Friday, July 31, 2009

Gay Bloggers Call for Nationwide Kiss-In

As I reported here a few weeks ago, there have been two situations in the past month where gay couples were harassed and detained by security guards and local police for kissing in public. In El Paso, Texas and Deseret, UT, where the incidents occurred, "Kiss-In" protests were held by the local LGBT communities and gay-friendly supporters.

Gay bloggers, David Badash, of "The New Civil Rights Movement" and "The Bilerico Project" and David Mailloux, of "Dym Sum", have called on the LGBT community to take the protest national with The Great Nationwide Kiss-In.

Badash and Mailloux write on their Facebook page:

"We are two bloggers who believe that any person anywhere should be able to kiss whomever they want, whenever they want.

We both believe that there's not enough love and affection in the world, because most people are afraid to show it. We should never be afraid of brief, unimposing displays of affection. There is nothing wrong with a hug, a kiss on the mouth, a kiss on the cheek.

Together, with the help of Willow Witte and the national Join The Impact group, we are coordinating a nationwide event on August 15, 2009 at 2 p.m., EDT (or 11 a.m., PDT) It's called "The Great Nationwide Kiss-In" and you're invited - all of you! - to either plan a Kiss-In event in your city or town, or simply participate in an existing one.

Okay, you ask, but what does this mean? What is a Kiss-In?

Well, it's quite simple. On the suggested date and time, in a public place - whether it's a park or plaza or popular thoroughfare in your city or town - you'll bring your husband or wife or partner or boyfriend or girlfriend or good friend, and at 2 p.m., you'll kiss. It's one of the simplest things in the world to do!

After incidents in San Antonio, TX, El Paso, TX and Salt Lake City, UT - where different gay and lesbian couples were harassed or detained by law enforcement or other people for the simple act of kissing in a public place - we need to make a strong statement to everyone everywhere: kissing is not a bad thing, nor has it ever been. It's not vulgar or inappropriate. It's a sign of affection that is as old as time itself. And it's a beautiful thing that we share with our loved ones every single day."
For a list of scheduled Kiss-Ins, click here. There are no Kiss-In events currently scheduled for Roanoke, or anywhere else in Virginia.

Click here for information about the Kiss-In planned for the National Mall in Washington, DC.

View the promotion video for the Nationwide Kiss-In below:


Thursday, July 30, 2009

WTF is up with "Gay Sports"?

One of the great things about being gay and going through the whole coming out process is that you no longer have to pretend to like sports.

With the World Out Games in full swing in Copenhagen and London's Gay Sports Day scheduled to take place at the end of August, I've realized lately that I have to expand my mind a little if I want to write anything about them. It's sort of like trying to find your way around Beijing without knowing the language and not having a Mandarin to English dictionary.

Growing up sharing a bedroom with my two jock brothers and their smelly sneakers and sweat socks helped me understand one essential truth about myself: I hate sports.

I hate the phony competitiveness, the "I'm better than you" swagger, the mob mentality of sporting events and the fact that I was just never good at sports. In high school, I hated having to take gym class and being forced to take part in competitions that I could never win. I hated being judged by "their" standards.

Like most of my gay brethren, I only watch the Olympics for the hot guys in Speedos and the homoerotic contortions of the male gymnasts. Greco-Roman wrestling is pretty hot too, although being a traditionalist, I've always thought they should do it naked, the way the gods intended.

From what I hear, there is a small segment of our community that actually excels in athletics. I don't know any of those people personally, but like Big-foot, the Lock Ness Monster and Gay Republicans, there have been so many reported sightings that I try to keep an open mind about it.

I'm not talking about Women's Tennis, the LPGA or WNBA. Women's sports, like FedEx and UPS, could not exist without our strong lesbian sisters. But the notion that any proud gay man would willingly take part in any sporting event other than figure skating just boggles my mind. (I mean really, with those outfits, if you take away the blades, it's just another drag show.)

I get the whole "we deserve the right to be out and proud in the sports world" thing, but like religion, I don't want to be part of any organization that doesn't want me. (Spiritually, I'm more of an independent contractor.)

I suppose for some gay men there is a need to prove to straight men that we're not the weak little faeries they think we are. I can only guess that queer athletes have a need to prove that not only are they as good as the the straight jocks are, but gay jocks can even beat them at their own game.

Looking back, maybe I could have tried harder at sports, but why bother? Even as a kid I knew in my heart of hearts that gym class and sports in general, were bullshit. I knew instinctively that my big brother's daily workouts and hormone-fueled arrogance were nothing than more his attempt to hide his sensitive side. And I always knew that my strength was that I embraced that part of myself, while he was ashamed of it in himself. If it weren't for that, we might have been friends.

Gym class was only one hour out of my school day, but I hated every minute of it. For that one class, the jocks ruled. But when they were in my arena, Art class, which they only took as an "easy credit", I kicked their asses every day and that was enough for me.

My sweet revenge was knowing that even though those dumb jocks could humiliate me on the playing field, at the end of class I'd get to see them all naked in the locker room.

Whoa! I think I get it now!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bombings, Gay-bashing Mar Out Games

"(From Advocate.com) Reports of as many as three explosive devices detonated in two track stadiums of the Outgames in Copenhagen, leaving one person with minor injuries.

Before the men’s 4x200 track relay in the afternoon, two bombs were thrown onto the track exploding instantly, according to a witness in an e-mail obtained by The Advocate. An Outgames athlete was taken to hospital with injuries to his right hand from flying shrapnels, He was later released from the hospital, and is expected to recover.

Participants from the field were unharmed but a little shaken up.

Less than an hour later, a second bomb was thrown in another stadium. Luckily, no one was injured, but track events were delayed for 90 minutes.

Police now have a 31-year-old man in custody.

This is the second violent incident in less than a week for the Outgames.

Three men -- from England, Sweden, and Norway -- were attacked in the Danish capital, during opening-night ceremonies. All three victims were taken to a hospital where they were later released with minor injuries. Police arrested two men, who were believed to have been inebriated. Both suspects held criminal records and were expected to remain in custody for the remainder of the event.

The Federation of Gay Games are standing in solidarity with OutGames organizers, condemning these violent attacks.

