Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man accused of inventing a fake girl as part of an elaborate hoax played on Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o is now claiming to be a “recovering homosexual.”
Tuiasosopo allegedly impersonated a female named Lennay Kekua and embarked on a three year relationship with Te’o which resulted in Te’o referring to Kekua as his “girlfriend” on many occasions.
Appearing on the Dr. Phil show Tuiasosopo was asked if he is gay. "I asked him, straight up, was this a romantic relationship with you?" said Dr. Phil "And he says, 'yes.' I then said, are you then, therefore, gay? He says, 'Well, when you put it that way, yes.' And then, he caught himself and said, 'I am confused.'"
Tuiasosopo went on to say, “You’ve heard of recovering drug addicts? It takes a lot of courage to stand and say that. To recover from homosexuality and this type of thing. Not only that, coming back to your real life, as hard as a task as that is I’m going to do all that I can to live right.”
According to excerpts released from the show Tuiasosopo also discussed his “confused” sexual identity and said that he "fell deeply, romantically in love" Te’o over the course of their relationship.
Tuiasosopo also stated that Te’o played absolutely no part in the hoax and was unaware that Kekua was not, in fact, a real female.
The Standard Spa Miami
As the cold weather is expected to hit the Hub again, Boston style maven Ricardo Rodriguez shares the secrets of warm Miami, as divulged by his friend, Southern Florida insider and style maven Louis Aguirre
Note: Fabulous videos that accompany this story can be accessed here.
By Ricardo Rodriguez
Forget what you think you know, these days Miami is much more than just a beachside resort town. The party still rages, but it’s the art and design scene that rage stronger and have transformed Miami into one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan cities in the world. Once known as the gateway to Latin America, now Miami is the gateway to the world, as people from all over the globe have rediscovered this tropical slice of paradise.
So I recruited the help of my dear friend Louis Aguirre to help us build the chicest, most amazing insider guide to this exciting new Miami. And he definitively knows best. Louis is the host of the popular South Florida entertainment TV show Deco Drive and an actor appearing on hit shows like Sex and the City, JAG, and Burn Notice. His newest project LouisList.com is a perfectly curated video insider guide to the city.
So now that the winter is in full force you might want to plan a little escape. Go ahead. This is his Miami.
(Update -- after posting this article Chris Culliver, through the San Francisco 49er public relations staff, has issued the following apology, "The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel. It has taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. Those discriminating feelings are truly not in my heart. Further, I apologize to those who I have hurt and offended, and I pledge to learn and grow from this experience.")
The Human Rights Campaign is condemning comments by San Francisco 49er Chris Culliver in which he says gay players wouldn’t be welcome on his team. The homophobic remarks stand in stark contrast to the numerous NFL players who advocate for equality – including Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo, an outspoken straight ally who will take the field against Culliver this Sunday.
Culliver made the remarks during a Super Bowl media day interview yesterday, telling a radio host: "I don't do the gay guys man. I don't do that. No, we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do….Can't be with that sweet stuff. Nah…can't be…in the locker room man.”
“Chris Culliver’s comments represent the height of ignorance and the type of homophobic banter that professional athletes rarely use anymore,” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. “Chris Culliver’s irrational rant against LGBT people is reprehensible, and the fact that he is about to face off in the Super Bowl against Brendon Ayanbadejo – a steadfast ally for our community – only exacerbates how unacceptable his comments are. Culliver should recognize how far most of his fellow athletes have come on this issue and apologize immediately.”
The Baltimore Ravens’ Brendon Ayanbadejo is one of the most prominent voices in the NFL advocating for equality – he donated a good deal of his time to the recent successful push for marriage equality in Maryland. Chris Kluwe, with the Minnesota Vikings, is another NFL player who has spoken out frequently for LGBT Americans.
In addition to facing off against Ayanbadejo this weekend, Culliver’s comments also may not sit well with many of his own teammates on the 49ers. The 49ers were the first NFL team to film an ‘It Gets The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization – is condemning comments by San Francisco 49er Chris Culliver in which he says gay players wouldn’t be welcome on his team. The homophobic remarks stand in stark contrast to the numerous NFL players who advocate for equality – including Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo, an outspoken straight ally who will take the field against Culliver this Sunday.
In addition to facing off against Ayanbadejo this weekend, Culliver’s comments also may not sit well with many of his own teammates on the 49ers. The 49ers were the first NFL team to film an ‘It Gets Better’ video aimed at LGBT youth.
Are French bishops of the Roman Catholic Church for or against same-sex marriage laws that are being considered in France? Without answering a definitive 'oui' or 'non,' they recently released a document entitled "Expand Marriage to Persons of the Same Sex? Let's Open the Debate!" which keeps the question open.FULL ENTRY
Recently released framework for immigration reform does not address the issue of same-sex couples who are legally married in the U.S., and if you believe Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, it will remain that way. When asked the question about same-sex couples Graham responded, "Why don't we just put legalized abortion in there and round it all out."
