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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Presidential Proclamation: June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

As Americans, it is our birthright that all people are created equal and deserve the same rights, privileges, and opportunities. Since our earliest days of independence, our Nation has striven to fulfill that promise. An important chapter in our great, unfinished story is the movement for fairness and equality on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. This month, as we recognize the immeasurable contributions of LGBT Americans, we renew our commitment to the struggle for equal rights for LGBT Americans and to ending prejudice and injustice wherever it exists.

LGBT Americans have enriched and strengthened the fabric of our national life. From business leaders and professors to athletes and first responders, LGBT individuals have achieved success and prominence in every discipline. They are our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, and our friends and neighbors. Across my Administration, openly LGBT employees are serving at every level. Thanks to those who came before us the brave men and women who marched, stood up to injustice, and brought change through acts of compassion or defiance we have made enormous progress and continue to strive for a more perfect union.

My Administration has advanced our journey by signing into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which strengthens Federal protections against crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation. We renewed the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides life saving medical services and support to Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and finally eliminated the HIV entry ban. I also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to give LGBT patients the compassion and security they deserve in their time of need, including the ability to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions.

In other areas, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a series of proposals to ensure core housing programs are open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. HUD also announced the first ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has created a National Resource Center for LGBT Elders.

Much work remains to fulfill our Nation's promise of equal justice under law for LGBT Americans. That is why we must give committed gay couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. We must protect the rights of LGBT families by securing their adoption rights, ending employment discrimination against LGBT Americans, and ensuring Federal employees receive equal benefits. We must create safer schools so all our children may learn in a supportive environment. I am also committed to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so patriotic LGBT Americans can serve openly in our military, and I am working with the Congress and our military leadership to accomplish that goal.

As we honor the LGBT Americans who have given so much to our Nation, let us remember that if one of us is unable to realize full equality, we all fall short of our founding principles. Our Nation draws its strength from our diversity, with each of us contributing to the greater whole. By affirming these rights and values, each American benefits from the further advancement of liberty and justice for all.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

The House Voted to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell!"

Just hours ago HRC, the Human Rights Campaign, announced that the House of Representatives voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” This historic action follows a vote earlier today for a repeal in the Senate Armed Services Committee and is another step toward ending the ban on "OUT" gays and lesbians in the military.

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese remarked, “Lawmakers today stood on the right side of history. This is a historic step to strengthen our armed forces and to restore honor and integrity to those who serve our country so selflessly.”

The debate will move to the Senate this summer, before being sent to the President for his final approval.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Senate panel has enough votes to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell Law

The prediction came after several lawmakers on the panel signaled their support, including Sen. Ben Nelson, a conservative Democrat from Nebraska who had been considered a holdout.

“In a military which values honesty and integrity, this policy encourages deceit,” Nelson said of the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” law.

The bill would still face scrutiny by the full Senate, where 60 votes are usually needed to overcome Republican objections.

But an endorsement by the Senate Armed Services Committee, led by Michigan Democrat Carl Levin, was considered a crucial first step by gay rights’ groups.

The measure is more likely to survive because it was being tucked into a broader defense policy bill that typically includes popular provisions like a pay raise for the troops.

The committee planned to vote on Thursday.

“We are increasingly confident about the (bill) and that this could very well be a historic week in the United States Congress,” said Marshall Wittmann, a spokesman for Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., who is co-sponsoring the legislation.

Gay rights groups were cautiously optimistic.

“This one will go down to the wire, and it won’t be over until the vote,” said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for Human Rights Campaign.

The legislation was a compromise between the White House and a small group of Democrats – including Levin and Lieberman – who fear that repeal efforts will be doomed if Republicans regain control of one or both houses of Congress after fall elections.

The plan would overturn the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law but still allow the military to decide when and how to implement any changes to accommodate the new policy.

Nelson said this caveat was key to his support because it “removes politics from the process” and ensures repeal is “consistent with military readiness and effectiveness.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he supports repeal but would prefer that Congress wait to vote until he can talk to the troops and chart a path forward. A study ordered by Gates is due on Dec. 1.

