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Friday, January 30, 2009

2009 Lesbian Valentine's Day Events

Here is list of 2009 Lesbian Valentine's Day Events from around the US. If I missed any, please email me the details and I will add them to the list.






ARIZONA EVENTS

Prescott, Az
Valentine’s Day Party & Dance
Saturday, February 14th, 2009
5 pm ’til we’re done dancing
Prescott Pride Center
111 Josephine Street, Prescott

Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is a great time to mix and mingle with old friends and new. Singles and couples are all invited to join us for a fun holiday gathering at the Pride Center. A suggested donation of $3 per adult (more if you can, less if you can’t) is requested.

For more information on the raffle or to purchase tickets, contact Dottie & Barb at (928) 237-1378. To help out with the party, please call Loni at (928) 499-0346 or Gina (928) 499-8517






CALIFORNIA EVENTS

Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center
Valentine's Love Ball
Saturday, February 14, 2009
The Village at Ed Gould Plaza
1125 N. McCadden Pl
A Clean & Sober Women's Event
Take your Swift Dating connection to the Valentine's Love Ball, or go solo and meet other single women for a night of dancing, music and food.





Oakland, CA
Valentine Vibes

Saturday, February 14, 2009
200 Grand Ave., Oakland
2 - 11 pm - Open Bar
Guest Must be 21+ Invitation non-transferable Advance ticket purchase required
For questions contact Kaitlin Karkos at mailto:mkaitlin@eqca.org or 415.581.0005 x312

Specially designed as a day long celebration for SINGLES ending in a Dance for Love for everyone! Three special events, enjoy them all or pick one you prefer.

  • Singles Salon (2 - 4pm)
  • Speed Date (4 - 7.30 pm)
  • Dance for Love (8 - 11 pm)



Oakland, CA
Foreplay
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Velvet, Oakland
A Night of Sweet, Sexy Fun!Time: ,
Start Time: 9:00pm
$8 before 10pm
$10 after
The ALL-NEW Velvet,
3411 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, 94602, US





Oakland, CA
SWEET
Saturday, February 14th, 2009
Femme Posse and Butch-Femme.com present
The Sweetest Valentine's Day party in the Bay Area!

There will be cupcakes, cookies, chocolates, cocktails and dancing with the amazing DJs Luna and Sue- all at the lush Club Anton!

9 pm -2 am
$10 Cover

Club Anton
428 Third St.
Oakland





Petaluma, CA
Chocolate Lovers Dance!
Saturday, February 14th
from 7pm to 11pm. Held at Community For Spiritual Living Petaluma (CSLP) 1180 Stage Gulch Rd. (Next to the Hwy 116/Stage Gulch Rd. & Adobe Rd. intersection.)

Enjoy an abundance of hand-made chocolate treats, along with 4 hours of bootie-shakin' dance music "spun" by DJ Heartbeat (Diane)! $15.00 per person Advance tickets available at CSLP's Bookstore or from Janet & Diane. Limited parking, so advance tickets are required.

P.S. This dance is for EVERYONE - including GLBT, GLBT-friendly, singles, doubles, triples or... Please carpool if possible!

For help with directions, call CSLP @ 707-762-8509. For dance information, please call Diane & Janet @ 707-793-7525






San Francisco, CA
Betty's List Presents Valentine's Eve for Singles
Friday, February 13, 2009
Orson- 508 4th Street, San Francisco, CA
5:45 PM to Closing
(1) Cupid's Arrow Dinner Party
5:45 PM - 6:30 PM - Pre-Dinner Reception & Mingle (Downstairs lounge area)
6:30 PM - Seated Dinner (Mezzanine Level) - Will sellout / RSVP now!
Beat the sellout by making the call now to secure your reservation. Call Lissa Arnold (415-777-1508) at Orson or e-mail: cupid@orsonsf.com.




San Francisco, CA
Cupids Back
Friday, February 13, 2009
GLBT Historical Society's 3rd Annual Valentine's benefit
10 pm
Lime Restaurant (2247 Market St.)
Pre-Sale Tickets: $25.00 Buy Tickets Now





San Francisco, CA
2009 Equality Awards
City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco , CA
Saturday, February 14th, 2009
6 p.m. Silent Auction and Reception
7 p.m. Dinner and Awards
9 p.m. After Party with Energy 92.7





San Francisco, CA
Delicious Valentine's Day T-Dance
The Cafe
2369 Market St., SF
3:30 PM - 10PM * 21 + OVER W/ID
Saturday, February 14th, 2009
Last Delicious Event before the Cafe remodel begins!
This is going to be a very special day for us, as we celebrate the afternoon of lovers.

GoGo Dancers, Cocktail specials, pools tables, videos and more!





San Francisco, CA
Cockblock Love Party
A Benefit for Women Against Rape
Saturday, February 14th
Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell St. at Van Ness
San Francisco, CA
Get your pretty selves down to COCKBLOCK Party - the LOVE Party, on the day of Valentine, Saturday February 14th! We thought we’d spread some love around and give back to a cause we believe in and support. Partial proceeds of this event will benefit SFWAR (San Francisco Women Against Rape). Please go to SFWAR.ORG to learn more. All contributions are welcomed and appreciated.

And of course DJ Nuxx and DJ Zax will be present to rock your socks off with the most funkalicious and nutritious dance beats to help get your sexy on.





MASSACHUSETTS EVENTS

Boston, MA

Valentine's Day at the Love Machine
Saturday, February 14, 2009
9pm-2am
21+, $10
DJ KRIS KONO
Second Saturdays (GLBT dance party) at Machine will open up early on Valentine’s for the Love Machine, a charity fundraiser. Registration starts at 9 pm. .”
And per usual Dyke Night style, we’ll be sharing the love as 100% of profits of this event donated to the Boston Dyke March and the LGBT Aging Project.

Boston, MA
Valentines Day Contra & Square Dance Party!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
1st Church of Jamaica Plain (Unitarian-Universalist),
corner of Centre and Eliot Streets (at the monument),
Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA.

Here it is, that special day of the year for love! What what better way to celebrate than to share your love of music and dancing with your friends here at the Jamaica Plain Contra Dance. Yes, come out, and wear your best red outfits and let's have a great time sharing in the wonderful community of our dancing!

Cost: $10 (sliding scale), $6 for students. Under 12? - free!
7:30 - 11:00pm





MINNESOTA EVENTS

Minneapolis, MN
Celebrate Valentine's Day with Catherine Lundoff and Nell Stark
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Location: True Colors Bookstore (formerly Amazon Feminist Bookstore Coop)
4755 chicago Ave. So. Minneapolis,
7PM - Kick off your Valentine's Day with some steamy readings by authors Catherine Lundoff and Nell Stark.

Catherine Lundoff is the award-winning author of the collection Night's Kiss: Lesbian Erotica (Lethe Press, 2009). Her short stories have appeared in multiple volumes of Best Lesbian Erotica as well as other collections.

Nell Stark is the celebrated author of Homecoming (Bold Strokes, 2008) and numerous stories featured in Bold Strokes erotica and erotic romance anthologies.





NEW YORK EVENTS

New York, NY
Valentine's Hot Hookup Soiree
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Revel , 10 Little West 12th Street
Doors open at 10:30
$15
Dancing, Djs, GoGo Dancers





New York, NY
Dance 208 Valentine's Dance
208 West 13th Street
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Dance 208 present Valentines Dance
Dance Begins 9PM, $10 at the door, $8 online, $6 Flaggers/Fanners DJ Randy Bettis, hosted by Imperial Court, Sponsored by NYC Gay Men's ChorusIn memory of Louis Morhaim
Purchase your tickets here!




White Plains, NY
7th Annual Hearts for ARCS
Valentine's Charity Ball

Saturday, February 14, 2009
7:00 PM - Midnight
Price:$150.00 per person

The C. V. Rich Mansiont
White Plains, NY

The annual Valentine's Charity Ball benefits AIDS-Related Community Services (ARCS), and this year's event honors the Keith Haring Foundation for its contributions to HIV/AIDS research and care. This year's theme is, "All You Need is Love," a celebration of Sixties Rock 'N' Roll.

An evening of cocktails, a silent auction, fine, food, music and dancing to support Hudson Valley residents affected by HIV/AIDS. Cocktail attire suggested, To purchase tickets, call 914-785-8326 or visit http://www.arcs.org/.





