Raven-Symonè Comes Out–via Twitter, No Plans to Marry

Teen star Raven-Symonè, who starred as Bill Cosby’s youngest daughter, Olivia Huxtable on The Cosby Show, and later as the title character on Disney’s That’s So Raven, came out today exclaiming on Twitter:

That’s So Raven, which ran from 2003 to 2007 on the  Disney Channel is still in syndication. The plot centers around Raven Baxter, a teen with supernatural powers who is also a fashion designer. In 2006 she starred in her first dramatic role as Briana McCallister, in the Lifetime Movie For One Night. The made-for-TV drama  was inspired by the true story of an African American teenager who shook up a small town where high school proms had been racially segregated for decades. She has since recorded albums, starred in a short-lived TV comedy series, State of Georgia. She also appeared as the lead in the Broadway version of Sister Act.

Last year Symonè tweeted:

Now Symonè is happy about repeal of DOMA and the SCOTUS ruling on Prop 8–happy enough to pretty much say she’s gay. But don’t rush out get her a wedding present yet. In an exclusive statement to E! News, the actress says:

I am very happy that gay marriage is opening up around the country and is being accepted. I was excited to hear today that more states legalized gay marriage. I, however am not currently getting married, but it is great to know I can now, should I wish to.


Superheroes: One Character Comes Out, Another Celebrates Marriage Equality

As Marvel Comics plans for the June wedding of openly gay  Astonishing X-Men superhero Northstar to his longtime human companion Kyle, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio told attendees at the Kapow Comic Convention in London that the company is

about to reintroduce a previously existing DC character who was previously straight and now will be “one of our most prominent gay characters.”

DC already has a large number of LGBT characters including superheroines Batwoman and The Question, superhero couple Apollo and Midnighter, and bisexual Voodoo.

But who will come out of the closet? We may have to wait until September to find out, but oh that will make Halloween so much more fun!

Married Lesbian Couple Rescued 40 From Utoya Massacre, Mainstream Media Ignores It

In the midst of the coverage about Anders Breivik’s murderous spree on Utoya is story of bravery, one that has gone under-reported in mainstream media.

Hege Dalin and her spouse Toril Hansen, a legally married lesbian couple, rescued 40 children who had jumped in the lake to escape Breivik’s rampage. Hearing the shots andscreams, the couple revved up their boat and scooped up children from the bloody water, returning to the island four times, despite bullet holes in the side of the boat. They saved 40 children.

While the story has received coverage in LGBT media, why hasn’t it been picked up by MSM which reported other rescues?

Talk About Equality quotes  the women’s story in Helsinki’s largest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanoma

We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake.

In the aftermath, the couple said:

We did not sleep last night at all. Today, we have been together and talked about the events.

Now it’s time for all of us to talk about the bravery of a couple who repeatedly chose to risk their lives to save 40 children, a couple who have been seemingly overlooked, perhaps because they don’t fit into the comfortable stereotypes of heroes. Perhaps because they are lesbian and married.

I hope that’s not the case, because it would suck if the media is that narrow minded and fearful of celebrating true heroism.

Thank you, Hege and Toril. Thank you. And thank you, Norway for legalizing gay marriage in 2009.

Nice Day for a Green Wedding! Ireland Okays Same-Sex Unions!

On December 23, Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern signed the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, legislation recognizing gay couples and allowing civil unions  in the Irish Republic. The law, which secures a range of rights over shared homes, maintenance payments and pensions, goes into effect January 1.

But under Irish law all couples, whether gay or straight, must give three months’ notice to their local registrar, so the first ceremony is expected to be in April. The waiting period, however, can be waived under extenuating circumstances such as illness. Any couple wishing to legally unite must also pay a notification fee of €150.

Justice Minister Ahern said:

Gay couples, whose relationships have not previously been given legal recognition by the State, may now formalise their relationships in the eyes of the law and society at large. Their relationships will be legally recognised and protected.

Wayback Machine: Obama Supported Gay Marriage in 1996

feb-08-2007-vid00075_1.thumbnail.jpgIn 1996, while the tormented post-teens of Beverly Hills 90210 were dealing with secondary characters like Joni and her stripper daughter Lily and Tara-the-psycho-Kelli-wanna-be, Barack Obama was running for Illinois state senator.

As part of his campaign, he answered  a questionnaire for a Chicago gay and lesbian newspaper Outlines (now merged with the Windy City Times) and another for IMPACT which was then “Chicago’s main GLBT political action committee.”

His responses, part of  1996 article were never challenged or corrected by Obama. The original questionaires were recently uncovered by editor-in-chief Tracy Baim while she was going through some old boxes of papers. Eureka!

In his typed answers to the Outlines questionnaire, Obama clearly stated he was in favor of same-sex marriage, which he has since opposed on the public record during both his U.S. senate run and his campaign for president:

I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.

At the same time, Obama completed another questionnaire for IMPACT which discussed a pending same-sex marriage resolution. Obama, in his own handwriting, wrote:

I would support such a resolution.

In 2004 during his bid for the U.S. Senate, Obama sat down with Tracy Baim at Windy City Times for an interview. Here are some excerpts:

WCT: But you think, strategically, gay marriage isn’t going to happen so you won’t support it at this time?

Obama: What I’m saying is that strategically, I think we can get civil unions passed. I think we can get SB 101 passed. I think that to the extent that we can get the rights, I’m less concerned about the name. And I think that is my No. 1 priority, is an environment in which the Republicans are going to use a particular language that has all sorts of connotations in the broader culture as a wedge issue, to prevent us moving forward, in securing those rights, then I don’t want to play their game.

But as Baim points out in this weeks’ cover story about the questionnaires and interviews:

civil unions are not “marriage” unless 100 percent of the benefits are the same across all states and the federal government.

In the 2004 interview, Obama also comes out against a Constitutional amendment against gay marriage, saying:

I would oppose that.

Which gives hope that DOMA will be repealed–if it can get through the House and Senate.

[H/T Ben Smith at Politico]