Entries tagged with: gay rights
Norwegian pop singer Annie has teamed up with visual artist (and fellow Norwegian) Bjarne Melgaard for a song/short film, "Russian Kiss," in protest of Vladimar Putin and Russia's anti-gay laws. Released today (2/7), timed with the kickoff of the Sochi Olympics, the song's mantra is "shake a fist for the Russian kiss" and the video, directed by NYC filmmaker Richard Kern (known for his work with Sonic Youth, Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins and others), depicts multiple same-sex couples making out. The song is supported by Norwegian free speech foundation Fritt Ord and Music Norway, and part of the iTunes proceeds go towards gay rights organization All Out.
In related news, you can check out pictures of ex-Pussy Riot members Masha and Nadya at last night's NYC appearance at The Spotted Pig.
More info on "Russian Kiss" here. The video and a message from Annie below...
A landmark win for gay rights today, as the Supreme Court struck down DOMA, aka the Defense of Marriage Act:
Justice Anthony Kennedy, speaking for the 5-4 majority, said DOMA was unconstitutional because it violated the right to liberty and to equal protection for gay couples.
"By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute" violates the Constitution, he said.
Dissenting were Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.
The ruling means that more than 100,000 gay and lesbian couples who are legally married will be able to take advantage of tax breaks, pension rights and other benefits that are available to other married couples.
Four years ago, several gay couples who were married in Massachusetts launched a lawsuit to challenge DOMA, arguing it denied them equal protection of the laws. They won before a federal judge in Boston and before the federal appeals court there. - [LA Times]
Lauryn Hill at Highline Ballroom (more by Bao Nguyen)
Lauryn Hill's latest single "Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)" is raising some eyebrows with its content. The prison-bound MC is known for being an empowering force to young women, but some are saying the message she is sending out to the LGBT community is anything but uplifting. Some samples:
We're living in a joke time, metaphorical coke timeYou can read the lyrics for song and stream the track below.
commerce and girl men
run the whole world men
bold drunken debauchery....
Quick scam and drag queens
real life's been blasphemed
Maryland made history yesterday as the first state to approve gay marriage at the ballot box. The outcome on Question 6 was notable not just for what it will mean for thousands of gays and lesbians whose relationships will now be recognized as equal to those of their heterosexual peers but for what it says about the state of gay rights in America. There is good reason to believe that yesterday's vote was not just a victory for equality but a turning point.Meanwhile the NY Times reports:
Technically, Maryland appeared to be tied for the first-in-the-nation distinction, as a similar measure was poised for passage in Maine on the same day. Another was on the ballot in Washington. Considering that the electoral record for same-sex marriage up until yesterday was 0 wins and 32 losses, those victories are remarkable. The vote in Maryland in particular is a sign that the growing acceptance for marriage equality is starting to break down old barriers and may portend a rapid shift in the political and legal landscape.
Maine voters approved same-sex marriage in an election night that jubilant gay rights advocates called a historic turning point, the first time ever that marriage for gay men and lesbians has been approved at the ballot box.As of this article, results are still just coming in, so hopefully by Wednesday morning we're saying that four states approved same-sex marriage on ballots in 2012.
While six states plus the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage through court decisions or legislative decisions, voters had rejected it more than 30 times in a row up to now.
Results for the other three states voting on same-sex marriage -- Maryland, Minnesota and Washington -- were still coming in late Tuesday but rights groups said that the victories in Maine, and possibly other states, were an important sign that public opinion is shifting in their direction.
UPDATE:: Minnesotans have sadly defeated the attempt to amend the state's constitution to ban gay marriage,
This election also gave us our first openly gay senator, our first state with marijuana legalization, and our first two-term African-American president. To quote Reggie Watts, "The Mayan prophecy is coming true!!!"
Rufus Wainwright, The National, They Might Be Giants, Doveman, Beth Orton, Sam Amidon, and more were scheduled to play this show at Beacon Theater on Tuesday (10/30):
The "Freedom To Love Now!" concert has been postponed due to pending weather conditions. Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets to support this concert, Freedom To Marry, and the fight for the equality for all Americans. With all the goodwill, momentum, and awareness this concert has generated, we are rebuilding the show on a future date, likely in the Spring.Meanwhile, everything today/Monday is cancelled too. Listen to Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten sing "Baby It's Cold Outside".
