Thursday, October 16, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - October 16, 2008

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New York Times
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-After 30 Years, a Film Returns to a Harrowing Time in San Francisco
One morning in 1978 a disgruntled San Francisco politician, Dan White, climbed through a City Hall window, assassinated Mayor George Moscone, then shot and killed an openly gay adversary on the city's Board of Supervisors named Harvey Milk.

Washington Post
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-NORTHWEST: Suspect Arrested in Death Of Man Beaten on Street
An 18-year-old District man was arrested yesterday on charges stemming from the fatal beating of Tony R. Hunter, who was attacked last month while walking with a friend to a popular gay bar in Northwest Washington.

-'Ellen' airs video against gay marriage ban
Ellen DeGeneres has made a public service announcement urging California voters to oppose a ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage.

-Va. Ruling Bolsters Breakaway Parishes
Former Episcopal Groups Organize
Five years after the consecration of an openly gay bishop, conservatives who have left the Episcopal Church have organized into a cohesive movement, creating a de facto, if small, separate Anglican church in the United States.

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-Confusing sexual orientation with sexual behavior
by Donald Cavanaugh
The letter writer who supports the ban on adoption by gays and lesbians ("Gay adoption ban moral must," Oct. 8) evidenced the problem we have with many unthinking people who conflate sexual orientation with sexual behavior.I don't know if the people who performed the acts described by the writer should be allowed to adopt or not. What people do in the privacy of their bedrooms is no one's business as long as they aren't doing it with children or non-consenting adults. Society has sexualized us homosexuals so when confronted with the issue of our orientation, many people (obviously the writer) have an automatic "gut" reaction involving sexual activity. It is unthinking because it registers in the gut and not in the brain, and there's not a brain cell to be had below the neck. Heterosexual sexual privacy begins at the bedroom door. Unfortunately, many of our fellow humans want our gay sexual privacy to start at the closet door, but the closet doors are open, so it's time to get over it. In my opinion, the immorality is denying gays and lesbians the civil right to adopt because of who we are and denying foster children the right to healthy, loving homes.
Donald Cavanaugh, Lake Worth

-GOP incumbent in tight Miss. Senate race uses fake Village People in ad slamming Dem opponent
A tight race for Trent Lott's old U.S. Senate seat is getting nasty, with the Republican incumbent slamming his Democratic challenger in a television ad that uses actors dressed like the Village People to represent a gay rights group.,0,2632297.story

Steve Rothaus
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-Gay men prefer Prince Harry to William, poll shows
Gay men would rather date Prince Harry, than his brother William, according to a poll William's girlfriend Kate Middleton was named as the most lusted after royal date among the nation's lesbians.

-Fla. marriage amendment will be decided Nov. 4
Supporters and opponents know Amendment 2 will be called the "gay marriage amendment," but neither see it that way. They also agree that the vote will be close, but that's about it. Amendment 2 would do one thing, supporters say - define marriage as between a man and a woman in the state constitution. Opponents argue that the amendment is unnecessary because there is already a state law banning same-sex marriage and that its vague wording would create unintended consequences for gay and straight couples.

Florida Blade
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-Is Condi gay?
Some blame rumors for VP snub; lesbian executive denies affair with Rice
Was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice considered and later dropped as a possible vice presidential pick by top advisers to GOP presidential nominee John McCain because of persistent rumors that she's a lesbian?

-Mary Cheney, partner attend White House dinner
Couple on guest list in fete for Italian prime minister
Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, Mary Cheney, and her domestic partner, Heather Poe, were on the official guest list for a White House state dinner Monday in honor of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

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-Queer As Folk, Desperate Housewives actor in critical condition following crash
A hospital spokeswoman says "Desperate Housewives" actor Gayle Harold is in critical condition following a motorcycle accident. USC Medical Center spokeswoman Adelaida De La Cerda said Harold was awaiting further tests. Publicist Nancy Seltzer said Wednesday that Harold fractured his shoulder, and "Housewives" creator and executive producer Marc Cherry said he apparently has swelling on the brain but was expected to recover.

-Transgenders used to measure glass ceiling
A recent study has found a new way to examine pay disparities between men and women: Comparing the salaries of transgender employees before and after their gender changes.

-Radio jocks claim Magic Johnson faking AIDS
Magic Johnson has criticized a pair of talk show hosts for accusing him of faking AIDS but said he didn't want them to be fired. Chris Baker and Langdon Perry of KTLK in Minneapolis made the remarks during Baker's conservative radio show last week. After Johnson condemned the statements, the station said it regretted "some offhand remarks" by the pair.