Graham went on to warn that if President Obama pushes to include same-sex couples, the reform initiative will fail.
It looks as though Graham’s warning has fallen on deaf ears. According to White House spokesman Jay Carney President Obama believes there is a need to recognize same-sex couples as families as part of immigration law.
"The president believes that it should be included and that should come as no surprise," Carney said. "As we've said all along, this is consistent with the principles he has laid out over the last four years. And the president has long believed that Americans with same-sex partners from other countries should not be faced with the painful choice between staying with the person they love or staying in the country they love."
Several other members of the committee working on the legislation, including Sen. Chuck Shumer and Sen. John McCain have said it is too early to tell whether or not language addressing same-sex couples will be added.
"We haven't even gotten that far yet," McCain said. "This is thrown out by the people who think we have gotten into the details, which we haven't. We haven't gotten into those kind of details."
A new study found that gay people who come out are less stressed than closeted gay people. The research, published in Psychosomatic Medicine and conducted by Canadian researchers, further discovered that openly gay people tend to be even more relaxed than their heterosexual counterparts.
The Telegraph reports:FULL ENTRY
According to an exclusive report from NBC news, the Boy Scouts of America is very close to ending its policy of banning gay scouts and gay scout leaders. NBC is citing a source who is “familiar with internal discussions.”
Under the new rules the BSA would leave it up to local councils who would be free to decide for themselves on whether to admit gay scouts and scout leaders
“The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,” said Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ national organization. He went on to state that parents “would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families,” Smith said.
The NBC report states that the new policy, if approved, could be announced as early as next week. The genesis of the proposed change is apparently due to pressure coming from many of the local councils.
"We're a grassroots organization. This is a response to what's happening at the local level," said one official from the BSA
As previously reported by Boston Spirit magazine, many Massachusetts based Boy Scout councils already allow for gay scouts and leaders.
As France debates whether to legalize marriage for same-sex couples, China is trying to figure out what to do with marriages between a man and a woman where one of the partners turns out to be gay.
A new study from First Intermediate People's Court of Beijing recently revealed the misery that frequently accompanies such unions, which, in at least one documented case, led to suicide.FULL ENTRY
The Ontario legislature in Canada has elected Kathleen Wynne to lead the government, making her the first openly gay premier of a Canadian province.
The Canadian Press is reporting on the historic nature of the event:FULL ENTRY
Global rally for gay marriage rights in France planned for Sunday includes Boston, Montréal, and more
This Sunday, January 27, rallies are being planned in cities around the world — including in Boston, Buenos Aires, Rome, and Montréal — in support of equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in France.
A press release from Boston Pride explains:
The French government and parliament are currently working on a Marriage Equality bill which will allow LGBT couples the right to marry and adopt children. While anti-equality forces have shown great determination and have chosen to adopt a retrograde and homophobic discourse, marriage equality proponents will rally everywhere in France this Sunday, in support of the continuation of the French legislative work so that all couples may be granted the same rights: marriage, adoption, recognition of bi-national filiation etc… French expatriates around the world are expected to organize rallies as well.
Française du Monde, a global French political and cultural organization is organizing the demonstrations around the world
In Boston, the protest is being held at the Consulate General of France, 31 St. James Street, Boston.FULL ENTRY
This week, the Connecticut legislature confirmed Andrew J. McDonald as a justice for the supreme court. He is the first openly gay person to serve on the state's highest court.
The General Assembly overwhelmingly confirmed former Stamford state Sen. Andrew McDonald as the newest member Connecticut's State Supreme Court and the state's first openly gay appellate jurist.
An article in The CT Mirror noted that McDonald's sexual orientation did not come up as an issue during debate, although other issues did, such as his lack of experience as a judge, and suspected biases based on prior legislation he worked on:FULL ENTRY
Count Jim Harbaugh, Coach of the Super Bowl bound San Francisco 49ers among those in professional sports who would welcome a gay player on his team.
Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle’s IPad 49ers magazine Harbaugh stated “I ask all players to play through their own personality and be who they are. What you ask of a player is to be a great teammate and be a good player. My expectations would be the same. Personally, there’s no discrimination in my heart.”
Harbaugh went on to say that he would treat the player the same as any other player.
Most players on the 49ers echoed the sentiments of their coach.
“At the end of the day, we are all family in this locker room, and we accept each player for whoever they are,” said linebacker Larry Grant. “Whatever makes you happy, do it,” cornerback Tarell Brown said. “I just feel like, you shouldn’t hide it. At the end of the day don’t be embarrassed with what you are, or what you do. If you are that way, that’s you.”
