Just in time for the 9th anniversary of legal marriage for same-sex couples in Massachusetts, three new books inspire and guide
By John O'Connell
Congratulations! You’ve met the person of your dreams and have chosen to spend the rest of your lives together! Only problem is that you want a small, formal, traditional ceremony and you fiancé wants — She or he doesn’t even know yet. But not that.
Many same-sex couples have never day-dreamed about what they want from a wedding or they fall immediately into the patterns that heterosexual marriages have instilled in our culture. The Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings, now in its third edition, The Gay Couple’s Guide to Wedding Planning, and Capturing Love, a visual guide to photographing same-sex weddings, are now available to spark your imagination and make sure you don’t overlook a single detail in planning what is perhaps the biggest event of your life.FULL ENTRY
Behind the Candelabra, Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming movie about Liberace and Scott Thorson, is getting great pre-release buzz. The movie stars Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover, Thorson.
In a recent interview Soderbergh discussed his memories of Liberace (comparing him in one instance to Lebron James), the movie, and the performances of both Douglas and Damon.
Soderbergh worked with Douglas on the movie Traffic and it was then that he first approached the actor with the idea of playing Liberace. “Well, that’s the first time I discussed the idea with him, and he did do a little impression, which I thought was excellent”.
After coming across Thorson’s book on his life with Liberace, Soderbergh know he had his storyline for the movie. After initially trying to tackle the storyline with Liberace as the centerpiece he changed his thinking and used Thorson as the “trojan horse” to get into Liberace’s life. “It gave me a definitive time period, and it gave me a structure because of the arc of the relationship,” said Soderbergh.
As for Damon, Soderbergh recalled “(Matt) was in Spain doing his cameo in Che, and I gave him the book. I can only imagine what was going through his mind five years later before we started shooting. But Matt doesn’t have anything to protect. That’s not how he makes his decisions. He makes his decisions based on whether he’s engaged by the piece or not. If it turns out to be something that’s really gonna push him as a performer, even better. And Michael, he was just fearless. They both are. The movie just doesn’t work if they don’t both literally join hands and jump off the cliff. It’s intimate stuff, even if it was a guy and a girl. But for a lot of people it’ll be hard to see Jason Bourne on top of Gordon Gekko.”
For anyone who is old enough to truly remember Liberace, count Soderbergh in that group, the memories are of a truly unique performer. That, above all, is what drew the director to the movie. “I’m old enough to have seen him on TV at my parents’ place, and found him very entertaining. I was kind of intrigued by the incredible technical skill being masked by this flamboyant persona. Underneath this performer who was all about entertaining his audience and giving them a good time was actually a concert-level skilled keyboardist. It’s kind of like if LeBron James decided to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. There really wasn’t anybody like him. And there are a lot of people now that owe him a real debt because of how he presented himself. This guy invented bling,” said Soderbergh
One Million Moms (OMM) is demanding that Disney put a stop to the 23rd annual Gay Day at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on Saturday, June 1.
OMM is an organization with less than 57,000 likes on Facebook. It is known for its call to boycott of JC Penney last year, after out gay talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres became a spokesperson for the retailer.
The group's latest targeted marketing calls on members to contact Disney's CEO to demand that he end Disney Gay Day.
Disney claims that they have no control over Gay Day or who enters the park on any given day.
Adding interest to the story, Instinct magazine points out that the new president of Disney World, George Kalogridis, is gay.
June 1 Gay Pride Day at Disney
As soon as school lets out at the end of May, many families will plan to take their family vacation right away. Tens of thousands will make reservations in Orlando, Florida, for the first weekend in June. Warning! Not everyone there will be excited, innocent children anticipating a fun weekend at Disney World. The first Saturday in June, homosexuals, bisexuals and transvestites will be at the Magic Kingdom with an agenda and purpose different than what would be expected at Disney.
Homosexuals will be celebrating the 23rd anniversary of Gay Day wearing matching Gay Day merchandise, such as T-shirts. There will also be transvestites dressed in drag showing their support for the event. This event is planned with the intent to expose and desensitize children to this lifestyle by same-sex couples holding hands, hugging and kissing. In short, a Gay Day participant's main goal is to be seen versus seeing Disney World.
