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Saturday, December 18, 2010

CONGRESSMAN BARNEY FRANK'S STATEMENT REGARDING THE SENATE VOTE ON THE REPEAL OF "DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL"


Congressman Barney Frank today released the following statement regarding the Senate vote to end debate on the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  The bipartisan vote of 63-33 indicates that legislation is almost certain to pass the Senate.


"The Senate vote today is one of the most important steps in the history of efforts to make our constitution fully applicable to all Americans."

"I want not just to congratulate but to thank President Obama, Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen, Senate Majority Leader Reid, Senator Levin, Senator Lieberman, Speaker Pelosi, House Majority Leader Hoyer, and Representative Patrick Murphy for their dedicated, diligent and effective work to bring us to this point."

"I do ask that for one thing:  now that we are about to make the decision to let patriotic Americans volunteer to fight for our country, despite any prejudices that may exist against them, it is important that the media and others pay particular attention to the predictions that have been made by some that this will lead to the destabilization of our military.  Those who have continually predicted disorder when we act against discrimination have been uniformly wrong and are too rarely held to account for that."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Congress Passes Tax Relief Ensuring Economic Opportunity for Americans

(Washington, DC) - The United States House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing a two-year extension of tax relief enacted under President George W. Bush.  The tax package avoids massive across-the-board rate increases, while enacting cutting payroll taxes, lowering the death tax, and providing small business owners with continued relief through a period of tepid economic recovery.

"Log Cabin Republicans praise passage of this important tax relief package as a response to the clear message sent by voters in November," said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director.  "Keeping taxes low, encouraging businesses to invest in new equipment, and providing payroll tax relief are real answers to an economy that continues to struggle.  Log Cabin Republicans particularly appreciate that while the discriminatory death tax returns, the damage will be limited under this agreement.  We look forward to working with the new Congress to pass further pro-economic growth policies beneficial to all Americans."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Daniel Radcliffe Supports The Trevor Project via SocialVibe

Video Message from Radcliffe Encourages Fans to Visit SocialVibe.com to Generate Free Donations for The Trevor Project’s Lifeline for LGBTQ Youth

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Trevor Project and Daniel Radcliffe have teamed up with SocialVibe to support The Trevor Project’s life-saving services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Radcliffe has recorded a video message showing people how they can visit socialvibe.com/thetrevorproject to directly support The Trevor Project’s crisis and suicide prevention lifeline. The video is now available for viewing and sharing via YouTube.

We all have the power to help LGBTQ youth know they are not alone

In the message, Radcliffe encourages people to take a minute out of their day to visit The Trevor Project’s dedicated page on SocialVibe and complete short brand activities that allow them donate to The Trevor Project without ever having to open their wallets. The goal of the campaign is to raise enough money via SocialVibe to fund 5,000 calls to The Trevor Lifeline, the only nationwide around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ youth.

We all have the power to help LGBTQ youth know they are not alone,” said Daniel Radcliffe. “The Trevor Project helps save lives every day, and anyone can support the cause for free simply by visiting SocialVibe.com.”

Finding innovative ways to reach people in the social networking sphere is paramount to the life-saving work of The Trevor Project. Whether it is through online crisis intervention programs like TrevorChat, or harnessing social media through fundraising partners like SocialVibe, we strive to continually enhance our online engagement with individuals,” said Executive Director, Charles Robbins. “Daniel Radcliffe understands the important role that social media plays in the lives of young people, and we are grateful for his support in this project with SocialVibe.”

SocialVibe is the easiest way for people to donate to the causes they care about without having to spend any money. The cause-marketing platform harnesses the power of social media and enables users to support the charities they are passionate about simply by engaging with brand activities online. Anyone with access to the Internet can donate to the Trevor Project by going to socialvibe.com/thetrevorproject and engaging with short brand activities that take less than a minute to complete. Each activity directly raises money for the Trevor Project, and sharing SocialVibe activities on Facebook and Twitter can help raise even more money for the cause.

Our campaign for The Trevor Project’s lifeline service is a perfect example of how social media can bring about social change,” said Jay Samit, CEO of SVnetwork & SocialVibe. “Our last campaign funded over 2,000 conversations for The Trevor Project’s free instant messaging service, TrevorChat, and we look forward to seeing great results with this campaign.”

Thursday, December 9, 2010

GLAAD URGES MEDIA TO SPOTLIGHT IMPACT OF "DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL" ON SERVICE MEMBERS


New York, NY, December 9, 2010 - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, expressed disappointment today after the U.S. Senate blocked legislation that would have repealed the military's policy of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'
"The Senate's inaction on the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is not only disappointing, it undermines our national security and continues the unfair practice of discharging critical and skilled service members," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "Today the media needs to amplify the voices of those patriotic and dedicated personnel being unfairly discharged simply because of who they are as well as the overwhelming support from the public and high-ranking military official to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'"
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey (http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/25/cnn-poll-nearly-8-in-10-favor-gays-in-the-military/) released earlier this year indicates that 78 percent of the public supports allowing openly gay and lesbian people to serve in the military.
GLAAD's National News team has been working along-side other advocacy organizations for years to share the stories of gay and lesbian service members and has media-ready service members ready to speak on this issue.

Senator Reid Fails to Negotiate in Good Faith, Kills 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal

(Washington, DC) - Log Cabin Republicans are deeply disappointed by the Senate Majority Leader's choice to invoke cloture on the National Defense Authorization Act without coming to an agreement on the amendment process, effectively locking Republicans out of the debate.

"There is no other way to describe it - today Senator Reid torpedoed repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director.  "Despite heroic efforts by Senator Susan Collins to craft a fair and reasonable process for debating one of the most important bills addressed by Congress every year, Senator Reid chose to turn his back on days of negotiation in favor of blaming Republicans for his failures.  Today could have been a day of celebration for all Americans who support our servicemembers to serve both honorably and honestly.  Instead, brave men and women will continue to serve under a failed and unconstitutional policy that has been firmly rejected by the American people, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Log Cabin Republicans are angered and disappointed, but we are fully committed to continuing the fight against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' by whatever means necessary.  We are tremendously grateful to Senator Collins for her efforts, and look forward to the day when together we will see this statute erased.

"In a statement on the floor in which she passionately described her support for repeal and efforts at negotiating with the Majority Leader, Senator Collins noted on the floor that she believed that the Senate was on a path to success, and that she, along with Senator Joe Lieberman were working in good faith on a compromise which would have ended 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and the Majority Leader's response was to guarantee failure instead of meeting in the middle."

Log Cabin Republicans have maintained a three-front strategy against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' lobbying for repeal in Congress, consulting with the Department of Defense, and filing suit in federal court.  The case went to trial in July of 2010, and Judge Virginia Phillips ruled on September 9, 2010 that the policy violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

HRC Remembers the Life and Advocacy of Elizabeth Edwards

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today honored the life and work of Elizabeth Edwards, and expressed sincere sadness on the news of her recent passing. At a time when few leaders were speaking out for marriage equality, Edwards was vocal and visible in her support of same-sex marriage and full equality for all Americans.

Elizabeth boldly stood behind her outspoken support of LGBT people,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Our community has lost a dear friend and ally, and our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time.”

Edward’s commitment to the LGBT community is perhaps best honored in her own words; at an HRC event in 2007, she spoke about the challenges facing the community. “We cannot call ourselves a country of compassion or decency, a country of equality, while at the same time, treating a vital segment among us as unworthy of equal treatment.”


Log Cabin Republicans Blast HRC About Milk's Camera Shop

Log Cabin Republicans of San Francisco and ‘Milk’ Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black React to HRC’s Plan to Turn Harvey Milk’s Camera Shop into a Gift Shop

SAN FRANCISCO – December 8, 2010 – The Log Cabin Republicans of San Francisco, the leading group for LGBT Republicans in the Bay Area, released the following statement in regards to the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) plan to convert the space that was formerly assassinated San Francisco Supervisor and leading gay rights advocate Harvey Milk’s camera shop on Castro Street into a gift shop selling HRC branded items.

