Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Betty White on her support for the gay community

During an interview with Larry King last night, Betty White took questions from fans via the internet on a wide range of subjects including her support of the LGBT community.

Bravo Betty White!

Where do all the marriage equality lawsuits stand?

Click to enlarge

With 65 marriage equality lawsuits in progress in 31 states and US territories, it's hard to know who is doing what when. Freedom To Marry shares the handy dandy graphic above to help remember what all is going on.

Freedom To Marry's Evan Wolfson recently spoke about the marriage equality cases currently before the various circuit courts of appeal:
Presumably, we will soon - meaning, in a matter of months - have rulings from one or more of the federal appellate courts.

Then there's the possibility of further procedures as to whether the three-judge panels in those courts that will rule will then go to the broader, full panel of the entire circuit courts [a process called en banc review]. That could consume a few more months.

When that gets resolved (either by bypassing that step or by having another set of arguments and further round of decisions), then whoever loses that ultimate appeals court ruling may ask the Supreme Court to hear the case. That's called "seeking cert." That stage then requires another few months of briefing and argument, with one side saying the Supreme Court should hear the case and the other side saying the Court should not hear the case.

Then, it's up to the Supreme Court to decide whether it's going to take one of the cases or not.

It takes only four of the nine justices to vote to hear a case.

For a full list of marriage litigation, head over to Freedom To Marry's comprehensive list.

How to cook perfect bacon

Ok, who doesn't love bacon? The smell, the taste, the perfect breakfast meat...

But we don't all do it great. Some microwave bacon - which is fast but not always great; some fry it - but it can burn easy if the fat cooks slow while the meat cooks fast.

Here's a tried and true method from America's Test Kitchens:

First spread out your bacon evenly in a pan on high heat. (Two rules of thumb for however you like your bacon are: always start with a hot pan and never overcrowd it), and cover the bacon with water. You want just enough water to cover the bacon. As Bryan Roof, the chef in this video, explains, water keeps the initial cooking temperature low, which helps the bacon retain some of its moisture and keeps it tender.

When the water starts to boil, lower the heat from high to medium. The water will simmer away, at which point you have to turn the heat down again from medium to low, until the bacon is browned, crisp and ready.

(h/t Huffington Post)

Russia looks to mandate fingerprinting of HIV+ people

A bill has been introduced in the Russian legislature that would require the fingerprinting of HIV+ people.

RT reports:

Roman Khudyakov[State Duma deputy Roman Khudyakov] explained he came up with the idea because sometimes infected people change their names and disappear from the state system. Khudyakov says fingerprinting would make it impossible. In addition, universal fingerprinting would make it easier to fight crime, reduce the amount of bureaucratic red tape, and solve many social problems where quick identification is often required.

The bill on universal fingerprinting was drafted by the Liberal Democratic party in August last year. It orders every Russian resident, regardless of citizenship, to register at their place of permanent residence and undergo fingerprinting. The current bill suggests those who refuse can be punished with 50,000 ruble fines (about $1400) and non-citizens could be deported, and banned from entering Russia for 15-years. The bill has been supported by the government but there have been no parliamentary debates on it yet.

HIV Plus Mag points out that due to the stigmatization of the LGBT community in Russia, the law is likely to pass.

(via Towleroad)

Georgia: Lawsuit filed challenging state ban on marriage equality

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.

From the lawsuit: “The marriage bans send a purposeful message that the State views lesbians and gay men and their children as second-class members of society who do not deserve the same legal sanction, legal protection, respect, support, responsibilities, and obligations as different-sex spouses and their families.”

Britain's Got Talent - hottie Darcy Oake, magician

Canadian illusionist Darcy Oake made the trip across the Atlantic with hopes of appearing on mega-hit talent show Britain's Got Talent. And for good reason.

After the hottie's debut act on the show Simon Cowell said " You are without question the best magician we have had on the show."

Take a look - great skills and a smile to match. Good luck moving forward Darcy!

Colorado: Service members speak out in support of marriage equality

In its ongoing work to demonstrate that the broad majority of Coloradans support the freedom to marry, Why Marriage Matters Colorado, a coalition of state and national organizations, released a 30-second television spot featuring a group of local veterans standing up for their gay comrade in arms.

The ad, airing statewide, features 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.

(Via Why Marriage Matters Colorado)

Sir Cliff Richard addresses gay rumors on Australia's "A Current Affair"

British music legend Sir Cliff Richard appeared on Australia’s "A Current Affair" and addressed long-time rumors that he is gay:

"It did (bother me) when I was young. It hurt my family a lot of course. But who cares?... It doesn't really matter to me any more. I have got gay friends. If I was gay would it make any difference? Would you not come to my concerts if I was gay? I hope not."

Of course, that is the point - would it matter? Should it matter? And the answer is obvious.

(h/t Towleroad)

Jonathan Groff, Rea Carey and Laverne Cox named Grand Marshals for 2014 New York City Pride

Laverne Cox, Jonathan Groff and Rea Carey

Heritage of Pride, organizers of NYC Pride and the annual New York City Pride March, has revealed the Grand Marshals for 2014's New York City Pride March are trans activist and Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Broadway, film, and television and Broadway actor Jonathan Groff.

Said March Director David Studinski: "Our 2014 marshals are leaders in brilliant forms of activism through which LGBT people and their allies engage. Individually, they represent the diversity within the LGBT community and the various struggles our community members have and continue to face. Collectively, their stories reinforce that no voice is too small nor weak to make change in our world - and it starts with being yourself."

2014's March will honor the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with the theme “We Have Won When We’re One.”

The two-mile march begins in Midtown Manhattan at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and proceeds down Fifth Avenue to the Village. It begins at noon on Sunday, June 29.

(via press release)

Alex Minsky - "Old School"

Nick Jonas, his biceps and his punching bag

Nick Jonas continues to just get better and better.  Age can be your friend.

Nick posted this to his Instagram recently with the caption "End of week one of Navy St. Training camp," referring to his upcoming mixed martial arts (MMA) television drama "Navy St."

Nick and his biceps - always a great way to start the day.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Nico Calabria defies expectations

Nico Calabria's true life story promises to inspire you.

From the YouTube clip description:

He was born with only one leg, Nico Calabria didn't let his disability keep him from any sport he was passionate about.

Encouraged by many and driven by internal strength, he eagerly participated and excelled in a variety of childhood athletics. Nico continues to astound teammates, competitors, and fans with his talent today, and is living proof that there's power in every game.

Overcoming this challenge through hard work and unwavering commitment, Nico exemplifies Powerade's mantra to Power Through and shows a tough determination that lets him rise up and push past his challenges.

Grab a tissue and hit play.

Stone Cold Steve Austin on same-sex marriage

Some folks are surprised at Stone Cold's position.  Wanna take a guess on where he stands?

Teaser: "True Blood" Final Season

Things don't look so good in Bon Temps as it appears the government has left the residents of the small town to fend for themselves and hell breaks loose.

"There's no one left!"

The seventh and final season of "True Blood" debuts on HBO Sunday, June 22nd.

Houston: Mayor Annise Parker introduces Equal Rights Ordinance

Today Houston Mayor Annise Parker introduced the Equal Rights Ordinance, which if passed, will protect all Houstonians from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations.

The proposed ordinance covers both public and private workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse released the following statement thanking Mayor Parker for her leadership on this legislation:

"It is far past time to protect the citizens of Houston from all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston is an epicenter for business and culture. Cities thrive when all citizens feel welcome and part of the cultural fabric. Today, Mayor Parker told every Houstonian that they are a valued part of the city’s future."

(via Human Rights Campaign)
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