In past years when we have contacted Disney representatives about this same issue, their response was simply that they do not sponsor this event.
On June 1, unsuspecting families will witness a well-orchestrated event that Disney says they have no control over. Disney has taken no action to stop this, which leaves families stunned and offended. So instead of a normal day at this popular theme park, parents will be angry at the harm this causes families.
Disney has been irresponsible for far too long. Disney representatives and security need to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere and require proper conduct and dress code on a daily basis.
Parents who have already made travel plans to be in Orlando during this time should make arrangements to visit a park other than the Magic Kingdom on Saturday, June 1.
Please click on the following link to send your email to Disney's CEO and other Disney officials urging the park to no longer "go along" with Gay Day. Disney should monitor this day and event for public displays of affection and require proper conduct and appropriate attire. This should always be policed, but especially on Gay Day.
Four year old Kia Langer and Ellen Degeneres are now "going steady" according to comedian and talk show host.
Langer, who has appeared on the Ellen show in the past, is known for his cover renditions of Bruno Mars songs. Appearing this week with Ellen, Langer gave Degeneres a bracelet to signify that they are boyfriend and girlfriend and then serenaded her with the Bruno Mars song "When I Was Your Man"
Delaware became the 11th state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage yesterday as Gov. Jack Markell signed a gay marriage bill into law just minutes after its passage by the state Senate.
“I do not intend to make any of you wait one moment longer,” Markell told a group of supporters following the 12-9 Senate vote only half an hour earlier.
“Delaware should be, is and will be a welcoming place to live and love and to raise a family for all who call our great state home,” Markell said.
Under the bill, no new civil unions will be performed in Delaware after July 1, and existing civil unions will be converted to marriages over the next year. The legislation also states that same-sex unions established in other states will be treated the same as marriages under Delaware law.
Lambda Legal, a national gay rights advocacy group, applauded passage of Delaware’s gay marriage bill.
Susan Sommer of Lamba Legal saluted Delaware for joining 10 other states who have legal marriage equality “Today, we celebrate with the thousands of Delaware same-sex couples and their children who will soon be able to have the full recognition and respect accorded to married families,” said Sommer.
Not all in Delaware were happy about the legislation including many in the Catholic Diocese.
“Let’s be careful about the concept of social evolution,” said the Rev. Leonard Klein, a Roman Catholic priest speaking on behalf of the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, which serves more than 200,000 Catholics in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
“When you remove male and female from the definition of marriage, all bets are off,” added Klein.
Next up for marriage equality supporters looks to be Minnesota. A bill for marriage equality has already been endorsed by the governor and appears to have enough backing in both the Senate and the House.
Jason Collins played for the Celtics this past year and recently announced that he is gay.
Jamie Collins has yet to start his professional career.
Jamie Collins was introduced to the media and fans of the New England Patriots last week during rookie media day at Gillette Stadium. Jamie was the second round pick of the Patriots in the recently completed NFL draft.
While on hand to introduce Collins, Patriots owner Robert Kraft took a moment to comment on the other Collins in the news these days, Jason Collins.
“My hearty congratulations to him,” Kraft said. And when asked about the possibility of a Patriots player coming out, Kraft responded, “We’re about winning, and [if] someone can come in here and help us win I don’t care what ethnic background, what racial background, what gender preference they have, if they can help us win and they’re about team then I’ll be happy to have them here.”
With the recent passage of the Marriage Equality Act, legalizing same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, there are now 10 states allowing for legal same-sex marriages in the U.S., including all 6 New England states.
Now that Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed the Rhode Island bill paving the way for marriage equality in Rhode Island, what is next in line for the marriage equality caravan?
Here are six upcoming states that will be tackling the issue in the near future:
The state’s House recently approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage by a 23-18 vote, the bill will now be voted on in the Senate. Recent polls show that the majority of voters in Delaware support same-sex marriage as does Governor Jack Markell.
