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Towleroad Talking Points: Obama (Finally) Officially Against Prop 8

PHOTO OF THE DAY: New York City's tweets mapped by language 


A look back at today's top stories


Rumor has it that though the Pope may be stepping down he will not be giving up his handsome male "companion". Hint, hint.  In response to reports that scouts at the NFL combine are curious about players' sexuality, gay rights activist and Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo acknowledges that unfortunately saying he's gay could cost a prospect his spot on the roster

Minnesota Republican Glenn Gruenhagen is no fan of Lady Gaga, in that he doesn't believe gays are "born that way". And a school in Colorado shows their transphobia by keeping a six-year old trans girl from using the girl's bathroom



The Obama administration has finally gone public with what  we knew (and hoped) they believed all along. They have filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to rule Prop 8 unconstitutional. In addition, the American Foundation for Equal Rights has released a list of the overwhelming number of people and groups who have filed anti-Prop 8 briefs.

Failed presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he likes Ken Mehlman but does not agree with his pro-gay marriage stance.


Screen shot 2013-02-28 at 7.13.10 PM


The first episode of the new web series The 3 Bits deals with the ever confusing logistics of trying to organize an orgy. Who hasn't been in that situation before?! That secret "gay lobby" in the Vatican is really wielding their power now; so much so that there will be a kiki to determine the next Pope!

The discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act is causing problems for the bi-national couple in Marvel's "Astonishing X-Men". And Zoanette Johnson channels The Lion King during American Idol's sudden death round



An important victory for canines in the dog vs. cat battle

Posted Feb. 28,2013 at 10:40 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (0)

Obama Administration Files SCOTUS Brief in Prop 8 Case: READ IT

The Obama administration filed a brief on Thursday in the federal case challenging Proposition 8 urging the Supreme Court to rule that same-sex marriage should be legal in eight more states.

ObamaSCOTUSblog writes:

Administration sources said that President Obama was involved directly in the government’s choice of whether to enter the case at all, and then in fashioning the argument that it should make.  Having previously endorsed the general idea that same-sex individuals should be allowed to marry the person they love, the President was said to have felt an obligation to have his government take part in the fundamental test of marital rights that is posed by the Proposition 8 case.  The President could take the opportunity to speak to the nation on the marriage question soon.

In essence, the position of the federal government would simultaneously give some support to marriage equality while showing some respect for the rights of states to regulate that institution.  What the brief endorsed is what has been called the “eight-state solution” — that is, if a state already recognizes for same-sex couples all the privileges and benefits that married couples have (as in the eight states that do so through “civil unions”) those states must go the final step and allow those couples to get married.  The argument is that it violates the Constitution’s guarantee of legal equality when both same-sex and opposite-sex couples are entitled to the same marital benefits, but only the opposite-sex couples can get married.

The eight states that apparently would be covered by such a decision are: California (whose Proposition 8, which denies marriage to couples who already have all of the other marital benefits, would fall), Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island.

Read SCOTUSblog's full post HERE.

UPDATE: Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement about the filing:

“In our filing today in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the government seeks to vindicate the defining constitutional ideal of equal treatment under the law.  Throughout history, we have seen the unjust consequences of decisions and policies rooted in discrimination. The issues before the Supreme Court in this case and the Defense of Marriage Act case are not just important to the tens of thousands Americans who are being denied equal benefits and rights under our laws, but to our Nation as a whole.” 

Adam Umhoefer, executive director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the sole sponsor of the Perry case, issued the following statement:

“The brief filed by the Solicitor General is a powerful statement that Proposition 8 cannot be squared with the principles of equality upon which this nation was founded.  It is an unprecedented call to action by our Government that it is time to recognize gay and lesbian Americans as full and equal citizens under the law.  AFER looks forward to having Solicitor General Verrilli and the Federal Government by our side as we make the case for marriage equality for all before the Supreme Court.”

Read the brief below:


12-144tsacUnitedStates by towleroad


Posted Feb. 28,2013 at 6:38 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (37)

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1317

TIE THE KNOT: Jesse Tyler Ferguson chats with Isaac Mizrahi about his bow tie collection for marriage equality. P.S. - they are on sale here.

STEVEN SPIELBERG: An animated tribute.

ANDERSON COOPER: Leave Anne Hathaway alone!

BUTTER VS MARGARINE: ASAP Science on the difference, and what cis and trans have to do with it.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Posted Feb. 28,2013 at 5:30 PM EST by in Anderson Cooper, Anne Hathaway, Gay Marriage, Isaac Mizrahi, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, News, Steven Spielberg, Towleroad Guide to the Tube | Permalink | Comments (7)

News: Rosa Parks, Bradley Manning, Boy Scouts, Perez Hilton

RoadStatue of Rosa Parks unveiled at the Capitol.

