"When did it become okay to legislate morality? I try to envision someone reading that legislation "eliminates the right" and then clicking yes. What goes through their mind? Was it the frightening commercial where the little girl comes home and says, "Hi mom, we learned about gays in class today" and then the mother gets that awful worried look and the scary music plays? Do they not know anyone who is gay? If they do, can they look them in the face and say "I believe you do not deserve the same rights as me"? Do they think that their children will never encounter a gay person? Do they think they will never have to explain the 20% of us who are gay and living and working side by side with all the citizens of California? I got news for them, someday your child is going to come home and ask you what a gay person is. Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away."
I have a report from last night's major 'No on Prop 8' fundraiser at Ron Burkle's estate in Beverly Hills.
Our source writes:
"First the good news: 'No on Prop 8' raised at least $3.9 million from last night's event! Ron Burkle underwrote the entire evening so that every dollar donated went to the No on Prop 8 campaign. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom donated $100,000. David Hyde Pierce donated $50,000. They also announced that in the past two weeks, 'No on 8' had taken in $10 million to the 'Yes on Proposition 8' campaign's $2 million. If I'm doing my math correctly, at this point we should be fairly even with the bigots in terms of funds raised.
"Mayor Gavin Newson opened the event by calling the fight for marriage equality the civil rights issue of our time.
"Patrick Guerriero stated that 'No on Prop 8' had just completed a Spanish language radio ad that was ready to air. He also announced that 'No on Prop 8' would soon be running recently completed ads specifically to address and counter the false claims made in the advertisements run by the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign.
"Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stated that the campaign was trying to reach out to Hispanic voters and that he would volunteer to be the face of the television ads and the voice of the radio ads.
"Now for the entertainment!:
"Melissa Etheridge opened her set with Laura Nyro's 'Wedding Bell Blues', only she changed the lyrics 'Marry me, Bill' to 'Marry me, Jill.' She also played Janice Joplin's 'Bobby McGee'. Throughout the set she made lots of jokes as well as pointed comments about what Yes on Proposition 8's $25 million dollars could have bought (housing for people left homeless by Katrina, etc...) In the middle of her set, she said she wanted to help raise more money for No on Prop 8 by auctioning off a song, any song, for the highest bidder...with bidding starting at $50,000. There were no takers, so she started into her next song. She closed her set with 'Bring Me Some Water'. After that, Lorri Jean (director of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center) announced that two anonymous men (David and Paul, I believe), had agreed to donate $50,000 to No on Prop 8 if Melissa Etheridge would sing a song at their wedding ceremony on December 20. She accepted their proposal!
"Mary J. Blige followed Melissa Etheridge. I don't know her music, so I can't really tell you much of what she sang. The only one of her songs that I've been able to figure out is 'No More Drama'...very powerful! She also performed a cover of U2's 'One'. She looked AMAZING!"
***As a footnote to this report, I'd like Towleroad readers to know that based on the tracking the campaign has done off links from this site, together you have raised at least $63,000 so far for the 'No on Prop 8' campaign.
Boy George reality show Living with Boy Georgebegins tonight in the UK: "The show follows George as he returns to the UK after four years in America, where he was arrested for possesion of cocaine and subsequently sentenced to do community service. George also finally comes clean on his addiction to heroin and his battles with other drugs. He also speaks openly and frankly about his sexuality and his controversial former relationship with Culture Club drummer, John Moss."
Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Peter Pace appointment meeting resistance at Indiana University: "Pace, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs from 2005 to 2007, publicly likened homosexuality to adultery in March 2007, calling it immoral. He later said he should have not expressed his personal views."
Gay Ugandan given refugee status in Canada. Ugandan paper calls homosexuality a moral disease. And anti-gay Christian bishops from around the world are meeting in Uganda this week to discuss their homophobia: "About 40 bishops from Africa, Australia, the United States, India, Canada and Britain are taking part in the conference, which began on Monday near the Ugandan capital Kampala."
Melissa Etheridge to marry partner Tammy Lynn Michaels: "Yes, we have four children and we're trying to find the right time. We are so grateful for the blessings from our friends and family as we commence our vows, and begin the rest of our lives together."
Mad Men's Bryan Batt talks to CNN about being gay in Hollywood: "There are always going to be people who look at people who are different and who disapprove [of them] either through fear or through ignorance. We have to work toward acceptance on all levels. How long ago were the civil rights movement and the women's movement? And, still today, women don't make the same amount of money as men do for doing the same job."