Some lawmakers, including Democrats, took a similar stand this week and cast doubt that the measure might pass.

“I see no reason for the political process to pre-empt it,” Sen. Jim Webb, a conservative Democrat from Virginia, said of the military study.

At least one Republican – Sen. Susan Collins of Maine – has said she will support the measure.

The House planned to consider an identical bill on Thursday. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., was expected to introduce the legislation as a floor amendment to the 2011 defense authorization bill.

How Do You Work On You?

by Larry James relationship coach and author.

Often therapists, radio talk show hosts and others who provide relationship advice or coaching will tell you that in order to have a great relationship with your partner, you must first work on you.

While this is very good advice, something is missing. How do you do that?

You begin by really paying attention to what YOU need to be fulfilled as an individual. Focus on YOU! Think about how you are being when you are with yourself. Self inquire!

Here are a few questions to ask yourself. . .

Are you happy?


Disappointed in where you are in the relationship you have with yourself?



Loving some or most of the time but not all of the time?

Do you like you?

When you are alone do you feel lonely?

Are you always blaming others for what happens to you?

Do you know that something is missing in your life and you are not quite sure what it is?

Are you always looking back?

Do you know what it feels like to live in the present; to really be present to what is going on?

Have you lost sight of what you really would like to have in the area of relationships?

Do you know specifically what YOU need from a relationship?

Have you really ever thought seriously about that?

Are you feeling sorry for yourself?

Upset because of the kind of people you attract into your life?

Have you reached a point where it is pointless to complain because you now know that relationships are what you make of them?

Do you know down deep inside that there must be something better?

These are just a few questions we can answer that will cause us to begin to understand that no matter how hopeless or great things look, they can always be better. We have a choice in how our lives turn out! Choice is our greatest power.

How do you work on YOU? You begin to get totally honest with yourself. You begin holding yourself accountable for who you are in the matter; how YOU feel about the way things are. Then. . . if you decide (and only when you decide) to do something different, you promise yourself (and keep your promise) that you will do everything within your power to be happy instead of right! In other words, discontinue justifying what doesn't work and begin to do something different.

How do you work on YOU? You read good books about relationships that stimulate your thinking; that inspire you to a better way of living. You attend seminars and workshops, not just about relationships, but those that stimulate you to change the way you have been. Become involved in a support group; one that supports you in being a better you.

You begin to journal; really getting honest with how you feel about things, what you think about things, how things "really are" instead of how you "think" things are, etc. Write it all down. Be honest with yourself! Read: For Your Eyes Only. Spend a lot of time thinking about what's happening right now, instead of dwelling on the past. Being concerned about something that has already happened and that you cannot change, keeps you stuck right where you are! You work on YOU!

What are the benefits of working on YOU? The reward for working on you is - you feel good about who you are! You really love you! Not the self-centered love that distracts you from being loving to others, but a genuine love of self; the kind of love you can share with others.

Loving you for who you are causes you to begin to feel like a whole person. At that time you may be ready for another relationship. Unless you wait for this magic moment, you may always continue to be dissapointed with the relationships that show up in your life. Remember, like attracts like. Opposites do not attract. That is a myth!

If you cannot handle the most important relationship in your life - the one you have with yourself - then you will never be able to truly relate to the ambiance of the coming together of two people. We spent so much of our time being concerned about the relationship we are in with someone else, that we forget about ourselves. This could be called "losing yourself in the relationship."

Many people agree that working on you takes discipline, determination and doing something different; changing your behavior! That is the key. The relationship we have with ourselves and the relationships we have with others are hard work. This, we know is true: We must work on them all the time, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed, however, they must never be a struggle.

Relationships become a struggle when someone is not pulling their fair share of the load. It's hard to feel good about yourself, when you know you are letting your love partner down by not giving yourself full attention. It's difficult if not impossible to pay attention to the overall relationship unless you know how to focus attention on yourself FIRST.

Two broken people can't fix each other. You only have the choice to fix yourself! AND to begin, you have to acknowledge the problem. Broken people seem to attract each other because they can relate to, "Something is missing in this relationship!" The opposite is also true!

