gaywedding-151 copyThe AP has a great breakdown of the Sixth Circuit marriage equality smack down versus earlier cases.

CBS Detroit reports:

Breaking ranks with rulings from other federal courts, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Ohio upholds gay marriage bans in four states, including Michigan, saying the courts aren’t the right place to legalize gay marriage. Here’s a look at some key passages and how they compare to previous federal rulings:

1. Children

The Latest: The 6th Circuit ruling says that limiting unions to being only between a man and a woman is a view shared “not long ago by every society in the world, shared by most, if not all, of our ancestors, and shared still today by a significant number of the States. People may not need the government’s encouragement to have sex or “propagate the species,” it says, but may need encouragement to “create and maintain stable relationships within which children may flourish.”

“Imagine a society without marriage. It does not take long to envision problems that might result from an absence of rules about how to handle the natural effects of male-female intercourse: children,” the opinion says. “May men and women follow their procreative urges wherever they take them? Who is responsible for the children that result?”

The judges acknowledge that gay and lesbian couples are equally capable of being in loving, committed relationships and effectively raising children. But those facts don’t mean states must suddenly believe gay marriage bans violate the constitution, the opinion says.

Earlier Rulings: The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit said the proposition that children suffer in same-sex households “reflects a crass and callous view of parental love and the parental bond that is not worthy of response. We reject it out of hand.”

The Denver-based 10th Circuit scoffed at the attempts by Utah and other states to use procreation as a justification for gay marriage bans. In a majority opinion written by Judge Carlos Lucero, the court pointed out that adoptive parents and opposite-sex couples who rely on assistance to get pregnant aren’t denied the right to marry. They said they don’t buy the contention that same-sex couples are inferior parents.

It’s a great breakdown – read the whole thing.

Just in time for your holiday grocery shopping...

If you shop at Save Mart or Food Maxx, they will donate up to 3% of your purchases to support the work of Gay Fresno.  Simply fill out this request form and we'll get a card right out to you!  No cost and no obligation.

It's a win win!

Get Yours Today!


What is S.H.A.R.E.S.?:

It is an electronic card that you use when making a purchase at Save Mart, FoodMaxx, Lucky or S-Mart foods.

Each time you use the card, up to 3% of all qualified purchases is automatically credited to Gay Fresno!

Present the S.H.A.R.E.S. card to the cashier (or swipe at the credit card terminal) before you pay. Your receipt will show the number of points earned for that transaction and the monthly total of points you've earned.

It won't cost you anything extra.

Thank you for making a difference, one purchase at a time!

Do you already have a card that supports Gay Fresno?

Not unless it has our current logo (pictured above).  Gay Fresno joined the program in 2012.  But, we would be very honored to have your support. 
You may also support multiple groups by using a different card with each visit.

Get Yours Today!

TDOR-2014

Transgender Day Of Remembrance 2014

Community Unity Event

~~RAIN OR SHINE~~

The Holistic Cultural & Education Wellness Center

4879 E. Kings Canyon RD. Fresno, CA. 93727

(N.W. corner of Kings Canyon & Winery)

 

Live Entertainment – Food – Free Haircuts & Nail service – Raffles

Community Resource Fair and More (while supplies last)

 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Transgender Day of Remembrance is to bring together the community for a better understanding of the gender diversity and awareness of Transgender issues that cross cultural bondaries. We also hold a memorial to honor the lives of transgender individuals who were murdered due to trans-phobia or suicide.

TDOR-2014

Transgender Day Of Remembrance 2014

Community Unity Event

~~RAIN OR SHINE~~

The Holistic Cultural & Education Wellness Center

4879 E. Kings Canyon RD. Fresno, CA. 93727

(N.W. corner of Kings Canyon & Winery)

 

Live Entertainment – Food – Free Haircuts & Nail service – Raffles

Community Resource Fair and More (while supplies last)

 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Transgender Day of Remembrance is to bring together the community for a better understanding of the gender diversity and awareness of Transgender issues that cross cultural bondaries. We also hold a memorial to honor the lives of transgender individuals who were murdered due to trans-phobia or suicide.

pin up girlIf you weren't too distracted with Kim Kardashian's naked-ass publicity stunt last week, you'll remember that the European Space Agency landed a probe on a comet. Like Kardashian's backside, that's huge! For the first time in human history, we landed a spacecraft on a comet. The Rosetta mission is another giant leap for mankind (even if the battery on the craft is dead).

But something else scandalous happened at the same time that practically overshadowed the monumental event. British physicist Matt Taylor gave a press interview at the ESA's satellite control center while wearing an ugly Hawaiian shirt with scantily clad, gun-toting cartoon women. It was definitely in poor taste and the last thing someone should ever wear on the job.

The fact that one of the program scientists wore a tacky, unprofessional shirt was only part of what has become known as #shirtstorm. Some feminists took serious issue with Dr. Taylor's shirt on the grounds that it was sexist. “I don’t care if you landed a spacecraft on a comet, your shirt is sexist and ostracizing," was one of the headlines on The Verge. Rose Eveleth of The Atlantic tweeted, "“Thanks for ruining the cool comet landing for me asshole.”

Whoever cleared Dr. Taylor for an interview should be reprimanded if only for the fact that the shirt is just downright inappropriate for a press interview. But heterosexual men wearing shirts with half-naked women are sexist oppressors now? Celebrating the female body is considered sexist? I have no problem with men or women sharing what they find sexually appealing because human beings are sexual creatures.

dc-capitol-01Midterm elections are rarely favorable to the President’s party and, true to history, the Democrats took a beating on Election Day. Republicans picked up enough seats to gain control of the Senate, which means that come next year, Congress could be entirely in the control of Republicans. That makes President Obama the sole firewall against a conservative onslaught. Here are five antigay issues that are bound to arise now that the GOP has full rein of Congress.

1. Endless attacks on marriage equality. At this point, there’s not a lot that Congress can realistically do about marriage equality. The Supreme Court has pretty much spoken, and states are falling in line. But the same could have been said about Obamacare, and that didn’t stop Republicans from shutting down the government for 17 days last year in the vain quest to kill the law. Realism is not the GOP’s strong suit these days, especially in the Ted Cruz wing of the party.

What will happen is a lot of symbolic gesturing that will still be damaging to the LGBT community. There will be bills to resuscitate DOMA and resolutions trumpeting support for traditional marriage. None of these will have any practical effect, but they will have a psychologically one, by de-legitimizing same-sex marriages and empowering opponents of marriage equality. To some extent, we will still have to play defense, particularly since the Supreme Court has chosen not to issue the final word yet.

Authored By John Gallagher – See the Full Story at Queerty

medical-matters

Did you know that Genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection and that most sexually active people in the United States will have HPV at some time in their lives?

There are more than 40 types of HPV that are passed on through sexual contact and these types can infect the genital areas of men, including the skin on and around the penis or anus. They can also infect the mouth and throat. In addition, most cervical cancers in women are caused by HPV

HPV is passed on through skin to skin contact — most often during vaginal and anal sex. HPV may also be passed on during oral sex. Since HPV usually causes no symptoms, most men and women can get HPV — and pass it on — without realizing it. People can have HPV even if years have passed since they last had sex and even men or women with only one lifetime sex partner can get HPV.

Most men who get HPV (of any type) never develop any symptoms or health problems. But some types of HPV can cause genital warts. Other types can cause cancers of the penis, anus, or oropharynx (back of the throat, including base of the tongue and tonsils.)

The above said, some men are more likely to develop HPV- associated health problems than others:

Beauty is a hybrid of qualities, such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, meaning sight. Beauty consists of an alteration of oneself. Based on the environment we live in, we attempt to fit into the mold that is held in front of us. My attempt at beauty came with the decision of anorexia.

As a child, beauty is seen as an open range of total bliss. I never thought twice about looking my best. I had been more preoccupied with playing outside and feeling the wind brush against my skin. As the years flew by, the hunger to feel beautiful began. Middle school was the wakeup call. I knew I was overweight, but I didn’t need anyone else reminding me of it. I had a P.E. class with a couple of cheerleaders, and they reminded my weight imperfection. Negative comments are forever remembered. It’s like having million Post-Its attached to your back and imagining everyone around you reading them. You look away hoping they don’t repeat a single word to your face. This paranoia grew to depression, and the depression caused me to eat even more. As a freshman in high school, I was now fourteen years of age, and a size forty-two in men’s pants. The negative comments began once again by the upperclassmen.  I no longer began to eat my feelings.


I saw food as the enemy.  And as the days progressed, my hunger began to slow down until the craving stopped altogether. As I got thinner, I felt more alive. I was beautiful. The mirror unveiled myself as I always imagined. At seventeen I was now over six feet tall, weighing at one-hundred and fifty pounds.  Friends began to notice this drastic change, and praised my new transformation. Many joked about me taking diet pills or illegal substances. Others really wanted to know how I got so thin so fast, but I never told them the truth. The feeling of being noticed blurred my vision of anything else. It wasn’t until a teacher pointed out my weight loss. He pulled me aside one day and had a serious discussion about the new me. At that moment he was not my teacher, he was acting more like a parent. “I hope you’re okay,” he told me. Those words felt similar to a Band-Aid being ripped off revealing an opened wound. He saw what everyone else didn’t. I felt torn between both reality and my imagination. I remained thin throughout my high school career, and for some years after. Today, I still struggle with this disease. I am now at a normal weight, but focusing on being more fit and healthy. I had never felt the need to discuss this with anyone, but now that I am older, I feel the need to tell the world it is okay to be the way you are. I hope to save someone else from this pain that consumed me many years ago. Beauty is confidence, and happiness. It surpasses anything beyond physical. A pretty face and skinny waist does not last forever.

Rural versus Urban. These days, “us versus them" seems to describe the whole world: Israel versus Gaza, ISIS versus non-Muslims, cops versus African-Americans, Republicans versus Democrats.

When I get really bummed out bv our inability to "just get along," as Rodney King memorably put it, I think back to a wonderful rant published by the editors of The Stranger, an alternative newspaper published in Seattle, in the wake of the 2004 elections. Looking at the red and blue of the election map, they noted that cities were bright blue dots in even the reddest states — an "urban archipelago" with values vastly different from the values of rnral America.

Research confirms their observation: virtually every major city (100,000 plus) in the United States of America has a different political culture from the less populous areas surrounding it.

As New York Times columnist Gail Collins noted a couple of years ago, people living in densely populated urban areas understand the need for government — paved roads and public safety and garbage collection. That farmer out at the end of the gravel road who rarely gets a visitor (and isn’t worth the effort of the burglar), doesn’t see much reason to pay taxes.

Living with other people shapes a certain worldview. It creates an identifiably urban value structure. As the authors of the Urban Archipelago wrote in that seminal essay:

Look around you, urbanite, at the multiplicity of cultures, ethnicities, and tribes that are smashed together in every urban center...: We’re for that. We’re for pluralism of thought, race, and identity. We’re for a freedom of religion that includes the freedom from religion-not as some crazy aberration, but as an equally valid approach to life. We are for the right to choose one's own sexual and recreational behavior, to control one’s own body and what one puts inside it.

We are for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

Unlike the people who flee from cities in search of a life free from disagreement and dark skin, we are for contentiousness, discourse, and the heightened understanding of life that grows from having to accommodate opposing viewpoints. We’re for opposition.... Republicans have succeeded in making the word "liberal”- which literally means “free from bigotry... favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded”- into an epithet....

...

rainbow-pc

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it..." A quote always attributed to Mark Twain, though according to www.quoteinvestigator.com it might have actually been written by a little-known editor at The Hartford Courant named Charles Dudley Warner. But regardless, its a well-known saying and gives me an opening to ask: where and how do you get your weather info? And do you trust the places you go? Really?

With a computer, tablet or smartphone, these days there are not a few, not a hundred, but literally thousands of places to turn for the local temperature, forecast and data.

So where to go and why?

Well, for this weather-holic writer the first place I always turn is the national or government weather office in whatever country or territory where I am seeking the weather. I know this can be a bit tougher than just using my iPhones built in weather app (which I "stored” in some folder, can’t find and don’t miss) or WeatherBug or any of the others people wave at me if I dare ask the temperature, but why go elsewhere when in most (not all, but a lot) of cases, the forecast and temperatures are actually from the government employee working for the National Weather Service, Environment Canada, Britain’s Met Office or any of the myriad of other national forecasters? In other words, who wants or needs 2nd or 3rd hand info that may or may not be as reliable as what comes from the person who really knows his or her local climate?

So now that we have told you this little gem, how to find the forecast for Zurich, Switzerland, Hamilton, Bermuda, or Ogunquit, Maine?

Dear Mz. Pink,

My girlfriend wants me to be more adventurous in our relationship and l just feel too worried to open up. I’ve been hurt before and I don't want to be in a situation where I do some of the things my current girlfriend wants me to do and which may cause us to break up, like sex in public or taking dirty photos.

I may seem uptight, but I like what I like and I live how 1 live and I have become very comfortable in my routine. I'm just not sure how I can make her happy but stay true to myself. Please help!

Is there a way to have the best of both worlds? How can l cross those lines, but still keep myself protected?

Signed,

No Adventure

If you’re a baby boomer, you’re at the point in life where, if you haven’t actually entered retirement, you’re at least approaching the outskirts. Yes that “dreaded" 65 is here or at least near. But if you’re like many of your fellow boomers, you may be experiencing more than a little trepidation over your financial prospects as a retiree. That's why it's so important for you to determine what steps to take to help improve your chances of enjoying a comfortable retirement.

Just how worried are baby boomers about their future? Consider these numbers: Seventy-two percent of non-retired boomers think they will probably be forced to delay retirement, and 50% have little confidence that they will ever be able to retire, according to a recent AARP survey. Other surveys show a similarly bleak outlook among the baby boom generation.

Fortunately, when it comes to building resources for retirement, you have options. Of course, if you're in one of the younger age cohorts of the baby boom generation, your possibilities are greater — you may still have time to take measures such as boosting your 401 (k) and IRA contributions, reducing your debts and positioning your portfo­lio to provide you with a reasonable amount of growth potential.

But even if you are pretty close to retirement, or at least close to the point where you initially expected to retire, you can act to better your outcome. For one thing, you could re-evaluate your planned date of retirement. If you really don't mind your job and could extend your working life for even a couple of years, you could help your­self enormously in at least three ways:

—You'll add on to your retirement accounts. The longer you work, the more you can contribute to your IRA and your 401(k) or other employers-sponsored account.

—You may be able to delay taking Social Security. You can start taking Social Secu­rity as early as age 62, but your benefits will be permanently reduced unless you wait until your Full Retirement Age (FRA), which will likely be 66 or 67. Your payments can increase if you delay taking your benefits beyond your Full Retirement Age, up to age 70.

—You may be able to delay tapping into your retirement vehicles. The longer you wait until you begin withdrawals from your IRA and 401(k), the more time you are giving these accounts to potentially grow. (Once you turn 70 Vi, you will need to gen­erally start taking withdrawals from a traditional IRA and a 401(k) or similar plan, but you don't face this requirement with a Roth 401 (k) account.)

As an alternative to delaying your retirement — or possibly as an additional step you can take along with a delay — you may be able to adjust your investment mix to provide you with the combination of growth and income that can help many  you through your retirement years. You can also be strategic about which investments you start taking withdrawals from, possibly allowing your portfolio to grow more than you had envisioned.

Start thinking now about ways you can help yourself achieve the retirement lifestyle you’ve pictured. You may want to consult with a professional financial advisor who can suggest the strategies and techniques most appropriate for your situation. In any case, with some careful planning, you can be a boomer whose retirement plans don’t go bust. Instead you can be enjoying life in P-Town, Palm Springs or Key West and enjoying the fruits of your labors.

Along the same line, one of the toughest issues many retirees (or wannabees) face is debt. A lot of folks carry debt, but what happens if you actually find yourself with extra money some month?

PecsnCity

Love. The most elusive and misunderstood emotion. And the one thing that everyone searches for. But, to quote 80s pop star Howard Jones, what is love anyway? We know its a many splendored thing, but what does that even mean? What else are you splendoring these days? Love permeates every cell and pore of our culture, whether its the promise of love that will come with a set of abs and swollen biceps, the subtext of a commercial for expensive perfume, or the glossy, unbelievable cinematic depictions of romance.

In music, love and its foibles are written about more than any other subject. There are over 3.400 songs with the word love in the title. On my iPod alone, there are 78 of them, and this doesn't even include the songs that are about love. Love is a word for any emotions that connect to strong affection. For example, I love my dog, I love Stephen Amell, I love sushi, I love my family and friends and I’m madly in love with my boyfriend.

These are all valid examples of love but they are all wildly different. The diversity of these meanings combined with the intricate workings of the emotions involved makes love nearly impossible to define. We use the word love so loosely when speaking that it's focus and power becomes diluted. Saying that you love this season of Mad Men and saying that you love your mom are two completely different things, right? But the word is still the same. For the sake of this column, however, we are going to deal strictly with the simplest example: romantic love.

Call this one a Life Lesson.

Every once in a while, in the midst of our daily routines and our complaints about life's minor aggravations, an unexpected loss shocks us into realizing just how very fragile — and very precious — life is.

My friend Paul Chase died last month in a senseless automobile accident. He was only 58. I attended his memorial, along with a huge crowd of mourners. Paul wasn’t famous, wasn't a celebrity and he wasn't rich. He wasn’t the sort of person whose memorial attracts wanna-be hangers-on or people who are there to be seen. The people who attended were there because they were grieving the loss of a genuinely good person.

What can I say about Paul? How do I describe his impact for people who didn’t know him? Even for someone who writes all the time, it's hard to find the words.

Paul was a handsome, brilliant lawyer who chose to work for social justice and sound public health policies rather than joining a silk-stocking law firm and making a lot of money. But he was never strident, never holier-than-thou, never anything but incredibly funny and thoughtful and kind. A look around the crowd confirmed the breadth of his impact — legislators from both parties, statehouse lobbyists, representatives of non-profit organizations, and lots and lots of friends — white, black, gay, straight, young and old.

rainbow-pc

Someone not too long ago asked if we were a computer column and I told them not totally, but I asked them why they were inquiring. I was told that computers are fun and interesting, but what about other things electronic.

It got me to thinking, and I sat there trying to think what these days does not have a computer (or several smaller ones or chips) hidden somewhere in the innards. I really, aside from a jar of ketchup and a pound of meat was pretty hard-pressed to come up with anything. In fact, the ketchup and meat might have RFID chips on or in the packaging to let inventory control systems and cash registers which use such items work.

But lets look at things which are a bit more obvious. Or maybe not. This all came to mind recently when our washer broke down. It’s a 2009 model made by a major manufacturer and it's packed with chips and computer controls which make it almost impossible to fix or work on (per the repairman the local shop sent).

The days when one selected regular wash and timed the cycle with a big dial are long gone, aside from a very few base bottom-of-the-line models. These days instead the machine wants to think for you (and I) and often this results in disastrous consequences.

No longer do we throw in the jeans, select a water temperature, turn a dial and hit start, but instead there’s a "jeans” cycle. There's one for woolens, delicates, perma-press, whites and things one wishes to sanitize — and all of that information about spin speeds, water temperatures and whatever else the machine needs to know (or thinks it does) are hidden in computer chips somewhere in the bowels of the washer. The issue is what if you do not want to use what someone in some factory has been told to program? Or what if something goes wrong whilst the cycle is underway — like a power glitch or water issues or worse?

In a facebook posting on The North Tower Circle's page, the following message states that the club will permanently close on November 15th 2014.  This is another sad ending for a long time stable of Fresno's gay culture.

fresno-north-tower-circle-closes

 

Dear Mz. Pink,

My girlfriend started working out a while ago and has been really dedicated. Although I’m proud of her, I thought she would be more into sex and wanting to be with me intimately once she started to feel more energized and better with her health. It seems that the opposite has taken effect and she has no interest in me whatsoever.

I don't know what to do or what to think because we have been together so long and I encourage her to do what she wants and needs to make herself feel better, even though I think she is beautiful all the time.

I am so into her sexually and always want to spend quality time it just seems like she wants nothing to do with sex... with me. What do I do?

Lets Get Physical

It probably doesn't happen as much as you’d like, but from time to time, you have some extra disposable income. When this happens, how should you use the funds? Assuming you have adequate emergency savings — typically, three to six months' worth of living expenses — should you pay off debts or fund your IRA or another investment account?

There's no one “correct" answer — and the priority of these options may change, depending on your financial goals. However, your first step may be to consider what type of debt you're thinking of paying down with your extra money. For example, if you have a consumer loan that charges a high rate of interest — and you can’t deduct the interest payments from your taxes — you might conclude that it's a good idea to get rid of this loan as quickly as possible.

Still, if the loan is relatively small, and the payments aren't really impinging on your monthly cash flow that much, you might want to consider putting any extra money you have into an investment that has the potential to offer longer-term benefits. For instance, you might decide to fully fund your IRA for the year before tackling minor debts. (In 2014, you can contribute up to $5,500 to a traditional or Roth IRA, or $6,500 if you’re 50 or older.)

When it comes to making extra mortgage payments, however, the picture is more complicated. In the first place, mortgage interest is typically tax deductible, which makes your loan less "expensive." Even beyond the issue of deductibility, you may instinctively feel that it's best to whittle away your mortgage and build as much equity as possible in your home. But is that always a smart move?

PecsnCity

In the world of theatre there is a saying: "dying is easy — comedy is hard". Simply put, it means that it is much easier to play a death scene than it is to make people laugh. Comedy is a broad spectrum and what seems funny to one person, may not even be the slightest bit amusing to the next. Well, I'm going to paraphrase that old saying and state an equally varied comparison: getting laid is easy— making friends is hard.

We can all go out on any given night and hook up with a random person. But to develop a relationship that transcends not only sexual but romantic feelings is difficult. And just like the scope of comedy, friendship exists and thrives in various planes and we all develop and perceive friendships differently.

In the gay community we socialize in divergent areas: clubs and bars, gyms and restaurants or even on softball fields and basketball courts. There are friends whom you make from the structured socialization of work or school and friends you make through other friends. There are also common interests that breed friendship, like football, comic books or theatre. There are even friends you make through happenstance, like that hilarious bartender who always makes your drinks.

You can also take the modem approach and meet people on the internet, through Facebook and the like.

So how do you meet people online with the sole purpose of friendship? Well, I can tell you what not to do. If you have a profile somewhere that says you're just looking for friendship, you should probably take the pictures of your dick off of it. It lends itself to a different kind of relationship when there are photos of you sprawled in a chair in front of your computer fully erect...or am I wrong? I have some extremely good- looking friends but trust me, I don't need to see their junk.

Dear Dr. Fred:

My partner and I have been together over 20 years in a monogamous, committed relationship. While we support marriage equality and have many gay friends who have married in other states, we've never felt the need to get married or even have a commitment ceremony ourselves.

For one thing, we don’t feel we need a formality to legitimize our commitment to each other — we know we are going to be together for the rest of our lives and that’s enough for us. Also, we have wills leaving everything to each other, so it wouldn’t affect our inheritances in any way.

For another thing, it feels to us like trying to "measure up" to the heterosexual lifestyle. We feel marriage is something straight people do, and one of the reasons we came out as gay men was to differentiate ourselves from the straight world. So why try to pattern our lives after theirs?

Finally, our accountant, who is a gay man in a long-term, committed relationship, has advised us that in our particular financial circumstances, marrying not only wouldn’t give us any tax benefits, but would actually hurt us. My partner makes a great deal of money, while I am retired with my chief income being my monthly social security payments. Presently my social security isn’t taxed, but if we marry it would be, so I would actually have less income at the end of the day.

Recently, however, we’ve begun to have questions about all of this, and many of our friends have been pressuring us to reconsider our stance on marrying.

Another consideration is FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) policies and my health. I am quite a bit older than my partner, and while I'm in excellent shape now, I can imagine a time when I won’t be. ,4s an unmarried couple, my partner couldn't take FMLA benefits to take care of me in the event of any health problems I might develop, but if we were married he could.

Last, but not least, our families and friends are really after us to many. We don't socialize a lot but over the course of the last month, have been to four or five different parties.

At every single one of these events the conversation eventually got to gay marriage, and people turned to us and asked, "So when are you two getting married?”

When we replied that we didn’t intend to, they confronted us with all kinds of questions and arguments: "Well, why in the world not? Don't you love each other and want to declare that love to the world? What if someone contests your wills and tries to disinherit you?"

And on and on this went until we had to firmly change the subject. But it's gotten us thinking nonetheless that maybe we ought to get married after all. What is your advice on the topic?

Signed,

Thinking Twice

 

the-maids-fresnoThe Maids
Playing until November 8th at Dennis & Cheryl Woods Theater
Fresno State University

Written by Jean Genet 
Directed by Ruth Griffin

Show dates:
Thursday, November 6 at 8:00 PM
Friday, November 7 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, November 8 at 8:00 PM

Please join family, donors and friends in honoring the 2014-15 Bulldog Pride Fund scholars on Fri. Nov. 7, 2014 from 3:30 to 4:45 pm. Admission is free; donations always welcome.A short program with Jared Lindo (2009), the inaugural Bulldog Pride Fund scholar and master of ceremonies, begins at 4:00 pm.

KINDLY RSVP: www.bulldogpride.org

It’s okay to be gay.  No really, in the 21st century, as we move forward, it’s more okay to be gay every day… and more and more men and women are coming out of the closet, announcing their sexual orientation, and now getting LEGALLY married to members of the same sex.  Even the US military is finally starting to do the right thing (yeah, it’s still messed up – but it’s improving every day compared to what soldiers of even five years ago had to put up with on a daily basis).  I firmly believe that we will see marriage equality in my lifetime and I’m 40.  That’s saying something.

Definitely both gay! Garrett and David Egland-Rock tied the knot on Vieques on October 11, 2013!

Definitely both gay! Garrett and David Egland-Rock tied the knot on Vieques on October 11, 2013!

So now, as a professional wedding planner, I have to ask a very difficult and controversial question – and I really want to know the answer – why are so many gay men continuing to marry straight women in big white weddings with the promise of a lifetime together when half the guests at the wedding know that the groom would rather be marrying his best man?

Let me back up a little to put things in context – I had a rainbow collection as a child before rainbows meant anything other than leprechauns and pots of gold.  I grew up in Washington, DC, in the 1980s and 1990s, when it was first becoming okay to be gay in public.  I took the Metro home from my prep school through Dupont Circle most days, and I assure you gay was EVERYWHERE back then (though more men than women seemed to be representing). Homosexuality has always been there – this is nothing new.  Throughout history, there have been famous leaders worldwide whose sexuality is extensively questioned in our history books even though almost all of them were married to women and had families (who knew what the gossip was about them when they were alive).  But only in the past 30 years (and really more in the last 10) have gay men and women been able to be open about their orientation and still hold their rank in business and society without being ostracized completely.  For the military, things are still in the process of changing.  But they are changing.  Big time.

With a whole world of opportunity opening up for people of all sexual orientations, with so many states legalizing gay marriage and benefits FINALLY being extended to those partners the way they should have been all along, why are so many gay men continuing the ruse and marrying straight women?  Maybe some of them are bisexual and their wives are okay with it – and if that’s the case, more power to that couple – but I’m here to tell you that I have planned quite a few weddings over the past few years that seriously made me wonder what the heck was going on.  I am absolutely positively certain that not all of these beautiful girls with hopeful smiles, tripping down the aisle in bridal white, clearly understand that they aren’t really their groom’s first choice for a life partner.  They might be his favorite girl, but she isn’t who he wishes he was marrying forever.  And most of those marriage don’t last.  It’s a fact.

gaywedding-04In 1990, 75 percent of Americans believed homosexual sex was immoral, and gay marriage was illegal in literally every jurisdiction in the world. Not quite 25 years later, a majority of Americans support gay marriage, and among young people support is as high as 70 percent. That is a breathtaking transformation; if you’d told LGBT organizations and advocates a quarter century ago that they were on the verge of a public relations coup of this magnitude, almost none of them would have believed it. Even now, it’s hard to credit. How on earth did it happen?

Leigh Moscowitz’s new book, The Battle Over Marriage: Gay Rights Activism Through the Media doesn’t set out to answer that question, but it does hint at one possibility: that the public relations revolution was achieved, in part, through the tremendous savviness and hard work of gay rights activists.

