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August 11, 2010 • VOLUME 1 • Issue 29

Gays Target Target Page 9

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Photo by IAS/marcus rose & steve forrest/workers’ photos

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

page

Judge Walker Rules on Prop 8

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18

page

page

Advice for Job Seekers

CENTERFOLD SPREAD: Victorious Couples


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Late-Breaking News

Wings to Fly Gay Flight Attendant Snaps at Passenger, Chutes Out of Plane By Norm Kent

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gay flight attendant with JetBlue ran out of patience with a passenger on a plane that had just landed at JFK Monday afternoon, so after cursing her out over the p.a. system, he grabbed some beers, pulled the emergency chute, slid down it, and ran from the plane. But federal courts do not have a sense of humor. They have prosecutors, and 38 year old Steven Slater, of Belle Harbor, Queens was arrested and charged with 2nd-and 4th-degree criminal mischief, 1st- and 2nd-degree reckless endangerment and criminal trespass in the 3rd degree. He could face up to 7 years in prison. On his My Space page, Slater confesses to a recent battle

with alcoholism, which he claimed to have overcome. He wrote “I can’t wait to see where I go next! Beating alcoholism and substance abuse “one day at a time” has opened up new worlds of opportunity for me, and I am so thankful to those who have guided me along the path to successful living, and given me new wings to fly. See you above the clouds....” According to news reports, he was taken into custody at his home, interrupted while he was having sexual relations with a partner. Slater’s acts have become a national ‘tour de force.’ A ‘Free Steven Slater’ website has popped up on Facebook with over 1400 fans, and countless radio and TV talk shows are celebrating his deed, or misfortune. His My Space page indicates that his hero was Karen Black, of cinema fame from Airport ’75, when she, as a stewardess, flies the plane without pilots. It also references his attitude lately, as ‘pissy.’ No kidding. Slater had been working on Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh to Kennedy Airport, which landed at around noon, when he got into a verbal altercation with a passenger, law-enforcement sources said. The argument began when one of the 100 or so passengers on the flight got up too early to get her luggage from an overhead compartment, according to another passenger interviewed by CNN Tuesday morning. Slater told the passenger to sit back down – but, as he approached, the woman continued to pull her belongings down and struck him in the head with her bag, authorities said. Slater asked for an apology but the woman cursed him out, saying in effect “go f--k yourself” and calling him a “mo-fo,” according to the law enforcement sources who are still sorting out the specifics. Then Slater got on the flight’s announcement system and purportedly responded by cursing out everyone on the plane – especially the person who mouthed off to him. After his tirade, he grabbed a couple of beers from the continued on page 13

August 11, 2010 • Volume 1 • Issue 29

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Local News

‘G’ is a Big ‘If’

Hotel Project Contingent on Rezoning By Joey Amato

Singer Island. Vita’s partner in the venture is Robert Ballas, who owns a cable/hardware Worldwide’s plan to develop a company in New York. As reported by the Sun-Sentinel, some resihuge hotel and entertainment complex in Wilton Manors has gener- dents are not happy with G Worldwide’s new ated as much excitement as it has expletives location, fearing the increased level of noise in the past two months. But it all may be for and traffic will decrease property values. “This resort has the possibility of having naught. The $80 million project is contingent upon rezoning by the city, resulting in a tremendous negative impact on the neigha question of ‘when’ or even ‘if’ it will ever borhood,” said resident John Fiore. “It’s just going to destroy break ground. our property values and Original plans, reportneighborhood.” ed in SFGN on June 16, The new site lies 2010, called for a huge outside Wilton Manor’s project to be built at zoned entertainment disthe six acre site which trict, where many think currently houses the it should be, said City run-down Middle RivManager Joseph Galer Trailer Park. When legos. He is pessimistic the deal fell through about the development because of an internal of the resort, citing that feud amongst its ownthe company may have ers, G Worldwide swiftdifficulty in rezoning ly entered into a scaled process. down project, negotiatDean Trantalis “I don’t see it haping a $3.7 million contract for the four acre site of the Church of pening there,” Commissioner Scott Newton told the Sun-Sentinel last week. “I think they Religious Science. David Holzapfel, COO of G Worldwide is should’ve come to us first, before they went to optimistic about the new location. He said spend that money on that piece of property.” However, Dean Trantalis, attorney for the the existing building will be bulldozed, and the new site, at the corner of NE 15th Av- company believes the project will be a much enue and Northeast 26th Street, “will have needed improvement to the city. “The resort will make Wilton Manors into the destinabetter curb appeal.” The new plan is significantly more mod- tion resort community we all envisioned est, anticipating only 115-120 rooms, a huge it one day becoming.” Trantalis states the reduction from the 170+ rooms planned project has the ability to bring millions of when the company first made the announce- dollars in revenue to local businesses. Trantalis also told SFGN the company ment. New renderings of the property have anticipates acquiring city approval for the not been released. This will be G Worldwide’s first venture rezoning in November, when it will then in South Florida. In fact, the Wilton Man- “break ground on the project.” However, or’s property will be the only property built Trantalis acknowledged that the contract, by the company. Other ventures include purchase, and closing are contingent upon adding vacation ownership components to the rezoning. If the city fails to rezone the property, G pre-existing properties across the country. The parent company of G Worldwide, G Worldwide has the ability to terminate the Hospitality Group, LLC is led by Michael agreement. If it goes through, the developers Haley, developer behind Dolce Vita, a 35- hope to complete the hotel complex within unit oceanfront condominium resort on 16-20 months, Trantalis indicated.

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Latino Group Wins CDC Grant By A. Sebastian Fortino

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atinos Salud (LS) is a Wilton Manors-based group, which empowers men who have sex with men by educating them about and integrating them into the gay community through positive interaction. “Somos,” Spanish for “we are,” is currently the main outreach group of LS. The group educates and counsels men, ages 18 to 30 about safer sex practices, in a casual, friendly atmosphere. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently awarded them $1.3 million dollars to further their outreach. The organization was launched by Stephen Fallon, Ph.D. and Rafaelé Naváez two years ago when local Latino group Fusión closed its doors. Fallon and Naváez knew a replacement group would have to be organized, as Fusion members were devastated by what they described as “our place” being closed. “There was nothing, for the gay Latino community in Broward County,” said Fallon of their decision to develop Latinos Salud. “I wanted to found an organization that would offer them services and support. Broward County is ground zero in our nation’s HIV epidemic.” They had to act fast, to fill the void left behind by Fusión. Within five weeks they convened a board, filed articles of incorporation, wrote bi-laws, got 20 community partners to sign memoranda of agreement, received IRS determination of non-profit status, and write a grant request. They say they were fortunate to get funding from the state as there are only two grants dedicated to HIV. In terms of the

CDC grant they are also counting their blessings. The CDC has an open call for grant requests only every five or six years. “This one was a killer, not only from our, but from the CDC’s perspective as well. Given the economy they were flooded with requests. We applied in October. Normally it’s a slow five-month process. This time they were so inundated that they had to review grants requests a second time,” said Fallon. Naváez, Director of Health Programs, has worked in the field with HIV for the past seven years. He worked in the field with the University of Miami, going to nightclubs and other gay venues talking to people about their sexual behavior. He has also worked with the GLCC Pride Center and Hispanic Unity. Fallon, the Executive Director, does more of the research behind their work, and has a strong background in communications, which in his role with LS means how to effectively disperse and share knowledge. They often present together at national HIV/ AIDS healthcare conferences and events. Gay Latin men have many stumbling blocks with acceptance and coming out, thusly their access to HIV education is often limited. According to Naváez these issues range from lack of acceptance by families and churches, immigration issues, financial security, and of course language barriers. They often develop an internalized stigma that can lead to drug abuse and a struggle with acceptance that causes further isolation. Latinos Salud operates on a clubhouse type model. Organizationally, this means that members drive the group, events, and outreach. continued on page 35


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Johnny’s Announces “No 1 Stands Alone” Campaign Venue to Host Weekly Fundraisers By Joey Amato

Any organization or person interested in booking information should email no1standsalone@gmail.com.

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ohnny’s Fort Lauderdale announced last week the inception of their “No 1 Stands Alone” campaign, a program created to meet the growing needs of the local non-profit community. The campaign is the brainchild of Johnny’s owner Sean David and AJ Cross, general manager of the establishment. Each Tuesday, the venue, which will be rebranded as the Rainbow Lounge, will host a different charity event. The participating non-profit or community leader will be given the space at no cost to the organization. In addition, the Rainbow Lounge will provide complimentary hors d’oeurves, event promotion, and an MC to host the event, in addition to a two-hour open bar. A.J. Cross, who will serve as program manager of the campaign, is proud to give back to the community he has been a part of for many years. “I am both pleased and excited to present this campaign, which is intended to utilize the power of the bar and beverage industry to benefit local non-profits on a regular and ongoing basis,” he says. The space, previously known as Club 11, will provide an intimate environment for

guests. “We decided that, in order to move forward in our endeavor, we needed to create a beautiful area separate from Johnny’s, free from dancers or any activity which would take away from the integrity of an organization,” says David. News of the campaign is already spreading. “We have already received emails and phone calls asking for more information and booking opportunities,” says Cross. The campaign kicked-off yesterday with a meet-and-greet for former North Miami Mayor and Senate candidate Kevin Burns. Burns is an openly gay public official running for State Senate. “The ‘No 1 Stands Alone’ campaign will be a permanent and continual initiative that we will partake in,” says David. “We are confident that we will be able to create strength and support in the LGBT community as well as help to create awareness for those organizations and community leaders that do so much for us.”

