Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tom Hardy to play twin gangsters in upcoming "Legend"

Tom Hardy

Hunky Tom Hardy is set to play twin gangsters in the upcoming film Legend.

The Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie, apparently made quite the noise back in London organizing The Firm, a gang that ran East London's underworldduring the 50s and 60s.

But it wasn't just organized crime the two became known for.

The Backlot reports:

But perhaps more interesting than the Kray Twins’ penchant for criminality was their love lives. The Daily Mail (always a reliable source…) has gone on to claim that “Ronnie and Reggie Kray were both gay and Ronnie never consummated his marriage [...] although Ronnie admitted his homosexuality in his mid-teens, his brother Reggie was also gay and his marriage to Frances Shea was a sham.”

Hardy, commenting on the confirmed role, had this to say: “I’ve got to work out how to play both twins, which will be fun. It’s another experiment and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Ronnie (L) and Reggie Kray (R)

Cult hit "Sordid Lives" to be released on Blu-ray and digital platforms

Cult hit movie "Sordid Lives" will finally see a Blu-Ray release on September 30th.

Plus, on August 29th, the flick will be available on digital platforms like iTunes and WolfeOnDemand:

From WolfeOnDemand:

In this cult classic comedy from writer-director Del Shores, a gay West Hollywood actor returns home to his small Texas town for his grandmother’s funeral. As we meet the three generations of his dysfunctional family, the hilariously trashy truth of their “sordid lives” is revealed.

Sordid Lives features an all-star ensemble cast, including Olivia Newton-John (Grease), Delta Burke (TV’s “Designing Women”), Bonnie Bedelia (TV’s “Parenthood”), Beau Bridges (TV’s “Masters of Sex”) and Leslie Jordan (The Help) as the Tammy Wynette-obsessed institutionalized gay uncle, Brother Boy. The soundtrack features such country standards as “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” “Stand by Your Man,” and “Get off the Cross, We Need the Wood.”

Based on a long-running hit play by Del Shores, SORDID LIVES became a hit movie where it had a record-setting 96-week run at the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs.

The movie became a TV series for LOGO TV in 2008 which ran for one hysterical season. Lack of payments to the parties involved led to lawsuits ending in Shores and cast being owed lots of money.

Big shame because it was a fun project.  "Sordid Lives: The Series" is available on DVD from Amazon.

Olivia Newton-John in "Sordid Lives"

(h/t Queerty)

Petition launched to honor Orlando Bloom for taking a punch at Justin Bieber

Earlier this week, one of the biggest celebrity stories had to do with actor Orlando Bloom taking a swing at singer and constant punk Justin Bieber.

There's basis for friction between the two as apparently Bieber flirted with Bloom's wife Miranda Kerr back in 2012, leading to their divorce.

Then, Bloom is rumored to have spent time with Bieber's ex-girl friend Selena Gomez.

Two days ago in Ibiza, things escalated at a local hot spot making Bloom an international hero to those folks who have lost patience for the childish antics of Bieber:

“Justin was at one table, and Orlando was at another,” a source told us. “But when Bieber and his party were later walking past Bloom’s table, Orlando refused to shake Bieber’s hand.” Then, “Bieber said something rude to Orlando, like, ‘She was good.'”

And that's when a fist went swinging at the Biebs.

Now, a petition has been organized calling for honoring Bloom with his own national holiday for his heroic stance against the pop-tart:

On a fateful evening this July 29, 2014 actor Orlando Bloom fed the Pop Music miscreant Justin Bieber a knuckle-sandwich on behalf of the entire civilized world.

This is something you, as the leader of the free world, must reward with an executive order declaring July 29 as a national holidayhonoring Orlando Bloom.

We compel you to do right by every civilized and cultured human being walking this earth by exercising your power for this most just of causes.

You may familiarize yourself with the story by reading this:

Clearly there won't be a holiday named for taking a swipe at an asshole like Bieber.

But it's fun to think so...

Pro-skater Tony Hawk for Americans for Marriage Equality

Tony Hawk, the biggest name in skate boarding history, becomes the latest celebrity name to join the HRC's "Americans for Marriage Equality" campaign.

