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Celebrities and gay rights


Edie Windsor on “Her Love Affair With the Gay Community”

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Edie and TheaToday, in honor of the three-year anniversary of marriage equality in her home state of New York, Marriage Equality USA is proud to release the final part of Edie Windsor: In Her Own Words, a multi-part series of interviews with LGBTQ icon and longtime MEUSA member Edie Windsor.

Today also celebrates the three-year anniversary of marriage equality in Edie’s home state of New York

“When Stonewall happened, I was really this ignorant middle class lady who said ‘I don’t see why I have to be identified with those queens.’ — I mean those queens changed my life. And I saw them and I loved what I saw. ” ~ Edie Windsor

In this last segment Edie talks about trying to protect her family through Thea’s declining health, how she first met with attorney Robbie Kaplan, and how she continued to break the rules (not surprisingly) even on the eve of her Supreme Court victory.

“I was moved by Edie’s final thoughts on her perspective of her journey and I’m in awe of her legacy to the LGBTQ community!” commented MEUSA Executive Director Brian Silva.

Each of these videos, the final being released today, explores Edie’s life through her own words as she relates her story to her friend and MEUSA colleague, Cathy Marino-Thomas. From how she met Thea and got to know the LGBTQ world during their early days together, through their struggle to get married, and eventually to the DOMA case and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Edie Windsor: In Her Own Words – PART 1 (June 26)
Edie Windsor: In Her Own Words – PART 2 (July 10)

Edie Windsor Talks About Love and Workplace Struggles in Second Part of Video Series

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Edie and TheaMarriage Equality USA is proud to release Part 2 in of Edie Windsor: In Her Own Words, a multi-part series of interviews with LGBTQ icon and longtime MEUSA member Edie Windsor.

In this segment Edie recounts her life before and after the Stonewall uprising and her long and “persistent” courtship of her late wife Thea. Her honest portrayal of what it was like to be queer in the workforce during this time is especially poignant considering the current debate around LGBTQ workplace discrimination issues and the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Each of these videos, the first being released today with others to follow throughout July, explores Edie’s life through her own words as she relates her story to her friend and MEUSA colleague, Cathy Marino-Thomas. From how she met Thea and got to know the LGBTQ world during their early days together, through their struggle to get married, and eventually to the DOMA case and the Supreme Court of the United States.

See Part 1 of This Video Series Here

Michael Sam Officially Signed by St. Louis Rams

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Michael SamIt’s official – the NFL has its first openly gay player.

On Top Magazine reports:

The St. Louis Rams have signed Michael Sam, making him the NFL’s first openly gay player. NFL.com reported that the Rams have signed all 11 players it drafted last month. “Grateful, humbled, and motivated after officially signing with all my Rams rookie brothers,” Sam tweeted Thursday to his more than 161,000 followers. “Let’s do this!” The 24-year-old All-American defensive end from Missouri was picked in the final round of the NFL draft.

Congrats to Sam – may he be the first of many.

Transgender Actress Laverne Cox Featured on Time Cover

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Transgender Actress Laverne Cox

A figurative and literal step forward as transgender actress Laverne Cox is featured this week on the cover of Time Magazine.

Think Progress reports:

Time Magazine has declared that society has reached a “transgender tipping point,” offering up a new feature that includes an extensive “Transgender 101” article covering the gamut of issues affecting the trans community, a photo essay of transgender individuals, and a personal interview with Laverne Cox, the openly trans actress who stars in Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black. The cover story and its other components comprise what is perhaps the most positive and in-depth representation of transgender life experiences ever presented in mainstream print media.

Kudos to Time Magazine for shining a spotlight on this great actress and activist, and on transgender rights issues in general.

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USA: 47% Disapproved of Michael Sam Kiss

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Michael Sam kissA new poll shows a surprisingly high level of disapproval for the the Michael Sam kiss that aired during the NFL draft.

Towleroad.com reports:

According to the new poll, 60 percent of Americans said they would approve of their favorite sports team signing an openly gay player, while 20 percent said they would disapprove. Among NFL fans in particular, 65 percent said they would approve and 21 percent said they would disapprove. Forty-four percent of Americans, and 47 percent of NFL fans, said they would strongly approve… But although most Americans approve of gay players in theory, many are less comfortable with the reality. Male athletes kissing their wives or girlfriends is routine territory for networks covering victory and other sporting celebrations, but coverage of Sam’s kissing his boyfriend after he was drafted has generated controversy. Forty-seven percent in the new poll said it was “inappropriate” for networks to show the kiss, while only 36 percent said it was “appropriate.” Seventeen percent said they weren’t sure.

Which just goes to show that while we’ve won many hearts and minds over to the theory of marriage equality, we still have a lot of work to do.

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Why Did Michael Sam Fall So Far in the Draft?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Michael Sam kissI was thrilled to see Michael Sam become the first openly gay player drafted into the National Football League (NFL). The coverage of his emotional response, including kissing his boyfriend, was tremendous. I remain skeptical, though, of the idea that his sexual orientation didn’t hurt him in the draft.

You’ve probably heard the current narrative. Sam was too small to be a lineman, and too slow to be a linebacker. His selection in the seventh round was appropriate for his football prowess, given a poor showing at the combine. The St. Louis Rams were the perfect landing spot given their proximity to Sam’s alma mater, the University of Missouri, and seasoned seen-it-all coach Jeff Fisher.

It’s a great story, because it pleases almost everyone. Choosing the gay home town kid makes the Rams the toast of both the town and LGBT football fans nationwide. The NFL gets to show tolerance and remain the ultimate meritocracy. LGBT advocates can praise the move without murmurs of special rights or privileges.