The 49ers are the only NFL team to have produced a video for the It Gets Better Project. In the video several members of the team deliver the following message:
There’s nothing easy about being young. About being yourself. About being an individual. Every day brings different changes and challenges that define who you are. But something you should never experiences is being bullied, intimidated or being pressured into being someone or something you are not. The San Francisco 49ers are proud to join It Gets Better.org to let all LGBT teens know that It Gets Better. Believe in yourself, set goals for yourself. Look to the future and it will get better.
You can see the video HERE
Not to be outdone, the Baltimore Ravens also have a representative playing in the game that is speaking about lgbt related issues. Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo, an ardent supported of marriage equality, is looking to use his platform in front of the massive press corps covering the game to advance the cause. Ayanbadejo recently emailed several marriage equality supports asking, “Is there anything I can do for marriage equality or anti-bullying over the next couple of weeks to harness this Super Bowl media?”
“It’s one of those times when you’re really passionate and in your zone. And I got to thinking about all kinds of things, and I thought: how can we get our message out there,” Ayanbadejo recently told the New York Times. “I was raised around gay people in a very liberal society. Discrimination was never allowed" he continued.
In 2009, Ayanbadejo,in a blog post for Huffington Post, wrote, "If Britney Spears can party it up in Vegas with one of her boys and go get married on a whim and annul her marriage the next day, why can't a loving same sex couple tie the knot? The divorce rate in America is currently 50 percent. I am willing to bet that same sex marriages have a higher success rate than heterosexual marriages."
And finally, readers of sports illustrated will get a little surprise when they open the current issue. The magazine will feature a photo (below) taken at Hi Tops, a gay sports bar in San Francisco, showing two men kissing to celebrate the 49ers win that sent the team to the Super Bowl.
Rhode Island took another step toward becoming the final state in New England to allow same-sex couples to marry on Thursday when the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a same-sex marriage bill.
The final count was 51 in the affirmative and 19 in the negative, with five members not in attendance for the vote.
“It was important that this House of Representatives stood and finally said we stand for equality, we stand for justice, we stand for tolerance in the shadow of our great founder Roger Williams,” said House Speaker Gordon Fox.
The bill now heads to the Senate, where a contentious battle is expected to unfold. Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, is an opponent of the bill, but she has indicated she will not block a vote out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judiciary Committee Chairman Michael McCaffrey, D-Warwick, is also vote against the legislation, but advocates say they are confident the committee will allow the bill to go before the full Senate.
Fox, who is openly gay, said he plans to speak to Paiva Weed regularly about the legislation and said he is isn’t concerned about the bill being held up until the House approves other pieces of legislation that the Senate may want passed.
“Just pass it,” he said.
Thursday’s vote came following 70 minutes of generally civil discussion on the House floor and was met with loud cheers from the several hundred supporters in attendance. For 23-year-old Kyle Marnane and 27-year-old Donny McKendall, both of Cranston, the passage was the culmination of years of lobbying to bring a same-sex marriage bill to a vote.
“This took a lot of hard work and a lot of momentum over the past couple of years so it was nice to see it all come together now in the House,” Marnane said.
The couple is planning to get married next year in Massachusetts, but said they’d like to get married in Rhode Island.
“The fact that now it’s come and we can see it coming is just so exciting,” McKendall said.
But not all lawmakers were pleased with the outcome of the vote. Rep. Doc Corvese, D-North Providence, delivered an 11-minute speech chastising those who support same-sex marriage. Corvese called the legislation an “irrevocable, societal game changer.” He predicted the bill will have trouble passing in the Senate.
“I think the absence of religious rights of conscience legislation will be noted by the Senate,” Corvese said.
Rep. Doreen Costa, who voted in favor of the legislation in Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee meeting, voted against the bill Thursday. She said she plans to submit a letter of opposition with 7,500 signatures to Senate.
“It had its day today,” Costa said. “It is what it is.”
Other lawmakers said they put their religious views aside to vote in favor of the bill. House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello, D-Cranston, admitted that as recently as three years ago, he didn’t support same-sex marriage. But he said his change of heart came because he believes that marriages are public contracts and “everyone is entitled to equal protection under the law.”
“I’ve given a lot of thought over the past three years and I finally came to conclusion that you have to separate your personal religious viewpoints from the needs of society at large,” Mattiello said.
Nine states and Washington D.C. currently allow same-sex couples to marry. In 2011, Rhode Island lawmakers approved a bill that allows gay couples to enter into civil unions, but critics say an amendment that allows religious institutions to not recognize the law has stopped couples from seeking civil unions.
Last September, a WPRI 12 poll found that 56.3% of registered voters support legalizing same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, with 36% opposed and 7.8% unsure.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who last year signed an executive order recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages, called the vote a “significant step forward.” He called on the Senate to pass the legislation.
“Although this vote is indeed historic, there is still a long way to go, now that the House has swiftly acted, I urge Senate leadership to ‘call the roll’ – for our economy, for our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors, and for history,” Chafee said.
