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Singapore Court Of Appeals Reconsiders Ban On Gay Sex - VIDEO

Pink dot com singapore

The Singapore Court of Appeals yesterday heard arguments challenging the country’s 76-year-old ban on gay sex, reports Bloomberg.

In June, police asked attendees at Singapore's Pride rally Pink Dot to avoid comments on race and religion after Muslim and Christian groups called on followers to oppose the event.

In 2007, although provisions that made heterosexual oral and anal sex a crime were repealed, lawmakers agreed to uphold the ban on gay sex.  While the government says that the law has not been enforced since the 1990s, figures from the Home Affairs Ministry show that there were a total of 185 people convicted under section 377A from 1997 to 2006.

Lawyer Deborah Barker said that the 1938 law should either be declared void or modified to exclude sex between consenting adults in private.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Law Minister K. Shanmugam said that the majority of people support the legal framework as it stands. A survey commissioned by the government showed that about 47% of those polled rejected “gay lifestyles,” 26% percent were receptive and 27 percent neutral.

Last month, Proposition 8 spokespeople Jennifer Roback Mors and Pastor Jim Garlow spoke at a Singapore conference whose head is fighting to retain anti-gay laws. 

Watch Pink Dot's stirring report on this year's Pride rally in Singapore, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Prop 8 Plaintiffs Renew Marriage Vows One Year Later: VIDEO

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Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo married at Los Angeles City Hall just hours after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay on its ruling on Prop 8 last year. Now, exactly one year later, the couple have renewed their vows - this time in an elaborate ceremony in front of friends and family.

The big event was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 28 and was, appropriately, officiated by Prop 8 attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies.

Frontiers reports on the day:

The ceremony itself was simple, emotional and shared—as they were escorted to the center of the “stage” by their mothers and nieces and nephews put in appearances to present the rings. As if to illustrate the point he was making, Olson read off cards he was holding to note that marriage is not about perfection and not only about marrying the right partner but being the right partner.

Guests included Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, Lance Bass, Darren Criss, Rob Reiner and retired District Court Judge Vaughn Walker.

Watch an ABC7 News segment on the ceremony, AFTER THE JUMP... 

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Vikings Investigation Into Chris Kluwe's Allegations Of Homophobia Nearing Close

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Earlier this year former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe alleged that his contract was not renewed with the team because of his public statements in support of same-sex marriage. The Vikings have stated that their decision to let Kluwe go was due entirely to his performance on the field, a statement that Kluwe claims is false. Kluwe previously stated that were an independent investigation not to corroborate his claims, he would likely sue the Vikings. SB Nation reports that said investigation is nearing completion and the findings are soon to be released.

As The Viking Age points out, journalist Mike Freeman recently tweeted, "I'm hearing Chris Kluwe report could be released very soon and report is favorable to Kluwe":

“Favorable to Kluwe” is vague enough that it could mean a lot of things, but we have to assume that any report generally favorable to Kluwe is going to be generally not-favorable to [Vikings special coordinator, Mike] Priefer. And since Priefer stands to lose more than anyone else if Kluwe’s allegations are found to have merit…well, let’s just say if there’s anyone out there who has reason to be tense, it’s Priefer.

Kluwe made a name for himself in the movement for marriage equality, coming to the defense of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, a fellow advocate for gay marriage. Together Kluwe and Ayanbadejo filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in relation to Hollingsworth v. Perry, as a means to express their shared opposition to California’s Prop 8.


Andrew Sullivan Faces Off With Prop 8 Plaintiffs, 'Case Against 8' Filmmakers: VIDEO

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The HBO documentary The Case Against 8, which chronicles the legal challenge to California’s Proposition 8, debuted on television earlier this week and also made an appearance last weekend at the Provincetown International Film Festival. Blogger and activist Andrew Sullivan sat down with two of the Prop. 8 plaintiffs, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, along with filmmakers Ryan White and Ben Cotner (our Jacob Combs interviewed them here) for a panel discussing the film. Sullivan challenged the panel, taking issue with what he saw as “propaganda.”

Particularly, Sullivan was concerned with how the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) along with its co-founder, Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin, were portrayed, calling the film “a PR campaign for AFER, for Chad Griffin” and “a PR campaign for this case and against anyone else’s.”

Out Magazine reports:

From the first moments of the discussion, the room was thick with tension. It’s easy to understand the anxiety given Sullivan’s first-out-of-the-gate lambasting of Jo Becker, the journalist also embedded in the legal proceedings, who wrote the book Forcing the Spring. Sullivan (and many other journalists with an historical eye for the fight for marriage equality) excoriated Becker, AFER, and now-HRC president Griffin for attempting to sideline the 30 years of equality struggles, calling Griffin a “Rosa Parks” figure, and essentially suggesting that the fight for marriage equality began and ended with AFER’s case. It was immediately apparent that Sullivan viewed this film in much the same manner that he viewed the Becker book...

What was described as a discussion with filmmakers ultimately ended up being quite one-sided. Sullivan said, “The unfairness is that the people who were involved in [United States v. Windsor, the case in which SCOTUS determined that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional] that worked to achieve the real result, barely even exist in this movie,” said Sullivan, “that the entire other groups who’ve been planning and working on this for 25 years are depicted in thus movie as ornery obstacles to the vision of Chad Griffin.”

