Gay Democrat kisses husband in ad during Trump’s fave Fox News show

Gay Democrat kisses husband in ad during Trump's fave Fox News show

The official Pride in London’s pop-up shop to buy everything rainbow London Pride Festival takes over the capital with more than 100 events 7 US Pride festivals off the beaten track that will blow you away This Democrat politician aired a same-sex kiss with his husband during Trump’s fave Fox News show Meet Rich Madaleno, a gay Democrat who is doing his best to piss off President Donald Trump.

Running for Governor of Maryland, he is doing his best to stop the damage Trump and the Republicans are doing. Democrat kisses husband in ‘political ad first’

In his ad, he shows how he has banned assault weapons, protected Planned Parenthood, and supports public schools.

And he also closes the political ad by kissing his husband.

The best part? It aired in Washington during Trump’s favorite program on Fox News.

This is perhaps the first time a political ad has shown a same-sex kiss between a politician and his husband.

Annise Parker, president of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said the White House is trying to erase LGBTI visibility.

‘Rich Madaleno is boldly stating he’s proud of his family and will fight for all Marylanders if elected,’ she said.

‘Not long ago, out LGBTQ people were unable to run for statewide offices such as governor,’ she added, ‘Voters now recognize there is an authenticity to LGBTQ leaders rarely found in today’s politicians.

‘Rich is on-track to win the Democratic primary because of that authenticity, his deep roots in the state, and his 15 years of legislative experience. And it is great to see him share his love for Mark and the kids with voters too – especially in a political ad airing during the president’s favorite television show.’

Madaleno added: ‘We need to stand up for the people we love and to continue to confront harassment and discrimination.’

‘Having led the charge for marriage equality, achieving true equality and justice for all Marylanders will be my priority as Governor. June is LGBT Pride Month and I couldn’t think of a better time to release this ad.

‘I am proud of my family, proud of my record of standing up for our progressive values and proud to be unflinching in standing up against hate. Love does truly trump hate.’

Watch the ad below:

The official Pride in London’s pop-up shop to buy everything rainbow

The official Pride in London's pop-up shop to buy everything rainbow

The official Pride in London’s pop-up shop to buy everything rainbow London Pride Festival takes over the capital with more than 100 events 7 US Pride festivals off the beaten track that will blow you away The beating heart of Soho is once again the location of Pride in London’s pop-up shop. After last year’s success, the shop will be open for business from 8 June to 13 July.

Marchers and curious can shop everything Pride: button badges, tote bags, baseball caps… you name it, they have it. All proceeds will go to Pride in London, with a quote to the crowdfunding of East London LGBTI community center .

The ‘proud’ cap was one of last year’s bestsellers | Photo: John Banyard

‘We’re excited to have this fantastic space in the center of Soho’ says Kieron Yates, Head of Retail and Merchandising for Pride in London. ‘The team will be on hand to help you with all that information about the festival and the parade.’

Poonum Chauhan, the creative mind behind the design for this year’s Pride in London, has given that rainbowy flair to all the merch.

The designing process was as inclusive as Pride itself. People have been asked to come up with words representing what Pride in London means to them. The results? Freedom, individuality, protest, and celebration were the most popular.

What does Pride make you think? Read the t-shirt! | Photo: John Banyard

As the very airy location suggests, this space is more than just a cute pop-up shop. It is set to become a community hub in line with this year’s theme #PrideMatters, as shop manager Sheena Carmichael points out.

‘We have a bigger focus on community space this year,’ she says. ‘We’re making sure that we have a range of events that reflects that.’

While some activities are to be confirmed, there are going to be store take over days by DIVA and Gay Star News. Wella, one of Pride in London’s sponsors, will offer blow-drys and manicures to treat yourself before 7 July.

Moreover, Terrence Higgins Trust and Positive East are expected to come in for some informational sexual health workshops.

‘We’re hoping to host a talk on women’s sexual health with The Femedic,’ Carmichael adds, referring to the website fighting the taboo around women’s sexuality in an inclusive way.

Carmichael and her fellow manager James Davidson are also organizing art evenings. Their aim is to help young LGBTI artists and provide them with a space to sell their works.

