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06/03/2015

NEWS: Lincoln Chafee, North Carolina, Australia, Strawberry Moon

RoadThe median rent in San Francisco is now $4,225. 

Lincoln RoadFormer Republican Senator and Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee is running for President as a Democrat: "During his speech, Chafee highlighted his strong opposition to military intervention in the Middle East, saying, 'we have to find a way to wage peace.' He said drone strikes weren't working in the region. And he also said, 'We must deliberately and carefully extricate ourselves from expensive wars,' Chafee said. 'Just think of how better this money could be spent." Chafee stressed using that money for investment within America's borders. "Education infrastructure, healthcare, environmental stewardship and a strong middle class are Americans' priorities.'"

RoadGame of Thrones editor mauled to death by a lion: "Kate Chappell, a Hofstra University alumna originally from Rye in Westchester County, died Monday when a lion leapt through an open car window and attacked her as she took photos inside Gauteng Lion Park in Johannesburg."

RoadKevin Federline and Justin Timberlake are allegedly friends.

RoadBaby goats in pajamas.

RoadCarey Mulligan and Meryl Streep in new trailer for moving period piece Suffragette.

150602channel31206087539_t755_h25798ab99e1ca1321267bfccad83b55d013a6d37 RoadPolitical cartoon takes aim at Chattanooga, Tennessee's WRCB over their refusal to air an ad depicting a gay Republican soldier advocating for marriage equality.

RoadCameron Crowe sort-of apologizes for casting Emma Stone to play a part Asian American character in Aloha.

RoadDiana Ross is on Twitter now and loving it.

RoadVote on override of North Carolina Governor's veto of anti-gay marriage recusal bill has been delayed. 

RoadNYT's Frank Bruni "announces" his bid for the GOP nomination: "I used to think that faintness on voters’ radar was an impediment to running. Hardly. In a recent Quinnipiac poll, 69 percent of respondents said that they didn’t know enough about Fiorina to have any opinion of her, 60 percent said the same about Carson, and 56 percent said that about Graham, even though he’s been in Congress for two decades and had himself surgically conjoined with John McCain. I used to think that a groundswell of support mattered. Not at all. Last I checked, Jindal and George Pataki were both polling below 1.5 percent. That must have them losing to the margin of error."

RoadDisney is remaking Sister Act.

CGm35kdUgAAEeKc RoadAustralia is getting a lot gayer: "From 2006-2008, one in 42 people said yes, or an average 2.4% of Australians. That number rose to one in 32, or 3.1% from 2009-2011. Between 2012-2014, 3.4% of people said they identified as gay, bringing the number to one in every 29."

RoadYou can now smell like Johnny Depp.

RoadStar Wars nerds rejoice: an X-Wing model drone that actually flies.

RoadDid you see last night's strawberry moon?

RoadBryce Dallas Howard thinks Chris Pratt should be President. 

RoadMichelle Duggar tells FOX News' Megyn Kelly that one of her children made "really bad choices."

Posted Jun. 3,2015 at 8:14 PM EST by in News | Permalink | Comments (9)


Lambda Legal Atty: Officials Who Defy SCOTUS Marriage Ruling Will 'Get Their Heads Handed To Them'

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Now that all the anti-LGBT legislation introduced by Texas Republicans has died, the state's last stand against same-sex marriage may take place via its Vital Statistics Unit. 

Texas marriage license application forms (shown above), which are generated by Vital Statistics, say "male" and "female." County clerks in Austin and San Antonio say if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality later this month, they'll simply modify the forms on their own. However, clerks in Dallas and El Paso say they'd be reluctant to do so, even though they're Democrats. 

From The Texas Observer

BrionesEl Paso County Clerk Delia Briones (right) said she reached out to the Bureau of Vital Statistics about the forms in February, but was told to wait until after the court rules.

“What am I going to do, ask the person who’s the man and who’s the woman? I can’t do that,” Briones said. “You want to be proactive and be prepared, but they’re stalling it at the state level, so my hands are tied.”

