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Monday, June 25, 2007


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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Gay pride parade in Toronto

Gay pride parade in Toronto:-
TORONTO — Thousands of people lined downtown Toronto’s streets Sunday afternoon to enjoy the city’s Pride Parade, Canada’s largest gay pride celebration.

The parade is Pride Week’s signature event and is known internationally for its elaborate costumes and floats.

The parade followed a four-block route along the streets of Toronto’s bustling downtown ’gaybourhood.’

It included floats and marching groups representing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual service and support networks, gay- friendly businesses and several faith and ethnic groups.

People lined the streets snapping pictures of the colourful floats, brightly costumed drag queens, stilt walkers and scantily-dressed dancers.

Those marching threw flyers, buttons, candy, and condoms into the crowd, while some even passed out copies of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the spectators.

JC Lavigne, who has been married to his partner Jorge Velasquez for a year-and-a-half, said he thought the parade had attracted many people from the gay and mainstream communities.

”It’s very important to encourage our community and to support our rights, to make sure we keep them, especially with the present Conservatives in power,” Lavigne said.

Mexican tourist Nancy Figueroa, on a visit to Canada with her husband and daughter, said there were no parades like this where she is from and praised Canada’s open-mindedness.

”It’s good for the people to express themselves, what their preferences are,” Figueroa said of the parade.

Figueroa had brought her daughter to the event in order to expose her to gay culture.

”(She) won’t see something like this as something forbidden, or as something that is not right,” she said. “Hopefully in the future, (she) will see this like something normal.”

Several politicians also joined in the march, including Toronto Mayor David Miller, Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory and Liberal MP Michael Ignatieff.

The event brings in an estimated 80 million dollars to the local economy.
by canada CP

Gay Pride 2007: The Love That Dare Not Shows Its Face (In Newark, Anyway)

So it's 2007 and people in blue states like New Jersey and New York say it's fine to be gay. Well, don't tell that to Andre Jackson.

Apparently, Andre Jackson is a pretty typical, normal high school kid. A senior at Newark's East High, he forked over $150 for a special tribute page in his yearbook, one of about 20 where students pay for pages they design filled with pictures depicting them with their families, girlfriends and boyfriends, and friends found at the back of his school's 100-page publication. Andre obeyed the school's regulations (which prohibit shots of gang signs, rude gestures and graphic photos) and filled his with pictures of people important to him, including one of him kissing the person he's dating. He showed up, excited, at the school's senior banquet on Thursday night, ready to collect his copy of the yearbook and to see his special page.

Andre never got to see his special page as he designed it. Neither did any of his classmates. While the seniors waited at the banquet for the yearbooks to be distributed, Newark school staff were in an adjoining room, busily blacking out a photo on Andre's page in each of the 230 yearbooks about to be distributed to the East High class of 2007. What was the problematic photo of? Andre kissing his boyfriend, David Escobales.

Let's be clear here. The kissing part wasn't the problem, as the yearbook had many photos of boys and girls kissing in it. It was the boy kissing a boy they had a problem with. In fact, Newark Superintendent of Schools Marion Bolden called the photograph "illicit," making her personal double standard official school policy as she did not direct school staff to black out any heterosexual kisses in the yearbook which Superintendent Bolden, I guess, deems "licit" (is that a word? What the hell is the opposite of illicit, anyway?). In a magnanimous gesture, Superintendent Bolden offered to refund the $150 fee Andre paid for the page. Andre turned Ms. Bolden and her 30 pieces of silver down, figuring that was just too low a price for his human dignity. Andre's principled stand makes me proud to be gay on this Gay Pride Sunday, 2007.

Religious groups lead gay pride parade

Religious groups including Christians, Jews and Buddhists led the gay pride parade on Sunday, lending gravity to the often outrageous event that celebrates the night gay bar patrons resisted a police raid.

"We stand for a progressive religious voice," said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of New York City's Congregation Beth Simchat Torah. "Those who use religion to advocate an anti-gay agenda I believe are blaspheming God's name."

Kleinbaum, who heads the world's largest predominantly gay synagogue, and the Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church, were the parade's grand marshals, waving from his-and-hers convertibles.

The march took place days after the New York State Assembly passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, which Gov. Eliot Spitzer supports. Although the bill is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled state Senate any time soon, parade-goers said they were cheered by the Assembly's action.



Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gay life: Change and challenge

o understand how much gay life in the United States has changed -- and how challenging it remains -- consider the story of the Dillards, Sharon and Tanya, who describe themselves as "a typical family with soccer, brand new puppies, church, choir and not enough time in the day."

