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"Don’t Say Gay" Bill Returns

Just when you thought it was safe in Tennessee for our LGBT community a Republican lawmaker has again proposed legislation that would prevent teachers from discussing sexuality with their students & it has a homophobic new provision. Senator Stacey Campfield's so–called "Don't Say Gay" bill passed the Senate in 2011 but was not put to a final vote last year. The officially titled "Classroom Protection Act" would "prohibit teachers from discussing of any sexuality except heterosexuality in grades K-8. Now an amendment has been added that has been interpreted as requiring schools to inform a student's parents if the child has engaged in homosexual activity. Can you believe this! Under the new amendment a school counselor, nurse or principal could talk to students about sexuality if a student is "engaging in, or may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health & well- being of the student or another person." Homophobic anti gay Senator Campfield told reporters that he considers the "act of homosexuality" to be dangerous to a child's health & safety. Chris Sanders, Tennessee Equality Project’s (TEP) Nashville Committee Chair stated, “The very existence of this bill sends a bad message about Tennessee at a time when we should look at constructive proposals to make schools safe, welcoming places for all students.” Updates to Come…:)

Shame On Anti Gay UK Bishops

While surfing the net we found this story that Bishops from the Roman Catholic Church of England & Wales have outlined their reasons why gay couples should not get married. This hypocritical homophobic reasoning is enough to make you nauseous but then we read this insightful comment from John Primm of Alexandria, Virginia who stated, “I don't mind these bigoted, hypocritical Catholics having this point of view, but what on Earth makes them think that they are justified in forcing these moronic views on people like me, who do not believe any of the "magic show" religions of this world? All were created to keep the women & poor in line & to make the men rulers of all. I hope that the Catholic Church & Republican Party will have fun as they sit in their retirement homes wondering just how they became such a non-issue. Furthermore, if you need his holy, Nazi pope-ness or any other religious figure's rules to keep you from murdering, stealing, etc- then you're a weak-kneed idiot. I believe in no higher power, but still have the ethics to refrain from causing anyone intentional harm. Even with their pomp & "authority", they can't keep their own from molesting children & their church from raping poor countries from one end of the globe to the other. The very act of persecuting gays should go against everything they believe in. Are they crusading against heterosexual adultery? Child abuse? Divorce? No- and all of these things are just as frowned upon by their "magician/god" as homosexuality is. Religion a la carte'.” You tell them John! Read The Gay Star News article is entitled “Catholic Bishops: Gays make good parents but still must not marry”…..

Gay Ally John Kerry Confirmed

The Senate confirmed Obama’s nomination of Senator John Kerry to be Secretary of State by a vote of 94-3. We know Kerry is a fierce gay ally who will continue to support worldwide equality for our LGBT community but it’s not going to as exciting as it has been with Hillary Clinton. We will miss her. Kerry has spent 28 years in the Senate with an unsuccessful bit for President in 2004, the year gay marriage became the law in Massachusetts. Kerry is expected to give a farewell speech in the Senate on Wednesday & will be sworn in as Hillary’s replacement in a State Department ceremony later this week. As expected Kerry sailed through his confirmation hearing. He actually met no resistance by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. That’s who John Kerry is. We just hope that he will continue to fight for our LGBT community. Only time will tell. Now we have a vacancy in Massachusetts for Senator. Hopefully Republican Scott Brown will not seek the seat. The only thing that concerns me was when Obama blew his debate with Romney his administration blamed it on Kerry. Now he appointed to a top position in the Obama administration. Isn't life fabulous! Updates to Come…:)

Boy Scouts Gay Saga

This has become such a huge story that even mainstream media has kicked off their broadcasts with the breaking news that the Boy Scouts of America are considering lifting their ban on our LGBT community. This development follows a nearly yearlong campaign by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) & Scouts for Equality as well as Change.org petitions signed by more than 1.2 million people calling for an end to this discrimination. This issue was a focal point of last year’s GLAAD Media Awards when Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom & den leader from Ohio who was removed from her 7-year-old's Cub Scout Pack for being gay & Zach Wahls an Eagle Scout raised by 2 gay moms addressed the audience. Wahls who is also founder of Scouts for Equality stated, "This would be an incredible step forward in the right direction. We look forward to working with BSA Councils & chartering organizations across the country to end the exclusion of our gay brothers in Scouting, as well as the gay & lesbian leaders who serve the organizations so well." Chad Griffin President of HRC added, "The pulse of equality is strong in America & today it beats a bit faster with news that the Boy Scouts may finally put an end to its long history of discrimination. Our nation & its leaders respect lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender citizens & it's time the Boy Scouts echo those values." Of course we must mention that the BSA has loss funding by gay friendly companies that has effected this action. According to sources the BSA policy change could come as early as next week. Updates to Come…:)

