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News: Hiroshima, Gay Jurors, Jason Bateman, Ames Straw Poll

Hiroshima  road As Japan and the world mark the 66th anniversary of the Hiroshima A-Bomb, and in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he would work toward ending nuclear power in his nation: "I will reduce Japan's reliance on nuclear power, aiming at creating a society that will not rely on atomic power generation."

 road Uniformed members of the Dutch Army, in which gays and lesbians have been serving openly since 1974, were finally allowed to march in Amsterdam's Gay Pride festival.

 road Elsewhere in gay pride news, police say about 35,000-50,000 people showed up for the annual event in Stockholm.

 road The fight for gay jurors: "Trial lawyers should be barred from dismissing potential jurors because of their sexual orientation, defense attorneys argued Thursday in a case that, if successful, could extend constitutional protection from discrimination to homosexuality along with race, creed and gender."

Teen-wolf-too-original-1  road China's state media blasts United States for credit downgrade and overall economic nightmare, saying U.S. must "come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone."

 road Say so long to Wisteria Lane; ABC axing Desperate Housewives after season eight.

 road Rise of the Planet of the Apes dominates Friday box office with $19 million, while new comedy The Change Up crept to fourth place with $4.6 million.

 road In related news, Jason Bateman, co-star of The Change Up, was on NPR's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me to talk about Tarzan star Cheeta and the upcoming Arrested Development movie -- yes, it's coming -- and the classic movie Teen Wolf Too.

 road CJ de Mooi, a British television personality and president of the English Chess Federation, says he was barred from presenting awards at a chess tournament because he was wearing a t-shirt with the equality message, "Some People Are Gay, Get Over It." "An arbiter approached me saying she had 'personal reservations' about me wearing a Stonewall t-shirt when presenting prizes to juniors. It was apparently inappropriate for me to wear something mentioning 'sexuality' in such an environment," de Mooi wrote in a statement.

 road The gay population in Washington State has grown 50 percent over the past ten years, and those couples are itching for equality.

 road Thirty-one American soldiers, more than 20 from the elite SEALTeam 6, and 7 Afghan security officials killed in Afghanistan helicopter attack.

 road Filmmaker and photographer Jim Goldberg focuses on singer Robyn, giving fans "an unrestricted view of the sincere ambition behind her career" through a Super 8 lens.

 road The Missouri Research & Education Network, which supplies computer software to the Show Me State's school system, will no longer censor non-sexual LGBT sites after receiving complaints from the ACLU and the Freedom to Read Foundation: "The groups told MOREnet it was illegally censoring LGBT-related websites through its software while allowing access to websites that condemn homosexuality or oppose LGBT legal protections.

CalderoneGaga  road Pro-civil unions Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson won't participate in symbolically important Ames Straw Poll. From his campaign's statement: "We simply cannot and will not buy into an event that has been granted far more status in the nomination process than it should have."

 road Lady Gaga's male drag persona, Jo Calderone, makes an appearance for cover of new single, "You and I."

 road Finally, full length picture of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. Thoughts on the goggles?

 road Meanwhile, the first picture of Rihanna for the upcoming Battleship movie just came out, and she has a big gun.

 road About 4,600 Nevada households are led by two women, and an estimated 4,724 are run by two men, an 87% total increase since 2000.

News: Isiah Thomas, Uganda, K-2, Marriage, Elena Kagan

 road Rumor has it that we might soon see a new album from Britney Spears.

Isiah  road Isiah Thomas poses for the NOH8 campaign with his son

 road The first so-called "Jewish boat" participates in Amsterdam's pride parade, which featured about 80 other boats and a whopping total of 500,000 supporters.

 road A shirtless Joe Biden on a beach in the Hamptons.

 road Doctor who is researching to prevent homosexuality dodges a question about her experiments.

 road Gay activists: "Uganda's 'Anti-Homosexuality Bill,' which raised a worldwide uproar over its death penalty for gay sex, has stalled in parliamentary committee and it is unlikely to be passed in the current session."

 road Tori Spelling looks surprisingly plain without any make-up.

 road Tragedy on K-2: "Swedish climber and skier Fredrik Ericsson has fallen to his death on K-2 while trying to conquer the world's second highest peak."

 road You and I are a lot more like a SpongeBob Squarepants than you thought.

 road Gay sons for all mothers!

 road Suicides in the LGBT community are on the rise.

