Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rhode Island: Civil Unions bill to be introduced

Rhode Island lawmakers are working out the details of legislation that would create civil unions and plan to introduce the proposal next week.

A House spokesman said Thursday that lawmakers are reviewing civil union laws in other states to help them craft the proposal, which could be introduced Tuesday.

The new bill comes after House Speaker Gordon Fox declared that gay marriage legislation wouldn’t pass the General Assembly this year. Fox, who is gay, now supports civil unions as a more politically feasible alternative.

This development is a disappointment for groups that fought for marriage equality this year in Rhode Island.  They say they'll oppose any proposal that falls short of full marriage. Gay marriage opponents also oppose civil unions.

Rep. Frank Ferri, a Warwick Democrat who is gay, has stated that he wants to see the bill's details before making up his mind.

Minnesota Senate passes marriage equality ban

By a vote of 8-4 (along party lines) the Minnesota Senate Judiciary committee has passed a bill that would place a voter initiative to ban same-sex marriage in the state on next year's ballot.

Hundreds of Minnesotans jammed a Capitol hearing room to argue for and against a constitutional amendment, which would define marriage as between one man and one woman.

From the Minnesota Independent: Sen. Barb Goodwin, DFL-Columbia Heights, said, “I will never in this Legislature, will never vote — even if it means I’m voted out — to put language of discrimination in the constitution.”

“I could not live with myself, and those of you who claim to be good Christians, you need to think about what you are doing here,” she added.

But Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, said the issue isn’t about discrimination and civil rights: “Marriage isn’t a right. Nowhere in the federal Constitution or the Minnesota Constitution is marriage considered a right.”

Sen. John Harrington, DFL-St. Paul, said the measure does nothing to support the principles the nation was founded on. “I cannot see in this bill anything that promotes life, anything that promotes liberty — if anything, it seems to restrict liberty. I cannot see anything that will promote the pursuit of happiness,” he said. “It sends a chilling message that it is OK to discriminate. It sends the message that gays in Minnesota are ‘less than.’”

Sen. Goodwin suggested that, if supporters wanted to preserve the “sanctity” of marriage, the bill should also support a ban on divorce in heterosexual marriages. She proposed tweaking the text of the bill to add the words “for life” — limiting marriage to one per person per lifetime. Her effort failed, which she said illustrated that the bill “isn’t based on an issue of how sacred marriage is — it’s an issue of discrimination.”

The bill now moves on to the Senate Rules committee.

Stay tuned.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Boys of Boston lip-sync Britney

Ok, I loved the Princeton guys, I loved the Afghan-bound US Soldiers, and now we got the Boys of Boston.

Hot guys are hot guys. Not the biggest Britney fan here, the boys? They can stay.

Hope you enjoy! Weekend bound! Happy hour around the corner!

Julianna Margulies and husband Keith Lieberthal for "NYers for Marriage Equality"

OK - full on confession: I think Julianna Margulies is a fantastic actress. I love "The Good Wife." She's just amazing.

On top of that, she's for marriage equality in NY state.

Can't get much better than that. Take a look.

And remember to support marriage equality - if only because I said so.


Polls: Tea Party & GOP contenders drop in polls

In two recent Gallup polls, there's bad news for GOP Prez contenders and the Tea Party in general.

In one poll, more than 6 in 10 registered voters nationwide say they would definitely not vote for Donald Trump or Sarah Palin for president in 2012.   Almost two-thirds of voters said they would "Definitely Not" vote for Donald Trump or Sarah Palin.  54% said they would "Definitely" or "Might Consider" voting for re-electing Obama.

In another poll tracking the favorability of the Tea Party, those with an unfavorable impression of the Tea Party has now risen to 47%. The favorable numbers have dropped to 33%.

You do the math kids...

2011 Drama Desk Nominations

Nominations for The 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards were announced on Friday, April 29, 2011, at 9:30 AM at the New York Friars Club, 57 East 55th Street, in Manhattan.

Former Drama Desk Award winners Audra MacDonald and Liev Schreiber made the announcements.

The 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards, hosted by Harvey Fierstein, will be held Monday, May 23, at 9:00 PM at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan Center, 8th Avenue and 34th Street. This year, for the first time, a 90-minute Highlights Special of the Drama Desk Awards Ceremony will be televised nationally on OVATION, the national cable network dedicated to presenting creative arts programming to national TV audiences. The ceremony will be given two primetime broadcasts plus four other airings between June 4 and June 19, 2011.

Outstanding Play

Jon Robin Baitz, Other Desert Cities
Adam Bock, A Small Fire
Stephen Adly Guirgis, The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Samuel D. Hunter, A Bright New Boise
Rajiv Joseph, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
David Lindsay-Abaire, Good People
Nick Stafford, War Horse

Outstanding Musical

In Transit
Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
See Rock City & Other Destinations
Sister Act
The Book of Mormon
The Kid

Outstanding Revival of a Play

Born Yesterday
The House of Blue Leaves
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart
Three Sisters

Outstanding Revival of a Musical

Anything Goes
Hello Again
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Outstanding Actor in a Play

Charles Busch, The Divine Sister
Bobby Cannavale, The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Al Pacino, The Merchant of Venice
Geoffrey Rush, The Diary of a Madman
Mark Rylance, Jerusalem
Michael Shannon, Mistakes Were Made
Paul Sparks, Dusk Rings a Bell

Outstanding Actress in a Play

Nina Arianda, Born Yesterday
Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities
Frances McDormand, Good People
Laurie Metcalf, The Other Place
Michele Pawk, A Small Fire
Lily Rabe, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Actor in a Musical

Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me if You Can
Colin Donnell, Anything Goes
Daniel Radcliffe, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Andrew Rannells, The Book of Mormon
Tony Sheldon, Priscilla Queen of the Desert:The Musical
Christopher Sieber, The Kid

Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Beth Leavel, Baby It's You!
Patina Miller, Sister Act
Donna Murphy, The People in the Picture
Sherie Rene Scott, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

Brian Bedford, The Importance of Being Earnest
Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Boyd Gaines, The Grand Manner
Logan Marshall-Green, The Hallway Trilogy
Zachary Quinto, Angels in America
Tom Riley, Arcadia
Yul Vázquez, The Motherf**ker With the Hat