HRC has proven time and again that its main goal is not to advance rights for LGBT Americans but to raise funds amongst the LGBT community for Democratic candidates,” stated LCRSF president Dan Brown.  “Harvey Milk supported both Republican and Democratic candidates throughout his life, and continually sought to reach consensus on both sides of the aisle for the benefit of us all. He tried to get everyone involved in fighting for their rights, whether by volunteering, lobbying, protesting, running for office, talking to friends, coworkers and family, and yes, even fundraising. If HRC, as the largest LGBT rights organization by funding, took a page from Harvey’s book rather than relying on empty promises from elected officials that rarely materialize, then we would be much closer to full equality than we currently are.

Oscar-winning screenwriter of ‘Milk’ and LGBT rights campaigner Dustin Lance Black also commented: “Harvey Milk spent the last years of his life fighting not only for rights for gays and lesbians across the nation, but also against the idea that the only way to achieve those rights is to lobby the government and financially support so-called ‘straight allies’. Harvey believed the best way to secure our rights was through grassroots action, coalition building and the election of LGBT people to office at all levels of government. He encouraged people to come out of the closet and be vocal about who they were and why they deserved full equality, not partial equality or crumbs. For the HRC leadership, which still advocates a piecemeal, wait-and-see approach to try and co-opt and profit from Harvey’s legacy is an outrage.”

Although not a member of Log Cabin, Dustin Lance Black teamed with the organization's Republicans Against 8 campaign in 2008 to produce an award-winning video campaign putting the face on gay and lesbian Californians.

Pink Banana Media Launches LGBTNewMedia.com

Matt Skallerud and Pink Banana Media are proud to introduce a new, free
service to the LGBT New Media world... LGBTNewMedia.com.

Designed as a hub for LGBT New Media Professionals in all walks of life,
including bloggers, online and social media marketers, researchers and more,
the site allows its members the opportunity to both network with other
members, as well as network and share what they're up to with the rest of
the world interested in LGBT New Media topics and trends.  Using technology
already integrated and tested in sites such as IGLTA.org and
CaliforniaGayChamber.com, LGBTNewMedia.com allows members to share their
blogs, Twitter status updates, Flickr photos, YouTube videos, Delicious
bookmarks, Digg articles and more with other members and the online
community following these LGBT marketing trends.  Members can also develop
out a comprehensive profile which allows online viewers the opportunity to
quickly and easily learn more about the member on Facebook, LinkedIn and
even the new FourSquare.

While the goal for LGBTNewMedia.com is to be one of the top sites where LGBT
New Media Professionals can share their social media activities with each
other and the rest of the world, the approach is such that everyone benefits
equally and has a vested interest in ensuring that this site is kept
up-to-date and maintains state-of-the-art social media technology in order
to best get the word out for LGBTNewMedia.com members and their fans!

Monday, November 29, 2010

OUTSERVE GOES PUBLIC WITH WORLDWIDE CHAPTER LOCATIONS



Gay Military Underground Network Has More Than 1,200 Members and 27 Chapters

WASHINGTON, DC, November 29, 2010 – OutServe, the underground network of gay and lesbian actively serving military members, today announced the worldwide locations and contact information for each of its 27 chapters, including the chapter for those based in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Making OutServe chapters available in these hopefully last critical weeks of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ debate will allow the media access to speak confidentially with gay and lesbian service members and regional OutServe leadership, who will be able to talk about their hopes and plans for a post-DADT military, one where they can serve openly and with integrity,” said JD Smith, OutServe co-director. “Post-repeal, we anticipate these chapters will serve as points of contact for military personnel who wish to reach out to actively serving gay and lesbian military members as a resource and as colleagues.”

OutServe currently has more than 1,200 members worldwide.  The organization’s largest regional chapters are those in Southern California and Germany, with 110 and 83 members, respectively. OutServe’s Afghanistan/Iraq chapter has 50 members.  The organization’s average chapter size is 45 members.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fox News rejects ad featuring gay troops discussing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

EXCERPT: Once again proving that Fox News has a love/hate (perhaps more hate/hate) relationship with the LGBT community, the right-wing network has rejected an advertisement from the Palm Center featuring openly gay troops discussing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), according to a press release obtained by Media Matters. Palm Center's communications consultant Cathy Renna told Media Matters that Fox News' ad department wrote in an email explaining their rejection of the ad, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell is still on hold, so claiming the military is planning repeal is incorrect." Renna countered, saying "the ad is a demonstration by Palm that the experience of allied militaries has been that having openly gay service members by their side does not undermine combat effectivenes s. The important thing is that these are our allies talking about their experience."

FULL TEXT HERE: http://mediamatters.org/blog/201011230019

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pentagon Pushes Up Release of DADT Study - Log Cabin Republicans Urge Congress to Act with Similar Urgency

(Washington, DC) - Log Cabin Republicans are pleased Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has moved up the release date of the Pentagon Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'  The report will now be made available on November 30th. 

"As President Obama and the Democratic leadership try to cram more and more into a tight lame duck legislative calendar, every day the Senate has to consider this report is critical to efforts to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director.  "Log Cabin Republicans firmly supported the study process, and we are grateful for the efforts of the Comprehensive Working Group to deliver the report ahead of schedule.  With Defense leaders including Secretary Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen calling for repeal, and the Pentagon having made early completion of this report a priority, it is incumbent upon the Senate to overcome any recalcitrance and end this failed and unconstitutional policy as soon as possible."

Log Cabin Republicans have pursued a three-front strategy against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' lobbying for repeal in Congress, consulting with the Department of Defense, and filing suit in federal court.  The case went to trial in July of 2010, and Judge Virginia Phillips ruled on September 9, 2010 that the policy violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Remarks By Commerce Secretary Gary Locke at NGLCC Annual Business and Leadership Conference

Thank you for those kind words.

It’s wonderful to be here today, and I want to thank the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for inviting me to speak.

The partnership between the Chamber and the Obama administration has been strong from the outset.  In fact, the chamber was the first LGBT organization invited to the White House – one week to the day after President Obama took office. 

Since then, the administration has continued to seek progress on a variety of issues important to the LGBT community, from the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to combating anti-gay bullying through the “It Gets Better” campaign.

I'm proud of the progress we're making on these issues, and I’m proud to have taken similar steps when I was governor of Washington state. Back in 2002, I signed a bill requiring schools to write anti-bullying policies that protected kids from taunting, including bullying that arose because of sexual orientation.  Standing with me that day was a mother named Gabi Clayton, whose bisexual son Bill had taken his life after facing unbearable bullying.  That’s a tragedy no mother, no father should ever have to endure, and the Obama administration will continue to fight against this discrimination and harassment wherever we find it. 

Read on....

Friday, November 19, 2010

BEST OF GAYCITIES, 2010

GayCities Users To Vote On "The World According to Gays"



San Francisco, CA (November 18, 2010) – GayCities (www.gaycities.com), the world's largest LGBT community-driven city guide, announced nominees in its annual "Best of" competition. GayCities members will have until Dec. 16 to vote for their favorite places around the corner and across the globe. One registered member who participates will receive a trip for two to Berlin, courtesy of airberlin.*

Cities, businesses and organizations are nominated in 40 categories, ranging from best bars to best beaches. Nominations were compiled based on thousands of reviews, fans and check-ins this year by GayCities members. GayCities commissioned San Francisco artist Wendy MacNaughton to illustrate "The World According to Gays" as a satirical world map, which will then be filled out with the victorious nominations in early January, when the voting results of the GayCities community are released.

