News: DeGeneres and Pink to appear with Obama, June 2, 2012

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and singer Pink are set to appear with President Obama at a fundraiser in Los Angeles. The $1,250-per-person happening is one of two events scheduled for June 6. “Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy hosts the second, an exclusive $40,000-per-person dinner at his home, later that evening. Both are aimed at mobilizing LGBT support for the president.

DeGeneres praised Obama after his announcement earlier this month that he supports same-sex marriage. “There have been moments in history when someone has the courage to stand up for what they believe in, and that one action changes everything,” DeGeneres said. “I hope this is one of those times.”

In the days following the president’s announcement, organizers of the Los Angeles gala said that they saw an uptick in sales of tickets. They also switched to a larger venue, although those plans were in the works before Obama’s interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts in which he expressed his support for same-sex marriage.

Conservative Jewish movement sets guidelines for gay marriage/divorce
In a 13-0 vote, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards has formally approved same-sex marriage ceremonies. The move comes nearly six years after lifting a ban on the ordaining gays and lesbians.

The panel of scholars approved two model wedding ceremonies and guidelines for a same-sex divorce. Rabbis can adapt the marriage ceremonies for the couples.

“We acknowledge that these partnerships are distinct from those discussed in the Talmud as ‘according to the law of Moses and Israel,’ but we celebrate them with the same sense of holiness and joy as that expressed in heterosexual marriages,” the legal opinion states.

Called the “Covenant of Loving Partners,” the Conservative same-sex marriage document bases the ceremonies on Jewish partnership law. In the covenant, the couple pledges to be faithful. A ring ceremony binds the pair.

As with heterosexual couples, Conservative rabbis should not preside at the marriage of a Jew to a non-Jew.

Corey Hart takes off the shades
It’s been early 30 years since Corey Hart came out in favor of wearing sunglasses at night. Now, the Canadian singer and straight ally has come out with a pro-gay tune, a dance re-mix of his track “Truth Will Set You Free.”

Few among his legions of fans likely realized that the 1988 song was intended as a gay-positive anthem of affirmation for anyone struggling with his or her sexuality. For one thing, the Montreal-born pop star wanted it that way. He was intentionally cryptic in the lyrics of the tune, couching the true meaning of its be-yourself-at-all-costs mantra in subtext in order to protect the close friend whose own doubt and pain had inspired the song.

Hart has swapped the contemplative soft-rock of the original for an icy club groove and pulls those themes that coursed under the original’s surface to the fore with new lyrics inspired, in part, by the 1998 murder of gay university student Matthew Shepard.

Hart will unveil the song at Toronto Pride, an appearance which will serve as his first live performance in over 10 years.

“The gay aspect of this song was an important message that I wanted to send out there, especially being a straight man — I thought it was important to say this,” Hart shared. “It was important for me to be at a gay pride event and to go out there and sing the song, and spread the message of the song because it’s a message of empowerment.”

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