Head to 72 Old Compton Street to find out more and get you set for Pride.

Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 10am-7pm, Thursday 10am-8pm and Sunday 11am-6pm.

Pulse survivor: How I learned to live again through puppy therapy

Pulse survivor: How I learned to live again through puppy therapy

The official Pride in London’s pop-up shop to buy everything rainbow London Pride Festival takes over the capital with more than 100 events 7 US Pride festivals off the beaten track that will blow you away Pulse survivor Laura Vargas with her dog Walter, who also had to learn to walk again | Photo: Supplied / Laura Vargas A Pulse survivor has revealed how she learned to live again through puppy therapy.

Laura Vargas was shot twice in what was the deadliest mass shooting in US history at the time.

49 people were killed by an armed gunman at LGBTI nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida, on 12 June 2016.

Her close friend, Lewis, was immediately killed in the shooting.

After a lengthy hospital stay dealing with nerve damage, it damaged Vargas’ ability to walk.

But it was the mental damage, as she was conscious during the entire experience, that did the most lasting damage.

Vargas was also outed to her Catholic family, through her press, who didn’t know she was gay. Laura and Lewis’s choice to go to Pulse was a last minute decision

Though she was born and raised in Miami, her family’s deeply Catholic roots are in Columbia, where many of them live.

Studying at the School of Physical Therapy, she moved to Orlando in 2014. She worked for Universal for a year, before going back to Miami. This is where she met her best friend, Lewis.

But she wasn’t out to her family. So when her mom called her at the hospital, not only did they have to navigate Laura being a victim in a mass murder, she had to come out.

And yet, this is where one of Vargas’ incredible aptitude for compassion shines through. Instead of fury at having her coming out stolen from her:

‘I was so emotionally drained by it, he probably did me a favor. My family are Catholic, so they had to comprehend: Laura’s hurt, she’s also gay and she’s been hurt – because she is gay.

‘But there was so much tragedy, they couldn’t judge and so they focused on “is she OK?”‘ Puppy therapy was a turning point in her recovery

Anyone who faces a life-changing illness or injury will know recovery takes time. And it involves setbacks.

‘I was having a really bad day, and I was told I’d have to wait longer to come off IV fluids and go onto solid food. And my patience had worn thin. So I cursed up a storm and sent everyone away.’

But two weeks after this, Vargas had a breakthrough.

A knock at the door came and she noticed two little paws were at the door.

For the coming weeks, she’d have puppy therapy in the hospital, giving her life and strength to work through the nerve damage the shooting had left her with.

Friends and family rallied around her, including her new girlfriend Brandy.

But while she recovered, the world tried to grapple with what hate could have consumed anyone to cause so much pain. Shot twice, and still here

The duo re-evaluated their lives in the wake of the attack. They quit their office jobs and set up a dog walking business inspired by Laura’s dog therapy in the hospital.

And it’s clear Vargas is still just beginning to come to terms with that night.

‘Sometimes I turn to Brandy and say “Can you believe I was shot twice and I’m still here?”’

This mom’s advice for straight people is a must-read

This mom's advice for straight people is a must-read

The official Pride in London’s pop-up shop to buy everything rainbow A mom recently took to Facebook to share some much-needed advice for straight people if someone from the LGBTI community comes out to them.

It started when Angel Cox-Colbert’s daughter told her mom a friend recently came out to her. Then she revealed to her mom that her friend was suffering harassment and abuse online because of it.

‘I read the thread of his post,’ Cox-Colbert told LGBTQ Nation . ‘No one was threatening or aggressive. It was a lot of religious rhetoric which is aggressive in a “nice” way.

‘My heart sank and blood boiled with each comment.’

The exchanges and comments spurred Cox-Colbert to make a post of her own. The advice she gives is a must-read for all, but especially straight people when someone comes out to them. The dos and don’ts

Here is Cox-Colbert’s post.

For everyone, this is what Cox-Colbert said people shouldn’t say: ‘I don’t agree with or condone that lifestyle,’ as Cox-Colbert explains people aren’t asking for permission when coming out.