Paris Rallies For Gay Marriage

Over 125,000 thousand people took to the streets of Paris, France Sunday to rally in support of a government-proposed bill that would legalize gay marriage & adoption. The demonstrators marched from Denfert-Rochereau waving flags & carrying banners. Civil unions have been available since 1999 for gay couples but the provision of the bill that allows adoption is now at the heart of the debate. Last month the anti gay hate mongers protested in a similar march. The homophobes opposed to marriage equality & gay adoption are mostly religious leaders in France convinced that the proposed reform would create psychological & social problems for children. Fortunately a recent survey showed that about 63 per cent of French citizens supported legalizing gay marriage. Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who is openly gay stated, "There is a big difference between today's march & the one two weeks ago, which is that this demonstration is one of brotherhood, not of hatred. The majority of French people want all couples to have equality in love & parenthood." The French government will start debating the bill on Tuesday & it’s predicted to easily pass the Socialist-dominated parliament. When is passes France would become the 12th country in the world to legalize gay marriage as well as the nine states & Washington, DC in the USA. In Massachusetts where gay marriage has been the law since 2004 hundreds rallied in Boston in support of our French LGBT community. Updates to Come...:)


You’ve heard about the massive demonstrations for & against marriage equality in France. Well Boston Pride & GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) announced their sponsorship of “OUI FOR EQUALITY” a rally to be held this Sunday in support of marriage equality in France. The rally will be held outside the Consulate General of France in Boston at 31 St James Ave this Sunday, January 27th from 1-2P. Local chapters of Français du Monde - ADFE (an association for French expatriates) & the French Socialist Party will attend. Sylvain Bruni, a board member at Français du Monde & himself a French citizen stated,, “It is great to see such a coalition of organizations come together in Boston in support of global equality & international human rights. Marriage equality in France will have a resounding effect on the scores of French-American LGBT couples, so we are glad to have such a strong local community backing.”   The French government & parliament are currently working on a Marriage Equality bill which will allow LGBT couples the right to marry & adopt children. While anti-gay forces have shown great determination & have chosen to adopt a homophobic position, marriage equality proponents will rally everywhere in France this Sunday in support of the continuation of the French legislative work so that all couples may be granted the same rights: marriage, adoption, recognition of bi-national filiation. French expatriates around the world are expected to organize rallies as well. Massachusetts was the first state in America to pass marriage equality in 2004. Participants in Sunday’s rally are encouraged to wear red or pink for increased visibility at the event. Warm beverages will be available. See You There!
Updates to Come…:)

LGBT & Women Military Equality

Gay Marriage Bill PASSES Rhode Island House 51-19!
On to the Senate....Updates to Come...:)
Now that we’re about to have full equality for women in the military wouldn’t it be great if that extended for our gay & lesbian service members & their families as well. It’s so interesting what executive orders can be made & what falls short when it comes to our LGBT community. Now that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has used his authority to lift the ban on women in combat let’s called on him to exercise his leadership in the final days of his term to take decisive action on behalf of the nation’s gay & lesbian service members & their families. OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson stated, “Secretary Panetta rightly acknowledged the service & sacrifice of so many brave women in our military & affirmed that being fit for combat has nothing to do with gender - just as it has nothing to do with sexual orientation. We thank the Secretary for his leadership in ending this antiquated exclusion & taking an important & historic step forward.” OutServe-SLDN has called on Panetta repeatedly during his tenure to take action on extending recognition, support & benefits to the families of gay & lesbian service members. Robinson added, “After nearly two years of unnecessary & unexplained delay, it’s likewise time for Secretary Panetta to acknowledge & affirm the service & sacrifice of the gay & lesbian military families - who may now serve openly but are still anything but equal - by immediately extending all benefits within his authority under existing law.” Updates to Come…:)

