Wednesday, May 27, 2009
George and Laura Bush’s home at 10141 Daria Place may have never been officially listed for sale on the North Dallas real estate market, but that doesn’t mean its rooms never graced the pages of a sales brochure.
While most gawkers will have to settle for a view of the former president’s Preston Hollow palace from the distance of a Secret Service-guarded gate or via Google Maps, a recently discovered real estate brochure offers a rare glimpse inside the five-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bathroom ranch-style abode.
The home was renovated in 2005 by architect Paul Dickel and designer Nancy Leib and features custom doors and windows, ironwork, a library, a limestone fireplace, a gallery, a large play room, and a marble bath. It’s situated on 1.15 acres with a great view of a tree-filled 20-acre adjoining lot.
The 20-year-old's first feature won the Art Cinema Award, given by an international jury of independent cinema programmers and the SACD Prize for best French-language film.
Dolan also won the Regards Jeunes 2009 Prize, given to a first film by a jury of young cinephiles.
The remaining prize, the Europa Cinemas Label, was given to the Austrian movie La Pivellina by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel.
The Montrealer wrote and directed the coming-of-age movie, which is about a 16-year-old boy just discovering his gay sexuality and fighting with his mother, who constantly annoys him.
The film was one of the most talked about titles of the Directors' Fortnight -- a sidebar of the Cannes Film Festival -- and its first screening was greeted with a standing ovation.
Alameda School district leaders have approved lesson plans for kindergartners through fifth graders that aim to curb anti-gay bullying.
Trustees voted 3-2 on Tuesday to adopt the Safe Schools curriculum, which supporters say will help children of gay parents feel welcome at school and help end anti-gay teasing and bullying on the playground.
The lessons also aim to provide a safe environment for children to learn, as well as to offer a framework for teachers to break down stereotypes and teach kids about different types of families.
"The need for this is real," said Beth Kromer, a fourth-grade teacher at Ruby Bridges Elementary School.
Brian Harris, a 16-year-old student at the Alameda Community Learning Center, told trustees that he has been called anti-gay epithets on campus.
"I have been harassed by other students in the classroom and I have even begun to consider just stopping and giving up on life," Harris said.
Opponents of the curriculum said it would undercut parents' rights to teach their children about relationships and sexual orientation, and that it pushed a political agenda without addressing ways to help other groups who may be singled out at school.
"Civil unions are not a stage through which Australia must pass, but a mistake from which we must learn," Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Peter Furness told the Sydney Star Observer.
However, Rainbow Labor NSW spokesman Michael Vaughan believes there is broad community support for the idea and is working with ministers on moving it forward, but is also lobbying for full same-sex marriage rights as a first option.
A coalition of gay rights groups says a federal same-sex marriage lawsuit brought by two high-profile litigators is premature.
The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and other national organizations issued a statement Wednesday saying they think the U.S. Supreme Court is not ready to issue a favorable ruling on the issue.
The statement came the day after Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, who represented opposing sides in the 2000 Bush v. Gore challenge, announced they had filed a federal court challenge to California’s gay marriage ban.
Olson and Boies said the suit was filed on behalf of two gay men and two gay women.
Olson said that he hopes the case will wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction against California’s Proposition 8 until the case is resolved.
Gay rights activists in California want to win marriage back for same-sex couples by going back to voters.
The state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to uphold the gay marriage ban.
Happy Birthday: Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone turns 86 today. WNBC's Sue Simmons is turning 66. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is 86. Actor Paul Bettany is 38. TV Chef Jamie Oliver is 34. Actor Richard Schiff (The West Wing) is 54. Lou Gossett Jr. turns 73. And Todd Bridges from the 80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, turns 44 today.
Recent studies indicate that same-sex couples have greater levels of satisfaction in their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts due to better communication.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studied couples of the same sex and opposite sexes and discovered that, contrary to the beliefs of some, the relationships are very similar.
These findings will help bridge the gap between society's generalised views regarding the longevity and strength of gay partnerships, researchers believe.
Glenn Roisman, researcher and author of the study by the University of Illinois, told The Desert Sun: “If one is basing one's world view that same-sex couples are fundamentally different than opposite-sex pairs as being of an inferior quality, one is mistaken.”
In a three-year study of civil unions taking place in Vermont, Esther Rothblum, a professor of Women's Studies at San Diego State University, discovered that same-sex couples resolved conflict better than opposite-sex couples in committed relationships.
