Thursday, February 28, 2013

Obama administration files amicus brief in SCOTUS Prop 8 case

The Obama administration has filed a "friend of the court" brief asking the Supreme Court to uphold the repeal of Prop 8.

From the AP:

While the administration's friend-of-the-court brief in the Proposition 8 case does not call for marriage equality across the United States, it does point the court in that direction.

A Supreme Court ruling in line with the administration's argument could have broad implications and almost certainly expand the rights of same-sex couples to wed.

The administration's nonbinding brief contends that denying gays and lesbians the right to marry violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. The document urges the justices to give extra rigorous review to any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.
SCOTUSblog writes:

Administration sources said that President Obama was involved directly in the government’s choice of whether to enter the case at all, and then in fashioning the argument that it should make.  Having previously endorsed the general idea that same-sex individuals should be allowed to marry the person they love, the President was said to have felt an obligation to have his government take part in the fundamental test of marital rights that is posed by the Proposition 8 case.  The President could take the opportunity to speak to the nation on the marriage question soon.

In essence, the position of the federal government would simultaneously give some support to marriage equality while showing some respect for the rights of states to regulate that institution.  What the brief endorsed is what has been called the “eight-state solution” — that is, if a state already recognizes for same-sex couples all the privileges and benefits that married couples have (as in the eight states that do so through “civil unions”) those states must go the final step and allow those couples to get married.  The argument is that it violates the Constitution’s guarantee of legal equality when both same-sex and opposite-sex couples are entitled to the same marital benefits, but only the opposite-sex couples can get married.

The eight states that apparently would be covered by such a decision are: California (whose Proposition 8, which denies marriage to couples who already have all of the other marital benefits, would fall), Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island.

Poll: 61% of Californians support same-sex marriage

A new poll of California voters has been released and shows more support for marriage equality than ever, the AP reports:

The Field Poll found 78 percent support among people 39 and younger and a solid majority of middle-aged residents now back gay marriage — 56 percent.

Even among senior citizens there is 48 percent support, compared with 42 percent against.

Via Towleroad

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

London 2013 - San Francisco to Heathrow




Yeah, yeah, yeah... More wine :)

Whee!

Tweet of the day: JoeMyGod


Joe at JoeMyGod loves to taunt Peter LaBarbera for his anti-gay ways.

And I love him for it.  Go, go, go Joe!

NFL teams reportedly worried that Manti Te'o is gay


Seriously.  When you're a player at Manti's level, do teams really care?

From ThinkProgress:
National Football League teams want to know the same thing of the projected first-round draft pick at the league’s annual scouting combine, according to NBC and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who told radio host Dan Patrick that the issue of Te’o's sexuality has become “the elephant in the room” for NFL teams interested in drafting him. CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman has the transcript, part of which is here:

“On the field, you still have to account for what happened in the BCS National Championship Game against Alabama,” Florio told the Dan Patrick Show. “Here’s the elephant in the room for the teams and it shouldn’t matter, but we have to step aside from the rest of reality and walk into the unique industry that is the NFL. Teams want to know whether Manti Te’o is gay. They just want to know. They want to know because in an NFL locker room, it’s a different world. It shouldn’t be that way.” [...]

Patrick interrupted Florio to ask: “You’re telling me that you’re hearing from teams who want to know this, but how do you ask it? Are they trying to find a finesse way to ask that question, or are they going to do investigative work on finding out if Manti Te’o is gay?”

Florio said: “It’s been described to me as the proverbial elephant in the room and I don’t think anyone knows how to solve this dilemma yet. It’s just that they want to know what they’re getting. They want to know what issues they may be dealing with down the road. We just assumed that at some point there would be an openly gay player in an NFL locker room and the team would have to work with the realities and make sure that everything’s fine.”

Manti, apparently, is not the only player to be asked about his sexuality, the HuffPost reports:

NFL prospect Nick Kasa was asked by scouts about his sexual orientation at the NFL Combine, the tight end said in a radio interview on Tuesday.

Kasa, a senior at the University of Colorado, is one of a few hundred players who participated this week in the NFL Scouting Combine, an annual showcase for NFL prospects in advance of April's draft. Over the course of the Combine, participants submit themselves for a variety of physical and mental tests, as well as interviews with NFL teams. According to Kasa, it was during these interviews that the topic of his sexual preferences came up.

“[Teams] ask you like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ Are you married?’ Do you like girls?’” Kasa told CJ and Kreckman of ESPN Radio Denver on Tuesday. “Those kinds of things, and you know it was just kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it’s a pretty weird experience altogether.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Outsports the league is investigating:

“Like all employers, our teams are expected to follow applicable federal, state and local employment laws. It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process. In addition, there are specific protections in our collective bargaining agreement with the players that prohibit discrimination against any player, including on the basis of sexual orientation. We will look into the report on the questioning of Nick Kasa at the Scouting Combine. Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline.”

Eye roll of the day: Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin, former half term governor of Alaska, says America will eventually default on its debt and claims that the federal government is “stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest” to prepare:

“If we are going to wet our proverbial pants over 0.3% in annual spending cuts when we’re running up trillion dollar annual deficits, then we’re done. Put a fork in us. We’re finished.

"We’re going to default eventually and that’s why the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest,” Palin wrote in a Facebook message Tuesday.

Via Politico

Frank Rich: The die is cast on gay marriage


I'd say Frank Rich is dead-on with this one:
"The die is cast on this issue, and the signatories are belatedly getting ahead of history before it flattens them like a tank. Generational turnover alone assumes gay marriage will be a done deal in America; public opinion on this issue has moved faster than any civil-rights battle in our history."

Texas: Van Cliburn, world-renowned pianist, passes away at 78



As a native son of Texas - Fort Worth at that! - I was well aware of Van Cliburn's gifts, skill, artistry and renown. Having won the very first Tchaikovsky competition during the years of the cold war, Cliburn's success was seen as a win for "the good guys" back then.

DallasNews.com reports:
Mr. Cliburn, a Texan, was a lanky 23-year-old when he clinched the gold medal in the inaugural year of the Tchaikovsky competition, and the feat, in Moscow, was viewed as an American triumph over the Soviet Union at the height of the cold war. He became a cultural celebrity of pop-star dimensions and brought overdue attention to the musical assets of his native land.

When Mr. Cliburn returned to New York, he was given a ticker-tape parade in Lower Manhattan, which offered the sight of about 100,000 people lining the streets and cheering a classical musician. In a ceremony at City Hall, Mayor Robert F. Wagner proclaimed that Mr. Cliburn’s accomplishment was “a dramatic testimonial to American culture” and that “with his two hands, Van Cliburn struck a chord which has resounded around the world, raising our prestige with artists and music lovers everywhere.”