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

National News

Walker: Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is ‘An Artifact’ of the Past

On August 5, San Francisco residents march to City Hall to celebrate Judge Walker’s decision in the “Proposition 8 trial.” ALL SAN FRANCISCO AUGUST 5 PHOTOS BY FLICKR / KIEREN Mccarthy

By Lisa Keen

Keen News Service

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n an historic, potent, and eloquent decision, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Wednesday, August 4, that California’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violates the federal constitution’s guarantees to equal protection and due process of law. The opinion represents the first major victory for legal challenges against state bans on same-sex marriage in any federal court. “Race and gender restrictions shaped marriage during eras of race and gender inequality,” wrote Walker, in his 136-page opinion, “but such restrictions were never part of the historical core of the institution of marriage. Today, gender is not relevant to the state in determining spouses’ obligations to each other and to their dependents. Relative gender composition aside, same-sex couples are situated identically to

opposite-sex couples in terms of their ability to perform the rights and obligations of marriage under California law. Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under law is a union of equals.” “[T]he exclusion [of same-sex couples from marriage] exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage,” wrote Walker. “That time has passed.” A few minutes after issuing the decision, Walker also approved a temporary stay of its impact and gave attorneys challenging Proposition 8 until August 6 to submit their reasons for opposing the continuation of the stay until a federal appeals court can weigh in on the case. The decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which has been much anticipated by both sides of the same-sex marriage debate, says supporters of the November 2008 ballot measure failed to establish any rational reason for prohibiting same-sex couples from

having marriage licenses. Judge Walker, an appointee of Republican President George H.W. Bush, said Proposition 8, because it burdens the fundamental right to marry, must pass the most difficult judicial standard –known as strict scrutiny. But he said the law failed to pass even the simplest standard –that of identifying at least one rational reason for treating a group of people differently. “Even if California had an interest in preferring opposite-sex parents to same-sex parents,” wrote Walker, “…Proposition 8 is not rationally related to that interest, because Proposition 8 does not affect who can or should become a parent under California law.” Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, called the decision “a tour de force—a grand slam on every count.” “The court held that Prop 8 violates the fundamental right to marry and discriminates on the basis of both sex and sexual

orientation in violation of the equal protection clause.” “The court,” said Minter, “held that laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation must be subject to the highest level of constitutional review, but that Prop 8 would fail even the lowest test, because it is based solely on moral disapproval of gay people.” “This is without a doubt a game-changing ruling,” said Minter. “Today’s decision is the most comprehensive, detailed decision addressing the constitutional rights of samesex couples to affirmative recognition and support ever to be issued by a federal court.” Longtime lesbian legal activist and law professor Nan Hunter was somewhat more reserved in her reaction. “It’s a thorough analysis and a comprehensive review of the factual and quasi-factual bases for each side’s arguments in the marriage debates,” said Hunter. “Is it a watershed, either legally or culturcontinued on page 34


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Lawyers Seek Injunction to Halt Military Gay Rule RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) – Lawyers for a Republican gay rights organization will ask a judge for an injunction to halt the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy during their closing arguments in a federal trial challenging the law. Lawyers for the Log Cabin Republicans say they will ask U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips on Friday to declare the law unconstitutional. The case is unique in that it is not based on an individual’s complaint but rather is a broad, sweeping attack on the policy. It is the biggest legal test of the law in recent years. The case has put the Obama administration in the awkward position of defending a policy the president wants repealed. Government attorneys have argued throughout the two-week trial that Congress should decide on the policy – not a federal judge. They presented only the policy’s legislative history in their defense. The Log Cabin Republicans’ witnesses included former officers discharged under the policy and other experts who presented studies of how openly gay troops do not affect unit cohesion or military readiness, as proponents of the law have argued. The group’s attorneys also submitted President Barack Obama’s remarks that the “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy weakens national security. The plaintiff’s lead lawyer, Dan Woods, argued the policy violates the rights of gay military members to free speech, due process and open association. “Don’t ask, don’t tell’’ prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but requires discharge of those who acknowledge being gay or are discovered to be engaging in homosexual activity, even in the privacy of their own homes off base. The group says more than 13,500 service members have been fired under the law since 1994. The 19,000-member Log Cabin Republicans include current and former military members. Phillips is expected to issue her verdict in writing. Lawyers say she could take weeks or longer to make her decision. Legal experts say she may hold off to see if Congress is going to repeal it. The U.S. House voted May 27 to repeal

the policy, and the Senate is expected to take up the issue this summer. In deciding to hear the challenge, Phillips said the “possibility that action by the legislative and executive branches will moot this case is sufficiently remote.’’ Woods, a Los Angeles attorney from the firm White & Case, said if Phillips rules in their favor and the government appeals, he will ask her to suspend the policy until the case is decided.

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

CAMPAIG N

WATC H

By Norm Kent

Gubernatorial Candidate McCollum Now Opposes Gay Foster Parenting

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laws of the State of Florida. As a potential pposition to gay marriage and governor, he could submit a bill which would gay adoption was not enough. extend the ban on gay adoption to gay foster Republican gubernatorial care. Equality Florida issued a candidate William McCollum, the Attorney press release on Monday General of the State of Florida, has told the censuring McCollum, statFlorida Baptist Witness that he “would work ing that “this guy as goverhard to make sure that gays nor would be a disaster.” and lesbians never raised chilIt was McCollum’s office dren, either through adoption that paid Dr. George Rekers or foster care.” over $120,000 as an expert wit“I don’t believe in gay adopness to defend the gay adoption tion,” McCollum was quoted ban in court. He defended that as saying in the interview, decision in the Baptist interview adding that “I don’t believe in as well, saying that although he involving the government in would not hire Rekers now, it enforcing or encouraging the Bill McCollum was the best decision at the time. lifestyle of gays and homoRekers, of course, was exposed in New Times sexuals. I just don’t believe that.” He then added that gays should not be allowed to be earlier this year, after having hired rentboy. com escort Giovanni Roman as a ‘traveling foster parents either, “but it’s the law.” companion’ for a European vacation. When subsequently asked if Florida law In the same interview, McCollum also should be amended to make sure that gays and lesbians couldn’t provide foster care for opined that he steadfastly “opposes embryonic stem cell research,” “expanding gamchildren, he replied, “I think that it would be advisable. I really do not think that we should bling in any form,” and considers “abortion a moral evil. No word yet on whether he have homosexuals guiding our children.” wears a watch to the 21st century. Stating that he thinks homosexuality is a Like Kendrick Meek in the Democratic lifestyle decision he does not agree with, he added “I realize a lot of people do. But it’s my Party, McCollum was originally thought to be the frontrunner in the Republican pripersonal faith, religious faith that I don’t bemary race. However, candidate Rick Scott is lieve that the people who do this should be running ahead of McCollum in recent polls, raising our children. It’s not a natural thing.” As Attorney General, McCollum is charged as is Jeff Greene defeating Meek in Democratic primary polling. with defending your civil rights and the

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

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Target Boycott to Stay Strong Target Apologizes For MN Donations and Denies Prop 8 Involvement By Jarrett Terrill

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n August 5, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel wrote employees to say the discount retailer was “genuinely sorry” over the way a $150,000 contribution to MN Forward played out. Steinhafel said Target would set up a review process for future political donations but did not give any indication that the company would cease making large political donations. MN Forward is an outside Political Action Committee which was seemingly created for the purpose of supporting Republican Gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer whose anti-gay crusade is said to be something epic. His campaign aligned itself with a “hard rock ministry” (as in heavy metal musicians who preach Christianity to you) called “You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide International.” Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports that “You Can Run” is a ministry that brings its hard rock evangelism into public schools across the Midwest and its front man, Bradlee Dean, told radio listeners recently that Muslim countries that call for the execution of gays and lesbians are “more moral than even the American Christians.” Donating $150,000 to a man who clearly endorses bans on gay parenthood and more tacitly endorses anti-gay genocide is a highly inflammatory thing for a corporation to do as far as gay rights advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) are concerned. The Target Corporation had previously received glowing support from HRC due to their inclusive employee policies such as same-sex domestic partner benefits and an anti-discrimination policy. MoveOn.org, the largest Democratic advocacy group in the USA also supports boycotting Target but with a slightly different spin. They argue that such a large donation from a corporation to a candidate for Governor was not possible before activist judges on the Supreme Court overturned campaign financing regulations in the notorious Citizens United case. The idea is that the donation would have been wrong even if Emmer had been pro-gay because it still amounts to one person, in this case Steinhafel, purchas-

a total of about $3,000 and ing more political clout one of them, Janis Williams than voters have. of Auburn, CA donated the “In one day, Target lost bulk of that money – exactly $1.3 billion in value and $2,000. The other three as some observers said the reported to the state of Calithreat of a boycott was one fornia are Renee Snyder, with cause,” says Ilyse Hogue a Target Presentation Team speaking for MoveOn.org, in Upland, Kevin Releford, a “but Target won’t stop tryTarget Corporation General ing to buy elections.” Manager from Elk Grove and Most recently though, Paul Badger, a Target Manan even bigger saga is unager in Irvine each donated folding for Target and that between $250 and $500 to is the dispute as to whethpass Proposition 8. er or not the corporation There are other possibilidonated to Proposition 8 Gregg Steinhafel Rep. Tom Emmer ties like late filings and ways in California. Target says they didn’t but the Center For Responsive that such a comparatively small donation that a corporation can funnel donations Politics (OpenSecrets.org) maintains that was made by Target as a corporation. But through lawyers to avoid being tied to their she said the money could have been donated giving, but the National Institute on Money they did. In correspondence with SFGN staff via by employees at Target and mistakenly in- in State Politics says it has not researched those possibilities with the alleged Target facebook, Target representatives said “Tar- terpreted as a donation from the company. As discovered by actually combing donation to Prop 8, likely because the dolget did not, nor has the company ever, knowingly donated to legislation or refer- through thousands of contributions to Pro- lar amount is insignificant when compared endums that aim to undermine equality for tectMarriage.com in 2008, it is likely that to the 40+ Million Dollars ProtectMarriage. all, including Proposition 8 in California. Barber’s scenario is the best hypothesis for com brought in for the year 2008. After all Further, Target’s support of the GLBT com- the information does not appear in other land developer Claire Reiss donated $1 Milmunity is unwavering, and inclusiveness sources. There were four Target team mem- lion of her personal fortune to see that gays bers in the State of California who donated would not marry. remains a core value of our company.” But OpenSecrets.org, the official website for the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) clearly shows a donation made to ProtectMarriage. org – the Proposition 8 Campaign in excess of $3,000 on Target’s 2008 filings. This would not only undercut Target’s claim that anti-gay politics were not a motivation in their MN Forward donation, but might also show Target to be dishonest. It is hard to imagine that a corporation could “unknowingly” give thousands of dollars to such a hotly contested state ballot measure. When SFGN asked CRP to confirm the data, their Communications Director, Dave Levinthal said “that data comes from the National Institute on Money in State Politics” and recommended re-directing the question to them. According to Denise Roth Barber, Research Director at the Institute, there are a few different ways that the information could have found its way onto the CRP’s “Open Secrets” website but it was “unlikely”


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Political Condoms Unprotected, Court Rules By Norm Kent

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riana Rodriguez of XBiz.com has reported that street vendors who sell condoms with a political message but without a vending license cannot claim the 1st Amendment as a defense. Last week, a Manhattan judge ruled against Defendants Thomas Larsen and Edward Wardle, who were charged with selling Practice Safe Policy’s Obama and Palin Condoms on New York streets without licenses. The condoms feature images of President Barack Obama and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin coupled with timely double entendres. The Obama slogans included “The Ultimate Stimulus Package,” while Palin’s wrapper features “As Thin as Her Resume.” Attorney Joel Berger argued that his clients’ actions were protected by the 1st Amendment and fell within the “written matters” exception to the city’s licensing requirements, which exempts any vendor who “hawks, peddles [or] sells…written matter,” including “newspapers, periodi-

cals, books, pamphlets” and “other similar written matter.” Nevertheless, on July 30, criminal court Judge Michael Gerstein rejected that argument, maintaining that the novelty prophylactics constituted commercial speech, not constitutionally protected persuasive speech. He sentenced the defendants to only one day of community service. The full story is on xbiz.com, including remarks from the lawyers and the condom company, who disagreed with the ruling. But it stands, so if you want your politically sensitive but incorrect condom, you can’t go to Manhattan to get it. Try ObamaCondoms.com, or ThePalinCondom.com, instead.


