July, 2012 News (88 Articles with 157,664 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for July, 2012 Persad Center Executive Director Betty Hill and Community Safe Zone coordinator Ted Hoover at the Persad Center table during the NWPA Pride Picnic, June 16.

This is the second run of Erie Gay News, which began publishing again in December of 2002. This is the current publication for the region. The co-editors are Deb Spilko and Michael Mahler , with Mike Lipiec handling graphic/ad layout.

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Calendar & Upcoming Events

Calendar of Local GLBT Events

Up to date listing of events and meetings.

Local Faces and Photos

LBT Women go to Erie Seawolves Game

On Friday, May 11, 2012, LBT Women of Erie went to the Erie Seawolves Game at Jerry Uht Park. The evening featured a Star Wars theme. Photos are by Laurie Finch, coordinator for LBT Women.
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LBT Women go to Edinboro Arts and Music Fest

On Saturday, May 19, 2012, LBT Women of Erie went to the Edinboro Arts and Music Festival at Goodell Gardens and Homestead, 221 Waterford St, Edinboro PA. The event featured music, food, arts and crafts. Photos are by Laurie Finch, coordinator for LBT Women.
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LBT Women go to Troika Russian Festival

On Saturday, May 26, 2012, LBT Women of Erie went to the Troika Russian Festival at the Church of the Nativity Community Center, 109 German St, Erie PA. The event featured homemade Russian food, Russian music and dance, a Vodka Ice Bar and a Russian Tea room. Photos are by Laurie Finch, coordinator for LBT Women.
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Local/Regional News

20th Annual Pride Picnic Sets Record

On Saturday, June 16, 2012, the NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. presented the 20th Annual Erie Pride Picnic at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle, The event drew over 400 attendees, which sets an all-time record. WICU/WSEE news covered the event. The weather was wonderful and it was a great time for visiting with friends old and new.. Thanks to everyone who made the day such a success!
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Drag Queen Bingo raises over $1,000

On Saturday, May 19, the NW PA Pride Alliance held a very successful Drag Queen Bingo at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie to raise money for Pride events. About 72 people attended, and everyone had a great time! Over $1,000 was raised. Our drag performers included Michelle Michaels, Rhiannon Angelina, Misty Kall and Velvet Lace. Thanks go out to our volunteers: Jeff, JR Snyder, Ryan McKane, Eric Linster, Ivy for kitchen duty; Erin Moll, Amy Terrizzi, Mark Hoovler, Preston Blood, Eric Rogers, Shakira Nakelle, DJ Lunchbox, Season Crannell, Chris Dye, Ernie Staaf and Kristen for running the event.
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LGBT Night at Erie Seawolves

The Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) and the Erie Seawolves are sponsoring an LGBT community night at the Jerry Uht ballpark. On Wednesday August 8, 2012, the Erie Seawolves will be honoring and celebrating the LGBT community of Erie. The opening pitch and national anthem will be offered by a member of the LGBT community, and a table fair will be available for those who purchase tickets to the event. GEAE is selling block tickets for $10 a piece and suite tickets for $35. The $10 tickets are for box seating in section 113 of the ballpark. $35 suite tickets includes all-you-can-eat buffet, featuring hamburgers, Smith’s hot dogs, and choice of two side dishes, choice of beverages (Pepsi, soft drinks and beer), and unlimited chips, pretzels or peanuts. If an Erie area LGBT organization would like to have an informational table at the event, please purchase at least one $10 ticket, and you can have a table display throughout the game. There are a limited number of tickets, so please contact GEAE soon! (All proceeds go to the Erie Seawolves.) For tickets, call GEAE toll-free at 866-229-1974, contact us on Facebook (Greater Erie Alliance for Equality), or directly to GEAE president, Rich McCarty at: [email protected]. See you at the ballpark!
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Millcreek 4th of July Parade

For the 7th year in a row, there will be an LGBT contingent in the Millcreek 4th of July Parade. The Parade draws a few thousand spectators, so this is excellent for raising awareness and visibility in the community. I will have my cell phones on me (814) 746-9281. Step off on Wednesday is at 9:45 AM, and we are generally done by noon. This is a TERRIFIC way to be part of the greater Erie community! The organizers and crowds have been very friendly and supportive. Feel free to ask me any questions. Don't miss out on an uplifting way to be a part of the community. You can optionally RSVP at the Facebook event page.
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Spirituality and Religion

