Sizzle Miami returns to South Florida Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-28, 2013. Here are the details with links to the website.
Charlie Crist listened to Miami activist Joseph Falk, returned to Tampa and posted gay marriage support
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Charlie Crist, rumored to be running as a Democrat for Florida governor, has come out in favor of gay marriage.
“I most certainly support marriage equality in Florida and look forward to the day it happens here,” Crist quietly announced Wednesday night on his Facebook page, hours after Delaware became the 11th state to legalize gay marriage.
Crist, formerly a Republican governor, apparently has evolved since the last time he ran for public office in 2010. During the GOP primary campaign against Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate, Crist told CNN he supported a constitutional ban against marriage equality.
“I feel that marriage is a sacred institution, if you will. But I do believe in tolerance. I'm a live and let live kind of guy, and while I feel that way about marriage, I think if partners want to have the opportunity to live together, I don't have a problem with that,” Crist said at the time, adding that when it comes “to the institution of marriage, I believe that it is between a man and a woman. It's just how I feel."
Wednesday afternoon, Crist met in a Biscayne Boulevard restaurant with Miami mortgage broker Joseph Falk a public policy advisor at Akerman Senterfitt and former board chairman of SAVE Dade, the county’s largest gay-rights group.
“We discussed a great number of topics, one of which, of course, was the issue of marriage equality,” said Falk, a national Democratic Party fundraiser and activist. “He listened to some of the topics and he did not tell me that he was going to go on Facebook later that night and announce his decision to support marriage equality.”
Falk said Crist said little about the issue at lunch, before the former governor returned to Tampa.
“We talked and he said, ‘I’m already there,’" Falk recalled. "I did not press him, nor question or give him advice on whether it was the appropriate time to make any kind of formal announcement. But I did say this was important to a large constituency group here in Florida.”
May 09, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)
'Some great news': Charlie Crist now supports gay marriage, lauds Delaware for legalization this week
Posted by by former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to his Facebook page:
Some great news: On Tuesday, Delaware became the 11th state to allow marriage equality. And just a few days ago, Rhode Island adopted a similar measure, which followed victories last fall in Maine, Maryland and Washington. I most certainly support marriage equality in Florida and look forward to the day it happens here.
Crist, now a Democrat rumored to be running again for governor, has apparently evolved since the last time he ran for public office in 2010 as a GOP senate candidate. During that campaign, he told CNN like then-opponent Marco Rubio he supported a constitutional ban against marriage equality:
"I feel that marriage is a sacred institution, if you will. But I do believe in tolerance. I'm a live and let live kind of guy, and while I feel that way about marriage, I think if partners want to have the opportunity to live together, I don't have a problem with that. …
… when it becomes to the institution of marriage, I believe that it is between a man and a woman, it's just how I feel."
May 09, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Point Foundation, a national organization that raises money and gives scholarships to financially needy LGBTQ students, held a reception Tuesday at Miami Beach Botanical Garden.
The reception, co-hosted by Jorge Diaz and co-sponsored by his brother, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz (both above), brought together Point scholars, alumni and members of South Florida's gay community.
The host committee: Karen Chamuel, Jerry Chasen, Milton de Trinidad Masis, Jasmine Devynelsyt, Shelley Freeman*, Doug Guinan, Scott Guzielek**, Bill Murphy, Shobha Nagaprasanna, Tobias Packer, Damian Pardo, Clay Petre*, Barry Preter, Bert Saville, Elizabeth Schwartz, BJ Spice, Markus Thiel *Point Regent **Point Trustee.
Other sponsors included Northern Trust, Beacon Default Management, Inc., FYI Online, Jackson Health System, Lydecker Diaz and Wells Fargo.
DJ Danilo de la Torre (aka Adora) provided music; 42Below the liquor; and Lee & Maries the catering. Faculty and students from Florida International University also volunteered.
Click here for more pictures from the reception. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
May 08, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
From celebrity DJ Peter Rauhofer's Facebook page:
Today the music industry has lost one of it's true heroes.
With a heavy heart I must now report that Peter Rauhofer has lost his battle with brain cancer.
