Archive for the ‘LGBT’ Category

New York legalizes gay marriage

Friday, June 24th, 2011

BREAKING NEWS

An momentous historic night for New York and gay marriage!

 

Source 

 

The Empire State Building celebrates gay marriage. Tonight NYC admits that LGBT couples deserve equal rights! Six states down, forty-four to go!

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Message to gay youth: It gets better…

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

LGBT

R.I.P. – In memory of the recent suicides due to gay abuse, wear purple

 

 

Billy Lucas (above), a 15-year-old freshman, hung himself after classmates called him a ‘Fag’ one too many times

 

Tomorrow, October 20, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools. RIP Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas. You are loved.

 

Join this event and invite everyone on your friends list. Don’t let their deaths be for nothing. Let it mean something, and let’s do something to change this country for once.

 

Chris Colfer from Glee — It get’s better!

 

 

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Dr. Drew on basic civil rights

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

LGBT

Dr. Drew: Prop 8 Tramples on Basic Civil Rights

 

 

I am certainly by no means a legal scholar.  Nor do I have any special understanding of American History.  I am an American citizen with a deep appreciation of the brilliantly balanced system our founding fathers created.

 

 

Dr Drew

 

 

There was a reason they set up our system as a republic and not a direct democracy.  The Jacksonian Revolution started us in a direction whereby direct appeal to the people and direct democracy gained a distinct priority in our value system.

 

But never did the founding generations expect that we might see the advent of a system where a simple appeal to a majority could result in any whim the majority might decide to assert.

 

A main concern of the founding fathers was to create a system that was sufficiently balanced and thoughtful so as to buffer against one group exerting its will upon another.  This to them, was nothing other than mob rule. While we retain a distinct preference for the gloss of a direct democracy the fact is we are not and thankfully so.

 

Throughout history democracies have inevitably fractured and failed.  Even the Greeks felt that a democracy was impossible in populations greater than 100,000 members.  Not only are we so much larger but more heterogeneous making this even more treacherous.

 

Alexis De Toqueville, a Frenchman who came to America in the opening decades of the nineteenth century to study Democracy in America, in his objective assessment remained very concerned that our system had a potential to allow for something he called the Tyranny of the Majority.  That is to say he was concerned that merely by being a majority one group could exert its will upon another, even restrict its civil liberties and rights.

 

Unfortunately, the referendum system in the State of California has become the mechanism for actualizing precisely this tyranny. The California Supreme Court determined that the argument against same sex marriage was untenable.

 

The opinion, written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, cited the Court’s 1948 decision in Perez v. Sharp where the state’s interracial marriage ban was held unconstitutional. It found that “equal respect and dignity” of marriage is a “basic civil right” that cannot be withheld from same-sex couples, that sexual orientation is a protected class like race and gender, and that any classification or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is subject to strict scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause of the California State Constitution (source: Wikipedia).

 

In other words it was the concerted opinion of the judicial authority that the logic used against interracial marriage was the same as that, which was being used against same sex marriages. In spite of this very clear understanding of the law and the logic of prejudice, the response rendered by the referendum system with the passage of Proposition 8 was: “too bad”.

 

Now my point here is not to get into whether or not gay marriage is good, right or should even be included in the definition of what we consider marriage.  My concern is that the referendum system in California can rescind the civil rights of a minority group, independent of the operation of other governmental authority.

 

Abraham Lincoln famously argued in his debates with Stephen Douglas that there are certain things that the majority simply cannot decide.  We simply could not allow for a majority to decide that it is acceptable to enslave another population of humans no matter how substantial that majority.

 

He famously quipped that “squatter sovereignty’s” right to determine whether or not a state should be free or slave was based on an argument that was thinner that the soup made from the shadow of a pigeon that was starved to death!  And so are the arguments flying about today to justify and legitimate Prop 8 and the Referendum system from which it was unleashed.

