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September 26, 2013 in AIDS and Health, Arts, Bisexual, Books, Bullying, Business, Census, Crime, Current Affairs, Fashion, Film, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Immigration, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Military, Music, Obituary, Palm Beach County, Pets, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Sports, Television, Theater, Transgender, Travel, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
'Out in the Dark' stars who play interfaith gay couple in Israel to attend Coral Gables Art Cinema reception
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
In the new Israeli film Out in the Dark, co-star Michael Aloni describes the two lead characters as "a modern Romeo & Juliet."
Today, of course, that means they're gay. And to make matters worse for their religious, ultra-conservative families, one lover is an Israeli Jew, the other Palestinian.
"It is a very emotional movie," says Aloni, 28, a well-known Israeli actor in Tel Aviv. "It shows the political issues and brings out the true love story between the couple."
Aloni, who plays Jewish attorney Roy Schaffer, and Nicholas Jacob, who co-stars as Palestinian student Nimr Mashrawi, are in South Florida this weekend for Out in the Dark's debut at Coral Gables Art Cinema. (The movie played one night last April at the 2013 Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.)
"It’s one of the most realistic and emotionally intimate gay male love stories I’ve seen recently," says filmmaker Robert Rosenberg, director of Coral Gables Art Cinema and founder of Miami's gay film festival. "It's anchored in a social and political reality that’s much broader than the simple boy-meets-boy love story."
The lovers' lives unravel because of intense parental pressure and the threat of public violence because of their different religious backgrounds.
"They can't trust their families, they can't trust their own governments," Rosenberg says. "They are the anti-heroes against the world."
Directed, co-written and produced by Michael Mayer, a gay Israeli, "the film resonates on the issues of immigration, borders and asylum," Rosenberg says.
"They are hot-button issues in the United States and key issue for a Miami audience," he says.
Both Jacob and Aloni, who are straight, say they could relate to the societal pressures on their characters.
"I was born to an Arab father and Italian mother," says Jacob, 24, a first-time actor from Haifa, Israel, who at age 5 moved with his parents to Nashville.
"I returned to Israel at age 9; enrolled in a Christian-Arab school; finished Jewish high school," Jacob says. "It kind of put me in a place as an outsider."
His character also "lives between two different worlds," he says.
Aloni, a veteran film, theater and television actor who also hosts Israel's version of The Voice, says Jacob was the perfect choice to co-star.
"He was right for the part. If you saw the film, you’d never know it was his first role," Aloni says. "We wanted it to be as authentic, as true as possible for the relationship between the two of them. I could never ask for a better partner than Nicholas."
IF YOU GO
Out in the Dark opens Friday at Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave. Stars Michael Aloni and Nicholas Jacob will attend 7 and 10 p.m. screenings on Saturday, and a 9 p.m. reception at the cinema's outdoor plaza. $20 for cinema members; $25 nonmembers. Tickets include film and reception.
Posted by the Miami Beach delegation at World Outgames 2013 in Antwerp, Belgium:
Mayor Matti [Herrera Bower] officially receives the GLISA flag. Miami Beach - Miami is now the OFFICIAL Host City for the next World Outgames 2017.
Thank you Antwerp for a great week!
Click here to view more photos on the group's Facebook page.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday spoke at the U.S. embassy and London and announced visa changes for same-sex married couples:
"I’m very pleased to be able to announce that effective immediately, when same-sex spouses apply for a visa, the Department of State will consider that application in the same manner that it will consider the application of opposite-sex spouses," Kerry said. "And here is exactly what this rule means: If you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. If you are the spouse of a non-citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. And if you are in a country that doesn’t recognize your same-sex marriage, then your visa application will still be treated equally at every single one of our 222 visa processing centers around the world."
Here's the complete official White House transcript:
SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Well, thanks for gathering, I know on relatively short notice. I really appreciate it. One of the – first of all, it’s great to be in London, and thank you for all of you here. How many of you are Embassy? You all raise your hands. How many are consular section? A few. Most of them I left behind in the consular section now, anyway. Well, thank you for joining us.
