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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Obama Still Committed to Gay Rights

With the growing discontent from so many gay rights activists, President Obama met with hundreds of members of the LGBT community on Monday for a East Room reception marking the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, considered the beginning of the modern gay rights movement.

The criticism stems from unfulfilled campaign promises, such as those that would repeal laws barring gays from serving openly in the military and proclaiming marriage to be a union between a man and a woman. Not to mention the more recent legal brief submitted by Obama's Justice Department that defended the 1996 federal marriage law which blocks recognition of gay marriages outside of the six states that perform them.

Obama addressed the group stating, "I know that many in this room don't believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that." It's not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African-Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half century ago."

Recommitting to his election campaign pledge, Mr Obama stated, "I'll say it again. I believe 'don't ask, don't tell' doesn't contribute to our national security. In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security." He also stated that he has asked Pentagon officials to begin planning for how to end "don't ask, don't tell," but 77 House members have already asked him to eliminate the policy faster. Likewise, there's been little movement on overturning DOMA, even though Obama says he wants it repealed.

"I've called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country," Obama said. "Now, I want to add we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides. And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law."

But that's not likely to happen right away. Obama and Congress are devoting most of their energy to passing a healthcare overhaul and a sweeping new energy policy. With such a busy agenda, White House and congressional leaders have been reluctant to overload the political machinery in Washington by pushing through more controversial legislation.

Obama is hoping LGBT supporters will be patient, but for how long?

“I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I've made, but by the promises that my administration keeps. … We've been in office six months now. I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration,” he said.

Friday, June 26, 2009

SF Pride Weekend Events Schedule

12:00 - 4:00pm
SF Pride Main Stage Schedule
Civic Center next to City Hall

  • The Bob Hill Band
  • Dragons Daughter
  • Matai
  • Scranton
  • View From Space
  • Nancy McGinnis
  • The Harvey Cartel
  • Shelley Doty x-Tet
  • The Musonics
  • 3:00pm - Rizi
  • 3:20 pm - The Squeezles
  • 3:50 pm - Marriage Equality Presentation
  • 4:00pm - DJ Ari Kyle

1:00 - 5:00pm
Dykes on Bikes Pre-Party
Pre-Pride Party at the Eagle Tavern (398 12th St., San Francisco) from 1pm-5pm $10 for food/soda/beer or $5 for food only.
We will have live music with Blair Hansen and burlesque with the Twlight Vixen Review and the Fella-Fems Drag Kings. We will also be selling raffle tickets for 2 drawings: Sweet Carribean Cruise for 2 and 2 round trip tickets on Virgin America.

2:00pm - 8:00pm
Sugar Pop Dyke March Party
Join Lollipop productions for the hottest Dyke March after party hosted by Davonee and Charlene of LOGO's Gimme Sugar.
Come for the Sexy Ladies, Come for the Sexy DJ'.
Walking distance from Dolores Park.
Bruno's - 2389 Mission Street, San Francisco

3:00pm - 8:30pm
The Bay Area's Original t-dance for all women.
Selectas Edaj and La Coqui w/guests Olga-T & Lady Lu Hip-hop * dancehall * all things Latin. Free BBQ and drink specials.
$8 * 21+
El Rio - 3158 Mission Street, San Francisco

San Francisco Dyke March
The Dyke March presents an evening of sweet sounds to fill your heart and soul. Singing sensation Chavé Alexander (aka Alotta Boutté) began belting out the tunes in her very young years. Recently joining the cast of Beach Blanket Babylon, Chavé is sure to make this a night to remember. Also featured for your delight will be M.K. Spatt, teenage musical wonder, who rocked the Dyke March stage in 2008 with her band "The Trykes". Visit our website for our extensive Special Needs Services at the march, for ways to donate, and for other events. Also, we are seeking volunteers for everything from setup to sales to security.
Dolores Park - 18th Street and Dolores Street, San Francisco

Pink Saturday
6:00 - Midnight
Everyone's favorite pre-Pride street party is back and queerer than ever. Join the Sisters for the biggest Pink Saturday in history. This year we've got four stages, three live djs, beer, cocktails and food.
  • Main Stage (Market Street & 16th)
    DJ Gray, Ejector, Fans of Jimmy Century, B-Cups, DJ Ajax, Trevor Simpson, V Factory, Kaci Battaglia, Luke Johnstone, Kid Loose
  • Global Village Stage (19th & Castro Streets)
    Hosted by SF Lovevolution, Trikone, Soul Of Pride, Bibi, and Club Papi, will be servin up beats from around the world. Featuring DJ Black, DJ Gev, DJ CARLITOS, DJ SSHaaN, DJ Page Hodel, MC Lawrence Foxxee Petty, MC John Weber.
  • Dyke March Landing (Market Street between Castro and Noe Streets)
    Emcee: Bubblinsugare, Rose City Sirens, Jay Walker, hoolah hoop extraordinaire drag king, Wendy from FatChanceBellyDance, Kitty Von Quimm from Rubenesque Burlesque, DJ Thonsey, DJ Rosa Rumorosa, Las Krudas Cubensi, Tru Bloo.
Live DJs

Pink Pleasure Party (Dance Party)
8:00pm - 10:00pm
Be here to celebrate queer at our annual post-Dyke March party. This year we’re partnering with Olivia, the premier provider of luxurious lesbian vacations. Get loud and proud with a dynamite DJ and gorgeous Go-Go girls. Enjoy beverages and bites. Stop in for a chance to win fun and fabulous prizes.
Good Vibrations Valencia Street Store 603 Valencia Street (at 17th Street) San Francisco


SF Pride Parade - To Form a More Perfect Union

Parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at Market St. & Beale and ends at Market & 8th St. in Downtown San Francisco

12:00 - 6:30
SF Pride Main Stage Scheduleve
For more information about San Francisco Pride Events, visit

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Check Out our New Online Lesbian Dating and Personals Site

I would like to announce the official launch of our new lesbian online dating and personals site,

This site is intended to serve as a safe, online meeting place for single lesbians of all ages who are looking for love, a relationship or just some fun.

Membership is free, and once you join you will be able to browse through the thousands of profiles from women living in your area, your country or around the world

What we offer:

  • Create a profile and upload photos
  • Receive and reply to E-mail from other members
  • Freely send smiles to break the ice to any member
  • Search Worldwide network of members
Your safety and privacy is important to us:
  • All private data is held on secure servers so you don’t need to worry about identity theft
  • Members personal information is kept secure and never given or sold to third parties
  • You will never receive unsolicited e-mails is partnered with TangoWire, a vast dating network with more than 4,000 websites providing dating services to more than 70 online dating communities.