Faith leaders applaud Episcopal Church's approval of rite to bless same-sex unions and the ordination of transgender people

WASHINGTON, July 11   Members of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable, convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, applauded the Episcopal Church's approval of an official liturgy for blessing same-sex unions and a nondiscrimination policy that will allow transgender people to be ordained to the priesthood. The resolutions were passed by the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, the Episcopal legislative bodies, at the triennial General Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.
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Presbyterian Church (USA) Discusses Marriage; Misses Historic Opportunity

Pittsburgh, PA July 6, 2012– Today, the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) discussed two different ways to expand the 2 million member denomination’s understanding of marriage to include committed same-sex couples. While neither option ultimately collected the majority of votes needed to begin the ratification process, this discussion marked another step towards making the Presbyterian Church (USA) a truly inclusive church.
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Historic First - Lutheran Presiding Bishop Keynotes Pro-LGBT Faith Group

Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA) will deliver an historic keynote on July 7, 2:30 pm, to the ReconcilingWorks biennial gathering running from July 6-10 in Washington, D.C.  Formerly known as Lutherans Concerned/North America, ReconcilingWorks launched its new organization name, ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation, on June 12th, to better reflect their ongoing ministry with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, their families and congregations throughout the denomination.
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Political, Activism and Legal

Minnesotans Demand Best Buy Oppose Controversial Same-Sex Marriage Ban

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Nearly 30,000 people have joined a growing campaign on Change.org calling on Best Buy to speak out against a 2012 ballot measure that would amend the Minnesota constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
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Southern Poverty Law Center Demands Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum Repeal Anti-Gay Policy

JACKSON, Miss. – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) sent a letter today to the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum and the Mississippi attorney general demanding that the museum immediately rescind its unlawful policy of refusing to rent the facilities to same-sex couples for commitment and wedding ceremonies or face a federal lawsuit.
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AFL-CIO Backs Marriage Equality in DOMA Case Brief

AFL-CIO Backs Marriage Equality in DOMA Case Brief
"The AFL-CIO today filed a “friend of the court" brief asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold a lower court’s ruling that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The 1996 law denies federal benefits to same sex couples.
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Southern Poverty Law Center Demands Hate Group Stop Misusing Gay Coupleís Engagement Photo

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) sent a letter today on behalf of a gay couple, Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere, and photographer Kristina Hill, demanding that Public Advocate of the United States and its president, Eugene Delgaudio, stop using the couple’s personal photo in anti-gay propaganda.
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Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry Launches, Gives Voice to Growing Number of Conservatives Who Support Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, is launching Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, a new campaign to highlight and build support for the freedom to marry among young people across America who identify as conservative. The campaign launch will take place at a kickoff event in Washington, D.C
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Amnesty International Urges Ukraine to Reject Planned Anti-Gay Laws

(Washington, D.C. Thur, July 5, 2012) – Amnesty International today urged the Ukrainian parliament to reject two draft laws that are a direct assault on lesbian, gay and bisexual people's rights.
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Amnesty International Urges St. Petersburg Authorities to Allow LGBT Pride Event to Proceed Unhindered

(Washington, D.C.) -- Amnesty International urges St. Petersburg authorities in Russia to allow a peaceful Pride march organized by the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to proceed as planned on Saturday, July 7.
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Groundbreaking Latino and LGBT Campaign Launches

LAS VEGAS -- Twenty-one of the nation’s leading Hispanic organizations announced today their endorsement of a first-of-its kind, comprehensive public-education campaign called Familia es Familia aimed at strengthening Latino voices to build support within the Latino community for acceptance of LGBT family members.
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Gay dads ban lifted by private club after 125,000 sign Change.org petition

WASHINGTON, DC – A two-year-old boy and his two gay fathers will no longer be banned from a Roanoke, Virginia, private swimming pool after more than 150,000 people signed an explosive petition on Change.org urging the Roanoke Athletic Club to change their club’s “family membership” policy, which discriminated against same-sex couples.
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Judge Denies Motion to Stop Proceedings in DOMA Case Pedersen v. OPM

