Ray Cole, the 69-year-old gay British man who was jailed in Marrakesh, Morocco on the charges of homosexuality, spoke in a video about his ordeal in the North African country. The laws in Morocco concerning homosexuality are quite strict and he and his partner, Jamal Jam Wad Nass, were sentenced to four months in jail, though Cole was released after 19 days, his partner wasn’t. Now, Cole’s next task back in the UK is to seek asylum for his Jamal in the UK.
In the video, which can only be viewed at the Guardian here. He spoke of the conditions. “The stench from the toilet, you would not believe; it will live with me forever…” he told The Guardian. “There’s screaming and banging on the bars and banging on the doors. There’s no peace there whatsoever 24-hours a day… I was worried that they’d hurt Jamal. I was fairly confident they wouldn’t hurt me as a European, but I really was worried about him because they don’t have any compunction about beating up their own.”
For the second time in two months, openly gay player Michael Sam was dropped by a NFL team. The Dallas Cowboys, who gave him a place on the team’s practice squad, announced that the player was “waived.” He was replaced by linebacker Troy Davis from Central Florida. In three tweets, Sam wrote: “I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates, and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.”
Sam’s career is over yet, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com who wrote:
Plenty of NFL veterans have been cut multiple times, so there’s no reason to think this is the end of the road for Sam. It will be interesting, however, to see if Sam can land on a practice squad during this season. If not, there will likely be a spot for him when rosters expand again in the offseason.
Sam’s groundbreaking role in the NFL is unique, but his path as a professional player is not. His high profile is putting a spotlight on what so many players go through as they pursue their dreams.
Ricky Martin shows us that he hasn’t lost it in his new music video for his new single “Adios.” The men still have him going “loco loco” in his Latin-flavored song. The video, directed by Ethan Ladder, takes place in the Harvelle’s speakeasy in Long Beach, CA. Playing a sexy policeman, bartender, bouncer, mobster, and, of course, singer, Martin makes it hard for us to say adios to his sex appeal.
Check out the openly gay and now-single singer’s video after the jump…
Lonely Planet, the guidebook bigwigs, has come out with their annual top lists, and this year the travel guide company crowned Copenhagen, Denmark the most gay-friendly place on earth, following up closely behind is the entire country of New Zealand, and rounding out the top three is Toronto, Canada. The guide praised Copenhagen’s early adoption of same-sex marriage laws (in 1989), for having the oldest gay bar in Europe, and for its renaming of a main square, Rainbow Square for Pride. New Zealand was praised for becoming the first nation to adopt the “Gay/Lesbian Friendly” accomodation label in 1998, for passing same-sex marriage last year, and its aggressive marketing strategy to attract gay people to the island nation. (You can find our latest New Zealand coverage here.)
Republican Congressional Candidate Anthony P. Culler, who is running in South Carolina’s sixth congressional district, went on a hate-filled homophobic rant on his Facebook calling the LGBT community, along with many other bigoted things, gremlins. His tirade came after a series of gay marriage victories took place in states across the nation.
You can read his post after the jump, and remember South Carolinians vote for SC-6 Congressman Jim Clyburn who supports same-sex marriage.
American fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, most famous for his high-society fashion and red-carpet flair, passed away at the age of 82 at his home in Connecticut, his wife, Annette de la Renta, confirmed. Battling cancer for a better part of a decade, de la Renta’s brand most recently made headlines for Amal Alamuddin who wore his dress to marry George Clooney in Venice. With a career that spanned over six decades, de la Renta became a household name thanks to his popularity among Hollywood elite, while he was also embraced by US first ladies—four to be exact—including Michelle Obama whose relationship with the designer was under much media scrutiny.
The success of openly gay Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story has oozed over to Fox executives who have given the green light to yet another show from the star director/writer/producer. A new show called Scream Queens was given a go-ahead for 15 one-hour episodes that will begin production in the spring and premiere in the fall. Like AHS, the show will be an anthology series with the first season focusing on a college campus that experiences a series of murders. Together with his creative partner Brad Falchuk (AHS, Glee, Nip/Tuck), the show will blur the lines between comedy and horror. “I knew I wanted to work with Brad and Ian again on something comedic, and we are having a blast writing SCREAM QUEENS,” commented Murphy. “We hope to create a whole new genre – comedy-horror – and the idea is for every season to revolve around two female leads. We’ve already begun a nationwide search for those women, as well as ten other supporting roles, and we’re very grateful to Dana and Gary for their enthusiastic support.”
US District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of the District of Wyoming ruled in favor marriage equality today ruling in favor of a request by four same-sex couples and Wyoming Equality, who had filed a federal lawsuit challenging Wyoming’s marriage ban, for an order requiring the state to allow couples to begin marrying immediately. Citing two decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit striking down Utah’s and Oklahoma’s bans on marriage for same-sex couples, Judge Skavdahl ruled that Wyoming’s refusal to permit same-sex couples to marry is unconstitutional. Judge Skavdahl ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses, but placed that order temporarily on hold to permit Wyoming state officials to appeal his ruling. Marriages will begin in Wyoming at 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 23, or as soon as the state officials defending the challenge inform the court that they do not intend to appeal, whichever is sooner.
Marriages can begin as early as 10 A.M. tomorrow in the Equality State.
A North Carolina High School has canceled their school play, because of a scene where two men declare their love for one another. Maiden High School‘s principal is behind the cancelation of Almost, Maine, an award-winning show that has one six-minute scene where two male characters declare their love for one another. The two fall to the ground, and the scene ends. The students who were to put on the play didn’t just throw caution to the wind. They first received permission from the principal and the superintendent to do the play, and they also required students to obtain permission slips in order to audition for the play. But after just one week of rehearsals, the principal decided that the play was too inappropriate.
The cancelation has caught the ear of Playwrite John Cariani who insists that his play is about love and not sexual in nature. Cariani said that he has contacted the school, but has not received any replies and insists that there is a way to put on the play and not punish the students.
Currently serving transgender service members from five of the 18 foreign militaries that allow transgender service today gathered alongside US service members in Washington D.C. The gathering, Perspectives on Transgender Military Service from Around the Globe, is the first-ever and largest international conference of transgender military service members on US soil. It is expected to inform the national conversation about U.S. military policy.
The conference included currently serving transgender personnel from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden. An estimated 15,500 transgender individuals currently serve in the US military, but they are banned by Pentagon rules from serving, and if their identity is discovered, the military is required to discharge them.
Also today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi openly supported lifting the ban on transgender service members from serving in the US Armed Forces with her rep saying: “Pelosi believes there is no place for discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces including on the basis of gender identity.”