Seattle: Admitted New Years Day arsonist of gay club sentenced to 10 years in prison

Musab Masmari, who has admitted to setting a fire at a gay bar in Seattle on New Year's Day, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

About 15 minutes after midnight, Masmari poured gasoline in a stairway to Neighbours’ balcony and lit the pool of fuel. The fire was quickly doused with a fire extinguisher; there were about 750 people in the club at the time.

Masmari, a California native also known as Musab Musmari, was arrested days later on his way to Sea-Tac Airport after buying a one-way ticket to Turkey.

In a letter to the court, Masmari, 31, explained he’d consumed a bottle of cheap whiskey in the hours before he set the fire. He claims not to remember setting it, though he recognized himself on a surveillance video.

“I do not believe that I am a bad man but when I get drunk I have done bad things,” Masmari said in a letter to the court. “I swear that it is my intent to never drink again.”

The prosecutors and defense team agreed to ask for a 5 year sentence, but U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez doubled the term to 10 years in Thursday's sentencing hearing.

While Masmari stated that alcohol led to the crime, prosecutors pointed to interviews with people who know Masmari and said the fire was set due to homophobia.

“One of Masmari’s close associates was interviewed by investigators and reported that Masmari confided in him that he ‘burned a gay club’ and that he did it because ‘what these people are doing is wrong,’” Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg said in court papers.

Surveillance video made public after the fire clearly showed Masmari entering a club next to Neighbours, setting the fire and leaving.

Anti-gay Rick Santorum says marriage equality "devalues" marriage

Former US Senator Rick Santorum

Right Wing Watch is reporting on a recent interview on the Eagle Forum Live radio show wherein former US senator and forever anti-gay Rick Santorum said that marriage equality "devalues" marriage:

The former senator and presidential candidate told host Anne Cori, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly’s daughter, that supporters of marriage equality have “devalued marriage” and “divorced marriage from any meaning beyond a romantic relationship,” while Cori lamented the “celebration of single mothers.”

He also warned of polygamy: “If marriage is simply a romantic relationship between two people, and by the way, that’s what it’s devolved to the minds of a lot of Americans, if that’s all that marriage is well then it’s hard to make the argument that any two people or any three or four people shouldn’t be able to get married.”

Sharknado 2: The Second One rakes in 3.9 million viewers, 1 billion Twitter impressions

Syfy’s pop culture/social media hit - Sharknado 2: The Second One - delivered serious numbers in the ratings department during last night’s July 30 premiere, becoming the channel’s most watched Original Movie ever with 3.9 million total viewers.

Over on the social media side, Sharknado 2 delivered One Billion estimated impressions for Sharknado Twitter conversations.

At one point, Sharknado 2 held all top 10 trending topics in the United States.

According to reports, Sharknado 2 is the most "social movie" on TV ever, and was more social than any episode of Game Of Thrones, The Bachelorette or Survivor.

Compared to the first Sharknado movie premiere on July 11, 2013, total viewers were up 183%.

Sharknado 2 beat numerous broadcast programs in prime including CBS’s Extant, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and ABC’s Motive among Adults 18-49.

Syfy will air Sharknado 2 again Saturday, August 2 at 7PM and Sunday, August 3 at 9PM (ET/PT).

(via press release)

Trailer: "Birdman" starring Michael Keaton

A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.

Also starring Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts

In theaters: October 17, 2014

Wisconsin's domestic partnerships ruled constitutional by state supreme court

Lambda Legal announced today via press release that Wisconsin's Domestic Partnership registry has been found to be constitutional by the state supreme court, thus ending an almost two year legal fight over the limited protections:

Today the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state’s domestic partnership registry as constitutional, bringing a joyful end to a long legal battle by Lambda Legal on behalf of Fair Wisconsin and five intervening defendant couples.

“We’re thrilled that Wisconsin same-sex couples can keep the limited but very important protections that the domestic partnership registry grants them,” said Christopher Clark, Counsel for Lambda Legal. “The statute is clearly constitutional, and the Supreme Court of Wisconsin agreed with us. Gay and lesbian couples in Wisconsin no longer have to fear that the protections they have will be taken away by unnecessary anti-gay legal action.

