Grammys 2014: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Royals for a Night

Grammys 2014: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Royals for a Night

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Seattle duo that has spent the last year upending the rules about how hip-hop interacts with mainstream pop, won four Grammys on Sunday night, for best new artist and in three rap categories: best performance and best song for Thrift Shop and best album for The Heist.

Of all the moments that have startled awards-show viewers over the years, none matches the mass marriage on Sunday night’s Grammys. No others made anything close to this bold a statement on an issue that has been engaging so much of the world in an emotional, political and theological debate. By including same-gender couples in this ceremony, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences declared that marriage is marriage, regardless of gender.

The night’s most cathartic moment was the group marriage: Queen Latifah married 33 straight and same-sex couples during a performance of Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, along with singers Mary Lambert and iconic pop-star Madonna.

A full list of winners at the 56th annual Grammy Awards can be found in The New York Times here.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, feat. Mary Lambert: “Same Love”

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, Queen Latifah and Madonna: “Same Love”

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” Wins 2013 VMA Award

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” Wins 2013 VMA Award

Same Love won Best Video with A Social Message at the 2013 Video Music Awards. Same Love, by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, was the perfect anthem for DOMA’s defeat. The equality anthem took society (and hip-hop music) to task for their homophobic stances. The song became the unofficial anthem for the Referendum 74 campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington (a measure that passed in November), a genuine Top 40 hit on radio and then witnessed history when the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” Wins 2013 VMA Award

 

The 2013 Gay Pride: Supreme Court’s Historic Rulings Support Gay Marriage

The 2013 Gay Pride: Supreme Court’s Historic Rulings Support Gay Marriage

In major victories for the human rights movement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case on Prop 8 from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there. By clearing the way for same-sex marriage in California, the nation’s most populous state, the court effectively increased to 13 the number of states that allow it.

In the hushed courtroom Wednesday morning, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced the majority opinion that struck down the federal law in a stately tone indicating he was delivering a civil rights landmark. The vote in the case striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act was 5 to 4, and Justice Kennedy was joined by the four members of the court’s liberal wing. The ruling will immediately extend many benefits to couples married in the states that allow such unions, and it will allow the Obama administration to broaden other benefits through executive actions.

The case concerning California’s ban on same-sex marriage, enacted in a ballot initiative known as Proposition 8, was decided on technical grounds, with the majority saying that it was not properly before the court. Because officials in California had declined to appeal a trial court’s decision against them, and because the proponents of the ban were not entitled to step into the state’s shoes to appeal the decision, the court said, it was powerless to issue a decision. That left in place a trial court victory for two same-sex couples who had sought to marry.

Read more about the Supreme Court’s decisions in the New York Times here.

Read more about the Supreme Court’s Prop 8 decision in the Los Angeles Times here.

Supreme Court Bolsters Gay Marriage Rights

Supreme Court Rulings Spur Celebrations Among Gay Marriage Supporters

Gay Pride Month: Celebrating Loving Feelings for Others

It’s the Dream Afraid of Waking,
That Never Takes a Chance
.”

Harvey Milk: You’ve Got to Give Them Hope

Before there was this year’s Academy Awards celebrated Milk, there was the widely acclaimed The Times of Harvey Milk, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film in 1984, and was awarded The Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, among other awards. The documentary chronicles the political career of Harvey Milk, who was San Francisco’s first openly gay elected Board Supervisor. The film, at times humorous, at times nostalgic, and at other times quite tragic, tells the story of Harvey Milk’s rise to political power and emergence as a symbol of gay political achievement.

The Times of Harvey Milk documents through assembled historic film clips the tumultuous story of Milk’s grass-roots political organizing and election, through the shocking murders and their repercussions. It takes the film’s viewers along with the eloquent candle-light memorial joined by tens of thousands of San Franciscans on the evening of the assassinations, to the scenes of angry crowds who stormed San Francisco’s City Hall in the aftermath of the lenient sentence that Dan White received at his murder trial.

This Academy Award-winning documentary feature film depicts not only Harvey Milk himself, but also the political and social milieu of the era in which he lived. From this perspective, the film continues to have significant relevance for our nation today, standing as a classic portrait of communities and cultural values in severe conflict. The film was produced subsequent to Harvey Milk’s death using archival footage, so that Milk is credited posthumously as the lead actor. Other politicians, including San Francisco’s then-mayor George Moscone (who was assassinated along with Milk) and Moscone’s successor and now United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, also appear in the archival footage. Also featured in the film is then-schoolteacher Tom Ammiano, who has been a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors since 1994, and was elected to the California State Assembly. The film’s outstanding narration is provided by the acclaimed stage and screen actor Harvey Fierstein, who at that time had just achieved great success with his own Tony Award-winning Broadway play Torch Song Trilogy.

The Times of Harvey Milk: The Full Version of the Documentary

Slide Show:The Life and Times of Harvey Milk

(Please Click on Image Above to View Slide Show)

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High Hopes Dashed: Illinois Gay Marriage Vote Postponed Until November

High Hopes Dashed: Illinois Gay Marriage Vote Postponed Until November

His voice breaking with emotion, state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) tearfully said Friday that he would not call for a vote on his bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the final hours of the Illinois spring legislative session. “I’ve never been sadder,” Harris said, as he took to the floor of the House to make his announcement.

