Thursday, September 26, 2013

Barilla Pasta: Gay People Can Eat Another Brand If They Don’t Like Straight-Only Advertising

Barilla Pasta: Gay People Can Eat Another Brand If They Don’t Like Straight-Only Advertising
Guido Barilla, head of the eponymous Italian pasta company, has come out against LGBT equality, saying that he would never use gay people in Barilla advertising, and if anybody doesn’t like it, they can go eat another pasta. Here were the remarks he made on an Italian radio show, as translated by The Huffington Post:
BARILLA: For us, the ‘sacral family’ remains one of the company’s core values. Our family is a traditional family. If gays like our pasta and our advertisings, they will eat our pasta; if they don’t like that, they will eat someone else’s pasta. You can’t always please everyone not to displease anyone. I would not do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect toward homosexuals – who have the right to do whatever they want without disturbing others – but because I don’t agree with them, and I think we want to talk to traditional families. The women are crucial in this.
I respect same-sex marriage because that concerns people who want to contract marriage, but I absolutely don’t respect adoptions in gay families, because that concerns a person who is not the people who decide.”
After the interview, Barilla tweeted an apology for “offending the sensibilities of many” (via Google Translate), though he didn’t recant any of his statements. In an official statement, he clarified that he “only wanted to underline the central role of the woman in the family.”
Mirroring the U.S. response to Chick-fil-a’s anti-gay positions, Italian LGBT groups are calling for a boycott of Barilla pasta. Barilla also makes up 25 percent of the U.S. pasta market, suggesting an international response.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Gay Bars Across Globe Dump Russian Vodka| Gay News | Towleroad

Gay Bars Across Globe Dump Russian Vodka| Gay News | Towleroad
Prompted by Dan Savage's recent op-ed urging people to boycott Russian vodka, gay bars in the United States and elsewhere around the world have started banning Stolichnaya and other Russian vodkas. The goal of the boycott is to bring attention to the recent LGBT human rights violations in that country.
So far, bars in NYC, LA, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto, London, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, San Diego and Sydney have all participated in the ban. In the photo above, the manager of The Fountainhead Pub in Vancouver dumps out a bottle of Russian vodka.
An article in today's LA Times reports on the growing campaign:
West Hollywood bars join a growing number of U.S. gay bars boycotting Stoli. Numerous Chicago bars have boycotted the vodka and other Russian products, according to the Windy City Times, a Chicago newspaper that focuses on the gay and lesbian community.

“Consumer action, for a long time, has been a part of any activism,” Art Johnston, the co-owner of the gay bar Sidetrack Chicago, said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Sidetrack--in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood, an LGBT hub–stopped selling Stoli earlier this week, Johnston said. The spaces on the bar where Stoli vodka bottles would sit remain empty so people will ask what used to be there, he said.

“I’m hopeful people will talk about this,” Johnston said. “Either the lives of gay and lesbian people in Russia mean something, or they don’t. Clearly, to us, they mean something.”
In case you missed it yesterday, the parent company of Stolichnaya, the SPI Group, responded to the ban via an open letter.
Sidetrack was one of the first gay bars to ban the sale of Russian vodka. They stopped selling it this past Wednesday. Watch a WGN-TV news segment about that bar and the boycott, AFTER THE JUMP.
Has your local gay bar stopped selling Russian vodka?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Novak's nightclub in the Grove closing : Entertainment

Novak's nightclub in the Grove closing : Entertainment
Novak's, the long-running gay dance club/bar at 4121 Manchester Ave. in the heart of the Grove neighborhood, is closing.
The last day is June 30.
Rumors began swirling all day Thursday about the state of Novak's, and nothing was said on Novak's Facebook page or owner Nancy Novak's Facebook page until late in the day.
On the club's page was a message presumably from Novak that read "I'm retiring and I'm pretty excited about it. There are negotiations with the next owners so I'm not sure but it shouldn't be too long. Thanks for a great 17 years. You have made my life so great and full of love. See you soon. Going to try and be at the bar every night to say goodbye. No crying now."
Novak's employees were apparently informed the bar was closing via email on Wednesday.
Novak did not respond to a request for an interview.
Novak's is known for karaoke, drag queen and drag king shows, dancing, its Open Mic Mondays, Phone Tunes Tuesdays and more.
More information on Novak's is at

