Wedding Venues Cannot Discriminate Against Gay Couples in New York

August 15th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via FingerLakes

Image via FingerLakes

The New York State Division of Human Rights says that it is illegal for businesses in New York State to discriminate based on sexual orientation. The statement, reaffirming an already existing policy, comes after the case of Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy, whose wedding was rejected by the owners of an Albany area farm and wedding venue when the owners found out that they were a same-sex couple.  “No one should have the happiest time of their life marred by discrimination,” said Jennifer McCarthy. “We hope this decision will protect all New Yorkers from having to go through the hurt that we experienced.”

While the owners contended that they don’t believe in same-sex marriage therefore they shouldn’t have to allow gay weddings at their farm, New York’s Human Rights Law prohibits businesses from providing services and conveniences to the public from discriminating against protect groups. [NYCLU]

This is great news! But let’s make sure we, as a community, are supporting the businesses in New York that are on our side and hit these discriminatory businesses where it hurts the most…their wallets!

Click here for our Gay Weddings and Honeymoons in New York article. 

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Join Patti LuPone in New York for an Uprising of Love for LGBT Equality

August 14th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Everett Collection

Image via Everett Collection

As the world converges in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative on Sep. 15, Executive Producers Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) and Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Milk, Silver Linings Playbook) will present Uprising of Love: A Benefit Concert for Global Equality at Broadway’s Gershwin Theatre. Featuring performances by 16-time Grammy Award–winner Sting and two-time Tony Award and two-time Grammy Award–winner Patti LuPone together with the United Nations Foundation, this event will support the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN’s Free & Equal campaign in calling for equal rights globally for LGBTI people, and to raise significant funding for grassroots organizations and activists working toward that goal around the world. The net proceeds of this event will go directly to Fueling the Frontlines, a three-year, $20 million campaign for global LGBTI rights.

Click here to buy tickets. 

 

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The Lust List: Beer-Infused Spa Treatments

August 14th, 2014 Tyler Neasloney
Beer Body Treatment. Photo via The Lodge at Woodloch

Beer Body Treatment. Photo via The Lodge at Woodloch

Enjoying a cold, local craft beer while marinating in a treatment made from the very same suds sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it? The Lodge at Woodloch has partnered with the brewers at Dogfish Head to mark its annual Craft Ales Weekend from September 5-7, and is offering a selection of delicious beer-infused spa treatments to celebrate.

Read more…

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

August 14th, 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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Seats that Morph? Next Generation Airplane Seats Have Us Mile-High Excited

August 14th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Seymourpowell

Screen Cap via YouTube

A British design firm, Seymourpowell, is shaping the future of air travel…literally. The design firm has created a seat that will allow for airlines to customize their seat size. At first glance, the seats will look like any standard economy-size seat, 18-inch, 3z1 window and aisle seat. Instead of traditional foam under each seat, it’s equipped with a special stretchy fabric, one along the seat back and one along the seat base—all held down by the arm rests. This will all create three individual “hammock” seats. The fabric will then be able to be manipulated by each passenger in the row. By unclamping the dividers on the seat, the width of the seat can change.

This technology will allow for airlines to charge for larger space throughout economy, as well as charge less for smaller passengers like small children.

Check out an amazing video after the jump…

Read more…

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And the Domino Effect Continues: Arizona State Football Player Comes Out as Gay

August 14th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

Thanks to the heroic players that have come out throughout 2014, another player has gained the courage to announce that he is gay. Arizona State’s offensive lineman, Edward “Chip” Sarafin, told Compete Magazine that he is gay—thus making him the first active Division I college football player to come out. “It was really personal to me and it benefited my peace of mind greatly,” he said. He’ll be following in the footsteps of openly gay NFL player Michael Sam and other gay athletes, Sarafin came out to his teammates before going public. The interviewer said that Sarafin said that Michael Sam was a big inspiration for his coming out.

 

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NYC Council Member Pushes for Community Center for Gay Seniors in the Bronx

August 13th, 2014 Gabriel Charles Tyler
Ritchie Torres

New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres. Photo via Facebook.

The Bronx is New York City’s only borough that lacks any kind of gay community center. Ritchie Torres, 26, the youngest member of the New York City Council and the first-ever openly gay candidate to be elected to legislative office in the Bronx, hopes to change that through his recent plan for the 2015 construction of a community center for gay senior citizens in his home borough.

