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The Unexpected Story of a Gay Dentist Who Became Provincetown's Entertainment Impresario: VIDEO

Provincetown, Massachusetts has a longtime reputation for attracting visionary and enterprising individuals to its scenic shores at the tip of Cape Cod. Its history as an arts colony, its spectacular natural setting, and its appeal as a tourism mecca for gay and lesbian travelers have made it a cultural hotspot where creators, curators, and connectors come together each summer to work and live, exchange ideas, and just relax.

Towleroad and LEXUS have been bringing you their stories in our AskTell ACT series. Last week we featured the story of Towleroad founder Andy Towle's relationship with 'Ptown'. The week before we spoke with our friend Josh Patner at his Loveland boutique. And you can't miss the story of Rob and Loic, a gay binational couple who fell in love, quit their jobs, and opened their dream restaurant in town.

RCF_LGBT_300x250_STATIC_112014Today we're pleased to bring you the story of Rick Murray,  who moved to Provincetown full time more than two decades ago amid the HIV hysteria surrounding medical professionals in the early days of the AIDS crisis. Rick, a dentist at the time, decided to shut down his practice before moving to the Cape; not only were things being made difficult for those in his profession at the time, but he wanted to keep his patients safe, as it was uncertain in the early days of the crisis how HIV was transmitted.

Rick moved to Ptown and opened Mussel Beach Health Club and took ownership of The Crown & Anchor Inn.

It's hard to miss The Crown & Anchor Inn in Provincetown. The lively, colorful, and historic complex at the center of the town's Commercial Street is flanked in the afternoon by an assortment of Broadway performers and drag queens hawking their various shows and in the evening provides a street soundtrack of show tunes and tinkling melodies that waft to the street from the piano bar in its lobby. It's also a restaurant, a prime nightclub and must-not-miss party experience for those visiting over the 4th of July or other summer holiday weekends. Towleroad partnered with the Crown for our Summer Camp last year.

In the video above, Rick tells us how he made the show go on for The Crown and his own career. We hope you enjoy it.

And don't miss our earlier videos in this series:
> This Gay Couple Found Love, Quit Their Jobs, and Opened Their Dream Restaurant in Ptown
> Fashion Exec Left the Rat Race and Opened the Ideal Boutique in Provincetown
> Towleroad's Founder Extols the 'Unlimited Inspiration' He found in Provincetown

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Gay Groups Make History By Marching In Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade: VIDEO

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Two LGBT groups marched in Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday for the first time in the event's 114-year history. 

OutVets (below right) and Boston Pride (above) were both invited to participate, ending a two-decade ban on gay groups. 

The Associated Press reports: 

OutVets"We march today for the memories of those thousands and thousands of people who went before us, some who went to their graves in the closet," OutVets founder and leader and Air Force veteran Bryan Bishop told his group before the parade. He called it "the beginning of the mission of this organization to honor the service and sacrifice of every single LGBT veteran, their family, their allies and every veteran in this country who fought so selflessly to defend the rights that we hold dear." ... 

Boston Pride member Freddy Murphy said the open inclusion of gay groups was a long time coming.

"I just remember watching the parade and kind of thinking it was hopeless, that my entire world was against me," said Murphy, a Dorchester neighborhood native whose father was a Boston firefighter. "This is why I'm marching today."

Also marching in the parade for the first time in 20 years was Boston's mayor. Mayors had boycotted the event every year since 1995, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of the Allied War Veterans Council, which organizes the parade, to keep gay groups out.

The War Veterans Council voted 5-4 in December to allow OutVets to participate, and Boston Pride received an invitation last week. Mayor Marty Walsh was joined by Gov. Charlie Baker and Congresssman Seth Moulton, who marched with OutVets.  

“I’m thrilled that the St. Patrick’s Day parade is inclusive this year, and the addition of Boston Pride to the list of participants reflects the values of the South Boston neighborhood,” Walsh said in a statement. “With this year’s parade, Boston is putting years of controversy behind us.”

Knights of Columbus, the anti-gay Catholic group, boycotted the parade over the decision to allow LGBT groups. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio is boycotting the parade because only one LGBT group will be allowed to march. 

Watch a report on the parade from New England Cable News, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Gay Groups Make History By Marching In Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade: VIDEO" »


All-women's Wellesley College to Accept Transgender Students for the First Time

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Boston's historic all-women's liberal arts Wellesley College has announced it will begin accepting transgender women as students, The Boston Globe reports:

The liberal arts college west of Boston will for the first time consider for admission any applicant who “lives as a woman and consistently identifies as a woman,” according a letter it sent to the school community.

The policy is expected to take effect for the next admission cycle, for the class of 2020. Individuals assigned female at birth who identify as neither male nor female are also eligible for admission, the school said.

“We will support all the students who are at Wellesley and all of their kinds of finding themselves in all of the ways that we can,” college president H. Kim Bottomly said in an interview.

The new policy, approved Wednesday by Wellesley’s Board of Trustees, comes after Bottomly formed a committee last fall to study educational, social, legal, and medical considerations about gender identity, according to the college.

Applicants who identify as men are not eligible for admission. Students who come to no longer identify as women during their time at Wellesley will still be allowed to graduate, provided academic standards are met, the school said. The college will also assist students who wish to transfer out of Wellesley because they no longer identify as women, according to the letter.

