• InstaHunks: Hunky Green.Joel (above) makes it black and white – he wants you to “Rise up and attack the day with enthusiasm!!”
• Boy Culture: Matt Rettenmund pays tribute to Madonna on the 30th anniversary of the Blond Ambition Tour with lots of rare video clips from the record-setting production.
• The Gaily Grind: Ireland’s prime minister, openly gay Leo Varadkar, will be returning to medical practice to work as a doctor as the country battles the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The prime minister left the medical profession in 2013 after working as a doctor for seven years. By 2017, he’d become the country’s youngest-ever prime minister.
• Out Music: California native St. Panther recently released her debut single, “Infrastructure,” in advance of her upcoming album later this summer. The out hip-hop artist brings a 90s sensibility to a very ‘now’ soul sound. Drop the beat below.
• LA Times: Event production companies, that usually build tents, staging and facilities for tens of thousands of revelers at music, sports and dining events have seen hundreds of such events canceled. But they are now busy using their resources to help build temporary hospital stations to help accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic.
• NY Times: A member of the crew of the coronavirus-infected USS Theodore Roosevelt died Monday of complications related to the disease, 11 days after the aircraft carrier’s captain was fired for pressing his concern that the Navy had done too little to safeguard his crew. Of the 4,860 crew members aboard the Roosevelt, 585 have tested positive for COVID-19.
• NY Post: Bishop Gerald O. Glenn, the Pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Richmond who proudly defied coronavirus safety guidelines in order to hold church services, died from COVID-19 complications on Saturday. He told the congregation he’d keep preaching “unless I’m in jail or the hospital” because “people are healed” in his church.
• Broadway Cares: The stream of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ benefit concert celebrating Disney on Broadway’s 25th anniversary will be rescheduled for Friday, April 17, 2020, at 7 PM ET after the American Federation of Musicians dropped its opposition to the stream. The online playback will raise money for Broadway Cares’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, which is helping everyone in the theater and performing arts community impacted by the pandemic.
Parliament then voted Thursday on the prime minister, with a candidate needing 80 votes to win. Varadkar received just 36, with the support of all members of his party plus one other. Micheál Martin, from the Fianna Fáil party, received 41 votes, and Mary Lou McDonald, of Sinn Fein, won the most, 45.
The other parties refuse to form a coalition government with Sinn Fein, which was once the political affiliate of the Irish Republican Army, so Martin may end up leading a coalition with Fine Gael.
When he became prime minister in 2017, he became one of the highest-ranking openly gay elected officials in the world.
•Instagram: That time you fly across the world and wind up (surprise!) at Bear Week in Sitges, Spain, by happy accident with old friends. #goodtimes
• CNN: The Supreme Court of the Philippines dismissed a request to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. The high court said in a statement it booted the case due to plaintiffs’ “lack of standing” and for “failing to raise an actual, justiciable controversy.” The high court acknowledged that the 1987 Constitution “does not define or restrict marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity,” but urged Congress to address the recognition of same-sex unions.
• Bloomberg: The Trump Energy Department has reversed an Obama-era regulation requiring that light bulbs commonly used in recessed lighting and track lighting meet the same energy efficiency standards that effectively phased out the traditional incandescent bulb. The Energy Department said the change “does not prevent consumers from buying the lamps they desire.” The standards would have applied to roughly half of the six billion light bulbs in use today and would have saved consumers billions in energy costs and avoid millions of tons in carbon dioxide emissions.
There is only one reason @realDonaldTrump is rolling back efficiency standards for light bulbs. His guiding principle is that if Obama supported it, Trump opposes it
• Fox KTVU: Following the mass shooting in Gilroy, California, the city of San Francisco has formally adopted a resolution calling the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization. The resolution calls on other cities and government entities to make similar declarations. The resolution itself has no legal weight.
• Associated Press: Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved the use of $3.6 billion in funding from military construction projects to build 175 miles (282 kilometers) of Donald Trump’s wall along the Mexican border. Pentagon officials would not say which 127 projects will be affected.
• Washington Post: Michigan has become the first state in the nation to ban flavored e-cigarettes, a step Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said was needed to protect young people from the potentially harmful effects of vaping. She complained that e-cigarette companies are using sweet flavors, such as bubble gum and “fruit loops,” to hook young people on nicotine, with potentially long-term harmful consequences.
• Reuters: U.S. grocery giant Kroger has announced they are joining Walmart in “respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers.”
• Twitter: Twitter had a field day after homocon White House spokesman Judd Deere tweeted Vice President Pence couldn’t be “anti-gay” because he had lunch with the openly gay leader of Ireland.
As we all know, the former governor of Indiana signed a religious freedom law that was criticized as a pathway to legal anti-LGBTQ discrimination. He also endorsed a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage.
Deere’s tweet was ridiculed by thousands, including Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Democratic White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg, who criticized the suggestion that dining with Varadkar meant Pence was not anti-LGBT.
I’ve sat at tables with people who would gladly deny me the right to marry, who openly support conversion therapy, and who adamantly believe being gay is a choice. Doesn’t mean they’re any less homophobic because we shared a meal. https://t.co/cECWvnFUUV
They think that having a “black friend” means they’re not racist or a “gay friend” is not a bigot. Tolerating us in public isn’t support… They’d happily reinstate Jim Crowe if they could and think we should go “back in the closet”.
Here for the ratio! And to make sure you’re aware that this is a trash tweet defending a person responsible for gay men dying from AIDS an causing an HIV outbreak in Indiana because of his hate. Shame on you. And yeah, I know you’re shameless.
According to Irish Central, the openly gay Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, will address the issue of same-sex marriage when he meets with the Pope on August 25th in Ireland.
Questioned on what he would say to the Pope about the ignoring of gay families by the World Meeting of Families, Varadkar said he would express “our view as a society and as a government that families come in all sorts of different forms and that includes families led by same-sex parents.”
Pope Francis is visiting Ireland to celebrate World Family Day, but LGBT groups have stated that same sex marriages are being deliberately ignored and treated like they are not families.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar with Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence
After Ireland’s first openly gay leader said he would bring up LGBTQ rights with Vice President Mike Pence at a breakfast meeting, Pence barred media from attending the meeting.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the press before the meeting that he would be bringing up the issue of LGBTQ rights to the veep during the annual St Patrick’s Day meeting at the U.S. Naval Observatory where Pence and his wife Karen reside.
Ahead of the event, Pence stipulated that the media were only allowed to capture the arrival of the pair outside Pence’s residence.
Pence’s anti-LGBTQ policies and positions are well known from opposing open service in the military and same-sex marriage to supporting so-called “ex-gay” therapy.
Mr Varadkar expressed disappointment at the media ban but added, “It allows us maybe to have a frank conversation that’s easier to have without the media present.”
Karen & I were honored to welcome Taoiseach Varadkar to our home at the Naval Observatory for an Irish breakfast. #StPatricksDay is the perfect time to celebrate our friendship & to marvel at Ireland’s lasting mark on America and the American people. pic.twitter.com/S9yroBwnf7
In 2015, Pence signed a law in Indiana that could’ve allowed businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people, including Irish PM Leo Varadkar. Pence has opposed marriage equality, hate crimes protections & more. Hope media will press him despite being shut out. https://t.co/IaszqybZTj