Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference in Denver Highlights Industry Achievements, New Sustainable Partnerships

More than 520 travel and tourism industry representatives and elected officials gathered in Denver this week for the 2019 Governor’s Colorado Tourism Conference. Hosted by the Colorado Tourism Office, the conference featured three days of informative seminars, engaging workshops and keynote sessions from industry leaders across the country and beyond.

Governor Polis’ call upon Colorado to “Be Bold” deeply inspired the agenda for this year’s Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference, set just blocks from the state Capitol. This year’s conference theme, “C Further,” highlighted the industry’s innovation and aptitude to adopt bold, big ideas to better the tourism sector as well as the state as a whole.

“Colorado’s tourism industry is a national leader and that did not happen overnight. Our tourism industry’s vibrant health and its thoughtful reputation are direct results of the hard work of industry members from across our state,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I’m delighted to see Colorado rising as the national leader in sustainable travel and as Governor and as a Coloradan, I recognize how important it is to ensure that our state’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities that attract visitors from around the world are preserved for generations to come.” The Governor kicked off Tuesday’s luncheon session.


“The goal of this year’s conference was to generate thinking about ways our Colorado tourism industry can continue building our competitive edge while ensuring that our work continues to support Colorado’s extraordinary lifestyle,” said CTO Director Cathy Ritter. “Our conference agenda provided such a diversity of topics and inspired so many engaging discussions. I’m confident our attendees went home more prepared than ever to maximize the benefits of tourism for visitors and residents alike.”

This three-day conference, co-sponsored by VISIT DENVER, featured a variety of experts in well-attended breakout sessions and learning labs that focused on topics including cannabis and hemp tourism, outdoor adventure, marketing myths and utilizing electric vehicles to boost visitor spending in rural areas. Keynote sessions featured remarks from Jeremy Jauncey, founder and CEO of Beautiful Destinations, and a panel on the topic of tourism capacity featuring Frank Cuypers, senior strategic consultant of Destination Think!; Lucy Kay, president and CEO of the Breckenridge Tourism Office; and Dr. Nathan Reigner, Fulbright Arctic Scholar, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iceland.

“With a 'tip of the hat' to Colorado's successful sustainable tourism initiatives, we are poised to go even further this year with new partnerships between the Colorado Tourism Office and Leave No Trace. These partnerships allow us to continue to reach every corner of our state with our Care For Colorado best practices,” said Courtney Frazier, chair of the Colorado Tourism Board and executive director of the Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association. “I want to encourage the industry to continue seeking out new ways to protect the integrity of Colorado resources through sustainable practices in the coming year.”

The annual awards dinner on Monday, Sept. 30 honored individuals and organizations that have greatly contributed to the advancement and innovation of Colorado’s tourism industry. The awards and winners are detailed below.


  • The Colorado Tourism Office Board Chairman’s Award is awarded to extraordinary individuals’ commitment to tourism in Colorado. This year’s award was presented to Barb Bowman of Grand Junction. Bowman helped lead Visit Grand Junction for 27 years, is a former member of the Colorado Tourism Board and is the past president of Tour Colorado and the Rotary Club of Grand Junction.
     
  • The Outstanding Community Tourism Initiative Award is presented to a community or region that has demonstrated excellence in a tourism event, promotion or project. This year’s award recipient was the Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this fall.
     
  • The award for Outstanding Sustainability Initiative, Project or Program—a new award this year—went to two recipients, Vail Resorts’ Commitment to Zero and the Hanging Lake Management Plan.
     
  • The Governor’s Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Colorado Tourism is presented to an individual to recognize his/her tireless contributions to advancing the Colorado tourism industry. This award was presented to Mary Ann Mahoney, CEO of the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau.
     
  • The Governor’s Award for Outstanding Marketing Program recognizes an event or project undertaken by a community or region to promote tourism in Colorado. This award went to the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop marketing campaign.
     
  • The Jack Snow Volunteer Award is presented to an individual who selflessly dedicated time and energy to furthering tourism in Colorado and bettering the visitor experience in the state. This year’s award goes to William “Bill” L. Miller.

