Wednesday, June 28, 2017

WalletHub: Colorado Is 2017’s 5th Most Patriotic State in America

With Americans preparing to show their national pride this Fourth of July, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2017's Most Patriotic States in America.

To determine where Americans bleed the most red, white and blue, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 13 key indicators of patriotism. The data set ranges from average number of military enlistees to share of adults who voted in the 2016 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita.

Patriotism in Colorado (1=Most Patriotic; 25=Avg.):
  • 14th – Average Number of Military Enlistees per 1,000 Civilian Adults Population (No Prior Service)
  • 11th – Active-Duty Military Personnel per 1,000 Civilian Adult Population
  • 9th – Peace Corps Volunteers per Capita
  • 3rd – % of Adults Who Voted in 2016 Presidential Election
  • 21st – Volunteer Rate
  • 24th – Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adult Population
  • 1st – Civics Education Requirement
  • 18th – Volunteer Hours per Resident
  • 7th – AmeriCorps Volunteers per Capita
Source: WalletHub


Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired North American rights to Joe Ahearne’s (Sony/BBC’s The Replacement) gay thriller B&B. Breaking Glass acquired North American rights to the film in June in a deal negotiated between Breaking Glass CEO Rich Wolff and Producer Jayne Chard of Hummingbird Films. Breaking Glass is planning a limited theatrical followed by a DVD/VOD release this October. 

In B&B, Marc and Fred went to war when they were refused a double bed at a remote Christian guest house. They won their court case and now they're back to claim their conjugal rights. Triumph turns to terror when a Russian neo-Nazi checks in. Their weekend of fun becomes a bloody battle for survival in this smart, brutally funny and dark thriller.

held its world premiere at the London Independent Film Festival where it won Best LGBT Feature. The North American premiere was at the MiFo LGBT Film Festival, followed by the Out Film CT Festival. B&B will play the Vancouver Queer Film Festival in August. 

National LGBTQ Task Force Advocacy Delivers HHS Restoration of Sexual Orientation Question to Survey of Older Adults

The National LGBTQ Task Force (“the Task Force”) is celebrating the restoration by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of a sexual orientation question to the survey of older adults. The Task Force will redouble its effort for the addition of a gender identity question to the national survey.

“This is a tremendous victory over the political forces who are trying to erase LGBTQ people from vitally important population surveys,” said Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force.

In its constant monitoring of the Federal Register, the Task Force noted the erasure of the sexual orientation question in March and immediately started an advocacy effort to have the question restored and to have a gender identity question added. In part as a result of our FedWatch project, a petition circulated to our members, and efforts by colleagues like SAGE, 10,000 individual commenters and more than 80 organizational commenters were mobilized to engage with HHS in its public comment submission period. The pressure worked and the sexual orientation question was restored last week.

“We count. We won’t be erased. And when we raise our voices in significant numbers, it has an impact — even with such an anti-LGBTQ Administration in power. Now we fight on for the addition of a gender identity question,” Carey stressed.

Governor Cuomo Announces Commemoration of 50th Anniversary of Stonewall Rebellion in 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced efforts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in 2019. In June 1969, LGBT community members held spontaneous demonstrations at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, considered by many as the catalyst for the modern LGBT rights movement. As part of the state’s commemorative efforts, cultural events will be promoted statewide and New York will host the largest international LGBT pride celebration in 2019 – Stonewall 50 / WorldPride.

"The Stonewall Rebellion was a decisive moment in both LGBT and New York history, and by remembering these events and the movement's continued efforts today, this state and nation will be stronger than ever before,” Governor Cuomo said. "The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, coinciding with WorldPride, helps us recognize the efforts of the early LGBT rights advocates as we welcome visitors from across the United States and around the world to visit New York and embrace the rich heritage found at every corner of the state."

Governor Cuomo will convene a Stonewall 50 Commemoration Committee to encourage and promote cultural events to be held throughout New York State in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. The committee will include representatives from state agencies, LGBT community groups, museums and cultural institutions, and tourism professionals.

In conjunction with Stonewall 50, New York City will host WorldPride, the largest international LGBT Pride celebration, in 2019. The event, held in various locations worldwide, features parades, performances and festivals that promote LGBT pride.