August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

HGMC-0001B SFGN_Layout 1 8/2/10 7:45 PM Page 1

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Media News

AHF Fights against ‘Bareback’ Porn XBiz and AVN Feud over Foundation Advertisement By Richard Gary

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n ad by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to promote condom use in porn filmmaking has been rejected by Xbiz.com, one of the nation’s leading porn news and entertainment sites. Its refusal to run the ad has brought the company a swift rebuke from Michael Weinstein, the President of AHF, and created a torrent of controversy in the adult film industry. “XBIZ’s rejection of AHF’s open letter to the adult film community about our public health campaign to require the use of condoms in the production of all adult films is the height of hypocrisy given the fact that the industry continues to wrap itself in first amendment and free speech arguments to head off a requirement that condoms be used in all adult film productions,” Weinstein declared. Contending that the ad details AHF’s specific efforts to require condom use in order “to address high rates of STDs among

performers” and “better protect those performers from risk to their lives and health,” Weinstein announced in a Business Wire press release that “we are saddened and outraged that XBIZ has chosen to blacklist our ad and block our ability to speak directly to their readers who may work in the industry with our message on this important issue.” Another major porn portal, AVN, the Adult Video News, has agreed to run the ads for AHF, however. Meanwhile, Diane Duke, the Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition, has come down on the side of Xbiz.com, stating that “Weinstein has launched a number of attacks against the adult entertainment industry,” including, she said, filing “countless, frivolous lawsuits and complaints against the industry, Cal/OSHA, and Los Angeles County..neither the industry nor its performers want anything to do with AHF or its sensationalistic grandstanding,” she contended. Tom Myers, Chief of Public Affairs and General Counsel for AIDS Healthcare

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

AHF against Bareback Porn continued from page 11

Foundation countered that “XBIZ likes to see itself as a journalist, using its magazine to defend the free speech rights of the adult film industry. In this instance however, XBIZ has abandoned that pretense, and clearly decided to take sides with the industry by shutting down AHF’s freedom of the press and our free expression. This is wrong.” Alec Helmy, XBIZ’s president and publisher, responded to AHF’s charges, claiming the media company has aggressively covered the issues of adult performer worker-safety through the years and that it feels AHF’s attempt to regulate the adult industry is misguided.

“…We believe that the health and safety of performers is important and that the control of STDs is crucial to the public’s health, including yours. We do not believe that getting paid to do a job means that performers have to risk their lives or their health.” – Michael Weinstein

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“We feel that the solutions AHF has proposed are unrealistic and problematic,” he said. “We have given equal weight to their argument in all of our online and print news coverage,” he stated in a press release of his own. The advertisement, incidentally, urges industry leaders “to begin the process of instituting the necessary changes to make the industry safe.” Weinstein told SFGN in a recent interview that “adult performers have 10 times the rate of STDs than the general population.” Mr. Weinstein cited the Los Angeles County Health Department for that statistic. “But the other issue is that [the industry] is sending a terrible message out there; that the only kind of sex that’s hot is ‘unsafe’,” continued Weinstein, “particularly for young people who may get their sex education from Daddy’s DVD or from the internet or cable.” Satyr Films, however, which specializes in “hardcore” condom-less porn, disputed the notion, arguing on their website that mandating condoms in pornography could lead to a decreased interest in testing or a false sense of security amongst performers. “Well, we’re an advocacy organization,” Weinstein responded. “One of the great things that we’ve been able to do in the last year is to have visibility through advertising because HIV- even in South Florida- has been treated like a dirty secret and now it’s sort of out in the public realm.” Weinstein concluded by asserting that he will maintain his posture of allowing for AHF to speak out “for the safety of sex workers in the porn industry.”


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Wings to Fly worked as a flight attendant, in the past, for Delta, TWA, and Sky West Airlines. galley, pulled the emergency chute and slid Slater, from Thousand Oaks, California, off the Embraer 190 plane. According to who was shown on TV smiling while he was police sources, he threw his luggage down being taken into fedfirst and said someeral custody, indicated thing to the effect of on his my space page “there goes 28 years,” “[Steven is a] tender, that he likes “people before taking the slide caring and nurturing who are warmhearted which would carry him human being, but ALL of us and kind, have a sense into notoriety and the have a breaking point. of right and wrong, and handcuffs of federal a decent head on their marshals. The ‘Free SteIf Steven lost his temper ven Slater’ Facebook with someone on board, he shoulders. Be whoever you are, just be real page now features a must have been provoked.” and be yourself. We are You Tube of Johnny all God’s children, each Paycheck’s song, ‘Take – John Polcari unique and talented in this Job and Shove It.” our own right.” JetBlue, distancing One of his close friends, John Polcari, itself from the disturbing, if humorous acts, himself in the customer service field, told issued a statement advising the public, “that SFGN this morning that Steven is a “tender, no one was injured in the incident,” and “at caring and nurturing human being, but ALL no time was the security or safety of our of us have a breaking point. If Steven lost his customers or crewmembers at risk.” Meanwhile, the story has gone worldwide, temper with someone on board, he must and working people everywhere are coming have been provoked. Not sure I agree on how to the defense of Slater, who had apparently Steven took a stand but glad he did.”

continued from page 2

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

SFGN Editorial

August 11, 2010

Norm Kent, Publisher

Mikey Verdugo’s Struggle Continues

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his has been a remarkable week for America’s gay community. A decision in a San Francisco courthouse brings us into the 21st century. Gays will soon be able to legally marry again in California. Our centerfold celebrates many such couples. Still, the battles we must win are in the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen. There should never have been a Proposition 8, where citizens got to vote on our civil rights. It is not like we have voting on a free press, or freedom of religion. It is a right that is inalienable; which cannot be taken away by statute or a voter. Yes, you should have always had the right to partner and marry who you sought. Finally, American courts are catching up with the rest of our civilized world. On another plane, yesterday, at the Pride Center at Equality Park, Mikey Verdugo held a press conference to announce that he will continue a challenge to retain his certification to remain a law enforcement officer in the State of Florida. As reported in our very first issue back in January, in a story you can read on our website, an arbitrator had ruled the City of Hollywood lawfully terminated his tenure as a Hollywood cop. His crime? Omitting on his employment application that he once did a scene in a gay porn film, five years before even applying

for a police job. Please! Aided by the skill set of Wilton Manors attorney George Castrataro, and the team at his able law offices, Verdugo’s appeal comes down to invidious discrimination against a gay man. Had Verdugo omitted to put on his employment application that he played a role as Othello in a summerstock theater company, there would be no legal battle today. Mikey Verdugo would still be a Hollywood police officer. The significance of this story cannot be underplayed either, because the City of Hollywood continues to seek its pound of flesh. Despite a decade on the department where he distinguished himself in the field, including during dangerous undercover operations, the City was not satisfied with just firing him. They are also seeking to strip him of his state certification to remain a police officer anywhere in the state. This is outrageous, not only because there are many agencies that would still employ him, but the nominal offense of omission, weighed against his years of service to the community, is inconsequential. Indeed, that was the ruling of the State of Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, who had negotiated a stipulation with George Castrataro, on

PHOTO BY JARRETT TERRILL

behalf of Mikey Verdugo. Castrataro engineered a fair and just settlement, insuring that Verdugo could remain a licensed police officer in the state of Florida, with a supervisory probationary sanction that included an ethics course. By all rhyme and reason, it was an appropriate disposition, which would leave only Verdugo’s challenge in Circuit Court to the George Castrataro and Mikey Verdugo arbitrator’s ruling. It is a state representatives to intervene. Ask them tough case to be sure, hard to win, but one where he would get to make to have the city police department ‘stand down.’ To do that, we must stand up. his arguments. If candidates want the support of the gay Amazingly, the City of Hollywood police department has chosen to snake the settle- community, it is time they start standing up ment agreement by filing a challenge with for gay rights when there are gay wrongs. In the Training Commission, and they are this week’s paper, Dean Trantalis, an openly going to Tampa to argue their case tomor- gay man who once served as the Vice Mayor row. Mind you, this is an agreement already of Fort Lauderdale, has advertised his ensigned off by the General Counsel for the dorsements for those candidates who have Florida Department of Law Enforcement. respected the integrity of the gay and lesBut that was not good enough for contrar- bian community. We second his making enian representatives from the Hollywood dorsements, and encourage you to vote as Police Department. They have asked that you see fit. We invite you to stand together Mikey’s right to be a police officer be termi- to mandate and elect leaders who protect nated, unless he drops the arbitration case. and insure our rights. Mikey Verdugo’s case may play itself out It is their quid pro quo. But it is wrong, and Mikey has said “No, I will stand by ground.” in the courts, but make no mistake about As a newspaper, as his co-counsel, we what has happened here. As gays get marurge you to stand by him. Do not leave him ried in San Francisco, in Florida, a talented naked before the cannon. Follow this news- young man is being denied an opportunity paper, both in print and online, and watch to serve his community primarily because as the events of his case unfold. Pressure the he is gay, and that is wrong. It is up to us to city commissioners of Hollywood, and its make it right. PHOTO BY A. SEBASTIAN FORTINO

Between 50 and 100 concerned citizens and members from all major media outlets turned out for a press conference held by dis-badged Hollywood Cop Mikey Verdugo, local attorneys and leaders demanded equal employment protection.


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

RANTINGS FROM THE EDGE (of Canada)

Gay Marriage By Stephen Berridge

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s a Canadian who spends his winters in Fort Lauderdale, I have perhaps developed a bit of perspective concerning the ongoing debate over same-sex unions and marriage, as I’m exposed to both societies. Although I’m very hesitant to criticize my hosts, I’d like to offer some observations that might shed a bit of a different light. I never really felt particularly strong, one way or the other, about marriage; didn’t think it was necessary. I was for it, but after having “lived in sin” with my partner, after having taken care of all the legal aspects of our union, such as community property registration, wills, living wills, etc., I really didn’t see a great need for marriage. We did eventually get married, or civilized or unionized, whatever you’d prefer. I guess it was more of a “why not” than a “why.” Now, after having lost my partner to cancer, after I’ve retired and tried to build a new life, I am more than a little pleased we took this initiative, as I’m benefiting from his government pension and employer pension survivor’s benefits, all of which contribute to my winters in your lovely city of Fort Lauderdale. One of the reasons the United States has achieved so very many successes, both at

home and internationally, is because its citizens are taught to be proud of their country from a very early age. This pride is frequently taken a step further, and many feel America is the best country in the world. I certainly won’t argue with that. This pride is great—in fact, it’s enviable. However, I have to ask myself, is this pride stopping Americans from looking at what other countries have done? Blinding them from what works and what doesn’t elsewhere? This country, in an effort to listen to all the voices, has fallen into a quandary on issues of individual freedom, which it takes such pride in protecting. In Canada, when same-sex unions, let alone marriage, were first introduced, the extremists began to moan that such a disgusting measure would mean the end of traditional marriage, that marriage is between one man and one woman for the procreation of children, and that God would be awfully upset with us all if we allowed this blasphemy. Well, the measure was passed into law in every province, and the malcontents went on to find something else to whine about and someone else to spew their venom on. Traditional marriage didn’t fall apart any more than it already had. No

one really cares any more. We’ve got serious economic problems, terrorist threats and national security flaws to occupy our little brains. In fact, the divorce lawyers just doubled their market share! To bring the question of child adoption into the equation is really irrelevant and one more ruse to muddy the waters. Child adoption agencies are and must be the only ones who decide if a prospective parent is suitable. Can a married male-female couple who happen to be unemployed crack addicts adopt a newborn baby? No! But they’d qualify according to the rhetoric being spewed by the religious right. And, for once, let’s be hon“The United States invariably does est: If you really want a kid, no the right thing, after having matter who you are, there’s always the old-fashioned way. I exhausted every other alternative.” have no idea how that works, but – Winston Churchill they tell me it does. Same-sex “marriage” or “unions” – you give me a legal definition of the words and I’ll figure out which one to up with a brand new law that forbids state use—are working in countries all over the government from engaging in any sort of sysworld. Yes, the citizens of the United States temic discrimination, thereby forcing their are more dynamic, more entrepreneurial hands? This is the land of the brave, but I’m and more independent than those in a great not so sure about it being the land of the free. I love my American friends, I love being many other societies. Therefore, my question is: Why can’t the wording, the intent, the here and I will continue to pray that the “radisuccesses and the failures of other countries cal center” wins out, that the calm voice of jusbe adapted to meet the United States’ unique tice, equality and freedom for all will be heard requirements? Why can’t Washington come very soon. Good luck, United States.


