News Round-Up: February 11, 2020

Some news items you might have missed:

Tuesday Tutorial: Beefy Steve Raider (above) gives a lesson in fixing your socks. #SocksWhatSocks? Follow Steve on Instagram here.

Mercury News: Fred Joseph Costanza, who viciously beat a homeless transgender woman for using the women’s restroom at an Oregon park fracturing her jaw and skull in several places, was found guilty of a hate crime and sentenced to six years in prison. He has also been ordered to pay the victim restitution for his attack.

TikTok: Texas transgender teen Andi Bernabe was surprised on his 18th birthday by his high school classmates who raised the funds ($300) for him to legally change his name. His reaction to the gift has gone viral with millions of views.

@fluffiestboyI don’t deserve friends as good as mine🥺🥰 #birthday #trans #ftm #legaladult♬ original sound – fluffiestboy

Virginia Mercury: Democrats walked off the floor of the House of Delegates Tuesday morning as the pastor invited to give the opening prayer delivered stinging remarks condemning abortion and gay marriage. A man who accompanied the pastor asked reporters if they were aware “sodomy” was once considered an offense worthy of capital punishment.

Out: Though previous research had already shown considerably higher rates of suicidality among queer and trans young people, the latest data from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS) revealed that LGB youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide compared to straight peers. What can you do? Research shows knowing just ONE accepting adult #WorkToDo

The Guardian: Robyn Peoples, 26, and Sharni Edwards, 27, made history at a ceremony in a hotel in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, on Tuesday afternoon becoming the first same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. The day also marked their sixth anniversary as a couple.

Podcast: YouTube Star Blackmailed, Backstage Rumors At ‘Will & Grace,’ 2020 Oscar Nominations

In this episode of The Randy Report - France bans conversion therapy, Florida Republicans push "Don't Say Gay" bill, bad news for Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Rippon has good news, and the award-winning Western short film STEAM! premieres on Revry.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• Marriage equality comes to Northern Ireland

• A gay conservative student who led a drag queen protest was found dead of suicide just hours later

• Blackmail forces a YouTube star to come out

• The truth behind rumors of backstage fights at NBC’s ‘Will & Grace’

• And the Oscar nominations are out and pretty much without the gays

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

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!

Gay Bashing Victim Left With Severe Head Injuries

A gay man was brutally attacked on the streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland, after kissing another man in a bar.

Christopher Haughey’s injuries to his head were so severe from the beating five staples were required to close the wound to his head.

The 31-year-old told Belfast Live he walked to the bus stop on Saturday afternoon after spending time in a nearby bar.

When he arrived at the bus stop, he realized he had a long wait ahead of him, so he walked to the other side of a building to eat food he’d purchased.

“I came back round the corner and I was attacked at the lights,” Haughey. “It was two people: They pushed me and then hit me with something over the head.”

He told the police he believes his assailants attacked him because they saw him kissing another man in the bar. “There’s no other reason why it would have happened.”

The police were called to the scene, and they transported him to the Royal Victoria Hospital where he was treated. But the assault left him shaken.

“It’s embarrassing that it’s happened, it’s humiliating,” said Haughey. “It really knocks your confidence. It’s embarrassing to lift your hand to anybody.”

The Police Service of Northern Ireland are investigating the incident, and are asking for help in identifying and locating the men.

The authorities ask anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 0800 555 111.

(source: Belfast Live)

News Round-Up: October 21, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunk: Fitness trainer Ramses Principe (above) heading into the week like a boss. Make sure to follow him on Instagram here for more Monday motivation.

Irish Times: A man in Dublin, Ireland, thought he was meeting a Grindr date but was instead ambushed by a group of teenage boys with weapons. The victim, who needed medical treatment after the attack, says at least four teens armed with hammers came after him shouting anti-gay slurs including ‘faggot.’

ABC News: Former Defense Secretary James Mattis trolled Donald Trump over the weekend at an event after Trump declared Mattis to be “the world’s most over-rated general.” Mattis clapped back saying, among other things, “I earned my spurs on the battlefield … Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor.” The ‘spurs’ comment was a reference to Trump’s many deferments from the Vietnam war.

