Thursday, April 30, 2015

GLAAD Honors Kelly Ripa

GLAAD, the nation's LGBT media advocacy org will honor actress & Emmy Award-winning talk show host Kelly Ripa at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York at the Waldorf Astoria on May 9th. Ripa will receive GLAAD's Excellence in Media Award, which is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality. Previous Excellence in Media Award honorees include Russell Simmons, Tyra Banks, Judy Shepard, Julianne Moore, Glenn Close, Barbara Walters, Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Diane Sawyer & Vanessa Redgrave. Emmy winning journalist Anderson Cooper will present Ripa with the award. Cooper previously received GLAAD’s Vito Russo Award in 2013. Sarah Kate Ellis GLAAD President & CEO stated, "For over a decade, Kelly Ripa has greeted millions of viewers with messages of acceptance & inclusion. By sharing inclusive stories with her audience & loudly voicing support for her LGBT friends & fans, Kelly is helping to drive acceptance forward." Previously we announced that journalist & MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts will receive the Vito Russo Award the New York event, comedian Ross Matthews will host. Other guests announced include: Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light (Transparent); Jonathan Groff (Looking); Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black); Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt); Rupert Friend (Homeland); Leslie Mann (The Other Woman) & out NBA player Jason Collins. Additional guests for the New York event will be announced. This will be our 7th year covering the GLAAD Media Awards on the Red Carpet in NYC for OUTTAKE VOICES™.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Marriage Equality Moves Forward

Our LGBT community has crossed another historic milestone with marriage equality once again in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court though we won’t likely know what the justices decide before the end of June. Here's a moving reflection from Janson Wu, GLAD Executive Director after leaving the courtroom stating, “I watched Mary Bonauto make the case for the freedom to marry to the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices. The anticipation right before argument was palpable & the room was packed with a veritable 'who's who' of this movement for equality. I was incredibly moved by the significance of this moment & by Mary’s remarkable expertise. I could not be more proud, both as GLAD’s Executive Director & as a member of the LGBT community, that she was the one to stand up & represent April & Jayne, Tim & Larry & Dominique & Maurice – & all of us. Mary’s arguments reminded me why we all do this work: ‘The times can blind. It takes time to see the common humanity of people who have once been ignored & excluded.’ Mary & the two other advocates in support of marriage equality, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli & Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, argued passionately for nearly an hour & a half, & handled the rapid-fire questions they were asked with finesse & eloquence. Mary's closing words hit home & went right to the core of why this issue matters. ‘The choice is not between the Court & the State, but instead whether the individual can decide who to marry, or whether the government will decide for him.”
To Listen or Download Full Arguments….
LISTEN: March 9th GLAD Talks U.S. Supreme Court Case
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Supreme Court & Gay Marriage

LISTEN TO ARGUMENT.....
Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments addressing marriage equality consolidating cases from four states, under the official name Obergefell v. Hodges. There are two overall questions being argued: Question 1: Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? Question 2: Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed & performed out-of-state? Janson Wu GLAD Executive Director stated, “At 10A today GLAD’s Mary Bonauto will stand before the U.S. Supreme Court to make the case for the freedom to marry for all. I know she's ready & that she is buoyed by the enormous outpouring of support everyone in our community has shown her. Mary will stand up on behalf of three courageous couples seeking the security & respect of marriage: April DeBoer & Jayne Rowse of Michigan; Timothy Love & Lawrence Ysunza & Dominique James & Maurice Blanchard of Kentucky. She’ll also be representing the hopes of everyone in the country still denied the right to marry the person they love. I’ll be in the courtroom today, too & I’ll share my thoughts with you once the arguments conclude a little later today.” Stay Tuned…UPDATES@GLADLaw@SCOTUS…:)
LISTEN: GLAD Talks U.S. Supreme Court Gay Marriage Case
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Don’t Say Same Sex Marriage