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Unemployment Still Hinders Economic Growth Local Business Leaders Give Advice to Job Seekers

that the combination of individual pieces of your skill set or past job experiences could lead to an entirely new and exciting career that you may have never considered before.”

Elizabeth Schwartz

Attorney

John Castelli

By Joey Amato

D

espite some signs that the economic climate in the United States is improving, private-sector job growth is anemic, highlighting a weak labor market and the fragile economic recovery. According to last week’s job’s report, the jobless rate held steady at 9.5 percent. Nonfarm payrolls fell 131,000, while private employment, considered a better gauge of labor market health, rose 71,000 after increasing 31,000 in June. Analysts had expected a much better report, with overall employment falling 65,000 and private-sector hiring increasing 90,000. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 479,000. Market expectations forecasted a drop to 455,000. Another report highlighted four occurrences which could possibly lead to more hiring. The first being positive momentum. According to the report, a slowdown is as much a psychological phenomena as they are economic. Therefore, companies cut back on hiring as a result of poor economic data. Given that 60 percent of jobs are created by small business, loans to entrepreneurial ventures will lead to more jobs. “We need small businesses to gain access to capital, so people can take risks,” says John Challenger, CEO of the outplacement firm Challenger, Gary & Christmas. In addition, if foreign demand for goods and services increases, so will jobs. In 2009,

Michael Goodman

46.6 percent of all sales came from outside the U.S., a slight decrease from the previous year, according to S&P. And the final criteria that may boost jobs is capital spending on plants and equipment. Deutsche Bank economist Joseph A. LaVorgna states cap-ex spending this year is robust— growing 20 percent over the previous quarter—and the trend traditionally leads the jobs market by a full quarter. This could suggest a strong jobs-creation move in the third quarter. Despite this optimism, the South Florida community is still struggling with a high rate of unemployment. As a result of the above reports, SFGN reached out to local business leaders asking for their advice on how to find a job.

“Don’t wait for a job posting. Find the place where you want to be and do what it takes to get yourself there. Don’t be too much of a princess and refuse to pay your dues. Proofread everything before you send it out, at least twice. Know where your strengths and weaknesses lie and find work that is complementary to both.”

Michael Goodman

Partner, BitnerGoodman

“Finding a job these days can be a challenge but there are some ways to be ahead

of the pack. A professional resume is a great asset and should be tailored to match the job one is seeking. Networking is great so be sure to attend events and let friends and acquaintances know you are in the market. Many times, I recommend that people volunteer on a project to expand their circle while gaining some more experience. Also, presentation is crucial. Be sure that your personal grooming and wardrobe choices are appropriate and would not overshadow your work potential.”

Daniel Pye

Vice President, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney “Dress for success. In job-hunting, first impressions are critical, you are marketing yourself to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire. You must have the proper attire for the type of job you are seeking. Will dressing properly get you the job? Of course not, but it will give you a competitive edge and a positive first impression. Prospective employers size you up in the first thirty seconds, attire is critical to that assessment. When in doubt dress up, never dress down.”

John Castelli

Owner, Castelli Homes “Your resume is one of many, make it stand out. You only have one chance to make a first impression, so dress for success. Sell yourself by asking questions about the position, company, etc. It will make you look interested and educated. Let the potential employer know that you can work flexible hours, you are a team player and you really want to work for the company.”

Thomas Barker

Publisher, WIRE Magazine “In this job market, the most important tip I can give is to think outside the box and spend some time reviewing your skill set and past job experience. It may help to literally create a list of both. You’ll most likely notice

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

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Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, the first lesbian couple ever married in California PHOTO BY POMPANO BILL


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com PHOTOS BY Dale Stine

Miami Gets Ready for Summerfest Page 23


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Nightlife by J.W. Arnold

Take It Off!

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hat’s the premise of Broward House’s glitzy fundraiser on Friday night at the Seminole Hard Rock’s Passion nightclub—local performers will take it off in a sexy night of temptation, titillation and testosterone. Based on the popular Broadway Bares It fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Broward Bares It will feature local performers and benefit the local HIV/AIDS charity. We’ve seen more or less of some of the big names on the roster—especially hunky Rod Stephens and the dancers of the Boardwalk bar—and there are some we’d probably rather not see, emcee Dame Edna, for instance, but organizers have lined up some real talents for a night of Broadway and burlesque with a little circus thrown in. Tickets are still available for $25 at BrowardBaresIt.com, so don’t miss this show.

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After a hot, sluggish week in South Florida, the calendar is starting to fill up again and here is a quick look at some of the upcoming week’s highlights: Wednesday, Aug. 11

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f course you need a cold beer to enjoy the game on the tube. But sometimes that’s not enough. Tonight, Sidelines Sports Bar is serving up cold brew and free pizza from Humpy’s from 10 p.m. to 12 midnight with a one drink minimum. Sidelines is located at 2031-A Wilton Dr. in Wilton Manors.

for an evening of the eclectic sound that has made her a local favorite. Enjoy $3 Bud Light and $6 cosmos all night long.The Manor is located at 2345 Wilton Dr. in Wilton Manors. Friday, Aug. 13 and Saturday, Aug. 14.

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ampires are hot right now, so it’s no surprise that two of the hottest clubs in Fort Lauderdale and Miami would team up for a double header celebrating the lore of the blood-thirsty creatures of the night. On Friday night, Living Room, the ultra trendy club on the Las Olas Riverfront looks to the vampires of HBO’s hit series, “True Blood” for inspiration. Then, on Saturday, Miami’s Discotekka is the scene for an ultimate battle between the vampires and werewolves of the hit “Twilight Saga” movies. But be forewarned, it will take a lot more than some plastic Halloween fangs to get into the groove. Be creative and dress to impress if you expect to see any action after the moon rises. Sunday, Aug. 15

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bonee Excell is headlining tonight at Twist’s cabaret bar. The show starts at 1 a.m., but everyone knows that South Beach only really starts to heat up early in the morning. You can find the action at 1059 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach. Monday, Aug. 16

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here may already be an Alibi in Palm Springs, but tonight the Alibi in Fort Lauderdale takes on the cool desert vibe as the folks from Logo and gay.com come to town for the Palm Springs Pool Party and Cocktail Challenge.You could win a trip for two while your favorite bartenders compete in a mixology contest for a chance to compete Thursday, Aug. 12 in the finals of this nationwide search for the hottest gay bartenders. There will be plenty hursdays are Ladies Night at The of drink specials and prizes when the action Manor and all this month, the club is featuring live bands.Tonight, Melissa Bur- starts at 9 p.m. The Alibi is located in the nos and her band take the stage at 8:30 p.m. Shoppes of Wilton Manors.

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Miami Gets Ready for Summerfest 3rd Annual Event - Aug. 20 to Aug. 22 By Joey Amato

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alling itself, “the only gay weekend event of the summer”, Summerfest returns to Miami Beach August 20 through August 22. During this time, the producers of Miami’s largest LGBT weekend event, Winter Party, and Pink Dollar Enterprises will work together to create a fantastic weekend of stiff cocktails, over-thetop entertainment, and sexy fashions. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and some of Miami Beach’s great venues will come together to create the hottest event of the summer. The weekend extravaganza will include five events: Summerfest Kick-off Event and Shopping Spree at Creative Male, a late night dance party at Score, a Sunday Drag Brunch and Summer Time T at The Palace, and, of course, the Summerfest Pool Party at the Hotel Victor, which founder Thomas Barker calls “the heart and soul of Summerfest ’10.” Barker tells SFGN about the inception of the event. “Three years ago, I was doing a

Summerfest’s proceeds will benefit the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. For more information, call 786.216.7513. Visit Summerfestmiami.com for details and to purchase tickets.

lot of fundraising for Equality Florida, The Task Force, and The South Beach AIDS Project, and had an idea to create a weekend of fundraising events that could potentially become the only gay weekend event of the summer for locals.” As a result, he created Summerfest and began organizing different events, including a cocktail party and fashion show on the rooftop of the Catalina Hotel, a dance party at Score, and a brunch at the Palace. “This year, we have done a great job of bringing in fabulous entertainers,” states Barker. “We have DJs Charlmix and FR8-O spinning at the Summerfest Pool Party, followed by DJs Miik and Eddie Elias, who is flying in from New York to spin for us at Score.” There are a few changes from last year’s event. Most notably Barker has added a VIP component to the Summerfest Pool Party. “A limited number of ticket holders will have access to an exclusive VIP area immediately next to the pool that includes a private bar, seating, and gift bags.” Despite offering added incentives for VIP’s, Barker wants ensure all guests receive the biggest bang for their buck. “Each ticket holder will receive two free Herradura or Finlandia cocktails at the Pool Party, not to mention the fact that we all get to dance poolside at one of the most opulent and exclusive venues in South Beach.” Last year, over 1,000 people attended the weekend’s festivities. The number is expected to be even larger this year.

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Firefighters ‘Rock the Hard Rock’ Unveil 2011 Calendar

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wenty new smokin’ hometown heroes will heat up Seminole Paradise at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Thursday, August 19 at 7 p.m., when South Florida Firefighters unveil their 2011 calendar. The calendar cuties will fire up the crowd in support of Here’s Help and A Safe Haven for Newborns charities. The unveiling will be hosted by South Florida’s own radio and television personal-

August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

ity Jade Alexander. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach’s sexiest flame battlers will greet fans, pose for pictures, and sign the $17 calendars in the club district area of Seminole Paradise. Founded in 1992 by firefighter and actor/ model Luis Espinosa, the South Florida Firefighters Calendar has helped raise awareness about important community issues. To date the non-profit organization has raised over $240,000 to benefit charities such as the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Habitat for Humanity’s Hurricane Andrew Fund, Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities, Neighbors 4 Neighbors, Best Buddies, Cystic Fibrosis, A Safe Haven for Newborns and Here’s Help.

