This week we mark the one year anniversary of our Supreme Court victory in Hollingsworth v. Perry that returned marriage equality to the nation's most populous state, California.

case-against-8Join us tonight to relive history by watching The Case Against 8 on HBO. The moving film premiers tonight at 9pm in all time zones and is also available on HBO On Demand and HBOGO.

This documentary, created and directed by Ryan White and Ben Cotner, is a unique behind-the-scenes look at AFER's fight to restore marriage equality in California. Produced independently from the Foundation, the film team was given exclusive access into our meeting rooms and the lives of our four courageous plaintiffs. 

Awarded the Directing Award for a U.S. Documentary at Sundance Film Festival, the film offers unprecedented insight into the courtroom battle and the emotional journey we had taking the case to the Supreme Court.

The San Francisco Chronicle calls it "a riveting film," and The Village Voice reviewed it as "highly entertaining and beautifully human."

The film, which tells the story of the four plaintiffs and their families throughout their personal fight for equality, has also won the Audience award at SXSW and the award for Best Documentary at Vail Film Festival.

Make sure to catch this powerful film as we get ready to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Perry decision on Thursday. May it remind us of how tough battles are won and of the tremendous amount of work we have ahead of us. 

Sincerely,


Adam Umhoefer
Executive Director
American Foundation for Equal Rights

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Quick! What time is it? And if you do know (or don't) what's that got to do with a computer and tech column?
Well, the answer is everything and giving credit where credit is due, we have been struggling with the time on our computers, our phones, iPads, our "atomic clock" and our regular, old watches for awhile now because they all show different times at the same time. So what IS the time?
Oh, and about that credit...just when I thought I was the only one having this issue along comes, in The Telegraph, the British national newspaper I read daily on www. pressreader.com (It's a great paid service with thousands of the world's newspapers available for computer, iPad and Droid and worth checking out.) where in a column entitled "Time has lost all meaning in the digital age" by Alexander Armstrong I see the same issue raised. In it, Armstrong worries about what will become of "the pips." No, not the Gladys Knight ones, but those the BBC has been broadcasting for nine decades to signify the precise top of each hour. There are five "beeps" (to use a different word than pips) followed by a longer tone signifying exactly when the top of the hour has been reached.

The problem, as we sorted out at our house a few months back and Armstrong discussed in his column, is that with all the different media we have these days, no time signal (pips, beeps, that tone CBS Radio uses to start their hourly news or even the NPR top of the hour indicator) really tells when the clock is straight up at any hour for that matter. The reason is the delivery method, and that can cause quite a discrepancy.

Armstrong found out about the problem when he tried listening in Christmas Eve to the annual Lessons & Carols from King's College Cambridge in every room of his home. He reports he put on the broadcast on a regular FM, his internet radio, his iPhone, a digital (in this country called HD) radio and on his computer only to find that he could not listen in even- room of his home simultaneously because his devices were not in synch — off by over a minute from the first to the last to hit the show's 3 o'clock start.

Dear Mz. Pink,

My girlfriend and I have been together for a while now, and I love being with her. But we argue all the time. I mean we argue about everything from the color of an object to the temperature outside. I hate it that we argue all the time, but to make matters worse, she thinks she is always right even when she is wrong. Of course, with this being her thought process I can't make her understand some things and another argument ensues. Please help. I need to be the bigger person and not fall victim to arguments and it's hard sometimes. How can this become easier?

Argued Out

Its a good thing to have some savings. When you put the money in a low-risk account you can be pretty sure it will be readily available when you need it. Nonetheless, "saving" is not "investing" — and knowing the difference could pay off for you far into the future.

Think about it this way: unless that Leprechaun is for real and you manage to find that pot of gold, saving is for today, while investing is for tomorrow.

You need your savings to pay for your daily expenses, such as groceries, and your monthly bills — mortgage, utilities, and so on. In fact, you might even want your savings to include an emergency fund containing six to 12 months' worth of living expenses to pay for unexpected costs, such as a new furnace, replacing frozen pipes so many had this past Winter or a major car repair.

These are all "here and now" expenses — and you could use your savings to pay for them. But in thinking of your long-term goals, such as college for any children you and/or your partner have, a comfortable retirement for yourself and him or her, most individuals typically can't simply rely on their savings — they'll need to invest.
Why? Because, quite simply, investments can grow — and you will need this growth potential to help achieve your objectives — be they a beach house in Key West, a round-the-world cruise or just a relaxing, worry-free retirement when the time comes.

To illustrate the difference between saving and investing, let's do a quick comparison.

