Archive for the ‘LGBT’ Category

Stars Angry Over Marriage Ban…

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Stars join the furor over gay marriage ban



Melissa Etheridge says she won’t pay taxes because, ‘I am not a full citizen’

The Associated Press
Nov. 7, 2008

LOS ANGELES – Thousands of protesters are angry about California’s ban on gay marriage — and so are the stars.


Many celebrities grieved the passing of Proposition 8 in California this week. Some — such as Wanda Sykes, Rose McGowan and Lance Bass — attended a Wednesday protest criticizing the state’s gay marriage ban. Others — like Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O’Donnell, Samantha Ronson and Melissa Etheridge — vented their frustrations online, on TV, and onstage.


Blocks away from the Thursday rally of more than 2,000 gay-rights advocates outside the gates of a Mormon temple, several stars — including James Cromwell, Patricia Clarkson, Anjelica Huston and Sean Penn — said they supported the protesters while walking the red carpet at the BAFTA L.A. Brittania Awards at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.


“I think it might be an idea to go out and join them shortly,” Penn said. “It was a shameful decision that was made.”   (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)



Saving Marriage…

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Saving Marriage



Produced and directed by John Henning and Mike Roth


When Massachusetts becomes the first state to recognize gay marriage, a constitutional amendment immediately emerges that would take that right away. Now, seasoned lobbyists and rookie activists are in the battle of their lives. The holy grail of gay rights is within reach, and their fight to save marriage will change forever how people – including them — view same-sex relationships. Civil rights history begins a new chapter in Massachusetts, and Saving Marriage is there on the scene as the drama unfolds.





Celebs Support ‘NO on Prop 8’…

Friday, October 17th, 2008

California gay marriage fundraiser reaches for stars


Thu Oct 16, 2008
By Alex Dobuzinskis


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Battling to save the right to same-sex marriage in what is expected to be a close state vote next month, California gay rights backers are turning to Hollywood celebrities for help at a major fundraiser.


Actress and singer Barbra Streisand is expected at the event on Tuesday and singers Melissa Etheridge and Mary J. Blige will perform, organizers said on Thursday.


Supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle will host the event at his Beverly Hills home (Green Acres), with a private $25,000-a-plate dinner. Among other entertainment figures planning to attend are actor/director Rob Reiner.


In recent weeks, director Steven Spielberg and actor Brad Pitt each donated $100,000 in support of the campaign to preserve the right to gay marriage.


The fundraiser comes as backers of same-sex marriage fight to stem a tide of support for Proposition 8, a November 4 ballot measure that seeks to define marriage under the California Constitution as only between a man and a woman.


A poll released last week by Survey USA showed 47 percent of Californians supported the measure, while 42 percent opposed it.


“We’re feeling very good about the surge in the campaign,” said Sonja Eddings Brown, a spokeswoman for Protect Marriage, the group advocating for a “Yes” vote on Proposition 8.


The “Yes” campaign has raised $25.4 million, compared with $15.8 million for those who wish to maintain the right to gay marriage.


In recent weeks, advocates of same-sex marriage have chided the Hollywood community for failing to contribute cash to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8.


But Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, said the fundraiser would show Hollywood’s support for same-sex marriage rights.


“Having support from Hollywood leaders who are visible, who reach a wide audience, is critical to our success,” Kors said.


“It’s always really scary when you’re being outspent 2 to 1 in an election, and when your rights are at stake and someone’s trying to take your rights away,” he added.


In recent days, opponents of same-sex marriage have stepped up their television advertising and warned voters that if Proposition 8 is defeated, children will be taught about gay marriage in elementary schools.


Gay-marriage supporters call that argument misleading.


In California, an estimated 11,000 same-sex couples have married since the state’s highest court in May overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage.


Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and actress Portia de Rossi wed in August in one the most high-profile same-sex unions. Etheridge has said she plans to marry girlfriend Tammy Lynn Michaels before November 4.


DeGeneres released an online video message this week urging California voters to strike down Proposition 8.


Gay and lesbian marriage was legalized last week in Connecticut, bringing to three the number of U.S. states that allow it. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant and Peter Cooney)



Matthew Shepard Anniversay…

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Fear, ignorance, hatred take lives of Shepard and King


Matthew Shepard


Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard. Ten years ago, on a cold October night on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming, the 21-year-old gay college student was brutally beaten, tied to a fence and left for dead. He was found 18 hours later and rushed to the hospital, where he lingered on the edge of death for nearly five days before succumbing to his injuries.  OFFICIAL WEBSITE



On the night of Oct. 6, 1998, a young man in Laramie, Wyo., was brutally beaten and then hogtied to a split-rail fence where he lay for more than 18 hours. The 21-year-old, who had been left to die, was Matthew Shepard.


Six days after the savage attack, Matthew died with his family by his side.


His death was a wake-up call. Many were appalled by the horrific, senseless nature of the crime. But as time passed, we forgot. We were lulled into complacency until last winter.


On Feb. 12, almost 10 years after Matthew’s death, our community was struck by a similar tragedy. Fifteen-year-old Lawrence King was shot in the head by a fellow classmate in his English class. Though doctors initially thought he would survive, he was declared brain dead the next day. Lawrence died two days later.


Although Wyoming and California are hundreds of miles apart, and these tragedies are separated by an entire decade, they are tied together by common threads.


