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All-American Boy Steve Grand Accepts Marine Corps Ball Invitation with All-American Marine

September 3rd, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Screen Cap via YouTube

Screen Cap via YouTube

Openly gay country singer Steve Grand, proved he really is an All-American Boy when he accepted a heartfelt invitation from a US Marine to attend this year’s Marine Corps Ball. US Marine Tanner White, asked the Speedo-wearing singer if he would attend via a YouTube video.

 

“This video is for the all-American boy, Steve Grand. Steve, you are an amazing singer. I’ve seen some of your blog videos and they were awesome. I would like for you to go with me to the 2015 Marine Corps ball in Wilmington, North Carolina as my date. Hopefully you say yes. If not, it was worth a shot,” he said to the tune of some 60,000 views.

It didn’t take Grand long to respond. “I want to say that I’m honored to accept your invitation to be your date at the Marine Corps Ball this November. Thank you so much for your service to this country and I look forward to a really fun evening with you in November.”

Read more…

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Kentucky Clerk Jailed for Not Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses

September 3rd, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Screen Cap via YouTube

Screen Cap via YouTube

Rowan County’s county clerk, Kim Davis, who has been refusing to issue gay and lesbian marriage licenses has been held in contempt of court and has been taken into custody.  The news broke from Bluegrass Politics that said US District Judge David Bunning ruled to imprison Davis. According to tweets, she was taken into custody while a “crowd outside erupts in applause.”

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Gay Travel Makes Up 13% of Ireland’s Tourism and Hospitality Economy

September 3rd, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Ireland is quickly seeing the effects of becoming a country that has the freedom to marry. In less than a few months since the historic referendum, it is estimated that 13% or more of the hospitality economy is made up of gay and lesbian travelers. LGBT Capital has said that the LGBT market has contributed $943 million to the economy alone.

Click here to read our coverage on gay Dublin. 

 

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Spain Tops for Gay and Lesbian Travelers, Record Spending and Record Visits

September 3rd, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Barcelona Pride. Image via Passport

Barcelona Pride. Image via Passport

It should come as no surprise to gay and lesbian travelers that the number-one destination in Europe for the market is Spain. This year, the country rose the to the top position ahead of France, according to LGBT Capital, an investment firm based in the British Virgin Islands that focuses on gay-themed assets.

The European country, the third European nation to legalize gay marriage, welcomed the much-needed revenue from LGBT travelers. This year alone, gay visitors contributed $6.8 billion to the economy (LGBT travelers spend 30% more on average than mainstream tourists in Spain).

These record numbers aren’t some fluke. Spain has been courting LGBT travelers for over a decade. With year-round events including Pride in Barcelona that welcomes  71,000 visitors, the event is said to generate some $6.6 billion in revenue and all-inclusive ad campaigns from both the national tourist board and prominent airlines like Iberia.

The most astonishing change that has been seen in Spain is that even conservatives are welcoming the LGBT community. According to Bloomberg: “Regional President Cristina Cifuentes flew the rainbow flag, symbolizing support for gay people, from institutional buildings for the first time following her election victory in May. In 2005, her colleagues from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party led 100,000 protesters in a march against legalizing gay marriage.”

 

 

 

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Contempt Hearing to be Held Today to Hold Kentucky Clerk Accountable for Violating Court Order

September 3rd, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via YouTube

Image via YouTube

Kentucky federal district court will hold a contempt hearing Thursday to determine whether Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is in violation of a court order that requires her to issue marriage licenses to couples in the case Miller v. Davis. A press conference will be held following the hearing.

The American Civil Liberties Union, representing the plaintiffs in the case, will argue that Davis should be held accountable for her failure to uphold the law as a public official by continuing to refuse to issue marriage licenses to couples in Miller v. Davis and all eligible couples who seek to marry in Rowan County. The ACLU filed a motion this week asking the district court to hold Davis in contempt for violating its order requiring her to immediately begin issuing marriage licenses. A second motion asked the court to clarify that Davis must issue licenses to everybody, not just the four couples named in the case.

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Three to See: September

September 2nd, 2015 Joseph Pedro

“Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh
so mellow.” – The Fantasticks

New York’s theater scene is anything but slow and mellow this fall, as the season gears up with some innovative new productions that have us on the edge of our seats. Here are the Broadway Blog’s top picks for the month.

THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE

(l to r) Keith_Nobbs, Matt McGrath, and Wayne Duvall in 'The Legend of Georgia McBride.' (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

(l to r) Keith Nobbs, Matt McGrath, and Wayne Duvall in ‘The Legend of Georgia McBride.’ (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

What happens when an Elvis impersonator becomes a winning drag queen in the Florida Panhandle? Playwright Matthew Lopez (The Whipping Man) dishes up a southern comedy starring Matt McGrath (Boys Don’t Cry) and directed by Mike Donahue.

MCC Theater and the Lucille Lortel
121 Christopher Street, NYC
Opening night: September 9

Find out what else to see in New York this theatre season. 

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Police Arrest Men For Gay Sex in Maldives

September 2nd, 2015 Chris Roney
Photo via Passport Magazine

Photo via Passport Magazine

Maldivian, police acting on a tip, arrested two men, aged 56 and 27, in their shared private home on Saturday under suspicions of “homosexual activity,” signaling renewed efforts to crack down on gay couples.

The Dhaandhoo couple will likely face severe punishments in the Islamic country, where “homosexual activity” is punishable by death under Sharia law provisions.

According to Gay Star News, other potentialities could include deportation, house arrest, whippings, and incarceration for up to six years. In light of the arrest, LGBT tourists are not advised to visit the tropical nation.

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Moscow Cancels Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

September 2nd, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via QueerRussia

Image via QueerRussia

Moscow’s cultural committee has taken away funding from Moscow Premiere—an LGBT film festival that was set to take place September 4-7. The reasoning from the committee: Russia’s “difficult economic situation.” Though the anti-gay propaganda laws weren’t cited, the cultural committee seemed to have enough funding to replace Moscow Premiere with the Youth Festival of Life Affirming Films. This would have been the festival’s 13th year.

The only remaining gay and lesbian film festival is the Side by Side International Film Festival that takes place in St. Petersburg.

 

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China to Show First Gay-Themed Film in Theaters

September 2nd, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Image via Twitter.

Image via Twitter.

China, known for its heavy censorship, is about to make history by allowing a gay movie to be shown at theaters across the country. The movie, Seek McCartney, stars singer Han Geng and French-actor Jérémie Elkaïm and follows their very close friendship and potential romance. The film, a collaboration between China and France, took over a year to be approved by Chinese censors.

Director Wang Chao said that it was ‘a small step for the regulator and a big step for filmmakers.’

 

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Singapore to Allow HIV Positive Travelers to Visit

September 2nd, 2015 Joseph Pedro
Pink Dot, Freedom of Love, Singapore. Image via www.facebook.com

Pink Dot, Freedom of Love, Singapore. Image via www.facebook.com

Singapore is lifting their longstanding ban on travelers with HIV from entering the country. The Lion City made the decision on April 1, but it was made public on Monday. Persons visiting with HIV, though, will be limited in their stay to three months.

“Given the current context with more than 5,000 Singapore residents living with HIV and the availability of effective treatment for the disease…The policy on the repatriation and permanent blacklisting of HIV positive foreigners was recommended in the late 1980s when the disease was new, fatal and no effective treatment was available,” a health ministry spokesperson said.

The United States ended their ban on HIV positive travelers just in 2010, while 20 others still have a ban.

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