One of the most special things that we get to do – you guys, come on in. Let’s get everybody in here before we start, whoever’s standing in. I know we have one of the largest consular sections in the world here. I think Moscow may be slightly larger. But the work that you all do here is really important, because for many people, you’re the first faces that people get to see of America and the first impression they get. And hopefully, it can be a good one. Obviously, sometimes there are visa issues and it doesn’t always turn out the way people want it to be.
But we appreciate what you do, and the fact is that one of the greatest responsibilities of the State Department is to show people who America is, who we are as people, and what we value as Americans. And that’s what every single one of you do every single day here at Embassy London, and it’s what our colleagues do at posts all around the world. I just came from addressing a very large gathering in Islamabad, Pakistan, a difficult tour of duty, but equally important in terms of our efforts to promote democracy and promote the values of human rights and so forth.
So when I first came here in my first stop, my first foreign stop as Secretary of State 27 countries ago, I said to everybody that you’re all ambassadors no matter what you’re doing here, and that is true. When you step out of the Embassy and go down the street or wherever you live, wherever you are, you’re an ambassador of our country. And when you treat people with respect and you give them the best of yourselves, you show them the best of America, and that means showing them what we believe, what we stand for, and what we share with the world.
One of our most important exports by far is America’s belief in the equality of all people. Now, our history shows that we haven’t always gotten it right. As I mentioned yesterday in Islamabad, slavery was written into our Constitution before it was written out. And we are still struggling to make equal the rights between men and women and to break the glass ceiling and to make sure that all people are created equal. That is what we try to do, I think wearing our heart on our sleeve, and sometimes our warts, more than almost any other nation on the face of the planet. We believe in working to do better and to live up to these higher values, and we try to do it in a lot of different ways.
Today is one of those days. I’m very pleased to be able to announce that effective immediately, when same-sex spouses apply for a visa, the Department of State will consider that application in the same manner that it will consider the application of opposite-sex spouses. And here is exactly what this rule means: If you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. If you are the spouse of a non-citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. And if you are in a country that doesn’t recognize your same-sex marriage, then your visa application will still be treated equally at every single one of our 222 visa processing centers around the world.
Now, as long as a marriage has been performed in a jurisdiction that recognizes it so that it is legal, then that marriage is valid under U.S. immigration laws, and every married couple will be treated exactly the same, and that is what we believe is appropriate. Starting next year, that will include same-sex couples from England and Wales, which just this year passed laws permitting same-sex marriage that will take effect in 2014.
And as you know, more than two years ago, President Obama instructed our Department of Justice to stop enforcing DOMA. Then just a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court of the United States declared DOMA unconstitutional. Today, the State Department, which has always been at the forefront of equality in the federal government, I’m proud to say, is tearing down an unjust and an unfair barrier that for too long stood in the way of same-sex families being able to travel as a family to the United States.
I am proud to say that I voted against DOMA, one of 14 votes against it and the only person running for election that year who voted against it, and it’s one of the better votes that I’ve cast. It was the right vote then, it’s the right vote today. And I’m pleased to make this announcement today because this is one of those moments where policy and values join together. And I think those of you in the consular division, more than me or more than any of us back at the State Department on a daily basis, are going to bet you’d be the people who get to make this a reality for people.
So those of you working today in the consular section will make history when you issue some of the first visas to same-sex couples, and you will be some of the first faces to welcome them to the United States in an always – a country that obviously is always trying to tweak and improve and do better by the values around which we were founded. You share in the great responsibility of making our country live its values, and you make possible the journey of those who want to visit our country for that reason and many more.
I might remark that I get to sit up on the 7th floor of the State Department looking out straight at the Lincoln Memorial. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the famous march on Washington and of Martin Luther King’s unbelievably eloquent and historic plea for equality. So that is where the dream was declared, the march goes on, this is several more steps in that march. I can’t thank you enough for your hard work, and as always, I am proud to call myself your colleague. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
Caracol Radio reported that Carmen Lucía Rodríguez Díaz, a civil judge in Bogotá, the country’s capital, “defended the viability of marriage for gay couples” in a five page ruling she wrote after a couple identified as Diego and Juan petitioned her to legally recognize their relationship. The two men are expected to tie the knot in a civil marriage ceremony on July 24.
