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Kelly Bradley

New York appeals court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act

Defense of Marriage Act ruled unconstitutional

A federal appeals court in New York became the nation’s second to reject the Defense of Marriage Act, deeming denial of federal benefits to married same-sex couples unconstitutional. The Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman and bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages. The appeals court in New York joins an appeals court in Boston who also rejected the law.

Although six states have legalized same-sex marriages, including New York in 2011, the Defense of Marriage Act stops federal law and government programs from recognizing those marriages.

CNN legal analyst Paul Callan spoke on the civil rights issue saying, “This court has a limited jurisdiction. But this is a very favorable decision for those who believe that the Defense of Marriage (Act) unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples.”

He went on to say, “Those who back striking down the law believe this decision will give them a very strong position arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in the future.” The U.S. Supreme Court may take up the issue in its current term.

Judge Chester Straub also added “If the government was to change its understanding of marriage, I believe it is for the American people to do so.”

The Obama administration said last year that it considered the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and would no longer defend it.

Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign, a California-based progressive advocacy organization, said “Next stop, Supreme Court. Politicians and judges have no business telling anyone who they can love and who they can marry.”

Emily Maynard and Jef Holm split

Emily Maynard and Jef Holm are calling it quits

Bachelorette star Emily Maynard and fiancée Jef Holm have decided to break off their engagement. Due to the consistently disappointing statistics of previous Bachelor and Bachelorette couples, this should not come as a shock. The single mom described the breakup as “a very difficult and heartbreaking decision.”

Maynard went on to say “I have nothing but respect and love for Jef and his family, but ultimately we are just at different points in our lives. I’ve learned so much and I’m grateful for all of the support I’ve received.”

Jef Holm also released a statement saying, “Emily and I are great friends and I hope we can continue to be friends forever. Everyone wants a salacious story to break, but the truth is we are just two people who fell in love and tried our hardest to make it work. I will always love her.”

Unfortunately for Maynard, this isn’t the first time she has split from a fiancée. Emily Maynard competed on the 15th season of The Bachelor where she accepted Brad Womack’s proposal in the season finale. However, a few months later, they ended the relationship.

On a more positive note, two former Bachelor couples are celebrating some good news. Jason and Molly Mesnick are expecting their first child together, while Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum’s televised wedding special will air on ABC in December.

Tagg Romney jokes about 'taking a swing’ at President Obama

Tagg Romney is facing criticism for joking about punching the president

Tagg Romney, Mitt Romney’s eldest son, joked to a local radio station following the debate that President Obama’s comments toward his dad made him want to “take a swing at him.” Tagg Romney was asked during an interview with a North Carolina radio station how he felt when Obama accused his father of being “a liar.” His response has triggered criticism.

Tagg jokingly responded saying, “Jump out of your seat and you want to rush down to the debate stage and take a swing at him. But you know you can’t do that because, well, first because there’s a lot of Secret Service between you and him, but also because this is the nature of the process. They’re gonna try to do everything they can do to try to make my dad into someone he’s not.”

Tagg Romney went on to say, “We signed up for it, we’ve got to kind of sit there and take our punches, and then send them right back the other way.”

Although it may have been a natural response to come to his father’s defense, coming just weeks before voting day, Tagg’s response probably wasn’t the best thing for the governor’s chances at the polls.

Tagg’s brother, Josh Romney, commented on his brother’s “off the cuff” comment during an appearance on ABC’s The View with Ann Romney saying it was only a joke. He continued to make light of the situation by saying, “That brother has slugged me a couple of times. I assure you, President Obama has nothing to worry about.”

Darth Vader’s wife punched in the face

A man was arrested for allegedly punching Darth Vader’s wife square in the face

An Englishman was arrested after punching the wife of Darth Vader. No, unfortunately it’s not the Darth Vader you’re thinking of. Mark Nokes officially changed his name to Darth Vader several years ago. A decision I’m sure he has to regret.

