04/25/2013PHOTO OF THE DAY: Have the Log Cabin Republicans finally had it with the GOP's dislike of gays?
BY SAM GREISMAN
A look back at today's top stories
A new twist on the marriage equality debate has cropped up in Minnesota where a proposed new bill could redefine marriage as civil unions for all couples and leave marriages up to churches. Interesting. Also in the North Star State, a bride took a stand for marriage equality when she handed her bouquet to her lesbian sister in hopes that she can legally get married one day. Good news too in Philadelphia as the city has passed an LGBT health bill.
Ari Waldman tells us why the Boy Scouts' kinda-end to their ban on gays actually highlights their anti-gay agenda. Former President George W. Bush has come out of hiding for a media blitz surround the opening of the Bush Library and despite making comments about foreign policy and immigration, says that it is not his place to discuss gay marriage. And today is the 20th anniversary of the 1993 March on Washington which at the time was the largest gay and lesbian rally in American history.
A Baltimore area police chief threw some ridiculous and horrible slurs at an officer. The Catholic high school teacher that was fired after she named her partner in her mother's obituary is apparently set to file a discrimination complaint against the school. Also a Delaware church is using a fancy-schmancy sign to display its opposition to gay marriage.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Having trouble getting out of bed in the morning? This supercut should help a lot.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was reintroduced today in the House and Senate.
Unfortunately, its reintroduction was marred by objections over religous exemption language in the bill. The ACLU, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center released a joint statement Thursday morning applauding the reintroduction but expressing "very grave concerns" about the exemption language:
Despite the remarkable progress - cultural, political, and legal - that LGBT people have made in recent years, there are currently 34 states that lack workplace non-discrimination laws that are fully inclusive of LGBT people. This patchwork of protection continues to leave LGBT people vulnerable to workplace discrimination. We hear the stories every day from our clients and the tens of thousands of LGBT people who contact LGBT legal organizations like ours every year. In a country that values fairness and equal treatment under the law, we believe the current situation is unacceptable.
We greatly appreciate the efforts of Sens. Merkley (pictured, D-Ore.) and Kirk (R-Ill.) and Reps. Polis (D-Colo.) and Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) in making a number of significant improvements to ENDA. These include removing language that would have reaffirmed the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.
While we applaud the progress that has been made, we stand united in expressing very grave concerns with the religious exemption in ENDA. It could provide religiously affiliated organizations – far beyond houses of worship – with a blank check to engage in employment discrimination against LGBT people. Some courts have said that even hospitals and universities may be able to claim the exemption; thus, it is possible that a religiously affiliated hospital could fire a transgender doctor or a religiously affiliated university could terminate a gay groundskeeper. It gives a stamp of legitimacy to LGBT discrimination that our civil rights laws have never given to discrimination based on an individual’s race, sex, national origin, age, or disability. This sweeping, unprecedented exemption undermines the core goal of ENDA by leaving too many jobs, and LGBT workers, outside the scope of its protections.
National Center for Transgender Equality's Mara Keisling wrote an F.A.Q. this morning on the bill and what it includes and does not include.
Buzzfeed has more on the religious exemption:
Lambda Legal attorney Greg Nevins, who has litigated some of the group's employment discrimination cases in the past, talked with BuzzFeed about the religious exemption.
"In Title VII, there's an exemption for certain religious-affiliated entities that says that they can basically engage in religious discrimination but they cannot engage in race, color, sex, or national origin discrimination. The words [religious-affiliated entities] have been sometimes interpreted very broadly," Nevins explained, noting, "For instance, a Presbyterian hospital might in some jurisdictions be considered to qualify, which is decidedly different than saying a church or a convent can do these things."
The religious exemption in ENDA "would say that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are not actionable against those entities as defined in Title VII," he added.
"It would be setting up a two-tiered system saying that race, color, sex, and national origin discrimination cannot be engaged in by one of these entities, but sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination can," Nevins said.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
IF YOU CAN CUT A WATERMELON FAST: You can get YouTube famous.
MARK SANFORD: Debated a cutout of Nancy Pelosi.
ANDERSON COOPER: Taste tests a new candy made to look like a urine sample.
THE LONELY DODO: A wildlife conservation awareness PSA, narrated by Stephen Fry.
For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.
HIV vaccine trial halted after vaccine fails.
Barbara Bush on Jeb's possible candidacy: "We've had enough Bushes."
Too hot for his country?
Photographer captures battle between Orcas and Sperm Whales: "On April 18, a half-dozen orcas battled a pod of sperm whales off the southern coast of Sri Lanka. The unusual encounter is one of fewer than a dozen such recorded conflicts — and the first observed in the Indian Ocean."
NOM's Brian Brown seethes over Rhode Island marriage equality win, compares gay families to those that have been torn apart by divorce and death.
Alan Cumming to return to Cabaret for Broadway revival: "However, contrary to reports, he will not be joined by Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway, who had been tipped to take the role of Sally Bowles following a one-off concert at Joe's Pub in New York last year during which she sang several of the show's iconic numbers. Hathaway's publicist has denied the reports, saying that he 'has no idea' what prompted the story."
Bieber's tour bus busted for marijuana.
Derek Theler is looking fine.
Bishop who ousted gay Catholic from Long Island parish rejects 18,000 petition signatures, sends them back: "I really don't understand what sort of message Bishop Murphy is trying to send," said Nicholas Coppola upon learning that the signatures were mailed back. "Is he no longer listening to the voices of the faithful? I have more questions than anything now."
San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter to restructure.
First wedding boutique for gay men set to open in Paris. "The ‘haut de gamme’ shop will be located in the capital’s wealthy 1st Arrondissement, close to the Louvre museum, and its opening on Saturday promises to be a '100% male day' where potential customers can browse through 'everything they’ll need for a successful wedding.'"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum to star in Guys & Dolls remake?
Zac Efron putting on a gun show...
Anti-gay, anti-Muslim University of Arizona student causing more controversy with disgusting sign.
Socarides: Momentum and Gay Marriage, from Paris to SCOTUS. "Progress toward marriage equality internationally could also affect some of the Justices, although there is a highly contentious left-right split on whether it is appropriate for the Supreme Court to look at international developments when formulating constitutional doctrine. The Court may feel that, far from getting ahead, it has fallen awkwardly behind not just the country but the world."
The Slant interviews Kevin Sessums: "In the past I was like, Never out anybody. I was very adamant about that and at some point I sort of switched. I thought, You know what? I’m not going to buy into somebody else’s shame. They can deny it. I don’t give a shit. That’s fine. But I’m not going to be denied the question like it’s something shameful. Also, I’m not asking them what they do in their bedroom. I’m not asking them if they are a top or a bottom or what their sexual proclivities are. If someone is straight, that part of their life infuses all aspects of who they are. They talk about it all the time, and it’s not about being private."
Natasha Frost and Tony Friesen were married this week in Minnesota, but instead of engaging in the traditional bouquet toss, Frost decided to make a statement and give the bouquet to her sister Nitara in hopes that she could marry, asking the guests at the wedding to take action supporting marriage equality, HRC reports.
“I wanted to give them the bouquet in the hopes that Minnesota lawmakers will actually recognizes the right for everyone to marry in Minnesota and we’re hoping that happens this year so we can celebrate the final sister’s wedding.”
Watch the guests cheer as Frost hands off the bouquet, AFTER THE JUMP...