We reported back in April about the 74-year-old Navy veteran who challenged Idaho’s marriage equality ban so she could be buried with her late wife in Idaho’s state-run veterans cemetery. She will have her wishes respected after Idaho state officials agreed to allow the couple to be interred together. Today, Madelynn “Lee” Taylor went to the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery to make arrangements to have both her ashes and those of her late wife, Jean Mixner, interred together at the cemetery. Idaho officials agreed to Taylor’s request following the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ (NCLR) recent victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which found that Idaho’s ban on marriage equality violated the U.S. Constitution. The court ordered marriages to begin on October 15, 2014, and directed the state to recognize the marriages of couples who married in other states. “Words can’t describe how incredibly grateful I am for all the work that went into making our wishes possible,” said Taylor. “Idaho is where some of our best memories together are and it’s where I want to spend eternity with Jean.”
As my partner John and I settle into a dining room at The Plaza in Seoul, Korea, the hotel’s public relations manager, Nayhe Kim, leans into the table and says, sotto voce: “I have to admit, I’m a little surprised. Do Americans really come to Seoul on vacation?”
It’s a fair question. With the exception of those Korean-Americans who visit to keep in touch with their families and heritage, most US visitors to Seoul over the past two decades have been military and business travelers. The tourism trade has focused on attracting leisure guests from within Korea and from other Asian countries.
That helps explain the fine dining options at The Plaza: Shanghainese, Japanese, and remarkable Italian at Tuscany (of all Western cuisines, Koreans have the strongest affinity for Italian—the noodle is a culinary common denominator).
Remember the FCKH8 campaign for gay rights? The organization is back with a new video. This time, it’s filled with adorable little girls wearing princess costumes, but there is absolutely nothing adorable about their inconvenient truths concerning sexism in the United States. These young ladies drop the F bomb and curse their way through a series of facts concerning the state of women in the country. The organization is hoping to raise money for various women’s rights groups, you can purchase them here.
You can watch the NSFW (put the headphones in) after the jump…
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.”