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Seattle's Highest Skyscraper Blocks Gay Sites Like Joe. My. God, It Gets Better, and Towleroad

Columbia Center Gay Filter Error Message 

Columbia_center_from_smith_towerIf you can read this article, then it is safe to assume that you're not currently sitting inside Seattle's 76-story Columbia Center. If you did, you would receive the error message pictured above (courtesy of The Stranger). Such would be the case if you were to also try to access other gay-themed sites such as Joe. My. God. and the It Gets Better Project. 

Slog first broke the story after receiving a tip from a reader. This reader was apparently visiting the Columbia Center when they tried to use the building's free wi-fi to check a few gay-themed sites and blogs. He was, instead, met with the error message above. 

"This is a known 'Sexual Orientation' web site which is blocked as specified by your web content filtering policy."

It is not yet known exactly why the "web content filtering policy" chose to include LGBT-oriented sites. Slog has made multiple attempts to contact CAC Group, the commercial real estate company responsible for managing the Columbia Center, and submit requests for comment. So far, CAC has not given any sort of answer. 


Towleroad to be Honored by the Stonewall Community Foundation: Please Join Us

UPDATE: Since so many of you have expressed interest in attending but the ticket price didn't fit your budget, Stonewall is offering a special discount to Towleroad readers if you buy your ticket through THIS LINK.

LAST Chance! This event is tomorrow night and we would love to see you there.

Vision-logo-300x258I'm thrilled to share the news that Towleroad is going to be honored by the Stonewall Community Foundation next Wednesday, June 19, at its annual Vision event for our efforts to report on, galvanize, and mobilize the LGBTQ and allied communities.

Michael Goff (in a rare East Coast appearance) and I will be there accepting the honor and would love to see as many friends, readers, and supporters as possible!

Stonewall Community Foundation is a fantastic organization, offering investment and guidance to help strengthen LGBTQ organizations throughout NYC's five boroughs.

VisionPlus, the party will be a blast. It's not a stuffy sit-down dinner but a cocktail event with food, live jazz, and entertainment!

Tickets start at $250. We realize the price doesn't fit all budgets but if there's room in your giving budget or you can expense it, we would LOVE to see you.

More info on the event is HERE. And tickets are available HERE.

For over 20 years Stonewall has helped to create a solid foundation of LGBTQ leadership in New York by providing grants and training to new and emerging organizations that serve our community. Thanks in great part to funds raised around the Vision event, the Foundation has proudly distributed more than $16 million to over 500 organizations since 1990.


What Did You Miss This Weekend? Find Out Here

You missed quite a bit over the weekend on Towleroad if you were chillaxing elsewhere.

Sony Pictures Chair AMY PASCAL said she wanted to get rid of "fag", dyke", and other such slurs in movies. RICK PERRY took a shot at MADONNA for wearing the BOY SCOUTS uniform. MICHELLE SHOCKED threatened to show up at her concert but never did.

GLAAD altered its name and mission statement. Boies_gregory

SARAH PALIN wore a super-tight Chick-fil-A t-shirt to a basketball game. TWO POPES came together for a hug and some praying. A man was sentenced to three years in prison for lighting a gay autistic teen (who later died) on fire. and TILDA SWINTON slept in a box at the MOMA.

STARBUCKS CEO HOWARD SCHULTZ, who told a shareholder to take a hike if he didn't like the company's pro-gay policies? There's VIDEO of it now!

And, in MARRIAGE EQUALITY AND THE SUPREME COURT:

Our legal expert ARI EZRA WALDMAN penned a few more SUPREME COURT PREVIEW columns for you including one on STANDING in the DOMA case and SCRUTINY in DOMA and Prop 8.. 

WolfsonCALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL KAMALA HARRIS said "50,000 children in California are aking, 'why can't my parents be married too?' ... KARL ROVE says he can imagine a 2016 presidential candidate supporting GAY MARRIAGE ... Freedom to Marry's EVAN WOLFSON schooled TONY PERKINS on FACE THE NATION .... PROP 8 Attorney DAVID BOIES laid out the Supreme Court Case on 'Meet the Press' ... RAND PAUL said he wouldn't mind a 'neutral' government on same-sex marriage.

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS protested same-sex marriage in PARIS, some rioted, using children as human shields.

NEW YORK held a rally and a VIGIL.

 

Make sure not to miss a Towleroad headline by following @TLRD on Twitter.

You can also follow us on Google+ HERE.

And follow Andy Towle on Facebook HERE. And our page HERE.

 


Announcing Towleroad for Mobile Devices: iPad, iPhone, Kindle

Ipad

If you're reaching the site on your iPhone or iPad you already know we're started automatically redirecting visits from these devices to new editions of Towleroad optimized for iOS devices and Kindle Fire.  (That's the front page of the iPad version below.) 

If you haven't yet, it's time RIGHT NOW!

Open Safari on your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and type "towleroad.com" or our universal shortened version, "tlrd.com" in the URL bar and you'll be redirected. Be sure to save it to your home app page and share with friends.

Andy and i couldn't be more pleased to announce these new editions, along with an 'alpha' version for Android users, all of which are in response to significantly increasing demand from users. Last month more than 1 in every 5 visits to Towleroad was via a mobile device. And those 22% of visits accounted for 20% of all pageviews. The chart below shows the steady increase over the past 3 years.

The second chart showing that 81% of our mobile visits are on iOS devices should explain pretty clearly why we prioritized those editions. 

But as mentioned, we're not leaving the increasing number of Android device users empty-handed. We have a slightly less polished edition, what I'd qualify as a alpha-level release, Towleroad's Google Currents edition -- which can be installed on either Android or iOS devices. So if you are part of the 17% or you're just not happy with the edition we're redirecting you to, you can get all the information and links needed to install for either Android or iOS devices, over at the Google Currents platform.

