Thursday, May 03, 2007

GLBT DIGEST May 3, 2007

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The New York Times

May 3, 2007
Bette Midler Setting Up Shop in Las Vegas
Filed at 5:20 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Veteran entertainer Bette Midler is known for her larger-than-life persona as the ``Divine Miss M,'' but she admits to being a bit intimidated by the huge space she will occupy at her new home stage in Las Vegas.

``The stage is so enormous there's a terror that you might not be able to fill it all by your lonesome, you know, a little person in high heels,'' Midler said recently of her upcoming long-term engagement at the Caesars Palace hotel-casino on the Vegas Strip.

Midler, 61, was set to appear in Las Vegas on Thursday to announce that she has signed a two-year deal to replace Canadian music star Celine Dion in February as the resident performer at the Colosseum, Caesars' 4,100-seat theater.

With a stage proscenium 120 feet across and 60 feet high, it ranks among world's biggest, according to Caesars.

And it's got the biggest (video wall) in the world, and you say, 'What the heck am I going to put on that? My baby pictures?''' Midler joked with Reuters in a recent interview.


The Washington Post

Billy Crystal, Clearly Funny
Kennedy Center Awards Mark Twain Prize To Humorist and Humanitarian

By Jacqueline Trescott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 2, 2007; C01

So who will show up? Fernando from "Saturday Night Live"? Harry from "When Harry Met Sally . . . "? Mitch from "City Slickers"?

We'll see when the long and diverse career of Billy Crystal is saluted Oct. 11 by the Kennedy Center. The center announced yesterday that Crystal is the winner of the 10th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

"To be given the same award as Richard Pryor, Steve Martin and Neil Simon is a great honor," Crystal said in a statement. "As my grandfather said, if you hang around the store long enough, once in a while they'll give you something!"

Crystal, 59, a native of Long Beach, Long Island, N.Y., grew up during the era of influential television shows, such as Jackie Gleason's "The Honeymooners" and the Ed Sullivan variety show. Crystal has said, "From the first time I saw Sid Caesar be funny, I knew that's what I had to do," and he started doing stand-up comedy at age 16. A high school baseball player, his childhood dream was to be Mickey Mantle, the New York Yankees great.

Instead, he ended up being Billy Crystal, doing a dead-on take of Howard Cosell interviewing Muhammad Ali.


BP CEO quits as affair exposed

By Tom Bergin
Tuesday, May 1, 2007; 10:33 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil major BP Plc said Chief Executive John Browne had resigned with immediate effect after a UK court lifted an injunction preventing a newspaper group from publishing details about his private life.

"In my 41 years with BP I have kept my private life separate from my business life," Browne said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private. It is a matter of deep disappointment that a newspaper group has now decided that allegations about my personal life should be made public," he added.

Browne said he had had a four-year relationship with Canadian citizen Jeff Chevalier who had told his story to Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard.

Browne, who had been due to step down in July, said he had decided to leave now to "avoid unnecessary embarrassment and distraction to the company."


The Washington Post

Washington to Do Ad for Gay Rights Group

The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 2, 2007; 5:47 PM

NEW YORK -- Isaiah Washington, who came under fire after using an anti-gay slur, will appear in a public service announcement on behalf of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

"We're gonna have _ I want to say at least two versions of it at this point. We may broaden our message a little," the actor's publicist, Howard Bragman, told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday.

Washington ran into trouble at the Golden Globe Awards in January after he used an anti-gay slur during a backstage press conference while denying he'd used it previously against "Grey's Anatomy" castmate T.R. Knight.

People magazine reported last October that Washington had allegedly used the slur during an on-set dustup with co-star Patrick Dempsey.

Knight said soon after the incident that he was gay.


The Washington Post

Lobbying for Intolerance?

Thursday, May 3, 2007; A24

Christ must truly be confused by the activity of "Christian" pastors going door-to-door in the halls of Congress to preserve their right to demonize gay Americans ["Conservative Black Pastors Fight Bill on Hate Crimes," Metro, April 28]. My last reading of the New Testament recorded not a single nstance of Jesus even mentioning homosexuality, though he had lots to say about hate and hypocrisy.


