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BRUCE JENNER: Watch the FULL interview w/ Diane Sawyer
SHOCK: OUTnyc, FIP owners hold Ted Cruz fete.
GAY HOTELIER CRUZ SUPPORTERS: Defend reception.
NO HOMO: Ted Cruz introduces 2 new anti-gay bills.
ARI WALDMAN: SCOTUS marriage preview Part 1 + Part 2.
HELLA CUTE: Gay teen's straight friend asks him to prom
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PFLAG Canada's Stunning Tribute to the Gay Couples of the Past Who Were Never Able to Legally Marry: VIDEO
This video tribute to all the couples of the past who were never allowed to marry by law is sure to leave a lump in your throat.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
[h/t Good As You]
A Suwanee, Ga. gay couple is the latest victim of discrimination after the owner of a local AlphaGraphics franchise refused to print wedding invitations for them, citing his religious beliefs reports 11Alive.com. Paige Beckwith contacted the local chain after a friend referred her to the business to order intricate, custom wedding invitations however, owner Alan Akins refused her.
"The owner called me back and let me know that he's not going to print our invitations because he does not support same sex marriage.
"I kept asking him how, why, how he could do this? He just basically stood on his religious beliefs, referenced the Bible, called it a sin, and I was basically in tears saying 'How could you treat me this way?'"
Akins confirmed he denied the couple but that he would've printed other things for the couple except for the invitations. Akins' attorney Philip Holloway says Akins was exercising his legal rights.
"Under Georgia law businesses do have the right to say I'm not going to do business with this sort of couple."
Beckwith took her complaint to AlphaGraphics' main office and received a full apology and the company produced Beckwith’s custom wedding invitations at no charge.
Said AlphaGraphics' spokesperson:
"We do not condone discrimination of any kind, and wish to make clear that customers of any race, religion, nationality, ethnicity or sexual orientation are welcome at our franchisees' locations nationwide.
"We also wish to apologize to the customers who were impacted by the actions of this franchisee, and hope that our response conveys the level of commitment we feel toward upholding our company's standards of inclusion, and that all members of the Suwanee community continue to feel welcome at AlphaGraphics."
Although the couple won a small victory, the "religious freedom" debate continues to rage in the state. Georgia Sen. Josh McKoon managed to get the state senate to pass S.B. 129 in March - a religious freedom bill similar to Indiana's. The contentious nature of the bill even gained the ire of former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers, known for defending the state’s sodomy laws in the 1980s, saying the bill would "give the opportunity to exclude in the name of religion, and I think that's a disaster." Luckily, the bill is officially dead this legislative session as of April 2, but McKoon vowed that he would attempt to fully pass it again in next year's legislative session.
Need a refresher on all the informative, uplifting, sexy, and entertaining LGBT videos from this past week?
Look no further as we count down the best of the best, AFTER THE JUMP...
Nationwide Marriage Equality Rallies, TV Ads Planned In Advance Of Tuesday's SCOTUS Arguments: VIDEO
Marriage equality rallies are planned in more than 40 cities over the next few days to mark Tuesday's oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court.
From Unite For Marriage:
Like in 2013, a coalition of organizations and dedicated local organizers will be working together leading up to the oral arguments and Decision Day to make clear to the Supreme Court that the American public supports marriage equality, and that now is the time to rule once and for all that all couples -- gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and straight -- are entitled to the same rights and protections of marriage.
Marriage equality supporters will rally outside the Supreme Court beginning at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Unite For Marriage is also staging a national weekend of prayer that will culminate in a service at National City Christian Church in Washington on Sunday evening.
Dozens of other rallies are planned from Alaska to Florida on Sunday and Monday, including three in Alabama and four in both Mississippi and Tennessee. To find out whether there's a rally planned in your city, visit Unite For Marriage.
Meanwhile, Freedom To Marry has released a national TV ad scheduled to air Sunday on three national political shows and 60 Minutes, in addition to cable programs throughout the week:
“With this latest ad, Freedom to Marry is summing up our closing argument, in hopes of closing our doors after getting the national win,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry. “After 30-plus years of doing marriage work, I am gratified that we're in such a strong place as we head into court on Tuesday. The American people have resoundingly and unequivocally embraced the side of love and fairness. We hope the Supreme Court does the right thing and agrees with more than 60 federal and state courts that have held marriage discrimination unconstitutional. America is ready for the freedom to marry. It's time.”