Nominations include:

  • San Francisco's Blackbird and Chicago's Kit Kat Lounge for "Best Bar to Take Your Mom"
  • Tokyo's Comme des Garcons and Miami's The Webster for "Best Shop to Blow Your Paycheck"
  • Las Vegas and Buenos Aires for "Best Food City"
  • Cape Town's Sandy Beach and Sydney's Lady Jane Beach for "Best Beach to Lose Your Shorts"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

GIVE A DAMN CAMPAIGN RELEASES NEW PSA ABOUT GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER HOMELESSNESS YOUTH

Featuring: Susan Sarandon, Alan Cumming, Rebecca Romijn, Pete Wentz, Eden Riegel and Cyndi Lauper

November 18, 2010 [NEW YORK] – The Give a Damn Campaign, a project of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund, has released its latest video during National Runaway Prevention Month to raise awareness about homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. Susan Sarandon, Alan Cumming, Rebecca Romijn, Pete Wentz, Eden Riegel and Cyndi Lauper speak up about the need to bring an end to this epidemic.

Each year, between 500,000 and 1.6 million youth in the U.S. are homeless or runaways. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth make up an estimated 3% to 5% of the general U.S. population. Yet they make up more than 20%—and possibly up to 40%—of all homeless youth in the country.



Family conflict is the most common cause of all youth homelessness. For gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, the conflict tends to be over their sexual orientation or gender identity. Half of all teens get a negative reaction from their parents when they come out to them resulting in many of them running away. More than 1 in 4 are actually thrown out of their homes by their parents.

As a parent, I can’t understand those who would kick out their own kid simply because they are gay or transgender,” says Cyndi Lauper. “Your child is a part of you, throwing them out on the street is like ripping out a part of your own soul. No child should ever be homeless, especially when they have a family that can give them the love and acceptance that they need. It’s time all of us parents join together and let our kids know that their home is always a safe place for them no matter what.”

Once living on the streets, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth have to learn to survive amidst a higher rate of victimization and suicide that awaits them. They also have to deal with greater difficulties in finding resources that are willing or able to help them due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, sometimes facing further rejection from the very people and institutions that are supposed to assist them.

To learn more about this gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender homeless youth, please visit www.wegiveadamn.org.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Walking Across America for Marriage Equality



Starting Feb. 1st, 2011, A.J. Goodrich, a gay-filmmaker based in Los Angeles, is walking across the country— from San Francisco to Boston— to talk to people about marriage equality and gay rights.
The journey will cover about 4,000 miles and take a total of seven months to complete, leading the crew over mountains and deserts, through Native American reservations, to the deep South and past the devastated Gulf.
Along the way, A.J. will engage local communities in a conversation about the issue, collect people’s stories about love and marriage, and spread his own message of equality.
If one person overcomes their prejudice, because they met me and talked to me, then my journey will have accomplished something,” says A.J. as he seals another envelope with a fundraising letter inside. He is enlisting the help of friends and family, so he can buy the gear and equipment he needs for himself and his crew to make this journey possible.
This is going to be more than just a film,” says John Conway, who will be walking alongside A.J. “We are beginning a movement. Getting people to open up about their fears and perceptions about gay rights and reaching an understanding that this is a civil rights issue. It really is possible”
When asked why is he walking, A.J. shares a story. They were contacted by a woman name Callie Savage who lives in a small town in Arkansas.  Callie’s long-term partner Amanda has been having health problems and Callie has been struggling with hospital visitation rights. But when asked, why doesn’t she leave her town and move where she can have a better quality of life, she told A.J. that someone needed to stay and fight so that there is change for the next generation.
That’s the inspiration that energizes A.J.  He is walking because someone needs to.  Without suffering there can’t be change.   “I hope with each step I take, we come closer to ending our struggle to be treated as equal citizens,” says A.J. 
But why not drive across the country instead?  A.J. smiles and responds, “driving is too easy.  When you tell someone you’ve walked all the way here to talk to them, you get their immediate attention.  Because you have suffered for something you believe in.”
To learn more about the project and see how you can help, please visit http://www.roadlesstravelledfilm.com/

Mormon Church: Same-Sex Attraction is Normal

New Church policy removes same-sex attraction from “list of sins”

 WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, today recognized that the Mormon Church removed same-sex attraction as a sin in church policy. The new policy, released by church leaders last Saturday, for the first time does not call for professional counseling for those who experience same-sex attraction. The American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have both concluded that same-sex attraction is normal and that “reparative” therapy – like the kind formerly advocated by the Mormon Church – is unhealthy and harmful.

While still claiming that “homosexual behavior violates the commandments of God,” the new policy differentiates between same-sex behavior, to which they continue to object, and attraction, which the church is able to rationalize. A summary of the policy changes can be found here.

The new guidelines clearly show that advocacy efforts pay off with real change,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “We spoke out against the harms of so-called ‘reparative therapies’ on LGBT young people. Church leaders heard us and responded by dropping their recommendation that such discredited interventions be forced on LGBT and questioning youth.”

We continue to disagree with the Mormon Church about fundamentally important issues like full respect for the marriages of same-sex couples, but we are encouraged that our advocacy has paid off with real movement that will help save young lives,” said Rev. Harry Knox, director of HRC’s Religion and Faith Program.

Last month Boyd K. Packer, the president of the Mormon Church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles, called same-sex attraction “impure and unnatural,” and claimed that it can be corrected. Packer characterized same-sex marriage as immoral. Packer’s inaccurate and dangerous rhetoric came on the heels of the suicides of a number of teenagers who were victims of anti-gay bullying or harassment. Packer, who is 86 and one of the church’s most senior leaders, made his statements to a crowd of 20,000 – with millions more watching via satellite transmission – during the church’s 180th Semi-annual General Conference in Salt Lake City.

HRC immediately called on Packer to correct his dangerous statements. Over 150,000 members and supporters signed an open letter to Packer and HRC President Joe Solmonese delivered the signatures to Church headquarters along with representatives from Equality Utah, the Utah Pride Center, Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons, and the Utah Psychological Association. 

Who Doesn’t Want Their Pet to Become Famous?


A new internet mall is looking for a Mascot to promote its site.  But, this isn’t your typical develop a mascot approach!  No, what the site, www.lgbtprosper.com, wants to do is run a Mascot Contest and ask customers and its community to submit pictures of their pets.  Then the community will vote on which pet should be the Mascot.  The only criteria for voting is that you like the pet the best.  A pet can be a cat, dog, goldfish, lizard, snake, cow—you got it, any animal someone keeps around and feeds and takes care of.

Send a photo of your beloved furry, fuzzy or slimy friend and a brief description of why your pet should be the Mascot for LGBTprosper.  Does your pet have any special or specific skills, tricks, or abilities that make it more qualified to be the winner?  The site is asking for no more than 300 words to describe this.  Photos become the property of LGBTprosper and will not be returned unless this is worked out before submission of the photo(s).

The site will obtain the rights from the winner to use pictures and renditions (avatars, drawings, etc.) of the pet for their marketing, advertisements, and public relations purposes.

The submissions and voting will happen simultaneously.  That is, people will be able to submit pictures from December 15, 2010 until December 31, 2010.  Voting may happen anytime during that time and up until January 10, 2011.  That way, voters will be able to see who is ahead and campaign for their pet to win on the community page of the site.  People may vote one time every 24 hours.

View current entries and submit your pet into the LGBTprosper Mascot Contest here

The site also plans to provide participants with a link to share their pet’s portfolio with family and friends via email, facebook, twitter and other ways.

Visitors will be able to view pet photo(s) and vote for their favorites.  The winner by popular vote will be immortalized forever as the new LGBTprosper Mascot.