Thursday, June 20, 2013

East St. Louis considers extending nightclub hours : Stltoday

East St. Louis considers extending nightclub hours : Stltoday
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A decision by the mayor and leaders in East St. Louis to consider all-hours nightclubs in the crime-plagued city drew sharp criticism Thursday from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and the St. Clair County prosecutor.
Durbin and Brendan Kelly wrote a letter to Mayor Alvin Parks after the Belleville News-Democrat reported ( that the southwestern Illinois city's council wants to create an entertainment district for 24-hour and late clubs.
The community cut the clubs' hours last year, requiring them to close at 2 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m. on weekends. The change came after pressure from police, prosecutors and even Durbin, who wanted to limit liquor sales. Clubs had been open until 6 a.m.
Durbin and Kelly said extending hours will increase the risk of violence and undermine federal law enforcement efforts. They called the proposal, which is set for a public hearing, "shocking and disappointing."
"We urge you to withdraw this proposal and should you press forward with it, we urge the City Council to vote it down," Durbin and Kelly wrote to the mayor. "The cost of this violent crime to East St. Louis' families far exceeds any economic benefit that extended club hours might bring."
The city also wants to double the cost of liquor licenses. City council supporters argue concentrating nightclubs in a single area would make it easier to control public safety.
Parks said the city has lost nightlife dollars to nearby communities since clubs started closing earlier. He said he wants that atmosphere to return to East St. Louis.
"In the '80's, East St. Louis was known as East Boogie," Parks said.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Will Yahoo Try to Get Its “Cool Again” by Doing a Deal for Tumblr?

Will Yahoo Try to Get Its “Cool Again” by Doing a Deal for Tumblr?

Earlier this week, Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman spoke at JP Morgan’s Global Technology conference and underscored the need for the aging Silicon Valley Internet giant to attract more users from the coveted 18-to-24-years-old age bracket. Along with more marketing, he explicitly said Yahoo needed to be “cool again.”
“One of our challenges is we have had an aging demographic,” said Goldman at the Boston event. “Part of it is going to be just visibility again in making ourselves cool, which we got away from for a couple of years.”
According to sources close to the situation, that could mean a strategic alliance and investment in or outright buy of perhaps the coolest Internet company of late: Tumblr.
Sources said the talks were serious, but any kind of deal — of course — could come to naught.
But it’s not the first time Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been interested in the New York-based hipster blogging service. As an executive at Google, she had closely watched its fast growth, along with that of Foursquare. Since she took over at Yahoo, several sources said that she has met with its top execs, including founder and CEO David Karp.
But sources said that interest has gotten stronger more recently, coming at the same time as Tumblr has been stepping up its efforts to raise a large funding round that could value the New York company at $1 billion. In a series of fundings since 2007, Tumblr has raised $125 million so far, at a reported valuation of $800 million.
In the latest round, one source close to the situation said Tumblr was considering “strategic” investments, which would presumably be of the kind that Yahoo had tried and failed to do recently with France’s Dailymotion video service. Since then, Mayer and her team have looked at the ongoing deal to purchase Hulu that has many possible other bidders.
Tumblr is different from Dailymotion or Hulu, of course, in that it focuses heavily on user-generated content, largely text and photos, although there is an increasing use of video on the site.
But this puts it directly in Yahoo’s main wheelhouse, especially recent efforts to undergird its strong set of existing media offerings to appeal to a different audience and also get into the social space via consumer-based software solutions that are both elegant and easy to use.
“If you could pick a company that fits in with what Marissa Mayer has demonstrated in her career — aesthetics software technology and fast-growing — you could not land on a better choice,” said another source.
That said, Yahoo has been sticking to smaller acquisitions under Mayer’s regime, spending very little on a clutch of small mobile startups to up its game in the important sector. And at the same investment conference, Goldman also said additional M&A would continue to be smaller for Yahoo.
Still, any kind of deal with Tumblr could certainly bring Yahoo a big, young audience. Its worldwide traffic was at 117 million visitors in April, according to comScore. On its home page, Tumblr claims it has 107.8 million blogs and 50.6 billion posts. U.S. desktop traffic to Tumblr was 37 million in April, close to LinkedIn and Twitter, although Twitter obviously has much more via mobile.
But figuring out how to make money from that audience is a task that the company has only recently started to tackle.
Like other recent Web startups that have seen rocket ship growth — see: Twitter, Facebook — Tumblr resisted advertising for its formative years, and its user base seems particularly unwilling to accept standard banner ads. In addition, many industry observers think that Tumblr’s pages are packed with porn and/or other questionable content that would scare off advertisers.
But within the last year or so, Tumblr has started selling modestly sized “native ads” promoting brands’ Tumblr pages, on users’ “dashboards.” That’s the equivalent of running ads in a Facebook user’s News Feed or a Twitter user’s main feed.
Initial signs are promising. Tumblr told Forbes that it generated $13 million in revenue last year, and suggested it could do as much as $100 million this year; people close to the company say its momentum has continued this year.
In addition to figuring out its top-line business, Tumblr and its backers have also been spending a long time trying to figure out a managment structure. Even Karp’s strongest backers say that the 26-year-old needs help running the company, and for months they have been looking for a “Sheryl Sandberg”-style COO candidate.
“David is very charming, and clearly very very bright, and understands the product,” said an executive who talked to Tumblr about the role. But, “he’s incredibly confrontation averse, and there’s almost a ‘Game of Thrones’ palace feeling to the management team.”
Possibility of death by wildfire aside, sources said that the search has yielded two or three candidates that Tumblr is considering. It is a key hire since the company needs to build out an extensive infrastructure quickly, given its sharp consumer growth, including fielding a more robust advertising team. Tumblr hired an experienced exec, Lee Brown, from Groupon last fall, who has been busy hiring more sales execs. Interesting aside: Brown was a longtime Yahoo ad exec.
But building out the needed structure at the company is a long slog, and Tumblr might be seeking more help one way or another.
Yahoo declined comment and Tumblr has not gotten back to us as yet.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another effort to bring back Union Station begins with latest renovation : Business

