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BRUCE JENNER: Watch the FULL interview w/ Diane Sawyer
SHOCK: OUTnyc, FIP owners hold Ted Cruz fete.
GAY HOTELIER CRUZ SUPPORTERS: Defend reception.
NO HOMO: Ted Cruz introduces 2 new anti-gay bills.
ARI WALDMAN: SCOTUS marriage preview Part 1 + Part 2.
HELLA CUTE: Gay teen's straight friend asks him to prom
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New York City Gay Men's Chorus Cancels Fundraiser at The Out NYC Over Owner's Intimate Reception with Ted Cruz
On Friday we told you about Broadway Cares pulling out of a planned Solo Strips fundraiser at the NYC club 42West because organizers could not "in good conscience hold an event at a venue whose owners have alienated our community."
Now you can add the New York City Gay Men's Chorus to the growing list of groups pushing back against multimillionaire gay hoteliers Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass over their ill-thought decision to host an intimate "fireside chat" with rabidly anti-LGBT senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz.
The chorus org. announced yesterday it would be cancelling its Lily Garden fundraiser at The Out NYC Hotel that was scheduled for Saturday.
From the NYCGMC Facebook page:
We wish we could say this was a clear, easy decision. It wasn’t. We believe in nuanced, complex discussion, and we think that dialogue with your opposition will always lead to positive change in the world. We cannot say who is right and who is wrong, and we hope the debate will continue.
We can say, however, that we made the decision because we want to be 100% clear in our support for the LGBTQ community. NYCGMC has a 35-year history of campaigning for human rights through our music. Our mission must always come first.
We are sorry that we cannot spend the afternoon with our friends and supporters. Besides being an important fundraiser, The Lily Garden is a fantastic event due to the tireless effort of Matt Levison aka Lily Putian. We are grateful that Matt has volunteered to reschedule the event later in the year.
In related news Honey, Urban Bear NYC's official dance party that was scheduled at XL Nightclub on May 15th has been put on hold until further notice.
With talks of a protest as well as a boycott of the venue, and with others pulling out of their contracts, we have decided to put our dance party HONEY, scheduled at XL Nightclub on Friday, May 15th ON HOLD until further notice.
At this time, we believe this to be the best decision, as numerous members of our community and their families are employed by THE OUT and XL Nightclub, and an impending boycott could adversely affect their livelihoods. We want to do the right thing and believe that waiting until all the facts are in before making any final decisions is best. We welcome your thoughts as we consider alternate locations for the dance event.
"I feel more loose and relaxed than ever," President Obama said of the fourth quarter of his presidency, "those Joe Biden shoulder massages, they're like magic."
The White House Correspondents Dinner offers the President an annual opportunity to poke fun at the media, his fellow politicians, and himself in a way that few other forums offer, so the jokes fly loose and fast, and this year was no exception. It doesn't hurt that Obama is exceptionally skilled at delivering them.
"I am determined to make the most of every moment I have life. After the midterm elections, my advisers asked me, 'Mr. President, do you have a bucket list?' And I said, 'well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list'...Take executive action on immigration? Buck-it. New climate regulations? Buck-it."
Watch the full speech, AFTER THE JUMP...
Obama also mused on the way he's aged after 6 years in office, Obamacare, Cuba policies, and the 2016 Republican field.
"And Donald Trump is here. Still. It's amazing how time flies. Soon the first presidential contest will take place, and I for one cannot wait to see who the Koch brothers pick. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker. Who will finally get that red rose? And the winner gets a billion dollar war chest. the runner up gets to be the bachelor on the next season of The Bachelor. Seriously. A billion dollars from just two guys. Is it just me or does that feel a little excessive. It's almost insulting to the candidates. The Koch brothers think they need to spend a billion dollars to get folks to like one of these people."
He took aim at some of his conservative enemies, wielding barbs at Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Dick Cheney:
"A few weeks ago Dick Cheney says he thinks I'm the worst President of his lifetime. Which is interesting, because I think Dick Cheney is the worst President of my lifetime."
He spoke about the economy and how Americans are living in times of "deep uncertainty", pivoting to a joke about Hillary Clinton:
"I have one friend. Just a few weeks ago, she was making millions of dollars a year. And she's now living out of a van in Iowa."
Obama also spoke about the Secret Service and recent security breaches at the White House, and then displayed the photo below. "They've finally figured out a foolproof way to keep people off my lawn."
While talking about his friendship, with Joe Biden, Obama made a joke about the recent news out of Indiana during the debate over the anti-gay Religious Freedom Restoration Act:
"He has been at my side for seven years. I LOVE that man. He's not just a great Vice President, he's a great friend. We've gotten so close that in some places in Indiana they won't serve us pizzas anymore."
There are many more jokes in his full remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...
An eight-part docuseries chronicling Bruce Jenner's gender transition will premiere July 26 on E!, the network has announced.
The series will be produced by Bunim/Murray Productions (Keeping Up with the Kardashians). Jenner will executive produce with Gil Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins, Farnaz Farjam and Andrea Metz of Bunim/Murray Productions.
“Bruce is incredibly courageous and an inspiration, and we are proud to be entrusted with this deeply personal and important story,” said Jeff Olde, executive vp programming and development at E! “This series will present an unfiltered look as Bruce boldly steps into uncharted territory and is true to himself for the first time.”
Missed Jenner's interview with Diane Sawyer? You can watch it in full HERE.
