National Gay News

Kwanten Leap - Gay Brother and Proud of It

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Posted on www.Advocate.com
By Brandon Voss

Now packing heat in Red Hill, eternally shirtless True Blood star Ryan Kwanten opens up about his gay brother, his loyal male admirers, Gay fans, and his top-secret sex life. Castro San Francisco wants to hear more.

You've seen practically every inch of Ryan Kwanten as endearingly dim himbo Jason Stackhouse on HBO's vampire drama True Blood. Straight of GLBT everyone agrees Kwanren is super sexy. But there's more to the 33-year-old Aussie than meets the naked eye - including a wild new role, a younger gay brother, and a surprisingly humble outlook on acting. Castro District San Francisco community members are ready to take a bite.

You play a wannabe cop on True Blood and a young police officer in Red Hill, an Australian Western now in theaters. Do you get the butch appeal of packing a big gun?

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Body Builder Chris Transitions to Female Fitness Guru

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Posted on www.Advocate.com
By Advocate.com Editors

Chris Bruce is no stranger to blazing new trails, and the former 230-pound 6-foot-1 body builder has transformed into a 180-pound 6-foot-3 fitness guru — in heels. The Castro District couldn’t be more supportive.

According to an interview with The Dallas Voice, Chris Tina Foxx Bruce was born male. After he started and sold a multimillion-dollar business, married his high school sweetheart, and fathered two kids, Bruce's cross-dressing led to a divorce in 2007, which saddens Gay San Francisco residents.

Bruce realized shortly after that she wasn’t just dressing in women's clothing — she identified as a woman. A sentiment that many Castro San Francisco tourists and locals understand.

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Castro Street Supports Daphne Costume For Her Son

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Posted on www.Advocate.com
By Advocate.com Editors

The mother who allowed her son to dress as Daphne from Scooby-Doo for Halloween appeared on CNN to discuss her blog entry — and she was scolded by a child psychologist for "outing" her son. Castro gay neighborhood cheers.

The psychologist, Jeff Gardere, told Sarah from Missouri it's the "worst nightmare" of both heterosexual and gay couples "to have to fathom that their child might be gay." A sentiment that most gay people in San Francisco do not agree with.

Sarah (who asked not to be ID'd by her last name) is at first caught off guard, telling Gardere that "gay" also means happy and that she intended the double meaning.

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Castro Favorite; Trevor Donovan on Gay and 90210

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Posted on www.Advocate.com
By Ross Von Metzke

Rebounding from a shaky first season and a transitional second, the CW's 90210 is currently riding a creative high, thanks in no small part to Trevor Donovan and the Castro Distrcit San Francisco couldn't be more excited. As high school jock Teddy Montgomery, he looks every inch the campus hunk. But as was first teased by producers this summer and as viewers have learned in recent weeks, Teddy also has a secret. He's gay — and extremely closeted. Castro Street gay's can relate. In October 4's episode Teddy's internalized homophobia came flooding to the surface when, feeling threatened by former one-night stand turned classmate Ian (Kyle Riabko), he calls him a "faggot" and, later, assaults him. Gay San Francisco knows this happens in real life every day.

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Castro District; Obama says, "It Gets Better!"

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Posted on www.Advocate.com
By Advocate.com Editors

The White House on Thursday released a video of President Obama telling gay youths that "It gets better. Castro District San Francisco is pleased with the sentiment." Obama's video is the latest submission to a YouTube program launched by columnist Dan Savage to raise awareness around teen suicide and provide support to at-risk gay youth. This is a much needed boost to Castro District San Franciscans.

In his video, Obama said: "I don't know what it's like to be picked on for being gay, but I do know what it's like to grow up feeling that sometimes you don't belong. Many Castro Street residents know the feeling. It's tough. For a lot of kids, the sense of being alone or apart, I know it can just wear on you.

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Castro District Cheers; Second judge rules against DADT

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Posted on www.eBar.com
By Lisa Keen

For the second time this month, a federal judge has ruled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" violates the federal Constitution.

