Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at LGBT Pride Month Event
- Created: Tuesday, 22 June 2010 16:47
- Written by Joe L. Sosa, Jr
The policy will be set forth in a ruling to be issued Wednesday by the Labor Department’s wage and hour division, the officials said.
Under a 1993 law, people who work for a company with 50 or more employees are generally entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or for a spouse, son or daughter with “a serious health condition.”
The new ruling indicates that an employee in a same-sex relationship can qualify for leave to care for the child of his or her partner, even if the worker has not legally adopted the child.
The ruling, in a formal opinion letter, tackles a question not explicitly addressed in the 1993 law. It is one of many actions taken by the Obama administration to respond to the concerns of gay men and lesbians within the constraints of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman as husband and wife.
In April, Mr. Obama announced plans to grant hospital visiting rights to same-sex partners, and the Justice Department concluded that the Violence Against Women Act protects same-sex partners.
On Tuesday, Mr. Obama plans to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocates to a White House reception celebrating June as “LGBT Pride Month.”
The Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, worked with the administration to develop the policy on family leave.
Jennifer W. Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council, another advocacy group, estimated that one million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families were raising two million children.
The upshot of the Labor Department policy, she said, is that “if you act like a parent, do the work of a parent and raise a child like a parent, then you are a parent for the purpose of the Family and Medical Leave Act.”
Federal law does not recognize same-sex relationships. But Labor Department lawyers have concluded that people in such relationships may nevertheless qualify for family and medical leave when they act as parents, sharing the care and support of a child.
The 1993 law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, allows employees to take time off for certain family and medical needs, including the care of a son or daughter with health problems.
Under the law, “the term ‘son or daughter’ means a biological, adopted or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward or a child of a person standing in loco parentis.” The law does not define “in loco parentis.” But the relevant federal regulations say, “Persons who are ‘in loco parentis’ include those with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support a child.”
Moreover, the rules say, “A biological or legal relationship is not necessary.”
State laws on adoption by same-sex couples vary widely. In some states, it is allowed. In others, it is not. And in many states, the law is unclear.
The 1993 law cannot be used to care for a partner or spouse of the same sex because federal law does not recognize same-sex relationships.
But many employers, including scores of large companies, provide benefits more comprehensive than those required by federal law. The benefits may include time off to care for domestic partners.
Among those who might have benefited from the new policy are Nazanin Meftah, 38, a real estate broker in Tucson, and her partner, Dr. Lydia Bañuelos, a pediatric ophthalmologist.
In 2007, Ms. Meftah said, she developed a wound infection after the delivery of her son by Caesarean section, and in 2009 she had complications during and after a second pregnancy.
“Lydia could not take time off from work to be with us and provide support when we needed it,” Ms. Meftah said.
Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, has introduced a bill that would amend the 1993 law to allow workers to take leave to care for a domestic partner or a same-sex spouse. The bill would expand the definition of “spouse” to include “a same-sex spouse as determined under applicable state law.”
At present, said Ms. Chrisler, a lesbian and mother of twin boys in Massachusetts, “states have a hodgepodge of laws on same-sex couples and their relationships to their children.”
The province of the latest anti-GLBT business practice may not be shocking, but discrimination is never easy to stomach, regardless of locale. Tiffany Fenimore and Tiny Shaft (not a typo according to our source) wanted a commitment ceremony near Denton, Texas. After finding the privately-owned, non-religious Country Abbey wedding venue, they thought they had located the perfect spot. Unfortunately, the owners disagreed, and refused to take the couple’s $2,000 (the price the Abbey charges) for a ceremony.
Gay rights attorneys in the area lament the lack of anti-discrimination laws on the Texas book, ensuring that the couple has no legal recourse and The Country Abbey can continue practicing bigotry in its business.
Volunteerism isn't lost on Fresno residents, at least according to a new report.
The Corporation for National and Community Service announced Monday that Fresno has had a substantial increase in volunteerism over the last year.
The city improved it's ranking among other midsize cities from 74th in 2008 to 69th in 2009. Nationally the report found that 63.4 Americans volunteered last year, with over 8.1 billion hours of service.
"It's clear from this new report that volunteerism is on the rise in Fresno," Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin said. "I commend HandsOn and all those who are generously giving of their time serving others and making our community stronger. I'm confident we will continue to see gains like this as new volunteers share with their friends, family and neighbors the personal satisfaction that comes from lending a hand where it is needed."
