Playground that kicked out gay couple’s kid says negative reviews are “hurting our reputation”

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A Georgia couple has cried foul over treatment at a Savannah mall.

Victoria Torres and Tuyen Nguyen recently took Torres’ five-year-old nephew to a play area owned by Treehouse Adventures. As they watched the child frolic, Torres put her arm around Nguyen and began to read a magazine. That’s when things got out of hand.

A daycare chaperone approached the couple and ordered them to stop, claiming that their behavior made the children uncomfortable. The argument quickly escalated.

“There were plenty of couples there,” says Nguyen. “But they decided to talk to us about it. We were just sitting there reading a magazine.”

“It was not only embarrassing, it was hurtful,” Torres adds. “You’re just being yourself…it’s never happened to me before.”

Nguyen and Torres eventually left after a verbal argument with the chaperone.

“To explain to my nephew what had happened and why people do that and why you’re not accepted everywhere you go… it’s hard,” says Torres.

Ben Saborio, owner of Treehouse Adventures, denies that homophobia played a role in the couple’s treatment. Rather, the playground employs a strict no-PDA rule, with a sign posted near the door explaining affection must stay at the “PG-level.”

He also admits that he ordered the unidentified chaperone to confront the women, fearing a “language barrier.”

“That was a really really tough situation,” says Saborio. “I really struggled. It wasn’t easy. But I welcome anybody. I don’t hate anyone.”

“Maybe I didn’t handle it in the right way. My wife wasn’t here. I was afraid to approach them and say something wrong that would be offensive.”

In the wake of the incident, Yelp has exploded with negative reviews of the playground and accusations of homophobia.

Meanwhile, Treehouse Adventures issued a statement on its official Facebook page apologizing for the “unfortunate incident” and calling it an “isolated case” and then denying they ever kicked the couple out.

“We understand that we were caught on an unfortunate incident involving claims of discrimination against the LGBT community,” the statement reads. “This isolated case is hurting our business review and reputation.”

The statement continues: “Then the chaperon reported to management (Ben) that a couple was being inappropriate; that particular chaperon asks them to stop, and they decided to leave and blame our business. In no way these individuals were ask to leave by management. This was a decision made by them.”

Torres and Nguyen have not yet decided if they will file a discrimination lawsuit.

Related: Deli owner accused of scolding gay couple for kissing says he wasn’t being homophobic


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Former NC Gov. Pat McCrory’s record was too antigay for him to get a job in the Trump administration

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Well, this is embarrassing. It turns out former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory lost out on a position with the Department of Energy because Donald Trump found him too problematic.

Newly leaked documents detail problems in McCrory’s record which blocked him from gaining higher-level positions within the government. Chief among them: the former Governor’s signing of a bill that stripped cities of their LGBTQ protection ordinances, and that forced transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their assigned birth sex.

McCrory has a looooong anti-LGBTQ record (as does Trump and his VP Mike Pence), though in this case, the state experienced widespread backlash over the bill, and resulted in major industries boycotting the state. Ultimately, McCrory’s actions cost North Carolina thousands of badly needed jobs.

Trump apparently also faulted McCrory for once saying Trump needed his “mouth washed out with soap” after hearing the infamous “grab them by the p*ssy” tape. After losing reelection, McCrory also refused to concede the race to his opponent.

McCrory has attracted wide criticism over the years, especially for his anti-queer views. The former Governor has repeatedly denied any anti-LGBTQ bias, even while attacking the community for making him “unemployable.”

Despite playing the victim, he also plans to run for political office–either Senate or the Governorship–in 2020.

Related: Former NC Gov. Pat McCrory says he can’t find a job because everyone thinks he’s a bigot


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Jake Gyllenhaal reflects on ‘Brokeback Mountain’ with “two straight guys cast in these roles”

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Brokeback Mountain

In a lengthy new interview for GQ actor Jake Gyllenhaal revisits his iconic role in Brokeback Mountain.

More than 10 years have passed since the film caused a sensation, scoring Oscar nominations for stars Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, as well as awarding director Ang Lee his first Oscar statuette.

For Gyllenhaal, the success of the film was a shock.

“I think we had been cast for our ‘essences’ without really understanding what our ‘essences’ were – and that’s outside of our sexuality – we’re two straight guys cast in these roles, but who we are, who we were, Ang could see,” he recalls.

“And I don’t know if I could. So when the movie had the response that it had …. I don’t think we recognized what Ang had seen in us so we were blind at the profundity and the echo the movie made … and I don’t think we ever had any idea it would have the impact that it had.”

