Wednesday, December 17, 2014

U.S. Senate Confirms 10th Openly LGBT Federal Judge Under Obama, Robert Pittman of Texas

Robert L. Pittman of Texas has become the first openly gay federal judge in Texas and the 10th openly LGBT member of the federal judiciary nominated by President Barack Obama thanks to actions the Senate took before adjourning yesterday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Marriage Equality Goes Into Effect In Scotland!

Marriage equality has officially come to Scotland, as today is the first date that people who were previously in registered partnerships can have them converted into legal marriages, the BBC reports.

The law on same-sex marriages has already changed in England and Wales.
The change in Scotland comes as a survey revealed a huge rise in support for same-sex marriage over the past 12 years.
More than two-thirds of people (68%) agreed that gay couples should have the right to marry, according to the figures from the Social Attitudes Survey, which tracks public opinions on a range of subjects.
The figure compares with just two-fifths of the public (41%) in 2002.
The 2014 survey suggested fewer than a fifth (17%) of Scots were against same-sex marriage, compared to 29% in 2002.
Younger people were more likely to believe gay couples should be allowed to wed than older Scots, with 83% of 18 to 24-year-olds in favour compared to 44% of those aged 65 and above.
Hat/tip to Joe Jervis

Monday, December 15, 2014

EYE CANDY: Dominic Santos

Dominic Santos is a smoking hot guy you might have seen around the internet (ManCrush). He is apparently more well-known as an adult performer, especially at Randy Blue (perhaps NSFW). Unfortunately, I don't know his age, height or weight, but presumably if he is appearing in porn flicks then he must be over 18 years old. He is apparently quite talented, in more ways than one!

Regardless of what he does for a living, he is still smoking hot, and definitely worthy of an Eye Candy post, don't you think?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Today is 12/13/14!

Today is December 13, 2014, or 12/13/14. It happens to be the last "sequential date" of the 21st century. The next one is more than 89 years away, January 2, 2103, or 01/02/03.

Friday, December 12, 2014

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: Golden Globe Nominations Announced

The Golden Globe nominations were announced yesterday as Hollywood's award season is now in full swing on the inexorable march towards the Academy Awards.

Here are the important categories:
MoviesBest motion picture -- drama"Boyhood" "Foxcatcher" "The Imitation Game" "Selma" "The Theory of Everything"
Best motion picture -- musical or comedy"Birdman" "The Grand Budapest Hotel" "Into the Woods" "Pride" "St. Vincent"
Best directorWes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" Ava DuVernay, "Selma" David Fincher, "Gone Girl" Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, "Birdman" Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"
Best screenplayWes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" Gillian Flynn, "Gone Girl" Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, "Birdman" Richard Linklater, "Boyhood" Graham Moore, "The Imitation Game"
TVBest TV series -- drama"The Affair" "Downton Abbey" "Game of Thrones" "The Good Wife" "House of Cards"
Best TV series -- comedy"Girls" "Jane the Virgin""Orange is the New Black" "Silicon Valley" "Transparent"
Some of the notable nominations are Ava Duvernay for directing "Selma," becoming the first Black woman to be nominated for a Directing Golden Globe. People are suggesting that "Selma" may get several Oscar nominations as well. Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" was snubbed, garnering a single nomination for it's score. Both of the main actors in the reboot of BBC's "Sherlock" were nominated, for different things. Martin Freeman was nominated for his work in the miniseries "Fargo" (which I have been slowly catching up with online and it appears to be really really good) while Benedict Cumberbatch was nominated for his role as Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game."

So far of the Best Picture nominees I have only seen "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" but I do intend to see everything in the Drama category, especially "Foxcatcher" and "Boyhood."

In the television categories I'm constantly surprised by the snubs that "The Walking Dead" (which is the highest rated drama series on television) gets from the awards. I'm glad to see that someone is recognizing the consistent excellence of "The Good Wife" and of course "Game of Thrones" is probably my favorite show.

