Equality March, Alabama, Trump’s NATO Fail, Derek Hough, April Ryan, Nick Jonas: HOT LINKS

national equality march

NATIONAL EQUALITY MARCH. Route announced: “The LGBT march on Washington scheduled for Sunday, June 11, which is officially called the Equality March for Unity and Pride, will travel in front of the White House before heading south on 15th Street, N.W. to Constitution Avenue and end on the National Mall at 7th Street, N.W. Organizers for the first time disclosed the route of the march and made an appeal for donations to help pay for what they say will be an historic demonstration for LGBT equality and diversity in a statement released to the Washington Blade.”

Trump meltdownNOBEL PRIZE WINNER BERNARD LOWN. Trump angled for Russian appointments in the ’80s: “Lown, now 95 and retired in Newton, Massachusetts, tells The Hollywood Reporter that Trump sought and secured a meeting with him in 1986 to solicit information about Mikhail Gorbachev. (Gorbachev had become the USSR’s head of state — and met with Lown — the year before.) During this meeting, Lown says, the fast-rising businessman disclosed that he would be reaching out to then-president Ronald Reagan to try to secure an official post to the USSR in order to negotiate a nuclear disarmament deal on behalf of the United States, a job for which Trump felt he was the only one fit.

ALABAMA. Governor signs bill protecting Confederate monuments: “Signed this week by Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, it clamps down how whether people can move or change monuments in the state. No mention of the Confederacy is made in the law, but critics say it is meant to help glorify the South’s problematic past.”

NYT. Trump’s NATO speech was a big FAIL: “What possesses him to treat America’s allies so badly? The NATO nations are mostly democracies with vibrant free markets that have helped America keep enemies at bay, including in Afghanistan. The question is made all the more pressing in view of Mr. Trump’s enthusiastic embrace of countless autocrats, among them Vladimir Putin of Russia and King Salman of Saudi Arabia, where he just paid a deferential visit and assured Sunni Arab leaders that “we are not here to lecture” despite their abominable records on human rights.”

APRIL RYAN. “I felt so bad for Sean” Spicer.

OH, HOORAY. Guess who’s coming back to television?

REMEMBER I TOLD YOU. Nick Jonas releases new single.

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR. Derek Hough tears his shirt off at the top.

SWEAR OFF. Kevin Spacey vs Gordon Ramsey.

SLOW HANDS. Niall Horan covers Billboard.


FRIDAY FLASH. Erick Chuan Lim.

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Russia is Investigating Chechnya’s Anti-Gay Purge

Ramzan Kadyrov

Saturday marks the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan when, across the world, Muslims will begin their fast, unable to eat or drink until sundown. But for Chechnya’s Muslim leader Ramzan Kadyrov it was also supposed to mark an end: in late April, Kadyrov promised to eliminate all gay people from Chechnya before the start…



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Ariana Grande to Hold Benefit Concert for Manchester Bombing Victims and Families

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande announced today that she’ll be returning to the city of Manchester to hold a benefit concert to raise money for the victims and families of the terrorist bombing which took 22 lives and injured more than 50 others.

Grande made the announcement in a post to social media. She did not specify dates but said “I will have details to share with you as soon as everything is confirmed.”:

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‘You Live In Trump Country Now, Faggots’ Hate Crime Suspect Could Avoid Jail

Brandon Ray Davis

A North Carolina man has said he is “extremely remorseful” following his arrest for a homophobic hate crime in Florida last February.

Kevin Paul TaylorBrandon Ray Davis (above) was arrested in North Carolina after he rode his scooter into Kevin Seymour and Kevin Price (right) as they were cycling in Key West.

Davis yelled “You guys are a couple of fags,” “I bet you faggots voted for that bitch Hillary” and “you live in Trump country now,” reports FLKeys News.

RELATED: Seattle Police Search for Man Who Yelled Anti-Gay Slurs and Pulled a Gun on Two Pedestrians

According to the Miami Herald, the Key West Police Department said 30-year-old Davis was taken into custody by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina on an “extraditable warrant” for felony aggravated battery following the February 23rd incident. He was booked for felony aggravated battery with a deadly weapon

Brandon Bieber, the Miami attorney representing Davis, said his client regrets the incident. “He is extremely remorseful for what happened,” said Bieber, “and he is doing his best to work hard every day to take care of his fiancée and her two children, and looks forward to putting this matter behind him.”

Davis has not appeared in court in Florida since his arrest in North Carolina. All court appearances have been made through court motions. However, he is due in a Monroe County court on June 2nd to take a plea before Judge Wayne Miller.

