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News: Maryland, Fiscal Deal, Russian Soccer, 'Oz'

1NewsIcon Just a bit more about the Log Cabin's ad against Chuck Hagel, from a Washington Blade piece published last Friday, "Cooper said he couldn’t immediately recall the cost of the ad, but said it was done over the holiday week at a special rate and was financed by Log Cabin donors who are also organization members." According to Cooper, their anti-Hagel page in the New York Times was prepared before Christmas.

Marriagecake1NewsIcon Marriage equality becomes the law of Maryland at the stroke of midnight.

1NewsIcon President Obama said a congressional deal to prevent our nation from careening off the so-called "fiscal cliff" is in sight. From Reuters: "The tentative Senate agreement would raise taxes on several fronts, with wealthier Americans bearing much of the burden. That might not be popular in the House where Republicans hold sway. The planned tax increases, while substantial, would be smaller than those that will take effect automatically this week if Congress fails to brunt the full force of the fiscal cliff." [UPDATE: Nevermind! No House vote tonight, so no deal.]

1NewsIcon Lake Superior State University's 38th annual list of banished words.

1NewsIcon A new year's anthem from The Rescues: "Everything's Gonna Be Better Next Year"

1NewsIcon Ring in the new year Oz style.

Clintonclot1NewsIcon Based on the type of medicine she's being given, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta thinks it's unlikely Hillary Clinton's blood clot is in her brain. [UPDATE: Actually, it is in her head.]

1NewsIcon CNN asked Democratic voters who they would like to see run for president in 2016: 65% said Hillary Clinton; 26% went for Joe Biden.

1NewsIcon 10 gayest songs of 2012.

1NewsIcon Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are having a baby.

1NewsIcon Stacy Kiebler and Michael Phelps played beer pong together in Cabo. Where was George Clooney during all of this?

1NewsIcon Who is paying for Lindsay Lohan's life?

Russian_kiss1NewsIcon Russian soccer players Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev ignited gay rumors after photos of them hugging and kind of kissing during a Miami vacation surfaced over the weekend.

1NewsIcon As the National Geographic Channel prepares to air "Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout?," a Change.org petition calling on the cable channel to denounce the group's a    nti-gay politics.

1NewsIcon This is fabulous: Bahaman Bishop Simeon Hall apologized for past comments about gay people and said that pastors who still preach against LGBT people may be overcompensating for their own closet. "Psychologists tell us that sometimes the things we strike out against, we do so because a bit of it lies within us on a subliminal level," he said.

1NewsIcon "The Pope and Killing Gay People."

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  1. On the "gay" Russian soccer players, why can't two men be physically close without having the gay label thrust at them? It's often the homophobes who like thrusting the label.

    Women are allowed to be physically close without it becoming a federal case of whether they are lesbians or not. I don't see why it should be any different for men.

    If men are straight or bi or gay, they should be allowed to be physically close without it becoming a point of discussion as to whether they are sexually interested in each other or not. It's time society grew up - I include gay men and women in this.

    Posted by: steven lucas | Dec 31, 2012 5:13:23 PM

  2. National Geographic channel is owned by Fox/News Corporation. I don't think that they are going to say anything bad about the Boy Scouts' policies.

    Posted by: PDX_Guy | Dec 31, 2012 5:19:42 PM

  3. Kim K's "news" is...um...so not interesting in any way.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Dec 31, 2012 6:08:03 PM

  4. If I could have one wish for the new year, it would be to never hear/see/suffer the name Kardashian again.

    Posted by: Roger | Dec 31, 2012 11:49:07 PM

  5. I don't know why this provokes such tittering. Yes, they are cute, but they are probably just being "straight intimate". Intimacy, even if non-sexual, inevitably feels good to the mammalian brain. Once socially constructed defenses are let down. Your spayed & neutered dogs or cats are obviously not getting off on it when you pet them, but that it isn't to say they don't like it. And you're not even the same species as they are! (Actually, this even applies to the avian...look at how parrots love to have the heads scratched...by humans or other parrots) Even in the mid 90s, at my rather conservative college that was not in the Northeast, I remember yearbook pictures of even the butchest, all football player frats sometimes had arm-entwined embraces and forehead against forehead caresses. "Gay chicken" well before that stupid youtube trend emerged. It wasn't that common, but neither was it something they made a point to hide. And it was between much burlier men than these two. It's a matter of the social bond they have permitting their defenses to be let down. It doesn't mean they want to have sex with each other. (Except when it does...but the point is that's not always the case.)