Senior class awards are an annual event at just about every high school in the country. Whether it’s Most Popular, or Most Likely to Succeed, we all have aging yearbooks that remind us of who was supposed to succeed.
While most of us tend to forget our award winning classmates over time, that will probably not be the case for Jacob Rudolph’s senior classmates in Parsippany, New Jersey. Rudolph was on stage in front of his entire class to accept the award for Class Actor when he began an acceptance speech that will not soon be forgotten. .
"Sure I've been in a few plays and musicals, but more importantly, I've been acting every single day of my life," Rudolph said. "You see, I've been acting as someone I'm not. Most of you see me every day. You see me acting the part of "straight" Jacob, when I am in fact LGBT. Unlike millions of other LGBT teens who have had to act every day to avoid verbal harassment and physical violence, I'm not going to do it anymore. It's time to end the hate in our society and accept the people for who they are regardless of their sex, race, orientation, or whatever else may be holding back love and friendship. So take me, leave me, or move me out of the way. Because I am what I am, and that's how I'm going to act from now on.
Video of Rudolph’s speech, uploaded by his father, has become an internet sensation. Rudolph’s father also went on to say that his son’s speech "took more guts to do than anything I've ever attempted in my life."
As for Jacob, "It felt like this immense weight was gone," he stated. "I'd been carrying it around with me for years. It affected me academically, emotionally, socially. It's like my life is now before and after. I think that explanation is what made this whole process make sense."
Nationally renowned, Boston-based, stand-up comic Jim Lauletta leads the second annual Live Laugh Love benefit for the Boston Living Center
By Erik Borg
When standup comedian Jim Lauletta needed support, he turned to the Boston Living Center to get it. Now that he’s back on his feet, he’s organized a night of comedy to return the favor.
On January 27, the second-annual Live Laugh Love show will bring a handful of regional and national standup acts back to the Machine Nightclub in support of the Boston Living Center, an organization that provides education and support services for the HIV-positive community.
For Lauletta, a fixture of the Boston comedy scene and a regular guest in standup comedy specials and on stages in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, a night of comedy is the perfect pairing to benefit the organization with deeply personal ties.
In the United Kingdom, Parliament will pass legislation shortly to allow for the first child of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge to rule as monarch regardless of whether they are a boy or a girl. Along with that legislation is a new amendment proposed by Labour MP Paul Flynn. The amendment will extend the protection to include the eventuality that the child is gay or lesbian.
If accepted, the change to the law could lea to the reign of an openly gay or lesbian king or queen and for their same-sex partner to be recognized as consort. Any children born to the couple through artificial insemination or surrogacy would succeed to the throne so long as the couple are in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership. Current inheritance laws mean that if the couple had a child through adoption, they would not join the line of succession for the throne and it is not clear MPs would seek to change this.
John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, would need accept the amendment in order to continue to full debate. This looks to be a certainty as Bercow is a strong ally to the lgbt community and a supporter of lgbt rights.
As we ready ourselves to celebrate what would have been Rev. Martin Luther King’s 84th birthday an article in Huffington Post by local Rev. Irene Monroe asks the question ‘Would King, a champion of civil rights, have been a vocal supporter of equal rights for the lgbt community?’
As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day 2013, we no longer have to hold King up to a godlike standard. All the hagiographies written about King after his assassination have come under scrutiny as we have come to better understand all of him: his greatness and his flaws and human foibles. As I comb through numerous books and essays, learning more about King's philandering, his sexist attitude toward women at home and in the movement, and his tenuous relationship with the openly gay Bayard Rustin, I am wondering whether King really would be a public advocate for LGBTQ rights.
Monroe goes on to report that King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, while speaking to Lambda Legal, an organization of lawyers supporting lgbt rights, stated they she felt Dr. King would have been a supporter of the cause. "I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King's dream to make room at the table of brother and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people," said Scott King.
Monroe, however, appears less convinced and goes on to offer up recent examples via other members of Dr. King’s family:
King's youngest and only living daughter, Rev. Bernice King, who has been rumored for years to be a lesbian, as well as his niece, Alveda King, have historically thought otherwise. In 2004 the cousins, along with thousands of protesters, participated in a march against same-sex marriage in Atlanta. In January 2005 Newsweek asked Alveda, who has aligned herself with the religious right and frequently wields her family name and her voice against LGBTQ rights, whether Martin Luther King would be a champion of LGBTQ rights. "No, he would champion the word of God," she replied. "If he would have championed gay rights today, he would have done it while he was here. There was ample opportunity for him to champion gay rights during his lifetime, and he did not do so." She added, "My cousin, the Rev. Bernice King, has said that she knows in her sanctified soul that her father did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage."
