Susan Sarandon Lends Her Voice to HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality

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

Screen Shot via YouTube.

Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released a video ad featuring actress Susan Sarandon for HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality campaign.  In the video, the Oscar winner states, “While marriage might not be my thing, if it’s your thing, you damn well ought to be able to have it equally and unequivocally.”  “Like most Americans, Susan Sarandon knows that all families deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and equality under the law,” said HRC’s Charles Joughin. “We are incredibly grateful to Susan for speaking out in favor of marriage equality, and for lending her powerful voice to HRC’s fight for fairness nationwide.”

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Department of Justice Demands Reform to HIV Criminalization to Align with Scientific Factts

July 22nd, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

The Justice Department announced that it has released a Best Practices Guide to Reform HIV-Specific Criminal Laws to Align with Scientifically-Supported Factors . This guide provides technical assistance regarding state laws that criminalize engaging in certain behaviors without disclosing known HIV-positive status.  The guide will assist states to ensure that their policies reflect contemporary understanding of HIV transmission routes and associated benefits of treatment and do not place unnecessary burdens on individuals living with HIV/AIDS. This guide is a follow-up to the department’s March 15, 2014, article published with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Prevalence and Public Health Implications of State Laws that Criminalize Potential HIV Exposure in the United States, which examined HIV-specific criminal laws.  Generally, these laws do not account for scientifically supported level of risk by type of activities engaged in or risk reduction measures undertaken.  As a result, many of these state laws criminalize behaviors that the CDC regards as posing either no risk or negligible risk for HIV transmission even in the absence of risk reduction measures. “While initially well intentioned, these laws often run counter to current scientific evidence about routes of HIV transmission, and may run counter to our best public health practices for prevention and treatment of HIV,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division.  “The department is committed to using all of the tools available to address the stigma that acts as a barrier to effectively addressing this epidemic.”

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The US Army to Begin Gender Treatment for Chlelsea Manning

July 21st, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning

The Pentagon has agreed to begin providing Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) with rudimentary gender treatment. The 26-year-old private, who was found guilty of declassifying military documents, announced that she identified as female after she was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

“Chelsea has been asking for medical treatment from the military for the past ten months. So far, the military has outright ignored her requests. The military absolutely needs to revisit its ‘policy’ on transgender medical care and adapt it to 21st century medical standards. It cannot continue to bury its head in the sand any longer,” Manning’s attorney David Coombs wrote.

During Manning’s trial, she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and gender identity disorder, hopefully with hormone therapy, Manning will be able to live as herself.

 

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Join Celebrity Chef Anne Burrell in NYC to Benefit PFLAG

July 21st, 2014 Tyler Neasloney
Join us at HOT! on July 23!

Join us at HOT! on July 23!

Join Food Network culinary star Anne Burrell, PFLAG National, and JENN-AIR for an evening of gourmet seasonal bites and refreshing, cool cocktails courtesy of Stoli. Enjoy the view from a fabulous terrace overlooking New York City, bid on exciting silent auction items perfect for food and wine lovers, and then savor the memory with a fun and fabulous gift bag that includes a copy of Anne’s newest cookbook, Own Your Kitchen: Recipes to Inspire and Empower, courtesy of Jenn-Air. The event will be held at the Jenn-Air Showroom on the 5th floor of the Design & Decoration Building Annex (222 E. 59th Street, NYC) on July 23rd.

Read more and buy tickets after the jump… Read more…

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GMA’s Robin Roberts Sits Down with Openly Gay St. Louis Rams’ Michael Sam

July 21st, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

The first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL, Michael Sam, sat down for a chat with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts in which he discussed his preparation for the upcoming NFL season, his acceptance of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, and what was going through his head during the draft season. He opened up about how weary he was of being selected to play in the NFL: “I was kind of second-guessing myself, ‘Maybe football turned its back on me,’” he told Roberts. “I was like, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have done what I did.’ You know? I had so many emotions going in my head. And then I felt a touch over my shoulder and it was Vito, and I was just, I was like, ‘I don’t care what happens. I know I did the right thing in my heart. And whatever happens, happens. I’m just going to move forward.’”

Asked if he were ready for the upcoming season. Sam responded: “I’m doing my job. Don’t you worry!”

Watch interview after the jump…

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Globetrotting: Zurich to Bond World 007

July 21st, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

by Robert Adams

Zürich is one of my favorite cities in the world, and it never ceases to amaze me with all the wonderful things to see and do while I am there. I must admit, I have spent weeks and never left the city. With a crystal-clear lake within walking distance from the Old Town, myriad cultural attractions, and a diverse, welcoming population, it is a bit of heaven to me. I can walk everywhere, and during the warmer months it is wonderful to enjoy meals and drinks alfresco. My Swiss friends, however, are always encouraging me to get out of the city and explore the rest of the country. Even though I am content to bask in the pleasures of Zürich and enjoy my “summer home” by the lake, I usually find at least one place that beckons with the promise of adventure and exciting experiences.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…

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Historic Moment as Obama Signs Executive Order Banning Workplace Discrimination Against Gays

July 21st, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image by spirit of america

Image by spirit of america

Today, President Barack Obama signed an executive order outlawing anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors and federal employees. “With the strokes of a pen, the President will have a very real and immediate impact on the lives of millions of LGBT people across the country. Each and every American worker should be judged based on the work they do, and never because of a fundamental aspect of who they are – like their sexual orientation or gender identity,” HRC President Chad Griffith said in a statement. “These actions from the President have the potential to be a keystone in the arch of his administration’s progress, and they send a powerful message to future administrations and to Congress that anti-LGBT discrimination must not be tolerated. We also call on Congress to immediately pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act,” he added.

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Cocktail Music: Meghan Trainor

July 18th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Meghan Trainor via YouTube.

Meghan Trainor via YouTube.

Size doesn’t matter to infectiously poppy Meghan Trainor, unless we’re talking about the size of her soon-to-be super-popular new song “All About That Bass.” Going the route of Bonny McKee, Meghan has had success as a songwriter, creating fresh tracks for Rascal Flatts and Common Kings, but the Natucket native is embracing her vocal abilities with her new song that pokes fun at modern-day celebrity and our body-concious culture—all to a beat that has us ready to grab that cocktail and start dancing.

Check it out after the jump…

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Global Cocktail: Westin Kansas City at Crown Center’s Cucumber Cilantro Margarita

July 18th, 2014 Joseph Pedro

Cucumber Cilantro Margarita

Who knew that Kansas City, Missouri is quickly becoming one of the nation’s hottest cocktail cities. But if the long list of expertly crafted drinks at Westin Kansas City at Crown Center is any indicator of what the city has in store, we’re booking our ticket. Served at the Brasserie, the Cucumber Cilantro Margarita is refreshing, tasty, and fresh—all of the herbs used in their cocktails are grown on the roof!

Directions

Add diced cucumber, cilantro, agave and lime to a shaker and muddle

Add tequila and ice cubes and shake

Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass

Garnish with a lime wedge

 

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Victory in Oklahoma as Judge Rules State Ban on Gay Marriage Unconstitutional

July 18th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Afer.

Image via Afer.

A federal appeals court has ruled Oklahoma’s ban on gay and lesbian marriage is unconstitutional, and it must allow gay couples to marry—this decision comes just a day after a similar ruling was issued in Florida. The 2-1 ruling, which actually took place in Denver, is expected to be appealed by Utah’s attorney general, which means gay marriages cannot yet be issued there. According to the AP: “The 2-1 ruling comes after the same panel ruled June 25 that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the Constitution. It was the first time an appellate court determined last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act means states cannot deny gays the ability to wed.”

 

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