Me (left) andylovespugs.tumblr.com and my boyfriend Ryan (right)
U.S. District Judge Perez Gimenez has issued a ruling upholding Puerto Rico's ban on same-sex marriage. Equality on Trial reports:r
Citing Baker v. Nelson and the First Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) a judge in Puerto Rico has dismissed a challenge to its same-sex marriage ban.r
In that DOMA case, Massachusetts v. HHS, the First Circuit had said that Baker v. Nelson is binding precedent on the issue of whether there’s a right to same-sex marriage; they then found that Baker didn’t prevent them from ruling on DOMA, which didn’t involve the states’ regulation of marriage.r
The Puerto Rico case can be appealed to the First Circuit, which hasn’t had an opportunity to review challenges to same-sex marriage bans since all the states in that circuit allow same-sex marriage.r
The suit challenging Puerto Rico's marriage ban was brought by a lesbian couple, Ada Conde Vidal and Ivonne Álvarez Velez, who sued to have their marriage performed in Massachussetts recognized by the commonwealth. As we previously reported, Conde decided to file the suit after realizing that she would be barred from making medical decisions on behalf of her ailing daughter. Puerto Rico's ban on same-sex marriage was enshrined into law in 1999 after lawmakers amended the U.S. commonwealth’s civil code to ban recognition of same-sex marriages.r
Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade also points out that Judge Gimenez was appointed by President Jimmy Carter.r
Judge who uphold Puerto Rico's ban on same-sex marriage is a 1979 appointee of Jimmy Carter.r— Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) October 21, 2014
Read the decision, AFTER THE JUMP...r
My boyfriend and I on our one year anniversary.
Instagram: @la_lyons and @kalobtheg
"Adios" is the first release off Ricky Martin's forthcoming studio album due next year and the video finds Martin stepping into all kinds of roles at a speakeasy as bouncer, bartender, mobster, performer, and police officer, each more dashing than the next.r
Check out the clip, and watch Ricky's facial hair come and go, AFTER THE JUMP...r
The clip was directed by Ethan Lader, most well-known for directing Bruno Mars in his music video "Just The Way You Are".r
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter sent back images of comet "Siding Spring" that recently swept by Mars, revealing it to be much smaller than previously thought: "The nucleus of the comet that zoomed past the Red Planet on Sunday appears to be about half its predicted size of about half a mile. This surprising find could be one of many to come as scientists pore over the data sent back by the NASA orbiters and rovers that teamed up to study the mysterious visitor from the solar system’s distant Oort cloud."r
In other Mars news, a NASA-financed study in Hawaii will study how a journey to Mars will impact astronauts psychologically: "When astronauts finally head toward Mars years from now — NASA has penciled the 2030s — it will be a long and lonely journey: about six months to Mars, 500 days on the planet, and then another six months home. “Right now, the psychological risks are still not completely understood and not completely corrected for,” said Kimberly Binsted, a professor of information and computer sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the principal investigator for the project. (She is not in the dome.) “NASA is not going to go until we solve this.”r
Michael Strahan shows off his abs for Magic Mike XXL.r
Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years in prison, will likely serve less time than that.r
Iconic American fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has died.r
Renee Zellweger shows up on a red carpet looking rather different.r
How seriously are you taking Halloween this year?r
A real life Sister Act of sorts. And she's "Like A Virgin."r
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola vaccine trails in West Africa are set to begin this January.r
The future is now--say hello to the hoverboard: "So where does the HENDO hoverboard stand today? Well, about 1 inch off the ground. As you can see from the video above, the prototype is real and it works! But to see it hover in person, and better yet, to defy gravity by riding it, is something you need to experience as well. With the support of the Kickstarter community, we all can."r
Top Russian official will potentially face sanctions from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) follwing derogatory comments he made towards Venus and Serena Williams, referring to them as "the Williams brothers": "While appearing on a television talk show in his country, Shamil Tarpischev, president of the Russian tennis federation, also said that Venus and Serena Williams look "scary." "While my intention was to make a small joke, I realize now that what I said was inappropriate in any context," Tarpischev wrote in an open letter posted on Friday."r
Chinese state media cautions against making "Dumbledore" your English name for the purposes of doing business with western companies.r
French President Francois Hollande stands by the sexually suggestive 'tree' installation in Paris' Place Vendome: "France will always be on the side of artists, just as I am on the side of Paul McCarthy, whose work was sullied, no matter what one's opinion of the piece may have been," said François Hollande at last night's opening of Paris's Fondation Louis Vuitton, according to Agence France Presse. "We must always respect the work of artists … France is always ready to welcome artists and creatives coming from every country in the world...France is no longer herself when she is folded in on herself, tormented by ignorance and intolerance," Hollande added hyperbolically. "The country would plunge into decline if it refused to be itself, if it was afraid of the future, afraid of the world."
Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced today that he will file a petition for the full 9th Circuit Court to re-hear the case challenging the state's gay marriage ban. A three -judge panel of the 9th Circuit struck down the ban on October 7.r
Said Otter's office in a news release:r
The Governor said the three-judge panel made some critical errors in its decision, among them failing to apply the correct legal standard to Idaho’s marriage laws. The “en banc” review by 11 judges from the 9th Circuit would enable the State of Idaho to make its case to a larger and more diverse group of jurists.
“One of the key arguments against the Idaho Constitution’s defense of traditional marriage has been that redefining it to include same-sex couples would not harm anyone. But the Hitching Post example shows the fallacy of that position,” Governor Otter said.
A lawsuit filed in federal court last Friday on behalf of Don and Lynn Knapp, ordained ministers and owners of the Hitching Post wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, alleges the couple’s constitutional right to religious freedom would be violated by their city’s 2013 antidiscrimination ordinance if they are compelled to officiate over such ceremonies. The city contends it will not prosecute legitimate nonprofit religious organizations exercising their First Amendment rights.
“I have repeatedly pointed out to the courts that unaccountable judges imposing their perception of social change on the law – rather than public policy being changed through the democratic process – undoubtedly will lead to increased religious strife and restrictions on private property. For these important reasons, I will continue defending Idahoans’ self-determination and the will of Idaho voters who decided that traditional marriage is a core principle of our society.”r
Otter also said in his request that allowing the three-judge panel's decision to stand will violate First Amendment freedom of religion laws. He added that he continues to monitor opportunity for the case to be taken by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Gwen Stefani, former lead singer of No Doubt and well-established solo artist in her own right, has released her first new single in several years, and it is sure to be a pop radio hit. The track, called "Baby Don't Lie," has an intoxicating, semi-tribal synth beat that will make you want to dance, and Stefani's voice is typically fun and flirty. The video takes a sore subject--the possibility of an unfaithful loved one--and turns it into a psychedelic landscape of bright color and tingly texture.r
Well done, Ms. Stefani. Well done.r
Check out the video (and try not to dance along), AFTER THE JUMP...rr
For the first time, a person has been granted asylum by the Argentinian government after suffering harassment based on sexual orientation. 'Gene,' the gay Russian man who fled to the South American country, has been given the "condition of refugee" according to the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals (FALGBT), who 'Gene' contacted for help two years ago.r
NVO News reports:r
Argentina’s National Refugee Commission accepted the petition after acknowledging in a report the harassment suffered by the 28-year-old man and the lack of government protection for sexual minorities in Russia...r
We hope that starting with this first case, Argentina will be positioned as a refugee destination,” FALGBT president Esteban Paulon, who took Gene’s case to the government commission, told EFE.r
We are sending our well wishes to 'Gene' and our thanks to Argentina and FALGBT.
... and five other things you need to know today.
Twenty-two years ago Madonna was more inescapable than ever. Her pulsating single “Erotica” was climbing the charts, an album of the same name had just been released (and it was even more sexual than any of the the singer’s past work), and the anticipation for her
Basic Instinct knock-off ill-fated sensual thriller Body of Evidence was still high. But the project that was really causing a commotion was Sex, the icon’s notorious coffee table book filled with provocative S/M images of the entertainer cavorting with adult film stars, celeb friends — often completely nude — and indulging in all sorts of activities usually not explored outside of an urban fetish club.
It was a liberating time for scores of the pop queen’s gay fans. Among them was Greg Scarnici, familiar to Queerty readers by his pretty lady drag persona Levonia Jenkins, who felt so inspired by all the pro-sex and mostly pro-Sex coverage in the media that he swung open his mirrored closet door and told his friends and family that he was a big queen.
“Seeing a huge pop star shooting at The Gaeity Male Burlesque with my favorite porn star at the time, Joey Stefano, made me realize it was not only okay to be gay, but it was also okay to embrace my sexuality,” Scarnici tells HuffPo.
As the book remained a source of inspiration, Scarnici decided to pay homage to the 1992 tome by creating his own slightly more twisted version, which he’d appropriately title Sex in Drag. He donned a blond wig and enlisted a group of pals including Chris Harder, Dallas Dubois, Logan Hardcore, Bob The Drag Queen, Quamin Ellis and Z100’s “Uncle Johnny for a
sordid sexy shoot in Fire Island.
Scarnici describes those few days to HuffPo as a blast to recreate. He recalls:
“Even though a lot of the images were sexual, we were all hysterical laughing while shooting it: ‘Is my bush showing through the vodka bottle?’ The whole thing was so much fun. And while we were shooting it, no one on Fire Island batted an eye! They just looked at us like it was normal to see a naked man/woman eating a slice of pizza at the Cherry Grove pizzeria.
Learn more about the book or purchase your own copy here. See a few of the less explicit images from Sex in Drag below.