Rome's annual Gay Pride has gotten underway with calls for equal rights and same sex marriage. Report by Jane Witherspoon / ITN.
Steve Rothaus' Gay South Florida - for and about (but not just) LGBT people
Click here to ask me a question, which I'll answer online.
Rome's annual Gay Pride has gotten underway with calls for equal rights and same sex marriage. Report by Jane Witherspoon / ITN.
BY LISA LEFF, ASSOCIATED PRESS
SAN FRANCISCO -- Lauren Grey didn't think much about the gender recorded on her Illinois driver's license until she went to test-drive a new car. Although she had been living as a woman for months and easily obtained a license with her new name and a picture reflecting her feminine appearance, Grey's ID still identified her as male, puzzling the salesmen and prompting uncomfortable questions.
"They are like, 'This doesn't match.' Then you have to go into the story: 'I was born male, but now I'm not,'" said Grey, 38, a graphic designer living in suburban Chicago. "And they are like, 'What does that mean?' It was super embarrassing." Similarly awkward conversations ensued when she tried to rent an apartment, went to bars or was taken out of airport security lines for inspection.
Most U.S. residents don't think twice about the gender printed on their government-issued documents. But those "M" or "F" markers - and the legal and administrative prerequisites for switching them on passports, birth certificates and other forms of identification - are a source of anxiety and, even, discrimination for transgender individuals.
A few dozen LGBT baseball fans from throughout South Florida attended Friday night's game at Marlins Park between the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. The Marlins won 5-4.
The event originally was planned as an LGBT and Allies Youth Night to benefit to benefit The Pride Center, Pridelines Youth Services, Safe Schools South Florida, SunServe, the Youth Pride Band of South Florida, National Voices for Equality Education and Enlightenment (NVEEE), and The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth.
Alas, the fundraising component -- along with a pregame mixer -- was called off because too few tickets were sold.
Click here for more pictures of LGBT fans at the game. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
BY MARGERY A. BECK, ASSOCIATED PRESS
OMAHA, Neb. -- Danielle Powell was going through a hard time in the spring of 2011, just months away from graduating from a conservative Christian college in Nebraska. She had fallen in love with another woman, a strictly forbidden relationship at a school where even prolonged hugs were banned.
Powell said she was working at a civil rights foundation in Mississippi to finish her psychology degree when she was called back to Grace University in Omaha and confronted about the relationship. She was eventually expelled - then sent a bill for $6,000 to reimburse what the school said were federal loans and grants that needed to be repaid because she didn't finish the semester.
Powell is now fighting the Omaha school, arguing that her tuition was covered by scholarships and that federal loans wouldn't need to be repaid in that amount. She also notes she was kicked out even after undergoing months of counseling, spiritual training and mentoring insisted upon by the school following her initial suspension.
"I shouldn't have this debt hanging over me from a school that clearly didn't want me," the 24-year-old said.
From Equality Florida:
Rubio on Immigration Reform: "If this bill has something in it that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I'm done.”
Rubio on ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would protect LGBT people from being fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity): "By and large I think all Americans should be protected but I’m not for any special protections based on orientation."
Senator Rubio's statements are indefensible and heartless. I challenge Sen. Marco Rubio to meet with families torn apart by current laws. Let him sit with couples who have been forced apart and children who are denied access to both parents because the law does not recognize their family.
Thankfully the Senator does not reflect the majority of Americans or Floridians who, by an overwhelming margin of 67%, believe “it is important that the US immigration system keeps families together regardless of sexual orientation.”1
Nearly two-thirds of Hispanic voters support the inclusion of same-sex bi-national couples in immigration reform, and 70% of Hispanic Catholics support these provisions. Rubio's recent rhetoric about pulling his support for immigration reform if same-sex couples are included is a slap in the face to his constituency and the families directly harmed by the current laws.
The Senator’s opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is also out of sync with the country and Florida voters who believe people should not be fired based on prejudice.
