Thursday, April 30, 2015

18 Years Ago Today Ellen Came Out


Eighteen years ago today, Ellen DeGeneres publicly came out in an episode of her TV show, Ellen.

In the episode, titled, “The Puppy Episode,” Ellen’s onscreen persona leaned across an airport PA system and announced to the world, “I’m gay.”

And I'm pretty sure the tide of history was changed.

Gallup Poll: 780,000 Same-Sex Marriages In US


Gallup reports that there are an estimated 780,000 same-sex marriages in the US.

Approximately 0.3% of adults in the U.S. are married to a same-sex spouse, and another 0.5% identify as being in a same-sex domestic partnership.

In examining the total population of 243 million U.S. adults, these survey estimates suggest nearly 2 million adults are part of a same-sex couple, of whom 780,000 are married.

These data are based on 80,568 interviews conducted on Gallup Daily tracking from Jan. 28-April 19, 2015.

Overall, approximately 0.3% of all respondents during this time period both identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) and said they were married, and in a follow-up question, they indicated that they were married to a same-sex spouse. An additional 0.5% of adults identified as LGBT and reported being in a same-sex domestic partnership.

So think on that a second - 780,000 marriages at risk of being wiped out should the Supreme Court decide against marriage equality.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Grosses $250 Million Before Opening In USA

Max Martin Nabs 8th ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Award


If you have a recent favorite pop song, chances are Max Martin had a hand in writing it.

Since 1999, he's won ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year Award 8 times.

Martin got his start in the mid-’90s co-writing songs for the Backstreet Boys including “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” which made its way to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. His more recent credits include “Bang Bang” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” (along with eight other tracks from 2014’s 1989).

Martin won his first Songwriter of the Year award at the 1999 ASCAP Pop Awards, and went on to win one in 2000 and another in 2001. He once again won in 2011, and has been the prize’s recipient every year since.

That's ├╝ber-impressive, no?

Same-Sex Couples On The Steps Of SCOTUS


Igor Volsky of ThinkProgress interviewed same-sex couples on the steps of the Supreme Court before the historic oral arguments on Tuesday.

There's a sincere freshness and authenticity to their bearing as they all take part in the day.

"If same-sex couples were stuck in an elevator with Justice Scalia, here is what they'd say to him."

Church Sign Of The Day


Georgia: Church Sign Reads "Homosexuality is a death worthy crime"


Robert Lee, the pastor of Ten Commandments Church in Milledgeville, Ga., recently changed the sign outside his church to read, "Homosexuality is a death worthy crime."

Lee would seem to be calling for the death of homosexuals.

From Talking Points Memo:

"Homosexuality is an abomination, and the Bible says that homosexuality is a death worthy crime," Lee told WGXA.

The sign references Leviticus 20:13, which reads, "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

Lee told WGXA that he hoped his sign would have an impact and said he would oppose a Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.

"The institution of marriage was instituted by God and it should not be changed by people who deserve not to live," he said.

Baltimore: Why Does It Take A Catastrophe To Hear Our Cry?

Last night, MSNBC Thomas Roberts was on the receiving end himself of questions by a protestor in Baltimore.

After admitting that looting and rioting were not the best ways to represent the community and to seek answers, protester Danielle Williams asked Roberts this:

"My question to you is, when we were out here protesting all last week for six days straight peacefully, there were no news cameras, there were no helicopters, there was no riot gear, and nobody heard us," Williams said. "So now that we've burned down buildings and set businesses on fire and looted buildings, now all of the sudden everybody wants to hear us."

"Why does it take a catastrophe like this in order for America to hear our cry?" she continued. "I mean, enough is enough. We've had too many lives lost at the hands of police officers. Enough is enough."


Viral Video: When Gay Guys See Other Gay Guys



"This rare, never before seen video documents the secret interactions of gay men that only take place when there are no straight people present."

I can attest to having seen this behavior. Or something very close to this :)

Music: Matt Zarley Covers "Nobody Knows" By Tony Rich


Award-winning singer/songwriter Matt Zarley continues his UnCOVERED series of cover songs with the Tony Rich hit "Nobody Knows" from 1996.

