Seattle Hub




Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to Marry LGBT Couples As Part of New Travel Ad Campaign

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 5.05.06 PM

Openly gay Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is set to kick-off a travel ad campaign and wedding sweepstakes July 1 to promote Seattle as a destination for marriage equality.

MurraySaid Murray:

“It’s an honor to be part of this campaign and I look forward to officiating at the ceremonies for the lucky couples who win wedding trips to Seattle. I appreciate the work Visit Seattle is doing to bring more out-of-town LGBTQ visitors to Seattle and the new ‘Marry Me in Seattle’ campaign is a great example of that work.”

The campaign will be giving away four all-expenses-paid weddings to LGBT couples from out of state. Murray will officiate the first wedding on September 3.

“Seattle is a welcoming and progressive place to live and visit,” Said Ali Daniels, Visit Seattle’s Vice President of Marketing. “What better way to celebrate the passage of Referendum 74 than to throw a party - or four - hosted by generous hospitality businesses throughout the city.  The response that we’ve received from our partners is incredible. Everyone we’ve reached out to wants to find a way to be a part of this campaign.”

Check out more on the campaign and sweepstakes HERE.


Boy Scouts Prepare to Force Out Gay Eagle Scout While Allowing His Straight Twin Brother to Stay: VIDEO

Easton-calabria

Liam and August Easton-Calabria are Eagle Scouts. They are also twin brothers.

Soon, Liam (right) will be forced out of the Scouts because he is gay. His brother is straight.

Seattle's KOMO News interviewed the twins about the discrimination.

Said Liam: "It was an interesting revelation to see the Boy Scouts come together as a non-inclusive organization. I don't think it's true to the scouting way. I mean, absolutely, scouting should be an inclusive organization."

Watch KOMO's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

In related news, Geoffrey McGrath, whose story we have featured quite a few times recently on Towleroad, is fighting the Scouts after being forced out over his sexual orientation. And the BSA has pulled the church's charter for standing by him.

Continue reading "Boy Scouts Prepare to Force Out Gay Eagle Scout While Allowing His Straight Twin Brother to Stay: VIDEO" »


Terrorism Charges Possible in Seattle New Years Eve Gay Bar Arson

Musmari

Musab Mohammed Masmari — the 30-year-old suspect arrested for New Year’s Eve arson at Seattle's Neighbours gay nightclub — has pleaded guilty. His plea agreement could get him anywhere from five to 20 years in prison.

The Seattle Times provides more details about how Musmari committed his crime:

Police say that Masmari avoided a security check at Neighbours by entering an adjacent bar called Therapy Lounge. He then passed through an interior door between the bars into the two-floor dance club and was seen on surveillance footage walking around with an object that appeared large enough to contain a 1-gallon gas can, according to the state charging documents.

Masmari allegedly fled the club within seconds of flames first appearing on the footage, the papers say. Club patrons and a bartender quickly doused the blaze with a fire extinguisher.

There were more than 750 people inside the club that night, authorities said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg — supervisor the Joint Terrorism Task Force handled the case— suggesting that hate-crime and terrorism may be mentioned as part of his motives during his sentencing hearing on July 31.

Dominic Holden, the openly gay reporter for The Stranger, provided a timeline of the investigation leading to Masmari’s arrest. Police identified Masmari carrying a large container of gasoline from nightclub footage. He was at Sea-Tac airport trying to escape to Turkey with his worldly possessions when police apprehended him.


Boy Scouts Kick Out Church, Revoke Its Charter for Supporting Openly Gay Scout Leader

Geoffrey_mcgrath

In early April we reported on openly gay Seattle scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath, who was the first Scoutmaster ousted from his troop for being gay under new rules created last year. Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, which charters McGrath’s troop, however, stood by him, and continued to allow him to lead the Scouts.

