Showing posts with label Gay orgs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay orgs. Show all posts

August 2, 2014

Equality Florida group with 4000 volunteers is Making gay marriage the No.1 issue


When judges in two counties struck down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriages last month, a St. Petersburg-based advocacy group was poised to get the word out.
The group, Equality Florida, organized celebrations from Tallahassee to Key West, and flooded social media with colorful graphics proclaiming “Love Wins in Florida!”
Equality Florida has been working to protect Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for more than two decades. But its statewide profile has risen to new heights in the aftermath of the rulings.
Its leaders hope to carry that clout into the November elections.
“We have more than 300,000 pro-equality voters that we have identified and mobilized in different elections,” founder and CEO Nadine Smith said. “We will be doing everything in our power to get them to the polls.”
Equality Florida bills itself as the state’s largest gay-rights organization.
The nonprofit boasts 21 employees, 4,000 volunteers and almost 50,000 likes on Facebook. It has offices in Tallahassee, Gainesville, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami and Hollywood.
Equality Florida raises about $2 million annually, Smith said. Its principal sources of revenue are fundraisers, donations and membership dues.
To help win votes in Tallahassee, the group has its own lobbyist. It doesn’t hurt that state Rep. Joe Saunders, D-Orlando, has worked as a paid Equality Florida field director.
“Especially with the younger members of the House and Senate, they have a tremendous amount of clout,” Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale said.
It wasn’t always that way. Equality Florida started out as a network of activists pushing the Hillsborough County Commission to adopt a human rights ordinance in the early 1990s.
Their efforts were successful — though the commission repealed the part banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1995. Commissioners are now considering adding that language back.
After the original ordinance passed, the activists, then known as the Hillsborough Human Rights Task Force, helped promote similar ordinances elsewhere in the state.
They turned their eye to Tallahassee in 1997, the year Florida lawmakers passed legislation banning same-sex marriage.
“That’s when we made the commitment that we would be statewide, and we would never let another session pass without having a presence in Tallahassee,” Smith said.
The group chose a new name to reflect its new, expanded mission: Equality Florida.
Equality Florida has continued its work on the local level, while also pushing for anti-bullying legislation, gay adoption and equal benefits on the state level.
“We are on the ground at school board meetings, commission meetings,” said Nate Klarfeld, a retired dentist from Fort Lauderdale and Equality Florida volunteer. “We have changed the hearts and minds of people in Florida, and we’ve done it one at a time.”
Andy Janecek, of the Tallahassee chapter of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus, said Equality Florida has also provided leadership and support for other advocacy groups across the state.
“They’ve been able to focus on tough legislation and visibility,” he said.
But the group has shouldered some criticism, including allegations it has claimed credit for victories made by other LGBT organizations.
In a 2012 report on the organization, South Florida activist and retired businessman Stephen Herbits likened Equality Florida to a “cash cow, sucking donations from the LGBT and LGBT-friendly community in Florida without providing any benefit.”
Herbits was also critical of the group’s lobbying efforts in Tallahassee.
“Their strategy is to work with only known sympathetic legislators, dismissing all others,” he wrote. “In a Republican-controlled Legislature, it is important that they work both sides of the aisle.”
Smith, the CEO, said Equality Florida has worked in a bipartisan way, and has key victories to show for it, including the passage of an anti-bullying law in 2008.
By far, the organization’s most visible work has been around the issue of marriage equality. It has been a focus since 2008, when Florida voters passed a Constitutional amendment prohibiting gay couples from marrying.
Last year, Equality Florida launched a “Get Engaged” campaign urging members of the LGBT community to share their stories and feelings about marriage. Then in January, the group joined six same-sex couples suing Miami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin for marriage licenses.
Similar litigation was filed in Monroe County.
In both cases, the judges ruled Florida’s gay marriage ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection and due process clauses. Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office is appealing the decisions.
Still, public opinion appears to be shifting. A Quinnipiac poll in April found that Florida voters support gay marriage by 56-39 percent.
Smith expects LGBT issues to factor prominently into the upcoming election cycle — and says Equality Florida is poised to play an influential role.
Earlier this summer, Equality Florida threw its support behind Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist. It was a controversial pick; Crist is a former Republican who once opposed same-sex marriage. He has since changed his position on the issue.
Some observers questioned why the group did not endorse Democrat Nan Rich, a former state senator and longtime advocate of gay rights.
“The numbers are what they are,” Smith said. “This is a race that will be Crist vs. [incumbent Gov. Rick] Scott. We need to make sure our community understands what’s at stake, and start delivering that message as early as possible.”
Crist has already made LGBT issues a priority in his campaign.
In a July 29 email to supporters, Crist said he would “prohibit any form of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity within the state agencies or its contractors” starting on the first day of his administration.
When asked where he stands on gay marriage, Republican Gov. Rick Scott has said he “supports traditional marriage, consistent with the amendment approved by Florida voters in 2008, but does not believe that anyone should be discriminated against for any reason.”
Equality Florida also intends to be influential in local races throughout the state.
“It is not only the marquee races,” Smith said. “We also get involved in the smaller races, especially in places where we have considerable membership and the vote is going to be decided by a few hundred people.”


