Saturday, August 07, 2010

News & Pop Culture Round-Up

  • Harry Hamlin opens up about his gay role in the groundbreaking 1982 movie, Making Love.
  • Mexican court upholds capital's gay marriage law!
  • Openly gay gold medallist swimmer Mark Tewskbury appointed the chef de mission for Canada at the 2012 London Olympics.

    Historic: Judge overturns California's same-sex marriage ban
    Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Wednesday that the voter-approved ban was unconstitutional. Proposition 8 outlawed gay marriages in California, five months after they were legalized by the state's Supreme Court. The proposition was approved by 52 per cent of California voters in a referendum and passed by the state legislature. Proposition 8 "fails to advance any rational basis for singling out gay men and women," Walker wrote in his ruling. "[This law] does nothing more than enshrine … that opposite-sex couples are superior." The ruling is significant in that it's the first such ruling in a federal court. Numerous states have supported or challenged the legality of same-sex marriages on a state level, but Walker's ruling in a federal court opens the door to the issue eventually being appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. "This ruling upholds that a government of the people, by the people and for the people cannot discriminate against the people," said Chad Griffin, one of the plaintiffs. The ruling will almost certainly be appealed, which supporters on both sides of the issue had pledged to do if the court ruled against them. (CBC)

  • California Gov. Schwarzenegger: 'Let same-sex weddings resume now'
    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who twice vetoed legislation that would have legalized same-sex marriage, has surprised gay rights supporters by urging a federal judge to allow gay couples to resume marrying in the state without further delay. Lawyers for Schwarzenegger, Attorney General Jerry Brown and the city of San Francisco all filed legal motions Friday asking Chief U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker to implement his ruling striking California's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. READ MORE

    Gay B.C. teen heartbroken after church tells her to ditch Pride work
    Tory Inglis, a 17-year-old gay teenager from New Westminster, B.C., says she's heartbroken after the minister of her church called her a poor role model for posing for a newspaper photograph for the city s first-ever Pride celebration. "Basically, they told me that I wasn't being a positive role model for the youth in the church and the younger children, and that I was promoting a sexual lifestyle," Tory said. "I was one of the leaders of the junior youth group, and it's not like every week I went up in front of the youth and said, 'All right, let's talk about how I'm gay this week.'" She knew the church was against gay marriage, but said she didn't think her posing for the photograph would create such a stir. READ MORE

    Isiah Thomas & son, Joshua, support equality
    "Isiah Thomas and his son Joshua, a DJ, have posed for the NOH8 Campaign, adding their support to the fight for same-sex marriage and equality for all. The NOH8 Campaign was started in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8 in California in 2008 — the same Prop 8 that was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge this week. Obviously, the more people that make their support for equality known, the better. But when the support comes from a member of basketball’s Hall of Fame, it deserves a little extra attention. (

    Reykjavik's mayor opens Pride in drag
    The mayor of Reykjavik has opened the city's Pride celebrations in drag. Jon Gnarr, who was a comedian before he became the mayor, kicked off festivities last night dressed in a blonde wig, floral dress and red lipstick. He told the crowds: "I am here in the absence of Mayor Gnarr as he is too busy to attend. I wonder if he is still in Moomin Valley [Gnarr recently visited Finland, where the children's fiction The Moomins is set]. READ MORE

    Two N.J. libraries yank gay-themed book
    The gay-themed book Revolutionary Voices, an anthology of first-person works by youths in New Jersey, has been quietly pulled from library shelves in Burlington County, N.J., and a high school, when an employee asked why the award-winning book was being removed, the response was, "Child pornography." READ MORE

    Venue change sought in Larry King Murder Trial
    Larry King
    Attorneys for a teen accused of murdering a gay classmate have asked a Ventura County judge for a change of venue. Defense lawyers say their client, Brandon McInerney, can't get a fair trial in Ventura County, in part because of pre-trial publicity. Judge Charles Campbell will hear the motion on Aug. 23. McInerney is charged with murdering 15-year-old Larry King in February 2008. McInerney's attorneys recently lost a bid to recuse Campbell, arguing the judge wasn't fair with his rulings that favored prosecutors. They have said they aren't ready to go to trial and still need to interview witnesses. (