And finally there is this, from Bayard Rustin, whom many considered to be Dr. King’s chief strategist and most trusted advisor:
Martin Luther King, with whom I worked very closely, became very distressed when a number of the ministers working for him wanted him to dismiss me from his staff because of my homosexuality. Martin set up a committee to discover what he should do. They said that, despite the fact that I had contributed tremendously to the organization ... they thought that I should separate myself from Dr. King. This was the time when [Rev. Adam Clayton] Powell threatened to expose my so-called homosexual relationship with Dr. King.(In an effort to marginalize Rustin, several people conjured up rumors of a homosexual relationship between Rustin and King)
Rustin offered to resign and King did not reject the offer. "Basically [King] said I can't take on two queers at one time," according to one of Rustin's associates.
Monroe concludes by recalling a letter she wrote to an associate on the topic, "I agree that you have to wonder whether King would support LGBTQ rights today, even if he felt he couldn't in the 60s. You'd like to think he would given his courageous stands otherwise. I now believe that not only would King not have supported LGBTQ rights but his relevance on social issues would have continued to wane considerably had he survived.”
Did Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o take part in an elaborate hoax, which included having a girlfriend who didn’t actually exist, to hide the fact that he is gay?
That’s one of the many questions being asked these days as journalists, sports fans, and the general public struggle to come up with an explanation for Te’o’s behavior. Te’o told his heartbreaking story of the passing of his grandmother and girlfriend within hours of one another. He said that he and Lennay Kekua had met online several years ago and that she had died of leukemia shortly after his grandmother had also passed away.
A recent article on the website Deadspin has revealed that Kekua never existed. From Deadspin:
There was no Lennay Kekua. Lennay Kekua did not meet Manti Te’o after the Stanford game in 2009. Lennay Kekua did not attend Stanford. Lennay Kekua never visited Manti Te’o in Hawaii. Lennay Kekua was not in a car accident. Lennay Kekua did not talk to Manti Te’o every night on the telephone. She was not diagnosed with cancer, did not spend time in the hospital, did not engage in a lengthy battle with leukemia. She never had a bone marrow transplant. She was not released from the hospital on Sept. 10, nor did Brian Te’o congratulate her for this over the telephone. She did not insist that Manti Te’o play in the Michigan State or Michigan games, and did not request he send white flowers to her funeral. Her favorite color was not white. Her brother, Koa, did not inform Manti Te’o that she was dead. Koa did not exist. Her funeral did not take place in Carson, Calif., and her casket was not closed at 9 a.m. exactly. She was not laid to rest. Lennay Kekua’s last words to Manti Te’o were not “I love you.”
Reports have now surfaced that Te’o’s friend Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was the person behind Kekua’s fake twitter account and that Te’o and Tuiasosopo had seen each other as recently as November when Notre Dame played USC in Southern California.
Here is Te’o’s take on the entire incident, “this is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her. To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.”
Concludes Cyd Ziegler of Outsports.com:
I personally don’t know (whether Te’o is gay). But it seems to be the question everyone is asking. If he is, I hope he finds strength and acceptance; The vast majority of his friends, teammates and fans will support him whole-heartedly. If he’s not, I hope he can answer some questions, because people want to know why on earth he would concoct this totally fabricated story — including eight-hour phone calls — if they never happened. I can certainly understand why people think this might be pointing to his sexual orientation. There has never been a publicly out NFL player. There has never been a publicly out Div. 1 football player. But we know they’re out there. And if they were out there and wanted to hide their sexual orientation — or a relationship with another man — a fictitious girlfriend is a good way to do it.
President Obama has replaced conservative, anti-LGBT Rev. Louie Giglio with pro-LGBT Rev. Luis Leon to deliver the benediction at the upcoming inauguration on January 21st.
The original choice of Giglio caused a bit of an uproar in the lgbt community as audio tape of the conservative evangelical surfaced in which he spoke out against the “aggressive agenda” of the gay community and went on to say that gay people could change their lifestyle “through the healing power of Jesus.” Giglio asked out of the inauguration fearing that his prayer would be "dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration."
Leon's parish is known for welcoming openly gay members. The church has had a gay bishop, blesses same-sex marriages and has stated that it would ordain transgender priests.
Both President Obama (and his family) and former President George W. Bush (and his family) have attended Rev. Leon’s Episcopal church on a fairly regular basis.
Leon was baptized into the Episcopal Church in Guantanamo, Cuba. In 1961, when he was 12 years old, he came to the U.S. and settled in Miami. A graduate of the University of the South, he has a Masters in Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary, and in 1999 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of the South. He is well known for teaching courses nationwide in parish building and stewardship
While accepting the Cecil B. Demille award at the Golden Globes Sunday night actress Jodie Foster revealed what many have know for years…that she is a lesbian.
"While I’m here being all confessional, I just have the sudden urge to say something I’ve never been able to air in public,” said Foster. “A declaration that I’m a little nervous about. Not quite as nervous as my publicist, huh, Jennifer? But uh, you know, I’m just going to put it out there. Loud and proud. I’m going to need your support. I am -- single!" she continued.