Gyllenhaal adds that rehearsal played a key role in developing his rapport with co-star Ledger, and in building their characters. He also reels at the ongoing legacy of the film as a classic story of two men in love.

“To make a movie that even just works is a miracle,” he admits. “When it resonates even beyond that, it’s impossible. And it has nothing to do with you in the end.”

“Just being in Brokeback Mountain, that’s the feeling I have. I feel that deeply about it. It had nothing to do with me. It came to me, I was honored to be a part of it, and it is now everyone else’s in a way that I can’t even fathom.”

Related: Director spills the tea on which A-listers turned down “Brokeback Mountain”


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Senator celebrates Pride by attending gay conversion therapy rally, says he’s not a bigot

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Dan Hall is a chaplain and a Republican state senator from Minnesota who was first elected to office in 2010.

While the rest of the city was out celebrating Twin Cities Pride in Minneapolis last weekend, he was spotted across town at the state Capitol Building attending an antigay “Freedom March.”

The event billed itself on Facebook as an afternoon of “celebrating freedom from homosexual/transgender lifestyles by the grace and power of Jesus.”

Hall’s appearance there came mere weeks after he worked to squash a bill that would banned the widely discredited practice on minors in his state.

During the event, he received high praise from one of the organizers, who said, “He was instrumental in helping to shut this down,” regarding the proposed conversion therapy ban.

The bill passed in the state House but was in the state Senate back in May, with all Republicans voting against it.

67-year-old Hall has a long history of promoting antigay causes and making homophobic remarks. In 2012, for instance, he suggested anymore who supported same-sex marriage was unpatriotic.

And in 2013, he said he would “personally go to jail” before he would ever “perform a marriage to a homosexual.”

Also in 2013, Hall threw a temper tantrum at a Senate hearing after he says he was accused of being called a bully and a bigot for discriminating against LGBTQ people.

And just two weeks ago, he posted an article on Facebook sharing a bogus study claiming that there’s “no evidence people are born gay or transgender,” and quoting a section of the article that says queerness is the result of childhood sexual trauma.

In the past, Hall has also opposed things like equal pay for women and school integration.

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party released a statement denouncing his presence at last weekend’s homophobic “Freedom March.”

“It’s appalling that Senator Dan Hall attended an event supporting the bigoted and discredited practice of trying to pressure people into changing their sexual orientation,” Chairman Ken Martin said.

“It’s no wonder Hall and his fellow Senate Republicans voted down an attempt to ban conversion therapy in Minnesota,” Martin continued. “While Minnesotans overwhelmingly support their LGBTQ peers, it’s clear that Republicans remain mired in the prejudice and hate of the past.”

Related: Politician caught using gay slur refuses to apologize, accuses critics of attacking his religion


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Jana Shortal uses her on-air style to encourage others to be themselves

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Name: Jana Shortal

Who She Is: Lesbian news co-anchor at NBC-affiliate KARE 11’s “Breaking the News” in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

How She’s Contributed: In 2016, Shortal appeared on air with short curly hair, a blazer, a pocket square, pants, and a David Bowie t-shirt. Her look broke the unspoken “rules” of maintaining traditional gender norms on TV and inspired (and outraged) viewers by illustrating there are myriad ways a professional female can look.

Why We’re Proud: When Shortal first began working as a TV anchor in the early 2000s, she hid her sexuality because she didn’t know anyone else working as an openly gay woman in TV news.

Emulating the anchorwomen she saw on TV growing up, she maxed out her credit cards on stylish dresses, earrings, tall shoes, heavy makeup and bleaching her hair blonde. She felt that if she could just look like them, then it would be “the ultimate hall pass” to tell the stories she wanted to tell on TV.

But deep inside, she knew she was living a closeted life. And her exterior appearance began to feel like a prison. She knew she had to change. “It was no longer emotionally sustainable for me not to,” she said.

In an interview, Shortal says that she worried that if she dressed on the air like she wanted to, that she’d embarrass herself, that media writers would mock her for “going too far,” that her station managers wouldn’t allow it, that other journalists wouldn’t respect her and that viewers would yell for her to “dress like a girl,” shouting down the tiny amount of courage she had to be herself.

Gradually, in the mid-2000s, she began coming out in her personal life.

“It was scary,” Shortal said, “but it also wasn’t one giant moment. I came out slowly and carefully…. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in being out and in broadcast journalism, so I never made a major public declaration. I told friends and family and slowly came out. With some, it didn’t land well.”

Gradually, she stopped dying her hair blonde, stopped wearing dresses, dropped the jewelry and heavy makeup and began cutting her hair short and wearing clothes that reflected her own style.