The latest ruling came Friday from the U.S. District Court for Western Washington, in Tacoma, where Judge Ronald Leighton said Air Force Reserve nurse Margaret Witt's sexual orientation did not negatively impact her unit's morale or unit cohesion. He said Witt's discharge under DADT)violated her Fifth Amendment right to due process.

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Castro District San Francisco News: Coulter Says Gay Marriage Isn't a Civil Right: Castro Street Doesn't Agree

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Posted on www.advocate.com
By Julie Bolcer

Ann Coulter headlined the inaugural Homocon party for the gay conservative group GOProud in New York City on Saturday and told attendees that marriage "is not a civil right — you're not black." Castro Street residents are not amused.

According to Talking Points Memo, Coulter spoke to some 150 attendees at the fund-raiser presented by GOProud in the apartment of PayPal founder Peter Thiel. While gay San Francisco and GLBT attendees were few in the audience, it is clear that the audience was still shocked. Attendees included radio host and GOProud board member Tammy Bruce and gay porn entrepreneur Michael Lucas.

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DADT Repeal Showdown: Gaga Pissed: Castro in Arms

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By Kerry Eleveld

Is anyone else confused about “don’t ask, don’t tell”? That’s because there are more political layers to this bloomin’ onion than even Julia Child could have deftly peeled back on her best day. And anyone who tells you they know what will happen at Tuesday’s vote is either lying or delusional.

The main problem is that politicians on both sides of the aisle are locked in a battle that, even as it has everything to do with the fate of the policy, also has little to do with the policy itself. They are supposedly squabbling over the procedural issue of how many amendments Majority Leader Harry Reid will allow the Republicans to offer on the Senate floor if the National Defense Authorization Act that includes repeal even makes it to the Senate floor.

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Are gay TV characters bad for society? CNN removes poll at GLAAD's request

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Posted on blog.zap2it.com
By Carina Adly MacKenzie

CNN's "Showbiz Tonight" recently featured a segment about the "battle" ensuing as increasing number of gays in media "invade primetime television."

The segment highlights Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) from "Modern Family," Eric (Connor Paolo) from "Gossip Girl," and Kurt (Chris Colfer) on "Glee."

"It's bad for society to promote homosexuals," says Dan Gaynor from The Culture and Media Institute. "Particularly a homosexual lifestyle and gay marriage. What they're trying to do is normalize something that a lot of people don't want to normalize." The Castro community disagrees and wants gay rights to be a national portrayal both in San Francisco and beyond.

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Breaking: Judge rules DADT is unconstitutional; Castro Elated

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Posted on www.ebar.com
By Lisa Keen

A U.S. District Court judge in California Thursday (September 9) declared the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy unconstitutional, saying it violates both the First Amendment gay’s right to free speech and the Fifth Amendment right to due process in the federal Constitution. The Castro District in San Francisco is elated.

The 85-page memorandum opinion came in Log Cabin Republicans v. U.S., a six-year-old lawsuit that has received little media attention compared to most other gay-related trials. Its bench trial in Riverside, California, in July was overshadowed by a much more high-profile challenge of California's ban on same-sex marriage, in federal court in San Francisco.

Judge Virginia A. Phillips presided over a two-week trial that began July 13 and included many witnesses testifying about the history of DADT and the injury it has caused. Phillips, 52, was appointed to the federal bench in 1999 by President Bill Clinton, who signed DADT into law in 1993. Log Cabin filed its lawsuit against the policy in 2004.

The opinion strikes down the 1993 law that bars from the military any gay service member who engages in "homosexual conduct," has a "propensity" to do so, or even just states that he or she is a "homosexual or bisexual."

Phillips's decision, which has not yet been officially entered, includes an injunction against further enforcement of the policy but will almost certainly be stayed and appealed to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Log Cabin Republicans, a national gay political group, brought the lawsuit on behalf of many of its members who it said are being denied their constitutional rights. The group specifically identified only two members at trial: Alexander Nicholson, a former U.S. Army human intelligence officer who was discharged under DADT and now serves as head of Servicemembers United; and an unidentified "John Doe," a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves concerned he may face discharge under the policy.