London adventure 2013


The adventure begins!

Michael and I are heading to London for some business on his part, and pleasure on mine :)

Olivia Newton-John will be performing her first UK concerts in 30 years and Michael will be there to handle her press appearances. The reaction has been amazing from the European fans and can't wait to see the TV and radio appearances. The UK rocks!

I'm tagging along, AND we have plans to see the brilliant Tony Award winner Betty Buckley in the UK premiere production of Jerry Herman's DEAR WORLD at Charing Cross Theatre directed by Gillian Lynne. The production and Betty have received terrific reviews. I can't wait to hear Jerry's gorgeous score live!

I'll be blogging along the way and will share anything interesting or funny (at least to me). So thanks for staying tuned in everyone.

As Cornelius says to his sidekick in another Jerry Herman show, "It's an adventure, Barnaby!"

New Zealand: Marriage equality bill moves forward in Parliament


From the New Zealand Herald:
The Government Administration Committee said the private member's bill should progress, but with an amendment to make it clear that no minister was obliged to marry someone against their own beliefs.

The committee report said: "The bill seeks to extend the legal right to marry to same-sex couples; it does not seek to interfere with people's religious freedoms."

The Marriage Act would be amended to put beyond doubt that no celebrant recognised by a religious body or nominated by an approved organisation would have to marry a couple if it meant contravening their own, or the organisation's beliefs...

The report also said that a majority of the select committee agreed that marriage was a human right, and that it was unacceptable for the state to deny this right to same-sex couples.

The Campaign for Marriage Equality says the report "sends a clear message that New Zealand is ready for marriage equality".

"It is a ringing endorsement of love, fairness, family, and for the equal treatment of all Kiwis before the law," campaign spokesman Conrad Reyners said.
The bill passed by an 80-40 vote.

Alabama: Tea bagger lady says Obama wants to "gay-doctrinate" your kids



Is it just me or is her voice and phrasing just a bit creepy?...

"Run to the light, Carol Anne!"

(via JMG)

Brian Brown: I'm so mad at Richard Hanna, I hope a Democrat wins next election


Brian Brown, NOM hate-group leader says he would rather see a Democrat win in the next election than see GOP congressman Richard Hanna reelected due to his support for the overturn of Prop 8 in an amicus brief signed by many prominent GOP politicians. Say Brown:

"There's absolutely no doubt that we are going be involved in the next election for Richard Hanna's seat," said Brown. "What folks don't understand is that we have Republicans and Democrats who support us, but if a Republican betrays the party platform, betrays his constituents, and does what Richard Hanna does, you can bet we're going to primary him. And if a Democrat wins in the end, so be it."

Arizona: Phoenix passes LGBT non-discrimination ordinance



 The Arizona Republic is reporting today that Phoenix, Arizona, the sixth most populous city in the nation, last night passed broad laws barring discrimination against LGBT residents:

Gay-rights advocates said the move was a long time coming. They said Phoenix, the sixth-largest city in the country, is playing “catch-up” with at least 166 other U.S. cities and counties that have adopted similar laws.
An estimated 500 people packed the Orpheum Theatre, and dozens of people spoke on both sides of the issue. Many supporters wore “yes” stickers and rainbow pins.
Mayor Greg Stanton fast-tracked the reforms, which ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression — those who identify as a different sex than they were born as.

The changes approved Tuesday would prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations, such as restaurants and hotels. Businesses and individuals that don’t comply could be criminally prosecuted and face a misdemeanor charge, punishable by a $2,500 fine. Phoenix currently offers few such safeguards for gay people but bans discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, age and marital status.
(via Towleroad)

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: "You Can Play"



LGBT allies Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who last year gave us "Same Love," release this video just in time for the first anniversary of the "You Can Play" project. The project is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis see fit to expand that definition of "play" to the music world too.

Says Macklemore in the video message: "You know someone who’s gay, they just haven’t told you yet," says Macklemore in the clip, adding, "Don’t let being gay hold you back, and if you’re straight, do not hold others back...Anti-gay language has no place in sports, or music."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Illinois: state House committee votes 6-5 in favor of marriage equality


One more step and Illinois could celebrate marriage equality as law in the land of Lincoln.

From Chicago Phoenix:
The Illinois House Executive Committee voted 6-5 to approve a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage Tuesday evening, sending the bill to a vote in the full House chamber, the bill’s last hurdle before becoming law.

“This is a wonderful moment for the State of Illinois,” said Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), the bill’s chief sponsor in the House, moments after the committee victory.

“I look forward to a successful vote in the full House,” he said.

Illinois would join nine other states that have legalized same-sex marriage – Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Connecticut, Vermont, Washington, New Hampshire, New York and Massachusetts.
If passed, Governor Pat Quinn has said he will sign it.

Major corporations to file SCOTUS joint brief in support of Prop 8 repeal


Come Thursday, dozens of major corporations will file a joint Supreme Court brief in support of the overturn of Prop 8.

From Fortune Magazine:
On Thursday, dozens of American corporations, including Apple, Alcoa, Facebook, eBay, Intel, and Morgan Stanley will submit an amicus brief in the landmark Hollingsworth v. Perry case broadly arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court that laws banning same-sex marriages, like California's ballot initiative Proposition 8, are unconstitutional under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.

According to a draft copy obtained by Fortune, the companies argue that such laws "send an unmistakeable signal that same-sex couples are in some way inferior to opposite-sex couples, a proposition that is anathema to amici's commitment to equality and fair treatment to all."

At least 60 companies had committed to signing the brief as of Tuesday evening, according to Joshua Rosenkranz, who is counsel of record on the brief and head of the Supreme Court and appellate litigation practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. That number is expected to rise by Thursday, however, according to Rosenkranz. Others who have already committed to sign include AIG, Becton Dickinson, Cisco, Cummins, Kimpton, Levi Strauss, McGraw Hill, NCR, Nike, Office Depot, Oracle, Panasonic, Qualcomm, and Xerox.

(via JMG)

Tweet of the day: "My cat said the show went well"


And there you have the definitive review...

Basketball story: Mitchell Marcus of El Paso, TX



I live for these stories. When athletes surpass our expectations and inspire us.

Thanks Jonathan Montañez and everyone who played in this game. You show us a great side of the future of America.

Very, very, very cool.

Breaking: US Senate confirms Chuck Hagel as Sec. of Defense

From ThinkProgress: The Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Chuck Hagel to become the next Secretary of Defense, just hours after the upper chamber of Congress broke the Republican-led filibuster of Hagel’s nomination.

