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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, state will not recognize legally performed same-sex marriages

Posted by David Zimmerman March 26, 2014 02:15 PM

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(AP: Rick Snyder)

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has announced that that state will not recognize the nearly 300 same-sex marriages that were performed last Saturday in the state.

“With respect to the marriages, we believe those are legal and valid marriages,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “The stay being issued makes it more complicated. Because of the stay, we won’t recognize the benefits of the marriage until there’s a removal of the stay,” he added.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to provide some clarity, at least from our perspective, relatively soon.”

The marriages were performed after a recent court decision in Michigan legalizing marriage equality. That decision was appealed by Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette. The current stay could remain in place until 2015 when the Supreme Court is expected to hear the case.


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston SPirit's Fab 5

State Rep. Carl Sciortino to lead AIDS Action

Posted by David Zimmerman March 25, 2014 03:32 PM

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts today announced that it named Carl Sciortino as the organization's Executive Director. Sciortino is a state representative from the 34th Middlesex District. He plans to resign from the legislature on April 4.

According to AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts:

“Carl’s entire career has been defined by his work on social justice issues and his advocacy on behalf of those infected, affected, and at risk for HIV,” said Douglas Spencer, chair of the AIDS Action Board of Directors. “Even with health reform and better access to care, there is still much to do to prevent the spread of HIV and ensure access to care and treatment for all of those who are infected. Carl will lead us into a new era in which we can finally win the battle against HIV and look forward to an AIDS-free generation.”

During nine years in office, Sciortino distinguished himself as an effective and reliable proponent of policy changes, as well as allocation of resources, to aid those living with, and vulnerable to, HIV infection. In 2012, he supported passage of a law resulting in expanded HIV testing, and he has consistently sponsored budget amendments seeking increases in funding for HIV outreach, prevention, and education. He has championed social justice issues throughout his career including the right of same-sex couples to marry; banning discrimination against transgender people; expanding access to health care; and increasing resources for anti-poverty programs.

“As a gay man living with HIV, I am honored to lead one of the country’s oldest and most effective organizations in the battle against this disease which has raged on over 30 years,” said Sciortino. “My goal for AIDS Action in the years ahead is simple: continue the work that has resulted in lowering the rate of new HIV diagnoses in Massachusetts; provide the multitude of services needed to keep those living with HIV/AIDS connected with health care providers; and continue the public conversation about HIV needed to reduce the stigma that is still so closely associated with this disease.”

Sciortino will be the first person living with HIV to lead AIDS Action since its founding in 1982. The agency has been led since 2003 by Rebecca Haag. Under Haag’s leadership, AIDS Action merged with two smaller organizations in 2010 and 2011, and last year announced a new strategic partnership with Fenway Health.

This new model is one of the first of its kind in the nation and combines Fenway’s nationally recognized expertise in HIV care and treatment with AIDS Action’s community-based services. This is consistent with the movement in health care reform to provide a medical home model that addresses the comprehensive needs of patients to ensure better health care outcomes and lower health care costs.

“I can think of no one better than Carl to lead AIDS Action in the years to come and to work closely with Fenway Health to maximize our partnership on behalf of those we serve,” Haag said. “Carl has been an invaluable legislative and advocacy partner over the last decade. He is uniquely positioned to advance the state and national conversation around treatment and care of those living with chronic conditions, and the need for health care reform to pay for the vital support services necessary to keep treatment costs sustainable.”

Sciortino was first elected to office in 2004. In 2011, he was named Legislator of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers. In 2010, the Massachusetts School Psychologists Association named him Legislator of the Year. He is a founding member of the Young Elected Officials Network. Prior to being elected to the state legislature, he worked as a research manager for Fenway Health. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University. He lives in Medford with his husband.

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

BC High students produce video supporting LGBT student-athletes

Posted by David Zimmerman March 25, 2014 08:33 AM

The Eagles of Boston College High School have become the first Catholic Conference All Boys high school to join the You Can Play Project. You Can Play promotes inclusion and diversity for all athletes, coaches and fans.

According to BC High Coach Michael Brennan, "Being a Jesuit high school, we strive to promote justice in all areas of life and once we heard Patrick Burke (founder of You Can Play) speak at our school, we knew we had to make a video. Patrick was invited to speak with our students by guidance counselor Katie Griswold and the Students for Social Respect student group. BC High wants to show that in our sports program, it doesn’t matter who you are. If you know how to be a good teammate and you can play, you to can play for BC High."

"Our experience working with BC High has been amazing. Their support for LGBT issues has been exceptional. From the administration, to the teachers, to the students, it has been heartwarming to see full buy in from the community. Their support is just another example of the unmatched work YCP is doing with religious academic institutions to ensure LGBT inclusion,” said Burke.

"I issued BC High two challenges - the first was to eliminate anti-gay language from their community. The second was to try to beat my alma mater, Xaverian, to become the first member of the Catholic Conference to create a YCP video. In a rare upset, BC High did beat Xaverian this time. Their video is wonderful. It is great to see that BC High took our message for LGBT inclusion and extended it to the other aspects of diversity their students see on a daily basis. It shows a true understanding of our underlying mission. We hope that the LGBT administrators, teachers, and students of BC High feel a little more included today."

All students who appear in the video are athletes and members of the class of 2014 at Boston College High School. They are: Christopher Solis (football), Stephen DeForge (Hockey, captain), Stephen DiCienzo (football, captain), Tom Moynahan (swimming and diving), John Carroll (lacrosse, captain), William Biggs (track, captain) Football, Christopher La Liberte (hockey, captain), Igor Carvalho (volleyball), Shaun Griswold, (swimming and diving),, Andrew Jaehnig (baseball), Sean Webster (baseball), Alexander Loughnane (basketball, captain), Michelle Laferriere (wresting, captain, football, track), and Jordan Samuels (track,captain).