From Zarley: "This song reminds me of why I love 90s music so much. I used to play the original Tony Rich Project version incessantly."

You can find Matt Zarley on iTunes here.

The AbFab Movie Begins Shooting This Fall


AbFab fans rejoice! Jennifer Saunders appeared on ITV's Loose Women to share the news that the movie IS happening and begins shooting this fall!

Trailer: Tom Hardy Stars In Legend


From Academy Award® winner Brian Helgeland comes the true story of the rise and fall of London’s most notorious gangsters, identical twins Reggie and Ron Kray, both portrayed by Tom Hardy in a double performance.

LEGEND is a classic crime thriller taking us into the secret history of the 1960s and the extraordinary events that secured the infamy of the Kray Twins.

In theaters September 11.

Mike Huckabee: Supreme Court "Cannot Overrule God"


Mike Huckabee, addressing the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:

"I respect the courts, but the Supreme Court is only that -- the supreme of the courts. It is not the supreme being. It cannot overrule God.

"When it comes to prayer, when it comes to life, and when it comes to the sanctity of marriage, the court cannot change what God has created.

"Somebody's got to be willing to take on the institutions that challenge and threaten our ability to believe as we believe, because when religious liberty is lost, all liberty is lost.

"I do not come to you tonight with the ability to speak Spanish. But I do speak a common language: I speak Jesus."

As I always do, it's important to note that marriage equality does not "threaten" Mike Huckabee's world. It merely allows for the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the institution of marriage.

My marriage to hubby Michael does not "challenge" Mike Huckabee's "ability to believe."

(h/t JMG)

Kristen Wiig Is "Daenerys Targaryen - Queen Of Dragons"


Jimmy Fallon gets a surprise visit from "Daenerys Targaryen," and they talk about her crazy life.


In full costume and with a tiny dragon named Carl on her shoulder, Kristen Wiig answered questions about her life as the "Mother of Dragons" for host Jimmy Fallon as they both giggled their way through the interview.

She told Fallon that her real name is Karen and that she lives in a dome in a forest on a mountain.

The "Khaleesi" gave him the scoop on her favorite food and hobbies, and let it slip that she's a big fan of Kristen Wiig—saying that her film that opens Friday, "Welcome of Me," sounds like it has "a great premise."

Wiig has a habit of appearing on Fallon as seemingly random people who are definitely not Kristen Wiig. Last year, she masqueraded as Harry Styles of One Direction on Tonight Show. And in 2013, she appeared as Michael Jordan when Fallon was host of Late Night.

In each case, he got her to sing an improvised song... and he did so again on Wednesday night.

Kristen Wiig just slays me....




Wednesday, April 29, 2015

USA Today Interviews SCOTUS Watchers In Line

Equality Case Files activist Kathleen Perrin

USA Today interviewed folks in line to enter the Supreme Court yesterday .

In turns out the first 14 were paid placeholders who surrendered their positions to their sponsors after having camped out for days.

The 15th person in line, however, was Equality Case Files activist Kathleen Perrin.

Just as interesting, note who they interview at the 2:00 mark. Rick Grogan, the man who was removed from the SCOTUS chambers after heckling the judges saying "If you support gay marriage, then you will burn in hell."

Brogan has a history of such behavior having been blocked from the U.S. Capitol for shouting anti-abortion rhetoric, arrested after he ran onto the field of a Cincinnati Reds game, and again when he climbed a tree and tried to shout down President Obama during his 2013 inauguration.



(via JoeMyGod)



SCOTUS heckler Rick Grogan

Mother's Day: Trans Son Shares How His Mother's Unconditional Love Made A Difference


From Hallmark:

With Mother's Day approaching, Hallmark embarked on a social experiment asking people to talk about their moms on camera and describe their feelings beyond the typical expressions of "I love you" and "thank you." They found that by removing those go-to phrases, the emotion behind the love for their mothers was revealed and they were better prepared to put their heart to paper on Mother's Day.

What they didn't know was that their moms were watching from another room. The videos capture the heartwarming reactions the moms had to their children's words.

