Friday, February 16, 2018

American Weapons Of Madness

Once again another horrific school shooting has happened in America this time in Parkland, Florida about 20 minutes away from where we are broadcasting OUTTAKE VOICES™ all this week. Seventeen innocent kids & staff gunned down by a deranged teen who proudly wore his Trump Make America Great Again hat & is a member of a white supremacy organization. Yet our biased GOP leadership does nothing to pass gun control banning these assault weapons once & for all & condemn these appalling discriminatory groups. Kristen Clarke, President & Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law stated, “This administration has failed to confront the growing tide of white supremacy in our country. Their words & their policies have emboldened white nationalists at every turn. Reports indicate that Nikolas Cruz belonged to a white nationalist militia & received paramilitary training through them prior to Wednesday’s tragic shooting. These reports, if true, mean that Cruz was radicalized right here on American soil. Now is the time to confront the violence arising from the growing white supremacist movement that is striking terror in communities & tearing away at the fabric of our country. We express our deepest sympathies to the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting; we can honor them by fully confronting the white nationalist movement intensifying across our country.” The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization & was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination.
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Thursday, February 15, 2018

San Francisco Gay Chorus Gala

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus announced a stellar lineup of honorees & VIP guests for their 40th Season Crescendo Gala that takes place on February 24th at the Fairmont San Francisco presented by Zendesk. As it celebrates its 40th anniversary this year SFGMC will honor two-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Mary Lambert with the Inspiration Award for her achievements in advancing LGBTQ equality. The evening will also honor renowned Emmy-winning, Grammy & Tony Award-nominated composer Andrew Lippa with the Vanguard Award & Ken McNeely President of AT&T Pacific Region with the Corporate Leadership Award. Funds raised will benefit the newly launched music education program RHYTHM: Reaching Youth Through Music. Chris Verdugo, Executive Director of SFGMC stated, “In light of our 40th Anniversary, we will celebrate what SFGMC is at its core – family - while paying tribute to three honorees whose own lives & advocacy work have entered around theirs. With RHYTHM, we’re aiming to spread the message of love & community to the younger generation. Our ultimate goal is to support them living their authentic lives.” Special guests will include actor & activist Wilson Cruz, Pitch Perfect’s Kelley Jakle, son of newly elected Alabama Senator Doug Jones, LGBTQ activist Carson Jones, acclaimed author & activist Armistead Maupin & President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors London Breed. Guests will be entertained with special performances by Mary Lambert, Andrew Lippa & members of the Chorus.
For Info & Tix: sfgmc.org
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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

GLAAD To Honor Britney Spears

GLAAD announced that it will honor Britney Spears the multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning pop icon at their 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at Beverly Hilton on Thursday, April 12th. Spears will receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality & acceptance of LGBTQ people. Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD stated, “An irrefutable icon, Britney Spears has entertained the world while also embodying the spirit of GLAAD’s Vanguard Award by speaking out on significant issues that face her fans – from the Dream Act to anti-transgender bills in Texas. She is a force in the music world who has used her global platform to share messages of love & acceptance, something that the world needs today more than ever.” Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg, Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Janet Jackson, Demi Lovato, Eric McCormack, Josh Hutcherson & Patricia Arquette. Spears is a longtime ally & supporter of the LGBTQ community. She has consistently stood up for LGBTQ youth on GLAAD’s Spirit Day by going purple on social media to speak out against bullying. Additional special guests & honorees from the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles will be announced in the coming weeks. The GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate & inclusive representations of LGBTQ people & our issues. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to accelerate acceptance of the LGBTQ community. The 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Ketel One Vodka & Wells Fargo.
For Info: glaad.org
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Monday, February 12, 2018

Transgender Kids At Risk

Trump’s Education Department announced it will not investigate or take action on any complaints of discrimination filed by transgender students who are not permitted to use the facilities that match their gender identity. Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director, Equality Federation stated, "The Trump Administration’s attacks on LGBTQ people & our families just keep getting more cruel. It is unconscionable to tell youth that their complaints of discrimination won’t even be heard. Every student in America, including transgender students, should have a fair opportunity to fully participate & succeed in school! We want trans youth to know that they are loved & supported & we are fighting alongside them for equality. All of Equality Federation’s state-based member organizations, from Equality Florida to Equality Ohio to Equality California, are proud to support & celebrate transgender & nonbinary youth & their families. We will continue working to make sure every school, town & state is inclusive & provides a level playing field for everybody." The news comes almost a year after the departments of Justice & Education rescinded the Obama-era guidance that any school receiving federal money must treat a student's gender identity as his or her sex which included allowing individuals to use the bathroom conforming to their identity.
For More Info: equalityfederation.org
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Friday, February 9, 2018

