Elton John: “Ireland abortion vote shows people can change their mind”

Elton John: "Ireland abortion vote shows people can change their mind"

Here are 19 beautiful pictures of Birmingham Pride Here’s 22 pictures of Pride taking over the Belgium capital 5 pop stars performing at Birmingham Pride (plus their best songs) The singer has long been involved in Ukraine’s politics | Photo: Flickr/David Shankbone Elton John used Ireland’s recent vote to end its abortion ban as an example for minds changing.

The singer recently visited the Ukraine to raise awareness about AIDS. He attended an event organized by the Elena Pinchuk Foundation.

‘Believe me, I love this country. We will do everything we can to continue the fight against AIDS,’ he said.

John has long spoken up for gay rights in the Eastern European country. He once tried to adopt an HIV positive boy from the country, but was blocked at the time due to his age and not being married.

Though the Ukraine has struggled with progressive rights, John isn’t giving up. He commented that Ireland is a prime example.

‘It takes a long time for things to happen as I said.

‘Look what just happened in Ireland: the vote for abortion. Things change. People … they change their mind. And with a younger generation coming up, they are different kind of people, and they’re our future.’

He concluded : ‘We’ve made great progress but we still have a lot of work to do.’ A country taking steps forward

Over the past several years, the Ukraine has become more progressive on LGBTI rights.

In 2016, the country held its first Pride celebration outside of Kiev .

One year later, a poll revealed 56% of the population believed LGB people should receive equal rights. In 2010, only 28% of the population believed that.

ABC cancels Roseanne following star’s racist tweet and backlash

ABC cancels Roseanne following star's racist tweet and backlash

Here are 19 beautiful pictures of Birmingham Pride Here’s 22 pictures of Pride taking over the Belgium capital 5 pop stars performing at Birmingham Pride (plus their best songs) The show came back this year | Photo: IMDB/ABC ABC’s revival of their family sitcom Roseanne is no more. After the show’s star Roseanne Barr made a racist tweet, and claimed it was a joke, the network canceled the show.

They first announced the revival of the series last year and made the decision to play fast and loose with the original show’s controversial finale.

This morning, Barr tweeted about Valerie Jarrett, a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama.

In the now-deleted-and-screencapped tweet, Barr wrote: ‘muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj’ in reference to Jarrett.

Initially, she tried to defend her comment, calling it a ‘joke’.

She then said that Muslims can be any race, as Islam is a religion and not a race.

However, she did not address the ‘Planet of the Apes’ portion of her comment.

Backlash began long before ABC’s cancellation.

Gay comedian Wanda Sykes, who was a consulting producer on the series, announced she would not be returning to the show following Barr’s comments. I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC . — Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) May 29, 2018 Before that, showrunner Whitney Cummings left the show.

Sara Gilbert also responded to Barr’s comments. Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least. — sara gilbert (@THEsaragilbert) May 29, 2018 Damage done

Barr then apologized for her comments and announced she would be leaving Twitter. I apologize. I am now leaving Twitter. — Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 29, 2018 I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste. — Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 29, 2018 It’s not the first time she’s come under fire for her controversial comments.

She has also long been vocal about her support for Donald Trump and dislike of Hillary Clinton. On Twitter, she often re-tweets various right-wing conspiracy theories.

For ABC, though, the damage was finally done with today’s tweets.

In a statement, network president Channing Dungey said: ‘Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.’ — Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) May 29, 2018

Dear Brands: Support for LGBT People Should Last All Year

Dear Brands: Support for LGBT People Should Last All Year

Corporate sponsorship of Pride festivals is fine, as long as the relationship is thoughtful and respectful. It’s about that time of year again, when cities around the world are adorned in rainbow and play host to queer celebrations, parties and parades. Our media becomes rife with advertisements showing pride; and many brands take every opportunity to remind us that they support LGBTQ+ people (read: consumers). Awareness and commercialization of pride month has grown in tandem with improving perceptions of queerness globally. But the fight is far from over, and to the brands that have adopted a one month only, superficial approach to allyship: you need to do better.

