Brunei Delays Gay Death Penalty Bill

April 23rd, 2014 Jake Folsom

 

Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

To update our recent post on the shocking proposed anti-gay bill in Brunei, a small island country in Southeast Asia, the bill has been delayed. The new law falls under Islamic criminal codes, and it would punish gay sex acts and homosexuality in general by such brutal punishments as stoning to death, public floggings, and severing of limbs.

Towleroad reports that Brunei’s Islamic Legal Unit cites “unavoidable circumstances” for the delay, and the blog suggests that specific reasons may be related to Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (above), the bill’s main proponent, and specifically his recent trip to Singapore. While there have been recent instances of high-profile groups boycotting The Dorchester Collection of Hotels, which are owned by the Sultan, it remains unclear if these actions have had any effect on the legislation’s delay.

 

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Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hosts Ultimate Throwback Thursday Party

April 23rd, 2014 Tyler Neasloney
PICNIC. Photo via Downtown Grand

PICNIC. Photo via Downtown Grand

This week’s Throwback Thursday belongs to the Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino’s new retro-themed rooftop PICNIC. Be on the lookout on tomorrow April 24th for two gals and a guy roaming around Downtown Las Vegas clad in retro summer ensembles. We’re hoping this includes short shorts and roller skates…for the guy, of course. They’ll be handing out complimentary passes to the rooftop and asking you to #FollowMeToPICNIC.

Read more…

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Can an Airline Really be Allergy-Free? Ask Swiss

April 23rd, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

I once had the fortune of sitting next to someone on an airline that couldn’t stop sniffling and sneezing. “Oh a cold?” I asked. “No airplanes always give me the worst allergies,” she said. Luckily, this sort of scenario is unlikely to happen aboard Swiss International Air Lines who will introduced a number of new ground and inflight products from  the beginning of May onwards. SWISS has teamed up with the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) to offer its guests an even more individualized service product that is particularly geared to travelers with allergies. These innovations will include new alternative food and drinks, including a lactose-free version of their popular Swiss chocolate bar, which is offered on all flights.

The airline is also making allergy-friendly modifications to its cabins. First and Business Class passengers will now be offered pillows stuffed with synthetic materials as an alternative to the down-filled version. Decorative flowers and air fresheners that might cause nose and throat irritations will not be used, and the on-board toilets will now feature soaps that are particularly gentle on the skin. “We have seen a steady increase over the past few years in our customers’ need for an air travel environment that pays due regard to any allergic conditions,” explains Frank Maier, Swiss International Air Lines Head of Product & Services. “So we’ve been working with ECARF to provide a concrete response to these demands and make everyone’s air travel experience as pleasant and problem-free as possible.”

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Win a Trip to ‘Visit Norway’!

April 23rd, 2014 Jake Folsom
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

As Passport readers know, there’s no place on Earth quite like Fjord Norway, Oslo, or Norway in general. So, entering Visit Norway‘s new contest for two round-trip tickets to Norway is a no-brainer.

Entering is simple, all it takes is a social media account and an internet connection. Post your “favorite Norway photos” to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, taking care to use the hashtag #DREAMOFNORWAY. Then share the photos with your friends, and ask them to vote for your photos. One will win. The tickets are economy class on Norwegian Airlines, from any one of five airports: New York JFK, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles or San Francisco Oakland. Prize includes six nights in a double room at select Historic Hotels. Enter here using the #DREAMOFNORWAY tab under Visit Norway’s cover photo.

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Gay Travel: Globetrotting Los Angeles, California

April 23rd, 2014 Joseph Pedro

 

Image via Passport

Image via Passport

I’m sitting in the basement of a Mexican restaurant. Upstairs, the rumble of families munching on enchiladas smothered in refried beans and sipping head-sized margaritas under red neon lights is only slightly audible. A door at the top of the wooden stairs closes, and a crowd of mostly gay men and their girlfriends sits in this underground theater. I’m completely in love with this so-not-typical Los Angeles vibe. Cosmos are replaced by Coronas, and the unpretentious crowd sits quietly for a performance at the Cavern Club Theater (920 Hyperion Ave. Tel: 323-662-4255. www.cavernclubtheater.com) below the family-owned Casita del Campo restaurant. The wood beams creak above with the movement of the upstairs patrons as the show, Little House on the Prairie-Oke (or after the threat of a lawsuit Almond Grove! That Pioneer Karaoke Musical Formerly Known as Something Else), begins with an Ingalls breakdown dance. The crowd expresses sheer joy at the ridiculousness of the entire situation. When Drew Droedge, most famous for impersonating Chloë Sevigny on YouTube, takes the stage as the obnoxiously over-the-top Nellie Oleson my face beams as red as the lights upstairs. He must have noticed just how much I was enjoying it, because he pulls me on stage for a finale dance party. When the show closes, the cast eagerly meets the audience over beers, and I’m floored by this sliver of underground gay culture.

