Ingersoll by the ACLU. Should Washington win in its suit against her, she could potentially be responsible for a $2,000 fine as well as covering attorney’s fees.
Edwin Pabon's photographic obsession with the male backside makes the frontside of Next (December 19, 2014). Inside, he explains:
“I shoot homoerotic nudes, but for whatever reason, I rarely shoot frontal. Maybe I feel like it's giving too much information, or maybe it's just 'cause I like the backside better.”
I'm going with answer B.
In order, the images are entitled: “Femme”, “Leaving the Darkness”, “Artist”, “Becoming a Virgin”, “Modern Medusa”, “Painting Love”, “Rebirth”, “She Wolf”, “Sacrifice of Media” & “Redemption”.
I wanted to call attention to the work of Seyed Mohsen Pourmohseni Shakib, an artist in Iran whose imagery is in defiance of his country's take on art and self-expression. They remind me of '70s experimental photography, in particular (though stripped down) of Steven Arnold. Thematically, there's definitely a Kahlo try in there. My favorites are “Painting Love” and “Modern Medusa”.
The artist says:
“This photo collection is not only a bunch of pictures which try to escape from reality. Each picture is a part of reality that we try to ignore and bury them in the deepest place that we can find at our unconscious. First, I've faced with each frame when I was traveling in my unconscious and focused on them to found what they wanted to say. Next, I've tried to make a visual connection between mind and eyes via photography.”
More about the artist:
Seyed Mohsen Pourmohseni Shakib was born in 1988 in Rasht, Iran. At age 17, he started his art work as screenwriter and editor. At the same time, he went to university to study civil engineering. He became a member of “Rasht Young Cinema Society” and made his first and second animated shorts—White Paper (2010) and Game Over (2013—which have been shown at 35 national and international film festivals.
Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson is studying the Bible in a quest to figure out if being gay is a choice.r
Willie’s dad Phil got into some serious hot water a year ago when he attacked gay “sinners” who are going to hell. In an interview with GQ, Robertson senior also oddly said “we never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell.” Phil later defended his views but claimed that although he's a homophobe, gay people "need to know that I love them".r
Speaking with Larry King, junior Robertson said that he doesn’t agree with everything his old man said in the interview because “we love everybody.” Her also helpfully pointed out that there are many, many gay people in the entertainment world.r
Asked if he believes that being gay is a choice, young Willie said:r
“Larry, I’m trying to figure that out right now. I really am since the controversy and since I know all these people — and if the thought is ‘I’m born this way.’r
“I don’t know. I’m trying to figure out myself through the passages, because I always have to look to the scriptures to see what’s there and then I put it up against people — put my time in, so I’ve spent time with people.r
“I’m not the judge. God’s going to be the judge, so it’s not my job to convince people to change their lives — it’s really through Jesus. If I just introduce them to Jesus, he’ll do that.”r
Willie didn’t elaborate on when he made the decision to be heterosexual.r
Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
TLC will air a documentary on January 1st about gay Mormon men in Salt Lake City who are married to women.r
The men claim to use their faith in god to overcome anything that goes against their religious beliefs. Featuring three married couples and one bachelor, one of the men says he has “chosen an alternative to an alternative lifestyle.” Another participant helpfully explains “I’m interested in men, I’m just not interested in men.”r
Some of the wives are delusional.r
Watch a trailer for the TLC special, AFTER THE JUMP...r
Mormon leaders recently reiterated the church's opposition to homosexuality.rr
THERE IS MORE, CLICK HERE TO SEE REST OF THE POST
It’s not often that one thinks of RuPaul as being jacked into the tech-bubble, but the reigning queen of all things drag recently sat down with Engadget’s Joseph Volpe to gab about some of the queerer parts of Silicon Valley. More broadly RuPaul shared his thoughts Facebook’s algorithmic deletion of drag queens, ‘Drag Race’s' dependence on online streaming, and the significance of Tim Cook’s coming out.r
“You know, people talk about equality in our culture, and it's based on a kindergarten primary idea of what fairness and equality is,” RuPaul said of Cook’s recent announcement. “But it doesn't get updated as we get older.”r
“You know, [if] somebody who's straight behaves a certain way, nobody bats an eyelash. But if a gay person does the exact same thing, people are like, "Oh my god. It's revolutionary!" [But] it's the exact same thing! And the same is true in any business. Gender plays a huge role in how we see people, how we interpret what they say, whether we know it or not. Most people don't know it. So I applaud him. I think, "Right on!"r
Ru also shared his thoughts on "gaymers," and his new mobile game Dragopolis. You can check out the full interview here.
As expected, Elton John and David Furnish celebrated 21 years together with an intimate wedding ceremony at the couple's Windsor home on Sunday.r
Wrote Elton on the caption to the above photo: "That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!