PerezRoadPerez Hilton is a father.

RoadJustin Bieber tries diapers.

RoadGovernment to call 141 witnesses for prosecution in trial of Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning: "The gigantic scale of the prosecution plans were revealed during pre-trial legal argument over how sensitive secret information would be handled. The trial, scheduled to start on 3 June and pencilled in for 12 weeks, is the most prominent prosecution of the source of an official leak for at least a generation."

RoadManning enters guilty plea.

RoadDavid Mixner: Bob Woodward has a desperate need for attention.

RoadPrince Harry remembers Diana in speech in Johannesburg.

RoadMary-Louise Parker denies using anti-gay slur: "While a rep for the Weeds star has confirmed to E! News that the actress did go to the Saugerties, N.Y., establishment on Jan. 2 with a friend, the story attributed to the National Enquirer claiming the actress used the word 'f-g' and threatened physical harm against the proprietor, Daniel Seldin, is simply untrue."

RoadDo people care what Ryan Lochte would do?

RoadChris Hughes and Sean Eldridge buy home, put down roots in Ulster County, NY.

BoyscoutRoadDocuments reveal close ties between National Geographic Channel and Boy Scouts.

RoadFrank Bua: The Boy Scouts made me gay. "As a young New Yorker questioning his sexuality during the Reagan years, I turned to the Boy Scouts, Ed Koch, and episodes of Magnum P.I., to reaffirm my red-blooded masculinity. One would think the Scouts were my best bet to be on the straight and narrow. But after securing Merit badges in bird watching, gardening, pottery, and theater—to say nothing of the extracurricular fun we had earning the plumbing and leatherwork merit badges—I came to realize that I was, well, screwed."

RoadGay rights emerge as a campaign issue in Germany.

RoadJim Parsons graces the pages of GQ.

2_ricky_martinRoadRicky Martin "extremely upset" about Puerto Rico's ban on gay adoption.

RoadAnti-LGBT Christian group begins evangelizing in Brazil: "Pat Robertson founded the American Center for Law and Justice in 1990 to provide a national presence opposing the American Civil Liberties Union — often filing and defending cases all the way to the Supreme Court. But in recent years it has been growing its foreign operations, making it a player in policies to constrain LGBT rights on three continents."

RoadJames Franco was the third choice to play Oz in the new film. Guess who the first two were?

RoadMorrissey fires back at Jimmy Kimmel.

RoadMatt Rettenmund rates Madonna's catalog, best to worst.

RoadMorrissey talks to the Hollywood Reporter: "A lot of people are homesick for The Smiths -- and not because everyone else is abysmal, but because the songs of The Smiths are so good. With most bands, if they have two decent songs, they end up with five-star reviews. There are so many easy victories these days for other bands. But The Smiths were never promoted and almost never received radio play, and this mystery has protected them in the long run. But a reformation will never take place because reformations can only work if the same spirit that made the band form in the first place still exists. But it doesn't."

Posted Feb. 28,2013 at 4:00 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (20)

Vassar College Raises More Than $100,000 for the Trevor Project in Response to Westboro Baptist Church Protest


Vassar College has raised more than $100,000 in response to a planned protest today by the Westboro Baptist Church.

VassarWhen the WBC announced its picket, Josh de Leeuw '08 organized a fundraiser with the goal of raising $4,500.

The Westboro Baptist Church has announced that they will picket Vassar College on Feb 28th. In response, we are raising money for the Trevor Project, "the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth." Our goal is to raise $4,500, or $100 per minute that the WBC is planning to protest for.

The response, as you can see, was more than enthusiastic, attracting thousands of donors.

As a proud '89 Vassar alum, I salute them (as do fellow VC alums Andrew Belonsky and Naveen Kumar, who write for this site).

Posted Feb. 28,2013 at 3:14 PM EST by in News, Vassar, Westboro Baptist Church | Permalink | Comments (8)

NFL Players Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe File SCOTUS Brief Urging Court to Strike Down Prop 8

Honorary-gaysRavens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, two staunch straight allies in the fight for marriage equality, are among those who have filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8.

Say the players in their brief:

“When we advance the idea that some people should be treated differently because of who they are, demeaned in public as lesser beings, not worthy of the same rights and benefits as others despite their actions as good citizens and neighbors, then we deny them equal protection under the laws. America has walked this path before, and courageous people and the Court brought us to the right result. We urge the Court to repeat those actions here.”

Posted Feb. 28,2013 at 2:31 PM EST by in Brendon Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe, Federal Prop 8 Trial, Gay Marriage, News, Proposition 8 | Permalink | Comments (12)


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