Alex shares how his Mom's unconditional love and acceptance made all the difference in this life. Watch what happens when he goes beyond "I love you" and decides to #PutYourHeartToPaper.

Jeremy Renner Sings About "Hawkeye's" Lesser Known Powers


Jeremy Renner stopped by The Tonight Show last night in support of this week's opening of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, and shared this heartfelt parody of Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" to express what it's like to be a non-super super-hero.

Cute.

You all know I have a thing about Jeremy Renner, right?

Some of the lyrics:

When you’re on a team with the Hulk and Thor
And we’re all up there on the movie screen,
Will the people believe that I’m not quite as tough?
Will anyone even notice me?

But listen I’ve got powers too, they’re pretty sweet.
I promise I can do so much more than just archery.

I’m serious guys.
I’ve got a collection of scarves and berets.
I play trombone in a ska band.
I once got to second base on my Tinder date.
And my cat has got its own Instagram.

I tell you now
I kick ass at Mario Kart.
This year I played an extra in Paul Blart.
I can open a pickle jar.
I’m friggin’ Hawkeye.
Maybe I’m as super as they are.




Somebody 4 Everybody

Fitness Model Geoff Peirce Puts On A Show On Museum Steps


Just goes to show you, you can workout anywhere.

Now, I don't think fitness model Geoff Peirce got that built running steps at the Philadelphia Art Museum. But I'd happy to watch him do so for a few minutes :)

By the way, you can follow him on Instagram here.

Music: Pomplamoose Covers Madonna's "Like a Prayer"


Pomplamoose brings their fresh take (from the year 2022 apparently) of Madonna's "Like A Prayer" in advance of a new album coming June 22nd.

Love their new takes on songs we know. I've written about them before here and here.

You can download the song on iTunes here.

Breaking Down Supreme Court Oral Arguments For Marriage Equality


From Matt Buame:

What is the Supreme Court thinking about marriage?

They just heard oral argument from gay couples, from the states that want to preserve their bans, and from the US Government.

And we can make a couple guesses about what's going through their heads.

Sen. Bernie Sanders To Announce Run For 2016 Democratic Nomination For President


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will launch a campaign Thursday becoming the first challenger to Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president.

A member of the U.S. Senate since 2007, Sanders will be a liberal challenge to Clinton, who he sees as being too soft on Wall Street. He describes himself as a "democratic socialist."

Sanders has been an outspoken critic of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal the Obama administration is negotiating with 11 Pacific countries. Sanders is also a critic of the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which struck down corporate campaign contribution limits. Sanders has tried to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision.

While Clinton is heavily favored over Sanders, the Vermont senator's entry in the race will provide a platform for Democrats to criticize Clinton from the left. Sanders' presence could also highlight a divide between progressive and moderate Democrats.

Before assuming office in the Senate in 2007, Sanders represented Vermont in the U.S. House for 16 years. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress.

According to HuffPost Pollster, which aggregates publicly available polling data, Sanders trails Clinton by 55.1 percentage points. He also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Vice President Joe Biden.

Tweet Of The Day: Dear Michelle Bachmann


Music Video: Adam Lambert "Ghost Town"


Adam Lambert describes his new music video for "Ghost Town" as 'Coachella gone goth.'

Directed by Hype Williams, the visuals are stark in tone and content, but high on style and vocal intensity.

'I really wanted to first communicate the lyrics directly to the viewer, but then I also wanted to kind of highlight a scene of people,' Lambert told Entertainment Tonight.

'A lot of the people that we hired for the video are friends of mine. It was really fun on set. It was kind of a party, which made it a very relaxed shoot - I've never shot a video like that before, that felt like a house party.'

The single is available now on iTunes, with the album - The Original High - dropping June 16th.



Poll: Majority Of Iowans Now Support Same-Sex Marriage


A new PPP poll shows for the first time a majority of Iowa voters (50%) support marriage equality versus 41% who are opposed.

Every age group except seniors supports it and even with them favor for gay marriage has hit the 40% mark.

80% of voters in the state say that gay marriage being legal has either had a positive impact on their lives or none at all, with only 20% claiming it's had a negative impact.