    As the conference closed, the Colorado Tourism Office announced Snowmass as the host city of the 2020 Governor’s Colorado Tourism Conference held Sept. 16-18, 2020.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Groundbreaking National Study on PrEP Use to Prevent HIV Acquisition Among Transgender MSM

A groundbreaking study from The Fenway Institute published in the most recent issue of Journal of the international AIDS Society is the first to investigate the use of pre‐exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and the risk behaviors that indicate its use to prevent HIV among transgender MSM (men who have sex with men) nationally. Although HIV infection in the U.S. remains a serious public health concern—particularly among MSM and transgender people—HIV-related research in the transgender community has largely focused on transgender women (those assigned a male sex at birth who have a trans-feminine gender identity). The study’s findings indicate that PrEP and other bio-behavioral research on HIV prevention efforts should include transgender MSM, who are currently excluded from PrEP trials. Additionally, further guidance is required from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to inform PrEP continuum and care delivery.

Several studies have shown that transgender women are disproportionately affected by HIV infection relative to their cisgender peers. However, researchers have only recently started to evaluate HIV risk among trans-masculine people who have sex with cisgender men or share needles for hormone or recreational drug use. “Transgender MSM have been invisible in both transgender HIV prevention efforts and in cis MSM prevention delivery;” notes study co-author Dr. Sari Reisner, Director of Transgender Health Research at The Fenway Institute and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. “Our study suggests that bio-behavioral HIV prevention methods, such as PrEP, should be made available to transgender MSM. Findings support the full inclusion of transgender MSM in biomedical HIV prevention services and research.”

The study, titled “High risk and low uptake of pre‐exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV acquisition in a national online sample of transgender men who have sex with men in the United States,” was conducted online from November 2017 to December 2017. This national study included 857 transgender MSM between the ages of 18 and 60 (65.3% were under 30). Participants were surveyed to determine their HIV risk, PrEP use, and their bio-behavioral and psychosocial factors (depression, hazardous alcohol and drug use, dating/relationship status, and more). Participants must have self‐reported receptive anal sex or frontal/vaginal sex with a cis male sex partner in the past six months. The racially mixed group was 69.7% white, 25.5% mixed or other racial identity, and 4.8% black. Additionally, 22.1% of all participants reported Latinx heritage. All participants had been assigned female sex at birth and currently identify on the transmasculine spectrum (71.6% as male/transgender man, 28.4% as non-binary, and 32.6% as gay).

The study found that 84% of participants recognized that PrEP use was a way to prevent HIV acquisition. Approximately 55% reported higher risk factors which indicated a greater need for PrEP use. These included where they met their sex partners, not having sex exclusively with cis men, greater number of partners, and high alcohol and drug use. However, only one-third of those in the study had ever taken PrEP.

There could be a number of factors influencing lower PrEP use including a lack of health insurance, poor access to HIV testing, or delays in using prevention methods. Additionally, transgender MSM face the dual stigmas of both gender and sexual minority statuses (with higher levels of stigma for non-binary individuals). As such, they may have unique vulnerabilities that differ from cis MSM. Significant increases in HIV risk were found for those who identified as gay (vs. not), those with mental health and substance abuse issues, those in polyamorous relationships, and those stigmatized by their cis male sex partners.

Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first oral drug for PrEP use in 2012, it has proven to be a safe and effective method of HIV prevention. While the CDC has PrEP indication guidelines for several populations in the HIV epidemic, transgender MSM is not one of them. Therefore, it is likely that this vulnerable group is being overlooked by medical providers due to the gap in CDC guidelines and research. This study included a large national sample size of transgender MSM—an at‐risk population about which little is known. Findings clearly show that transgender MSM will not only benefit from access to PrEP but also that HIV prevention research should include this population in future research. The study also demonstrates a need for greater education and public health interventions around the risk factors and vulnerabilities specific to this group.

One Colorado: We're kicking off LGBTQ Education Week!

By Daniel Ramos, Executive Director, One Colorado 
We are excited to kick off LGBTQ Education Week! I started my career at One Colorado as the Youth and Schools Program Coordinator nearly nine years ago. Now as I enter my fourth year as Executive Director at One Colorado, this week is still special to me. 
When the limited hours of a school day may be the only chance you have to be your authentic self, clubs like Gay-Straight Alliances or Gender and Sexualities Alliances (GSAs) are a necessity. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth live this reality every day. Students need sincere friends, sympathetic peers, and supportive adults to thrive — an active GSA can do all that and more.
According to the GLSEN 2017 Colorado School Climate Snapshot, schools with an active and engaged GSA showed better student engagement and better mental health outcomes for LGBTQ youth than those schools that did not. Something so simple can pay huge dividends, especially when suicide is the leading cause of death for Colorado youth ages 10 to 24. 
P.S. If you are a LGBTQ or allied student who is looking to start a GSA, you can email our Youth and Schools Program Coordinator, Jordan Anthony, at jordana@one-colorado.org for more information. 