In the 1990s and early 2000s antipathy to LGBT people in the media was intense, and appeared in ways both overt and subtle. Even when the topic was gay marriage or gays in the military, gay life was exoticized: Images accompanying LGBT news items often showed “seedy gay bars or seminaked parade revelers,” in the words of an Advocate article Moscowitz quotes. News networks often framed debates in terms of God vs. gays, with gay activists on one side and anti-homosexual religious leaders, with all the respectability that religion lends, on the other.

Authored By Noah Berlatsky – See the Full Story at The Atlantic

 

minnesota-representative-tim-walz-250x250A Democratic Representative from Minnesota has introduced a bill in the house to protect benefits for LGBT veterans.

Dot429 reports:

House Representative Tim Walz has introduced the Protecting the Freedoms and Benefits for All Veterans Act, which could revolutionize the way LGBT veterans and their families are treated as well as the benefits they receive during and post-service. Currently, LGBT veterans are at risk of being denied survivor and spousal benefits, as well as flag burial honors. The new legislation would guarantee that all veterans and their spouses, regardless of state residence or sexual orientation, would be given equal treatment for equal service. “When someone puts their life on the line to protect our freedom at home, they deserve to enjoy the same freedom and earned benefits as anyone else who has done so, no matter who they love or where they reside,” Walz said.

Of course, a bill introduced by a democrat that has to do with LGBT issues likely doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell in the current House of Representatives. But we’re thrilled he’s trying…

Join Trans-E-Motion at this years Transgender Day of Remembrance, Wednesday November 20th at 6pm. The Holistic Center, 4879 E Kings Canyon, Fresno.
Gay Fresno is proud to sponsor this event and hope to see you there.

tdor-2013

2012-02-20-HUFFMEUSAWith marriage equality now coming to Illinois and Hawaii, nearly 40% of the country lives in a marriage equality state. But just how federal and state governments will navigate the still-unsettled reality (and consequences) of marriage equality remains an open question.

Although Windsor invalidated Section 3 of DOMA, it left Section 2 in place, which allows states to refuse to recognize same gender marriages performed in other states. Marriages are not judgments or orders, and are therefore not entitled to equality under constitutional principles of full faith and credit among the states. This has the potential to impact benefits, parental rights, divorce, and other issues for same-sex couples depending on where they marry and where they live.

Read the full story on the MEUSA news blog…

 

Join Trans-E-Motion at this years Transgender Day of Remembrance, Wednesday November 20th at 6pm. The Holistic Center, 4879 E Kings Canyon, Fresno.
Gay Fresno is proud to sponsor this event and hope to see you there.

tdor-2013

2012-02-20-HUFFMEUSAFive years ago last week, on Election Day 2008, California’s electorate passed Prop 8, marking perhaps the most notable low point in the marriage equality movement as a minority was stripped of a previously recognized constitutional right. As of this week five years ago, only two states – Massachusetts and Connecticut – fully recognized the marriages of same-sex couples.

How far we’ve come since then. And how fast.

Read the full story on the MEUSA News Blog…

 

HBO will premiere its much-anticipated gay-themed series Looking on January 19 at 10:30 PM.

On Sunday, the network released a teaser clip from the upcoming series.

In Looking, a trio of friends – Murray Bartlett (Guiding Light), Jonathan Groff (Glee, Boss) and newcomer Frankie J. Alvarez (Smash) – grapple with gay life in San Francisco, America's most gay-friendly city.

 

NOM LogoThe same folks in California that brought you Proposition 8 now claim they have enough signatures to try to repeal a law that gives rights to transgender kids in California schools.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

A coalition of conservative groups called Privacy for all Students submitted 620,000 signatures to get the initiative on the November 2014 ballot, said Frank Schubert, the political strategist handling the signature gathering effort. To qualify, at least 505,000 valid signatures must be submitted. To verify the signatures, each of California’s 58 counties will first check that the overall count is correct, then conduct a random sampling to make sure they are legitimate. After that, it is likely the state would order a full review.

It’s absolutely sickening to see these people going after transgender kids, some of the most vulnerable in our society. Of course, there may not be enough valid signatures to get on the ballot. But if there are, we need to do everything we can to protect these kids.

 

An Illinois state representative made a decision any parent would dread in order to press the "yes" button on legislation she had co-sponsored to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.

She left the bedside of her gravely ill son.

Tuesday afternoon, state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, a Champaign Democrat, rushed to the state capitol in Springfield to vote on the measure. With her support, the bill was approved with 61 votes in favor -- only one more than the minimum it needed in order to pass.

When Jakobsson returned to the Mattoon, Ill. hospice where her dying son, Garret, was staying after a 90-minute drive, she learned he had died just 10 minutes before her arrival, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Continue reading...

...

washington-dc1-250x250Now that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has passed the US Senate, we have a few follow-ups for you.

First off, Mormons helped pass ENDA in the Senate.

The New York Times reports:

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who at 79 is one of the Senate’s longest-serving members, became the first Republican to signal he would reverse his opposition as the bill faced a crucial vote in committee. He voted against a similar bill the last time it came up in the Senate — 17 years ago — but changed his mind earlier this year after Gordon H. Smith, a fellow Mormon and former Republican senator, convinced him there was nothing in it that violated church doctrine. “The church does want to be helpful where we can be, without violating our own conscience,” Mr. Smith, a former bishop, said in an interview. And as the bill approached a vital vote earlier this week, Senator Dean Heller, the Nevada Republican who has taught Sunday school at his Mormon church, provided the crucial 60th vote to break a filibuster. In the end, all but two of the Senate’s seven Mormons voted yes.

This newfound support for LGBT rights pointedly does NOT extend to marriage equality.

Openly gay House representative Jared Polis believes the bill would pass the House, if Boehner would bring it to a vote.

The Washington Blade reports:

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who’s gay and co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, predicted during an interview with the Washington Blade Friday that ENDA would pass the House and said the next step for the bill is to pressure Republican leaders to bring it to the floor. He added that a number of undeclared Republicans have privately told him they’d vote “yes.” “The next step is, of course, to continue to apply pressure to the speaker and the majority leader to bring it to the floor, where I’m confident it has enough support to pass,” Polis said. “The best way to do that is to demonstrate it has that support and continuing to add co-sponsors, particularly more Republican co-sponsors to ENDA so that we can have a stronger case to make that we need to bring it before the House to the floor for a vote.”

President Obama is thinking along similar lines.

On Top Magazine reports:

“Today’s victory is a tribute to all those who fought for this progress ever since a similar bill was introduced after the Stonewall riots more than three decades ago.”
“Now it’s up to the House of Representatives,” the president added. “This bill has the overwhelming support of the American people, including a majority of Republican voters, as well as many corporations, small businesses and faith communities. They recognize that our country will be more just and more prosperous when we harness the God-given talents of every individual.”

What do you guys think about the current version of ENDA? On the one hand, it is transgender inclusive, and would offer protections not available before to LGBT workers. OTOH, its religious exemptions are overly broad, and could lead to problems down the road. Where do you stand?

Dear Dr. Fred:

My partner and I have been socializing a lot lately with another gay couple we met while on vacation last year. I'll refer to them here as “Tom and Larry. " These guys are what some of us like to call members of the "A-Gay List," a real class act, if you know what I mean — handsome, highly educated, intelligent, great conversationalists, well-read and well-travelled. I could go on, but you get my drift. We meet them for dinner or brunch at a local restaurant or exchange dinner parties at our houses several times a month. We’ve also made plans to vacation with them next year and have already booked some pretty pricey airfare and a cruise.

Here’s our problem. Recently over cocktails at our house, Tom said they’d wanted to share something deeply personal and private about themselves with us for a long time. They went on to confide that they were in a group that practiced witchcraft, or “Wicca," to be exact. They described Wiccan beliefs and philosophies in great detail and even what went on at the group’s gatherings. They seemed relieved to be able to talk openly about all of this and admitted how unusual and nice it was for them to be able to share this with us, because none of their other friends seemed open enough to handle it. I reassured them that we’d heard about such things, and that we have a very’ “live and let live"philosophy, so we would never judge them negatively.

After a while the conversation turned to other matters, and eventually the evening came to an amicable close, although on leaving, they did express that they felt uneasy about having possibly freaked us out" with their disclosure. But again, we reassured them to the contrary, and all ended well, or so we thought.

The problem is that ever since that night, this couple has been avoiding us. Whenever we call or text them about getting together, they always have other plans. When we ran into them at a coffee house the other night, they looked like they couldn't wait to get away from us. They made some lame excuse about having theatre tickets, though it was way too late in the evening for plays to be going on.

 So here's our dilemma. We really like this couple, and want to continue being friends with them. But it appears that their disclosure has somehow changed the friendship — in their eyes, anyway. As for us, after the initial surprise, we thought we’d shown our acceptance of them very well. But could we have somehow made them feel uncomfortable despite what we said? And if so, how do we push the reset button and get things back to a better place with them? Finally, what are we going to do about these expensive plane and cruise tickets if we can't patch things up?

Sign Us,

Sid and Andy

 

Dear Sid and Andy:

 

As a former professor who taught communication, one of the first things I always covered was the importance of non-verbal communication. Most communications experts agree that up to 83 percent of what we convey when talking with others is through "meta-communication," i.e. the message within a message.

 

Meta-communication is transmitted by our body language, posture, facial expression, eye contact, voice inflection, breathing, pacing and spatial relationships (how near or far we are from the person with whom we’re interacting). So, yes, it’s entirely possible that despite your best efforts to appear accepting, your meta-communication may have conveyed some discomfort with your friends' disclosure. 

 

I’m reminded of an interaction I had with a client many years ago. I was interviewing the man in a first session, when he volunteered that he had AIDS. I turned to my desk to pick up a legal pad to start taking notes. However, his perception was that when I turned away from him I was “rejecting him because he had AIDS." Fortunately, we were able to work this wrinkle out. But it was a priceless lesson for me about the power of meta-messages.

 

Similarly, your friends are sensitive about this aspect of their lives and yearning to share it with others who can affirm it. Whatever your intentions, it appeal's they perceived some judgment in your response, just as my client did.

 

So, how to salvage things now? To remove the potential for further non-verbal miscommunications, try sending them a friendship card. In it, enclose a heartfelt message about how much you value this relationship and how much you’re looking forward to vacationing together. Invite the couple over for dinner and share something you two have done that might be considered a bit of a “walk on the wild side.” (I don’t know many gay men who haven’t got a story or two in that department.).

 

If none of the above works, I'd still go on the cruise together. Who knows what opportunities for sorting things out might come up when you're all stuck together on a boat somewhere on the ocean?

 

Author's Post-script: While many people do see Wicca as “white witchcraft,” more liberal theologians recognize it as a legitimate religion, and it is practiced widely across the world, with many gay followers.

 

Fred Schloemer, Ed.D., LCSW is a gay therapist. Send him your questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

medical-matters

 

My Grandpa Dave always called it “the epizootic.” Others used the term “Le Grippe” for it. And the old joke this time of year when someone felt less-than-great used to be "we opened the door and in flu enza!” The bad part is while regardless of the name (and that in flu enza joke always got a smile from the 1918 epidemic to more recent times) influenza, or the flu as we call it, is no joke.

To make matters worse, as though we needed any bad news, this year there are fears of a worse flu season than normal due to the early start of cool weather and the fact that more and more and more folks are traveling. Yes, travelling. Before jets and everyone flying here or there, flus were often contained in one city, country or area. Now in under 24 hours you can go around the world... and when you return you can (and will) bring along all manner of organisms on your shoes, clothes, in your body and on your luggage.

This means a small area’s flu germs can and will be transported worldwide in not weeks or months as used to be the case, but in hours.

How many folks even get so sick that they die during each Winters annual epidemic is really unknown according to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC). Many cite 36,000 which was the result in a survey done a few years back, but the CDC says this can’t really be relied on any more than some estimates which range as high as 60,000.

Why not? Because so many contributing factors and other causes land on death certificates that they admit it's really tough to say how many have died as a result of the flu any specific year or who expired as a result of complications or aftereffects. Many death certificates show pneumonia, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, making it even tougher to say with surety.

But regardless of the cause and the fact that hundreds of thousands get the flu but do not die, this is the time to think hard about the upcoming flu season and to protect yourself with a shot for this year's expected outbreaks.

bathroom-250x250“Jim Crow states passed statutes severely regulating social interactions between the races,” states a Web page for the Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. “Jim Crow signs were placed above water fountains, door entrances and exits, and in front of public facilities. There were separate hospitals for blacks and whites, separate prisons, separate public and private schools, separate churches, separate cemeteries, separate public restrooms and separate public accommodations.”

“Some places had three restrooms; one labeled ‘white ladies,’ another ‘colored women’ and the third for ‘white men,’” is what the 2000 documentary film Out Of Obscurity, stated about restrooms in Jim Crow America.

Somehow African American men were considered sexual predators of white women, and that about a quarter to a third of lynchings were for alleged rapes of white women. “If it takes lynchings to protect [white] woman’s dearest possession from drunken, ravening beasts, then I say lynch a thousand a week,” said the first woman appointed to the U. S. Senate in 1897, Rebecca Latimer Felton. She was expressing her feelings about the alleged rapes of white women by African Americans.

Authored By Autumn Sandeen – See the Full Story at LGBT Weekly

 

Million Dollar Quartet

Win Tickets to Million Dollar Quartet!

Just "like" us on Facebook and look for our contest later today. We'll have one more chance to win a set of two tickets.

Want to be sure to go? A set is available on eBay to help raise funds for Gay Fresno. These are currently only at $1!

 

You may also purchase tickets online and at the Saroyan theatre box office. 

Jeff Merkley and Tammy Baldwin and Tom Harkin
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) addressed reporters following
the vote on cloture on the Employment Non-Discrimination
Act in the U.S. Senate. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)


On Monday, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed a Senate cloture vote. This bill has been floating around Congress for decades, and needs to be passed — workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity remains one of the biggest hurdles that LGBT Americans face, and nearly 90 percent of the American public supports workplace equality.

However, there are fundamental problems with this version of the bill that give us pause. Though LGBT workers desperately need workplace protections, the current version of ENDA includes broader religious carve-outs than have ever been granted in civil rights legislation, allowing opponents of full LGBT equality a powerful tool to discriminate in ways they have never been allowed before with any other protected class of Americans.

We agree that religious institutions should continue to be afforded the same exemptions they have had since the 1964 Civil Rights Act — but creating special rights for religious institutions to discriminate more broadly against LGBT Americans than against others is simply un-American. In the past, employers like hospitals and universities were required to have a religious reason to deny someone a job, i.e. there might be a religious requirement to be a hospital chaplain. Those exemptions were sensible in order to preserve religious liberty.

This version of ENDA, however, creates such broad religious exemptions that even a nurse at a Catholic hospital or a secretary at a Baptist university would be subject to discrimination for no other reason than being LGBT.

Imagine if we allowed that type of exemption for other protected classes from the Civil Rights Act. Would it be acceptable to fire a janitor at a Catholic hospital just because he was Jewish? Would we allow a Baptist university to deny a woman a job solely because of her gender? Given that religiously affiliated institutions are often the largest employer in many towns across the country, these special discriminatory rights will leave behind all of those non-clergy employees who are currently forced to live in the closet in order to take care of themselves and their families.

I'm thrilled to tell you that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has just passed in the U.S. Senate for the first time ever.

We've been working to get this important piece of legislation passed for nearly two decades – and today we made history thanks to incredible supporters like you.

But before we turn to the next chapter of this fight, we need to let our senators know what we think of their votes.

U.S. senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, voted YES on ENDA.

 

Recently, I had the privilege of being able to walk in the 2nd Annual Fresno AIDS Walk.  Having known people who have died from AIDS related complications, events like this one always hit close to home.  As a gay man, HIV/AIDS has always been “something to think about.”  I guess though that I take it for granted that I’ve educated myself on the dangers of unprotected sex, the reality of HIV, and how it can affect my life and the lives of others.  It never ceases to amaze me that there are still people with some terribly inaccurate views of HIV/AIDS.  Even more amazing is the number of people with hostility toward those individuals living positive and all the misconceptions and misinformation that is propagated through nothing more than fear.  Even some of my own family members and friends expressed concern for me when they found out I was walking.  Some people thought I was positive.  Some people were worried that I would contract it from walking with people who are positive.  Some were upset that I was “exposing my son” to HIV by allowing him to walk in the event.  I had close to 20 emails from different folks, all with different ideas and comments.  So, I decided that I would take those comments and thoughts, break them down, and use them as an opportunity to educate a few people.

Before we get into the good, the bad, and the ugly, I’d like to take a moment to present some history on HIV/AIDS and dispel a few common misunderstandings.  The first thing I want to address is: There is a difference between being HIV+ and having AIDS.  Being HIV+ (positive) very simply means that a person has tested positive for the Human-immunodeficiency virus.  Having AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)  means that a person is HIV+ and that the progressive damage done to the immune system over time (in most cases, many years) has weakened it to the point that it can no longer fight off a defined range of opportunistic infections or the number of specific types of cells drop below a certain level.  AIDS is the inevitable consequence to having untreated HIV, but in this day and age, with timely and appropriate treatment, HIV almost never develops into AIDS.   The next thing I’d like to address is the origin of AIDS.  I have heard so many stories and “facts” about it, that I’ve lost tract.  I’d like to share a few of the more laughable lines I’ve been fed.

Myth:  AIDS was created by god to punish gays (gay men).
Fact:  Straight men having sex with female prostitutes actually carries the highest exchange rate among those infected at a whopping 43% likelihood of infection.  Of those affected, the demographic with the highest number of infections is: African-American females.  My point- HIV doesn’t care if you are gay, straight, black, white, male or female.

Myth:  AIDS was a government experiment by the (CIA,NSA, Air Force, etc.) as a biological weapon.
Fact:  If you actually believe this conspiracy theory, nothing I say will change your mind.  However, I will say…we know where it comes from, and it wasn’t the United States Government.

Myth:  We cured smallpox and that let AIDS thrive.
Fact: No, no, no, no.  Again, conspiracy nuts go crazy, but the government didn’t spike your smallpox vaccine with HIV.  In fact, the smallpox vaccine is contraindicated to HIV patients, their partners, and immediate household members.  Furthermore, the only link between smallpox vaccines and HIV came from the reuse of unsterilized needles during mass vaccinations in African countries.

Myth:  AIDS is a “gay cancer.”
Fact:  AIDS is not cancer.  Cancer is neither homosexual nor happy, and therefore not gay.  This myth came about in the early 80s, when even the CDC referred to HIV/AIDS as “gay cancer.”   This misconception was perpetrated by the presence of Kaposi’s  Sarcoma in AIDS patients, which is actually caused by human herpes virus 8.   While it is more commonly found in people with compromised immune systems (and 300 times more common in AIDS patients), it is not exclusively AIDS-related.

Now that we have those pesky myths out of the way, let’s move on to the rest of the story.  The best and most probable theory on HIV infections in humans is a cross-over infection from the simian immunodeficiency virus.  There is some discrepancy on how this happened, but in general it is believed that a mutation occurred to allow the virus to infect non-human primates.  Exposure to body fluids from primates allowed the virus to transfer to humans after the mutation, most likely during the hunting or butchering of an infected animal.  There have been all kinds of speculation about how it made its way to the United States, but the truth is, no one can say for sure.  While many of the first patients in the U.S. were gay men, they only made up about half of those infected in this country.  World-wide, gay men didn’t even make up 50%.  Regardless of how it came to the U.S., Robert Rayford, a 16 year old African American male, was the first person to die from the AIDS-related complication – Kaposi’s Sarcoma.  Since then, the CDC and Dr. William Darrow have made multiple attempts to identify “Patient Zero,” but no such patient has ever been “officially” named. Several books and a movie insinuated that a Canadian-born flight attendant, Gaetan Dugas, was patient zero due to the number of infected individuals connected to him sexually, but that theory has since been dismissed.  The only thing that the average person needs to know about the origins of HIV/AIDS is this: It’s out there, and no one is immune to it.

On to the part we’ve all been waiting for…the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  This is the part where I take all those questions I get asked and try to sum them up for people.  We’ll call this HIV Education 101.

$1.        Can I get HIV/AIDS from casual contact (kissing, handshakes, food sharing, etc.)?

The Good:  NO!

The Bad:  It would be easier to catch a cold or the flu from casual contact than to contract HIV from casual contact…period.

The Ugly:  There are worse things you can get from casual contact like MRSA and necrotizing fasciitis that are still more likely than contracting HIV from casual contact.

$2.       Can I get HIV from insect bites (mosquitos, fleas, ticks, etc.)?

The Good:  NO! Not at all!!!!

The Bad:  You can get lyme disease, malaria, typhus, or rocky mountain spotted fever from those.

The Ugly:  Ticks are not insects.  They are Arachnids.  Your question is invalid.

$3.       Can I still have sex if I am HIV positive?

The Good:  With the right precautions (condoms, taking meds properly, etc.)  you can still have a relatively normal sex life.

The Bad:  Having unprotected sex is irresponsible, even if you are with someone else who is also HIV positive.

The Ugly:  Having unprotected sex with someone else who is HIV positive is not OK.  You can contract different strains of the same condition, which can cause issues with medications and other forms of treatment.

$4.       Will I die from HIV/AIDS?

The Good:  It’s less likely now than it was 20 years ago.  Many HIV+ people are living longer, productive lives than ever before thanks to advancements in treatment.             

The Bad:  With any chronic illness, there are always risks.  If you don’t take care of yourself and follow a treatment plan, you will reduce your life expectancy.

The Ugly: You’ll probably live to be 120 if you handle your business and get fat, old, and ugly just like the rest of us.

$5.       Do I have to tell everyone I am HIV+?

The Good:  Well, the good news on this one is…it’s a free country.   You don’t have to tell anyone.  You should tell anyone that you intend on having a sexual relationship with, and it might be a good idea to tell someone close to you for medical purposes.  Again…you don’t HAVE to tell, but…

The Bad:  If you don’t tell someone you are HIV+ and you knowingly have unprotected sex with that person, you can be criminally charged in some states.  You have a responsibility to others by not putting them in harm’s way AND allowing them to make choices about their bodies.

The Ugly:  Be prepared to run into jerks.  Some people can’t handle it and they will treat you unfairly.  Also be prepared to run into “Bug Chasers.”  These are people who want to be infected with HIV.  Don’t ask me why.

$6.       Don’t HIV medications make you sick?

The Good:  We’ve come a long way in HIV treatment, and the newer medications have fewer side effects that some of the older medications.

                   The Bad:  Some side effects are common to most all HIV meds, most notably nausea and over time, these side effects typically lessen.  If they don’t, your doctor can suggest alternatives.

The Ugly:  All medications can have side effects, some more than others.  Some can be very serious.  If you experience side effects from your meds, you should consult your doctor immediately.

$7.        What about the flu shot – isn’t it bad for me?

The Good:  NOOOOOO!!!!  Get the damn shot!  It is safe and will be beneficial to you.

The Bad:  Flu shots typically hurt like a bitch, but being HIV+ is not a good excuse for avoiding the pain.

The Ugly:  Fear of needles is also a lame excuse.  Get the damn shot.

$8.       Can I be  fired from my job for being HIV+?

The Good:  Not on a whim, but…

The Bad:  Yes, under certain limits and restrictions. The ADA permits employers to exclude individuals who pose a direct threat to the health or safety of themselves or of others, if that risk cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation. But employers can't simply assume that a threat exists-they must establish it through objective, medically supportable methods.

The Ugly (For the employer) Transmission of HIV is very rarely a legitimate "direct threat" issue.  There is little possibility that HIV could ever be transmitted in the workplace. The fact that your employer may be ignorant of these facts is no excuse for them to discriminate against you.

$9.       If I have HIV, am I covered by the American’s with Disabilities Act?

The Good: Yes, absolutely. You may not feel that you are "disabled" by HIV in any way. However, you are considered to have a "disability" if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. People with HIV, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, are protected by the law. You are also protected by the law if you are regarded as being HIV-positive. For example, a person fired on the basis of a rumor that he has AIDS-even if he does not-is protected by the law.

Moreover, the ADA protects people who are discriminated against because they associate with someone who is HIV-positive. For example, the ADA protects an HIV-negative woman who is denied a job because her boyfriend is HIV-positive.

The Bad: Not all businesses are covered under ADA.  Small business with less than 15 employees are exempt.

The Ugly:  The reasonable accommodations clause is tricky.  An employer is not required to make an accommodation if it would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business. Determination as to whether a particular accommodation poses an undue hardship is made on a case-by-case basis.  However, Customer or co-worker attitudes don't matter. The potential loss of customers or co-workers because an employee has HIV does not constitute an undue hardship.

$10.   Will you still think I’m sexy if I have HIV, Jase?

The Good:  Someone’s “positive status” is not a factor in what I consider sexy.  So maybe…

The Bad:  I’m very picky…

The Ugly:  I’m married, so it doesn’t really matter. J

2012-02-20-HUFFMEUSAIn November, MEUSA National Media Director Stuart Gaffney and Director of Legal and Policy John Lewis are traveling to Japan to give a series of public lectures and seminars on marriage equality and LGBT rights, and to meet with Japanese LGBT leaders. Though we are seeing some signs of progress for greater legal recognition of LGBT equality and relationship recognition in countries across Asia, currently same-sex couples cannot marry legally in any Asian country.

Read the full story on the MEUSA news blog…

 

Gay-Lesbian-FamilyWelcome to the second question and answer of our Parenting with PRIDE column.  This will be a monthly feature here and we encourage YOU to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. your questions about parenting.  We'd love to hear from you!

 

I went to high school with a girl who had two dads.  Years have passed and I recently reconnected with her on facebook.  She is now an out lesbian.  I feel as though her being raised with gay parents made her that way, am I wrong?

 

Well yes, you are wrong about this one. If that were true, how would you explain all the LGBTQ+ kids raised by heterosexual couples?  Sexual orientation and gender identity are not about parenting.  No one makes anyone straight or gay.  Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum from sole attraction to the opposite sex on one end to sole attraction to a person of the same sex on the other end, with various degrees of attraction in between.

There is an embedded concern with your question because it implies that there is something wrong with being a lesbian (because it was “caused” by being raised by gay men). Many people have trouble seeing their own bias when it comes to sexual orientation, race, religion, gender, and ability/disability. This implicit (unconscious) bias causes people to view their own experience as “normal” or “right.”

In reality, I think the most important message here is that this young woman is an “out” lesbian, which means she is comfortable with her identity and has the self-esteem and support from her two Dads to be her authentic self.  We should be congratulating her dads on their parenting instead of questioning their right to raise a child together.

It is important to remember that sexual orientation is just part of our lives. If you want to embrace this past friendship and truly reconnect with this person then educate yourself about the LGBTQ+ community and become a straight ally and advocate. I am sure this woman would love to share her story with you and could teach you a lot about her experience of being raised by two dads and being a lesbian. My suggestion is that if you want to grow this friendship then continue to ask questions, be genuine, and be open to learning more about diversity by stepping out of your comfort zone occasionally.

Continuum of Human Sexuality—The Kinsey Scale (2009)

 

Email questions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post on our Facebook page.

Frank-Schubert

The Human Rights Campaign on NOM’s bigotry mastermind:

Public filings show that he has netted nearly $3 million this year for his work in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Washington State. The profits go to Schubert’s company, Mission Public Affairs. Schubert collected $958,594 for his anti-equality work in North Carolina earlier this year. In the four marriage ballot states, Schubert has collected $967,567.88 in Washington; $492,680 in Maryland; $303,307.69 in Minnesota; and $200,043.46 in Maine. While these funds are likely used to pay for advertising, it’s unclear what percentage is lining Schubert’s pockets.

“Frank Schubert is making a lucrative living off of promoting discrimination against LGBT Americans,” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. “Let me be clear: the National Organization for Marriage is advancing an extremist agenda against LGBT people. Frank Schubert is making millions of dollars by intentionally misleading voters about NOM’s true mission. As he gets richer, hundreds of thousands of LGBT Americans face economic hardship, enormous obstacles in starting families, and an inability to marry the person they love – all because of Schubert’s lies.”

hrc-250x250

An executive order on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act “as soon as possible” is at the top of list of requests Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin has for President Obama now that the election is over, he indicated in phone calls with reporters, Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner reports:

The White House said in April said Obama was declining to sign the order “at this time, but, following the election, Griffin argues that Obama needs to sign it “as soon as possible.”