“Compared with heterosexual married participants, both types of same-sex couples reported greater relationship quality, compatibility and intimacy and lower levels of conflict,” the study reported. Those in same-sex relationships were found to balance out the responsibilities of both partners in their work and home life.
"President Barack Obama will be at the Beverly Hilton the evening of Wednesday, May 27th, for a DNC fundraiser. Let's take this opportunity, just one day after the CA Supreme Court makes its decision on Proposition 8, to show our President our support for his daring promise to our community and to highlight the growing movement towards FULL FEDERAL EQUALITY.
Join us at a rally at 6PM in front of the Beverly Hilton on Wednesday, May 27th.
At 7PM we will be joined by Lt. Dan Choi and other LGBT servicemen & women in opposition to Don't Ask Don't Tell. They will ask for response from President Obama to the letter signed by 136,000 people asking the president not to fire Lt. Choi by ending DADT.
Regardless of what decision comes down regarding Prop 8 it is time for us all to demand equality on all fronts for all people!
Sponsored by the Courage Campaign, Equality Network, Equal Roots Coalition, FAIR, Stonewall Democratic Club, White Knot."
6PM - Meet to rally
7PM - Program begins
Provincetown Art Association and Museum, (PAAM’s) Spring Consignment auction will be held Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 7pm. Join us for an exciting live auction of rare and vintage artwork. Complimentary admission. Telephone and absentee bidding available* Featuring works by Peter Busa, Oliver Chaffee, Herman Maril, Ross Moffett, Irving Marantz, William H. Littlefield, James Hansen, Taro Yamamoto, LaForce Bailey, Ferol Sibley Warthen, Bernard Simon, among others. A preview exhibition of available works opens at PAAM Friday, May 29 at 7pm. This event is free and open to the public, continuing through June 13th, at 5pm. *Consignors, telephone bidders and absentee bidders: please contact PAAM in advance to make necessary arrangements. PAAM presents annual live consignment auctions and preview exhibitions twice yearly. These events present works of art that may not otherwise be seen by the general public. Proceeds directly benefit the cultural initiatives of PAAM. For more Info: www.paam.org
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The bill was passed by the Legislature earlier this month, despite the threat.
In a statement Monday, Gibbons said domestic partnerships are essentially the same as marriage and that the bill conflicts with a constitutional amendment approved by Nevada voters in 2002 limiting marriage to a man and a woman. Gibbons statement said that only the voters should be able to amend or undo provisions of the constitution.
The bill, however, makes it clear that domestic partnerships does not equal marriage. It would have given domestic partners the “same rights, protections, benefits, responsibilities, obligations and duties” as traditionally married couples, including the same divorce laws, such as those involving community property.
AT&T, one of the biggest corporate sponsors of “American Idol,” influenced the outcome of this year’s competition by providing phones for free text-messaging services and lessons in casting blocks of votes at parties organized by christian Conservative fans of Kris Allen, the Arkansas singer who was the winner of the show last week.
American Idol Representatives of AT&T, whose mobile phone network is the only one that can be used to cast “American Idol” votes via text message, provided the free text-messaging services at two parties in Arkansas after the final performance episode of “American Idol” last week, according to the company and people at the events.
There were no similar efforts to provide free texting services to supporters of Adam Lambert, who finished as the runner-up to Mr. Allen.
Since then, angry supporters of Mr. Lambert have flooded online chat boards with messages claiming irregularities in the competition’s voting.
Officials of Fox Broadcasting declined to discuss the situation. In a statement issued Tuesday, a spokesman for AT&T said, “In Arkansas, we were invited to attend the local watch parties organized by the community. A few local employees brought a small number of demo phones with them and provided texting tutorials to those who were interested.”
In a bold move that takes a new approach to achieving marriage equality, two attorneys who argued opposing sides of the 2000 Bush v. Gore lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court have filed a challenge to Proposition 8 in federal court.
Theodore B. Olson, the U.S. solicitor general from 2001 to 2004 under President George W. Bush, and David Boies, a high-profile trial lawyer who argued on behalf of former vice president Al Gore, filed the suit May 22 in U.S. district court on behalf of two California gay couples.
The attorneys argue that relegating same-sex couples to domestic partnerships instead of granting them full marriage rights is a violation of the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Olson said he was contacted several months ago by representatives of an association called the American Foundation for Equal Rights about his willingness to represent the two couples named in the suit.