Governor Cuomo announced that New York State and I LOVE NY LGBT will activate at key international and domestic Prides, and other LGBT events, throughout 2017 and 2018 to encourage everyone to visit New York State for Stonewall 50 and WorldPride New York. This will be a joint effort between the organizers of Stonewall 50 / NYC Pride (Heritage of Pride) to promote travel to the event and the state.

The Governor also announced plans for an I LOVE NY LGBT Welcome Center in New York City for the weeks surrounding the Stonewall 50 Commemoration and WorldPride. The welcome center will provide visitors with information on New York State’s LGBT destinations and the Stonewall 50 activities happening statewide.

Jazz Jennings Opts to Skip Top Surgery: 'I'm Pretty Happy with My Body'

 Jazz Jennings has hit a breakthrough in her self-perception as she continues to transition to her most authentic self.

In a People exclusive sneak peek at Tuesday’s season premiere of I Am Jazz, the transgender teen speaks with her mother and doctor about how her journey is progressing physiologically and whether she’s ready to pursue further medical procedures in her transition.

“Your labs look great — your testosterone level is really, really low; your estrogen levels is actually more or less adult levels,” reports Dr. Charlton, a pediatric endocrinologist, to the 16-year-old at her check-up.

Jazz’s mother Jeanette says in an interview: “To hear that Jazz is developing just like her peers, it just makes me so happy. I’m so happy for her, and it kind of confirms — it really confirms — that [her dad] Greg and I have been making the right decisions with respect to her medical care. We are on the right path.”

That said, the question of what steps she will take on that path continue to be a question.

After experience setbacks that delayed her ability to pursue bottom surgery, Jazz tells her mother and Dr. Charlton — much to their surprise: “I don’t want top surgery anymore. I’m pretty happy with my body.”

Dr. Charlton replies, “This is the first time I’ve heard you say that you’re happy with your body. You’ve been happy with certain changes, but there were always concerns. This is the happiest I’ve seen you. You seem more comfortable in your own skin now than you have since I’ve known you, and that’s really, really great.” I Am Jazz returns for a new season Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.

Nice To See StevieB: Pride

By StevieB

Pride Fest came and went. There comes a time where you can fall into a feeling where you just believe that pride festivals are for the youngins. Yes, I remember my first pride. I can tell you all the pride events after that, and how much sun block and alcohol was consumed. But, after your twenty-eighth pride you can lose the since of triumph that comes along with being able to stand in the sun and declare your true self to the world. Just so you know, you should not do that. Forget that it is a luxury.

The most fun about watching the pride parade is whom you watch it with. The BFs friends are in their twenties and early thirties. Some had just discovered the joy of pride day. Seeing a gay parade through these eyes helps to reconnect. A young lesbian kept turning to me during the procession of floats and asking questions… “What is a… Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire?” I raised an eyebrow to think that one through. What is court? Even though it’s been around long before my time, and even had attended events back in the 1990s. “It’s… like a Shriners group… a social club for drag queens. Before they were allowed in public and into the bars. Drag queens had a social club to meet, where they would be safe.” Whoo. I thought I explained that one pretty well. “Safe from what?” She asked. This twenty-something lesbian lives in a world were Denver is a safe, embracing city.

This realization of time passing was of course countered by me sharing a story of how one pride I was tripping my balls on ecstasy so hard I just wandered the full parade route in just my Calvin’s and was met by side-eye and questions if X was a thing so far back and if Calvin Klein was alive back then. 

Do not; I repeat, do not forget why we as a tribe have pride events. And, do not think that it is no big deal. It is a huge deal. To be able to stand in the sun and declare yourself to the world.

Monday, June 26, 2017

'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 9 Makes History as the Most Watched Season Ever -- PRESS RELEASE

Following a headline-grabbing, “Gaga-tastic” season opener that drew nearly 1 million viewers, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” kept the momentum going through last week’s finale extravaganza delivering the most viewed season and finale ever. 859k total viewers tuned-in last Friday to watch Sasha Velour snatch the crown and title of America’s Next Drag Superstar, representing an increase of 218% over last season’s finale (P18-49). Additionally, the full season was up an astonishing 122% from last season (P18-49). The season ender also trended across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and was the #1 most social program on all of television on Friday.

