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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies


Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn and a host of ghosts and goblins bring Halloween to Tired Old Queen at the Movies, with Robert Wise's classic THE HAUNTING (1963). Shot in black and white and based on a novel by horror master Shirley Jackson, this is probably the scariest haunted house movie ever made. Filled with superb performances, an eerie score, fabulous sets and shot in an atmosphere of absolute conviction, this film will not only make you believe in ghosts, but will have you jumping out of your skin at a knock on the door. Whatever you do, wherever you are, whoever they are, don't let them in! Happy Halloween!

Report details inequities for kids of gay parents

A growing number of American children are being raised without all the legal protections of traditional households

According to her dads, life is good for Carrigan Starling-Littlefield, a spunky 5-year-old being raised by two gay men in South Carolina, which doesn't recognize their out-of-state marriage.
"We've found that being a family has created a lot of common ground with other families. We've not had many issues at all," said Tommy Starling, a partner in a food brokerage.
Yet he and his husband, Jeff Littlefield, who became parents through a California-based surrogacy program, remain wary as they contemplate Carrigan growing older and confronting challenges beyond their supportive community in Pawley's Island, S.C.
"We're cautious about where we go, because we don't want our daughter to see any negativity," said Starling, 39. "We have some longer-term apprehensions that she'll face issues as she gets older, and we're trying to prepare her for that ... I feel she's the type of person who will stand up for her family."
Carrigan is among a growing multitude of American children — possibly more than 1.2 million of them — being raised by gay and lesbian parents, often without all the legal protections afforded to mom-and-dad households.
Increasingly, the welfare of these children will be a core part of gay-rights strategies, as evidenced by a comprehensive report being released Tuesday. Compiled by an alliance of advocacy and child-welfare groups, it summarizes how laws and social stigma create distinctive challenges for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families.
"There are myriad ways that our families are discounted by government at all levels, and children are hurt the most," said Jennifer Chrisler of the Family Equality Council, one of the three groups authoring the report.
The other groups are the liberal Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project, a gay-rights think tank. Among other participants in the project were the National Association of Social Workers and the Child Welfare League of America.
The U.S. census does not attempt to count the number of children being raised by gays and lesbians. Demographer Gary Gates of the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute, who has been a consultant to the Census Bureau, estimates the number at 1.2 million, while the new report uses the figure of 2 million, including children with bisexual and transgender parents.
Whatever their numbers, the families are striking for their diversity — encompassing many low-income and minority households, and spread across about 96 percent of America's counties, according to data compiled by Gates and others.
Among the barriers and inequities they face, as detailed in the report:
—Many government safety net programs use definitions of family tied to marital status which may exclude same-sex partners.
—Because of lack of legal recognition for their unions, gay and lesbian parents can face heavier tax burdens, higher costs for health insurance, and diminished financial protections in the event of death or disability.
—When same-sex parents separate, one parent may lose custody or visitation rights, even in cases where he or she had been a child's primary caregiver.
Overshadowing all these problems is pervasive social stigma, according to the report.
"Many of the challenges LGBT families face stem from a society that assumes that everyone is heterosexual and comes from a family with two married heterosexual parents," it says.
For opponents of same-sex marriage, the issue of children can prompt nuanced responses.
"Certainly children in any household arrangement need to be protected — need full support and love," said Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Maryland. But she said such protections should be provided without redefining the traditional concept of marriage as between a man and woman.
Many of the obstacles and inequities outlined in the new report would be addressed if same-sex marriage — now legal in six states and Washington, D.C. — were legalized nationwide and recognized by the federal government. However, the report includes numerous recommendations for less sweeping changes that would benefit children with gay parents, such as:
—Broadening the definition of "family" to allow LGBT families to benefit fully from government safety-net programs, and revise the tax code to provide equitable treatment for these families. At present, even legally married same-sex couples who can file joint state tax returns must file separate federal returns.
—Enacting state-level parental recognition laws that would allow joint adoption by LGBT parents. Even with about 110,000 children in foster care who are eligible for adoption, some states and agencies refuse to place children with same-sex couples.
—Ensuring that LGBT families have access to health insurance on equal terms with heterosexual families, and eliminate inequitable taxation of these benefits.
—Ensuring that hospital visitation and medical decision-making policies are inclusive of LGBT families.
—Expanding education and training about LGBT families for social workers, health care providers and other professionals.
Jeff Krehely, director of the Center for American Progress's LGBT research and communications project, said the report is part of an effort to counter arguments that same-sex marriage is a threat to children.
"People who oppose marriage equality have used and exploited children in a very scare-mongering way," said Krehely, who hopes the report will increase public understanding and empathy.
The report, titled "All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families," is being presented Tuesday at event in Washington drawing some high-level government officials.
Bryan Samuels, commissioner of the federal Administration on Children, Youth and Families, is scheduled to be part of a panel discussion, and the opening speech will be given by Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, a staunch gay-rights supporter in a state where lawmakers will be considering a bill to legalize same-sex marriage next year.
"Same-sex marriage is a pro-family measure," Gansler said in a telephone interview.
Lisa Polyak, chair of the statewide gay-rights group Equality Maryland, says there will be a concerted effort during the legislative debate to highlight the challenges facing children of gays and lesbians.
"If you care about children, you should care that the parents don't have the legal tools to take the best care of them," she said.
Polyak and her partner of 30 years, Gita Deane, were married earlier this year in Washington. They have two daughters, Devi, 12, and Maya, 15, who testified before lawmakers last year in support of same-sex marriage in Maryland.
"The root of my activism is denial of equal treatment of my children," said Polyak, citing instances where her daughters had been hurt by other people's comments.
"One child told my daughter she was not allowed to come over to our house because we weren't really a family," Polyak said. "For them, it's a constant source of sadness and hurtfulness."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies


Charles Laughton gives the greatest performance of his career in William Dieterle's adaptation of Victor Hugo's THE HINCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1939). Along with able support from Maureen O'Hara, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Edmund O'Brien, Harry Davenport, Thomas Mitchell and a cast of thousands, this is a spectacle of spectacles. A film of such rich scope, brilliant direction and bravura performances, you will be mesmerized, awed and overwhelmed by the beauty, pageantry and sensitivity of this unforgettable classic.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Parents of Teen Suicide Victim Speak Out on Bullying

Jamey Rodemeyer
The parents of a high school freshman in Amherst, N.Y. who killed himself told CNN that their son had endured pervasive antigay bullying beginning in fifth grade, both at school and particularly online. 

