Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Pat Robertson Praises ESPN Sportscaster
Pat Robertson, speaking today on the 700 Club.
GENDA Passes In NY Assembly AGAIN
Via press release from the Empire State Pride Agenda:
For the 6th time, the New York State Assembly has just passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), basic civil rights protections for transgender New Yorkers. Our pro-LGBT assemblymembers deserve our deep gratitude for continuing to make this bill a priority. Now, we need the State Senate to carry out the will of nearly four fifths of the population and ACT!The bill has been stopped in the state Senate every time.
Athlete Ally Thanks Jason Collins
Paul Ryan Endorses Gay Adoption
At a Wisconsin town hall meeting, Rep. Paul Ryan said that while he still opposes same-sex marriage, he now supports gay adoption. Rebecca Leber and Zack Ford have the scoop at Think Progress:
Confronted by an audience member about his anti-LGBT voting record — Ryan earned a “zero percent” score on gay rights from the Human Rights Campaign — the House Budget Committee chairman admitted that gays and lesbians could provide a loving home to “orphans.” In 1999, Ryan voted against adoption for same-sex couples in the District of Columbia, but said he would vote differently today.Ryan went on to restate his support for ENDA, although Think Progress notes that he initially lobbied against an early version that was trans-inclusive before voting for for the weakened 1997 bill. Hit the link for more.
AIDS Walk NYC: May 19th
AIDS Walk New York for information about participating.
RELATED: Check out my slideshow from AIDS Walk 2012, which featured speeches from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and a galaxy of Broadway, Hollywood and television stars.
Beni & Sam Sparro - Your Body
Billboards Of The Day
Obama On Collins: I Couldn't Be Prouder
Today's Gay Etiquette Question
From Steven Petrow's Civil Behavior column in the New York Times comes this question:
Dear Civil Behavior: I’ve been helping my daughter plan her wedding to her girlfriend and everything’s been going fine — until now. We’re about to address the invitations. The calligrapher is lined up and time is getting a bit short. Here’s the problem. My daughter insists on addressing the women with what I’d call a feminist version of their names. In other words, instead of writing “Mr. and Mrs. Richard Garcia” she wants to write: “Ms. Jane Garcia and Mr. Richard Garcia,” calling out the identity of the woman separately from her husband. I’ve explained that this is incorrect etiquette and that my friends will be confused if not offended. But she won’t listen to me. Do lesbians and gays have different rules for this sort of thing? — New York Mother-in-Law-to-Be.Give us your answer then hit the link for Petrow's response.
NEW YORK CITY: Gay Councilman Slams Queens Park Giveaway To Leader Of Anti-Gay Arab Nation
Daniel Dromm (D-Queens), on the plan to build a pro soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows.
The sheik, who is worth an estimated $5B, is the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. Gothamist has more on the story.
Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan is close to paying $100 million to bring professional soccer to Queens. The Times says, "The prospective owners are willing to pay a $100 million expansion fee for the league’s 20th team, which could be called New York City F.C. and begin play in 2016, the two people said. That would more than double the expansion fee of $40 million paid by the Montreal team that entered M.L.S. in 2012." If the deal goes through, MLS will take 13 acres in Flushing Meadows Corona Park—and this is contingent upon the City Council and State Legislature okaying it— with the league replacing the 13 acres of parkland to the community at a location yet to be identified.
Quote Of The Day: Andy Roddick
Texas Attorney General: Domestic Partner Benefits Violate State Constitution
is in violation of the state constitution.
Domestic partnerships, as recognized by the local governments, are close enough to the definition of marriage to violate a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions that 76 percent of Texas voters approved in 2005, the opinion stated. “By creating domestic partnerships and offering health benefits based on them, the political subdivisions have created and recognized something not established by Texas law,” the opinion said. Lawyers for Austin and Travis County have begun researching the opinion to help political leaders determine if it should be followed. Attorney general opinions attempt to determine how Texas courts would rule on a legal matter, but only the courts have the definitive say on constitutional questions.Travis County, which has offered such benefits for 16 years, will hold a meeting next week to discuss Abbott's claim. The Austin City Council will meet with its lawyers but says it has no plan to change its benefits. (Tipped by JMG reader Jeff)
Dan Savage On Jason Collins' Coming Out: This Feels Almost As Big As DADT Repeal
Taxi Fares Compared By City
around the nation.