"I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the Stone Age. In those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends, and family, coworkers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her."
Foster concluded by adding, "If you had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you, too, would value privacy above all else."
A host of celebrities have commented on her speech including former Red Sox player Jose Canseco who, apparently, was so moved that he would like to become a lesbian too!
Here are a few celebrity tweets:
Wow Jodie Foster at golden globes makes me want to join the lesbians
Pure Jodie, rightfully defending her privacy while doing it with brains and a smile. She is pure class.
Yep, the Jodie Foster speech got me. Well done lady.
Jodi Foster is one of the most amazing actresses of all time. More than that she is one of the most amazing people.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson:
Jodie Foster. You are perfection. I love you.
Jodi Foster On your terms. Its your time! Not before nor after. Its when it feels right!
Jodie Foster is an inspiration. Incredible speaker. So moving.
History will be made this weekend when Kylan Arianna Wenzel, 26, competes in the Miss California USA pageant. Wenzel, 26, will be the first ever transgender women to compete in a Miss Universe Organization Pageant.
The rules for the pageant, until a recent change, had stated that all contestants had to be “naturally born women.” This rule was changed by pageant organizer Donald Trump after an earlier pageant had disqualified Jenna Talackova of Canada upon learning that Talackova is a transgender woman.
“The first time I watched a beauty pageant was when I was 11, in 1997, when Miss USA won Miss Universe. And ever since then, it’s kind of been implanted in my brain,” Wenzel told Frontiers during a Jan. 3 phone interview. “I wasn’t sure how it would happen for me, but it was something I put out there. You have to put it out to the universe—what you want to do—and you have to follow up on it,” Wenzel continued. “So, let’s say for transgender individuals, even if you haven’t had your sex change and you’re not sure, you have to act like you are Miss Universe or you are the woman you see yourself being. And you do that in everyday life. So I just worked really hard. I saved for surgery. I started getting procedures early like laser hair removal—things like that. It really is about believing in yourself. But you also need people to believe in you, because you can’t really get that far, sometimes, when you don’t have that kind of support.”
“I always knew I was female, but it was really hard to register those feelings because of my development growing up,” Wenzel said. “And I also come from a very abusive background. But no matter how much I got beaten or what I was going through, there was kind of a fire in me that just said, I will! and I can, no matter what they say!”
On her beauty, Wenzel says, “We all know that beauty is just skin deep. Beauty is not something that is earned—it’s something you’re born with or the doctor helps you with, whatever. Beauty is what you do with it. [The judges of Miss Universe or Miss USA] always pick someone who embodies a certain kind of role model. It’s the girl that understands that the platform represents something bigger than themselves—that when they win this, it’s not about them but what they can do for others. If you want to be successful in life, it’s not about what you can win or how much money you make. It really, really starts by serving others. When you can develop a connection and you can serve other people, people will follow you, because, first, you’re inspirational, and two, you become influential. What the pageant does—it motivates every individual girl to really become the best of themselves. They’re trying to find the highest expression of themselves.”
Pageant producer Keith Lewis finds Wenzel inspiring. “I so admire what Kylan’s doing, because she’s fought so hard to be here,” Lewis told Frontiers. “I think she will be successful in whatever she decides to do in her life. When we talked about her participating, she said, I really just want the other girls to accept me. And I think they not only accept her but will celebrate her because she’s loving and she’s open and courageous and she’s trying to do the best she can, like pretty much all of the rest of us.”
According to an article in the Providence Journal, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee would veto a bill that would put marriage equality up for a statewide vote. Democratic state senator Frank Ciccone has hinted at introducing such a bill.
Chaffe, a supporter of marriage equality, believes that elected officials should be allowed to decide the issue.
It is expected that Rhode Island will join the other five New England states in allowing same sex marriages in the near future. The current make up of the state legislature appears to carry enough votes to pass a marriage equality bill which Chafee has already stated he will sign into law.
One past sticking point in similar proposed legislation in Rhode Island has been language that would allow religious organizations the power to have "exclusive control over its own religious doctrine, policy, and teachings regarding who may marry within their faith, and on what terms." Language in any new bill is expected to protect clergy from being obligated to officiate any ceremony that is against their religious principles.
At this point even the most ardent opponents of marriage equality realize that Rhode Island will soon complete the New England map of states allowing for same sex marriages.
Pastor Louis Giglio, who had been slated to perform the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration, has withdrawn from the program. Giglio had a history of anti-LGBT rhetoric, including advocating for ex-gay therapy. HRC President Chad Griffin released the following statement in response to this news:
"It was the right decision. Participants in the Inaugural festivities should unite rather than divide. Choosing an affirming and fair-minded voice as his replacement would be in keeping with the tone the president wants to set for his Inaugural."