Jamey Rodemeyer, 14,committed suicideMonday in the Buffalo, N.Y. suburb. “He had the biggest heart in that little body,” Rodemeyer’s mother, Tracey, told CNN's Anderson Cooper Wednesday. “He was either loved so sincerely or he was bullied. There wasn’t much in between.”
Much of the bullying Jamey faced, Tracey Rodemeyer said, occurred not in school but via Facebook and other social media sites. "Because people can access each other in numbers so readily — it’s still accessible for people to do their bullying.”

“We need to get a better a system in our school district, in our school systems, to get rid of these bullies. Because it’s a rampant problem,” Rodemeyer’s father, Tim, said. (Watch the CNN video below.) 

Rodemeyer’s death came just two days before a second-annual conference on bullying hosted by the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., one attended by educators and LGBT anti-bullying advocates such as Tammy Aaberg, who lost her son, Justin, to suicide in 2010. 

Aaberg was among a group of advocates who met last week with Minnesota representative Michele Bachmann’s district office and urged the congresswoman to come out against the multiple youth suicides in her own district. Bachmann said last week on the presidential campaign trail that school bullying "is not a federal issue." 

“I think Congresswoman Bachmann is in a leadership role to speak out against bullying," Aaberg The Advocate last week. “I’m not asking her to change her beliefs. But all kids should be protected in school.”

Rodemeyer, a devout Lady Gaga fan who found inspiration and strength in the pop star's music, said in an “It Gets Better” video that he faced bullying at every turn. 

"No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you're the ones calling me 'faggot' and tearing me down,” Rodemeyer later wrote online to those who harassed him prior to his death. 

In a message to her 13.7 million Twitter followers, Lady Gaga tweeted Wednesday, “I am meeting with our President. I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it.”

“Trend it,” she wrote, adding the hashtag #MakeALawforJamey.

Legislation to expressly prohibit discrimination in schools on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity has been in the works for some time — a House version of the Student Nondiscrimination Act was reintroduced earlier this year by Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, with the Senate companion bill introduced by Senator Al Franken of Minnesota.
“[W]hat I want is for schools to have a policy against bullying—and that parents would have a right of action, kids would have a right of action against the school district,” Franken told  The Advocate in July. “Once you give a right of action, schools know they had better comply. So then they make a policy."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Telling my dad that I am gay-LIVE

I called my dad to tell him the hardest thing that gay guys will ever have to say.

Good riddance. DADT was fully repealed last night at midnight!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Victims say criminal charges against pope not a stunt

By Francis X. Rocca -

VATICAN CITY – A campaign to hold the pope responsible for "crimes against humanity" is not a publicity stunt, sex abuse victims say, even as experts doubt it will have much success at the International Criminal Court.
In a dramatic and unprecedented move, abuse victims filed a complaint that seeks to hold Pope Benedict XVI and others responsible for the "systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world."
Lawyers representing the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) filed the 84-page complaint at the ICC in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Tuesday.
The filing calls for the investigation and prosecution of the pope and three other top Vatican officials: former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano; current Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone; and Cardinal William Levada, a former archbishop ofSan Francisco who now has jurisdiction over abuse cases as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The four men are "responsible for rape and other sexual violence and for the physical and psychological torture of victims around the world both through command responsibility and direct cover up of crimes," said Pam Spees, a lawyer with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed the complaint on SNAP's behalf.
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi declined requests for comment. But Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples, former head of the Vatican's missionary office, told the Vatican Insider website that the filing was "the usual anti-Catholic attempt that tends in some way to obscure" the image of the church.
Tuesday's filing cites five cases of sex abuse which occurred in the U.S. and theDemocratic Republic of the Congo. The latter country, unlike the U.S. and the Vatican, is a party to the Rome Statute, which governs the ICC.
Vatican lawyers have argued that local bishops do not act as agents of the pope, noting that they do not receive their salaries from Rome nor work on Vatican property, and that the pope is therefore not responsible for their mishandling of sex abuse cases.
Various attempts to hold the Vatican responsible through the U.S. court system have repeatedly failed, usually because the pope, as the head of a sovereign state, is immune from prosecution.
On Tuesday, a leading authority on international law characterized the SNAP filing as an effort to attract publicity for the group's cause, which would not receive serious consideration from the ICC.
"There will be no follow-up," said Giorgio Sacerdoti, who teaches at Milan's Bocconi University. "It will be set aside."
Among the reasons the court is likely to view the sex abuses cases as beyond its jurisdiction, Sacerdoti said, is that they were not part of a "systematic" attack on human rights.
SNAP President Barbara Blaine denied that the complaint is a publicity stunt.
"We have submitted 20,000 pages of evidence that fully document all the crimes in a way that meets the criteria of the ICC," Blaine said. "Our attorneys have done due diligence."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering Mark Bingham, American Hero.

Mark Kendall Bingham (May 22, 1970 – September 11, 2001) was an American public relations executive who founded his own company, the Bingham Group. He died at age 31 in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on board United Airlines Flight 93.


Bingham attended Los Gatos High School. He was a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also president of his fraternity, Chi Psi. In college, he played for the UC Berkeley rugby union team and helped them win a string of national championships.