“For a long time I’ve personally felt that we are doing a grave injustice for people throughout this country by denying equality to gay and lesbian individuals,” Olson said in an interview with The Advocate. “The individuals that we represent and will be representing in this case feel they’re being denied their rights. And they’re entitled to have a court vindicate those rights.”
When pressed about his service with the Bush administration, which in 2004 endorsed an amendment to the U.S. constitution that would prohibit same-sex marriage, Olson said he was personally against the amendment at the time, though he made no public statements on the matter.
As for the timing of the suit, Olson said that recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court “make it clear that individuals are entitled to be treated equally under the Constitution. I’m reasonably confident that this is the right time for these [injustices] to be vindicated.”
Olson, Boies, and other attorneys working on the suit are being compensated by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, Olson said his law firm and others also are contributing resources pro bono.
He's the perpetual bachelor who's yet to find a woman who can make an honest man out of him, but ladykiller Colin Farell is set to walk down the aisle - as the best man at his gay brother's wedding.
The Hollywood star's brother Eamon Farrell, who will be marrying partner Steven Mannion in front of a host of family and friends at a European hotspot this summer, has revealed that Colin may play the key role at his upcoming nuptials.
An aide of the Archbishop of Cardiff has claimed that gay men are the main perpetrators of paedophilia in the Catholic Church.
In the wake of recent exposures of widespread cases of paedophilia within the Catholic church, controversy has been renewed by Father John Owen.
Speaking on BBC1's Big Questions programme on Sunday, the communications officer for the archdiocese of Cardiff stated that "most of the offences are being committed by homosexuals".
Father Owen, also a chaplain at Cardiff University, said that teenage boys were the group affected by the “majority” of abuse cases in the United Kingdom, adding: "Now what does that tell you? Now that is a fact."
The ruling angered many on both sides in the crowd. Conservatives said that the court should have invalidated the 18,000 marriages, while LGBT supporters said the ruling creates two classes of gay citizens in the state.
The group Marriage Equality will hold solidarity marches in communities across California tonight. Similar marches will be held in other cities across the country.
The effort to legalize same-sex marriage for all Californians now rests with two groups preparing voter measures to overturn Prop 8 in 2010.
The California Secretary of State has given the group Yes on Equality until Aug. 17 to collect the nearly 700,000 signatures needed to qualify its initiative for the 2010 ballot. It would ask voters to repeal Prop 8. The other, by two college students, would strike the word “marriage” from all state laws.
Prop 8 was passed by voters in November by a slim 52 percent. The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights immediately filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the November Prop 8 vote. They were joined by additional suits by the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles and a legal opinion by California Attorney General Jerry Brown.
For the court there were three issues to be determined: Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution; Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution; and If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the 18,000 marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8.
Although the court split 6-1 on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the justices were unanimous in deciding to keep intact the marriages of as many as 18,000 gay couples who exchanged vows before the election. The marriages began last June, after a 4-3 state high court ruling striking down the marriage ban last May.In an opinion written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, the state high court ruled today that the November initiative was not an illegal constitutional revision, as gay rights lawyers contended, nor unconstitutional because it took away an inalienable right, as Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown argued.Only Justice Carlos R. Moreno, the court's sole Democrat, wanted Proposition 8 struck down as an illegal constitutional revision.
President Obama said he will meet with Nevada Governor Gibbons at the airport when he flies into town.
Gibbons responded by saying in part, "I am not interested in a handshake and a hello from President Obama."
Federal jurist Sotomayor would become the first Latino member of the high court. The president calls his nominee 'inspiring' and says he wants a justice with 'a common touch.'
President Obama today nominated federal judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York for the Supreme Court, positioning the longtime federal jurist to become the first Latino and only the third woman on the nation's highest court.
Sotomayor became a judge on the federal district court for the Southern District of New York in 1991 and was elevated to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1998.
Monday, May 25, 2009
In eastern Alsace France, up a winding road from the village of Natzwiller, the Nazis built a labor camp, Natzweiler-Struthof, the only concentration camp on French soil. The inmates originally were German who were to supply labor for building V-2 factories in man-made caves dug out of the Vosges Mountains. The prisoners would live in the cold, damp tunnels as they built them.
1943 - Natzweiler-Struthof was expanded by the Nazis with the installation of a gas chamber and crematory for the mass killing of Jews, Gypsies, and gays from Holland, Belgium, and France.
Under Paragraph 175 of the German legal code, male homosexuality was punished by confinement to concentration camps, but not female lesbianism. After 1943, male homosexuals were forced to wear a pink triangle and were sent to the death camps.