Anything with religion. She further adds: ‘I guarantee I can find things in the Bible that doesn’t coincide with YOUR life just as easily. Just don’t be THAT person. Besides, you also shouldn’t assume everyone believes in the same things as you.’

Instead, this is what people should say: Say ‘ok’ if you can’t be supportive

Once more, just say ‘ok’ if you find you’re not supportive and want to say something else

The loving mother ends her post with a note: ‘To my friends, family, any of my children’s friends, or a complete stranger for that matter: if you’re gay, lesbian, transgender, or queer, I got you. You’re safe with me. You’re supported. You’re loved.’

Out and proud? Supporting LGBT employees abroad

Out and proud? Supporting LGBT employees abroad

Applying global values on the ground

With an increasing focus on Diversity & Inclusion, many international employers are finding it difficult to balance their global values with the reality of doing business in legally, socially and culturally conservative countries – particularly when it comes to LGBT rights.

So, how can companies apply their global values (think: “ inclusion ”, “ respect ” and “ equality ”) in countries where an individual can be sent to prison (or worse) for being LGBT? Spoiler alert: there’s no easy answer.

Employee mobility

A common issue is how to deal with sending employees on assignment to countries which do not respect LGBT rights. As Stonewall points out in its excellent guide “ Safe Travels ”, same-sex sexual activity is criminalised in more than 70 countries (including some surprising locations which hold themselves out as good places to do international business). However, it’s important to remember that criminalisation is only one issue faced by LGBT individuals, along with lack of employment and other protections, and hostile cultural and social environments.

So, what should employers do when considering whether to send an LGBT employee to a country where homosexuality is illegal, or which has a hostile environment for LGBT people? Some LGBT employees might not be openly “out”, so identifying if there is an issue to discuss in the first place is not easy. Employers need to be careful to respect their employees’ privacy by not making assumptions about sexual orientation or gender identity.

Many LGBT employees will be comfortable deciding for themselves that, despite a country’s record on LGBT rights, they feel comfortable going to work in that place. That’s not to say that they don’t want guidance or support along the way (or at least to know where to get help if they need it).

Taking decisions without the employee’s input isn’t helpful. On the one hand, employers have a duty of care towards employees, and will not want to put them in harm’s way by exposing them to dangerous situations. On the other hand, taking an overly protective view by denying an individual the right to take up an assignment might be seen as patronising, and any loss of opportunity might potentially be unlawful discrimination on the grounds of that employee’s sexual orientation. Employees who turn down international assignments because of their sexual orientation or gender identity should also not be disadvantaged (e.g. by being denied future promotions), as this is also likely to be discriminatory.

Supporting local employees

Supporting LGBT employees employed locally can also be risky, despite many companies having good intentions to do so. Often employers (particularly international companies which have supportive LGBT policies in place) want to offer additional benefits or protections that LGBT employees are not entitled to by law (e.g. pension rights for same-sex partners, family-friendly leave rights, or support with their same-sex partner’s visa application).

One danger is that law enforcement bodies investigating employees who are alleged to have breached anti-LGBT laws can use their powers of criminal investigation to compel companies to disclose information about the employees to whom they are providing equal benefits; so a paper trail which sets out which employees are claiming same-sex benefits can inadvertently place those employees in danger. In extreme circumstances, companies could be prosecuted for aiding and abetting criminal activity by supporting their LGBT employees in this way.

Promoting LGBT rights?

Employers will also find themselves having to decide whether, or how, to engage with local governments on LGBT rights. Some will choose not to do so at all. Others will decide to use their “soft power”, i.e. that it is better to influence (or try to influence) government policy subtly and behind-the-scenes. The argument goes that companies which are openly critical of anti-LGBT laws and practices are more likely to be frozen out of the dialogue, and to lose what influence they might have with key players in positions of power. Add to that the possibility of implicit or explicit threats to the employer’s business, such as removing licences to operate or refusing to grant visas for overseas workers, and it’s not difficult to see why many companies will decide a quiet, non-confrontational, and non-public approach is the better option.

