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Monday, May 31, 2010

McDonald's Gay French Commercial

This commercial by McDonald's in France is adorable but then obviously makes one wonder what is wrong with America that it probably will never show up on our air waves.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Congressman Rothman: “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Must End

Is Unjust, Hurts U.S. National Security, and Wastes Taxpayer Dollars

Washington, DC – Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, released the following statement in response to the inclusion of an amendment to repeal the U.S. military policy of “don’t ask don’t tell” in the Fiscal Year 2011 Defense Authorization Act, pending approval from the President, Secretary of Defense, and the Joints Chiefs of Staff:

As a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, I believe strongly in ensuring that the U.S. armed forces remain the best equipped, best prepared, and most powerful in the world. By sending home more than 13,500 qualified patriotic service members willing and fit to serve this country since 1994, “don’t ask don’t tell” has not helped keep us or our families safe.

On the contrary, the ban on gay, lesbian, and bisexual personnel from serving openly in the U.S. military is unjust, hurts America’s national security, and adds to our national deficit. Today, I am proud to have supported this important step toward its repeal.

I agree with the highest levels of our military leadership that the policy of “don’t ask don’t tell” must end, pending approval from the President, Secretary of Defense, and the Joints Chiefs of Staff.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

U.S. House Vote Spells Demise of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Lawmakers stand on right side of history in vote to end ban on open service

WASHINGTON – Today the House of Representatives voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” paving the road to the end of the 17 year old law. This historic action follows a vote for repeal in the Senate Armed Services Committee and is a tremendous step toward finally ending the ban on openly lesbian and gay service members. It was the first vote ever in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the ban on open service.

Lawmakers today stood on the right side of history,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “This is a historic step to strengthen our armed forces and to restore honor and integrity to those who serve our country so selflessly.

The language of the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – which is supported by President Obama and military leadership – allowed Congress to vote now to repeal the current DADT law with actual repeal occurring after completion of the Pentagon Working Group study due December 1, 2010 and upon certification. With successful House passage of the amendment, the final NDAA bill must be passed in both the House and Senate and the two versions reconciled before being sent to the President for his signature.

Americans recognize that on the battlefield, it does not matter whether service members are gay or straight; what matters is that they get the job done. Those who wish to preserve discrimination in our military will continue to fight this progress but we will be there every step of the way to ensure that qualified men and women are allowed to serve their country, regardless of sexual orientation,” added Solmonese.

Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Penn., was the lead sponsor of the measure in the House and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., championed the amendment in the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier today.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Senate Committee Takes Historic Step to End “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

First vote ever to repeal the discriminatory ban on open service by gays and lesbians

WASHINGTON – Today the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 to repeal the failed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. This historic action is the first time Congress has ever taken a vote to repeal the ban on openly lesbian and gay service members in its nearly 17 year history.

The importance of this vote cannot be overstated – this is the beginning of the end of a shameful ban on open service by lesbian and gay troops that has weakened our national security,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “The stars are aligning to finally restore honor and integrity to those who serve our country so selflessly.

The language of the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act – which is supported by President Obama and military leadership – allows Congress to vote now to repeal the current DADT law with actual repeal occurring after completion of the Pentagon Working Group study due December 1, 2010 and upon certification. Rep. Patrick Murphy will offer identical language as an amendment to the defense bill on the floor of the House by tomorrow morning.

Americans recognize that on the battlefield, it does not matter whether service members are gay or straight; what matters is that they get the job done. Those who wish to preserve discrimination in our military will continue to fight this progress but we will be there every step of the way to ensure that qualified men and women are allowed to serve their country, regardless of sexual orientation,” added Solmonese.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Leading LGBT Entrepreneurship Organization to Kickoff the Trading Day on June 7 in Celebration of June Pride Month

New York, NY (May 26, 2010) – StartOut, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering and developing entrepreneurship in the LGBT community, will ring The Opening BellSM to begin trading at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Monday, June 7.  The bell-ringing will celebrate StartOut’s efforts to educate, inspire and support LGBT business leaders, timed to coincide with June’s Gay Pride Month festivities.

As Gay Pride Month begins, StartOut is the ideal organization to represent entrepreneurs from the LGBT community,” said Bryan Janeczko, co-founder of StartOut.  “We’re leveraging diversity to drive innovation, secure top talent and create amazing business opportunities, and are pleased to celebrate our efforts with the bell ringing ceremony.