Friday, September 27, 2019

Colorado Honors Its Native Peoples With Events and Offerings to Educate and Inspire

November marks National Native American Heritage Month, and Colorado honors its earliest inhabitants through cultural experiences throughout the year. Following is a sampling of sites, exhibits and museums as well as events and tours that pay tribute to and celebrate the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans in the state.

Sites, Exhibits and Museums:

Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, Dolores: Covering 176,000 acres, the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is a rugged and breathtaking landscape containing the highest known density of archaeological sites in the United States. 6,000 ancient sites, some visible to the eye, dot the landscape, including cliff dwellings, villages and rock art. Plus, the monument is just 10 miles from the heart of Cortez. The outdoor site contains miles of trails ideal for hiking, mountain biking and by horseback.

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez: Stories of the Native American experience, including the Pueblo people, often is told in the past tense. At the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, however, visitors experience a broader understanding of Ancestral Puebloan culture and modern culture through immersive workshops, tours and travel opportunities. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is a 170-acre research facility and living classroom offering hands-on archaeology programs.

Cultural Traditions of The Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ignacio: The Southern Ute Indian Tribe located on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Southwest Colorado, has a rich cultural tradition and holds several events throughout the year to keep these traditions alive. The Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center, owned and operated by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe provides information about the Southern Ute Indian Tribe culture, history and traditions. The Sky Ute Casino Resort is the perfect place from which to explore the endless recreational options on the reservation and the surrounding areas.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science North American Indian Cultures Exhibit Hall, Denver: As visitors travel through the various regions in the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's eye-opening North American Indian Cultures exhibit hall, they'll explore authentic reconstructed dwellings, including an Eskimo snow house, a Northwest Coast clan house, a Navajo hogan and a Cheyenne tipi. Along the way, visitors can examine beautifully crafted weavings, basketry, beadwork and pottery.

Hovenweep National Monument, Cortez: Hovenweep, a Ute Indian word meaning “deserted valley,” was once home to over 2,500 people. Hovenweep includes six prehistoric villages built between A.D. 1200 and 1300. A variety of structures include multi-story towers perched on canyon rims and balanced on boulders. Unique square, oval, circular and D-shaped towers display incredible attention to detail and will leave visitors marveling at the skill and motivation of the builders.

Mesa Verde National Park: Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300. Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.

Native American Trading Company, Denver: For more than 25 years, the Native American Trading Company has offered high quality affordable and authentic handmade American Indian art. Every piece is individually selected by owners Jack Lima and Robin Lima Riddel, who frequently make trips to reservations, pueblos and the homes of the artists in search of the finest pieces, including antique weavings, pottery, baskets, jewelry, artifacts and photographs. Located just across the street from the Denver Art Museum, Native American Trading Company is a must-visit gallery.

The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, Eads: Visit the Site of The Sand Creek Massacre: profound, symbolic, spiritual, controversial, a site unlike any other in America. As 675 cavalrymen came around a prairie bend, the camps of Chiefs Black Kettle, White Antelope, and Left Hand lay in the valley before them. Chaotic, horrific, tumultuous and bloody, the events of November 29, 1864 changed the course of history. Interpretive programs are offered daily. There is also a 173-mile Annual Sand Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing Run/Walk in late November.

Temple Canyon Park, Cañon City: Discover Native American wonders at Temple Canyon Park. In 1881, workmen for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad discovered a hidden side canyon along Grape Creek that led to a large natural amphitheater. Dubbed ‘The Temple’, the site (along with hundreds of surrounding acres) was acquired as a city park in 1912. This stunning location may have been used by the Ute Indian Tribe as a ceremony site. It is also said there are Ute burial grounds along Grape Creek through Temple Canyon. The Ute Trail, as it is known today, was at one time used by the American Indians in their excursion to and from the plains country.