He passed quietly today and is survived by his mother, Helga, who resides in Austria.
She will transport Peter back home to his final resting place there, but to all that knew Peter, his heart will always be in New York City.
It makes me sad, not only that I have lost a friend, but that the world has lost an amazing talent and that future generations will never get to understand the magic that Peter created night after night all over the world.
He is gone too soon but we will always have the vast body of music that Peter left for us.
Through his music, Peter will live forever. The brightest stars always burn out too soon. Peter, you were loved and you will be terribly missed. Goodbye my friend. Please rest in peace knowing that you have brought so much joy to so many of us. I ask that his true fans keep his legacy alive by sharing his music with anyone who may not have had the opportunity to experience it for themselves.
Rauhofer's manager, Angelo Russo, posted April 17 on Facebook that doctors discovered a large undetected brain tumor after the DJ suffered a seizure.
Rauhofer had been scheduled to perform several days before at Urge, a sanctioned Miami Beach Gay Pride event, but illness forced him to withdraw.
The protesters, led by Care Resource Executive Director Rick Siclari, told Mansion patrons that for a second consecutive year Rauhofer competed for gay tourist dollars by counterprogramming against a Winter Party event that raises money for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and gay nonprofits throughout South Florida.
Rauhofer also had programmed parties that competed with events run by Siclari’s HIV/AIDS service agency during its annual fundraising White Party Week in November.
Rauhofer declined to comment at the time, except for a short message sent to The Miami Herald via Facebook: ``Sorry, I will be unable to attend this protest due to a prior engagement. Maybe next time.''
May 07, 2013 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, Obituary, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Aqua Girl festival returns May 15-19 in South Beach; Aqua Foundation to honor volunteers with VIP parties
Here are the details:
VIP Cocktail Reception hosted in Fort Lauderdale
Saturday, May 11th
7:00PM – 10:00PM
The private home of J. Michael Heider and Thom Carr, 2411 NE 32nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale, Fl, 33305
If you have sophisticated taste and love the fusion of music, food, and interesting people, then our fabulous VIP cocktail is for you. Join us as we kick off the start of the 14th year of Aqua Girl for the first time in Ft. Lauderdale, featuring delicious hors d’oeuvres and luscious libations. We will also be celebrating the Broward honorees for Volunteer and Community Lead of the Year Awards.
Allow your senses to take in the authentic Italian flavor of our hors d’oeuvres catered by da Campo Osteria, known for their fresh, intense, yet delicately prepared, dishes.
This is a sophisticated event and appropriate attire is required. Proper attire is considered cocktail dress, or suit, dress pants and shirt.
$60 in advance/$80 at the door
$50 in advance for members
Miami VIP Cocktail Reception
Friday, May 17th
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
1111 Lincoln Road, 1111 Lincoln Rd Miami Beach, FL 33139
The breathtaking backdrop of Miami Beach’s skyline sets the mood for our stylish, sexy VIP cocktail. Enjoy an evening in the exclusive 1111 Lincoln Road building; taking in the powerful, award winning architecture of one of the Beach’s most famed buildings. Savor the view from the 7th floor while socializing with Miami’s hottest VIPs and enjoying fantastic hors d’oeuvres and cocktails! And, from 7:30 – 8:30 PM, you’ll have a chance to meet VOICE Finalist and Grammy nominated star Frenchie Davis! DJ Citizen Jane will be spinning all evening.
Our hors d’oeuvres will be catered by Chef Robyn Almodovar, who has appeared on Hell’s Kitchen, and specializes in using locally sourced ingredients in her signature dishes.
We will also be celebrating the Miami-Dade honorees for Volunteer and Community Leader of the Year Awards.
This is a sophisticated event and appropriate attire is required. Proper attire is considered cocktail dress, or suit, dress pants and shirt.
$85 in advance/$100 at the door
$75 in advance for members
May 07, 2013 in AIDS and Health, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Politics, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
The historic Biltmore has launched a very modern campaign to attract brides and grooms of all sexual orientations — and their expensive weddings — to the grand Coral Gables hotel.
