News release from Servicemembers Legal Defense Network:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), issued a statement today on the passing of U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV).
Statement from Army Veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:
“Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) achieved much for his state of West Virginia and the nation. Some of his votes over the years were controversial and not where most Americans stood. But Senator Byrd evolved in his thinking on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ as did our country. His evolution is mirrored in his votes on DADT – seventeen years ago Senator Byrd voted for DADT; last month in the Senate Armed Services Committee he voted for a path to repeal the law. We hope the new Senator from West Virginia will follow the lead of Senator Byrd on this issue.”
June 25, 2010, New York, NY - Yesterday GLAAD released a Call to Action for community members and allies to contact executives at the ABC Television Network following a highly problematic June 22 segment on ABC's "The View." During broadcast, host Sherri Shepherd and guest host D.L. Hughley perpetuated dangerous myths about African American gay and bisexual men, blaming them for increased HIV rates among African American women, despite evidence to the contrary from the Centers for Disease Control.
You can read more about our Call to Action here:
Following our Call to Action, ABC heard from thousands of people urging hosts of "The View" to issue an on-air apology and correct the misinformation they elevated on the program. But the show still refuses to address this problem.
"ABC now knows that it put out dangerous and false information about HIV/AIDS on its airwaves, yet the network still refuses to take responsibility," said Rashad Robinson, GLAAD's Senior Director of Programs. "ABC and 'The View's' refusal to correct Shepherd and Hughley's inaccurate and harmful remarks comes at the expense of the millions of audience members who deserve better and a public at large that needs media to take this issue seriously."
From Robert Rosenberg:
OUT IN THE TROPICS Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Performing Arts Festival
July 7-11, 2010 • Miami Beach • Performances by Teatro El Público, Taylor Mac, Sara Felder & more!
June 28, 2010 in Arts, Bisexual, Books, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Politics, Religion, Theater, Transgender, Travel, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court says a law school can legally deny recognition to a Christian student group that won't let gays join.
The court on Monday turned away an appeal from the Christian Legal Society, which sued to get funding and recognition from the University of California's Hastings College of the Law.
The CLS requires that voting members sign a statement of faith and regards "unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle" as being inconsistent with that faith.
But Hastings said no recognized campus groups may exclude people due to religious belief or sexual orientation.
The court upheld the lower court rulings saying the Christian group's First Amendment rights of association, free speech and free exercise were not violated by the college's decision.
NEW YORK -- Thousands of marchers and a rainbow of floats filled the streets of New York and other U.S. cities on Sunday as people celebrated gay pride, part of a weekend of events marred by a shooting death Saturday at a street party in San Francisco.
Participants in New York's annual parade, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson, made their way down Fifth Avenue toward the Greenwich Village neighborhood. Throngs of people turned out despite the heat and humidity on Sunday to watch the city's annual parade.
One of the parade's grand marshals was Constance McMillen, the lesbian teenager who sued her Mississippi school district over its policy banning same-sex prom dates.
San Francisco's 40th annual gay pride weekend started Saturday at Civic Center Plaza, where thousands converged as vendors sold barbecue and burritos and DJs spun tunes on a large stage. The party later moved into the city's Castro District for the "Pink Saturday" street party, where police said a 19-year-old man was killed and two others injured in a shooting late Saturday.
Police were investigating what led to the shooting but Officer Phil Gordon told the San Francisco Chronicle authorities did not believe it was a hate crime.
City leaders said based on the initial investigation they did not believe the violence would cause officials to cancel future gay pride events in the Castro.
A 2006 shooting at Halloween party in the Castro resulted in the halting of all subsequent city-sanctioned Halloween festivities there.
Thousands gathered to watch and participate in the city's gay pride parade. The Backstreet Boys were due to perform and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, was scheduled to deliver a videotaped address to revelers.
Chicago's parade included the first-ever float from the Cubs and an appearance by the Stanley Cup - NHL's championship trophy.
The Chicago Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup title since 1961 this year, and the parade marks the first time the trophy has been on display at a gay-themed event, according to the Hockey Hall of Fame's Phil Pritchard.