Throughout the fight for marriage equality, we often hear that there's no animus towards LGBT folks regarding these rights.  It's just the word "marriage."

And yet, even with the limited rights provided by domestic partnerships in Wisconsin, the haters attempted to take away those protections.

So, when you hear "I have nothing against gays" - be warned.

The 7th Circuit Appeals Court originally assigned a date of August 13 to hear arguments regarding overturning Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban, but promptly cancelled the arguments with no comment.

S.E. Cupp says conservatives more respectful of atheists than liberals

I personally respect everyone's right to be Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic... wherever in the spectrum you fall.

But I'm not so sure the world of conservatives is "far more respectful of atheism" than liberals. I just don't buy that.

All those Republican folks down in the Bible Belt are kinder to the idea of atheists than liberals?


First Look: "Into The Woods"

The first trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's "Into The Woods" has been released and it looks fantastic.

Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp and Emily Blunt are among the stars with direction by the fab Rob Marshall.

"Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them."

(via press release)

Michael Sam at work

St. Louis Rams' Michael Sam posted this pic on his Facebook page:

"Just another work day #rams #ramsnation #St.Louis"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Together 50 years: Henry & George Vassos for Marriage Ohio

After 50 years together, Henry and George traveled to New York City to legally wed.

But once they crossed the state lines to return to their home state of Ohio, the legally married couple was treated as nothing more than legal strangers.

Nearly half a century of love and commitment — and they want nothing more than to be respected in the state they call home.

(from Marriage Ohio)

GOP-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama

So, instead of getting something done on behalf of the American people before heading off to a month-long vacay, the Republicans in the House took time to vote on suing the President for actually getting something done.

Just so we all know who is being sued over what - from the LA Times:

The House approved the resolution in a near party-line vote, 225 to 201.

It authorizes House Speaker John A. Boehner to file suit in federal court on behalf of the full body “to seek appropriate relief” for Obama’s failure to enforce a provision of the Affordable Care Act that would penalize businesses that do not offer basic health insurance to their employees.

That provision’s effective date has been delayed by the administration twice and now won’t fully take effect until 2016.

The GOP-led House has voted to repeal the law, even as it seeks to sue Obama for failing to enforce it.

So, the Republicans are suing the President because he didn't enforce a law that they don't even want.

Got it?


"Sharknado 2: The Second One" airs tonight on Syfy

Don't forget "Sharknado 2: The Second One" debuts tonight on the Syfy Channel 9/8c. Check your locals listings.

Social media's favorite "over the top" science fiction shark movie is back - with hunky 50 year old action-hero Ian Ziering!

The cast is "in" on the joke, so you can laugh along, too.

And don't forget to track and tweet on Twitter where a good part of the fun will be.

You can follow #Sharknado2TheSecondOne to catch the witty "shark" comments.

NBC announces Allison Williams of HBO's "Girls" to star in "Peter Pan Live!"

NBC announced today that "Girls" star and classically trained singer Allison Williams has been cast as the iconic title character in NBC's Dec. 4 telecast of "Peter Pan Live!"

"I have wanted to play Peter Pan since I was about three years old, so this is a dream come true," said Williams. "It's such an honor to be a part of this adventure, and I'm very excited to get to work with this extraordinarily talented team. And besides," added Williams, "what could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?"

According to press materials, Williams, who has sung on HBO's "Girls" and in various other projects, is an accomplished actress and singer. Williams graduated from Yale University in 2010.

I see a lot of hyping about her being "classically trained singer" but haven't found any credits for stage musicals yet.  I like to be positive, but after Carrie Underwood's underwhelming performance in  "The Sound of Music Live!" last December, you have to think NBC has really thought this one out.

It was previously announced that Oscar winner and Emmy and Tony Award nominee Christopher Walken will star as Captain Hook in the Dec. 4 telecast.

(from BroadwayWorld)

Rep. Michelle Bachmann: President Obama wants undocumented minors in US for medical experimentation

Rep. Michele Bachmann says that President Obama wants to bring tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors into America and make them Wards of the state so they can be used in medical experiments.

