US Court Affirms Strike Down of Gay Marriage Ban in Virginia

July 28th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today affirmed a district court ruling striking down Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The decision will not take effect immediately, but will go into effect in 21 days, unless the defendants file a motion to stay the ruling. The ruling will also be stayed if the defendants ask the full court of appeals to review the case. The case, Bostic v. Schaefer, included a certified class made up of approximately 14,000 same-sex couples in the commonwealth.

In his opinion, Judge Henry F. Floyd wrote: “Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.”

“The historic Supreme Court case that allowed for people of different races to marry, so providentially named Loving v. Virginia, started here,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, who argued the case for the class before the federal appeals court. “In the 47 years since, committed same-sex couples in the commonwealth have been patiently waiting for the freedom to marry the person they love. Today’s decision sends a message that everyone deserves the dignity and protection that only comes with marriage.”

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Enter to Win a Taste of Zurich: Five-Night Business-Class Trip to Zurich

July 28th, 2014 Joseph Pedro

Swiss Zurich Contest Entry Page Cover Photo

Did our latest Culinary Issue get your mouth watering for a taste of Switzerland?  Well, now’s your chance to enter our contest to win:

1) Two business-class ticket on Swiss International Air Lines to the city of Zürich.

2) Three gourmet meals by three acclaimed Swiss chefs

3) Five nights at Marriott Zürich

And it’s as easy as filling out THIS form. 

Want to enter more than once? Refer your friends to enter, and we’ll increase your odds.

 

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Gay Travel: World Eats, New York City

July 28th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Beauty and Essex. Image via Passport

Beauty and Essex. Image via Passport

by Amy Nordrum and Joseph Pedro

No matter where you live, it’s worth visiting New York City at least once a year if only to be able to talk about the newest restaurants and hottest food trends from experience. It really makes no difference whether you long for New York street food or prefer to chase down Michelin stars. Though classic New York staples like bagels as big as your head and dollar-a-slice pizza are here to stay, much of the flavor of New York comes from the rotating cast of characters who are constantly reinventing the city’s cuisine. The choices here highlight some of the city’s most exciting and creative chefs, as well as the meticulously prepared dishes served by the world’s most venerable restaurateurs.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…

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Alaska Supreme Court Says Gay Couples Should Receive Death Benefits

July 28th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Deobrah Harris (R) who sued for benefits. Image via Lambda

Deobrah Harris (R) who sued for benefits. Image via Lambda

Gay and lesbian couples must receive death benefits if their partner dies, despite the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled on Friday. According to the Reuters: “In ruling that a 1998 amendment to the state constitution forbidding same-sex marriage did not extend to barring death benefits for same-sex couples, the court overturned a decision by the Alaska Workers Compensation Board.” The case that decided the ruling involved an Anchorage woman who was denied benefits after her partner was shot by her employee at a hotel. The court said though that in denying the benefits the state “violates the surviving partner’s right to equal protection under the law.”

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Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban (Again) in Florida

July 26th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Today, a state trial court in Miami struck down Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, ordering Miami-Dade County to allow same-sex couples to marry. The court stayed the order pending appeal.  The couples argued that Florida’s ban on marriage equality cannot stand in light of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June 2013 that the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” violates the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Every court to consider these federal constitutional claims since last summer’s Supreme Court decision has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, including federal and state courts in Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

This decision comes two weeks after Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Luis Garcia issued a similar decision striking down  Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples and ordering Monroe County to allow same-sex couples to marry. The Monroe County decision was appealed by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, which automatically stayed the decision while the appeal is pending. [NCLR]

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Cocktail Music: Eli Lieb’s ‘Zepplin’

July 25th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Eli Lieb

Image via Eli Lieb

More than doubling his YouTube view count in the past year to 20 million, openly gay singer/songwriter Eli Lieb has gained international attention for his self-filmed videos where he sings popular hits from the likes of Katy Perry, Adele, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, and, most recently, Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” Along with his covers, Lieb has written and recorded original songs. His self-titled debut album was released in the fall of 2011, and it received positive reviews for his honesty and raw emotions. This past summer, he released a new power-pop single, “Young Love,” that went viral for reasons beyond the music.

His new video, “Zepplin,” released last week, shows off the singer’s knack for creating poppy, while still emotional, songs. This one has us loving those hot summer nights driving around.