The difficulty with this approach is that it looks as though employers are doing nothing – which leaves them open to accusations of hypocrisy (“You’re all for promoting LGBT rights, until it gets in the way of doing business ”), or of abandoning their LGBT employees. With very little noticeable movement from countries with the worst records on LGBT rights, it’s also questionable whether the “soft power” approach works, or whether governments take it as a sign that companies will continue to do business, regardless of whether or not they offer basic human rights and protections to LGBT people.

Dealing with the clash of values

Clashes of cultural values are nothing new, but in an increasingly globalised world, employers have a difficult line to walk. They need to protect employees from harm without denying them job-related opportunities, and to avoid jeopardising their ability to do business in certain parts of the world without compromising their values or selling out their LGBT employees. Add into the mix the need to accommodate employees with conflicting beliefs about LGBT rights (which is a live issue even in countries which respect LGBT rights), and businesses have a tricky balancing act to perform.

As I said above, there’s no easy way forward… Filed under

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Confiscated mafia villa to be centre for LGBT migrants

Confiscated mafia villa to be centre for LGBT migrants

Picture shows the villa confiscated from the Camorra mafia in Castel Volturno. Credit: press office of the non-profit Rain Arcigay A villa confiscated from the Camorra mafia in Castel Volturno, in the province of Caserta, will become a Mediterranean LGBT centre for Italians and migrants.

Italian gay rights’ association Arcigay said a villa confiscated from the Camorra mafia in Castel Volturno, in the province of Caserta, will become a Mediterranean LGBT center for Italians and migrants.

Caserta, a city in the southern Campania region, is host to thousands of migrants. Arcigay national secretary Gabriele Piazzoni said the organization enthusiastically welcomed news that the villa was being entrusted to its Caserta non-profit, Rain Arcigay.

The center will assist those fleeing from discrimination

The center will welcome and assist the many homosexuals seeking asylum in Italy, after fleeing violent discrimination in their countries of origin. "The villa, which in its murky history bears the traces of the mafia’s excessive power in our country, will now redeem itself from that history thanks to the foresight of Castel Volturno Mayor Dimitri Russo and the entire city council," Piazzoni said. "It will open and become one of the concrete symbols in the fight against organized crime," he said.

"This property was the key resource that was missing in order to give life to an important and ambitious project, that of creating in Castel Volturno a multipurpose and multifunctional space for all LGBT people who cross the Mediterranean. A space free from discrimination that represents a concrete place for reclaiming human, civil, and social rights, beyond all borders," Piazzoni said.

An online crowdfunding campaign is underway to raise money

A unique characteristic of the project will be its social housing, which will allow temporary lodging in the three-storey villa to LGBT people who find themselves in difficulty due to being far from their families and not yet independent, or those who cannot support themselves or who have come to Italy because of persecution in their countries of origin. An online crowdfunding campaign is underway to raise money to restore the 300-square-meter villa. Donations can be made here . More articles

Town permanently painted crosswalk rainbow, because LGBT pride never goes away

Town permanently painted crosswalk rainbow, because LGBT pride never goes away

(Courtesy Township of Maplewood) In Maplewood, LGBT pride doesn’t just happen during Pride Month in June. And officials in town are proving it with a permanent change to a busy township intersection.

Maplewood plans to unveil Thursday permanent rainbow striped crosswalks — joining just a few other towns in the world that have done the same thing.

The crosswalks will be at the intersection of Valley Street, a county road, and Oakview Road. Maplewood will become the first town in New Jersey to feature permanent rainbow crosswalks on a county road to celebrate and honor diversity and inclusion within the community, town officials said.

"We want to do something that would serve as a permanent marker or symbol of our commitment to inclusion," said Dean Dafis, the first openly LGBTQ Mapplewood Township Committee member.

"I wanted it to be something you can encounter every day. We want our youth in particular — perhaps those struggling to find their way, those in need of empowerment and affirmation — to proudly cross or walk over their fear and self doubt."

The township’s mayor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The official unveiling of the crosswalk is scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on the front steps of Maplewood Town Hall, and will feature face painting, music, balloon twisting and treats for children. The event is free and families are encouraged to come and dance to celebrate pride.