The final vote was 58-41. Four Republicans joined the Democrats in voting for Hagel: Sens. Mike Johanns (NE), Thad Cochran (MS), Richard Shelby (AL), and in a surprise move, Rand Paul (KY), who voted against cloture earlier today.

Eighteen Republicans supported the cloture motion to bring about the up-or-down vote this afternoon.

Music Video: Father Tiger - "Head Hung Low"



Fun song and eye candy in this new video from Father Tiger. The song is sexy, fun and full of great energy.

Keep watching Father Tiger, because I said so...

You may remember Father Tiger's holiday video "On Christmas Day" featuring a sexy, furry Santa I posted back in the holiday season.

Check out Father Tiger on iTunes here.

Opening number from 2004 Tony Awards with Hugh Jackman



Now, you know, THIS is how to open an awards show.

Over the top silliness and fab talent singing a great song from a Broadway musical.

I love Hugh kissing the puppet from AVENUE Q at the 3:09 mark. And coming downstage with the Rockettes is a great visual.

From the YouTube description:

Hugh Jackman performs "One Night Only", the opening number from The 58th Annual Tony Awards with the "Dynamites" from Hairspray, the "Radio" from Caroline, or Change, and the "Urchins" from Little Shop of Horrors, along with members of the casts of Avenue Q, The Boy from Oz, Fiddler on the Roof, Wonderful Town, and Wicked, and the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.

Las Vegas: Oscar night at HRC fund raiser

A little bit of silliness with Michael and I as we arrived at the Academy Awards viewing party this past Sunday at the fab Share Night Club in Las Vegas that raised funds for the Human Rights Campaign.

Great party; great spirit of fun watching the awards. Great way to enjoy the Oscars.

Next year, find an Oscar event near you, and go help a great cause & enjoy the party atmosphere.

Breaking: US Senate votes to break filibuster of Hagel nomination

From ThinkProgress: The Senate on Tuesday voted to break the Republican-led filibuster of Chuck Hagel’s nomination to become the next Secretary of Defense, clearing the way for his confirmation.

Senate Republicans made history earlier this month by successfully filibustering a president’s Defense Secretary nominee for the first time in U.S. history.

But a number of Republicans who voted to uphold the filibuster joined Democrats in breaking the filibuster on Tuesday.

Overall, 18 Republicans voted for cloture, which ultimately passed by a vote of 71-27.

According to Senate rules, a final up-or-down vote on Hagel’s nomination will take place no later than 30 hours from today’s cloture vote. Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) said today that he hopes the vote will take place later on this afternoon.

Read more at ThinkProgress

Illinois: state House committee to consider marriage equality bill today


The Illinois House Executive Committee will consider SB 10 (the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act)  at 3 pm CST today.

The Chicago Phoenix reports:

The committee vote is the next hurdle the bill must overcome on its path to becoming law and needs at least six votes there before it is cleared to hit the full House floor.

Advocates are expecting success in the committee, which comprises seven Democrats and four Republicans, but anticipate a tougher road to the 60 “yes” votes required to pass the measure in the full House.

The Illinois Senate passed the bill on Valentine's Day in a 34-21 vote.

Lyric Theatre of OKC celebrates 50 years of creating theater and community



Great video celebrating the 50th anniversary of Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City, OK.

The video features several shots of my production of SWEET CHARITY I choreographed there last summer. Makes me smile just to see that again.

But my connection to Lyric goes back even further, as Lyric Theatre was my first professional job at the age of 17, back in 1981. I was in the dance ensemble for the summer in SHOWBOAT, MACK & MABEL, SOUTH PACIFIC and PLAIN AND FANCY.

Lyric was the first place I was paid to be a responsible, professional working in the theater. I actually went to work, traveling from Fort Worth, Texas, before I had even graduated from high school. I had to request a day off from Lyric to go back home and attend my graduation ceremony.

I worked with great artists there, like Joel Levine, who had a long career with Lyric as their music director and went on to become music director of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. I've been in touch with Joel a few times over the years and it's amazing how those long days of summer forge life-time friendships.

I've worked at several similar theaters over the years; from Casa Manana in Fort Worth, Texas, to most recently San Diego Music Theater in San Diego. These theaters bring a lot more than a bit of "showbiz" to their communities. From self-confidence to appreciation for the arts to learning responsibility that serves us well in life - these theaters bring a lot to the table.

Wherever you are, I hope you find the local theaters in your area. Get off the couch, so see live theater.

As Cornelius in Hello, Dolly! says "It's an adventure, Barnaby!"

Conservative leaders file brief in support of SCOTUS Prop 8 repeal


Via press release: This week, more than 80 social and political conservatives, moderates, and libertarians from diverse religious, racial, regional, and philosophical backgrounds will file an amicus curiae, or “friend of the Court,” brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of the Plaintiffs challenging California’s Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Those currently listed as signatories to the brief include Mary Bono Mack, Alex Castellanos, James B. Comey, Gary Johnson, Stephen Hadley, Jon Huntsman, James Kolbe, Ken Mehlman, Steve Schmidt, William F. Weld, Christine Todd Whitman, and Meg Whitman.

Enacted in November 2008, Proposition 8 eliminated the fundamental freedom of gay and lesbian Californians to marry.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) is the sole sponsor of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the federal constitutional challenge to Proposition 8.

“The support for marriage equality demonstrated by this amicus brief represents a microcosm of what we see happening all across the country," said AFER executive director Adam Umhoefer. “Americans are united behind the concepts of freedom, dignity and strong families. Since the inception of our case, AFER has worked to strip the partisan veil that had existed for too long around marriage equality. The conservative movement toward the freedom to marry is what we like to call the ‘Ted Olson effect.’ We value the support of our conservative colleagues and welcome their voices to the growing majority of Americans who stand for marriage equality.”

Building bi-partisan support has been part of AFER's mission ever since the filing of its federal constitutional challenge to overturn Proposition 8. AFER assembled a bi-partisan legal team led by Theodore B. Olson, Solicitor General of the United States during the first term of President George W. Bush, and renowned litigator David Boies to demonstrate that Proposition 8 violates the United States Constitution by denying millions of people their fundamental right to marry and their right to equal protection of the laws.

