Please Say It’s Not So: Sacha Baron Cohen Developing ‘The Lesbian’ at Paramount

Paramount is reteaming with The Dictator star Sacha Baron Cohen on The Lesbian, based on the story of the Hong Kong billionaire who offered $65 million to any man who could marry his homosexual daughter.

Cohen and his Four By Two Films banner are producing what could serve as a starring vehicle for the actor. No writer is on board at this stage.

Last week, Hong Kong real estate tycoon Cecil Chao made international news when he offered $65 million to any man that could pry his daughter from her female lover and marry her.The 76-year old Chao has never married and is known for his penchant to date much younger women.

Anderson Cooper Slams Star Jones for Saying He Came Out to Boost Ratings

Anderson Cooper has a beef with Star Jones for saying that he came out to boost his daytime talk show’s ratings.Cooper, who moonlights as news anchor on CNN’s Anderson 360, voiced his issues with Jones in conversation with pal Andy Cohen on Thursday’s Anderson Live, now in its second season of syndication.

“I was really pleased with the response, it’s nice,” he said of announcing he’s gay in a letter to The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan, posted July 2. “I think it’s important to send a message to, especially young people, there’s nothing to be ashamed of and you can be successful and you can have a life and you can have many interests and this is one part of your life.”

Then he shifted the discussion to Jones, a former co-host of ABC’s The View who now makes regular appearances as a pundit on Today. The day after Cooper’s announcement, Jones remarked on the NBC morning show: “When the ratings slip in daytime, the hosts tend to tell you lots of things about them.”

“I will say and I actually haven’t mentioned this, the only thing that did kind of annoy me and actually it annoyed my mom (Gloria Vanderbilt) who brought it up to me” were Jones’ comments, Cooper said. “I haven’t thought about Star Jones in I don’t know how long. I was unaware she was even on TV but she apparently shows up on a morning show on Today or Good Morning America … .”

When Cohen, a Bravo executive and host of the network’s Watch What Happens, mentioned that Anderson Live had been on break, Cooper responded: “That’s why it so annoyed me because of all the ways to boost ratings, like if I was wanting to boost ratings I would have waited to announce it on a very special episode, that would have been promo’d for weeks and weeks and there would have been commercials, ‘Anderson’s huge announcement,’ and you would have a cut away of the audience but instead I was in Africa on assignment for 60 Minutes, I sent an email to a friend of mine who put it on a website. I gave no interviews about it, I never talked about it.”

Pink Says She ‘Should’ Be Gay, Was An ‘Honorary Lesbian’

Pink understands that her physical appearance may lead some people to think she’s a lesbian. But clearly the pop-singer, a long-time LGBT activist, doesn’t give a damn.

“I should be gay by the way that I look and the way that I am. I just happen to not be. But it just makes perfect and complete sense,” she said in an interview with The Advocate to promote her latest album, The Truth About Love.

The singer also described her gay and lesbian fans as “my honesty in an ocean of bullshit” and recalled her stint as an “honorary lesbian” when she first moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams, and how her time as a club kid blurred some sexual lines.

“…I was like a club kid. I was a little candy raver, and I am the kind of person that sucks the marrow out of the bones of life. Those days were really crazy and lots of all-nighters. And with a bunch of other kids that were trying to find themselves and have a good time doing it and get out from under their parents — and there was a lot of ecstasy. And as far as I’m concerned, when you’re on ecstasy there’s no such thing as definable sexuality. There is just love.”

“I loved my little girlfriends and we kissed and we had a great time and we held hands,” she says. “When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was an honorary lesbian of Los Angeles. I wasn’t gay, but all my girlfriends were. So no, it wasn’t a big deal for me, but when [a tabloid] comes out and says, I just said I was bisexual, it’s like what? That wasn’t my truth, and I like truth. I like absolute truth.”

Pink also marvels at how her music has bridged perceived social divides. While once her crowds were mostly LGBT people, now she sees older straight couples joining the fun, and she’s proud. “I just feel like it’s bringing people together and it’s rad.”

Boxer Orlando Cruz Comes Out, Making Him First Openly Gay Man In The Ring

Over two decades since he began boxing, Puerto Rican featherweight fighter Orlando Cruz came out this week, making him the first openly gay, still-competing boxer in the sport’s history.(Former fighter Emile Griffith came out as bisexual after he retired.)

“I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself,” 31-year old Cruz, who began fighting at the age of 7, according to USA Today.

“I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career. I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.”

Cruz, currently ranked 4th in his division, got his big shot in the ring during the 2000 Olympics, when he represented Puerto Rico in Sydney. The Pugilist offers more details on his career trajectory:

Cruz has been boxing since he was seven and boasted an amateur record of 178-11, taking in seven national titles in his homeland and seven international gold medals.

He turned pro shortly after the Sydney Games and won his first professional fight on December 15 2000 against Alfredo Valdez.

His highest profile bouts came with the end of his unbeaten record with back-to-back defeats against Cornelius Lock and Daniel Ponce De Leon in 2009 and 2010, the former battle taking place on the undercard of Mayweather-Marquez.

