Gay Rights Protesters Target Sochi Olympic Sponsors Coke, McDonalds and Samsung – Forbes

With exactly 100 days to go until the Sochi Olympics, gay rights protesters have launched a handful of social media campaigns against longtime sponsors Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Samsung, voicing concerns over Russia’s anti-gay legislation.

“Sochi potentially is the danger Games,” one marketing executive tells The Chicago Tribune. “With these major world events, companies are looking for a halo effect for the brand. Sochi is big and high profile but such events are becoming platforms for social and political protest.

The International Olympic Committee has already acknowledged that sponsors, who pay roughly $100 million for marketing rights, are concerned about the legislation’s impact.

“I have heard a lot from the sponsors, especially the American sponsors, of what they are afraid of might happen,” IOC marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg told CNN. “I think this could ruin a lot for all of us.”

One current online campaign is calling for Coca-Cola executives to speak out against the anti-gay law.

By Monday, 350,000 people worldwide signed an online petition circulated by SumOfUs.org, a global consumer watchdog organization.

“Coca-Cola is an incredibly important position of power and has the ability to influence both the International Olympic Committee and Russian leaders,” Joe Mirabella, Director of

via Gay Rights Protesters Target Sochi Olympic Sponsors Coke, McDonalds and Samsung – Forbes.

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Christie withdraws same-sex marriage challenge, as NJ recognizes unions | Fox News

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday withdrew his challenge to legalized same-sex marriage in the state, after a court determined that the appeal is not likely to prevail.

The decision by Christie came as, in response to the court move, the state on Monday began to recognize same-sex marriages. Christie’s administration formally withdrew the appeal in a letter to the state Supreme Court.

“Although the Governor strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the Court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his Administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

via Christie withdraws same-sex marriage challenge, as NJ recognizes unions | Fox News.

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The Marriage Equality Movement Could Change Dramatically In The Next Two Weeks

WASHINGTON — It’s been less than four months since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and put an end to California’s marriage amendment, but advocates have been busy over the summer — setting the stage for a very busy two weeks that could rock the marriage equality landscape and change the country.

The calendar for the rest of the month is packed with a dizzying array of potential developments: decisions and movement in lawsuits that are multiplying by the week, possible votes from lawmakers being prodded to action by governors in their states, and — for the state of New Mexico — a hearing at the state Supreme Court to resolve once and for all whether same-sex couples can marry in a state that doesn’t specifically ban or allow such marriages.

The coming weeks also will feature the first action in the federal appellate courts since the Supreme Court rulings, with a filing in the 9th Circuit in a challenge to Nevada’s marriage law. The quick reemergence of a marriage case at the appellate level is notable because that’s the path back to the Supreme Court, where marriage equality advocates are still seeking a ruling that would bring marriage equality to all 50 states.

From a Wednesday hearing in Michigan to a hearing regarding a challenge to Virginia’s marriage law on Oct. 29, here’s what you need to know:

via The Marriage Equality Movement Could Change Dramatically In The Next Two Weeks.

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Male Models Tell All: Dry Shampoo, Tanning Towels, Manicures… And Concealer

When male model and actor Shaun Ross recently revealed his skincare secrets, it got us wondering what other tricks could we steal from the guys we see on the runway, in magazine ads and during TV commercial breaks. (Ross’ homemade table salt scrub recipe and sunscreen advice are still blowing our minds.)

Someone had to do the tough work, so we spent a day with three male models fromSoul Artist Management to find out exactly what it takes to maintain their handsome faces and bodies.

via Male Models Tell All: Dry Shampoo, Tanning Towels, Manicures… And Concealer.

Shutdown took $24 billion bite out of economy – Oct. 16, 2013

The United States may have dodged an economic catastrophe by raising the debt ceiling and opening the government, but it didn’t emerge from the political debacle unscathed.

The 16-day government shutdown took a $24 billion chunk out of the U.S. economy, according to an initial analysis from Standard & Poor’s.

As a result, the rating agency projects that the U.S. economy will grow 2.4% in the fourth quarter — as opposed to the roughly 3% growth rate predicted prior to the shutdown.

via Shutdown took $24 billion bite out of economy – Oct. 16, 2013.

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11 best places to see fall colors – NBC News.com

It’s that time of year again. We’re deep in the heart of leaf-peeping season and the leaves, they are a-changin’. Whether you’re a fall foliage fanatic or just in the mood for a scenic drive — or train ride — through the fabulous fall scenery, you won’t want to miss these great seasonal spots.