On July 4, Judge Vanessa L. Bryant of the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, denied the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group’s (BLAG) motion to stay the proceedings in Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) now pending in federal court in the District of Connecticut. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), which is representing the plaintiffs, strongly opposed the motion for a stay.
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'Gay Dads' Controversy Erupts Over Toddler Being Kicked Out of Pool

WASHINGTON, DC – More than 35,000 people have joined an explosive campaign on Change.org calling on Carilion Clinic, owners of the Roanoke Athletic Club in Virginia, to allow children with gay parents to swim in the pool.
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New York's Anti-Bullying Bill, the Dignity for All Students Act, Goes into Effect

New York's Anti-Bullying Bill, the Dignity for All Students Act, Goes into Effect
July 1, 2012 – Starting today, New York’s students will be protected from bullying by a new policy, one of the most comprehensive in the country, which takes advantage of the most current research on the subject. Says O’Donnell, the prime sponsor of the bill:
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Latino Organization LULAC Endorses Freedom to Marry

Orlando – At its 2012 annual National Convention & Exposition, drawing over 20,000 community leaders and activists in Orlando, Florida, today the League of United Latino American Citizens (LULAC) passed a resolution in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. .
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House Speaker Boehner Appeals DOMA Cases to Supreme Court

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner announced that, by a party-line vote of 3-2, he would instruct the House's “Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group” (BLAG) to ask the Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision in the cases of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Department of Health & Human Services, which found that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)is unconstitutional.
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Rhode Island House Speaker to Hold Vote on Freedom to Marry Bill in 2013

Providence – Today Gordon Fox, the Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, stated that he will hold a vote on freedom to marry legislation early in the 2013 legislative session.
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PA Youth Attend Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus Launch in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) youth leaders were in attendance of the historic launch of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus Thursday afternoon, a monumental step forward for the national agenda to raise anti-bullying awareness.
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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds Supreme Court ruling upholding Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON, June 28 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf) today upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The Task Force advocated for the passage of the historic health care reform law.
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Bill Introduced in House to Extend Protections to Married Gay and Lesbian Service Members

Washington, DC – Today Representative Adam Smith (D-WA), the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, introduced a bill to clarify and extend the definition of “spouse” to same-sex couples in areas of the U.S. Code related to recognition, support, and protections for married service members and veterans.
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Amnesty International Urges Bulgarian Authorities to Adopt Stricter Legislation Governing LGBT-Targeted Hate Crimes

(Washington, D.C.) -- Amnesty International calls on Bulgarian authorities to reform the country's existing laws and legal practices governing the prosecution of LGBT-targeted hate crimes. In a briefing published today, Changing laws, Changing minds: Challenging homophobic and transphobic hate crimes in Bulgaria, the human rights organization examines the failure of police and prosecutors to effectively investigate hate crimes stemming from widespread discrimination against LGBT individuals.
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Congressional LGBT Leaders, Supporters Urge State Department Action to Stop Violence Against LGBT Community in Honduras

Congressional LGBT Leaders, Supporters Urge State Department Action to Stop Violence Against LGBT Community in Honduras
WASHINGTON – In response to continued violence against the Honduran LGBT community, Congressman Jared Polis and LGBT leaders and supporters in Congress today wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging the State Department to press the Honduran government to investigate and resolve these crimes. It also requests detailed information about the steps being taken to resolve cases, such as that of Walter Trochez, a prominent LGBT activist and opponent of the 2009 coup who was murdered in a drive-by shooting in December 2009.
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Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund Launches National Organization to Raise Awareness Around Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, June 26, Grammy and Emmy award-winning artist and advocate Cyndi Lauper launched the Forty to None Project, a national project of the True Colors Fund aimed at empowering and advocating on behalf of homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, and raising awareness around the issues they face.   
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Supreme Court strikes down key provisions of Arizona's anti-immigrant law

WASHINGTON, June 25   The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a longtime advocate for comprehensive and humane immigration reform, responded to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today striking down significant portions of SB 1070, Arizona s anti-immigrant law. The court did, however, leave intact the racist  show me your papers  provision. The Task Force has repeatedly spoken out against the unjust law.
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65,000 Urge AT&T CEO and Boy Scouts Board Member Randall Stephenson to Oppose Ban on Gay Scouts

