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3_texasTEXAS: House to consider horrific anti-LGBT adoption amendment.
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05/27/2015

5 Things To Do In London's Soho Neighborhood #GayTravel

London-soho

BY ADAM GROFFMAN

Soho is the traditionally touristic spot of central London. There are more than a few hotels in the area, the nightlife is pretty legendary and it’s also convenient to many of London’s most popular tourist attractions. A bonus: it’s also the historic “gayborhood” of London where many gay bars are located (mostly along Old Compton Street). But, to be honest, I think a lot of London’s modern gay life has moved further out (to the east and to the south), but Soho is still Soho and will likely always be a safe, gay place in London. But it's also not just all gay nightlife. Soho is a rapidly changing part of London with a lot of exciting and interesting things worth doing.

1. The Photographer's Gallery

Photographersgallery

I’ve been to London countless times and done a fair bit of shopping on Oxford Street (looking at you Topman), but I’d never made it inside The Photographer’s Gallery before (16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW). The gallery space was impressive and though the exhibition I saw (see below) wasn’t my favorite, I still managed to spend over an hour at the free museum.

2. Flat Planet Restaurant & Café

I first found this café, Flat Planet (39 Great Marlborough Street Soho, London W1F 7JG) recommended on a list of London cafés with wifi, but when we first visited, I was happily surprised that they offered a pretty amazing menu of flatbread pizzas. Even more amazing was to find that many were in the Middle Eastern style, with my favorite spice/flavor: za’atar. Downstairs was a more laid-back environment with many people on their laptops typing away, but there was also a piano against a large mirror—an attractive workspace.

3. Eating London - Twilight Soho Food Tour

Soho Food Tour

Think of Soho, and you’ll likely think of the most buzzing, fast-paced, vibrant night spot in London. Soho has reincarnated itself dozens of times… and today it’s where you’ll meet with some of the most exciting international foodie finds in London. This evening food tour from Eating London Tours ( ) takes you away from the tourist traps to the cafes, restaurants and shops that are truly shaping the city’s culinary reputation. Explore Soho’s best-kept secrets and you'll discover British cuisine is much more than you might expect. The area’s international influences are so diverse that you’ll try everything from Basque pintxos to Italian polenta on this tour.

4. Gosh! Comics

A comics fan? Gosh! (1 Berwick Street, W1F 0DR) has been the place to go to for over 25 years. From graphic novels to vintage children’s books, manga and contemporary graphic fiction, it’s all there! They also hold regular events including everything from comic workshops to signings & launch parties.

5. Prince Charles Cinema

As one of the cheapest cinemas in town, the Prince Charles (7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BY) is great for budget-minded visitors. But the secret highlights are the Sing-A-Long events, where you get to pretend for a couple of hours you’re in the Sound of Music or Grease. Bring your costumes!

 

Adam Groffman is a travel blogger and writer based in Berlin, Germany. In 2010 Adam quit his job as a graphic designer in Boston and traveled around the world for a year. Since 2012, Adam has been living in Berlin and blogging about his travel adventures at Travels of Adam. Follow him on Twitter @travelsofadam for more gay travel stories & live updates from the road.

Posted May. 27,2015 at 10:10 AM EST by in Gay Travel, London, Travel, Travel: London, Travel: UK | Permalink | Comments (0)


Texas Senate To Debate Anti-Gay Marriage Proposal After Bigoted Adoption Measure Stalls

Cake

A Texas Republican lawmaker says he dropped an anti-LGBT adoption measure Tuesday because he wanted the House to have time to consider an anti-abortion proposal before a midnight deadline. 

As we told you Tuesday, GOP Rep. Scott Sanford had introduced an amendment that would give state-funded, faith-based child welfare providers a license to discriminate against LGBT people. But Sanford ultimately withdrew the amendment. The Dallas Morning News reports: 

SanfordRep. Scott Sanford, R-McKinney (right), has said the measure is needed but he pulled down his amendment to allow the House more time to get to a bill prohibiting insurance coverage of abortions in policies sold in the federally run Texas health insurance marketplace.

“The pro-life bills are really important to us,” he said. “In order to get to them, we need to pull down our amendment.”

Incidentally, the House didn't get to the anti-abortion bill, either. 

After Sanford dropped his amendment, GOP Sen. Donna Campbell tried to revive it in that chamber, but her effort also failed. From The Texas Tribune:  

CampbellState Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels (right), sought to add the amendment to a House bill sponsored by Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, that would direct the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services to study “kinship care” programs.

But Campbell quickly pulled the proposal down after state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, sought to kill the provision on a technicality. The Senate unanimously passed the bill, HB 2655, once the amendments were withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the Senate is set to consider an anti-gay marriage amendment Wednesday. As we reported Tuesday, the amendment is an effort to revive Rep. Cecil Bell's House Bill 4105, which aimed to undermine a potential Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality. The amendment was added to another bill by a socially conservative Democrat, Sen. Eddie Lucio (below right), in the dark of night. However, even if it passes the Senate, the amendment doesn't appear to have much chance of making it back through the House before the session ends Monday. The House author of the bill is Democratic Rep. Garnet Coleman, a staunch LGBT ally.  

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d11aa95e970c-800wiFrom The Houston Chronicle

If the bill passes in the GOP-dominated Senate, which Coleman expects it to, it would need to return to the House, where the lower chamber's members would have to concur with the changes. Coleman said if he can't strip the anti-gay marriage off his legislation, then he would withdraw it completely.

