Amid protests by LGBT activists over its sponsorship of the Sochi Olympic games and silence over Russia's anti-gay laws, Coca-Cola this evening featured a gay family in a minute-long ad celebrating America's diversity.
Coca-Cola also posted a five-minute behind-the-scenes video of the ad online, featuring interviews with its participants.
Watch both clips, AFTER THE JUMP...
While the spot was commended by some LGBT activists (Freedom to Marry's Michael Crawford tweeted praise, calling it "the best ad so far"), it seems unlikely (and is perhaps not intended) to change objections to the company's participation as a Sochi sponsor.
Tweeted Dan Savage, using a promotional Coke hashtag that was hijacked by activists earlier this month:
"Love your endorsement of diversity and tolerance in the USA, @CocaCola—how about some support for Russian LGBT people? #CheersToSochi"
UPDATE: The Coca-Cola ad's multi-lingual soundtrack didn't go over well with a bunch of racist Americans, TIME writes:
It was that last aspect that unfortunately, brought out America the Ugly, at least on some parts of the Internet. “WTF?” asked one post on Twitter. “@CocaCola has America the Beautiful being sung in different languages in a #SuperBowl commercial? We speak ENGLISH here, IDIOTS.” Some of the vitriol may have been satire for all I know, but there was much too much for that to explain all of the “English or GTFO” sentiment–not all of it in impeccable English itself. To wit: “Dear @CocaCola : America the beautiful is sang in English. Piss off. #DontF--kWithUs.” (To be fair, not every Tweet brought up by a search on “Coca Cola English agreed: “Coca Cola brings the commercial of the night: America the Beautiful sung in Spanish, English, Arabic, and other languages. Beautiful.”)
Opera diva Renée Fleming did the "Star Spangled" honors at Super Bowl XVLIII at MetLife Stadium on Sunday evening.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Eleven attorneys general have signed a brief submitted to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals defending Nevada's ban on same-sex marriage, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:
"If public affirmation of anyone and everyone’s personal love and commitment is the single purpose of civil marriage, a limitless number of rights claims could be set up that evacuate the term ‘marriage’ of any meaning," the attorneys general said in a newly filed amicus brief in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
And once "natural limits" are gone, "it follows that any group of adults would have an equal claim to marriage," the attorneys general said.
The officials who signed the document are from Nevada, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah.
The attorneys general say 33 states adhere to a "historical" definition of marriage, which predates the nation’s founding and is centered on procreation, that limits access to the civil institution to one man and one woman.
"The theory of traditional civil marriage, that is, turns on the unique qualities of the male-female couple for procreating and rearing children under optimal circumstances," they argue. "As such, it not only reflects and maintains deep-rooted traditions of our nation, but also furthers the public policy of encouraging biological parents to stay together for the sake of the children produced by their sexual union."
Civil marriage "channels" sexual desires into stable unions, they said, and has a core purpose of "ameliorating the frequent consequences of heterosexual intercourse, namely the unintended issuance of children."
More at the Salt Lake Tribune...
A full-length version of The Queen, a 1968 documentary about the early days of drag has appeared on YouTube in full:
The Queen was filmed in NYC in 1967 and released in theaters in 1968.
In 1967 it was illegal for men to dress as women. The documentary follows a 1967 Drag pageant judged by Andy Warhol among others. It stars Jack Doroshow aka Flawless Mother Sabrina, Richard Finochio aka Rachel Harlow and Crystal LaBeija. Crystal went on to start The House of LaBeija pageants which was the premise of the 90's documentary "Paris is Burning."
In 1972 Richard Finochio underwent sex reassignment surgery to become Rachel Harlow, she began dating John B. Kelly, Grace Kelly's brother. The relationship ended when John's mother said she would disinherit him if he married Rachel. Rachel opened the Philadelphia night club "Harlow's" in the 1970's. The only person to surface since this classic film was made is Jack Doroshow when he was interviewed by James St. James on youtube.
International Chrysis (1951-1990) can be seen as a teenage boy rehearsing dance numbers. These are the Queens who opened the doors for RuPaul and RuPaul's Drag Race of today.
Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...
To watch from beginning, you must manually move the time indicator back to the start.
Gaylaxy has a nice selection of photos from Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM) 2014 on Saturday, the first LGBT Pride march anywhere in India since the Supreme Court recriminalized homosexuality.
DNA India reported that the event drew people from around the globe:
“Ideally, the march is about taking pride in what you are. But this year’s upsurge in numbers is a reflection of the community’s anger and hurt over being recriminalised,” said one of India’s gay rights pioneer Ashok Row Kavi.
“If courts think they can brush us off and treat us like sub-humans they need to see how they have ended up giving the movement a shot in the arm instead. This movement will grow and succeed.”
Filmmaker Sridhar Rangayan and Humsafar Trust CEO Vivek Anand echoed this sentiment. “We know we have a long battle ahead. But we will prevail and succeed. In the meantime, we continue to plot our struggle with creative socio-cultural initiatives like films, music, paintings and theatre,” said Rangayan, adding, “This will not only help us as a community but also help dispel wrong notions and stereotypes among those outside.”
The Times of India reports that a song from the 60's is reemerging in the country as a gay anthem:
In 1966, musician Mina Kava and his band were asked by recording company HMV to compose a song about Bombay. Kava's wife Naju pitched in with the lyrics, and the ditty that emerged was Evening in Gay Maharashtra. Made in an era when 'gay' referred to joy and gaiety, it invited people to visit the state and its "full of life" financial capital...
...Earlier this month, a contemporary adaptation of the song, which replaced certain lyrics with bold, subversive references, made waves online. Shot last year, the video resurfaced following the Supreme Court verdict, which was seen as a denial of human rights by the LGBT community.
Sung by Suman Sridhar, the adaptation moves the song from one extolling the virtues of the state's chapatti and hill stations to one that points to the intolerance towards the gay community.
Watch the video and scenes from Mumbai Pride, AFTER THE JUMP...
The Equal Rights Party, a new party that will stand on a platform of protecting the rights of LGBT people, will make a parliamentary bid in South Africa this year, the Sydney Morning Herald reports:
"We need a voice in parliament to protect women from being raped because people want to cure them from being lesbians," Michael Herbst of the Equal Rights Party said on Saturday. "We need someone in parliament when boys are bullied at school because they are thought to be gay," said the retired professor of health studies at the University of South Africa.
...Mr Herbst also said lawmakers for the new party would have a platform for speaking out against violations of gay rights in countries such as Russia, Nigeria and Uganda. Asked what he thought the party's chances were in the elections slated for the second half of the year, Herbst said: "We can definitively make it".