Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hunk of the Month July: Matthew Camp


Matthew Camp (1984, California) is a handsome former go-go dancer with a promising acting career as film actor, but he’s also a clothing and tattoo designer and the owner of his own fragrance: "8.5".

However he is well known for being a model and "underwear expert".

About his dancer career he confessed: "I danced forever. I started at the club 20 VIP, which is a strip club with lap dances and everything. I learned so much at that job. When I go-go danced, I actually danced. I miss performing. I don't necessarily miss being in my underwear all the time, but I miss being on a stage". 

Asked on being gay, he answered: "Fuck it! Just be yourself. Who cares if you're gay or straight? You don't need someone else's approval to do what you want. Do what makes you happy and healthy. It's about self-improvement".

A talented guy who lives and works by his own rules.

Visit his websites MatthewCampDesigns.com and Matthewgogo













 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

California has its first open-LGBT governor... for one day only

 

The usual California's governor, Gov. Jerry Brown, is away on business for a trade mission to Mexico.

In his absence, the position moved to Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom but he was required to attend a Special Olympics event on the East Coast. 

The next acting governor, Senate President pro tempore Darrell Steinberg, is scheduled to leave the state for Chicago today.

As Gov. Brown is not due to return from Mexico until this evening, Speaker Atkins is due to hold the office in the estimated eight or nine hours between Mr Steinberg’s departure and Gov. Brown’s return to the state. 

In doing so, she becomes California’s first lesbian governor.

In 2005, Ms Atkins became the first lesbian Mayor of San Diego, and in May 2014 succeeded John Pérez, the first gay Speaker of the California State Assembly, to become the first lesbian holder of the office.


Atkins kissing her spouse, Jennifer LeSar, 
on the day she was sworn in as Assembly speaker


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

US Senators urge Obama to push for Nigeria and Uganda on LGBT rights


A dozen of America’s senators want US President Barack Obama to reconsider trade agreements with Nigeria and Uganda because of their homophobic laws.

These US senators have penned a letter to the president asking him to hold the two countries to their human rights commitments as members of the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Approved by US Congress in 2000 to improve US-African relations and help boost sub-Saharan economies, the AGOA system is an annual membership that provides tax-free exports from Africa into the US.

Nigeria is reportedly one of the largest exporters under AGOA, and since the legislation has been extended to run until 2015, politicians want the Executive Branch to bring the two countries to task over their anti-gay laws.

Senators wrote to President Obama:

We write with deep concern over a growing trend of laws and proposed legislation targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Africa. These laws, combined with the growing public vitriol by government officials and the media, threaten to usher in an era of widespread oppression of the LGBT community in many African countries. We believe the enforcement of these laws would be a human rights abuse in violation of the standards set forth in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Already this year, both Nigeria and Uganda have enacted laws that impose harsh penalties for homosexual activity and activism on behalf of LGBT people. Despite strong opposition from the United States and many other nations, Nigeria enacted the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in January, and one month later, Uganda's President signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act. In Nigeria, the legislation immediately triggered an outbreak of violent anti-gay attacks.

We believe that the discriminatory anti-LGBT laws in those countries represent a clear violation of human rights and hope that the interagency process charged with AGOA's annual review will make this recommendation. We further ask that you not restore eligibility until these beneficiary countries have taken steps to eliminate harsh penalties for LGBT persons.

As the International Trade Commission (ITC) correctly stated when AGOA was first passed, Congress never intended AGOA to be a blank check for all African countries, without regard to performance. It was meant to offer tangible incentives for African governments to improve their political and economic governance, not to underwrite poor policies.

Some of the leaders who promote the benefits of AGOA in their respective countries, including Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, are the same leaders now presiding over the deterioration of LGBT rights in Africa. By revoking AGOA eligibility, the United States will be sending a clear message that countries must choose between enjoying the benefits of AGOA and violating the human rights of LGBT individuals. 