McgrathNow the BSA is responding by kicking out the church and revoking its charter, GLAAD reports:

In a letter dated April 17, Steven P. McGowan of the Boy Scouts of America's General Council notified the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church that its charter would be revoked:

"As you are aware, the policy of the Boy Scouts of America does not allow open or avowed homosexuals to serve as adult volunteer leaders [...] Nevertheless, Rainier Beach United Methodist Church has stated that it will not remove [McGrath] as a leader and will continue to allow him to serve as an adult leader in violation of the charter agreement and the policies of the Boy Scouts of America. As a result of this refusal to comply with the policies, guidelines, rules, and regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, Rainer Beach United Methodist Church is hereby advised that it is no longer an authorized chartered organization and may no longer use the Scouting program or any of its registered marks or brands."

"That the Boy Scouts of America would punish a church and the young people of Troop 98 because the church's core values emphasize fairness and equality for all of God's children is simply unconscionable," said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "The fact that the Boy Scouts of America chose Easter weekend to once again blatantly discriminate against gay and lesbian people, as well as the churches that support them, flies in the face of the values of Scouting and sends a hurtful message to youth."

"As a Reconciling Congregation, it's important to us that we are open to all people," said Rainier Beach United Methodist Church Pastor Monica Corsaro. "It's a part of our values that the spirit of inclusion is also reflected in the Boy Scout Troop we charter. The congregation stands with Geoff, because his work with this Troop reflects the spirit and the values of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church. In light of the BSA's decision to infringe on our religious liberties, sending us such discriminatory communication on Good Friday, we have acquired legal council to assess our options."

39 Washington lawmakers have signed a letter to the BSA expressing disappointment with their actions.


Gay Seattle Scoutmaster Defies BSA, Continues to Lead Troop with Support of Church: VIDEO

Geoffrey_mcgrath

Last week we reported that the Boy Scouts of America had removed openly gay scout leader Geoffrey McGrath in the first enforcement of its new rule barring scout leaders.

But McGrath has not stopped leading his troop. And the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church is backing him, KING5 reports:

"I have not tendered my resignation," said McGrath. "Until I am relieved of my duty properly, I stand in my post."

It's a post supported by Pastor Monica Corsaro who leads the host church for McGrath's charter application. "It's very disappointing that a policy that is so blatantly discriminatory is being acted out, and so I think it makes us stand more firm and be more clear that Geoffrey is our Scoutmaster and Geoffrey will remain our Scoutmaster," said Corsaro, who also said the Boy Scouts of America have yet to contact her directly.

"In my humble opinion, I don't feel like I've been communicated to by the Boy Scouts of America, Geoffrey also received an email which I was copied on but I have received no direct communication from the Boy Scouts of America."

Watch KING5's report on the church and troop's devotion to McGrath, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Seattle Scoutmaster Defies BSA, Continues to Lead Troop with Support of Church: VIDEO" »


Boy Scouts Remove Openly Gay Scout Leader: VIDEO

The Boy Scouts of American removed an openly gay scout leader in the first enforcement of last year's new rules barring them, NBC News reports:

McgrathGeoff McGrath, 49, leader of Troop 98 in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood, is believed to be the first gay adult to be booted from the Boy Scouts of America since it held a controversial ballot last May allowing gay youth—but not adults—to participate in one of the country’s most popular youth organizations. The Scouts had severed ties with gay adults in previous years, before the vote to admit gay youth, but McGrath, an Eagle Scout, had been hoping for a different response in this new era of Scouting.

“It’s extremely disappointing to not be fully supported and defended in my membership,” McGrath told NBC News. “They are complaining that the problem [his status as an openly gay man] is a distraction to Scouting and they don’t seem to understand that the distraction is self-inflicted.”

NBC News planned to do a story on Troop 98. The BSA said they removed McGrath after he "deliberately injected" his sexuality into Scouting in an "inappropriate" fashion by speaking to NBC News about it:

McGrath’s Troop 98 is part of the BSA's Chief Seattle Council, which said late Sunday that it didn't inquire about his sexual orientation—as directed by BSA policy—when he applied for a leadership position, according to Sharon Moulds, the council’s top professional leader.

Moulds said she found out McGrath was gay only after NBC News contacted her. “It was then that we became aware of his intentions to make a public statement about his orientation and use our program as a means to further a personal agenda,” she wrote in an email.

Seattle's KING5 spoke to McGrath about the dismissal.

Watch KING5's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Boy Scouts Remove Openly Gay Scout Leader: VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged