Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Celebrities Attending Gay Marriage Benefit

Now this is the party to attend. Celebrities are headlining a fundraiser planned in New York on September 13th to benefit the campaign for marriage equality in Maryland. Confirmed to attend include Julianna Margulies & Josh Charles, co-stars of “The Good Wife” on CBS, “Sex in The City” Sarah Jessica Parker, Julianne Moore who played Sarah Palin in the HBO movie “Game Change”, Edward Norton, Susan Sarandon, along with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D). Also attending are Sean Avery, Sandra Bernhard, the younger Barbara Bush, Paul Boskind, Andy Cohen, Tom Colicchio, Brian Ellner, Ryan Greenawalt, Cornelia Guest, Keith Lieberthal, Charles Myers, Shauna Robertson, Larry Poston, David Rabin, Hilary Rhoda, Johnny Swet, & Russell Simmons. The Sept. 13 event tickets range from $250 to $25,000 & is booked atop The James Hotel which promises a sexy social atmosphere, with an enclosed bar & lounge set against 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline. The fundraiser for Marylanders for Marriage Equality comes as the issue appears on their November ballot. Gay marriage was passed by the Maryland legislature in March but the homophobes easily petitioned to the get it on the upcoming ballot. Several of the celebrities have Maryland connections, including Ken Mehlman, the former chairman of the National Republican Committee who came out as gay in 2010 & filmmaker John Waters a Baltimore native. Updates to Come...:)
For More Info: marylandersformarriageequality.org
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Gay Republicans Attempt To Educate GOP

Hurricane Isaac is slowing down the Republican National Convention. Word is that they will officially open the convention & then call a recess delaying the speakers until tomorrow shortening many of the activities. Being from Massachusetts we hope that the country will soon wake-up to the false promises of Mitt Romney as we did. Especially the gay Republicans which still appears to the majority of our LGBT community as an oxymoron that we can not quite digest. According to the convention schedule of the Log Cabin Republicans today’s highlight is "Republicans Out to Win" with the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund with Out & Proud Republicans running for office at every level. They’ve scheduled a gathering at Oystercatchers at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Drive with special guests former Congressman Jim Kolbe from 3P-5P. Log Cabin have scheduled other activities throughout the convention addressing our LGBT issues. More polls show that the majority of voters ages 18 to 29 are against the GOP stance on gay marriage & abortion rights. To add to that the GOP image only makes it harder for Republicans to gain credibility with many young Americans who hold an unfavorable opinion of the party. Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement at Tufts University said, “Republicans should be worried about their long-term brand on these issues. The younger generation is the most diverse in American history & thinks of itself as very tolerant & pro-diversity. On top of that, you get the social issues, with the gay-related issues being the best example. It fits into a broader narrative that [Republicans] are basically the party of the older, white, straight people." So listen up Republicans. Either evolve on LGBT equality or be left behind. Updates to Come…:)
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

RuPaul Says Creature Is A Hit

Creature added a 3 night run at XL Cabaret Lounge Thursday night in NYC. XL's biggest theatrical production stars Bebe Zahara Benet, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season One & featuring a cast of 29 performers, 128 costumes, live & all original music, unique sets & visuals effects, plus Jehan's Belly Dance Raks Stars. Creature is filled with stunning visual transformations & exciting musical number that celebrates diversity, individuality & fantasy. Village Voice Michael Musto said, "Creature mixes bits of Grace Jones, Kevin Aviance, Julie Taymor, Leigh Bowery & Josephine Baker for a shimmering ode to uniqueness. It's quite a spectacle - a far cry from the usual drag shtick of aping Britney & Whitney" BeBe is a fast-paced, high-energy cabaret revue, combines the witty & colorful persona fans have come to adore with the many other alter-egos that swim in her imagination & now want a piece of the spotlight. Directed by Andrew Neisler, Creature is a one of a kind revue featuring elaborate costumes & visual & audio effects that that will leave audiences mesmerized & inspired. The show continues through Saturday August 25th 8P at XL Cabaret Lounge 512 W 42nd Street between 10th & 11th Avenues in NYC. For More Info: xlcabaret.com
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Out & Equal Mexico Event September 6-9