OREGON EVENTS
Eugene, OR
Valentine's Day Dance
February 14, 2009 (Saturday)
Girls Aloud for all self-identifying womyn (regardless of sexual orientation).
Cozmic Pizza 8:00 pm - Midnight $7 or $5 with two or more cans of food for Food for Lane County. Email: lmcnamara3@yahoo.com





TEXAS EVENTS

Houston, Tx
Sweet Presents
Suzanne Westenhoefer
Saturday, February 14, 2009,
6:30pm to 12:30am
Lesbian Health Initiative Valentine’s Dinner & Dance fundraiser,
entertainment by Suzanne Westenhoefer

Dressy to formal attire requested: No blue jeans or T-shirts, please.

At the Renaissance Houston Hotelin Greenway Plaza
Room reservations 713-629-1200

• LARGE DANCE FLOOR• CASH BARS• RAFFLE

INFORMATION: Call 713-426-3356
EMAIL: lhihouston00@aol.com
Purchase tickets through PayPal or with cash at the door.
$85 person or reserved tables for sale for $850 (10 seats).





UTAH EVENTS

Salt Lake City, Ut
Valentine Day Gay-la
Saturday February 14th
Sheraton - City Centre
150 W 500 S
Salt Lake City $60/person

sWerve and the Utah Pride Center invite you to join Salt Lake City's entire LGBTQ community for a Valentine Gay-la with cocktails, dinner and dancing at the Sheraton-City Centre. Bring love. Find love. Celebrate love in style.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit sWerve's website.

Cocktails: 6:00-7:00 (Cash Bar)
Buffet Dinner: 7:00-8::00
Dancing: 8:30-Midnight
Raffle great prizes including 50' Plasma TV. Photos availabl.
Formal attire





WASHINGTON D.C EVENTS
Big Love
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Mautner Project's 19th Anniversary Gala,
at the Omni Shoreham Hotel,
Mautner Project's 19th Anniversary Gala BIG LOVE will be an evening of dancing, glamour and celebrating all the love in your life at the beautiful Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C.

Join our Gala Chairs, and participate in our famous live and silent auctions and reception followed by a delicious seated three course served dinner with special guests (to be announced) followed by the return of the BIG DANCE! Single on Valentine's Day? We've got you covered with special singles tables. The Gala has also been nominated several years in a row by the Washington Blade as one of the best places to meet women! So what are you waiting for? Buy your ticket today.2500 Calvert St. NW. http://www.mautnerproject.org/.





WASHINGTON EVENTS

Seattle, WA
Gala Events presents Valentine Dinner & Dance
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Bobbie Smith & Gala Events, producers of the Annual Girlz Cruise and the Girlz New Year's Eve Party presents:Valentine's Day Dinner & Dance
Alki Beach House on Alki Beach 2701 Alki Ave SW Seattle.

DJ Traci Birkett will be taking requests.BYOB (Ice, water and Coffee available)

Dinner 6pm - 7pm, Dancing 7pm - 10pm
Limited to 80 - Attire is Dress Up.

Advance tickets are $42 or $45 at the door with reservation.For tickets and information call 253-292-1520 orEmail: galaevents4u@msn.com

This party will benefit World Wildlife Federation for the preservation of Polar Bears

Dallas woman stars as lesbian face of Avon in Super Bowl ad

Article from The Dallas Voice
by Tammye Nash, Senior Editor

Avon and lesbian: Not two words you’d usually expect to hear in the same sentence.

But that’s only if you don’t know Daryn DeZengotita.

DeZengotita, of Dallas, is one of five Avon sales representatives chosen about two years ago to serve as the “faces of Avon” around the world in an advertising and marketing campaign. Now that commercial is going to get one of the largest television audiences of the year when it airs Sunday, Feb. 1, during the Super Bowl.

“It was about two years ago that I was selected to audition for — and got a part in — some national TV commercials for Avon,” DeZengotita said this week. “There are a million Avon representatives in the United States. Fifty of those were chosen to audition, and 10 were selected to be in the commercials.”

That’s a pretty exclusive club. But DeZengotita got to take it one step further.
Of the 10 women chosen for the commercials, five were selected to appear in Avon’s global marketing campaign aimed at recruiting new sales reps. DeZengotita was one of the five.

Then last fall, she and one other woman were asked to return to the studio to shoot some extra scenes for a new launch of the commercial and the recruiting effort.

“It was right before Thanksgiving that they called and said they were recutting the commercial to specifically target the issues with the economy right now,” she explained. “They wanted to tell people that if you’re worried about [the downturn] in the economy and are looking for a way to make extra money, now is the perfect time to become an Avon representative,” DeZengotita said.

The recruitment campaign turned out to be “wildly successful,” she said, prompting the cosmetics company to purchase advertising time during the Super Bowl this weekend. It will be the second commercial spot after Jennifer Hudson — “who is also a spokeswoman for Avon” — sings the National Anthem.

“It’s been rumored that it will also run during the halftime show. But I have been told that isn’t true,” DeZengotita noted.

DeZengotita said she is starting her eighth year as an Avon sales representative, and that she started working with the company as a way to maintain income while at the same time spending more time at home with her partner, Celia Barshop, and their two adopted sons, who are now ages 7 and 8.

“It’s the typical Avon story,” she said. “I had my own business in the IT industry.

But then my partner and I adopted our children, and I realized I needed something much more flexible. In my old business, if my customer’s e-mail went down and I wasn’t immediately available because I had a sick kid at home, they were not very happy about it. Now, if I can’t deliver a customer’s lipstick right away because I need to be at home with a sick child, my customers understand that. They are OK with that.”

For some Avon reps, selling cosmetics is a part-time job; for some it’s less of a job, really, and more of a hobby.

But DeZengotita, it’s a full-time business that she takes very seriously. She even operates her own retail Avon store — “which is unusual in our business” — and she “runs herd on about 100 other Avon ladies.”

And with her part in the advertising and recruitment campaign, DeZengotita is a very prominent “face” for the company. So, has her sexual orientation been any kind of stumbling block to her advancement within the Avon ranks? Absolutely not, she said.

“When I went in for the initial auditions, they had us all in this big holding room, waiting our turn. When people would finish and come back out, everyone would ask, ‘What kind of questions are they asking you? What do they want to know?’ And they would say, ‘Oh, they asked me a lot of questions about my family, things like what my husband does and how he is involved in my Avon business.’

“I heard that, and I immediately thought, ‘Uh-oh.’ So when it was my turn to go in, first thing I said was, ‘I am gay, and I am not careful with my pronouns.’ They busted out laughing. They asked me all kinds of questions about my family and my partner and our children,” DeZengotita said. “It [her sexual orientation] has been the biggest non-issue, and they have shown absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in promoting me as the face of Avon around the world.”

DeZengotita said she hasn’t made much of a big deal over being such a visible part of Avon’s global marketing campaign so far. But with the ad set to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday, she decided to speak up.

“I think it is kind of a big deal,” she said. “It shows that we [as LGBT people] really are everywhere. We are even the face of Avon.”

Darn DeZengotita operats Avon the Store at Preston Trail Village, located at Campbell Road and Preston Trail. Her Web site is www.avonbeauty.biz.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lesbian Valentine's Day Ideas

Whether you have been with your partner for 20 years, or you just met her last month, just the thought of Valentine’s Day can be overwhelming for many lesbian couples…but it doesn’t have to be.

Many of us seem to forget that Valentine's Day isn't about the money we spend, the gifts we buy, or the restaurant we choose, it is about taking the time to appreciate each other and remember why the two of you decided to be together in the first place.

Here are a few ideas on how you might spend Valentine's Day with the one you love...

Plan a weekend getaway. Why not plan a weekend trip out of town? Whether it is just 20 minutes from home or 3 hours, just being someplace different can create a more romantic setting, stress-free setting and it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Try cooking a meal. Now don't freak out about this one, you don't have to be a gourmet chef to make a nice dinner for your partner. In fact, you can find recipes for chicken, steak or fish on the Internet that are surprisingly easy to follow. And if you’re a little too scared to attempt it alone, then perhaps you and your partner can cook a romantic meal together.

How about an evening at home? Rent some movies that you will both enjoy, then make some popcorn and cuddle on the couch while watching videos. You could even order-in for dinner and have a romantic meal by the fire.