Since its inception, StartOut has worked to provide opportunities for LGBT entrepreneurs during all phases of their careers, hosting “Business Builder” networking programs, speaker events and entrepreneurship programs in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  StartOut also offers a mentorship program and “StartOut Salon” events for individuals beginning their entrepreneurship journey.

About StartOut
Founded in early 2009 with chapters in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, StartOut is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating the next generation of LGBT business leaders by helping aspiring entrepreneurs start new companies, assisting current entrepreneurs to grow and expand their businesses, and engaging successful entrepreneurs as role models and mentors for less established entrepreneurs. For more information, visit

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gay superhero comic nominated for prestigious award!

Controversial new comic Spandex has been nominated for an Eagle Award – the comics equivalent of the Oscars! The comic – about a group of gay superheroes – is nominated in the category for Best British Colour Comic Book.

Spandex creator Martin Eden commented on the nomination: “I’m completely shocked and I really didn’t expect it! I’m so proud of my comic and I’m really trying to do things that have never been done in a comic before. I’m up against some big titles in my category, so it’d be so exciting if the independent guy won! I have some amazing plans for the next few issues of Spandex, and I can’t wait to unleash it all on the comic-reading world.

Issue Two of the comic features a guest appearance by Her Majesty herself, the Queen – as a Buckingham Palace burglary sparks off Spandex’s latest adventure! The Brighton-based gay-team then head to Japan to recover the crown jewels and replace a fallen team-mate. There, they face the formidable swords of the Pink Ninjas, the terrifying Gayzilla, and they recruit Neon, the world’s first gay, fluorescent ninja!

Spandex is now being published as an ongoing comic title, with eventual book collections in the pipeline. “The original plan was to publish issue one, and then work on a bigger book,” says Martin, “but after global media attention, it was just too exciting to wait!” Spandex hit the headlines back in November – not just in the UK, but in Australia, Russia, America, Germany – all over the world – too.
Spandex comic #2 is on sale now and is available from the Spandex website, selected comic shops and via online download. Each reader will receive a special Pink Ninja badge (while stocks last!).

Tying in with this issue is ‘Japandex’, an online gallery of Japan - related artwork all with a Spandex twist –  provided by the UK’s best independent comic artists.

Spandex comic #2
On-sale now!

For more information on Spandex comic, visit:

Become a fan on Facebook

Monday, May 24, 2010

Experts: White House Plan Dismantles “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

SANTA BARBARA, CA, May 24, 2010 -- Today, the Palm Center released a statement in response to the White House statement regarding current legislative efforts to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law in Congress. “The President’s statement today keeps his promise to lift the ban by establishing the terms on which ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will be dismantled,” stated Aaron Belkin, Palm Center Director.  “For the past seventeen years, every expert who has studied this policy has emphasized that dismantling it would require leadership.  Leadership is what the President showed today.

The Palm Center is a think tank at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Since 1998, the Center has been a leader in commissioning and disseminating research in the areas of gender, sexuality, and the military.

For more information visit:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

National Aooc. of Realtors Includes Sexual Orientation As A Protected Class

May 15, 2010 - The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Professional Standards Committee convened 5/13/10 during the NAR midyear meetings in Washington, DC and voted unanimously on a proposal to amend the NAR Code of Ethics to include sexual orientation as a protected class. The unanimous vote was followed by joyous applause. As of 5/15, the motion has been approved by NAR's Board of Directors, and will go before NAR's delegate body during their annual meeting this November 2010 in New Orleans for final review. If final review is passed, the change in code will take effect January 1, 2011.

The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) works closely with NAR's Equal Opportunity - Cultural Diversity Committee (EOC), and originally brought the idea for amendment forward in March of 2009 via NAGLREP CEO Jeff Berger and Director Eric Kodner. Kodner serves as a 2010 Director of NAR's EOC, and also serves the Wisconsin Realtor Association's (WRA) Madison EOC. Kodner suggested the amendment during the WRA's Madison EOC March 2009 meeting. We are very thankful to WRA members Eric kodner, lead counsel Debbi Conrad, Kevin King, Char Glocke and the entire WRA who worked so hard to prepare and present the WRA's proposal before NAR.

