Ex-GLAAD exec: 'In spite of living in closet, Shepard Smith has temerity to call Robin Williams a coward'
Equality Florida tells the story of a Tampa man denied a church funeral after parishioners found out he was married to another man:
From Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith:
T.W. Jenkins, pastor of Tampa’s New Hope Missionary Baptist Church is under fire after he canceled funeral services for Julion Evans-Capers, because parishioners read in his obituary that he was married to a man. The pastor called less than 24-hours before the funeral was to begin as the family attended the wake, literally standing next to Julion's coffin.
Julion’s husband, Kendall Capers got in touch with the funeral home’s managers and requested space for a funeral the next day. But the ugliness of this church's actions have compounded the grief for Kendall who is still reeling from the shock.
"I haven't had a chance to grieve since I got the phone call." Kendall said.
JERUSALEM -- Israel says it will now allow Jews to immigrate to Israel with their non-Jewish same-sex spouses.
In a directive publicized Tuesday, Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Saar told immigration authorities not to differentiate between married gay and straight couples.
Israeli law grants citizenship to Jews and close non-Jewish relatives who move to Israel. In a few cases in recent years, Israel only naturalized non-Jewish same-sex spouses of Jews following threats of Supreme Court petitions, says Israeli immigration attorney Nicole Maor.
Israel does not permit gays to marry in the country, but recognizes same-sex marriages if they were performed legally abroad. It is generally tolerant toward gays.
Gays serve openly in Israel's military and parliament, and Israel's Supreme Court grants gays family rights including inheritance and survivors' benefits.
President Barack Obama welcomes Gay Games 9 participants to the event, held in Cleveland and Akron. The President's video welcome was shared at GG9 Opening Ceremony at Quicken Loans Arena, in Cleveland, Ohio.
The games are underway through Saturday.
Elaine Lancaster is having a very busy month.
Monday night, she will be honored with the Elaine Lancaster Stellar Award at the 37th annual female impersonators' Miss Florida Pageant, recognized for "two decades of charitable, social & philanthropic works and having a blast along the way."
The pageant begins 8 p.m. at the Deauville Beach Resort, 6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Click here to buy tickets, which range from $50 to $100 each.
On Saturday, Aug. 16, Elaine will host the 16th anniversary Score, this year at its new location, 1437 Washington Ave., Miami Beach.
Elaine says she hosted Score's original opening on Lincoln Road, "16 years when she was "the New Fresh Face in town."
On Aug. 22 at 10 p.m., she'll celebrate her birthday (Aug. 27) at Score.
And on Aug. 29, The Forge at 432 W. 41st St., Miami Beach, will throw a "Veuve Clicquot Champagne Fete fit for a Queen," Elaine says.
Holzinger attended with his husband, psychotherapist David Kessler.
Excelsior Wines provided refreshments.
Click here to view a gallery from the event. Photos by Steve Rothaus / Miami Herald Staff.
BY STEVE ROTHAUS
Vance on Friday photographed Elliott, who is readying her first album.
"I've been doing photos of Dionne since 1982 and now her granddaughter has recorded her first CD," Vance says.
Vance shares with us an outtake from the photo session, a portrait of Grammy and granddaughter.
Vance, who's also famous for photographing beautiful men, describes Friday's Miami session as "a great shoot."
"Cheyenne is one stunning and charming 19 year old. Very sweet," he says. "We were were having such a good time before I knew it it was after 6 pm. It's always great to see Dionne, after 30 years, when she's here it's like a relative is visiting."
From Elliott's Facebook page:
Cheyenne Elliott was born into a world of song. Hailing from a family of musical royalty, which includes her grandmother - five-time Grammy Award winner Dionne Warwick, cousin - Whitney Houston, aunts - Dee Dee Warwick & Cissy Houston and uncle - Damon Elliott (hit music producer), it comes without question that Cheyenne would have an innate vocal talent herself. To bring it all full circle, her father - David Elliott - is an accomplished vocalist and songwriter, who is best known for penning Luther Vandross’ Grammy Award winning hit, “Here and Now.”
BY KATHLEEN MCGRORY
TALLAHASSEE -- A Miami Beach publicist won’t be on the ballot in Florida House District 113, a judge ruled Friday.
Republican Laura Rivero Levey was disqualified from the race last month after a check she submitted to the Florida Department of State bounced.
SunTrust Bank accepted responsibility for the returned check, and Levey sued to have her candidacy reinstated. But on Friday, Leon County Judge Charles Francis said he could not extend the now-passed qualifying deadline to allow her to run.
State law is clear, Francis said: Candidates must pay the filing fee before the qualifying period ends.
“I find this to be a very harsh decision,” he said. “In fact, I don’t think there is anything the candidate could have done differently that would have changed what happened during the week… But I am bound by the precedent that says when the legislature speaks as to a particular item, I am not to guess at what it means.”
