Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Manhattanhenge is back!

There's not much that's as romantic or calming as the setting sun in Manhattan in the summer.

Manhattanhenge is back!

The semiannual phenomenon sees the setting sun align with the Manhattan street grid, creating an otherworldly moment when an orange glow fills the city’s cross streets and lights up buildings on both sides simultaneously. The name comes from Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in Great Britain that aligns with the sun during the winter and summer solstice.

This year Manhattanhenge will took place on Tuesday May 31st at 8:17 pm and will again on Monday July 11th at 8:25 pm. A half sun will also be visible May 30th and July 12th. Mark your calendars!

For your best view, go as far east in Manhattan as possible while still being able to see New Jersey. The wider two way streets like 14th, 23rd, 34th and 42nd are recommended for even better views.

"Now you might never find that perfect town, but the sun still sets on a roof top where the city sounds like a Gershwin clarinet…"

Olivia's 'Gaia Retreat and Spa' wins Gourmet Traveller Award

Olivia Newton-John and partner Gregg Cave's award-winning retreat Gaia has another trophy for their mantle.

Gaia Retreat and Spa has won this year's "Best Health Retreat" from Gourmet Traveller Magazine.  Gaia was recently featured on The Oprah Show when Oprah took her audience down to Australia.  Olivia hosted an afternoon and evening at the "barefoot Armani" retreat with several of Oprah's guests.

Australian Gourmet Traveller is the country’s premier food and travel magazine, boasting spectacular photography and the best food and travel writers to inform and inspire.

A full list of this year's winners will be in the June issue of Gourmet Traveller magazine.

Pres. Obama issues LGBT Pride Month Proclamation

President Obama has released a proclamation for LGBT Pride Month in which he covers his achievements for the LGBT community since taking office, including the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, legislation toward repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", and implementing executive branch nondiscrimination policies. Obama also discusses his administration's work to combat bullying, and fight AIDS.

Read the entire proclamation:




The story of America's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is the story of our fathers and sons, our mothers and daughters, and our friends and neighbors who continue the task of making our country a more perfect Union. It is a story about the struggle to realize the great American promise that all people can live with dignity and fairness under the law. Each June, we commemorate the courageous individuals who have fought to achieve this promise for LGBT Americans, and we rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Since taking office, my Administration has made significant progress towards achieving equality for LGBT Americans. Last December, I was proud to sign the repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. With this repeal, gay and lesbian Americans will be able to serve openly in our Armed Forces for the first time in our Nation's history. Our national security will be strengthened and the heroic contributions these Americans make to our military, and have made throughout our history, will be fully recognized.

My Administration has also taken steps to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans in Federal housing programs and to give LGBT Americans the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital. We have made clear through executive branch nondiscrimination policies that discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the Federal workplace will not be tolerated. I have continued to nominate and appoint highly qualified, openly LGBT individuals to executive branch and judicial positions. Because we recognize that LGBT rights are human rights, my Administration stands with advocates of equality around the world in leading the fight against pernicious laws targeting LGBT persons and malicious attempts to exclude LGBT organizations from full participation in the international system. We led a global campaign to ensure "sexual orientation" was included in the United Nations resolution on extrajudicial execution -- the only United Nations resolution that specifically mentions LGBT people -- to send the unequivocal message that no matter where it occurs, state-sanctioned killing of gays and lesbians is indefensible. No one should be harmed because of who they are or who they love, and my Administration has mobilized unprecedented public commitments from countries around the world to join in the fight against hate and homophobia.

At home, we are working to address and eliminate violence against LGBT individuals through our enforcement and implementation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We are also working to reduce the threat of bullying against young people, including LGBT youth. My Administration is actively engaged with educators and community leaders across America to reduce violence and discrimination in schools. To help dispel the myth that bullying is a harmless or inevitable part of growing up, the First Lady and I hosted the first White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in March. Many senior Administration officials have also joined me in reaching out to LGBT youth who have been bullied by recording "It Gets Better" video messages to assure them they are not alone.

This month also marks the 30th anniversary of the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which has had a profound impact on the LGBT community. Though we have made strides in combating this devastating disease, more work remains to be done, and I am committed to expanding access to HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Last year, I announced the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. This strategy focuses on combinations of evidence-based approaches to decrease new HIV infections in high risk communities, improve care for people living with HIV/AIDS, and reduce health disparities. My Administration also increased domestic HIV/AIDS funding to support the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and HIV prevention, and to invest in HIV/AIDS-related research. However, government cannot take on this disease alone. This landmark anniversary is an opportunity for the LGBT community and allies to recommit to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and continuing the fight against this deadly pandemic.

Every generation of Americans has brought our Nation closer to fulfilling its promise of equality. While progress has taken time, our achievements in advancing the rights of LGBT Americans remind us that history is on our side, and that the American people will never stop striving toward liberty and justice for all.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2011 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.


Ben Cohen talks to Thomas Roberts of MSNBC about leaving rugby to begin his anti-bullying campaign

More Ben Cohen!

Ben talks to MSNBC's Thomas Roberts about his decision to leave his career as a leading rugby player to begin his campaign to stop bullying.

Ben's new endeavor is called "StandUp Foundation" and you can learn more here.

Thousands hold hands across bridge to protest LGBT violence

On Sunday night, more than 4,000 people showed up to a Facebook-organized demonstration against last week's anti-gay hate crime in Portland, Oregon and held hands across the Hawthorne bridge where the attack occurred.

JustOut blog reports that, "demonstrators packed into the space beneath the west side of the bridge at about 7:30 p.m., spilling over onto the ramp and stairs to hear from the attack’s survivors, Brad Forkner and Christopher Rosevear. Afterward, the crowd filed down both sides of the bridge with hands held. Despite being tightly packed together, some attendees could not fit on the bridge.

Before the crowd moved to the bridge, Forkner talked about the attack, explaining that the violence he experienced is part of a larger culture of discrimination and fear:

“This is not the first time I have feared for my safety or my life and, sadly, I don’t expect it to be the last,” Forkner said. “What I want to talk about is a much larger cultural issue we have with making different people feel like they’re worth less than normal people, as if there is such a thing as “normal.” In this instance, it was because we are gay.”

