The Daily Agenda for Sunday, May 26
May 26th, 2013
Premiere of “Behind the Candelabra”: HBO. Maureen Ryan interviewed Rob Lowe, who appears in the much-anticipated Liberace biopic:
Rob Lowe thought the script for “Behind the Candelabra” was great and he jumped at the chance to work with stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, who play Liberace and his lover Scott Thorson in the glitzy, perceptive movie, directed by Steven Soderbergh.
But Lowe’s character in the HBO film, plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Startz, looks like a cat. A cat with shiny skin and lustrous, early ’80s hair. The absurdity of the situation was not lost on Lowe.
“There were days when I would go, ‘This is the end, for sure, of my career,’” Lowe said in a recent interview. “When I walked on the set and looked at Michael with his fat suit and caftan, Matt in his velour, butt-hugger shorts and Farrah wig, and me as Startz — I said, ‘It’s over for all of us. This is it.’”
Nobody’s career was harmed in the making of this film, which also includes Debbie Reynolds as Liberace’s domineering mother, Dan Acroyd as manager Seymour Heller, and Scott Bakula as choreographer Bob Black. The film, based on Thorson’s 1988 book, Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace premieres tonight on HBO. Check your local listings and set your DVR.
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Alkmaar, Netherlands; Birmingham, UK; Cambridge/Kitchener/Waterloo, ON; Chicago, IL (Bear Pride); Eilat, Israel; Eskilstuna, Sweden; Melbourne, FL; Pensacola, FL; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Tralee, Ireland; Washington, DC (Black Pride).
Harvey Milk Day Events: Various locations and dates.
Other Events This Weekend: International Mr. Leather, Chicago, IL; Matinee Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV; As One In The Park, London, UK; Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, New Orleans, LA; Great Plains Rodeo, Oklahoma City, OK; Inside Out Toronto Film Festival, Toronto, ON.
TODAY’S AGENDA (Theirs):
Anti-Gay Marriage Protests: Paris, France. Even though French President François Hollande signed the marriage equality bill into law a week ago making the whole thing a done deal, anti-gay extremists are still gathering for what they promise to be a massive protest today in the streets of Paris. Worries are high that today’s protest may unleash another round of anti-gay violence, much like the anti-gay assaults which have accompanied earlier protests.
Those fears have only intensified this week after the 78-year-old far-right French nationalist Dominique Venner committed suicide in Notre Dame Cathedral last Tuesday in protest of France’s new marriage equality law. Venner had left behind a message posted online calling for “new, spectacular and symbolic actions to shake us out of our sleep, to jolt anaesthetised minds and to reawaken memory of our origins.” Venner had ties to a number of extremist organizations, including Printemps Français (French Spring), which, on the same day as Venner’s suicide, declared that France was “now subject to forces which wish to reduce it to servitude. The battle is only just beginning. It will continue until victory is won.”
It is believed that Pretemps Français may be behind a number of violent anti-gay attacks. Manif Pour Tous, the main organizer of most of the anti-gay protests, deny any connection with Pretemps Français, and Manif Pour Tous leader Frigide Barjot now says that she may not attend today’s protest out of fears of for her own safety.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
Massachusetts Buggery Law: 1697. After the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies were united into the new Massachusetts Colony, a revision to the old Massachusetts Bay Law of 1672 revised its old sodomy law. The death penalty remains, but now “Buggery” is defined to include bestiality as well as sodomy:
For avoiding of the detestable and abominable Sin of Buggery with Mankind or Beast, which is contrary to the very Light of Nature; Be it Enacted and Declared … That the same Offence be adjudged Felony … And that every Man, being duly convicted of lying with Mankind, as he lieth with a Woman; and every Man or Woman that shall have carnal Copulation with any Beast or Brute Creature, the Offender and Offenders, in either of the Cases before mentioned, shall suffer the Pains of Death, and the Beast shall be slain and Burned.
Massachusetts abolished the death penalty for sodomy and bestiality in 1805.
First Known Intersex Actress On Film: 1976. She made her debut on the screen in the 1976 movie Drive-In. Set in small town Texas, the story portrays a slice of life as the town’s teens gather at the local drive-in to watch a disaster flick. The film’s movie-within-a-movie (the movie being screened at the drive-in) is a hilarious sendup of action movies. Among the cast is Katherine Connella (billed as Neely Richlond) who plays a student and is the first intersexed person to star in a motion picture. Katherine’s biography, released in 2001, describes her experience of being born and growing up a combination of genders.
Maryland Adds Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Hate Crime Law: 2005. Five days after vetoing a bill that would provide domestic partnership for same sex couples, Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R) signed a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s hate crime law. Conservative religious groups naturally protest.
Sakia Gunn: 1987. If she were alive today, she’d be celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday. Instead, she didn’t quite make it to sweet sixteen. On May 11, 2003, she and her friends were waiting for the #1 New Jersey Transit bus in downtown Newark when they were propositioned by two men. The girls rejected their advances by declaring themselves to be lesbians. The men attacked, and when Gunn fought back, one of the attackers stabbed her in the chest. After both attackers fled, Gunn was rushed to the hospital where she died. The murder became the subject of several protests in Newark, and more than 2,500 people attended her funeral.
One of the attackers, Robert McCullough, was arrested and charged with murder. In a tale that could have come from a bad comedy sketch, McCullough claimed that Gunn died after she ran into his knife. He eventually agreed to a plea bargain in which the murder charges were dropped in exchange for a guilty plea for manslaughter, aggravated assault and bias intimidation. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).
And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?