Copenhagen has a reputation as one of the most LGBT friendly places on Earth. Even there, we are reminded that our community still faces those that would deny us our basic human rights, even the freedom to run in a track meet in safety. But we will not be discouraged; rather, we will run, swim, jump, throw, grapple, volley and perform at events like the Gay Games and OutGames, celebrating our right to love who we want,” Gay Games organizers said in a release."

New Weekly Feature: "Viking Zombie Boyfriend"


I am pleased to announce that the online comic "Viking Zombie Boyfriend", will be featured here at Rev. Steve's Cyber-Pulpit every Tuesday.

For the uninitiated, the strip follows the daily lives of Dill and Rorik, your typical everyday gay couple with a slight difference. Rorik is a 1000 year old Viking Zombie. Strip creator Jeremy Rizza describes him this way:

"[H]e was born all the way back in pre-Christian Scandinavia. He’s managed to live over a thousand years the old-fashioned way: by being dead for most of them. You see, he’s a Norse folklore creature called a “draugr.” The draugar (plural) are fallen warriors who regenerate inside their burial mounds. Now that he has the hang of it, Rorik can recover from any injury just by burrowing underground for a week."

"Rorik is a skilled harpist and singer. He loves going to the symphony and the opera, and he collects 'illuminated manuscripts', a.k.a. comic books. He is physically incapable of tanning."

Rorik's mortal domestic partner is Dill, who Rizza describes as "very comfortable in his own skin, and he’s just as comfortable in a Pucci scarf or a reproduction of one of Aretha Franklin’s hats. A li’l blond bear of the musclechub/fireplug variety, he is a free spirit, an aesthete, a dandy, an anarchist, and a show-off of the first order. He is still a little shellshocked to find himself acting as the more sensible half in a relationship."

The rest of the cast is made up of a quirky mix of neurotic humans and even more neurotic non-humans from Norse mythology. Go here for a full back story of all of the the strip's characters.

I want to express my thanks to Jeremy for letting me do this.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Comic Con goes gay as Dr. Who and Capt. Jack smooch for the fans

By now you know I'm a big old Sci-Fi geek, especially the British variety. At this year's Comic Con convention held in San Diego over the weekend, "Dr. Who" star, David Tennant capped off his introduction of "Torchwood" star John Barrowman with a full on lip-lock. Barrowman never misses an opportunity to queen it up and does so in this clip.

"Torchwood" is a spin-off of the BBC series "Dr. Who", which Barrowman co-starred in for a season. Barrowman has said in interviews that around the set, Tennant was known as David "Ten-inch" and that the two often engaged in bouts of competitive flatulence. (Sounds like a fun place to work.) Towards the end of the clip, Barrowman plants one on Russell T. Davies, creator of both series.


Effort to Repeal DOMA Focuses on Marriage Rights, not Domestic Partnerships or Civil Unions


In an interview with the Bay Area Reporter, Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) talks about his effort to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Nadler, who lead the effort to defeat the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have codified anti-gay discrimination into the U.S. Constitution, said in the interview, "We have got to repeal DOMA and have got to make sure it accomplishes for federal purposes allowing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages. The time for dumping DOMA is long overdue."

Nadler's fight to achieve federal recognition of same-sex marriages does not include civil unions or domestic partnerships. The congressman explained that including those state-recognized relationships would make things too complicated as each state has a different definition of what they are. He said that focusing on the ultimate goal, full marriage equality, is the best course of action.

"Historically domestic partnerships and other relationships have been an interregnum until we get to marriage, which we need to push for as soon as possible," said Nadler. He would not speculate on the legislation's chances of passage, adding, "We have to see what reaction we get. It won't pass this year."

"Viking Zombie Boyfriend", By Jeremy Rizza

Joan Rivers Goes Off Back Stage

This is a promotional video for the upcoming Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers, although it takes a bit to catch on that Joan's not just being a diva bitch. You can catch the roast, hosted by Kathy Griffin, August 9th on Comedy Central.

NSFW due to language. In other words, she drops a lot of F-bombs.


NY's Gillibrand Gets Hearing on Don't Ask, Don't Tell


Newsday reports that New York's Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Monday she had won the commitment of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) to hold its first hearing this fall on the "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy on gays in the military.

The article points out that Gillibrand does not currently serve on the SASC, but did during the last congressional session. Gillibrand's people said she did not raise the issue last year when she served on the committee because she believed there was no support for addressing the repeal of DADT under the previous administration and the Republican-led congress.

In recent weeks, Gillibrand had led an effort to impose an 18-month moratorium on the policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the US military. The NY senator had tied the moratorium to the defense authorization bill, but dropped the effort when she found there was not enough support for the measure.

The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act was passed as part of the bill.

No date has been set for the hearings which are expected to include experts on DADT. According to the Service Members Legal Defense Network, 321 service members have been discharge under DADT since President Obama took office.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Lame Duck" Sarah Palin Steps Down Amid Ethics Probe


It's official, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's resignation from office took effect Sunday. In a farewell speech at her annual barbecue, Palin blamed the distraction of ongoing ethics investigations and the media for her inability to be an effective state leader.

In her speech to supporters, Palin said, "Now people who know me, they know how much I love this state ... I feel it is my duty to avoid the unproductive, typical, politics-as-usual, lame-duck session in one's last year in office."

I have just one thing to say about this. Gov. Palin, I raise ducks. I've had lame ducks. You, Gov. Palin are no lame duck.

We now have just four ducks, but when we had seven, we named them after the days of the week, just to make it easier tell to them apart. A few years ago, one of our females, Monday, suffered a broken leg after a bout of rough sex. The males had gotten too aggressive with her and caused the injury while climbing on top of her.

We isolated her in a pen for several weeks until she could get around on her own. The leg never really healed right, but Monday was eventually able to hobble around and rejoin the rest of the flock.

Her mate, Wednesday, dutifully guarded her, keeping the rest of the males away and always waited for her to catch up as they made their way around the yard browsing for slugs and bugs and all the other things ducks do during their busy day.

Monday was most comfortable and happiest swimming in the pond, where her natural buoyancy relieved the discomfort of her bad leg. Every day, she kept living life to the best of her abilities. She lasted a year until we finally lost her, but she never gave up.

While time and ethics probe results will tell us what kind of person Sarah Palin really is, for me the word "quitter" comes to mind. Being a lame duck is something she could only aspire to.

