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04/19/2007


Wednesday Speed Read: Ohio, India, Cleveland Gay Games, Scott Hines, Louisiana

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

T_blackOHIO STAY NEWS TODAY:

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black is expected to announce today whether he will grant a stay of his April 14 ruling that Ohio’s ban on same-sex couples marrying is unconstitutional. Briefs from both sides of the Henry v. Wymyslo lawsuit were due Tuesday afternoon.

OHIO BALLOT MEASURE CLEARS HURDLE:

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Monday that he has certified as “fair and truthful” a summary of a proposed ballot measure seeking to treat same-sex marriages the same as heterosexual marriages in the state. The certification is just one of several hurdles FreedomOhio, a pro-gay group, must clear to  put a question on the ballot in November. The proposed language states that marriage “shall be a union of two consenting adults not nearer in kin than second cousins…and no religious house of worship or the religious house of worship’s clergy shall be required to perform a marriage. All legally valid marriages shall be treated equally under the law.”

INDIA RECOGNIZES ‘THIRD GENDER’:

IndiaThe Supreme Court of India ruled Tuesday, “It is the right of every human being to choose their gender” and that people of a “third gender” should be given the rights of citizens. The decision in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India was written and approved by two different justices than the ones who, in December, upheld the country’s laws against same-sex sexual relations. But this latest opinion concluded, “We, therefore, conclude that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity includes any discrimination, exclusion, restriction or preference, which has the effect of nullifying or transposing equality by the law or the equal protection of laws guaranteed under our Constitution, and hence we are inclined to give various directions to safeguard the constitutional rights of the members of the [transgender] community.”

MUSLIM CABBIES BALK AT ADS:

GaygamesSome taxi drivers in Cleveland are asking that they not be assigned to drive airport cabs that are displaying roof-top advertisements for this summer’s Gay Games. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Tuesday that “some” drivers that work with taxi fleets at the airport object to the ads, saying they violate their Muslim religious beliefs. The cab companies are working with the airport and cab stand operator to replace the drivers in that fleet.

INCUMBENT LOSS IN CALIFORNIA:

MailerRancho Mirage City Council incumbent Scott Hines lost his bid for re-election April 8. Hines won only 17 percent of the nearly 12,000 votes cast. An openly gay candidate serving his first term on the council, Hines was the target of a hostile mailer during the campaign. Someone distributed to voters a postcard with a photo of Hines, the word “Fags,” and a message to “Send Hines Packing Back to Palm Springs, where he belongs.” But the Desert Sun newspaper suggested other factors in Hines’ loss may have been his youth (“in a city where retirees predominate”) and “questions about conflicts of interest.”

LOUISIANA CLINGS TO PAST:

The Louisiana House rejected a bill Tuesday that sought to remove from the state code a law prohibiting sexual relations between people of the same sex. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state sodomy laws in 2003, with its ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. Louisiana can’t enforce its sodomy ban against consensual adults in private, but the House voted 27 to 67 to keep the on the “books.” According to the Times-Picayune, a group called the Louisiana Family Forum sent a letter to legislators saying the “anti-sodomy statute is consistent with the values of Louisiana residents who consider this behavior to be dangerous, unhealthy and immoral."

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


'Religious' Taxi Drivers in Cleveland Refusing to Drive Cabs Bearing Ads for the 'Gay Games': VIDEO

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The 2014 Gay Games are set to take place in Cleveland from August 9-16 and The Plain Dealer is reporting that some drivers of the zone-based taxis operating out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport have notified their bosses that they will not drive the cabs for religious reasons, because the cabs have signage advertising the Games.

Hopkins released a statement saying that two of the three taxi companies operating at the airport -- Ace and Yellow Taxi – were informed by several of their drivers they will no longer participate in the airport's dedicated taxi cab program.

Patrick Keenan, general manager for the third company, Americab, said two of his drivers also have opted not to drive because of the Gay Games ads. The drivers are Muslims, Keenan and Hopkins spokeswoman Jackie Mayo said.

The drivers told their companies that their decision was based on religious reasons, Hopkins said in its statement.

WOIO adds:

19 Action News reporter Brian Duffy spoke with about 20 cabbies at the airport who are still driving and all of them confirmed there are drivers who have walked off the job on protest. Representatives of AmeriCab, one of the three cab companies on the job at the airport, also confirmed the protest but say only one of their drivers has been reassigned.

We're told at least 16-17 drivers who work for Ace Taxi, another company working out of the airport, are no longer driving. We went to Ace but were told they were too busy to talk to us. Yellow Cab, a third cab company at the airport, never returned our calls.

