WiGWag: News with a twist

Public proposal

A sailor on the USS New Mexico proposed to his boyfriend in front of about 200 people who were gathered at the submarine base to welcome the boat home from its first deployment. Dylan Kirchner told the Day of New London that he didn’t care that everybody was watching when Machinist’s Mate Jerrel Revels dropped to one knee and popped the question. 

Guns welcome at starbucks

Pro-gun advocates gathered in Starbucks’ stores in August to show their appreciation for the company’s decision to allow weapons inside its locations in states where it’s legal. “Starbucks Appreciation Day” events occurred nationwide, including in Newton, Conn. “Our stores are gathering places for the communities we serve and we respect the diverse views of our customers,” said Zack Hutson. But Starbucks bans free-distribution publications, including this one, from its corporate-owned stores.

Love in the air

New Zealanders Lynley Bendall and Ally Wanikau walked down the aisle of an airplane to exchange vows, becoming one of their nation’s first couple’s to get hitched following the enactment of a new law on Aug. 19. The seatbelt-fasten signs were off. The two have been together 13 years and have  three foster children. Along for the ride was “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Oyez, oyez: An opera

Composer Derrick Wang looked to the U.S. capital to inspire his latest work, an opera about two people who’ve forged a friendship despite being adversaries at work – Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, the tenor, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the soprano. Both justices share a love for opera, and they previewed ”Scalia/Ginsburg,” a work in progress, the day after the Court released its rulings on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

Out in the ring

Darren Young became the first WWE pro wrestler to publicly come out as gay. When TMZ asked if he thought a gay wrestler could be successful in WWE, he said, “Absolutely. Look at me. I’m a WWE Superstar and, to be honest with you, right now, I’ll tell you I’m gay and I’m happy. Very happy.” WWE issued a statement supporting Young’s decision to come out. 

How hot?

It’s been so hot in China this month that people are frying bacon on manhole covers, eggs are hatching without incubators and a highway billboard caught fire. The heat wave has been the worst in more than a century, with temps reaching 104 degrees and forcing authorities to issue the emergency declaration usually reserved for typhoons.

Travel plans

Fleeing homosexuality and abortion in the United States, a Christian family got lost at sea. Hannah Gastonguay and her family set sail from San Diego for the tiny south Pacific island nation of Kiribati in May. The family, including an infant, hit storms that left them adrift for weeks until they were rescued. Apparently they didn’t realize Kiribati is disappearing under rising ocean levels due to global warming. Leaders are seeking to move its population.

Dangerous territory

New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner aka Carlos Danger called an opponent “grandpa” at a candidates’ forum sponsored by AARP. The 48-year-old Weiner got into it with 69-year-old George McDonald. Weiner said McDonald had “anger” issues. When McDonald angrily replied that he did not, Weiner said, “Yes, you do, Grandpa.” AARP called the remark “unfortunate.”

Lard lump

A London utility company in early August reported finding a 15-ton blob of congealed fat and baby wipes in a sewer drain. The “fatberg” built up over about six months, according to Thames Water. The blockage was discovered after residents were unable to flush their toilets. 

Minor mistake

A Minor League Baseball team affiliated with the Minnesota Twins admits staging a rejection of a marriage proposal as a publicity stunt. Between innings at a Rock Cats game in New Britain, Conn., a man and a woman were on the field for a trivia contest. On the third question, fans heard the man propose and then heard the woman say, “I’m sorry, I can’t, I’m sorry,” before she fled the field. 

Russia? no way!

Out celebrity Andy Cohen has resigned as co-host of the 2013 Miss Universe competition, scheduled for Nov. 9 in Moscow. Cohen hosted the 2011 and 2012 pageants and was booked to return this year. But he said that he fears for his safety in Russia, which has criminalized gay behavior as well as public support for gay rights. 

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