While the list of amici continues to grow, the current list includes:

  • Ken Mehlman, Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
  • Tim Adams, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2005-2007
  • David D. Aufhauser, General Counsel, Department of Treasury, 2001-2003
  • Cliff S. Asness, Businessman, Philanthropist, and Author
  • John B. Bellinger III, Legal Adviser to the Department of State, 2005-2009
  • Katie Biber, General Counsel, Romney for President, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012
  • Mary Bono Mack, Member of Congress, 1998-2013
  • William A. Burck, Deputy Staff Secretary, Special Counsel and Deputy Counsel to the President, 2005-2009
  • Alex Castellanos, Republican Media Advisor
  • Paul Cellucci, Governor of Massachusetts, 1997-2001, and Ambassador to Canada, 2001-2005
  • Mary Cheney, Director of Vice Presidential Operations, Bush-Cheney 2004
  • Jim Cicconi, Assistant to the President & Deputy to the Chief of Staff, 1989-1990
  • James B. Comey, United States Deputy Attorney General, 2003-2005
  • R. Clarke Cooper, U.S. Alternative Representative, United Nations Security Council, 2007-2009
  • Julie Cram, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director White House Office of Public Liaison, 2007-2009
  • Michele Davis, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Director of Policy Planning, Department of the Treasury, 2006-2009
  • Kenneth M. Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, 1981-1984 and 1987-1989
  • Lew Eisenberg, Finance Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2002-2004
  • Elizabeth Noyer Feld, Public Affairs Specialist, White House Office of Management and Budget, 1984-1987
  • David Frum, Special Assistant to the President, 2001-2002
  • Richard Galen, Communications Director, Speaker’s Political Office, 1996-1997
  • Mark Gerson, Chairman, Gerson Lehrman Group and Author of The Neoconservative Vision: From the Cold War to the Culture Wars and In the Classroom: Dispatches from an Inner-City School that Works
  • Benjamin Ginsberg, General Counsel, Bush-Cheney 2000 & 2004
  • Adrian Gray, Director of Strategy, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
  • Richard Grenell, Spokesman, U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations, 2001-2008
  • Patrick Guerriero, Mayor, Melrose Massachusetts and member of Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1993-2001
  • Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce, 2005-2009
  • Stephen Hadley, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor, 2005-2009
  • Richard Hanna, Member of Congress, 2011-Present
  • Israel Hernandez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, 2005-2009
  • Margaret Hoover, Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, 2005-2006
  • Michael Huffington, Member of Congress, 1993-1995
  • Jon Huntsman, Governor of Utah, 2005-2009
  • David A. Javdan, General Counsel, United States Small Business Administration, 2002-2006
  • Reuben Jeffery, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs, 2007-2009
  • Greg Jenkins, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Advance, 2003-2004
  • Coddy Johnson, National Field Director, Bush-Cheney 2004
  • Gary Johnson, Governor of New Mexico, 1995-2003
  • Robert Kabel, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, 1982-1985
  • Theodore W. Kassinger, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, 2004-2005
  • Jonathan Kislak, Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for Small Community and Rural Development, 1989-1991
  • David Kochel, Senior Advisor to Mitt Romney’s Iowa Campaign, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012
  • James Kolbe, Member of Congress, 1985-2007
  • Jeffrey Kupfer, Acting Deputy Secretary of Energy, 2008-2009
  • Kathryn Lehman, Chief of Staff, House Republican Conference, 2003-2005
  • Daniel Loeb, Businessman and Philanthropist
  • Alex Lundry, Director of Data Science, Romney for President, 2012
  • Greg Mankiw, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005
  • Catherine Martin, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director for Policy & Planning, 2005-2007
  • Kevin Martin, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2005-2009
  • David McCormick, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2007-2009
  • Mark McKinnon, Republican Media Advisor
  • Bruce P. Mehlman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, 2001-2003
  • Connie Morella, Member of Congress, 1987-2003 and U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2003-2007
  • Michael E. Murphy, Republican Political Consultant
  • Michael Napolitano, White House Office of Political Affairs, 2001-2003
  • Ana Navarro, National Hispanic Co-Chair for Senator John McCain’s Presidential Campaign, 2008
  • Noam Neusner, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Speechwriting, 2002-2005
  • Nancy Pfotenhauer, Economist, Presidential Transition Team, 1988 and President's Council on Competitiveness, 1990
  • J. Stanley Pottinger, Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Civil Rights Division), 1973-1977
  • Michael Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2001-2005
  • Deborah Pryce, Member of Congress, 1993-2009
  • John Reagan, New Hampshire State Senator, 2012-Present
  • Kelley Robertson, Chief of Staff, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Member of Congress, 1989-Present
  • Harvey S. Rosen, Member and Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005
  • Lee Rudofsky, Deputy General Counsel, Romney for President, 2012
  • Patrick Ruffini, eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
  • Steve Schmidt, Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Vice President, 2004-2006
  • Ken Spain, Communications Director, National Republican Congressional Committee, 2009-2010
  • Robert Steel, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, 2006-2008
  • David Stockman, Director, Office of Management and Budget, 1981-1985
  • Jane Swift, Governor of Massachusetts, 2001-2003
  • Michael E. Toner, Chairman and Commissioner, Federal Election Commission, 2002-2007
  • Michael Turk, eCampaign Director for Bush-Cheney 2004
  • Mark Wallace, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Representative for UN Management and Reform, 2006-2008
  • Nicolle Wallace, Assistant to the President and White House Communications Director, 2005-2008
  • William F. Weld, Governor of Massachusetts, 1991-1997, and Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Criminal Division), 1986-1988
  • Christine Todd Whitman, Governor of New Jersey, 1994-2001, and Administrator of the EPA, 2001-2003
  • Meg Whitman, Republican Nominee for Governor of California, 2010
  • Robert Wickers, Republican Political Consultant
  • Dan Zwonitzer, Wyoming State Representative, 2005-present

Fraternity helps raise funds for brother's transgender surgery

Being a Sigma Chi brother from the long gone Psi Psi chapter at Syracuse University, I'm pretty aware of the upside of being a fraternity brother.  There's a kind of "instant" family when you become a brother, and often those ties extend way into adult life.

When I was at Syracuse, I was just beginning to travel down the road of my life as a gay man.  So, I wasn't a "gay frat brother" during my time there.  It wasn't a part of that journey, although I had some great times and certainly felt that sense of "brotherhood" that gets talked about so often in Greek life.

Today, however, I read this very cool story about transgendered sophomore Donnie Collins at Emerson College and his brothers at Phi Alpha Tau.  Collins realized he was transgendered when he was 17, and has since been struggling to handle the finances of his transition from female to male.


From Out.com:

Collins’s brothers in Phi Alpha Tau have rallied together to cover some of the surgery’s cost. Find their indiegogo fund here: Brothers of A Boston Fraternity - FTM: Top Surgery. The brothers' fund has already surpassed the $2,000 they initially hoped to donate, but now they’re looking to cover even more of the procedure’s $8,100 cost.

