Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Study Says As Many As 6 Million Americans Have An LGBT Parent

This is interesting info. A new report released by the Williams Institute states that 37% of LGBT Americans have had a child, which means an estimated 6 million adults and children have an LGBT parent. In addition, most gay couple raising children are non-white and live in the South or Midwest--how's that for The New Normal (though I do watch the show occasionally, so no tea and only some shade).  Here are some other stats.

* About 39% of individuals in same-sex couples raising children under age 18 are non-white, as are half of their children —compared to to 36% of those in different-sex couples who are non-white.
* Among children under 18 living with same-sex couples, 50% are non-white compared to 41% of children living with different-sex couples.
*Same-sex couples raising children are four times more likely than their different-sex counterparts to be raising an adopted child. An estimated 16,000 same-sex couples are raising more than 22,000 adopted children in the US.
* States with the highest proportions of same-sex couples raising biological, adopted or step-children include Mississippi (26%), Wyoming (25%), Alaska (23%), Idaho (22%), and Montana (22%).
* Single LGBT adults raising children are three times more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to report household incomes near the poverty threshold. Married or partnered LGBT individuals living in two-adult households with children are twice as likely.
*More than 111,000 same-sex couples are raising an estimated 170,000 biological, step, or adopted children
*Same-sex couples are six times more likely than their different-sex counterparts to be raising foster children. Approximately 2,600 same-sex couples are raising an estimated 3,400 foster children in the US.
*The median annual household income of same-sex couples with children under age 18 in the home is lower than comparable different-sex couples ($63,900 versus $74,000, respectively).


Clive Davis Reacts To Whitney Houston's Lesbian Rumors

Clive says he knew "just knew the heterosexual side of Whitney," and says of her best friend Robyn Crawford "as her assistant, someone she grew up with." What do you think? Watch the clip below and decide.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Body of Murdered Gay Mayoral Candidate Found In Mississippi

Some very sad news. Investigators in Coahoma County believe they have found the body of openly gay mayoral candidate Marco McMillian. The body was found near the Mississippi River, and though it hasn't been officially identified, coroner Scotty Meredith says McMillian “is the only person we have missing.”

"McMillian, CEO of MWM & Associates — a consulting firm that works with non-profit organizations — had been missing since Tuesday morning. ABC 24 News reported that inside sources say McMillian, who until his death was in a bid to become mayor of Clarksdale, Miss., gave a ride to someone who ended up killing him, dumping his body along a river levy west of the city, and stole his car."

It was a head-on collision with McMillian's vehicle that led authorities to search for his car. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is now investigating. The Victory Fund gave their condolences, tweeting “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Marco McMillian, one of the 1st viable openly LGBT candidates in Mississippi,” while opponent Bill Luckett also offered sympathies, calling him a "very articulate, clean-cut young man."


Monday, February 25, 2013

House Of Lies Season 2 Episode 6 Recap: 'Family Values'

As always, spoilers are ahead....

Okay. After last week's "Sincerity Is An Easy Disguise In This Business," which guest starred Larenz Tate as  Marty's antagonistic, bombshell-dropping little brother Malcom--the bombshell in question being their father Jeremiah is contemplating going in for preventative surgery for what looks to be advancing Parkinson's disease-- I was disappointed/perplexed that this week's episode didn't immediately pick things up where they left off. Or that it featured little of Jeremiah of none of Malcom.

Setting up two potentially explosive plot lines-- Malcom and Marty's combative relationship and Jeremiah's illness--and then cutting to the Pod at some retreat, felt like the show was reverting back to snark and outrageous hi-jinks(which they happen to do very well) just as things were starting to get real. But what "Family Values" lacked in Larenz, it made up for with something this show hasn't given us yet: a Doug and Clyde-centric episode that showed these two aren't just the embodiment of sleaze and stupidity.

The episode opens with the Pod at a company retreat organized by CEO Julianne for the Apex Program, a program to designed teach "enlightened leadership and team enhancement." If your bullshit detector just went off, you're not alone. Marty turns to the camera--hey the Zack Morris-style four wall breaks are back!--and breaks down how the whole retreat is a bunch of smoke and mirrors designed to move the company beyond the sordid sex scandals of season one. After Julianne, or as Marty calls her, a "wolf in Gucci clothing," finishes her speech, Jeannie, Marty and Clyde goes off to find Doug, but not before running into Tamara, whose not her usual together self. More on that later.

