Out & About Today Nashville Channel 5
Happening in Nashville
Trending around OUTvoices
At one of this season’s Pride events, someone posed a question regarding the origins of marriage equality as the focus of national GLBT energy and resources.
The speaker said, “Blame it on the lesbians.” He then explained that the women provided the impetus for the marriage equality movement because they had more issues with family and children. That did not ring true, and I set out to find the answer to this question.
In researching this article, I have interviewed people from across the country. The upcoming anti-marriage equality ballot initiative that will be up for referendum in November here in Tennessee puts this topic front and center.
Historical evidence pointing to same-sex unions can be found even in ancient times in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Documents indicating the presence of such couples can also be found in Europe as far back as 342 c.e. However, the push toward marriage equality as we now define it began in Copenhagen, Denmark, in October 1989 as a result of that country’s Partnership Law. At that time, 11 couples were married, including Axel and Eigil Axgil, who had lived together for nearly 40 years. Eight years into their relationship, the couple had combined their first names to create their family name, Axgil. The name change occurred in 1957, when they were in prison for gay rights activism.
In the 1970s, several couples filed lawsuits after being denied marriage licenses. While marriage was not a priority for most GLBTs at that time, the Metropolitan Community Church claimed the issue and acknowledged its importance. Otherwise, activists and GLBT organizations did not see marriage equality as a focus for movement activity.
In the United States, marriage was declared a “basic civil right” for all Americans in the 1967 United States Supreme Court ruling that overturned the laws prohibiting marriage between persons of different races. Loving v. Virginia held that the pursuit of happiness guaranteed by our Constitution included the ability to marry a person chosen freely by each American citizen.
Following the Stonewall Riots in 1969, a Minnesota couple applied for a marriage license. After being refused the license, Jack Baker and Mike McConnell unsuccessfully filed suit in their home state’s Supreme Court. Elsewhere in that same year, Donna Berkett and Manonia Evans sued for the right to marry in Wisconsin. That case did not go to trial. John Singer and Paul Barwick also fruitlessly attempted to get married in Seattle, Wash. Their lawsuit resulted in a clear defeat with a ruling standing firm against marriage equality.
“The institution of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis,” opined the Washington court.
1971 also saw the passage of the first DOMA (so-called Defense of Marriage Act) in the state of Maryland. Throughout the decade of the 1970s, there were numerous attempts on the part of same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses in various states including Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, Illinois and others. The lawsuits arising from these attempts to gain marriage licenses percolated up from the grassroots, from the GLBT people themselves. Male couples were the overwhelming majority of these cases.
The next decade saw the right to marry affirmed for immigrants and prisoners in the United States, giving them this basic civil right denied to GLBT citizens.
“Since 1971, dozens of GLBT couples have sued over the freedom to marry,” said Sean Cahill, Director of the Task Force’s Policy Institute and author of “Same-Sex Marriage in the United States” (2004) and co-author with Sarah Tobias of “No Child Left Behind?” (2003).“National groups were initially reluctant to tackle marriage equality, and the GLBT legal groups tried to talk couples out of taking their cases to court,” Cahill continued. “However, the Christian right’s deployment of marriage equality as a wedge issue smoke-and-mirrors cover for their agenda.”
Fast forward to the year 1993 in the state of Hawaii, where that states’ Supreme Court ruled that the ban on sex discrimination prohibited denial of marriage equality to same-sex couples.
Following closely behind that decision was a 1996 ruling by a Hawaiian trial court, which affirmed same-sex marriage rights. A referendum codifying marriage inequality in Hawaii came before the Supreme Court justices had a chance to interpret the lower court’s ruling. The couple at issue in this high profile case involved a lesbian couple, Ninia Baehr and Genora Dancel. Perhaps that is the source of the “blame it on the lesbians” remark.
Toward the end of the 1990s, Alaska amended their Constitution with an anti-equality clause. It was during this time that the issue arose in Vermont. Though, in 1999, Vermont Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality legislation, it failed to spell out couples’ right to a marriage license. In 2000, the Vermont legislature passed their civil unions statute, signed into law by then-governor Howard Dean.
Massachusetts’s cases then emerged at the front lines in the battle for marriage equality. Efforts in various other states to either pass marriage equality statutes or fend off attempts by right-wing groups to push one man/one woman marriage as the only legal marriage are now an integral part of the struggle for GLBT civil rights across the nation. The most extreme form involves amending state constitutions to forever ban all forms of unity between GLBT couples including civil unions and domestic partnerships.
As we move closer to the November 7 election, the referendum to instill hatred into the Tennessee State Constitution becomes priority one for many in the statewide GLBT community along with their supportive friends. Coalitions now forming hope to counter the efforts of the right wing radicals' proposal to alter our Constitution and reduce civil rights for Tennessee citizens for the first time in the history of our state.
Visit the campaign online at www.votenoon1tn.com or call (615) 321-8467.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.