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01/29/2015

France Clears Binational Same-Sex Marriage For Franco-Moranccan Couple

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The Cour de Cassation, the highest French appeals court, has decided to allow the marriage of a Moroccan-French gay couple in spite of current legislation barring binational unions. Though gay marriage was legalized in France in 2013, the French government made agreements with 11 other nations saying that France would block marriages for binational couples in which the non-French partner’s country of origin did not recognize gay marriage.

Dominique and Mohammed, who have asked to have their last names withheld, were initially denied a marriage license in Chambery, a city in the southeastern region of France. Two other courts, however, issued rulings arguing the opposite, which brought the couple’s case to the Cour de Cassation.

The Cour de Cassation cited a specific section of France’s agreement with Morocco that allows either country to ignore one another’s laws should the other country’s law be "obviously incompatible with public order.” In this instance the Cour de Cassation interpreted marriage as a fundamental right necessary to the public order, overriding Morocco’s legal stance on gay marriage for gays living in France.

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 5:20 PM EST by in France, Gay Marriage, Morocco, News | Permalink | Comments (0)


Here's a Gay Italian Love Story to Awaken Your Inner Romeo: MUSIC VIDEO

Estate

Italian independent filmmaker and Towleroad reader Roberto Laureri sends along a short film he shot set to the Italian classic "Estate" by Bruno Martino, which has become an internationally-known jazz standard (some may know the performance done by João Gilberto).

The track is about the memories of a lost love, and many of us have been there, though the clip may have you entertaining thoughts of running off to Europe to find one of your own.

Writes Laureri to Towleroad: "I shot this video in Italy to express the simplicity about love, how it's the same for every one."

Watch the gorgeous video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Here's a Gay Italian Love Story to Awaken Your Inner Romeo: MUSIC VIDEO"

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 5:00 PM EST by in Italy, Music, Music Video | Permalink | Comments (0)


News: Adam Lambert, Bill Gates, McDonald's, Zombie Cat, PrEP

Road The Clinton camp is reportedly split on when to launch Hillary's 2016 campaign. Potential 2016 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), meanwhile, thinks Clinton is "probably not" bold enough to tackle the country's major crises. 

LambertRoad Adam Lambert announces his third studio album The Original High with the first single due out in April.  

Road Bill Gates joins the growing list of tech heads worried about artificial intelligence. "I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don't understand why some people are not concerned."

Road Jim Parsons is set to play God in the upcoming Broadway comedy An Act of God

Road Senator John McCain wasn't having any of it today when protesters swarmed a Senate Armed Services hearing, with McCain calling them "low-life scum."

Road Sao Paulo, Brazil is starting a program that will help trans youth finish school by offering monetary incentives. 

GhostbustersRoad Some people aren't too happy with the all-female Ghostbusters remake cast. 

Road Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch took a typical, hard-line stance on marijuana in her confirmation hearings: "Not only do I not support legalization of marijuana — it is not the position of the Department of Justice currently, to support the legalization, nor would it be the position should I become confirmed as attorney general."

Road McDonald's CEO Don Thompson has announced he'll be resigning March 1 amid lackluster sales. 

Road Disneyland unveils its magical plans to celebrate the park's 60th anniversary this summer. 

Road Twice-married Sean Penn says Charlize Theron would be his "first marriage".

Road Equality California's Executive director Rick Zbur is speaking out about certain Obamacare plans in Covered California that aren't covering the pre-exposure prophylaxis medication Truvada.

Road 5 amazing ways 3D printed food will change the way we eat.  

JacksonRoad Cheyenne Jackson posts #tbt photo of him and fellow Broadway babies Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Barrett Foa.

Road Headline from Florida: Zombie Cat In Tampa Rises From The Grave

Road David Beckham loves to embarrass his kids with hugs and kisses.

 Road 82-year-old Idahoan Sue Hovey decided to take one final pot shot at the GOP in her obituary last week. "Sue wanted her obituary to note that she was born Feb. 12, 1932, during a depression brought on by the Republican Party, and that she died on Jan. 13, 2015, during the recovery from a recession brought on by the Republican Party."

Road Tom Petty has no hard feelings towards Sam Smith following the recent settlement that landed him credits on "Stay with Me". "Sam did the right thing and I have thought no more about this. A musical accident, no more, no less. In these times we live in this is hardly news. I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all." 

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 4:00 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (1)


Filipino Court Rejects U.S. Marine's Appeal of Murder Charge in Death of Transwoman

Laude

A Filipino Department of Justice panel has rejected Marina Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton’s appeal in his case for the alleged murder of Jennifer Laude, a trans Filipino sex worker. Laude’s body was found last October not long after Pemberton was spotted leaving her hotel room.

PembertonIn their appeal Pemberton’s attorneys argued that there was no way to way to directly connect Pemberton to Laude’s murder given the presented evidence.

"If direct evidence is insisted upon under all circumstances, the guilt of vicious felons who committed heinous crimes in secret or in secluded places will be hard, if not impossible, to prove," the panel of attorneys said after rejecting Pemberton’s claim.

The panel further explained that a clear timeline has been established that placed Pemberton and a number of fellow marines at a bar with Laude. According to testimony given to the panel by another Marine late that night after leaving Laude’s hotel room Pemberton confessed that he thought he “killed a he/she."

