News Round-Up: October 18, 2019

Michael and I laughing as Olivia Newton-John officiates the renewal of our wedding vows

Some news items you might have missed:

The Big Two-Five: I’ll share the full details soon, but yes, hubby Michael and I celebrated our 25th anniversary together yesterday renewing our wedding vows. And handling the officiating duties was our dear friend (and international pop star), Olivia Newton-John. #Magic My wish is that everyone celebrates their 25th with as much joy and love that surrounded us yesterday. Thanks to the fabulous Denise Truscello for the awesome pic 🙂

• Deadline: With domestic box office gross of $83.5 million, Focus Features’ Downton Abbey movie, which features a gay storyline, has surpassed another gay-themed Focus Features film, three-time Oscar-winner Brokeback Mountain, as the highest-grossing title of all time for the studio.

KIT212: Check out what’s the what this week in gay magazines across the country.

Washington Post: Lenny Pozner, who lost his six-year-old son Noah in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has spent years trying to stop people from spreading lies claiming the massacre was faked and never happened. In June, Pozner won a defamation case against book editors James H. Fetzer and Mike Palecek, who published statements that his son’s death certificate was a fake. On Tuesday, a Wisconsin jury ordered Fetzer to pay Pozner $450,000 in punitive damages.

• Axios: An internal impeachment polling memo that was sent to House Democrats Thursday included specific messaging guidance: “When discussing Trump’s actions, keep the language simple, direct and values-based…No one is above the law…The whistleblower did the right thing by coming forward…Focus on the biggest issues facing families in the country, specifically health care and wages.”

BBC: Little monsters were agog last night when a fan who got pulled up on stage during Lady Gaga’s Enigma concert in Las Vegas lost his footing and fell off-stage while holding the pop star. Gaga didn’t seem to suffer any serious injuries and went on with the show. She brought the fan back on stage to sit at the piano as she sang “Million Reasons” and implored folks on the internet to be nice to him telling the audience, “And if anybody on the internet is mean to you tomorrow about this then I’m going to be very upset with each and every one of them.”

NRA press conference: More guns will make schools safer

The National Rifle Association on Friday announced it’s plan and support for putting armed police officers in every school in the country as a way to avoid tragedies like the 26 deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

“I call on Congress today to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation,” Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, said at a press conference in Washington, D.C. There, he unveiled the National School Shield NRA Education and Training Emergency Response program, to be headed up by former Arkansas U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson.

Under the proposed program, schools would be permitted to tailor the type of security desired to their school’s situation or refuse it altogether.

“Innocent lives might have been spared,” LaPierre said, if armed security was present. “The only thing that stops bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

LaPierre, Hutchison and David Keene, president of the NRA, all declined to take questions from the press Friday and said NRA press officers won’t be responding to the media until Monday.

More at Yahoo News

National Rifle Association statement: “Prepared to make meaningful contributions” to avoid future tragedies

After four days of self-imposed silence, the NRA has released the following statement regarding the Newtown, Connecticut shooting that left 20 children and six adults from Sandy Hook Elementary School dead:

“The National Rifle Association of America is made up of 4 million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.

“Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.

“The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.

“The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, D.C., area on Friday, December 21.”

At present, the NRA has shut its Facebook page and has not tweeted since the shooting.

SNL cold open honors Sandy Hook tragedy: “Silent Night”

“Saturday Night Live” made a rare departure from its comedic opening to pay tribute to the children and adults killed at Sandy Hook elementary school.

Not known for treating anything seriously or tenderly, the show made a fitting exception during the first moments of its show Saturday. Rather than the usual comedic sketch, a children’s choir appeared on camera and angelically sang “Silent Night,” with the touching refrain, “Sleep in heavenly peace.”

Then the members of the New York City Children’s Chorus shouted out the NBC show’s time-honored introduction: “Live from New York, it’s `Saturday Night!'”

It was the night’s sole reference to the tragedy and struck just the right tone.