Rugby and business career

A large athlete at 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and 225 pounds (102 kg), he also played for the San Francisco Fog RFC, a rugby union team. In 2001 most of the Fog were complete novices to the game, but Mark started showing up anyway. He coached, cajoled, and crashed through their practices, and played No. 8 in their first two friendly matches. He also played in their first tournament (where he promptly dislocated his shoulder). He taught his teammates his favorite rugby songs and made them feel like we were part of something bigger than themselves.
In May 2001, as a member of the Fog, he took part in the Washington DC Renegades Invitational Tournament. Although very few in number, most of the rugby teams extant at that time took part in the tournament. It was after the tournament that Gotham’s Scott Glaessgen, who had been inspired by the tournament and who had been friends with Mark since 1998, contacted Bingham about forming a rugby team in New York City.
Mark had recently opened a second office of his successful public relations firm in NYC and was spending more time on the East Coast. Mark was excited about the possibility and over the summer the two men started planning the formation of a New York City team the Gotham Knights RFC. On September 11, 2001 he boarded Flight 93 at the last minute, on his way to California to be an usher in his fraternity brother Joseph Salama's wedding.


Bingham was among the passengers who attempted to storm the cockpit of Flight 93 to try to prevent members of Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization, from using the plane to kill hundreds or thousands of additional victims as a part of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. He made a brief airphone call to his mother, Alice Hoagland (formerly spelled "Hoglan"), shortly before the plane went down. Hoagland, a former flight attendant with United Airlines, later left a voice mail message on his cell phone, instructing Bingham to reclaim the aircraft after it became apparent that Flight 93 was to be used in a suicide mission.
Bingham was survived by his boyfriend of six years, Paul Holm, who said this was not the first time Bingham had risked his life to protect the lives of others. He had twice successfully protected Holm from attempted muggings, one at gunpoint. Holm describes Bingham as a brave, competitive man, saying, "He hated to lose — at anything." He was even known to proudly display a scar he received after being gored at the running of the bulls in Pamplona.
Quote by Mark Bingham: “We have the chance to be role models for other gay folks who wanted to play sports, but never felt good enough or strong enough.
"This is a great opportunity to change a lot of people’s minds, and to reach a group that might never have had to know or hear about gay people. Let’s go make some new friends … and win a few games.”

10:03 on a Tuesday morning
in the fall of an American dream
a man is doing what he knows is right
on flight 93

Loved his mom and he loved his dad
loved his home and he loved his man
but on that bloody Tuesday morning
he died an American

Now you cannot change this
You can't erase this
You can't pretend this is not the truth

Even though he could not marry
Or teach your children in our schools
Because who he wants to love
Is breaking your God's rules

He stood up on a Tuesday Morning
In the terror he was brave
And he made his choice and without a doubt
A hundred lives he must have saved


And the things you might take for granted
Your inalienable rights
Some might choose to deny him
Even though he gave his life

Can you live with yourself in the land of the free
And make him less of a hero than the other three
Well it might begin to change ya
In a field in Pennsylvania


Stand up America
Hear the bell now as it tolls
Wake up America
It's Tuesday Morning
Let's roll



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Judy Shepard, Neil Broverman, Lisa Bloom & Chris Jacobs On Lawrence King Murder

Chris Jacobs talks with Judy Shepard (Mother of Matthew Shepard), Lisa Bloom (Attorney) & Neil Broverman (The Advocate) about the Brandon McInerney trial.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hudson Taylor Continuing Effort To Battle Bullying

Thomas Roberts talks with Hudson Taylor, Founder & Executive Director of Athlete Ally.
 Visit Athlete-Ally at (

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oral Roberts' Grandson Randy Roberts Potts On Coming Out

Don Lemon talks with Oral Roberts' gay grandson about his struggles with coming out and his relationship with his family.

Weekend (2011) Movie Trailer

On a Friday night after a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club, alone and on the pull. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what's expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special. That weekend, in bars and in bedrooms, getting drunk and taking drugs, telling stories and having sex, the two men get to know each other. It is a brief encounter that will resonate throughout their lives. The Weekender is both an honest and unapologetic love story between two guys and a film about the universal struggle for an authentic life in all its forms. It is about the search for identity and the importance of making a passionate commitment to your life.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Big Breakthrough on Binational Gay, Lesbian Couples

Sujey and Violeta Pando on their wedding day in Iowa, November 15, 2010.

Immigration officials will set aside deportation cases not involving security threats and convicts
In a significant reprieve for the same-sex partners of American citizens facing the threat of deportation, the Obama administration on August 18 announced that such actions would no longer be pursued against foreign nationals unless they are identified as security threats, convicted criminals, or repeat immigration law violators.

The policy was rolled out in a letter from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In a telephone conference call with reporters, a senior administration official explained that the focus on those “high-priority” categories represents the latest in the government’s efforts to un-“clog” a deportation system that currently has 300,000 cases pending.

The Obama administration has already made a significant dent in shifting deportations toward priority cases, the official said. In fiscal year 2010, more than half of those deported were security risks or criminal convicts –– up from just 30 percent before the president took office –– and two-thirds of the remainder were repeat immigration law offenders, including deported individuals who had reentered the country.

The new policy was announced in response to a letter sent to President Barack Obama from 22 senators earlier this year asking that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) categorically stop deportation proceedings against young people who would have been covered had the Dream Act been approved by Congress. That bill aims to offer permanent residency to college students and military service personnel who are undocumented immigrants that arrived in the US as minors.

Like same-sex partners and other law-abiding undocumented immigrants, these young people should now largely be in the clear.

According to the administration official, cases currently in the system will be reviewed to see whether they represent “high priority” situations where DHS sees a pressing need to move toward deportation. If not, any pending procedures will be “stayed.”

“They will not be taken out of the system,” the official said, “but those cases will be set aside.”