Griffin said he doesn’t know if it will happen before the end of the year, but added that he is pushing for that, saying, “Since my first conversations there, it’s something I’ve pushed for, I’ve urged, privately and publicly. We will continue to do that.”

supreme-court-012-250x250The victories for same-sex marriage on Tuesday, the first ones achieved at the ballot box rather than through courts or legislatures, are evidence of a remarkable shift in public opinion.

They are also exceptionally timely data points for the Supreme Court.

At their private conference scheduled for Nov. 20, the justices plan to consider some 10 requests that they address various aspects of what the Constitution has to say about same-sex marriage. It is close to certain that the court will agree to hear at least one case on the subject, with a decision expected by June.

After two decades in which gay rights moved from the margin to capture the support of most Americans, the Supreme Court justices will go behind closed doors this week to decide whether now is the time to rule on whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.

For justices, the issue is not just what to decide, but when to decide it. In times past, the court has been faulted for waiting too long or moving too quickly to recognize constitutional rights.

The justices did not strike down state bans on interracial marriage until 1967, 13 years after they had declared racial segregation unconstitutional. Yet in response to the growing women's rights movement, the court in 1973 struck down all the state laws restricting abortion, triggering a national "right to life" movement and drawing criticism even from some supporters that the Roe vs. Wade ruling had gone too far too fast.

Now, the justices must decide whether to hear an appeal from the defenders of California's Proposition 8, the 2008 voter initiative that limited marriage to a man and a woman.

TIMELINE: Gay marriage through the years

At the same session Friday, the court will sift through several appeals to decide whether legally married gay couples have a right to equal benefits under federal law.

Continue reading......

poll-250x199Shows with gay characters, like Glee, Modern Family, and The New Normal, are helping drive voters to historically unprecedented support of gay marriage, an Oct. 29 THR poll conducted in conjunction with partner Penn Schoen Berland has found. Though gay TV also makes some voters more intensely opposed to gay marriage, they are outnumbered by voters who become more supportive of gay marriage, influenced by what they see on TV.

“This data would suggest that seeing this stuff makes it more socially acceptable,” says THR pollster Jon Penn. “Views on gay marriage have exponentially gone in its favor since 2002.” Social conservatives who fear the influence of gay-friendly TV are evidently right to fear it.

In the past 10 years, the THR poll of likely voters across the nation found, about three times as many voters have become more pro-gay marriage as have become more anti-gay marriage — 31 percent pro, 10 percent anti.

So as many of you know I have taken on allot of personal projects in our community over the years. My latest project is to bring the film “How to Survive a Plague” to the Central Valley in observance of World AIDS Day on Nov 30, 2012 at 7:00pm. Read below and follow my blog for more information on this great community event!

htsap-tower-theatre 

For the past month I have been working to get the film “How to Survive a Plage” to the Central Valley and today I just finalized the paperwork for the screening rights to the film. I’m currently working on a venue hopefully down in the Tower District. (I’m shooting for the Tower Theatre) I’ve choosing the Tower District because it’s close to food and personally I think it’s a great centralized location for everyone to meet up at.

Many people have asked Why did you choose to put on this event? Simple answer is that over the past few years I have raised funds for many causes. I’m always asked how the money makes it back to the community. Usually the answer is I DON’T KNOW or It goes to the SF AIDS Foundation and they disperse the funds. Well truth of the matter is we never really know if it makes it down to our community. So my plan for this year was to bring a film to Fresno in observance of World AIDS Day and have all the proceeds from the film go back directly to the community, hence the this Community Event. To engage the community I setup a voting system at http://myrebootedlife.com/vote where you the community can vote for the organization you feel should receive the proceeds from the film. Then on Dec 19th I will personally hand deliver a check to the organization that everyone voted for.

HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE is the story of two coalitions—ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)—whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Despite having no scientific training, these self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and ’90s, filmmaker David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making.

All proceeds generated from this event will be given BACK to the community. Personally I think the funds should goto an organizations that has an HIV/AIDS emphasis and/or continue to show their support ACTIVELY in our community. I will let YOU the community decide who deserves the proceeds and we (The Community) will deliver the checks to the selected organizations on Dec 19th.

Purchase a ticket for yourself or make a donation to this community project!

 

Ticket Sales Page - Donate today to help cover the cost of the film & venue!

 

Contact Info: Ted G. Freitas / 559.892.1705 / ted.freitas (at) me.com

 

Vote for the organization you think would best benefit from proceeds from this project.

 

Video of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, organized by Trans-E-Motion in Fresno.

Speakers, March & Reception

November 20th, 2012


 

prop8.2California Senate President Darrell Steinberg is open to putting an initiative on the ballot asking voters to repeal Proposition 8, the state’s gay marriage ban.

“Depending upon what the Supreme Court might or might not do with Proposition 8,” Steinberg told The Sacramento Bee, “in coalition with stakeholders and the gay and lesbian leadership, if it were appropriate and necessary to put repeal of Prop. 8 on the ballot with our two-thirds supermajority, I would be open to that.”

A federal court’s ruling declaring the 2008 voter-approved measure unconstitutional has been appealed to the Supreme Court. The high court is expected to decide later this month whether it will hear the case. If the court refuses the case, then the weddings of gay and lesbian couples could resume in California.

CNN commentator on Supreme Court news Jeff Toobin said Sunday he believes the high court will take the Massachusetts case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act but that it will decline to consider Proposition 8.

Speaking at a forum at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston November 18, Toobin said, “I don’t believe they are ready to take the backlash” of striking down laws banning same-sex marriage.

“They can see the writing on the wall,” said Toobin. “They see that same-sex marriage is happening.” But if the high court refuses to hear the appeal from Yes on 8 supporters of Proposition 8, he said, then same-sex marriage will become legal in California only.

See the Full Story at Keen News Service

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Tuesday, November 20th - Transgender Day of Remembrance
 
"Walk for Transgender Awareness" as part of our annual Transgender Day of Remembrance event.
 
Prior to the Walk for Transgender Awareness, a short rally will be held at Fresno Courthouse Park at 1100 Van Ness Ave from 4:30pm to 5pm in which inspirational speakers will brace us for the powerful visibility we endeavor to create by marching to increase transgender awareness. We welcome you and your organization to be a part of this groundbreaking experience to increase local awareness of transgender/ gender variant/ gender diverse existence. This is something that has never been done in Fresno and most of the Central Valley before and we want your organization to be a part of the change that we hope to create in the world for anyone who transcends gender in some way and their allies.

 

As part of the Walk, which will begin around 5pm at Fresno Courthouse Park, those participating are encouraged to hold small (electric) candles as a way to symbolize their reverence for the people whose lives were unfortunately cut short due to of transphobia and anti-transgender bias. We will provide the candles. Not everyone must hold candles to participate. For those wishing to celebrate their support of transgender/ gender diverse people, they are welcome to hold signs that show their affirmation and acceptance. All organizations are strongly encouraged to walk with signs stating the name of their organization (or the population your organization represents) and then "...Supports Transgender Rights!" or "....(organization name) for Trans Rights!" or any variation of the phrase. For example, for United Student Pride (the LGBT+ student organization at Fresno State) they could write "Students for Trans Rights" or for an organization like PFLAG they could hold a sign saying "Parents, Families and Friends for Transgender Equality." In addition to increasing visibility and awareness for transgender people and their allies, we also want to reflect the unity we wish to maintain within our own community. We will also certainly welcome any creative signs that show support and inclusion of our local transgender community. We encourage organizations to make their own signs if possible and we will also have pre-made signs available before the walk for people to hold as they walk.
The walk will last for about 40 minutes, covering no more than a few blocks (the route that we'll take will be announced the end of the rally). Our final destination will be the Downtown Community Arts Collective at 764 P. Street where we will hold our Reception Celebration. We will arrive roughly around 6pm shortly before we begin the festivities of our celebration. All organizations and walkers for trans equality are more than welcome to stay for the reception where we will have more speakers, live performances, art displays, refreshments, and a memorial in which we will read the names of those who passed away this last year.

 

So, once again, we will meet at Fresno's Courthouse Park at 4:30pm, have ourselves a nice rally, have the Walk for Transgender Awareness from Courthouse Park to the Downtown Community Arts Collective from 5pm to 5:45pm/6pm, and then enjoy the festivities of the celebration (for those who can stay).

cigarette-250x250

The National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute is promoting the idea that being gay is as “harmful” as smoking. In a crosspost on its blog, the Ruth Institute asks, “How much worse do the risks of gay sex have to be before it rates the same public health warnings as smoking?” Here’s an excerpt from the full article:

Instead of discouraging homosexual behavior as smoking is discouraged, key elements of American society have been promoting homosexuality as a viable and safe option compared with heterosexuality. Gay organizations and gay influence in the government, the media, the mental health associations, academia, and the teachers’ union have all played significant roles in America’s normalization of homosexuality.

All too often, gay political ideals have been given priority over the physical and mental health of sexually confused youth. In addition, family therapy advances in the prevention of homosexuality have been marginalized to the extent that the general public is not even aware that they exist.

 

See the Full Story at Think Progress

Changes is about more than lesbian vampires!

Available on Amazon for electronic readers and paperback

I love my first review: “Who does not enjoy a sexy vampire book? I cannot get enough! And Lorie Frye nails it with this one!”
However, Changes is about more than vampires. The story includes a professional drag queen ranch hand and a subject very dear to me; the rescue of American wild horses. The main character is a middle aged lesbian struggling to carry on without her love.
Becky Sanders thinks her life is over when her partner Ruth dies. What will it take for her to realize her life is not over and accept the changes? Incredibly, stopping a blood thirsty vampire will restore her confidence.

Author Lorie Frye can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

poll-250x199

This year might bring the first-ever statewide vote in favor of marriage for same-sex couples — and for that you have your grandmother to thank. Why? Because contrary to conventional wisdom, Americans born in the 1940s have been changing their minds on the marriage issue faster than nearly any other age group. And they are in good company.

Some marriage advocates have posited that the mammoth growth our country has seen in support for allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry has been primarily caused by younger, more accepting voters replacing older ones in the population. But new data released in our new report, The Big Shift, shows that this phenomenon only explains one quarter of the total movement since 2004, while 75% of the shift was caused by Americans of all ages — including your parents’ and grandparents’ generation — changing their minds.

By compiling data from 98 public surveys taken between 2004 and 2011, with a total of more than 128,000 responses, we were able to dig deeper into the question of exactly who has changed their position on marriage, and how quickly. The answers are stunning: support for marriage has risen at a rate of more than 2 points a year since the low point in 2004, gaining 16 points by 2011 — the most recent year for which we have numbers. Who moved the most quickly? Moderates, whose support went from 33% to 54% over that seven-year timeframe.

starbucks-250x250

In the afterglow of Tuesday’s election, the term “historic turning point” for LGBT rights is hardly an overstatement. The passage of equal marriage rights by popular vote in three states, the blockage of an anti-equality constitutional amendment in a fourth (after losses in 30 other states), plus the reelection of the first president to ever publicly ally himself with same-sex marriage equality, demonstrates a dramatic shift in public attitudes.

Equally dramatic, however, and perhaps even more significant, has been the willingness of large businesses and major corporations to lend both their names and dollars toward the cause. In Washington State, in particular, a blue-chip list of high-profile companies — Starbucks, Nordstrom, Amazon, Microsoft, REI, to name just a few — took a prominent stand in support of the marriage-equality referendum. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos tossed in $2.5 million of his own toward the campaign. Bill Gates wrote a check for $100,000.

Less than 20 years ago, in 1994, Senator Edward Kennedy’s staff had a difficult time trying to convince corporate executives to testify on behalf of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the first attempt to bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation at the federal level (a measure that still has not passed.) Their companies had successfully implemented internal policies that did the same; the executives were even on record saying they thought it was a good idea. But testify before Congress? No, thanks.

prop8.2

The historic votes of four states this week in favor of gay marriage — an apparent sea change in U.S. public opinion — have sparked the hopes of many Californians who want to turn the tide in the Golden State. But that doesn’t mean advocates of gay marriage want to see Californians vote on another ballot measure here. Instead, they’re counting on a relatively conservative U.S. Supreme Court to make same-sex unions legal throughout the country.

“We shouldn’t have to go state after state after state — it’ll take forever,” said gay marriage activist Billy Bradford of Castro Valley. He said activists are hoping for a ruling similar to the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended all restrictions on interracial marriage, “so we can move on to other things that face this country.”

Bradford said there is also widespread hope in the gay community that the high court will decide this month not to take a case involving Proposition 8, the 2008 California initiative that banned same-sex marriage. If that happens, gay couples in California could be tying the knot very soon. That’s because a federal judge and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have already struck down Proposition 8.

poll-250x199

A new poll from NBC Latino/IBOPE Zogby finds that 60 percent of Latinos support marriage equality, including 48 percent who “strongly” agree that same-sex couples should have the right to marry.

Only 38 percent disagreed. Disturbingly, a full 10 percent said that being gay, over being a drug addict or being sent to prison, would be the biggest disappointment when it comes to their children.

Marriage_Equality_FightsIn 2008, big money flowed into California from other states in support and opposition to a gay marriage ballot initiative. In 2012, big money is flowing out of California toward similar initiatives elsewhere.

About 2,000 Californians have given a total of almost $1 million in support of gay marriage initiatives in Washington, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, according to campaign finance records. Californians have given only about $25,000 in opposition to gay marriage in those states.

Most of the money has flowed into Washington and Maine, the two states where many polls show the most support for approving gay marriage. Some of the biggest financial support has come from Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

MarriageWin
With Tuesday’s sweeping pro-LGBT victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington state, marriage equality will be the law of the land in eight or nine states and the District of Columbia. Another five states have civil unions laws. The National Organization for Marriage, along with other anti-equality organizations, have lost their principal talking point and can no longer claim that every time voters considered marriage, equality loses — so it seems likely the number of states recognizing same-sex couples will continue to climb in the upcoming year.

Here are some states that could consider the issue in the near future:

1. Colorado: While a 2006 constitutional amendment prevents the state legislature from enacting marriage equality, a civil unions bill was only defeated this year thanks to stunning maneuvers by Colorado Speaker of the House Frank McNulty (R) to thwart the majority in his chamber. McNulty lost his majority Tuesday and his likely successor as Speaker, openly gay Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D), is the bill’s chief backer. Polling shows 70 percent of Coloradans support legal recognition for same-sex couples, so movement on this appears likely in 2013.

Full Story at Think Progress

ups

The UPS Foundation posted the following on its site:

The UPS Foundation seeks to support organizations that are in alignment with our focus areas, guidelines, and non-discrimination policy. UPS and The UPS Foundation do not discriminate against any person or organization with regard to categories protected by applicable law, as well as other categories protected by UPS and The UPS Foundation in our own policies. These include, but are not limited to race, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran or military status, pregnancy, age and religion.

gaywedding-04Without a doubt, election night was a landslide victory for equality. Watching the historic results roll in on issues and candidates that matter to the progress of civil rights for LGBT people was truly a snapshot of just how much, and how quickly, this country has changed on social issues.

Obviously the reelection of President Obama is a huge win for LGBT equality.

Bringing back the first sitting President who not only came out in support of marriage equality, but also signed comprehensive hate crimes legislation and ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, proved that supporting and legislating equality isn’t the political suicide opponents said it would be.

In fact, out-of-touch views on social issues like LGBT rights was actively used as an attack on the defeated Mitt Romney, who was endorsed by groups like the bigoted National Organization for Marriage. The President’s reelection proves that vocal support for our rights can now be seen as a political plus and regressive policies about equality are damaging.

Full Story at LGBTQ Nation

president-obama-250x250

Obama Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett said the President was “so absolutely delighted” that marriage equality votes in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota “all came down on the right side of history.

These were the first public comments (made during a conference call Thursday night with supporters of the Human Rights Campaign) on the President’s reaction to the historic decisions in Maine, Maryland and Washington where same-sex marriage was legalized through popular vote and in Minnesota where voters opposed an amendment banning gay marriage.

Full Story at Queerty

It’s fair to say that the 2012 elections were a big victory for the LGBT community, in terms of both issues and candidates, but that is much more true for the LGB than it is the T. Certainly the transgender community can benefit from same-sex marriage laws; some states will recognize their gender identity and others won’t, confusing who they can legally marry based on their identity documentation. Ideally, lawmakers who claim to be allies will also support transgender issues, but there is no guarantee. Vice President Joe Biden told a constituent recently that transgender justice is the “civil rights issue of our time,” but progress can only be made with visibility.

One important victory took place this week in New Hampshire: the state elected its first openly transgender lawmaker. Stacie Laughton (D) easily beat two Republican candidates for an open seat in Ward 4. She told the Nashua Telegraph that she believes the LGBT community “will hopefully be inspired,” but in her campaign she also advocated for the homeless, people with disabilities, and strengthening public schools. A seat in the huge New Hampshire House of Representatives is not the highest profile position, but Laughton’s election is a notable milestone for trans visibility.

The primary struggle facing trans people remains discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has languished in Congress for decades, and with Republicans maintaining control of the House, its status is not likely to change. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is the perfect example of a Republican who opposed ENDA specifically because it included transgender protections.

Full Story at Think Progress

Exit poll data revealed a massive and decisive gender gap in voting on the marriage equality ballot measures that just might put to rest once and for all some old gender adages. Women have all too often been cast as the more conservative sex. Nothing could be further from the truth. Women, on the average, want change more than men and are sick and tired of discrimination that has hurt them.

Women’s votes, according to state exit polls, determined the historic outcome of the 2012 marriage equality ballot measures. Same-sex marriage was approved for the first time by general election votes in three states: Maine, Maryland, and Washington state. In Minnesota, voters struck down a proposed state constitutional amendment “to recognize marriage only between one man and one woman.”


rainbow-flag-600-250x250Relax and take a week off as we savior our enormous and historical victories from last Tuesday. After all, we must continue to celebrate them to make them real to us. The election was filled with ‘gifts’ to us and we would be foolish to not embrace those victories before proceeding forward.

Then the LGBT community has more work to be done in our epic struggle for full equality. Let’s review quickly some or our priority agenda.

ENDA:

Because the House of Representatives is still controlled by right-wingers we will have some difficulty passing positive LGBT legislation. However there might be some willingness now among traditional conservative Republicans to stand up to the Tea Party types and pass ENDA.

Full Story at DavidMixner.com

Exit polls have a lot to say about the role LGBT issues plyed in the election, and on how President Obama’s support for marriage equality might have resonated with the electorate.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual voters sided heavily with Obama, for example, helping to propel him to a commanding win. Exit polls conducted for The New York Times and other media outlets indicated that 5% of voters were gay, lesbian or bisexual. (Voters weren’t asked whether they are transgender.) Of those, 76% voted for Obama. While that number is high, it’s also a six-percentage-point increase over the 2008 election for the president.

Where marriage equality was on the ballot, exit polls offer insight into whether it helped or hurt the president. The Associated Press reports that exit polls in Maryland, where voters approved legalizing same-sex marriage, show those who sided with equality broke strongly for Obama, while those opposed joined Romney. It was Obama and marriage equality that prevailed.

Emily_Gill

The relationship between religious belief and sexuality as personal attributes exhibits some provocative comparisons. Despite the nonestablishment of religion in the United States and the constitutional guarantee of free exercise, Christianity functions as the religious and moral standard in America. Ethical views that do not fit within this consensus often go unrecognized as moral values. Similarly, in the realm of sexual orientation, heterosexuality is seen as the yardstick by which sexual practices are measured. The notion that “alternative” sexual practices like homosexuality could possess ethical significance is often overlooked or ignored.

In her new book, An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage, political scientist Emily Gill draws an extended comparison between religious belief and sexuality, both central components of one’s personal identity. Using the religion clause of the First Amendment as a foundation, Gill contends that, just as US law and policy ensure that citizens may express religious beliefs as they see fit, it should also ensure that citizens may marry as they see fit. Civil marriage, according to Gill, is a public institution, and the exclusion of some couples from a state institution is a public expression of civic inequality.

An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage is a passionate and timely treatment of the various arguments for and against same-sex marriage and how those arguments reflect our collective sense of morality and civic equality. It will appeal to readers who have an interest in gay and lesbian studies, political theory, constitutional law, and the role of religion in the contemporary United States.

Emily R. Gill is Caterpillar Professor of Political Science at Bradley University. She is the author of Becoming Free: Autonomy and Diversity in the Liberal Polity and coeditor of Moral Argument, Religion, and Same-Sex Marriage: Advancing the Public Good.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Tuesday, November 20th - Transgender Day of Remembrance
 
"Walk for Transgender Awareness" as part of our annual Transgender Day of Remembrance event.
 
Prior to the Walk for Transgender Awareness, a short rally will be held at Fresno Courthouse Park at 1100 Van Ness Ave from 4:30pm to 5pm in which inspirational speakers will brace us for the powerful visibility we endeavor to create by marching to increase transgender awareness. We welcome you and your organization to be a part of this groundbreaking experience to increase local awareness of transgender/ gender variant/ gender diverse existence. This is something that has never been done in Fresno and most of the Central Valley before and we want your organization to be a part of the change that we hope to create in the world for anyone who transcends gender in some way and their allies.

 

As part of the Walk, which will begin around 5pm at Fresno Courthouse Park, those participating are encouraged to hold small (electric) candles as a way to symbolize their reverence for the people whose lives were unfortunately cut short due to of transphobia and anti-transgender bias. We will provide the candles. Not everyone must hold candles to participate. For those wishing to celebrate their support of transgender/ gender diverse people, they are welcome to hold signs that show their affirmation and acceptance. All organizations are strongly encouraged to walk with signs stating the name of their organization (or the population your organization represents) and then "...Supports Transgender Rights!" or "....(organization name) for Trans Rights!" or any variation of the phrase. For example, for United Student Pride (the LGBT+ student organization at Fresno State) they could write "Students for Trans Rights" or for an organization like PFLAG they could hold a sign saying "Parents, Families and Friends for Transgender Equality." In addition to increasing visibility and awareness for transgender people and their allies, we also want to reflect the unity we wish to maintain within our own community. We will also certainly welcome any creative signs that show support and inclusion of our local transgender community. We encourage organizations to make their own signs if possible and we will also have pre-made signs available before the walk for people to hold as they walk.

 

The walk will last for about 40 minutes, covering no more than a few blocks (the route that we'll take will be announced the end of the rally). Our final destination will be the Downtown Community Arts Collective at 764 P. Street where we will hold our Reception Celebration. We will arrive roughly around 6pm shortly before we begin the festivities of our celebration. All organizations and walkers for trans equality are more than welcome to stay for the reception where we will have more speakers, live performances, art displays, refreshments, and a memorial in which we will read the names of those who passed away this last year.

 

So, once again, we will meet at Fresno's Courthouse Park at 4:30pm, have ourselves a nice rally, have the Walk for Transgender Awareness from Courthouse Park to the Downtown Community Arts Collective from 5pm to 5:45pm/6pm, and then enjoy the festivities of the celebration (for those who can stay).
Aids-Walk-12

Join hundreds of walkers at Woodward Park to raise awareness & community support for this worldwide epidemic.  All proceeds will benefit The Living Room, a project of WestCare, Fresno's only HIV/AIDS social support center.

Walk with the Gay Fresno team or walk as an individual on November 10th from 9a - 12p. The walk is a quick 2.5 mile walk at Fresno's Woodward Park.

There is no fee to register, but we encourage everyone to raise funds. Any amount you raise is greatly needed and appreciated. Below you will see three choices of how you can register to take part in a few different aspects of Fresno AIDS Walk.

Register for FREE, be sure to select "Gay Fresno" as your team!
 

Donate to the event

 

 

domaJust got this from a Reader:

ALL I WANT TO DO IS COME BACK HOME

I am, however, unwilling to do so without the person that I love. We have been trying now for nearly 4 years, but it often feels virtually impossible and sometimes makes me very sad. I makes me feel like I am living in forced exile and that my country does not want me back because my partner of 8 years happens to be of the same-sex. I still harbor hopes that the country that is my homeland and I love, will one day honor our constitution and really embrace the fact that all of its citizens need to be treated equally in the eyes of the law.

I am a veteran and served for 4 years during the Vietnam war. I am an older American that certainly could benefit from a close VA hospital. I have been retired for a few years and it is difficult to maintain my obligations and commitments in two places in these hard times. I get a little depressed sometimes when I think too much about it. I have had to learn to accept that my country really believes that I am second class citizen.

Then, one day, for the first time in my life, I heard a President of the United States support marriage equality in America. I perked up and starting paying attention. I watched as he directed his Justice Department to cease defending the Defense of Marriage Act that causes our federal government not to recognize same-sex unions. I actually started smiling again. I cheered, as very slowly, US Immigrations began relaxing the rules relating to the deportation of the foreign partners of Americans. Then, Immigrations actually rewrote the definition of “family” and made it easier for same-sex foreigners to stay with their American mates.

Now, I sit and watch as DOMA awaits its’ fate in the US Supreme Court. I have hope again and am holding my breath. I pray that it is declared unconstitutional and the federal ban on recognizing the marriage of same-sex folks will finally be lifted. I will then apply to bring my spouse home and jump through all the immigration hoops with energy and happiness.

I have already voted for President Obama, as I am totally sure that if Governor Romney were to become the President that human rights in America will be plunged into darkness for the long foreseeable future.

I believe what make a country truly great is how its government treats its citizens with regard to all human rights. While very important, it is not money or the economy or jobs or the budget or the military that makes a great country. On those issues both candidates have different approaches. But the real issue for me and I urge you to consider this as your gauge; Which candidate is the most inclusive and empowering for all American’s diverse citizens?

To me it is simple. Let’s keep moving forward towards the goal of equality for all Americans. Let’s get back to basics and achieve the goal of NO MORE SECOND CLASS CITIZENS in America. If we achieve that worthy goal, we will be amazingly great once again. You just watch America, let us out of our cocoons, help us with education and let us fly. We will show you just how strong and beautiful we all can be. Let us show you our true colors!

Please get out and vote! It is so important this time! I really want to come home again and help once again.

With love to you all,

Skip Burns

After an amazing night, where the country chose to progress forward into the 21st century, I was incredibly happy...and I slept quite well, I might add. I expected the President to win a second term, but I didn't expect the Republican majority in the House of Representatives to shrink and the Democratic majority in the Senate to grow. I was pleasantly surprised that, for the first time in U.S. history, voters approved of marriage equality in three states and against discrimination in Minnesota. It was an incredible night for the entire country.
I am so proud to be an American. We finally have the chance to have a government that works for the 100 percent. Climate change can finally be seriously addressed. The United States now ensures access to healthcare, and we're closer to achieving universal healthcare like the rest of the developed world. Marriage equality across the land in even more of a wonderful reality. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent by dark money groups to ensure the status quo remains ultimately meant nothing. Americans spoke loud and clear. Our democratic republic is alive and well.
Rachel Maddow summed up just what this election meant for the nation:
“We are not going to have a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade. There will be no more Antonin Scalias and Samuel Alitos added to this Court. We’re not going to repeal health reform. Nobody is going to kill Medicare and make old people in this generation or any other generation fight it out on the open market to try to get themselves health insurance. We are not going to do that.
"We are not going to give a 20 percent tax cut to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and kid’s health insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut. We’re not going to make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control under the insurance plan that you’re on. We are not going to redefine rape. We are not going to amend the United States Constitution to stop gay people from getting married. We’re not going to double Guantanamo. We are not eliminating the Department of Energy or the Department of Education or [the Department of] Housing [and Urban Development] at the federal level. We are not going to spend two trillion dollars on the military that the military does not want. We are not scaling back on student loans because the country’s new plan is that you should borrow money from your parents. We’re not vetoing the Dream Act. We are not self-deporting. We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt. We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January. We are not going to have, as a President, a man who once led a mob of friends to run down a scared gay kid, to hold him down and forcibly cut his hair off with a pair of scissors while that kid cried and screamed for help, and there was no apology, not ever.
"We are not going to have a Secretary of State John Bolton. We are not bringing Dick Cheney back. We are not going to have a foreign policy shop stocked with architects of the Iraq War. We are not going to do it. We had the choice to do that if we wanted to do that as a country, and we said ‘no’ last night, loudly.
….
"Ohio really did go to President Obama last night, and he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii, and he really is legitimately President of the United States, again, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month, and the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy, and the polls were not skewed to over-sample Democrats, and Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math, and climate change is real, and rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes, and evolution is a thing, and Benghazi was ‘on’ us, it was not a scandal ‘by’ us, and no one is taking away any one’s guns, and taxes have not gone up, and the deficit is dropping, actually, and Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, and the moon landing was real, and FEMA is not building concentration camps, and UN election observers are not taking over Texas, and moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in the country are not the same thing as communism…
"…in this country, we have a two-party system in government and the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems, and we debate between those possible solutions, and by the process of debate, we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas from both sides about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff…if the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum-sealed, door-locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good and denying the factual, lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate between competing, feasible ideas about real problems…they [GOP] are going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside if they do not want to get shellacked again, and that will be a painful process for them I’m sure, but it will be good for the whole country, left, right and center.

