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Catholic League's Bill Donohue Wants Bill Maher Axed Because Dan Savage Pointed Out That Priests Rape Children

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Dan Savage's recent appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher was the last straw for Catholic League blowhard Bill Donohue, who sent off a strongly-worded letter to the board of directors of Time Warner.

DonohueWrites Donohue:

Maher commented on gay couples who adopt children, alleging that a Hawaiian bishop said these kids had a greater chance of committing suicide. Here is how Savage responded: “That’s total bulls***. He’s confusing children of gay parents with children who are raped by Catholic priests. Sorry, I am just done being lectured about children and their safety by Catholic-f***ing bishops, priests, cardinals.” Shortly thereafter, Savage again remarked about “kiddie-f***ing Catholic priests.”

We are sending to every member of Time Warner’s board of directors a copy of 54 anti-Catholic statements made by Bill Maher on TV [click here to read the report]. Friday’s show concluded the season. The time has come to close this show once and for all.

Tweets Savage:

"Funny thing about this... ...is that I was raised Catholic. And so was @billmaher. Also, too, we're in the right."


Gay British Couple to Have Sex on TV, Then Discuss It

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Channel 4, a cable network out of England, is sure to receive strong viewership numbers with its new program called "Sex Box." Part of the oft-scandalous channel's Campaign for Real Sex season, "Sex Box" is an interview-style program in which couples have intercourse in an opaque cube on a soundstage, then discuss sexuality with a panel directly afterward. A gay male couple, John and Matt, will be among the show's participating three couples.  

The Guardian reports:

A sound-proofed box in a television studio may not be a dream romantic setting, but then most lovers would probably not leap out of bed for a postcoital interview with Mariella Frostrup. Yet this is the format of a new Channel 4 programme that aims to "reclaim sex from pornography" by delving between the sheets of British people.

...

"I approached it with great trepidation and a degree of scepticism, particularly about why we needed a box, but ultimately I think it was a really really mature – surprisingly for television – look at a subject we've allowed to proliferate in its worst manifestations and refuse to confront," she [Frostrup] said.

The show shys away from the gratuitous sexuality so often employed to unsuccessful character-building effect in film and television, instead aiming for a still-sexy exploration of what sexuality means for the real couples. 

Channel 4's head of factual programming, Ralph Lee, said there was "nothing salacious" about the show and that "strangely it's quite a chaste programme – there's no sex in it".

"The explosion of online pornography is one of the stories of our time and this absolutely intends to be an open, adult, quite deep conversation about sex," he said. "The experts we have are not flippant people. That said, there is a levity to the conversation. It's not a massive furrowed-brow type conversation because there's something mischievous when you watch it. We're confident there's a sincere motive behind it."

Channel 4's other Campaign for Real Sex season programming include kick-off documentary "Porn on the Teenage Brain," airing September 30th, as well as a doc about the female pursuit of better sex, called "The Week the Women Came." Another reality program titled "Date My Porn Star" unites three porn fans with their favorite celebs. 

Image courtesy of The Independent.


New Video Project from Dan Savage Hopes to Show Anti-Gay Christians are 'Not All Like That' — VIDEO

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A new video project being launched by Dan Savage, author John Shore, and Truth Wins Out's Wayne Besen and Evan Hurst, seeks to show the world that not all Christians espouse the hateful anti-gay views of people like Tony Perkins and NOM's Brian Brown.

The NALT ("Not All Like That") Project will consist of videos uploaded on YouTube featuring religious folk showing support for their LGBT friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members.

Watch Dan's inaugural video, AFTER THE JUMP...

And check out the site here.

Continue reading "New Video Project from Dan Savage Hopes to Show Anti-Gay Christians are 'Not All Like That' — VIDEO" »


Gay Bars Across Globe Dump Russian Vodka

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Prompted by Dan Savage's recent op-ed urging people to boycott Russian vodka, gay bars in the United States and elsewhere around the world have started banning Stolichnaya and other Russian vodkas. The goal of the boycott is to bring attention to the recent LGBT human rights violations in that country.

So far, bars in NYC, LA, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto, London, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, San Diego and Sydney have all participated in the ban. In the photo above, the manager of The Fountainhead Pub in Vancouver dumps out a bottle of Russian vodka.

An article in today's LA Times reports on the growing campaign:

West Hollywood bars join a growing number of U.S. gay bars boycotting Stoli. Numerous Chicago bars have boycotted the vodka and other Russian products, according to the Windy City Times, a Chicago newspaper that focuses on the gay and lesbian community.

“Consumer action, for a long time, has been a part of any activism,” Art Johnston, the co-owner of the gay bar Sidetrack Chicago, said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Sidetrack--in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood, an LGBT hub–stopped selling Stoli earlier this week, Johnston said. The spaces on the bar where Stoli vodka bottles would sit remain empty so people will ask what used to be there, he said.

