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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vegas Officials Consider Marketing Gay Honeymoons

Same-sex couples can't get married in Nevada, but Las Vegas tourism officials are still looking for a way to cash in on the growing gay wedding industry.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is considering marketing southern Nevada as a honeymoon destination for same-sex couples.

The Las Vegas Sun reported Thursday that the tourism agency's director of diversity marketing has already discussed the possibility with his staff.

New York recently became the latest state to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia.

Same-sex marriage was banned in Nevada in 2002 by a statewide vote.

Las Vegas is widely recognized as a wedding destination because of the relative ease in obtaining a marriage license.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

U.S. Senators Create "It Gets Better" Video

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, praises thirteen U.S. Senators for committing to making the world safer and more equitable for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) youth in a historic new video uploaded today to the It Gets Better Project on

The video highlights Senators’ experiences with bullying and difference and declares their dedication to passing policies that will improve life for LGBT youth. “We are working every day to make sure it gets better,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in the video. Other Senators featured in the clip include Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NGLCC Gears Up For Their Las Vegas Conference

The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is working on an incredible event in August; Out For Business Las Vegas NV. The organization has grown tremendously in the past couple of years as can be seen in the video below from last year's conference. The NGLCC provides LGBT business professionals with the opportunity to be "certified" and work with their corporate vendors.

Monday, June 20, 2011


50 engineers and designers compete in 24-hour hackathon, Winners receive $10K in seed funding for their social good apps

Fifty engineers and designers from the US and Canada competed this past weekend in the first ever ”Hack for Change contest, a 24-hour hackathon at the San Francisco headquarters of, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change.

Craig Newmark, the founder of, worked with a panel of judges to award ten thousand dollars in seed funding to the top three finalists. Brent Fitzgerald and Huned Botee from San Francisco took the top prize with a community based text messaging service, “Good Neighbor,” that sends messages when neighbors need a hand with quick tasks or errands.

In just 24 hours the contestants built a series of incredible social good apps and would like to thank all of the participants for competing,” said Ben Rattray, founder and CEO of “We look forward to more “Hack for Change” contests in the months and years to come.”

The first runner up at “Hack for Change” was ”Project AnonyMouse,” a platform developed by Aaron Moy and Aashay Desai that connects members of LGBT community in need with mentors. The second runner up was ”,” a service that text messages you when dogs get added to a shelter in your area. It was built by Catrina Roallos, Corey Grusden, and Charles Finkel.

The weekend event hosted at in partnership with Code for America, Mashable, the Sunlight Foundation and others aims to accelerate a growing movement of companies and entrepreneurs who seek to create web and mobile applications to advance social change.

Follow the "Hack for Change" conversation on Twitter: #hackforchange.

Friday, June 17, 2011

World Cup Rugby Champion Ben Cohen Takes Anti-Bullying Message aboard Gay Rome to Venice Cruise

An England Rugby World Cup winner recently retired from the Sale Sharks, Ben Cohen could have chosen to enjoy retirement on his Northamptonshire farm with his family. However, on May 20, 2011 he launched the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, believed to be the first organization dedicated to combating bullying worldwide.

Due to recent high-profile attacks on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Cohen has chosen to focus much of the Foundation’s attention on homophobia. “As athletes, it is not enough just to have strong bodies. We must have strong characters and use our voices to support those who need and deserve it,” says Cohen. “I am passionate about standing up against homophobia. It is time we stand up for what is right and support young people who are being harmed.”

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Williams Institute Begins Release of Census Snapshot: 2010

Today, the Williams Institute began its release of Census Snapshot: 2010 Reports beginning with Hawai'i and Alabama.  California, Delaware, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Wyoming will be released next week.  Each snapshot report provides demographic and geographic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children for all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.  More individual state reports will be released throughout the summer on a weekly basis.

Historically, US Census Bureau data on same-sex couples have been a critical resource for informing the many national, state, and local debates about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.  The Williams Institute has been a leader in disseminating and analyzing these data from Census 2000 and will continue to do so with the release of data from Census 2010.

Click here to see available reports.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

9th Annual Windy City Gay Idol Finals June 18

Windy City Gay Idol, now in its 9th year, crowns a Gay Idol at the finals this weekend, Saturday, June 18 at Sidetrack, 3349 N Halsted, with doors at 2 p.m./ show at 3 p.m. The largest annual search for the best amateur gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered singers in the Chicago area concludes, after three months of preliminary events, with the Top 12 finalists all competing for the title.

Windy City Gay Idol winners have gone on to sing at Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, Market Days and at festivals in Illinois, Indiana, Milwaukee, and Toronto. Plus the Windy City Gay Idol Finals in 2008 featured a then unknown Lady Gaga as a guest performer.

Audience votes determine the winner.  Everyone in the audience will be given a ballot to vote. A panel of judges will provide feedback to the singers throughout the event. Judges include: Chicago talent agent Bob Schroeder of Aria Talent (, Nightspots' editor Kirk Williamson, and actor/performer Mitchell Fain (Lookingglass, Midnight Circus, Second City).

