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12/17/2012

Towleroad Talking Points: The Gayest Year

6a00d8341c730253ef017ee6581abb970d-800wiPHOTO OF THE DAY: A gay proposal at the White House. 

BY SAM GREISMAN

A look back at today's top stories

GAY NEWS

With just a few days left in the year, Towleroad presents the "50 Most Powerful Coming Outs" of the year. It was a huge year and a diverse group! 

Also a couple in Columbia has stirred up some drama after they unveiled their gay nativity scene.

WINGNUTTERY

With the nation still mourning the tragedy in Newtown, Focus on the Family's James Dobson has added his voice to the few disgusting wingnuts who have blamed the shooting on the school's lack of faith

Someone possibly even crazier than Jim DeMint has been chosen to replace him in the Senate. Tim Scott, or the "Chick-Fil-A Televangelist", will be filling his vacated seat. 

ENTERTAINMENT

Check out the first full-length trailer for Star Trek: Into Darkness

DJ Earworm has his yearly mash-up of the year in pop music ready to go. And check out Adam Lambert covering Madonna and Donna Summer at VH1 Divas

Posted Dec. 17,2012 at 10:45 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (3)


Lunar Impact Site Named for Astronaut Sally Ride

NASA announced today that the site where twin agency spacecraft impacted the moon Monday has been named for the first woman (and lesbian) in space, astronaut Sally Ride:

RideLast Friday, Ebb and Flow, the two spacecraft comprising NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, were commanded to descend into a lower orbit that would result in an impact Monday on a mountain near the moon's north pole. The formation-flying duo hit the lunar surface as planned at 2:28:51 p.m.

PST (5:28:51 p.m. EST) and 2:29:21 p.m. PST (5:29:21 p.m. EST) at a speed of 3,760 mph (1.7 kilometers per second). The location of the Sally K. Ride Impact Site is on the southern face of an approximately 1.5 mile- (2.5 -kilometer) tall mountain near a crater named Goldschmidt.

"Sally was all about getting the job done, whether it be in exploring space, inspiring the next generation, or helping make the GRAIL mission the resounding success it is today," said GRAIL principal investigator Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. "As we complete our lunar mission, we are proud we can honor Sally Ride's contributions by naming this corner of the moon after her."

The impact marked a successful end to the GRAIL mission, which was NASA's first planetary mission to carry cameras fully dedicated to education and public outreach. Ride, who died in July after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, led GRAIL's MoonKAM (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) Program through her company, Sally Ride Science, in San Diego.

Along with its primary science instrument, each spacecraft carried a MoonKAM camera that took more than 115,000 total images of the lunar surface. Imaging targets were proposed by middle school students from across the country and the resulting images returned for them to study. The names of the spacecraft were selected by Ride and the mission team from student submissions in a nationwide contest.

"Sally Ride worked tirelessly throughout her life to remind all of us, especially girls, to keep questioning and learning," said Sen.  Barbara Mikulski of Maryland. "Today her passion for making students part of NASA's science is honored by naming the impact site for her."

Sally Ride's posthumous coming out was named by Towleroad as one of "the 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012" in a list we published this morning.

Check out all the names HERE.

Posted Dec. 17,2012 at 8:00 PM EST by in News, Sally Ride, Space | Permalink | Comments (3)


Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Second-Longest Serving Senator in U.S. History, Dies at 88

The U.S. Senate's most senior member, Daniel Inouye (D-HI) died today of respiratory complications at the age of 88, USA Today reports:

InouyeSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced the news of Inouye's death on the Senate floor, sparking a round of tributes for the man Reid called "a giant of the Senate." Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hailed Inouye's service and his reserve as a mark of "men who lead by example and expect nothing in return."

Under Hawaii law, Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie will appoint a successor to Inouye until a special election can be held.

The NYT adds:

Inouye was a World War II hero and Medal of Honor winner who lost an arm to a German hand grenade during a battle in Italy. He became the first Japanese-American to serve in Congress, when he was elected to the House in 1959, the year Hawaii became a state. He won election to the Senate three years later and served there longer than anyone in American history except Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who died in 2010 after 51 years in the Senate.

One of 14 senators to vote against DOMA in 1996, Inouye also voted against a federal marriage amendment and voted for hate crimes legislation, and sponsored both ENDA and the Student Non-Discrimination Act. He was a strong supporter of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

Inouye's last word was "aloha".

RIP.

Posted Dec. 17,2012 at 7:15 PM EST by in Deaths, Hawaii, News | Permalink | Comments (15)


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1267

SPACE ROCK: The asteroid that whizzed by Earth on December 12 and 13.

PUSSY WILLOW: "We Three Queens".

MARRIAGE NEWS WATCH: AFER's Matt Baume with the latest on NJ, IL, OR, and IN.

FLAME THROWING: The slo-mo guys explore their pyromaniacal sides once agian

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Posted Dec. 17,2012 at 6:30 PM EST by in Drag Queens, Gay Marriage, News, Space, Towleroad Guide to the Tube | Permalink | Comments (2)


News: Marsha Johnson, Newtown, Gun Fanatics, James Franco

RoadPolice arrest man making threats against L.A. elementary schools.

