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Florida AG Pam Bondi Pledges to Continue Defending Gay Marriage Ban: 'I Am Just Getting Started'

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has responded to yesterday's ruling by a federal judge overturning her state's ban on same-sex marriage, the Sun-Sentinel reports:  

Bondi“We want finality. There are good people on both sides. We want finality. That’s what we need. The U.S. Supreme Court’s going to hear this. They are going to make this determination. And if you hear that I have criticized people personally, I have not. I never will. This is me doing my job as attorney general. And I will continue to do that and if anybody wants me to moderate my message or stand for less I have a message for them: I am just getting started.”

Later, in answering reporters’ questions, this is what she said about the Democratic candidates who would drop the defense of the ban:

“All I’m going to say is I put my hand on a Bible and I raised my right hand and swore to uphold the Constitution of the state of Florida. This was voted into our Florida’s Constitution by 62 percent of the voters not even six years ago....”

Earlier this month, Bondi, citing her desire to "preserve taxpayer and judicial resources" asked state courts to stop considering same-sex marriage cases until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue. 

Bondi is running for re-election this year.


Equality California Sponsors Resolution Urging an End to Gay Blood Donor Ban - VIDEO

Ban

Equality California, the largest LGBT advocacy organization in the state, has partnered with Assemblymember Richard Bloom to advance an assembly joint resolution (AJR 50) urging President Barack Obama to compel the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to introduce blood donor policies that do not discriminate against men who have had sex with other men.

Currently, the FDA prohibits men from donating blood for life if they have even once had sex with another man since 1977.

Medical organizations including the American Red Cross and the American Association for Blood Banks have called for a reevaluation and/or repeal of the policy citing its excessively broad nature and advances in blood testing.

BloomThe Williams Institute think tank estimates that an additional 130,150 men would likely donate 219,200 pints of blood each year if the ban were lifted, helping blood banks which routinely operate with a short supplies.

Bloom said:

“The FDA's archaic exclusions are both discriminatory and unwise, considering the nation’s chronic blood supply shortages. It is time for the FDA to restructure its blood donor deferral policies to reflect sound science, not outdated social prejudices.”

The resolution, which passed the Assembly Floor yesterday with a final bipartisan vote of 58-15, will now move to the Senate for consideration.

Watch a report on a blood donor protest at the University of Cincinnati's Hoxworth Blood Center last month, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Equality California Sponsors Resolution Urging an End to Gay Blood Donor Ban - VIDEO" »


Tenth Circuit Extends Stay in Ruling Striking Down Colorado's Gay Marriage Ban

Yesterday afternoon, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals extended a stay on a federal judge's ruling from last month that found Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.  

Equality on Trial reports:

Colorado[U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore]  had issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the ban in July. The court then halted proceedings in the case, pending issuance of the mandate in Kitchen v. Herbert, the challenge to Utah’s same-sex marriage ban in the Tenth Circuit. A request to halt the injunction was denied, but a temporary stay, until August 25, was granted so that the state could ask the appeals court for a stay pending appeal.

Without this new stay, marriages could have begun in Colorado on August 25.

The Utah case is in the Supreme Court, and the Justices are likely to have their first opportunity to grant review during their conference on October 10. The mandate in the Kitchen case wouldn’t issue until the Supreme Court denies review or rules on the merits.


Dan Choi Running for City College of San Francisco Board Spot

Choi

Lt. Dan Choi, who was for many years the public face of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal movement, has announced a candidacy for the City College of San Francisco Board.

Choi2Via campaign website:

Now, Dan has decided to channel his energies towards revitalizing the City College of San Francisco. As a dedicated student throughout his schooling, he has a passion for learning and education. Dan wants to see that all CCSF students have access to an enriching education as to provide them with the tools they need to achieve their goals both inside and outside of the classroom. Aware of the structural and economic issues facing the CCSF educational system, Dan is driven to be a part of the solution.

Choi has largely stayed away from the spotlight following his trial last year stemming from a DADT protest at the White House in 2010. 

[via joe.my.god]


Andrew Rannells on Stepping into Broadway’s Highest Heels in ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch:’ INTERVIEW

HEDWIG key art NO-TEXT

BY NAVEEN KUMAR

Tony nominated in 2011 for his turn as an eagerly pious missionary in The Book of Mormon, Andrew Rannells returns to Broadway this week playing the glam-rock trans goddess in Hedwig and the Angry Inch for an eight-week run. Earlier this summer, the cult 1998 musical brought home Tony Awards for Best Revival and for performances by Lena Hall and Neil Patrick Harris, whom Rannells replaces in the show.

From his breakout role on Broadway, Rannells, 35, jumped quickly into TV with a recurring role on Girls, where he plays Lena Dunham’s now gay ex-boyfriend. He also went on to star as a young gay dad in Ryan Murphy’s series The New Normal, which ran for one season on NBC.

AR - hedwig1With his career taking off, the star returns to the stage in a role he’s been primed to play since he was a college student in Manhattan. I talked to the actor about his history with Hedwig, his jump to the screen, and Anne Hathaway’s best advice to him for walking in heels.

Naveen Kumar: Your last role on Broadway had you all buttoned up, so this time’s a little different…

Andrew Rannells: [Laughs] Yes! Yes it is.

NK: Are we watching a drag pro or a novice? Tell me about your history with heels—because they are sky high in this show.

AR: Well, I did a production of Hedwig in 2002 in Austin, Texas, at a theatre called the ZACH Theatre. It’s been a long time. This is obviously a very slick production, and there are things that I don’t have to worry about, like in Austin I had to do my own makeup and put on my own wig. On Broadway, there’s a whole staff of amazing designers who do that for you, which takes a lot of the stress away. I just have to show up! So that’s very nice.

The show itself, weirdly even though it was 12 years ago, I still remembered big pieces of it. Songs are a little bit easier to remember, but I was really surprised by the chunks of the script that I remembered, somewhere lodged in the back of my brain.

NK: So, jumping around in heels: not a big deal?

AR: One of the first things they did was give me a pair of rehearsal heels, and I was a little nervous about it because they were like 5-inch high heels.

I had just stared working on the Nancy Myers movie The Intern this summer in New York, and all of my scenes were with Anne Hathaway. I was telling her about it and she said, “You know what? Just don’t think about it. Women don’t think about it. They just put them on and do it.” That was her big advice and it was actually very helpful, because I just thought, I’m not going to stress about this, I’m just going to put them on and see what happens. Knock on wood: I have not fallen yet.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Andrew Rannells on Stepping into Broadway’s Highest Heels in ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch:’ INTERVIEW" »


New Jersey School Backs Down, Allows Transgender Teen To Enroll as a Girl

Rachel pepe

Rachel Pepe, a transgender student from New Jersey who we reported earlier this week was refused permission to return to school using her new gender identity, has since had her refusal reversed by school administrators.

Last year, Pepe attended Thorne Middle School in Middletown, New Jersey, but when she tried to register for classes with her new gender identity, the school district said she would have to return using her birth name “Brian.”

Pepe’s mother Angela Peters said at the time that the school failed to engage with her on proposed solutions to the problem.

However, the superintendent of the school district, William O. George, has since announced that he will work with staff to make sure Rachel can attend school in a safe environment. George also said Middletown Township Public Schools staff would undergo LGBT sensitivity training, reports Huffington Post.

"We as a district want to do everything we can as a district," George told the Asbury Park Press. "Every child is different and their education and social and emotional well being is my priority. We will work with them to find the appropriate placement."

Back in April, the Department of Education issued new guidance that made it clear Title IX law protects transgender students from discrimination.


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