05/22/2015

Guam Lesbian Couple Presses On in Legal Battle Over Marriage Equality

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Kathleen Aguero and Loretta Pangelinan, the lesbian couple challenging Guam’s same-sex marriage ban are not giving up on their fight to bring equality to U.S. territory. Earlier this week the couple’s joint legal team further pressed Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood to dismantle the ban ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision. They are now moving for a summary judgement that would technically allow gay marriage in Guam ahead of the Supreme Court’s ultimate ruling.

Previously Guam’s Governor, Eddie Calvo, suggested that Guam’s courts hold off on making any sort of move to strike down the gay marriage ban until after the Supreme Court’s decision. The couple’s legal team, which already gave the Governor’s defense time to prepare and introduce new arguments, feels as if their opposition is merely stalling the inevitable.

"This court has already considered and rejected the defendants' calls to 'wait and see' what the U.S. Supreme Court does or does not do," Aguero and Pangelinan’s attorneys expressed in a written statement.  "The material facts are undisputed, the controlling law is undisputed. The issues could not be clearer. Frankly, neither could the outcome. 

Kathleen Aguero and Loretta Pangelinan’s next court date is set for June 5th.

In related news, marriage equality plaintiff Jim Obergefell is expected to speak at the University of Guam spring graduation on Sunday. 

Posted May. 22,2015 at 10:35 AM EST by in Gay Marriage, Guam | Permalink | Comments (1)


A Trip to Vienna For The Glamorous and Gargantuan Life Ball AIDS Benefit: Towleroad Abroad

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It’s one thing to hear about Life Ball, the enormous charity extravaganza that takes over Vienna annually to raise support for HIV/AIDS charities, but it’s quite another to experience it first hand. The over-the-top affair, including palatial parties and star-studded spectacles, attracts all sorts of guests, from the fabulous to the fringe.

Above all, Life Ball, organized by AIDS LIFE, is dedicated to supporting organizations that work with people who are HIV-positive or have AIDS. The annual event is the largest AIDS charity event in Europe. Its massive impact is fueled by the scale, grandeur and, yes, at times, rowdiness of the party that draws in the big names, big crowds and, most importantly, big dollars. In 2014, for example, Life Ball raised 2.3 million euros from tickets, drink sales, an auction and other events. (For more on Life Ball’s charitable impact, see our post here.)

We joined a small army of media, celebrities and drag queens venturing to Vienna last weekend to witness all of the Life Ball Austrian adventure for ourselves. Although we’re still recovering from a fab 48 hours in the capital city, we’ve got plenty of highlights to share.

The hills are alive with the sound of YAS GAWD, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "A Trip to Vienna For The Glamorous and Gargantuan Life Ball AIDS Benefit: Towleroad Abroad"

Posted May. 22,2015 at 10:06 AM EST by in AIDS/HIV, Amanda Lepore, Austria, Conchita Wurst, Drag Queens, Frankie Grande, Jinkx Monsoon, Kelly Osbourne, News, Paula Abdul, Sean Penn, Shangela, Travel, Travel Diaries, Travel: Austria, Travel: Vienna, Vienna | Permalink | Comments (10)


Vienna's Life Ball: The Impact After the Party

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Photo: Derek Storm

At a press conference before last weekend’s Life Ball in Vienna, AIDS LIFE Chairman and Life Ball CEO Gery Keszler described the primary effect of the massive annual party: “We’re making a loud scream for awareness.” We’ve already recounted some of the over-the-top antics that help that scream get heard by the 40,000-plus attendees of the Life Ball Opening Ceremony and legions of media, but Life Ball does a lot more for the HIV-positive community and those living with AIDS.

For starters, the hard-partying guests are doing their own part, as profits from the Life Ball cash bar go to supporting the net proceeds, thanks to donations from sponsors and restaurant partners. Additionally, ticketed events, VIP areas, an auction featuring a gown worn by Conchita Wurst, tickets to the Golden Globes and a trip to Paris help drive the funds generated. In 2014, the Life Ball raised 2.3 million euros.