After Forkner’s speech, Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Jeana Frazzini thanked Forkner and Rosevear for their courage and invited the crowd to take part in a display of love and affection:

"Holding hands is an act of love. It’s an expression of affection and it’s a symbol of faith in another human being. And tonight in this crowd we’re surrounding Brad and Christopher — and everyone who’s been the victims of violence and oppression and hateful words because of who they love or who they are — with the love that is Portland, with love that is Oregon and with the love that we can spread across this city, this state, this nation and the world.”

The Family Research Council denies it is a hate group

The Family Research Council - listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center - vehemently opposes any rights afforded to the LGBT community.

This is a montage of video clips of Tony Perkins & Peter Sprigg spewing claims and false information about the gay community.

See for yourself if you think this is "hate"...

Patrick Dempsey to exit Grey's Anatomy after season 8

Patrick Dempsey tells Italian Vanity Fair he plans to exit Grey's Anatomy after Season 8.

"It's gonna be my last," Dempsey says. "I do not know what's going to happen to the other characters, but for me it's done."

Dempsey's contract is up after the eighth season, along with those for other original castmembers Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Sandra Oh and Justin Chambers.

Executive producer Shonda Rhimes has already expressed that she's planning Season 8 to be the last for the original cast. "It might be the last hurrah for a lot of them; you never know," she told TVLine.com. "Everybody has an individual choice to make and I get that."

IL Catholic Charities end all adoption services to avoid allowing gays to adopt

From ThinkProgress: Following up on their threat, Catholic Charities of Rockford, IL, have voluntarily ended all their adoption and foster care services rather than comply with the civil unions law that will take effect next week.

In doing so, the organization terminated $7.5 million in state contracts, fired 58 workers, and likely displaced 350 foster children. Diocese spokeswoman Penny Wiegert attempted to blame the government for not protecting charities’ ability to discriminate against same-sex couples:

The law of our land has always guaranteed its people freedom of religion. Denying this exemption to faith-based agencies leads one to believe that our lawmakers prefer laws that guarantee freedom from religion.

But the decision had nothing to do with the children (who will do just fine with same-sex families) and nothing to do with religious liberty. It was a blatant choice to prefer discrimination and stigmatization of gays and lesbians over the ability to do important, charitable work.

This is only the latest example of how out of touch Church leaders are with its members. A March poll from the Public Religion Research Institute demonstrated that Catholics overwhelmingly support marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples (74 percent), but that number has been consistently over 60 percent since at least 2008. In Rhode Island, 63 percent of Catholics support full marriage equality, but Church leaders have been instrumental in holding back the progress of legislation there.

HRC Public Service Announcement by kids who were bullied

Human Rights Campaign's new PSA by kids telling their own stories about being bullied.

Watch it and pass it on.

Or better yet, start a conversation with people about it, so we can stop it.

True Blood's Joe Manganiello Hotter Than Ever

Not that I really NEED a reason to post a picture of him, but Joe Manganiello (of TRUE BLOOD on HBO) gave an interview to eonline.com about staying in shape, keeping his clothes on or off and his joking about "manscaping" at the NewNowNext Awards.

Regarding his muscular build: "Sometimes I think, 'Man, maybe I raised the bar a little too high last year,' " the actor tells me, adding with a laugh, "I'm also at the age where this is the time to do it. So if I'm going to do it, let's see how far we can push it."

About how often he has to be naked on TRUE BLOOD: "It's definitely a lot. I was talking recently with my manager Coleen, and we calculated that in the first seven episodes that I've filmed for the new season, I was naked three out of the seven. So yeah, there's a lot."

Manganiello would like to clear up one thing — he does not use a professional groomer for his body hair. He actually started the rumor when he thanked his "manscaper" after winning the Cause You're Hot award last month at the NewNowNext Awards.

"It was a complete joke!" he said. "I was training with my trainer, and he's like, 'Dude, do you know about this manscaping thing? And then he explained the whole thing. I was like, 'I'm going to talk about that at the awards.' So I made it up. I actually don't need one. I'm Sicilian and Armenian, so you would think I would, but I'm completely hairless. I don't know how I won that roll of the dice."

Read more at eonline.com

Vanessa Williams video supporting marriage equality

Very proud that I have known Vanessa for 30 years. She's the real deal, and a great friend to the LGBT community.

Citing five states and the District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is already legal, Williams said, “It’s time for New York to lead again.”

I couldn't agree more.

Ben Cohen interview on CNN

CNN interview with rugby legend and anti-bullying advocate,Ben Cohen, on his new campaign to end bullying.

Did I mention he's beautiful - in many ways?

Monday, May 30, 2011

New Music from Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton's new song - "Together You and I"

Dolly Parton's new song has hit online stores and she's got a long track record for summer hits. Hit the link to check it out.

Who doesn't love Dolly?

Sandra Bernhard on Kathy Griffin

Says Sandra Bernhard, "I think Kathy studied me in the early days. She borrowed a little bit. I think Kathy would be the first to admit. I know she's a big admirer of mine. But I didn't take it to 'that' place. I tried to keep it a little more intellectual."

Was that a slight "slam"?

Chilean President to send parliament Civil Unions bill

Chile's President Sebastian Pinera has announced that he will forward to parliament a bill that would grant both heterosexual and homosexual couples living outside of marriage the ability to access a form of civil unions granting them many of the same rights as marriage.

Pinera announced his intentions in an interview published Saturday by daily El Mercurio.

The conservative lawmaker said his bill seeks to “protect and safeguard” the civil rights of couples living outside of marriage and “safeguard the dignity of those couples, whether of opposite sex or even the same sex.”

This comes just one week after Chili's largest LGBT rights group Movimiento Chileno de Minorias Sexuales called for a national march for marriage equality that was designed to get the President's attention.

Majority public support for legal recognition of same-sex partners in Chili has been strong since 2004. However, same-sex marriage still polls considerably lower than civil unions.

Tony Romo and Candice Crawford marry

Tony Romo scored the ultimate touchdown this weekend – the Dallas Cowboys quarterback married Candice Crawford on Saturday evening at Arlington Hall in Dallas, his rep confirms to PEOPLE.

Cowboy players past and present, such as Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, Dez Bryant and Miles Austi, as well as team owner Jerry Jones, were seen attending the wedding.

Crawford is a pageant queen, KDAF-TV anchor and the younger sister of Gossip Girl's Chace Crawford, who was seen at the wedding.

