Two people I like and admire, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts and actor Wilson Cruz, had a conversation thos morning about President Barack Obama support of gay marriage and his relationship with Hollywood.
Said Wilson: “I think what the president did yesterday was incredibly brave. What he’s doing is being a leader on this issue. … By the president coming out and saying that he is in favor of same-sex marriage, he’s taking the ball a little further towards the end zone to a day when we do have full rights and privileges. We still live in a country where in 29 states you can still be fired for being gay. You know, we still have on the books things that need to be repealed. We can’t overstate the fact what he did goes a long way to validating teenagers and youth, not only gay and lesbian youth but youth being brought up by gay and lesbian parents.”
It’s hard to believe that Mitt Romney, who reaffirmed his opposition to gay marriage and civil unions yesterday, doesn’t remember cutting off the long, bleached-blond hair of a gay classmate while in prep school.
John Lauber never forgot it, according to an article in today’s Washington Post. He told a classmate in the mid-90s: ‘It was horrible. … It’s something I have thought about a lot since then.’
Lauber, who later came out to his friends and family, wore his hair long and blond for the rest of his life. He died in 2004.
You can read the details of this incident in my article posted over at Gay Star News.
American Foundation For Equal Rights lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson:
“Today is a proud day for all Americans. The bedrock American principles of freedom and human dignity are central to the political and legal convictions of Republicans, Democrats, liberals, and conservatives alike. President Obama’s words remind us that marriage and equality are universal values that unite us all. They remind us that we are all—as a People and a Nation—striving to form a more perfect Union.”
American Foundation For Equal Rights Board President Chad Griffin: “President Obama’s words today will be celebrated by generations to come. For the millions of young gay and lesbian Americans across this nation, their President’s words provide genuine hope that they will be the first generation to grow up with the freedom to fully pursue the American dream. Marriage—the promise of love, companionship, and family—is basic to the pursuit of that dream. Our Constitution’s promise, the promise of liberty, is one that every generation must realize. As President Obama recognized today, the fight to secure marriage equality is the defining element of our generation’s search for greater freedom.”
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry: “Today, President Obama added his voice to the growing chorus of Americans who believe that all loving and committed couples should share equally in the freedom to marry. Like so many others who have made this journey — from Bill Clinton to Laura Bush, most recently Vice President Biden, and a majority of the American people — President Obama has come to know loving and committed gay couples. Through thought and conversation about these families and their dreams and challenges, President Obama has reflected on his own values of fairness and respect for others, and completed his journey to support for the freedom to marry. He now becomes the first sitting president to join the majority of Americans whose hearts have opened and minds have changed in favor of the freedom to marry.”
GLAAD President Herndon Graddick: “The arc of history today bent a little closer to equality for every American. After hearing the stories of countless couples and families, President Obama has drawn the same conclusion shared across party lines and by a majority of Americans today: everyone deserves the opportunity to marry the person they love. As our nation draws closer to a more perfect union in which every person is created equal, we are left deeply encouraged by this truly watershed moment.”
Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California Board President: “Today is a new day in America. Today is a new day full of hope, promise and opportunity. A new day demands action–not just by our President and other political leaders, but by Equality California and supporters of equality like you and me. This day demands action not just because of the potential for positive change ahead of us, but because of the challenges we still face.”
Courage Campaign Founder and Chairman Rick Jacobs: “We are delighted that President Obama voiced his support for legalizing same-sex marriage. He spoke honestly and with conviction, showing us again the Barack Obama of 2008, the man of passion who won our hearts. Full LGBT equality is now decidedly in the main stream which will help us in four state ballot fights this fall, with the public and with the courts.”
Republican Presidential Candidate Fred Karger: “I applaud President Obama for his strong statement and support for gay marriage today. We welcome him to the fight. He will be a great advocate as we do battle in four states this November. His timing is particularly helpful in light of the loss we suffered yesterday in North Carolina.
It’s nice to have another presidential candidate on board for full equality.”
Lambda Legal Executive Director, Kevin Cathcart: “We welcome the news that President Obama understands the importance of equality for all people in this country and we are excited that he joins the majority of Americans in supporting the freedom to marry. There is no bully pulpit bigger than the President’s, and loving, committed same-sex couples across the country – and all of us – thank him for using it to speak up for justice and fairness. The momentum for marriage equality is building across the country. When people have a chance to think deeply about marriage equality, they come to the right answer – that discrimination against our families is wrong. There’s so much more work to be done. Right now, Lambda Legal is fighting in the courts for marriage equality in New Jersey and Nevada. There will be more fights at the ballot in November. In my thirty years working in the LGBT movement, it has become easier to recognize watershed moments – and this is one. And we know we’re winning because these watershed moments are beginning to happen closer together.”