Out & Equal will be hosting the 2nd International Expo & Business LGBT Event held at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun in Cancun, Mexico from September 6th to 9th. This expo focuses on the immense growth potential of various industry areas in LGBT markets across the Latin American region. During the Expo a study will be released showing issues that our LGBT community faces across Latin America. The LGBT2020 Study is a global research project devised & implemented by Out Now Global the world's leading specialist LGBT consulting agency. Since 2009 the project has been collecting data from countries around the world to compare LGBT people's lives; asking the same set of questions in more than a dozen languages. Almost 100,000 people have now participated in more than 20 countries. Selisse Berry, Founding Executive Director of Out & Equal stated, "Out & Equal is pleased to be participating in this event. Our work started in the United States & has expanded globally in recent years. We recently hosted the Out & Equal LGBT Global Workplace Summit in London with constituents from 28 countries. LGBT employees everywhere face complex & diverse issues that relate to their sexual orientation & gender identity. Something as basic as an invitation to a work function takes on a whole different hue if a person is not out about their sexual orientation with everyone they work with. This can cause real issues & we see workplace equality as an area where there is still much to be done in Mexico & across Latin America. Participating in this event is an important step for us & we are looking forward to sharing our experience with the delegates attending the conference." Updates to Come…:)
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GLAD Asks Supreme Court Hear DOMA Case

GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, a lawsuit challenging Section 3 of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) which prohibits federal recognition of the marriages of gay couples. GLAD is representing 6 married couples & a widower, from Connecticut, Vermont & New Hampshire who have all been denied critical federal benefits because of DOMA. GLAD co-lead counsel Mary L. Bonauto stated, “With each passing day, DOMA denies ordinary marital protections & heaps disrespect on our plaintiffs’ families & thousands of married same-gender couples across the country. Joanne Pedersen still cannot enroll her wife on her health insurance plan like other retirees from federal service. Lynda DeForge, like other workers whose spouses have serious medical conditions, still can’t take Family & Medical Leave Act leave to care for Raquel Ardin. Jerry Passaro continues to struggle without access to his late husband’s pension. The Artis, Kleinerman-Gehre & Savoy-Weiss families are each raising three children, but under DOMA pay extra federal income taxes or health insurance costs. DOMA even intrudes into the New Hampshire State Retirement System in denying a retired school teacher a health insurance subsidy for her spouse. These plaintiffs need to hear definitively from the Supreme Court whether or not the federal government will ultimately respect their love, commitment & legal bonds.” A decision issued July 31st by Judge Vanessa L. Bryant of the U.S. District Court of Connecticut ruled in Pedersen that DOMA Section 3 unconstitutionally discriminates against our plaintiffs. GLAD filed what is known as a petition for “certiorari before judgment”— giving the Supreme Court an opportunity to immediately review the district court decision. Updates to Come…:)
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Gay Icon Diana Nyad Ends Her Cuban Swim

Updated: Life is a Journey Not a Destination...:)
Happy Birthday Day Diana!!

Diana Nyad has ended her historic attempt to swim from Havana to Key West after an intense storm, muscle spasms & suffering debilitating jelly fish stings. This was her fourth attempt at the swim that was completed successfully by Australian Susan Maroney in May 1997 but Nyad was doing it without a shark cage. Instead she was accompanied on the 60 hour journey by a 63-member support team. Extremely brave for a 62 year old. Nyad tried the crossing from Cuba in 1978 when she was 28 but failed in the face of winds & heavy waves. Nyad never came out of the closet publicly because she was never in it. She has spoken on the issue of LGBT athletes in sports many times but her focus has always been on sports. Much like Billie Jean King her place as an athlete supersedes her place as a lesbian athlete something many gay people in sports dream of. Diana is a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame & the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Updates to Come...:)
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Gay Magazine The Advocate 45th Year

This is an important milestone for The Advocate magazine which has been a crucial voice for our LGBT people especially in reaching isolated communities. Through the years the brand expanded from a mere 12 page mimeographed newsletter with few resources to full multimedia powerhouse brand including the print, online, digital & mobile. The Advocate’s September 2012 special anniversary issue celebrates the impulses, philosophies, triumphs & setbacks that propelled the publication’s past & drives the brand’s platforms to the future. In the new commemorative anniversary issue the mag’s editors & reporters dug through the archives getting a closer look at the past to help us understand our future. Matthew Breen, Editor of The Advocate stated, “We’ve developed from reporting on bar raids to documenting the struggle for our rights in the decriminalization of homosexuality, advancements in marriage equality, the end of institutionalized discrimination in our armed forces & the explosion in LGBT media & representation in the entertainment industry. And all along, The Advocate has been reporting on those sea changes in our culture & we’ve been sparking conversation. We are proud of our work & we sincerely hope you believe that our efforts now & in the future with a commitment to the vision that launched us will merit another 45 years.”