Rhode Island Gay Marriage Vote

Gay Marriage Bill PASSES Rhode Island House 51-19!
On to the Senate....Updates to Come...:)
Tuesday on the heel of Obama’s historic LGBT inclusive inaugural speech the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee unanimously endorsed gay marriage. The panel’s chairwoman state Representative Edith Ajello stated, ‘‘Many of us have been waiting for this for a number of years. This is truly a historic moment.’’ Now it’s headed to the state House of Representatives for debate & a vote on Thursday. As 2012 came to a close Maine joined Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont & New Hampshire in allowing all loving couples to express their commitment through marriage. If the Rhode Island gay marriage bill passes that would make all the states of New England a gay marriage zone. Lee Swislow Executive Director of GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) stated, “GLAD is working closely with Marriage Equality Rhode Island & other coalition partners to ensure this bill is signed into law this year so that gay & lesbian Rhode Islanders will have the freedom to marry the person they love in the state they call home”. Openly gay House Speaker Gordon Fox had called for a vote in his chamber on gay marriage by the end of January. Fox dropped similar legislation 2 years ago after it became apparent the legislation would not pass the Senate. Lawmakers instead approved civil unions for gay couples. Governor Lincoln Chafee a gay marriage supporter praised Tuesday’s committee vote as ‘‘another significant step forward toward marriage equality.’’ Updates to Come…:)

Obama Addresses LGBT Equality

Here we are in 2013 nine years since gay marriage became the law in Massachusetts & finally Obama made history in his inaugural address by including the word "gay" & the issue of LGBT equality for the first time in his speech at the presidential swearing in. Obama stated, "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers & sisters are treated like anyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well." I wonder when he'll be brave enough to use the word "lesbian". He also included & compared the riots of Stonewall in 1969 to the first women's rights convention held in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1848 & the civil rights march in Selma, Ala., in 1965 stating, "We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls & Selma & Stonewall; just as it guided all those men & women, sung & unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth." With the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” & gay marriage headed to the Supreme Court in March our LGBT community has come a long way in the Obama administration but as ENDA the Employment Nondiscrimination Act remains buried in Congress we’re reminded that we still have a long way to go. Updates to Come…:)

Gay Veteran Inaugural Honor

Just to show how far our LGBT community has advanced since Obama’s last inaugural David Hall a former Air Force Sergeant discharged under the repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law & now Director of Development at OutServe-SLDN has been chosen as one of eight Americans to serve as “citizen co-chairs” at President Barack Obama’s inauguration taking place this weekend in Washington DC. The eight individuals highlight the President’s first-term accomplishments. Hall stated, “This is certainly the honor of a lifetime & I am grateful to President Obama for his leadership in repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ so that no qualified American who wants to serve this country in uniform will never again be denied that right simply because they are gay or lesbian.” Hall joined the seven others in the National Day of Service on Saturday that kicked off the inaugural events over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. He will attend the swearing-in ceremony Monday & along with the other co-chairs will ride on an inaugural parade float highlighting the inaugural theme of “Our People: Our Future.” Monday evening he will attend the official inaugural balls. Following his discharge under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Hall became a plaintiff in Servicemembers Legal Defense Network 's constitutional challenge to the government's ban on open service. Congrats David!! Updates to Come...:)

Lesbian Dance Party For Prevention

The 15th Annual Lesbians & Friends Dance: A Party for Prevention takes place Tonight Saturday January 19th. The event is a benefit for the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC), the state’s leading breast cancer organization with the unique goal of breast cancer prevention. Breast cancer knows no bounds. It affects all ages, races, genders & sexualities. Since their inception MBCC has worked toward breast cancer prevention for everyone. The MBCC has been conducting education, outreach & advocacy since 1991.This first great party of the year takes place on Saturday January 19th from 8:30P -12:30A at Brookline’s Holiday Inn at 1200 Beacon Street in Brookline, MA. To celebrate the 15th year of this fabulous dance event Attorney Susan Wilson the event's founder will be honored. DJ Maryalice is back this year by popular demand & she will be performing with DJ Ann Rogers for the first time in 2013. Other event highlights include a silent auction, complimentary hors d’oeuvres & a cash bar. This year’s event is sponsored by Strong Financial Group, Kaufman Crozier LLP, LesbianNightLife, Fenway Health, Geraldine Davis, Lisa J. Drapkin & Debbie Lewis, Eastern Bank, Law Offices of Susan Wilson, InMed Diagnostic Services, Wilson, Marino, Bonnevie Legal Counsel, Wade Horowitz LaPointe LLC, BOSE, Fuse Landscaping Group, Hi Line Cruises, Cardi’s Furniture, Boston Spirit Magazine & Homoground. Tickets are $40 in advance & $45 at the door. Current students can purchase tickets for $20 in advance & $25 at the door with a valid student ID.
For More Info: mbcc.org or call 617.376.6222