 


EEOC Finds Walmart Discriminated Against Lesbian Employee Who Sought to Add Sick Wife To Health Plan

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found Wal-Mart discriminated against a lesbian employee who sought health coverage for her sick wife and has now ordered a resolution for violating her civil rights reports ABC News. In a Jan. 29 EEOC ruling, the agency stated Wal-Mart employee Jacqueline Cote of New Bedford, Mass. “was treated differently and denied benefits because of her sex."

Cote attempted to enroll her wife Diana Smithson, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, in Wal-Mart’s health plan in 2008 however, her coverage was denied and the company didn’t provide it until 2014. Randy Hargrove, a spokesman with Wal-Mart, said the company is willing to meet with the couple to resolve the issue at hand.

Said Hargrove: 

"While we disagree with the finding of reasonable cause, we have notified the EEOC of our willingness to meet with them and Miss Cote to discuss resolving the matter."

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 9.26.23 AMSmithson, who married Cote in Massachusetts in May 2004, attempted to enroll her wife online starting in 2008 but found that the system denied her from proceeding when she denoted that her spouse is a woman. Cote sought an explanation and was told that same-sex spouses are not covered. Cote attempted to enroll every year since then, including 2012 when Smithson was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Cote approached Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders in 2013, which filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC the following year. 

The couple has $100,000 in medical bills and paid out of pocket for said expenses in 2012 when Smithson lost private health coverage.  The couple’s attorney, GLAD attorney Allison Wright, is seeking a settlement negotiation with the retail giant to cover Smithson’s costly treatments.

Cote, 52, and Smithson, 63, met while working in a Wal-Mart store in Augusta, Maine. For Cote, the lawsuit is more than just recouping damages. "I'm not only doing this for me, I'm doing this for other gay and lesbian couples that have been discriminated against as well," said Cote. 

Wal-Mart expanded its policy in January 2014 to cover same sex spouses and domestic partners.


Anti-Gay Activist Scott Lively Considers Run For Congress in Massachusetts: VIDEO

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Vile homophobic activist Scott Lively, who has been accused of inciting anti-gay hatred in Uganda, is considering running for Congress in a challenge to Democratic Representative Richard Neal, reports Right Wing Watch.

Lively, who was profiled in last year’s Human Rights Campaign report The Export of Hate, made the announcement on BarbWire, the nasty website belonging to Peter LaBarbera, one of the more dangerous anti-gay activists in the U.S.

His run at congress appears to have come about following a “huge victory” in last year’s run for Massachusetts governor - Lively polled 19,000 votes, less than 1% of those cast.

Lively explains he is hoping to serve in Congress in order to fight the “homosexual agenda” and "anti-Russian propaganda" that is "robbing social conservatives of their most valuable potential alliance in the world today.”

He also makes clear that god is on the side of the bigots in their fight to implement the “goals of Biblical Christianity” around the world.

It is not clear how the news that Lively is to stand trial for crimes against humanity for his “work” spreading anti-gay hatred around the globe will affect his run for congress.

“There are a number of reasons why I would pursue Congress rather than a state office, but one of them is my interest in foreign policy and concern about the disastrous actions of the Obama administration around the world.   

“I am especially concerned that the Neoconservatives (read Republican liberals) have aligned with the Obama administration re Russia and are jointly waging a campaign of anti-Russian propaganda designed to deceive conservatives into supporting a hot war with Russia.

“This is a not only very dangerous game geopolitically, it is robbing social conservatives of their most valuable potential alliance in the world today.  American and Russian conservatives could today be cooperating together to roll back liberalism around the world.  Instead, the cultural Marxists of both major US political parties are trying to drive a wedge between us with the absurd lie that Russia is trying to revive the Soviet Union.

“Neither Russia nor its president are without flaws, and it is as impossible to defend them against a campaign of relentless criticism as is anyone else but Jesus Christ.     

“But if  we ask the simple question ‘Which countries of the world and their current leadership align most closely to the goals of Biblical Christianity and of ideological conservatism?’ it’s a whole different ballgame.

“If we rank the current leaders and countries of the world by that standard Putin and Russia rank high on the list — certainly much higher than Obama and his version of America.  Indeed, is there any world leader speaking in defense of persecuted Christians in the Middle East like Putin has?  Is there any other ‘first world’ nation standing up against the homosexual agenda like Russia is doing?"

Watch Lively explain his bizarre theory on the different types of homosexuality, AFTER THE JUMP... (hint - you're a dysfunctional bully)

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Activist Scott Lively Considers Run For Congress in Massachusetts: VIDEO" »


Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's Daughter Announces Engagement to Girlfriend

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Katherine Patrick (above left), Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s daughter, has announced her upcoming wedding to girlfriend Alisha Lemieux. The couple currently reside in the San Francisco Bay area where Patrick is pursuing her doctorate in psychology and Lemieux is studying sociology.

“The Governor and Mrs. Patrick joyfully announce the engagement of their daughter Katherine Wintersmith Patrick to Alisha Marie Lemieux of New Bedford,” Patrick’s office said in a press release:

"Ms. Patrick is a graduate of Smith College and is studying for her doctorate in psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California.  Ms. Lemieux is studying for her bachelor's degree in sociology at Mills College in Oakland, California.  The couple reside in the Bay Area."

Katherine Patrick has been active in her father’s campaigns, contributing to its social media presence and and appearing with the Governor in a number of LGBT events throughout Massachusetts.


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