PHOTO OF THE DAY: A New Jersey ice cream parlor pays tribute to Tony Soprano.
BY SAM GREISMAN
A look back at today's top stories
As we continue to wait on a ruling from the Supreme Court regarding marriage equality, Ari Waldman takes a look at the possibility that there is no "standing" or "jurisdiction". Out New York lawmakers are up in arms about Anthony Weiner's lack of admonishment toward a woman who called Christine Quinn a "dyke". Good news sanity; the most well-known "ex-gay" group is shutting down for good.
A moronic and bigoted congressman from Texas believes that gays should hide their orientation from co-workers. Also one man encountered a very sticky situation at a New York gym.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Mobile, Alabama's all-male cheerleading squad can really shake it!
On the latest "Ask Anything" video for The Dish, Dan Savage defends himself against accusations of biphobia and discusses how societal views on bisexuality have changed over the years.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
In a letter sent to the International Olympic Committee yesterday, the New York City based Human Rights Watch organization expressed growing concern that Russia's new antigay law may indeed be used to target LGBT Olympians during the upcoming 2014 Olympics in Sochi. While the IOC issued a statement earlier this week attempting to quell such fears, HRW is pushing for further clarification and is demanding the IOC take proactive steps to ensure discrimination does not occur:
"Although news reports this week quoted a spokesman saying that the IOC is "concerned" about the draft law being passed and reiterated the IOC's "long commitment to non-discrimination against those taking part in the Olympic Games," we urge the IOC to take additional steps to send a clear signal to the Russian authorities that discrimination of people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity is sharply at odds with Russia's human rights and Olympic commitments.
We also encourage you to obtain guarantees from the Russian authorities that no homophobic legislation will be adopted or implemented and that the authorities will refrain from any additional discriminatory legislative initiatives or policies that discriminate against lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender people. We also urge you to press the authorities to state publicly that, as Olympic Host, Russia will ensure, without distinction, the safety and the freedom of expression and association of all athletes, coaches, fans, and others who will attend the Sochi Games."
The letter comes on the heels of a Russian LGBT group calling for a boycott of the Sochi Olympics. In its current form, the homophobic draft law applies not only to Russian citizens, but to anyone who publicly addresses homosexuality while in Russia. Foreigners - possibly including athletes - who violate the law, such as speaking about their sexual orientation in public, run the risk of being fined, arrested for up to 15 days, and deported from Russia.
The Underwear Expert recently sat down with Afghan war veteran turned underwear model Alex Minsky to talk about his journey back from the front-lines and transformation into a model of inspiration. Minksy, who lost his right leg after an IED exploded underneath him on June 1, 2009, has faced a daunting recovery:
"I came out of my coma and I was using alcohol as a tool to cope–to cope with the trauma that was going on in my own head and in my own life and I was like messed up, dude. I was real messed up. And then a series of very unfortunate events happened back to back to back bam bam bam. My younger brother passed away when he was 19 and I was 21 and then I used alcohol even more, to cope even more. It’s a progressive illness, so my alchoholism progressed further and further and further and I never slowed down. I felt that I was, that I deserved it. I felt like I was allowed to drink that much because, I don’t know.. because I could–because I wanted to. And that’s not the case. It was very unhealthy and it is very unhealthy and it was very, very bad for me. I don’t regret anything that I’ve done–any drinking, anything like that–but it’s not a healthy way of living. And it’s very hypocritical for me also because I promote healthy living all the time in every single aspect of my life. For years I’ve been promoting it in every other aspect of my life–except for my own personal abuse of alcohol. I would abuse the crap out of alcohol."
More than anything, Minksy hopes to be an inspiration to others. He tells NBC 4 Los Angeles,
"Just because I don't have a leg doesn't mean it's going to slow me down. I want people to look at me and not give up. Not quit."
Check out a few more photos from Minsky's shoot with The Underwear Expert as well as a video from NBC 4 AFTER THE JUMP...
View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.
The Westboro Baptist Church has officially responded to the threat of a five-year-old girl's lemonade stand. Their message: "Fags and enablers all burn in hell. Lemonade won't cool any tongues."
It appears, though, that others in the neighbourhood (and around the world) are quite supportive of Jayden's efforts. To date she has raised over $20,000 for the organization Planting Peace through lemonade sales and an online Crowdrise campaign. Planting Peace bills itself as an organization with a goal of simply spreading peace in whatever way possible. One peace-spreading idea of their's was to buy a house opposite the WBC compound and then paint it rainbow colors. It was this house where Jayden set up her controversial lemonade stand.
Towleroad previously linked to coverage of the lemonade debacle when WBC members purportedly called the cops swore at those who dared to buy the lemonade.
If anything can be said of WBC members, at least they're consistent in their awfulness.
In other Equality House news, two lesbians will be getting married on the lawn of the house opposite the WBC.
Kimberly Kidwell and Katie Short will be married this Saturday by a Unitarian minister, despite same-sex marriage being illegal in Kansas.
From the Topeka Capital-Journal:
Jackson said Planting Peace hopes publicity surrounding the ceremony will send a signal to the U.S. Supreme Court as it decides two key cases regarding the constitutionality of gay marriage.
“We would like marriage equality, and we don’t think people should be treated as second-class citizens,” Jackson said.
He said Planting Peace sent out a message on social media outlets asking if any same-sex couples would like to be married in front of Equality House, and it received about five responses.
Jackson said Planting Peace learned more about each couple before deciding that Kidwell and Short, who have been together five and a half years, “sounded like a good fit.”
MARRIAGE NEWS WATCH: AFER's Matt Baume on getting ready for SCOTUS.
THE WIZARD OF OZ: Entirely in LEGO.
OUT GAY SINGER-SONGWRITER DRAKE JENSEN: "Scars".
MDNA: Men in pumps workshop.
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