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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Buenos Aires booms as gay tourist destination

Argentina's buzzing Buenos Aires has turned into a top Latin American destination for homosexual tourists, as the capital gets its gay-friendly message out to lure fresh revenue. The recent designation of the city as Latin America's first host of a homosexual football World Cup and an opening of a wine bar catering to gays are some of the latest effects of Buenos Aires's rising star.

The International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA) announced earlier this month that it had picked Buenos Aires to host the fourth annual IGLFA World Championship. Buenos Aires was chosen over other South American contenders, such as Rio de Janeiro or Lima, mainly because of its tolerance of homosexuality, IGLFA organisers said. The championship tournament, to be held from September 23 to 29 2007 and expected to draw about 500 athletes, will be a first in Latin America. Previous IGLFA tournaments were held in Sydney, London and Boston, in the United States state of Massachusetts. News of the city's selection thrilled the Buenos Aires homosexual community, which wants to use the event to raise public awareness about the discrimination they still face.

Buenos Aires is booming for gays and lesbians, a demographic market that tends to have more disposable income than the average tourist and a stronger inclination to spend it. The capital, known for its relatively low prices and energetic nightlife, officially promotes itself as a homosexual destination. The tourism office lists "gay" addresses and themed circuits around the city, particularly in San Telmo, the historic tango neighbourhood. About 20 businesses in the quarter, including the new wine bar, are part of the initiative.

Although the city of Buenos Aires authorised same-sex civil unions in 2002, authorities reported more than 1 200 crimes against homosexuals in 2004 alone. "Discrimination is still far from disappearing, and one needs to be tougher in the fight against homophobia," an official of the Argentine Homosexual Community told Agence France-Presse. That does not seem to be dampening gay tourism in the capital. A Spanish group is planning to open a five-star hotel soon catering to homosexuals, and a "gay" cruise ship for the first time made a port call in February.

Argentine homosexuals have not always enjoyed this kind of lavish welcome. In 1995, a group of them, some poverty stricken, took refuge in land not far from the University of Buenos Aires, where they built a shantytown dubbed "Villa Gay". The authorities kicked them out the next year, but a few of them have trickled back. -- AFP

I Think I Like Hockey

For all those Aussies going over to the Gay Games in Montreal...I Think I Like Hockey

Monday, May 29, 2006

Nude Jude


Jude Law If you missed Jude Law Nude last August, here's the story: Pity poor Jude Law: it's one thing to have paparazzi shots of your genitalia splashed hither and yon across inboxes everywhere, but it's another to have the size queens at Page Six make bitchy remarks about them: "In snapshots that recall George Costanza�s infamous 'shrinkage' episode on 'Seinfeld,' the love-rat actor�s meager manhood is on full display as he changes into a swimsuit outside his mother Maggie Law�s house in Vaudelnay, France. 'He�s no Tommy Lee, that�s for sure,' sighed one unimpressed publicist who viewed copies of the paparazzi pix obtained by PAGE SIX." Along with our nanny-poking-stick-ogling colleagues at Defamer, we bewail the unjustice of it all: couldn't they at least have given Jude the benefit of the doubt and said he was a grower, not a shower? Jude Law

Eye Candy for a Cold Winters Day

Check out Gorgeous Lucas Kerr
Lucas Kerr More Lucas Kerr

Gay-friendly childcare 'wacky'

A SYDNEY childcare centre that has taught children about alternative lifestyle families has continued to draw fire. The Tillman Park Children's Centre in Tempe, which is run by Marrickville Council, has devised a gay-friendly curriculum, which included books featuring children with gay, lesbian and transgender parents. Marrickville Mayor Sam Byrne has backed the centre but in so doing earned the ire of Federal Family and Community Services Minister Mal Brough who called the curriculum "ridiculous".

The Daily Telegraph today reported that some parents had been unaware of the teachings and expressed anger when informed of it. Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop today warned that preschoolers should not be exposed to "perverse" teachings that could skew their development.

Ms Bishop said she was not opposed to educating children about social diversity but it was important how such matters were taught.

"Obviously, preschool education's a very important part in a child's development," she said.

"I wouldn't want to see any perverse biases put into early childhood development that could affect children one way or the other."

Asked to clarify whether it was "perverse" to teach children about diversity, Ms Bishop said: "It depends. Teaching about difference in itself is not an issue.

"It depends on the extent to which (the teaching) takes a particular line. Obviously commonsense should prevail."

Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott meanwhile said the childcare's approach was "pretty wacky stuff".

Mr Abbott said children should be saved from adult hang-ups.

