09/17/2014

Twins Come Out As Gay, Capture Parents' Reaction On Hidden Camera: VIDEO

Bros

Adam and Luke Monastero are fraternal twins. They are 21 and recently came out to each other. As neither of them were out to their parents, the guys decided the best thing was to come out to Mom and Dad together. The pair recorded a diary room style video before and after sharing the big news. They also secretly recorded the coming out itself including their parents' reactions. As Adam and Luke sit Mom and Dad down, Adam warns his parents that he and Luke have some "shocking news" for them. But as E! Online points out, the parents' response is nothing but supportive:

"You know what? It's ultimately your life," their mother said...

Luke explained he was afraid their sexual orientation would drive a wedge within their extended family, to which mama bear responded, "Well, you know what, Luke? If it does, hon, that's their choice. It cannot be your worry or your burden. You can't live your life for someone else...I'm just so glad you're not keeping it from us anymore."

Watch as the boys open up to their folks and later bask in the freedom of being out and proud, AFTER THE JUMP...

Kitchen

Continue reading "Twins Come Out As Gay, Capture Parents' Reaction On Hidden Camera: VIDEO"

Posted Sep. 17,2014 at 11:22 AM EST by in I'm Gay, News, Twins | Permalink | Comments (43)


Benedict Cumberbatch Gets Wet And (Almost) Shirtless For Homage To Mr. Darcy - VIDEO

Benedict

The Imitation Game star recently jumped into a lake and unbuttoned some shirt buttons, teasing fans with what can best be described as an homage to Colin Firth's now famous scene in the BBC's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice where Firth jumps into a lake, emerging with his white shirt sticking to him more like a glove than a blouson. As it turns out, Sherlock decided to channel Mr. Darcy as part of a photo exhibit supporting charity. Metro UK reports:

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Give Up Clothes For Good campaign, TK Maxx and Cancer Research UK are hosting an exhibition of works by world famous photographer Jason Bell, featuring archive images of celebs including this one of Benedict, plus Jerry Hall, Kate Winslet, Liam Neeson, Elijah Wood, Cynthia Nixon, Hugh Bonneville, Hollyoaks’ Jeremy Sheffield and, of course, Bruno Tolioni.

Thanks to the support of these celebs and the general public, who have been donating their old clothes and accessories to TK Maxx stores for the last 10 years, the Give Up Clothes For Good campaign has raised over £17.6 million for Cancer Research UK.

Watch a video of Colin Firth's seminal portrayal of a rather wet Mr. Darcy, AFTER THE JUMP...

(photo Jason Bell) 

Continue reading "Benedict Cumberbatch Gets Wet And (Almost) Shirtless For Homage To Mr. Darcy - VIDEO "

Posted Sep. 17,2014 at 11:07 AM EST by in Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, News | Permalink | Comments (7)


Miami-Dade Moves Towards Adding Trans Protections To Non Discrimination Ordinance

Screenshot 2014-09-17 02.34.16

The Miami-Dade County Commission unanimously voted yesterday to further consider expanding discrimination protections to include transgender-identified people. The Commission’s preliminary amendment to Dade’s anti-discrimination ordinance adds “gender identity” and “gender expression” to its list of prohibited forms of discrimination. The expansion will provide transgender individuals equal access to governmental services as well as housing and employment opportunities.

The Commission attempted to pass a similar amendment last year, but found itself unable to find the necessary number of committee-level approval votes that would have brought the law to the floor for review. Proponents of the revision expressed their need to further educate the public of the law’s necessity before redoubling their efforts.

“It’s fairly apparent the education failed and the politics failed,” said Mara Kiesling, director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “They now know who they need to educate and who they need to advocate with.”

After being shut out of a vote last year, supporters of the expansion came to the Miami-Dade County Hall prepared to defend themselves against a vocal opposition. Instead, as SAVE field organizer Charo Valero discovered, most of the people in the County Hall were preoccupied with film industry tax rebates. SAVE, a Miami-based LGBT organization, has been pushing for broader protections for Miami's trans communities.

“This update that we’re working on would ensure very basic protections for a very vulnerable part of our community that many take for granted," Valero explained to the Miami Herald.

Watch an interview with SAVE field organizer Charo Valero, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Miami-Dade Moves Towards Adding Trans Protections To Non Discrimination Ordinance"

Posted Sep. 17,2014 at 10:47 AM EST by in Law - Gay, LGBT, Miami, News, Transgender | Permalink | Comments (9)


DOMA Lawyer Mary Bonauto, Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Win MacArthur 'Genius Grants': VIDEOS

Bonauto

Mary Bonauto, the Civil Rights Project Director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) since 1990 and a civil rights lawyer who has been battling for equality for LGBT people for decades and scored one of the first victories against DOMA, has been awarded a $625,000 'Genius Grant' from the Macarthur Foundation, offered annually and paid in quarterly installments to a select group of artists, scholars, and professionals. See the Class of 2014 here.

According to the Foundation:

Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work, or, if they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their careers.

3_bonautoBonauto could not be more deserving. From Macarthur's announcement:

Bonauto and Vermont colleagues formed a critical partnership in 1997, which is widely acknowledged as a pivotal time and place to challenge a state’s exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage. The Vermont Supreme Court’s ruling in Baker v. Vermont (1999) was the first to hold that same-sex couples must be provided all of the same protections and obligations provided to married couples, and the state legislature established the first civil union law in the nation in 2000 to comply with that ruling. GLAD’s subsequent filing of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health in Massachusetts, relying again on state constitutional guarantees of equality and liberty, resulted in the 2003 landmark decision that made that state the first to extend marriage equality to same-sex couples. Bonauto’s constitutional arguments in Goodridge articulated the breadth of the practical and social harms imposed by the state’s exclusion on real families and their children. In defending the marriage ruling from attempts to substitute civil unions, she drew on painful lessons from our nation’s past, most notably the history of unjust “separate but equal” doctrines as substitutes for racial and gender equality, and the Massachusetts high court was the first to reject civil unions as a substitute for marriage. The Goodridge ruling, the transformative effect of same-sex couples marrying on the public’s views, and subsequent legal (in Connecticut), legislative (in Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire), and ballot-based (in Maine) victories all provided a solid foundation and roadmap for future strategies across the nation, including at the federal level.

