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Happy LGBT New Year 2013

This is it another year ends as the New Year begins. It’s a moment to reflect on 2012 & think about what 2013 will bring. For our LGBT community it’s been a very positive year. Gay marriage passed by a popular vote in the states of Washington, Maine & Maryland where marriage equality begins at the stroke of midnight. We have DOMA & Prop 8 headed to the U. S. Supreme Court in the coming year & the possibility of gay marriage passing in Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota & Rhode Island. Of course we still have plenty of opposition from the homophobes especially Pope Bias leading the Vatican. For OUTTAKE VOICES we’ve had some amazing interviews in 2012 & 2013 is looking like another fruitful year for our audio interview series on Huff Post & OUTTAKE VOICES. We will continue to report all the LGBT news that is changing our world & thank all our contributors from the bottom of our heart. We want to wish our entire global audience the best in 2013 & to continue to have great success & happiness in the upcoming year. Remember to Play Safe & Have a Fabulous New Year!!

Gay Marriage Begins in Maine

Gay marriage began in Maine at midnight Saturday morning. In Massachusetts we know how very moving this is for our LGBT neighbors in The Pine Tree State. Couples turned out in their wedding finery with rings & flowers to exchange wedding vows early this morning as Maine's gay marriage law went into effect at midnight. Steven Bridges & Michael Snell became the first in line & they received cheers from more than 200 people waiting outside after they wed in the clerk's office. Bridges a retail manager who's been in a relationship with the Snell a massage therapist, for nine years stated, "We've waited our entire lives for this." They wore lavender & purple carnations on black T-shirts with the words "Love is Love." Voters in Maine, Maryland & Washington State voted to pass gay marriage in November becoming the first states to do so by popular vote. Gay marriage is already legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont & the District of Columbia but as we know those laws were either enacted by lawmakers or through court rulings. In Maine Gov. Paul LePage signed off on the certified election results on Nov. 29th so the new law went into effect 30 days from that date. The law already is in effect in Washington State & Maryland's takes effect on Tuesday the first day of 2013. Hopefully DOMA the Defense of Marriage Act will be overturned by the Supreme U.S. Court in 2013 so our LGBT legally married couples will receive the 1,138 federal rights & protections that heterosexual couples receive. Congrats to All Our LGBT Newlyweds in Maine!! Updates to Come …:)

Gay Marriage Leaps & Bounds (Audio)

This has been an amazing year for our LGBT community. Obama declared his support for marriage equality & gay marriage passed in Washington, Maryland & Maine. Tammy Baldwin became the first lesbian elected to the U.S. Senate & DOMA is finally headed for the United States Supreme Court. In Massachusetts the transgender rights bill went into effect & GLAD published "Transgender Family Law," a resource book to help lawyers be better advocates for transgender clients. In the next few months campaigns are gearing up to pass marriage equality in the state legislatures of Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota & Rhode Island. So when you get those emails from LGBT orgs for a year-end gift please give generously if you can because 2013 may not be a big election year but we must keep moving forward for LGBT Equality. As Kate Clinton stated in this exclusive audio interview, “There’s a lot of things that still need work on & I think we can certainly keep pushing for marriage equality on the federal level. But, I think that we still have a lot of work to do on immigration, a lot of work to do on HIV/AIDS, a lot of work to pass ENDA, a trans inclusive ENDA because in so many states they don’t have non discrimination laws.”
Listen to Kate Clinton’s Full 2012/13 Audio Interview:

Have An Oh So Gay XMAS (Video)

It snowed a little last night leaving Boston with a White Christmas!! MERRY XMAS EVERYONE!!
We just want to thank our global LGBT audience & allies for making this past year so rewarding for our OUTTAKE Team. We wish all our friends & family a healthy & happy holiday. So Make the Yule-tide gay & enjoy this performance of Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" a song she introduced in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis written by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane. We’ve included the lyrics so you can all sing along. HAVE A SAFE & FABULOUS XMAS!!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Let your heart be light From now on, our troubles will be out of sight. Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Make the Yule-tide gay, From now on, our troubles will be miles away. Here we are as in olden days, Happy golden days of yore. Faithful friends who are dear to us Gather near to us once more. Through the years We all will be together, If the Fates allow Hang a shining star upon the highest bough. And have yourself A merry little Christmas now. OUTTAKE VOICES™ NOW ON HUFFINGTON POST...:)
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Sam Champion Weds Rubem Robierb