 

I ask my fellow citizens to give this careful thought.  The protection against the tyranny of the majority has been an important consideration throughout the history of our government and we have quietly allowed, out of our own ignorance and apathy, a very important threshold to be crossed.  A majority has restricted the basic civil rights of a minority.  Beware, it may be your rights next to be trampled merely because there are enough people who think it should be so.

 

Dr. Drew Pinsky is the host of VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” and a frequent guest on Larry King Live.

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Target and Best Buy – Make it Right!

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

LGBT

HRC Message to Target and Best Buy: Make it Right!

 

 

Nation’s Largest LGBT Rights Organization Condemns Political Contributions Supporting Anti-Equality Candidate

 

Washington– The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today condemned donations by Target and Best Buy to a political committee supporting the election of an anti-equality candidate and asked them to make it right by contributing to groups that support pro-equality candidates.

 

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, Minnesota-based retailers Target and Best Buy, among others, contributed a combined $250,000 to MN Forward, an independent expenditure committee advocating for the election of a strident opponent of LGBT equality as the state’s next governor. The same candidate sings the praises of a Christian rock band that advocates violence and death to gays. The state’s next governor will have the opportunity to either sign or veto legislation allowing for marriage equality in the North Star State.

 

“It’s a huge slap in the face to LGBT people and for that matter to all fair-minded Americans,” said Joe Solmonese, HRC president. “Two of our most trusted brands have contributed shareholder money that could help elect a candidate that wants nothing but the worst for us. Both companies talk about this contribution as a business decision. I would offer that it’s a really bad business decision. Both companies have now earned the bad will of LGBT people and fair-minded Americans. They need to make it right.”

 

This afternoon, HRC will send out a national email alert to its members and supporters asking them to sign on to an Open Letter to Target and Best Buy. The letter chronicles the outrage and asks both companies to make equivalent donations to groups that support pro-equality candidates. HRC has also purchased a full page ad featuring the letter in Sunday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune. Corporations mindful of the perceptions of LGBT and allied consumers should take notice of the controversy surrounding these political contributions.

 

Both companies have consistently received a 100 percent rating on the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, a measure of workplace equality. “What makes this all the more astounding is that both companies have been model employers for LGBT people,” said Solmonese. “They have some fence-mending to do.”

 

 
An Open Letter to Target and Best Buy

When lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender consumers — not to mention our millions of supportive friends and family members — used to think about Target and Best Buy, we saw two shining examples of corporations that respected the equality and dignity of every American. As nationwide retailers, both of your brands gave other corporations a standard to which they could aspire. In fact, your consistent ratings of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index were a solid signal of your commitment to a diverse workforce. As a community, we are grateful for that commitment and we fully expect it will continue.

 

 Now, Americans are questioning their loyalty to your brands with word of significant contributions to the political action committee MN Forward that hopes to install one of the most strident opponents of equality in the Minnesota Governor’s mansion. With these contributions, you have severely damaged those carefully cultivated reputations and violated the spirit of the gold standards bestowed on you. In fact, the long-term effects on families that shop at Target and Best Buy throughout Minnesota and the U.S. will be devastating.

 

 At this critical time in Minnesotans’ quest for equality, MN Forward and the candidates they are supporting would turn Minnesota backward, away from the promise of equal opportunity and fairness that we hold dear. No matter your motivations in making these donations, they didn’t occur in a vacuum. Same-sex couples in your home state are denied the equality given to other couples in marriage and many state leaders are poised to right that inequity very soon. $250,000 in contributions to those who would stand in the way is a punch in the gut to those of us who want to see all families treated fairly. What may have sounded like a “good business decision” in the board room turns out to be a horribly short-sighted business decision when millions of consumers lose respect for your companies.

 

 With the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, the landscape for political contributions has changed in ways that no one fully appreciates yet. Your foray into this uncharted water has proved choppy and should serve as a warning to other corporations mindful of the perceptions of LGBT and allied consumers.

 

 It’s time to make things right. The very least you can do to begin rebuilding your image among fair-minded consumers is to make equivalent donations to groups that support candidates who will put all Minnesota families first and fulfill the promises of our highest ideals.

 

We’re watching and we’re waiting.

 
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.

