Kathy Griffin behaved during her New Year’s Eve broadcast, and kept from being yanked off the air as she warned would happen if she relapsed into bad language.
The comic set a resolution for 2011 — taking on a new Palin in the new year.
“I’ve already gone for Sarah, Todd and Bristol obviously,” Griffin tells The Hollywood Reporter. “But I think it’s Willow’s year to go down.”
“In 2011 I want to offend a new Palin,” she vows.
While the daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is 16, Griffin feels she’s fair game, pointing to Palin’s widely reported use of homophobic slurs on Facebook in November.
“She’s called people a faggot on Facebook a couple of times,” says Griffin. “You don’t throw around the f-word without hearing from me about it.”
Another resolution included “going to church more.”
from The Hollywood Reporter
Archive for January 3rd, 2011
Kathy Griffin behaved during her New Year’s Eve broadcast, and kept from being yanked off the air as she warned would happen if she relapsed into bad language.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – A federal lawsuit filed against the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles after it denied a request to create a specialty license plate for a group that serves gay teens has been dismissed.
The action paves the way for the Indiana Youth Group to file a new request for a plate, said its executive director, Mary Byrne.
Specialty license plates are prized because they can bring in considerable funds and raise the public profile of sponsoring organizations.
Byrne said the Indiana Youth Group — twice denied in its request for a plate — is hopeful that its third application will win approval.
“Basically, what they said is that if we submit a new application and make it perfectly clear that we will not use any of the money for administrative expenses — that all the money will go to programming — it is likely we will be able to get a license plate,” she said.
Dennis Rosebrough, spokesman for the BMV, confirmed that the suit, filed Sept. 23 in U.S. District Court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, has been dismissed. But he said terms of the agreement are confidential, and he couldn’t discuss details.
The Indianapolis-based group, which works with youths across the state, claimed in the suit that the BMV uses arbitrary and unconstitutional standards to approve or deny plates for nonprofits. The BMV countered that the group was turned down because it failed to provide evidence that its services have a statewide impact and planned to use the license plate funds to pay staff salaries. Rules prohibit using proceeds from the plates for operating expenses.
“We’ll have to start the application process all over, and it was a lot — a lot — of work,” said Byrne. “But, bottom line, this is what we wanted: to know why we weren’t OK’d and a chance to try again.”
Byrne said one of the first tasks will be collecting pledges from at least 500 people who will buy the plates. In its 2009 application, the group provided 950 signatures.
If the Indiana Youth Group is successful in a new application, Byrne said proceeds from the sale of its plates will help support programming for an estimated 3,000 young Hoosiers. The new revenue is critical for the small nonprofit, which operates with an annual budget of about $250,000.
Founded in 1987, the Indiana Youth Group provides a variety of services and support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youths. It operates a youth center in Indianapolis, presents workshops and training across the state for students, teachers, counselors and community groups, and supports gay-straight student alliances at about 30 Indiana high schools.
“Young people who are going through this really need a safe place where they can go. Without that, the isolation and the effects of that isolation can be mammoth in their lives,” said Byrne. “What we’re trying to do is create a place that helps them find like people and services so they know they are not alone.”
Indiana motorists can choose from 78 specialty plates and will have 11 new plates this year. Groups can charge a fee of up to $25 per plate. In addition, the BMV charges a $15 fee that goes to the state.
However, approval often is contentious. In recent years, the BMV has rejected many requests, including those submitted by the Marine Corps League, the Indiana Bicycle Coalition and the Alzheimer’s Association.
In 2006, the BMV approved a plate supporting a polarizing issue: Money from the “Choose Life” license plate goes to the Indiana Association of Pregnancy Centers, which seeks to persuade pregnant women to choose adoption or other alternatives to abortion.
from The Indianapolis Star
Gay Teens Group Sues For License Plates
ST. GEORGE, UTAH — Some disapproving classmates called members of the new club “Satanists.” Another asked one of the girls involved, “Do you have a disease?”
But at three local high schools here this fall, dozens of gay students and their supporters finally convened the first Gay-Straight Alliances in the history of this conservative, largely Mormon city. It was a turning point here and for the state, where administrators, teachers and even the Legislature have tried for years to block support groups for gay youths, calling them everything from inappropriate to immoral.