Why not pamper yourselves? What better way to celebrate then by taking yourself and your partner to a spa. Spoil yourselves with massages, maybe a soak in the hot tub and then perhaps lounge in your robes while drinking tea. Can’t afford a spa? Well then why not do it yourself at home? Light some candles and run a hot bath for your partner, maybe even throw in a few rose petals to add a little fragrance. Then bring out the sweet smelling oils and give her a massage, you don’t have to be a professional to make it feel good.

Get a little creative. Why not make a scrapbook documenting some of the special moment in you relationship. Or try writing a poem about how the two of you met. If you’re really artistic, perhaps you could make a collage with photos, quotes, etc.

How about Love Coupons? Coupons can be easily created on your computer or by hand and you can make them as specific as you like. In fact, you could even make some coupons that are romantic while others might relieve some stress in her life. For example, one idea might be a coupon for doing the housework one week and another could be a coupon for an evening of romance. Perhaps you have to work Valentine’s Day weekend, so why not make an “I owe you a weekend getaway” coupon? These are just a few of the many ideas you could come up with.

Fulfill a fantasy. Yes, I am referring to a sexual fantasy. Perhaps start with a little role-playing or a maybe new sexual position? You know what they say, experimentation breeds’ excitement in the bedroom, and what better way to spend your Valentine's Day. But, if that is a bit too risqué for your taste, then perhaps you can try taking turns reading an erotic book to each other...that can be just as much fun and may lead to other activities, if you know what I mean…wink wink nudge nudge.

Make it a Surprise. Perhaps the most romantic gift of all, which may or may not be fulfilled by any of the above ideas, is to make whatever you do be a surprise. The best gestures are often those that are unexpected.

Whatever it is that you end up doing for Valentine's Day, there is no need to stress about it!

Lesbian Horoscopes for February 2009

Flash Silvermoon's February 2009 Horoscopes.

I must apologize that last month's murky Mercury retrograde was so shady it even flew under my radar, so sorry I didn't give you all the usual head's up. If things went sort of haywire with your communications and electrical appliances OOPS.

This month will be much better in that regard and as we begin with a direct Mercury and a Grand Trine in Earth signs on Feb 2 just in time for Candlemas, Imbloc, and Groundhog Day. This should feel like a very stabilizing energy for us all and bodes well for the new administration, putting the brakes on the runaway economy.

With Jupiter newly in Aquarius, as well as several other planets, we can also expect a wave of optimism. Jovial expansive Jupiter also conjoined the Mid-heaven of Obama's chart on Inauguration Day, so that energy should help put some positive winds of change at his back, as we all sweep out the grime and corruption from the dark reign of King George and Dirty Dick. I tell ya, they will need a ton of sage to burn in some giant clam shell at the not so very White House to even attempt to exorcise the joint!

The Lunar Eclipse on the 9th could bring up some complex and intense feelings though and some of the world's hot spots could blow wide open if negotiations don't succeed. Try and be mindful to turn down the drama channel at least for the day as one may tend to make a mountain out of a molehill.

The Saturn/Uranus Opposition that sparked the Obama win continues to influence the early part of the month underscoring the need for a shift from the old regime to one that is more enlightened, progressive and yet responsible as well.

As the Feast of Aphrodite rolls around (my name for what is wrongly called St. Valentine's Day), the quirky idealistic Aquarian energy will be dominating our lives in a sweet way and should herald a good time to make commitments to loved ones but just don't talk it to death. The magic carpet may well pull up to your door around the 22 so enjoy the ride. This will be a wonderful weekend to be social and perhaps to find the partner of your dreams! Come out come out where ever you are.

ARIES - I love the idea of a feast of Aphrodite. Now that's my kind of holy day and I hear that real pagans celebrate for a whole week! So...let's get busy now that we have a fresh breeze blowing sweet kisses in all directions. BTW Venus will be in my sign this month too.

TAURUS - I've been too concerned about my income to be very outgoing, but Aphrodite can bring out my inner love Goddess anytime and frankly I would welcome that in these challenging times. I don't quite get all this abstract philosophical stuff, but sensuality, well that really is my bottom line.

GEMINI - Lovin' that Aquarian breeze at my back and it puts me in the mood to be in the center of a social whirlwind. I really need to meet some new folks so that my dance card can have a little diversity. I can feel a new screenplay or at least a novella on my to do list.

CANCER - I rarely feel like embracing change because I find it so unsettling, yet my emotions change daily. However, this feels like a good time to just unload the old karmic sack and change the dross and lead to gold. I am the cauldron of transformation and its high time to stir it up.

LEO - Ch-ch-ch-ch changes time to great the strange! All that Aquarian energy opposing me could be quite interesting and ever so stimulating. I can feel more of a blending of my heart and head offering me some new ways to look at things and not take them so personally. But isn't it really still all about me?

VIRGO - I guess that I am getting used to this more restricted feeling, but the energy needs to lighten up or at least enlighten up. My nerves are sort of fried and I badly need a vacation from some of the responsibilities that I seem to always take on.

LIBRA - Ummm... fresh air makes me feel romantic and feisty, and I am feeling the urge to merge or at least date. My sense of fairness is really having a hay-day with the new administration, as I finally see the hope and possibilities for full civil rights instead of civil wrongs.

SCORPIO - I feel the contagious joy spreading a bit, but I want to watch from the shadows to observe what is really happening. Maybe I am a little suspicious or jaded and I don't want to rain on the parade. Meanwhile back in Aphrodite land, a lot of good stuff can happen to a new gal in the hood. Come up and see me sometime.

SAGITTARIUS - Won't everybody be surprised when they see me flying that magic carpet? Babe I am ready to take this ship anywhere. You'd think I was flying a helicopter the way I have been hovering, just thinking about making the changes that are so necessary. Well, the time has come today.

CAPRICORN - I must remember that the word responsibility means the ability to respond. It is simply no longer useful to knee-jerk my way around life being duty bound to the point that life resembles a straight jacket and I am not even straight! Saying no to someone other than myself would be a step in the right direction.

AQUARIUS - Well we all know that I am profoundly grooving on this Uranian ride. I am getting zapped by energies left, right and center, and the opportunities are flying by faster than I can grab them until Neptune spins them out into the ethers. I look forward to teaching and learning much this year.

PISCES - I can't say that my life has no flare. Seems like every day feels like a romp in one of my 3 ring circuses. It's all good too. Hell, I don't even necessarily stay in this dimension. While Venus plays in my sign, I am hoping that Aphrodite brings me someone to time travel with or at least share my broom.

HAVE A GENTLE JOURNEY AND EMBRACE POSITIVE CHANGE WITH A FULL HEART
BLESSINGS FLASH SILVERMOON

LOVER'S SPECIAL GET 2 READINGS $10 OFF

3 GOOD REASONS TO CONSULT AN ASTROLOGER
1. To get a roadmap for your personal journey to maximize your options.
2. For your birthday each year for a Solar Return Chart to get a head's up on the main flavors and places of focus for the year ahead.
3. Comparison charts for new or existing relationships be they romantic and or professional.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING AND BEING IN TUNE WITH YOUR PERSONAL TIME TABLE IS A BLESSING IN THESE CHALLENGING TIMES!

For more understanding, read the passage for your Rising and Moon Signs if you know them. My style is different from most and I find that by giving a voice to the signs and planets one can get the feel of the energy even better.

CHECK OUT WHAT'S SIZZLIN' ON MY NEW BLOG
"FLASHES OF INSIGHT"

Listen to my new weekly Internet Radio Show "What the Animals Tell Me" every Wed 8:30 -9pm EST see my website for details or go directly to http://internetvoicesradio.com/home.htm

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Proposed California Tax on Veterinary Services

So, I know this isn't exactly related to lesbians, however, many of the lesbians I know have animals and this proposed tax would effect them, so I thought it necessary to get this information out.

Have you heard of the proposed California tax on veterinary services?

The Governor would like to categorize veterinary costs as "luxury" items and apply a 10.5% sales tax on all veterinary services. Times are tough, we don't need to make them life or death decisions for dogs, cats and other animals.

A tax increase will negatively impact a lot of people and, more importantly, will mean an increase in unnecessary euthanasia and relinquishment because people simply cannot afford the added costs.

Take a moment to call the Governor's office as well as contact your state representatives in the assembly and senate to condemn this unnecessary and cruel tax.