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Obama appoints Bostonian as Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy

Posted by Jim Lopata March 24, 2014 07:08 PM
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Douglas Brooks as photographed for a profile on him in Boston Spirit magazine in 2010. (photo: Tony Scarpetta for Boston Spirit)

Local LGBT player Douglas Brooks is moving from Dorchester to Washington, D.C.

The White House announced today that the Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at Boston-based health and human service agency JRI, has been appointed to become the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy.

“Douglas’s policy expertise combined with his extensive experience working in the community makes him uniquely suited to the task of helping to achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation, which is within our reach,” President Obama said. “I look forward to having him lead our efforts from the White House.”

The Bostonian, who grew up in Macon, Georgia, was profiled in Boston Spirit magazine in the May/June issue of 2012.

In the interview, he talked about being appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS that year, saying, “In many ways it is the highest honor I’ve received and also deeply humbling. There are many people out there as qualified and as dedicated as I am to eradicating HIV/AIDS. It’s a pretty amazing thing to be at the White House swearing to work on a project that is so important to me.”

And now, he's on to something even bigger. He'll be missed by many in Beantown.

Here's from the press release:

FULL ENTRY

Boston-based Nat'l LGBT Health Center hosts special webinar on inclusive health care

Posted by Jim Lopata March 24, 2014 08:53 AM

The National LGBT Health Education Center at the Fenway Institute will host a free educational webinar, “Creating Inclusive Health Care Environments for LGBT Patients and Staff,” on Wednesday, March 26 from 2–3p.m. ET.

The webinar will be led by Heidi Holland, M.Ed., program manager at the National LGBT Health Education Center. It is aimed at health care administrators, providers, and all who work in health care settings, students, and others interested in improving health outcomes for members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.

“LGBT people, like all population groups, want to receive health care in environments in which they feel welcome, respected, and understood,” said Holland. “Unfortunately, because of pervasive bias and misunderstanding, LGBT people have historically had the opposite experience, and sometimes, even well-intentioned medical personnel can create mistrust with inappropriate or uninformed questions. This webinar offers critical information and practical tools so that leadership, administration, care providers and support staff can create a setting where LGBT people feel comfortable enough to focus on achieving and maintaining good health, which is exactly where their focus should be at the doctor’s office.”

The webinar will help participants to:

- Define key terminology, health disparities, and demographics of the LGBT population.
- Discuss health disparities and other forms of discrimination impacting LGBT people.
- Describe strategies and model policies for creating an inclusive environment for LGBT patients and employees in health centers and other health care settings.

Participants can register for the webinar here: https://fenwaylgbthealtheducation.webex.com.


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5

One Million Moms targets Honey Maid graham crackers for gay dad commercials

Posted by Jim Lopata March 21, 2014 09:35 AM

Honey Maid graham crackers is under attack from One Million Moms for a commercial that features two gay dads.

"Nabisco should be ashamed of themselves for their latest Honey Maid and Teddy Graham cracker commercial where they attempt to normalize sin," said One Millions Moms on its website. "Right away it shows two men with a baby, followed by other families, and ends with different families pictured including the one with two dads. This commercial not only promotes homosexuality, but then calls the scene in the advertisement wholesome. The ad states, 'Everyday wholesome snacks for every wholesome family. This is wholesome.'"

One Million Moms is asking its members to take action by contacting Honey Maid and Nabisco and tell them "to pull this liberal commercial immediately and remain neutral in the culture war."

Worcester 'girl' on RuPaul's Drag Race

Posted by Jim Lopata March 20, 2014 08:58 AM
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Joslyn Fox (photo: RuPaul's Drag Race)

Hometown Honey on RuPaul’s Drag Race

Worcester-based queen Joslyn Fox, a.k.a. DJ Patrick Allen, makes a run for the tiara

Note: Story originally appeared in Boston Spirit magazine's April/May 2014 issue.

Update: Joslyn Fox is still in the running for the big prize, having survived through 'Episode 4: Shade: The Rusical' this week. She'll be strutting her stuff again when 'Episode 5: Snatch Game' airs on March 24.

by Scott Kearnan

Let the games begin.

RuPaul’s Drag Race just revved up its sixth season. And among the competing queens introduced on the Monday, February 24 premiere was a local lovely: Joslyn Fox, a Worcester, Massachusetts-based performer whose sassy, ultra-femme style recalls the glittery glory days of MTV-ready pop princesses. But you might know him by his other stage name, DJ Patrick Allen, a familiar face (makeup off, this time) spinning at New England’s gay nightspots and Pride events. We’ll be rooting for this hometown honey.

Of course, only time will tell if Fox has what it takes to seize the crown, and this queen can’t drop any spoilers. But she did spill the t to Spirit about her early inspirations, current competition, and biggest fan. Spoiler: it’s one awesome, doting dad.

[Spirit] How did you discover drag?

FULL ENTRY

Hasbro hit with LGBT discrimination law suit

Posted by Jim Lopata March 19, 2014 10:41 AM

Rhode Island-based toymaker Hasbro is facing a lawsuit from a former employee who claims the company dismissed her unfairly because of her activism on behalf of gender and sexual orientation issues, according to the Providence Journal.

"JoAnna Lapati, a lesbian, alleges that her open commitment to the cause of women's rights, her gender, and her sexual orientation led Hasbro to falsely accuse her of wrongdoing and subsequently firing her last January," says the article. "Lapati was a supervisor in Hasbro's model artist division, which makes prototypes, at the time of her termination."

Hasbro does not have a strong track record on LGBT concerns, according to the Human Rights 2014 Campaign Corporate Equality Index, which assigns the company 25 out of a possible 100 points.

More on the case at www.providencejournal.com.

