Tag Archives: Cameron

ACLU: Time for a “Modern Family” gay marriage

The ACLU is lobbying for the gay couple on “Modern Family” to get married.

ACLU Action started a campaign to urge the show’s producers to write a wedding episode for Mitchell and Cameron, fathers of an adopted child and one of three couples at the heart of the show.

The ACLU says it is appealing to the fictional family to draw more attention to the real issue as it awaits U.S. Supreme Court decisions on two important marriage equality cases.

“Mitch and Cam are a couple that America has come to know and love, and seeing them get married, and seeing the characters in the story grapple with their desire to get married, makes it real for a bigger part of America,” said James Esseks, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project at the ACLU.

Supporters are invited to “RSVP” to the wedding online. The ACLU plans to deliver the online “guest list” to the show’s producers but said it had not yet contacted the show.

Esseks said the petition was a departure for the group, but that along with filing lawsuits, lobbying for bills or organizing ballot initiatives, the group saw public education and changing the culture as part of its mission. He applauded what “Modern Family” has done already for public perception of gay couples.

“It’s a popular show, they’re a lovable, very real couple, and it would be great to see them walk down the aisle,” he said.

ABC referred questions to 20th Century Fox Studios, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Show creator Steven Levitan tweeted a link to the campaign with a simple “Wow.” Jessie Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitchell, tweeted: “Love this! Thank you ACLU! Maybe once Prop 8 is overturned!”

On the web …


HIV-positive porn star stands by story

A clinic frequented by porn stars stood by findings that an adult film actor contracted HIV through personal sexual activity, contradicting his claims that he was infected through work.

Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation spokeswoman Jennifer Miller said the San Fernando Valley clinic stands by its testing, which resulted in the quarantine of an unknown number of actors and found no other cases of the disease.

“It’s going to come down to ‘he said, she said,’” said Miller.

At a news conference, Derrick Burts came forward for the first time since news of his illness rattled the multibillion dollar adult film industry and shut down a handful of productions for several weeks earlier this year.

Burts, previously known as Patient Zeta, said he was identifying himself after reading last month that Miller said his illness was contracted outside the porn industry “through private, personal activity.” Productions resumed after Miller’s announcement.

Burts said that he was faithful to his HIV-negative girlfriend except for his work, and that he believes he was infected during a shoot in Florida. He said he used condoms for intercourse, but they aren’t foolproof and he may have contracted the disease through other on-camera sexual contact.

The boyishly handsome 24-year-old, who performed in straight films as Cameron Reid and gay films as Derek Chambers, broke down in tears while recalling the frustration he felt after his diagnosis.

The clinic failed to return calls, e-mails and text messages for weeks, Burts said, adding: “I felt neglected. AIM wasn’t there to protect me.”

Burts said instead of providing the follow-up he needed, Miller, who is also the clinic’s HIV/STD counselor, advised him to avoid media, change his phone number and leave town.

In a statement, lawyers for AIM said Patient Zeta was offered counseling, test results and information on how to get treatment.

“Any statements made by Patient Zeta which portray AIM as not providing appropriate and proper services are not truthful and are self-serving,” the clinic’s statement said.

When he first began working in the industry in June, Burts said agents “loved my look and said I had money written all over me.”

He said he began to have doubts about the business after contracting chlamydia, gonorrhea and herpes in his first month of work, but was convinced to keep working.

“I wasn’t stupid or oblivious, I knew what was out there. But it’s not something you think about when they fill your head” with lucrative offers and promises that the work is safe, he said.

Burts said after his initial diagnosis Oct. 9, the clinic conducted a follow-up test and began testing performers he’d worked with since he lasted tested negative for HIV on Sept. 3.

On Oct. 23, the positive diagnosis was confirmed, and he said the clinic had traced his infection to an HIV-positive performer with whom he had worked.

After weeks of no response from the clinic, on Nov. 24 Burts said he visited an AIDS Healthcare Foundation center in Los Angeles but didn’t identify himself as Patient Zeta.

Burts contacted the head of the organization last week and identified himself as Patient Zeta, as first reported by The Los Angeles Times. He said he wanted to speak out in favor of enforcing mandatory condom use in porn productions.

“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” said Burts. “We need to come up with a system that works.”