Tesoro Cultural Center, Morrison: From art and cuisine to historical re-enactments and music, the Tesoro Cultural Center’s mission is to create enriched, community-based events and educational outreach programs designed to preserve and celebrate Colorado’s cultural heritage. Tesoro Cultural Center is proud to offer several approved curriculums for public schools, including a program titled “The American Indian Tribes of Colorado.”

Ute Council Tree, Delta: Once a 200-plus-year-old cottonwood where it's been claimed that Chief Ouray, his wife Chipeta and Ouray’s braves met with white settlers to smoke the pipe of peace and settle their differences, what remains of the Ute Council Tree is a 23-foot stump. Chipeta was said to have been the only American Indian woman ever permitted to sit in council meetings. The site, still considered a cultural landmark.

The Ute Indian Museum, Montrose: The Ute Indian Museum celebrates the history and the living culture of Colorado's longest continuous residents. The museum welcomes visitors with a stunning building and exhibition connecting the past with contemporary Ute life and culture. Exhibitions focus on the Ute peoples' history of adaptation and persistence, and unfold around a central theme of geography, highlighting significant locations in Ute history and Ute cultural survival, political self-determination, economic opportunity and the celebration of the Bear Dance.

Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park, Towaoc: The Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park offers an in-depth experience not to be missed. Tribal members interpret tribal culture, pictographs, cliff dwellings, surface ruins and artifacts. It has been selected by National Geographic Traveler as one of “80 World Destinations for Travel in the 21st Century,” one of only nine places in the United States to receive this special designation. The Park encompasses approximately 125,000 acres around a 25-mile stretch of the Mancos River, and is located in the Mesa Verde/Mancos Canyon area just outside the boundaries of the National Park.

The White River Museum, Meeker: The White River Museum is housed in two of the log buildings from the 1880′s that served as officer’s quarters of the federal troops stationed in Meeker, as a result of the Meeker Massacre in 1879 and the infamous Milk Creek Battle, the last Indian Tribe/U.S.Army battle in America. Named “one of the last curio museums in Colorado” by the State Historical Society, it is filled with collections ranging from the 1880’s to the 1950’s, including many Ute Indian exhibits.

Written on the Land: Ute Voices, Ute History at the History Colorado Center, Denver: Hear the story of Colorado’s longest continuous residents, told in their own voices in the exhibit, “Written on the Land: Ute Voices, Ute History” at the History Colorado Center. Take a journey to iconic Colorado places the Ute people call home. Visitors can see traditional arts, gorgeous photography and contemporary video showing how Ute people have adapted and persevered through the centuries. The exhibit showcases the tragic loss of Ute homelands and efforts to keep Ute culture and language alive today.

Yampah Vapor Caves, Glenwood Springs: Glenwood Springs’ Yampah Vapor Caves, the only known natural vapor caves in North America, were originally inhabited by the Ute Native Americans who visited the caves for centuries regarding them as a sacred place of healing, curative powers and rejuvenation. In fact, Yampah translates into “Big Medicine” in the Ute language. Visitors still enjoy “Big Medicine” from the Yampah Vapor Caves, which are blessed by Utes every year. Members of the Ute Tribe also hold monthly traditional sweats in the caves in an effort to keep the traditions alive.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” Premieres in U.S. on Logo



On the heels of “RuPaul Drag Race’s” second consecutive Emmy® win for Outstanding Reality Competition Program and RuPaul’s fourth consecutive Emmy® win for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program, top drag queens from across the pond will sashay into the workroom for the U.S. television premiere of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” on Friday, October 11th on Logo.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” will showcase the charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent of the top drag queens, from sickening lip syncs to wig snatching moments, as they prove to Mama Ru why they deserve to be the “UK’s Next Drag Superstar.”

The 10 competing queens will give their all to impress the judges as they vie for the ultimate title of “UK’s Next Drag Superstar.” The queens competing include Baga Chipz (London), Blu Hydrangea (Belfast), Cheryl Hole (Essex), Crystal (London), Divina De Campo (West Yorkshire), Gothy Kendoll (Leicester), Scardey Kat (Wiltshire), Sum Ting Wong (Birmingham), The Vivienne (Liverpool), and Vinegar Strokes (London).