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5

Catholic League president calls for boycott of Guinness, Heineken, and Sam Adams

Posted by David Zimmerman March 19, 2014 09:45 AM

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(Catholic League)

Late last week Boston Beer Company, brewer of Sam Adams, announced that they would end their sponsorship of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade due to the fact that parade organizers would not allow LGBT veterans to march, openly, in the parade.

Shortly after this decision both Heineken and Guinness announced that they would not take part in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. While the moves were applauded by LGBT groups, and supporters of the LGBT community, there are others who are not very happy with the decisions. One of those groups is the Catholic League.

Catholic League president Bill Donahue has called for a boycott of all three beers.

None of these companies believe in diversity. No gay person has ever been barred from marching in any St. Patrick’s Day parade, anymore than the parade bans pro-life Catholics or vegetarian Catholics; they simply cannot march under their own banner. The parade has one cause: honoring St. Patrick. Those who disagree do not have to march—that’s what diversity is all about.

The parade is quintessentially Catholic, beginning with a Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is this Catholic element that angers those who are engaged in a bullying campaign against the St. Patrick’s Day parades. The bullies also have nothing but contempt for the constitutional rights of Irish Catholics.

In response to Donahue’s statement, Guinness released a statement.

The statement reads:

Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all. We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year’s parade. As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation. We will continue to work with community leaders to ensure that future parades have an inclusionary policy.

Late last week the Boston Beer Company stated:

We have been participating in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade for nearly a decade and have also supported the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast year after year. We’ve done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country.

We were hopeful that both sides of this issue would be able to come to an agreement that would allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in the parade. But given the current status of the negotiations, we realize this may not be possible.

Concluded Donahue “I have had my last Guinness and Sam Adams. Heineken was always slop, so there is no sacrifice there. I urge Catholics, and all those who believe in tolerance, diversity, and the First Amendment, to join with me in boycotting these brews.”


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5

Boston Pride announces new president

Posted by Jim Lopata March 17, 2014 08:02 PM

Sylvain Bruni web.jpeg


Sylvain Bruni

Linda DeMarco, longtime president of Boston Pride, is stepping down and into the group's Vice President position, according to a press release from Boston Pride today.

Sylvain Bruni, who has served in various capacities with Boston Pride since 2004, has become the organization's new president.

Here's from the press release:

Boston Pride Names Sylvain Bruni as New President Staci Stift named as newest Boston Pride Board Member Open House Scheduled for Thursday, March 20

Boston, MA - (March 17, 2013) – Boston Pride's Board of Directors has named Sylvain Bruni as the organization's new President. Bruni and other members of Boston Pride's board will host an Open House at O'Neill and Associates, 31 New Chardon Street, Boston, on Thursday, March 20th at 6 PM to discuss the upcoming Pride Week and to announce the 2014 Boston Pride theme. In addition, the board will announce the winners of the 2013 Boston Pride Parade.

"Our Board could not have chosen anyone more qualified than Sylvain Bruni to be named President of Boston Pride," said Linda DeMarco, former President and current Vice-President of Boston Pride. "Sylvain has been at my right hand in all things Boston Pride since I can remember. I truly believe without a doubt that Sylvain has what it takes to move this organization forward."

Sylvain Bruni is a systems engineer at Aptima, Inc. and has been involved with Boston Pride since 2004. Starting as a volunteer, he took on more responsibility and ultimately joined Boston Pride's Board of Directors in November of 2007. Since then he has overseen multiple events and has supervised the organization's information technology, security and communication divisions. Sylvain was co-chair of the 2012 Annual General Meeting / Annual World Conference of InterPride (the International Association of Pride Organizers), which was held in Boston. Currently, he serves as co-chair of InterPride's communications committee and is a member of MIT's LGBT alumni group, Fenway Health's Young Leaders Council, HRC Partners and the French American Chamber of Commerce in New England's Young Professionals Committee. He holds a Masters of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Supelec.

Additionally, Staci Stift has been named to the Boston Pride Board of Directors. Staci has been involved with Pride organizations for over 15 years and is the immediate Past President of Pride St. Louis, Inc. As President, Staci led the Board in making large strides including larger sponsorship donations. Staci is holds a Bachelor of Business degree from Belmont University. She comes to Boston Pride with 20 years of marketing, business and fundraising experience.

"After meeting and working with Staci for InterPride, we knew that she would be a great addition to our Board," said Sylvain Bruni, Boston Pride President. "Her skills in fundraising and large-event operations will be an asset to our organization and we are excited to welcome her to the team and to show her what Boston Pride is all about."

The remaining members of the Boston Pride Board of Directors include Malcolm Carey, Marco Torres and Rob Zuromski.

Boston Pride Week 2014 will be held from June 6 through June 15. More information and details for Boston Pride's 2014 Pride Week can be found at www.bostonpride.org.

Sam Adams Beer pulls out of South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade

Posted by David Zimmerman March 14, 2014 09:22 AM

In the wake of a storm of publicity over the past day, Boston Beer Company - which manufactures Sam Adams - has decided not to participate in the upcoming South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Yesterday South End restaurant Club Cafe announced that it would no longer serve Sam Adams due to the brewer's association with the parade. In an open letter on its facebook page Club Cafe stated that they were "disappointed that Sam Adams does not understand that the organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Parade continue to demonstrate that they do not respect LGBT Irish Americans by excluding LGBT members of this community from openly marching in the St.Patrick's Day Parade."

A post on this blog about the Club Cafe decision quickly gathered more than 400 comments and was shared by more than 700 facebook users.

This morning Sam Adams released a statement that said, in part "We share these sentiments with Mayor Walsh, Congressman Lynch and others and therefore we will not participate in this year’s parade."

Here is the entire statement:


"We have been participating in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade for nearly a decade and have also supported the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast year after year. We’ve done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country.

We were hopeful that both sides of this issue would be able to come to an agreement that would allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in the parade. But given the current status of the negotiations, we realize this may not be possible.

