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Alright, let's see what we have today.  First up, there is an ATM in NYC that dispenses cupcakes!

A new trailer is out for the next X-Men movie:

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Here's a cool movie about...movie trailers.

When I talk about fighting for gay youth rights, (especially in the BSA so they have a place they feel welcomed and accepted), this is one of the reasons why.  Have some tissues.

A theory proposed by Alan Turing has been proven correct!  It's called Morphogensis and (if I understand it) is that the shape of organisms is in our DNA.

And the new trailer for Disney's Maleficent:

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The Mozilla Foundation's new president supported Prop 8 in California, and while the foundation is trying to backpedal, outrage has taken over and developers are pulling out.

There is a church in Harlem that usually posts homophobic signs on their marquee, usually about stoning gays.  And they got spray painted, but now they're claiming gays are the bullies.

The next American Horror Story has been confirmed as Freak Show.  Some of the cast has been announced here.

Earlier this week, World Vision (a charity) announced that they would not have a problem hiring legally married gay couples.  The right lost their shit, and less than two days later, they've reversed course, because it's more important to hate the gays than help starving children around the world, or something like that.

That's it for now, have a great one!

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Alright, fun update today.

You may have seen the video of strangers kissing.  This is a much better version:

 

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First up, a GOP lobbyist was trying to write a bill making it illegal for gay men to play in the NFL, specifically targeting Michael Sam.

And a Republican from South Dakota thinks business should be able to refuse to serve gays...and racial minorities.  While many Republicans feel that way, they aren't dumb enough to add the second part to the sentence and expose their bigotry.

Coco Peru plays the new Grand Theft Auto, and her commentary is hilarious:

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A bar in South Carolina put up a sign saying no conceal weapons.  Funny, but insulting.  But I like it.

An asshole teacher in West Virginia was suspended after mocking the Gay-Straight Alliance in his school on Facebook.

Randy Rainbow does a great song dedicated to "Adel Dazeem:"

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It's weird to think that a Catholic website is giving away guns to entice more people to join.  But hey, maybe Jesus would have wanted us to have semi-automatic guns. 

A man looked at the birds on the wires outside his home and translated it into music, and it's beautiful:

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Robbie Roger's team captain made sure to include him in the locker room message, and it's awesome:

The St. Patrick's Day Parade has for years not allowed LGBT groups to march.  In response this year, Sam Adams, Guinness and Heineken all pulled their sponsorships.  The leader of the hate-group, The Catholic League, decided he wanted to test it and applied to march in the NYC Pride parade.  He was granted a space, but like every other group, is required to attend a training session about safety and logistics, which he is now claiming is "gay training" and refusing to attend but blaming it on the gays.  Sigh.

That's it for now, have a great one!

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So Pope Francis, in a new interview, said that he would be open, in certain circumstances, to civil unions.

The way it was worded, I actually don't know if he was specifically talking about same-sex couples.  But even if he was, he framed it in such a way that was insulting to begin with:

“Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate cohabitations, mainly to resolve issues involving their finances, such as health assistance. We need to look at different cases and evaluate them.”

The question was posed about civil unions, not same-sex marriage, so it really may or may not be about same-sex couples, I think it's hard to tell either way.

But if it was about same-sex couples, Pope Francis is not recognizing that same-sex couples can be in love.  He is stating he only sees our relationships as means to tax breaks and joint health insurance.  Like our relationships aren't real or don't matter.

And that's hurtful.  And bullshit.

We're not that different, it's not a hard concept to understand two men or two women in love with each other.

Is it progress?  I suppose it is, though.  Just as soon as January, the Vatican denied the Pope would ever be in favor of same-sex civil unions.  So again, yes, it is some progress, but we shouldn't have to beg and scrape for the crumbs that get thrown our way.

And of course, arch-homophobe Cardinal Dolan said in an interview that we're twisting the Pope's words (and many people may be, like I said, I'm still not convinced he wasn't talking about civil unions for heterosexual couples) and Francis is really not in favor or any recognition, and it would make him feel uncomfortable.

Note to self: don't invite Cardinal Dolan to my future wedding, wouldn't want him to feel icky.

And of course, Dan Savage hits it on the head.  It's a long quote, but it's worth it:

Would gay people be willing to accept civil unions in place of marriage? Would we be willing to compromise with conservative Christians? Would gay people be willing to settle for all the same rights, responsibilities, and protections of marriage right now in exchange for leaving marriage for opposite-sex couples? I told my friend we would.

In 1985.

When gay men were dying by the tens of thousands at the height of the AIDS crisis—when gay men were being dragged out of the hospital rooms of their dying partners by homophobic family members, when gay men were being barred from the funerals of their deceased partners, when gay men were being evicted from their homes after the deaths of their partners (many evicted gay men were sick and dying themselves)—conservative Christians could've stepped in then and said, "This is wrong. Whatever we believe about homosexual acts, brutalizing people like this is shockingly immoral and deeply un-Christian. Clearly there needs to be some sort of legal framework to protect people in loving, committed, stable same-sex relationships from these appalling cruelties."