The Pod overhears strange sounds coming from Doug's room, which turn out to be he and new beau Sarah having sex. After some standard insults and innuendo (Clyde says Doug sounds like a foghorn with he comes, but I'd go with a horny Cookie Monster), they leave Doug to get dressed and Sarah to assert Jeannie's got a crush on Doug. Hmmmm, me thinks someone's skull hit the headboard one too many times during coitus. Anyway, cut to Julianne pulling Marty aside for the umpteenth time to talk about the latest on  U.S. National Bank and getting all giddy about some special guest set to speak at the retreat. Marty lets her know he has to cut out to see Roscoe in a recital, and Julianne responds with her now trademark smiley, passive-aggressive mental manipulation.

Marty decides to be a good parent--or an insubordinate, take your pick--and drives back L.A. for Roscoe's performance, which was originally supposed to be a krumpfest but has been changed to a dance routine from Pippen. But when Roscoe and his crew hit the stage, its all krumping, crotch grabbing, and an entire heatwave's worth of dropping it like it's hot. Marty, along with Monica, Tessa and Jeremiah, is as shocked as the rest of the audience at first, but can't help but glow with fatherly pride at the sight of his offspring giving flipping the bird to the system. Of course, there's a discussion to be had about pre-teens grabbing their nether regions and booty-popping, but that's a discussion for another time.

Back at the retreat, Clyde decides to make a none-too subtle (but when has he ever been subtle?) move on Sarah, who reacts as civilly as a humanly possible while being verbally and physically molested.  How she refrained from slapping him when he said her breasts "were like 9/11" is beyond me. Clyde's always been a skeeze, but for the first time he didn't come off like a lovable horndog; instead he just reeked of backstabbing, horny douchebag. His disrespect of Doug continues at rafting competition, where a super-intense dude named Francis taunts them by saying The Pod ain't The Pod without Marty around.

Francis's taunt seems to awaken something in Clyde, and he and Jeannie berate Doug into competing in the race and "being a team player for once."  Inspired reverse psychology or more disrespect? I'll take the latter. Things go well, until the raft breaks, like Doug said it would, and he falls into the water, flailing until he realizes he can stand up. Cue Clyde calling Doug an idiot and cut to Sarah saying what we've known to be true since, oh, the series premiere. The Pod, and Clyde in particular, are a bunch of jerks who don't respect Doug. It takes her three or four tries to get her point across; even after she tells him Clyde offered rub lotion on her breasts he still defends him. Damn, and I thought you had to be kidnapped to suffer from Stockholm syndrome. Sarah finally seems to break through when she says he's smarter, better-looking and a better person in general, giving him a tap on the butt as she goes to get ready for a party. Perceptive and sexually attracted to Doug? She's a keeper.

Some part of Doug still doubts she's right though, and he pulls Jeannie aside to ask her if Clyde would ever hit on Sarah. She says "yes" without a skipping a beat, as anyone possessing two working eyes and a brain would, then asks why. "Why? Because we're friends," Doug says in disbelief. Jeannie then turns serious and lets Doug know that  all Clyde is cares about Clyde. He tries to save face and let the truth roll off his back, but it's easy to see he's hurting. Again, this is something that should be capital O obvious. But Doug's always been the least cynical of foursome; he truly thinks of Marty as his mentor, as someone who's chummy enough with Jeannie to set her up on a blind date. Why wouldn't he think Clyde would never cross the line and hit on his girlfriend? It's a credit to Josh Lawson that he makes Doug's reaction to this realization feel genuinely sad.

Sarah joins Jeannie and Doug, and says she can't find her purse. Or so she says. After he leaves to find it, Sarah confronts Jeannie about having a crush on Doug. Jeannie makes it clear she feels nothing for him, which seems to satisfy Sarah. I still think Sarah's dead wrong on this, though Jeannie and Doug do seem to be making a habit of running to each other to talk about their personal lives, so maybe she isn't completely off base.

It looks like Sarah has not only given Doug some insight on his co-workers, but a backbone as well. He calls Clyde out for hitting on Sarah, then hits him where he lives, saying he's a good person at his core but is also  a "sad, deeply insecure little man." A well-deserved read if there ever was one, it also provides a moment for Ben Schwartz to drop the mask and display some emotion. Hopefully this is the beginning of seeing these characters as more than comic relief.