There’s something very significant when the Weekend Edition of “ABC World News” closes out their show with the announcement that ABC News weatherman & "Good Morning America" anchor Sam Champion married his partner Rubem Robierb Friday night. They described it as an intimate ceremony attended by his fellow anchors including Robin Roberts who is recovering after a bone marrow transplant. We really have come along way in a short time to announce & celebrate this gay marriage on national television. This is so much more news worthy & positive than reporting on how homophobic the Vatican’s anti gay marriage rants have been this XMAS season. Champion's marriage has become one of the county's most high-profile same-gender unions. New York State Supreme Court Justice George J. Silver conducted the ceremony that took place in Champion's Manhattan apartment. Roberts read a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Champion & Robierb met through mutual friends several years ago in Miami, where Robierb lives. Born in Brazil, Robierb is an artist who shows his work in Miami, Atlanta, Santa Monica & New York. We announced their engagement in October. They're planning a larger party & celebration over New Years in Miami. Congrats Sam & Rubem!! Updates to Come..:)

For XMAS 'Musical Chairs' Free Stream

Just in time for the holidays MUSICAL CHAIRS the new Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan) XMAS feature film is now being streamed for free now through Dec 31st. We loved this movie that just screened at The Havana Film Festival with rave reviews! Recently we talked with Laverne Cox, actress, producer & transgender advocate who appears in MUSICAL CHAIRS. Keith Uhlich of “Time Out” wrote, “You leave remembering Laverne Cox’s galvanizing mettle as a paraplegic transsexual who befriends Mia.” This must-see XMAS treat is a unique blend of dance, drama & romance starring newcomers Leah Pipes & E.J. Bonilla as a pair of unlikely lovers in contemporary New York who must face a number of challenges both separately & together before finding one another & themselves. Also appearing is Tony-winner Priscilla Lopez, Jaime Tirelli, Morgan Spector, Auti Angel, Jerome Preston Bates, Nelson R. Landrieu & Angelic Zambrana. We talked to Laverne about the film, the GLAAD National Campaign "I AM: Trans People Speak" co-sponsored by The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition that she is involved with & her spin on our LGBT issues in this exclusive audio interview
Stream 'Musical Chairs' For Free Here…. 

The Truth About THE END (Audio)

We’re headed to Gloucester to celebrate the Winter Solstice with our favorite spiritual visionary Richard Emmanuel on this day the world is predicted to end according to the Mayan calendar. We actually did an entire episode dedicated to this topic in 2009. You can listen to the full audio interview below. There are so many theories from Armageddon & Doomsday predictions to a Religious Apocalypse. Hollywood provided a major disaster film 2012 if you believe in that theory. The government has prepared for this event by launching millions of dollars worth of satellites to monitor the Sun. They’ve also spent millions to mortify equipment to withstand a possible solar blackout. Ancient Mayan astronomers were aware of this rare alignment of the Earth, Sun & center of the Milky Way on the winter solstice December 21, 2012. According to this belief, the alignment is tied to the precession of the equinoxes & signals a transition from one world age to another. It also marks the end of their calendar. A New Age interpretation of this transition suggests that during this time, the planet & its inhabitants may undergo a physical or spiritual transformation rather than an Armageddon. Exacerbating this issue is a virtual deluge of often-confusing & overwhelming information. Emmanuel brings clarity to the 2012 phenomenon by addressing the emotional & physical ramifications it could have on our changing world. Happy Solstice!!  
Listen to 2009 Audio Interview with Rev Richard Emmanuel:

Audio Interview Length: 14:27

Newt Gingrich For Gay Marriage

Now we have Newt Gingrich becoming the latest Republican to come out for gay marriage in his own strange words. Saying that the issue of gay marriage "is in every family & community & that momentum is clearly now in the direction in finding some way to...accommodate & deal with reality." Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is the latest leading Republican to strongly suggest that the GOP reconcile itself to the freedom to marry. R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director stated, "Log Cabin Republicans welcome former Speaker Newt Gingrich's remarks calling for a Republican reality check on marriage. Gingrich speaks for many Republicans who are concerned about our party's future & who are ready to accept the freedom to marry matters to many Americans, gay & straight. As Gingrich noted, LGBT people are part of every family & every community & the time has come for greater inclusion. It is particularly important & welcome to hear that Gingrich now understands the difference between church ceremonies & a civil marriage license & that equality is no threat to religious freedom." Of course we feel that religious freedom had nothing to do with his decision. It really falls under the category of most likely never running for public office again so therefore it’s safe for him to join the right side of history on this issue & support marriage equality. Or perhaps his gay half sister Candace Gingrich-Jones got through to him that love is love.

HRC Joins The Dinah 2013

 With Prop 8 headed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization is joining forces with Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend, in Palm Springs California, the nation’s largest lesbian event. HRC is coming onboard as a full sponsor at the upcoming 23rd Anniversary of the largest lesbian event in the world April 3-7, 2013 in Palm Springs. Embracing the “party with a purpose” philosophy for more than two decades, Mariah Hanson, founder & promoter of Club Skirts presents The Dinah, which has relentlessly travailed to support LGBT rights. As a national sponsor of the Human Rights Campaign’s Her HRC program, HRC will be hosting a special soiree during the weekend giving Dinah goers the opportunity to meet, mingle, network & celebrate with their favorite celebrities & “celesbians” & get involved with the HRC team in attendance. Mariah Hanson, Founder & Promoter stated, “I am proud to name HRC as the charity we showcase at The Dinah 2013. Their work in securing our civil rights is as always to be applauded. I look forward to helping them gain more visibility with our unique Dinah demographic. HRC was open to creating visibility in a fun way. HRC gift items will be thrown from the stage during the weekend & we are creating a high profile celebrity poker tournament on Saturday night, with all proceeds going to HRC.” Club Skirts involvement with HRC extends beyond the actual Dinah Shore Weekend. Effective immediately, Club Skirts has generously donated an exclusive VIP package valued at $2500 to be raffled off at all Her HRC events around the country leading up to the Dinah. Updates & Interviews To Come…:)
For More Info: thedinah.com 

“Keep The Lights On” Director Ira Sachs

In October we interviewed Director Ira Sachs about his new film KEEP THE LIGHTS ON that premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival & received the Teddy Award for Best Queer Film at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival. The film has been currently playing theaters throughout North America & returns to New York’s Cinema Village at 22 East 12th Street on Friday, December 21st. This is a special event with Sachs participating in a Q & A Friday & Saturday evenings. The film chronicles an emotionally & sexually charged journey of two men in New York City through love, friendship & addiction. Documentary filmmaker Erik (Thure Lindhardt) & closeted lawyer Paul (Zachary Booth, Damages) meet through a casual encounter but soon find a deeper connection & become a couple. Fueled by drugs & sex their decade-long relationship is defined by highs, lows & dysfunctional patterns as Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries and dignity while being true to himself. For his lead performance, Thure Lindhardt received a nomination for "Best Breakthrough Actor" at the Gotham Independent Film Awards.
We talked to Ira about his deeply personal film & issues facing our LGBT community in this Exclusive Audio Interview:

LGBT Out Music Awards Winners

The 8th Annual Out Music Awards took place on Sunday December 16th at the PH Live Theater located in Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas with top notch recording artists taking the stage to perform & celebrate LGBT Music Culture & Heritage. Artists ranging across musical genres gave stellar performances sending a united message of that music is music, love is for everyone & that freedom of expression is our inalienable rights. Performances by the Las Vegas Mass Choir, Bishop Yvette Flunder, Diana King, Frenchie Davis, Vicci Martinez, B Slade, SoniA, Jason Walker, Raye 6, Cocoa Sarai, Jeffery Straker, Love Darling, Rainbow Noise, LiKWUiD, Marck Angel and Blu Nyle closed the show! The host of the show Ms. Lilian McMorris was stunning & led the evening of performers & presenters with her impeccable stage presence & poise.
Best Alternative Song: Winner - Love Darling - "Let Go"
Best Rock Song: Winner - Vicci Martinez - "Come Along" feat Cee Lo Green
Best Pop Song: Winner - Todd Alsup - "The Only Thing"
Best Hip-Hop/Rap Song: Winner - KIN4Life "It's Over Now"
Best R&B/Soul Song - (Tie) Winner - Nhojj - "Live Your Life" Winner - B Slade - "I'm Done" (feat. Yummy Bingham)
Best Dance/Electronica: Winner - Frenchie Davis - "Loves Got A Hold On Me"
Best Folk/Country: Winner - Antigone Rising - "Everywhere Is Home"
Best Song On A Soundtrack/Instrumental: Winner - Mark Barnes - "Gabby's Song" (A Tribute To Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords)
Single of the Year: Winner - Matt Zarley - "Change Begins With Me"
Video of the Year: Winner - Jeffery Straker - "Slings and Arrows"
Album of the Year: Winner - Matt Zarley - "Change Begins With Me"
Best Jazz/Cabaret Song: Winner- Avi Wisnia - "Maoz Tsur (Rock of Ages)
For More Winners & Info: outmusicawards.com 
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Huge Gay Marriage Rally In Paris

