Today, 2,755 cyclists began the 20th annual AIDS/LifeCycle ride, a 545-mile, 7-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises funds for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) and the HIV/AIDS-related services of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center (LAGLC). These men and women collectively raised a record $14.2 million from individual donations ranging from $1 to thousands of dollars.
Since the beginning of AIDS/LifeCycle in 1993, cyclists are about to pass the 20 million mile mark, or the equivalent of going back and forth to the moon 40 times or around the world 800 times. That takes some extraordinary quad muscles!
As a member of the NYC branch of Team Funky Monkey (though regrettably not riding this year), a special shout out to all the Monkeys, who were among the most prodigious fundraisers this year. And an extra special tip of the hat to my Funky Monkey teammate Joseph Conforti, who, according to the final fundraising totals, was the second highest fundraiser outside of California (and top 10 fundraiser overall) with over $33,000 raised!
Said Lorri Jean, LAGLC CEO:
"I'm absolutely astounded and enormously grateful for the 20-year fundraising record set by this year's riders and roadies, especially since the need for these funds has never been greater. Today we have the tools to stop the spread of the disease and to help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives, but the epidemic is far from over."
Neil Giuliano, head of the SFAF, echoed Ms. Jean's thoughts:
"It's difficult to find a community more dedicated to a cause than the participants of AIDS/LifeCycle, and this year's record fundraising shows it. At a time when HIV/AIDS services face potentially devastating cuts at all levels of government, it's tremendously encouraging to see the AIDS/LifeCycle community step up in such a substantial way to make sure we can continue to provide the life-saving services to all people living with or at risk for HIV."
Look forward to Towleroad coverage of AIDS/LifeCycle 2013 this week. We'll be providing videos and stories from the ride made available exclusively to Towleroad.
Yesterday, Salt Lake City's local Boy Scouts chapter, the Great Salt Lake Council, asked Scouts who planned to march in uniform during today's Utah Pride Parade to refrain from doing so. Several Scouts ignored the request and marched in this afternoon's parade wearing their Scout uniforms anyway.
Some of those Scouts explained the importance of marching in the parade to NBC News:
"It's kind of a way of saying we want you here,” added Mikesell, who marched with Mormons Building Bridges and whose troop is chartered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Scouting has been a very positive influence in my life, and I'd like to see more people take advantage of it now that the ban has been lifted.”
Peter Brownstein, a Scoutmaster who helped organize the Boy Scouts participation in the march, said a few adults and youth marched at the front of the parade in uniform, including a Cub Scout, an Asst. Scoutmaster, and a father and son team.
According to Fox13 News, The Great Salt Lake Council has stated that Scouts who marched in today's event will not lose their membership.
Watch video of four Scouts take part in the color guard at the pride parade, AFTER THE JUMP.
"I have friends that are gay. I've worked in theater, I've been in art, you know, for some time. We work shoulder to shoulder. There's a lot of love from me to them, too. That's life, you know. And if you've got a hangup about it, I hope you can get over it because it's real."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP.
Watch a clip of Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal from their upcoming film, Prisoners.
The owner of the Bunny Ranch says he bailed Liberace's former lover, Scott Thorson, out of jail because the latter wasn't getting proper treatment for his cancer.
Robbie Rogers says he really missed soccer after he retired from the sport: "'There was a period after leaving England 'where I thought, 'OK, I'm done with this.' I'm going to really miss it but I felt like it was going to be really difficult to come back,' Rogers says. 'But I just really missed it too much.'"
UK equalities minister says marriage equality cannot be traded for tax breaks: "While a transferable tax allowance 'may well' be brought in during the current parliament, the two issues of tax breaks and same-sex marriage were 'very different things,' she said. 'This [same-sex marriage] is about stopping discrimination and allowing a very large and significant group of people to enter into an institution that most of us think is a very valuable one. That is really how I see it.'"
Apple might introduce iRadio next week: "Apple’s service, a Pandora-like feature that would tailor streams of music to each user’s taste, has been planned since at least last summer."
RIP All in the Family's Jean Stapleton who has passed away at 90.
Bishops in England urged to avoid Tuesday's marriage vote: "They fear that a large bloc of clerics turning up to vote down the bill could rebound on the Church, reopening questions over the right of bishops to sit in the Lords and even raise the prospect of disestablishment."
It appears that former Facebook president Sean Parker was wed in a forest.
Powerful images from the demonstrations in Istanbul.
Channing Tatum has become a first-time dad.
Nebraska bill would change current ban on gay foster parents: "Lawmakers will debate a bill next year that would allow gay and lesbian couples to serve as foster parents if they are related to the child or have a well-established relationship."
Angelina Jolie makes her first post-surgery public appearance at the premiere of Brad Pitt's new movie, World War Z.
Posted Jun. 2,2013 at 6:42 PM EST by Steve Pep in Angelina Jolie, Apple, Brad Pitt, Gay Marriage, Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Nebraska, News, Robbie Rogers, United Kingdom | Permalink | Comments (10)
High school seniors (and boyfriends) Brad Taylor And Dylan Meehan were awarded the title of "Cutest Couple" and a photo of the happy couple was published in their school's yearbook. A friend excitedly posted the the image on Tumblr along with the following message:
"Two of my best friends won Cutest Couple of our senior class. First time in my school history a same sex couple has even been able to run for this category, not to mention winning it. So proud of them, and my school."
The Huffington Post reached out to the couple who responded with this message:
"This whole thing has been a bit surreal for us because we have been raised to believe that love is love. We never realized that our happiness and openness would inspire so many individuals. The support we have received from our family, friends, and even strangers has led us to believe that our affection for each other is normal ... When we started dating a year [ago], the thought of a photo of us traveling throughout the world would be a bit frightening, but now we are proud to be part of the LGBT community."
Adorable. Congrats, guys!
Last week Russian officials continued to make threats they would ban child adoptions to all couples in France - simply due to the recent introduction of marriage equality in that country.
Today we get word that a top Russian official says Russia is taking steps to prohibit the adoption of children to all foreign same-sex couples. According to Reuters, "an amendment restricting foreign adoptions to 'traditional' families will be submitted to parliament in its autumn session by the government."
Russia Beyond The Headlines also reports on the anti-gay statements made by the official, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets:
"Work will now be done to explain individual aspects, individual legal standards. There will be a reaction [to last month's French law allowing homosexual marriages and child adoptions by same-sex couples], we must create good, reliable guarantees that this will not extend to our children. It absolutely runs against the rules, the traditions of the people of Russia,"
"We don't recognize the same-gender family - for us it is not a family as a social institution. It absolutely contradicts all our principles. Our law courts were carefully checking this situation even before France brought out its law," Golodets said.
"Regardless of whether the agreement with France is expended or suspended, there will be stricter practices," she said.