Tag Archive: GLBT


Press Release: New App Brings Revolutionary Social Networking Tool  To New Platform

(Los Angeles, CA, March 25, 2010) On the occasion of its one-year anniversary, Grindr, the largest all-male mobile location-based networking service, is sharing a very special gift with the mobile community. Today, the groundbreaking service proudly announces the new Grindr app for BlackBerry which will bring the innovative social networking application that has signed up over half a million iPhone and iPod touch users over the course of the past year to BlackBerry users around the world.

Initially, only 5,000 downloads of the new Grindr BlackBerry app will be made available for beta testing to BlackBerry users. So for those BlackBerry fans out there who have been anxious to get in on the craze that has been creating major buzz from Tokyo and Australia to every major city in the United States and Europe, now’s your chance to join the Grindr revolution.

Just as with the Grindr iPhone app, Grindr for BlackBerry uses GPS and cellular technologies to deliver the profiles, photos, and information of users just feet away within seconds which makes connecting with gay, bi and curious guys a snap, no matter where in the world you happen to find yourself.

To sign up to beta test Grindr BlackBerry, go to http://www.GrindrBerry.com and become one of the first exclusive Grindr BlackBerry users.

Supported devices for the Grindr BlackBerry app include: Bold 9000 and 9700, Curve 8300, Curve 8310, Curve 8320, Curve 8330, Curve 8350, Curve 8350i, Curve 8520, Curve 8530, Curve 8900 and the Tour 9630.

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Our families count! LGBT people are deserving and have the right to be counted and the Census WILL count same-sex marriages & partnerships. Be certain you fill out the 2010 Census form and visit Our Families Count for more information! Also, visit their Twitter or Facebook pages.

Call To Action

Wednesday, February 3 and

Thursday, February 4, 2010


  • Protest Uganda’s Pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill

(and the American religious right encouraging it)

  • Demand the Entire Ugandan Delegation be Dropped from

The Family’s National Prayer Breakfast

  • Quell Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” Movement By

Limiting U.S. Government Financial Aid

  • Require U.S. Asylum for LGBTQ Ugandans

  • Challenge The Family and National Prayer Breakfast Participants To Live Up To The Christian Ideals
    They Espouse

A Call To Action

A Call To Action

Join Full Equality Now DC on February 3-4, 2010, to protest the American-encouraged Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently being crafted in the Ugandan Parliament that calls for death sentences for AIDS victims as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens.

This repressive bill is the culmination of the work of a secretive “christianist” cult known as “The Family” that oversees questionable and unsanctioned political and business dealings with the highest echelons of foreign governments.

Uganda’s proposed legislation would intensify and legalize the existing brutality and persecution of its LGBTQ citizens, including life sentences for the “aggravated homosexuality” of being HIV-positive. All Ugandan citizens would be required to report homosexuals to the police or face three years imprisonment. Any “promotion of homosexuality” would carry a seven-year prison sentence. Only recent international outcries have tamped down, at least for now, provisions for the death penalty for three-time “offenders” and people suffering from AIDS.

The Family’s February 4 National Prayer Breakfast is this organizations only public U.S. event each year. It brings together American elected officials and businessmen, many of whom support the sentiments of legislation’s authors, and their international counterparts. “Homosexuals must forget about human rights!” recently exclaimed Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity, James Nsaba Buturo, a co-author of the bill and member of The Family.

The night before the National Prayer Breakfast, February 3, participate in Full Equality Now DC’s Protest and Rally starting at 5:30 p.m., at one of The Family’s tax-exempt centers at 133 C Street SE in Washington. Stand against the pending anti-LGBTQ legislation in Uganda and in particular The Family’s actions supporting it. While expressing its religious hypocrisy and promulgating repression of homosexuals worldwide, The Family enjoys U.S. tax protections for its numerous properties, including C Street’s low-cost dormitory for Family members such as sex-scandal plagued Nevada Senator John Ensign and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

What: Protest and Rally at The Family’s DC location

When: Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 5:30 p.m.