The Department of Justice tried repeatedly to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming Log Cabin has no legal standing to serve as plaintiffs. It also tried to have the judge decide the case without hearing testimony from Log Cabin's witnesses. And it tried to have the judge postpone the trial, arguing that Congress has a measure pending that could significantly affect the DADT law.

That measure is still awaiting action in the Senate as part of a Defense spending bill that is likely to see a vote later this month. There seems little doubt that the judge's opinion will now be the subject of the debate around that measure. But Phillips refused to delay action on Log Cabin's lawsuit, noting that the DADT repeal measure – as it is currently worded in Congress – does not guarantee repeal of DADT. Instead, the legislation requires a sign-off procedure involving the president, the secretary of defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The likelihood the bill would lead to repeal, said Phillips at trial, is "remote, if not wholly speculative."

Phillips noted that evidence considered at trial, including three historic studies concerning gays in the military, did not identify any legitimate reasons for barring gays. The 1957 Crittenden Report, she said, "is not evidence that discharge of homosexual service members significantly furthers government interests in military readiness or troop cohesion." The 1988 PERSEREC Report "generally dismisses traditional objections to service by homosexuals in the military as abstract, intangible, and tradition-bound." And the 1993 Rand Report concludes, "no empirical evidence exists demonstrating the impact of an openly homosexual service member on the cohesion of any military unit."

Using tables of data to demonstrate a point made at trial by DADT opponent Nathaniel Frank, Phillips showed how the military discharged increasing numbers of service members for homosexuality from 1994 to 2001, but that the number "fell sharply" beginning in 2002 as the U.S. began fighting in Afghanistan. In 2001, according to the data, the military discharged 1,227 people for being gay – the largest number per year since DADT went into effect. But in 2002, the number of discharges dropped to 885. Last year, only 275 were discharged.

She also cited data submitted by Log Cabin's attorneys showing the Defense Department often suspended investigations of service members it believed to be gay until after the service members had completed their tour of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. DOD, she noted "deployed service members under investigation ... to combat missions or, if they were already so deployed, delayed the completion of the investigation until the end of the deployment."

"This evidence, in particular, directly undermines any contention that [DADT] furthers the government's purpose of military readiness, as it shows [DOD officials] continue to deploy gay and lesbian members of the military into combat, waiting until they have returned before resolving the charges arising out of the suspected homosexual conduct."

"Taken as a whole," wrote Phillips, "the evidence introduced at trial shows that the effect of the act has been, not to advance the government's interests of military readiness and unit cohesion, much less to do so significantly, but to harm that interest."

In her decision, Phillips noted that the 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals addressed a similar case, Cook v. Gates, and came to a different opinion and upheld the law. But Phillips said she found the 1st Circuit's reasoning "unpersuasive" and noted that she, within a 9th Circuit court, is not bound to follow it.

Phillips, however, indicated she was bound to follow a precedent of her own 9th Circuit, rendered in another challenge to the DADT policy and brought by an Air Force nurse, Margaret Witt, in Seattle. On a preliminary matter in that case, the 9th Circuit ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas recognized a fundamental right to "an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct." Infringement on a fundamental right requires a law to pass a "heightened" or more stringent judicial review.

The Witt v. U.S. case is scheduled for trial beginning September 13 in the U.S. District Court for Tacoma, Washington.

Reaction

Reaction to the decision was swift.

"As an American, a veteran and an Army reserve officer, I am proud the court ruled that the arcane 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' statute violates the Constitution," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. "Today, the ruling is not just a win for Log Cabin Republican service members, but all American service members."

Chad Griffin, president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is pressing the case against Proposition 8's ban on same-sex marriage in California, said the Log Cabin decision "is yet another significant and long-overdue step toward full equality for all Americans."

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