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New Nikon Ad Campaign Features Gay Couple Social Media Made Famous, Kordale And Kaleb Lewis

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Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 2.31.03 PMNikon shot a new commercial for its "I Am Generation Image," campaign featuring Kordale and Kaleb Lewis and their three children, whose morning routine selfie they posted to their Instagram went viral overnight last year. The morning routine selfie, showing the two fathers styling their two daughters' hair, garnered thousands of favorites, likes and comments; both positive and negative. Many of the negative comments they received were homophobic and racist in nature. 

In Nikon's video the two fathers explain the background story behind the selfie, confidently address the negative comments they received and express what they hope for their children going into the future. Kordale Lewis is also a writer and wrote a memoir about his life and the selfie that made them famous called, Picture Perfect? In it, Kordale talks about dealing with abuse, coming into his sexual identity, becoming a father at a young age and how he and Kaleb dealt with their new-found fame that came after posting the now famous selfie to Instagram. Despite all the negative comments they've received about the photo, the family is all smiles in Nikon's new video. Watch the heartwarming video that'll bring a smile to your face, AFTER THE JUMP...

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CBS Films Looking Into Removal Of Gay References From U.S. DVD Cover of 'Pride'

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The first image above is the original promotional artwork for Pride — the critically acclaimed 2014 film about gay activists who supported a bitter strike by British coal miners in the 1980s. 

The second image is the back cover of the Pride DVD released in the US on Dec. 23. 

Can you spot the difference? 

That's right, the banner in the background saying "Lesbians & Gays Support The Miners" has been removed. 

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 9.42.08 PMAdditionally, in the description of the film that appears on the back cover, the "London-based group of gay and lesbian activists" have been changed to just "a group of London-based activists," according to Pink News

The Hollywood Reporter has more

Ironically, those changes invert the plot of the film: Initially, the Welsh miners are more comfortable with the LGBT community’s monetary support than with its open sexual identity, but the miners ultimately become comfortable with their new supporters. Several characters come out during the course of the movie.

The film won several prizes at the British Independent Film Awards last month: the best British independent film award, along with best supporting actor and actress prizes for its stars Andrew Scott and Imelda Staunton, respectively.

Representatives for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which released the disc in the U.S., and CBS Films, which acquired U.S. rights, did not respond to requests for comment.

CBS Films said on Twitter on Saturday afternoon that it's looking into the matter: 


Will Taiwan Become the First Country In East Asia To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage? - VIDEO

Taiwan

Taiwan’s government today discussed the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriage, the first legislation of its kind to be debated in East Asia, reports Focus Taiwan.

The bill, which aims to replace such terms as “man and woman” with gender neutral alternatives including “spouses”, was drafted by the Opposition Democratic Progressive Party’s Cheng Li-chiun.

6a00d8341c730253ef01a3fce19b83970b-250wiIntroducing the bill, Cheng said:

“No one deserves to be deprived of their rights at birth to be on an equal footing with others just because of their psychological or biological differences.

“If we cannot break the cycle of discrimination, then everyone could become a victim of discrimination because of their respective differences.”

The proposed amendment cleared a first reading last year but had been shelved before a committe could discuss it largely due to opposition from religious groups. Bills must pass three readings in order to be sent to the president to be promulgated.

In a statement opposing the amendment, the Taiwan Religious Groups Alliance for the Family accused pro-equality politicians and gay rights activists of "pretending to be civic groups" to "terrorize" other lawmakers with opposing views on same-sex marriage.

In October, the religious anti-gay lobbying group called for police to monitor the Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade in the interests of "protecting children."

Last year, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Taipei to protest against gay marriage while earlier this month, thousands took part in a rainbow run in Taipei in support of gay marriage

Watch a clip from Taiwan Pride 2014, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Thousands Run For Same-Sex Marriage And Gay Rights In Taiwan

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An estimated 3,500 people took part in a rainbow run in Taiwan last Saturday in support of same-sex marriage and gay rights, reports GayNZ.com

The 15 kilometer run aimed “to bring attention to social issues related to gender diversity, anti-discrimination and changing the family system to better understand and in support of gay marriage and equal rights.”

The event was organized by the founders of skincare company Abrazo K, who said in a statement:

“We now can feel how much meaning this event had.

“In the face of love, everyone is the same. Everyone longs to love and to be loved, so why should that differentiate between genders?

“I, myself, am a heterosexual, but I really have experienced the feeling of longing to be loved. It is also for this reason that we stand out and embrace love with everyone today.”

In October, an estimated 70,000 people took part in Taiwan Pride, the biggest pride event in Asia.


