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Tracy Morgan to Apologize in Nashville Today

Following his meeting with LGBT homeless youth late last week, 30 Rock actor Tracy Morgan is in Nashville, Tennessee today, where his now infamous stand-up routine in which he said he would stab his son if he were gay, took place.

Morgan The AP:

Morgan was scheduled to address reporters Tuesday morning at the Nashville Convention Center after meeting with members of the audience who were offended by his comedy routine and representatives from gay advocacy groups.

The AP also reports that Morgan is not expected to take questions. It's the next-to-last step in a series of amends Morgan promised to make following outrage over his routine. The next will be an anti-bullying PSA.


News: Sidney Lumet, Betty White, iPad, Earth's Gravity

 road Rare pink diamond is expected to go for as much as $12 million at Christie's in New York.

Sl  road Sidney Lumet, who directed such film classics as Dog Day Afternoon and Network has died at the age of 86.

 road Betty White advises movie stars to be grateful for their great careers: "I cannot stand the people who get wonderful starts in showbusiness, and who abuse it. Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, for example, although there are plenty of others, too. They are the most blessed people in the world and they don’t appreciate it."

 road Real Housewives Of New Jersey‘s Dina Manzo gets her own reality show.

 road Egyptian protests in Tahrir Square begin anew.

 road Donald Trump will pick a fight with just about anyone so long as it gets him the attention he deserves.

 road Charlie Sheen gets booed off stage again.

Earth  road Scientists create a very cool-looking map of Earth's gravity field.

 road Time magazine on what it takes to be a gay icon.

 road Nashville grants gays more rights: By a vote of 21-15 the Nashville City Council passed an “anti-discrimination” ordinance on April 5 making it illegal for companies that do business with the city to discriminate in their hiring policies based sexual orientation or gender identity.

 road Snooki and The Situation will each rake in $100K for each episode of Jersey Shore.

 road Dave Franco joins the cast of the upcoming 21 Jump Street movie.

 road iPad problems: "Apple has confirmed that a "small number" of Verizon iPad 2 users are having connectivity problems."


Nashville Metro Council Approves Anti-Discrimination Bill

Progress in Nashville where the Metro Council Tuesday night passed an anti-discrimination bill.

Nahsville Nashville Business Journal reports:

Companies doing business with Nashville Metro government will soon have to pledge not to discriminate against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Metro Council approved a bill Tuesday requiring government contractors to abide by that guideline by a vote of 21-15, with three abstentions. A source of controversy in the business community, the bill drew sharp debate from council members Tuesday night.

Councilman Jamie Hollin, a sponsor of the bill, said after the vote that Metro had “sent a clear signal all around the world” that people of all kinds are welcome to work in Nashville.


News: David Gandy, Poland, Madonna, Nashville, PJ Crowley

 road Jenny McCarthy takes a stroll with her shirtless gay hairdresser.

David  road ShortList cover model David Gandy would like to tell you about his favorite style icons.

 road Richard Hatch is going to prison for tax evasion. Again.

 road While gay rights still have a very long way to go in Poland, things are starting to slowly change: "Socially, being openly anti-gay is becoming as unacceptable as being anti-Semitic: A decade ago it was possible to hear otherwise cultured and intelligent Poles declaiming on how Jews controlled both capitalism and communism, but outside of marginal groups like soccer hooligans, such views are now almost never publicly expressed."

 road Nashville clergy members in support of discrimination bill say that they have been "in prayer that a spirit of inclusion rather than exclusion would descend upon our city."

 road Seawalls in Japan provided very little protection during the quake and subsequent tsunami: "The tsunami that followed the quake washed over walls that were supposed to protect the plants, disabling the diesel generators crucial to maintaining power for the reactors’ cooling systems during shutdown."

Mad  road Unseen photos of a pre-fame Madonna published in Out.

 road Capuchin monkeys have figured out a new way to "fish" for termites.

 road Department of State spokesman P.J. Crowley resigns after coming under fire for comments about Bradley manning: "The unauthorized disclosure of classified information is a serious crime under U.S. law. My recent comments regarding the conditions of the pre-trial detention of Private First Class Bradley Manning were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership."

 road Marriage equality advocates in Maryland vow to keep fighting.

 road Only 1% of the residents in the Siberian city of Novokuznetsk vote to approve anti-gay legislation in their city.


Nashville, Tennessee: Crazy Town or Crazy State?

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

Ari Ezra Waldman is a 2002 graduate of Harvard College and a 2005 graduate of Harvard Law School. After practicing in New York for five years and clerking at a federal appellate court in Washington, D.C., Ari is now on the faculty at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California. His research focuses on gay rights and the First Amendment. Ari will be writing weekly posts on law and various LGBT issues. 

Follow Ari on Twitter at @ariezrawaldman.

Large_nashville_tn_local"Crazy Town" is a song about Nashville, Tennessee. It tells the story of how hard it is to make it in a town as crazy as Nashville, or, "Hollywood with a touch of twang." It may indeed be hard to make it in Nashville, but just last month, the Hollywood of the Bible Belt tried to make life a little easier for its LGBT residents. Its town council proposed legislation that would require city government contractors to abide by the city's non-discrimination policy, which includes protections for LGBT persons.

But, yesterday, Andy posted about another proposal out of Nashville -- out of the state capitol building rather than city hall -- wherein municipalities in the state would be prohibited from passing their own anti-discrimination laws and would instead have to rely on the state-wide statute. The bill limits the state's non-discrimination policy to "race, creed, color, religion, sex, age or national origin."

Once again, it's hard to make it in Nashville.

This story seems like it is about discrimination against gays and lesbians in government contracts and employment. After all, but for Nashville's decision to include LGBT Tennesseans in its non-discrimination policy, conservative members of the state legislature would never have proposed this legislation. It is actually much more. The proposed state law proposes to eliminate the municipality as a recourse for LGBT political activity to achieve equality. It would narrow their recourse to changing state law, something that seems far less likely given Tennessee's conservatism.

Let's set aside for the moment whether this bill is a good/bad idea. I would imagine that many readers feel this is a bad bill. I want to ask a different question: Is this constitutionally permissible?

Continue reading "Crazy Town or Crazy State" AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Nashville, Tennessee: Crazy Town or Crazy State?" »


Belmont University Changes Non-Discrimination Policy to Cover Sexual Orientation

Late last year Belmont University soccer coach Lisa Howe was fired after she told students that she is a lesbian and her same-sex partner was pregnant. The firing made national headlines and inspired multiple student protests at the NAshville school. University President Bob Fisher denied the firing was because Howe was gay.

They recently, however, made a change: Howe

A university that came under fire from students for the departure of a lesbian women's soccer coach has added sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy, but it was not clear whether it covered sexually active gays.

***

At the time of Howe's departure, Fisher said that the university does not consider sexual orientation in admissions or hiring decisions. On Wednesday, he said the policy change simply affirms the practices already in place. Asked whether his statements could be taken to mean that Howe was not pressured to leave because she came out to students, Fisher said he could not talk about any specific cases.

"This is a great victory for the values of inclusion, human dignity and respect," Howe said in a statement. "I am grateful to the Belmont board for recognizing that being gay and being Christian are not mutually exclusive. This is a landmark day."

Several reporters wanted to know whether Belmont was making a distinction between sexual orientation and sexual practice.

Belmont's student code of conduct lists sex outside of marriage as "sexual misconduct." Since gays and lesbians cannot marry in Tennessee, there is no way for them to be sexually active without violating the code.

Fisher would not say whether the new policy meant whether openly gay people could work at Belmont.

"I would put that in the category of a hypothetical," he said.


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