For over ten years we have been trying to educate the heterosexual & LGBT community to not use the term “same sex marriage”. This term was conceived by Karl Rove the former White House Deputy Chief of Staff during the George W. Bush administration to raise a red flag with the religious right by using the word sex in describing our LGBT community. When mainstream media uses this term all you can hear is the redundancy of the word sex. There are many alternative terms you can use instead including: marriage equality, gay marriage, gay & lesbian marriage or just plain marriage. For the last seven years we have tried to educated all the people who have appeared on our podcasts at OUTTAKE VOICES™ to use the alternative terms when discussing the marriage equality issue. Language is crucial in obtaining civil rights for our LGBT community just as it was for our Afro American community in the 1960’s. We hope that on Tuesday April 28th when Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, Mary Bonauto & Solicitor General Donald Verrilli go before U.S. Supreme Court to argue why all loving gay & lesbian couples should have the right to marry in this country they refrain from using the term same sex marriage because as we all know sex has nothing to do with marriage.
LISTEN: GLAD Talks U.S. Supreme Court Gay Marriage Case
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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Jenner, Gender & Sexuality

Olympian & media mogul Bruce Jenner has forever changed the conversation for the civil rights of our transgender community in the two-hour riveting interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's 20/20. We’ve all been watching Jenner’s appearance change from the outside but in this brave interview Jenner gently shared & articulated an intimate lifelong journey from deep within his soul as millions of people watched declaring ‘I Am A Woman.’ Bruce who asked that we use the familiar pronouns “him” or “he” when talking about this interview opened up for the first time about his gender & sexuality. Jenner’s individual story will change the conversation forever & provide a positive spin on this human issue. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO stated, “Bruce Jenner’s story is helping people understand what it means to be transgender & inspiring them to learn more about the challenges that face their transgender friends, co-workers & family members…Together, we can accelerate acceptance.” The next level of Jenner’s story will appear in a new E! Network eight episode series that will debut on July 26th. Jenner will be an executive producer of the series along with Bunim/Murray Productions which also produces the "Kardashians." Jeff Olde, an executive vice president at E!, called Jenner an inspiration & stated, "We are proud to be entrusted with this deeply personal & important story." So we now enter a new beginning of a conversation long overdue for our transgender & LGBT community.
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Miami LGBT Film Festival 2015

The 17th annual Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival begins Friday April 24th & runs through May 3rd. This year the festival will feature more than 75 films from 26 different countries including feature length movies, documentaries & short films that chronicle the lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender experience. Included in the line-up will be 5 world premieres, one international premiere, 11 North American premieres, 1 U.S. premiere, 7 East Coast premieres & 12 Southeast premieres. The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (MGLFF) will once again go beyond celluloid excitement to feature over-the-top events as only Miami knows how to party from an award gala to a soiree where high hair & high heels are encouraged. Mark Gilbert, President/Interim Festival Director of the MGLFF stated, “This year our guests will have several opportunities to meet filmmakers, producers & actors from all over the world. We are incredibly excited about the events that we have planned for this year & also about the amazing amount of talent coming to town from all over the globe including 37 filmmakers & actors at last count. In addition, we’ve planned some pretty outrageous parties throughout the festival including one where people can strut their stuff in stilettos.” The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival is presented by Showtime, Merrill Lynch & Miami-Dade County.
For Info & Tix: mglff.com
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

GLAAD To Honor Thomas Roberts

The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be honoring MSNBC Live anchor Thomas Roberts with the Vito Russo Award at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on Saturday May 9th. The Vito Russo is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO stated, "Thomas Roberts isn't afraid to put a spotlight on injustices faced by LGBT people that all too often go unreported. As a journalist & anchor with millions of viewers, he brings stories to national attention, leading the conversation & accelerating acceptance of the LGBT community." The GLAAD Media Awards recognizes & honors media for their fair, accurate & inclusive representations of our LGBT community & the issues that affect our lives. It’s also been announced that celebrities Laverne Cox, Tituss Burgess, Jonathan Groff, Judith Light & Jeffrey Tambor will be attending with Ross Mathews hosting this fabulous event. Previous Vito Russo honorees include George Takei, Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, Rosie O'Donnell, Alan Cumming, Cynthia Nixon, Nathan Lane, Cherry Jones, Elton John, k.d. lang & Tom Ford. The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ketel One Vodka & Wells Fargo with Official Presenting Partners Amazon & Bud Light. This will be our 7th year covering the GLAAD Media Awards on the Red Carpet in NYC for OUTTAKE VOICES™.
For More Info & Tix: glaad.org
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Walter Naegle To Attend LGBT 50th