RuPaul will host and judge alongside Michelle Visage, as well as newcomers Alan Carr and Graham Norton. Celebrity guest judges include Cheryl, Andrew Garfield, Maisie Williams, Geri Horner, Michaela Coel, Dame Twiggy and Jade Thirlwall. Joining as celebrity coaches will be MNEK, Curtis Pritchard and AJ Pritchard. Joining as special guests for Snatch Game will be Stacey Dooley and Lorraine Kelly.

'Judy' Soundtrack Out Today

Today, Academy Award winner and three times Academy Award nominee Renée Zellweger releases her first ever solo album, as she stars on the Original Soundtrack for the highly-anticipated feature film JUDY. Listen HERE via Republic Records.

Renée is joined on the album by Sam Smith for a totally unique version of one of Garland's best-loved numbers, 'Get Happy', and teams up with Rufus Wainwright for a beautiful rendition of 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' – both newly-recorded especially for the album.
This brand-new soundtrack marks 50 years since Judy Garland’s premature death in 1969, and 80 years since she shot to teenage stardom in The Wizard of Oz in 1939.

Based on the true story of Judy Garland’s final concerts in London in the late 1960s, the JUDY biopic now in theatres nationwide sees Zellweger in the role of the show business legend, bringing her own, newly-recorded and distinctive vocals to this totally unique album.

Talking of Zellweger’s phenomenal musical performance, the two times Olivier winner and Tony nominated director Rupert Goold commented:

“I made it clear to Renée that I wasn’t looking for an impersonation of Judy Garland’s inimitable voice, but what I wanted was for Renée to make the songs her own and this she did to thrilling effect.”

MAP moves the needle at the LGBTQ Presidential Forum

At last Friday’s LGBTQ Presidential Forum hosted by The Advocate, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, GLAAD, and One Iowa, Democratic candidate Julián Castro addressed an alarming trend happening in legislatures and courts across the country: the use of broad religious exemptions laws to target vulnerable communities, including LGBT people, minority faiths, and women.

Freedom of religion is a fundamental American value—so fundamental that it is protected by the First Amendment of our nation’s Constitution. And historically, religious exemptions have protected the tried-and-true American values of freedom of belief, worship and religious exercise. However, in recent years some people have begun to distort this historical understanding by claiming that religious exemptions should allow people to impose their religious beliefs on their employees, their customers, their patients, their constituents, and others.

Hear him explain further:


MAP has been at the forefront of doing impactful research on how religious exemptions laws threaten the health, wellbeing, and safety of many people across the United States, and particularly in rural communities. Just last week, MAP released a groundbreaking report—the second in a series—about LGBT people of color living in rural America, describing how many service providers in rural areas are religiously affiliated and are covered under religious exemptions laws that may allow them to discriminate.

That’s not a coincidence. For more than 12 years, MAP has worked to advance the conversation and speed equality and opportunity for all. MAP’s groundbreaking research builds understanding of the lives and experiences of people all over the country and identifies the policy solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing these communities. On issues from nondiscrimination and criminal justice to LGBT older adults and health care, MAP frames problems and policy solutions for maximum impact.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

One Colorado: Let's make sure the next POTUS is a pro-LGBTQ champion

By The One Colorado Team 
We're just a few days away from the first-ever Presidential Forum on LGBTQ Issues — hosted by Angelica Ross of Pose, marking the first national forum of the 2020 Presidential Campaign to be hosted by a transgender person.
Visibility and representation are important. That is why we must hear the candidates perspectives on the issues facing LGBTQ Americans, and we must ensure that the next President of the United States is a champion for LGBTQ Americans and their families.
President Trump claims he's "done very well" by our community, but GLAAD counts more than 124 anti-LGBTQ policy and rhetoric attacks from the Trump Administration. 
As soon as he took office, he began to roll back rights and protections we worked so hard for. He withdrew an Obama directive on the treatment of transgender students, reinstated a ban — which Obama had ended — on transgender people serving in the military, and has stripped anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in the Affordable Care Act. And just recently, the Justice Department directed that federal anti-discrimination workplace protections do not cover sexual orientation or gender identity.
We couldn't do this work without you. Don't forget to join us this Friday to watch the first Presidential Forum on LGBTQ issues at Blush and Blu!