Giglio’s serman, "In Search of a Standard – Christian Response to Homosexuality," states that being gay is a sinful choice and that gay people will be prevented from "entering the Kingdom of God."
The "only way out of a homosexual lifestyle ... is through the healing power of Jesus. We’ve got to say to the homosexuals, the same thing that I say to you and that you would say to me … it’s not easy to change, but it is possible to change."
In its fourth annual ranking of LGBT municipalities, Advocate, a national LGBT news magazine, ranked two New England cities in its top 15. Providence, Rhode Island came in 12th, and Springfield, Massachusetts — yes Springfield! — holds the number 2 position.
The survey employs unorthodox criteria, such as how many roller derby leagues a city has.
With places like New York City and Provincetown not even cracking the top 25, the list defies expectations.
Here's how the Advocate explained its Springfield ranking:FULL ENTRY
In Rush Limbaugh's radio show yesterday, he compared an effort to "normalize pedophilia" with the battle for civil marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Here's some of what he said:
There is an effort underway to normalize pedophilia. Yep. And it has two aspects to it. One is that sex with children doesn't hurt them. Kids like it, and so do adults, and there's nothing wrong with it. It is something... I want to take you back. I want you to remember the first time, wherever you were, that you heard about gay marriage, and I want you to try to recall your reaction -- your first gut reaction -- when you heard that some activists or somebody was trying to promote the notion of gay marriage. What was your initial reaction?
"Aw, come on. It'll never happen. That's silly. What are you talking about?"
There is a movement on to normalize pedophilia, and I guarantee you your reaction to that is probably much the same as your reaction when you first heard about gay marriage. What has happened to gay marriage? It's become normal -- and in fact, with certain people in certain demographics it's the most important issue in terms of who they vote for. So don't pooh-pooh. There's a movement to normalize pedophilia. Don't pooh-pooh it. The people behind it are serious, and you know the left as well as I do. They glom onto something and they don't let go.
Today, the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) took out a full-page ad in The Washington Post exposing former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s (R-Neb.) long history of anti-gay positions. He is widely believed to be President Obama’s pick for Secretary of Defense, and could be nominated by the President as early as today.
The Washington Post ad addresses Chuck Hagel’s recent apology by stating, “Chuck Hagel’s Apology: Too Little, Too Late.” Hagel’s apology was submitted after his anti-gay remarks opposing the Ambassadorship of James Hormel for being "openly, aggressively, gay" surfaced in the media. In Hagel's apology to Politico he said his comments did not reflect the "totality of [his] public record."
A bit more on Hagel’s past with the lgbt community:
In 1996 Hagel said he supported the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law defining marriage as one man and one woman. He also supported a state constitutional amendment barring gays from marrying.
In 1998 Hagel opposed the nomination of James Hormel as Ambassador to Luxembourg, arguing that an "openly, aggressively gay" man should not be selected to represent the U.S.
In 1999 Hagel opposed repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, saying, "the U.S. armed forces aren't some social experiment."
In 2005, in reaction to a federal judge's ruling that Nebraska's voter-passed ban on same-sex marriage violated the constitutional rights of lesbians and gay men, Hagel opposed the decision saying, "I am hopeful the federal appeals court will recognize the rights of Nebraskans to determine their own laws governing marriage and reverse this decision."
"At Chuck Hagel's request, we looked into the 'totality' of his public record on gay rights, and it did nothing to assuage our concerns that his anti-gay record makes him the wrong choice to oversee the ongoing integration of gays and lesbians in the military," stated Gregory T. Angelo, Interim Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans. "Until his name surfaced as a potential nominee for Secretary of Defense, he has stood firmly and aggressively against not only gay marriage, but also against gay people in general. Log Cabin Republicans helped lead the charge to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and is extremely invested in seeing that we don't lose any ground due to a lack of sincere commitment to gay people and their families on the part of the incoming Defense Secretary."
Today's ad is Log Cabin's second to condemn Hagel, following a December 27th advertisement in The New York Times.
Highlands Inn in Bethlehem gets a new lease on life
By John O'Connell
Highlands Inn, the much-loved lesbian bed and breakfast in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, could have faced some drastic changes over the past year. After over twenty-five years of service to the resort, founding inn-keeper Grace Newman decided to sell the property in 2011. As is typical with the warm and welcoming nature of the property, Newman sat down to explain her decision to long-term, repeat guests, such as Jenny Wackerle and Gia Koumantzelis. “We were there last July for vacation and Grace sat us down and said she was retiring,” explains Wackerle. “Our first reaction was, ‘Oh no!‘ But on the way home we said to ourselves, ‘Wait a minute. Is this something that we should do?’”FULL ENTRY
Retiring Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank has revered course and now says that he is interested in filling the senate seat that will open up when current Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is appointed Secretary of State.