"If I can't get it off, then the bill goes to bill heaven," Coleman said. "I don't support that legislation or that language." ... 

Lucio, a strong Catholic and social conservative, said Bell asked him to attach the language to the bill. Wednesday is the last day for the Senate to consider local and consent bills.

The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. You can watch the proceedings live here

Posted May. 27,2015 at 9:43 AM EST by in Austin, Gay Adoption, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, LGBT Rights, Texas | Permalink | Comments (3)


This Is An 'Emergency': Icona Pop Drops New Summer-Ready Song - LISTEN

Emergency

Swedish pop duo Icona Pop are back with an infectious new track perfect for your summer playlists. "Emergency" marks something of a departure for Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo as Rolling Stone notes:

"While "Emergency" invokes the same kind of breakneck delirium that made Icona Pop's 2012 breakout hit "I Love It" a sudden, inescapable smash, the pair have swapped the relentless EDM thump for a big band-inspired groove."

As for the blending of subject matter and beat? 

"We like when you can listen to a song when you are happy and you can listen to it when you are sad," Hjelt told Rolling Stone of the pair's penchant for pop songs with a dark side. "Sometimes we have a message in the song that might be kind of angry or sad, but the song sounds happy."

Prepare yourselves for an emergency, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "This Is An 'Emergency': Icona Pop Drops New Summer-Ready Song - LISTEN"

Posted May. 27,2015 at 9:24 AM EST by in Icona Pop, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)


Australian Lawmakers Move On Marriage Equality After Ireland's Historic Vote: VIDEO

SHORTEN

In the wake of Ireland's historic vote on marriage, pro-equality legislators in Australia are looking to capitalize on the momentum of last week's vote and push for civil rights advancements in their own country.

While Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is on record as being opposed to marriage equality, Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten (Labor) and his deputy Tanya Plibersek will move next Monday to amend the marriage act on the books in Australia to extend rights to same-sex couples.

Meanwhile other parties have also introduced marriage equality legislation, though none have been considered by Parliament yet. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

11221278_833570333346196_1007038591899573617_nThere is no shortage of same-sex marriage bills in Canberra.

The [Green Party's] Sarah Hanson-Young already has a bill introduced in the Senate. This week, she announced she would bring forward debate on it next month. And has scheduled a vote for November 12. 

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm introduced his "freedom to marry" bill to the Senate late last year. He was going to kick off debate on the bill in March, but then postponed it when the Liberal Party ignored it in their party room meeting

Labor's proposed legislation looks like it could be considered as soon as August.

As for the chances of pro-same-sex marriage legislation passing?

In the House of Representatives, the latest estimate from Australian Marriage Equality is that support for same-sex marriage is about one vote shy of a majority.  In the Senate, there is estimated to be a majority of one. 

Watch a video of Shorten declaring he will introduce marriage equality legislation next week, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Australian Lawmakers Move On Marriage Equality After Ireland's Historic Vote: VIDEO "

Posted May. 27,2015 at 8:59 AM EST by in Australia, Gay Marriage, Tony Abbott | Permalink | Comments (1)


Married Tennessee Pastor Embezzled Thousands from Church, Spent it on Manhunt Membership

HolderRev. Boyd Watson Holder Jr, a Kingsport, Tennessee pastor, embezzled more than $60,000 from his church's coffers and put it to his own uses, said a Sullivan County grand jury last Wednesday after members of the pastor's congregation brought their concerns to police, the TimesNews reports.

They alleged that between $70,000 and $100,000 had been discovered missing from the church's bank account, believing that the discrepancies coincided with Holder's tenure.

Holder was reportedly the only person who could access the funds, according to a KPD incident report — and when questioned about the money by church members, responded, "It is none of your business."

Court documents show that Holder used some of the money on gay dating websites, one of which was Farmers Only, and the other Online Buddies (aka Manhunt).

The investigation has also exposed two additional police reports on Holder, one in which he was written up for being caught in a sex act with another man in a rear lot of a vacant building. The other details an assault on a man in Holder's church, in which Holder forcibly removed a man from a pew by the belt. No charges were filed.

Holder's Twitter profile says: "Father of two beautiful children and a wonderful wife, Sharon. We have the best Church Family!"

He was arrested last Thursday night at Victory Apostolic Church.

Posted May. 27,2015 at 8:30 AM EST by in Crime, Evangelical Christians, News, Tennessee | Permalink | Comments (13)


Netflix Renews Jane Fonda - Lily Tomlin Comedy 'Grace and Frankie'

Fonda

Netflix has renewed Grace and Frankie, the Jane Fonda - Lily Tomlin half-hour comedy for a second season, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

Grace and Frankie stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin – their first project together since the 1980 comedy 9 to 5 – as two frenemies who are thrust into each other's lives when their husbands leave them for each other. Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, Brooklyn Decker, June Diane Raphael, Ethan Embry and Baron Vaughn round out the cast. Marta Kauffman co-created the series with Howard J. Morris, who both exec produce with Fonda, Tomlin, Paula Weinstein, Dana Goldberg, David Ellison and Marcy Ross.

How did everyone like the first season of Grace and Frankie?

Posted May. 27,2015 at 8:00 AM EST by in Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Netflix, News, Television | Permalink | Comments (11)


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