Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gay Ally Lady Gaga’s Harvard Challenge

This story is so timely. Lady Gaga is coming to Harvard University today to launch her Born This Way Foundation, an anti-bullying, youth empowerment organization in the midst of a the controversy of a 1920’s Harvard scandal that expelled 7 students for being gay. It seems that in 1920, a “secret court” at the Ivy League school expelled the 7 students for being gay, or at least the Crimson hierarchy thought they were gay. Now a group of students & faculty members are urging the university’s administration to award the expelled students posthumous degrees. “Given the Born This Way Foundation’s commitment to this mission & their choice to launch their foundation at Harvard, we felt like this was an opportunity to ask for their support & would hope they would join us in asking Harvard to do the right thing here & help seek justice for these students,” Kaia Stern, a visiting faculty member at Harvard. Attending today’s festivities at Sanders Theatre will be Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino with other high-profile guests including Oprah Winfrey & self-help guru Deepak Chopra among others. Prior to the event Menino will join 30 Boston school kids at a youth summit on bullying at Harvard’s Longfellow Hall as part of the Born This Way launch. Updates to Come…:)
Exclusive Audio Chat with Sara Benincasa, award-winning comedian & writer about her new must-read book AGORAFABULOUS! Dispatches from My Bedroom based on her acclaimed one-woman show. Sara is very outspoken on LGBT issues & is a fierce gay ally. Born & raised in New Jersey we thought we’d get her spin on Governor Chris Christie vetoing gay marriage in her home state & other issues facing our LGBT community @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gay Icon Martina Navratilova Joins DWTS

Gay Icon Martina Navratilova who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women's doubles titles (an all-time record) & 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles has joined the new 14th season of DANCING WITH THE STARS. Martina seems to be solely representing our LGBT community on the gay friendly ABC show this season. As you remember last year we had Chaz Bono & Carson Kressley to cheer for. This is an amazing challenge for Navratilova who bounced back from breast cancer & faced her fear on her Kilimanjaro climb in 2010. It will be interesting to see how her appearance on the show will cast some needed visibility on our LGBT people. Last year we reported that Navratilova feels the younger LGBTQ generation needs to take ownership of the LGBT movement. “I do get pissed off when I’m at some gay event & there’s a 25-year-old & he has no idea who I am. And I say, ‘You need to know more about your gay history, boy.’ I think the younger generation takes it a little bit for granted,” Martina stated. I’m sure her participation on DANCING WITH THE STARS will provide a whole new audience for the Legendary Navratilova. Now let’s all vote & keep her on. DWTS 14th season premiere’s on ABC March 19th at 8P ET/PT.
Exclusive Audio Chat with Sara Benincasa, award-winning comedian & writer about her new must-read book AGORAFABULOUS! Dispatches from My Bedroom based on her acclaimed one-woman show. Sara is very outspoken on LGBT issues & is a fierce gay ally. Born & raised in New Jersey we thought we’d get her spin on Governor Chris Christie vetoing gay marriage in her home state & other issues facing our LGBT community @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Emily Blunt Briefly Appears in Boston