This event is part of Maplewood and South Orange’s greater SOMA Celebrates Pride initiative to celebrate throughout the month of June.

Delaney Dryfoos may be reached at ddryfoos@njadvancemedia.com . Follow her on Twitter @delaneydryfoos . Find NJ.com on Facebook . LaQuan Ford is the new Griffin Bridges director at Seton Hall Prep. The program has launched over 100 academically gifted boys from urban Essex College into some of the best colleges in the nation.

Leader of Bulgaria’s opposition party turns down Pride invite because she’s against same-sex marriage

Leader of Bulgaria’s opposition party turns down Pride invite because she’s against same-sex marriage

Korneliya Ninova. (BSP press release) The leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the second main political party in Bulgaria, has refused an invitation to Sofia Pride – saying she opposes same-sex marriage and adoption.

In an open letter addressed to the organisers of Sofia Pride on Thursday, opposition leader Korneliya Ninova turned down the invite to attend the event in the nation’s capital this Saturday (June 8).

The Bulgarian Socialist Party is the main opposition party in the country, and is considered more liberal than the right-wing GERB, which stands for Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, which is currently in power.

The BSP has the biggest membership base of all political parties in Bulgaria, with 105,000 members as of 2016.

“Thank you for your invitation towards me and all members of our team to get involved on Sofia Pride 2018,” Ninova wrote in an open letter to the chair of the Sofia Pride organisational committee.

“We respect differences/diversity. We believe that the constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria guarantee the rights of LGBT people and protect them from discrimination.

“You expect all members of my team to take part in the event. They have been informed about the invitation and every one of them will decide for themselves whether or not to participate. (DimitarBechev/Twitter) “As far as your message towards me, accept my respect for LGBT people, but I also trust you will respect differences of opinion. Mine is the same as the 75 percent of Bulgarians, which you refer to in your letter.

“I am against same-sex marriages and the ability of same-sex people to adopt children. Of course, this is a personal position, which does not bind anyone else.”

“We are against violence and discrimination against anyone, including LGBT people. They are free to choose how they live their life. However, attempts to impose differences on a society that does not accept them will have the opposite effect to what you intend.”

Both the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Labour Party in the UK are members of the Party of European Socialists (PES) – a left-leaning European political party, made up of national-level political parties from all the EU member states and Norway.

Equal marriage and same-sex adoption both remain illegal in Bulgaria.

The BSP was officially formed in 1989, although it claims to have descended from the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party (BSDP), the country’s first socialist party founded in 1891.

SNP politician claims pardons for gay sex convictions ‘like apologising for Roman occupation’

SNP politician claims pardons for gay sex convictions ‘like apologising for Roman occupation’

Nicola Sturgeon, John Mason and Alex Salmond are pictured in 2008 (ED Jones/AFP/Getty) A politician has criticised the passage of a gay pardons law in Scotland – claiming it is like apologising for the Roman occupation of Britain.

Scotland this week followed England, Wales and Northern Ireland in passing a law allowing men who were convicted under historical anti-gay laws in the country to receive a formal pardon.

However the legislation – which applies to the living and posthumously to people who are no longer living – has come in for criticism from a Scottish National Party politician.

Member of the Scottish Parliament John Mason criticised the decision in a letter to a constituent, saying: “I’m not really sure I agree with retrospective pardons and apologies.

“I do not see that we can go round pardoning and apologising for everything that other people did that does not conform to modern customs.

“Will the Italians be apologising for the Roman occupation?” Gay sex carried the death penalty in Scotland until 1889, when the penalty was lowered to life imprisonment.

Homosexuality was only part-decriminalised in Scotland in 1981, and fully decriminalised in 2001.

The comments led to fury from Scottish Green Party co-convenor Patrick Harvie, who is bisexual. Harvie said: “Where to begin with this? Is it the flippant tone, is it the complete absence of any attempt to show understanding of the arguments in favour of this Bill, or the reference to ancient history?

“This is not ancient history. This is living history.