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Lisa Emery, The Collection & A Kind of Alaska
Edie Falco, The House of Blue Leaves
Julie Halston, The Divine Sister
Sarah Nina Hayon, A Bright New Boise
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Peter and the Starcatcher
Linda Lavin, Other Desert Cities
Judith Light, Lombardi

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

Adam Godley, Anything Goes
John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Brian Stokes Mitchell, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Rory O'Malley, The Book of Mormon
Bob Stillman, Hello Again
Tom Wopat, Catch Me if You Can

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical

Laura Benanti, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Kerry Butler, Catch Me if You Can
Victoria Clark, Sister Act
Jill Eikenberry, The Kid
Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Laura Osnes, Anything Goes

Outstanding Director of a Play

Trip Cullman, A Small Fire
Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe, The Normal Heart
Moisés Kaufman, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Davis McCallum, A Bright New Boise
Daniel Sullivan, The Merchant of Venice
Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock, Baby Universe

Page 2 of 2
Outstanding Director of a Musical

Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Joe Calarco, In Transit
Jack Cummings III, Hello Again
Jack Cummings III, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon

Outstanding Choreography

Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett, Beautiful Burnout
Steven Hoggett, Peter and the Starcatcher
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw, The Book of Mormon
Siudy, Between Worlds

Outstanding Music

Brad Alexander, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Alan Menken, Sister Act
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman, Catch Me if You Can
Mike Stoller and Artie Butler, The People in the Picture
David Yazbek, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Outstanding Lyrics

Rick Crom, Newsical The Musical - Full Spin Ahead
Jack Lechner, The Kid
Adam Mathias, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Glenn Slater, Sister Act
Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, Catch Me if You Can

Outstanding Book of a Musical

Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth, In
Iris Rainer Dart, The People in the Picture
Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Adam Mathias, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Michael Zam, The Kid

Outstanding Orchestrations

Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Hello Again
Bruce Coughlin, The Burnt Part Boys
Simon Hale, Jim Abbott and David Yazbek, Women on the Verge of a Nervous
Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman and Larry Blank, Catch Me if You Can
Lynne Shankel, The Extraordinary Ordinary

Outstanding Music in a Play

Wayne Barker, Peter and the Starcatcher
Kathryn Bostic, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Lars Petter Hagen, Baby Universe
Alan John, The Diary of a Madman
Tom Kitt, The Winter's Tale
Dan Moses Schreier, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Revue

Fyvush Finkel Live!
Newsical The Musical - Full Spin Ahead
Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway

Outstanding Set Design

Rachel Hauck, Orange, Hat & Grace
David Korins and Zachary Borovay (projection design), Lombardi
Derek McLane, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Derek McLane, Anything Goes
Tony Straiges, Treasure Island
Mark Wendland, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Costume Design

Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Desmond Heeley, The Importance of Being Earnest
Ann Hould-Ward, A Free Man of Color
Martin Pakledinaz, Anything Goes
Ann Roth, The Book of Mormon
Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher

Outstanding Lighting Design

Jean Kalman, John Gabriel Borkman
R. Lee Kennedy, See Rock City & Other Destinations
David Lander, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Laura Mroczkowski, Spy Garbo
Ben Stanton, The Whipping Man
David Weiner, A Small Fire

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical

Lindsay Jones, The Burnt Part Boys
Michael Rasbury, Hello Again
Brian Ronan, Anything Goes
Brian Ronan, The Book of Mormon
Jon Weston, In Transit

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play

Acme Sound Partners, The Merchant of Venice
Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Ian Dickinson, John Gabriel Borkman
Brett Jarvis, Baby Universe
Bray Poor, Wings
Eric Shimelonis, The Hallway Trilogy

Outstanding Solo Performance

Daniel Beaty, Through the Night
Mike Birbiglia, Mike Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend
Juliette Jeffers, Batman and Robin in the Boogie Down
John Leguizamo, Ghetto Klown
Colin Quinn, Colin Quinn Long Story Short
Joanna Tope, The Promise

Unique Theatrical Experience

Being Harold Pinter
Circus Incognitus
Play Dead
Room 17B
Sleep No More

Outstanding Ensemble Performance Special Awards:

In Transit
The Normal Heart

Special Awards:

A.R. Gurney
Reed Birney
The New Group and Artistic Director Scott Elliott
The Pearl Theatre Company
The Creative Team of War Horse - Paul Constable, Marianne Elliott, 59 Productions, Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring Puppet Company, Tom Morris, Rae Smith, Christopher Shutt, Toby Sedgwick, Adrian Sutton and John Tams.

Friday music! The Coors' "Summer Sunshine"

I've loved this song for a long time. Very 'summer' - very light and fun vocals.

If you don't know The Coors, you should. Fun, terrific, pop music.

I've only added the music portion from youtube as the video makes NO sense. In sharing this I wanted to share the music and vocals. Click on the Youtube button to see the video. The band is in it, but again - makes no sense.

Hope you like!

Whatever happened to class?

Trump in Las Vegas last night. This is what you would get folks. What a role model.

As for Libya and Iraq, Trump said last night he’s not concerned about those countries unless America can profit from their oil. They should pay for the protections the United States offers, he said.

“When we have a war, we lose thousands of lives, we spend trillions of dollars and then we leave,” he said. “I say we go in and take their oil.”

Great. Now he's saying we go steal other country's assets.

And now there are reports that Donald Trump subjected female employees to frequent sexual harassment, forcing them to endure the lewd and lascivious remarks he made to them. Trump, furthermore, often harassed, demeaned and humiliated his gay employees by referring to them collectively as “the faggots.” Donald Trump, in other words, abused his position of power as an employer to degrade his employees, bullying them on the basis of their gender and/or sexual orientation.

And from His contemptuous and disrespectful attitude towards women is seen in various remarks he has made about his wives. In February, 2008, he told ABC’s Nightline “I just know it’s very hard for them (Ivana and Marla) to compete because I do love what I do. I really love it.” It is more than evident that Donald Trump loves what he does – and what he does is to use his public position to inflame archaic, irrational bigotries and sexism in the more unenlightened portions of the American populace.

