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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Out & Equal announces official opening of Summit registration

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is proud to announce that registration to the 2010 Out & Equal Workplace Summit – set for Oct. 5-8 at the Los Angeles Convention Center – officially opens tomorrow, Thursday, July 1.

They’ll kick-off the start of early-bird registration – $775 in effect through July 31 – at 9 a.m. Pacific tomorrow, when they announce the winners of the Summit Airfare Sweepstakes*.

If you haven’t entered for your chance to win one of two, round-trip coach tickets on American Airlines, do so now! You have until 5 p.m. Pacific today to enter for a chance to win.

The Fabulous Beekman Boys Announces New Episodes With "Martha"

It was an abolute gift to stumble on to Planet Green's "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" one night while channel surfing.

Starring Dr. Brent Ridge and best selling author Josh Kilmer Purcell, the LGBT community finally has a great reality show that depicts two incredibly "normal" gay men as they struggle to maintain a newly purchased farm in upstate New York.

The show is delightfully entertaining as we follow the boys through their trials as a gay couple and giggle at Brent's Martha-induced flair for farming. From tying ribbons on the goats to making Josh dress like Paul Revere, you are really in for a treat.

The clincher that really sold it was when their hired hand, Farmer John, starts to cry every time he talks about the animals he cares for.

Upcoming episodes of The Fabulous Beekman Boys, includes several guest appearances by the Boys’ mentor Martha Stewart (who appears on episodes airing Wednesday July 7th and Wednesday, July 14th). In addition, the episode airing July 7th Brent and Josh – who can proudly say they produce 80% of the food consumed on the farm – learn the true value of the food they eat as they deal with the necessary realities of raising animals with the intention of bringing them from farm to table.

The Fabulous Beekman Boys is a witty and irreverent take on what happens when you take two city slickers – Dr. Brent Ridge, a former Martha Stewart Executive and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, a New York Times bestselling author –  out of their element and up to the country to revive a full-fledged farm and eco-conscious lifestyle company in upstate New York.

Photo credit: Planet Green

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Iraqi LGBT expresses horror at anti-Muslim statements by London gay business owner

29 June, London - The Iraqi LGBT group has today expressed its shock and anger at comments branding all Muslims as extremists by a London gay business owner and their reporting by a UK LGBT news outlet.

Mark Ames of club XXL in London is quoted by as writing on Facebook: "From today I will be boycotting any shops, petrol stations restaurants or businesses I know are owned by Muslims this also includes holidays to Muslim [sic] countries today see [sic] our death toll up to 300, so why the hell are we not just flying this scum back out to there beloved states and pull out and let them fight out there [sic] own issues!"

Ames' comments were sparked by rioting following an anti-racist protest in East London 21 June. The 'death toll up to 300' remark relates to soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.

Ali Hili, Leader of Iraqi LGBT, said: "This is an attack on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Muslims and all those many many Muslims who do not supporting the extremists including those who have supported us. This is hate speech. It is exactly the same sort of language as that used against LGBT people and that stereotypes and brands LGBT people."

Hili said that such hatred had the potential to increase the existing racism within the LGBT community and hurt members of the group he leads.

He called for a boycott of Ames' businesses until he retracts and apologises for his remarks.

"We should not tolerate this hatred directed at people on grounds of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any other factor. This shouldn't be tolerated in the community," he said.

Hili also criticised the coverage of the story by "I was rung for and gave comment on the story but this has not been used by the news website. I am not concerned whether or not I am quoted but that no LGBT Muslim is quoted in their article, instead they have used an anonymous comment from "One reader". This gives the impression that no gay Muslims are either speaking out or are prepared to be identified - which isn't true."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Statement on the Passing of U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd

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 statement today on the passing of U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV).

Statement from Army Veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:

“Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) achieved much for his state of West Virginia and the nation. Some of his votes over the years were controversial and not where most Americans stood.  But Senator Byrd evolved in his thinking on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ as did our country.  His evolution is mirrored in his votes on DADT – seventeen years ago Senator Byrd voted for DADT; last month in the Senate Armed Services Committee he voted for a path to repeal the law.  We hope the new Senator from West Virginia will follow the lead of Senator Byrd on this issue.”

Friday, June 25, 2010

Florida State University's non-discrimination policy was amended this morning without discussion - or even public acknowledgement.

But the unanimous decision by FSU's Board of Trustees to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in the university's policy - language similar to an ordinance adopted recently by Leon County - was greeted with relief and joy outside the board meeting.