Now back to Tamara. It's obvious to everyone something's off with her, and her decision to knock back shots and shake a tail feather with Marty on the dance floor underscores that fact. As the night's winding down, she makes it plain she wants Marty to spend the night. He asks what's up with her, but she goes all quid pro quo, telling him to spill a secret first. So Marty lets it rip that he leaving the company. I suppose this isn't a total surprise; Brynn's  reveal last week that Julianne wanted someone else at the helm for the U.S. National Bank account showed she was playing mind games. And Malcom's calling him a sellout and Tamara's remark about him "dropping checks into laps of people you hate" probably lingered in his mind as well, which she reminds him of. Though Julianne's command that "everyone know their place" at Galweather most likely sealed the deal. I think we've found our Rainmaker/arch nemesis for this season.

Tamara keeps her word, unveiling that husband Kevin has taken job in New York, even though they agreed her career would be the main focus once their children were older. He hasn't, and won't change, so for Tamara the marriage is dead, and she wants Marty to make her feel alive. Marty's eyes linger on her for a second, but he chickens out at the idea of making an actual emotional connection during sex and invites a waitress to join them in the Jacuzzi for a threesome. Tamara calls him a pussy and walks off. Marty pours himself another shot and shoots the camera a knowing "She's right" look, then we fade to black. The last bit was a little too on the nose for my taste--it was already clear he and Tamara still carry feelings for each other. But whatever.

"Family Values" was a fitting title, as it's dawning on many of the characters that what makes a family is not set in stone, nor is it always what it seems. Monica's creating her own family with new girlfriend Tessa, and seems to actually be basing her relationship on love; Tamara's family is falling apart as her husband values his own career over hers and their marriage; Marty sees his own rebellion streaks runs in Roscoe's via his raunchy recital performance; and Doug realizes the Pod, a.k.a. his work family, were never really family in the first place.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

WATCH: Free Angela And All Political Prisoners Trailer

Filmmaker Shola Lynch's documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, examines the life of political icon Angela Davis. According to The Grio:

"The movie centers on Davis’ implication in a courthouse murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy effort on August 7, 1970 in Marin County, California, the trial that ensued thereafter and Davis’ eventual acquittal. Though only 26 years old at the time, it was the culmination of a riotous period in Davis’ life, where she had already been labeled a terrorist by the government, and fired from her job as a professor at UCLA.

“Angela Davis is associated with [the Black Panthers] and she stands up for her rights and her beliefs,” Lynch explains. “It starts with UCLA and standing up for her job. It went against the school policy and the law, I’m pretty sure, for the school to try and fire her for being a Communist…That’s what democracy is all about, that we have freedom of speech, and academic freedom, within the context of the university, to discuss ideas that may or may not be popular. So, the idea that she was standing up for her rights unequivocally is very attractive.”'

The documentary, executive produced by Overbrook Entertainment partners Will Smith, James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Roc Nation, is slated to premiere in select theaters in the U.S. on April 5. Watch the trailer below.

We Can Be Heroes...And Villains

Atlanta-based photographer Philip Bonneau's latest series puts a sexy/silly spin on several comic book/sci-fi icons (like the makeout session going down between Spock and Captain Kirk above). According to Bonneau, the series is "based around adults reconnecting with their childhood and remembering what it was like to pretend.”

Take a look at the whole series HERE.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Picture Perfect Beyonce

Vulture's Amanda Dobbins has a good piece about reaction to Beyonce's Life Is But A Dream--the said reaction being that while the HBO doc excels at showing her in all her ultimate warrior fierceness, it is too glossy and reveals little about its subject other than her relentless perfectionism.

A choice excerpt:

"We expect to see our pop stars fade, even as we shame them for it. We want Britney to fall apart again on national television. We want to lecture Rihanna about her romantic choices. We want unfiltered and "real" celebrity access until we get it, and then we want to punish the celebrities for it, because humanity is a pop-star sin, too.

Beyoncé is not famous because she's good at Twitter (Beyoncé has tweeted four times); she is famous because she can sprint around a stadium while belting "Halo," because she can shake her hair like a bobble-head doll and sing "Run the World" simultaneously, because she does the work ... If it requires a Monica-from-Friends level of control to achieve like Beyoncé does, then so be it. Perfectionism serves Beyoncé well."

While I agree that people love to watch pop stars crash and burn, I don't think the all criticism of Life Is But A Dream, and  of Beyonce's image, is solely about that. For the record, I enjoyed the documentary, and did feel at some points I was gaining a bit of insight into Beyonce--the tale of her miscarriage being an obvious, gut-wrenching one, as well as her thoughts on men, women, money and power and parting ways with her father.

But that's just it; I only felt as if I were getting a bit of insight. For instance, Beyonce says she needed her dad back, which is why she let him go as her manager, but did not get maintain her relationship with him. I  didn't expect her to give the full blow-by-blow (the affair, the baby out of wedlock, the divorce,etc.) However, I did expect more of an answer as to why she felt she didn't get him back, especially since a shot of him holding Blue Ivy is included later in the documentary.

