Saturday, September 23, 2017

Rhein Haus: Serving Up Weiners Und Balls in Downtown Denver

Rhein Haus is a gay-owned, two-story, 14,000 square-foot Bavarian-inspired restaurant in Downtown Denver with house made sausages, pretzels, and other authentic eats, 24 German and local drafts, Bavarian-inspired cocktail list, and four indoor bocce courts.

Friday, September 22, 2017

CHEER Colorado – Raising Spirits A Mile High!

By Jeremy Ernest

Over the past 16 years, I've been a middle school, high school, and all star cheerleading coach; and was myself a cheerleader in both high school and college. Depending on your exposure to the sport, you may or may not know that in the last twenty years, cheerleading has gone through quite the evolution. No longer are cheerleaders simply waving their pom-poms and jumping around while spelling out two-syllable words to pump up the crowd at football games. It has evolved into a full-on sport geared towards athleticism and advanced acrobatics. Granted, we still jump around with our pom-poms spelling things out, but usually with people flying through the air behind us and flipping in front.

Well, I am proud to say that the world of cheerleading in Colorado has welcomed yet another tier to the pyramid of the sport with CHEER Colorado. CHEER Colorado is a group of volunteers that are 18 and older who stunt and perform for charity. We're on our way to being the next to join the Pride Cheerleading Association (PCA) family of charitable cheer teams across the country, joining teams like CHEER San Francisco, who have been around since 1980. We are a non-profit focused on raising spirits around Denver Metro while also raising funds for local LGBQT non-profits. And based on the current political and social climate, we couldn’t have come together at a better time.

But what does it mean to raise “spirits”? To us, it means spreading the message of love, inclusion, and acceptance through the act of cheerleading in a way Denver has never seen. It is one thing to show up and perform, but it means something far more to show up and interact with the people that make our city one of the most evolved and welcoming in the country. With our motto of “Raising Spirits a Mile High”, we plan on spreading our message one stunt, flip, and jump at a time. We do this by volunteering our time at public and private events, taking donations and getting paid for performances to help support our local LGBTQ family.

I've been volunteering with the group since it started just a few weeks ago, and in that time I've been surprised by the positive impact it's had on the local community and on the volunteers ourselves. I've experienced life as a gay man in Denver since 2012, but one of the things that I’ve continually been missing was a sense of friendship and community. The moment I walked into our first meet-up, I felt welcomed. I instantly found what I had been missing. My hope is that more individuals come and experience this wonderful group for themselves and join our ever growing family of like-minded & supportive members.

Register for the Denver Colorado Gay-Straight Alliance Leadership Summit

The One Colorado Denver GSA Leadership Summit will be on October 21st and this year’s theme is “It Starts with US!” The workshops and resources will help empower your student club to make changes in your school and community to build inclusive and affirming schools for LGBTQ youth.

The Colorado GSA Leadership Summit is a FREE event and a great opportunity for youth and educators alike, and all are welcome! One Colorado will provide breakfast and lunch, and there are travel scholarships available. At the 2017 Denver GSA Leadership Summit, they will share best practices for creating and supporting effective GSA programs and empowering LGBTQ students to be leaders in their community. Students (middle school, high school, and college-aged), educators, and parents who are passionate about creating safe, inclusive learning environments are encouraged to attend.

Reserve your spot by clicking here!

Debt Free Guys: 7 Ways Queer People Can Add More Security to Their Relationships

By David Auten and John Schneider, the Debt Free Guys

We’re getting a lot of emails from readers concerned about their financial security and same-sex marriages under the current administration. As Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Brian Thompson of Brian Thompson Financial, says, “With so much uncertainty as to what the future holds for our marriage and civil rights, you need a comprehensive financial plan.” 

Below are extra precautions to include in your comprehensive queer money plan to protect you and your partner or spouse, especially at the end of your lives. These steps should be taken when you’ve decided with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, whether you learn that at 25 or 65.

