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News: Obama and Tiger, Shockwave, Djesus, Berlin

1NewsIcon Only 11% of Americans think that Congress reflects the nation's values, according to right-wing polling site Rasmussen.

Tigerobama1NewsIcon President Obama and Tiger Woods played golf together in Florida today.

1NewsIcon Kendra Wilkinson versus Greg Louganis.

1NewsIcon 150,000 people went out to see the Pope deliver his final public mass.

1NewsIcon New Mexico church has been fighting for marriage equality since 1984.

1NewsIcon Rev. Bayani Rico and his gay son work side-by-side at an Episcopal school in California.

1NewsIcon "Djesus Uncrossed"

1NewsIcon Gay films were front and center at Berlin Film Festival: "The Alfred Bauer Prize for innovation, named for the founder of the Berlinale, went to perhaps the most eccentric film in the competition, the French Canadian director Denis Côté's 'Vic and Flo Saw a Bear,' a darkly comic and melodramatic lesbian love story. The Australian director Kim Mordaunt won the best first feature award for 'The Rocket.' And the Teddy Award for best gay-themed film went to the Polish director Malgoska Szumowska's 'In the Name of …,' about a Catholic priest struggling with his homosexuality."

Mark_kamins1NewsIcon RIP Mark Kamins: "Pioneering DJ and producer Mark Kamins, who was instrumental in facilitating the signing of Madonna to Sire Records in 1982, has died. He was 57."

1NewsIcon Was Oscar Pistorius trying to revive slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp when police arrived at his home?

1NewsIcon he Die Hard franchise is still box office gold. The fifth installment topped the weekend box office with an estimated $30 million in ticket sales.

1NewsIcon An Illinois Catholic school will not give students extra credit for attending an anti-gay marriage rally. "A Notre Dame instructor in an ecclesiology class offered students 20 points extra credit if they attend the lobby day. The offer also included information on a bus trip, sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, to the event. After much debate and attention, Principal Charlie Roy posted an update on the school's website Friday, stating the extra credit will not be offered to those students."

1NewsIcon Baltimore firefighter accused of being a pimp on the side.

1NewsIcon A Cameroonian lawyer vilified for defending gay and lesbians activists has fled to the United States and is seeking asylum: "The threats against Togue that began in Cameroon have not stopped on US soil, where he continues to be subjected to menacing phone calls and text messages. 'They say they are going to kidnap my children, that they'll turn them into queers. I feel very vulnerable,' he said. His family has been in the United States since November, and he joined them in January."

1NewsIcon This is what progress looks like: "Colin Clark, who was suspended last season for directing a gay slur at a Seattle Sounders ball boy – and vehemently apologized afterward – on Saturday made clear his support of [gay player] Robbie Rogers."

1NewsIcon The meteor that struck Russia Friday sent subsonic shockwaves around the world.


Posted Feb. 17,2013 at 4:52 PM EST by in Barack Obama, Cameroon, Film, Film and TV, Illinois, Madonna, New Mexico, News, Religion, Russia, Science, Tiger Woods | Permalink | Comments (7)

DOMA, Creating Expatriates Since 1996

DepartIn a matter of weeks the Supreme Court will hear cases about the constitutionality of hetero-only marriage laws. Those laws include DOMA, which prohibits foreign halves of binational same-sex couples from obtaining permanent residency, even if they're married here.

Some couples and their families are torn apart, and other Americans are forced to find homes abroad. Brandon Perlberg, a lawyer, is among the latter. He's an expatriate by force, and now lives in London with his partner, a graphic designer named Benn Robert Storey.

The New York Times shares part of their story:

...The end of Mr. Storey's temporary visas was approaching. Because he does not have an advanced degree in a technical profession, lawyers advised them that Mr. Storey's chances of gaining a green card based on his employment were very slim.

The uncertainty of Mr. Storey's immigration future became "a dark cloud that hung over our relationship," Mr. Perlberg said. In July 2011, same-sex marriage became legal in New York State. But under the federal marriage law, Mr. Storey still would not have been eligible for a green card as a spouse.

When immigration also became a volatile issue in Britain, they decided to move quickly, fearing that they might not be able to live in either country.

Hopefully the moderate and conservative justices reading this and other such stories see not only the emotional side, but the economic side at stake: who knows how many other talented same-sex couples will flee the US' discriminatory marriage laws?

Posted Feb. 17,2013 at 3:47 PM EST by in DOMA, Gay Marriage, News, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (15)

Gay Writer To DC Comics: 'Be Better,' Be Like Superman

Superman_cardGay journalist and Superman aficionado Glen Weldon won't be reading Orson Scott Card's Superman story.

It's not only that Card's an anti-gay activist who works with the National Organization for Marriage, it's because of the character at hand, Superman. It would be a different story if Card were commissioned to helm a story starring a minor character -- oft-mocked Matter-Eater Lad, the avowed geek suggests -- but Superman's different; " he's the superhero."

