Congressman Jeff Landry, a freshman Republican from the state of Louisiana, might be a Southern gentleman by the virtue of his birth, but a scholar he certainly isn't. Even though he considers himself to be an accomplished alumnus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL), Landry harshly lectured the school's current leadership, under Pres. Joseph Savoie, saying he couldn't see "an economic benefit to the participants or financial sense for the taxpayer," for ULL to include an LGBT Studies minor into its curriculum. Taking a page from doctoral student Jennifer Thibodeaux's letter to the editor, the congressman's openly gay, younger brother, Nicholas Landry, argued the LGBT Studies minor helps avert the state's anti-gay image that costs Louisiana millions of dollars of revenue annually from lost LGBT business and tourism. Then again, it's not as if he's one New Orleans' top event planners. "Ignorance is not education ... By embracing diversity and acknowledging our differences, we gain understanding. Understanding is education," the younger Landry chided online. His big brother's response? "To my brother. I am sorry we disagree, but we still love and pray for you." How quaint. Before you catch the vapors, here's what you need to know:
- Given his level of international fame, it's hard not to recognize musical artist Wouter "Wally" De Backer; widely-known as Gotye. So it comes as a surprise that the "Somebody That I Used to Know" singer had to recently address rumors that he's parting ways with his manhood. "Do I have to? Maybe it's fun keeping it open," the Belgian-Australian entertainer mused to E! News about his alleged gender-reassignment surgery. Did I mention he's also not dead yet, Twitter?
- Grown men with a certain fondness for fillies refuse to be humiliated by the likes of Jerry Springer. Now adult fans of the children's cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, referred to as "Bronies," are braced to do battle with the TV personality. Insulted by one of The Jerry Springer Show's latest casting calls depicting Bronies as sexual fetishists, they've blasted a Flim Flam Alert across the Internet protesting Springer's unflattering portrayal of them. My advice? Go to Oprah!
- Could this be the truce that finally ends the Chick-fil-A food fight? One restaurant owner, Anthony Piccola, from Nashua, N.H. decided to challenge Chick-fil-A's critics at the national level by putting his money where his mouth is. "Chick-fil-A at Pheasant Lane Mall has gay employees and serves gay customers with honor, dignity and respect," Piccola said in a statement released by organizers of the New Hampshire Pride Festival. "We also don't discriminate in giving back to the Nashua community, donating to a wide variety of causes. I would challenge people to come have a conversation with me before they make assumptions or boycott my restaurant." Piccola invites those with reservations about the fast-food chain to eat at the 10-by-10 Chick-fil-A booth appearing at Pride Fest - for free.
- Unfortunately, Jim Furman, CEO of Boone, N.C.-based Tar Heel Capital, ignored the ceasefire, and catapulted Tar Heel Capital's 86 Wendy's restaurants into the melee by prompting managers to spell out their support for Chick-fil-A on their roadside signs. Several of their locations throughout North and South Carolina proudly declared Wednesday "We Stand With Chick-fil-A." That's funny. I thought the Golden Rule, which Tar Heel Capital loosely refers to in its Mission Statement, ALWAYS meant "treat others as you would like to be treated." Perhaps Furman's pigtails are tied a little too tightly?
- The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) annual report recently revealed that a lesbian encounter in the backseat of a Black Swan taxicab between actresses Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis left more Brits hot and bothered than any other film last year. Officials at the BBFC recorded a total of 40 complaints, with a majority identifying their characters' cunnilangus scene as the "standout" criticism. However, David Cooke, director of the BBFC, wasn't about to recategorize Black Swan - rated appropriate for '15'-year-olds - or any other films depicting homosexuality, for an older audience. "We have a clear policy in the guidelines that we don't differentiate or discriminate whether it's a straight or gay or lesbian scene," Cooke stated for a reporter with The Independent.
- Since October of 1996, the more than 48,000 squares of the AIDS Memorial Quilt haven't appeared side-by-side after the NAMES Project Foundation last draped it across the National Mall of Washington D.C. Now, thanks to the efforts of Microsoft Research and the University of Southern California, every panel can finally fit underneath your roof.