Where We Call Home: LGBT People of Color in Rural America

Today, MAP released a new report, Where We Call Home: LGBT People of Color in Rural America, which examines the unique challenges of LGBT people of color in rural America and highlights distinct experiences across different communities of color. As the second publication in the Where We Call Home series, this report details how the structural challenges of rural life amplify acceptance of or discrimination against LGBT people of color. 
Click here to read the exclusive Advocate op-ed about the report.
MAP is thrilled to release this report in conjunction with the LGBTQ Presidential Forum—hosted by The Advocate, One Iowa, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and GLAAD—which will be streamed live on MSNBC. Tune in and see MAP’s policy work take center stage along with the Democratic Party 

  • People of color, including those in rural areas, are more likely than white people to identify as LGBT: people of color comprise 42% of the national LGBT population, compared to 36% of the total U.S. population.
  • LGBT people of color in rural states are especially vulnerable to discrimination. Overall, rural states are significantly less likely than majority urban states to have vital nondiscrimination protections, and are also more likely to have harmful, discriminatory laws. 
  • LGBT people of color experience similar or higher rates of both poverty and unemployment compared to both non-LGBT people of color and white people. 
  • Smaller populations in rural communities mean any "difference" is more noticeable. For LGBT people of color, increased visibility as both people of color and as LGBT people in rural communities may mean further vulnerability.
  • LGBT people of color have fewer support structures and resources that accept them both as a person of color and someone who is LGBT. The relative social and geographic isolation of rural areas can compound this problem. For example, LGBT-focused programs in rural areas, if available at all, may not fully recognize or be equipped to support people who are both LGBT and a person of color, and programs for people of color in rural areas may not be accepting of people of color who are also LGBT.
Click here to view infographics pulled from Where We Call Home: LGBT People of Color in Rural America.
Because LGBT people of color may experience discrimination based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and their race or ethnicity, passing nondiscrimination protections at the federal, state, and local level is vital to ensure full participation in all aspects of life. Where We Call Home: LGBT People of Color in Rural America concludes with recommendations for community organizations, educators, healthcare providers and policymakers to address the specific needs of LGBT people of color in rural communities.

The report is released in partnership with the Equality Federation, the National Black Justice Coalition, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
candidates. 
This report offers extensive new findings on LGBT people of color in rural communities, where discrimination based on race and immigration status is compounded by discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Some key findings of the report include:

The Human Rights Campaign Submits More Than 10,000 Public Comments on Trump’s Proposed Attack on LGBTQ Federal Contract Workers

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced that it submitted more than 10,000 public comments against the Trump-Pence administration’s proposed regulation that would gut nondiscrimination protections--including for LGBTQ people--by adding religious exemptions to President Obama’s 2014 executive order that prohibits discrimination in hiring by federal contractors on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity in addition to the original nondiscrimination protections outlined in Executive Order 11246.

“With this proposed regulation, the Trump-Pence administration is seeking to gut existing protections for LGBTQ people, women and religious minorities, and we cannot stand idly by,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “This regulation, which directly contradicts Trump’s earlier promise, is a broad and sweeping effort to implement a license to discriminate against people on the basis of their gender identity and sexual orientation. The American people recognize the danger of this proposal, which is why more than 10,000 people have submitted public comments opposing this regulation in less than a month. Everyone deserves a workplace free from discrimination. The Trump-Pence administration needs to withdraw this proposed regulation and stop these attacks on LGBTQ people.”

In his first month in office, President Trump promised to maintain the Obama EO:

President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election. The President is proud to have been the first-ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression. The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.

In July 2014, President Obama signed an executive order amending EO 11246 to provide nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQ employees of federal contractors by prohibiting companies that contract with the federal government from discriminating in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Last month, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced a notice of proposed federal rulemaking that lays out OFCCP’s intention not to enforce nondiscrimination requirements if a contactor claims that it is acting in accord with religious tenets which will negatively impact LGBTQ people, women and religious minorities. The proposal cherry picks federal court decisions, relies upon language not contained in the majority opinions, and blatantly changes the context and meaning of case law to justify the changes to existing regulations.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Creating Change Student Conference Opportunity

Once again, the LGBTQ Student Resource Center will be taking a contingent of students from MSU Denver, CU Denver, and CCD to Creating Change – The National Conference on LGBTQ Equality. Creating Change is the premier annual organizing and skills-building event for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community and their allies. The conference is run by the National LGBTQ Task Force, and attracts more than 3,500 people from all over the country every year. Presenters and participants come from all walks of life and include members of the business community, elected officials, students, faith leaders and staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations.

