The same-sex marriage referendum, the first of its kind in the world, will take place inMay. Currently, well over half the country now supports marriage equality (with 71% supporting a referendum allowing civil marriage). Student unions around the country have held voter-registration drives in the hope that college-aged men and women, who traditionally have a poor voting record, will help with passing the referendum. Ireland has come a long way, with homosexuality only being decriminalized in 1993.
Be sure to check out our coverage on gay-friendly mondern-day Dublin and its past through an Oscar Wilde lens.
Last night the Senate confirmed three judges in Texas—positions that have remained vacant for years—and among the chosen is the state’s first openly gay judge. The fact that US Attorney Robert Pittman of San Antonio is a non-issue when looking at his prestigious resume. He worked as the top federal prosecutor for the Western Distric of Texas and was a federal magistrate, according to Dallas News. He will fill a position that has remained vacant since 2008.
Name: Charlie Williams
Hometown: Cary, North Carolina
The best & worst parts of doing Peter Pan Live on television were: The worst part was the commute. We filmed in a sound stage out in Bethpage, Long Island. It’s a little over an hour commute each way on the Long Island Railroad. That means a lot of early mornings in Penn Station and a lot of late nights on the train. I live in Hell’s Kitchen so I’m not used to such a long commute! The best part was definitely the people. We had such a special cast and I really feel like we all became true friends through the entire process. I miss them all!
When I was a performer at the Kennedy Center Honors (airing Tuesday, December 30th on CBS), I was most starstruck meeting: Pentatonix. I’m a huge Pentatonix fan and we were dancing backup for them on the honors this year! It was great meeting them and finding out that they’re just as cool and down to earth as they seem to be.
It was announced today that InterContinental Hotels Group has aquired LGBT-favorite boutique-brand Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in a whopping $430 million cash deal. The aquisition now makes IHG the largest boutique hotel brand in the world as it combines with IHG’s other boutique brands Hotel Indigo and EVEN Hotels. The aquisition shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise for those in the know in the travel industry, as Kimpton has been shopping around for buyers for a couple years.
Here are highlights from the press release:
- IHG has agreed to acquire Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (“Kimpton”) for $430 million in cash.
– Kimpton is the world’s largest independent boutique hotel operator and a sophisticated food and beverage operator.
– Kimpton is a fully asset-light business that manages 62 hotels in the most attractive cities and resorts in the US with a further 16 hotels in the pipeline. It operates 71 hotel-based destination restaurants and bars.
– Acquisition makes IHG the clear market leader in the boutique segment, the fastest growing segment in the industry.
– Highly complementary with IHG’s Hotel Indigo and EVEN Hotels brands; creates a leading boutique and lifestyle hotel business, with over 200 open and pipeline hotels across 19 countries.
– Significant opportunities identified for IHG to accelerate the growth of the Kimpton brand within the US and to launch it globally.
– Compelling financial rationale with Kimpton EBITDA expected to double by the end of 2017.
– The transaction will be earnings enhancing in its first full year and achieve returns above IHG’s cost of capital by year three.
All the deal specifics, like how or if anything will change within the Kimpton brand have not been announced—we’ll keep you updated.
Things are changing at St. Patrick’s Day celebrations across the nation this year. First New York’s parade will allow at least one LGBT group to march, and now Boston’s Irish-American celebration will include an LGBT veterans organization in their parade line-up. The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, who legally fought to exclude gays from marching in the parade in 1995, agreed in a 5-4 decision to allow OutVets to participate. According to the AP: “They will be allowed to carry a blue banner with five white stars representing the branches of the military and six vertical rainbow stripes. The group represents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans and participated in the city’s Veterans Day parade last month.” The office of Mayor Walsh praised the victory. “Mayor Walsh has been advocating for an inclusive parade for quite some time…We’re thrilled to hear that the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council has decided to make the 2015 parade an inclusive event.”
The Lindt Chocolate Cafe manger, Tori Johnson, who died attempting to rip the gun out of “lone wolf” terrorist Man Haron Monis is being rememberd today by his longtime partner, his coworkers, and the gay community. Johnson, 34, is said to have wrestled with Monis to obtain his gun, but was shot in the unselfish act just shortly after 2 A.M. and died in the hospital shortly after. His parents released a statement saying: We are so proud of our beautiful boy Tori, gone from this earth but forever in our memories as the most amazing life partner, son, and brother we could ever wish for.” Johnson, who was the son of Australian artist Ken Johnson, was also in a 14-year relationship with Thomas Zinn.
“Tori had been with us at Lindt for just over two years and he was a great ambassador for our company and the store that he managed, which he cared about passionately…By nature he was a perfectionist and he had a genuine passion for the hospitality industry and people. He was a really important part of our management team in Australia and his loss is absolutely tragic,” a statement from Lindt read
Johnson also had a connection to the travel world. He worked in the US, Australia, and the Madlives and received his dregree in hospitality and business managmenet from Washington State University.
Katrina Dawson, a barrista at the cafe, also lost her life when she supposedly shielded a preganat woman from a bullet. [Independent]
Today, exisiting civil partnerships will be recognized as offical marriages and gay couples can give their notices for their intention to marry. One couple, living in Australia, unintentionally became the first Socttish couple to be officially married when they inquired about when they will receive their full marriage certificate. As Australia is 11 hours ahead of Scotland, the consulate was able to give them their full marriage certificate before any one in Scotland. Gay marriages in Scotland will take place on Hogmanay. [BBC]
A new ad from Tide Canada (the massive detergent brand from Proctor & Gamble) has launched an ad featuring two fathers. In the TV spot, two dads bicker about bargain detergents versus Tide brand—a small squabble that leads to everyday nagging between two in-love people.
Tide’s parent company, Procter & Gamble, released a letter last year proclaiming their universal support for same-sex marriage.
Check it out after the jump…
Gay New York (and Michael Bloomberg) packed Pier 60 last night for the 29th annual SAGE Toys Party, bringing with them a mountain of toys taller than your childhood Christmas tree.
Andy Mientus, known primarily for his work touring for Spring Awakening and his roles Off-Broadway, is set to play the openly gay supervillain Pied Piper on CW’s The Flash. The openly gay actor, who is set to marry his partner Michael Arden, tells Variety. that he is proud to play the gay character. “I feel like I’m representing a whole community. People are excited to see this character, so it is a lot of pressure. But I’m glad they are introducing the character to the show. It’s a huge step forward, and I’m thrilled to help make that happen. It’s awesome.” But he is also nervous that he will let down die-hard fans. “The universe of The Flash has such an intense, passionate fanbase, which has existed since the ’60s… so I hope I pulled it off.”
Catch Mientus begining in January.