Three military veterans who, together with their friend, U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant T. Ashley Metcalf -- who is still actively serving his country -- represent 45 years of military service. Sgt. Metcalf is gay, and his band of brothers -- former Army Staff Sgt. Izzy Abbass, retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Dennis Mont'Ros, and former Marine Sgt. Will Glenn -- talk about the importance of the freedom to marry for everyone.
Today, a class-action lawsuit was filed in Georgia challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
From The Georgia Voice:
April 10 was not your usual Thursday at Fulton County Probate Court. Because at one point during the day, Midtown couple Shane Thomas and Michael Bishop strolled in and applied for a marriage license.
“Everyone there was friendly, but they still said no,” Bishop tells GA Voice.
In 2004, Georgia voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage as well as recognizing same-sex unions from other states. But since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year striking down a major portion of the Defense of Marriage Act in the renowned Windsor case, judge after judge after judge in states across the country are ruling that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.
With that marriage license denial to Bishop and Thomas this month, in coordination with the actions of two other same-sex couples and one widowed lesbian, a chain reaction started which will lead to the April 22 filing of a massive class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Northern Georgia. The plaintiffs will enter this fight with the backing of Lambda Legal and the law firms of Bryan Cave and White & Case.
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This last week, an Orlando judge overturned a November ruling stating that the University of Central Florida had to turn over any documents related to the Social Science Research journal’s peer review and publication of Mark Regnerus’ widely discredited study against same-sex parenting.r
LGBT activist and writer John Becker had requested the documents under Florida’s Public Records Act, but for now they will remain sealed — at least until Becker appeals, which he plans to do. Writing for The Bilerico Project, Becker said:r
Judge John Marshall Kest found that, despite the fact that the journal Social Science Research was housed at UCF; the university granted UCF use of its computers, servers, pass-through networks, email addresses, and office supplies; the university paid Dr. Wright's journal-related travel expenses; and UCF awarded full assistantships and tuition waivers to grad students to work solely on the journal, a sufficient distance exists between the university and the journal to exempt the journal-related records held by UCF from Florida's extensive Sunshine Law.r
Regnerus’ study claimed to show that the children of gay parents had higher rates of life problems compared to kids raised by straight parents, and has been used ever since its publication to oppose same-sex marriage and gay adoption in civil court battles.r
However, an internal audit of the Social Science Research journal concluded that Regnerus’ study was “bulls--t,” that it barely studied gay parents, contained no original research, had a “highly unusual” timeline with an “unseemly rush to publication” and that all three of the journal’s peer-reviewers had ties to the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute that funded the study to begin with.
Figuring out what’s gay and what isn’t can be harder than you think.r
“If he has a Grindr. You know. Unless it's ironic. Like an ironic app. You know. For irony."r
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
Well this is a first.r
An independent poll from Texas Tech Univeristy has found that 48 percent of Texans are in favor of same-sex marriage, while 47 percent oppose it.r
Lone Star Q reports:r
“In the past, support for gay marriage in this state was below 40 percent,” said associate professor Mark McKenzie, who oversaw the poll. “Now, we’re closely divided on the issue. … Democrats and Independents strongly support gay marriage, while Republicans are strongly opposed to it.”r
A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in June 2013 found that 39 percent of Texans supported same-sex marriage — only a slight increase from polls over the previous four years.r
However, no poll has been conducted since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act last year — or since a federal judge in San Antonio struck down the state’s marriage bans in February.r
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor, has appealed the judge’s decision. State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, has come out in support of same-sex marriage. In 2005, three-fourths of voters approved an amendment to the Texas Constitution banning same-sex marriage.
Navy baseball players Brad Borosak and Matt Kilby posted this infectious rendition of “Love is an Open Door” from the hit animated film Frozenr
Cute guys, a wedding proposal, and a Disney soundtrack. What more could you ask for?r
Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...rr
In November of 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against the New Jersey group Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) for offering “dangerous and discredited” ex-gay or conversion therapy.r
JONAH will be represented by the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF), a Catholic legal group that is also helping the National Organization for Marriage flout Iowa’s campaign finance disclosure laws. But to help finance their case, the FCDF has begun selling “Defense Fund coffee” provided by His Coffee, a Christian company that offers such reli-cious flavors as “Raise the Dead,” “Holy Grounds” and “Be Still.”r
In a 2010 resolution, the American Psychological found that ex-gay therapy has not been proven to work, that people are “unlikely to change” as a result and that such therapies can exacerbate distress, depression and negative self-image.
The names keep on coming in the Bryan Singer teenage grab bag law suit.
At a press conference at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills on Monday, 33-year-old plaintiff Michael Egan added Hollywood executives Garth Ancier, David Neuman and Gary Goddard to the list of accused power players with a penchant for questionably consensual underage action.
And just how powerful are these guys? Lets have a look…
Garth Ancier: former president of BBC Worldwide America, former head of programming for Fox, NBC and the WB (that’s a lot of tween dramas to produce), head of year-old Quad Media Partners, formed to launch four fully curated linear TV networks
David Neuman: former president of Disney TV, previous employee of Digital Entertainment Network which is headed by Marc Collins-Rector, who was cited in Egan’s original lawsuit
Gary Goddard: produces live shows on and off Broadway as head of The Goddard Group, and runs a design firm that creates theme park attractions like Universal Studio’s Jurassic Park and Amazing Adventures of Spiderman
Well we can certainly see why Egan would first get the press’ attention with high profile director Singer then work his way down the Hollywood food chain, but these aren’t exactly small fish either.