The new's comes just months after Mayor Swearengin announced the launch of the city's new volunteer initiative "Serve Fresno." With it she asked residents to try and generate one million hours of volunteering by April of 2011. As of last week resident had already pledged nearly 245,000 hours.
Stay with KMPH and KMPH.com as we continue to follow this story.
|The anti-LGBT right-wing is trying to kill EQCA's bill to repeal the California law that instructs health officials to conduct research into the "causes and cures of homosexuality." Why? Because they know that when people learn that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed they are much more likely to support full equality.
Petition to Governor Schwarzenegger
I urge you to sign, AB 2199 – Repeal of Discriminatory Code (Lowenthal), which would repeal Section 8050 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, which directs the Department of Mental Health to seek a cure for homosexuality. The archaic law implies that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is harmful and that LGBT individuals can and should be cured.
|Petition to end CA search for "gay cure" click here|
Gay Hanford Ice Cream Social
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 7:00pm
Superior Dairy Products Co Inc, Hanford, CA
According to a new study by Patrick J Egan PHD, Dept of Politics at New York University, the millions and millions of dollars spent on campaign both for same sex marriage and against same sex marriage has been pretty much a waste of time. The study, which looked at 35 states over a ten year time period, also states that pre-election polls typically underestimate the number of voters who are against same sex marriage by about 7%.
According to the study, neither side has done much over the last decade to change anyone's mind on the issue of legal same sex marriage.
It's not something a lot of people want to hear. I think that those LGBT citizens out there who continue to press for another ballot measure as quickly as they can get it together, need to really listen to the data from this study. There are those of us, myself included, who've been saying for some time now that the citizens of this country have already made up their minds, and they aren't going to change it. During the debate over whether to proceed in 2010 those of us who felt it was bad timing were simply dismissed by those who wanted to get a measure on the ballot. We were labeled as lazy, un-committed and told we lacked insight. Now it appears that 2012 may not be the right time either. Still the campaign to get enough signatures to get a measure on the ballot failed miserably. Afterward, those who disagreed with the timing were blamed by the campaign which failed. A campaign, mind you, that was so sure of itself and so passionate that they were right and they would succeed.
The reason they failed, and the reason any future ballot measure might fail as well, is that the American people are steadfast in their opinion that we are a threat, that we don't deserve equal rights. We are not changing their minds. But what if we did succeed with a ballot measure? Then another ballot measure to strike our rights would rear its head and we'd lose them again. And back and forth and back and forth. That's why this issue should not continue to be decided at the ballot box. At some point, LGBT activists who continue to pursue ballot measures to regain our rights have to deal with this reality.
This is a matter for the courts, which is exactly where it sits at the moment, with today being the day closing arguments were heard in the Prop 8 case in California. Despite the fact that the courts are the logical place for this issue to resolve itself, we still may, as we have before, fail in the courts as well. The decision by the California Supreme Court to revoke their earlier decision, which allowed legal same sex marriage, was clearly a political one. The current case, which, regardless of the outcome, will head to the Federal Supreme Court may face the same challenge. The Supreme Court, as it is now, is slanted to the right by 5-4. Many of their recent judgments have been split exactly on that line. Conservatives in America have lost any sense of right and wrong, in terms of constitutionality. This includes the Supreme Court justices. Corporations, politics and lobbyists are in control of the Supreme Court to a great degree, and unless a shift is made in the makeup of the court, that's not likely to change.
So where does that leave our movement? Hard to say. I think it should be obvious to anyone paying attention that we're not convincing the American people of anything. This study says that very clearly. Will we continue to throw money in public campaigns that have no effect. Or will we work as long as we can within the court system to make change happen?
It's easy for young people to toss all this aside and continue to believe that knocking on doors and sharing stories will accomplish anything. That's to be expected of people who haven't seen the inside of this battle over a long period of time. But that's not reality. Look at Washington. ENDA has been in the works for 16 years, and while it looks like it will pass, who knows at this point? DADT is in the same place. And DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act still stands strong.
My guess is that we'll see the first significant waves of change in Washington. We've seen the beginning of it with the Hate Crimes legislation recently signed by the President, which is the very first federal law to protect LGBT Americans. Then, with a shift in the court in the future, we'll eventually see our civil rights granted. How many of us will still be around to see it? Hard to say. One thing we should be able to come together on...Americans aren't changing their mind on this issue.
