Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller was heckled by small group of gay activists in New York City on Friday as she left the offices of the Ford Foundation. The disruption happened on the eve of Simpson Miller's address this morning to the opening session of the 68th United Nations General Assembly—where a larger protest is expected.
The group of seven protesters shouted, "Gay rights are human rights!" and "Portia, shame on you!" as Simpson Miller exited the building. Simpson Miller appeared unper-turbed, waving at the protesters and blowing kisses, but was later redirected by a security detail. A group called Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand was calling for an end to Jamaica’s anti-gay laws. It, along with other gay-rights lobbies, is planning to stage another protest on Saturday morning, when Simpson Miller is slated to address the UN General Assembly.
Simpson Miller's center left People's National Party won in a landslide election in December 2011—capturing 42 seats in the 63-seat legislature, leaving the incumbent center right Labour party with only 21 seats. Simpson Miller was sworn in for the second time as Jamaica’s prime minister in January 2012. Simpson Miller explicitly came out for gay rights during a televised debate in Decemeber 2011. The former opposition leader promised a conscience vote on whether Jamaica's laws criminalizing consensual male homosexual acts—"buggery laws"—should be repealed. Activists are angry because that has yet to happen.
Former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh has finally resigned after a three-month, unexplained absence from City Hall, reports the Associated Press, Deroit Free Press and Detroit News. Pugh went into hiding in mid-June after allegations were first reported involving an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy.
A spokesman for emergency manager Kevyn Orr says in an email that the
two-paragraph letter was left about 3 p.m. Friday at the 11th floor
front desk. The letter is signed "Charles Pugh" and says he has accepted "an offer for employment elsewhere."
Orr stripped Pugh of his pay and authority on June 27. The order became effective July 7.
The family of an 18-year-old recent graduate of Detroit's Douglass
Academy for Young Men—where Pugh once volunteered as a mentor—has accused the
politician of inappropriate conduct. Pugh allegedly bought a cell phone
for the teen, gave him hundreds of dollars in cash and bought him
clothes. Police say the other allegations involving touching are
"vague." Pugh deleted his social media accounts, changed his phone
numbers and went into hiding. He was spotted at a Starbucks in Seattle in late June.
Meanwhile: The former Detroit City Council president has been spotted in New York City in recent weeks ...
Pugh—who was a popular television reporter and news anchor in Detroit before turning to politics—attended a Monday meeting of the New York City chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. "The group’s president, Michael J. Feeney, said Pugh sat in the front
row, was attentive and mingled with fellow journalists during a
reception that followed," reported the Detroit News. Feeney uploaded the above photo to Instagram with this caption: "Look at Charles Pugh at the NYABJ meeting!"
Charles Pugh was among the most prominent Black, openly gay elected officials in the nation. Pugh made history in 2009 as the first openly LGBT elected official in Detroit. The popular and openly gay longtime former Detroit television anchor made
history in August 2009 when he finished first in a primary field of over 160 candidates. In November 2009, Pugh also received the most votes in the general election. He made history as the first openly gay person on the Detroi City Council and its first openly gay president.
There is good news and bad news following the Brand New Heavies weekend performance in Chicago.
The Good News: The brilliant London-based acid jazz/funk band has reunited with their fabulous former lead singer N'Dea Davenport for an American tour. The Heavies performed a terrific intimate set to a sold-out crowd at The Shrine on Sunday evening.
The Bad News: As all of my friends know ... BNH are my favorite band. And I was out of town that weekend. Sigh.
Here are several Instagrams. Watch BNH perform their hits "Sometimes" and "Stay This Way" as well as their newer track "Stand Up" WHEN YOU JUMP ...
The amazing and iconic Ms. Grace Jones performed at New York City's Roseland Ballroom on Saturday night.
At 64-years-old, the "post-disco diva" does "all the normal elderly activities: hula-hooping for Queen Elizabeth, receiving and declining offers to duet with Lady Gaga, and donning enormous headdresses and slinky leotards," notes Time Out New York.
All that was in effect as Ms. Jones "Returned to Roseland" on her aptly named "Hurricane Tour." I've experienced Grace Jones' live performances up to a half dozen times live in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London and could never tire of her artistry.
More images and watch the videos—including the NSFW live version of "Slave to the Rhythm" as well as "Feel Up", "Private Life", "La Vie en Rose" and "Pull Up to the Bumper"—AFTER THE JUMP ...
President Obama returned to his Chicago neighborhood to vote early on Thursday. Obama became the first U.S. president to cast an early vote in person—and also possibly the first president to be carded at the polls, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
"I very much appreciate everybody here," the President said at the early voting site. “It’s good to be home back in the neighborhood."
But the most famous man in the world still had to prove who he was. An early voting official looked at the president and smiled: "I need an I.D."
That was met with laughter, including from Obama, who then joked about his license photo.
Illinois requires identification only when voting early. The First Lady also cast an early vote earlier this month.
Meanwhile: The pommel horse hotness is being recruited by the popular television series Strictly Come Dancing. The show is looking to capitalize on Smith's popularity from the Olympics, reports The Sun.
A Strictly Come Dancing source said: "As an athlete, he is fit and dedicated and would be capable of some amazing dance moves. He is also gorgeous which won’t do him any harm when it comes to audience support.He has yet to sign on the dotted line but it’s likely when the line-up is announced next week he will be on the list of contestants."
Smith led Team GB to a bronze medal in the Artistic Gymnastics Men's Team Final at the London 2012 Games. This was GB's first gymnastics team win in 100 years. Smith followed that with an individual silver on the pommel. The pommel horse hotness took bronze at Beijing 2008 and became only the second Black male gymnast to win an Olympic medal.
The gymnast has tweeted a few more interesting snaps—such as hanging out with Kanye West during the London Games and shirtless partying with his mates while on holiday in Marbella.Those AFTER THE JUMP ...