Make your voice heard!  Voting is one of the most important things you can do to determine the direction of this country.  The following guide was prepared after extensive research of the ballot initiatives full text, fiscal effects and comparisons with other LGBT service organizations recommendations.  We hope this guide proves to be a valuable resource. Feedback and discussion is welcome and encouraged in the comment box below.


Download the Voter Guide
, click on the link for a printable PDF document. Then print it and take to the polls.

Get the guide on your phone! Text Vote to 5598624559 and we'll get the guide sent to you in minutes.

Yes on Prop 30No on Prop 31No on Prop 32No on Prop 33

Yes on Prop 34No on Prop 35Yes on Prop 36Yes on Prop 37

Yes on Prop 39Yes on Prop 40

Fresno area Measures

Yes on measure BYes on measure FNo on measure O

We encourage you to read the official California State voter guide.

 

Please, share our Voter Guide with everyone you know

by using the two buttons below:

 

Share the guide on Facebook

 

Tweet the Gay Fresno voter guide

 

Chip in today to help us keep you informed

Paid for by Gay Fresno and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Gay-Lesbian-FamilyWelcome to the first question and answer of our Parenting with PRIDE column.  This will be a monthly feature here and we encourage YOU to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. your questions about parenting.  We'd love to hear from you!

 

I’m going to a baby shower for two women. Do lesbians have a thing against the traditional pink and powder blue baby color gift system?

 

Lesbians are not all alike. If you are invited to this couple’s baby shower, then you are probably an important person in their lives and whatever you bring as a gift will be appreciated. Lesbians, like any other group, are just a bunch of individuals with their own opinions and ideas.  So, as for the “traditional color system,” blue-for-boys and pink-for-girls, it is really about personal preference, not sexual orientation. I think it is always great to just ask the parents or a close friend of the parents if there is a color scheme for the new baby. Or go with something you like.  Take a step out of your comfort zone and ask how the Moms feel about the “color system.”  If it’s Dads or a straight couple next time, ask them. The parents are probably registered at some stores so that will give you a clue but I think asking is always a respectful way to find out more about the family that has graciously included in this celebration of bringing a child into a family. There are no easy answers to the “color gift giving system” regardless of sexual orientation.

 

Email questions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post on our Facebook page.

Aids-Walk-12

Join hundreds of walkers at Woodward Park to raise awareness & community support for this worldwide epidemic.  All proceeds will benefit The Living Room, a project of WestCare, Fresno's only HIV/AIDS social support center.

Walk with the Gay Fresno team or walk as an individual on November 10th from 9a - 12p. The walk is a quick 2.5 mile walk at Fresno's Woodward Park.

There is no fee to register, but we encourage everyone to raise funds. Any amount you raise is greatly needed and appreciated. Below you will see three choices of how you can register to take part in a few different aspects of Fresno AIDS Walk.

Register for FREE, be sure to select "Gay Fresno" as your team!
 

Donate to the event

 

kris-sandyA week ago, we had the pleasure to meet Prop 8 lawsuit plaintiffs Kris and Sandy at the “8″ Play reading in Sacramento. Kris and Sandy’s characters are major players in the play (and the case). They participated in the Q&A session after the plat, and were also gracious enough to agree to an interview with Gay Marriage Watch.

Thanks, guys, and our hopes are with you!

GMW: Where were you when Prop 8 passed, and what do you remember about that night?

Kris & Sandy: Sandy and I were home watching election returns. It wasn’t quite as clear the night of the election as it was the day after during my commute to work. I was listening to NPR and it finally hit me what a tragedy the passage of Prop 8 was and how personally hurt I was by it.

GMW: What kind of toll does living in a state that bans marriage equality take on gay families like yours?

Kris & Sandy: When we filed suit challenging Prop 8 our youngest sons were 14, they will tun 18 next week. They will have spent their entire childhoods in a family where the parents love each other deeply but cannot marry. It has a very harmful effect on them and on us to know we cannot provide the most basic foundation of security and permanence.

GMW: Have all your friends and family been supportive of your desire to get married?

Kris & Sandy: Our friends and family have surprised us with their interest and concern. Sandy and I have both heard from childhood friends who wanted to express support, distant relatives who felt compelled to reach out and our immediate family have been terrific. It takes great patience and understanding to share us with the case and the time demands. We hope to get back to being a part of the usual events in everyone’s lives when the case is resolved.

GMW: Have you worked with Broadway Impact to get the story out via the play?

Kris & Sandy: Yes, Sandy and I have been a part of the great work Broadway Impact has done to support AFER and marriage equality. The distribution of Dustin Lance Black’s play and spreading the results of the case has done so much to raise the visibility of this issue.

GMW: What will you do when Prop 8 is finally struck down?

Kris & Sandy: Prop 8 has been struck down 2 times already. If SCOTUS agrees with the lower court rulings we will celebrate by getting married. Something we have wanted to do for 4 years.

GayDivorceMelissa
Melissa Etheridge recently made headlines with her break up from Tammy Lynn Michaels, saying “I’m for gay marriage, because I’m for gay divorce” while on the Joy Behar Show. Etheridge reveals that she had to pay twice as much to end her relationship – a domestic partnership – because of tax issues and legal problems facing some same-sex couples. This is one high-profile example of what I call the “Gay Divorce Tax,” which could affect anyone ending a civil union, domestic partnership, or gay marriage.

While I’m sure splitting a lifetime of assets is painful enough, did you know that generally speaking, the process of divorce is not taxable for straight couples? On the other hand, gay couples could face all the “fun” of a traditional divorce while also getting hit with taxes.

The issues involved here are very complex, and often guidelines from the IRS are somewhat unclear. These issues and complexities could make it hard for same-sex couples to find lawyers, financial planners, and accountants who are up to date on the ever-changing rules, laws, tax statutes and more. I’ve seen people make important (and expensive) decisions based on bad or incorrect information.


Continue reading...

...

Don't miss this year's WORLD AIDS DAY EVENT at the Tower Theater this Thursday December 1st. This year marks the monumental 30 YEARS OF HIV.

There will be entertainment, speakers, food and a reading of names. This is a FREE EVENT.

Please come and invite your friends. Support the COMMUNITY...

This is a video from LAST YEAR'S EVENT...

...

2011 marks the 30th Anniversary of reported AIDS cases. It started in 1981.

The most recent studies have traced HIV back to 1921.

haring-300x173

My first experience with HIV & AIDS came as it came to the rest of the world. It was early 1981 (specifically, AIDS was first reported on June 5th, 1981, through the diagnosis of 5 men in Los Angeles). I was barely out of the closet when I heard the nightly news story referencing "gay cancer". It was beyond vague at that point and seemed to be isolated to major metropolitan areas. It started off being reported either by the opportunistic infections which were a result of HIV infection, or as GRID...gay related immune deficiency. The term AIDS was introduced in 1982, after it became apparent that the disease was not isolated to the gay community.

In 1981, although I wasn't a virgin, I wasn't sexually active. Shortly afterward, however, in 1982, I entered into my first relationship with another man, at the same time I came out of the closet. He was much older and as far as I knew, we were monogamous.

About three years later we moved to New Jersey, a stone's throw from New York, one of the epicenters of the burgeoning disease. Still, even though we never practiced safe sex, I assumed we were safe. At the time I didn't consider the fact that his being 15 years older meant I was sleeping with more than just him. Even three years into our relationship, in 1985, HIV and AIDS was fairly vague.

My second relationship was with a man who told me he was HIV positive before we ever had sex. We were adventurous in the one year we he was healthy, half of the two years we were together, but still, I practiced sex safely.

After that I was single for a short time and had a lot of sex, all of it safe. Then I met my current husband who I've been with for 15 years now, also monogamous.

Although I've been as safe as possible, given that HIV broke into the public at virtually the exact moment I came out of the closet as a gay man, it's amazing I've escaped it. A great number of my close friends, too many to count, have not...

Ben was my first...

I moved with my partner to Lake Tahoe in 1985, beginning my 20 year hotel career by taking a management job at a local timeshare. My boss was a 32 year old semi-closeted mama's boy with a 21 year old boyfriend. Ben and I, being the same age and of the same sarcastic temperament, became fast friends. While I'd made the jump from closeted to semi closeted, it was strange to find a slightly younger version of myself, in a more conservative area, who was so free and so open. Ben worked at one of the local casinos.

 

worldaidsday2011

On Thursday, December 1, 2011 we will observe World AIDS Day with an event at the Tower Theater. Beginning at 5:30 pm, the evening will be filled with local entertainment and recognition of the 30 year anniversary of HIV. We will pay tribute to current and past local providers of HIV care and prevention services. We hope you see you this Thursday!

Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 29th, 2011) there will be FREE HIV Testing offered by the Fresno County Dept of Public Health at the Fresno LGBT Community Center, which will be open. Testing will be offered from

2:30-5:30PM

Free testing is offered in honor of World AIDS Day, which is this Thursday, December 1st.

The local, annual World AIDS Day Event will be held at the Tower Theater this Thursday at 5:30PM. This is a FREE event.

hiv-aids-ribbon

The Fresno LGBT Community Center is located at 1055 N Van Ness Avenue Suite A, Fresno, CA 93728. The phone number at the Center is 559-325-4429.

Barney Frank, openly gay and in congress as a Democrat for the state of Massachusetts for 30 years, has announced his retirement. His office released the following...

I will not be a candidate for reelection to the House of Representatives in 2012.

I began to think about retirement last year, as we were completing passage of the financial reform bill. I have enjoyed--indeed been enormously honored--by the chance to represent others in Congress and the State Legislature, but there are other things I hope to do before my career ends. Specifically, I have for several years been thinking about writing, and while there are people who are able to combine serious writing with full-time jobs, my susceptibility to distraction when faced with a blank screen makes that impossible.

From President Obama...

This country has never had a Congressman like Barney Frank, and the House of Representatives will not be the same without him. For over 30 years, Barney has been a fierce advocate for the people of Massachusetts and Americans everywhere who needed a voice. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of families and businesses and helped make housing more affordable. He has stood up for the rights of LGBT Americans and fought to end discrimination against them. And it is only thanks to his leadership that we were able to pass the most sweeping financial reform in history designed to protect consumers and prevent the kind of excessive risk-taking that led to the financial crisis from ever happening again. Barney's passion and his quick wit will be missed in the halls of Congress, and Michelle and I join the people of the Bay State in thanking him for his years of service.


READ MORE HERE...

...

From Autostrade:

 

Australia's voting population isn't as divided on the issue of marriage equality as America's; in fact, almost two-thirds of voters support it. But it's also not seen as an issue of high national priority, and Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, still claims that marriage equality would constitute an unwelcome change to the institution of marriage.

Into this context comes a new ad campaign from GetUp! Australia, an "independent movement for a progressive Australia:"

 

Possibly the sweetest marriage equality video to date.

Why does this video strike such a cord? Because it reminds us that marriage is about bonds that are forged with time and experience.

And that’s the message that we need to be spreading: gay or straight, love is love and commitment is commitment.

It’s time.

BUY NOTHING DAY is November 25th.

BuyNothing

Courtesy Wikipedia...

Buy Nothing Day (BND) is an international day of protest against consumerism observed by social activists. Typically celebrated the Friday after American Thanksgiving in North America and the following day internationally, in 2011 the dates are November 25 and 26 respectively. It was founded in Vancouver by artist Ted Dave and subsequently promoted by magazine, based in Canada.

The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Mexico in September 1992 "as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption." In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, also called "Black Friday", which is one of the 10 busiest shopping days in the United States. Outside North America and Israel, Buy Nothing Day is the following Saturday. Adbusters was denied advertising time by almost all major television networks except for CNN, which was the only one to air their ads. Soon, campaigns started appearing in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Norway. Participation now includes more than 65 nations.

In one of the highest profile LGBT violent crimes in California history, Brandon McInerney's prosecution for the killing of sexually ambiguous Larry King has ended in a plea deal.

6a00d8341c630a53ef015437331a67970c-640wi

McInerney was 14 when he violently murdered King at school, apparently for flirtations which McInerney, offended by King's questioning gender and sexuality, took offense at.

At one point, this trial was going the way of so many bullshit defenses of the past, trying to claim that McInerney was exhibiting the "gay panic defense", which amounts to "it's okay to kill someone if they're of a different sexuality and are coming on to you".

The Oxnard teen who shot a gay classmate he believed was flirting with him has agreed to spend the next 21 years in prison, a plea deal that ends a case that drew national attention and ignited debate on how schools should deal with openly gay students.

Brandon McInerney has already served nearly four years in jail and would be released by the time he is 38, under terms of the deal.

READ MORE HERE...

...

thumbnail.aspx

Last week I visited the U.S. Federal Courthouse here in Fresno to attend a Central Valley Hate Crimes Task Force. The meeting was put together by the U.S. Department of Justice and moderated by Elana S. Landau, Assistant United States Attorney. The session was attended by various members of law enforcement, as well as representatives from the FBI and other Central Valley Justice personnel. Also in attendance were various representatives of local community groups, including those representing the LGBT community, Muslim community, African American community, and the Sikh community. There was also a representative from the Clovis United School District.

The purpose of this and future meetings is to empower Hate Crimes Legislation. The Department of Justice is reaching out to various community groups in order to facilitate reporting, as well as to assist prosecuting hate crimes and to facilitate law enforcement sensitivity training.

One thing everyone agreed on in the room is that hate crimes are, indeed, happening in the Central Valley. Another certainty, however, is that hate crimes in Fresno and the Central Valley go virtually unreported. For the last reported time period, the reports showed 1 hate crime reported in the Fresno area. Understanding that requires knowledge particular to individual groups.

Those who represented the Muslim and Sikh communities offered the fact that hate crimes against those populations are often reported to their own state and national organizations, yet not necessarily or immediately to local law enforcement officials. It wasn't, apparently, a disservice to legal authority, but rather a natural result of group organizations and directives already in place. I explained to the group that I'd received calls at the Fresno LGBT Community Center reporting incidents which might qualify as hate crimes but which I referred to local agencies such as the ACLU or GSA. It appears hate crimes within communities are often reported somewhat internally. Although each group may feel empowered by doing so, the result may be detrimental to the power of state and national law enforcement in dealing with such problems.

It's fairly simple from an organizational framework...if the numbers of hate crimes don't manifest in U.S. Dept Of Justice reports, then our empowerment, as it relates to government and law enforcement intervention, is at risk of not being as effective as it could be.

We in the LGBT Community hear about hate crimes all the time on a national and global level. Typically we read that a violent attack is accompanied by specific LGBT slurs. It's usually that the criminals or perpetrators are yelling such things as "faggot" which accompanies a violent beating. As we have continually heard, I assumed, probably as many others have, that those slurs in and of themselves define a particular crime of violence as a hate crime. Not so. It turns out that while slurs during a crime are indeed the catalyst for a hate crime charge, further investigation has to be conducted in order to justifiably label it as one. Investigators take the fact that slurs were used against a victim, and in turn investigate their history. They may search their homes, question family, friends and acquaintances, etc. A foundation of prejudice must be established in order to prosecute a crime as a hate crime.

In other words, lots of things may be uttered by a perpetrator during a violent attack, but in order to qualify as a hate crime, a pattern outside the crime itself must be established. This came as news to me, and during a deeper discussion, we were told how critical it then becomes to report such slurs. Even if in one particular case, a hate crime may not end up being the outcome, officials keep complaints on file and they prove very beneficial in establishing a pattern later on. The importance of reporting may come into play two or three offenses later, when a violent criminal may then have a history on their legal record which shows a propensity toward a particular prejudice.

What's most important is that we report hate crimes. The Fresno LGBT Center now has brochures from the United States Attorney's Office Eastern District of California, which outline how to report hate crimes. That information is available to everyone by visiting the Community Center during open hours or calling us at 559-325-4429 and leaving us a message so that we can get that information to you.

There's a built in sentiment in the LGBT Community that law officials are not open to supporting us on these issues, and during the meeting, it became apparent that our community is not the only one that feels this way. Part of the current efforts by the U.S. Dept of Justice is to train law officials on how to better handle these incidents. In the meantime, we cannot allow a potential insensitivity on the part of some law officials to keep us from reporting offenses. I can tell you that I, as a member of the LGBT Community, felt completely supported by the officials at that meeting. An FBI officer even made a point of coming up to me afterwards, introduced himself and assured me that they are dedicated to working on these problems. He also urged me to encourage open communication and reporting between his office and the LGBT Community.

TO REPORT A HATE CRIME in Fresno:

FBI Robert B. Schofield 559-436-4474

TO CONTACT THE HATE CRIMES TASK FORCE in Fresno:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elana Landau 559-497-4083

United States Attorney's Office Eastern District of California http://www.justice.gov/usao/cae/

STOP BULLYING - GOVERNMENT SITE

http://stopbullying.gov/

The Matthew Shepard James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into federal law by President Barack Obama in October of 2009.

Courtesy Wikipedia...

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, is an American Act of Congress, passed on October 22, 2009, and signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009, as a rider to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 (H.R. 2647). Conceived as a response to the murders of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., the measure expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability 

The bill also:

  • removes the prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally-protected activity, like voting or going to school;
  • gives federal authorities greater ability to engage in hate crimes investigations that local authorities choose not to pursue;
  • provides $5 million per year in funding for fiscal years 2010 through 2012 to help state and local agencies pay for investigating and prosecuting hate crimes;
  • requires the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to track statistics on hate crimes based on gender and gender identity (statistics for the other groups were already tracked).

The Act is the first federal law to extend legal protections to transgender persons

You want a definitive answer as to which side the police are on?...either the public, who PAYS THEIR SALARIES...or CORPORATIONS in bed with GOVERNMENT...if THIS VIDEO doesn't get you on the side of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, NOTHING WILL...

 

In a longer version of the video, the students are shown seated across a stretch of walkway surrounded by more than a dozen UC Davis cops, dressed in riot gear and clutching batons. Many other students are standing along the sides of the scene, watching and protesting as the standoff unfolded. Some students shouted "Thugs on campus!" and "From Davis to Greece, fuck the police!" Those chants were tamped down quickly by others, who warned all to "Keep it peaceful" and "Keep it nonviolent."

So the students started up a new chant that would prove prophetic: "You use weapons! We use our voice!"

At one point, one of the riot cops ambles over to the seated line and asks one of the students a question. The student replies, "We're sitting here."

The police officer then returns to his position with the other officers. He also turns his back on the seated students, as does at least one other officer. They show no fear that the students might turn violent or threatening. The first cop talks on his radio for a while.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

After a few "mic checks" and few more chants, a cop goes back to the seated students. The student asks, "You're gonna shoot me for sitting here? You're shooting us for sitting here?"

Roughly a minute later, the officer can be seen shaking the pepper spray canister as the gathered students start shouting, "Don't shoot your children!"

As the officer began spraying the group of students, onlookers screamed, "Don't do it! Don't you do it!"

READ MORE HERE

GLAAD has launched an effort to encourage the LGBT Community to speak up to their families during the upcoming holidays. As we always have to remember, our true power lies in COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET and being as open as possible...

The LGBT community has a ton to be thankful for from the past year.  But we also have a long way to go. And believe it or not, putting down that forkful of stuffing for a minute and just talking about yourself (if you're able to) this Thanksgiving can make a huge difference.

awkwardthanksgiving

We've all had those Thanksgiving dinners where Aunt Betty decides this is the perfect time to discuss a year's worth of ailments and medical treatments. Well, you know what?  If she can talk about her polyp, you can talk about your partner.

The fact is, while you're scarfing down mashed potatoes and staying silent while everyone else at the table is freely speaking their minds, you're missing a golden opportunity to make real, honest progress by talking about your life, and the things you care about.  It's okay if Aunt Betty feels a little awkward at first, it's important for her to know that someone she loves cares deeply about LGBT equality.  And the more we all talk about what's important to us, the less awkward those conversations will become.

Speaking openly and honestly about your life with your loved ones is one of the best ways for all of us to move forward together.

READ MORE HERE

New statistics from the CDC show an alarming trend.  Over 19 million people were diagnosed this year with a sexually transmitted disease. But one group seems to be hit harder than the rest: young gay and bi black men. 

The rate of young black men getting syphilis rose 134% since 2006 despite a national trend of rates falling from 2009 to 2010 by 1.6%. 

Across all populations, the rate of chlamydia has steadily increased to 1.3 million cases in 2010. 

Researchers believe the rise is due to better screening and more patients being properly diagnosed. 

Blacks and Hispanics are more affected by STDs than whites. This is likely due to social and economic factors — such as low income and lack of access to health care. 

A few more notes from the CDC: 

Young people represent 25% of sexually active people in the U.S. but account for nearly half of new STD cases. 

Obviously something ha to be done. Leaders across the country are calling for more education, more testing sites, and more safe sex tools like condoms and dental dams. 

Because.. and here's the kicker... chlamydia and syphilis are totally preventable if sex is done safely, namely with protection. 

Condoms and dental damns are available at the LGBT community Center. Before you head out this weekend to the bars, drop by and stock up! 

And when meeting people for casual sex, whether it is in a bar, via online dating or a spontaneous hook up.... Be Prepared! 

And in case you need a reminder… Let's talk Chlamydia: 

Symptoms 
Chlamydia might cause abnormal discharge and painful urination. For men, that's as bad as it gets. In women, the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes. This can cause her to feel lower back and abdominal pain, nausea, fever, spotting between menstrual periods and pain during intercourse. However, the vast majority of people don't have any symptoms at all, which is why chlamydia is so common, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

Long-Term Effects 
If untreated, chlamydia can pose some serious long-term health effects. While men are less likely to suffer from any complications, women with untreated chlamydia infections can experience permanent damage to their reproductive system. These damages can be silent until it is too late. 
The most common long-term effect of chlamydia is pelvic inflammatory disease. This happens once the chlamydia has spread and causes scar tissue to form in the fallopian tubes and uterus. This scar tissue may result in infertility or ectopic pregnancy, which is a pregnancy that is implanted in the fallopian tubes. This type of pregnancy cannot be successful and can result in fatality to the woman if she carries to term and the tube bursts, resulting in internal bleeding. 

How It Is Spread 
Chlamydia is spread easily, often because the carrier and the partner have no idea of its existence. Chlamydia infections are passed through any sexual contact, be it vaginal, anal or oral. The risk of chlamydia infection is higher in girls under 25 because their cervical opening is not fully matured, allowing for the infection to easily enter into the fallopian tubes. 

Prevention/Solution 
STD testing is an important obligation for individuals engaging in sexual intercourse, especially those who have done so with multiple partners. While latex condoms are a good measure to stay safe, it is possible to get infected with chlamydia as well as other STDs if they are used incorrectly or broken.

Sources: 
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/alarming-rise-sexually-transmitted-diseases-bisexual-gay-black-men-article-1.979720
and 
http://www.ehow.com/about_5510082_side-effects-chlamydia.html#ixzz1e54HgcqK

 

 

This Sunday is Transgender Day Of Remembrance

276486_162712643815024_1169731551_n

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people.

Please join the Local Transgender Day Of Remembrance Dinner & Memorial, organized by Trans-e-motion...which includes dinner, speakers, memorial, entertainment and art. Dinner tickets are $10 per person. Featured Speakers include Robin McGehee, Scotti Maldonado and Matt Mazzei.

Click on the links in this article for venue, directions and more information.

Thursday night, Nov. 17, at around 9:55 p.m., a transgender woman named Cassidy (aka Nathan Vickers) was shot in the chest and killed in Hollywood on Lexington Avenue and Gower Street.

transgender-murdered-in-Hollywood

Police believe the same suspect may have been responsible for the attempted robbery of another African-American transgender woman in Plummer Park in West Hollywood. The LAPD Crime Alert says the incident apparently occurred around 10:25 p.m., when the suspect “fired at the victim once with a black semi-automatic pistol.” The Alert says “Suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.”

LAPD Det. Jim Hays says that the suspect is described as a black male, around 5’ 9” tall, about 150 pounds, in his mid-20s to 30 years old, with light facial hair, wearing a possible dark, hooded sweatshirt. He is believed to be a possible transient. He was last seen leaving Plummer Park riding a Beach Cruiser-type bicycle.

Hays says the LAPD and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s station are working closely together to find the suspect but would appreciate the public’s help. If you have any information, please contact:

Hollywood Homicide Detectives: D. Vinton, Serial No. 31085, (213) 972-2901, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR B. Goodkin, Serial No. 37039, (213) 972-2912, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AFTER HOURS CONTACT HOLLYWOOD WATCH COMMANDER AT (213) 485-4628.

As reported here yesterday by our own Kaylia Metcalfe, the Prop 8 trial continues. Citing other rulings within the continental United States, the California Supreme Court decided Thursday to allow the proponents of Prop 8 to appeal Judge Walker's historical ruling.

California-Supreme-Court

In response to the question submitted by the Ninth Circuit, we conclude, for the reasons discussed above, that when the public officials who ordinarily defend a challenged state law or appeal a judgment invalidating the law decline to do so, under article II, section 8 of the California Constitution and the relevant provisions of the Elections Code, the official proponents of a voter-approved initiative measure are authorized to assert the state’s interest in the initiative’s validity, enabling the proponents to defend the constitutionality of the initiative and to appeal a judgment invalidating the initiative.

With all the horrendous judicial decisions against the LGBT Community in recent years, this one doesn't really bother me, and in the end, may (and that's a BIG "may") further our equal rights in the end. If Judge Walker's decision is upheld, which virtually everyone feels it will be, then this case could then proceed to the federal Supreme Court. They have the choice to hear it or not, and may not, given that historically they don't rule on such monumental issues before a hefty number of states have done so. But it could happen, and if it does, then the question of same sex marriage equality becomes a one stop national decision.

In the meantime, I hate, once again, to predict, but let me go out on a limb and say California will soon, once and for all, have legal same sex marriage.

Follow this link to read the entire ruling... http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S189476.PDF

green_dance_poster
We C.A.R.E.  Fresno
Presents

THE GREEN DANCE - A TEA DANCE EVENT

Recycle & Renew Your HIV / AIDS Awareness

December 4th, 2011
4pm to 8pm


Club Legends
3075 North Maroa Ave.
Fresno, CA  93704


Raffles and Food Provided
Free Tickets available at Specialty Health Services, The Living Room, and We C.A.R.E.
or $5.00 at the door. Door Gifts to the first 50 people.

Special appearances from the Chaffee Zoo and More!
We C.A.R.E. T-Shirts available for purchase. $15.00

We C.A.R.E.  Fresno
559-557-7109

Court Rules that ProtectMarrigae does indeed have the legal standing to oppose Judge Walker's Ruling 


More than just marriage rights, today's decision has long reaching consequences in terms of whether or not the people can override legislative authority. At stake is the initiative process as a whole. 

Do the people have the ability to pass a law that isn't supported by their elected officials? 

The court today said "yes.' 

What this means: in the grand scheme of things this means that should a ballot initiative pass by popular vote, it is difficult if not impossible for a ruling legislative body to over turn it... in other words, popular majority wins and even if the Governor and Attorney General refuse to defend it, those who places the ballot initiative on the ballot in the first place have the right to argue for the legality and continuation of that ballot. 

The point is that the court rules toward the Will of the People... even if those people make stupid bigoted decisions. 

In the more immediate, this means that Judge Walker's overturn of Prop 8 can be appealed by the very people who placed Prop 8 on the ballot... and that appeal could go as far as the Supreme Court. 