Join today and see for yourself.

Top Hot Butches of 2009

Sinclair Sexsmith, the “kinky queer butch top” behind Sugarbutch Chronicles and the editor of Queer Eye Candy, has launched, a top 100 list in the spirit of’s Hot 100 and GO Magazine’s Women We Love, focusing on transmasculine queer people of all kinds – butch, tomboy, androgynous, masculine, AG, stud, dykes, queers, and transmen.

“There is a serious lack of transmasculine representation in mainstream lesbian culture,” Sexsmith said. “Even in queer-focused top 100 lists, masculine women and transguys are rarely included. This does damage in two ways: 1. it implies that the attractiveness and desirability of lesbians is based on the heteronormative gender role assumptions of femininity, and 2. it excludes two large groups – dykes who are attracted to transmasculine women and trans men, and the transmasculine women and transmen ourselves. Where are our desires on these lists? Once again we are rendered other, strange, deviant, not attractive. This list attempts to fill in that hole.”

The project features photographs and links for all the 100 people on the list, and profiles for the top 10. There is even an “honorable mention” category, with more than a dozen more names.

“I thought it would be hard to get 100,” Sexsmith said, “I thought, maybe we can get 50. But I had so many suggestions, and I had more names than I could fit on the list. There are more of us out there in culture than one might think.”

The list includes predominantly musicians, comics, actors, and writers, but there is a wide variety of professions represented, from athletes and tattoo artists to political activists, radio show hosts, and porn stars.

Sexsmith, along with a panel of 5 judges, chose the 100 Hotest Butches from a list of 130 androgynous, masculine, transmasculine, AG, stud, genderqueer, transgender, and butch folks. The decisions were based on a mixture of how intellectually or emotionally stimulated the panel was the candidates work, as well as what they do in their lives and who they are as people.

“Diversity was important in picking the final list, and in the order of the list. Not just profession, but also ethnicity, age, geography, and body size. I wanted a wide range of masculinities in this project, to show how many various ways female masculinity and trans masculinity manifest,” said Sexsmith. “It was also important to me to include trans men, as much as it might seem to be in conflict with the title of the project, because trans men are a significant part of this community, and have been a serious force behind the re-visioning the gender and masculinity in gender activism in recent years.”

The Top Hot Butches project may continue annually. Visit to see the full list, photographs, profiles, links, and further information about the project.

Friday, June 19, 2009

July Lesbian Horoscopes

By Flash Silvermoon

July bursts forth with some high and somewhat disruptive energies. The long running transition of a merged Jupiter, Neptune, and Chiron has been more or less challenging, depending on your own astrological chart. I feel like it has been partially represented over the past months by airline disasters, as well as wild and unpredictable wind and rain storms.

July 12 th the aspect will again be exact and with the relationship to the Moon and Saturn, we might be in for some more dangerous flooding and or tornadoes.

Enough about the weather already! You may have storms right in your own home, live and in color, especially if a lot has been swept under the rug in your relationships.

The love affair between Venus and Mars continues in Taurus but it seems as though most couples will need to run a personal gauntlet to hone some of the sharp edges.

On July 7th at 4:24 AM, we will experience a Lunar Eclipse of the Full Moon in Capricorn. These eclipses can often reveal the shadow side of one's emotional nature, but during such revelations, we can find the key to our liberation if we chose to learn from such encounters.

A Solar Eclipse follows on July 21 9:26 PM with the new Moon in Cancer. The keyword here is CHANGE and it should be easier to make changes now since you will be feeling more flexible after all the earlier upheavals.

Venus sweetens the deal by the end of the month, so never fear, there will be plenty of good times and pleasure to be had and the relationships that sustain will have the ingredients to last.

It could very well be a long hot summer!

ARIES - I can feel a little spark trying to turn into a flame yet it is just beyond my reach. Patience is not my strong suit so if I seem a little irritable cut me some slack.
I know we all wish that we could get what we want when we want it but what the hell is wrong with that? Let's hear it for immediate least sometime. Til then, I think I will play a lot of sports.

TAURUS - I hate to rub it in Aries, but I brought Sexy Back! I mean Taurus got her groove back and it was so worth the wait. I don't think I will ever forget the pleasures of the physical body again. Exotic oils, candles, satin sheets, great food, long baths and, of course, you my sweet... and life is ooooooooh so good. Gotta go!

GEMINI - Well my ruling planet Mercury, the great communicator is at least moving forward. That may not sound like much to you but I live for communication. We may not always do it well but we sure as hell work at it enough. I'll take a good talk ideally with a small group of unique folks so we can toss around our ideas and even argue a little bit. This way, I get to exercise both sides of my nature. Remember I rarely lie but I do often change my mind. Don't be confused, I 'm not.

CANCER - I suppose this is going to be one of those introspective times. Let's make a deal Great Lunar Goddess, let's throw some fun and frolic into the mix this time, OK?
As I look into my crystal ball, I see some great water parties in my future... oh yeahhhh. I operate so much better when I know that there is a pleasant reward at the end of the tunnel. A light that is not a freight train can work too.

LEO - Ah Cancer, you can be such a whiner! Ya have to make your own good time, whenever and wherever. That's how I do it and it generally works, or I change venues or circles. I carry a lot of light with me and even these eclipses can't put me out, unless I want to be toned down a bit. This economy has really been cramping my style and I hate when that happens, but I am pretty creative and can make beauty flower with very little, if I have to.

VIRGO - Just when I finally get a green thumb, we get hit with a heat wave! I've been feeling like putting my hands and feet in the earth, planting some flowers and herbs. Seems like this would really ground me through these challenging times. With Saturn dogging me, some kind of hard work should suffice, however, even in this venue I feel some limitation.

LIBRA - I have been feeling the urge to merge lately, so since I share Venus with Taurus, I think I am just going to borrow some of Taurus' mojo and circulate a bit more. Maybe I can write the perfect romance novel filling it with the most heart-warming moments, and then live into the story and enjoy.

SCORPIO - Oh Libra, you are so cerebral. I much rather do it than write about it. For me its all about the feelings and the intensity. I just bet the attraction of opposites can work for me with Taurian energy. With Mars and Venus sitting180 degrees away things could not only get hot and earthy but steamy when we sink into the deep hot water together. Yep deep water is my home and sharing is beyond words.