Authored By Joel Trambley – See the Full Story at LGBT Weekly

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Drag Queen Wins Eurovision

Sunday, May 11th, 2014


At the about the same time Michael Sam was being drafted into the NFL, a bearded drag queen won Eurovision.

O-blog-dee-o-blog-da reports:

Congratulations Queen Conchita the Eurovision winner for Austria’s victory – its a first in 48 years! And she won despite Ukraine and Russian attempts to ban the bearded drag artist. The 2014 Eurovision Song Contest has been won by Austria and Conchita Wurst. Her entry ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’ stormed to victory picking up a multitude of ‘douze points’ from across the continent. Austria won the Eurovision Song Contest with 290 points, a winning margin of 52 over second placed Netherlands with 238 and Sweden were third.

The world is changing faster than we know.

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UK: Same-Sex Marriage Dawns, Equality Fight Continues

Sunday, April 6th, 2014
Warren Hartley and Kieran Bohan sign the Schedule of Civil Partnership at Ullet Unitarian Church in Liverpool

FIRST FOR EQUALITY: My partner and I become legally recognised as a couple on May 6th 2012 – the first time a civil partnership was registered in a place of worship in the UK.
PHOTO: Simply Perfection

THE CLOCKS WENT FORWARD in the UK last weekend, in more ways than one. The official start of British Summer Time with daylight saving coincided with the legalisation of same-sex marriages in England and Wales. So began an extraordinary week for LGBT equality.

On Saturday March 29th, lesbian and gay couples around the country vied to be the first to be legally married, with several timing their services as close to midnight as possible:

NEWS: Same-sex marriage now legal as first couples wed

An estimated 70 couples across England and Wales took advantage of the change in law on Saturday, and the media was filled with mostly positive portrayals of this landmark for equality.

A BBC survey revealed that 80% of people would attend a gay wedding if invited (though their headline focussed on the negative responses:

NEWS: Gay weddings: ‘Fifth of Britons would turn down invitation’

Twitter feeds filled with supportive messages from celebrities. Actor and comedian Les Dennis tweeted:

Sadly it was not all good news.

Click to continue »

A Week of Celebrity Same Sex Proposals and Weddings

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Gay Wedding CakeWe had quite a week for same sex proposals and weddings this week.

Grey’s Anatomy actor T.R. Knight married his partner.

Towleroad.com reports:

Former Grey’s Anatomy actor T.R. Knight married his boyfriend Patrick on Friday, US Weekly reports: “It [was] very small and quiet,” an insider reveals to Us. One of the more famous faces to attend? Knight’s former ABC costar and close friend Katherine Heigl flew in for the ceremony, the source says. No other details on the fete were immediately available.

Over in Massachusetts, an openly gay Carl Sciortino married his partner Saturday.

The Washington Blade reports:

A gay Massachusetts politician vying to win an upcoming special congressional election married his partner of more than five years on Saturday in a ceremony he says reflects the progress of the LGBT rights movement. State Rep. Carl Sciortino, who’s seeking to represent Massachusetts’ 5th congressional district in the U.S. House, wed his partner of more than five years, Pem Brown, a consultant for non-profit communications, in Boston at the Old South Meeting House.

At Disneyland, Dot Jones, who plays Coach Shannon Biest on Glee, proposed to her partner.

Dot429 reports:

Dot-Marie Jones, who plays Coach Shannon Beiste on Fox’s “Glee,” proposed to her longtime girlfriend Bridgett Casteen at Disneyland’s Anaheim Gay Days on Friday, October 5, 2013. This is Jones’s first marriage, and her fiancée’s second walk down the aisle. The proposal took place, Disney fairytale-style, in front of the Sleeping Beauty castle. “It’s the happiest day of my life,” the 49-year old Emmy nominee told The Advocate. “I never thought I’d find someone that is so loving and kind.”

Congratulations to all the happy couples!

About That Modern Family Wedding

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Modern Family ProposalThe fifth-season premiere of ABC’s Modern Family featured a marriage proposal that wouldn’t have been possible only months ago. But in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision allowing same-sex marriage in California, producers of the Emmy-winning comedy knew the time was right for its gay couple, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), to take the plunge. Here, Jeffrey Richman — one of the 20th Television-produced comedy’s two openly gay writer-producers — reveals to The Hollywood Reporter’s Lacey Rose in his own words the emotional process of writing Wednesday night’s landmark episode…

We hadn’t really talked about Mitch and Cam getting married until DOMA and Prop 8 came onto our radar when we got back to work in the middle of May. We don’t usually do California-centric stories — and while we don’t really identify where the characters live, we knew we weren’t going to send them to another state to get married and they weren’t going to have a fake commitment ceremony. We’d avoided that for four seasons. Mitch and Cam have been in a relationship for eight years, they already are a family and they have a daughter, so there needed to be a reason for them to get married. This became the “why now.”

When it actually looked like [same-sex marriage] might become legal, it seemed like we could really make something of that. Then it sort of gathered momentum because it wouldn’t just be a one-off story. It would give us episodes leading up to a wedding, and we’re so hungry for stories. You could see a bachelor party, you could see a party planner, you could see so many things. We spent a lot of time and energy breaking the first story and arcing out potential other stories and then trying to find out, by whatever means we could, how close to being real this was. We were very ahead of ourselves and so enamored by the story arc and the idea that we went way out on a limb.

Authored By Lacey Ross – See the Full Story at the Hollywood Reporter

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