Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter To Petition 9th Circuit Court for En Banc Re-hearing of Same-Sex Marriage Case

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter (do you love that name or what?) announced today that he's filing a petition with the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for an en banc re-hearing of Idaho's same-sex marriage case.

From the Spokesman-Review:

“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,” Otter said in a statement. He said his office will file the petition later today.

An en banc review at the 9th Circuit, because the circuit is so large, would mean that a larger 11-judge panel would re-hear the case, after a three-judge panel made the decision earlier. In smaller circuits, an en banc review is a rehearing by the full court. Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden earlier requested that 9th Circuit assign a full 11-judge panel to hear Idaho's case in the first place, rather than a three-judge panel; that request was denied.

Meanwhile, county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on October 15th. By the time any appeal reaches any court, hundreds of gay and lesbian couples will be married. Can I see a show of hands of the folks who want to tell those couple's children they won't be a legal family anymore?

Interestingly, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is not a party to Otter's petition. But in a statement from his spokesman, Todd Dvorak, Wasden stated that he does plan to file an appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming weeks.

Kansas, Montana and South Carolina Still Behind The Curve

Evan Wolfson of Freedom To Marry tweeted that yesterday noting that only Kansas, Montana and South Carolina have not moved to honor the recent rulings in three federal appellate courts concerning the freedom to marry:

• Kansas has a court date this Friday, October 24th, in Kansas City at 10AM where LGBT activists will request a temporary injunction that would bring Kansas in line with the rest of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

• Montana gets a hearing on November 20th in Great Falls where the ACLU has requested a summary judgement on the issue of same-sex marriage in light of the recent ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Montana.

• South Carolina is moving at a slower pace with written briefs due by October 23rd in a lawsuit filed which would bring the state in line with the ruling from the 4th Circuit Court. Both sides will then have 14 days to reply to briefs, and then a hearing will be scheduled within 21 days after that.

Additionally, Arkansas will also address same-sex marriage on November 20th when Federal Judge Kristine Baker will hear plaintiffs asking for a summary judgement for marriage equality while the state has filed a motion to dismiss the case altogether.

Michael Sam Released From Dallas Cowboys Practice Squad

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL, has hit another momentary stumbling block to joining the active roster of an NFL team.

Michael Sam has been released from the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.


From USA Today:

The Dallas Cowboys waived the rookie end off their practice squad Tuesday and signed linebacker Troy Davis.

Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, was waived in the final round of cuts by the St. Louis Rams in August and was available for several days before the Cowboys picked him up.

Sam was drafted by the Rams in the seventh round out of Missouri.

Just this past weekend Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones was quoted as saying, "Sam has blended in seamlessly with the Cowboys" and that Sam's sexuality was "a dead issue."

The Cowboys defense had been considered weak in the last few seasons, so Sam seemed a good fit for the practice squad. But the Cowboys have racked up an impressive 6-1 record in the current NFL season.

With his trademark class and positive perspective, Sam made this statement via Twitter:

"I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates, and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday."

New Music Video: Gwen Stefani "Baby Don't Lie"

Singer/songwriter/fashion trend-setter Gwen Stefani releases her new music video “Baby Don’t Lie” on Mad Love/Interscope Records.

The track is available now for digital download here.

Trailer: The Comeback of THE COMEBACK

Lisa Kudrow is just brilliant as "Valerie Cherish" in The Comeback which returns to HBO on November 9th for a new season after a nine year hiatus.

Can. Not. Wait.

OUT's Aaron Hicklin got the chance to ask Lisa Kudrow about The Comeback's first season in 2005 and how Kudrow's "Valerie Cherish" is different today:

Kudrow on the 2014 "Valerie"
“This season, things are just a little bigger. Valerie’s not in a four-year marriage—it’s a 14-year marriage. Also, her mind-set about reality and dignity is a little different, because we’ve all since accepted, Oh, there’s probably a camera somewhere. You know, someone flips a table: ‘Well, I guess that’s good TV.’ Back then, she really thought everything about her was fantastic, and the only time she started to crack was when she began to suspect she’d been taken advantage of. We have a little more of that earlier on this time around.”