Nearly three-quarters of voters (73%) support protecting gay and transgender people from workplace discrimination. This support cuts across political party affiliation, with 81% of Democrats, 74% of independents and 66% of Republicans supporting workplace nondiscrimination laws for LGBT people. - See more at: http://www.freedomtowork.org/?page_id=39#sthash.yJOZfeOx.dpuf
1 April 2013 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), one of the most accurate polling companies in the country. http://bit.ly/13FDHRq
June 14, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Key West & Monroe County, 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 (1)
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Well-Strung, an all-gay, all-male string quartet, has its roots in Provincetown, Mass., when Mark Cortale spotted violinist Christopher Marchant playing classical music in the street.
“He did not have his shirt on and he was making beautiful music,” recalls Cortale, a producer who works with Broadway-Sirius/XM personality Seth Rudetsky. “I took a picture of him and put it on Facebook with a caption, ‘You have to love Provincetown.’”
Soon, Cortale organized an act with Marchant, violinist Edmund Bagnell, violist Trevor Wadleigh anc cellist Daniel Shevlin, a mix of classical and pop music, strings and vocals.
“Everyone is gay. Everyone is out,” says Cortale. “It’s not a gay group in the sense that it’s about the music. But in their personal lives, they’re out.”
In 2012, Well-Strung had an extended run in Provincetown. This year the quartet released its first album, is headed back to P-Town and played off-Broadway in a musical directed by Broadway veteran Donna Drake, an original cast member of A Chorus Line.
That’s the show Well-Strung performs Sunday night at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach, part of the Art in the Tropics LGBTQ performance festival.
“It’s a concert, but it’s a show, as well,” says Shevlin. “Sometimes we start the numbers and people don’t know what the song is until about a minute into.”
When Well-Strung first took off in Provincetown, the act was “gayer,” according to Cortale.
Shevlin agrees: “The first few incarnations were a little more gay, a little more in-your-face gay,” he says. “Now, it’s become the music. It’s not just a gay show.”
Still, Well-Strung is frequently booked into gay festivals such as Out in the Tropics.
Great, says Shevlin.
“I love gay audiences. They’re much more open, fun, cat-calling. You know they don’t hold back,” he says. “We get used to that in P-Town. Then we go to New York and they're much less rowdy. We want to know what happened? We [think we] suck!”
Fundarte Presents Well-Strung in Concert 8 p.m. Sunday at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets $25 (students and seniors) and $30, Ticketmaster.com. VIP seating $100 including cast reception following show to benefit 2017 World Outgames in Miami Beach, email@example.com.
News release from the National Center for Transgender Equality:
Revised policy a major milestone in Federal recognition of transgender people
Washington, DC - The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) applauds the Social Security Administration (SSA) for its decision today to change a policy protecting the privacy of transgender people.
The SSA has made it clearer and easier for transgender people to update the gender designation in Social Security records. The SSA joins other federal agencies like the U.S. State Department and the Veterans Health Administration in recognizing the realities of transgender lives and replacing outdated policies.
"Most people may not see this as a big deal, but transgender people know that this seemingly small technical change will protect their privacy and give them more control over their own lives" said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
In light of the updated policy, NCTE has a released a guide to understanding the modernized policy called Transgender People and the Social Security Administration.The new resource answers commonly asked questions about the updated policy. It also provides step-by-step information for how account holders can change the gender designation in their Social Security record.
The new policy allows transgender people to change the gender designation on their Social Security Records by submitting either government-issued documentation reflecting a change, or certification from a physician confirming that they have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. This policy replaces SSA's outdated policy, which required documentation of specific surgeries. The U.S. Military are the last remaining federal agencies to rely on the outdated requirements to change gender. Old policies remain for the military's discharge papers as well as several other records systems, forcing veterans and retirees to meet extremely burdensome and unreasonable requirements t update their pension and service records.