The Time for Talking is Over, Vote NOW on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

Capitol Hill Protest Part of Week-Long Effort to Hold Democratic Leaders in the House and Senate Accountable for Promised Vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – GetEQUAL, a new lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) direct action organization, announced today that they will hold an emergency picket on Capitol Hill Thursday, May 20th, 2010 to demand that Democratic Congressional Leaders in the House and Senate live up to their promise to schedule a vote this legislative year on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Legislative action on the bill has already fallen victim to numerous postponements surrounded by a lot of rhetoric, without any real action.  The legislation has yet to be scheduled for a floor vote in either the House or the Senate and according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s legislative calendar, less than 45 full voting days remain before Congress adjourns for the mid-term elections nearly six months from now in November. Thursday’s GetEQUAL protest, to be held at the corner of Independence Ave. SE and 1st St SE (by the Library of Congress), is the latest in a series of actions the grassroots LGBT organization has taken this week to push for a vote to be scheduled now on ENDA.

We’ve heard all we can stand to hear from leaders in Congress, they promised a vote this calendar year and we expect them to honor their word,” said Robin McGhee, co-founder of GetEQUAL.  “As the window continues to slowly close on available legislative calendar dates to vote on ENDA in the House and in the Senate, we will continue to hold Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid accountable for the direct promise they made to the LGBT community.  Our community has done the work to lobby and educate members of Congress on the need for a fully inclusive ENDA and now is the time to stop the talking and start the voting.”

WHAT:          Emergency Capitol Hill Protest to Save the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

WHEN:          Thursday, May 20th, 2010

WHERE:       Corner of Independence Ave SE & 1st ST SE (by the Library of Congress)

WHO:            GetEQUAL, a new direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization

TIME:           12:00 noon – 2:00 pm (ET)

For additional information about the protest or to become involved, please visit GetEQUAL on Facebook at:!/event.php?eid=118196664882662&ref=mf

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Human Rights Campaign Statement on Mark Souder’s Resignation

Upon news today that notoriously anti-LGBT Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., is resigning after an affair with a member of his staff, Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Michael Cole released the following statement:

“Rep. Souder proves once again that it’s not LGBT people who are the threat to ‘family values.’ The good citizens of Indiana would be well served to elect a successor who in both word and deed more closely mirror their own values of equality and respect for all people.”

Rep. Souder has the distinction of scoring a zero on every single Human Rights Campaign scorecard since entering Congress in 1995. He has consistently voted against equal employment protections, common-sense hate crimes laws, increases in HIV/AIDS funding and providing any measure of equality to same-sex couples.

Monday, May 17, 2010

LP&G Wins Top Award for LGBT Marketing

TUCSON, Ariz. – (May 7, 2010) LP&G, Inc., a Tucson-based integrated marketing agency took Best of Show – Electronic in the 2010 Addy Awards. The agency won for a LGBT Tourism website for Tucson’s Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. The website and accompanying online advertising, entitled Nature AND Nurture, promoted Hacienda del Sol as a relaxing, welcoming alternative in the gay tourism scene.

We are so proud to have received this award,” said Leslie Perls, creative director and owner of LP&G. “As far as we know, this is the first time an ad specifically directed to the gay market has won an honor this high in Southern Arizona.” The Addy Awards are presented each year by the Tucson Advertising Federation for excellence in creative advertising. “It shows that people in our industry are beginning to realize something we’ve known for a long time – The LGBT market can be a powerful force in our business and shouldn’t be ignored.”
For over 16 years, LP&G has offered a full range of strategic marketing services including branding, advertising, web, social media, public relations and media planning and buying. More information is available at

First Ever Transgender Advocacy Day to Address Economic, Health Disparities in Transgender Community Held in Sacramento

Sacramento- Today almost 100 leaders from the transgender community and their allies gathered at the state Capitol for the first-ever Transgender Advocacy Day. Presented by the Transgender Law Center andEquality California Institute, participants met with state legislators to educate them on the need for good jobs and healthcare in the transgender community.

"Transgender Californians are twice as likely to earn wages below the federal poverty line compared to the state's general population," said Equality California executive director Geoff Kors. "We must act swiftly in order to bring an end to this economic disparity. In partnership with our state's leadership, I am confident we can help ensure equal access to economic opportunities for all Californians."

Participants also discussed the Data Inclusion Act, an Equality California-sponsored bill introduced by Assemblymember Ted W. Lieu (D-Torrance), which is the first bill in the nation that would require the state to add questions about sexual orientation, gender identity and domestic partnership status in the voluntary demographic section of California's government forms, enabling the state to gather vital data about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community's use of public services, such as health care, unemployment, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and programs for women, infants and children.

"One reason transgender Californians are overlooked in state programming is that we are not counted in the U.S. Census and other population surveys," said Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center. "With the Data Inclusion Act, the state can ensure that transgender Californians receive the services and support we need to thrive."