We share these sentiments with Mayor Walsh, Congressman Lynch and others and therefore we will not participate in this year’s parade. We will continue to support Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and her St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. We wish her all the best in her historic stewardship of this tradition."

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Boston restaurant drops Sam Adams beer over St. Patrick's Day Parade

Posted by David Zimmerman March 13, 2014 03:05 PM


Club Cafe, a South End restaurant fixture for more than 30 years and popular night spot for the city's LGBT community has posted an open letter on its facebook page stating that it will no longer carry Sam Adams beer "until such time as either the Parade organizers change their position, or Sam Adams removes its support of the St. Patrick Day Parade."

The letter states, in part, "It is hard to understand how a community like Boston, where Gay members of the Police force, military and others have, and continue to, put there lives on the line for ALL BOSTONIAN's, that organizers of The St.Patrick's Day Parade feel it is just to discriminate against us as a community," and is signed by longtime owner Frank Ribaudo as well as longtime General Manager Jim Morgrage.

See the entire letter below:

Club Cafe is very disappointed that Sam Adams does not understand that the organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Parade continue to demonstrate that they do not respect LGBT Irish Americans by excluding LGBT members of this community from openly marching in the St.Patrick's Day Parade.

It is hard to understand how a community like Boston, where Gay members of the Police force, military and others have, and continue to, put there lives on the line for ALL BOSTONIAN's, that organizers of The St.Patrick's Day Parade feel it is just to discriminate against us as a community, and that Sam Adams does not take seriously the impact that their support of bigotry will have on their relationship to the LGBT community and their business.

Therefore Club Cafe will no longer sell Sam Adams until such time as either the Parade organizers change their position, or Sam Adams removes its support of the St. Patrick Day Parade.

Frank Ribaudo, Jim Morgrage, and Club Cafe


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

LGBT vets respond to St. Patrick's Day Parade organizers

Posted by Jim Lopata March 12, 2014 01:29 PM

UPDATE: MassEquality has given a statement to Boston Spirit magazine regarding the South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade this coming weekend;

The meeting in Mayor Walsh’s office was the only and last direct communication that MassEquality has had with the Allied War Veterans Council about MassEquality's application to march in the 2014 South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade. Any representations that a deal had been reached before that in-person meeting on March 2, or that talks have continued since, involve conversations that MassEquality is not a party to.

Four days out from the event, it is clear that the parade remains in 2014 every bit as exclusionary as it has been for the past 20 years. For that reason, regretfully, MassEquality will not be marching.


From earlier today;

A group of Boston-area LGBT veterans responded to the controversy surrounding the ability for LGBT people to march in Boston's popular St. Patrick's Day Parade. They wrote an open letter to the Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston.

Here's from their press release:

The letter below was sent to the Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston, organizers of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, to be held March 16, 2014:

We, the undersigned, are some of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans associated with MassEquality who would have marched in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade had parade organizers allowed us to march openly.

We write first and foremost, to reject allegations made by the Allied War Veterans Council that we do not exist. We are well known in our Massachusetts communities. We are active duty, reserve and National Guard veterans, disabled American veterans, American Legion Post past commanders, past district officers, town and city officials, family members, friends, sons and daughters, co-workers and neighbors. We have served our country with distinction defending our Constitution in our United States military service uniforms. We would be proud and honored to stand beside our fellow veterans, march and celebrate the service and sacrifice of all of our veteran brothers and sisters in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

In 2010, the United States Congress repealed the discriminatory 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy, finally allowing lesbian, gay and bisexual service members to serve this country openly and with pride. We sought only to march with integrity behind the colors that represent our multi-faceted identities as veterans, LGBT people and, for some of us, as Irish-Americans. But we fought too long and too hard to be able to serve our country openly to retreat back into the closet in order to march in a parade. As we have stood shoulder to shoulder, in war and in peace, we would stand together again marching as a symbol of the freedom that we offered our lives for, a freedom for all people, of all colors, creeds, origins, sexual orientations and gender identities. A legion of people that served and who ask nothing more than to stand beside our brothers and sisters, to march openly and proudly in honor and in duty in the uniform that represents the freedom afforded all citizens of the United States.

We are quite disappointed that the Allied War Veterans Council will not let us fly our colors as we march. More importantly, however, we respectfully request that they cease to allege that we do not exist, that we are “supposed” veterans and that we never intended to march.

Sincerely,


John Affuso, 1st Lieutenant, United States Army Reserve/Army National Guard
Robert H. Cory III, Master Sergeant, United States Air Force/Air National Guard
Adam Harmon, Captain, United States Army
Travis Hengen, Chief Warrant Officer 2, United States Army
John F. Kelly, Airman 2nd Class, United States Air Force
Neil MacInnes-Barker, Sergeant Commander, United States Air Force
Emily Miller, Captain, United States Army
Reverend Father Alex Oneto, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class, United States Navy Reserve Melissa Ann Seidenberg, Culinary Specialist SA, United States Navy
Hope Watt-Bucci, 1st Lieutenant, United States Army
Peter K. Bennett Jr., Captain, United States Army
Daniel Butler, Radioman-Petty Officer 1st Class (E6), United States Navy


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Michele Bachmann: Gay community has 'bullied the American people'

Posted by David Zimmerman March 11, 2014 10:00 AM

Michele Bachmann, the Republican Representative from Minnesota, while speaking on a radio program at last week's Conservative Political Action Conference, said the gay community has “bullied the American people” and “intimidated politicians.”

Bachman was primarily speaking about SB 1062, the "religious freedom restoration act," which was vetoed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. “There’s nothing about gays in there, but the gay community decided to make this their measure,” Bachmann said. “And the thing that I think is getting a little tiresome is the gay community have so bullied the American people and they have so intimidated politicians that politicians fear them and they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere. Well, not with the Constitution you don’t.”

