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Cape Coral, FL Mayor is First in SW Florida to Support Marriage Equality: VIDEO

Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki

Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki is the first mayor in Southwest Florida to publicly announce her support for same-sex marriage, reports ABC-7 News.

Marni sawicki twitterSawicki has also added her name to a list of more than 500 mayors around the United States who support marriage equality.  Yesterday, we featured a video by Tallahassee Mayor John Marks in which he explains his reasons for supporting same-sex marriage.

Announcing her decision, Sawicki said she added her name to the Mayors for the Freedom To Marry campaign because “it's about human rights and freedom of choice. I believe it's the right thing to do."

However, although Sawicki has received support, some Cape Coral residents are less than happy with her decision.  One resident Dennis Adana told ABC-7 News that “as a Christian I am appalled that she would come out and publicly be okay with that.”

Watch Tallahassee Mayor John Marks explain why he supports same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Salem Mayor Writes Awesome Defense Of City's Decision To End Contract With Anti-Gay College - VIDEO

Kim driscoll mayor salem

On Wednesday we reported the decision by the City of Salem, Massachusetts, to kill a contract with anti-gay Gordon College.

Under the contract, the college operated the city’s Old Town Hall.  College president Michael Lindsay was one of more than 140 signees of a letter to Barack Obama seeking exemptions from a pending executive order which aims to prevent work discrimination by federally funded organizations. Letter by Kimberly Driscoll

Speaking to The Christian Post, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll said that Gordon College's "behavioral standards" policy, which specifically forbids "homosexual behavior," "is in violation of the LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance that was unanimously adopted by the Salem City Council earlier this year.”

Driscoll has since published an awesome letter defending Salem’s inclusive policies and calling out attacks made by right wing blogs and websites.  Specifically citing wingnut Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, Driscoll writes that “this has resulted in a number of phones calls being place to my office from people outside of Massachusetts who have expressed some patently offensive views regarding LGBT individuals.”

In response to the barrage of phone calls, Driscoll goes on to say “we are keeping a tally of these phone calls and for each one we receive I will be making a donation of $5 to nAGLY [North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth], in support of your good work to create, sustain, and advocate for the policies and services that support youth here on the North Shore.”

Driscoll also asks that individuals make contributions to nAGLy as a response to “the persistence of those who would deny LGBT citizens their equal rights.” 

Watch a video introducing nAGLY, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova Shares Her Coming Out Story With HSBC NOW: VIDEO

Martina navratilova HSBC NOW

Tennis legend and LGBT rights activist Martina Navratilova dropped into HSBC’s London offices during WorldPride week to talk about her coming out experience.

Navratilova, who won Wimbledon a record nine times, also talked about why diversity is important for business.

During the visit, which was triggered after Navratilova saw HSBC NOW's video with HSBC UK CEO Antonio Simoeson on being an out leader, she says:

“The people that don’t hide anything about who they are will be much happier. It will be a much happier workplace, better performance, and better bottom line at the end.”

Watch the HSBC NOW video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Smoking Overtakes HIV As Number One Health Risk To LGBT Community: VIDEO

Smokig overtakes HIV as number one health rick for LGBTI

The Office of the Surgeon General and Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Office of Smoking and Health have launched a video about smoking disparities in LGBT communities.

CDC statistics show that 30.8% of the LGBTI population in the US use tobacco products compared to 20.5% of the population as a whole.

The US Network for LGBT Health Equity reports that while non-smokers with HIV can expect to have an average of 5.1 years taken from their lives, people who smoke and have HIV will on average die 12.3 years earlier, according to Pink News.

The Center for Disease Control will target LGBT smokers this month as part of its Tips From Former Smokers Campaign. The campaign video features Brian, a HIV positive man who smoked for 30 years before a smoking- and HIV-related stroke almost killed him.

Watch both of the videos, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Wiki Loves Pride Edit-A-Thons Improve LGBT Content On Wikipedia

Wikimedia lgbt

Last month, Wikipedia launched a series of Wiki Loves Pride edit-a-thons to improve LGBT-related content on various Wikimedia projects.

The edit-a-thons aim to increase “the number of people and perspectives contributing to LGBT information on the site, as well as encouraging institutions to add their authority information, research and images to the public domain.”

Edit-a-thons have already taken place in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon.  Future edit-a-thons are planned for Atlanta and Houston and for Bangalore and Delhi, India.


Bakery Refuses Order For 'Bert and Ernie' Cake Supporting Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Ashers bakery norhern ireland refuses order for cake

A bakery in Northern Ireland could face legal action from The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland for refusing to take an order for a cake with the slogan “support gay marriage.”

Based in Newtownabbey, Ashers was named after a verse from the Bible, which refers to "Bread from Asher,” reports RTE.

LGBT activist Gareth Lee asked for the cake, ordered to help mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, to be decorated with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage,” a logo for QueerSpace, and an image of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.

Speaking to RTE, Ashers general manager Daniel McArthur said:

"I would like the outcome of this to be that any Christians running a business could be allowed to follow their Christian beliefs and principles in the day-to-day running of the business and that they are allowed to make decisions based on that."

The Christian Institute, which is supporting Ashers because “the case proves the need for the law to reasonably accommodate family-run businesses with firmly held beliefs,” said:

“When the order came through to the head office, the manager and directors decided to decline the request on conscience grounds, and offered a full refund.”

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland says that refusing to make the cake amounted to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and has written to Ashers asking that it remedies the situation within seven days or be taken to court.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the U.K. where same-sex marriage remains illegal.

Last May, The Colorado Civil Rights Commission rejected a Denver-area bakery’s appeal of an earlier ruling that bakery owner Jack Phillips “unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake."

Watch a video released by Ashers in which they comment on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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