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Gallup Survey Confirms San Francisco Is The Nation's Gayest City (#7 May Surprise You Though)


Not surprisingly, San Francisco has the highest concentration of LGBT people of any city in the US, at 6.2 percent, according to a new Gallup survey

However, there are some surprises on the list, including Salt Lake City, which is ranked No. 7.

From The New York Times:

Gallup1It might seem surprising at first that the city most associated with the Mormon Church — which believes that sex and marriage should occur between only a man and a woman — has the seventh-highest share of L.G.B.T. people, at 4.7 percent.

But another aspect of the Mormon culture — the importance of community and family — goes a long way toward explaining the pattern, people in Salt Lake City say.

Though many gay people who were raised Mormon (or L.D.S., an acronym for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) describe feeling expelled from the community, a large number still choose to stay close to their families and culture. “If you grow up L.D.S. like I did, you still have these deep Mormon values that are embedded in your DNA,” said Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, an L.G.B.T. advocacy group.

The Gallup survey includes the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas and is believed to contain the most detailed estimates yet about where LGBT people live. 

Birmingham, Alabama, has the lowest concentration of LGBT people, at 2.6 percent, but according to Gallup, the overall margin is small:  

The distribution of LGBT identity across the largest metro areas in the U.S. is relatively narrow, with a range of 3.6 percentage points from the highest to the lowest MSA among the top 50. This mirrors previous analyses of the distribution of the LGBT population across states, which show similarly fairly even distribution, at least in comparison to the many other pronounced geographic differences found on race, ethnic, political and ideological variables.

The lack of sharp distinctions could reflect in part that the geographic MSAs used in this research are large, and for most areas, include significant suburban populations around center cities. The sample sizes involved do not allow for an analysis of center cities per se, but perhaps the LGBT percentage is larger in these areas than in the metropolitan area as a whole.


Trans Activists Storm LGBTQ Conference in Denver, Demand An End to Police Profiling of Queer Youth of Color


At the National LGBTQ Task Force's Creating Change conference in Denver last night, a group of nearly 100 trans people and allies rushed the stage to bring attention to the death of Jessie Hernandez, a queer Latina who was fatally shot by Denver police during a confrontation over a stolen vehicle last Monday.

The protesters, led by Bamby Salcedo, chanted "Jessie Presente!" as they stormed the stage with handmade signs, The Advocate reports:

Not only did Salcedo demand better accountability on the part of police and the criminal justice system, she also called for LGBTQ organizations to include transgender people on their boards and staffs as decision makers.

"If you serve us, you need to include us," Salcedo said to a crowd cheering and raising their fists in solidarity.

HancockAnother demonstrator said Denver police have the second highest rate of law enforcement killings. According to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Denver County has the second highest rate of law enforcement killings. 

After the activists vacated the stage, [Task Force deputy executive direcotr Russell] Roybal thanked them for the demonstration and then announced that Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (pictured right) would not address the crowd as planned.

Later, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza, the three co-creators of #blacklivesmatter, chose to forgo a planned speech at the conference and instead use the time to read off the names of at least a dozen trans women who were killed this year in the U.S.

Activists later took to Twitter to voice their frustrations with Mayor Hancock, the Denver Police Department, and the wider issue of police profiling queer youth of color.

Christian Organizations Misguidedly Defend Denver Bakery Owner for Refusing to Create Anti-gay Cake


Marjorie Silva (far left above), the owner of Denver's Azucar Bakery who refused to bake an anti-gay cake for bigoted customer Bill Jack and is now facing a state investigation into the matter, is finding some unusual supporters of her decision not to bake the hate cake. 

JackNBC reports that Worldview Academy, a prominent nondenominational Chirstian organization in Midland, Texas that lists Jack (right) as a faculty member and cofounder, says it disagrees with his complaint and stresses that Jack filed it as a "private citizen."

"Worldview Academy believes that God unconditionally loves every person," it said in a statement. "We also believe in liberty and justice for all. Consequently, we support the Colorado bakery owner's right — and the right of all other bakery owners — to not undertake work which would violate their core beliefs."

The virulently anti-gay Christian legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom, which fights for the right to discriminate against gays in the U.S. (and put them in jail overseas), is also siding with the bakery, Buzzfeed reports:

“It was clearly Ms. Silva’s right to decline to promote a message with which she so clearly disagreed,” Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “Ms. Silva should not be forced to use her artistic abilities to further a message with which she sincerely disagrees.”

Tedesco’s group, although not involved in this latest case, has represented bakers in two similar recent cases in which the business owners were Christian: In Colorado, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips refused to sell a cake to a same-sex couple, and in Washington State, Arlene’s Flowers is currently being sued for denying gay men flowers for their wedding.

ADF's token support of Silva in an attempt to appear consistent in its position that private citizens shouldn't have to do things they disagree with, however, doesn't really hold water, as Buzzfeed notes:

On the other side of the courtroom in both past cases — Masterpiece Cakeshop and Arlene’s Flowers — the American Civil Liberties Union represented the customers. Now the ACLU, which is also not directly involved in this newest case, supports the baker’s right to refuse service.

“Folks are trying to compare the Azucar Bakery story to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case… but in fact the two situations are quite different,” ACLU staff attorney Amanda Goad said in an email to BuzzFeed News.

The baker refusing service, she said, is “based on a neutral standard of taste that she would apply to any customer,” and is different from barring customers “not because of what the desired cake looked like, but because of who they are.”

In other words, if Silva had refused to bake Jack a wedding cake because he's heterosexual, things would be different. As it stands, Silva wouldn't have made a cake with a hate message for anyone - gay or straight - so the two cases are apples and oranges. She's already said she would have made a cake with a Bible on it no problem. 

In related news, Silva has created a Gofundme page to help the bakery with legal expenses related to the complaint which you can visit and donate to HERE. The page has been up for less than 24 hours and has already raised over $5,300. 

Colorado Customer Who Sought To Purchase Anti-Gay Cake Is Religious Educator, Founder Of Christian Summer Camp

Bill Jack

What is it with cake bakeries being the crucible for discrimination cases?

Last week we told you about Bill Jack, a Denver, Colorado man who entered the Azucar Bakery, tried to have a deliberately inflammatory and offensive cake made, and then made accusations of discrimination when owner Marjorie Silva refused to write how god hates homosexuality because they're detestable, disgraceful sinners.

This week Fox 31 Denver reveals that Jack's bona fides come from the nuttiest of wingnuttery. Jack spent ten years as a public school educator, which is frightening enough on its own, but then spent fourteen years with The Caleb Campaign, a creationist youth ministry that has almost no web presence when divorced from Jack, and went on to found Worldview Academy, a "non-denominational organization dedicated to helping Christians think and live in accord with a Biblical worldview."

Wading into all of the nonsense is Colorado Republican state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt, a fiercely anti-gay lawmaker who thinks Obama is demon-possessed. Contrary to what would ever be expected, Klingenschmitt actually sides with Silva, citing what he calls "an existing flaw in Colorado's nondiscrimination statutes," saying that, "The government should not be able to compel bakers to print things that they disagree with."

Denver Bakery Owner Refuses To Create Homophobic Cake For Conservative Wingnut

Screenshot 2015-01-15 21.45.20

Marjorie Silva owns and operates the Azucar Bakery in Denver, Colorado where she specializes in creating custom-made, imaginative wedding cakes. For that reason, she wasn’t surprised when a potential customer came into the shop inquiring about whether she could bake a cake shaped like a bible for a special occasion.

She assured the man that that wouldn’t be a problem, and asked a bit more about what kind of design he had in mind. The man proceeded to pull out a piece of paper describing the cake, but he refused to show it to the Azucar employees.

"He wouldn’t allow me to make a copy of the message, but it was really hateful," Silva told OutFront. "I remember the words detestable, disgrace, homosexuality, and sinners."

According to another employee, the man was asking for a cake covered in anti-gay, religious condemnation, something that Silva flatly refused.

"I told him that I would bake the cake in the shape of a Bible," said Silva. "Then I told him I’d sell him a [decorating] bag with the right tip and the right icing so he could write those things himself."

Upset, the man left the bakery and warned Silva that she and her employees would do well to get in contact with their attorneys; he planned on returning later that day. True to his word, the man returned hours later asking whether Silva had lawyered up. She described the man as “being really pushy and disruptive,” but thought nothing of his strange behavior and asked him to leave once again.

Soon after that first interaction, Silva received notice from the Department of Regulatory Agencies that a discrimination complaint had be filed against the bakery. Silva and her employees stood by the decision to turn away the man for his homophobic demands and further described his ludicrous inquiry:

"[He] wanted an open book with the words 'god hates homosexuality' and a 'no' sign over two men. He also wanted a scripture and the Ghostbusters logo.

The customer wanted us to draw two males holding hands … with a big 'X' on them. I told him that we do not like to discriminate in this bakery, we accept all humans and that the message and drawing is extremely rude."

Denver Gay Bar Found Guilty of Discriminating Against Drag Queen: VIDEO


Back in November we posted about the Denver Wrangler, a gay 'Bear' bar in the Mile High City which was under fire for a transphobic gender matching ID policy in which a man named Vito Marzano was turned away from the bar when he showed up in drag.

MarzanoEarlier this week the Civil Rights Division at the state's Department of Regulatory Agencies ruled that the bar discriminated against Marzano and that the bar has a history of discriminating against women and effeminate men, the Denver Post reports:

An investigation by DORA's division of civil rights found the bar violated Vito Marzano's right to public accommodations on Aug. 31, 2013, when it turned him away because of his appearance, according to the document.

"The law is new and developing. I think you will see more cases that are consistent with this ruling," said Darold Killmer, a Denver-based civil rights lawyer. "I think this was a courageous decision, but a correct decision by the Civil Rights Division."

DORA is ordering The Wrangler, a high-profile uptown gay bar, to go through mediation with Marzano, according to the document obtained by The Denver Post on Monday.

Watch a news report from KGMH on the ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Denver Gay Bar Found Guilty of Discriminating Against Drag Queen: VIDEO" »


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