A look back at today's top stories
The Supreme Court made no announcement today about its decisions regarding Prop 8 and DOMA though they say they will be back Tuesday for more rulings. The court however did announce a ruling on the affirmative action case, a decision which many are calling a "punt", but Ari Waldman explains why it is not and what that ruling may mean for the gay rights rulings. Waldman also gives us 8 things to watch for this week regarding marriage equality and the Supreme Court.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the largest mass murder of gay people in US history; occurring at a gay bar in New Orleans. There was a landmark decision in Colorado where a court has ruled in favor of a transgender 6-year-old girl who was denied access to her school's girl's restroom. Also Barney Frank thinks President Obama should hold off on signing an executive order banning LGBT discrimination in the workplace.
Tony Award winner Billy Porter recently sat down to discuss a wide range of issues from cross dressing to religious freedom. Mad Men's 6th and penultimate season finale aired last night, what did you think? Are you ready for some Dick Whitman? And a new documentary is reviving the theory that TWA flight 800 was brought down by a missile.
VIDEOS OF THE DAY
Robbie Joe Banfitch gives us all suggestions about how to deal with rejection via OkCupid, Grindr and other online entities. People use Twitter to get dates? Also Obama sings the song of the summer.
So, this is wild: a nearly 4000-year-old Egyptian statue in the collection of England's Manchester Museum has recently started to spin slowly in its display without any help from the outside world. Gawker has the details:
A time-lapse video released by the museum shows the 4000-year-old relic of Neb-Senu slowly turning around inside its case without any apparent assistance from the outside world.
Found in a mummy's tomb some 80 years ago, the statue has been kept encased at the museum ever since.
Its current caretaker, Campbell Price, was the first one to notice the strange phenomenon, and says he first realized something was off when he found the statue askew, reset it, and then found it askew again the following day.
According to The Telegraph, British particle physicist Brian Cox--known for his frequent appearances on the BBC--thinks the statue's movement is being caused by differential friction. Price isn't buying that theory, The Telegraph reports:
[Price] went on the cast doubt on Prof Cox's explanation: “Brian thinks it’s differential friction, where two surfaces - the serpentine stone of the statuette and glass shelf it is on - cause a subtle vibration which is making the statuette turn.
“But it has been on those surfaces since we have had it and it has never moved before. And why would it go around in a perfect circle?”
Price's explanation? "In Ancient Egypt they believed that if the mummy is destroyed then the statuette can act as an alternative vessel for the spirit," he told the paper. "Maybe that is what is causing the movement."
Check out a time-lapse video of the spinning statue, AFTER THE JUMP...
However, the Congress rejected gay marriage legislation in April. And now that the June 20 deadline has passed without any legislation prescribing to how proceed, Colombian gay couples are confused about how to go about securing legal recognition of their relationships.
The Washington Blade reports:
It remains unclear whether gays and lesbians can actually tie the knot in Colombia because the court’s ruling did not contain the word “marriage.” The judges instead said same-sex couples could go before a notary or a judge to “formalize and solemnize their contractual link.”
The Colombian newspaper El Tiempo on Thursday reported that Attorney General Eduardo Montealegre Lynett said notaries and judges are free to interpret the court’s decision because there is no law that specifically addresses the issue of relationship recognition. Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez Maldonado and other Colombian officials have said the 2011 ruling did not extend the possibility of marriage rights to same-sex couples.
Some notaries had said before the June 20 deadline that they would not marry same-sex couples, but rather allow them to enter into a “solemn contract” that is similar to an agreement into which two people enter when they buy a house together.
The article goes on to quote Colombian LGBT advocate Wilson Castañeda Castro as rejecting "solemn contracts" and demanding nothing less than marriage from judges and notaries.
In anticipation of the upcoming Supreme Court decision, a group of Michigan state representatives have introduced a legislative package that will hopefully legalize marriage equality in the state by 2016. The legislation mirrors a similar package introduced by state senators late last month. The Detroit News reports:
Democratic state representatives are sponsoring a package of legislation that would ask voters to repeal the 2004 constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage and create state recognition of same-sex marriages performed in Michigan and other states. The proposals would require the approval of two-thirds of both the GOP-controlled House and Republican-dominated Senate, where approval is considered a long shot.
If passed, the proposal would then be placed on the 2016 ballot, where supporters are cautiously optimistic Michigan voters will make the right decision this time.
"Recent polls have shown that the tide is shifting and a majority of citizens support marriage equality," said State Representative Rude Hobbs (D-Southfield). With or without those polls, supporting the love of our brothers, sisters, friends, and their partners in this fight for inclusiveness is the right move for Michigan and the right thing to do."
The comprehensive Pew Survey of LGBT Americans we reported on earlier detailing the coming out process and social acceptance has a fascinating section that examines the conflicting relationship between LGBT adults and religion. Unsurprisingly, there is a stark difference between the religious views of LGBT adults and that of the general public.
Lesbian, gay men, bisexuals and transgender adults are, on the whole, less religious than the general public. About half (48%) say they have no religious affiliation, compared with 20% in the general public; this pattern holds among all age groups. LGBT adults who do have a religious affiliation generally attend worship services less frequently and attach less importance to religion in their lives than do religiously affiliated adults in the general public.
Also, a third (33%) of religiously affiliated LGBT adults say there is a conflict between their religious beliefs and their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Later on, the survey asks LGBT respondents to rate six religions or religious institutions as friendly, neutral or unfriendly toward the LGBT population. By overwhelming margins, most rate all six as more unfriendly than friendly. And about three-in-ten LGBT adults (29%) say they personally have "been made to feel unwelcome at a place of worship or religious organization."
Check out the full survey HERE.
Alan Chambers, president of 'Exodus International,' sat down with The Christian Post for an in-depth interview about the closing of his controversial ministry and his plans for the future.
On working to not be a lightening rod of negative publicity and the role of the church today:
And I think it really is time for the church to turn around and listen to the people who are screaming with fever pitch about the things that the church has done to hurt them, because there are those things, and we must own them. If we're ever going to be credible, if we're ever going to be taken seriously, if we're ever going to compel people toward the good news of the Gospel we have to be willing to make amends and say we're sorry and listen to people scream at us without screaming back.
His thoughts on sexuality in light of Exodus's closure:
My beliefs about sex and sexuality and sexual expression are that God created, His original created intent was sexual expression between one man and one woman for one lifetime in the bonds of marriage, and that is the truth I live by. That is the truth of my story. So I can't apologize for that. I realize that's not everyone's belief, and in fact it feels more and more like the majority of the world, that isn't their belief. So those things won't change, and I can't apologize for that.
Final thoughts on closing the ministry and what he hopes people won't forget about it:
For me, and for so many other people, Exodus has been a dear friend. As a 19-year-old college student, Exodus saved my life. And my wife and I have given our lives and I spent my entire adult life a part of this ministry. And we've given our resources, we've given our house, we've given adoption money. We've given everything to do good and to help people, and so I don't ever want that discounted. We're saying goodbye to a dear friend, and though in 37 years there have been people who have been hurt -- and we're deeply sorry for that -- there have been people who have been helped, and I don't ever want that to be negated.
Check out the whole interview on The Christian Post.