Even among the minority of voters who remain opposed to gay marriage, 55% admit it hasn't actually had any dire effect on their lives.

Bolding is mine :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

LGBT Legal Experts Weigh In On Marriage Equality Arguments At SCOTUS


Chris Geidner of Buzzfeed:

At Tuesday’s marriage arguments over same-sex couples’ marriage rights, the majority of the court appeared to be comfortable with Justice Anthony Kennedy’s understanding of human dignity as including gay people’s equal treatment under the law.

While Kennedy, who is considered the key swing vote in the case, did not make any unambiguous statement about the end result of the case, he harshly questioned the state of Michigan’s argument that it should be allowed to exclude same-sex couples from marriage.

At one point, Kennedy commented to Michigan’s lawyer that its law banning same-sex couples from marrying “assumes” that those couples can’t have the same “more noble purpose” as opposite sex couples have for entering marriage.

Although questions were asked, including by Kennedy, about the length of the understanding of marriage as only an institution between one man and one woman, Kennedy also noted that “about the same time” passed between the Supreme Court’s decision ending “separate-but-equal” with regards to racial discrimination and its landmark decision ending interracial marriage as has passed between the Supreme Court’s decision ending sodomy laws and today’s arguments.

Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade:

(Justice) Kennedy, who write numerous gay rights cases for the Supreme Court including the 2013 decision against the Defense of Marriage Act, expressed a wariness about a decision instituting the right to gay nuptials across the country, saying a word to which he keeps returning on marriage is “millennia.”

“This definition has been with us for millennia, and it’s very difficult for the court to say we know better,” Kennedy said.

But Kennedy also offered a contrasting view when John Bursch, the Michigan attorney defending a state’s right to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples, delivered his arguments.

Bursch drew upon as an example of need for the law number of children being born out of wedlock, saying since 1970, the out-of-wedlock birth rate has gone from 10 percent to 40 percent, but Kennedy shot back, insisting that statistic “cuts quite against” having a ban on same-sex marriage.

“Under your view, it would be very difficult for same-sex couples to adopt these children,” Kennedy said.

In a discussion about the benefits of marriage, Kennedy also spoke about same-sex couples wanting access to the institution because it has a “noble purpose” and is a “dignity that can be fulfilled.”

Adam Liptak of the New York Times:

Justice Kennedy said he was concerned about changing a conception of marriage that has persisted for so many years. Later, though, he expressed qualms about excluding gay families from what he called a noble and sacred institution. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. worried about shutting down a fast-moving societal debate.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. asked whether groups of four people must be allowed to marry, while Justice Antonin Scalia said a ruling for same-sex marriage might require some members of the clergy to perform ceremonies that violate their religious teaching.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer described marriage as a fundamental liberty. And Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan said that allowing same-sex marriage would do no harm to the marriages of opposite-sex couples.

Suzanne Crough Of THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY Fame Dies At 52


Former “Partridge Family” actress Suzanne Crough Condray died Monday night, the Clark County coroner’s office said Tuesday.

The 52-year-old died in a Laughlin residence, likely her own, about 9:30 p.m. the coroner’s office said.

Condray’s cause and manner of death will be released by the coroner’s office.

Crough swung a mean tambourine on The Partridge Family from 1970 to 1974, when she was ages 7 to 11. She later appeared on TV shows such as Mulligan's Stew and Wonder Woman.

She last reunited with her 'Partridge' co-stars for an appearance on the 'Today' show back in 2010.

(source)

Full Audio From SCOTUS Oral Arguments On Same-Sex Marriage



Full audio of the U.S. Supreme Court's Question 1 argument on whether the U.S. Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The full transcript can be read here.

And here's the audio for Question 2 regarding whether the U.S. Constitution requires states to respect marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples legally in other states. Full transcript for Question 2 can be read here.



(via Freedom To Marry)

SCOTUS: Swing Vote Justice Kennedy Sends Mixed Messages On Marriage Equality

Reuters correspondent David Ingram reports from the live oral arguments for same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court.