GLAAD Releases Third Annual Network Responsibility Index

(From GLAAD.org)
"Today, GLAAD [the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation] released its third annual Network Responsibility Index, a report that maps the quantity, quality and diversity of images of LGBT people on television. HBO ranked highest among all networks, while ABC led broadcast networks for the third year in a row.

HBO received a Good rating and scored the highest rating of the 15 networks evaluated with LGBT characters on shows including True Blood, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Entourage that reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of the LGBT community. Of HBO’s 14 original series, 10 included LGBT content and 42 percent of the network’s total programming hours included LGBT representation. However, representation of the lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities was minimal.

ABC and The CW ranked first and second among the five broadcast networks, just as they have every year since GLAAD began tracking for the Network Responsibility Index. However, the rankings among the remaining broadcast network shifted with CBS dropping to last place and Fox rising to third.

The 14th Annual GLAAD Where We Are On TV report on diversity will be issued in September. This analysis will examine LGBT inclusion as well as the gender and race/ethnicity of all scripted characters scheduled to appear during the upcoming season. With brand-new LGBT-inclusive shows such as Glee and Modern Family, we are optimistic that the 2009-2010 television season could see some marked improvement among the major networks. Continue checking glaad.org and glaadblog.org for the latest on the Network Responsibility Index and Where We Are on TV, as well as further news on the coming TV season."


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Candy Spelling Posts Open Letter to Tori on TMZ.com


The mother-daughter bitch-fest that just won't go away has taken a predictable turn with Candy Spelling posting an open letter to her reality show train wreck offspring on TMZ.com.

In the posting, the billionairess merry widow, says, "I know many middle-aged people have issues about their parents and their upbringing. I did. My memories didn't match all those of my mother, and, funny thing, it's the same way with my daughter."

Middle-aged?

I know that Tori isn't aging well and her fake boobs and trademark bug-eyes are the only 3D features on her emaciated stick of a body, but that's no reason to call this has-been, fame-whore "middle-aged".

That's just not nice.

T.R. Knight Says Leaving Grey’s Was ‘the Best Decision’


(From People Magazine)
"Former Grey’s Anatomy star T.R. Knight is opening up about his departure from ABC’s hit medical drama, telling Entertainment Weekly he saw no future for Dr. George O’Malley, the lovable resident he played for five seasons.

Knight says his screen time dropped so much by season 5 that he chose to leave the show rather than seek an answer — something he says was hard to come by.

'My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given [about George],' he tells the magazine. 'There just comes a time when it’s so clear that moving on is the best decision.'

Costar Katherine Heigl initially disagreed with her friend.

'I didn’t think it was the right decision,' she says. 'I felt like some of the problems could be worked through. But by the time it came to fruition, I was [glad] for him because he was ready to go.'

San Francisco wants a say in Prop. 8 lawsuit


(From the San Francisco Chronicle)
"The city of San Francisco asked a judge Thursday for permission to intervene in the federal lawsuit challenging California's ban on same-sex marriage, a request that may intensify the battle for control of the high-stakes litigation.

The leader of an organization that filed the suit against Proposition 8 has already accused established gay-rights groups of trying to undermine the case and promised to oppose their attempt to intervene. San Francisco raised the stakes Thursday by filing a similar motion with Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who has scheduled a hearing for Aug. 19.

The city would add "a unique local government perspective" to the case, along with its extensive legal experience in defending gay and lesbian rights, if allowed to intervene, City Attorney Dennis Herrera's office said in court papers."

Wash. gay partnership foes say "too close to call"

(From the Seattle Times)

"Opponents of a new domestic partnership law are making a final push for petitions to force a public vote, calling their effort so far "too close to call."

In a statement released Friday, the Referendum 71 campaign says it will have the minimum 120,577 petition signatures needed to qualify for the ballot. But organizer Gary Randall also says they don't have enough extra signatures to act as a cushion for errors.

Randall is asking R-71 supporters to drive additional signatures to the state Capitol on Saturday afternoon, to make the deadline for referendum petitions."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Accidental Activist: A blast from the past


One afternoon back in September, 1992 I was sitting in my office in Herndon, Va. sorting through the daily mail at the non-profit I worked for at the time. As usual, I was listening to my favorite afternoon radio show, "The Don and Mike Show".

Having started out as a morning drive Morning Zoo type show, Don and Mike had moved to the 3pm to 7pm slot and were just starting out on their road to national syndication. Their brand of humor was the kind that either you got it or you didn't. Most of the time I got it. Some of their regular bits were "Low-budget Jeopardy" and "Who Would You Do?", where callers were given a choice between two celebrities like Bea Arthur and Aunt Bea from "The Andy Griffith Show".

They had one game where they directed listeners to be at a certain pay phone to answer their call, then give them ten minutes to be at another phone, then another and another until they won a prize. You get the idea.

This particular day they were talking about how September was National Gay Rodeo Month and were making the typical sophomoric jokes about what a gay rodeo might be like. They decided it would be fun to hold a Gay Square Dance and Rodeo in the parking lot of their Fairfax radio station and asked listeners to call in if they or someone they knew was a gay square dancer.

After about 30 minutes with no calls, I remembered a gay square dance group I had heard of called the Lambda Squares. I called the station and told the producer, Diana, about the group and suggested she contact them through their ad in the Washington Blade. She asked me if I wouldn't mind talking to the guys on air. "Sure", I said, thinking my boss preferred Rush Limbaugh and wouldn't be listening in.

After telling the shock jocks about Lambda Squares, Don said that they didn't get many gay callers and admitted that he really didn't know a lot about gay people. He asked if I wouldn't mind if he asked me a few questions. Once again, I replied, "Sure."

What started out as a simple call-in tip turned into a 20-minute interview. The locker room humor fell by the wayside as they asked me things like how I knew I was gay and had I ever been with a women.

I responded that I had been with a woman, once. I compared it to putting your left shoe on your right foot. It just didn't feel right until I put the proper shoe on.

They asked me, "Are you the man or the woman in the relationship?"

I paused for a moment as I tried to wrap my head around the question. Were they asking if I dressed as a woman? Did they want to know if I was a top or a bottom?

My response was, "It's two men, there is no woman."

