Month: October 2011

Anti-Gay Slur Unpunished In NHL

As reported by Change.org, what do you do when someone hurls a homophobic slur at a hero? If you’re the National Hockey League, you turn a blind eye.

New York Rangers forward Sean Avery joined the campaign to fight for same-sex marriage in New York this spring, knowing full well he might get blowback from opponents in the NHL. Avery stood up for his beliefs, and he thought the NHL would have his back… but he was wrong.

Two days ago, Philadelphia Flyers player Wayne Simmonds called Sean Avery a “f*cking f*ggot” during an exhibition game. Avery complained to NHL officials, but the officials say they won’t fine Simmonds because “there are conflicting accounts of what transpired on the ice.” This despite the fact that Simmonds can clearly be seen mouthing the slur on video.

Gay rights activist and avid hockey fan Gloria Nieto thinks this is just plain wrong, so she started a petition on Change.org imploring the NHL to fine Wayne Simmonds for his use of an anti-gay slur. Please sign Gloria’s petition today.

Other professional sports leagues have cracked down on homophobic slurs. When Kobe Bryant used the same slur as Simmonds, the National Basketball Association fined him $100,000. Nearly a third of all Major League Baseball teams have made “It Gets Better” videos to stand up against anti-gay bullying.

The NHL’s inaction is not only a step backward in the fight to end the culture of homophobia in professional sports. It’s also a betrayal of Sean Avery, who represents the very best of how professional athletes can help the fight for gay rights.

If the NHL is allowed to ignore Simmonds’ slur, that sends a dangerous signal to other hockey players: Don’t bother supporting the LGBT community. Your league won’t have your back if you do.

NHL officials need to know that you are watching their actions closely and fully expect them to hold Wayne Simmonds accountable. Please sign Gloria’s petition asking the NHL to fine Wayne Simmonds for his use of an anti-gay slur:

http://www.change.org/petitions/nhl-fine-wayne-simmonds-for-his-homophobic-slur-against-sean-avery

Contact media @ change.org

Media provided by the www.GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

 

 

 

House Spending Proposal Sets Back Domestic HIV/AIDS

Washington, DC – “If ever passed, this spending bill would set back the progress we are making in preventing HIV and providing basic care and treatment for those who have HIV/AIDS in our country,” commented Carl Schmid, Deputy Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.

House Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) introduced a fiscal year 2012 spending bill that guts many programs, including health reform, and resurrects non-science based prevention policies.

Most disappointing is how the bill would impede prevention. Rehberg’s bill would cut by nearly $33 million funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. This is despite an estimated 50,000 new HIV infections each year and over 230,000 people unaware of their infection. The U.S. government invests only about 3 percent of its HIV funding in prevention. The lifetime cost of caring and treating one person with HIV is approximately $360,000. In order to help achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce the number of new infections and increase testing levels by 2015, the President has proposed an increase of $57 million for HIV prevention in FY12.

On top of cutting CDC’s budget, the bill would ban federal funding of syringe exchange programs, a scientifically proven method to prevent HIV and other infections while not increasing drug use, and would resurrect failed abstinence only until marriage programs. Additionally, the bill would decimate the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program by cutting its budget from $105 million to $20 million, eliminate all Title X spending, which funds HIV testing programs for women, and the entire Prevention and Public Health Fund.

The House bill proposes to flat fund the entire Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which provides care and treatment to over 550,000 low-income people with HIV/AIDS. It fails to address the crisis in the Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). There are currently over 8,500 people in nine states on ADAP waiting lists and over 445 people in six states who have been disenrolled from the program due to budget constraints and growing enrollment. The AIDS Institute and its partners have been advocating for an increase of at least $106 million. The President has requested a $55 million increase. In order to address the current wait list, an increase of approximately $98 million would be required.

Chairman Rehberg’s bill also prevents implementation of much of the Affordable Care Act, which once fully implemented, would both bring many people with HIV/AIDS into lifesaving care and treatment for the first time and help to prevent HIV.

The one bright spot in the bill is Rehberg’s proposal to increase medical research spending at the National Institutes of Health by $1 billion.

