Who wants to hear me talk on this week’s headlines?
• NBC, having already given the green light to the Will & Grace reboot, wants even more
• I’ve got a favorite on this season’s The Amazing Race, and I bet you will, too
• New Mexico says “no” to so-called ex-gay therapy
• Nebraska finally scrubs it’s anti-LGBT adoption stance
• International supermodel and actor Tyson Beckford talks with me about his residency in Las Vegas as the Celebrity Guest Host for the world famous Chippendales.
All that and more on this episode of The Randy Report. Hit the play button below 🙂
Some news items you may have missed:
• World famous model and actor Tyson Beckford returns to Chippendales tonight as the iconic male revue’s first “Celeb in Residency” in Las Vegas. And he looks ready 🙂
• Will former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney run for Orrin Hatch’s Senate seat next year?
• After denying SCOTUS nominee Judge Merrick Garland any consideration for almost a year, Senate Republicans confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch to the high court by a vote of 54-45 after utilizing the “nuclear option.”
• Nebraska Supreme Court strikes down longtime ban on gay/lesbian foster parents.
• New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation that bans the use on minors of so-called “conversion therapy” which purports to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently, six other states have banned ex-gay torture: California, Illinois, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.
• Virulently anti-LGBT Republican Gov. Robert Bentley is asking folks who are shining a spotlight on his alleged adulterous affair with a staffer to “please stop now.” In a press conference he announced that although he’s “struggled” in the past with temptations, he gave himself completely to God last year, so – all good.
Hit the play button below to listen to this week’s Randy Report podcast.
This week’s stories include:
• An Orlando business man is raising money for college scholarships in honor of the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting last year
• An LGBT hater tears down and stomps on a Pride flag outside a Congressman’s office
• New Mexico is set to ban so-called “conversion therapy”
• Disney’s live-action reboot of Beauty and the Beast is on track to break box office records this weekend complete with Disney’s first gay character
• Arrow/Teen Wolf star Colton Haynes got engaged – complete with fireworks
• NYPD Officer Michael Hance, who captured hearts when he spontaneously danced with a Pride parade marcher, passed away of 9/11-related cancer
New Mexico appears set to become the seventh state in the U.S. to pass legislation that bans health care workers from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors.
According to Buzzfeed News, House Speaker Brian Egolf feels confident the measure will pass in his chamber.
This would be welcome news as religious conservatives across the country have blocked the passage of LGBT nondiscrimination protections in recent years.
Senate Bill 121 would ban licensed health care professionals from any “treatment that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including any effort to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward persons of the same sex.”
Mental health professionals have widely denounced so-called “ex-gay” or “conversion” therapy as dangerous and harmful to minors. And, it doesn’t work.
The bill passed the New Mexico senate on a 32-6 vote last month, and the House Judiciary Committee advanced the bill on a vote of 5-2 last Wednesday.
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has not signaled whether she would sign the bill into law or not.
New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, New York, and Vermont have all passed similar legislation.
In related news, Nevada Democrats have filed Senate Bill 201 which would ban licensed medical professionals from practicing “conversion therapy.”
Bryan Fischer tries to put his tiresome spin on the decision by the US Supreme Court to let stand a ruling that found a New Mexico photographer violated the state’s public accommodation laws by refusing services to a gay couple for their commitment ceremony.
Of course, SCOTUS did not rule that it’s against the law to be Christian. They ruled it’s against the law to be a bigot when there are public accommodation laws in place.
In 2006, Elane Photography in New Mexico refused to provide photography services for a commitment ceremony for Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth.
The couple sued the photographer on the basis of violating the state’s public accommodation laws. Elane Photography felt protected on religious grounds (because takes photos of a lesbian commitment ceremony somehow means you “approve” the event). Elane Photography lost it’s case at the state supreme court level. An appeal was filed with SCOTUS.
Today, the US Supreme Court denied the request by Elane Photography. In order to take up a case, at least four Supreme Court justices must agree to consider the case.
That decision means the lawsuit train has stopped in this case. The original ruling stands.
Chris Johnson reports at the Washington Blade:
Had the court taken up the case, justices could have found a constitutional right across the country for individuals to discriminate against LGBT people or refuse services for same-sex weddings ceremonies on the basis of religion.
Anti-gay groups had pointed to the incident as a reason to enact laws in various states to allow individuals and business to refuse services to gay people without fear of reprisal, such as the controversial “turn away the gay” bill recently vetoed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and signed into law by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. Other bills along those lines are pending in numerous states — Kansas, Mississippi and Georgia — but have seen resistance going forward.
|Santa Fe mayor-elect Javier Gonzales
Santa Fe has elected it’s first gay mayor – from a field that included a second openly gay candidate.
With his two young daughters and other family members by his side, Gonzales, 47, was greeted by a mob of cheering supporters when he walked into a packed ballroom at the Hotel Santa Fe, many of whom he hugged and kissed as he made his way to the stage.
“This campaign was never about me. It was about us,” he told a jubilant crowd.
Gonzales made history as the city’s first openly gay mayor and will preside over a City Council on which two of the eight members are openly gay women — mayoral opponent Patti Bushee and newly elected Signe Lindell.
He said the race was won by a grass-roots campaign that brought together a cross section of Santa Fe.
“I stand before you humbled. I stand you before standing on the shoulders of people like Mayor Coss and my father and so many who have been before in this position to say that I am ready to accept the responsibility and the honor of being your mayor,” he said, referring to outgoing Mayor David Coss and his father, former Mayor George Gonzales.
Santa Fe is one of my favorite cities in the world. It doesn’t surprise me that a place so welcoming to everyone would so easily elect an openly gay family man.
Next time you consider a vacation spot, treat yourself to Santa Fe. The landscape, the art, the food, the people all make the trip worthwhile.
Talk about a great postscript to an already happy ending!
Back in August, New Mexico’s Doña Ana County made history when it began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. County Clerk Lynn Ellins decided it was time and the law would allow it. His action emboldened other counties, and ultimately the New Mexico Supreme Court finally decided the matter.
Prepping for the court battle, however, Ellins began raising private donations to help the county cover the cost of its legal fees and the fundraising effort was so successful that there was more cash to spare.
Ellins is now donating that money to a campaign called New Mexico Unites for Marriage Equality, the Las Cruces Sun reports:
Ellins had raised private donations — via a website and at his county office — to pay for his defense in a civil lawsuit brought by opponents of his controversial August decision to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
After paying his legal bill, Ellins estimated a few thousand dollars are leftover. And he said he’s giving that money to a campaign called New Mexico Unites for Marriage Equality.
“It’s a nonprofit organization that was established the last year to basically protect the same-gender marriage rights,” Ellins said.
Ellins’ legal expenses tied to the state district court lawsuit totaled nearly $31,759, according to a Doña Ana County news release.
Unlike the state officials in Utah, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez says in light of the recent state supreme court decision in her state, she won’t support or seek an amendment to ban gay marriage in the state.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports:
Martinez said several times last summer — when several county clerks across the state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples — that she believed state voters should decide the issue by way of a ballot question on whether to amend the state constitution.
“I think what I said before was that yes, the people should have decided on it, but the Supreme Court has decided,” the governor said Monday when asked by a reporter about the issue. “And it’s now the law of the land.”
Asked whether that meant she wouldn’t push for the Legislature to pass a measure like Sen. Bill Sharer’s Senate Joint Resolution 6, Martinez responded, “It’s the law of the land. The Supreme Court has spoken.”