The 67-year-old singer set up an Instagram account for fans to share in the special day's celebration. Sons Zachary and Elijah were the ring bearers.r
Check out more photos, AFTER THE JUMP...r
Photos via Instagram
Benjy made headlines around the world this month when an animal rights group in Ireland started a campaign to save the bull from the slaughterhouse. John Kelly, a farmer in County Mayo, Ireland bought the bull for breeding last year but was left disappointed when he realised that Benjy is more interested in other bulls.r
Within minutes of arriving at the sanctuary earlier this month, Benjy befriended 1-year-old bullock Alex (above right).r
However, the romance is likely to be short-lived as Benjy is due to be castrated as per sanctuary protocols.r
The sanctuary wrote on Facebook that although they are not certain that Benjy is gay, "the fact that somebody thought he was has certainly saved his life!"r
Watch an independent.ie report on Benjy's arrival at Hillside, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
On last night's cold open for SNL, Sam Smith's "A Very Somber Christmas" special was interrupted by none other than Dr. Evil himself, who preempted the program because he was "furious that North Korea and Sony Pictures have both given evil organizations a bad name."r
Added Dr. Evil about the Guardians of Peace cyberterrorist group claming responsibility for the Sony hack: "Hello!? Way to go a-holes! There's already a GOP...and they're already an evil organization."r
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...r
Chinese gay rights activists counted another victory this past Friday following the Haidian District Court’s ruling against a local gay conversion therapy center. Yang Teng, a 30-year old man living in Beijing (who was previously quoted under the pseudonym Xiao Zhen), filed a lawsuit against at the Xinyu Piaoxian clinic after being subjected to a routine of hypnosis and electroshock therapy. Teng checked himself into the clinic after being pressured by his family to attempt “curing” himself of his homosexuality, he explained.r
As of 2001, the People’s Republic no longer recognizes homosexuality as a mental illness. Presiding judge Wang Chenghong based her decision on China’s official legal position on homosexuality, reasoning that Teng’s gay desires were not something that could be medically treated. The clinic has been ordered to issue an official apology to Teng and to pay damages totaling 3,500 yuan ($563 US.)r
“We accomplished our goal, which was to establish that gay conversion is not a legitimate form of therapy,” Yang said soon after a decision was made. I’m going to take this verdict and show it to my parents so they can see a Chinese court said homosexuality isn’t a mental illness.”r
Teng’s family insisted upon his checking into Xinyu Piaoxian after seeing advertisements for the clinic on Baidu, one of China’s largest search engines. Baidu was also named in Teng’s lawsuit, though Judge Chenghong’s ruling did not call for the company to pay damages as well. The search engine would be well advised, she explained, in being more careful in its decisions to run ads for questionable services.r
Watch an AllOut video on Zhen's story, AFTER THE JUMP...r
Last week we reported that LSU students are organizing protests and other events in response to "The Response," a prayer rally to be hosted by the American Family Association — an anti-LGBT hate group — on the university's campus January 24.r
Since then, the LSU Faculty Senate has issued a strongly worded condemnation of "The Response," which will be headlined by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal (above) as he prepares to kick off his 2016 presidential campaign. The Faculty Senate said although it doesn't appear the university can legally deny the rental of space to the AFA, the rally is "inconsistent with the goals and aspirations of a great university":r
The Faculty Senate has made use of its extensive media resources to focus public attention on this matter. ... In all of these interview opportunities, Faculty Senate representatives have stressed that the “Response” event both damages the University and conflicts with its values, whether by associating intolerance with University venues or interfering with the goal of disseminating the best in science. ...r
The story of “The Response” is far from over, but I do want to assure the LSU and the statewide higher education community that the LSU Faculty Senate is working vigorously to assist the administration not only in repairing the damage resulting from this event but also in using it as an educational, formative opportunity.r
Despite widespread opposition from students and faculty at LSU, Jindal continues to defend holding "The Response" at LSU. This week, he insisted the rally is "not a political event, it's a religious event":r
"Christians have the right to rent, to pay for a hall at a public university so they can come together and pray," Jindal told reporters at an economic development announcement in New Orleans.r
Asked if he agreed with the American Family Association's agenda, Jindal sidestepped that question and said, "The left likes to try to divide and attack Christians."r
Jindal said the protesters themselves should consider joining the prayer rally. He said they "might benefit from prayer."r
Meanwhile, in addressing criticism of the event, AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer continues to suggest that gays are to blame for natural disasters. The website for "The Response" initially included a prayer guide blaming gays, abortion and pornography for Hurricane Katrina, but it was quickly removed. However, Fischer told The Times-Picayune this week:r
Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry headlined an AFA prayer rally in Houston in 2011 to kick off his presidential campaign, so we assume Perry and GOP Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will be fighting over the Lone Star State's AFA hatefest next year.r
Ultimately, though, these events may only backfire by galvanizing progressive opposition in places where they're held, such as in Baton Rouge. A reader poll on The Times-Picayune website shows that 66 percent of respondents believe "The Response" should be held at a private building or church.
Watch Jindal's invitation to "The Response," AFTER THE JUMP ...r