Assumed "swing-vote" Justice Kennedy mentioned the idea that marriage has been the same for "millenia:"





Later, Kennedy offered a couple of encouraging signs as he noted that a principal purpose of marriage was to afford dignity, which is denied to same-sex couples. He also said the fact that same-sex couples raise children hurt state's arguments against marriage equality. Via SCOTUSblog:

Typewriter Rodeo: A Wall Of 5 Men

Baltimore Mother Slaps Sense Into Her Son After Seeing Him Take Part In Riots

From ABC News: A Baltimore woman took action when she saw her son hanging out with violent demonstrators Monday.

The woman, identified by ABC affiliate WMAR as the boy's mother, was watching television when she saw her son throwing rocks at police, the station reported.

She went to find him in the crowd and the confrontation turned physical. The woman was caught on camera grabbing the boy and smacking him in the face.

"Are you kidding me?" she's heard saying. The station did not identify her by name.



The 2015 Tony Award Nominations


The nominations for the 2015 Tony Awards were announced this morning.

A few things that bear noting:

Big winners - “American in Paris” and “Fun Home,” which each received 12 nominations. “Something Rotten!” received 10 nods.

Tony snub - the musical “Finding Neverland,” produced by Harvey Weinstein, which did not receive a single nomination.

Watch the 69th Tony Awards live on CBS on June 7th hosted by Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming.


Best Musical

An American in Paris

Fun Home

Something Rotten!

The Visit

Best Play

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Disgraced

Hand to God

Wolf Hall

Best Musical Revival

The King and I

On the Town

On the Twentieth Century

Best Play Revival

The Elephant Man

Skylight

This Is Our Youth

You Can’t Take It With You

Best Leading Actor in a Play

Steven Boyer, ‘Hand to God’

Bradley Cooper, ‘The Elephant Man’

Ben Miles, ‘Wolf Hall’

Bill Nighy, ‘Skylight’

Alex Sharp, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Best Leading Actress in a Play

Geneva Carr, ‘Hand to God’

Helen Mirren, ‘The Audience’

Elisabeth Moss, ‘The Heidi Chronicles’

Carey Mulligan, ‘Skylight’

Ruth Wilson, ‘Constellations’

Best Leading Actor in a Musical

Michael Cerveris, ‘Fun Home’

Robert Fairchild, ‘An American in Paris’

Brian d’Arcy James, ‘Something Rotten!’

Ken Watanabe, ‘The King and I’

Tony Yazbeck, ‘On the Town’

Best Leading Actress in a Musical

Kristin Chenoweth, ‘On the Twentieth Century’

Leanne Cope, ‘An American in Paris’

Beth Malone, ‘Fun Home’

Kelli O’Hara, ‘The King and I’

Chita Rivera, ‘The Visit’

Best Book of a Musical

‘An American in Paris,’ Craig Lucas

‘Fun Home,’ Lisa Kron

‘Something Rotten!,’ Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell

‘The Visit,’Terrence McNally

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics)

‘Fun Home,’ Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: Lisa Kron

‘The Last Ship,’ Music and Lyrics: Sting

‘Something Rotten!,’ Music and Lyrics: Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick

‘The Visit,’ Music: John Kander, Lyrics: Fred Ebb

Best Featured Actor in a Play

Matthew Beard, ‘Skylight’

K. Todd Freeman, ‘Airline Highway’

Richard McCabe, ‘The Audience’

Alessandro Nivola, ‘The Elephant Man’

Nathaniel Parker, ‘Wolf Hall’

Micah Stock, ‘It’s Only a Play’

Best Featured Actress in a Play

Annaleigh Ashford, ‘You Can’t Take It with You’

Patricia Clarkson, ‘The Elephant Man’

Lydia Leonard, ‘Wolf Hall’

Sarah Stiles, ‘Hand to God’

Julie White, ‘Airline Highway’

Best Featured Actor in a Musical

Christian Borle, ‘Something Rotten!’

Andy Karl, ‘On the Twentieth Century’

Brad Oscar, ‘Something Rotten!’