Blabbeando blog has posted a video of Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, archbishop of Santo Domingo, speaking about James “Wally” Brewster, the gay man nominated by President Barack Obama to be ambassador to Dominican Republic.
"We go from maricones and lesbians to this?" the cardinal says at a news conference, laughing, when reporters switch topics from Brewster to a Haitian boycott of Dominican Republic eggs and poultry.
It is not the first time the Cardinal has used the word "maricones" (which translates as "faggots") to describe gays.
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Men who have sex with men have been warned by the Florida health department to protect themselves against contagious bacterial meningitis.
Extra caution should be taken by men who’ve recently traveled to California or New York, where there have been several fatal meningitis cases reported this year.
“Since we have seen an increase in the incidence of bacterial meningitis in this population we want to educate individuals about the importance of preventing the disease,” said Dr. Celeste Philip, Florida’s interim deputy health secretary, in a news alert on Wednesday.
Bacterial meningitis is an often-deadly inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It can be spread though casual contact, including kissing, sneezing, coughing and sharing drinking glasses and eating utensils.
It is “droplet spread” within three feet vs. airborne and prolonged contact is usually needed to contract the disease, according to the health department.
Bacterial meningitis is not sexually transmitted, but people with compromised immune systems — including those with HIV and AIDS — are particularly vulnerable, said Dr. Sheetal Sharma, an HIV specialist affiliated with Broward House, the county's leading AIDS service agency, and Broward Health Medical Center.
“When any patients have symptoms such as fever, fatigue or eye sensitivity to sun or light, or a rash, neck stiffness or lethargy, they should immediately go to the ER,” Sharma said. “In the emergency room, they will check the blood. If they think it’s meningitis, they will do a CT scan and probably do a spinal tap.”
Patients diagnosed with meningitis usually are treated with intravenous antibiotics. “Time is of the essence, of prime importance, because the disease can be rapidly fatal,” Sharma said.
Both Sharma and Jamie Guirola of Care Resource, Miami-Dade County’s largest AIDS agency, say there has been no outbreak of cases in South Florida.
Men here are increasingly aware of the New York and California outbreaks, Guirola said.
“There is patient awareness,” Sharma said. “They are predominantly gay male patients and this has affected gay men in New York City. They're asking me what they can do to protect themselves.”
The best way, he said: Get vaccinated.
The injected bacterial meningitis vaccine, available at public heath centers, usually provides a lifetime of protection — unless the patient’s immune system is compromised, Sharma said.
“If they’ve been vaccinated in the past, a booster vaccination is recommended,” he said.
HIV patients are almost always at higher risk, even if they are responding well to medications and show no signs of illness.
“Even patients who are virologically suppressed and have high T-cell counts may still have compromised immunity,” Sharma said.
The past few weeks, many LGBT men and women from South Florida have traveled to celebrate gay pride in New York City, San Francisco and other big cities.
“My advice is that anyone who is traveling to a city with a high number of cases of infections such as New York or LA be vaccinated for meningitis,” Sharma said.
For more information
Click here for vaccination information in Broward County.
Click here for vaccination information in Miami-Dade County.
July 03, 2013 in AIDS and Health, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Travel, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (5)
Fort Lauderdale married gay binational couple first to win an Immigration green card after DOMA ruling
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Two Fort Lauderdale men are the first wedded same-sex couple recognized by the United States for a green card, winning their immigration battle two days after the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to honor gay marriages.
“We’re in the history books,” said Julian Marsh, a well-known gay music producer and DJ, who sponsored his Bulgarian-born husband, Traian "Tray" Popov, for a green card. “Oh my God, that’s totally amazing.”