“While we realize we are living in very difficult fiscal times, this bill is not just about making difficult funding decisions, but about resurrecting many controversial policies that will never pass the Congress nor be signed by the President,” commented Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute. “As Congress finalizes its FY12 spending bill, The AIDS Institute will work with the House, Senate and the Administration to increase, rather than cut funding for prevention and adequately fund all parts of the Ryan White Program, including ADAP. Additionally, we will work to defeat all extreme policy riders.

The bill (HR 3070) has not been formally considered by the House Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate Appropriations Committee already has passed its own version of the bill. Since Congress has not passed any spending measures, the government is currently operating under a short term continuing resolution.

# # #

The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change through public policy research, advocacy and education.

For more information and to become involved, please contact The AIDS Institute at: (202) 835-8373, or by email at: Info@theaidsinstitute.org or www.TheAIDSInstitute.org

Media provided by the www.GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

 

 

 

10th Annual Seattle Erotic Art Festival Presents: SEDUCTION, Seattle’s Sexiest Halloween Party

SEATTLE – In celebration of its 10th anniversary, and in an ongoing trend of expanding beyond just an annual weekend event, the Seattle Erotic Art Festival is producing Seduction, Seattle’s sexiest Halloween party, on Saturday, October 29. The event will be held at Fremont Studios and anticipates up to 2,000 attendees at this celebration of music, art, community and more.

“This is what our community has been clamoring for,” says Festival Director Clayton Hibbert. “Our audience wants more than our once-a-year Festival, so we are giving it to them. Seduction is a sultry, adult Halloween party with fantastic music and stunning hand-picked art. It’s another chance to get dressed up, celebrate, and dance. The party will also raise money for our favorite cause: the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture, the organization that produces the Festival.”

Seduction will feature some of Seattle’s best-known DJs, playing a range of music, including Michael Manahan (Decibel Festival), Riz (KEXP), Hendrik (Church of Bass, Chillography, h’Art Center), and many more. The full lineup is available online.

Attendees will enjoy 100 feet of visuals produced by professional VJ Brandy Gray (Decibel Festival), a costume contest with impressive prizes, full bar and absinthe bar, photo booth with free photos, and more.

Once Seduction ends the celebration continues at the official Seduction after-hours event, Feralia Deceptiva, produced by Starborne Sound and hosted at Seattle’s downtown Rebar.

Tickets to Seduction are available through Seattle-Erotic.org. There are a variety of ticketing options including regular admission ($30 advance), regular admission plus after-party ($40 advance), and the VIP Experience ($125 advance, or a VIP Bundle of two for $200), which includes reserved parking, express entry, private VIP lounge and bar, drink tickets, after-party ticket, and more.

Seduction is Saturday, October 29, 2011 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Fremont Studios, 155 N. 35th St. (Seattle). Seduction is followed by Starbone Sound’s official offsite after-party, Feralia Deceptiva, from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. at Rebar, 1114 Howell St. (Seattle).

Proceeds benefit the Festival’s parent organization, the 501c3 nonprofit Foundation for Sex Positive Culture, which promotes the many ways sex is beneficial through education, outreach, the arts, advocacy, and research programs that serve the public. The Foundation will have a presence at Seduction showcasing fetish play performances — from blood performances to electrical play — and will provide information on upcoming workshops they are hosting on those topics.

For additional information please visit Seattle-Erotic.org or email press@SeattleErotic.org.

The Seattle Erotic Art Festival supports a vibrant creative community, promotes freedom of expression, and fosters sex positive culture through public celebration of the arts.

The Festival is the flagship program of the nonprofit Foundation for Sex Positive Culture, which promotes the many ways sex is beneficial through education, outreach, the arts, advocacy, and research programs that serve the public.

Contact: Clea Hersperger, Communications Director   press @ seattleerotic.org   (347) 709-7323

Media brought to you by the www.GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

 

COLAGE Executive Director to Vacate Position on December 31, 2011

San Francisco – Today the Board of Directors of COLAGE: People with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer (LGBTQ) Parents, announces that Executive Director Beth Teper will resign at the end of the year. Under Teper’s eight years of leadership, COLAGE has quadrupled its annual budget and developed a number of innovative programs and initiatives. Teper led COLAGE through a period of immense growth and acclaim as an organization and as a community.