Collins has been completely overwhelmed by the wave of support, admitting to have cried out of gratitude when he heard what his brothers were doing. But the thought that this is a fraternity raising money for him never even crossed his mind.

“I was just like, ‘Oh that’s such a Tau thing to do,’ and I didn’t even think it was that weird,” he says. “But then I started sending [the indiegogo link] out to people, and they were like, ‘Oh my god, that’s amazing! See, Greek Life isn’t bad; it’s amazing.’”

The brothers’ site says that they hope less to raise money with their efforts and more to spread acceptance, brotherhood, and love. “We are here... to tell a story. The story of transformation, the story of self-discovery, and the story of brotherhood.”

It seems that Donnie Collins and his brothers' story is certainly one worth telling. Please consider donating to their cause.

Best Tim McGraw quotes from "Q on CBC" interview

Tim McGraw recently gave a great, in depth interview with CBC-TV's Jian Ghomeshi in Canada.  The appearance is in support of his current tour and new CD TWO LANES OF FREEDOM.

While he wasn't shirtless during the interview, like his recent People Magazine appearance, he's just as smart and articulate as ever. Great answers.

They covered topics ranging from McGraw's new album and his old records, to his father and his own sobriety.

Here are his 12 best quotes from the interview:

"When you make a record, you give up a piece of your soul. There's a physical part of your body that goes in."

"Nobody wants to hear an artist who makes a lot of money complain."

"You're at the prom, and everybody else is dancing, but you're stuck in a chair over in the corner."

"It's about being attacked viscerally by something. From the first verse, I can know if I'm gonna like a song or not."

"I can't imagine being up there singing 'Indian Outlaw' or 'I Like It, I Love It' at 65 years old."

"When you know, you know. You can't be too cerebral in this business."

"You don't get into this business without some sort of egotistical thought that you wanna be the biggest artist that there's ever been. On the other hand, there's this compete insecurity of not thinking you're good enough."

"Art's for art. Money's for pizza."

"[My dad] gave me this confidence without ever meaning to, without ever being part of my life. To think there are other things I could reach for in life, it made me think it was in me, as well."

"It's like an avalanche of your life catching up with you, and it just got to a point where I realized instead of facing things I was covering things up. I was using alcohol -- and drugs to some extent -- to get through things. There was only one place I could look, and that was in the mirror."

"You can fail at any moment. You're on a high wire act. If you're doing it right, you're being vulnerable."

"This is not a swan song album."


Watch the full interview below:

(via CMT)

Barbra Streisand, Adele and Shirley Bassey celebrate the Oscars


Ok, so this is a WHOLE lot of talent all sitting together.  What a picture with three true divas!

Barbra Streisand, Adele and Dame Shirley Bassey together after they all three stopped the Oscar show with their individual, spectacular performances.

From La Streisand's Facebook page.

Brickstone takes on the Westboro Baptist Church



Brickstone catches up to the Westboro Baptist Church in Malibu (nice place for a picket!) and asks the members of the anti-gay group questions many of us have wondered:

"Have you ever wondered how good gay sex must be if they're willing to go to hell for it?"

"Can a person go to heaven if he has homosexual urges but refuses to act on them, and he's so upset about the openly gay people that he makes his whole family have signs that say 'God hates fags'?

"Would you glass bottom boat Pat Robertson?"

"Didn't I jerk you off in a Kmart bathroom once?"

"Why did the Newtown kids go to hell but not aborted fetuses?"

"Didn't the hot members of your church leave because their brothers were kind of screwing with them?"

I didn't find the answers terribly revealing, but it was fun to watch.


Assholes.

(via Towleroad)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lynne Wintersteller - "Life Story" from CLOSER THAN EVER



Lynne Wintersteller sings "Life Story" from the musical CLOSER THAN EVER written by Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire.

From IF IT ONLY EVEN RUNS A MINUTE (3/26/12), created by Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Kevin Michael Murphy, and Caleb Hoyer.

I saw the original run of CLOSER THAN EVER at the Cherry Lane Theater off-Broadway in the 1990s. This particular song, and Lynne's fantastic performance, stayed with me for days. I played the recording over and over back then.

The night I saw the show for the first time, I rode the subway home with my friend Bryan Landrine, who knew Lynne. So, for an almost 30 minute subway ride, I had the chance to get to know her a bit and hear about the experience of doing the show. I worked hard not to turn into "fan boy" at the time. It was hard, but I stayed calm.

Fast-forward to a few years ago, I was choreographing a new musical at the New York Musical Theater Festival called PLANE CRAZY. At a press event for NYMF my show performed a number and a woman from another show performed. I remember thinking "Wow. She looks just like Lynne Wintersteller. But surely they can't afford her off-Broadway." I went up to say hello, and it WAS Lynne and she remembered me from our brief meeting years before. Still just as charming and warm as a decade before. Thus, further cementing her place in my admiration.

The song portion of the video begins around the 6:00 mark.

To see her perform the song now is a master class in voice and acting. Nothing is hard; she makes it look so simple. But what an amazing journey she takes us on. How note how she takes her time near the end without being indulgent. And in her eyes, you see how present she is in every moment of the song.

Art.

Author Robyn Peterman on The Candi & Randy Show


Listen to internet radio with CandiXRandy on Blog Talk Radio

Loved having author Robyn Peterman on the radio show to chat on her new book "How Hard Can It Be?"

 Robyn is charming and funny, funny, funny.  And her new book is fab.  I laughed out loud.  Seriously.

Based on a three minute pitch, Robyn secured her first book deal - a two-book deal - and has already had her first book  optioned as a movie.

Listen in to hear how this debut author navigated her way through publishing offers to author success!  She, and her book, are very funny and entertaining.

From Robyn's website:
"What happens when an accountant decides to grab life by the horns and try something new? Apparently a pirate named Dave, a lot of pastel fleece, and blackmail—just to start with... And only I could get arrested for a jewelry heist I didn’t commit—by a hunky cop whose handcuffs just might tempt me to sign up for a life of crime.  Maybe I’ve found my calling after all..."
How Hard Can It Be? is available on Amazon.com

Check out more info on Robyn Peterman at her website.

Poll: Nevadans support repeal of same-sex marriage ban 54%-43%


A new Public Opinion Strategies poll commissioned by the Retail Association of Nevada finds that a majority of Nevada voters would support repealing the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Even with the normal partisan and age divides, 54% would favor removing the Protection of Marriage provision from the Nevada Constitution, with 43% opposed.