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Gay Pride Festival

Friday, June 12th, 2009

LGBT

Los Angeles Pride Festival

 

 

Christopher Street West is Proud to present LA PRIDE – the 39th annual Los Angeles LGBT PRIDE Celebration taking place in the City of West Hollywood, June 12-14, 2009.

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LA PRIDE FESTIVAL
Saturday June 13 from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight

Sunday June 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
San Vicente between Santa Monica and Melrose

 

All are invited to come out and show their Pride at one of the most exciting PRIDE Celebrations in the country as Christopher Street West launches their latest three-year vision – “PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose.” Thousands of festival attendees are expected in the heart of West Hollywood to revel amongst world-class headlining entertainment (previously featured artists include: Olivia Newton John, Joss Stone, Joan Jett and the premiere of the music video “Hollywood” by Madonna). In addition to lively dance pavilions with music spun by some of the hottest DJ’s in the country, a new layout of festival grounds boasts food, drink, socialization, community programming and unique exhibitors, all hosting a diverse spectrum of activities to entice the entire LGBT family. Together, as a united force, the LGBT community has the power to ignite the change it desires to see. The LA PRIDE Festival offers an opportunity for all who gather and be celebrated, entertained, educated and encouraged in finding new ways of generating Pride values for greater equality and social acceptance. Festival admission, inclusive of entertainment venues and dance pavilions, is still just $20 per day — or $15 per day with advance purchase from www.LAPRIDE.org.

 

LA PRIDE PARADE
Sunday June 14, steps off at 11:00 a.m.

& Silent Celebration Sunday June 14 at 12:00 noon
Santa Monica between Crescent Heights and San Vicente

 

 

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Crowds will continue to feel the palpable excitement amid the largest gathering of the LGBT community in Southern California by playing witness to this historical and time-honored tradition. Participants are encouraged to get their place along Santa Monica Blvd. in the City of West Hollywood early as over 400,000 people look forward to this dynamic and crowd-pleasing display of moving community creativity. The Parade steps-off at Crescent Heights and extends past the Grand Bandstand viewing area at the Veterans Triangle on Holloway to its final completion at Robertson Blvd. As part of the parade, there will be a Silent Celebration at exactly 12:00 noon, where for one full minute, all are invited to quietly remember those who are no longer with us, to honor those who cannot be with us today and celebrate those who are oppressed and continue fighting for Pride and the freedom we will achieve.

 

For those who are unable to attend in person, the LA PRIDE Parade Live Broadcast will air on Time Warner Cable Channel 10 in West Hollywood and streamed on the web at LAPRIDE.org/webcast.

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Adam Lambert Comes Out

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

LGBT

Adam Lambert comes out to Rolling Stone, and a change has come indeed

 

Rolling Stone/Adam Lambert

 

By Ann Powers
Los Angeles Times
June 9, 2009

 

The days of “don’t ask, don’t tell” are over for Adam Lambert. Rolling Stone magazine has posted a preview of the cover story in which Lambert unabashedly confirms his homosexuality, and the excerpts online indicate that, from this day forward, this season’s groundbreaking “Idol” expects the media and his fans to accept him for who he is, with neither scandalized whispers nor rainbow flag-waving rallies of support.

 

Click here to continue reading

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‘Wicked’Hosts Gay Rights Cabaret…

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

LGBT

Cast of ‘Wicked’ hosts cabaret for gay rights

 

Wicked

 

Lots of people are up in arms about the passing of California’s Proposition 8, and the cast of “Wicked” is no exception.

 

Next Monday,  performers from the four North American  companies of the Broadway musical will host “Defying Inequality,” an evening of cabaret performances benefiting four nonprofits that promote civil rights for gays.

 

The one-night only event will take place in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Louisville.

 

So, why “Wicked”? Well, one of the prevailing themes of the musical is acceptance, and that’s what the gay community is after too.

 

 Get more info on the Los Angeles event.