The Transgender Advocacy Day was preceded by the 5th Annual Transgender Leadership Summit, Capitol T: Growing a Movement for Transgender Equality, hosted at the University of California at Davis.

Coalition urges Congress to vote on ENDA in honor of first official Harvey Milk Day

A coalition of national, state and local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups are calling on Congress to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 (ENDA), S. 1584 before the end of May. This essential legislation would provide clear federal protection against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

"We thank Speaker Pelosi for her leadership in calling on President Obama to immediately stop discharging military personnel under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and now we need her strong voice for equality more than ever to ensure a Congressional vote on ENDA this month in honor of Harvey Milk and his first official state day of recognition.  It is imperative that Congress do for the country what Harvey did for San Francisco 32 years ago - pass legislation banning employment discrimination.

It is inexcusable that such protections don't already exist. Legislators once again have a chance to pass meaningful civil rights legislation that would end this injustice and help ensure fairness and equality for all Americans.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees have waited too long for this protection, and should no longer have to fear losing their jobs based on factors that are unrelated to job qualifications or work performance. It's past time for Congress to send ENDA to the President."

Coalition participants include:

  • Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • National Center for Transgender Equality
  • Equality Federation
  • Equality California
  • National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce
  • Courage Campaign
  • GetEQUAL
  • Transgender Law Center
  • San Francisco LGBT  Community Center
  • Pride at Work

Federal law currently provides basic legal protection against employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin or disability. It remains legal in 29 states to fire or refuse to hire someone simply because of his or her sexual orientation, and in 38 states it is legal to do so based solely on an individual's gender identity or expression. A solid majority of people in this country support job protections for LGBT workers. Since 1994, ENDA has been repeatedly introduced in the House and Senate, but each Congress has failed to send it to the President. President Obama has pressed Congress to pass the bill and promised to sign it.

In honor of Harvey Milk Day, community leaders are planning actions across the nation to celebrate Harvey's life and to push for a vote on ENDA in May. A rally to support Speaker Pelosi to bring ENDA to a vote will be held on Tuesday, May 18 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. outside of her San Francisco office at the San Francisco Federal Building (corner of 7th and Mission streets).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Screen Actors Guild Responds to “Straight Jacket” Newsweek Article

Los Angeles (May 13, 2010) - On April 26, 2010, Newsweek printed an article entitled “Straight Jacket” in which contributor Ramin Setoodeh contends that audiences do not accept openly gay actors playing straight roles, while offering no proof to support this claim other than his own discomfort. Screen Actors Guild rejects the notion that lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) actors are restricted in the roles they can play.

Intentional or not, Ramin Setoodeh’s wrongheaded argument sends a damaging and false message that we are limited in the roles we are able to play,” said actor Jason Stuart, chair of the SAG National LGBT Actors Committee. “This committee was formed to provide support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender actors so that they no longer need to feel as if they must hide who they are in order to work in this business. Unfortunately, harmful attitudes like those of Setoodeh are used to pressure actors to stay in the closet. Our work is clearly not done and we will continue to fight to end fear within the acting community that being open about who you are means the end of your career. I’m an actor; it’s not who I am but what I can play that counts.”

SAG’s Affirmative Action & Diversity Department and the SAG National LGBT Actors Committee work to support LGBT actors in the workplace. “Screen Actors Guild is committed to supporting all of our members in their pursuit of work in order to attain full inclusion within the industry,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG deputy national executive director and general counsel. “Despite the progress made over the years, our LGBT members face discrimination and harassment as do other historically underrepresented groups and SAG will continue to demand that all performers have equal employment opportunities and insist that qualified individuals are hired regardless of how they may identify.”

Follow SAG Communications on Twitter and Facebook! and

Organization calls on former First Lady Laura Bush to refute former anti-gay religious acquaintances

Faith In America today praises former First Lady Laura Bush's recent announcement that she supports same-sex marriage and the impact she now can have on ending the harm caused by religion-based bigotry.

"While we obviously hope people like Laura Bush could have the political courage to speak their hearts while in office, we nevertheless are thankful that the former First Lady has stated publicly how it is simply wrong to deny people the freedom to marry based solely on their same-sex sexual orientation," said Brent Childers, executive director of the organization.