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Lennox Delivers Positive Message about HIV/AIDS

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xford, England (CNN) -- Singersongwriter Annie Lennox proudly wears an “HIV Positive” black T-shirt, proclaiming her solidarity with the disease’s victims, even though her status is HIV negative. “I constantly want to bring attention to the issue,” says Lennox. “This is my way of campaigning visually.” At the TED Global conference last month in Oxford, England, Lennox made clear in a talk and an interview with CNN.com that she is seriously committed to combating the spread of the disease. She was inspired by Nelson Mandela’s statement of support in 2003 for the effort to fight the virus by the 46664 Foundation, named after Mandela’s number in prison. South Africa was losing 1,000 people a day to AIDS, many of them women and children. Mandela compared the death toll to genocide. “I’m a woman, and I’m a mother, I told myself that this is something that I have to talk about,” Lennox said. In her talk at the conference attended by about 700 people, she told the story of a sevenyear-old girl in South Africa suffering from the disease and weighing about what a one-yearold child weighs. After the girl was treated and put on a special diet by doctors, she recovered, looking like a child her age. “The hair on my arms is standing,” Lennox, said as she showed before and after photos of the girl. “Isn’t it extraordinary?” An ambassador for U.N. AIDS, she said the organization is committed to ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015. TED is a nonprofit organization that hosts

conferences and makes talks available on its site, http://www.ted.com/. [CNN and TED have a partnership in which TEDTalks are published Tuesdays on CNN.com.] The Scottish pop music artist gained fame performing with Dave Stewart as the Eurythmics and has gone on to a successful solo career and many music awards. In 2007, Lennox organized a group of 23 female performers to make “Sing” as a benefit recording for the fight against HIV/AIDS. It has raised more than 100,000 pounds (about $159,000 U.S. dollars). Lennox was honored with the Services to Humanity Award in 2008 by the British Red Cross. Lennox sees people in developed Western countries living in a bubble of great privilege where they have a responsibility to help those who are not as fortunate. She says she aims to use her skills and influence to help make that happen. Ultimately, Lennox says, the fight against HIV/AIDS is not about charity but about securing human rights.


August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Music

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In our case we want to do more popular, Hollywood and musical inspired music more so that classical choral music.” The group also stresses they want to be more a community theatre, where both professional and shower-time singers will be treated equally. According to Penn, in places like Los Angeles there is a waiting list to be in the choir. Prospective crooners then nected via dialogue.” share music with the new choir. By A. Sebastian Fortino audition and may or may not get a call back. To keep choir members on their toes, The founders of the Hollywood choir “With the HGMC we intend to take they have also engaged Founding Member come with an extensive pedigree in terms s the gay community integrates people that want to sing and teach them and Choreographer Eric Miji, who is perof training and positions held in the field. into more suburban communiforming at age 16 and is thrilled to be a part how. We’re not looking for professionals,” The choir was described by Penn as the ties, it is—of course—necessary Penn stressed. of the Hollywood Gay Men’s Chorus. He “brainchild” of to expand gay Their first audition will take place on was also a founding member of the South Craig Fashbaugh, social and artistic Beach GMC where he has directed one and Monday, September 13, at the McNichol its founder. groups. Therefore, Fashbaugh was a choreographed several shows for them. The Community Center on 28th Avenue, with despite having a rehearsals on following Mondays. choreographer also has a rich background founding memSouth Florida Gay The group says these aren’t quite audiin American Musical Theatre that will cerber of the Men’s Chorus tions as much as vocal placement. Their first Windy City tainly inform the choir’s performances. (SFGMC) in show is scheduled for December 3, and Penn promises to focus more on showchorus in Fort Lauderwhile the group has not confirmed a title, tunes, and hopes their performances will be Chicago, dale, and a they promise to sing out as scheduled. as well as more like a fun, Glee experience than the Miami Gay Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He says not to exthe ChiMen’s Chorus pect members in tuxedos standing on risers. cago Gay (MGMC), it is To learn more about the upcoming “We intend to be a show choir,” Penn Men’s Choappropriate to auditions, email Craig Fashbaugh at rus. By 1999, he told SFGN enthusiastically. “A show choir launch one in Craigcf@mac.com or call (954) 603-7373. tends to have performances with a theme. was one of the founding members of Hollywood. the South Beach Gay Men’s Chorus, which “People tend to think of South Beach later became the Miami Beach Gay Men’s and Wilton Manors as the big meeting Chorus. In terms of establishing a chorus in places for the gay community in South Hollywood, Fashbaugh is very excited. Florida,” said Dale Penn, P.R. and marketing “Our Hollywood is one of the best representative for Hollywood Gay Men’s Chorus. “Hollywood however, as it is sort of kept secrets for music and the arts. They are committed to the arts, they even have between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, is an three outdoor amphitheaters. They rebuilt ideal home for a new gay chorus. The city of Hollywood has been very welcoming and the one in circle center which will open in December. They also plan to rebuild the very supportive of the choir, in this experione on the beach on the boardwalk,” said mental stage of development.” Fashbaugh, who sees great things happening The chorus will not compete with the two pre-existing choirs. Instead, they intend with the chorus and the Hollywood arts scene at large. to work and perform with each other. As Artistic Director William Carney has a third vocal option for singers, the new choir will even organize rehearsal dates and been a member of the voice faculty at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus since performances so as not to conflict, in case 1994. He has also been a member of the they end up sharing chorus members. New World School of the Arts in the the“There are a number of gay and lesbian choruses in the area, and that’s not unusual ater and music divisions since 1999. Carney has worked in the Episcopal music tradition in a metropolitan area of our size. Furthersince 1970, with such notable churches as more, basically the founders of our group St. Thomas Church on 5th Ave in New York, are the original founders of the South and Miami’s Trinity Cathedral. Beach, now MGMC,” said Penn, who was “We would like to maintain 80 percent one of the South Beach choir’s founders music and 20 percent theater in our peras well. “The choral community is a great formances,” said Penn. “Between each song group of people. We’re all friends.” there will be skits or little theatrical tidbits, To that end the local gay men’s choruses or a whole show where the music is conand the Lambda choir have all offered to

Hooray for Hollywood, Florida A New Gay Men’s Chorus Starts Singing

A


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Heard it on...

with Mila Kunis and The Social Network by David Fincher, in which Timberlake portrays Napster cofounder Sean Parker, who helped launch Facebook.

Las Vegas Gay Hotel Bankrupt Due to recession-driven rate reductions and an overdue loan, Las Vegas’s Blue Moon Resort filed for bankruptcy Tuesday. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the resort, whose website touts the hotel as the By the Night Owl only gay hotel in Las Vegas that is able to “meet the Rosie O’Donnell needs of the gay male travComing Back eler,” lowered its rates by to Daytime? about 10 percent recently According to The Advocate, in order to compete with O’Donnell will next year launch the lower ones offered by a new daytime talk show on major resorts on the strip. Oprah’s new network OWN, The lowered rates led to the pair announced.That channel slow payments on the Blue is costing an estimated $100 Moon’s loan, which was million just to launch, and sources recently sold to Colony think it’s the best fit for Rosie. Rosie O’Donnell Capital LLC after CommuRosie is also the show’s nity Bank of Nevada went under. producer and was shopped to OWN “by Blue Moon filed for Chapter 11 banklongtime Warner Bros. syndication veterans ruptcy after negotiations with Colony Dick Robertson and Scott Carlin, Capital were unsuccessful, reported resort now of SantaBu LLC Inc.,” reports TV manager John Hessling. Despite the News Check. “The show will be a daytime financial difficulties, Hessling believes the one-hour daily show based in New York. resort will have a strong comeback once OWN said ‘fans can anticipate a fun, upliftthe economy recovers. Until then, he said, ing show with Ms. O’Donnell’s playful and “it’s business as usual.” energetic style.’”

By A. Sebastian Fortino At first they took over the East Village in New York City, young “artistes” with trust funds. After gentrifying themselves out of even Brooklyn, the Diaspora is now a presence in every metropolitan area. If there is a bar with a Pabst Blue Ribbon special, a tatBlack sweatshirt? Check. Umbrella? Check. too shop and a thrift store Wool cap? Check. near you…chances are you Okay, yeah, I have everything I need for a hot, have already seen these sunny summer day. 21st Century Bohemians. colors, backgrounds, and genders. Although Of course I mean that clandestine, “I’m they are generally too cool for gender, and not if you say I am,” group called hipsters. identify as anything but gay. If you cannot They are known for colorful assortments see these beer drinking, plaid-wearing, of mismatched vintage clothes, and riding bicycles, thusly supporting the environment bicycle riding individuals firsthand you can by reducing their carbon imprint and filling certainly sign onto Look at This F*cking landfills with unwanted garb. They also help Hispter – of course a U belongs where the economically depressed areas. Their modus “*” does – at LATFH.com. The website has weekly photo updates operandi is to move in, open cafés and of hipsters in their secret, soon to be vintage clothing stores only to send rents discovered enclaves and…a book that will rocketing skyward, pushing out the very a) make you burn photos of yourself in families for whom they sought to open college or b) sell everything you own and vegetable gardens! “drop out” of society 2010 style. Hipsters come in all ages, sizes, shapes,

Queeries by Steven Perow

Timberlake Comes Out? Not Really! Justin Timberlake will voice a gay character and a “singing booger” in an upcoming episode The Cleveland Show, a spin-off of Family Guy. According to MTV News, “Fox reps confirmed to MTV News that Timberlake will voice two characters: Paul, the boyfriend of Terry (voiced by Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock actor Jason Sudeikis), as well as a ‘singing booger’ belonging to Cleveland’s stepson Rallo, aptly named ‘Booger.’ The episode is scheduled to air in February 2011.” Cleveland creator Rich Appel told US Weekly that Timberlake turns in a “hilarious” performance. MTV News reports Timberlake also is at work filming Friends With Benefits

Website Encourages You to Stare

Steven Petrow is the author of The Essential Book of Gay Manners & Etiquette. Find him on the web at www.gayandlesbianmanners.com

Will you be my domestic partner Q: Asking someone to become my “domestic partner” doesn’t sound nearly as romantic to me as “Will you marry me?”Any thoughts on how to sex up this kind of proposal? A: You’re right, that phrase wouldn’t really make me swoon. But just because the government is denying you the freedom to marry doesn’t mean it controls how you express what’s in your heart. There’s no reason your commitment proposal shouldn’t be special and memorable, whether it’s a candlelit dinner at your favorite restaurant or a weekend away at a bucolic B&B. So put a little time and effort into the planning. Consider presenting a ring, if that suits you, and saying something like, “I wish we could marry, but since we can’t, I hope we can be together forever. Will you have me?” Justin Timberlake


