The Most Popular Gay Stories of the Week
Ellen DeGeneres Makes ‘Finding Nemo’ Sequel
Disney and Pixar are looking to follow up on the success of their 2003 animated film “Finding Nemo,” with a sequel that will focus on Nemo’s side kick Dory, played by Ellen DeGeneres.
The companies officially announced the release of the upcoming movie, named “Finding Dory,” on April 2.
“I’m not mad it took this long. I know the people at Pixar were busy creating ‘Toy Story 16.’ But the time they took was worth it. The script is fantastic,” DeGeneres said in a statement. “And it has everything I loved about the first one: It’s got a lot of heart, it’s really funny, and the best part is—it’s got a lot more Dory.”
The new film will include many of the characters of the original, such as Marlin, the Tank Gang, and Nemo. “Finding Dory” will hit theaters on Nov. 25, 2015. The first film was one of the most successful animated movies at Pixar, raking in $921.7 million in total worldwide gross and winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Bill Clinton to Receive LGBT Advocate Award
Former President Bill Clinton, the same man who signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, will be honored with the “Advocate for Change” Award from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
GLAAD said it will be awarding the politician with the accolade for supporting the passing of gay marriage in New York State, his 2012 fight against North Carolina’s Amendment One, which proposed to ban gay marriage and civil unions in the state, and his recent letter in The Washington Post apologizing for DOMA.
The 1996 federal law, which Clinton approved, defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman for legal purposes. The law is currently being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court.
“During his administration, Clinton became the first U.S. President to appoint out gay and lesbian people to all levels of government,” GLAAD said in a release.
The event will take place in Los Angeles on April 20. Presenters expected to participate in the ceremony include Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, and Jennifer Lawrence.
Scots Push to Decriminalize Private Trans Status
Transgender activists in Scotland have filed a petition with the country’s authorities to try to stop the jailing of people if they do not tell their partners they are trans.
The Scottish Transgender Alliance is asking the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to working with them and come up with more comprehensive regulations regarding the jailing of transgender sex partners, the Gay Star News reports.
STA filed the petition with over 2,500 signatures. The effort comes in the heels of a case where a 25-year-old transgender man was accused of failing to tell two teenage girls his gender history and real age.
While advocates are not challenging the underage sex charges, they believe Chris Wilson should not be charged for hiding his transition.
“We consider it essential that trans people’s right to privacy about their gender history be upheld in all areas of their lives,” part of the petition reads.
Wilson will be tried on April 5. GSN writes that he will likely face jail time.
Rutgers Fires Mike Rice for Calling Players Faggot
OutSports reported yesterday that the reason behind Mike Rice’s suspension last December was because of physical and verbal abuse towards his players, including calling them faggotts. Today, Rutgers fired their head basketball coach, less than one day after the video of his acts surfaced on ESPN’s Outside The Lines.
In a statement released last Wednesday on the school’s athletic website, Athletic Director Tim Pernetti said the dismissal comes after he was incorrect in thinking a suspension and fine was the proper form of rehabilitation for Rice.
“Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong,” Pernetti said. “Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.”
Widespread calls for Rice’s firing came from every corner of the sports and political world. USA Today reports that LeBron James and his Miami Heat teammates were angered by the footage. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he was “deeply disturbed” by what happened at the New Jersey school.
Ramogi Huma, president of college athlete advocacy group The National College Players Association, called for Rice’s immediate firing.
“The NCAA punishes kids for accepting grocery money but apparently the NCAA is fine with allowing a person to remain a college coach after kicking and shoving his players on video,” Huma said. “The fact that Mike Rice is still the Rutgers basketball coach is a telling indictment of a college athletic culture that excuses the mistreatment of college athletes.”
London Anti-Gay Group Wants Equal Rights
An anti-gay Christian group in England is accusing London Mayor Boris Johnson of mishandling a ban on anti-gay posters from public transport. The group, which lost its legal battle against Boris, believes the mayor behaved incorrectly.
The Christian Legal Centre has submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act to see all the documentation involved in the case, according to Gay Star News. The group says the mayor pressured officials into banning the anti-gay ads on the city’s iconic double-decker red busses that read “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get Over It!”