Then they asked me, "Which question do straight people ask you that you hate the most?"

My answer: "Whether I'm the man or the woman in my relationships."

I thought I held my own during the interview and when it was over, co-workers flocked to my office, totally awestruck and congratulated me on how well I had done.

Over the next two weeks I worked with Diana, the producer, putting together the Square Dance and Rodeo. I even got my friend Howard, aka, DC drag sensation, Gladys Kravits, to appear at the event. It turned out to be a lot of fun. Dozens of people, gay and straight turned out for the event which included live music, barnyard animals and, of course, square dancing.

The image you see here is the original Washington Blade article from September 19, 1992, that I found while cleaning out the garage a few weeks ago. Click to embiggen.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What's In a Handshake?

I wrote this article to submit to the Bilerico Project as a guest blogger. They liked it and posted it a couple of weeks ago. I got some really great feedback from several of their readers, so I thought I'd post it on my own site.

My partner and I recently attended a housewarming/cookout at the home of my coworker Leanne and her boyfriend Jimmy. It was a laid back gathering of family, friends and new neighbors and also the first time I’d been to Leanne’s place in the five years we’ve known each other. We had a lot of fun sitting around eating some great food and telling funny stories.

The day after the party, I sent an e-mail to Leanne thanking her for the invitation, complimenting her new home and recounting what a great time we’d had. She replied saying how glad she was that we could make it and commented on how impressed Jimmy had been that I had shaken his dad’s hand when I met him.

What did he expect, an Obama-style fist bump? Jimmy had greeted me with the customary straight guy “right-hand-clasp, lean-in, right-shoulder-touch, left-handed, half-hug.” A move that says, “I like you, but not in that way.” Since his dad was old enough to also be my dad, the gesture didn’t seem appropriate. Besides, as a homo, I don’t really do it right.

I didn’t know what Jimmy had told his conservative, Southern Baptist folks about me, but I figured it was clear that my hubby and I had shown up as a couple. I usually greet my gay friends with a full-on hug and a kiss, but since my gaydar wasn’t going off at the party, I went with a classic.

At first I wondered why it was worthy of notice, but it got me thinking about how something as simple as a handshake can be so much more than a polite social gesture.

The handshake as a form of greeting goes way back to the earliest days of Humanity. When the leaders of two tribes met, not knowing each other’s language, they would put down their weapons and extend an empty hand as a way of saying, “I’m not your enemy.”

In my early twenties, it was my mother who taught me the importance of shaking someone’s hand as a sign of respect when going on job interviews and in other business or social settings. As a woman in the workforce during the 70’s, she had learned how to get by in the white, hetero, male-dominated business world. Dad wasn’t around, so it was up to her to impart these pearls of wisdom to me.

Years later, when I moved from DC to Southwestern Virginia, I felt like a like the queer version of the Lewis and Clark Expedition entering a gay no-man’s land. I decided that I would let people get to know me as a person before revealing my man-on-man preference. I made it a point to shake hands whenever I met someone new. When I eventually came out to my new friends, they may have been surprised or a little shocked, but they didn’t reject me.

One Happy Hour, several years ago, I was having a beer at my favorite neighborhood watering hole, “The Squeeze Inn”, a long, narrow, hole-in-the-wall place with barn wood paneling and caricatures of long-dead former patrons on the walls. From the far end of the bar, came a low, drunken grumble with those all too familiar words, “Fuckin’ Faggot!”

Before I could react, my redneck buddy, Burk, a 6’2”, 300 lb. mountain of a man, complete with work boots and John Deere cap, was in the drunk’s face, growling, “Can’t we all just get along?”

Okay, so it wasn’t the most eloquent thing to say, but it got the point across. That drunken homophobe was in “my” bar and my friends had my back. Even the drunk’s friend, seated next to him, said, “Shut up, he’s okay!”

Later, another of my mountain-man beer buddies told me, “I don’t usually like yer kind, but yer a’right, Hoss.” He also said that if anybody ever gave me any trouble, I should give him a call, adding, “They’ll never find the body, Hoss.” I should point out that he calls everyone “Hoss”.

Based on their respective backgrounds, none of the guys I’ve mentioned have any reason to want to be my friend. The same can be said of all of those people out there who are actively working against us in our fight for full rights and equality.

We’ve known for a long time now that when straight people get to know us on a personal level, their homophobia fades. When I extend my hand as a gesture of friendship and respect, I earn a measure of it in return. Sometimes the best way to build a bridge between opposing forces is with a simple, age-old gesture that says, “I’m not your enemy.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

CNN's Rick Sanchez: Obama's U.S. Birth Certificate is Valid

This one is for my buddy Dave, the conspiracy theorist.


The Daily Show's Lewis Black Takes on Health Care Reform

From Comedy Central

New Bill Would Allow Ca. to Recognize Gay Marriages from Other States

"(From The Sacramento Bee) A proposed law to recognize a growing number of same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries is winding its way through California's Legislature.

Opponents of gay marriage say Senate Bill 54 violates Proposition 8, a voter initiative approved last November that amended the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

The bill's sponsor contends that his proposed changes to state family law are consistent with the California Supreme Court's nuanced decision in May to uphold Proposition 8.

The court's decision upheld the right of voters to bar gay couples from the label "marriage," acknowledged SB 54's author, Sen. Mark Leno, an openly gay Democrat from San Francisco.

But the court, Leno noted, also upheld an estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages performed in California before the gay-marriage ban was approved. Those marriages took place after the justices ruled in May 2008, in a separate decision, that California's constitution at that time did not prevent same-sex marriage.

The high court did not address how to treat out-of-state marriages, explaining in a footnote that none of the parties involved in lawsuits represented such interests."

Sam-Ro Throws Ho'han's Clothes into the Street

(From the Daily Mail)

"Lindsay Lohan was left red-faced yesterday after her on/off girlfriend Samantha Ronson threw her clothes onto the street after another row.

The 23-year-old redhead turned up at Samantha's Hollywood home at 6am on Monday morning - an hour after Samantha returned home alone after a late night with Sopranos actress Drea De Matteo.

After the couple were heard rowing in Samantha's house, the DJ demanded Lindsay leave the house and threw a bag of the actress's clothes onto the street.

