Monday, July 28, 2014

Another Gay Marriage Victory

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Virginia’s Bostic v. Schaeffer marks the second federal appeals court that has ruled in favor of marriage equality since last year's historic Windsor ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision today follows the June rulings by a three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Utah’s Kitchen v. Herbert and Okahoma's Bishop v. Smith. Today’s ruling solidifies Virginia’s already unique place in the U.S. history of marriage. In 1967 the Supreme Court of the United States handed down the “Loving decision”, in Loving v. Virginian, which was the landmark civil rights decision, which overturned the laws against interracial marriage. Tracy Hollister MEUSA Program Director noted that the Fourth Circuit is the governing judicial circuit for Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina & her home state of North Carolina. Hollister stated, "I am thrilled that the Fourth Circuit set legal precedent that, once final, will help undo North Carolina’s Amendment One, making it our country’s most short-lived & last anti-marriage equality amendment. This ruling affirms what I felt in my heart as my friends & I phone banked to defeat Amendment One: each of us deserves the full dignity & respect that comes with being able to legally marry the person we love. When I return home, I will feel more equal & more hopeful." Updates to Come…:)
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Jackie O Would Have Been 85

Jackie Kennedy Onassis, one of the most fabulous iconic figures in American & fashion history would have been 85 today. She was born on July 28th 1929 in Southampton, New York. Her classic American style help create what was chic about the 1960’s & evolved from there. Think about the hats, scarfs, sunglasses, hairstyles & more. Jackie O totally left her mark on fashion, style & the world. Actually her fashion letters were recently auctioned off in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination. Jackie wrote personal letters with sketches to Marita O'Connor of Bergdorf Goodman requesting hats, accessories & other garments. She was something. When I lived in NYC in the 1980’s she lived around the corner from me. I saw her many times. Once I walked into my neighborhood Gristedes Market on the corner of Madison & E85th & I heard from behind the deli counter, “Has the Onassis order gone out yet.” It was wild! I’m disappointed that I never got to chat with her. During that time in NYC just her celebrity siting was at least 100 points up there next to Greta Garbo! I’m sure Jackie would have been a fierce LGBT ally. My favorite Jackie Kennedy Onassis quote is, “Even though people may be well known, they hold in their hearts the emotions of a simple person for the moments that are the most important of those we know on earth: birth, marriage & death.”
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Health Care Act & LGBT Families

The Affordable Care Act offers unprecedented opportunities to improve the health & economic security of millions of Americans including our LGBT communities. However the first open enrollment period showed that these opportunities might not be fully realized if outreach & enrollment efforts do not effectively engage LGBT people & their families. A new report from the Out2Enroll campaign a collaborative LGBT outreach & enrollment initiative takes a look into LGBT-oriented community engagement efforts over the first open enrollment period. The report assesses promising practices, identifies remaining concerns & offers concrete recommendations to help the marketplaces & other stakeholders effectively connect LGBT people with their new coverage options. Kellan Baker, Associate Director of the LGBT Research & Communications Project at the Center for American Progress & an Out2Enroll steering committee member stated, “With one in three low & middle-income LGBT people uninsured before the launch of open enrollment in 2013, the ACAs efforts to close the coverage gap are an incredible opportunity to improve the health & financial security of millions of LGBT Americans. This report identifies many promising outreach and enrollment practices but also underscores the need for more targeted efforts to make sure that the benefits of the law reach everyone who needs them, including LGBT people.” The report’s specific recommendations include; outreach & enrollment efforts in every state should explicitly include LGBT communities, LGBT-specific cultural-competency training should be provided for outreach & enrollment personnel & voluntary demographic information on sexual orientation & gender identity should be collected through health insurance marketplace applications.
Read Full Report… 
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

