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More Than Half-Way: SCOTUS Move Widens Same-Sex Marriage To 30 States

More Than Half-Way: SCOTUS Move Widens Same-Sex Marriage To 30 States

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

We were hoping that the Supreme Court Justices would take up the question on whether or not states should be allowed to ban gay marriage. Instead, the justices refused to review lower court decisions that struck down state bans on same-sex marriage on October 6. But without saying a word they still made a pretty loud and clear statement on the issue by choosing NOT address the issue just yet.

Because the effect of saying nothing on the matter means the rulings of the lower courts stand, which, in the case of 11 more states – Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, and Wisconsin – will allows same-sex marriage. The here-and-now effect? As of Monday same-sex couples could get a marriage license and get married in those states – legally. And the total number of states where same-sex marriage is legal is now up to 30 – more than half of all American states.

So what happens if some of the lower courts move to uphold the ban on same-sex marriage? That’s when the Supreme Court is likely to step in and officially address the issue – or at least make it clear that couples that have been married and have marriage licenses will stay married. Under all circumstances this decision (or indecision) will put additional pressure on the remaining states that do not yet allow gay marriage. Even though this is not a national constitutional right just yet, this move has paved the way for freedom to marry in what accounts for 60% of the American population. And that’s a pretty big step on the way.

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Court In Session: The End of Gay Marriage Bans?

Court In Session: The End of Gay Marriage Bans?

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Today the nine Supreme Court Justices met privately to discuss whether or not they should take up cases that challenge state same-sex marriage bans.

Right now a total of seven cases challenging state bans on same-sex marriage are pending in the states of Indiana, Wisconsin, Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma.

And this time around the potential outcome could be the greatest yet, because should the nine Supreme Court Justices decide to take up the question of whether states are allowed to ban gay and lesbians to get married, their ruling could be applied to all the states, which ban same-sex marriage. Georgia, along with 30 other U.S. states, is among the states that still ban same-sex marriage.

So, potentially the decision to take up this question and the ensuing ruling (should it deem marriage bans not allowed) in the current seven cases, could mean that bans on same-sex marriage wouldn’t be allowed in any state on a federal level. And that’s a pretty big deal! For Georgia it could be a kind of ‘win by default’ because technically (and legally) the state ban on same-sex marriage would be dissolved.

But don’t start hearing those distant wedding bells just yet, because the meeting was held under private circumstances and the Supreme Court doesn’t reconvene officially until next week. When back in session the justices must vote on whether or not to take up the cases and if four or more justices vote for a case, it will be heard. The fact that the justices met before actually commencing their new term goes to show that they want to be up to speed on the issue and want to be able to make the right move when the decision is made.

There’s no denying that this issue is of great importance to the Supreme Court being one of the first to be taken into consideration in the new term – so even though we’re not quite there yet, here’s hoping that this will be a step in the right direction to end bans on same-sex marriage all together.

 

Source: Queerty, Pink News

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Target Gives Middle Finger to Anti-Gay Boycott

Target Gives Middle Finger to Anti-Gay Boycott

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

 What does a national and major retail store do after being boycotted by anti-gay organization because of signing a legal brief supporting marriage equality? Does it succumb to the pressure of a boycott and withdraw its inclusive stance? Or does it show the proverbial middle finger to those organizations that do not support basic equality by rubbing their argument in their faces? The last is exactly the case with Target, the red dot retailer, that had anti-gay organizations like The National Organization for Marriage, the Liberty Counsel and American Decency Association saying that the company’s public support of same-sex marriage was “slap in the face to millions of pro-family customers.” The so-called pro-family organizations urged a massive boycott of Target. Now, less than a month later of signing the equality legal brief that backed dissolving the ban on same-sex marriage in Indiana and Wisconsin, Target sends a very clear message to the gay haters by launching a national ad campaign promoting their ‘Made To Matter’ hand-picked products that showcases a gay couple and their kid.

The ad campaign is backed by a quote from Target Executive Vice President of Human Resources Jodee Kozlak, who wrote on the company’s blog: “It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage.”

Now we get to see if an actual anti-gay boycott will manifest itself on Target’s financial bottom line, because this counter measure ought to have those anti-gay bigots stay far, far away from Target (wouldn’t that be nice?). One thing is certain, though: Target’s got my buck!

