Morning Buzz: Ellen DeGeneres ‘Saddened’ by Gay Marriage Ban

MSNBC reports that Ellen DeGeneres has released a statement to the Associated Press saying that she is “saddened beyond belief” by the passing of Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment in California banning gay marriage. DeGeneres says that she “like millions of Americans, felt like we had taken a giant step toward equality” by electing Barack Obama as president. And with the passing of the amendment, “we took a giant step away.” DeGeneres, who is openly gay, wed actress Portia DeRossi in August following a Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in California.

Newsweek reports that vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin once greeted male staffers in nothing but a towel. During a GOP convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, John McCain staffers went to Palin’s hotel room to brief her. Palin reportedly came out of the bathroom in nothing but a towel wrapped around her body,and one around her hair and asked the staffers to talk to her husband Todd while she got ready. “I’ll be just a minute,” she said.

TMZ has footage of Nick Hogan claiming he isn’t allowed to visit the friend he put into a coma with his reckless driving. Hogan, who served 166 days in a Florida jail for felony reckless driving, says that he hasn’t been allowed to visit John Graziano because Graziano’s family has banned him. Graziano has been in a permanent vegetative state since the August 2007 car accident.

More Sarah Palin news. Newsweek reports that losing vice-presidential candidate Palin spent far more on clothing for herself and her family during the presidential campaign than was initially reported. The Alaskan governor reportedly spent “tens of thousands more” than the initially reported amount of $150,000. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost, and $20,000 to $40,000 was spent on clothes for her husband Todd. A source referred to the shopping spree as “Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast.” All the clothing Palin wore will reportedly be donated to charity.

Us reports that “Joe the Plumber” (aka Samuel Wurzelbacher), the Ohio plumber that became an overnight media political touchstone after he was referred to at least 23 times by Barack Obama and John McCain in their final presidential debate, says that he can accept Barack Obama as his president. Wurzelbacher campaigned for John McCain. “Hey, the American people spoke. They elected Barack Obama as our president and our new Commander in Chief, and I’m behind that 100 percent,” he said yesterday.