In 2016, she landed her own show on Minneapolis’ KARE 11. With the support of her station, she started wearing clothes that reflected her true self. In one of her earliest on-air appearances at KARE, she wore a David Bowie t-shirt, a blazer, a pocket square, glasses, and short curly hair.

Shortal says, “Clothing became my expression…. I found that once I knew who I was on the inside, I could express how I felt to be on the outside. I dress how I feel. And so my clothes are a reflection of who I truly am now.”

After wearing her new look for the first time on air, she says viewers wrote and thanked her for showing a different way for women to dress. Some even sent her pocket squares to wear on the air. Now she regularly appears on TV as her authentic self and she’s never going back.

“You can’t have an authentic voice if you feel like you’re in a costume,” Shortal says. “I found that once I knew who I was on the inside, I could express how I felt to be on the outside. I dress how I feel. And so my clothes are a reflection of who I truly am now.”

“All I am is a daily reminder on their screens that [viewers] can be who they want to be,” she says, adding, “Honor yourself. Be yourself. Identify yourself. Don’t ask for permission from others because you will without a doubt find those who will doubt you or question you back into your corner…

…Give yourself permission, because you are the only one of you this world will ever get.”


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Twitter has a lot to say about that video of Aaron Schock stuffing dollars into a go-go boy’s briefs

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As you’ve likely heard by now, disgraced antigay former Republican Congressman Aaron Schock was caught on camera stuffing dollar bills into a stripper’s briefs at a Mexico City gay bar last weekend.

Related: WATCH: Video emerges of Aaron Schock hooking up with a guy at Coachella

While serving in as a U.S. Representative for Illinois’ 18th congressional district, Schock voted against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and for the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. He also voted against adding sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability to the federal hate crime protection groups.

Related: How do you solve a problem like the toxic white gays who party with Aaron Schock?

“The last person I would expect to see in Boy Bar is a former Republican congressman,” the person who filmed Schock graciously handing out the bills last weekend told The Daily Mail. “I was taking a video of the go-go dancer on stage and all of a sudden I saw him. He looked like he was enjoying himself.”

Naturally, Twitter has had quite a bit to say about it…

But it doesn’t stop there…

Shall we continue?

Related: Are those newly leaked Aaron Schock nudes you’ve been sharing revenge porn?


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After Supreme Court Decision, Gerrymandering Fix is Up to Voters

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In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court has ruled that partisan gerrymandering is not unconstitutional.

The majority ruled that gerrymandering is outside the scope and power of the federal courts to adjudicate. The issue is a political one, according to the court, not a legal one.

“Excessive partisanship in districting leads to results that reasonably seem unjust,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority decision. “But the fact that such gerrymandering is incompatible with democratic principles does not mean that the solution lies with the federal judiciary.”

So for now, partisan gerrymandering, in which politicians get to choose their voters rather than voters choose their representatives, will remain a fact of American political life.

What is the background to this decision? And what does the decision mean for democracy in the U.S.?

Cracking and packing

State legislatures have the constitutional responsibility to draw up the boundaries of congressional seats after the results of the census, which is conducted every 10 years.

In many states, if one party is in the majority at that time, they can use their power to manipulate the boundaries to their advantage. That’s called partisan gerrymandering, and it involves what’s referred to as “cracking and packing.”

Cracking spreads opposition voters thinly across many districts to dilute their power. Packing concentrates opposition voters in fewer districts to reduce the number of seats they can win.

Just one example: In 2012, Republicans in Ohio drew up congressional boundaries that packed most Democratic voters into just four of the 16 congressional districts. The 9th District was referred to as the “snake on the lake” as it slithered along the edge of Lake Erie from Cleveland to Toledo to pack in as many Democratic voters as possible.

The gerrymandered 9th Ohio U.S. Congressional District, known as ‘the snake on the lake.’
US Department of the Interior via Wikipedia

It worked. In the 2018 election, Ohio Republicans won just 52% of the votes but picked up 11 of 16 of the congressional seats.

I have researched the U.S. voting system, analyzed Supreme Court rulings and shown why gerrymandering is now more prevalent since the 1990s. Sophisticated computer programs and ever more detailed information on voters’ location and preferences now allow politicians to crack and pack with surgical precision.

In 2004, the Supreme Court effectively sanctioned gerrymandering. In Vieth v. Jubelirer, the court ruled 5-4 not to intervene in a case brought by Democrats in Pennsylvania over a redistricting plan they claimed was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

After the ruling, partisan gerrymandering increased, especially in the redistricting round after the 2010 census.

