April 16, 2014

LGBT rights group sends petition to IOC: Don't hold Olympics in countries that discriminate against gays


all outLAUSANNE, Switzerland -- More than 100,000 members of an international gay rights group have sent messages to the IOC urging changes to ensure that future Olympic host countries do not have discriminatory laws on their books.

The group All Out reiterated its call on the International Olympic Committee to overhaul its selection process, citing the controversy that surrounded the Winter Games in Sochi over Russia's law prohibiting so-called gay "propaganda."

All Out says it delivered its message before Tuesday's deadline for public submissions on "Olympic Agenda 2020," IOC President Thomas Bach's project for reforms that will be voted on in December in Monaco.

All Out says more than 74,000 members signed a petition delivered to the IOC and another 41,000 sent their own messages.

The group wants the IOC to require that host countries have no discriminatory laws in place and future host city contracts include human rights pledges. It also urges the IOC to amend a clause in the Olympic Charter to specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity.

April 15, 2014

India's top court recognizes transgender as third gender category


NEW DELHI -- India's top court on Tuesday issued a landmark verdict recognizing transgender rights as human rights, saying people can identify themselves as a third gender on official documents.

The Supreme Court directed the federal and state governments to include transgender people in all welfare programs for the poor, including education, health care and jobs to help them overcome social and economic challenges. Previously, transgender Indians could only identify themselves as male or female in all official documents.

The decision was praised as giving relief to the estimated 3 million Indians who are transgender.

The court noted that it was the right of every human being to choose their gender while granting rights to those who identify themselves as neither male nor female.

"All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender.' This verdict has come as a great relief for all of us. Today I am proud to be an Indian," said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who, along with a legal agency, had petitioned the court.

Click here to read more.

April 14, 2014

Miami's Richard Jay-Alexander, Kristin Chenoweth to guest on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live

Message from director Richard Jay-Alexander of Miami, guest bartender Monday night on Bravo TV's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen:

"wwhlBe sure to TUNE-IN tonight at 11:00 P.M. on BRAVO and online, for the after-show. "Your's Truly" will be "guest" bartending for Andy, Vicki Gunvalson and Kristin Chenoweth! If you're not gonna be home, be sure to set the DVR, but don't miss it!"

Federal judge to Ohio: Recognize out-of-state gay marriages


CINCINNATI -- A federal judge has ordered Ohio authorities to recognize the marriages of gay couples performed in other states.

Judge Timothy Black's ruling on Monday criticized the state's "ongoing arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

He says the state's marriage recognition bans are unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Black's order doesn't force Ohio to allow gay marriages to be performed in the state.

The state plans to appeal Black's ruling, arguing that Ohio has a sovereign right to ban gay marriage, which voters did overwhelmingly in 2004.

Black delayed deciding whether to stay his ruling pending appeal until attorneys on both sides present their arguments on the issue by the end of Tuesday.

Click here for updates.

Video | 'What does Miami Beach Gay Pride mean to you?' plus a few more photos from the 2014 parade

IMG_4889Here's a great video featuring Lady Bunny and Cazwell at Miami Beach Gay Pride on Sunday, April 13, 2014, by Miranda Nathanson, @themirandajayne.

Also, enjoy a few more photos from the pride parade, these taken by Jonathan Kendall.

For a complete 2014 pride photo gallery including pictures of parade grand marshals Gloria Estefan and Kenny Ortega, click here.

April 13, 2014

Gallery | Grand marshals Gloria Estefan, Kenny Ortega lead 2014 Miami Beach Gay Pride parade

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2014-04-13 2014 Miami Beach Gay Pride parade 177Above, grand marshals Gloria Estefan and director-choreographer Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) join the Miami Beach Gay Pride committee Sunday afternoon after the big parade on Ocean Drive.

Tens of thousands attended the festivities, the sixth annual gay pride celebration in South Beach.

Click here to view and tag hundreds of photos on Facebook. Photos by Steve Rothaus / Miami Herald Staff.

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View even more photos at MiamiHerald.com

Jennifer Lopez, Laverne Cox win GLAAD Media Awards (with 2012 Miami Herald video interview)


LOS ANGELES -- Jennifer Lopez has added a couple of more trophies to her block.

The pop star and "American Idol" judge was honored Saturday night at the 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards with the Vanguard Award, which lauds efforts to increase visibility and understanding of the gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender community. In addition to being an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Lopez serves as executive producer of the ABC Family series "The Fosters," which centers on a lesbian couple raising their children. "The Fosters" also won the award for outstanding drama series.

Other winners at the Beverly Hilton Hotel ceremony included NBC's "Days of Our Lives" for daily drama, Fuse's "Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce" for reality program, Tegan and Sara for music artist and "Young Avengers" for comic book. "Bridegroom" and "Call Me Kuchu" tied for the outstanding documentary trophy.