As part of evaluating cases, some will be identified as “very low priority” –– those involving law-abiding immigrants with strong community or family ties. The administration official emphasized that LGBT families are considered “families” for purposes of such evaluation.

In the past, the government, relying on the Defense of Marriage Act, has refused to recognize the legal marriages of same-sex binational couples.

Immigration enforcement officials, however, have always had “prosecutorial discretion” in handling specific cases. On June 9, Jane Minichiello, chief counsel in the Newark Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office, exercising such discretion, recommended closing deportation proceedings against Henry Velandia, a Venezuelan immigrant who lives in Princeton with his American husband.

On June 17, ICE’s director, John Morton, circulated a memo to agency offices nationwide urging that such discretion be applied to weed out cases that did not merit agency enforcement focus.

In her letter to Reid, which was the administration's response to the earlier Dream Act letter to the president, Napolitano stated that the principles Morton spelled out in June would now become uniform policy across ICE offices nationwide.

The administration official who spoke to reporters stated that those undocumented workers identified as low enforcement priorities would be eligible for employment authorization on a case-by-case basis. Five weeks after having his deportation case closed, Velandia, who is a dancer and dance instructor, received such authorization, for a one-year period.

Immigration rights advocates were heartened by the news. In a press call following the administration briefing, officials from Immigration Equality, which advocates on behalf of binational same-sex couples, the Legal Action Center, and the Immigration Policy Center welcomed the news, particularly the administration’s explicit acknowledgement of LGBT families as qualifying when immigration officials evaluate family ties.

Victoria Neilson, Immigration Equality’s legal director, noted that there are an estimated 36,000 binational same-sex couples in the US –– nearly all of them potentially at risk prior to the new DHS announcement. Still, that number represents just a fraction of the 300,000 deportation cases and of the estimated ten to eleven million undocumented immigrants in the US.

Lavi Soloway, who founded Immigration Equality but is now in private practice and represents Velandia, said, “Everyone who works in this system wants uniformity.”

He explained, “Rather than allowing each ICE deportation office to assess whether a particular person warrants having their case closed, decisions will now be made at the top, with the full force of the administration behind them. It is as close as you could get to a uniform policy. It takes us one step closer to assuring us that all deportations will stop.”

Soloway is due in Immigration Court in Denver on August 19 on behalf of Sujey Pando, who came to the US at 16, after being thrown out of her home in Mexico, where she suffered physical and sexual abuse from an uncle. She lived in the US with her mother and American stepfather, until they threw her out when they learned she is a lesbian.

Living on her own, she came to the attention of immigration officials when she was stopped for a routine traffic violation in 2008. Despite the fact that she and her wife, Violeta, married in Iowa last November, Pando now faces her final deportation hearing.

Soloway is currently reaching out to government attorneys to see whether they are willing to close the case based on the new DHS policy or at least postpone the final hearing until Pando’s file can be reviewed in line with the new uniform guidelines.

“I would think they would welcome the fact that the responsibility for a decision is coming from the highest levels of the administration,” he said.

Pando’s is one of five cases Soloway’s Stop the Deportations Project is due in court about in the next several weeks.

“We will bring the Napolitano letter into court on each of them,” he said.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cuba celebrates its first gay wedding in style

Cuba's first transgender person has married her gay fiancée in Havana, despite a ban on same-sex marriage in the country.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies

CAGED (1950)

Emotions run riot as Eleanor Parker and a superb cast of actresses fight for their rights and freedom in John Cromwell's tale of women behind bars, CAGED (1950). Parker, earning the first of three Oscar nominations, plays Mary, a pregnant girl of nineteen, tried, convicted and "sent up the river" for one to five years on a first offense. Despite the kindness and guidance of Agnes Moorehead as the kindly warden, Parker learns how to survive in a cage filled with ruthless women who'll stop at nothing and have nothing to lose. She's joined by talented array of some of the best character actresses in the business, including; Jan Sterling, Betty Garde, Ellen Corby, Lee Patrick, and fellow Oscar nominee Hope Emerson as Harper, the unforgettably evil and gargantuan prison matron. It's a riveting drama, filled with superb performances, raw emotions and heartbreaking moments that will stay with you long after "lights out."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Holocaust’s Last Gay Survivor Dead at 98

By Kilian Melloy -

Rudolph Brazda
Rudolph Brazda  (Source:Ronny Hartmann, File /AP Photo)
The terrors of the Holocaust wiped out six million Jews. What is less known is that a number of other groups were also targeted for forced labor and extermination by the Nazis, with gays being among them.
It’s estimated that around 100,000 gay men were arrested during the Nazi regime. Of those, about half were incarcerated, and as many as 15,000 were sent to concentration camps under the Nazis, a Wikipedia article says.
"It is unclear how many... eventually perished in the camps, but leading scholar Ruediger Lautman believes that the death rate of homosexuals in concentration camps may have been as high as 60%," the Wikipedia article notes. "Homosexuals in the camps were treated in an unusually cruel manner by their captors."
The Nazis forced gay concentration camp prisoners to wear pink triangles as a means of identification; GLBT equality groups later embraced the pink triangle which now stands as a symbol of the civil rights struggle for equality before the law.
But when the Allies liberated the concentration camps, gays were not set free; rather, they were turned over to the civil authorities. All too often, they were locked up once again.
The issue of gays having been persecuted, arrested, incarcerated, and murdered under the Nazi machine was left unaddressed for decades. In 1979, playwright Martin Sherman used the topic as the basis for his play "Bent," a separate Wikipedia article says. "When the play was first performed, there was only a small trickle of historical research or even awareness about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. In some regards, the play helped increase that historical research and education in the 1980s and 1990s," the article adds.
In 2002, the German government finally issued an apology to the gay community.
One of the gays sent to the camps under the Nazis was Rudolph Brazda, who spent three years at Buchenwald. Brazda was thought to be the last surviving gay man to have been sent to the camps for his sexuality upon his recent death, the Associated Press reported in an Aug. 4 article. He was 98 years old.
The AP story drew on a statement made German group the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD), which reported that Brazda died on Aug. 3. The report "didn’t give details of the location or cause of death," the AP article said.