"We are thrilled that it worked out as it's important for the city and important for the franchise," Blackhawks spokesman Adam Rogowin said.
Caption: Jackie Carlson, second from right, and her partner Cara Lee Sparry, both from the Brooklyn borough of New York, make their way down New York's Fifth Avenue as they take part in the city's annual parade celebrating gay pride on Sunday, June 27, 2010. Tina Fineberg / AP Photo
- Gallery | Steve Rothaus, George Neary, Morgans Hotel Group, Safe Schools South Florida honored by Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber
These are my prepared remarks for Saturday night’s Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce awards dinner:
Just a few weeks ago, a trusted editor told me that I should write as many high-profile gay stories as possible – that it’s my value at The Herald.
My career reflects the tremendous social change in our community and in the business culture at the newspaper.
Here are a few gay-related Herald headlines* from the 1950s and ‘60s:
· Hypnotist Offers to Help Deviates
· Moral Squad Takes Homo Issue to Parents
And my personal favorite, Stiff laws Urged on Perversion
In 1977, during the Anita Bryant campaign to repeal Dade’s gay rights ordinance, the Herald’s executive editor at the time wrote that the law was “a manufactured issue -- concocted, we suspect, by those more interested in flaunting their new deviate freedom than in preventing discrimination which they conceded they had not experienced.''
The Herald recommended that the law be repealed, which it was with 70 percent of the vote.
Eight years later, while a journalism student at FIU, I got a job at The Herald monitoring the police scanners. I kept my personal life private, not knowing how it would affect my career if co-workers and bosses knew I’m gay.
Over time, I told a few friends at work. I officially came out to an editor in 1987, after being assigned as a reporter in the Miami Beach Neighbors office. The reason for my disclosure: At the time, my partner, publicist Ric Katz, was a political consultant to several Beach elected officials.
Reaction at work was mixed. One straight, married male editor told me to bring Ric to an upcoming employee party, that as my partner he was ‘always welcome.’
A straight female reporter, however, told me that being out might be OK at the Herald, but not at Knight Ridder, then the paper’s Miami-based corporate parent.
Knight Ridder and The Herald turned out to be far more progressive than this woman imagined.
In 1997, we became one of the first big newspaper companies to adopt domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples. The same year, I began covering gay issues, with a bi-weekly column called Outlooks.
No other mainstream newspaper had taken such a chance. GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, rewarded us in 1998 by naming Outlooks outstanding newspaper column of the year.
In late 2000, I took the job of night business editor. Five years later, I officially became The Herald’s gay-beat reporter.
In 2003, I was elected a board member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. At NLGJA, I developed a program we called the Newsroom Outreach Project, to raise awareness of gay coverage and workplace issues.
Knight Ridder gave me a $10,000 annual travel grant and The Herald gave me time off for me to visit dozens of newsrooms across the nation.
I spoke with reporters, editors, producers and directors at newspapers, TV stations and college campuses, from San Francisco and New York City to Omaha and Minneapolis. We discussed topics including:
· When to Identify an Individual as Gay or Lesbian
· Are Bisexuals Overlooked?
· How to identify transgender people, male or female?
We also talked about how these news organizations treated their gay employees. Several times I’d return home to find e-mails waiting from reporters thanking me for the visit.
In 2006, a young man wrote:
“I want to thank you for speaking with us at The Oklahoman yesterday. Like you said, the fact that our paper invited you to come is a really big deal. Frankly, I was in a state of disbelief when I heard you would be coming. I do think things are getting better here as far as gay coverage goes, but it will be a good while before the gay community stops looking at The Oklahoman like readers in Miami looked at the Herald in the 70s.
“I'm one of the few openly gay reporters at The Oklahoman, and it is tough at times. The staff is by and large absolutely wonderful. But there are some serious management issues gay employees here face. I think any kind of group or resource journalists here could turn to for help in that situation would be great.”