The state’s Senate voted in favor of a marriage equality bill in February. The bill is now in the House where it is unclear if there are enough votes to secure passage.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn supports marriage equality
Marriage equality legislation has passed committees in the House and Senate and will now move to the full House and Senate. There is also a civil unions bill up for consideration.
Minnesota Governor Mark Drayton supports marriage equality.
Governor Chris Christie vetoed marriage equality legislation last year and would like the issue to be decided by New Jersey voters.
According to recent polling, if put to a vote, the majority of voters would vote in favor of marriage equality.
In 2004 Oregon voters passed legislation banning same-sex marriages. There is now a movement underway to include a question on the 2014 ballot that would reverse that ban. Among the supporters of including the question is current Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.
The state Senate recently passed a resolution to repeal the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the first step in a long process to legalize marriage equality in Nevada. The measure must be passed by lawmakers this year and in 2015, and then go before voters in 2016 for ratification.
John Ambrosino (photo: courtesy Lyric Stage)
Avenue Q actor trades puppets for a sailor uniform in On the Town; playing at Lyric Stage from May 10 - June 8.
By Loren King
John Ambrosino has fond memories of watching On the Town on VHS back in the ‘80s, when as a kid he soaked up all the classic movie musical he could find in the video store. “I was enthralled by the performances,” he says of the 1949 film. Now Ambrosino is busy prepping for the demanding singing/dancing lead in the Lyric Stage’s production of On The Town (he’s got the Gene Kelly role) which runs May 10 to June 8.
“[Director] Spiro [Veloudos] is bringing a completely fresh set of eyes to it. I hope I won’t be compared with Gene Kelly. I’m going to stay away from the movie now and let Spiro lead us down the road,” the actor says.
Ambrosino says the Lyric is taking an “awesome artistic risk” in staging On The Town. First produced on Broadway in 1944 under the helm of George Abbott and
choreographer Jerome Robbins, the classic about three American sailors on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City during wartime boasts a score by a pretty stellar trio: Leonard Bernstein wrote the music and Betty Comden and Adolph Green penned the book and lyrics. The songs that came out of On the Town endure to this day; among them “New York, New York,” “Lonely Town,” “Some Other Time,” and “I Can Cook, Too” (which became a signature song for Lea DeLaria after her showstopping version in the 1998 revival).
Larry Sousa (photo: courtesy SpeakEasy Stage)
SpeakEasy Stage’s In The Heights features the work of a local choreographer gone big time. New production runs May 10 to June 8
By Loren King
Director/choreographer Larry Sousa remembers the first day of his first Broadway show, My Favorite Year. Sousa, who was part of the chorus, visited the craft services table. Dozens of coffee mugs were set out, each one emblazoned with the show’s logo and the cast member’s name. “I was shocked. I had my own mug!” recalls Sousa. As he stood there in awe of the validating welcome, a voice behind him said, “I know. It’s my first Broadway show, too.” Sousa turned and came face to face with Andrea Martin, one of the stars of the musical.
Now an in-demand choreographer/director on the Boston theater scene, Sousa has had other pinch-me moments over the course of 12 years working in television and theater in Los Angeles and New York. While appearing in the 2009 Broadway musical Busker Alley, composed by the Richard and Robert Sherman of Mary Poppins fame, Sousa recalls a rehearsal when the cast members broke into one of the composers’ signature songs. “We were sitting around a table singing ‘Feed the Birds’ to the guy who wrote it,” he says.
Congressional members of the ‘Gang of Eight’ currently working on new, comprehensive immigration reform, have hit a stumbling block regarding what to do same-sex partners of American citizens.
The immigration bill, concocted by four Democratic Senators, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), as well as four Republican Senators, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), includes provisions for legal immigration for highly skilled immigrants, migrant farm workers and those living here illegally however there are no provisions for same-sex partners of American citizens.
“There’s a reason this language wasn’t included in the Gang of Eight’s bill: It’s a deal-breaker for most Republicans,” said Senator Flake.
Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has proposed a separate measure that would allow immigrants in long-term same-sex relationships to obtain residency with a green card. Senator Susan Collins of Maine is a co-sponsor of Leahy’s amendment. “Our legislation would simply update our nation’s immigration laws to treat binational, same-sex permanent partners fairly,” said Collins.