Previously Bachmann said she was “sorry” that Brewer had vetoed the bill stating, “Just like we need to observe tolerance for the gay and lesbian community, we need to have tolerance for the community of people who hold sincerely held religious beliefs."

She also had some harsh words for President Obama during the interview saying, "He's a lawless president who's violating the Constitution with every executive order."

You can hear the entire interview here.

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Lesbian couple files suit against Vermont town, cites discrimination, intimidation

Posted by David Zimmerman March 10, 2014 09:48 AM

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(WPTZ -TV)

Barbara Ernst and Barbara Supeno have been partners for 21 years. In 2004 the pair moved to Addison, Vermont on the banks of Lake Champlain. While known as a state with a liberal and welcoming reputation, that is not the Vermont experienced by “the Barbaras”.

Ernst and Supeno have filed a lawsuit against the town of Addison, the zoning director in the town, and several of their neighbors. According to their attorney, David Bond, the couple is suing for alledged discrimination and intimidation. Bond claims that the couple has been harassed since they first moved into Addison 20 years ago.

“It's entirely based on their sexual orientation,” Bond said. “Neighbors insulted them, made obscene gestures to them. There were dead animals left on their property.”
Among the accusations, Bond says that his client’s property has been discussed at several zoning meetings yet his clients were never notified. In addition the complaint states that the couple has filed several grievances with the town regarding issues with their neighbors as well as zoning issues. Those complaints, according to the Bond, have all been ignored.

Then there is ‘the letter’. In 2011 a letter surfaced around the town claiming that Ernst and Supeno were scam artists. From the letter, “It has been over 6 years that the Subject two women have been passing themselves off as involved citizens and very concerns about the town direction and in particular with Zoning, the school and the environment. Beware: This is a totally phony perception that they have fabricated is a front to cover their devious and vicious behavior.”

Jeff Kaufmann, head of the local zoning committee, and a Baptist minister, is named in the suit, as is Kaufmann’s wife and two former neighbors of Ernst and Supeno.

The six counts named in the complaint are defamation, false light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with prospective business relations, sexual orientation discrimination, common law retaliation and violations of common benefits clause.


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Support for marriage equality at an all time high according to ABC News/Washington Post poll

Posted by David Zimmerman March 9, 2014 10:48 AM

A recent poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post shows that support among Americans for marriage equality is at an all time high. The poll also found that the majority of respondents also oppose the ‘right’ to refuse business to someone on the basis of religious freedom (similar to the recent Senate Bill 1062 which was vetoed in Arizona).

According to the survey 59 percent of those who responded support marriage equality, up from just 32 percent in 2004. 34 percent opposed marriage equality, this number represents a 13 percent decrease since 2012.

The poll also found that 81 percent of respondents oppose allowing businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians; 65 percent say so even if business owners cite there religious beliefs

Regarding adoption and on and parenting, 61 percent of respondents said gay couples should be allowed to adopt, and 78 percent said gays “can be as good parents as straight people.”

Jason Collins returns to Boston for the first time, meets the press

Posted by David Zimmerman March 7, 2014 11:52 AM

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(NBA)

Jason Collins is a 13 year veteran of the NBA and a former member of the Boston Celtics. He is also the first openly gay player in a major North American sports league. Collins met with the press yesterday morning prior to his game last night (with the Brooklyn Nets) versus the Celtics

Jason, at the time you were playing for the Celtics Boston Spirit magazine published an interview that we conducted with Doc Rivers. In the interview Doc discussed the topic of gay players in the NBA and in professional sports in general. Did you see the article and, if so, what was your reaction?

Yes, I did see the article. It was a great article. It just showed the character of Doc Rivers. He mentioned that it (a player coming out) would be a story, but then over time the focus would go back to being on the basketball which is what we’re starting to see now.

Did you ever speak to John Amaechi (former NBA player who came out after his career ended) prior to your announcement?

I spoke to John Amaechi at the end of the (2012-2013) regular season before I came out. He is like a mentor because he has been down this road and I wanted to reach out to him, my brother was also his teammate in Utah. I was able to reach out to him, ask him questions about his journey and learn from that.

How has this (press conferences) changed over the past few weeks now that you have conducted so many. Are you hearing the same questions over and over again?

Pretty much the same questions, every now then I will get a political question. Mainly it’s the size (of the group of reporters) that has changed. Now it’s 10 (reporters) when this all started it was probably 40, so size is going down but regardless, you guys have a job to do in the media and as a player I try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

Last year (with the Celtics) obviously you were dealing with this decision but your teammates had no idea that it was happening, what was that like?

Most of my friends and family knew (last season). That’s just a credit to the people I have in my life that I could share everything with them and it did not become public. A lot of people in my life were very protective of me and, at the same time, I am glad I had that outlet in my life and I was able to be myself with my friends and family and I decided last year that I was ready to be myself with everybody else.

Did you ever consider coming out when you were here (with the Celtics)?

No, not when I was with the Celtics. I picked my jersey number for that reason (Collins wears number 98 in honor of Matthew Shepard, a gay man who was killed in 1998 in a hate crime), so that every time I put the jersey on I would always be reminded and it would be a tribute to myself and the LGBT community…a silent tribute.

You have mentioned that you have received a lot of support since your announcement. Without necessarily naming names, have you heard anything on the court or from any other players that has not been as supportive?

No, it’s been 100% supportive. Everyone’s been great. It’s kind of funny now, this is my thirteenth year and when I come out for warm-ups I am friends with more of the assistant coaches than I am with the players because I have been playing so long.

Has that been a surprise to you?

I think the NBA as a whole, it’s a brotherhood, like a family. We’re all very supportive of each other.

It looks like we might have an openly gay football player in the NFL this year, do you think baseball and hockey are far behind?

I hope that all players feel comfortable to be there true self.