During their early morning row, Lindsay was heard accusing Samantha of being a 'liar'.

On Sunday night, Sam met up with Drea for dinner at Nobu in Malibu, before continuing the night elsewhere.

Sam, 31, finally returned to her house at 5am and laughed off a paparazzo's assumption of a romantic date with Drea, 37.

She said: 'She's one of my best friends.'"

FloydFest 8 Kicks Off on Thursday


The region's annual four-day live music festival, FloydFest starts on Thursday, the 23rd and runs through Sunday the 26th.

Four-day, three-day or daily tickets are still available for the Woodstock-style event that features dozens of local and national acts. Headlining this year is Blue Traveler.

You can buy and print tickets on-line from the comfort of your own home or, if the boss isn't looking, your workplace. Tickets are transferable to someone else. If you lose your ticket, they'll let you reprint it. The hippie folks are very laid back that way.

You can also buy tickets at the gate, but you'll pay more.

Click here to go to the website for the full schedule of performers, hear their music, buy tickets, get parking and camping information and all the details.

2010 Olympics Will Have First Gay House


(From The New York Times)
"WHISTLER, British Columbia — Dean Nelson has a vivid imagination. He can stand in a 920-square-foot hotel conference room, set up for a business meeting in mid-July, and see a sometimes-smoldering, sometimes-pulsating party club there by February.

He can see a giant rainbow flag hanging outside and a line to the door. Mostly, though, Nelson can see a comfortable, inclusive hangout for gays, perhaps some of the hundreds of athletes at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics who will be competing in and around this bustling ski town. And he can see it making a statement to everyone outside of Pride House.

“We anticipate Pride House is going to rock the Olympics,” Nelson said.

Every Olympics includes temporary, carefully designed places for athletes and officials from various countries to socialize — a U.S.A. House, a Canadian Pavilion, a Russia House and so on. Holland House, sponsored by Heineken, is often the biggest and boldest.

Pride House is believed to be the first such house for gay and lesbian athletes and their friends and families."


Read the full story here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act Passes Senate

(From AP) WASHINGTON —
"The Senate on Thursday approved the most sweeping expansion of federal hate crimes law since Congress responded four decades ago to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The legislation, backed by President Barack Obama, would extend federal protections granted under the 1968 hate crimes law to cover those physically attacked because of their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

"This bill simply recognizes that there is a difference between assaulting someone to steal his money, or doing so because he is gay, or disabled, or Latino or Muslim," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.

Voice vote passage came immediately after supporters cleared a 60-vote procedural hurdle imposed by Republicans trying to block consideration of the legislation. That vote was 63-28."

Gay Protesters Stage 2nd Kiss-In at Mormon Temple

(From AP)
"A mass-kissing protest near the Mormon church temple Sunday drew a shouting match between gay activists and a group of faithful Mormons.

For the second consecutive weekend, about 100 people gathered to stage a "kiss-in" to protest the treatment of two gay men cited for trespassing July 9 after they shared a kiss on the plaza owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both gay and straight couples exchanged kisses during the protest.

Demonstrators were greeted at the south entrance by a group of protesters carrying large signs that denounced homosexuality, prompting a heated verbal exchange.

Police say no one was arrested or cited, despite a large group exchanging kisses by a reflecting pool at the plaza's center.

"We didn't call the police. We didn't do anything," church spokeswoman Kim Farah said.

The church bought one block of Salt Lake City's Main Street to build a plaza in the 1990s alongside the Temple, where Mormon marriages and other religious rituals take place.

Matt Aune has said he and his partner, Derek Jones, exchanged a modest kiss at the plaza 11 days ago, but church officials contend their behavior was lewd.

"There was much more involved that a simple kiss of the cheek," Farah said in a statement Friday. "They engaged in passionate kissing, groping, profane and lewd language, and had obviously been using alcohol."

The men have said they were walking home from a nearby concert and cutting through the plaza on their way home.

A police report said they sat down for a kiss and were approached by a pair of church security guards, who asked them to leave because their behavior was "unwanted."

Both were handcuffed and Aune was pinned to the ground."

Out Gay Congressman Appointed to Air Force Academy Board


(From ABC News) WASHINGTON --
"The U.S. Air Force Academy has a gay member on its Board of Visitors. Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis was named to the board Wednesday. Polis became the first openly gay man elected to Congress as a non-incumbent last year. House leaders also reappointed Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, whose district includes the academy in Colorado Springs.

The Board of Visitors gives semiannual reports on the military academy to Congress and the Pentagon. Polis opposes the military's "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy that bans gays from serving openly in the military. But a Polis aide says Polis considers the Air Force appointment an honor and doesn't plan to use it to try to change policy."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Obama Includes Gays in Anti-Discrimination Speech to NAACP


"Torchwood: Children of Earth" Premiers Monday on BBC America

Captain Jack is Back!

Yes, I am a big old SciFi geek. The long anticipated third season of Torchwood airs for five consecutive nights starting Monday on cable's BBC America.

The Torchwood team, lead by time agent Capt. Jack Harkness, is two members short after the loss of Owen and Tosh last season and must once again save the world from alien invasion.

Look for lots of explosions, creepy children and more man-on-man action between Capt. Jack (John Barrowman) and Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd) as their relationship deepens.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

LOGO to Air Documentary "P'town Diaries"

California has San Francisco and West Hollywood. Florida has Key West and South Beach. In the northeast, it's all about Provincetown, Mass. The LGBT vacation destination is featured in the new documentary, "P'town Diaries", narrated by out actor Alan Cumming. The film by actor/director Joseph Mantegna will air July 25th on queer cable network, LOGO. Take a look at the trailer.


Ft. Worth Mayor Apologizes for Rainbow Lounge Raid (Sort of)

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Ft. Worth, Tx. mayor Michael Moncrief has apologized for the June 29th raid on The Rainbow Lounge, which left one man hospitalized with head injuries. The apology took place at a Ft. Worth City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

A crowd of about 250 was packed into the council chambers, while another estimated 150 people watched on closed circuit TV in the hallway.

The impromptu statement came in response to someone in the crowd demanding an apology for the incident which resulted in over 50 arrests. The mayor responded by saying, "If you want an apology from the mayor of Fort Worth: I am sorry about what happened in Fort Worth."