The AP reported that Brazda spent the years 1942 - 1945 at Buchenwald. He was sent to the camp after "repeatedly [running] into trouble with Nazi authorities over his homosexuality," the article said.
"When a memorial to the Nazis’ gay victims was unveiled in Berlin in 2008, the LSVD said the last ex-prisoner that it knew of had died three years earlier," the AP article recounted. "But the group said it was then contacted by Brazda, who visited the memorial at its invitation and became an honorary member."
The openly gay mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, lauded Brazda. The two men had met in 2008, the AP reported.
"He is an example of how important the work of remembrance is for our future," Wowereit told the media.
"Fewer and fewer people can give information about repression under the Nazi dictatorship authentically and from their own experience."
"Nazi Germany declared homosexuality an aberration that threatened the German race," the AP reported.
Similar rhetoric has been used against gays in the United States, and recently anti-gay screeds that claim gays will cause the destruction of all humanity unless stopped have been at the heart of a campaign in the African nation Ghana, where a regional minister has launched an effort to round up and "get rid of" gays.
The anti-gay crackdown started last month when a regional minister, Paul Evan Aidoo, responded to lobbying from Christian and Muslim groups with a directive that gays be placed under arrest. Aidoo tasked Ghanaian security agencies with finding and detaining gays, and also called for heterosexuals, such as landlords, to turn in people they suspect might be gay.
Aidoo has described the effort to round up and arrest gays as an initiative to "get rid of" all homosexuals.
Kilian Melloy is EDGE Media Network’s Web Producer and Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews media, conducts interviews, and writes aggregate news stories and commentary for EDGE.

Pinksixty News FRIDAY 05 AUGUST 2011

A Californian federal judge has struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision is a major step forward in the fight for equality for gay Americans.

A lesbian couple in Norway have been commended for saving the lives of 40 youngsters during the recent massacre. They ferried injured teens off the island in their small boat whilst under fire from the killer, who shot at their boat during the rescues.

A runaway Turkish soldier has been arrested in Istanbul for murdering a transsexual sex worker. The victim, known as Didem, was killed by the 26 year old man after he discovered she was a trans woman.

The launch of Ben Cohen's Stand Up Foundation website was halted by the huge demand yesterday. Ben's promised that the site will be up and running soon, and all tee-shirt orders made this week will receive a free anti-bullying wristband. You can place your order at

And finally, Dolly Parton has issued a personal apology to the lesbian couple who were told to invert their gay marriage tee-shirt before being allowed into Dollywood. She reaffirmed her commitment to the queer community and said she is looking into the incident personally.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lambda Legal eNews: NY's First Vows | Attack at Sizzler | Supreme Court Petition

Lambda Legal.
August 2011: Marriage Vows

Kevin Cathcart.
In Brief
by Kevin Cathcart
Executive Director
Lambda Legal
On July 24, the whole world watched as New York celebrated marriage equality. Among the first to tie the knot were three plaintiff couples in Lambda Legal's New York marriage lawsuit, Hernandez v. Robles. It was a historic day and a momentous occasion for all of us—one that we are committed to recreating across the Hudson River, in New Jersey.
Read more »
Ask Lambda Legal
Q: My partner and I got married in California in 2008 before Prop 8 passed—as New Yorkers we now want to marry in our home state. Is this a good idea?
Read the answer »
Watch Our Videos

Meet Erica and Tevonda, plaintiffs in our New Jersey marriage equality lawsuit. Watch their video, then send them a note of support!
Lambda Legal in the News

Watch Lambda Legal's Susan Sommer discussing the New York Marriage Equality Act on WABC-TV's Eyewitness News Up Close.
Read more media coverage in Lambda Legal's In the News.
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Top Stories
First Marriages in New York
Lambda Legal plaintiffs among first to tie the knot. Read more. Watch video. Download our FAQ.
Birth Certificate Case Aims for U.S. Supreme Court
Lambda Legal asks justices to hear case of gay couple seeking accurate birth certificate for their son.
Read more »
Woman Attacked at Sizzler
Lambda Legal sues NY restaurant on behalf of a woman targeted because of anti-LGBT bias.
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Stop Deportation of Married Same-Sex Couples
Lambda Legal asks officials to halt immigration proceedings pending legal challenges to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
Read more »
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Citing new research, psychology group supports gay marriage

WASHINGTON – The world's largest organization of psychologists took its strongest stand to date supporting full marriage equity, a move that observers say will have a far-reaching impact on the national debate.
The policymaking body of the American Psychological Association (APA) unanimously approved the resolution 157-0 on the eve of the group's annual convention, which opens here today.
The group, with more than 154,000 members, has long supported full equal rights for gays, based on social science research on sexual orientation. Now the nation's psychologists — citing an increasing body of research about same-sex marriage, as well as increased discussion at the state and federal levels — took the support to a new level.
"Now as the country has really begun to have experience with gay marriage, our position is much clearer and more straightforward — that marriage equity is the policy that the country should be moving toward," says Clinton Anderson, director of APA's Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns.
The resolution points to numerous recent studies, including findings that "many gay men and lesbians, like their heterosexual counterparts, desire to form stable, long-lasting and committed intimate relationships and are successful in doing so."
It adds that "emerging evidence suggests that statewide campaigns to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage are a significant source of stress to the lesbian, gay and bisexual residents of those states and may have negative effects on their psychological well-being."
Six states (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont) and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.
"Psychologists have been very important in helping to keep the discussion at a fact-based level and not let it steer off into stereotypes," says M.V. Lee Badgett, research director at the non-profit Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law & Public Policy at the University of California-Los Angeles.
Sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia-Charlottesville, says his board is divided on the issue and hasn't taken a stance on same-sex marriage. He says the APA resolution will likely have a broad impact.
"I don't think it's very significant for the population at large, but I do think this move is significant for the ongoing public policy and legal battles in Washington and around the states," he says.
Clinical psychologist Mark Hatzenbuehler, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Columbia University in New York City, whose new research is cited in the resolution, says the courts tend to look at these kinds of policy statements because "they're really looking to see what social science research says about the influence on gay marriage and marriage bans on a whole host of outcomes."
Badgett's research of gay marriage across cultures is also cited in the resolution. She says the Netherlands was the first to allow gay couples to marry, and it showed "very little change in the overall society, but it was very important to gay couples themselves."
The last APA resolution on sexual orientation and marriage was approved in 2004. The resolution notes that since that time, APA has worked on 11 amicus briefs filed in same-sex marriage cases since 2004.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cuddle Therapy - Gay To Straight Scam