SAGITTARIUS - I have travel on the brain, but then I often do. I am ready for anything. A hot air balloon across the Grand Canyon, surfing the curls in Hawaii, a canoe trip through the Florida Springs, or just a comfy water bed with a great foreign film about something metaphysical. I am easy to please and ready to roll. The exotic and mysterious are calling my name.

CAPRICORN - Well if the Moon is going to eclipse me I better get ready for anything!
All I need right now is a damn eclipse. Isn't my road challenging enough right now?
I know I am supposed to be transforming my self but I simply don't have time for that.
Tell it to someone who isn't doing the work of two people. I feel like an onion with my layers being peeled away one by one but I need to have some layers left.

AQUARIUS - All my life, I have felt like some kind of alien, a stranger even in the most unusual grouping. Now I am feeling forced to really look at how I can feel like I don't belong at times. I know I don't look like I give a damn but deep inside I do. The planets are holding my feet to the fire and yet I am feeling myself blossom in a whole new way.

PISCES - I am getting so antsy to do more of what I am here to do and yet sometimes I am not sure what that is. I love a peaceful and serene life mostly but if the water is too still, it can stagnate and that would be awful. My water is starting to have whitecaps and a brisk sail would be just the thing to fill my heart with wonder and anticipation. Sign me up for the next magic carpet ride heading for Sirius!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Same-sex partners to get federal benefits

Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced plans to extend health care and other benefits to the gay and lesbian partners of federal employees. White House officials say Obama plans to announce his decision today in the Oval Office.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the president hadn't yet signed the presidential memorandum.

The decision would give partners of federal employees access to health care and financial benefits, including relocation fees.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One Year Anniversary of California Gay Marriage

It is hard to believe that a year has passed since the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. An estimated 18,000 couples were married between June and November of 2008, when voters approved Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.

In celebration of those 18,000 who were legally married last year, and those who still wish to be, same-sex marriage advocates have planned a number of rallies across the state today and Wednesday. Events will include a call for change to California Marriage laws and will include information about the 2010 ballot measure to re-amend the Constitution to include same-sex marriage.

Out Lesbian Wins Finland's Top Model

25 year old Nanna Grundfeltd is the first openly gay contestant to have won the title of "Top Model" in Finland's version of "America's Next Top Model." In fact, Nanna is the only lesbian contestant to win the top prize in over 30 versions of the hit show around the world.

The Search for Finland's Top Model (in Suomen Huippumalli haussa) follows the same format as the America's Next Top Model, but with more emphasis on photo shoots than runway competitions.

During the competition, the contestants were challenged to paint a word on their clothing which best described them. Nanna chose the word "homo," which is Finnish for "gay."

After that episode, Nanna responded by stating, "I'm so proud to be gay. I'm so lucky: I'm a woman and like women too! There's nothing better. I thought at first I'd put something more than just "Homo" on the hoodie, like "homo — who cares" but ... It was a strong word and that was needed."

A Letter to the President from Joe Solmonese

Yesterday morning Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese sent a letter to President Barack Obama in response to the administration’s brief that argues for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be upheld in court.

Here is the letter:

June 15, 2009

Dear Mr. President:

I have had the privilege of meeting you on several occasions, when visiting the White House in my capacity as president of the Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization representing millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people across this country. You have welcomed me to the White House to express my community’s views on health care, employment discrimination, hate violence, the need for diversity on the bench, and other pressing issues. Last week, when your administration filed a brief defending the constitutionality of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,”[1] I realized that although I and other LGBT leaders have introduced ourselves to you as policy makers, we clearly have not been heard, and seen, as what we also are: human beings whose lives, loves, and families are equal to yours. I know this because this brief would not have seen the light of day if someone in your administration who truly recognized our humanity and equality had weighed in with you.

So on behalf of my organization and millions of LGBT people who are smarting in the aftermath of reading that brief, allow me to reintroduce us. You might have heard of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. They waited 55 years for the state of California to recognize their legal right to marry. When the California Supreme Court at last recognized that right, the octogenarians became the first couple to marry. Del died after the couple had been legally married for only two months. And about two months later, their fellow Californians voted for Proposition 8.

Across this country, same-sex couples are living the same lives that Phyllis and Del so powerfully represent, and the same lives as you and your wife and daughters. In over 99% of U.S.[2] counties, we are raising children and trying to save for their educations; we are committing to each other emotionally and financially. We are paying taxes, serving on the PTA, struggling to balance work and family, struggling to pass our values on to our children—through church, extended family, and community. Knowing us for who we are—people and families whose needs and contributions are no different from anyone else’s—destroys the arguments set forth in the government’s brief in Smelt. As you read the rest of what I have to say, please judge the brief’s arguments with this standard: would this argument hold water if you acknowledge that Del and Phyllis have contributed as much to their community as their straight neighbors, and that their family is as worthy of respect as your own?

Reading the brief, one is told again and again that same-sex couples are so unlike different-sex couples that unequal treatment makes sense. But the government doesn’t say what makes us different, or unequal, only that our marriages are “new.” The fact that same-sex couples were denied equal rights until recently does not justify denying them now.

For example, the brief seems to adopt the well-worn argument that excluding same-sex couples from basic protections is somehow good for other married people:

Because all 50 States recognize hetero-sexual marriage, it was reasonable and rational for Congress to maintain its longstanding policy of fostering this traditional and universally-recognized form of marriage.

The government does not state why denying us basic protections promotes anyone else’s marriage, nor why, while our heterosexual neighbors’ marriages should be promoted, our own must be discouraged. In other words, the brief does not even attempt to explain how DOMA is related to any interest, but rather accepts that it is constitutional to attempt to legislate our families out of existence.

The brief characterizes DOMA as “neutral:”

[DOMA amounts to] a cautious policy of federal neutrality towards a new form of marriage.

DOMA is not “neutral” to a federal employee serving in your administration who is denied equal compensation because she cannot cover her same-sex spouse in her health plan. When a woman must choose between her job and caring for her spouse because they are not covered by the FMLA, DOMA is not “neutral.” DOMA is not a “neutral” policy to the thousands of bi-national same-sex couples who have to choose between family and country because they are considered strangers under our immigration laws. It is not a “neutral” policy toward the minor child of a same-sex couple, who is denied thousands of dollars of surviving mother’s or father’s benefits because his parents are not “spouses” under Social Security law.

Exclusion is not neutrality.

Next, the brief indicates that denying gay people our equal rights saves money:

It is therefore permitted to maintain the unique privileges [the government] has afforded to [different-sex marriages] without immediately extending the same privileges, and scarce government resources, to new forms of marriage that States have only recently begun to recognize.

