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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Human Rights Campaign Files FCC Complaint Over Unsolicited Anti-Gay Text Messages to Voters

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate mass spam texts that are taking aim at President Obama, marriage equality, and a number of other progressive issues. Recently, HRC supporters have received unsolicited anti-gay text messages such as: “Obama endorses the legality of same-sex marriage.  Say No to Obama at the polls on Nov 6.”  The Washington Post reports that the texts originated from ccAdvertising, a firm specializing in political phone and text outreach – and with a history of spamming cell phone users with unsolicited content. An image of one of the anti-Obama, anti-marriage equality messages ccAdvertising blasted out is available below. HRC’s letter to the FCC is available here.

Since many Americans pay for their text messages on an as-used basis, ccAdvertising is costing money to some cell phone users by spamming them with these unwanted messages.

It appears ccAdvertising tried to hide their identity on their website – a violation of the terms of service with their online host, GoDaddy. As a result, GoDaddy revoked ccAdvertising’s anonymity and their leading role in sending the text messages became clear. It remains to be seen who is funding the firm’s unsolicited anti-equality texts. The Washington Post reports that ccAdvertising’s chief operating officer is Republican Jason Flanary, who is currently running for Senate in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Other messages users reported receiving include: "Obama supports homosexuality and its radical social agenda. Say No to Obama on Nov 6!," "Obama denies protection to babies who survive abortions. Obama is just wrong," "Stop Obama from forcing gay marriage on the states. Your vote is your voice," and "Seniors cant afford to have 4 more years of Obama budget cuts to Medicare."

Sending these types of unsolicited spam messages is a blatant violation of Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which is what is prompting HRC’s call to the FCC to investigate further.

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This year’s Black Tie Dinner will honor jcpenney with the Black Tie Dinner Media Award, given in recognition of positive and increased awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and equality in the media. Held on November 3 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, the 31st annual Dinner benefits the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender supportive organizations that collectively provide services to more than 135,000 individuals annually in the North Texas area.

The Black Tie Dinner Board is thrilled to honor jcpenney for their efforts in supporting the GLBT community,” said Black Tie Dinner Co-Chair Chris Kouvelis. “jcpenney leaders have an incredible vision for the future and are completely reinventing their stores to become a place where everyone feels welcomed and appreciated. As a company founded on the Golden Rule, jcpenney makes it a practice to treat all people with the respect they deserve.”

As part of its transformation efforts, jcpenney hired comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as their company spokesperson. A former jcpenney employee – one of her first jobs was working at a jcpenney store in Metairie, Louisiana – Ellen is helping to bring the jcpenney story to life through a unique partnership that combines her light-hearted humor with jcpenney’s shared sense of values.

As jcpenney focuses on being a store for all Americans, the Company is also ensuring that its marketing reflects the diversity of today’s families. jcpenney’s direct mail books this year have featured spreads of mothers and fathers of diverse backgrounds, including real life same sex couples.

The Company’s commitment to diversity goes beyond its marketing efforts. jcpenney supports a variety of employee affinity groups, including PRIDE. Comprised of engaged jcpenney GLBT employees and straight allies, the group is focused on develop understanding and respect for the GLBT community. jcpenney also has a history of earning top scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which measures employers on their treatment of GLBT employees and consumers

Black Tie Dinner Co-Chair Mitzi Lemons called the Black Tie Media Award “a testament to jcpenney’s focus on diversity and the importance of valuing and celebrating the unique contributions of every team member.” Lemons said jcpenney has “demonstrated over and over how fostering an inclusive culture allows them to attract and retain the best talent in retail.


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Brad Pitt Makes $100K Contribution to HRC’s Marriage Efforts

High-profile gift to fuel HRC’s continued commitment to marriage campaigns in final days
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today announced a $100,000 gift from Brad Pitt to support the organization’s marriage efforts.  Pitt has agreed to match contributions from HRC members and supporters up to $100,000 in order to direct resources to the marriage campaigns entering their final week in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington State.