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The Hunger Director Tony Scott Dead

Sad news out of Los Angeles. Director Tony Scott who made his directorial debut with the lesbian cult classic film The Hunger in 1983 died Sunday by jumping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in the San Pedro port district of LA. Witnesses said he did not hesitate before jumping to his death. His body was removed from the water by the Los Angeles Port Authority. MGM was already developing the vampire film The Hunger when they brought Scott on in 1982. The Hunger starred David Bowie, Catherine Deneuve, Susan Sarandon & introduced Willem Dafoe in a small role. The Hunger without a doubt has the most beautiful & sensual lovemaking scene between Deneuve & Sarandon with elaborate photography & fabulous production design but it disappeared from theaters within weeks due to its positive gay theme. If you haven’t seen it you can rent it on Netflix. Scott went on to direct some of the most successful box office films such as Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, The Last Boy Scout, True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Spy Game, Man on Fire, Déjà Vu, The Taking of Pelham 123 & Unstoppable. He was the younger brother of fellow film director Ridley Scott. They were the co-executive producers of The Good Wife on CBS TV. Tony Scott is survived by his wife, Donna Wilson Scott & their twin sons, Frank & Max.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Real L Word Hunter Valentine Rocks

Hunter Valentine the gay rock band that’s featured in Season 3 of the television series The Real L Word on Showtime TV performed at the 4th annual “Fusion” LesbianNightLife Women’s Pool Party produced by Promoter Beth McGurr at the Randolph Country Club in Randolph MA. Hundreds of lesbian woman attended the event & mingled with the band. Laura Petracca, Vero Sanchez & Kiyomi McCloskey were on site for picture ops. Keyboardist Somer Bingham was absent at the event due to flu & remained home being cared for by her wife Donna. As first I just figured Somer was just showing up late like she does in the series but then we were told she would be a no-show. Despite of her absence the band rocked. I got a chance to talk with the bass player Vero who’s hot, cool & a talented musician but I couldn’t get her to tell me what’s coming in the future episodes of The Real L Word. Hopefully we’ll have her on OUTTAKE VOICES™ to give us the inside spin about the band & behind the scenes of the show. Kiyomi is even sexier in person & Laura the drummer really brings it all together. The set they play rocked & if you missed them Hunter Valentine is on a 50 cities tour that will end in the Boston area on November 18th.
For More Info: huntervalentine.com

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Wanda Sykes Hosts TV Election Specials

In the midst of this nasty naming calling presidential election Wanda Sykes will provide our LGBT community with some savvy comic relief. She has been confirmed to host 2 hour-long specials on Logo TV entitled “NewNowNext Vote with Wanda Sykes” that will address our LGBT issues for the upcoming presidential election. Both specials will be taped in front of a live studio audience at the network’s Times Square studio in NYC. The first will be aired September 10th at 10P after the the Republican & Democratic National Conventions have ended. The second special will air on November 5th the night before Election Day. The format has Sykes joined by a diversity of panelists representing all political parties. The show will focus on all crucial issues including the economy, healthcare & gay marriage. Lisa Sherman Logo’s General Manager & Executive Vice President stated, “Wanda will be the perfect host for the specials, providing her one-of-a-kind take on LGBT concerns & challenges. She’s sure to entertain & generate some discussion along the way.” Sykes added, "I'm excited to be working with Logo, the network that offers a voice to the LGBT community. These specials will be thought provoking, exciting & the perfect forum to discuss important issues facing our community. Plus, it is Logo so maybe I'll get to dress in drag!” Updates to Come…:)

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Shooting At Family Research Council

We received this Joint Statement regarding the shooting at Family Research Council (FRC) from lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) organizations. “We were saddened to hear news of the shooting this morning at the offices of the Family Research Council. Our hearts go out to the shooting victim, his family & his co-workers. The motivation & circumstances behind today’s tragedy are still unknown but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence. We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident.” Michael Adams, Executive Director, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), Tico Almeida, President, Freedom to Work, Katie Belanger, Executive Director, Fair Wisconsin, Wayne Besen, Founding Executive Director, Truth Wins Out, Carly Burton, Deputy Director, MassEquality, Dr. Eliza Byard, Executive Director, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director, Family Equality Council, Brad Clark, Executive Director, One Colorado R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans, Heather Cronk, Managing Director, GetEQUAL, Jerame Davis, Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats, Emily Dievendorf, Director of Policy, Equality Michigan, James Esseks, Director, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project, Lynn A. Faria, Interim Executive Director, Empire State Pride Agenda, Jenna Frazzini, Executive Director, Basic Rights Oregon, Herndon Graddick, President, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Chad Griffin, President, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director, PFLAG National (Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays), Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center of Transgender Equality, Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Abbe Land, Executive Director & CEO, The Trevor Project, Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director, Movement Advancement Project National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, Darlene Nipper, Deputy Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Donna Red Wing, Executive Director, One Iowa, Aubrey Sarvis, Executive Director, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Josh Seefried Co-Director, OutServe, Brian Silva, Executive Director, Marriage Equality USA, Lee Swislow, Executive Director, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Rachel B. Tiven, Esq. Executive Director, Immigration Equality, Chuck Wolfe President & CEO, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund & Institute, Evan Wolfson, President, Freedom to Marry. Updates to Come...