Marsh got the good news on Friday, his 55th birthday. Two days before, the Supreme Court ruled section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Section 3 had been the paragraph used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to deny green cards for foreign-born spouses in same-sex marriages.
“We are ecstatic that our country recognizes our marriage,” Marsh said Sunday. “I never doubted the Supreme Court would not overturn DOMA. Ever. It was in my mind impossible that anybody could stop love.”
Marsh met Popov, a Nova Southeastern University PhD student, in March 2011 at a party in Plantation. They met again at another gathering in Fort Lauderdale a week later.
“I said, ‘Hey, sit next to me for a bit.’ we started chatting and that was it. We’ve been together ever since,” Marsh recalled. “On our six-month anniversary, I said, ‘I love you and I want you to move in.’”
A short time later, they decided to marry. “I wanted to know we could be together forever. Tray is here on a student visa. As long as he’s enrolled in school, he can stay,” Marsh said. “We recognized back then that when Tray graduates we might have to leave our home and our country. We were willing to do that. We were planning on doing that. We were discussing where to move to. Thanks to the Supreme Court we can stay in our home now. We can be in the country that we love.”
Marsh and Popov couldn’t marry in Florida, which in 2008 passed a constitutional amendment banning civil unions and defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
On Oct. 19, 2012, Marsh and Popov wed in Brooklyn, N.Y. They live with a pair of Yorkshire terriers in Fort Lauderdale. “That’s our happy family,” Marsh said. “Tray, me and our two dogs.”
Though relieved that they won’t have to move to another country to stay together, Marsh and Popov are angry that Florida still doesn’t recognize their marriage.
“All we have in Broward County is a very meager domestic partnership that only allows hospital visitations,” said Popov, 41, who studies conflict analysis and resolution. “Obviously that is not enough.”
Their immigration attorney, Lavi Soloway of New York and California, believes Marsh and Popov’s case will “accelerate change” in Florida.
“That new reality changes the perspective of a lot of Floridians who probably never gave a thought to marriage equality,” said Soloway, co-founder of the DOMA Project for gay and lesbian binational couples.”
Soloway, who said he represents “scores” of similar couples in South Florida, is pleased the first gay couple to get a green card is from the Sunshine State.
“Florida ranks third behind California and New York in binational gay couples,” said Soloway, still angry that last month Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said he would be “done” with immigration reform if gay couples were included.
On Wednesday, Rubio said he disagreed with the Supreme Court DOMA decision: “Rather than having courts redefine marriage for all Americans, my hope is that the American people, through their state legislatures and referendums, can continue to decide the definition of marriage,” Rubio said.
Soloway accused Rubio of “scapegoating and marginalizing gay Americans.”
“His shamefully and cowardly hiding behind the outdated notion that the civil rights of any minority should be determined by the majority and the democratic process is ludicrous,” Soloway said. “He is the child of Cuban immigrants. Had the question about whether Cuban immigrants should be allowed to come to the United States and given special preference — immediate legal status, which has been the case for decades — had that been put up for a popular vote, Marco Rubio may today be living in Havana."
June 30, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Immigration, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Travel, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (1)
BY DAVID MCFADDEN, ASSOCIATED PRESS
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Several church pastors in Jamaica led a revival meeting Sunday to oppose efforts to overturn the Caribbean country's anti-sodomy law and turn back what they see as increasing acceptance of homosexuality.
Roughly 1,500 people in their Sunday best gathered in a central Kingston park for a spirited religious service two days before a rare court challenge to Jamaica's anti-sodomy law. The island's Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing on Tuesday a petition by a gay rights activist who hopes to challenge the constitutionality of the 1864 law under a charter of rights revamped in 2011.
The colonial-era "buggery law" prohibits anal sex and "gross indecency" between men, outlawing sexual relationships between consenting men. The punishment is 10 years in prison in Jamaica, one of several Caribbean islands with anti-sodomy laws enforced with strong backing from religious groups. Barbados, Guyana and Grenada are among the regional countries that uphold laws prohibiting homosexuality.