Another effort to bring back Union Station begins with latest renovation : Business

The $25 million makeover of Union Station is finally under way, a long-awaited effort that developers and city officials hope will breathe new life into this venerable, though ailing, landmark.
Work began this week at the historic St. Louis complex to expand meeting space, renovate hotel rooms and prepare for the return of excursion trains.
First on the to-do list is renovating the Midway — the area between the terminal building and the arched train shed — as 50,000 square feet of meeting space.
Bob O’Loughlin, whose Lodging Hospitality Management bought Union Station last year for $20 million, said Tuesday that the conversion would provide nearly 100,000 square feet of meeting space, enough to host a medium-sized convention.
Included in LHM’s $25-million plan is a new bar in the Grand Hall, a gift shop and a Starbucks in alcoves off the hall and offices in much of the station’s long-struggling retail area.
The renovations to hotel rooms, expanded meeting-space construction and Grand Hall work will be completed in a year, said O’Loughlin, LHM’s chief executive.
“I think people are going to like it,” he said.
There is no date yet for the completion of the redone retail area.
Also in the works is the return of excursion trains, which last ran at Union Station about six years ago. Ed Boyce, who operated the trains previously, said he was working with O’Loughlin to bring back rail service “that make sense.”
Possible are private and public rail trips to Missouri wine country and other regional destinations. Boyce said an advantage of Union Station’s hotel was its direct access to train service. A convention of private railcar owners already is scheduled for next year at Union Station, O’Loughlin said.
Limited excursion service might resume this year, after the four rail sidings used previously are readied for renewed use. Excursion train trips for corporate meetings and special events are becoming popular, Boyce said.
“It’s a big, untapped market,” he said.
Unlike no-frills Amtrak service, excursion trains often feature plush accommodations and fine dining.
“It’s the difference between a trip and an experience,” Boyce said.
LHM, which rebranded the station’s hotel as a Hilton DoubleTree, will renovate all 539 rooms. The hotel previously was a Marriott.
O’Loughlin said that the station’s food court would be “condensed” at the south end of the train shed and that much of the upper-level retail space in the building beneath the shed would eventually be converted to office space. Design firms would be ideal tenants, he said.
Union Station, a National Historic Landmark, became a national hub of rail passenger service after it opened in 1894. But the nationwide decline of rail service in the 1950s affected St. Louis, too. Amtrak left in 1978.
A $140 million renovation and restoration by the Rouse Co., of Baltimore, produced a grand reopening in 1985 under Rouse’s “festival market” model. Business was good for a few years, but without a strong anchor the station fell out of favor with St. Louis residents and tourists.
LHM bought the station from Union Station Holdings LLC, which put the station up for sale last fall after years of absorbing losses.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friends mourn death of drag queen Ashley Kruiz — Project Q Atlanta

