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Elton John And Michael Stipe Rally Behind Abused Trans Georgia Inmate Ashley Diamond: VIDEO

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Elton John and Michael Stipe have issued a joint statement calling on the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) to provide safety and hormone therapy to transgender women housed in male prisons in the state, according to the Guardian.

Earlier this month it was reported that transgender inmate Ashley Diamond has been denied access to her hormones, assaulted and raped at least seven times by other inmates.

Diamond filed a lawsuit against the GDC in February after years of unsuccessfully trying to convince corrections officials to provide her proper medical treatment and protection.

Last week, the US Justice Department voiced support for Diamond, calling the state’s denial of hormone therapy for gender dysphoria “cruel and unusual punishment”.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has filed a federal lawsuit against the GDC on behalf of Diamond.

The statement by John and Stipe reads in part:

John_stipe“We applaud the US Department of Justice for supporting Ashley Diamond and the trans community in arguing that Georgia’s policy of denying transgender inmates their medically necessary hormone treatment is unconstitutional. But we must do more to end the culture of violence and discrimination surrounding gender identity and expression. We urge the state of Georgia to embrace desperately needed changes to their correctional system.”

Watch a SPLC report on Diamond, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Michael Stipe's Passionate Speech On Uganda: VIDEO

Tonight at 9 PM ET, Logo will air a special titled "Trailblazers" to commemorate the one-year anniversary of DOMA's defeat. Included in the special is a brief word from R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, who eloquently links the past struggles of LGBT Americans with the struggles of today's queer people around the globe:

IStipen the early ’80s, as a 22-year-old queer man living during the Reagan/Bush administration, I was afraid of getting tested for HIV for fear of quarantine, the threat of internment camps and having my basic civil rights stripped away...I waited five years to get my first anonymous test. I am happy that attitudes have matured and changed, and I feel lucky that i live in a country where acceptance, tolerance and policy toward HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ issues have advanced as far as they have.

Stipe goes on to introduce Ugandan gay rights activist John “Longjones” Abdallah Wambere, who fights against the powers that be in his country, where homosexuality is illegal and anti-gay violence continues to rise. As Wambere puts it, speaking to the audience at the "Trailblazers" event, in Uganda "[this event] would be illegal. We would be all arrested or closed."

Check out Stipe and Wambere's speeches, embedded AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t MTV News]

Continue reading "Michael Stipe's Passionate Speech On Uganda: VIDEO" »


Michael Stipe and Courtney Love Duet on a Sea Chantey: VIDEO

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RoguesJohnny Depp has produced a pirate-themed album called Son of Rogue's Gallery which comes out next week and a few tracks have already hit the web, including this sea chantey called "Rio Grande" from Courtney Love and Michael Stipe (his first piece of music since R.E.M. dissolved.

Walk the plank, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Michael Stipe Demands FOX News Dease and Desist Use of R.E.M.

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A note on the REMHQ web page:

R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" was used in the Fox News coverage of the Democratic National Convention last night. R.E.M. today, through its music publisher, Warner-Tamerlane Music, demanded that Fox News cease and desist from continuing its unlicensed and unauthorized use of the song. Michael Stipe said, "We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage. Our music does not belong there."


Gay Korean Filmmaker Comes Out to Family with Film He Cast Them In: VIDEO

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A short film screening at Sundance was also used as a vehicle for the filmmaker, Andrew Ahn, to come out to his family.

Pink News explains:

In the film, Nick is a gay Korean-American man living in Los Angeles’ Korean neighbourhood with his partner. When Nick attends his nephew’s dol, a traditional Korean first birthday party, he finds himself longing for a life out of reach to him. Ahn said: “I made this film to come out to my parents. I knew I wouldn’t be able to tell them, to say the words ‘I’m gay’. “So I cast my family in the film, but never told them that it was about a gay Korean-American man. The filmmaking process both distracted from and prepared me for the inevitable – that I would eventually have to show my parents the finished film.”

A trailer for the film, AFTER THE JUMP...

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NEWS: Goodbye Iraq, Goodye Vaclav Havel, Goodbye Prop 8

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Road The last convoy leaves:

The last troop movement out of Iraq, which included about 110 vehicles and 500 soldiers, began in darkness. Around 2:30 a.m., the convoy snaked out of Contingency Operating Base Adder, near the southern city of Nasiriya, and headed toward the border.

As dawn approached on Sunday, the last trucks began to cross the border into Kuwait at an outpost lighted by floodlights and secured by barbed wire.

“I just can’t wait to call my wife and kids and let them know I am safe,” said Sgt. First Class Rodolfo Ruiz just before his armored vehicle crossed over the border. “I am really feeling it now.”

Road Young veterans can't find work:

Veterans’ joblessness is concentrated among the young and those still serving in the National Guard or Reserve. The unemployment rate for veterans aged 20 to 24 has averaged 30 percent this year, more than double that of others the same age, though the rate for older veterans closely matches that of civilians. Reservists like Corporal Rhoden have a bleak outlook as well.

Road Baptists really don't want to share the Air Force Academy with other religions.

Vaclav-Havel Road Farewell to a playwright, statesman, and velvet revolutionary:

[Vaclav Havel] came to personify the soul of the Czech nation. His moral authority and his moving use of the Czech language cast him as the dominant figure during Prague street demonstrations in 1989 and as the chief behind-the-scenes negotiator who brought about the end of more than 40 years of Communist rule and the peaceful transfer of power known as the Velvet Revolution, a revolt so smooth that it took just weeks to complete, without a single shot fired.

He was chosen as democratic Czechoslovakia’s first president — a role he insisted was more duty than aspiration — and after the country split in January 1993, he became president of the Czech Republic. He linked the country firmly to the west, clearing the way for the Czech Republic to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1999 and the European Union five years later.

Both as a dissident and as a national leader, Mr. Havel impressed the West as one of the most important political thinkers in Central Europe. He rejected the notion, posited by reform-minded Communist leaders like Mikhail S. Gorbachev in the Soviet Union and Alexander Dubcek in Czechoslovakia, that Communist rule could be made more humane.

Road "The People Vs. Putin."

Road Iranian TV broadcasts "confession" of alleged U.S. spy.

Road Ron Paul: Bachmann hates Muslims, Santorum hates gays and Muslims.

Road In Iowa, Santorum, Bachmann, and Perry duke it out for delicious Gingrich crumbs:

As Newt Gingrich falls back to earth -- under assault from his primary rivals, Iowa pastors and the conservative establishment -- three other Republican presidential candidates are hoping to benefit here in the Hawkeye State.

The last two weeks in Iowa before the Jan. 3 caucuses are increasingly a battle between these three, who still remain legitimate in the eyes of the grassroots, committed Iowa conservatives: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn), and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

"It's Bachmann, Santorum and Perry who are fighting for the rock-ribbed social conservative voter at the caucus. They're the only three active campaigns out there really going after that vote," said Chuck Laudner, an Iowa operative who is running Santorum's effort in the state.

Ayn Road "How Ayn Rand Seduced Generations of Young Men."

Road Love, Honor, Cherish to begin gathering signatures to repeal Prop 8.

Road Michael Stipe talks AIDS, depression, and elevator music.

 


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