Her relationship with Jay-Z, which gave life to some genuinely sweet moments--like the couple singing Coldplay's "Yellow"--left a lot of room for exploration. Did her unstoppable drive and dedication to her career ever cause them to struggle? What about their age difference or the vastly different ways they grew up? The Marcy projects and the suburbs of Houston aren't exactly a hop, skip and a jump away. How does she feel about some of his songs that are more than a little misogynistic  ("Big Pimpin," and "Can I Get A..." come to mind)? How did she feel about 4's commercial performance (which wasn't bad, but not as great as previous albums)? These are not gossipy innuendos designed to dig up dirt. They are valid questions to aspects of Beyonce's life, aspects she has opened up for the purpose of this film.

Compare Life Is But A Dream to say, Madonna's Truth Or Dare, a self-produced doc by another self-proclaimed control freak and perfectionist. While I don't believe I'm getting a deep, uncensored glimpse at "the real Madonna (or at least who she was in 1990)" when viewing it, there are moments--feeling the tension as she meets her father and step-mother backstage, seeing her squirm when an old friend asks her to be the godmother of her unborn child, hearing her talk shit about her brother's alcoholism with her other brother Christopher (who would go on to betray her), visiting her mother's grave, ripping her top off, tearing up in the middle of a pre-show prayer when mentioning a friend who died of AIDS, coldly chuckling when she first hears her makeup artist may have been date raped, partying with her gay dancers, confessing the then love of her life was Sean Penn--that make me think I'm getting, if not a completely honest portrait of her, then at least a fragment of her true personality, good, bad and indifferent.

There are not nearly enough of those moments in Life Is But A Dream. Even when Beyonce (metaphorically) lets her hair down and laughingly lets a few four letter words fly after messing up a take in the studio and we witness her ticks--like repeating the first word of the line she might forget before singing--we cut back to Beyonce holding court on the couch before we can fully get immersed in her process. Holding court over stage rehearsals, reviewing performance tapes, busting out choreography with lightning quick precision in a hotel hallway is great. But we already know Bey is a great dancer and overseer of Beyonce Inc. Being highly ambitious and great at her craft--a perfectionist if you will-- makes for a great performer and possibly the perfect pop star, but only a good documentary.

What are your thoughts on Life Is But A Dream

And for another take on both the doc, and how Beyonce's independent, overachiever streak has impacted her music, check out Nitsuh Abebe's piece here.

Clive Davis Comes Out As Bisexual

Record executive and star-maker Clive Davis, the man behind iconic performers like Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys and of course, Whitney Houston has come out as bisexual in his new memoir The Soundtrack of My Life.

"After my second marriage failed, I met a man who was also grounded in music. Having only had loving relationships and sexual intimacy with women, I opened myself up to the possibility that I could have that with a male, and found that I could," Davis writes in the memoir, which also details a dalliance with a man during the heyday of Studio 54, a long-term relationship with a doctor, and how the revelation of his sexuality led a strained relationship with one of his children.

Davis, who is currently in a relationship with man, also writes "I never stopped being attracted to women. Bisexuality is misunderstood; the adage is that you're either straight or gay or lying, but that's not my experience. To call me anything other than bisexual would be inaccurate."

The Soundtrack of My Life also details his days at Columbia Records, interactions with rock legends Bruce Springsteen, and his ousting from Arista. As for Whitney, an entire chapter is devoted to his work with the late diva, including recounts of early collaborations, his fear of her doing The Bodyguard and a one-on-one intervention Davis had with the singer at his New York home when her drug problems worsened.

If Whitney was indeed "family," Davis's revelation certainly adds a new perspective on their relationship, as well as the dynamics that had to have existed between he, Cissy, and Robin Crawford, Houston's friend and long-time personal assistant. And it may be a little unfair, but Clive's coming out also makes me shoot Cissy the side-eye (again), because as someone who was very active in the music industry, she had to know of, or at least have heard about, Clive's sexuality. Not something she would "condone" but was perfectly willing to let a bisexual man have near total control over and guide her possibly lesbian daughter's superstar career. Hmmmm.

Read more here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

House Of Lies Season 2 Ep. 5 Recap: 'Sincerity Is An Easy Disguise In This Business'

As always, spoilers are ahead...

This season House Of Lies has been all about the celebrity cameos. First there was Nia Long as Tamara, Marty's business school classmate/ex-girlfriend. Then there was Matt Damon, amped up on insanity steroids in last week's "" Now Larenz Tate has popped up in the proceedings as Marty's younger brother Malcom.

