WATCH: Joel Burns, 12-year-old Sam Maden discuss Red Sox ‘It Gets Better’ video on CNN

Eight months removed from his viral speech, the gay Fort Worth councilman made yet another appearance on CNN last week — this time to talk about 12-year-old Sam Maden’s successful petition to get the Boston Red Sox to film an “It Gets Better” video. Watch the segment below.

“I’m proud of Sam and I think that his bold action is yet another example of people joining in this conversation about teenage bullying and suicide,” Burns said. “All of our kids’ lives have worth and even the children have a role in participating in that conversation. I’m so very glad that he did this.”

Also, Theatermania reports that Burns will guest-star June 25 in an off-Broadway production of My Big Gay Italian Wedding, at St. Luke’s Theatre in New York. Burns will officiate the marriage ceremony at the end of the play.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Pro basketball executive Rick Welts, CNN anchor Don Lemon come out

Don Lemon

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. An anti-transgender marriage bill is back on the Texas Senate’s Intent Calendar for today. That means if you haven’t already contacted your senator and urged them to vote against SB 723, by Sen. Tommy Williams, you should do so now by going here. If the bill doesn’t clear the Senate and a House committee by midnight Saturday, it will die.

2. The FBI has expanded its probe into a brutal beating outside a gay nightclub in downtown El Paso to include other recent possible hate crimes in the area, the El Paso Times reports. The victim, 22-year-old Lionel Martinez, remains in a coma more than a week after the attack, and LGBT advocates say El Paso police haven’t been taking anti-gay incidents near the Old Plantation nightclub seriously.

3. The weekend was marked by two pretty big coming-out stories: Rick Welts, president and chief executive officer of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns; and CNN anchor Don Lemon.

—  John Wright

OWN and ‘Becoming Chaz’

When I first heard that Oprah Winfrey was starting her own network — aptly called the Oprah Winfrey Network or OWN — I was expecting something like Lifetime or even The Hallmark Channel. Who knew we’d end up with a cross between Logo and Bravo and CNN?!

OWN is the home, of course, of Lisa Ling’s “Our America” series which has had installments so far featuring transgender people (“Transgender Lives”) and ex-gays (“Pray the Gay Away”). And today, I saw for the first time a short trailer about “Becoming Chaz,” a documentary on Chastity Bono’s transition to Chaz Bono which will include interviews with Chaz’s gay icon mom, Cher. It premiers in May on OWN

Here’s the trailer. I know I’ll be watching.

—  admin

CNN posts video on ‘Born This Way’ blog

A while back I posted this about DJ Paul V.’s website Born This Way. First, it has nothing to do with Lady Gaga. But the site if is filled with submitted pics where, as kids, you could tell something was up. It’s a sweet and endearing site. And now CNN has caught wind of it.

CNN’s Jennifer Smith posted this video and article where Paul V. talks about what he created and how it’s taken off.

—  Rich Lopez

Larry Craig ‘making the rounds’ again in D.C.

Disgraced former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, who resigned two years ago after he was caught cruising for gay sex in an airport bathroom, has returned to Washington as a lobbyist. The Huffington Post reports:

Those walking around the halls of Congress on Monday afternoon were treated to a peculiar sighting as Former Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), long ago disgraced in a bizarre airport bathroom scandal and two-years removed from office, rode the subway that runs beneath the Capitol.

[Craig] was, he said, “making the rounds” to see former Senate colleagues. From which CNN reported that the Idaho Republican was now a lobbyist, free to talk shop with Congress members after waiting through a cooling off period.

Craig’s firm, New West Strategies, wouldn’t actually confirm lobbying was now part of his portfolio. “I didn’t say that,” said Mike Ware, a principle at New West, adding, with emphasis, that “the cooling off period IS over.”

 

—  John Wright

HRC calls out Pastor Joel Osteen, who will again promote gay teen suicide on CNN tonight

Above is video of the Houston megachurch pastor’s latest remarks, which are scheduled to air tonight on CNN. And below is a press release that just came across from the Human Rights Campaign:

HRC to Joel Osteen:  Use Your Pulpit for Good, Not Hate

Televangelist’s Hateful Remarks Before a National Audience are Dangerous

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, today called on Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX and well-known evangelical preacher with a syndicated television following of over 7 million viewers, to immediate apologize for his remarks on national television that “the Scripture shows that [homosexuality] is a sin.” Osteen made the remarks on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight. The full show will air tonight.

