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'National Same-Sex Kiss Day' at Chick-Fil-A on August 3


The Chick-Fil-A wars heat up with supporters of equality on Facebook organizing an event of protest on August 3:

In honor of their support for love, equality, and the real definition of family, we're holding a NATIONAL Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick Fil A's around the country. So grab a friend (or 20) and head out to your nearest Chick Fil A! And don't forget to post photos/videos of it here! For all the world to see!

NC County Officials Say Protest Against Pastor Charles 'Kill the Gays' Worley Can Go On


NOTE: If you haven't seen Anderson Cooper's interview with Worley backer Stacey Pritchard, it's a must. Check it out HERE.

Catawba County, North Carolina officials have granted the use of land for a protest this Sunday against Pastor Charles Worley, after the planned demonstration swelled with national attention and organizers are now expecting up to 2,000 people to attend. The County had earlier denied the request, McClatchy reports:

CatawbaIn originally denying the request, the county had cited county codes governing public use of grounds. Provisions include completing an application 14 days prior to the date of the proposed use, a requirement that a group making the request must have been in existence at least one year and proof of insurance.

Protesters went to the ACLU, and the County has relented:

"We want to peacefully and respectfully practice our First Amendment rights," said protest organizer Laura Tipton, 24, of Hickory. "We aren't a specific group or organization. All we want is the use of the grounds - a safe place."

On Thursday night, the county posted a statement on its website, saying officials had received an application earlier that day for public use of the lawn of the Justice Center for Sunday's protest.

"This application raised questions regarding the constitutionality of the existing regulation, specifically the 14-day requirement for applications to be received in the County Manager's Office," the statement said.

Officials said they consulted with constitutional law experts after receiving the application and then chose to grant permission for the assembly "in the interest of demonstrating appropriate respect for the ideals embedded in the Constitution."

The protest is to be held on the grounds of the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton, about 12 miles away from Pastor Worley's church.

Information about the protest can be found HERE.

Not All Gay Activists Cheering Mariela Castro's U.S. Visit

MarielaCastroMariela Castro, daughter of current Cuban president Raul Castro and niece of infamous leader Fidel, traveled to the United States this week to fight for LGBT rights, a cause she has championed for years in her home country.

"If we don't change our patriarchal and homophobic culture...we cannot advance as a new society, and that's what we want, the power of emancipation through socialism," Ms. Castro told medical professionals at a lecture in San Francisco yesterday. "We will establish relationships on the basis of social justice and social equality...It seems like a Utopia, but we can change it."

While many people are cheering Castro's advocacy, the Miami Herald reports that many LGBT Cubans are crying foul.

"For Mariela Castro, or anybody else under the Castro dictatorship, to say they are representing the rights of anyone is an insult to the hundreds of thousands who have either been killed, jailed or assassinated by their own hands, or the nearly 100,000 people who’ve jumped into the ocean looking for freedom who haven’t made it here," Herb Sosa, executive director of the Hispanic gay rights group Unity Coalition, told the paper.

Miami resident Pedro S. Romanach also voiced opposition, saying that despite Castro's efforts, there are still fundamental rights that Cubans, gay and straight alike, lack: She may be pro-gay marriage, but the very elementary rights Cubans don’t have — freedom of the press, freedom of assembly — gay people don’t have those rights in Cuba. Neither do straights."

He went on, "She doesn’t represent anybody but herself. The real heroes in Cuba are the gay people who are pro-gay and pro-freedom and the anti-communists who aren’t getting any publicity.”

Rachel Maddow Salutes The AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power: VIDEO


ACT UP celebrated its 25th birthday last week, and Rachel Maddow celebrated along with them. Did you know she used to be a member?

She did. And to commemorate the birthday, she and her people put together the excellent video below. It's got a lot of archival footage of ACT UP's many ballsy public actions, and ends on this note:

AIDS has killed more than 30 million people worldwide. Even in the United States right now there are thousands of HIV-positive Americans on waiting lists for treatment. On waiting lists for what are called the "AIDS drug assistance programs" in the States. Programs that do not have enough money to get HIV treatment to Americans who need it. In this country. in 2012.

With adequate treatment and healthcare, living with HIV can be a chronic manageable condition now. And that's mostly the way we think of it in this country now. Even though around the world, and even here at home, not everyone is there yet and more needs to be done.

But the reason AIDS can be a chronic manageable condition, the reason it is possible to imagine it ending, the reason ending it is in reach even now -- in significant part is due to a very radical group called ACT UP, which I belonged to for a big, defining chunk of my life before I was ever in media. And which has a deserved place in American history that a lot of people will try to ensure never gets told. But it will be told.

Happy 25th birthday, ACT UP. You set out really aggressively and controversially to change the world. And you changed the world. 


Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Salutes The AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power: VIDEO" »

Arrests Made During ACT-UP's Wall Street Protest


Nine activists were arrested during a Wall Street occupation celebrating the HIV/AIDS group ACT-UP's 25th anniversary yesterday.

Via the New York Daily News:

The ACT-UP demonstrators managed to hook the chain to light posts under the noses of cops patrolling the key intersection.

“Hey, you can’t do that,” one officer said as a protester clicked the padlock shut and plopped himself down on Broadway.

Holding up signs that read “Tax Wall St., End Aids,” the chanting demonstrators then refused to move.

Minutes later, a police officer arrived with a bolt-cutter and snipped the chain while other cops picked up the protesters and placed them in police vans.

“Hey, these are people here,” one demonstrator yelled as cops stood him up.

“We know,” an officer replied.

The activists are calling on the government to pass a "Financial Speculative Tax" that would tax speculative market trades to fund AIDS research and treatment.

ACT-UP to Hold 25th Anniversary Demonstration Tomorrow in March from City Hall to Wall Street


ACT-UP is marking its 25th anniversary tomorrow morning at 11 am with a demonstration and march.

From the organizers:

Hundreds of AIDS activists will gather outside City Hall to hear brief speeches on current topics of concern on HIV/AIDS issues, with specific demands, including the need for a Financial Speculative Tax to be funneled to health care.  The demonstration will leave City Hall and go down Broadway, with a couple of other stops at key locations, ending at Trinity Church with a personal commemoration of loved ones lost to AIDS. ACT-UP chapters and supporters are busing into New York from Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Washington and other cities to participate with the New York groups.  A number of supportive national and local organizations and individuals will join ACT-UP in the demonstration, including Housing Works, National Nurses United, and Occupy Wall Street, among many others.

Acts of civil disobedience may occur during the demonstration, which is expected to last about two to two and a half hours.

Speaking at the demonstration will be Eric Sawyer, ACT-UP and UNAIDS, Brent Nicholson Earle, ACT-UP, Wanda Hernandez, Vocal NY, Jose DeMarco/ACT-UP Philadelphia, Amanda Love, African Services Committee, Annette Gaudino, Health Care for the 99%/OWS, and Sam Aldi,National Nurses United, among others.

More information HERE.


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