Julian Long, former employee, says that one evening, after a performance conducted by Leonard Bernstein, in the Green Room, Trump was present with a young blonde female escort, not Marla Maples on his arm. Julian overheard Trump refer to Maestro Bernstein as a “Faggot Jew.”

More recently, Trump has engaged in public bullying and intimidation of American LGBTers, inciting his followers to perpetuate institutionalized discrimination against them. He is still on his ignoble warpath of hate and idiocy, using President Obama as a proxy through which to lash out at and emotionally wound a majority of African-Americans.

This is what you get. I find it hard to believe he will really run for President with a history of public statements like the one in this video. But stranger things have happened.

And America has a history that if you throw enough money at something, you can buy it.

Royal "I do's" - and its finally over

Only posting this figuring someone wants to see. I have had zero interest but who knows...?

I can say I watched "the wedding" now.

Good luck kids!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"The Avengers" movie has started shooting...

We're only a year away from the premiere. As many of you know, I love a lot of the movies made based on comic books. Just pure escapism. And who doesn't want to pretend they can fly or do something cool?

Only one photo released so far about the movie and it's very "coy," to use a word.

You'll get more news from me as info comes out.


Why Obama was asked to "show his papers"

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I hate discrimination of any kind. Period. This is why I'm so fervent in my writing about equality. Not just the LGBT community - every community.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. said "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

There are people who just don't like Obama. Fine. Dislike his policies as a politician.

But if you don't think this was about having a man of color "show his papers" - you're not paying attention.

Tom & Ron's story - why marriage equality is necessary

THIS is why Federal recognition of marriage rights for the LGBT community is important. This is why DOMA needs to be repealed.

If Ron was female he would have enough money to keep his home. He now has to sell the home he shared with his partner of 55 years.

Social Security allows for the surviving member of a married couple to receive the larger of the two Social Security checks - either the survivor's or the member who passed away. This is how it works for heterosexual couples.

Not for gay or lesbian couples.

Marriage equality isn't about "redefining" anything. It's about equality.

It's that black and white. Nothing to do with religion and everything to do with rights that come attached to a civil marriage license issued by a civil government. This is why these are civil rights issues.

"Liberty and justice for all."

Cosmopolitan Hotel - ejects trans woman, apologizes

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is receiving backlash today after a report surfaced on a hotel and lodging blog that a transgender guest was banned for life from the hotel -casino for using an empty women’s restroom.

The guest, identified as a "pre-op trans" named Stephanie, said upon leaving the women’s room she was taken out of the resort by security guards, told she was trespassing on Cosmopolitan property and she would be arrested if she didn't leave. She said she was photographed and told she was banned from returning to the hotel.

Since the blog was posted, commenters have flooded the Cosmopolitan’s Facebook page with complaints on the reported incident.

When asked about the incident, Cosmopolitan officials noted to the Las Vegas Weekly, a sister publication of the Las Vegas Sun, the hotel is a Travel Alternatives Group-approved resort.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Cosmopolitan officials said they regretted the incident and would "welcome her back to the resort anytime."

“The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is committed to maintaining a community that recognizes and values the inherent dignity of every person, by fostering sensitivity, understanding and mutual respect of our guests and employees," according to the statement.

"We sincerely regret any misunderstanding or inappropriate actions that any member of our staff may have taken. And to ensure increased sensitivity within this area, the organization will focus on continued training and on-going awareness initiatives. In addition, we apologize to the individual guest and welcome her back to the resort anytime. Again, we would like to apologize to the LGBT community and anyone concerned and hope to demonstrate our firm dedication to fair and unbiased treatment of all.”

I'm not so sure how much of a commitment this shows on the part of the Cosmopolitan in that this happened in the first place. Not only was the guest "escorted" out, she was "banned for life." I don't see security guards taking this kind of action without some kind of confidence that they had the backing of the hotel.

Not sure about you, but I live in Las Vegas and I have a LOT of other options when it comes to choosing places to spend my money and where I recommend my visiting friends to go.

I also now question the wisdom of whoever deemed the Cosmopolitan a "Travel Alternatives Group" approved resort. For that kind of designation, this property is supposed to be LGBT friendly.


Jovany Barreto - American Idol hottie...

So I don't watch American Idol any more. It got to be a lot of the same ole same to me.

But I just came across this guy - who's seriously not hard on the eyes - AND singing a Jon Secada song. I'm a sucker for Jon Secada, so I'm posting.

I understand he's a Cuban American from Louisiana who works as a shipyard mechanic.

I'm thinking this guy could easily be heading up the Chippendales in Vegas at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

Hot guy, great song. Easy post.

Donald Trump on being trumped

The "Donald" takes much, much credit and pats his own back over and over regarding "getting the President" to release his birth certificate.

Throughout the painful interview with John King, Trump repeats made up facts and figures that he can't substantiate.

When asked about releasing his tax returns - which he said he would do "when Obama releases his birth certificate" he waffles and won't give an answer.

When he quotes a CNN poll that supposedly had him tied with Obama, King tells Trump that no such poll has ever been done at CNN. The "Donald" gets angry and insists King is wrong. He promises to find it and show it to King and CNN. He never gets back to CNN with it.

He speaks about how successful he is yet he's filed bankruptcy three times.

This is such a carnival barker trying to "gin up" business for his brand. I can't see this man ever releasing any tax returns or real information about himself. He makes up facts and vagaries with no foundation of proof. Can we really see this leading our country?

Talk about sideshows and carnival barkers...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Priscilla Queen of the Desert on THE VIEW

I saw the show in NYC last week. Had a great time.

Tony Sheldon was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award this week as the older, transexual drag queen. The whole cast does a terrific job - the principals AND the ensemble (or as I like to call them - "the backbone of the American Musical theater").

I have to give a special shout-out to Nathan Lee Graham who took every moment on-stage and made the most of it. Creative, engaging and committed, Nathan had me howling through the whole show on his own.

If you're in NYC go see this show. It's not "Medea" but it's a great time.