“Many of the people whose lives were subject to untold harm by their own government are still living and they do not deserved to be dismissed in this way.” Patrick Harvie He added: “I’m not naive enough to think that John Mason is the only MSP who holds such views and I can only single him out on this issue because I happened to be sent this email.”

Mason has long has controversial views about LGBT rights.

He was previously accused of attempting to derail the country’s same-sex marriage legislation in 2014 by tabling a series of last-minute amendments.

His amendments sought to give immunity from discrimination laws to people who ‘object’ to gay people marrying.

Mason said in 2013: “When it comes to sexual behaviour or activity, that’s when some of the religions do have something to say, as to whether you can have one or more partners, of the same sex or not of the same sex and that sort of thing.

“I would draw a distinction personally, and a lot of the churches would draw a distinction between sexual orientation and sexual activity.”

‘The world has moved on’: Welsh First Minister champions inclusive sex and relationship education at PinkNews reception in Cardiff

‘The world has moved on’: Welsh First Minister champions inclusive sex and relationship education at PinkNews reception in Cardiff

(Elizabeth Iafrate and Jon Pountney) The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, tonight championed inclusive sex and relationship education (SRE) at the PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff.

“The world has moved on,” he said ahead of taking to the stage at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff on Thursday (June 7).

Thirty years after the passing of Section 28 – which forbade the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools – a cross-party group of Welsh politicians gathered at the first of many regional receptions held by PinkNews to debate LGBT+ topics from education to same-sex marriage.

Politicians and campaigners from across the political spectrum came together to hear the First Minister and other prominent politicians speak on current LGBT+ issues, celebrate the achievements of Wales’ LGBT+ community and highlight what is still to be done. The First Minister of Wales meets LGBT+ campaigners at the PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff (Elizabeth Iafrate and Jon Pountney) Mr Jones told the audience: “Too often we just assume the LGBT community know politicians are on their side”

He urged his fellow politicians to speak up and align themselves with the community. “We’re going in the right direction but we are committed to going further,” Mr Jones said, addressing inclusive sex and relationship education in the Welsh curriculum.

“We want an education system based on equality.”

Ahead of the reception he said: “The fact is relationships and sexuality shape our lives as well as the world around us. They are a fundamental part of who we are and how we understand ourselves, each other and society.”

While SRE is already present on the basic Welsh Curriculum , schools have the individual choice on whether to educate their students on the matter.

This will now become a statutory subject in all schools – including religious schools – requiring the education on relationships and sexuality, inclusive of LGBT+ issues. The change in curriculum will be rolled out in 2022. First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Howell Jones (NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Images) The First Minister, said: “The days of traditional sex education are long gone; the world has moved on and our curriculum must move with it.

“The fact is relationships and sexuality shape our lives as well as the world around us. They are a fundamental part of who we are and how we understand ourselves, each other and society.

“By creating RSE as a statutory area of study in our new curriculum for Wales, we will support our young people to develop healthy relationships, maintain good mental health and keep physically and sexually safe. Comedian Rhona Cameron and political activist Peter Tatchell help to hold a banner at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride event, London, 4th July 1998 (Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) “Thirty years ago Margaret Thatcher denounced local education authorities for teaching children that ‘they have an inalienable right to be gay.’

“The Welsh Government wants all our learners to know that they have an inalienable right to be happy – this is the driving force behind the changes we are introducing in Wales.”

Speaking at the reception Nick Ramsay of the Welsh Conservatives said: “Britain has changed. Wales has changed… Everyone should feel free to be themselves without fear.” Welsh Conservative AM Nick Ramsay addresses guests at the PinkNews summer reception in Cardiff (Elizabeth Iafrate and Jon Pountney) Benjamin Cohen, Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief, PinkNews, said: “There has been a fantastic response from the Welsh political sphere to the introduction of this new legislation, which will make LGBT+ relationship and sex education compulsory in the Welsh curriculum – showing that Wales continues to lead the UK in terms of LGBT+ inclusion.

“PinkNews is pleased to see both the interest and enthusiasm to improve Welsh education, promoting a truly diverse and inclusive society for the benefit of all.”