Social conservatives are promoting so-called cuddle conversion camps where cuddle therapy is supposed to turn gay people straight. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss.

Church child protection chief caught with 4,000 child porn pictures

Christopher Jarvis (pic: Apex)Christopher Jarvis leaves court
A child protection official for the Catholic Church has been caught with 4,000 pictures of child porn.
Father-of-four Christopher Jarvis was arrested after uploading pictures of children being abused to a website.
Married Jarvis, 49, a former social worker, was employed by the church following sex scandals about pervert priests.

His job was to monitor church groups to ensure paedophiles did not gain access to children in the church’s congregations.
But he was caught by police in March with more than 4,000 child porn images on his home computer and his work laptop.
He admitted 12 counts of making, ­possessing and distributing indecent ­images when he appeared before ­magistrates in Plymouth and is likely to face jail when he returns to court for sentencing next month.
Jarvis, who has been sacked from his job as child safeguarding ­officer, worked the Diocese of ­Plymouth for nine years.
Church spokesman ­David Pond said: “Mr Jarvis was suspended from his position as soon as the diocese became aware in March of the police investigation.
“The Bishop took that action and since then the Church has worked closely with the police.

Lesbian couple saved 40 teenagers in Norway massacre

By Jessica Geen -

A married lesbian couple have been commended for saving the lives of 40 teenagers in Norway’s massacre two weeks ago.
Toril Hansen and Hege Dalen were having dinner on the shore opposite the island of Utoya when they heard shots ring out and screaming.
They saw young people running into Lake Tyrifjorden as Anders Behring Breivik opened fire on the Norwegian Labour Party camp.
In a stunning act of bravery, the couple got in their boat and started towards the island.
Hansen and Dalen made four runs across the lake, each time picking up injured, frightened and dazed youngsters while Breivik shot at – and hit – the sides of the boat.
Dalen told Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat: “We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake.”
While other acts of heroism have emerged from the massacre, Hansen and Dalen’s actions have been largely unreported until now.
The LGBT blogTalk About Equality asked: “If a married lesbian couple saves 40 teens from the Norway massacre and no-one writes about it, did it really happen? … The heavy hitters who usually kill for hero stories like this have remained silent.”
Tom Chivers, of the Daily Telegraph, wrote: “Have the media ignored a gold-plated tale of bravery and heroism just because they don’t like the sexual orientation of the protagonists? I don’t know, obviously.
“But it’s not as though it’s just traditionally minded, conservative news organisations, who might be expected to have misgivings about homosexual marriage, which have not reported on Mrs Hansen and Mrs Dalen’s heroism.”
Breivik has admitted to killing 77 people on the island and in Oslo on July 22nd.
He surrendered when surrounded by police and remains in custody.

Chris Matthews Plays Hardball with Dr. Anthony Fauci at amfAR Capitol Hill conference

Chris Matthews, the longtime host of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, interviews Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, at amfAR's July 2011 Capitol Hill conference, "Making AIDS History: Ending the Epidemic."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

LGBT History 2011 Overview

The Michael Causer Foundation

Today is the 3rd anniversary of Michael Causer's murder.The invisible death of Michael is a film made by Michael Causer's parents after the UK press failed to report on his homophobic murder, please watch this short film and then join the Michael Causer Foundation page to show your support.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Latest Wrinkle in the Prop 8 Trial

A new twist in the Prop 8 case, with a court date coming just days after a controversial new judge is expected to join the Supreme Court. New York launches its own attack on the Defense of Marriage Act, and polling brings mostly good news, and a little bad.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

All In The Family: "Edith's Crisis of Faith"

Edith's religious faith is shaken after her friend, female impersonator Beverly LaSalle, is brutally murdered by street thugs at Christmas. Perhaps the earliest, serious television role for a cross-dresser/drag queen.

Julian Bond speaks at NAACP on Homophobia

The NAACP held its first-ever town hall meeting to discuss LGBT issues on July 25 as part of its 102nd annual convention held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The theme was "Our Collective Responsibility: Overcoming Homophobia". Julian Bond, Civil Rights Icon and Chairman Emeritus NAACP, addresses the NAACP. Video by Renee Sotile & Mary Jo Godges of for

Tempe Pastor Proudly Hates Gay People

New Details On Cult Leader Who Killed Woman & 4-Yr-Old He Thought Was Gay

In a hearing Friday, prosecutors announced plans to seek the death penalty and revealed details of their case against Peter Lucas Moses Jr., accused of murdering a 4-year-old boy and a 28-year-old woman because of his beliefs and association with a radical religious sect. Moses, 27, faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jadon Higganbothan, 4, and Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, 28.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dolly Parton Apologizes for Gay T-Shirt Incident at Dollywood Splash Country