Calling the Governor's office is easy:
1) 916-445 -2841
2) Select your language choice
3) Press 5 to leave an opinion on a current hot issue
4) Press 1 to select the issue of extending the sales to include veterinary services
5) Press 2 to oppose this proposal

To find out who your representative is: www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html
Input your zip code to find the contact information. Please do this today.

A vote on this issue could occur at any time and be implemented as soon as February of this year.

Last brief filed in Prop 8 legal challenge

The following is a letter from the National Center For Lesbian rights with an update about the Prop 8 legal challenge.

"Our legal team has been working around the clock to meet the California Supreme Court’s expedited briefing schedule in our Prop 8 legal challenge. We missed holidays, weekends, and plenty of sleep, but the hard work paid off and we just filed our final brief (pdf) in the case.

Today’s brief highlights the extraordinary breadth of support for our argument that Proposition 8 is invalid. Those supporting our argument represent the full gamut of California’s and the nation’s civil rights organizations and legal scholars, as well as California legislators, local governments, bar associations, business interests, labor unions, and religious groups. A total of 43 friend-of-the-court briefs were filed in our favor.

Many of the nation’s leading legal scholars agree that Proposition 8 is invalid because it seeks to eliminate a fundamental right only for a targeted minority, which cannot be done through the initiative process. Professors from the many universities and law schools in California and across the country authored briefs urging invalidation of Proposition 8, including scholars from Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, University of California (Berkeley, Los Angeles, Hastings, Davis, Irvine), University of Southern California, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, University of San Francisco, Loyola Law School, Santa Clara Law School, Chapman University, and Pepperdine University.

As you know, on May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court held that laws that treat people differently based on their sexual orientation violate the equal protection clause of the California Constitution and that same-sex couples have the same fundamental right to marry as other Californians. Proposition 8 eliminated this fundamental right only for same-sex couples. No other ballot initiative has ever successfully changed the California Constitution to take away a right only from a targeted minority group.

Next, we wait for the Court to schedule oral argument, which could happen as soon as March. We are confident in our argument, humbled by the support of such powerful allies, and hopeful that the promise of California’s constitution will protect all Californians.

We would like to pause and thank our partner, Equality California, and co-counsel, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, the Law Office of David C. Codell, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

For up-to-the-minute updates, visit www.nclrights.org/overturn8.

In hope and solidarity,

Kate"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lesbian Couple's 'Empire State' Wedding

This Valentine's Day, a lesbian couple will be the first same-sex couple to exchange vows atop the Empire State Building. Jessica Chesnutt and Natalie Sauro of Park Slope will be joining 13 other couples in pledging their love Feb. 14 on the 61st floor of the Empire State Building.

Although New York does not allow same-sex marriage, Sauro, who is from San Francisco, and Chesnutt, who is from Washington, DC, will have a commitment ceremony instead.

"I didn't expect to win," confessed Chesnutt, a book editor. "The fact that the contest was open to same-sex couples is a good sign. We want the rights and responsibilities of married couples."

For the contest, couples were asked to submit their personal love stories, a photo and reasons for wanting to have their ceremony at the Empire State Building.

The winning couples will each receive a prize package valued at $7,500.00 which includes a one-on-one style and beauty consultation from the Bride.com editors, as well as a private 30 minute ceremony with up to 20 guests. Following their nuptials, couples will enjoy a champagne toast, collect a gift bag worth over $500 and enjoy a VIP trip to the 86th floor Observatory with their guests.


Source:
New York Post
brides.com

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes We Can!

By Mike Robbins, author, speaker and coach

These three words, “yes we can,” became the mantra for Barack Obama's successful presidential campaign. Whether you voted for, support, or agree with President Obama or not, these three words are powerful and important for each of us in our lives, especially in the face of the challenges that many of us are facing these days.

When we believe in ourselves in an authentic way, we know that we can do whatever it is we desire and that no matter what our current circumstance may be, we always have the power within us to overcome, accomplish, or manifest anything. As Henry Ford famously stated, “Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right.”

Being optimistic is and always will be a personal choice. And, it’s not always the easiest choice to make. Some of us are more predisposed to be negative, while others of us are more predisposed to be positive – based on a variety of factors (personality, beliefs, family background, environment, focus, and much more). However, all of us can practice and enhance our ability to be optimistic in our daily lives. It’s both a choice and a skill.

Being hopeful and positive doesn't mean we avoid the challenges of our lives or pretend that there aren’t problems around us, it's that we choose to focus on the good stuff, find what's working, and trust that things will work out. This does take a certain amount of faith and it challenges us to let go of our need to control, explain, and understand everything at all times.

Here are a few simple things you can do to enhance your own ability to be optimistic in life:

1) Tell the truth – Admit to yourself and to others your own fear, worry, and negativity. While we don't want to complain or dwell on things in a detrimental way, so often we deny or avoid our true negativity or pessimism, which keeps it stuck. When we admit it and own it, we have a chance to move through it and to let it go consciously.

2) Practice looking for the good stuff – This is an art and a skill that we can practice all the time. It can be challenging to find the good stuff in the midst of adversity, but that is the most important time to do it and the most valuable way to practice being optimistic. The more you do it the easier it gets. This is all about us giving up our desire, need, and right to be a victim in life!

3) Surround yourself with authentically optimistic people – Choose to be around people who are genuinely positive and hopeful. This doesn't mean that they're happy all the time or always super upbeat (although they often will be, most likely). Seek out people who choose to appreciate life and to focus on what's working. Doing this will not only be more fun and empowering for you, but it will also support you in your desire to be more optimistic in your own life.

Optimism is essential to our happiness, fulfillment, and our ability to overcome and persevere in life. It takes courage, boldness, and trust – things that as we all know are important, but not always easy in life. As you look at your own work, relationships, and life in general, where can you say “Yes I can?” and allow that statement to empower you in an optimistic way? The more we say “yes” to ourselves and to life, the more life and others say “yes” back to us.

I say to you, me, and everyone around us – YES WE CAN!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Internet Dating Guide

While wandering through the Internet, as I often do, I found a new Internet dating site called The Internet Dating Guide. Now this site isn’t specific to the LGBT community, but I found some helpful information, reviews and tips that could be beneficial to anyone who is using the Internet to meet someone new.

The Internet Dating Guide is divided up by various categories such as: Lesbian Dating Sites, Online Dating Safety, Internet Dating Stories and about 45 other related categories. They even have a category called good online profiles, which has some great sample dating profiles, as well as ideas on how to create a more affective dating profile so that you will get the response you are looking for.

So, if you haven't been getting what you want from your online dating service, or you just need some help with writing your online profile, then the Internet Dating Guide may be a great site for you to spend a little bit of time.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jim Carrey's New Gay Flick

I Love You Phillip Morris is one of this years most anticipated movies at the Sundance Film Festival. It is the true story of Steven Russell (Jim Carrey), a married father and former Texas policeman, whose criminal exploits landed him in the Texas criminal justice system. While incarerated, Russell fell madly in love with his cellmate, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor).

Check out the trailer...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Same-Sex Couples' Court Fight Could Affect Ohio Parents

A custody fight involving two same-sex couples could impact custody battles for all parents in Ohio.

Kelly Mullen and Scott Liming are like any other parents. They'll do whatever it takes to protect their child, 3-year old Lucy.

"My heart and soul is for my daughter and that's the premise of why I'm fighting for this," Liming said. “Because this is about her life, not ours."

Scott is Lucy’s biological father; Kelly is her biological mother.

The difference between them and other parents is that they're both gay and live separate lives with separate partners.

“We really wanted it to be one mom and one dad so that she would not be confused as an adult," Liming said.

But a year ago, when Mullen and her partner broke up, that plan unraveled.

Mullen's partner filed a lawsuit, asking for shared custody of Lucy, and she got it.

"Right now, every Saturday my daughter goes and spends six hours of unsupervised time with somebody I don't even want her to be with,” Mullen said.

The court’s decision rested on a piece of paper that had nothing to do with the complicated relationship.

The judge noted that since Mullen signed a will and power of attorney, naming her then-partner as Lucy’s caregiver if something happened to Mullen, the partner should have some custodial rights.

"This is an issue that opens up Pandora's box for everyone and possibly anyone," Liming said.

