Margot Adler, one of the signature voices on NPR's airwaves for more than three decades, died Monday at her home in New York City. She was 68 and had been battling cancer.
Margot joined the NPR staff as a general assignment reporter in 1979. She went on to cover everything from the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic to confrontations involving the Ku Klux Klan in Greensboro, N.C., to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
"Her reporting was singular and her voice distinct," Margaret Low Smith, NPR's vice president for news, said in an announcement to staff. "There was almost no story that Margot couldn't tell."
The granddaughter of renowned Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler, Margot was born in Little Rock, Ark., but spent most of her life in Manhattan.
More recently, Margot reported for NPR's Arts Desk. She landed the first U.S. radio interview with author J.K. Rowling, and she recently released Out for Blood, a meditation on society's fascination with vampires.
that research for the book began when her husband of 33 years was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
"He was the healthiest man on the planet, I mean literally," Margot said. "You know, he was a runner. Unlike me, he'd never done any drugs in the '60s. He'd never smoked. He ate perfectly, you know, one of these people. And he only lived nine months."
During that time, Margot read 260 vampire novels.
"Basically I started out, it was a meditation on mortality and death, and I started realizing that some of the different attitudes that he and I had about death, he was definitely kind of the high-tech guy, rage, rage, rage, you know, take every supplement, blah, blah, blah, blah," she said. "And I was kind of more like we're all part of the life process, you know."
Margot had a long-standing interest in the occult. "Margot was not only a brilliant reporter, she was also a Wiccan priestess and a leader in the Pagan community," Low Smith notes. "That was deeply important to her, and she wrote a seminal book about that world: Drawing Down the Moon. She also wrote a memoir called Heretic's Heart."
In a note she sent to NPR's staff last week, Margot explained that she had been fighting cancer for 3 1/2 years. Until three months ago, she had been relatively symptom-free.
What began as endometrial cancer had metastasized to several parts of her body.
"She leaves behind her 23-year-old son, Alex Dylan Glideman-Adler, who was by her side caring for her throughout her illness," Low Smith notes.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has appealed a federal judge's ruling striking down Colorado's ban on gay marriage.
U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore on Wednesday declared the ban invalid but stayed the ruling until Monday, August 25.
Suthers, a Republican, did not oppose the injunction but asked Moore to delay implementation until the Supreme Court has ruled in a separate case challenging Utah's ban.
Suthers' office filed a notice of appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver shortly after Moore handed down his ruling.
“We are gratified Judge Moore agreed with us that additional litigation in that court would be wasteful given that our laws' status will be decided by the Supreme Court's decision in the Utah case,” Suthers said in a statement.
While the Utah case was the first appealed to the Supreme Court, dozens of cases from across the country are wending their way through federal courts. The high court is not required to take any case.
The Tenth Circuit's decision in the Utah case prompted plaintiffs – six gay and lesbian couples – to challenge Colorado's ban.
A federal judge ruled Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional but stayed implementation of his ruling until a higher court can weigh in, leaving the fate of couples who have continued to obtain marriage licenses up in the air.
The judge's ruling Wednesday came in the case of six same-sex couples who sued over the state's Constitutional ban on gay marriage.
"As previously discussed, on the state of the record currently before the court, it is plaintiffs who have shown a likelihood of success on the merits; it is plaintiffs who suffer irreparable harm if Colorado's unconstitutional same-sex marriage ban is not enjoined; and it is plaintiffs to whom the balance of harm and the public interest favor," Judge Raymond Moore wrote in his order.
A higher federal court earlier last month ruled Utah's similar ban unconstitutional, and several Colorado county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, arguing that ruling applied to Colorado.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has repeatedly asked federal courts to clarify the situation, saying the piecemeal approach across the state is creating "chaos" over whether the licenses issued to same-sex couples are legally valid.
Suthers persuaded county clerks in Denver and Pueblo to stop issuing licenses to same-sex couples, but Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall has continued to grant them. Neither Hall nor Suthers could immediately be reached Wednesday afternoon.
"Judge Moore did the right thing today, faithfully upholding both the Constitution and Colorado values," Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement. "This is the second court decision in favor of the freedom to marry just in Colorado -- and across the country, judge after judge, court after court, in state after state have all examined the evidence and sifted through the arguments and concluded that the denial of marriage to same-sex couples cannot stand. It's time for the state attorney general to stop spending taxpayer money to defend the indefensible and allow gay couples to wed now."
Moore stayed implementation of his order striking down the state's ban until Aug. 24, giving the state time to appeal to either the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court.
When "True Blood" star Luke Grimes reportedly quit rather than play a gay role opposite Nelsan Ellis in the cult favorite television show, the irony seemed pretty apparent. "True Blood" is without a doubt one of the queerest shows currently on television, and one couldn't help but wonder what Grimes thought he was getting himself into when he initially came on as a cast member.
Now, Ellis is opening up about his own thoughts surrounding Grimes' departure -- and he has a few choice words for the actor. When asked by New York Magazine's Vulture site if he'd had the opportunity to "talk to or bond" with Grimes, Ellis responded in part, "I didn't, but I'm completely ... I mean, I can say I'm not going to make a comment, but I just think that, you're an actor, you're an actor on a show that's "True Blood," we're all sitting there going, "You quit your job because ... really?" I'm just... I'm over him. You quit your job because you don't want to play a gay part?..."
When pushed further, Ellis elaborated on his feelings.
...You make a statement when you do something like that... If you have a child, if you have a son, and he comes out as gay, what are you going to do? If you have a daughter who comes out gay ...? You just made a statement, and it has ripple effects... I can't approach a character with judgment. I certainly can't tell my boss, "I can act what I want to act, but not what you tell me to act," especially on a show where you come in, knowing what it is... I didn't like what he did because he made a statement, and sometimes you have to take responsibility.
Grimes made headlines late last month when he left "True Blood" over reported "creative differences." However, it later came to light that he reportedly quit because the season seven script included a queer romance plot line between his character and Ellis's.
A Northern Irish bakery has come under fire for refusing to prepare a cake in support of same-sex marriage for a local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocacy group.
As the BBC is reporting, Ashers Baking Company declined an order from a member of the Belfast-based Queerspace group, which asked for a cake featuring "Sesame Street" characters Bert and Ernie, along with the slogan, "Support Gay Marriage."
Daniel McArthur, who is the bakery's general manager, told the Belfast Telegraph that preparing the cake would go against the Christian values of his family-run company, which is owned by his parents, Colin and Karen McArthur.
“We thought that this order was at odds with our beliefs. It certainly was in contradiction of what the Bible teaches,” McArthur is quoted as saying in an online statement. He went on to note it was not the first time that his company had turned away customers who requested "pornographic" images and "foul" language, adding, "I feel if we don’t take a stand with this case, then how can we stand up against it further down the line?”
Still, as the Daily Mail points out, the bakery could face legal action because of the refusal. The Equality Commission's Northern Ireland Branch said that Ashers Baking Company went against local legislation which "prohibits discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services to a person seeking or obtaining to use those goods, facilities or services on the grounds of sexual orientation."
Earlier this year, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled to uphold a December 2013 ruling which found that Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips had discriminated against Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig when he denied their request for a wedding cake in 2012.
Phillips, a devout Christian, had argued that the decision violated his First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of his religion. He told CBS Denver that Masterpiece Cakeshop will no longer make wedding cakes of any sort in the wake of the May 30 ruling.