Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kim Smith is Jealous

Australian Kim Smith is an emerging electro-pop singer, and award winning cabaret performer, known for his Weimar-era inspired works that juxtapose authentic musical material with stylistic takes on current popular tunes. 

From his latest electro-pop album Nova, available on iTunes, he has performed a new clip directed by photographer Mauricio A. Rodriguez: Jealous.

Watch the following video of this talented artist, it's worth it!

More information in Smith's website.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Gay Weddings in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Dozens of same-sex couples have married in Santa Fe County, in U.S. state of New Mexico, this Friday. Santa Fe County is New Mexico’s third most populous county, and the city of Santa Fe is the state capital. 

A judge ruled on a lawsuit brought by two Santa Fe men wishing to marry, and issued an order directing the clerk’s office in Santa Fe County to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

The news of the court order has sent a lot of same-sex couples to the Santa Fe County administrative building to ask a marriage license. Obeying the judge's order, the county clerk began issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples and also held a mass wedding in the county office.

By the end of the day, 49 marriage licenses to same-sex couples had been issued.

New Mexico's legislation doesn't explicitly prohibit same-sex marriage but, sadly, a group of Republican legislators is planning to file a lawsuit to prevent it.

In any case, a new step for marriage equality in U.S.

Kisses Against Hate in Madrid

Over 300 people protested in front of Russian Embassy in Madrid (Spain), rejecting anti-gay Russian laws and asking to Russian authorities to stop the attacks and abuses against LGBT people. The demonstrators also asked to Spanish Government to react and protest for the homophobic situation in Russia.

Óscar Olmo, promoter of the protest through Facebook, said: "When we saw the news from Russia, we thought we had to do something. So we created a Facebook event calling for a rally. We did not expect to get as many people". And he added: "We ask to Russian state repeal the law because is fueling homophobia in that country. There are already two fatalities and, if the situation remains the same, I'm sure many more will be in the short term".

During the rally, many of the attendees decided to kiss as a sign of protest. Without incidents, at the end of the protest, their promoters went into the embassy and delivered to the secretary a statement with their claims. The official committed to send the document to the Russian authorities in Moscow.

Para Rusia con amor! To Russia with love!

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Big Demonstration in Copenhagen Against Russian Anti-Gay Law

Ten thousand people attended a demonstration in Copenhagen (Denmark) against the Russian laws banning the promotion of non traditional relationships and the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples.

The movement, called To Russia With Love Denmark, asked for action and condemnation of the anti-gay laws and stigmatization of LGBT people in Russia.

Organisers of the protest had expected two thousand people to the rally, but five times that number took the streets in the Danish capital.

Watch the following video about this protest.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rainbow Zebra Crossing to Russian Embassies

A pedestrian crossing outside the Russian embassy in Oslo has been painted in with rainbow colours last night, the latest in a string of international acts to protest Russia’s anti-gay law.

A similar act happened in Sweden last week, when gay rights supporters re-painted the zebra crossing outside the Russian embassy in Stockholm in the colours of the rainbow, to show their reject to the Russian law banning gay propaganda.

Some cities have had rainbow crossing walks before, like Vancouver, Sidney, Utrecht or Tel Aviv, to support LGBT people.

Do you know any other city that has one?

 Oslo (Norway)

Stockholm (Sweden)

Vancouver (Canada)

Sidney (Australia)

Utrecht (Netherlands)

Tel Aviv (Israel)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

UN Rejects Russian Anti-Gay Law

The Human Rights Office of the United Nations (HRO) has rejected the Russia’s law banning gay propaganda, and has urged the Kremlin to repeal this law.

"Such laws form the basis for standing and regular harassment, and even arbitrary detention, and help create a climate of fear for anyone working on advancing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people", said Claude Cahn, adviser of the HRO during a meeting in Kiev, Ukraine.

He also asked Moldava to repeal a similar law and advised Ukraine not to pass a nearly identical proposal in their parliament. And he added: "The restrictions introduced in parts of Eastern Europe are inherently discriminatory in both intent and effect. The limitations they place on the exercise of rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly and their impact on the work of human rights defenders".

UN has spoken out, what will do the International Olympic Committee? And the rest of international organizations and governments?

Claude Cahn, HRO's adviser

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wear Painted Nails is an Unacceptable Act of Gay Propaganda... to Swedes?

To wear nail polish in rainbow colors is an unacceptable act of gay propaganda. That is not the opinion of the Russians... but the Swedes.

Emma Green Tregaro, the Swedish high jumper who painted her fingernails in rainbow colors to support gay rights at the World Championships in Moscow, has took the field with a bright red in her nails this time.

Green Tregaro said the Swedish officials of track and field federation asked her to "please respect the rules" and change the color of her nails because that rainbow gesture could be a violation of the competition's code of conduct. For this reason, she decided to paint them in an intense red color, the color of love.

After Green Tregaro's incident, the head of Sweden’s Olympic Committee, Stefan Lindeberg, has ruled that political protests against Russia’s anti-gay legislation will not be tolerated at the Sochi Olympics next year. 

Seriously, is the nails color ruled in any competition's code of conduct? And do all Swedish people think such as their official?

