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12/11/2012

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1264

TURKEY: Security camera captures collapse of pedestrian walkway in Corum, Turkey.

ONE DIRECTION: A preview of Barbara Walters' "most fascinating".

ADAM LAMBERT: On his Divas Live hosting gig, and the fact he'll be singing a Madonna tune.

BENT-CON: Third Rail Media reports from the largest LGBTQ comic book convention.

For previous Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Posted Dec. 11,2012 at 5:47 PM EST by in News, Towleroad Guide to the Tube | Permalink | Comments (7)


News: Pink Shoes, Edie Windsor, Squid, Obamadon, Spice Girls

RoadA behind-the-scenes look at how marriage equality was won at the ballot!

RoadDo you think Helena, Montana needs an anti-discrimination ordinance. Vote here.

PinkshoesRoadFacebook photo of 5-year-old who wants to wear pink shoes to school sparks viral debate.

RoadIan McKellen: I have prostate cancer.

RoadDepeche Mode sign with Columbia Records, ready new album for March.

RoadGreat profile on Edie Windsor and the DOMA case in the NYT: “It’s thrilling for me to be in this position,” she said at the eighth-floor apartment on Fifth Avenue just north of Washington Square that she and Ms. Spyer shared for three decades. “It’s almost a deliriously joyous thing for an old lady.”

RoadBeyoncé signs $50 million deal with Pepsi, will appear on can.

RoadBill de Blasio's wife Chirlane McCray reflects on her lesbian past: “When I think about how young I was, what the world was like in 1979, I’m proud at what I was able to do. I was able to project my voice and claim my space in the world,” McCray said. “I hope young people struggling with their identity try to take heart from that. That was 33 years ago. The world has progressed a great deal.”

SquidRoadLiving giant squid caught on video for first time (not photo).

RoadChristina Aguilera responds to suggestive photo of Hillary Clinton staring at her boobs: "It was mutual."

RoadAmerican Idol begins promoting Mariah Carey-Nicki Minaj feud.

RoadVIDEO: Rita Ora's "Radioactive".

RoadHow would John Roberts rule on gay marriage cases? Richard Socarides: "If he rules against gay rights now, how is Roberts going to feel about the overturning of this precedent later—or having it overturned while he is still on the Court as Chief? That’s not to say public opinion is the only factor here. But the Supreme Court has previously held that marriage is a fundamental right, and sexual orientation, especially when viewed from today’s perspective, meets all the requirements for heightened constitutional scrutiny." Flashback: Roberts donated help to Romer v. Evans...

RoadObamadon: Researchers name extinct lizard after Obama. "It is a small polyglyphanodontian distinguished by tall, slender teeth with large central cusps separated from small accessory cusps by lingual grooves."

RoadVIDEO: Adam Lambert pays a visit to Wendy Williams.

DuckRoadGigantic rubber duck floats through London.

RoadJustice Scalia's 7 worst anti-gay statements.

RoadWingnut Matt Barber claims half of gay men were sexually assaulted by pedophiles as children. "When not fighting the 'war on Christmas,' Mat Staver and Matt Barber continue to fight the California law that bans the use of sexual orientation conversion therapy on minors, which they have now taken to calling 'Jerry Sandusky laws' on the grounds that children who are sexually abused will now become gay because they will not be allowed to get therapy to help them deal with the abuse. "

RoadSpice Girls musical set to open in London: "The members of the 1990s girl group – Victoria Beckham aka Posh Spice, Emma Bunton aka Baby Spice, Geri Halliwell aka Ginger Spice, Melanie Brown aka Scary Spice and Melanie Chisholm aka Sporty Spice – are all expected on the red carpet for Tuesday's opening night at London's Piccadilly Theater."

Posted Dec. 11,2012 at 4:17 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (16)


Watch LIVE: UN Panel 'Leadership in the Fight Against Homophobia' with Ricky Martin, Ban Ki-Moon - VIDEO

Un_martin

At 3:15 pm ET, Ricky Martin will join UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka and other LGBT and human rights leaders at a Human Rights Day panel called "Leadership in the Fight Against Homophobia" organized by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Watch, and UN member states.

Watch the event LIVE, AFTER THE JUMP...

(Note: LIVE feed is running continuously, with unrelated programming bookending the scheduled panel)

Posted Dec. 11,2012 at 3:11 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (7)


Group of Scientists Believe They Have Unlocked Hereditary Question of Why People are Gay

A group of scientists from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis say they believe they have the answer to why people are gay, and believe it is an "epigenetic" one linking fathers to lesbian daughters and mothers to gay sons. And they say they can prove whether their theory is right within six months, US News reports:

GenomeLong thought to have some sort of hereditary link, a group of scientists suggested Tuesday that homosexuality is linked to epi-marks — extra layers of information that control how certain genes are expressed. These epi-marks are usually, but not always, "erased" between generations. In homosexuals, these epi-marks aren't erased — they're passed from father-to-daughter or mother-to-son, explains William Rice, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California Santa Barbara and lead author of the study.

