Assistant Principal Joe Abell of Fullerton Union High School in Orange County, California publicly apologized after removing a gay student from stage during the Mr. Fullerton contest on April 3 after the student said he hoped same-sex marriage would be legal and he would be married in a decade, the Voice of OC reports:
Heather Sutherland, the parent of another student, was in the audience during the Tuesday night competition. She said the male student was asked as part of the contest what he hoped to be doing in 10 years.
She said he initially made a lighthearted comment about being a highly successful entertainer but then turned serious. According to a letter circulated Wednesday by other students to support the teen who was removed from the competition, “he replied by saying he hopes to find the love of his life, and to be able to marry him, and that he hopes gay marriage will be legal.”
While the student was giving his answer, “assistant principal Joe Abell came on stage in front of the hundreds of people in attendance and interrupted [the student’s] speech and disqualified him from the competition,” the support letter stated.
According the the district’s statement, "an Assistant Principal removed a male student from the stage during the Mr. Fullerton competition for making what the Assistant Principal believed to be a statement that was off script and not pre-approved.” Sutherland said the audience seemed supportive of the gay student’s hopes.
Students are protesting, according to the OC Register:
Friends of the student protested by passing out nearly 200 letters addressed to the assistant principal asking, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"
The letters included space for protestors to write a personal message. Senior Blake Danford, who helped organize the protest, said the group plans to deliver them to the assistant principal later in the week. "This is an entire situation about bullying," Danford said.
Charlotte Moore, the creator of this new PSA, writes:
In early March, the hashtag "#tomyunbornchild" became a worldwide trend on Twitter. By and large, these tweets were loving, hopeful messages to the next generation -- but many people saw it as an opportunity to express hate speech towards LGBT children.
Reading their bile, the only thing I could think was: how would we feel if we heard actual parents saying this to actual children? I got the idea on a Thursday. By Sunday, we -- me, my boyfriend, and whatever friends we could find to help us -- had it filmed.
It's easy to dehumanize hate speech online because we've gotten so used to seeing it. We tell ourselves that it's the product of trolls, of random, anonymous strangers. Except they're not. They're real people. Many of them will be parents. And some of their children will be gay. But what can we DO about it? I don't think there are any easy answers.
Whenever you believe life begins, I hope we can all agree: life is essential, and rare, and precious. We can't stop anyone from having kids. But we can resolve to stop this toxic cycle. We can wish better for our own children. And we can support the kids who weren't so lucky.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
(image via @GLADlaw)
Historic arguments were made in the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act today as the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston became the first federal appeals court to consider the constitutionality of DOMA.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders lawyer Mary Bonauto and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's Civil Rights Division chief Maura Healey argued before Chief Judge Sandra Lynch and Judges Juan Torruella and Michael Boudin.
Watch the press conference held by GLAD following the hearing, AFTER THE JUMP...
GLAD has some photos from outside the proceedings at its Facebook page.
Plaintiffs Bette Jo Green, Jo Ann Whitehead, Jonathan Knight, Marlin Nabors & Dean Hara after today's arguments. (image via @GLADlaw)
Reports Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:
Lawyers squared off over the constitutionality of DOMA, amid discussion about whether the law fails a rational basis standard of scrutiny or interferes with a state’s rights under the Tenth Amendment. Stuart Delery, who’s gay and the Justice Department’s acting assistant attorney general for the civil division, surprised many when he said the Obama administration wouldn’t defend DOMA on any basis, including under rational basis review.
Last year, the Obama administration said it would no longer defend DOMA in court, on the basis that President Obama had determined that the anti-gay law fails heightened scrutiny because it discriminates against gay couples. Asked by Judge Juan Torruella whether the administration has a position on the rational basis test for the law, Delery replied, “We don’t.”
MetroWeekly's Chris Geidner reports that "the four lawyers arguing the two cases to three judges appeared to be operating from different worlds" and that "one of the only points of complete agreement was that DOMA was an unprecedented attempt by Congress to define marriage across all federal laws."
Delery, representing the federal defendants in the two cases, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. United States, was in the unusual position of agreeing with the plaintiffs on most points because of President Obama's February 2011 decision that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional because such laws should be subjected to heightened scrutiny and that, accordingly, DOJ would stop defending DOMA in court.
The head of Department of Justice's Civil Division, Delery told Chief Judge Sandra Lynch and Judges Juan Torruella and Michael Boudin today that Congress's intent to single out gay and lesbian couples for discrimination was clear from the name of the bill itself: "It's a defense against something, and that defense was [against] same-sex couples."