NEW YORK, NY – More than 65,000 people have joined a petition campaign on Change.org urging AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who currently sits on the board of the Boy Scouts of America, to speak out against the Boy Scouts’ policy that bans gay scouts and leaders.
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Chuck Norris Challenged by Lesbian Den Mother Fighting Boy Scouts Ban

NEW YORK, NY – Actor and conservative pundit Chuck Norris argued on Monday that the Boy Scouts should continue to discriminate against gay members, despite thousands of Boy Scouts, Eagle Scouts and scout leaders urging the Boy Scouts of America and its National Board of Directors to end the organization’s ban on gay scouts and gay scout leaders.
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An Important day for PA LGBT Seniors

Monday, June 25th was an important day for Pennsylvania’s seniors.  PA Secretary of Aging, Brian Duke, was in Philadelphia to hear community testimony about the PA draft State Plan on Aging 2012 – 2016.  Secretary Duke heard testimony from consumers; advocates; representatives from area agencies on aging; and from a coalition of LGBT, Aging and HIV/AIDS service providers and advocacy organizations.  The coalition includes the LGBT Elder Initiative (LGBTEI); The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania; Canter for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE); Mazzoni Center; Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC); and William Way LGBT Community Center.
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Susan Sarandon & MTV Honored by the Trevor Project on June 25th

New York, N.Y., (June 25, 2011) - On Monday, June 25th, The Trevor Project honored Academy Award® winner, Susan Sarandon with the Trevor Hero Award, presented by Stanley Tucci. President of MTV, Stephen Friedman accepted the Trevor 2020 Award for MTV at "Trevor Live" in New York, (Pier 60, Chelsea Piers). The event also featured the first comedic reunification of Eric McCormack and Debra Messing ("Will & Grace"), comedy by Judy Gold, and a musical performance by fun.  This high-profile annual event benefits the life-saving, life-affirming work of The Trevor Project, providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) teens and young adults.
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Esurance Launches Second Annual Campaign To Support Crisis Intervention for LGBTQ Youth

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – June 19, 2012 – Esurance, the direct-to-consumer personal car insurance company, has kicked off its second annual charitable giving campaign on Facebook in support of The Trevor Project.
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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds National Council of La Raza's marriage equality endorsement

WASHINGTON, June 26 — The board of directors of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, recently voted to endorse marriage equality. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and NCLR have worked together on issues related to racial and economic justice, comprehensive and humane immigration reform, LGBT rights and marriage equality, among others.
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'Institute for American Values' President Announces He Now Supports the Freedom to Marry

Washington, DC – Today David Blankenhorn, the founder and President of the Institute for American Values and author of The Future of Marriage, announced in the New York Times that he now supports the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, calling it “a victory for basic fairness.” Blankenhorn previously opposed marriage for same-sex couples and was one of just a few witnesses to testify in favor of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that revoked marriage for gay and lesbian couples in California, in Perry vs. Brown.
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Chicago Pride to Host Freedom to Marry Founder and President Evan Wolfson as Grand Marshal

CHICAGO – This weekend, Freedom to Marry founder and President Evan Wolfson will serve as Grand Marshal of Chicago’s 43rd annual Pride Parade, leading hundreds of thousands of participants in celebrations as momentum builds to win the freedom to marry in Illinois. Same-sex couples in Illinois currently can only enter into civil union, but not marriage itself. The parade comes just weeks after President Obama explained that personal conversations with his family as well as committed gay couples and their families had led him to join the majority of Americans who support the freedom to marry. Wolfson will be joined by his husband, Dr. Cheng He, whom he married in New York this past October.
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Health and Human Services report details progress and new goals on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health issues

WASHINGTON, June 20   The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released its annual report (http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/about/lgbthealth_objectives_2012.html) of steps it has taken to promote the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The report outlines new goals for the coming year, as well as accomplishments from 2011.
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Trevor Project: Statement about Health Disparities and LGBTQ Youth

West Hollywood, CA June 20, 2012 - In a resolution passed today by the American Medical Association's House of Delegates, the premier governing body for medical practitioners in the United States resolved to, "urge social networking platforms to adopt Terms of Service that define and prohibit electronic aggression, which may include any type of harassment or bullying, including but not limited to that occurring through e-mail, chat room, instant messaging, website (including blogs) or text messaging." Today's resolution follows strides taken by the Department of Health and Human Services to extend resources related to care, research, training and prevention in order to reduce health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) people, including youth. A statement on these important policy changes from Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project follows.
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BLAG Moves to Stop Proceedings in DOMA Case Pedersen v. OPM