On hearing the the mayor's words, the crowd erupted into cheers and applause.

The Dallas Morning News also reported yesterday a clarification from the mayor's office of the mayors words, saying the apology was not for the raid itself, but for injuries sustained during the raid, which left 26-year-old Chad Gibson hospitalized. City spokesman Bill Begley said that the mayor and City Council are always sorry if anyone gets hurt in the city.

The mayor's office has asked federal prosecutors to investigate the raid that took place on the 40th anniversary of the 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn, which prompted two weeks of riots and sparked the modern gay rights movement.

Here's where I pull out my soap box.

If this raid had taken place at an African-American-owned bar, catering to the black community, holding its grand opening on Martin Luther King's birthday, there would have been hell to pay. I think its safe to say that police and ABC agents, knowing the significance of Rev. King's birthday to the black community, would have probably thought, "let's pick another day to do this."

The shame of the situation is that the Ft. Worth mayor, police and ABC agents still have no clue about the LGBT community, our concerns or our cultural history. But they are not alone. While law enforcement agencies in more progressive cities around the country have a liaison to their LGBT communities, they are the exceptions. In most parts of the country, on a local level, no one speaks for us.

As the battle lines in the fight for LGBT rights are increasingly being drawn in small cities and towns across America, it is up to LGBT-Americans in those communities to work with law enforcement, politicians and educators to create a greater understanding of our culture and our concerns. Protesting after the fact is no longer good enough.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Daniel Radcliffe on Gay Rumors


As muggles the world over swarm the movie theaters this week for the opening of "Harry Potter and The Half-blood Prince", actor Daniel Radcliffe addresses the rumors that he's gay.

(From latimes.com)
"'I grew up around gay people my entire life, basically, that's possibly why I'm quite camp, and some people think I'm gay when I meet them, which I think is awesome.'

Yeah, and this suit may have something to do with it too. (joking)

On Emma Watson's recent red carpet panties flash:

'I did feel bad for her. Men will never know the kind of humiliation of having an upskirt done, which poor old Emma had. We talked a few days after her birthday, and she said, 'It was awful, they were all over me. They were trying to shoot up my knickers!' It's incredibly invasive. That's why I do think it's much, much harder for girls being famous than it is for guys.'"

Too Little, Too Late: Bill Clinton Now Backs Gay Marriage

(From TheNation.com)
"Former President Bill Clinton has come out in support of same-sex marriage. After speaking at the Campus Progress National Conference in Washington, DC, on July 8, the former president was asked if he supported same-sex marriage. Clinton, in a departure from past statements, replied in the affirmative.

Clinton opposed same-sex marriage during his presidency, and in 1996, he signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which limited federal recognition of marriage to one man and one woman. In May of this year, Clinton told a crowd at Toronto's Convention Centre that his position on same-sex marriage was 'evolving.'

Apparently, Clinton's thinking has now further evolved. Asked if he would commit his support for same-sex marriage, Clinton responded, 'I'm basically in support.'

This spring, same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire. In his most recent remarks on the subject, Clinton said, 'I think all these states that do it should do it.' The former president, however, added that he does not believe that same-sex marriage is "a federal question.'

Asked if he personally supported same-sex marriage, Clinton replied, 'Yeah.' 'I personally support people doing what they want to do,' Clinton said. 'I think it's wrong for someone to stop someone else from doing that [same-sex marriage].'

The former president joins a string of prominent Democrats who have recently switched their position on the issue, including former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean, New York Senator Charles E. Schumer, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd.

'Bill Clinton joins other important public figures in stepping solidly into the twenty-first century in support of same-sex marriage equality,' said the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's executive director Rea Carey. We certainly hope other elected officials, including President Obama, join him in clearly stating their support for equality in this country. Same-sex couples should not have to experience second-class citizenship.'

Clinton's reversal is the highest-profile one to date. It may also have political implications for the future of the Defense of Marriage Act. President Obama has pledged to repeal the law, but in June, the Justice Department filed a brief in federal court defending the law's constitutionality.

A recent Gallup poll found that a majority of Democrats favor same-sex marriage."

Trans Woman Dead Following Voodoo Cleansing Ritual


(From Philly.com)

"LUCILLE HAMILTON paid $621 to have her 'spiritual grime' removed by a voodoo high priest in an ordinary townhouse on a winding street in Camden County, a friend said.

Hamilton, 21, a male living as a woman, flew in on Friday from her home in Little Rock, Ark., to the house on Loch Lomond Drive in Gloucester Township [New Jersey], friends said, to take part in a three-day spiritual cleansing referred to on the priest's Web site as 'Lave Tet.'

By Saturday night Hamilton was dead, and authorities are awaiting results of an autopsy and toxicology tests to determine exactly what happened. No charges have been filed.

Although authorities have not called Hamilton's death suspicious, her friends are eager to know what went wrong.

'I'm still trying to find a scenario that makes sense,' said Billie Miller, Hamilton's boss at Arkansas Flag and Banner, in Little Rock. 'I can't come up with anything that makes sense.'"

Read the full article here. Be sure to check out the hateful, homophobic, anti-trans comments following the article from the "Jesus is Love" folks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Olympic Hopeful Funds Quest for Gold by Opening Brothel

What won't those wacky breeders come up with next.

(From The Huffington Post and AP)

"WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - A New Zealand taekwondo athlete has opened a brothel to help fund his bid to compete at the 2012 London Olympics, local media reported Sunday.

Logan Campbell, 23, told the Sunday Star-Times newspaper he hoped his Auckland 'gentleman's club,' which provided escort services, would help him raise about $200,000 toward his London Games campaign.

Campbell, who finished in the top 16 in the featherweight division at last year's Beijing Olympics, said he spent around $90,000 competing in international events leading up to the games.

Most of the money had been provided by his parents, he said. His father, Max, an auctioneer, had worked two jobs to support his son's Olympic quest.

Campbell told the newspaper his desire to avoid being a burden on his parents led him to open the brothel with business partner Hugo Phillips, 20. He said he had introduced several of his female employees to his mother who 'realized they were just normal people supporting kids and stuff.'

Taekwondo New Zealand funding manager John Schofield said the governing body of the sport in the country would have to consider whether Campbell was suitable for international selection.

