WATCH: Ellen DeGeneres, former Girl Scout, voices opinion on BSA

Ellen DeGeneres and her younger self as a Girl Scout.

Ellen DeGeneres and her younger self as a Girl Scout.

Lesbian comedian and talk show host Elle DeGeneres has chimed in on the Boy Scouts’ opting to delay a decision to allow gays until May.

A Girl Scout once herself who had a brother in Boy Scouts, DeGeneres said on her talk show that she believes in the organization and encourages people to worry about more important things on campouts than sexual orientation, such as bears and staying alive.

“I think what the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts are trying to teach is important,” she said. “They’re trying to teach kids to be leaders, and the more that we teach people how to accept people for who they are, the more self confident they’ll be and the better leaders they’ll become.”

Watch it below.

—  Anna Waugh

AIDS housing funding survives challenge in Houston city council

Helena Brown

The city funding for four Houston nonprofits providing housing to at-risk populations living with HIV/AIDS survived a challenge from city council member Helena Brown last Wednesday. Under consideration by the council were ordinances to dispense almost $2.5 million in federal funds managed by the city to the SRO Housing Corporation, Bering Omega Community Services, Catholic Charities and SEARCH Homeless services.

Brown initially used a parliamentary procedure known as a “tag” to delay the funding for the Houston SRO Housing Corporation and Bering Omega. Any council member may tag an item under consideration, delaying the vote on the item for one week. Brown explained that she objected to government funding of charitable entities:

“I spoke last week on this very issue on grant funds and the idea that we are, you know, fighting with other entities and other governments for grant funds that really isn’t there. The federal government is in a worse condition than the city of Houston and to continue to try to milk the system where there’s no milk, is just, I mean, we’re fighting with our brothers, as I said last week, to get credit for who is going to push a friend over the cliff… We need to continue to look at the private sector and the business sector. Because even, I attended this event where this wonderful speaker was talking about the generosity of Americans and 80% of donations to nonprofits come from private individuals, not even corporations, and we need to continue to rely on that right now because the government right now, we’re broke – we need to face that reality.”

Other council members spoke passionately of the need for continued funding, arguing that by assisting people living with HIV/AIDS in achieving independence, particularly those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,  the programs added to the tax based and help insure long-term stability.

“We don’t live in a perfect a world,” said freshman council member Mike Laster (the first out gay man to serve on the Houston City Council). “These organizations do their very best to raise money to care for the people among us, but they still need to reach out to entities that have that kind of capital, and by the grace of God this city and this government as an entity has some of that capitol, and I’m very proud that we’re able to provide those kind of services to some of my community members.”

Council member Wanda Adams, who serves as chair of the council’s Housing and Community Development Committee, also spoke in favor of continuing funding. Council member Ellen Cohen, whose district contains both SRO Housing and Bering Omega, spoke of how her life had personally been touched by AIDS:

“One of the first young men to pass away in New York City was a cousin of mine of something [then] called a very rare form on pneumonia… which we now realize was not. So I understand the need for these kinds of services. On a personal note I worked with Bering and I know all the fine work that they do, I’m addressing all the items but I’m particularly addressing [the Bering Omega funding] and feel it’s absolutely critical that we provide the kind of funding items, and that we are, in fact, our brother’s and our sister’s keepers.

After Laster asked Mayor Annise Parker the procedure for overriding a tag Brown removed her tag, but raised a new concern about HIV/AIDS housing, saying that her office had requested a list of the owners of apartment units where those receiving rental assistance lived. City Attorney David Feldman explained to Brown that federal law prohibits making public information that could be used to identify people receiving assistance through the housing program. Feldman said that, in his legal opinion, revealing the names of the owners of the apartments would violate federal law. Brown said that she was concerned that their might be a “conflict of interest” with apartment owners that needed to be investigated, claiming that as the reason for her tag.

Brown eventually removed her tag, rather than have it overturned. All four ordinances providing funding passed with only Brown voting “nay.”

—  admin

Tony Award wrap-up: Totally gay (again)

It was an untenable situation for the gay Dallasite: Watch the Tony Awards or game 6 of the Mavs? Thank god I had two DVRs. Best of both worlds.

Of course, the Tony Awards are always the gayest of award shows, and they did nothing to disguise that Sunday night starting with the opening number by the telecast’s gay host, Neil Patrick Harris, “‘[Theater] is not Just for Gays Anymore.” He then did a medley duet with Hugh Jackman that was damn funny. (It got even gayer when Martha Wash performed “It’s Raining Men” with cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.)

Then the first award of the evening went to Ellen Barkin for her Broadway debut in Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, giving a shout out to the 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic. She was immediately followed by gay actor and Plano native John Benjamin Hickey for his role in The Normal Heart. (He even chastised his family: “You’d better not be watching the Mavericks game.” Sorry, John, I for one kept flipping between them.) The play also won the award for best revival — a controversial choice, since The Normal Heart never opened on Broadway until this year, usually a requirement for a revival nominations (some thought it should be eligible for best play). Kramer accepted the award. “To gay people everywhere whom I love so, The Normal Heart is our history. I could not have written it had not so many of us so needlessly died. Learn from it and carry on the fight.”