The government goes on to say that DOMA reasonably protects other taxpayers from having to subsidize families like ours. The following excerpt explains:

DOMA maintains federal policies that have long sought to promote the traditional and uniformly-recognized form of marriage, recognizes the right of each State to expand the traditional definition if it so chooses, but declines to obligate federal taxpayers in other States to subsidize a form of marriage that their own states do not recognize.

These arguments completely disregard the fact that LGBT citizens pay taxes ourselves. We contribute into Social Security equally and receive the same statement in the mail every year. But for us, several of the benefits listed in the statement are irrelevant—our spouses and children will never benefit from them. The parent who asserts that her payments into Social Security should ensure her child’s financial future should she die is not seeking a subsidy. The gay White House employee who works as hard as the person in the next office is not seeking a “subsidy” for his partner’s federal health benefits. He is earning the same compensation without receiving it. And the person who cannot even afford to insure her family because the federal government would treat her partner’s benefits as taxable income—she is not seeking a subsidy.

The government again ignores our experiences when it argues that DOMA § 2 does not impair same-sex couples’ right to move freely about our country as other families can:

DOMA does not affect “the right of a citizen of one State to enter and to leave another state, the right to be treated as a welcome visitor rather than an unfriendly alien when temporarily present in the second State.”

This example shows the fallacy of that argument: a same-sex couple and their child drives cross-country for a vacation. On the way, they are in a terrible car accident. One partner is rushed into the ICU while the other, and their child, begs to be let in to see her, presenting the signed power of attorney that they carry wherever they go. They are told that only “family” may enter, and the woman dies alone while her spouse waits outside. This family was not “welcome.”

As a matter of constitutional law, some of this brief does not even make sense:

DOMA does not discriminate against homosexuals in the provision of federal benefits…. Section 3 of DOMA does not distinguish among persons of different sexual orientations, but rather it limits federal benefits to those who have entered into the traditional form of marriage.

In other words, DOMA does not discriminate against gay people, but rather only provides federal benefits to heterosexuals.

I cannot overstate the pain that we feel as human beings and as families when we read an argument, presented in federal court, implying that our own marriages have no more constitutional standing than incestuous ones:

And the courts have widely held that certain marriages, performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the forum. See e.g., Catalano v. Catalano, 170 A.2d 726, 728-29 (Conn. 1961) (marriage of uncle to niece, though valid in Italy under its laws, was not valid in Connecticut because it contravened public policy of th[at] state.” [3]

As an American, a civil rights advocate, and a human being, I hold this administration to a higher standard than this brief. In the course of your campaign, I became convinced—and I still want to believe—that you do, too. I have seen your administration aspire and achieve. Protecting women from employment discrimination. Insuring millions of children. Enabling stem cell research to go forward. These are powerful achievements. And they serve as evidence to me that this brief should not be good enough for you. The question is, Mr. President—do you believe that it’s good enough for us?

If we are your equals, if you recognize that our families live the same, love the same, and contribute as much as yours, then the answer must be no.

We call on you to put your principles into action and send legislation repealing DOMA to Congress.


Joe Solmonese

[1] Smelt v. United States of America, Case No. SACV09-00286, Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof (June 11, 2009).

[2] Gates, Gary G. and Jason Ost. The Gay & Lesbian Atlas. District of Columbia: Urban Institute Press, 2004.

[3] In fact, in the majority of relevant cases, courts have recognized the out-of-state marriage. See e.g. Pearson, 51 Cal. 120 (1875) (recognizing the marriage of a white man and black woman entered into in Utah that would have been invalid under California’s anti-miscegenation statute), see also McDonald v. McDonald, 58 P.2d 163 (Cal. 1936) (recognizing in Nevada marriage between a husband and his wife although the husband was only eighteen, a violation of California marriage laws).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Top 10 Lesbian DVD's for 2009

I know it isn't always easy finding lesbian films, so I thought I would pass on the list of 2009 top 10 selling Lesbian DVD's.

  1. She Likes Girls 4: Tomboys and Tough Girls
    Movie Details:

    Lesbian shorts series featuring eight portrayals of girls who like girls!

    Babysitting Andy (11 mins, Canada)
    Dir. Pat Mills
    A deviously precocious nin
    e-year old tomboy interrogates her gay uncle and his boyfriend in this hilarious short film.

    (15 mins. USA)
    Dir. Melanie McGraw
    Accidentally left behind by her family at a desolate gas station, a young tomboy has a poignant platonic encounter with an older lesbian in this beautiful tale.

    No Bikini
    (9 mins. USA)
    Dir. Claudia Morgado Escanilla
    A delightful short film about a little girl who abandons her bikini top at swim camp and passes as a boy.

    Gay Bash
    (5 mins. USA)
    Dir. Camrin Pitts
    A fresh anthem of pride from lesbian Hip-Hop artist Melange Lavonne.

    Don't Mess with Texas (6 mins. USA)
    Dir. Carrie Schrader & Tricia Cooke
    A pair of wild young activist dykes on a road trip have an eye-opening experience at a small-town diner in this winning little movie that co-stars queer icon Silas Howard (By Hook or By Crook).

    (15 mins, USA)
    Dir. Marcus Richardt
    Lilly is the leader of a violent girl gang. Anna is a strong-willed nice girl photographer. This unique tale of teenage loyalties follows the budding affection between two opposites: attracted. In German with English subtitles.

    I Heart Veronica Martin (18 mins. USA)
    Dir. Sarah Howard
    Loner Darby falls for cheerleader Veronica who has just broken up with her boyfriend in this spot-on portrayal of teenage lesbian lust.

    Pages Of A Girl
    (19 mins. Brazil)
    Dir. Monica Palazzo
    The bookish, lesbian librarian's wet dream.
    "Ingrid and Silvia meet at the bookstore and a languid romance follows in this gorgeous 1950s Brazilian period piece. In Portugese with English subtitles.

    Bonus Featurette:

    NCLR at 30
    An uplifting portrait of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

  2. The L Word: Season 6
    Movie Details:
    It's the final season of the show that won our hearts and got us talking; the show that The New York Times called: "a Sapphic Playboy fantasia" for its unwavering dedication to portraying sexy lesbian characters in a steady stream of increasingly hot and wild story lines. Season 6 is wilder than ever as it revolves around the $64,000 question: "Who Killed Jenny?" Nope, that's not a spoiler — the first episode begins with that question and we spend the whole season in flashback leading up to the big event.