Green Tregaro, 4 days ago

the athlete, yesterday

Stefan Lindeberg, 
the Chairman of the Swedish Olympic Committee 

Monday, August 19, 2013

First Same-Sex Weddings in New Zealand

After approving same-sex marriage bill last April, the law has come in force in New Zealand this Monday morning.

A lot of gay couples were waiting this day to celebrate their marriages. Not only New Zealanders grooms and brides said "Yes, I do", also some Australians did it.

The said says that an image is worth a thousand words, in this case is true.

Congrats to all newlyweds!

 Natasha and Melissa have exchanged rings 
at the Unitary Church in Auckland

 Richard R. and Richard A. have celebrated their wedding 
at the Rotorua Museum

 Jess and Rachel have celebrated their wedding
 at the Rotorua Museum

 The Australians Paul and Trent have been married
 at the Museum Te Papa in Wellington

Lynley and Ally have celebrated their wedding 
in the skies on a flight from Queenstown to Auckland, 
attended by American actor 
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Gay Marriage Symbol

You've sure already seen this symbol several times: two parallel pink lines on a red square background. It has become the logo of support for gay marriage.

But where did it come from?

This symbol was created by marketing director Anastasia Khoo of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The pink and red logo is a derivative of the HRC's everyday logo, a yellow equal sign on a blue background. But she decided to use pink as a gay color and red as the color of love. Besides, it is very simple, easily recognizable and known everywhere.

HRC first posted the new symbol to its Facebook page, where it attracted some big-name net denizens, who had million Facebook and Twitter followers. Things took off from there.

Everybody liked the gay marriage symbol, and it was used massively by same-sex marriage supporters across the world. Surprisingly, it has also spawned a lot of meme offshoots. For example, one includes two horizontal strips of bacon, other has two rings or uses the rainbow colors.

In any case, it always mean the same: equality!

Friday, August 16, 2013

U.S. Olympic Committee expects Athletes to comply with Russian Laws

Scott Blackmun, the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), said he expected U.S. athletes to comply with the Russian laws during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, including the recent adopted anti-gay  law.

Blackmun said: "The athletes are always going into countries with laws different than his or her own country". And he added: "They’re going to agree with those laws in some ways, they’re going to disagree with those laws in other ways. It’s our strong desire that our athletes comply with the laws of every nation that we visit.  This law is no different".

Nevertheless, some athletes opponents of the law have announced plans to protest in Sochi, by wearing pins or armbands with LGBT's colors flag, or supportive slogans, or holding hands with other same-sex members. 

Disappointing attitude of the USOC...

Scott Blackmun, CEO of USOC

The Pentagon extends benefits to same-sex couples

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced its plan to extend benefits to same-sex spouses of uniformed service members and civilian employees, according to a news release issued today.

After a review of the department’s benefit policies, following the Supreme Court’s ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional, the Defense Department will make spousal and family benefits available no later than Sept. 3, 2013, regardless of sexual orientation, as long as service member-sponsors provide a valid marriage certificate.

The DOD remains committed to ensuring that all men and women who serve in the U.S. military, and their families, are treated fairly and equally as the law directs. Entitlements such as TRICARE enrollment, basic allowance for housing and family separation allowance are retroactive to the date of the Supreme Court’s decision. 

The DOD recognizes that same-sex military couples who are not stationed in a jurisdiction that permits same-sex marriage would have to travel to another jurisdiction to marry. That is why the department will implement policies to allow military personnel in such a relationship non-chargeable leave for the purpose of travelling to a jurisdiction where such a marriage may occur. 

For civilian benefits administered government-wide to federal employees, the DOD will follow the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Labor’s guidance to ensure that the same benefits currently available to heterosexual spouses are also available to legally married same-sex spouses.

This will provide accelerated access to the full range of benefits offered to married military couples throughout the Department and help equalize the situation between heterosexual and homosexual couples seeking to be married.

A big step, a fair step!

Don't they deserve a DOD's equal treat?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Orlando Cruz, First Openly Gay Boxer, Proposal on Facebook

Orlando Cruz, from Puerto Rico, is the world's first openly gay professional boxer. Last october, he came out and wanted everyone knows his sexual identity in such a dignified manner. Currently, he is training to fight for his first world title against Mexican Orlando Salido, next october 12th in Las Vegas.

But today, he's back in the news after proposing wed to his boyfriend José Manuel via a publicly posted Facebook video.

The translation of Cruz's proposal, originally in Spanish:

I wanted to tell you how much I need you and how much I miss you. I know you are a person that means a lot to me and that supports my career and respects it which is very important, but above all you are always there giving me that push that I need. Now more than ever that I have an important fight coming up for the World Championship.

I want to tell you that you are a very special person in my life. I am a little nervous, but I want to tell you and share with your friends and my friends if you want to marry me. I want you to be part of my life and me be part of yours.

José Manuel's answer, on Facebook too, was:

I want to say yes. I accept marrying you because I love you and adore you. Yes, I do want to marry you because I love you, I love you, I love you very much. We will keep going forward and you will see how happy we will be. I love you papi from my heart.

A modern way but equally lovely, congrats to the couple!