"This week we have seen the anti-gay religious establishment's 'it's a choice' argument exposed as an evil charade; an innocent eight-year-old Massachusetts boy being abused by the Catholic Church because his parents are gay; and the National Association of Evangelicals attempting to inject its bigotry and hostility toward gays into the nation's immigration law reform.

"For years, so-called religious organizations have joined forces with so-called conservative political factions to promote the notion that gay and lesbian Americans are immoral and therefore undeserving and unworthy of the same rights and privileges others enjoy. Many of these forces were closely aligned with the Bush administration and we're sure Laura Bush is famiiar with many of them."

Childers said denying someone basic constitutional rights is bad enough, but the emotional and psychological pain from hearing such condemnation from certain religious and political leaders can be devastating to gay individuals, especially gay youth.

"Treating gay Americans with such bigotry and hostility and using religion to justify and promote it truly is one of the great moral failures of our time," Childers said.

"We hope former First Lady Laura Bush now will join us in speaking out against religion-based bigotry toward gay and lesbian Americans and the immense harm it causes. We encourage her to speak to those anti-gay religious individuals and organizations and tell them the harm must end."

Faith In America is a North Carolina-based 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 whose mission is to educate the public about the harm caused to gay Americans when certain church teaching is misused to justify and promote hostile attitudes and actions toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Statement from GLAAD on Newsweek Article ‘Straight Jacket’

On April 26, 2010, Newsweek printed an article entitled ‘Straight Jacket’ in which contributor Ramin Setoodeh criticizes LGBT actors. Glee Creator Ryan Murphy and actors including Kristin Chenoweth and Michael Urie have spoken out against the article. Today GLAAD joins Murphy in urging Newsweek to issue an apology.

The following is a statement from GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios:

“Whether he intended it to or not, Ramin Setoodeh’s article in Newsweek sends a false and damaging message about gay actors by endorsing the idea that there are limits to the roles they are able to play. 

If Setoodeh wanted to start a discussion about the work of gay performers, he undermined his own premise by affirming stereotype after stereotype, such as gay actors being ‘insincere’ or unbelievable when playing romantic leads, and dismissing or disregarding the work of actors like Neil Patrick Harris, Cheyenne Jackson, Cherry Jones, Wanda Sykes, Jonathan Groff and Alan Cumming, among others.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender actors can play a wide variety of diverse roles and Setoodeh’s perspective on this issue reflects his own discomfort that he attempts to project onto the audience by indicting Sean Hayes instead of examining his own inability to embrace gay actors in straight roles.

Since the article’s publication, Setoodeh has attempted to reframe his opinion piece as an analysis of the lack of gay men in leading roles, however, he continues to posit that gay male actors are not believable. In his May 11th interview with Joy Behar, Setoodeh claims about Neil Patrick Harris’ television role: ‘He’s not really a  romantic lead where women are actually supposed to believe him as a heterosexual character.’

Whatever Setoodeh’s intentions or beliefs, Newsweek is ultimately responsible for having published this deeply problematic essay and consciously or not, promoting and encouraging Setoodeh’s discomfort.

GLAAD has been in dialogue with Newsweek to provide space for views on the subject that expand their readers’ understanding of this issue past the harmful attitudes of writers like Setoodeh, whose perspective is used to pressure gay actors to stay closeted.

GLAAD also joins Glee creator Ryan Murphy in urging Newsweek to issue an apology.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

LGBT Fairness in the Workplace: Let's Push This One!

 By Dr. Jillian Weiss

The question on most people's minds about ENDA is: can it really pass?

The National Center for Transgender Equality, along with the Transgender Law Center, and the Coalition of State/City Transgender Advocacy Organizations, held a conference call last night on the status of ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Those on the call learned that the legislators on the Hill have completed the weeks-long, extra-careful whipping process. (Whipping refers to asking Congressmembers how they will vote on a bill.) We learned that legislators are "comfortable" that there are well beyond a majority of votes to pass ENDA, right now. We learned that, specifically with regard to a potential motion to strip gender identity from the bill, there are enough votes to defeat that motion. We also learned that Congressmembers are getting calls and letters 2 to 1 in favor of ENDA.

After all of its ups and down, ENDA is ready to pass!

Here is a nifty new site that will give you one click-access to your legislators. Click below for one-click sending of an ENDA letter to your Congressmember and your Senators. Please send it to your friends on Facebook. I mean, how easy is this?