The very gay-friendly Book of Mormon from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone won several off-camera awards, including score of a musical (the composers thanking gay producer Scott Rudin), orchestrations, scenic design, lighting design and sound design, before taking their first onscreen trophy for best direction of a musical to Parker and gay director Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone), on its way to winning nine total awards, including best musical, best featured actress (newcomer Nikki M. James, defeating prior winners Laura Benanti, Patti LuPone and Victoria Clark and prior nominee Tammy Blanchard) and book of a musical.

“This is such a waste of time — it’s like taking a hooker to dinner,” said best musical presenter Chris Rock before announcing The Book of Mormon for the night’s last prize, best musical.

Other winners in the musical category include John Larroquette for best featured actor (How to Succeed…, apparently the only straight nominee in his category), choreographer Kathleen Marshall for Anything Goes, which also beat How to Succeed for best revival of a musical and won best actress for Sutton Foster. Norbert Leo Butz was the surprise winner for best actor in a musical for Catch Me If You Can. One more really gay winner: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert took best costumes, natch.

The big winner in the play category (other than The Normal Heart) was the brilliant War Horse, which won 5: best play, direction, lighting design, sound design, scenic design, as well as a special Tony for the puppet designs of the horses.

Other play winners include The Importance of Being Earnest (costumes), Good People (best actress Frances McDormand) and Jerusalem, a surprise winner for best actor Mark Rylance.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Iowa’s Zach Wahls On Ellen DeGeneres

After his passionate speech defending his two moms to the Iowa legislature went viral, 18 year old Zach Wahls has become a media sensation. Today he appeared on Ellen.

(Tipped by JMG reader Iowa Mike)

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

Zach Wahls Tells Ellen: Lawmakers ‘Are Supposed To Protect Us’

Zach Wahls, son of two gay moms in Iowa, already gives me the tingles. Appearing on Ellen, with his mom Terry in the audience, Zack says of the men and women he addressed on Feb. 2, "The scary part about that for me is that they’re lawmakers, they’re supposed to protect us, not take our rights away." Wahls says he's heard from plenty of folks after his speech hit the web, including a fella "raised in the deep South" who's shipping off to Afghanistan anxious about the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and whose mind has changed. Goosebumps!


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—  David Taffet

Why Isn’t Ellen DeGeneres Turning Straight Like Lou Engle Asked?

At last month's Winter Ramp spirit fest event in Tennessee, Pastor Lou Engle — who has so much spirit in him he can bend the ear of Republicans and call for Uganda's gays to be removed — prayed with his congregation to banish gay marriage, and for the "mighty conversion" of Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen DeGeneres, meanwhile, was at home praying Anderson Cooper won't steal her audience. [via Right Wing Watch]


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—  admin

Watch: Ryan Gosling Rocks His Onesie on ‘Ellen’

Gosling

Ryan Gosling appeared on Ellen today to push his Blue Valentine movie. The entire interview was done on exercise bikes and halfway through they both slipped into something more comfortable.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Graeme Taylor On Ellen DeGeneres

Openly gay 14 year-old Graeme Taylor appeared on Ellen today to talk about his impassioned speech in defense of a teacher who was suspended for kicking out a student for anti-gay remarks. This kid is amazing.

(Via – Towleroad)

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Pink Tells Ellen, “I’m Pregnant”

PINK ON ELLEN DEGENERES X390Pink swings by The Ellen Degeneres Show on Wednesday to confirm rumors she and her husband Carey Hart are expecting their first child.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Watch: Madonna Speaks to Ellen About Anti-Gay Bullying

Madonna

Here's a brief clip from an appearance Madonna makes on Ellen DeGeneres' show today to discuss anti-gay bullying and suicides.

Says Madonna to Ellen, when asked how she speaks to her own children about bullying:

"We talk a lot about the importance of not judging people who are different. Not judging people who don't fit into our expected view of what's cool and what isn't. The concept that we are torturing teenagers because they are gay. It's kind of like I said earlier. It's unfathomable. It's like lynching black people or Hitler exterminating Jews. Sorry if I'm going on a rampage right now but this is America. The land of the free and the home of the brave."

Madonna says she can relate to bullied kids:

"I can totally relate to the idea of feeling isolated and alienated. I was incredibly lonely as a child, as a teenager. I have to say I never felt like I fit in in school. I wasn't a jock. I wasn't an intellectual. There was no group that I felt a part of. I just felt like a weirdo…It wasn't until my ballet teacher who was also gay took me under his wing and introduced me to a community of artists of other unique individuals who told me it was good and okay to be different and brought me to my first gay disco and ironically made me feel I was part of the world and it was okay to be different."

Watch a brief snippet of the show, AFTER THE JUMP

(transcript bits via popbytes)



Towleroad News #gay

—  admin