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Drop Dead Diva Addresses FDA Gay Ban

The new Lifetime episode of Drop Dead Diva that airs on Sunday, August 19th at 9P addresses the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ban on biological donations by gay men. In this episode titled "Family Matters," a man who is fighting for visitation rights of his biological child sees his chances of caring for his son drastically reduced based on the fact that he is a gay man who donated sperm. The episode highlights the 2005 FDA ban on donations of sperm by gay men, citing intercourse between two men as a "risk for sexually transmitted diseases." Other FDA cited risk factors leading to a ban on donations include IV drug use & prostitution. The FDA also prohibits gay men who have had sex with another man since 1977 from donating blood. The ban on blood donations has been in place since 1983 & was upheld in November 2010. Herndon Graddick, President of GLAAD, stated "The creators of Drop Dead Diva have once again used their platform to shed light on injustices that require greater attention. Storytellers & television have a powerful ability to help enact social change by first reaching people through entertainment. This episode demonstrates how unfair this outdated & biased ban really is." Openly gay writer Josh Berman, whose credits include the upcoming FOX series The Mob Doctor, Bones, CSI & Vanished, is the creator of Drop Dead Diva. Berman executive produces the series alongside award-winning duo Craig Zadan & Neil Meron who received the Vito Russo Award this year at the GLAAD Media Awards. The Award honors out media professionals who have made a significant difference in raising visibility of LGBT people & issues. Drop Dead Diva is produced by Sony Pictures Television. Updates to Come…:)

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lady Bunny 50th Birthday Roast In NYC

Lady Bunny will be in the hot seat Wednesday, August 15th when special guests take a stab at roasting Bunny for the 50 years of hell she’s put them through. Bunny’s been working hard for the money these past years practically earning her the title of the queen of NYC drag. Village Voice writer Michael Musto, Actor David Ilku & famous drag queens such as Linda Simpson, Sherry Vine, Flotilla Debarge will be among many of the individuals who will take part in the roast. Also joining in on the fun will be Joan Rivers who will be sending a very special video message to Bunny. This out of the ordinary evening of Hot Mess will be a night to remember. The night will also include the Hot Mess specialty of show-stopping group numbers, parodies, video clips, live numbers & some major dancing. The cast who includes the uber-talented Milan (aka Dwayne Milan) from RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4, the dazzling Skyla Versai & the gut-busting antics of Sugga Pie Koko will also have their turn at taking a bite out of Bunny. The madness will start at 9pm at XL. XL Nightclub, Cabaret & Lounge is an exciting new nightlife destination by John Blair, Beto Sutter & Brandon Voss. The venue features a state-of-the-art dance club with 14,000 square feet of high-tech party space, a professional 200-seat cabaret & a comfortable lounge catering to neighborhood residents, hotel guests & the community. XL is open 7 nights a week & ideally situated as the city’s premier entertainment destination for New Yorkers & tourists alike at 512 West 42nd Street.
For More Info: xlnightclub.com

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Tammy Smith First Openly Gay US General

While everyone was digesting Romney’s choice for a running mate former Army Colonel Tammy Smith has become the first openly gay flag officer to come out while currently serving in the U.S. military. She was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in a private ceremony which took place Friday at the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Brigadier General Smith received her stars from her wife Tracey Hepner. Sue Fulton, a 1980 West Point graduate & member of the OutServe Board of Directors stated, “For years, gay & lesbian generals & admirals were forced to hide their families in order to protect their careers. It is a great day for our military & for our nation when this courageous leader is finally able to recognize her wife for her support & sacrifice in the same way that all military families should be recognized for their service to our country.” Army Veteran & Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Executive Director stated, “It is indeed a new era in America’s military when our most accomplished leaders are able to recognize who they are & serve the country they love at the same time. Brigadier General Smith made history today - not only as an exemplary service member who renders outstanding service to our nation with integrity & honor but as a proud lesbian acknowledging the tremendous sacrifice her family makes in order for her to serve & advance. This day was long overdue, but I have no doubt more senior enlisted & officers will follow BG Smith in stepping forward smartly with their spouses & loved ones.” Smith is assigned as deputy chief in the Army Reserve Office of the Chief in Washington, D.C. Her wife Tracey Hepner co-founded the Military Partners & Families Coalition, a key voice in the debate over benefits & military programs for same-gender partners. Updates to Come…:)