(Image via Onslow County Sheriff’s Office)

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Andy Cohen Dishes About New Gay Angles On Love Connection Revival

Andy Cohen Love Connection

Fans of ’80s camp and Andy Cohen alike are in for a treat. Cohen’s revival of the classic dating show Love Connection premiered Thursday night on Fox and as the show continues, it will include gay singles looking for love as well, according to media reports.

The revival boasts some departures from Chuck Woolery’s classic dating show, including that in this iteration, if the audience prefers a suitor that the contestant does not, the suitor can go with the audience pick for $10,000, TooFab reports.

“There’s a little love or money twist in the end,” Cohen teased in a first look.

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Contestants will also date each of the suitors, with a $500 per-date budget, and each will give a score based on their first impressions, Cohen told TooFab.

While that $10,000 is a nice prize, Cohen also revealed an important upgrade for the show: this go around, there will be plenty of gay contestants.

“It’s 2017, and they should just be treated the exact same way as I’m treating everyone else,” Cohen told the Advocate about the gay and lesbian contestants. “I think it’s just kind of this post-gay world that we live in, where it’s just another part of this dating show.”

The choice to include gay singles was Cohen’s idea, the Advocate reports, and the suggestion was met with an emphatic yes.

“The more visibility, the better,” Cohen continued. “A network show where you have gay people dating? I think it’s great.”

More than anything, Cohen said that this go around, viewers can expect more diversity and variety in the contestants and their stories.

“We’ve got a great lesbian group of daters, one of whom comes out to her mother on the air. We’ve got a man who is in his 70’s who went on his first Tinder date, but the woman stood him up so we set him up with three dates. We’ve got gay guys. We have a lot of big ones,” Cohen told TooFab.

You can watch a complete first look at Love Connection below:

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Chris Salvatore Turns ‘Fire Island’ Into Crier Island [RECAP]

Fire Island

Finish those friendship bracelets, and get ready for the talent show, because our very special summer is about to come to an end. It feels like just yesterday we were meeting Patrick, Khasan, Jorge, ugh, Cheyenne, Justin, little crazy Brandon, winged Brandon, drag queen Brandon, Jallen the jolly giant, I don’t know, some other Brandon playing dodgeball in heels or something. But now we’re at our very last weekend.

And wouldn’t you know it that just as we’re packing the last of our pink Speedos away, things actually, truly start to get interesting.

That’s why this final weekend breaks from Fire Island’s typical one weekend per episode format for a super-sized journey into darkness.

Before we get into all the D-list celebrity aided drama unfolding over dinner, we’ve got to get the usual junk out of the way. Khasan is, as always, at some dance studio. (Though this time he’s working on choreo for the fantastic Betty Who, one of those people whose entire career is being single-handedly supported by gay men, like Steve Grand, Ivy Levan or Colton Haynes.) Jorge is Facetime-complaining at someone about how his boyfriend Fabio is blowing him off. Brandon wants his summer to “go out with a bang — pun intended!” which isn’t gross because it’s about sex, but IS gross because it’s a terrible joke. God, Brandon, you’re such a Brandon.

Fire IslandThe boys arrive on the island, and Patrick meets them in his tiniest pink bikini. I swear his clothes are getting skimpier and skimpier every episode. At this point his tanks are more like statement necklaces, and he’s got a tuft of pubic hair sitting atop the waistband of all his swimsuits. I’m no prude, but, seriously, Patrick, put on some clothes.

He informs everyone that he’s performing his original country song at a “showcase,” but later calls it an “open mic,” which is a very different thing! I would totally come support you at your showcase. I will absolutely not come see you at an open mic. In fact, I’m more likely to go to your improv 101 class show than your original country music open mic.

Fire IslandThe show (open mic) is bizarre. The other acts all appear to be dance acts, while Patrick sits behind the audience and sings along to a recorded track. He’s not bad by any stretch (though it’s no “Money Can’t Buy You Class” in terms of reality TV tunes). Earlier in the episode Patrick says “What I love about Fire Island is that it gives you plenty of opportunity to perform.” I mean, if your definition of “performing” is singing along to your iPod for a handful of your friends while you sit on plastic lawn furniture, you could technically do that literally anywhere.

Fire IslandAfter the show, Patrick races outside because singing gave him so many feelings. Then he proceeds to have a talkback about the performance as the roommates indulge him in the Behind the Music of this incredibly on-the-nose break-up song (available now on iTunes). As much as I hate agreeing with Cheyenne, it all does feel a little put on.