Friends mourn death of drag queen Ashley Kruiz — Project Q Atlanta

An Atlanta drag queen hospitalized for days in intensive care as fellow entertainers and supporters collected donations to help her, lost her battle with pneumonia and died on Sunday, according to friends.
Shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, friends from across the country began flooding Ashley Kruiz’s Facebook page with news of her death and messages of love and prayers.
On Friday Brian Harmon, a longtime friend of Kruiz and fellow drag performer, said that her condition deteriorated. Earlier in the week, Harmon said doctors were unsuccessful in removing Kruiz from a ventilator.
Since at least March 18, Kruiz was hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit of Grady with what friends described as a lung infection and pneumonia. Drag performers rallied to collect donations to pay for her medical bills and expenses. Last weekend, more than $1,000 was collected at local drag shows.
Two benefits for Kruiz are also being planned—an April 3 show at Burkhart’s and an April 19 event at Eagle.

Ashley Kruiz - You and I - Passed Away...

Nationally known drag diva Erica Andrews died March 11, 2013

From Erica Andrews, a nationally known trans woman and drag diva who headlined the Dallas-filmed indie flick Ticked Off Trannies with Knives, died last night in Chicago from a lung infection, according to reports. Andrews, who was in her 40s, was the “drag mother” of RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Roxxxy Andrews. She appeared with former Drag Racer and Ticked Off co-star Willam Belli at his show at the Rose Room in December. “A Goddess just met God,” Belli tweeted last night when word broke of her passing last night — ironically, as the latest episode of Drag Race aired on Logo. “I love you Erica Andrews,” Belli added. “I’m sad. It came as such a shock,” said Ronald Radwanski, a local painter and director of the ilume Gallerie on Cedar Springs. “I didn’t even know she was sick. The last time we talked was when my nephew moved to Chicago. She was loving living in Chicago with her boyfriend, Juan.” Radwanski became close to Andrews when he and photographer Jorge Rivas chose her as the first model for the Faces of Life photographic campaign. “She was the first person we photographed with the red ribbon back in 2010,” he said. “She was a delight to be with — always doing something to help people. She used her art to perform and make a difference. It’s one thing to be talented; it’s another to have people make movies about you. She didn’t turn off her heart when she turned on her charm.” “I’d met Erica prior to working with her on Ticked Off,” said Toni Miller, who produced the film. “Like many, I was dazzled by her beauty and incredible presence. To our good fortune, Erica exuded all that and more in her performance and remained a true professional throughout the filming process. Erica’s passing is a tragic loss for our community. I’m blessed to have known her.” Born in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Andrews — who went by “Eddie” as a boy — created her drag character about 25 years ago. She won numerous drag titles over her career, including Miss Gay Texas USofA 1997, Miss Gay USofA 1999 and 2006′s Entertainer of the Year. But more than just pageants, she was dedicated to gay causes. “Probably the thing I’ll remember most about her is painting her body,” Radwanski recalled, which he did for a photo to promote Faces of Life (above). “We talked about painting her silver or gold for Faces of Life, but she said why don’t you just paint me now like I’m coming out of the painting [you are donating]. I spent about an hour and a half painting her nude from the waist up. People were gathered outside the ilume, staring in through the windows while we did it. Then she went to perform at the Rose Room. She came out, they shined the spot on her with a gown on while she was singing ‘True Colors.’ Then she dropped her feathers and it looked like she was coming out of the painting.” The ilume is planning a memorial service for Andrews, which will take place Thursday. The time has not been set yet.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Shiver Vodka Bar downtown closing Saturday...but there's more : Entertainment