Jennifer Lawrence faces the press minutes after winning the Oscar



Bless her 22 year old heart. I really like Jennifer Lawrence here. She is so honest and unfiltered.

I can only imagine what it's like to win an Oscar, fall down on your way to accepting the award, then facing the press minutes later. I really love her reactions to the media's questions.

Here's the fall - which I, for one, do not care about:

Chinese business man misses flight; trashes departure gate



Wow. I can't imagine behavior like this in the US with TSA.

From Towleroad: Yan Linkun, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC) from Shizong county, Yunnan Province, did not react well after he missed his plane last week. Yan had gone to have breakfast after purchasing his ticket but did not make it back in time to board.

He then destroyed everything in sight.

No sound, but the action gets going at the 1:30 mark. Really kind of amazing.

Jamie Foxx: "I wanna Channing all over your Tatum"



Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel had the stars of White House Down on his show, Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum.

It turns out Foxx liked working with Tatum so much, he wrote a song in appreciation of Tatum's sexiness.

Foxx sings, “I see a pretty lady all across the bar, she smiles at me and gets right in my car and I know… I wanna Channing all over her Tatum.”

The ever sexy Tatum seemed a tad uncomfortable with his name being used as dirty song lyrics at first, but then he got into it, takes to the top of the piano and serves up some Magic Mike/Chippendales moves.

Song bit starts around the 3:30 mark.

(h/t Homorazzi)

Complete list of 2013 Academy Awards


So, Argo won Best Motion Picture, Anna Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress and Daniel Day Lewis won Best Actor - as practically everyone predicted.

Here's the complete list:

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Animated Short Film: Paperman
Best Animated Feature Film: Brave
Achievement in Cinematography: Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda
Achievement in Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Achievement in Costume Design: Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran
Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling: Les Misérables
Best Live-Action Short Film: Curfew
Best Documentary Short Subject: Inocente
Best Documentary Feature: Searching for a Sugar Man
Best Foreign-Language Film: Amour (Austria)
Achievement in Sound Mixing: Les Misérables
Achievement in Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty & Skyfall
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Achievement in Film Editing: Argo
Achievement in Production Direction: Lincoln
Original Score: Life of Pi, Mychael Danna
Original Song: "Skyfall," Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth; Skyfall
Adapted Screenplay: Argo, Chris Terrio
Original Screenplay: Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
Achievement in Directing: Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Motion Picture: Argo

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Madonna shows off her new vintage look


Madonna recently posted this pic on her Instagram page.  Reinventing herself again.

Looks like she's giving us some "Dita Von Teese/Greta Garbo/Maila Nurmi" here.

Cool new look?  Or should Madge give us the Madonna we already know?

Gov. Bobby Jindal - "GOP doesn't need to embrace marriage equality"



Regarding supporting marriage equality, as some other high profile GOP pols have recently, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, one of the likely 2016 presidential candidates (who will run but not get the nomination) said today on Meet The Press: “Look, I believe in  the traditional definition of marriage.”

Think about it, kids.  In about two years, when the campaign starts to heat up, how much further along the equality road are we going to be?  And how bad and out of touch will these guys look?

SRSLY.

(via CrooksAndLiars)

Comic book heroes and villains - their private sides

“Heroes/Villains” is the sexy, silly, and awesome photography series from Atlanta artist Philip Bonneau, who describes it on his website as a collection of images “based around adults reconnecting with their childhood and remembering what it was like to pretend.”

Featuring some shirtless, half-naked heroes and villains from the comic book world, Bonneau shows us some rarely seen sides of some of our favorites.  Here are just a few of my favorites (heroes all, of course).  Make sure you check out more on Gay.net, and head over to Philip's website.

Batbear and Robin may be my favorite.  Thoughts?











Saturday, February 23, 2013

Olympic speed skater poses nude for artistic photos

Openly gay Olympic speed skater Blake Skjellerup takes it all off: "To me, I wouldn’t call the pictures nude, more artistic, capturing the hours of blood, sweat and tears I put in to training my body."

Knowing he was a skater, I had to check them out to see what the backside looked like after years of training as a speed skater.  Yes - it does a backside good.

Photos (NSFW) here and here.

Obama Administration files brief supporting repeal of DOMA

President Obama's administration filed an historic legal brief late Friday that declares his belief to the US Supreme Court that DOMA is unconstitutional. The brief was written by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.

According to NBC News:
The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court on Friday to throw out a section of a 1996 federal law that prohibits recognition of same-sex marriage. 
The brief was filed Friday in United States v. Windsor, a case challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the law that legally declares marriage to be only between a man and a woman. That section allows state and federal authorities to deny benefits to same-sex couples that are commonplace for heterosexual couples, like insurance for government workers and Social Security survivors' benefits.
This marks the first time a president has endorsed same-sex marriage rights in the nation's highest court.

The brief cites (among many other things) the Stonewall rebellion, gay parenting studies, and federal hate crime statistics. 

The brief reads in part: "Moral opposition to homosexuality, though it may reflect deeply held personal views, is not a legitimate policy objective that can justify unequal treatment of gay and lesbian people."

Read the entire document here.

(via Towleroad)

UFC president Dana White on gay fighters: "You will not be treated any different"



The UFC will see it's first women's fight tonight and one of the athletes in the event, Liz Carmouche, is also the only openly gay fighter in the sport.

Leading up to the fight, both Carmouche and UFC president Dana White are talking about the historic competition and about openly gay fighters.

White has spoken publicly in support of Carmouche coming out, and when asked if a fighter had a problem with a match with a gay fighter, this was his response: "Most of the guys that are in this sport are really good people. I honestly don't see a situation where that would happen, but if it did, I'd fix it."

Regarding inclusiveness in the sport, here was White's statement: "If you're an athlete in the UFC and you are gay, I could care less. You will not be treated any different."

p.s. Can I say how handsome Dana White is?  Just had to put that out there.  And thanks, Dana, for being one of the good guys.


(source)

Debbie Reynolds: "If I Had A Hammer"



You can't sing a protest song without a fabulous gown, a glamorous wig, and matching heels.

I think this is the definitive version of the song.

Thanks to my friend Jay Russell for the heads up. Love it!

Pilobolus on Wetten Dass: "Shadowland"



From the Pilobolus website: The groundbreaking new performance by internationally acclaimed dance troupe Pilobolus, is best described as part shadow act, part dance, part circus and part concert.

As the first theatrical event of its kind to tour the globe, Shadowland incorporates multiple moving screens of different sizes and shapes to create an evening-length performance that merges projected images and front-ofscreen choreography.