The new alliances in St. George were part of a drastic rise this fall in the number of clubs statewide, reflecting new activism by gay and lesbian students, an organizing drive by a gay rights group and the intervention of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has threatened to sue districts that put up arbitrary hurdles. Last January, only 9 high schools in Utah had active Gay-Straight Alliances; by last month, the number had reached 32.
The alliances must still work around a 2007 state law that was expressly intended to stifle them by requiring parental permission to join and barring any discussions of sexuality or contraception, even to prevent diseases.
Gayle Ruzicka, president of the Utah Eagle Forum, a conservative family group, promoted the law. Its authors expected, she said, that requiring parental permission would deter some children from joining the alliances and that restricting topics for discussion would mean that “there’s not a lot of purpose in being there, and the clubs end up being pretty small.”
“I just don’t think these clubs are appropriate in schools,” Ms. Ruzicka said. “You can talk about providing support, but you’re also creating a gay recruiting tool.”
But members of the new clubs said they were undaunted by the restrictions, which they said showed a misunderstanding of what the alliances meant for students who had often lived with fear and shame — at home and at school.
Kate Hanson, a 15-year-old bisexual sophomore at Snow Canyon High School, said that having the alliance “helps you realize that there are others like you and there are people who support you.”
“I was so excited when I heard we could have a G.S.A.,” she said. “I just thought it would be a fun club.”
With the increase in alliances, Utah is joining a growing national movement to provide friendly meeting places in schools for students who have often felt like misfits, clubs where gay youths and their supporters can socialize, speak out against discrimination and sponsor events like the Day of Silence in honor of bullied students.
Since the first club was formed in Massachusetts in 1988, by a gay boy and a straight girl with same-sex parents who were tired of being stigmatized, the organizations have spread to most of the country, reaching more than 4,000 high schools and even a handful of middle schools by 2008. The clubs are surging anew after recent publicized suicides of gay teenagers, said Eliza Byard, director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network in New York.
The struggles of the alliances in Utah are known to advocates around the country. In 1997, when Salt Lake City school officials discovered that they could not single out alliances for a ban, they took the extraordinary step of outlawing all extracurricular clubs in district schools.
That move drew national attention and helped spur the creation of new alliances in other states, said Carolyn Laub, director of the GSA Network, a group based in California that provides leadership training.
The Salt Lake district eventually backed down, but as of last January, only nine clubs were active in the state, six of those in the capital.
Publicity about the breakthrough in St. George, an isolated city in the red-bluff desert of southwest Utah, has inspired students in other parts of the state, and by last month at least 32 clubs were operating, said Eric Hamren of the Utah Pride Center in Salt Lake City. He spent last spring and summer locating and training student organizers, finding some of them at the annual Queer Prom that his organization puts on for gay and lesbian students around the state.
But resistance continues. Some schools are still imposing legally shaky barriers, like requiring the unanimous approval of student officers or prohibiting activities that violate “community morals,” said Darcy Goddard, legal director of the A.C.L.U. of Utah.
As she did in St. George last year, Ms. Goddard has warned officials that such policies may violate the federal Equal Access Act— a law passed by Congress in the 1980s, mainly to protect Bible study groups in schools, that has become a prime tool for protecting Gay-Straight Alliances from arbitrary hurdles.
In 2007, conservative groups pushed through the state Student Clubs Act, still on the books, that was aimed at the alliances and reflected what rights groups called misleading stereotypes.
The law requires parental permission for participation in all school clubs and says organizations can be barred to “protect the physical, emotional, psychological or moral well-being of students and faculty.”
Students say the law reflects misconceptions about both homosexuality and the alliances, which in many cases are led by straight girls who want to support gay friends or siblings. The club at Dixie High School here, for example, is led by Bethany Coyle, a senior who describes herself as straight and a supporter of equal rights. She said that one vice principal had asked if the club would recruit homosexuals and that students had scrawled epithets on a sign-up sheet, scaring off some potential members.
A teacher advising one of the new clubs in St. George said that he opened each of the weekly meetings with a reminder of the forbidden topics of discussion, but that it was proving irrelevant. The students, he said, seemed more interested in making friends and planning events.
Jason Osmanski, a 17-year-old junior who was a driving force behind the new alliance at Snow Canyon High School and now serves as its president, said that while members sometimes shared stories of harassment, they did not need to discuss sexuality at the meetings.
