Gay Couple Together For 46 Years Finally Ties The Knot: VIDEO

Wedding

David Mixner points out a wonderful video posted by The New York Times about a couple together for more than 46 years, Lewis Duckett and Billy Jones, who recently got married. The couple were first introduced by a mutual friend. “Before either one of us knew it, we were in love,” said Jones. They survived Jones’s deployment to Vietnam (they wrote to each other in code), and went on to have children and grandchildren together.

“For most of our forty-six years together, it’s been, ‘I don’t know sort of where I stop and where he begins,’ it’s been that kind of blending,” according to Jones.

The couple has been officially married a little over three months now, and while Duckett points out that, “nothing really feels different,” he adds, “It’s an enhancement to the relationship that we had.”

Watch the full video AFTER THE JUMP…

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Police Clash With Extremists As Montenegro’s Capital Holds First Gay Pride March: VIDEO

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As planned, Montenegro’s capital of Podgorica held its first gay pride march today. While only an estimated 150 people marched, the event drew approximately 1,500 extremists who sought to disrupt the event, ultimately forcing police intervention, The Guardian reports.

Montenegran President Filip Vujanović had previously promised the group Queer Montenegro, who organized the march, that the government would do everything within its power to guarantee the safety of those involved. By all accounts, the government seems to have made good on that promise. Despite an explosion at the perimeter of the march, a barrage of rocks being hurled at marchers, and twelve protesters who came armed with molotov cocktails (all of whom were arrested by police), there are no reports that anyone who took part in the march was injured, according to BuzzFeed. Two thousand police officers, approximately fifty-percent of Montenegro’s entire police force, were on hand for the event, Historia IME reports. Twenty police officers were injured and fourty extremist “hooligans” were also hurt as Police and anti-gay protesters butted heads throughout the day.

RainThe march in Podgorica comes as just the second Pride event in the country’s history. As previously reported, the small town of Budva held its first Pride in July of this year. That event was also marred by the presence of anti-gay protesters. However, an important distinction between the march in Budva and the one in Podgorica was the presence and involvement of the government. BuzzFeed reports:

Activists were heartened by the presence of Montenegro’s minister of
human and minority rights, Suad Numanović, which they took as a gesture
of the government’s commitment to protecting LGBT rights. No government
officials took part in the Budva march.

“In Budva, the message was … this is the Montenegro which does not
support LGBT people,” said Ljiljiana Reicević, a march participant who
also attended the Budva pride march. “But Podgorica is totally
different. It proves that the government is stating, ‘No, We will not
allow this [violence], we will stop this, and we will protect you.’”

Many have speculated that Montenegro’s desire to join the European Union is a key factor behind the government’s staunch support for the march in Podgorica, especially considering that dignitaries such as Mitja Drobnič, head of the European Union’s mission to Montenegro, and Laurent L. Stokvis, the Dutch ambassador to Serbia, were on hand for the event. Moreover, as BuzzFeed notes, Minister Numanović seems to believe that “Demonstrating progress towards securing LGBT rights is crucial to
Montenegro’s aspirations to one day be part of the European Union”:

“On the road to European integration, the government of Montenegro has
shown its democratic capacity [and the pride march] shows that
Montenegrin society is maturing in the protection of all minorities,
including members of the LGBT community,” he said.

That was the message received by Ambassador Stokvis. “I think it is of
great significance that the LGBT community here is holding this pride
[and] that it is being supported and it is being safeguarded by the
Montenegran government,” he said. “This of course a sign of democracy,
about the right to assemble, the right to demonstrate, and the right to
free speech … important values for all of us, for the European Union and
for the Netherlands in particular.”

Check out some incredible photos via Joe.My.God and a video of the march AFTER THE JUMP…

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News: Neil Patrick Harris, Shia LaBeouf, Picasso, National Baking Week

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RoadNeil Patrick Harris and David Burtka up the adorable quotient, dressing the entire family in costumes from Alice in Wonderland for a Halloween party yesterday. The hubbies dressed up as Tweedledee and Tweedledum while daughter Harper went as Alice and son Gideon as the March Hare.

RoadShia LaBeouf tweets semi-full frontal still from upcoming flick, Charlie Countryman (possibly NSFW).

RoadWe’re only hours away from marriage equality in New Jersey!

RoadSpeaker of the House John Boehner on why the government shutdown ensued, after he promised it wouldn’t: “I got overrun, that’s what happened.”

RoadIn San Francisco, two Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers were hit and killed by train one day after BART union workers went on strike.

RoadPicasso overload: 29 works by the famed Spanish painter hit the auction block at the same time.

RoadSuicide bombing in Baghdad kills 35, wounds 45.


QueerRoadBenedict Cumberbatch’s WikiLeaks thriller The Fifth Estate bombed this weekend. Still, some might be interested in seeing Cumberbatch as a Disney prince. Any Disney prince.

RoadAs previously reported, Bravo’s Andy Cohen will be hosting a ten year reunion of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy tonight. Will you be watching?

RoadWhite House brings in ‘best and brightest’ to help fix Obamacare website.

RoadBen Cohen’s StandUp Foundation, an organization that works to eradicate bullying and advance equality, has a new line of t-shirts, hats and hoodies available for purchase.