Several of my colleagues have indicated they’d not be willing to cast a vote on this bill today,” Harris told the crowded House chamber. “They’ve asked for time to go back to their districts, talk to their constituents and reach out to their minds and hearts and have told me they’ll return in November with their word that they’re prepared to support this legislation. And I take my colleagues at their word they shall.”

Gay and lesbian couples who want to legally marry in Illinois met the announced delay with tears, anger and confusion. The postponement of the showdown vote once again dashed the high hopes of supporters, who believed that after years of disappointment, they were finally on the verge of making history.

High Hopes Dashed: Illinois Gay Marriage Vote Postponed Until November

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Gay Pride Month: Celebrating Loving Feelings for Others

Gay Pride Month: Celebrating Loving Feelings for Others

It’s the Dream Afraid of Waking,
That Never Takes a Chance
.”

On What We Need: First Day of My Life

For all of us, there are genuine needs and wishes, deep longings for human warmth, empathic responsiveness, trust, mutual recognition and creative playfulness. These are many of the ingredients that we think of when we speak of love, or the loving feelings we have for the cherished other person.

Of such feelings about a beloved, one might quietly reflect that, “I’m so glad I didn’t die before I met you.”

Bright Eyes: First Day of My Life

The Times of Harvey Milk: A Documentary Portrait

Before there was this year’s Academy Awards celebrated Milk, there was the widely acclaimed The Times of Harvey Milk, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film in 1984, and was awarded The Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, among other awards. The documentary chronicles the political career of Harvey Milk, who was San Francisco’s first openly gay elected Board Supervisor. The film, at times humorous, at times nostalgic, and at other times quite tragic, tells the story of Harvey Milk’s rise to political power and emergence as a symbol of gay political achievement.

The Times of Harvey Milk documents through assembled historic film clips the tumultuous story of Milk’s grass-roots political organizing and election, through the shocking murders and their repercussions. It takes the film’s viewers along with the eloquent candle-light memorial joined by tens of thousands of San Franciscans on the evening of the assassinations, to the scenes of angry crowds who stormed San Francisco’s City Hall in the aftermath of the lenient sentence that Dan White received at his murder trial.

This Academy Award-winning documentary feature film depicts not only Harvey Milk himself, but also the political and social milieu of the era in which he lived. From this perspective, the film continues to have significant relevance for our nation today, standing as a classic portrait of communities and cultural values in severe conflict. The film was produced subsequent to Harvey Milk’s death using archival footage, so that Milk is credited posthumously as the lead actor. Other politicians, including San Francisco’s then-mayor George Moscone (who was assassinated along with Milk) and Moscone’s successor and now United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, also appear in the archival footage. Also featured in the film is then-schoolteacher Tom Ammiano, who has been a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors since 1994, and was elected to the California State Assembly. The film’s outstanding narration is provided by the acclaimed stage and screen actor Harvey Fierstein, who at that time had just achieved great success with his own Tony Award-winning Broadway play Torch Song Trilogy.

The Times of Harvey Milk: The Full Version of the Documentary

Slide Show:The Life and Times of Harvey Milk

(Please Click on Image Above to View Slide Show)

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Homophobia: Pathos and the Culture of Fear

Homophobia: Pathos and the Culture of Fear

Homophobia is an intensely dramatic short film by Austrian writer-director Gregor Schmidinger, which was released last week in support of The International Day Against Homophobia. The film deals with a theme that’s of major concern in our present-day political and social worlds: homophobia, the fear of homosexuals and of their way of life. Homophobia also deals with a perhaps even deeper issue: the fear of oneself being homosexual.

The film tells the story of an adolescent boy serving in the Austrian Military Forces, who experiences homosexual feelings towards one of his comrades. It’s their last night serving on the Austrian-Hungarian border, where they are socially isolated and armed with loaded weapons. On their final patrol, underlying tensions reach a climax, and the young boy must confront both the judgements of others and his own self-understanding.

Homophobia explores the difficulties faced by many young homosexuals, and, in a wider sense, by outsiders who have to fight against social disapproval. While the subject of fear, persecution and coming out is familiar territory in gay cinema, Homophobia takes this important topic and, by telling a compellingly intense story focused on a single main character, is successfully able to universalize it.

Thanks to Georg Csarmann at Short of the Week.

Homophobia: Pathos and the Culture of Fear

(Best Watched in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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Obama Publicly Endorses Gay Marriage, Says Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Legal

Obama Publicly Endorses Gay Marriage, Says Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Legal

On Wednesday, President Obama ended the nearly two years of his “evolving” on the issue of same-sex marriage, publicly endorsing it in a television interview and taking a definitive stand on one of the most politically charged social issues of the day.

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 said in an interview that came after the president faced mounting pressure to clarify his position.

Public support for same-sex marriage is growing at a pace that surprises even professional pollsters, as older generations of voters who tend to be strongly opposed are supplanted by younger ones who are just as strongly in favor. Same-sex couples are featured in some of the most popular shows on television, without controversy.

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, which bars 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.”

Chad Griffin, incoming President of the Human Rights Campaign, said that, “President Obama’s words today will be celebrated by generations to come. For the millions of young gay and lesbian Americans across this nation, President Obama’s words provide genuine hope that they will be the first generation to grow up with the freedom to fully pursue the American dream. Marriage, the promise of love, companionship, and family, is basic to the pursuit of that dream.”

Read more about President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage in the New York Times here.

Obama Publicly Endorses Gay Marriage, Says Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Legal

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