BvisitsBopersystems

What this all mean is that as of today,  we have some form of optimized edition for approximately 98% of your mobile visits ...or at least a running start at them...and that's 98% more visits than we were optimized for yesterday. Enjoy.

We will be including comments and access to comments shortly. You'll notice. Right now the comments icon is already in place at the bottom but is not clickable.

HERE ARE SOME INSTRUCTIVE LINKS if you need them:

> Getting Access on your Mobile Device.

> Basic Features and Navigation.

> How to Add an App Icon to Your Home Screen.

> Sharing Towleroad with Others (IMPORTANT).

> Towleroad on Google Currents.

Please do give it a try and let us know what you think what your ideas might be for making Towleroad better overall and what--if anything--we should tackle next. 

Please leave us any constructive comments below. Substantial feedback, requests for direct support, and private messages are better sent through our comment form . Thanks again for your support and for your help with the beta.


Today on Towleroad: Democrats' Turn

  Michelle-obama-at-a-soundcheck-before-the-2012-democratic-national-convention_100400599_m

With the GOP convention fading into memory it's the Democrats' turn this week from Charlotte. If you aren't near a TV you can watch the convention live on YouTube. The DNC is a much more friendly place for the gays, especially since marriage equality is part of the Democrats official platform. Michelle Obama will be the headline speaker tonight where she will likely compare and contrast her husband with Mitt Romney, even if she doesn't mention Romney by name. In addition to speaking in front of the national media tonight, the First Lady will also show that she is a friend to the LGBT community by headlining an equality event in Charlotte.

If you have DNC fever, check out this video of the convention stage going up in elapsed time

With attention on the Democratic platform, the GOP is hitting the airwaves with a couple of attack ads. The first is a ridiculous anti-gay ad from the Campaign for American Values which tries to claim that Obama is forcing gay marriage on Americans. The second comes from Florida Republicans looking to smear former Gov. Charlie Crist over his decision to endorse Obama and speak at this week's convention. In addition, the RNC has launched a site that claims Obama isn't working. Also, gay Republicans are still trying to desperately explain themselves

In other news, Paul Ryan has the worst but also kind of the best Secret Service code name

Conservative fundamentalist David Barton believes that gay rights means the U.S. is going down. Aside from his word choice, let's just say that he is gonna be really pissed when he finds out about the gym that shares his name. Hank Williams Jr. also hates the gays. And pretty much everyone else. Just when you thought that Chick-fil-A's anti-gay celebrations were over, Montana has decided to belatedly get in on the act. In a final bit of depressing news, a report has surfaced that police in Kenya are blackmailing gay men

On the brighter side of things, we should all book our next vacation with Expedia because they are backing marriage equality in Washington State. Gays in Ireland are happy today as the Dublin City Council overwhelmingly approved marriage equality. If you live in Minnesota, you can check out Zach Wahls on his pro-equality tour of the state. Also, Rickie from My So Called Life is joining the GLAAD team

If you're a Matrix fan check out this New Yorker profile of the Wachowskis. Lana also talks in depth about her transition from Larry. 

Lastly it's a rainy and gloomy day here in New York, so here is an adorable sleepy bear cub to make you happy. 


Today on Towleroad: GOP Convention Attempts Lift Off, and More

Isaac

As Tropical Storm Isaac closes in on the gulf, The Republican National Convention gets underway today and maybe has prayer to thank for an on time start? Rush Limbaugh believes that the convention was never really under threat. It's all a big conspiracy guys! Before watching the speeches, get in the mood with the Obama Campaign's preview. Chris Matthews has already made his presence known by blasting into the RNC Chairman. Allen West apparently thinks that the phrase "crap sandwich" is somehow "military vernacular". Meanwhile Fox News seems to have already made a surprising implication about the Romney brothers, by use of song choice. Maybe they were swayed by this week's New Yorker cover

In news outside of Tampa, Ron Paul says he would have prevented 9/11. While gay couples await word from the Supreme Court regarding Prop 8, the man who is supposedly the father of the proposition hit the Blood of Christ really hard last night. In slightly better news, Scott Brown says that Gay Marriage is a settled law. Charlie Crist looks to be leaning toward becoming a Democrat. He will speak at the Democratic Convention next week in Charlotte. In definite good news, Joe Biden praised gay rights activists over the weekend. 

Feel good videos about coming out and being gay were popping up everywhere today. Check out this emotional video from an 18-year-old Rugby player who describes how he JUST came out. A recent gay high schooler has advice for other gay teens, chief among them is stay away from Grindr. Maybe that's advice we should all heed. Also check out this impassioned speech at Pride Festival in County Derry, Ireland.

Cutie Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham has another fun video. In tiny shorts of course.

Also check out a town hall at Drake University in Iowa about why marriage equality matters. If you've ever been obsessed with someone you've never met, this new documentary might just be for you. Another documentary was breaking box office records this weekend. The Anti-Obama documentary Obama's America 2016 was seen by a horrifying number of people. In other signs of the apocalypse a lion is creating panic as it runs amuck in the UK. Also, Ryan Lochte pees in a fountain, Rosie O'Donnell got secretly married, and "True Blood" has a gift for HBO Go subscribers

Lastly, I'd like to take a quick second to introduce myself. I'm Sam and I'm the new intern here at Towleroad. I'll be be doing regular daily recaps starting with today and working along side the team on other projects. I'm 24, live in New York City, and am really excited to get to be a part of the group here at Towleroad! 


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