So. . . we must never stray from the path of self-discovery! We must always know where we stand with ourselves. The only way you can do this is to be attentive to, and intentional about having the best relationship with yourself that is humanly possible. This means you must always work on YOU first. When you are ready. . . a relationship with someone else will be there; you will find each other.

Can you imagine? Two, whole, healthy people. . . together. Each feeling good about themselves; loving themselves and sharing that love with each other.

Can you imagine? BOTH love partners working on the relationship they have with each other and supporting each other in their own personal growth!

If you believe it, really believe it, and make sure you are always doing the best you can to cause it to be this way. . . anything is possible. There is no other like you. This is it! Don't waste time!

Never stop working on YOU.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

San Francisco's First Women Only Pride Weekend

San Francisco is known for one of the largest Gay Pride events in the US, but never before has their been a SF Pride weekend full of events geared exclusively for lesbians. But all that changes this years. Well known lesbian event promoters Curve Magazine and Olivia Travel have created EDEN, the first ever San Francisco Pride weekend dedicated to events for lesbians and their allies.

"There are destination parties for lesbians all over the country at different times of the year," says Franco Stevens, the publisher of Curve. "But there's never been one in San Francisco during Pride Weekend, which just seemed strange. In a collaborative exchange of ideas between the Bay Areas' best lesbian event promoters, Olivia Travel and us, we worked together to create EDEN, and my guess is San Francisco Pride will never quite be the same."

Assisting in celebration for this ground-breaking lesbian Pride weekend event are LOGO's Julie Goldman, cast members of The Real L Word of Los Angeles and local DJs . Curve, Movement Productions, Olivia Travel, BioBlue Events, FullCircle Events and legendary hotel Parc55 will also be helping out to make this a truly unforgettable first lesbian Pride weekend. There will be four days of official partying planned (June 24-28, 2010).


THURSDAY, June 24, 6pm-9pm at Parc55 (55 Cyril Magnin Street)
EDEN Welcome Party (Only available to ALL ACCESS and ALL ACCESS VIP Ticket Holders)
FRIDAY, June 25, 7pm-9pm at Parc55 (55 Cyril Magnin Street)
EDEN Comedy Show (Featured Comedians: Gina Yashere, Sandra Valls, Dana Goldberg, Julie Goldman)

FRIDAY, June 26, 9pm-3am at Suite 181 (181 Eddy, SF)
TEASE (Featured DJs: DJ Olga T, DJ C-L.A. DJ Ai-Lo, DJ Campbell, DJ Rockaway)

SATURDAY, June 27, 9pm-3am inside the historic Olivia Travel Building (3rd Floor, 434 Brannan, SF)
EDEN (Featured DJs: DJ Olga T, DJ Ms. Jackson, DJ Rockaway, appearance by the cast of the Real "L" Word on Showtime)

SUNDAY, June 28, 7pm-midnight at the Den (1807 Telegraph Ave, Oakland)
GOOD TIMES (Featured DJs: DJ Olga T, DJ Rapture, DJ Trinity, DJ Jacatac)

For more information, visit

Sunday, May 9, 2010

30th Annual Russian River Women's Weekend

Preliminary Schedule:

  • Extreme Trivia - Lesbian Edition
  • FeistyGirl Pool Party
  • For the Next 7 Generations Movie
  • Texas Hold'em Tourney
  • RAGS Welcome Party
  • Gwen Avery
  • Adana
  • Erotica Reading & Sexy Lesbian Film Night
  • Rock n' Roll & Uniform Party with Excuses for Skipping
  • Vieux Carrere: Burlesque Show with Lady Monstur
  • Crafts Fair
  • Dodgeball Tourney with brunch
  • Kathy Bricetti Reading from her novel, Blood Strangers
  • Lesbian Archives Exhibit & Video Interviews
  • Print Workshop with Katie Gilmartin
  • West Tease Pool Pary - Wet T Shirt Contest
  • Sweet Cocktail Pool Party
  • Drum Circle, Bonfire & Firewalk
  • Winemaker Dinner at Chef Patrick's
  • Gwen Avery
  • Country Dan's Lesbterian Retreat
  • Rock 'N roll Full Swing Party with Thee Merry Widows
  • Monkey Pod: A Drag King Extravaganza
  • Crafts Fair
  • Hike in Armstrong Woods
  • Sweet Mimosa & Brunch Pool Party
  • Women's Motorcycle Run
  • Liquid Church Pool Party - Jello wrestling & Painted Ladies Tattoo contest
  • Gwen Avery
  • Susan Cianion with Viviana Guzman with the Mortuary Orchestra
  • For the Next 7 Generations Movie
  • Country Dan's Lesbterian RetreatLinger - Closing Party
For more information and updates visit their website at