“People think it’s a conservative area. It’s not. The Biltmore has welcomed [gays and lesbians] for years,” said Wendy Kallergis, president of the Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association, who worked as catering director at the hotel in the 1990s. “The wedding market, we were No. 1. On a slow weekend, we did three weddings.”
Back then, brides only married grooms. Much has changed in 20 years.
The Kimpton, W and Wyndham chains all actively market to gay travelers, according to Karen Brown, executive director of the LGBT Visitor Center in Miami Beach. The Biltmore is the first locally to campaign for gay weddings, she believes.
The Biltmore on Sunday introduced it’s “Love is Love” gay and lesbian wedding campaign at a brunch for the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Each attendee received a postcard featuring romantic photos of three very different wedding parties: two gay men, a straight couple and two lesbians.
“I had people after the brunch come to me and say that instead of mailing them, they were going to frame them,” said Natalia Plasencia, the Biltmore’s associate director of catering. “They knew this was the beginning of something special.”
The campaign photos were shot by Coral Gables photographer Manolo Doreste of In Focus Studios.
Plasencia, who has many gay relatives, said she got the idea after speaking with a colleague from Little Palm Island in the Keys.
“In Key West, there’s a growing trend of destination weddings for gay couples,” she said.
In Florida, same-sex couples are banned from marrying, but in 10 states, Washington, D.C., and other nations, gay marriage is legal.
Many gay men and women from South Florida are traveling to other places for their legal ceremonies and returning home for their wedding receptions.
“The Keys have been focused on that market and we haven’t,” Plasencia said. “From that, the idea was created. We needed to tap into this. We needed to figure out how we can attract this clientele.”
Plasencia did her research, and found that one year after the state of New York passed marriage equality in 2011, New York City’s economy grew $259 million, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“And it’s not just hotels. It’s every branch of the different divisions that work with those weddings,” she said. “It’s hosting the ceremonies. It’s hosting the receptions. It’s hosting the guests. It’s hosting the dinners leading up to it. It’s a massive undertaking. And it’s just a small tip of the iceberg of what we hope to achieve here in Florida.”
Plasencia believes that if the U.S. Supreme Court in June strikes a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, even more gay and lesbian couples will wed.
The Biltmore hosts about 100 weddings a year. This week, the hotel booked a gay wedding in August for 200 guests.
“The average wedding we do for 200 people would be an average of about $40,000 or $50,000 in revenue on the food and beverage side,” she said. “Not to mention the rooms allocation, which is usually about 20 rooms per night — another $10,000 or $15,000 in room revenue. Not to mention outlets, not to mention golf, not to mention spa.
“It also benefits all the vendors we work with,” she said — including florists, bands, DJs, photographers, videographers and bridal shops. “It’s a community and we’re all here to help each other, all within the same luxury market and same luxury standards.”
But before booking gay guests comes staff training.
“People want to check in, it’s two ladies and they want one bed,” she said. “We need to be able to know that the people making the reservations aren’t pushing them into two beds.”
On Monday, the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the LGBT Visitor Center and YES Institute (a South Miami LGBT anti-suicide organization) brought their Pink Flamingo Hospitality Program to The Biltmore.
“We thought it’s a program deserving of support,” said Matthias Kammerer, the Biltmore’s managing director, who formerly held the same position at Canyon Ranch in Miami Beach.
“We tried it out six or eight months ago [at Canyon Ranch]. We got great response from our staff members,” Kammerer said. “At the end of the day, some may have an awkward relationship with [the gay] community. It prepares everybody better.”
Kammerer, originally of Switzerland, also stressed the business importance of courting gay and lesbian tourists in places other than South Beach or Fort Lauderdale. “It’s a great opportunity for us to participate and say guess what, other parts of Miami are also open, friendly and have something to offer.”