Source: lgbtqnation.com, Right Wing Watch

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A Surprising Twist Takes Gender Debate To A New Level

A Surprising Twist Takes Gender Debate To A New Level

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Recently Always aired an advertisement that sparked national debate about female empowerment and self-esteem. The advertisement seeks to rewrite the rules on how genders are perceived using the phrase ‘like a girl’ for example – or hitting ‘like a girl’. Instead of automatically assigning negative connotations to the term, the advertisement wants to change that, to teach young girls that doing something like a girl should not be perceived as something weak or negative.

Blogger Ilana, creator of the popular blog MommyShorts.com, loved message fully and asked her followers to submit photos of their daughters doing “all the amazing things daughters do” using the hashtag #likeagirl. And that’s when something even more amazing happened.

Not only did the blog overflow with photos of girls, but other parents posted pictures of their sons displaying their feminine side under the hashtag #likeaboy.

Because the other side of using the ‘like a girl’ terminology negatively is also telling boys what we think is right for little boys to do and how to act – and especially doing something that’s considered feminine is often not condoned nor encouraged when it comes to acting like a boy. So when we’re telling the little girls in our lives that they can do anything little boys do, and that they should be strong and confident, we shouldn’t forget to do the same for boys and encourage them to embrace their sensitive and nurturing sides as well.

The above photo was submitted by Heather, a North Carolina mom. In it her two-year-old twin boys are playing princess with their older sister and are said to love dinosaurs just as much as tea parties. There are many more wonderful examples of boys doing typically “feminine” activities, like playing house, wearing princess dresses, and painting their nails, all posted with the hashtag #likeaboy on Mommyshorts.

Even though these kids are still in age of innocence it is important to consider what we teach them, because soon enough those terms of doing something ‘like a girl’ or ‘like a boy’ can mean something entirely different. Hopefully these photos will help future generations redefine how genders are viewed so the hashtag would be #likeakid.

The photo is being shown with the permission of the family.

Sources: Mommyshorts.com, abc.com, Buzzfeed

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Sexy New ‘Survivor’ Cast Includes Gay Couple And Legendary Homophobe

Sexy New ‘Survivor’ Cast Includes Gay Couple And Legendary Homophobe

By D. David Kinney

CBS unveiled the 18 new cast members for “Survivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water” on Wednesday. In addition to former Atlanta Braves baseball player (and  homophobe) John Rocker and “Amazing Race” twins Nadiya and Natalie Anderson, this season’s cast will also feature gay couple Reed Kelly and Josh Canfield.

Josh Canfield is 32 and is an actor, singer and writer. During a pre-interview with CBS he was asked what 3 items he would want to have with him on the island. He responded: “1) Bible – the Scripture would help in dealing with difficult circumstances 2) Piano – so that I could write songs and sing. 3) iPod – life without music is just depressing.” Interesting. 

Reed Kelly is from the Great White Way as well and the 31-year-old is a performer, model and aerialist. Just like his boyfriend, Reed was asked about what 3 items he would want to have on the island. He told them: “1) My Bible – because man cannot live by bread (or rice) alone. 2) My pillow – because it would be a super comfy piece of home and I perform better well rested. 3) A mirror – because sometimes as a dancer you have to be able to look at yourself in the eye and say “pull up and push through! You’re not actually that hungry.” I think this would work well for me as a Survivor castaway too.”

So they’re gay entertainers with a religious side. Where have we seen that recently on CBS? Oh, right…

Frank Grande

We’ve seen gay contestants on “Survivor” before. There was even a gay couple during the original “Blood vs. Water” season last year, but that didn’t work out so well. Colton Cumbie and Caleb Bankston were fiancés from Alabama with something to prove. It was Colton’s second appearance on the show and he wanted to improve his image after quitting in a flood of tears the first time. Well… he quit in a flood of years (again) on day 7. His fiancé proved to be decidedly tougher and went on to become the 9th jury member being voted out by his tribe on day 30.

Survivor CBS Couple

Will this be the year that the gay couple does well? We’ll have to wait and see. Let’s hope.

 

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Hey Girl Hey!

Hey Girl Hey!

Holler Poodles!

Return to 3 Flags Over Here (Pt 3).