In 2017, and again in 2018, the Supreme Court passed up opportunities to decide upon the constitutional legality of gerrymandering by effectively punting on the cases.

In other cases, the court actively intervened.

Republican-controlled Shelby County, Alabama filed a case against the constitutionality of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The act had protected minority voters’ rights in the South from being diluted by gerrymandering and other methods. In the 2013 case Shelby v. Holder, the court overturned key elements of the act, in a 5-4 ruling. The ruling encouraged partisan gerrymandering in the states – Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia – previously under federal scrutiny for their legacy of discriminatory voting practices.

Mounting legal challenges

There have been other legal challenges to partisan gerrymandering.

In Virginia a Republican map drawn up in 2011 that packed many African American voters into just 11 of the state’s 100 House of Delegates districts was challenged. A federal judge saw racial gerrymandering at work and ordered a new map. A Republican challenge to that ruling came before the Supreme Court. The Republican challenge was dismissed on June 17, 2019.

The court’s decision in the Virginia case was not about whether the gerrymandering was unconstitutional. Instead, a 5-4 majority of the court ruled that the Virginia Republicans had no legal standing to mount the appeal when the state senate and the state attorney general had decided against appealing. The new map stood.

In Ohio, a three-judge federal panel ruled that the Republicans attempted to cement a Republican majority of congressional seats when they drew up new districts. The state legislature was ordered by the court to draw a new map for the 2020 election.

And in Michigan a panel of federal judges ruled that many of the state’s legislature districts were unconstitutional, drawn up to ensure a partisan advantage. No more snake on the lake.

The Supreme Court set aside these last two lower court rulings on May 24, 2019 in preparation for this recent decision. The two cases are now sent back to lower courts for dismissal. The snake on the lake lives on for another election cycle.

Maryland and North Carolina

Gerrymandering is especially rampant in Maryland and North Carolina. In both states powerful politicians admitted that their plan was to solidify their party’s control.

Republicans in North Carolina drew a map in 2016 to ensure control of 10 of the state’s 13 congressional districts. Democratic voters were overwhelmingly packed into three districts with the remainder cracked across the remaining 10.

Democrats in Maryland drew a map with gyrating boundaries in order to cement their 7-1 advantage in congressional seats.

When lower federal courts struck down these gerrymandered congressional district maps, politicians in both states appealed to the Supreme Court.

Arguments were heard on these cases in March 2019.

From the questioning, it appeared that the liberal justices – Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor – would rule against gerrymandering and the more conservative justices – Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch and Kavanaugh – were against the court getting involved.

The votes predictably split along the ideological divide.

In the majority opinion, combining the Maryland and North Carolina cases into one decision, the court’s conservative majority noted that existing measures of gerrymandering do not provide precise and judicially discernible standards. The opinion was authored by Chief Justice Roberts, who has long held the opinion that it is impossible to measure, let alone overcome, partisan gerrymandering.

Responding for the liberal minority, Justice Kagan read her dissent in open court – a sign of her intense disagreement with what she saw as the court’s unwillingness to uphold fair and free elections. She wrote that the decision “debased and dishonored our democracy.”

Now what?

Partisan gerrymandering will continue. But so will resistance against it, I believe.

There is a way for states to avoid gerrymandering. Newly formed, nonpartisan redistricting commissions, working outside the influence of the legislature to draw legislative district lines, already exist in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Montana and Washington.

These commissions resulted from citizen initiatives to reform the process. But most states east of the Mississippi, for instance, do not have a ballot initiative process that would allow voters to initiate reform.

Gerrymandering has a pernicious impact on the electoral system and on the wider democratic process. It encourages long-term incumbency and a consequent polarization of political discourse.

But now the Supreme Court has made it clear that the solution does not lie with federal judges.

It is up to the voters.

[ Thanks for reading! We can send you The Conversation’s stories every day in an informative email. Sign up today. ]

John Rennie Short, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The post After Supreme Court Decision, Gerrymandering Fix is Up to Voters appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Burger King Scorched a Whopper into Carbon and Made It into Diamond Wedding Rings for a Gay Couple: WATCH

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Burger King Germany had an original way to celebrate Pride. They scorched a Whopper burger until it was carbon and then pressed it into diamonds, creating a wedding ring for Dima and Alvar, an Eastern European couple from a country where gay marriage is illegal.