"Now President Obama is trying to bring all of those foreign nationals, those illegal aliens to the country and he has said that he will put them in the foster care system," Bachmann said. "That's more kids that you can see how - we can't imagine doing this, but if you have a hospital and they are going to get millions of dollars in government grants if they can conduct medical research on somebody, and a Ward of the state can't say 'no,' a little kid can't say 'no' if they're a Ward of the state; so here you could have this institution getting millions of dollars from our government to do medical experimentation and a kid can't even say 'no.' It's sick".

The narrative is a misreading of policy at the Boston Children's Hospital, which actually has policies in place to protect Wards of the state. Bachmann is twisting facts and language to draw an image of madcap experiments being performed on children who are deemed wards by virtue of the fact that they are in the US without documentation.

It's all a wild, Mad Hatter's version of reality.  Click over to Right Wing Watch for more details of what "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann is spinning.

 Listen to her appearance on "Wallbuilders Live" below spouting her over the top nonsense:

(via Right Wing Watch)

Mark Joseph Stern gets to the root of same-sex marriage opposition

Over at Slate, Mark Joseph Stern has written a disarmingly direct essay on the truth behind same-sex marriage opposition, and it goes something like this: We just don't like the idea of gays.

The problem here, of course, is that an honest answer—“your honor, we believe gay people will destroy the marital institution altogether” — would undermine the supposedly secular, animus-free nature of these arguments. In developing them, anti-gay activists began with a conclusion — gay people don’t deserve the rights that we straight people have — then worked backward, camouflaging each prejudiced premise with a supposedly neutral talking point. Under any kind of scrutiny, these theories instantly fall apart, revealing their bigoted, constitutionally impermissible core.

That’s what happened on Monday, when the 4th Circuit held that “apprehension and inertia” lie behind resistance to marriage equality. It’s what happened when Pennsylvania and Nevada’s Republican governors gave up on their states’ gay marriage bans, and when North Carolina, Oregon, Kentucky, Illinois, California, and Virginia’s attorneys general did the same. A good lawyer knows when she’s on the losing side of an argument. And stripped of their conservative Christian underpinnings, these arguments are blindingly, blatantly hollow.

And yet the inanity continues full-throttle, because gay marriage opponents have backed themselves into the corner they’ve always dreaded. They can’t give up their quest now — but they’re barred from citing the explanations that they truly believe, deep down, to be correct. The result is the current tailspin of idiocy, a shifting argument with rootless standards roaming from rationale to rationale in a desperate attempt to find shelter from the storm of progress swirling around it. It’s a pathetic display, but not an unpleasant one to witness. Stripped of all logic and reason, the argument against gay marriage has been reduced to gibberish. Enjoy the babbling while it lasts.

The entire essay gets to the root of what LGBT advocates have known for a long time: that once you remove laws based on animus against gays (unconstitutional) and laws based on "we think gay sex is icky" (unconstitutional), you don't have anything left.

I encourage you to read the entire article at Slate.

Michigan: Legislation introduced to ban "ex-gay" therapy for minors

Michigan Democrat Rep. Adam Zemke has introduced legislation which would ban gay conversion therapy for minors in the state.


House Bill 5703 would amend Michigan's mental health code to prohibit health professionals from attempting to change the sexual orientation of anyone under 18 years old.

"The evidence shows you cannot change sexual orientation, so the legislation was kind of a no-brainer," Zemke said. "We want to make sure children cannot be exposed to situations that are emotionally harmful to them because of their parents' beliefs or desires to try to change their orientation."

In 2009, the American Psychological Association said that attempts to change sexual orientation are ineffective and can have harmful side effects including depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety.

Currently, California and New Jersey have laws on the books outlawing gay conversion therapy for minors.

Tweet of the day: Bette Midler & Lady Gaga

Bette Midler and Lady Gaga get a bit catty on Twitter

The Sarah Palin Channel

Click here to visit The Sarah Palin Channel

The former half-term governor of Alaska recently announced she's launching her own internet channel of quality programming.

Visit The Sarah Palin Channel, and make sure you click on today's article :)

(h/t JMG)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Music: Hilary Duff "Chasing The Sun"

First new music from Hilary Duff in 7 years.

