Andy Samberg's comedy troupe The Lonely Island was joined by the lovely Alanis Morissette on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in a performance of their new song about everyone's favorite multi-use punctuation mark: the semicolon.
Apropos of our post earlier, when Alanis points out that the boys are using the word "semicolon" incorrectly Andy replies, "I gotta say, Alanis, coming from you, that's a little ironic."
Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...
The Lonely Island's The Wack Album is available now.
African-Americans account for 14% of the population and half of the more than 1 million cases of HIV in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among all MSM (men who have sex with men), African Americans account for the highest number of new HIV infections.
One advocacy group in the Los Angeles area, In The Meantime Men, is seeking to remedy that problem, and recently released a billboard ad encouraging HIV testing among African-American MSM. These billboards, up until recently, depicted two shirtless black men embracing each other, along with the slogan, "Our Love is Worth Protecting .... We Get Tested," and were strategically placed in areas with higher demographic concentrations of African American residents. However, due to recent controversy, these ads have been replaced with a much more generic alternative, which simply contains the word "HOMOPHOBIA" in bold letters with an "X" through it.
Rev. Eric P. Lee, president of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, explained in an interview with the LA Times how his community responded to the group's original ads.
"The immediate reaction of the community was shock...It showed how we have commonly dealt with homosexuality in the community, which is 'Don't ask, don't tell,' a silence that doesn't condemn or affirm."
HIV Prevention advocates argue that this mindset is one of the reasons why men in African-American communities refuse to get themselves tested. For gay and bisexual black men, advocates say that the act of getting tested might "out" them to the rest of their community, whereas straight black men might refuse to be tested for fear of being perceived as gay. Jeffrey King, executive director of In The Meantime Men, argues that this very mindset is the exact reason why the group chose to release their ads in the first place, "to address one of the key factors in why we're seeing high rates of HIV, especially among gay black men."
"Nobody wants to talk about the fact that our kids are having sex and a large part of them are gay and are having sex with each other...One of the key reasons we're seeing HIV rates as high as they are is linked to homophobia in the community."
While stigma is just one of the many factors contributing to increased infection rates, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of public health in Los Angeles County, has agreed that stigma does play a role in African American communities, where MSM "suffer from stigma, discrimination, from a reduced rate of acceptance for their same-sex orientation, and they also have historically had less access to healthcare...It's been a very serious problem, and we've been aware of it for years."
After days of hype, One Direction has finally released the music video to their song "Best Song Ever", in which they do double duty portraying both themselves as well as a colorful cast of characters. We've already seen Liam Payne channel Richard Simmons as Leeroy the Choreographer, as well as Harry Styles channel gay British fashion consultant, author and personality Gok Wan. Now you can also see Louis Tomlinson do his best impression of Rex Grossman from Tropic Thunder, as well as Zayn Malik dressed in drag and catching stares from his fellow band-mates as he bends over. We're not sure exactly who Niall Horan is supposed to be channelling, but at least the makeup looks convincing.
Almost one month after the Supreme Court's landmark decision to gut DOMA, legal analysts and experts are still trying to make sense as to how it specifically impacts same-sex couples and their benefits. While the decision was explicit in terms of including all "lawful marriages", the situation remains less-than-clear for those living in what legal scholars refer to as the 36 "mini-DOMA" states, according to an editorial released in yesterday's Washington Post.
According to Bloomberg, approximately one-third of the roughly 130,000 married same-sex couples live in such states that have laws in place forbidding the practice and/or recognition of same-sex marriage. As WaPo and SCOTUS Blog have already argued, this could certainly prove problematic for federal agencies wishing to determine which couples are "legally married". Do said agencies use the guidelines laid down by the state of the couple's residence, or the state that legally married them? WaPo has already pointed out that:
"Each agency has its regulations, and some define marriage based on where a couple resides rather than where the spouses were married — obviously inhospitable to same-sex couples living in the states that don’t recognize their marriages."
