J Crew's website has a "Wedding Album" section on its website and yesterday for the first time profiled a gay couple.
"I'm one of the grooms, "Benjamin Moore writes us. "They stepped up big time."
Moore and his husband Ray headline the section with a profile link to an interview with the couple about their wedding, which took place at Chateau du Soudun, "a magnificent 11th century castle" in a small countryside town three hours south of Paris.
Congrats to the couple, and to J Crew for stepping out.
Mercury, the planet closet to the sun, has plentiful amounts of water ice, NASA reports:
The findings from the Messenger spacecraft orbiting the planet cap the decades-long search for water on the second-hottest planet in the solar system and may help scientists better understand the origins of the molecular building blocks for life on Earth.
The new research "doesn't mean we have life on Mercury," said UCLA planetary scientist David Paige, lead author of one of three papers published Thursday by the journal Science. "But it is relevant for the question of life in the solar system in general."
As much as 1.1 trillion tons of ice could lie on or just beneath Mercury's surface in the nooks and crannies of craters that never see sunlight, according to scientists working on the Messenger mission. Much of that ice may be protected by a dark layer of carbon-rich organic material several inches thick, they said.
Watch NASA's press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...
Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio took fishing virgin Andy Cohen to the waters off Coney Island to cast for striper, blue fish, and false albacore. And given that fishing has a bit of downtime, Colicchio grilled Cohen about his memoir and turned the pop culture interview on him, baiting him with tough questions like manscaping vs. natural, Ellen vs. Oprah, Diddy vs. Jay-Z, and Will & Grace vs. Modern Family.
Watch what happens, AFTER THE JUMP...
Alabama Lesbian Mallory Owens Releases Statement About Brutal Thanksgiving Attack, Says She Fears for Her Life
Mallory Owens, the Alabama woman who was attacked on Thanksgiving Day has released a statement through GLAAD regarding the attack in an effort to clarify media reports:
Official Statement from Mallory Owens and Family
I am represented by attorney Christine Hernandez. I am supported by my family, friends, several organizations including Equality Alabama and GLAAD as well as numerous other indviduals who have offered a multitude of support to myself and my family including all of those that have donated to help me with my medical expenses. For all of you that have supported me, I am very grateful.
The last week has been the most traumatic several days I have ever experienced, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Not just for me, but for my family as well. Fortunately, we are a strong family, and we are sticking together as a family. On Thanksgiving Day, I visited the Hawkins’ home, the family home of my girlfriend Ally Hawkins. As I was leaving, I was brutally attacked by Travis Hawkins Jr., Ally’s brother. I believe that he intended to kill me. I was defenseless against him. This was not the first time Travis Hawkins Jr. attacked me and sent me to the hospital.
CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...
Travis Hawkins Jr. has been charged with Assault Second Degree by the District Attorney’s office. Although, I appreciate all the efforts of the hospital and EMS staff, police, all the investigators, and District Attorney Ashley Rich, neither I nor my family agree that Assault Second Degree is the right charge. We are very hopeful and optimistic that as Ms. Rich, her offce and the police continue to investigate this crime, that the charges will be upgraded to attempted Murder. I was unconscious when the beating ended. I do not know what stopped him. I do know he has threatened to kill me before, he has attacked me with a metal pipe before, and on Thanksgiving Day he launched an unprovoked attack on me that left me unconscious, hospitalized, suffering horrific head trauma, severe injuries and in need of surgery and additional treatment. Since the attack, Travis Hawkins Jr. has been seen following my family and appearing at locations where they have gathered. He has threatened to finish me off. I believe as long as he is free on bond that my life continues to be in danger. Even beyond the physical harm, I am quite traumatized. I am afraid and I feel that I have been victimized repeatedly by the Hawkins family.
The interview at the Hawkins home was not requested by me, nor was I aware that the media would be at the Hawkins home. I was brought back to the home by Ally Hawkins. I wanted to be in my own apartment. Mr. Hawkins Sr. insisted we give the interview and statements were made. I believe Mr. Hawkins Sr. is very manipulative, I believe he organized the family and orchestrated the media represenation to portray himself in a better light. I do not feel safe there. I was very uneasy and nervous while I was there. I was still very disoriented, weak, and intimidated. Mr. Hawkins Sr. has also threatened me with harm based on my relationship with his daughter. Travis Hawkins Sr. threatened me with a metal pipe while I was waiting in the car on a prior occassion. Travis Hawkins Jr. used a metal pipe to assault me on a prior occassion. He and his son pose a very real threat. I will not go back there.