Mary Coburn, FSU's vice president for student affairs, left the meeting to celebrate with third-year law school student David Grimes and others after the policy was approved along with more than a dozen other consent items.

"It sends a positive message that Florida State is a welcoming place," Coburn said. "Various student groups have been pushing for this for some time."

Grimes, a co-founder of Coalition for an Equitable Community, which formed in 2007, said he wasn't bothered that FSU's trustees didn't make a statement on behalf of the policy. Two BOT sub-committees had approved the policy during meetings on Thursday.

"Florida State now is a better place for what they've done," Grimes said.

FSU's Faculty Senate voted two times in the past three years in support of the change. Most schools in the Association of American Universities, an organization FSU is eager to join, have adopted similar policies.

FSU becomes the ninth school in the 11-member State University System to expand its non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Florida A&M and Florida Atlantic universities have not, according to FSU officials.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New York State Senate Passes Dignity for All Students Act

New York State is on its way to having its first statewide protections based on gender identity and expression! Last night, the New York State Senate passed the Dignity for All Students Act by a whopping 58-3. The Dignity for All Students Act was passed earlier this year by the Assembly and now heads to Governor Paterson's desk. He's been a tremendous friend of the LGBT community, and we urge him to once again show his support by quickly signing this bill into law.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in New York face tremendous amounts of bullying and harassment. One recent survey conducted by GLSEN found that 79% had been verbally harassed in the past year because of their sexual orientation and 62% had been verbally harassed because of how they expressed their gender.

Orangina's Sexy Gay Cougar Ad

Oh give me a home where the Gay Sexy Cougars roam!

Orangina-France takes the cake on their new commercial which by the way will not be shown on television according to the No Site Agency.

The company, apparently famous for their creativity in commercial production has a series of ads running that feature animals using their products in various ways other than what you would think, "drinking it?"

- a bear using it as deodorant
- a giraffe using it as floor cleaner
- an afghan applying it to her hair
- a female panda standing oh so sexy, rubbing her breast and someone please translate....

Their latest shows a really hot male cougar shaving in front of a mirror and then applying Orangina as after-shave ending with a hot guy coming over to caress his clean shaven face.

Boy, they must really be free in France. This comes on top of the latest McDonald's gay-themed ad that got all kinds of attention in the U.S. Especially after one of their execs garbled to the Chicago Tribune that their's won't be shown here.

Looks like viral marketing is in. No?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle To Possibly Veto Civil Unions Bill

Governor places HB 444 on list of potential vetoes, has until July 6th to act

HONOLULU – Equality Hawaii, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, today announced disappointment in Governor Linda Lingle’s decision to place HB 444, Hawaii’s Civil Unions legislation, on the list of potential vetoes.

We’re disappointed that the Governor has decided to place HB 444 on the list of potential vetoes,” said Alan Spector, legislative affairs co-chair for Equality Hawaii.  “While we appreciate her thoughtful consideration of this matter, dragging this issue out any longer is of benefit to no one, including the thousands of Hawaii families who would receive equal treatment under the law if civil unions are approved. We urge the Governor to do what’s in the best interest of these families and the state of Hawaii, which is to make this bill the law in Hawaii.”

The Human Rights Campaign shares in the disappointment of thousands of Hawaii’s families who await equal treatment under Hawaii law,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.  “We have stood with advocates for equality in Hawaii through good times and bad and we pledge to remain a loyal partner for fairness and dignity in the Aloha State. We urge Governor Lingle to have the courage and conviction to do the right thing and make civil unions the law in Hawaii.”

Lambda Legal Client Janice Langbehn to Attend White House Pride Event

"While none of this will bring Lisa back, it will hopefully ensure that the next gay couple who arrives at the door of an emergency room will not be kept apart."

(Washington D.C.,  June 21, 2010) - Tomorrow night, just days before the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) publishes new regulations on hospital visitation, Lambda Legal client Janice Langbehn will be a guest at the White House pride event.

"We're proud that Janice has been invited to the White House in recognition of her tireless advocacy beginning in a Florida hospital over three years ago. Our work together has resulted in new federal rules that we hope will lead to respect and better care for same-sex couples across the country," said Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director for Lambda Legal. "We are pleased that the Obama Administration has taken steps to address the discrimination affecting LGBT patients and their families and look forward to reviewing the new HHS regulations."