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Book Review Those Others: Navigating the “Riddle of Homosexuality” in 1965 The book is available for purchase locally at The Book Nook in Wilton Manors, and the author’s website, Thoseothersthebook.com

By A. Sebastian Fortino

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hose Others is part novel and part journalism. It’s a window into mid-century LGBT life. The book by Joe Openshaw follows Michael, a young, all-American male from Tennessee, who is unable to get a college athletic scholarship or join the military due to his asthma. Because of his medical condition, which his agrarian father finds to be a sign of weakness, his father arranges for him to work in the office of a senator whom he had been in the military with at one time. We meet Michael as he is getting ready to leave for the nation’s Capitol in 1965. The historical aspect of the novel coincides with a groundbreaking—however dated by today’s standards—1965 series of articles that appeared in the Washington Post by Jean M. White. They open by saying that bringing up the topic of homosexuality in “polite society or public print” in 1965 would not have been possible in 1960. “So, like mental illness and venereal disease earlier,” White writes, “homosexuality was stored out of sight in society’s attic, carefully hidden under a blanket of silence—except for snide jokes or oblique allusions,” Michael is introduced to the articles by a closeted homosexual—who happens to be a married senator. As he reads the articles,

he becomes more aware and less ashamed of his homosexuality. He soon meets Alan, a man that becomes his lover, partner and ultimately roommate, soon after his arrival in the Capitol. The articles, reprinted in the back of the book, should be read before reading Michael’s story, as they structure the questions Michael asks himself. Each article discusses the structure of gay “society” at the time: the closeted homosexual, in a dangerous position of government power—in the form of the senator; and the lower-class homosexual, no stranger to hustling when times are tough, employed as a supermarket manager—in the form of Alan, whose real name is revealed to be Marlon. In terms of historical figures that Michael and Alan encounter— figures that are open, educated, enlightened, and perhaps “militant homosexuals”— we meet Martin Luther King’s confidante, Bayard Rustin. The writing is sensitive. Michael does not “come out,” as we would know the term today. Instead, by realizing his sexuality, finding someone to build a life with, and later becoming aware of and a part of the struggle for civil rights—the National Voting Rights Act of 1965 is an underlying theme—he comes to accept himself and realizes he should have the same rights as everyone else. Openshaw writes in a particularly beautiful passage: “He was totally immersed in the rapturous moments that led, for the first time, to a feeling of ease with his developing sexuality. Lying in bed, exhausted and naked, when he should have felt most vulnerable, he felt completely accepted and at peace.” The book is also linked to the “Our God is Marching On!” speech that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered on March 25, 1965, in Montgomery, Alabama. Michael not

makes him realize that the next time he sees his family he will tell them the truth “like mental illness about him and Marlon. and venereal disease In effect, Michael is also encountering African-Americans for the first time, or in earlier, homosexuality 1960s parlance, the Negros.The figure of was stored out of sight in Bayard Rustin, noted MLK, Jr., colleague and society’s attic, carefully civil rights leader, also features into the backhidden under a blanket ground, if not the forefront, of Michael’s story. Rustin’s presence in the novel artfully and of silence—except historically links the civil rights movement for snide jokes or of African-Americans to the gay community. oblique allusions.” The fiction of the book, the first 136 pages, is written with an elegant pace and tone. The – Jean M.White rich backdrops of setting, time, and place infuse the novel with a vital importance. The final paragraph of the reprinted only encounters his homosexuality for the articles reminds us that Michael, in 1965, first time in Washington, but also becomes involved in the civil rights movement, as the has many struggles ahead of him, as we do 45 years later. senator he works for is being courted by “Yet society has to deal with the homocivil rights leaders who wish him to vote for sexual in its midst. And it will never be able their cause. Michael even attends the rally, to do this with fairness and compassion unand afterwards takes the then-shocking til it understands more about what has been step of taking his lover and his black friend George to his parents in Tennessee. The act called ‘the riddle of homosexuality.’”

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Across 1 Major and minor, to Bernstein 6 Isle of exile in Brando’s Desiree 10 Reinaldo Arenas’ Peter 15 Lower in rank 16 ___ ex machina 17 One that lies on the bottom 18 Start of Lady GaGa’s description of money 20 Very thin 21 Where bitches hang out 22 More of the description 24 Give a pink slip to 27 Net destination 28 Mall bag 32 “That was close!” 34 Without a partner 39 Big name in publishing 40 “So long!” 42 Kind of geometry 43 More of the description 46 Hot to trot 47 Mini, in Marseille 48 Something to think about 49 Words from a closet, perhaps 51 Devil-may-care

52 O-o-o-o-okla., once 53 Hypotheticals 55 Scholarship criterion 57 More of the description 62 Big name in African kings 67 Jethrene Bodine’s mother 68 End of the description 71 Lint collector 72 Fairy story 73 Fruit with wrinkles 74 Mudville slugger 75 Bones’ partner 76 Beaver State capital

26 Portrayer of 7-Down in Capote 28 Oscar winner Marisa 29 Rehoboth Beach setting 30 Chicken order 31 Cosmetics name 33 Auden’s first name 35 Like a superbly pitched game 36 Move effortlessly 37 Titanic, e.g. 38 Second name in crossdressing 41 Pernod flavorer 44 Highsmith character played by Damon 45 Maupin’s Significant ___ 50 Salamander 54 Goes through 56 Extinguishes 57 Homer work 58 Warrior Princess 59 Pink-slips 60 Pennsylvania city 61 It’s hard and woody 63 Vidal’s Breckinridge 64 Bellow in the library? 65 Sea flier 66 Pansy supporter 69 Larry Kramer, for one 70 Bear lair

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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Pastor Leslie Tipton

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Uniting the LGBT Community through Prayer & Giving By Joey Amato

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ut of the many women we have profiled in SFGN, Pastor Leslie Tipton has one of the most interesting life stories. Born and raised in Southern California, she enjoyed a wonderful childhood, as part of a caring family of five. In her second year of college at San Diego State University, where she majored in Behavioral Psychology and Naval Science, Pastor Leslie began toying with the possibility of homosexuality. “I dated a woman for a short time and had my doubts.” She subsequently dated a few men, but confessed that she enjoyed spending more time focusing on her education than on her personal life. “I wanted to finish college and begin my career in the military.” In 1987, she entered the Marine Corps, where she remained for over a decade. In the Corps, Pastor Leslie trained in naval aviation and aircraft maintenance. “There weren’t many women officers,” she recalls.

“At that time, women were met with more hostility, but that provided a greater challenge for me.” It wasn’t until she was stationed in Hawaii in the spring of 1988, that Pastor Leslie realized she was a gay woman. “I told my brother right away. He thought it was wonderful!” Her parents were also supportive. “My parents knew before I told them,” she states. Pastor Leslie recalls her father telling her, ‘Your mom and I love you no matter who you choose to love…we love you for who you are.’ At the time, Pastor Leslie’s younger sister Cori had been kicked out of the military for making it known that she was a lesbian and her father begged her to keep it a secret, which Pastor Leslie did. In 1997, Pastor Leslie answered the “call of God” and left the Corp. “I decided to go into social work and began helping people suffering from HIV and AIDS.” She also began working with children in Broward County who had been sexually abused and helped them through that rough time in their lives.

A decade later, she was ordained as a Pastor and became Associate Pastor at the Church of the Holy SpiritSong. The church has been a cornerstone of the Wilton Manors community, providing weekly services, outreach and holding events to benefit the greater good. Most recently, the church has hosted recently out recording artist Ray Boltz, a community dog wash and a bible school in which they partnered with Kids In Distress and Children’s Diagnostic Center. A community art fair is being planned for later this year. In addition, the church has an outreach program called ‘Feed My Sheep’. “Every third Saturday, a team of volunteers prepares lunch for people in need.” Last month, Pastor Leslie and her team fed 57 people. On a personal level, Pastor Leslie is married to Sandra Rutland. The couple entered

into a holy union on June 13, 2009. “We met in church in January of 2008 and during the part where you meet and greet one another, Sandra turned around and told me she thought I was beautiful.” The pair has been together ever since. Together, they enjoy bike riding, gardening and going to the beach and are the proud parents of four birds and three dogs. In addition, their philanthropy extends further than the church. They give back to the Poverello Center as well as Classical South Florida. To learn more about Pastor Leslie of the Church of the Holy SpiritSong, visit Cohss.org.


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Gay Families Welcome International Students By A. Sebastian Fortino

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ne trope of the American sitcom used to be welcoming an exchange student from some foreign, often fictitious locale. For at least one 30-minute episode—roughly the attention span of most Americans—the cultural differences of the foreign-born would be welcomed into the white-bread home of a fictional, Anytown, USA family. Prior to WWII, when travel was the birthright of the wealthy, a gentleman or young lady would leave for the “grand tour” of European capitals for six months or more. This was, perhaps, equal to or more important than time spent at an elite college. Travel and learning foreign languages went hand-in-hand with formal education. Yes, at one time it was deemed a sign of education to speak a foreign language fluently. Not a reason to fear being mistaken as an illegal immigrant. In the last century, the high-school graduate, college student, or hippie backpacking through Europe became a rite of passage for the middle class. However, things have changed in the past 10 years. There has been a steady decline of American students classified as “outbound,” meaning that fewer American students are venturing abroad for intercultural exchange. The Arkansasbased American Intercultural Student Exchange (AISE) stopped finding families to host American students roughly10 years ago. The organization still places “inbound” students from abroad with American hosts. Donna White, AISE’s national communications coordinator, has been with the organization for 20 years and has witnessed the decline firsthand. “Students really stopped going after 9/11 because people were afraid to send children overseas. Then we had another decline when

TO HOST A STUDENT: or for more information about CASE and CSIET, visit Case-usa.org and Csiet.org

the economy got worse,” said White. “Military families are the best, or were the best, in terms of sending and hosting. But, while they are involved with the war, they can’t afford to host or send children.” In addition to the rise of the euro and fall of the American dollar, many people blame the lack of youth leaving the home on technology’s influence. If you can talk to your friend via cell phone, Skype, Facebook, or instant messenger, why bother walking or biking the twenty minutes it takes to get to their house? Therefore, if you can learn about foreign cultures via the Internet, why bother to see them firsthand? Why bother working an extra job, or cutting down on your allowance, to fund travel and education abroad? White, however, does not cite technology as a contributing reason as to why American students are less likely to go abroad. She feels, on the contrary, that technology has made foreign culture more accessible. White hosted her first exchange student from Denmark in the mid-1980s. Her first trip to Europe was to visit Michael, the Danish teenager and his family. She kept in touch with him through the years, and, despite being “unfamiliar” with European culture initially, she soon realized the value in terms of cross-cultural exchange and education. It makes students more accepting of different ideas, cultural mores, and viewpoints. Part of White’s story has an interesting gay angle. “Everyone in our Missouri town loved Michael,” she told SFGN. “Well, 12 years later another Danish student we hosted, a friend of Michael’s, called me. During the course of the conversation he said, ‘I guess you heard Michael is out of the closet and he got married.’ I said, ‘What, out of the closet?’ Then I learned that Michael married a man, and got what his friend meant. So, I called Michael, I was a little upset,” she said. “No, not that he married a guy, but

that he didn’t invite me to the wedding.” Today, Michael and Donna still have a friendship, thanks to Facebook, and email. An email we received at SFGN sparked interest in a piece on exchange students. While American families may not be sending children overseas, students from other countries still wish to come here to perfect their English. The organization in question, Cultural Association for Student Exchange (CASE), said that certainly some European families are comfortable sending their children to live with gay families. Furthermore, many students have their eyes set on Florida as a destination. Admittedly, we did not know what to make of the email from CASE. Yet, after contacting the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), we learned that yes—host families can be married, single, with children, without children, and yes—as long as prospective gay hosts pass criminal background checks, there is no reason why they would not be desirous as host families. “I’ve met gay host families, and they’re fine,” said John Hishmeh, executive director of CSIE. “We don’t have statistics on gay host families, though, as we don’t single them out. We don’t define what a typical American family is. There is nothing that says mom, dad, kids, and dog. What is imperative— with homestays—is that you match compatibility with mutual expectations.”

