Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz announces he’s gay – wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina |

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Describing himself as “a proud gay man,” Puerto Rican featherweight Orlando Cruz on Thursday became what is believed to be the first pro boxer to come out as openly homosexual while still competing.

Cruz told The Associated Press in an interview that he is relieved about his decision but had initial reservations.

“I developed physically and mentally to take such a big step in my life and in my profession, which is boxing, knowing that it would have pros and cons, highs and lows in this sport that is so macho,” he said. “I kept this hidden for many, many years.”

His announcement comes two weeks before the 31-year-old left-hander challenges Mexican boxer Jorge Pazos for the WBO Latino title. Cruz is ranked as the World Boxing Organization’s No. 4 featherweight fighter and is 18-2-1 with nine knockouts.

Cruz said he met with psychologists and others before making the announcement, adding he has the full support of his family, trainer and manager. He praised his mother and sister for their unconditional love and said his father has always backed him.

via Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz announces he’s gay – wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina |.

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Jim Winsor’s Out & About: Your handy-dandy guide to Gay Days Anaheim | San Diego Gay and Lesbian News

Yep, it’s time once again for us to don our mouse ears and red shirts and head up the I-5 to Gay Days Anaheim, the unofficial day to be gay at Disneyland!

This is a fun, fun weekend I look forward to every October; if you’ve never been, you can check out my photos of previous GDA weekends HERE. I know many other San Diegans are planning to trek up there as well.

Jim Winsor’s Out & About: Your handy-dandy guide to Gay Days Anaheim | San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.

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Gaynadians – Toronto, where same-sex marriage is legal, really knows how to do Pride up via dallasvoice.com

It’s been said that love is the universal language. But gay Pride comes in a close second.

Rainbow-colored everything. Shirtless men holding hands. Lesbians on motorcycles. No matter where in the world you may find yourself, there are certain aspects of Pride events that transcend verbal communication and simply convey the coming together of a diverse group of people with one unifying sense of purpose and celebration.

While we’re deep in the heart of Dixie for Dallas Pride, Toronto is deep in the planning stages for World Pride 2014, a massive international event that promises to be the biggest gay party on the planet. And what better host than a Canadian city that proudly rejoices in equality for everyone, 365 days a year.

Toronto Pride, which took place earlier this summer, features 10 full days of events every June, with parties, marches, parades and performances that celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, two-spirit and queer (LGBTTQ) communities. (Yes, they have an even longer abbreviation than we do in the U.S., just another example of their commitment to all-inclusion.)

The festivities — and the broader acknowledgment of equality — extend far beyond the parade route and the borders of the gay village. At the airport, banners authoritatively welcome visitors to Toronto Pride. Taxicabs are adorned with Pride colors and event logos. And in all parts of the city, rainbow flags pop up in storefronts and restaurants as a warm gesture of “welcome.”

It’s a sight you normally expect to find only in the Castro, or Key West, or P-town … to see it citywide in a major city comes with a real sense of Pride for a visitor.

But you don’t have to wait until Pride Week to experience the vibrant energy of one of the gayest cities in the world, and home to Canada’s largest LGBT community. Toronto’s Gay Village (or simply “The Village”) is the area immediately surrounding the crossroads of Church and Wellesley streets, filled with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, bathhouses and gay-oriented businesses. Many may recognize a few building exteriors from the U.S. version of Queer As Folk, which frequently filmed on location in this neighborhood.

via Gaynadians.

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Las Vegas tourism officials embracing value of LGBT dollars – Business – ReviewJournal.com

At the Bagatelle Beach Club, DJ Roland Belmares spins a song while young people dance their Friday away. Cocktails flow as servers walk the area, ensuring no glass is empty.

It’s just another pool party in Las Vegas, ladies and gentlemen. Or is it?

This weekend, thousands of gay and lesbian visitors will gather in Las Vegas to celebrate at the Pride Las Vegas parade, festival and satellite events. Many of those tourists can be found at the Tropicana, home of Gay Days Las Vegas.

Gay tourism is on the rise in the city, propelled by word of mouth, new programming and targeted efforts by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

For its part, the travel board creates dedicated advertising campaigns aimed at the LGBT community that appear in gay media publications such as Curve and Out. A recent one features a stereotypical male-female couple standing in the middle of an all-male pool party under the phrase “Everyone’s welcome, even straight people.”

Kevin Bagger, senior director of marketing for the authority, said that in terms of popular gay tourist destinations, New York tops the list, while Las Vegas and San Francisco are tied for second.

“It is important to the LGBT market that the market they visit is welcoming and authentically so,” Bagger said. “You have to do more than just have a rainbow-colored logo.”

via Las Vegas tourism officials embracing value of LGBT dollars – Business – ReviewJournal.com.

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NFL player responds to lawmaker’s demand that he stops supporting marriage equality | San Diego Gay and Lesbian News

Brendon Ayanbadejo, a linebacker for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, on Friday responded to a Maryland lawmaker who demanded that he “cease and desist” his support for marriage equality, and expressed surprise that a politician would try to stifle his free speech.

