PHOTO OF THE DAY: Marriage Equality begins in Maryland.
BY SAM GREISMAN
A look back at today's top stories
A super cute story to start off 2013. Check out pro bowler Scott Norton kissing his husband after winning a title in Las Vegas; a kiss that ESPN had no problem airing. Also it seems that though some pretty ardent hate-mongers come from Ohio (John Boehner), the state is full of people happy to embrace LGBT love. Good news too out of Washington where The Department of Housing and Urban Development has used their new rules prohibiting LGBT discrimination to settle a claim filed by a lesbian couple in Florida who were denied a mortgage by Bank of America.
Today, Brian Sims became the first lawmaker in Pennsylvania to be sworn in while out of the closet. In Illinois, Catholic leaders are peeved by the steady march toward a vote on marriage equality in the state, possibly Thursday.
Just in the nick of time Democrats and Republicans struck a deal to save us from falling off the so-called "fiscal cliff". Watch President Obama explain the stop-gap measure. Gay radio host Michelangelo Signorile is taking issue with how the Log Cabin Republicans are being used by conservatives to attack Chuck Hagel.
In case you missed it, Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper got super gay and silly and probably a little drunk when they hosted New Year's Eve for CNN. Singer Fantasia Barrino spoke publicly today about her allegedly anti-gay remarks on Instagram. Also, Andrew Sullivan has announced that he will be leaving The Daily Beast to set up a pay site with no ads.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Usually its the kids that freak out on Christmas morning but check out this dad who is super stoked to get a puppy from Santa.
The Los Angeles Times reports that California Gov. Jerry Brown, a long-time LGBT ally, today filed an appeal against a court order that halted a California state law banning ex-gay therapy for minors.
The notice of appeal was filed on behalf of Brown and the Medical Board of California by state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which decided Dec. 21 to block the law that took effect Jan. 1 pending a decision on its constitutionality.
A small group of therapists and religious groups argued that the law infringes on their rights to free speech, but Harris has called conversion therapy "unsound and harmful."
Harris asked the court Wednesday to look at a recent decision by U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller upholding the law.
"Defendants wish to apprise the 9th Circuit of a related case currently pending before it … denying a motion for a preliminary injunction that would have enjoined enforcement of Senate Bill 1172," Harris wrote. "Both appeals involve the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1172 and raise the same and/or closely related legal issues."
The bill to legalize marriage equality in Illinois is tangled up in technical red tape at the moment and won't be discussed until tomorrow, which gives Pat Brady, chairman of the state's Republican Party, more time to call up Republican lawmakers and push them to vote yes on allowing same-sex couples to tie the knot. That's precisely what he did today, because, like so most people in Illinois, Brady thinks the Republicans need to wake up and smell reality.
"I think it's time for people to support this," he said.
"More and more Americans understand that if two people want to make a lifelong commitment to each other, government should not stand in their way," he said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to get married honors the best conservative principles. It strengthens families and reinforces a key Republican value - that the law should treat all citizens equally."
Got that? "Honors the best conservative principles... Strengthens families." Incredible language from a Republican leader.
And to religious conservatives balking at equality, Brady reassured them, "Importantly, the pending legislation would protect the freedom of religion. No church or religious organization would ever be required to perform a union with which it disagrees."
Elsewhere in Illinois, Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon met this morning to put the finishing touches on Ferguson and fiance Justin Mikita's "Bow Tie Lobby Day," during which lawmakers and voters are supposed to wear a bow tie to show their support.
The Chicago Tribune reports on the actor's comments raising kids with Mikita and how Modern Family helped move the LGBT conversation forward and wh:
"I'm looking forward to raising a family with Justin and having our kids grow up in an equal America. I had a hard time coming out and certainly had struggles with my parents. … If the 12-year-old me had been able to turn on the TV and see a sitting president say he supports marriage equality, it would have made all the difference for me and certainly given me a lot of hope," Ferguson said.
Modern Family's popularity and presence in American homes has also helped the issue of marriage equality forward, Ferguson said.
"I think it's a bit like a Trojan horse. A lot of people who were not comfortable with marriage equality … turn on the television and see a show that has a lot of different families in it — and one of those families just happens to be gay. They're realizing they have a great time watching the show, then they're watching a gay couple that's having a lot of the same problems and issues they have. They realize 'Oh they’re not so different from me.' And at that point, we're in their living rooms," he said.
Here's some evidence that even though Ohio has plenty of work to do in terms of equality and is home to anti-equality House Speaker John Boehner, the Buckeye State is full of awesome people who love their LGBT friends and neighbors...
Joel Diaz, Chief Development Office at AIDS Resource Center Ohio, and his friend Ethan were at a popular pizza truck in Columbus, Ohio, holding hands and huddled together against the cold, when a random man told them to end the "gay shit." The crowd who overheard the homophobe's command didn't fall in line behind him; instead, they ran the man off into the night, making clear that they won't stand for hate in their community.