“Beth has inspired countless people with LGBTQ parents and their families to work together to create a world that treats all families with dignity and respect. Over the last eight years she has helped COLAGE become the amazing national organization we all know it to be. We are profoundly grateful for her contributions and wish her the best in her coming endeavors,” said Aaron Sachs, Chair of the Board.

Throughout the years Teper has overseen the growth of over fifteen COLAGE chapters, the publication of groundbreaking COLAGE resources such as the Kids of Trans Guide and Donor Insemination Guide, and ensured LGBTQ families were fairly and accurately represented in the media through partnerships with MTV, ABC, and Focus Features. Under Teper’s leadership thousands of youth and families have been able to connect to a community of their peers and become better advocates for themselves and their families – from chapter meetings and regional retreats to Family Week in Provincetown, MA.

“Serving COLAGE has been an honor that I will cherish for a lifetime. Being involved in this extraordinary community of peers who have LGBTQ parents has been incredibly powerful. I have learned so much from all of the youth and families I have met over the years, and will continue to be a part of the COLAGE family,” said Teper, “I have full faith and confidence that COLAGE’s national Board of Directors and constituents will steward COLAGE, the nation’s only youth-driven network of people with LGBTQ parents, into a very bright future.”

The Board has formed a succession committee which includes staff, board, and stakeholders. Led by Board Chair Aaron Sachs (aaron@colage.org), the succession committee has put into place a timeline and process to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. The Board is in the process of selecting an Interim Executive Director for COLAGE who will steward the organization through its next strategic planning process until new leadership is hired by the board.

For more information and all inquiries please contact Paul Perry, COLAGE Board of Directors, atpaul @ colage.org, (617) 245-8602.

COLAGE is the only national youth-driven network of people with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer parents. Living in a world that treats our families differently can be isolating or challenging. By connecting us with peers who share our experience, COLAGE helps us become strong advocates for ourselves and our families.

Media Provided by the www.GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

 

Gift Ideas For The Gay Man In Your Life That Has Everything

(Vancouver, BC) September 27, 2011 -Icon Empire Press is pleased to announce
“The Icon Empire Press Gift Set” (ISBN 978-1927124031). The Gift set includes
the Lambda LIterary Award nominated books by Author Robert Joseph Greene,”The
Gay Icon Classics Of The World” and “The Gay Icon Contemporary Short Stories”.

“The Gay Icon Classics Of The World” which has been nominated for the
2011 Lambda Literary Award, took 15 years of research and is a collection of
short stories. The book is a wonderful assortment of gay love fables from around
the world. The creation of these stories was based upon some cultural awareness
of gay men in history and in some cultures where gay life is considered
taboo.

“The Gay Icon Contemporary Short Stories” is a series of male experiences to varying degrees of depth. It looks at the gay experience with modern day living for most of us and it connects us with a certain understanding of the human heart. The Gay Icon Contemporary Short Stories” is the debut print book from Author Robert Joseph Greene and was also nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.

The Gift Set comes in a plastic see through gift set box and have a festive red ribbon wrap (see photo). The 2 book gift set is available  at selected local LGBT bookstores and through online stores; Amazon.ca and Ebay.Com. The gift sets are available for the USA, UK, Australia and Canada. For all other locations, please contact Icon Empire Press directly.

And as a “stocking stuffer” , Icon Empire Press also recommends “The Gay Travel Guide For Tops And Bottom (ISBN 9780986929786) by Drew Blancs which has become the publishing houses best seller.

Icon Empire Press is a publisher of literary works that set out to fulfill the understanding of the human spirit.

For More Information or jpeg/pdf photos:
www.iconempirepress.webs.com
Icon Empire Press (IMI
GROUP)
Robert Christofle – Media Relations
1-888-653-1150
Theiconcollection@gmail.com

Media Provided by the www.GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

 

 

 

High School Kicks Out Gay Teen

As reported by Change.org, The Master’s School — a Christian high school in West Simsbury, Connecticut — has a motto, “Veritas Vos Liberabit,” which translates into “the truth shall set you free.” But when a 17-year-old girl told the truth about being a lesbian, she was forced to leave the school.