In 2009, Bonauto led a team from GLAD and private law firms in the first strategic challenge to section three of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and argued that the federal government’s non-recognition of the lawful and rapidly growing number of marriages unconstitutionally denied same-sex couples more than 1,000 federal protections and obligations usually available to married persons. Her case—Gill v. Office of Personnel Management—provided the first federal court wins in challenges to DOMA (in 2010 and 2012 rulings), and served as an important model for United States v. Windsor, the landmark case that ultimately resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court striking down DOMA in 2013 and on which she served as a strategist and external coordinator of friend-of-the-court briefs. In the name of equal treatment and dignity for all people, and in concert with other litigators and advocates across the country, Bonauto is breaking down legal barriers based on sexual orientation and influencing debates about the relationship between the law and momentous social change more broadly.

Most recently Bonauto joined the fight against Utah's same-sex marriage ban.

Check out the MacArthur video on Bonauto, AFTER THE JUMP...

Also winning the grant, out cartoonist Alison Bechdel.

Bechdel

Again, from Macarthur:

Bechdel’s command of sequential narrative and her aesthetic as a visual artist was established in her long-running comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For (1983–2008), which realistically captured the lives of women in the lesbian community as they influenced and were influenced by the important cultural and political events of the day.

Garnering a devoted and diverse following, this pioneering work was a precursor to her book-length graphic memoirs. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006) is a nuanced depiction of a childhood spent in an artistic family in a small Pennsylvania town and of her relationship with her father, a high school English teacher and funeral home director. An impeccable observer and record keeper, Bechdel incorporates drawings of archival materials, such as diaries, letters, photographs, and news clippings, as well as a variety of literary references in deep reflections into her own past.

Check out the Macarthur videos on these wonderful women, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "DOMA Lawyer Mary Bonauto, Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Win MacArthur 'Genius Grants': VIDEOS"

Posted Sep. 17,2014 at 10:20 AM EST by in Alison Bechdel, DOMA, Mary Bonauto, News | Permalink | Comments (2)


Bologna, Italy Begins Formal Recognition Of Foreign Same-Sex Marriages, Catholic Church Calls It 'Surprise Attack'

Giovanni_silvagniThe city of Bologna, Italy instated a formal recognition policy on Monday for all out-of-country same-sex marriages, and the Catholic church is not pleased. The diocese for the city described the move as a "surprise attack" and the church is urging city politicians to rethink the decision.

Gazzetta del Sud reports:

After a decree came into effect Monday, allowing gay couples to have their marriages abroad added to Bologna's civil register, Monsignor Giovanni Silvagni denounced the move. "These are sensitive subjects that are dealt with slogan attacks and and an approach a bit ideological", said Silvagni. He said that "haste and approximation are always bad ideas....imposing thoughts that are slightly weak and young, not sufficiently matured or tested..."

In contrast, Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said he would follow Bologna's lead and start the process in Italy's capital city "for the recognition of marriages contracted abroad, both heterosexual and homosexual couples."

Two couples had already filed applications for recognition on Monday, but prefect Ennio Mario Sodano has asked Bologna's mayor to withdraw said marriages from recognition.

Posted Sep. 17,2014 at 10:07 AM EST by in Catholic Church, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Italy, News | Permalink | Comments (11)


Muslim Academic Receives Death Threats Over Plans For Gay-Friendly Mosque - VIDEO

Burka

Death threats have been sent to organizers of a planned women- and gay-friendly new mosque in Cape Town, South Africa, reports The Telepgraph.

According to Taj Hargey, the director of the “forward thinking” organization Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, his Open Mosque will welcome all genders, religions and sexual orientations when it opens in Wynberg, a Cape Town suburb, on Friday.

6a00d8341c730253ef01a73e17c457970d-800wiHargey, who previously called for Muslims in Britain to ban the burka, said that he has received many positive responses to the mosque but confirmed that he has also received “a lot of death threats.”

Explaining the mission of the mosque, he said:

"You go to churches and often see the sign 'All Welcome'. This is the single mosque in the whole country that sadly has the words 'All Welcome' underneath it. I decided that being Cape Town-born I had to do something. We had a political evolution in this country 20 years ago and what we need now is a religious revolution, especially in the Muslim community.

"You enter the mosque, do I ask you the question who did you sleep with last night? No. It's not my business who you slept with.

"Women will enter the same doors as men, women will take part in the service. This is the first time you'll see men and women praying together. We wanted a mosque that reflects 21st century South Africans not some seventh century utopia that never existed."

However, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), a non-profit religious advocacy group, is "in the process of investigating the policy and objectives of the mosque".

Last week, the MJC’s deputy president Riad Fataar said:

"We see and feel the anxiousness in our community. We see in the newspaper clippings and the messages that this is a place of worship but we can't call it a mosque. But again we cannot make a complete statement until we have all the facts."

In November 2012, a gay-friendly mosque opened in Paris, France.

Watch a report on Hargey's call for a burka ban in the U.K., AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Muslim Academic Receives Death Threats Over Plans For Gay-Friendly Mosque - VIDEO"

Posted Sep. 17,2014 at 9:47 AM EST by in Africa, Burkas, Great Britain, News, Religion, South Africa, Video, YouTube | Permalink | Comments (10)


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