She received an 8-carat yellow diamond engagement ring, which features one carat of round diamonds surrounding the center stone. Her bridesmaids wore Badgley Mischka dresses.

Custom gift bags included: monogrammed with the wedding couple's initials, the bag contains a Neiman Marcus gift card, assorted treats from Great One Cookies, a Mix of the Month CD by DJ Lucy Wrubel, a miniature bottle of Moet champagne, a box of Dude Sweet Chocolates, gourmet popcorn, chips and salsa, "Killer Pecans" from Bandera Foods, Voss bottled water, and an assortment of Kiehl's beauty and body products.

The couple became engaged in December, when Romo, 31, proposed to Crawford on her 24th birthday. They have been dating since summer 2009, shortly after Romo split from Jessica Simpson.

Being from Fort Worth, I am, of course, aware of any current Dallas Cowboys quarterback as following them is a religion in Texas. I'm also about three degrees removed from knowing Romo since I know Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees who knows Jessica Simpson who couldn't close the deal with Romo while dating him.

And more importantly - I think Romo has a terrific nose. I've always hated mine and thought if I ever got a nose job, Romo's nose is the nose to have.


The Hangover II and Bradley Cooper

Yeah, I just wanted a reason to post pics of Bradley Cooper...

Oh!  And he has a new movie out!

"The Hangover Part II" is on par to become the one of the highest grossing R-rated comedies of all time.

The R-rated comedy sees the return of Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms on the big screen as part of the "Wolf Pack" from the original film. The crew travels to Thailand for Stu's (Helms) wedding and their plans for a bachelor party go awry once again.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film has earned an estimated $86.5 million since Friday and $118 million since its release on Thursday. It is on track to earn an additional $20 million for a five-day estimated total of $138 million. The industry newspaper notes that the total will set a record for comedies.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Randy's foot and gout: Beer - bad; Wine - good

So a few years ago I came to the realization that a foot issue I had every now and then was actually Gout.

With some research online, I found a study with the following results:

Compared with non beer drinkers, those who drank two or more servings of beer per day suffered a 2.5 times greater risk of gout.

Compared with non liquor drinkers, those who drank two or more servings of liquor per day suffered a 1.6 times greater risk of gout.

Wine was not associated with an increased risk of gout compared with those who did not drink wine.

I liked drinking beer, so I quickly deduced - "ah-ha!" - that I have to avoid beer.  So I have for about three years.  No gout.

With the holiday weekend, I thought "well, maybe one beer in the middle of the day wouldn't hurt."

Aaaaaand I was wrong.  Enter my first episode of gout in three years.


Lesson learned.  It's not very butch - and do I really care anyway - but I have to not have beer.  White wine = no gout.  No gout = happiness.

Remember folks, I used to be blond.  It takes me a little time to get it....


Miley Cyrus Blasts Santorum, Urban Outfitters

Pop singer Miley Cyrus took to Twitter last week to blast antigay presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, and contributions that have bolstered his campaign.

Cyrus tweeted, “IF WE ALLOW GAY MARRIAGE NEXT THING U KNOW PEOPLE WILL BE MARRYING GOLD FISH’ – Rick Santorum UO contributed $13,000 to this mans campaign.”

She was referring to Urban Outfitters, headed up by Richard Hayne, the company's conservative president, who has been known to give campaign dollars to right-wing politicians and causes.

She added, “Not only do they steal from artists but every time you give them money you help finance a campaign against gay equality.”

Santorum plans to launch his Republican primary campaign on June 6.
(from Advocate.com)

Grand Rapids shows us their town isn't dying

As a response to being named one of America's 'dying cities' Grand Rapids filmed this amazing video: shiny happy people letting the world know they are fine.

5,000 people showed up to break the world record for lipdubbing to Don McLean’s “American Pie,” and it really strikes a chord with anyone whose city has been issued a premature obituary.

I've always liked the song, and to see a town come together like this is amazing. Keep watching. It just gets better.
(via joemygod)

Sarah Palin gets mixed reaction at Rolling Thunder

Riding onto the scene on the back of a Harley-Davidson, Sarah Palin made a dramatic entrance Sunday at a much-anticipated appearance with the Rolling Thunder bike rally in Arlington, Virginia, an early stop on her recently-launched national bus tour.

The annual motorcycle ride, part of a two-day effort by the Rolling Thunder nonprofit organization, means to draw attention to American troops who have gone missing in combat and remain unaccounted for. Hundreds of participants ride in support of the cause yearly.

Palin did not give a speech during her appearance, but said, when asked about the significance of the event, that it was important to honor men and women in uniform.

When asked whether or not she was planning to jump into the race, Palin said, "I don't know yet."

She and her family spent about 20 minutes shaking hands and taking photos with people in the crowd.

The former governor's participation received mix reviews from Rolling Thunder organizers and participants, according to the Washington Post.

"It intimidates our people if we’re pro or con any particular candidate,” said Wayne Kirkpatrick, chairman of the board of an Illinois chapter of Rolling Thunder. “And until national says there's a candidate we’re and supporting them, we don’t want to feel because the president of this chapter is pro-tea party, ‘Gee, I have to be our else I better get out of this organization.”

“Don’t come here and try to make a political point out of it,” said Joe Clark of Pennsylvania. “If she’s just here backing the cause of the entire run, that’s fine. If she’s just trying to get votes, she should just stay out of it.”

Mark Posey of Indiana agreed: “I think she has no reason the be involved in this,” he said. “If she’s launching her campaign to run for president, I don’t think this is the place to start.”

“I don’t think she has any business having anything to do with Rolling Thunder. It’s not a political statement, so to speak. It’s not a Republican or a Democrat thing,” said Denise Throckmorton, who lives outside of Pittsburgh.

Olivia Newton-John on the passing of Jeff Conaway

John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and Jeff Conaway on the set of GREASE

Olivia Newton-John has released a brief statement on the passing of GREASE co-star Jeff Conaway:

"It's so very sad. Jeff had a good heart and was so very talented. He was a big part of our family for many years and he will be missed. - Love and light, Olivia"

Jersey Shore: Ronnie and 'The Situation' have major fist fight

Ronnie and 'The Situation' - both of MTV's Jersey Shore - got into a MAJOR fist fight with each other last night in Italy.

According to TMZ - and based on the post-brawl pictures - Mike 'The Situation' got his butt kicked.