Geidner also notes some of Paul Clement's argument for the House Republicans in defense of the law:
When Judge Torruella asked Clement if it was relevant that DOMA was, as Clement had put it, the "first comprehensive attempt" at such a definition, Clement said no -- pointing to the fact that, in his view, DOMA was "not in any way an effort to override states."
He even acknowledged at one point, "The federal government isn't in the business of having its own marriage certificates."
Although the debate over the level of scrutiny to be applied to sexual orientation classifications was front and center today, Clement also made an argument that a prior case heard by the First Circuit regarding the constitutionality of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- Cook v. Gates -- foreclosed the question by concluding that rational basis should apply.
Watch the press conference held by GLAD following the hearing, AFTER THE JUMP...
Google shows off some potential uses for a set of augmented reality glasses:
The prototype version Google showed off on Wednesday looked like a very polished and well-designed pair of wrap-around glasses with a clear display that sits above the eye. The glasses can stream information to the lenses and allow the wearer to send and receive messages through voice commands. There is also a built-in camera to record video and take pictures.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Of course, it's not a new idea....
CYBILL SHEPHERD is an American for marriage equality.
RUFUS WAINRIGHT: "Out of the Game" featuring Helena Bonham Carter.
MORPHEX: The latest addition to Skynet's arsenal.
DOG: Will feast on your soul.
For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.
The Bodies Exhibition - animal-style.
Ryan Gosling saves woman from speeding taxi.
Matthew Mitcham scores perfect dive at Olympic trials: "Mitcham scored perfect 10s from seven judges on dive five in the 10m platform final in Adelaide on Wednesday."
Madonna scores 8th #1 of career will top Billboard debut for MDNA.
Anti-gay attack spurs rallies in Ohio.
Scientists: Beer not responsible for the beer belly. "The team conclude that their study 'does not support the common belief of a site-specific effect of beer on the abdomen, the beer belly'. 'Beer consumption', they write, 'seems to be rather associated with an increase in overall body fatness'."
Wes Bentley and Christian Bale wrestle on a beach.
Boy George assaulted by female fan: "George was leaving the club when, the club management have said, a drunken and aggressive woman lunged for his hat - and in doing so hit him in the eye."
Channing Tatum performs stripper-style dance with Elton John.
More than 60 percent of Australia's mayors support marriage equality: "The survey asked 150 mayors, MPs and councillors across Australia 'Should the government stop gay people from getting married?'. Only one in four decision-makers said the government should intervene and stop gay marriage."
A Tumblr dedicated to Nick Jonas' butt.
Openly gay Rev. Bradley Schmeling to lead largest Lutheran congregation in St. Paul, Minnesota: "Schmeling faced a church trial and was removed from the ELCA's official clergy roster in 2007 after he announced he was in a committed same-sex relationship with Pastor Darin Easler. Easler, a former minister at United Redeemer Lutheran Church in Zumbrota, Minn., was also removed from the ELCA roster. The St. John's congregation chose to ignore Schmeling's removal from the church roster, however, and kept him on as pastor. In its August 2009 assembly in Minneapolis, the ELCA voted to permit gay and lesbian ministers in monogamous relationships to be on the roster. Schmeling and Easler were later reinstated."
Till the World Ends: Kelly Clarkson covers Britney Spears.
Gay activists: Uganda becoming more tolerant.
DWTS hunk William Levy covers Para Todos.
Why does the University of Nebraska allow assistant coach Ron Brown to continue building a hostile environment for LGBT athletes on the school’s football team?
School notebooks with Stalin on the cover selling like crazy in Russia: "Russia's education minister says while he disapproves of the notebooks, there is no legal way to stop stores from selling them."
Iowa Rep. Steve King says gays should keep their sexuality to themselves at work: "In the first place, I would think that unless someone makes their sexuality public, it’s not anybody’s business, so neither is it our business to tell an employer who to hire. He won’t know who to discriminate against in the first place."
15 targeted killings of lesbians in Thailand since 2006. More from Grace Poore: "Some of the victims were as young as 14, with ages ranging up to early 40s. The violence, extremely brutal, included multiple stabbing, burning, suffocation, strangulation, or shootings leading to death. Many of the lesbians and toms were raped. In two cases of double homicides, men who objected to the women's relationships killed the lesbian couples. Though the killings were verified and nearly all the victims identified, they were dismissed by the police as 'ove gone sour.'"