Chelsea Manning Named Honorary Grand Marshal of San Francisco Pride, But Will it Backfire on Organizers Again?
For a second year in a row, Chelsea Manning has been named an honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride. The decision to name her as a grand marshal this year is surprising after last year’s decision to revoke the title from her after she was convicted by a military court. According to the pride’s board president Gary Virginia, the reason that she was named an honorary marshal this year is to help “…repair a rift the controversy created.” Manning, according to the Huffpo, released a statement that said: “As a trans woman, I appreciate the Pride movement’s significant role in bringing together diverse communities and elevating the public profile of the fight for queer rights,” she stated. “I have always enjoyed attending Pride celebrations given the opportunity, and I’m deeply honored to receive this title.”
Pending an appeal on a ruling that recognized legally married same-sex couples, the state will not be required to recognize gay couples, but will be required to recognize those couples who have challenged the state’s law. Judge Timothy Black earlier this week “struck down Ohio’s ban on recognizing the marriage of same-sex couples wed legally outside the state, but did not address the state’s ban on same-sex marriage within the state,” according to Yahoo. The judge, in order to avoid confusion, has placed a stay on his ruling while an appeal to his ruling goes through the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which could take months. “Premature celebration and confusion do not serve anyone’s best interests. The federal appeals courts need to rule, as does the United States Supreme Court,” Black wrote in an order. According to the AP, though: “Black said the stay does not apply to the four couples who filed the February lawsuit that led to the court case, and ordered Ohio to immediately list both spouses in each relationship as parents on their children’s birth certificates.”
Name: Alec Varcas
In a surprising decision, the Louisiana House has voted to uphold their controversial anti-sodomy law. In a vote of 66-27, the House rejected a bill that would have repealed the law, which has surprisingly remained on the state’s books. While many may assume that the law is a mere novelty, and that it is never enforced, last summer the state of Louisiana came under fire when sheriff’s deputies used the law as justification to arrest men who agreed to have sex with undercover cops.
Representative Patricia Haynes Smith (pictured above) was the politician to introduce the bill that would repeal the sodomy law. She cited a desire to end negative press brought to her community as the motivation to introduce the bill.
While 2003’s US Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas officially deemed anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional, Louisiana and 16 other states have yet to revise their laws to reflect this decision.
Discovery is the best part of travel, and when every corner yields a new hidden oasis, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. Join Bob Devin Jones as he shows us why St. Petersburg, Florida is a haven for artists, foodies, and explorers alike.
Mississippi’s Legalized Anti-Gay Discrimination Bill Faces Business Backlash with New Business Coalition
It’s been two weeks since Mississippi became the first state in the nation to legalize anti-gay discrimination through a hate-filled bill that is clandestinely referred to as a “religious freedom” law. The bill allows for businesses to refuse to serve customers who are LGBT based on religious conviction. The bill, signed by Mississippi Republican Governor Phil Bryant, is now facing a statewide backlash by small businesses who want to make it clear that they are open for business for everyone. “I’m in a business to sell a product, and I want to sell that product to everybody, and I don’t care what you do in your life,” said Mitchell Moore, owner of Campbell’s Bakery in Jackson, Mississippi. This sentiment rang true for many other businesses who decided to spearhead a campaign “If You’re Buying, We’re Selling.” So far, the new coalition has been backed by the state’s LGBT gay-rights activists, has acquired over 500 businesses. Businesses who participate will receive a blue sticker for their storefront. “The bigexample that all of the politicians kept giving over and over was a bakery that might have to bake a cake for a gay wedding,” says Moore. “I own a bakery, no politician called me and asked if this was something we should do.”
“We started brainstorming about ideas, and he mentioned starting a page and coming with a sign that businesses could display,” said Eddie Outlaw, owner of the William Wallace Salon and Fondren Barbershop in Jackson and LGBT rights activist. “We as business owners don’t condone discrimination against anyone because it’s wrong, because it’s bad for business, and it’s bad for our state.”
So far the campaign has sold out of their initial 500 stickers and anticipate thousands more in the coming weeks to show solidarity with the LGBT community. [MSNBC]
US Airways found themselves in a dark hole of criticism and the butt of jokes after an employee mistakenly tweeted a pornographic picture in response to a Tweet from a customer. “We welcome feedback, Elle. If your travel is complete, you can detail it here for review and follow-up,” the official Twitter account for the airline wrote. The reply seemed pretty standard, until customers began clicking the link that ultimately led to a picture of a woman with a model airplane in her vagina. Things got even stickier when the airline didn’t quite realize their mistake for over an hour, which in Internet time means it received hundreds of retweets and became an instant Internet Meme.
An apology did come. “We apologize for an inappropriate image recently shared as a link in one of our responses. We’ve removed the tweet and are investigating,” US Airways finally tweeted. A spokesperson for the airline called the tweet “an honest mistake.” Apparently, an employee had copied the image from a tweet that was sent to the airline in order to flag it as inappropriate, but instead pasted it in response to the customer-service complaint. The blunder did not result in any firings.
Malta’s Parliament Appoves Gay Civil Unions, Adoption, and an Anti-Discrimination Constitutional Amendment
Malta’s Parliament passed a bill to legalize gay and lesbian civil unions, allow for same-sex couples to adopt, and introduce anti-discrimination constitutional amendment that will protect “sexual orientation.” Although it will not be called marriage, same-sex couples will be granted the same rights as married heterosexual couples. The law will also allow for gay and lesbians who choose to marry outside of the country to have their unions recognized. It will also allow for couple’s to adopt.
Joining the ranks of openly gay media personalities such as Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow, Robin Roberts made headlines this year with her decision to come out as a lesbian. While Roberts has spoken about her satisfaction with the decision, and many people have applauded her for her openness, some people people have criticized Roberts for taking her time in making this announcement.
In a recent interview with Good Housekeeping, Roberts addresses these comments, acknowledging that she is satisfied with her own decision. But while Roberts acknowledges that this choice was right for her, she emphasizes that, for many people in the public eye, their sexuality may be too personal to make public:
News flash: Some people like their anonymity. This is what’s right for me…Sometimes there’s a stigma attached to how people view you if you’re living a certain way. But I don’t care — you gotta live your life. You gotta find what happiness is and what it means for you, and you can’t get caught up in what someone is saying about you on Twitter. You don’t go through a year like I did to not be happy and not make your own choices.
Finland is celebrating the life of the late artist Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen) by releasing commemorative stamps in September 2014, according to the Finnish postal service, Itella Posti Oy. “His emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on, for instance, pop culture and fashion. In his works, Tom of Finland utilized the self-irony and humor typical of subcultures. The drawings on the stamp sheet represent strong and confident male figures typical of their designer,” the post office said of the homoerotic artist’s work that they chose to highlight.