Matthew was brutally killed for being gay. To justify their crime, his attackers said they were driven to violence after Matthew hit on them. Attorneys for Lawrence’s shooter have used a similar line of defense. According to friends and classmates, Lawrence told friends he was gay. He was sometimes harassed for his appearance. I was overwhelmed by the fact that such violence could take place right here in my own community. Hadn’t we learned our lesson after what happened to Matthew Shepard?


Lawrence King


The facts are still emerging in Lawrence’s case, but what is clear in both of these heartbreaking instances is that two lives were cut drastically short because of fear, ignorance and hatred. Neither Lawrence nor Matthew will have the opportunity to realize their dreams, to enjoy another Thanksgiving with their families, to watch a movie with friends, to pursue a career and find their places in the world.


These tragic deaths highlight the need for us to stand up and ensure young people feel safe in their schools and in their communities, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We must find a way to prepare teachers and parents to deal with school bullying and hate in our communities. We must ask ourselves, do we want to be responsible for creating an environment where gay and transgender youths live on the margins of society in fear, or do we want to lead the charge in fostering an environment where everyone is valued, accepted and nurtured?


As Californians who value fairness and just communities, we must resolve to put a stop to bias-motivated crimes and such vicious acts of intolerance. Implying that an openly gay victim shares responsibility for being attacked, or that an attack was justified because of an unwanted romantic or sexual advance, is totally unacceptable. We must focus on solutions, so that no family and no community is touched by this kind of violence and bigotry ever again. After another decade passes and we pause to remember the deaths of Matthew and Lawrence, I pray that we will live in place where no one is targeted for their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Jay Smith is executive director of the Ventura County Rainbow Alliance in Ventura.



Hollywood Challenge…

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

A challenge to Hollywood



By Tina Daunt
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 30, 2008


Ohio entrepreneur and political activist Jonathan Lewis on Tuesday challenged the entertainment industry to donate money to fight California’s Proposition 8, which would bar same-sex marriages.


“With election day six weeks away, we are concerned that the entertainment industry hasn’t stepped up to the plate to fight this unnecessary initiative,” Lewis said in a statement. “We are pleased to see the leadership of Brad Pitt and Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg. Now it’s time for the entertainment industry as a whole to take the lead.”


He added: “My family and I are issuing a $500,000 challenge to the entertainment industry. We will match the next half-million dollars that entertainment industry leaders contribute. This is an urgent time in the campaign, and we have to act now.”


So far, few in Hollywood have gotten involved in the anti-Proposition 8 campaign (Pitt and the Spielbergs have each donated $100,000).


Lewis said the match also applies to Florida’s Proposition 2, an initiative similar to California’s Proposition 8.



Stars Struggle with Coming Out…

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Hollywood stars still struggle with coming out



Days of Rock Hudson-style facades over, but discrimination still an issue

By Michael Ventre
MSNBC contributor

Even though, as Simon Cowell pointed out, discovering that Clay Aiken is gay is like “being told Santa Claus isn’t real,” apparently there are a few adults out there who still sit home on Christmas Eve hoping that St. Nick can navigate his way in foul weather.


Message boards devoted to the former American Idol runner-up included comments like, “This is really shocking news, as I had no idea he was gay” and “I feel numb I’m so upset; this can’t be real!”    (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)



Brad Pitt Supports Gay Marriage…

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Pitt donates $100,000 to support gay marriage



Actor fighting California initiative that would overturn same-sex marriages

The Associated Press
Wed., Sept. 17, 2008

Brad Pitt has donated $100,000 to fight California’s November ballot initiative that would overturn the state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.


It’s the first time voters will be asked to ban same-sex marriage in a state where gay couples already have won the right to wed. Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts and California.


“Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn’t harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8,” Pitt said Wednesday.


Trevor Neilson, Pitt’s political and philanthropic adviser, told The Associated Press that Pitt was surprised that his colleagues in the entertainment industry had not donated more money to support the battle against Proposition 8.


Earlier in the week, Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced they donated $2 million to help fight HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Ethiopia.



George Takei Marries…

Monday, September 15th, 2008


George Takei marries longtime partner



Star Trek stars Nichelle Nicols, left, and Walter Koenig, right, pose with Brad Altman, second from left, and George Takei at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Los Angeles on Sunday. Takei and Altman were married at the center. (Mario G. Reyes / AP)


‘Star Trek’ star, Brad Altman wed in multi-cultural ceremony


The Associated Press
Mon., Sept. 15, 2008

LOS ANGELESGeorge Takei and his longtime partner, Brad Altman, have agreed to live long and prosper together.


Takei, 71, and Altman, 54, were married Sunday in a multicultural ceremony at the Japanese American National Museum that featured a Buddhist priest, Native American wedding bands, a Japanese Koto harp and a bagpipe procession.   (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)



Ellen Weds Portia…

Sunday, August 17th, 2008


DeGeneres marries girlfriend




U.S. comedian and talk show host weds actress Portia de Rossi


August 17, 2008


U.S. comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres married her long-time partner, actress Portia de Rossi, at their home in Los Angeles on Saturday, according to People magazine.


DeGeneres, 50, and de Rossi, 35, exchanged handwritten vows in an intimate ceremony attended by 19 guests, a representative for the couple told the magazine.


The couple have been dating for about four years and have been open about their relationship, appearing at red carpet events in Hollywood together.


DeGeneres announced her plans to wed de Rossi, the former Ally McBeal actress, on her talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in May after California’s Supreme Court overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage.


DeGeneres made broadcast history in 1997 when her TV alter ego came out of the closet on her ABC sitcom Ellen, becoming the first openly gay lead character on U.S. prime-time network television.


She previously had a relationship with actress Anne Heche.