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BRUCE JENNER: Watch the FULL interview w/ Diane Sawyer
SHOCK: OUTnyc, FIP owners hold Ted Cruz fete.
GAY HOTELIER CRUZ SUPPORTERS: Defend reception.
NO HOMO: Ted Cruz introduces 2 new anti-gay bills.
ARI WALDMAN: SCOTUS marriage preview Part 1 + Part 2.
HELLA CUTE: Gay teen's straight friend asks him to prom
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In preparation for the release of her third compilation album next month, #1 to Infinity, Mariah Carey has released the lyric video for her new, nostalgia-tinged break-up anthem 'Infinity'
The throwback-flavored track is a soaring break-up track, complete with sassy lines that shut down the guy she's singing about. They are the kind of lyrics that might have speculate that the track is about her recent split from Nick Cannon. Or perhaps it's just Carey returning to form as the queen of post-heartbreak empowerment.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case called Obergefell v. Hodges. Mr. Obergefell, an Ohio man who married his late husband in a medically-equipped jet on a tarmac in Maryland, is just one plaintiff among several, bringing one case among several. But this case gives the Court the chance to make the freedom to marry a nationwide reality.
Mary Bonauto, a veteran of the LGBT equality movement and winning litigator in the Massachusetts marriage case, will argue on behalf of Michigan and Kentucky couples seeking the right to marry in their home states. Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, a former assistant solicitor general, will argue for Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee plaintiffs. Plaintiffs from these states married elsewhere and seek home-state recognition of their out-of-state marriage.
There are, then, two separate questions to be argued on Tuesday: (1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment allow states to ban gays from marrying? (2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment allow states to refuse to recognize valid same-sex marriages performed in other states?
Looking forward to oral arguments on Tuesday, a few underlying questions should dominate the discussion. How the Court approaches these salient issues should determine the outcome.
CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...
Theatre News: 'An American in Paris', 'Finding Neverland', 'Amazing Grace', 'King Charles III', 'The Gin Game' and More
> Fresh on the heels of their Broadway openings, two new musicals have already announced national tours: the critically acclaimed An American in Paris, featuring a score of classics by George and Ira Gershwin and a book by Craig Lucas; and the less well-received Finding Neverland, which stars Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer, and features an original pop score by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy and a book by James Graham. Producers for both shows announced the tours would kick off in fall 2016.
> Alicia Silverstone will star in the New York premiere of Melissa Ross’ play Of Good Stock Off Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club’s New York City Center Stage I, the company announced this month. The play about three sisters revisiting their family home on Cape Cod for a summer weekend will begin previews on June 4 for an opening night of June 30. MTC’s artistic director Lynne Meadow directs.
> Amazing Grace, a new musical based on the true story behind that song, and the birth of the abolitionist movement, will play Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre beginning June 25 for an opening night of July 16. Featuring music and lyrics by Christopher Smith and book by Smith and Arthur Giron, the show had its world premiere in Chicago last fall and will be produced on Broadway by Carolyn Rossi Copeland and Alexander Rankin, under the direction of Gabriel Barre (The Wild Party) with choreography by Christopher Gattelli (Newsies).
> King Charles III, the 2015 Olivier Award-winner for Best New Play, will arrive on Broadway October 10 at the Music Box Theatre for an opening night of November 1. The “future-history” play by Mike Bartlett imagines Prince Charles’ ascension to the British throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth. Directed by Rupert Goold, the production will star Tim Pigott-Smith, who played the title role to much acclaim on the West End.
> Tony-winners James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson will star in a revival of D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Gin Game on Broadway at the Golden Theatre, producers OSTAR Productions announced last week. The play about two nursing home residents who strike up an acquaintance and revisit their lives in tense conversation will be directed by Leonard Foglia and begin previews on September 21 for an opening night of October 13.