Surprisingly, Selma hadn’t had enough fun yet so we headed over to the Spindle Top ( the ride that spins you around while the floor drops down. I could only think that a tragedy was about to occur but Selma said it would be fine. As we got into the cylindrical space and lined up against the wall, we both pulled our tube tops tight and mini skirts tighter. Selma was on my right and an older gentleman and his wife were on my left followed by what looked like a gaggle of their grandchildren. Selma and I looked at each other hoping everything would turn out ok.

With a sudden jolt, the ride started slowly spinning to the left and increased speed. It was then I realized this was not going to end well. Now just in case you aren’t familiar with concept of centrifugal force, its basically when things speed up to the point everything is pinned again the outer wall of whatever is spinning. (I should write a drag queen technical manual). So while my legs and hands are pinned against the wall and can’t be moved, all of a sudden, in tandem, my boobs, Selmas teeth and the old man’s teeth next to me start to wiggle out of their confines and into broad daylight. As if someone had choreographed a dance, the teeth, my boobs and the other teeth start to do the conga in a line whilst we were all spinning helplessly and horrified at the display.

Then, with another jolt, the floor falls from under us and the barrell tilts on its side. Selma and I both looked at each other in horror as we realized the centrifugal force was pulling our mini skirts down exposing our hairy mounds to the crowd. I was mostly horrified. This continued on for what felt like hours but must have been just a minute. The ride soon ended and so began Selma’s search for her teeth. Whilst I was attempting to cover up, I realized the old man next to me was gumming my nipple to which his wife said “Henry! How could you?” to which he replied “They were hanging so low, I thought they were yours!” Selma quickly grabbed my hand and rushed me off to tell me she had found a newer, nicer pair of dentures. I was so happy for her.

While our time at 3 Flags Over Here had come to an end, we could only look back fondly at our time. Be sure to check out Three Flags Over Here in downtown Jonesboro and tell them Mary Edith and Selma sent you!

Love and lashes,

Mary Edith Pitts

If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please contact me at 

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With One Less ‘Problem’ It’s Time For Ariana Grande To ‘Break Free’

With One Less ‘Problem’ It’s Time For Ariana Grande To ‘Break Free’

By D. David Kinney 

Coming on the heels of her summertime hit “Problem,” Ariana Grande released the music video for “Break Free” today on VEVO. The song was produced by Zedd (who you can see at TomorrowWorld this year) and Max Martin.

Check it out and see what you think. We’re already diggin’ it:

Want to enjoy some of the other songs making Ariana Grande the talk of the town?

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Hey Girl Hey!

Hey Girl Hey!

Holler Poodles!

Return to 3 Flags Over Here (Pt 2).

After my dear friend Selma B. Hole was thrown out released from the hospital, it took her a couple of hours days and a case box of wine to recuperate from her injuries. We returned 3 weeks later on a Sunday to continue our review of “3 Flags Over Here” in beautiful downtown Jonesboro.

Naturally, we headed to the buffet first thing because we like to eat. They had some kinda restaurant combo like Waffle House+Huddle House+Out House combined. I’ve never seen food go through people so fast in my life. Because I couldn’t find an empty stall I’m a lady, I held it in. Big Mistake!

Selma wanted to hear the children’s choir singing so she pushed her way through the tens of people crowd to see all the kids dressed in little white robes. It just so happens it was also the entrance to their version of the Sky Coaster called the Rim Shot. Selma begged for us to go on it. It’s that ride that’s like a bungee jump off a 10 story building and hang-gliding all in one.

Needless to say, we were ill prepared looking cute in our white mini skirts and matching tube tops. They hauled us up to the top with a crane while the voices of those little angels on the ground filled the air. The attendant yelled “Pull the tab when you’re ready!” I told Selma I thought I was gonna hurl cause the food wasn’t sitting right and she said she thought she was too. We asked to get down but they said the only way down was to pull the cord. So Selma pulls the cord and I immediately start spewing out my mouth and unbeknownst to me, Selma starts spewing out her rear. All I could see as we made the initial pass over the little angels below was eggs, grits, ham, pancakes, hashbrowns and sausage raining all over the kids below. But as we went backwards, Selma’s duty chute of destruction had managed to dive bomb a few of the kids and knock some of them out cold while the other children ran screaming off.

