Avril Lavigne locks lips with Danica McKellar (Winnie from The Wonder Years) in her new "Rock N Roll" video, which also features Billy Zane riding a Segway.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
The NBA's first openly gay athlete Jason Collins won't be playing for the Detroit Pistons, after talks opened earlier this month did not result in a contract, Sports Illustrated reports:
Collins was being considered by the Pistons as for insurance for young big men Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. The team finished last season 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 29-53 record that cost coach Lawrence Frank his job. Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars replaced Frank with Maurice Cheeks,added top-tier free-agent forward Josh Smith, brought back guard Chauncey Billups, and agreed to acquire point guard Brandon Jennings from the Milwaukee Bucks in a sign-and-trade deal for point guard Brandon Knight, forward Khris Middleton and center Slava Kravtsov. Collins would have taken Kravtsov's spot on the roster.
Collins recently worked out with the team in hopes of joining the roster as a reserve.
Think Progress' Travis Waldron wonders about his chances of finding a team:
The process of finding a team was never going to be fast or easy for Collins, not because of his sexuality but because he’s Jason Collins. He is, as previously mentioned, a 34-year-old journeyman center whose value doesn’t show up on a stat sheet. He’s averaged just 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds over his 12-year career, during which he’s played for six teams. His basic stats were even less impressive in 2012-2013, when he averaged 1.1 points and 1.6 rebounds while playing 10 minutes a game for Boston and then Washington.
Every day, the pressure for organizations and corporations to distance themselves from Russia and its draconian, anti-gay regime seems to grow. Earlier this month, a change.org petition was created to urge the Miss Universe Organization to move their 2013 pageant competition away from Moscow due to safety concerns for LGBT contestants and fans. Today, that petition has gathered over 27,000 signatures.
"When the Miss Universe Organization allowed transgender beauty Jenna Talackova to enter the Miss Universe Canada pageant in 2012, reversing its previous policies on the matter, it sent a strong and unequivocal message in favor of equality and of the LGBTQ community. Choosing Russia as a host country undermines this progress.
Many Miss Universe fans, myself included, identify as LGBTQ - and surely many employees of the organization are, as well. How are any of these people, who might want or will have to attend the event, supposed to travel to Russia under these new laws and feel safe, when they could (and likely will) be beaten, arrested and/or detained on the spot for being who they are? Clearly, there is more at stake here than the organization's reputation.
With this petition, we are asking the Miss Universe Organization to send a strong message in favor of equality and human rights by pulling out from hosting the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow."
Meanwhile, the Miss Universe Organization has issued a statement of its own condemning Russia's ban on "gay propaganda", stating the anti-gay law is "diametrically opposed to the core values of our company."
From the statement:
The Miss Universe Organization believes in equality for all individuals and is deeply concerned by the laws recently enacted in Russia and currently in place in several other countries. Both the law, as well as the violence experienced by the LGBT community in Russia, are diametrically opposed to the core values of our company. Our organization has always embodied a spirit of inclusion and is a celebration of people from all countries and walks of life.
It is our hope this year's Miss Universe contest in Moscow will help foster a common understanding and appreciation of the rights of all individuals, regardless of their nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation.
The best way to advocate for the 'rights of all individuals,' however, would be to move the pageant, regardless of any financial or logistical setbacks. No one ever said advocating for social change or human rights was easy...
To add your name to the growing petition, head over to the change.org page HERE.
Love or hate her, remarkably academic pop star and James Van Der Beek bestie Ke$ha saw a golden opportunity when Westboro Baptist Church decided to protest her concert in Lincoln, Nebraska this week. She heard that they were performing an anti-gay satirized version of her song "We R Who We R".
Well, no pop song is complete without backup dancers, so Ke$ha sent out a few of her own to help spice up the performance. You can watch the trio dance the hate away AFTER THE JUMP...
At a press conference earlier today, San Antonio Councilwoman Elisa Chan defended her right to free speech following the firestorm over her recorded comments calling gays and lesbians "disgusting" and unfit to be parents.
"I know that many people find the comments made in the meeting offensive. But again, it was a confidential meeting said in the privacy of my office where none of us are supposed to worry about what we say."
Chan went on to claim that many of her comments have been taken out of context, including her use of the word "disgusting," which she asserted was in reference to pedophilia and sex with animals (the audio transcript says otherwise however). Chan then concluded her speech by extending a half-assed olive branch to the gay community before jumping back on her 'freedom of speech' talking points:
"My belief system is mine, and it does not mean I would like to impose those beliefs onto anyone else. Even though the LGBT community and I don't share the same views, I respect and support their personal freedom and right to their lifestyle. I will, however, not change my own views for political gain or survival (applause)."
Regardless, Chan seems densely unaware of the fact that the public's outrage revolves around what she said, not whether or not she has a right to say it.
Watch a news report of the press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...
If the video does not play properly, you can find it here.
The New York Daily News has a sobering story on the rise of gay-bashings in New York City. The attacks cover the gamut from simple verbal attacks to murder, though the majority of the cases are assaults with six of them being felony-level, including the murder of Mark Carson by Elliot Morales. The NYPD is preparing to handle double the number of attacks compared to last year, though Sharon Stapel at the NYC Anti-Violence Project says it's too soon to tell. Whether the attacks will double or not, the current 68 bias attacks are already well beyond last year's total of 54.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is running for mayor, has taken great interest in the problem and said of the attacks,
They think they’re going to make the people and the community they don’t like go away, that they’re going to push us back into the closet.
The way that the community and survivors of these attacks have stood up, that’s real bravery, and I think that has inspired others to stand up.
While the attacks are leaving some scared to walk down the street, there has been a galvanizing effect on the gay community, causing them to speak out and get the attention of the NYPD and city council. This attention has helped foster a conversation in the city about the crimes, and one result has been for the council to sponsor free self defense classes in all five boroughs.