Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Illinois Senate Committee Advances Same Sex Marriage Bill 9-5, Los Angeles Police Release Sketch Of Suspects Sought In Anti-Gay Attack Near UCLA, Police Reports Reveals Frank Ocean Threatened And Called “Faggot” During Chris Brown Brawl, Ethics Panel Censures Maryland Delegate For Same Sex Marriage Protest Letter Sent to Baltimore Ravens Owner, Crown Princess Victoria Of Sweden Steals Show At Ceremony Honoring Gay Of The Year, Jack Laugher, Josh Hutcherson, Calvin Klein Underwear Hotness Matthew Terry

In Illinois, supporters of allowing same sex marriage cleared the first of many hurdles Tuesday. The Chicago Tribune reports that an Illinois Senate committee advanced a same sex marriage bill 9-5. The bill, sponsored by Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) next moves to the full Senate, where backers indicated it could come up for a vote on Valentine's Day. Steans sponsored same sex marriage legislation in last month's lame duck session, but could not advance it past the initial committee stage. She said the bill is necessary to provide "equal protection" under laws for same sex couples when civil union alone fall short. Bloomington's Danielle Cook, with her partner Suzie Hutton, testified the legislation is needed to "make our lives more complete." Cook said she has a civil union but that it is not fully recognized in social ways with the good wishes and congratulations that come with marriage or in employment settings. Her face getting red, Cook said, "It hurt." She told senators she sees the couple's relationship as a marriage but is viewed differently because "marriage is the standard" of society. The Rev. Suzanne Anderson-Hurdle of Good Shepherd Church in Romeoville said she is straight, married, a mother of three and a pastor who views the legislation as a "matter of legal, civil and human rights." She said she has viewed ceremonies for civil unions as marriages, saying, "I believe these people are married in the eyes of God." But the Rev. Keith Williams of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church of Country Club Hills disagreed. He said he was in "vehement opposition" to the legislation because same sex marriage went against the basic tenets of the Bible.

In Los Angeles, UCLA campus police have released a sketch of a man they say was involved in an anti-gay hate crime against a student. A male student was walking south in the 400 block of Gayley Avenue, near Veteran Avenue, about 1:30 am January 18, when two men got out of a dark-colored, four-door sedan and approached the victim. One of the men threatened him with a knife and made anti-gay slurs, KTLA-TV reported. The two suspects then fled in the vehicle heading south on Gayley. The student suffered scratches and bruises, but declined treatment. One of the suspects is described as a white male about 26 or 27 years old, 5-feet-9 and 160 to 170 pounds. He has brown eyes and a shaved head and was wearing jeans and a gray hooded sweatshirt. The second suspect is described as Latino, also about 26 or 27 years old. He is about 6-feet-4 and 300 pounds. He has long, black hair that was slicked back and was wearing baggy clothing. The student told police he did not know either of the men, but he thought they might have been able to guess his sexual orientation based on how he looked and acted. Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call the UCLA Police Department at (310) 825-1491.

Also in Los Angeles, TMZ has the full police report from the recent fracas between Chris Brown and Frank Ocean in West Hollywood, and it provides ample new fodder in Chris Brown's quest to become America's super-villain. The report confirms much of what we already know about last month's incident. Ocean (the report uses his birth name, Christopher Breaux) alleges that Brown took his parking spot at Westlake Recording Studios in West Hollywood, and when confronted about it, Brown and several companions pummeled Ocean. But the report fills in a few details, including the new allegation that Ocean heard someone (he couldn't confirm if it was Brown or a member of his entourage) use a gay slur during the fight, calling Ocean a “faggot.” Ocean has written about a same sex love interest in the past. Furthermore, Ocean reported that during the fight, Brown said, "We can bust on you too," which is common street parlance for threatening to shoot him. Ocean has said he won't pursue charges and has forgiven Brown (though in a more existential fashion than a personal one), and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department has said it plans to close the case. But these new alleged details make the story even more disheartening. There may be some cosmic karma coming to Brown though. Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey said Tuesday that there were "significant discrepancies" in the reports of Brown's court-ordered community service after his 2009 beating of then (and again current) girlfriend Rihanna. Deputy Dist. Atty. Mary Murray asked a judge not to accept his community service documentation due to "at best sloppy documentation and at worst fraudulent reporting." Brown could be sent to jail if he does not fulfill that community service requirement to the judge's satisfaction.