    Target apologizes for backing anti-gay Republican for Minnesota governor
    The head of Target Corp. apologized Thursday over a political donation to a business group backing a conservative Republican for Minnesota governor, which angered some employees and sparked talk of a customer boycott. Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel wrote employees to say the discount retailer was "genuinely sorry" over the way a $150,000 contribution to MN Forward donation played out. Steinhafel said Target would set up a review process for future political donations. READ MORE

    Target discovers downside to political contributions
    On Friday, hundreds of gay-rights supporters demonstrated outside Target stores in locations nationwide, and a petition promising a boycott, signed by more than 240,000, was delivered to Target.

    Legendary comedienne Carol Burnett to guest star on "Glee"
    How's this for a brilliant bit of TV casting? Legendary comedienne Carol Burnett has signed on to play Sue Sylvester's mother in a guest stint when Glee returns this Fall. According to Sue, her mother was a fearless Nazi-hunter (of course she was), which makes her sound just as frightening — and perfect — as the Sylvester matriarch. There aren't any story details for the character yet, but do you really need them? I just can't wait to see their predictably hilarious rapport, and I'm wondering if Burnett and Jane Lynch will get to sing a duet together. (Buzzsugar)

    Rosie O'Donnell to host a talk show on Oprah's new network
    Oprah Winfrey announced the show Thursday, calling O'Donnell a true original who brings passion to everything she does. O'Donnell hosted a syndicated series, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" from 1996 to 2002 and won six Emmy Awards for it. The OWN network says viewers can expect "a fun, uplifting show with Ms. O'Donnell's playful and energetic style." O'Donnell told The Associated Press in March that she was planning an uplifting talk show that would make a difference in people's lives and build on what Winfrey has done with her show. (AP)

    Lady Gaga admits taking cocaine ‘occasionally’
    Lady Gaga has admitted that she takes cocaine, describing her usage as "occasional". In an interview with US magazine Vanity Fair, the singer divulged that she used the drug "maybe a couple of times a year". However, the 24-year-old Poker Face singer discouraged her fans from copying her. She said: "I do not want my fans to ever emulate that or be that way." The star has previously admitted to having a serious drug habit before she was famous. Last year, she told The Observer that she did "bags and bags of cocaine" as a struggling artist in New York, but quit after being confronted by her father. "I was able to stop, because I was panicking more on the drugs than I was sober," she said at the time. "So I'm fine now." (BBC)

    Pop singer, Justin Timberlake to play gay
    Justin Timberlake, 29, will voice a gay character in an episode of Fox's cartoon comedy The Cleveland Show. "Terry [voiced by Jason Sudeikis] falls in love with a guy voiced by Justin," show creator Rich Appel told Us Weekly during Comic-Con in San Diego. "Justin is just hysterical!" The Cleveland Show airs Sundays on Fox; Timberlake's episode airs in February. (US)

    'Bachelor' Jake Pavelka hits back at gay claims
    Former Bachelor star Jake Pavelka has dismissed speculation that he is gay. The airline pilot was the subject of homosexual rumors following his split from fiancée Vienna Girardi in June, after she accused him of refusing to be "intimate" with her during their relationship. Speaking on ABC's The View [watch video below], he said: "There was a lack of intimacy [with Vienna] because our problems were so heavy. I can't separate love and intimacy - I guess that's the Southern guy in me - and apparently that makes me gay." The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck then asked if he was gay, prompting him to reply: "It's not true, I'm not. One of my best friends is gay. I can't see how someone can look at you and not be completely attracted." The View co-host, Sherri Shepherd then joked that Hasselbeck is married, to which Pavelka said: "That doesn't make you any less attractive!" Pavelka also revealed that he and Girardi have not spoken to each other for over a month. (Digitalspy)