Brandon Uranowitz, ‘An American in Paris’

Max von Essen, ‘An American in Paris’

Best Featured Actress in a Musical

Victoria Clark, ‘Gigi’

Judy Kuhn, ‘Fun Home’

Sydney Lucas, ‘Fun Home’

Ruthie Ann Miles, ‘The King and I’

Emily Skeggs, ‘Fun Home’

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Bob Crowley, ‘Skylight’

Christopher Oram, ‘Wolf Hall’

David Rockwell, ‘You Can’t Take It with You’

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, ‘An American in Paris’

David Rockwell, ‘On the Twentieth Century’

Michael Yeargan, ‘The King and I’

David Zinn, ‘Fun Home’

Best Costume Design of a Play

Bob Crowley, ‘The Audience’

Jane Greenwood, ‘You Can’t Take It with You’

Christopher Oram, ‘Wolf Hall’

David Zinn, ‘Airline Highway’

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, ‘Something Rotten!’

Bob Crowley, ‘An American in Paris’

William Ivey Long, ‘On the Twentieth Century’

Catherine Zuber, ‘The King and I’

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Paule Constable, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Paule Constable and David Plater, ‘Wolf Hall’

Natasha Katz, ‘Skylight’

Japhy Weideman, ‘Airline Highway’

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Donald Holder, ‘The King and I’

Natasha Katz, ‘An American in Paris’

Ben Stanton, ‘Fun Home’

Japhy Weideman, ‘The Visit’

Best Direction of a Play

Stephen Daldry, ‘Skylight’

Marianne Elliott, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Scott Ellis, ‘You Can’t Take It with You’

Jeremy Herrin, ‘Wolf Hall’

Moritz von Stuelpnagel, ‘Hand to God’

Best Direction of a Musical

Sam Gold, ‘Fun Home’

Casey Nicholaw, ‘Something Rotten!’

John Rando, ‘On the Town’

Bartlett Sher, ‘The King and I’

Christopher Wheeldon, ‘An American in Paris’

Best Choreography

Joshua Bergasse, ‘On the Town’

Christopher Gattelli, ‘The King and I’

Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Casey Nicholaw, ‘Something Rotten!’

Christopher Wheeldon, ‘An American in Paris’

Best Orchestrations

Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, ‘An American in Paris’

John Clancy, ‘Fun Home’

Larry Hochman, ‘Something Rotten!’

Rob Mathes, ‘The Last Ship’

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater

Tommy Tune

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Stephen Schwartz

Regional Theatre Tony Award

Cleveland Play House

Special Tony Award

John Cameron Mitchell, ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theater

Arnold Abramson

Adrian Bryan-Brown

Gene O’Donovan

As SCOTUS Considers Marriage Equality, A Look At The High-Stakes

The dark green indicates states where marriage equality is permitted via federal court rulings.
Should we lose at SCOTUS, these could be thrown into disarray.

I'm cautiously hopeful today as oral arguments take place at the U.S. Supreme Court over marriage equality.

Most observers, even haters, have a measured expectation that SCOTUS will rule in favor of same-sex marriage. Mainly because they seemed to have indicated a leaning in our favor by allowing states to permit same-sex marriage last fall while the appeals were flying fast and furious.

Surely the court wouldn't allow tens of thousands of marriages to take place if they didn't think they would rule in favor? The results of ruling against same-sex marriage now would be a mess of catastrophic proportions.

The Washington Post today imagines the worst case scenario should we - horrors! - not prevail.

“It would be a mess,” said Dale Carpenter, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Minnesota, noting that marriage confers 1,100 rights and benefits at the federal level and hundreds more from the states, from filing taxes jointly to inheriting hunting licenses. “There would be great uncertainty in the aftermath of such a ruling. All kinds of possibilities we can’t even think of would arise.”

The effect would be explosive in the 21 states where same-sex-marriage bans were struck down by federal courts. Groups for and against these unions say such a decision would set off a cascade of fresh litigation and spark dramatic new fights in state capitals, with each side jockeying to have its version of marriage enshrined in state law.

Some legal experts say the old laws in those states would snap back into place, immediately shutting the door on future marriages, while others contend that would require another round of litigation. Some believe the thousands of marriages that have taken place in those states would be deemed valid, though others think the matter would need to be settled by the courts — perhaps even the Supreme Court.