The girl in question (we’ll call her “R.”) was a model student at Master’s: she got great grades, played sports and participated in other extracurricular activities. But then R. went on a school field trip where a bunch of girls pretended to be married to one another — no big deal, just a joke. But the Master’s School administration didn’t find it funny.

When the girls returned home, the administration questioned them one by one: Are you gay? All of the girls said they weren’t. Except for R., who revealed the secret only her friends knew. The administration responded by telling R. that if she didn’t withdraw from school, she’d be expelled.

Greg Plotkin lives near the Master’s School, and he was outraged when he read R. had been kicked out. Greg started a petition on Change.org asking the Master’s School to adopt a non-discrimination policy for LGBT students. Please sign his petition today.

One of R.’s coaches at Master’s, Heather Lodovico, says of R., “She’s a fantastic kid.” Coach Lodovico was shocked when she found out R. had been expelled: “I never saw anything about Master’s that would lead me to believe they would do something like this. One of the things they pride themselves on is they let kids be unique and express themselves.”

Master’s purports to be a school that strives to include kids from all walks of life and help them achieve their potential. While R. is happy at her new school, the Master’s School’s administrators need to understand that discrimination against LGBT students creates a divisive and unsafe school environment.

When Master’s administrators see that thousands of people care deeply about the well-being of the school’s kids, they’ll be pushed to stop discriminating against LGBT students. Please sign Greg Plotkin’s petition to ask the Master’s School to adopt a non-discrimination policy for LGBT students: http://www.change.org/petitions/the-masters-school-stop-kicking-out-gay-and-lesbian-students .

Contact info: Change.org” mail @ change.org

Media Provided By The www.GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

 

Downloads of Song Featured in Upcoming ABC News ‘20/20’ Special to Benefit Work of GLSEN-Led National Safe Schools Partnership

Youth Band Residual Kid’s ‘Can’t Take Me Away’ Chosen as Soundtrack for Special on Murder of Larry King

NEW YORK, September 26, 2011 – Austin-based youth band Residual Kid will donate all proceeds from downloads of its song “Can’t Take Me Away,” which is featured throughout the upcoming ABC News “20/20” special on the murder of 15-year-old Lawrence “Larry” King, to the work of the GLSEN-led National Safe Schools Partnership.

The special, airing Friday at 10 p.m. ET, examines King’s murder and the trial of classmate Brandon McInerney, who was 14 when he shot King on Feb. 12, 2008 at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, Cailf, because of King’s sexual orientation and gender expression. The trial ended in a mistrial when the jury couldn’t decide whether to find McInerney guilty of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree murder or first-degree murder.

“GLSEN is honored that Residual Kid will donate proceeds from ‘Can’t Take Me Away’ to benefit the work of the National Safe Schools Partnership,” GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. “Ben, Deven, Grace and Max are an exceptionally talented group of young people who are sending a powerful message of support to youth who are bullied because they are different.”

The National Safe Schools Partnership is an informal coalition of more than 80 leading national education, health, civil rights, disability rights, youth development and other organizations committed to ensuring that America’s schools are safe for all children. Led by GLSEN, the National Safe Schools Partnership is focused on passing the federal Safe Schools Improvement Act, a anti-bullying bill that would require schools to implement comprehensive anti-bullying policies that include protections based on the characteristics of students most often targeted for bullying, including race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Residual Kid was heartbroken by Larry’s story, and band members Grace London and Max Redman, 11, Ben Redman, 12, and Deven Ivy, 13, chose to donate 100% of proceeds from downloads toward creating a world where young people are valued and respected regardless of difference.

“Can’t Take Me Away is about not caring at all what people want you to do,” said London, the band’s lead singer. “I was angry when I wrote this song. I was mad that people were judging me and labeling me just because I didn’t act like everyone else and didn’t do whatever I was ‘supposed’ to do.”

Download the song at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/cant-take-me-away-20-20-single/id467382197.