The Drum reports: ‘Burger King facilitated the wedding, brought them to Germany where gay marriage is legal and thoughtfully (or crassly?) transforms its lead product in a symbol of the couples’ love. The pair dubbed it a “dream come true” in a spot that culminates in the wedding celebration. Tying into the film, Burger King Germany is releasing a rainbow version of its crown in Berlin and is running an influencer campaign for further resonance.’

The post Burger King Scorched a Whopper into Carbon and Made It into Diamond Wedding Rings for a Gay Couple: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Megan Rapinoe says ‘go gays!’ after 2-goal performance against France

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An icon, honestly.

The United States women’s national team is advancing to the semifinals of the World Cup. There’s two elements to this: one, a tenacious defense that looked like they had decided on “death before dishonor” as their ethos for this game, and gay heartthrob Megan Rapinoe.

Rapinoe dropped two goals on France over the course of a tense game played out in the sticky heat currently swamping Paris. The first was an early olimpico, the ball somehow scooting through a sea of legs and into the goal.

The second was a well-worked ball that exposed a giant lapse in the French defense as Alex Morgan played in Tobin Heath, whose pass cut across the box found Rapinoe as open as Julie Andrews larking through the hills of Austria.

If you couldn’t believe how open Pinoe was, neither could she. “I was like this is not falling to me right now,” she said in the mixed zone. “I actually had so much time to think I was like oh my god, just bang it home.”

She did bang it home, and with Wendie Renard snatching a header back for France, it ended up being the game winner. That’s particularly satisfying for Rapinoe fans who spent this week basically telling a certain someone to keep Rapinoe’s name out of his mouth. Rapinoe didn’t mention him by name at all in the mixed zone though, even when asked if it felt particularly good to emerge as one of the heroes of this game after being disparaged by a high profile idiot.

“I think there’s always satisfaction,” she said of her goals and the win. “I don’t really get energized by haters or all that. I feel like there’s so many more people who love so I’m like, hey, you love me, this is great. I’m more energized by that.”

In fact, it meant more to Rapinoe that this performance came during LGBTQ Pride Month, and the night before the Paris Pride march.

“Go gays,” Rapinoe said emphatically, flashing double peace signs in front of the assembled press. “You can’t win a championship without gays on your team, it’s pretty much never been done before ever. Science, right there.” She grinned as she said it, perhaps only halfway facetious.

Rapinoe added, “I think, not the haters, but yeah, I’m motivated by people like me and people who are fighting for the same things and I take more energy from that than trying to prove everyone wrong all the time. That’s sort of draining to me. So yeah, to be gay and fabulous during pride month at the World Cup is nice.”

Gay: check. Fabulous: big double check. From Megan Rapinoe to all the queer soccer fans out there, that one was for you.


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Everything you need to know about Jimmy Butler’s free agency

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Will he stay with the 76ers, or join his fourth team in three years?

Two trades in two seasons later, Jimmy Butler finally played a star’s role for a contender as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. They came up just short, but Butler did all he could.

A four-headed beast of Butler, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris played just a half season together. They were then knocked out in the conference semifinals by a Game 7 Kawhi Leonard buzzer-beater. Playing for a winning team had been a priority for Butler, and this was his best chance to see one through.

Putting that team together was a rushed attempt by the 76ers to compete for a title, and it came with massive risks. Butler’s expiring contract was one of them. Now, he’s an unrestricted free agent, able to sign anywhere he pleases.

Nobody seems to know where that might be.

The latest rumors

Butler’s free agency had been mostly a mystery until rumors surfaced that the Rockets could lure him in via a sign-and-trade. How that’d work — and if the Sixers would be willing to help Houston make the move — is unclear, but it’s the most active buzz surrounding his future. The Sixers still want to bring Butler back and can offer him a fifth year, but nobody knows what he’s thinking just yet.

How did we get here?

Butler was traded from the Chicago Bulls, the team that drafted him, in the summer of 2017 as the team went into a rebuild. Butler founded the “Timberbulls” collection of former Bulls to play in Minnesota under former Chicago coach Thibodeau. That team — which included Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose — made the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons, but lost to the Rockets in the opening round of the playoffs, 4-1. They weren’t a championship roster.

That led Butler to request a trade that the Timberwolves didn’t honor until after the 2018-19 season started. That didn’t sit well with the all-star, so he made one of the most dramatic stands ever. The saga hit its peak during the preseason, when the guard took center stage at a practice, ran a scrimmage with the team’s third-string players, and yelled “You (bleeping) need me. You can’t win without me” at Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden. The day concluded with a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, during which Butler laid out his broken relationship with the Wolves.

That day ended any hopes that Minnesota could hold onto Butler, and he was traded weeks later to the Sixers.