Liberty University to allow Soulforce Equality Ride activists on campus: "This year's visit will mark the group's first visit to Liberty since Jerry Falwell Jr. assumed leadership after the death of his father. Riders say they hope the campus' zeal for politics will allow open conversation about 'faith and fairness,' they said. 'We are in contact with Liberty students who have been waiting for the Equality Ride to return,' said Katie Higgins, Equality Ride's co-director."
Gay editor of Lapland's largest newspaper fired because of her sexuality: "Ms. Korhonen told reporters from the Finnish media today that the real reason for her sudden dismissal was because 'I live in a registered partnership – in other words my spouse is a woman'."
Please welcome Robbie Daw, who will be penning occasional music posts for us here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.
Venison, artichoke tapenade and Doritos? I guess at this point we shouldn't be surprised Amazon.com's got these items for sale. And starting today, one-stop shopping at the online store could be fully realized with the launch of Amazon MP3 Beta, a service offering MP3 files compatible with iTunes and Windows Media Player, free of Digital Rights Management restrictions (meaning you can play the tracks on iPods or any MP3 player, use them on multiple computers and burn them onto CDs as many times as you like). Amazon is offering up a library of more than 2 million songs, with their Top 100 downloads priced at 89 cents, while most others are 99 cents. The Top 100 albums are $8.99, while other albums range from $5.99 to $9.99.
Not all artists and labels are on board, though...especially not ones still requiring the DRM restrictions. A search for Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, for instance, prompts a disclaimer noting that while Amazon doesn't offer these catalogs as MP3s, "more titles are being added daily". You're then presented with the offer to go back into the ol'-fashioned Amazon music store, where your Justin or Britney tunes are sure enough available on trusty CD. Just don't forget to throw the Doritos in your shopping cart.
Duran Duran's new single "Falling Down," featuring and produced by Justin Timberlake, is available as of today from the U.S. iTunes store. The press release for DD's forthcoming Red Carpet Massacre album is up now on the band's official site, which reveals the writing and production credits for each track.
Kurt Cobain: About A Son, a documentary focusing on the late Nirvana frontman (pictured left), will see its U.S. premiere at the Los Angeles AFI Film Festival in early November. A year before his death in 1994, Cobain was featured in a cover story for The Advocate. Though he often had a penchant for exaggerating and twisting the truth in interviews, he did reveal the following: "I used to pretend I was gay just to fuck with people. I've had the reputation of being a homosexual every since I was 14. It was really cool, because I found a couple of gay friends in Aberdeen [Washington] - which is almost impossible. How I could ever come across a gay person in Aberdeen is amazing! But I had some really good friends that way. I got beat up a lot, of course, because of my association with them."
The New York Post is claiming that Madonna just might embark on a world tour starting late next summer, to coincide with her 50th birthday. This rumor wouldn't be too much of a stretch, given that she'll have no doubt released a new studio album long before that.
Ne-Yo has written songs for some of today's young crop of twentysomething divas: Beyonce, Britney Spears, himself. Below is the classy video for his duet with Rihanna, "Hate That I Love You," in which she flounces about half-naked on a bed and he strolls around town decked out like Cary Grant.
During last night's forum, Melissa Etheridge decided at one moment to address New Mexico's bark beetle infestation — a definite problem, but not something that Bill Richardson had likely planned to address at a 'gay debate'.
Here's a shot of the critters for your edification, and some info on the bad work they do in the drought-stricken Southwest.
"I don't like a woman married to a woman. It makes me want to puke. How's that? I want to vomit when I hear it...I want to puke when I hear about a woman married to a woman raising children because, frankly, I think that it's child abuse to do that to children without their permission. What does a child know? Ask them when they're 16 whether they want to be raised by two lesbians or two men. What are the two men doing behind the other wall? You think the children don't hear it?"
When a caller phoned in to Savage's show asking what he should tell his children, who saw Etheridge give Michaels a kiss on national television, Savage responded:
"I will tell you how you answer it: You say there are people who are sexually confused, who think that they're men when they're women. They're not normal. Normal people are not like that. Normal people are like Mommy and Daddy. Mommy and Daddy are normal. There are people who are not normal, who have a confusion in their head, and they think they're a man even though they look like a woman. That's what you have to say to them otherwise the child will grow up confused."