Ikbal Hare, 35, was arrested on September 20 for the assault. Hare came after Vader for allegedly having an affair with his wife. However, Hare missed and instead hit Vader’s wife right in the face. He’s just lucky Vader wasn’t carrying his light saber at the time. Hare ran off, but the force was not with him and he was captured and arrested two days later. It was reported that Mrs. Darth Vader attempted to stop the scuffle by getting in the middle of the two men. But in the process, her face suffered a blow.

Ikbal Hare pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed article, assaulting Vader’s wife, having a horrible name and disorderly behavior. He is now facing 18 months on probation, anger management and 200 hours of community service. If you punch Darth Vader’s wife, you better be prepared to face the consequences.

Megan Fox welcomes baby boy

Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green welcomed their first newborn

Megan Fox and husband Brian Austin Green welcomed their first child, Noah Shannon Green, on September 27. The 26-year-old actress is overwhelmed with joy, gushing about the couple’s “healthy, happy, and perfect” newborn on Facebook. Fox wrote “We have been very lucky to have had a peaceful few weeks at home, but I would like to release this myself before others do. I gave birth to our son Noah Shannon Green on September 27th. He is healthy, happy, and perfect.”

The Transformers star went on to say, “We are humbled to have the opportunity to call ourselves parents of this beautiful soul and I am forever grateful to God for allowing me to know this kind of boundless, immaculate love.”

This isn’t her husband’s first child, however. The actor also has a 10-year-old son, Kassius, from a previous relationship with Vanessa Marcil. Fox expressed her joy about having a stepson saying, “A lot of things make me happy. But I feel unbelievably happy when my stepson tells me I’m beautiful.” The star has been living with Kassius since he was three and added that she loves being a stepmom. Fox said, “The experience grounds me when nothing makes sense in my life.”

Megan Fox announced she was with child in June. Shortly after, she showed off her pregnant belly while on vacation in Hawaii with her husband.

There’s a strong chance that because of his mother’s genes, this child will grow up to be incredibly good looking.

Artist kills 9,000 butterflies

An artist is facing criticism for killing 9,000 butterflies for an exhibition

Artist Damien Hirst is under fire for clipping the wings of over 9,000 butterflies for an art exhibition. Several animal rights organizations are up in arms after it was revealed that almost 400 died every seven days during the 23-week showcase. Hirst is known for his creative yet controversial art, having previously showcased a decapitated cow head as well as a formaldehyde-soaked shark.

Hirst’s piece titled “In And Out Of Love” was held at an exhibition at the Tate Modern in London with two windowless rooms filled with the winged beauties. The artist is now facing criticism from the RSPCA.

A spokesman for the RSPCA spoke out saying, “In this so-called ‘art exhibition,’ butterflies are forced to exist in the artificial environment of a closed room for their entire lives. There would be national outcry if the exhibition involved any other animal, such as a dog. Just because it’s butterflies, that does not mean they do not deserve to be treated with kindness.”

However, some are coming to Hirst’s defense saying that the butterflies may have lived a longer life thanks to Hirst. A representative from Tate Modern came to the artist’s defense saying, “The butterflies used in this [Hirst’s] work were all sourced from reputable UK butterfly houses and were selected from varieties known to thrive in the conditions created.”

He went on to say, “The butterflies lived out the final stage of their natural life cycle inside this room. Approximately 400 butterflies were introduced to the exhibition over the course of each week, with many enjoying longer life spans than in the wild due to the high quality of this environment.”

Soldier gets 10 months for sham marriage

A former Kansas soldier entered into a sham marriage for military benefits

Former Kansas soldier, Joshua Priest, is looking at 10 months in federal prison for entering into a sham marriage. This sham marriage would provide him with additional military benefits and allow his Jamaican bride to become a legal immigrant. Priest pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and wire fraud. He also testified against his wife, Shannakay Hunter.

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot rejected the prosecution’s request for leniency. The judge claimed it was not justified in this case. Belot told the ex-Kansas soldier “The fact you came in and cooperated is fine, but it doesn’t excuse what you did.” He went on to say, “The worst part of it, Mr. Priest, is that you were a member of our armed forces.” According to Belot, Priest was held to a higher standard and had taken an oath to serve the country—an oath that he violated.