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Provincetown Carnival: A Space Odyssey

Recently we reported about the A-List Entertainment appearing in Provincetown, Massachusetts this summer. Now Carnival kicks off for a week-long celebration from August 12th to the 17th. This year’s theme is “Ptown: A Space Odyssey.” The inns, clubs & shops really get into the theme & have been working hard to turn the town into a Space Wonderland that would make Hollywood set departments envious. So fuel your engines. It’s time to blast off! Enter a space world odyssey like you’ve never visited before. A world many light years away, filled with the most unimaginable creatures – a place far different than Mother Earth. Come experience the world unexplored at the kickoff party on August 12th behind Town Hall. Dance away with internationally acclaimed Miami mixer DJ Karen Hartley whose style is defined by an exciting mix of energetic rhythms & jaw-dropping energy that will mesmerize any audience. This highly sexual, highly theatrical event is produced by MoonMaxx Productions, producers of P-Town shows Sizzle & Twisted Fairytales. MoonMaxx Productions is bringing a whole new vibe to Carnival’s 2012 opening party. Come dressed in your finest space gear to enter our highly anticipated annual costume competition. Costume Winners based on: Costume Creativity & Originality – 4 Points Adherence to Theme – 2 Points Craftsmanship/ Costume Created by Contestant – 2 Points Crowd Reaction – 1 Point & most important Spirit/Sassy Attitude – 1 Point Don’t get left behind! Everyone will be blasting off to the best opening party in years!
Be sure you check out Margaret Cho & Linda Eder appearing during Carnival Week. Have a Blast! For More Info: ptown.org/Carnival

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Retired Navy Captain For Gay Marriage

Captain Joan Darrah a retired Navy Captain who narrowly missed the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon has written a letter to Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA), chair of the national Republican Party platform committee asking to address the committee in support of the freedom to marry & the recognition of all marriages when it meets in Tampa, Florida next week. Darrah & her wife Lynne Kennedy are plaintiffs in McLaughlin v. Panetta, a case in which SLDN (Servicemembers Legal Defense Network) represents 8 married gay & lesbian service member & veteran couples seeking the same recognition, supports & benefits as their straight, married colleagues. Even now with DADT off the books, DOMA & other federal laws prevent the military from treating all service members, veterans & their families the same. This includes denial of health care, death benefits & burial in national cemeteries. Captain Joan Darrah stated, “If given the opportunity, we will testify in support of the inclusion in the Republican platform of both the repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) & the right of same-gender couples to marry & for those marriages to be recognized by our federal government. Quite simply, these objectives correspond with the ideals of the Republican Party - opposition to government intrusion in people’s lives & a modern military that supports all service members & their families.” In July, Chief Warrant Officer (CW2) Charlie Morgan & her wife, Karen, testified before the national Democratic leaders drafting the party's 2012 platform. The freedom to marry is expected to be included in a final version of the Democratic platform.
For More Info... Updates to Come…:)

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Anti Gay Companies To Avoid

The Chick-Fil-A controversy has been a real eye-opener for our LGBT community & America. We thought we’d dig in & see what other companies had anti gay policies. As consumers with all our gay dollars we may be able to influence these homophobic companies to evolve as Obama has. In an election year a list of anti gay candidates is crucial so we know who to vote for or against. In this situation we can vote with our dollars by not supporting the following homophobic companies. The list of companies with anti gay policies are:
A-1 Self Storage, Auto Zone, Babies R Us, Boy Scouts, Celestial Seasonings, Chick-Fil-A, Cinemark, Cracker Barrel, Dole, Domino's Pizza, Exxon Mobil, Gold's Gym, Humana, John Deere, Meijer, Purina, Radio Shack, Salvation Army, Sam's Club, Toys R Us, Urban Outfitters & Walmart.
Just keep in mind that while federal law prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, religion, age & disability we still do not have a federal law that protects gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender people from discrimination. In some areas of the country, state or local laws offer some protections. However in most places companies can fire gay employees just because of their sexual orientation. Companies like Cracker Barrel have written policies that states, "It is inconsistent with our concept & values & is perceived to be inconsistent with those of our customer base, to continue to employ individuals in our operating units whose sexual preferences fail to demonstrate normal heterosexual values.” So with our buying power we can avoid doing business with the above companies. We hope that this list will encourage Obama in his evolution to pass ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act) & protect our LGBT community in the workplace. Updates to Come..:)
For More Info: pinkpanthers.tumblr.com

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