Also, more on the call last night here:

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Chicago Community Trust Announces The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Fund

The Trust commits $500,000 towards new fund

What:  The Chicago Community Trust, metropolitan Chicago’s community foundation, is pleased to announce the establishment of The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Fund at The Chicago Community Trust.  The new fund has been created with grants of $500,000 from the Trust and a $200,000 challenge and operating grant from The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust.

This endowed fund will address a broad range of needs through strategic philanthropy and grant making to Chicago’s LGBT community and the nonprofit agencies that serve it. The Fund is the first of its kind established by a community foundation in a major metropolitan area in the United States.

Who:     Terry Mazany, president and chief executive officer of The Chicago Community Trust
Prue Beidler, past chair, executive committee of The Chicago Community Trust
James L. Alexander, co-trustee of The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, co-chair of the LGBT fund
Dr. Patrick Sheahan, head of community & corporate social responsibility- Midwest for UBS, co-chair of the LGBT fund

When: May 26, 2010, 5:30-7:30 at the Joffrey Ballet, 10 East Randolph Street. Please rsvp with Eva Penar at

About The Chicago Community Trust
For 95 years, The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In 2009, the Trust, together with its donors, granted more than $100 million to nonprofit organizations.  From strengthening schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to helping lives affected by violence, the Trust continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit the Trust online at

Lambda Legal Statement on the Nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court

"While we don't expect a nominee to answer questions about how she would rule on specific issues that will come before her, we do expect that she will respond to questions about her judicial philosophy and her understanding of core constitutional principals of equal protection and privacy that are so crucial to the civil rights of people who face discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or HIV status."

(New York, May 10, 20010) - In response to the nomination of Elena Kagan, Solicitor General of the United States, to the U.S. Supreme Court, Lambda Legal's Executive Director, Kevin Cathcart, made the following statement:

"We are pleased with the Obama Administration's efforts to increase the representation of women on the Court - if Solicitor General Kagan is confirmed it will be the first time in history that the nation's highest Court will have three women on the bench. Solicitor General Kagan's legal background and experience are impressive: she has been a trailblazer in her profession and a distinguished legal scholar and leader for many years.

"All Americans need justices who will uphold the Constitution, apply its principles carefully to the critical questions that come before them and protect personal freedoms for everyone in America, not just a select few. Lambda Legal's memorandum about principles for federal court nominations identifies qualities necessary for a fair and impartial federal judge, including adherence to precedents established in cases of importance to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. Among those are vital precedents safeguarding the rights of liberty and privacy, protecting against anti-gay and anti-transgender bias, preserving the right to sue in state courts under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and guarding against HIV discrimination.

"As Dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan took a strong position in opposition to the military's policy of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and joined a brief arguing that military recruiters could be barred from campuses.  However, the Obama Administration has taken legal positions on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the so-called 'Defense of Marriage Act' with which we strongly disagree.   While we don't expect a nominee to answer questions about how she would rule on specific issues such as these that will come before her, we do expect that she will respond to questions about her judicial philosophy and her understanding of core constitutional principals of equal protection and privacy that are so crucial to the civil rights of people who face discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or HIV status.

"We urge the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to look to those principles as they assess Solicitor General Kagan's qualifications to take the seat once held by Justice Stevens and, before him, Justice William O. Douglas, two of the Supreme Court's most stalwart protectors of individual rights."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The New Social Networking Website for the Deaf GLBTQ community!

“After meeting Martin (Ritchie), I realized that in making our great leap forward as a community, we had left many of our brothers and sisters behind,”

This realization came to Michael Bamford, Founder of Frisky Factory LLC, who immediately began the creation of once Mr. Richie, an accomplished Fashion Model and Television Personality, professed his community, the GLBTQ Deaf Community, as socially isolated. is specifically tailored for the GLBTQ Deaf and their Friends & Admirers to help eliminate the loneliness and social isolation those in the GLBTQ Deaf Community might feel. will virtually unite the millions of GLBTQ Deaf & their Friends across the English Speaking World. Users can interact through Live Chat, rich web messaging and stay mobile through their iPhones. aspires the to be the leading website where the GLBTQ Deaf and their Friends & Admirers go to find others for friendship, travel, dating and more! allows the gay deaf community (in all English-speaking countries) and their supporters to interact through a ‘Live Chat’ function, as well as, email.  Soon they will add a video-conferencing function.  This stunning new platform will allow the deaf and hearing populations to directly communicate without sign language, in English.  Its search function will allow you to find men or women with common interests in a defined geographical area for social interaction.  No longer will deaf gay people be isolated from full participation in our community.