Read the new study HERE
Robert Pattinson is responsible for pouring life and blood into the character of Edward in Twilight and he has been acting so naturally in this role that people often forget that he is a human in real life.
While Robert earned all his fame due to his vampire role, he is now consciously trying to get rid of that particular image.
He has earned fair share of critical appreciation in the role of a troubled teen in Remember Me and is now shooting for Water for Elephants in which he plays a student vet.
Well Robert is trying out different roles and that makes us wonder if he would ever be seen in a gay role.
We know that this thinking itself would break the heart of most of the girls who are ready to do anything to get a glimpse of the hot hunk but then this would be a sheer delight to gays.
Robert is extremely popular amongst women and we are sure that gays are in as much with him.
Plus many extremely good actors have played roles of gay with aplomb and earned accolades for it. Robert is young and talented, so we see no reason why he should not be trying oute a gay role. What say, you guys?
Blog can be found by clicking here
This weekend the documentary “8 – The Mormon Proposition” has it’s limited release in 13 cities across the country. The movie which documents the LDS Church’s involvement in the passage of Prop 8 is being reviewed in newspapers across the country. Here’s the NYT take on the film.
The film dives angrily into the fray. It uncovers the classified church documents and the largely concealed money trail of Mormon contributions that paid for a high-powered campaign to pass Proposition 8. The Mormon involvement, the film persuasively argues, tilted the vote toward passage, by 52 percent to 48 percent, in its final weeks.
That involvement was concealed under the facade of a coalition with Roman Catholics and evangelical Christians called the National Organization for Marriage. Mormons raised an estimated $22 million for the cause. In the final week of the campaign, the film says, $3 million came from Utah. The money financed a sophisticated media barrage that involved blogs, Twitter and YouTube videos, as well as scary (and, according to the movie, misleading) television ads, and an aggressive door-to-door campaign whose foot soldiers were instructed on how not to appear Mormon.
Those who were following the Prop 8 campaign closely know most of this stuff, but I am told by those who have seen the film, that it is quite another thing to see this documentary.
After the passage of Prop 8 there was a lot of backlash against Mormons themselves, as opposed to the more accurate target the LDS Church. You can see how this line/distinction slips in this NYT article. The author writes “The Mormon involvement”, when it is more accurate to say “The Mormon Church’s involvement”. While, the vast majority of Mormons in California voted for the passage of Prop 8, they are not our opposition. The LDS Church is the one who organized all of those donations, broke the law by not reporting their in kind donations and recruited all of those canvassers. It’s a relatively small thing, but important as we all work to do outreach to those who opposed us in 2008.
How many of you have seen the movie already? What did you think? If you haven’t seen it yet are you planning on it?
I for one am curious to see it, even if I already know will happen.
BallroomLIVE encourages students to lead or follow, regardless of gender and sexual orientation. At BallroomLIVE it's common to see both gay and straight students and teachers dancing outside of traditional gender roles. The decision to lead or follow is your own. For beginners, we suggest you stick with either leading or following. Once you have the basics, you can try the other, or start switching back and forth!
BallroomLIVE invites you to join them for an LGBT OPEN HOUSE & DANCE CLASS at their studio on Saturday, June 19th, 2010 from 3:30 to 4:30PM. The cost is $10 per person and includes an LGBT Latin Rhythms Dance Class.
BallroomLIVE is located at 5721 N. First Street in Fresno. Their phone number is 559-435-5678.
Visit the studio's website here... BallroomLIVE
|When the brief preview for Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" video appeared during the singer's appearance on "Larry King Live" last week, many people immediately noticed the nod to Madonna's "Vogue." It was all there: the sharp black-and-white photography, the muscular dancing, the spartan set, the iconic hairstyle
But as it turns out, the full version of "Alejandro" — which premiered Tuesday (June 8) — is a healthy combination of a number of different references, nods and homages to a bevy of Madonna videos.
The "Vogue" references are certainly there, as Gaga spends a large chunk of the video in that same spartan set in black-and-white. But the rest of the clip features Gaga in a number of different costumes — including a red nun's habit and some sort of steampunk headgear — in a handful of different scenarios (some of which involving Nazi imagery).
