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Penn wins SAG award for ‘Milk’

The Advocate reports Sean Penn has emerged as an early front-runner in the Oscar race after taking home top honors at the Screen Actors Guild Awards Jan. 25.

Penn took home the Best Actor prize for his performance as gay-rights activist/politician Harvey Milk. The film was largely overlooked by the Golden Globes with Penn representing the film’s only nomination and losing to Mickey Rourke’s performance in “The Wrestler.”

“As actors we don’t play gay, straight ... we play human beings,” Penn said as he accepted the award. “[I’m] so appreciative of this acknowledgment. This is a story of equal rights for all human beings. Thanks, Gus Van Sant, Lance Black, the counsel of Cleve Jones and the great Harvey Milk.”

Hawaii House backs civil unions

The Honolulu Advertiser reports a majority in the state House has signed on to a bill that would legalize civil unions, giving the issue a chance of advancing this session after years of stagnation.

Same-sex couples could have their civil union performed by a judge or member of the clergy and partners who enter into civil unions would have the same rights, benefits and protections as married couples. The state would also recognize civil unions, domestic partnerships or same-sex marriages validly performed in other states.

“I think it’s just time,” said state House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro (D-33rd Dist.), who sponsored the bill.

The state Supreme Court had ruled in 1993 that barring same-sex marriage could be a violation of equal-protection rights.

ABC leads in GLAAD Awards

365gay.com reports that, for the third year running, ABC leads in nominations for the 20th annual GLAAD Media Awards, with “Brothers & Sisters,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Ugly Betty” among its six contenders.

The awards recognize fair and inclusive portrayals of the LGBT community and issues affecting them.

The organization announced its 185 nominees in 41 categories Jan. 27.

CBS earned four nominations and NBC nabbed two.

The GLAAD Media Awards will be presented at three separate ceremonies: in New York on March 28, in Los Angeles on April 19 and in San Francisco on May 9.


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