AFFA auctioning off big gay wedding in Charleston

Posted on 11 Jul 2014 at 4:24pm

Same-sex marriage may not be legal in South Carolina, but Charleston‘s leading LGBT advocacy organization is still auctioning off a complete destination-wedding package for one lucky same-sex couple.rings

The Alliance for Full Acceptance has pulled together the city’s “top wedding professionals” to create a prize package that includes a wedding for 50 guests to be held Jan. 24,with wedding and event planning, hotel discounts, limo service, live entertainment, the cake and more. The prize package is valued at over $45,000.

Bidding continues through Aug. 8 at Bidding for Good. All proceeds will benefit AFFA’s LGBT advocacy efforts in South Carolina.

Said AFFA Executive Director Warren Redman-Gress: “Tourism is the No. 1 driver of the local economy, and we are constantly ranked as one of the friendliest, with the most mannerly residents. So we think it’s time for Charleston to show what we’re really made of: Acceptance for all.”

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A very gay Emmy slate

Posted on 11 Jul 2014 at 10:19am

Laverne Cox

NOTE: Edited to reflect more gay characters.

When the Emmy Award nominations came out yesterday, it was nice to see some gay-popular nominations of the list. But when you counted through all of them, an amazing eight LGBT actors were nominated. There are 96 acting categories (more if you count the variety category), so that’s not exactly a majority, but if you add in those who appeared in “gay” shows, or played gay characters, it goes up.

Laverne Cox, of course, became the first (known) trans performer to be nominated for an Emmy (and for guest actress, which is awesome) for Orange is the New Black. But other openly gay performers include Sarah Paulson (best actress in a miniseries, American Horror Story: Coven), three of the five performers from the movie The Normal Heart (Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Joe Mantello), plus a second nomination for Parsons as lead actor/comedy for The Big Bang Theory; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, best supporting actor from Modern Family; and Nathan Lane, for his guest appearance on Modern Family. And wanna add Kevin Spacey for House of Cards? Let’s go ahead and call it nine.

JESSE TYLER FERGUSON

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Performers playing LGBT characters include Taylor Schilling, Natasha Lyonne and Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black; Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart; Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine; Fred Armisen (for some of the many characters he plays in Portlandia); Beau Bridges as the closeted provost as guest actor in Masters of Sex; Spacey also had a three-way in House of Cards which you can count if you wanna (I wanna). That gives 17 gay actors or gay characters in the race. Congrats!

And congrats especially to former Dallasite Allison Tolman, nominated for supporting actress in a miniseries for Fargo.

After the jump are the major nominees.

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Nixon tapes reveal he thought gays were born that way

Posted on 11 Jul 2014 at 9:35am

NixonIn April 1971, Richard Nixon had a discussion in the White House with National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman. Kissinger had not yet become secretary of state.

“I am the most tolerant person on that of anybody in this shop,” Nixon said in newly released tapes that were secretly recorded during his administration.

Kissinger agreed but thought those kind of people should keep it a secret — especially the gays in his administration. Nixon may have actually been ahead of his time, though.

“They’re born that way. You know that. That’s all. I think they are,” Nixon said.

He said there were a number of intelligent people who were gay. The transcript was released by Vanity Fair.

The discussion must have been in relation to civil rights laws. In December 1971, Nixon issued an executive order requiring contractors to develop “an acceptable affirmative action program.” In 1972, Nixon endorsed congressional passage of the Equal Rights Amendment that would have put equal rights for woman into the constitution had it passed enough states. The Texas legislature was the first state to approve the ERA.

So the conversation seems to be in the context of what rights should be protected by national policy.

“It’s one thing for people to, you know, like some people we know, who would do it discreetly, but to make that a national policy,” Nixon said.

But Nixon was no champion of gay rights in public. In May, Nixon made this statement:

“I do not think that you glorify homosexuality on public television. You don’t glorify it anymore than you glorify whores.”

The Vanity Fair article, however, also quoted from a conversation in July 1971 where they discussed whether Kissinger should resign because of a Newsweek article discussing Kissinger’s religion. He is Jewish.

