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06/17/2013

Towleroad Talking Points: Miss Utah Does Her State Proud

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PHOTO OF THE DAY: I can get on board with this new male crop-top trend if everyone who wears them looks like this.  

BY SAM GREISMAN

A look back at today's top stories

ENTERTAINMENT

Neil Patrick Harris is headed to Broadway and this time not as a Tonys host. NPH is set to headline a new production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch that will premiere next spring. Jay-Z popped up during Game 5 of the NBA Finals last night to announce the release of his new album which will be free to one million Samsung customers

Ricky Martin debuted his new single "Come with Me" on the Australian version of The Voice. Even the National Guard is aware of the power of a shirtless Henry Cavill and Leonardo DiCaprio is looking like an 80s version of Gatsby in the first trailer for Martin Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street

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GAY ISSUES

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Anti-gay groups are not gonna be pleased about a new poll that has revealed that news networks are biased in favor of gay marriage. Maybe they just have brains? In celebration of the passing of gay marriage in France, Google has created a powerful ad for it's "Hangout" service that shows French couples getting married over the video chatting feature. Take a look at a new documentary that focuses on the relationship between the African-American and gay communities. Also AdWeek looks at the 16 gayest ads in history

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VIDEOS OF THE DAY

It will be hard for any future beauty pageant contestants to answer a question worse than Miss Utah did during last night's Miss USA pageant. Everyone is dumber for having heard it. And Republican Senator Lindsey Graham admits that his party might be fighting a losing battle against a changing demographic. 

Posted Jun. 17,2013 at 10:13 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (1)


Greg Louganis Engaged to His Partner Johnny Chaillot

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis is getting married to his paralegal partner Johnny Chaillot, he tells People magazine:

Louganis"I finally met my soul mate – the more I fall in love with Johnny, the more I fall in love with myself. This is what the universe had in store for both of us," Louganis, 53, says.

Louganis is widely considered the greatest diver in history. He is the only male to sweep both the 3m and 10m diving events in consecutive Olympic Games ('84 and '88). During his career he earned a total of five Olympic medals, five World Championship titles and 47 national titles.

Louganis also tweeted: "Yes! It is official we are getting married! I love my life and I love Johnny Chaillot ! Namaste, Greg"

Congrats to both of them!

Posted Jun. 17,2013 at 9:38 PM EST by in Couples, Diving, Greg Louganis, News, Olympics | Permalink | Comments (20)


Supreme Court Strikes Down Restrictive Arizona Voting Law: VIDEO

SupremesIn a surprise move, the Supreme Court today ruled 7-2 that Arizona cannot require voters to prove their citizenship when submitting voter registration forms.  The New York Times reports on the ruling, authored by Justice Antonin Scalia (yes--you read that right):

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, No. 12-71, said a federal law requiring states to “accept and use” a federal form displaced an Arizona law requiring various kinds of proof of citizenship.

The federal law, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, allows voters to register using a federal form that asks, “Are you a citizen of the United States?” Prospective voters must check a box for yes or no, and they must sign the form, swearing under the penalty of perjury that they are citizens.

The state law, by contrast, required prospective voters to prove that they were citizens by providing copies of or information concerning various documents, including birth certificates, passports, naturalization papers or driver’s licenses, that are available only to people who are in the state lawfully.

Today's ruling was centered around the concept of 'preemption,' under which the federal laws are generally seen to trump state laws.  Think Progress has more on the preemption issue, which Scalia ruled is especially pertinent in laws affecting federal elections:

As the Court points out, this broad view of the federal role in governing elections is consistent with the Constitution’s text, which provides that “[t]he times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations.”

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of a major component of the Voting Rights Act by the end of next week.

Watch an MSNBC analysis of today's ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Jun. 17,2013 at 7:45 PM EST by in Antonin Scalia, Arizona, News, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (22)


Social Security Administration Makes Strides In Transgender Rights, Removes Surgical Requirement

According to new regulations published by the Social Security Administration, transgender individuals will no longer be required to demonstrate surgical reassignment in order to change gender designation on official documents. The new
regulation is a big step for the transgender community. Salon reports:

SSC“This is a tremendous victory for our community,” Ilona Turner, legal director of the Transgender Law Center, said in a statement. “The Social Security Administration was one of the last agencies to hold onto an outdated, one-size-fits-all standard for gender change. Transgender people will now be able to change all their federal documents with a simple letter from their doctor recognizing that they have undergone the appropriate treatment for them.”

The letter in question is a far more preferable, and private, mode of official recognition.

...the administration will accept a letter from the person’s doctor confirming that they have undergone “appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition,” but, as the National Center for Transgender Equality notes, “no specific type of treatment is required, and details of your treatment should not be included in the letter from your physician to the SSA.”

By increasing the options for legitimate recognition of gender reassignment, the SSA has taken a significant step toward reducing the bureaucratic processes which have made transgender individuals second-class citizens. Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, recognizes the gravity of the new regulation:

“Most people may not see this as a big deal, but transgender people know that this seemingly small technical change will protect their privacy and give them more control over their own lives” she said in a statement celebrating the change.

Here's hoping that even more significant changes are underway and that discrimination will continue to slowly be disbanded.

Image courtesy of nyc.gov.

Posted Jun. 17,2013 at 7:20 PM EST by in Social Security, Transgender | Permalink | Comments (13)


'Days of Our Lives' Star Chandler Massey Wins 2nd Daytime Emmy: VIDEO

Photo by DANNY MOLOSHOK:REUTERS

Chandler Massey won the award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series at the Daytime Emmys yesterday for his role as Will Horton, a gay character on Days of Our Lives. This is the second year in a row that Massey has won the award.

Watch a romantic scene between Massey and his onscreen lover Freddie Smith,
AFTER THE JUMP...

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 6.06.12 PM

Posted Jun. 17,2013 at 6:48 PM EST by in Awards, Chandler Massey, News, Soap Operas | Permalink | Comments (16)


Group Launches Campaign to Put Marriage Equality on 2014 Arizona Ballot

A campaign has been launched in Arizona to put marriage equality before the voters in 2014, Echo reports:

EqualmarriageIf it's successful, the Arizona Equal Marriage campaign organized by a Libertarian and a Republican could put Arizona in line to be one of the next states to approve same-sex marriage.

But first, the effort would need to collect at least 259,213 signatures of voters registered in Arizona to put the issue on the ballot in the Nov. 4, 2014, general election. To launch the effort, the initiative was filed with the Arizona Secretary of State's office on June 17.

Warren Meyer, a Phoenix small business owner, Libertarian blogger and author, and Erin Ogletree Simpson, a retired Tucson lawyer and chair of the Arizona Log Cabin Republicans, are spearheading the campaign in anticipation that the Supreme Court will return the issue of marriage equality to the states, Echo adds:

Meyer and Ogletree Simpson said their goal is to gather at least 400,000 to ensure that their proposal qualifies for the ballot. They said signatures will be gathered by volunteer and paid workers.

The initiative would alter the language of an amendment to the state Constitution approved by voters in 2008, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The new language would define marriage as between two people.

The initiative also proposes adding a paragraph that says religious organizations would not be required to officiate any particular marriage — language that the initiative's supporters said protects religious freedoms.

More at Echo mag....

The group's press release is here.

Posted Jun. 17,2013 at 5:15 PM EST by in Arizona, Gay Marriage, News | Permalink | Comments (23)



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