The Bi-Partisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) has filed a motion to stay the proceeding in Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) now pending in federal court in the District of Connecticut.
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Equality Express 2012 To Make Stop in Cleveland

Columbus – The Equality Express 2012, a project of Equality Ohio, will visit Cleveland on June 22 and 23. The Equality Express is a statewide bus tour visiting more than 10 cities in an effort to change hearts and minds, register voters, and participate in community service projects. Equality Ohio works to make Ohio a place where everyone feels at home, and our legislative agenda currently includes bills to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to prevent bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
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GLAAD, Athlete Ally teaming up to offer LGBT ally trainings to all 141 major league sports teams

New York, NY, June 19, 2012 - GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today announced an official partnership with Athlete Ally, which is a leader in the movement for full equality for LGBT people in the world of athletics. Together, the groups will offer proactive Athlete Ally trainings for professional sports teams. GLAAD and Athlete Ally founder Hudson Taylor will educate professional athletes about the importance of LGBT allyship and empower pro sports organizations to stand against homophobia and transphobia.
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Youngstown Area PFLAG Teams With PFLAG National and Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies To Fight Bullying in Schools

Youngstown, Ohio- – PFLAG, Parents, Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Youngstown Chapter  in association with Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, and Walgreens, is launching Care with Pride™, a strategic initiative to support critically important efforts to help end bullying of all youth. As half of all children are bullied at some point in their school years, including 90% of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender) youth*, Care with Pride™ will address these staggering statistics through national media, regional events and digital resources that raise awareness and promote the Safe Schools Action Pack
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NY Assembly Passes Vital Cyberbullying Protections

NY Assembly Passes Vital Cyberbullying Protections
June 18, 2012 – Today, the New York State Assembly approved legislation to protect New York schoolchildren from the growing scourge of cyberbullying. The legislation builds on Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell’s anti-bullying legislation, the Dignity for All Students Act, which was signed into law in 2010. The addition of cyberbullying will make New York’s anti-bullying protections among the most comprehensive in the nation.
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New survey: LGBT refugees lack protection

San Francisco, June 18, 2012.... As increasing numbers of refugees flee persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration (ORAM) and Indiana University sociologists have released the first ever survey of attitudes of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) serving asylum seekers and refugees worldwide.
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Activists Arrested as Ugandan Authorities Continue LGBT Harassment, Amnesty International Reports

(New York) -- Armed Ugandan police raided a human rights workshop attended by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists in Kampala Monday afternoon, prompting Amnesty International to reiterate its call on the government to end its outrageous harassment of activists who engage in lawful activities.
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Equality Express 2012 To Make Stops in Akron and Canton

Columbus – The Equality Express 2012, a project of Equality Ohio, will make its debut in the Akron/Canton Area on June 20 and 21. The Equality Express is a statewide bus tour visiting more than 10 cities in an effort to change hearts and minds, register voters, and participate in community service projects. Equality Ohio works to make Ohio a place where everyone feels at home, and our legislative agenda currently includes bills to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to prevent bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
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More than 15,000 Want First Openly Gay Baseball Player Honored by Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, NY – More than 15,000 people have joined a breaking sports campaign on Change.org calling on the Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize Major League Baseball’s first openly gay player, Glenn Burke. Burke played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics during the late 1970s and early 1980s, was openly gay with his teammates, and is attributed with popularizing the high five.
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GetEQUAL DC Calls Upon President to Sign Anti-Discrimination Executive Order

Washington, D.C. June 15, 2012 – Today, a group of activists from GetEQUAL DC will be speaking to attendees of President Barack Obama’s "Pride Reception" at the White House about the need for the president to immediately sign the "ENDA Executive Order" – an executive order which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity among federal contractors. In addition, the activists will be asking attendees to wear pins showing their support of the ENDA Executive Order, and to talk with the President about signing it.
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Task Force responds to Obama administration announcement that it will stop deporting young undocumented immigrants

WASHINGTON, June 15 - The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force responded to today's announcement (http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/20120612-napolitano-announces-deferred-action-process-for-young-people.shtm) by the Obama administration that it will stop deporting some young undocumented immigrants.     
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Time to level the playing field for LGBT people by passing ENDA