Road

Archaeologists unearth pre-Viking age monuments in Sweden: “As archaeologists dug in preparation for a new railway line, they
found traces of two rows of wooden pillars in Old Uppsala, an ancient
pagan religious center. One stretched about 1,000 yards (1 kilometer)
and the other was half as long. Archaeologist Lena Beronius-Jorpeland said the colonnades
were likely from the 5th century but their purpose is unclear. She
called it Sweden’s largest Iron Age construction and said the
geometrical structure is unique. Old Uppsala is known as a center for Norse religion, where believers
gathered to sacrifice animals to gods such as Odin and Thor. The
colonnades were found near a famous burial site where the three Iron Age
kings Aun, Egil and Adils are believed to be buried.”

UniRoadApparently it was national baking week in the UK. This seems like an appropriate way to commemorate the occasion.

RoadKaty Perry drops new lyric video for “Unconditionally.”

RoadSandra Bullock demonstrates what commitment to your Halloween costume really looks like.

RoadBluegrass group Beef Seeds offers rousing rendition of Lorde’s “Royals.”

 

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Bermuda Premier: Gay Marriage Not On The Legislative Agenda This Year

Craig CannonierAfter nearly a decade of setbacks, the tiny British territory of Bermuda finally approved legislation this summer prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But when asked last week by the Bermuda Sun about a potential push for legislation allowing same-sex marriages, Premier Craig Cannonier (pictured right) had the following to say:

“That was not on our agenda (for this legislative year) and for us, there has not been a lot of noise about moving in that direction.

“We certainly made our decisions when it came to the Human Rights Act (this summer). And I can certainly go back and say our previous administration (the previous Progressive Labour Party government) had been fumbling with this thing for six years-plus.”

Despite the realization that marriage equality will not be coming to Bermuda this year, Mr. Cannonier remains proud of the progress his country has made regarding LGBT rights. 

“It’s a highlight for us within our first legislative agenda, (that) we were able to get the Human Rights Act moved through.

“There can be no prejudice towards one another. That was a ridiculous stance this country had, and I know that the rest of the world was looking at us and saying, ‘When are we going to move forward?’

“But same-sex marriage is not on our agenda. We will allow the interest groups to continue to lobby and look at it, but certainly it’s not on our agenda.”

via Towleroad News #gay http://www.towleroad.com/2013/10/bermuda-premier-gay-marriage-not-on-the-legislative-agenda-this-year.html

Arkansas Catholic School Teacher Fired After Marrying Same-Sex Partner

TiTippi McCullough has taught English at Mount St. Mary Academy in Arkansas for the past fifteen years. Unfortunately, her employment was terminated this week after she married her partner of fourteen years, Bob Mariani. As The Arkansas Times reports, earlier this week the couple travelled to New Mexico, where same-sex marriage licenses have been issued as of late, to officially tie the knot. However, only forty-five minutes after their ceremony was complete, McCullough received a phone call from a secretary at Mount St. Mary, “telling her she risked losing her job if she married.” The secretary reportedly added, “that the school had learned of
the coming marriage through ‘the diocese.'” As the couple drove to Arizona (they planned to honeymoon at the Grand Canyon), McCullough spoke with Mt. Saint Mary principal Diane Wolf, who informed her that she no longer had a job at the school:

“She told me she never thought the day would come, that I was a great
teacher and that she would give me a glowing recommendation if I
resigned,” McCullough said. “She said her hands were tied when I signed a
legal document.”

McCullough said a contract clause allows dismissal for a lifestyle
contrary to church teaching. She she asked Wolfe for an explanation of
how she’d violated that clause. “She said she wasn’t going to get into a
theological discussion and there was nothing she could do.”

McCullough will get 30 days severance pay and an opportunity to pick up
her things and arrange for COBRA continuing health insurance coverage.
She said she’s not sure what her vocational future holds. She said she’d been encouraged by support from other teachers. She said,
too, that she was sure Wolfe knew of her long relationship with
Mariani.  They never discussed it explicitly, she said, but “she knew.”
In their discussion yesterday, “I told her I thought it was unfair, that
I was being singled out for being gay.” She said Wolfe told her the nun
who once headed the school had once escorted out an unmarried pregnant
teacher.

HRC President Chad Griffin, an Arkansas native, blasted the school’s decision:

“To fire a beloved teacher simply because she is gay is morally
reprehensible…At
a moment when Pope Francis is urging the Catholic hierarchy to put
aside judgment and a decades-long campaign targeting devoted LGBT
Catholics, it’s shameful that this school is ignoring that hopeful
message in favor of explicit and baseless discrimination.”

The HRC has started a petition to show opposition to Mount St. Mary Academy’s decision to fire McCullough. You can sign it HERE.

(Photo via Facebook)

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‘TransMilitary’ Web Series Highlights the Contrast Between US and UK Policies on Trans Service Members: VIDEO

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Back in August, we previewed TransMilitary, the web-funded series focusing on the unique struggles of transgender service members on active duty. Now a second clip has been released, this one showcasing the contrast between U.S. transgender military personnel serving under the threat of discharge while their U.K. counterparts serve openly as equals within their armed forces. 

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 11.58.04 AMInterviewees include former Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN Allyson Robinson, who also serves as a consultant on the series, and U.K. transgender activist Jacqui Gavin.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP… 

This developing web series, produced by Tony award-winning producer Gregory Rae, Fiona Dawson, Tyrus Emory, and Zeke Stokes, and hosted by Dawson, aims to look at transphobia in America and plans to bring into focus the discrimination faced by some of those serving our country.

To find out more about the web series and its funding, visit the website HERE.

Robinson

  

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