In addition to "Vogue," the opening sequence seems to recall Madonna's "Evita" period (when she made "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" a hit). Gaga is dressed to mourn whomever is in the casket behind her — perhaps the titular Alejandro? — and it would be easy to assume that she's attending a state funeral, which would mean Gaga flipped the gender roles in the original story of the Peróns (in reality, it was Juan who buried Eva).
Later, Gaga strips to her underwear and dominates a scantily clad dancer tied to a bed. While Madonna is no stranger to the imagery surrounding bondage and submission, that image most faithfully recalls the Material Girl's "Human Nature," which saw her dressed in black pleather and dancing seductively with the assistance of ropes and a riding crop.
But the biggest nod to Madonna's past certainly comes with all the religious imagery. Gaga dresses as a nun, swallows rosary beads and stands in front of a row of crosses at various points during the clip, which brings to mind Madonna's classic video for "Like a Prayer." In fact, there are even video clips of flames in the background of one of the dance scenes in "Alejandro," which could easily have been lifted wholesale from the moment in Madonna's clip when she sings among a field of flaming crosses.
There are a number of other cultural references that slip out of "Alejandro" (Gaga clearly enjoys the work of film director Fritz Lang), but even the gun-barrel-sporting bra she wears at the end could be mistaken for that conical top Madonna made famous during the Blonde Ambition Tour. Of course, "Alejandro" director Steven Klein has worked as a photographer for Madonna over the past few years, so it's quite possible that these are merely the influences he has picked up while working with her. But if Gaga really is making an attempt to define herself as a next-gen Madonna who also pays homage to her elders, then there are worse paths to follow.
Do you spot any other Madonna references in Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" video? Let us know in the comments!
Complete video of the 20th Annual Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade is now available by visiting our YouTube Page
LGBT pride or gay pride is the concept that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people should be proud of their sexual orientation andgender identity. The movement has three main premises: that people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity, that diversity is a gift, and that sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered. The use of the abbreviated gay pride and pride have since become mainstream and shorthand expressions inclusive of all individuals in various LGBT communities.
The word pride is used in this case as an antonym for shame, which has been used to control and oppress LGBT persons throughout history. Pridein this sense is an affirmation of ones self and the community as a whole. The modern "pride" movement began after the "Stonewall riots" in 1969. Instead of backing down to unconstitutional raids by New York Police, gay people in local bars fought back. While it was a violent situation it also gave the underground community the first sense of communal pride in a very well publicized incident. From the yearly parade that commemorated the anniversary of the Stonewall riots began a national grassroots movement. Today many countries around the world celebrate LGBT pride. The pride movement has furthered the cause of gay rights by lobbying politicians, registering voters and increasing visibility to educate on issues important to LGBT communities. LGBT pride advocates work for equal "rights and benefits" for LGBT people.
Well, here we are. The 20th Annual Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade & Festival takes place this coming Saturday, June 5th.
The Parade starts at 10am on the corner of Palm & Olive. The assembly area is the dirt lot on the northeastern corner of Palm & Olive. The "Grandstand" is at Irene's Cafe. The Parade ends at Olive & Maroa. Olive Ave will be closed to traffic between 9am and 11am.There is no charge to watch the Parade.
The Festivalbegins at 11am and ends at 3pm, along the streets of Fulton and Alhambra. The entrance/exit is on Olive at Fulton. Entrance charge for the Festival is $5 per person. THERE IS NO "MVP" ENTRANCE THIS YEAR! If you have our wristband or badge, proceed to main gate without waiting in line!
Vendors need to be on site between 7am and 9am to set up their booths. After 9am it will NOT be possible to get into the site with a vehicle.
Click on the maps below (Parade & Festival) to enlarge for viewing...
Click HERE to visit the official website for this year's Pride event to answer any other questions.
GAY CENTRAL VALLEY will have a float entry in the Parade this year. We'll also be operating 3 booths at the Festival, including a lounge booth where you can hang out and relax. We have several silent auction items, lots of new items for purchase, and an entirely new line of DOG TAGS. We'll have information about how to get involved with Gay Central Valley as well as info on our LGBT Community Art Project which is already in the works and which you can be a part of. Plus we'll have news about our TNT FIREWORKS STAND which will be open for business starting on June 28th on the NE Corner of Palm and Olive in the Tower District. Gay Central Valley's stand will be the only LGBT Fireworks Stand in Fresno.
We urge everyone to come out and support the 20th Annual Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade & Festival. Afterward, watch for a barrage of videos and photos from the day's events on our websites.