“Brad Pitt’s partnership with HRC in this closing week delivers vital resources into these campaigns and we’re proud to be working with him as we show that fundamental fairness will win at the ballot box,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “With his commitment, Brad joins HRC in a tremendous coalition of religious leaders, business leaders, labor groups, civil rights organizations and everyday, fair-minded Americans supporting marriage for gay and lesbian couples.”

“It's unbelievable to me that people's lives and relationships are literally being voted on in a matter of days,” said Pitt in an email today to HRC members and supporters.  “If you're like me, you don't want to have to ask yourself on the day after the election, what else could I have done?”

Supporters can heed Pitt’s call and contribute with him to HRC’s marriage work at:

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Acclaimed Director Lana Wachowski Opens Up About Her Journey as a Transgender American

Lana Wachowski, the critically acclaimed director of the Matrix trilogy and the new movie Cloud Atlas, opened up about her journey as a transgender woman while receiving the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award in San Francisco this past weekend. Wachowski’s emotional speech included heart-wrenching stories about her inability to fit in as a child and her suicide attempt during high school. Wachowski shared her highly personal story with the goal of making conditions easier for other transgender youth to feel confident about their futures.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

L.A. premiere of "Those Whom the Gods Love"

 In Downtown LA, where artists have brought a cultural redevelopment to the historic buildings, nestled in the arts district, the theater company, KIDS TERRIBLES, set out to do something a little different to shake up their audience.  In the L.A. premiere of Those Whom the Gods Love written and directed by Olivia Lilley, we, the audience, are asked to meet at a newly opened restaurant called Eat.Drink.Americano, with the promise that a guide will escort us to an unknown location.  This “dude” shows up (and that’s all we’ll tell you) – he functions as a comic foil to the production itself.  A few of us were unsure if he, in fact, was the guide due to his off-beat style and humor.  But don’t hesitate or you’ll miss a show well worth your time.

The show is fun, fresh, and fearless in its sexual freedom!  Audience members described it as “saucy”, “naughty”, “hilarious”, and “edgy”.  One woman laughed as she said, “these characters are seriously messed up!”

The play perfectly ties to its Los Angeles setting with its ironic subject matter of how L.A. shapes American culture, and how three individuals, Lulu, Darren, and Sonia, fall prey to its promised fantasies, in a comedic yet tragic way.  The scene transitions reference the music of the late Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, and the Smashing Pumpkins – all artists who comment on their own traumatic experiences as ‘celebrity’. With the NY Post recently publishing that "LA is the future", and "New York better watch out", it’s no wonder that all of the actors, producers, and director on this project hail from the Big Apple.

The characters’ journeys are epic in their drama and the stakes are high for them even if their lives seem small to the audience – which is where the humor comes in.  The writer and director, Olivia Lilley, has created a quick-witted script that shows up in the naive Sonia, the worm-like Darren, and the fiery Lulu.  Tyler Ham Pong plays Darren, and convincingly portrays a manipulative, self-absorbed neurotic.  Elise Cantu plays Sonia, whose big brown eyes brim with innocence and courage when she arrives at Darren’s doorstep to meet her internet boyfriend.  Christina Myers plays Lulu, and shines as brightly in her performance as the star Lulu longs to be.  The audience is eager to discover what Lulu and Darren are hiding up their sleeves in order to bed Sonia first.  In their battle to win Sonia's affections, Darren and Lulu stop at nothing in this sordid love triangle that transcends sexual orientation and identity. (

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Freedom To Marry Couple Discusses DOMA

Major Shannon McLaughlin and her wife Casey McLaughlin talk about how the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from honoring legal marriages of same-sex couples, hurts their family.  Produced by

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Gay Jazz Crooner Gallavin releases his new music video "Like Someone in Love"

 The Anglo-Swiss crooner Gallavin releases on Monday 22nd October 2012 his third and last single Like Someone in Love issued from his album Mad about the Boy. He publishes a romantic and melancholic music video made ​​by the Lake of Geneva.