Evolution of Mom Dancing w/Michelle Obama & Jimmy Fallon

Friday, February 22, 2013

Mama dog in Chile saves her puppies from house fire


Love this story.  And the pics.  Click the above pic to enlarge.

From the Wonderful Nature and Unique Facts Facebook page:

During an early morning response to a house fire in Santa Rosa de Temuco, Chile, firefighters witnessed the unbelievable. A mother dog risked her life to save her puppies from the fire surrounding the burning house, which started because of a car bomb.

The mother dog, Amanda, raced back and forth between the house, putting her 10 day old puppies in the safest place she could find - a firetruck!

She didn't stop racing back into the fire until all of her puppies were safely away from the fire. The firemen on scene could not believe their eyes. Most people have never seen a dog this smart or this brave!

After rescuing all of her pups from the blaze, Amanda sat down next to them, protecting them with her body. Onlookers called an emergency veterinary service and she and her pups were rushed to the hospital. Aside from one puppy being treated for serious burns, the entire family are alive and well - thanks to the bravery of Amanda, the heroic mother!

Dogs rule!

Ann Coulter booed - again - for "Liberals want to destroy the family" comment



Mediaite is reporting on the boos and jeers the ever glum Ann Coulter received at the International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C. during a taping of Stossel for Fox Business Network.

Stossel then asked: “Why can’t gays get married?”

“Well, they can,” Coulter replied. “They have to marry a member of the opposite sex.” The room filled with boos.

“This is another one where you’re just sucking up to liberals when there are big fights,” Coulter explained.

“No, we believe the individual should be left alone,” Stossel shot back.

“Marriage is the most important institution to civilize young people. I’d make divorce a lot more difficult,” she said. “Liberals want to destroy the family,” she continued, eliciting jeers and mocking laughter from the students.

Adam Levine spoofs on a private moment with Blake Shelton



That Adam Levine. Funny guy. Imagine what it's like behind the scenes at The Voice.

Now I want to hear Blake Shelton's response...

Betty Bowers' take on the Harlem Shake



Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, joins the latest YouTube trend with her version of the Harlem Shake: "The Jerusalem Shake"

This is a great dad


From Single Dad Laughing on Facebook.

Joan Rivers: "I'm queen of the gays"





In anticipation of the third season premiere of her WE tv reality series, Joan Rivers opened up about kissing a woman for the first time in an appearance on HuffPost Live.

The third season of "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" premieres Feb. 23 at 9 p.m.

Australia: Teaser for Season 2 of THE VOICE with Ricky Martin



First look at Ricky Martin in action as he joins The Voice - Australia

No, he's not shirtless or naked in the video, but we almost see him shake his bon bon a bit.

New Jersey: Possible marriage equality override vote being planned

New Jersey's legislature is planning votes in both the Senate and Assembly to override Chris Christie's February 2012 veto of a marriage equality bill that passed both houses there:
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, an openly gay lawmaker who sponsored the bill in the Assembly, said he met with both Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and both men were committed to putting the bill up for an override. The bill did not pass in either house with enough votes to override the governor's action, but gay rights advocates have been working the phones for a year trying to turn lawmakers in their favor.

The bill passed 24-16 in the Senate and 42-33 in the Assembly. In the Senate, three additional votes are needed to pass an override, while in the Assembly an additional 12 are needed for the two-thirds majority required to override.

"I think we can get the three in the Senate," he said. "But the Assembly is a different story. I can name five who might switch their vote, but it stops there."
Sweeney says he would like the override vote to happen after the June primaries so that Republicans would feel safer from retribution from ultra-conservative voters.

University of Nebraska Gymnastics team does Harlem Shake

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tim Tebow cancels speech at First Baptist Church of Dallas


Tim Tebow has cancelled his much ballyhooed April appearance at the First Baptist Church of Dallas.

Tebow tweeted:

While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ's unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic...First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my upcoming appearance. I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support. God Bless!

From JoeMyGod: "Stand by for the howls of outrage as this is clearly the result of homofascism. Either that or Tebow is now aware that First Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress has said that all Jews and Mormons will go to hell and that Satan runs the Catholic Church."

This is how DOMA impacts gay and lesbian service members



Marine Corps. Captain Matthew Phelps made history when he became the first gay man to ask his partner, Ben Schock, to marry him at the White House.

The Center for American Progress and OutServe/SLDN profile the soon-to-be-married couple in a video highlighting the financial struggles they'll incur because of DOMA:

As long as DOMA remains in effect and the cost of his moving is taken into consideration, Capt. Phelps may expect to receive about $20,000 less in benefits and allowances than the other married servicemen that he serves beside.

(via Towleroad)

Gov. Huntsman: "All Americans should be treated equally under the law"





Wow. This is pretty amazing AND important.


In an article for the American Conservative, former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman writes that "the marketplace of ideas will render us irrelevant, and soon, if we are not honest about our time and place in history." Huntsman underscores the importance of Republicans to embrace marriage equality:
While serving as governor of Utah, I pushed for civil unions and expanded reciprocal benefits for gay citizens. I did so not because of political pressure—indeed, at the time 70 percent of Utahns were opposed—but because as governor my role was to work for everybody, even those who didn’t have access to a powerful lobby. Civil unions, I believed, were a practical step that would bring all citizens more fully into the fabric of a state they already were—and always had been—a part of.

That was four years ago. Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love.

All Americans should be treated equally by the law, whether they marry in a church, another religious institution, or a town hall. This does not mean that any religious group would be forced by the state to recognize relationships that run counter to their conscience. Civil equality is compatible with, and indeed promotes, freedom of conscience.
I often write that I'm in many ways a moderate Democrat. I like to see compromise on some issues and see the government come together to solve problems. That's why I can't get behind a GOP candidate that runs far to the right of the political spectrum to get their party's votes and then try to pretend they represent me.

That being said, Gov. Huntsman showed himself to be a fair, smart and moderate Republican in the last campaign cycle that when I watched and listened to him, I thought - "if I had to have a Republican president, I could deal with this guy." Of course, he wasn't nearly "far right" enough for the GOP and he had to drop out of the race. Mittens got the nod, and the rest is history.

I think Gov. Huntsman is being honest with his party about marriage equality. It is the law of the land in many states now, with more to follow. This is the course of history.

Time to get with it, GOP kids. Or soon you could be as outdated as the KKK.

Indiana: Diana "Gays Have No Purpose" Medley suspended by school district

Diana Medley, Indiana special ed teacher who made the statement that gays "have no purpose in life," has been suspended by her school district.