The episode opens with a clip of Malcom holding court at what looks like a pretty pathetic/staged Occupy Wall Street rally, including a dude in his underwear who can't, in Malcom's words "afford a pot to piss in." Cut to the Kahn men having dinner at a restaurant, with Jeremiah praising his youngest son's activism, and Roscoe being fascinated by tales of "conversations" (i.e. a single retweet) with Cornel West. Though Marty shuts down any chance of Roscoe living in a tank community, or as he refers to it, a "rat infested candy shop for pedophiles."

As to be expected, Malcom's rebel philosophy clashes with Marty's where them dollars at mentality,along with their general successful older brother/younger freeloading brother dynamic, and the two trade barbs about Marty's tap dancing at Galweather until Jeremiah, no doubt having been in this situation more than once, stops them. Marty notices his dad's finger twitch--and obvious call back to his confession of Parkinson's disease last season--and asks if he's okay. Jeremiah changes the subject and offers to pay the bill after Malcom's long stare at makes it clear the revolution will not be monetized. Marty snatches the bill and two snipe at each other some more, until Malcom one ups him by order something to go. Fight the powers that be indeed.

The next day the Pod is taking a survey for new client Cupid Chemistry. Marty's already flew through the questionnaire by virtue of not giving two craps, while Doug of course is all about analyzing every question to the nth degree. Julianne calls Marty out of the room and tells him he needs to go to Chicago to land US  National BBank, and suggests he take along Tamara, which he quickly shoots down. Hmmm, what was that part about him not feeling threatened again? He goes back into the room and informs the rest of crew they'll be splitting up. Jeannie immediately assumes she'll be heading to Chi-town, but is pissed, and perhaps despite her best efforts, feels slightly betrayed when he opts for taking Clyde instead. Obviously she's still hung up on their night out at the end of last season, and Marty decision's isn't helping ease any fears that things won't stay at least a little awkward between them.

Once in Chicago, Marty and Clyde meet bank CEO Criswell, a tightly wound weirdo whose father wants him to make a run for governor, despite his son possessing no political savvy whatsoever, if waving zucchinis around and making racist Michele Obama and athletic references is any indication. Fortunately he's got a secret weapon in his consultant Brynn, who earns some approving looks from Marty with lines like "politics isn't theater, it's performance art."

Meanwhile Jeannie and Doug fly to San Diego. Doug's jumping into the whole online dating thing feet first, and made profile that includes the caption "You can thank the Second Amendment for these guns," under a picture of him working out, which has officially replaced "did you get tickets to the gun show" as the lamest way to let someone know you work out. But hey, a profile named Sarah, who is 94 percent match for him, must be thankful Doug has the right to bear arms. Ugh, now I'm doing it.

Anyway, Doug pushes Jeannie to go out with her match, Cameron The Kung Fu Lover, as he will henceforth be referred to for the rest of this recap, and correctly psychoanalyzes the her relationships with Marty, The Rainmaker and her ex-fiancee as ones driven by a need for control and to get ahead. Which is why her feelings for Marty terrify her, as they are most definitely out of her control. She takes Doug's advice--as well as a free shot of tequila from a friendly gay working behind the bar--and goes on a blind date. Things go well at first, as Cameron The Kung Fu Lover reveals himself to be a well-adjusted kindergarten teacher who is a big brother to a kid named Frederick Douglas. Nice, whimsical shout out to Black History month guys.

Things go south though when Jeannie's assumptions and cynicism get the best of her, as she asks why he trolls the Internet for "desperate vag" and worse, makes light of his big brother status. She's so blind to his change in demeanor that she gets all emotionally slutty and reveals cheating on her fiancee with the Rainmaker. Even her choice of words--frat boy fiancee, creepy Mr. Burns boss (though I'd be hard-pressed to argue with her on that. I can almost hear him sighing "Egggg-cellent after each of their little trysts)--show how hardened and closed off she is compared to Cameron The Kung Fu Lover, who abruptly gets up and says he'll pay for his tab at the bar. Pissed both at Doug and probably herself, Jeannie storms up to his room to find Doug's Sarah is not a nightmare creature and that the two have shared a very pleasant evening together.

