Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died from a stroke, her press spokesman Lord Bell told news outlets this morning. Thatcher was the longest-serving prime minister of the UK of the 20th Century
Bell's statement according to the Press Association: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning. A further statement will be made later."
Lady Thatcher had been in poor health for months. She served as prime minister for 11 years, beginning in 1979. She was known variously as the ‘Iron Lady,’ a stern Conservative who transformed Britain’s way of thinking about its economic and political life, broke union power and opened the way to far greater private ownership.
The Daily Beast's Tom Doran details her gay rights legacy:
Here, as with most of her achievements, it's a mixed bag. As a member of Parliament (MP) in the 1960s, she was one of only a handful of Conservatives to vote for the decriminalization of homosexuality, a truly forward-thinking and brave gesture that she deserves a great deal of credit for.
Sadly, as Prime Minister, she would squander much of that credit (ironically enough, for a politician who put such stock in thrift) by lending her support to one of the nastiest anti-gay measures of modern times: the infamous Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which forbade schools from teaching "the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship". This was despite the open secret (among Westminster insiders, at least) that several prominent members of her government were themselves gay, albeit in reinforced-steel closets.
More on the repeal of Section 28 here.
Film critic Roger Ebert has died at 70, the Sun-Times reports:
Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago. He had been in poor health over the past decade, battling cancers of the thyroid and salivary gland.
He lost part of his lower jaw in 2006, and with it the ability to speak or eat, a calamity that would have driven other men from the public eye. But Ebert refused to hide, instead forging what became a new chapter in his career, an extraordinary chronicle of his devastating illness that won him a new generation of admirers. “No point in denying it,” he wrote, analyzing his medical struggles with characteristic courage, candor and wit, a view that was never tinged with bitterness or self-pity.
On Tuesday, Mr. Ebert blogged that he had suffered a recurrence of cancer following a hip fracture suffered in December, and would be taking “a leave of presence.” In the blog essay, marking his 46th anniversary of becoming the Sun-Times film critic, Ebert wrote “I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers hand-picked and greatly admired by me.”
Gay adult film actor Wilfried Knight has died, his friends in the business Matthew Rush and Chris Yosef confirmed this evening. Knight began his career as part of Lucas Entertainment and appeared in dozens of films.
Knight wrote about Enriquez's death in a lengthy, emotional blog post dated March 3:
And i was in love, and so was my partner. He let me be who i wanted to be. He did not agree with everything i was but he let me be. He gave me the best 8, almost 9 years of my life. And this amazing guy committed suicide by hanging last week, after fighting for so long for us to stay together.
UPDATE: Falcon and Raging Stallion studios released a statement:
"Born in 1977 and growing up in Champagne, France, the 35-year-old actor appeared in over 10 Raging Stallion productions in the last four years. Originally an exclusive for Lucas Entertainment, Wilfried became the first-ever joint Lucas/ Raging Stallion exclusive. He was a consummate performer and a joy to have on set, which was why he was chosen to appear in the studio's major releases. He contributed to the success of the biggest industry hits from Raging Stallion, including Cowboys, Giants, Tales of the Arabian Nights and Focus/Refocus.
"His skills and talent didn't go unrecognized; he won the 2010 GayVN Award for Performer of the Year, and he took home the 2011 Grabby for Best Versatile Performer. A man of stature, standing 6'2" and weighing in at nearly 200 pounds, Knight had a huge presence, a gracious air, and a caring disposition. His charm and humor did not go unnoticed. All of these traits are what made him a superstar of the industry.
"While the details of his death are not yet know, Knight recently lost his partner of nine years to suicide.
"Chris Ward, Falcon/Raging Stallion Studios President offered these sentiments about his friend: 'Wilfried's death is a blow to our studio and to our industry. There was no nicer man. We have all lost someone very special. I can only say that personally I am devastated. Wilfried was a friend and I shall miss him. All of us at Falcon and Raging Stallion Studios hope he is at peace, and our thoughts are with his family and friends. I know that his good friend and director, Tony Dimarco, is also greatly saddened by this tragic loss.'"
The studio also issued this collective expression of loss:
"We grieve deeply at the passing of Wilfried Knight. We offer our most genuine thoughts of sympathy and warm wishes to Wilfried's family, friends and loved ones. He was an extraordinary talent and a special man who brought joy to our hearts. Wilfried, we celebrate your life and your accomplishments, and hope that you rest in peace. You will be missed greatly."
Slain Gay Mississippi Mayoral Candidate Marco McMillian's Body Had Been Beaten, Burned; Suspect in Custody
More details are emerging in the disturbing murder of openly gay Clarksdale, Mississippi mayoral candidate Marco McMillian (below, left), whose body was found at the base of a Mississippi River levee last week after he had been missing for several days.
The AP reports:
Sheriff’s deputies last week charged 22-year-old Lawrence Reed (far right) with murder in the case. An investigation began Feb. 26 after McMillian’s SUV slammed head-on into another vehicle on U.S. Highway 49 near the Coahoma and Tallahatchie county lines. Reed was driving the car, but McMillian was not in it, authorities say. McMillian’s body was found the next day. Reed was treated for injuries at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis. The hospital said he was released Saturday. Reed was being held without bond Monday pending extradition to Mississippi.
McMillian's family released a statement today saying that McMillian's body had been brutalized, the Commercial Appeal reports:
“We know that Marco was brutally murdered. His body was found on Wednesday, February 26, 2013, beaten, dragged and burned (set afire),” his family said in an email released through his campaign manager Jarod Keith. “This was reported in our meeting with the local coroner on two occasions. We were informed that the official autopsy report could take two to four weeks to complete.
“We feel that this was not a random act of violence based on the condition of the body when it was found. Marco, nor anyone, should have their lives end in this manner.”
His family went on to say in the statement that McMillian shared with them before his death that he was concerned about his safety, and that they want a “full and thorough” investigation into his murder.
“We feel it is important to share this information to dispel speculations surrounding his death,” McMillian’s family stated.
The circumstances surrounding McMillian's death are under an active investigation.
McMillian was "one of the first viable openly LGBT candidates in Mississippi" according to the Victory Fund.
The body of Marco McMillian, a Clarksdale, mayoral candidate the Victory Fund describes as "one of the 1st viable openly #LGBT candidates in Mississippi" has been found near a highway, according to the Press Register:
The Press Register has received a reliable report, unconfirmed by the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Office, that at approximately 8:45 a.m., Wednesday, the body of mayoral candidate Marco McMillian was found by the levee off Highway 1.
There is no word yet on the cause of death.
County and state emergency and law enforcement personnel had been searching for McMillian, 34, since another man, who is currently at The Med in Memphis, drove his car into another vehicle.
According to a press release by the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Office, at around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, McMillian’s vehicle (a dark-colored, full-sized SUV - aTahoe or Yukon), was involved in a head on collision on Highway 49 near the county border of Tallahatchie and Coahoma counties.
Will Rooker, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, said he didn’t know how the collision happened and as far as he knew, the sheriff’s office hasn’t assigned anyone blame in the accident. The driver of McMillian’s vehicle was injured and was airlifted to the MED in Memphis and, as of Wednesday morning, he remains there. The other driver was treated at a local hospital and was released.