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04/19/2007


NOM's Brian Brown is Furious That a City Councilman Told Bigots to Stay Out of NYC

Brown

Commenting on Chick-fil-A's recent announcements that it is planning a big expansion nationwide including a move into NYC, City Councilman Daniel Dromm had some tough remarks for the anti-gay chicken chain:

Dromm“We don’t need bigots coming to New York City,” Councilman Daniel Dromm (right), who is openly gay, told HuffPost. “They are not welcome here unless they can embrace all of New York’s diverse community, including the LGBT community.” ... “We don’t need bigoted people even keeping their opinions to themselves,” he said. “They need to wake up and see reality.”

Dromm's remarks set NOM President Brian Brown on the warpath:

Brian Brown, NOM's President responded to the comments with condemnation. "These remarks are outrageous and intolerant, and sadly seem to be part of a trend developing in the public debate surrounding this issue," Brown said. "When Dan Cathy's pro-marriage views were first reported in 2012, we saw mayors and city councils saying similar things—it was a disgraceful circus then, and it is now."

But Brown said that Dromm's remarks go even further than previous attempts to punish Chick-fil-A for its CEO's personal views.

"What Dromm has effectively said here is that anyone who believes in marriage as the union of a man and a woman is unwelcome in New York City," Brown noted. "His remarks, coming amidst a climate of such unseemly attacks on pro-marriage people as we saw with the Mozilla controversy last week, simply reinforce a growing manifestation of hostility and intimidation in the public square toward folks with traditional values. Christians and others are now, it seems, going to be considered guilty of 'thought-crimes' and threatened with all manner of reprisals simply for holding their beliefs."

Brown wants the City Council to condemn Dromm's remarks and issue a formal apology to bigot New Yorkers.

"Mr. Dromm has alienated and insulted millions of New Yorkers and made them feel like they don't belong in their own home city. The Council should correct this and extend an apology immediately and undo the hurt and wrong that's been done."


NYC School Forbids Student to Attend Prom with Transgender Date: VIDEO

Transprom

Martin Luther High School, a Lutheran school in Maspeth, Queens, NYC, is forbidding one of its students, Anais Celini, from coming to prom with her boyfriend Nathaniel Baez because he is transgender, WPIX reports:

“The school said to me that his transition is unconventional and it’s not what he feels beneficial to letting him come to prom,” Celini told PIX11 News exclusively.

Baez said he feels bad for his girlfriend. “It’s hard because I really wanted her to be able to go to prom with her friends and me, as well,” Baez said. “It is one of the stepping stones in high school.” Baez said even if they’re barred from the May 22 dance, he will plan his own private prom weekend for his girlfriend.

Watch the couple's interview with WPIX, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Denzel Washington Opens in ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ On Broadway: REVIEW

A RAISIN IN THE SUN cap1267_A_crop

BY NAVEEN KUMAR

Just before the curtain rises on a beautifully acted production of A Raisin in the Sun, which opened on Broadway April 3 at the Barrymore Theatre, a recorded interview with Lorraine Hansberry pipes through the darkened house, the playwright advocating for broader audiences and greater accessibility in American theatre. The irony will be lost on no one who’s managed to snag a ticket to see the starry ensemble, led by Denzel Washington.

A RAISIN IN THE SUN 1960AcapHansberry’s 1959 drama, last on Broadway just ten years ago in a revival headlined by Sean Combs (aka P Diddy), is as much a chronicle of mid-century black experience in America as it is an uncluttered family portrait. Set on Chicago’s south side, the story looks in on the Younger family in their small, shabby apartment housing three generations under one roof. Grandfather Younger has recently passed, and a life insurance check is en route to his widow Lena (a sublime LaTanya Richardson Jackson).

Her son Walter Lee (Mr. Washington) has his mind set on using the cash to buy and run a liquor store. His sister Beneatha (Anika Noni Rose) could use some of the money to follow her dream of going to medical school. And Walter’s wife Ruth (Sophie Okonedo) shares Lena’s wish to move the family to a larger house where Ruth and Walter’s son Travis (Bryce Clyde Jenkins) can have a room of his own.

