Weekly Round Up for Friday June 3, 2011

Happy Friday!
As I’m sure you know, tomorrow is Fresno Pride Festival which will take place in the Tower District starting at 10am. But before you deck yourself out, take a moment to read some of thhe other news worth note from this week.
In honor of the LGBT community, the white House this week launched its first ever LGBT centered webpage.
Are you up to speed with the drama surrounding Urban Outfitters? They have been scrutinized lately for sharing profits with anti-LGBT groups. The president and founder Richard Hayne has reportedly donated $13,150 to the political campaigns of Rick “gay sex leads to man-on-dog love-making” Santorum. Earlier this week Miley Cyrus cried foul and tweeted about it . She received a bit of clack but was quick to defend her position, “Not only do they [Urban Outfitters] steal from artists but every time you give them money you help finance a campaign against gay equality.”
In Illinois, an additional bit of trickle down due to the new same sex civil unions. The Rockford Diocese, who runs Catholic Charities for many counties in Illinois announced that they were terminating state contracts because lawmakers did not pass an amendment exempting religious groups from provisions in the state’s civil union laws. In other words, Illinois told the Catholic Charities that they didn’t have the right to discriminate against same sex couples with taxpayer money.
Moscow’s LGBT Pride was banned, but when marchers came out to protest the ban, the day took a turn for the worse. More than 30 people were arrested and criminal cases have begun regarding the assaults that took place. (Lt. Dan Choi who has been influential in the repeal of DADT was on of the many who were assaulted and arrested .)
I need to start a “Who Came Out This Week” column. This week it is Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta) who became the first self-acknowledged gay man in Georgia’s state’s Legislature. An African American Democrat, Taylor came out after being threatened to be outed by the former partner of Taylor’s current partner. No one should be forced to come out until he/she is ready…. But kudos to Taylor for taking the power of the blackmail away from that cretin.
Time is running out in New York and there are still 8 “undecided” votes. As the vote stand now, there are 26 to 28 in favor of same sex marriage. The bill must pass with 32 votes, making these last 8, 5 Republican and 3 Democrat, votes critical.
And now, a bit of a mixed bag announcement. The Good: Old Navy has announced a new line of Pride Wear featuring rainbows and the tag line “Love Proudly”! Ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign! The Bad: Unfortunately, they won’t be sold online and are only available in three stores in CA… These limitations make me wonder if this is more publicity stunt than actual support…. Here’s hoping that Old Navy eventually makes the shirts available everywhere. (There is already a Facebook page working on this, of course.) I contacted Old Navy and was told that this campaign is a tester campaign, if enough shirts sell they will expand their markets. I was, of course, encoraged to order (by phone) a shirt from one of the stores who sell them and have it shipped to me.
And lastly, one of Hollywood’s most respected lesbian actresses, the amazing Jane Lynch, has agreed to host the 2011 Emmy Awards.
That’s all for now… have a great, and safe, weekend! See you at PRIDE TOMORROW!!!!!!!


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