The two arrived separately back to their apartment hours later — Situation has red marks covering his face around his left eye.  Ronnie’s knuckles were torn up and bleeding.  Details surrounding the fight are still unclear — but big surprise - rumors are it all began with a blowout between Ronnie and Sammi.

I know Ronnie's temper has been a big part of what made him famous on the TV show. But having met him a little earlier this year when he was a special guest for the Chippendales at the Rio Hotel and Casino, he was very cordial and friendly.

Mike "The Situation" on Ronnie:

The Donny & Marie Show - Las Vegas

Michael, Marie, Donny and I backstage after their show at the Flamingo
Last night Michael and I saw "The Donny & Marie Show" at the Flamingo Showroom in Las Vegas as guests of the new director, Richard Jay-Alexander.

It's no surprise to anyone in Vegas that the show has been a huge hit since the talented two-some opened their show here. Last night was the first chance Michael and I have had to see the show and it's really terrific.

The showroom is the best showroom in Las Vegas. Beautiful red velvet walls and leather booths - old school Vegas but not old or rundown. Beautiful.

And the show - well, it completely showcases what Donny and Marie do best. In addition to highlighting the ongoing "sibling rivalry" - now focused on Donny's win on 'Dancing With The Stars' versus Marie's third place showing - we get to hear these two show business veterans SING. They've always had great voices and this show makes it clear that some things, like fine wine, continue to get better with age.

After opening the show with several duets, including one from their new CD - Donny and Marie, each takes a solo turn in the spotlight. Marie ends a Kander & Ebb medley by belting an impressive "World Goes Round," then switches it up to full on gorgeous soprano with "Somewhere" from West Side Story.

I've been a fan of Donny since I was five. He inspired me to become a performer. Donny's voice is as strong, clear and exciting as ever and he delivers hit upon hit; whether it's "Go Away Little Girl" and "Puppy Love" or Osmond classic "Crazy Horses" or a full on replication of the athletic Osmond choreography to "Yo-Yo" from the early 70s. Now in his early 50s, Donny doesn't merely keep up - but he sets the bar for the ensemble dancers on stage with him.

On top of that, both have an natural affinity for interacting with the audience that makes for a show all unto itself.  Only through the years that they've put in performing live could result in the ease and charm that they both bring to the stage.

The show is extremely well paced, and the lighting is gorgeous.

There's a reason why the show was completely packed.  There's always an audience for talent.  Sorry, make that Talent.

Donny & Marie know exactly what they do well, and it's onstage at the Flamingo. They sing, they dance, they're funny.  About the only things they don't do is perform with fire baton or on toe taps. But you get the sense that if you asked, Donny might just say "give me a minute..."

If you're in Vegas make sure you go see them. You get your money's worth and more.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Old Navy launches line of gay-pride t-shirts

Old Navy isn’t the first retail chain to ride the gay pride rainbow wave, but it’s likely the largest. Starting Monday, Old Navy (owned by Gap, Inc.) is launching a line of gay pride-themed T-shirts sized for men, women, and babies, with 10% of the proceeds going to the It Gets Better Project.

I like the idea of moms, dads, and teens browsing in malls across America and unexpectedly coming across t-shirts emblazoned with the words “Love proudly, Old Navy Pride 2011.” I'm very impressed by these Old Navy tees promoting love and acceptance to the masses.

A notable list of high-end designers—notably Marc Jacobs and Kenneth Cole—have released limited edition t-shirts in support of marriage equality. But Old Navy is by far the largest retailer to do so.

The limited edition Old Navy pride t-shirt collection, priced at $7.50 to $14.50, includes four designs that are available until June 30th.

Former Palin aide: "she would be an absolute disaster as President"

Former Sarah Palin aide Frank Bailey opened up to "Extra" about the ex-Governor of Alaska with his thoughts on her possible run for the presidency. In his candid interview, Bailey revealed, "She would be an absolute disaster as President."

The former member of Sarah Palin's inner circle released a new tell-all titled, Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years.

The book details Frank's four years with Palin, based on 50,000 emails he wrote or received as a campaign and administration staffer. Frank, standing by his claims, cites the insider emails as evidence that back his stories.

In "Blind Allegiance," the author paints a portrait of a fame-hungry, erratic and unethical politician.

"She loves to play the victim. She cannot handle criticism." He also addresses Palin's family life and explained, "I frequently found myself in the middle of dysfunction between Todd Palin and Sarah Palin. Sarah would tell us, 'Don't trust Todd, be careful what you tell Todd... Todd talks.'

Frank sent a message to the politician at the end of his interview with "Extra": "Look at the things you've done and look in the mirror. I've taken this painful step to own what I've done and I'd hope you can do the same."

More on EXTRA

Dan Choi arrested at Moscow Gay Pride event

Army veteran and gay activist Dan Choi, Chicago activist Any Thayer were among at least 18 people who were mobbed at a gay pride parade in Moscow by police and a group of Neo-Nazis on Saturday.

Video of the attack was posted on AmericaBlog, in which Choi and Thayer are walking quietly, when a mob of uniformed and undercover police attack them. According to British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, the arrests took place between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Moscow time.

Choi and seven others were carted off to Presnensky Police Station in Moscow after the attack. He and the other foreign protesters were released without a charge or fine, but the Russians will have to remain overnight.

More at The Advocate.

New DVD movie: "Violet Tendencies"

Next time you want to find an off-beat movie to watch, how about this?

Mindy Cohn, best known as Natalie on the ’80s sitcom The Facts of Life, is a scream as Violet, a self-described “fag hag” swarmed and sometimes stifled by her gay male friends in Manhattan.

Directed by Casper Andreas and penned by Out columnist Jesse Archer — collaborators on films like Slutty Summer and A Four Letter Word — this unconventional rom-com is jam-packed with buff eye-candy, gut-busting one-liners, and surprising heart.

Rent it on iTunes and have a fun evening at home.

Matt Doyle - "Daylight"

Currently starring in Broadway’s War Horse, out performer Matt Doyle has just released his soulful debut EP, which was fully funded by fans through Kickstarter.com and includes a sultry cover of Sam Cooke’s “Lost and Lookin’.” 

The 24-year-old Spring Awakening alum — better known to Gossip Girl fans as Eric’s boyfriend, Jonathan — will also star in Private Romeo, an upcoming gay film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. 