> Two Broadway shows have announced closing dates this month. The Broadway revival of Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles, starring Elisabeth Moss and Jason Biggs, announced an early closing date of May 3 due to slow box office sales, just over six weeks after opening to mostly strong reviews. And after 14 years on Broadway, Mamma Mia!, the ABBA-scored hit that inspired a wave of other jukebox musicals, will shutter on September 5 at the Broadhurst Theatre (it was previously at the Winter Garden). Other current productions across the globe, including one on London’s West End, will continue.
Are you loving the current deluge of trendy and inexpensive clothing options at so-called "fast fashion" retailers? Well you might love those perfect spring shorts a little less if you actually thought about how they were made, as Last Week Tonight host John Oliver pointed out on last night's episode.
"As great as all these stylish cheap clothes are, at a certain point it's hard not to look at those prices and wonder how does any clothing company make money," said Oliver. "Although lets be honest, you already know the answer to that."
Be sure and watch until the end for Oliver's special surprise for the leaders of clothing companies.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
As Backlash Grows, Gay NYC Hotelier Issues Apology for Ted Cruz Reception: 'I Made a Terrible Mistake'
Ian Reisner, one of the two multimillionaire gay hoteliers at the center of a firestorm over their decision to host an intimate "fireside chat" and dinner with rabidly anti-LGBT Sen. Ted Cruz, has posted an apology on Facebook writing:
I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake. I was ignorant, naive and much too quick in accepting a request to co-host a dinner with Cruz at my home without taking the time to completely understand all of his positions on gay rights. I've spent the past 24 hours reviewing videos of Cruz' statements on gay marriage and I am shocked and angry. I sincerely apologize for hurting the gay community and so many of our friends, family, allies, customers and employees. I will try my best to make up for my poor judgement. Again, I am deeply sorry.
Reisner had previously issued a press release on Friday touting his support for LGBT causes and defending his decision saying "having an open dialogue with those who have differing political opinions is a part of the political system that this country was founded on."
Reisner's about-face was likely in an attempt to stop the hemorrhaging as gay organizations continue to pull out of fundraisers and events at establishments owned by him and business partner Mati Weiderpass. Yesterday, Drag Race superstar Bianca Del Rio announced her planed AIDS Walk Pep Rally would relocate from XL Nightclub to Stage 48. Some in the Fire Island Pines commercial district have also distanced themselves from the two.
In related news, a rally and protest endorsed by a number of LGBT Democratic organizations is planned outside The Out NYC Hotel today. You can find out more info HERE.
What are your thoughts on Reisner's new apology?
Update: Weiderpass has issued an apology as well, writing on Facebook:
I share in Ian's remorse. I, too, lay humbled with what has happened in the last week. I made a terrible mistake. Unfortunately, I cannot undo this. You taught me a painful but important lesson. The people that know me know the work that I have done over the last 20 years for the advancement of gay rights. Today, I came to realize that I might have nullified my past efforts and accomplishments in just one week. On the eve of this momentous legal occasion at the Supreme Court, I dedicate myself to work even harder to advance our cause that I share with the LGBT community; our community. Again, to all that I have hurt, please accept my sincerest apologies.
Basantapur Durbar square, before and after the earthquake.
The official death toll from Saturday's massive earthquake in Nepal has risen to more than 3,700 with nearly 7,000 injured as of Monday morning. It is expected to rise sharply and could exceed 15,000.
Dead(3729): Injured(6944): Dead Body Handovered( 3113)— EarthquakeNepal-MoHA (@NEoCOfficial) April 27, 2015
More bodies being brought into the morgue at Kathmandu's Bir hospital. Most of them left outside because there's no space. #NepalEarthquake— Sanjoy Majumder (@BBCSanjoyM) April 27, 2015
Many of Nepal's historic sites have been completely destroyed. Makeshift tent cities have sprung up around the country filled with survivors afraid to return home because of aftershocks. The International Committee of the Red Cross has a page filled with hundreds of names of people still unaccounted for.
There was a bit of good news on Monday as Turkish rescue workers in Kathmandu pulled a man alive from the rubble:
Some of the Relief Organizations where you can contribute:
The Nepal Red Cross Society is at the center of relief efforts in the devastated country and help is needed.