This is a blow for the gay community, there is no question about that. but in a broader sense it is about so much more. Should the majority of citizens be allowed to dictate the rights of a minority? Should the ballot initiative system has as much power as it currently does? These are very valid questions and the debate on them has only just begun. 

There is still a chance that the Appeals Court will uphold judge Walker's ruling... but the optimism of the summer has indeed faded. 

Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/11/proposition-8-california-supreme-court.html

 GayFresno.com is seeking volunteers

Contribute your writings about politics, community news, movie reviews or choose your own topic... We can also assign local events for you to cover. Write as frequently as you wish, on your schedule.

We are also looking for regular feature columns on any subject. If you have ideas for articles feel free to let us know.

We're also looking for volunteers to help with the website, light office duties, etc.

If you are interested, please write us to get started!

Come On Down!  Saturday, November 19th, join us for a Game Show Fundraiser at The Express

Have a laugh! A take-off of the 1970's television game show with the same name. Partners are temporarily separated while their significant other is asked what the other would say to a series of provocative & off the wall questions and vice versa.

The laughter comes in when the answers are shared and often very different! 
Don't miss the Great Garter Toss. You may get the chance to dance with one of Fresno's finest bachelors or bachelorettes. 

Love "The Price is Right" ? Win your chance to be a contestant in a mini The Price is Right game where YOU keep the items.

Join us for a very light-hearted and fun evening served up with a few surprises.

Gameshow Fundraiser

All funds raised will benefit Marriage Equality USA's Fresno County Chapter. A 501(c)(3) non profit organization, working since 1998 to progress marriage equality in California and nationwide.

RSVP to this event on Facebook

Would you like to make a donation towards this event?
Please contact us ASAP by messaging us here or emailing us at: ca-fresno@marriageequality.

The Fresno LGBT Community Center has launched new groups and programs. The Community Center is located at 1055 N Van Ness Avenue Suite A, Fresno, CA 93728. Our phone number is 559-325-4429.

LGBT Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting - Tuesdays 7-8pm

Narcotics Anonymous Meeting - Sundays 6-7PM

Coming Out Support Group - 2nd Thursdays 7-9PM

Women's Coming Out Support Group - 1st Thursdays 7-8PM

Transgender Support Group - 1st Saturdays 5-7PM

Strings & Things Creative Art Group - 3rd Mondays 6-8PM

Creative Arts Potluck Group 3rd Fridays @5:30PM

To join and participate in any of these groups simply visit the Fresno LGBT Community Center during the days and times listed. For more information you may visit the Calendar at www.gayfresno.com

The Fresno LGBT Community Center would like to thank the Stanislaus Pride Center for their generous donation of several boxes of books for our lending library. We are sorting through the books and they are currently available to the public.

We'd like to make a clarification for our request for VHS tapes. Due to an influx of tapes, we request that in the future, only VHS tapes of an LGBT theme be donated. This applies to VHS tapes only, we will still accept all DVD & Book donations.

In honor of World AIDS Day on December 1st, we will once again be offering FREE HIV Testing, courtesy of the Fresno Dept Of Public Health, on Tuesday, November 29th, from 3:30PM-6:30PM.

The Center is currently seeking the following donations:

  • Large Flat Screen TV for Movie Nights
  • Sofa or other comfortable seating
  • Brochure racks / Magazine holders
  • Medium Size Refrigerator
  • DVD-VHS Combo Player
  • Product Donations for our Annual Holiday Fundraiser on Dec 2nd

The Fresno LGBT Community Center is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from Noon-5PM. We are available for group and organizational meetings 7 days a week with prior scheduling. If you would like to hold a meeting or an event at the Community Center call anytime at 559-325-4429.

While working my shift at the Fresno LGBT Community Center, over just a two week period of time, I received several phone calls regarding bullying in our local schools. All were from parents or those hoping to help a younger person who was facing this terrible danger. We hear daily about bullying stories from across the country, but it's also happening here in our own backyard.

bullying1

One of the stories was about a Clovis teacher who was very blunt to her students about how dangerous SB 48 was (The Fair Education Act, which is now law and will bring about the teaching of the historical contributions of LGBT individuals into our classrooms). She even urged them to get their parents to work against it by providing the specific website to do so. (The signature gathering campaign against SB 48 failed shortly afterward).

Another was the mother of a student at a charter school who is an out lesbian and had to be pulled out of regular classes due to bullying threats. Independent study did not protect this young girl, however, and an altercation did occur between her and the bullying crowd. The parent is very frustrated since no anti bullying program is in place to protect her daughter. I connected her with the local ACLU and GSA and the story is ongoing.

Yet another concerned a 12 year old boy who is questioning his gender and after being bullied himself, was finding himself becoming a bully. Elementary and high school clearly are still a very powerful force in our lives, particularly for the LGBT Community. I'm thankful that Fresno now has an LGBT Community Center which can direct people to the help they need, and I'm proud every time I get one of those calls that as a board member of Gay Central Valley, I helped to make it happen.

Like so many of us, no matter how far removed I get from my high school experience, it's easy to recall. The sights and smells are wrapped around the isolation, the friendship, the joy and the fear. There are times that I once again feel like my younger self, an innocent, passionate and confused American boy. The reason high school is such a topic is because it's often the most delicious and the most vile time of anyone's life. There's nothing like it. And when you fall into a category such as L, B, G or T...the light and shadows of school take on a much deeper dimension.

I didn't know exactly what I was from the beginning, but I knew I was different. That "difference" has a multitude of layers, even within the exclusive LGBT group. I knew, from as early as the age of 4, that I was not the same as those around me. Time went on, and I came to understand that my difference was complicated, but was primarily driven by the fact that I was a gay male. Add to that my sarcasm and flair for drama, whether a product of my sexuality or an entity on its own, and fitting in was complicated and dangerous. The thing about our strengths as LGBT people is that it may never be certain to any of us if we are born with these gifts, or if we develop them through the course of pain and suffering.

One of my strengths was acting. I found it early on and excelled at it starting in the ninth grade. The drama department was integral in my finding my way through the mud. Anyone in high school needs to find whatever it is that allows them to excel at what they're good at. While it's virtually everyone's goal in high school to be popular and liked, the salvation of the most awkward period of life (and it is, nothing is worse than high school) is finding a place where your voice can be heard. It doesn't take away the pain and the isolation, but it helps.

While high school seems to be a vivid and important experience to everyone, it's important to recognize the uniqueness of it. High school is nothing more than a passage, something to get through on the way to life. Survival is the goal. In order to get to a better life, you have to survive high school.

I remember, just as clearly as when I was 17, that feeling that the high school part of my life was the most alive I'd ever feel, the most curious and excited I'd ever be, and in some ways, that's true. But it's true because we're young, our bodies and brains are still developing. We have no honest concept of the real world because we're not living in it. We're living in a controlled environment in which the last thing we typically feel is any sense of control.

It's normal to believe, while you're in it, that who you are, what you feel and what you experience in high school will remain that way forever. It's a period filled with so many first times that it carries with it a significant emotional toll. High school is merely the very beginning of the long path of life, nothing more. Programs like Dan Savage's "It Gets Better", which uses personal video to relay a message of survival to high school teens is revolutionary. When I was in high school there weren't any adult LGBT voices to let me in on what life would be like after high school or even that it would be different. This is why the "It Gets Better" message is so important. It's important for the adult LGBT community to send the message to those struggling students trapped in the very false environment of high school, that a wonderful life is waiting just on the other side.

So survive high school. Give up the idea that those are the most important years of your life. They may be the most dramatic, but they are far from the most important. In fact, they are often considered, by those who survive, to be the most ridiculous. Pass through the childishness of prejudice and prescribed identity and bloom into adulthood. Adulthood is where you have power. Adulthood is where you become yourself.

You can contribute your voice in this effort by visiting It Gets Better

(http://www.itgetsbetter.org).

Rainbow-Stripe-2x3-Magnet-2978

Are you in a gay or lesbian relationship?

I am a graduate student in clinical psychology and I am studying the relationship between same sex couples and mental and physical health. If you have been in a relationship with your partner for at least 6 months and would like to participate, please contact me. You will be asked to complete a questionnaire that will take approximately 30-45 minutes.

Your participation is greatly appreciated.

To complete the survey go to the following website –

https://alliant.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bx9PYfgpt6bj7vu

For more information please contact

Mark Kent

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

559-892-5419

I will also be attending the Marriage Equality Fundraising event at the Fresno Express on November 19th to pass out fliers and invite participation.

Bullying is an issue in our world today, and one group that's been hit hard is made up of lesbian gay transsexual bisexual youth.

There is something we can do. You may have heard of recent deaths in the gay community. It seems that lately, suicides make up a significant number of these deaths. Take the late Jamey Rodemeyer. This young man killed himself on Sept. 18, after years of peers taunting him online with epithets like "I wouldn't care if you died. No one would. So just do it :) It would make everyone WAY more happier!"

While his friends came to his aid on multiple occasions, the bullying eventually prevailed, and Jamey, just 14 years old, committed suicide.

Depressing as the bullying problem may be, we are by no means powerless to help. Local Gay-Straight Alliances and organizations such as Gay Central Valley and It Gets Better offer support as well as opportunities to help stop bullying by spreading awareness, hosting events, and participating in demonstrations.

Whether you are gay or straight, whether you attend school or not, you have the power to prevent future suicides and hatred toward homosexual young adults. Get involved today.

Jonah Ryan Bassman

Fresno

SOURCE - FRESNO BEE OPINION PAGE

I've had the pleasure of interviewing Abby Dees twice before for Gay Fresno and Gay Central Valley. I came across this piece she wrote about the differences in traditional marriage and the trials same sex partners go through. This piece just appeared in South Florida Gay News...

viewimage_story.php

It’s my wedding anniversary today and I’m 6000 miles away from my partner, sitting in an English café.  Being all alone and so far away is making me especially wistful about these last three years since we were legally married in California.

I had to be cajoled into getting married. Not the commitment and love thing – I was clear on that – I balked at marriage itself.  First, I had to tease out my motivations: was it the universal human urge to engage in an ancient rite or was it the sudden excitement around this new opportunity? Even though we got “equal” marriage rights in California, it was still so different for us.

Most straight people will never know what it’s like to have spent their lives being excluded from full marriage, then to have that change instantly one day – and then to learn within days that marriage might be snatched away again if you don’t marry before election day. Oh, this was definitely not like traditional marriage.

READ MORE HERE...

...

Saturday, November 19th
Imperial Dove Court Presents: Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner & Show

Pre-thanksgivingad2011

Gay Central Valley's annual HOLIDAY FUNDRAISER is less than a month away. This year's event will once again be at the North Tower Circle on Friday, December 2nd. Doors are at 9PM and the party will to until 2AM.

The North Tower Circle is located at 2777 N Maroa Avenue in Fresno, CA 93704. Phone 559-325-4429. Click above link for a map to the club.

Gazette-Gift-Box

Our theme this year is CHRISTMAS GIFT GIVEAWAY. We will be raffling off several holiday gifts which can start off your holiday shopping season!

There will be a $5 donation at the door which will include 2 FREE raffle tickets. Additional tickets may be purchased for $1 each.

There will be entertainment, games and contests, holiday decor, live DJ and holiday drink specials.

If anyone would like to donate an item to be raffled off, please email Chris Jarvis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

We are looking for original items still in the box. Our wish list includes

  • Television
  • Video Game Console
  • DVD Player
  • Kitchen Accessories & Small Appliances
  • Clothing
  • Concert Tickets
  • Travel Packages
  • DVD's /CD's
  • Jewelry
  • Gift Cards & Gift Certificates
  • and just about anything else you can think of...

All proceeds go to supporting the daily operations of Gay Central Valley and the Fresno LGBT Community Center. Activities at the Center are increasing daily, as we've recently added several groups and meetings to our monthly schedule, including LGBT AA/NA Recovery Meetings, Coming Out Groups, Creative Art Groups, a Transgender Support Group and scheduled free HIV Testing and consultation. Also, in September, in anticipation of providing more to the community, we moved the Community Center to a larger space in the same building, incurring a large increase in our monthly rent and operating budget. Donations, including monthly support can be set up by visiting Gay Central Valley.

Please join us for our annual Holiday Party, and if you or anyone you know is able to donate a raffle item to make the event more successful, again, please contact Chris Jarvis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the Community Center anytime at 559-325-4429.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Tom Hayhurst (Class of 1951) passed away on Nov. 19, 2010 after a three-year battle with cancer. He is survived by his husband, Dan Waterhouse (Class of 1978). Hayhurst and Waterhouse had been partners since 2003 and were legally married in Oct. 2008. Hayhurst last attended Fresno State in 2009 and majored in social work. Remembrances may be made to the Bulldog Pride Fund at Fresno State. (www.bulldogpride.org).

An excellent interview with Dan Savage on The Colbert Report...

...

Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued strong statements today, as the study of military troops feelings on the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Speaking at the Pentagon, Gates revealed the results of the study, which found that about 70% of the troops are okay with the repeal.  The study also found that one of the most important factors in implementing the repeal is "strong leadership".

Gates stated that certain troops, most specifically, the Marines, are more sensitive to the issue than others, but then stated firmly that Congress should show some integrity by repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell by the end of the current calendar year.

READ MORE HERE

I would have paid good money to be sitting next to this table...

Courtesy Huffington Post

Anderson Cooper revealed that Lady Gaga got him drunk on whiskey while he was doing a profile of her in London for "60 Minutes."

In an interview with "The Insider," Cooper said that he and the pop star wound up in a pub after a day of interviews:

 

"We actually ended up that day in a pub in London drinking Jameson, which I don't really drink. So, she got me to drink like two of them, and by the end I was ready to have the interview be over because I really sort of couldn't ask anymore questions."

The profile is not slated to air until Feb. 11. Presumably, Cooper's drinking session will not be included.

 

The judges who will hear the Prop 8 case next week have been chosen. Judges Michael Hawkins, Stephen Reinhardt and N. Randy Smith have been assigned to case through a random choice process.

Reinhardt is considered to be the most liberal of the justices of the 9th Circuit. He and Hawkins were both appointed by Democratic Presidents (Carter & Clinton), while Smith was appointed by a Republican.

Given the makeup of the judges, the general opinion is that Judge Walker's ruling to overturn Prop 8 will be upheld.

READ MORE HERE

So, I've had a bit of writer's block in the last few weeks, but yesterday I had an epiphany that has lead me to construct a bulldozer to tear down those walls.  I know, it's scary to think that I've got an opinion, right?  For weeks I had been asking the universe to supply me with some inspiration, and as per usual, she answered with a resounding smack to the head.  On at least five separate occasions, I was asked a question, in some way or another, that I thought I'd never hear again after years of being out.  "Do you ever wish you weren't gay?"  Another variation is, "do you think your life would be different or better if you had been straight?"  I gave that some thought, and after hours of mulling it over, I have an answer.  So for those that ask that question to members of the LGBT+ community, and for those asking it of yourselves, here is my fabulously, fruity and flaming answer complete with a dusting of glitter...

 

As long as Judy sings, as long as Cher remains, as long as Bette is divine, for as long as rainbows dance in the streets of San Fransisco, for along as clothes need designers and homes need flare, for as long as hair needs styling, for as long as flowers need arranging, I will be not only proud of being gay, but thankful for every fucking minute.  I know what you're saying.  "How can you say that knowing there is a world of people out there that hate you?"  Well, I'll tell you why and how I can say that...being gay is part of who I am, part of what makes me -- ME!  And I am thankful for everything that I am.

The Living Room has announced they will be moving to 901 E. Belmont, located in the Tower Dist. near Van Ness.  They anticipate being in the new location by December 1. 

 

Geoff Farrow, the Catholic priest who created a controversy in Fresno a couple of years ago for coming out against Prop 8 as well as coming out about his homosexuality, was one of those arrested yesterday in Washington DC for participating in a DADT protest at the White House.

READ MORE HERE

Andrew McIntosh, who spoke this year in Fresno about his coming out experience as a college athlete, has made it onto OUT Magazine's "Out 100" list for 2010...

Welcome to the Out 100 List for 2010
The theme of the 2010 Out 100 portfolio is “celebration.” In a year marked by battles won and lost, high hopes and bitter letdowns, we thought it important to focus on events that might not have been celebrations when they happened, but were pivotal in the evolution of the LGBT cause.

 

OUT 100: Andrew McIntosh – Athlete
In light of the recent media attention to homophobia on college campuses, it may come as a surprise to find that earlier this year Andrew McIntosh, a senior lacrosse captain at SUNY College at Oneonta, came out to his teammates with barely a blip on the campus’s cultural barometer. Instead of a maelstrom of controversy or rallies of intolerance, the incident was greeted with acceptance and humanity. McIntosh, who admits to having struggled with thoughts of suicide in the past, bravely gave a face and voice to gay athletes while his fellow lacrosse [coach and] players redefined sportsmanship.

Editor’s Note – Andrew McIntosh, a soon-to-be-graduate of SUNY College at Oneonta (Dec. 2010) is moving to Fresno in Jan. 2011 and will be attending Fresno State’s counseling graduate program beginning in Aug. 2011. His powerful and poignant coming-out story was featured in both “The New York Times” and “The Advocate” earlier this year. McIntosh has just been named to “Out” magazine’s OUT 100 list for 2010. Congratulations, Andrew. We’re proud of you!

 (Photograph by Larry Fink; OUT Magazine; Dec. 2010).

FOLLOW ANDREW MCINTOSH ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Andrew-McIntosh-27/162367580468774

(Fresno, Calif.) A new “out, loud and proud” movement has begun in the Central Valley to assist in combating the feelings of isolation and fear so common among the LGBTQ youth. The not-for-profit Rainbow Delegation was formed last month with the sole purpose of providing the Queer and Questioning youth a visual presence of support.

“With all the media attention recently on the prevention of bullying, we sometimes forget that we, as a community, can also combat the problem from a proactive, positive direction,” said Matthew Mazzei, founder of the Rainbow Delegation. “We can effectively show out youth that those who support and accept them are out there in much greater numbers than they had previously thought.”



For the last few months, Mazzei has been distributing rainbow-colored wristbands free-of-charge to anyone and everyone wishing to wear one in a show of support.

“The response has been amazing,” continued Mazzei. “With the support of friends and donors, plus the utilization of Facebook, the Rainbow Delegation has been able to pass out more than 5,000 wristbands in the past two months.”

Matthew Benitez, a 17-year-old student at Sanger High School is just one of the many wearing a rainbow wristband. “Seeing nearly 200 people at my high school wearing [the rainbow wristbands] has made me feel safer being open about whom I am,” Benitez said in an online testimonial.

Word of the Rainbow Delegation is quickly spreading and now people in other cities are beginning to join the movement. The Rainbow Delegation has recently been getting requests for wristbands from as far away places including Canada, Germany and Spain. The newly-launched group on facebook has more than 700 members and some have uploaded photographs of themselves wearing the rainbow wristband.

Funding for the wristbands and their distribution is derived solely from generous donations. For more information on how to request a free wristband, join the facebook group or donate to the organization, please see www.RainbowDelegation.org.

A shocker to none of us with a brain pattern, leaked details of the Pentagon study which surveyed active soldiers about their feelings on Don't Ask Don't Tell has found that 70 percent have no problem with DADT being overturned.

According to The Washington Post, “More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the ‘don't ask, don't tell’ policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report's authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.

So not only are the vast majority of soldiers okay with the repeal, but any current objections would likely drop after a repeal. This also has further reaching implications, sending the message that if gay marriage was legalized throughout the nation, the tide of the nation against same sex marriage would likely dissipate.

READ MORE HERE

As Signorile points out, there's been a party called "Trannyshack" for many, many years in SF and many other cities...Just visit Trannyshack.com...then pay attention to how ADULTS handle the debate over this word...by saying it outright and printing it with no censorship on the screen...

...

 

Well, as I suspected, GLAAD has shown it's true colors. I explained my position in my previous article, which deals with the ridiculous tirade by GLAAD regarding the TV show GLEE using the word tranny in their Rocky Horror episode.

As I stated, I posted a comment on the site and did the adult thing by using the words tranny and fag without substituting an asterisk for some of the letters. When I left, my comment was being "moderated".

Returning today, I found my comment, which had been moderated and altered...

 

As I said, I didn't use any asterisks because I find that kind of censorship abhorrent. I would much rather they deleted my comment rather than editing it to reflect their beliefs instead of mine, but such is the backward push by so many un-evolved LGBT organizations pushing their weight around these days.

These sorts of campaigns do nothing but weaken our strength as Americans living in a free society.

Tuition + fees @ Fresno State up 5% spring 2011 & another 10% fall 2011 – 15.5% total. Overall, that's an increase of $549/semester! All the more reasons 2 support the Bulldog Pride Fund!

 

Follow the Bulldog Pride Fund on FACEBOOK + TWITTER!

www.bulldogpride.org

Give today. For tomorrow and beyond.

The FDA is planning a bold new look for the warning labels for cigarettes. The images are graphic and shocking at times, but the FDA plans to take into account public comments and results from a large study to decide how to move forward with the campaign.

Apparently, the decline in cigarette smoking over the last 40 years has stalled, with an estimated 46 million Americans now smoking, which includes 1905 percent of high school students.

An example of the new campaign's images...

ImageImageImageImageImage

(click on images to enlarge

READ MORE HERE

Although it's a small group, composed of 78 children raised in homes with two lesbian parents, the Williams Institute has found that within their study over the last 24 years, there has been ZERO physical or sexual abuse among the children.

 

Within the regular population, 26 percent of American adolescents report physical abuse and 8.3 percent report sexual abuse.

According to the authors,

"The absence of child abuse in lesbian mother families is particularly noteworthy, because victimization of children is pervasive and its consequences can be devastating. To the extent that our findings are replicated by other researchers, these reports from adolescents with lesbian mothers have implications for healthcare professionals, policymakers, social service agencies, and child protection experts who seek family models in which violence does not occur."

READ MORE HERE

This clip, from the Michelangelo Signorile show deals with Signorile's problem with LGBT voters who vote for candidates who don't support our causes. The first caller, Todd, is a perfect example (as the next callers prove) of someone so out of touch with the equality he thinks he has that he rails against Signorile. Meanwhile, as we learn, Todd doesn't have any idea what rights he has or doesn't have, and he's still proud that he votes the way he wants...


...

I don't know how much more childish behavior I can take from some of the leading LGBT groups around the country and a certain, sensitive portion of the LGBT Community. So if you're offended by words, then read something else, or grow up, it's your choice.

 

GLAAD recently  went after GLEE for their episode focused on The Rocky Horror Picture Show because during the show, the word "tranny" was used. The most insane part of this silly tirade by the national organization is evident the moment you read their article (link above). They never in the article use the word "tranny". Instead, they use the word "tra**y", as if reading the word in a discussion about the word is a no no.

The article goes on to discuss an episode of GLEE in which the word fag was used, only for GLAAD, the word is "f*g". Even with those commenting, words like dyke become "d*ke".

Really?

I posted a comment on the GLAAD blog and I spelled out the words tranny and fag like an adult. I don't know if other commentators are purposely editing their own words or whether GLAAD is only allowing ***** comments, but I'll find out after my comment is "moderated".

GLAAD says these words are offensive. Granted. So some are offended. You know what? That's one of the prices of living in a free country. While we are spending our time in the battle for equal rights in America telling people that they can't use the excuse of being offended by gay people to block civil rights, we're getting up in arms about words on TV shows?

Other rants have come to national attention lately, such as the phrase in the new Ron Howard movie "Dilemma", "Electric cars are so gay". Thankfully, Ron Howard didn't let the dialogue about the joke change his movie. He's keeping the joke in and if we don't like it, that's our right. You go, Ron.

These kinds of ridiculous and divertive rants by so many in the LGBT community have only been ramped up recently due to the rash of teen suicides. Did some of those kids hear those words over and over and were so traumatized that it led to them taking their lives? Almost certainly. That still does not warrant any attempt at censoring the language so that some people won't get their feelings hurt. Should we get rid of "fat" or "stupid" or "ugly" or "plain" or "slow" or "ginger" or any of the millions of other words that someone, somewhere finds offensive? Of course not.

GLEE happens to be one of the few shows on TV that is giving LGBT kids in America something to relate to. Life is hard, and each of us will be offended by something at some point. I'm very offended by the childish position GLAAD has taken on this issue and others like it. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop using the word "glad".

LGBT Americans making a big deal about words just proves how far we have to go in our own personal development, let alone the battle for equal rights. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A BAD WORD. Now, GLAAD, if you want to be taken seriously at all, rip the asterisk off your keyboard.

There seems to be no end. In a society purporting to be more advanced, more forward thinking, even in the face of restricted civil rights for millions of Americans, stories of suicide keep coming...

Over the weekend another teen suicide, resulting from bullying, has occurred. In Pennsylvania, freshman Brandon Bitner, 14, of Mount Pleasant Mills, ended his life by running in front of a truck.

Image 

Ironically, the school Bitner attended recently held an assembly addressing the consequences of bullying. Not surprisingly, many students didn't take it seriously, even joking about the absurdity of the call to order.  According to fellow students, while Bitner was bullied for his perceived sexuality, the perceptions were not correct.

Most importantly, letters to the local paper confirmed that while bullying may be reported to those in power, little to nothing is done about it. For those who have survived the dysfunction that is the public school system, it's clear the real problem with bullying in schools does not rest with the student body, but with school officials, and complicit adults. Adults who more often than not do absolutely nothing to intervene, either because of internal prejudice, or the shackles placed on them through the intervention of the legal system which threatens to punish them for any act of exposure.

 The real bullying problem today lies at the feet of those who have always enabled it, the adults. Mired in an era of parental belief that supports the concept that today's children deserve access to everything while holding responsibility to nothing, we've come to a place that denies the solution to the problem we've created.  

Children are not supposed to be in control of their environment, and certainly are not supposed to have access to everything. Children and teenagers don't have the capacity, in terms of biological development, to participate in rule of law and behavior.  Giving  five year olds cell phones and allowing ten year olds access to Facebook exposes the evidence of a selfish and self centered generation that should perhaps have reconsidered having children in the first place.  

Children don't have a path unless it's given to them. Adults are the demons here, not the children.

READ MORE HERE

Justice rears its head once in a while, as it has done now, in the case of Andrew Shirvell, the assistant state attorney general in Michigan. Shirvell was very deservedly fired on Monday. If you missed the bizarre story, Shirvell is infamous for the stalking and harassment of Chris Armstrong, a student at the University of Michigan who Shirvell labeled as a racist, a liar and a promoter of the "homosexual agenda", whatever that means.

(Below is a video about the INSANITY of Shirvell's strange and confused campaign against Armstrong)

Shirvell's actions were originally thought to be protected under free speech, but it turns out that the lengths to which Shirvell harassed Armstrong, such as showing up at his residence at 1:30am and stalking Armstrong's friends, proved to be beyond the line of reason. During an investigation, it was found that Shirvell "repeatedly violated office policies, engaged in borderline stalking behavior and inappropriately used state resources."

We can now take bets on how long it takes Shirvell to come out of the closet, since he is OBVIOUSLY gay, albeit a self hating, self loathing sort of gay man. So will he host a radio show or write an unnecessary book? Or maybe self destruct in some other way...there's definitely another chapter in this story...

READ MORE HERE

The 2010 "Transgender Day of Remembrance" will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 20th. The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day for remembering the lives of those who were killed for being transgender, as well as celebrating the lives of the living transgendered. Trans-e-motion, a non-profit that outreaches to the transgender community and their allies, cordially invites you to attend and help make this year's Day of Remembrance the best it can be.  This event is free and open to the public.

Transgender Day of Remembrance * Saturday, November 20, 2010 * 5pm-9:30pm * Wesley United Methodist Church * 1343 E. Barstow In the John Wesley Hall

ImageImage

(Click on images to enlarge for viewing)

"Transgender Day of Remembrance" brings awareness to transgender/gender variant issues. The event will consist of poetry, inspirational speakers, musical entertainment, art displays, food, and a memorial.  Come and embrace gender diversity with us! For more information, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Image 

After an online signature campaign collected more than 250,000 signatures, it looks like Keith Olbermann is headed back to his MSNBC show starting Tuesday, November 8th.