WASHINGTON, June 12   The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund submitted testimony for today's Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), federal legislation to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently there are no clear federal employment protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and no such protections exist in over half the states.
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Flawed Paper Claims to Overturn Research That Shows Gay and Lesbian Parents are Good Parents

Washington, DC - June 11 - A flawed, misleading, and scientifically unsound paper that seeks to disparage lesbian and gay parents was roundly criticized today by organizations that protect and advance the freedoms and equality of Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).
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Kerry Supports New HHS Study, Pushes to Update Policy Banning Gay Blood Donation

Kerry Supports New HHS Study, Pushes to Update Policy Banning Gay Blood Donation
WASHINGTON, D.C.- June 11– Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Representative Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) today sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) voicing support for a new pilot study reviewing the policy that bans gay and bisexual men from donating blood.
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Booed Soldier and Husband Join National Marriage Campaign

(Washington, DC - June 11) – Freedom to Marry and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) today released a new online video featuring Army Captain Stephen Hill and his husband, Joshua Snyder, spotlighting the inequalities forced upon gay and lesbian service members by the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Hill - who drew national support when he was booed during a Republican presidential debate after asking a question via video regarding repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) - recently returned from a deployment to the Middle East.
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Health

HIV/AIDS in Black America

New York, July 12, 2012 –  Early coverage of the epidemic mischaracterized HIV/AIDS as a white, gay man’s disease. Thirty years later, African-Americans account for 44 percent of new infections though they represent only 14 percent of the U.S. population. According to a recent report by the Black AIDS Institute, “A Black woman in the U.S. is more than 15 times more likely to be living with HIV than a white woman her own age.”
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Finding Your Perfect Partner

Over the past few years, I have done quite a few workshops on this topic, most of them at The Center:  it appears to be a never-ending challenge for us all.  We all have this idea of the “perfect” partner, and many of us feel disappointed and even annoyed when we don’t get him or her. 
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National HIV Testing Day on June 27, 2012

National HIV Testing Day on June 27, 2012
Gaudenzia Shout Outreach offers FREE & CONFIDENTIAL Oral Swab HIV Testing for National HIV Testing Day on June 27, 2012. MUST be at least 13 years of age!! See article for locations and times.
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Stress and the Deathly Hallows

You’re going to die before you want to and there’s nothing you can do about it! Stop the presses; I’ve slapped an injunction on that notion! That is only true if you keep letting stress bind you with manacles each day. Stress can lead to alcohol and drug abuse in addition to anxiety and depression. It is also responsible for as much as 70% of all illnesses. Enough already! I found you in time and I can get you to greener pastures.
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Amid Rapid Changes in Global AIDS Response, AIDS 2012 Pre-Conference Event Highlights Implications for Gay Men and Transgender People

Amid Rapid Changes in Global AIDS Response, AIDS 2012 Pre-Conference Event Highlights Implications for Gay Men and Transgender People
June 19, 2012 (Washington, D.C.)– The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) announced today a roster of high-level speakers now scheduled to appear at “From Stigma to Strength,” the organization’s fifth biennial Pre-Conference to the International AIDS Conference, to be held on July 21 in Washington, D.C. Speakers include Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Former Australian High Court Judge Michael Kirby, Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention Dr. Kevin Fenton, and Jamaican activist Maurice Tomlinson. The event will host more than 600 of the world’s leading experts in HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people, addressing the implications of recent developments in science and policy for these key populations.
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Entertainment and Travel

Moving Onward in Singapore

"Majulah Singapura" is Malay for "Onward, Singapore" and the local LGBT community is truly living this motto. Homosexuality is still illegal in Singapore but in recent years gays and lesbians have made great strides toward not just tolerance, but acceptance.
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NFL, Major League Baseball, Rugby Pros and Athlete Advocates Take a Stand Against Homophobia in Sports

New York, July 3, 2012 – This July on IN THE LIFE, “Bam Bam” Meulens of the SF Giants, former NY Giants running back Tiki Barber, rugby star Ben Cohen, and college wrestling champ Hudson Taylor speak out against homophobia in sports.
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'In the Big House' - New Logo Summer Series Premieres Monday, July 23rd at 10PM ET/PT

