Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP...
Pope Benedict met with lions and clowns and acrobats, oh my!
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, ever the voice of optimism, predicts the nation will speed off the dreaded "fiscal cliff".
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says social security reform will come only after said fiscal cliff has been avoided.
Hugh Hefner and runaway bride Crystal Harris are actually for real definitely tying the knot.
Hillary Clinton and Meryl Streep at the Kennedy Center Honors. Yeah, some other really famous, accomplished, admirable people were there, but, again, Hillary Clinton and Meryl Streep.
Photographer Alexander Kargaltsev focuses on gay Russian men seeking asylum in the United States.
Leighton Meester, a fashion retrospective.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's avoiding some touchy gay subjects lest she complicate her reelection bid, and it's upsetting some within her party, the Christian Democratic Union. "The CDU is having to appeal to a broader base, to adapt to a changed reality in society, new family structures and a bigger role for women," said Bonn University political science professor Frank Decker. "A traditional conservative, Christian party must find answers, it must debate these things. But Merkel is refusing to allow this debate to happen, and that breeds resentment."
Here is a trailer for Buck Wild, MTV's new Deep South Jersey Shore-esque reality show.
Shoppers remain unfazed by garment factory fires overseas, like the one in Bangladesh that killed 112 people last week: "Shoppers from Cincinnati to Paris to Singapore all said the same thing: They were aware of the fatal factory fire, but they weren't thinking about it while browsing stores in the days since. Brand name, fit and — above all — prices were on their minds."
More on Timothy Kurek, the straight man who played gay for a year.
A gay man is suing the Lee County Sheriff's Office in Florida for "wrongful arrest" after they took him in during one of many calls to his and his ex-boyfriend's apartment. Among his complaints, the man claims officers taunted him for being gay.
Now that voters have tossed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, activists in Minnesota are now looking to ways to pass marriage equality there.
Conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat discusses America's falling birthrates and its alleged relationship to gay marrige acceptance: "..There’s been a broader cultural shift away from a child-centric understanding of romance and marriage. In 1990, 65 percent of Americans told Pew that children were 'very important' to a successful marriage; in 2007, just before the current baby bust, only 41 percent agreed. (That trend goes a long way toward explaining why gay marriage, which formally severs wedlock from sex differences and procreation, has gone from a nonstarter to a no-brainer for so many people.)"
Meanwhile, when it comes to pursuing marriage equality in Indiana, timing matters: "Some supporters of the ban argue now is the time to push the measure through. But there are more variables than usual for lawmakers to consider heading into 2013. They will have to write their next biennial budget, get acclimated to a new governor for the first time in eight years and measure the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue and make the whole argument moot."
Speaking of time: there's a lot to learn at the Swiss Watchmaking Institute in Dallas.
Posted Dec. 2,2012 at 3:19 PM EST by Andrew Belonsky in Gay Marriage, Hillary Clinton, Indiana, Lindsey Graham, Meryl Streep, Minnesota, News, Pope Benedict, Religion, The Economy | Permalink | Comments (17)
Actor, activist and Knight Sir Ian McKellen recorded a video for the Green Party urging New Zealanders to support marriage equality there, a nation McKellen points out was the first to give women the right to vote.
He also says that he hopes by the time he gets back to Middle Earth, New Zealand's nickname, he hopes he can get married there. Is there something he's not telling us?
Watch McKellen's video AFTER THE JUMP.
[via Joe. My. God.]
Radio host Michelangelo Signorile got a chance to speak with Ugandan gay activist Frank Mugisha about the on-going debate about the "kill the gays" bill there.
Despite rumors that the death penalty for gay people has been removed from the bill, Mugisha insists that's logistically impossible: "The committee said they have completed their report, and the committee cannot change the legislation. What they can do is, they can only make recommendations in their report. So right now we are talking about legislation that has the death penalty." And if that bill passes, Mugisha says he's as good as dead: "The fact that I’ve already said in Uganda that I’m gay, and that I’m an advocate for LGBT rights, that means I’m promoting homosexuality in Uganda, according to this bill. This legislation, if passed into law, it would automatically make me a serial offender and I would be sentenced to death."
According to Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade, however, a dispute over another, unrelated bill has stopped Parliamentary progress, meaning that the session may end for the season before the kill the gays bill can be passed. That would buy some time to fight it, but without a huge cultural shift, particularly one encouraged by Western donors, the bill will probably return down the road.
You can listen to audio of Signorile and Mugisha's chat at HuffPo.
The post-Gaddafi climate in Libya is no better for the gays than when the dictator was in power. In fact, some say it's gotten worse.
London's The Times this weekend ran a lengthy story in which gay Libyans told of how the capital city Tripoli's largest militia, the Nawasi brigade, has been harassing and attacking them with impunity.
Since The Times is subscription-based, Pink News UK offers a summation of the situation:
The city’s largest and most powerful brigade officially work under the authority of the Ministry of Interior, and, according to witnesses, were taking people away just for being gay.
Ahmad said he was witness to recent events during which the Nawasi drove past a birthday party, saw a man dressed in a wig and dress, and beat him until he admitted he was gay, at which point he was taken away.
After the men were taken away, a picture of detainees from the party appeared on the Nawasi brigade’s Facebook page, in which they had their hands above their heads, and their heads against a wall, with their backs to the camera. Text accompanying the image read “flog them hard”, “ride them like camels” and “let’s see the bullets fly”.
The bridge admits to taking the men away, but says it did so more because of noise-complaints and alcohol consumption.
"These guys are not straight, but that’s not the main reason we arrested them," said one militia member. “The main thing was the big noise they were making to the neighbours, as well as the large amounts of alcohol and hashish we found."
To the toy passengers on these trains, the brokenhearted and bored pastor, playing the conductor, says "If the passengers will look to their right, you will see a sad man. That is all..."
After reading this Washington Post piece, "A detached Romney tends wounds in seclusion after failed White House bid," I can't help but imagine failed president candidate Mitt Romney in that Lovejoy role.
The man who planned to be president wakes up each morning now without a plan.
Gone are the minute-by-minute schedules and the swarm of Secret Service agents. There’s no aide to make his peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches. Romney hangs around the house, sometimes alone, pecking away at his iPad and e-mailing his CEO buddies who have been swooping in and out of La Jolla to visit. He wrote to one who’s having a liver transplant soon: "I’ll change your bedpan, take you back and forth to treatment."
In the end of the aforementioned Simpsons episode, Lovejoy saves Ned Flanders from being mauled by baboons after Marge gives him bad advice. The fallen pastor becomes a hero once again. Will Romney pull off a similar comeback? Is he willing to risk his life fighting off rabid baboons to save a fellow American?