The Washington Post

McGreevey to Enter Episcopal Seminary

The Associated Press
Thursday, May 3, 2007; 12:22 AM

NEWARK, N.J. -- The nation's first openly gay governor has become an Episcopalian and been accepted into a seminary, according to a published report.

Former Gov. James E. McGreevey, who was raised as a Roman Catholic, was officially received into the Episcopal religion on Sunday at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York, said the Rev. Kevin Bean, vicar at the church.

McGreevey has entered the church's "discernment" phase, which usually precedes seminary work, Bean told The Star-Ledger of Newark in a report posted Wednesday on its Web site.

It's unclear whether McGreevey hopes to become a priest. He did not return several messages left Wednesday by The Associated Press.

McGreevey, 49, shocked the nation in August 2004 by proclaiming himself "a gay American" who had an extramarital affair with a male aide, and said he would resign that November. The aide denies having an affair and claims he was sexually harassed by the former governor.


Publicist is helping athletes come out
by Cyd Zeigler jr.,

While he's best known for his work with entertainment celebrities, publicist Howard Bragman has certainly made a name for himself in the world of sports. The openly gay publicist, called by some "the best publicist in the business," has worked with athletes and sports entities his entire career. In 2003, he repped Esera Tuaolo as he came out of the closet. Since then, he has also been the publicist for the coming out of golfer Rosie Jones, WNBA player Sheryl Swoopes and former NBA player John Amaechi.

We talked with Bragman about his four gay-athlete clients, the issues they've faced, and what he's learned in a long sports-related P.R. career.

Outsports: Who was your first sports client?

Howard Bragman: When I started in this business, one of my first big clients when I was a young man was Anhueser Busch. I did their PR in a 10-state region in Chicago. So I learned every kind of sport PR. Budweiser would have bowling and baseball, and Michelob would have golf and sailing. So I got to work with dozens of professional athletes, through their good graces.

OS: What did you learn?

HB: I learned how it worked. In college, one of my best friends was on the football team. I've always had jocks as friends, I think because there's a reality and a grounding, and something I've always found in athletes is excellence. People like to equate athletes with stupidity, and God knows there are stupid athletes, but that's not what I've found. I've found that people who make it at the highest level of college sports and pro sports are for the most part really intelligent and dedicated people. I didn't want to hang out with dummies. Anybody who assumes that somebody who is a jock is stupid is being very naïve and short-sighted, and they don't know how the sporting world works.


Rosie Joins Queen Elizabeth, Obama, Clinton On 100 Most Influential List
by The Associated Press
Posted: May 3, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(New York City) Heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio and envelope-pushers Rosie O'Donnell and Sacha Baron Cohen are among the entertainment newsmakers on Time magazine's list of 100 people who shape the world.

The list of 100 most influential, on newsstands Friday, also includes Queen Elizabeth II, presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, YouTube founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, director Martin Scorsese and model Kate Moss. It does not include President Bush.

In a piece she wrote for the magazine, Barbara Walters, the creator of "The View," had kind words to say about O'Donnell, who announced last week she was leaving the ABC talk show in June because she and the network couldn't agree on a new contract.

"And so, last September, we began a thrilling roller-coaster ride," Walters wrote. "We followed Rosie's passion and compassion, her feuds and fearlessness, her humanity and humor."

Walters said she and O'Donnell "remain respectful and affectionate friends."


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, May. 03, 2007
Judge Greene moved to civil court

Broward's top criminal court judge has been permanently reassigned, and the NAACP is calling for an investigation into a comment he made about a case involving a black defendant and several black victims and witnesses.

Circuit Judge Charles Greene, a longtime criminal court judge, was transferred to the civil division on Wednesday, one day after the county public defender and others called for his removal from the criminal bench.Greene admitted that he used the term ''N.H.I.'' in describing the April 19 case to a prosecutor and defense attorney, but said he did not know that it had a racial connotation.

The acronym, lawyers and prosecutors said, stands for ''no humans involved'' and dates to the 1970s to describe why some crimes against prostitutes or gay or black people may not be pursued as vigorously as others.

''Judge Greene's assignment out of the criminal division is permanent,'' Chief Judge Dale Ross said Wednesday. ``It may turn out to be a permanent civil assignment or a permanent assignment to another division.''


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