Transgender Equal Access Rally

Action Day for Transgender Equal Access is today with a rally at the State House in Boston, Massachusetts from 11A-1P. The Commonwealth's current nondiscrimination laws do not include protections for transgender people in public accommodation settings. GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) is working with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition & the entire Transgender Equal Rights Coalition to ensure such protections are added as quickly as possible. In Massachusetts the Transgender Equal Rights Bill went into effect last July. Though this meant that first time in the state’s history transgender people are now included in the state’s civil rights laws the bill did not include public accommodation protections. What this means is that the bill doesn’t protect transgender people in public spaces such as subways, hotel lobbies, gas stations, coffee shops & hospitals. Transgender youth & adults far too often encounter unfair treatment, denial of services, mocking or hostile language & threats of harm when accessing these public services. This will be the first community action to educate legislators about the necessity of public accommodations protections. All transgender people & allies are encouraged to attend & meet with their legislators to ask for co-sponsorship for the Equal Access to Public Accommodations bill. The rally will take place today Thursday, January 17th from 11A – 1P at the Massachusetts State House Suite 167 Beacon St in Boston. You can join at anytime but do attend is possible. Updates to Come…:) For More Info: masstpc.org 

Hagel Commits to Gay Benefits

Former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel nominated to become Secretary of Defense sent a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in which he voices his support for gay & lesbian military families stating, “I fully support the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 & value the service of all those who fight for our country. I know firsthand the profound sacrifice our service members & their families make & if confirmed as Secretary of Defense, I will do everything possible to the extent permissible under current law to provide equal benefits to the families of all our service members.” Army Veteran & OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson stated, "Senator Hagel’s commitment is a turning point for our gay & lesbian military families. His promise to grant these service members the family benefits they have earned demonstrates his deepening grasp of the injustice currently being done to them.” OutServe-SLDN has been calling on the Pentagon for nearly two years to take action on benefits that may be provided to gay & lesbian military families, even as the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) drags on. An August 2011 letter to Secretary Leon Panetta provided a comprehensive list of these benefits. Updates to Come…:)

Hunter Valentine New MTV Video

Our favorite lesbian rock band Hunter Valentine's new music video "Liar, Liar" has been officially added as one of the five competing videos on MTVU Freshman. If “Liar Liar” wins Hunter Valentine will get a regular rotation on MTVU & that’s 20-25 plays a week. While the contest is going on the video will play on "The Freshman 5" show on MTVU. Let's make sure our favorite Lesbian band takes the prize home. The video was directed & produced by Kevin Custer. Check it OUT & VOTE :) Let's make sure our favorite Lesbian band Wins!
Voting Guidelines & Video…  
NOTE: Please No Voting Bots. You’ll be disqualified.
Coming off starring in Season 3 of Showtime's hit reality series The Real L Word no one can deny the momentum behind rockers Hunter Valentine. Currently the band is on their West Coast Tour:
1/15/13 - Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades, 1/16/13 - Reno, NV @ Knitting Factory, 1/18/13 - Portland, OR @ Roseland, 1/19/13 - Seattle, WA @ The Showbox at Market, 1/21/13 - Spokane, WA @ The Knitting Factory, 1/23/13 - Boise, ID @The Knitting Factory, 1/25/13 - Salt Lake City, UT @The Depot, 1/26/13 - Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre, 1/29/13 - Sauget, IL @Pop's, 1/30/13 - Fayetteville, AR @ George's Majestic Lounge, 2/1/13 - Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live, 2/1/13 - Dallas, TX @ Trees & 6/6/13 - Indianapolis, IN @ Talbott Street Nightclub Updates to Come…:)
Last November we talked to lead singer/guitarist Kiyomi McCloskey, Laura Petracca, bassist Veronica "Vero" Sanchez & newest member lead guitarist Aimee Bessada in this exclusive audio interview:

Jodie Foster Finally Comes Out

A funny thing happened at the Golden Globe Awards. Jodie Foster finally came out. After she was awarded the Cecile B. DeMille Award for outstanding contribution to entertainment she gave one of the most emotionally honest & eloquent acceptance speeches in Golden Globes history. Foster stated, “So while I’m here being all confessional, I guess I have a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never really been able to air in public. So, a declaration that I’m a little nervous about but maybe not quite as nervous as my publicist right now, huh Jennifer? But I’m just going to put it out there, right? Loud & proud, right? So I’m going to need your support on this. I am single. Yes I am, I am single. No, I’m kidding — but I mean I’m not really kidding, but I’m kind of kidding. I mean, thank you for the enthusiasm. Can I get a wolf whistle or something? [Audio is silent for seven seconds] be a big coming-out speech tonight because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family & co-workers & then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met. But now I’m told, apparently that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance & a prime-time reality show.” Of course what to know is what happened during those seven seconds NBC decided to mute her audio. But just think what a fabulous role model she will continue to be for out LGBT community...:)
Congrats Jodie!! Read Full Speech…. 

Anti Gay Inaugural Déjà Vu

It’s inaugural pastor déjà vu. Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta who was the evangelical pastor chosen to give the benediction at Obama's inauguration withdrew from the ceremony after anti gay remarks surfaced that he made two decades ago condemning our LGBT community. At that time Giglio cited scripture & called gay relationships sinful & an abomination. He warned congregants about what he called the "aggressive agenda" for acceptance of the "homosexual lifestyle" & he recommended the writings of a homophobic advocate for conversion. Remember Obama faced a similar situation in 2009 when he chose anti gay pastor Rick Warren. Homophobic Warren had compared gay relationships to incest & pedophilia. He had also urged congregants at his Saddleback Church in California to support the Prop 8 the ban on gay marriage on the 2008 state ballot that’s headed to the U.S. Supreme Court in March. However in that scenario despite pressure from our LGBT leaders for Warren to bow out the pastor gave the benediction. They compromised by having Bishop Gene Robinson participating in the inaugural festivities that were presented off camera. Addie Whisenant, a spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee stated, “We were not aware of Pastor Giglio's past comments at the time of his selection & they don't reflect our desire to celebrate the strength & diversity of our country at this inaugural.”Updates to Come...:)

Ft. Bragg Gay Spouses Update

This is a small step in a positive direction. The Marines on Fort Bragg are now requiring that spouses’ clubs on military installations must include LGBT families in order to remain on military bases. The orders issued are the latest reaction to a month-long controversy surrounding the exclusion of Ashley Broadway, a military spouse at Fort Bragg, NC, from the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses. In December we reported that the group refused membership to Broadway alleging that her lack of a military ID card made her ineligible. Broadway, a lesbian spouse, is not permitted to receive a military ID card under current Pentagon regulations which all stems back to DOMA. The Marine Corps action goes significantly further than anything Ft. Bragg or the Army has done to correct these issues. So now gay & lesbian spouses just need to show their marriage license to gain access to the clubs & it will allow the spouses access to Fort Bragg without going through the inspection lane. However it will not allow shopping privileges at the commissary nor any other service granted to military dependents. The passes are Fort Bragg specific & will not be honored at other installations of government facilities. There is no indication that the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses will grant membership based on this “Friends” pass.
Updates to Come…:)

PFLAG Founder Jeanne Manford Dies

We were sad to hear from PFLAG National Executive Director, Jody Huckaby that Jeanne Manford, the founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays) & the Mother of the Straight Ally movement had died at 92. Huckaby stated, “Jeanne was one of the fiercest fighters in the battle for acceptance & equality for LGBT people. It is truly humbling to imagine in 1972 - just 40 years ago - a simple schoolteacher started this movement of family & ally support, without benefit of any of the technology that today makes a grassroots movement so easy to organize. No Internet. No cellphones. Just a deep love for her son and a sign reading “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support for Our Children.” This simple & powerful message of love & acceptance from one person resonated so strongly it was heard by millions of people worldwide and led to the founding of PFLAG, an organization with more than 350 chapters across the U.S. & 200,000 members & supporters & the creation of similar organizations across the globe. Jeanne’s work was called “the story of America…of ordinary citizens organizing, agitating, educating for change, of hope stronger than hate, of love more powerful than any insult or injury,” in a speech by President Barack Obama in 2009. All of us - people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & straight allies alike - owe Jeanne our gratitude. We are all beneficiaries of her courage. Jeanne Manford proved the power of a single person to transform the world. She paved the way for us to speak out for what is right, uniting the unique parent, family & ally voice with the voice of LGBT people everywhere.” Rest In Peace....

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