The wildly successful series kept viewers at the edge of their seats with nail-biting challenges and shocking eliminations throughout the season, consistently ranking as the number one most social non-sports, non-news cable program on Fridays.

RuPaul will be back on Logo to glam up the summer with “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 9 RuVealed,” premiering Thursday, June 29th at 8pm. New episodes will air Thursdays at 8PM PT/ET weekly and feature never-before-seen moments with a library full of fresh reads from RuPaul and the queens. Also returning to Logo is the “Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul,” where contestants’ entertainment IQs are put to the test when host RuPaul quizzes them on the hottest pop culture moments. As they answer hysterical trivia questions, contestants have to decide whether to trust their own instincts or to turn to the “Gay for Play” celebrity panel for help. Two all-new episodes will air weekly on Thursdays starting June 29th.

It's Never Been About Cake

The nation's highest court has granted review in the case of a business that requested a religious exemption from Colorado’s LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination law.

Every lower court that has heard this case – including the Colorado Supreme Court – has ruled the right way, finding that denying service to someone because they are LGBTQ is not just wrong, but also violates long-standing state laws here in Colorado. When the Justices meet, they’ll review the case record and surely see that businesses open to the public must serve all members of the public equally.

This case, the ACLU’s Craig and Mullins v. Masterpiece Cakeshop, may be centered on a bakery – but it’s never been about cake. It’s always been about people being turned away from businesses just because of who they are. This sort of discrimination is a violation of our non-discrimination protections in Colorado, and it’s wrong.

The One Colorado team filed a legal brief in the case explaining that freedom of religion is vital – one of our most cherished values – and it’s already protected in the Constitution. But religion should never be used as an excuse for discrimination. That’s the message we must send to the Supreme Court in the coming months.

While the ACLU and others make compelling arguments in the courtroom, it’s up to us in Colorado to push forward and build momentum to stand strong against anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Today, the best way to do that is by making sure your friends and loved ones know that we need all hands on deck for the work ahead.

A majority of Americans oppose policies that allow businesses to cite their religious beliefs as an excuse for discrimination. Let’s make that heard loud and clear – click here to share.

Print all In new window Inaugural Canada Pride To Embrace Indigenous Peoples With Open Arms

For the first national edition of Pride Canada, Montréal Pride will make a special place for Indigenous Peoples participants in its upcoming festivities. We believe that, beyond sexual diversity and gender plurality, Pride is about celebrating diversity at large. The presence of Indigenous Peoples will no doubt enrich the event’s essence.

Last fall, Montréal Pride announced to its partners that the August 20, 2017 Parade will be led by a contingent of Indigenous Peoples. Moreover, a Mohawk elder woman will preside with a traditional prayer and ritual during the inauguration ceremony of the new site, Parc des Faubourgs, which is located on unceded territories of the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawks). Pow-wow Dancers will also be on hand to share their culture with us.

The national conference on LGBTTIQA2S human rights will be launched and closed with ceremonies officiated by Indigenous Peoples representatives. This conference will also explore the concept of two-spirits along with workshops on Indigenous Peoples/ LGBTTIQA2S intersectionality. Further announcements along these inclusive lines will follow, such as the unveiling of our Grand Marshals.

Canada Pride Montréal 2017 festivities are inclusive and open to all, whatever their sexual orientation, identity or gender expression, their ethnic origin, their age, race or beliefs. A great deal of effort and care is put into ensuring that the programming will be a reflection of the concern for inclusion and representativeness so that all communities may identify, starting with the Indigenous peoples.

“We must learn from our past mistakes and thus mark a turning point with those difficult events of our history to make sure they are not repeated. At Canada Pride Montréal 2017, it is our strongest wish and we are taking all the means at our disposal to achieve it,” says Montréal Pride President and founder, Éric Pineault.

DNC on Today’s SCOTUS Decisions on LGBTQ Rights

In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision in Pavan v. Smith, thereby guaranteeing the right of same-sex parents to have the names of both parents on their children’s birth certificates and today’s announcement that the court will hear the discrimination case Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights, DNC spokesperson Joel Kasnetz released the following statement:

“It’s fitting that, on the two-year anniversary of the nation-wide marriage equality decision, love won again today. Marriage equality and its protections are the law of the land and today’s ruling affirmed the strength of loving families with same-sex parents.

