Month: January 2013

Video: President Obama’s message to the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change

( – President Barack Obama issued a video statement airing today before 3,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates assembled for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s 25th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change.


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Source Events to Produce Fourth Annual Pride Cruise

Aboard Norwegian Sky

( – Miami Beach – January 19, 2013 — From Ocean Drive to the ocean waves, Miami Beach Gay Pride 2013 is setting sail once again with Source Events for the “Miami Beach Pride Cruise” immediately following all the Miami Beach Gay Pride festivities.  The Pride Cruise, Monday, April 15 to Friday, April 19, 2013, is an ideal way to extend the magic of Pride for another five days at sea.  The event also represents an opportunity to “cruise for a cause” as a portion of all tickets sold through Source Events will be donated back to Miami Beach Gay Pride.

The Pride Cruise is a four-night/five-day voyage aboard the luxurious Norwegian Sky with stops in Grand Bahamas Island, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island.  As the official Pride Cruise producer, Source Events is able to offer exclusive cruise VIP events and activities not offered to other passengers onboard Norwegian Sky.  These private activities include a welcome cocktail party, complimentary happy hours, sail-away tea-dances, private parties with the Pride Cruise guest DJ Chris Racine, a gay beach party on the private island and a special Pride Cruise goodie bag.

“We are thrilled to continue offering the opportunity to sail as a special LGBT grouponboard one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s most popular cruises,” said Craig Smith, president of Source Events.  “We invite the LGBT community to join us with a group of friends, or come onboard to meet fun, new people from all over the country – and the world – to celebrate, connect, unite and share great times.”

In addition to the Source Events activities planned for the cruise, Pride Cruise passengers can take advantage of all the amenities aboard Norwegian Sky including a choice of five restaurants, eight bars and lounges, a full-service Body Waves spa and fitness center, two glimmering pools, five hot tubs, a basketball/volleyball court, two golf driving nets, an Internet cafe and a jogging/walking track.  Nightlife includes the Sky Club Casino, Stardust Theater, Dazzles Nightclub, a karaoke bar, or just chilling out with old and new friends, admiring the view from Norwegian Sky’s beautiful glass-domed atrium.

“Miami Beach Pride has grown into the largest, single-day event of the year in Miami Beach,” said Babak Movahedi, chairman of the Miami Beach Gay Pride Board of Directors. “The Pride Cruise represents an exciting continuation of the Pride festivities, extending the great feeling of Pride to a community at sea.”

Prices for the Pride Cruise begin at $449 per person, based on double occupancy, plus taxes and fees.  For reservations or more information, visit or call (888) SOURCE8.

Additional travel discounts are available from American Airlines and several partner hotels.  For a complete list of discount codes and reservation information, visit

The mission of Miami Beach Gay Pride is to bring together members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, their friends, allies, and supporters in celebration of the unique spirit and culture of the LGBT community.  Miami Beach Gay Pride produces free, safe, quality mass-appeal events that are open to all, including the Parade, Festival and allied Miami Beach Pride sanctioned events.  For details on Miami Beach Gay Pride 2013 and related events, visit


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National Movement Opposing Same-Sex Marriage Is Done

HRC Fact Check on NOM’s New York Threats Confirms Downfall


Washington – The Human Rights Campaign today highlighted a new milestone in the march toward full marriage equality: the fall of the empire opposed to same-sex marriage. Widespread losses, sagging poll numbers, and poor investments make it difficult to see how national groups like the so-called National Organization for Marriage remain viable.

“The mission of groups like NOM is to stop marriage equality,” said Kevin Nix, HRC spokesperson. “That hasn’t happened.  In fact, support for marriage equality has spread like wildfire the past couple of years and there’s no turning back. With no momentum and no money, they’ve lost the marriage debate.”

The momentum for marriage equality is indisputable. Four state legislatures passed same-sex marriage legislation during 2011-12, and voters in four states for the first time in history affirmed marriage equality on the ballot last November. This string of legislative and electoral victories would not have been possible without Republican support. National and statewide polling consistently shows majorities – including African Americans, Latinos, millennials, Democrats, and Independents – back gay and lesbian couples receiving marriage licenses. And marriage equality supporters have more intensity than opponents, according to a recent post-election poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

Opponents’ financing is drying up. They were outspent almost three to one last year, $12 million to $34 million in the ballot campaigns. More broadly, tax documents obtained by HRC last fall show that NOM’s funding declined by one-third for 2011 – and that a whopping 75 percent of the anti-gay organization’s funding came from just two donors. It’s not surprising then that NOM is unable to follow through on the threats the group makes to Republicans supportive of marriage equality.