    Starring: Jennifer Beals, Pam Grier, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner, Katherine Moennig, Rachel Shelley, Daniela Sea, Rose Rollins, Marlee Matlin, Kate French.

  3. The Secrets
    Movie Details:
    Naomi, the brilliant and pious daughter of an ultra orthodox rabbi finds herself at a crossroads of life choices when her mother dies and she is expected to immediately marry her father's prodigy. Distressed yet determined, she begs that her father allow her one year to study at a women's religious seminary in Safed, the birthplace of the Kabala in order to prepare herself for the sacrifices she will make as a wife. Her father relents and Naomi's life begins to take an unexpected turn.

    Devote but lively, Naomi and her new friend Michelle befriend a beautiful, mysterious older woman, Anouk, (Fanny Ardant) who is ill and living nearby who may or may not be Jewish, and may have committed a crime of passion. Naomi devises a series of rituals which will somehow “purify” Anouk and purge her of her sins, but as these stretch the borders of Jewish law they must be kept secret. Eventually this journey into the forbidden leads to a growing attraction between the two girls and more crossroads are faced.

    The Secrets presents the complexities of a religious lifestyle in a vibrant environment of youth, rebellion and desire.

  4. Itty Bitty Titty Committee
    Movie Details:
    From the director of "But I'm A Cheerleader," and the producers of D.E.B.S.
    This latest fabulous movie from Jamie (But I’m a Cheerleader) Babbit is a dynamic, romantic, frequently funny and politically astute movie with a smart script, rockin’ soundtrack and terrific ensemble cast that includes sexy young Melonie Diaz as the new dyke on the block who falls in with a great gang of Feminist troublemakers called Clits in Action (CiA), and then falls in love with leader of the pack, Nicole Vicius. Unfortunately, Nicole has a girlfriend – Melanie Mayron – and, as they say, drama ensues. With Carly Pope, Daniela Sea, Guinevere Turner, Deak Evgenikos, Jenny Shimizu and Lauren Mollica.

  5. Drifting Flowers
    Movie Details:
    "OFFICIAL SELECTION, BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL! Teddy Award-winning Director Zero Chou (Spider Lilies) weaves three poetic tales as the lesbians in Drifting Flowers seek their true identity. In the first story, Jing, a blind singer, falls in love with her band’s tomboy accordionist Diego. In another time and place, Lily, an elderly lesbian and Yen, her gay friend, create an unexpected bond and support each other in a time of crisis. Finally, we see Diego before she joined the band, when as a teenager she came to grips with her gender identity.

  6. Girl Play
    Movie Details:
    Cast as the stars of a lesbian love story, sexy leading ladies Robin Greenspan and Lacie Harmon try to resist falling in love with each other. But rehearsals just get steamier as unfulfilled desires rage in this hot and hilarious romantic-comedy! Based on Harmon and Greenspan's original play, "Real Girls" (in turn based on their own true story). Also starring Dom Deluise and Mink Stole
    Robin Greenspan and Lacie Harmon shared the Best Actress award at the 2004 edition of Outfest; the film also won the festival's Outstanding Lesbian Narrative Feature award.

    Girl Play
    was hailed by the Hollywood Reporter, which said, "Robin Greenspan and Lacie Harmon are exceedingly likeable, smart and funny performers." calls Girl Play, "One of the funniest and most poignant lesbian films to come along in years."

  7. Butch Jamie
    Movie Details:
    Butch Jamie
    is a quirky, gender-bending comedy about an out-of-work butch lesbian actress willing to try almost anything for a role. Dressing up femme for auditions, struggling actress Jamie Klein (talented writer-director Michelle Ehlen) continually faces rejection as she fails to be a typical leading lady. Spurred on by her roommate Lola's successful cat actor, Jamie decides to take a different approach and audition as herself — aka "Butch Jamie." She immediately lands a role—as a man! Her misadventures on the set include unintentionally attracting the attentions of her sexy female co-star. Winner: Grand Jury Award, Best Actress — Outfest: Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

  8. Le Jupon Rouge
    Movie Details:
    Official Selection: San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festiva
    In this classic French lesbian drama from writer-director Genevieve Lefebvre, three women deal with shifting affections, jealousy and romance. Oscar-nominee Marie Christine Barrault (Cousin, Cousine) stars as Manuela who is torn between her affection for her longtime love, the older Bacha (legendary Italian actress Alida Valli), and her freshly ignited desire for the beautiful Claude (Guillemette Grobon).

    Bacha is an Amnesty International human rights activist and concentration camp survivor. Manuela , her younger fashion designer friend, is Bacha's primary emotional support. When Manuela meets the beautiful Claude the two begin a relationship that ignites Bacha's intense jealousy.

  9. Girl + Girl: Classic Lesbian Short Films
    Movie Details:
    This wonderfully entertaining batch of lesbian short films (curated by film historian Jenni Olson) showcases long unavailable film festival favorites and pioneering works including the short masterpiece, Rispondetemi (by Lost & Delirious director Lea Pool), the glossy British lesbian coming-out fantasy Rosebud, and the multiple Audience-Award winning tale of lesbian life, love and the pursuit of non-monogamy, Maid of Honor!

    14 mins. Great Britain, 1991
    Dir. Cheryl Farthing
    The hottest lesbian coming out story you've ever seen. This shiny, sexy, colorful British short is packed with voyeurism, cruising, and cute girls. What more could you ask for? Starring popular British TV star Julie Graham (William and Mary, Bonekickers).

    Central Park

    Official Selection at the top International Festivals including: Sundance, Berlin, Toronto and Locarno

    9 mins, USA, 1994, b&w
    Dir. Sande Zeig
    A lush erotic encounter between two beautiful women who make love in a rowboat — in New York’s Central Park! From Sande Zeig, director of The Girl. No dialogue.

    Reservation (Reservaat)

    10 mins. The Netherlands, 1988, b&w
    Dir. Clara van Gool
    Two stunning women dance an exquisitely sensuous tango in a public park in this remarkably beautiful short film. No dialogue.

    Regarde Moi

    5 mins. France, 2003
    Dirs. Sylvie Ballyot & Beatrice Kordon
    This atmospheric mini-seduction drama follows two beautiful French women who meet at a sidewalk café. What are they going to do together in that cheap Parisian hotel room? In French with English subtitles.


    15 mins, Canada, 1991
    Dir. Lea Pool
    From Lea Pool (Lost & Delirious) comes this aching brink of death drama that tells the story of a lifetime in fifteen breathtaking cinematic minutes. In French with English subtitles.