In Philly, Butler played a leader’s role as the team’s most senior star, and commanded the crunch-time moments despite early friction with Embiid and Simmons. He sunk two buzzer-beaters in the first seven games with his new team, and continued on to finish second on the team in scoring per night. In the playoffs, Butler was debatably the team’s best player, but they fell short to the eventual champions on Leonard’s last-second shot.

Is knowing that the Sixers were that close to to the Finals enough to keep him back, or is there a clearer path to a title elsewhere? Butler’s free agency is a mystery.

Further reading


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Is it Beyoncé’s fault the 49ers lost their only Super Bowl appearance in the last 25 years?

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It’s always fun to find someone to blame.

Sometimes, one play, one moment, one decision can change everything — or maybe only a little bit. Either way, it can be fun to imagine the various timelines if one thing had gone differently. SB Nation NFL is looking at those hypotheticals, alternate universes, and made-up scenarios in our second annual “What If?” week. You can follow along with every story here.

When Beyoncé took the stage at Super Bowl 47, the San Francisco 49ers were already in a 21-6 hole. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw three first-half touchdowns and the San Francisco offense was struggling to keep up.

The good news for the 49ers was they had a propensity for picking up the pace after halftime. San Francisco outscored opponents by 28 points in the first half in 2012 and 114 points in the second half. Just two weeks before the Super Bowl, they clawed back from a 17-0 deficit to beat the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.

So while Beyoncé was out performing an extravagant halftime show with a mini Destiny’s Child reunion, San Francisco was prepping for its comeback.

The hole only got deeper for the 49ers, though. The second half of the Super Bowl started with Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones taking the kickoff back 108 yards for a touchdown.

Then the lights went out.

While the 49ers were in the middle of a drive into Ravens’ territory, a section of the stadium lights shut down. Initial reports were that Beyoncé’s performance may have been the reason for the outage.

The game was delayed for 34 minutes and when it finally restarted the 49ers failed to convert a third down. They finally got things going on their next possession and rattled off 17 straight points before the end of the third quarter, but the Ravens held off the surge in the fourth.

So what would’ve happened if the blackout never happened?

“We’d have won that,” 49ers wide receiver Ted Ginn told Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe in May. “Yeah we gave them time. We warm up, get back right. … We were over there like, ‘Hurry, get the power back on.’ We were ready to go.”

That seems … uh … optimistic.

The 49ers outscored the Ravens, 25-6, in the 28 or so minutes after the blackout. Colin Kaepernick found his form and the Ravens dialed back the pass-heavy attack that gave them a big lead in the first place. But if any team should have a gripe about a swing in momentum after the power outage, it’s Baltimore.

“It really hurt us. We had lot of momentum,” Ravens fullback Vonta Leach told reporters after the game. “We were rolling. That 35- or 40-minute wait, whatever it was, hurt our momentum as far as what we were trying to do. But we came out on top and that’s all that matters.”

San Francisco can blame its inability to slow down Flacco or start a game strong for losing the Super Bowl. Pointing the finger at Beyoncé — who didn’t even cause the blackout — doesn’t make any sense.


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‘Tales of the City’ Actor Garcia talks Anna Madrigal, Trans Representation and a Secret From Barbary Lane [Interview]

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Today, fans of the original Tales of the City can stream the first installment on Netflix. The streaming giant added the original PBS miniseries to its offerings just weeks after launching a reboot of the iconic series.

You’ll recognize many faces appearing in both the old and new versions, including stars Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis, but the latest incarnation of the series is notable for its embrace of diversity, inclusion and representation. Righting one of the original series’ most glaring flaws, the new Tales introduced a generation of Barbary Lane residents that is more diverse in terms of race, gender and sexuality.

Among those new residents is Jake, a trans man navigating his sexuality and relationships, played by mononymous non-binary actor Garcia. Tales marks the young actor’s first major screen role.

We spoke with them about the experience, the importance of representation and one secret they have from Barbary Lane. Light spoilers follow.

Check out what Garcia had to say below!

Congratulations on the new Tales of the City. Your story in particular was so impactful.

Thank you.

Had you seen the originals or read the books before joining the project? How familiar were you with the material?

I had no familiarity. As soon as I got the audition, I started doing research on it. That’s how I found out the history behind it. When I booked it, my agent gave me the first book. I started reading it, I got maybe halfway through the second book, but then school started, and I didn’t have as much time to read for pleasure. I plan on reading the rest of them. Hopefully I get to them this summer.

What are some ways you and Jake are similar, and how are you different?