At USA TODAY's request, TaxiFareFinder.com calculated estimated one-mile, five-mile and 10-mile fares in the 60 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. Fares in Honolulu, San Jose and San Francisco are among the highest. Fares in Detroit, Dallas and Pittsburgh are among the lowest.Above are the five mile fares. Hit the link for an interactive chart and the other 40 cities. I'm surprised to see NYC so far down on the list.
The most expensive one-mile estimated fares are $8.01 in San Jose and $7.78 in Honolulu and San Francisco. The cheapest? It's $3.70 in Tulsa and $4.35 in Detroit. Honolulu has the highest estimated five- and 10-mile fares — $24.92 and $41.61. The least-expensive estimated five-mile fare is $12.55 in Tulsa; the cheapest estimated 10-mile fare — $19.97 — is in Detroit.
Jason Collins On Good Morning America
Jason Collins appeared on Good Morning America today.
Sitting down with ABC's George Stephanopoulos for his first interview since coming out in a Sports Illustrated editorial published on Monday, Collins admitted that he finds it "kind of mind-boggling" that he became the first active openly gay athlete in major U.S.team sports.In the clip below, Collins talks about Matthew Shepard: "Every time I put on that jersey I was already making that statement to myself."
"I never set out to be the first," Collins told Stephanopoulos during an interview that first aired during "Good Morning America" on Tuesday. "You're sort of waiting around for somebody else to, you know, raise their hand. I'm ready to raise my hand but, you know, you still look around like, 'OK, come on, guys.'"
Ellen Cheers Jason Collins
2013 Tony Award Nominees Announced,
Cyndi Lauper Scores Big For Kinky Boots
A Christmas Story
Bring It On
The Assembled Parties
The Testament of Mary
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Best Revival of a Play
The Trip to Bountiful
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Best Revival of a Musical
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Best Leading Actor in a Play
Tom Hanks, Lucky Guy
Nathan Lane, The Nance
Tracy Letts, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
David Hyde Pierce, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Tom Sturridge, Orphans
Best Leading Actress in a Play
Laurie Metcalf, The Other Place
Amy Morton, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Kristine Nielsen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Holland Taylor, Ann
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Best Leading Actor in a Musical
Bertie Carvel, Matilda
Santino Fontana, Cinderella
Rob McClure, Chaplin
Billy Porter, Kinky Boots
Stark Sands, Kinky Boots
Best Leading Actress in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Carolee Carmello, Scandalous
Valisia LeKae, Motown: The Musical
Patina Miller, Pippin
Laura Osnes, Cinderella
Gay authors Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots) and Douglas Carter Beane (Cinderella) are nominated for Best Book. Hit the link for the full list.
Pet Shop Boys Announce Two NYC Dates, Release First Video From Coming Album
RELATED: The Presets and Dragonette will play Terminal 5 on May 8th. Get tickets here.
UPDATE: Via Towleroad, there's the first video from the coming Pet Shop Boys album, Electric, which is due out on July 15th.
FRC Petitions Pentagon: Don't Stop Christians From Proselytzing Troops
From a Family Research Council petition to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel:
Reports indicate that senior Pentagon officials have recently consulted with radical secularists to formulate a policy that would put military chaplains and other leaders who "promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion" in danger of court-martial.The attached action alert warns: "If this policy goes forward, Christians within the military who speak of their faith could now be prosecuted as enemies of the state."
Our brave troops deserve better. Subverting the religious freedom of our troops both hurts the morale of our troops and puts our nation at risk by labeling courageous military personnel as enemies.
I urge you to resist the demands of anti-Christian activists who are calling for a court-martial order upon chaplains and service members who share their faith. If Christian chaplains and other troops are censored from offering the full solace of the Gospel, there is no religious freedom in the military.
Mariela Castro Gets Her Visa
granted a visa to attend a Philadelphia gay rights forum after having first been denied one by the State Department.
Initially not expected to receive a visa, the official said the case was "looked at again" and "the restriction on her visa has been lifted, which will allow her to travel" to the event on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. Mariela Castro is the director of Cuba's National Center for Sex Education and the niece of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Although she is not gay, she has lobbied for gay rights in Cuba, including the right for same-sex couples to marry and for AIDS awareness. The global conference, sponsored by the Equality Forum, a Philadelphia-based LGBT organization, will highlight the status of gay rights in Cuba.
Frank Bruni Knows When Gay People Will Stop Talking About People Coming Out
"When immigration laws give same-sex couples the same consideration that they do heterosexual ones. When the Defense of Marriage Act crumbles and our committed relationships aren’t relegated to a lesser status, a diminished dignity.