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Laverne Cox earns Emmy nomination

Posted on 10 Jul 2014 at 5:50pm

Laverne Cox has become the first transgender actress to be nominated for an Emmy, with her nomination today as “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series,” for her role as Sophia Burset in Orange Is the New Black. The Emmy nod comes a month after Cox became the first trans person featured on the cover of Time Magazine.Laverne-Cox

Orange Is the New Black received 12 Emmy nominations, the most of any comedy series.

Cox told Time today: “I was told many times that I wouldn’t be able to have a mainstream career as an actor because I’m trans, because I’m black, and here I am. And it feels really good.”

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force congratulated Cox with a press release calling her “a true champion of freedom and justice for all LGBTQ people.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, released a statement saying: “Today, countless transgender youth will hear the message that they can be who they are and still achieve their dreams – nothing is out of reach. Laverne’s success on a hit series is a clear indication that audiences are ready for more trans characters on television.”

GLAAD’s press release also noted that openly LGBT actors such as Jim Parsons, Kate McKinnon, Sarah Paulson and Jesse Tyler Ferguson were also nominated for Emmys, and that TV shows featuring LGBT characters and plotlines, such as Orange Is the New Black, Game of Thrones and Modern Family, also got nominatons.

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DTC is looking for gender-benders for ‘Rocky Horror’

Posted on 10 Jul 2014 at 4:27pm

lipeJoel Ferrell, who will be directing the Dallas Theater Center’s upcoming production of The Rocky Horror Show, needs your help.

Part of Ferrell’s concept for the show calls for “living set decorations” — gender-benders, elaborately tattooed and/or surprisingly pierced men and women, or those with special skills (think circus sideshows: sword swallowers, snake charmers and the like) to add atmosphere to the show. You don’t need to know how to sing, dance or act — just be fun to look at. (And, FYI, there’s no remuneration involved, it’s just for your own pleasure.)

To track down those who’ll fit, the DTC is hosting an open casting call at the Rose Room on Saturday, July 26. There are 50 audition slots open, which you can apply for my email to Laura.Colleluori@DallasTheaterCenter.org. Just send her your name, age, phone number and brief description of your talent. Auditions will start at 3:30 p.m. The production of Rocky runs Sept. 11–Oct. 19, and those selected will be expected to appear at about half of the performances.

Good luck!

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LISTEN: Mary Lambert’s video for debut single ‘Secrets’

Posted on 10 Jul 2014 at 12:34pm

MaryLambert1Mary Lambert went from obscurity to zaftig pop hero when she teamed with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on their hit rap about gay tolerance, “Same Love.” Now the queer singer, who has one of those indie rocker-chick voice you quickly latch onto, has release the first single off her debut album, due in the fall. “Secrets” is about her dysfunctional personality and how she comes to terms with being who she is. It’s a fun little romp. Take a listen (and watch the video) after the jump.

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UPDATE: Colorado’s pro-marriage equality decision stops marriage equality

Posted on 10 Jul 2014 at 9:13am
MorkMindyHouse

Mork and Mindy’s house in Boulder, Colorado. About 100 same-sex couples have married in Boulder in the last few weeks. Could marriage equality lead to humans marrying aliens?

UPDATE:

A ruling by the district court in Boulder County that followed the state court’s ruling allows the county clerk to continue issuing marriage licenses.

ORIGINAL POST:

In the most ironic decision on marriage equality since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act a year ago, a state judge ruled Colorado’s marriage law unconstitutional.

Normally that would be good news, but the ruling actually stopped same-sex marriages in the state.

After the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the Utah marriage ban, several county clerks in Colorado began issuing marriage licenses. Because Colorado is in the same circuit as Utah, those Colorado county clerks reasoned the Utah ruling applied to them as well.And because the stay specified Utah, they reasoned the stay didn’t apply to them.

The county clerk in Boulder County continued issuing licenses despite threats from the state attorney general. So the AG took the matter to court where he lost yesterday.

Good news? Normally. But while the judge ruled that Colorado’s marriage law is unconstitutional, he placed a stay on his ruling pending further appeal.

Since the stay this time applies to Colorado, the county clerk in Boulder must stop issuing licenses.

