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04/19/2007


Watch LIVE: New Jersey's First Gay Weddings - VIDEO

Vic

As previously reported, just after midnight EST tonight, same-sex couples will be able to get married in the Garden State.

Newark Mayor and Senator-elect Cory Booker will be joining in on the action and officiating tonight as seven couples say, "I do" in Newark.

You can watch live coverage of one of the first ceremonies taking place in Lambertville, New Jersey HERE.

Also of note was Senator-elect Booker's response to a question he received on Twitter regarding his advocacy for LGBT rights: "It shouldn't matter either way. RT @MrsCommodore @chrisjohnson82 So are you gay, Cory? Curious."

Tonight will be the first time Booker has officiated a wedding while holding public office. NewJersey.com points out, "Since taking office in 2006, Mayor Booker has refused all requests to officiate New Jersey marriages because gay and lesbian couples have been denied that equal right," city spokesman James Allen said in a statement."

UPDATE: Joanne Schailey and Beth Asaro were married just after midnight tonight, becoming one of the first couples to marry in New Jersey. Congratulations to the happy couple!

You can watch a news report from earlier today on the events leading up to the couple's nuptials HERE.

Pk

Police Clash With Extremists As Montenegro's Capital Holds First Gay Pride March: VIDEO

Pop

As planned, Montenegro's capital of Podgorica held its first gay pride march today. While only an estimated 150 people marched, the event drew approximately 1,500 extremists who sought to disrupt the event, ultimately forcing police intervention, The Guardian reports.

Montenegran President Filip Vujanović had previously promised the group Queer Montenegro, who organized the march, that the government would do everything within its power to guarantee the safety of those involved. By all accounts, the government seems to have made good on that promise. Despite an explosion at the perimeter of the march, a barrage of rocks being hurled at marchers, and twelve protesters who came armed with molotov cocktails (all of whom were arrested by police), there are no reports that anyone who took part in the march was injured, according to BuzzFeed. Two thousand police officers, approximately fifty-percent of Montenegro's entire police force, were on hand for the event, Historia IME reports. Twenty police officers were injured and fourty extremist "hooligans" were also hurt as Police and anti-gay protesters butted heads throughout the day.

RainThe march in Podgorica comes as just the second Pride event in the country's history. As previously reported, the small town of Budva held its first Pride in July of this year. That event was also marred by the presence of anti-gay protesters. However, an important distinction between the march in Budva and the one in Podgorica was the presence and involvement of the government. BuzzFeed reports:

Activists were heartened by the presence of Montenegro’s minister of human and minority rights, Suad Numanović, which they took as a gesture of the government’s commitment to protecting LGBT rights. No government officials took part in the Budva march.

“In Budva, the message was … this is the Montenegro which does not support LGBT people,” said Ljiljiana Reicević, a march participant who also attended the Budva pride march. “But Podgorica is totally different. It proves that the government is stating, ‘No, We will not allow this [violence], we will stop this, and we will protect you.’”

Many have speculated that Montenegro's desire to join the European Union is a key factor behind the government's staunch support for the march in Podgorica, especially considering that dignitaries such as Mitja Drobnič, head of the European Union’s mission to Montenegro, and Laurent L. Stokvis, the Dutch ambassador to Serbia, were on hand for the event. Moreover, as BuzzFeed notes, Minister Numanović seems to believe that "Demonstrating progress towards securing LGBT rights is crucial to Montenegro’s aspirations to one day be part of the European Union":

“On the road to European integration, the government of Montenegro has shown its democratic capacity [and the pride march] shows that Montenegrin society is maturing in the protection of all minorities, including members of the LGBT community,” he said.

That was the message received by Ambassador Stokvis. “I think it is of great significance that the LGBT community here is holding this pride [and] that it is being supported and it is being safeguarded by the Montenegran government,” he said. “This of course a sign of democracy, about the right to assemble, the right to demonstrate, and the right to free speech … important values for all of us, for the European Union and for the Netherlands in particular.”

Check out some incredible photos via Joe.My.God and a video of the march AFTER THE JUMP...

Tear

Continue reading "Police Clash With Extremists As Montenegro's Capital Holds First Gay Pride March: VIDEO" »


GOP Congressman: CNN's Carol Costello 'Beautiful' But Not Honest - VIDEO

Cnn

In an artful display of chauvinism and condescension, Republican Representative Todd Rokita (Indiana), while appearing on CNN's show News Room this morning to discuss the government shutdown and the protracted battle over Obamacare, told anchor Carol Costello, "You're beautiful, but you need to be honest."

However, as Jezebel points out, the awkward exchange did not end there, with Rokita making comments such as, "I don’t know if you have children yet, I’m sure you don’t have grandchildren yet, you look much too young, but we’re fighting for them. Carol, do you have any idea how much this law is going to cost?"