Nice, light-weight summer song - co-written by Colbie Caillat.

Postmodern Jukebox covers Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer"

Love Postmodern Jukebox!

From Scott Bradlee of Postmodern Jukebox:

Miche Braden (from our "Sweet Child O' Mine" cover) was in town, so she stopped by to lend her legendary powerful voice to this Bon Jovi '80s classic.

Also, check out the horns playing the Richie Sambora guitar solo. This one takes me back to my New Jersey roots...

Follow Miche on Facebook! She's truly a rare talent, and an artist in every sense of the word.

If you like, download the track from iTunes here.

I've shared other videos from Postmodern Jukebox here on The Randy Report here and here.

(h/t JMG)

Edie Windsor turns 85 today!

Edie Windsor leaving the US Supreme Court

Today marks the 85th birthday of Edith Windsor, whose lawsuit against the federal government led to the fall of DOMA.

Every marriage equality ruling since last June 26, 2013 has referenced the landmark ruling.

The LGBT community will forever be grateful for the courage and tenacity Edie demonstrated in standing up for fairness and equality.

Happy Birthday Edie!

Spoof: The movie "Beaches" in less than four minutes

Micah McCain reenacts the 1980's hit film: Beaches.

In this day and age, who has time to sit down and watch an entire film?  This is the Cliff Notes version.

If this makes you nostalgic, you can rent the movie on iTunes and enjoy the fabulosity that is Beaches anytime.

Colorado Supreme Court orders Boulder County Clerk to cease issuance of same-sex marriage licenses

The Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after more than a month of doing so. In that time, at least 199 licenses were issued to gay or lesbian couples.

Colorado Attorney General has spent weeks attempting to stop Hall from issuing licenses through his own directives and lower state courts, to no avail.

The Boulder County Clerk began issuing same-sex marriage licenses on June 25, when the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages as being unconstitutional.

As the state of Colorado is also under jurisdiction of the 10th Circuit Court, Hall began issuing licenses that day, after consulting her county attorney.

Conservative Logic 101

Pool Boy Candidate - July 29, 2014

Still looking for a pool boy with the right qualifications.

TRR reader Sam sent in this candidate.  Looks like solid "qualifications" to me...

Happy Tuesday!

New Music: Leann Rimes "How Do I Live?" Cahill Remix

In advance of LeAnn Rimes’ upcoming greatest hits remix album, “Dance Like You Don’t Give a ..." Greatest Hits Remixes (release date August 5th), we get an advance video of her worldwide hit, “How Do I Live” featuring Cahill Club.

Great song, great vocals and you can't get any better than Cahill for a remix.

The album is currently available for pre-order on iTunes.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would welcome House immigration bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would welcome the $659 million immigration bill currently circulating in the US House.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is trying to round up enough votes for a pared-down border bill that spends far below the president’s request for $3.7 billion and includes policy changes to speed the deportation of illegal minors from Central America.

Reid said the policy changes would give him an opportunity to attach the comprehensive immigration reform bill that the Senate passed last year with the support of 14 Republicans.

“If they pass that, maybe it’s an opening for us to have a conference on our comprehensive immigration reform. If they’re finally sending us something on immigration, maybe we can do that,” Reid told reporters after a lunch meeting with his caucus.

“We’ve been looking for something to do a conference on. Maybe we can do it with that,” Reid said.

The current House bill would send National Guard troops to the southern border plus add funding for immigration judges to speed the processing of unaccompanied minors found crossing US borders illegally.

While the Senate passed legislation last year, Speaker Boehner has blocked any attempt to further immigration reform this year. To do so could might open the door to what could be considered a "win" by President Obama and the Democrats.

 And of course, it's more important to play politics than to get the people's work done, don't you know?

House of Representatives "work" schedule

Via Occupy Democrats

Study shows fist bumps transfer 90% fewer germs than handshake

It's not only hip to be cool, but it's healthier.

A new study shows a fist bump transfers 90% less bacteria than a traditional handshake.

The ever popular high five gave the gift of about 50% of the germs of a handshake.

