“I’m trying to work on those things and to use my voice to make sure that everyone out there in America knows, you do love a gay person. It may not be me, but I promise you, you have a neighbor, a coworker, a niece, and be mindful of the negative things you say about gays and lesbians because someone is listening.”  – Chely Wright

Gay Days expecting record attendance, economic boost | www.wftv.com

ORLANDO, Fla. —

Beginning on Tuesday, more than 150,000 people will be in Orlando for the annual Gay Days event.

Eyewitness News learned that event organizers are expecting record crowds, and hotels are already booked solid.

Gay Days started 20 years ago as a celebration of gay pride at Orlando’s most famous theme park, but now it is an economic powerhouse that pumps significant money into local businesses.

The Parliament House Resort and Night Club has been planning for the event since November.

“We couldn’t do it if we didn’t start that early,” said Drew Sizemore with the Parliament House Resort.

The hotel caters to gay clients and its 130 rooms are sold out and so are the 950 rooms at the Double Tree near SeaWorld, where most of the events are being held.

For the first time, Gay Days is expecting more than 160,000 people

via Gay Days expecting record attendance, economic boost | www.wftv.com.

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Gay Beach Getaways :: EDGE on the Net

Everyone needs some R&R. Summer is right around the corner and brings with it the perfect time for LGBT travelers on both coasts to leave the stress and strain of the city behind and hit the beach, pitch a tent or watch the whales. Whether for a week, a weekend or just a day, here are some wonderful gay-friendly cities that spring to life during the summer months and that welcome gay and lesbian tourists. These spots will offer you a chance to play, party or just relax.

East Coast

If you’re looking at the East Coast, welcoming beach resorts are as plentiful in any direction. Those near New York City can trek to the gay oasis of Fire Island off the coast of Long Island, or hop a train to Asbury Park, New Jersey. Those from farther down the Mid-Atlantic area can get their kicks at the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Up north, there’s no place that compares to Cape Cod’s gay jewel, Provincetown. So grab your beach towel and make a reservation for some hot, gay fun in the sun!

via Gay Beach Getaways :: EDGE on the Net.

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Maryland gay marriage foes have signatures for referendum | Reuters

Tue May 29, 2012 7:42pm EDT

(Reuters) – Opponents of same-sex marriage in Maryland announced on Tuesday they have submitted more than twice the number of signatures needed to put the state’s new law allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry before voters in a referendum.

The Maryland Marriage Alliance, a coalition of groups working to preserve the traditional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, said it has collected more than 113,000 voter signatures.

That figure far exceeded the 56,000 signatures needed to bring the law to a referendum. A third of those had to be submitted by Thursday.

“There are people that are just impassioned about this issue around the state,” said the organization’s executive director, Derek McCoy, speaking after a press conference announcing the success of the petition drive. “I think what you’re seeing is, people don’t want a radical redefinition of marriage just on a whim.”

McCoy said more than 4,000 people trained to collect signatures campaigned in churches and other venues, and held gatherings in their homes within the last couple of months.

He said support for the referendum grew after President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, as Maryland voters unhappy with this announcement “came off the fence” and decided to sign the petition.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality campaign manager Josh Levin said in a statement that the opponents’ announcement comes as no surprise, but added that “it’s clear those opposed to marriage equality are losing ground.”

A poll conducted recently by the organization found 57 percent of Maryland residents would vote to uphold the law legalizing same-sex unions, and 37 percent would vote against it if the election were held today.

In March, Maryland became the eighth U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage, joining the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York. when Governor Martin O’Malley signed the measure into law.

In Washington state, where Governor Christine Gregoire signed a law legalizing same-sex marriage in February, opponents are trying to bring the issue to a voter referendum in November. In New Jersey, similar legislation passed both houses before it was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie.

via Maryland gay marriage foes have signatures for referendum | Reuters.

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Michelangelo Signorile: The New Gay Celebrity Coming Out: ‘I’ve Never Been In’

…That’s true even as the vast majority are still closeted, told by the powers-that-be in Hollywood, media and politics that coming out will ruin their careers. But the closet hasn’t been a comfortable nor stable place for them for a long time now. Thanks to gay activists who drove the message home over a period of decades, an adult public figure living in the closet today is seen by many as sad and pathetic, not to mention living a lie, deceiving the public.

And whether it’s a sign of more honesty, or too much prying, the media and the blogosphere make it almost impossible for many celebrities to keep their sexual orientation secret for long anyway. Actor Neal Patrick Harris finally came out because he just got tired of the media speculation. “Rather than ignore those who choose to publish their opinions without actually talking to me, I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man,” he said. And that was back in 2006. If you’re a closeted gay celebrity today and you don’t get speculated about by the media and the blogs ad nauseam, or outright outed in the tabloids, you may get outed by a well-meaning fellow celebrity, like Ted Allen, who perhaps isn’t aware that your glass closet wasn’t meant for the general public to peer through…

Michelangelo Signorile: The New Gay Celebrity Coming Out: ‘I’ve Never Been In’.

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