In states such as Oregon, where the political climate has become more favorable to gay marriage in recent years, there probably would be a scramble to enact legislation to allow same-sex marriages.

But the process could be more drawn out in places such as California, whose prohibition on same-sex marriage was part of the state constitution. If that ban was reinstated as a result of a Supreme Court decision, a voter referendum would be needed to get rid of it.

Elsewhere, the battles could be more pitched. In Virginia and Pennsylvania, for instance, freshly minted Democratic governors may resist attempts to revert to old laws, potentially clashing with conservative state lawmakers. 

Hillary Clinton Tweets Support For Marriage Equality At SCOTUS


Today: Marriage Equality At The Supreme Court


The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments today in the cases that could bring the freedom to marry to same-sex couples nationwide.

Check back here throughout the day and join the conversation on Twitter with #SCOTUSmarriage.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tweet Of The Day: All The Marriage Equality Plaintiffs & Attorneys In Front Of Supreme Court



(h/t JoeMyGod)

Marriage Equality On ABC's THIS WEEK


HRC President Chad Griffin and Heritage Foundation's Ryan T. Anderson spar over same-sex marriage on George Stephanopoulos' THIS WEEK in advance of the upcoming Supreme Court arguments tomorrow on marriage equality.

The piece also notes that the latest polls shows support for marriage equality at a record-high 61%.

Talking Bruce Jenner & Transgender Issues On Valley View Live


Chatted up Dao Vu of Valley View Live on KTNV here in Las Vegas this afternoon regarding the Bruce Jenner/Diane Sawyer interview Friday, transgender issues and understanding the "what, how and whys" of understanding transgender life.

Thanks to the KTNV folks for having me. Hope I made sense :)


Magic Mike XXL - Joe Manganiello "Bigger Is Better"

Anti-Gay Activists Warn That Same-Sex Marriage Will Lead To "Criminalizing Christianity"


Steven Hotze speaks at Janet Porter's "Restrain the Judges" press conference in front of the Supreme Court where they delivered “restraining orders” to the Supreme Court demanding that the justices not hear arguments on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.

Via Right Wing Watch:

The activists, including Scott Lively, Peter LaBarbera and Bill Owens, also announced that they were filing a motion asking Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan to recuse themselves from the case because they, in Lively’s words, “deliberately officiated at so-called homosexual wedding ceremonies.”

Steven Hotze of Conservative Republicans of Texas, a Roy Moore acolyte who has been advocating for a bill in his state barring the use of funds to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples if the state’s marriage ban is struck down, declared that gay marriage is “not a marriage, it’s a mirage, because it’s counterfeit, it’s a lie, it’s untrue.”

A decision in favor of marriage equality, he warned, “would force individuals to have to condone, accept, even celebrate sexual immorality among certain elements of the population and teach it to the children.”

“It would criminalize Christianity,” he added. “The pastors would be forced to have to marry those of the same-sex.”

They are literally making lies up now. Bald-faced lies. Not one LGBT activist has ever said pastors should be forced to officiate a same-sex wedding. Nor has anyone raised the idea of "criminalizing Christianity."

But they just keep lying and lying and lying.

Ignore them, please. Just be aware of this kind of negativity and hate exists.

New Music: Mariah Carey "Infinity"


Mariah Carey drops her new single, “Infinity,” in advance of her upcoming compilation, #1 to Infinity, release date May 18.

The new tune feels very much like a friendly throw-back to the 90s "oohs" and "aahs" with a little bit of sassy 70s Diana Ross.

The release of #1 to Infinity is timed in conjunction with her upcoming residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas - Mariah #1 To Infinity - beginning May 6th.

The album will feature Mariah's best, including upbeat dance tracks ("Emotions," "Fantasy") to soaring ballads ("I'll Be There," "Hero") and her unprecedented back-to-back Billboard's Song of the Decade ("One Sweet Day," "We Belong Together").