The same could be said for Marty and Brynn, who dismisses Clyde as driven, oversexed bonehead and sees a kindred corrupted soul in Marty. The two turn talk on the insincerity of sincerity into foreplay, and making out and groping various nether regions commences. Then Brynn drops a bomb: Julianne wanted US National Bank's business, but she wanted another consultant--Tamara perhaps?--to helm the account. Marty is of course livid at learning this little tid bit, but it doesn't stop the sex train from rolling full steam ahead. The bad news? Julianne has declared psychological war. The good news? Brynn might be Marty's new hate sex partner.

Coming home to his apartment, Marty finds Malcom on his couch, drinking his 30-year-old Scotch, laying up on his sofa and eating pizza. Not in the mood to be political, Marty asks Malcom what he wants, and they to lay into each other again, with Marty calling Malcom a phony who's been manipulating their father for cash, and Malcom calling Marty, a.k.a. "Martin" a sellout. There may be some significance in each brother being named for a civil rights icon, but since Malcom is focused on not growing up by any means necessary and Martin's is closing big money deals for what are often heartless clients through non-violent bull shitting, they don't exactly embody their surnames.

Malcom reveals their father was in a bad car wreck and is considering going in for deep-brain stimulation treatment. Neither of which Jeremiah told Marty about. Yeah, it's officially been taken there. Marty fires off a final quip, telling Malcom to "use a coaster motherfucker" for his drink. but the look on his face as he walks to his bedroom shows the damage has already been done.

I've enjoyed the season so far, but it's been long on comedy and gags and short on the dark, emotional moments of season one. It's nice to see that "real life" may be crashing into Marty's world again.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Master Mix

Being that it's Valentine's Day and I'm feeling like a big ol' pile of love at the moment, here are a few of my favorite love songs, posted below. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Kenneth Faried Becomes 1st NBA Player To Join Athlete Ally Campaign

Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, who recently talked about his two lesbians moms and voiced hi support for marriage equality, has now become the first NBA player to join Athlete Ally, an organization whose goal is to make sports more welcoming for LGBT people.

“Becoming an Athlete Ally gives me the opportunity to spread a message of inclusiveness throughout the NBA and our country,” Faried said in a news release posted on Athlete Ally’s website. “I have two moms and I love them both very much. I respect, honor and support them in every way. The bond I have with them has made me realize that I want all members of the LGBT community — whether they are parents, players, coaches or fans — to feel welcome in the NBA and in all of our communities.”

Faried joins four NFL players, an Australian rugby star and Rules Football player and numerous college athletes who have joined Athlete Ally.

Senate Passes Gay-Inclusive Domestic Violence Bill

Today the Senate voted 78-22 to reauthorize the the Violence Against Women Act, with a provision included that assures services to gay and lesbian victims of domestic violence.

The legislation could have a harder time passing in the House of Representatives though, as some Republicans object to the gay-inclusive provision as well as those covering immigrants and allowing Indians to prosecute non-Indians who commit criminal acts on tribal lands.

"The original Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994, but it expired in 2011, and Congress failed to reauthorize it last year, due to partisan differences over details. Vice President Joe Biden, who as a senator from Delaware helped pass the 1994 bill, is working with House Republican leader Eric Cantor on that chamber’s new version of the legislation, the Associated Press reports.

The reauthorization would provide $650 million to states over five years to go toward transitional housing, legal assistance, and other services for people who have suffered domestic violence. It contains a provision that would prohibit denial of services on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. Studies indicate many LGBT victims of domestic abuse have been turned away from shelters or denied protection orders."


Monday, February 11, 2013

House of Lies Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: ''

As always, spoilers lay ahead...

After taking a break last week for what I assume was to avoid the ratings slaughter that was Super Beyonce Bowl Sunday, House of Lies is back, and bringing some major star power in the form of Matt Damon, who is playing himself. Well, at least an over-the-top, insane, Neil Patrick Harris as Neil Patrick Harris in Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle version of himself.

We begin at the office, where Doug is spazzing out as usual, and Clyde is telling to him to shut up in his own colorful way, as usual. This time it turns out Doug is babbling for a good reason: Matt Damon, yes the Matt Damon *swoons for the real life version and not the bizarro douchebag version* wants to start a charity, and, as it turns out, his business manager knows Julianne, so the Pod gets a shot at the business. Clyde and Marty aren't quite as psyched as Doug, with the former saying they'll handle Matt like they'd handle any other actor; let him talk and pump up his fragile ego by giving him the love and approval he so desperately craves. Nice in-joke. Doug, lost in his fanboydom, believes otherwise. Of course, since it came out of Doug's mouth, we know he'll be proven very, very wrong.

