It's Pride Month. Did you know that the IDF treats all of its soldiers equally?
(Washington, DC) – Freedom To Marry and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) today released a new online video featuring Army Captain Stephen Hill and his husband, Joshua Snyder, spotlighting the inequalities forced upon gay and lesbian service members by the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Hill - who drew national support when he was booed during a Republican presidential debate after asking a question via video regarding repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) - recently returned from a deployment to the Middle East.
"Steve's deployment brought home to us the stark realities that gay and lesbian families face because of the Defense of Marriage Act. If something happened to me, Steve would not have been able to take emergency leave, because the military cannot recognize our relationship. If something terrible happened to him, I would not be considered the next-of-kin. Service members and their families making the kind of sacrifices that are required to serve this country shouldn't be treated as second-class citizens and their marriages shouldn’t be treated as second-class marriages,” said Snyder.
Hill and Snyder are also plaintiffs in landmark litigation filed in October 2011 by SLDN on behalf of eight married gay and lesbian service members and veterans challenging DOMA and other federal statutes that are being used to prevent the military from providing the same protections and support to all families. For more information on the case, click here.
"This lawsuit is about one thing, plain and simple. It's about equal recognition, respect, and support for all service members and their families who put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms," said Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis.
The video released today is the latest piece of the new Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry national campaign highlighting the stories of military families harmed by DOMA. In addition, SLDN and Freedom to Marry have launched a petition calling on Congress to end marriage discrimination against service members and veterans. The petition builds support for repealing so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and passing the Respect for Marriage Act.
“Gay and lesbian service members put their lives on the line every day to ensure the safety of Americans back home, even while the federal government continues to deny their marriages respect and their families the protections marriage brings,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom To Marry. “It is time to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and do right by all American families, including those serving our country.”
Because of the ‘gay exception’ created by DOMA, America’s legally married gay and lesbian couples are denied more than 1,100 federal responsibilities and protections, including access to military insurance programs, Social Security survivors benefits, equal treatment under U.S. immigration laws, and the opportunity to take leave to care for a spouse.
Freedom To Marry's federal program works to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and make the case for marriage to government officials, opinion-leaders, and political operatives in Washington, DC. Freedom To Marry jointly leads the Respect for Marriage Coalition, a diverse group of nearly 75 organizations working together to repeal DOMA. Since the introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act, the number of cosponsors has increased from 18 to 32 in the Senate, including every Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and from 108 to 147 in the House of Representatives.
For more information on Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry, visit www.freedomtomarry.org/serve.
From Mark Dalbis, casting associate for World of Wonder Productions:
"We are currently casting a new docu-series called "My Modern Family" searching for gay dads and their extended family near by. The network wants to document the day-to-day of the family to highlight the similarities/difference of today's new family dichotomy. They must have family members that live nearby and help out from time to time. We're looking for relatives that actually get along with each other and it's about how they all face the day to day of real life. ..."
"We're not looking for big drama or over the top people - they want real but with personality attached. Definitely outgoing and not camera-shy."
News release from Stonewall Summer Pride:
WILTON MANORS, FL – Stonewall Summer Pride has announced that SunServe will be the primary beneficiary of the June 24 festival. As such, they will receive a portion of the proceeds of the event, after expenses. SunServe is a nonprofit social service agency serving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) community in South Florida. The organization provides high quality, compassionate, and progressive care for all, including those in financial need, minorities, youth, seniors, families, and those with life-challenging physical or emotional conditions. SunServe also performs numerous education and outreach projects throughout the year.
Stonewall Summer Pride comes to Fort Lauderdale on June 24 and is presented by the Rainbow Business Coalition of Greater Fort Lauderdale and the City of Wilton Manors. The party begins at 12 noon when Wilton Drive comes alive with the Stonewall Summer Pride Street Festival which will feature live entertainment, over 125 exhibition booths and the Children's Pride Park. The festival stage will feature entertainment all day long with a variety of acts sure to please the vibrant crowd.
At 7:00 pm sharp, the Stonewall Summer Pride Twilight Parade takes to the street with fabulous floats and costumes. The parade will begin on 20th Street and run north, up Wilton Drive ending at 5 Points.
Following the parade, Andy Bell, lead singer of ERASURE, will take the stage for what promises to be a memorable and exciting evening filled with timeless dance classics. More entertainment will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
For more information on Stonewall Summer Pride, please visit
For more information about SunServe, please visit www.sunserve.org
From Chad Thilborger, SunServe's director for Institutional Advancement:
“We are both humbled and excited to be given this honor and recognition for our continued service to the GLBTQ community.”
BY CURTIS TATE, MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS
WASHINGTON -- Gay rights activists have made significant strides in recent years on marriage and military service, but one long-standing policy goal remains elusive: a federal law to ban discrimination against gay workers.
Gays now can serve openly in the military. Gay couples now have some form of legal recognition in 19 states and the District of Columbia. But in 29 states, gay workers can still be fired or denied promotions simply because they're gay.
To be sure, 21 states ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and all but five of those prohibit bias based on gender identity. Hundreds of cities and counties across the country have enacted nondiscrimination laws. Federal government employees are protected by a policy that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. And nearly 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies have their own nondiscrimination policies.
From Peter Meyerhoefer, president of ArtsUnited:
ArtsUnited Inc Presents Our Annual Pride Month Member Show
Artist Reception / Award Presentation
Thursday June 14th 7pm-9pm (8pm Awards)
Pride Center at Equality Park
2040 North Dixie Highway Wilton Manors, FL 33305
Show Runs through July 6th.
Best of Show Award sponsored by:
The Runyan Law Firm and Tom Runyan
June 11, 2012 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, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Jeb Bush: 'Traditional marriage is what should be sanctioned,' but also way to acknowledge gay unions
From Myriam Marquez's Miami Herald report on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his recent PBS interview with Charlie Rose.
On same-sex marriage, Bush didn’t hide from his conservative belief that “traditional marriage is what should be sanctioned,” but “not at the expense of discriminating other forms of family structure.”
So he didn’t turn all “Church Lady” on us, maintaining that there should be a way to acknowledge gay unions.
“I don’t think people need to be discriminated against because they don’t share my belief on this, and if people love their children with all their heart and soul and that’s what they do and that’s how they organize their life that should be held up as examples for others to follow because we need it. We desperately need it and that can take all sorts of forms, it doesn’t have to take the one that I think should be sanctioned under the law.”