According to Senator Rubio, “This immigration bill is difficult enough as it is, if that issue (same-sex partners) is injected into this bill, this bill will fail. It will not have the support. It will not have my support.”
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee will stand on the steps of the Rhode Island State House later today and sign the Marriage Equality Act into law, thus allowing for legal same-sex marriages in Rhode Island. Chafee, elected as an Independent Governor, was formerly a Republican Senator for the state.
Chafee took the occasion of the signing to write an article for the New York Times. In the article he discussed the magnitude of the moment stating, “A historic realignment is happening all around us, as Americans from all walks of life realize that this is the right thing to do. It is occurring both inside and outside of politics, through conversations at the office and over kitchen tables, and at different speeds in different parts of the country. But once the people have spoken, politics should do its part to make the change efficient and constructive.”
He goes on to highlight a rather unique byproduct of signing the Act into law…economic growth. “Many experts have found evidence of a strong correlation between tolerance and prosperity, particularly in high-tech sectors. One of them, the author Richard Florida, has identified the “three T’s” — talent, technology and tolerance — as the fundamental basis for the growth of new economies.”
He continued, “The point is not simply that we are welcoming to gay people, though we are. It is that we want to welcome everyone. The talented workers who are driving the new economy — young, educated and forward-looking — want to live in a place that reflects their values. They want diversity, not simply out of a sense of justice, but because diversity makes life more fun. Why would any state turn away the people who are most likely to create the economies of the 21st century?”
Last week the state legislation voted to advance the Act for the Governor’s signature by a vote of 26 – 12. The majority of Rhode Island citizens favor marriage equality. Once Governor Chafee signs the Act into law Rhode Island will join the other 5 New England states in allowing for same-sex marriage.
As for what Governor Chafee will be thinking when he stands on the State House steps and signs the Act into law…
“I will be thinking of the Rhode Islanders who have fought for decades simply to be able to marry the person they love. I will be thinking of how Rhode Island is upholding its legacy as a place founded on the principles of tolerance and diversity.”
ESPN NBA analyst Chris Broussard, while appearing on the cable station’s show Outside The Lines, yesterday compared homosexuality and premarital sex to an “open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ.”
Broussard who began his sports writing career for The Plain Dealer before moving to the Akron Beacon Journal where he started covering the NBA. He joined ESPN Magazine in 2004 and started appearing on ESPN shortly thereafter.
While on Outside The Lines (to discuss NBA player Jason Collins' announcement that he is gay) Broussard commented that he doesn’t "believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly ... like premarital sex between heterosexuals. If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says 'you know them by their fruits.' It says that, you know, that’s a sin."
He went on to say, “if you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality -- adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals -- whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian."
Shortly after the program aired ESPN released the following statement:
We regret that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today’s news. ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins’ announcement.
The following statement is from Boston Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers on Jason Collins' announcement today:
“I am extremely happy and proud of Jason Collins. He’s a pro’s pro. He is the consummate professional and he is one of my favorite “team” players I have ever coached. If you have learned anything from Jackie Robinson, it is that teammates are always the first to accept. It will be society who has to learn tolerance. One of my favorite sayings is, I am who I am, are whom we are, can be what I want to be its not up to you, it’s just me being me."
Collins, as you can read HERE has announced that he is gay in an article appearing in the upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated. He played for the Celtics this year until being traded to the Washington Wizards for Jordan Crawford
Jason Collins who played for the Boston Celtics this season, prior to being traded to the Washington Wizards for Jordan Crawford, has come out as a gay man in the upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated. Collins cited the recent NBA lockout, the Boston Marathon bombings and his old college roommate, Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy, as some of the reasons he decided to make the announcement now.
I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me he had just marched in Boston's 2012 Gay Pride Parade. I'm seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy. I was proud of him for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn't even cheer my straight friend on as a spectator. If I'd been questioned, I would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, "Me, too."