With Nathan Lee Graham backstage after Priscilla Queen of the Desert on Bway

Palin makes fun of Katie Couric

At least one person appears to be having a big old laugh over Katie Couric's long-anticipated announcement that she will leave the "CBS Evening News" come June. That would be former half-term governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, who during her failed 2008 vice presidential candidacy famously fumbled an interview with the anchor.

Couric recently spoke of her future career plans: "I am looking at a format that will allow me to engage in more multi-dimensional storytelling," referring to the syndicated daytime show she plans on launching in 2012.

To which Palin snarled on Fox News Wednesday: "Yeah, and I hear that she wants to now engage in more 'multi-dimensional story telling' versus I guess just the 'straight on, read into the, that teleprompter screen story telling. More power to her. I wish her well in her 'multi-dimensional story telling.' "

In case you missed Couric's cringe-inducing, one-on-one chat with Palin the first time around, you can watch it above.

By the way, just released is a photo of Oscar nominee Julianne Moore as the half-term governor for her upcoming role in the HBO film about the 2008 campaign.

Outer Critics Circle Awards nominations 2011

The winners of this year’s Outer Critics Circle Awards will be announced on Monday, May 16, 2011, with the ceremony honoring the recipients held on Thursday, May 26, at Sardi's Restaurant in New York City.

Here's a list of the nominees:

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Good People
The Motherf**ker With the Hat
War Horse

The Book of Mormon
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Sister Act
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Blood From a Stone
Other Desert Cities
The Other Place

Freckleface Strawberry
In Transit
The Kid
Tomorrow Morning

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
The Book of Mormon
Catch Me If You Can
Sister Act
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Born Yesterday
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Anything Goes
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Hello Again
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Marianne Elliott & Tom Morris - War Horse
Emma Rice - Brief Encounter
Anna D. Shapiro - The Motherf**cker With the Hat
Daniel Sullivan - Good People

Rob Ashford - How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall - Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw & Trey Parker - The Book of Mormon
Jerry Zaks - Sister Act

Rob Ashford - How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Ross Coleman Priscilla - Queen of the Desert
Kathleen Marshall - Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw - The Book of Mormon

(Play or Musical)
Desmond Heeley - The Importance of Being Earnest
Derek McLane - Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Neil Murray - Brief Encounter
Todd Rosenthal - The Motherf**ker With the Hat

(Play or Musical)
Lez Brotherston - Sister Act
Tim Chappel & Lizzie Gardiner - Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Desmond Heeley - The Importance of Being Earnest
Lizz Wolf - Baby It's You!

(Play or Musical)
Paule Constable - War Horse
Natasha Katz - Sister Act
David Lander - Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Malcolm Rippeth - Brief Encounter

Reed Birney - The Dream of the Burning Boy
Bobby Cannavale - The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Joe Mantello - The Normal Heart
Al Pacino - The Merchant of Venice
Mark Rylance - Jerusalem

Nina Arianda - Born Yesterday
Edie Falco - The House of Blue Leaves
Judith Light - Lombardi
Frances McDormand - Good People
Laurie Metcalf - The Other Place

Norbert Leo Butz - Catch Me If You Can
Josh Gad - The Book of Mormon
Daniel Radcliffe - How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Tony Sheldon - Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Aaron Tveit - Catch Me If You Can

Victoria Clark - Sister Act
Sutton Foster - Anything Goes
Beth Leavel - Baby It's You!
Patina Miller - Sister Act
Donna Murphy - The People in the Picture

Brian Bedford - The Importance of Being Earnest
Evan Jonigkeit - High
Stacy Keach - Other Desert Cities
Seth Numrich - War Horse
Yul Vázquez - The Motherf**ker With the Hat

Renée Elise Goldsberry - Good People
Linda Lavin - Other Desert Cities
Estelle Parsons - Good People
Alison Pill - The House of Blue Leaves
Elizabeth Rodriguez - The Motherf**ker With the Hat

Colin Donnell - Anything Goes
Adam Godley - Anything Goes
Chester Gregory - Sister Act
John Larroquette - How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
John McMartin - Anything Goes

Laura Benanti - Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Nikki M. James - The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone - Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Marla Mindelle - Sister Act
Laura Osnes - Anything Goes

Daniel Beaty - Through the Night
Mike Birbiglia - My Girlfriend's Boyfriend
John Leguizamo - Ghetto Klown
Michael Shannon - Mistakes Were Made

(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Amy Herzog - After the Revolution
Matthew Lopez - The Whipping Man
David West Read - The Dream of the Burning Boy
Kim Rosenstock - Tigers Be Still

Ellen Barkin (Broadway debut), The Normal Heart
Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones, for Handspring Puppet Company Puppet Design, Fabrication and Direction for War Horse

Rhode Island: Marriage Equality dead, shifts to civil unions

Rhode Island's House speaker says legislation extending marriage rights to gay couples is dead for the year.

House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay and is a leading supporter of the gay marriage bill, says that it's clear the bill won't overcome opposition in the Senate.

Fox, a Providence Democrat, says he'll introduce civil union legislation giving same-sex couples the same state rights afforded to married couples.

"Although my personal position on marriage equality has not changed, I have always been a practical person and I believe my pragmatism is one of the reasons why I was elected Speaker of the House. Based on individual discussions with many of you, I understand how difficult the marriage equality issue has been."

"Based on your input, along with the fact that it is now clear to me that there is no realistic chance for passage of the bill in the Senate, I will recommend that the House not move forward with a vote on the marriage equality bill during this legislative session."

"I will instead support full passage of a civil unions bill that grants important and long overdue legal rights to same-sex couples in Rhode Island."

The announcement deals a major setback to advocates of gay marriage in the Ocean State. They had called civil unions a poor substitute for full marriage.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed's resistance was seen as a big hurdle to clear for the bill's passage.

In a statement to reporters, Weed - a Democrat - says she supports civil union legislation and is confident it will pass.
(via AP)

DOMA repeal bill has enough votes to head to Senate floor

From the Washington Blade: New support for legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act assures that the necessary votes are in place for a favorable Senate committee vote on the measure as advocates maintain hearings should take place first before advancing the bill.