The organizers of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration that takes place July 2nd to July 5th in Philadelphia has announced that Walter Naegle, Bayard Rustin’s surviving life partner will attend the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony at Independence Hall on July 4th. Naegle stated, “Bayard would be amazed to see this historic & diverse celebration of the Gay Pioneers & 50 years of LGBT civil rights progress, especially as we just commemorated 50 years since the Selma to Montgomery Freedom March, which he participated in. As an African-American gay man in the 1940’s 50’ & 60’s, he was marginalized despite his role as an advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., principle organizer of the March on Washington in 1963 & his tireless efforts for workplace equality for African-Americans.” In this exclusive audio interview we talked to Walter Naegle about his relationship with Bayard Rustin who was a master strategist best remembered as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests ever held in the United States. He brought Gandhi’s protest techniques to the American civil rights movement and helped shape Martin Luther King, Jr.’s international legacy of peace & nonviolence. Barack Obama bestowed a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom on Bayard Rustin which is the nation’s highest civilian honor. Walter Naegle accepted the award. LISTEN:
For More Info: lgbt50.org
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Gay Wedding Show Event 2015

In San Francisco on Sunday April 19th the most prominent wedding professionals in the business are coming together for a gay & lesbian wedding extravaganza. Style & panache are important especially on the biggest day of your life. This Gay Wedding Fair will showcase a complete selection of products & services to complement a variety of tastes. Touch the gowns, taste the wedding cakes, smell the flowers, try the make-up & taste creative food and drinks. A highlight of the event will be the live LGBT Wedding Fashion Show with emcee Joel Riddell. Highlighted will be the latest bride & groom fashions, hair up-do’s, wedding day make-up & opulent floral designs, wedding gowns by Janine’s bridal boutique. Magnolia Jazz Band will be performing at the lobby to set the feel for an elegant grand entrance to the wedding show. At noon to 2P The Klipptones will perform a wedding song to mark the opening of the fashion show, specialty cocktails & special performances from Circosphere. Owners Frederick Sullivan & Jaime Botello, of Sullivan & Botello Events are the event designers & planners of Gay Vanity Wedding Show - A Stylish Gay & Lesbian Wedding Event & Fashion Show on Sunday April. 19th from 11A to 4P hosted by the majestic venue The Bently Reserve at 301 Battery St. in San Francisco.
Info & Tix: gayvanityweddingshow.com
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

NYC LGBT Youth Tech Camp

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York City announced that it will partner with Maven, the nonprofit organization which fosters innovative solutions that empower LGBTQ youth to present a free 2-week tech camp from July 6th to 17th at The Center as well as on-site at various tech companies around New York City. The tech camp will build queer youth digital competencies in coding & programming, enhancing the career & academic trajectories of LGBTQ youth. Glennda Testone, The Center’s Executive Director stated, “The Center’s 20-plus years of serving LGBTQ youth in New York City, combined with Maven’s tech expertise, position us perfectly to equip our young people so they’re ready to pursue opportunities & achieve their goals. This camp will give youth tools & resources to explore any career path of interest to them, including those in the tech industry.” Monica Ann Arrambide, CEO & Founder of Maven added, "Our work contributes to making the tech sector a more inclusive community by engaging tech professionals in co-creating with LGBTQ youth & by providing LGBTQ professionals the opportunity to pay it forward to the next generation of tech leaders." This camp will also provide “behind the scenes” access to large tech giants & an opportunity to connect with LGBTQ tech developers in their local communities. By teaching LGBTQA youth programming & game design The Center & Maven will build a lifelong process of developing their 21st century competencies. As well as LGBTQ Youth Tech Camp this summer in NYC there will also be programs in San Francisco & Austin Texas.
For More Info: mymaven.org
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

