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Senate Passes Marriage Equality Act

The U.S. Senate has passed the Respect for Marriage Act with a bipartisan vote of 61-36. We want to thank U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Rob Portman (R-OH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) Thom Tillis (R-NC) & Feinstein (D-CA) for their leadership & support of the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA). Senator Tammy Baldwin stated, "Millions of same-sex & interracial couples made this moment possible by living openly as their authentic selves, changing the hearts & minds of people around them. This legislation will protect the hard-fought progress we’ve made on marriage equality & I look forward to the Respect for Marriage Act becoming the law of the land." President Biden concluded, “With today’s bipartisan Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, the United States is on the brink of reaffirming a fundamental truth: love is love, & Americans should have the right to marry the person they love. For millions of Americans, this legislation will safeguard the rights & protections to which LGBTQI+ & interracial couples & their children are entitled. It will also ensure that, for generations to follow, LGBTQI+ youth will grow up knowing that they, too, can lead full, happy lives & build families of their own. Importantly, the Senate’s passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a bipartisan achievement. I’m grateful to the determined Members of Congress especially Senators Baldwin, Collins, Portman, Sinema, Tillis & Feinstein whose leadership has underscored that Republicans & Democrats together support the essential right of LGBTQI+ & interracial couples to marry. I look forward to welcoming them at the White House after the House passes this legislation & sends it to my desk, where I will promptly & proudly sign it into law." WATCH HISTORIC VIDEO   

World AIDS Day National Observance

In San Francisco the National AIDS Memorial will commemorate World AIDS Day with two powerful events on November 30th & December 1st as the community comes together to remember & celebrate those lost to HIV/AIDS & all who are surviving & thriving today. The programming will focus on “Changing the Pattern for a Future without AIDS.” During the events Cleve Jones founder of the AIDS Memorial Quilt & advocate for health, social & LGBTQ rights will be honored with the National AIDS Memorial Lifetime of Commitment Award. The annual tradition of gathering in the Grove on the eve of World AIDS Day for the National AIDS Memorial’s annual Light in the Grove Gala returns for an evening of light, art, friends & remembrance, immersed in nature on November 30th from 6P to 9:30P. Light in the Grove is attended by over 600 guests who will experience a moving candlelight reflection at the Circle of Friends & then walk through the spectacularly illuminated Redwood Grove featuring artistic performances to a warmly lit event Gala tent. Formal program begins at 7:15P with Cleve Jones being honored. Tickets are still available for this private event with all proceeds supporting the programs of the National AIDS Memorial. Then on Thursday December 1st from 11A to 2P the National AIDS Memorial annual World AIDS Day National Observance will bring together the community for dialogue, fellowship & remembrance at the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park. A few years ago I talked to Cleve Jones in this exclusive audio byte about how AIDS has affected our LGBTQ community.  LISTEN 

Truth About The Kids Online Safety Act

On Monday November 28th dozens of human rights & LGBTQ organizations will be submitting a letter to Majority Leader Schumer, Chairwoman Cantwell & Ranking Member Wicker formally opposing the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA). The letter will explain why this misleading & misrepresented piece of legislation is so dangerous for our LGBTQ community & our country. The Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) will not make kids safer online but instead give enforcement power to attorney generals across the country empowering bad actors like Texas’s Ken Paxton to target any website for having “harmful” content including any & all LGBTQ+ content. This also includes removing info on abortion, sexual wellness, anything mentioning sexuality & resources on dealing healthily with any of the “harmful” content mentioned in the text of the bill. There has been coverage suggesting that Congressional leaders plan to include KOSA in the must-pass omnibus spending bill but not much coverage of the significant concerns with this legislation & opposition from LGBTQ & human rights groups. The list of orgs signing on to oppose this legislation includes the ACLU, GLAAD, Fight for the Future, EFF, Public Knowledge, GLSEN, American Library Association, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Human Trafficking Prevention Project, Ranking Digital Rights, the Tor Project, Wikimedia Foundation & New America’s Open Technology Institute & it's also signed by numerous state & local LGBTQ organizations particularly from states where legislators & attorneys general have attacked LGBTQ rights including Equality Texas, Equality Utah, Trans Ohio, Georgia Equality, OutNebraska, Louisiana Trans Advocates & more. Please call your Senators now to oppose this disastrous bill. 