Collins also discussed wearing number 98 as a player. He wore the number in reference to 1998, the year Matthew Shepard was killed. Shepard’s murder is one of the best known acts of anti-gay violence in modern times.
Collins has played in the NBA since 2001. He has played for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, and Washington Wizards.
Collins twin brother Jarron also played in the NBA.
"There is an irony that the most active anti-gay [groups] are al-Qaeda and the American right-wing," said Barney Frank, in an interview with Buzzfeed about the March 2013 issue of al-Qaeda's Inspire magazine, which features Frank and his husband.
The magazine spread claims that the U.S. has "no values." It cites statistics showing that half of Americans favor marriage equality and features a quote from President Obama where he supports same-sex marriage rights.
More from Buzzfeed:FULL ENTRY
Members of the board overseeing San Francisco Pride have backtracked on their earlier decision to name Bradley Manning, the military intelligence specialist accused of leaking classified information to the website Wikileaks, as a Pride parade Grand Marshal.
"That was an error, and that person has been disciplined. He does not now, nor did he at that time, speak for SF Pride," said SF Pride Board President Lisa Williams
A committee of former San Francisco Pride grand marshals did select the 25-year-old Manning, who is openly gay, for the honor, but the Pride Board decided his nomination would be a mistake, Williams said.
"In point of fact, less than 15 people actually cast votes for Bradley Manning," Williams said. "However, as an organization with a responsibility to serve the broader community, SF Pride repudiates this vote."
While the event's grand marshals are typically celebrated as they wave from convertibles during a downtown San Francisco parade, naming Manning as one was destined to be a symbolic gesture. He is in custody at a military prison in Kansas while he awaits court-martial and would have been unable to attend the June 30 parade.
Rainey Reitman, a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network, was excited when Manning was chosen as a Grand Marshal however that excitement proved to be short-lived. "I and many other LGBT Manning supporters are deeply disappointed by this sudden change in position on the part of the committee," Reitman said. "Bradley is a gay American hero who sacrificed a great deal so we could learn the truth about our government, and he was fairly elected to serve as grand marshal in the parade."
On the other hand, the Pride committee’s change of heart was applauded by others.
"Manning's blatant disregard for the safety of our service members and the security of our nation should not be praised," said Stephen Peters, president of American Military Partners Association. The group, which advocates for same-sex military families, had called on the Pride Committee to rescind the invitation.
"No community of such a strong and resilient people should be represented by the treacherous acts that define Bradley Manning," Peters said.
Given that yet another state is on the verge of enacting marriage equality for same-sex couples (Rhode Island) you would think that something as basic as the right for people to work without fear of being fired simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, would be the law of the land. Right?
Today, a bipartisan coalition of U.S. lawmakers introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which prohibits worker dismissal solely on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, for consideration — again.
Since as far back as 1974 some politicians in U.S. Congress have tried to outlaw employment discrimination for gay, lesbian and bisexual workers, when Bella Abzug introduced the Equality Act that year.
ENDA was first introduced in 1994. Almost every Congress since then has had the bill presented to it for consideration. No Congress has passed it, yet.
This year may be different. According to the The Huffington Post:
... given the public discussion on gay rights over the past year, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), a co-sponsor, told HuffPost he thinks the bill has about as good a shot as ever in the Senate.
"There's a growing recognition that discrimination is wrong" against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, Merkley said Thursday. "The same concept that's driving the marriage debate will help drive success on employment discrimination."
Gay marriage now has support from all but three Democratic senators -- Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) -- as well as Republican Sens. Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Rob Portman (Ohio). ...
For the ENDA bill, Merkley's co-sponsors include Democratic Sens. Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), as well as Kirk and fellow Republican Susan Collins (Maine). A companion bill has been introduced in the House by Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released a statement pushing for passage of the act, noting that, "it is perfectly legal to fire lesbian, gay and bisexual people under the laws of 29 states and transgender people are not protected by the laws of 34 states." More from the HRC release:FULL ENTRY
G.B.F. (Gay Best Friend) (photo: courtesy Boston LGBT Film Festival)
NOTE: STORY UPDATED TO INCLUDE THE LATEST SCHEDULING AND IS ADAPTED FROM THE MARCH/APRIL 2013 ISSUE OF BOSTON SPIRIT MAGAZINE.