As Media Director for the Boston LGBT Film Festival I was asked to attend a screening of SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN which would be attended by one of the stars of the film Emily Blunt, the British actress best known for her roles in THE YOUNG VICTORIA & THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. The film is based on the Paul Torday novel about a fisheries expert in London named Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor) who is approached by an uptight consultant, Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt) to help bring a sheik’s vision to life. The sheik (Amr Waked) wants to bring his favorite sport, fly-fishing, to the middle of the Yemen desert. At first this seems like a selfish act but then the truth unravels & it’s clear that the sheik is trying to feed his people. It’s a must-see romantic comedy that also stars Kristin Scott Thomas. There is a love scene with Blunt & McGregor where they swim in the river under moonlight. Blunt told the audience that the reality of that scene was that they were freezing to death in the 2 feet of cold water where the hardest challenge was to stop their teeth from chattering. The film is directed by Lasse Hallström (CHOCOLAT) & the Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy ( SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.) SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN has a limited release on March 9th.
Blunt was in Boston visiting her in-laws. As you know she married to Newton native actor John Krasinski (THE OFFICE). During PRADA Blunt's friend Anne Hathaway introduced her to Krasinski in 2008. "It's one of those things where, as soon as you meet someone, you know," Krasinski later told Ellen DeGeneres. "She says she knew, too!" Krasinski & Blunt tied the knot in a private ceremony at George Clonney’s Villa D'Este in Lake Como, Italy, on July 10, 2010. Guests included George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jimmy Kimmel, David Schwimmer, Stanley Tucci and Matt Damon. Emily Blunt & John Krasinsky live in the Los Angeles area of California.
Exclusive Audio Chat with Sara Benincasa, award-winning comedian & writer about her new must-read book AGORAFABULOUS! Dispatches from My Bedroom based on her acclaimed one-woman show. Sara is very outspoken on LGBT issues & is a fierce gay ally. Born & raised in New Jersey we thought we’d get her spin on Governor Chris Christie vetoing gay marriage in her home state & other issues facing our LGBT community @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscars Provide A Little Gay Visibility

There weren’t many gay moments at the Oscars this year. The show opened with Billy Crystal doing a fair movie montage that provided maybe a chuckle or two but nothing extremely memorable. Of course it seems that the industry finds it funny to have a scene from THE DECENDANTS with George Clooney bending over to kiss his dying wife that turns out to be Billy Crystal instead. Christopher Plummer did win the best supporting Oscar for his portrayal of a gay father in BEGINNERS. We screened this film last May at the Boston LGBT Film Festival where I met the film’s writer & director Mike Mills. The film is based upon Mill’s real life father who came out at 75 after becoming a widow. At 82, Plummer is the oldest actor to ever win an Oscar & it was his first Academy Award. This would have been a nice opportunity to have at least one line in his acceptance speech acknowledging our LGBT people but nothing was uttered from his lips. Other winners included Meryl Streep who took home the best actress Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in openly gay director Phyllida Lloyd’s THE IRON LADY. Jean Dujardin won best actor for his role in acclaimed silent film THE ARTIST which also earned the Best Picture & Best Director Awards. The show was very traditional with Brian Grazer taking over the helm after Brett Ratner stood down from his role producing the 2012 Academy Awards show after he told a press conference rehearsal was for “fags” last year. Ratner has gone to some lengths to make amends for the slur. Earlier this month we announced Brett would produce & direct a GLAAD video campaign to promote equality for our LGBT community.
Read Post... Well maybe the wrath of the GLAAD situation made this year's Oscar show too politically correct.
Complete List of Oscar Winners: oscar.go.com
New Exclusive Audio Chat with Sara Benincasa, award-winning comedian & writer about her new must-read book AGORAFABULOUS! Dispatches from My Bedroom based on her acclaimed one-woman show. Sara is very outspoken on LGBT issues & is a fierce gay ally. Born & raised in New Jersey we thought we’d get her spin on Governor Chris Christie vetoing gay marriage in her home state & other issues facing our LGBT community @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lesbian Judge Won’t Wed Couples in Texas

In the midst of Maryland becoming the 8th state to pass gay marriage we have a new hero & role model in Dallas Texas. Openly Gay Dallas County Judge Tonya Parker has taken a strong stand by refusing to conduct marriage ceremonies for straight couples until same-gender couples can also wed. Explaining her decision at a monthly meeting for the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, Parker stated, “I do not perform them because it is not an equal application of the law. Period. I use it as my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage equality in the state because I feel like I have to tell them why I’m turning them away. So I usually will offer them something along the lines of, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality & until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people. And it’s kind of oxymoronic for me to perform ceremonies that can’t be performed for me, so I’m not going to do it.” According to NBC News Parker is believed to be the first openly gay African-American elected official in the history of the state.
This week it was also reported that Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico was refused service by her hairdresser Antonio Darden because of her anti gay marriage position in her state. "Respectful, civil disobedience comes in all forms — from refusing to leave the back of a bus on account of one's skin color, to denying a haircut to the governor of the state of New Mexico for her opposition to same-gender marriage. At the end of the day, Mr. Darden's recent civil protest should invite all of us to rethink & re-evaluate our attitudes and beliefs about same-gender families in New Mexico," said Nicholas Rimmer, a spokesman for Equality New Mexico. Now if we all took a similar stand in all of our vocations just think what an impact this would have on our nation. Updates to Come…:)
Exclusive Audio Update with Ned Flaherty from Marriage Equality USA about the map he’s created revealing the encouraging news that 42% of Americans now live in the 21 states that offer some form of legal recognition at the state level for same-gender relationships & more gay marriage in America news @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Maryland Passes Gay Marriage