 Go to www.lgbtprosper.com for more information on the contest and contest rules.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gay Michigan Student Comes To The Defense of Suspended Teacher

Graeme Taylor, a courageous Gay student in Ann Arbor, Michigan came to the defense of his teacher Jay McDowell who was suspended for disciplining an anti-gay bully. His delivery and speech could not have been more intelligent and eloquent. What a hero!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Emery Awards Honors Marc Ecko

With the unfortunate news of the tragic suicides of some 5 gay youths at the top of everyone's radar the past two months, it is great to see individuals making strides to provide safe and supportive environments regardless of sexual orientation. The Emery Awards seek to recognize those individuals, and last night they spotlighted fashion mogul Marc Ecko (of Marc Ecko Unltd and Complex Media fame) as 1 of 3 Emery Award Recipients. (the other two were Arianna Huffington and Ryan Murphy, the creator of Glee)

DORON OFIR CASTING ANNOUNCES THE A-LIST CASTING

Hollywood, CA (November 9, 2010) Housewives with balls gets a makeover
from Doron Ofir Casting, the company responsible for the television
phenomenon "Jersey Shore" and "RuPaul's Drag Race" with the official
confirmation and search for the next cast of Logo's "The A-List",
this time in Los Angeles, CA and Dallas, TX.

"In every city there exists a hierarchy, where the elite mingle and
influential trendsetters combine to create the most sought after and
fabulous lifestyle.  I mean really… it takes one to know one
"
says Doron Ofir Executive Casting Director.

True Entertainment and Logo's smash docu-reality series is looking
for the new "boys who brunch" in Dallas and Los Angeles to give viewers a
V.I.P. pass into the fabulous — and ferocious — lives of gay elite. The
series will follow the most envied and sought-after men of Los Angeles, CA
and Dallas, TX as they live the high life hopping from boardroom to benefit
and from beach house to the bedroom.

Those applicants who want to share every aspect of their fabulous personal
and professional lives while being a part of this groundbreaking series are
encouraged to apply at www.TheAListCasting.com

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kyra Sedgwick & Kevin Bacon are ‘New Yorkers for Marriage Equality’

Iconic New Yorkers Raise Profile of Timely Fight for Equal Marriage

WASHINGTON – Today the Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – released the seventh video of the “New Yorkers for Marriage Equality” campaign, which features actors Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, the first married couple of the series. The campaign raises the public profile of marriage equality in the Empire State following the win of three marriage equality supportive state senators last week. The campaign can be viewed online at www.hrc.org/NY4marriage.



With pro-equality gains in the legislature last week and a Governor-elect ready to sign a marriage bill into law, New York can be on the leading edge of fairness for all families,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “But the work is not done and these high-profile New Yorkers will spur fair-minded citizen to make their voices heard on this critical equality issue.”

The campaign is centered on video testimonials from New Yorkers who support the right of same-sex couples to marry. The ads will run online with possible placement elsewhere when the legislative fight for marriage equality heats up in Albany.

To date, HRC has released seven videos – actors Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, actress Fran Drescher, Moby, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, actress Julianne Moore and designer Kenneth Cole – and more will follow in the coming weeks and months including: David Chang, Tom Colicchio, Whoopi Goldberg, Ethan and Ryan Hawke, Christopher Meloni, Joan Rivers, Daphne Ruben-Vega, Sunrise and Mark Ruffalo, and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins.

An equal marriage bill failed last year by eight votes in the New York state Senate despite having the support of the Governor and being passed in the Assembly. HRC’s Campaign for New York Marriage worked to defeat Senators who voted against equality and helped elect fair-minded leaders including Senators-elect Tony Avella, David Carlucci and Tim Kennedy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Register Now For The Gay and Lesbian Marketing Conference

Please plan to participate in the Gay & Lesbian Marketing Conference on December 3rd, Radisson Hotel Los Angeles Westside. The program is co-produced by Community Marketing and Pink Banana Media, in partnership with NGLCC, GLAAD, CGLCC, Desert Business Association, and the Long Beach Chamber.

This full-day session will be an efficient, powerful and productive opportunity to update your LGBT strategies, best practices and communications, and for networking. Early registration is open for just $195, including lunch and a full day of education.

Please pass this announcement along to colleagues!

More info on the conference, and a link to online registration is here:
www.communitymarketinginc.com/education-and-conferences/los-angeles-lgbt-marketing-conference/

And please consider a sponsorship. Sponsors help keep attendance affordable, and offset the costs of student scholarships. We have a variety of options including coffee breaks for just $750, and it provides exposure, attendance and lots of appreciation! Feel free to call me to discuss these options. Sponsor info is here:
www.communitymarketinginc.com/documents/temp/LA2010Sponsorship.pdf

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Iowa Courts Hijacked By National Organization for Marriage Intimidation Campaign

Marriage equality remains law in Iowa

WASHINGTON – After tonight’s defeat of the three Iowa state Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality last year, the Human Rights Campaign and Courage Campaign condemned the National Organization for Marriage's efforts to intimidate judges across the country.

NOM’s president Brian Brown has admitted that his group’s effort in Iowa’s judicial election was actually about intimidating judges around the country into ruling against equality for millions of loving American families. In Iowa, NOM spent an unprecedented $600,000 on TV ads and a 45-county bus tour.  Despite NOM’s mean-spirited and fear-driven campaign, same-sex marriage remains legal in Iowa. 

"By their own admission, NOM’s Iowa strategy was about sending a warning shot to judges nationwide,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “NOM and its secret donors will continue to target judges around the country if they rule in favor of marriage equality and will foster an anti-gay, hostile environment in the process.”

"Having seen its extremist agenda increasingly rejected by the courts and the American people, it is telling that NOM has now settled on a strategy of evading tax and election laws and trying to intimidate judges," said Courage Campaign Founder and Chairman Rick Jacobs. "These are the tactics one might expect from Al Capone, not a credible political organization."  

Prior to its involvement in this election, NOM received a strong warning from Iowa’s ethics agency for evading campaign laws. During a 2009 special election in the state, NOM told supporters they could contribute to its Iowa campaign efforts secretly—without disclosing their names.  Iowa law requires disclosure of contributors to political campaigns.   

NOM is also fighting campaign finance laws in New York, Washington, Rhode Island, California and Maine, where it remains under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission for failing to register with the state as a ballot question committee and refusing to disclose the donors to its campaign to overturn Maine’s marriage equality law in 2009.

The Washington Independent has reported that NOM is funneling charitable donations into political campaigns. NOM's charitable arm, The Ruth Institute, was also the subject of a recent IRS complaint filed by HRC and the Courage Campaign for repeated violations of federal law prohibiting charitable organizations from advocating on behalf of political campaigns.

HRC and the Courage Campaign have documented NOM's deep ties to anti-LGBT extremists, as well as its refusal to comply with election and tax laws through NOMexposed.org and the NOM Tour Tracker.

Monday, November 1, 2010

THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS HOLIDAY SPECIAL

--THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS HOLIDAY SPECIAL Premieres Wednesday, December 8, at 9:00 PM (ET) on Planet Green--


--Season Two of THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS Premieres in Early 2011--

SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- This December, join THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS (a.k.a. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell) as they celebrate the holiday season with panache on THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS HOLIDAY SPECIAL.  Television's first and only "gentleman farmers" will welcome viewers to the historic Beekman 1802 Farm to celebrate the holidays with style on Planet Green on December 8 at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

In THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS HOLIDAY SPECIAL, Brent and Josh will share their favorite holiday traditions -- from baking to entertaining to crafting.  Viewers also will receive a look at never-before-seen bloopers and a special advance peek at scenes from season two, premiering in early 2011.  Brent and Josh also will take a look back at some of the more memorable moments from season one, as submitted by fans via e-mail and social media.  Finally, devoted Beek-Geeks can expect visits from Farmer John and his goats, as well as the one-of-a-kind diva llama, Polka Spot.

"Brent and I are incredibly excited to join the illustrious ranks of the Osmonds, Sonny and Cher, and Frosty the Snowman with our very own holiday special," said Josh.  "We are sincerely thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with our fans and share some of our favorite holiday traditions and memories from the past year."

