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'Apparently' Kid Noah Ritter Meets the Dinosaurs and It's Hilarious: VIDEO

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Apparently, Noah Ritter knows a lot about dinosaurs. The adorable mini-ginger rose to fame after giving an unforgettable TV interview at the Wayne County Fair in Pennsylvania last month. He recently visited Ellen to share his new favorite word and now Ellen has brought him back to take a walk with the dinosaurs (animatronic ones, that is). The result is a seriously hilarious encounter.

Watch for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "'Apparently' Kid Noah Ritter Meets the Dinosaurs and It's Hilarious: VIDEO" »


Barney Frank Criticizes HRC President Chad Griffin's Apology to the Trans Community for ENDA 2007

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In an interview with The GA Voice, Barney Frank sounds off on Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin's recent apology to the transgender community for HRC's endorsement of a stripped down version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act back in 2007 that did not provide gender identity protections alongside sexual orientation.

That bill, introduced by Frank, passed the House 235-184 but was never voted on in the Senate. 

Said Frank:

Chad Griffin’s one of those people whose political judgment seems to be off. The fact is that HRC and I and everybody else were for an inclusive bill in 2007. The issue was we did not have the votes for an inclusive bill. It wasn’t a failure of will. Then the question was, was something better than nothing? Was it better to pass a bill that was protective of lesbian, gay and bisexual people or pass nothing? We tried very hard.

JohnsonPeople have this mistaken view of the civil rights movement and say, ‘Well the black people never compromised, they got the whole thing.’ That is just silly nonsense. The first civil rights bill that was passed in ’57 was fairly moderate but it had some good things, and then one passed in ’60, and then one passed in ’64. People are now saying, ‘Well we don’t want ENDA to be just about employment, we want it cover housing, etc.” Well that national federal civil rights bill that Lyndon Johnson signed in 1964 that we’re all celebrating today didn’t include housing! Housing didn’t come until a separate bill was passed after Martin Luther King was murdered in 1968. The notion that you can win your entire victory at once is historically and politically flawed.

The transgender community had this mistaken view that if Nancy Pelosi waved a magic wand, transgender would be included. And we were insisting to them that, look we don’t have the votes, help us lobby. Instead of trying to put pressure on the people who were against them, they thought they could just insist that we do it. We said, ‘We’re trying, but we need your help.’

Frank goes on in the interview to discuss how the topic of trans rights has come a long way in the seven years since then, as well as reveal what he misses most about being a congressman - the friendships and the ability to influence policy. 

Check out the full interview HERE


News: Hong Kong, Michael Strahan, Annie Lennox, Potato Salad

Road New poll shows Utahns evenly split on gay marriage question- with 49 percent support, 48 percent oppose.

MillsRoad Rob Mills, an Australian singer best known from Australian Idol and the Melbourne production of Wicked, apologizes for tweeting a "gay sex" photo mocking the Sydney Swans during the Australian Football League's Grand Final over the weekend. "I apologise unreservedly for the photo I tweeted yesterday," the singer writes. "It was immature and inappropriate."

Road Is Rihanna set to make a cameo appearance in the upcoming James Bond film?

Road Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong defy government ordered dispersal, continue to clash with police. NYT reports: "The continued public resistance underscored the difficulties that the Hong Kong government faces in defusing widespread anger that erupted on Sunday, after the police used tear gas, pepper spray and batons to break up a three-day sit-in by students and other residents demanding democratic elections in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.

Road Kelly Clarkson tweets adorable photo of her daughter River Rose rocking a pair of stylish shades (seriously go check it out, it might be the cutest thing you see all day).  

Road Live! with Kelly & Michael's Michael Strahan joins the cast of Magic Mike XXL. Will Ellen's gardener be next?

BlancoRoad Inaugural poet Richard Blanco, whose poem Until We Could was brought to life last week in a gorgeous Freedom to Marry video, speaks to NPR about his coming out process: "I really didn't end up coming out until much later in life ... and what really fascinated me as a writer and as an investigator is, how does that happen? How is it that moment by moment the next notch of courage, the next notch of self-understanding — even though you know you're gay at 12, 13, 14 [years old], those words can't even enter your mind. You can't even have the vocabulary; you don't say "Gee, I think I'm gay." No, it doesn't happen that way. It's just a slow sort of easing into, and all the little things that propel you to that place, all the people that support and move you an inch in that direction. The moment of coming out is really the end of a story — and the beginning of a new one, obviously, but it's really the whole life story to get to that moment."

 Road Now that George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's wedding is over, the honeymoon rumors can begin

Road Annie Lennox calls Beyonce a "feminist lite" in an interview with PrideSource. Said Lennox: "I would call that "feminist lite." L-I-T-E. I'm sorry. It's tokenistic to me. I mean, I think she's a phenomenal artist - I just love her performances - but I'd like to sit down (with her). I think I'd like to sit down with quite a few artists and talk to them. I'd like to listen to them; I'd like to hear what they truly think."

Road J-Lo got rear ended by a drunk guy over the weekend.

Kerry degmanRoad Male model Monday: Kerry Degman.

Road PotatoStock 2014, the $55,000 Kickstarter potato salad charity bash, took place over the weekend in Columbus.

Road John Oliver is confused why Ayn Rand is still popular. 

 Road Ferguson protests have resumed in the wake of the burning of a community-made Michael Brown memorial and the delayed apology from Police Chief Tom Jackson.

Road A private memorial for Robin Williams was held at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco over the weekend, with Danny DeVito, Whoopie Goldberg, Ben Stiller, George Lucas, Gov. Jerry Brown,Nancy Pelosi, Billy Crystal, and others in attendance. 


