Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Transgender Military Ban Update

U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis in the District of Maryland has issued a preliminary injunction in Stone v. Trump a case brought by the ACLU challenging Trump’s transgender military ban. This new ruling affirms the nationwide preliminary injunction issued in Doe v. Trump on October 30th. Rick Zbur, Executive Director Equality California stated, “Today’s ruling is another crucial blow to the Trump Administration’s discriminatory ban against transgender service members & those seeking to serve. President Trump’s ban violates constitutional protections & causes serious harms both to our nation’s military & to transgender Americans. Today’s ruling brings us closer to a permanent end.” In Doe v. Trump, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) & GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) argued that Trump’s ban, first announced in a series of tweets, is irresponsible & discriminatory because qualified & able transgender Americans who wish to enlist have been barred from doing so. They also argue that transgender service members have been demeaned & stigmatized, denied health care & faced with the prospect of discharge & the loss of their professions, livelihoods, health care & the post-military retirement they have worked hard to earn. On October 30, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Kollar-Kotelly granted NCLR & GLAD’s motion for a nationwide preliminary injunction. NCLR & GLAD also are co-counsel in Equality California’s suit, Stockman v. Trump, which also challenges the ban. Oral argument in Stockman v. Trump is scheduled for Monday, December 11th in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. For More Info: eqca.org
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

BGMC Holiday Concert Series

The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) is proud to present “Believe” a unique blend of traditional & contemporary holiday music all wrapped up in BGMC’s signature blend of class & camp. Performances are on December 2nd as part of Holly Folly in Provincetown & on December 10th, 15th, 16th, & 17th at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, MA. Reuben M. Reynolds, III BGMC Music Director stated, “The Christmas story is about journeying home & the celebration of family. Our holiday concert reflects those themes in surprising & meaningful ways. Our selections will conjure & capture the holiday season’s feelings of peace, joy & the comfort of going home & sharing time with family, be it biological or chosen including new arrangements of beloved classics like ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,’ & ‘O Holy Night’ & a unique piece that blends ‘Ave Maria’ with pop singer Sinead O’Connor’s moving ode to motherhood, ‘This is to Mother You.’” Believe will feature soprano Sonja Tengblad, a versatile performer with credits spanning the Renaissance era through current composers of our time. The concert is named for the song “Believe” which is from the animated musical film The Polar Express. The meaning of the song—if you believe in yourself & the people around you, that’s all that matters—will be carried throughout the concert. Craig Coogan BGMC Executive Director concluded, “We ask, ‘Do you believe? And after experiencing this concert, we know you’ll answer, ‘yes!’ Believe will have you believing in the spirit of the holidays.”
For Info & Tix…
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Monday, November 20, 2017

Cracked Christmas Theater Event

Ryan Landry's Gold Dust Orphans present their new must-see Christmas themed musical mystery production entitled "Whatever Happened To Baby Jesus?" at the Ramrod Center for the Performing Arts at Machine Night Club 1254 Boylston Street in Boston, MA. Opening night is November 30th & runs through December 23rd at 8P. The show tells the tale of somebody has stolen the bright & shiny Baby Jesus from the downtown nativity display & murdered the Preacher's wife to boot but who could it be? Drawing on the cult movie classic “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” years pass till Blanche Hudson who is a physically challenged movie star goes to spend the Christmas holidays at the Marvel Family Farm in her hometown of Mapleton, Vermont. But wait! Along comes Baby Jane Hudson her crazy mentally challenged sister & haunted by their pasts the Hudson sisters soon begin haunting each other until no one is safe! Ryan Landry plays the role of Blanche Hudson & longtime Orphan collaborator Larry Coen takes on the iconic part of Baby Jane. Surrounded by a supporting cast of new Orphan favorites the audience is sure to be surprised & delighted as the plot twists & the tables turn. Audiences will not be disappointed in this over-the-top production & can expect to gasp in horror with delight as the Orphans dance, sing & satirize their way through 90 minutes of rock solid fun as "Whatever Happened To Baby Jesus" will keep you on your toes & at the edge of your seat!
For Info & Tix…
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Saturday, November 18, 2017