The Planet Green original series THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS follows Josh, a best-selling author and advertising executive, and his partner, Brent, a physician and former vice president at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, who left Manhattan behind for the country life at the Beekman 1802 farm.  The upcoming second season of THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS will follow Brent and Josh as they juggle their relationship, along with a burgeoning home business and a rapidly expanding working farm. 

THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS and THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS HOLIDAY SPECIAL are executive produced by Planet Green's SVP of Production & Development Jeff Hasler and Executive Producer Lynn Sadofsky.  Executive producers from World of Wonder are Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey and Tom Campbell.  Angela Rae Berg is co-executive producer/director. 

More information on THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS can be found at planetgreen.com/beekmanboys or at press.discovery.com.

The Beekman Boys Will Also Grace The Cover of Echelon's Dec/Jan issue. Sign up now to be on our mailing list and see the issue for free.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gov. Rendell on LGBT pub crawl

by Mark Segal

On Oct. 30, Gov. Rendell will do an LGBT pub crawl to help get out the LGBT vote for the Nov. 2 election, starting at 10 p.m. at Q Lounge, 1234 Locust St.

What’s remarkable about this is that it’s not remarkable for this governor. Ed has been doing gay bar crawls since he first ran for office in the 1980s. And he’s done so in each of his elections and also in those where, like this one, he is not running. He’s a great believer in the LGBT community and its voting numbers. It’s served him well in his political career and he, in return, has supported this community.

Thanks to Ed and others in the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Democratic Party, our community is included in what is referred to as the Democratic Coalition. It’s the kind of recognition that I hope someday the Republican Party will give to its LGBT members.

And while we commend Gov. Ed on his outreach, we should be asking why more elected officials don’t do the same. Here in Philly, it’s routine. What about New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago? Philly is light years ahead. Maybe it took a governor who saw the future of civil rights back in the 1980s.

When Ed asked me to arrange that first bar tour some 30 years ago, it had never been done before and we wondered what the reaction would be. The LGBT community was, as expected, welcoming. Ed and his staff were delighted with the acceptance and then a TV crew showed up unexpectedly. Ed’s staff wanted to hustle him out of there, but instead Ed decided to speak on camera. That was a defining moment in Pennsylvania politics and civil rights. So if you think a gay pub crawl isn’t important, think again.

Mark Segal is PGN publisher. He is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media, having just received the 2010 Columnist of the Year Award from the 2,000-member Suburban Newspapers of America. He can be reached at mark@epgn.com

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Human Rights Campaign Statement on Clint McCance Resignation

WASHINGTON – Clint McCance, appearing on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN this evening, announced that he will resign from the Midland School Board. The controversy erupted when McCance unleashed an anti-gay tirade on Facebook in response to a rash of bullying-related suicides. More information at: http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2010/10/arkansas-school-board-hater-update-new-action-and-newspaper-ad/


Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement:


"Clint McCance's decision to resign from the school board is a step forward for the community he represents. We are hopeful the wounds that were inflicted will soon be healed," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "What remains troubling is that Mr. McCance focused his regret on particular word choices not the animus behind those words. We hope he will take this time to reflect not only on the language he used but on what he can do to make the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people better."

HRC Places Ad To Demand That McCance Resign

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today once again called upon Clint McCance – a Midland School Board Member from Arkansas – to resign following an anti-gay tirade he unleashed on Facebook in response to a rash of bullying-related suicides.  HRC has placed a full page ad in tomorrow’s Batesville Guard – the local newspaper in Independence County – calling on McCance to resign.

A Call For Entries For The HRC Innovation Awards

Award for Workplace Equality Innovation

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index has been a key driver for advancing forward-thinking policies within corporate America and the change has been nothing short of remarkable.

Out of this enormous progress, individual businesses have developed truly innovative programs/initiatives that contribute to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workplace inclusion. The HRC Award for Workplace Equality Innovation will help drive innovation by highlighting emerging, effective practices.

Who Should Apply

Employers that rate 100% on the HRC Corporate Equality Index are welcome to apply. Some examples of innovative programs may include, but are not limited to:
  • LGBT programs that turn policies into practice following mergers & acquisitions or in decentralized organizations
  • LGBT recruitment and retention programs such as optional self-identification, eliminating "front door" bias and promoting LGBT managers (senior-level)
  • Model transgender benefits
  • Performance metrics on LGBT workplace issues
  • LGBT supplier diversity or supply-chain management
  • LGBT global policies and programs
  • Other programs or efforts that significantly changed the workplace climate for LGBT employees and allies
Businesses interested in submitting a program for the award should indicate this in their Corporate Equality Index survey under the "Additional Information" section. You can download the 2011 application for more information:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Transgender Law Center Investigating Offensive Letter from DMV Employee

San Francisco - The Transgender Law Center is outraged that a California Department of Motor Vehicles employee sent a letter to the home of a transgender woman calling her "an abomination" and telling her that she is going to hell.

Last week Amber Yust, a transgender woman living in San Francisco, went to the San Francisco Department of Motor Vehicles to change her name on her driver's license. With her court ordered name change and all of the DMV paperwork in hand, Amber was able to get a new driver's license in her new name. But her experience with the DMV did not end there.

Unbelievably, on Monday, Amber received a letter from the person who had processed her name change at the DMV. In the letter, which had been mailed to her at home, the DMV employee quoted from the Bible and stated that Amber had made a "very evil decision." The strongly-worded letter told Amber that she was "an abomination" and said that homosexuals should be put to death.

"I was shocked to receive this letter from the person who processed my paperwork at the DMV," said Amber. "I would never have expected that a DMV employee could use information from my name change application to reach out and personally attack me. This has been a traumatic experience for me and I want to ensure that nothing like this happens to anyone else."

The Transgender Law Center is investigating the incident.

"This was an egregious act committed by a government employee," said Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. "Transgender people deserve to be treated with respect at agencies like the DMV. What happened to Amber is despicable, and we intend to do everything we can to hold the responsible parties accountable and to prevent this from happening again."

About TLC
The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. TLC uses direct legal services, education, community organizing and advocacy to transform California into a state that recognizes and supports the needs of transgender people and their families. www.transgenderlawcenter.org

Top 25 "Best of the Best" LGBT speakers, performers raises awareness of inclusion, visibility on college campuses nationally

Release of Campus Pride’s 2010 HOT LIST! marks ‘best of the best’ in LGBT actors, comedians, lecturers, performers; comes on heels of what some say is exclusive, ill-chosen speaker/performer set at this year’s NACA Conference

(CHARLOTTE, N.C.)  –Campus Pride, the nation’s leading non-profit working to create safer, more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) inclusive colleges and build future LGBT and ally leaders, announces today its 2010 HOT LIST!, the “Top 25 LGBT Favorites ”including out lecturers, comedians, musicians. poets, artists, researchers, activists and more. The list serves as a unique resource for LGBT college student organizations, college activities coordinators,student life officials and others looking to bring the best and brightest talent to their campuses while also increasing awareness,inclusion and visibility of LGBT people.

This year’s release of the HOT LIST! couldn’t come at a better time, as activists and professionals ask why this year’s National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) conference failed to adequately include out LGBT people in their roster of speakers, performers and workshop leaders. Some organizers are shocked, especially in light of the national attention surrounding LGBT youth suicides the last month.

That NACA would include only one openly queer person in their national conference line-up this year is a sign there’s still more work to do in increasing visibility for LGBT people on college campuses and the associations that serve them across the country,” says Adrienne Jones, student activist and Hot List volunteer coordinator. “We hope our 2010 HOT LIST! fills in the void and serves to provide unique recommendations for planning in campus activities. NACA should take note.”

The 2010 HOT LIST! includes the most diverse slate of nationally-respected performers, speakers, actors and lecturers to date and some of the nation’s most well-known, outspoken advocates for LGBT people.