Check out the new music here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Americans estimate 25% of Americans are gay

Click image for larger view

U.S. adults, on average, estimate that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian. More specifically, over half of Americans (52%) estimate that at least one in five Americans are gay or lesbian, including 35% who estimate that more than one in four are. Thirty percent put the figure at less than 15%.

Americans with lower incomes and less education give the highest estimates, on average, of the U.S. gay and lesbian population, and far higher estimates than those with higher incomes and more education. Americans aged 18 to 29 give a higher average estimate than older Americans, and women give a far higher average estimate than men.

Democrats, liberals, and those who say they are socially liberal are also more likely to give higher estimates than those at the other end of the spectrum. However, the differences by political or ideological leanings are in most cases not as wide as those seen by demographic group.

Read more from Gallup

Gas prices begin to fall

If you've been worrying yourself silly about $4 gasoline, it may be time to relax.

Lower oil prices are finally trickling down to retail fuel pumps, prompting experts to wonder whether gas prices have peaked for the year.

The fading fears of $4 gas also come just in time for the traditional Memorial Day vacation kickoff.

Travel industry officials said consumers were already showing signs they wanted to travel as much if not more than a year ago. But that was in part because they planned to offset their fuel costs by eating cheaper meals and finding less costly hotel rooms.

Now, travel industry officials said, the dropping gasoline prices will at least provide a psychological boost.

A couple of weeks ago, the national average price for gasoline stood at $3.99 a gallon. By Thursday it had dropped to $3.81.

Gas prices are still about $1.15 higher compared to last year. So some consumers are still weighing vacation tradeoffs.

The average price for gas in April was the highest in more than two decades and the momentum pushing prices higher continued into May. The federal Energy Information Administration and other analysts had been predicting the national average for gasoline to top $4 at some point this summer.

But now the federal agency is reconsidering.

"It is possible we have reached our peak," said Neil Gamson, an analyst for EIA.

Read more here.

GLEE star Chris Colfer's 21st birthday

To celebrate Chris Colfer's 21st birthday, take a look at the video message he made for the "It Gets Better" project.

Happy birthday Chris!

ALPHAS on Syfy - July 11

The premise of "Alphas" -- seemingly ordinary people with amazing abilities -- isn't exactly a new one. But based on the first full trailer for Syfy's upcoming series, it looks like it could be a pretty fun version of that oft-told tale.

The 90-second spot, which will also play in movie theaters in the coming weeks, introduces the team and their powers, along with scientist/mentor David Strathairn.

Premieres July 11 on Syfy.

Happy long holiday weekend!

Starting a bit early.  Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Lauren Alaina, Idol runner-up, passed over by Americas Got Talent

Lauren Alaina came close to grabbing the top honor on “American Idol,” but the runner-up had far less luck with another televised talent show.

During a Thursday night visit to the “Tonight Show,” the 16-year-old admitted that before “Idol,” she set her sights on “America’s Got Talent.” The confession came while “Talent” judge Piers Morgan was on the program.

“I thought you were the better singer to be honest,” Morgan told Alaina.

“Do you want to hear something funny?” the teen shot back. “I tried out for your show and didn’t make it. … Twice!”

Morgan appeared genuinely shocked to hear the news, especially after Alaina explained that she never even made it past the first round of auditions.

“This is a scandal,” Morgan said. “This is awkward.”

Of course, now that Alaina has found her big break with “Idol,” she’s over the oversight. Still, the country singer had some advice for others facing similar circumstances.

“So for all the people that try out for ‘America’s Got Talent’ and don’t make it – try out for ‘American Idol’ instead!” she cheerfully suggested.

Morgan just couldn’t shake the shame from not snagging Alaina for his own show.

“This is so embarrassing,” he continued. “I’m going to get new producers. The moment this finishes, I’m getting them. Twice? Twice, you applied?” The judge then joked, “Well, I’ll tell you, it shows you the standard on 'America’s Got Talent.'”
(via theclicker.com)

Jeff Conaway passes away at 60

Jeff Conaway has passed away at 60.

Conaway, 60, rose to fame playing one of the T-Birds in the 1978 film adaptation of Grease. Later that year, he co-starred in the popular sitcom Taxi, as actor-turned-taxi-driver Bobby Wheeler, before leaving in Season 4. He later appeared on The Bold and the Beautiful and Babylon 5 in the '90s.

In recent years, however, Conaway has turned to reality TV. He was a contestant on the third season of Celebrity Fit Club, but was forced to leave the show and enter rehab. Two years later, he returned to VH1 to appear on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, seeking treatment for addictions to cocaine, painkillers and alcohol.

Born in New York City, Conaway shot to fame in the ’70s as a quintessential cocky guy: first in the internationally successful Grease and then on the TV hit Taxi, on which he played a similarly brash struggling actor named Bobby Wheeler from 1978 to 1981 (he left the show for its last two seasons). In 1980, he married Grease co-star Olivia Newton-John’s sister, Rona, and had a son named Emerson, though the couple divorced five years later.

He snagged roles on The Bold and the Beautiful in 1989 and Babylon 5 in the ’90s, but his most disturbingly memorable appearance came when he appeared on Celebrity Rehab as one of Dr. Drew Pinsky’s most difficult cases. After a long struggle with addiction, he first appeared on the show’s 2008 season to fight a dependency on alcohol, cocaine, and painkillers.

He was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital after being found unconscious in his Encino, CA, home. He remained in a coma for two weeks.


50/50 - new Seth Rogen/Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie

Very much looking forward to seeing this.

Inspired by personal experiences, 50/50 is an original story about friendship, love, survival and finding humor in unlikely places.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen star as best friends whose lives are changed by a cancer diagnosis.

Rogen also serves as producer, along with Evan Goldberg and Ben Karlin. Jonathan Levine directs from a script by Will Reiser.

"We worked with Will on Da Ali G show, and it was shortly after that we learned he was sick." Rogen recalls. "As shocking, sad, confusing and generally screwed up as it was; we couldn't ignore that because we were so ill-equipped to deal with the situation, funny things kept happening. Will got better, and when he did, we thought the best way to pull something good out of the situation was to get him to write a screenplay. Ideally we wanted to make a film that would be as funny, sad, and hopefully as honest as the experience we went through. As soon as the script was completed, it quickly became a passion project for all of us. It helped us come to terms with Will's struggle as well as our own experiences."

