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London Mayor Accused Of Banning 'Ex-Gay' Group's Bus Ads To Court Gay Vote

BorisjohnsonA London Christian organization, The Core Issues Trust, was infuriated when now mayor Boris Johnson (right) banned a series of gay conversion therapy advertisements which had appeared on public transportation. Johnson, able to exact the ban because of his position as chairman of the Transport for London commission, is now being investigated after Core Issues accused him of acting "for an improper use," namely to gain the gay vote in his campaign for mayor. The Core Issues Trust ads read, "Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!" and were a response to pro-gay group Stonewall's own bus advertisements carrying the familiar moniker: "Some people are gay. Get over it!"

BBC News reports:

...ruling on the charity's appeal, the Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson said evidence had been produced of "an email which unequivocally states that the mayor 'instructed' TfL to pull the advertisement" just before the 2012 mayoral elections.

He said the need for examination of the role of the mayor was even greater because the email sent on 12 April 2012 "shows that the mayor's office contacted the Guardian (newspaper) immediately, apparently in order to make political capital out of the story".

Arrangements had also been made for the mayor to appear the following day at a hustings organised by Stonewall.

The judge said: "This is a most unsatisfactory state of affairs."

BusadIf Johnson is cleared of the "improper use" charge, the judge's initial decision to ban the anti-gay advertisements will stand. The Core Issues Trust is not going down without a fight, though:

Dr Mike Davidson, who leads The Core Issues Trust, said he would write to the mayor to ask for all emails linked to the ban, "current and potentially deleted", to be made available to his lawyers.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which supported the trust, said: "In a mature democracy both sides of a debate should be heard but it seems that Boris Johnson, Transport for London and Stonewall are intent to shut down the Christian side of the debate by fair means or foul.

"It is a great relief that the Master of the Rolls has ruled to hold to account arbitrary use of the exercise of power by a public authority".

Transport for London reported that it would supply any further evidence needed in court.

'Same Love' Songstress Mary Lambert Reflects on the Last Minute Macklemore Collaboration

MarylambertMary Lambert, the openly gay crooner who sings the beautiful chorus for "Same Love," the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis-helmed marriage equality anthem, has had quite a successful year. The tune is nominated for the song of the year award at Sunday's Grammy Awards, and her involvement on the track has helped push her solo career into overdrive. Funnily enough, though, she says that she very nearly missed out on the amazing opportunity.

HuffPost reports:

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had written and produced a song called "Same Love," but they needed a special hook to finalize the emotional track. Like the rap duo, Lambert is from Seattle, though she had never met them before.

"I was sort of a last resort," said Lambert. "It was a match made in heaven."

Lambert was given "about two or three hours" to write the song's chorus and then record it the same night in front of the breakthrough newcomers, who were instantly impressed by the soft singer.

"They loved it. It was like this beautiful minute of silence after I sung the chorus," she recalled.

Lambert's deeply felt connection to the track, which was shockingly successful given the content, has pushed her deeper into her own music career as well.

She said it also has encouraged her to be honest in her own music. She released an EP, "Welcome to the Age of My Body," in December and it features a spinoff of "Same Love" called "She Keeps Me Warm" — a refrain from the original track.

Lambert signed to Capitol Records and will release a full-length album this year. She plans to sing about topics from female empowerment, fat shaming and domestic violence.

"I think people are figuring out there's no formula anymore. The things that used to work for record companies don't necessarily work," she said.

Check out Lambert's EP on iTunes, and tune in to the Grammy Awards this Sunday at 8pm on CBS to see if "Same Love" steals the show. 

Rapper LastO Unleashes His Inner Killer In Video For 'Pour A 40': WATCH


You may not have heard of out gay rapper LastO, but Out Magazine thinks that he is an artist to watch out for, and his bold statement of a debut video will certainly catch your attention. The video, for song "Pour a 40" off his second album, "Where's Vivian?," is a creepy, over-the-top ode to serial killers.

OUT reports:

"I knew what the video would look like if any other artist had done the song," LastO said, "so I was very adamant about doing something else."

That "something else" sees the New York-based rapper going the serial killer route, replete with a hefty blade and a bit of pseudo-gore. 

Check out the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Warning: Contains strong language and violent imagery.

Continue reading "Rapper LastO Unleashes His Inner Killer In Video For 'Pour A 40': WATCH" »

'Sherlock' Sparks Slash Fiction Craze in China, Conversation About Gay Acceptance


The return of BBC's "Sherlock," starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the famous sleuth and Martin Freeman as his sidekick Watson, has brought on a frenzy of fictionalized, romantic excitement in China. Young women there called "Fu Nv," from the Japanese word "Fujoshi" (literally translated to "rotten women"), identify as lovers of slash fiction arising from television, manga, and video games. Now, Holmes and Watson have caught their attention. The newfound popularity of the show has fueled the fan fiction craze, but has also brought up important questions about the level of acceptance for real-life gay relationships in China. 

Women of China reports:

Despite the fact that Fu Nv are mainly imagining the romantic relationship between men in unrealistic scenarios, it is an indirect implication that these young women can or are at least willing to accept homosexuality. They do not view romantic relationships between men as something against nature or wrong, they perceive it as something beautiful, romantic and even promote it.

Acceptance of homosexuality is a hot issue in the world today. It is worth noting that in countries where responses are noticeably different by gender, women are far more accepting of homosexuality than men, suggested by many social science studies. The rise of groups like "Fu Nv", in a way, reflects how young women in China are changing their opinions on such matters. 

What male-male romance would you like to see in your favorite TV shows and movies? Don the Fu Nv cap and let us know in the comments below!

Film Festival Favorite 'Shabbat Dinner,' a Charming Short Film About Coming Out: VIDEO


"Shabbat Dinner," a short film that has played over 50 film festivals but was previously unavailable online, has now hit the web. It is a wonderful film and well worth the watch!

Check out this fascinating family dinner, AFTER THE JUMP...

The film, directed by Michael Morgenstern, centers on two families coming together for the Jewish tradition of Shabbat dinner and the discoveries made by two teenage boys meeting for the first time. With natural performances from the two younger actors and a true-to-life feel, the film is full of tension and warring family values that may remind you of some of your own (awkward) experiences. 

Head over to the film's website to learn more about the director, the shoot, and the festivals where it played.


Continue reading "Film Festival Favorite 'Shabbat Dinner,' a Charming Short Film About Coming Out: VIDEO" »

Comedian Eliot Glazer Will School You On 'Modern Gay Vernacular': VIDEO


Have you ever wanted to know when it may or may not be appropriate to deploy the word "hunty?" Have you had a hard time determining what "throwing shade" might mean? Do you generally feel out of the loop when it comes to gay slang tossed around on "Rupaul's Drag Race," in bars, and elsewhere within the LGBT community? Look no further, because Eliot Glazer, the wisecracking gay comedian, has come to your rescue. His new video, the "Reluctant Gay Dude's Guide to Modern Vernacular" may not be entirely accurate, but it will definitely make you laugh.

Check out Glazer's expert definitions, AFTER THE JUMP...

Warning: language may be inappropriate for certain work/home environments. 

Continue reading "Comedian Eliot Glazer Will School You On 'Modern Gay Vernacular': VIDEO" »


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