Rep. Barney Frank: “Earlier this year, President Obama took a major step towards vindicating the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to marry when he announced his refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act’s blatant discrimination against us. Today he has taken the next logical step to complete the process by expressing his support for our right to marry people of the same sex. I understand why a President facing a national election took some time in making this decision, and I believe that the fact that he first announced his repudiation of DOMA gave him a chance to assess the reaction to that. I know there are those who wish that elected officials would completely ignore public opinion – of course only in those cases where they do not agree with public opinion – but that is not a realistic course in a democracy for those seeking to get the authority from the public to govern. This does not meant that the President’s decision today was entirely without some political risk, but I believe it will be clear in the days ahead that this will cost him no votes, since those opposed to legal equality for LGBT people were already inclined to oppose him, and that it will make it easier for us to mobilize the people in this country who oppose discrimination to help reelect him.”
Lorri L. Jean, Chief Executive Officer of L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center: “Mr. President, your support of marriage equality caps a presidential record on LGBT rights that is unparalleled in the history of our nation and I sincerely hope more candidates will follow your example. Whatever support our friends may communicate to us privately about the freedom for same-sex couples to marry, we need—and expect—them to stand with us (and the majority of Americans) publicly. Silence in the face of discrimination never has been, and never will be, acceptable.”
Richard Chamberlain is one of the stars of the new film The Perfect Family.
The actor best known for his TV roles on Dr. Kildare, The Thorn Birds and Shogun, was closeted for most of his career but came out publicly 10 years ago.
“The general public didn’t know I was gay,” he tells Steve Rothaus of the Miami Herald. “People in the business did. Apart from a little gossip, they didn’t talk about it. It was great. They let us have our lives.”
Chamberlain spent much of his career being “discreet and careful.”
“You get used to it. My self esteem was shaky all my life,” he says. “To be gay in a time, the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s when it was absolutely not an option [to be out], one gets used to this feeling a certain way — worthless. That feeling sticks.”
At age 68 — “realizing it was nonsense” — Chamberlain announced he’s gay.
“It’s as if, for instance, you were used to some kind of chronic pain. You just get used to it and you don’t think about it anymore. When it goes away, when the pain ceases, my God it’s a f—ing miracle. It’s just wonderful. … I was living a very nice life. Had a wonderful relationship, but I had a nagging sense that something was wrong with me. Even late in life. Then it just vanished.”
This is such a cause for celebration: President Barack Obama made history Wednesday by becaming the first sitting US President to support same-sex marriage.
‘I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly,’ Obama said in an interview with ABC News. ‘… It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples be able to get married.’
Obama’s announcement came amid mounting pressure on him to take a stand on an issue that he had previously said he was still ‘evolving on.’
Said Obama: ‘I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage.’
Obama’s remarks come three days after Vice President Joe Biden came out in favor of gay marriage during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press and one day after North Carolina voters approved a ban on gay marriage and civil unions.
Chad Griffin, board president of the American Foundation of Equal Rights, said Obama’s words ‘will be celebrated by generations to come.’
‘For the millions of young gay and lesbian Americans across this nation, their President’s words provide genuine hope that they will be the first generation to grow up with the freedom to fully pursue the American dream,’ said Griffin, the incoming president of the Human Rights Campaign. ‘Marriage—the promise of love, companionship, and family—is basic to the pursuit of that dream. Our Constitution’s promise, the promise of liberty, is one that every generation must realize. As President Obama recognized today, the fight to secure marriage equality is the defining element of our generation’s search for greater freedom.’
Congratulations to Chandler Massey who has received a much-deserved Emmy nomination for his performance as Will Horton on Days of Our Lives.
I spoke with Chandler this morning after he received the news.
“I feel great, it was good news,” he said. “It’s such an honor to be nominated and it is much appreciated.”
It’s the second consecutive nomination for Chandler in the category of Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series.
His competitors are Eddie Alderson who played Matthew Buchanan on ABC’s now-canceled One Life To Live, Chad Duell who plays Michael Corinthos on ABC’s General Hospital and also from that show, Nathan Parsons who plays Ethan Lovett.