Watch the ad, AFTER THE JUMP ...
New York City Gay Men's Chorus Cancels Fundraiser at The Out NYC Over Owner's Intimate Reception with Ted Cruz
On Friday we told you about Broadway Cares pulling out of a planned Solo Strips fundraiser at the NYC club 42West because organizers could not "in good conscience hold an event at a venue whose owners have alienated our community."
Now you can add the New York City Gay Men's Chorus to the growing list of groups pushing back against multimillionaire gay hoteliers Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass over their ill-thought decision to host an intimate "fireside chat" with rabidly anti-LGBT senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz.
The chorus org. announced yesterday it would be cancelling its Lily Garden fundraiser at The Out NYC Hotel that was scheduled for Saturday.
From the NYCGMC Facebook page:
We wish we could say this was a clear, easy decision. It wasn’t. We believe in nuanced, complex discussion, and we think that dialogue with your opposition will always lead to positive change in the world. We cannot say who is right and who is wrong, and we hope the debate will continue.
We can say, however, that we made the decision because we want to be 100% clear in our support for the LGBTQ community. NYCGMC has a 35-year history of campaigning for human rights through our music. Our mission must always come first.
We are sorry that we cannot spend the afternoon with our friends and supporters. Besides being an important fundraiser, The Lily Garden is a fantastic event due to the tireless effort of Matt Levison aka Lily Putian. We are grateful that Matt has volunteered to reschedule the event later in the year.
In related news Honey, Urban Bear NYC's official dance party that was scheduled at XL Nightclub on May 15th has been put on hold until further notice.
With talks of a protest as well as a boycott of the venue, and with others pulling out of their contracts, we have decided to put our dance party HONEY, scheduled at XL Nightclub on Friday, May 15th ON HOLD until further notice.
At this time, we believe this to be the best decision, as numerous members of our community and their families are employed by THE OUT and XL Nightclub, and an impending boycott could adversely affect their livelihoods. We want to do the right thing and believe that waiting until all the facts are in before making any final decisions is best. We welcome your thoughts as we consider alternate locations for the dance event.
"I feel more loose and relaxed than ever," President Obama said of the fourth quarter of his presidency, "those Joe Biden shoulder massages, they're like magic."
The White House Correspondents Dinner offers the President an annual opportunity to poke fun at the media, his fellow politicians, and himself in a way that few other forums offer, so the jokes fly loose and fast, and this year was no exception. It doesn't hurt that Obama is exceptionally skilled at delivering them.
"I am determined to make the most of every moment I have life. After the midterm elections, my advisers asked me, 'Mr. President, do you have a bucket list?' And I said, 'well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list'...Take executive action on immigration? Buck-it. New climate regulations? Buck-it."
Watch the full speech, AFTER THE JUMP...
Obama also mused on the way he's aged after 6 years in office, Obamacare, Cuba policies, and the 2016 Republican field.
"And Donald Trump is here. Still. It's amazing how time flies. Soon the first presidential contest will take place, and I for one cannot wait to see who the Koch brothers pick. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker. Who will finally get that red rose? And the winner gets a billion dollar war chest. the runner up gets to be the bachelor on the next season of The Bachelor. Seriously. A billion dollars from just two guys. Is it just me or does that feel a little excessive. It's almost insulting to the candidates. The Koch brothers think they need to spend a billion dollars to get folks to like one of these people."
He took aim at some of his conservative enemies, wielding barbs at Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Dick Cheney:
"A few weeks ago Dick Cheney says he thinks I'm the worst President of his lifetime. Which is interesting, because I think Dick Cheney is the worst President of my lifetime."
He spoke about the economy and how Americans are living in times of "deep uncertainty", pivoting to a joke about Hillary Clinton:
"I have one friend. Just a few weeks ago, she was making millions of dollars a year. And she's now living out of a van in Iowa."
Obama also spoke about the Secret Service and recent security breaches at the White House, and then displayed the photo below. "They've finally figured out a foolproof way to keep people off my lawn."
While talking about his friendship, with Joe Biden, Obama made a joke about the recent news out of Indiana during the debate over the anti-gay Religious Freedom Restoration Act:
"He has been at my side for seven years. I LOVE that man. He's not just a great Vice President, he's a great friend. We've gotten so close that in some places in Indiana they won't serve us pizzas anymore."
There are many more jokes in his full remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...