Austin Takes Major Steps Forward On Transgender Rights

Stabler

Austin on Thursday became the first city in Texas — and the 43rd in the nation — to add transgender-inclusive health benefits for employees.

The City Council unanimously approved a resolution adding trans-inclusive benefits — including primary care, hormone therapy, mental health care and surgical care — beginning in 2015. 

The council also voted to require business owners to install signage indicating that single-stall restrooms are gender-neutral, and approved a resolution on pregnancy guidelines that specifically includes transmen.

From trans activist and HRC board member Meghan Stabler (above), who lives in Austin: 

BREAKING: Today, the Austin City Council unanimously approved a resolution directing the City Manager to incorporate transgender-inclusive benefits as part of the City employee benefits package in the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 proposed budget. Specifically the City Council approved three trans* friendly items:

Ordinance — single occupancy gender neutral restroom signage now required.

Resolutions:
— Directs city manager to incorporate Trans-inclusive health benefits for city employees as part of Fiscal year 2015-16 proposed budget
— Directs city manager to examine workforce practices in other cities regarding personnel policies for **pregnancy-capable** employees & develop recommendations for implementation to council May 1st 2015. – note that the resolution specifically includes transmen.

Express thanks go out to CCM Mike Martinez and Chris Riley for steering this through for the vote. There were several local advocates involved in this for months, well done.

The trans-inclusive benefits were opposed by the Travis County Taxpayers Association, and gender-neutral restrooms faced opposition from the anti-LGBT group Texas Values and its President Jonathan Saenz, according to a recent report from KTBC-TV

“Legally, politically and financially, this is not a smart move by the city of Austin,” Saenz said. "There are major privacy issues and safety issues when we deal with these type of transgender bathroom issues and we’ve seen them come up in Houston and San Antonio, where women are concerned about sharing or having to use a restroom where maybe a man’s gonna come in before or after them, you have small children and little girls.”

Jimmy Flannigan, an openly gay City Council candidate, has also come under attack from his opponent for supporting the gender-neutral restroom proposal. 

But Thursday's actions by the City Council only further solidify Austin's reputation as the queerest city in Texas. 

Next up? Rainbow crosswalks

Crosswalks


Houston Gay Pride Organizers Agree To Reschedule Parade To Avoid 'Juneteenth' Conflict: VIDEO

Houston

Under intense pressure from African-American LGBT leaders and others, Pride Houston Inc. agreed Thursday night to reschedule the 2015 parade to avoid a conflict with Juneteenth, a nationally recognized holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the US.

As Towleroad reported Thursday, Pride Houston board members initially refused to reschedule the parade in a letter to African-American LGBT activists earlier this week. But pressure continued to build, and even the statewide group Equality Texas issued a statement Thursday calling for the parade to be rescheduled. 

Houston's parade has traditionally been held on the last weekend of June to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. However, this year the Pride Houston board decided to move the parade to the third weekend in June — to avoid any conflict with the Fourth of July holiday and to allow people from Houston to attend other Pride celebrations around the country.

But the new date, June 20, fell on the same weekend as Juneteenth (June 19), and black LGBT activists said the decision threatened to drive a wedge between the African-American and LGBT communities at a time when the city may soon vote on an Equal Rights Ordinance.

At a packed open forum Thursday night, speakers included black former City Councilwoman Jolanda Jones, an LGBT ally. From KPRC-TV:

Jones"It's really important because civil rights for all of us are trying to be set back," Jones said. "We need to stick together."

After a lot of pressure, the board of directors for Houston Pride Inc. announced the date of the Pride Parade will be switched back to June 27th.

"I'm satisfied with the date change," said [black LGBT activist] Ashton Woods. "That was the ultimate goal."

"We believe everyone here will be happy with that and look forward to moving forward," said Houston Pride Inc. President. Frankie Quinjano.

Despite the decision, reports suggest lingering tensions between Pride Houston leadership and some members of the LGBT community. Pride Houston board members were already under fire for their decision to move the parade downtown and out of the Montrose gayborhood. Black trans blogger Monica Roberts, who was a driving force behind the push to reschedule the parade, reacted to Thursday's decision

Now was that so hard? It wouldn't have been if you'd listened to the Black LGBT community and our allies when we first told you about the problematic date conflict to begin with. instead of blowing us off. ... We'll be watching to make sure you follow through on what you told that packed meeting room you'd do.

As it turns out, some Pride Houston board members had not even been aware of Juneteenth, which led Woods to tell KTRK-TV, "(The board) needs cultural sensitivity training."

To their credit, Pride Houston board members reportedly plan to establish a cultural diversity committee.

Watch reports from KPRC and KTRK, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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