Last week, Maryland General Assembly Delegate Emmett C. Burns sent a letter to Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti, denouncing Ayanbadejo’s support of same-sex marriage, requesting that the Ravens “take the necessary action … to inhibit such expressions from your employees.”

Burns’ complaint is in response to Ayanbadejo’s ongoing support for marriage equality; last year, Ayanbadejo appeared in a video campaign of high profile Marylanders aimed at building support for same-sex marriage legislation in Maryland. The bill eventually passed in the state legislature, was signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley, and will now be decided by voters in a ballot referendum on November 6.

In his letter, written on official Maryland House of Delegates stationary, Burns wrote:

“As a Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly and a Baltimore Ravens Football fan, I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo, would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Raven Football player. Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or another. Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment and excitement. I believe Mr. Ayanbadejo should concentrate on football and stand clear of diving the fan base.

 

“I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football Franchise Owner, to inhibit such expressions for your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing.”

via NFL player responds to lawmaker’s demand that he stops supporting marriage equality | San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.

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‘House Hunters’ To Feature Gay Couple Forced To Leave U.S. By DOMA | NewNowNext

House Hunters International will feature a gay binational couple with a story that has become all too common under the so-called Defense Of Marriage Act. Forced abroad by DOMA—an amendment which has been declared unconstitutional numerous times—a Colombian native and his American husband search for a new home in Bogota in a forthcoming episode of the popular TV show. The episode guide described their plight, but skirts the fact that a straight binational couple would not be similarly required to uproot their lives:

Ivan and Devin built a life together in DC: they worked jobs they loved, shared their home with their beloved dog and exchanged wedding vows. But when Ivan’s work visa expired, he had no other choice but to head back to his native Bogota, Colombia with his American husband, Devin, and their dog, Danger. Ivan’s mother is delighted her son is back home and has extended her indefinite hospitality, but the couple agrees it’s time to find their own digs. With few dog-friendly buildings, and an extensive wish-list, real estate agent Sam Miller has his work cut out for him. But will he deliver the goods? Find out, when House Hunters International sets its sights on Bogota, Colombia.

Set to air at 10 p.m. ET on August 13th, the episode was filmed prior to the Obama administration’s announcement on August 2nd that it will deprioritize the deportation of married LGBT immigrants and focus all efforts on Kim Kardashian.

via ‘House Hunters’ To Feature Gay Couple Forced To Leave U.S. By DOMA | NewNowNext.

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There’s plenty of new ways to experience Las Vegas this summer! | Gay Travel Las Vegas | Passport Magazine

There’s always a new experience awaiting you in Las Vegas, so come see Vegas like you never have before!

 

Start with an intimate evening at SHARE. Spanning two floors, the newest gay club in Las Vegas features an ultra modern and hip nightclub with a unique dance floor encased by couches, tables and cabanas. Upstairs, enjoy the SHARE Ultra Lounge and bar with open seating or VIP private rooms.

 

For some outrageous fun, head downtown and check out the new Drink & Drag. From the creators of Krave, Drink & Drag is staffed by drag queens and offers fun play lounge entertainment, including 12 lanes of bowling, pool tables, dart boards, a VIP area and an appetizing bar menu.

via There’s plenty of new ways to experience Las Vegas this summer! | Gay Travel Las Vegas | Passport Magazine.

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Viacom Joins Case To Take Down DOMA | Lez Get Real

Viacom is proud of our diverse and inclusive global workforce that reflects the rich character of our audiences, our partners and our employees. We diligently work towards enhancing our own policies that encourage diversity and equality, and believe that we have a role to play in supporting important efforts to expand these values across the country and around the world.

This month, Viacom joined a broad group in signing onto an amicus (or friend of the court) brief challenging a federal law called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a legal union only between a man and a woman. The brief, filed in the case of Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management in the United States of Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was signed by a number of other companies, non-profit organizations, labor groups and the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Seattle, and West Hollywood.

via Viacom Joins Case To Take Down DOMA | Lez Get Real.

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EA, Microsoft, Zynga join others to support gay marriage, oppose DOMA

Video game giants Electronic Arts, Microsoft, and Zynga have joined over 40 other companies including Starbucks, Google, and CBS in a formal amicus brief to oppose the United States’ Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Act was signed into federal law in 1996 and defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

DOMA restricts gay couples from receiving health and tax benefits.These companies say the Act is discriminatory, hurts morale, and essentially puts an unwanted burden on their employees’ lives. All parties involved in the brief are urging the U.S.’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to find DOMA

unconstitutional.

Not a stranger to showing its support to the LGBT community, Electronic Arts participated in San Francisco and Seattle gay pride events this year. Even its games, including the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series, have given players the option to develop relationships with members of the same-sex and even featured prominent LGBT characters..

via EA, Microsoft, Zynga join others to support gay marriage, oppose DOMA.

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