This year’s HOT LIST! includes, among others: Musicians A.J. Shanti and Katastrophe, performance and spoken word artists Athens Boys Choir and Kit Yan, drag performer Sherry Vine, first and only openly gay college football team captain Brian Sims, professor and author of Campus Pride’s “2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People” Sue Rankin, bisexual author and speaker Robyn Ochs, musician Randi Driscoll, ESPN writer and columnist LZ Granderson, columnist and “It Gets Better” creator Dan Savage, hate crimes prevention advocate Judy Shepard, comedian Kathy Griffin and others.

For a full list of 2010 HOT LIST! picks and their bios, visit www.campuspride.org/hotlist2010.asp. To learn more about Campus Pride, go online to www.campuspride.org or email info@campuspride.org

Author and Children's Advocate Calls Upon the World to STAND Against Intolerance



PORTLAND, Maine, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Brian J. Tessier, author and founder of We Hear The Children Inc., a member of the National Advisory Council of the Human Rights Campaign's All Children - All Families Foundation, calls you to STAND UP! "Children are dying at the hands of others or by their own hands," says Tessier. "Take a STAND against intolerance."

Tessier, a single gay father, knows the pain of coming out and the pain of violent loss. NOW is the time to put away political rhetoric, religious bias and hatred and STAND against intolerance. In an age where we sit at the web and social media purports to connect us, it is time we actually STAND UP for something. We Hear The Children and Tessier are calling for all people to STAND against intolerance, on December 1st, 2010, from 1-2 p.m.

WE MUST STAND!

"As we grieve together, we must stand in hope, BEFORE another child reaches for a rope." We MUST stand so all can see we will not allow this to continue! We cannot hide behind a monitor in the comfort of our home or office.

WE MUST STAND!

This is not about race. It is not about religion; in all religions, children are held in the highest regard. This is not about politics. This is not only about LGBTQ children, as children are dying by their own hand as a result of a perception, rather than a reality. It could be your child or mine. This is an issue about all children growing up in a tolerant world. We must erode apathy and replace it with action.

WE MUST STAND!

Tessier implores the LGBTQ community to STAND. "Historically we have not been a population of parents but, we have always been role models for LGBTQ youth." However, all children must see we STAND for them. Many of us can harken back to a time when our community was assailed by the death of many due to AIDS. Then, we as a community stood up and cried, "Silence = Death." We cannot be silent now; the equation is the same.

WE MUST STAND!

On December 1st, 2010 Tessier will be standing on the steps of the Capitol in Augusta, standing on the side of love for all children so one day he can tell his children, "I stood up." Will you STAND? This event is about being present, visible and taking a STAND, for all children. Register as one who will take a STAND or a group that will STAND TOGETHER by going to http://www.wehearthechildren.org/We_Hear_The_Children/STAND_UP_Register.html 

For additional information, write: mediainquiries@wehearthechildren.org

Friday, October 22, 2010

It Gets Better Project Reaches Major Milestone: Over 10 Million Video Views on ItGetsBetterProject.com and YouTube

Dan Savage of the It Gets Better Project announces the launch of a nationwide suicide prevention and anti-bullying effort, calls on supporters to take the first step today by joining the cause and signing a pledge at ItGetsBetterProject.com
***
The staff of Google, Gallaudet students, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Broadway cast members are the latest to post videos of support

WASHINGTON, DC – Today following the announcement that over 2,000 videos inspired by the It Gets Better Project have reached 10 million video views on ItGetsBetterProject.com and YouTube, the project’s founder, Dan Savage, is sending the organization's first email to encourage thousands of supporters to join a nationwide suicide prevention and anti-bullying effort by signing a pledge at ItGetsBetterProject.com.

The It Gets Better Project is more than just a collection of incredible and inspiring videos; it engages people in communities across America, from all different backgrounds to take action.

In the coming weeks and months, the It Gets Better Project will be calling on individuals from across the country, from all walks of life, no matter their sexual orientation, to take a stand against LGBT bullying and help to support suicide prevention services in our nation’s schools and communities.

Below is the full-text version of Dan Savage’s email announcing the campaign to supporters, including the pledge:



--
Subject: Making it Better Today

Dear Friends,

More than 2,000 videos, 10 million views, and emails from kids all over the country letting us know that they're watching and taking hope.

We can’t believe it.

Four weeks ago, Terry and I recorded the first It Gets Better Project video in the aftermath of the recent suicides of bullied gay teenagers across the country. We created a YouTube channel and invited other LGBT adults to share their stories with LGBT kids. We were worried that our video might be the only one on our "channel."

But 24 hours after we posted the first It Gets Better Project video to YouTube, six more videos popped up.  Two days later, there were a couple of dozen more. Within a week, there were 1,000. Now there are more than 2,000 videos that have been watched more than 10 million times.

These videos do not solve the bullying crisis in this country. It’s why I ask you today to join me in this nationwide grassroots campaign by signing our It Gets Better Project pledge:

http://www.itgetsbetterproject.com/pledge

Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better."

When a 15-year-old gay kid commits suicide, he's saying that he can't picture a future for himself with enough joy in it to compensate for the pain he's in now. By sharing our stories and our joy, LGBT adults and our allies are letting bullied and isolated LGBT kids know that there is hope—that things will get better for them, just as they got better for us. That they will know love and know joy.

The It Gets Better Project is not just a place where LGBT youth can view videos of role models, but it’s a place where our allies—straight people, religious people, friends and family members—can come together to stand up for the human rights of America’s youth.

http://www.itgetsbetterproject.com/pledge

Dan Savage
It Gets Better Project

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pet Insurance Offering to Federal Employees Highlights Absurdity of Partner Benefit Denial

HRC’s Joe Solmonese: “Current law puts federal workers’ parrots ahead of their partners”

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today called on Congress to put the real lives of people first and offer domestic partner benefits to federal employees. Earlier this week, government employees participating in Federal Employee Health Benefits were notified by a provider that they are eligible to buy into insurance policies for their pets. These same employees are denied the opportunity to cover their same-sex domestic partners.

Current law puts federal workers’ parrots ahead of their partners,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “It is time for Congress to act to put people first and extend health care benefits equally to all of their employees.”

Benefits, such as health insurance and retirement savings, are a significant portion of employee compensation. Although the federal government – the nation’s largest civilian employer – offers attractive family benefits to employees with different-sex spouses, it does not offer the same benefits to lesbian and gay workers with partners. As a result, these employees do not receive equal pay for their equal contributions, and the government cannot keep pace with leading private-sector employers – including many federal contactors – in recruiting and retaining top talent. In fact, 57% of Fortune 500 companies offer domestic partner benefits to their employees. HRC is not aware of any statistics regarding pet insurance offerings by the Fortune 500.

The President has instructed federal agencies to “conduct a thorough review of the benefits they provide and to identify any that could be extended to LGBT employees and their partners and families” and some limited benefits have been extended. But because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Congress must pass the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act to extend critical health care benefits. The President has called on Congress to pass DPBO (S.1102 and H.R.2517) which has been passed in House and Senate committees but awaits floor action.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

HRC Statement on Stay Request of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Injunction

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice has asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to grant an emergency stay of federal district court judge Virginia Phillips’s decision to halt all discharges under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement:

It is certainly disappointing and frustrating that the administration has sought a stay. There is one simple way to put the endless legal wrangling behind us and do what the President and the American people want to strengthen our military: the administration and Congress need to finish the legislative work on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal after the election. The interests of the administration, the military, and most importantly the American people are best served by doing the hard work of enacting a durable legislative repeal of this discriminatory law.

OPENLY GAY OSCAR WINNER LANCE BLACK BACK TO HIS HIGH SCHOOL

To prevent anti-gay bullying and violence, The Homecoming Project brings gay
adults back to their high schools to share stories, lessons, and hope.



NEW YORK (October 14, 2010) – In the midst of a national wave of anti-gay bullying and violence,  a powerful short video premiering today reveals how one person can change a school – and the lives of hundreds of gay and straight youth – in just one day.