My colleagues and I, at The Herald, NLGJA and McClatchy, the company that bought Knight Ridder in 2006, have helped reshape the journalism world and our communities in South Florida and across the United States.
But as some of you in this room know, you’re not going to like every article we write.
Whenever I speak in a newsroom, I always make it clear that gay journalists in mainstream media aren’t gay activists and we’re not working to put a positive spin on the news. That’s GLAAD’s job.
Professional journalists strive for fairness, accuracy and inclusiveness. And I think that in the last 20 years we’ve made a lot of progress.
Thank you for your support tonight and your brave willingness to be visible throughout the years. I couldn’t have done my job without you.
Gallery | Steve Rothaus, George Neary, Morgans Hotel Group, Safe Schools South Florida honored by Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber
The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce celebrated its annual awards dinner Saturday night at the Hilton Miami Downtown hotel.
Most photos by Ric Katz
Click photo to view pictures.
June 27, 2010 in AIDS and Health, Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Fashion, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Politics, Religion, Theater, Transgender, Travel, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
By ROBERT WIELAARD and JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press
BRUSSELS -- European nations do not have to allow same-sex marriage, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled, though gay rights groups claimed a partial victory Friday because the court acknowledged growing agreement that their relationships should be recognized in law.
Seven judges at the European court ruled unanimously that two Austrian men denied permission to wed were not covered by the guarantee of the right to marry enshrined in Europe's human rights convention.
The judges acknowledged "an emerging European consensus" that same-sex couples should have legal recognition but said individual states may still decide what form it should take because marriage had "deep-rooted social and cultural connotations which may differ largely from one society to another."
The European Union's 27 member states range from socially liberal countries like Sweden and the Netherlands to religious, conservative nations such as Poland.
Six EU states - Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Norway and Spain - have legalized gay marriage. About a dozen others, including Britain, Germany, France and - since January - Austria, have legal partnerships, which carry much the same status as marriage.
Horst Schalk and Johann Kopf sought a marriage permit in Vienna in 2002, but were turned down because Austrian law only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman. They took their case to the courts in a battle that made its way through the Austrian system before being referred to the European court in Strasbourg, France.
Despite Thursday's ruling, there was little to cheer opponents of gay marriage. The judges noted that the European rights charter was drawn up in 1950, when "marriage was clearly understood in the traditional sense of being a union between partners of different sex." They said that was lo longer automatically the case.
"The Court would no longer consider that the right to marry ... must in all circumstances be limited to marriage between two persons of the opposite sex," the judges said.
Legal experts said the European Court ruling would not have a significant impact.
"It just means that questions of marriage are within the margin of discretion of particular states," said British human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson. "Each state is entitled to have its own marriage law. I don't think it will have many implications here or elsewhere."
Gay rights groups applauded the finding that marriage must not necessarily be limited to people of the opposite sex, along with the court's ruling that gay couples are covered under charter definitions of family life.
The European section of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association said the court had recognized "a rapid evolution of social attitudes toward same-sex couples."
"As more and more countries provide legal recognition for same-sex partners, Europe as a whole is gradually moving towards full equality for same-sex families," said spokesman Martin K.I. Christensen.
Derek Munn, Director of Public Affairs for British gay rights group Stonewall, said he was "pleased that the court has recognized same-sex relationships for the purposes of article 8 of the (convention) - the right to family life."
"It is to be hoped that Austria will follow Britain in including full parenting rights in its civil partnerships," he said.
Same-sex couples in Austria cannot adopt children.
HOSI, Austria's gay and lesbian advocacy organization, said it was not surprised by the ruling because a finding against the Austrian government would have set a precedent with far-reaching implications for European states.
Spokesman Kurt Krickler said the decision "makes clear that international human rights bodies are not ready to set the way for developments in society and that legal progress for lesbians and gays has to primarily be fought for in the political arena."
The court's rulings are binding on members of the 47-nation Council of Europe, which have signed up to the human rights convention.
Jill Lawless reported from London. Associated Press Writer Paisley Dodds in London and George Jahn in Vienna also contributed to this report.