50/50 is the story of a guy's transformative and, yes, sometimes funny journey to health. 50/50 draws its emotional core from Will Reiser's own experience with cancer and reminds us that friendship and love, no matter what bizarre turns they take, are the greatest healers.

Here's the trailer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Defense Bill Passes in House With Antigay Amendments

The House of Representatives on Thursday approved its version of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act with three controversial, antigay amendments, one of which is aimed at delaying repeal implementation of "don't ask, don't tell."

The amendments, all opposed by the Obama administration, would require the four service branch chiefs to sign off on DADT repeal, affirm that the Defense of Marriage Act applies to Defense Department policies, and prohibit weddings for same-sex couples at military facilities — as well as bar military chaplains from performing such weddings in their official capacity. The House version of the defense authorization bill was approved by a 322 to 96 vote.

In a Tuesday statement of policy, the White House objected to any legislative attempt to delay repeal of DADT, which would "create uncertainty for service members and their families," according to the statement.
(via The Advocate)

Lindsay Lohan begins house arrest

Lindsay Lohan is officially confined to her townhouse ... TMZ has learned the actress surrendered to authorities this morning and has begun to serve her house arrest sentence.

Lohan arrived to the Lynwood Jail at 5:02 AM this morning to check in -- where she was fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet. She was quickly sent home to her pad in Venice, CA and we're told she'll spend roughly 35 days in confinement.

According to the booking sheet, 24-year-old Lohan was listed at 5'7" and 117 lbs.

The sentence stems from Lohan's legal troubles involving a necklace she allegedly stole from a Venice jeweler. Lohan pled no contest in the case.

In addition to the house arrest, Lohan was also ordered to complete 480 hours of community service – which includes a stint at the L.A. County morgue.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg makes the case for marriage equality

Mayor Bloomberg of NYC gave a speech today at the Cooper Union for Advancement of Science and Art that clearly and forcefully makes the case for marriage equality in New York State. Here are excerpts:

“It’s fitting that the gay rights movement began in our City, because New Yorkers have always been at the forefront of movements to expand American freedoms – and guarantee American liberties. Long before our founding fathers wisely decided to separate church from state, leading citizens of our City petitioned their colonial rulers for religious freedom. Long before Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, many New Yorkers – including the founder of this college, Peter Cooper – crusaded against slavery. Long before the nation adopted the 19th Amendment, New Yorkers helped lead the movement for women’s suffrage. And long before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, New Yorkers played a pivotal role in advancing a color- blind society."

“That has always been what sets us apart. In our city, there is no shame in being true to yourself. There is only pride. We take you as you are – and we let you be who you wish to be. That is the essence of New York City!"

“We are the freest city in the freest country in the world – but freedom is not frozen in time. And if we are to remain the freest city, with the most dynamic and innovative economy, we must lead on this issue – just as we have on so many other matters of fundamental civil rights."

"The time has come for us to fulfill the dreams that exploded onto Sheridan Square 42 years ago: to allow thousands of men and women to become full members of the American family, and to take the next step on the inspired journey our founding fathers first began."

It's a pretty amazing and all-encompassing speech that clearly makes the case for New York State to lead in the fight for LGBT equality.

Thank you Mayor Bloomberg.

Read the entire speech here.

Missouri congressman calls for repeal of stimulus, attends ground breaking of stimulus project

Rep. Billy Long attends groundbreaking of stimulus
funded health care clinic

Freshman Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) called for a complete repeal of President Obama’s stimulus program during his campaign last year. “I hope that Congress will admit they made a mistake and vote to repeal the Stimulus Act in order to reduce our deficit,” he said confidently at the time.

On the second anniversary of the bill’s signing, Long sent out a press release claiming that the stimulus had “failed.”

On Friday, however, Long appeared with other community leaders to break ground for the new Access Family Care clinic in Cassville, Missouri. The construction was made possible with a $635,000 grant from the stimulus, secured in part by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who unlike Long supported the stimulus.

Plans for the facility include housing three medical providers, two dentists and two dental hygienists. “This will be a great facility,” Long declared at the event.

I'm not sure if Long revealed to the audience that he had called for repealing the funds that made the clinic possible.

Ah, hypocrisy. It's a funny word, isn't it?

Sharron Angle NOT running for NV congressional seat

Sharron Angle, who lost in her recent bid for US Senate to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by 5 points, has made a statement saying although she was the first to put her hat in the ring to run for Dean Heller's recently open seat in Nevada, she will now NOT be running. Here's her official statement:

“Current outcomes concerning the special election have made this election in Nevada an illegitimate process that disenfranchises the electorate. Clearly, no solution that the Supreme Court can make will correct the injury to free and open elections caused by ambiguous laws and subsequent lawsuits.

“I do not have any desire to participate in a process described by others as a “ballot royale” or a situation where the party central committees choose their nominees because it makes a mockery of the most important constitutional element in exercising freedom. Voter participation has been preempted in either case by disallowing primary elections, or in allowing a select group of people to make a decision who otherwise would not be allowed to vote in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District. The longer this drags out the more it will become a contest of bank accounts and negative campaigning based on personal attacks instead of the important issues that face Nevada and our country.”

“Although I do not intend to participate as a candidate in the special election, I am not ruling out a future run for office. Meanwhile, I will remain busy working as an advocate for the voters of Nevada and this great nation. I thank all my supporters for their dedication and encouragement. I will be making additional announcements soon detailing my plans.”

And the state of Nevada breathes a sigh of relief...

Wisconsin Anti-Union Law Struck Down By County Circuit Judge

Gov. Walker
From Huffpost Politics: A Wisconsin judge has struck down a law taking away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most state workers.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi ruled Thursday that Republican legislators violated Wisconsin's open meetings law during the run up to passage. She says that renders the law void.

The law pushed by Gov. Scott Walker takes away all bargaining rights except over base salary for teachers and other public workers.

The decision is not the end of the legal fight. The state Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for June 6 to determine whether it will take the same case.

Lawmakers could also pass the law again in order to nullify open meeting concerns that led to the judge's ruling Thursday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Minnesota Gov. "vetoes" anti-gay amendment bill

It has no effect on the anti-gay marriage amendment Minnesota's homophobic legislature has sent voters for the 2012 ballot, but the veto that Governor Mark Dayton symbolically issued today is not without its praise.

