News Round-Up: January 13, 2020

Some news items you might have missed:

Mancrush Monday: As if it’s any secret I have a ‘thing’ for former pro rugby player Dan Tai (above). You can follow the handsome InstaHunk here.

Belfast Telegraph: Same-sex marriage comes to Northern Ireland today as couples are now able to give notice of their intent to form a civil same-sex marriage to the General Register Office for Northern Ireland. The first same-sex weddings are expected to take place from February 10, following the minimum period of notice of 28 days.

Buzzfeed News: After a year fighting with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) — successfully overturning a policy widely regarded as discriminatory — and nearly two years of intense training, James Bushe, 31, became the first person with HIV to gain a commercial pilot’s license and fly a commercial flight.

TV Line: Rumored backstage tension at Will & Grace did not precipitate the series’ end, NBC’s top exec maintains. “Some things come to a natural end,” NBC Chairman Paul Telegdy explained to TVLine. “[Series creators] Max [Mutchnick] and David [Kohan] told the story they wanted to tell. Just wait for the finale.”

Detroit Free Press: As police search for more men who may have hooked up with accused murderer Mark Latunski, the Grindr cannibal is now pleading insanity.

Daily Dog: This little guy deserves some Twitter attention. Look at him go!

News Round-Up: January 10, 2020

Burt Ward as Robin and Adam West as Batman (promo photo via ABC)

Some news items you might have missed:

PageSix: Burt Ward, recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his role of ‘Robin’ (above) in the campy 1960s series Batman, says ABC advised him to take pills to reduce the bulge in his Robin trunks. #ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmm

Lambda Legal: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling in Roe & Voe v. Esper that halted efforts by the Trump administration to discharge members of the Air Force because they are living with HIV. The panel of three judges wrote, “Any understanding of HIV that could justify this ban is outmoded and at odds with current science. Such obsolete understandings cannot justify a ban.”

Deadline: Trevor: The Musical, an acclaimed stage adaptation of the 1994 Oscar-winning short film that gave rise to one of the nation’s most prominent LGBTQ organizations, will make its New York debut this April in an Off-Broadway staging.

CNN: The latest CNN/Des Moines Register polling shows four Democrats closely clustered at the top of the rankings: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (20%), Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (17%), former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (16%) and former Vice President Joe Biden (15%) all cluster tightly at the top of the pack. That’s an increase of 5 points for Sanders and a drop of 9 points for Buttigieg since the last DMR poll in November.

NBC News: After nearly 40 governors agreed to allow refugees in their states, Texas Gov. Greg Abbot became the first governor in the country to refuse to take in refugees today. However, 18 of his 26 Republican counterparts chose to open the door to refugees, much to the surprise of the Trump administration.

USA Today: Brazil’s Supreme Court has reversed a ruling that would have required Netflix to remove a satirical film depicting Jesus as gay.

Out Music: Randy Report favorite Halsey drops her new music video, “You Should Be Sad,” in advance of her third studio album Manic set for release January 17.

The video is set at a country-inspired barn dance/rave and features choreographed sequences as Halsey channels her best Shania Twain. Fun clip and visually there’s lots of eye-candy.

News Round-Up: July 30, 2019

• Hottie of the Day: Prior to last week's red carpet at Chippendales in Las Vegas when 'Jersey Shore' star Vinny Guadagnino returned as celebrity guest host, my hubby Michael (longtime publicist for Chipps) helped photographers get their light settings right standing in for the reality star. This was his 'back of the dress' pose.
Michael Caprio

Some news items you might have missed:

Hottie of the Day: Prior to last week’s red carpet at Chippendales in Las Vegas when ‘Jersey Shore’ star Vinny Guadagnino returned as celebrity guest host, my hubby Michael (longtime publicist for Chipps) helped photographers get their light settings right standing in for the reality star. This was his ‘back of the dress’ pose.

• Tennessee: A group of over 300 lawyers says Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcutt should have his law license suspended after admitting he doesn’t prosecute domestic violence crimes involving married same-sex couples. “I don’t prosecute them because I don’t recognize it as marriage. There’s no marriage to protect.”

Sun Sentinel: The South Florida newspaper had an ‘oopsie’ when it tweeted out a headline about moving a 100-year-old house, but instead featured a hot guy and a link to a story about an ‘adult-themed’ party in Key West.

Lambda Legal: Military leaders, medical associations, public health groups, and HIV advocates joined three friend-of-the-court briefs which argue the Pentagon’s exclusion and discharge of HIV-service members is outdated, irrational and discriminatory given the advancements made in HIV medicine.

Newsweek: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got his panties in a wad when #MoscowMitch began trending on Twitter after he refused to allow a vote on new election security measures to stop interference in U.S. elections. What he’s not keen on admitting is he received campaign donations from voting machine lobbyists before blocking the vote.

Out Music: Earlier this month, I interviewed out singer/songwriter Tom Goss about his latest single, “Quayside,” from his upcoming album, Territories.

The song is born out of Goss’s own experience exploring a polyamorous relationship after his husband asked to open their marriage. It was a journey he’d not previously considered.

“I really wanted the video to reflect the uncomfortableness of my situation,” Goss recently told Parade. “I want the viewer to feel the uncertainty and fear that I did visiting the Quayside for the first time.”

“That said, we were very conscious to make sure that my actions were still my own,” he added. “Nobody ever forced me through the door, I was, and am, a person who chooses his own path. The final decision, to walk into the Quayside and to completely submerge, represents the most complicated and uncharted path of them all — polyamory.”

Barbershop Ordered To Pay $75K For Refusing To Cut HIV+ Customer’s Hair

In October 2017, personal trainer Nikko Briteramos was surprised to be turned away at a barber shop because of his HIV status.

Briteramos had been a customer at King of Kuts barbershop in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles several times before.

But apparently, another barber in the establishment who knew Briteramos shared his HIV status with the owner. And so, on that visit, owner Ramsy Milton declined to cut Briteramos’s hair.

What’s wild about this story is it took place in 2017, not 1987.

First of all, you can’t contract HIV by cutting someone’s hair.

Second, people with HIV are protected against discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Briteramos filed a lawsuit saying the barber shop and its owner violated those statutes.

According to Lambda Legal, which handled legal duties along with HIV Project director Scott Schoettes, the lawsuit was never answered in court.

This past January, Briteramos and his legal team asked the court to issue a default ruling in the case. Milton neither answered nor showed up for the hearing on March 1, 2019.

On Tuesday, Judge Andre Birotte Jr. ruled King of Kuts must pay Briteramos $75,000 in punitive damages, as well as $4,600 in attorney’s fees and $574.60 in litigation costs.

“This judgment is proof that what happened to me in that barbershop and what happens to people living with HIV who experience discrimination just trying to do basic things in life like go the dentist or get a haircut is simply not acceptable,” said Briteramos.

“Such discriminatory practices harken back to times not too distant during the period of American ‘Jim Crow’ and are equally unjust,” added the 35-year-old trainer.

The case became the impetus for the Cut the Stigma campaign.

Launched in 2018, Cut the Stigma works to “engage Black businesses, including barbershops, around the country to dispel misconceptions about the transmission of HIV” and in doing so, reduce the stigma attached to living with HIV.