Where: The “C Street House,” 133 C Street SE, Washington, D.C.

Organized and Sponsored by: Full Equality Now DC

The next morning, February 4, concurrent with The Family’s National Prayer Breakfast and as an alternative to it, engage in the District’s American Prayer Hour, part of a decentralized series of powerful and inspirational events across the country that morning, including Dallas, Chicago, Boston, and Berkley, California.

What: American Prayer Hour/DC

With: D.C. Faith leaders and renowned gospel singer Ray Boltz

When: Thursday, February 4, 10 a.m.

Where: Calvary Baptist Church, 755 8th Street NW

Organized by: Truth Wins Out

Co-Sponsored by: Full Equality Now DC

Most important, stay alert and continue to work to scuttle this legislation in the weeks to come, and stand in solidarity with LGBTQ communities throughout the world, especially Uganda.

Members of The Family include current and past conservative members of the U.S. Congress, and anti-gay lightening rods such as Pastor Rick Warren. Family members and anti-gay extremists in Uganda are working together to craft this life-threatening legislation. The new bill’s chief authors are Family members Minister Buturo and Member of Parliament David Bahati, both of whom have proceeded with the encouragement of Ugandan President and Family member Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

Only in response to mounting international pressure, The Family recently “disinvited” David Bahati to the February 4 breakfast, and this pressure must not cease.

Ugandan Martin Ssempa, Family member and vocal fundamentalist pastor, is championing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and has forced LGBTQ citizens and activists into hiding by publishing their names and addresses. Most recently, Ssemba has been organizing a “Kill The Gays” million man march demanding life imprisonment or death for every gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Ugandan.

The Family is based in the U.S. but operates more than 10,000 cells worldwide to promulgate its anti-homosexual agenda, especially in African countries where a fertile bed of homophobia has existed for decades. Although The Family has recently made rather specious statements saying that they are the secret allies of the LGBTQ community, its adherents were instrumental in setting the stage last year for so-called anti-gay experts to travel Uganda to help officials justify the extreme vileness expressed in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

If The Family wants anyone to actually believe that they are advocates for human rights, we must challenge them to now publicly affirm their organization’s support for worldwide LGBTQ equality, less their recent statements again prove that they are the hypocrites and anti-Christian bigots they so obviously appear to be.

President Barack Obama has already condemned the bill but he must do more. President Obama must certainly boycott the Breakfast because of The Family’s support for the Ugandan bill. He should not be seen anywhere near the Ugandan delegation, much less share the dais with any one of them. In the days leading up to February 4, we call on President Obama and each elected U.S. official to come forward publicly to disassociate themselves from The Family and the National Prayer Breakfast and the scheduled Ugandan state delegation.

The Ugandan government has long misspent and wasted millions of dollars of U.S. funding intended for HIV/AIDS prevention and wellness services, and American elected officials have done nothing to make sure our tax dollars aren’t wasted or used to persecute LGBTQ citizens in Uganda or anywhere else.

Should this draconian measure pass, we will join together to call on the U.S. government to explicitly condemn it and to offer asylum to LGBTQ Ugandans, all of who personify the definition of refugees with a “well-founded fear of persecution.”

In the latest issue of The Public Eye, Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican Priest from Zambia nails it, saying, “Ironically enough, although American conservatives repeatedly accuse progressives of being imperialist, it is their dealings with Africa that are extremely imperialistic. Their flow of funds creates a form of clientism, with the expectation that the recipients toe an ideological line.” This sums up the explicit modus operandi characterizing all of The Family’s work.

Washington has one of the highest rate of HIV infection and has seen a meteoric rise in local hate crimes against our LGBTQ citizens, so we, especially, must redouble our efforts, protesting The Family’s actions, squashing Uganda’s pending hateful legislation, and fighting against the repression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people everywhere. It is surely a matter of life and death.