"When a Rutgers coach doesn’t determine that the aptly ugly garnish for hurling basketballs at his players’ heads is the slur 'faggot. When professional football scouts don’t try to ascertain that potential recruits are straight.
"When an athlete like Collins can be honest about himself without he and his co-author having to stress that he’s a guy’s guy, a godly man, someone who stayed mum about himself before now precisely so he wouldn’t disrupt his teams or upset his teammates, someone who’s inhabited locker rooms for 12 seasons already without incident.
"When a gay person’s central-casting earnestness and eloquence aren’t noted with excitement and relief, because his or her sexual orientation needn’t be accompanied by a litany of virtues and accomplishments in order for bigotry to be toppled and a negative reaction to be overcome." - Frank Bruni, writing for the New York Times.
Read the full essay.
Matt Baume: Marriage News Watch
Clip recap: "We're celebrating some major victories with week, with two more states about to gain the freedom to marry. Civil unions begin in Colorado, and voters appear ready to upgrade that to marriage. Plus, legislation advances in Pennsylvania and Nevada."
AIDS Group Slams Danish "Cure" Report
Treatment Action Group has a lot of problems with yesterday's story about a possible HIV cure presently under research in Denmark.
Sadly, it seems that one of the authors of the Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics review, Dr. Ole Søgaard, has rather shot himself in the foot by contributing to a wildly irresponsible article in the UK newspaper the Daily Telegraph regarding his group's ongoing research. The article misstates the mechanism of action of HDAC inhibitors (stating that they "strip" HIV DNA from latently infected cells when, at best, they prompt the HIV DNA into transcribing proteins) and uncritically reports Dr. Søgaard's apparent confidence in the ability of panobinostat to reactivate latent HIV; as noted in the Nature Medicine news article linked to above, there are many outstanding questions regarding the ability of HDAC inhibitors to accomplish this task.The full reaction is at the bottom of this post.
The Telegraph also mentions the use of immune-based therapies to prompt the killing of latently infected cells (assuming the cells are successfully induced to express HIV); my best guess is that, in the case of Dr. Søgaard's group, this is a reference to their data on the TLR9 agonist CPG 7909, although the article is unconscionably vague on this point. Also cited, again vaguely, are plans by Lucy Dorrell's research group in the UK to conduct a trial in which HDAC inhibition is combined with therapeutic vaccination.
This research is undoubtedly very important but for the article to suggest that it means that scientists are on the brink of an HIV cure is shockingly erroneous and misleading. The promise of these approaches can only be evaluated when the results of the studies become available. Since the trials combining HDAC inhibitors and immune-based therapies (whether TLR agonists or therapeutic vaccines) have yet to start it is extremely unlikely that the data will be available in "months" as the subhead of the article claims.
Bryan Fischer: Don't Sign Jason Collins, He'll Be Eyeballing Players In The Shower
Spotted Last Night In Chelsea
Larry Kramer To Get Special Tony Award
special Tony Award.
Kramer will receive this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Award, a non-competitive Tony award given to an individual from the theater community who has made a substantial contribution on behalf of humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. “Writers who are activists are very rarely taken seriously as artists,” Kramer said in an interview. “I look upon this recognition as acknowledgment that a serious writer can also be a serious activist, and no less an artist for it.”This year's regular Tony Award nominees will be announced this morning.
Red Sox Make Pitch To Jason Collins
Haters Rally Around ESPN Sportscaster As He Flails About To Save His Job
Chris Broussard, flailing desperately to save his job.
Hate group leaders are spearheading the hashtag #IStandWithChris and there have been hundreds of ugly tweets.
Collins: I Secretly Chose #98 As A Tribute To Matthew Shepard & Trevor Project
floored at the news that Jason Collins secretly chose 98 as his uniform number as a tribute to Matthew Shepard and the Trevor Project, which was founded in August 1998 two months before Shepard was murdered.
“It made me cry,” Judy Shepard told FOXSports.com during an interview Monday afternoon. “It was really quite a tribute, and I was very honored. And I know Matt would be thrilled.” And the Shepards hope, someday, to be able to thank Collins personally for his bravery in opening himself up to the world and honoring their son’s name in the process. “I would really love to speak to him, because I know Judy and I would just like to thank him,” Dennis Shepard said. “Because, No. 1, he had the courage to come out, period, and No. 2 that he wore 98 in honor of Matt, the year that he died. “(Collins) couldn’t have been that old (when it happened), so it must have had a tremendous impact on him, the story behind Matt, for him to want to do that. And then to wear it all this time without telling people why until today, that’s incredible.”The head of the Trevor Project says they plan to reach out to Collins about working together.
