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News: Joan Rivers, Snake Heads, Kirk Cameron, Britney Spears

Road Melissa Rivers says her mom Joan is "resting comfortably" after yesterday's hospital scare

A&fRoad Abercrombie & Fitch to ditch all logos from its apparel starting next spring. 

Road Ex-Michele Bachmann aide Kent Sorenson pleads guilty to charges that he concealed payments received in exchange for defecting to Rep. Ron Paul's rival campaign during the 2012 Presidential elections. Sorenson faces up to 25 years in prison. 

Road Terrifying fact of the day: severed snake heads can still bite - and often do. 

Road Chelsea Clinton has announced that she will be leaving NBC News to focus on her baby and other work. 

Road Liam Hemsworth buys himself (and his beard) a new $6.8 million home in Malibu. 

Road Walking Dead showrunner Robert Kirkman confirms a gay male character will appear in the show's upcoming 5th season. Will it be Daryl Dixon

RustinRoad In case you missed it (or don't have HBO) The Normal Heart is now available on DVD

Road According to the Irish Mirror, a gay flight attendant has been jailed for one year for sexually assaulting a sleeping straight man while at a party.

Road Rep. John Lewis reflects on gay civil rights icon Bayard Rustin. "[Rustin] was a good organizer, a good planner, just brilliant. He was very concerned about how the march would go. And one thing that I will never ever forget, a few days before the march he wanted to know whether we had enough latrines. He said, “We cannot have any disorganized pissing on the mall.” And everybody thought that was so funny."

Road Robert Downey Jr. takes his ego out of the equation and admits Guardians of the Galaxy is the "best Marvel movie ever" Did you think so?

Road Soprano Looks like Tony Sopranos fate will forever be uncertain

Road Kirk Cameron's upcoming Christmas movie seeks to "glorify the true reason for the season"

Road TIME names Mariah Carey the 'ultimate pop star'

Road The Supreme Court of Colombia has granted limited adoption rights to same-sex couples, provided at least one of the parents is biological. 

Road Britney Spears breaks up with boyfriend David Lucado after her dad finds out he's a cheater


Gay Chicago Couple Kicked Out Of Taxi For Kissing Files New Lawsuit: VIDEO

CHI

Last June, Chicago couple Steven White and Matt McCrea were kicked out of a taxi for sharing a closed-mouth second-long kiss. In October, Lambda Legal stepped in to file a complaint on behalf of the couple with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, then commented, "A taxi-cab company, like any other business in Illinois that offers services to the public, is bound by the Illinois Human Rights Act to not discriminate based on sexual orientation, among other protected categories." However, as NBC 5 Chicago reports, that complaint was rejected "because the department said it had no jurisdiction over corporate entities." The couple has now filed a lawsuit against the taxi cab company: 

"It's ludicrous to suggest that a cab company is not responsible for the discrimination enacted by its drivers," the couple's lawyer, Christopher Clark, said. "They should be liable under the law for the conduct of their agents."

The suit claims the driver, who is not named in the suit, complained the men were "making sex" in the cab in May 2013. McCrea and White, who were heading into the city from O'Hare, say the driver began flashing the interior lights of the vehicle and then swerved on to the shoulder of the Kennedy Expressway and demanded they get out miles before their intended destination.

Meanwhile, the driver was issued several violations and fined close to $2,000 because of the incident. 

Watch a news report on the couple's latest legal action, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Chicago Couple Kicked Out Of Taxi For Kissing Files New Lawsuit: VIDEO" »


New Amazon Series 'Transparent' Deals With Issues Of Transgender Identity, Familial Relationships: VIDEO

Transparent

Amazon's new original series "Transparent" is set to premiere on September 26th (with all ten episodes available to stream on Prime Instant Video), but until then the wonderful trailer for this darkly comic story will have to tide you over. 

"Transparent" follows the various members of the Pfefferman family as they come to terms with their patriarch, Mort (Jeffrey Tambor), announcing that he is now Maura. The trailer promises a great deal of humor and drama, as well as affecting performances from a stellar cast. 