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Pat Boone Rhetoric…

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Prop. 8 protesters the same as terrorists

  

( Mirek Towski)

 

“…there is a real, unbroken line between the jihadist savagery in Mumbai and the hedonistic, irresponsible, blindly selfish goals and tactics of our homegrown sexual jihadists.”
                  – Pat Boone, December 6, 2008

 

Country singer and right-wing pundit Pat Boone has written a column equating the movement against Prop. 8 to the terrorists who tortured and murdered hundreds in Mumbai.

This is a new low in anti-gay rhetoric.

Boone and his buddies continue to stir up fear, even if they have to lie. It’s exactly how they passed the California marriage ban.

We need your help to stop the radical right from painting a movement about love and dignity as violent and radical. We need your support to stay strong, smart, and nimble, to combat these growing attacks with the simple truth: all we want is equality.

Make a donation to HRC on behalf of Pat Boone. Your gift helps HRC combat these lies – and sends the message that our call for equality cannot be silenced.

We’ll even send Mr. Boone a note with your first name and gift amount to let him know you’ve donated in his name.

It’s time to say enough to the deception and false ads that defeated marriage equality in three states and banned gay couples from adopting in Arkansas; enough to the attempts to equate peaceful protest with “jihadist savagery”; enough to the lies used to block federal hate crimes laws and workplace protections.

 

If, every time they tell another lie, run another deceptive ad or use more fear-mongering to try and win votes and recruit new members, we respond by strengthening our movement for equality, eventually they’ll realize they’re hurting themselves more than they’re hurting us.

But it only works if we all stand up.

What’s perhaps most disturbing about Boone’s rhetoric – painting LGBT people as a threat to society – is that it leads to the very real hate violence directed against LGBT people every day.
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We can’t stop the Pat Boones of our world from speaking their ugly lies, but together we can make sure that there’s a political cost associated with this kind of hateful speech.

Warmly,

Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese
President

To see the full article by Pat Boone, click here.

 

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14th Amendment to the Constitution…

Friday, November 21st, 2008

THE CONSTITUTION

14th Amendment

Citizenship Rights.

Ratified July 9, 1868

 

 

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

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LA Board of Supervisors Backs Prop 8 Challenge…

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Emotional Board of Supervisors backs Prop. 8 challenge

 

Molly Hennessy-Fisk
Los Angeles Times

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted this afternoon to join a lawsuit filed by the City of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Clara County challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative voters passed by a narrow margin this month.

 

The vote was carried by the board’s three Democrats: Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky, who proposed the board join the lawsuit, and Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, who voted in support.

 

Of the two Republicans, Supervisor Michael Antonovich was out of town, and Supervisor Don Knabe left the meeting just as speakers began.

 

More than a dozen speakers appeared in support of the board’s vote and opposition to Proposition 8, including Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo, San Francisco City Atty. Dennis Herrera and several gay couples. Both Molina and Yaroslavsky, who have officiated at same-sex wedding ceremonies since California legalized them in June, said they acted out of a sense of duty and personal responsibility.

 

Yaroslavsky pointed out a couple he married who were among those speaking in support of the vote.

 

“Some of us may ask why the county supervisors would be involved and get so involved in this issue,” Molina said, citing the board’s responsibility to supply marriage license, uphold the law and “balance the enforcement of Proposition 8 with recognizing the constitutional right of all our citizens.” Molina added, “On a personal note, I am here to say that the passage of Prop. 8 saddened and angered me on various levels.”

 

Yarolslavsky noted that was “a close call” given how divided the state and county have been on the question of gay marriage. He said that he was not always a supporter of gay marriage (he supported civil unions instead) but said he “was persuaded” by colleagues and his children.

 

“It’s very important for the County of Los Angeles to be at the table on this,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt anybody. It doesn’t adversely affect anybody else.”

 

*Update: Antonovich had earlier said he would not support the legal challenge. His statement: “The appropriate time to have raised legal objections was prior to the election –- not after the people have once again voted on the issue. This move will disenfranchise voters who turned out in record numbers to participate in the process and have their voices heard.”

 

REOPEN PROP 8 FOR CALIFORNIA PETITION

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