NOM promised, for instance, that it would spend $2 million to defeat the four Republican State Senators in New York who backed the legislature’s same-sex marriage bill in 2011. NOM thenbackpedalled, saying it would spend $250,000 in the primary fights. According to NOM PAC NY’s campaign finance reports, it only raised $45,000 and only spent $40,000 in 2012 – nowhere near what it claimed it would spend.

Beyond funding, NOM’s pressure campaigns – which the group insists have been successful – have produced little return on investment. A new HRC fact check piece makes clear the effort to oust the four Republicans strictly because of their votes on marriage did not work.

“NOM’s threats to kick Republicans out of office – whether in New York two years ago or in Illinois earlier this month – are empty,” said Nix.  “It’s nothing but bluster aimed to instill fear in lawmakers. NOM’s become nothing but a paper tiger.”

NOM’s President, Brian Brown, just got back from Paris where, he says, he sought inspiration on how to stop same-sex marriage in America. French President Francois Hollande campaigned on legalizing same-sex marriage.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

Phone: (202) 628-4160
Fax: (202) 347-5323

To contact HRC please visit our contact us page. If you are a member of the media, you can reach our press office at: (202) 423-2885 or

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HRC Statement on Efforts to Name San Francisco International Airport after Harvey Milk

Historic move would make Harvey Milk-San Francisco International Airport the first airport to honor an openly gay person


Washington – San Francisco supervisors are advancing legislation aimed at commemorating LGBT civil rights leader Harvey Milk by renaming the city’s airport in his honor. Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin released the following statement in support:

“Harvey Milk made it his life’s mission to ensure that everyone – regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, or socioeconomic status – was treated with the dignity and respect that all human beings deserve. Harvey Milk-San Francisco International Airport would serve as a powerful testament to the importance of Harvey’s pioneering work and selfless dedication to advancing equality for all.

“Harvey Milk fought tirelessly to raise the visibility of LGBT people, and placing his name on San Francisco’s airport would bring awareness of his work to the 40 million travelers from around the world who pass through SFO annually. Harvey Milk’s legacy is what guides our work as we continue the fight for full equality, and HRC is proud to support this effort to honor his memory.”

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.


Phone: (202) 628-4160
Fax: (202) 347-5323

To contact HRC please visit our contact us page. If you are a member of the media, you can reach our press office at: (202) 423-2885 or

Media Provided by the – Gay Media and Press Network


Frank Ocean, Adam Lambert, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, ParaNorman, Cloud Atlas, Keep the Lights On, The New Normal, Smash, Modern Family, How to Survive a Plague, The Amazing Race, Seventeen, Rolling Stone,, Towleroad, Caso Cerrado, People en Español among nominees

Los Angeles, Wednesday, January 16, 2013 – GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, announced today the nominees for its 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.  By recognizing and honoring media for outstanding images of the LGBT community, the GLAAD Media Awards serve as a benchmark for the media industry and complement GLAAD’s work to bring LGBT images and stories to Americans.

Among the nominees: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, starring Ezra Miller, Logan Lerman and Emma Watson; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Tom Wilkinson; Cloud Atlas, starring Ben Whishaw and James D’Arcy; NBC’s new hit shows The New Normal and Smash;GleeModern Family; the documentary How to Survive a PlagueThe Amazing Race with the Fabulous Beekman Boys; an interview with Bishop Gene Robinson on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; Oprah’s hour-long visit with Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka; CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360; MSNBC’sMelissa Harris-Perry; and Frank Ocean for his Channel Orange album.  The list also includes GLAAD’s first nomination for a PG-rated animated film, ParaNorman, which also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film.

Spanish-language nominees include Titulares Telemundo for their interview with openly gay boxer Orlando Cruz, news programs Primer Impacto and Encuentro, and People en Español

“Images and stories from the LGBT community continue to push support for equality to historic levels,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.  “This year’s nominees enlighten and entertain, but also reflect a new American landscape where a growing majority accept and value their LGBT family, colleagues and friends.  Now more than ever, viewers not only accept gay and transgender characters and plot lines, they expect them — just as they both accept and expect LGBT people to be a valuable part of their everyday lives.”

The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York on March 16, 2013 at the New York Marriott Marquis; in Los Angeles on April 20 at the JW Marriott; and in San Francisco on May 11 at the Hilton San Francisco – Union Square.  Special Honorees for each city will be announced in coming weeks.