Composed by Jimmy Van Hausen and written by Johnny Burke, Gallavin explores in this song the maze of a melancholic and impossible love.

Produced in the historical propriety of the Doges and directed by Daniel Wyss, Like Someone in Love takes place in a universe inspired by the romantic literature of the nineteenth century. Dressed by the stylist Nad├Ęge Ludinant, Gallavin embodies a melancholic character declaring his feelings in the shadow of an impossible love.

Nominated twice for the Right Out TV Music and Video Awards 2012, Gallavin is already working on the recording of his next album, which first single is to be published in autumn 2013.

The previous videos can be viewed:

Mad about the Boy:

My Baby Just Cares for Me:
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Johnny Weir Launches Weekly Column In Falls Church News-Press

With its edition on newsstands today, the Falls Church News-Press, for 21 years an award-winning Washington, D.C. area general interest weekly, began exclusively hosting a new column by two-time Olympic figure skater and three-time U.S. figure skating champion Johnny Weir.

Weir has returned to competition this fall, after a hiatus following his sixth place finish in the 2010 Winter Olympics, seeking to qualify for the 2014 Olympics in Russia.

His first column out today, which is entitled, "Johnny's World," begins, "As a gay man, I find myself constantly surrounded by women." It can be found on the Falls Church News-Press website,

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Expedia's New LGBT AD - Well Done!

 What a really beautiful ad put out by Expedia! It's narrated by the father of a young lady who is marrying her partner. I can't say enough about it. So touching, so real....

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The "Gay It Forward" Ad Campaign

Live Out Loud is proud to announce the launch of their first national ad campaign, created by Deutsch A Lowe & Partners Company. The "Gay It Forward" campaign features real members of the LGBT community sharing the lessons they've learned in order to benefit the next generation of LGBTQ youth.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Sally Field Receives HRC's Ally For Equality Award

Nature made Sam. It wasn't a choice. He was always, always Sam. Glorious, smart, funny, sweet Sam. And finally at 20, long after he beat the crap out of his brothers at tennis and he knew more than anyone about basketball, at 20 he was finally able to stand up proudly and say: I am a gay man.”

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

AIDS Activist Jack Mackenroth Launches

 Social Networking and Dating Site for HIV+ Men
Positively Sexy Guys.” That’s the tag line that’s meant to attract a host of members to the Web’s newest HIV-positive social networking site, But sexy, HIV+ men aren’t the only things that separate this site from others - its creation is meant to combat stigma and to create a database of information, support and resources for gay men who are a part of the international HIV-positive community.

As a first-of-its kind social networking website, will offer gay men living with HIV a place to develop and foster friendships and relationships with other members, while also learning about HIV/AIDS, medical advances and other relevant, up-to-date health and lifestyle information. Similarly to other sites like it, certainly offers the possibility for romantic encounters.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Ben Cohen Worldwide and Media Out Loud Global Announce StandUp Magazine

Sports Publication to Focus on Importance of Character, Fairness and Inclusion
Ben Cohen Worldwide LLC and Media Out Loud Global LLC today announced StandUp Magazine, a quarterly publication focused on the best of sports culture — including the importance of positive role models, fairness, character and leadership across all levels of sports. Eric Carlyle and Patrick Davis will serve as co-publishers of the magazine.

StandUp Magazine, carrying the tagline “True Champions Stand Up,” will debut with a November/December 2012 issue, featuring Ben Cohen, MBE on the cover. The 120-page
launch issue is supported by major advertisers across sports apparel, athletic footwear, beverages, hotels, technology and the automotive industry. The official launch party will
be held at the W Hotel Midtown Atlanta on November 14, 2012. Subscription, advertising and launch event information can be found at

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Voting While Trans: Protect Your Right

 Today, The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released a series of public service announcements outlining how transgender Americans can keep their right to vote this election day. They are available at

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