Read more here:

December 13, 2012

The Research and the Studies Our LGTB Community Needs

One of the problems that our awakening from being closeted and in shame, coming out and demanding a place at the table with everyone else is that we had very little information from studies that we could in a scientific way present our points.
Point that there are Millions of us. That we want what everybody else wants. I might be single and would like to stay that way but that doesn’t mean I don’t want gay marriage. I needed it to be there because that goes with the treatment that we expect. It’s equality. That’s is why Civil ceremonies were faulty and it was just cotton candy. Looked like something, but it was just air and sugar.
We appreciate people like MAP ( Movement Advancement Project).                              adamfoxie*
  Gideon Grudo:

They each live in a different state, but the four-person, full-time crew of the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) is responsible for collecting national data about the LGBT population — information that’s crucial.
“We’re kind of a funny organization,” said Ineke Mushovic, MAP’s executive director. “I think a lot of people think we’re bigger than we are.”
Founded in 2006 to answer the demand of advocate agencies desperately looking for national LGBT research, MAP would become a think tank for the community, working to further equality through gathering numbers.
“One of the things that a think tank can do is deep dive into the various issues that affect the LGBT community — that’s what helps the on-the-ground organizations,” Mushovic said. “We don’t have that everyday capacity that other nonprofits have. I think it strengthens the movement to have that capacity. The reality is that a lot of our organizations have a lot of constraints.”
MAP aggregates information and presents it in long form studies, easily digestible and loaded with facts. Advocates can then take this data to Washington, to the streets, or to anywhere they need it. So how does it work? Mushovic is the executive director. Then there are three others, each in charge of on of the three core areas of MAP.

“I think that what we provide is a very rigorous and comprehensive analysis that is packaged in a way that is both compelling and understandable — across a slew of area,” Mushovic said. “The long term impact of that is both that we strengthen the LGBT community — because we know what it needs and how to do that — and we also hopefully have an impact on advancing equality.”