Jason Collins Tweets Appreciation
Monday, April 29, 2013
President Obama Calls Jason Collins
President Barack Obama called NBA player Jason Collins on Monday to praise his courage after he became the first star in big-time American professional team sports to come out as gay. Collins, currently a free agent who has played for six teams over 12 seasons, made the announcement in a blockbuster article in Sports Illustrated. “The President called Jason Collins to express his support and said he was impressed by his courage,” said a White House aide, on condition of anonymity.The First Lady also tweeted her support.
ESPN Sportscaster Attacks Jason Collins:
The Bible Says He's Not A Christian
Think Progress notes that the attack came in front of openly gay fellow ESPN sportscaster LZ Granderson, who fired back: "I really don’t need Chris or anyone else telling me if I’m a Christian because Jesus tells me I am."
TMZ: Boston Pride Wants Jason Collins
Well, that was quick ... TMZ has learned Jason Collins has officially been asked to lead Boston's pride parade this summer, hours after the NBA star announced that he's gay. A rep for parade tells TMZ, “Boston Pride is formally inviting Jason Collins to be a Marshal in the 2013 Boston Pride Parade ... Boston Pride is proud that our annual celebration helped to inspire Jason Collins to make his groundbreaking decision to come out."Fantastic.
Athletes Cheer Jason Collins
Breitbart Editors Mock Jason Collins
Obama Nominates Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx As Transportation Secretary
White House Praises Jason Collins
REPORT: Cuomo Won't Run If Hillary Does
unnamed source in the Cuomo administration.
“The governor has told people in recent weeks that there’s not a chance for him to run if Hillary gets in the race because she’ll easily wrap up the Democratic nomination,’’ said a Cuomo administration insider with direct knowledge of the situation. “He knows that and he accepts that, and so he won’t even be thinking at all in those terms — unless Hillary decides not to run, which seems unlikely,’’ the source continued.
Spike Lee Defends Jason Collins
Northern Ireland Rejects Marriage
The Northern Ireland Assembly today rejected a marriage equality bill by a vote of 53-42. Via the Belfast Telegraph:
Today's petition of concern at the Assembly tabled by the largest unionist party, the Democratic Unionists, ensured Sinn Fein's motion would be defeated after a majority of unionists failed to back the change. John O'Doherty, director of the Rainbow Project health organisation for gay men and a rights campaigner, said he would continue to press for change.
"This will be won slowly so we appreciate every vote that we got. We are disappointed with the outcome. It has always been a difficult march towards equality here but we will continue to fight the good fight." A total of 95 members voted, 42 in favour including all nationalists. Three unionists out of 50 voted Yes. Former Ulster Unionists Basil McCrea and John McCallister voted Yes.
Clintons: We're Proud Of Jason Collins
Ben Cohen Cheers Jason Collins
Kobe Bryant Praises Jason Collins
HRC Praises Jason Collins
Twin Brother Of NBA Player Jason Collins:
I've Never Been More Proud Of Him
"What does Jason want out of this? He wants to live his life. He wants a relationship, he wants a family, he wants to settle down. He wants to move forward with his personal life while maintaining his life as a professional basketball player. That's all, really.
"This announcement will be surprising to some people. I already anticipate the questions: 'Are you the gay twin or the straight one?' This is uncharted territory, and no one can predict how it will play out. It's a big deal -- but it's also not a big deal. When the media crush is over, Jason will have the strength to deal with whatever challenges come from being openly gay. Today, Jason has taken a huge weight off his shoulders. And I've never been more proud of him." - Jarron Collins, who was drafted by the NBA in 2001 with his brother, speaking to Sports Illustrated.
NBA Player Jason Collins Comes Out, First Openly Gay Still-Playing Male Pro Athlete
I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.
I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.
My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons.
I've played for six pro teams and have appeared in two NBA Finals. Ever heard of a parlor game called Three Degrees of Jason Collins? If you're in the league, and I haven't been your teammate, I surely have been one of your teammates' teammates. Or one of your teammates' teammates' teammates.
Now I'm a free agent, literally and figuratively. I've reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.