Full Equality Now DC is a grassroots organization dedicated to local and national actions in support of full federal equality for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification. It was founded by the original DC Host Committee that helped bring a quarter of million people to the October 2009 National Equality March in Washington, DC.

F U L L    E Q U A L I T Y    N O W    D C

www.fullequalitynowdc.org

More equality activists have expanded membership through weekly meetings where actions are decided through democratic means. Recently these have included a public protest of WMATA bus advertisements that singled out LGBTQ citizens for discrimination, and a series of actions to interfere with the Ugandan politicians forwarding repressive laws that would jail its homosexual citizens.

For more information, go to www.fullequalitynowdc.org.

My interview with Kathy Griffin

Last night I had the pleasure of interviewing the best of the “D-List” herself, Kathy Griffin! I’ve included the beginning of my interview and the link to the full article. Read on for Kathy’s thoughts on her book, the alleged CNN ban, and what she won’t say about Anderson Cooper!!

Of all the adjectives used to describe Kathy Griffin, demure is assuredly not on the list.

As a two time Emmy recipient, Grammy nominee and host of her own Bravo reality show, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” Griffin has decidedly redefined what it truly means to be “A-List.” And she’s bringing her talent this week to Washington, D.C., for two shows at DAR Constitution Hall and a signing of her tell-all memoir, “Official Book Club Selection” — so named because Griffin wants Oprah to include the volume in her renowned book club.

Griffin spoke briefly with DC Agenda to answer questions about her book, roasting Joan Rivers and dropping the ball and F-bomb on CNN.

DC Agenda: While in D.C., there will be a stop at the Borders Books located at 1801 K St., N.W., for a signing of your book, “Official Book Club Selection,” and two performances at DAR Constitution Hall. Many of your faithful gays will buy your book and commit it to memory. Why should everyone else?

Kathy Griffin: I’ve gotten e-mails from people saying they were reading it while on an airplane and laughing out loud, so everyone needs a laugh. Also, I deliver the real shit, you know? I talk about the pedophile brother and the divorce and the husband and the money. Dealing with growing up as an outsider — which I think is my connection with the gay community. I think the reason that I connect with all the gay community is because we’re in the struggle together. I’ve had gay friends as long as I can remember. There’s something about having to work harder, having to jump higher, and a lot of the book is about doing that.

Agenda: You have said your book will make readers laugh but also offend them a little bit — that “sometimes it’s good to be offended”. How do you feel people can people learn from being offended?

Continue for the full article…

The question of what makes an individual gay, nature vs. nurture, has finally been answered. The toys we were brought up on did it! Happy Holidays and enjoy!

Pelosi Puts Our Rights on Back Burner

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has privately instructed the more politically vulnerable Democratic members to not address “controversial” bills in 2010 unless the Senate acts first. This would include such issues as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” immigration reform, and partner benefits for gay federal employees.

Pelosi has decided to shift gears for the 2010 election to help avoid any further action that might put the Democratic majority at risk.

According to The Hill:

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), the president of the freshman class, said that Pelosi came to last Wednesday’s freshman breakfast to deliver that message, and that it was met with wide spread approval.

“I think freshmen, particularly, are not enamored of the idea of being asked to walk the plank on a controversial item if the Senate is not going to take any action,” Connolly said.

With “Mission Accomplished,”

Lambda Rising to Close at Year’s End

Lambda Rising, known for 35 years as Washington’s “bookstore that celebrates the gay and lesbian experience,” has announced the imminent closing of their two stores in Washington DC and Rehoboth Beach DE.

“The phrase ‘mission accomplished’ has gotten a bad rap in recent years,” said Deacon Maccubbin, Lambda Rising’s founder and co-owner, “but in this case, it certainly applies. When we set out to establish Lambda Rising in 1974, it was intended as a demonstration of the demand for gay and lesbian literature.”