I recently came across a targeted advertisement for a branded pride fundraising event, inviting me to “party hard to save LGBTQ+ lives.” I felt queasy reading the invitation. Without question this advertisement was the product of poor copywriting, but it is rooted in a frightening complacency. Lacking sensitivity and contextualized understanding, some of our most beloved brands are frequent perpetrators.

With the Supreme Court sending marriage equality nationwide, seemingly thousands of Pride events at the peak of their popularity, and universal adoration of out Olympian Adam Rippon, the LGBTQ+ rights movement may appear to be coasting on success. A global survey published in 2018 reports that nearly 57 percent of countries have shown increases in social acceptance rates of the LGBTQ+ community since 1981. Certainly, there is cause to celebrate.

But those same findings show a hyper-polarized world — countries with the highest acceptance rates increased exponentially, while countries with the lowest scores are plummeting. Existing in liberal bubbles, prominent brands may be unaware that many LGBTQ+ people continue to live in persecution, in countries where doing so openly is illegal (over 70 to be exact).

And of course, persecution of LGBTQ+ people exists well within American borders. This Pride month I am reminded of the 49 lives lost at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando two years ago, in the most violent act of domestic terror since 9/11 . Transgender people are murdered in the dozens each year. The rights movement didn’t end with marriage equality in the United States.

In 2017, the New York City pride march boasted 61 corporate sponsors, 13 promotional partner and 31 media sponsors, according to MarketWatch . Every year the number of participating brands has grown. Though the volume of support has increased, I fear the quality will not.

As a consumer, I am engulfed by “limited-edition” rainbow products that, at best, send a portion of the proceeds to a charity or noteworthy cause. I’m surrounded by “inclusive” ads featuring only white, cisgender, gay couples. While brands are often criticized for tone deaf or half-hearted efforts, we see mistakes happen again and again .

True advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community extends beyond a sponsored mixer, rainbow logos, or well wishes. To tout oneself as an ally to the community, brands must respect the historical significance of Pride marches and empower meaningful action.

The first major Pride march and rally was organized almost 50 years ago, observed on the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Back then activists were risking arrest in solidarity.

By nature, Pride events are spaces in which everyone is welcome — including brands. Recognizing that the Pride events will likely never get less commercial, take note: there is an enlightened approach to marketing for this consumer segment . Brands can and should still take part in the celebration, but only if done so thoughtfully. As one of the many lenses through which people view the world, brands have a unique opportunity to take a stand and make a meaningful impact this Pride month (and year round). The key is to remember that Pride month is rooted in riot. Every powerful action brings us one step closer to equality.

Recently, brands have demonstrated meaningful commitment to social change at the benefit of LGBTQ+ people. When the North Carolina Senate passed legislation taking away protections for transgender individuals to use their preferred bathroom, several brands, including Google, IBM, and Paypal, voiced disappointment and continued support of LGBTQ+ employees. The likes of Deutsche Bank and Lionsgate truly made an impact – the former suspended plans for expansion and the latter ceased business operations completely until the legislation was overturned.

I look to the March For Our Lives Movement against gun violence and the Women’s marches as inspiration; thousands of people marched on Washington this year in protest of senseless acts of gun violence and discrimination against women. And many brands notably followed suit, cutting ties with the NRA to take a stand against gun violence.

Cutting business ties in solidarity is a powerful demonstration, and may even pay off long-term from a business perspective: another study found that two-thirds of American consumers now find it important that brands take a stand on social issues.

The first step for brands that seek to empower their LGBTQ+ employees and consumers — especially during pride month — is to remember that this is not your party. In fact, it really isn’t a party to begin with; it’s an act of resistance and protest to all the spaces in the world where queerness is still unwelcome (albeit sometimes a really fun act of resistance).

So, continue to raise a glass, attend those galas, and tweet your encouragement — but brands can’t forget to rise up. Meaningful allyship requires more than just the fun stuff.

BILLY LEPAGE is a New York-based global analyst at OgilvyRED . From our Sponsors

Teaching Businesses To Welcome LGBT Elders

Teaching Businesses To Welcome LGBT Elders

There are many segments of the LGBT community that face marginalization, but there are few more undeserved than LGBT elders. Along with the challenges of getting older, many LGBT elders have few safe spaces where they can shop and interact with the community without fearing harassment.