    Why I’ll Never Trust You (In 200 Words or Less)

    2 mins. Canada, 1995
    Dir. Cassandra Nicolaou
    Two lovers linger one afternoon in bed in this sexy tale of lust and mistrust by talented filmmaker Cassandra Nicolaou (Show Me).

    Maid of Honor

    25 mins. USA 1999
    Dir. Jennifer Arnold

    Official Sundance Selection
    Best Short Film: Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival
    Best Short Film: Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

    A hip, young lesbian couple questions their commitment to non-monogamy at the wedding of an ex-girlfriend in this film festival favorite. A true lesbian classic, beautifully made with a hot cast and a great story.

  10. A Village Affair
    Movie Details:
    Starring out lesbian actress Sophie Ward

    Recently returned to England from New York City, vivacious heiress Clodagh Unwin befriends a couple new to her village. The husband is entranced by the young aristocrat, but Clodagh has eyes for someone else: his wife, Alice.

    Alice has a gilded life—beautiful children, a handsome husband, and a stately home. Secretly, she’s depressed after the birth of her third child and unhappy in her marriage. Clodagh proves irresistible. But when tongues start wagging, the women learn that love might not be enough.

    Based on the bestselling novel by Joanna Trollope (Friday Nights, The Rector’s Wife) and filmed in picturesque countryside, this British production stars Sophie Ward (The Shell Seekers), Kerry Fox (Welcome to Sarajevo), Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries), Jeremy Northam (Emma, The Tudors), Michael Gough (Batman), and Claire Bloom, with a young Keira Knightley in one of her first screen roles.

Chastity Bono Transitioning to Chaz

Social and political activist Chastity Bono, daughter of Cher and the late Sonny Bono, announced this week that she began transition to a man shortly after her 40th birthday on March 4. He will now be known as Chaz.

Bono's publicist,Howard Bragman, said, "Chaz, after many years of consideration, has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity. He is proud of his decision and grateful for the support and respect that has already been shown by loved ones. It is Chaz's hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his coming out did nearly 20 years ago."

A source told People magazine, "Cher is very supportive and has known about Chastity wanting to do this for a very long time." "This will be a long process but it's something Chastity has wanted to do for many years."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Lesbian Online Dating Web Series

Have you heard about Seeking Simone? It is the the new lesbian online dating series that follows the adventures of single lesbian Simone Selkin as she dates her way through gay Toronto.

The first 2 episodes are up on the website and can be viewed at:, however, if you would like to check out the is trailer, here ya go...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Gay and Lesbian More Likely to Read Blogs and Use Social Networking Tools

ROCHESTER, N.Y. & WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to a recent national survey conducted by Harris Interactive®, a small majority of gay and lesbian adults online today are reading blogs (a familiar, and abbreviated term for online commentary known as a weblog). More than half (55%) of gay and lesbian respondents reported reading some type of blog, compared with only 38% of heterosexuals. This represents a small increase from March 2008 when 51% of gay and lesbian respondents reported reading some type of blog. A similar question was asked in November 2006 and only 32% of gay and lesbian adults then reported reading blogs.

When it comes to the types of blogs popular with Americans, the survey also found 34% of gay and lesbian adults online reported reading news and current issue blogs, compared with 22% of heterosexual adults. A quarter (25%) of gay and lesbian adults also read entertainment and pop culture blogs, compared with 15% of heterosexuals. Considering the global and media attention focused on our new President, 28% of gay and lesbian adults also read political blogs, compared with 23% of GLBT adults doing so in March 2008. In comparison, only 14% of heterosexual adults reported reading political blogs in May 2009. Confirming their strong appeal for travel news and opportunities, 14% of gay and lesbian respondents reported reading travel blogs compared with 8% of heterosexual respondents.

The new nationwide survey of 3,000 U.S. adults, (ages 18 and over), of whom 404, self identified as gay or lesbian (which includes an oversample of lesbian and gay adults), was conducted online between May 11 and 18, 2009, by Harris Interactive, a global market research and consulting firm, in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the GLBT market.

Apart from getting information online from reading blogs, gay and lesbian adults also are choosing to connect online through social networking sites more often than their heterosexual counterparts. Slightly more than half (55%) of gay and lesbian adults state they are members of Facebook, compared with 46% of heterosexual adults. Also, 43% of gay and lesbian respondents report being members of MySpace, compared to just less than a third (30%) of heterosexual respondents. When it comes to the business-oriented social networking site, LinkedIn, 23% of gay and lesbian respondents reported being members, while 13% of heterosexual adults stated they are members.

“In several years capturing trends, we see again that gays and lesbians are not only looking to stay well informed but also to expand their key social, professional and personal connections online”, said Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications. “As companies work to make the most of their advertising budgets in the current economic climate, blogs and social networking sites are an even more powerful cross-section of opportunities today when reaching out to this market.”

Oprah Winfrey made the news when she recently made her first “tweet” using Twitter, a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question - what are you doing now? One out of five (20%) gay and lesbian adults reported being a member of Twitter, compared with 12% of heterosexual adults.


Harris Interactive conducted the study online within the United States between May 11 and 18, 2009, among 3,000 adults (ages 18 and over), of whom 2,451 indicated they are heterosexual and 404 self-identified as gay or lesbian (this includes an over-sample of lesbian or gay adults). Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. In addition, the results for the gay and lesbian sample were weighted separately based on profiles of the gay and lesbian population that Harris Interactive has compiled through many different online surveys. Propensity score weighting also was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. Full data tables and methodology are available at

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research, powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information please visit

About Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc.

Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc. is the nation’s premier marketing communications and consulting firm, specializing in developing and implementing effective strategies reaching the gay and lesbian consumer market. With over 15 years experience in this unique market, Witeck-Combs Communications not only serves as a bridge between corporate America and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender consumers (GLBT), but also provides counsel to countless non-profit organizations that aim to educate the public on gay and lesbian issues or to better reach their GLBT membership.

In April 2003, American Demographics magazine identified Bob Witeck and Wes Combs as two of 25 experts over the last 25 years who have made significant contributions to the fields of demographics, market research, media and trendspotting for their path breaking work on the gay and lesbian market, and in 2006 Bob Witeck and Wes Combs co-authored Business Inside Out: Capturing Millions of Brand Loyal Gay Consumers (Kaplan Publishing), considered the first-ever book on marketing insights, practical tips and strategies targeting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender market. They have appeared in worldwide media outlets including Fortune, CNBC, CNN, Reuters, Associated Press, Ad Age, New York Times and Washington Post. For more information visit

Harris Interactive Inc. 6/09

2009 Gay Pride Parade & Event Calendar

Since this month is "Pride Month," I thought I would re-post the list of 2009 Gay Pride Parade and Events get out there and celebrate!