    In fact, funny enough, the geekier "liberal" "indie" fraternity's pictures seemed to have fewer of these scenes. Perhaps men who don't have absolute confidence about their masculinity - which is a little easier to obtain in the straight world when you're a 6'4 linebacker - aren't as able to lower their defenses.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jan 1, 2013 5:47:37 AM

  6. Russian players: Friendly and intimate is one thing, but when I realized there were four feet sticking out of that bubble bath and the guy I couldn't see was underneath the one at the surface? Yeah, not so much a playful hug and smooch with a friend. Even women don't take bubble baths with their BFFs, lol.
    I hope you had a lovely vacation, guys!

    Posted by: Book | Jan 1, 2013 9:48:05 AM

  7. This reminds me of all kinds of takes on the the great Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov's quite "homocentric" masterpiece, Father and Son:


    Posted by: iban4yesu | Jan 1, 2013 11:13:08 AM

  8. No matter about the Russian boys, they look happy and sweet as can be. Happy New Year to all of us.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jan 1, 2013 11:44:59 AM

  9. Yeah, yeah, non-sexual male intimacy blah blah blah. The real issue here is that homophobia is off the charts in Russia and these two will probably face a lot of questions and hate when they get home, no matter if they are lovers or not. And I have to say that taking a bubble bath together seems unusual for straight boys.

    FWIW, there's a link from the OutSports article to an academic paper on the prevalence of male/male kissing (on the lips, with or without tongue), even "making out," amongst str8-identified UK students, particularly those involved in sports.


    Posted by: Caliban | Jan 1, 2013 1:28:40 PM

  10. @Echtkultig & Steven Lucas: You make valid points, but did you actually follow the link and see the pic of the two Russian soccer players taking a bubble bath together? I know that straight male friends can be intimate and affectionate with each other, but I don't know of any who take bubble baths with each other ;-)

    Posted by: Scotty | Jan 1, 2013 1:29:15 PM

  11. Remind me again what the argument is against the wealthiest citizens paying a higher rate in taxes?

    empirical evidence shows that tax cuts to the wealthiest doesn't create jobs or aid the less-financially-secure.

    and it can't be a "punishment" when they're still, let's be real here, living the cushiest of lives.

    are we to pity them for only being able to buy ONE more yacht this year?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 1, 2013 5:16:01 PM

  12. The link above is broken, so I googled:


    Fascinating stuff, thanks!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Jan 1, 2013 5:34:01 PM

  13. Especially reading this article* made me feel sorry for the 1D kids whose behaviours have been, I think, misconstrued stateside.

    *‘‘I Kiss Them Because I Love Them’’: The Emergence of Heterosexual Men Kissing in British Institutes of Education.

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Jan 1, 2013 5:49:48 PM

  14. That Kiki video is the gayest video ever!

    Posted by: jaragon | Jan 1, 2013 6:07:27 PM

  15. The Bishop's statement, "Psychologists tell us that sometimes the things we strike out against, we do so because a bit of it lies within us on a subliminal level," is not as fabulous as Towleroad's writer thinks: the bishop is suggesting that some preachers may be a little bit gay, but not gay enough for it to count. If he said that there was nothing wrong with being gay, I'd be more impressed. Instead, he seems to be saying that screaming "You are going to burn in Hell unless you grovel and beg for forgiveness" is bad salesmanship.

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 1, 2013 7:37:58 PM

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