Conservative Christians did no such thing. They celebrated AIDS, they welcomed the plague, they said it was God's judgement and they insisted that gay people deserved this pain and suffering—those of us who were sick and dying; those who were being dragged, barred, and evicted; those of us who were watching our friends and lovers die—and that it was only a taste of the pain and suffering that we would face in hell after our deaths.

The way gay people were treated at the height of the AIDS crisis made the importance of marriage rights—the importance of being able to declare your own next-of-kin—scaldingly apparent. Some of the most impassioned fighters for marriage equality, like Andrew Sullivan, cite what they witnessed in AIDS wards as their primary motivation. If Christians had looked at the suffering of gay men in AIDS wards in 1985 said, "The lives, loves, and rights of these couples must be protected," and if conservative Christians had proposed civil unions then and gotten a civil unions statute signed into law by the conservative Christian president they helped elect, that might've halted the push for marriage equality before it could even get off the ground.

But now that we're winning marriage—now that victory is assured—the pope is willing to maybe think about supporting some type of civil union scheme. I'll say to the pope what I said to my evangelical Christian pal: that fucking ship has fucking sailed. What the pope is saying to gay people in 2014 is this: "Okay, now that you're winning marriage, here's an idea: give marriage back and we will give you civil unions... which we once opposed with the same intensity and in the same apocalyptic terms that we oppose marriage today. Is it a deal?"

No deal, Francis.

All my best,

Mike

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I'm Lebanese, and from most outside perspective, Beirut (the capital city), is a partially-Westernized, big city, in the middle of a volatile part of the world.  I was trying to convince my boss of this, and then of course they went and had two car bombs the next week.  Stable, it may not be, but from pictures I've seen, it's a beautiful city on the Mediterranean.

Lebanon, also has a large LGBT community, and as far as that part of the world goes, they have more freedoms than most.  Recently, the Lebanese court ruled that homosexuality is not a crime:

The court ruled that homosexual relationships do not “contradict the laws of nature” and therefore cannot be considered a crime....The assumption that homosexuality is a result of disturbances in the family dynamic or unbalanced psychological development is based on wrong information.

It's a step forward, and it's great to see in Lebanon, of all places, so hopefully it is thinking that will continue throughout all the corners of the world.  You can read more about the court ruling at the Good Men Project.

All my best,

Mike

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Been a while since I've written about the BSA, so I wanted to take a minute and discuss the current state of things.

January 1 the new policy went into affect, allowing openly gay, lesbian and bisexual youth to join (girls are able to join Venturing at age 14).  And of course, the sky has not fallen.  From all views, it has been a total non-issue, just like we kind of figured it would be.

Now, the policy itself is hypocritical, since it tells youth that it's okay that they're gay (or bi), but once they become an adult, 'we don't want you anymore.'

And it also creates the problems, that in the above mentioned Venturing program, youth is defined as a member under the age of 21.  Meaning a gay Scout can earn his Eagle in a Troop, be forbidden from being an adult volunteer, but could at the same time have three more years in a Crew as a youth member.

And we knew this going into it.  My best guess is that national knew it too, and sees it as an easy out.  It's an easy fix, and once enough of the country realizes how crazy and two-faced this policy is, it's a quick and easy fix.  Add to that, the fact that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is the new President, considering he is man who implemented the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, I don't think we're far out from full equality.

And this is not hypothetical.  A youth in Maryland, Pascal Tessier, became the first (known) openly gay Eagle Scout under the new policy in February.  And while this was the more important part of the change, it's still incredibly important to all full equality: otherwise we're telling LGB youth that they're broken and they're not worthy, and we don't give them role models to look up to.  And companies will continue to pull back funding, such as Walt Disney World, which will not donate to the BSA until the policy is fully inclusive.

Scouts for Equality continues their great work, and I'm happy to keep supporting and working with them behind the scenes:

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Here in Pittsburgh, I volunteered last year at MountainFest II after enough people begged me to.  Even though I was uncomfortable, it was nice to be back at camp, and most of the camp volunteers are freaking awesome and I was happy to see them again.

I'm also working with the Camp Staff Alumni Association, which is a separate non-profit, so while I can't be a registered member of the BSA, I can still volunteer through the CSAA.

And I know this policy will change, and probably faster than I imagine.

All my best,

Mike

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Alright, let's see what we have today.  First up, over the weekend Sam Adams and Heineken both pulled out of South Boston's iconic St. Patrick's day parade, due to the organizers continued insistence that no LGBT groups may march.  Guinness has not, and so many bars, including the Stonewall Inn are now boycotting the Irish beer.

Pentatonix is back with a version of "Say Something"

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For all the Star Wars fans out there, this is kind of awesome, Sarlacc decals to put in your toilet bowl.