June 5-14, 2009 Birmingham, AL Central Alabama Pride
June 5-14, 2009 Boston, MA Boston Pride
June 5-14, 2009 Washington, DC Capital Pride
June 5-14, 2009 Winnepeg, Manitoba Winnipeg Pride
June 6, 2009 Austin, TX Austin Pride Parade
June 6, 2009 Fresno, CA Fresno Rainbow Pride
June 6-7, 2009 Salt Lake City, UT Utah Pride
June 6-14, 2009 Indianapolis, IN Indy Pride Festival
June 7, 2009 Asbury Park, NJ Jersey Pride
June 8-14, 2009 Pittsburgh, PA PrideFest 2009
June 9-13, 2009 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Pride
June 11-13, 2009 Albuquerque, NM Albuquerque Pride
June 12-14, 2009 Des Moines, IA Capital City Pride
June 12-14, 2009 Los Angeles, CA LA Pride
June 12-14, 2009 Milwaukee, WI Pridefest 2009
June 12-21, 2009 Edmonton, AB Edmonton GLBT Pride Festival
June 13, 2009 San Antonio, TX Pridefest San Antonio
June 13, 2009 Spokane, WA OutSpokane Rainbow Festival
June 13-14, 2009 Cincinnati, OH Pride Alive '09
June 13-14, 2009 Portland, OR Portland Pride Festival
June 14, 2009 Long Island, NY Long Island Pride Parade
June 14, 2009 Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Pride Parade
June 14, 2009 Nyack, NY Gay Pride Rockland
June 19-20, 2009 Iowa City, IA Iowa City Pride Parade
June 19-20, 2009 Louisville, KY Kentuckiana Pride Festival
June 19-21, 2009 Bisbee, AZ Bisbee Pride
June 19-21, 2009 Providence, RI RI Pridefest & Parade
June 20, 2009 Grand Rapids, MI West Michigan Pride
June 20, 2009 Syracuse, NY Central New York Pride
June 20-21, 2009 Fort Lauderdale, FL Stonewall Street Festival
June 27-28, 2009 San Francisco, CA SF Gay Pride Festival
June 27-28, 2009 Denver, CO Denver Pridefest
June 20-29, 2009 Santa Fe, NM Pride on the Plaza
June 28-July 5, 2009 Victoria, BC Victoria Pride
June 29, 2009 Houston, TX Pride Houston
July 11, 2009 Monterey, CA Pride of Monterey County
July 19-26, 2009 Halifax, NS Halifax Pride
July 25th, 2009 Charlotte, NC Pride Charlotte
August 15, 2009 Reno, NV Reno Gay Pride
October 3-4, 2009 Ocala, FL Ocala PrideFest

Björn Borg's Show's His Support for Same Sex Marriage

Tennis Champ Björn Borg, the man who dominated Wimbledon in the late 1970's, adds his support to same-sex marriage by launching a new dating site called Love For All and promoting it with this new commercial, which is worth checking out!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vermont's New Student Program: Gendertopia

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Like plenty of other high school students, a group of about a dozen Vermont teenagers trundled into a youth center one day every week this spring to participate in an after-school program.

But their program was different; it focused on gender.

The nine-week program, partially funded by the Burlington School District, was held at Vermont's Queer Youth Center and called "Gendertopia."

Gay, lesbian and straight students discussed a wide range of topics, from the characters in the book and movie "Twilight," to taking photos around the city that show the different ways gender is portrayed in popular culture.

"Most people come into it thinking, 'Oh, there's two genders and two sexualities' ... ," said David Kingsbury, a 16-year-old junior at Burlington High School who signed up for the program. "People assume it's boy and girl, but it's so much more than that. There's a whole world out there full of different genders."

The program is among the first of its kind to be funded, in part, with tax dollars, said Christopher Neff, the executive director of Outright Vermont, the social service organization running Gendertopia.

Neither the program nor the school district's participation triggered any objection. The tempered reaction locally to the program shows how far Outright Vermont and the issues it raises has moved into the main stream of youth social service organizations.

"It's got queer in its name. It scares the heck out of people. It's so important that people be able to see beyond any concerns or misconceptions that they have," said Eliza Byard, the executive director of the New York-based Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, which has 35 chapters across the country. "Outright Vermont is fulfilling its mission in the most wonderful way."

The program was designed to help young people identify the subtle signals used to express gender and how not being aware of those signals can lower self esteem and possibly lead to an increase in at-risk activities like substance abuse or dropping out of school, Neff said.

"We often see a lot of homophobia or transphobia that happens on the basis of how someone looks," Neff said. "If you are making fun of me because I am wearing a pink shirt and that's sort of expressing my femininity, my feminine side, that translates into homophobia, but it has nothing to do with whether I'm straight or whether I'm dating boys or whether I'm dating girls. It has to do with the fact that I'm wearing a pink shirt."

Neff said the significance of the program is more than the money and the relatively small number of young people who participate.

"It's incredibly symbolic and very powerful," he said. "I was incredibly proud to be associated with them and I thought this partnership, this very unique partnership, between a queer youth center and a school district to run a gender identity based program was a new national model."

Burlington School Superintendent Jeanne Collins said no one has objected to the program.

"The district has been in the forefront on this topic for at least a decade, if not longer," Collins said. "We are very sensitive to celebrating the differences in people and accepting people for who they are and what they bring to the table."

She said a factor that helped keep the program non controversial was that it was voluntary.

"We have very robust after school program," Collins said. "This is one of the options for the students who are interested. They get a lot out of it that will help them be much more inclusive and accepting of differences in their own future, which can only help them be successful."

Steve Cable, of Rutland the founder of Vermont Renewal, an organization that promotes what he calls traditional family values, said he wasn't familiar with "Gendertopia," but he knew Outright Vermont. He said he was supportive of the group's anti-bullying efforts, but not what he said was its focus on adolescent sexuality.

"It just makes me really nervous that sexuality and these very complicated social behaviors are being normalized and talked about with kids who haven't figured out even their life yet," Cable said. "I know that Outright Vermont promotes all gender identities and expression of gender identities, no matter how weird that might be."

In 2000, Vermont was the first state that passed civil unions for same-sex couples and earlier this year was the first to pass gay marriage without being required to do so by the courts. It's also in the forefront with laws to protect gender identity and sexual orientation.