The policy and issue analysis area is focused on LGBT families and adoption, foster care, LGBT people of color, taxes and how they affect different segments of the LGBT community, the elderly LGBT, transgender people, etc. The LGBT movement area is focused on creating national updates on the LGBT movement, analyzing the various advocate organizations and community centers, and keeping an eye on the progress in laws in various states. The messaging and communications area is focused on how the community tries to change hearts and minds of policy makers, of Americans and of the media.
Laura Deaton is MAP’s policy research director. She’s in charge of the policy and issue analysis area, and told SFGN that each report that MAP generates can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months.
“We take all of the academic research, legal precedents, laws and trends, family stories, real stories — we’re almost an aggregator and synchronizer of work that’s being done in the community and outside of it,” Deaton said. “It’s the multitude of sources that we draw from that makes us unique.”
Before the research, however, comes the brainstorming. All of the area heads get together and outline the issues they want to cover in a given year, each offering up information from their respective perspectives. Then the process for getting the research done in a timely manner is developed, and then get to work interviewing experts, sometimes close to a hundred of them for just one report.
“We’re a pretty organic organization. I like to think of us as the lean, mean, MAP machine,” Deaton said. “We’re able to bring LGBT to the table on issues that might not otherwise be there. I think that all of us realize we can’t catalyze community change unless we’re responsive to what the community needs, staying flexible and adapting.”
Naomi Goldberg spends most of her time running circles around the LGBT movement. She’s MAP’s LGBT movement and policy researcher. Her area is responsible for the National Movement Report, an annual look at the largest LGBT advocacy organizations and their capacity to bring change. Every other year, her area produces a momentum report, a look at what’s been accomplished in the last two years. The next momentum report is due around August 2013.
She was responsible for making an interactive map of laws around the country, allowing the user to see trends by state or topic. The interactive map went live in April, an upgrade from a static one that MAP showcased beforehand.
“You can visually see how many laws were around ten years ago, for example, and how many are around now,” Goldberg said. “It’s crazy to think how far we’ve come when only nine years ago, there were sodomy laws on the books.”
MAP’s latest report lends its focus to children of LGBT couple. “Securing Legal Ties for Children Living in LGBT Families: A state Strategy and Policy Guide,” took numbers from over 30 states, and checked in on discriminatory policy as it relates to kids growing up with an LGBT family. What does the report show? Three main areas of concern are apparent, according to it. These laws deny children loving families, they put children’s health at risk, and they undermine children’s security and place children in jeopardy when a parent dies or when parents’ relationships dissolve.
For more information on MAP and its pursuits, go to

September 27, 2012

GMHC Yanks The Rent Free Agreement With NY Asso.on HIV over 50

CHELSEA — For years Ed Shaw has hosted seminars, workshops and support groups for people over 50 living with HIV/AIDS, using space
 provided by Gay Men's Health Crisis, the city's oldest HIV/AIDS service organization.
But this past summer, the organization decided to start charging Shaw rent — a cost his small 
volunteer group could not afford.
Shaw's organization, the New York Association on HIV Over Fifty, is one of several community
 groups that provide grassroots support to people with HIV/AIDS around the city.
NYAHOF used the free space at GMHC for seven years to host events, including monthly
 educational workshops. Shaw also works in a cubicle at the organization's office, located at
 446 W. 33rd St.
GMHC has long given its smaller partners, who receive little to no funding, office and meeting
 space — a policy that suddenly changed this past summer. But moving forward, roughly a dozen
 additional groups with space at GMHC will have to pay rent in order to stay, according to the
In July, GMHC told Shaw's group it would have to pay $450 a month in rent and obtain liability
 insurance that could cost them thousands of dollars a year in order to stick around.
"We're an all-volunteer organization," Shaw said. "We can't really afford that."
Internal emails obtained by New York show that Shaw tried for months to negotiate 
for better terms, but that GMHC eventually decided to evict Shaw's group unless it could pay.
For the time being, the organization will be allowed to stay at GMHC after threats of eviction 
— but only after GMHC's board chair, Mickey Rolfe, stepped in to convene an emergency
 meeting on Tuesday afternoon, resulting in a deal allowing NYAHOF to stay in the space, 
sources said.
"We came to an amicable decision about their staying at GMHC," said Marjorie Hill, GMHC’s 
CEO, who would not provide further details on the deal. She would also not elaborate on the 
status of the other groups with space at GMHC.
Representatives from some of the other groups did return requests for comment.
In April 2011, GMHC moved into an expanded, 165,000-square-foot office, and the decision to
 start charging rent came after the organization moved into the new facility, Hill said.
"I think the economy is a challenge," she said. "That has been our process since we moved
the new location."
If Shaw's group is eventually forced to go, he said it would greatly hurt the support structure 
for adults over 50 living with HIV.
report put out by GMHC itself estimates that by 2015, half of all New Yorkers living with 
HIV will be over 50.
"Other groups don't specifically target older adults," Shaw said.
GMHC first notified Shaw that he would have to start paying rent in July, but since then has 
struggled to find consistent funding to go toward it.
In emails, Hill wrote that the change was a matter of policy.
"This need to institute even tighter fiscal controls on GMHC’s space expenditures has 
absolutely nothing to do with the respect and high regard I have for you," wrote Hill in a 
Sept. 4 e-mail to Shaw.
"Nor does this need to comply with our space policy any reflection on how much I value the 
many years you and I have collaborated together — even before our current roles at GMHC."
Hill also wrote that the relationship between the two organizations had been a good one, but 
that it "must now come to an end."
However, Hill made an about-face after the meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
"The relationship was never going to come to an end," she said.
NYAHOF's brush with eviction raised larger concerns for board member Manuel Rivera, who 
blasted off an email obtained by New York to staff and other board members
 slamming the original decision.
"I think the position being taken in regard to NYAHOF is unreasonable, unfair, and….extremely
 concerning on several levels," Rivera wrote in the Sept. 21 email. "It is also puzzling, and
 appears to be a contradiction of several of GMHC's core principles, and operating policies."
Shaw, a longtime supporter of GMHC, said that he still believes in its mission despite his
 recent troubles.
"GMHC is providing a wealth of services to the community — they’ve been doing a fabulous 
job for 30 years," he said. "But I'm not sure where the people who rely on us will go if we're gone."