A RAISIN IN THE SUN cap1052_A_cropThe play’s relatively straightforward plot functions as a vehicle for Hansberry’s revelatory account of pre-Civil Rights black experience in all its particulars. Some of her talking points feel more seamlessly integrated than others, but the uniformly stellar cast draws us into their story from its first moments. Like every family, this Younger clan has its own practiced rhythms and ways of relating, and together the company creates a captivating alchemy it’s hard to look away from.

A master of the wordless glance, Ms. Jackson’s Lena balances quiet wisdom with a glorious and equally commanding bluntness. Ms. Rose is wonderful as the young, ambitious Beneatha, the vulnerability beneath her character’s idealism always coursing close to the surface. Rounding out remarkable performances by the show’s leading women, Okonedo (Oscar nominated for Hotel Rwanda) dams up a precarious swell of feeling behind Ruth’s firm exterior.

Washington, a Tony winner for his performance in August Wilson’s Fences, has a star-powered stage presence that translates into palpable command of audience sympathy. His Walter Lee carries an easy charm that makes it difficult to resent his follies for long, so he’s likable even at his most despicable. Though he doesn’t tread a difficult path to redemption, Washington’s interpretation is no less believable and moving for it.  

Director Kenny Leon, who also helmed the 2004 revival, maintains focus on drawing out fine performances from the talented company and forging an engaging, accessible family dynamic. If the drama feels more peppered with casual humor even at its most serious, moments of levity keep the pacing brisk and make the play that much more enjoyable to watch.

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Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos:brigitte lacombe)


Glenn Greenwald Enters Country for First Time Since NSA Leaks

Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras entered the United States for the first time since reporting on NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, according to a tweet from AP reporter Ted Shaffrey. Accompanying Greenwald was his partner David Miranda.

GreenwaldGreenwald and Poitras are in the country to attend Friday’s Polk Awards ceremony in New York City according to the HuffPost:

The two journalists are sharing the prestigious journalism award with The Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill and with Barton Gellman, who has led The Washington Post’s reporting on the NSA documents. Greenwald and Poitras interviewed Snowden last June in Hong Kong as he first revealed himself.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Greenwald said he’s motivated to return because “certain factions in the U.S. government have deliberately intensified the threatening climate for journalists.”

“It’s just the principle that I shouldn’t allow those tactics to stop me from returning to my own country,” Greenwald said.

Greenwald suggested government officials and members of Congress have used the language of criminalization as a tactic to chill investigative journalism.

Greenwald told the HuffPost his legal counsel has not been informed "whether or not he could face any potential charges, or if he's been named in any grand jury investigation tied to the NSA disclosures."


Rat Holds NYC Subway Car Hostage: VIDEO

Rat

A rat took the A train through the tunnel under the East River during Monday morning's commute to Brooklyn.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Joy Behar Roasts Chris Christie - 'You're Toast': VIDEO

Behar

Video has emerged of the April 1 roast of former New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne attended by Chris Christie, in which many of the speakers uncomfortably rattled the governor over the Bridgegate scandal. Among them was Joy Behar, who stuck the knives in.

New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza described the roast:

Joy Behar, the former co-host of “The View,” was even more pointed. “When I first heard that he was accused of blocking off three lanes on the bridge, I said, ‘What the hell is he doing, standing in the middle of the bridge?” After another barb, Christie interrupted her. “This is a Byrne roast,” he said. He stood up and tried to grab her notes. The audience laughed awkwardly. “Stop bullying me,” Behar said as he sat down. Christie said something out of earshot and Behar responded, “Why don’t you get up here at the microphone instead of being such a coward?” Christie stood up again and moved in front of the lectern as Behar retreated.  “At least I don’t get paid for this,” he said.

Christie sat down and Behar continued, though she was noticeably rattled. “I really don’t know about the Presidency,” she said. “Let me put it to you this way, in a way that you’d appreciate: You’re toast.”

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via business insider)

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