'Selection takes into account not just performance but also the athlete's ability to serve as an example to the youth of the country,' Schofield said."

MSNBC's Olberman Names World's Worst Person: Pastor Prays for Obama's Death

Guys like this make Baby Jesus cry.

Gay Penguins Split Over Home-Wrecking Hen


The San Francisco Zoo reports that its gay penguin couple, Harry and Pepper have split up after six years. The pair had been so devoted to each other that caretakers had let them incubate an egg and raise the chick together.

Zookeeper Anthony Brown told the San Francisco Examiner, "Of all of the parents that year, they were the best. They took very good care of their chick."

But in the end it seems that Harry may have just been bi-curious. Linda, a widowed female, took a shine to the doting dad, entertaining him in the burrow of her late mate.

Brown says that molting season tends reshuffle penguin pairs. "It'll be interesting to see if Harry spends any of that time with Pepper," Brown said. "We'll have to wait and see."

The heart-broken Pepper could not be reached for comment, although there are unconfirmed reports of empty Ben and Jerry's containers piling up in his burrow. Zoo officials have not said who will get the Celine Dion CD's.

FedEx Announces Workplace Protections for Transgender Employees

Corp. giant FedEx leads while Capitol Hill drags its feet.

News release from NorthStar Asset Management:

FedEx Delivers to the Transgender Community

NorthStar Asset Management, Inc., a portfolio management company in Boston, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with FedEx Corporation, a provider of transportation and business solutions, for the creation of an official FedEx policy that is inclusive of gender identity.
“We filed a resolution seeking protection against any form of job discrimination based on gender identity, and FedEx responded with a desire to understand and incorporate such a policy,” said Julie Goodridge, CEO of NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, transgender people face disproportionate amounts of discrimination in virtually all areas of life, especially in employment and health care. Congress and the Obama Administration have been slow to act on passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (a proposed bill that would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity) and because of this; an increasing number of companies – often after being confronted with shareholder resolutions regarding gender identity – are adding appropriate protections. According to the Human Rights Campaign’s State of the Workplace 2008 report, currently 35% of Fortune 500 companies, and over 60% of the top 100 Fortune-ranked businesses, have inclusive employment policies, and have added gender identity to their diversity and sensitivity programs.

“Transgender people suffer the greatest amount of discrimination in the workforce and have little recourse due to the lack of protection under state and federal law,” Goodridge noted. “While it is unfortunate that the Federal government has yet to pass an inclusive Non-Discrimination Act that includes all people, thankfully there are U.S. corporations like FedEx who are determined to protect and value all of their workers…they are leading the way potentially years ahead of Capitol Hill.”

Marisa Richmond, Ph.D., President of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition – located in the state where the corporate headquarters of FedEx resides – said “We are pleased that FedEx is expanding its non-discrimination policy to include gender identity. By recognizing the value and contributions of transgender workers, we believe the company will benefit from those contributions, and that this will allow their current and future employees the opportunity to help the company move forward.”

Forbes Magazine recognized FedEx in March 2009 as one of the most admired companies in the world; NorthStar applauds this most recent step that shows the company’s continuing desire to create a safe working environment.

NorthStar Asset Management, Inc. is a wealth management firm based in Boston, specializing in socially responsible investing.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Queers Protest Tacos and Temples with Same-Sex Lip-Locks


The gays are on the march again. Protests were staged in El Paso ,TX and Deseret, UT on Sunday in separate incidents involving same-sex kissing.

From The El Paso Times)
"EL PASO -- A boisterous demonstration supporting gay rights took place Friday outside an East Side Chico's Tacos where five men say they were kicked out after two of them kissed almost two weeks ago.

About 100 people picketed in front of the Chico's on Montwood, where they hoisted signs that read, 'El Paso is Diversity,' 'What About Our 1st Amendment Rights?' and '...With Liberty and Justice For All.'

Protesters lined both sides of the street outside the restaurant, chanted and urged motorists to honk in support.

Carlos Diaz de Leon, one of the five men and a leader in the protest, claims that about 12:30 a.m. June 29 he and four others were at Chico's when two of his friends kissed, prompting a private security guard to use an anti-gay slur in Spanish and to call police, who cited a statute on homosexual conduct declared unconstitutional six years ago.

On Thursday, Chico's owner Bernie Mora told Channel 7-KVIA that the restaurant serves tacos, not discrimination, and that during its 56-year history has welcomed everybody."

Attorneys from the ACLU have taken on the case and are considering legal action against Chico's Tacos, the security company and the El Paso Police Department.

Meanwhile in Deseret, UT, just south of Salt Lake City, about 60 demonstrators staged a PDA protest outside the local LDS temple over a similar incident involving a gay couple that were ejected by security guards from Temple Square over a same-sex lip-lock that took place last week.

(From the Deseret News)
"Former Salt Lake City Councilwoman Deeda Seed launched the idea from her Facebook page after two gay men, Derek Jones and Matthew Aune, were asked to leave the church-owned pedestrian walkway between North Temple and South Temple Thursday because of 'inappropriate behavior.' The men said they had been holding hands and kissed. Church officials called police, who cited the men for trespassing, after they became argumentative, used profanity and refused to leave the private property, said Farah.

'We're giving a visual demonstration of the power of love,' Seed said. 'And saying that it should be OK for people to show affections regardless of their sexual orientation or age.'

Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrott attended the event but was less pragmatic than Seed in his evaluation of the incident that sparked the demonstration.

'It's another instance of indignity being visited on gays and lesbians,' Garrott said. 'I knew this couple personally, they're friends of mine, so it hits close to home.'

'The big picture seems still to be lost on the church leadership,' Garrott said. 'The church is coming across not as defending traditional marriage but as being cruel to gay and lesbian couples. … I represent downtown Salt Lake City, and it's unacceptable to me.'"

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

How to Spend a Saturday in Floyd

What's a gay couple to do on a boring Saturday afternoon in Floyd County, Va.? Take a leisurely drive down the road to visit the local alpaca farm, of course.

Paul and I decided to head down to The Inn at Hope Springs Farm today to check out their open house. Owners William and Candace Frey run a gorgeous little B&B there and raise alpacas, chickens, ducks, geese and god knows what else on their sprawling 100 acre slice of heaven.

