04/25/2015

WATCH LIVE: White House Correspondents' Dinner

Whitehouse

Hollywood and the Hill converge tonight at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The red carpet portion is underway, with the dinner itself set to start around 7:30. SNL's Cecily Strong serves as this year's celebrity host. 

See how many celebs and politicians you can spot, AFTER THE JUMP...(live feed for the dinner portion included)

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Posted Apr. 25,2015 at 7:14 PM EST by in Barack Obama, News | Permalink | Comments (1)


Obama's 11 Best White House Correspondents' Dinner Jokes: WATCH

Obama

To mark tonight's White House Correspondents' Dinner, ABC News has compiled President Obama's top 11 jokes from previous years.

Check out the best of the best, AFTER THE JUMP...

Obama2

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Posted Apr. 25,2015 at 4:40 PM EST by in Barack Obama, News | Permalink | Comments (5)


'Ex-Gay' Republican Deceives Texas Lawmakers, Testifies In Support Of Anti-LGBT Bill

Vaugh

Earlier this week, a Texas House committee held a hearing on a so-called religious freedom bill that purportedly aims to prevent pastors from being forced to perform same-sex marriages. 

Critics of the bill say it's written so broadly that it could allow any religiously affiliated organization — from hospitals and universities to homeless shelters — to discriminate against gay couples. 

Most of those who testified in support of the bill were pastors brought in by the anti-LGBT Texas Pastor Council. But then there was also Jason Vaughn (shown above left, with Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton), who told the committee he's gay but supports the bill.

Here's part of Vaughn's testimony, from a transcript he later posted on a Texas GOP website:  

"I stand before you as a gay man in support of this bill, but the truth is that my sexuality shouldn't matter. Nor should anything else other than the fact that I'm a proud Texan with inalienable rights.

"Inalienable rights to live my life as I wish as long as I do not hinder the rights of others. That's what the gay rights movement has been about, at least until recently. Now it seems that folks are more interested in forcing others to take part in our lives. The actions of my community that have too often made up the news cycle are nothing more than hypocrisy. To say that we want the right to live as we wish while harassing companies like Chick-Fil-A, attacking Brendan Eich in California until he could not work, and even demanding that HGTV fire the Benham Brothers for their views on abortion and gay marriage is beyond the pale. ... 

"I'm sickened that we are at the point that pastors feel the need for this bill, but I urge you to support it."

One member of the committee, GOP Rep. Patricia Harless, asked Vaughn whether he agreed with one of the pastors who testified that disagreement is not the same as hatred or discrimination.

“I have friends from Jonathan Saenz to a gay communist stripper," Vaughn responded, referring to the leader of the anti-LGBT hate group Texas Values

Vaughn's line got a lot of laughs, and his testimony was apparently persuasive in the mind of at least one legislator. However, it was predicated on a complete lie.

As Vaughn himself admitted in another post on the same website earlier this month, he's not really gay. Rather, he's a self-described "celibate Christian homosexual" — which apparently is just another term for "ex-gay." From Vaughn's post titled, "As a Gay Man, The Hypocrisy of the LGBT Community Really Ticks Me Off":

For those that don’t know me, my name is Jason Vaughn and I am a celibate Christian homosexual. I don’t really know how to describe it as some say I shouldn’t associate myself as a gay man. I use it that way instead of “reformed homosexual” or “former homosexual” because I want to be clear that it is still a temptation I have to fight regularly and one I have failed at many times. ... 

Since coming out [as ex-gay] I’ve made a lot of friends that are either openly gay, secretly tempted with same sex attraction, or fighting for celibacy like me. Several young people have come to me and asked for advice on dealing with this. It’s not easy. I’m still tempted with same sex attraction and probably always will be. It doesn't get easier and the last year has been the hardest and most confusing. I’ve made plenty of mistakes sexually. I just continue to look to Christ daily and trust Him to keep me.

OK, here's the deal: If you want to futily attempt to repress your sexuality because you hate yourself, that's your call. But you don't get to ruin it for the rest of us by holding yourself out publicly as a member of the LGBT community. 

Given that Vaughn is living a lie, it isn't terribly surprising that he has no qualms about deceiving lawmakers into thinking he's an openly gay man. Wait, isn't there something in the Bible about bearing false witness?   

Posted Apr. 25,2015 at 3:41 PM EST by in Austin, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Jonathan Saenz, LGBT Rights, Republican Party, Texas | Permalink | Comments (22)


Popular Bengali TV Actress Takes Life After Being Confronted About Female Lover

GangulyAccording to a local police report Disha Ganguly, a popular Bengali television actress, committed suicide after months of being pressured to break up with her girlfriend, another Indian TV star. It is unclear whether Ganguly openly identified as a queer woman, but she was also romantically tied to Vivan Ghosh, a man that Ganguly’s parents insist that she was married to.

“A few months back, this actress friend of Ganguly, started staying at her apartment,” police authorities explained. “Soon, Ganguly’s mother arrived from Nairobi and objected to their relationship. Her mother even got her friend to move out of the apartment.”

Those close to Ganguly have stated that her girlfriend and Ghosh had been seen fighting in the days prior to Ganguly’s suicide, though the exact events that led to it are unclear. Before killing herself Ganguly made sure to transfer Rs.50,000 into a bank account that she shared with her girlfriend.

In the hours after news of Ganguly’s death broke, her girlfriend also attempted to take her own life by throwing herself onto the train tracks at Howrah, the largest train station in India. The woman was saved and is currently being treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital.

Posted Apr. 25,2015 at 3:00 PM EST by in Deaths, India, Television | Permalink | Comments (7)


Family, Friends, and Celebrities React to Bruce Jenner Coming Out as Trans: VIDEO

Media

See what everyone is saying about the big reveal, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Posted Apr. 25,2015 at 2:00 PM EST by in Bruce Jenner, News, Transgender | Permalink | Comments (13)


Judge Recommends $135,000 Fine for Oregon Bakers Who Discriminated Against Gay Couple

Sweet cakes

Gresham, Oregon bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein may be facing a fine of $135,000 for turning down a lesbian couple's wedding cake request back in January 2013, The Oregonian reports:

Rachel Bowman-Cryer should collect $75,000 and her wife, Laurel Bowman-Cryer, $60,000 from the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, an administrative law judge for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said in a proposed order released Friday, April 24. [...]

Anna Harmon, one of three attorneys representing the Kleins, said, "It's a shocking result and it shows the state's relentless campaign to punish Oregonians who live and work according to their faith."

"The important thing to realize is this," she added, "This is real money that Aaron and Melissa are going to have to pay that otherwise would be used to pay their mortgage and feed their kids."

Lars Larson, the Portland-based talk radio host who broke the story more than two years ago, tweeted about the case Friday. He said, "Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa need your help w/ a devastating fine from the state of Oregon," and linked to a fundraising site for the couple.

A "Support Sweet Cakes by Mellissa" GoFundMe page launched Friday quickly raised $110,000 for the bakery before being taken down for violating the site's Terms and Conditions.

Via GoFundMe:

 "After careful review by our team, we have found the "Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa" campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions. The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal. While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live. However, the subjects of the "Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa" campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled."

Posted Apr. 25,2015 at 1:00 PM EST by in Discrimination, News, Oregon | Permalink | Comments (25)


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