Monday, August 31, 2015

SCOTUS Says "No" To Kentucky County Clerk - Must Issue Same-Sex Couples Marriage Licenses

The U.S. Supreme Court rebuffed Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis' request for a stay on a federal judge's ruling that would require her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Via the Courier-Journal:

“The application for stay presented to Justice (Elena) Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied,” the order said.

Justice Elena Kagan, who oversees the 6th district, referred Davis’ request to the full court, which denied the stay without comment.

A stay issued earlier by U.S. District Judge David Bunning expired Monday.

In a separate development, the Kentucky attorney general is mulling whether to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether she violated the state official misconduct statute when her office refused to issue a license to a Rowan County gay couple.

Official misconduct is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 365 days in jail.

Done and done.

Do your job, Kim Davis.

News Round-Up: August 31, 2015

Some news stories you may have missed:

• It's time for Monday Men At Work (see above)

• The gay couple in Rowan County, Kentucky, who have been denied a marriage license three times have filed a lawsuit in federal court against the county government and County Clerk Kim Davis.

• A man with a 19" penis says it makes working and having a social dating life impossible.

• Fox and Friends host Elizabeth Hasselbeck doesn't understand why the #BlackLivesMatter movement hasn't been named a "hate group." Seriously.

• Five HIV+ men offer advice to their younger selves about surviving and thriving post-diagnosis.

• Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis is running out of time and options in her fight to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Time to do your job, Ms. Davis.

• Ellen DeGeneres announces GapKids x ED, a new collection for Gap Kids that is for every girl no matter "whether they skateboard or dance, wear dresses or jeans, build forts or paint rainbows, or everything in between."

Music Video: Taylor Swift "Wildest Dreams"

Taylor Swift dropped her latest music video - "Wildest Dreams" - during last night's MTV VMA Awards, where she took home the Video of the Year award for “Bad Blood.”

This video highlights the newest single from her wildly successful album 1989.

In the video, Swift falls in love with a movie co-star (played by the very handsome Scott Eastwood) a la "Out Of Africa."

Lions, giraffes, tigers and more fill the gorgeous landscape as Swift tangles with her own 'inner beasts.'

Matt Baume Looks At The Strange, Horrible History Of "Ex-Gay" Therapy

After several posts about so-called "ex-gay" torture therapy here on The Randy Report, I did encounter a few people who asked me, "What if someone wants to be 'cured' of the gay? Shouldn't they be able to do that?"

And the answer? Of course. Except - it doesn't work.

And the history behind most of the "treatments" is pretty sketchy - forced cuddling, horse stroking, and monkey testicles, anybody?

Smart guy Matt Baume takes us on a disturbing journey through the ages of "curing the gay."

Eye Roll Of The Day: Celine Dion On Being Compared To A Kardashian

Celine Dion's reaction is priceless here.

At an August 27th press conference in Las Vegas for Celine's return to the stage after a year long absence, a reporter "compliments" the diva on her hair calling it "very Kardashian."

Watch for the eye roll.

(h/t GayVegas)

Iowa: Ben Carson Ties Donald Trump in New Monmouth University Poll

Guess who's going to be the next target for Mr. Trump?

Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has surged in Iowa to pull into a dead heat with Donald Trump among likely Iowa Republican caucus goers.

Both Carson and Trump received 23 percent of likely caucusgoers' support, according to the latest Monmouth University poll.

However, Carson leads Trump on favorability - Carson notches an 81% favorable rating while The Donald is down at 52%.

Coming in behind the two front runners, 10% of likely caucusgoers threw their support to Carly Fiorina, 9% to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and just 7% for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

At the end of the day (or this day at least) what does this all mean? That the top 3 GOP hopefuls are all non-politicians. That Republicans, at least in Iowa, are tired of career pols and want to maybe try something new?

According to a recent Gallup poll, a dismal 14% of Americans approve of the job the GOP-led Congress is doing.

X Factor: Aussie Seann Miley Moore's Kills With Queen's "The Show Must Go On"

Aussie Seann Miley Moore brings the very unexpected in Week 1 of this season's X Factor UK auditions.

This could have been very average, or done south quickly.

But, no.

Simon Cowell: “I’m going to remember this audition for a very, very long time.”

Via The Mirror:

Take a hairy fur jacket, a PVC skirt, leather platform heels, sheer mesh top, metal waist-synching belt, hoop earrings, heavy make-up and a backwards baseball cap and you have an X Factor sensation before he’d even started singing.

Seann, who revealed he moved to London from Australia to compete on the show, hit all the right notes with his version of Queen’s "The Show Must Go On."

After his crowd-wowing performance and incredibly powerful vocal, he sobbed as a tearful Ora told him: “There is nothing I can say to you apart from I am so happy you came on this show!”

With a standing ovation from the crowd and the judges, the gushing comments just kept coming.

Moore's amazing performance was made even more exciting by the support of the audience. While Moore's appearance is his own wonderful, unique expression of who he is, the audience went right with him.

