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If You Don’t Help, This Film About Same-Sex Binational Couples Won’t Get Made.

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Editor’s note: This guest post by actor and musician David W. Ross (photo, below) (Quinceañera/Bad Boys Inc) explores the path that led him to want to create the film, “I Do.” But without your help, the film won’t get made. The plight of so many same-sex binational couples lies in the hands of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. And until that unjust law is repealed, love, and marriage, for thousands, will disappear.

I hope you’ll take a moment to look in your heart, and pledge to support this film. It’s an important project, worthy of a little sacrifice from all of us. Visit Kickstarter.com to learn more, or to make a pledge. There are just a few days left. Please, share this with your friends!

The script for I DO started out as a broad comedy. What a funny situation! British gay man marries American girl for his green card. Madness ensues! Hilarious, right? Yeah. Not so much. I mean, granted, there’s comedy gold in people mistaking them for a real couple. The awkward kiss at the alter. The clueless boss finally figuring it out. The cat and mouse with the INS. But I’d been working on the script for 5 years and knew I was in trouble. The script wasn’t working. I didn’t even want to see this movie! So I put it away.

The “British Gay Man,” in the script is Jack Edwards; fashion photographer. I had dropped a few thousand on a camera and lenses as I wanted to really get inside a photographers head. Sure I had assisted people since the age of 17, worked in the New York fashion world (didn’t like Devil Wears Prada, loved September Issue) and had rubbed shoulders with so many super models I had lost count, but I really wanted to understand what it’s like to always have a piece of glass between you and everyone else.

It was a balmy night. The California Supreme Court had just banned same-sex marriage and I was asked to document the rally in West Hollywood. I walked through the crowd to the main stage snapping a few pics. Men holding hands with NOH8 t-shirts. Women hugging each other wrapped in American flags. Families, kids, holding banners: “Please don’t divorce my mums.” I jumped up on the main stage and did my job. But something shifted for me that night. This marriage thing was real, for so many people. Families even. The lens finally dropped away and I knew what I DO had to be.

Marriage means different things for different people. For some it is a big poofy white dress, fluffy cake celebration of a love showing it’s commitment in front of friends and family; for some a religious institution, a vow to God but, whatever your beliefs, if you choose to enter into marriage in the US the law affords you certain protections and rights concerning immigration, hospital visitization, estate taxes, social security benefits etc etc etc. Though gay marriage has been fought for and in some States is now entirely lawful, those legal benefits are not afforded to gay married committed couples at a Federal level. Now, I’m not arguing with churches, private institutions who have their own rights, I’m saying how is it fair to throw a bone in the form of legal State marriage and choose to ignore our human rights that go along with that institution affecting not only the couple but any children involved?

I DO is about one of those rights. Immigration. If you, as an American citizen, were to fall in love with someone from another country and you were straight you could marry and sponsor your spouse’s green card. If you’re gay, there is no legal way for you to keep your spouse in the country. Further more, if you are a same-sex couple and had gotten married and the INS found out, your spouse would be deported instantly as marrying a US citizen is seen as an act of wanting to reside here.

I had fallen in love with a British guy. I know, move across the world and fall in love with someone from the same country as you. He was over here on a student visa, learning to fly Jumbo jets. Sounds sexier than it is. In his words, “It’s like being a bus driver in the sky.” He always had a way of normalizing things. I liked that. He wanted to work for a company that sold private jets. Much sexier. But the company only had a position in the UK. I was in a place with my career where I didn’t want to move back to London. (Truth be told I’m an ex-pop star petrified of returning to an island that might see me as a has-been). I began to realize that maybe I was more like Jack after all. But my lens wasn’t made of glass.

I broke it off. My man moved back to London. Sounds simple. It wasn’t. He was the first guy I had ever met that I wanted to marry. Like, really marry. Like, big-poofy-white-dress-fluffy-cake-celebration-of-a-love-showing-our-commitment-in-front-of-friends-and-family married.

For a few years we saw each other whenever I flew over to the UK. I wanted to do a long distance thing. He knew that it would drive us crazy. Either way it drove me crazy. I was devastated. My friends tried to get me to date. They couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just “hang out” with people. What they failed to realize is that I finally knew what it felt like to be in love.