Thursday, May 6, 2010

7 Gay couples Challenge U.S. Marriage law

By Denise Lavoine, AP News

Seven gay couples and three widowers who had married in Massachusetts after it became the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage went to court Thursday to challenge the constitutionality of a federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The couples filed a lawsuit last year, arguing that the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory because it denies same-sex couples access to federal benefits given to heterosexual couples. U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro held the first hearing in the case Thursday.

The couples include a Social Security Administration retiree who was denied health insurance for his spouse; three widowers who were denied death benefits for funeral expenses; and couples who have paid more in taxes because they are not allowed to file joint returns.

Mary Bonauto, an attorney with Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, said the 1996 law, known as DOMA, got the federal government involved in regulating marriage, something it had left to the states for more than 200 years. She said the law denies gay couples access to more than 1,000 federal programs and legal protections in which marriage is a factor.

"What DOMA does is negate their marital status," Bonauto argued during the hearing.

The law was enacted by Congress in 1996 when it appeared Hawaii would soon legalize same-sex marriage and opponents worried that other states would be forced to recognize such marriages. The lawsuit challenges only the portion of the law that prevents the federal government from affording Social Security and other benefits to same-sex couples.

Since then, five states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage.

W. Scott Simpson, a Justice Department lawyer, said the Obama administration is opposed to the law, but the department has an obligation to defend the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress.

"This presidential administration disagrees with DOMA as a matter of policy and would like to see it repealed, but that does not affect the statute's constitutionality," Simpson said.

Simpson said the law does not interfere with the rights of individual states to "experiment in the area of marriage, but that should not dictate how the federal government applies federal law."

Tauro did not indicate when he would rule on the government's motion to dismiss the lawsuit and the couples' request to declare the law unconstitutional.

After the hearing, the couples who brought the lawsuit told reporters how the law has affected them.

Herb Burtis, a voice professor at Smith College, said his spouse, John Ferris, died in 2008 after they had been together for 60 years. They married in 2004 after Massachusetts legalized gay marriage. After Ferris died, Burtis, 80, was turned down when he applied for Ferris' Social Security retirement and survivor benefits.

"It feels like we're second-class citizens," Burtis said. "We don't count, even though most of us have paid into the Social Security system for most of our lives."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

2010 LGBT Gay Pride Parade & Events Calendar

Pride Month is just around the corner, so I put together a list of 2010 Gay Pride Events being held all around the US & Canada. And if you know of any Pride Events that I missed, please send me an email or leave a comment and I will be sure to add them to my list.

Now get on out there and CELEBRATE!!!!

