Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sigh: Anti-gay tour skipping S.C.

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Everyone else has all the fun.

A summer tour by the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage is only finding sparse crowds at its events, but gays and lesbians are coming out at every stop to challenge their message.

The latest report from the road claims marriage equality supporters outnumbered traditional marriage folks eight to one. Wedge issue, indeed.

Anyway, I got excited that we'd see that kind of show in town, but it turns out that NOM is hitting those other sin-loving Southern states and just passing through S.C.

In case you were interested in a road trip, here are the details:

Atlanta, Sat. Aug. 7, State Capitol

Tampa, Sun. Aug. 8

Raleigh, Tues. Aug. 10, State Capitol

Or follow the NOM tour tracker.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Hedwig & the Angry Inch coming to Charleston

New production company takes on indie favorite

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 2:45 PM

One of the most unique and celebrated Off-Broadway hits of the past 20 years is getting the Lowcountry treatment next month.

New production company What If will be helming Hedwig and the Angry Inch for a two-night run at the American Theatre.

Out creator John Cameron Mitchell shot to stardom in 1998 with the musical's story of a transgender rock singer, her unusual band, and her bitter claim to fame. Mitchell retooled the show into a popular indie film in 2001.

The local production is directed by Kyle Barnette, with Jan Gilbert playing roadie Yitzhak. The title role goes to Brian Porter, who wowed us with his sexy, seductive Emcee in Cabaret earlier this year for Charleston Stage. Much like that character, Hedwig works her ass off in this show. Check out the What If Productions website for more info.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Former S.C. resident on stand at Don't Ask, Don't Tell hearing

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 1:40 PM

The federal court challenge of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy will include testimony from former Columbia resident Alexander Nicholson, an Army linguist who was kicked out of under the policy that bars gay servicemembers from serving openly.

The City Paper spoke with Nicholson and his partner, Jarrod Chlapowski, in 2009. The two helped to create Servicemembers United, a group advocating for the policy's repeal.

Nicholson is testifying in the case brought by Log Cabin Republicans in U.S. District Court in California.

"I am especially honored to be the lead veteran witness in this case and to have the opportunity to represent all gay and lesbian troops and veterans on the witness stand today at this very important and historic trial," he said in a Servicemembers United press release. "This unnecessary and bigoted law has caused untold harm to each and every person who has served under it, and that, in turn, has harmed the quality and readiness of our armed forces."

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Local Presbyterians moving past gay debate

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Fri, Jul 9, 2010 at 9:36 AM

The Post and Courier — which seems to have a quiet, but dedicated interest in the Presbyterian Church's internal debate over gays — provides an interesting local perspective in today's paper.

Basically, two local church leaders say please stop asking me about this issue that has little to do with my local church.

"Not that it's not an important issue," said the Rev. Spike Coleman of St. Andrew's Presbyterian. "For some people it's very important, I realize that, but for most members they're worried about their jobs and families and children."

The Rev. Cress Darwin, of Second Presbyterian Church downtown, called the debate disingenuous.

"Often it's about property, local power, about not wanting to be told what to do, not wanting to surrender to something you're not totally comfortable with," Darwin said. "A lot has to do more with personal fears than it has to do with what's right."

"There is nothing on Earth we as Christians cannot reconcile with the grace of God," he said. The goal must be love and forbearance. "We're given a template for that through Jesus Christ."

I think there's a good chicken and egg debate here. The local men suggest a real debate is necessary on the ground instead of the politics playing out at the highest levels of the church. But I'm not sure many churches would have that debate unless it was forced upon them.

As Rev. Coleman mentioned, there are daily issues that guide the local church and the acceptance of gays and lesbians as equal members of the church usually isn't one of them.

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