The crux of the episode is Patrick’s ex-boyfriend, actor Chris Salvatore, is coming for a visit, and, boy oh boy does he give Cheyenne a run for his money to be the worst. You may have seen him in Eating Out 3, Eating Out 4 or Eating Out 5, which I guess technically makes him an actor, but he’s mostly just another professional Instagram thirst trap. It’s a shame, because Salvatore recently built up so much goodwill with the viral story of his relationship with his elderly neighbor. Unfortunately, even that heartwarming tale isn’t enough to compensate for his showing in last night’s episode.

The fact he’s a actor/singer-songwriter/model/monster is enough to make most people spiral in this kind of reality setting, but he’s also got a history with Cheyenne, adding so much more fuel to this already flaming mess.

Apparently, years prior, Cheyenne’s now ex-boyfriend was at a hot tub party (a very, very gay start to any story) when Chris started hitting on him. Cheyenne spotted all this from a nearby balcony and flipped out on his boyfriend and Chris for flirting. It sounds like a scene from some telenovela, except probably with more house music and everyone has HPV.

Tensions are already high when Chris arrives, and Cheyenne makes the very Cheyenne decision to be outwardly cold to him. Patrick and Chris step out on the veranda and immediately get into a weepy on-camera conversation about their failed relationship. Chris is the first reality-TV guest star since Allison Dubois on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to make such an impression so quickly.

They sit down to dinner, and they’re barely onto their second case of rosé before Patrick calls out Chris and Cheyenne’s history. Cheyenne snaps at Patrick for bringing this up, Patrick shoots back that Cheyenne should give Chris a chance and Chris tries in vain to interject that they’ve all learned an important lesson to not judge a book by its cover. Dude. For real? Not only is that one of the most egregiously overused cliches in human history, but it’s also not even entirely applicable to this situation. Now hush, the grown-ups are talking.

Fire IslandThe shouting continues to escalate. Cheyenne’s boyfriend, Kyle (who looks mostly like an extra swole Nick Carter), sits there in a vodka and human growth hormone stupor while this all unfolds. Eventually Chris whimpers “I’m sensitive!” before letting out this mezzo-soprano quiver “This is hard!” Then he and Patrick storm out.

Even Justin is like “Who is this guy?!” And if Justin thinks you’re having too many feelings, gurl, you are having too many feelings.

Fire IslandOutside, Patrick consoles a hysterically sobbing Chris. And, look, I know it’s mean to laugh at Chris while he’s upset, but, also, in my defense, he does earnestly try to blame some of it on Mercury being in retrograde. This guy is a disaster, and I want nothing more than for him to be a full-time cast member on season two.

Fire IslandHowever, the real escandalo? Patrick reveals that he’s been keeping a secret: Cheyenne’s been cheating on his boyfriend, and now he’s going to expose him!

Fire IslandTo be continued!

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South Korean Soldier Convicted Amid Military’s Anti-Gay ‘Witch Hunt’

A South Korean army captain was convicted and given a six-month prison sentence this week for engaging in sexual conduct with a fellow male soldier. The officer, who remains anonymous, reportedly collapsed and was taken to the hospital following the verdict, which came in a military court:

The captain was convicted on Wednesday of violating the Military Criminal Act, which states that a soldier engaging in sodomy or “other disgraceful conduct” can be put in jail for up to two years.

His sentence was suspended for one year, and he will dishonorably discharged, the court said Wednesday.

In April, the Center for Military Human Rights Korea claimed that the Army Chief of Staff Gen. Jang Jun-gyu had asked for homosexuals within the armed forces to be tracked down.

The military had then carried out an investigation and and some 40-50 soldiers were put on a list, the group said.

This anti-LGBT purge by the South Korean military is alleged to have included the use of gay dating apps in order to ensnare soldiers. Human rights organization Amnesty International denounced the conviction and tied it to these recent developments as being part of a larger “witch hunt” against gays:

“This unjust conviction should be immediately overturned. No-one should be persecuted based on their sexual orientation, activity or gender identity alone. What counts is their service not their sexuality,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

The conviction raises fears that dozens of other military personnel will face a similar fate. Last month, a national NGO – Military Human Rights Centre of Korea (MHRCK) – accused the army of setting up fake profiles on dating apps to entrap military personnel and subjecting those identified to homophobic interrogations.

“President Moon Jae-in needs to send an unequivocal message that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity will not be tolerated, including in the military,” said Roseann Rife.

“It is long overdue for South Korea to repeal this archaic and discriminatory provision in the military criminal code, and get up-to-date when it comes to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex people.”

In South Korea, military service is compulsory for males for a length of roughly two years.

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