Frank, appearing on msnbc's "Morning Joe", had the following to say:
“A few weeks ago said, I said wasn't interested. It was kind of like, you're about to graduate and they said, you've got to go to summer school. But that [fiscal cliff] deal now means that February, March, and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial history."
Frank continued, "Yes, in fact, I'm not going to be coy, it's not anything I've ever been good at. I've told the governor that I would now like, frankly, to be a part of that. It's only a three-month period, I wouldn't want to do anything more, but to be honest, it's a little arrogant."
"Coach, put me in."
The temporary appointment to fill Senator Kerry's seat is expected to last until sometime this summer.
The Boston PrideSports Awards organizing committee has announced the 2013 award nominees. Winners will be announced at the Gala which will take place at the Westin Waterfront hotel in Saturday night, January 26th.
And the nominees are:
Inspiring Athlete Award
Steve Harrington – Boston Gay Basketball League
Bryan Innocenti – Tennis4All
Michael Kloc – Ironsides Rugby Football Club
David Bolivar – Boston Pride Hockey
Marc Davino – Boston Gay Basketball League
Luciano Grubissich – Boston Ironsides Rugby Football Club
Richard Moore – FLAG Flag Football
John Natale – Boston Strikers Soccer Club
Caros Terra – Tennis4All
Rob Silliman – Beantown South Bowling League
Kiwi Diaz – Boston Ironsides Rugby Club
Cliff Gibbons – Tennis4All
Brad Mayeux – Boston Gay Basketball League
Robert Saurer – FLAG Flag Football
Jay Biethan – Liquid Assets New England Swim Team
Alexander Cerone – Boston Ironsides Rugby Football League
Jake Culley - Monday Night Bowling League
Rick Doyon – Cambridge Boston Volleyball Association
Craig Haas – FLAG Flag Football
Dave Hodges – Beantown Soft-Tip Dart League
Troy Liston – Boston Strikers Soccer Club
Elaine Otte – Beantown Softball League
Bob Quist – Boston Gay Basketball League
Rob Silliman – Beantown South Bowling League
Rudy Vargas – Boston Pride Hockey
Chris Wood – Tennis4All
Winners will be announced at the Gala on January 26th. Join local, out, sports columnist Steve Buckley and hundreds of local athletes and friends for a great night of food, fun, and dancing. The event is open to everyone and tickets are only $60. For more information and to purchase tickets CLICK HERE or visit BostonSpiritMagazine.com
As Republicans in the House of Representatives ramped up to the recent ‘fiscal cliff’ showdown one message front and center was the need for spending cuts. Apparently those cuts do not apply when fighting the Defense of Marriage Act is concerned.
In a recent meeting the House Republican Conference gave the go ahead to the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG -- the House legal team) to continue paying outside counsel to defend DOMA.
According to a report released in October by Democrats on the House Administration Committee, BLAG has already spent more than $1.5 million to defend DOMA after the Obama administration decided to cease defending DOMA after finding it unconstitutional.
Huffington Post obtained a draft of the bill which is expected to pass the House shortly:
(1) CONTINUING AUTHORITY FOR THE BIPARTISAN LEGAL ADVISORY GROUP.
(A) The House authorizes the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the 113th Congress –
(i) to act as successor in interest to the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the 112th Congress with respect to civil actions in which it intervened in the 112th Congress to defend the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (1 U.S.C. 7) or related provisions of titles 10, 31, and 38, United States Code, including in the case of Windsor v. United States, 833 F. Supp.2d 394 (S.D.N.Y. June 6, 2012), aff'd, 699 F.3d 169 (2d Cir. Oct. 18, 2012), cert. granted, No. 12–307 (Dec. 7, 2012), cert. pending No. 12–63 (July 16, 2012) and 12-ll (Dec.___2012);
(ii) to take such steps as may be appropriate to ensure continuation of such civil actions; and
(iii) to intervene in other cases that involve a challenge to the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act or related provisions of titles 10, 31, and 38, United States Code.
(B) Pursuant to clause 8 of rule II, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group continues to speak for, and articulate the institutional position of, the House in all litigation matters in which it appears, including in Windsor v. United States.
Windsor v. United States was recently added to the list of cases to be brought before the Supreme Court in 2013.
According to Rhode Island state Rep. Arthur Handy (D-Cranston), he will introduce legislation tomorrow that would allow gay couples to marry in Rhode Island. Since the November elections, when Maine passed a law allowing for same sex marriages, Rhode Island has been the only New England state that does not allow for marriage equality.
Handy is currently working on getting co-sponsors for the bill and will most certainly approach openly gay House Speaker Gordon Fox.
One past sticking point in similar proposed legislation in Rhode Island has been language that would allow religious organizations the power to have "exclusive control over its own religious doctrine, policy, and teachings regarding who may marry within their faith, and on what terms." The language would protect clergy from being obligated to officiate any ceremony that is against their religious principles.