“I’m hopeful people will talk about this,” Johnston said. “Either the lives of gay and lesbian people in Russia mean something, or they don’t. Clearly, to us, they mean something.”

In case you missed it yesterday, the parent company of Stolichnaya, the SPI Group, responded to the ban via an open letter.

Sidetrack was one of the first gay bars to ban the sale of Russian vodka. They stopped selling it this past Wednesday. Watch a WGN-TV news segment about that bar and the boycott, AFTER THE JUMP.

Has your local gay bar stopped selling Russian vodka?

Continue reading "Gay Bars Across Globe Dump Russian Vodka" »


Stoli Responds To Boycott, Dan Savage Responds To Stoli

SPI Group letter
In response to the boycott organized by Queer Nation to dump Russian vodkas in protest of Russia's anti-gay laws, Stolichnaya's parent company the SPI Group released a statement pledging their support to the LGBT community: 

We fully support and endorse your objectives to fight against prejudice in Russia. In the past decade, SPI has been actively advocating in favor of freedom, tolerance and openness in society, standing very passionately on the side of the LGBT community and will continue to support any effective initiative in that direction.

Dan Savage is pleased that this has gotten their attention, but notes that the gesture is not good enough: 

SPI is a Russian corporation, Stoli is a Russian vodka. And while it's nice that SPI is willing to market to homos who are lucky enough to live in Austria, the US, and South Africa, what has SPI done in Russia?

Dan also points out that one of the commenters over at Joe.My.God. makes a very astute observation: 

So is the CEO of Stoli now subject to arrest and incarceration in Russia for writing this pro-gay letter?

Food for thought. Even though the CEO and company are based in Luxembourg, the company's owner Yuri Scheffler lives in Russia and the company's production process involves Russia, while this letter openly condemns the Russian government and explicitly supports homosexuality, thus making it "propaganda" under Russian law.


NBC Olympics Coverage Facing Controversy Over Russian Anti-Gay Laws

SOchi OlympicsRussia's newly-adopted anti-gay laws are already the subject of worldwide controversy. The laws have already been used to justify police brutality against Russian LGBT activists, as well as the imprisonment of advocates from inside their borders and beyond. LGBT advocates have called for the boycott of many Russian goods as a result. Many others have turned their sights to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which will be taking place in the Russian city of Sochi. 

The International Olympic Committee has already told press that it will "work to ensure" that LGBT athletes from around the globe will be able to compete freely in the games without fear of any legal trouble. Many LGBT athletes have expressed their apprehension anyway. Other athletes and advocates have called for a boycott of the games by the United States and the IOC, including the likes of Harvey Fierstein and Dan Savage. 

Sochi-mapAll of this controversy is creating headaches for NBC Universal, who will be broadcasting across the U.S. and beyond. Comcast forked over $4.38 billion to secure that privilege through 2020. As a result, many advocates are turning their sights in NBC's direction, such as HRC President Chad Griffin, who wrote a letter to NBC Universal CEO Stephen Burke saying that the network has a "responsibility to expose" the atrocities committed by Russia towards LGBT people. According to Buzzfeed, HRC hasn't yet taken a formal position on a potential boycott. Rather, Griffin states that...

"NBCUniversal … has a unique opportunity — and a responsibility — to expose this inhumane and unjust law to the millions of American viewers who will tune in to watch the Games."

He also added:

"You no doubt agree that it wouldn’t be right to air the opening ceremonies, which is an hours-long advertisement for the host country, without acknowledging that a whole segment of the Russian population — not to mention foreign athletes and visitors — can be jailed for an immutable aspect of their identity." 

NBC Sochi OlympicsNeither NBC nor Comcast have issued any comments on the Sochi Olympics controversy. As it stands, NBC Universal currently scores a perfect 100 on the HRC's annual "Corporate Equality Index", which grades various companies on their commitment to equality on a scale of 0 to 100. As was noted by Griffin in his letter, that perfect score could potentially be at risk should NBC choose to sweep this issue under the rug.

Should NBC eventually decide to boycott the games, as was noted by Variety, it would not be a first. 

"The mere mention of a boycott evokes memories of the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow, which the United States boycotted in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. NBC had paid $85 million for the rights but cancelled its live coverage."

Variety also pointed out that there was no boycott of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, which took place under the watch of the Hitler regime. Similar controversy also surrounded the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, which even resulted in the resignation of Steven Spielberg as a creative consultant. As was noted by Harvey Fierstein in his recent New York Times op-ed, "There is a price for tolerating intolerance." Chad Griffin echoed this sentiment to Variety, saying that “there is a skunk at the garden party that can’t be ignored.”

Read Griffin's full letter to NBC HERE...


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