TODAY: Kansas Marriage Hearing

Via the Associated Press:

A federal judge is to hear a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriage. The hearing Friday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree in Kansas City, Kansas, is on the ACLU’s request for an order to force Kansas to allow gay marriages. The ACLU filed the lawsuit for two lesbian couples who were denied marriage licenses in Douglas and Sedgwick counties after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five other states seeking to preserve gay marriage bans. The ACLU is seeking a temporary injunction to bring Kansas into line with 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals precedents in other cases.

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Federal Judge to Hear Challenge to Kansas Gay Marriage Ban Today: VIDEO

Kansas

A federal judge in Kansas is expected to hear a challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriage later today, the Associated Press reports:

Kansas flagThe hearing Friday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree in Kansas City, Kansas, is on the ACLU’s request for an order to force Kansas to allow gay marriages.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit for two lesbian couples who were denied marriage licenses in Douglas and Sedgwick counties after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five other states seeking to preserve gay marriage bans.

The ACLU is seeking a temporary injunction to bring Kansas into line with 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals precedents in other cases.

Kansas City station KSHB adds the Kansas Supreme Court will take up a separate gay marriage case next week. Kansas remains the only state in the 10th Circuit without marriage equality.

Watch a KSHB report on today’s case, AFTER THE JUMP

 

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Perkins: Annise Parker Is A Totalitarian

“It may be Halloween, but even Mayor Annise Parker can’t mask her real agenda. The Houston leader couldn’t have been clearer yesterday that while she may have withdrawn the churches’ subpoenas, she has no intention of withdrawing from the battle over fundamental democracy. Remember, this whole saga began when the Mayor pushed a bad special rights ordinance, which morphed into a voting rights violation when she discarded over 30,000 signed citizen petitions. From there, it mushroomed into an attack on the First Amendment, and pastors started to challenge her totalitarian rule. While we’d like to think yesterday’s move was the result of the Mayor’s changed heart, it’s more likely the result of overwhelming public pressure. No doubt the Mayor would like the national scrutiny to go away, but as long as she continues to use her power to intimidate voters, the spotlight will remain.” – Hate group leader Tony Perkins, via press release.

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Ugandan LGBT Activist Sam Ganafa Avoids Homophobic Court Trial

GanafaIn November of 2013 as Uganda’s parliament moved forward in its decision to turn its anti-homosexuality act into law, Sam Ganafa was arrested along with three other LGBT rights activists. Ganafa, who leads Spectrum Uganda, an Ugandan LGBT organization that specializes in HIV education, is one of the country’s most prominent queer public figures. Ganafa and the three individuals were arrested while at a party together before being shuffled through the Ugandan court system notorious for its mishandling of defendants involved in LGBT cases.

Ganafa’s three companions have since fled Uganda for neighboring Kenya, where many LGBT refugees face a different, yet familiar kind of persecution.

On October 8, the charges against Ganafa were dropped after a long struggle  going back and forth with legal officials to set a proper court date. Technically Ganafa had been arrested on suspicions of violating the country’s strict laws prohibiting sodomy.

As is typically the case, authorities attempted to keep him in jail indefinitely due to not having sufficient evidence to bring his case to trial. Though Ganafa is pleased with being free, he still remains wary of local law enforcement who’ve vowed to come after him again.

“The court action is a good sign, because it’s independent and opens a window of hope for us,” Ganafa said in an interview with Erasing 76 Crimes in an exchange by Facebook message. “We also expect the same action to be taken in other cases currently before the courts. I pray that the courts will ward off possible pressures from the anti-gay lobby.”

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NOM Targets Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor in New Ad: VIDEO

Pryor

Hoping to put its recent string of embarrassing set-backs squarely in the rear-view mirror, the National Organization for Marriage has begun targeting Sen. Mark Pryor with the hopes of ousting the two-term Democrat from Arkansas. 

Highlighting Pryor’s somewhat ambiguous position on LGBT equality, NOM released a new SuperPac ad and press release this week, with Brian Brown urging “Arkansas voters who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman cast their votes for Tom Cotton.”