Thus, the absence of any centralized standard would likely make an already-tricky situation even more so. Luckily, President Obama has already expressed that, "it’s my personal belief, but I’m speaking now as a president not as a lawyer, that if you marry someone in Massachusetts and you move somewhere else, you’re still married." To that end, the Justice Department has updated the regulations for many federal agencies thusly, such as the Office of Personnel Management. For other agencies, however, such as the Internal Revenue Service, the situation remains far from certain. As WaPo has pointed out, changing guidelines for other agencies would require the approval of a gridlocked Congress. While it is possible for President Obama to sign an executive order instructing all agencies to follow suit with the Office of Personnel Management and the Pentagon, as Bloomberg explained, doing so would almost certainly trigger a backlash. "Careful consideration is important," they said, "especially with opponents of same-sex marriage already warning that they will sue if federal policies impose de facto same-sex marriage in states where voters have opposed it."
As a result, it would seem that, when it comes to enforcing the Supreme Court's ruling on DOMA, the situation is only truly clear in the 12 states that do allow marriage equality (as well as the District of Columbia). To borrow from The Washington Post's Editorial Board...
"For the sake of clarity and equality, lawmakers must help the administration harmonize standards across the government, recognizing the union of any couple legally married in any state, no matter where they now reside and no matter what piece of the federal government is looking."
On July 14th the New York-based Satanic Temple held a "pink mass" ceremony over the Mississippi grave site of Catherine Idalette Johnston, the mother of notorious hate-monger Reverend Fred Phelps. The intent was to turn her "gay for all eternity" and was crafted in response to Westboro Baptist Church threatening to protest the funerals of the Boston Marathon bombing victims.
Bill Arlinghaus, the owner of the cemetery in Meridian, Mississippi, is now looking to press charges of tresspassing and the local police are preparing to arrest those involved as soon as possible. Captain Dean Harper of the Meridian Police Department said of the incident,
"It is an unusual crime that we haven't come across to my knowledge in awhile. Not only does it violate a state and city ordinance, but it also violates the moral decency of a human being."
The charges laid against the participants of pink mass include trespassing, indecent exposure, and malicious mischief. It will be interesting to see how any convictions play out since, even though the Satanic Temple admits that attention is what they were after, they were arguably practicing their religion. There is also a notable comparison between the pink mass "conversion" of the late Mrs. Johnston's sexuality and the Mormon church's practice of posthumous baptism and conversion of jews.
Anyone familiar with debate surrounding marriage equality is likely familiar with the "traditional family" argument. That is, those arguing against same-sex marriage commonly maintain that children supposedly "do better" when in a household with two parents of the opposite sex. Now, a new study, conducted by Dr. Simon Crouch of the University of Melbourne, seeks to address that very claim. The results may prove harmful to those advocating the so-called "traditional family".
"The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families, conducted at Melbourne University, collected data on the mental, physical, and social wellbeing of 500 children from around the nation up to the age of 17. The study also interviewed 315 gay, lesbian, and bisexual parents, asking them to complete the Child Health Questionnaire, which is recognized around the world. Preliminary results indicated that children of gay and lesbian parents were no different from their peers raised by straight parents in terms of physical and mental health, and in their interactions with others and their parents."
Interim results indicated that there was no noticeable difference between children of same-sex and opposite-sex parents in terms of physical health, mental health, or interactions with their parents. When it came to family cohesion and general health, children of same-sex couples actually managed to score higher than their counterparts who were raised by opposite-sex couples. The study indicated only one area in which children of same-sex couples did suffer, and that was when they were subject to discrimination based on their parents' sexuality.
According to PinkNews, this study is "the world’s largest of its kind on gay parenting." Dr. Crouch, and openly gay father of twin four-year-old boys, stated that he was prompted by the equal marriage and gay adoption debate, especially those arguing that children supposedly "did better" when raised by opposite-sex parents. He disagreed...
"Our research does not support this. There are a lot of same sex families where there isn’t a mother figure or there isn’t a father figure and we find that the children are doing really well."