For those who may not know the song,  it was recorded by Queen late in Freddie Mercury's battle with AIDS. Released in 1991, the song was certified Gold in the US.

(h/t JMG)

Bernie Sanders Edges Closer to Hillary Clinton In New Iowa Poll

To be honest, it's waaaaay early in this election cycle but a new poll from the Des Moines Register-Bloomberg Politics shows Bernie Sanders has whittled Hillary Clinton's once commanding lead in Iowa to only 7 points.

The new survey shows Hillary with 37% support and Sanders at 30%. Veep Joe Biden got 14% even though he's not announced if he will enter the race yet.

When you factor out Biden, the numbers shifted to Hillary 43% and Sanders 35%.

I like both Sanders and Clinton, but I have a hard time seeing Americans electing a politician who self-identifies as "Socialist."

Trailer: Final Season Of Downton Abbey

The sixth and final season of Downton Abbey will premiere on ITV September 20th, and so, there's a new appropriately melancholy trailer as the denizens of the estate prepare to head off in their separate directions.

I know it's really just a fancy soap opera, but I love it.

Here's hoping handsome, gay footman Thomas finds some kind of happiness before the finale.

"Downton Abbey" airs on PBS in the United States and the new season is scheduled to start on January 3, 2016.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Ramin Karimloo Says Happy Trails To Broadway's LES MISERABLES

Tony Award nominee (and overall super talent) Ramin Karimloo said 'so long' for now to the Broadway company of Les Miserables.

Karimloo moves on to the upcoming Prince of Broadway featuring the shows on Broadway producer/director Hal Prince.

In case anyone needs to be reminded of the brilliance that is Ramin Karimloo, here's one of the most recent video performances of Ramin singing "Bring Him Home" from his heart-stopping performance as "Jean Valjean" in Les Miserables on Broadway.

(Couldn't find a great live theatre clip, but you get the bonus of seeing the handsome face here...)

Quote Of The Day: Charles Blow On The Removal Of Jorge Ramos From Trump Presser

"When Donald Trump's security escorted the Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of a news conference on Tuesday, I decided that I was officially done." - New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow

Sam Stanley, Professional Union Rugby Player, Comes Out

Sam Stanley, a 23 year old English professional union player from Essex, comes out as gay in an interview with the Sunday Times.

Stanley told the Sunday Times, “You are so worried about what people will think, and I thought I couldn’t be a macho rugby player the way I was, and there was nothing else I wanted to do with my life.”

Stanley follows Batley Bulldogs' Keegan Hirst, who recently came out as gay. At the time, Stanley publicly praised Hirst via Twitter.

Hirst became the first openly gay rugby league player to take part in a game earlier in August.

Additionally, rugby star Gareth Thomas came out in 2009.

Congrats Sam! Good on you! Visibility is what helps the rest of the world see we're like everyone else. Only maybe a little more fabulous.

I know we'll be seeing a lot more of Stanley in the coming weeks.

And speaking of "seeing more" - check out Stanley's Instagram video playing guitar and singing (naked?) James Bay's "When We Were On Fire:"

A video posted by Sam Stanley (@samstannerz) on

A photo posted by Sam Stanley (@samstannerz) on

Sam Stanley (L) with rugby champion & LGBT ally Ben Cohen (R)

Irish President Signs Marriage Equality Constitutional Amendment

Irish President Michael Higgins on Saturday officially signed an amendment to his country’s constitution that extends marriage rights to same-sex couples in his country.

Higgins amended the Irish Constitution roughly three months after Ireland became the first country in the world in which same-sex couples received marriage rights through a popular vote. The Irish Times reported Prime Minister Edna Kenny’s government next month will introduce a bill that would allow the amendment to officially take effect.

“We are all delighted,” Tiernan Brady of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, an Irish advocacy group, told the Washington Blade on Saturday in a statement. “This is a historic moment for LGBT people and everyone in Ireland. After the joyful scenes that followed the resounding yes vote last May it is wonderful that President Higgins has signed the act and made the result official.”

Irish lawmakers in July approved a bill that will allow transgender people to legally change their gender without medical intervention.

Same-sex couples are able to legally marry in the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Iceland, Scotland, England, Wales, France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico City and several Mexican states, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

(from the Washington Blade)

Nico Maffey Gets "High By The Beach" With Lana Del Rey

Can we just appreciate the skill, talent and fitness of performer Nico Maffey for just a second?

Impressive display here, set to Lana Del Rey's "High By The Beach."

Happy Sunday!

Transpirando un poquito papuchoooooooooooooo #sweat

Posted by Nico Maffey on Friday, August 21, 2015

Meet Shane Ortega - First Openly Transgender Man In U.S. Military

YouTube personality Raymond Braun chats with Sergeant Shane Ortega, the first openly trans man in the U.S. Military on his life, trans rights and his time in the military on a Hawaiian beach.

Sgt. Ortega served three combat tours, two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, and engaged in 400 combat operations.

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