Last week, the Respect of Marriage Act, legislation sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein that would repeal the 1996 anti-gay law that prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, gained two additional co-sponsors: Sens. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin.

Kohl’s support for the legislation is critical because he’s a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and would have a vote when the roll is called to move the legislation to the floor. Lynn Becker, a Kohl spokesperson, said the senator had previously considered DOMA a state issue.

Meanwhile, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), another member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has also said she’d vote for repeal of DOMA in committee, although she’s stopped short of co-sponsoring the legislation. Last month, the Minnesota Independent reported that the senator would back the Respect for Marriage Act.

In a statement provided to the Washington Blade, Klobuchar confirmed that legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act has her support.

“I would vote to repeal this law because I believe same-sex couples and their families should have access to the same basic rights, including hospital visitation and survivor benefits,” Klobuchar said.

The support from Kohl and Klobuchar means that the Respect for Marriage Act has at least 10 votes in the Senate Judiciary Committee — enough to advance the bill to the Senate floor.

Obstacles still exist for the legislation since the bill must first pass out of the Judiciary committee then head to the floor of the Senate where, to avoid a filibuster, Democrats would have to have 7 Republicans support the bill. At this time, not one Republican has announced support.

Obama releases long form birth certificate

I hate that the "birthers" feel they have won some victory here. This issue, in my opinion, has all been coded double-speak for racism because his name sounds funny to some folks and because he's black.

Even now, the "birthers" are saying this isn't enough, he hasn't proven anything.

Carnival barkers indeed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

GOP has a problem defending Medicare/Medicaid cuts in town hall meetings

Notice how the congressman keeps giving short answers and pointing to the next question. And these are his constituents.

Ruh-roh. Shaggy? Ummmm....

Nevada Senate approves two LGBT protection bills

From The Nevada Senate on Monday approved two bills that would prohibit discrimination against gays and transgender individuals in housing and public accommodations, but rejected a third bill that would have added gender identity and expression to Nevada’s hate crimes law.

Sen. David Parks (D-Las Vegas), sponsor of all three measures, said he wasn’t surprised the 10-11 vote went against the hate crimes bill, reported the Nevada Appeal.

Parks said the law already includes race, color, religion, national origin, disability and sexual orientation in the definition of hate crimes.

“Protecting our transgender citizens harms no one,” he said.

The other two measures, however, were approved: SB331 prohibits discrimination against gays and transsexuals in places of public accommodation including hotels, motels and restaurants, and SB368 prohibits discrimination in housing and other real property transactions.

Both measures now go to the Assembly for consideration.

Sneak peek - tonight's GLEE

Sweet clip of Blaine serenading Kurt with "Somewhere Only We Know."

Not sure of the context but I hear several story-lines will be addressed in tonight's 90 minute episode including bullying and sexuality.

Looking forward to it!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My favorite Amazing Race team - spoiler

I am a big fan of The Amazing Race. I have never missed a season or episode.

I just caught up on my DVR, and found my favorite team - Jet and Cord - were eliminated this week. I really, really like these guys. They seems straight-up good guys. Worked hard, never fought and did their very best.

Plus - I'm a native Texan and have a soft spot in my heart for hard working cowboys.


The show won't be the same without them. Not sure I care about the results of the rest of the race now.


House loses DOMA defense team; lawyer quits firm

According to Politico: the law firm of King & Spalding has stepped away from defending DOMA on behalf of the US House.

Following the decision to not defend DOMA, attorney Paul Clement has resigned from King & Spalding law firm.

Clement has joined Bancroft PLLC as partner. Bancroft has two former Bush administration officials as partners.

Thomas Roberts catches up with Zach Wahls on MSNBC

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

MSNBC's Thomas Roberts catches up with Iowa teen Zach Wahls as he prepares to accept an award in New York from the Family Equality Council for his February speech to the Iowa legislature in support of marriage equality and his moms.

Click here to see his fantastic speech supporting marriage equality in Iowa at the Iowa Legislature.

I was and continue to be so impressed by this guy. His parents must be beside themselves that he's so well spoken, thoughtful and articulate.

I want this guy to run for public office! Go Zach!

A "youtube" scene from Dreamgirls

Now - I love Dreamgirls, and I love creative people.

This is very, very funny.

Congresswoman Gabby Giffords progress

With Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords expected to attend her husband’s shuttle launch later this week, the Arizona Republic reports a bit on her recovery so far.

“Giffords speaks most often in a single word or declarative phrase: ‘love you,’ ‘awesome,’ even ‘get out’ to doctors... Longer sentences frustrate Giffords. She must search her brain for the words she wants, which feels like trying to pull out the name of a familiar face you can't quite place."

She says she misses Tucson and when she finally gets back there she wants to "climb a mountain" - as is she isn't already.

She's apparently showing a lot of independence - from which medications she will take, the t-shirt she'll wear for physical therapy, to what she thinks about her breakfast options.

She pushes a grocery cart up and down hospital halls to help relearn muscle use. She also works with a bowling ball and indoor golf exercises.

The paper also notes that she's left-handed now.

Go Gabby - go!

"Carol Channing: Larger Than Life"

In late May 1994, I was an unemployed actor - again - in NYC. Upon checking the mail on a Wednesday morning, my last unemployment check had arrived and I had no acting job in sight. For years I had worked steadily and supported myself as an actor. It looked like that career was about to take a break.

It seemed clear I was headed back to "table-waiting" land. I had spoken to friends who owned a successful candle store on the upper west side of manhattan who offered a part time job.  Thankful but not thrilled.

I opened the trade papers and saw a casting call for a last minute replacement for the upcoming Broadway revival of "Hello, Dolly!" starring Carol Channing. The show would tour for several months but would come into Broadway. I was avoiding touring at that time as I was becoming the 'National Tour King' with six National tours under my belt but no Broadway debut yet at that time.

But finances are finances. Mr. American Express wrote me every month and always expected me to write back.

I headed to the audition because, well,  that's what unemployed actors do.

Over 125 dancer/actors showed up for that one position. We danced one combination and the creative team quickly cut to 30.

We danced another combination, and another cut - to 15.