If the students’ legal right to a club seems firmly established, antigay feelings in the community persist. Alliance members in St. George were disheartened by school board elections this fall, when several candidates spoke out against the groups, saying they hoped parents would refuse to give their permission for students to join.
The students say that they are ready to adapt to any reasonable conditions, and that they will persevere.
from The New York Times
NORFOLK, VIRGINIA – Videos just coming to light show the crew of a Navy aircraft carrier got an eyeful on shipboard TV: Gay slurs, suggestive shower scenes and mimicked masturbation in clips made not by some sailor run amok but by the ship’s second-most powerful officer.
The Navy said Sunday it will investigate the “clearly inappropriate” videos shown through the nuclear-powered ship’s closed-circuit television system as part of an onboard movie night. The star of the videos, made in 2006 and 2007, is Capt. Owen Honors, who now commands the USS Enterprise but was its executive officer – the second in command – when the videos were made.
The Norfolk-based Enterprise was deployed in the Middle East at the time the videos were made and is weeks from deploying again.
The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported on the videos in its Sunday editions and posted an edited version of one video on its website.
It’s not immediately known why the images are surfacing now. The Virginian-Pilot quoted anonymous crew members who said they raised concerns aboard the ship about the videos when they aired, but they were brushed off.
But a former crew member who says she saw the videos while serving praised Honors as “the best the Navy has to offer” and said the skits were welcome entertainment onboard.
“It’s no worse then anything you’d see on Saturday Night Live or the Family Guy,” said Houston native Misty Davis, who worked on the Enterprise’s weapons systems during her 2006-2010 tour.
It’s clear from the videos that Honors, who took over the ship’s command in May, had already gotten complaints when some of them were made. “Over the years I’ve gotten several complaints about inappropriate material during these videos, never to me personally but, gutlessly, through other channels,” he said in the introduction to the video posted by the newspaper.
He goes on to use a derogatory term for gays and tells his critics: “This evening, all of you bleeding hearts … why don’t you just go ahead and hug yourselves for the next 20 minutes or so, because there’s a really good chance you’re gonna be offended.”
Next comes a sequence of what appear to be outtakes in which Honors and others curse, followed by clips in which he and others are shown making hand motions that mimic masturbation.
Honors segues to the next segment by saying, “Finally let’s get to my favorite topic … chicks in the shower.” Next are shown clips of pairs of women and a pair of men pretending to shower together. No nudity is shown, but the men’s and women’s bare shoulders imply they are nude.
Other clips in the video show a man in drag and a mock rectal examination.
Navy Cmdr. Chris Sims said in a statement sent to The Associated Press that the videos “were not acceptable then and are not acceptable in today’s Navy.”
Executive officers and other leaders “are charged to lead by example and are held accountable for setting the proper tone and upholding the standards of honor, courage and commitment that we expect sailors to exemplify,” he said.
Sims said U.S. Fleet Forces Command “has initiated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the production of these videos.”
In a statement to the Virginian-Pilot on Friday, however, the Navy said it had put a stop to videos with “inappropriate content” on the Enterprise several years ago.
“It is unfortunate that copies of these videos remained accessible to crewmembers, especially after leadership took action approximately four years ago to ensure any future videos reflected the proper tone,” the Navy said.
It also said the videos “were intended to be humorous skits focusing the crew’s attention on specific issues such as port visits, traffic safety, water conservation, ship cleanliness, etc.”
A phone listing for Honors was not immediately available. He is a 1983 alumnus of the U.S. Naval Academy and was a naval aviator before holding command. He attended the U.S. Naval Fighter Weapons School, also known as Top Gun.
The newspaper reported that the videos were made during the Enterprise’s two six-month deployments to the Middle East in 2006 and 2007.
Commissioned in 1961, the Enterprise is the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. It is scheduled to sail two more deployments before it is decommissioned in 2013. It can carry a crew of more than 5,800.
The commanding officer of the Enterprise at the time the videos were made, Lawrence Rice, was later promoted to the rank of the rear admiral and had been assigned to the Norfolk-based U.S. Joint Forces Command, but is no longer there, a spokeswoman said.
The video posted by the newspaper included clips of past “movies” Honors had made – including several statements in which he holds his higher-ups blameless for the material.
“As usual, the admiral and the captain have no idea about the contents of the video or movie this evening, and they should not be held accountable in any judicial setting,” Honors says.
from The Associated Press