The uncomfortability of indignity
“My husband has a hard time watching The Comeback. When we were first making the show, he came to visit the set and saw a scene and said, ‘Who wrote that? Who’s making my wife do that?’ And they replied, ‘Uh, your wife wrote it.’ A couple of years ago, I watched all of them again. And with the first two, I thought, Wow, this is brutal. There was no violence and no sex, and yet it was really uncomfortable. But that’s how it is everywhere. Everyone has to suffer some kind of indignity to get along in his or her professional pursuit.”

Read more at OUT.

And mark your calendars - The Comeback Season 2 begins November 9 on HBO.

Preview: Matt Zarley "Constantly" from upcoming hopefulROMANTIC

The second music video preview of Matt Zarley's upcoming musical short film, hopefulROMANTIC.

From Matt:

hopefulROMANTIC is a universal story about loving, letting go, and holding onto faith there is somebody for everybody.

The practically dialogue free narrative is articulated solely thru Matt Zarley & Andy Zulla's soulful pop score.

Zarley co-stars w/ George Takei, Chuck Saculla, & Jolie Jenkins.

Directed by Benjamin Pollack.

Remix of the Day: Whitney Houston "Queen of the Night" Ryan Skyy 2014 Radio Edit

I love Tuesdays. It's always new music day :)

Via press release:

"Queen of the Night", the uptempo pop rock/dance number that appeared on The Bodyguard soundtrack and gave Whitney Houston her 5th #1 hit on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, has been reproduced by DJ/Producer Ryan Skyy to celebrate the upcoming Lifetime TV biopic "Whitney", directed by Angela Bassett and set to release in 2015.

The new single is available for free download/streaming on Soundcloud in both a Radio Edit () and Extended Club Remix.

Updated Marriage Equality Map - October 21, 2014

As Wyoming begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples today, this is the updated map showing marriage equality across the US.

This map now includes Wyoming!  Whoo-hoo!

Let's hear it for #32!

All that wonderful, happy, legal, equal BLUE.

I'll continue to update as more states get on the right side of history.


Marriage Equality Begins In Wyoming Today

New Music Video: Ricky Martin “Adiós”

“Adiós” is the first single from Ricky Martin’s forthcoming album, which is scheduled for an early 2015 release.  You can find the track at iTunes.

The uber-stylish video was filmed on location at the Long Beach, Calif., speakeasy Harvelle's, which opened in 1931 during Prohibition. Ricky Martin plays five characters – a policeman, bartender, bouncer, mobster and singer.

“Adiós” features dancers from Harlow Gold, the cutting-edge L.A. burlesque troupe founded by world-renowned choreographers Tracy Phillips and Dominic Carbone.

Note as the dancers wind their way into the audience, they begin to flirt with the crowd. First the female dancers hit on the men, then work their way to the woman in the audience. Not heavy-handed, just there.  Without being nasty or dirty, it creates a very sexy, lightly erotic atmosphere.


Oh - and yeah, Ricky's still super-easy on the eyes. Excuse me while I watch this one more time. Or two...

Ricky will be touring Mexico in support of the new project - check his tour dates at the official website.

You Know Those Times You Wish You Could Say What You're Thinking?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Quote of the Day: Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys on Michael Sam

Dallas Cowboys' Michael Sam

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Michael Sam's sexuality - "It's a dead issue. A dead issue:"

"Sam has blended in seamlessly with the Cowboys, doing whatever is asked of him in practice - even playing a little offense on the scout squad. He watches from the sidelines with the other practice players during home games, coming up to the edge of the field to study the defense and going back to the bench to join in the breakdowns after each series.

"He comes to work every day, practices hard," coach Jason Garrett said last week. "He's working on his skills and trying to develop."

