Monday, June 27, 2016

Matt Baume: "Is Donald Trump A Friend To The Gays?"

All-around smart guy Matt Baume asks "Is Donald Trump a friend of 'The Guys?'"

"Ask the gays," Donald said, "who's your friend?"

Well, the gays are ready with their answer, and it's probably not what he wanted.

Here are some of Donald's quotes about marriage equality, civil unions, and job protections for LGBTs ... and also some "friends" that Donald Trump might not want the gays to know about.

Mike Huckabee Hit With $25K Tab For Playing "Eye Of The Tiger" At Kim Davis Rally

Gov. Mike Huckabee (L) with Kim Davis (C)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee may have ended his 2016 presidential campaign on February 1st of this year, but he's still paying off the debts racked up on his behalf.

Part of that tab is settlement from a copyright infringement lawsuit surrounding his campaign's using the song "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor at a rally for anti-marriage equality County Clerk Kim Davis.

Apparently, Huckabee initially tried to get out of paying the royalty infringement by saying in court the rally was a "religious assembly." But then the item showed up as a presidential campaign expense on his Federal Election Commission filing.

Clearly presidential campaigns are not "religious assemblies."

From CNN:

Huckabee played the triumphant song by the band Survivor at a rally he held for Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

But Huckabee never paid for the rights -- so his campaign got sued for copyright infringement.

He recently agreed to a confidential settlement with Rude Music. That company is owned by the Survivor guitarist who cowrote the song, Frankie Sullivan.

They settled out of court, and it came to light when Huckabee listed the $25,000 cost as a campaign expense on federal election records. A payment to Rude Music is listed as a "legal settlement" for "copyright infringement."

Huckabee paid half of it in May and listed the $12,500 payment as an "itemized disbursement." He listed the other half as "debts and obligations." Both appear on a June 20 filing.

Huckabee ran for the Republican ticket until he dropped out Feb. 1, but he's still paying off the cost of his campaign.

Sean Hayes: "I Regret Not Coming Out Sooner"

Former Will & Grace star Sean Hayes tells Playbill he wishes he had come out publicly during the run of the hit TV series.

“I got Will & Grace, and I thought, ‘Oh, this is different. I don’t know how to handle this. I’m not bright enough, I’m not quick enough, I don’t have the DNA to be a spokesperson for any kind of group of people.’”

“I had personal issues inside of myself that I regret.

“I regret not coming out sooner and helping more people, and I regret not coming out during the show.

"Everybody in the gay community knew I was gay, but it was this fight I had with the press because they want you to come out on their terms, and other gay people want you to come out on their terms, and if you don’t come out on their terms you’re just an asshole, and you’re wrong. Well, each individual human being has a lot of stuff that nobody knows about.

"Nobody knows what anybody else is going through at any point in their lives.”

Hayes eventually came out in 2010, four years after the end of Will & Grace.

He married his partner, Scott Icenogle, in 2014, and is currently starring on Broadway in the play An Act of God.

Video: Sen. Elizabeth Warren Campaigns With Hillary Clinton

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren hit the campaign trail today with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Cincinnati today.

Warren was fiery from the start and didn't let up. She's been mentioned as a possible VP pick for Hillary.

Great to see the two together.

I Want A Tiger To Hug Me Like This

Broadway's HAMILTON Will Fund Raise For Hillary Clinton Via Additional Performance

Click image to enlarge

Broadway blockbuster Hamilton is really showing up for the Hillary Clinton campaign by giving an additional performance to the hit Broadway musical with proceeds going to the Democratic presidential candidate.

The Hollywood Reporter has the details:

On July 12, the cast will put on an extra 11:30 a.m. matinee showing in Clinton's honor. The event is titled "Hamilton: An American Musical with special guest Hillary Rodham Clinton." Tickets start at $2,700 for a general seat and reach as high as $100,000 for an "event chair" entry, which includes "two Premium Seats and Wrap Party with Hillary and other special guests, and Invitation to the Democratic National Convention," according to Clinton's official website.

For $10,000, buyers will score a premium seat that includes a photo reception with Clinton; and for the $33,400 host ticket, donors will sit in a premium seat as well as enjoy the aftershow wrap party with Clinton and guests.

The Tuesday matinee will add an additional performance to the week's regular slate of eight shows. Despite the fundraiser being held in Clinton's honor, Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda and co-stars Leslie Odom, Jr. and Phillipa Soo are not expected to perform as they will be leaving the show following their final performance on July 9.