The Amazon press release reads:

Written, directed and executive produced by Emmy-nominee and 2013 Sundance Best Director winner Soloway, Transparent is a ten episode, half hour novelistic series that explores family, identity, sex, and love. The series stars Tambor as Maura, who has spent her life as Mort—the Pfefferman family patriarch. When she reintroduces herself to her family, everyone’s secrets finally start to come out. This includes her ex-wife Shelly (played by Light), and their children—meandering Ali (played by Hoffmann), record producer Josh (played by Duplass), and sexually conflicted Sarah (played by Landecker). Each family member spins in a different direction as they begin to figure out who they are going to become.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to offer our customers all episodes of Transparent in late September,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “Jill has an amazing ability to create deep, engaging and rich stories and characters. We think customers will enjoy this fresh, humorous, and touching series.”

Though the trailer mostly contains small snapshots of what are surely quite meaningful scenes, stick around for the last few seconds--you're sure to get a bit misty-eyed.

Will you be tuning in? Check out the trailer and decide, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New Amazon Series 'Transparent' Deals With Issues Of Transgender Identity, Familial Relationships: VIDEO" »


Ban On 'Gay Panic' Defense Passes California Assembly, Heads To Governor Jerry Brown

JerrybrownUnder California state law, murder charges can be reduced to manslaughter if it is shown that the act took place suddenly or in the heat of the moment. These events could be deemed "panic" killings, but as of now it is viable for killers to suggest that a person's gender or sexual identity triggered the "panic." If AB2501, which passed the California Assembly in a 50-10 vote on Wednesday, is approved by Governor Jerry Brown, the "gay panic" defense will no longer be allowed in courts. 

The Sacramento Bee reports:

AB2501 by Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla of Concord would bar defendants from using their victims' gender or sexual orientation to support a so-called panic defense.

Bonilla says such defenses legitimize violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The American Bar Association urged governments to curtail the use of panic defenses. The gay rights group Equality California says California would have the first statewide prohibition.

Governor Brown has a good track record with LGBTQ issues; hopefully the Golden State is on its way to making history with this new legislation. 

BB 16's Frankie Grande Claims Gay Men Have 'Genetic Predisposition' But Lesbians 'Choose To Become Lesbians': VIDEO

Grande

"Big Brother 16" house guest Frankie Grande, who has received a great deal of press for his many cuddle sessions with apparently heterosexual competitors and his revelation that he's pop star Ariana Grande's half-brother, recently took it upon himself to inform everyone about why gay people are the way they are. Is it a choice? Is it biology? Frankie seems to have all the answers.

Grande2At first he tells his housemates that gay men have a "genetic predisposition towards being attracted to other men. There's genetic markers in your blood, there's pheromone receptors in your nose...However, I believe society can change you. It depends on how you've been raised." Certainly a problematic perspective, though he clarifies somewhat when he states that society can make one "choose to go against their genetic markers," presumably speaking about the constant homophobic pressures around us.

Things get really hairy, though, when Frankie delves into the mysteries of gay women.

Crushable reports:

That theory, which he’s pontificating on to a room full of reality TV contestants who don’t know any better... apparently only applies to gay men. Only they are born with this mythical predisposition — women never are.

“Any lesbians choose to become lesbians later in life. Women who have been with man after man after man after man choose to become a lesbian later in life. Gay men it doesn’t work so much that way. It’s usually they’re like ‘oh okay, no I’m gay.’”

Truly incredible stuff, Frankie. The most disturbing part? The housemates, and, it seems, Frankie himself, have deemed him resident LGBTQ expert. They hang on to every last word as though it is indisputable. 

"Nature versus nurture is a very highly debated subject, even within my own community," he says. I'm not sure what community you are representing, Mr. Grande, but one where only scorned women "become" lesbians is not the community of which I count myself a part.

Watch the full discussion, AFTER THE JUMP...

[photo via Cliff Lipson/CBS]

Continue reading "BB 16's Frankie Grande Claims Gay Men Have 'Genetic Predisposition' But Lesbians 'Choose To Become Lesbians': VIDEO" »


Steve Carell To Play NJ Gay Rights Activist In 'Freeheld' Alongside Ellen Page, Julianne Moore

SteveCarellThe long-gestating narrative film adaptation of Freeheld, originally an Oscar-winning short documentary from Cynthia Wade, has added a new star to its cast according to Entertainment Weekly. Steve Carell has now replaced Zach Galifianakis in the role of Steven Goldstein, founder of Garden State Equality and an important ally to protagonist Laurel Hester who attempted to amend New Jersey's domestic partnership act to provide pension benefits for her partner. 

The film also stars Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, who was attached prior to her public coming out.

Freeheld does not yet have a release date.


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