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Tuesday Speed Read: Oregon, Utah, Primary Day, Los Angeles, Charles Van Sant

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

OREGON JUDGE STRIKES BAN:

McshaneOregon on Monday became the 18th state to allow same-sex couples to marry. In a 26-page ruling that shared some of his personal experience with anti-gay sentiments, U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane (an Obama appointee) struck down the state’s ban as “utterly arbitrary and completely irrational” and in violation of the equal protection and due process guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber and his attorney general had already made clear they intended to abide by any decision striking the ban, and McShane’s order called for his decision to go into effect immediately. One of the plaintiff couples was the first to get married, just minutes after the decision was released. See full story.

FEDERAL JUDGE SAYS UTAH MARRIAGES COUNT:

UtahU.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball (Clinton appointee) granted a preliminary injunction Monday afternoon requiring that Utah recognize the marriages of an estimated 1,300 same-sex couples that took place before a U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay in another district court judge’s decision in Kitchen v. Herbert, striking down the state’s ban. But Kimball, who applied heightened scrutiny in the case, Evans v. Utah, stayed his order for 21 days, to give the state time to seek an emergency stay from the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. At deadline, state officials said they were considering an appeal but had not yet made a decision. John Mejia, an attorney with the ACLU which sought the injunction, said that, while couples must still await a permanent decision, the preliminary injunction does provide same-sex couples with “the full recognition they deserve as lawfully married couples.”

GAYS IN MANY PRIMARIES TODAY:

Josh_youngAt least eight openly gay candidates are on the ballot in primaries today. Six of them are running for state House seats: Incumbents include Reps. Simone Bell and Karla Drenner of Georgia and Brian Sims of Pennsylvania; newcomers include John McCrostie in Idaho; Rob Nosse in Oregon; and Joshua Young of Pennsylvania (pictured). In Georgia, Kyle Williams is running for the state senate and Joan Garner is running for a Fulton County Commission seat.

HOT RACE FOR L.A. COUNTY BOARD:

Two openly gay candidates are among eight people running for the June 3 election for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Former California Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl is considered one of the frontrunners in the contest. She was, in 1994, the first openly gay person elected to the California Assembly and later the first to serve in the state senate. She was term-limited out of the legislature. Former West Hollywood City Council member John Duran is also running. Duran has deep ties to the LGBT community, having served on the boards of numerous organizations, including Lambda Legal, Equality California, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. They are running against Bobby Shriver, the son of the late Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver.

VansantCAUGHT ON TAPE:

Equality Florida has posted a video on its website showing Florida Republican State Rep. Charles Van Zant speaking at a right-wing conservative conference in March opposing certain education reforms proposed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR): “These people….will promote double mindedness in state education and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.” Politifact.com, a fact-checking feature of the Miami Herald, says AIR “only provides materials on gay and lesbian issues to schools and organizations that request it….And the group does not promote the issues.”

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Demi Lovato to Headline NYC Pride 'Dance on the Pier' and Serve as Grand Marshal for LA Pride Parade

Lovato

Recording artist Demi Lovato will headline this year's NYC Pride Dance on the Pier at Pier 26 in Tribeca on June 29 after serving as Grand Marshall of the LA Pride Parade on June 8, the two Pride committees announced in a joint statement this week.

Said Lovato: "It’s such an honor to be a part of both LA and NYC PRIDE celebrations this year. I have been an active advocate of the LGBT community and am wholly committed to supporting individuality and being comfortable in one’s own skin. I am thrilled to be a part of both events as they are a wonderful celebration of independence and self-confidence.”


Jay Leno Joins Protest Outside Beverly Hills Hotel Against Brunei's Anti-Gay 'Death by Stoning' Law: VIDEO

Jean

A major protest was held on Monday outside the Beverly Hills Hotel in support of what's become a very large boycott against Dorchester Hotels, which are owned by the Sultan of Brunei, over his implementation of an anti-gay law which punishes homosexual acts with death by stoning.

Jay Leno was among the celebrities attending the demonstration, Variety reports:

“What year is this? 1814? Come on people, it’s 2014,” said Jay Leno, before some four dozen protesters with banners directed at the Sultan, including one that read, “Seriously, dude?”