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5

Travel alert issued for LGBT visitors to Mississippi

Posted by Jim Lopata March 6, 2014 02:39 PM

GetEQUAL, a national grassroots social justice organization advocating for LGBT concerns, issued a travel alert for LGBT visitors to the State of Mississippi in response to the possible passage of legislation that potentially pits gay rights against religious freedoms.

Mississippi Senate Bill 2681, called the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed the state Senate unanimously on January 31 and is moving through the state's House.

The bill is similar to one in Arizona that was recently vetoed by the governor there and made national headlines, according to an article from the Associated Press on GulfLive.com

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT advocacy organization is asking that the Mississippi bill be revised to ensure that discrimination against LGBT is not allowed under the law.

"While we believe that existing statutes and case law are sufficient to address the protection of religious freedom, if the legislature moves forward on this bill, they have a simple solution for their actions to match their rhetoric," Human Rights Campaign's state legislative director, Sarah Warbelow, said in a news release Wednesday. "To ensure LGBT people are not targeted for discrimination, we call on legislators to adopt language that explicitly preserves civil rights protections in any effort to protect religious freedom."

For its part, GetEQUAL, went further in its criticism of the bill, saying that LGBT visitors to the state could be in danger of experiencing discrimination.

"The State of Mississippi does not currently protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender ('LGBT') people from being legally ejected from their hotel rooms or other places of public accommodation, and is on the cusp of passing legislation that would give business owners even more latitude to legally discriminate against minority groups," according to a press release from the group.

The group has advised the following for LGBT travelers:

Those who are required to travel to Mississippi are encouraged to take the following precautions:

- Avoid traveling alone in the state.

- Only book travel at hotels which have policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

- Visit only known LGBT-friendly establishments, including restaurants, bars and venues.

- Be aware of your surroundings and adopt other appropriate safety measures to protect yourself while traveling.

GetEQUAL Mississippi will continue to monitor this situation and update travelers as needed.

Transgender inmate Michelle Kosilek speaks out in exclusive interview

Posted by David Zimmerman March 6, 2014 09:23 AM

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Recently Boston Spirit magazine conducted an exclusive, 45 minute, interview with transgender inmate Michelle Kosilek. Kosilek, a prisoner at MCI Norfolk, is best known for her successful law suit against the Massachusetts Department of Corrections in which she argued that the DOC is required, by law, to pay for her gender reassignment surgery. Kosilek prevailed in the case and in several subsequent appeals, the state has filed another appeal and it will be heard shortly.

This is the first time that Kosilek has talked to a local media outlet.

Some highlights from the article include her claim that, shortly after her arrest in 1990, while an inmate at the Bristol County Correctional Facility, she offered to self pay for her surgery. Said Kosilek;

When I was a prisoner in the Bristol county jail trying to get this treatment I had $27,000 dollars in my prison account, because I had a private disability insurance plan from my employer that paid me for psychiatric disability. I had two suicide attempts, so I had a valid psychiatric disability. So my insurance company paid me. So I had all this money in my jail account and I was able to pay for my own surgery. I had contacted a surgeon, and he had agreed to come here and do the surgery.

At that time, according to Kosilek, the surgery would have cost $4,500, but the state declined her offer to self-pay.

She also addresses the reaction that her case has received from some politicians in the state, most notably Governor Patrick and Senator Warren, who have both said that they are against the idea of the state having to pay for this surgery. On Senator Warren, who has stated that she “[doesn’t] think it’s a good use of taxpayer dollars.”

I would say that it was disheartening to me — and that is the kindest word I can think of — that a sitting United States Senator could be so misinformed about the right to prison medical care as established by the Supreme Court decades ago. It really is, it’s disheartening to me. I would hope that our elected officials would be more informed about civil rights in regards to prisoners. This is the woman who has stood up in strong support of LGBT rights for those in the community. I don’t understand why my rights should be diminished by the existence of the wall that surrounds me, because of the life that I took. My humanity and my right to dignity is repeatedly established by Supreme Court rulings. You don’t lose your right to humanity and dignity when you go to prison. We don’t go to prison FOR punishment. We come to prison AS punishment. This is what a lot of people, including our elected officials, don’t understand.

Within the LGBT community Kosilek has always been a controversial figure, more specifically within the transgender community. Many in the transgender community have questioned why a person currently serving a life sentence for murder would have access to gender reassignment surgery while others, who have not committed a crime, cannot get the surgery (due to costs and lack of insurance coverage). Kosilek addressed this issue as well.

I would tell them (member of the transgender community) that I came to prison for taking a life in a tragically accidental situation and that, regardless of that, I am nonetheless a human being deserving of dignity and that medical care is one of the things that prisons are required to provide. That it breaks my heart to know that there are thousands of women and trans men like me out there who are unable to afford this surgery at this point in their life and that this makes them perhaps have very despair-filled days, some of whom might be so filled with despair that they might even be depressed and on anti-depressants. I understand this. I personally experienced depression for a long time. I tried to take my own life twice. And I tried to self-castrate in a moment of despair. But the fact that I am a prisoner should have nothing to do with anyone’s belief in my right to dignity. The courts have stated that we have a right to dignity. It’s just a common human right.

Kosilek concludes the interview with a message for the public,

I would just like to say in closing that people need to understand that I — like anybody — I am a work in progress. I have made a lot of mistakes, and I will probably continue to make a lot of mistakes. Though none of them will be as damaging to others, I’m sure, as those I have made in the past — where I was running from myself because others were willing to beat me to convince me that I shouldn’t be myself. I’m not a bad person, regardless of how the D.O.C. might instigate the media, conflating my crime with my status as a transgender woman.

The FULL interview, as well as Kosilek’s open letter to the LGBT community are both available on Boston Spirit magazine’s website.