Government recognition of same-sex marriage is presently available in six countries and one U.S. state. The Netherlands was the first country to authorize same-sex marriage in 2001 and they are now also recognized in Belgium, Canada, South Africa, Spain, and the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Israel's High Court of Justice ruled to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other countries, although it is still illegal to perform them within the country.

Map showing the status of homosexuality laws of the world.Other countries, including the majority of European nations, have enacted laws allowing civil unions, designed to give gay couples similar rights as married couples concerning legal issues such as inheritance and immigration. Most Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, with the sole exception of the Faroe Islands) have enacted civil union laws.

Jurisdictions in the U.S. that offer civil unions or domestic partnerships granting nearly all of the state-recognized rights of marriage to same-sex couples include California (2000), Vermont (2000), Connecticut (2005), and New Jersey (2006). States in the U.S. with domestic partnerships or similar status granting some of the rights of marriage include Hawaii (1996), Maine (1999), Oregon (2007)[29], Washington (2007), as well as the District of Columbia (Washington, DC)(2001).
posted:by ziggy on high

Miami gay chamber to honor philanthropist Patrick Ward and others

Dinner, entertainment and recognition of local philanthropists will all be on the menu at the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Sixth Annual Gala Awards Dinner.

Sharon Gless, who starred in “Cagney and Lacey” and “Queer as Folk,” will be on hand to introduce singer Jim Bailey, who will perform as “Judy Garland” at the dinner.

The chamber, which has more than 400 members, is the largest nonprofit corporation in the county for gay and lesbian businesses.

One of this year’s honorees is Dr. Patrick Ward, who has only lived in South Florida for seven years, but has already made a big impact. The recipient of MDGLLC’s Community Service Award, Ward has been an active volunteer and philanthropist ever since he was a boy.

“The truth is, my parents always encouraged it,” he says.

Ward is an active member of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (MGLFF) committee. The festival board recently created the Dr. Patrick Ward Angel Award for Outstanding Contributions.

Ward has also served on the board of directors of the Special Olympics for six years, and he was a coach for Best Buddies, a nonprofit that helps kids with disabilities.

He has received a Medal of Commendation and two Meritorious Service Awards from the Navy for advocating for elderly veterans and opening clinics to serve them.

The humble volunteer doesn’t like to boast, but his bio says it all. His college alma mater, St. Louis University, has two statues and a fountain named for him on its campus. He was awarded The honor for his work with a service organization in charge of improving the campus.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Britain Upholds Gay Rights Law

Britain's parliament has upheld a gay rights law that Christians say will force them to violate their beliefs.
About 4,000 British Christians have been protesting outside Parliament this week as the House of Lords debated the measure.
The body voted 199-68 against a motion calling for the regulation to be scrapped.
Under the law, churches could be forced to rent out halls for gay wedding receptions, and Christian innkeepers could be prosecuted for refusing to rent rooms to gay couples.
Christian activists submitted a petition to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday, saying such laws violate Biblical teaching.
Andrea Minichello Williams, a protest organizer, said that the petition submitted to Buckingham Palace was signed by 10,000 Christians.
It urged the monarch to use her "power and position" to demand that the government protect the freedom of Christians to live according to the Bible's teaching.
The section of the Equality Act 2006 banning businesses from discriminating against gay people in providing goods and services took effect in Northern Ireland on Jan. 1.
The law is scheduled to take effect in England, Wales, and Scotland in April.
Sources: CBN News, Associated Press

Just Say No", Says the State of NJ Over Clerics Blessing Gay Marriages

(AXcess News) New York - The State of New Jersey has said its ok for clerics to turn their back on gay marriages, saying they do not have to bless same-sex marriage ceremonies if they don't want to.
New Jersey's Attorney General Stuart Rabner ruled Thursday that clergy who oppose civil unions for gay couples will not be forced to perform the ceremonies.
Beginning February 19th, same-sex couples can legally apply for a license in the State of New Jersey for civil unions, but Rabner ruled that if members of the clergy feel that conducting ceremonies for same-sex couples would fly in the face of their religious beliefs, then religious leaders can legally refuse to conduct wedding ceremonies.
By the Attorney General's ruling, Rabner has created a way for clerics to avoid being sued, considering the aggressive legal stance gay organizations have taken in pursuing their rights as to what is now considered a minority - being gay.
Under New Jersey's antidiscrimination law, public officials who choose to officiate at weddings must also perform civil unions. But Rabner ruled that members of the clergy could not be forced to perform ceremonies.
By Staff

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin with Gay Guest

Friday, December 15, 2006

Romney repeats gay marriage opposition

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has reaffirmed his homophobic credentials amid reports that he once courted the gay lobby.