June 3, 2012

FB to Receive Award from GLAAD Which Has Lowered Standards For Such Things

Facebook LGBT EffortsFacebook will definitely get a rainbow-colored "like" this evening from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation which gives it a media award for inclusion and equality. The award from the prominent gay rights group comes after Facebook has launched equality initiatives in recent years, such as rallying against bullying and changing options for relationship statuses to include LGBT partners. Facebook has also participated in events such as Spirit Day, where employees turned their profile pictures purple to show support for LGBT youth. The GLAAD event will go down at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis in California and, though it's certain to draw some criticism, seems to be just the latest evidence of shifting attitudes toward the LGBT community.
It looks to this blogger like GLAAD is going to run out of people and orgs. to honor.  In the case of FaceBook they don’t have clean hands on the issue of gay and lesbians. They have allowed racist , homophobic groups, violent groups into the their pages. From skin heads to religious with skinned brains.  It’s been very hard to remove them and now you still have plenty of anti gay groups taking advantage of the freedom that they have received from FB.  On the other hands there are gay bloggers and gay members that have been censored for speaking out about these groups and other problems with FB as it relates to gays and lesbians. There is no organization on the planet that has allowed so much bullying than FB.  
So it begs to ask the question, why the honors? They (FB) have done some to clean up their act but still these groups find solace in FB. FB still does not know who really is a real member or just one of the FBI top Ten list.
Anybody can open an account with what ever name or what ever phony information they decide to put there.  FB does nothing to try to secure its members from those anonymous for which most of the problems of bullying, spamming and malware come to be.
I used to have the greatest respect for GLAAD but now I don’t know what to think. They were supposed to be the watch dogs of places like FB and Tv programs that disparaged gay people unfairly.
I don’t watch Spanish TV but reading bloggers that do watch I hear about last sunday’s Cristina show on a spanish channel,  somebody who is been awarded and recognize by GLAAD, yet IM told that they had a program about a therapy cure for gays yet she had no one capable to rebuttal and refute the guests that were there with that message which already should have been passe. No statements from GLAAD, except that the show has not been renew for next season so they are not going to bother with it.
What’s happened to GLAAD?