We have to stand up for LGBT rights in Africa


Monday, July 28, 2014

St Petersburg held LGBT Pride despite Russian Authorities


150 people gathered to attend an LGBTI pride event in a public park in Russia, despite being told by Russian authorities they should hold the event at a landfill site.

The event was held yesterday at the Field of Mars park in St Petersburg, a public park where federal law decrees such an event was allowed to be held.

The pride rally was organized by gay rights group Ravnopraviye (Equality), even though they were banned from marching, because of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law.

The group had previously applied for a permit from city authorities to hold a pride march but were flatly refused.

Despite official opposition, the pride event held yesterday went without any major incidents. 


Yuri Gavrikov, LGBT activist for St Petersburg Pride


#JewsandArabsRefuseToBeEnemies


Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies: Social media campaign goes viral.

As the Israeli operation Protective Edge has so far claimed over 1,000 dead, users have been flooding the web with dozens of photos of Jews and Arabs together showcasing peace and love, under the hashtag #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies on Twitter.

The campaign was launched by Abraham Gutman (Jewish) and Dania Darwish (Arab), both students at Hunter College in New York, immediately after the start of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza - and this week it gained momentum.

Abraham and Dania took a photo of themselves in Washington Square Park. They started a Facebook group and by now have been flooded with photos from around the world. The page has more than 5,000 fans.

Activists for peace. Stop the attacks!











Sunday, July 27, 2014

Warwick Rowers Calendar is Back


The Warwick rowing team is back with a new naked calendar, and are more committed than ever to promoting tolerance and equality.

Regularly stripping off to raise funds for good causes, the team have been crowd-funding, and donating profits to fight homophobia since 2009. The first calendar came out in 2009, and raised over £100,000.

Their calendars enable them to do their own outreach programme to young people called Sport Allies, a programme to reach out to young people challenged by homophobia or low self-esteem.

The club has since 2012 donated a portion of its profits, and this year will aim to raise funds for Sport Allies, which is “dedicated to challenging homophobia among young people”.











Friday, July 25, 2014

New York NewFest 2014


New York's premier LGBT film festival showcases a diverse and compelling collection of narratives, documentaries, shorts, and parties.

Browse this year's selection of films, shorts, documentaries and more. Unless otherwise noted, all of the films screen at the Walter Reade Theater in Manhattan. Find tickets and more information at NewFest.org.

Watch some Festival's films trailers below



52 tuesdays



Futuro beach



Boys



The Foxy Merkins



The circle



I am happiness on earth



I always said yes



The way he looks



Gerontophilia



The third one


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Circuit Festival Barcelona 2014


From 6 to 17 August 2014, Barcelona is set to sizzle with what is being called the world’s biggest gay and lesbian festival (outside of Gay Pride celebrations), as last year’s celebrations attracted over 70,000 party people from around the globe.

During last year’s festival, more than 40 artists performed at the different Circuit stages including international artists like Loreen, Offer Nissim, the late Peter Rauhofer, Ruby Rose and many others.

Circuit Festival began to take shape six years ago in response to the needs of a concerned international gay scene that began to demand new entertainment options apart from the traditional ones that had been associated with the LGBT audience.

And, until then, in Europe there had been an obvious gap in terms of a leisure and holiday quality offer that was able to satisfy the expectations of an audience that, increasingly, was as diverse as demanding.

With the conviction that Barcelona has the necessary capacity and structure to offer to the gay community a comprehensive leisure option as respectful to their needs and preferences as capable to satisfy their expectations, Circuit Festival Barcelona was born, which is the biggest cultural and leisure international festival for gays and lesbians in Europe.












Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First overseas adoption in Denmark by Same-sex couple


Same-sex couples have been allowed to adopt as couples since 2010 in Denmark. However few countries allow overseas adoptions by same-sex couples so it is not until now that the first overseas adoption by a Danish gay couple has occurred.

Danish couple Rasmus Holm and Thomas Møller Lassen have adopted a nine-month-old South African girl, making them the first same-sex couple in Denmark to legally adopt a child from another country.