“20/20” is also encouraging people to submit videos talking about what makes them different as part of an “I am Different” project. Upload videos at http://abcnews.go.com/2020/mailform?id=14556171

About National Safe Schools Partnership

Led by GLSEN, the National Safe Schools Partnership is an informal coalition of more than 80 leading national education, health, civil rights, disability rights, youth development and other organizations committed to ensuring that America’s schools are safe for all children. Members of the National Safe Schools Partnership include the American Association of School Administrators, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Association of School Psychologists. In 2007 the National Safe Schools Partnership published federal policy recommendations in Bridging the Gap in Federal Law: Promoting Safe Schools and Improved Student Achievement by Preventing Bullying and Harassment in Our Schools.

About GLSEN

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN’s research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.

Contacts:     GLSEN: Daryl Presgraves, 646-388-6577, dpresgraves @ glsen.org

Residual Kid: Michael Maly, Above the Radar PR, 512.775.4426, abovetheradarpr @ gmail.com

Media provided by the www.GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

 

 

 

SENATE FLAT FUNDS MOST DOMESTIC HIV/AIDS PROGRAMS

Small Increase for ADAP Will Not Reduce Record Wait Lists

Washington, DC– Yesterday, amidst a very challenging budgetary environment, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations measure for Fiscal Year 2012.  While overall spending in the bill was cut by over $300 million compared to last year, most domestic HIV/AIDS programs were flat funded, including HIV prevention at the CDC and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) did receive an increase of $15 million for a total of $900 million.

“While we appreciate Subcommittee Chair Tom Harkin’s effort to preserve existing programs, our Nation is not going to reduce new HIV infections or provide adequate care and treatment to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS without new resources, commented Carl Schmid, Deputy Executive Director, The AIDS Institute. “This is extremely disappointing since we have the drugs to keep people alive, the knowledge that treatment is prevention, alone with a number of other tools that help prevent HIV, and the leadership by the Obama Administration as detailed in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Without the necessary resources, the goals of the Strategy will not be achieved, and thousands of more people in the United States will needlessly become infected with HIV.”

There are currently over 8,800 people in ten states on ADAP waiting lists and over 445 people in six states who have been disenrolled from the program due to budget constraints and the growing number of people enrolling in ADAP. The $15 million increase proposed by the Subcommittee can reduce the waiting list by only about 1,300, or just 15 percent. The AIDS Institute and its partners have been advocating for an increase of at least $106 million. The President has requested a $55 million increase. “As the bill moves through the Congress, we will be urging all parties to match at least the President’s request,” added Schmid.

The Committee is proposing to flat fund HIV prevention programs at the CDC despite an estimated 50,000 new HIV infections each year and over 230,000 people unaware of their infection. The U.S. government invests only about 3 percent of its HIV funding in prevention, which is woefully inadequate, considering that the lifetime cost of caring and treating one person with HIV is approximately $360,000. In order to help achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce the number of new infections and increase testing levels by 2015, the President has proposed an increase of $57 million in FY12.  The AIDS Institute will continue to advocate for at least the President’s requested level.

The AIDS Institute is pleased the Committee is proposing an increase of $10 million for Hepatitis screening by the CDC, which is a long overdue increase for the Hepatitis Division.  However, medical research at the National Institutes of Health would receive  decrease of $190 million under the Committee bill.

“As this bill moves through the House and Senate, The AIDS Institute will continue to urge the Congress to adequately fund all parts of the Ryan White Program and provide additional resources for HIV prevention,” concluded Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.

The House of Representatives has not taken any action on its version of the bill. Fiscal Year 2012 begins on October 1, 2011. Since
Congress has not passed any spending measures, it is expected that these programs will continue to operate under a short term continuing resolution.

Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee also voted to cut funding to the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS program by $4.3 million and global AIDS programs.

# # #


The AIDS Institute
is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change
through public
policy research, advocacy and education
.

For more
information and to become involved, please contact

The AIDS Institute at:
(202) 835-8373, or by email at:
Info@theaidsinstitute.org or www.TheAIDSInstitute.org

Media provided by the GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.

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