Priest has been ordered to pay nearly $30,000 in restitution for the fraudulently obtained housing and subsistence benefits given married soldiers. Priest’s defense attorney David Freund asked for the ex-soldier to be sentenced to probation. He claimed he had financial problems and made “a poor decision” but has since enrolled in college in Virginia. He understands his obligation to make restitution.

Priest’s bride, Hunter, was convicted in August of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and lying to the government. Hunter will be sentenced on November 26.

Creators of South Park being sued

Creators of South Park are being sued over the use of the Lollipop King

South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are being sued by Exavier Wardlaw, creator of the children’s show The Lollipop Forest. Wardlaw claims the show ripped off his lollipop character and defiled it. The character was allegedly exposed to “unwholesome language and sexual innuendo.”

In these three episodes of South Park entitled “Imaginationland” the Lollipop King was shown being choked by a Storm Trooper, witnessing a suicide bombing and watching Kyle and Cartman engage in oral sex.

Creators, producers, directors and writers all disregarded the public copyright notice and used The Lollipop Forest for financial gain without permission or attribution of authorship or compensation for use. According to The Wrap, “The ‘South Park’ television broadcast diminished/tarnished the value of The Lollipop Forest as a wholesome family show by association within the context of unwholesome language and sexual innuendo.”

The “Imaginationland” episode even won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program for One Hour or More.

The Lollipop Forest creator demands that all references to the show and the characters derived from it are to be removed immediately.

76-year-old tries out for NBA

76-year-old is hoping to earn a spot on the Santa Cruz Warriors

76-year-old NBA hopeful, Don Wiberg, isn’t giving up on his dreams to earn a spot in the NBA. Wiberg attended a tryout for a spot on Golden State’s D-League team, the Santa Cruz Warriors, last weekend. Although Wiberg isn’t new to basketball, he isn’t exactly Kareem Abdul Jabbar, either. Wiburg admitted “I can’t say that I can run, jump or shoot because I can’t. But For a guy who can’t run, jump or shoot I’m a decent passer and I’ll get in there and mix it up.”

Don Wiberg played one year of basketball at Cal Tech during college and hasn’t played all that much since then. According to Larry Brown Sports, the 76-year-old gave up basketball 20 years ago to play beach volleyball. Wiberg said,”I’m 76 years old and this is the only thing left on my bucket list—to try out for the Santa Cruz Warriors…It’s on my bucket list. You know, what the hell.”

These tryouts are often intended to unveil diamonds in the rough and give young players a chance to compete. In fact, these D-League teams were the starting point for many older veterans including Greg Ostertag, Ricky Davis and Antoine Walker.

Others among the tryouts included members of the Washington Generals, also known as the guys who play the Harlem Globetrotters, and Bay Area rapper Lil B.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to co-host the Golden Globes

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are teaming up for the 70th annual Golden Globes

On Monday night, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are coming together once again to host the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony. The pair are replacing British comedian Ricky Gervais’s three-year reign as the show’s host. However, this isn’t the first time the comedy duo is partnering up.

In 2004, Fey both wrote and co-starred in Mean Girls which Poehler was also a part of, playing the pushover mother of Rachel McAdams’ queen bee villainess. Shortly after, in 2008, Fey and Poehler starred side by side in Baby Mama. Fey plays a workaholic desperate to get pregnant while Poehler plays the tragically unlucky surrogate.

Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late night programming at NBC, said “Having both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on board to host this year’s festivities is a major coup. Tina and Amy have a proven chemistry and comedic timing from their many years together on ‘SNL’ to their successful co-starring roles in Baby Mama.”

Amy Poehler’s hit show Parks and Recreation is currently undergoing its fifth season, while Tina Fey’s 30 Rock is airing its seventh and final season on NBC.

The nominees will be revealed December 13 and the 70th annual Golden Globes will air on January 13, 2013.