For months now, Julie Winokur, producer and co-founder of Talking Eyes Media, has been traveling the country to talk to real Americans about what they think about everything from gay marriage to taxes and abortion in a special web series Bring it to the Table. In case you’re wondering where the title comes from, Winokur literally brings a table with her to get a sense of what people really think about some of the most hot-button issues of our time.
Benjamin and Ray have become the first gay couple that J Crew has profiled in its online “Wedding Album.” The two men tied the knot recently in an 11th-century chateau in the south of France – both donning their signature J Crew Ludlow tuxes. In the interview, the two say they first met in Hudson River Park on a sunny day in New York City – a meeting “that changed our lives forever.”
Stereotypes aside (because there are plenty here), the guys at College Humor are taking a novel approach to the gay marriage debate in a funny new video supporting marriage equality. In it, several good-looking gay guys make the case as to why they’ll be able to steal your girlfriend, straight guys who are against same-sex marriage. They have a laundry list of reasons, like:
They’re better looking than you.
They’ll go to the theatre, gallery or other cultural event at the drop of a hat.
And they’re down for that manly threesome you’ve been cringing about for years.
Heck, even the in-laws love them.
Even if we know that it couldn’t possibly be true (um, right?), it’s downright hilarious.
Anti-gay groups attack Starbucks over same-sex marriage support
We don’t usually see anti-gay groups like National Organization for Marriage (NOM) siding with religious zealots in the Middle East. But in a first, NOM says it will attack Starbucks overseas for supporting marriage equality in the U.S.
During the most recent election season, the Seattle-based coffee giant publicly supported the gay marriage law up for vote in its home state – subsequently donating big bucks to help it pass in Washington (which it did). And this has enraged groups like NOM that have admittedly been on the LGBT attack way before gay marriage ended up on the ballot.
It seems as though marriage equality success has really fueled NOM’s fire as its head honcho Brian Brown (he first created the “Dump Starbucks” campaign) promised to use Middle Eastern extremism to boycott the brand in countries that are, well, less optimistic about LGBT rights.
“In Qatar in the Middle East, we’ve begun working to make sure that there’s some price to be paid for this,” he said. “These are not countries that look kindly on same-sex marriage. And this is where Starbucks wants to expand, as well as India.”
And while Brown and his misinformed cronies at NOM seem to think that most Starbucks patrons believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, the fact is marriage equality passed at the polls for the first time, suggesting that American voters are a lot more enlightened – and perhaps quite thirsty for another venti latte.
When Maryland, Maine and Washington voted this week to recognize marriage for same-sex couples – and Minnesota voted to reject an amendment outlawing it – the lives of more than 35,000 couples changed. Using data from the 2010 Census, the Williams Institute estimates that one in five same-sex couples now live in states where they can legally marry. And considering that many LGBT people didn’t reveal their status on the census, this number may actually underestimate the impact the new laws have on the LGBT community as a whole.
But after Tuesday’s vote, the group says same-sex couples can now marry in nine states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia. And as a result, 20 percent of same-sex couples now live in states where they can marry. Overall, 16 percent of the U.S. population also lives in states where same-sex couples can marry – which is expected to have a positive impact on the way people perceive marriage equality.
We may know Grindr best for its ability to sniff out the nearest (and hottest) guys looking for a little action, but Grindr for Equality has been spending this week reeling from the election results. This comes after creating an awareness campaign for LGBT equality issues nationwide. Not only did the app deliver important political messages directly to its users during this election season, but it helped brings awareness to out and LGBT-friendly candidates and marriage equality fights in several key states.
All told, Grindr says it reached 1.5 million users in the U.S. alone with as many as 135 in-app messages with specific calls to action that accrued 40,000 click-throughs. And according to a post-election survey conducted by Grindr for Equality, 91 percent of users saw the in-app messages, and more than a quarter of those users – we’re talking hundreds of thousands of gay and bisexual guys – did something about it, like vote, volunteer, sign petitions and even donate money.
As a member of media, I try my best (publicly at least) to remain impartial in regards to politics. Those who know me, know me. So, as we count down the hours to America’s next Election Day – all I can say is that when I enter that voting booth today, I won’t be alone.
With me is the love of my partner that I have had for several years, a love that is as pure and sincere as two people can have, regardless of sexual orientation. With me is the hope that someday we can be recognized as a couple just as easily as my straight friends.
With me is the thankfulness that my partner and several of my close friends – all with various pre-existing health conditions – may finally have a chance to receive healthcare without incurring a massive debt.
With me is the personal passion that so many of my friends have when it comes to simply accepting another without judgement – and the hope that our leaders, and our country, will follow suit in the years ahead.
Finally, with me are the hundreds of friends that I’ve lost in the past three decades to AIDS – from casual friends to a lover. Those men never got the chance to see how far America has grown in understanding and acceptance – I keep them in my thoughts every time I cast a vote.
Be sure to vote. If not for you, for those you love.
Robert Drake works at WXPN and regularly DJs at events around town, including Bottoms Up at the Bike Stop every Friday and the monthly Sex Dwarf at Fluid Nightclub.
He had us in Thelma and Louise. But now Brad Pitt is really showing us what he’s got. The actor made a massive donation to the fight for marriage equality, saying, “It’s unbelievable to me that people’s lives and relationships are literally being voted on in a matter of days.” And he’s right.
This all comes as he donates $100,000 to the HRC‘s National Marriage Fund, which is helping to support ballot initiatives in four states this election year.
“In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, voters will go to the polls to decide if gay and lesbian couples – our friends and neighbors – are worthy of the same protections as everyone else,” says Pitt.
A new Baltimore Sun poll found that Marylanders are split on the issue of same-sex marriage. Voters, they say, actually oppose the measure 54 percent to 39 percent. Most advocates suspect that the efforts to silence marriage equality is coming from seniors and the religious community in the state – both of which tend to come out to the polls in droves.
Interestingly, there’s a similar split over immigration issues. Maryland voters are evenly divided on the Dream Act, a law that would give some illegal immigrants access to in-state tuition rates, says the Sun, with 47 percent in favor and 45 percent opposed.
It’s disheartening that the major opposition is coming from other minority group.
“A month ago, the same-sex marriage question was ahead by 10 percentage points – 49 percent to 39 percent – in an earlier Sun poll. The contest is now a dead heat in part because some African-Americans who supported the measure or were undecided are now saying no,” the paper reports.
The poll found 50 percent of black voters oppose the measure.
Same-sex marriage measures have thus far been defeated in 32 states. Four states are considering it this time around, but it begs the question – should civil rights really be on the ballot at all?