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California Bill Aids Transgendered With Name Changes And Identity Documents

California’s Assembly Bill 1121, which makes the state’s name and gender change process the easiest in U.S., went into full effect July 1., reports The Advocate.

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac812cfd970d-800wiThe bill, authored by out Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and co-sponsored by Transgender Law Center and Equality California, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown last year.

In August 2013, Brown signed into law a bill that will provide unprecedented protections for transgender students in California.

Atkins also authored the Respect After Death Act which would ensure death certificates correctly reflect the authentic gender identity of transgender Californians. The bill is currently awaiting action in the Senate.

Speaking to Equality California last year, Masen Davis, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center said:

“Having identity documents that accurately reflect who you are is vital in so many areas of everyday life — from applying for a job to exercising our rights at the ballot box. Many of us wouldn’t think twice when asked to show our ID, but this is a very serious issue for transgender people.”

Previously, transgendered Californians were required to obtain a court order in order to have their birth certificate reflect their correct name and gender.

However, under the new law applicants are now required to submit a form and a doctor's note directly to the state's Department of Public Health, indicating that they have taken appropriate steps to change their gender.

Additionally, those seeking a legal name change are no longer required to publish notice of intent in a local newspaper, a move which will save trans residents significant amounts of money and allow them to avoid the outing that comes with having a name change published.

Speaking to The Advocate, legal director for the Transgender Law Center Ilona Turner said:

“Today marks another step toward full equality for transgender Californians.  These simple administrative changes are going to make a huge difference for transgender people who continue to face unfair and burdensome barriers to being able to live authentically and free from discrimination.”


Prop 8 Plaintiffs Renew Marriage Vows One Year Later: VIDEO

Prop 8 wed eat cake

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo married at Los Angeles City Hall just hours after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay on its ruling on Prop 8 last year. Now, exactly one year later, the couple have renewed their vows - this time in an elaborate ceremony in front of friends and family.

The big event was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 28 and was, appropriately, officiated by Prop 8 attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies.

Frontiers reports on the day:

The ceremony itself was simple, emotional and shared—as they were escorted to the center of the “stage” by their mothers and nieces and nephews put in appearances to present the rings. As if to illustrate the point he was making, Olson read off cards he was holding to note that marriage is not about perfection and not only about marrying the right partner but being the right partner.

Guests included Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, Lance Bass, Darren Criss, Rob Reiner and retired District Court Judge Vaughn Walker.

Watch an ABC7 News segment on the ceremony, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Continue reading "Prop 8 Plaintiffs Renew Marriage Vows One Year Later: VIDEO" »


Threatening Letters Sent To San Diego Gay Bars - VIDEO

Threatening letters sent to gay bars in san diego

Threatening letters have been sent to two gay bars in San Diego.

Baja Betty's and Flicks, both in the Hillcrest area of the city, received the letters that threaten “car accidents, even death,” according to ABC 10 News.

The letters, each with fake return addresses, come amid a series of decisions favouring same-sex marriage in California.

The 15-page letter sent to Baja Betty’s, written by “Eddie 777, servant and messenger of God Yahweh,” says that the bar is full of pedophiles and sex addicts and that “god will punish you, Mr owner and staff, with bad luck, bad karma, injuries, accidents, car accidents, and worse, death.”

Speaking to ABC 10 News, Baja Betty’s marketing manager Eddie Reynoso said:

"In my opinion, it's a definite reflection of the current progress toward equality. It's not going to distract us from our momentum. In fact, it's going to make us celebrate even more.”

Although a report has been filed, police have yet to make a statement.

Watch the ABC 10 News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Threatening Letters Sent To San Diego Gay Bars - VIDEO" »


California Baptist Pastor Who Came Out In Support Of His Gay Son To Attend White House Pride Reception

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Danny Cortez, the pastor of the New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, California will attend a White House reception today along with his fifteen-year old son Drew in honor of Pride month as a guest of President Obama, Pink News reports. Cortez made headlines earlier this month when he announced to his congregation that his son was gay and that he sought to welcome the LGBT community to his church. Some within the Baptist community branded him an ‘apostate’ for contravening The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) constitution that states “explicitly that any congregation that endorses homosexual behavior is 'not in cooperation with the Convention,' and thus excluded from its membership.” Cortez’s own congregation, however, voted to keep him as pastor and become a ‘Third Way’ church.  

6a00d8341c730253ef01a3fd19ffc9970b-250wiThe New Heart church also issued a statement of support for Cortez and his family:

"As you know, the Cortez family has recently been under fire for reaching out to those in the LGBT community, who have been marginalized far too long.

“If you know Danny like we do, this is not out of character for him. He’s been standing in the gap, and seeking truth, and fighting for justice, and defending the widow, and loving the homeless—for years and years.

“He leads his family, he shepherds a church, and he has been there for you and me when we’ve needed him most. For good reason, we call him pastor."

Danny and Drew Cortez raised money for their travel to Washington, D.C. through a a successful crowd funding campaign. 


U.S. Supreme Rejects Challenge To California’s Ban On Conversion Therapy For Minors

6a00d8341c730253ef01a511c72080970c-250wiThe U.S. Supreme Court today announced it would let stand California’s ban on gay reparative or “conversion” therapy for minors, Bloomberg News reports. The ban, passed by the California State Assembly in 2012, was challenged by professionals who practice sexual orientation change therapy, two families who say their teenage sons benefited from it and a national association of Christian mental health counselors. 

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case and in August of 2013 upheld the ban, as a press release issued from The National Center for Lesbian Rights, who sponsored and helped defend the law, points out:

On August 29, 2013, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the law, ruling that the plaintiffs in two legal challenges could not succeed on their claim that the law infringes the free speech rights of therapists who wish to engage in these dangerous and long-discredited practices.

The full Ninth Circuit court declined to further review that decision, and the plaintiffs in the two lawsuits then asked the Supreme Court to review the cases. The Supreme Court denied those requests today, meaning that the Ninth Circuit panel’s decision upholding the law will be the final decision on the plaintiffs’ free-speech claims and the California law may be enforced.

The California ban was the first of its kind to be passed in the U.S. and can now be put into effect having cleared its final legal hurdle before implementation could begin.

New York recently failed to pass a similar ban on reparative therapy for minors. In Texas, the GOP Party platform endorses gay conversion therapy, though the Texas GOP party chairman has come out against the policy.


New Gay Animated Web Series Follows the 'Young, Dumb, and Hungry' in Palm Springs: VIDEO

Somewhere in palm springs episode 1

Written by Nate Clark & Allen Loeb, new animated web series Somewhere In Palm Springs is about three gay friends and their gal pal hanging by the pool in Palm Springs, California.

The series stars Drew Tarver (How I Met Your Dad) and Jimmy Fowlie (Go Go Boy Interrupted) and premiered June 24.

Life is hard when you're young, dumb and hungry...poolside in Palm Springs, California. Somewhere In Palm Springs is the harrowing tale of 4 friends forced to wait a normal amount of time for their lunch to arrive to their lounge chairs — they share hopes, dreams, neuroses, and the sordid details of their various one night stands. They may be vapid, but, hey, at least they're vapid.

Watch episodes one and two, AFTER THE JUMP...

Ps

Continue reading "New Gay Animated Web Series Follows the 'Young, Dumb, and Hungry' in Palm Springs: VIDEO" »


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