NEW YORK, NY – June 27, 2012 – Think your family’s “whack”?  Meet the Verdis from Logo’s new docu-reality series, In the Big House.”  When Michel Verdi and her husband, Jay, moved from just outside Philly to West Hollywood, they thought they were leaving it all behind – until their entire family followed.  Now, Michel and Jay share their home with Michel’s mom, Dotsie and ex-con, former Mafioso dad, “Big Lou” who’s been in and out of prison for 25 years.  Did we mention Michel’s parents have been divorced for 25 years, can’t stand each other and haven’t lived together until now?  Rounding out the clan is Michel’s out-and-unapologetic gay brother, Louis, who is eager to make it on his own, but unable to leave the family nest as of yet.  “In the Big House” documents a new type of modern family, as these over-the-top characters struggle to succeed with humor, heart and a whole lot of drama.  Comprised of eight, half-hour episodes, “In the Big House” premieres on Monday, July 23 at 10PM ET/PT on Logo.
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Patrik-Ian Polk's The Skinny Makes Its World Television Premiere on Logo

NEW YORK, NY – June 25, 2012:  From independent, gay filmmaker Patrik-Ian Polk (Punks and Noah’s Arc) comes The Skinny, a sexually-charged, and wildly steamy, coming-of-age dramedy about five young gay friends who reunite at New York’s Pride Week.  The film makes its world television premiere on Sunday, July 8 at 10 PM ET/PT on Logo.
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Review: Star Trek FAQ by Mark Clark

Review: Star Trek FAQ by Mark Clark
Hello my fellow nerds, Trekkies, and Trekkers! When handed the assignment of reading Star Trek FAQ, I thought, “oh sure . . . stuff I am sure I have already heard a thousand times” and “yes, I know what a phaser is!” Well, this book is so much more.
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Liberman Broadcasting Continues Airing Anti-Gay Language and Profanity on 'Josť Luis Sin Censura'

Pasadena, CA, June 21, 2012 - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) announced that they will be contacting national advertisers as part of their campaign against the show, "José Luis Sin Censura" in a joint press conference on June 21, 2012. The organizations also delivered a petition with over 3,800 signatures to Liberman Broadcasting, Inc. (LBI), which produces and distributes the program.
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Current TV Marks LGBT Pride Month With Exclusive Online Content

New York, NY, June 18, 2012 – Current.com, Current TV’s online destination for content that represents the best in news analysis from a progressive point of view, will commemorate LGBT month in June with two exclusive investigate projects. The first series is a month-long takeover that started earlier this month of "The Underreported Story" that examines the religious assault on homosexuality — a relatively new phenomenon — and how it became such a hot-button political issue.  The second, "Campaigning Gay," is a week-long series launching today that profiles five openly gay candidates for state and local office. Three of these candidates will also be featured on-air on “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm” during the week of June 18th. Both series can be found at www.current.com/pride. On air and online, Current is dedicated to providing insightful news and analysis of important issues - and digging deep into real stories to uncover how they affect real people. 
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TV icon George Takei to join ousted Boy Scouts mom, GLAAD at New York City Pride

June 18, 2012, New York, NY GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization today announced that T.V. icon and former Boy Scout George Takei will join Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell and GLAAD at the 43rd Annual LGBT Pride March in New York City on Sunday, June 24. NY Daily News exclusively broke the news on Monday.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

On coming out and activism

On Monday I went to my Facebook page (MarkSegalPGN) and asked what I should write about this week. It’s a tactic I’ve used several times when I can’t decide on a topic and, I must admit, my Facebook friends come through with some interesting ideas, many of which actually get used here.
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1980's Icon Fight

Get ready for something a little south of ordinary today! I forgot this was my week to write my health and fitness article. I have decided to dig into my archives to share an article I wrote about something that has nothing to do with health and fitness. Enjoy this article about the 1980s and I’ll try to get my head screwed on correctly for the next writing assignment!
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Gay Party Tips (Part 1)

Gay Party Tips (Part 1)
We've all had bad times at parties, whether they be as a guest or host.  Herewith, then, are a few tips to all you party-goers that every gay boy needs to know, yet, somehow, most of you don't.
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Contests