In the movie, after years of casual relationships Brit in New York Jack falls deeply for handsome Spanish American, Mano Cunio. Jack’s determined to stay in the USA as he’s become like a father to his niece Tara and the sole provider for her mother Mya after Jack’s brother is killed in a road accident. In order to stay in the country it’s not enough to marry Mano as Federal law won’t recognize a State level gay marriage. Jack has a choice: move to Spain with Mano, the love of his life and lose the only family he has for his new one or lose Mano and stay in New York. An impossible choice. Unless…he creates a phoney straight marriage with his best friend Ali to gain citizenship. Saying I Do is not so simple…

So many same-sex bi-national couples go through incredible heartache and pain. Being separated from each other, not just sometimes by prison glass, but sometimes separated by thousands of miles, or months at a time because of paperwork issues, or because they are unable to afford the numerous flights it takes to keep a long distant relationship going. Many resort to selling their possessions to pay for lawyers, or trips abroad to renew visas, or just to see each other without the fear that any knock on the door could be an immigration officer ready to deport them. Over 40% of these families have children. Adding to their stress, financially and otherwise.

I’m not as brave as the 30,000 plus bi-national same-sex couples who are staying together whatever the cost. I know now I should have followed my heart moved to London, true love is not the kind of thing you should turn down.

At least in the movies there can be happy endings….

Please pledge your support at Kickstarter.com.

 

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‘I Feel a Little Bit Dumber for What You Say’: The Nine Worst Moments of the GOP Presidential Debate

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The second Republican presidential debate was mired in in-fighting and personal attacks by the candidates,  a vow to wage physical war against Mexico, hate against LGBTQ people, an insistence the U.S. Constitution doesn’t actually mean what the words on the page say, and a fight over curtains.

Here are nine of the worst moments from Wednesday night’s debate.

The debate itself got off to a rough start right from the beginning.

Multiple times candidate cross-talk made it impossible for anyone to make a point, like this moment when nearly half the candidates talked over each other during a nearly two minute segment as the moderators struggled to take control.

READ MORE: ‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate

Vivek Ramasway got into a heated argument with Nikki Haley, leading the former Trump UN Ambassador to tell him, “Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.”


Ramaswamy launched an attack on transgender children.

Moments after Ramaswamy attacked transgender children, so did Mike Pence, calling supporting transgender children’s rights “crazy.”

He promised “a federal ban on transgender chemical or surgical surgery anywhere in the country,” and said: “We’ve got to protect our kids from this radical gender ideology agenda.”

Former New Jersey Governor Cris Christie described the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, who has dedicated her life to teaching, as the person President Biden is “sleeping with.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, as CNN’s Manu Raju noted were “one-time allies,” after “Haley appointed Scott to his Senate seat,” until they started “going at it at [the] debate.”

“Talk about someone who has never seen a federal dollar she doesn’t like,” Scott charged. “Bring it, Tim,” Haley replied before they got into a fight about curtains.

Senator Scott declared, “Black families survived slavery, we survived poll taxes and literacy tests, we survived discrimination being woven into the laws of our country. What was hard to survive was [President] Johnson’s Great Society, where they decided to take the Black father out of the household to get a check in the mail.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, currently leading over everyone on stage, said practically nothing for the first 15 minutes. He may have said the least of all the candidates on stage Wednesday night. But he denounced Donald Trump for being “missing in action.”

Watch all the videos above or at this link.

 

 

 

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‘I Don’t Think So’: As GOP Debate Kicks Off Trump Teases Out the Chances of Any Candidate Becoming His Running Mate

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Donald Trump, again refusing to participate in a GOP debate, teased out the fate of every candidate on stage Wednesday night: he will choose none of them as his vice presidential running mate.

The ex-president who is facing 91 felony charges in four criminal cases across three jurisdictions and is now also facing the dissolution of his business empire, brought up the running mate question around the same time the debate on Fox News was kicking off.

“It’s all over television, this speech,” Trump falsely claimed, referring to his live remarks at a non-union shop one day after President Joe Biden stood on the picket line with UAW workers.

READ MORE: ‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden

“You know, we’re competing with the job candidates,” Trump said, mocking his fellow Republican presidential candidates after he scheduled an event opposite the debate he refused to attend.