It's not clear that the Golden Globes can have that much of an impact on the results of the Oscars (the Screen Actors Guild awards are more closely correlated since the actors' branch is the largest branch of the Academy).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Local LGBT Ordinance Repealed By Fayetteville, AR Voters

Hmmm, now that the fight over marriage appears to be coming to a close there is increased focus on other aspects of the gay rights agenda that most people thought had been settled a long time ago: should LGBT people have equal access to public goods and services, housing, employment, credit, et cetera? Simply said, are gay rights civil rights? (And by "gay" here I mean "LGBT.")

In many states there are no state laws against discriminating against individuals based on sexual orientation or gender identity. There is no federal law banning discrimination in these areas either, so many activists have started enacting local ordinances (like the one enacted in Houston earlier this year) to protect LGBT individuals from rank discrimination based on characteristics that have nothing to do with their ability to do a job, rent an apartment or access services from local businesses or governments.

However, there are many people who not only feel that their religious beliefs about LGBT people should be informative (if not determinative) of public policy in this area but also that the Government is abridging their religious beliefs by enforcing equal treatment under the law based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. These people are the same people who thought that it was a brilliant idea to put the marriage rights of their fellow citizens up for a vote and now want to do the same thing with basic civil rights as well.

Anyway, this week there was another skirmish in the upcoming kulturkampf on this issue when a local ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas was repealed just months after it was enacted, thanks primarily to political activity by conservative and religious leaders.

The vote was surprisingly close (less than 500 votes out of 14,000 cast) but the bad guys won. Keep Fayetteville Fair responded:
Fayetteville voters decided to repeal a city wide anti-discrimination ordinance in a special election Tuesday night. Keep Fayetteville Fair and its supporters have campaigned the past several months, encouraging a vote against the repeal of the ordinance. 
More than 7,000 people voted against the repeal and stood behind the idea that employees should be judged on their merits nothing more, nothing less. The ordinance would have protected Fayetteville residents from being fired from their job, denied housing, or kicked out of a restaurant simply because of their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. 
“We have a very strong local volunteer and support team who worked hard to try to keep this ordinance in place,” Anne-Garland Berry, campaign manager said. “Fayetteville is a city filled with inclusive, accepting citizens. Unfortunately, the repeal of this ordinance tells our visitors that we do not treat everyone with respect and only allocate freedoms to certain groups of people.” 
The campaign would like to thank all its supporters and volunteers who put in countless hours to keep our city fair. Including others who stood up for fairness, Rep. Greg Leding, Alderman Matthew Petty and Mayor Lioneld Jordan.
Hat/tip to Max Brantley

GODLESS WEDNESDAY: Godless Children In Berlin Get Their Own Day Off From School (June 21)

Are you jealous of all the religious holidays that god-fearing folks have? Well now comes word from the Friendly Atheist  that at least in Berlin, Germany, godless children have a school holiday of their own! It is June 21st, and the occasion is World Humanist Day.

This is how the Associated Press reported the story:
BERLIN (AP) — Schools in Berlin have recognized World Humanist Day as a holiday on a par with All Saints' Day, Yom Kippur and Eid al-Fitr.The decision means Berlin pupils who subscribe to humanism — a philosophy that rejects the existence of deities — can apply for a day off to celebrate their belief in the same way as Christians, Muslims and Jews do for their holy days.Arik Platzek, a spokesman for Germany's Humanist Association, said Wednesday the decision "is a positive signal and a good example."He says it will be the first sanctioned holiday for humanists in any of Germany's 16 states "and as far as we know worldwide."World Humanist Day was conceived in 1986 and takes place annually on June 21. It often falls on the solstice.
Seems like it might be a good idea to have  a holiday in recognition of the solstice anyway considering how important the Sun is to our existence! Anyway, I think it's cool that atheist kids will have the opportunity to have their (lack of faith) officially recognized by the state in a similar way the state recognizes the faiths of their pers.

Hat/tip to Friendly Atheist


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