Maccubbin explains that it was virtually impossible to find gay books in general bookstores or even in libraries. “We thought if we could show that there was a demand for our literature, that bookstores could be profitable selling it, we could encourage the writing and publishing of glbt books, and sooner or later other bookstores would put those books on their own shelves and there would no be less need for a specifically gay and lesbian bookstore.”

“Today 35 years later, nearly every general bookstore carries glbt books, often featuring them in special sections,” Maccubbin noted.

“The other part of our mission was to make good glbt books and information available to anyone anywhere at a time when such items were very hard to find. Today, people almost anywhere can access glbt information on the internet.”

Maccubbin founded Lambda Rising on a shoestring – the initial investment consisted of $3,000 he had saved and another $1,000 borrowed from a local gay activist. When the store opened June 8, 1974 in a 300 square foot room in a townhouse on 20th Street NW, it boasted 250 gay and lesbian book titles. “That’s all there were at the time,” Maccubbin explains.

But it was enough to capture the attention and the loyal patronage of Washington’s glbt community. It also captured the attention of anti-gay forces – phone harassment was an almost daily occurrence, bricks were hurled through windows, and police had to bring their bomb-sniffing dogs following some threats. But the staff held their ground and kept the doors open seven days a week. “Over the years, we have been blessed with wonderful staff members, people who shared the vision and who were committed to being on the front lines of the battle for glbt equality every day. I will forever be grateful to them,” Maccubbin said.

There were challenges outside the store, too. Some publications, including the Washington Post and the Yellow Pages (then published by Verizon’s predecessor, Bell Atlantic) refused to accept advertising containing the words “gay” or “lesbian” until Maccubbin threatened boycotts and public campaigns. Lambda Rising even broke international ground when, in February, 1975, it ran the first gay-oriented television commercials ever aired anywhere in the world. Both the NBC and ABC affiliate stations in Washington first refused to accept the ads, but following a successful appeal to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Standards Office, both stations recanted and aired the commercials.

Other milestones followed: in June, 1975, Lambda Rising hosted the first annual Gay Pride Day, drawing over 2,000 people to a block party that was the precursor to today’s massive DC Pride Day. “We hosted it for the first five years,” Maccubbin said, “but when the crowd grew to 10,000 in 1979, it was too large for the 3-block space we had, so we turned the whole thing over to a non-profit foundation to run in subsequent years.” That event now attracts more than 200,000 participants each year.

In 1977, having outgrown the original 20th Street space, Lambda Rising moved around the corner to 2012 S Street NW (now the site of TD Bank). That same year, the store launched a national mail order service with a catalog that eventually reached a quarterly circulation of a quarter million copies.

By 1984, the store had once again outgrown its space. In November of that year, Maccubbin and his husband, Jim Bennett, who had begun managing the store, moved it to its present home, a nearly-5,000 square foot two-story building at 1625 Connecticut Avenue. The Mayor declared that opening day “Lambda Rising Day in the District of Columbia” and more than 200 people waited in line for the door to open on the new space. That same weekend, Maccubbin and Bennett opened their first satellite bookstore in Baltimore MD.

Other stores were to follow in Rehoboth Beach DE (1993) and Norfolk VA (1996) and, in 2003, Maccubbin stepped in to buy New York’s Oscar Wilde Bookshop, saving it from imminent closure. Oscar Wilde was the first gay bookstore in the world when it opened in 1967. It had been the inspiration for Lambda Rising and other glbt bookstores. Maccubbin spent three years building up Oscar Wilde’s stock and customer base, then sold the store to its manager to put the store back in the hands of a New Yorker. Unfortunately, the financial crisis proved to be more than the small store could weather and the new owner had to close that store earlier this year. (Lambda Rising’s Norfolk store closed in 2007 and the Baltimore store closed last year.)