NCTE Director of Policy Harper Jean Tobin said, "The new policy gets rid of old, arbitrary requirements for specific medical treatments to update SSA records, even though these may not be available or appropriate for every person. The SSA's revised policy is one of the last remaining major federal agency policies to drop these outdated requirements."
"Prior to this policy update, trans people risked being unsafely outed to front line Social Security staff and to health care providers, or faced losing health care coverage already available to beneficiaries because a bureaucratic hiccup," said Tobin.
Keisling added, "Importantly, Social Security records are gateways to so many other kinds of identity documents, from driver's licenses to employment records, all of us depend on it in one way or another. This seemingly minor technical improvement touches every aspect of our lives and will have a profound impact on changing the way transgender people live and work."
NCTE worked for seven years in collaboration with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. We will continue working to ensure that transgender people have access to identity records and documents that match their gender identity.
BY NICOLE WINFIELD, ASSOCIATED PRESS
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis waded diplomatically into the gay marriage debate Friday, telling the Archbishop of Canterbury he wants to work together to promote family values "based on marriage."
Francis, who vigorously opposed gay marriage in his native Argentina, and Archbishop Justin Welby chatted, prayed and had lunch together at the Vatican in their first encounter since both were installed in March.
Welby, the spiritual leader of the 77 million-strong Anglican Communion, has opposed proposed legislation in Britain that would legalize gay marriage, saying it seeks to abolish and redefine the institution and would weaken one of the cornerstones of society.
He delivered a speech last week before the House of Lords before it moved the gay marriage bill one step closer to becoming law. The legislation would enable gay couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales.
In his remarks to Welby, Francis said he hoped they could collaborate in promoting the sacredness of life "and the stability of families founded on marriage." He noted that Welby had recently spoken out on the issue, a reference to his House of Lords speech.
Significantly, though, Francis didn't specify that marriage should be based on a union between a man and woman, which is how Benedict XVI and John Paul II routinely defined it in a way that made clear their opposition to same-sex marriage.
Vatican officials said Francis' phrasing was a diplomatic attempt to make his point without making a provocative pronouncement, particularly during an inaugural meeting with Welby that was aimed at getting to know one another. Francis though has steered clear of the gay marriage debate as it has recently roiled France and Britain, and in general has refrained from making headline-grabbing public comments on hot-button current issues.
BY DAVID MERCER, ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Caterpillar Inc. is no longer giving money to the Boy Scouts because the organization discriminates against homosexuals, a spokeswoman for the Illinois-based heavy equipment manufacturer confirmed Thursday.
The company's move wasn't directly tied to the recent Boy Scouts decision to continue to bar homosexual adults from roles within the organization while allowing openly gay children to be scouts. Instead, spokeswoman Rachel Potts said, the company decided to cut off funding while reviewing a request for $25,000 that came in last year from a local group in Illinois.
That decision was never announced publicly or communicated to the Boy Scouts of America, only to the local group, she said. But she added that the Boy Scouts' policy that continues to bar homosexual adults from working in the organization is "discriminatory."
Caterpillar has made donations in the past to the Boy Scouts of America, and the company's charitable arm, the Caterpillar Foundation, has donated money to local scouting groups in areas where it has factories and other facilities, Potts said. She declined to provide a dollar figure.
"We have inclusive policies here at Caterpillar Inc., and the foundation abides by those," she said. "We just don't feel that our two organizations align."
"However," she added, "if there's a change in the Boy Scouts' policies, we would certainly consider a change in the future grants - if there was a change that aligned with what our non-discrimination policies are."
Celebrated helicopter pilot slash reporter Bob -- is undergoing hormone replacement therapy and becoming a woman. The 53 year old Robert soon to be -- we made his name and that air covering that LA riots and -- PDs slow speed pursuit of OJ Simpson's white bronco. 35 days into the air beat Turk who dated Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher as late as 2003.