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Lance Black (“Milk”) is one of the many gay leaders participating in The Homecoming Project, Live Out Loud’s grassroots initiative that brings successful gay adults back to their high schools to share their stories, lessons, and hope with today’s students.

Moby is a ‘New Yorker for Marriage Equality’

Iconic New Yorker Raises Profile of Timely Fight for Equal Marriage

WASHINGTON – Today the Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – released the fifth video of the “New Yorkers for Marriage Equality” campaign, which features singer Moby. The campaign raises the public profile of marriage equality in the Empire State leading into this fall’s elections and next year’s anticipated legislative action. The campaign can be viewed online at www.hrc.org/NY4marriage.



New York is poised to be on the leading edge of marriage equality and New Yorkers are speaking out to make it happen,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “We hope these high-profile New Yorkers spur every fair-minded citizen to make their voices heard on this critical equality issue.”

The campaign is centered on video testimonials from New Yorkers who support the right of same-sex couples to marry. The ads will run online with possible placement elsewhere as the legislative fight for marriage equality heats up in Albany.

To date, HRC has released five videos – Moby, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, actress Julianne Moore and designer Kenneth Cole – and more will follow in the coming weeks and months including: actress Fran Drescher, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, David Chang, Tom Colicchio, Whoopi Goldberg, Ethan and Ryan Hawke, Christopher Meloni, Moby, Joan Rivers, Daphne Ruben-Vega, Sunrise and Mark Ruffalo and Rev. Al Sharpton.

An equal marriage bill failed last year by eight votes in the New York state Senate despite having the support of the Governor and being passed in the Assembly. HRC’s Campaign for New York Marriage is working to defeat Senators who voted against equality and instead to elect fair-minded leaders. To date HRC’s New York PAC has raised over $150,000 for election-related activities.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

GLAAD and Facebook Work Together to Remove Anti-Gay Comments

Facebook takes on new measures to respond more quickly to hateful posts

October 13, 2010, New York, NY – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today announced that Facebook has put new measures in place to respond more quickly to hateful comments posted to a memorial page dedicated to those lost to anti-gay bullying. For more information please visit glaadblog.org.

On October 6, GLAAD was alerted to a string of hateful comments posted to a Facebook event page which memorializes young people who have lost their lives to anti-gay bullying. The page also asks that its supporters wear purple on October 20 in honor of those "who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse." That page now has over half a million supporters.

Over 1,800 emails were sent to GLAAD calling for Facebook to monitor the content or remove the page altogether.  Because the event page is currently functioning as a community memorial with an outpouring of support for the families of those teens as well as youth who might be facing similar anti-gay bullying, GLAAD’s digital team continued to work with Facebook and call for a solution.

"This violent, hateful speech has no place in our media–whether it in print, on the airwaves or online," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "Facebook has taken an important first step in making social media a place where anti-gay violence is not allowed. Our community needs to continue to be vigilant and report instances of hateful comments and images across the site to Facebook moderators as well as post messages of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth."

GLAAD called on members to continue to monitor and use Facebook reporting methods for this and other pages as well as to post messages of support to the event page.

"Educating people about the lasting and damaging impacts of ignorant and hateful comments is a responsibility shared by parents, educators, organizations like GLAAD, and services like Facebook," said Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes. "We take our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities very seriously and react quickly to reports of inappropriate content and behavior. The goal of these policies is to strike a very delicate balance between giving people the freedom to express their opinions and viewpoints–even those that may be controversial to some–and maintaining a safe and trusted environment. We have policies that prohibit hateful content and we have built a robust reporting infrastructure and an expansive team to review reports and remove content quickly. In addition to responding to reports, we have automated systems that use a number of factors to flag content that might violate our policies, so we can review and take it down as quickly as possible and before it’s reported."

Facebook intends to work closely with GLAAD and other LGBT organizations on future initiatives.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

HRC Launches Action Alert Calling for Apology from Carl Paladino

Candidate’s anti-gay speech comes amidst suicides and hate crimes

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today issued an action alert encouraging members and supporters to seek an apology from New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino.  The candidate on Sunday gave an anti-gay speech in which he said he didn’t want children “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option.”  Paladino’s hateful remarks came amidst news of suicides by young people who faced anti-gay harassment as well as a horrific hate crime in the Bronx that targeted three gay men.

By his own words, Carl Paladino has made himself the poster boy for the kind of divisive leadership that makes young LGBT people question their self-worth and gives license to those who use violence to advance their hate,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “Carl Paladino should think about how young LGBT people feel when he tells a crowded room that they're not as ‘valid’ or will be as ‘successful’ as someone else.”

The email alert can be viewed at: hrc.convio.net/site/MessageViewer?em_id=29915.0&dlv_id=0 and to take action directly, visit: www.hrc.org/paladino.

Paladino’s anti-gay tirade came directly after he warned that “we must stop pandering to the pornographers and the perverts who seek to target our children and destroy their lives.”  He blasted his opponent Andrew Cuomo for participating in a gay pride parade, and in a today show appearance yesterday described the parade as “disgusting.”

What’s disgusting is that Carl Paladino’s idea of celebrating the eve of National Coming Out Day is to tell young LGBT people that they’re not equally valid,” added Solmonese.  “There is nothing to be proud of in giving voice to the kind of divisiveness that so often leads to violence.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Log Cabin Republicans Responds to Carl Paladino's Disgraceful Comments about Gays and Lesbians

(Washington, DC) - Log Cabin Republicans condemn New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino's anti-gay comments delivered over the weekend.

"Carl Paladino's statements are unfortunate and show he lacks an understanding of what it means to be gay," said Gregory T. Angelo, Chairman of the New York Log Cabin Republicans.  "Allow me to offer a counter to his misinformed statement: I think gay men and women -- my neighbors and your neighbors -- would be much better off and much more successful if they were allowed equal rights and the option of getting married and raising a family. I don't want New Yorkers to be brainwashed into thinking that ignorance is an equally valid and successful option. It isn't."

Christian Berle, Deputy Executive Director for the National Log Cabin Republicans, agreed.  "Carl Paladino's comments are profoundly out of touch with the principles and priorities of Americans and of New Yorkers today.  As our nation mourns the loss of too many youth subjected to dehumanizing harassment in schools, this year's 'National Coming Out Day' is a chance to take a stand against the ugly and unnecessary rhetoric that too often leads to tragedy.  It is reckless and irresponsible for anybody in public life today to suggest that gay and lesbian Americans are somehow less worthy of respect because of who they are."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

CYNDI LAUPER’S GIVE A DAMN CAMPAIGN RELEASES NEW PSA ADDRESSING HATE CRIMES

Featuring: Ricky Martin, Elton John, Idina Menzel, Rachael Harris
and Wanda Sykes



October 5, 2010 [NEW YORK] – The Give a Damn Campaign (www.wegiveadamn.org), a project of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, has released its newest public service announcement focusing on hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Ricky Martin, Elton John, Idina Menzel, Rachael Harris and Wanda Sykes speak out about the need to bring an end to these senseless acts of violence and intimidation. The PSA saw its world premiere last night on CNN’s Larry King Live during an episode featuring the topic of anti-gay bullying.

In the U.S. one hate crime takes place approximately every hour of every single day. In 2008, the most recent year in which such data is available, 7,783 incidents of hate crime were reported to the FBI.1 out of every 6 of these hate crimes is committed on the basis of sexual orientation.

Gay men and lesbians are the third most targeted group for hate crimes of the ones that are actually reported. It is widely believed that these numbers are significantly higher, as victims of hate crimes based on sexual orientation are afraid to report the crime to authorities.

Hate crimes can happen anywhere, at any time. They are dehumanizing, willful acts of bigotry perpetrated with the intent to intimidate. They may range from harassment and physical intimidation to beatings, rape, torture —even murder. Perpetrators commit these horrific acts to intimidate and terrorize a community, and to send a message about the victim and “their kind.”