The ads were a take on similar ones placed by the British LGBT charity Stonewall. Stonwall’s ads read,
The group claims that Boris’ decision to ban their anti-gay posters is discrimination and infringed on their right to free speech. As mayor of London, Johnson is in charge of Transport for London (TfL), which in turn is responsible for the city’s bus ads.
“Boris is increasingly under pressure for his actions and integrity,” said Andrew Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre. “This is another example of where he has been expedient as opposed to doing truth and justice.”
Stonewall Executive Chief, Ben Summerskill, refutes the claims against Boris saying that it is completely acceptable for the mayor to say those ads should be banned.
“In a city where over half of gay young people face bullying at school, and where tens of thousands of gay people are subjected to hate crimes every year just because of the way they were born, it’s perfectly proper for a mayor to object to the use of such advertising in an iconic public setting,” Summerskill said.
According to the Telegraph, a TfL spokeswoman said that the advertisements were removed because they breached their advertising policy because it “contained a controversial message and was likely to cause widespread offence to the public.”
GOP Chair: ‘Gays Don’t Have the Right Equipment for Marriage’
Georgia Republican Chairwoman Sue Everhart went on a homophobic laced rant where she called gay people “unnatural” and only wanting marriage equality for a “free ride.” Everhart went on the tirade when questioned by the Marietta Daily Journal about people turning their Facebook profile pictures red in support of marriage equality.
“Lord, I’m going to get in trouble over this, but it is not natural for two women or two men to be married,” Everhart told MDJ. “If it was natural, they would have the equipment to have a sexual relationship.”
Everhart goes on to say that while she respects all people, gay marriage would lead to fraud and “free rides.”
“You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow,” Everhart said. “Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits?”
Everhart then says that those benefits are only for a couple that consists of a man and a woman, because “a husband and a wife is a man and a woman.” She also foresees rampant abuse of benefits that are given to legally married couples.
“There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it’s all about a free ride,” Everhart said.
After tackling marriage fraud and what it takes to have sex, Everhart then moved on to gay couples raising children. According to Everhart, gay parents would influence a child’s sexual orientation.
“If I had a next door neighbor who was in a gay relationship, I could be just as friendly to them as I could be to you and your wife or anybody else,” Everhart said. “I’m not saying that we ostracize them or anything like that. I’m just saying I’m against marriage because once you get the gay marriage you get everything else.”
If the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, is repealed, that everything else could include joint tax filing, retirement and death benefits for federal employees, family medical leave and the right to leave assets to your spouse.
Florida Takes on Anti-Gay Westboro Baptist Church, Approves Bill
In a unanimous vote last week, Florida’s House of Representatives passed Florida House Bill 15, called the Funeral Buffer Bill, which prohibits engaging in protest activities one hour before or after a service and prohibits protesting within 500 feet of a property line of a location of funeral or burial.
“The loss of a family member or friend is an extremely difficult time for loved ones,” state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto said in a statement. “Unfortunately, across the country we have seen these solemn times repeatedly interrupted, often at funerals for our fallen heroes who have courageously served our country in the military.”
What Representative Benacquisto may be referring to are the heavily criticized protests of Westboro Baptist Church. North Carolina and a St. Louis suburb have already passed similar laws.
WBC is most notorious for the picketing of service member’s funerals and their “God Hates Fags” mantra. The church even had planned to picket the upcoming NCAA Final Four tournament in Atlanta, Georgia.
Florida Representative and bill sponsor Patrick Rooney, Jr. believes all families have the right to mourn their loved ones in piece and with respect.
“For those that are suffering the terrible loss of a loved one, unwarranted harassment some attempt only compounds their grief and escalates the potential for a physical altercation,” Rooney said in a statement.
The bill, which has yet to go before Florida Gov. Rick Scott, will penalize protestors with a first degree misdemeanor which can include up to one year in jail.
Even though the bill restricts the way people can protest, Rooney said he has made sure no one’s rights were violated.
“It is my belief that this bill will continue to allow those to express their freedom of speech, even speech I and many others may disagree with,” Rooney said in a statement.