"Orange is the New Black" star Laverne Cox was presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is given to a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender member of the entertainment community. Previous recipients include Wanda Sykes, Rufus Wainwright, Melissa Etheridge, Ellen DeGeneres and Ian McKellen.

Norman Lear, the veteran producer of such sitcoms as "All in the Family" and "Maude," was honored with the Pioneer Award.

The awards salute fair, accurate and inclusive representation in media of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives. Other winners will be presented at a New York ceremony on May 3.

April 12, 2014

National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) to be honored with Miami reception on Saturday night

News release from attorney Elizabeth Schwartz:


NCLR in Miami

Saturday, April 12, 7:30 p.m - 9:30 p.m.

American Airlines Arena - Flagship Lounge North

601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami

(Complimentary onsite parking available)


Don’t miss NCLR in Miami! Supporters Elizabeth Schwartz and Lydia Martin and Raquel Matas and Carla Lupi are hosting a fundraiser in NCLR’s honor at the American Airlines Arena. We are thrilled that our Florida marriage equality case plaintiffs Karla Arguello and Catherina Pareto, Todd and Jeff Delmay, Pamela Faerber and Summer Greene, and Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez and David Price will be joining us for this event. We have so much to celebrate and your support has made so much possible!  Don't miss what is sure to be a fun and exciting evening!
Hors D'oeuvres by Celebrity Chef Robyn Almodovar (Hells Kitchen & Food Network)

Suggested donation of $75. Any gift is greatly appreciated and 100% of all proceeds from this event go directly to NCLR’s Florida marriage litigation.

Tickets available at the door

Steve Adkins and Diego Goncalves • Nicole Aglione and Carolyn Karettis • Thomas Barker and Robert Rosenwald • David Bernard and Charles Urstadt • Cindy Brown • Alison Burgos and Michelle Gaber • Cathleen Burns and Chris Short • Luly Casares and Kim Feinberg • Barton Chepenik • Leslie Cohen and Beth Suskin • Abigail and Danielle Corbett • Julia Dawson • Eileen Diamond and Lillian Tamayo • Matt Dzwonkiewicz and Josue Santiago • Robert Fiore • Liebe and Seth Gadinsky • Karen E. Gilbert • Susan Greenfield and Suzanne Kline • Lynne Harkless • Stephanie Haun • Commissioner Sally A. Heyman • Adam Jacobowitz and Phil Teitelbaum • Avra Jain and Dalia Lagoa • Kim and Karla Jones-Stone • Sherry Kaplan Roberts and Alice Randolph • Steven R. Kozlowski and Aaron Rimpley • Mark and Jon Kravitz • Drace Langford and Don Sadler • Ellen Leesfield and Pamela Perry • Cheryl Little and Maggie Buch • Grace C. Lopez • Mary Anne Lukacs • Carla Lupi and Raquel Matas • Lydia Martin and Elizabeth Schwartz • Marilyn Milian • Jorge Mursuli and Jimmy Gamonet • Dale Noll • Ileana Porras • Dr. Rebecca M. Salokar • Edwin Scharlau and Victor Gimenez • B. Rodney White and Michael P. Williams • Patrick Whiteside • David Young



‘The Day It Snowed In Miami’ LGBT-rights documentary to screen Wednesday in Key West

ADEM1507 Day Snowed Miami 3x10The Day It Snowed In Miami, a documentary about the LGBT-rights movement presented by Miami Herald Media Company and WPBT2, will be screened Wednesday at the San Carlos Institute in Key West.

A reception begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, followed by the 90-minute screening at 7:30 p.m. and a discussion afterward. Panelists: Former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Ruth Shack, who sponsored the county’s original 1977 gay-rights ordinance and opposed singer Anita Bryant’s successful campaign to repeal it; ‘Snowed’ filmmaker Joe Cardona; Miami Herald LGBT issues reporter Steve Rothaus, who co-produced the film and formerly covered Key West; and AIDS Help Executive Director Scott Pridgen.

The film’s title serves as a metaphor: the ordinance that sparked the outrage was debated by commissioners on an uncharacteristically frigid night and some opponents at the time remarked that the ordinance would pass "when hell freezes over." The morning after the ordinance was approved - Jan. 19, 1977 - Miamians woke up to snowflakes for the first and, so far, only time.

The ordinance and subsequent battle in South Florida thrust gay rights into the national spotlight for the first time and the film documents the LGBT movement through the present.

Wednesday’s event at the San Carlos, 516 Duval St.. Major sponsors are the Miami Herald, the San Carlos Institute, AIDS Help and Equality Florida. Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 at the door. For reservations: keystix.com or 305-295-7676.

April 11, 2014

Video | Miami Beach Gay Pride founder Cindy Brown is honored on eve of 2014 parade

The 2014 Miami Beach Gay Pride committee on April 10, 2014, honored Cindy Brown, the event's founding executive director. Parade Grand Marshal Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio Estefan, look on.

Video by Steve Rothaus / Miami Herald Staff.