Well, I’m not a nurse, I know that much. And that’s pretty much the biggest difference, to be honest with you. I’m really honored to play him. I got the audition, I read the description , and I was like ‘Holy sh*t, someone wants to write about ME!’ Not in a specific sense, but in a sense of how I feel and what I’ve been going through. It really gave me this assurance that I’m not the only one … A lot more similarities than differences!

Do you have any memories of seeing queer characters that really affected?

Growing up, I don’t remember being impacted by many. There was this movie Thirteen. It’s about 13-year-old girls. One of them is a badass, the other one wants to be her friend, she wants to be just like her. They develop this friendship. They get really high one day, and that was one of the first queer kisses I ever saw. I took that as truth. Fast-forward to my freshman year of high school and this girl I was dating at the time asked if I had ever seen Boys Don’t Cry. I said no, and then there I was watching Boys Don’t Cry, not being really thrown off by it. I later learned that wasn’t the best representation of queer people, but, again, I took it as truth. Like oh, people like that exist. A lot of people learn things from the media and what they watch. There’s that statistic that’s like 80 percent of people got their knowledge about trans people from the media. So, when you have trans people misrepresented, that’s going to affect how people view us and treat us.

Then you have a show like Tales that does it well. They talk about queer people, but not just as their identities. I’m not just a trans person. That’s not all I am. I have feelings, I have relationships. Tales does a really good job of talking about queer people as people, and not just as these weird boxes we have to check off. We also know the original Tales, but we’ve seen it, and we know that story. We know what it means to be a white, gay man in San Francisco. But what does it mean to be a trans person of color or a queer person of color? What does that story look like? Even within queer people of color, we all have different backgrounds and cultures. How do our backgrounds and cultures play into our queerness?

There’s been a lot of discussion about the importance of trans actors playing trans characters. Can you talk about the importance of that as both an artist and a viewer?

What I’m hearing more often than not is that we don’t want straight people playing queer people, because it’s inauthentic. I’m still struggling to figure out how I feel about that specific idea. Because what is acting? Because the queer community has not been given many roles, when they cast them the problems come into play. I read this article about all these Latinx movies and all these white people playing these Latinx characters. There were like twenty something movies on this list! That’s insane. That’s lack of representation and diversity within the industry. We already know who’s dominating the industry. We already know that story. It gets frustrating as a trans person when you’re trying to get your foot in the door as an actor, and you want to be treated as such. They want to write the roles, but they don’t want to give it to you. You can’t want to write about it and then not include us. It becomes that weird thing, like are you writing about us because it’s in right now? Because it’s cool? If you leave us out of the room, out of the conversation, you don’t really care about us. You don’t really care about being inclusive, you don’t care about being an ally. You’re just doing it to benefit off us in this capitalistic way. I think that trans people right now need to play trans roles, or, depending how they identify, can also play cisgender roles. Once we are no longer being killed at an alarming rate, living in poverty, being attacked by the government, once we have all our basic human rights, THEN it’s like who gives a sh*t about who plays what? But we have much longer to get there.

Did you have any conversations with Olympia Dukakis as two actors both playing trans characters?

I had talked about it with some of the EPs on the show, and the argument was that she’d been grandmothered in, she’s reprising her role. It already has a cult following, it already has a history before I was around. The older gays love Olympia, they love Anna Madrigal. It’s exciting for them to see that. Then you see episode eight with the flashback, and it’s done properly. Jen Richards is playing her, and she’s a phenomenal trans actress. It’s wonderful to see that care was put in, and I don’t think that anyone on Tales has any bad intentions. It’s all done with rhyme and reason, and I support it. All the care that was put into making the show, all these writers and directors that are part of the queer community, it’s all done with care. There’s nothing that I ever read or saw or heard that made me cringe once. Tales is telling multiple queer stories across the spectrum, but that’s still not all of them. I’m interested in all the other queer stories that are going to be told because of Tales.

Tales is a story all about secrets. What’s one secret from Barbary Lane you can share that viewers wouldn’t know otherwise?

You know how that person carried Olympia inside the house [in the final episode]? That ain’t me, gurl! Hell no! Are you kidding me? I would have to get a personal trainer to carry her from her chair into the house, into the bed, no way. That was not me!

You can stream the original Tales of the City and the new reboot now on Netflix.

The post ‘Tales of the City’ Actor Garcia talks Anna Madrigal, Trans Representation and a Secret From Barbary Lane [Interview] appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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10:46 AM 6/28/2019 – Republican Party: What happened? – Google Search | Mr. Trump obviously looks and feels quite uncomfortable at his G20 Trumpistan Kabuki Thearter show, despite the soothing and familiar presence, quite in tone with the settings, of the old friends, the Erdogans.