Chris Van Deusen, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, which includes the Bureau of Vital Statistics, said that after the Supreme Court rules, officials will consult with the attorney general’s office to determine what changes are needed.

“Until the court rules, [we] won’t be able know the impact on current operations or forms,” Van Deusen said.

Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton is rabidly anti-gay, so it's possible he would try to resist the Supreme Court ruling by advising the Vital Statistics Unit not to modify the marriage license applications. 

However, Lambda Legal senior counsel Ken Upton (below) has a warning for government officials who defy the Supreme Court: They can be sued personally and could face punitive damages. 

From the Observer

Upton.Ken“I think there will be some places where this is a problem, but it isn’t going to be a problem for very long,” Upton said. “I think a clerk that hides behind Vital Statistics, when the law clearly states you have to let them get married, risks personal liability.”

Upton said it would also be illegal for clerks to stop issuing licenses to all couples, because they’d be interfering with the fundamental right to marry under the U.S. Constitution. If clerks or state officials refused to comply with a federal judge’s order, they could face punitive damages into the millions of dollars, he said.

“If the Supreme Court rules in our favor, I think there will be relatively little resistance in most places,” Upton said. “Where there are people resisting and throwing up obstacles, I think it will be a fireworks show worth watching, because the truth is they are going to get their heads handed to them.”

Posted Jun. 3,2015 at 7:25 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, LGBT Rights, Supreme Court, Texas | Permalink | Comments (16)


Jennifer Hudson's New Music Video 'I Still Love You' Is A Call To Support Marriage Equality: WATCH

Ceremony

Jennifer Hudson's latest music video for her song "I Still Love You" is a heartwarming celebration of marriage equality. The clip which first premiered on Elle.com, opens with a young gay man calling his father and getting only his answering machine. He's calling to remind him that today is his wedding day. And he's marrying a man. But will he show up? In the father's home we see memorabilia from his military service and reminders of his son's all-American upbringing. Meanwhile the young man, played by Brandon Crowder, gets ready for the big day with his fiancee, sharing snuggles and writing love messages on shower doors. 

The video concludes with a caption that reads, "Jennifer Hudson, W Hotels [where the video was filmed] and the Human Rights Campaign ask you to join your fellow Americans in support of marriage equality."

Watch for yourself and find out how this love story ends, AFTER THE JUMP...

Jennifer

Posted Jun. 3,2015 at 6:17 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, Gay Wedding, Human Rights Campaign, Jennifer Hudson, Music Video | Permalink | Comments (21)


REPORT: HRC Is a ‘White Men’s Club’ With Major Diversity Problems

10402894_10152874929703281_4449399787613143787_nIn an internal report commissioned by HRC and obtained by BuzzFeed, employees of the nation's largest LGBT rights group described the organization as a "judgmental", "homogenous", "exclusionary" and "sexist" "white men's club." The report indicates that HRC values and promotes white, male individuals who are perceived as masculine over those that are female, transgender or feminine-identified. 

From BuzzFeed: 

“One of the most frequent concerns that rose was the sense of an organizational culture rooted in a white, masculine orientation which is judgmental of all those who don’t fit that mold,” the report states in summarizing its survey findings. “Disparate treatment toward women and those with ‘soft skills’ was frequently cited by staff — both men and women — and there is a sense that if you operate outside of that orientation, you will not be successful at HRC.”

That perception is also borne out in the experience of minority employees, according to the report, summarizing survey responses at one point as follows: “More than half of multiracial and Latino people and 83% of genderqueer people feel they are not treated equally based on their identity.”

From the focus groups, the report details criticism from younger staff and female staff about their contributions not being valued. In a listing of comments made, one staffer said, “Younger staff in particular are exploited and not rewarded financially.” Another said, “Straight women and lesbians get sexist treatment from gay men at HRC.”

Also according to the report, "1 in 5 staff believe 'diversity and inclusion' is not a necessary part of the group’s work and values." Moreover, there exists a "general perception...that current diversity efforts are not working and that there’s a lack of diversity understanding broadly."