As the air grew rancorous, one of the plaintiffs from Hollingsworth v. Perry, Sandra Stier, commented, 

"One of the things that saddened me is within our movement there is huge disagreement over whose story is more valid, whose story should get more attention, who tried harder, who’s been a bigger contributor,” she continued while Sullivan shook his head in disagreement. “I would just like to say to all of you is that Sandy and I set out to make a contribution to the degree we were able to make one." 

Sullivan also took to his blog to discuss the film, noting that in his view, The Case Against 8 is,

“a movie not about a civil rights moment, he argues, but about “the values of show business and mass marketing.” And when you’re marketing something, you show no wrinkles or flaws. You carefully stage every single thing to advance the product.”

You can watch the full discussion between Sullivan and the Case Against 8 filmmakers and Prop 8 plaintiffs, AFTER THE JUMP…

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Proposition 8, 'Instant History', And The Plaintiff Heroes

BY DAVID MIXNER

At a dinner party the other night, a guest spoke up and said, "The Proposition 8 case has almost become its own industry. They have the plays, the movies, the documentaries, the books and soon to come will be the coffee cups and coasters." In many ways, he was just reflecting on the weariness that has set in with the 'instant history' that has taken place in the framing of the Proposition 8 battle.

PlaintiffsPersonally, I am fascinated with all aspects of the case but also wish the gallant and more important DOMA victory in the Supreme Court would also have its 'insider's account'. Edie Windsor just might be the most beloved person in the LGBT community and her grace is simply contagious.

"Instant history' is not necessarily a bad thing.

People want to get their version of events out as soon as possible. In today's social media world, these products of Proposition 8 are no more than a modern day version of the old 'journals' kept by other historical figures. Presidents, Secretary of States and power brokers throughout our more than two centuries of history have kept records to ensure that history is seen through their eyes.

As I prepare for my own one man show as a benefit for the Point Foundation in October, I struggle with my reality and the truth. I have self-imposed an end to the show at the year 2000 so at least a decade exists between my recollections and events. Even then, I am somewhat uncomfortable with putting out my perception of the 'truth'. However, I am driven by the large number of our 'history tellers' who died of HIV/AIDS and the huge number of lost stories that leave a gaping hole in American LGBT history.

With this in mind, I can't urge you enough to go see very powerful documentary The Case Against 8 which opens this weekend in New York and Los Angeles. The HBO film is worth seeing just to finally see four amazing heroes of our movement whose names are not as well known as the activists and lawyers surrounding the case.

Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo are the plaintiffs in the case and this film allows us to see their journey for the first time in a powerful and moving way.

Not to diminish the others involved in the case, but these four brave individuals for over five years allowed every aspect of their personal lives to be examined, endured hate calls, put their lives at risk and exposed their families to unbearable pressure in order that each LGBT American could live a freer life.

The Case Against 8 highlights their journey and it is extraordinary to witness their determination to represent our community well while under intense pressure. Yes, there are weaknesses in the film and some characters are slighted at the expense of others.

However, putting all the small stuff aside, this film's heart belongs to the plaintiffs. All I can say is a big old 'thank you' to them for the courage and love that is magnificently on display throughout this worthwhile documentary.


Film Review: 'The Case Against 8'

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BY JOSEPH EHRMAN-DUPRE

“This may be the most important case I’ve ever handled,” states Ted Olson, one of the two attorneys fighting Prop 8 in Ryan White and Ben Cotner’s intimate documentary, The Case Against 8. And after watching the film, you will feel as though you have won right alongside him.

As we know by now, the initial case against Prop 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, eventually wound its way to the United States Supreme Court. We also know that the outcome was favorable, and same-sex couples in California could marry once more. Still, White and Cotner’s documentary effectively builds suspense by successfully balancing its emotional and legal content, taking us beyond primetime news coverage for an in-depth and ultimately cathartic journey.

8AttorneysThe film takes a relatively direct approach. Though we start in March 2013, with a prologue involving the lead-up to the Supreme Court case, the film immediately flashes back to November 2008 where we are faced with an interesting coincidence: the election of President Obama--a harbinger of hope--and the ominous passage of Proposition 8 in California. What follows is an Avengers-style character introduction, as each new member of the legal super-team is picked up, unaware of the harrowing adventures they will take on together. 

The movie was screened at Film Society of Lincoln Center and included a talkback with our super-team, the directors (who won the documentary directing prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival), the plaintiffs, and Chad Griffin, director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. At the talkback, Ryan White admitted that he and Cotner initially intended to focus the film on the odd couple pairing of Ted Olson and David Boies (above right), memorable rivals in the Bush v. Gore case who, in this battle, proved that marriage equality is not an issue of liberals versus conservatives (check out Towleroad's 2010 interview with the attorneys here). The filmmakers adjusted their initial intention, however. Plaintiffs Jeffrey Zarrillo and Paul Katami (below left), and Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier (below right), take center stage, serving as the narrative’s emotional core. The couples are remarkably well-spoken individuals in their own right, and as much a part of the legal proceedings as the lawyers representing them.  

8JeffPaulWhere the film really stands apart is in its intimate, almost claustrophobic, prioritizing of jargon-heavy pre-trial vignettes in which a team of attorneys vet the plaintiffs and gather information in their San Francisco law office. The audience comes to understand the intricacies of the case and, more importantly, the personal investment that each of the people involved has in taking down Prop 8. Getting to know each individual helps forge a deeper stake in the case’s outcome, and makes the threat of failure in this battle far scarier.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Film Review: 'The Case Against 8'" »


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