Out of about 100,000 gay seniors living in New York, approximately 5,400 of them are living in poverty in the Bronx, according to Service and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). SAGE opened the nation’s first publicly funded, full-time gay senior center in Harlem in 2004 and a second Chelsea-based facility in 2012. Brooklyn’s Griot Circle, an intergenerational and culturally diverse community-based organization, provides services for LGBT seniors, especially those of color. The Bronx Community Pride Center, which closed in 2012 following a corruption scandal, was the borough’s only facility that catered to its LGBT population. No center has since replaced it, but gay seniors are at a particular disadvantage because they often experience inhospitable conditions at “many retirement communities and nursing services,” Kira Garcia, a SAGE representative said in an interview. As a result, Garcia claims, “many gay elders go back into the closet as they age.” Now Torres has secured some funding to back the project, which he told New York Magazine, will benefit “the most underserved part of the most underserved New Yorkers.”

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Hedwig Macarons? Welcome to the Wonderful World of Yigit Pura!

August 13th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

By Jim Gladstone

When Passport interviewed the pensive and pulchritudinous pastry chef Yigit Pura for our Business Profile in April, 2013 the San Francisco-based, Turkish-born entrepreneur spoke of his love for music and the arts. Pura explained that the inspiration for his most successful desserts has often come from beyond gastronomy. Well, lightning struck leavening in Pura’s mad-scientist mind on a recent trip to New York when he took on Neil Patrick Harris’ Tony-award winning performance in John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch. While Hedwig’s follies might leave some amongst us hungry for something juicy and spit-roasted, Pura aimed at more wholesome cravings to come up with The Hedwig Schmidt (which can be purchased here), a macaron that serves as a metaphor. Taking its cues from Hedwig, this version of the classic French sandwich cookie combines a slightly brittle surface, a splash or two of booze, and a profound inner sweetness—the filling is bourbon-orange marmalade with a Brandied cherry center. It’s finished off with an in-your-face toss of edible red glitter.

Hedwig Macaron Art by RCA

Hedwig Macaron Art by RCA

Close your eyes and that cherry almost tastes of Doogie Howser. The macarons are available in a 14-piece-box by mail order for $35, and can be purchased individually for $2 at Pura’s Tout Sweet pastry boutique in San Francisco. The treat’s debut comes just in time for NPH’s final week as Hedwig on Broadway; Andrew Rannells (Girls, Book of Mormon) steps into his platform heels on August 20. The day before, the spotlight will belong to Pura himself as his first cookbook, Sweet Alchemy from Chronicle Books hits stores nationally.

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Are We Dreaming? Anti-Gay Jay Sekulow Honored By Christians with a Human Rights Award

August 13th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America, who represent one of the world’s largest Christian denominations, announced that Jay Sekulow will be the next recipient of their annual Athenagoras Human Rights Award. Sekulow is the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a group that actively advocated against the rights of LGBT people worldwide and who famously defended sodomy laws, the ban on gay Boy Scouts, the defense of DOMA, and advocated against anti-gay bullying policies. The award is given annually to a person or organization that “has consistently exemplified by action, purpose and dedication, concern for the basic rights and religious freedom of all people.” Since 1986, five Nobel Peace Prize laureates have received the award, including Mother Theresa, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, former President Jimmy Carter, Elie Weisel, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev. “Perhaps the very last person I’d put on the same list as Mother Teresa and Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Jay Sekulow,” said Sharon Groves, Director of the Human Right Campaign’s (HRC) Religion and Faith Program “Their legacies of compassion, understanding and acceptance truly define what it means to be an advocate for justice and human rights. Jay Sekulow has dedicated much of his career to advocating against the basic freedoms, rights, and even safety of LGBT people in the United States and around the world. To honor Sekulow and his anti-LGBT bigotry with this award is not only shocking, but it contradicts the Christian commitment to protect the human dignity of all.” [HRC]

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Applause! Remembering Lauren Bacall

August 13th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Lauren Bacall at premiere of K-19 :The Widowmaker (2002). Image via Everett Collection.

Lauren Bacall at premiere of K-19 :The Widowmaker (2002). Image via Everett Collection.

It’s been a harrowing week for the entertainment industry with the sudden loss of Robin Williams followed by yesterday’s passing of Lauren Bacall. Like Williams, Bacall was known for her glimmering film persona, starring opposite Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep, Key Largo, and To Have And Have Not. They married in 1945. A New Yorker through and through, Bacall resided at the famous Dakota.

Bacall appeared on Broadway six times, most recently in the 1999 production of Waiting in the Wings with such theatrical luminaries as Rosemary Harris and Dana Ivey. But she stormed the stage in two musicals—winning Tony Awards for both. Applause was based on the 1950 film All About Eve and Bacall portrayed Margo Channing. In 1981 she starred as Tess Harding in Woman of the Year.

Bacall’s performance in Applause has been immortalized in gay bars across the country, as homage to a carefree time and penchant for polyester. The production was captured in a 1973 telecast.

Bacall’s performance from Woman of the Year at the 1981 Tony Awards. Nobody seemed to mind that she couldn’t sing or dance—she still wowed the audience with her magnetic persona.

—Matthew Wexler from over at The Broadway Blog

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