The religious right in the US have been seeking answers from the potential Republican presidential candidate after it was revealed that he once courted the gay community for their support in a 1994 campaign for the US Senate.

A letter, revealed by Massachusetts newspaper Bay Windows, promises to represent the community, "I think the gay community needs more support from the Republican Party, and I would be a voice in the Republican Party to foster anti-discrimination efforts," it said.

However, Mr Romney has now returned from a trip to Asia to reassert his position on gay rights.

He told the National Review Magazine: ?Like the vast majority of Americans, I've opposed same-sex marriage, but I've also opposed unjust discrimination against anyone, for racial or religious reasons, or for sexual preference.?

The revelation has angered conservatives in the US. Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, told the New York Times: ?This is going to create a lot of problems for Governor Romney, he is going to have a hard time overcoming this."
PinkNews.co.uk writer

Snow: Bush not shifting views on gay parenting

WASHINGTON ? Although he recently expressed confidence that Mary Cheney will make a loving parent, President Bush continues to believe it is best that a child is raised by a man and woman married to each other, the president's spokesman said Friday.

The pregnancy of Vice President Dick Cheney's younger daughter, a lesbian, has reignited public discussion about gays becoming parents.

Some social conservatives, who strongly support Bush and the vice president on most issues, greeted the news of Mary Cheney's pregnancy with dismay, arguing that it undermined efforts to emphasize the primacy of the traditional family unit.

Commenting on the controversy, Bush last week told People magazine that Mary Cheney would be "a loving soul to her child. And I'm happy for her."

Pressed on whether his remark contradicted views he previously expressed that being raised by gays falls short of an ideal situation for a child, he avoided a direct response.

"Mary Cheney is going to make a fine mom, and she's going to love this child a lot," he said.

In 2005, Bush said in an interview that he thought it best for children to be raised by married men and women. He does not favor same-sex marriage.

"I believe children can receive love from gay couples, but the ideal is ? and studies have shown that the ideal is ? where a child is raised in a married family with a man and a woman," he told the New York Times.

On Friday, White House press secretary Tony Snow was asked whether the president stood by this belief.

"Yes, he does," Snow replied. "But he also believes that every human life is sacred and that every child who comes into this world deserves love.

"And he believes that Mary Cheney's child will in fact have loving parents."

Snow said Bush had not addressed whether he thought children raised by gays were at a disadvantage.

In the People interview, Bush said he found out about the pregnancy when the vice president "took me aside and gave me the good news."

Bush added that the vice president and his wife, Lynne, "are very happy for Mary."

The president did not mention Cheney's partner of 15 years, Heather Poe.

Los Angeles Times

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Fight for gay rights takes comedic turn

One odd sight on the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"-type shows is of gay men fussing over the wedding tuxedo s and silky gowns of their straight subjects. There's sweetness, affection, and expertise in the act, and yet there's cold irony, too. Gay men can't marry their partners in most states, even if they can protect blushing marrieds from oily skin and lighting gaffes from coast to coast.
A&E's "Wedding Wars," tonight at 9, frowns directly at this inequality, and yet it is anything but didactic. The made-for-TV movie takes all of the tense political and moral lather about gay marriage in the United States and folds it into a frothy romantic comedy that refuses to take itself too seriously.
Like "Will & Grace," "Wedding Wars" lightens the issues in order to disarm viewers, to clear away the controversy and hostility for some friendly funning. And it succeeds as a charming, silly, and idealistic piece of whimsy along the lines of "In and Out."
by: Matthew Gilbert, Globe Staff

Assembly clashes over gay rights

An NI assembly motion condemning government plans to introduce equality legislation for gays, lesbians and bisexuals has fallen after a tied vote.
After a two-hour debate at Stormont, 39 assembly members voted in favour of a DUP motion and 39 against.
The party claimed the new legislation could place Christian-run businesses on the "wrong side of the law".
DUP sources claimed the vote was tied because Sinn Fein was "able to use the vote of a deceased asssembly member".
West Belfast assembly member Michael Ferguson died in September. The St Andrews Agreement Act enables parties to use the vote of an assembly member who has died but has not yet been replaced.
by bbc news

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