The Family Hub
Sasha Gray is a retired porn star. She's a lot more than that, too -- she's a PETA activist and author, as well as an actress in what HuffPo refers to as "more mainstream flicks," including an upcoming release starring Rob Lowe. And Ms. Gray is an educator. Last week, she participated in a program called "Read Across America," during which she read to underprivileged 1st and 3rd grade children at Emerson Elementary School in Compton, CA. From photos obtained by TMZ after the fact, it does not appear that Ms. Gray read excerpts from The Diary of Anais Nin.
Nevertheless, TMZ says parents complained about Ms. Gray's presence, which prompted a school spokesperson to stupidly deny that Ms. Gray had ever been there at all. (To be fair, we don't know how the question was worded. I can imagine some innocent pencil-pusher stammering on the phone: "No! We didn't have any porn stars here! Sasha Gray works with Rob Lowe!") Now, the web is so titilated that even Reuters is publishing stories with headlines like:"Former adult-film actress Sasha Grey is giving her critics a hot, steaming mouthful, after catching flak for participating in a children's reading program last week."
After her appearance sparked faux outrage on the interwebs, Ms. Gray proclaimed:
I committed to this program with the understanding that people would have their own opinions about what I have done, who I am and what I represent ... I am an actor. I am an artist. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a partner. I have a past that some people may not agree with, but it does not define who I am... I believe in the future of our children, and I will remain an active supporter and participant in education-focused initiatives.
Andrea and Alisa are a lesbian couple in New South Wales, Australia. They want a baby. They don't want to adopt, and they don't want to use the genetic material of some anonymous donor. Of the search for appropriate DNA, Elisa says: "It's not like looking through a catalogue for a pair of shoes. This is a potential child."
The couple sought an appropriate sperm donor through an ad in a gay publication. They met with a few putative papas, but none clicked.
Then, according to the Sydney Morning Herald:
... the pair conceived the idea of approaching heterosexual couples and arranging an egg-for-sperm swap.
''That way both families would be in a like-for-like situation,'' Elisa said. ''We realised they would only be looking for eggs if they have already tried to conceive.
''They understand the challenges of assisted reproductive technology. A sperm-for-egg swap is what I like to call an altruistic, reciprocal gift of life.''
They placed an advertisement in the popular parenting publication Sydney's Child two months ago and have already received a few responses from couples willing to discuss the arrangement.
''There are hundreds of women out there who need eggs and all these gay women who need sperm,'' Andrea said. ''This is an ideal arrangement if you can work something out with the right people. That said, it does have lots of complications as well.''
Of course it will! But those problems do not seem to include the opprobrium of the heterosexual community. Elisa and Andrea have reportedly received some inquiries from interested straight couples already, and so far, there's been not a peep of criticism on the interwebs. Though it is nice to think that, somewhere, the Hon. David Clarke is quietly seething.
Pastor Rick Warren, distancing himself from any association with the Uganda "kill the gays" bill, released a video message to pastors in Uganda urging them to treat all with respect.
Says Warren: "The potential law before your parliament is unjust, it's extreme, and it's un-Christian towards homosexuals."
Late last month, Warren was asked about the proposed law on Meet the Press and refused to condemn it, saying that he "doesn't take sides." Interesting to see, now that pressure has built around the issue, that Warren is doing everything he can to disassociate himself.
Warren's work in Africa, his ties to anti-gay Anglican religious figures, and his tacit endorsement of condom-burning and anti-gay 'witch hunts' in Uganda, have been well-documented in a thorough article by Max Blumenthal at The Daily Beast,
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Sen. Grassley Says He's Unaware of Uganda 'Kill the Gays' Bill, Denies Ties to Christian Conservative Political Group 'The Family'
Under pressure to denounce the Uganda "kill the gays" bill (which was recently reportedly revised to drop the death penalty and life imprisonment elements), Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley told the Iowa Independent that he's looking into it.
Said Grassley spokeswoman Beth Levine: “Subsequent to inquiries like yours this week, [Sen. Grassley’s] office contacted the U.S. State Department to get more information. The office was told that the administration hasn’t made an official statement, but an assistant secretary has privately relayed concerns to the Ugandan president.”
Grassley also denies any current ties to 'The Family': "Investigative journalist Jeff Sharlet, who has written a book about the group, said Grassley has been involved with the secret fellowship of Christian politicians since the 1980s and has been active in African affairs on the group’s behalf. Levin said Grassley has not been in contact with 'The Family' on this or any other issue and has never lived at or attended a prayer meeting at the group’s townhouse on C Street near the U.S. Capitol. 'He worships at Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls, and on the rare occasion he’s in Washington on a weekend, he worships at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia,' Levin said. She said Grassley hasn’t participated in a Sunday prayer breakfast often associated with 'The Family' in 'probably 10 years,' and when he did it was made up of senators of all faiths and denominations, 'including Protestant, Catholic, Mormon and Jewish.'"