"I think its really pretty wacky stuff," Mr Abbott said.

Yet More Lucas Kerr


Gorgeous  Lucas Kerr

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Australians don't support gay marriage: Howard

Original link By Europe correspondent Rafael Epstein The Prime Minister John Howard has described people campaigning for gay marriage as fundamentalists. Mr Howard says it is not discrimination to deny gay men and lesbians equal marriage status with heterosexual couples. While facing student questions at a Dublin University in Ireland, Mr Howard was challenged to defend what one student called his efforts to entrench homophobia in Australia. john-howard-caricature.jpg Mr Howard replied that his Government had remedied much of the financial discrimination, but said most Australians do not want gay couples to have equivalent status. "I think it is a form of minority fundamentalism to say that you have to, in every aspect of one's institutions and one's arrangements in society, have technical equivalence," he said. Gay and lesbian activists say Mr Howard is out of touch with the community. David Scamell from the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby says the Prime Minister is not listening to the public. "Given that both Labor and Liberal say that they don't support gay marriage, I don't think it's likely to happen anytime soon, but that doesn't mean he is in touch with what Australians want," he said.View queer news on your mobile at Men On Mobile TechniCool Gay News_

Saturday, May 20, 2006

X-men 3, or X3 - The Last Stand,

X-men 3, or X3 - The Last Stand, sees the team and mutantkind as a whole faced with a confusing issue: If you could remove your ability, should you? A vaccine has been developed by Dr. Kavita Rao (played by Shohreh Aghdashloo, who has a voice I could listen to forever) which eradicates the X-gene, rendering the recipient 'normal'. Happily, there is no catch to this, the cure IS a cure and does exactly what it says on the tin. Unfortunately, it is this promise of a new life which splits the mutant world in two and raises some very pertinent questions. Is individuality a blessing or a curse? If we could change, should we? Is conformity a cure or a disease? These questions are most evident in the characters of Angel and Rogue, who represent the extremity of the desire to fit in during youth.extremity of the desire to fit in during youth. The ambiguous nature of this 'cure' issue leads to some interesting decisions on the part of characters who had before seemed a trifle shallow, and it really serves to add the emotional and intriguing heart that made the comics so rich and compelling notably under Chris Claremont's reign. Several times, I found myself thinking that there were little touches that were reminiscent of his style, Storm's two-pronged bitch slap-fest with Callisto being an obvious case in point, and I hope this was an intentional tip of the hat as the Dark Phoenix storyline was undoubtably his finest hour.

Dead at the end of the last film after saving the rest of her team-mates (wonderfully reminiscent of the original Phoenix saga), Jean (Famke Janssen) is back, emerging from her watery grave to be reborn once more. It is revealed that since early childhood when her potential as a psychic was only barely realized, Professor X not only took in a young Jean to train her in her abilities, but also to block and control part of them. That part, he explains, was akin to an unstable dual personality of immense power, was named Phoenix, and has been kept behind a series of mental walls for the protection of Jean and everyone around her.

Guess what happens next.

Phoenix is a beautiful character. Jean is famous in the comics for having died and come back to life an absurd amount of times, almost comic in it's tragedy, but this portrayal is so tragic and fragile it really hurt to watch Jean lose herself to the irresistible power of her other persona. Her sadness in the chaos that phoenix creates around her is touching, and ultimately her actions have a such resounding impact that, like in all final├ęs of a trilogy, all bets are off.

Simon Crane, responsible for most of the action sequences in the film, did himself proud. Starting amazingly with a days-of-future-past apocalyptic scene and climaxing with powerful (and crowded) showdown, the special effects are well used, and in the case of the phoenix/professor x scene, breathtaking.

Sir Ian and Patrick Stewart are, as always, stellar and watchable even at their worst, but that's what comes from a Shakespearean past. I also enjoyed Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), cocky bastard Jamie Madrox (Eric Dane) and thank God Wolverine wasn't the focus of the film YET AGAIN. He suffers from overuse so much it has often provoked me to groan at his inclusion, but thanks to shifting the focus away from his internal struggle (yawn) to his berserker rage (yay!) I found him much more palatable this time around.

Perhaps on the downside (depending on your opinion of the characters), certain members of the x-team were overshadowed in storyline terms. Rogue, her struggle with her ability, and her relationship with Iceman all felt a little tacked on, although personally I wouldn't have minded if this was overlooked altogether. The flipside of this is that the nature of the X-men has always been a transient one, and with so many characters living eventful lives all at once, certain events are bound to be downplayed.