About 100 licenses have been issued in Boulder and a separate hearing will be held to determine if those marriages are valid. In cases in other states where licenses were issued before a stay was placed on a legal decision, those marriages have been upheld and recognized.

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BREAKING: Marriage equality win in Colorado

Posted on 09 Jul 2014 at 8:44pm

Colorado state District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree ruled Wednesday that Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage, approved by voters in 2006, is unconstitutional. But Crabtree immediately stayed his ruling as the case moves through the appeals process, Reuters has reported.

In his ruling, Crabtree wrote: “There is no rational relationship between any legitimate governmental purpose and the marriage bans.”

Also on Wednesday, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes announced he will appeal a ruling by a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit appeals court directly to the U.S. Supreme Court rather than asking for the full 10th Circuit court to rehear the case.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia, and lawsuits challenging same-sex marriage bans are headed to the U.S. Supreme Court while two other lawsuits challenging bans in Oklahoma and Virginia have already been heard by appellate courts.

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Cleaning out Bush’s White House Closet

Posted on 09 Jul 2014 at 4:20pm

Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 4.02.36 PM

I know a lot of people who find it nearly impossible to believe that any self-respecting LGBT person could ever actively support a Republican candidate or the Republican Party — especially here in Texas where our top GOP elected official is Gov. Rick Perry and the state GOP platform, even in its new and improved form this year, calls for reparative therapy for LGBT people and has been denounced by the gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans.

But at the same time, there are LGBT people — there are two LGBT Republican groups in Dallas, Log Cabin Dallas and Metroplex Republicans — who insist its possible to be a proud LGBT person and believe in traditional Republican values. And even though many gay Republicans acknowledge that today’s GOP doesn’t necessarily adhere to traditional conservative Republican values — again, the Texas Republican Party is a prime example — they still believe the best way to change the GOP is from the inside out.

Now Politico Magazine, in its July/August issue, has published a fascinating piece by Timothy J. Berger, called “Inside George W. Bush’s Closet,” in which he talks to several gay men who worked in G.W.’s administration and on his campaign, helping to get him elected to the White House twice.

Steven Levin, who was then a 22-year-old White House advance aide, recalls for Berger the day in 2006, after he had spent a week getting things ready in Sellersburg, Ind., for a presidential visit, that President Bush spoke against an “activist court” ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, adding, “We believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman, and should be defended.” The crowd loved it, but for the young gay aide, “It was like a slap in the face.”

But still, Levine stayed with Bush through the end of his term.

Then there’s Scott Evertz, Bush’s openly gay AIDS czar, who told Berger how people used to make appointments with him just so they could come by his office to pray for him.

Another gay staffer in the Bush White House estimated that there were at least 70 LGBTs on the staff then, some of them closeted, others not. And most of those who worked with or for President Bush describe him personally as a kind, thoughtful man who accepted them despite his public anti-gay statements.

It’s a really good read and it might give some folks new insight into why LGBT people worked for Bush and why so many of them are determined to stay active in the GOP. Check it out.

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Anti-gay factions challenge Houston equal rights ordinance

Posted on 09 Jul 2014 at 1:57pm
Parker

Mayor Annise Parker during the HERO debate

Opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance turned in 50,000 signatures to get the issue on the November ballot. Only 17, 269 are needed. The city secretary’s office has 30 days to validate the signatures.

The ordinance passed on May 28. The Houston city charter allows a recall election on an issue if 10 percent of voters in the last election sign a petition. A recall against a mayor or council member requires 25 percent of voters in that election to sign a petition.

Until HERO was passed, Houston was the only major city in the United States without an equal rights ordinance of any sort. In addition to protecting the LGBT community, the ordinance puts into place protections based on sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, genetic information or pregnancy. None of these categories were protected by the city before the ordinance was enacted.

The anti-HERO forces have claimed the law allows men to dress as women so they may enter women’s restroom and attack little girls. There is no mention of bathrooms in the ordinance.

The city plans to defend the ordinance.

“The Houston I know does not discriminate, treats everyone equally and allows full participation by everyone in civic and business life,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “We don’t care where you come from, the color of your skin, your age, gender, what physical limitations you may have or whom you choose to love. I am confident voters will soundly defeat any challenge to the ordinance.”

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