The 29th Annual Boston LGBT Film Festival holds its annual launch party this coming Sunday, April 28, at Post 360 (406 Stuart Street, Boston). The event is free and open to the public. Those interested can RSVP through the festival web site at www.bostonlgbtfilmfest.net.
By Loren King
That Boston marches to its own drummer is hardly news in the political or LGBT arenas. That this is also true in rarified atmosphere of film festivals, particularly in the niche world of LGBT film festivals, is one more reason to wear the badge of Bostonian with pride.
The Boston LGBT Film Festival, which runs May 2 through 12, has, at 29 years, earned the distinction as one of the oldest LGBT film fests in the nation. Through many changes in both the film and the LGBT scene, Boston has managed to annually deliver a celebration of international queer cinema that’s as diverse as the city itself.
“We’ve learned what works here. Our audience doesn’t mind subtitles; one of the biggest hits of recent years was the Tom Twyker film 3. Gay Hollywood movies don’t work for us. We program rom-coms for a date night film, but what sells out in Phoenix doesn’t do well in Boston. Women’s films do well here, sometimes better than men’s,” says James Nadeau, the festival’s executive director.
Among the more than 100 fiction features, documentaries and shorts that will screen at six local venues — the Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Brattle Theatre, the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Theater 1 at the Revere Hotel and the Paramount Center — are several films that deal with LGBT history and others that offer transgender characters. Notable among these is Laurence Anyways (5/5, 7 p.m., MFA), from Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan who directed Heartbeats (2010) and I Killed My Mother (2009).FULL ENTRY
The Rhode Island state Senate voted late this afternoon in favor of a marriage equality bill putting Rhode Island on course to become the tenth U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage.
The full Senate voted 26-12 in favor of the bill, just one day after the Judiciary committee voted 7-4 to advance the measure to the Senate floor.
The Senate also voted 10-28 to defeat a proposed amendment to put the issue to popular vote on the 2014 ballot; that same amendment was rejected by the Judiciary committee on Tuesday.
The Senate had long been seen as the true test for same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, currently the only state in New England without marriage equality.
The bill now returns to the state House for a largely procedural vote on small changes made to the bill on the Senate side. The House previously voted 51-19 in January in favor of the bill.
House Speaker Gordon Fox (D-Providence), who is gay and a supporter of same-sex marriage, said a final vote could come as early as next week.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an Independent and supporter of same-sex marriage, has promised to sign the bill.
The first marriages could take place Aug. 1, when the legislation would take effect.
Boston Bruin Tyler Seguin got in a bit of hot water last night after tweeting out a message some have called homophobic.
Seguin, to his credit, quickly realized his error and sent out a second message to apologize.
The original tweet was in reference to a song by Boston rapper Slaine. Seguin, who appears in the video for the song, wrote ““Just listened to the song in my bed. Gave me goosebumps no homo...”
That tweet was followed by,
Interestingly, The National Hockey announced, jus two weeks ago, that the league has entered into a formal partnership with the You Can Play Project which works with athletes and leagues to educate them on issues surrounding lgbt athletes and the lgbt community.
Late this afternoon the Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-4 to recommend S38, the marriage equality bill, to the full Senate. This move sets up Rhode Island to join the five other New England states in allowing for same-sex marriages.
positions Rhode Island, the final holdout in New England, to pass marriage equality. This.
The vote on the full floor of the Senate will be tomorrow (Wednesday).
The Rhode Island House of Representatives passed the marriage equality bill earlier this year after a unanimous committee vote and strong bipartisan support. And, earlier this week the Senate Republican Caucus announced that they are unanimous in their support for the bill.
Governor Lincoln Chaffee, a strong supporter of marriage equality in Rhode Island, has already indicated that he will sign the measure once it reaches his desk.
After a months of debate and tempestuous demonstrations on both sides of the issue, French legislators approved civil marriage for same-sex couples, according to the Associated Press. From the report:
France legalized gay marriage on Tuesday after a wrenching national debate and protests that flooded the streets of Paris. Legions of officers and water cannon stood ready near France's National Assembly ahead of the final vote, bracing for possible violence on an issue that galvanized the country's faltering conservative movement. ...