Beast was a character I was looking forward to very much (not furry), and I was very pleased with Kelsey Grammer in this role. When it was announced that he would be playing Beast, I was a bit confused at the initial fan reaction of 'wtf' as it seemed to me to fit perfectly. His gentle pompousness and charm shone through, which countered well by his ferocity in the later fight scenes. He remains one of my favourite characters. (Still not furry)

I'm not saying a word about Juggernaut. Not a damn word.

I loved this film. It could have crushed me and made me hate something that had made me a happy kid and adult alike, but as I queued up for my mobile phone in the lobby (like I could record a whole film on my damn phone, tch.), all I felt was relief. The storyline are a little predictable for sure, but that's the nature of this genre. The trilogy is complete and it was good.

Talking of mobile phones, I downloaded the X-men 3 - The Last Stand Mobile Game game before seeing the movie
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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Queens: Sydney Spanish Film Festival

David and I went to see Queens, at the Spanish Film festival on Sunday. Actually it was the second time I have seen this movie, the first being in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in March. An hilarious movie in my opinion and I could just about keep up with some of the lingo too!

I'm getting married in the morning, ding-dong my bells are going to shine...' If you have any notion of getting hitched, then come see Queens: a big, glossy Spanish take on the country's first mass gay wedding. Your guides for the hour are five mothers coping not only with their sons' romantic problems but with some of their own as well. One is a nymphomaniac, another a needy nightmare and a third a well-to-do actress contemplating the social horror of her son marrying the gardener's lad. The boys are all hysterical (and cute). But as the special day comes round, the fates conspire to drown their looks in floods of tears and disappointment. Queens delivers highly on the laugh front with some great performances. Warning, however: whatever stage of commitment your relationship is at (and yes for all singles, an imagined one is okay too) Queens may put you off white suits for life.

Priscilla, the musical?

The beloved Australian film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, is being made into a stage musical, according to Variety.

It is set to open in Sydney's Star City Casino's Lyric Theater on October 7th.

The show will tell the story of two drag-queens and a transexual, who hire a purple bus to travel to Alice Springs, a resort town in the remote Australian outback, to perform their drag show. The encounter a number of colourful characters along the way.

Stephan Elliott, who wrote the original screenplay, has teamed up with Allan Scott to write a libretto for the stage show, which will be renamed Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

Costume designer Lizzy Gardiner, who won an Oscar for doing the original Priscilla costumes, has also joined the show's creative team.

The artistic director of the Melbourne Theatre Company, Simon Phillips, will direct the show, while the Tony Award-winning designer Brian Thomson is expected to create the sets.

Wonder if Mitzi Macintosh will get to play a lead role? Did love the show at the Imperial!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The first lady and the vice president's daughter speak up for Gay Weddings

First lady, vice president's daughter talk about gay marriage WASHINGTON The first lady and the vice president's daughter are among those weighing in on the issue of a constitutional amendment on gay marriage. Laura Bush told "Fox News Sunday" that she thinks the American people want a debate on the issue. But, she said, it requires "a lot of sensitivity" and shouldn't be used "as a campaign tool." The proposed amendment would define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist tells C-N-N's "Late Edition" that the Senate will begin debating the matter early next month. President Bush supports the amendment, but Vice President Cheney doesn't. Cheney's daughter, Mary, is a lesbian and has been speaking out against the marriage amendment as she promotes her new book. On Fox today, Mary Cheney called the amendment "fundamentally wrong." She says it would amount to "writing discrimination into the Constitution." Mary Cheney wrote that she almost quit working on the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004 because of Bush's position on gay marriage. Asked Sunday about reports that White House political adviser Karl Rove and other Republicans want to use the issue to mobilize conservatives for the midterm election, she said she hoped "no one would think about trying to amend the Constitution as a political strategy." "I certainly don't know what conversations have gone on between Karl and anybody up on the Hill," she said on Fox. "But you know, what I can say is look, amending the Constitution with this amendment, this piece of legislation, is a bad piece of legislation. It is writing discrimination into the Constitution, and, as I say, it is fundamentally wrong." But Frist said he would defend the amendment even to Dick Cheney. "I basically say, Mr. Vice President, right now marriage is under attack in this country," Frist said on CNN. "And we've seen activist judges overturning state by state law, where state legislatures have passed laws defining marriage between a man and a woman, and that's being overturned by a handful of activist judges around the country. And that is why we need an amendment to come to the floor of the United States Senate to define marriage as that union between one man and one woman." Men On Mobile

Finally a territory stands up to Ruddock - Gay & Lesbian Weddings

The local assembly of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT),adopted landmark legislation overnight providing for civil unions between same-sex couples, the first such law in Australia.