"It'll give the opportunity for any third party, a baby sitter, a nanny, anybody that's had substantial interest in helping you with your child, they can now file and say, ‘Well, you've implied custody to me,’" Mullen said.

Hamilton County Judge Carla Grady is expected to issue a new ruling on the case later this month.

Source: WLWT.com

Washington Post's Yearly Neologisms Contest

The Washington Post just published their yearly neologisms, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. I thought you might find them entertaining, so here are the winners:

  1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
  2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
  3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
  5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
  6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
  7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
  8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
  9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
  11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
  12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
  13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.
  14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish isms.
  15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary and alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's winners

  1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
  2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of
    getting laid.
  3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
  4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
  5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
  6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
  7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.
  8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease.
  9. Karmageddon (n): Its like when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
  10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
  11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.
  12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
  13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
  14. Beelzebu g (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
  15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating. And the pick of the literature:
  16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Battle over gay marriage shifts to Maine

By Jason Szep

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Maine lawmaker introduced a bill on Tuesday to legalize same-sex marriage, but it looks set to face tough opposition and bring a rancorous fight over the definition of marriage to the rugged eastern state.

The legislation proposed by Democratic state Sen. Dennis Damonck would make the state the nation's third to allow same-sex marriage. It seeks to redefine marriage as the legal union of two people rather than between a man and a women.

"Today I have submitted an act to end discrimination in civil marriage and to affirm religious freedom," he told a news conference in the state capital Augusta.

As he spoke, Republican Rep. John Tardy was drafting legislation to enshrine the definition of marriage as one man and one woman into the state constitution. "The language is being worked on now," his spokesman said.

The looming fight in Maine, a rural state of 1.3 million people with a Democratic-controlled legislature, underlines a concerted push for same-sex marriage recognition in New England's six states by gay and lesbian advocates -- a bid that would effectively create a regional niche for gay marriage.

In November, Connecticut became the second U.S. state to allow legal same-sex weddings after Massachusetts' top court ruled in 2003 that a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, paving the way for same-sex marriages the following year.

On Friday, New Hampshire Rep. Jim Splaine signed off on legislation proposing same-sex marriage in that state, which borders both Maine and Massachusetts. He said he expected the bill to come up for a public hearing in two or three weeks.

Five of New England's six states already offer same-sex couples some form of legal recognition, with New Hampshire and Vermont permitting same-sex civil unions that grant many of the same rights as married couples but lack the full legal protections of marriage.

"I think it is important to make our civil unions have full marriage equality with the word 'marriage' so that it is clear that we do not discriminate and that we welcome same-gendered couples," Splaine told Reuters in an interview.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, a group of lawyers who led the legal fight for same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and Connecticut, said on Tuesday similar legislation was being drafted in Rhode Island and Vermont.

The group has set a target of bringing same-sex marriage to all six New England states by 2012.

Some economists say carving out an economic niche for gay and lesbian weddings -- and the spending that comes with them -- makes sense at a time same-sex marriage has stalled in California and a recession is deepening.

M.V. Lee Badgett, an economist at the University of Massachusetts' Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies, led a study released in July that said over the next three years about 32,200 same-sex couples would travel from other states to marry in Massachusetts.

That would translate into 330 jobs and a $111 million boost to the state's economy, the study projects.

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2009 Freedom to Marry Day

On National Freedom to Marry Day, Thursday, February 12, 2009, at local marriage counters in cities all over the country, same-sex couples will request marriage licenses at their local County Clerk’s Offices to raise awareness of the harms and impact the inability to marry causes on their families.


This national event is hosted yearly by Marriage Equality USA and this year they have asked Join the Impact for thier help to make this the largest Marriage Counter Action yet!


Since 2001, Marriage Equality USA® chapters have engaged in these annual marriage counter actions to render visible the discrimination that is enforced every day. It is an affront to our basic dignity as fellow human beings when same-sex couples are turned away from the marriage counter, but it gives us the opportunity to tell our stories and show that we live in every community and want to honor and protect our families like everyone else. Everyone who supports marriage equality is welcomed to attend and support this event.
Marriage Equality USA currently has chapters operating in 9 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.

Reform Jews back same-sex marriage

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Union of Reform Judaism has joined a brief challenging the legality of a California ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage.

The friend-of-the-court brief argues that Proposition 8 denies equal protection under the law to same-sex couples, which it says would be a violation of the California state constitution. The Progressive Jewish Alliance and a number of other religious organizations also signed on to the brief.

"We are proud to join with this important challenge to Proposition 8," said Mark Pelavin, the associate director fo the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. "We do so because we believe the law should treat each individual equally, affording every American the same rights and responsibilities, including the right to civil marriage."

Pelavin added that "the religious beliefs of people who oppose same-sex marriages should be respected; no clergy member or house of worship should ever be forced, under law, to sanctify a religious wedding that goes against his or her religious tenets."

Monthly horoscopes for the lesbian community

I would like to introduce a new addition to the blog, Flash Silvermoon. Flash is a nationally acclaimed psychic, astrologer, musician, teacher and author. She has been a leader in her field since the early 70's and has been serving the community for 31 years as a psychic astrologer and healer.

"My forecasts are not your Mama's Astrology Column. Aren't you tired of listening to an astrologer or psychic who get the pronouns all wrong? Wouldn't it be nice to talk with someone who speaks Lesbanese?

I like to give the signs and planets a voice so that they can really tell it like it is. It can be like you talking to you, from deep inside, giving you a message that resonates. For a better understanding of these messages from the cosmos, also read your rising and moon signs if you know them."

January 2009
What an absolutely incredible finish to 2008! Now we move forward to the wild ride of 2009. We feel freer to embrace a new day wholeheartedly even with a horrendous economic picture looming over us.

I see a New Year full of great promise and fraught with great challenges that will begin to alleviate in February and continue in that direction as spring and the new regime unfolds. It took us at least 8 years for the powers that be to create this mess and it will take some time to undo but at least we will have some of the tools and energies in place to begin the healing.


ARIES - There's plenty of wild air in the stars to light my fire. I am so so ready for a New Year that I can taste it. My senses are on high alert and I am a heat seeking ram this season. No better way to stay warm than rolled up in bed with your sweetie.

TAURUS - More earth signs in the heavens brings me joy. My budget got slashed and burned and my little Taurian heart is not quite happy about that but as usual I will go after quality not quantity and be happy for all I do have.

GEMINI - Quite honestly sometimes I can just be happy no matter what and feeling the buzz and stir of this new year is filling me with excitement and anxiety. It all depends on which twin gets a hold of me first and which one I let dominate my day.

CANCER - I tend to like more security in my life than I am seeing immediately evident yet my intuition tells me that the changes will do us all good and that the winds of change that are blowing will blow me right into a more fabulous year ahead.

LEO - Oh Cancer you must be thinking of fabulous me. Don't you really need a Leo in your life? Doesn't everyone? This weather makes me feel even more passionate than usual and it feels like a fine time to get myself to as many parties as I can manage so that no one will feel slighted and I can make lots of new friends.

VIRGO - I am simply not going to allow the need to tighten my belt dampen my enthusiasm. There are so many ways to feel festive and joyful and old grumpy Saturn will be my friend. I can refurbish some old toys and gadgets and make them like new for special friends. Necessity is the mother of invention.

LIBRA - Once upon a time there was a sweet woman and she yearned for a mate of her own. She lit her holiday candles, burned a Yule log, and decked her halls with holly and mistletoe and lo and behold what do you think she found in her stocking............? See next month's Astroflash.

SCORPIO - Silent night, I like that and being caught alone with you while the snow piles up around our cabin simply means a good excuse for us to lay next to the roaring fire. What happens next I will leave to your imagination and yes, I do love secrets and this can be ours. Hell even if we live near palm trees, we can turn on the AC and pretend.

SAGITTARIUS - My magic carpet is drawing me close making me jones for a real vacation. Prices are down but my bills are up. Maybe a good creative visualization will correct both issues. Still perhaps an exotic meal under candlelight or moonlight and mystical music will soothe my soul's wanderlust. If not, anybody got some frequent flyer miles for me?

CAPRICORN - This pile up of planets in Capricorn is keeping a lot on my plate but then again I do like it like that. Kind of makes me feel important and I am. If we all had my work ethic, half of the problems would already be gone. When things are in order then I am the first one to want to run out and play. Just seems like things are never in that much order.

