Hood County Clerk refuses to talk to CNN reporter

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Hood County Clerk Katie Lang

We told you earlier today about Hood County Clerk Katie Lang making a public statement that her office would not be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, based on her personal religious objections to same-sex marriage and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s “legal opinion” that she didn’t have to issue those licenses if she didn’t want to.

Since that post, someone has shared the video below, from Anderson Cooper’s show on CNN, of a reporter trying to get Ms. Lang, an elected official, to explain her decision. As you can see, she refuses to answer questions and rather than defend her decision and/or her religious beliefs, she runs for the car.

She mentions posting an explanation on her website. Check it out.

—  Tammye Nash

Anderson Cooper’s UTA appearance rescheduled for Feb. 10


If you missed out on getting tickets to see out CNN anchor Anderson Cooper in November, you have a second chance to see him in February.

Cooper’s appearance as part of the The University of Texas at Arlington’s 2013-14 Maverick Speakers Series was rescheduled due to his work schedule.

Tickets for the Feb. 10 event went on sale today. Tickets for the November event won’t be honored.

Out journalist and immigration activist Jose Vargas opened the speaker series in September.

For more information about the series, including upcoming appearances by CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta and NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg, go here.

—  Dallasvoice

Anderson Cooper to appear at UT Arlington for speaker series

MSS speakers 2013-14

Out CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is among the journalists who will appear at The University of Texas at Arlington this year for its 2013-14 Maverick Speakers Series.

The series includes one print and three broadcast journalists and the founder of ESPN.

Cooper appears on campus on Nov. 11. He began his career with Channel One News before moving to ABC and then CNN where he has hosted Anderson Cooper 360 since 2003. He has won several Emmys, a Peabody and two GLAAD Media awards.

The series opens with Jose Vargas, who’s openly gay,  on Sept. 24, who will speak about immigration rights. After winning a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, he revealed his undocumented immigration status.

On Oct. 24, Bill Rasmussen talks about founding ESPN in 1978.

Sanjay Gupta, CNN medical correspondent, speaks on Medicine and the Media on March 18.

NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg, known for her concise and clear Supreme Court argument and decision summaries, closes out the series on April 8.

—  David Taffet

The gayest election night ever

Tuesday night was generally seen as a victorious one for gay and lesbian people across the nation: The reelection of Barack Obama, the first sitting president to endorse full marriage equality; the historic election of lesbian Tammy Baldwin to the U.S. Senate; the defeat of anti-gay legislation. But even more gay was the coverage itself.

I watched the returns in a room full of gay people, ready to pop the bubbly cork as soon as Obama was called by one of the news channels (we were swimming in champagne by 10:15 p.m.). We flipped among the channels to see who had different predictions up. And we got to hear Rachel Maddow on MSNBC announce Barack Obama was the president still.


Then we watched as Anderson Cooper oversaw coverage on CNN.


And we logged onto Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog from the New York Times to check updates.

Silver’s also gay.

All of these people are out and proud and given principal responsibilities for overseeing election coverage for their media organizations. And so far as I noticed, none of them (or their fellows on TV in the cases of Maddow and Cooper) so much as hinted at their sexual orientation during their election night coverage. Because that was irrelevant to their reporting. (Compare that to the folks on Fox News, who acted as if the vote was a rebuke of Christian heterosexuality.)

We’ve reached a special plateau when the most respected newsmen in the country get to report on popular votes about gay folks and be on the side of the majority. The excitement wasn’t just at the ballot box Tuesday night. It was right up there on the screen.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Does Frank Ocean’s coming out mean more for hip-hop or for the LGBT community?

July has already been a momentous month for the LGBT community. Anderson Cooper didn’t so much come out as officially confirm that he identified as gay early in the week. Then, for some July 4 fireworks, Odd Future member Frank Ocean candidly talked about his past relationship with a man in a telling Tumblr post. A lengthy letter that was heartfelt and poetic (while never using the “g” or the “b” words) left no doubt that Ocean has come out of the closet as a member of the community — and as a bona fide hip-hop star.

There has been speculation on Ocean’s sexuality recently on blog buzz reviews about his upcoming album Channel Orange. MTV reported that he had openly used “him” in many of his songs which had been picked up on by those reviews. Ocean’s clearly in a more comfortable space, but could it be lost on the LGBT community?

—  Rich Lopez

Anderson Cooper is “officially” gay (big deal) and “Magic Mike” going to B’way (BIG deal!)

The big gay news? Which to pick?

Anderson Cooper, who has indirectly acknowledged he was gay for many years (at least as far back as 2004, when a homophobe stated a stereotype about gay people and he said, “We are not”), has officially admitted he’s gay to gay conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan in his post today at The Daily Beast. Again, I’m happy for Anderson, but it’s hardly news.

Now some big news is that Magic Mike already has legs. The mega-gay male stripper movie just came out Friday, and was a critical and commercial hit, but Playbill.com is reporting that it will also become a stage musical on Broadway but next summer.  Do you hear that, Dallas Summer Musicals and/or Lexus Broadway Series? Think about booking that in your 2015 seasons…

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Trans children and youth are the focus of Wednesday afternoon’s episode of ‘Anderson’

In today’s episode of Anderson Cooper‘s talk show, he talks with children who feel they could be trans as well as how schools can handle the issue with students and understanding gender definitions. From AndersonCooper.com:

Anderson spends the hour talking to children who believe they are trapped in the wrong bodies, and discusses their parents’ journey to acceptance. Anderson speaks with experts to get a better understanding of the medical and psychological aspects of transgenders, and how these families are faced with new scientific options that would allow their kids to change their gender. 