Shiver Vodka Bar downtown closing Saturday...but there's more : Entertainment

This week is your last chance to check out Shiver Vodka Bar and Champagne Lounge in downtown St. Louis.
The three-year-old spot closes after Saturday, though co-owner Brad Jureka says the spot at 1130 Washington Ave. will reopen as something most likely completely different later this spring.
He and his business partner Courtney Severit will also open a dessert bar, Bliss, next door at 1136 Washington Ave.
Check out DJs Jay-E, Deception and Arty J tonight. Resident DJs will spin Friday and Saturday nights.
Doors are at 9 p.m. each night.
Stay tuned to this space for more on the future of the space-formerly-known-as Shiver and the upcoming Bliss.
Kevin C. Johnson is the popular music critic and nightlife reporter at the Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at kevincjohnson and add him on Facebook at kevincjohnsonstl

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chick-fil-A Foundation’s Anti-LGBT Giving Nearly Doubled

Chick-fil-A Foundation’s Anti-LGBT Giving Nearly DoubledAs Chick-fil-A’s corporate foundation came under heavy criticism last year for its long record of anti-LGBT behavior, the company attempted to distance itself from its political record, claiming it intedend “to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
But despite suggestions by some that the company’s WinShape Foundation had already scaled back its anti-LGBT giving, its newly released annual IRS filings for 2011 indicate nothing of the sort.
Most of the WinShape’s anti-LGBT giving in previous years went to groups like the Marriage & Family Foundation ($1,188,380 in 2010), the Fellowship Of Christian Athletes ($480,000 in 2010), and the National Christian Foundation ($247,500). Additionally, the group made small donations to the “ex-gay” group Exodus International ($1,000) and the hate group Family Research Council ($1,000).
In 2011, the group actually gave even more to anti-LGBT causes. Its contribution to the Marriage & Family Foundation jumped to $2,896,438 and it gave the same amount to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and National Christian Foundation as it had in 2010. In total, the anti-LGBT spending exceeded $3.6 million — almost double the $1.9 million from the year before.
While the group gave nothing directly to Exodus International or FRC, a large amount of Chick-fil-A/WinShape money still made its way to those groups. The National Christian Foundation (aka the National Christian Charitable Foundation) gave $4,100 to Exodus International and a stunning $1,260,040 to FRC. This was possible, in part, because of the $247,500 it received directly from WinShape and because the WinShape-backed Marriage & Family Foundation also transferred $870,834 to the group — the self-described “largest Christian grant-making foundation in the world.”
In essence, Chick-fil-A’s “charitable” contributions in 2011 were no less hateful than in 2010 — just less transparent.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Study: Bee Venom Can Kill HIV « CBS St. Louis

Study: Bee Venom Can Kill HIV « CBS St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (CBS St. Louis) — Researchers have found a new way to combat HIV – bee venom.
The study, conducted by researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, shows that the toxin melittin found in bee venom destroys HIV while leaving the surrounding normal cells unharmed.
“Melittin on the nanoparticles fuses with the viral envelope,” Dr. Joshua Hood said in a press release. “The melittin forms little pore-like attack complexes and ruptures the envelope, stripping it off the virus.”
Researchers believe this finding can lead to a vaginal gel that can prevent the spread of HIV.

