Liberal Democratic Russian Parliament Member Roman Khudyakov recently wrote his country’s Central Bank asking them to change the 100 rouble note because, according to him, it “clearly” shows Apollo’s genitals. As such, Khudyakov says that the “pornographic” bill runs afoul of the country’s ban on exposing minors to "gay propaganda”.
Pink News reports:
[Khudyakov said,] “I submitted a parliamentary request and forwarded it directly to the head of the central bank asking for the banknote to be brought into line with the law protecting children and to remove this Apollo.”
In the letter, he complained that “intimate parts of the body” were visible on the banknote, which he says should have an “18+” rating under the anti-gay law.
Lawyer Pavel Ivchenkov said: “The 100-ruble bill with a picture of Apollo is essentially a print product and can in fact be considered as ‘information of a pornographic nature’.
Pink News goes on to note that “The real statue of the Greek god – at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow – was itself censored in 2011, when it was covered up with a fig leaf,” and adds that, “Apollo had many gay lovers, including Hyacinthus and Cyparissus.”
Khudyakov has not taken into account the possibility that Apollo’s microscopic penis on the currency may in fact encourage young women to pursue heterosexuality.
Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL, covers August's issue of OUT Magazine. The interview got off to something of a rocky start because Sam first mistook his interviewer for being straight. However, once Sam discovered he and interviewer Christopher Glazek were both part of the same brotherhood of man, everything changed:
Desperate to turn things around, I started talking about myself and mentioned visiting a boyfriend in upstate New York. Suddenly Sam’s head perked up; for the first time, he looked me in the eyes. “Wait—you’re gay?” I wasn’t sure how this could have been unclear. “Uh, yes,” I replied, wonder- ing how he was going to take the news. “Oh!” he blurted, his voice rising five octaves. “And Aaron [Hicklin, Out’s editor in chief ]? Is he gay, too?” I nodded. His face melted into a smile; he inched his chair closer to the table and loosened the furrow in his brow. “I thought you guys were straight! That’s why I was giving you a hard time.” His eyes, which had glared with impermeability all through the shoot, suddenly started to radiate warmth and comradeship. Sam’s metamorphosis was so sudden and cartoonish, it suggested how much energy he was having to expend to protect his sexual orientation from people he feared would use it against him.
From that point on Sam opened up about his relationship with boyfriend Vito Cammisano, whom Sam famously kissed upon hearing the news that he had been drafted by the St. Louis Rams. The pair met for the first time at a lingerie party during his freshman year:
“We didn’t start off as huge fans of each other. I went up to him to ask if he was OK, and he started cursing at me, screaming, ‘Fuck off — do you know who I am?’ I told him I didn’t care who he was. We didn’t speak again for two years.”
The two later reconnected and today, Sam cites Cammisano as being the instigating force behind him taking the courageous step to come out to his team in college:
By the time they were reintroduced by a mutual friend during Sam’s junior year, Cammisano had come out as gay. Sam, though, was still in the closet. One night, the trio went out together to a bar. “I could see he was interested,” Sam said. “I bought him a couple of drinks, got us tipsy. Toward the end of the night, I put my arm around him, and it was over.” The two started dating, but Sam was concerned about his teammates finding out. “Everyone knew Vito was gay, so we couldn’t even be seen together. There was a lot of climbing out of windows.” Eventually, the two split. As time went on, though, Sam grew more comfortable with being gay and the couple got back together before Sam’s senior year. This time they made no efforts to hide their relationship, and Sam decided it was time to formally come out to his team. “Vito was really the person who showed me I had to do it,” Sam said. “I wanted us to be comfortable...When I got up there in front of my team, it was actually the first time I said the words to anyone: ‘I am gay.’ Mizzou is a family. At another school, it might have been a different story.”
You can read OUT's full cover story on Sam HERE.
A judge has struck down Colorado's ban on gay marriage, the AP reports:
District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree on Wednesday ruled the 2006 voter-approved ban violates the state and federal constitutions. He immediately put his ruling on hold pending an appeal.
Crabtree is the 16th judge to void a state's gay marriage ban since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that the federal government has to recognize gay marriages in the states.
Attorneys for 18 plaintiffs — nine couples — from Denver and Adams counties argued that the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.
"We are ecstatic. There is much cheering in our house," said plaintiff Sandra Abbott. She and her partner, Amy Smart, were one of the nine couples in the lawsuit. "We waited a long time for this ruling."