Anderson also speaks with Domaine Javier, a transgender woman recently expelled from college for applying as a female, as well as Kyle Allums, the first transgender Division 1 basketball player. 

See the preview after the jump. Anderson airs at 3 p.m. on WFAA Channel 8.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: ‘Anderson Cooper 360’ puts the focus on bullying all week long

Anderson Cooper

Every night this week, Anderson Cooper 360 will focus on the root causes of bullying and what can be done to end it as part of a “special multi-platform effort”and in partnership with Facebook, CNN, The Cartoon Network and Time Inc. The week winds up Friday, Oct. 14, with a rebroadcast of “Bullying: It Stops Here,” a special town hall meeting, that first aired Sunday night, Oct. 9.

AC 360 commissioned a special study conducted last spring in which more than 700 students at The Wheatley School, a nationally top-ranked high school on Long Island, were given a 28-question survery on “aggressive behavior,” aka bullying, four separate times throughout the semester. And according to the sociologist who partnered with AC 360 to conduct the survey, the stereotype of “the schoolyard bully preying on the weak doesn’t reflect reality in schools.”

Instead, sociologist Robert Faris said, students are involved in a kind of “social combat” as they try to fight their way to the top of the school’s social hierarchy. The video below gives you a preview of the program  talking about the survey’s findings.

AC 360 explores the findings of this study in depth each night at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. CST on CNN.

—  admin

O’Hurley gives ’em the old razzle dazzle

Don’t toss the term “Renaissance man” at John O’Hurley. He may be an actor, singer, writer and composer, but he just won’t have it. Though maybe he’ll at least have a sense of humor about it.

“Oh, do people still say that?” he asks with a laugh.

O’Hurley is the man you know, but name you can’t quite recall. Most famous for his role as adventurer-businessman J. Peterman on Seinfeld, he’s actually an experienced song-and-dance man, which he gets to remind people of when he returns to the role as Billy Flynn in Chicago, which settles in for five performances at Bass Hall this weekend.

Although he has an extensive stage background, he’s content that many people may only be familiar with the musical through the movie.

“That’s fine, because it rekindled interest in the show,” he says. “The movie was imaginative but the [stage] show is much more. Sets are minimal and in your mind more. It’s such an innovative presentation.”

As with Anderson Cooper and his Chicago predecessor Richard Gere, O’Hurley embodies the silver fox — sexy but mature. His sophistication, good looks and humor are what also prompted People magazine to name him one of their sexiest men alive in 2006, when O’Hurley was a sensation for his appearances on Dancing with the Stars. (He was the runner-up, but later won a celebrity re-match.) The honor, though, was short-lived.

“It was very funny to hear that news. It was during that swirl right after” DWTS, he says. “I remember rolling over with my hair messed up and sleep in my eyes and my wife saying, ‘Look at you, Mr. Sexy.’ She brought me back down to earth then.”

O’Hurley seems to be everywhere — and he prefers it that way. When not touring with Chicago, he hosts the National Dog Show on NBC every Thanksgiving Day, is finishing his third book and composes music.

“I enjoy moving from thing to thing,” he says. “My mind moves in lot of different directions anyways, so I like to do that a lot.”

That keeps his acting chops in tip-top shape.

He’s played Billy Flynn before, but he tries to avoid repeating himself. Each performance is a new adventure.

“I made a promise to myself back in 1984 that I would surprise myself every night,” he says. “Something new will happen or an idea occurs to me and it keeps me fresh and present. The role gets deeper, so it changes every night for me.”

He did appear in the promo video for The Charles Schulz Celebrity Golf  which shows O’Hurley at his best: Dry humor. He endorses Rangé Golf Balls and guess what he invites people to play with? The video is now on YouTube.

—Rich Lopez

Chicago at Bass Hall, 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth. Through June 19. $38–$88. BassHall.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 17, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

What’s Brewing: Dallas County Commissioners Court to vote on transgender protections

Rachel Maddow

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. The Dallas County Commissioners Court is scheduled to vote this morning on whether to add transgender employees to the county’s nondiscrimination policy. County Judge Clay Jenkins and LGBT advocates have urged members of the community to attend the meeting in a show of support for the amendment, which comes five weeks after the Commissioners Court added sexual orientation to the policy. Opponents of the amendment are expected to attend the meeting as well, and it remains unclear whether the measure has enough votes to pass. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the county administration building, 411 Elm St. Stay tuned to Instant Tea for a full report from the meeting later this morning.

2. Prop 8 supporters have filed a motion seeking to vacate Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling striking down California’s same-sex marriage ban, on the grounds that Walker had a conflict of interest because he’s in a long-term gay relationship.

3. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said she thinks others gay cable TV anchors need to come out, but later insisted she wasn’t talking specifically about CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

—  John Wright