Set up a joint tenant with rights of survivorship with your partner
Put all your assets with you partner in a Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship, also known as Joint Tenancy. Joint tenancy means that when one partner passes away, the other automatically and wholly owns of all their assets under the Joint Tenancy. A Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship gives legal protection from other parties’, such as surviving parents or siblings, claims to your assets.

Use Tom Doyle of New York City as a lesson. Because the proper legal measures weren’t taken, including marriage, Doyle may be evicted from the West Village home he and his partner, Bill Cornwell, lived in for 55 years. Doyle and Cornwell didn’t sign the legal documents that would’ve made them both equal owners of Cornwell’s house. Now Cornwell’s nieces and nephew are trying to take possession of their home.

Common law marriage may save Doyle, as marriage would have, but a Joint Tenancy would’ve provided extra protection should a party claim his marriage void.

Each partner should draft a will
Each partner or spouse should draw a will that details the owner of your assets should you pass away. 

Unless you agree otherwise, your wills should inherit your assets to each other.
In the unfortunate event that you both pass away at or about the same time, include a per stirpes clause. A per stirpes clause outlines the sequence of inheritors should the first heir not be alive. Per stirpes clauses are especially helpful for blended families with children from different relationships. 

Your wills should designate an executor to manage or oversee the division of your estates. Unless there’s a reason not to do so, each partner should be the other’s executor.

Establish and annually confirm beneficiaries
Update all the beneficiaries on all your accounts to match your will unless you and your partner or spouse agree otherwise. Beneficiary designations trump wills. Therefore, your will designating your current partner or spouse as the heir to your assets does not supersede beneficiary designations you assigned before your current relationship. 

This technicality catches many people by surprise. Therefore, we recommend verifying and updating your beneficiaries annually, as necessary, when you file your taxes and check your fire alarms.

Buy life insurance
We often only think of life insurance when we start families, but today’s life insurance does more than help partners, spouses and family members when we pass away.

One of many ways life insurance can help is that it protects against creditors.
Debts won’t disappear when you pass away. Depending on the type of debt you have and your financial situation, your partner or spouse be left repaying your loans. Help them by getting life insurance to help pay off your debts after you pass away. 

Another valuable way life insurance can help is with your medical care.

Healthcare can take as much as 30% of one’s retirement savings. Queer people who haven’t saved appropriately are at risk of not having enough money to pay for end-of-life care. Life insurance with an accelerated death benefit rider provides payments to cover medical care in certain “critical” circumstances. 

Consider purchasing long-term care insurance
While we’re on the topic of insurance, most LGBTQ people should consider purchasing
long-term care insurance(LTCI). LTCI is one of the more complex parts of medical care because it requires the physical labor of others. LTCI can range from help at home with basic needs, such as cooking and eating, to assisted living to help with a person's day-to-day physical well-being.

Talk with your financial planner or healthcare provider. 

Designate powers of attorney
Partners should designate each other as both financial and medical powers of attorney. A financial power of attorney appoints an agent, your partner, to manage your financial matters. A medical power of attorney designates an agent to take care of your medical needs. 

Both powers of attorney will be either durable or springing. A durable power of attorney authorizes your partner to immediately act on your behalf, including if you become temporarily or permanently incompetent or incapacitated. It does, however, cease when you pass away. 

A springing power of attorney authorizes an agent to act on your behalf only if you become permanently incapacitated, as determined by a medical doctor. It, too, ceases when you pass away. 

Establish living wills
Both partners should establish living wills. Living wills outline medical wishes, including end-of-life wishes, if you can no longer speak for yourself. Your living wills should include whether you want to be resuscitated or designate DNR for “do not resuscitate.” You may, also, include specifications on the use of feeding tubes, respirators, dialysis and blood transfusions.

Gifting your partner or spouse clarity on your end-of-life wishes will make any end-of-life decisions they must make a little easier.

Koelbel Urban Homes: The New Modern in Denver

Koelbel Urban Homes (KUH) has quickly emerged as a leader in creating urban neighborhoods that promote community and synergy by integrating life, work and play.

