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Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera Enlighten Katie Couric on Gender Identity: VIDEO


Trans model Carmen Carrera and Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox appeared on Katie today and offered Katie Couric some guidance on gender identity, advising Couric to steer away from a fixation on "private parts" to that of identity and humanity.

Carrera pointed out that in interviews with trans people, interviews "always focus on either the transition or the genitalia" and "there's more to trans people than just that."

Cox joined the interview later and pointed out the disproportionate discrimination and violence that trans people face, adding "by focusing on bodies we don’t focus on the lived realities of that oppression and that discrimination."

Watch the interviews, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via autostraddle)


Posted Jan. 7,2014 at 10:40 PM EST by in Carmen Carrera, Katie Couric, Laverne Cox, News, Transgender | Permalink | Comments (32)

Polar Vortex Brings with it a Massive Snow Shark: VIDEO


Three Minnesota teens set out to create something spectacular in the town of New Brighton, and the result is monstrous. Braving the frigid, negative-degree temperatures and mounds of snow, Austin, Connor, and Trevor Bartz spent 95 hours making a 10-foot tall snow shark, swimming its way through the boys' front yard. According to Business Insider the brothers previously crafted both a gigantic pufferfish and a large walrus out of snow, but neither compares to the size of the shark. 

Check out great videos of the brothers' progress and their finished product, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Jan. 7,2014 at 8:00 PM EST by in Minnesota, News, Shark, Snow, Video | Permalink | Comments (7)

Validity Of Utah Same-Sex Marriages Questioned, Will Likely Require Litigation

UtahThe window for same-sex marriages in Utah was short, and the aftermath may not be so sweet. Now that the Supreme Court has granted a stay on marriage licenses for same-sex couples until the case can be appealed, Utahns who got married between December 20th and the beginning of the new year are in limbo. Many legal experts are floating questions about the marriages' continued validity.

What does seem clear is that the issue will likely require litigation outside of the appeal process for the original lawsuit, Kitchen V. Herbert, which inspired District Judge Robert Shelby to strike down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage. When legal action will occur, and what its outcome may be, are of course in question as well.

The Washington Blade reports:

Now that the stay is in place, the attorney general’s office itself has expressed uncertainty about whether the marriages performed in the state will be considered valid. In a statement, [Attorney General Sean] Reyes (below and right) cited a lack of precedent on the issue.

Seanreyes“This is the uncertainty that we were trying to avoid by asking the District court for a stay immediately after its decision,” Reyes said. “It is very unfortunate that so many Utah citizens have been put into this legal limbo. Utah’s Office of Attorney General is carefully evaluating the legal status of the marriages that were performed since the District Court’s decision and will not rush to a decision that impacts Utah citizens so personally.”

Although Reyes maintains he won’t rush into a decision, pressure will be on the state to decide soon. Now that 2014 has begun, gay couples that recently married in Utah will be filing their taxes and will need to know whether they qualify as married or single.

EqualityutahThere are several possible scenarios. One may find gay Utahns in the same boat as San Franciscans who married under mayor Gavin Newsom only to have their legal unions invalidated; another, straight out of California, could see the marriages remain valid, as they did after California citizens voted to approve Prop 8 in 2009. Yet another possibility may find same-sex marriages in Utah receiving federal recognition even while Utah does not recognize them. Opinions differ, though, and it is unclear how smoothly further action will occur. 

Several people, including Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Suzanne Goldberg, the co-director of Columbia University's Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, agree that the marriages were valid when entered, and that should improve their chances of remaining valid under federal and state scrutiny.

“The federal government should recognize them for most purposes because federal recognition for almost all federal benefits hinges only on whether a marriage was valid when entered,” Minter said...

“It is unlikely that the marriages already performed in Utah will be invalidated,” Goldberg said. “Those marriages were performed in accordance with Utah law and a later change in the law, if there is one, should not undo them.”

Posted Jan. 7,2014 at 7:30 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, News, Supreme Court, Utah | Permalink | Comments (22)

Kevin Hart Explains Why He Doesn't Do Gay Jokes Anymore


On a Reddit AMA this week, comedian Kevin Hart was asked, "You find a lot of comedy in male insecurities, including a famous bit where you express fear that your son will be gay. You praised Frank Ocean at the MTV VMAs in 2012 for having the courage to come out, and recently said in an interview that you don't do jokes any more about gays. What changed your mind on this subject of humor?"

Said Hart: "It's just a sensitive topic and I respect people of all orientations. So, it's just best left alone."

Posted Jan. 7,2014 at 7:00 PM EST by in Kevin Hart, News | Permalink | Comments (19)

Satanic Statue Proposal For Oklahoma State Capitol Revealed, Controversy Just Beginning


We previously reported on their funding efforts (and their disdain for the Westboro Baptist Church), and now they've delivered. The Satanic Temple, a Satanist group based out of New York, has revealed a design of a 7-foot statue, including a pentagram, a "goat-headed Baphomet," and two children looking on, which would join an already-constructed monument commemorating the Ten Commandments on the lawn of Oklahoma's state capitol.

The Oklahoma legislators approved the privately-funded Ten Commandments statue in 2009, a move that was immediately faced with an ACLU lawsuit. Incidentally, the lawsuit, which hopes to remove the Ten Commandments statue, now stands in the way of approval for the Satanists and other groups: the Oklahoma City Preservation Committee voted to ban construction of new monuments on capitol grounds until a judge rules on the case. reports on the Satanist statue controversy:

“The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures,” said spokesman Lucian Greaves. “The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.”...

"Either way you cut it, this is a First Amendment issue," Greaves said. "Once they open that door, they can't discriminate."...

Greaves assured the Satanists’ monument would be “in good taste and consistent with community standards.”

He also noted that there were a surprising amount of Oklahomans interested in constructing the statue. Still, state legislators have decided that the Satanists may not build their statue alongside the Ten Commandments, though their decision is moot until the ACLU lawsuit is up.

Lucian Greaves summed up the importance of Satanism, and its deserved place alongside the capitol, eloquently:

“Medieval witch-hunts taught us to adopt presumption of innocence, secular law, and a more substantive burden of proof,” he said.

“Today, we are rightly offended by the notion of blasphemy laws and divine fiats. Acknowledging wrongful persecutions has helped shape the legal system that preserves the sovereignty of our skeptics, heretics, and the misunderstood. It has shaped a proud culture of tolerance and free inquiry. This is to be a historical marker commemorating the scapegoats, the marginalized, the demonized minority, and the unjustly outcast.”

What do you think of the Satanist statue?

Posted Jan. 7,2014 at 6:30 PM EST by in Art and Design, News, Oklahoma | Permalink | Comments (46)

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1490

HOW TO FOSSILIZE YOURSELF: Tips on making yourself a mummy.

PORTUGAL: Freak waves washing away people, cars.

CRAB: Fiji crustacean almost gets a GoPro.

AWKWARD DANCE MOVES: Every guy does.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Posted Jan. 7,2014 at 5:30 PM EST by in News, Towleroad Guide to the Tube | Permalink | Comments (0)


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