AQUARIUS - I am loving all these planets in Aquarius especially Venus. Oh yes girl come to me now. This could be a wilder ride than usual and I am ready. I have felt so weird and spacey for a log time while Neptune worked me over with her siren song and now at least there is an object of my affection.

PISCES - I don't think that I can remember a time when more opportunities were literally popping like flash bulbs all around me. Its all good as they say but a little confusing and hard to prioritize which is what it will take to reap all the benefits. My ship has come in and its the Mothership!

For more understanding, read the passage for your Rising and Moon Signs if you know them. My style is different from most and I find that by giving a voice to the signs and planets one can get the feel of the energy even better.

For a more detailed astrology report, or a personal reading, visit Flash's website at www.flashsilvermoon.com.

The Quandary with Goals

by Judy Kinney

Ok, two weeks into the new year. Have you met your goals for this year, yet? Ha! of course I’m just teasing. . .

Was it just me, or did you wade through a new year goal frenzy too?

First, I found myself repelled by the “be all you can be” type new year goal promotions. Last week, I even told myself that I was NOT going NEAR the gym until next month or later! Sure, I’m laughing now, but I was struck by the depth of my reaction to these type of goals.

Then a slew of messages, expressing the idea that “I’m already fabulous,” grabbed my attention. THAT perspective felt great! In contrast to the other message, I got excited about my life, and was ready to dive into my amazing relationships, and work.

Whew! I know which approach I’m using! Here’s why a feel good approach to goals is effective.

We’re evolving creatures-always have been, and always will be. You evolve whether you’re sitting on the couch day dreaming or running your 10th marathon! There’s just no escaping your personal evolution. From this perspective, our attraction to personal improvement, goals, and New Year resolutions make sense, because they tap into our innate desire to expand.

Consider that your goals reflect what your soul already knows is true about you. On some level, you know that you’re ALREADY that savvy business woman , or the mom, lovingly in the middle of her family, or that 145 lb strong and sexy woman. Yes, that is exactly who you are!

And yet, your mind needs to catch up to what our soul understands for your true self to emerge. Until then, you might believe that you need to have, do, or think the right thing to be who you want to be.

Can you see that the quandary that setting goals creates? How do you become who you already are? No wonder new year resolutions are so easy to break, they’re unnecessary!

Think about it. How much energy do you expend trying to be the person who you already are?

Yes, of course there is an easier and much more enjoyable way to make room for your true nature to emerge.

Here are two suggestions.
Michael Neill (who I am mentoring with this year) suggests that you take at least a week off from working on yourself in any way. Don’t try to change, improve, or fix yourself - just enjoy hanging out with your work, your hobbies and your loved ones.

Try this exercise. Let me know what you noticed? What brought you joy?

Here’s a second approach.
Look at your goals, or things you want to accomplish this year, and ask yourself:
“How would I live my life if this was already true about me?”

I imagine that there are some beliefs, and actions within your description that you can incorporate in your life right away, yes? Let yourself step into being the person your goals represent. You’re ready, and your goals reflect this.

You’ll create a momentum that the universe will gladly match. Now THAT’S a sweet spot!

Most of all, enjoy, my friend, enjoy!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Same-Sex Marriage Foes Want Donors Anonymous

In a recent article put out by the Associated Press, it was announced that supporters of California's Proposition 8 are trying to have all records of their campaign donations blocked from public view.

Supporters stated that revealing their campaign donations has led to death threats and other forms of harassment against those who donated money to the gay marriage ban.

Prop 8 campaign donators announced their lawsuit on Thursday, just one day after it was filed in federal court in Sacramento. They have also requested that the secretary of state's office remove the donator's names already reported on their Web site.

The lawsuit also asks that the court prohibit the state from requiring Proposition 8 supporters to file final reports detailing donations made shortly before and after the election.

Now don't get me wrong, I do not condone harassment or threats of any kind, but with GLBT hate crimes up all over the US, maybe it isn't so awful for the prop 8 supporters to feel a little fear and perhaps get a tiny glimpse of what it is like for some of the GLBT community everyday...just a thought.

The 2008 Weblog Awards and Lesbian Bloggers

I haven't been blogging very long, just a little over a year, so many of the blog politics, honors, and various other rituals, are still new to me. However, the one thing I have been hearing a lot of buzz about are the Weblog Awards.

These awards, which started in 2003, are said to be the world's largest blog competition, and are a huge honor among bloggers.

This year's competition had over 5,000 blog entries for their 48 categories, including: Best Humor Blog, Best Blog Design, Best Political Blog, Best LGBT Blog and Best Liberal Blog, just to name a few.

This year, I have noticed, there are quite a few lesbian and bi bloggers who made it to the finals, and with voting ending on Jan 13th, I thought perhaps they could use some community support.

So here is a list of the lesbian and bi bloggers that were nominated in this year's Weblog Awards; Check out there sites, and if you like them, then vote. Voting goes until 5 p.m. (ET) January 13 and you can vote once every 24 hours.

If you know of other lesbian or bisexual bloggers who are Weblog finalists, let me know so I can add them to the list.

Religion and Sexuality in the LGBT Community

Article originally posted on gaynewsbits.com

IN THE LIFE Debuts Its January Show ‘Ties That Bind’ — A Look at the Intersections of Religion and Sexuality in the LGBT Community.

IN THE LIFE, the only three-time Emmy nominated public television series documenting the gay experience, explores religious devotion and discord in the LGBT community.

The power of religion to shape our lives, our worldview and our political convictions transcends all cultures, faiths, and sexual orientations. The Bible, the Koran, and the Torah are tools for spiritual guidance, comfort, and direction, but many gay and lesbian people endure a sense of alienation from religious communities that fail to see a place for them in their congregations.

In the wake of many defeats sustained by the LGBT community on Election Day, with the historic passage of Proposition 8 in California and similar amendments in other states, the entire country has been witness to how religion is used as a wedge in the larger community.

Believing that homosexuals have no place in the Christian Church, ex-gay ministries like EXODUS International promise gay and lesbian people struggling to live within the margins of religious fundamentalism “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.” In its lead-story, “In God We Trusted,” this episode of IN THE LIFE examines evangelical ex-gay ministries that have been established around the country to “re-program” LGBT people into heterosexuals — often with tragic consequences endured by its members: guilt, desperation, even suicide.

In “A Conversation With…” Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop ordained by the Episcopal Church, and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, spiritual leader of New York City’s largest LGBT synagogue, map their spiritual journeys, noting parallels and pivotal moments that lead them to call for a more inclusive theology that celebrates people of all faiths and sexual orientations. “I wanted to be a part of a Judaism that could ask questions in a sophisticated way about the meaning of life, interfaith relations, sexuality, feminism, gender issues,” says Kleinbaum, “and I believed that Judaism was actually big enough and strong enough, and that God was sophisticated enough to handle those kinds of questions.”

The episode concludes with a “Real to Reel” highlighting Parvez Sharma’s groundbreaking film, “A Jihad for Love.” This rare portrait of a different kind of “Jihad,” meaning: an inner struggle or to strive in the path of God, brings the stories of gay and lesbian Muslims across twelve countries to the forefront of the debate on Muslim scripture and homosexuality.

“Ties That Bind” has begun airing on American Public Television stations, and is available for free video streaming and downloadable podcasting from the IN THE LIFE website. To find out when it will be airing in their local areas, to stream or download it, viewers should go to In The Life: Ties That Bind.

NY Court Decision Affirms Out-of-State Marriage Recognition

A decision last week from the New York Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed dismissal of a case brought by antigay Arizona group the Alliance Defense Fund and confirmed that Westchester County Executive Spano lawfully recognized out-of-state marriages of same–sex couples.

The Court said in its decision: …”The Executive Order at issue here requires that same-sex marriages be recognized to ‘the maximum extent allowed by law.’ By its terms, therefore, the Executive Order can never require recognition of such a marriage where it would be outside the law to do so. Since it is within the authority of the County Executive ‘[t]o see that the laws of the state, pertaining to the affairs and government of the county…are executed and enforced within the county’) the Executive Order is not illegal.”

“Yet another appellate court has ruled that government officials act lawfully when they respect out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples,” said Susan Sommer, Senior Counsel at Lambda Legal. “The Alliance Defense Fund has wasted the courts’ time and taxpayers’ money in their years of consistently unsuccessful cases attacking these marriages in New York and the government officials who refuse to discriminate against lesbian and gay New Yorkers.”

