Washington Blade politics reporter, Chris Johnson, discusses the Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage with WJLA in Washington D.C.
When television producers Peter Paige and Brad Bredeweg were contemplating the next show they would create together, one phrase popped into their conversation: âHow do you define family?â
Paige, best known for his role asÂ Emmett HoneycuttÂ onÂ Showtimeâs hit seriesÂ âQueer as Folk,â teamed with Bredeweg on the reality show âFly Girlsâ and the partnership was now looking to create a family drama.
âWe looked around at the TV landscape and thought, âThere arenât too many family dramas on right now,â and it was something we both always loved as TV viewers and wanted to fill that vacuum,â Paige says. âWe wanted to do it in the non-traditional family space, because we are seeing more of that around us.â
Two dads had been done before, but the idea of a lesbian couple raising a family was something that hadnât been explored on television in a family drama. The fact that both men are gay made it a subject that interested them, and they outlined a plan for âThe Fostersâ (Mondays at 9 p.m. on ABC Family).
âGetting any show on the air is a long, kind of circuitous, strange, wandering path through the wilderness,â Bredeweg says. âOnce we had the idea, a friend of ours was working for Jennifer Lopez and we brought the project to her and she got right on board and has been a champion of it ever since.â
Because of the type of programming that ABC Family was known for, it made the shortlist of the channels that both men thought would be best for their show. After all, the cable channelâs tagline is, âA New Kind of Familyâ; a match couldnât have been more perfect.
Once ABC Family committed to the project, the two creators went about answering the question, âHow do two women create a family?â and they decided to jam in as many ways as possible. Thus, âThe Fostersâ follows lovebirds Lena Adams and Stef Foster, an interracial lesbian couple who are married and living in the Mission Bay area ofÂ San Diego, raising Stef’s biological son along with adopted twins Jesus and Marianna. Another kid joins the bunch when Lena, a charter school vice principal, decides to take in troubled teen Callie.
âHaving been an actor on âQueer as Folkâ for so long, I learned that everyone has an opinion. The best stuff comes out of listening to your inner voice and following that,â Paige says. âWe have the added pressure of being one of the first-of-its-kind shows and you have to understand viewers will have a lot invested. They want to see themselves reflected so thereâs a real importance in how our moms are being portrayed.â
The âmoms,â as he calls the characters of Lena and Stef, are played by Teri Polo and Sherri Saum respectively.
âThey are both extraordinary. A beautiful yin and yang. Teri is very much like Steph, loud with no edit button. Sherri is very shy until you get to know her well. They are a lot like our partnership,â Bredeweg says. âTeri and Peter are very likely to put their foot in their mouth at any given moment. Sherri and I on the other hand are much more likely to play their cards close to the vest and destroy you with some wit or insight.â
The show is obviously resonating with a lot of people, as âThe Fostersâ has been one of ABC Familyâs highest rated new shows, registering 1.8 million viewers in its first week and improving on those numbers for episode two and three.
âTiming is everything in this business and we felt that with everything going on in the world, we just felt the timing was right,â Bredeweg says. âWe are very excited. Based on the feedback we are getting, people like what they are seeing and we are grateful for that.â
The lesbian community has come out in full force and both men have heard a great deal about the positives of representing their voice. Still, as with any show, not everyone is happy about everything.
âOne of the things I am hearing is that people are wondering why they havenât gotten too physical yet, but take a breath, itâs coming,â Paige says. âViewers need to remember that itâs a long ride and hopefully we will have 100 episodes to explore every facet of their lives and that will certainly include sex and sexuality.â
In fact, a recent Tweet by Saum shows the two characters in bed together with the caption, âLast day on the set, making the most of itâ underneath.
Paige and Bredeweg say âThe Fostersâ isnât a show for just the LGBT community, but a show for everyone.
âItâs a show about family. Itâs no difference whether they are lesbians or gay or straight, itâs all about the love of a family and how they respond to each other,â Paige says. âWe are so grateful and excited and hoping to make the lesbian community particularly proud.â
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd responded to a question on same-sex marriage on Sept. 2.
Full Frontal Freedom in collaboration with Dream It Productions and Ryan Hanson Productions created a contemporary dance video set to the popular marriage equality anthem “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
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U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice delivered a video message Friday on the International Day Against Homophobia.
She says the State Department is working on behalf of LGBT people overseas to ensure “everyone â especially LGBT youth â can live safely and without fear regardless of who they are or whom they love.”
Her full message follows:
Today, as we commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, we rededicate ourselves to a basic but essential truth â that human rights are universal and must be protected for all. Homophobia, sadly, is present in every corner of our world. And, it is a problem we continue to face here in the United States.
At the United Nations, the United States is standing up for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and fighting to ensure that their voices are heard and protected. The United States was proud to co-sponsor and adopt an historic resolution at the UN Human Rights Council condemning human rights abuses and violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
We will continue to work in every possible arena to protect communities and promote societies in which everyone â especially LGBT youth â can live safely and without fear regardless of who they are or whom they love. We call on all nations and all peoples to join us in ensuring that human rights are universally protected everywhere every day.
Watch as members of the LGBT Caucus in the U.S. Congress react to today’s Supreme Court rulings.
Representatives Polis, Cicilline, Malone and more share their feelings immediately after marriage decisions come down.
Tom Goss says “Bears are amazing, fun and sexy. We should celebrate that often…”
Written by Tom Goss
Produced by Rich Morel
Video directed by Aram Vartian and Michael Patrick Key
Kathy Griffin appeared on David Letterman to discuss some of her more questionable decisions while co-hosting New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper.