PHOTO OF THE DAY: Obama takes the plunge.
BY SAM GREISMAN
A look back at today's top stories
Very promising news out of Illinois where the Senate Executive Committee has advanced a marriage equality bill, setting up a full Senate vote in the near future. Things are progressing too in Rhode Island where the General Assembly has introduced marriage equality bills into each chamber.
The National Organization for Marriage is none-too-pleased about the marriage equality-related events in Illinois and has pledged money against any Republican who helps pass the bill. Speaking of highly unpleasant groups of people, House Republicans have approved funding for the defense of DOMA while ignoring Sandy relief and women's rights.
Watch as a former gay adult film actor turned "ex-gay" Christian zealot tells us all where the devil comes from. You can't make this stuff up.
On a much less insane note, Tammy Baldwin was sworn in today as the country's first openly gay Senator. Also President Obama signed a defense bill last night that also contains an objection to a provision that would allow anti-gay chaplains to opt out of marrying same-sex couples.
For those of you who have not already found a way to watch season 3 of Downton Abbey while it was airing in England, here is a preview of what is in store for gay footman Thomas. Pop-star Ke$ha tells Seventeen magazine that she is attracted to both genders. And will Al Jazeera be able to turn around struggling Current TV?
VIDEOS OF THE DAY
Did you know that you could stay alive by drinking only alcohol? Thanks to ASAP Science now you do! Also this is not just the worst New Years Eve celebration ever, but maybe the least professional thing ever aired on TV. Was an infant operating the camera truck?
John Aravosis at Americablog reports that Towleroad is among the websites blocked by the U.S. Department of Defense:
I wonder if the Pentagon has a censorship category titled "Jewish," "African-American," or "Latino."
The LGBT filter existed before the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but still has not been fixed. And the Pentagon was notified of the problem as early as last summer, 2012. Yet no one's gotten around to doing anything about it. I'm also told that the censorship varies service and geographical reason – it's not entirely clear why the Pentagon doesn't use the same bans nationwide and agency-wide, if it's going to use any bans at all. This problem has to be fixed Pentagon-wide.
Apparently Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh are okay, however, despite the hate they spew.
For a series called Northwest Love Stories, Jennifer Willis at The Oregonian interviews Eric Marcoux, 82, and Eugene Woodworth, 84, who will celebrate being together for 60 years in June.
Here's part of it:
Q: What advice would you give to new couples today?
Marcoux: God, that's just a terror of a question. To know it's not easy, and leave if it's toxic. Wait long enough to know whether or not it's toxic or just a pain. And be in love with love.
Woodworth: The main thing that I come back to is commitment. You have to decide from the very beginning whether it's going to be a committed relationship for a long period or if it's just going to be as long as it lasts. Which is what most people do. They fall in love with lust instead of love. And they think that when the sex starts getting bad, that's the end of the relationship. That's the beginning of the relationship! That's when you start working on it.
Q: What's the biggest lesson about love and partnership you've learned along the way?
Woodworth: It never lets up.
Marcoux: To be more gentle toward my own vulnerabilities and to his inadequacies, because they disappoint him as well as me. Oh, that didn't make any sense at all.
Woodworth: You never were worried about disappointing me.
Marcoux: Oh, God, I'm going to leave him right now. May I get a ride?
Woodworth: Yeah, teasing is part of it.
Read the full interview HERE.
Thankfully it's boiled down to six minutes:
"On 12/31/2012, KDOC in LA aired a LIVE (NO DELAY) New Year's Eve show. ALL of the F-bombs, audio and video glitches, awkward pauses and drunk teleprompter mimics are 100% how the show aired. No tape doctoring necessary. Enjoy what probably is the last time KDOC will ever do anything live ever again. OH, and the best part...the info said 'Featuring Mario Lopez, Eva Longoria, Joey Lawrence and Jennifer Love Hewitt'. NONE of them showed up and instead they filled 90 minutes with Jamie Kennedy, a clearly high Macy Gray, and Bone Thugs N' Harmony who didn't get the memo not to curse. ENJOY."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
The Rhode Island General Assembly has introduced marriage equality bills in each chamber, the AP reports:
Democratic Rep. Art Handy of Cranston introduced his bill in the House Thursday afternoon. More than 40 members of the 75-member House signed on as co-sponsors.
Moments later, Democratic Sen. Donna Nesselbush of Pawtucket introduced her version of the legislation, which has 11 sponsors in the 38-member Senate.
House Speaker Gordon Fox has called for a gay marriage vote in the House this month. The measure faces a potentially bigger challenge in the Senate, however.
Said Rick Garcia, Director of the Equal Marriage Illinois Project and Senior Policy Advisor of The Civil Rights Agenda: "The Senate Committee did the right thing today and we look forward to the full Senate following their lead. For the first time in Illinois history, we had a vote on the recognition of same-sex marriages, and we won. If everyone calls their senator, we will continue to win. It is now time for marriage equality advocates to contact their Senators immediately and urge them to vote yes on this legislation."
It's unclear when a full Senate vote would take place. The Senate will have to be called back for a special session on Jan. 8 if they are take up marriage equality before Jan. 9, the close of the lame duck session.