In February 2008, in Martinez v. County of Monroe, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department in Rochester, also upheld application of the marriage recognition rule to valid out–of–state marriages of same-sex couples. Today’s decision comes after four ADF losses at the trial court level and is the first New York Appellate Court ruling on their cases challenging marriage recognition. The ADF, on behalf of several Westchester County taxpayers, challenged County Executive Spano’s June 6, 2006 Executive Order No. 3, which directs, “each and every department, board, agency, and commission of the County of Westchester under my jurisdiction to recognize same sex marriages lawfully entered into outside the State of New York in the same manner as they currently recognize opposite sex marriages for the purposes of extending and administering all rights and benefits belonging to these couples, to the maximum extent allowed by law.” In March 2007, the lower court ruled that Spano’s order was legally issued and consistent with New York law. That ruling was appealed. In oral argument on June 23, 2008, Lambda Legal represented Westchester County couple Michael Sabatino and Robert Voorheis, who had married in Canada and were permitted to intervene as defendants in the case.

“Today the court has re–affirmed that our relationship will be honored in the community where we live and where we make our life together as a married couple,” said Sabatino. “It is a relief to know that we will continue to enjoy the rights and benefits of our marriage.”

In July, Attorney General Cuomo, on behalf of Governor Paterson, filed a motion to dismiss a similar case brought by the Alliance Defense Fund. The ADF, on behalf of a group of taxpayers, challenged Governor Paterson’s May 14, 2008 directive that state agencies respect out-of-state marriages of same–sex couples, consistent with long-standing New York law.

The court granted Lambda Legal’s motion to intervene in the case on behalf of Peri Rainbow and Tamela Sloan, long-time public employees who are raising a special needs child adopted from foster care. The couple depends on the protections that come from respect for their marriage. On September 2, 2008, the New York Supreme Court (Bronx trial court) dismissed the lawsuit, ensuring that couples will continue to be treated equally in New York State.

Source: Lambda Legal

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ohio Supreme Court Allows Lesbian Custody Decision to Stand

The Supreme Court of Ohio last week let stand an appeals court ruling affirming the enforceability of a court-approved child custody agreement in a case involving lesbian mothers.

“The Court has expressly shut down arguments that Ohio’s antigay amendment impacts parenting and child custody relationships, rights, and responsibilities,”said Camilla Taylor, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Midwest Regional Office in Chicago. “The Court correctly declined an invitation to treat gay and lesbian Ohio parents differently from other families, and to deprive the children of these families of the protections and support other children receive.”

Lambda Legal represents Therese Leach in her fight to uphold a court-approved joint custody agreement signed by both her and her former partner, Denise Fairchild, in 2001. After their son was born in 1996, both women parented him. In order to ensure that Therese had a protected legal relationship with the child, the two women signed a joint custody agreement. Such agreements were approved by the Ohio Supreme Court in the 2001 In re Bonfield case in which Lambda Legal participated.

The Supreme Court decision comes after Fairchild argued, at a trial court, and the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Tenth District, that Ohio’s antigay constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman invalidated the court approved custody agreement she originally sought with Leach. All three courts brushed aside Fairchild’s arguments, ruling that court-approved custody agreements cannot be ignored or unilaterally undone by one of the parents. In July 2008, Fairchild asked the Ohio Supreme Court to hear her case, and Lambda Legal urged the Court to refuse. Today’s order from the high court is the final word on the matter.


Source: Lambda Legal

Lesbian couple loses appeal in health club discrimination case

One step forward, two steps back...

Earlier this week a Minnesota appeals court judge upheld a ruling that found it legal for the Rochester Athletic Club to deny a family membership to a lesbian couple because the couple is not married. The case spotlights an instance where Minnesota anti-discrimination laws are ineffective so long as same-sex couples cannot marry.

Amy and Sarah Monson have been partners for seven years and are raising their daughter together. They co-own a business, have joint finances, and had a commitment ceremony in 2002. They have drafted estate plans for themselves and their daughter, and Sarah changed her last name to Monson.

The Rochester Athletic Club had a policy that only married couples could apply for a family membership package. The courts have said that since unmarried heterosexual couples also cannot get the discounted membership the policy does not constitute discrimination based on sexual orientation. But the Monsons contend that since they don’t have the option to marry, they shouldn't be compared with unmarried heterosexual couples who have the option to marry.

After four attempts to resolve the matter with the club, the Monsons filed a lawsuit in 2007, alleging a violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the 1993 law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals denied their argument this past Tuesday and upheld a previous Olmstead County judge’s decision.

Judge Kevin Lund, the judge in the original decision, saw the flaws in the system. He called the health club’s policy “anachronistic” and an “unrealistically narrow definition of family” that “fails to recognize the underlying stability and commitment of the Monsons’ relationship,” a relationship that he said functions “as a loving family unit and would otherwise be married or have entered into a permissible legal domestic partnership if allowed by our Legislature.”

The Monsons may appeal the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Source: The Minnesota Independent

Lesbian couple invited on Inaugural Whistle Stop Tour

15 other families join Obama, Biden on train to ceremony
From Washington Blade staff reports

Recently the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee announced the names of 16 families who will join President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden on their Whistle Stop Tour to D.C. the Saturday before the inauguration.

Lesbian couple Lisa Hazirjian and her partner Michelle have been invited to join the Whistle Stop Tour and appear onstage with Obama and Biden during events.

Hazirjian, who is from Ohio, serves as an at-large board member of Equality Ohio, as a member of the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats and as a volunteer for Cleveland Families Count, an organization formed to defend the new domestic partner registry in the city.

She is now establishing herself as a leader in our community at the grassroots level, serving as an at-large board member of Equality Ohio, a member of the incredibly effective Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, and a volunteer with Cleveland Families Count, the organization formed recently to defend the new domestic partnership registry in Cleveland.

The other invited guests include: The invited guests include the following: Mark Dowell, Crestwood, KY; Matt Kuntz, Helena, MT; Jim and Alicia Girardeau, Kansas City, MO; Juliana Sanchez, Albuquerque, NM; Rosa Mendoza, Las Vegas, NV; Kirsten Meehan, Dover, NH; Roy Gross, Taylor, MI; Shandra Jackson, Arlington, TX; Quincy Lucas, Dover, DE; Patricia Stiles, Parker, CO; Gregg Weaver, Fairless Hills, PA; Tony Fischer, Cinncinati, OH; Lilly Ledbetter, Jacksonville, AL; Mike and Cheryl Fisher, Beech Grove, IN; and Randy Wehrman, LeClair, IA.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Nationwide DOMA Protest






On Saturday January 10th, 2009
JOIN THE IMPACT is asking that you to join them in making the LARGEST IMPACT YET!

Let's take our message all the way up the ladder to President Elect Barack Obama himself!

On January 10th, we will come together as one UNITED FRONT asking the LGBTQ community to join us in signing an Open Letter to President Barack Obama, during a NATIONAL DOMA PROTEST.

This letter will remind President Elect Barack Obama of the promises he made to us. It will also serve as a pledge from our community that we will hold him to his promises and help him achieve them.

We can’t just put a letter online and ask that people sign it. We need to take to the streets. As we all know… VISIBILITY IS THE KEY TO EQUALITY! Outreach & Education Will End Discrimination. We MUST Infiltrate, to Educate, and Stop Hate!

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:




  • Find out who is organizing a DOMA Protest in your area. (+Cities">Quick Link to State Page) If there isn't one, then volunteer to organize an event, or organize to collect signatures!


  • Download the Open Letter and take to the streets to gain signatures. Get one million signatures (in total across the nation) by the end of the day on January 10th.


  • Mail the collected signatures to the JTI clearinghouse address BY DEADLINE: Join The Impact, PO Box 141491, Columbus, OH 43214

NOTE:




  • If you can't organize a protest or one is not organized in your city (understandable with the holidays and all), then don't worry, you can still participate:

  • Sign up to organize a carpool in your area that gets everyone to the closest protest
    Get a group of friends together to canvas your neighborhood to get signatures for the open letter.

The Point of this event...

... to gather at least one million signatures on an Open Letter to President Barack Obama
to be delivered to him on his first day in office.

Join Us on January 10th for 1 Million Signatures to Repeal DOMA!

