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08/16/2013

Redskins Quarterback: 'Now Is The Time For A Gay NFL Player To Come Out'

RedStar quarterback for the Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III, commonly referred to as RG3, told GQ in a recent interview that he believes that now is the appropriate time for a gay NFL player to come out of the closet, The Advocate reports:

"I think there are [gay players] right now, and if they're looking for a window to just come out, I mean, now is the window," he said in an interview with GQ. "My view on it is, yes, I am a Christian, but to each his own. You do what you want to do. If some Christians want to look at being gay as a sin, then thinking about other women, committing adultery — or any of those sins that are in the Bible — those are sins too. And God looks at all of us the same way."

Griffin's call comes just months after rumors swirled about the possibility of 4 gay NFL players coming out. However, those rumors have yet to materialize into anything more substantial.

Posted Aug. 16,2013 at 6:38 PM EST by in News, NFL, Sports | Permalink | Comments (24)


Gay Couples Risk Paying More Taxes As They Wait For IRS' Guidance

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86440e22970d-800wiThe many questions regarding tax returns and federal benefits that gay couples across the country were faced with in the wake of the US Supreme Court's gutting of Section 3 of DOMA have continued to linger despite a promise from the IRS in June that it would “move swiftly to provide revised guidance in the near future." Bloomberg news reports that couples are still waiting for the IRS' guidance on how to tackle a myriad of issues including tax refunds, health insurance, and joint accounts, among others:

After years of fighting for equal tax-and-benefit treatment, married couples now await guidance on how the Internal Revenue Service and federal agencies will implement the ruling. Without it, those who file for tax refunds may end up paying more, not less.

Married couples in states that don’t recognize gay marriage and those who delayed filing their 2012 returns in anticipation of the court’s decision in June are pressing for clarity. Spouses computing whether to seek refunds from prior returns see the three-year statute of limitations for amendments closing as they look to the IRS for details.

“We are desperately awaiting that guidance,” said Shari Levitan, chairwoman of the New England private wealth services group at Holland & Knight LLP in Boston. “The major question for clients is for returns that are still open, and even those that are beyond the statute of limitations, can they be amended?”

Without IRS guidance, couples who extended their 2012 return deadline to Oct. 15 and who live in a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage will probably file their federal returns jointly and disclose they are doing so based on the court’s decision, Levitan said. She serves high-net-worth clients, about 10 percent of them same-sex couples.

“That’s a risk,” because the IRS could deem they filed incorrectly, she said.

Posted Aug. 16,2013 at 5:11 PM EST by in DOMA, Law - Gay, LGBT, News | Permalink | Comments (5)


US Olympic Committee Condemns Russia's Anti-Gay Law But Asks Athletes To Abide By Its Restrictions

SochiThe U.S. Olympic Committee is officially condemning Russia's anti-gay laws while simultaneously insisting that all U.S. Olympians competing at Sochi adhere to them. The AP reports:

On Friday, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) denounced a Russian law that criminalizes public support for gay rights as “inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the Olympic and Paralympic movements” — but asked that athletes abide by it anyway.

“The athletes are always going into countries with laws different than his or her own country. They’re going to agree with those laws in some ways, they’re going to disagree with those laws in other ways,” USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun told Russia’s R-Sport. “It’s our strong desire that our athletes comply with the laws of every nation that we visit. This law is no different.”

BuzzFeed reports that the denunciation from the USOC came after Blackmun's remarks raised some question as to where the USOC officially stood on the "gay propaganda" laws, prompting USOC communications chief Patrick Sandusky to issue a condemnation via Twitter.

Earlier in the week, in a letter dated August 12, Blackmun wrote to the "U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Family" of the IOC's support for LGBT rights while tempering that sentiment with a focus on competition and sport:

"We strongly support equal rights for all and believe that laws restricting the right to act and speak in support of the LGBT community are inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the Olympic and Paralympic movements. We have shared our views with the IOC. At the same time, however, we cannot forget that we are first and foremost a sports organization. Our mission is to help enable American athletes to win medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Neither Blackmun nor Sandusky discussed what action, if any, the USOC would take should an American Olympian willfully violate Russia's anti-gay laws in a show of solidarity with LGBT rights during the Sochi games. Refering to U.S. mid-distance runner Nick Symmonds who this week dedicated his silver medal from the World Athletic Championships in Moscow to his LGBT friends, the AP notes that Blackmun did make a brief if diplomatic statement:

“I know he feels strongly about this issue as many Americans do, beyond that we really don’t have any comments...We encourage our athletes to work within Russian law, and I know Nick is trying to do that as well.”