Watch a report on the walk-off from Cleveland's WOIO, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Religious' Taxi Drivers in Cleveland Refusing to Drive Cabs Bearing Ads for the 'Gay Games': VIDEO" »


'Gay Games 2014' Commercial to Air in Some Markets During Sochi Opening Ceremony: VIDEO

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An ad for the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland will run in several markets during tonight's broadcast of the Sochi Opening Ceremonies, Outlook Columbus reports:

Thirty-second commercials for the Gay Games are set to air during NBC’s telecast in Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, Buffalo and the host cities of Cleveland and Akron.

The Gay Games, an international event that takes place every four years, are scheduled for Aug. 9-16 in Cleveland and Akron. About 10,000 competitors and another 20,000 spectators are expected from around the world.

“These are great times we live in – exciting, complicated, extraordinary times,” a narrator says as the commercial begins with scenes of Gay Games medals, athletes, welcoming residents of northeastern Ohio and Cleveland’s annual Pride festival.

“And while the rest of the world tries to decide what its legacy will be, here in the United States we have a running start. This summer, the most inclusive sporting event in the world will take place in Ohio.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Gay Games 2014' Commercial to Air in Some Markets During Sochi Opening Ceremony: VIDEO" »


Paris Selected As Host of Gay Games X

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Paris beat out Limerick, Ireland and London and will host the Gay Games X in 2018.

Organizers report via press release:

The international delegates and board of directors of the Federation of Gay Games voted at the end of a three-day meeting featuring site inspection reports, question-and-answer sessions, committee reviews and, a highlight of the event, the oral presentation by each bidding organization. This meeting was held in Cleveland, host with Akron, of the 2014 Gay Games, presented by the Cleveland Foundation next year from 9-16 August.

David Killian, co-chair of the FGG Site Selection Committee, noted some factors that may have influenced voters in their choice: “The vote is the result of dozens of individual choices, but some points stood out for many voters. Paris proposed a wide range of sports in quality venues, many of which offer good visibility for the event. French LGBT sport organizations already have a great deal of experience hosting international multisport tournaments, and their LGBT community presents outstanding cultural events. They are already well advanced in planning, for example, with the designation of a dedicated sports manager. They arrived with demonstrable political support, including Minister for Sport Valerie Fourneyron and five-time Olympic fencing medalist Laura Flessel, who were part of the presentation team. And of course Paris is a great destination to visit or revisit.”


How Will Cleveland Leverage Hate Crimes and Gay Games to Brand Itself an LGBT-Friendly City? — VIDEO

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Leaders in Cleveland's LGBT community talk to the Northwest Ohio Media Group about how recent hate crimes at the city's Cocktails Lounge and the upcoming Gay Games in 2014 are an opportunity to raise awareness about how LGBT are disenfranchised in the state and lift Cleveland's reputation as an LGBT-friendly city.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Cleveland.com adds:

The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio has developed a four-hour training to give to businesses that wish to be a sponsor of the games or a certified vendor.

Peggy Zone Fisher, the group's president and CEO, said the training would examine companies' policies and procedures and rate them on how LGBT friendly the business is.

"We're not going to rewrite their handbook," she said.

Fisher, pointing out that it's not against the law in Ohio for employers to fire employees for being gay, said the training is a way to use the Gay Games as a spring board to make Cleveland more LGBT friendly long term.

"The sustainability piece of this training is going to be getting those protections in place in the policies and procedures of the companies," she said.

Public attention to the hate crimes has also brought light to what LGBT leaders see as another omission in the law - one that Ohio Rep. Nickie Antonio plans to address.

Continue reading "How Will Cleveland Leverage Hate Crimes and Gay Games to Brand Itself an LGBT-Friendly City? — VIDEO" »


President Obama Endorses Orlando as 'Gay Games' Host

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The City of Orlando got a boost from the White House in its bid to host the 2018 Gay Games, the Washington Blade reports:

“I am pleased to voice my support for the City of Orlando’s bid to host the Gay Games 2018,” the president said in a letter to Orlando 2018, the organization working on the bid.

“As President of the United States, I am committed to advancing equality for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community, both in America and around the world,” he said.

Mikael Audebert, project director for Orlando 2018, said Obama’s endorsement letter is believed to mark the first time a U.S. president has expressed support for the Gay Games or any LGBT event of that size.

Watch Orlando's bid video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "President Obama Endorses Orlando as 'Gay Games' Host" »


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