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Eye Candy : Jacob and Christopher

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Jacob Neely

Christopher Fawcett

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May 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm

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PM Kevin Rudd told ABC Radio that Australia’s ban on gay marriage would remain

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Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told ABC Radio on Wednesday that Australia’s ban on gay marriage would remain, despite moves within his centre-left Labor Party to have it overturned.

He was speaking ahead of the Australian Labor Party’s national conference, which begins in Sydney on Thursday. The gay marriage issue will be discussed at the conference.

Rallies in support of gay marriage are set to be held around the country on Friday.

Rudd, who considers himself a moderate Christian, won the 2007 election on a platform that supported the former conservative government’s legal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

“We went to the last election being very clear-cut about our position on marriage, under the Marriage Act, being between a man and a woman,” he told public broadcaster ABC.

“We are consistent with the policy we took to the last election,” Rudd said.

“I fully respect the integrity of other same-sex relationships … but in terms of the policy, it’s a matter to which we have been committed for some time,” he added.

“I fully accept it’s a matter of controversy, and there’ll be debate, and there should be. This is an open society where we can debate and discuss these matters.”

A recent poll suggested up to 60 percent of Australians supported gay marriage, and the statistics bureau in May announced it would count same-gender couples who declared themselves married in the national census.

Rudd said his government had moved rapidly to remove the “other discriminations” in national law against same-gender couples in areas such as pensions, tax and employment.

The equal marriage issue is set to heat up further in the coming days, with activists to target the 45th ALP National Conference, which begins Thursday in Sydney.

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July 29, 2009 at 10:41 pm

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Forth Worth mayor Mike Moncrief apologized for June raid on gay bar Rainbow Lounge

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Forth Worth’s mayor has apologized for a June raid on a Texas gay bar after attendees at a city council meeting on Tuesday asked him to acknowledge the incident.

About 250 people packed City Council chambers Tuesday and another 150 watched on televisions in the hallway or overflow rooms as officials briefly discussed the raid conducted by the Forth Worth Police Department and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission at the Rainbow Lounge on June 28 that left one male bar patron hospitalized with a serious head injury.

At one point during Tuesday’s meeting, someone in the audience called out for an apology.

Mayor Mike Moncrief then said: “If you want an apology from the mayor of Fort Worth: I am sorry about what happened in Fort Worth.” The crowd erupted in applause and stood.

Two council members had called for independent investigations into the raid, after which Moncrief started to discuss other items on the meeting agenda. Blake Wilkinson, founder of Queer LiberAction, interrupted and said those who wanted to comment on the raid shouldn’t have to wait. Moncrief tried to explain that public comments are always last on the agenda.

Wilkinson and another person kept arguing with the mayor, and several people in the hallway started shouting, “Hear us now!” “Hear us now!” Wilkinson and six others were then led out of the building.

But Moncrief changed his mind nearly three hours later and allowed people to speak about the Rainbow Lounge issue after the council had addressed only a few of the numerous agenda items.

Tom Anable told the meeting that on the night of the raid he saw an agent slam one man into a pool table after the man said he was drinking water and shouldn’t be arrested.

Kevin Crook said the incident had created such widespread negative publicity that it paints the city as “one remaining bastion of discrimination.”

Sarah Bryant fought back tears as she said she had seen fights at bars before, but that night at Rainbow Lounge “was the first time that I was really afraid of the police.”

“We need to know what happened”, said Reverend Carol West, who is part of an advocate group called Fairness Fort Worth. “I really think this incident means that officers need more training in diversity”.

Mayor Moncrief said that the local police department and the TABC continued to investigate the raid, which occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Chad Gibson was severely injured with a head trauma which resulted in him being sent to intensive care with bleeding in his brain. His full recovery may take as long as two years. The mayor said the U.S. Attorney’s Office will review the findings at his request.

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July 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm

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Sacha’s bum lands in Eminem’s face

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The MTV Movie Awards were a blood bath Sunday night with “Twilight” taking five trophies, including best movie. But it was Sacha Baron Cohen who gave the show its trademark bizarro moment when he landed upside-down on the lap of Eminem, who may or may not have been deeply offended.

Bruno was heard screaming “Aarh! My kugelsack! My kugelsack!” as he slowly dropped headfirst towards the Lose Yourself star.

He further screamed in feigned agony: “Help me! Let me down! One of the wires is trapped around my kugelsack!”

As Bruno straddled the appalled rapper in a position commonly practiced by lovers in the bedroom, he said simply: “Eminem, nice to meet you.”

But the rapper apparently didn’t see the funny side – and neither did his chunky friends.

He screamed for Bruno to get off him – shouting “Are you serious?” – as he pushed his head back to avoid contact with Cohen’s naked bottom.

Even the no-nonsense attempts by Eminem’s minders to free their boss didn’t stop Bruno’s jibes.

He said: “Hey, don’t touch me guys! I already have a boyfriend. Hey guys, let’s continue this in my hotel room.”

Once freed, Eminem and his entourage stood up in fury and stormed out of the arena.

But as the rapper shot to his feet, it was Bruno who had the final word, quipping: “Is the real Slim Shady about to stand up?”

Stars such as Cameron Diaz and Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto laughed in amazement.

Eminem seemed visibly upset by the encounter, and members of his entourage roughly removed Baron Cohen as the rapper struggled to get out. But had the rapper’s self-styled homophobic character been punked by Baron Cohen and MTV, or was he in on the elaborate stunt?

Free of the scene, Eminem stormed out with his entourage in tow and cameras rolling – and hit the exits.