March 15, 2012

Glaad is Targeting 36 Commentators That Appear on the Media Talking Trash About LGTB

Jim Daly. (Andy Cross, Denver Post file photo)

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation today targeted 36 conservative commentators it considers anti-gay and inappropriate interview subjects for media unless journalists provide additional "perspective on (their) opinions."
The GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project launched today, the website states, "aims to educate the media about the extreme rhetoric of over three dozen activists who are often given a platform to speak in opposition to LGBT people and the issues that affect their lives.”

Among those GLAAD lists as activists are several affiliated with Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, including President and CEO Jim Daly, education analyst Candi Cushman and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

The GLAAD site said it encourages individuals to alert the alliance "when the anti-LGBT activists appear on local or national news."
"Hate is not an expert opinion," said GLAAD spokesman Herndon Graddick.
The GLAAD site further states: "We will show that the commentators who are most often asked to opine on issues like marriage equality or non-discrimination protections do not accurately represent the 'other side' of those issues. They represent nothing but extreme animus towards the entire LGBT community."
Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger called GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project an attempt "to stifle freedom of speech and freedom of religion by trying to intimidate the media.”

"What Focus on the Family's analysts and experts bring to the national discussion in their media appearances are reasoned, passionate and compassionate insights that help families make sense of, and make their mark in, the world around them," Schneeberger said in an e-mail to the Post. "Our views on issues like same-sex marriage and the sanctity of human life are mainstream Christian positions — and in most cases, majority Christian positions."
Other names on GLAAD's watch list are: Gary Bauer, David Barton, Brian Brown, Matt Barber, Michael Brown, Alan Chambers, Brian Camenker, Chuck Colson, Bill Donohue, Bob Emrich, Lou Engle, Joseph Farah, Bryan Fischer, Maggie Gallagher, Jim Garlow, Robert George, Ken Hutcherson, Harry Jackson, Peter LaBarbera, Scott Lively, Albert Mohler, Kevin McCullough, Jennifer Roback Morse, Penny Nance, Christopher Plante, Glenn Stanton, Mat Staver, Peter Sprigg, Rick Scarborough, Frank Turek, Bob Vander Plaats, Don Wildmon and Tim Wildmon.

Electa Draper: 303-954-1276 

adamfoxie* would like you to save some$$$ on GROUPON

February 21, 2012

First New Gay News Magazine Opens in El Paso } Fuerte Men

Fuerte Men is an on-line magazine to help advocate globally for both Latino and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) communities.  We will focus on lifestyle subject matter and interviews; including: xavier 12
  • Entertainment
  • News
  • Politics
  • Business
  • Education
  • Sports
  • Opinion
  • Travel
  • Sex
  • Fitness and Health
  • Culinary Arts
  • Home Improvement
"Fuerte" is the Spanish word for strong, and we believe it takes a "strong" individual to overcome personal, community, and global adversities. 
At Fuerte Men, we also believe there is a need in this market to approach these specific populations and address their interest. Granted many issues span across all ethnicities and sexualities; however, we at Fuerte Men want to provide an avenue to build upon commonalities and encourage pride.  
Fuerte Men was developed to entertain and inform.  Journalist and field experts from across the U.S. contribute weekly articles.  The site will also feature Fuerte Men models.    
The core audience is gay men; however our next operation launch will encompass a female focus,Fuerte Women.  Fuerte Men merchandise using American Apparel is also available and a mobile application for smart phones and other devices will quickly follow.  Some articles will also be featured in "Spanglish." 
Fuerte Men is a member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association.  Fuerte Men is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and opening an office in Secaucus, New Jersey.

