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National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Announces New Inductees

HallofFameSideProof3It's been almost a year since the first-ever inductees of the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame were honored in Chicago. Included were big-name athletes such as Billie Jean King, Greg Louganis, Jason Collins, and Johnny Weir.

This year, on July 11, a new crop of athletes and organizations will be honored in The Windy City. Among them will be: baseball player William ‘Billy’ Bean of the San Diego Padres, British diver Tom Daley, and rugby player Mark Bingham — who is known both as the namesake of the Bingham Cup and for his tragic death on United 93 in the 9/11 attacks.

Football fans will note the absence of NFL newbie Michael Sam. While Sam is still green in his career, it's worth noting that the list includes three former NFL players who came out as gay after their time in the league ended: Esera Tuaolo, Wade Davis, and Jerry Smith (deceased 1986, a casualty of the AIDS epidemic).

While some of the most visible inductees are LGBT athletes, organizations (e.g. Nike) and sports businesspeople are also included. As are straight allies — deceased San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (portrayed by Victor Garber in Milk) is also included in the list. The complete "roster" of inductees, via GNN:


John Amaechi, retired NBA player;
 Mark Bingham, rugby player (deceased); Tom Daley, Olympic medal winning diver
; Wade Davis, executive director of You Can Play and retired NFL player
; Fallon Fox, mixed martial artist
; Brittney Griner, decorated collegiate athlete, active WNBA player
; Mayor George Moscone, straight ally, former Mayor of San Francisco (deceased)
; Chris Mosier, founder of transathlete.com
; Nike, corporation
; Diana Nyad, endurance swimmer
; Jerry Smith, NFL player (deceased)
; Stand Up Foundation, anti-bullying non-profit organization
; Gareth Thomas, retired rugby player
; Esera Tuaolo, retired NFL player.


Chicago's Gay Community Shames Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bruce Rauner

Bruce rauner poster chicaho pride

Equality Illinois, along with associated community members and elected officials, yesterday unveiled a giant banner of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, showcasing last year’s statement that he would have vetoed the state’s new marriage equality bill had it come to his desk as governor.

The two-story banner titled Bruce Rauner On Equal Marriage, uses the quote: “If I were Governor, I would veto it.”

The banner is located at one of the busiest locations on the Chicago Pride Parade, which is expected to see large crowds this year thanks in part to the marriage equality law going into effect on June 1.

In a statement, Art Johnson, co-founder of Equality Illinois and owner of the Sidetrack bar, said that Rauner “has made it clear he opposes the freedom to marry and has chosen the side of bigotry and intolerance."

Despite claiming to “have many gay friends” that he hopes “have great lives together” should they choose to get married, Rauner said that although he does not have a “social issues agenda”, he would consider repealing the state's marriage equality law if that’s what voters want.


Flight Attendant Replaces Safety Announcement With Hilarious Sassy Speech: VIDEO

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On a San Francisco to Chicago flight June 17th, a male flight attendant replaced the usual safety announcement with a sassy speech.

The unidentified attendant said that seat belts should be “low and tight across your hips just like the hot pink Speedo I’m going to be wearing when I get the [other flight attendants] to a hotel hot tub tonight.”

According to YouTube uploader David London, the attendant also threw a cocktail party half way through the flight.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP

You may recall another sassy Southwest attendant from this clip that went viral back in April. Seems as though they're trying to take some of the drudgery out of air travel.

Continue reading "Flight Attendant Replaces Safety Announcement With Hilarious Sassy Speech: VIDEO" »


Equality Illinois Calls for Challenge of Brunei Ambassador Over Country’s Anti-gay Law

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 11.39.07 AMThe Chicago Council on Global Affairs plans to host the Brunei ambassador to the United States at a meeting in Chicago today and Equality Illinois is calling on participants to bring up Brunei’s new anti-gay law punishing homosexual acts with death by stoning.

Via press release:

“We should take every opportunity to challenge and express opposition to this obscene law that violates all norms of human rights,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest organization advocating for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans.

“Many nations make life difficult or create outright bans on their LGBT citizens but few go as far as Brunei in instituting a heinous death penalty for being gay,” Cherkasov said. “American businesses with global interests should specifically avoid doing business in Brunei, lest they place their employees at risk because of their actual or perceived LGBT identity.”

Brunei Amb. Dato Yusoff Abd Hamid will be joined by five other ambassadors of countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).


Lambda Legal Launches Chicago Mass Transit Campaign in Celebration of Marriage Equality: PHOTOS

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Last week, Lambda Legal unveiled it’s first ever transit ad campaign - a series of marriage victory ads that will run on Chicago’s Red line until April 15.

Chicago Pride reports:

"This is a celebration campaign," said Jim Bennett, Regional Director for the Midwest Regional Office of Lambda Legal. "We're very happy to have our plaintiff couples as the faces of a campaign on the CTA Red line, a great place to be seen by our community. The people who text to get the Love Unites US bag will also be sent our marriage FAQ and as always we are here to help if the need arises. Lambda Legal has been fighting for equality for a long time, and we want to share the excitement. We all did this together - these ads are full of joy."

The campaign bears the slogan,"You make your life, we make it legal." The ads also feature Lambda Legal marriage plaintiffs Lakeesha Harris and Janean Watkins from Chicago and Timothy Rice and Don Julian of Alto Pass, Illinois as well as the organization's Board co-chair, Karen Dixon and her spouse Nan Schaffer formerly of Chicago.

Check out the campaign’s images, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Lambda Legal Launches Chicago Mass Transit Campaign in Celebration of Marriage Equality: PHOTOS" »


IL Congressional Candidate Who Said Autism is God's Punishment for Gay Marriage Wins Primary

Williams_atanus

Towleroad readers may remember Susanna Atanus, a Republican congressional candidate from the Chicago area who made headlines in January for an interview she gave in which she offered a nutty perspective on gay rights and abortion:

"I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first," Atanus said. She said she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.

"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."

Atanus WON her primary, the Niles Herald-Spectator reports:

According to unofficial totals, Atanus received 15,238 votes to Williams’ 13,864 votes...

Republican leaders urged Atanus to leave the race, but she declined.

Her opponent, Williams, also met with controversy during the race when a Washington D.C. judge ruled Williams had stalked an ex-girlfriend and issued a domestic violence civil protection order against him, the website Evanston Now reported. Williams denied the allegations.

Atanus will face incumbent Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky in November's primary.


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