MassEquality issues statement regarding St. Patrick's Day Parade rejection

Posted by David Zimmerman March 5, 2014 10:19 AM

Kara Coredini, Executive Director of MassEquality, has issued a statement regarding the ongoing saga between the LGBT non-profit and the organizers of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Coredini says that MassEquality is “extremely disappointed” with the parade organizers and references the “abrupt and hostile tone of the Parade organizers’ rejection (of MassEquality’s application to march without conditions).”

Here is the full statement from MassEquality:

We are extremely disappointed with the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council’s decision yesterday to continue their long history of banning LGBT people from marching openly in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We were under the impression that negotiations were positive and ongoing, and we were surprised by the abrupt and hostile tone of the Parade organizers’ rejection.

We know from experience that change comes through conversation and dialogue. We were encouraged to have an historic opportunity to meet face-to-face with Parade organizers to discuss a contingent involving LGBT veterans, and we did so with open hearts and open minds. We regret that the Parade organizers shut down conversation before an agreement could be finalized. MassEquality represents LGBT people across the lifespan. We were proud to work with a group of LGBT veterans to end the Department of Defense’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and those same veterans would have been proud to represent the end of the Parade’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Throughout this process, we have heard from many people with diverse perspectives about this Parade. Stories from those who marched openly and at great personal risk in this very Parade decades ago touched us deeply. LGBT people should never have to silence who they are to be safe, to be equal, or to celebrate other parts of their identities.

MassEquality is marching toward justice, and we remain committed to full equality and inclusion for everyone in our LGBT communities. We are grateful to all of the elected leaders who declined to march in the Parade because of its history of exclusion. And we are grateful to Mayor Walsh for taking that leadership one step further by pushing for dialogue and reaching toward resolution.

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Immaculate Heart of Mary School pulls out of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Posted by David Zimmerman March 5, 2014 09:27 AM

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(IHM School)

The historic South Boston Saint Patrick's Day Parade will go on as planned once again this year, but without a blessing from Saint Patrick, himself. After more than 20 years, IHM School's iconic float bearing the majestic Saint and a bevy of irish children and angels (IHM students) will not be seen waving and smiling on West Broadway this year due to the controversial presence of a gay activist group which will be marching.

So says the website introduction to yesterday’s press release from the Immaculate Heart of Mary School, based in Still River, MA.

The release, which includes several quotes from the school’s principle Br. Thomas Dalton, states in part that the IHM School decided to pull out of the parade after “learning that a homosexual advocacy group will be allowed to march in this year’s parade.” (Editor’s note: as of the posting of this column no LGBT groups have been allowed to march in this year’s parade. A second application submitted by MassEquality has been rejected by parade organizers)

“We must stand firm with the Church which states in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, that ‘homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity’ and ‘are intrinsically disordered…Under no circumstances can they be approved.’(#2357)” said Br. Dalton in the release.

Newly elected Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has tried, so far unsuccessfully, to negotiate a solution which would allow LGBT groups to march in the parade. A recent attempt failed when the parade organizers stipulated that MassEquality could march, but could not wear and clothing or hold any signs that had the word “gay” or mentioned sexual orientation.

According to reports, negotiations are ongoing.

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5

LGBT group MassEquality responds to the invitation to march in South Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade

Posted by David Zimmerman March 1, 2014 03:27 PM

Over the past couple of days Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has been working with the organizers of the South Boston St Patrick’s Day Parade in an effort to finally end the stalemate between the parade organizers and the LGBT community.

It has been a longstanding tradition that LGBT groups were not welcome to march in the parade. As a result former Mayor Menino did not march in the parade and Mayor Walsh has stated that he would not march either if the anti-LGBT stance remained in place.

The Boston Globe reported earlier today that Mayor Walsh and parade organizers have negotiated a deal that would allow for LGBT advocacy group MassEquality to march in the parade, however there are conditions attached. Marchers from the group would not be permitted to wear T-shirts or hold signs that include the word gay or refer to sexual orientation.

From the Boston Globe article:

“They can march under the MassEquality banner,” Tim Duross, one of the parade coordinators, said Friday. “We’d be happy to have them here. And we’d be proud to have them here. Everybody knows who MassEquality is.

“We said, ‘You’re a great organization, you do wonderful things for people, and therefore we’d be happy to have you in our parade. But we’d rather you just wish everybody a happy St. Patrick’s Day and left it with that.’ ”

Reaction to the news via comments on Boston Spirit magazine’s facebook page was overwhelming negative. One comment called for a boycott of MassEquality if the group accepted the conditional invitation, others compared the situation to the recent Olympic Games in Sochi and the U.S. military’s recently overturned Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.


Late this afternoon (Saturday) MassEquality issued a statement regarding the invitation to march as well as the conditions attached to the invitation.


The South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade has a long history of banning LGBT people from freely expressing themselves. This morning, the Boston Globe reported that Parade organizers had issued an invitation for MassEquality to march in the Parade. MassEquality has not yet had any direct discussion with Parade organizers and learned about this invitation through the Boston Globe. Any reports that a deal has been reached are incorrect.

The fact that Parade organizers are willing to have a conversation with MassEquality is an important part of ongoing public dialogue about LGBT people and the Parade. But at this point, it’s still just a conversation. MassEquality has not accepted any invitation to march, and will only consider accepting an invitation that allows LGBT people to march openly.

We have heard from LGBT people who are Irish, who are veterans, and many others who would like to march in the Parade and to be able to express all of who they are. LGBT people should not have to silence who they are to celebrate other parts of their identities.

Ultimately, MassEquality is marching toward justice and we are committed to full equality and inclusion for everyone in our LGBT communities. We welcome a direct conversation with the Parade organizers about making the St. Patrick’s Day Parade truly welcoming to LGBT people.