LGBTQ Nutcracker Holiday Event

Hailed as one of the “Best Bets for Holiday Dance” the Dance-Along Nutcracker is one of San Francisco’s most treasured holiday events that takes place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on December 9th & 10th. Exemplifying San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Freedom Band’s mission for the last 32 years the Dance-Along Nutcracker has been San Francisco Holiday Event bringing together the community with a show that takes children, families, couples & singles on a magical holiday journey. This year’s theme is entitled “Nutcrackers of the Caribbean” blending Tchaikovsky’s classic Nutcracker Suite with a fun-filled musical production brimming with wit, artistry & ingenuity. The 2017 Dance-Along Nutcracker® includes a dazzling array of local celebrities. Written by SFLGFB’s own trumpeter Heidi Beeler, “Nutcrackers of the Caribbean” takes the audience on a high seas adventure with Clara, Fritz & Captain Drosselmeyer as they seek out the buried treasure of Peg Legs Tchaikovsky & when the “Dance-Along” sign flashes the audience is invited to tug on their tutus & pirouette along with the cast. Even landlubbers who don’t want to dance have a blast! The Dance-Along Nutcracker is led under the baton of SFLGFB’s Artistic Director Pete Nowlen, Flynn De Marco directs with choreography by Marilynn Fowler. It is an event & a celebration where truly no barriers exist; be it age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or even talent. As a result, the Dance–Along Nutcracker® has become a holiday favorite for families, couples & singles of all sexual orientations & gender identities.
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Friday, November 17, 2017

Out & Equal LGBT Brazil Forum

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated LGBT workplace equality held its second annual Out & Equal LGBT Brazil Forum in São Paulo, Brazil. The event convened 300 attendees from more than 125 Brazilian & multinational companies at the Renaissance Hotel to discuss strategies for advancing LGBT workplace inclusion in Brazil & to encourage networking for LGBT & ally professionals from across diverse industries. Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. & Brazilian judge & attorney Dra. Maria Berenice Dias, a national expert on LGBT & family law, delivered keynote remarks at the event. Steve Roth, Senior Director of Global Initiatives at Out & Equal stated, “We are thrilled with the strong response & the tremendous growth we’ve seen in the Out & Equal Brazil Forum in just one year. From our first event last year we’ve more than doubled in size & dramatically increased senior executive participation. For us, that’s a clear sign of the strong & growing commitment to advancing LGBT workplace inclusion here in Brazil.” José Berenguer, CEO of J.P. Morgan Brazil concluded, “It was a pleasure to serve as Presenting Sponsor of the Out & Equal Brazil Forum for the second consecutive year & to feature our Chairman & CEO, Jamie Dimon, at this year’s Forum. “Our support of this event & Jamie’s presence there reflect our deep, global commitment to advancing LGBT workplace equality. We’re very proud of our partnership with Out & Equal.”
For More Info: outandequal.org
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Montana State Senate Reversal

In the midst the observance of Transgender Awareness Week that takes place from November 13th to Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence, the Montana State Senate has passed an anti-transgender bill SB 10 that aims to undo the work by the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services (HHS) to make it easier for Montanans to change birth certificate gender makers. Senate Bill 10 was introduced as part of Montana’s current special session, called to address the state’s budget shortfall. Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD stated, “The Montana Senate is failing all their constituents by focusing their efforts on discrimination & bigotry during an emergency special session to fix the state budget. This bill is a clear effort to walk back progress & create complicated & discriminatory roadblocks for trans Montanans seeking documents that accurately reflect who they are.” The Montana HHS held a public hearing last month for a proposed rule change that, if enacted, would longer require a court order saying the person has completed gender confirmation surgery in order to correct the gender on their birth certificate. Now, the state legislature is working to stop the proposal from going into effect. After being introduced this week SB 10 advanced through committee & the Senate & is now moving the House.
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Marriage Equality Win In Australia

Finally marriage equality comes closer for our LGBTQ community in Australia with 61.6% of the vote. While the survey itself is not legally binding, Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull has vowed the momentum of a YES vote would cause a bill to legalize marriage equality to “sail through” parliament with a goal of passing marriage equality by the end of the year. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO stated, “With the rising tide of anti-LGBTQ laws & crackdowns around the world, citizens of Australia stood up for fairness & equality by supporting the right for everyone to marry the person they love. Now it is on the Australian government to heed the will of its people & pass fully equal marriage without exemptions.” Of course anti-equality politicians & activists in Australia have already launched a plan to distort these results by rallying behind a marriage bill that would override non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Australians through religious exemptions. In America on November 18th we’re coming up on the 14th anniversary when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2003 ruled in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health stating, "We declare that barring an individual from the protections, benefits & obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution." It took 10 years after that ruling to win marriage equality throughout the USA. Congratulations Australia & stay strong because in the end love always wins.
For More Info: equalitycampaign.org.au
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