The Good Men Project has a great article about what it's like to get engaged more that once: once when you're in love, and once when it's legal.

HBO's new movie, "The Normal Heart" has a new trailer, and holy crap:

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Oh People of Public Transit, it's funny and sad because it's true.

The Episcopal Church of Pittsburgh went through a long legal battle over parishes leaving and property rights, now it looks like Virginia is doing the same.  But the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

That's it for now, have a great one!

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For those unaware, the LGBT community is great at commandeering technology.  Case in point, the myriad of hook-up apps available for smartphones.  The most well known one is grindr, and a new comedy video features women reading real messages from the app.  Warning, not safe for work, but funny (and a bit sad):

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All my best,

Mike

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Alright, let's see what we have today, first up, now your goldfish can finally tour the house:

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Seven things gay guys are sick of hearing.  Yeah, especially the first one when it comes from politicians.

Holy crap!  We're really close to getting nuclear fusion.

A Lego figure captures his vacation photos:

The actor that played Rufio is back...recreating scenes from Hook.

Funny how the state with the highest minimum wage has the best job growth.  Who would have thought.

Jason Collins, the first openly gay man to play professional sports in the "big 4" got a standing ovation the first time he took the court at home:

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The proceeds from Collin's jersey, which has become a best-seller, are being donated to GLSEN and the Matthew Shepherd Foundation, and Jason even met Matthew's parents (he took the number 98 in honor of Matthew).

You can play Tetris on a business card now!

Also in news that everyone knew, anti-gay bigotry drives people away from religion.

This may be my favorite Sochi video:

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Privilege is tough, we oftentimes don't realize how lucky we are.  Give this infographic a quick look, you'll be a better person for it.

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Alright, pretty sizable update, let's see what we have today.

The car crash was horrific, but there's some sort of cosmic karma for the man who was campaigning so hard against Obamacare is now loving it, since he lost his insurance.

This is really awesome, NYC public schools will get Muslim holidays off.  I always wondered why we didn't, since we got Christian holidays off.

fun.'s new project called "Bleachers" has its first single, and it's awesome:

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In case you haven't heard, the Ugandan President signed into a law a horrific bill making it illegal to be LGBT in the country.  The bill is so extreme, you can be locked up for life just for opposing the law.  Their ethics minister is even quoted as saying that they show "tolerance" to gays by "not slaughtering them."  The Center for Constitutional Rights is suing US evangelical pastor Scott Lively, citing that he is directly responsible for the bill coming into existence (he has also been linked to the anti-LGBT bill in Russia).  So yeah, it's all disheartening and tragic and infuriating that a US citizen is partially responsible for these crimes against humanity.

Also in crazy anti-LGBT news, Arizona is inching closer (the Governor can still veto it) enshrining discrimination into law.  In response, a pizza shop put up this amazing sign.  The bill, at its worst, can lead to public servants refusing service to gay citizens.  So say I live in Arizona and my house is burning down.  The firefighters see a HRC flag, they could legally let it burn by refusing me service.  Andrew Sullivan reminds us that Catholics should be more concerned with divorce than gays, if they really want to be able to legally discriminate, considering Jesus specifically mentioned the divorced.

And Boehner is still refusing to bring ENDA up for a vote, even though it would probably pass.  No real surprise, but still sad to hear.

In the last bit of bad LGBT news, members of the LGBT community who live in anti-equality areas, die 12 years earlier than LGBT citizens in safer places.  But, being homophobic takes two and a half years off the hater's life.  So that's something at least.

A music video staring 3D printed stars:

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 An awesome back tattoo that gets colored in as he visits countries around the world.

 Guys.  We're running out of clowns.

An awesome compilation of pop culture from the New York Times:

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A troll on Twitter took on Dan Savage, and he and his husband hosted an impromptu fundraiser for Planned Parenthood to fight back.

 

And just as a reminder, a mere three percent of Planned Parenthood's budget is for abortion services.  The rest is basic reproductive and medical care, they are a great resource for the community, both men and women.  And speaking of, the abortion rate is at the lowest levels since 1973.  That comes from more access to comprehensive sex education and access to contraception.  The crazy draconian laws that have come onto the books the last few years aren't in this study, as there isn't data for those years yet.

 

I think it's a cool campaign, but it took some flack.  Either way, it makes the point that we tend to donate towards breast cancer, while we forget the brutal forces of other types of cancer, especially pancreatic.

 

That's it for now, have a great one!

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Alright, let's see what we have today.  First up, this amazing series of Post-It notes from a new father.

The Mars Rover Opportunity celebrates its 10 year anniversary!  Not bad, considering it was supposed to be a 90-day mission!

Putin wants to "cleanse Russia of homosexuality"  But he TOTALLY HAS GAY FRIENDS.

Harry Potter World is expanding, which means now I really have to go!

And finally, Lust for Love, which pretty much features the cast of Dollhouse, finally has a trailer:

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That's it for now, have a great one!

 

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