Sunday in Paris, France it’s estimated 60,000 to 150,000 people peacefully marched in support of marriage equality. They carried banners reading "A Gay Marriage Is Better Than A Sad One" or "Single, Free in Solidarity" & the words "equality" & "choice". The march consisted of gay & lesbian couples, children & allies. They all showed their support for the Socialist government's plan to legalize same-gender marriage & adoptions in France. French President Francois Hollande said he would enact his "marriage for everyone" plan within a year of coming to power in May. The text will go to parliament next month. Of course France also has its homophobic religious leaders & politicians in rural areas dividing the country over whether gay couples should be "given" the same rights. You would think that France would already have marriage equality in place but it just shows how homophobes exist everywhere. Hopefully LGBT civil rights will come to France soon. In this country with our state-by-state outdated policy perhaps after marriage equality reaches the U.S. Supreme Court in the Spring a positive ruling will expedite LGBT equality in America. Just remember that slavery was also a state-by-state process. In this exclusive audio byte syndicated Afro-American religion columnist Reverend Irene Monroe addresses this concern:
Listen to Full Audio Interview....OUTTAKE VOICES™ NOW ON HUFFINGTON POST...:)
Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™
View Our Historic Short Trailer on Gay Marriage

Pink Martini Plays Carnegie Hall

We’re headed down to NYC to see our favorite band Pink Martini perform at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops. The sold out holiday concert features songs from the band’s best-selling album, Joy to the World. The New York Pops openly gay Music Director & Conductor Steven Reineke will be joined by Thomas Lauderdale on piano, vocals by China Forbes, Gavin Bondy, trumpet, guitarist Dan Faehnle, bassist Phil Baker, Nicholas Crosa on violin, cellist Pansy Chang, Maureen Love on harp, Timothy Nishimoto, vocals & percussion, Brian Lavern Davis on congas, drums & percussion with Derek Rieth on congas, bongos & percussion & Anthony Jones on drums & percussion. Of course there will be special guest artists including Myrlie Evers-Williams the widow of Medgar Evers who was assassinated in 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi. At the age of 79, 60 years after she put the dream aside to work for civil rights in America, she's going to make her Carnegie Hall debut. She actually studied to be a classical pianist. We’ll be staying with the band & of course attending the after-party. This concert is especially important to me since my partner Marilyn Rosen booked it. We’ll have all the details & dish next week. Updates to Come…:)

LGBT Discrimination At Fort Bragg

UPDATE: (WASHINGTON DC) Amid national controversy surrounding its denial of membership to a lesbian military spouse, the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses released a statement indicating it would address the issue at a board meeting next month…:)
We are thrilled that DOMA is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court but in the meantime our LGBT community is discriminated against in so many ways, especially in the military. Army Veteran & OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson has reached out to fellow West Point graduate & Fort Bragg Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn as speculation mounts that a gay military spouse is being discriminated against by the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses. Ashley Broadway the legally married lesbian spouse of an active duty Army Lieutenant Colonel was denied membership made public in an open letter Broadway wrote to the Association’s leadership. Since then the Association reportedly changed its web site to reflect a requirement not previously included in its bylaws in an apparent attempt to justify its exclusion of Broadway. Robinson stated, “The facts here are simple: there is no legal need or justification for any spouse to be excluded from a group like this, which exists to provide support to the spouses & families of our military men & women & the communities they serve. Though the organization operates on Ft. Bragg with permission from the Commanding General, the group is not formally affiliated with the military & is not required to bar membership to Ashley. In the absence of a reply from the Association, we are left with no option but to reach out to the base’s leadership. General Allyn needs to know if there is discrimination happening against the military families in his community.” As a private, non-profit organization not governed by laws that apply to the federal government, there is no legal basis - such as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) - that would require same-gender military spouses to be excluded from the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses. Robinson added that there are many such organizations on bases across the U.S. & around the world where LGBT families have been included & welcomed since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in September 2011. Updates to Come…:)