-Study: Black gay couples fall behind earnings of straight couples
As Californians prepare to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the state a new study shows a wide gap between the incomes of same-sex African American couples and straight black couples.

The Advocate
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-Donations From California Teachers, HRC Lead to $2.25 Million for No on 8
When No on 8 campaign director Patrick Guerriero urged LGBT Americans that we have to match the opposition dollar for dollar if we want to win at the polls in November, people sat up and took notice. In the last 24 hours No on 8 has managed to raise more than $2.25 million, due to a trio of sizable donations.

-CA: School District Mum on Trans Teacher
Twenty three children were removed from an elementary school music class after school administrators failed to notify parents that the teacher had undergone gender reassignment surgery. The Foxboro Elementary School teacher, whose name has not been identified, returned to school this fall as a man after teaching for years as a woman, KCRA News reported Tuesday.

-Misleading Mississippi Senate Ad Mocks Gays
Mississippi incumbent U.S. senator Roger Wicker has launched an attack ad skewering challenger Ronnie Musgrove's liberal supporters, including the Human Rights Campaign. The problem, however, is that HRC did not endorse or donate money to Musgrove. The ad, titled "Who's Buying Ronnie Musgrove?" shows a group of people getting out of a limousine to attend a fund-raiser for Musgrove. The group of liberal lobbyists -- including Friends of Hillary; the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League; and a gay cowboy, representing the HRC -- form a line to hand the Musgrove campaign a wad of cash.

-Florida's Marriage Amendment Battle Sure to Be a Squeaker
Polls show Florida's gay marriage ban is just shy of the 60% support needed to pass, but the state's complicated demographics make the outcome of the vote anyone's guess. One thing is certain: Amendment 2's sweeping nature would affect far more people than the gays and lesbians it's targeting. While most of the noise in Florida these days surrounds the heated presidential contest, a less noticed -- but no less profound -- battle looms for the future of equality, fairness, and even pocketbooks in the Sunshine State.

-GLSEN Gets a New Boss
You could say GLSEN is getting a new principal. On Wednesday the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network announced that Eliza Byard will become its new executive director, replacing founder and longtime executive director Kevin Jennings. Byard, who takes the reins on November 1, spoke to The Advocate about the task ahead for LGBT students and all of us who want to see them thrive.

Marriage Equality News
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-Gay ally gunned down in Colombia
Link: 365 Gay News
Police in Bogota are hunting for the killer of Norberto Salamanca, an attorney who was a strong advocate of same-sex couple rights. Salamanca was shot four times by a group of men who approached him while he waited in his car for his sons. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

-Wedding Field Trip Riles Right
Link: Mombian
by Dana Rudolph
I blogged Monday about a San Francisco first-grade class who surprised their lesbian teacher by showing up at her wedding. A parent suggested the field trip and school administrators agreed it was a "teachable moment." While I admired the thought behind the trip, I was very concerned about the far-right running with the story. Well, they have. After the jump is an excerpt from an e-mail the Yes On Proposition 8 organization sent to their mailing list. (Thanks to a friend for sharing.) Emphasis is theirs. This is why we need to support No on Prop 8. (Not that I need to tell most of you that, but I figure it never hurts to give the No folks a link.)

-VT: Same-sex marriage platform shifting
Link: Times Argus Online
The path to legalizing same-sex marriage in Vermont may have just gotten easier in the last week. Eight years after Vermont's landmark civil union law, three states have moved beyond that level of recognition to fully embrace same-sex marriage, including the state of Connecticut, where its top court last week ruled that civil unions fall short of marriage's full benefits. This latest development comes just six months after a Vermont Legislature-sponsored commission - after months of testimony and public input - urged lawmakers to "take seriously" the difference between civil unions and same-sex marriage.

-English Catholic adoption agency defies bishop's order on same-sex adoptions
Link: Catholic Culture
A Catholic adoption agency in England has defied the local bishop's directive, and announced that it will comply with new government regulations requiring equal treatment for same-sex couples. Bishop Patrick O'Donohue of Lancaster had said that if the agency did not use "all possible means" to resist the new rules, he would withdraw its right to be considered a Catholic institution. But Catholic Caring Services of Lancaster has said that it will follow the regulations, and "will remain a Catholic charity, operating the same services, with the same staff, same values and same ethos."

-Steve Bing Gives Hollywood's Heftiest No on Prop. 8 Donation
Hollywood producer and real estate tycoon Steve Bing will donate the largest sum to fight California's proposed gay marriage ban from the entertainment industry. Bing will give $500,000 to No on Proposition 8, according No on 8 political strategist Chad Griffin. His donation will also be the largest non-LGBT gift to the campaign. Griffin contacted The Advocate to announce the donation, which comes on the heels of an announcement from Equality California that fund-raising for No on 8 is gaining on the opposition. Still, donations need to keep rolling in, Equality California campaign director Patrick Guerriero urged at a briefing Tuesday for the LGBT press.