All Female Cast Performs Othello

This production will be a gender bender treat for our LGBT community & all feminists. The Titan Theatre Company will conclude its critically acclaimed 2014-2015 season with a signature take on Shakespeare's classic tragedy OTHELLO featuring an all-female cast. Performances begin April 17th at Queens Theatre through May 2nd. Lenny Banovez Titan’s Artistic Director stated, "We have assembled an unrivaled cast of women to tackle one of Shakespeare's most masculine plays. Following the success of A Midsummer Night’s Dream & A Christmas Carol, OTHELLO is a dynamic end to our exciting season.” The cast of OTHELLO will feature Leah Dutchin (American Players Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Chicago Shakespeare) as Othello with Emily Trask (Lincoln Center: The Oldest Boy, Yale Rep, Alley Theatre), Carol Linnea Johnson (Broadway: The Full Monty, Mamma Mia!, Utah Shakespeare), Laura Frye (Teatro Franco Parenti, Virginia Shakepeare), Abbey Siegworth (American Players Theater, Dallas Theatre Center), Leah Gabriel, Alyssa Van Gorder, Molly Densmore, Deanna Gibson, Kate Gunther, Alex Spieth & Carolynne Warren. The understudies are Maggie Wetzel, Bailey Seeker, Skyler Volpe & Sierra Tothero. Set design is by Jasmine Nicole. Lighting design is by Alan Piotrowicz. Costume design is by Becky Willett. Sound design is by Weston Wetzel. Fight choreography is by Jonathan Hicks. Ashley Zednickis the stage manager. Queens Theatre is located at 14 United Nations Avenue South in Flushing Meadows Park directly under the iconic towers of the New York State Pavilion & easily accessible by car, bus & subway.
For Info & Tix: titantheatrecompany.com
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Power Lesbians For Hillary Clinton

As promised Hillary Clinton announced her LGBT friendly campaign for President of the United States promptly at 3P Sunday via social networking & emails. Shortly after the announcement we got an email from LPAC’s Laura Ricketts. LPAC is the Lesbian Political Action Committee that was founded in July of 2012 by committed activists & donors to positively influence the current political & social landscape in this country. LPAC’s agenda is to give lesbians a real & meaningful seat at the political table. During the 2012 election LPAC raised over $700,000 to support candidates that supported our LGBT issues. Laura Ricketts, Co-owner of the Chicago Cubs & LPAC Board Chair stated, “Today we are beginning a new campaign to elect Hillary Clinton President of the United States. Together with all my friends at LPAC (the only lesbian Super PAC in the country), we are launching Lesbians4Hillary. Lesbians4Hillary will build a community & grassroots effort of LGBTQ women who will do everything possible to elect Hillary in November 2016. We are launching this effort because Hillary Clinton is the most qualified & experienced candidate in the race. She is also the candidate who will use that experience to fight on behalf of all Americans, particularly LGBTQ women. Hillary cares about all the things we, as queer women, prioritize in our lives: She is a defender for the rights of women and families; she fights to protect our reproductive freedom; she leads the charge for gender equity in the work place; and she champions equality of all LGBTQ women & our families. We also believe it is important that we elect the first Madam President in our nation’s history. Today we have 104 women serving in both houses of Congress, but we can do better. So let’s change the progression for women & break the biggest glass ceiling once & for all & in the biggest way possible – by electing the first woman President.”
For More Info: lesbians4hillary.com 
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dr. Judith B. Bradford Honored

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh attended Fenway Health’s Women’s Dinner Party honoring Dr. Judith B. Bradford, Director of the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health & Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute with the Dr. Susan M. Love Award. More than 1,000 lesbian, bisexual women & their allies came together at the Boston Marriott Copley Place on Saturday April 11th for this fabulous elegant fundraiser that raised over $500,000 in support of the life-saving programs & services at Fenway Health. Each year the Dr. Susan M. Love Award is given to honor & celebrate a woman or organization that has made a significant contribution to the field of women’s health. The Love Award is given in honor of its founding recipient Dr. Susan M. Love, a pioneer in the fields of women’s health & breast cancer. This year’s recipient Dr. Judith B. Bradford created the first national Center for Population Research in LGBT Health which supports & stimulates research to fill critical knowledge gaps related to the health of sexual & gender minorities. Dr. Bradford’s work on lesbian, bisexual women’s issues, transgender health, LGBT aging & issues impacting young people of has helped improve the health of our entire community. Comedian Kate Clinton returned to get the party started then Boston funk band Booty Vortex & DJ LeahV aka Leah McFly, the first queer female DJ to win a Boston Music Award kept the dance party going into the wee hours of the night.
For More Info: fenwayhealth.org
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Friday, April 10, 2015