Shonda Rhimes Shuts Down Twitter Hate Over Same-Sex TV Scenes

Scene from "How To Get Away With Murder"

Shonda Rhimes has long been credited for her inclusion of minority characters on television. Whether Grey's Anatomy, Scandal or the new How to Get Away With Murder.

Both Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder have recently gotten attention for some steamy scenes involving gay men.

This past Sunday, Rhimes responded to a Twitter user who was not feeling the vibe of these scenes. "The gay scenes in Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder are too much. There is no point, and they add nothing to the plot," wrote the user.

Check out Rhimes' response:

Here's one of the now infamous scenes. Maybe it's just me, but I think it's pretty terrific :)

(via the Hollywood Reporter)

New Music: Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne "Real Love"

The British acts Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne have released the video for their infectious new single, “Real Love,” produced by Jack Patterson (Clean Bandit).  "Real Love" is the newest single from the upcoming debut album for Clean Bandit, New Eyes.

The track has already had over 1.6 million audio plays and was honoured as “Track of the Day” on BBC’s Radio 1 last week.

The video features straight and same-sex couples sharing their Real Love with the video audience, plus in concert footage from the band's LA gig at the El Rey Theatre.

Grace Chatto of Clean Bandit said this about the video: “We made this video whilst on the road touring for the first time in North America. The tour was a brilliant experience, which makes this video even more special."

"Real Love" is available on iTunes.

Jess Glynne

Clean Bandit in concert in LA

Clean Bandit in concert in LA

Some Las Vegas Wedding Chapels Refuse To Perform Same-Sex Weddings

Via Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist and commentator David Horsey

After the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found Nevada's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, gay and lesbian couples have been legally allowed to marry in the state.

But according to a recent news investigation, some Las Vegas wedding chapels are refusing to perform the nuptials based on religious beliefs.

From 8 News NOW in Las Vegas:

After making calls to about 15 wedding chapels, 8 News NOW found that several of them refused to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.

The Elvis Wedding Chapel, which welcomes traditional and Elvis-themed weddings, said they wouldn't marry same-sex couples. However, when the 8 News Now cameras were rolling as we tried to get their stance on camera, they refused to open the door.

"I'm not going to tell you,” David with the Elvis Wedding Chapel said, "It just -- there is no story here.”

Dolly Deleon, the owner of the Vegas Wed Chapel, said she's a born-again believer in Jesus.

"My faith won't allow me," Deleon said.

She did not know that a couple who is turned away based on race, sex, or sexual orientation could file charges against her. That could then lead to a misdemeanor arrest.

"I would be a hypocrite if I said I'm a Bible-believing person and yet I would perform marriage that believe is solely against God's law,” Deleon said.

Because nothing says "sanctity of marriage" like being married by an Elvis impersonator, right?

The problem for businesses like Vegas Wed Chapel is that in 2011, sexual orientation was added to the state's public accommodation law making it a misdemeanor offense for businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

"The difference between a church and a place of worship and a wedding chapel, is that a wedding chapel is a business so that is covered under the Public Accommodations Law of Nevada,” said Tod Story, ACLU.

"Any Las Vegas wedding chapel that operates as a business is covered under Nevada's public accommodations law and is not allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples seeking a wedding ceremony, or any other couple for that matter," says Tod Story, executive director for the ACLU of Nevada. "Currently, the way the law is written, it's a misdemeanor crime. Any couple refused service has to file a complaint with the state. ... [Vegas Wed] has turned away couples. I don't know if [those couples] even knew there was a law that protected them."

The news isn't all bad though. Gay partners Jamie Richards and Ron DeCar own and operate the Viva Las Vegas chapel in Las Vegas, and have in the business of same-sex ceremony packages since 1999, even though they were not legally binding.

“From Day One we were doing commitment ceremonies,” Richards told the Daily Beast. “I worked at the MGM (Grand) years ago when you literally went to board meetings and stuff, and nobody could know you were gay. And now all the hotels embrace the gay population, and they embrace the gay dollar. It’s got to help the economy.”

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