For more details or interview requests please contact Austin Head via phone or email at 480.292.5083 or

Thursday, May 6, 2010

HRC Statement on Today’s GLAD DOMA Challenge Hearing

Same-sex Couples and Widowers Fight Discriminatory Federal Law

WASHINGTON – Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement today on the federal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management brought by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which is being heard today in Federal District Court in Boston. GLAD is seeking summary judgment before U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro on behalf of eight married same-sex couples and three widowers. Said Solmonese:

"DOMA continues to deny legally married same-sex couples and their families the same benefits, protections and respect every other married couple receives the day they marry. Six years ago, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to grant marriage equality under the groundbreaking Goodridge case brought by GLAD.

 "Today, GLAD is before a federal court to argue that there is simply no justification for excluding the thousands of couples and families who are now legally married in Massachusetts. These families – and so many others in Iowa, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, California and, most recently, the District of Columbia – are denied basic protections like social security benefits, family leave, home protections and pensions.
"While we continue to work at HRC to chip away at those obstacles, it is clear that whether through the courts or through Congress, DOMA stands in the way of allowing families the full protection and security they deserve
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

HRC Statement on George Alan Rekers

Leading anti-gay voice involved with male sex worker

WASHINGTON – Upon news that George Alan Rekers – a founder of the Family Research Council and a leading voice in the anti-LGBT movement – vacationed in Europe with a male sex worker, Human Rights Campaign Religion and Faith Program Director Harry Knox made the following statement:

My heart is broken as I read of Rev. George Rekers’ hypocrisy. I hurt for the thousands of lesbian, gay and bisexual people he has caused to be put through discredited pseudo-therapies in an attempt to change the God-given gift of their sexual orientation. I hurt for the children who are still in foster care that Rekers helped prevent from finding permanent loving homes with gay parents in Florida and Arkansas. And I feel pain for George Rekers himself, who is the first and worst victim of his internalized homophobia.

“Jesus said, ‘You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’ The truth has come out about George Rekers. Let us pray that it sets him, and the rest of us, free.

The story was first reported earlier this week by the Miami New Times. Rekers is a leading proponent of discredited “change” therapies that have been proven to be damaging for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. He testified in court in favor of keeping Florida’s ban on gays and lesbians from adopting children.

Palm Springs Launches New LGBT Website

Palm Springs, CA – May 5, 2010 – The Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism has launched a new website,, as the official online resource for LGBT travelers.

The new website showcases the collection of nearly 30 gay and lesbian-owned and/or operated resorts and guesthouses, including many that are clothing optional. Large photos and descriptions of each lodging property, attraction, restaurant and retail store allow the visitor to review and build their own travel plans. features include:
Interactive event calendar
Gay and Lesbian Visitor Guide
Social Media applications
Google mapping
Videos and photo gallery
Itinerary Suggestions
Direct links to each resort’s website

Several of the LGBT resorts are offering summer travel discounts, including free night offers through September 30, 2010 on In addition, the Desert Gay Tourism Guild is promoting its own, “Summer Splash” featuring special events and travel packages to Palm Springs.

Palm Springs is home to numerous world-renowned gay and lesbian events including the Dinah Shore Weekend held every April, along with Jeffrey Sanker’s White Party, one of the largest gay circuit events in the United States. In the Fall, the Palm Springs Pride Festival attracts thousands the first weekend of November, and is followed by Leather Pride, which Turns Up The Heat in Palm Springs the second week of November.

Palm Springs is less than two hours away from Los Angeles and San Diego. Daily flights are available to the Palm Springs International Airport from major U.S. cities. Palm Springs is a close and affordable destination for those seeking the perfect blend of outdoor adventure and casual relaxation. Find the perfect place to stay and play at

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Launches National Action Alert on White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” (DADT), issued a national action alert today calling on President Barack Obama to fully repeal DADT this year.  The action alert, sent to SLDN’s members and supporters this morning, provides the number to call the White House switchboard.

We have the votes in the House and we're close to having the votes in the Senate Armed Services Committee -- the President, however, is not helping us to get the votes we need.  Service members around the world took the President at his word; we still do," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, via the action alert.  “There is a path forward to repealing DADT and allowing the Pentagon Working Group to finish its review on how best to implement repeal. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) are working right now on a winning compromise.”