On October 28th in 2011 Ky Peterson, then a 20 year-old transman living in Americus, Georgia, was followed on his way home, knocked out, and raped by Samuel Chavez, a Honduran immigrant. It was the second time that Peterson had been sexually assaulted while living in the small town. Peterson awoke to find his attacker naked and assaulting him both sexually and verbally. In a lengthy interview with The Advocate, Peterson describes how his rapist took him back to a trailer park near his own home and that his two brothers managed to find him during the attack:
He stood up, now on one side of the trailer with his two brothers flanking him. He saw the shadowed figure of the naked stranger charging forward. He didn't have time to think as his fingers grasped the smooth metal of the gun he'd started carrying in his backpack as a nighttime precaution ever since his first rape.
Then Peterson made a decision he'd hoped he’d never have to. He pulled the trigger.
Peterson killed his attacker in self defense that night, and he’s been dealing with the fallout of the events ever since. Peterson, who had been raped previously, found himself in a morally complicated situation. He was summarily ignored by the police after reporting his first assault, and feared that calling them again would prove to be an even worse experience. What would a police force who refused to even acknowledge that he’d been raped once do in response to finding out that he’d taken the law into his own hands when confronted by another attacker?
"I tried to explain my story to [the police] and they didn’t listen, and that was the main reason I attempted to cover up what had happened," Peterson says. "It was because I knew they wouldn’t listen — that’s just the way the system is."
Disillusioned by his experiences with local law enforcement, Peterson did the only thing he could think of and attempted to dispose of the body on a nearby country road--a decision that would ultimately land him in prison. He’s now serving a 20 year-long sentence for involuntary manslaughter.
Though Peterson insisted that he had been raped and shot Chavez in self-defense, police were doubtful of his story even after a rape kit corroborated his claims. According to Peterson his being a black, transgender man was one of the main reasons that his case was so grossly mishandled.
"What this case highlights, is from both a legal and a public perspective, how difficult it is for trans people of color to claim the status of victim," ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio explained to the Advocate. "In so many ways, our conception of victimhood has always been taken away from people of color and taken away from gender-nonconforming people and taken away from women."
Peterson would eventually plead guilty to manslaughter charges, but as the Advocate found in the course of its investigative reporting, his sentencing contained a crucial technical error. According to court transcripts Peterson and his legal defense agreed to a deal in which he would cop to voluntary manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. The written court documents to Peterson’s case, however, list his having pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
"I have always said that all of these sentences need to be reviewed before they're submitted to the court to sign," said Assistant District Attorney Donald Lamberth. "I'm not sure, at this point in time, that we know what the ramifications could be from a sentence reconsideration, or reevaluation, but it does open a lot of interesting conversations."
Rep. Jared Polis Proposes 'Restrain Steve King from Legislating Act' in Mockery of Anti-Gay Congressman
On Wednesday we reported on Rep. Steve King's (R-IA) "Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act", a ridiculous piece of DOA and likely unconstitutional legislation which would strip away Article III of the Constitution in an attempt to prevent the Supreme Court from ruling on marriage. Article III allows federal courts to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage.
King, whose legislation also prohibits federal funds from being used for any litigation in federal court, is hoping to save "traditional marriage" with this nonsense.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) isn't having it. Polis writes:
On the heels of Rep. Steve King’s outrageous announcement Wednesday of his “Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act,” Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02) today proposed the “Restrain Steve King from Legislating Act.” The bill would prevent Steve King from abusing taxpayer dollars by substituting the judgments of the nation’s duly serving judicial branch of government with his own beliefs.
“For too long, Steve King has overstepped his constitutionally nonexistent judicial authority,” Polis said. “Mr. King has perverted the Constitution to create rights to things such as discrimination, bullying, and disparate treatment. These efforts to enshrine these appalling values as constitutional rights were not envisioned by the voters, or by King’s colleagues who must currently try to restrain his attempts to single-handedly rewrite the nation’s founding principles on a bill-by-bill basis.
“I urge the House to bring this bill to the floor. If passed, my bill would preserve the right of millions of voters in all 50 states who would prefer that Steve King refrain from legislating a role for himself in their marriage decisions.”
Before Mitch and Cam charmed Middle America and even RuPaul relished relative widespread notoriety, openly gay artist John Waters was pushing boundaries with unapologetically queer cinema.
“I always appealed to gay people that couldn’t even fit into the gay world, and I still do,” he told Dallas Voice earlier this year. “My crowd has always been minorities. My core crowd is minorities that can’t fit in with their own minorities.”
The Baltimore-born Waters has worn many hats — writer, director, actor, comedian, artist — but, his signature pencil mustache and camp aesthetic, his work has maintained his subversive sense of style. Responsible for some of the most shocking, transgressive moments on film, Waters has worked with everyone from legendary drag queens to today’s brightest Hollywood stars. From his most controversial films to even his most mainstream works, Waters has never lost touch of his unique sensibilities.
“I don't understand what gay people want to be like everybody else," he told BigThink in 2011. “To me, we were outlaws, we used our wit for fighting words, you know, Act Up — ‘Act Bad,’ I wanted.”
When he isn’t making movies (or hosting TV shows about married couples turned murderers or hitchhiking across America), Waters has been an advocate for gay rights, including campaigning for marriage equality in his home state of Maryland. He shared more of his political beliefs with BigThink:
“I understand that people... straight, gay, people want to get married, they want to have children. I'm for that, I'm all for that. I'm for like, why would anyone be against gay adoption? I can't understand it, or when celebrities get babies. Madonna's child won the lottery, if you ask me. The one she just got in Africa. I'm for anybody getting any kid, if they can love it. And I'm for abortion. If you can't love your kid, don't have it because it will grow up and kill us.”
Check out some of our favorite moments from John Waters’ films, AFTER THE JUMP …