While the Will Horton storyline has been filled with dramatic moments this year with Will coming to terms with being gay, the nomination is not for any of those because the performances have to have aired in 2011.
Chandler’s nominated episode aired on Sept. 30 and included scenes with Deidre Hall who plays his grandmother Marlena and Freddie Smith who plays Sonny.
So how much does he want to win?
“I think just being nominated is nice,” he insists. “The work is already done. At the end of the day, I’m proud of the work.”
The Daytime Emmys will take place on Saturday, June 23 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Chandler took his mother to last year’s ceremony.
‘This year I will not be taking my mom,” he said. “I will be taking a hot woman – I just have to find one.”
Andra Fuller is one of the stars of The LA Complex about the lives of six young performers striving for stardom in Hollywood.
He plays the role of Kaldrick King, an extremely successful hip-hop superstar.
This is the first regular series role for Andra who has done guest spots on several TV series in recent years including Prison Break, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, iCarly, NCIS and Entourage.
He has appeared in commercials for Subway, Best Buy, Budlight, and Match.com and can be seen performing stand-up The Laugh Factory in LA and the historic Apollo Theater in NYC.
It’s a pity we won’t be seeing any more of the character of Sebastian on Glee this season but here’s hoping he’ll return next fall.
The gay villain is played by Grant Gustin who I chatted with recently about his breakthrough role which called for him to try and come between popular couple Kurt and Blaine.
‘A lot of the reaction to me was negative at first,’ the actor admits. ‘But I think it has slowly swung the other way a little bit as people get to know me as Grant Gustin a little bit separately from Sebastian Smythe. Sebastian’s not nice, he’s not supposed to be liked. If people hate me then I guess I’m doing my job right.’
To read my entire interview with Grant, follow this link over to Gay Star News.
Filmmaker Shane Bitney Crone lost the love of his life in 2011.
He and Tom Bridegroom had been together for six years when Tom died in a fall. They owned a business and a home together but could not get married.
Shane’s grief over losing Tom was compounded by the heartless actions of Tom’s homophobic family who threatened Shane with violence if he tried to attend the funeral and made no mention of Shane in the funeral program.
They tried to erase Shane from Tom’s life.
But Shane has made sure that will never happen with this heart-wrenching video It Could Happen to You. We see video and photos of this couple enjoying their life together to the fullest – a lot of laughter.
Shane writes: “It has been said that sharing personal stories is one of the most effective ways to change people’s hearts and minds. This is my story and I hope you are inspired to share it with others.”
Andy Cohen’s new book, Most Talkative: Stories From the Front Lines of Pop Culture, is out today.
TheNew York Post reports that Anderson Cooper hosted a book party on Saturday night at his famously rehabbed firehouse home in Greenwich Village.
Among the guests: Matt Bomer, Sarah-Jessica Parker, Kelly Ripa, Gayle King, Liam Neeson and Rashida Jones, among others.
Here is a little bit about the book from its website:
From a young age, Andy Cohen knew two things: He was gay, and he loved television. Now presiding over Bravo’s reality-TV empire, he started out as an overly talkative pop-culture obsessive, devoted to Charlie’s Angels and All My Children—and to his mother, who received daily letters from him while he was at summer camp, usually reminding her to tape the soaps. In retrospect, it’s hard to believe that everyone didn’t know that Andy was gay; still, he remained in the closet until college. Finally out, he embarked on making a career out of his passion for television. The journey begins with Andy interviewing his all-time idol Susan Lucci for his college newspaper and ends with him in a job where he has a hand in creating today’s celebrity icons. In the witty, no-holds-barred style of his show Watch What Happens: Live, Cohen tells tales of absurd network-news mishaps, hilarious encounters with the heroines of his youth, and the real stories behind the Real Housewives. Dishy, funny, and full of heart, Most Talkative provides a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of television, from a fan who grew up watching the screen and is now inside the TV, both making shows and hosting his own.
It did not seem that anyone in his congregation called Harris out on his tirade which quickly went viral.
But he is suffering backlash from other Christians who say ‘violence and child abuse can never be justified by the teachings of Jesus Christ.’
As of Monday evening, more than 12,000 people had signed a petition on Faithful America that includes a short statement assuring LGBT youth that faithful Christians are ‘appalled’ by Harris’ ‘hateful tirade.’