We were asked to sing next. It was about this time I heard people saying plans had been made for this slot already and so they were looking for someone the same size as the guy originally cast - who was six feet tall. (p.s. I'm 5'8").


I headed in to sing for the director, Lee Roy Reams, and the choreographer, Bill Bateman. I have a fairly big voice and with nothing to lose I sang with abandon and no fear knowing I was soon to be 'candle shop bound.'

Upon finishing my song, I started walking towards my dance bag near the door. Lee Roy said "wow - where were you in February?" and out of nowhere I replied, "well, I was working then but my last unemployment check is in that bag on the way to the bank and 'baby needs a new pair of shoes.'"

Lee Roy screamed with laughter.

I smiled and exited the room. Least I got a laugh.

A quick subway ride home and I was soon laying on my couch thinking about candles and looking for a table waiting job.

The phone rang - on the other end of the phone I heard "are you sitting down?"

I paused and said "I'm sorry?"

"Are you sitting down?"

I looked out my living room windows thinking I was being watched as in Hitchcock's "Rear Window."

"Are you sitting down? - You got it!"

It took about four seconds and I suddenly thought "Dolly?"

"You got it - rehearsals start in five days!"

And so began a surprise journey that Cornelius from "Hello, Dolly!" would have said "it's an adventure, Barnaby!" - an adventure that introduced me to Carol Channing, Lee Roy Reams,  Jerry Herman, a new theatrical family,  "Hello, Dolly!" and my future husband.

Over the next 22 months not one member of the show left - we were all a very happy company. The show was beautiful, audiences loved it and Carol Channing was every inch the great Broadway star you wanted her to be.  And warm.  And very funny.

Carol joked and laughed with all of us.  She always made time to meet our husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends and families.  When time permitted she would plan and pay for events for the whole company as we traveled all over the country.  She would buy out seatings of movies complete with all the treats you could eat; a cruise down the River Walk in San Antonio;  Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners; so many things she didn't have to do but would as the the star of the show and matriarch of the family.

Finally landing in NYC on Broadway, we had a dream opening night where New York audiences gave Carol and the show standing ovations, and Lee Roy stopped the band playing at the opening party to read the rave review from the NY Times declaring among other things "Celebrate her!" referring to Carol.  As an actor you dream of things like this.

After Broadway, I was asked to stage the choreography for the post-Broadway national tour. I supervised the tour and among my duties was giving notes to Carol - imagine that.  I have to say she welcomed any input I might have, although believe me, it was never more than small technical notes about spacing or some such thing.  She was always gracious and the picture of professionalism.  And funny.

"Hello, Dolly!" would remain a part of my life for all the years after.  In the past 14 years I've staged several companies of "Dolly" and a few months ago Jerry Herman - the gentle giant - called me to personally ask me to choreograph the upcoming Broadway revival. More on that when it happens.

This past December, I got the chance to dance again on Broadway in a tribute to Carol at the 'Gypsy of the Year' event with several former cast members from "Dolly."  During rehearsals, we were asked to share some memories of working with Carol for a documentary being made about Carol's life.  What I thought would be a few minutes turned into a three hour "love fest" about Carol.

Halden, Bobby, Bill, me and Julian at the first screening
I was emailed a few weeks ago by the director of the documentary that the film would make it's debut at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Back again to NYC to attend the world premiere. This past Saturday afternoon, I got to sit and watch the documentary with the very first audience - including my former "Dolly" cast mates Julian Brightman, Halden Michael, Bobby Randle, Bill Bateman and Kevin Burrows.  Over and over throughout the film we grabbed each other's knee or nudged one another when Carol would do something so "Carol";  when pictures or video of our "Dolly" company came on screen we all straightened up, so proud to have been a part of a great adventure.

"Carol Channing: Larger Than Life" is a fantastic love letter that beautifully captures not only Carol's amazing career, but her love of the theater, love of life and love for her husband. Dori Berinstein, the director, did a terrific job presenting the story that IS Carol Channing. I, and the audience, loved it. And yes, several parts of our "love fest in December" were used. I'm so glad we got to have our love for her captured forever.

After the screening, the "Dolly" boys were invited to come on stage and share in the love.  It was very, very cool.  And wonderful to celebrate Carol again.

"Hello, Dolly!" was my first Broadway experience and that cast was truly a family. We still are today.  Every Broadway cast doesn't find the connection we did.  I love how comfortable I am with my "Dolly" family.  I know these guys.  Theater just does that.  We worked hard together doing what we love to do.  "Hello, Dolly!" was a tough show to do - this wasn't a walk in the park.  But the people, personalities and talent inspired me every day.  Even when I stage the show today, it's their faces I see - that was Julian, that was Bobby, that was Kevin…  I see them the whole time.

I love to say "Hello, Dolly!" is the gift that keeps giving.  In addition to many gifts, like Carol finding the love of her life, I found mine through "Dolly." A great adventure that is still ongoing.

I love these folks.  I'm reminded of that every time I walk into a room and see them.  No matter how many years pass - I smile.

And no one more than Carol.  We love her.  We love being near her.  And so do the audiences.  Still.

(yeah, yeah, yeah - kinda sappy.  But it's my blog - my rules.  Your regularly scheduled sassy American blogger will return in the next post).

Check out the documentary "Carol Channing: Larger Than Life" on Amazon.

The men of "Hello, Dolly!" with Carol at Gypsy of the year
Rehearsals for Gypsy of the Year with Julian Brightman and Bill Bateman

Rehearsals for Gypsy of the Year with Bobby Randle
Dancing with Carol and the guys at Gypsy of the Year in Dec 2010.
This was used by the NY Times to promote the documentary.
The "Dolly Boys" - Me, Bill Bateman, Julian Brightman, Bobby Randle, Halden Michael and Kevin Burrows
at the party after the premiere of "Carol Channing: Larger Than Life"
Julian, Bill, Halden, Dori Berinstein (director of the film) me, Bobby and Kevin at premiere

Saturday, April 23, 2011

NY: Conjugal visits for gay married inmates

NY State prison officials are allowing conjugal visits for gay inmates involved in same-sex marriages or civil unions.