Via Vox:

Their methods for reaching this conclusion were rather interesting: the scientists used rubber gloves and spread them with a thick layer of E. coli bacteria. They then exchanged fist bumps, hand shakes, and high fives with researchers who were wearing clean rubber gloves, randomly varying the intensity and duration of the greetings.

One of the study authors, Dr. Dave Whitworth, a senior lecturer at Aberystwyth University, had this message for the public: "People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands. If the general public could be encouraged to fist-bump, there is genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases."

ARROW star Colton Haynes featured in new Diesel ad campaign

Colton Haynes of the CW's Arrow makes a return his roots (he was discovered at age 15 as a model for Abercrombie & Fitch) by starring in a new ad campaign for Diesel, with photography by Nick Knight.

Artistic director of Diesel, Nicola Formichetti, shared in a statement: "The new vision of the brand is strong for both men and women. It is a united vision. The casting is a big part of what we do at Diesel; it's the forming of a new kind of tribe."

More please... :)

(h/t OUT)

One Direction's Liam Payne teases fans with naked picture on Instagram

A naked Liam Payne getting a little "cheeky" with his fans on Instagram

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott uses failed "procreation" tactic in 5th Circuit Court appeal

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says marriage should only be about procreation

Despite the fact that two federal appeals courts have rejected procreation as a legal reason to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has chosen to use that very argument (creative) in his filing to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

From the Statesman:

“By recognizing and encouraging the lifelong commitment between a man and woman — even when they do not produce offspring — the state encourages others who will procreate to enter into the marriage relationship,” Abbott said in the state’s first brief, filed late Monday at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Promoting opposite-sex marriages “increases the likelihood that children will be born into stable environments where they are raised by their mother and their father,” Abbott argued.

Such family structures are good for the children’s well being and good for the state because they increase the likelihood that parents, not society, “will bear the cost of raising these children,” the brief said.

“Because same-sex relationships do not naturally produce children, recognizing same-sex marriage does not further these goals to the same extent that recognizing opposite-sex marriage does,” Abbott said.

The legal landscape has significantly changed since February, when U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that the Texas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional because it relegates gay couples to “second-tier status” and demeans their dignity for no legitimate reason.

Garcia, who also tossed out Texas’ ban on recognizing same-sex marriages legally performed in other states, was the fourth federal judge to make a similar ruling since late December, following jurists in Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia.

Federal judges in 10 other states have overturned same-sex marriage bans saying the laws violate the US Constitution.

Plus, two federal appeals courts have upheld such rulings. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling yesterday that Virginia’s ban prohibited same-sex couples “from participating fully in our society.” And the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in similar rulings for Utah and Oklahoma.

Both the 4th Circuit and the 10th Circuit specifically addressed the issue that procreation is no justification for discriminating against gays and lesbians.

West Virginia in holding pattern on marriage equality for now

After yesterday's ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court declaring Virginia's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, North Carolina's Attorney General announced the state would no longer defend their marriage ban since North Carolina is also in the Fourth Circuit's jurisdiction and the outcome at this point is predictable.

However, West Virginia's AG seemed to indicate his office will take a "wait and see" attitude.

The writing is on the table, kids.


(h/t JMG)

Preview: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett debut "Anything Goes" from upcoming Cheek To Cheek CD

The long-awaited collaborative jazz album from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Cheek To Cheek, will be released on Streamline/Columbia/Interscope Records on Tuesday, September 23.

The first taste of this new music is the classic Cole Porter song, “Anything Goes”, available today on iTunes and other digital retailers.

An accompanying studio video featuring “Anything Goes” and footage from the recording sessions and moments during the making of Cheek to Cheek is currently available on YouTube and VEVO.

Cheek to Cheek represents a collaboration between two legendary musical artists spanning the generations to celebrate jazz music.

Check out the video preview below:

(via press release)

Monday, July 28, 2014

UFC's Kyle Kingsbury shows his support for LGBT community during weigh-in

After a two-year absence, Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight fighter Kyle Kingsbury made a statement during weigh-in his support for the LGBT community in San Jose, California last week.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announces the state will not oppose same-sex marriage cases

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper

In light of the Fourth Circuit Court's ruling which found Virginia's marriage ban is unconstitutional, North Carolina's attorney general said he will stop defending his state's ban in court:

"After reviewing the 4th Circuit decision and consulting with attorneys here, I have concluded that the State of North Carolina will not oppose the cases moving forward.