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit magazine's Fab 5

Dear South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade organizers...meet Arizona

Posted by David Zimmerman February 28, 2014 08:17 AM

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Dear South Boston St Patrick’s Day organizers,

You might have seen a news story this week taking place in Arizona. It involved a piece of legislation called SB 1062, also known as the ‘Restoration of Religious Freedom Act’. The senate bill allowed for business owners in Arizona to deny services to certain citizens if those citizens lived a life that conflicted with the business owners religious beliefs. If signed into law an Arizona business owner who is a devout Catholic could have, for example, denied services to a gay or lesbian person. There are other examples as well.

When the Republican-led legislature in that state passed SB 1062 it created an immediate and widespread uproar. Corporations doing business in Arizona, including Apple, Marriott and others, urged Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill. So did several prominent politicians (included Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake – both also Republicans), as well as the National Football League and Major League Baseball.

Television pundits from across the globe began a full scale assault on the bill. Even Fox News weighed in saying this was a bad piece of legislation…that is saying something!

This bill was, in essence, legalized discrimination. They must be crazy in Arizona right? Too much sun maybe? Imagine being mocked by the entire country? Told that your views were archaic and out of touch. Called “morally repugnant” by none other than John Stewart. The U.S. does not allow for discrimination of this kind, we’re better than that was the prevailing opinion.

Unless of course it’s the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the last bastion of Massachusetts-led, religious-based discrimination. Our own very special version of archaic and out of touch thinking. How dare gays and lesbians be allowed to march in your parade, you say.

“Saint Patrick was a Catholic archbishop and is a Catholic saint,” said C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic League, in a statement Thursday. “How do you honor a Catholic saint by providing a platform to those who express pride in rejecting Catholic morality? And who castigate that morality as bigotry, hatred and homophobia?”

Well Mr. Doyle, how about we ask the organizers of the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin? You know, the place where it all began. Apparently they have no problem at all reconciling your dilemma. They openly welcome gays and lesbians to take part in their parade and celebration.

By the way, have you taken a quick peek around Southie lately? In case you haven’t noticed it has become one of the hottest up-and-coming ‘gayborhoods’ in the region. There are Southie-based LGBT neighborhood groups such as One Southie and others. And along with this new influx of young straight and gay residents Southie has seen an incredible growth of beautiful new residential buildings, new restaurants and more.

Kudos to Mayor Menino and now Mayor Walsh for doing the right thing.

No gays and lesbians allowed huh? Can you imagine if someone in Boston ever put up a sign that read “No Irish Need Apply”? Oh wait…


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.


Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes controversial 'discrimination' bill

Posted by David Zimmerman February 27, 2014 08:34 AM

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(AP)

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed Senate Bill 1062, also known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The bill, passed recently by a Republican led state legislature, created a firestorm across the country from concerned citizens, businesses, politicians, and even the National Football League and Major League Baseball.

If passed the bill would have allowed for Arizona businesses to practice ’legalized discrimination’ under the guise of religious freedom.

Brewer issued her veto last night at 5:45 p.m. A transcript of her remarks are below.

Good evening and thank you all for joining me here this evening.

I’m here to announce a decision on Senate Bill 1062. As with every proposal that reached my desk I give great concern and careful evaluation and deliberate consideration, especially to Senate Bill 1062.

I call them like I seem them despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd. I took the necessary time to make the right decision.

I met and spoke with my attorneys, lawmakers and citizens supporting and opposing this legislation.

As governor I have asked questions, and I have listened. I have protected religious freedoms where there is a specific and present concern that exists in our state, and I have the record to prove it.

My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona. When I addressed the Legislature earlier this year, I made my priorities for this session abundantly clear. Among them are passing a responsible budget that continues Arizona’s economic comeback. From CEOs, to entrepreneurs, to business surveys, Arizona ranks as one of the best states to grow or start a business.

Additionally, our immediate challenge is fixing a broken child protection system. Instead, this is the first policy bill to cross my desk.

Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona.

I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated. The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences. After weighing all of the arguments, I have vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.

To the supporters of this legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes, however, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and nobody could ever want.

Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination. Going forward, let’s turn the ugliness of the debate over Senate Bill 1062 into a renewed search for greater respect and understanding among all Arizona and Americans.


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

The National Football League's statement regarding Arizona's 'discrimination' bill

Posted by David Zimmerman February 25, 2014 11:58 AM


SB1062, the controversial bill recently passed by the Arizona legislature that would allow for legalized discrimination, under the guise of religious freedom, has, apparently, caught the eye of the National Football League…among others. The bill, which will either get approved or vetoed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer this week has been a hot topic across the country with many civil rights activists and politicians (including several who initially voted to pass the bill) urging Brewer to use her power of veto.

The NFL is currently scheduled to hold the 2015 Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Yesterday, the host NFL team, the Arizona Cardinals, joined the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and the NFL in releasing statements regarding SB 1062.


From the Arizona Cardinals:

What so many love about football is its ability to bring people together. We do not support anything that has the potential to divide, exclude and discriminate. As a prominent and highly-visible member of this community, we strive to bring positive attention to the state. We are concerned with anything that creates a negative perception of Arizona and those of us who are fortunate to call it home.

From the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee:

We share the NFL’s core values which embrace tolerance, diversity, inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination. In addition, a key part of the mission for the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee is to promote the economic vitality of Arizona. On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state’s economic growth potential. We do not support this legislation. Instead, we look forward to continuing to promote the NFL’s values while focusing on the economic momentum apparent in Arizona and capturing the positive worldwide attention associated with hosting Super Bowl XLIX.

From the NFL via spokesman Greg Aiello

"Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time."
About the author: Boston Spirit Magazine’s daily blog brings you all of the information you need on New England’s LGBT community. In addition to highlighting local and national LGBT news, we will also highlight local leaders from the worlds of business, politics, fashion and entertainment and keep you up-to-date on all the latest events and parties, hot spots for travel, shopping, dining, and more!
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