He has had to place religious students with like-minded families, and place deaf students with families that can sign. Hishmeh says that, in terms of American students classified as outbound, the U.S. has a one-to-15 ratio. That is one American going outbound for every 15 coming into the U.S. to study. He does not cite the rise of technology as the reason for the declining number of outbound students, but does cite the economy and American high school traditions as reasons students opt to travel later— such as during their junior year in college. “American students don’t want to miss out on anything going on in their own communities,” Hishmeh says. He points to prom, homecoming, and other rite-of-passage scenes from the American High School Yearbook. However, the State Department has recently begun to show an interest in highschool-age students keeping up with the international student body. They are now offering scholarships to students studying languages beneficial to national security. “Russian, Chinese, and Arabic are the big three languages,” said Hishmeh. Karina Doutrich, with CASE, who contacted us, shared her experiences about initially hosting students from, and then working with, the organization to place students. For the complete article on exchange students, go to SouthFloridaGayNews.com/exchange


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August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Rosen’s Prestige Automotive Revs Up Customer Service

By Joey Amato

the number was astonishingly higher. “I retained about 40 percent of my orth Miami Beach native Rob customers,” he tells SFGN. “It really Rosen has been in the auto re- helped to jump start my business in pair business most of his life. the early years.” At 50 years young, Rosen is still As founder of Rosen’s Prestige Automotive, he has seen two generations of customer’s extremely active in the business. On walk in and out of his garage. “Being in the any day, he can be spotted helping business for so long, we now have the chil- to change oil, inspecting engines or dren of our older customers coming to us speaking with customers. But as the legendary Bruce Springfor repairs.” This is only possible by providsteen always says, “you can’t ing honest service at a competitive price. Rosen’s is one of the area’s most well-re- make the journey alone… spected automotive shops. Offering every- you need a band.” Well if Rosen is ‘The thing from full body maintenance to tire rotations, Rosen’s is committed to being a Boss’, then Joseph Mustipher one-stop shop for auto maintenance in the is Clarence Clemons. Also known as ‘The Tire Guru,’ Mustipher plays Fort Lauderdale market. Opened in 1993, Rosen is celebrating his an integral role in Rosen’s business, 17th year as a business owner. Prior to that, heading up Rosen’s Prestige Tire. The company recently became Rosen spent time working for dealerships. “I lived in New Jersey briefly, where I ran an an authorized Bridgestone/Firestone Oldsmobile service department,” he states. dealer much to the credit of Mustipher. Before relocating to South Florida, After relocating back to South Florida, Rosen spent eight years overseeing the ser- Mustipher ran the Bridgestone/Firestone high performance division for vice department at Bayview Cadillac. Upon setting out on his own, Rosen ex- the U.S. and Canada. In addition, he pected to bring about 10 percent of his cli- was the sales training manager for Mient base from Bayview, but to his surprise, chelin and the Southeast training manager for Pirelli Tires. “Nobody I have ever met in my life knows more about This will provide for better Tip 1 tires than Joseph,” states breaking and handling. Use Check your air pressure Rosen. During our brief insimilar tires as those proonce per month. Use the terview, Mustipher gave me vided by the manufacturer manufacturer’s recommena crash course in tires which in terms of size, load index dations which are usually was extremely informative. and speed reading. found on the inside of the “When a customer comes door, trunk or gas cap. This into our store, we don’t just Tip 3 tells you how much air sell them tires,” Mustipher If your get a flat tire, the to put in when the tire is states. “We provide recombest thing to do is patch it, cold. Try to avoid checking not plug it. The only way you mendations and educate the pressure after a long drive because the reading will not can use a plug is if you patch consumer about what would work best for their vehicle.” it as well. be accurate and use nitroIn addition, Mustipher makes gen if available. choices based on a customer’s Tip 4 desire for performance, drivTire rotation is necessary Tip 2 ability and the like. every 5,000-7,000 miles. DoAlways purchase tires that To add to his superior ing so will extend the life of match the performance service, Rosen provides a the tire. level of the automobile. complimentary courtesy

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32

August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Catching My Breath

Targeted By Michael Woo ‘Catching My Breath’ is a personal reflections column about gay life. If you want to ‘catch your breath,’ submit your stories to editor@southfloridagaynews.com’

By Michael Woo

are not afforded that luxury; individuals must look at all of the issues on the table when selecting their position and their vote. Target, Best Buy, and several other Minnesota-headquartered businesses donated money to Minnesota Forward in order for Minnesota Forward to support businessminded candidates in the upcoming election cycle. They did not tell Minnesota Forward what to do with the money or who it should or should not endorse. The allocation of

B

etrayal. It’s an incredible word because of the powerful and sudden emotions the reader feels. They instantly connect and understand the feeling being conveyed by the author just by seeing the word. It is also a perfect word to begin a discussion on the recent story dealing with Target, Minnesota Forward, and Tom Emmer. People have been bombarded with the news that moderate and historically gay friendly Target has suddenly become a haven of antigay belief structures and harboring ill-will towards its gay consumers and employees. Facebook users, bloggers, and tweeters have helped spread the shocking news of betrayal, which has resulted in a massive public relations disaster for Target. The company’s CEO issued an open letter stating Target’s continued support of the LGBT community and mentioned many ways in which the company continues to pursue objectives of inclusiveness through Domestic Partnership Benefits for employees and financial support for the Twin Cities Gay Pride Festival. That sounds good; so why the debacle? Enter Minnesota Forward, a Political Action Committee (PAC) whose website states that they are “an effort by Minnesota job providers to elect a governor and state legislators who understand the importance of creating private-sector jobs and economic

opportunity in our state.” Like other PACs, they behave as a special interest group who campaigns, lobbies, and supports specific objectives. For instance, the HRC PAC works to get LGBT friendly legislators elected. Minnesota Forward focuses on what it considers “business-friendly” officials. As PACs they can focus singlemindedly on an issue. Voters and candidates

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Rhoda Sokoloff, Non-Partisan Candidate for Circuit Court Judge, Group 53, DeAnna Roberts, Treasurer

funds was strictly in the hands of the PAC. Minnesota Forward decided that Tom Emmer was the most business-friendly candidate for Governor and used their funding to support him. This decision could be based on his stance on taxes, government spending, or maybe they threw a dart at the wall; regardless, he is the candidate that Minnesota Forward decided upon. Minnesota Forward stated that the decision was made based on business related issues not social ones. The best example of how this process worked is to look at donations given to the Red Cross during the Haiti earthquake. Corporations and individuals made donations on the website and through text message. Those donors did not tell the Red Cross if the money was to be spent on clothing, rescue work, food, blankets, or medication. The money was given to the organization with the expectation that it would go to help victims. This is a different situation, but the same process is at work. By following the money trail; one could

see how reporters, bloggers, and Facebookers could construe Minnesota Forward’s decision as one made by Target or Best Buy. However, just as Haiti earthquake donors did not decide how to allocate the donations; Target and Best Buy were not involved in the advertising of Tom Emmer. The repeated calls for boycott and use of this story distracts from a greater truth. Many of the political initiatives LGBT activists have been pursuing for years have failed to come to fruition. With the given economic climate and chance that the Democrats could lose one or both houses this fall; continued frustration and rage detract from the community’s ability to pursue the reversal of DADT, the expansion of the Ryan White fund, the failure of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to get ENDA passed, or a whole slew of other education, health, familial and social issues facing our community. Clicking on the HRC website will reveal a popup decrying the donation of $250,000 by Target and Best Buy. The bulletin announces that there are form letters ready to be published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune denouncing the donations and calling on the respective companies to “make it right.” How many hours, phone calls, and dollars were spent on this initiative that could have been used to get gay pioneers into the Texas Textbook discussion this past March? How many patients could have received their HIV and AIDS medication instead of protesting on Broward Boulevard last month? How long will the LGBT community allow flashy and divisive headlines to distract it from achieving real progress? Target and Best Buy both continue to support the LGBT community while pursuing their business objectives. LGBT activists do not need to question the sincerity of their intentions when they already offer more than other organizations and more than is federally required. The community should feel betrayed, not from these companies; but from the leaders of the community who have failed to deliver on their promise of a better future now.


33

August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Q Scopes By Jack Fertig To place an ad, call Brian Swinford

Play it up, Virgo!

954.530.4970

From mid-Leo, the Sun is aggravating Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, which could create brilliant political insights, but that will take extraordinary work and humility. Rampant megalomaniacal egotism is much likelier. Being attuned to what other people (think they) need is half the battle. ARIES (March 20 – April 19): Whatever hand you’re dealt it’s way too easy for you to overplay.Your partner may be a bit too overcautious, but still pay close attention to his or her warnings. Somewhere between that reticence and your recklessness a great strategy can be planned.

LIBRA (September 23 – October 22):You feel bogged down in the big problems of family, partnership and the encroaching burdens of maturity.“Lighten up, have fun,“ is usually just flippant, but really, that will help you see through the problems.

TAURUS (April 20 – May 20): Your home will never be as perfect as you wish.You may want too much. Meditation and a broader perspective will help you appreciate what you have – and there’s still a lot you can do with that!

SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21):Trying to get work done discreetly? Forget discretion. Whatever you say or do will be picked up and broadcast. Keep good grace and humor (that may be a challenge!) and do welcome any criticism as a chance to improve your accomplishments.

GEMINI (May 21- June 20):Your impulsive outspokenness will certainly shake things up. If you think, just briefly, about what you really want to say, you could accomplish a lot more good and dodge a lot of trouble. CANCER (June 21- July 22): Home, career, and your relationships seem to be pulling in different directions.You may be ready to jettison any or all of them. Stop. Think. Reevaluate your priorities as the first step to seeing how all three of those can work together. LEO (July 23 – August 22):The spotlight and the podium come to you maybe too easily. Controversy is very likely to follow.You can handle that, but remember who you have to work with after all is said and done! VIRGO (August 23 – September 22): Pulling back a little bit, taking care of private, personal business will not shield you from the spotlight, but will arouse more interest, a bit of mystique. Play it up, à la Greta Garbo, and you will be much in demand.