"In addition, the State of North Carolina will acknowledge the 4th Circuit opinion that marriage is a fundamental right and that our office believes that the judges are bound by this 4th Circuit decision.

"In all these cases challenging state marriage laws, our office along with other attorneys general and state attorneys across the country have made about every legal argument imaginable.

"Since the US Supreme Court ruled in the Windsor case, all the federal courts have rejected these arguments each and every time. So it’s time for the State of North Carolina to stop making them." - North Carolina State Attorney General, Roy Cooper

Today's Virginia ruling sets precedent for not only that state, but all states in the court's jurisdiction which includes North Carolina.

South Carolina's AG, Alan Wilson, issued a statement saying he intends to continue defending his state's same-sex marriage ban.


News round-up for July 28, 2014

• New condom proves effective in deactivating 99.9 per cent of HIV, herpes and other STDs

• Anti-gay Robert Jeffress says the anti-discrimination executive order signed by President Obama could lead to stripping churches of their tax-exempt status. LIE.

• Lots to see at ComicCon 2014 including Chris Hemsworth's biceps and Stephen Amell's abs

• Gay Texas foster child caretaker fired for introducing his fiancĂ© to teenagers during water park outing

• Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald hits five Billboard charts this week (#1 on four)

• My latest music crush: out singer/songwriter Jeb Havens

Stephen Amell gives the ComicCon crowd a show

Yoga with Nic and Pancho

Hot Italian guy and his chihuahua Pancho practice yoga together.

It's hard to decide who to watch.

Casey the schnauzer passes out when reunited with owner

For two years, Casey the schnauzer missed her owner who was living and working in Slovenia.

When the family came back to Pennsylvania for a wedding, Casey could't stop squealing.

Until, that is, she passed out from the excitement.

Don't worry - Casey was checked out by the vet and all is well.

The video has over 19 million views in four days.

(h/t Towleroad)

Audra McDonald lands at #1 on four Billboard Charts with "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" Cast Recording

From Billboard:

Audra McDonald, Lady Day At Emerson's Bar & Grill (No. 156): McDonald's Tony Award-winning turn as Billie Holiday arrives in album form, as the original Broadway cast recording sings out with 2,000 sold and debuts at No. 156 on the Billboard 200.

The six-time Tony winner also bows at No. 1 on four other charts: Heatseekers Albums, Jazz Albums, Traditional Jazz Albums and Cast Albums.

2-minute science lesson: How much sleep do you need?

The guys at Asap Science explore the question: how much sleep do we really need?

Obviously, we can sometimes suffer from not enough sleep, but can you suffer from too much sleep?

Do some folks have a genetic advantage when it comes to sleep?

Watch below and be smarter in two minutes.

Plus, if you want to know how to get better sleep, click over to this video for helpful hints.

CNN Poll: No clear GOP front-runner; Hillary leads on Dem side by 57 points

A new CNN/ORC International poll shows no clear front-runner for the GOP nomination for President in 2016.

According to the poll, this is the stacking order at present:

13% Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey
12% Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
12% Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas
11% Gov. Rick Perry of Texas
11% Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin
8% Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
8% Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
6% Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida
5% Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin
3% Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania

 So - no clear front-runner at all.

On the Democrats side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton still holds an enormous lead over other possible candidates:

67% Hillary Clinton
10% Sen. Elizabeth Warren
8% Vice-President Biden

The poll also asked the question "Suppose that for some reason a presidential election were being held today and you had to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Who would you be more likely to vote for?" The answer? Given a do-over, 53% would choose Mitt Romney and 44% would choose Obama.

However, kind of a false question as a LOT of presidents might see their histories rewritten given the same rhetorical question: Carter, Nixon, George W.... None of those guys would have been elected if the electorate was given the chance to look back than forward.

Plus, Romney has not had to prove anything from the Oval Office. So, it's a lot easier for folks to "imagine" a different result but it does't make it true.

Last point of interest in the poll - if Hillary and Romney were to run against the other, Hillary would win in a landslide 55%-42%.