May 15-16, 2010 Long Beach, CA, Long Beach Pride

Jun 3-6, 2010, Austin, TX, Austin Pride
June 4-6, 2010, Salt Lake City, UT Utah Pride
June 4-13, 2010 Washington, DC Capital Pride
Jun 4-13, 2010 Boston, MA, Boston Pride
Jun 4-6, 2010 , Kansas City, MO, Kansas City Gay Pride
Jun 5, 2010, Honolulu, HI, Honolulu Pride Parade
Jun 5, 2010, Tulsa, OK, Tulsa Pride
June 5, 2010, Hartford, CT, Connecticut Pride
Jun 6, 2010, Charleston, WV, Rainbow Pride of West Virginia
Jun 6, 2010, Winnepeg, Manitoba Winnipeg Pride
Jun 6-13, 2010, Santa Rosa & Guerneville, CA, Sonoma County Pride
Jun 9-13, 2010, Key West, FL, Key West Pride
Jun 10-12, 2010, Albuquerque, NM Albuquerque Pride
Jun 11-13, 2010, Los Angeles, CA, LA Pride
Jun 11-13, 2010, Milwaukee, WI, Pridefest
Jun 12, 2010, San Antonio, TX, Pridefest, SA
Jun 12, 2010, Cleveland, OH, Cleveland Gay Pride Fest
Jun 12-13, 2010, Des Moines, IA, Des Mines Capital City Pride
Jun 12-13, 2010, Pittsburgh, PA, Pittsburgh Pride
Jun 12, 2010, Spokane, WA, Spokane Pride Parade & Rainbow Festival
Jun 12, 2010, Flagstaff, AZ, Pride in the Pines
Jun 12, 2010, Erie, PA, Pride Picn
Jun 13, 2010, Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Pride Day
Jun 13, 2010, Huntington, Long Island, NY, Long Island Pride Parade
Jun 13, 2010, Columbia, MO, Mid-Missouri Pride Festival
Jun 18-20, 2010, Columbus, OH, Columbus Pride
Jun 18-19, 2010, Louisville, KY, Kentuckiana Pride Festival
Jun 18-20, 2010, Omaha, NE, Nebraska Pride
Jun 18-20, 2010, Kalispell, MT, Montana Pride in Kalispell
Jun 19-27, 2010, New York, NY, New York City Pride
Jun 19-20, 2010, Denver, CO Denver Pridefest
Jun 19-20, 2010, Portland, OR, Pride Northwest Portland
Jun 19, 2010, Nashville, TN, Nashville Pride
Jun 19, 2010, Sacramento, Sacramento Pride
Jun 19, 2010, Providence, RI, Rhode Island PrideFest
Jun 19, 2010, Boise, ID, Boise Pride
Jun 19, 2010, Portland, ME, Southern Maine Pride Parade & Festival
Jun 19, 2010 Syracuse, NY, Syracuse Pride
Jun 19, 2010 Grand Rapids, MI, West Michigan Pride
Jun 24-27, 2010, Columbia, SC,
South Carolina Black Pride
Jun 25-Jul 4, 2010, Toronto, Canada, Toronto Pride
Jun 25-27, 2010, Oklahoma City, OK, Oklahoma City Pride
Jun 25-27, 2010, New Orleans, New Orleans Pride
Jun 26-27, 2010, San Francisco, CA, San Francisco Pride
Jun 26-27, 2010, St. Louis, MO, St. Louis PrideFest
Jun 26, 2010,
Tampa Bay, FL, Tampa/St. Pete Pride
Jun 26-27, 2010, Minneapolis, Minneapolis/St.Paul Pride
Jun 26, 2010, Houston, TX, Houston Pride
Jun 26, 2010,Anchorage, AK, Anchorage Pride
Jun 27, 2010, Chicago, Chicago Pride
Jun 27, 2010
Seattle, WA, Seattle Pride

Jul 10, 2010 in Monterey, CA,
Pride of Monterey County
Jul 15-18, 2010, Charlotte, SC, Charlotte Black Gay Pride
Jul 17-18, 2010, San Diego, CA, San Diego Pride
Jul 18, 2010, Colorado Springs, CO, Colorado Springs PrideFest
Jul 24, 2010, Burlington, VT, Pride Vermont Parade

Aug 1, 2010,
Vancouver, Canada, Vancouver Pride
Aug 7, 2010, Edgewater, MD,
Chesapeake Pride Festival
Aug 12-15, 2010, Montreal, Canada, Montreal Pride
Aug 14, 2010, Eugene, OR,
Eugene/Springfield Pride Festival
Aug 21-Jun 22, 2010,
San Jose, CA, San Jose Pride
Aug 21, 2010, Reno, NV,
Reno Pride

Sep 5, 2010, Oakland / East Bay, Oakland Pride, Oakland Pride
Sep 18, 2010, Modesto, CA,
Modesto Stanislaus Pride
Sep 25, 2010, Raleigh-Durham, NC Pride Parade and Festival

Oct 16, 2010, Memphis, TN, Mid-South Pride


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