NY Times: Northern Ireland will soon have marriage equality to celebrate due to an amendment to a routine bill on governance that Parliament passed in July after the region’s governing assembly collapsed nearly three years ago. The amendment goes into effect tonight at midnight. Beginning January 13, 2020, same-sex couples will be able to give 28 days’ notice before marrying.

The Independent: In Elton John’s first memoir, Me, the popstar has some choice words about now-deceased Michael Jackson: “Every time I saw him in his later years I came away thinking the poor guy had totally lost his marbles. I don’t mean that in the light-hearted way. He was genuinely mentally ill, a disturbing person to be around. It was incredibly sad, but he was someone you couldn’t help: he was just gone, off in a world of his own, surrounded by people who only told him what he wanted to hear.”

Politico: Donald Trump reportedly stunned military leaders by demanding his ‘Victory Day’ parade at his very first Pentagon meeting.

Instinct Magazine: I am not mad at the hot daddy ASL interpreter who turned it out at Todrick Hall’s Haus Party World Tour this past weekend. #GetItDaddy

UK Parliament Passes Marriage Equality In Northern Ireland

Lawmakers in Parliament have voted overwhelmingly to extend same-sex marriage rights to LGBTQ citizens of Northern Ireland.

Lawmakers in Parliament have voted overwhelmingly to extend same-sex marriage rights to LGBTQ citizens of Northern Ireland.

The vote, by a lopsided margin of 393 to 73, will bring marriage equality to the only part of the UK or Ireland that does not currently recognize same-sex marriage.

The issue has been shelved in Northern Ireland since January 2017, when Stormont – the Northern Ireland Assembly – collapsed. Since that time, the country has basically been run by civil servants.

The proposal was part of a debate meant to keeping Northern Ireland running in the absence of a functioning government.

The marriage amendment, put forward by Labour MP Conor McGinn, requires marriage equality to become the law of the land in Northern Ireland if Stormont is not restored by October 21.

The Guardian reports McGinn addressed the House of Commons saying the chamber had “failed LGBT people in Northern Ireland before” by not extending same-sex marriage rights in a timely manner.

“Tonight, we have the chance to do the right thing,” said McGinn. “People in Northern Ireland, and indeed across Britain and Ireland, are watching. I, for one, am not going to let them down.”

A caveat to the clause allows for a future assembly in Northern Ireland to have the power to amend or change the law.

In the meantime, it will be necessary for the Secretary of State in Northern Ireland to prepare for new regulations allowing marriage between same-sex couples.

MPs in Parliament also voted to extend abortion rights to women in the same session.

(source: The Guardian)

Corporations Ask UK Parliament To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage In Northern Ireland

Several major corporations have signed on to a letter urging the UK Parliament in London to introduce legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

Marriage equality has been the law of the land in England, Scotland and Wales since 2014, and the Republic of Ireland voted for marriage equality via public referendum in 2015.

That leaves Northern Ireland as the only part of Western Europe to not allow LGBT couples to marry. The only legal recognition available for same-sex couples are civil unions thanks to UK-wide legislation passed in 2005.

According to Gay Star News, the Northern Ireland government has been practically non-functional for almost 600 days since rival parties stopped working together.

The list of over two dozen multinational businesses supporting the marriage equality letter to Parliament include Coca-Cola, IBM, Bank of Ireland, Deloitte, Citi Belfast and Pinsent Masons.

The argument for marriage equality isn’t just based on rights and equality, says John O’Doherty, Director of The Rainbow Project and member of the Love Equality consortium.

According to O’Doherty, “There is also an important economic argument for legalizing same-sex marriage.”

“Equality, diversity and inclusion contribute to a happy and productive workforce and can help in attracting global talent to Northern Ireland,” says O’Doherty. “However, without full legal recognition of same-sex marriages retaining and attracting talent can be difficult.”

Petre Sandru, Country Manager for Coca-Cola Ireland, agrees.

“As one of the world’s most inclusive brands, Coca-Cola celebrates diversity, inclusion and equality,” says Sandru. “At Coca-Cola, we know that creating an environment where everyone can reach their full potential, regardless of gender age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, ability or socio-economic background, is key to driving businesses forward.”