Amazing Guest Artists will perform this year with Billboard recording artist/performer Cyon Flare, the new and exciting Double DJ dancers, and 2010 Windy City Gay Idol Matt Rivera. Hostess Sofia Saffire will also perform for the crowd.

The Windy City Gay Idol winner will be awarded $1,000 cash, a dream vacation to Vancouver, a Miller Lite mountain bike, theater and concert tickets, plus the coveted title of Windy City Gay Idol 2011. The winner also will be given a chance to sing at a Chicago Cubs and a Chicago Sky women's pro basketball game this summer.

And audience members will win big too, Audience prizes include a Trip for Two to Vancouver, a Miller Lite Trek Mountain bike, Ravinia tickets and more.  There is a $10 cover and all audience members are entered to win prizes.

The 2011 Windy City Gay Idol is produced by Windy City Media Group along with its Premium sponsor, Miller Lite. Other Sponsors include Creaoke, Tourism Vancouver and Vancouver Coast & Mountains, Westin Hotels and Ravinia.

Participating 2011 bars include: Jackhammer, The Glenwood, The Call, Crew, Spin, DS Tequila, T's, Parlour, Scarlet, Roscoe's and Sidetrack

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Federal Court Rules Being Gay Not Grounds for Recusal: Lambda Legal Applauds

"Prop 8 was declared unconstitutional because it is unconstitutional - not because the judge is gay."

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled today that being gay doesn't disqualify a judge from ruling impartially on a case involving rights that impact lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.

Just yesterday the court heard oral arguments on a motion filed by Prop 8 proponents seeking to overturn Judge Walker's ruling striking down Prop 8 as unconstitutional because he has been in a relationship with another man for ten years.  

Peter Renn, Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Western Regional Office based in Los Angeles, attended yesterday's hearing.

"The court decisively rejected an outrageous attack on the integrity of Judge Walker, not to mention judges in general. The motion was a sideshow designed to deflect attention from the fact that the proponents had every chance to prove that Prop 8 was constitutional, but could not do so. Prop 8 was declared unconstitutional because it is unconstitutional - not because the judge is gay," Renn said.


Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, ACLU of Northern California and Equality California filed a friend-of-the-court brief last month arguing that the Prop 8 supporters' motion closely parallels long-discredited historical attempts to disqualify judges based on their race, sex or religion. The groups contend that the Prop 8 supporters' argument boils down to the notion that essentially no lesbian, gay or bisexual judge could impartially preside over a case involving the rights of same-sex couples - an offensive suggestion that has been consistently rejected by the courts in similar cases involving race and sex discrimination.

Lambda Legal's Fair Courts Project engages the LGBT and HIV-affected communities to learn about the proper role of the judiciary, the importance of judicial fairness and the need to encourage people across the nation to take action to support an independent judiciary. When courts uphold laws and constitutional principles that protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, they often face anti-court backlash such as this latest motion by Prop 8 proponents who are seeking to have Judge Walker's decision striking down Prop 8 overturned.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Log Cabin Champion Senator Susan Collins Sponsors Bill to End Tax Penalty on Employer Funded Health Benefits

Log Cabin Republicans efforts to eliminate the punitive domestic partner tax on employer health benefits advanced today as Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act in the Senate.

"Once again, Senator Collins is championing the freedom of all Americans by standing up for common sense reforms. As the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' will remove an unnecessary and unwanted burden from our nation's military, the Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act will remove unfair and unnecessary burdens from American businesses," said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. "We need pro-growth policies to give businesses and entrepreneurs renewed confidence in our economy and to remove Washington as the roadblock to job creation.  Unfortunately, the federal tax code is punishing the business community for providing their gay and lesbian workers with standard employee benefits.  Congress can help private sector growth by eliminating the domestic partner penalty." 

"In order to remain competitive and keep and attract good employees, more than half of the largest and most successful companies in our country currently provide health coverage to their employees' domestic partners.  Our legislation would simply prevent these benefits from being unfairly taxed" said Senator Collins.

Cooper continues, saying "Companies like American Airlines, Dow Chemical, and Mass Mutual have stepped up to promote this issue, and we will continue working with them to ensure pro-business legislation gets enacted.  We are grateful to Senator Collins for her pro-business and pro-equality leadership."

Under current law, when a company provides health benefits to an employee's spouse and dependents, the value of the entire premium is considered a tax-free fringe benefit. But if the company elects to offer a health plan that covers a domestic partner, the partner's portion of the insurance premium is treated as taxable income. The Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act would fix this provision in the tax code so that all domestic partners who are covered by their partner's employer-based health plan are no longer treated differently.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


In an effort to connect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community on a global scale, Out and Around has launched a website that highlights the stories of LGBT leaders and people who are changing the world around the globe.

Out and Around co-founders and lesbian couple Lisa Dazols and Jenni Chang of San Francisco are set to embark on a one year journey for to 15 countries throughout Asia, Africa and South America on July 5. The couple’s mission is to interview “Supergays” – movers and shakers in the LGBT world who are striving for equal rights and greater acceptance.