Transgender employees face surprising hurdles at HRC, with the report stating that transgender persons are "frequently misgendered with the wrong pronouns, after repeated corrections.”

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d0a6c363970c-800wiHRC President Chad Griffin responded to the report noting that the organization is already "aggressively" pursuing ways to improve its workplace environment:

“Like many organizations and companies throughout our country, HRC has embarked on a thoughtful and comprehensive diversity and inclusion effort with the goals of better representing the communities we serve — and hiring, nurturing and retaining a workforce that not only looks like America but feels respected and appreciated for the hard work they do every day.” [...]

“As we fully anticipated, the report flagged problem areas that the organization has already begun to tackle aggressively,” Griffin said in his statement. “We’ll continue to address them, one by one, as any serious organization recognizing these challenges would.”

You can read more excerpts from the report over at BuzzFeed.

Posted Jun. 3,2015 at 4:53 PM EST by in Chad Griffin, Human Rights Campaign | Permalink | Comments (53)


Out NYC Hotel Owners Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass Face Anti-Gay Discrimination Lawsuit: VIDEO

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb0839445d970d-500wi

Out NYC Hotel owners Ian Reisner (below right) and Mati Weiderpass - who faced a backlash in April after hosting an intimate "fireside chat" with anti-gay Senator Ted Cruz - are facing employee lawsuits based on sexual orientation and gender identity, reports The Advocate.

Four former and current employees claim KTCHN and XL Nightclub - both located within Out NYC - in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards and New York City and state law, failed to pay for overtime work and withheld part of their tips.

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb083bee27970d-800wiJames Stress and Donald Shorter say they were the only two “men working at KTCHN who outwardly presented as feminine at work and who did not adhere to masculine stereotypes.”

They allege that the discrimination began when a KTCHN manager implemented a new policy on attire and grooming. The policy reads:

“Attire/Grooming — Please come to work properly dressed and be prepared to start your shift when you clock in. If you do not have proper attire i.e. black uniform shirt or black apron, they can be purchased in the office, BUT do not allow this to become a trend. Also, please keep excessive makeup and nail polish to a minimum gentlemen. The only acceptable time for gentlemen to wear makeup or nail polish will be for Sunday Brunch during Haus of Mimosa.”

The suit alleges that the policy caused Shorter and Stress to suffer “severe mental anguish and emotional distress, including, but not limited to, depression, humiliation, embarrassment, stress and anxiety, loss of self-esteem and self-confidence, and emotional pain and suffering.”

It also claims that “KTCHN’s management unlawfully pooled and distributed the accumulated credit card tips from each shift to KTCHN wait staff solely at the discretion of the on-duty KTCHN manager.” Additionally, it alleges that staff weren’t paid overtime, or time and a half, when their work exceeded 40 hours a week.

Reisner has admitted to making a donation to the Cruz campaign despite previously denying such claims.

KTCHN and XL have not responded to The Advocate’s request for comments.

In case you're not up to speed on Reisner and Weiderpass's meeting with Ted Cruz, check out a report, AFTER THE JUMP... (warning: auto-play)

 

 

 

Posted Jun. 3,2015 at 3:32 PM EST by in Discrimination, Ian Reisner, Law - Gay, LGBT, Mati Weiderpass, New York | Permalink | Comments (13)


The Men Of Pentatonix Make Hip Hop A Little Bit Broadway: VIDEO

SUPERFRUIT

Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying, who form 2/5 of the a capella group Pentatonix and also collaborate together under the name 'Superfruit', are back with their latest mash-up. This time they're taking hip hop songs like "99 Problems", "Blame It", "Only", and "Anaconda" and giving them a Broadway twist. 

Watch the boys take hip hop all the way to Broadway, AFTER THE JUMP...

You can also watch them cover Beyonce in six minutes and collaborate with Shoshanna Bean.

Posted Jun. 3,2015 at 3:10 PM EST by in Music, Pentatonix | Permalink | Comments (10)



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