Deaths Hub

Openly Gay 60's Teen Idol Lesley Gore Passes Away at Age 68

60s teen idol/pop icon Lesley Gore, best know for her classic songs "“It’s My Party (I’ll Cry if I Want To)” and “You Don’t Own Me,” has passed away at the age of 68, the AP reports:

GoreAccording to her partner of 33 years, Gore died Monday of cancer at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

Brooklyn-born and New Jersey-raised, Gore was discovered by Quincy Jones as a teenager and signed to Mercury Records.

Gore came out publicly as a lesbian in a 2005 interview with Afterellen, saying:

Well, you know, it’s funny. I just never found it was necessary because I really never kept my life private. Those who knew me, those who worked with me were well aware.

Gore also appeared on the camptastic 1960s Batman television series playing Pussycat, one of Catwoman's minions. 

Watch a 1965 video of Gore performing "It's My Party," and the classic First Wives Club performance of "You Don't Own Me" as sung by Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn AFTER THE JUMP...

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CBS News Correspondent Bob Simon Dies in Car Accident at 73


CBS News foreign reporter Bob Simon died in a car accident tonight on Manhattan's west side. Simon was riding in a livery cab when it was rear-ended and slammed into a median on the West Side highway.

Said 60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager:

"It's a terrible loss for all of us at CBS News. It is such a tragedy made worse because we lost him in a car accident, a man who has escaped more difficult situations than almost any journalist in modern times. Bob was a reporter's reporter. He was driven by a natural curiosity that took him all over the world covering every kind of story imaginable. There is no one else like Bob Simon. All of us at CBS News and particularly at 60 Minutes will miss him very much."

An emotional Anderson Cooper broke the news on CNN, calling Simon "the best in the world," a "warrior poet."

Watch his tribute, AFTER THE JUMP...

Our thoughts go out to Simon's family, friends, and colleagues.

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REPORT: 'Gay' Man Thrown From Building By ISIS Survives, Is Stoned To Death By Syrian Villagers


Reports are emerging that a man in Syria thrown from a building by ISIS militants for being gay was stoned to death by villagers when he survived the fall.

A series of images show two masked men throwing the victim - charged with having a “homosexual affair” - from a seven-story building.

After surviving the fall, the man was stoned to death by locals in ISIS stronghold Raqqa.

Photos posted on LiveLeak show the man being checked after the fall and finally being circled by a waiting crowd.

While ISIS has labeled the individual as a homosexual, it is important to bear in mind that this is a charge frequently leveled by the Islamic State against individuals who are perceived as dissidents. A statement released by The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission following a similar reportedly anti-gay attack in Iraq best sums up the caution that should be taken when viewing ISIS' crimes that put sexual orientation front and center:

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07e11f45970d-250wiIGLHRC and MADRE caution concerned members of the media, representatives of foreign governments and people of conscience generally in the strongest possible terms against assuming that the men identified as ‘gay’ and against assuming the men engaged in homosexual acts. [...]

At this time, to publicly call Iraqi men “gay” can only do harm. If the men did not identify as gay, the allegation is inaccurate and obscures the Islamic State’s motivation for publicly labeling them as such. If the men indeed identified as gay, extreme caution should be exercised and consultation held with those they loved as widespread publicity potentially exposes their families, loved ones and intimate partners to harm. Honor killings are pervasive in Iraq, so the safety of those most affected must be a paramount concern.

Furthermore, one cannot assume that the executions were for sodomy solely on the basis of information from the Islamic State. Without evidentiary basis or independent confirmation, this sweeping allegation could be applied to anyone the Islamic State seeks to discredit—including human rights activists and anyone opposed to the Islamic State. Accusing opponents of homosexuality is a tried and true tool used to discredit political adversaries throughout the world.

Video footage has also emerged today of a captured Jordanian pilot being burned alive by ISIS. From The New York Times:

141226114904-moaz-al-kassasbeh-jordanian-pilot-story-topThe lengthy footage shows clips of Jordan’s involvement in the United States-led airstrikes against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

At the end, the pilot, First Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh, stands inside of a cage and is burned alive when an unidentified militant uses a torch to ignite flammable liquid that has drenched the pilot’s clothing.

The Islamic State’s previous video executions of captives were all beheadings. The latest video, which was reported by the SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that monitors jihadist activity on the Internet, was the group's first known execution by fire.

Additional images of ISIS' most recent attack against an individual they have labeled as gay can be seen AFTER THE JUMP... (warning: graphic content)

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Melissa Rivers Files Malpractice Suit Against Joan Rivers's Voice Doctor


Melissa Rivers has filed a malpractice suit against Yorkville Endoscopy, alleging doctors at the NYC clinic were "reckless, grossly negligent and wanton" in the treatment of her mother Joan last August following surgery complications that ultimately resulted in the death of the 81-year-old comedian.   

