Monday, November 29, 2010

4 Gay Vegas Related News Bites

There's a whole load o' gay-ish stuff a-swirling, so let's get it all out of the way at once:

* Wedding Belles.
Belated and hearty congrats are due to Jon Summers, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's communications director, who followed up a very long and brutal but ultimately victorious campaign season by marrying his partner, Kyle, at a church in Washington D.C., where same-sex marriage is fully legal. The happy couple announced their Nov. 20 nuptials in the New York Times. Now, let's see if Summers' boss can get somewhere on Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the lame-duck session. Jon also was once a reporter for CBS affiliate KLAS in Vegas.

* A Bette's A Bette. I took all that guff, and I was right after all: Bette Midler did come to hate her tenure at the Colosseum. In Nov. 2009, I put together the clues and concluded for the Las Vegas Weekly that the Divine Miss M was ending an unhappy residency at Caesars Palace. Her explanation to the Daily Telegraph in London, after agreeing being in Vegas was like being on the Titanic, was that the economy caved in and it just stopped being much fun. Bette is quoted thus: "I was living in the hotel and I remember one day I ordered room service, and the girl came and she looked so exhausted. I asked what was wrong and she said she was having to look after all the guests - they’d let everyone else go. And that’s when you start to question yourself - what am I doing here? Am I contributing to this?" Well, sure, by getting the hell outta here asap and letting all those musicians and dancers go, yeah.

* Gambling Cures The Gay! Well, that's a theory, anyhow. Ed Vogel wrote a totally fascinating piece in Saturday's Review-Journal about the fully functioning casino that operated in the Nevada State Prison for decades until the 1960s. There actually wasn't any specific reason why Vogel wrote about it now that I could find, but it was just a great yarn nonetheless. Our favorite part? Vogel found a quote from a Republican assemblyman form Reno at the time saying that the casino helped to mitigate "homosexual problems." Who knew?

* ACLU On Fire. The incoming executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada is a Facebook friend of mine as well as a fellow National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association member, Dane S. Claussen. He holds an MBA in corporate fianance and labor relations from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in mass communications. Dane's also got a long history in the mainstream and alternative press and is coming from a teaching position a Point Park University in Pittsburgh. That he's openly gay is not going to be a problem for him in this position, but I am a little concerned about how his being a fairly vocal atheist and political liberal could impact his work in Nevada. On his Facebook site, for instance, he says his favorite joke is one likening Rush Limbaugh to a Nazi. He is filling the gigantic shoes of Gary Peck, whose only real political activism that I can recall was in the service of the First Amendment. It will be interesting to see how this strangely conservative town takes to him, although I suspect most people expect the ACLU guy to be a hard-core lefty. We shall see.


The Gay Pundit said...


Anonymous said...

Doesn't Harvey Reid oppose same-sex marriage?

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