Religious Freedom Cupcakes

In West Hollywood the best gay bar The Abbey Food & Bar has announced that it would start selling Religious Freedom Cakes benefiting the Human Rights Campaign & their efforts to fight LGBT discrimination nationwide. David Cooley, Founder & President of The Abbey stated, “Everybody is talking about whether the baker can legally refuse to serve the LGBT community. If small-minded homophobes can use their bakeries to further a cycle of hate under the guise of religious freedom, The Abbey can use its bakery to help fund HRC¹s efforts to spread equality. This is a culture war over cakes, pizzerias & flowers. The oven mitts are off & everybody needs to do their part.” The Religious Freedom Cakes will be a rotating selection of cupcakes featuring the Human Rights Campaign logo. They will be sold for $5 to benefit Human Rights Campaign. Founded by David Cooley in 1991, The Abbey has grown to become a West Hollywood institution, home of the Gay Walk of Fame, Elizabeth Taylor¹s favorite pub & a community center. A favorite of celebrities, locals & tourists alike, there is no better place to meet old friends, make new ones, have a smart cocktail, eat a delicious meal & just kick back and have fun. The Abbey Food & Bar is located at 692 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood in California.
For More Info…
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Update: Gay Adoption In Florida

The Florida Senate blocked efforts to allow Indiana-style discrimination in adoption late Wednesday afternoon. In doing so they derailed an effort that originated in the House of Representatives to reintroduce an anti gay adoption law in Florida. Former Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Destin an opponent to the homophobic legislation stated, “We don’t need to turn back the social clock in this state to 1977” which was the year Florida banned gay & lesbian people from adopting children. Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida stated, “We applaud Senator Gaetz for rallying his colleagues to stop this disastrous effort to put discrimination back into Florida law. Now is not the time for Florida to look back to its ugly past. It is time to secure full equality & chart a fair & inclusive path for our state.” The Florida Senate action came just minutes after the Florida House voted overwhelmingly to allow taxpayer-funded private adoption agencies to turn away gay people & others. While the House bill was clearly aimed at discriminating against gay & lesbian people, the fiery debate spotlighted bill sponsor Rep. Jason Brodeur’s unwillingness to deny that agencies might be able to discriminate based on race, religion or other factors as well. This Senate adoption bill, which has already passed the House of Representatives would also eliminate Florida’s 1977 anti gay adoption statute which has remained on the books despite being unenforceable since it was declared unconstitutional in 2010. The bill has one more reading in the Senate; if passed as expected it will be sent to the Governor. Updates to Come…:)
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New Poll Supports LGBT Equality

The Center for American Progress reports that despite historic progress on marriage equality over the past decade our LGBT community still lack basic, enumerated protections from discrimination in several areas of life, from the workplace to the public marketplace. However a recent Generation Progress poll conducted by Hart Research reveals widespread support among Millennials for federal, comprehensive LGBT nondiscrimination legislation. Laura E. Durso, Director of CAP’s LGBT Research & Communication Project stated, “While the events surrounding Indiana’s religious liberty law were a stark reminder that LGBT Americans can be legally discriminated against, it is far from the only state in the nation where that is possible. Even with the purported fixes to the Indiana law signed late last week, it is still legal to deny housing, employment & services to LGBT Americans based solely on their sexual orientation & gender identity in roughly 30 states—Indiana included. This poll shows that a huge majority of the next generation of leaders & voters believe that nondiscrimination protections for LGBT Americans should be the law of the land throughout the country.” According to the poll, 65% of Millennials support comprehensive nondiscrimination protections with 50% of Millennials strongly supporting such legislation. Majority support extends to every region of the country, as well as to rural, urban & suburban areas. Among voters who supported President Barack Obama in 2012, comprehensive LGBT nondiscrimination protections maintain the highest level of strong support of all issues polled.
For More Info: americanprogress.org
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Equality Florida Tallahassee Gala