I'll let Diaz writing at The Huffington Post, fill in the rest:
...All of the sudden the guy in front of us turns around and tells us to cut our "gay shit" out.
I was a bit startled by his words but I didn't expect what happened next. Almost every single person in that line made it known to him it was not OK for him to speak to us like that. By happenstance my friend John, who is also gay, was standing in front of him and as he continued his rant about being disgusted by us we both let him know that this was our city too and that we were not about to stand down to his bigoted ideas, especially not in one of the gayest neighborhoods in town. As he continued it was actually the straight people in line who spoke up that were so awesome.
I didn't expect to see allies so willing to chime in and let this guy know that his hate speech wouldn't be tolerated. The best part though was as he grew more irate and vocal the guys who work the truck stopped what they were doing and leaned towards the window and told him they would not serve him because he was spewing hate. They said they support everyone in our community and that he should get out of line because they would not be serving him. He begrudgingly got out of line and walked away escorted by a friend who had been hanging back.
As I walked away with my pizza all I could think about was "THAT'S IT!" Every person who spoke up to defend us including the pizza guys representing their business was doing their part to make hate a thing of the past.
What an incredible show of support. Awesome work, pizza-eating denizens of Columbus, Ohio, and thanks to Diaz for sharing his story.
[Image from Mister Ohio at Skreened.]
'NEW YEAR': New video from Beach House.
SMARTER THAN A CONGRESSMAN?: Barney Frank on House's collective IQ.
NOT FOR A SIZE QUEEN: The world's shortest escalator.
SLAM!: NJ Gov. Chris Christie takes on House GOP, especially embattled Speaker John Boehner.
For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.
Stacie Laughton, the first transgender person elected to office in New Hampshire, will not run for the seat she resigned after it was revealed she was convicted of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.
House Speaker John Boehner had some choice words for Sen. Harry Reid during the fiscal cliff negotiations at the White House: "Go f*ck yourself."
Meanwhile, right-wing website Breitbart is starting to beat the "oust Boehner" drum.
Here's a fun interactive graph about where the 50 United States stand on LGBT rights.
Richard Socarides on the push for marriage equality in Illinois: "Illinois, being the President's home state and containing four per cent of the total U.S. population, would be a big win for marriage-equality advocates."
Hillary Clinton has left New York Presbyterian as she continues to recover from a blood clot near her brain.
Natural born smooth talker: "Just hours after they're born, babies seem to be able to tell the difference between sounds in their native tongue and a foreign one, according to a new study that suggests language learning begins in utero."
A shirtless Jude Law looks fit and fine vacationing in Maui.
Anne Hathaway looks lovely on the cover of Harper's Bazaar UK.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly tied the knot on Christmas.
NYE fireworks in reverse.
Take some time to read my old friend Cord Jefferson's wonderful piece about depression, adventure and finding clarity in life.
Katie Holmes and Jake Gyllenhaal are not a couple.
New track from Azaelia Banks, "Bad Bitches Doin'."
Lindsay Lohan has been evicted from her home in Hollywood. Hopefully this will inspire her to get the help she so desperately needs.
A completely sci-fi prediction about religion in 2060 from homophobic hate leader David Barton: "Conservative Christians will be treated as second class citizens, much like African Americans were prior to civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Family as we know it will be drastically changed with the state taking charge of the children beginning at birth. Marriage will include two, three, four or any number of participants. Marriage will not be important, with individuals moving in and out of a 'family' group at will. Church buildings will be little used, with many sold to secular buyers and the money received going to the government. Churches will not be allowed to discuss any political issues, even if it affects the church directly." Yeah, right.
A look at the wild popularity of shojo manga, a genre that focuses on teen boys' gay love, among straight women in Japan: "The genre of boys' love, in other words, allows [authors and] readers to place themselves in a position of power and aggrandizement that is rare for women—as the distanced, masterful position, letting his (or her) eyes roam across variegated objects of desire."
If you can, pick up this week's edition of The New Yorker to read Daniel Mendelsohn's incredible piece about how historical novelist Mary Renault's work helped him come to terms with his own sexuality. The magazine's abstract elaborates: "Reading her books, the writer felt a shock of recognition... After reading Renault’s The Charioteer, which is set during the Second World War and wrestles with the issue of 'Greek love,' the writer wrote in his diary, 'I know what I am. Now I must think what to do with it.'"
From "The Catholic Church’s new gay insult:" "It would be unrealistic to expect the Catholic Church to make a sudden about-face on the issue of equality. It’s been doing the 'Homosexuality is an offense to God' shtick a really long time and that’s a hard habit to break. But the religion whose pope declared in 1866 that slavery wasn’t necessarily against 'natural' law does have a track record of sometimes evolving in light of compelling social change."
Posted Jan. 2,2013 at 4:18 PM EST by Andrew Belonsky in Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway, Brad Pitt, Catholic Church, Comic Books, Gay Marriage, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Illinois, Japan, Jude Law, New Hampshire, News, Religion, Richard Socarides, Science, The Economy | Permalink | Comments (12)