-Commentary: My Wedding Ring -- the moral response to exclusion from marriage
Link: Freakonomics - New York Times Blog
by Ian Ayres
With great joy, I decided to put my wedding ring back on my finger this past weekend. I had stopped wearing my ring because I was slightly embarrassed to live in a state where people like my sister couldn't marry the people they love. But I have no reason now to be embarrassed on this score, because on Friday the Connecticut Supreme Court struck down the statutory exclusion. You can read Justice Palmer's opinion here. (Disclosure: An amicus brief was filed in the case on behalf of me and other Connecticut law professors, and my spouse, Jennifer Gerarda Brown, was the co-author of another amicus brief.)

-Survey: Asian-Americans overwhelmingly against preventing gays' marriages
Link: San Jose Mercury News
Asian-Americans in California overwhelmingly oppose a ballot measure that would ban gay marriage in the state, according to a groundbreaking survey released Wednesday. The poll found that 57 percent of Asian-Americans likely to vote in the Nov. 4 election oppose Proposition 8, which would reverse last spring's California Supreme Court ruling that gave gays and lesbian couples the right to marry. Only 32 percent planned to vote yes. Eleven percent were undecided.

Pink News - UK
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-Gays motivated by greed, Ugandan bishop tells school
Bishop of Mukono Eria Paul Luzinda claimed that homosexuality is increasing in Uganda, and that this increase can be blamed on a desire for wealth. His claims were made on Sunday during a speech to students at a school in the Kayunga District. Bishop Luzinda told students and teachers: Many Ugandans today think that money is everything and are ready to do anything, be it immoral, to get it.

-Indian Prime Minister steps intervenes in gay sex decriminalisation court case
The battle over the decriminalisation of gay sex in India took an unexpected turn when the Prime Minister stepped in. Manmohan Singh requested that Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss meet privately to discuss the matter.

-Six arrested on Florida University campus in gay rights protest
Members of a gay rights "Equality Ride" protest were arrested yesterday as they attempted to enter a university campus chapel. Six members of LGBT equality group Soulforce Q, were arrested on trespassing charges at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBAU).

-Gay high school could open on Obama's home turf
Chicago's head of public schools Arne Duncan has outlined plans for a possible gay school in the city. The school would be a measure to combat high rates of suicide and depression amongst gay and lesbian students.

-Church of England split over gay rights rumoured
Conservative evangelical clergy have compelled others to join the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and leave the Church of England in the on-going row over gay rights and women. At the Reform conference in London yesterday, Reform chairman Rev Rod Thomas advised conservative parishes to seek authority from different bishops if their own diocesan bishops' views were too progressive.

-GMFA launches 'Know your HIV status' campaign
Gay men's health charity GMFA have launched a new campaign highlighting the benefits of knowing you HIV status following new figures released by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH). New BASHH guidelines recommend that gay men take an HIV test every year, after news has emerged that almost half HIV positive men are unaware of their condition.

-Transgender entertainer is latest in Korean string of suicides
A transgender woman who found fame through appearing on a Korean game show after gender realignment has committed suicide in what experts are calling a 'copycat suicide.'

-Elton John to write AIDS musical
Pop star Elton John has announced that he will be writing a new musical film about AIDS for actor and director Ben Stiller. The singer wrote the scores for the stage adaption of Billy Elliot in 2005, and Broadway version of The Lion King, and is now branching out into more controversial material.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Gays Must Demand Acceptance Rather than Plead for Tolerance
When people say they are tolerating you, it's probably an indication they don't like you very much, but they're forced to deal with you for one reason or another. So when during the vice presidential debate earlier this month Republican candidate Sarah Palin said she would be tolerant of gays and lesbians, I knew what she meant. "If there's any kind of suggestion at all from my answer that I would be anything but tolerant of adults in America choosing their partners, their relationships that they deem - uh, best for themselves - you know, I am tolerant," is what she said. What she meant was that if you are gay, you are an undesirable in this country. Read more

-CT Marriage Victory: Three Steps Forward, No Steps Backward
Gay News Blog
Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal writes:
We all celebrated another historic victory this past weekend as Connecticut joined Massachusetts and California in supporting marriage equality for same-sex couples. We are thrilled about this news, and send our warmest congratulations and thanks to our colleagues at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and to the courageous plaintiffs who fought for and won the freedom to marry. In a 4-3 decision, the majority stated: "Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same-sex partner of their choice. To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others." Lambda Legal was proud to have filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of this case. Read more