Recent regulation changes will also allow gay prisoners to take leave from their cell when their loved one is terminally ill.

From the NY Daily News: "If they seek a furlough based on the partner, it's likely it would be granted," said Peter Cutler, spokesman for the Department of Correctional Services.

"We've been doing it," Cutler said of the leave policy, which previously applied to only traditional marriages.

Cutler said the regulation, which appeared in the state Register this week, formalizes a policy change initiated in 2008 by then-Gov. David Paterson, who ordered New York State agencies to recognize same-sex marriages that were legally performed in other states and civil unions.

Regulations to allow conjugal visits to gay prisoners will only apply to those who are already involved in a marriage or civil union. Though marriage equality has not yet reached New York, the state does recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages and civil unions.

The regulation formalizes a policy change begun in 2008 by then-Gov. David Paterson, who ordered New York State agencies to recognize same-sex marriages that were legally performed in other states and civil unions. Cutler could not explain why it took so long for the regulation to be finalized in the Register, which lists recent rule-making activities by state agencies.

Cutler was unaware of any inmate in a same-sex relationship who has had a conjugal visit, known officially as family reunions. Less than a third of the state's 67 correctional facilities allow conjugal visits.  An inmate must be in one of those facilities for a "family reunion" and it must be requested.

Gay marriage advocates welcomed the move, saying any recognition of same-sex relationships is a positive step - even when it occurs in the prisons. "The more the state is consistent with that status of law the better off we are," said Ross Levi, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda.

In 2007, California became the first state to allow for conjugal visits for same-sex couples.

Read more:

Average NYC Saturday morning

Quick shopping trip with my friend Bobby, who's starting some classes this week. He needed some cute, quick inexpensive black clothes. (And what NY-er has enough black in their closet anyway?)

So where to go in NYC? H&M, of course.

I realize there are no black clothes in the picture.

For some reason I took pics if underwear. Go figure...

- Posted using from my iPhone

Friday, April 22, 2011

Transgender woman attacked at McDonalds in Maryland

After an unidentified transgendered woman tried to use the bathroom at a Baltimore McDonalds, two patrons started attacking her in full view of other customers and employees. Instead of trying to intervene, the employees filmed it on their phones to post online.

You can see the very disturbing video of the attack here. Be warned though - it's very disturbing.

While you can see the manager yelling stop at the two women attacking the customer, none of the other employees even try to intervene or keep the women from dragging the victim across the restaurant floor.

The male employee who shot the video appeared to have done nothing to help. On the video, he's heard telling the attackers that the victim is seizing and that police are on the way.

A brave elderly female customer steps in to help. The manager and employees simply watch as the victim starts to have a seizure and offer no help whatsoever.

Details on the arrest of two suspects from the Baltimore Sun:

The attack occurred April 18 in the 6300 block of Kenwood Ave., in Rosedale, county police said. Police said a 14-year-old girl had been charged as a juvenile, while charges were pending against an 18-year-old woman. Police said the incident "remains under investigation and the state's attorney's office is reviewing the case."

Police said the victim was a 22-year-old woman and said an update on her condition was not immediately available.

Equality Maryland identified the victim as a transgendered woman. The group has urged officials to investigate the attack as a hate crime.

As the video spread, McDonald's issued a statement about the attack:

"We are shocked by the video from a Baltimore franchised restaurant showing an assault. This incident is unacceptable, disturbing and troubling," the company said in a statement posted on its website. "Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees in our restaurants. We are working with the franchisee and the local authorities to investigate this matter."


Back in the 212 - for 2 days

If you see someone twice in a week, does that mean it's getting serious?  I'm starting to love this train station. :)

Back in NYC (three days later) for a quick trip to the TriBeCa Film Festival and the premiere of "Carol Channing: Larger Than Life."

I hear I make an appearance in it - we'll see. Could be really cool. Carol Channing is cool no matter what. The TFF is cool no matter what. And any reason to see "Hello, Dolly!" family is good enough for me.

I'll post more about it later this weekend.

Happy Friday kids!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 21, 2011

NOM's Maggie Gallagher Claims She's a Victim

Seriously folks, you can't make this up.

In a recent speech at the Sutherland Institute, a conservative think tank in Utah, Maggie Gallagher (of the anti-gay and ironically named National Organization for Marriage) claims she's a victim of "hatred" and that she never set out to attack the idea of marriage equality.

From “I avoided the discussion of gay marriage as long as I possibly could,” Gallagher said, according to Salt Lake City’s Deseret News. When Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry, though, she feared it meant a change in the common understanding of marriage, and she created the National Organization for Marriage.

“By the very act of declaring that two men in a union are in a marriage we are announcing that marriage has nothing to do with bringing mothers and fathers and children together,” she told the dinner guests.

Somewhere lost in all that is the idea that hundreds of civil rights are attached to civil marriage licenses.  And there that are plenty of heterosexual married couples who don't have children.  Those marriages she doesn't seem to oppose.

She also said that opponents of same-sex marriage are unfairly characterized as intolerant: “You are like a bigot who is opposed to interracial marriage.”

Well, Maggie, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck....

Sen. John Ensign of Nevada resigns

According to news reports today, Sen. John Ensign of Nevada has announced his resignation as US Senator for Nevada.

After a tempestuous scandal regarding an alleged scandal with his aide, possibly paying off his friend and husband of former aide, and ongoing ethics investigations, Sen. Ensign has decided to resign as of May 3.

In comments during his announcement, he said "he has not violated any laws or rules, but said he could no longer subject his family, friends and constituents to further investigations."

In 2009, Ensign acknowledged that he had an extramarital affair with Cynthia Hampton, a former member of his campaign staff, and that he had helped her husband, Doug Hampton, a member of his congressional staff, obtain lobbying work with a Nevada company.

Rumors are Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval to appoint Rep. Dean Heller to finish out the term. This would give Heller, who has announced his intention to run for the Senate seat in 2012 an advantage as a sitting incumbent.

Soldiers lip-sync Britney's "Hold It Against Me"

OK - these folks are all heroes to begin with.  And then, they have the sense of humor to pull this off.

How cool are our soldiers?