Marty heads to Jeannie's office and she asks if he's had anymore flashbacks about their drunken night a few weeks back. He claims the well is dry, and she claims to be fresh out of memories as well, but neither seems to entirely believe the other. Marty informs her Matt Damon's coming, and like almost any girl (and more than a few boys) of her generation, she immediately pulls out the compact to make sure the hair and face are on point. On the way to the meeting, Julianne pulls Marty aside to tell how him landing Matt Damon would be "major Wall Street Journal porn," then makes what Marty calls her own porn face, which is about as cringe-inducing as you'd expect.

The meeting starts off with much fawning over Matt, who at first glance acts and speaks like his off-screen persona. An over-excited Doug launches into his presentation, which Matt proceeds to ignore like any normal human being, asking Marty where he got his watch and proclaiming himself to be a swag whore who loves geting free stuff. A little off-putting perhaps, but nothing most folks wouldn't admit to. However, his inner sleaze comes out more when he motions to Jeannie and asks Marty if he "hit that," to which Marty honestly replies he doesn't know.

Alpha male recognizing alpha male, Matt lays it on the line: he wants a charity that's bigger and better than George Clooney's, one that's sexier than talking about water and dying African kids, because really, who cares about that? Matt just wants to rock a beard, shoot a M-16 and basically film a spot that looks like he's fighting for blood diamonds rather than clean water. Awesome in theory? Yes. But vacuous and idiotic in reality. No matter, 'cause what's on Matt's mind now is going out and raging with Marty, who unfortunately, already made plans with Roscoe that he'll now have to worm his way out of.

Speaking of Roscoe, he's sitting in the office waiting on Marty when Jeannie walks in and earns cool points by complimenting him on his Janoski sneakers. Roscoe's stare lingers when she leaves, almost long enough to make you think he may have a crush. Marty comes and starts to tell Roscoe about the change in plans, when Roscoe says he wants to go to the batting cages with his friend Dylan, his "homeboy who's epically bad ass." Riight. Taken a bit aback by this decidedly butch activity, Marty also picks up on his son's interest in Jeannie and pawns him off on her while managing to stay in his good graces. This is in part because Marty's master at reading body language, but also because Roscoe's savvy enough to know Jeannie is the type of woman Dylan would lust after.

Unfortunately, his plan works a little too well and Dylan focuses all his bad pick up lines and pre-teen boner on her, ignoring Roscoe, who obviously has a thing for him. Aah, crushing on the douchebag straight boys. Been there, done that. Anyway, Jeannie tells Dylan in no uncertain terms to back the hell up, earning Roscoe's respect, later telling him he's great and Dylan would be lucky have him as a friend, or whatever. Then the two hug.

Too bad Marty's night wasn't as affirming. Matt Damon reveals himself to be an insufferable narcissist, one is astute enough to realize that people see the version of him they want to see, and uses it feed his ego. Oh, and to torture Marty by slapping him on the back of the head and getting him punched in the face by beefy bodyguards. Finally, Marty's had enough and lights into Matt, telling him he's a total hypocrite and that the bullshit he spits is most impressive. Considering the "the wholesale quantities of bullshit" Marty deals with and dishes out, that could be taken as a perverse compliment. At least if Matt hadn't tuned him out and ran off with some girls.

The next day, Matt's running late and the Pod is shocked to learn Marty told him off and may have offended Mr. Sensitivity himself. Poor deluded souls. Jeannie reminds him of the importance of the deal and the press it would give the firm. Matt arrives and it quickly becomes clear he's loaded out of his skull, so Marty clears the room and tries to talk some sense into him, but to no avail, Vicodin being a hell of a drug and all. Matt tells him they can close the deal if Marty engages in a little skulduggery, a.k.a. a blow job. Marty, too through with this craziness, kicks him out again. Matt actually seems to find his conscience and apologizes. But then says they can seal the deal with a hand job. Marty glares at him like he's mental, but then gives the camera a "why the hell not" look.

Cut to a ridiculously overblown ad for, with explosions, guns and nuns thrown in the mix. Filming ends, with everyone singing the praises of Matt Damon while clad in T-shirts. Of course no (I'm assuming, unfortunately) good deed goes unnoticed, so as Matt walks toward Marty he makes the hand job gesture. All in a day's work.

In Monica news, she and Tessa are having fabulous sex--all those slow-motion shots of bedsheets made them look like they were in the middle of a Calvin Klein ad--but Monica's more interested in getting off and taking a post-coital catnap than talking about feelings. Let's see how long that lasts.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Toni Braxton: "I Would Like To Play A Lesbian"

Toni Braxton says she's taking a break from/focusing less on music *makes sad face* but she also has her heart set on landing a role as a lesbian *smiles at what could be an interesting career move*.