-Obama Stance Unclear on Proposed Chicago High School for Gay Students
The Chicago school board is set to vote next week on a first-of-its-kind high school geared toward gay students - but while the issue is unfolding in Barack Obama's backyard, the Illinois senator has yet to take a clear position on it. The publicly funded school, called the Social Justice High School-Pride Campus, would serve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. It would be open to all students, but officials say it would be particularly suited to those facing harassment of bullying because of their orientation. Asked repeatedly about the development, the Obama campaign eventually issued a one-sentence statement, and referred to a bill Obama introduced last year supporting "positive behavior" instruction in schools. "Senator Obama believes we must work to ensure that all schools foster an environment free of violence, harassment and bullying, and he has introduced legislation to keep our schools safe," spokesman Ben LaBolt said. Read more

-Press Conference Announcing Ad Campaign to Address Radio Hall of Fame's
Planned Induction of James Dobson
Yahoo Finance
CHICAGO, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -
WHAT: The Dump Dobson coalition, a partnership of local and national gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender (GLBT) organizations, is holding a press conference on Thursday, Oct. 16 (11AM) to denounce the Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) for its plan to honor James Dobson in its Radio Hall of Fame. The awards ceremony is planned for Nov. 8, and the Dump Dobson Coalition is strongly urging MBC Founder Bruce DuMont to rescind the award or face a protest outside of the dinner. The Coalition has launched a website,, and will unveil a new ad campaign at the press conference, which will debut with a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune on Friday, Oct. 17. This will be followed by a robust "signature ad" campaign in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media. The Dump Dobson Coalition is headed by the Gay Liberation Network and Truth Wins Out and has so far been joined by Equality Illinois, SoulForce and the National Youth Advocacy Coalition. "Bruce DuMont would never honor a Don Imus, disgraced for his anti-African American remarks," said Bob Schwartz of the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network. "Nor would 1930s radio icon Father Charles Caughlin - the widely syndicated pro-Nazi and anti-Semite - be feted. Yet, in honoring James Dobson, Mr. DuMont appears to promote a 'gay exception' to the standards of public civility and decency rightly accorded other groups of people." Read more

-CA: Ex-Visalia Priest Speaks Out Against Prop 8
BY KIMBERLINA ROCHA | Visalia Times-Delta
A former Visalia priest who preached a Sunday Mass sermon denouncing Proposition 8, which would end same-sex marriages in California, has been suspended from his pastoral duties and removed as the head priest of a Fresno church. Father Geoffery Farrow, who served at Holy Family Catholic Church until April, admitted he is gay during a television interview the same day. According to Farrow's blog, the priest was in emotional turmoil after receiving a pastoral letter from Bishop John Steinbock urging the support of Proposition 8 and protecting the traditional definition of marriage. Farrow told parishioners as much at St. Paul Newman Center Oct. 5.

-MT: School Board Updates Policy to Protect Gays
BOZEMAN - The Bozeman School Board has voted 6-1 to update its discrimination policy to protect gay and lesbian students.Trustee Carson Taylor first argued for adding the words "sexual orientation" to the policy. He says the district's long-range plan calls for teaching students to be accepting, and the school board should lead by setting an example. Chairman Gary Lusin voted against the proposal Monday night. He says that gay and lesbian students already are protected, and to identify them separately is a disservice because it sends the message that "You're different."
Popularity: 6% [?]

-Rainbow Flag March in the Center of Minsk
Gay Russia
On Saturday October 11, a group of activists walked over the city center of the Belorussian capital waving Rainbow flags and wearing T-shirts with slogans "I am gay" . Under the theme "Know Yourself ! Know your love!", the group started from Yakub Kolas square up to October square and finally ended near the building of the Presidential administration. A symbolical place in a country where Freedom of Speech remains a legend. The action, which organizers also called a Pride parade, was organized by the "Belorussian Intitiative for Sexual and Gender Equality". Local gay activists as well as members of the organizations "ANTIFA" and "Socialist Resistance" also took part. Read more

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-"Serbia to take fight to neo-Nazis"
BELGRADE - Professor Ljubisa Rajic says that an intensive political battle must be fought against fascism, including against its sympathizers within the state apparatus. "People in Serbia have to be made to understand clearly what fascists, clero-fascists and Nazis are, and what they mean to the current and future Serbia," Rajic said.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Three accused of infecting men with HIV at orgies
Three homosexual men have been accused of trying to infect several people with the AIDS virus at orgies. "I feel fear, anger, sadness and anxiety," one of their alleged victims, an HIV-positive student, told a Dutch court. Hans Jurgens, 39, Peter Mulder, 50, and Wim Dekker, 49, all HIV-positive, are charged with drugging gay men, raping them, and injecting them with HIV contaminated blood.