Later, as we were washing up in the kiddie pool restroom, I could only laugh at the conversation between two ladies outside talking about the new “aerial water feature” she saw from a distance. Said it looked like The Bellagio’s dancing fountains. Selma almost swallowed her teeth.

Next week is the final installment of my review! Until then…

Love and lashes,

Mary Edith Pitts

Posted in Hey Girl Hey, Opinion0 Comments

June Is Officially LGBT Pride Month

June Is Officially LGBT Pride Month

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Just as pride season commences all over the world, President Barack Obama gave LGBT rights another push in the right direction during a Presidential Proclamation on May 31, where he declared June the official LGBT Pride month of 2014.

In the declaration he urges Americans to eliminate prejudice “everywhere it exists”, but also asserts that even though we have moved forward there is still work to do.

“As progress spreads from State to State, as justice is delivered in the courtroom, and as more of our fellow Americans are treated with dignity and respect – our Nation becomes not only more accepting, but more equal as well. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, we celebrate victories that have affirmed freedom and fairness, and we recommit ourselves to completing the work that remains,” President Obama states in his declaration.

The President also writes that last year saw substantial victories with the Defense of Marriage Act being repealed paving the way for marriage equality in many states, but “… despite this progress, LGBT workers in too many States can be fired just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; I continue to call on the Congress to correct this injustice by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. And in the years ahead, we will remain dedicated to addressing health disparities within the LGBT community by implementing the Affordable Care Act and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.”

The President also mentioned the 45 anniversary of the Stonewall riots and acknowledges the nascent movement it spawned saying: “following their example, let each of us speak for tolerance, justice, and dignity — because if hearts and minds continue to change over time, laws will too.”

So, with those words, we urge you to get out there and celebrate LGBT Pride Month! You could do that by visiting one of the many pride festivals here in the U.S. or abroad – so make sure to pick up the new issue of FENUXE this coming Thursday which includes a guide to pride festivals all over the world.

Source: whitehouse.gov

 

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Solo Sex While In A Relationship: Is It Cheating?

Solo Sex While In A Relationship: Is It Cheating?

Every relationship has different parameters that make it work. Usually a couple has certain agreed-upon standards that each partner is comfortable with, both in and out of the bedroom. Some are obvious, such as sleeping with someone else while in a monogamous relationship, while others remain in a bit of a grey area, such as masturbation.

The Huffington Post suggests that people in relationships are more likely to feel guilty engaging in solo sex. Some so much in fact, that they might even feel as though they are cheating on their partner if they masturbate.

In some cases, worrying about their partner’s perception of their masturbatory habits is slightly warranted. As Psychology Today points out, there is still a significant portion of people that feel unhappy, hurt, or even betrayed when they find out about their partner’s solo sex habits.

It’s a hang up that can be difficult to overcome in a relationship. Most every professional or medical outlet you reach out to will tell you that masturbating while in a relationship is perfectly normal. Regular masturbation can even benefit your health.

Adam and Eve states that, “regular orgasms reduce the chances of developing prostate cancer, and they also improve cardiovascular health and reduce pain. Of course orgasms reduce stress and fosters a sense of intimacy, but they also boost the body’s immune system.”

In addition, those who engage in masturbation can also see a healthier, more enjoyable sex life with their partner. The more frequently they engage in masturbating, the higher their sex drive.

Given all of the benefits of regular masturbation, it’s surprising to hear that some may still have issues with their partner’s self-sex habits. However, that isn’t to say that it’s not something worth discussing with your partner. Even if you don’t agree with them on the matter, being in a relationship means that you respect their feelings and try and work towards a solution together.

Even with the medical benefits, or regularity that partners masturbate during sex, that doesn’t exactly change the fact that the rules of a relationship are personal to each set of partners. There is no “normal” relationship, it’s simply defined by those a part of it. Therefore, the issue of whether masturbating in a relationship is right or wrong is still nothing short of an opinion by each individual.

No matter what side of the issue you’re on, if you feel that it is creating a rift in your relationship, it’s something that needs to be worked out. If all else fails, a neutral party, such as a counselor, can provide a healthy environment for you both to express your feelings without judgement, and help you work past it.

Adam and Eve

 

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