France is the 14th country to legalize gay marriage.
All five of Rhode Island's Senate Republicans say that they unanimously support marriage equality, according to the Associated Press.
The Rhode Island Senate is scheduled to determine whether or not to advance legislation that would legalize civil marriage for same-sex couples today, Tuesday, April 23. According to AP:
The Senate Republican Caucus announced Tuesday that its members will support legislation allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. The senators cite their support for liberty and limited government and say same-sex couples deserve the same marriage rights as anyone.
While the GOP caucus only holds five of the Senate's 38 seats, its support is another indication of the growing support for gay marriage in Rhode Island, now the only New England state that doesn't allow gay marriage.
The bill has already passed the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee will decide Tuesday whether to forward the measure to the full Senate for a debate.
GLAAD held its 24th annual Media Awards in Los Angeles this past week and among the winners was former President Bill Clinton. Clinton, a somewhat controversial choice as he is the President who signed DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell into law, has since committed himself to "keep working on this until not only DOMA is no longer the law of the land, but until all people, no matter where they live, can marry the people they love."
Clinton went on to state, "I believe you will win the DOMA fight and I think you will win the constitutional right to marry, if not tomorrow, then the next day and the next day."
Clinton also touched on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- "We still need to pass that. From what you've seen tonight we still need to fight bullying and the right kind of immigration reform that doesn't discriminate against anybody," and on the recent proposal by the Boy Scouts of America to end their ban on gay scouts -- "We're about halfway home on that."
Clinton also took time to thank his daughter, Chelsea, citing that she has a "profound impact on the way I see the world... Chelsea and her gay friends and her wonderful husband have modeled to me the way we ought to all treat each other without regard to our sexual orientation or any other artificial difference that divides us."
More from Clinton’s speech:
"People who oppose equal rights for gays in the marriage sphere are basically acting out of concerns for their own identity not out of respect for anyone else. We are less racist, less sexist, for all the problems, we're far less homophobic than we used to be, but we have a new bigotry in America. Apparently, we don't want to be around anyone who disagrees with us about anything...Whenever we turn away from treating someone with the dignity and honor and respect we would want accorded to ourselves, we have to face the fact that it's about to us and we're afraid we wouldn't be us if we couldn't hold on to this, that, and the other little box that doesn't make any sense in a world we're all crashing together in."
"The whole story of the life of our country, of a more perfect union, is to widen the circle of opportunity, to strengthen and enhance the reach of freedom and cement the bonds of community as it gets ever more diverse. Don't you let anyone tell you otherwise. You have made this a better, a more interesting, and a more well-prepared country for the future. We need you fully-armed for the continued struggle for equality. You are the agents of change."
Stefanie Powers as Tallulah Bankhead in Looped (photo: courtesy Looped)
Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theater hosts 'Looped' through May 5.
NOTE: The following story is adapted from an article in the May/June 2013 issue of Boston Spirit magazine.
By Loren King
When the curtain went up on the current tour of Looped, Matthew Lombardo’s comedy about Tallulah Bankhead, it was a bittersweet moment for all.
Valerie Harper, who earned a Tony nomination when she starred in Looped on Broadway in 2010, was in the middle of a rehearsal for the current tour when Lombardo and the play’s director, Rob Ruggiero, who had also directed Harper in the Broadway production, realized something was wrong.
“She just wasn’t herself. She was forgetting lines, and this was a role she’d played hundreds of times,” recalls Lombardo. “She went to the hospital the following day and three days later we all found out it was brain cancer. It’s always difficult to see someone you love go through this, but Val is handling it with grace and courage.”
Tickets had been sold and theaters booked — Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theater hosts Looped April 30 to May 5 — so, with Harper’s unequivocal blessing, the show went on. Stefanie Powers, who had co-starred with Bankhead in the movie at the center of the play — 1965 camp classic Die! Die! My Darling! — stepped in to play Bankhead.FULL ENTRY