Last September, a federal court in Florida rejected Lambda Legal's lawsuit filed against Jackson Memorial Hospital on behalf of Janice Langbehn, ruling that no law required the hospital to allow her and their three children to see her partner, Lisa Pond. Langbehn and the children were kept apart from Pond by hospital staff for eight hours as Pond slipped into a coma and died. Since then, Lambda Legal has been working with other LGBT organizations and hospital officials to address the policies that leave many same-sex couples and their families vulnerable during critical times.

In April, President Obama signed a memo directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to take steps to address hospital visitation and other health care issues affecting LGBT families. After signing the memo President Obama called Janice from Air Force One to tell her about the memo and express his sympathy for how she and her family were treated by the hospital.  

The HHS regulations are set to be published on June 25th.

"I am honored to be invited to the White House and to have had the opportunity to tell my family's story," said Janice Langbehn. "While none of this will bring Lisa back, it will hopefully ensure that the next gay couple who arrives at the door of an emergency room will not be kept apart."

For background on Langbehn v. Jackson Memorial, go to

Sunday, June 20, 2010

McDonald's BackTracks on American Gays

What a shame! McDonald's was doing so well with the Gay community. Last July, they signed on with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) as a diverse supplier in their LGBT vendor certification program and only recently aired this beautiful gay-friendly ad in France.

Well...after almost 2 million views on of that commercial, it seems as if they are back to square one with us in America after their COO made this comment to the Chicago Tribune regarding the spot.

Chief Operating Officer Don Thompson announced it in an interview with The Chicago Tribune. “[A]t McDonald’s, there are core values we stand for and the world is getting much closer. So we have a lot of conversations. We’re going to make some mistakes at times. (We talk) about things that may have an implication in one part of the world and may be the cultural norm in another part of the world. And those are things that, yes, we’re going to learn from. But, you’re right, that commercial won’t show in the United States.”

The NGLCC is now distancing themselves from the Hamburger Giant:

We strongly believe that McDonald’s plan to distance itself from LGBT and other diverse business segments, coupled with the release of the French TV ad, is ill advised and counter to the spirit of good business and sound ethics. We sincerely hope that McDonald’s will reconsider its position and that the company will again show its support for LGBT people, our families and our businesses -- not just where it is politically expedient, but around the globe.

Barring a significant change in policy on the part of McDonald’s, please consider this letter as official notice that the NGLCC will not accept future support or membership by McDonald’s or any of its subsidiaries. Additionally, please note that we will answer any questions about this communication, the past relationship between our organizations or any other questions by members of the NGLCC, the media or other interested parties with nothing less than factual and accurate information based on our communications and experiences with McDonald’s and its representatives.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


For Plaintiffs, Theodore Olson Demonstrates Prop. 8’s Denial of Equal Protection Under the Law
 See Trial Summary at 

Transcripts, Other info at

Theodore Olson today delivered closing arguments on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, the landmark trial over Proposition 8, which unconstitutionally denies equal protection under the law (see excerpts below).

The American Foundation for Equal Rights brought together Olson and David Boies, who notably faced-off in Bush v. Gore, to demonstrate that Prop. 8 violates Americans’ U.S. constitutional rights by creating separate classes of people with different laws for each, in conflict with the nation’s founding principles, including equal protection under the law. Prop. 8 unconstitutionally stripped away the right of same-sex couples to marry in California .

For Kris and I, this case for us is about how we, as Americans, just want to be treated equally by our government," said plaintiff Sandy Stier, who with Kris Perry comprise one of the couples who are plaintiffs in the case. Stier spoke at the courthouse immediately before going inside this morning.

All we're asking the court to do is make sure we're protected under our Constitution like everyone is supposed to be," said plaintiff Jeff Zarrillo before entering the courthouse with Sandy, Kris and Paul Katami.

This trial clearly demonstrated Proposition 8’s denial of equal protection under the law,” said Chad Griffin , Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. “No law may violate the U.S. Constitution. Our nation’s Founders established the courts to protect every American’s constitutional rights against discriminatory laws. This case is not about special rights for Kris, Sandy, Paul and Jeff. Rather, it’s about ensuring they simply have the same rights as every American.”


“They merely wish for themselves the status the State of California accords to their neighbors, their friends, their coworkers and their relatives,” Olson said in court of the plaintiffs Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo and those also affected by Proposition 8. “The Supreme Court said the right to equal protection of the laws is the protection of equal laws.”