GLAAD announced 120 nominees in 25 English-language categories, and 33 Spanish-language nominees in 8 categories.  In the English-language categories, cable networks earned 21 nominations, while broadcast networks garnered 17 nominations.

A complete list of GLAAD Media Awards nominees may be found here.  Additional facts and figures about this year’s 153 nominees may be found here.

To receive the latest updates on the GLAAD Media Awards, follow @glaad on Twitter and use the hashtag #glaadawards.

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.  The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD’s work to amplify stories from the LGBT community and issues that build support for equality.

The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards nominees were published, released or broadcast between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.  Over 85 volunteers serving on seven nominating juries considered nearly 1,000 media projects for nomination.  Each year, the GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco bring together more than 5,000 supporters to raise nearly $3.5 million for the organization’s work.

More than 100 corporate partners are showing their support, including National Presenting partners Ketel One Vodka and Wells Fargo, New York and Los Angeles Presenting partner Delta Air Lines, and San Francisco Presenting partner Southwest Airlines.  GLAAD is also grateful to the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Platinum Underwriter corporate partner Anheuser-Busch, Inc. as well as Underwriter corporate partners: Allstate Insurance Company, Caesars Foundation, Disney-ABC Television Group/ESPN, New York Marriott Marquis & Renaissance Hotel, and PwC.  For a full list of corporate partners and information on how to become a corporate partner, purchase tickets and place a tribute in the tribute book, please visit

About GLAAD: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, please visit or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.

Rich Ferraro
Vice President of Communications, GLAAD
Phone: (646) 871-8011

Lauren Peteroy
Phone: (212) 901-3937

Kelly Striewski
Phone: (310) 248-6100


LGBT Advocate Rachel Wolff sets rights theme to poignant poetry

Right to Live Gay: An advocate for LGBTQ rights sets rights theme and righteous commentary to poetry


I have the imprescriptible right
To pursue happiness-know love
To be me

American Family Association
Family Research Council
Focus on the Family
Liberty Council
Many more

The false prophets make profits
Malice rules: unpardonable sin
Preach-pray gay is sin – pray
The gay away

Deny liberty – limit freedom
Mock Christian values
Broadcast myth-lies

Unwarranted unjustified
Crimes against humanity
Defends a Homophobic
Preacher who’s lethal
Allocutions endorses
Kill Gay’s legislation

Preserve Liberty: Freedom
Equality; the right to live
Speak up stop the hate
I have the right to live
Being gay is not a sin
This is who I am

Dedicated: GLBTQIA
Rachel Wolff -1/12/13


The following was published as a press release by Metro Media Consulting Group,  LLC,  on PR Log.  Rachel Wolff is a poet, author, LGBTQ advocate,  and is a friend and colleague to global gay rights advocate Omar Kuddus.  Image would not load;  here is the url from the press release:

HRC to Honor Whoopi Goldberg with Ally for Equality Award at Greater New York Gala

Co-host of The View a true advocate for LGBT equality

NEW YORK –The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – and the HRC Greater New York Steering Committee are proud to announce Whoopi Goldberg will receive the 2013 HRC Ally for Equality Award at the annual Greater New York Gala dinner on February 2, 2012 at the Waldorf Astoria.

“We are proud to honor Whoopi Goldberg with the Ally for Equality Award for her commitment to the LGBT community through her public support of marriage equality, including taking part in our successful New Yorkers for Marriage Equality video campaign in 2011,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.  “Whoopi is always willing to stand up for our community and is a longtime friend of HRC.”

The Ally for Equality award is given to allies outside the LGBT community who stand up on behalf of equality for all Americans. An outspoken advocate for equality worldwide, Whoopi has used her platform as one of the entertainment industry’s most vocal women to stamp out hate and advance equality.  Whoopi has publicly called marriage equality a ‘no-brainer,’ and has made the case for equality in her role on ABC’s The View.