William and Candace couldn't have been nicer and were happy to tell us all about raising the adorable Peruvian critters.

I was surprised to find that alpaca wool is as soft as cashmere and naturally resists dirt and stains. They sell an assortment of clothing and other items made from the wool.

I noticed some adorable alpaca teddy bears and William and Candace explained that in their Andes habitat, the infant mortality rate is between 30% and 70% for the adorable animals. The locals use the dead baby alpaca hides to make the cuddly toys. I decided against buying one.

From there we headed south to Hillsville, turned east to Meadows of Dan and stopped at Nancy's Candy Shop to pick up some of their home made chocolates. We then headed north up the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped by Mabry's Mill, a beautiful and historic old grist mill with a tacky little restaurant and gift shop and even tackier tourists.

Continuing north, we swung past Chateau Morrisette, the local winery, to take a look around, but they were having one of their many wine fests and the parking was a nightmare. So we headed back up the parkway and enjoyed the rest of our drive.

Pop "The Bast of Ethyl Merman" into the CD player and you're about as gay as you can get in this part of the Blue Ridge. (Yes, we actually did that.)

Hope you're having a gay old time this weekend too.

Woo Hoo! I'm a Real Blogger Now!


I am honored to announce that the Bilerico Project has posted one of my articles. I was inspired to write the piece called, "What's in a Handshake" after attending a party last weekend at the home of one one my friends from work.

Thanks to Belrico Editor Bil Browning for his encouragement and to Dana Rudolph of the blog, "Mombian", who serves as Bilerico's weekend editor. Dana told me by e-mail that she had no edits for the article itself, just for the bio I submitted. It never occurred to me that I could edit my bio. Maybe next time I'll include a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth.

The Bilerico Project is one of the nation's top LGBT blogs made up of fifty contributors from all over the country. Bilerico announced this week that its efforts to expose the homophobia behind Rockstar Energy Drink paid off in the form of a $100k settlement.

It is truly an honor to be chosen as a guest blogger. I feel just like Pinocchio when he became a real boy. You can read my guest post at Bilerico.com.

Chaz and Jen: The New Hot Couple?


The New York Daily News reports activist Chaz Bono made his first public appearance since he announced his planned gender transition surgery. Chaz attended L.A.'s "Outfest", the nation's largest LGBTQ film festival, on Thursday night with longtime hottie girlfriend Jennifer Elia.

I'm still getting used to the idea of Cher having two sons, but Chaz does have a certain John Goodman charm about him now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

And the Winner is...


Wonder Woman
Wins DC Mayoral Race!

New Organizing Institute announced the election results by e-mail:

"The race was down to the wire, but we are prepared to announce that Wonder Woman will be the next Superhero Mayor of DC!

This has been an amazing race. The campaign teams of eight superhero candidates built interactive websites and dynamic graphics, wrote engaging emails that turned out a huge supporter base, created entertaining videos, and wrote successful field plans from scratch in five hours. Our 53 BootCampers, from across the country, have met and surpassed our expectations.

We are thrilled to announce that over 6,000 people voted for their favorite Superhero. The BootCampers picked up blog coverage from NPR, Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Roll Call and nearly 30 other blogs, and garnered endorsements from a wide support base across the country."




Kathy Griffin to Host Joan Rivers Comedy Central Roast

(From EW.com)

"My Life on the D List star Kathy Griffin will host the Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers. The event will tape on July 26 in Los Angeles, and air on the network on Aug. 9. 'I will be roasting Joan with more gentleness and tenderness than her latest chemical peel,' said Griffin in the network release. 'On the other hand, I will give her a verbal pap smear and god only knows what I'm going to find down there.'"

LGBT Bloggers, Activists and Orgs Win $100k in Dispute with Rockstar Energy Drink


Back in April, LGBT blog, The Bilerico Project, posted an article exposing the connection between conservative homophobic talk radio host Michael Savage and Rockstar Energy Drink. In the article, guest blogger Michael Jones of change.org, revealed that Rockstar was founded by Savage's son Russell Weiner with Savage's financial backing.

Savage is well known for his homophobic rants, where he has compared gays and lesbians to rapists and pedophiles, saying,

"When you hear 'human rights,' think only someone who wants to molest your son, and send you to jail if you defend him. Write that down, make a note of it."

"When I see two puffy white males kissing each other, I want to puke. When I see two women kissing each other, on the lips, as lovers, I want to vomit."

The article has kicked up a storm of controversy over the past few months, with Rockstar attorneys threatening to sue Bilerico and change.org unless they removed the post. They claimed that Savage was not affiliated with the company and disavowed any anti-gay comments he may have made.

However, Savage's son, Rockstar CEO Russell Weiner himself has a blatantly homophobic past. Weiner and Savage are co-founders of the right wing Paul Revere Society. According to the Bilerico article, "At a Rockstar-sponsored concert at Concord Pavilion in 2004, Russell Weiner warmed up the crowd by chanting "Who's heterosexual and proud? If you're not, hopefully you will be soon."

Although the bloggers posted some clarifications, they refused to back down and called for a boycott of Rockstar's products.

Yesterday, Rockstar caved. Bilerico's Bil Browning announced in a joint press release with change.org and Rockstar Energy Drink, that the company, while admitting nothing, will be donating $100,000 to a cross section of LGBT organizations and programs and is changing it's employment practices to include a greater respect for the diversity of its employees and its local Las Vegas, NV community.
"(From Bilerico.com) ROCKSTAR Energy Drink CEO Russell Weiner announced today that the beverage company will expand its LGBT corporate policies and make $100,000 in donations, shared among several prominent LGBT organizations. The donations represent a significant contribution given ROCKSTAR's relatively small staff of 120 employees.

The contribution will be shared among the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and The Trevor Project, and ROCKSTAR Energy Drink will also financially sponsor the National LGBT Bloggers Initiative. The donations and affirmation of LGBT-friendly corporate policies mark steps by ROCKSTAR to demonstrate support for the LGBT community.

"It has recently come to ROCKSTAR's attention that there might be a misconception about our company's policy and my personal support for LGBT rights," said Weiner. "We apologize for that misunderstanding, and want to make clear today that our company fully supports our LGBT employees and our LGBT customers."

You can read the complete press release at The Bilerico Project.
 
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