Anti-gay Activist Peter LaBarbera Compares Himself to a Persecuted Jew Living in Nazi Germany: AUDIO

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Joining Scott Lively and Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver in their baffled frustration with being included in the Human Rights Campaign's new "Export of Hate" report, Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality likened himself and the others on the hate list to persecuted Jews living in Nazi Germany.

Said LaBarbera on Janet Mefferd's conservative radio program:

"We just have to trust in God to protect us. But I do think that they're doing to us what the Nazis did to the Jews. They're intentionally demonizing us..."

Listen to the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-gay Activist Peter LaBarbera Compares Himself to a Persecuted Jew Living in Nazi Germany: AUDIO" »


Court of Appeal of Florence Reverses Lower Ruling on Italy's First Recognized Gay Marriage

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The Court of Appeal of Florence has reversed an April ruling that recognized a gay couple as married for the first time in Italy, AFP reports:

ChigiottiThe Court of Appeal reversed the lower decision of judge Paolo Cesare Otatti due to a problem of "standings". According to the Court, the couple - Giuseppe and Stefano - would have appointed the Mayor as the defendant and not the Comune (County) and this mistake could have been solved if the Mayor of Grosseto, Emilio Bonifazi (Democratic Party), had appeared before the Court. Now the case is remanded to the District Court of Grosseto.

Joseph Chigiotti and Stefano Bucci, the couple at the center of the case, were married in New York in 2012 but had been denied registration in Italy following their marriage.

[image via source]


What's Happening at the Supreme Court Right Now

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BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

The justices of the Supreme Court are meeting right now to discuss a slew of petitions for hearings. There are seven such petitions on marriage equality cases from Oklahoma, Indiana, Utah, Wisconsin, and Virginia.

Regular Towleroad readers will recall our review of these cases here (discussing the Tenth Circuit decision declaring Utah's ban unconstitutional), here (discussing a similar decision about Virginia's ban at the Fourth Circuit), here (discussing the "Posner treatment" that lawyers for Indiana and Wisconsin got at the Seventh Circuit), and here (discussing the Seventh Circuit decision). 

Even though these cases are "ripe" -- the legal term for "ready" -- for review and even though both sides of all seven cases agree that the Supreme Court should take the case, do not expect the Court to take any of the cases today.

Supreme CourtThere are several reasons the Court may take at least one case:

First, everyone wants it. Freedom to Marry has an ongoing campaign urging the Court to take a marriage equality case and end marriage discrimination nationwide. Anti-gay and pro-equality attorneys filed briefs urging the Court to take their cases, both sides confident they can win. And that does not always happen. Generally, the party that wins in the appellate court is rarely inclined to have a higher court review the decision. Here, many people think it has to happen.

Second, all the decisions are stayed pending Supreme Court review. Every day that passes without a Supreme Court decision is another day in which gay couples face discrimination even though several federal appellate courts have said that the discrimination is unconstitutional, wrong, and must go. The orders stemming from those decisions are on hold pending a final word from the Supreme Court.

Third, these cases pose all the issues. Sometimes, the Court will decline to take a case because the case before it does not raise all the issues or because a quirk at the lower court prevents it from making a complete decision. It happens quite a bit: Imagine a criminal case where an attorney fails to make an objection or a defendant concedes a question of law. If that happens, an appellate court can rarely address those controversies. Here, all issues are in play, including heightened scrutiny.

There are, however, many more reasons why the Court may not take a case just yet.

First, there is no circuit split. Every appellate court to hear a marriage equality case has decided against the ban, declaring them all unconstitutional. Sure, the Seventh Circuit did it in flamboyant, unanimous fashion, but that's just icing. The Supreme Court most often takes cases when there is a disagreement between the circuits. Here there is none. And, a decision at the Eighth Circuit from before the Supreme Court decided Windsor does not count. There has been intervening case law that could impact the decision and, as such, the Eighth Circuit decision does not create a circuit split.

Second, there are several other cases pending. We have cases in the Ninth Circuit and, more importantly, in the Sixth Circuit. The Sixth Circuit hearing, which we discussed here, did not give us obvious clues as to its outcome. One judge seemed inclined to vote against the ban, another judge was in favor of discrimination. A third judge, a George W. Bush appointee and a conservative, is more of a wild card. If the Sixth Circuit goes against marriage equality, that would create a circuit split and would force the Supreme Court to act.

Third, there may be no need for the Supreme Court. If the Sixth Circuit goes with its sister courts -- an eventuality made more likely when someone as conservative and well-respect as Judge Posner eviscerated all anti-equality arguments -- there still will be no circuit split. The Ninth Circuit will decide its cases shortly, and will very likely strike down the bans. A couple of circuits are left, but it is not clear any of them will push the Court to act.

GinsburgFourth, Justice Ginsburg wants to wait. In a talk at the University of Minnesota, the dean of the Court's liberal wing suggested that she was inclined to wait for the Sixth Circuit (and perhaps other circuits) to act. There is no rush, she said. The Court will act when it is necessary.

Waiting might also be a good thing for the marriage equality journey in the long run. The longer we wait, the more federal circuit victories we can rack up, proving to wary conservative justices that the American consensus has emerged. Few -- maybe Justices Scalia and Thomas -- are going to want to stand in the way of that.

***

Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. Check out my website at www.ariewaldman.com.

Ari Ezra Waldman is a professor of law and the Director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School and is concurrently pursuing his PhD at Columbia University in New York City. He is a 2002 graduate of Harvard College and a 2005 graduate of Harvard Law School. Ari writes weekly posts on law and various LGBT issues.


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