The entire incident stemmed from the revelation that Olbermann was suspended due to political contributions he made which were against the policy of the network. This, despite the overwhelming evidence of other networks, such as FOX, have contributed millions to political campaigns. And despite the fact that Olbermann's contributions totaled all of $2.400.

READ MORE HERE 

Image 

Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, has announced that he will retire in 2013, a decision based on the threats he and his family have received since his consecration  as the first openly gay bishop in 2003.

The strain on him and his family has reached a breaking point, and he can no longer accept the level of stress they all have to deal with. The stress Robinson and his family face include numerous death threats. In fact, during his consecration in 2003, Robinson was surrounded by bodyguards and wore a bulletproof vest.

Robinson and his partner of more than 20 years, held a civil union ceremony in 2008

READ MORE HERE 




The entire month of November we are accepting holiday gifts for homeless teens and tweens through the Hope for the Holidays program. This program gives a holiday party and gifts to 1500 children and their families and is organized by Hands On Central California.

Our goal is to collect 500 gifts for homeless "tweens and teens". These older children are often left out of traditional toy drives, yet they deserve a gift as much as their younger brothers and sisters.

But to get to this goal, we need your help!

Can you help bring some holiday joy to a child?

Drop off new, unwrapped, toys or gift cards/certificates at
Chase Flower Shop, 1405 N. Van Ness Ave.
M-F from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make other arrangements.


With all that's happened recently regarding bullying and teen suicides, it's important to share our experiences with others. We all know that the teen years are the hardest for LGBT people, but we also know, as Dan Savage's brilliant campaign has proven, "it gets better". That's something we need to keep reinforcing with LGBT teens.

I remember so many times in my teen years being depressed beyond reason, and I also thought about suicide. At that point in my life, facing the prejudice, hatred and bullying, it seemed as if I could actually see the course of my entire life, and that it would always be as dark and difficult as it was in those lonely, desperate years. Thankfully, that wasn't true.  There is a happy life on the other side of that darkness.

Image 

Constance McMillen was a teenager facing homophobia and prejudice head on earlier this year, when she challenged authority and social acceptability by daring to ask if she could take her girlfriend to the senior prom. She was told no to taking her girlfriend to the prom, no to holding her girlfriend's hand and no to wearing the tuxedos they'd planned to wear. This is in rural Mississippi, where LGBT acceptance can be especially difficult to find.

The ACLU got involved, resulting in a court case. Constance faced rejection from her fellow students, as well as most of the parents and a national spotlight suddenly invading every aspect of her life. But she stuck with it and in the end, she won. Constance was awarded a cash settlement and the school changed their policies.

Now, Constance has been honored by Glamour Magazine as one of the Women of the Year for 2010. To all those teens out there suffering in any way, please believe that IT GETS BETTER...

Here's a quote from the article...

McMillen plans to keep speaking out, hoping to spread tolerance—and maybe even save lives. “I heard, growing up, that gay people can’t go to heaven,” she recalls. “Even my grandma didn’t agree with [my lesbianism]. But she said, ‘If that’s who you are, I’ll be here. I’ll love you regardless.’”

Read the entire article HERE

We are sad to report that the community lost one of its own this week. Rick Tejada passed away on Monday, November 1st at the age of 48. Ricky worked at the Red Lantern and was the long time partner of Virgil Wigley, owner of the Red Lantern and the North Tower Circle. Ricky will be missed by all.

Services will be take place on Tuesday, November 9th at 11am at The Chapel Of The Light, which is located at 1620 West Belmont Avenue in Fresno. (Click on the link above for the Chapel's website)

Fresno State's 
Women's Resource Center
Presents

LUNAFEST
~short films by, for, about women

Filled with stories of reflection and whimsy, hope and humor, grace and perseverance, LUNAFEST films are renowned 

for celebrating the talents and stories of women.

From quirky animation to touching documentaries, the 10 selected films are incredibly diverse in both style and subject matter, united by a common thread of exceptional storytelling by, for, about women.

November 5, 2010
7:00 p.m.
Satellite Student Union


Tickets:  $10 Advance / $12 At the Door / $5 Student
Advance Tickets can be purchased at 
The Center for Women and Culture, Thomas 110

http://www.lunafest.org/the-films.cfm

Call 278-4435 for more information

Sponsored by USU Productions and Luna
Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Fund and The Women's Resource Center

A South African pastor shocked his congregation Sunday by relaying a story in which Jesus was HIV positive. The pastor was using the story to bring awareness of the stigma that those with HIV face in society.

Image 

He said, "The best gift we can give to people who are HIV-positive is to help de-stigmatize Aids and create an environment where they know God is not against them, he's not ashamed of them."

READ MORE HERE

According to CNN Entertainment, the recent uproar over the line "Electric cars are gay", in Ron Howard's latest film, 'Dilemma' will not result in Howard editing the joke out of the movie. Howard said, "I believe in sensitivity but not censorship." He added, "if storytellers, comedians, actors and artists are strong-armed into making creative changes, it will endanger comedy as both entertainment and a provoker of thought."

Image 

Both GLAAD and CNN's Anderson Cooper have protested the line in the film, declaring the joke hurtful and insensitive. Anger over the line has been escalated by the recent string of LGBT suicides due to bullying.

But is censorship something we should be promoting? There's a strange motivation in this nation to throw Hollywood under the bus during trying times, blaming it for influencing society in a negative way. Part of living in a free society is putting up with things that may offend you. The real culprit behind the suffering of LGBT Americans, particularly LGBT teens is the simple fact that we are still not equal citizens in this country. The fact that we've lost so many battles over the last few years has only intensified and revved up the attacks against us, both verbal and physical. Others feel they have a right to bully or attack us because of our own government's refusal to grant us equality.

That is what we should be yelling about, not Hollywood films.

Courtesy Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 1) -- A federal appeals court in San Francisco has indefinitely extended its freeze on a judge's order halting enforcement of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Image

Monday's decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means gay Americans who disclose their sexual orientations still can't enlist in the armed forces and can be discharged.

The panel granted the government's request for a stay while it challenges the trial court's ruling that the ban on openly gay service members is unconstitutional.

The same panel imposed a temporary hold keeping "don't ask, don't tell" in place last week.

Monday's ruling also heightens pressure on the Obama administration to persuade the U.S. Senate to repeal the 1993 law before a new Congress is sworn in.

From Huffington Post ...

In an eight-page order, two judges said they were persuaded by the Department of Justice's argument that U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips' worldwide injunction against the policy "will seriously disrupt ongoing and determined efforts by the Administration to devise an orderly change."

"The public interest in enduring orderly change of this magnitude in the military – if that is what is to happen – strongly militates in favor of a stay," Judges Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain and Stephen S. Trott wrote in their majority order. We believe that prudence mandates restraint until the final judgment is entered."

Another reason they gave for imposing the freeze was decisions by four other federal appeals courts that cast doubt on whether Phillips exceeded her authority and ignored existing legal precedents when she concluded gays could not serve in the military without having their First Amendment rights breached.

Judge William Fletcher entered a partial dissent, saying he would have preferred the panel had heard oral arguments before granting the stay. Fletcher said he would have prevented "don't tell, don't tell" from being applied to discharge any existing service members while the case was on appeal.

More than 14,000 men and women have been forced to leave the military since "don't tell, don't tell" took effect in 1994.

According to their attorneys, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, the Rutgers students who secretly spied on Tyler Clementi and a male friend in his dorm room, resulting in Clementi committing suicide, were the only ones who saw the video, and only for a couple of minutes. It's claimed that they saw Clementi and the man hugging and kissing, but nothing more.

Image 

The lawyers have chosen to make this explanation public, in order to dispel the widely held belief that not only did Ravi and Wei set up the spycam, but that they broadcast it over the internet. According to everyone on the defense side of this case, that never happened.

What did happen however, according to the defendants own account, is that the incident, while apparently not recorded, was revealed to others via personal contact and postings on Twitter. They also attempted to use the web cam once more to spy on Clementi.  Ravi sent out messages to his 150 Twitter followers to tune in to see what turned out to be a failed video broadcast.

Authorities have traced postings on a gay website back to a Rutgers computer. They believe the postings were from Clementi, as the poster relayed the matter of his being spied on. Clementi appears to have been aware of a second possible spying session planned, and searched his room for other hidden cameras. He also filed a complaint on campus.

Both students have withdrawn from Rutgers and are charged with invasion of privacy, with the possibility of that being upgraded to a bias crime.

READ MORE HERE

Hereafter

Rated PG-13

Director: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Matt Damon – Cecile De France – Jay Mohr

 

Reviewed By: Leon Velasco

Rating: Two Rotten Pumpkins.

 

Written by Peter Morgan, I’m sure that a lot of thought had gone into this, but I sure hope there was more action that got left out by accident because watching this film was such a snoozer. The first ten to fifteen minutes was a build up to action scene but the rest of the movie has a lot to be said for “E” for effort. It made Clint Eastwood look like an amateur. Eastwood has made many great films, but Hereafter is not one of them. Critics have given this film a review grade of B+ and yahoo users a C-; I ask did we see the same film? Personally I would not have gone any higher than a D+. I say, save your 40.00 of ticket and snack money and wait for DVD. If you do go I recommend you take a Blanky and pillow, this flick may very well be the greatest “NAP” movie made this year. The commercial for this movie is so deceptive; don’t buy into it for one second.

Sweet Lips

A Novel

Author: Mel Smith

 

Reviewed By: Leon Velasco

Rating:

Two Thumbs Way
UP

 

Set in a country westernized theme, the author brings to life two characters that are full of personality. Surprisingly, the author is female but yet catches the essence of man to man sex. She is very detailed from scenery of the open plains to boner popping male action. This book was a page turner; I read it in 4 days. This book is so, for lack of better comparison; “ Brokeback Mountain”. I was all engrossed in the story line that there were times that actual time passed by the hours. She sends you on a continual roller coaster ride of experiences of all the characters and the ending, such like the beginning, is captivating. This book is a, “MUST OWN”, for your personal library.

Anyone out there still think Adam Lambert wasn't singled out because he's a GAY MAN KISSING ANOTHER MAN? The CBS Early Show, which booked Adam Lambert after ABC's Good Morning America dropped his scheduled interview, showed clips of Lambert's performance for the intro to their interview, and blurred out THE KISS!Then, immediately following, aired the Madonna/Britney/Christina full mouth tongue kiss, uncensored. Take a look...

...

You can view several more Gay Fresno videos from the Fresno 2009 Transgender Day Of Remembrance by visiting the Gay Fresno YouTube Page. All videos are High Definition and are best viewed at Full Screen.

My kids are pretty open-minded. They know that families come in all shapes and sizes and that the make-up of your family is not what is important. They know that (as cliché as it is) love is what matters.  (Sometimes, things are clichés because they are true.) The only thing they don’t understand is why everyone can’t see what is so plain to them.

Really, this was supposed to be about raising a gay-friendly child, but to be honest, that’s the easy part.  That hard part is sending that child out into the world to be questioned, berated and badgered for their beliefs.  It’s sending them out there, armed with knowledge that will make some people hate them.  It is knowing that this will make life harder for them, even dangerous at times. Because, the people who will stand against them are not what one would call sane.

But, what other option is there?  Do I tell them to stay quiet when someone says “That’s so gay”?  Do I tell them to be silent when someone spreads untruths about what will happen if gays and lesbians can marry?  Do I tell them to stay away from the child that is being taunted for being gay, and to just let he or she work it out on their own? Do I teach my child that others don’t matter and to just let someone else fight the battle?

ImageImageAnother one? Really? I had to refresh the page to make sure it was real. Another organized group of rational humans are going to wage a very public campaign to hopefully convince people that it's better to operate from a logical and intelligent perspective than to base your morality on a myth?

The American Humanist Association is a group which, surprisingly, has been around since 1941. Humanism, as they describe it, is "a worldview which says that reason and science are the best ways to understand the world around us, and that dignity and compassion should be the basis for how you act toward someone else."

They are about to launch their Holiday Ad Campaign which will place their message of "No God? No Problem!" on transit systems from coast to coast, making it the first ever nationwide humanist ad campaign. They describe it as..."Celebrating a new kind of holiday tradition, the American Humanist Association has launched a new advertising campaign. Ads will be blazoned across transit systems in five cities--including Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco--marking the first-ever nation-wide humanist holiday advertising campaign."

One of the group's principles is something most people of faith fail to understand about those of us who don't subscribe to mythology in order to live our lives, and that is... "Humanism is nontheistic. By this, we don't mean to say that there is no God. Instead, we say that there is no proof for the existence of God, any gods, the supernatural or an afterlife."

So often in debates concerning whether there is a mythological being out there who designed everything around us, I'm faced with the question that virtually all those who don't subscribe to mythology are faced with..."Why don't you prove to me that there is no god?" Of course, we can't do that, no one can, but the problem is that non-believers in any form of mythology do not have the burden of proof, the believers do. I don't think I've ever spoken to a non-believer who has definitively stated, "There is no mythological god, no god, none, no chance at all." Instead, the response is typically..."I don't know if there is a god or not, and if one appeared before me now, I'd believe in it, but until that happens, I'm not going to subscribe to any of those theories." (Okay, it's not worded quite that way, but that's basically it.)

So that's the fatal flaw in certainly the American Christian argument, as well as every other group of "faith" on the planet. They know they can't prove any of it, but they also know they can't continue their wages of discrimination, war and condemnation if they enter into a debate on proof, so they turn it around and throw it back in the direction of non-believers, which is, of course, ridiculous. I've actually been told by many believers over the years that their "proof" that a Christian God is out there is how strongly they've felt it in their heart. Really? Then we should let all those committed to mental institutions go free. If "feeling" something is all it takes then pretty much anything goes, doesn't it? You can see where that kind of "proof" would lead us...

I'm surprised this kind of public advertising is finally happening, as with the other recent ad campaigns which I've reported on here before. I'm just thankful it's happening.

 

Upcoming Holiday Events at the local Clubs...Click on flyers to enlarge...Click on the Club NAMES to access their official website...Happy Holidays!!   

The Fresno Express Image
The Circle Image Image
The Den Image
The Red Lantern  Image

(Baltimore) A preliminary report commissioned by the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops on the roots of the clergy sex abuse scandal found no evidence that gay priests are more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children, the lead authors of the study said Tuesday.

The full report by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice won’t be completed until the end of next year. But the authors said that their evidence to date found no data indicating that homosexuality was a predictor of abuse.

“What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse,” said Margaret Smith of John Jay College, in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now.”

Read the rest of this story here: Report: Homosexuality no factor in abusive priests

ImageThe latest reports on the web indicate that the accidental celebrity,  Levi Johnston, will NOT be offering up his "hockey stick" when the Playgirl pics come out.

If you haven't learned by now that the media MANIPULATES every word of every story, then this little nugget may sway you. Of course they were insinuating, of course they were suggesting, of course they were promising...

Or maybe, just maybe, this is another move in the media machine to create interest over pictures of the Alaskan "numb-nuts" that this is all about. The fact that this came out the same day as Sarah Palin's  interview with Oprah Winfrey? Maybe they're smarter than we give them credit for...or not...

You make the call.

Read more here 


The campaign to collect signatures in order to qualify a ballot initiative for the 2010 election has officially started. On Monday, November 16th, Love Honor Cherish launched Sign For Equality, an online site dedicated to gathering enough signatures to place an initiative on the ballot in November of 2010 which, if successful, will repeal California's Proposition 8.

The site offers Training Videos, ways to organize and find teams locally and downloadable petition and signature forms. While the website offers the resources, signatures cannot be gathered online or through email, all signatures must be obtained in person, pen to paper. Gathering of signatures will not be driven by major gay groups as has happened in the past. This campaign will rely on an all volunteer army of signature gatherers, working locally on their own or in teams. This appears to be a much smarter approach, rather than a select group of volunteers standing post at shopping malls.

In order to be eligible to be placed on the ballot next year, 700,000 valid signatures are required. Since there are always signatures which are disqualified during the approval process, about 1,000,000 signatures need to be gathered. The deadline for signatures to be gathered and submitted is APRIL 5TH, 2010.

The approved language of this ballot initiative is the following...

We, the undersigned, registered, qualified voters of California, residents of __________ County (or City and County), hereby propose amendments to the Constitution of California and petition the Secretary of State to submit the same to the voters of California for their adoption or rejection at the next succeeding general election or at any special statewide election held prior to that general election or otherwise provided by law. The proposed constitutional amendments read as follows: This amendment would amend an existing section of the California Constitution. Existing language proposed to be deleted is printed in strikeout type. Language proposed to be added is printed in underlined type.

    Section 1. To protect religious freedom, no court shall interpret this measure to require any priest, minister, pastor, rabbi, or other person authorized to perform marriages by any religious denomination, church, or other non-profit religious institution to perform any marriage in violation of his or her religious beliefs. The refusal to perform a marriage under this provision shall not be the basis for lawsuit or liability, and shall not affect the tax-exempt status of any religious denomination, church or other religious institution.

    Section 2. To provide for fairness in the government’s issuance of marriage licenses, Section 7.5 of Article I of the California Constitution is hereby amended to read as follows: Sec. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Marriage is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.

If you plan to help the campaign, be advised that there are strict guidelines for forms and signatures gathered. Signatures can be disqualified if all procedures are not followed, so please visit Sign For Equality and read all the details.

(These videos are HD, so view them at full screen for the best experience)

This NEW LEFT MEDIA film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviews) and Erick Stoll (camera). DONATE: Donations to New Left Media will go toward the production costs of future videos. Any contribution, no matter how small, will go a long way in keeping us online.
http://bit.ly/nLOdU (will take you to PayPal)

FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/AzW41 TWITTER: http://twitter.com/NewLeftMedia

In May, 2009, the Maine Legislature extended marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. As expected, opponents of equality, led by the National Organization for Marriage and the Catholic Church, petitioned to have those rights put to a vote by referendum. This film chronicles the final days of the on-the-ground campaign to protect marriage equality in Maine.

A NEW STUDY FOR FTM

Are you interested in participating in a study to help improve the understanding of the sexual health needs of FTM?

Study Title:

Sexual Identity, Behavior and Risk among Female-to-Male (FTM) Transgender Persons who are currently using Testosterone

What’s Involved?

2 interviews lasting 90 minutes to 2 hours

A $20 gift card for the first interview

A $10 gift card for the second interview

Who’s Eligible?

Any FTM 21 or older who has been taking testosterone for a least one year

Who is conducting the study?

Researchers from UCSF, School of Nursing

To Find Out More Please Contact:

Stefan Rowniak, RN FNP

415 863 6615

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ImageI have a new hero today in this story of a 10 year old student who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in class, after considering that there is no "liberty and justice for all" when it comes to LGBT Americans. He's faced condemnation from students and teachers, and I can more than relate. I attended school from the late 1960's through the 1970's and around 3rd grade I slowly began the process of standing silent while students recited the pledge. I got a lot of attitude for it, a couple of threats of violence from fellow students, stern stares from teachers. But I had a number of problems with the pledge, and although the gay issue may have been under the surface somewhere, my main objections were the following...

I couldn't understand why I would pledge allegiance to a flag, rather than to a country...It was clear that Americans were not treated equally and there was not liberty and justice for all, which at that time applied mostly to minorities and one of my best friends, my next door neighbor was a black American...I didn't like that God was involved with the pledge, not only because I wasn't a Christian at the time but because I didn't see what that had to do with the country...and I have to admit, that having always had a rebellious nature to me, I never liked being forced to do something without a valid reason. My biggest reason though, was something I carry strongly to this day. I don't understand any group of people, be it citizens, or religious groups, etc, reciting pledges that are in fact, hypocritical. The most hypocritical thing about the pledge is the forcing of children to pledge an allegiance to a mythological creature such as God, when we're supposed to be about freedom of and FROM religion in this nation. The second is this  whole "liberty and justice for all" BS which has never been true in America.

The fact that this happened in Arkansas makes it even more amazing...this kid rocks...

WEST FORK, Arkansas -- "When I heard from the principal, I was not happy," said Jay Phillips. Jay and Laura Phillips were shocked to hear their 10-year-old talked back to a teacher at West Fork Middle school Thursday -- but were less surprised when they found out why.

"Don't push him -- four days of hassle, hassle, hassle and raise your voice," said Laura Phillips. "He's going to lose his temper."

Their son told them last weekend he had decided to no longer stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance at school because he didn't believe there is liberty and justice for all, especially when it comes to gay rights. "To say them [words] and not mean them would be a lie," Jay said.

This week their son says a substitute teacher prodded him every day to stand up and say the pledge after he had refused. He then says he got angry, and talked back. The Phillips said that they reprimanded him for that, but they don't want him to be pushed to do something he doesn't feel comfortable doing.

"We would like to have the school make sure the teachers know the kids do have the right to sit down and make their own choices, even if he is only 10 and in 5th grade," Laura said. She chooses not to say the Pledge of Allegiance, but Jay does. They said that they respect each other's choices -- and their son's -- and they don't see it as an insult to the country.

"He is not anti-American," Laura said. "He is very proud to live here, but he knows even at 10 he can make changes."

The West Fork School District responded by saying that they don't require students to say the pledge.

Source: http://www.momlogic.com/2009/10/10-year-old_boy_refuses_to_say_pledge_of_allegiance.php#ixzz0Wb4bGuSJ

Watch News Video Here

Boy, wading through the news, which tends to be dismal and antithetical to logic and reason, is tough. But once in a while, I see a story that makes it all worthwhile...this is one of those stories. It may not seem like much to a lot of people, but it made my day...

The following is courtesy of The Post & Courier in South Carolina...

 

A federal district court ruled Tuesday that the "I Believe" license plate approved by the South Carolina Legislature violates the constitutional separation of church and state and cannot be issued.

In a summary judgment ruling, U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie said the plate was based on a discriminatory law. "Such a law amounts to state endorsement not only of religion in general, but of a specific sect in particular," Currie said.

The plate featured a cross set against a stained glass window.

Read the whole story here: JUDGE RULES AGAINST "I BELIEVE" LICENSE PLATES

ImageThe effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will likely come next year as an amendment to the Defense Department spending bill, rather than through a standalone bill, according to gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Frank said in an interview with the Blade that repealing the 1993 law barring gays from serving openly in the military would happen as part of the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill.

“The House will take up and the Senate will take up ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal,” he said. “That will again, like hate crimes, even more so, will have to be done, I believe, in the context of the defense authorization. You can’t do the standalone bill. It belongs in the defense authorization.”

Frank said lawmakers would seek to amend the defense measure to include a provision repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Such a move would mimic the way Congress recently enacted the hate crimes measure.

For the rest of this story click here: ACTION EXPECTED SOON ON ENDA, FEDERAL DP BENEFITS

In Florida, a Marine Reservist attacked a Greek Orthodox Priest who stopped to ask for directions. Oh, and he used a tire iron, and chased the priest several blocks. Oh, and he claimed at first the priest was a terrorist, then changed his story to say the priest "hit on him" and therefore his defense is "gay panic". Oh, and did I mention the buff marine also sells himself out for provocative male model jobs where he strips down to his underwear and even less? This is a true case of the closet being filled with self homophobia.

ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act, is now moving through Congress. You can watch the latest Senate hearings, which took place on Thursday, November 5th, by clicking here...ENDA - Senate Hearings on November 5th, 2009

Image

Clay’s Way

Author: Blair Mastbaum

Review By: Leon Velasco

Rating: One Thumb Up

This is a very detailed book, set in Hawaii. The author out does himself and actually gives you enough information of the surroundings that you actually feel that you are there. You can hear the sounds of the surf as it rushes in, the sounds of rain as it hit pavement and roofs. He also added a little something unique to a book I’ve ever read so far. This author is also a poet. He included Haikus written in his adolescent years. This coming-of-age story of a native Hawaiian boy is very moving and appealing to all generations, I would think. There hasn’t been a person who’s had their eye on someone who didn’t even know what feeling stirred within you as you stood in their presence. Giving this book a read through may surprise you.

A wanna-be punk rocker who writes bad haiku poetry, 15 year-old Sam is fed up with his middle-class parents, his geeky best friend, and his inability to do the raddest skate board tricks. Then he meets Clay. Mistaking lust for fate, Sam becomes obsessed with the 17-year-old surfer boy; who’s island cool masks an internal conflict even darker than Sam’s. Directing his furious energy toward winning Clay’s heart, Sam goes on a reckless odyssey to become everything Clay seems to be. Through hurricanes, car accidents, teenage parties, and monster waves, they ricochet off each other until one night on a remote beach, in the flickering light of torches and campfires, the violence and tumult of Clay and Sam’s dynamic propels them both through the hardest decisions and obstacles of their young lives.

“A gay Catcher in the Rye. A terrific, auspicious debut by a writer we will surely be hearing much more from.”—John Rechy, author of  City of Night       

“Thrilling, sexy, terrifying… I recommend this book to all adventurous readers.”—Susanna Moore, author of In the Cut

Click below for more reviews...

...

One year after losing the right to marry and a day after Maine voted to ban same-sex marriage, the organizations: Meet in the Middle for Equality, Erase the H8, GayFresno.com, EQCA, Courage Campaign, Central California Alliance demonstrated for marriage equality at Shaw and Blackstone.

ImageImageImage 

The event was a candle-light vigil but it was not a mourning. The tone was one of frustration and debate, even anger, about the return for a ballot initiative to legalize same-sex marriages.

ImageImageImage 

Robin McGehee, the gay activist and leader for the Fresno and the valley, explained, “It's not a vigil for something dying. It's candlelight for people to keep the faith,” she said. But even McGehee expressed her impatience. “I am tired of vigils and mourning's. It's time to take action. In civil rights movements, the element of protest can't be just lobbying. I want to do more acts of civil disobedience. I want to do things that are going to agitate.”

On the evening of the one year anniversary of the California Supreme Court Decision to uphold Proposition 8...an interview at the Fresno, CA demonstration with Robin McGehee by Chris Jarvis for GayFresno.com... 

These and many other videos are available by visiting Gay Fresno on YouTube

ImageCarrie Prejean, the idiot who just keeps on giving...it's being reported by TMZ that the quick settlement of her lawsuit with Miss California officials is due to the revelation of a sex tape she once recorded. How very Christian of her...you can read the story here...Prejean Sex Tape Triggers Settlement

Joel Osteen appeared on The View today and was asked his opinion on homosexuality. You can watch the video attached to this article to hear his response.

Why are we interested in his opinion? Osteen explains from a biblical standpoint why he feels homosexuality is a "mistake" but then goes on to say he can't "pick and choose" what he believes from the bible. If that's so, he'd better start stoning children to death who speak back to their parents and murdering women who aren't virgins when they get married. Picking and choosing is EXACTLY what he's doing, and he's making MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars doing it, and NO ONE on that show called him on it.

When do we get to the point of ration and reason in this nation and treat religion like the mental disorder that it is. We admire leaders who believe mythology is reality instead of taking them out of the equation when discussing real, actual issues.

In my opinion, if we're going to keep bringing religious people into debate on real issues like politics and civil rights, then we need to start throwing in some people who believe in leprechauns and elves as well. Then things would be a bit more "fair and balanced"...


...

While the state of Maine lost marriage rights, in Washington, Referendum Measure 71 passed, 51% to 49%. The text of the measure was as follows...

The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill.

This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

Image

From the Associated Press:

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Maine voters repealed a state law Tuesday that would have allowed same-sex couples to wed, dealing the gay rights movement a heartbreaking defeat in New England, the corner of the country most supportive of gay marriage.

Gay marriage has now lost in every single state - 31 in all - in which it has been put to a popular vote. Gay-rights activists had hoped to buck that trend in Maine - known for its moderate, independent-minded electorate - and mounted an energetic, well-financed campaign.

With 87 percent of the precincts reporting, gay-marriage foes had 53 percent of the votes.

"The institution of marriage has been preserved in Maine and across the nation," declared Frank Schubert, chief organizer for the winning side.

Gay-marriage supporters held out hope that the tide would shift before conceding defeat at 2:40 a.m. in a statement that insisted they weren't going away.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, voters in Washington state voted on whether to uphold or overturn a recently expanded domestic partnership law that entitles same-sex couples to the same state-granted rights as heterosexual married couples. With half the precincts reporting, that race was too close to call.

