Samoa bans ‘Rocketman’ over gay sex scenes

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Rocketman,” the fantasy musical biopic about Elton John, has been banned in Samoa by the country’s censor Leiataua Niuapu Faaui over its depiction of homosexuality.

Faaui told newspaper Samoa Observer that the film conflicted with Samoa’s “culture and our Christian beliefs” and that it is “not good for public viewing and violates laws against same-sex marriage.”

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George Clooney stands by Brunei hotel boycott despite death penalty moratorium

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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George Clooney has pledged to continue boycotting hotels owned by Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah despite Brunei’s announcement that it has placed a moratorium on executions for same-sex sexual relations.

In March, Clooney called for a boycott of the nine international hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei including the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. Celebrities such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres echoed his call. J.P. Morgan, The Goldman Sachs Group and Bank of America also prohibited their employees from staying at the hotels.

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‘Rocketman’ star Taron Egerton says he feels ‘at home’ at gay clubs

By : Mariah Cooper Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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Taron Egerton, who stars in the upcoming Elton John biopic “Rocketman,” opened up about how he feels more “at home” going to gay clubs than he does going to a football match in a new interview for GQ UK.

Egerton says he’s always felt “like something of an imposter” as “The ‘guy,’ the ‘bro,’ the ‘stunt guy’” like his role in “Kingsman.”

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Ellen DeGeneres, Billie Jean King support Brunei-owned hotel boycott

By : Mariah Cooper Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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More celebrities have expressed their support of George Clooney’s call to boycott hotels owned by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, in protest of the country’s new anti-gay stoning law.

Brunei’s Sharia law-based penal code took effect on April 3. People found guilty of adultery or gay sex can be punished with death by stoning. Punishment for lesbian sex is 100 lashes with a whip.

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Paramount wants to edit Elton John’s gay sex scene in ‘Rocketman’

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Paramount Studios wants to censor a gay sex scene featured in the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” to help the film achieve a PG-13 rating, according to Baz Bamigboye of the Daily Mail.

Bamigboye reports that Paramount Studios are pressuring director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn to edit down a gay sex scene featuring Elton John (Taron Egerton) and John’s manager and lover John Reid (Richard Madden). The 40-second scene shows the couple’s “fully exposed white derrieres” but Bamigboye says the scene is “tastefully done.”

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PHOTOS: Elton John returns to ‘Crocodile Rock’ Orlando at Amway Center

By : Danny Garcia
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ORLANDO | The legendary Sir Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” returned to Orlando’s Amway Center March 19 after a last-minute cancellation due to an ear infection which prompted him to cancel both his Orlando and Tampa shows in November.

The arena was filled to the brim with fans in their most flamboyant and glamorous wears of feathers, sequins and fun glasses to celebrate the five-decade career of John, who announced that his will be the final tour he plans to do.

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The LGBTQ impact on movies, music, television, sports and fashion in 2018

By : Jeremy Williams
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From groundbreaking television to record-setting events, this year in LGBTQ pop culture has been explosive. Legends were remembered, new icons were formed and history was made—one certain gay athlete even became America’s new sweetheart.

Here we have compiled just a snippet of the LGBTQ impact on movies, music, television, sports and fashion in 2018 with our annual LGBTQ Pop Culture, A-Z.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Steven Robert Mayer and Luis Oviedo Valverde

By : Aaron Drake
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Steven Robert Mayer and Luis Oviedo Valverde met through Facebook in December of 2017. The two met in person on New Year’s Day of this year in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

“After one month chatting by Facebook and video call,[Steven] drove 5 hours on New Year’s Eve into Hilton Head Island and arrived at 9 a.m.,” Oviedo shares. “It was a big surprise for me.”

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Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman’ releases first teaser

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Rocketman,” a biopic about Elton John, gave a sneak peek of Taron Egerton as John in its first teaser.

The film follows John from his youth through his evolution into a musical idol in the 1970s as he prepares for the release of his critically-acclaimed album “Honky Chateau.”

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Prince Harry and Elton John team up to launch coalition to fight HIV in men

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Prince Harry and Elton John discussing the AIDS 2018 Plenary Session (Photo via Twitter)

Prince Harry and Elton John are collaborating on a new effort to raise HIV awareness in men.

The Duke of Sussex and the singer appeared together at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday to announce the launch of the MenStar coalition which was founded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Unitaid, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Johnson & Johnson and Gilead Sciences.

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Listen: Lady Gaga covers Elton John’s ‘Your Song’

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Lady Gaga put her Mother Monster spin on an Elton John classic with her rendition of “Your Song.” The single will be featured on the John tribute album “Revamp.”

“HERE WE ARE!!!” Gaga tweeted. “Here’s my cover of one of the greatest songs of all time. Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “Your Song.” What an honor it was to record. THATS ME ON THE PIANO! THIS ONES FOR YOU!!”

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Demi Lovato and Q-Tip honor LGBT culture in new music video

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Demi Lovato and Q-Tip have released a queer-themed music video for their cover of Elton John’s classic song “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

The video, which doesn’t include Lovato or Q-Tip, is set at a gay bar where the patrons break out into a voguing party.

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