Sometimes-Dallas-resident and gay pop megastar George Michael sentenced to 8 weeks in jail

Who could ever think that George Michael and Lindsay Lohan would be kindred spirits? In court today, District Judge John Perkins sentenced Michael to eight weeks in jail. He was booked in London on July 4 for driving his car through a storefront while under the influence, and for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to the charges. The Associated Press reported that “Michael sighed as sentence was passed. His long-term partner Kenny Goss buried his head in his hands.” They also reported:

“It does not appear that you took proper steps to deal with what is clearly an addiction to cannabis,” the judge said. “That’s a mistake which puts you and, on this occasion, the public at risk.” Perkins sentenced Michael to the prison time and a 1,250 pound ($1,930) fine during a hearing at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

Musically, Michael had just released the remastered special edition of his landmark album “Faith,” which is available for pre-order, and relaunched his website. Career-wise, perhaps he was streamlining the rough areas. Fans on his site showered the singer with messages of support going into court, and criticisms against the court for the sentencing.


—  Rich Lopez

It’s suicide prevention week and LGBT youth are at higher risk

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, and today is The Trevor Project Day and World Suicide Prevention Day. Below is a video from the We Give a Damn series that reminds us that, while LGBTQ youth are nearly four times more likely to attempt suicide, it isn’t because they’re gay, bisexual or transgender, but because they feel alone and without a safe, accepting place to turn.

We all have a part to play in making sure no one feels alone because of their sexual orientation or identity, and our leaders need to continue to push for legislation that no longer makes LGBT people feel isolated and inferior.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

DADT repeal ‘at great risk’ if Senate doesn’t vote in September

Chris Johnson has an article that explains how imperative it is that the Senate hold a vote on the Defense Authorization bill, which includes the compromise DADT language, in September:

The consequence of not having a vote by the end of the first week of October, Nicholson said, is that all the gains made so far over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be “put at great risk.”

“Once the Senate goes into recess for election season, anything could happen,” Nicholson said. “So putting the ['Don't Ask, Don't Tell'] vote off until after October is simply gambling with this very important issue. I don’t see how we will be able to forgive the president or Sen. Reid if that happens, because between the two of them they have the power to make sure that risk is not taken.”

Nicholson explained one of the biggest dangers if the Senate doesn’t vote:

Nicholson also said a Republican takeover this fall could thwart any attempt for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year.

Unfortunately, a takeover of even one house of Congress by a leadership cadre that is hostile to repealing ['Don't Ask, Don't Tell'] could put the breaks on all of the progress we have made so far, and even begin to reverse a lot of that progress,” he said.

Of course, if the President got involved and said he wanted a vote, there would probably be a vote. But, somehow, none of this surprise me:

A lack of pressure from the White House is also seen as a concern for those seeking a Senate vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this September.

Nicholson said it’s unclear whether the White House will push to have a vote on the defense authorization bill when the Senate returns from August recess.

“If the president were pressuring Sen. Reid to move the defense bill in September, it would likely get done,” Nicholson said. “But the White House does not always want bills coming up on the same timeline that we do.”

Nicholson said Obama could eliminate the uncertainty over a vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by “publicly call[ing] for Sen. Reid to bring up the defense authorization bill in September.”

But, have no fear:

Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, said in response to an inquiry on whether the president would push for a vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in September that the president remains committed to the issue.

“The president has made clear that he wants ['Don't Ask, Don't Tell'] repealed and he continues to work with Congress to make sure this happens,” Inouye said.

Um, yeah. Heard that before.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright