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Jennifer Hudson, Courtney Love, and Padma Lakshmi ‘Turn It Up’ for Gay Equality

October 23rd, 2014 No comments


Images by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com
Images by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com
Images by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com

Images by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com

Images by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com

Images by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com

“One, turn it up for change. Two, turn it up for change. Three, turn it up for change,” MC Jack Mizrahi repeated as flawless boys, girls, and everything in between worked a runway at W Union Square to raise money for the HRC. A high-fashion and high-attitude crowd gathered in the ballroom (how appropriate) for a Paris is Burning–style ball where those who competed flipped, sashayed, death dropped, and tumbled down the runway in order to help raise awareness for marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws. They were judged by an eclectic, eccentric, and bizarre panel of judges that included the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Padma Lakshmi, Courtney Love, Lady Bunny, Legendary Damon, Trace Lysette, and Peter Brant II—we know, we had the same what-a-cast-of-characters face, too.

Lady Fag did her best to work through the sometimes awkwardly paced string of events that unfolded in the over two-hour show that began with a late-start performance from the impeccable Jennifer Hudson. Wearing a black slit dress, she dazzled the crowd with her effortless Siren song, “And I Am Telling You”—we’re surprised gays didn’t come in off the street. The show was broken down by traditional New York ball categories, and a hesitant judging panel didn’t seem to have the heart to be too hard on the contestants. After the second category “Flower Girl,” Top Chef‘s Padma Lakshmi felt at right on the judging panel when she leaned over into her microphone and said: “I wanted to tell the last contestant to please pack her flats and go.” Courtney Love also seemed to have a unique time sipping cocktails and closely (glasses on) examining the contestants’ outfits, but seemed most surprised when she was confronted by the assemblage of transmen.

Epic battles continued till nearly midnight when the show concluded with an epic walk off between transgender models Isis King and Claudia Charriez. Claudia Charriez beat the America‘s Next Top Model contestant, King, but then ultimately lost to a fierce girl named Tyra who was wearing an impressive body suit with a long white cape.

After the event, an after party was held in W Union Square’s new graffiti-filled basement bar (formerly Underbar, formerly Lilium) called Studio where Lady Bunny DJed to keep the fashionably intoxicated crowd going.

W, HRC, and Jennifer Hudson have set up dates for “Turn It Up For Change” across the country, click here for a full schedule (JHud will be select appearances). 

 

GOP Congressional Candidate Refers to Gays as ‘Gremlins’

October 21st, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

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.

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Wyoming Will Welcome Marriage Equality Tomorrow Morning as Gay Couples Begin to Wed

October 20th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

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.

North Carolina School Shockingly Cancels Play Because of Gay Content

October 20th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

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 AlmostMaine, 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.

 

Transgender-Troop Acceptance Growing as Conference Takes Place and Leaders Show Support

October 20th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

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.”

Judge Strikes Down Ban on Gay Marriage in Arizona, Some Marriages Can Begin Immediately

October 17th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Today, US District Judge John Sedwick struck down Arizona’s ban on gay and lesbian marriage in The Grand Canyon State by calling the ban unconstitutional. “The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that substantially identical provisions of Nevada and Idaho law that prohibit same-sex marriages are invalid because they deny same-sex couples equal protection of the law, the right to which is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States,” Sedwick wrote in his brief ruling. “This court is bound by decisions of the Court of Appeals.”

Now, it is up to Attorney General Tom Horne who will announce on Monday whether he plans on appealing the ruling, but many counties, including Maricopa County, print their own marriage licenses and can begin marrying gay and lesbian couples as soon as possible.

Need some inspiration for a same-sex wedding in Arizona, check out an article we did on the spiritual side of Sedona, over at Passport magazine online…

Kyrgyzstan’s Following Putin’s Anti-Gay Lead, Parliament Passes Anti-Gay Propaganda Bill

October 17th, 2014 Comments off
Fountain on Ala-Too Square. Bishkek formerly Frunze. Image via Elena Mirage

Fountain on Ala-Too Square. Bishkek formerly Frunze. Image via Elena Mirage

The Kyrgyzstan National Assembly has passed a new harsh anti-LGBT legislation during its first reading.  According to Radio Free Europe, 79 members of the Kyrgyz parliament voted in favor of the legislation, while seven voted against it.  Two more parliamentary votes are required before the legislation is submitted to Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev who has to sign it before it goes into effect.

According to the HRC: “This legislation, which was proposed in March, emulates Russia’s anti-LGBT ‘propaganda’ law.  However, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), this law mandates even harsher punishments, including jail time, for expressing sentiments that could ‘create a positive attitude to unconventional sexual orientation.’  HRW has already documented the increasing brutality against the LGBT community in Kyrgyzstan, and this law would only further isolate the community.”

 

The Vatican Backtracks on Pro-Gay Statements

October 14th, 2014 Comments off
Screen Shot via CNN.

Screen Shot via CNN.

It only took a day before the Vatican backtracked on statements that the Vatican released yesterday that appeared to show a huge shift in the institutions outdated teachings. It was revealed today by Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier that “The message has gone out that this is what the synod is saying, this is what the Catholic Church is sayingIt’s not what we’re saying at all.”  The Cardinal also said that the report released yesterday is part of a “working document.” According to CNN, the backtrack comes after outrage from conservative Catholics.

 

Groundbreaking Report from Catholic Bishops Say Gays Have Gifts to Offer Church

October 13th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

After a week of closed-door meetings about family issues, Catholic bishops released a report that many are calling revolutionary. The released documents reveal an evolving church that has room for both gays and lesbians as well as non-married straight couples. Taking into account the opinions of Pope Francis, who said “Who am I to Judge?” when asked about gay people, as well as the more liberal social climate of modern-day Catholics, the Bishops showed remarkable levels of liberalism in an otherwise staunchly conservative institution. According to the AP: “The bishops said gays had ‘gifts and qualities’ to offer and asked rhetorically if the church was ready to provide them a welcoming place, ‘accepting and valuing their sexual orientation without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony.'”

Next week, we’ll receive the final report from the meetings.

US Congress Hall of Shame. Who Made the List?

October 7th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Michele Bachmann. Image via Facebook

On October 9, members of Congress will receive scores based on their support for marriage equality in addition to LGBT-related issues. Resulting from these rankings, the HRC has released their Hall of Shame—a list of those congressmen and women who came out at the very bottom of their class. “If you want to understand why LGBT equality has hit a roadblock in Congress, you don’t need to look any further than these leaders of anti-LGBT obstruction and animus,” said David Stacy, HRC’s Government Affairs Director. “These members go out of their way to oppose any step toward equal protection under the law or to protect LGBT Americans from violence, discrimination and harassment. They proactively work to undermine existing legal protections and promote anti-LGBT discrimination.”

Check out the list that includes 14 members of the House and five members of the Senate after the jump…

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