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Indiana Governor Backtracks, Change to Anti-Gay Law Must Be On His Desk By End of Week. But is it Enough?

March 31st, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

Because of national backlash against the Religious Freedom Law that allows for legal discrimination against gays and lesbians, Governor of Indiana Mike Pence, asked for legislation to be sent to his desk this week that makes clear that the law cannot be used to deny services to anyone. However, Pence did not offer specifics to his request and did not offer support for LGBT non-discrimination protections. Pence said he wants to see on his desk “legislation this week that makes it clear that this law does not give the right to deny services to anyone.” He continued, “I’m determined to address this this week and to move forward as a state.”

This may not go far enough. LGBT organizations, including the HRC, want Pence to sign “Fairness for All Hoosiers Act”  that would:

  • Update the state’s civil rights laws against discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations to provide protections for LGBT Hoosiers.
  • Clarify that the recently enacted Indiana religious discrimination law cannot be used to allow discrimination prohibited under state or local laws.
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Ohio Attorney General: Gays Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Marry Because They’re Already Too Powerful

March 31st, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

A legal brief filed to the US Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage in Ohio shows that the state’s attorney general believes that gays are already too powerful therefore they shouldn’t have the right to marry. The conservative logic comes from Attorney General Mike DeWine who says that the 14th Amendment in his brief.

Heightened scrutiny does not apply because there is no fundamental right to the recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages. Such a right would conflict with our Nation’s traditions in two ways,” the brief states. “All States denied the asserted right to same-sex marriage until recently. And a right to ‘protection and recognition’ falls outside the general right to privacy within which the specific marriage right sits. Nor has a new consensus emerged for a new right. Even today, a majority of States would adhere to marriage‟s traditional definition absent federal judicial mandates. And an international perspective does not change the analysis.

The real gem comes when DeWine says that governmental support for gay marriage is evidence that the gay and lesbian community, have not been “relegated to such a position of political powerlessness.” Therefore discrediting the Supreme Court’s previous rulings.

Find out more about his brief over at Raw Story.

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Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against Southeastern Oklahoma State University for Firing Gender-Transitioning Professor

March 31st, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

The Justice Department announced today the filing of a lawsuit against Southeastern Oklahoma State University (Southeastern) and the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against a transgender employee on the basis of her sex and retaliating against her when she complained about the discrimination.  Attorney General Eric Holder announced in December 2014 that the Department of Justice takes the position that Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination is best read to extend the statute’s protection to claims based on an individual’s gender identity, including transgender status.

Find out more from the State Department after the jump…

Read more…

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Jeb Bush, Rand Paul Support Anti-Gay Religious Freedom Laws

March 31st, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

In a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and a GOP 2016 frontrunner, embraced the widely denounced and discriminatory anti-LGBT legislation that Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law last Thursday. He’s not the only one, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and another GOP 2016 potential candidate, said he doesn’t believe in “gay rights” because doing so would be giving rights based on “behavior.” While the national backlash against the harmful measure has been swift and brutal—and as Pence and Indiana lawmakers who supported the law have said they’re seeking to “clarify” it—Bush (and Paul) spoke up to defend the law. Their support comes as many private-sector leaders have denounced the legislation and others like it, including Apple CEO Tim Cook.

In the interview Bush said: “I think, if you, if they actually got briefed on the law that [sic] they wouldn’t be blasting this law. I think Governor Pence has done the right thing.”

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Hollywood Glamour, LGBT Travel Professionals Meet at Montage Beverly Hills for Foundation Gala

March 30th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
IGLTA Foundation Gala at 2014's  IGLTA Global Convention.

IGLTA Foundation Gala at 2014’s IGLTA Global Convention.

The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association’s Annual Global Convention kicks off in Los Angeles next week with travel professionals from across the world coming together at the Montage Beverly Hills to raise money for the IGLTA Foundation—an arm of IGLTA that provides scholarships, marketing assistance for emerging destinations, and conducts research. On April 8, from 7-9 P.M., guests will enjoy refreshments on the gorgeous terrace of Montage Beverly Hills (a member of Preferred Pride), where playful old-school Hollywood glam meets modern-day sophistication.

Image via IGLTAFoundation.

Image via IGLTAFoundation.

Between mingling with fellow guests including Looking‘s Daniel Franzese, a silent auction of five timeless Elizabeth Taylor prints will benefit both the Foundation and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Lucky party-goers have the chance to walk away with raffle prizes including a two-night stay at the Hôtel Villa Rivoli, a charming property in the center of Nice, France; a Pullman Cabin aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express Train on the Singapore to Bangkok journey, presented by Belmond; a two-night stay at the luxurious Belmond Charleston Place in the heart of downtown Charleston, South Carolina; and a $2,000 Delta Vacations gift certificate.

Click here to purchase your tickets to the event. 