In Maryland, an ethics panel has criticized a state lawmaker for using his official letterhead to urge Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to restrain a football player from publicly supporting same sex marriage. Delegate Emmett Burns (D-Baltimore County) confirmed Tuesday he received what he described as “a cautionary letter” from the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics. The panel did not recommend further action. Burns says he accepts the panel’s finding, and he says he never meant to infringe on First Amendment rights to try to silence linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who remained active on the issue. Burns, a Baptist pastor, says he was representing many of his constituents by speaking out against same sex marriage, which Maryland voters approved in November. The letter is confidential. Burns declined to release it publicly.

In Stockholm, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden earned a standing ovation as she made a surprise appearance to hand out the country's "Gay of the Year" award to an author whose writings about the 1980s AIDS crisis gripped the nation. "It's a true delight for me to be here tonight. To feel your power, your happiness and your sense of community," the princess said in a speech hailed as historic by media and gay rights activists. The princess, 35, entered the stage to the tones of disco group ABBA's Dancing Queen at an awards ceremony organised by a gay magazine, reports the AFP. The prize was given to author and comedian Jonas Gardell, whose book and TV series Never Dry Tears Without Gloves has sparked a national debate on the treatment of gay men during the onset of the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. The book's title refers to the instructions given to a nurse as she wiped tears off a dying man's face. "Few have touched us and made us so proud as you have. Your message is clear. Straighten your back. Stretch out your hand. We will wipe each other's tears," Victoria said to the author after a surprise appearance that prompted a standing ovation at the glitzy award show. "Victoria, you're our crown princess, but I think tonight I'm our queen," Gardell replied. Last year's Gay of the Year title went to Sweden's first elite footballer to announce he is gay, Anton Hysen, son of former Liverpool star Glenn Hysen. Sweden legalized gay marriage in 2009 and the Lutheran Church, which was the state church until 2000, has authorized the celebration of same sex marriages. But the first part of Gardell's triology on the AIDS epidemic shook the country's tolerant self image and has prompted calls for an official apology to the gay community. "I'm not looking for an apology. I want to finally be able to talk about it. To no longer put a lid on it, to finally be able to remember," Gardell last month wrote in daily Svenska Dagbladet.

Team Great Britain diving hotness Jack Laugher tweets a photograph of his new haircut.

Super sexy Josh Hutcherson spotted arriving in Los Angeles post-New Orleans Super Bowl.

Budweiser’s Clydesdale commercial during Sunday night’s Super Bowl may have tugged at heartstrings, but Calvin Klein’s underwear ad featuring the chiseled physique of model Matthew Terry probably steamed up many viewers’ television screens. “I really had no idea what could actually happen after the commercial hit. It was just an amazing experience,” he said today on GMA LIVE! For the black and white spot for Calvin Klein’s new “Concept” underwear line, Terry was clad only in a pair of black briefs. The camera focused mainly on his toned arms, muscled legs and washboard abs as he performed a series of poses that showcased his body. To stay in camera-ready shape, Terry hits the gym religiously. “I try to go to the gym at least five times a week,” the model said on Good Morning America. “Make it a part of my daily routine, like getting up and showering. You’ve also got to eat … Some people think going to the gym makes the whole thing, but you have to finish your workout with a good meal.” Since Terry has been the focus of so much buzz since the ad appeared, we’ve put together five facts you may not have known about the 21-year-old from Pennsylvania: 1. In an interview with Men’s Health magazine, he said he was surprised at how much fun modeling is. 2. Terry is the new face of Calvin Klein Dark Obsession, a fragrance that launches in March, Philly.com reports. 3. He used to stock shelves in a supermarket and do odd jobs in construction. 4. He was discovered after his mother submitted his photos to a model search. 5. He loves cinnamon toast crunch, hates spiders and, according to his Twitter account ‏@MrMattTerry, he’s “not a fan of head games.” Bonus Fact: He has tweeted that he might be part Native American.

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