Corporate support has been shown to be a powerful component in the fight for equal rights.

In 2015, hundreds of major companies signed on to an amicus brief in support of marriage equality as the U.S. Supreme Court weighed the issue.

And in Australia, Coca-Cola, Quantas Airlines and more voiced their support for same-sex marriage as the country readied to vote in a mail-in referendum which eventually led to marriage equality becoming legal ‘down under’ in January of this year.

(h/t Gay Star News)

News Round-Up: August 18, 2017

Some news items you may have missed:

• Germany’s Olympic javelin team (above) offers us a good reason to talk about the country without having to mention “nazis.” Check out this one minute video from the hunky gentlemen from Germany.

• Two lawsuits in Northern Ireland challenging the current ban on marriage equality have been dismissed. The judge in both cases ruled the ban does not violate LGBT couples’ rights.

• Apple is donating $2 million to anti-hate groups, the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

• On the same day, both the American Cancer Society and the Cleveland Clinic have canceled their planned gala events at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago venue. A local Chamber of Commerce official told the press, “The glitter, the shine has gone from the club and I can’t help but think there will be more fallout from it.”

• Openly gay former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken laments his past defense of Donald Trump:

The Wrap is reporting Glenn Close is in advanced talks to star in a film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Sunset Boulevard. Close won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in 1994 and recently ended an enormously successful revival run on Broadway.

• Australian song bird Dannii Minogue dropped her new dance tune last week, “Holding On,” and the title/lyrics couldn’t be more appropriate for the times. Listen below:

Irish Prime Minister At Belfast Pride: Marriage Equality Is “Only A Matter Of Time” In Northern Ireland

Newly-elected Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, told folks attending a Pride Breakfast in Belfast that marriage equality is “only a matter of time” in Northern Ireland.

The Prime Minister, Ireland’s first openly gay leader, is taking part in Belfast Pride as “a gesture of solidarity.”

While the Republic of Ireland voted to legalize same-sex marriage in 2015, Northern Ireland remains the only place in the UK where a ban on same-sex marriage still exists.

Mr. Varadkar assured crowds in Belfast that he was not “here to unsettle anyone.”

“But I am here to state my support and my government’s support for equality before the law and individual freedom for all citizens wherever they may reside,” he said.

Patrick Stewart On Northern Ireland Bakers Who Refuse To Make Cake For Same-Sex Wedding

We’re all aware of the issues involving those in the wedding industry who refuse to provide services for same-sex weddings here in the US.

And similar issues have arisen abroad. For instance, in Northern Ireland, Ashers Bakery found itself on the losing end of a lawsuit for refusing to make a cake with the words “support gay marriage” above a picture of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street. The incident sparked widespread debate.

Talking on Newsnight last night, Star Trek & X-Men star Patrick Stewart was asked about the incident and he responded like this:

“Finally, I found myself on the side of the bakers.

“It was not because it was a gay couple that they objected, it was not because they were celebrating some sort of marriage or an agreement between them.

“It was the actual words on the cake they objected to. Because they found the words offensive. I would support their rights to say ‘no, this is personally offensive to my beliefs, I will not do it.'”

Watch Stewart explain below:

UPDATE: Patrick Stewart just posted this to his Facebook page. I’m guessing he got some push-back.

As part of my advocacy for Amnesty International, I gave an interview on a number of subjects related to human rights, civil rights and freedom of speech. During the interview, I was asked about the Irish bakers who refused to put a message on a cake which supported marriage equality, because of their beliefs. In my view, this particular matter was not about discrimination, but rather personal freedoms and what constitutes them, including the freedom to object. Both equality and freedom of speech are fundamental rights— and this case underscores how we need to ensure one isn’t compromised in the pursuit of the other. I know many disagree with my sentiments, including the courts. I respect and understand their position, especially in this important climate where the tides of prejudices and inequality are (thankfully) turning. What I cannot respect is that some have conflated my position on this single matter to assume I’m anti-equality or that I share the personal beliefs of the bakers. Nothing, absolutely nothing, could be further from the truth. I have long championed the rights of the LGBT community, because equality should not only be, as the people of Ireland powerfully showed the world, universally embraced, but treasured.