Las Vegas: 10th Annual Human Rights Campaign Gala On May 9th


Friendly reminder that the Las Vegas Chapter of the Human Rights Campaign will host it's 10th Annual Gala at Aria Resort and Casino on May 9th.

This year's event will honor Assemblyman James Healy with the Equality in the Community Award, and May Reyes will receive the Ally for Equality Award.

Also attending will be Chad Griffin, president of the HRC.

Click here for ticket information.

And click here to see what the HRC is doing here in Las Vegas for the LGBT community.

Sen. Marco Rubio: "There Is No Constitutional Right To Same-Sex Marriage"


U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, currently running for the 2016 GOP nomination for president, to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network this weekend:

“There is no federal constitutional right to same sex-marriage. It doesn’t exist.

"There is no federal constitutional right to same sex-marriage. There isn’t such a right.

"You would have to really have a ridiculous and absurd reading of the U.S. constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex. There is no such constitutional right.

"Can a state decide to change their laws? Yes, but only through the political process, not through the court system and that’s what is happening now. The advocates of same-sex marriage refuse to go to the legislatures because they can’t win that debate, they don’t want to have a debate in society. They want courts to impose it on people and they are not even satisfied with that.

"They have now gone further. They want to stigmatize, they want to ostracize anyone who disagrees with them as haters.

"It’s very simple. This is not a policy against anyone. I believe, as do a significant percentage of Americans, that the institution of marriage, an institution that existed before government, that has existed before laws, that institution should remain in our laws recognized as the union of one man and one woman."

Resources Available For Transgender People


In light of Bruce Jenner's Friday night interview with Diane Sawyer sharing his story of being transgender, I thought it would be useful to share some resources both nationally and here in Las Vegas for folks who would like more information on on the topic of transgender.

Here in Las Vegas, look to The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, or as everyone calls it - The Center.

Located at 401 S. Maryland Parkway (between Charleston & Fremont), The Center has resources for the entire LGBT community including specific support and social groups for transgender folks.

Identi-T* at The Center provides transgender and gender non-conforming individuals from the Southern Nevada a safe place to relate to their peers, seek guidance, exchange clothing and expand their social circles. Stop by or call 702-733-9800 for more information.

For a broader, more national resource, I'd head over to The National Center for Transgender Equality. There you can find all kinds of information: from schools and healthcare to immigration and identification, policies affecting trans people are advancing every day. Find the latest information about existing laws and policies, and how you can improve the laws and policies in your area.

Across the country, you can find the closest LGBT center to you by clicking here.



Marriage News Watch: April 27, 2015


From the American Foundation for Equal Rights:

We'll have oral argument before the Supreme Court this week.

Ted Cruz has introduced two new bills in Congress to stop marriage, but they may backfire on him.

And the National Organization for Marriage has lost yet another court case.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Gay Hotelier Ian Reisner Apologizes For Hosting Fund-Raiser forAnti-Gay Ted Cruz

New York City hotelier Ian Reisner posts to his Facebook page tonight:

"I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake.

"I was ignorant, naive and much too quick in accepting a request to co-host a dinner with Cruz at my home without taking the time to completely understand all of his positions on gay rights.

"I've spent the past 24 hours reviewing videos of Cruz' statements on gay marriage and I am shocked and angry. I sincerely apologize for hurting the gay community and so many of our friends, family, allies, customers and employees. I will try my best to make up for my poor judgement. Again, I am deeply sorry."

This is in response to enormous LGBT outrage over hosting a "fireside chat" with virulently anti-gay Sen. Ted Cruz in Reisner's home a week ago.

I call absolute bullshit. Reisner and Weiderpass are multi-millionaires who makes informed decisions every day. As out businessmen catering to the LGBT community, no less. Bullshit.

The furor in the LGBT community has caused several cancellations at Reisner's Manhattan hotel, The Out NYC.

UPDATE: Reisner's fellow quisling has followed suit in begging forgiveness in light of cancellations at their hotel. In my opinion, it is inconceivable that a successful businessman who makes informed decisions every day did not know they were inviting a virulently anti-gay politician into their home for fundraising. 

See Mr. Weiderpass' tag team Reisner's mea culpa below:


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