Out and Around is a collection of our conversations with 
gay people around the world who are creating change for 
the LGBT community. By telling the stories of these 
“Supergays,” Out and Around hopes to inspire the gay 
community, decrease homophobia, and raise awareness 
on gay issues in the developing world.
For more information on Out and Around, go to

Monday, June 6, 2011


TORONTO (June 6, 2011) You wouldn’t show up to a party the size of Toronto Pride without getting into Pride shape. Now with less than a month to go, a brand new workout program has been specially created to help you get festival fabulous.

Follow Toronto fitness guru Brody through his new Pride Pump 2000X program, specially developed to produce killer chest, abs and cheeks.  Tone, tighten and transform with steady reps of Super Sexy Sparkle Crunches, Bangin’ Booty Butt Clenches and Dutch Deep Dips the Brody way.

Watch the workout at and get prepped for Toronto Pride today. More teaser videos encouraging people to get into a Pride Pump state of mind and body can be seen at (or you can watch it below)

Size matters in Toronto where more than one million people gather on the legendary Yonge Street for one of the world’s largest Pride parades. Celebrating genuine diversity in a truly Toronto way, Toronto Pride includes the Dyke March, Trans March and Family Pride in a packed July weekend.

This year’s Toronto Pride runs July 1-3 with the Pride parade taking place on Sunday, July 3, 2011. Toronto’s LGBT community is also looking three years ahead to when the city will host World Pride 2014.

Well recognized as the first North American jurisdiction to permit gay marriage, it’s no surprise Toronto continues to be ranked the top Canadian destination for U.S. gay and lesbian travelers in the recent CMI survey.

Tourism Toronto, in partnership with Pride Toronto, developed the playful Pride Pump 2000X campaign as a light-hearted way to invite the world to experience a Pride event like no other in the world.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Social Responsibility Vs Personnel Responsibility On Being Out.

By Frank Vaca

What do you do when your corporation makes a donation to an anti gay cause?   Do you take it personally where you think that they do not care about your own welfare?   Do you think they are not having any impact on treatment of our community?   Are you just trying your best to survive in a poor economy so you will not do anything?  Are you counteracting what they have done by being out and proud?
I know my workplace knows they have LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) workers.   I am out in the job force.  I made a statement at a public comment meeting announcing I would no longer be in the closet.   I have a Human Rights Campaign Sticker, couple of books of LGBT Business, and a couple of pictures of my partner at my desk.    It is my responsibility to take care of these things and get my work tasks complete.  Rest assured I do get antsy when I read an article on my phone about discrimination going on.    I am able to pull our down falling world into the back of my mind and muster up courage to get tasks complete.  I bet so do you?
What happens when management does donate to an anti-gay cause?   You probably read about it and shake your head wondering why I am in this workplace?    While it is a reality if your working out you will get noticed. Gorgeous if you have the biceps, the only muscle which makes things work is money.  Management only cares about getting ahead. 
I read a comment about how a Target cashier feels when having to check in, shelve, and restock items when people bring items back in a protest.  The employees only cared about wasted time they could be doing finishing their own work tasks.  Being a former retail queen I have to vent its hard being happy in the work hours in a week. Your boss might be looking over your shoulder just to see you mess up.  These workers have feelings and emotions.  Do not forget the enslaved work force on the sidelines wondering wtf did my managers do that for?    
So what do you think?  Is being out in the work force a Social Responsibility or Personnel Responsibility? Does it help being openly and affirming to stop anti gay checks going into the hands of dirty people? Let me know what you think 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Gay Softball League Limit On Straight Players OK'd

A federal judge in Seattle says a gay softball organization can limit the number of heterosexual players on each team.

The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance oversees gay softball leagues in dozens of U.S. cities and runs an annual tournament called the Gay Softball World Series. Three men claim in a lawsuit that their team's second-place finish in the 2008 tournament in Washington state was nullified because they are bisexual, not gay, and thus their team exceeded the limit of two non-gay players.
U.S. District Judge John Coughenour ruled this week that the organization has a First Amendment right to limit the number of heterosexual players. However, the judge did say that questions remain about the way the softball association applied its rule, and so the case can proceed.

Gay Owners of Bogota Restaurant in Brooklyn Want to Marry in New York

Today, Freedom to Marry released a video produced in partnership with In The Life Media telling the story of George Constantinou and Farid Ali Lancheros, co-owners of Bogota Restaurant in Park Slope Brooklyn, together over 10 years and engaged, waiting to marry in New York.

Farid and George have been in a loving, committed relationship for over 10 years, doing the hard work of marriage – in addition to the hard work of owning a successful restaurant business together – yet without the support and respect marriage would provide,” said Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry. “They have wanted to marry for years, but with a baby on the way, they feel even more strongly the need for the critical safety-net that marriage brings. New York couples like Farid and George want the freedom to marry, a super-majority of New Yorkers want them to have it, and the New York state legislature should pass the marriage bill - now.”

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

San Francisco Giants Launches "It Gets Better Video"

As the first major league sports club to create an "It Gets Better Video", our hats are off to this incredible team in their support for ant-bullying and LGBT equality.