September 08, 2014

Same-sex marriage issue divides Miami Shores; second resolution vote scheduled for Monday night


In a city with a large percentage of same-sex households and an openly gay vice mayor, a symbolic resolution supporting same-sex marriage seemed like “something kind of simple” to Miami Shores Councilwoman Ivonne Ledesma.

“But what I found was that that wasn’t the case,” she said.

Whether or not to support gay marriage has split Miami Shores, with proponents flying rainbow flags on their immaculate front lawns and opponents speaking out at Village Hall.

Village leaders originally voted down the nonbinding measure on July 15.

A similar symbolic resolution will come before the council again Monday night, introduced by Mayor Herta Holly, who voted “no” the first time around.

Click here to read more.

September 06, 2014

Gallery | LGBT-rights group SAVE honors six Young Guardians with 2014 Luminary Awards

For the Miami Herald

LGBT-rights group SAVE on Friday hosted the second Young Guardians’ Luminary Awards, sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden in Miami Beach.

This year, SAVE honored six young professionals for their contributions to the LGBT community.

"We had over 300 attendees and raised over $30,000," SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima said. "Awesome night!"

033The six honorees: Aaron Bos-Lun, a Homestead High School teacher; Pamela Sweeney, a University of Miami marine graduate; Caridad Tabares, a Univision reporter; Daniel Tilley, for his work as the main LGBT attorney for the ACLU of Florida; Marco Sanchez, a marketing director for Jestony Vodka; and Jose Suarez, an NBC News executive in South Florida.

Suarez said that although he accepted his award personally, he is part of a team at the NBC and Telemundo family.

"We are committed to truth and fairness in all that we do," Suarez said. "Committed to give everyone in the [LGBT] community a voice and be able to tell their story."

South Florida Gay News was also recognized as for its role in the South Florida media market.

During the event, SAVE raised funds by text, setting a goal of $2,014. The group exceeded its goal by nearly $100, according to Lima.

Next year's text goal will be $2,015, Lima said.

Click here to view more pictures from the reception. Photos by ABRAHAM GALVAN / For the Miami Herald.

'We're just like any couple, really': DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket TV ad features two male sports fans

From DirecTV:

Everyone can agree that getting rid of cable for DIRECTV's NFL SUNDAY TICKET is a winning play! It's the only way to get every minute of every out-of-market game.

September 05, 2014

'Gone With the Wind' to celebrate 75th anniversary with theatrical screenings, new Blu-ray edition

Because we still give a damn: Long considered among the greatest films ever made, Gone With the Wind starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland celebrates its 75th anniversary this month.

TCM will present screenings of Gone With the Wind on Sept. 28 and Oct. 1 in movie theaters across the nation. The film gets a new boxed set Blu-ray anniversary edition on Sept. 30.

Here are the details from Fathom Events, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and TCM:


Scarlett O’Hara won and then lost Rhett Butler, Atlanta burned and the antebellum South was shown in all its splendor and decimation in one of cinema’s most treasured and most successful films, “Gone With the Wind.” And now, as part of the festivities to mark the 10-time Oscar©-winning film’s 75th anniversary, Fathom Events is joining with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Turner Classic Movies to bring TCM Presents: Gone With the Windback to its original home in select theatres nationwide and presented in its original aspect ratio so audiences can experience it as it was originally shown 75 years ago. The film will be exhibited on Sunday, September 28 and Wednesday, October 1 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time.

Tickets for “TCM Presents: Gone With the Wind” are available at participating theater box offices and online at The event will be presented in more than 650 select movie theaters around the country. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

In addition to the classic film, which starred Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, Olivia De Havilland as Melanie Hamilton and Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes, “TCM Presents: Gone With the Wind” will include a specially produced introduction by  TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne.

“Gone With the Wind” was released in 1939 and won the best picture Oscar© for that year. It has been re-released nine times since, but “TCM Presents: Gone With the Wind” will offer audiences their first opportunity to see the masterpiece in its original 1:37 aspect ratio since its initial re-release in 1947.  It will also be shown in that format when shown on TV and distributed on Blu-Ray format as part of the all-encompassing celebration of the classic’s 75th anniversary.

“Fathom Events is honored to be part of the multi-faceted commemoration of the 75th anniversary of ‘Gone With the Wind,’ and especially to give fans the chance to see it in the format and venue it was made for,” Fathom Events CEO John Rubey said. “There’s no better way to appreciate the grandeur or beauty of this film than in cinemas, with top-of-the-line projection and sound quality.”