We are working for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people all over Europe. Our office is in Brussels and as Executive Director you will be managing a staff of 14 and a budget of 1, 8 million euro from the European Union, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Tides Foundation and the Open Society Institute amongst other funders. ILGA-Europe advocates for the equality of LGBT people at the Council of Europe, OSCE and the European Union as well as at the UN. Our current Executive Director is leaving after four successful years in post, during which the organisation has grown in size and reputation and matured in the depth and complexity of our international engagement.

-A Land Where Nowhere Is Safe: A Lesbian Activist Speaks About Gender and Violence in Kyrgyzstan

-Football Association backs new anti-homophobia campaign
Kick It Out hosts debate on homophobia in football
Two weeks of events to tackle homophobia and racism The Football Association is backing a new campaign against homophobia, and is hosting the Kick It Out campaign launch, this Thursday evening, at its Soho headquarters.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-LGBT History Month
As we observe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month, we can also reflect on the strides that have been made and the challenges ahead in the ongoing struggle to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) - the U.S. military's ban on open service for members based on sexual orientation.

-Please join the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at CUNY, Graduate Center in celebrating the official launch of the new website on queer history!

-Cutting through the news: Understanding recent reports on male circumcision
The past two weeks have brought a flurry of news stories and scientific publications about male circumcision for HIV prevention. The latest wave of coverage and information includes more on what's known--and what remains unknown--about the relationship between circumcision status and risk of HIV infection in gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). Additional news coverage included country-level reporting from sub-Saharan Africa. This Advocates' Network update explores what the new data mean, and underscores some of the key advocacy messages and challenges around male circumcision for HIV prevention.

-Share Your Story of Coming Out & Greek.
Network with Other LGBT & Ally Fraternity & Sorority Leaders. Learn Strategies for Your Community to be Safer, More LGBT-Friendly. Never has there been a leadership conference to share, network and learn strategies to create safer, more LGBT inclusive fraternity and sorority communities. The Out & Greek National Leadership Conference is the first of its kind for undergraduate fraternity and sorority leaders and is sponsored by the landmark Lambda 10 Project, an educational initiative of Campus Pride . The Lambda 10 Project founded in 1995 works to heighten the visibility of LGBT members of the college fraternity and sorority by serving as a clearinghouse for educational resources and materials related to sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. The conference will highlight the progress on issues of sexual orientation within Greek Life and introduce a "Transgender Action Guide" as well as many other strategies to be more LGBT-inclusive.

Southeast Regional Gay Men's Health Summit
November 7-9, 2008
Ft Lauderdale, Florida - Embassy Suites Hotel

Detroit News

-Longtime friends say Obama would benefit gays
by Deb Price
Want to know what kind of president Barack Obama would be for gay Americans? Just listen to his longtime gay friends. That was the thinking of the Human Rights Campaign PAC, the political arm of the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender group. So after endorsing Obama, HRC sent a camera crew to Chicago to interview gay folks like activist Gail Morse who knew him way before the rest of us. "We're going to have a partner in the White House. We're not going to have an enemy," Morse says in the "Friends" video. "He sees us as people with issues that government can address."

Anything but Straight

-Goodbye Gay Conservatives, Don't Let The Door Hit You
In response to mounting criticism of gay conservatives, Dale Carpenter, a prominent gay writer, is threatening to bolt the movement. In a recent column, he spoke of his "rising anger" with how gay advocates treat his ideological brethren. Of course, we know this is a bluff because Carpenter and other gay conservatives have nowhere else to go. They are dependent on the very liberalism they condescendingly deride and rejected by the very political party they claim to be a part of. What is notable about Carpenter's tirade, is how it is at odds with his often intelligent columns. He regularly offers sharp legal critiques and prescient political analysis. However, when discussing gay conservatism, Carpenter uncharacteristically becomes irrational, falling into an undeserved victimhood that is a hallmark of gay Republicans.


Pursuit of Equality
As the Director and Producer of the award winning documentary film Pursuit of Equality, I would to take this opportunity to tell you a little about our amazing film. With the California election taking place on November 4th, educating people on the issue of Same-Sex marriage is vital. In order to defeat PROP 8, educating people on this issue is vital. We continue to have "awareness screenings" of Pursuit of Equality across California and in select cities across the country, Including Washington D.C., Long Beach, and Florida.
Geoff Callan


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