Suppose you put $200 per month into a savings account that paid hypothetical 3% interest (which is actually higher than the rates typically being paid today).
After 30 veal's, you would have accumulated about $106,000, assuming you were in the 25% federal tax bracket. Now, suppose you put that same $200 per month in a tax- deferred investment that hypothetically earned 7% a year. At the end of 30 years, you would end up with about $243,000. (Keep in mind that you would have to pay taxes on withdrawals. Also note that "hypotheticals" do not include any transaction costs or other fees.)

This enormous disparity between the amounts accumulated in the two accounts clearly shows the difference between "saving" and "investing." Still, you might be thinking that investing is risky, while savings accounts carry much less risk. And it is certainly true that investing does involve risks — as I always tell my customers (and I am required by law to remind them of this regularly): investments can lose value and there's no guarantee that losses will be recovered.

Nonetheless, if you put all your money in savings, you're actually incurring an even bigger risk — the risk of not achieving your financial goals. In fact, a low-rate savings account might not even keep up with inflation, which means that, over time, you just might lose purchasing power.
That means, for example, if you get a paltry three tenths of a percent which many savings accounts are paying nowadays, you'd be better off to spend that money because by leaving it in the bank you actually will be losing ground. Your buying power with it might well be less in two, three or 10 years than it is now.

So ultimately, the question isn't whether you should save or invest — you need to do both. But you do need to decide how much of your financial resources to devote toward savings and how much toward investments. By paying close attention to your cash flow, you should be able to get a good idea of the best savings and investment mix for your particular situation.

For example, if you find yourself constantly dipping into your long-term investments to pay for short-term needs, you probably don't have enough money in savings. On the other hand, if you consistently find yourself with large sums in your savings account even after you've paid all your bills, you might be "sitting" on too much cash — which means you should consider moving some of this money into investments with growth potential.

Saving and investing — that's a winning combination.

Final few hours to enter our annual Pride Month FREE Raffle 

Over $700 in prizes!!!

raffle-prizes To enterclick here and fill out a quick entry form. No cost and no purchase necessary! You can enter daily, but the contest ends at 11:59pm on June 30th, so hurry!




A very special thanks to our donors for this year...

 

Kwirkworld River Park
Gift Bag with various items, valued at $135 

Michael Craghead Stables
Certificate for 3 riding lessons, valued at $125

Ficarra Studios
Certificate for Studio Session & 8x10 portrait, valued at $100

Starbucks - Herndon & Milburn
Four mugs, two bags of coffee beans, two starbucks via coffee bags, valued at over $60

Amenities Day Spa & Salon Fig Garden
Certificate for Spa & Salon, valued at $50 

Frosted Cakery
One dozen cupcakes, valued at $30

Chase Flowers
Certificate for Flowers, valued at $50.

Bobby Salazar's
Gift card for dining, valued at $25 

RWF Company 
2 engraved Beer Steins, valued at $50

Brass Unicorn
Gift box with Aroma burner, oil and discount card, $59 value

Ruben’s Barber Shop
Certificate for Shave & Haircut, valued at $25 

Total US Retail Value of all prizes is $709

Our annual Pride Month FREE Raffle is going strong
and we're pleased to announce the items up for grabs!

Over $700 in prizes!!!

raffle-prizes To enterclick here and fill out a quick entry form. No cost and no purchase necessary! You can enter daily, but the contest ends June 30th, so hurry!




A very special thanks to our donors for this year...

 

Kwirkworld River Park
Gift Bag with various items, valued at $135 

Michael Craghead Stables
Certificate for 3 riding lessons, valued at $125

Ficarra Studios
Certificate for Studio Session & 8x10 portrait, valued at $100

Starbucks - Herndon & Milburn
Four mugs, two bags of coffee beans, two starbucks via coffee bags, valued at over $60

Amenities Day Spa & Salon Fig Garden
Certificate for Spa & Salon, valued at $50 

Frosted Cakery
One dozen cupcakes, valued at $30

Chase Flowers
Certificate for Flowers, valued at $50.

Bobby Salazar's
Gift card for dining, valued at $25 

RWF Company 
2 engraved Beer Steins, valued at $50

Brass Unicorn
Gift box with Aroma burner, oil and discount card, $59 value

Ruben’s Barber Shop
Certificate for Shave & Haircut, valued at $25 

Total US Retail Value of all prizes is $709

Dear Dr. Fred:

I'm a middle-aged gay male, newly single after a recent, painful break-up. The most helpful person to me in going through this rough time was my co-worker Pam. Pam is a middle-aged lesbian, also single, with a huge heart and loyal as can be. I never could have gotten through the last few months without her.

Problem is, Pam is also one of the most opinionated people I've ever known, and doesn't hesitate to air her very strong opinions anywhere and everywhere, always very loudly.

She's a tea party conservative and proud of it and likes to vent her outrage over the current administrations "total incompetence, dishonesty and stupidity." While I agree Washington is a mess, I happen to like Obama, so it actually hurts my feelings sometimes when she goes off on one of her rants and then gets even more revved up if I try to say anything in his defense.