LGBT Important Ptown Events

LGBT leaders & allies come together on Saturday July 26th from 4P to 7P in Provincetown at the GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) 33rd annual Summer Party at the Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum. This fabulous event held outside in the heart of Provincetown is a chance to mingle with other GLAD supporters & enjoy the breathtaking views. There will be a silent & live auction. Kate Clinton is returning as celebrity auctioneer extraordinaire stating, “It is my personally & sincerely held religious belief that GLAD's Summer Party is so much fun, it is entitled to its own Theme Week. You have the right to refuse, but hope to see you there!” Travel packages, restaurants, massages & much more will be auctioned off to support this great org. Summer fare will be provided by Above & Beyond Catering & complimentary cocktails by Bacardi, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly & Sam Adams. Tickets are $85 onsite. Openly gay Massachusetts Attorney General candidate Maura Healey will be attending the GLAD Summer Party Event. Then on Sunday July 27th there will be an Outer-Cape Fundraiser Kick-Off Party also hosted by comedian Kate Clinton at The Harbor Lounge 359 Commercial Street Provincetown, MA. This is a perfect opportunity to meet & greet Maura & learn about her bid for Attorney General. Healey is seeking the Democratic nomination in the primary election on September 9th 2014.
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Supporting LGBT Homeless Youth

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) & Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced The Runaway & Homeless Youth & Trafficking Prevention Act which includes protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender, or LGBT, people against discrimination in federally funded programs serving homeless & runaway youth. Laura E. Durso The Center for American Progress Director of LGBT Research & Communications Project stated, “For the first time, the Runaway & Homeless Youth & Trafficking Prevention Act will include explicit protections to ensure that no youth is discriminated against based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity when seeking help from life-saving programs. The bipartisan leadership shown today by Chairman Leahy & Sen. Collins recognizes the disproportionate number of lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender youth who are without stable housing & is a significant step forward in providing all young people with the culturally competent services they need to survive”. The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research & educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just & free America that ensures opportunity for all. They believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values & aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. They work to find progressive & pragmatic solutions to significant domestic & international problems & develop policy proposals that foster a government that is "of the people, by the people & for the people."
For More Info: americanprogress.org
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Joey Arias Plays Provincetown

Legendary Joey Arias is appearing for one night only at the Crown & Anchor on Thursday July 24th at 10:30P in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Arias has been a fixture of New York City’s vibrant downtown performance scene for over 30 years. I first met Joey clubbing in NYC in the late 1970’s. Arias lived & worked with legendary musician Klaus Nomi until Nomi’s death from HIV/AIDS in 1983. Arias has long since stepped out of Nomi’s shadow to gain fame in his own right as a performance artist, cabaret singer & the ultimate cool drag artist. From outrageous performances at seminal New York nightclubs Jackie 60 & Squeezebox to the now-legendary nights at Bar d’O where he held court with Raven-O & our good friend Sherry Vine, Arias has distinguished himself with scandalous wit, sleek style & an extraordinary voice. Arias has performed worldwide at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Freedom Theatre in London and on a transatlantic world tour into the cabaret clubs of Paris, Tokyo, Moscow, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Canada & England. On film, he has appeared in Mondo New York, Big Top Pee Wee, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Wigstock - The Movie, Flawless & To Wong Foo, Joey Arias is a bona fide NYC icon. A portion of this special concert proceeds benefits the Afterglow Festival.
For Info & Tix: onlyatthecrown.com
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

LGBT Federal Workers Gain Rights

President Obama signed the executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This executive order applies to 30,000 companies employing 28 million workers or about 1/5 of the U.S. workforce however it doesn’t reach all employers nationwide. Gary Buseck, Interim Executive Director of GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) stated, “Every day we hear about LGBT people who are not treated equally on the job. We agree with the President that workers should be judged only by their ability to get the job done, but know that is not always the reality. We applaud Monday’s executive order, which demonstrates a concrete commitment to nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation & gender identity. It’s a step that will make the workplace better fairer for LGBT employees, including the tens of thousands of federal employees in the New England states. We are proud that New England has been a leader in establishing protections on the basis of gender identity & sexual orientation & that, in the absence of broad federal protections, this executive order extends important protections for LGBT employees who work for federal contractors.” GLAD is having their 33rd annual Summer Party in Provincetown, MA this Saturday July 26th from 4P to 7P at the Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum. GLAD’s goal is to ensure that America embraces every member of our community so that “equal justice under law” is not just a phrase carved in granite on the U.S. Supreme Court building. This is an important event to learn about what projects GLAD is currently working on & how you can support their groundbreaking work.
For More Info & Tix: glad.org
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