Thanks for serving and come home soon and safe.

p.s.  I don't think any of these soldiers are going to have a problem serving with openly gay soldiers.  Just sayin'...

Obama's continuing "evolution" on marriage equality

President Obama's position on marriage equality during his time in public office has been fluid to say the least.

Last December, after passage of the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, he told The Advocate that his views on same-sex marriage were "evolving."

At a fund-raising event in San Francisco Wednesday night, Obama spoke about how his work is not finished. He said it would take more than one term "for us to finish everything we need to do."

As he was talking about the unfinished work left to do, someone shouted out, "gay marriage!"

Obama paused and then said - as if that person had just proved his point - "our work is not finished."

I'm hoping this signals a bit more "evolution" on the part of the President.

 Public polls - yes, more than one - are showing an ever increasing support for marriage equality in America. In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday, 51 percent said they think marriages between lesbian and gay couples should be recognized as legal and come with the same rights as heterosexual unions. A recent ABC/Washington Post poll found that 53 percent of Americans said gay marriage should be legal.

Slowly but surely, kids. Forward.

Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" on GLEE

Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" which will be featured in the upcoming 90-minute episode. Kurt and Mercedes sing lead.

For all the Little Monsters who are also Gleeks.

This week's tease also showed a possible face-off with Kurt's closeted tormentor coming up...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Best speech of the year on floor of House of Representatives

Without uttering a word, Rep. Crowley of NY gets to the heart of the matter in less than one minute thirty seconds.

No screaming, no ranting, no raving.


Movie: "The Help"

I can't wait to see this movie!

Anyone who reads this blog knows how much equality for everyone means to me. And the courage of anyone to stand up and change the status quo - well, this movie is right up my alley.

Based on the NY Times bestseller by Kathryn Stockett, the movie - which isn't out yet - is already getting Oscar buzz.

The book tells the story of a group of black domestic maids in 1960s Jackson, Miss., who band together to tell the sometimes sad, sometimes triumphant stories of lives spent toiling for upper class Southern whites. "The Help" is both uproariously funny and poignant, resonating with readers across the country.

From IMDB: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962 - aspiring writer Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan returns home after college, where unexpected friendships with African-American maids Aibeleen Clark and Minny Jackson result in a book that gives a previously unheard voice to a community's suffering.

Can. Not. Wait.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hungary bans marriage equality

Hungarian lawmakers approved a new constitution Monday that was blasted by rights groups and the political opposition for measures considered extremely conservative.

Some of the changes to the current constitution include:

* Ban on same sex marriage

* Protects life of a fetus from conception opening the possibility to future ban or restriction on abortion

* Ban on discrimination does not include age or sexual orientation

* Tax and pension law changes require a two-thirds majority

"We've just participated in a historical moment," parliamentary speaker Laszlo Kover said moments after the bill was approved 262-44. "The new constitution is built upon our past and traditions, but seeks and contains answers to current problems while keeping an eye on the future."

Hungary's current constitution dates from 1949, near the start of the communist regime but it was almost fully rewritten during the 1989 transition to democracy.

Hungary assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the EU in January.

Elton John returns to Las Vegas!

Elton John is returning to the Las Vegas Strip for a three-year run at Caesars Palace.

The five-time Grammy winner announced Monday he'll return with his "Million Dollar Piano" show to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas starting in September.
Tickets for the first 16 shows go on sale April 25.

John completed his first run at Caesars Palace in April 2009. "The Red Piano" was originally slated to run for three years, but was extended to a five-year run because of audience demand.

John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
(via AP)

Recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll results

In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of 1,000 Americans, it appears GOP lawmakers may be reading the wrong tea leaves in their approach to cutting spending and deficit reduction

67% said it was either "Totally" or "Somewhat" Unacceptable to cut Medicaid as a way to reduce the federal deficit.

76% said it was either "Totally" or "Somewhat" Unacceptable to cut Medicare as a way to reduce the federal deficit.

76% said it was either "Totally" or "Somewhat" Acceptable to raise taxes on those making more than $1,000,000 a year as a way to reduce the federal deficit.

74% said it was either "Totally" or "Somewhat" Acceptable to eliminate tax credits for oil and gas companies as a way to reduce the federal deficit.

68% said it was either "Totally" or "Somewhat" Acceptable to eliminate the Bush Tax cuts for making over $250K a year as a way to reduce the federal deficit.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Question 1: Marriage Equality Documentary

"Question 1" is a new documentary shot during Maine's successful "Yes on 1" campaign to repeal the state's marriage equality law, utilizing interviews from both sides leading players and volunteers. In the documentary, Yes On 1 chairman Marc Mutty expresses regret for his role. Mutty also acknowledges that his campaign's claim that "same-sex marriage will be taught in schools" was untrue.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the take-away in this documentary, which was filmed during the campaign on the condition that it not be screened before the election, is the regret expressed by the leader of the anti-gay initiative.

Says Marc Mutty, public affairs director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine, and chair of the "Yes on 1" campaign in the film's trailer:

"This has been a f**kin' son of a bitch. This has been awful. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it...I fear I'll be remembered for the work I did on this campaign...[I'm asking...] for forgiveness for the ways in which I might have betrayed my own self in this endeavor."

Make sure you go see it.

Watching the trailer is almost too difficult for me. This issue has become such an over-riding issue for me I can barely watch the bigots. I read posted somewhere recently:

"What does the word of God say about collecting a dead spouse's social security? What does the word of God say about spousal privilege in legal cases? What does the word of God say about the tax code for married couples? CIVIL marriage has nothing to do with some people's particular interpretation of what they think is the word of God. CIVIL marriage isn't religious marriage."

And that pretty much sums it all up for me. I'm tired of the "religious" - who aren't that religious - using the Bible and the "word of God" to protect themselves from the label "bigot" - which is exactly what they are. I'm really done with it.

Equal is equal. No one wants to (here come the buzz words and catch phrases and talking points - pay attention) "redefine marriage." All anyone wants is to have the SAME rights as everyone else. That's why America is the great country it's supposed to be. Not special rights - equal rights.

Stepping off the soapbox now. Go see the movie.

And vote.