Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo join HBO film about AIDS

Written by AP Monday, 07 January 2013 16:00

Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo will star in an HBO movie adaptation of “The Normal Heart,” the play about the onset of the AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s.

HBO said that Ryan Murphy, maker of “Eat Pray Love” and the TV show “Glee,” will direct the film.

Some fans say Burning Man ticket price burns

Written by AP Monday, 07 January 2013 11:54

Tickets for the Burning Man festival in northern Nevada will soon go on sale, and some veteran participants complain the new prices are too steep.

Organizers of the eclectic art and music festival announced that an allotment of 51,000 individual tickets will be available for $380 each. 

Kansas case highlights legal issues for sperm donors

Written by AP Monday, 07 January 2013 05:49

Experts believe a Kansas sperm donor being sued by the state for child support put himself in a precarious legal position by getting involved in a lesbian couple’s do-it-yourself artificial insemination.

Kansas law states that a sperm donor is not the father of a child if a doctor handles the artificial insemination. But the law does not specifically address the donor’s rights and obligations when no doctor was involved.

Cher in development deal with Logo television

Written by WiG Sunday, 06 January 2013 10:41

Logo, the LGBT-focused cable TV channel owned by Viacom, is in a development deal with Cher to produce a new series about 1960s Hollywood, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Logo announced the project yesterday at the Television Critics Association press tour. Terms of the deal were not revealed, but a Logo official said Cher is collaborating with comedian Ron Zimmerman to create a pilot script. Zimmerman, who’s been romantically linked to Cher in recent years, includes “Shake It Up!” and “‘Til Death” among his recent TV writing credits.

Hagel nominated for defense secretary

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Monday, 07 January 2013 14:53

President Barack Obama formally nominated former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense, saying Hagel is "the leader that our troops deserve."

Obama made the announcement in the White House East Room on Jan. 7 even as critics questioned the pick over issues including Hagel's views on Israel and Iran and his old record on LGBT issues.

NC appeals ruling on anti-abortion license plate

Written by AP Monday, 07 January 2013 09:49

The state of North Carolina is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that it can’t offer anti-abortion license plates unless it also makes plates available for people who support abortion rights.

The state filed notice late last week that it’s appealing the decision last month by Judge James Fox, who said offering just the one license plate violates the First Amendment. The state’s notice included no comment beyond the appeal.

‘Irresistible’ woman asks court to rehear firing case

Written by AP Monday, 07 January 2013 05:39

A dental assistant fired because her boss thought she was too attractive wants the Iowa Supreme Court to reconsider its decision rejecting her discrimination lawsuit.

Melissa Nelson’s attorney asked the all-male court late last week to withdraw its Dec. 21 ruling, which she called a “significant blow to gender equality.”

Quick push for same-sex marriage in Illinois gets set back

Written by AP Sunday, 06 January 2013 08:06

Hopes that Illinois could quickly become the 10th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage bogged down last Thursday when the bill’s Democratic supporters backed off plans to hold a full Senate vote on it and went home after Friday’s scheduled session was canceled.

Same-sex marriage advocates entered the lame-duck session last Wednesday with high expectations of passing a bill by the assembly’s Jan. 9 curtain. Backers were riding a wave of momentum from successes during the November elections as well as public encouragement from President Barack Obama.

Supreme Court sets March dates for marriage arguments

Written by WiG Monday, 07 January 2013 11:59

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, on March 26.

Gay marriage remains a tough sell in Illinois

Written by SARA BURNETT,
AP writer
Monday, 07 January 2013 07:33

The stalling of Illinois’ gay-marriage push – at least for now – shows the difficulty of approving legislation to legalize it, even with a nudge from the home-state president, steadily rising support in the polls and national momentum from the November elections.

Democrats control both chambers of the General Assembly and the governor’s office in the solidly blue state. Yet the margin of support Senate Democrats were able to pull together for a bill last week was so thin that a death in one lawmaker’s family and another senator’s extended trip to Israel were enough to push the issue into the next legislative session.

Indiana lawmaker wants Lord’s Prayer in schools

Written by AP Monday, 07 January 2013 05:13

A Republican state senator is pushing for Indiana’s public school students to start the school day by reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Senate education committee chairman Dennis Kruse of Auburn has filed legislation that would let school districts require the prayer to be recited, but would also grant broad exemptions.

A Springfield, Ill., priest is on administrative leave after calling 911 to report that he was unable to remove a pair of handcuffs he’d been “playing with.”

Father Tom Donovan placed a 911 call on Nov. 28 from the rectory of St. Aloysius Parish asking for help getting out of the cuffs “before this becomes a medical emergency.”