Jacksonville.com describes what shopping is like for Tricia Russell, a 61-year-old transgender woman from St. Augustine: “…clothing store employees either eyed her suspiciously or closely followed her as she walked around. At a grocery store’s customer service counter, an employee reacted to her masculine voice in a feminine body by relocating to a back room. She was harassed by some members of law enforcement.”

One center based in Jacksonville, Fla., is addressing the specific concerns of queer elders through implementing a new certification program for local businesses, ensuring that they become as inclusive as possible.

ElderSource Institute, founded in 2015, will be hosting a new LGBT Elder-Friendly Business Certification. The program promotes new sensitivity for businesses working with lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual elders and wishing to make safe spaces for them as customers, outlets report.

Training, education, and resources for adults ages 50 and older will be provided by the Institute. The certification program itself came to be from a “need for safe and friendly resources” for LGBT elders in the area, who were found to be five times less likely to use the support provided for them due to fear of abuse, discrimination, and harassment. In educating the community as a whole, LGBT customers—especially the elders—can have piece of mind as their needs and safety is secured.

Heidi Katz, the institute’s vice president of business development and innovation, spoke on the need for the certification program in ensuring LGBT elders have the support they need: “As we all age, we look for and rely on trusted friendships, businesses, and communities where we feel welcome and can age with dignity and independence. Many LGBT seniors go back into the closet because they fear discrimination and harassment as they age.”

Businesses interested in taking the certification course will undergo cultural competency training, and must also adapt inclusive business practices that will include: staff training; LGBT-inclusive politics; a public statement of LGBT friendliness and inclusion; other symbols of equality within the workplace, in literature, or on the company’s websites. Local businesses that have already undergone the program are seeing a drastic difference in the ease their customers feel, as well as their own sense of community through giving back.

Transgender woman killed by mob in India because of fake child trafficking rumours

Transgender woman killed by mob in India because of fake child trafficking rumours

A transgender woman was killed by a mob of angry locals on Saturday in India because of false rumours linking her to child trafficking.

The victim was hunted and killed by a mob, while three other women were wounded in Hyderabad, southern India, after fabricated claims accusing them of trafficking spread through the area via WhatsApp.

The falsely accused women were attacked by angry locals on Saturday night, reports CNN .

A police official told CNN that the women were begging in Hyderabad when they were attacked by the angry mob.

“They were begging for money from some shopkeepers in Chandrayanagutta at 11 p.m. when some unruly youths started saying they had come to kidnap children,” said deputy commissioner V. Satyanarayana.

About 20 people took part in the attack as a crowd of roughly 200 watched , encouraging the attackers to keep going. 12 people have been arrested on Sunday following the incident.

According to Satyanarayana, the rumours, spread via WhatsApp, went viral in the area, prompting the attack. According to the messages, transgender women were plotting to kidnap children in India.

“For the last 15 days in India, especially in the Telugu-speaking states, a lot of rumours on WhatsApp and other social media have been shared about gangs kidnapping children,” Satyanarayana said.

Such myths have been debunked by authorities. Pictures of dead children were shared on social media along with the kidnaping rumours, but the police said they had been taken in Syria. Indian transgender activists take part in a protest against the Transgenders Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016 at Dharna Chowk in Hyderabad on August 26, 2016. (NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty) “These mischief mongers are intentionally circulating such messages to create panic in the minds of the public,” Satyanarayana said, adding there was no evidence that a child trafficking gang operated in the region.

Police warned locals against believing these rumours and produced a public service announcement explaining how fake videos/photos were created.

However, some of the population still seem to take the rumours at face value. The Hyderabad victim is the sixth person to be killed following rumours about the child trafficking ring.

Just a day before, a man suffering from mental illness was stripped and beaten to death with pipes and sticks in Pahadishareef, in the same region. A rumour had also spread on WhatsApp that he was linked to the kidnapping gang.

On May 20, a farmer was killed and seven other injured following a similar attack triggered by the same rumours.

Southern Baptists break off ties with DC branch because they wouldn’t sack lesbian pastors

Southern Baptists break off ties with DC branch because they wouldn’t sack lesbian pastors

Southern Baptist Convention (Photo: SBC) The Southern Baptist Convention has broken off ties with its Washington DC branch after a spat over lesbian pastors.