It will be a very long time before I feel safe again. This sort of attack whether it is proven to be a hate crime or a crime derived from one man’s hate of another human being should not happen to anyone in this country. No one should have to endure an attack the way that I did. Neither should a mother have to see her daughter in the state that my mom had to see me.
During this investigation, many statements were made to the media, some were premature and misguided. All of us involved have been at the center of a huge media storm. At this time, we want to let the investigation continue and we need to heal. Ally Hawkins has continued to release statements and make arbitrary facebook posts and she has even offered a motive for her brother’s actions. Please know that Ally Hawkins is NOT SPEAKING for me, she is NOT representing me in the media in any way. Her statements and public posts on facebook or any other form of social media are NOT representative of my opinions, beliefs or words.
I am fortunate that my family’s love for me is unconditional. I fell in love with a girl. My family loves, accepts and supports me. They have shown nothing but love and acceptance throughout my attack, my time in the hospital, and the investigation of this brutal attack, they have been there for me, loving me and supporting me. I want to thank and publicly show my appreciation for my mom, my brother and sister, my Uncle Ricky, Linda, my grandma. Besides the countless individuals who have offered their support financially and in words of kindness, I also want to thank organizations like Equality Alabama and GLAAD for offering their direct support to me and my family, as well as working to create a culture in Alabama where people aren’t attacked for being who they are and loving who they love. Thank you to all those who have prayed, supported and advocated for myself and my family. For those of you who pray, we ask you to continue to pray for us as we heal.
GLAAD adds: "Mallory’s hospital stay and follow up care is expensive. If you want to make a donation to help offset the costs of this brutal attack, you can do so. An account for the Benefit of Mallory Owens has been set up at Regions Bank, you can go to any location locally. GLAAD has set up an on-line donation account to help facilitate the donation process. You may go to http://www.gofundme.com/1ldc7k to help."
Macklemore Reacts to Suspension of Michigan Teacher for Playing His Pro-Equality Song 'Same Love' in Class
Yesterday Andrew reported on performing arts teacher Susan Johnson, suspended from South Lyon's Centennial Middle School in Michigan for letting a student play Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' pro-equality anthem "Same Love" in class.
Wrote Macklemore on his website:
I believe that Ms. Johnson getting suspended is completely out of line and unjust. However, I think it’s important for moments like these to be exposed and for us to pay attention and respond. This level of intolerance and fear is still very active in America, but at times is not completely visible. This incident is just one of tens of thousands that have happened across the country where schools have exposed a latent homophobia, preventing safe space for all young people to feel confident in being themselves. It’s clear that Ms. Johnson felt bullying and “gay bashing” were issues that needed to be addressed, and by doing so, was punished.
I wrote the song “Same Love,” not with the expectation that it would cure homophobia and lead to marriage equality across the US (although that’d be awesome). It was written with the hope that it would facilitate dialogue and through those conversations understanding and empathy would emerge. This incident demonstrates how too often we are quick to silence conversations that must be had. Even if people disagree, there is far more potential for progress when people are vocal and honestly expressing their thoughts about gay rights. When we are silent and avoid the issue, fear and hatred have a far greater life span.
It’s discouraging that a song about love and civil rights has led to a teacher getting suspended from her job. But that’s where we are at. For those of us who get a pit in our stomach when reading a story like this, it just makes it abundantly clear there is far more work to be done.
The school is standing by its decision to suspend Johnson.
In related news, 'Jabari Presents' produced an excellent documentary about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis which he filmed as they shot their infamous "Thrift Shop" music video, and prepared for the release of "The Heist".
Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...
Bo Obama has inspected the White House Christmas decorations, and wonders who that other Portuguese water dog is who's hanging out under the mistletoe.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
And more on the White House's holiday dressing here.