You may hold on to your tickets as they will be valid for the rescheduled show. We will notify you with updated details of the new show very soon. Alternatively you may request a refund through TicketMaster at this time.
The battle for marriage equality in the US will be far from over even after this election. And, we hope you'll join us in the future as we continue the fight for social justice with the beauty of music. Our beneficiary organization Freedom to Marry is doing everything possible to support the ballot campaigns in the four states in the last week before the election. You can help by making calls for Mainers United for Marriage and Washington United for Marriage without ever even leaving your couch. Just sign up, and an organizer in Maine or Washington will help get you started. Sign up at these links:
Additionally we will keep you posted on "Freedom To Love Now!" developments and other projects at www.freedomtolovenow.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FreedomToLoveNow
Thank you. And be safe.
Simon Rentner, Brice Rosenbloom, Thomas Bartlett, and the entire "Freedom To Love Now!" Team.
In related news, They Might Be Giants are playing a few New Year's Eve shows in Brooklyn (if we make it through this hurricane).
The National at Beacon Theater in 2011 (more by David Andrako)
Doveman (aka Thoms Bartlett) and BOOM for Equality are teaming up to present Freedom To Love Now! A Concert for Marriage Equality, which will happen in NYC on October 30 at Beacon Theater. Doveman, who is known for bringing out tons of interesting guests to his shows, has curated a lineup which includes Rufus Wainwright, The National, They Might Be Giants, John Cameron Mitchell with Stephen Trask, Justin Vivan Bond, Toshi Reagon, fun., and more TBA. Artist lineup is also subject to change without notice. Tickets for the show go on sale Saturday (9/8) at 10 AM and are on Artist Presale now (password: "boomforequality") with a Local Presale starting today (9/7) at 4 PM. Proceeds will benefit Freedom to Marry.
As mentioned, Doveman is also continuing his Burgundy Stain Sessions residency at Le Poisson Rouge, though the dates have slightly changed since we last posted. His next one happens at the Manhattan venue on October 12 and will follow that with another on December 13. Lineups for those shows have not been announced yet.
For Rufus Wainwright, the show falls in the middle of his extensive international tour, which now also includes an Atlantic City show which happens on February 8, 2013 at The Borgata. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Justin Vivian Bond, meanwhile, is hosting Weimar New York for Obama on September 18 at the Abrons Arts Center. The show is a benefit in celebration of President Obama's "unprecedented commitment to the LGBT comunity" and features music directed by Lance Horne and performances by Alan Cumming, Joey Arias, Bridget Everett, Flotilla DeBarge, Rosateresa Castro-Vargas, Dirty Martini, Tigger!, Theo Bleckmann, Curtis Eller, Machine Dazzle, Tammy Faye Starlite, and more TBA. You can reserve seats and donate HERE.
All Doveman, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainright, and Justin Vivian Bond dates are listed below.
President Obama on Wednesday ended nearly two years of "evolving" on the issue of same-sex marriage by publicly endorsing it in a television interview, taking a definitive stand on one of the most contentious and politically charged social issues of the day.Watch the ABC News video interview with President Obama here.
"At a certain point, I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married," Mr. Obama told ABC News in an interview that came after the president faced mounting pressure to clarify his position.
In an election that is all but certain to turn on the slowly recovering economy and its persistently high jobless rate, Mr. Obama's stand nonetheless injects a volatile social issue into the campaign debate and puts him at even sharper odds with his presumptive Republican rival, Mitt Romney, who opposes same-sex marriage and favors an amendment to the United States Constitution to forbid it...
...Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, called the president's statement "a watershed moment in American history" that would aid efforts to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act barring federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York said, "No American president has ever supported a major expansion of civil rights that has not ultimately been adopted by the American people, and I have no doubt that this will be no exception." [New York Times]
by Andrew Sacher
Florence on GMA @ Rumsey Playfield (juleskills)
Since Good Morning America concerts now happen at Rumsey Playfield aka Central Park Summerstage (full schedule below), Florence & the Machine actually played the outdoor NYC venue twice on Friday (6/24). She played a short set early in the morning for Good Morning America and then a proper Summerstage show later that night with Twin Shadow and Bubbles. At the night show Florence opened the track "Blinding" by singing the intro to Lady Gaga's "Judas" (Lady Gaga notoriously played the first 2011 Good Morning America show on May 27th). Check out a video of that and some others from both Florence shows below.
what is that over her shoulders???