More:

Rice and his team created a mathematical model that explains why homosexuality is passed through epi-marks, not genetics. Evolutionarily speaking, if homosexuality was solely a genetic trait, scientists would expect the trait to eventually disappear because homosexuals wouldn't be expected to reproduce. But because these epi-marks provide an evolutionary advantage for the parents of homosexuals: They protect fathers of homosexuals from underexposure to testosterone and mothers of homosexuals from overexposure to testosterone while they are in gestation.

"These epi-marks protect fathers and mothers from excess or underexposure to testosterone — when they carry over to opposite-sex offspring, it can cause the masculinization of females or the feminization of males," Rice says, which can lead to a child becoming gay. Rice notes that these markers are "highly variable" and that only strong epi-marks will result in a homosexual offspring.

Adds Rice: "We've found a story that looks really good. There's more verification needed, but we point out how we can easily do epigenetic profiles genome-wide. We predict where the epi-marks occur, we just need other studies to look at it empirically. This can be tested and proven within six months. It's easy to test. If it's a bad idea, we can throw it away in short order."

More here.

Posted Dec. 11,2012 at 2:32 PM EST by in Genetics, Medicine, News | Permalink | Comments (84)


Uruguay Poised to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage; Vote Imminent

Uruguay_2

Urugay will vote today on same-sex marriage, the AP reports:

Legalizing gay marriage has long been a goal of the Broad Front, which has ample majorities in both houses of Congress. After the lower house votes, the project would go to the Senate. President Jose Mujica hopes to sign it into law early next year.

The "Marriage Equality Law" also would replace Uruguay's 1912 divorce law, which gave only women, and not their husbands, the right to renounce marriage vows without cause. In the early 20th Century, Uruguay's lawmakers saw this as an equalizer, since men at the time held all the economic and social power in a marriage, historian Gerardo Caetano said.

"A hundred years later, with all the changes that have occurred in Uruguayan society, this argument has fallen of its own accord," Caetano said Tuesday. "It's absolutely logical now that divorces can happen if either party wants it. And I really think it won't have much of an impact."

The AP adds that "The bill also would clarify rules for adoption and in-vitro fertilization, and eliminate the words 'marido y mujer' (husband and woman) in marriage contracts, referring instead to the gender neutral 'contrayentes' (contracting parties)" and the law "would let couples, gay or straight, decide whose surname goes first when they name their children."

Uruguay would join The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark as the 12th in the world to have state-wide marriage equality.

UPDATE: Video link to Uruguay House HERE.

Posted Dec. 11,2012 at 2:15 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, News, Uruguay | Permalink | Comments (8)


Nate Silver Looks at Hillary Clinton's Ratings, and 2016

Nate Silver takes a look at Hillary Clinton's chances in 2016 with regard to a moving average of Mrs. Clinton’s favorable and unfavorable ratings dating back to 1992. Silver notes that Clinton is popular now, but boosted by the fact that her role as Secretary of State is for the most part non-partisan, and that at the times when she has become an "explicitly political figure" her favorability has also taken a hit:

HillaryThe surge in Mrs. Clinton’s favorability ratings late in the 2008 campaign, although perhaps partly testifying to her steadily improving skills as a campaigner and to her new role as an underdog in the Democratic primary race, may also have reflected the fact that Republicans had less incentive to criticize her. Instead, they were trying to woo her supporters — or bolster her chances to prolong the Democratic nomination process.

...

A secretary of state is not necessarily above partisan criticism, but attacking a secretary of state can potentially backfire on the opposition party. As Mitt Romney discovered during the presidential campaign foreign affairs can present an unlevel playing field to the opposition party. The White House and the Department of State have a number of defenses that they can employ to shield themselves from criticism, from claiming that they are protecting the national interest, to accusing their opponents of being unpatriotic, to arguing that their opponents lack knowledge of the situation on the ground. The secretary of state, like the president, also enjoys the symbolic trappings of incumbency when she conducts diplomatic affairs.

Were Mrs. Clinton to run for president again, she would lose most of these advantages. Republicans would begin to criticize her, delicately at first, and then more expressly as the election drew nearer.

Silver's Clinton chart, AFTER THE JUMP...

Hr_clinton

Posted Dec. 11,2012 at 1:52 PM EST by in 2016 Election, Hillary Clinton, Nate Silver, News | Permalink | Comments (23)



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