 

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Celebrate Pride in Phuket, Thailand

March 30th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Gay Phuket Facebook.

Image via Gay Phuket Facebook.

Celebrate the LGBT community at Asia’s largest Pride event, Phuket Pride from April 19-26. Pride week will consist of 25 events over eight days including three sporting events, an educational film screening, a sunset beach party, street parties in Sol Paradise, a charity auction, pool party, a charity dinner and wine tasting, and a grand Pride parade through the streets of Patong watched by thousands. And with this year’s theme, “Freedom to Live,” you’ll find that in the Land of Smiles, you’ll feel perfectly free to enjoy the LGBT community.

More info can be found on their Facebook! as well as on their website. 

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Outrage at Jamie Foxx Over Transphobic Bruce Jenner Jokes

March 30th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Screen Cap via YouTube

Screen Cap via YouTube

It’s seems like Bruce Jenner, who is reportedly undergoing a gender transition, is the butt of many jokes, despite never publicly announcing that he is transgender. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped comedians like Jamie Foxx from making fun of Jenner. At last night’s televised I Heart Radio Award Foxx MCed the evening and opened up by saying. “”We got some groundbreaking performances, here too, tonight,” Foxx said. “We got Bruce Jenner, who will be doing some musical performances. He’s doing a his-and-her duet all by himself,” said Foxx with a picture of Jenner on the screen. “I’m just busting your balls—while I still can.”

This type of humor is dangerous, especially during a concert-type awards show where many high school- and middle school-aged kids watch. Luckily his joke was poorly received, particularly by the celebrities in the audience. Perez Hilton immediately fired back saying: “Boo! Shame on you #iHeartAwards for allowing @iamjamiefoxx to be transphobic on national television! Those #BruceJenner jokes were wrong!!!”

Watch the clip after the jump…

Read more…

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Will Indiana’s Law Allow Business Owners to Discriminate? Watch Governor Pence Dodge Question Eight Times on National TV

March 30th, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Screen Cap via YouTube

Screen Cap via YouTube

Not once or twice, but eight times Indiana Governor Mike Pence avoided a “Yes or No” question about whether or not Indiana’s new religious freedom bill would legally protect business owners from discriminating against gays and lesbians. The brutal interview yesterday morning on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos showed the governor’s true colors. The HRC has created a great video that highlights the each time the gov ignored the question.

Stephanopoulos asked multiple straightforward questions, and Pence repeatedly refused to answer whether the law would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT Hoosiers or whether discrimination against LGBT Hoosiers should be illegal.  Pence did indicate that he would not advocate for adding sexual orientation as a protected class under the state’s civil rights laws, that they “weren’t going to change” SB 101, although it may be “clarified.”

You can watch the full interview after the jump…

Read more…

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Angie’s List Stops Indiana Expansion Due to Anti-Gay “Religious Freedom” Law

March 28th, 2015 Robert
Screen shot via www.facebook.com/angieslist

Screen shot via www.facebook.com/angieslist

Angie’s List is letting the anti-gay bigots in Indiana know that she does not support their so-called “Religious Freedom” law. This well-known and respected company may even move out of Indiana altogether. Read the report below from CNN that takes a closer look at what’s is going on in Indiana and why companies like Apple, Eli Lilly, NCAA, GEN CON and others have had enough of discriminatory legislation.

Click here to find out what’s really going on in Indiana.

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Celebrating Romance, Travel, and the Joy of Life with Daniel Boulud & Friends

March 28th, 2015 Robert
Chef Daniel Boulud

Chef Daniel Boulud

Global superstar chef marries his young bride at fabulous hilltop Tuscan-style mansion, then whisks her away to a fairytale lakeside hotel in northern Italy for their honeymoon.

That’s how celebrity toque Daniel Boulud celebrated his marriage to Katherine Gage in 2013, first tying the knot at the Relais & Chateaux Glenmere Mansion in Chester, N.Y. before jetting off to the Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli on Lake Garda in historic Gargano.

This week, Chef Boulud was joined by Chef Geoffroy Deconinck of Glenmere and Chef Stefano Baiocco of Villa Feltrinelli in preparing a five-course lunch to remember the occasion at Boulud’s two Michelin-starred Daniel on New York’s Upper East Side.

Chef Baiocco, Markus Odermatt, Chef Boulud, Alan Stenberg, Chef Deconinck

Chef Baiocco, Markus Odermatt, Chef Boulud, Alan Stenberg, Chef Deconinck

With Alan Stenberg, co-owner of Glenmere (along with Daniel DeSimone, both of whom I once profiled for Passport) and Markus Odermatt, general manager of the 1892 Villa Feltrinelli (formerly Mussolini’s summer home) attending the intimate gathering of friends and gourmands, we were treated to an unprecedented culinary adventure enlivened by stories of romance, travel, and the joy of life.

Read more…

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