The New York Times reports:

The lawyer for Joan Rivers’s voice doctor, Gwen Korovin, is denying allegations that she panicked and then abandoned Ms. Rivers when she went into cardiac arrest during a routine procedure last summer in New York.

Dr. Korovin’s lawyer said that contrary to claims in a malpractice lawsuit filed by Ms. Rivers’s daughter, Melissa, Dr. Korovin had faithfully stood by her patient and was in fact the last doctor remaining in the procedure room, not the first to leave.

“What happened was she never left the room,” the lawyer, William Lewis, said in an interview this week. “Not only did she never leave the room, she was the last doctor to leave the room after Miss Rivers was taken away by E.M.S. in an ambulance.”

USA Today adds:

"The level of medical mismanagement, incompetency, disrespect and outrageous behavior is shocking and frankly, almost incomprehensible, " Melissa said in a statement.

Among other things, the clinic doctors and Joan's own doctor are accused of allowing a cellphone selfie to be snapped of Rivers while she was unconscious on the operating table.

"The conduct is unfortunately outrageous," said one of her lawyers, Ben Rubinowitz. "Not only is there medical mismanagement but you have a situation where doctors are taking photos of a patient when she needed assistance. They didn't recognize the fact that she wasn't getting sufficient oxygen."

Still, Melissa said filing the suit was one of the most difficult decisions she had to make.

"What ultimately guided me was my unwavering belief that no family should ever have to go through what my mother, Cooper and I have been through," she said, referring to her son.

The Washington Post notes that the complaint "echoes what federal investigators for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services outlined in a report last fall." Yorkville Endoscopy is scheduled to lose its federal accreditation as a result of the investigation. 

Lesbian Widow Sues FedEx For Refusing To Pay Survivor Benefits: READ



The widow of a FedEx employee is suing the company for refusing to provide her with federally required pension benefits, reports NCLR.

Lesly Frances TABOADA-HALLThe company’s decision to deny Stacey Schuett (pictured above left) benefits is solely because both spouses are women.

Schuett and Lesly Taboada-Hall (pictured right and above with their two children) were together for 30 years before they married in 2013. After being diagnosed with cancer in 2010, Taboada-Hall and Schuett married from a hospital bed in their California home in front of their two children and close family members and friends.

At the time of Taboada-Hall’s death, she had been a FedEx employee for more than 26 years.

FedEx has refused to provide the benefits because its pension plan incorporates the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), even though that law was struck down as unconstitutional in 2013.

Representing Schuett, attorney Nina Wasow said:

“Federal pension law protects same-sex spouses just as it does opposite-sex spouses. Employees who have same-sex spouses deserve the same certainty as others that their hard-earned retirement benefits will be there to protect their families.”

Also representing Schuett, NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter added:

“FedEx cannot hide behind DOMA to justify its discrimination against Ms. Schuett and her family. The Supreme Court’s decision striking down DOMA made clear that employers must recognize the spouses of their gay and lesbian employees.”

Read details of Schuett's complaint, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Openly Gay Actor-Comedian Taylor Negron Dies Of Cancer At Age 57

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 1.08.46 PM

Openly gay actor and comedian Taylor Negron, known for his part with Sean Penn in the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, died of cancer at the age of 57 on Saturday reports ABC NewsHis cousin and former Three Dog Night musician Chuck Negron announced Taylor's death in an emotional video posted on YouTube. Before his death, Taylor wrote a piece about his life, starring in bit roles and being "That guy," for XO Jane. 

Said Negron:

"Instead, I am the Alternative Everyman. I have been your postman. I am the man who delivered your pizza. I was the gang member who kidnapped your daughter at gunpoint. I’m a nanny for children. I am a stylist for Stuart Little. I am your shrink. I direct porn films. I am the groom and the maid of honor ...

"I look at my alternative everyman predicament this way. By letting go of what you thought was going to happen in your life, you can enjoy what is actually happening...That is what I do. I'm That Guy."

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 1.10.31 PMTaylor's movie credits include Stuart Little, The Last Boy Scout, Angels in the Outfield, Bio-Dome and Vamps where he reprised his pizza delivery scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Negron got his start in comedy and Hollywood working as Lee Strasberg's assistant in a work-study program and interned under Lucille Ball, who was a guest teacher, at Sherwood Oaks Experimental College in 1977 at the age of 19. Negron also wrote the critically acclaimed The Unbearable Lightness of Being Taylor Negron – A Fusion of Story and Song, which debuted in the Green Room at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival and later ran at the SoHo Playhouse and Barrow Street Theater. Negron is also an accomplished painter and was featured in solo exhibitions at venues such as Los Angeles' Laemmie Royal Theater and the Hotel de Ville Lifestyle. 

Negron's final film roles include the short film H., in a narrator role, and upcoming film Alienated, where he plays a character named Griffin alongside actor George Katt and actress Jen Burry. You can watch Negron's scene with Sean Penn's Spicoli, who orders a pizza in the middle of class, in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, AFTER THE JUMP...

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