Learn more about the organizations Life Ball is supporting this year, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Vienna's Life Ball: The Impact After the Party"

Posted May. 22,2015 at 10:05 AM EST by in AIDS/HIV, Charlize Theron, News, Sean Penn, Vienna | Permalink | Comments (0)


Chris Pratt Gets Frisky With Some Prehistoric Beasts By the Pool: VIDEO

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In case the warm weather wasn't proof enough, the latest round of editorial thirst traps are here to prove that summer is upon us. Earlier today we shared Matthew Lewis’s racy Attitude cover photos that caught J.K. Rowling’s eye and prompted the author to chastise the actor in a cheeky Twitter exchange. If you’re anything like us then your thirst is unquenchable. Thankfully Chris Pratt, by way of Entertainment Weekly is here to assist.

By now you’ve probably seen Pratt’s cover photo for ET’s upcoming “summer must list” issue that was clearly influenced by a few different factors. Pratt’s starring role undoubtedly landed him the cover spot, but the theme of the photoshoot bears the editorial touch of one Henry Goldblatt, EW’s openly gay, recently reinstated editor. Check out the similarities between this year’s cover (overseen by Goldblatt) and last year’s featuring Jessica Alba (overseen by EW’s former editor Matt Bean, a straight guy.)

Coincidence? Perhaps. In any case check out some behind the scene’s footage of Chris Pratt frolicking in a pool with inflatable dinosaurs AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Chris Pratt Gets Frisky With Some Prehistoric Beasts By the Pool: VIDEO"

Posted May. 22,2015 at 9:40 AM EST by | Permalink | Comments (7)


Ted Cruz Promises To 'Always, Always, Always' Defend Christians' Right to Discriminate Against Gays: VIDEO

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Virulently anti-LGBT senator and 2016 presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has promised to "always, always, always" stand for the right of Christian business owners to discriminate against gay people, reports Right Wing Watch.

.@TedCruz addressing pastors now at #WOTW15: http://t.co/ItD36epikp

— Watchmen on the Wall (@WatchmenPastors) May 21, 2015

Speaking yesterday at the "Watchmen on the Wall" conference - sponsored by the highly profitable Family Research Council and presided over by head honcho Tony Perkins - Cruz said:

“The modern Democratic Party has become so radical, so extreme, that they have determined that their devotion to mandatory gay marriage in all 50 states trumps any allegiance to religious liberty under the First Amendment."

Lamenting that other GOP presidential hopefuls were silent following opposition to "religious liberty" bills in Indiana and Arkansas, Superbigot Cruz promised the homophobic gathering "I will always, always, always stand and fight for religious liberty of every American!"

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP

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Continue reading "Ted Cruz Promises To 'Always, Always, Always' Defend Christians' Right to Discriminate Against Gays: VIDEO"

Posted May. 22,2015 at 9:15 AM EST by in Arkansas, Family Research Council, Indiana, Religion, Republican Party, Ted Cruz, Tony Perkins, Video | Permalink | Comments (18)


What Happens If the 'No' Side Wins in Today's Marriage Equality Referendum in Ireland?

The polling stations are open in Ireland and people have begun to weigh in on the marriage referendum. Voter surveys have consistently shown a strong (if slightly decreasing) majority of voters favor extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, but what happens if these polls turn out to be wrong?

NoThe Associated Press has an answer:

If the verdict is "no," Ireland's gay residents can continue to enter civil partnerships, marriage-style contracts legalized in Ireland in 2010. More than 1,000 gay couples have become civil partners in the past four years, giving them marriage-style rights on property, inheritance, tax and other financial matters. But legal experts say the partnerships are legally inferior to marriage in dozens of aspects. Some gay people say, in event of rejection, they might move to countries where same-sex marriage is legal. Advocates of gay marriage could push for another referendum, but that could take more than a decade.

Voting will continue until 22:00 BST (5pm ET) with counting due to start Saturday morning (4am ET)  

The Irish Independent has a live stream of referendum-related news coverage here

Posted May. 22,2015 at 8:50 AM EST by in Gay Marriage, Ireland, News | Permalink | Comments (10)


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