“ ‘Gone With the Wind’ is one of the most celebrated and iconic films in the WB Library,” noted Jeff Baker, WBHE’s Executive VP and General Manager, Theatrical Catalog. “We are very selective about re-releasing classic films from our library, theatrically and this is certainly one that warrants the limited re-release. Deservedly, 75 years later, it remains the domestic box-office king at nearly $1.7 billion (adjusted for inflation).”

On September 30, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s “Gone with the Wind 75th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition” arrives on Blu-ray™ and Digital HD with UltraViolet. It will be fittingly presented in limited and numbered sets, with new premium packaging, new special features and new collectible memorabilia.  For more information, please click here.

"We're thrilled to be teaming up with Fathom Events and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as we bring ‘Gone With the Wind’ back into the spotlight for its 75th anniversary," said Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of digital, affiliate, lifestyle and enterprise commerce for TCM, TBS and TNT. "This is a great chance for fans to experience this monumental classic on the big screen."

As any fan of classic films or American literature surely knows, “Gone With the Wind” is the Epic Civil War drama about spoiled southern belle Scarlett O'Hara. Starting with her idyllic life on the plantation Tara, it traces her unrequited love for Ashley Wilkes, her tempestuous relationship with roguish Rhett Butler and her struggles as Atlanta burns, her family home is decimated and she vows to never go hungry again. As has been evident from the enduring devotion that fans have for the story – on film, on the pages of Margaret Mitchell’s original novel, on TV and home entertainment formats – frankly, they DO give a damn about Scarlett’s triumphs, travails and ultimate will to survive.

Florida Supreme Court declines to hear lesbian divorce case until after state appeals court decision


courtFlorida's Supreme Court on Friday said it would not hear a lesbian divorce case in Tampa until after a state appeals court makes a ruling.

"We decline at this time to accept jurisdiction of the appeal," said the Supreme Court, in response to a recent request from the Florida Second District Court of Appeal,

Last month, the Second DCA in Central Florida asked the Florida Supreme Court to hear the case of Mariama Monique Changamire Shaw and Keiba Lynn Shaw, a lesbian couple married in Massachusetts in 2010, who are now seeking a divorce in Tampa.

Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Laurel Lee refused to grant the couple a divorce because state law bans same-sex marriages. The Shaws' lawyers appealed the case to the second DCA.

The appeals court agreed 10-3 to “pass through” the case to the Supreme Court, in hopes it would decide the fate of Florida's gay marriage ban once and for all.

Click here to read the Supreme Court decision.

David Richardson challenger loses appeal to be put back on ballot; gay lawmaker is declared winner

From Miami Herald's Naked Politics blog, about state Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, Florida's first openly gay legislator:

An appeals court won't let Republican Laura Rivero Levey continue her bid for Florida House District 113.

Levey, a Miami Beach publicist, was disqualified from the race after a check she submitted to the state bounced.

Levey's bank said it had mistakenly placed a hold on the account, and she immediately sent a cashier's check to the state. But because she missed the deadline for qualifying, the Division of Elections refused to put her name on the ballot.

Incumbent state Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, was declared the winner.

Click here to read more.

September 04, 2014

U.S. appeals court rules against gay marriage bans in Wisconsin, Indiana


CHICAGO -- A U.S. appeals court ruled Thursday that same-sex marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana violate the U.S. Constitution, in another in a series of courtroom wins for gay-marriage advocates.

The unanimous decision by the three-judge panel of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago criticized the justifications both states gave for the bans, several times singling out the argument that marriage between a man and a woman is tradition. There are, the court noted, good and bad traditions.

"Bad traditions that are historical realities such as cannibalism, foot-binding, and suttee, and traditions that from a public-policy standpoint are neither good nor bad — such as trick-or-treating on Halloween," it said. "Tradition per se therefore cannot be a lawful ground for discrimination-regardless of the age of the tradition."

Same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Bans that have been overturned in some other states continue to make their way through the courts. Since last year, the vast majority of federal rulings have declared same-sex marriages bans unconstitutional.

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B Van Hollen said he would appeal Thursday's ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Wisconsin and Indiana cases shifted to Chicago after attorneys general in the states appealed separate lower court rulings in June that tossed the bans. The 7th Circuit stayed those rulings pending its own decision on the cases, which were considered simultaneously.