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) alliance of churches, which is the largest Christian denomination in the US with more than 15 million members, is strongly opposed to LGBT equality and preaches the rejection of homosexuality.

The SBC, which has declared a ‘spiritual warfare’ against LGBT equality , has this month moved to eject a branch that took a more liberal stance on gay issues.

The District of Columbia Baptist Convention (DCBC) was forced out of the Southern Baptist Convention – after the DC branch declined to take action against a DC church with two lesbian co-pastors.

Calvary Baptist Church in DC had named Sally Sarratt and Maria Swearingen, who are a couple, as co-pastors in 2017. D. August Boto, the SBC’s Executive Committee president, confirmed that “the formal relationship between the SBC and the DCBC has come to an end.”

Boto added: “I will soon send another letter to each of eight churches we know of in DC that are supporting SBC work through financial gifts directed through the DCBC.

“The letters will inform each group that the formal relationship between the SBC and the DCBC has come to an end and that… the SBC no longer recognises the District of Columbia Baptist Convention as a Baptist body authorised to receive and disburse Cooperative Program and other SBC contributions.” (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images) He added: “[We have] expressed deep regret over the need to take this action, but felt compelled to affirm biblical truth over organizational relationships..

Boto claimed the SBC would “consider resuming its relationship with the DCBC in the future” should leaders decide to follow demands and take action against the Calvary church.

The Southern Baptists are renowned for preaching an absolute rejection of homosexuality, investing heavily in lobbying against LGBT equality.

Speaking in 2015, then-SBC president Ronnie Floyd claimed the church was at war over gay marriage.

He said: “We are in a spiritual warfare. This is not a time for Southern Baptists to stand back!”

“The Supreme Court is not the final authority, nor is the culture itself! I declare to everyone today as a minister of the Gospel: I will not officiate over any same sex unions or same sex marriage ceremonies!” The Southern Baptist Convention previously published a guide on how to avoid hiring LGBT people without breaking non-discrimination laws.

Floyd has previously written a book titled “The Gay Agenda: It’s Dividing The Family, The Church, And a Nation”, and linked homosexuality to Satan.

He said in a 2003 sermon: “I rise to speak on this issue out of brokenness, realizing the many families in our own church who have lost family members to the homosexual lifestyle.

“I have had some say to me, ‘Pastor Floyd, it would have been easier to have lost my child to death than to homosexuality. It is killing me’.

“Do you know what is happening on television? The newest is called “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.” Five gay men who call themselves ‘The Fab Five’ do a makeover on a straight guy. Another show, ‘Boy Meets Boy’, is where a gay bachelor chooses one man among 15 other men to be his partner. Then there is the television show, ‘Will and Grace’, and another one called ‘Queer as Folk’.

“I have never seen any of these and do not intend to do so, but understand, the goal is to baptize you into their lifestyle where it becomes normal for you to hear and see it, making you accept eventually that it is a non-threatening norm in our society.

It appears now that everywhere you look, everything you read and everything you hear is about the gay lifestyle. Satan has taken his tool of homosexuality, a gross and evil sin, and done a con job on the American culture, making it seem like all is okay when you are gay.

“I hope you are aware that what was once subtle has now turned into the rage of a lion as brazen and threatening as anything in our culture. I must sound the trumpet loud and clear, praying that we do not run in retreat, but march in the truth of God valiantly.

“This is not a skirmish or a conflict or a disagreement, but it is a war. The war they have declared against our culture has an agenda and we need to be aware of it.”

Exclusive: World Cup fans should wave rainbow flags at Russian stadiums, says leading activist

Exclusive: World Cup fans should wave rainbow flags at Russian stadiums, says leading activist

(Harry How/Getty) Football fans should “feel free” to wave rainbow pride flags during the World Cup in Russia, a leading activist has said.

Joe White, who runs campaigns for Pride in Football, emphasised that supporters should only promote the LGBT cause if they feel safe, but added that the World Cup represented an unprecedented opportunity in the country.

Last week, the UK Government responded to criticism from Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this month by finally providing fans with LGBT guidance.