The conservative federal government of Prime Minister John Howard had threatened to block the law, saying it contravened a federal Marriages Act that it amended two years ago to formally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

But a spokesman for Attorney General Phillip Ruddock said a number of last-minute amendments to the legislation appeared to satisfy government concerns, notably one specifying that civil union ceremonies would not be officiated by federally recognised marriage celebrants.

The ACT chief minister, Jon Stanhope of the center-left Labor Party, conceded the law had been adopted to meet federal concerns, saying the civil unions "will deliver recognition, without conflicting with or changing the meaning of marriage".

But the territory's municipal services minister, John Hargreaves, said the new law was still a landmark in that it gives equality and legal recognition to same sex couples for the first time in Australia.

"It should be a major plank to the removal of the insidious disease of discrimination and it is," he said.

Peter Furness of the gay rights group Australian Marriage Equality called the ACT legislation "a very significant step forward in our push towards full legal equality under Australian law."

"Couples from around the country can also now receive formal recognition and can celebrate their love and commitment in a civil union ceremony sanctioned and approved by the state," he said.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

Favourite Film since Mardi Gras

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

The sub-zero heroes from the Academy Award® winning blockbuster "Ice Age" are back, Manny the woolly mammoth, Sid the sloth, Diego the sabre-toothed tiger, and the hapless squirrel/rat known as Scrat are still together as the ice age comes to an end. Enjoying their now melting world. Manny may wants to start a family, but thinks he may be the mammoth, that is until he meets a female woolly mammoth, Ellie and her two "brothers," possums Crash and Eddie. Manny hopes for something special to happen alas, there are complications. Manny, Sid, and Diego quickly learn that the warming climate has one major drawback: A huge glacial dam holding off oceans of water is about to break, threatening the entire valley. The only chance of survival lies at the other end of the valley. So our three heroes, along with Ellie, Crash and Eddie, form the most unlikely family – in any "Age" – as they embark on a mission across a dangerous landscape towards their salvation. The film also presents the continuing adventures, or misadventures, of Scrat. The character's explosive popularity in the original film led to a significantly expanded role for loveable Scrat, who is the shining star of Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. This time Academy Award® winning creators of "Ice Age" and "Robots," have a star studded cast to bring the characters alive, including voices of Ray Ramano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah And Jay Leno just to name a few. This movie pushes the boundaries of animation in a visually spectacular film. With the frozen world seen in the original Ice Age melting, the animators have successfully added a whole new dimension and depth to this delightfully funny movie. Don't be fooled by this is not just for kids, the comedy is aimed at the kid in us all. Australian mobile phone users (and that is every gay man in Australia) can download Ice Age 2 Wallpapers and Mobile Games at http://www.menonmobile.com/

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ashley and Jamie in the Big Brother House

TechniCool Gorgeous_

Pope Attacks Gays Again

Pope Benedict, speaking out on a topic that Italy's incoming centre-left government will likely have to confront, on Thursday condemned gay marriage and legal recognition of unwed couples.

The 79-year-old German Pope immediately came under fire from some leftists who accused him of trying to write the country's political agenda.

The Pope, speaking to a conference on marriage and the family, reaffirmed the Church's position that marriage had to be a union between a man and a woman and open to procreation.

"Only the rock of total and irrevocable love between a man and a woman is capable of being the foundation of building a society that becomes a home for all mankind," he said.

He told the group that marriage was between a man and a woman "who are open to the transmission of life and thus cooperate with God in the generation of new human beings."

The coalition of incoming Prime Minister Romano Prodi promises some form of recognition for unmarried couples but has stopped short of openly supporting gay marriage as part of its program.

However, some coalition parties back greater rights for homosexuals, including marriage, and the issue is widely expected to surface sooner or later after the government is sworn in next week.

Franco Grillini, a leftist parliamentarian who is openly gay, accused the Pope of trying "to write a political agenda" and of "ignoring the rights of million of Italians who live together."

Vladimir Luxuria, Europe's first "transgender" lawmaker and a member of Prodi's coalition, went further in criticizing the Pope, saying it was the duty of a lay state to "recognize and regulate" homosexual unions.

Italy's Catholic Church has already served notice to the center left that it will fight any move to recognize civil partnership for unwed heterosexual couples and gay couples.

Some in the center left support a legal recognition similar to that in France, which in 1999 granted all couples the right to form civil unions and have the right to joint social security, limited inheritance rights and other benefits.