Monday, March 04, 2013

'The Go Doc Project,' Gay Art Film Hybrid, Set For Miami International Film Festival Debut (VIDEO)

East St. Louis mayor questions security at club where teen was shot : News

East St. Louis mayor questions security at club where teen was shot : News

The mayor of East St. Louis says he will meet this morning with the owner of a nightclub where a teenage girl was shot and wounded over the weekend.
"How in the world did a gun even get into the club?" Mayor Alvin Parks said Monday morning. "We have questions about security."
A 16-year-old girl was shot in the abdomen Sunday at Club Rolex, 3803 State Street. She was treated at a hospital and is expected to be okay, Parks said.
Parks didn't have the details on the shooting, and the police chief could not be reached for comment Monday.
Parks identified the club owner he'll meet with as Bobby Williams. Parks said he will discuss the matter more in depth when the meeting is over.
The mayor isn't focused only on the club. He wants to hear from the girl's parents, too, he said.
"A 16-year-old should not be on the premises," Parks said. "The issue will be, why was she even out (after curfew), which has very little to do with the club. We'll have that question for the parents."
The curfew for someone that young is 10 p.m. The shooting was closer to midnight. 
In September, Parks announced that people under the age of 18 would be arrested if they were not home by 10 p.m. The move was in response to a deadly weekend in which a man, 18, was stabbed to death in a dispute and three young men died after being shot in a parking lot of Club VIP at 6830 State Street.
Club Rolex has no liquor license now, Parks said Monday. Parks said he plans to confirm with authorities that liquor was not on the premises when the girl was shot. In September 2012, a special crime sweep in East St. Louis led to charges against three nightclubs, including Club Rolex, for violations of the Illinois Liquor Control Act.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Finally! Obama: Marriage Equality Should Be The Law Of The Land

President Obama said on Friday that he would vote to legalize same-sex marriage in the entire nation, were he one of the Supreme Court justices considering the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8. The administration filed an amicus brief in the case on Thursday, arguing that the proposition violated the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law without specifically asking the justices to legalize marriage equality everywhere.
“When the Supreme Court essentially called the question by taking this case about California’s law, I didn’t feel like that was something this administration could avoid,” Obama said during a press conference. “I felt it was important for us to articulate what I believe and what this administration stands for,” he went on, before explaining that the question before the Court concerns California’s specific provision:
The specific question presented before the Court right now is whether Prop 8 and the California law is unconstitutional and what we’ve done is we’ve put forward a basic principle which applies to all equal protection cases. Whenever a particular group is being discriminated against, the court asks the question, what is the rational for this. And it better be a good reason. And if you don’t have a good reason, we’re going to strike it down.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dallas Retailer Leads Way in Active Boycott of Orson Scott Card’s Superman Comic UPDATE – DC Release Statement

From There’s been controversy over the past few days following DC’s decision to hire Orson Scott Card, a pioneer in contemporary homophobia, as one of the writers on a new digital-first Superman anthology series. And although the internet has been going back and forth on the subject for the past few days, the first active step towards boycotting the book happened in Dallas today, as shop owner (and Eisner award-winner) Richard Neal has announced his shop will not be stocking the book once it comes to print. This begins a movement which the internet has been trying to get moving for the past few days to boycott the book, with a petition already online asking for his removal. But this is the first move which will actively see sales and money taken away from DC as a result of the hiring, rather than empty words on an internet page. Not just a homophobe, Card is one of the board members of the National Organization of Marriage, which openly seeks to prevent anybody from getting married apart from a male-female pairing. It’s not simply the case that Card has personal politics which are shameful – and they are SHAMEFUL - but that he works tirelessly to dismiss and degrade LGBT rights as part of a hate group. He has included his personal views in several of his works, including one particular piece in which he rewrote Hamlet in order to include more gay characters who were also paedophiles. There were previous movements a few years ago when he was hired by Marvel, but this is the first time that we’ve seen that momentum carry through into something tangible. The main problem here has been that DC have been actively trying to court an LGBT audience over the last few months… but have now for some reason decided to give up on that by hiring one of the most prominent homophobes in literature to write their single most heroic and admirable character. Several creators have already spoken out against the hiring, and comic critics have roundly condemned the decision. Writing on his facebook page, Zeus Comics owner Neal states: Card sits on the board of the National Organization of Marriage which fights against marriage equality. His essays advocate the destruction of my relationship, that I am born of rape or abuse and that I am equated with pedophilia. These themes appear in his fiction as well. It is shocking DC Comics would hire him to write Superman, a character whose ideals represent all of us. Which is very well said. UPDATE: When pressed for comment on the issue, DC have released the following statement: As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that — personal views — and not those of the company itself

