Florida lowered FCAT language requirements to keep two thirds of the state's kids from failing. Half failed anyway.
New York's most senior gay public servant was married today:
Christine Quinn, New York's highest-ranking openly gay official and the leading candidate to be the city's next mayor, married her longtime girlfriend on Saturday, walking down the aisle to Beyonce's "Ave Maria."
Quinn, the speaker of the New York City Council and a vocal advocate of same-sex marriage, wore a full-length, cream-colored gown designed by Carolina Herrera and a hair comb fashioned with family heirlooms.
Quinn's wife, New York lawyer Kim Catullo, wore a cream silk evening suit designed by Ralph Lauren. Catullo, who like Quinn is 45, walked in to Bruce Springsteen's "If I Should Fall Behind."
Cuomo, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly were among the 275 guests.
Fourth-rate NBA player Dominique Jones really dislikes gay people.
In the Hardin County school system, straight teens are punished for wearing LGBT-supportive apparel; the Southern Poverty Law Center sues.
In Michigan, representatives and senators sign awards for "women of accomplishment" -- unless those women are lesbians.
Nick Stahl, lost and found.
Some producers say they have marveled at how fast the opinions of television viewers have changed, even as gay rights activists have marveled at how voters across the country have shifted on gay marriage.
“What this is about, really, is how far America has come, not how far television has come,” said Christopher Lloyd, a co-creator of “Modern Family.”
Shonda Rhimes, the “Grey’s Anatomy” producer, recalled having to “go to the mattresses with broadcast standards and practices” at ABC in 2006 to insist on preserving a steamy shower sequence with three female doctors. That sequence was just a fantasy in the mind of one of the male characters — but now six years later, in the show’s version of reality, two female doctors are married. “Nobody even blinked” at the relationship, Ms. Rhimes said.
The only outcry she recalled came when one of the doctors, Arizona, flirted with a man. “It was from lesbians who said, ‘How dare she sleep with a man!’ ”
Any Towleroad readers following the NBA playoffs? Know this: The Onion's sports coverage is no joke.
Friday night, The Silver Fox won $50,000 for The Trevor Project -- the organization devoted to combating suicide amongst gay youth -- by winning Jeopardy! Power Players. His competition: NBC's Kelly O'Donnell and the New York Times's Thomas Friedman.
Watch Anderson gloat adorably AFTER THE JUMP ...
Reuters published an article yesterday neatly summarizing the support Dharun Ravi has received from various members of the gay community. (If you're just tuning in: Ravi is the 20-year-old who, two years ago, briefly used his webcam to spy on his new roommate, Tyler Clementi, during a gay hookup; Clementi committed suicide shortly thereafter, and Ravi's now been convicted of a hate crime. He could face substantial prison time, and will likely be deported.)
Reuters quoted Aaron Hicklin, the debonaire editor of Out:
"Ravi's conviction was a compelling signal that harassment and bullying of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people carries penalties," Aaron Hicklin [wrote] in an article arguing that Ravi be set free.
"Yet the verdict also left a bitter aftertaste, as if what was being satisfied was not justice, but revenge."
Hicklin cited a past comment by Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan that even if Clementi were alive today, he would have presented virtually the same case to the jury. Anyone who believes Kaplan, Hicklin wrote, is "kidding himself."
"Ravi was convicted because Clementi is dead," Hicklin wrote, adding that the suicide "left us reaching for simplistic answers where there are none."
... and gay rights activist Bill Dobbs:
At a rally in support of Ravi outside the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton this week, Bill Dobbs ... told the crowd that Ravi was "overcharged" in the incident.
"The hate crime law in New Jersey has got so many problems that it should be repealed," Dobbs said. "It has become a dangerous weapon that is not necessary."
... and Andrew Sullivan:
Sullivan ... said the hate crime charges, without which Ravi would likely get probation and no prison time, were "tenuous" and "repellent."
"This was a bigoted online hazing, followed by a judicial witch-hunt," Sullivan wrote.
... and lesbian writer E.J. Graff:
E.J. Graff ... said in her column in The American Prospect, "I fear that Ravi is an easy scapegoat for a complicated problem."
... and the head of Garden State Equality, Steven Goldstein:
"Justice is best served by his serving some jail time for the crime committed," ... Goldstein said. "The moderate position is not to throw the book at this young man, nor should he get off Scott free."
... and mentions that Ravi has the support of Dan Savage and New Jersey's gay ex-governor, Jim McGreevey, as well.
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery is everywhere, all of a sudden, and not for the first time. The estimable, 90-year-old Rev. Dr. is the founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Black Leadership Conference; he led the Montgomery bus boycott after Rosa Parks's protest and led the Selma To Montgomery march ten years later. Just last week he signed his name to a letter from black civil rights leaders endorsing Barack Obama's support of marriage equality, and now he's making his case on TV.
Note that the Rev. Dr. has undergone his own evolution on marriage equality. Just four years ago, he was adamant in his support of civil unions, but was uncertain about the "m"-word:
I've never said I support gay marriage. I support gay rights and I support civil unions. Like a whole lot of people, I have some difficulty with the term gay marriage. Because deep in my heart, deeply rooted in my heart and mind, marriage is associated with man and woman. So I have a little cultural shock with that. But I certainly support civil unions, and that gay partners ought to have all the rights that any other citizens have in this country.
Now he views the issue a little differently, as he explains to Rev. Al Sharpton AFTER THE JUMP ...
Last November, Andy reported on the sad story of Aimee Whitchurch and Christel Conklin; a lesbian couple in Parker, CO, whose ongoing dispute with their homeowner's association led to what appeared to be a hate crime. The women claimed they awoke one morning to find "KILL THE GAY" spray-painted across their garage door and a noose on their doorstep.
Now, police have determined that Whitchurch and Conklin most likely vandalized their own house. From KDVR:
“Through the investigation and from witness statements, it was determined that allegations of the incident were false,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Cocha Hedyen. “Detectives were able to determine that the two women involved were responsible for the words that were spray painted on the garage and the placement of the noose on their own front door.”
Whitchurch faces two counts of Criminal Mischief, one count of Forgery and one count of False Reporting. She was expected to surrender to authorities Thursday afternoon, Heyden said.
Conklin was in custody facing two counts of Criminal Mischief and one count of False Reporting.
At the root of the couple's clash with the HOA: Complaints that the women didn't pick up after their dogs.
The gams pictured above belong to teenager Warren Evans. He was suspended last week from Calvert High School, in southern Maryland, for showing up for class in drag. Evans insists he didn't violate his school's dress code -- the code apparently dictates what length a student's skirt must be, but says nothing about a skirt wearer's gender -- and the school refuses to comment.
In the below video, Evans takes a lot of guff from Calvert parents scandalized by his fashion statement. Evans handles the attention gracefully. He comes off as confident and thoughtful, and his dad seems extremely cool. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...
View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.