“It’s a real shame that someone of Joel Osteen’s prominence and life experiences would repeat this tired and dangerous statement. It furthers ignorance and discrimination by some Americans and adds a burden to those already struggling to accept their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “One would hope Mr. Osteen would use his pulpit, with an audience of over 7 million people, to tell all human beings that they are loved just the way they are. Instead he chose to send a dangerous and irresponsible message.”

The American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have both concluded that same-sex attraction is normal.

Mr. Osteen’s position does not reflect the views of many religious leaders and denominations. Mainline denominations such at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Episcopal Church, see God’s divine presence working across the spectrum of human sexuality. Many Baptists also dispute Mr. Osteen’s stance.

“Joel Osteen is certainly entitled to his opinion, but America needs to know that he doesn’t speak for all Christians, he doesn’t even speak for all Baptists,” said Rev. Dr. Miguel de la Torre, a Baptist minister and member of the HRC Religion Council. “As a Southern Baptist and an ethicist I believe that we can’t follow Jesus’ commandment to love God and our neighbor as our self if we start with the premise that homosexuality is sinful. Starting with the belief that people are sinful doesn’t allow us to get to know them, let alone love them.”

HRC encourages young Baptists who are struggling with their identity to contact the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB) for resources on the church and sexuality. AWAB’s website is http://www.wabaptists.org/. AWAB partnered with the Human Rights Campaign in 2010 to honor several Washington, DC area Baptist pastors who were instrumental in passing marriage equality legislation in the District of Columbia.

—  John Wright

Obama coming to Super Bowl if Bears make it

Jets QB Mark Sanchez has what it takes to get the gays in Dallas excited about the Super Bowl.

I’ll be rooting for the Bears and the Jets this weekend, because, seriously, would you rather have a bunch of people from New York and Chicago in Dallas for the weekend, or a bunch of people from Green Bay and Pittsburgh?

Also, Jets QB Mark Sanchez and Bears QB Jay Cutler are way hotter than Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

Besides, the Packers beat my Eagles, so they deserve to go down in flames. And, on top of all that, if Chicago defeats Green Bay for the NFC Championship, the Huffington Post reports that the president will be here:

Many Chicago fans are confident that the Bears can win the NFC title and head to the Super Bowl in Dallas this year, and President Obama says if that happens–he’ll be there.

“If the Bears win, I’m going no doubt,” Obama told CNN in the Oval Office Wednesday morning.

The Bears face their ultimate rivals, the Green Bay Packers, this Sunday for the NFC championship. If they win, they’ll head to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas on Feb. 6.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Gay intern Daniel Hernandez, who saved Gabrielle Giffords’ life, on CNN

On Sunday morning Instant Tea broke the news that Daniel Hernandez Jr., the intern credited with saving the life of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after Saturday’s shooting, is gay.

Unfortunately, just a few hours after we posted this exclusive story, our website went down for maintenance. Talk about bad timing!

Anyhow, we thought we’d follow up on our little scoop by sharing Hernandez’s interview with CNN, in which he refuses to take credit for saving Giffords’ life.

“People have been referring to me as a hero. I don’t think that’s something that I am,” Hernandez tells CNN. “I think the people who are heroes are the people like Gabby who are public servants and who have dedicated their lives to public service. So it just makes me happy that I was able to help her in any way that I could.”

Spoken like a true gay Latino hero.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Mom says son was stapled to wall by bullies at high school in South Texas

Mary Koch tells CNN that her 14-year-old son’s teacher at Carrizo Springs High School did nothing to stop the abuse. The district says the teacher has been placed on administrative leave, and that the students involved have been placed in an alternative school.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Associated Press on gay Skype wedding

The Associated Press has posted this concise video wrap-up about a gay Dallas couple’s recent Skype wedding, which was subsequently declared invalid by the Superior Court in Washington, D.C. CNN also posted follow-up story about the wedding over the weekend. And to think it all started right here on Instant Tea.

—  John Wright