“As for the Colorado case, our constitution guarantees equal protection for all under the law, so we urge the Supreme Court to affirm the Colorado Court of Appeals decision that held businesses cannot discriminate against same-sex couples.”

Happy LGBT Equality Day!


U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) reintroduced their resolution to designate June 26, as “LGBT Equality Day,” honoring the anniversary of three significant victories won at the U.S. Supreme Court for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

“America should celebrate the progress we have made to pass on to the next generation a country that is more equal, not less equal. But we cannot mistake our progress for victory,said Senator Baldwin. “We have more work to do in the march for fairness, freedom and full equality for the LGBT community. I believe America is ready to take the next steps forward and together we will break down barriers so that every American has an equal opportunity to dream the same dreams, chase the same ambitions, and have the same shot at success.”

“In the last two decades, our nation has seen the Defense of Marriage Act overturned, the decriminalization of loving LGBT couples and now nationwide marriage equality — all through Supreme Court decisions handed down on June 26,” Congresswoman DelBene said. “But even as same-sex couples enjoy the right to marry in all 50 states, LGBT people continue to face violence, inequality and discrimination simply for who they are and who they love. Our resolution designates the 26th of June as ‘LGBT Equality Day’ not only to celebrate how far we’ve come, but also to acknowledge how much work remains to be done.”

During the past two decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued three landmark rulings on the 26th of June that helped eliminate LGBT discrimination, affirm the dignity of same-sex couples and move our country toward a more perfect union:

·         Lawrence v. Texas (June 26, 2003). Fourteen years ago, the Court ruled on June 26, that states could no longer criminalize the private intimate conduct of same-sex couples, invalidating hateful and discriminatory laws in more than a dozen states.
·         United States v. Windsor (June 26, 2013). Four years ago, the Court overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on June 26, and ruled that legally married same-sex couples deserve all of the rights, benefits and protections provided by marriage under federal law.
·         Obergefell v. Hodges (June 26, 2015). Two years ago, the Court ruled on June 26, that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, putting the United States on the right side of history and ending marriage discrimination once and for all.

Senator Baldwin and Congresswoman DelBene’s resolution is cosponsored by more than 150 members of Congress and is supported by the Human Rights Campaign, the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund and the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

Both Senator Baldwin and Congresswoman DelBene have cosponsored the Equality Act, historic, comprehensive federal legislation to ban discrimination against LGBT Americans.

Call Senator Gardner to Protect Health Care for LGBTQ Coloradans

The U.S. Senate is poised to vote on the AHCA this week. Call Colorado Senator Cory Gardner now and tell him to reject the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and protect Coloradans' health care.

Denver Office: (303) 391-5777
DC Office: (202) 224-5941
Pueblo: (719) 543-1324
Grand Junction: (970) 245-9553
Greeley: (970) 352-5546
Yuma: (970) 848-3095
Colorado Springs: (719) 632-6706
Fort Collins: (970) 484-3502

NCLR Supreme Court victory: AR birth certificate law struck down, upholds marriage equality

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision in Pavan v. Smith which denied same-sex married couples’ right to be named on their children’s birth certificates just as other married parents are. The Arkansas decision caused these families serious harms, complicating parents’ ability to consent to emergency medical care, enroll children in school or recreational sports, travel abroad, and generally care for their children. By treating these families differently the decision also subjected them to official stigma and bias, sending a message that they are unworthy of equal recognition by the state. The families in this case were represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Arkansas attorney Cheryl Maples, and Ropes & Gray LLP.

In a decisive victory for these families, the Supreme Court summarily reversed the Arkansas Supreme Court decision without requiring oral argument or additional briefing. The Court said: "The Arkansas Supreme Court's decision, we conclude, denied married same-sex couples access to the 'constellation of benefits that the Stat[e] ha[s] linked to marriage.'"