Outright Vermont describes itself as "one of the longest standing queer organizations in Vermont" and the only one focused on young people. Neff said that for years his organization has done anti-bullying presentations related to sexual orientation and gender identity in schools across the state. He said the presentations have been universally well received.

Byard said a number of national organizations have programs for girls that help them deal with the pressures that can lead to eating disorders or pressures that girls feel to be thin or beautiful.

"Now it's only relatively recently that there has been real focus on the damaging effect of these same expectations on young men," Byard said.

About 40 students signed up for the program, Neff said, and about 12 attended the weekly program. Sometimes the group watched a movie or had food. Much of the discussion was led by the students themselves, and it wasn't just for gay and lesbian students.

"I'm straight, but I don't like using that word because then it feels like if you're gay then you're crooked, you're not meant to grow up in a certain way," Sophia Manzi, 15, a Burlington high school freshman, said during this year's final "Gendertopia" meeting. "I come because it's a really good program. The people, it doesn't matter what sexual orientation you are, they totally come in with open arms."

Neff said "Gendertopia" wasn't about sexuality or who people are attracted to.

"We're really clear that gender and gender identify is separate from sexual orientation," Neff said. "Hugh Grant and Russell Crowe have the same sex, they're both male and they're both heterosexual. But they have very different gender presentations. One is sort of seen as much more masculine than the other."

Burlington High School After school Coordinator Amy Mills said no decision had been made yet on whether to run Gendertopia again in the fall, but she'd like to.

"I think it worked well," Mills said. "They seem to have a lot of fun."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

California Lesbian Couple Faced Discrimination at Fresno Hospital

Discrimination of LGBT couples is one of the main reasons our community needs to have the same rights as heterosexual married couples. If the couple in the article below had been legally married, there would have never been a question of visitation rights or medical power of attorney.

This article comes from the Los Angeles Examiner and was written by Kevin Lynch.

"As I was laying there all alone, I wondered how many people from the LGBTQ community die by themselves because they are denied a basic right. The thought frightens me."

That's what Kristin Orbin, 29, said about her ordeal at Fresno Community Hospital and Medical Center on Saturday, May 30th.

Orbin and her partner of 3½ years, Teresa Rowe, 30, who live in Northern California, were in Fresno for Meet in the Middle 4 Equality, an event protesting the California Supreme Court's ruling upholding Proposition 8.

After marching 14 miles in Central Valley heat, Orbin (who is epileptic) collapsed and suffered three grand mal seizures. A doctor at a first aid center had difficulty finding her pulse, so he called 911.

Orbin said the discrimination started as soon as the paramedics arrived.

"By that time, I was going in and out of consciousness. The paramedics wanted nothing to do with Teresa and she had to practically fight them to be allowed to ride in the ambulance. I remember one of them was very nice and agreed to let her ride with me in the back. Once we got to the hospital, they wheeled me into a hallway and left me, refusing to allow Teresa to be with me."

Orbin said the paramedic told the nurse on duty that she had collapsed after marching 14 miles for civil rights, and the nurse gave her a dirty look and said "ooooh." She continued, "I asked if Teresa could come back with me, but the nurse told me I was in a no visitor zone. When I asked her why everyone else had visitors, she said 'those people are different'."

Orbin said she went to sleep at that point, but she was awakened by a nurse giving her the benzodiazapine Ativan, a drug that causes her to have severe migraine headaches. It was then that she discovered just how bad the situation had become.

"Teresa was finally able to make her way up to the front desk and convince them to get a cell phone to me. When I talked to her, she said she had told the nursing staff not to give me Ativan, but they refused to listen to her. They refused to take my medical cards from her. They refused Teresa's offer to have my advance directive and power of attorney faxed over from UCSF."

Orbin said she asked the nurses several times if Rowe could join her, but each time they refused.

"They just kept looking at my Marriage Equality shirt and giving me dirty looks," she said.

Orbin and Rowe were not reunited until a doctor intervened a few hours later.

"When the doctor arrived, I asked him if Teresa could join me," Orbin said. "He asked me why she wasn't already with me, and I told him the nursing staff told me I was in a no visitor zone. The doctor gave me an odd look and said, 'I will take care of that'. He left the room, and a few minutes later Teresa came in, but she said she was told by the front desk that she could only stay for a few minutes."

However, Orbin said the nursing staff suddenly had a change of heart while the doctor was present and allowed Rowe to stay with her until she was discharged. "They finally figured out that we were not happy and one of the nurses came up and told Teresa that she could stay," she said. "Once she was back there people started being more kind to us, but I truly believe they were just trying to cover themselves."

The couple said they have never experienced such blatant discrimination. They are both so upset over the incident that they have contacted the ACLU for legal advice. Orbin said it was particularly upsetting that the hospital staff continually refused to acknowledge Rowe as her spouse, and failed to treat either of them with kindness or respect.

Another reminder of just how much work needs to be done to achieve true equality in the United States.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Hampshire Passes Gay Marriage Bill

"If you have no choice as to your sex, male or female; if you have no choice as to your color; if you have no choice as to your sexual orientation; then you have to be protected and given the same opportunity for life, liberty and happiness."

These were the words of Rep. Anthony DiFruscia, R-Windham, during the hour long debate over New Hampshire's Same-Sex Marriage bill.

And with a 198-176 vote in the house, New Hampshire became the sixth US state to allow same-sex marriage. The bill has the approval of Governor John Lynch, who is expected to sign it later this afternoon.

Lynch, a Democrat, personally opposes gay marriage but decided to view the issue "through a broader lens."

Originally, Lynch said he would veto gay marriage if the law didn't "clearly spell out that churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services."

The revised bill added a sentence specifying that all religious organizations, associations or societies have exclusive control over their religious doctrines, policies, teachings and beliefs on marriage.

It also clarified that church-related organizations that serve charitable or educational purposes are exempt from having to provide insurance and other benefits to same sex spouses of employees.

Vermont, Maine, Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts and now New Hampshire all have legalized same-sex marriage. The only remaining state in New England without marriage equality is Rhode Island where Governor Donald Carcieri supports the National Organization for Marriage. However, after being polled, the majority of citizens in Rhode Island do support same-sex marriage, so there is still hope.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Obama's Pride Month Proclamation

In a Press release yesterday, President Obama issued the following proclamation to commemorate Pride Month:

Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country's response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration -- in both the White House and the Federal agencies -- openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.

These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.



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