Watch a video of the cringe-worthy interview AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "GOP Congressman: CNN's Carol Costello 'Beautiful' But Not Honest - VIDEO" »


USOC Would Support Changing Olympic Charter To Include Sexual Orientation

UsocLast week the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stated they were "fully satisfied" that Russia's anti-gay laws do not violate the Olympic Charter's anti-discrimination clauses: "IOC Chairman Jean-Claude Killy said [the IOC] lacked authority to criticize a host country’s laws if they did not specifically violate Olympic rules."

Under the header, "Fundamental Principles of Olympism," the current charter reads:"Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement."

Though many, including Sir Ian McKellen, have protested that Russia's anti-gay laws violate this sixth principle of Olympism, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has come out in favor of amending the Olympic Charter to specifically address discrimination based on sexual orientation should such a change be considered by the IOC.

USA Today reports:

"If it came to a vote of IOC (International Olympic Committee) members to eliminate any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation, I would absolutely vote yes to amend the charter," said USOC president Larry Probst, also an IOC member.

As a national governing body, the USOC doesn't have a vote, but CEO Scott Blackmun said the USOC would support a change to the charter.

BlackmunThe USOC previously condemned Russia's anti-gay laws while simultaneously urging its athletes to heed them, per the IOC's instruction. Responding to criticism that the USOC did not do enough to guide the dialogue on gay rights at Sochi, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said,

"In terms of influence, first and foremost we're a sports organization...We are not an advocacy or human rights organization but we are a part of a worldwide Olympic movement, and what we can do is advocate for change within our movement."

"We want to lead by example and advocate internally within the global Olympic community to make sure we, as a family, are doing everything we can to send the message that we don't tolerate discrimination."


Manhunt Underway For Disgruntled 'Old Friend' In Targeted Killing Of NY Gay Man: VIDEO

Murder

Police are currently seeking the whereabouts of an 'old friend' of the victim of a brutal "planned, professional murder" that took place earlier this week on Long Island, The New York Daily News reports:

A popular Long Island horse-riding instructor was killed when bullets tore through a window in the dream home he built with his longtime partner. Ross Reisner, 50, and Kevin Murray were sitting on a leather couch in the living room at their house in Setauket, L.I., at about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday when the shots were fired.

Detectives were seeking to question a longtime friend about the slaying, Reisner’s grieving family told the Daily News.

“He was an old friend and now this craziness,” Ian Reisner, the slain man's brother, said as he sat shiva at his mother’s midtown Manhattan apartment. “There was something weird going on, some bad blood.”

The friend had known Reisner for over 20 years and had a beef with him, Reisner’s brother said.

Reisner's brother has also said the weapon used to murder his brother was a "high caliber" weapon, a far cry from "Dad's pistol under the pillow." Reisner's partner was grazed during the barrage of bullets that came through their living room window. A neighbor reported hearing one shot fired followed by six additional shots after a brief pause. Police officials say they have information that leads them to believe this was a targeted attack, though they have yet to release any details that might shed additional light on the case. Neighbors and friends meanwhile remain stunned by the horrific murder.

Watch an ABC News report on the slaying AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Manhunt Underway For Disgruntled 'Old Friend' In Targeted Killing Of NY Gay Man: VIDEO" »


New British Ad Nonchalantly References Gay Identity, Gets Slammed With Conspiracy: VIDEO

Natwestlesbian

A new advertisement for British bank NatWest walks in the shoes of a pair of identical twin sisters. They may look the same, and NatWest may take care of both of their finances, but these two are different in a few ways. To start, one is gay and the other is straight.  

The video's appearance has been troubling to some, including YouTube user Gavin Rolph whose slightly-revised upload is embedded after the jump.  

Opposing Views reports:

A YouTube user who goes by the handle of "Gavin Rolph" uploaded the video (below) and slammed it as "Blatant NWO Homosexual Social Programming." The NWO apparently stands for "New World Order.

Rolph adds several of his own anti-gay derogatory comments in texts above the ad, notes GoodAsYou.org.

After declaring "The Media is of the Devil," Rolph added a strange clip that compares Prince William and President Obama to the actor who played the devil in "The Bible" miniseries.

Ironically, anti-gay proponents often use the example of identical twins who share the same DNA, but do not share the same sexual orientation, as proof that homosexuals are not "born gay."

However, it appears that Rolph missed his opportunity.

Sometimes cute, pleasant, and inoffensive just cannot be left alone. For those viewers uninterested in conspiracy theories, the advertisement proves to be a light-hearted and simple take on homosexuality. 

Watch the sisterly love, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New British Ad Nonchalantly References Gay Identity, Gets Slammed With Conspiracy: VIDEO" »


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