A same-sex couple from Knoxville, TN recently took issue with the enforcement of the dress code at Dollywood Splash Country Pigeon Forge, TN and received a reply from Dolly Parton herself.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Olivier Odom and her partner Jennifer Tipton were entering the park with their family on July 9 when a park worker asked Odom to turn her shirt inside out. The words "Marriage is so gay" were printed on the shirt, in support of gay marriage. When she asked why she needed to turn the shirt inside out, the park worker told Odom that Dollywood is a "family park."
Odom complied with the request, but wrote a letter to Dollywood later asking the park to "implement policies that are "inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people" and "inclusive of all families." She also stated that she felt Dollywood's policy about not allowing clothing or tattoos with offensive messages should be more clearly spelled out.
Representatives for Dollywood issued statement in response to the news, assuring the gay and lesbian community that everyone was welcome at Dollywood properties.  Now, Dolly Parton has released a statement to ABC News apologizing for the incident.  The statement reads:
"I am truly sorry for the hurt or embarrassment regarding the gay and lesbian t-shirt incident at Dollywood's Splash Country recently. Everyone knows of my personal support of the gay and lesbian community. Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome." Dolly adds that the policies on clothing or signs with profanity or controversial messages are in place to protect the person wearing the shirt and keep disturbances at the park to a minimum. Dolly concludes saying, "I am looking further into the incident and hope and believe it was more policy than insensitivity. I am very sorry it happened at all."

STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies

GYPSY (1962)
Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood and Karl Malden combine their considerable talents for the 1962 screen adaptation of Jules Stein's and Stephen Sondheim's smash musical GYPSY. Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, with a book by Arthur Laurents and directed by veteran Mervyn Leroy, GYPSY is a musical standout where every song is a bonifide hit. Roz brings all her brilliant comic technique to the role of Rose, the overbearing show biz mother of all time and is matched by Natalie Wood at her most beautiful and beguiling as Gypsy. It's a loving tribute to vaudeville, burlesque and mother love that will leave you laughing, humming and wanting more.

Thursday, July 28, 2011 and the Orioles team up

The Orioles and team up to encourage LGBT youth, and all children who are bullied, to not give up, stay true to themselves

Apple Strikes iTunes Participation in ’Christian Values Network’

No anti-gay apps here...
No anti-gay apps here... 
By Kilian Melloy -

It seemed like a good cause: Participating companies like Microsoft and Apple could give consumers a chance to support religious charities when they purchased goods and services by participating in the Christian Values Network, a link referral service.
Other corporations also participated: Macy’s, Netflix, REI, even cable channel BBC America.
But when it came out that virulently anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family, Liberty Counsel, Abiding Truth Ministries, and others were exploiting the service to rake in funding, big-name corporations started dropping out of the service -- fast.
In part, the exodus was fueled by the fact that the groups mentioned above, plus others drawing funds from the service, such as the Family Research Council and Summit Ministries, have reportedly been identified as "hate groups" by watchdog group the Southern Poverty Law Center, reported on July 15.
An online petition started through by Stuart Wilber convinced Microsoft to pull its support of CVN, stopping its contribution to the revenue streams that were flowing into the coffers of groups that had engaged in "blatant and repeated homophobic lies about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people."
Ben Crowther -- who, like Wilber, lives in Seattle -- started a petition of his own through the site, encouraging Apple to drop its support of CVN. A July 27 press release from reported that Apple followed suit, pulling its iTunes store out of CVN and following the example set by numerous other companies, including Wells Fargo, Macy’s, and BBC America.
"The previous petition to get Microsoft to drop its association with CVN directly inspired me to petition Apple," Crowther told EDGE. "My good friend and fellow activist Stuart Wilber was behind the Microsoft petition. When I read his petition and saw Apple was part of the CVN, especially after Microsoft dropped out, I knew that another petition needed to be started. So with the inspiration from Stuart and the help from my friend Joe Mirabella at, the petition was born." reported on the earlier dissolution of corporate support for CVN in a July 18 article.
"Macy’s serves a diverse society," a spokesperson for the retail outlet told the online petition site. "As such, we are deeply committed to a philosophy of inclusion in the way we operate our business and support our communities. We welcome all customers into our stores."

Wells Fargo told they had pulled out of CVN because "it was not compliant with Wells Fargo’s brand and marketing [standards]."
"BBC America Shop was not aware of’s current donation policies," VP of Publicity April Mulcair old a British GLBT news outlet. "We have ended our relationship with this affiliate effective immediately."
"The Focus on the Family website contains anti-gay and anti-transgender content. They describe being gay as ’a particularly evil lie of Satan,’ " reported "They also attack transgender people."
While Wilber’s petition picked up 500 signatures in a single day, Crowther’s petition seeking Apple’s exit from the arrangement with CVN commanded 13,000 signatures in one day, noted
"I wonder if Apple is even aware they are being used to raise money for these homophobic groups," Crowther, a student at Western Washington University, said at the time. "It is so out of character for Apple to be associated with groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. I hope Apple acts quickly to remove their store from the Christian Values Network."
On July 27, reported that Apple had indeed dropped CVN, with over 22,000 people having signed on to Crowther’s petition.
"From the beginning, I knew that once this issue was brought to Apple’s attention, they would not want to be a part of CVN because it funds anti-gay hate groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council," Crowther told "Apple is a fair-minded business. I’m glad this petition helped make Apple aware of this issue, and I am thrilled that they removed iTunes from CVN."
Crowther had a personal stake in his effort to ensure that GLNT-friendly companies like Apple and unwary iTunes shoppers did not inadvertently lend their financial support to anti-gay groups. reported that Crowther and his boyfriend came out in high school, and were promptly targeted for homophobic bullying.
"The harassment got so bad I had to go to the principal," Crowther, who will begin his junior year in the fall, recounted.
The bullying continued into college, with homophobic epithets being scrawled on Crowther’s door. He finally had to move out of the dorms "because the bullying was so bad," he told
Controversial Apps

Crowther told EDGE that there are definite parallels between what he has suffered in school at the hands of homophobic bullies and the way that GLBTs in society at large are treated by anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family.

