Lockheed Martin ends gifts to Boy Scouts over ban on gay leaders | Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON — Defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is halting its donations to the Boy Scouts of America over the organization’s ban on gays serving as adult leaders after a review of the company’s philanthropy guidelines, the company said Thursday.

Lockheed Martin spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the company, which has major operations in North Texas, decided it will not support nonprofit organizations that do not align with its corporate policies or commitment to diversity. The company did not disclose how much it has contributed to the Boy Scouts.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed follows UPS Inc., Merck & Co. and computer-chip maker Intel in withdrawing support for the Boy Scouts over its no-gays policy in the past two years.

In a written statement, Johndroe said Lockheed seeks to support nonprofit groups that value diversity.

“We believe engaging with and funding an organization that openly discriminates is in conflict with our policies,” he said. “While we applaud the mission of the Boy Scouts and the good things they do in our communities, their policies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religious affiliation conflict with Lockheed Martin policies.”

 

via Lockheed Martin ends gifts to Boy Scouts over ban on gay leaders | Dallas Morning News.

Australia court strikes down territory’s gay marriage law after five days | Fox News

Australia’s highest court struck down a landmark law on Thursday that had begun allowing the country’s first gay marriages, shattering the dreams of more than two dozen same-sex newlyweds whose marriages will now be annulled less than a week after their weddings.

The federal government had challenged the validity of the Australian Capital Territory’s law that had allowed gay marriages in the nation’s capital and its surrounding area starting last Saturday.

via Australia court strikes down territory’s gay marriage law after five days | Fox News.

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New Mexico Becomes 17th State to Allow Gay Marriage – NYTimes.com

The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously affirmed on Thursday the right of same-sex partners to marry in the state, reasoning that the “protections and responsibilities that result from the marital relationship shall apply equally” to them and to opposite-sex couples.

With the ruling, which takes effect immediately, New Mexico becomes one of 17 states and the District of Columbia to permit same-sex marriage. (Thirty-three states limit marriage to opposite-sex couples and 10 recognize civil unions and partnerships.)

via New Mexico Becomes 17th State to Allow Gay Marriage – NYTimes.com.

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Brian Boitano announces hes gay before trip to Sochi

Brian Boitano, the 1988 Olympic figure skating gold medalist who was named to the official U.S. delegation to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, announced today that he is gay.

“I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am,” Boitano said in a statement.

via Brian Boitano announces hes gay before trip to Sochi.

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Detours the Gay Adventure Travel Company is Giving Away 1 of Their 3 Trips

Detours, a gay adventure travel company based out of Calgary, Canada, is currently giving away 1 of their 3 international trips to Costa Rica, Thailand or Greece on their website in a raffle based contest. Detours Exotic Getaway Giveaway gives you the chance to enter the contest quickly, easily and in a variety of different ways to get one or several entries into the draw. Using Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or even just signing up for Detours’ newsletter you can score an entry to win the free trip.

“Even if you don’t enter the draw by connecting with us on social media or signing up for our newsletter,” explains Detours co-founder Miles Mitchinson, “you can still enter the draw daily on our website. It’s great getting the opportunity to grow our online network, but ultimately we want people to see what our trips are all about and have the chance to win one of them!”

After launching Detours with gay adventure trips to Thailand and then soon after adding Costa Rica, Detours Exotic Getaway Giveaway coincides with the release of their newest trip to Greece.

“It’s definitely a great time for us to feature our three trips to three pretty awesome and unique places in the world,” says Mitchinson, “each destination facilitates everything we look for in a Detours trip and we couldn’t be more excited about all of our trips right now, whether to Thailand, Costa Rica or Greece.”

Ending on Christmas day, there is time to load up on entries into the draw and have as good a chance as possible at getting a Detours trip for Christmas. For more details and to enter the draw, go to DetoursTravel.com/getaway.

About Detours Travel:
Detours Travel has created a new genre of LGBT group travel by mixing structure with ultimate flexibility in a group setting. They have been operating as a successful adventure tour operator since 2012. Detours currently runs trips to some of the most exotic and amazing places on the earth, including Thailand, Costa Rica and Greece. Their trips are 12-15 days in length and provide travelers with the time to dive into each destination and experience a different way of travel, life and adventure. Detours Travel head office is located in Calgary, Canada.

via Detours the Gay Adventure Travel Company is Giving Away 1 of Their 3 Trips.