Cruz’s next fight is on October 19th, when he’ll defend his WBO NABO against Jorge Pazos. Before that, though, he’ll be sitting down for a television interview to discuss his coming out

Expedia Video Features Father’s Journey To Acceptance Of Gay Daughter’s Marriage

In September, travel site Expedia announced its support for a same-sex marriage ballot initiative in Washington State. Now, the company is going a step further and promoting marriage equality in a new emotional video called “Find Your Understanding.” In the clip, a retired businessman named Artie Goldstein talks candidly about his struggle and eventual acceptance of his daughter’s marriage to a woman:

My expectations of what Jill’s life was going to be included a husband. So when Nikki came to ask permission to marry our little girl, that startled me. I told her, ‘This is not the dream I had for my daughter.’ I didn’t say yes, I didn’t say no. Coming out to the wedding from back east, I had some real apprehensions about it. What’s this going to look like, two girls getting married? You have to make a decision. Are you going to have a daughter that you are going to maintain a very wonderful relationship with for the rest of your life? Or are you going to lose that child? Once we got out to California and we saw how happy they were, all that trepidation just seemed to go away.

Paul Ryan Tells ‘Focus on the Family’ He and Romney Will Block Equality for Gay People

Right Wing Watch has posted audio of a pledge from Paul Ryan to Focus on the Family president Jim Daly that the Romney-Ryan administration will fight gay equality.

Says Ryan when asked his thoughts about marriage:

It’s the foundation for society and for family for thousands of years. First of all, Mitt Romney and I — I’ll just say it, it’s worth repeating — we believe marriage is between one man and one woman, that’s number one. Number two, you know where I come from we had one of those amendments in Wisconsin, I was a big supporter of it and we passed it like you say, where it’s put on the ballot it passes. The second point is, President Obama gave up defending the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts, I mean, not only is this decision to abandon this law the wrong decision, it passed in a bipartisan manner, it is very troubling because it undermines not only traditional marriage but it contradicts our system of government. It’s not the president’s job to pick and choose which laws he likes. A Romney administration will protect traditional marriage and the rule of law and we will provide the Defense of Marriage Act the proper defense in the courts that it deserves.

Not a surprise, obviously. Just a reminder.

California Governor Signs LGBT Bills For Fertility Treatment, Foster Parents, Ex-Gay Therapy

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed numerous bills into law this weekend that will create new protections for LGBT people and their families. Though Proposition 8 held back LGBT equality for the state, these new laws are raising the bar for ensuring an equal opportunity in society for same-sex couples and LGBT youth.

Fertility Services For Same-Sex Couples
California Assembly Bill 2356 ensures that all women, including single women and women in same-sex relationships, have the same access to fertility services. Previously, any woman who sought fertility services with a donor that was not their male partner had to endure time-consuming and costly repeat testing that lowered their chances of conceiving. Now, all intended parents can obtain safe and effective treatment.

LGBT-Sensitivity Training For Foster Parents
California Assembly Bill 1856 requires that anyone seeking to become a foster parent must undergo “instruction on cultural competency and sensitivity relating to, and best practices for, providing adequate care” to LGBT youth. Conservatives have complained that the training is a “burden” that will “drive Christian couples away” from becoming foster parents. Given the frightfully high rates of LGBT youth homelessness that are driven by family rejection, minimizing the likelihood that any young person should have to experience such rejection is a vitally important protection.

  Ban On Ex-Gay Therapy For Minors
Perhaps the most groundbreaking bill Brown signed into law was Senate Bill 1172, limiting licensed therapists from offering ex-gay therapy to minors. Unfortunately, the bill was watered down significantly since its original introduction. Among the cuts was a provision that would have required that patients of any age who pursue ex-gay therapy have to sign an informed consent acknowledging its lack of scientific merit and potential harm. The original legislation also required ex-gay therapists to provide reporting about the therapy they offer so that the state could issue an annual report about the risks and limited potential of the junk science.

Another unfortunate caveat is that the state can only regulate the treatment offered by licensed or credentialed professionals, and thus any religious leader, minister, or counselor not regulated by a professional organization can continue to provide ex-gay therapy unregulated. Nevertheless, the bill represents a groundbreaking set of protections for LGBT youth, and hopefully its enforcement will serve to educate parents who want their children to endure such treatment but cannot find it from any credentialed therapist or physician. Other states, like New Jersey, are already considering adapting similar legislation based on this California model.

Multiple Parent Recognition
Unfortunately, Brown did veto one bill that would have created new protections for the additional parents who might be part of a child’s life because of a same-sex relationship. Senate Bill 1476 would have allowed judges to recognize more than two parents per child to accommodate the unique family structures that result from adoption, surrogacy, and remarriages. These would not have been issued at random, but could be determined on a case-by-case basis to offer the most protections and security to children. Brown said that he was concerned “the bill’s ambiguities may have unintended consequences,” asking for more time to “consider all of the implications of this change.”

New Video Shares Marriage Equality Stories from Maine

In a new mini-doc produced for The Four, New Left Media takes a look at the issue of marriage equality in Maine. The video released today, one of four (the others, presumably, will take place in Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington), looks at a gay and a lesbian couple, their hopes for marriage in the state, and the story of a volunteer who is canvassing voters about the issue.

A new poll shows marriage equality with a 21-point lead in Maine.