Adams County District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree issued his 49-page ruling Wednesday afternoon, saying he "heartily endorses" a recent ruling by a Denver-based federal appeals court in a similar case.
"The Court holds that the Marriage Bans violate plaintiffs' due process and equal protection guarantees under the Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution," Crabtree said in his ruling.
Here's the ruling...
SCOTUS Justice Samuel Alito Denies Pennsylvania County Clerk's Petition to Intervene and Halt Gay Marriages
Theresa Santai-Gaffney, the Schuykill County, Pennsylvania Clerk who has been waging a one-woman crusade against the state's legalization of gay marriage, petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court this week to intervene, halt the state's gay marriages and defend the state's ban in an appeal since the governor has refused.
Justice Samuel Alito denied Santai-Gaffney's request today, writes Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog:
In another development on same-sex marriage Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., denied without comment a Pennsylvania county clerk’s plea to stop such marriages in that state. That appears to remove the last potential legal barrier to Pennsylvania becoming the nineteenth state in which same-sex marriages are permitted. A federal judge struck down the state ban, and state officials declined to appeal. The Schuylkill County clerk sought to appeal in their place, but that move has now been turned down at all three levels of the federal court system.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes won't ask for an en banc (all the justices rather than a three-judge panel) Tenth Circuit appeal of the Kitchen v. Herbert ruling striking down Utah's gay marriage ban. He plans to appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The AG's statement, via Fox 13 Salt Lake City:
“To obtain clarity and resolution from the highest court, the Utah Attorney General’s Office will not seek en banc review of the Kitchen v. Herbert Tenth Circuit decision, but will file a Petition for Writ of Certioari to the United States Supreme Court in the coming weeks. Attorney General Reyes has a sworn duty to defend the laws of our state. Utah’s Constitutional Amendment 3 is presumed to be constitutional unless the highest court deems otherwise.”
Writes Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog:
This will be the first case reaching the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of such state bans since the Justices in United States v. Windsor a year ago struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act — a ruling that set off a series of decisions by federal and state trial courts, all of which so far have nullified state bans on same-sex marriages. The Tenth Circuit was the first federal appeals court to issue such a decision...
...With the case going to the Justices via such a petition, the Court will have complete discretion whether to review the Tenth Circuit ruling, or pass it up. Utah officials are almost certain to argue that the Court should take up the issue promptly based on the argument that there is now a conflict among federal appeals courts on the constitutionality of such bans.
...The Supreme Court has seen the Utah same-sex marriage issue before. In January, the Justices issued an order temporarily blocking a federal trial judge’s ruling against the state ban, pending review of the case by the Tenth Circuit. That review then went forward, with the three-judge panel splitting two to one on June 25 in finding the ban unconstitutional.
The panel, however, has put its decision on hold, and said it would remain suspended until the state had a chance to take the case to the Supreme Court. Wednesday was the final deadline for Utah to ask the Tenth Circuit to rehear the case en banc, and the state has now chosen not to do that.
HRC's Chad Griffin Says Congress Must Narrow ENDA's Religious Exemption and Pass Full LGBT Civil Rights Bill
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin on Wednesday called on Congress to narrow the religious exemption in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act one day after several other top LGBT rights groups including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the ACLU pulled their support of the bill.
HRC had come under criticism for standing by the bill. Said Griffin in today's statement, posted at Buzzfeed:
The Human Rights Campaign supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for a very simple reason. It will guarantee millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all 50 states explicit, reliable protections from discrimination in the workplace. We call on our allies in Congress to improve this bill’s overly broad religious exemption. A strong ENDA is worth fighting for because we cannot ignore the urgent need of countless LGBT people who do not have the luxury of waiting for these protections.
...We cannot and will not ignore the imperative of this moment. As long as this Congress is in session, we will fight for ENDA — with a narrowed religious exemption — because these workplace protections will change millions of lives for the better. But this movement has a responsibility to also chart a course for the future.
Griffin also stated the need for a full LGBT civil rights bill:
But regardless of whether or not ENDA passes in this session of Congress, it is time for the LGBT movement to throw its weight behind a fully comprehensive LGBT civil rights bill. A bill that, at long last, would bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in all core civil rights categories — including housing, public accommodations, credit, education and, if ENDA fails to pass, in employment. This is a visionary idea that Congresswoman Bella Abzug brought to Congress in 1974. Its time has come.