1. Pope Francis supports gay marriage. In an interview with Lithuanian newspaperRausva Plunksna, the leader of the Catholic Church stated that gays are God's creation and deserve the same rights and respects as all human beings. "We have learned much about homosexuality in recent years," said the Pope. "We now know that being gay isn't a choice, but something one is born with. If our Lord decides that someone should come into this world a certain way, who are we to judge his choice?" UNFORTUNATELY, it was ALL a sham and a joke. Sorry, world.
2. Openly gay MSCNB anchor Thomas Roberts defends his decision to host the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow this November. Even though Roberts has shown tremendous support for the LGBT community, critics argue that his new gig will support Russia's anti-gay agenda. Roberts spoke with The Advocateand provided a lengthy rationale for his choice. "I thought this was a fantastic opportunity for people to learn about me being openly gay, and marriage, and my husband being with me, and send a strong message," said Roberts. Read the full interview.
3. Could an openly gay country music singer take the stage at the Grand Ole Opry? That's what one country music fan is hoping, and he's started a petition on Change.org that's garnered more than 1,600 signatures from country music lovers around the country. David Dilsizian, an openly gay country music fan and musician currently living in Nashville, started the petition on Change.org to urge the Grand Ole Opry, one of country music's most legendary venues, to invite openly lesbian singer and country superstar Chely Wright to perform on their stage. David says that the Grand Ole Opry could make history and shatter the stereotype that country music isn't a welcome place for gay musicians and fans. Check out real time signatures and comments from country music fans here.
4. Four same-sex couples sue Tennessee for not recognizing their marriages. The couples were legally married in New York and California and argue that Tennessee's refusal to recognize their marriage violates their constitutional rights. "It's our position that, once we win this lawsuit, once there's recognition of these marriages, the next step is going to be people can go out and get married in Tennessee," said Attorney Abby Rubenfeld, "That's what we're aiming for, that's what's going to happen."
5. OUTstanding in Business, a professional network for LGBT executives, teamed up with the Financial Times to compile a list of the world's 50 most powerful out corporate leaders. The participants were judged on five criteria: leadership, being a role model, contribution, success, and making a difference. Antonio Simoes, the CEO UK at HSBC and Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for Europe, tops the list, which you can peruse in full here.
6. The new documentary Undercover follows Richard Bert, an undercover cop coming out from his life as a secret agent and from his life as a straight man. Bert tells his story of escape, survival and admission with tremendous honesty and strength. Watch the trailer below and support Undercover's Kickstarter -- they need help covering post-production bills!