As the newest division of legendary developer Koelbel and Company, KUH is focused on in-fill properties, designing and building innovative homes tailored to each unique site.

Offered homes run the gamut of detached single-family homes to svelte modern attached designs featuring today's popular spaces, such as rooftop decks and open-plan concepts. All KUH homes, of course, are designed for optimum living and with respect for the surroundings.

Denver International Wine Festival Features Premium Wine and Culinary Experiences

The Denver International Wine Festival has been recognized by Food and Wine magazine as one of the “Best Wine Festivals Across America.” Now in its 13th year, the Denver International Wine Festival, hosted by Wine Country Network, Inc., attracts vintners from around the world, and showcases the largest selection of international and domestic wines at any Grand Tasting in the Rocky Mountain region.

The festival kicks off with the Grand Vintners Dinner on Wednesday, November 1st at Solera Restaurant & Wine Bar in Denver. Chef Goose Sorensen will create a delectable 5-course wine dinner paired with award-wining wines from Kovacs Nimrod Winery of Hungary.  

On Thursday, November 2nd, foodies will enjoy the Pairsine Chefs Fine Food and Wine Pairing Competition, in which up to ten wine-savvy Colorado chefs will create twenty gourmet dishes to pair with top winning wines from the 2017 Denver International Wine Competition. This year’s lineup will feature some of Colorado’s up-and-coming chefs like Ryan Taylor of Hickory Ash in Broomfield.

Finally, on Friday, November 3rd, the Grand Tasting of International Wines will take place — it’s one of the region’s largest wine-tasting events for consumers, media and trade, with more than fifty wineries and distilleries pouring. Attendees enjoy delectable food and wine tastings, food products, travel destination exhibits and a silent auction benefiting There With CareTM.

Grand Tasting VIP ticket holders gain access to educational seminars and rare guided tastings. VIP ticket holders also enjoy two-hour early access and a VIP lounge with chef stations and premium beverages. This year’s venue is the newly-built Denver Marriott Westminster. Attendees may take advantage of special $119 festival room rates. For tickets and info visit: DENVERWINEFEST.COM

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Greater Fort Lauderdale Hosts Inaugural Global LGBTQ Think Tank Shares Groundbreaking Insights

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) held its inaugural Global LGBTQ Think Tank on Sept. 17-18 at The Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Fourteen leaders from corporate and leisure travel companies came together for the first time to discuss the next steps to improve the LGBTQ travel experience.

“We’re really excited about the opportunities and trends discovered by this esteemed group of thought leaders. Together we can work towards shaping a more respectful and inclusive future in global tourism,” said Richard Gray, vice president, LGBTQ market for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Leveraging insights from the Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBTQ Think Tank will be essential for growing LGBTQ travel globally. This historic sharing of minds and vision was unprecedented and clearly needed, so we are happy to announce the Think Tank will take place again next year.”

The Think Tank leaders identified where LGBTQ travelers are going in the next five to 10 years, how best to reach them, and how to identify their needs. They also acknowledged the importance of identifying the diversity of the audience and how to address them.

“I’m proud of Royal Caribbean and what we’ve been able to accomplish with our diversity and sensitivity training, and we are always looking for additional ways to reach our LGBTQ employees and guests,” said David Nelson, senior portfolio analyst and chairman of LGBTQ Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Royal Caribbean. “We have discovered great opportunities at the Think Tank to build relationships and to collaborate with thanks to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s global lead in the LGBTQ platform.”

China is the world’s largest LGBTQ travel market. Jacob Huang, corporate program director at Aibai Culture & Education Center in China, brought the Chinese perspective to the Think Tank.

“I’ve been working on LGBTQ travel issues for several years, and I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to participate in this global exchange of ideas,” he said. “Greater Fort Lauderdale is a destination that would have great appeal to the LGBTQ community in China because of the large LGBTQ scene and because it is home to Sawgrass Mills, one of the world’s largest outlet malls.”

Travel safety proved to be the main concern at the Think Tank. The group also agreed that the LGBTQ market needs to be better integrated into mainstream marketing across the globe.