Beyonce, whose new album 4 was released today (6/28), who also just headlined Glastonbury (with help from Tricky), and who plays the NBC NYC fireworks show, plays Good Morning America at Rumsey Playfield on July 1.
Beyonce's new album seems to be what everyone has been talking about, especially since it leaked back on June 7th. Even Beyonce addressed the leak on June 8th:
My music was leaked and while this is not how I wanted to present my new songs, I appreciate the positive response from my fans. When I record music I always think about my fans singing every note and dancing to every beat. I make music to make people happy and I appreciate that everyone has been so anxious to hear my new songs.Indie music critics are loving it, but not everyone is, like NME who said "she's still dangerously in love with boring ballads."
Apparently some of her LGBT fans are disappointed too (and are not dancing to every beat). According to Sandra Rose, after the album leaked, the actual release date was pushed back in part because of criticism from her gay fans. This has not been confirmed, but she wrote:
Beyoncé and her management team are worried about the lack of gay support for her more mature, ballad-heavy CD. "They're taking the album off the [release list] and retooling it," said my source [a confidential informant at the record label, who begged to remain anonymous]. "They're going to add 2 more songs with a club beat to send the gays to the dance floor."Perez Hilton posted around that time that he does "not like the album AT ALL." That said, we don't think they actually added any songs since the leak.
The gay-marriage-legalization-downplaying New York Post, who earlier posted a story about Columbia expecting the Beyonce record to flop, don't like it either. The Daily News's Jim Farber on the other hand likes it (The Daily News also differed from the NY Post by actually doing cover stories on the legalization of gay marriage).
Speaking of Jim Farber, his other big Daily News article today was about "girly men" music ("everyone from [Bon Iver to] Sufjan Stevens to Devendra Banhart to Antony and the Johnsons to Iron and Wine to Grizzly Bear to the National to Fleet Foxes to Vampire Weekend"). He adds, "Snaking back a bit farther, you could also throw into this high-brow/low-virility crew Bright Eyes, the Decemberists and Death Cab for Cutie."
(so just to recap for a second: Gay people don't like the new Beyonce album. The NY Post doesn't like gay people, but does like Beyonce. The Daily News, despite a bit of homophobia, likes gay people and Beyonce.).
I think the Beyonce album's pretty good, except for the severely out-of-place lead single "Run The World (Girls)," which unfortunately is the only track with an official video so far (watch below). Most of the album's non-singles are the ones that demand repeated listens. Its highest points are hit when she belts out Etta Jamesian choruses like that of "Start Over," the earworminess of "Countdown," and the fact that its the first album since her debut to feature a member of Outkast (how bout that new Outkast album?). You can decide for yourself by streaming it. Buy a copy on Amazon.
The upcoming Good Morning America lineup also includes Mary J Blige on September 2, and Debbie Gibson & Tiffany, who are going on tour, on July 29. The full list of mainstream acts (like Beyonce and now Florence) that are playing the popular TV show's series is below.
Florence & Beyonce videos and stuff below too...
"Like many of you who live in New Jersey, I've been following the progress of the marriage-equality legislation currently being considered in Trenton. I've long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same sex couples and fully agree with Governor Corzine when he writes that, "The marriage-equality issue should be recognized for what it truly is -- a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law." I couldn't agree more with that statement and urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now." - Bruce SpringsteenBruuuuuuuce! New Jersey legislature was supposed to vote on the issue Thursday, but that vote was controversially cancelled last night. The New York Senate disappointingly rejected a marriage bill for same sex couples earlier this month. For more on this issue, check out the Human Rights Campaign website.
In related news, The Boss was just honored by Obama. Video below...
The March: 5th Avenue & 52nd St. to Christopher & Greenwich St. Sunday, June 28th, 2009, Noon - End
photos by Leia Jospe
"Patrick was all bite last night as he lashed out on gay marriage policies, shitty microphones, feedback and one annoying dweeb in the crowd. Before he jumped into the rights anthem "Battle" he aroused the crowd with by asking a series of questions ending in "Who here wants to marry the same sex?" followed by cheers and fist pumps. Then he brought up the UK's bogus policy on not allowing public schools to discuss gay marriage, inciting the crowd further. Through The Bachelor he finally decided to call out these injustices and turn it into a song like Battle, which is a powerful heavy metal civil rights chant when done live." [Girl Props]More pictures from last night's show below...