Ticket prices for the musical have soared as the Broadway hit has gained massive popularity, with premium seats at a current high of $849. Seats on the secondary market are going for as much as $4,000 apiece.

Hamilton's special matinee showing is presented by the Hillary Victory Fund, as part of its efforts to raise money for the Democratic candidate's "Hillary for America" campaign.

This could be a huge opportunity for some Hamilton and Clinton fans. Current top ticket price is $849 for best seats, but the show is sold waaaay out. You can buy tickets on the "secondary market" but they are selling for up to $4,000. So, $2,700 could be a deal if you are one of those who expect to donate the max amount to Hillary anyway.

My pockets aren't that deep, but I applaud the creativity in fundraising.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules 5-3 Against Texas' Abortion Restrictions

The U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in on the issue of abortion for the first time in nearly a decade, and it's good news for pro-choice supporters.

Via CNN:

In a dramatic ruling, the Supreme Court on Monday threw out a Texas abortion access law in a victory to supporters of abortion rights who argued it would have shuttered all but a handful of clinics in the state.

The 5-3 ruling is the most significant decision from the Supreme Court on abortion in two decades and could serve to deter other states from passing so-called "clinic shutdown" laws.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion, which was joined in full by Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered the swing vote on the abortion issue.

"There was no significant health-related problem that the new law helped to cure," Breyer wrote. "We agree with the District Court that the surgical-center requirement, like the admitting-privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an "undue burden" on their constitutional right to do so."

There were two provisions of the law at issue. The first said that doctors have to have local admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, the second says that the clinics have to upgrade their facilities to hospital-like standards.

Donald Trump has previously stated that women should be "punished" for having abortions if it were to become illegal.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton immediately praised the ruling:

Jan Brewer: Stop Calling Trump Supporters 'Racists' Just Because We're 'Racists

Talking Points Memo recaps a heated exchange between Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

During a Sunday panel discussion on CNN’s “State of the Union,” former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) railed against President Obama and complained that Republicans are so frequently labeled bigots.

Brewer was responding from comments Obama made on Friday warning against “charlatans” and “bigotry,” likely referring to Donald Trump.

“President Obama just always comes tearing after Republicans constantly, calling names and calling people bigots and racists. And that’s their big comeback, you know. And it’s absolutely ridiculous,” Brewer said. “To see a president speak like that is offensive.”

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) then jumped in to defend Obama.

“President Obama doesn’t say this about all Republicans. But he did say rightly that Donald Trump is a bigot, Donald Trump is a racist, Donald Trump is, in fact, making fascist appeals,” he said. “That’s why many self-respecting Republicans are not supporting Donald Trump.”

Later, when asked if Trump has said anything offensive, Brewer said that Trump is new to politics and has had to revise some remarks.

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

I've seen this before on the interwebs, but coming across it this morning it stuck with me.

There were a few things I saw here that kickstarted a couple of 'realignments' for me.

I'm currently working on a really terrific production of Hello, Dolly! in Sacramento. One of the other folks who's part of the team in a different department has clearly decided on having some kind of issue with me. I have no idea what it is - we don't have a huge amount of interaction. But, he's decided to have a problem.

Last night, during a rehearsal, he made a point of pushing me out of his way while I was in the middle of giving someone a note about dancing. There was no emergency, we weren't in a performance. He just decided to push me out of his way.

My initial reaction was to pull him aside and address the issue in the moment. Who am I kidding? My first thought was to shove him back. But I was busy doing my job.

The incident stuck with me though. I went in and out of options: Should I have punched him? Should I take this to the producer? Should I make preparations for constructing a virulently angry voodoo doll?

Then I woke up to this list of common sense and realized I don't need to "do" anything. This guy is on his own journey, and the best way for me to cope with the intersection of his issues on my path is to "Don't argue" and "Be kind to unkind people."

I'm not a saint. I'd still like to shove him back. But it wouldn't fix his issues or my issues with his issues. The second I read the above list, it was easy to let it go.

Did I mention this production of Hello, Dolly! is looking really awesome? I love my theater tribe.

Don't sweat the small stuff; it's all small stuff.


Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton Becomes 1st Major Presidential Candidate To March In LGBT Pride Parade

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton became the first presidential  from a major party to march in a Gay Pride parade today in New York City

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton surprised NYC Pride Parade goers today as she became the first presumptive presidential candidate of a major party to walk in an LGBT Pride Parade.