Turkish LGBTQ Activist Released

Ali Erol a leading LGBTQ human rights defender & co-founder of Kaos GL Association Turkey’s first registered LGBT organization has been released from detention after being arrested in the home he shares with his partner February 2nd in Ankara, Turkey. Though Erol has been released his case is still under judicial review & the prosecution will continue. Erol will be required to appear before the police periodically & is banned from leaving the country. The exact reasons surrounding his arrest & prosecution has been kept confidential by authorities though Kaos GL reports that the police had a warrant for his social media posts. Yildiz Tar, Media & Communications Coordinator at Kaos GL stated, “Secrecy is a very common strategy in Turkey. First they detain, ask questions about something, then they prepare the charges & we can only learn it in trial or just before the trial.” Jessica Stern, Executive Director at OutRight Action International added, “The ambiguity of the case & seemingly arbitrary reasons for Ali Erol’s arrest speaks to the deteriorating situation faced by LGBTIQ & all, human rights defenders in Turkey. The blanket ban on LGBTIQ events already trampled on the rights to assembly, now even the rights to express oneself freely is being punished. The Turkish government needs to stop violating the human rights of its citizens immediately.” In November 2017 the governor of Ankara banned all LGBTI related events in the Turkish capital, citing that such events could spur public animosity from other groups & the need to maintain safety & security. Since the ban, LGBTIQ organizations have been on alert & face increasing pressure.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Judicial Attack On LGBTQ People

The momentum against our LGBTQ community in this country has been increasing ever since the Trump administration came to be. The most discouraging has been Trump’s agenda to pack federal courts with judges who have demonstrated hostility towards civil rights for LGBTQ people & other marginalized groups. Federal judges are suppose to be impartial in interpreting the law but Trump & his chief congressional enabler, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are ramming through a record number of homophobic extremists to lifetime appointments on the federal judiciary. Fully one-third of Trump nominees have anti-LGBT records & no one is doing anything to prevent this horrendous travesty on our judicial system. Some examples are the Fifth Circuit nominee Stuart Kyle Duncan who leads a law firm that has made a boutique practice of smearing LGBTQ people. The we have Texas district court nominee Matthew Kacsmaryk has expressed disbelief of the very concept of being transgender & denounced even the limited LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections passed in Utah on the ground that any protections whatsoever legitimize LGBT people in society’s eyes. Unfortunately other anti-LGBT nominees have already been confirmed including Deputy White House Counsel Greg Katsas, the legal architect of the transgender military ban & adviser on numerous anti–civil rights actions by the Trump White House was narrowly confirmed to the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals late last year & Steven Grasz who wrote that the possibility of Nebraska courts recognizing gay & lesbian marriages performed in Hawaii was a “grave danger,” was confirmed to a lifetime appointment on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In this exclusive podcast our LGBTQ legal organizations talk about this alarming anti-LGBTQ judicial trend. LISTEN:
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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Laramie Project Cycle Event

This year marks 20 years since the murder of Matthew Shepard generated worldwide headlines & mobilized our LGBTQ community & allies in 1998. The Wandering Theatre Company after their award-winning run at Washington D.C.'s Capital Fringe Festival & a successful limited run of The Laramie Project in Off-Broadway in 2017 will bring its bold new staging of contemporary classic The Laramie Project to New York City's Access Theatre from February 21st to March 4th. In addition there will be several back-to-back productions of The Laramie Project & The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, know as The Laramie Cycle. Director Natalie Villamonte Zito stated “I decided to bring a production of ‘The Laramie Project’ to the stage three days after the presidential election in 2016. Since that election we have only seen hate crimes spike against many diverse communities, from LGBTQ people to Muslims, African Americans, immigrants, women & so many other groups. After the success of our 2017 production we decided to bring the full Laramie Cycle to the stage, which has only been produced a handful of times. As we mark two decades since the murder of Matthew Shepard it is more important than ever to talk about how we can all make a difference & combat hate. These plays, which have been seen by over 30 million people have been one of the most impactful pieces of theater in history. Our production brings some elements that I hope add to the experience, including the inclusion of Matthew Shepard – a silent, moving presence & moving reminder of the loss that impacted Laramie & the world.”
For Info & Tix: thewanderingtheatrecompany.org
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