"I do not have the power to prevent this divisive and destructive constitutional amendment from appearing on the ballot, in November 2012, the Legislature sent it to me in the form of a bill," writes Gov. Dayton in a letter to the Minnesota legislature. "Thus, symbolic as it my be, I am exercising my legal responsibility to either sign or veto it. The path of social progress, of human compassion and understanding, would be tragically reversed by this amendment. Minnesotans are better than this. I urge Minnesotans to reject this amendment."

Kids, this is what political courage looks like. Standing up for what you believe - equal rights for all when the darkness surrounds you.

Good for Gov. Mark Dayton. This is what a hero looks like. Take a very good look.

GOP congressman keeps his gov't healthcare because "it's free"

Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) faced criticism this week when video was released of him telling a constituent that she should sponsor her own health care instead of using the government's Medicare program.

The Georgia Democratic Party released more video Wednesday from that same town hall event where Woodall explained why he wouldn't give up his own government-funded health care program.

"You take government-subsidized health care, but you are not obligated to take that if you don’t want to," Democratic activist Ilene Johnson told Woodall. "Why aren’t you going out on the free market in the state where you are a resident and buy your own health care?"

"It’s because it’s free," Woodall replied. "It’s because it’s free. The same reason I went out to Walgreens and bought Activon when I don’t have any arthritis pain. Because it’s free. Folks, if you give people things for free, don’t blame them for taking them."

So he wants to know why private citizens expect to take part in Medicare when they've PAID into it all their lives, but he keeps HIS government healthcare because "it's free."

OHHHHH. Now I get it.

(vis crooksandliars.com)

Cute 7 minute movie: Mr. Stache

I think this was so cute.

I've been watching some short films lately and I'm so impressed how story-telling can be done in a short time frame in such clever ways.
(via joemygod)

Prop 8 supporters undercut their own argument

Campaigners for California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2008 told traditional families they had much at stake: the future of marriage itself and the need to "protect our children," as one ad put it, from the impact of legalized gay and lesbian unions.

Now, as the sponsors of Proposition 8 try to convince the courts that the judge who overturned the measure had a built-in bias as a gay man with a longtime partner, their opponents are invoking that same campaign message: If Prop. 8 was meant to preserve opposite-sex marriages, they argue, then any judge, gay or straight, would have the similar conflict of interest.

In their latest court filing, the measure's supporters reply that they never promoted Prop. 8 as a benefit for married couples - just for society as a whole.

"Our argument is that adoption of same-sex marriage will likely harm the institution of marriage over time, not that any individual's existing marriage will be affected," said Charles Cooper, lawyer for the Prop. 8 campaign committee, a conservative religious coalition called Protect Marriage.

"The notion that all married heterosexual judges have a direct and substantial personal interest in the outcome of this case is, of course, patently absurd."

Theodore Boutrous, a lawyer for two same-sex couples and a gay-rights group that challenged Prop. 8, said the measure's sponsors were contradicting their campaign message that heterosexuals needed protection from same-sex marriage.

"It's a stunning admission that all the arguments they were making before are completely baseless," he said.

Ethics expert, Stephen Gillers of New York University, said an unreported long-term, same-sex relationship should not be grounds for disqualifying a judge. Since Walker could have married his partner in California before Prop. 8 passed, and could marry him today in a number of states, Gillers said, "his decision has no consequence to him."

Click here to read more at SFgate.com

Jim Stynes date with Olivia Newton-John

From the Herald Sun:Jim Stynes is facing one of his biggest challenges in the two years since he was diagnosed with cancer, with more risky surgery scheduled for next week.

But the main thing on his mind was the chance to share the stage tomorrow night with singer Olivia Newton-John before the Demons-Carlton match to help raise money for her Cancer and Wellness Centre.

Stynes says he fell in love with Newton-John as a 13-year-old watching Grease with his little brother.

Yesterday she visited him at The Alfred hospital as he recovered from his latest bout of surgery to remove persistent tumours.

They had a laugh and did an impromptu rehearsal of Grease hit You're The One That I Want.

She said Stynes was an example of why Melbourne needed the new centre, which would help patients' "body, mind and soul".

The centre, due to open next year, still needs $10 million in public donations.

"This is an exciting chance for the club to support a worthwhile cause. I should be right to be there," he said.

Stynes brushed off suggestions he'd sing with Newton-John, but Sam said he had had been practising You're The One That I Want in the shower every morning.

Stynes' former teammate, Russell Robertson, who sings with his own band, is expected to vie on stage with Stynes for Newton-John's affections.

"Russell might win in the singing side of things, but Jim's certainly going to get more sympathy points from Olivia," Sam said.
To donate to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre visit www.oliviaappeal.com

John Edwards may be indicted on misuse of campaign funds to cover up affair

The Justice Department plans to move ahead with criminal charges against the former senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, contending that he misused campaign funds to cover up an affair with his mistress, a person close to Mr. Edwards said Wednesday morning.

“DOJ has made its decision to move forward with charges,” the person said in an e-mail.

Mr. Edwards, 57, has been the subject of a two-year investigation into whether he used more than $1 million in political donations to hide his affair with Rielle Hunter, his campaign videographer, while he ran for president in 2008. Hunter was an aide in Edwards' 2008 presidential campaign.

Edwards has denied any misuse of campaign funds.

If Mr. Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina and trial lawyer, makes a plea arrangement, he could admit to wrongdoing and avoid a costly trial.

A former top aide, Andrew Young, told a federal grand jury during nine hours of testimony in 2009 that Edwards had directed a well-funded campaign to keep the media away from Hunter -- and hide the fact that Hunter had given birth to a daughter. Young initially had claimed he was father of Hunter's child, but Edwards later admitted that he fathered the girl.

Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, died last year of cancer.

Officer X on DOMA/marriage equality in the armed forces

Officer X has a new post on TIME Magazine's website regarding DOMA and marriage rights in the armed forces.

Me getting married to another man does nothing to diminish the love of any heterosexual couple's marriage. The act is anything but hostile and I don't see why some feel they need “protection” from it happening. I understand and respect certain churches' reluctance to accept homosexuality based on their interpretation of the Bible. Based on that precedent I can understand the desire of individual churches to not recognize gay marriage.