UPDATE: The Maryland Senate passed gay marriage by a 25-22 vote & it will now be sent to Governor Martin O’Malley who sponsored the bill & will sign it making Maryland the 8th state to legalize marriage equality. This is a good day for our LGBT people…:)
Well the Maryland Senate is set to debate & vote on gay marriage today. The homophobic Republicans keep trying to delay the measure but discussion is expected to begin Thursday morning. This is a situation different from New Jersey because when the bill passes Governor Martin O’Malley will sign the bill into law making Maryland the 8th state to do so. Of course the nasty opponents have vowed to bring it to voters with a referendum on the November ballot. They can begin collecting the more than 55,000 signatures needed to do so once the bill passes both chambers. Again this is totally ridiculous to allow the majority to vote on the rights of a minority but this battle seems to drag on. What are the anti gay hate mongers so afraid of in Maryland? This bill has legal protections in place for religious beliefs & for religious orgs & churches. Last year it was the religious Afro-American bully pulpit vote that defeated this bill. Of course it would be helpful if the our Afro American brothers & sisters would support gay marriage & remember that the Bible was used to justify slavery & other forms of discrimination. Sherry Hope of Baltimore stated, “Christians must stand up as they did in the 1960s to stop discrimination against African-Americans. It is time to stop oppressing people over an issue that has nothing to do with heterosexual marriage.” Updates to Come…:)
Exclusive Audio Update with Ned Flaherty from Marriage Equality USA about the map he’s created revealing the encouraging news that 42% of Americans now live in the 21 states that offer some form of legal recognition at the state level for same-gender relationships & more gay marriage in America news @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Courting Gay Marriage in New Jersey

In the darkness of New Jersey's Anti Gay GOP Governor Chris Christie vetoing the bill that would legalize gay marriage in the Garden State, Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg reinstated on Tuesday 2 previously dismissed grounds of complaint in the lawsuit brought by gay couples, 10 of their children & the gay-rights organization Garden State Equality. "At this juncture, the court is satisfied there is sufficient state action to permit the claim under the federal equal protection clause to proceed,’’ Judge Linda Feinberg wrote in her 27-page opinion. The couples, along with the gay rights advocacy group Garden State Equality, filed the suit in June. They claimed they were refused the right to marry by being denied equal protection under the state constitution as well as equal protection & due process under the U.S. Constitution. In November Feinberg dismissed all but one count, equal protection under the state constitution. Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, said Feinberg’s reconsideration gives the couples more of a fighting chance in court. "The court had already upheld our claim of state equal protection," Goldstein said. "So now our case will be heard on both state & federal constitutional grounds. It’s a happy day as we pursue all roads to justice, marriage equality in the courts & marriage equality via an override in the state legislature."
In Maryland yesterday the marriage equality bill passed the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Tuesday & is expected to be debated on the Senate floor as soon as today. Updates to Come…:)
Exclusive Audio Update with Ned Flaherty from Marriage Equality USA about the map he’s created revealing the encouraging news that 42% of Americans now live in the 21 states that offer some form of legal recognition at the state level for same-gender relationships & more gay marriage in America news @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sara Benincasa Agorafabulous! Book Tour