Gays were continually exposed to the terror of the SS but also the latent prejudices of the rest of the camp population. The culminating points of their maltreatment in Buchenwald were the use of homosexuals in experiments to develop immunization against typhus fever and the attempt by an SS doctor to ''cure'' homosexuality through the implantation of sexual hormones.
The Americans did not repeal Paragraph 175 (the Nazi law that allowed for the confinement of gays) and while Allied Forces liberated all the surviving camp prisoners with one exception, homosexual inmates. They were relocated from the camps to other prisons. (SS doctors tried to cure gays by forced experiments. History does seem to repeat itself at least in some churches. Wonder if they studied the Nazi's findings when coming up with their "little experiments?"
Alan Turing was the inspirational mathematician at the heart of Bletchley Park's codebreaking successes during World War II. Historians agree that the work of the codebreakers at Bletchley Park effectively helped to shorten the war by two years and saved tens of thousands of lives.
Alan Turing arrived at Bletchley Park, the site of secret British codebreaking activities during WWII and birthplace of the modern computer, in September 1939 and was soon pursuing his idea of building a machine that would break the Enigma key. He became head of the small Naval Enigma team in Hut 8 and contributed greatly to the breaking of the German Naval Enigma. By August 1940, Turing, together with his friend and colleague, Gordon Welchman, had brought the idea of an Enigma codebreaking machine to fruition with the construction of the Turing-Welchman Bombe, which speeded up the process of breaking into the daily Enigma keys.
In 1952, Turing was convicted of having a sexual relationship with another man, to which he made no defence other than to say he saw nothing wrong in his actions. Turing was sentenced to chemical castration. The conviction robbed him of his security clearance for GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters, a British intelligence agency
General Dwight D. Eisenhower received some unsettling news while he was in occupied Germany after World War II. There were, he was told, a significant number of lesbians in his Women's Army Corps (WAC) command. He called in Sgt. Johnnie Phelps and ordered her to get a list of all the lesbians in the battalion. "We've got to get rid of them," he barked. Phelps said she'd check into it. But, she told the general, "when you get the list back, my name's going to be first." Eisenhower's secretary then interrupted. "Sir, if the general pleases, Sergeant Phelps will have to be second on the list, because mine will be first." Dumbfounded, Ike realized he'd lose many of his key personnel if he persisted. "Forget that order," he told Phelps.
This documentary was an entry in National History Day 2008 by Tucker Jepson. The topic was Conflict and Compromise in History.
"I was lucky to meet and interview so many great sources who were generous with their time. I made it to States, but did not get picked to go to the Nationals. My teacher says I was "robbed"! I think the judges may have been biased about my subject matter. What do you think? All comments welcome."
Johnny Symons' ASK NOT, a documentary that explores the effects of the United States military's "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy on gay and lesbian soldiers and service members as well as its effects on the military and national security, will air nationally on the PBS series INDEPENDENT LENS on: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 10PM
(check local listings)
Alan Greg Rogers (September 21, 1967 – January 27, 2008) was an ordained pastor, a U.S. Army Major and Intelligence Officer, a civil rights activist in the gay, lesbian and bisexual military community and the first known gay combat fatality of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The subsequent coverage of his death in the media sparked a debate over the effect of the military's "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" (DADT) policy and what information should be included in the biography of a gay military person killed in action.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Best Videography Tony Dimarco, THE DRIFTER (Raging Stallion Studios)
Best Porn Star Blog DieselWashingtonXXX.com
Best Box Cover BLACK MEAT, WHITE HEAT (All Worlds Video)
Best Versatile Performer Dean Flynn
Wall of Fame Robert Van Damme SpikeT roy Prickett, Director of Promotions, Falcon Studios Steve Jerome, Producer/Director, Dirty Bird Pictures
Best Screenplay Doug Jeffries, BLACK MEAT, WHITE HEAT
Best Fetish Film FOLSOM PRISON (Titan Media)
Best Fetish Film—Extreme FISTING RANCH HANDS (Red Eagle Films)
Best International Film INDECENT PROPOSALS (Falcon International)
Best Solo Performance Damien Crosse, TO THE LAST MAN (Raging Stallion Studios)
Best Web-Based Porn SiteCocky Boys.com
Best Ethnic FilmBLACK BALLED 6: UNDER THE HOOD (All Worlds)
Best Art Direction FUNHOUSE (Titan Media)
Best Twink Film JUST THE SEX 2 (Prodigy Pictures/Dirty Bird Pictures)
Maleflixxx.tv’s People’s Choice Award JOCK STRAP (Hot House Entertainment)
Hottest Cock—Cut Tyler Saint
Hottest Cock—Uncut Antonio Biaggi
Hottest Cum Scene BLACK BALLED 6: UNDER THE HOOD: Scott Alexander, Christopher Ashlee, Eddie Diaz, Aarin Driver, Ian Rock, Markus Ram, Derek Reynolds, Aron Ridge, Dylan Saunders.