For more information or to purchase tickets to HRC’s Greater New York Gala Dinner please

Media Credentialing: Media pre-registration is required and space is limited. All media must be pre-registered and approved for a credential.  To request credentials for the dinner, please contact Paul Guequierre at

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Phone: (202) 628-4160
Fax: (202) 347-5323

To contact HRC please visit our contact us page. If you are a member of the media, you can reach our press office at: (202) 423-2885 or

Media Provided by the – Gay Media and Press Network


Colorado Pastor Claims LGBT People Will “Destroy Everything”

Anti-LGBT religious leader also likens befriending gay people to having friends who are cannibals and molesters


Washington – A Colorado pastor took to the airwaves this week to declare that the nation’s “embrace of homosexuality” stands to “destroy society…destroy lives…destroy families, we’ll destroy everything.” It’s not the first time Pastor Dave Beuhner, who heads up Christ the King Church in Larkspur, has blasted the LGBT community. According to Right Wing Watch, Buehner has previously compared having gay friends to befriending the likes of cannibals and molesters, and even linked the growing national support for marriage equality to the tragic elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

“Pastor Buehner’s shrill claims that LGBT people are somehow akin to cannibals and child molesters, and that advancing equality will destroy our society, is representative of an extremist viewpoint that is not palatable to the majority of Americans or the majority of people of faith,” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. “While his outlandish claims don’t deserve even an ounce of gravitas, Buehner is sending a message to LGBT people in his community that there is something very wrong with them. This is not the type of rhetoric we should ever hear coming from a leader of any kind.”

Buehner’s comments are dramatically out-of-line with the beliefs of a strong majority of people of faith. HRC is calling on its members and supporters to speak out and take action to counter Buehner’s offensive comments. The action is accessible at

Speaking on his ‘Generations Radio’ show on Monday, Buehner compared embracing LGBT equality to a petulant child challenging their parent: “…if you tell your daughter, your beautiful daughter, ‘Hey, don’t put your hand on the hot stove.’ She can look at that and say, ‘My dad’s a tyrant, he won’t give me liberty to put my hand on the hot stove.’ The fact of the matter is if she puts her hand on the hot stove, bad things will happen. God’s law is like that. God’s law will tell us that if we do things that are bad, bad things will happen. If we put our hands on the stove, we’ll get burned. If we embrace homosexuality, we’ll destroy society, we’ll destroy lives, we’ll destroy families, we’ll destroy everything.”

In attempting to link the nationwide growing support for marriage equality to mass shootings, Buehner has said: “The liberals are proposing that we as a nation follow a kinder, gentler flavor of rebellion against God. They’d like a rebellion that stops a little short of murdering kindergartners. They want the rebellion that involves gay marriage; they want the rebellion that embraces rape rap and abortion and a media that is in utter defiance against the law of God.”

Polling shows that an astounding 86 percent of Christians polled say they reject discrimination against LGBT people precisely because the principles of their faith compel them to do so. Thatsame poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, found that 70 percent of people felt it did more harm than good when religious leaders like Pastor Buehner speak out against LGBT people.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

Phone: (202) 628-4160
Fax: (202) 347-5323

To contact HRC please visit our contact us page. If you are a member of the media, you can reach our press office at: (202) 423-2885 or

Media Provided by the – Gay Media and Press Network


National Religious Leadership Roundtable applauds Washington National Cathedral announcement that it will celebrate weddings of same-sex couples

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s National Religious Leadership Roundtable applauds the announcement today by the Washington National Cathedral that it will celebrate the weddings of same-sex couples. The cathedral, part of the Episcopal Church, is among the most prominent churches in the nation.

Statement by the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, Faith Work Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“In many ways, the Washington National Cathedral has been our nation’s cathedral — creating sanctuary for some of the most important religious gatherings we’ve witnessed. In my own life, this has also been true. I have sought the sanctuary of the Washington National Cathedral for spiritual retreats, multi-faith services — including during the International AIDS Conference this past summer — for the installation of the Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson as moderator of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, and many others. And it has been both a holy and prophetic space, offering care, soothing in my grief and challenge to those things that needed to change in me.

“So it is with deep joy that I learn of the Washington National Cathedral’s decision to marry same-sex couples within its walls. It strikes me as completely in keeping with its values, commitments and witness. As a pastor and a fellow Christian, I stand with my colleagues to applaud the Washington National Cathedral for continuing to offer sanctuary and prophetic witness to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and to the world. Thanks be to God!”

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.


The National Religious Leadership Roundtable (NRLR), convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is an interfaith network of leaders from pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) faith, spiritual and religious organizations. We work in partnership with other groups to promote understanding of and respect for LGBT people within society at large and in communities of faith. We promote understanding and respect within LGBT communities for a variety of faith paths and for religious liberty, and to achieve commonly held goals that promote equality, spirituality and justice.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from the ground up. The Task Force is the country’s premier social justice organization fighting to improve the lives of LGBT people and working to create positive, lasting change and opportunity for all. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. © 2013, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C., 20005. Phone 202.393.5177. TTY 202.393.2284.


Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

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