During the discussion, the importance of employee resource groups was highlighted. These ERGs can be an asset to corporations as to where their LGBTQ employees feel comfortable traveling to. In addition, the group shared LGBTQ allies’ position on travelling to areas that are diverse and supportive of the community.

“We cannot forget that travel doesn’t just mean leisure travel, but it means corporate meetings and incentives,” said Charlie Rounds, program director at Mossier. “The goal is to make destinations more inclusive. Greater Fort Lauderdale has shown to be a clear leader in this, and will continue to do so in the future.”

Haunted Field of Screams Presents Movie on the Field

The Movie on the Field series, presented by the Haunted Field of Screams, offers free outdoor movies on the field of Colorado’s largest haunted attraction. The public is invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy a mix of horror movies and family-friendly flicks throughout October.

LGBTQ Coloradans lose health care under Graham-Cassidy

Via One Colorado - The proposed Graham-Cassidy bill would have a disproportionate and devastating impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans — particularly women, people of color, youth, seniors, survivors of domestic violence, people living with HIV, and transgender people.

It’s a combination of the most damaging parts of the four previous attempts to repeal the ACA that were rejected by congress earlier this year. Here’s a summary of what this bill will do, and you can learn more about it here

It gives states the ability to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing health conditions, like gender dysphoria, acid reflux, HIV, migraines, depression, an eating disorder, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, pregnancy, cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, congestive heart failure, hepatitis, sleep apnea, and Parkinson's disease, and many more.
In the next ten years, Colorado will lose $10 billion in funds to supplement health care costs for people and we won’t recover from it.

It will eliminate health care for 468,000 Coloradans.

This affects us all.

Senator Cory Gardner told reporters this morning he is undecided on the new bill, despite his votes in favor of every version of an Obamacare repeal that has come up for a vote.

Call Sen. Gardner’s office TODAY and tell him to vote NO on the Cassidy-Graham bill. Tell him to vote NO on this attack on LGBTQ Coloradans and their families.

Denver Office: (303) 391-5777

DC Office: (202) 224-5941

Travel: Savannah Pride

Savannah Pride has announced that, for the first time, Savannah’s Pride Festival will be held in downtown Savannah and will be free to the public. The four-day event, which has been organized by a newly-selected Board of Directors, will be highlighted by a street fair and musical performances in Savannah’s Ellis Square, an urban public square adjacent to the city’s major tourist and shopping district.

The festival will also include a series of parties, community get-togethers and films as well as educational workshops and presentations. As is only appropriate for “America’s Most Haunted City,” the festival will take place over Halloween weekend, October 26 – 29.

“This year, it is particularly important to bring the Savannah Pride Festival front-and-center,” says Dusty Church, new Festival Director. “Historically, the festival has taken place in a beautiful but not central part of town, isolated by a fence and an admission fee. As the government chips away at LGBT rights, from the move to ban transgender Americans for serving in the armed forces to the recent news of the Department of Justice throwing its support behind a wedding vendor who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple, we felt it was time to come out of the shadows. By bringing it downtown and making it free, we encourage the community to join in this celebration of diversity.”

Having begun in 1999, Savannah Pride is one of Georgia’s largest and longest-running pride events. Throughout its 18-year history, it has celebrated a region known for its unique Southern charm as well as its unmatched natural, historic and architectural beauty.

Last year Savannah celebrated its designation by Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of the top three travel destinations in the U.S. and one of the top ten in the world.

“Savannah is an enchanting town where eccentrics, artists, new transplants, students and a vibrant LGBT community mingle with ease with traditional Southerners and people whose roots run deep in the Georgia soil,” says Church. “More than anything else, Savannah Pride gives us a chance to share our beautiful, accepting, fun and quirky home with visitors from all over the world.”