RoadNASA to smash two spacecraft into the moon at 4,000 mph: "Unfortunately, it won't be a very good show. The impact will happen in darkness, on the moon's far side, and the spacecraft are probably too small to make much of an explosion."

IceflowersRoadIce flowers blooming in the Arctic.

RoadSexiest dad alive?

RoadAntonin Scalia's son Paul tells parents not to label their kids "gay" or its' harder to condemn them: "With that essential distinction made, parents can better oppose the attractions without rejecting the child. And as the child matures, he will not find his identity confined to his sexuality."

Road26 Christmas trees appear in Newtown, CT.

RoadNeil Patrick Harris on his latest websode 'Restaurant' (Watch HERE): “This one’s just a little naughty. But I was just grinning ear to ear filming it, ‘cause you see me at a table, but below me there are six different people looking at monitors that are all on the ground wearing head mics with puppets, operating different arms and quickly taking off and removing different puppets."

RoadPoll finds bump in support for gun laws after Sandy Hook tragedy: "The new HuffPost/YouGov survey found that 50 percent of Americans say gun laws should be made more strict than they are now, compared to 43 percent who said that they should remain the same (29 percent) or be made less strict (14 percent). The poll also found support for banning semi-automatic weapons (51 percent to 33 percent) as well as magazine clips holding more than 10 rounds (54 percent to 32 percent)."

RoadDavid Beckham's son Romeo is now modeling for Burberry.

JohnsonRoadDA reopens Marsha Johnson case: "Johnson, an unmistakable Greenwich Village fixture who posed for an Andy Warhol series on drag queens, was pulled from the Hudson River, fully clothed, near Christopher St. on July 6, 1992. She had been missing for days. Her death was ruled a suicide by the city’s medical examiner, but Johnson’s friends and family believe she was attacked by bullies who regularly harassed and assaulted her at the pier. The ruling was changed from “suicide” to “undetermined” in December 2002, as a result of a police investigation that determined there was not enough information to call it a suicide."

RoadLGBT groups mark the third anniversary of gay leader Walter Trochez's assassination on December 13 in the capitol of Tegucigalpa.

RoadMichelangelo Signorile: What a gun fanatic sounds like.

RoadAmerican pastor David Dykes has traveled from Tyler Texas, where he pastors Green Acres Baptist Church, to Uganda to offer his support for the "kill the gays" bill. "I’m extremely upset that our state department is putting pressure on Uganda to recognize homosexual behavior. And I’m praying that Uganda will say, 'We don’t want your money, America. It is blood money. It is sin money.' I hope that you will continue to stand strong on what the Bible defines as the definition of a real marriage."

RoadThese are some excellent picks by David Mixner of the best photojournalism of 2012.

RoadMale model fix: Chad Pinther.

LesmizRoadAn honest Les Miz poster.

RoadNielsen to use Twitter to measure TV ratings: "The measure, called 'Nielsen Twitter TV Rating,' will look at the total audience for television on Twitter as part of a multi-year agreement between the two.  Among the information it will aggregate includes: Those who Tweet about particular shows; Those exposed to the Tweets."

RoadJames Franco sells debut book of poetry: "Entitled Directing Herbert White, the book is set to be released in April 2014. "Herbert White" is the name of a short film Franco wrote and directed based on a poem by Frank Bidart. This will be Franco's third book, after his short-story collection, Palo Alto, and his poetry chapbook, Strongest of the Litter."

RoadFamily reveals details about Utah teen who killed himself, say school acted improperly: "On Nov. 29, the day David committed suicide, his mother, Phuong Tran, said she was called at work by the principal, who informed her David had been suspended. When she arrived and asked for an explanation, Tran said school officials brushed her off, perhaps because of her heavy accent. Here is what she understood: Another student had complained — had David made a sexual overture? — and when district officials searched David’s backpack, they found a condom, Tran said."

Posted Dec. 17,2012 at 4:55 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (5)


Montana Supreme Court Rejects Case Demanding Equal Benefits for Gay Couples in 4-3 Decision

The Montana Supreme Court has sided with a lower court judge who dismissed a case brought by the ACLU demanding equal benefits for same-sex couples.

MontanaJudge Jeffrey Sherlock dismissed the case in April 2011, saying that an amendment to the Montana Constitution that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman had already settled the question, adding that the question of granting gay couples the benefits, without allowing them to get married, was best left to the legislative process. Sherlock also said that a ruling to force state lawmakers to write new laws would be an inappropriate breach of the separation of powers between the three branches of government.

In November, the ACLU said that Sherlock "abdicated his responsibility" in dismissing the case. They brought their appeal before the Supreme Court in April 2012.

The AP reports on today's decision:

The court wrote in Monday's 4-3 decision the request was "overly broad" and sided with a lower court's decision last year to dismiss the lawsuit. But the Supreme Court left the door open for the couples to modify their request and try again.

The couples are not asking to for the right to marry. Instead, they argue the state is constitutionally required to let them make the same decisions about their families' health care and finances as married couples.

The state has argued that spousal benefits are limited by definition to married couples. It argues that any decision to expand them needs to be made by the Legislature.

Here's the ACLU's information page on the case.

Posted Dec. 17,2012 at 4:17 PM EST by in ACLU, Montana, News | Permalink | Comments (6)



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