Thursday, February 14, 2013

One Billion Rising (Break the Chain) performed by New Light girls

Illinois Senate votes to legalize gay marriage

Illinois Senate votes to legalize gay marriage

Illinois moved closer Thursday to becoming the 10th state in the nation where same-sex couples can legally wed, after the Senate voted to lift a ban on gay marriage.
Senators voted 34-21 (see how they voted) to approve the measure, sending it on to the state House where Democrats also hold a majority. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has said he will sign the bill if the House approves it.
Among Springfield-area senators, Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, voted yes, and Sam McCann, R-Carlinville voted no.
Before approving the measure, the Senate attached an amendment Thursday that explicitly states no church or other religious organization will be forced to solemnize same-sex marriages. It also says churches cannot be sued if they don't allow their parishes to be used for same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Some Republicans raised concerns that the bill would force religious organizations to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their fellowship halls, parish centers or even in their sanctuaries. But Sen. Heather Steans, the bill sponsor, said even before the amendment was added that the bill made clear churches won't be forced to perform same-sex marriages.
The Valentine's Day vote marked the first time gay marriage has passed on the floor of either chamber of the Legislature. Steans and other supporters tried to pass it during the January lame duck session. But after getting approval from a Senate committee, Steans opted not to call for floor action, saying it didn't have enough votes.
After picking up seats in November, Democrats entered the current legislative session with control of 40 seats in the Senate, where 30 votes are required to advance most measures. The Senate Executive Committee approved the gay marriage bill on a party-line vote last week, setting up the Valentine's Day floor action.
Jim Bennett, regional director for Lambda Legal, said supporting same-sex marriage is "both politically smart and morally right."
Polls show voters' feelings shifting rapidly in favor of gay rights. President Barack Obama said last year he supports same-sex marriage, and in November voters in four states either approved or voted down bans on gay marriage.
"I think it's a safer vote to vote with us than to vote against us at this point," Bennett said.
The issue has caused internal conflict among Republicans as the party works balance its efforts to appeal more to younger voters, minorities and women with the more socially conservative positions of some members.
After Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady announced his support for gay marriage during the lame-duck legislative session, saying it was a civil rights issue, some Republicans called for his ouster. Opponents of gay marriage pledged to fund primary challenges to any Republican who voted in favor of the bill.
Thursday's vote came two years after Illinois lawmakers approved civil unions, which provide legal recognition of a partnership between two people, regardless of gender. But gay marriage supporters said it wasn't enough.
The bill is SB10.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dance DJ Lemon is go-to for top talent : Entertainment

Dance DJ Lemon is go-to for top talent : Entertainment

When it comes to backing up some of the world’s top EDM DJs visiting St. Louis, Rob Lemon has become the go-to guy.
The St. Louis dance scene veteran, who spins techno and deep house music, has opened for the likes of Tiesto, Paul van Dyk, Deep Dish, Christopher Lawrence, Jimmy Van M, Deep Mouse and more from a list that keeps growing.
Part of what earned him that distinction, he says, is that he’s well-liked. But above all else, Lemon knows his role.
“My job is to set up the DJs, but to also show off myself,” he says. “You have to control yourself and know your place when you open for these DJs.”
Lemon says young DJs often play music without considering what the crowd wants to hear.
“I’ll go into a club and a young DJ will just blast out music as loud as possible, and the crowd is disconnected,” Lemon says.“He’s just got 10 tracks, and he’s going to play them as loud as he can.”
Lemon’s first professional gig was around 1997 at Velvet, a former Washington Avenue staple. At the time, he mostly was a party DJ, looking to work his way into Velvet’s DJ booth. He got to know Marc Buxton, a resident Velvet DJ, and studied his moves. He also made his face known at dance-record stores such as On the Grid and Deep Grooves.
“I had to be out there all the time getting relationships,” Lemon says. “I would do that for a couple of years, and then that one break came through — ‘Hey, we got an opening slot.’”
He was brought on by Andrew Mullins, a friend and mentor who was a talent buyer at Velvet, to open for Danny Morris during a Thanksgiving weekend gig.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” he says. “It’s a big room — a big, powerful room — one of the biggest rooms I’d seen up to that point.”
Lemon moved on from Velvet to the short-lived Cheetah in 1999 and back to Velvet a year later.
Then, he noticed a change on the dance scene: It was becoming more about big-name, touring DJs over local DJs.
Still, he cemented a Velvet residency and has spun at Home nightclub and Dante’s.
These days, Lemon runs Timmermann Group, a marketing agency in Lafayette Square, and can be found spinning at Europe nightclub, where he opened for van Dyk last month.
At Europe, Lemon demonstrates a style he describes as both technical and well-thought-out.
“I’m very conscious of what the dance floor wants to hear rather than just smashing a bunch of tracks together,” he says. “I think it’s mostly about the crowd hearing the right song at the right time.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tennessee ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Now Requires Teachers To Inform Parents If Their Child Is Gay