Miley Cyrus releases new song "Week Without You" / 'Younger Now' album out September 29

Miley Cyrus' sixth studio album Younger Now will be released September 29 via RCA Records and is available for pre-order now at all digital retail providers. Today, she has revealed a fourth track from the collection, "Week Without You," lyrics written by Miley Cyrus, with music written and produced by Miley Cyrus and Oren Yoel. The track will be available as instant-grat upon album pre-order along with previously released tracks "Malibu," "Inspired," and "Younger Now." Listen HERE.

Denver Limo, Inc.: The Hottest Limos In Colorado Now at the Lowest Prices of the Year!

Denver Limo, Inc. is the leader in ground transportation in Denver, Colorado. Providing limousine service in Colorado for over 17 years, Denver Limo, Inc. has the hottest limousines, SUV limos, and Party Buses in the state - and they're currently available at the lowest prices of the year! 

National Center for Lesbian Rights wins Arizona same-sex parental rights case

Wednesday of this week, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) won the Arizona Supreme Court case, McLaughlin v. McLaughlin, which ruled that a woman was the legal parent of the child she and her same-sex spouse conceived through assisted reproduction during their marriage. As the Arizona Supreme Court recognized, the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in Obergefell v. Hodges and Pavan v. Smith require states to treat married same-sex parents and married different-sex parents equally under the law. The Arizona Supreme Court explained, “It would be inconsistent with Obergefell to conclude that same-sex couples can legally marry but states can then deny them the same benefits of marriage afforded opposite-sex couples.”

“I am relieved and overjoyed that the court recognized me as my son’s mother,” said Suzan McLaughlin. “All I have ever wanted is to be there for him like any mother would.”

“We are pleased that the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled—consistent with Obergefell—that same-sex parents and their children have the same rights as other families,” said Cathy Sakimura, Family Law Director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “The U.S. Supreme Court has twice explained that the U.S. Constitution requires states to provide the exact same rights to same-sex spouses and different-sex spouses.”

Suzan McLaughlin and Kimberly McLaughlin were a married lesbian couple who had a child in 2011 using an anonymous sperm donor. After separating in 2013, Kimberly stopped allowing Suzan to see their child, and Suzan filed a legal action to be recognized as a parent. Both the Arizona Court of Appeals and the trial court held that Suzan should indeed be recognized as a legal parent to her child. NCLR and Arizona attorney Claudia Work represented Suzan. Additionally, Professor Barbara Atwood and the Child and Family Law Clinic at the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law, as well as 23 Arizona family law attorneys, filed amicus briefs in support of Suzan.

Since the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court marriage equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, numerous cases have recognized that married same-sex parents and married different-sex parents must be treated equally under the law. In June 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Pavan v. Smith, another National Center for Lesbian Rights case, that Obergefell required states to treat married same-sex parents and married different-sex parents equally. The Arizona Supreme Court’s decision in McLaughlin follows this settled law and should be instructive to other states across the country considering this issue.

For more information on NCLR’s June 2017 U.S. Supreme Court victory in Pavan v. Smith, click here.     

Leaf Peeping, Pumpkin Spice...and a New Pup?

Fall officially begins this Friday! So the Dumb Friends League is inviting you to Fall in love and adopt your new best friend! Today through Sunday, they’re taking $25 off adoption fees for all dogs over 1 year old.

DDFL has dozens of wonderful dogs looking for loving forever homes—like Romeo & Juliet, an adorable bonded pair who want to spend their lives together.

So whether your Fall plans include leaf peeping in the mountains or sipping on something pumpkin spiced, DDFL has the perfect canine companion to help you enjoy the season!

Cherry Creek North: Have You Ever Been Someplace That Just Feels Right?

One hundred and forty years ago, Cherry Creek North was part of a small town called Harman. Since then, Cherry Creek North has emerged as a staple in the fabric of Denver and Colorado, blossoming into a very special mixed-use district.

What sets it apart? Perhaps it’s the walkability of the area, or lodging that provides all the comforts of home. Maybe it’s the laughter spilling out of a gallery during a nightly wine tasting, or alfresco dining on a patio laced with flowers. When you’re in Cherry Creek North, you can sit back and exhale. Life feels good here.