Solution to Crossword Puzzle on page 28

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 20): Friends criticizing your extravagances are doing you a huge favor. Don’t just shut them out or take their advice without question.The more feedback you can get out of them, the more you’ll profit from their perspective. CAPRICORN (December 21 – January 19): Getting ahead will take shrewd finesse, not easy with all eyes upon you! Principles you learned in early childhood, probably from a stern teacher – as well as faith in your own wit and resilience – will get you through. AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18):Your opinion is valuable, but worth more if you heed the law of supply and demand. Make it rare and asked for! Sure, you can handle any argument you get into, but give your partner a break! PISCES (February 19 – March 19): Financial opportunities are out there, but you have to work hard to make them pay off. Listen to advice from an older friend, but don’t follow it directly. Rather, use it as a springboard to think of something even better.

Jack Fertig, a professional astrologer since 1977, is available for personal and business consultations in person in San Francisco, or online everywhere. He can be reached at 415-864-8302, through his website at www.starjack.com, and by e-mail at QScopes@ qsyndicate.com.

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34

August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Proposition 8 Ruling voters’ determinations “must find at least arguments concerning the stay but simply gays and lesbians are not good parents.” continued from page 6 said that the temporary stay would remain Walker agreed that gays and lesbians have some support in evidence.” ally?” asked Hunter in her blog hunterfor“Conjecture, speculation and fears are not in effect until he rules on the request. “been the victims of a long history of disjustice.com. “Too soon to know.” Meanwhile, pre-planned rallies to celTwo other lawsuits challenged state bans crimination” and that “no credible evidence enough,” wrote Walker. “Still less will the on same-sex marriage in federal courts but supports a finding that an individual may, moral disapprobation of a group or class of ebrate – or protest – Wednesday’s ruling both were dismissed and were not appealed. through conscious decision, therapeutic in- citizens suffice, no matter how large the ma- were scheduled to take place in major citTwo federal cases challenging part of the tervention or any other method, change his jority that shares that view.” The evidence ies across the country Wednesday evening, federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or her sexual orientation.” Those findings presented at trial, he said, “demonstrated even before the decision was released. Ralwon critical district court victories just last are important to establishing a requirement beyond serious reckoning that Proposition 8 lies were planned in a number of major cities around the country following release of month in Boston and both are expected to that Proposition 8 be able to withstand a finds support only in such disapproval.” The U.S. Supreme Court, in Romer v. Ev- the decision – including Atlanta, Boston, be appealed to the 1st Circuit U.S. Court of strict judicial scrutiny. ans, ruled in 1996 Dallas, West Hollywood, and San Diego. Walker ruled that Proposition 8 vioAppeals. Perry and these two cases are exThe Perry decision comes less than two that animus against pected to eventually reach the U.S. Supreme lates both the due process and equal proany particular group months after Walker heard closing arguCourt and are on track to arrive at approxi- tection clauses of the U.S. Constitution’s ments in the case, but six months after mately the same time. the close of testimony in a three-weekThere is little doubt that Judge Walklong trial in the U.S. District Court of er was keenly aware of how important Northern California in San Francisco. his decision would be, and he seemed The legal team challenging Proposito make a concerted effort, during trial, tion 8 was led by two of the country’s to allow supporters of Proposition 8 to most prominent and respected attorneys enter whatever evidence they could to –conservative Ted Olson and liberal Dadefend the law. The State of Califorvid Boies. The challenge was organized nia declined to defend the law, so the and funded by the newly formed Amerigroup that campaigned for the initiacans Foundation for Equal Rights, headtive –Yes on 8—hired a legal team to do ed by Democratic activist Chad Griffin. so. But that legal team relied primarily Griffin organized the challenge on “legal conclusions and cross-examshortly after California voters, in Noinations of some of plaintiffs’ witnessvember 2008, approved Proposition es,” noted Walker, “eschewing all but 8, amending the state constitution to a rather limited factual presentation.” bar recognition of same-sex marriage. “At trial,” said Walker, Yes on 8 atThe California Supreme Court had torneys, led by conservative Charles ruled, only six months earlier, that the Cooper, “presented only one witness, state constitution required same-sex David Blankenhorn, to address the government interest in marriage.” San Franciscans march carrying signs like “Lesbians Love Boies,” referring to attorney David Boies (inset) couples be treated the same as heterosexual couples in state marriage licensWalker said Blankenhorn’s testimony “provided no credible evidence to support 14th amendment. The 14th amendment could not be used to justify a law that dis- ing. More than 18,000 same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses before Proposiany of the claimed adverse effects” of al- states, among other things, that “No State advantages that group. Yes on 8 attorneys, apparently anticipat- tion 8 became law and those marriages are lowing same-sex couples to obtain mar- shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citi- ing a loss at the district court level, filed considered valid. Opponents of the new riage licenses. Walker said, “California has no interest in zens of the United States; nor shall any State a motion with Judge Walker on Tuesday amendment challenged it in state court but differentiating between same-sex and oppo- deprive any person of life, liberty, or proper- night, asking that, if the court rules against the California Supreme Court ruled that the site-sex unions” and that “domestic partner- ty, without due process of law; nor deny to them, to issue a stay of the impact of his de- measure was valid. It also ruled that the ships lack the social meaning associated with any person within its jurisdiction the equal cision pending their expected appeal to the 18,000 marriage licenses would also re9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Attorneys main valid. marriage” and do not provide gays and lesbi- protection of the laws.” The case drew widespread national attenWhen governmental law burdens a funda- for the two gay couples challenging Propoans with “a status equivalent to marriage….” The absence of Proposition 8 does not re- mental right, such as marriage, said Walker, the sition 8 – Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier and tion, not only because of the high profile quire any religious group to recognize mar- law must withstand strict scrutiny. And Propo- Paul Katami and Jeff Jzarrillo -- submitted a legal team and the irony of such a conserriage for same-sex couples, but the existence sition 8, he said, could not withstand even the letter, prior to release of the decision, saying vative icon as Olson leading the case, but also because national gay legal and political the request was premature. of “Proposition 8 places the force of law simplest judicial review –rational basis. Judge Walker, in approving a stay of the groups were initially hostile to the effort. “The right to marry has been historically behind stigmas against gays and lesbians.” “Proposition 8 singles out gays and lesbians and remains the right to choose a spouse impact of his decision, gave plaintiffs’ at- The groups said they felt a lawsuit taking and legitimates their unequal treatment,” and, with mutual consent, join together and torneys until August 6 to file their formal the issue of same-sex marriage to the U.S. said Walker. It “perpetuates the stereotype form a household,” wrote Walker. While an response to the request for a stay, pending Supreme Court was too risky, given the likethat gays and lesbians are incapable of form- “initiative measure adopted by the voters a decision from the 9th Circuit. He did not lihood the case would reach the high court ing long-term loving relationships and that deserves great respect,” said Walker, the schedule an in-court proceeding to hear at a time when the court is considered to


35

August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

Proposition 8 Ruling Proposition 8 Ruling

Politicians and celebrities make speeches in front of city hall

increasingly conservative. Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the ACLU were also denied the right to serve as a party to the case –a development that caused considerable chagrin within the LGBT community. But the groups did contribute to the litigation, providing advice on expert witnesses that delivered a wealth of ammunition against the ballot measure. All three groups filed briefs in support of the plaintiffs. And all three, of course, applauded the result of Wednesday’s decision.

Jenny Pizer, head of Lambda’s National Marriage Project, said Judge Walker’s decision was “historic,” and applauded his “methodical assessment of the evidence presented at trial.” She predicted the decision would have “immense positive implications as the case advances, and in the national struggle for full LGBT equality.” “The right-wing excuses for denying samesex couples the right to marry have had an all-too-familiar and ugly ring, echoing the defamatory stereotypes used against us in past decades to deny jobs and other basic

Latino Group Wins CDC Grant continued from page 4

“It’s their program, not somebody coming in and imposing a safer sex message from above. It’s them working together, to support each other and the community,” said Fallon. The clubhouse, which was renovated by members, is a relatively small, homey space, set up like a living room. Therefore, the need for additional space is pressing. “It gets really crowded in here, with 25 or 30 people,” laughed Naváez. Building floats for gay pride parades, having weekly get-togethers, the occasional slumber party, and building self-esteem through photo shoots lends members a sense of community and accomplishment in terms of starting something and seeing it through until it is finished. Seeing things through – or in this case expanding their mission – is something both Fallon and Naváez have hoped for since they opened their doors. The generous CDC grant will allow them to further develop programs. “We will introduce two new programs,”

said Naváez. “We hope to expand to the age of 45, as well as add an additional location.” In addition to Somos, they plan to launch an intensive counseling program for all ages, and a popular opinion leader program for men aged 25 through 45. The latter program will train people in terms of striking up and maintaining conversations about safer sex. Those in this program will come in once a week to share stories and exchange ideas about how to further the promotion of safer sex in the community. This is one method to engage people above the age of 35, who are less likely than younger men to drop into an organization like LS to talk about issues affecting them. “Most importantly we hope to see people get excited about participating, as they have been with Somos. We can drag people in here and force them to learn about safer sex, but that’s not what we want to do,” said Fallon. “They have done it with Somos, they have made it their program.” For more information, please visit Latinossalud.org

rights. Today’s decision,” said Pizer, “examines and explodes each of these lies about us, yielding yet another important legal ruling justly concluding that constitutional guarantees of liberty and equality must require equal treatment under a state’s marriage laws.” “Judge Walker’s ruling,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, “is complete vindication for the most bedrock principles this nation is built on: a majority cannot strip a minority of fundamental rights, we do not permit bare prejudice or even discomfort to provide the basis for sweeping and damaging discrimination, and protecting loving families and couples is the humane and just thing to do. Prop 8 was a major stain on the kind of nation we strive to be, good riddance.” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project, called the decision “a huge victory for LGBT people of America.” “For the first time, a federal court has conducted a trial and found that there is absolutely no reason to deny same-sex couples the

fairness and dignity of marriage,” said Esseks, in a statement released Wednesday. “At the same time, we know that this is not the end.” The end, of course, could be an eventual U.S. Supreme Court decision – something that is not necessarily guaranteed. Thousands of cases are petitioned to the high court every year, but the court hears only a tiny fraction. The likelihood the court would take an appeal on this case –once the 9th Circuit appeals court has weighed in – is probably enhanced by the high profile, wide-spread fight over same-sex marriage bans nationally and by the involvement of such a high-profile and well-respected legal team as Olson and Boies. But it may also be diminished, depending on whatever the 9th Circuit says. Ultimately, at least four justices must ask to hear the case before the Supreme Court will take it for review. Meanwhile, the expected confirmation of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court is not likely to change the conservative lean of the current court, given that she replaces one of the court’s most liberal justices, John Paul Stevens.


36

August 11, 2010 • SouthFloridaGayNews.com

08/11/10 V1I29  

Gays Target 'Target'

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