Denmark’s Equality Minister Manu Sareen said: "I hope that more couples are allowed to experience the great joy of being parents and to giving a child a good life".

Adoption by same-sex couples is legal in 16 countries and in some territories.


Rasmus and Thomas with their son


Monday, July 21, 2014

President Obama signs order protecting LGBT workers from employment discrimination


President Obama today has signed a new executive order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

"No current federal law adequately protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers from employment discrimination. This is both contrary to our values as Americans, and bad for business", a White House official said. 

The official added the change for federal contracting will impact some 24,000 companies with 28 million workers, or one-fifth of the U.S. workforce. Many large federal contractors already have employment policies barring anti-gay workplace discrimination, as do 21 states. However, the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School estimates that the executive order would extend protections to about 14 million workers whose employers or states currently do not have such nondiscrimination policies.

A poll conducted last fall by Republican pollster Alex Lundry showed that more than two-thirds of registered voters, including 56 percent of Republicans, support the protections of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Turkey's Supreme Court Recognizes Hate Speech against Gays for the First Time


For the first time, hate speech on the ground of sexual orientation has taken part among the decisions of the Turkey's Supreme Court. The Court acknowledged that calling gays “perverse” is hate speech.

The case was brought by attorney Sinem Hun against a local news website Habervaktim.com for publishing an article in which she was called "the lawyer of the association of the perverts called Kaos GL". Kaos is a Turkish LGBT rights group.

The Supreme Court ruled that the website could not be penalised as the attack had been committed against the organisation and therefore did not breach the rights of the individual attorney. However it acknowledged that the text constituted hate speech.

The highest Turkish Court supported its decision by claiming that: "Unless there is a call for violence or hate speech that might damage pluralistic democracy and might even destroy it, punishment which limits individuals’ freedom should be avoided".

Examining the decision of the Office of the Chief Prosecutor, the Supreme Court admitted that hate speech regarding sexual tendencies are as serious as hate speech on the grounds of “race, ethnicity or color”. This decision is also a first in the Supreme Court cases on hate speech.


LGBT activist march in Istanbul


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Federal Court Rules Oklahoma's ban on Marriage Equality is Unconstitutional


The U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that Oklahoma's ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional, and that couples should be able to wed.

This ruling is the first time a federal appellate court ruled that the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling striking down a section of the Defense of Marriage Act also meant that states could not deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

This is the second time a three-judge panel from the Denver-based court has found that a state's ban is unconstitutional. In June, the same panel came to the same conclusion around Utah's ban on same-sex marriage. As of now, marriages for same-sex couples both in Oklahoma and Utah will remain on hold. 

This is the 26th consecutive federal or state court ruling to come down on the side of marriage equality since June 2013.

Bravo!


Couple Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin sued Oklahoma's state
for enforcing an amendment to its constitution ban


Friday, July 18, 2014

Florida Judge Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban Violates U.S. Constitution


Luis Garcia, a county circuit judge in Florida Keys, has ruled against the state constitution's ban on same-sex marriage.

Judge writes: “This court concludes that a citizen’s right to marry is a fundamental right that belongs to the individual".

The ruling applies only to Monroe County, which primarily consists of the Keys, and will certainly be appealed. The lawsuit contended that the same-sex marriage ban approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2008 violated the federal 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection under the law.

The judge has said licenses could not be issued until Tuesday at the earliest.

Gay marriage proponents have won more than 20 legal decisions around the country since the U,S, Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, although those rulings remain in various stages of appeal. Many legal experts say the U.S. Supreme Court may ultimately have to decide the question for all states.


The Sunshine State closer to equal marriage


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Manhattanhenge



Manhattanhenge (sometimes referred to as the Manhattan Solstice) is an event during which the setting sun is aligned with the east–west streets of the main street grid of Manhattan, in New York City. 

This occurs twice a year, on dates evenly spaced around the summer solstice. The first Manhattanhenge occurs around May 28, while the second occurs around July 12.

Awesome event and pictures!