Things really came to a head recently on Facebook. After the President's state of the union address the other night, Pam went on a true rampage there, trashing him, everything he'd said, his policies, his plans, even his wife and kids. She really got 'out there" over the course of the evening. I posted a response, trying to defend him, but that was a big mistake, because it just got her more agitated, calling him a Muslim, saying he's not even an American citizen, etc., etc. It got so bizarre that I "unfriended" her— not because I don't want to be her friend in real life, but just to end her crazy postings on my FB page.

So now Pam isn't speaking to me. When we cross paths at work she looks the other way or stares me down with hate in her eyes. I want to somehow get across to her that I still want to be friends, just not on Facebook, as that site isn't good for our friendship. Any suggestions?
In spite of her quirks, I really miss my friend.

Signed Me,
Sad Man on Facebook

PecsnCityWhen you step into a boxing ring, you know what's coming. The wet slap of a glove in your eye socket, the jaw-rattling right cross that shakes your teeth inside your mouth guard, even the burn of the ropes on your back when you are corralled by your opponent.

For those of you who will never set foot in a ring, here's another way to look at it: when it's time for a shot from the doctor, you see the needle, you look away and the sharp sting follows like the farewell of a bee on a burning Summer's day. Pain is real and bright and it usually announces itself before it comes so you always know what happens next. But in our day-to-day lives, we spend most of our time avoiding any unnecessary discomfort. Therefore when you meet someone who ignites your heart, you do whatever it takes to avoid any pain.

Everyone has something to hide. Whether it's a secret crush or a hidden rage or a crippling emotional problem, it can lie buried beneath layers of designer clothes, well-honed muscle or a frozen smile that masks the real feeling inside. Sometimes it bubbles to the surface — usually when we least expect it. The crush is revealed after a couple of drinks, the rage is ignited over a tiny slight or the emotional barrier crumbles even though you are in the warm, safe confines of a relationship. So why do we hide the things that make us human? Why do we hide the beat of our heart and the truth in our soul? Because we are all afraid of getting hurt.

Gallupadoption-550x305
A new gay adoption poll shows that it has more support in the US than marriage equality.

Joe.My.God reports:

A clear majority of Americans (63%) say same-sex couples should have the legal right to adopt a child, the most to say so since Gallup began tracking opinions on the matter more than 20 years ago. This is higher than Americans’ support for same-sex marriage (55%). A majority of Americans across all major demographics now say same-sex couples should have the legal right to adopt a child. This includes among all key political persuasions: 80% support among Democrats, 61% support among independents, and 51% support among Republicans. This majority support for legally permitting same-sex couples to adopt a child is also the case among different age groups. Young people between the ages of 18 and 29 are most likely to support the idea, with 77% saying same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children.

I’m kind of stunned by these numbers, in a good way – in France and Malta, gay adoption was the deal-breaker, while marriage and civil unions in and of themselves were kind of shrugged off.

hiv-aidsSadly, Fresno has made a list no city wants to be on.  The top 25 list of cities by HIV/AIDS diagnosis.  But the facts don't lie.  HIV and AIDS are ever-present throughout America. Here are the current HIV and AIDS rates according to the U.S. Census Department:

So, in Fresno's case, their are 13.5 HIV/AIDS cases for every 100,000 people and a total of 1,829 reported cases. These are just the people who are tested and reported.  Know your status, talk to your partner.

HIV RATES Per 100,000/Cumulative number of cases

1 Miami, Florida    37.2/64,573
2 Baton Rouge, Louisiana    30.6 /4,565
3 Jacksonville, Florida    29.1/ 7,292
4 New York, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania   27/ 223,508
5 Washington, D.C.-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia    26.6 /37,916
6 Columbia, South Carolina    23.5 /3,949
7 Memphis, Tennessee-Mississippi-Arkansas   23.3/ 6,018
8 Orlando, Florida   23.3 /10,457
9 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana    23/ 9,941
10 Baltimore-Towson, Maryland    22.8/ 23,875
11 Jackson, Mississippi   22.2/ 2,881
12 San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo, Puerto Rico  20 /24,126
13 Lakeland, Florida   18.9/ 2,210
14 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia    18.7/ 27,313
15 San Francisco, California    18.3/ 44,422
16 Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida 17.4/ 13,135
17 San Antonio, Texas 12.3/5,892
18 Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, North Carolina-South Carolina    15.7/ 4,123
19 Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land, Texas    15.1 /29,556
20 Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina   14.4/ 2,423
21 Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina    14.3/ 2,632
22 Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, Tennessee   13.7/ 4,570
23 Fresno, California    13.5/ 1,829
24 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida    13.2/ 2,034
25 Columbus, Ohio    12.9 /3,966