Best Comedy Film PAGING DR. FINGER (Hot House Entertainment)
Best Porn Star Website SteveCruzXXX.com
Best Rimming Scene EXCESS (Rascal Video): Cort Donovan, Turk Mason & Blake Riley
Best Still Photographer Mick Hicks
Best Threeway Sex Scene TO THE LAST MAN: Logan McCree, Scott Tanner, Ricky Sinz
Best Supporting Actor Scott Tanner, TO THE LAST MAN
Best Duo Sex Scene TIE: BEST MEN 2: THE WEDDING PARTY (Falcon Studios): Zeb Atlas & Adam Killian TIE: THE DRIFTER: Vinnie D’Angelo & Logan McCree
Best Director Tony Dimarco, Ben Leon & Chris Ward: TO THE LAST MAN
Best Bottom Brent Corrigan
Best Newcomers (two winners)Kyle King Cameron Marshall
Best Group Sex Scene ENDGAME (Dirty Bird Pictures): Cort Donovan, Chad Hunt, Nash Lawler & Phenix Saint
Best Actor Logan McCree, THE DRIFTER
Performer of the Year (two winners)Steve CruzDiesel Washington
Best All-Sex Film BLACK BALLED 6: UNDER THE HOOD
Lifetime Achievement Steven Scarborough
Best Movie THE DRIFTER
(Photo Endgame, Said to be one of the best deserved awards of the night!, We agree, a MUST watch. Buy it today!)
Part of a new site called Pope2You, the app allows facebooking Catholics to send each other virtual postcards featuring pictures and sayings of the former Nazi Benedict XVI.
Pope2You also offers a papal wiki, a link to the new Vatican YouTube channel, and an iPhone app that lets users receive updates on papal pronouncements. The Vatican made clear that the holy father himself would not have a Facebook profile.
Though the Vatican has had its own website for almost a decade, Pope2You is the result of a papal call put out back in March to engage the digital generation. Don't expect a Tweet from the pope anytime soon. The new site, which is fronted by two videos of the former Nazi Benedict, has already drawn concern that the pope will be "lowering" himself by including the YouTube channel. In response, an archbishop explained that Benedict XVI's intention is to be "where people meet." (lowering himself by being on you tube??? Unlike those that lowered themselves onto young boys??? Tell me father, which is lower?)
You are invited to the following events:
"1. Prayer Service on the EVE of Decision Day – Monday, May 25Grace Cathedral (1100 California Street San Francisco), 7:00 – 8:30 pmThe night before the announcement of the CA Supreme Court’s decision, we invite the Bay Area community to come for an evening of songs and meditation that will center our hearts on peace, healing and understanding.2. Service/Blessing on Decision Day – Tuesday, May 26St. Francis Lutheran Church (152 Church St. San Francisco, across from Castro Safeway), 8:30 – 9:15 amThe morning of the decision, we invite the Bay Area community to come for encouraging music and words from community leaders, testimonies from married couples and blessings for those who will be doing civil disobedience. We will march in a procession from the church to Civic Center Plaza. Some people will join the march from the LGBT Center on Market and Octavia.
NOTE: We request clergy to come in their religious garb as appropriate for their tradition. Please come at 8:00am to prepare.CONTACT: Rev. Roland Stringfellow at email@example.com.
Circle of Care – Tuesday, May 26, Civic Center PlazaIf Proposition 8 is upheld, we will surround those who are willing to be arrested in civic disobedience as we sing, and move aside as they are arrested.Marriage is not just a nice idea for some. To deny it is a form of bashing. On Decision Day, a group of people will participate in civil disobedience if the Supreme Court upholds Prop 8. In partnership with an interfaith group of clergy, we'll do a peaceful street blockade with the message SEPARATE IS NOT EQUAL!We're looking for people to participate in this action with us, and for friends who will support us as peacekeepers and legal observers. For more information, please email action at onestruggleonefight.com."