It’s the most colorful time of the year! Here in the Northeast, we’re surrounded by beautiful shades of orange, red, and yellow as leaf-peeping season kicks into full swing — but you don’t have to be in just one region to appreciate all the fall foliage. We’ve got 10 great seasonal spots around the country — and one in Canada — where you can see the leaves in all their colorful splendor, whether by car, train, boat, or by going for a nice, long walk in the crisp fall air. If all else fails, you can always choose to live vicariously through our Fall Into Foliage board on Pinterest.

via 11 best places to see fall colors – NBC News.com.

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BOB INGLE: Fight against marriage equality is futile and foolish | Courier-Post | courierpostonline.com

Albert Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It makes you wonder what the smartest man of the 20th century, who was a New Jersey resident, would think of today’s political tomfoolery.

Einstein came to mind as another group trooped down to the Gold Dome to hold another news conference on Thursday’s news, same-sex marriage. This one started out by congratulating Gov. Chris Christie for appealing a Superior Court decision that said there could be same-sex marriages starting Oct. 21.

Anti-gay-marriage people keep on trucking down the highway that’s going to lead them over a cliff where they will crash on the hard rocks of history’s judgment — like the people who fought to block interracial marriage.

When I tell the younger people in my family that interracial marriage was illegal in many places, and when I assure them as an Associated Press reporter I covered the battle to remove that prohibition from Alabama’s constitution they think I am joking since a law like that could only have been before the Civil War.

That’s one reason comments from the Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress seem so out of place.

“As an African-American clergyman, it’s also alarming to me that you would call sexual orientation a civil right. Civil rights are birth rights.”

via BOB INGLE: Fight against marriage equality is futile and foolish | Courier-Post | courierpostonline.com.

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Out in the sun: Florida’s top 10 gay beaches | Things to do in Tampa Bay | Tampa Bay Times

Florida’s fantastic beaches welcome all, but some are friendlier than others to the LGBT community. From party places such as Miami, Key West and Fort Lauderdale to mellow, secluded spots in St. Pete Beach and Sarasota, here are some of Sunshine State’s best gay-friendly beaches.

1. South Beach’s 12th Street Beach, Miami Beach

Just look for the rainbow flags flying amid the rental chairs and lifeguard stations. The most popular gay beach in Miami, it’s mostly a hangout for men, but you’ll also find lesbians and straights soaking up the sun with locals. It’s across the street from the Palace Restaurant & Bar, a gay hangout that has been welcoming sunbathers for the past 25 years. At 12th Street and Ocean Drive.

via Out in the sun: Florida’s top 10 gay beaches | Things to do in Tampa Bay | Tampa Bay Times.

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LGBT Community Untapped Market Consumer Brands – Business Insider

Brands from Apple to Budweiser to JCPenney are becoming more interested in gay consumers, with many brands making concerted efforts to target the LGBT market.

Why? What is really at stake? Here are just a few numbers surrounding LGBT consumers and the differences in spending power of gay households vs. the American general market:

  • 23% higher median household income1

  • 24% more equity in their homes1

  • 26% of gay men say they will pay more for top quality brands2

  • 30% have taken a major vacation in the past year2

  • 40% bought a new smart phone in the past year2

Estimates put the buying power of the LGBT community at over $800 billion annually. Some marketers are realizing that they may need to adjust their plans to accommodate this segment, or at least make sure that their marketing spending is inclusive of this valuable target. But many brands have been slow to pick up on the impact of the gay and lesbian consumer on their sales. Some are content to let their general market messages do the job of reaching everyone, and see no reason to pay special attention to LGBT consumers.

via LGBT Community Untapped Market Consumer Brands – Business Insider.

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Barilla Earns Gay Boycott, Learns Taking Sides Is Bad For Business – Forbes

Barilla Pasta  stepped  on a landmine this week telling Italian media the company would never feature or market directly to gay couples. If they had a problem with that, said its chairman, they could eat another brand of pasta.

I pity the fool who messes with the purchasing power of the LGBT community.

The remarks as widely reported, were made by Guido Barilla on La Zanzara, an Italian radio program.

I would never make a spot with a homosexualfamily. Not out of a lack of respect but because I do not see it like they do. (My idea of) family is a classic family where the woman has a fundamental role.

He went even further saying, “Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role. If [gays] don’t like it, they can go eat another brand,” according to a Reuters translation.

Competitor Bertolli Germany lost little time presenting itself as that very option, as told  by AdWeek. Posting a photo and caption that translates to “pasta and love for all” on its Facebook page and resurrecting a commercialfrom 2011 featuring gay couples.

via Barilla Earns Gay Boycott, Learns Taking Sides Is Bad For Business – Forbes.