Keep reading Globetrotting Gay Los Angeles over at Passport magazine.

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Russia’s New Low: Fingerprinting Bill for Citizens with HIV

April 22nd, 2014 Jake Folsom
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

A Russian nationalist Member of Parliament has introduced legislation that will make fingerprinting mandatory for Russian people with “dangerous diseases,” including HIV. The fingerprinting information would then be collected and compiled in a national database.

The politician’s reasoning for the legislation has several points. Firstly, he cites the fact that “infected people change their names and disappear from the state system.” This new law would make such a thing impossible. He also  says the law would help to expedite crime-fighting and “reduce bureaucratic red tape.”

Many are predicting the bill will pass, though it is not without opposition. A fellow Member of Parliament was quoted as saying:  “It is one thing when you fingerprint the arriving migrants and completely different when you fingerprint our own law abiding citizens.”

[via RT]

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Colorado Servicemembers Stand on the Right Side of History in New Gay Marriage PSA

April 22nd, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Screen Shot via YouTube.

Screen Shot via YouTube.

To demonstrate the widespread support of gay and lesbian marriage in the state of Colorado, Why Marriage Matters Colorado released an affective PSA showcasing veterans who support marriage equality. The 30-second spot began airing across the state and features local veterans, one gay the rest straight, discussing the importance of bringing equality to the state.

Read more…

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‘Starting Here, Starting Now’ Celebrate Earth Day Every Day!

April 22nd, 2014 Joseph Pedro

 

Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

Many of us are concerned about climate change, but what are we doing to stop it? It is time for action. It is time to take responsibility for how we live. Ask yourself if you are part of the problem or part of the solution. It is up to each one of us to do something, and to do it now. If you feel hopeless when it comes to making a difference in the world, you are not alone. You may ask yourself: “What can I do? I’m just one person.” But one person can make all the difference in the world.

Find out more tips over at Starting Here, Starting Now’s Daily Inspiration Blog…

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Houston Mayor Annise Parker Wants to Protect All her Constituents, Including Gays, with This Legislation

April 22nd, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

Houston’s openly lesbian mayor, Annise Parker, introduced the Equal Rights ordinance, which, if passed, will protect all Houstonians from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations.  The proposed ordinance covers both public and private workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  In addition to sexual orientation and gender identity, the ordinance will also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, genetic information, and pregnancy.

The HRC said in a statement: “We thank Mayor Parker for her leadership on this commonsense legislation.  It is far past time to protect the citizens of Houston from all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston is an epicenter for business and culture.  Cities thrive when all citizens feel welcome and part of the cultural fabric.  Today, Mayor Parker told every Houstonian that they are a valued part of the city’s future.”

The ordinance will be introduced to the City Council on May 7.

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Snap a Polaroid With Andy Warhol in Las Vegas

April 21st, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Madame Tussauds.

Image via Madame Tussauds.

In conjunction with the grand opening of the brand-new Polaroid Fotobar and The Polaroid Museum at The LINQ, Madame Tussauds Las Vegas is announcing its figure of the iconic artist Andy Warhol will be on view in Las Vegas for the first time beginning April 24. The figure, on loan from Madame Tussauds London, will be on display in Polaroid Fotobar’s new flagship retail shop until Aug. 1. Upstairs will be an exhibition of Warhol’s artwork and artifacts, “Capturing Celebrity,” presented by The Andy Warhol Museum and serving as the centerpiece of The Polaroid Museum. Admission to The Polaroid Museum on April 24 will be free from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.

“Capturing Celebrity” will feature a collection of 50 of Warhol’s most famous Polaroid photographs, including a number of self-portraits. The exhibit will also feature several celebrity portraits, such as Dennis Hopper, Truman Capote, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Dolly Parton, Farrah Fawcett, Debbie Harry, Giorgio Armani, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Keith Richards, Muhammad Ali and more. Two of Warhol’s personal Polaroid cameras will also be on display.

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