"Superman is an ideal," Weldon writes at NPR. "He represents our best self. That's what he's for. He's not the hero we identify with — that's what Spider-Man is for... In Superman, we see ourselves as we hope to be. It's right there in the name — he's not 'Pretty Good Man' or 'Doesn't Suck Man'; he's Superman. He personifies our noblest ideals, ideals we believe in, and strive for..."

Weldom reminds readers that Superman was originally a "champion of the oppressed," but has picked up some other fitting nicknames along the way, including "man of tomorrow."

One of the other nicknames that accrued to Superman right away – that predates "Man of Steel" by a good amount – is "The Man of Tomorrow." And much of his early iconography bears a distinctive Socio-Realist, Diego Rivera vibe: a lot of burnished golden sunrises, eyes raised to the horizon, gazing into the future.

Because that's where he lives, Superman. And that's what he says to us: We can do better. We can be better, to ourselves, and to each other.

Hey, DC Comics? Be better.

So far it seems DC is standing by their decision to hire Card for the two-part digital story. The company said in a statement, "As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that -- personal views -- and not those of the company itself."

Posted Feb. 17,2013 at 1:44 PM EST by in Comic Books, News | Permalink | Comments (25)

Play Turns Spotlight On Discrimination Against Gays, People With Disabilities: VIDEO


From the horrid sarcasm coming from the Alaska GOP to the hateful salesmanship in France, this morning's news has been a bit of a bummer. To pick us all up a bit, here's a story from Chicago about a play, Teddy Ferrara, dedicated to fighting the discrimination faced by both gay people and people with physical disabilities.

From Chicago's ABC-7:

Chris Imbrosciano, 28, plays Jay, a gay student in a wheelchair.

"He's very involved in university issues,' said Chris. "He is really sort of always searching for the truth about this incident that happens on campus that sort of sends everyone's life into a tailspin."

Chris, a professional actor, has cerebral palsy.

"It affects my gate. It affects my walking. It's visible in a limp, and that's pretty much it," he said.

Chris has been acting for a number of years.

"They found me through a nonprofit in New York City called Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts that sort of serves as a database for performers with disabilities," said Chris.

"Teddy Ferrara" director Evan Cabnet says playwright Christopher Shinn's goal was to address issues of a group of students dealing with coming of age.

"They become adults as they leave home and involved themselves in university life with different and more complicated -- not problems necessarily -- but challenges to overcome," Evan said.

Watch video of Karen Meyer's report AFTER THE JUMP.

Posted Feb. 17,2013 at 11:04 AM EST by in Chicago, News, Theatre | Permalink | Comments (10)

Subway France Shuts Down Franchise Owner's Anti-Gay Special


The owner of a Subway franchise in Angers, France, thought he would pull a Dan Cathy by using his fast food signage to discriminate against gay people.

On Valentine's Day, the owner posted a sign advertising a "feast of love for couples (M/F);" then, at the bottom of the poster, he included the self-defense, "Discrimination: No, the marriage for all law has advanced, but has yet to be ratified by the Senate. Until then, I'll use my freedom of expression."

Naturally, this being the 21st Century, the hateful message was soon spread across Twitter and Facebook, prompting executives at Subway France to temporarily close that store's location and release an apology.

From their Facebook page:

The SUBWAY brand is strongly committed to maintaining the values ​​of diversity and inclusiveness in its restaurants around the world and does not endorse in any discrimination of any kind.

We apologize to all those people who felt offended by the individual promotional initiative for Valentine's Day of a restaurant in Angers, France.

Subway officials called the owner a "marginal case" and are looking into filing sanctions against him.

(Image via Eteignez Votre Ordinateur)

Posted Feb. 17,2013 at 9:53 AM EST by in Discrimination, France, Gay Marriage, News | Permalink | Comments (17)

Alaska Republicans Literally Laugh At Idea Of Civil Unions: VIDEO


Alaska's Republican-led House Majority Caucus really gave had themselves a good laugh on Friday, when Mark Miller from the Juneau Empire asked if their upcoming initiatives include civil unions or domestic partnerships to same-sex couples.

No, House Leader Lance Pruitt said after overcoming his giggles, of course they have no such plans. Civil unions are an issue Pruitt and company wouldn't deign discuss, and it's laughable to even suggest they would debate things that "happen in people's bedrooms."

Isn't that funny? The people leading a state don't care about equality because they think being gay is just about sex? What a riot!! I'm slapping my knee!

Watch the video, via Alaska Commons, AFTER THE JUMP. It's disgusting, but thankfully it's also short.

Posted Feb. 17,2013 at 8:27 AM EST by in Alaska, Discrimination, News | Permalink | Comments (66)


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