“We are grateful to the Court for sending a clear message that it will not tolerate attempts to flout the Court’s clear holding in Obergefell that married same-sex couples must be given the full panoply of protections tied to marriage under state law,” said NCLR Family Law Director Catherine Sakimura. “Today’s decision means that millions of married same-sex couples across the country can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that this type of blatant discrimination against their families will not stand. Marriage equality is settled law and protects same-sex parents and their children from discrimination. Arkansas’ blatant refusal to follow Obergefell could not stand.”

In Pavan, married couple Marisa and Terrah Pavan, like many couples, used an anonymous sperm donor to conceive their child. And in 2015, the Pavan Family gave birth to their daughter in their home state of Arkansas. At the hospital, the Pavans completed an application for their child’s birth certificate, listing both spouses as parents. But the Arkansas Department of Health unilaterally decided to omit Marisa’s name on the birth certificate, listing Terrah as the only parent. The state treated these married parents’ marriage as though it did not exist.

Another Arkansas married couple, Leigh and Jana Jacobs, experienced the same type of discrimination when Leigh gave birth to their son in 2015. They were issued an Arkansas birth certificate naming only Leigh as a parent despite listing both parents on the application.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision protects same-sex married couples and their children from discrimination and strengthens the rule of law,” said Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, partner at Ropes & Gray LLP and co-counsel in the case with NCLR. “Marriage equality is the law of the land, and this decision sends a clear message that states must follow the law and treat all married couples equally.”

Under Arkansas law, when a married couple has a child, the spouse of the birth mother is automatically listed on the birth certificate as the child’s parent, regardless of how the couple conceived the child or whether the spouse is genetically related to the child. Both the Pavan and Jacobs families were denied this right. Today’s ruling reiterates that Obergefell requires different-sex and same-sex married couples to be treated equally under the law. The ruling comes on the two-year anniversary of the Court’s June 26, 2015 decision in Obergefell.

“Arkansas is our home. We are rooted there. Our families are there. Today’s decision guarantees that the family we love will be respected and protected in the home we love,” said plaintiff Marisa Pavan.

“My wife, Leigh, and I just welcomed our new baby daughter, Willa Fern, into the world,” said plaintiff Jana Jacobs. “Today’s decision gives me comfort that my growing family, and other Arkansas families, will receive the respect and protections we deserve.”

Travel: WorldPride 2017 in Madrid

Madrid has officially started the celebration of WorldPride 2017, after an opening ceremony that took place in the Teatro Calderon. In this edition, Madrid commemorates 40 years since the first LGBTQIA+ protests in Spain, 30 years since Chueca was named the epicentre for the community and Pride, 20 years since the first Pride Parade that united political protest with celebration and 10 years since EuroPride was last celebrated in the city. Moreover, as Madrid is the first Spanish speaking capital to celebrate WorldPride.

This celebration is a historic opportunity to share Madrid’s values as a diverse, plural, inclusive and involved city, whilst it reinforces Spain as the reference nation in the liberty and defense of LGTBIA+ individuals’ rights. 3 million people are expected to visit Madrid to join this year’s motto ¡Viva la vida!

Until the 2nd of July 2017, a huge program of activities will take place in Madrid, including an international human rights conference, open air concerts, performing stages, parties, art, culture and sport. A great festival to celebrate, discuss and show diversity, culminating in the main act, the World Pride Parade on Saturday the 1st of July, which will be the world's largest Pride parade ever! WorldPride Madrid has the support of the City Hall of Madrid, the Regional Government of Madrid, The Tourism Association of Madrid (ATM) and Madrid Destino.

Pride is more than celebration. It’s about ACTION!

This Pride season, we remember our history. Pride, as we know it today with all its rainbows and parades, started as a riot. It began at the Stonewall Inn in New York City when a group of transgender women of color and other patrons at the bar stood up and said, “enough.”

At this time of political turmoil, when it has become clear that it will be a struggle to make progress in this presidential administration, we remember our roots and look to the states.

Equality Federation celebrates twenty years this year. Twenty years of making sure that leaders in every state have the skills and strength to fight whatever comes our way. Let’s celebrate twenty years of action by supporting the fights yet to come.

Rainbows alone will not get the work done. Activism requires action. Action like killing nearly 100 anti-equality bills from coast to coast and training the next generation of LGBTQ movement leaders. Action like working to decriminalize HIV and ban conversion therapy. Action means showing up for every member of our community.