LGBT Inclusion At University of Iowa

Campus Pride commends the University of Iowa for becoming the first public institution & the second & largest, U.S. institution of higher education to ask students demographic questions on sexual orientation & gender identity in college admissions. Campus Pride is the nation’s leading educational organization for student leaders & campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students is praising the decision by administrators at the University of Iowa in Iowa City for including optional questions about students’ sexual orientation & gender identity in their college admission application. Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride Executive Director stated, "The move by University of Iowa administrators to include these specific LGBT identity questions represent a growing paradigm shift in higher education to actively recognize out LGBT youth populations & to exercise greater responsibility for LGBT student safety, retention & academic success. For the first time, a major, public & national research university has taken efforts to identify their LGBT students from the very first moment those students have official contact with them. This is definite progress in the right direction — & deserves praise."
The new college admission application asks an optional question—"Do you identify with the LGBTQ Community?" — & offers "Transgender" as an additional gender option. The questions will be used to determine incoming students’ needs, track retention rates, potential interest in campus programs & to offer support resources. The optional identity question appears with other optional questions asking students about family connections to the university, parents’ educational background, interest in ROTC programs & interest in fraternities & sororities. GO IOWA!!

U.S. Supreme Court & Edie Windsor

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in United States v. Windsor challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) we have a new hero in Edith "Edie" Windsor. In 2007 Edie Windsor & Thea Spyer, residents of New York were married in Toronto, Ontario after being together for 40 years. Windsor had achieved the highest technical rank as a software programmer at IBM & Spyer a clinical psychologist met in the 1960s. In 2009 Thea Spyer died of multiple sclerosis. This was before gay marriage passed in New York but at that time New York legally recognized gay marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Because of DOMA Windsor, 83, was forced to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes. Of course if Spyer had been married to a man instead of a woman no estate tax would have been owed. Since this is totally unconstitutional Windsor sued the U.S. government for a refund. Windsor stated, "When Thea & I met nearly 50 years ago, we never could have dreamed that the story of our life together would be before the Supreme Court as an example of why gay married couples should be treated equally, & not like second-class citizens. While Thea is no longer alive, I know how proud she would have been to see this day. The truth is, I never expected any less from my country." In October the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in an opinion by Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs, held that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional as applied to Windsor. Arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court are likely to take place in March 2013. Windsor is represented by attorneys from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; the American Civil Liberties Union; the New York Civil Liberties Union & the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. Updates to Come…:)

Arcus Grants 50K to Gay Military Org

The Fabulous Arcus Foundation announced a grant of $50,000 to Out-Serve-SLDN, the global association of actively-serving LGBT U.S. military personnel, to support the leadership of Allyson Robinson, the association’s newly-appointed executive director. The grant is the first of a number of “New Leadership” grants the Foundation plans to make in support of promising social justice leaders & their work. The one-time grants will be an element in a larger initiative that Arcus will launch in 2013 to advance the caliber, diversity & effectiveness of social justice leadership. The initiative is intended to support the leaders’ ability to reach out to key partners, build effective alliances & realize professional development. Kevin Jennings, Arcus Foundation’s Executive Director stated, “Investments in leadership are key to the success of any movement & that is why we decided to complement our grantmaking work with these ‘New Leadership ‘ grants. As a soldier, activist & minister, Allyson Robinson has already made extraordinary contributions to our country and to the world. In her new role at OutServe-SLDN, she has a tremendous opportunity for make further positive impact & this grant is intended to help her maximize that potential.” Now if Arcus would support OUTTAKE VOICES we’d be in a position to complete with mainstream media at a time that it’s crucial that our stories be heard. Updates to Come…:)

Katy Perry Champions LGBT Youth

UPDATE: The United States Supreme Court announced that it will hear arguments in United States v. Windsor which challenges the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Court also granted a hearing to Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to California’s Proposition 8. Arguments before the Court are likely to take place in March 2013. Updates to Come…:)
The Trevor Project honored international super star Katy Perry with the Trevor Hero Award at “Trevor Live” in Los Angeles. This high-profile annual event benefits the life-saving, life-affirming work of The Trevor Project which provides crisis intervention & suicide prevention services to LGBTQ teens & young adults. Katy Perry stated, “I am so proud to be honored by The Trevor Project as a Trevor Hero. I hope all LGBTQ youth know that they are as valuable as anyone else, that they are amazing & unique & make the world a more vibrant place. Trevor’s life-saving, life-affirming work helps youth find the future they deserve. I want every young person to choose to have a tomorrow & to dream for the future. And if they don’t get to hear it enough, I hope they know that they can pick up the phone to call the Trevor Lifeline, or log on and talk to someone on TrevorChat. It’s okay to ask for help. You are worth it. Make a pledge to yourself to get help if you need it, because we need you in our lives.” LGBTQ teens are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers & every day The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free & confidential lifeline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources & advocacy. The Trevor Project has been honored by the White House as a Champion of Change as a leader & innovator in suicide prevention.
 For More Info & Video: TheTrevorProject.org

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