In essence, DOMA hurts gay couples, especially those in the military. After I get married it will keep me from being able to live in base housing with my spouse. It will deny him the same medical benefits I would be able to pass off to a wife. It also does nothing to “protect” straight couples, or their faith's desire to exclude gays.

For those who haven't read his posts, Officer X is a gay pilot in the United States armed forces who is serving actively in the military. Time has invited him to share his experiences with readers as we watch the end of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy from the perspective of the boots on the ground.

Read his latest post in full here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NV Gov. Signs Transgender Protections Law

While Republicans in the South and Midwest are passing bills that strip rights away from LGBT people, Nevada's GOP governor signed legislation on Tuesday that will protect transgender people in the workplace.

Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the transgender bill into law at a ceremony in Carson City. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that LGBT leaders were hopeful that Sandoval would be receptive to the legislation, as he previously served as a federal judge.

AB 211, which goes into effect on October 1, says businesses with more than 15 employees cannot discriminate against people based on their gender identity or expression and people cannot be refused work or fired simply because they are transgender.

Thank you Gov. Sandoval!

It's estimated Nevada is home to 25,000 transgender people.

Kathy Hochul wins NY-26 congressional election

Democrat Kathy Hochul has been declared the winner of the special election for the congressional seat in NY-26.

The election seemed to have been flipped on the basis of Hochul's opposition to changing or "voucher"-izing Medicare.

The rural-suburban district between Buffalo and Rochester is one of the state's most conservative. But Corwin saw her early lead dissolve after coming out in favor of a Republican budget plan that would cut billions from Medicare, the government health plan for seniors.

With 83 percent of precincts reporting, Hochul had 48 percent of the vote, compared with 42 percent for Corwin.

The seat became vacant in February when Republican Rep. Chris Lee resigned after shirtless photos he sent to a woman surfaced online.

More at HuffingtonPost

Sarah Palin - New Film to Premiere in June

From RealClearPolitics: Shortly after Republicans swept last November to a historic victory in which Sarah Palin was credited with playing a central role, the former Alaska governor pulled aside her close aide, Rebecca Mansour, to discuss a hush-hush assignment: Reach out to conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon with a request.

Ask him if he would make a series of videos extolling Palin's governorship and laying to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office with a year-and-a-half left in her first term. It was this abdication, Palin knew, that had made her damaged goods in the eyes of some Republicans who once were eager to get behind her potential 2012 presidential campaign.

The response was more positive than Palin could have hoped for. He'd make a feature-length movie, Bannon told Mansour, and he insisted upon taking complete control and financing it himself -- to the tune of $1 million.

The fruits of that initial conversation are now complete. The result is a two-hour-long, sweeping epic, a rough cut of which Bannon screened privately for Sarah and Todd Palin last Wednesday in Arizona, where Alaska's most famous couple has been rumored to have purchased a new home.

When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin's prospective presidential campaign -- an unconventional reintroduction to the nation that she and her political team have spent months eagerly anticipating, even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won't run.

Read more here.

Former Palin aide pens "tell-all"

Martin Bashir talks with Frank Bailey, author of "Blind Allegiance To Sarah Palin."

Much of the book is reportedly taken from email communications with the former-half term governor of Alaska.

Funny: A little boy and his otter...

Very cute one minute video. Otter keeps pace with little boy at Sea World.

I once had a dolphin do this with me when I was in Hawaii. Everytime I walked by the dolphins, this one dolphin would follow me as I walked around the tank.


TRUE BLOOD Season 4 Trailer

Vampires creep me out, but Michael LOVES this show.

I sit and "watch" with him sometimes. Well, I hide my eyes and listen...

NOM denies any of their followers could be biased against LGBT folks

Brian Brown of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage
In an addendum to the post I made about ABC News' "What Would You Do?" regarding gay parents being insulted at a restaurant in Texas, the National Organization for Marriage is angry at the portrayal that ANYONE would ever be discriminatory towards gays:

Let's note first of all that the behavior of the "waitress" in this setup up is outrageous. No boss, and no customers would tolerate it. Not even in the "conservative" towns of Texas. Good news for American common sense. The insidious propaganda point from ABC News is the suggestion that millions of good Americans who believe marriage means a man and a woman because children ought to have moms and dads, would or are behaving like this. Shame on ABC.

Ummm... as a gay man at the age of 47, I can tell you that there are folks who discriminate against gays every day - much like the way the waitress was portrayed in the experiment.  To think otherwise means you probably like to pet unicorns and wish on rainbows.

NOM needs to get real. I know they don't want to admit their own attacks against the LGBT community aren't "hate" - but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...

GLEE: Darren Criss at GQ Magazine shoot proves all pop music written with same four chords

Darren Criss, during his photo shoot for GQ Magazine, takes time to prove that all pop music is written with the same four chords.

Soldier writes about serving during the repeal of DADT

TIME Magazine has posted an essay by a gay soldier currently serving in our military.

He wrote about what it's like to go through training regarding the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

I held my composure as I stood in the back of a small but crowded room with standing room only. The formal briefing was a slightly awkward attempt at a conversation between one of my superior officers and the 40 or so of us squeezed in that room. He was clearly not used to talking about the topic of homosexuality as he seemed uneasy, but his overall message was a good one: “Soon you will be working around openly gay people. This change is akin to the integration of blacks into the military and the key to a successful transition is professionalism and mutual respect.”

As with any other conversation about gays in a setting where I am not “out,” I found myself reverting to old defense mechanisms. I tried to laugh, but not too hard. I listened intently while trying to look as if I was barely paying attention. I looked to see how everyone else was reacting only to mimic their posture, their level of attentiveness, and their own reactions to the conversation.

A good friend of mine, also gay, was standing next to me throughout the briefing. We barely looked at each other the entire time. His posture was much like mine, only he didn't laugh. He didn't smile. There was a cold emptiness in him which I had rarely seen before. I guess that was his way of not drawing attention to himself.

For an institution that prides itself on integrity and honesty, it's a bit tough to read how self-aware some of our soldiers have had to learn to be to hide who they are just so they can serve the country they love.

Read the whole essay at TIME Magazine.

Talking Animal video

So I'm usually not into these kinds of things but the more I watched, the more I knew I had to post.

You could call this "Stupid Animal Chats."

Nice for a little wakeup laugh.