"These hate groups are creating the same oppressive and unwelcoming environment that bullies do in school," the young man said.

This is not the first time that pro-equality advocates have turned to Earlier this year, petitions launched via the site convinced Apple to pull an iPhone app from Exodus International, a group that claims gays and lesbians can be "choose" heterosexuality.

The Exodus app was popularly perceived as "gay cure" via smart phone, said a March 22 article from Denver news channel KWGH.

However, Exodus International characterized the app as a resource for users who wished to find relief from "unwanted same sex attractions," in the words of spokesperson Jeff Buchanan.

Among other things, the app listed dates and locations for Love Won Out, a workshop sponsored by anti-gay group Focus on the Family. Its seminars claim that with prayer and therapy, gays can "convert" to heterosexuality. Love Won Out has made the controversial assertion that "same-sex attraction is a preventable and treatable condition."

Truth Wins Out, an organization headed by Wayne Besen that counters Love Won Out, started a petition for the app’s removal from iTunes and quickly gathered more than 150,000 signatures, Less than a week elapsed between the petition’s launch at and the app being taken down.

"Dr. Gary Remafedi -- a Univ. of Minnesota professor who claims that findings from his research were distorted by Exodus International -- also requested that Apple remove the app from the App Store," reported in a March 23 article.

Supporters noted that the app had a rating of 4+, meaning that it did "not contain objectionable content," but critics noted that this only means that supporters of the application had voted en masse for that rating to be assigned.

"The real issue: Apple has no coherent policy about what kind of content gets approved and remains in iTunes," said Cult of Mac in a March 22 article.

Cult of Mac was among the first sites to report that the app had disappeared. "Our obsessive checking for it just showed that poof! The Exodus International app was no more," the article stated.

Exodus International signaled defeat with a tweet from Alan Chambers, president of the group, who sent a message reading "It’s official, the @ExodusInl App is no longer in the @AppStore. Incredibly disappointing. Watch out, it could happen to you. #freedom"

Chambers also issued a statement to the effect that Christians suffer persecution, but that it is part of their role as defenders of God’s word and exemplars of compassion and patience.

"If we [gathered] 150,000 signature to pull [a gay] app, it would be seen as intolerant and homophobic," said Chambers, according to a March 23 Christianity Today article. "We wouldn’t do that because we believe of freedom of speech and freedom of expression in the public sphere. As Christians, we bear the brunt of it because the other side sees it as an antiquated expression."

Anti-gay religious organizations have long claimed that legal and social equality for gays could only come at the cost of freedom of religious expression. But opponents of the app said that it promoted "hatred and bigotry."


Besen had spoken out earlier about another app, Confession: A Roman Catholic App, which asked users to reflect upon their sins by asking questions such as, "Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity?" Besen said that the app promoted not virtue, but rather "neurosis."

"This is cyber spiritual abuse that promotes backward ideas in a modern package," Besen charged. "Gay Catholics don’t need to confess, they need to come out of the closet and challenge anti-gay dogma."

Saying that the application was "helping to create neurotic individuals who are ashamed of who they are," Besen slammed the very notion of homosexuality as being inherently sinful. "The false idea that being gay is something to be ashamed of has destroyed too many lives," Besen asserted. "This iPhone app is facilitating and furthering the harm."

LGBTQNation reported on Feb. 10 that the app was the product of three designers in Indiana who had worked with two socially conservative priests. Lawmakers in Indiana recently advanced a resolution to amend the state’s constitution in a way that would ban both marriage equality and civil unions.

The flap over Confession was, in turn, reminiscent of an even earlier controversy surrounding an app for the Manhattan Manifesto, an anti-gay document that contained anti-gay language.

The Manhattan Manifesto claims that the push for equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian families is nothing more than an attempt to "redefine" marriage to suit "fashionable ideologies," and "affirm[s]... marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society." An online petition decrying the app was organized through and gathered thousands of signatures within a week; Apple responded by removing the app.

GLBT equality group the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) noted that the app went beyond an implicit assumption that same-sex families were somehow undeserving of the "dignity" that the Manhattan Declaration indicated should be reserved solely for mixed-gender couples.

"The app features an electronic version of a declaration, through which users can pledge to make ’whatever sacrifices are required’ to oppose marriage equality, even, presumably, if that means breaking the law" in asking users not to "bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth," a Dec. 15, 2010, GLAAD release said.

"The ’Manhattan Declaration’ calls gay and lesbian couples ’immoral,’ it calls the recognition of their relationships ’false and destructive,’ and claims that allowing them to be married will lead to ’genuine social harms,’ " the GLAAD release noted. "The original application also contained a quiz in which the ’right’ answers were those that oppose equality for gay and lesbian people.

"This application fuels a climate in which gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are put in harm’s way," the GLAAD release went on. "Apple did the right thing in recognizing that this application violates the company’s guidelines."

For his part, Crowther regards himself as part of the solution to the problem of anti-gay bullying, whether at school or in the wider world.

"I consider myself an activist for GLBT equality, yes," he told EDGE. "And I’m very proud of my involvement." But while Crowther notes the power of the Internet and other social media for spurring change, he doesn’t think that the struggle for civil and social equality will move entirely to the online world.

"We need online petitions as much as we need marches and rallies," Crowther said. "One doesn’t substitute the other, and they were never supposed to. Social networking is another tool on our belt to create positive social change."

Speaking about the petition he launched and the success it garnered, Crowther said, "The queer community stood up for itself. We told Apple that they were supporting bullies, and that we couldn’t continue supporting Apple until they changed.

"Well, Apple listened. No one likes a bully."
Kilian Melloy is EDGE Media Network’s Web Producer and Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews media, conducts interviews, and writes aggregate news stories and commentary for EDGE.