Its online donation link is here but is experiencing issues with heavy traffic. It is down as of this posting. the American Red Cross is coordinating efforts with them and you can select Nepal Earthquake Relief on its donation page.
Also collecting funds is the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (already they are Partnering with the IDF field hospital in Nepal to provide medical equipment, including two neonatal incubators; Working with UNICEF to secure supplies to meet children’s shelter, nutrition, water, and sanitation needs; Mobilizing a rapid assessment team of disaster experts who will arrive in Nepal this week; Collaborating with partners — among them, Tevel B’Tzedek, the All-India Disaster Mitigation Institute, and Sarvodaya — to distribute emergency relief) , the American Jewish World Service, and Americares, which has sent a response team.
Other relief organizations working to get aid to the people and organizations of Nepal are World Vision, The World Food Programme, UNICEF, Shelterbox, Nepal Children's Emergency Relief Fund from Save the Children, Real Medicine Foundation (online or text REALMED to 50555 to make a $10 donation), Plan International, Oxfam International, and Operation USA.
Over the weekend a terrifying video emerged of the avalanche that occurred at Mt. Everest (below). The US State Department reported three US citizens killed. 150 climbers remain stranded above the avalanche but helicopters have begun rescue efforts. At least 61 were injured and many remain missing.
Nepal's Blue Diamond Society is the largest LGBT rights organization in Nepal, founded in 2001. A couple of messages have been received from a leader and a former leader (and national MP) of that organization.
An update on the LGBTI situation in Nepal from Parsu Rai of Blue Diamond Society:
I am in the [Blue Diamond Society] office since the fatal took place and have talked to many staff and there has been continuous flow of information. Some information has been shared from the districts and we are yet to receive from other. If there is any information that needs to be shared then please do so. Please keep communicating. The recent update is as follows:
The buildings of BDS donated by international and national donors are cracked in many parts; walls are almost about the fall. The ground floors of both the building are damaged and have huge cracks that can tumble at any time.
There has been severe damage of houses in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavre, Sindulpalchowk and Gorkha, Tahanu, Kaski as well as in Siraaha and many community members might have lost their houses.
Due to fear, most of the community people are staying outside in the tent and have difficulties in accessing different facilities as there has been no support from outsiders. The daily wages earner has no means to sustain their livelihood. One of the community members have been out of contact since the fatal earthquake occur.
Some members have their houses damages (Gorka meti, Chari, Halasta from sakhu, Budi Meti from Sakhau Thimi in Sakhu), Kritipur, Kavrepalanchowk, Thimi Gorkha, Siraha, Lalitpur and janakpur and the information is yet to come as there is no means of communication and electricity is completely lost.
We will be updating as soon as we get into access to internet and other means of communication with electricity.
Parsu Ram Rai
A message from gay former Nepali MP Sunil Pant:
Blue Diamond Society's main building has a crack, as told by staff; they feel its not a major crack but will need repair. Blue Diamond Society's care home for HIV positive LGBTIs also has a crack and need good repair. One staff of Blue Diamond Society who works for care support centre, JYOTI PRAKASH, is missing so far.
Many TGs reported having problems of accessing toilets, has been a big problem as they spending nights in the open in Kathmandu. Three TGs from Gorkha said their houses are completely destroyed. As Gorkha and Lumjung are hardest hit districts, my ancestral home is damaged too. The current president, executive director and all other staff at BDS are ok. Phone lines and networks are non functional mostly so have not been able to reach out everyone. In Makwanpur districts also LGBTIs spending nights in the open. LGBTIs from Bhaktapur and Patan are also spending nights in the open, every TG expressed problems of accessing toilet... Food, blankets are not reaching like many others have not been reached in in Nepal. Like many women who are in need, lesbians who have to spend nights out, also finding difficulty to access toilets. I am outside of Nepal since a while, this update is through phone calls or emails with those LGBTIs in Nepal that I could get in touch. Will keep you update as I hear more. There is a need for help with relief and some rehabilitation to LGBTIs in Nepal.
Sunil babu Pant