May 06, 2013 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Film, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Travel, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)
Posted by Michael Emanuel Rajner on Facebook:
BLOOD DRIVE HOSTED IN HEART OF GAY AND HIV/AIDS COMMUNITY IN WILTON MANORS
My phone has been burning up with incoming calls and text messages about the May 8th blood drive in Wilton Manors. While blood drives are essential to ensure our nation has enough blood for our military and those at home, hosting one in the heart of a gay mecca is poorly planned and not a wise venue. If your a member of the LGBT community, you are probably scratching your head and wondering why have a blood drive in a community where probably well more than 50% of those in and visiting the City of Wilton Manors would be prohibited by federal law from donating blood.
Several weeks ago, Celeste Ellich spoke before the Wilton Manors City Commission discussing how important these blood drives are, and I agreed. But what she was incapable of understanding is why past blood drives in Wilton Manors were failures based on the low level of blood donations. Perhaps she simply didn't know that the FDA explicitly bans the donation of blood by any man having sex with a man, or anyone who had sex with a man who had sex with a man or injected drug user among other exclusions.
As a person living with AIDS, whenever I walk past one of these donation buses, I'm pleased to see people volunteering their time and other donating blood. But if I'm asked to donate blood, I simply reply, sorry I can't, I have AIDS.
A blood drive in a community like Wilton Manors that is so impact by HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis is poorly planned and contributes to the stigma of people living with HIV/AIDS. Our blood supply is safe as screening is so effective now that the FDA ban on homosexuals is out of date and discriminatory.
May 03, 2013 in AIDS and Health, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, 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)
From Anthony Timiraos, CEO/President of Our Fund in Fort Lauderdale:
Our Fund is helping to coordinate a national initiative here in South Florida that will engage hundreds of organizations and people on a single day to give in support of the LGBTQ community. GiveOUT Day is scheduled for May 9th, 2013 but already, local non-profit organizations have begun to promote this web event. We have about 25 organizations participating in South Florida.
From GiveOUT Day:
Give OUT Day is a new national initiative that will engage hundreds of organizations and mobilize thousands of people on a single day across the country to give in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer community. It is a chance for LGBTQ groups large and small, to work across the wide range of issues and activities that matter to the LGBTQ community from sports to policy change, families to the arts. It is a chance for members of the LGBTQ community and our many allies to stand up and show our support for our community together on one day. It is a chance to make history, we hope you’ll join us!
May 02, 2013 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Immigration, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Repeal the FDA's longstanding prohibition on gay and bisexual men from donating blood – in place since 1977.
This regulation is not only antiquated, but based on outdated statistics and unwarranted fears and generalities, no longer accurate, based on scientific evidence we now have available. It limits our very residents from the ability to donate screened blood, and unnecessarily limits the nation’s blood supply.
We have the highest of respect for the FDA and their process and responsibilities, but believe they have not kept up with current international standards for blood donations. Argentina, Australia, Hungary, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden have all developed various levels of acceptance of gay men in regards to donating blood. Other countries such as the UK, Spain, France, Italy and Russia have completely lifted the life-long ban; and the blood donation organizations have also recommended a reversal of this policy
As of Dec 25, 2012, Mexico has become the first North American country to end its ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.
Not a single piece of scientific evidence supports the ban. In 2009, the California Assembly Judiciary Committee passed AJR 13, the U.S. Blood Donor Nondiscrimination Resolution (Ammiano-D), calling upon the nation’s Food and Drug Administration to end its more than quarter century ban on gay men donating blood to the nation’s blood banks.
The decades-old federal blood donor ban was introduced as a way to assure the U.S. public that the nation’s blood banks were safe at the genesis of the AIDS epidemic here. But according to much research, medical experts have argued since its inception the ban did little more than discriminate and for more than two decades mandatory blood screening has rendered the ban useless. The current ban is nothing short of discrimination based on antiquated information. It has greatly limited the availability of blood – an issue that is of great importance to a city that is in constant threat of hurricanes, international viruses and other unforeseen occurrences.
Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida joins the Miami Beach Human Rights Committee, Senator John Kerry, and countless other organizations and community leaders in SUPPORTING THE LIFTING OF THE BLOOD DONATION BAN BY THE FDA.
May 02, 2013 in AIDS and Health, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)