Kagan road Elena Kagan was sworn in by Chief Justice Roberts today. While she'll be able to take on her justice duties immediately, she won't be installed as a Justice until October 1. 

 road Possible explanation as to why the GOP isn't being as vocal about same-sex marriage as they have in the past: "'Every indicator that I have ... generally speaking, is that economic growth and job creation are the tandem issues that will be the principal drivers of voter decision at polls,' Republican National Committee political director Gentry Collins told reporters Thursday. 'What I’m encouraging candidates to do is go out and run on an economic platform, a jobs platform.'"

 road Workshop organized by gay priest in California attempts to bring the church and the LGBT community together.

 road Channing Tatum does good by supporting a brain cancer charity.

Group Lobbies for Traditional 'Winner's Kiss' in Giro d'Italia European Bike Race to be Given by Gay Men


A tradition in the Giro d'Italia European bike race is to have the winner kissed on both cheeks by two women. Members of Amsterdam's Green Left Party are lobbying for the kiss to be given by two gay men on the Amsterdam leg of the race, the AP reports:

"The idea is winning support in this notably tolerant city, which annually hosts one of the world's most elaborate gay pride parades. But Albert van der Meulen, whose television station is arranging the ceremony, said he'd rather have women on the podium. 'I don't even think the race participants want to be kissed by men,' van der Meulen said. The station has arranged a beauty contest March 5 to select two people to present the flowers to the winner of the Amsterdam leg. Most entrants are young women, but van der Meulen confirmed three are gay men. The municipality of Amsterdam says it will support whoever wins."

A city spokesman and gay groups are supporting the suggestion. The bike race begins May 8.

HIV Travel Ban Lifted; First Traveler to Arrive at JFK Today

As of today, the nation's decades-old HIV Travel and Immigration Ban is no more. Immigration Equality's Steve Ralls reports in the Huffington Post that an HIV-positive gay man arriving today from The Netherlands will be the first to freely and safely enter the U.S.:

Jfk "The arrival of Clemens Ruland and Hugo Bausch will also signal the end of a shameful and discriminatory policy that has exacted a heavy price on our country's reputation in the scientific community and kept countless individuals - both straight and gay - separated from their loved ones."

On Top reports: "Ruland, 45, works with young people in the criminal system. He was infected in New York by an ex-lover and diagnosed HIV-positive in 1997. Anti Retroviral Therapy has kept his virus load undetectable. He returned to visit the U.S. once in 2005, but said he feared being detained. Bausch, 50, an illustrator, is HIV-negative. The Dutch AIDS service organization SOAAIDS is behind the visit. Ruland entered a poem into the group's essay contest to win the couple's passage to New York City."

Said Obama on signing the order to lift the ban in October: "Twenty-two years ago, in a decision rooted in fear rather than fact, the United States instituted a travel ban on entry into the country for people living with HIV/AIDS.  Now, we talk about reducing the stigma of this disease -- yet we've treated a visitor living with it as a threat.  We lead the world when it comes to helping stem the AIDS pandemic -- yet we are one of only a dozen countries that still bar people from HIV from entering our own country. If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it.  And that's why, on Monday my administration will publish a final rule that eliminates the travel ban effective just after the New Year.  Congress and President Bush began this process last year, and they ought to be commended for it.  We are finishing the job.  It's a step that will encourage people to get tested and get treatment, it's a step that will keep families together, and it's a step that will save lives. "

Watch: Obama Signs Ryan White Act, Lifts 'Fear'-Based Ban on Travel and Immigration for People with HIV [tr]

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #548

ANNE FRANK: The only known film footage.

AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY: Remember them? Rachel Maddow hammers them out.

GLENN BECK: The "violent far left" is now turning on Obama.

JOY BEHAR: Meghan McCain, Susan Molinari, and Ari Melber discuss political discourse today.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Mayor of Amsterdam Weds Gay NY - Dutch Couples in Boat on Canal


Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen married several couples including five gay couples, each with a partner from Amsterdam and New York, on a boat in a canal during the city's Gay Pride festival on Saturday.

Reuters reports: "Tens of thousands of spectators cheered as Mayor Job Cohen performed the ceremony on a cruise around the city's canals to celebrate the high point of the city's gay pride festival. Eight years ago Cohen presided over the first legal Dutch gay marriage. All five couples had at least one partner from New York, where a battle over the legalization of gay marriage rages on. 'For me it's a message to New York, the most liberal state, the most hip state, to get with it,' said Ira Siff, an opera professional from New York who was about to marry his partner, opera singer Hans Heijnis. The New York-Amsterdam connection is much in the news this year, with the cities celebrating a 400-year relationship in 2009. Cohen called the couples a 'figurehead' for that bond. 'Your transatlantic love is proof of the lasting connection between old and new Amsterdam,' Cohen said in the service."

This year's Canal Parade attracted a record 560,000 spectators.

Watch a video of Cohen marrying Jorge Vazquez (right) of the U.S.and his dutch partner dutch Stanley Doorn (above), AFTER THE JUMP...

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