Pemberton can ask the Justice Department to reconsider its decision. 

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 3:35 PM EST by in Crime, News, Philippines, Transgender | Permalink | Comments (11)


Fort Worth Will Recognize Same-Sex Marriages, Causing Gay Officer To Choke Up On Camera: VIDEO

Knight

Fort Worth will begin recognizing same-sex marriages on Feb. 1. The city announced Wednesday it is extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in other states. 

The city already offers health insurance to same-sex partners, but the decision to begin treating them as spouses will extend equal benefits to other areas, including pension plans. It will also bring the city into line with IRS rules issued in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Windsor v. United States.

From the city's employee newsletter

The City of Fort Worth will be extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples beginning Feb. 1, 2015.

This change will allow the city to follow the IRS's definition of "spouse" as defined for federal income taxes in the granting of survivor benefits.

Since the city's retirement ordinance does not specifically define "spouse," surviving spouses in a same-sex marriage will be eligible for survivor benefits if the survivor can prove, through documentation, that they were legally married to the employee/retiree in a state where same-sex marriage is legally recognized.

The news drew an emotional reaction from out lesbian police Cpl. Tracey Knight. From WFAA-TV

"When I got the news last night," she said, pausing, tears in her eyes... "When I got the news last night, it was very emotional. ...

"I told my wife and we burst into tears," said Knight, who serves as the department's LGBT liaison. "We're like any other family. And God forbid if I'm ever killed in the line of duty, I want her and our child to be taken care of."

The WFAA report goes on to mention that Fort Worth has made great strides on LGBT equality since the police department's infamous raid of the Rainbow Lounge gay bar in 2009. The department is also actively recruiting gay officers, and several employees recently appeared in a TV ad supporting marriage equality. 

While numerous other cities in Texas offer benefits to same-sex partners, it is believed that only one — Houston — has done so by recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages.

That decision from out lesbian Houston Mayor Annise Parker, which was designed to get around a city charter amendment prohibiting domestic partner benefits, prompted a lawsuit from anti-gay Republican activists. 

The lawsuit alleges that Parker's decision violated Texas' ban on same-sex marriage. The lawsuit is on hold, and the Houston same-sex benefits remain in effect, pending the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling in a federal lawsuit challenging the the marriage ban. 

However, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising to see anti-gay activists — or perhaps the Republican attorney general's office — similarly challenge Fort Worth's decision. 

Watch WFAA-TV's report, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Fort Worth Will Recognize Same-Sex Marriages, Causing Gay Officer To Choke Up On Camera: VIDEO"

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 3:10 PM EST by in Fort Worth, Gay Rights, LGBT Rights, Texas | Permalink | Comments (3)


Bryan Fischer Will Keep His Radio Show Despite Being Fired As AFA Spokeshater: VIDEO

Fischer

On today's Focal Point radio program, Bryan Fischer devoted a portion of his opening segment to addressing last night's reports that he'd been fired from his position as spokesman and director of issues analysis for the American Family Association. 

Said Fischer:

HeadlineI think I've been on-air somewhere between 2,700 and 3,000 hours. Now if you talk for a solid 3,000 hours, there's probably going to be some things you're going to say somewhere along the way that maybe you thought 'Well that was pretty strong, when I said that. Maybe if I was to do that over again I might use a little bit different language.' That happens to all of us. Anyway the low-information media taking some of the things that I have said and made the false assumption that I was representing the official views of the American Family Association, which I was not. We've got that disclaimer at the end of every broadcast, at the bottom of every blog post we submit - that the one who is speaking or writing here does not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association, but the low-information media seem to have trouble making that distinction so we're going to help them clear up that confusion. So I've taken off my hat as spokesman for AFA and will continue to be your loyal, humble, and cheerful host of Focal Point

Rachel Maddow broke the story last night, reporting that Fischer's firing was due to Israeli press reporting that Reince Preibus and the RNC are taking a trip to Israel which is being funded by the AFA.

Right Wing Watch, meanwhile, had this to say on Fischer's firing:

...the AFA has literally accomplished nothing with this stunt and has completely failed to distance itself from Fischer's utterly despicable views. The primary venues though which Fischer has managed to spread his bigotry for the last six years have always been owned, operated, and funded by the American Family Association and that relationship appears to remain intact. 

Stripping Fischer of his title as AFA spokesman in no way alleviates the AFA of its responsibility for Fischer's toxic views given that the only reason Fischer even has a platform from which to spread those views is because AFA is providing it to him and paying him to spread them!

From the very start of Fischer's time at AFA, the organization has pathetically attempted to have it both ways: providing the very microphone from which Fischer speaks while simultaneously claiming that it bears no responsibility for the message that he sends.

The AFA latest effort to rid itself of Fischer's rancid reputation is little more than a rhetorical accounting trick aimed at creating the false impression that the organization has wiped Fischer's bigotry off of its books.

Watch Fischer's announcement today, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bryan Fischer Will Keep His Radio Show Despite Being Fired As AFA Spokeshater: VIDEO"

Posted Jan. 29,2015 at 2:45 PM EST by in American Family Association, Bryan Fischer | Permalink | Comments (4)


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