In Kalamazoo, Mich., voters approved a measure that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Read more HERE

NY Times 2009 Election Results

(We'll update information Wednesday)

Image 

On a day of critical elections of concern to LGBT Americans, irony is not absent. Equality Across America, responsible for the National Equality March, is in chaos. This news, when not even a month has passed since the DC March.

Resignations abound, including Derek Washington, Kip Williams and Robin McGehee. Reasons are varied, including financial, personal and differences in opinion. A temporary project director has been put in place to hold things together while the group restructures. The future doesn't look bright however, especially considering this statement from Cleve Jones... "We're still not sure this is a viable organization. It's still not clear to me that EAA is going to happen yet. There needs to be a working group to take EAA forward. I'll be inviting [the March's] steering committee and executive committee members to participate."

Add to that the fact that it's reported the groups has no formal bylaws, budget, mission statement or organizational structure and it appears clear that Equality Across America rests on a precipice. Derek Washington, who resigned his position only today, had this to say about Cleve Jones... "I also will not be at all happy if it becomes about any one person as if it was some monarchy. Mr. Jones and I are probably never going to be team mates on The Amazing Race." He went on to add, after resigning... "I never realized what a complete sociopath he was until I had the displeasure of spending time working with him."

We'll update you as the story develops, but I wanted to add one thing. Many people, including myself, were vocally opposed to the March from the start. While I personally stated on this very website that although I had questions about the March's effectiveness at a crucial time in the battle for civil rights for American citizens, I added that I wished it great success. I posted a piece urging the conflict between those questioning the March and those supporting to stop, that regardless of the questions surrounding every aspect of the March, from its time frame to its effectiveness, we should support each other once it came time for Americans to make the statement they'd make on October 11th. After the march, we at Gay Fresno, Gay Visalia and Gay Hanford posted video, photos and news about the March. All of us were pleased with the success of the March and worked to share the media surrounding it.

However now, with the recent revelations, it's clear that those of us questioning the March had valid points to make. Certainly no one would be re-visiting those questions without the news of the unraveling of the organization less than a month after their national event. It's particularly telling that during the planning of the March, all of us who put forth questions and concerns were shouted down, condemned and belittled. Even Barney Frank, a gay congressman serving for 28 years was and still is ravaged by LGBT Americans because of a few poorly chosen words just before the March. Even today, in the comments on internet sites, some are blaming failure of the organization on Frank. Others are stating that the Hate Crimes bill passed because of the March. Both of these statements are far beyond ridiculous.

Weren't we all told from the very beginning, and certainly force fed in the days that led up to the March, that the event was a beginning, a jumping off point, that there was a plan, a strategy and a methodology in place to assure this organization would be a force to be reckoned with? It can't be surprising to anyone in the upper rankings of the March that after months of concrete, self assured and often dismissive response to any LGBT American who didn't agree or attend the March, that these revelations carry more weight than they otherwise might. If things were as solid as the organizers repeated over and over, how could it possibly have fallen apart less than a month after the March?

I hope that in the days to come, the circumstances explaining the collapse of this organization will change, and be more palatable. I hope that, but I also doubt it. 

Maybe this will finally be the moment when LGBT camps will stop their unwavering certainty and dialogue with those who have different ideas. It looks, at this point, like the Maine campaign will probably lose. After this, after all this, will there be another group so willing to dismiss and condemn opposing opinion? Is the LGBT movement for equality now just a splintered mixture of A Listers and B Listers? Or are we going to pay attention to all the evidence in front of us? All the strategies that refused critique and ultimately failed? Or are we going to thoughtfully consider the next move, as well as the advice of those like Barney Frank, who works every day toward the goal of equality for LGBT Americans, and might have more insight into the way Congress works than the rest of us? Exactly how much are we going to THINK before our next move?

Read more about these events at Bilerico.com

Fresno businesses and large contributors who supported Proposition 8

Fresno's Offical Boycott List!  Please print a copy and keep it with you at all times.  Spend your money at businesses that do not use your purchases to discriminate against you.

View the list sorted by: Donor, Amount or Business Name

        Lately there have been some things that have been bothering me concerning the Prop 8 movement.  I’ve been hearing so many people criticizing everything that everyone is doing and it is really beginning to take a toll on all of us involved in the activism movement.  If we constantly have to fight not only our opponents, but our supporters as well, then nothing is going to get done.  People won’t show up to events that require a large amount of people to make a difference, people won’t talk to certain members of other gay organizational groups, and people have flat-out stopped caring because they don’t like what the people who are actually out there speaking up are trying to say.

        Sure, I don’t agree with some of the methods of the community organizers in the area, and sure, I don’t like the way some people like to try to get the message across.  But you know what people?  The sad truth is that those kinds of people that we don’t like are ALL that we have right now.  Do you want to know why that is?  Because the very people who don’t like who we have, or how they do things, are not doing anything themselves.

ImageGus Van Sant's latest film, "Milk", the story of Harvey Milk, a revolutionary gay politician murdered in San Francisco is slated to open in Fresno on December 5th. Here are some interesting links surrounding the film and it's subject...

The New York Times ran a piece on how Gay Rights groups plan to use "Milk" as piece in the ongoing movement. NYT - Activists Seek To Tie "Milk" To Campaign For Gay Rights

The following link has access to several clips from the film... Watch Clips From "Milk"

Here you can find background on Harvey Milk as well as other resources...NYT - Harvey Milk Resources

A group has been formed calling for a boycott of Cinemark theaters, which will be showing "Milk". The CEO of this company donated almost $10,000 to the Yes On 8 Campaign. Click on the following link...  No Milk For Cinemark

Related: Hundreds Protest Theater's Support Of Prop 8

Maureen Dowd has a conversation with Senator Dianne Feinstein about Harvey Milk and the new film. Senator Feinstein was on the Board Of Supervisors with Harvey Milk, and she is the one who found his body after the shooting.  Maureen Dowd - Marriage On The Rocks

Tanene Allison writes on Huffington Post about her experience watching the film and the implications for the LGBT movement...Tanene Allison - MILK - Hope On The Screen And In The Streets

Matt Budd writes on Huffington Post about the new film as well as our current movement for marriage rights. At the bottom of this piece is a fascinating short film by Jenni Olsen, shot on the set of the film and using an audio recording of Harvey Milk himself as the narrative...Matt Budd - "Milk" - We Need Him Now More Than Ever

Click here for the official website for the film...Focus Features Official "Milk" Website

The Fresno LGBTQ Social Group is gathering people to meet and watch the film on Friday, December 12th at Edwards Stadium 21 Theaters. Click HERE for information...or call 559-862-4559. "His life changed history. His courage changed lives. Let's get a HUGE turnout to opening night! Be sure to forward this event along to friends. The theatre has not released the times yet, so keep your evening free and we'll post more details and email it out ASAP."   

ImageBill McEwen, a columnist for the Fresno Bee is upset. He's upset with all those who've been marching and protesting in the streets since November 4th and the passing of Prop 8. According to him we can't form complete sentences, we're embarrassing ourselves, we're not acting like "responsible adults" and in order to be granted our equal rights as American citizens, we shouldn't use up court time, we should "win over" religious Americans.  Oh, and he thinks it's just an "idea" that marriage is a "civil right".  How does someone who admits that the arguments the Yes On 8 people used were mere fabrication not understand that marriage is a civil right? Read the article by clicking on the following link, but get ready to get angry, then use the next link to write a letter to the Bee.   

Bill McEwen - Prop 8 Protestors Need To Act Responsibly

Fresno Bee - Submit A Letter To The Editor

My observations on the happenings that took place at various local churches this past Sunday. In response to the whole Proposition 8 deal, local protests and activism events took place at a few churches this past Sunday. The largest took place downtown at the Cornerstone Church (1545 Fulton St.). There were about 20 people present who were handing out flowers with the message, “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.” A simple message, right? Some of the people handing out the flowers expressed that the flowers were symbols of God’s love for all. A number of people entering the church took the flowers with them as they walked in. But that’s where things got a little… interesting.


Video courtesy of Diva X

I’ve always been one to celebrate the excitement of Christmas.  I know that doesn’t make me unique.  But, as I am almost 30 years old (don’t laugh) I find the holiday to be even more important than ever to me.  The economy is in the toilet; we learned today that unemployment is at a 16 year high, the stock market is down again and, the most important one of all, the bitter loss with Proposition 8 passing earlier this month.  All combined to drag me out earlier than ever to hang up hundreds of beautifully colored Christmas lights.  It is a way to put November and also the world as we know it behind me for just a few weeks to be thankful for what I have and of course for awesome gifts!  So, if you’re with me, get out there and put up your decorations before it gets too darn cold!

Jason Scott

ImageBREAKING NEWS... (San Francisco, CA, November 19, 2008)—Today the California Supreme Court granted review in the legal challenges to Proposition 8, which passed by a narrow margin of 52 percent on November 4. In an order issued today, the Court agreed to hear the case and set an expedited briefing schedule. The Court also denied an immediate stay.

Read the full story HERE 

 Hola que tal a todos.

Noticias:

Aqui esta la lista de los contribuidores en la campana  SI EN LA 8

Como pueden ver son bastantes, solo pido que no gasten o compren en estas companias.

Otros nombres de personas que tambien ayudaron los pueden encrontrar en esta pagina

antigayblacklist.com

Es demasiado vergonzoso como estas companias desperisiaron tanto dinero, con tal de que las parejas del mismo sexo no nos podramos casar legalmente. Piensen ese dinero se habria podido uilizar para otras cosas que tal para combatir el cancer o el sida, solo por mencionar entre unas, pero sabemos que hay demasiada necesidad y poca ayuda.

Boycotiar estos lugares no estaria mal no lo creen? 

Sin mas rodeos aqui esta:

 

Nombre del contribuidor  Ciudad  Estado              Monto

100 W FOOTHILL BLVD., LLC

TUSTIN 

CA

$100.00

2205 FIFTH, LLC

LAS VEGAS 

NV

$1,000.00

ABOVE THE GATE DENTISTRY, JEFFREY L. DAVIDSON, DDS., INC.

DIAMOND SPRINGS

CA

$5,000.00

ACCORD DESIGN GROUP, INC

SANTA MARIA 

CA

$100.00

ACCURA BULLETS, LLC

NAMPA 

ID

$1,000.00

ACE MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS, INC.

ST. GEORGE

UT

$10,000.00

ADAMO CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT CO.

LAKESIDE 

CA

$35,250.00

ADMIRALTY DIESEL SERVICES, INC.

HERCULES

CA

$3,000.00

ADVANCED PROPERTIES, INC.

FOLSOM

CA

$500.00

ADVANTAGE PHYSICAL THERAPY & REHAB., INC.

COTO DE CAZA

CA

$1,000.00

ADVENTURE ENTERPRISES LLC

HEMET 

CA

$500.00

ALADDIN SUPPLY CO.

CATHEDRAL CTY

CA

$750.00

ALL SEASONS HAY CO.

CHERRY VALLEY 

CA

$500.00

ALOSTA ANIMAL HOSPITAL, INC.

GLENDORA 

CA

$1,000.00

ALPHA SERVICES GROUP

CARLSBAD 

CA

$300.00

ALTA HOME CARE INC.

RIVERSIDE 

CA

$2,500.00

AMADA HOME CARE, INC.

COSTA MESA

CA

$200.00

AMAYA CONSTRUCTION, INC.

TEMECULA

CA

$1,000.00

AMERICAN MONEY GROUP INC

COVINA 

CA

$500.00

ANDERSEN NUT CO.

NEWMAN

CA

$1,500.00

ANDERSON DESIGN ASSOCIATES

ANAHEIM 

CA

$1,000.00

APPLE GILROY, INC.

SAN JOSE 

CA

$100.00

APS ENVIRONMENTAL, INC.

NORTH HIGHLANDS

CA

$1,000.00

ARMOUR PROPERTIES CV, LLC

NEWPORT BEACH 

CA

$75,000.00

ATHLETES BY DESIGN, INC.

NEWPORT BEACH 

CA

$100.00

ATLANTIC AIR TOOL CO., INC.

TAFT

TN

$100.00

AZEVEDO DAIRY, INC.

PATTERSON

CA

$100.00

B & G DELIVERY SYSTEMS, INC.

SACRAMENTO 

CA

$100.00

B. THOMAS WHEELER, DDS INC.

HESPERIA

CA

$2,000.00

BARSTOW TRUCK PARTS & EQUIPMENT COMPANY, INC.

BARSTOW 

CA

$2,500.00

BAY CITIES PRODUCE CO., INC.

SAN LEANDRO 

CA

$1,500.00

BE READY, INC.

OCEANSIDE 

CA

$1,000.00

BELL & ASSOCIATES, INCORPORATED

LAGUNA BEACH 

CA

$6,000.00

BENCHMARK SERVICES, INC.

CYPRESS 

CA

$1,000.00

BERGESON & ASSOCIATES, INC.

BLUE JAY

CA

$1,000.00

BILL NELSON MEDIA GROUP

BAKERSFIELD 

CA

$100.00

BLAINE LARSEN FARMS, INC.

HAMER

ID

$5,000.00

BLUE RIVER ADVISORS, INC.

IRVINE 

CA

$3,000.00

BOONE TRUCKING, INC.

ONTARIO 

CA

$250.00

BRUCE BOSLER, DDS. INC.

VACAVILLE 

CA

$1,000.00

BULLS EYE PEST CONTROL INC.

MURRIETA

CA

$500.00

C & K BILLS ENTERPRISES INC.

ROCKLIN

CA

$100.00

CAL FRUIT INTERNATIONAL, INC.

YUBA CITY 

CA

$31,500.00

CARL TRUBSCHENCK DDS, INC.

CITRUS HEIGHTS 

CA

$1,000.00

CATHAY CIRCUITS, INC.

MONTEREY 

CA

$5,000.00

CHAD CHURCH, DDS, INC.

ROCKLIN

CA

$2,500.00

CHILDERS INSURANCEAGENCY, INC.

EUREKA 

CA

$1,000.00

CHIPPONERI ELECTRIC, INC.

HILMAR

CA

$100.00

CLASSIC FLOOR CARE, INC.

GLENDORA 

CA

$250.00

CLEARWORD COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, INC.

BRISTOW,

VA

$4,302.00

COLONIAL MEDICAL GROUP, INC

BAKERSFIELD 

CA

$500.00

CONTAINER SUPPLY CO., INC.

GARDEN GROVE

CA

$278,070.00

COOL SPRING ELECTRIC COOLER CO.

SAN MARCOS 

CA

$100.00

COOLEY FAMILY INVESTMENT LLC

HIGLEY

AZ

$10,000.00

CORE FRAMING, INC.

FOLSOM

CA

$500.00

CRITICAL SOLUTINOS, INC.

WALNUT CREEK

CA

$1,000.00

CS CONCRETE SOLUTIONS, INC.

MISSION VIEJO

CA

$10,000.00

CTP CONSTRUCTION CO., INC.

ANAHEIM 

CA

$2,500.00

CULBERTSON INSURANCE SERVICES, INC.

ANAHEIM 

CA

$2,500.00

D & M MOTORS, INC.

PALO ALTO 

CA

$100.00

D.L. HEATON, LLC

HONOKAA

HI

$200.00

D.P. DEVELOPMENT CO., INC.

LANCASTER 

CA

$120.00

DALTON CAPITAL, INC.

YORBA LINDA 

CA

$5,000.00

DANIEL PROPERTIES,LLC

ELK GROVE

CA

$1,000.00

DARREN SHAFFER-FARRIER, INC.

ESCONDIDO 

CA

$1,000.00

DAVE BANG ASSOCIATES INC

TUSTIN 

CA

$3,500.00

DAVID A. WARNER D.D.S., INC.

WHITTIER 

CA

$1,000.00

DAVID R. RUSSELL, D.D.S. INC.

LAKESIDE 

CA

$500.00

DCIPHER GROUP, LLC

LAS VEGAS 

NV

$2,000.00

DEAN K STEWARD, D.D.S. INC.

LA HABRA 

CA

$1,500.00

DEAN K. STEWART, DDS INC.

LA HABRA 

CA

$1,500.00

DEMAND SIDE ENVIRONMENTAL, LLC

HAYWARD 

CA

$2,450.00

DIABLO INVESTMENT CO.

DANVILLE 

CA

$1,000.00

DIAMOND BOUTIQUE LLC

DEL MAR

CA

$250.00

DIANE ALLPHIN

SPRINGFIELD 

MI

$2,500.00

DIRECT RECOVERY ASSOCIATES, INC.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE 

CA

$250.00

DIVISION ST HOLDINGS LLC

STEVENSON RANCH

CA

$250.00

DIX MACHINE SHOP, INC.

VISALIA 

CA

$1,000.00

DJM, INC.

EL CAJON 

CA

$100.00

DON MCBRIDE CO.

BREA 

CA

$1,000.00

DOOLAN CREATIVE GROUP

WESTLAKE VILLAGE 

CA

$500.00

DOUGLAS YOUNBERG INVESTMENTS INC.

WASHINGTON 

UT

$5,000.00

DSS ENTERTAINMENT, LLC

MURRIETA

CA

$100.00

DUANE L. CHAPMAN CONSTRUCTION CO.

SAN CLEMENTE 

CA

$120.00

E. G. GRAPHICS, INC.

ANTELOPE

CA

$1,000.00

E.T.S. & ASSOCIATES, INC.

GILROY 

CA

$5,000.00

EAGLE SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL, INC.

HAYWARD

CA

$2,450.00

EAGLES QUALITY CONSTRUCTION, INC.

SONORA

CA

$250.00

EDGEWORTH & ASSOCIATES

APPLE VALLEY

CA

$1,000.00

EDWARD D. HOKE COMPANY, INC.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY

CA

$4,000.00

ELK 5 ENTERPRISES, INC.

MURRIETA

CA

$1,000.00

ENERGY EFFICIENCY MGMT LLC

DRAPER

UT

$2,450.00

ENG. MECH. CONTRACTOR, INC.

NEWCASTLE

CA

$5,000.00

ENGINEER MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR, INC.

SACRAMENTO

CA

$5,000.00

EQUITY GROUP MANAGEMENT

RENO

NV

$1,000.00

EXALEN CONSULTING, LLC

CARLSBAD

CA

$200.00

EYE-TO-EYE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

SAN DIEGO

CA

$100.00

FACILITATION ENTERPRISES, LLC

ELVERTA

CA

$400.00

FARGUSON INVESTMENTS, LLC

LA JOLLA

CA

$10,000.00

FARRIS ENTERPRISES, INC.

NORCO

CA

$3,000.00

FIELDSTEAD AND CO.

IRVINE

CA

$1,195,000.00

FINYL VINYL INC.

HUNTINGTON BEACH

CA

$1,000.00

FIRST GLOBAL MARKETING, LLC

PROVO

UT

$10,000.00

FLORES COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

BURBANK

CA

$200.00

FORWARD REAL ESTATE GROUP, INC.

BAKERSFIELD

CA

$200.00

FOX TRAILER SALES, INC.

SACRAMENTO

CA

$250.00

FUNDET FOUNDATION, INC.

DRAPER

UT

$9,950.00

GARI SOMMER WALLCOVERING

ELK GROVE

CA

$3,000.00

GARVIN AND ASSOCIATES INC

FOUNTAIN VALLEY

CA

$2,000.00

GARY H. PULSIPHER, DDS, INC.

SAN DIEGO

CA

$1,000.00

GATES CONSTRUCTION, INC.

IRVINE

CA

$100.00

GREGG A. TOOLSON DDS, MS, INC.

ENCINITAS

CA

$2,500.00

GRIFFITHS & ASSOCIATES

VISTA

CA

$250.00

GUY R. NASH, DDS INC.

TEMECULA

CA

$300.00

GUY R. NASH, DDS, INC.

TEMECULA

CA

$300.00

HALVERSON & CO., INC.

ENCINITAS

CA

$1,000.00

HALVERSON & COMPANY, INC. CPA'S

ENCINTAS

CA

$1,200.00

HANDS ON BILLING, LLC

HUNTINGTON BEACH

CA

$10,000.00

HARBER COMPANIES, INC.

SAN BERNARDINO

CA

$1,000.00

HARMONY CIRCLE LLC

ANAHEIM

CA

$5,000.00

HARTFORD HOLDINGS, LLC

PROVO

UT

$300,000.00

HEATHCOTE & ASSOCIATES

THOUSAND OAKS

CA

$250.00

HEATHCOTE PROPERTIES, INC.

NORTH TUSTIN

CA

$1,000.00

HILTON AND ASSOCIATES

HONOLULU

HI

$100.00

HUESSER NEWEIGHT LLC

CONCORD

CA

$1,000.00

ION SATELLITE INC.

MISSION VIEJO

CA

$1,500.00

IZOR AND ASSOCIATES, INC.

ESCONDIDO

CA

$150.00

J&L CONSULTING, INC.

YORBA LINDA

CA

$9,500.00

JACKSON BUILDING GROUP

SACRAMENTO

CA

$150.00

JAMES H. AVERY CO.

SAN LUIS OBISPO

CA

$1,000.00

JAMES OLSON INSURANCE AGENCY, INC.

HOLLYWOOD

CA

$1,000.00

JC-EVANS, INC.

GOLD RIVER

CA

$1,000.00

JEFFREY D. POTTER, DDS INC.

YORBA LINDA

CA

$2,500.00

JERNER CONSTRUCTION, INC.

TURLOCK

CA

$1,000.00

JEROME B. CRIPPEN & ASSOCIATES

MARYSVILLE

CA

$200.00

JK MANAGEMENT, INC.

LAS VEGAS

NV

$2,000.00

JOHN C. PLATTS, D.D.S., INC.

HEMET

CA

$1,000.00

JOHN CHANDLER, ALLSTATE INS. CO.

GOLD RIVER

CA

$6,000.00

JOHN K GUNDERSON D.D.S.,INC.

TEMECULA

CA

$500.00

JOHN MANRY AND ASSOCIATES INC

LANCASTER

CA

$1,000.00

JOHN MEADOWS INC.

SIMI VALLEY

CA

$1,000.00

JOUNEY CREATIONS LLC

LOS ANGELES

ca

$1,000.00

JUMPSTART ENTERPRISES LLC

BREA

CA

$1,000.00

KALANI CONSTRUCTION INC.

KAUAI

HI

$1,000.00

KAZUO ENTERPRISES, INC.

CYPRESS

CA

$5,000.00

KEN WARD & ASSOCIATES

AVILA BEACH

CA

$100.00

KENNETH RICKS & ASSOCIATES

BAKERSFIELD

CA

$500.00

KEVIN D. CHALK DMD, INC.

VISTA

CA

$100.00

KEVIN NEUBERT & ASSOCIATES INC.

LAKE ARROWHEAD

CA

$1,000.00

KINGMEN, INC.

CARMEL

CA

$200.00

KJELSTROM & ASSOCIATES, INC.

GLENDORA

CA

$1,099.00

KRISHAN WORKINGER CPA'S INC.

LAKE FOREST

CA

$500.00

KYLE & KYLE RANCHES, INC.

LANCASTER

CA

$300.00

LAKESIDE STORAGE, LLC

PROVO

UT

$1,000.00

LANG CONSTRUCTION COMPANY INC.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE

CA

$1,000.00

LANG ROOFING CO., INC.

BELL GARDENS

CA

$10,000.00

LARGE FORMAT COMPUTING, INC.

SAN FRANCISCO

CA

$1,500.00

LARRY H. GASSIN & ASSOCIATES

TUSTIN

CA

$100.00

LARRY JOHNSON CONSTRUCTION, INC.

UPLAND

CA

$2,500.00

LEADING EDGE DUPLICATION, INC.

MOORPARK

CA

$1,700.00

LEONCE M. ARCENEAUX, D.D.S., INC.

HEMET

CA

$1,000.00

LEPISCOPO & MORROW, LLP

SAN DIEGO 

CA

$300.00

LILCO INC.

ORANGE 

CA

$5,000.00

LILCO, INC.

ORANGE 

CA

$5,000.00

LOS JARDINES, LLC

YORBA LINDA 

CA

$9,500.00

LUBRICANT, INC.

ALBURQUERQUE

NM

$5,000.00

M & D DEVELOPMENT, LLC

CORONA 

CA

$7,000.00

M. T. WALKER CO.

STANTON 

CA

$1,000.00

M.K.P. CONSTRUCTION, INC.

UPLAND 

CA

$5,200.00

M.T. WALKER CO.

STANTON 

CA

$100.00

MAGNON ENGINEERING, INC.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA

CA

$2,000.00

MANCHESTER FINANCIAL GROUP

SAN DIEGO 

CA

$125,000.00

MARINA LANDSCAPE, INC.

ANAHEIM 

CA

$15,000.00

MARK WARD GOINGS, INC.

RCHO STA MARG

CA

$250.00

MARLER DENTAL GROUP

ESCONDIDO 

ca

$2,000.00

MASSEY ADVANTAGE, INC.

FAIR OAKS

CA

$1,000.00

MCKENNA BOILER WORKS, INC.

LOS ANGELES

CA

$1,000.00

MEDEX PRACTICE SOLUTIONS, INC.

OAKDALE

CA

$500.00

MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTION & ASSOCIATES

REDONDO BEACH 

CA

$100.00

MELLENNIA SOLUTIONS GROUP, INC.

OCEANSIDE 

CA

$500.00

MERU CONSTRUCTION, INC.

NEWBURY PARK 

CA

$2,000.00

MILES CHEMICAL COMPANY, INC.

ARIETA

CA

$5,000.00

MILES CHEMICAL COMPANY, INC.

ARLETA

CA

$2,500.00

MJD PARTNERS, INC.

ESCONDIDO 

CA

$500.00

MORIARITY AND ASSOCIATES

WOODLAND HILLS

CA

$225.00

NELSON DENTAL GROUP

FULLERTON 

CA

$500.00

ORTON'S EQUIPMENT COMPANY, INC.

STRATFORD 

CA

$100.00

OSTERBAUER COMPRESSOR SERVICE, INC.

LOS ANGELES

CA

$1,000.00

P M TRUCK REPAIR, INC.

W. SACRAMENTO 

CA

$1,000.00

P.J. CARROLL COMPANY, INC.

YORBA LINDA 

CA

$2,000.00

PACIFIC RETAIL RESOURCES, INC.

PLACENTIA 

CA

$1,000.00

PACO PLASTICS & ENGINEERING, INC.

SANTA FE SPRINGS

CA

$1,200.00

PAPER BOYS, INC.

BREA 

CA

$1,000.00

PAT BOONE FOUNDATION, INC.

LOS ANGELES

CA

$300.00

PATRELL ENGINEERING GROUP, INC.

GLENDORA 

CA

$1,000.00

PATRICK SANDHILL LLC

LAS VEGAS 

NV

$3,000.00

PAUL B HANSEN, DDSINC.

MERCED 

CA

$1,000.00

PAUL B. HANSEN, DDS INC.

MERCED 

CA

$1,000.00

PENNEY & ASSOCIATES

ROSEVILLE 

CA

$1,000.00

PETRICH FINANCIAL SERVICES INC.

SANGER

CA

$1,000.00

PHILLIPPI ENGINEERING, INC.

VACAVILLE 

CA

$2,500.00

PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSOCIATES

RED BLUFF

CA

$200.00

PINNACLE CONSULTING LLC

ORANGEVALE 

CA

$1,000.00

PLATINUM ROOFING, INC.

SAN JOSE 

CA

$250.00

POLY SALES INC.

FLAGSTAFF 

AZ

$1,000.00

PREHM & ASSOCIATES

SACRAMENTO 

CA

$300.00

PRICE FUNERAL CHAPEL, INC.

CITRUS HEIGHTS 

CA

$1,000.00

PRISM ENGINEERING GROUP, LLC

FRESNO 

CA

$500.00

PROSOL, INC.

RIVERSIDE 

CA

$9,900.00

PROVOST REAL ESTATE LLC

SAUGUS 

CA

$250.00

R. BROOKE LANDSCAPING, INC.

ANTIOCH 

CA

$9,500.00

R.P. WESTBROOK ENTERPRISES, INC.

HACIENDA HEIGHTS 

CA

$100.00

RACHEL THURSTON PHOTOGRAPHY, INC.

SANDY 

UT

$100.00

RANCHO DEL RIO ENTERPRISES LLC

RANCHO SANTA FE

CA

$300.00

REBEL INDUSTRIES, INC.