Check it out after the jump…

Read more…

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Global Cocktail: Hotel del Coronado’s Comic-Con Inspired Silver Surfer

July 25th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Silver Surfer

Silver Surfer

Comic-Con International is in full swing this weekend in San Diego, and after elbowing through crowds filled with Storm Troopers, anime characters, True Blood fans, and a handful of people who still go for the comics, you’ll surely be needing a place to unwind from the madness. While keeping the spirit of the festivities alive, while being away from the action, Hotel del Coronado has created some Comi-Cocktails that will be served all weekend at their Sunset Bar. Similar to the powers of the character himself, the Silver Surfer cocktail wields “the power cosmic” and has the ability to make one feel like they can manipulate the universe’s ambient cosmic energy. Served up in a martini glass, this cocktail is a delicious blend of Patron Silver, Lillet, St. Germain Elderflower, Lemon, and Orange. Of course, you can use your powers of Mixology at home to make this, too.

Directions

Combine all ingredients, shake and strain into a martini glass and garnish with a large orange rind

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GayFest! Philadelphia’s Gay Theater Festival

July 25th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
You Know My Name.

You Know My Name.

Writer Rich Rubin clues us in on the super-gay theatrical happenings of Philly’s GayFest!

August is looking very gay in Philadelphia with the fourth annual GayFest!a festival of LGBT theater presented by Quince Productions. This year’s festival, August 5-23 at various theaters in Philadelphia, is bigger than ever: you can check out three special events, four mainstage plays, and five one-night stands (of the theatrical variety, that is!).

Special Events

GayFest! opens with a two-night performance (August 5-6) of Head Over Heels. New York-based dance company The Bang Group returns to open GayFest! after their triumphant appearance at GayFest! 2012 with “Misters and Sisters.” Their new show, in typically hilarious Bang Group fashion, presents an amalgam of influences from gay culture and street dance to MGM musicals.

Week 2 sees a special one-night only benefit for GayFest! and Equality PA: Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays a series of short plays by famous playwrights on the subject of same-sex marriage.

Week 3’s special event is the international hit show Confessions of a Mormon Boy Steven Fales’ one-man, which has wowed audiences from off-Broadway to London, Dublin, and Edinburgh. Before The Book of Mormon there was a Mormon Boy!

Find out about so much more that’s going on, check it out after the jump…

Read more…

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VIP Access: The Old Globe Gala on July 26

July 25th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
The post-performance party at the 2013 Globe Gala, Sept. 21, 2013. Photo by Doug Gates via The Broadway Blog.

The post-performance party at the 2013 Globe Gala, Sept. 21, 2013. Photo by Doug Gates via The Broadway Blog.

Calling all southern Californians! Head to the Old Globe this Saturday for the 2014 Globe Gala in support of the theater’s education and artistic programs. The annual event will feature a one-night-only performance by Broadway veteran and Tony Award winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy, Into the Woods, NBC’s The Sound of Music Live!, “The Good Wife,” “Go On”), based on her smash hit New York cabaret (and new CD) In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention. Nina Doede, Deni Jacobs, and Sheryl White serve as Co-Chairs of the 2014 Globe Gala. Leading underwriters include Audrey Geisel, Darlene Marcos Shiley, Conrad Prebys and Debra Turner, and Sheryl and Harvey White.

Laura Benanti (photo: The Old Globe via The Broadway Blog.)

Laura Benanti (photo: The Old Globe via The Broadway Blog.)

Laura Benanti has brought her unique abilities to comedies, dramas, and musicals since she took Broadway by storm at the age of 18. She received a Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and a Tony Award nomination for her starring role in the Broadway production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown for Lincoln Center Theater, where she also starred in Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room, or the vibrator play. Benanti also demonstrated her comic flair in The Public Theater’s production of Christopher Durang’s Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them.

Benanti earned the 2008 Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her revelatory portrayal of Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy opposite Patti LuPone and directed by Arthur Laurents. Her other Broadway roles include her Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award-nominated performance of Cinderella in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods and her sultry Tony-nominated turn in Swing! She also starred opposite Antonio Banderas as his muse in the celebrated revival of Nine. In September 2013, she released her debut album, In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention: Live at 54 Below on Broadway Records, to ecstatic reviews.

Find your VIP access over at The Broadway Blog…

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‘Respect Yourself and be Proud’ Model Andreja Pejic Comes Out as Transgender

July 25th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Facebook.

Image via Facebook.

The androgens supermodel, Andreja Pejic, most famous for her high-fashion modeling career posing as both male and female in both print and on the runway has come out as a transwoman and will no longer take jobs where she is required to pose as a man. The Australian model, who has also created a stunning line of jewelry to benefit the Ali Forney Center, told Entertainment Tonight, People.com, and Style.com that her agency supports her decision. “To all trans youth out there, I would like to say respect yourself and be proud of who you are. All human beings deserve equal treatment no matter their gender identity or sexuality. To be perceived as what you say you are is a basic human right,” she told GLAAD, an organization that helped her and her team with the social aspects of her transition. “As a transgender woman I hope to show that after transition (a life-saving process) one can be happy and successful in their new chapter,” she posted on her FB.

Congrats Andrewja, we’re excited to see what’s in store for you!

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