In another effort to encourage writers and publishers to produce quality glbt books, in 1987 Maccubbin began publishing the “Lambda Book Report,” a bimonthly review of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender literature. That publication spawned the  “Lambda Literary Awards.” The first “Lammys” were given out in a black-tie awards ceremony held in Washington DC in 1989. Lambda Rising continued to shepherd both the review and the Lammy awards until 1986 when it turned the whole program over to a new non-profit organization, the Lambda Literary Foundation, which continues to run the annual awards program today.

The staff of Lambda Rising brought hundreds of authors to their various stores over the past 35 years. The largest crowds turned out for celebrity authors like Andy Warhol, Sandra Bernhardt and Olympic Gold Medal Diver Greg Louganis (whose appearance drew a record 2,000 fans to the bookstore), but popular authors Armistead Maupin, Rita Mae Brown, E. Lynn Harris, Leslie Feinberg and many others could also fill the store and even new and unknown writers would often draw substantial crowds of eager readers.

The book and gift shop was known for its community outreach, sometimes traveling many miles to set up temporary book nooks at Pride events in Asbury Park NJ, Columbus OH, Raleigh NC, Roanoke VA, and other cities that had no local glbt bookstore. Fundraising for non-profits was also a constant part of Lambda Rising’s operations; through ticket sales to community events and concerts, through donations of cash or merchandise to hundreds of non-profits, the store raised and contributed amounts ranging from about $25,000 in lean years to nearly a quarter million dollars in its more robust years.

“Closing the store now will certainly leave something of a hole in Washington’s literary and political scene,” Maccubbin surmises, “and even though I’m excited about the opportunities that will open up for us as we move into the next phase of our life, there is a bittersweet component to it all. But the book market has been changing dramatically, the glbt community has been making progress by leaps and bounds, and 35 years is enough time for any person to devote to any one thing. It’s just time to move on.”

“We’ll continue operations at the DC store through Christmas because we want to give DC one more great Christmas window display,” Maccubbin notes. Bennett, who took a leave of absence from the store’s day-to-day operations in 1999 but has continued as an officer, will be coming back to the store to install this year’s holiday display window. “It’s something I’ve always enjoyed and I know so many customers get a kick out of our campy, kicky holiday displays, so we’re going to pull out the stops for this year’s,” Bennett said. He added, “I spent 20 years working in Lambda Rising and it was a marvelous experience. The store has touched the lives of so many people – it was never just a bookstore, but always so much more. Every day I went to work there, I knew I was doing something that made a difference.”

“We’ve already brought in our popular line of glbt holiday cards, and we’ve got a wonderful new line of campy Christmas tree ornaments. We’ll be running some great sales through the holiday season,” Maccubbin promises, “then a huge liquidation sale right after Christmas, with closure tentatively scheduled for early January.”

For information, contact:

Deacon Maccubbin, 202-462-6969

1625 Connecticut Ave NW • Washington DC 20009-1013

Phone 202-462-6969 • Fax 202-462-7257 • www.lambdarising.comshop@lambdarising.com

The east African nation of Uganda is on the verge of passing a bill criminalizing homosexuality. There is a growing campaign against homosexuals in Uganda which has culminated in the draft Anti-Homosexuality Bill. David Bahati, the bill’s author, has gone on record stating “Homosexuality is not part of the human rights we believe in” that the legislation is about promoting family values.

The bill, which is still in committee stage, proscribes the death penalty for “serial offenders” and is expected to pass with little opposition and with a few minor changes. The changes are expected to include modifying the death penalty to life imprisonment, altering clauses nullifying international treaties, conventions and protocols that contradict the act, and removing a section about extradition.

“It’s catastrophic. People are being arrested, intimidated already. What’s going to happen if it’s passed?” said Frank Mugisha, chairman of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a local activist group.

Kate Sheill, Amnesty International’s expert on sexual rights, has issued the statement that “Certain provisions in this bill are illegal. They are also immoral. They criminalize a sector of society for being who they are, when what the government should be doing instead is protecting them from discrimination and abuse.”