The new suit claims that the sexual abuse also took place in Hawaii in 1999 (same as Singer), and Egan’s lawyer Jeff Herman has told the press that he expects more names to be released in the next few days.
If this is all a big publicity stunt, Egan sure is being thorough. And if it isn’t, it’ll surely spark some lively debate about abuse of power among some of Hollywood’s most elite gays.
Hopefully time will tell and it doesn’t turn into a full-blown circus, though it does seem to be heading that direction.
It’s a week for sleepers, under-the-radar, and international indie titles in home entertainment, so let’s pay tribute!
Young folk life in Lithuania is illuminated in cross-cultural drama We Will Riot, while gay Los Angelenos are subject of a more local drama, Angelenos. Finally, Danish director Lars Von Trier, who recently worked with hot mess Shia LaDouche, puts a fellow filmmaker to some tests in the remastered release of his The Five Obstructions.
($24.99 DVD; Naratyvas)
New Yorker Luke, an aspiring DJ, has a Lithuanian father and African-American mother. When grandma from the latter side calls, Luke decides to visit his homeland, and in the process becomes part of the Vilnius music scene. A gay manager, Andy, offers Luke the chance of a career, but are things really going to be so simple? Openly gay director/activist Romas Zabarauskas makes a politically-infused, energetic debut here.
($29.99 DVD; Oracle)
The latest indie from gay Somali-American filmmaker Afdhere Jama (Apart) tracks the lives and relationships of a handful of multi-racial gays in the City of Angels.
Blue Collar Underwear recently brought some Texas flavor to Lookout San Francisco during a night of giveaways and dancing, while SF’s very own Sister Roma hosted a “best body” contest. “This was our first of many events across the country,” said Larry L. Little, co-owner of the underwear brand. “We love San Francisco and this will be home some day so what better way to kickoff our tour of cities than here in the Castro.”
See more photos at The Underwear Expert.
Photo Credit: Blue Collar
Award winning LGBTQ director Branden Blinn's provocative short film has been re-edited for YouTube distribution. Starring Lee-Amir Cohen and William Jennings Triple Standard is the story of a homophobic ex professional athlete who is forced to face the reality that he himself is gay.
HOUSTON’S PARKER GOES LONG:r
Houston’s openly lesbian Mayor Annise Parker announced Monday that she is introducing a bill to city council that will prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The bill covers housing, city employment and contracts, and private employment for non-religious employers and companies with fewer than 50 employees. Parker had taken some heat recently when LGBT leaders believed she would propose a human rights ordinance that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing and public accommodations but not in private employment.r
LOG CABIN GETS MAJOR BOOST:r
A trade group that represents such consumer technology giants as Google, Apple, and Microsoft announced Monday it will provide “financial support” to the national Log Cabin Republicans. Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President Gary Shapiro said he was “very proud of CEA’s groundbreaking financial support” for Log Cabin. “Our visible announcement,” said Shapiro, “proves that trade associations want lawmakers and policies that recognize the economic value of hiring the best and brightest minds, regardless of sexual orientation.” Shapiro did not disclose how much financial support CEA is giving Log Cabin or for how long. Log Cabin Executive Director Gregory Angelo said it was “great news” for his group, but he declined to discuss the numbers.r
MILK STAMP UNVEILED:r
The U.S. Postal Service revealed its design for the “forever” stamp honoring openly gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk Monday. The stamp includes a familiar close-up photo of Milk with a strip of rainbow colors in the top left-hand corner, along with his name across the top. The stamp will be officially recognized in a first-day-of-issue ceremony at the White House May 22.r
PENNSYLVANIA RUSHING ALONG:r
Lawyers pressing one of five lawsuits against Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex couples marrying has asked a federal judge in Harrisburg to forego a trial and, instead, make a decision based on briefs. TheACLU organized the lawsuit Whitewood v. Wolf on behalf of 11 couples who want to marry in Pennsylvania or have their marriage licenses from another state accepted by Pennsylvania. The ACLU said a trial became unnecessary after the state indicated it would call no witnesses to defend the ban. The state is not contesting the request for a decision based on the briefs and final briefs are due May 12, says the ACLU.r
WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL STEPPING DOWN:r
The White House Monday announced President Obama has hired a new White House counsel: a former Clinton White House attorney, W. Neil Eggleston. Eggleston, whose focus has been primarily on Congressional investigations and corporate issues, will likely be a step down on LGBT issues. A New York Times profile April 6, credited Kathryn Ruemmler, the outgoing White House counsel, with having “helped develop an administration legal analysis about discrimination against gay people that was highly sympathetic to their rights.” The Times said Ruemmler’s analysis “formed the basis for Mr. Obama’s increasingly assertive backing or same-sex marriage rights.”r
Openly gay U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.Is.) is one of eight members of the House Foreign Relations Committee in Ukraine to show U.S. support for Ukraine’s effort to remain independent of Russia. Cicilline and the others met with Vice President Joe Biden last night to discuss unrest in the region.r
SINEMA FINISHES BOSTON IN 4:32: Openly bisexual U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) finished the Boston Marathon yesterday with a time of 4:32:32.r
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