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Republican Party: What happened? – Google Search


10:46 AM 6/28/2019

Mr. Trump obviously looks and feels quite uncomfortable at his G20 Trumpistan Kabuki Thearter show, despite the soothing and familiar presence, quite in tone with the settings, of the old friends, the Erdogans. 


From: FoxNewsChannel
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Republican Party: What happened? – Google Search

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G20: Trump überrascht souveräne Merkel mit Schmeicheleien – Putin meckert – YouTube

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Merkel’s Body Shakes in Public for Second Time in 10 Days – Video

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Trump tells Putin: don’t meddle in the US presidential election – video

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Asked by a reporter at the G20 summit in Japan whether he would raise the issue of electoral interference during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, the US president says: ‘Yes, of course I will.’ He then points his finger at Putin and gives the directive twice while pointing at him and smiling, appearing to make light of a scandal that led to a two-year investigation into his campaign’s contact with the Kremlin in 2016. Putin smiles without comment throughout

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Trump tells Putin: don’t meddle in the US presidential election – video | US news

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Asked by a reporter at the G20 summit in Japan whether he would raise the issue of electoral interference during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, the US president says: ‘Yes, of course I will.’ He then points his finger at Putin and gives the directive twice while pointing at him and smiling, appearing to make light of a scandal that led to a two-year investigation into his campaign’s contact with the Kremlin in 2016. Putin smiles without comment throughout

The FBI is investigating possible corruption in the way Puerto Rico handled government contracts

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The FBI is investigating allegations of corruption against the government of Puerto Rico in how it dealt with handing out government contracts.

Here’s what we know

This week, several new developments have emerged in the potential corruption scandal.
On Monday, Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rosselló (D) asked his Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado to resign. Maldonado had gone on a local radio station and talked about the existence of what he called an “institutional mafia” in the Puerto Rican government. He claimed to have been offered bribes on multiple occasions.
Rosselló claimed that he had lost faith in Maldonado, but denied that the call for his resignation was directly related to the comments Moldonado had made on the radio.
Maldonado’s son responded by calling Rosselló “corrupt” on social media.
On Tuesday, Puerto Rico Chief of Staff Ricardo Llerandi accepted the resignation of the man in charge of Puerto Rico’s Health Insurance Administration. According to ABC News, Llerandi appeared before a federal grand jury shortly before this to testify regarding a consultant for a company that oversaw the Health Insurance Administration.
On Thursday, Dougless Leff, the FBI special agent in charge of the bureau’s San Juan Field Office, told Radio Isla that the FBI was conducting a probe into accusations of favoritism and corruption related to government contracts. He said it that it was possible that this would lead to some arrests. Leff has led the San Juan Field Office since he was appointed to the post by former-FBI Director James Comey in December 2015.
While Leff did not not give specifics, he did indicate that the probe would be widespread. “It’s fair to say that this is going to be a very busy summer for us,” he said, according to Bloomberg News.

Israel GPS disruptions and electronic warfare – Google Search

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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Lawfare (blog)2 hours ago
Russia denies Israeli suggestions that it is responsible for the disruption of GPS … The disruptionappears to have been traced to Russian “electronic warfare” …
Story image for Israel GPS disruptions and electronic warfare from New York Post

Israel says Russia behind GPS failures at Ben Gurion Airport

New York Post3 hours ago
Israel says Russia behind GPS failures at Ben Gurion Airport … of being behind mysterious GPS disruptions affecting flights around Ben Gurion Airport, … The interference appears to be the result of electronic warfare known as “spoofing,” …
Story image for Israel GPS disruptions and electronic warfare from The Times of Israel (blog)

Wave of incendiary balloons spark at least 24 fires in southern Israel

The Times of Israel (blog)5 hours ago
The union filed a labor grievance two weeks ago over longstanding delays in …. the airplanes’ GPSreception appears to stem from a form of electronic warfare …
Story image for Israel GPS disruptions and electronic warfare from Leadership Newspaper (press release) (blog)

Russia Denies Role In Israeli Airport GPS Jamming

Leadership Newspaper (press release) (blog)5 hours ago
Russia has denied Israeli suggestions that it is behind disruption of GPS signals at … The disruptionwas linked to “electronic warfare” systems Russia used to …
Story image for Israel GPS disruptions and electronic warfare from The Times of Israel (blog)

Acre ammonia leak not yet contained, residents told to stay indoors

The Times of Israel (blog)6 hours ago
In