But in his address, the Pope took direct aim at such formal recognition of couple who are not married.

"Today, it has become urgent to avoid confusion between (marriage) and other types of unions which are based on a love that is weak," he said.

Luxuria, the leftist parliamentarian, criticized the Pope for suggesting that gay love was weaker than heterosexual love.

Gay unions are already legal in several European countries, including traditionally Catholic Spain. Britain has introduced a law allowing gays to formalize their relationships.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Lost, Desperate Housewives, Alias, and Commander in Chief

Seinfeld fans will note the Teri Hatcher reference in the title of this post, but I just tried out ABC’s full-episode streaming video service which launched a few minutes ago (around 2am this morning), and it is indeed quite nice.
Lost, Desperate Housewives, Alias, and Commander in Chief. They are all available online now if you live in the U.S. — free of charge. This isn’t some B-reel lineup of shows starving for attention. These are ABC’s most popular programs, and now thanks to Disney Brass, the ABC team in Burbank, and the Disney Internet Group in both Seattle and North Hollywood, they are viewable on any computer with a broadband connection. No more PVR-induced BitTorrenting for me… at least with ABC shows.

I have a special regard for this product because it was the last project I worked on before leaving Disney to start Newsvine. My work was in the proof-of-concept phase and the final product doesn’t share a single line of code or element of design, but I still feel an affinity for what has been accomplished here. I think it’s really, really great.

Some items of importance:

* I have one complaint and that is that the video is not available in Australia, yet.

* This service is fully cross-browser and cross-platform. No Internet Explorer/Windows Media mess to worry about. I’m so glad Flash video won out in the end, and although Steve Jobs had nothing to do with it, I’m sure he’s happy that these shows look and work great on Macs.

* This is perhaps the nicest looking Flash video I’ve ever seen. Not only are the video dimensions nice and large, but the picture is extremely clear and not choppy at all. You can tell a lot of work went into the encoding and delivery process. It’s also interesting to note that this is 400k and 700k Flash streaming and not progressive download. Progressive download has been a lot more common than streaming in the past and it’s nice to see such a great example of true broadband Flash streaming in action.

* As great as this service is from a design and engineering standpoint, what’s been accomplished here from a licensing standpoint is just as significant. Disney has wanted to stream television shows for several years now. I remember working on early prototypes a few years ago, but the problem back then was that internet rights had never been negotiated into the deals of the network’s most popular shows. This wasn’t specific to ABC but to all major networks including NBC, Fox, and CBS. Most people think that when a show like Desperate Housewives airs on ABC, the network has full ownership of it. That is not the case. They generally have rights to do certain things with it (viz. air it on TV, sell it on DVD, etc), but only recently have networks begun including internet distribution rights in these deals. It looks like we’re finally starting to see the fruits of these new licensing terms, and it’s a great great thing.

* My only complaint here is the lack of ability to pop the video full screen. I remember talking to Macromedia about this awhile back but can’t remember what their answer was with regards to whether or not they’d ever be able to build this functionality into the Flash plug-in.

So head on over to ABC.com and check this thing out for yourself. I’m sure it’s just the beginning of a lot more video-related initiatives to come at Disney. Big ups to everyone over there and to all the peeps in the Seattle office!

One more thing: I believe this is officially a “trial service” which will run until June 30th. Hopefully it will do well and continue on long after that.
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Friday, May 05, 2006

10 reasons why gay marriage should be illegal

01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

Re-post this if you believe love makes a marriage.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

London to host Europe's gay pride

Cars will be barred from Oxford Street to make way for the parade. London is to host this year's EuroPride, widely considered to be Europe's largest gay and lesbian cultural festival. Exhibitions, films, sporting events, comedy, theatre and music will all be showcased over two weeks from 17 June. A parade of 500,000 people through the streets of central London will be the finale of the event. Mayor Ken Livingstone said it was a chance to celebrate the lesbian and gay community's contribution to the city. The parade will weave its way along a pedestrianised Oxford Street into Regent Street before gathering in Trafalgar Square for a mass rally. 'Carnival atmosphere' Each year the event is hosted by a different European city. EuroPride London 06 chief executive Jason Pollock said it would be a chance for people from around the world to come together to enjoy a carnival atmosphere. "It promises to be the biggest gay and lesbian festival London has ever seen," he said. Chief executive of Visit London, James Bidwell, said: "Gay and lesbian visitors are very important to London's visitor economy and this summer's EuroPride events will showcase London as a top gay-friendly destination."