She was joined by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Rev. Al Sharpton and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Estimates put attendance of this year's NYC LGBT Pride events at around 2 million.

By the way - don't come at me with the "she used to be against gay marriage" BS. It took me years to deal with the fact that I was gay. Hillary evolved and she's there now, loud and proud. She mentions LGBT rights in every speech or appearance she makes. I believe her, and #ImWithHer.

Presumptive Republican candidate and New Yorker Donald "Better for the Gays" Trump was not in attendance.

From the Washington Blade:

Clinton joined attendees near the landmark Stonewall Inn, where in 1969 riots began that were considered the start of the modern LGBT rights movement. President Obama named a national monument in New York City on Friday in honor of the riots.

It’s not the first time Clinton has participated in a Pride event. In 2000, Clinton marched in the New York City Pride parade during her campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in New York, marking the first-time ever a first lady participated in a Pride celebration.

New Poll Shows Hillary Clinton In Double-Digit Lead Over Donald Trump

In a head-to-head general election matchup, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 51% - 39% among registered voters nationwide, according to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll:

This is Clinton’s largest lead in Post/ABC polling since last fall, and a dramatic reversal from last month’s survey, which found the race nearly even, with Trump at 46 percent and Clinton at 44 percent.

The same poll showed President Obama’s approval rating at 56% — its highest level in Washington Post polling since May 2011, after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Obama is more popular now than Republicans George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush in the waning months of their presidencies.

Additionally, the June 20-24 Reuters/Ipsos poll also showed Clinton in double-digits over Trump 46.6% - 33.3%.

New Music: Kristine W "Out There"

New music from dance diva Kristine W - just in time for Pride, the appropriately titled "Out There."

If you're in Seattle, don't miss KW at Seattle Pride Fest today at 2PM!

I hope everyone gets their Pride on. Dance, kids!

LA Theater: Betty Buckley & Rachel York Star In "Grey Gardens"

Now you KNOW I'm seeing this in July. Not to be missed.

Via press release:

Broadway's daring musical sensation Grey Gardens — The Musical arrives at the Ahmanson Theatre starring the fabulous Rachel York (Broadway's City of Angels) and the legendary Betty Buckley (Tony Award®-winning Grizabella in Cats).

Based on the cult classic documentary and directed by Michael Wilson, this haunting and often hilarious musical recounts Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' most eccentric relatives' fall from society darlings to notorious recluses in their crumbling East Hampton estate.

Grey Gardens — The Musical was hailed as Time magazine’s number one show of the year and garnered 10 Tony Award nominations when it premiered on Broadway in 2006.

Center Theatre Group’s production at the Ahmanson is the Los Angeles debut of Grey Gardens — The Musical.

One Year Ago Today: Marriage Equality Becomes The Law Of The Land

One year ago today, the United States took a huge leap forward in equal rights for all when the Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality was a constitutional right.

Easily one of the most impactful, emotional days of my life.

And then, just to put the cherry on top of the sundae, the White House celebrated the occasion awash in the colors of the LGBT rainbow.

Still so far to go, but it's important to slow down for a second and remember the good days.

Hillary Clinton Celebrates LGBT Pride, Looks To Future Progress

As gay Americans celebrate LGBT Pride AND the historic Supreme Court Obergefell ruling one year ago today which brought marriage equality to the entire nation, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joins in celebrating the progress of the LGBT community, but also noted the work still to be done in the march for full equality.

Via press release:

“One year ago today, we celebrated a watershed moment for equality in America. Thanks to the bravery of LGBT Americans like Jim Obergefell and Edie Windsor, and the determination and tireless organizing of the LGBT community and their allies, marriage equality became the law of the land in all 50 states.

“Over the last year, more barriers to equality have fallen – including, finally, the last state law banning same-sex couples from adopting. Just this month, President Obama designated Stonewall as the first national monument commemorating LGBT history in America.

“We’ve also seen how much work is still unfinished. The attack in Orlando broke our hearts, and reminded us that LGBT people – particularly people of color – are still targets for harassment and violence. Discriminatory laws in states like North Carolina highlight the need for full federal equality under the law for LGBT Americans. And Donald Trump’s pledge to consider appointing Supreme Court justices who would overturn marriage equality underscores the fact that so much of the progress we’ve made is at stake in November.

“But even when the road ahead seems daunting, never forget: on this day in history, love triumphed in the highest court in the land. Today, our march toward a more perfect union continues—toward equality, dignity, and justice for all.”

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