Tennessee ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Now Requires Teachers To Inform Parents If Their Child Is Gay: pTennessee’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay‘ bill died with the adjournment of the state assembly last year. But now the measure is back — with new, harsher requirements. The bill, SB 234, still bars Tennessee teachers from discussing any facet of “non-heterosexual” sexuality with children in grades K-8. But the newest iteration also includes a provision requiring teachers or counselors to inform the parents of some students who identify themselves as LGBT. State Sen. Stacey Campfield (R), who authored the bill the first time around and again introduced it this time, calls out students who might be “at risk,” but leaves the interpretation of that behavior to the teacher:
The general assembly recognizes that certain subjects are particularly sensitive and are, therefore, best explained and discussed within the home. Because of its complex societal, scientific, psychological, and historical implications, human sexuality is one such subject. Human sexuality is best understood by children with sufficient maturity to grasp its complexity and implications [...]
A school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal from counseling a student who is engaging in, or who may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and well-being of the student or another person; provided, that wherever possible such counseling shall be done in consultation with the student’s parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred
Family rejection is a serious risk for LGBT youth. Kids who are LGBT often face alienation, if not outright abandonment, because they come out. Forty percent of homeless youth are LGBT, and many of them report that the reason they left home was to escape an environment hostile to their sexual orientation. LGBT youth who experience family rejection are at high risk for depression and suicide.

San Francisco 49ers Player Wouldn’t Tolerate Gay Teammate: ‘Can’t Be With That Sweet Stuff’

San Francisco 49ers Player Wouldn’t Tolerate Gay Teammate: ‘Can’t Be With That Sweet Stuff’: pLast week, Baltimore Raves defensive tackle Brendan Ayanbadejo, an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality, said he hoped to use the Super Bowl as a platform to advocate for marriage equality and anti-bullying efforts. It’s no secret that there are players who don’t agree with Ayanbadejo’s advocacy, and one of his opponents this week is one [...]/p

Jim Nabors Marries Longtime Partner

Jim Nabors Marries Longtime Partner |

Hawaii News Now broke the story that Nabors and 64-year-old Stan Cadwallader, a former firefighter, made it official on January 15 in a low-key ceremony in Seattle, where gay marriage became legal in December. The two make their home in Hawaii.

“The Andy Griffith Show” alum told Hawaii News Now, "I'm 82 and he's in his 60s and so we've been together for 38 years, and I'm not ashamed of people knowing, it's just that it was such a personal thing I didn't tell anybody. I'm very happy that I've had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed. And what can I tell you, I'm just very happy."
Nabors said their decision to finally make it official was to ensure protection if one of them should become sick or die.
"It's pretty obvious that we had no rights as a couple, yet when you've been together 38 years, I think something's got to happen there, you've got to solidify something. And at my age, it's probably the best thing to do," noted Nabors, who underwent open heart surgery last May.
The TV star also said that although this is the first time he’s spoken publicly about his sexual orientation, "This is really no big deal. My friend and I, my partner, we went through all of this 38 years ago. So, I mean, we made our vows and that was it. It was to each other, but nevertheless, we were a couple.”

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our Journey is Not Complete...

“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.” President Obama - January 21, 2013