If you are a student at one of the three Auraria institutions, or know of students who may be interested, please fill out this application survey by October 4, 2019 at 5 p.m.

Equinox Theatre Company Presents: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

 

Sweeney Todd has become a bloody, worldwide success since being awarded eight Tony's, (including Best Musical), for its Broadway premiere. Stephen Sondheim's and Hugh Wheeler's (A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures) tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat has simultaneously shocked, awed and delighted audiences across the world.

An infamous tale, Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, returns to nineteenth century London, seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which, he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett's luck sharply shifts when Todd's thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up... and the carnage has only just begun!

Equinox Theatre Company is thrilled to present the final show of their 11th season Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Performances will be September 27 through October 26 with shows Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $25 in advance/$30 at the door/$22 for groups of 6 or more in advance only. All performances will be at The Bug Theatre at 3654 Navajo Street in Denver. Tickets and more information available online at www.EquinoxTheatreDenver.com.

Travel: Palm Springs Pride Announces 2019 Lineup

TLC, Heather Small, Kristine W, Maxine Nightingale, and BETTY top the lineup of the 2019 Palm Springs Pride Festival. The festival will take place November 1-3 in downtown Palm Springs on Palm Canyon Dr and on Arenas Rd.

TLC, the Iconic four-time Grammy award-winning “best-selling American girl-group of all-time” will be featured in a 60-minute concert Saturday, November 2 and lead nearly 100 other acts for the city’s annual Pride festivities. Formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1990, the group quickly rose to fame earning four multi-platinum albums and four number-one singles: “Creep”; “Waterfalls,” one of pop history’s most prominent HIV/AIDS-awareness anthems; “No Scrubs”; and “Unpretty,” a body-positive message that has inspired self-confidence for a generation.

TLC sets the stage for an unprecedented and diverse group of LGBTQ+ and allied performers featured in the Palm Springs Pride lineup. Regardless of genre, this year’s performers will come together on the Festival’s four stages to embrace the theme, Millions of Moments of Pride.

The Arenas District Merchants Association presents a weekend of Pop, Drag, and Rock ’n’ Roll, performances including M People singer Heather Small who joins Multi-Grammy-Award-Winning International DJ Lee Dagger of Bimbo Jones, Kristine W, the Queen of the 90’s dance music, and pop, disco Grammy-nominated legend Maxine Nightingale. The Arenas lineup includes the all-female Black Sabbitch, and the high-energy 80s Rock show, That ‘80s Band, among others.

Other acts appearing during the 33rd annual Pride Festival will be New York City’s premier queer femme pop music duo Sateen along with the female pop band BETTY from The L-Word, dance diva Pepper MaShay, Ayline Artin, Torrey Mercer, Los Angeles-based comedian Jessica Inserra and London based Lucy Whittaker all perform on the new Pride Stage on Palm Canyon Drive at Amado presented by Effen Vodka.

LGBTQ Customer Experience Survey - Enter to Win a $100 Tivoli Station Gift Card!

The LGBTQ Student Resource Center is seeking your input and feedback about your experiences with the Center and the programming that they offer!

All survey responses are anonymous to encourage open and honest feedback. The survey should take 7-8 minutes to complete.

As a way of thanking you for your time, you will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a $100 gift card to the Tivoli Station.



Denver Makes WalletHub's 2019 List of the Most Fun Cities in America

Source: WalletHub
With the average American spending nearly $3,000 on entertainment each year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019's Most Fun Cities in America as well as accompanying videos.

To help Americans find the cities with the greatest number and variety of cheap, fun activities, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 66 key metrics, ranging from fitness clubs per capita to movie costs to average open hours of breweries.
 

Top 20 Most Fun Cities in America
1 Las Vegas, NV 11 Austin, TX
2 Orlando, FL 12 New Orleans, LA
3 New York, NY 13 Honolulu, HI
4 Miami, FL 14 Denver, CO
5 Chicago, IL 15 Washington, DC
6 Atlanta, GA 16 Tampa, FL
7 San Francisco, CA 17 Seattle, WA
8 Portland, OR 18 St. Louis, MO
9 San Diego, CA 19 Houston, TX
10 Los Angeles, CA 20 Philadelphia, PA