Win The Absolutist by John Boyne from Other Press

Win The Absolutist by John Boyne from Other Press
Win The Absolutist by John Boyne from Other Press! Erie Gay News is giving away 5 copies of this fascinating novel. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from July 20 through August 10.
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Win Star Trek FAQ by Mark Clark from Applause Books

Win Star Trek FAQ by Mark Clark from Applause Books
Win Star Trek FAQ by Mark Clark from Applause Books! Erie Gay News is giving away 2 copies of this fascinating compendium. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from July 17 through August 7. Read the review by Darrin Kinander here.
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Win Nightflight by Kate Miller-Heidke

Win Nightflight by Kate Miller-Heidke
Win Nightflight by Kate Miller-Heidke. We are giving away 5 copies of this CD. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from July 13 through August 3.
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Win tickets to 9 to 5: The Musical at the Erie Playhouse!

Win tickets to 9 to 5: The Musical at the Erie Playhouse!
Win tickets to 9 to 5: The Musical at the Erie Playhouse! Erie Gay News is giving away 5 pairs of tickets for either the Friday, August 3 OR the Saturday, August 4 performances for this delightful hit musical. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from July 10 through July 31.
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Win The Miles by Robert Lennon from Kensington Books!

Win The Miles by Robert Lennon from Kensington Books!
Win The Miles by Robert Lennon from Kensington Books! Erie Gay News is giving away 3 copies of this novel. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from July 10 through July 31.
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Enter to win a DIRECTV Hit & Miss prize pack!

Enter to win a DIRECTV Hit & Miss prize pack!
Enter to win a DIRECTV Hit & Miss prize pack! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between July 6 and July 27.
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Win I Love Music by Hi Tiger!

Win I Love Music by Hi Tiger!
Win I Love Music by Hi Tiger! Erie Gay News is giving away this fascinating CD. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from July 6 through July 27.
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Enter to win The Amazing Spider-Man prize pack!

Enter to win The Amazing Spider-Man prize pack!
Enter to win The Amazing Spider-Man prize pack! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between July 3 and July 24!
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Win The Survival Methods and Mating Rituals of Men and Marine Mammals by Chris Kenry from Kensington Books!

Win The Survival Methods and Mating Rituals of Men and Marine Mammals by Chris Kenry from Kensington Books!
Win The Survival Methods and Mating Rituals of Men and Marine Mammals by Chris Kenry from Kensington Books! Erie Gay News is giving away 3 copies of this engaging comic novel. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from July 3 through July 24.
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Enter for a chance to win a Magic Mike prize pack!

Enter for a chance to win a Magic Mike prize pack!
Enter for a chance to win 1 of 5 Magic Mike prize packs. To enter, fill out the form here between June 29 and July 20.
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Win Tips for Tricks by Tom Jones!

Win Tips for Tricks by Tom Jones!
Win Tips for Tricks by Tom Jones! Erie Gay News is giving away 3 copies of this funny and wise guide. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from June 29 through July 20.
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Enter to win a Katy Perry: Part of Me prize pack!

Enter to win a Katy Perry: Part of Me prize pack!
Enter to win a Katy Perry: Part of Me prize pack! Paramount Pictures presents Katy Perry: Part of Me. The 3D movie music event of the summer, Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D is a backstage pass, front row seat and intimate look at the fun, glamorous, heartbreaking, inspiring crazy, magical, passionate, and honest mad diary of Katy! In theaters July 5. To enter, fill out the form below from June 26 to August 17.
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Win This Machine by The Dandy Warhols

Win This Machine by The Dandy Warhols
Win This Machine by The Dandy Warhols. We are giving away 5 copies of this CD. To enter the contest, fill out the form here from June 26 through July 17.
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Miscellaneous

Contest Launched for Summer Shutterbugs in Pennsylvania Parks and Forests

Contest Launched for Summer Shutterbugs in Pennsylvania Parks and Forests
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation invites the public to join the 2012 “Take Five in the Outdoors” photo contest by submitting entries in five categories:
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iMediaEthics Poll: Nearly Half of So-called Opponents to Same-sex Marriage View It as a Non-issue

iMediaEthics Poll: Nearly Half of So-called Opponents to Same-sex Marriage View It as a Non-issue
NEW YORK, June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- If you were to follow the polls put forth by most American media, you'd guess same-sex marriage divides the country wretchedly in half.
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