“They’re all running for a job,” he continued, as the audience began to boo.

“They want to be in the, they’ll do anything,” he continued. “Secretary of something.”

“They even say VP, I don’t know,” Trump said. “Does anybody see any VP in the group? I don’t think so.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

 

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‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden

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Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) became defensive and accusatory after repeatedly being unable to answer a reporter’s questions in a press conference Wednesday, held to announce what House Republicans claim is “evidence” against President Joe Biden.

A shortened version of the video posted by the news organization Heartland Signal went viral, garnering nearly one million views in under three hours on the social media platform X.

“Mr. Chairman, question about the timing of all of this,” began an NBC News reporter identified by Mediaite as Ryan Nobles. “You’re talking about a two-tiered system of justice. If I’m not mistaken, on August 7, 2020 Bill Barr was the attorney general and Donald Trump was the president, so explain to me where the two-tiered system of justice comes into play. And then the WhatsApp message you have, I believe, is dated June 6, 2017. Joe Biden is not vice president or even a candidate for president at that time. So where is the direct connection to some sort of criminal malfeasance within these two pieces of evidence?”

RELATED: ‘Everybody Has Seen That’: Fox News Host Smacks Down Republican Pushing Biden ‘Burismo’ Video People ‘Not Talking About’

Chairman Smith could not only not answer any part of those questions, he appeared to forget a portion of them.

“Well, I think the facts speak for themselves,” Smith replied. “There’s over 700 pages of examples of, where people should be very concerned, when you’re talking about um, ah, – what was your first question?”

Smith went on to say, “It doesn’t matter who’s in the White House,” after being reminded them President at that time was Donald Trump. “We need to make sure that the Department of Justice works for all people and doesn’t treat those who are politically connected or wealthy much differently. And unfortunately, we have several examples that came forward by the two IRS whistleblowers, that proves that people are treated differently because they’re politically connected.”

“Are you suggesting that Joe Biden being the president now, is unfairly treating Donald Trump in his indictment?” Nobles asked.

Again, Smith did not answer the question.

“What I’m talking about is the 700 pages that we have before us, which is all the information that came from the IRS whistleblowers, and that’s what we’re releasing right now,” Smith replied, again not answering Nobles’ question. “And I’ll tell you, I would encourage everyone in this room to look at those 700 pages. If you think it’s okay, with what’s in it, then we live on two different planets.”

RELATED: ‘You F**ked Me – I Know It Was You’: Top House Republican ‘Exploded’ at McCarthy After Losing Chairmanship

“Can you explain the timing of the August 6 WhatsApp message? Why is that evidence of some wrongdoing?” Nobles continued..

“I’m not an expert on the timeline,” Smith admitted, before pivoting to say, “I would love to have President Biden and his family to tell us about all the timelines, because it’s really, really unfortunate that we see so many meetings and so many phone calls that involved around official activity that the Vice President has been participating in, and then big sums of money follows later –”

“But he’s not the president or the vice president at that time. Where, where’s the wrongdoing? He wasn’t even a candidate for president,” Nobles pointed out.

“He was a candidate – ” Smith claimed.

“On August 6 –” Nobles began before Smith interrupted him.

“So apparently apparent – what source are you with?” Chairman Smith asked Noble.

“I’m with NBC,” the reporter replied.

“So apparently, you’ll never believe us,” Smith charged.

“I’m asking you a very direct question,” Nobles explained. “You presented a piece of evidence that you say came on August 6, 2017, that demonstrates that Joe Biden was using political influence to help his son. He wasn’t a political figure at that time. The first WhatsApp message you put up, where yo talk about the brand,” Nobles explained. “I’m completely open minded about this. I’m asking you specifically, how does that demonstrate that there was some sort of political influence being put over him, if at that time, he is not a political – he’s not an elected official?”

“I’m definitely not going to pinpoint one item,” Chairman Smith said defensively.

READ MORE: ‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’

“You presented it!” Nobles acclaimed. “It was the first thing that you brought up.”

“So apparently, you don’t agree with that. So report that you disagree with it. I’ll take the next question. Yes?” Smith said, refusing to answer any of Nobles’ questions.

Watch below or at this link.

 

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