Watch the 30-second spot, AFTER THE JUMP

Politico rates the Arkansas Senate race as a “Likely Republican”

Previously, “NOM Spends Over $100K to Support Anti-gay North Carolina Senate Candidate Thom Tillis: VIDEO” [tlrd]

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New Starbucks Commercial Features Queens From RuPaul’s Drag Race

Via TIME Magazine:

Everybody loves coffee and its healing powers — especially drag queens, as we now know from Starbuck’s latest ad. It features Bianca Del Rio and Adore Delano, fan favorites from the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race who are both very cranky and under-caffeinated while waiting in a long Starbucks line. They begin to argue and trade insults, but then the smiley barista hands them both their steaming beverages — and boom! Friendship repaired.

We look forward to NOM’s reaction with glee!

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20-Year-Old Georgian Disowned After ‘Pray the Gay Away’ Intervention Joins Board of Homeless LGBT Youth Org

Pierce

Daniel Pierce, the 20-year-old Georgian whose video of his family’s verbally and physically abusive “pray the gay away” intervention back in August went viral, has been named to the Board of Directors of Lost-n-Found Youth, GLAAD reports:

Lost-n-Found Youth is a non-profit organization providing temporary housing, job search assistance, counseling, and other services to homeless LGBT youth. Pierce is the first former client of Lost-n-Found Youth to join the organization’s Board of Directors. His appointment is part of a larger effort to bring broad perspectives and skills to the organization’s leadership. 

GLAAD adds Pierce is using a portion of the nearly $100,000 he raised in the wake of the video’s release to help Lost-n-Found build a new shelter for LGBT homeless youth that will reportedly triple the capacity of the organization’s current shelter. 

Said Pierce:

“Lost-n-Found was there for support from the earliest moments and they stepped in before I ever got to the first critical 48 hours of homelessness,” said Pierce. “Their quick response is proof that there is a safe place in Atlanta for youth like me to turn to for support. Even though my personal story was extreme, I hope my experiences can continue the dialogue about GLBTQ youth homelessness and get people off the street by engaging the community.”

More info on Lost-n-Found can be found here

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Nashville’s Gay Rugby Team Gets Wet, Muddy, and Shirtless for New Calendar: PHOTOS

Rugby

2015 is ‘bearing’ down on us in a big way now that the Nashville Grizzlies gay rugby calendar has arrived!

One of the team’s members, Thomas H., writes us:

“The Nashville Grizzlies RFC is a USA Rugby Division III club. We are a socially and ethnically diverse group of guys ages 19-53 learning a great sport, getting some good exercise and giving back to our community. Established in 2006, the Grizzlies have had the opportunity to play teams all over the nation and abroad. Every two years we travel to the Bingham Cup, named in honor of Mark Bingham who died on United Airlines Flight 93 during the September 11, 2001 attacks. We played in the 2014 Bingham Cup in Sydney, Australia, where we won the Hoagland Vase, named in honor of Mark’s mother. We are currently in the process of bidding for the 2016 Bingham Cup and are excited about the chance to bring an international gay rugby tournament to the South.

This year, we are raising to money to ensure that gay rugby is as affordable as possible to all of our players, regardless of their means. Part of our efforts include our annual calendar fundraiser. This year, local photographer Chris Malone lent his talents for us to have a very artistic and creative calendar.

The calendars are available at the team’s shop, but you can see a few more sexy preview shots, as well as a photo of the team in Sydney, AFTER THE JUMP

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Worlds Collide in First Trailer for Netflix’s Upcoming Historical Drama ‘Marco Polo’ – VIDEO

Polo1

Netflix is expanding its empire of online content with its first historical drama Marco Polo. Set in the 13th century, the series will follow Polo, played by Lorenzo Richelmy, during his explorations of the European content while in the employ of Kublai Khan, the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire.

Netflix released an official trailer for the show that reflects the company’s continued push into the kinds of content that HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax have dominated for years. Marco Polo looks to be a mature, adult-oriented show featuring the kind drugs, sex, and deception-fueled plotlines that would make the royal families of Westeros blush. 

Watch the first trailer AFTER THE JUMP

Marco Polo will be available to stream via Netflix on December 12.

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Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1638

HALLOWEEN: 26 not-so-spooky facts about the holiday

PAT ROBERTSON: God may punish Houston for defending ‘militant homosexuals’

REALITY TV: The sordid history of our favorite guilty pleasure

INTERNET COMMENTS: Tyler Oakley and other Youtubers sound off.

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For more recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

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