October 9, 2011

US Presbyterian church ordains gay minister

 By The Associated Press  
Photo credit: AP | The Rev. Scott Anderson, facing camera, is greeted following his ordination ceremony in Madison, Wis. on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Anderson became the first openly gay person to be ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the largest Presbyterian denomination. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal/Craig Schreiner)


MADISON, Wis. - (AP) -- The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has officially ordained a 56-year-old Wisconsin man as its first openly gay minister.
Scott Anderson of Madison was ordained Saturday at Covenant Presbyterian Church during a ceremony attended by hundreds of supporters.
He said he never thought the day would come and he told WISC-TV he's humbled and grateful for the opportunity.
Anderson served as a minister in Sacramento, Calif., from 1983 to 1990. He was in the closet, but when a couple threatened to reveal he was gay he came out to his congregation and then resigned.
But the situation changed last year when the Presbyterian national assembly agreed to remove a ban on homosexuals serving as ministers, clearing the way for his ordination.
Supporter Nancy Enderle says the ordination was an "uplifting, joyful gathering."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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September 21, 2011

PayPal already dropped four out of the 10 extremist sites!

Paypal_petition (1)_large
Extremist group Noua Dreaptă, uses PayPal to fundraise for homophobic marches in Romania and Moldova
GOAL: 45,000
37,368 people support this campaign. Help us get to 45,000.

UPDATE 9/21/11: Our pressure is working- PayPal already dropped four out of the 10 extremist sites! Lets keep up the pressure so PayPal knows we won't give up until they drop all 10 sites!

Thanks to PayPal, it's easier than ever to send and receive money across currencies and continents - but it is also PayPal's responsibility to make sure this technology doesn't fall in the wrong hands. Anti-LGBT extremists all over the world are currently using PayPal to fundraise for their dangerous cause.

Not only is it against PayPal's rules to promote promote "hate, violence, [and] racial intolerance," hate groups also damage PayPal's brand and credibility. We ask that PayPal join the fight against online hate and immediately shut down the accounts of anti-LGBT extremist groups using the service. (Posted 9/12/11)READ MORE ▼

Ten Extremist Sites Served by PayPal

Abiding Truth Ministries (International)

Extremist group that makes the outrageous claim that “the Nazi Party was entirely controlled by militaristic homosexuals.”

New Generation Ministries (Latvia/International)

Extremist church based in Latvia with branches in 15 different countries. The church's members have been tied to the homophobic murder of Satendar Singh. In one video, at an anti-LGBT rally, church leader Alexy Ledyaev says, “homosexuals are not happy or spiritual people, because they were molested and abused in their childhoods, but that does not give them the right to abuse and rape others!”

Noua Dreaptă (Romania/Balkans)

Ultra-nationalist group that has been linked to organizing demonstrations and planning violent attacks on Pride celebrations in Romania and Moldova.

Truth in Action Ministries (formally Coral Ridge) (United States)

Extremist church that spreads anti-LGBT lies such as “bible-believing Christians would quickly find themselves unwelcome in Barney Frank’s new pansexual, cross-dressing military.” 

Dove World Outreach Ministries (United States)

Infamous "Burn the Quran" hate church whose pastor preaches that “homosexuality makes God throw up.” 

Julio Severo's Last Days Watchman Site (US/Brazil)

Brazilian anti-LGBT leader and writer/ideologue who fled Brazil after LGBT activists brought a lawsuit against him for incitement of hatred. Julio regularly repeats the lie that 10% of gay people are pedophiles, and goes further to say that most gay men “drink urine, swallow feces and experience rectal traumas on a regular basis”, while they are “drunk, stoned or in orgies.”

Faithful Word Baptist Church (United States)

This church's Pastor Steven L. Anderson has described gays as “sodomites” who “recruit through rape” and “recruit through molestation.”

Family Research Institute (United States)

Known for saying that gay people are predatory and diseased perverts who victimize children.

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (United States)

This group claims homosexuality is a “lethal behavior addiction,” a “dangerous” practice that is “neither normal nor benign.”

American Society for the Defense of Tradition Family and Property (International)

International Catholic extremist group originating in Brazil and with active branches in Argentina and the United States. They are known for organizing homophobic rallies all over the United States and buying advertising asking people to “join the Crusade” of “conscientious resistance” to “the homosexual ‘moral revolution.’”

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