“Evil flourishes when good people do nothing, and that is pretty much what this is,” Leno said at the rally, adding that the issue should hardly be divisive but was a matter of “common sense.”

The paper adds:

At the rally speakers that condemned the Sultan included Leno, wife Mavis, the Feminist Majority’s Kathy Spiller and Eleanor Smeal, labor activist Dolores Huerta and Lorri Jean of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. The event was held at Will Rogers Park, just across the street from the hotel, with speakers set up before a bank of a dozen news cameras and with the hotel’s iconic logo as a backdrop.

Jean denounced religion as a justification for violence abroad and here in the U.S.

Watch her fiery speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

Other high-profile figures and organizations boycotting the hotel chain are Sir Richard Branson, actor Stephen Fry, designers Peter Som and Brian Atwood , Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Osbourne, director William Friedkin, and the Outgiving conference.

Continue reading "Jay Leno Joins Protest Outside Beverly Hills Hotel Against Brunei's Anti-Gay 'Death by Stoning' Law: VIDEO" »


L.A. Pride Celebrates the New American Family: PHOTO

Lapride

L.A. Pride is promoting this year's event with a couple of billboards featuring 'The New American Family' played by a set of models representing various members of the LGBT commmunity as one family unit, from a gay dad to a trans* mom, to a drag grandma. Interestingly, their website is billing it as 'TLGB' Pride this year.

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Group Protests Brunei’s 'Death By Stoning' Law Outside Beverly Hills Hotel

Protest
(twitter adam schorn)

A group of about 15 people gathered outside the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday to protest the hotel’s owner, the Sultan of Brunei, who recently announced he would be instituting a death-by-stoning penalty for gay people in his small southeast Asian country.

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

Beverly hills hotel"Hollywood spends a lot of money at the Beverly Hills Hotel and I don't want it to end up in the hands of that person," explained actress Beth Grant (The Mindy Project). "We just want in a loving and compassionate way to put an end to it," she said, meaning homophobia in Brunei supported by big spenders at Beverly Hills Hotel. The protesters held up a banner touting the website dumpbhh.org, which contains a petition and a headline noting, "If the hotel was in Brunei, gays couldn't stay, because it's illegal to be gay in Brunei."

Cameron Silver, owner of a Hollywood vintage couture store, organized the event along with Jennifer Howell, who works for fashion-supported charity Art of Elysium. "We're here in a peaceful way to energize taking more responsibility," said actress/musician Rain Phoenix, 41, who directs Art of Elysium's music program Elysium Sessions. "Once people know where our money goes, that the things people buy affect people far away, courageous love can not only quell but transform the hate. If we greet hate with hate, we only create more hate." Phoenix said the protest was reminiscent of her first public appearances as a three-year-old singing as a religious evangelist with her brother River Phoenix on streetcorners in Venezuela. "Through the internet, we can tranform how people feel."

In a similar protest earlier this month, a private high-dollar LGBT donor conference was moved away from the Beverly Hills Hotel. 


LGBT Donor Conference Moved from Beverly Hills Hotel Over Brunei's Plan to Stone Gays to Death

Beverly_Hills_Hotel_Los_Angeles

A secret, high-dollar LGBT donor conference planned at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles has been moved following news that its owner, the Sultan of Brunei, would be instituting a death-by-stoning penalty for gay people in his small Southeast Asian country.

The Washington Blade reports:

Sultan of bruneiThe OutGiving conference, known this year as “Winning the Heartland,” was set as of Thursday to take place at the Beverly Hills Hotel from May 1-4, according to the registration website for the conference.

The hotel is owned by Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah [pictured], who announced this month plans for his country to start punishing same-sex relations with death by stoning in addition to subjecting perpetuators of rape, adultery and extramarital sexual relations to the same punishment. That policy would be consistent with Islamic Sharia law in the predominately Muslim country.

After the Washington Blade raised the connection on Thursday with the Gill Action Fund, which organizes OutGiving, the organization said it had notified the hotel earlier in the day the conference would no longer take place at that location.

The paper adds:

The United Nations has already criticized the new policy in Brunei. Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said, “Application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offences contravenes international law.”


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