Civic & LGBT activist Jim Van Riper will be honored at annual Equality Florida Tallahassee Gala event at the Mission San Luis Ballroom on Friday, April 10th that will bring together leaders in politics, business & the community. Since moving to Tallahassee in 2003 Van Riper has been a leader in almost every aspect of its lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender community. Jim’s activism began in Colorado when in his early 30s he realized he was gay. Determined to keep his responsibilities to his family he became concerned when his middle-school-aged son was being bullied because of his father’s coming out. Jim’s therapist urged him to find support at the local gay & lesbian community center. Anyone who knows Jim will not be surprised that he quickly became involved. For several years Jim commuted between Colorado & Florida as an internet technologies consultant. Finally Jim & his partner Myles Robertson decided to relocate to Tallahassee. They bought a little house and began putting down roots. That included reaching out to the Family Tree LGBT Community Center where Jim asked how he could help. They married in Hawaii in 2012. And when it finally became legal to do so in Florida this past January, they did it again -- sharing their ceremony with two other couples & a retired Southern Baptist minister in Cascades Park in downtown Tallahassee. About their marriage Jim stated, “I thought it wouldn’t make any difference in how I felt but I was surprised that it did. I felt a sense of security that I never had before. And that’s pretty wonderful.”
For More Info & Tix: eqfl.org
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Friday, April 3, 2015

Celebrities Out At The Dinah

Actress & producer Meredith Baxter poised for a picture with Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson prior to being entertained at “The Dinah Comedy Night” hosted by Suzanne Westenhoefer with Dana Goldberg, Gloria Bigelow & Dinah Leffert. The evening was introduced by Mariah Hanson, founder & producer of the legendary Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend that’s celebrating its 25th anniversary & takes place in Palm Springs now through April 5th. Dinah Leffert who is actually Hanson’s niece kicked off the show with a racy routine about being bisexual that heated-up the audience for Gloria Bigelow followed by Goldberg & headliner Suzanne Westenhoefer. By the end of their performances the crowd of over a thousand lesbians & a few gay men  roared with delight. Then on to the opening night party at world the famous Zelda’s Nightclub in beautiful downtown Palm Springs. The packed crowd were entertained by Nick Jonas’ protégée Olivia Sommerlyn. After the performance there was dancing until the wee hours of the night with the hottest go-go girls. The non-stop action continues Friday with Holy Child performing at The TGIDF Pool Party at the Hilton then on to the Palm Springs Convention Center at 8P for Billboard Top 40 superstar Christina Perri, the extraordinary voice behind the hits “Jar of Hearts” & “A Million Years” headlining the White Party. On Saturday Pop sensation & 2015 Grammy nominee Meghan Trainor known for her infectious hit “All About that Bass” headlines the Dinah during the Black Party held Saturday April 4th also at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Updates to Come...:)
For More Info & Tix: thedinah.com
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Florida Anti Gay Adoption Bill

As Indiana struggles with the growing political & economic backlash over its so-called religious freedom law Florida lawmakers are pursuing a similar bill that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate against gay people by invoking a personal religious objection. Florida legislative leaders also are refusing to allow a vote on a bipartisan bill that would add LGBT protections to the state’s nondiscrimination law. Nadine Smith Equality Florida CEO stated, “Lawmakers should choose equal protection over discrimination. The adoption bill (H.B. 7111) will be heard at 8A by the House Judiciary Committee. Even its sponsor, State Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, acknowledged in a previous hearing that his “conscience protection” bill would allow both secular & faith-based agencies to discriminate against any class of people they choose, so long as they claim their decision is part of their “religious or moral convictions. Florida lawmakers can seize this moment to send a clear message that we are a state where discrimination has no place & where hard work & talent matter, by rejecting this Indiana-style adoption bill. We also call on the legislature to fast-track the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, a statewide non-discrimination bill that is backed by Florida business and enjoys strong bipartisan support.” The hastily written bill was introduced mid-session, in response to the House unexpectedly voting to eliminate Florida’s ban on gay & lesbian adoptions. The ban had not been enforced since 2010 when an appellate court ruled it unconstitutional but it remains on the books. Indiana lawmakers were similarly motivated, introducing their bill as a counter to gay couples marrying. Indiana is now reeling from a spontaneous boycott that has already cost the state millions in new jobs lost & business cancelled. Hopefully the Florida bill will be nipped in the bud.
For More Info: eqfl.org
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