Late Friday evening, the Obama Administration shot a simultaneous salvo – from the Pentagon and the White House -- against advocates fighting for repeal this year.  In a letter to the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Robert Gates came out against lifting the ban before the Pentagon's Working Group finishes its DADT study in December.  Hours later, the White House issued a statement deferring to Gates.  In doing so, President Obama appeared to reverse the commitment he made during his State of the Union Address when he said:  “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.  It's the right thing to do.”

To view the action alert click here.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( is a national, non-profit legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” A journalists’ guide is available here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Over 300 Veterans to Lobby Congress Next Week on Repealing DADT This Year

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Veterans Unite to Demand Repeal Despite Attempts to Delay

WASHINGTON – With just one week until National Veterans Lobby Day on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" – sponsored by Servicemembers United and the Human Rights Campaign on May 10th and 11th – more than 300 gay and lesbian veterans and their straight veteran allies from across the country have already registered to come to Washington, DC to tell Congress to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law this year. This is expected to be the largest lobbying event on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to date. The announcement comes on the heels of last week’s letter from Defense Secretary Robert Gates urging Congress not to move forward on repeal until the Pentagon Working Group's implementation study has been completed.

 “Such a large number of veterans all coming to Washington, D.C. together at this critical time should send a strong message to Congress and even to the President that we fully expect this law to be repealed this year,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." "We have laid out a path to repeal for this year that very much respects the Pentagon's position on this issue. There is simply no excuse for further delay."

 “There is no reason Congress cannot move forward on repeal this year with a timeline that respects the Pentagon review process,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “This group of distinguished lesbian, gay and straight veterans are the perfect messengers to tell Congress that the country needs repeal this year.”

 Nearly 14,000 servicemembers have been discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” since its inception in 1994, including nearly 1000 mission critical specialists such as Arabic linguists. DADT hurts military readiness and national security while putting American soldiers fighting overseas at risk. At a time when our military is fighting two wars, qualified servicemembers who are willing to serve their country should not be discharged based on their sexual orientation.

The Veterans Lobby Day on DADT, a project of Servicemembers United and the Human Rights Campaign, in partnership with a broad coalition of other pro-military and pro-equality organizations, will take place immediately before the National Defense Authorization Act – the bill that should contain DADT repeal language – is debated on Capitol Hill.

More information on the day is available at

Monday, May 3, 2010

GLAAD Statement on Chely Wright’s Decision to Come Out

Wright to Appear at 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco on June 5

May 3, 2010, New York, NY - “In coming out, Chely Wright offers country music fans a tremendous opportunity to better understand our community and the importance of conversations that move us toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality,” said Jarrett Barrios, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). “As more and more gay and lesbian people live their lives openly and honestly, acceptance and understanding of our community continues to grow. With her decision to come out, Chely Wright promises to be a compelling new voice in that discussion.”

Chely Wright will appear at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco on June 5, 2010. At the event, Cybill Shepherd will receive the Golden Gate Award and Lee Daniels, the Academy Award-nominated director of “Precious,” will receive the Davidson/Valentini Award.

The GLAAD Media Awards elevate and promote fair, accurate and inclusive stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, people and allies that have increased awareness, understanding and respect for the lives of LGBT people. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories of LGBT people and issues that build support for equality.

Zeus--New National Gay Men’s Magazine Launches Today

Chicago, IL—February 26, 2010—With the gay men’s magazine niche collapsing upon itself a new era of gay men’s magazines has been born; Zeus. Zeus, “The Gay Man’s Handbook” launched today on May 3, 2010.

Roderic Montrece, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief says that “ZEUS is: Sex, Substance and Style. In each issue we plan to present a combination of intellectually and physically stimulating features, editorials and photographs. Zeus is for the gay man who is out, sexually active, culturally aware, fashion forward and on the move. It is for the gay man who enjoys the balance of articles regarding sex, gay men issues, business, finance, politics, fashion and issues that affect and interest us as men in general. ZEUS is for the gay man who aspires to live their best life, whatever they chose it to be. ZEUS is for the well rounded gay man.”

Zeus amassed a critical following on Facebook prior to its launch. Zeus has amassed nearly to 8,000 fans on its Fan Page in only one year. It was this quick and dense following that confirmed for Mr. Montrece, also the magazine’s founder that there was a need for Zeus. “Gay men are growing up. Everyday gay men are trying to figure out to put together the best life for them. Zeus is their handbook, whether they want to be a homemaker or a whore. Zeus is about taking useful information and putting it together and being the best you.”

Zeus is available for sale in print and via online at, and Zeus is also on sale in the online version on Facebook at