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A Leap for Equality – NYTimes.com

On Wednesday, Gov. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii signed a bill that will allow same-sex couples to marry in the state, starting Dec. 2. The measure, ending a two-decade legal and political battle, caps a remarkable year of progress toward ensuring the basic civil rights of gay Americans.

Before the election in November 2012, same-sex couples could marry in only six states. That election added three more states to the roll when Maine, Maryland and Washington approved same-sex marriage by a popular vote, the first states to do so. Counting Hawaii and the marriage equality bill that Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois plans to sign on Nov. 20, the number of states and the District of Columbia that have come to recognize the freedom to marry through legislation, court rulings or voter approval now stands at 16 compared with just nine a year ago.

The Supreme Court has also done much to make America a more hospitable environment for same-sex marriage, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act’s denial of federal benefits to married same-sex couples and nullifying Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. The justices stopped short of making marriage equality the law of the land, but it is not unusual for civil rights to advance in stages. Cases in the pipeline will provide the court with another chance to invalidate all remaining state restrictions preventing gay and lesbian Americans from marrying and denying full legal recognition of their relationship

A Leap for Equality – NYTimes.com.

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Plans for Illinois same-sex marriages in the works – Houston Chronicle

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Just a few hours after state lawmakers approved same-sex marriage in Illinois, Chicago wedding planner Lindsay Parrott started getting her first inquiries for summer weddings.

“I got an email at 11 p.m.,” she said. “Everybody is really excited to be able to do this.”

From the wedding industry to tourism, Illinois businesses are gearing up for June 1, the first day that same-sex marriage licenses can be issued under legislation approved by lawmakers on Tuesday. While legislators in favor and the state’s top elected officials have touted gay marriage as a matter of equality and civil rights, businesses hope the start of weddings will be a nice boost to the state’s economy too. But that start date — which falls on a Sunday — also is causing some logistical problems for the state’s county clerks who’ll be issuing marriage licenses.

Illinois is set to become the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage when Gov. Pat Quinn signs the bill, which the Chicago Democrat said Wednesday he’ll do with a festive celebration this month. The measure says that starting June 1, all Illinois couples can go about the usual way of getting married: Head to the county clerk’s office, get a license and then have it officiated a day later by the government or religious official.

However, businesses and tourism officials say it means that Illinois can expand a niche business too. They cite a 2013 study by UCLA’s The Williams Institute that says allowing same-sex couples to marry in Illinois would generate up to $103 million in new spending in the first three years.

The Illinois Office of Tourism beefed up its website Wednesday to promote gay-friendly spots in Illinois. State travel director Jen Hoelzle said the site will soon include a list of places to get married once the bill is signed. The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, which already promotes Chicago’s gay-friendly neighborhoods and events such as the city’s massive Pride Parade, expects more hotel and restaurant business.

via Plans for Illinois same-sex marriages in the works – Houston Chronicle.

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Illinois lawmakers approve gay marriage in historic vote – chicagotribune.com

Lawmakers approved gay marriage Tuesday in a historic vote that saw supporters overcome cultural, racial and geographic divides and put Illinois in line with a growing number of states that have extended the right to wed to same-sex couples.

After more than a year of intense lobbying by both sides, gay lawmakers made emotional pleas to colleagues to give their families equal rights even as opponents argued that doing so would unravel the foundation of society.

“At the end of the day, what this bill is about is love, it’s about family, it’s about commitment,” said sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris, clutching an American flag he said was sent by a supportive soldier stationed in Afghanistan.

“At the end of the day, this bill is about the vision that the founders of our country had and wrote into our Constitution, where they said America is a journey. … And we’ll continue to walk down that road to make America a better place, to make ourselves a ‘more perfect union,’ to ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” the Chicago Democrat said.

Gov. Pat Quinn said he intends to sign the bill, which would take effect June 1

via Illinois lawmakers approve gay marriage in historic vote – chicagotribune.com.

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