One Night Only Benefit Cabaret Event

The Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation (REAF) is presenting a special One Night Only Benefit Cabaret featuring cast members from the touring cast of the Tony Award-winning show AIN’T TOO PROUD in “Love’s in Need of Love, Today” with special guest Paula West. This fabulous event takes place Monday November 28th at 7:30P at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater in San Francisco. Kenneth Henderson, Executive Director of the Richmond/Ermet AID Foundation stated, “People think the AIDS epidemic is over & we don't need to pay attention to it anymore. Events like One Night Only Benefit Cabaret serve not only to raise funds for local AIDS services but to remind people that there's still a need for funding them. More people are living with HIV & AIDS than ever before in history.” Kick Off the Holidays with Cast Members from the Broadway Touring Cast of "AIN'T TOO PROUD" in REAF's First "One Night Only" Benefit Cabaret in two years after the Covid pandemic shut this series down. The Tony Award-winning show "AIN'T TOO PROUD" originated in the Bay Area at Berkeley Rep & has been a smash hit around the USA. Based on the story of The Temptations, this electrifying show showcases some of Motown's best music. Joining the cast of this great show will be San Francisco jazz icon Paula West. Tickets are on sale now for this fun & fabulous show so don't want to miss. This is a vaccinated-only event & proof of vaccination will be required to enter. COVID is still spreading & they ask audience members to remain masked when not actively eating or drinking. 

TCM Presents “Boys Don’t Cry" (AUDIO)

This week I talked with filmmaker Kimberly Peirce about her award-winning film “Boys Don’t Cry” that’s featured on the 2nd season of Turner Classic Movies series “Reframed” on Saturday November 26th at 10:15P. “Reframed” addresses famous/classic films that may have been controversial when they were released due to their themes like homophobia, misogyny, racism etc. The series airing throughout November is also taking a look at pioneering LGBTQ films from an historical perspective. Each film is shown along with a discussion from film experts about these issues. Peirce will be co-hosting the show with Ben Mankiewicz who will engage in a conversation about how this 1999 breakthrough film raised awareness to the lives of our transgender community & the discrimination they faced that unfortunately continues today. “Boys Don't Cry” directed by Kimberly & co-written by Peirce & Andy Bienen was inducted into the Library of Congress as a National Treasure in 2020. The film is a dramatization of the real-life story of Brandon Teena played by actress Hilary Swank who won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance. The story is about a trans man who attempts to find love in Nebraska but falls victim to a brutal hate crime perpetrated by two male acquaintances. The film co-stars Chloë Sevigny who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress as Teena's girlfriend Lana Tisdel. The conversation concludes with Mankiewicz & Peirce on Sunday November 27th at 10P when they present the 2005 LGBTQ award winning film “Brokeback Mountain”. I talked to Kimberly about what she hopes to accomplish with her work & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

LGBTQ Leaders React To Club Q Attack

Saturday night at Club Q in Colorado Springs five members of our LGBTQ community were murdered & 18 more were wounded. Our hearts are broken for the lives that were lost, those they leave behind & our entire LGBTQ community having once again to be confronted by another senseless hate crime. Mardi Moore, Executive Director of Out Boulder County in Colorado stated, “While we are no stranger to violence, each time this happens it sends devastating ripples throughout our entire community. We grieve together when one of our LGBTQ siblings is taken from us by violence. We fear for our own safety & the safety of those we know & love. We are angry when anyone is killed because of who we are or who we love, & we lament that political attacks on our community embolden hate & make us all less safe. We rage because this happens far too often & the toll that hatred & violence takes on our community is far too high. Out Boulder County remains committed to improving the lives of LGBTQ people while they are living, fighting like hell to keep them alive & grieving for those we lose.” Dr. David J. Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition concluded, "When ignorance is weaponized to become hate, people suffer. When hate-filled people are without communities that love & support their ability to celebrate diversity, embrace democracy & prioritize mental wellness, they can cause harm—to themselves & others. People die when hateful people have access to guns & live in communities & a country that prioritizes people over weapons of mass destruction. We’ve seen this before & sadly, it will continue to happen until we collectively do better.” We stand in solidarity for the victims of this terrible shooting & their loved ones.

Colorado LGBTQ Community Murdered

As we come together as a community for Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) at least 5 people were murdered & 18 injured in a shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs late last night. Authorities report that the suspect is in custody. This horrific shooting is reflective of the 2016 attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando when a gunman killed 49 people & wounded at least 53 & adds to Colorado being the site of some of the most heinous mass shootings in US history including Columbine High School in 1999 & the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora. We have 2 years to get some substantial gun legislation passed in this country to hinder these senseless killing. As we honor Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) today & this week we remember the transgender & nonbinary lives taken this year by anti-transgender hatred & bigotry. With each life taken our community loses so much. In 2022 at least 32 transgender & nonbinary people have been killed & there were probably more because too often these stories go unreported or misreported. This is a national epidemic especially for our Black & Latinx trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by these fatal acts of violence & no surprise Florida remains the epicenter. As DeSantis ramps up his unrelenting transphobia in state agencies he’s weaponizing for his own political gain by putting the lives of transgender people at risk passing the Transgender Youth Sports Ban & Don’t Say LGBTQ laws to eliminating life-saving healthcare for over 9,000 transgender Floridians on Medicaid & trying to restrict gender-affirming care for trans youth. Now is the time we all need to speak out & act against homophobia, transphobia, racism & hatred of all kinds. 

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Senate Passes Marriage Equality Act

The U.S. Senate has passed the Respect for Marriage Act with a bipartisan vote of 61-36. We want to thank U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)...

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