The Government has warned that in Russia, “public attitudes towards LGBT+ people are less tolerant than in the UK,” before directing supporters to advice published by the Football Supporters’ Federation. England fans clash with Russian fans (Carl Court/Getty) The FSF’s guide “strongly” warns queer fans not to “publicly display sexuality” – for instance by holding hands or being affectionate towards their partner – at the World Cup, to ensure their safety.

White revealed on May 28 that Pride in Football has received death threats which have been reported to the police, with some telling the group that “if they find us they’ll stab us.”

But speaking to PinkNews, he called the FSF’s guide “overly cautious” and encouraged fans in Russia to make the most of a rare chance to promote LGBT visibility in Russia with the world watching. (DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty) “If you’re comfortable having a rainbow flag, then definitely feel free to do so,” said White.

“It’s definitely something I’m going to be doing.

“I’m going out to Russia and I’ll be out there, and visible. I’m someone who when I say something’s a good idea, I’ll do it myself.” (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty) The 25-year-old, who hopes to attend three matches at the World Cup, said that the sight of Pride colours in World Cup stadiums would fight back against repeated claims by Russian authorities that there are no gay people in the country.

White, who supports Arsenal and England, called these falsehoods “obviously completely ludicrous,” adding that it could do wonders simply to “show that there is visibility, that there is support from across the world for [LGBT] visibility within football.” He said that his group had discussed boycotting the tournament, but after talking to LGBT people in Russia had decided that openly supporting the cause in front of an audience of millions could have a huge impact. (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty) “A big process for deciding whether to go to Russia was talking to LGBT Russians making sure it doesn’t negatively impact on them, either during or after the tournament.

“Actually what quite a few said was that we have an opportunity for visibility that they would never otherwise have.”

They also said that “what the likes of Putin want to be able to do is to turn around and say: ‘Oh, we had all of this fuss about LGBT inclusion and visibilty before the World Cup, and we had a wonderful World Cup and there were no LGBT people there at all,’ because there wasn’t any visibility.

“So it’s something that will be a lot safer than Russian LGBT people will be doing,” White added. (Marcelo Endelli/Getty) He also said that there was hope for FIFA, despite the organisation having handed the World Cup to Russia – which has seen hate crimes against LGBT people double since the introduction of a law banning gay “propaganda” – and Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

One of the two main bids for the 2026 World Cup is from Morocco – another country where being gay is against the law – which White called “an obvious concern.” (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty) Nevertheless, he pointed to the progress which has been made over the past year, such as the fact that this will be the first World Cup in which referees can abandon a game if they hear homophobic chanting.

“They are starting to take it seriously,” he said. “It’s a symbol of FIFA’s approach. They realise this is an issue.”

Gay Swedish composers turn hate mail into glorious cantata

Gay Swedish composers turn hate mail into glorious cantata

Rickard Söderberg/Wikimedia Commons Ever thought about turning your hater’s vilest words into a musical composition?

No, we hadn’t either.

But this Swedish Symphony Orchestra have done something pretty special with some of the hate mail they received after a performance at the Helsingborg Concert Hall in Sweden featured music from LGBT composers : they turned it into a cantata. Swedish Symphony Orchestra/Wikimedia Commons Yep, you read it correctly. After a group of LGBT musicians received a message from a troll stating that their music made him “want to vomit” and the orchestra was “hopping aboard the fag train”, they created a supreme musical retort – entitled “the fag train.” Rickard Söderberg/Wikimedia Commons “As an artistic institution, we naturally actively relate to our surroundings and events going on around us. The hate letter I received reeked of contempt and fear for the love between human beings,” composer Fredrik Österling told Queerty .

Teaming up with queer musician and tenor Rickard Söderberg, the pair created the cantata, which will be performed at the hall later on this month. Rickard Söderberg/Wikimedia Commons “I had no hesitation when Rickard Söderberg suggested that I should set it to music. By considering the text as an opera libretto, we were able to scrutinize the emotions that the anonymous sender was seeking to express. And at the same time, we are doing exactly what an artistic institution should be doing; we are reflecting our times in our art,” Osterling said in a post.