Click here to read more.

Michael Sam's second chance comes on Dallas Cowboys practice squad


IRVING, Texas -- Michael Sam waded through a crowd of reporters and was settling in front of yet another bank of cameras when someone asked if this was what it was like in St. Louis.

"The heat?" Sam said, drawing laughter from two dozen or so people surrounding him as he stood in front of a large Dallas Cowboys star on a wall just outside the locker room.

No, the latest version of the circus after the league's first openly gay player signed to the practice squad of America's Team. He's unlikely to get into the opener Sunday against San Francisco and might still face long odds of joining an active roster anytime soon.

But Sam got his second chance to make it in the NFL four days after the Rams released the seventh-round pick when they had to cut the roster to 53 players.

"You guys follow me around like hawks," Sam said after going through his first late-morning workout with the Cowboys. "I've been tired of it since February. I expected it."

Click here to read more.

September 03, 2014

NBCUniversal LGBT employees group permitted to march at upcoming St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC


NEW YORK -- Organizers of New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade have agreed to allow a gay contingent to march under its own banner for the first time, making an exception for a group of employees from NBC, the network televising the event.

The prohibition on identified gay groups in the world's largest and centuries-old New York parade had made participation a political issue. Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to march this year, and Guinness beer dropped its sponsorship.

The private New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade Committee, in a statement made available to The Associated Press, said Wednesday that OUT@NBCUniversal, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender resource group at the company that broadcasts the parade, would be marching up Manhattan's Fifth Avenue on March 17 under an identifying banner.

Craig Robinson, executive vice president and chief diversity officer at NBCUniversal, said the group had applied to march, but there was no immediate word on why the group was chosen.

"We welcome the parade committee's decision to accept OUT@NBCUniversal's application to march and enthusiastically embrace the gesture of inclusion," Robinson said. "Our employees, families and friends look forward to joining in this time-honored celebration of Irish culture and heritage."

Click here to read more.

SAVE to honor six young LGBT activists Friday at Luminary Awards in Miami Beach Botanical Garden

From SAVE:


FRIDAY: SAVE to Host 2nd Annual Luminary Awards Reception Honoring Standout Young Professional LGBT Activists


WHAT:  SAVE is South Florida's largest advocate for the local LGBT community. The Young Guardians' Luminary Awards are an annual gathering of the movers and shakers among South Florida's young professionals in the LGBT community.

The inaugural awards ceremony last year honored four young LGBT activists before a crowd of more than 250 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. This year, the Luminary Awards presented by AIDS Healthcare Foundation will honor six young professionals before an expected crowd of 250 or more at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. Tickets are available for sale online until midnight on Thursday at

WHO:  Honorees at this year's event include:

  • Aaron Bos-lun, a southern Miami-Dade educator with the Teach for America program recognized for his efforts to bring student-led Gay Straight Alliances to inner-city and urban high schools;
  • Pamela Sweeney, a University of Miami marine biology graduate student recognized for her years of volunteer work on behalf of many high-profile pro-equality advocacy campaigns including SAVE's effort to defeat the constitutional amendment banning marriage equality in Florida and more recent efforts to impact 2014 races in favor of pro-equality candidates;
  • Caridad Tabares, a reporter for Univision recognized for her work educating national Spanish-language audiences on issues of equality for the LGBT community;
  • Daniel Tilley, recognized for his work as the lead LGBT attorney for the ACLU of Florida and particularly for his successful argument on behalf of eight plaintiff same-sex couples, one widow, and SAVE in Grimsley et al. v. Scott, popularly known as Florida's federal marriage recognition lawsuit;
  • Marco Sanchez, the international marketing director for local spirit producer Jestony Vodka, recognized for putting the Jestony brand ahead of the curve by signing on early and often as a proud supporter of South Florida's LGBT community
  • Jose Suarez, an executive for NBC recognized for his efforts to put issues of equality for the LGBT community front-and-center before NBC's local audience;
  • and, South Florida Gay News, recognized as a source for LGBT empowerment as the gay news outlet of record in the South Florida media market.

In addition, SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima will issue congratulatory remarks to the 2014 honorees as part of the event program.

WHERE:  Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

WHEN:  This Friday, September 5th, 7PM-10PM