UPLAND 

CA

$3,750.00

REDLANDS GLENNMARK LLC

SKYFOREST

CA

$200.00

REDOX CHEMICALS, LLC

BURLEY

ID

$250.00

REYBRO, INC.

VISTA

CA

$10,000.00

RICARDO RANGEL ANDASSOCIATES

SOUTH GATE

CA

$100.00

RJ SALES CO.

CORONA

CA

$100.00

RLG ENTERPRISES, INC.

HUNTINGTON BEACH

CA

$5,000.00

ROAD WORKS, INC.

POMONA

CA

$5,000.00

ROBERTS RETIREMENT GROUP INC

JACKSON 

CA

$1,000.00

ROCKY MOUNTAIN DISTRIBUTORS LLC

CORONA 

CA

$2,000.00

ROCKY MOUNTAIN SUPPLY, INC.

IDAHO FALLS 

ID

$1,000.00

RODDEL MARKETING GROUP, INC.

TUSTIN

CA

$250.00

ROY E. WHITEHEAD, INC.

RIVERSIDE

CA

$5,000.00

ROYAL SUMMIT, INC.

OAKDALE

CA

$2,500.00

RUTHERFORD PRODUCTION COMPANY, INC.

SANTA MONICA

CA

$20,000.00

RYAN, SAUNDERS & CO.

FRESNO

CA

$1,000.00

SAN MIGUEL FARMS, INC.

NIPOMO

CA

$2,500.00

SAN YSIDRO FARMS, INC.

NIPOMO

CA

$5,000.00

SAN YSIDRO LAND CO. LLC

NIPOMO

CA

$1,000.00

SANTA FE NURSERY, INC.

NIPOMO

CA

$1,000.00

SANTIAGO ROOFING, INC.

ANAHEIM

CA

$200.00

SCOTT D. GRAY, D.D.S. INC.

HEMET

CA

$500.00

SCOTT L. HENRIKSEN, D.D.S., INC.

VISALIA 

CA

$2,000.00

SCS CONTRACTING, INC.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO 

CA

$190.00

SEAVIEW NURSERY,  INC.

CAMARILLO 

CA

$2,500.00

SHERMAN ANDERSON DESIGN ASSOCIATES, INC.

ANAHEIM 

CA

$1,000.00

SHERWOOD CAPITAL, INC.

AGOURA HILLS

CA

$20,000.00

SIGNATURE PAVING, INC.

TEMECULA

CA

$1,000.00

SKYLINE ENERGY SAVERS, INC.

EL DORADO HILLS

CA

$1,000.00

SMITH DENTAL, INC.

SACRAMENTO

CA

$1,000.00

SPERRY CONSTRUCTION & ELECTRIC, INC.

EL CAJON

CA

$1,000.00

SRS INSURANCE SERVICES, INC.

SANTA ANA

CA

$25,000.00

STAMPEDERS LLC.

LA VERNE 

CA

$150.00

STEPHEN C. KIMBALL, INC.

MISSION VIEJO

CA

$5,000.00

STEVEN M. ROWAN D.M.D. INC.

MERCED 

CA

$1,000.00

STILES CUSTOM METAL, INC.

CERES

CA

$3,000.00

STRONGTOWER FINANCIAL, INC.

FRESNO 

CA

$5,000.00

SUBURBAN DEVELOPMENT CO.

MONARCH BEACH 

CA

$200.00

SUBWAY-MERCED MALL, M PAGE ENTER., INC.

FRESNO 

CA

$2,500.00

SUMMIT MUSIC, INC.

VALENCIA 

CA

$1,000.00

SUNSTONE PARTNERS, LLC

CAMARILLO

CA

$25,000.00

SURGICAL EYE CARE CENTER, INC.

CARLSBAD

CA

$2,000.00

SWEETWATER POOLS, INC.

WEST COVINA

CA

$1,000.00

SYAR INDUSTRIES, INC.

NAPA

CA

$1,000.00

SYNERGY ENTERPRISES, INC.

HAYWARD

CA

$2,450.00

SYNERGY ENTREPRENEURS LLC

DRAPER

UT

$2,550.00

T.B. PENICK & SONS, INC.

SAN DIEGO 

CA

$40,000.00

T.E. NEESBY, INC.

FRESNO 

CA

$500.00

TCA PARTNERS, LLP

FRESNO 

CA

$1,000.00

T-CRAFT, INC.

EL NIDO

CA

$100.00

TELASTRA, INC.

PALOS VERDES ESTATES

CA

$198.00

TELECOM NETWORK SOLUTIONS, INC.

YUCAIPA 

CA

$300.00

TERRY M. DAVIS, DDS INC.

SN BERNRDNO

CA

$500.00

THE FOURELS INVESTMENT CO.

ORANGE 

CA

$15,000.00

THE HAUS GROUP

FOLSOM

CA

$1,000.00

THE INFINITY GROUP

ROSAMOND

CA

$250.00

THE KENDALL COMPLIANCE GROUP INC

HEMET 

CA

$100.00

THE PARADISE GROUP

LAS VEGAS 

NV

$250.00

THE SCOTT GROUP

TEMECULA

CA

$200.00

THE VINEYARD GROUP

MESA

AZ

$100,000.00

THE VINEYARD GROUP

QUEEN CREEK

AZ

$25,000.00

THE VINEYARD GROUP, LLC

MESA 

AZ

$35,000.00

THE X-FACTOR SYSTEMS LLC

HENDERSON 

NV

$5,000.00

THERON L. VINES, JR., D.D.S., INC.

REDLANDS 

CA

$2,000.00

THOMAS N. LUDLOW DDS, INC.

FOLSOM

CA

$2,500.00

TITEL ENTERPRISES, INC.

BELLFLOWER 

CA

$100.00

TOOLSON CONSTRUCTION CO., INC.

ENCINITAS

CA

$1,000.00

TRAINING LEADERS OF AMERICA, LLC

CHINO HILLS

CA

$100.00

TRANSNORTAD, INC. GENERAL ACCOUNT

VISTA 

CA

$6,000.00

TRICKS' GYMNASTICS, INC.

GRANITE BAY 

CA

$5,000.00

TULARE COUNTY INVESTMENTS LLC

CAMARILLO 

CA

$5,000.00

TULARE COUNTY INVESTMENTS, LLC

CAMARILLO 

CA

$20,000.00

U.S. AIR FILTRATION INC.

MURRIETA

CA

$2,500.00

U.S. TELEPHONE RENTALS, INC.

LAS VEGAS 

NV

$1,000.00

U-RENT, INC.

CAMARILLO 

CA

$5,200.00

USA PRESORT, INC.

STOCKTON 

CA

$1,000.00

VACATION POOLS ANDSPAS INC.

HESPERIA

CA

$500.00

VALLEY PACIFIC PETROLEUM SERVICES, INC.

STOCKTON 

CA

$745.00

VIC FOSTER & ASSOCIATES

MURRIETA

CA

$250.00

VISIONARY ELECTRONICS, INC.

SAN FRANCISCO 

CA

$99.00

WEBB AUTOMOTIVE GROUP, INC.

FARMINGTON 

NM

$9,950.00

WELLCARE, INC.

LAGUNA HILLS 

CA

$3,000.00

WESTERN WATER FEATURES, INC.

EL DORADO HILLS

CA

$5,000.00

WESTON & TUTTLE, LLP

CAMERON PARK

CA

$2,000.00

WILCOX APPRAISAL & ASSOCIATES, INC.

WINTON

CA

$1,000.00

WILDE INVESTMENTS SC, LLC

SAN CARLOS 

CA

$50,000.00

WILKINSON ELECTRIC, INC.

ST. GEORGE

UT

$10,000.00

WISER WATER, LLC

POWAY 

CA

$1,000.00

WITTWER MANAGEMENT, LLC

ST. GEORGE

UT

$10,000.00

Z MANAGEMENT, LLC

FOLSOM

CA

$500.00

ImageClick on the following link to view VIDEO from ABC Local News about the Prop 8 Protests this weekend in California, including Fresno. Also covered, Jason Scott & Robin McGehee visit to speak at Cornerstone Church.

ABC Local News - Sunday Protests

ImagePrince is against gay marriage. Let me say that again. PRINCE, the artist formerly self named a symbol, is against gay marriage. He’s also now a Jehovah’s Witness, even goes knocking on doors. I could go on and on about his eccentricities, but we’re aware.  But to find out this man, who’s music I deeply respect and enjoy, at age 50, is a Jehovah’s Witness (a recent "realization") and against gay marriage is a bit of a shock. It further reveals the unreasoned opposition we’re up against as a group of Americans fighting for equal rights.

Read the story here…Soup With Prince by Claire Hoffman 

UPDATE:  Prince’s camp released a statement saying he was misquoted .

VIDEO of the Fresno Rally & March held at Fresno City Hall on Saturday, November 15th 2008. Video By Mike Rhodes.

ImageSaturday, November 15th was a National Day Of Protest against the passage of Prop 8, organized by Join The Impact. Cities all across the nation participated on the same day at the same time. Fresno's rally was held in front of City Hall, and was attended by a group of both members of Fresno's LGBT community and our straight allies.

VIEW PHOTOS by Mike Rhodes of the November 15th Rally by clicking here: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/11/15/18551377.php

ImageImageImageABC 30 & KMPH 26 have reported on the repercussions of standing up for the defeat of Prop 8 for a local family. Robin McGehee, locally active in the campaign to defeat Prop 8, has removed her son from Saint Helen's, the Catholic school he attended, due to the forcible removal of her position as President in the Parent Teacher Organization, due solely to her work in the No On 8 campaign.

Also, an update from ABC 30 regarding recent Prop 8 protests and discussion with a local lawyer on what the next steps might by for Prop 8 in the court system. Click on the corresponding links below to view the stories.

ABC 30 - Prop 8 Repercussion

ABC 30 - Prop 8 Showdown

ImageI came across this fascinating debate on the website FiveThirtyEight.com. The site breaks election results and exit poll information down for analysis. The following link takes you to a discussion on Prop 8 from a variety of angles, but specifically meant to discuss the theory that black and Hispanic voters provided the tipping point for the passage of Prop 8. It’s an interesting mix of thoughts and statistics which leads to discussion of other major factors in the voting statistics, including age and religion.

The debate also delves into the various legal avenues which may be used to overturn Prop 8 and the constitutional principal behind both sides of the argument. Reading through the comments, it seems that the battle ahead of us may be a lot more complicated than we think.   FiveThirtyEight - CA Prop 8

ImageImage(click on images to enlarge) Photo galleries from the Candlelight Vigil For Justice on November 6th, and the City Hall Rally on November 10th.

ImageThe Courage Campaign, dedicated to progressive politics, has a petition available to collect signatures to repeal Prop 8. Click on the following link:  Courage Campaign - Repeal CA Prop 8

To see a verified list of only local businesses and large supporters, please see this article.

In late October, Protect Marriage, the umbrella group behind CA Prop 8, issued threats to California businesses who contributed to the No On 8 campaign . The group contacted companies who had donated to the No On 8 campaign in a letter, stating “Give us money or we’ll publicly identify you as opponents of traditional unions.”

So while Gay Fresno has no intention of sending threatening letters to those who supported this prejudiced, anti-American proposition, we do feel it’s entirely appropriate to post THE LIST of all those who contributed to support the bill, as well as the brave who contributed to defeat it. Since the list is massive, we offer it here in two ways. The first is an Excel Spreadsheet which lists those in Fresno, Clovis, Fowler and Madera. The second is a link to a search engine in which you can search for contributors by County name.


 

I would not have argued it this way. Not because Olbermann is wrong, but because the issue of Prop 8 is an issue of equal rights and civil liberties, not of love. Regardless, Olbermann moved me enormously with this piece. There’s no doubt this man knows this issue is about the constitution, equality and American freedom, but he addresses it on a human level, he addresses it as all humans can understand it. The equal rights of gay Americans is now a legal fight, a fight we ultimately will win, but Olbermann brings it back to our principals, to our hearts, and no one and argue with this…

A National Protest against the passage of CA Proposition 8 is happening on Saturday, November 15th. Read the details here:  Join The Impact - Protest On November 15th

ImageCheck out this article from Huffington Post's Gay Marriage Page, about the movement to revoke the tax exempt status of the Mormon Church:  Gays Hit Back At Mormons by Mario Ruiz

ImageA petition has been put together to gather signatures in support of denying the Mormon Church their tax exempt status due to their actions and financial support of CA Prop 8. Sign The Petition Here

ImageSend a letter to the IRS to complain about the actions of the Mormon Church, which violate their tax exempt status:  Revoke LDS Church 501(c)(3) Status

The history of same sex marriage in California, including post election updates and figures:  Wikipedia - Same Sex Marriage In California

The nuts and bolts of CA Prop 8, including updates occurring after the election:   Wikipedia - CA Proposition 8

Loving v. Virginia is useful in its direct comparison to CA Prop 8. Loving v. Virginia was a landmark civil rights case in which the United State Supreme Court declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, the “Racial Integrity Act Of 1924”, unconstitutional, thereby overturning Pace v. Alabama (1883) and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States. Read about it here:  Wikipedia - Loving v Virginia

 

ImageImageImage Cathy DeBuono , who’s been regularly featured on Gay Fresno in the past, has found a new home at SheWired.com where she is once again featuring her witty video interview/chat series,   What's Your Problem?  . Check out her lineup here: Cathy DeBuono on She Wired then take a look at her latest postings related to the protest and marches against Prop 8 in the Los Angeles area:  Taking To The Streets With Pride To Protest  &  Is Gay The New Black?

Cathy DeBuono Fan Forum    Cathy DeBuono on MySpace    Cathy DeBuono Website

ImageHarvey hits the nail on the head with his blog...

“While we dance in the streets and pat ourselves on the back for being a nation great enough to reach beyond racial divides to elect our first African-American president let us not forget that we remain a nation still proudly practicing prejudice.”

Read the full article by clicking on the following link…Harvey Fierstein - Historic For Some, Same Old Sh*t For The Rest Of Us

ImageI agree with Melissa Etheridge. All gay people in California should NOT PAY their state taxes until we are once again recognized as equal. As she notes, we should stop paying federal taxes as well, since we’re less equal there…

“Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.”

Read the full blog by clicking on the following link: Melissa Etheridge - You Can Forget My Taxes

ImageIn June it was estimated that legal same sex marriage would add 63 million to the state’s economy. With Prop 8 passed, however, California businesses are already seeing the economic results. The New York Times summarizes in the following article.

“Even as opponents of the measure officially conceded defeat on Thursday, California business owners — particularly those in the marriage business — were trying to determine how many wedding cakes would now go unsold and how many tuxedos unrented.

Arturo Cobos, a manager at Kard Zone in the city’s traditionally gay Castro neighborhood, said he had done “big sales” of same-sex wedding cards and other trinkets since marriages began in June, but had recently stopped stocking new goods.

“We were afraid that they would pass Proposition 8,” Mr. Cobos said, “and that’s exactly what happened.”

Read the full article by clicking on the following link…Demise Of Same Sex Weddings Disheartens Businesses

ImageThe ACLU, Lambda Legal and the National Center For Lesbian Rights filed a writ petition before the California Supreme Court on Wednesday to invalidate Proposition 8, stating,

The California Constitution itself sets out two ways to alter the document that sets the most basic rules about how state government works. Through the initiative process, voters can make relatively small changes to the constitution. But any measure that would change the underlying principles of the constitution must first be approved by the legislature before being submitted to the voters. That didn't happen with Proposition 8, and that's why it's invalid.”

Read the complete article by clicking here: ACLU Lawsuit Against Prop 8

Sign a petition that hundreds of thousands have already signed to send a message to the Governor of California about the passage of Proposition 8. Click on the following link.

http://www.petitiononline.com/seg5130/petition.html

ImageCheck out these videos posted on YouTube by people from Fresno. There are videos of recent demonstrations and rallies, including the entire speech given by Christina Chavez at the rally on November 2nd, which was brilliant and moving, as well as the closing speech by the very brave Father Geoffrey Farrow. Click on the links to access the videos. (The YouTube user names follow each video name in the links)

The Journey To Defeat Prop 8 In Fresno (sadstorygirl)

No On Prop 8 Fresno (mamasails2)

No on Prop 8 - Cesar Chavez's Granddaughter @ Fresno Rally (marcs501tim)

BIG No On 8 Rally In Fresno (mikerhodes93705)

Keynote Speaker Addresses No On 8 Rally (mikerhodes93705)

ImageOne thing I’ve always said regarding the battle for LGBT equal rights, was that the movement is far too passive, even “respectful” of those who legislate against us, as they have now done again.

I’m not condemning  any of the incredible efforts made by LGBT camps in our fight against Proposition 8. On occasion after occasion I was very moved by the rallies, the crowds, and especially the younger people, of all degrees of sexuality, who energetically participated in the campaign. But as someone in his forties, who’s been watching this battle unfold much longer than many of those volunteers have been alive, my conception of how the battle should be fought was, and is, much more  aggressive than what was carried out.

ImageI found an excellent article today on Huffington Post by Shaun Jacob Halper regarding the passing of Prop 8. It starts…

“This past Election Tuesday, Californians turned out in droves to recognize the rights of caged-chickens while denying the rights of gays and lesbians to marry. Passing Prop 2 and Prop 8, Californians secured a chicken's right to "extend its wings, lie down, stand up, and turn around" in confinement, while revoking basic democratic rights from gays; rights like equal protection under the law, the ability to pursue happiness, and the freedom to worship religion without state interference.”

Read the rest of this article HERE

ImageI spoke to Marsha Allen, Supervisor Of Clerk Services, at the Fresno County Clerk's Office today, after Gay Fresno was contacted by The Fresno Bee and informed that same sex marriage services through the County Clerk's Office had been suspended this afternoon. Marsha verified that they have suspended such services, after being notified by the Sonoma County office that it might be wise to do so. While Proposition 8 may still have votes to be counted, it's looking likely that it will pass, and as such, Marsha relayed to me that the normal procedure would be to cease same sex services immediately. She also referenced the Secretery of State's website as stating the propostion will pass. While the County Clerk's office is not certain of the outcome, as no one is at this point, they have suspended the services as well as turned the matter over to the County Counsel, from whom they are currently awaiting a response as to how to proceed. Gay Fresno has also been made aware that the legality of this decision is being investigated by LGBT sources.

ImageCalifornia’s Proposition 8, banning same sex marriage, likely will pass. 95% of the votes are in, and while there are still outstanding ballots to be counted, it seems likely the proposition will succeed. Read the story HERE . Our next move will be back in the courts as at least three lawsuits are already being prepared. 

UPDATE: Latest numbers show 98% of the votes are in with 52% Yes and 48% No. Fresno County shows 100% of votes in with 69% Yes and 31% No.

GET THE LATEST RESULTS PLUS SPECIFIC PROP 8 RESULTS BY CALIFORNIA COUNTY AT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

Latest Ballot Measure Numbers

Prop 8 Results By County 

OTHER PROPOSITION & AMENDMENT RESULTS:

ARKANSAS INITIATIVE  1 (BANNING GAY COUPLES FROM ADOPTING) PASSED, ARIZONA PROP 102 (BANNING GAY MARRIAGE) PASSED, CALIFORNIA PROP 4 (PARENTAL NOTIFICATION FOR ABORTION) FAILED,  COLORADO AMENDMENT 48 (HUMAN LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION) FAILED, FLORIDA AMENDMENT 2 (BANNING  GAY MARRIAGE) PASSED, MICHIGAN PROP 1 (MEDICAL MARIJUANA) PASSED, MICHIGAN PROP 2 (ALLOW STEM CELL RESEARCH) PASSED, SOUTH DAKOTA INITIATIVE 11 (ABORTION LIMITS) FAILED, WASHINGTON INITITIVE 1000 (ALLOW ASSISTED SUICIDE) PASSED.

You may have noticed the Fresno Bee decided to not cover last Sundays No on Prop 8 rally, although every other media outlet did.  The Bee did a front page spread on the "Yes on 8" rally that happened the week prior in the exact same location.  This strikes as unfair and purely partisan on their part.  But, don't let us be the ones to tell you, take less than a minute and give them a call!  The following was submitted by Sara Martinez:

I know a lot of people are upset that The Fresno Bee did not cover our No on 8 Rally on Sunday. Even after the Yes on 8 rally had front page coverage last Monday.  If you are going to cover one such event, equal coverage should be given to the other. So now is our time to let our voices be heard.  Please call or email Betsy Lumvy at 441-6207 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Please respectfully let her know that you are disappointed that the Bee did not cover our rally, equal in size to that of the Yes on 8 rally.  However, it is also important that we remember that the Fresno Bee did not endorse Prop 8, and we must thank them for that.  Please call Jim Boren at 441-6307 for voicing opposition to Prop 8.  We need to both let them know we are disappointed, but also let them know that their opposition to Prop 8 is appreciated!!!

Sara Martinez
CCA Vice-President

ImageThe No On 8 Rally held on Sunday, November 2nd at Fresno's City Hall was a huge success, with hundreds of people showing up in support. There were several speakers, including Father Geoffrey Farrow. The rally was dynamic, well organized and energy levels were high, with a boisterous, vocal crowd and uplifting speeches. After the rally, we marched in unison to the Fresno County Clerk's Office where we gathered together to sing "We Shall Overcome". It was truly an inspiring day. VIEW PHOTOS by Mike Rhodes of the November 2nd Rally by clicking here:  http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/11/02/18548585.php

Image

 
 

Touch Of Pink   Written and Directed by Ian Iqbal Rashid / Rated R / Starring: Jimi Mistry, Kyle Maclachlan, with Suleka Mathew, Kristen Holden-Reid, Veena Sood and Brian George

 

Review by: Leon Velasco  Rating: Thumbs up

I, and anyone else who has to overcome a cultural barrier for being yourself and having to mask your true self, will be able to fully relate with it. The constant changing of; he/she, or vice versa, is a constant battle to remember. Not only must we conform to the outside world but to our heavily judgmental ancestral-cultural ways of the norm. The present social conformity is more lenient, however some relatives aren’t. Not only does it touch base with that but what of the “mixed” couples? Some factors are slightly looked at as well. This is a good movie about how in front of “Family” we are different when they don’t have a clue.

This article takes a look at the financial and legal issues that all same-sex couples should know. It does a great job of breaking down the financial aspect of the inequalities that same-sex couples face. Click Here to read more.

Image With Christmas and the end of the year fast approaching, there’s no better time to donate cash or goods to any number of nonprofit organizations. Christmas in America has become crass and excessive, with a constant barrage of advertising targeted to empty our pockets on yet another material possession we probably don’t need. While people camp outside department stores for two days just so they can buy the latest tech gadget, there are a multitude of organizations which could put some of our money to much better use, helping any number of people in need. Most donations are also tax deductible, but in order to be valid for the tax year of 2007, they must be made by December 31st.  

ImageImage The World AIDS Day Celebration will be held on Saturday, December 1st , from 5:30PM to 8:00PM at the historic Tower Theater located at 815 E Olive Avenue in the Tower District. This annual event is free of charge and will include viewing of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, guest speakers, and live local entertainment. Please see the attached poster for more information.

ImageImageImageLight To Unite ImageFacts

ImageWorld AIDS Day - Huffington Post Article LINK

Image The largest study of it’s kind is currently underway to seek answers to what role genetics play in homosexuality. While scientists suspect that more than one gene is involved in the process, finding one with a significant contribution would be groundbreaking. Critics point out that if the genetic roots of homosexuality are discovered, that information could be used in the future to try to “cure” homosexuality. At the same time, a significant discovery in genetics would help greatly in silencing those who condemn homosexuality as “abnormal” or “sin”. Click on the following link to read the story. Gay Brothers May Hold Genetic Clues To Homosexuality - LINK

Image The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the ENDA, The Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This groundbreaking legislation, which would provide protection from discrimination in employment for gays and lesbians, now must move through the Senate and head to President’s desk, where it’s possible it could be vetoed by ol’ GW, depending on recent changes made. Click on the following link to read the story.
House Approves Broad Protections For Gay Workers - LINK

Image Shocker! There are more closeted Republicans voting against gay rights while secretly having gay sex! Seems like it will literally never stop. Check out this column about the latest…Republican Sexcapades, which involves a Washington State Republican Representative by the name of Richard Curtis, who has voted against Domestic Partnership bills as well as a bill which would protect employees based on sexual orientation…Check out this video coverage from MSNBC…Live With Dan Abrams - Republican Curtis Sex Scandal. Then, for a laugh, check out these videos…Ambiguously Gay Duo on Bathroom Sex & Wanda Sykes on Gay Marriage. Then, off topic but still funny, check out one of the latest New Rules With Bill Maher… 

In October of 1998, Matthew Shepard , 21 years old and living in Wyoming, was robbed and violently beaten by two men who had offered to give him a ride home. Left tied to a fence, Shepard was not found for 18 hours. After five days in the hospital, he died from his injuries.

Image The Reel Pride Film Festival has been showcasing cutting edge and ground breaking GLBT films in Fresno for the past 18 years. With another successful festival under their belt, Reel Pride is committed to bringing more films to Fresno, more often. They will be offering film selections on a regular basis during the break between festivals. The premier film, Another Gay Movie, will play on Friday, November 24th at the Tower Theater.  I sat down with Jon Carroll, President of Reel Pride, at Irene’s in the Tower to talk about the  festival past and present.

Chris Jarvis: Is it true Reel Pride is considering doing a monthly film?

Jon Carroll: It was an idea we were pitching around trying to figure out what we wanted to do. Ideally we’d like to do that. It’s not actually going to be every month. We’d like it to be every month but we’re not quite at that point yet. Last year we did three screenings between the closing and opening of the festival. This year we’ll do four.

On Friday November 24, 2006, Reel Pride Film Festival presents its Night Out! screening of Another Gay Movie  by Todd Stephens at the Tower Theatre at 8:00pm.  General admission is $10 per person and $5 for Reel Pride VIP Members.

Director Todd Stephens (writer/producer of Edge of Seventeen, and the  writer/director/producer of Gypsy '83) breaks new ground in queer cinema by taking the straight teen comedy and reinventing it as a lavender extravaganza that features a who’s who of gay celebrities like Lypsinka (doing her best Mommie Dearest); Graham Norton as Mr. Puckov, their prodigiously endowed, anything-goes exchange teacher; Scott Thompson as Andy’s uncomfortably accepting father with a secret of his own; Darryl Stephens (“Noah’s Arc”) as a sexed up aerobics instructor and Matthew Rush, who “rises” to the occasion as a date gone bad.

Image  Apply for 2007-08 BULLDOG PRIDE FUND Scholarship
The Scholarship Office at Fresno State is currently accepting applications for the 2007-08 academic year. Entering or existing, undergraduate or graduate students that have “demonstrated pride in the community” are eligible to apply for the BPF scholarship. The 2nd Annual BPF Scholarship is expected to be $1,000 and will be awarded in the Fall of 2007. The application period closes on November 31, 2006.  DETAILS: WWW.BULLDOGPRIDE.ORG

There is nothing like the joy of coming home after a hard day of work.  If you’re like me, you might put on some music, take a shower, coke some food, light candles and incense, and just simply relax.  Or maybe you’re a television watcher or a book reader, well whatever it is you do at home, I’m sure your glad you have one.  Well, that’s not the case for all people.  I just recently had an encounter with someone who had AIDS and he had trouble finding himself somewhere to live.  Particularly he was looking for a clean and sober living environment like a home of some type that could help him.  But the problem was, he said none of the places that he tried would accept him because he had AIDS!

redribbonwht.jpg        
    AIDS seems to be a disease that has never succumbed to predictability. In fact, it’s a constant mutation, intent on surviving and conquering. Although AIDS has become more manageable that it used to be, it’s still a critically dangerous disease. 

            But even with the danger of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, there are strange dynamics playing out. For gay men, “Barebacking”, the practice of having unprotected sex for the thrill, is a well known term. Men on the “down low” endanger unknowing spouses by having secret and often unprotected sex with other men. AIDS, now more than 23 years in our lives, carries less weight than it used to, making younger generations fear it less and less. It’s a problem when a society becomes so accustomed to something that they forget, at times, it’s even there.

            Has our apathy become the catalyst HIV needs?
ImageNovember 6th held a day of Controversy between the LGBT Community and The Focus on the Family's ‘Love Won Out’ conference at Peoples Church.