I would like to play a lesbian,” she told NBC. “I don’t know why. And do a whole make-out scene and the whole thing; just something completely different than people would expect from me. Not a lipstick lesbian, either.”

Unfortunately we probably shouldn't be holding our collective breath for a new Toni Braxton album. “For what I do I have to love it," she said. "I have to feel that excitement and it’s gone,” she said. “I’m just not going to do any albums anymore; maybe touring occasionally here and there because I love performing, but not as much as I did in the past.”

Until that perfect stud role lands in her lap, you can catch Toni over at Lifetime for her latest film Twist Of Faith, in which she plays a gospel singer and single mother who falls in love with an Orthodox Jewish man.

Watch Toni wax sapphic below.

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Obama To Honor PFLAG Founder

President Obama announced today he will posthumously honor Jeanne Manford, the co-founder of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, aka PFLAG, with the Citizens Medal.

Manford, along with her husband Jules formed the support group in 1972 after their gay son Morty was beaten in a gay rights protest in New York, and police refused to intervene. “In the years that followed, Manford continued to march and organize, even after losing Morty to AIDS in 1992,” notes a White House press release. Jeanne Manford died in January at age 92.

"'Jeanne was one of the fiercest fighters in the battle for acceptance and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people,' PFLAG executive director Jody Huckaby said upon Manford’s death."

Along with Manfod, 18 other nominees, including the six Sandy Hook Elementary School staff members who died in the mass shooting last December, will receive medals.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Whitney On Wax

Madame Tassaud's wax figures of Whitney Houston have been unveiled, and they look fantastic, depicting the late icon at four different points in her career. Each figure will be displayed in a different city.

"Houston performing the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl is going to Washington, D.C.'s Tussauds; Hollywood will get her in her 1992 movie The Bodyguard; Las Vegas will display the young Houston as seen in her 1988 video for "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)"; and New York will exhibit a more recent likeness of the singer, from a 2009 photo shoot for her final studio album."

The figures were unveiled in NYC today.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Question: What Was The First Album You Loved?

For factual purposes, Whitney's Bodyguard entered my consciousness first, and while it was fab, it was technically a soundtrack--yes I'm getting a bit technical. Also, while I loved/love Nippy, I classified her under "my Mama's jams" at the time. Crazysexycool was the first album I "claimed" as my own.

What was the first album/CD/cassette/iPod download (for the 90's babies) that you listened to nonstop?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Military To Extend Benefits For Gay Partners

This is a good way to gracefully bow out. As one of his final acts as secretary of defense, Leon Panetta is expected to establish more equal benefits gay and lesbian military couples and their families.

"According to Outserve-SLDN, Panetta will make the announcement this week, before officially leaving office. The organization has been lobbying the Pentagon and federal government to extend benefits as simple as housing and military ID access to same-sex partners of military personnel since "don't ask, don't tell" was repealed officially in 2011.

The Washington Post reports that Pentagon officials are trying to determine which benefits can be extended to same-sex couples without violating the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which bars the federal government from recognizing the rights of gay and lesbian couples. An estimated 100 benefits may be extended to partners, spouses and families. Currently, same-sex partners and spouses are granted minimal rights."

Read the rest here.

House Introduces Immigration Bill For Gay Partners

Dozens of House representatives, lead by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, have introduced a bill to allow gays and lesbians to sponsor their same-sex partners for legal residency in the U.S.

"Because the federal government does not recognize the relationships of same-sex couples under the Defense of Marriage Act, Nadler's Uniting American Families Act would grant the same rights to gay couples that heterosexual married couples currently have. The bill comes as Congress debates an overhaul to the country's immigration laws.

Versions of this bill have been introduced to Congress in each session since 2000.

“Today, thousands of committed same-sex couples are needlessly suffering because of unequal treatment under our immigration laws, and this is an outrage,” Nadler said in a statement Tuesday. “Our Constitution guarantees that no class of people will be singled out for differential treatment – and LGBT Americans must not be excluded from that guarantee.  Moreover, any serious legislative proposal for comprehensive immigration reform absolutely must include gay and lesbian couples and their families.”

Preach! Thirty-one countries including Brazil, Denmark, Hungary and the U.K. allow residents to sponsor partners for legal immigration. Read the rest here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

WATCH: Beyonce's Super Bowl Performance

As I said of Madonna last year, Beyonce, a.k.a Queen Bey, a.k.a Her Creole Madgesty, came, saw and SLAYED. With nary a lip synch in earshot. Get into the fabulousness and gag below.

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