Superintendent Mark Baker of the Northeast School Corp. in western Indiana’s Sullivan County issued a statement Wednesday saying the teacher has been placed on administrative leave and that state and local police are stationing officers at North Central Junior-Senior High School as a precaution because of “aggressive” email messages sent to the school and the teacher.

In statements to a local television station recently, Medley said that gays had no purpose in life, the idea of LGBT teens attending a prom was “offensive,” and equated LGBT teens to students with developmental disabilities.

Medley also said that she believes homosexuality is a choice, and that no one is born gay.

One Direction covers Blondie's "One Way or Another"



Proceeds from the new single go to Comic Relief.

Some of the fans will be happy to see almost naked members of One Direction in bed...

Laura Bush asks to be removed from Respect for Marriage Coalition ad


The Dallas Morning News is reporting that former First Lady Laura Bush has asked the Respect for Marriage Coalition (spearheaded by HRC and Freedom to Marry) to remove her from a new ad which is the centerpiece of a $1 million media campaign in support of marriage equality:
The advertising blitz, first reported by Politico, features a clip of Bush talking to Larry King on CNN in 2010 and saying, “When couples are committed to each other and love each other then they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has.”

But Bush spokeswoman Anne MacDonald said in a statement Wednesday that the former first lady “did not approve of her inclusion in this advertisement nor is she associated with the group that made the ad in any way.”

“When she became aware of the advertisement last night, we requested that the group remove her from it,” MacDonald said.
So I guess what she's saying is "I said I support marriage equality, I just don't want YOU saying I support marriage equality."

Kind of a sad turn of events. Mrs. Bush, you said you support this issue - why the turnabout?

Ad: Kindle Paperwhite



Love the "twist" at the end....

Yay Amazon!

Harlem Shake - Chippendales Edition

Florida: Gov. Rick Scott announces expansion in Medicaid


Florida Gov. Rick Scott has outraged Tea Party members after announcing his new - completely different - position on Obamacare:

Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday he supports expanding Medicaid and funneling billions of federal dollars to Florida, a significant policy reversal that could bring health care coverage to 1 million additional Floridians. "While the federal government is committed to pay 100 percent of the cost, I cannot, in good conscience, deny Floridians the needed access to health care," Scott said at a hastily called news conference at the Governor's Mansion.

Scott, a former hospital executive, spoke with unusual directness about helping the "poorest and weakest" Floridians — a stunning about-face for a small-government Republican who was one of the loudest voices in an aggressive, and ultimately unsuccessful, legal strategy to kill a law he derided as "Obamacare."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

On Ellen: "I love Jesus but I drink a little"



From Gladys Hardy in Austin, TX

Gladys could not be funnier. And Ellen can't keep it together. One of the best bits I've ever seen on the show.

Today in Las Vegas strangeness: Woman arrested for having sex with pit bull

I am not making this up.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal: A woman was arrested Tuesday for having sex with a pit bull in her yard.

Kara Vandereyk, 23, was booked on a charge of open or gross lewdness after Las Vegas police officers about 11 a.m. saw a woman having sex with a dog in the yard of a home in the 300 block of N. 16th St., near Bonanza Road and Bruce Street.

Vandereyk was naked and on the ground when officers arrived, according to the arrest report.

When Vandereyk noticed the officers, she said, "Hi," and began touching the dog in a sexual way, the report said.

Police said she appeared to be on drugs or mentally ill and she told the officers she had bipolar disorder. She didn't know her name, the year or the name of the president, the report said.

The officers gave Vandereyk a blanket to cover her body and a neighbor later gave her clothing. She was taken to the Clark County jail.

Animal control officers took the dog.

Jane Lynch to make Broadway debut as "Miss Hannigan" in ANNIE


Inspired casting.

From Playbill: Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Lynch, known for playing a bullying cheer coach on TV's "Glee," will take over the role of orphanage matron Miss Hannigan in Broadway's Annie May 16-July 14.

Two-time Tony Award-winning actress Katie Finneran, who created the role of Miss Hannigan in the new production at the Palace Theatre, will exit the production at a date to be announced, in order to begin filming a new NBC comedy series with Michael J. Fox.

Lynch, whose stage credits include working at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company and The Second City, will be making her Broadway debut. She's internationally known for playing the caustic and outrageous Sue Sylvester on FOX's "Glee," for which she won the Emmy and Golden Globe Award.

She said in a statement, "Some may say I know a thing or two about playing intimidating authority figures. So I am excited and honored to be making my Broadway debut with the wonderful Annie company at the Palace Theatre and joining the pantheon of women who have taken on the great and irresistible role of wicked Miss Hannigan."

Science: How and why pornography is addictive



From the AsapSCIENCE guys on how your brain takes in pornography, how porn addictions happen and why folks keep going back to porn.

From the video, apparently 25% of all web searches have to do with pornography. Hmm...

Bipartisan political figures band together to support marriage equality



This is a BIG deal.

The Respect For Marriage Coalition will today launch a national print and television campaign in support of marriage equality. The coalition is made up of several progressive and LGBT groups like Freedom To Marry and the Human Rights Campaign.

The TV ad features a bipartisan group of political figures like former First Lady Laura Bush, former Secretary of Defense Colin Powell, former Vice President Dick Cheney and, finally, President Barack Obama.  All showing their support for marriage equality.

In addition, a full-page print ad (below) will appear in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post in the next few days.


Las Vegas: Median home prices have biggest jump in 9 years


I still have my real estate license here in Nevada and I've been watching the market steadily improve over the past two years.

I hope more of this news gets out, as many buyers still come to the market thinking we're giving homes away for a dollar fifty.  Inventory is low and prices are rising. 

From Vegas Inc.:

Southern Nevada’s housing market began 2013 with mixed results last month, with rising prices, shrinking inventory and an uptick in nondistressed sales.

The median price of single-family homes sold in the region in January was $150,000, an increase of only 0.7 percent from December. But it was up 27 percent from a year ago, marking the largest year-over-year jump since at least 2004, according to a report out Friday from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

For the first time in years, “traditional” sales between a buyer and seller, with no lender calling the shots, accounted for more than half of all deals last month. Short sales, in which lenders agree to sell a home for less than what’s owed on the mortgage, accounted for 36 percent of the deals in January. That was down from December’s record-setting 46 percent but still up from 28 percent a year ago.

Additionally, sales of bank-owned homes comprised 12.5 percent of the month’s deals. That was up from 9.5 percent in December but down from 45.5 percent last January.

In addition to all that, at the end of this year the Mortgage Relief Forgiveness Act will expire making the "forgiven" part of a short sale taxable again. That will cause a lot of short sales to dry up, in my opinion.
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