Another wave of legal arguments filed over California's Proposition 8

By Howard Mintz, Mercury News

Another wave of legal arguments hit the California Supreme Court on Monday in the battle over Proposition 8's ban on same-sex marriage.

Local governments, led by San Francisco and Santa Clara County, filed their latest opposition papers to Proposition 8, describing the voter-approved initiative as a "dark moment'' in California history. The brief is an attempt to refute the legal arguments of Proposition 8 backers as the Supreme Court weighs a challenge from government officials, civil rights groups and same-sex couples who are seeking the right to marry.

The San Francisco brief sides with the unique argument raised in December by Attorney General Jerry Brown, who argues that voters did not have the authority to strip away a fundamental constitutional right when they approved Proposition 8 in November. Brown, who ordinarily would be forced to defend state law, argued in his December brief that the state Supreme Court's decision last spring striking down California's prior gay marriage ban established that fundamental right to marry.

Proposition 8 supporters, represented by former Whitewater prosecutor and Pepperdine law school dean Kenneth Starr, also responded with fresh legal arguments Monday, calling Brown's argument an attempt to "declare a constitutional revolution."

"The attorney general's theory would fundamentally alter the role of the California judiciary," Proposition 8 backers wrote. "It would, in brief, constitute the
California judiciary as the supreme overseer of the people's use of their constitution-making power."

A series of lawsuits was filed shortly after the election, challenging Proposition 8 as an invalid method of amending the California Constitution. Proposition 8 supporters insist the law is valid, and that the Supreme Court does not have the right to topple the will of the voters.

The Supreme Court has set a deadline for final briefs to be filed by late January, and could hear the case as early as March. A decision could come by early summer. The court will decide the fate of the gay marriage ban, as well as the validity of thousands of same-sex marriages that have already taken place in the past six months.

Maturity in Relationships

By Larry James

LoveNote. . .To be capable of real love means becoming mature, with realistic expectations of the other person. It means accepting responsibility for our own happiness or unhappiness, and neither expecting the other person to make us happy nor blaming that person for our bad moods and frustrations. ~ John A. Sanford

Maturity, in general, is many things. Maturity in a love relationship is everything! First it is the ability to base a decision about a love relationship on the big picture - the long haul. In general, it means being able to pass up the fun for the moment and select the course of action which will pay off later.

In a love relationship, it means being able to enjoy the instant gratification that comes with the romance of the moment while knowing the best is yet to be and being patient while you watch your love grow. It is knowing that by working together, the state of unconditional love will present itself in the relationship and will mature with time. It is knowing that you grow into a love relationship. It doesn't happen all at once. Mature love partners seek new ways to help each other grow.

One of the characteristics of infancy is the "I want it now" approach. Grown-up people can wait. And often they don't. Often they allow themselves to slip back into infancy so they can justify rushing into things.

Maturity is the ability to stick with a project or a situation until it is finished. It means doing whatever it takes to make the relationship be one you are proud to be in. The adult who is constantly changing jobs, relationships, and friends, is in a word. . . immature. They cannot stick it out because they have not grown up. Everything seems to turn sour after a while.

LoveNote. . .For a love relationship to mature, both partners must experience a deep feeling, a tacit belief, that there is something quite special about them which would never have happened had each not contributed to its creation. ~ Larry A. Bugen
Mature love partners have learned not to expect perfection in each other. They know that acceptance has its own reward. Each lover's differences test the other's capacity for acceptance, forgiveness and understanding. They never dance around issues. When necessary, they discuss their imperfections, lovingly, with care not to pass judgment with harmful words. Acceptance and tolerance hold hands in the presence of unconditional love.

Mature lovers -- lovers who love unconditionally -- develop a knack for side- stepping resentment and focusing on the good they see in one another. They have evolved to a higher level of understanding, one that transcends taking notice of the imperfections of the other.

Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness, frustration, discomfort and defeat without complaint or collapse. Mature love partners know they can't have everything their own way. They are able to defer to circumstances, to other people - and to time, when necessary.

Mature love partners permit each other the freedom to pursue their individual interests and friends without restriction. This is when trust presents itself. Mature love allows this level of separateness to bring lovers closer together. In this scenario separateness is perceived as a bond, not a wedge. It encourages love partners to celebrate their own uniqueness.

LoveNote. . . We can come to realize that mature love equals loving yourself for
being what you are, and likewise loving another person for who they are. When we can feel such unconditional no-matter-how-you-act love, we have learned what I call mature love. Mature love allows you fully to be yourself with your loved one. ~ Bruce Fisher, Ed.D.

Maturity is the ability to live up to the responsibilities of a love relationship, and this means being dependable. It means keeping your word; it means living in your relationship like your word really means something. Dependability equates with personal integrity. This means no withholds. It means saying what needs to be said, with love. Do you mean what you say? Do you say what you mean?

The world is filled with people who can't be counted on, people who never seem to come through in the clutches, people who break promises and substitute alibis for performance. They make excuses. They show up late - or not at all. They are confused and disorganized. Their lives are a chaotic maze of unfinished business and uncommitted relationships. Oh, what a tangled web we weave.


LoveNote. . . Mature love offers us our most profound opportunity for regaining wholeness - not because our partners will fill all of our emptiness, but because we can use the embrace of a loving relationship to nurture ourselves toward greater maturation and ripening. ~ Larry A. Bugen

Maturity is the ability to make a decision and stand by it. Immature people spend their lives exploring endless possibilities and then do nothing. Action requires courage. There is no maturity without courage.

Maturity is the ability to harness your abilities and your energies and to do more than is expected in your relationships. The mature person refuses to settle for mediocrity. They would rather aim high and miss the mark than aim low and hit it.

Utah's Delicate Arch serves as site for gay rights rally

Gay-rights activists in Utah will rally at one of the state's important symbols - Delicate Arch.

On Saturday, people plan to gather in view of the treasured redrock formation to rally support for Equality Utah's Common Ground Initiative.

The effort is a collection of five bills, aimed at the upcoming legislative session, that would provide legal protections to same-sex couples, such as hospital visitation and inheritance rights, and forbid discrimination against gay and transgender people in employment and housing.

Delicate Arch is "an important symbol for all Utahns," said organizer Michael Mueller, founder of the Facebook community Utahns for Marriage Equality. "We're all Utahns first - gay, straight, whatever."

Mueller, who is straight and married, said, "There are certain rights that all people should have."

Participants will gather in the Delicate Arch parking lot at Arches National Park near Moab from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and then walk to a viewpoint for a rally.

Speakers will include Salt Lake City Democratic Rep. Christine Johnson, who is sponsoring a Common Ground bill; Claudia Bradshaw, founder of the St. George chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends).

Marriage Equality USA explains the event on its website

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Four arrested in Richmond lesbian gang rape case

Yahoo news reported that teo men and two teens have been arrested on suspicion of gang-raping a woman last month in the Richmond, CA, while allegedly taunting her for being a lesbian, police said Thursday.

Officers arrested Humberto Hernandez Salvador at his Richmond home Wednesday night, Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan said. The 31-year-old is being held without bail on gang rape, kidnapping and carjacking charges.

On Wednesday, police also arrested a 15-year-old Richmond boy and a 16-year-old Hercules boy, who were being held at a juvenile detention center on similar charges. Their names were not released.

Josue Gonzalez, 21, turned himself in Thursday after police announced they were searching for him. He was wanted on a $1 million arrest warrant on charges of gang rape, kidnapping and carjacking.

Gagan said Gonzalez asked for an attorney when he turned himself in, but said nothing about his alleged role in the attack.

Police would not detail each person's alleged involvement in the attack but said tips from local residents led to the arrests.

Detectives say the 28-year-old victim was attacked on Dec. 13 after she got out of her car, which bore a rainbow gay pride sticker. The alleged attackers made comments indicating they knew she was a lesbian, police said.

Authorities have characterized the case as a hate crime. Police said the victim lives openly with a female partner.

The 45-minute attack started when one of the men approached the woman in the street, struck her with a blunt object, ordered her to disrobe and sexually assaulted her with the help of the others, according to detectives.

When the group saw another person approaching, they forced the victim back into her car and took her to a burned-out apartment building. She was raped again inside and outside the vehicle and left naked outside the building while the alleged assailants took her wallet and drove off in her car, police said.

 

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