We as parents, as people, as a nation need to stand up and say enough is enough. We will not tolerate hate any longer,” said Cyndi Lauper. “Hate is learned and we need to teach our children that being different is okay. The best way we can do that is to lead by example and treat others with dignity and respect. No one should ever be bullied or harmed in any way because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, ethnicity or anything that someone labels another as 'different.' Hate is a lose lose situation and its time that things final change.”


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Monday, October 4, 2010

HRC to Mormon Apostle: Your Statements are Inaccurate and Dangerous

Mormon Leader’s Inaccurate Statements Yesterday Fuel Anti-LGBT Violence, Teen Suicides

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, today called on Boyd K. Packer, the president of the Mormon Church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles, to correct statements he made yesterday calling same-sex attraction “impure and unnatural,” claiming that it can be corrected and characterizing same-sex marriage as immoral. Packer’s inaccurate and dangerous rhetoric comes on the heels of the suicides of at least four teenagers over the past month, all victims of anti-gay bullying or harassment. An additional seven teens committed suicide in the past year in one Minnesota school district alone; three of the teens’ suicides were connected to anti-gay bullying. Packer, who is 86 and one of the church’s most senior leaders, made his statements to a crowd of 20,000 – and millions more watching via satellite transmission -- during the church’s 180th Semi-annual General Conference in Salt Lake City.

Words have consequences, particularly when they come from a faith leader. This is exactly the kind of statement that can lead some kids to bully and others to commit suicide,” said Joe Solmonese, president of HRC. “When a faith leader tells gay people that they are a mistake because God would never have made them that way and they don’t deserve love, it sends a very powerful message that violence and/or discrimination against LGBT people is acceptable. It also emotionally devastates those who are LGBT or may be struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identify. His words were not only inaccurate, they were also dangerous.”

As a church leader immersed in these issues, Packer should know better. The American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have both concluded that same-sex attraction is normal and that “reparative” therapy – like the kind being advocated by the Mormon Church -- is unhealthy and harmful. This is not the first instance in which the church has spewed lies related to same-sex orientation. Last summer, another senior member of the church’s hierarchy, promised that same-sex attraction could be cured. “If you are faithful, on resurrection morning – and maybe even before then – you will rise with normal attractions for the opposite sex,” Mormon Church leader Bruce Haffen told a conference.

Packer also took the opportunity to dismiss efforts toward marriage equality as ones that “legalize immorality.” Ominously during this speech, the apostle declared that the church hierarchy’s opposition to marriage equality “…will not change.” As HRC has chronicled on its website www.NOMExposed.org, the Mormon Church is a key funder of the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a powerful fringe group that regularly encourages anti-gay attitudes and behaviors. The church was also a prime funder of efforts to pass Prop. 8 in California. NOM board member and famous Mormon writer, Orson Scott Card, has said, “Any government that attempts to change it [marriage] is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage…

"Elder Packer's remarks in General Conference were not only ill-advised and contrary to fact, but were mean-spirited and will be perceived by many as bullying,” said David Melson, Executive Director of Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons. “We see no potential for good coming from his words and much possible damage, to the church, to individuals, and to families. The LDS Church should be a source of love, compassion, and conciliation, and not of fear and unfeeling petty hatred."


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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

'Gays & Lesbians, Know Them?'

- Publicis Groupe & GLAAD Host Advertising Week's First Ever Panel Discussion Focused on the LGBT Consumer


Stuart Elliott of The New York Times to Lead Discussion


NEW YORK, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Publicis Groupe and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) host Advertising Week's first ever panel discussion focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) consumers entitled "Gays & Lesbians, Know Them?"

The panel, lead by Stuart Elliott of The New York Times, will be held on Monday, September 27, 2010 from 11:00-11:45 a.m. at the Paley Center - Concourse Theatre.  Panelists include representatives from Microsoft, American Airlines, LGBT-focused cable channel LOGO, and Prime Access Inc.

"Today, many brands have recognized the value in speaking to the LGBT community, but there are many more brands that haven't," said Phillip Sontag, MS&LGroup, and co-founder of Egalite, the Publicis Groupe's LGBT Employee Resource Group.  "Our goal is to have a thoughtful, provocative discussion that helps shape the way we as marketers reach the LGBT community."

"When companies include images of our community in their ads, they send an important message that gay and transgender people are a part of the American cultural fabric," expressed GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios.  "It's these images that build acceptance and understanding of our community.  We are proud to partner with Publicis to advocate for fair, accurate and inclusive advertising."

"We're seeing more and more gay and lesbian storylines on TV every day, and it's not taboo anymore," said Adam Wasserman, Digitas and co-founder of Egalite.  "This recent evolution is encouraging us to increase our deep knowledge about this community, and to find the right ways for an efficient dialogue between brands and LGBT consumers."

"We created Egalite at Publicis Groupe to unite our brand's LGBT employees and allies in the New York region and streamline an LGBT approach for our clients," added Sandra Sims-Williams, Chair of the Publicis Groupe Diversity Council in the USA.  "Egalite serves both an internal and external purpose, and our partnership with GLAAD is one illustration of our global Diversity Policy, composed of several initiatives dedicated to various communities." 

To RSVP for this panel, please visit www.advertisingweek.com. Follow the panel discussion on Twitter using #LGBTAdWeek.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Details Lacks Details With LGBT College Article

Written By Doree Shafrir, Details Magazine posted 9/23/10 entitled: "The Ivy League's Big Gay Admission"

It's always wonderful to see mainstream magazines give exposure to the LGBT community. However, the article seems to lack a bit of substance.

Safrir's piece professes that the direct recruitment of LGBT students is a "new movement." Although the title itself may be enough to perk the interest of potential readers, it's really nothing new. Nor is there any "big admission" in the article from Ivy League recruiters.

For one, Ivy League schools like most campuses around the country have been recruiting LGBT students for many years at dedicated events. Additionally, Campus Pride, a non-profit run by Shane Widemeyer has been staging numerous LGBT college recruiting events around the country for quite some time. However, there is no mention in the article whatsoever of this empowering organization.

"From Newsweek to Details Magazine, every commercial outlet wants to tout that they are an LGBT authority when it comes to the LGBT and ally college student experience.   Campus Pride cautions how credible these reports are in articles auch as Details Magazine and even the Newsweek recent LGBT-friendly ranking. We are glad to see so much commericial interest in being 'gay friendly' but  hope prospective college students and families seek out factual resources such as the Campus Pride's CampusClimateIndex.org and our national college fair program," stated Shane Widemeyer of Campus Pride.

Irena Smith said it best:

"In some students' cases sexual orientation can weigh in the admissions committee's decision, depending on how much the student tries to disclose and how much is appropriate," says Irena Smith, a private college consultant in Palo Alto, California. "But I think a student's orientation would also need to feed into something either like a really strong sense of self-awareness or a willingness to organize politically and socially and form a support group or start a gay-straight alliance. I think admissions officers are more savvy than to just say, 'Here's an LGBT kid—we don't have enough of those.' "

Read More http://www.details.com/culture-trends/news-and-politics/201009/gay-lgbt-sexual-orientation-ivy-league-admission#ixzz10qfthhXy

Monday, September 27, 2010

Transgender Boy Loses Homecoming King Title

Despite receiving the most votes for Homecoming King at Mona Shores High School in Michigan, Oakleigh Marshall (Oak) was disqualified to claim the title as he is still listed as a female in school records.

Interesting enough, social media played a great role for Oak in garnering the majority of votes. He launched a page of Facebook and his friends have also put up a page in support entitled, "Oak is my King" with 533 members.

Although the outcome is disappointing, his story is a great example of how the world is changing and our youth are way more accepting of "difference and acceptance" than mainstream adults.