Sara Benincasa is an award-winning comedian & writer. Her new book AGORAFABULOUS! Dispatches from My Bedroom (William Morrow) is based on Sara’s critically acclaimed solo show about panic attacks & agoraphobia. When Sara was an Emerson College undergrad in the fall of 2001 her college experience became an agoraphobic nightmare. “In the fall of 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks it was a stressful period on the East Coast. Anxiety was in the air & a lot of fear every day was common, so I’m sure that environment had something to do with it.” stated Sara of the time the college coed was petrified to leave her Boston Newbury Street studio apartment. In her new must-read book AGORAFABULOUS! Dispatches from My Bedroom, Sara takes a really serious condition & shares her road to recovery with hilarious twists & turns. We’ll be chatting with Sara Benincasa on OUTTAKE VOICES™ to talk about her book & LGBT issues next week. Sara currently lives in New York but is a New Jersey native so I’m sure she’ll have a lot to say about gay marriage & more. In the Boston area Sara will be appearing at Brookline Booksmith tomorrow Wednesday February 22nd at 7P to read & sign copies.
For More Appearances Info: sarabenincasa.com
New Exclusive Audio Chat with Sara Benincasa, award-winning comedian & writer about her new must-read book AGORAFABULOUS! Dispatches from My Bedroom based on her acclaimed one-woman show. Sara is very outspoken on LGBT issues & is a fierce gay ally. Born & raised in New Jersey we thought we’d get her spin on Governor Chris Christie vetoing gay marriage in her home state & other issues facing our LGBT community @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Monday, February 20, 2012

Was Abraham Lincoln the 1st Gay President?

Just think how the theory that Abraham Lincoln was gay could provide such a vital role model & hope for our LGBTQ teens. Not to mention shaking up the homophobic GOP candidates running for President this year. At the heart of the speculation is Lincoln's close relationship with Joshua Speed, a Springfield, IL merchant who helped the young lawyer by allowing him to share his upstairs room & bed for four years. Speed remained a lifelong friend, despite his support of slavery & the two sent warm, affectionate letters for years, even after Lincoln moved into the White House. John Stauffer, Harvard University stated, "We are getting closer to the day that a majority of younger, less homophobic historians will at long last accept the evidence of Lincoln’s same-gender component. We’re already seeing the beginnings of a trend that will amount to a major paradigm shift. In light of what we know about romantic friendship at the time, coupled with the facts surrounding Speed’s & Lincoln’s friendship, there is no reason to suppose they weren’t physically intimate at some point during their four years of sleeping together in the same small bed, long after Lincoln could afford a bed of his own. To ignore this, as most scholars do, is to pretend that same-gender carnal relationships were abnormal. It thus presumes a dislike or fear about such relationships, reflecting a presentist and homophobic perspective." Gay Activist Larry Kramer adds, "There's no question in my mind that Abraham Lincoln was a gay man & a totally gay man. It wasn't just a period, but something that went on his whole life."
Read More.... Happy President's Day!!
Exclusive Audio Update with Ned Flaherty from Marriage Equality USA about the map he’s created revealing the encouraging news that 42% of Americans now live in the 21 states that offer some form of legal recognition at the state level for same-gender relationships & more gay marriage in America news @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Day In The Life of Gay Marriage

Anti Gay Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the bill legalizing gay marriage as promised. He thinks it's a good idea to put gay marriage on the ballot so that the majority can vote on the rights of a minority. This guy is so disconnected from the human experience it’s pathetic yet he’s making this decision to hurt our LGBT people in the Garden State. At about the same time the good new is in Maryland the House of Delegates approved a gay marriage bill on Friday setting the stage for the state to become the next state where same-gender couples can legally wed. The vote sends the bill to the state Senate which passed similar legislation last year. If the Maryland bill reaches Gov. Martin O'Malley, a gay marriage supporter he will sign the bill making Maryland the 8th state to pass marriage equality. So it’s a mixed bag today as we move forward. Updates to Come…:)
Exclusive Audio Update with Ned Flaherty from Marriage Equality USA about the map he’s created revealing the encouraging news that 42% of Americans now live in the 21 states that offer some form of legal recognition at the state level for same-gender relationships & more gay marriage in America news @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Gay & Lesbian US Coast Guard Group