The timing of those games, just months before the Sochi games, combined with the controversy surrounding Yelena Isinbayeva's recent remarks, has created quite the headache for an exasperated IOC, according to AFP:

The controversy over the anti-gay law has stubbornly refused to go away before and during the World Athletics Championships with one senior IOC member cursing the government for their timing.

"Why on earth didn't the government wait till after the Sochi Olympics. It's created a right old mess," he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Posted Aug. 16,2013 at 4:33 PM EST by in News, Russia, Sochi Olympics | Permalink | Comments (46)


Anti-Gay Bigot Scott Lively To Stand Trial For Crimes Against Humanity

Scott Lively
We and other gay blogs have reported on evangelical pastor of Abiding Truth Ministries Scott Lively many times, from him claiming that the rainbow flag was a sign of the end times to hiring child molesters to run his coffee shop. What The Pink Swastika author is most notorious for though is inciting anti-gay hatred in Uganda and aiding in the passing of their "Kill the Gays" bill, a law that is so broadly worded that just touching someone can be enough to be in violation of the law, and heterosexual citizens could receive the death penalty for failing to turn in gay people they know.

US District Judge Michael Ponsor has ruled Lively's persecution of LGBT people a crime against humanity and is accused of helping to play a part in the persecution, arrest and murder of gay people in Uganda. Lively's lawyers, naturally, requested that the lawsuit be dismissed.

As an added bonus, US law allows foreign citizens to sue for violations of international law in US federal courts under the Alien Tort Statute, so Ugandan victims of Lively's crimes have an avenue to seek justice.

Posted Aug. 16,2013 at 3:12 PM EST by in Crime, News, Scott Lively, Uganda | Permalink | Comments (32)


Groupon Advocates For Marriage Equality in Illinois: VIDEO

Pride

Coupon giant Groupon has today posted a video offering their support for marriage equality in Illinois:

"We are a stronger company and community when everyone of our friends and colleagues has the opportunity to have an equally valued relationship with the person whom they love and support."

Advocacy from corporations like Groupon may help provide momentum to what some feared may have become a stunted cause. Illinois has been in the throes of a heated battle on marriage equality for much of 2013. Though prognosticators were optimistic early on, a proposed bill failed to reach the Illinois House floor in May, with much speculation as to the reasons behind the bill's failure. However, advocates began a new $2 million dollar campaign for marriage equality in the Land of Lincoln in July and a court challenge is also pending.

Groupon said it best: "It's time, Illinois."

Don't miss the video complete with testimonials from Groupon employees AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Aug. 16,2013 at 3:01 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Illinois, News | Permalink | Comments (7)


RNC Leaders Congratulated Thomas Roberts On His Marriage: VIDEO

Thom

Out MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts joined Joe Scarborough oh his "Morning Joe" talk-show today. Amidst discussion of the Republican National Committee's continued opposition to same-sex marriage in the party platform, Roberts discussed his own personal experience with the Republican leadership that seemed to him at odds with their publicly stated political beliefs:

"Reince Priebus, when I got engaged, congratulated me at the White House Correspondents' weekend. Last year, Sean Spicer congratulated me on getting married to my husband. Yet they incorporate into the platform of the RNC their stance against marriage equality," Roberts said.

"It's odd, because why congratulate me? I didn't bring it up, I didn't say give me a congratulations, but they offered it," Roberts said. "So it's odd, because then they'll go out and drumbeat that they're against marriage equality. It's weird."

In an email to Politico RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer clarified his position:

"Believing marriage is between one man and one woman and being polite, courteous and respectful are not mutually exclusive."

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Aug. 16,2013 at 2:21 PM EST by in News, Reince Priebus, Republican Party, Thomas Roberts | Permalink | Comments (32)



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