The legislation is seen as another sign of the growing impact of U.S. evangelicals and anti-gay campaigners in Uganda. This stance taken by activists is countered by Bahati who has stated that homosexuality is a Western import, joining some Ugandan and continental religious leaders who believe it is un-African.

The act will criminalize anyone “who acts as an accomplice or attempts to promote or in any way abets homosexuality”, and a person in authority who “aids, abets, councils or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality”.

Frank Mugisha of SMUG has stated “We’re not going to stop. We’re going to challenge it in the constitutional court. The bill is not just about homosexuals, it can touch anyone.”

The east African nation of Uganda is on the verge of passing a bill criminalizing homosexuality. There is a growing campaign against homosexuals in Uganda which has culminated in the draft Anti-Homosexuality Bill. David Bahati, the bill’s author, has gone on record stating “Homosexuality is not part of the human rights we believe in” that the legislation is about promoting family values.

The bill, which is still in committee stage, proscribes the death penalty for “serial offenders” and is expected to pass with little opposition and with a few minor changes. The changes are expected to include modifying the death penalty to life imprisonment, altering clauses nullifying international treaties, conventions and protocols that contradict the act, and removing a section about extradition.

“It’s catastrophic. People are being arrested, intimidated already. What’s going to happen if it’s passed?” said Frank Mugisha, chairman of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a local activist group.

Kate Sheill, Amnesty International’s expert on sexual rights, has issued the statement that “Certain provisions in this bill are illegal. They are also immoral. They criminalize a sector of society for being who they are, when what the government should be doing instead is protecting them from discrimination and abuse.”

The legislation is seen as another sign of the growing impact of U.S. evangelicals and anti-gay campaigners in Uganda. This stance taken by activists is countered by Bahati who has stated that homosexuality is a Western import, joining some Ugandan and continental religious leaders who believe it is un-African.

The act will criminalize anyone “who acts as an accomplice or attempts to promote or in any way abets homosexuality”, and a person in authority who “aids, abets, councils or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality”.

Frank Mugisha of SMUG has stated “We’re not going to stop. We’re going to challenge it in the constitutional court. The bill is not just about homosexuals, it can touch anyone.”

Events at a Glance

Today 6:30pm @ The Atlas Theatre – 1333 H Street NE
Today 7:00pm @ EFN Lounge
Today 8:00pm @ Town Danceboutique
Today 9:00pm @ Motley Bar
Today 9:00pm @ Napoleon Bistro & Lounge (downstairs)
Today 9:00pm @ FUR
Today 10:35pm @ GODFREY’S
Care Bears Friday 5:00pm @ Motley Bar
Friday 6:00pm @ Nellie’s Sports Bar
Friday 9:00pm @ Halo Lounge Floor 2
Friday 9:00pm @ The Green Lantern
Saturday 9:00pm @ The EFN Lounge
Saturday 9:00pm @ Halo
Saturday 9:00pm @ Town Danceboutique
Saturday 10:00pm @ The Rock & Roll Hotel (MAIN FLOOR)
Saturday 10:00pm @ Cobalt/30 Degrees
Saturday 10:00pm @ The DC Eagle
Saturday 11:30pm @ The 930 Club

The Washington Blade Shuts Down

By now I would imagine everyone is aware of the situation involving The Washington Blade shutting (and locking) it’s doors. The Washington Blade was owned by Window Media LLC,  the nation’s largest gay and lesbian newspaper publisher also owns Southern Voice, South Florida Blade & 411 Magazine, Genre Magazine amongst other LGBT publications. The company was forced into receivership by the federal Small Business Administration earlier this year.

Around 11:20am this morning via Twitter the below statement was issued:

@WashingtonBlade: “Washington Blade, like all Window Media publications, is closing today. Thank you for your support. (Keep following us for developments.)”

The Washington Blade can only be described as an institution of Washington DC LGBT life and to say it will be missed is an understatement! The best can only be wished to all those who have been displaced at this very sad time.