Baron Cohen’s publicist, Matthew Labov, had no comment when reached after the show. A spokeswoman for MTV would not confirm whether Eminem was caught by surprise, and representatives for the rapper did not immediately return requests for comment Sunday night.

It wasn’t the first tantrum for Eminem at an MTV ceremony: Sparks flew when the rapper was interviewed by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at 2002’s MTV Video Music Awards.

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June 1, 2009 at 3:21 pm

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Sean Penn withdraws his petition to separate from Robin Wright Penn

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Sean Penn has called off his legal separation from his wife of 13 years, Robin Wright Penn, again.

Penn’s rep confirmed that the actor requested filed to dismiss their legal separation case at the Marin County Superior Court today.

The Academy Award winning actor told the New York Daily News, “It was an arrogant mistake.”

This is the second time in eighteen months that the couple had filed for separation and later dismissed it. They originally filed in December 2007, and the petition was dismissed in April of 2008.

The couple wed in 1996, and have two children, Dylan and Hopper Jack. They were last seen on the red carpet together at the Academy Awards where Sean Penn won Best Actor for his role in “Milk.” The 48-year-old actor neglected to thank his wife in his acceptance speech.

Robin Wright Penn has been seen this week at the Cannes film festival, while Sean Penn is in New York filming an upcoming movie.

Recent rumors suggested that Penn was dating actress Natalie Porman. However, Portman was quick to dispel those rumors last week.

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May 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm

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Barack Obama nominates Jenny Durkan for U.S. attorney in Seattle

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Out lesbian Jenny Durkan has been nominated by President Barack Obama to become U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington.

If confirmed by the Senate, Durkan would lead the Justice Department’s efforts in Western Washington, including prosecuting criminal and civil cases and defending federal agencies in court.

She would replace Jeff Sullivan, a Republican named to the position by the district’s federal judges after John McKay was controversially fired by the Bush administration.

“It is an incredible honor to be nominated for this office and the opportunity to serve our state and country,” Durkan said in an e-mail.

Obama himself said that all six of his nominees for U.S. Attorney “have distinguished themselves as fair, tenacious and respected attorneys throughout their careers in both public and private service.” And Gov. Gregoire had this to say: “I am so pleased the Obama administration also recognizes Jenny’s leadership and experience, and nominated her for this important position. I hope the Senate will act quickly on the nomination to confirm her.”

Durkan is the daughter of Martin J. Durkan Sr., a political giant in the state who served as chairman of the state Senate Ways and Means Committee and later became a powerful lobbyist. He died in 2005.

Her mother, Lorraine Durkan, the onetime executive editor of the Ballard News Tribune, died in February 2008.

Jenny Durkan has worked for years as a high-end criminal and civil attorney, simultaneously becoming a major figure in the Democratic Party.

Durkan also served on two panels, one appointed by former Mayor Paul Schell and another by Mayor Greg Nickels, to examine misconduct and accountability in the Seattle Police Department.

Durkan works as a solo practitioner in her own office now.

She began her legal career as an associate at the firm Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender and later worked for Williams & Connolly, one of the largest Washington, D.C., firms, and Foster, Pepper & Riviera.

She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Washington Law School.

Durkan is a lesbian who lives in Seattle with her partner and two sons. It was not immediately known whether she would be the first openly gay U.S. attorney; the Justice Department said it does not keep track.

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May 19, 2009 at 12:17 pm

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Chewing gum makers Wrigley suspends Chris Brown

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Chewing gum makers Wrigley on Monday suspended a commercial featuring Chris Brown after the popular R&B singer was arrested on suspicion of attacking a woman widely reported to be his singer girlfriend Rihanna.

Singer Chris Brown was arrested and charged with making criminal threats on Sunday. Los Angeles police officer Karen Smith says Brown walked into a station around 7 p.m. and was being interviewed by detectives. He released on $50,000 bail, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement.

Both the Brown and Rihanna camps were silent on Monday. Police sources told the Los Angeles Times and celebrity Web site TMZ.com that the woman who reported she had been attacked by Brown in the early hours of Sunday was 20-year-old Rihanna, singer of hits “Umbrella” and “Disturbia.”

Brown, who was competing against Rihanna in a Grammy category, was a spokesman for Doublemint gum and his hit song “Forever” was part of that advertising campaign.

Wrigley said in a statement it was “concerned by the serious allegations” made against Brown, who was booked by police on suspicion of making a felony criminal threat. The company said that while Brown should be afforded due legal process “we have made the decision to suspend the current advertising featuring Brown…until the matter is resolved.”

Brown is also a pitchman for the long-running Got Milk? campaign, in which celebrities are photographed with a milk mustache. The Milk Processor Education Program said his participation was scheduled to end this week, as planned.

“The Milk Mustache campaign is taking the allegations against Chris Brown very seriously,” the Washington, D.C.-based trade group said in a statement. “We are very proud and protective of the image of the Milk Mustache campaign and the responsible message it sends to teens.”

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Rihanna’s injuries were severe — two “huge contusions” which swelled up on both sides of her forehead. We’re told she also suffered “a bloody lip and nose.” Celebrity Web site Radaronline quoted an unidentified eyewitness who said she had seen Rihanna being treated at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Saturday.

The incident appeared to be out of character for Brown, who has been dating Barbados-born Rihanna for about a year and helped produce her album. Los Angeles prosecutors are considering whether to formally charge Brown, who could face up to three years in prison if convicted, legal sources said.

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February 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm