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Looking Out: 'Normal Heart,' 'Orange' snag Emmy nods in big year for LGBT productions

Two television productions that pushed the LGBT envelope on the small screen this year were big winners Thursday, as the 2014 Emmy nominations were announced.

The HBO movie "The Normal Heart," centered on the outbreak of AIDS in 1980s New York City, earned 16 nominations, while the women's prison comedy "Orange is the New Black" on Netflix took 12 nominations.

Among the "Orange" nods was one for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series for Laverne Cox, a transgender activist whose success on the show has launched her acting career -- and landed her on the cover of Time.  According to The Advocate, Cox's nomination is the first given to an openly transgender actress.

The often dark "Orange" was also nominated for outstanding comedy series. "Normal Heart" was nominated for outstanding television movie.

Mark Ruffalo was nominated for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie for his portrayal of Ned Weeks in "Normal Heart." Larry Kramer, who Weeks is based on and who wrote the original play, also was nominated for his screenplay for the film.

Ryan Murphy, of "Glee" fame, was nominated for his direction of the film.

Both "Orange" and "Normal Heart" were nominated for casting, and "Normal Heart" appeared across the board under movie-related categories.

Four actors in the movie were nominated for outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie: Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello, Alfred Molina and Matt Bomer. (Parsons, who is gay, also received a nomination for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for his work on "The Big Bang Theory.")

Julia Roberts also received a nomination for outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie for her role in "Normal Heart." The film was also nominated for cinematography, costumers and hairstyles.

There were some other wins for the LGBT community as well -- Jodie Foster earned a nomination for an "Orange" episode she directed -- and you can check out all the nominations here.

Elsewhere on the web: 

- Out Magazine has a story on Michael Sam, and his becoming the first openly gay draft pick to enter the NFL. Check it out here.

- A gay man in our neighbor city to the south was apparently attacked by a woman in a grocery store in Washington after being called a gay slur, according to the Washington Blade.

- ICYMI, Utah plans to take the battle there over same-sex marriage to the Supreme Court with an appeal, and a number of major LGBT advocacy groups withdrew their support for the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act at the federal level over religious exemptions.

So what do you think of all the #Emmynoms this year?

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