“We conclude this trial, your honor, where we began. This case is about marriage and equality. The fundamental constitutional right to marry has been taken away from the plaintiffs, and tens of thousands of similarly situated Californians. Their state has rewritten its constitution in order to place them into a special disfavored category where their most intimate personal relationships are not valid, not recognized and second rate,” Olson said in court today. “There is not a compelling governmental interest to put  the plaintiffs in a class like this and take away what the  Supreme Court has called a fundamental right, a right of  liberty, privacy, association, intimacy and autonomy.”

“Our fundamental rights can't be taken away unless the state has a very, very fundamental, strong, compelling reason to do so and acts with surgical precision so that it takes no more than the compelling reason justifies,” Olson said in court.

“Their state has stigmatized them as unworthy of marriage, different, and less respected,” Olson said in court of plaintiffs Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo and those also affected by Proposition 8.

“This is discrimination, the taking away from a fundamental right as articulated by the Supreme Court,” Olson said in court of Proposition 8, later adding that since 1888 no less than 14 Supreme Court rulings have recognized marriage as a fundamental right.

“The Supreme Court has said that marriage is the most important relation in life.  Now that's being withheld from the plaintiffs,” Olson said in court. “Marriage, the Supreme Court has said again and again, is a component of liberty, privacy, spirituality and autonomy.”

“[Prop 8.] prevents a complete choice as to marriage and designates gays and lesbians as less worthy and entitled to less honor, less status and fewer benefits.  Marriage is special, the experts tell us. Domestic partnerships and civil unions are pale comparisons,” Olson said in court.

“This law is discriminatory. The evidence is overwhelming that it imposes great social harm on individuals who are our equals. They are members of our society.  They pay their taxes. They want to form a household. They want to raise their children in happiness and in the same way that their neighbors do. We are imposing great damage on them by the institution of the State of California saying they are different and they cannot have the happiness, they cannot have the privacy, they cannot have the liberty, they cannot have the intimate association in the context of a marriage that the rest of our citizens do,” Olson said in court.

Take the 2010 LGBT Community Survey

We have sponsored Community Marketing Inc.'s latest survey and encourage all to participate. There is power in our numbers!

Please take a few minutes to complete the 4th Annual LGBT Community Survey. If you only take one survey this year, this should be the one! Last year over 30,000 LGBT community members from around the world took the survey, making it the largest of its kind in history.

Participating in this study helps open minds and doors around the world, and influences positive changes for our community, our society and our governments. You may have seen previous years' surveys quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, etc.

Everyone who completes the survey by June 30th will be entered into a drawing to win the grand prize of one $500 Visa gift card, or one of twenty $25 Amazon gift cards.

Click here to take the survey, or paste the following into your browser:

If you have friends that might be interested in this survey, please forward this message to them.


...a new networking group for the glbt young professionals of long beach

(LONG BEACH, CA – May 11, 2010) Join us to celebrate the launch of LGB2NETWORK, Thursday, June 17, 2010, from 6:00pm -8:00 pm at the stunning Hotel Maya (formerly the Coast Long Beach), 700 Queensway Drive, Long Beach for an evening of cocktails, bocadillos and networking. LGB2NETWORK seeks to connect young GLBT professionals within the Long Beach community by promoting business contacts and relationships. Networking at gay bars is so passé…it’s the lounge life that counts. With today’s hectic lifestyle, this is the smart way to play and do business.

Our members are primarily Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender up-and-coming and affluent professionals ages 30 and older. All gay and gay-friendly professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs, art lovers and collectors, food critics, and press media are welcome to join.

LGB2NETWORK will meet every third Thursday evening of the month from 6pm to 8pm. Our host partner, Hotel Maya and its restaurant FUEGO will offer a signature drink at a special price, in addition to happy hour snacks and a cash bar. Bring your joie de vivre, experience the beautiful Long Beach panorama, great food and drink and good company.

LGB2NETWORK will meet at FUEGO Restaurant’s Terrace. Free parking is provided on site.

LGB2NETWORK was created by Heber Siqueiros, an arts professional, after he moved to Long Beach from Miami. He was looking for a like-minded group of young professionals such as himself with whom he could socialize and network outside of the gay bar scene. LGB2NETWORK is both a hip, urban way to refer to Long Beach (its airport code) as well as reflecting the group’s makeup.

For more information about LGB2NETWORK and events please visit and or call 305 766 8903.

Friday, June 11, 2010

State Department Issues New Policy Guidelines on Passport Sex Marker Changes

Happy LGBT Pride Month! We are very pleased to tell you that the U.S. Department of State today introduced new policy guidelines on changing the sex marker on passports.

Beginning today, when a passport applicant presents a doctor's certification that he or she has undergone treatment for gender transition, their passport will be updated to accurately reflect their sex. Sex reassignment surgery is no longer required to change the gender on an American passport.

Transgender Americans face extreme danger when traveling abroad in the many countries that are hostile to them. Many also experience harassment when entering and leaving this country. Adoption of this safety-focused policy is a giant step forward in protecting transgender Americans and in fulfilling the State Department's commitment to protect all Americans when they travel, work or live overseas.

Under the new policy, it is also possible to obtain a temporary passport in the appropriate sex if a physician's statement shows that an applicant is in the process of gender transition.

The new policy and procedures are based on standards and recommendations of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). We are happy to bring you this news and we will continue to update our web site with more detailed information.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fines Proposed Against Mormon Church for Prop 8 Campaign Finance Violations

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign today hailed a proposal by the California Fair Political Practices Committee (FPPC) that would fine The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) for failing to report all of its late non-monetary contributions in its efforts to pass Proposition 8 in California in 2008. While the recommended fine of just more than $5,500 for the unreported late contributions of $36,968 to the Yes on 8 campaign may seem inconsequential, it represents a pattern of blatant disregard for California election laws and provides ongoing evidence that the Mormon Church was a significant leader in the campaign to repeal marriage equality, even while it evaded standard reporting requirements and denied its involvement.

HRC President Joe Solmonese also commended the efforts of Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate, for filing the initial FPPC complaint that has shed light on the anti-equality activities of the Mormon Church. The issue, scheduled to be discussed at its June 10th meeting, follows the January 2009 admission by the Mormon Church to the FPPC that it failed to report in-kind contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign of $190,000. Previously the Mormon Church had failed to disclose its real involvement in the Proposition 8 campaign, as California law required it to do.

"Thanks to Fred Karger's dogged pursuit of the truth, we now know the Mormon Church not only violated the law in its election work to pass Prop 8, it most likely did so purposely" said Solmonese. "It's just not credible that a multi-billion dollar, sophisticated organization like the LDS Church didn't know or understand the election law requirements. California requires early disclosure so voters know who's behind these referendum fights and clearly, the Mormon Church worked overtime to keep their full involvement hidden from the people of California."

A copy of the FPPC complaint is available at:

Established Niche Monthly Publication for Sale

This niche monthly publication focused on 50+ GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) is ready to move to the next level.  Currently distributed in New England area but could easily be grown to national distribution.  Website in place for national readers.  New owner should be sales motivated and customer focused.  All revenue is from advertising sales.  Perfect home based business and great opportunity for someone looking to own their own business. 

Readership is mainly comprised of the GLBT market – a great selling point to advertisers.  By building a sales team current sales could increase tremendously to the fastest growing population in America today.

This publication, with the right leadership is ready to grow.  Though competition exists in both print and online media, there is no publication focusing mainly on 50+ GLBT

Support/Training: Seller will train new publisher for 30 days

Reason Selling: Owners have other businesses to focus on

Niche publication - $12K

Contact Roberta via email;

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Golden Rainbow Times Newspaper-Publisher to view the current issue online

HRC Responds to Sen. Hatch’s Offensive Remarks on Gays and Religion

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – today responded to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who at a public event on Tuesday said that “gays and lesbians don't pay tithing, their religion is politics.” He further commented that Republicans need to organize like gay rights activists, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. HRC Religion & Faith Program Director Harry Knox released the following statement:

“Senator Hatch’s statement that gay people’s religion is politics is insulting and demeaning to the millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans who are people of faith. In fact, the great irony is that they are often more committed to their faiths and religious denominations than those faiths are dedicated to protecting them and ensuring their equality.

“Senator Hatch is certainly right that many of his fellow Republicans could learn a lot from LGBT people’s dedication to equality. But there is no denying that there are millions of LGBT Americans who everyday give their time, talent and money to local churches, synagogues and temples all over the country. LGBT religious leaders are often the very ones revitalizing moribund churches and institutions. These committed religious leaders are working to provide a loving alternative to the hopeless hatred people like Sen. Hatch call sound doctrine.”

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.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gay Business Organization Rings NYSE Opening Bell

Today, LGBT nonprofit business StartOut rang the opening bell at The New York Stock Exchange to ring in the beginning of Gay Pride Month.