Naturally, Söderberg took to Facebook to perform “Bögtåget” in the most gloriously camp way possible: by wearing a rainbow t-shirt, rainbow glasses, and nail polish. “Hatred of such poetic ambitions I cannot let go unnoticed,” wrote Söderberg in a post.

“It’s a shame they sent their words in letter form, otherwise we could have heard their nice vibretto ,” he added.

Fredrik Österling and Rickard Söderberg, we applaud you.

ABC cancels ‘Roseanne’ after racist tweets

ABC cancels ‘Roseanne’ after racist tweets

Roseanne Barr (Getty) ABC has decided to cancel the reboot of TV comedy series Roseanne after she made an “abhorrent” and “repugnant” statement likening Barack Obama’s former aide to a Planet of The Apes character.

Roseanne Barr termed Obama’s aide Valerie Jarrett as the offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes,” in the highly offensive tweet.

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said in a statement, reported Variety . BURBANK, CA – MARCH 23: Roseanne Barr attends the premiere of ABC’s “Roseanne” at Walt Disney Studio Lot on March 23, 2018 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images) Other tweets in the tirade claimed that Chelsea Clinton was married to one of George Soros’ nephews and called Hillary Clinton “a colostomy jug cuz full of shite.”

She was highly criticised for the tweets, and apologised and said that she would leave Twitter.

“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste,” she wrote.

Roseanne was set for a comeback this Autumn. (Getty) The once-popular US sitcom would have broadcasted another thirteen episodes as part of its eleventh season. There had been a twenty-one-year gap between seasons nine and ten. In a recent interview, the Trump-supporting comedian claimed that President Trump was an advocate of LGBT+ rights .

“Considering that Trump opposes many of the principles that you and Roseanne Conner have stood for, how can you support him?” a New York Times reporter asked Barr . She responded: “No, he doesn’t, I don’t think he does. I don’t think so at all. I think he voices them quite well.”

The reporter clarified: “I’m thinking of abortion rights, same-sex marriage rights, labor protections —”

Barr cut in: “He doesn’t oppose same-sex marriage.”

When the reporter attempted to clarify that “he has not come out in favour of it”, Barr spat back: “He does. Yes, he does. He has said it several times, you know, that he’s not homophobic at all.”

Leading lesbian US activist Connie Kurtz dies at 81

Leading lesbian US activist Connie Kurtz dies at 81

Connie (front) and her wife Ruthie (Julie Seaver/Facebook) Leading lesbian activist and artist Connie Kurtz has died at the age of 81.

Kurtz, who worked with her wife Ruth Berman to create the LGBT Elder Americans Act, passed away on May 27 after a long illness.

The legislation paved the way for older LGBT+ people to be recognised as a vulnerable population, which meant that the government would collect statistics and serve them, reported Gay City News. Connie Kurtz and Ruthie Berman (Flickr) “Connie and her soulmate Ruth have been iconic leaders of our community for decades, which is why the federal legislation SAGE has introduced in Congress on behalf of LGBT elders is named after them,” said Michael Adams, the CEO of SAGE, referring to the Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act, reported Gay City News .

“Words can’t explain how sad we are that Connie has passed. We send our love and condolences to Ruth. And we celebrate and honour Connie’s fierce and passionate legacy, which has made the world a better place for so many of us.” A 2002 documentary was made about the inspiring couple (amazon.com) Kurtz met her partner Ruthie in 1988.

Alongside her wife, she created branches of Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in New York and Florida, and in 2000, and served with her as a co-chair on Lesbian Rights Task Force of the New York State chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
Connie (front) and her wife Ruthie (Julie Seaver/Facebook) A rainbow flag / AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN Although marriage was not yet legal for same-sex couples in the US, the pair had a Jewish wedding officiated by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum in 2000, and married officially two days after same-sex marriage came into fruition in the New York state in 2011.

“Connie was a force of nature,” Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, who married the couple, told Gay City News .

“Everyone who encountered her — even for the first time and even briefly — felt her passion, her love, her fierceness, and her humor. Connie and her love Ruthie changed the world, and never lost the love of life, of art, and of all of her people. I am sending my love to Ruthie and all who are in grief over this terrible loss. A great light has gone out in our world. May her memory forever bless us and may our lives be forever a blessing to her memory.