With the demise of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” we learn that members of the U.S. Coast Guard in the Great Lakes Naval Station have made military history by starting Gays And Lesbian And Supporting Sailors (GLASS), the first gay & lesbian group formed on a military base. GLASS is registered as an official chartered organization at the Great Lakes Naval Station which means authorities consider it as legitimate as the First Class Association or any other command-sanctioned organization. Around 75 people attended GLASS’s inaugural meeting on Monday, gay & straight. Dena Partain, a 24-year Navy veteran who serves as GLASS’ mentor & advisor told the Windy Times that 2 days earlier, GLASS had made an appearance at Equality Illinois gala. “At the gala, veterans kept coming up to our table. They were just so happy we were there… To have that support, I can’t even describe it.” Partain stated. The org OutServe, predates GLASS but is an independent organization operating outside of command structure. So Anchors Away & we love your logo...:)
Exclusive Audio Update with Ned Flaherty from Marriage Equality USA about the map he’s created revealing the encouraging news that 42% of Americans now live in the 21 states that offer some form of legal recognition at the state level for same-gender relationships & more gay marriage in America news @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Brett Ratner To Create GLAAD Videos

It was announce by GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) media advocacy & anti-defamation organization that Brett Ratner who was fired from producing the Oscars for using a gay slur is producing & directing a video campaign to help our LGBT community. Ratner met with GLAAD's Board of Directors last weekend in a meeting that included producer of the 84th Annual Academy Awards Brian Grazer, as well as directors Adam Shankman & Bryan Singer, among others. The upcoming video series will feature a diverse group of Hollywood celebrities, athletes, musicians & politicians 'coming out of the closet' as supporters of equality. Participants will share personal stories about why & how they support the LGBT community & call on Americans to do the same. "Working together with GLAAD has been a very positive & enlightening experience for me & I could not be more pleased to be developing this crucial campaign to help educate people that we all share the same humanity. I am excited to get to work on this program & hope that minds & hearts are opened by what we create," Ratner stated. "Straight allies are crucial to creating a culture in which LGBT people are respected & supported. We look forward to working with Brett & these other inspiring Americans who are speaking out & standing up for their LGBT friends, family members, neighbors & coworkers," added Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs & Communications at GLAAD. This is an interesting form of community service for his behavior. Updates to Come…:)
Exclusive Historic Information in this Audio Chat with Ted Olson & David Boies at the AFER press conference held 2 hours after Prop 8 was found unconstitutional in California by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gay Marriage Advances In Maryland

The pro gay marriage momentum is building in America. A joint panel of the Maryland legislature approved on Valentine's Day a bill to legalize gay marriage adding to the advances in California, New Jersey & Washington State in the last week. Committee approval of Governor Martin O'Malley's bill on Tuesday moves Maryland closer to becoming the 8th state to legalize marriage equality. The House of Delegates' Judiciary Committee & the Health and Government Operations Committee approved the measure 25-18 in a joint vote, a judiciary panel spokeswoman said. The measure is expected to go to the full House today. As you remember a similar bill died in the House last year following opposition from several African-American lawmakers. O'Malley, a Democrat, said he had rallied support for the measure & needed only a handful of extra votes to secure passage this year. According to Senator Brian Frosh, head of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee the Maryland Senate is expected to consider the measure as early as Friday. The Maryland vote came one day after Washington became the 7th state to legalize gay marriage, although the law will not take affect until June at the earliest. Of course homophobic opponents may try to get it on the ballot in November. New Jersey's Senate also approved a gay marriage bill on Monday with the lower house expected to vote on Thursday. Unfortunately Governor Chris Christie has promised to veto that measure if it reaches his desk. So slowly our LGBT community moves forward in our quest for equality. Updates to Come…:)
Exclusive Historic Information in this Audio Chat with Ted Olson & David Boies at the AFER press conference held 2 hours after Prop 8 was found unconstitutional in California by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
Support Our Vision @ OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE...:)
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage