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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: I Would Support Amending 1964 Civil Rights Bill to Cover Gay Rights


Andy and I had the chance to sit down and interview United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at the LGBT Community Center in New York City on Sunday afternoon. 

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Gillibrand2We spoke to the Senator about the legislative road to repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', critics who have questioned her convictions on LGBT issues, the marriage equality battle in New York State and also if she'd be supportive of amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation.

Said the Senator: "I would [be supportive of that]. I truly believe that this gay rights agenda is the civil rights march of our generation. I think marriage equality, I think repealing DOMA, Don't Ask, Don't Tell. All of that work we're doing is part of equal rights in America and it is something that is so important to this generation. I think that kind of bill would be transformational...Whether we have the votes for that kind of bill today, I don't know. But it's something certainly worth fighting for."

Gillibrand3 Senator Gillibrand had a small private meeting with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender activists from five boroughs before holding a larger event that was open to the general public. Lt. Dan Choi introduced her at the public event and she updated the audience on the current pieces of legislation before the Congress that are of importance to the gay community. She then took questions from the crowd. During the question and answer period she told a few personal anecdotes related to growing up in a political family where her grandmother had a close gay couple as friends and also how during her career as a senior associate at a law firm she had plenty of gay colleagues.

Watch our interview, and a brief video clip from Gillibrand's talk at the center in which she discusses why LGBT rights are important to her, AFTER THE JUMP...

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AC360 Talks Hate Crimes with Corey Johnson and Dan Savage


Towleroad's political director Corey Johnson joined The Stranger's Dan Savage on Anderson Cooper's show to discuss passage of the hate crimes bill and the current climate with regard to LGBT rights.

This was Corey's first appearance on AC360 as a representative of Towleroad. Congrats to Corey and thanks to Anderson for having him on.


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National Equality March: Laying of the Wreath at Arlington, and Interview with Lieutenant Dan Choi


I didn't have a chance to process this clip earlier this week. It featuresf the Knights Out 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery during the National Equality March last weekend, and our interview with Lieutenant Dan Choi.


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Interview: Lady Gaga at the National Equality March


Here's a brief chat we just had with Lady Gaga following her remarks at the National Equality March this afternoon. Wow. The March was an incredible success. I've got tons of photos to go through, and plenty of video, but it takes a while to process so I'll be putting it out as soon as I can edit it.

In addition to yesterday's interviews with March co-director Robin McGehee and David Mixner, we've got an interview with Lt. Dan Choi, Hair's Gavin Creel, a brief chat with Cleve Jones, and a bunch of March footage which I'll try to whip into some sort of shape.

As far as the attendance of the March goes, the police gave us a number of between 200,000 and 250,000. The turn-out of young people was spectacular and inspiring.

I've posted our chat with Gaga, plus her remarks as carried by C-Span, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Towleroad in Brief: 5 Questions for Frank Rich


On Friday afternoon, Towleroad's Corey Johnson and I paid a visit to the office of New York Times columnist Frank Rich (you may remember his recent column on the National Organization for Marriage and the waning of the anti-gay movement). Rich answered a few of our questions about the LGBT community and Democrats, the state of the Republican Party, traditional media vs. new media, the Miss California blow-up, and the ethics of outing closeted elected officials.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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EXCLUSIVE: Mayor Bloomberg to Announce Comprehensive Initiatives Combating Anti-Gay Bulling in NYC Schools


GuestbloggerBloombergMayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City School Chancellor Joel Klein will announce a groundbreaking comprehensive initiative later this morning at the Department of Education (DOE) headquarters to address bias-related harassment, intimidation and bullying in the New York City School system. The new Chancellor’s Regulation, A-832, will make New York City’s efforts to combat bullying and harassment based on ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other factors among the most rigorous in the country and build on the city's “Respect for All” initiative, according to organizers.

Ellner"The new steps outlined today will help us make sure that all students are afforded a safe and harassment free environment in which to learn," said Senior Counselor to the Chancellor Brian Ellner. You may remember Ellner was an openly gay candidate for Manhattan Borough President in 2005.

In 2004, Bloomberg vetoed anti-bullying legislation for New York City's public schools that had been passed by the City Council. The stated basis for the veto was because of jurisdictional control and the Mayor argued that the City Council did not have authority to legislate issues concerning the health and safety in schools. At the time, the veto angered leaders throughout the LGBT community in New York City. There is currently a Dignity for All Students Act pending in the state legislature. Today's move may pressure state lawmakers to follow the city's lead and pass it.

KleinThe new regulations are being unveiled this morning in coordination with Randi Weingarten, the President of the United Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers, who is also openly lesbian; Alan Van Capelle, the executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, Kevin Jennings, the founder and executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Thomas Krever, executive director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which includes the Harvey Milk High School, Drew Tagbliabue, the executive director of P-FLAG New York City, and local political leaders such as New York City Speaker Christine Quinn, State Senator Tom Duane and Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell (Rosie’s brother).

Said Bloomberg of the initiative: "Bullying and harassment impede our students’ ability to learn. When students are victims of bullying because of race, sexual orientation, or other factors, they simply cannot focus on learning, and we cannot allow that. Our students should always feel safe at school, and these initiatives will help ensure that they do. By holding students and administrators accountable, and by giving victims more opportunities to seek help, we can create safer schools with healthier learning environments. Enforcing the Chancellor’s Regulation will not only ensure that incidents of bullying are handled swiftly and appropriately, it will also help prevent such incidents in the first place."

The new regulation establishes a new email address,, where students who have experienced bullying behavior and are hesitant to report it to their school can turn for help.

Continued, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "EXCLUSIVE: Mayor Bloomberg to Announce Comprehensive Initiatives Combating Anti-Gay Bulling in NYC Schools" »


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