A federal judge has struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage:
The ruling was announced late Thursday evening. The order released around 10 p.m. stated the following:
"The Court finds Va. Const. Art. I, § 15-A, Va. Code §§ 20-45.2, 20-45.3, and any other Virginia law that bars same-sex marriage or prohibits Virginia's recognition of lawful same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions unconstitutional. These laws deny Plaintiffs their rights to due process and equal protection guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution."
District Federal Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen promised to rule quickly after hearing arguments in Norfolk on Thursday in one of two challenges to Virginia's ban. The case is Bostic v. Rainey, and the plaintiffs were represented by (Prop 8 lawyers) Ted Olson and David Boies and the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
The WaPo reports:
“Gay and lesbian individuals share the same capacity as heterosexual individuals to form, preserve and celebrate loving, intimate and lasting relationships,” Wright Allen wrote. “Such relationships are created through the exercise of sacred, personal choices—choices, like the choices made by every other citizen, that must be free from unwarranted government interference.”
Wright Allen opened her decision with a quote from Mildred Loving, who was at the center of the Virginia case that the Supreme Court used in 1967 to strike down laws banning interracial marriage.
Same-sex marriages will not begin right away as the ruling was stayed to allow parties the chance to appeal.
Here's the full ruling, (via MetroWeekly)
In stark contrast to the heavy coats and furs he wears as Jon Snow in HBO's Game of Thrones series, Kit Harington doffs the winter wear in exchange for a loincloth and arm guard for his role in Pompeii and accompanies the outfit with the perfect accessory of a shredded six pack. In his interview with Vanity Fair, Harington was generous enough to share the secret to his stomach, and it turns out it's a simple 4-part process. All that's required is a daily regimen of:
- An hour of lifting weights
- An hour of cardio
- Two hours of weapons training
- An 1,800 calorie diet
Easy! As an added bonus, Harington's weapons training has improved his fighting performance on the set of Game of Thrones as well, so much so that director Neil Marshall called Pompeii director Paul W.S. Anderson to thank him personally.
We thank you too, Neil.
A Kansas bill allowing people, groups, and businesses to discriminate against gay couples based on religious beliefs which passed the House yesterday in a 72-49 vote looks unlikely to gain passage in the state Senate, President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, indicated in an email on Thursday.
The Wichita Eagle reports on Wagle's email:
“After an initial review, I’ve grown concerned about the practical impact of the bill,” Wagle said in an e-mailed statement. The bill would allow public and private employees alike to refuse service based on religious views of marriage.
“A strong majority of my members support laws that define traditional marriage, protect religious institutions, and protect individuals from being forced to violate their personal moral values,” Wagle said. “However, my members also don’t condone discrimination.
“If we cannot find ample common ground to ease legitimate concerns, I believe a majority of my caucus will not support the bill."
Today Facebook implemented an unexpected new feature in the form of wildly-expanded gender options for user profiles. Though the social networking site previously only had the standard male/female choice, users can now select from over 50 gender identifications, including various flavors of cis and trans, androgynous, and two-spirit.
The changes can be made immediately, and are simple to make. Users can also change third-person pronouns so that auto-generated messages, such as birthday alerts, will refer to the user in the masculine (he, him, his), feminine (she, her, hers), or neutral (they, their, theirs). And the gender binary crumbles just a little bit more.
Want to get in bed with Neil Patrick Harris? Neuro's new music video advertisement for their beverage, Sleep, gets you about as close as humanly possible. The hilarious ad finds NPH singing sultry lyrics about how much he loves to, well, sleep. Rapper Problem and singer Asher Monroe accompany him, and the result is a mystifying blend of humor and heat.
Harris reportedly won in a survey of Neuro drinkers that asked what celebrity they would most want to have at a sleepover. Good choice!
Watch the steamy, sleepy slumber party, AFTER THE JUMP...
In a statement released Tuesday, the Russian embassy in London criticized reports of vigilante attacks on gays in Russia, saying the same could be said of attacks on redheads in the UK. The statement specifically singled out Channel 4's new documentary Hunted, saying it “smacks of well-timed and cynical propaganda.” The Independent reports:
[The statement] went on to suggest that if the producers had sufficient evidence of prevalent gay hate crimes in Russia, they would not have waited until an international sporting event takes place to "raise the alarm". […]
"Channel 4’s documentary is not intended to help “suffering” gays in Russia", it said. “The documentary’s emotional appeal is misleading, since the film falls far short of the standards of professional journalistic investigation.
“One could have easily whipped up such 'documentary' about a hunting season on redheads in the UK saying that 'ginger' people face unmotivated verbal and physical abuse on a daily basis."