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Burning Man 2013, as Seen from a Drone: VIDEO


Daytime on the playa at Black Rock City, 2013.



Posted Sep. 9,2013 at 9:51 PM EST by in Burning Man, Drones, Nevada, News | Permalink | Comments (29)

Hawaii Governor Calls Special Session for Marriage Equality Bill


Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie announced today that he'll call a special session of the legislature to consider a marriage equality bill on October 28, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports:

AbercrombieState House Democrats have met over the past two weeks to count votes and determine if support existed to pass a measure. Senate Democrats are scheduled to meet later this week, although leaders have said they have enough votes to pass a bill recognizing same-sex marriage in Hawaii.

Abercrombie had previously said he was waiting for a clear signal from the Legislature before calling the lawmakers back for a special session. Last week, he said he believed he had all the information he needed to make his decision.

The AP adds:

The bill is the culmination of 20 years of discussion, Abercrombie told reporters during a news conference at the Hawaii Capitol.

"Every variation on a view with regard to the issue of marriage and equitable treatment for those engaged in marriage has been aired, has been analyzed, has been discussed," Abercrombie said. "No one has been left out or has been marginalized in the process to this point."

Abercrombie acknowledged that some people will be against the bill because they disagree with the concept of gay marriage, but he said it includes provisions — including a religious exemption — to protect First Amendment rights.

Hawaii would be the 14th state to offer marriage equality, along with D.C.

Posted Sep. 9,2013 at 9:08 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie, News | Permalink | Comments (18)

Fox Sports Fires Pundit for Anti-Gay Comments Made During Failed Senate Bid: VIDEO

Craig James (pictured), the former NFL star who unsuccessfully ran in the Texas GOP Primary for U.S. Senate last year, has been fired from his short-lived job as a Fox Sports pundit after video emerged of him making anti-gay comments during his campaign bid.

Via The Daily Mail:

Craig JamesThe 52-year-old former ESPN sportscaster, who was only hired by rival Fox a month ago, told the debate that being gay "is a choice" and that people who "choose to do that" will "have to answer to the Lord for their actions."

The comments, which drew hearty applause from the audience, left Fox bosses with little choice but to cancel his contract "with immediate effect."

"Craig James will not be making any further appearances on Fox Sports Southwest's football coverage this season," a Fox Sports spokesperson told Sports Illustrated.

Another Fox spokesman told the Dallas Morning News: "We just asked ourselves how Craig's statements would play in our human resources department. He couldn't say those things here."

Towleroad readers may remember the 2012 Texas GOP Senate Primary being filled with candidates desperately vying for the title of "Biggest Homophobe."


Previously, "GOP Texas Senate Candidate Tom Leppert Says He Was Doing the Work of Jesus When he Marched in Gay Pride as Mayor" [tlrd]


Posted Sep. 9,2013 at 8:55 PM EST by in News, Sports, Texas | Permalink | Comments (25)

What to Watch on TV This Week: 'Sons of Anarchy' Returns, Southern Charm on 'Project Runway'

As the TV season gets into full swing, check out our new weekly guide to make sure you're catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and amazing guest stars.
  • Ryan Seacrest hosts a new game show The Million Second Quiz, premiering tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC.
  • Sons of Anarchy returns for its sixth (and penultimate) season Tuesday on FX at 10 p.m. Eastern.
  • The X Factor returns with a two-night season premiere Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern on FOX. This season Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland join Demi Lovato and Simon Cowell as judges.
  •  Stacy Keibler is the guest judge on Project Runway Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern on Lifetime. The designers create looks for modern Southern women.
  •  On Friday’s America’s Next Top Model (9 p.m. Eastern on the CW), the models are made to walk the streets in their underwear, and one male contestant has a teary breakdown.

Posted Sep. 9,2013 at 7:33 PM EST by in Film and TV, Project Runway, Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell, Television | Permalink | Comments (12)

FIFA's Anti-Discrimination Taskforce Seeks to Pressure Russia and Qatar Over Anti-gay Laws

As businesses, organizations, and high profile individuals continue to voice their opposition to LGBT human rights abuses in Russia, it seems increasingly clear that 'anti-gay' is becoming an undesirable label for countries to hold, at least from an economic and public relations perspective.

The Guardian reports that with the World Cup scheduled to take place in Russia and Qatar in 2018 and 2022 respectively, FIFA's new anti-discrimination taskforce is joining in the fight to ensure those nations are held accountable for their anti-gay laws:

Piara PowarPiara Powar (pictured), the director of Football Against Racism in Europe and a member of the taskforce along with the former FA chairman David Bernstein, said it would raise the issue at a meeting this week.

"Qatar is one of the few countries where homosexuality is still illegal and there are also big challenges in terms of the new law in Russia in regard to the World Cup," he said.

"Qatar wants to host the tournament at the start of a new decade, they will want to present an internationally welcoming face and with FIFA's help we are sure it will be possible to win over the Qataris so that they come into line with the rest of the world, including other countries in the Gulf and Middle East and change the law on homosexuality.

"These are issues of civil rights, fans and players of all races, religions and sexuality need to feel comfortable going to the World Cups in both Russia and Qatar. It is going to be quite a challenge but we have to make sure that football becomes the vehicle for social change that we claim it is. This is a big issue."

While the taskforce is eager to begin work combating anti-gay discrimination, FIFA's leadership seems less enthusiastic. FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who refused to comment on the issue at the ongoing International Olympic Committee session in Buenos Aires, sparked a firestorm in 2011 when he joked that gay people should "refrain from sexual activity" during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

[photo credit: Matthew Ashton/EMPICS]

Posted Sep. 9,2013 at 7:20 PM EST by in Gay Rights, News, Qatar, Russia, World Cup | Permalink | Comments (13)

Russian Journalist Announces Campaign to Out Closeted Anti-gay Lawmakers in Russia

On the eve of a proposed Russian bill that would take children away from gay parents, journalist Elena Kostyuchenko (pictured) has announced a campaign to out any closeted Russian lawmakers who vote for the bill's passage.

Via The New Civil Rights Movement:

Elena KostyuchenkoOffering her email address, Kostyuchenko [who writes for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] asked for "information, correspondence, photographs...about the deputies of the State Duma concerning LGBT" activities. [...]

Kostyuchenko calls her campaign promising to out any LGBT lawmakers who votes for Zhuravlev's bill a "nuclear bomb" that should be used only as an "extreme measure." But, she says, "Now, it seems such a time has come."

"Kostyuchenko noted that 'in the event of the passage of the law to remove children after the first reading, the information about homosexual deputies of the State Duma will be published,'" a slightly modified translation of a report at Gay Russia notes:

"In this case, the activist added that "immunity from outing will have only the MPs who voted against the law to remove children. Others will be disclosed. This is a warning. They want to destroy our lives, and we will destroy them."

Kostyuchenko is no stranger to confronting Russia's anti-gay regime head-on, having been forcibly detained by state police earlier this year for rallying at a gay pride parade in Moscow.

[Image via Facebook]


Posted Sep. 9,2013 at 6:45 PM EST by in Gay Adoption, Gay Parents, Gay Rights, News, Russia | Permalink | Comments (31)


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