The ruling means incumbent Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, will be automatically re-elected.
South Beach On Heels, a locally produced film starring Palace drag queens Tiffany Fantasia and Noel Leon, won best feature documentary at the recent 2014 Madrid International Film Festival.
"We got the Best Feature Documentary 2014 Award!!! So happy since we competed with amazing documentaries and won!!!" writes filmmaker Dmitry Zhitov of Miami Beach.
Zhitov attended the screening with his partner, Jose Canto.
You'll soon have another chance to see South Beach On Heels in South Florida. It will be screened in October at the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Stay tuned for details.
Updated: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, at 2:44 p.m.
- Read Pam Bondi's filing in the Monroe County gay-marriage case
- Read Pam Bondi's filing in the Miami-Dade gay-marriage case
BY STEVE ROTHAUS
Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a filing late Thursday that Florida should stop fighting the gay-marriage battle at the state level and wait until the U.S. Supreme Court settles the issue nationally, once and for all.
“Neither this Court nor the Florida Supreme Court can decide this federal issue with finality,” Bondi wrote to the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeal. “The United States Supreme Court, however, ‘has the final word on the United States Constitution.’”
Bondi told the appeals court she expects the U.S. Supreme Court will act soon on the gay marriage issue. She cited filings this week from the states of Utah and Oklahoma asking their gay-marriage cases be heard by the nation’s highest court.
“A ruling from the United States Supreme Court would end the constitutional debate, end this appeal, and end all related cases,” Bondi wrote. “The State of Florida will respect the United States Supreme Court’s final word. In the meantime, this Court should preserve taxpayer and judicial resources by staying briefing until the United States Supreme Court rules.”
Lawyers for eight same-sex couples, who last month won the right to marry in Monroe and Miami-Dade circuit courts, say they want the cases heard as soon as possible at the Florida Supreme Court.
“Justice need not be patient,” said Miami Beach attorney Elizabeth Schwartz, who co-represents six couples and Equality Florida Institute in the Miami-Dade case. “In my law practice, I see the real-life damage done to same-couples each day because of the failure to allow us to marry or to recognize our out-of-state marriages. For Florida's attorney general to argue that they should continue to wait, asserting both that there is no real urgency and, somehow, the Florida Supreme Court is incapable of resolving the matter statewide is insulting to Floridians and to our judiciary.”
Bondi’s filing came as a response to motions by the eight same-sex couples, whose lawyers want the cases to be consolidated and sent from the appeals court directly to Florida’s Supreme Court.
The attorney general agreed to consolidating the cases, but said there is no rush to conclude the Florida cases. Bondi’s filings did not mention rulings this week in Broward and Palm Beach counties that also declared Florida’s 2008 gay-marriage amendment as unconstitutional.
The appeals court has not said whether it will keep the cases or send them to Florida’s Supreme Court.
So far, no same-sex couples have been married in Florida. Rulings by Monroe County Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia and Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel have been stayed until the cases are appealed.
Bondi believes the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the issue, perhaps before the Florida cases are resolved.
“If the United States Supreme Court rules before this court does, there will be nothing left for this Court to decide,” Bondi wrote.
Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, disagrees. The ACLU and LGBT-rights group SAVE represent about a dozen same-sex couples in a separate marriage-recognition case in Tallahassee federal court.
“Florida couples and families shouldn’t be forced to wait to be treated equally to secure health insurance for a spouse and children, to ensure greater economic security for their families,” Simon said. “These families should not suffer just because our attorney general has chosen a legal strategy that has plagued her with awkward and embarrassing media coverage.”
Bondi, whose own marital history (she has been divorced twice) has been scrutinized since she began defending Florida’s gay-marriage ban, said whichever way the U.S. Supreme Court rules, the Sunshine State will accept the decision.
“Despite the vigorous policy and legal debates surrounding same-sex marriage, there is little disagreement about this: If the United States Supreme Court holds that States must sanction same-sex marriage, then Florida’s contrary laws must fall,” Bondi wrote. “And if the United States Supreme Court holds that States may choose, then Plaintiffs’ contrary legal claims must fall, and it would be up to Florida’s voters to effect any change. Either way, this appeal would be over, and it would end without consuming any further taxpayer resources and without burdening Florida’s judiciary.”
Bernadette Restivo, an attorney for Key West plaintiffs Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, said there is no guarantee the U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether states can ban gay marriage and that Bondi, who is up for reelection in November, is “more worried about the voters than fundamental rights.”
“We’ve had four very scholarly judicial opinions, all concluding that fundamental rights cannot be put to a vote. Absolutely not,” Restivo said. “Her response was so cavalier to the essence of our clients’ case. The civil rights that are being addressed go to the very core of our being. To expect our clients and other hundreds of thousands who are similarly situated — to put their lives on hold — is outrageous.”
August 08, 2014 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)