Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Summer Soiree

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For further information, please call (561) 586-0203.

Arizona: Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples Could Add Over $61.9 Million to State Economy

For Immediate Distribution
June 10, 2014

Laura Rodriguez,, (310) 956-2425
Donald Gatlin,, (202) 587-2871

Arizona: Extending marriage to same-sex couples could add over $61.9 million to state economy

LOS ANGELES — Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Arizona would generate an estimated $61.9 million in spending to the state economy, according to a new study authored by Williams Distinguished Scholar, M.V. Lee Badgett; Williams Public Policy Fellow, E.G. Fitzgerald; and Williams Institute Senior Counsel, Christy Mallory.

“This study confirms that all Arizonans benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community,” said Badgett.

According to 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 15,817 same-sex couples live in Arizona. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (7,909 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Over 5,000 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring up to $39 million in revenue to the state of Arizona that year.

Key findings include:
• 7,909 in-state same-sex couples would choose to marry in the three years following an opening of marriage to same-sex couples in Arizona.
• The total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by resident same-sex couples and their guests would add an estimated $61.9 million to the state and local economy of Arizona over the course of three years, with a $39.6 million boost in the first year alone.
• This economic boost would add $5.1 million in sales tax revenue to the state coffer.
• Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations could generate up to 517 full- and part-time jobs in the state.

Analyses are informed by the methodology that the Williams Institute has used in previous studies of the economic impact of marriage in a number of other states. State-level data, 2010 Census data, and American Community Survey data were all used to estimate the economic impact of extending marriage to same-sex couples in Arizona. Estimates do not take into account the impact of same-sex couples from other states who will travel to Arizona to marry.

“Study after study has demonstrated that, in addition to significant revenue, marriage for same-sex couples also creates new jobs,” noted Mallory.

Click here for full study.

Controversial Ugandan to be next UN assembly head

EDITH M. LEDERER | | June 11, 2014

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U. N. General Assembly unanimously elected Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa to be its next president on Wednesday amid controversy over his country’s anti-gay laws and allegations that he abused his office and accepted bribes from foreign companies.

The largely ceremonial but prestigious job of president rotates annually by region. Kutesa will take over from current president John Ashe of Antigua at the start of the 69th session of the General Assembly in September.

Critics said Kutsea didn’t deserve the job, pointing to Uganda’s aggressive law that allows jail terms of up to life for those convicted of engaging in gay sex which rights activists say he supported.

“I have never been found corrupt,” Kutesa told reporters immediately after the election. “I’m not homophobic, and I believe that I’m (the right) person to lead this organization for the next session.”

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16 trans women risk jail in Malaysia male prison, having heads shaved

Joe Morgan | Gay Star News | June 12, 2014

16 trans women have been arrested and may be jailed in a Malaysia male prison.

They could face six months in prison where their heads will be forcibly shaved and they will have no access to gender treatment.

It comes after religious authorities raided a Malay wedding in Bahau, Jempol on Sunday, accusing 17 women of violating Sharia law

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Pride at Work Announces Appointment of Jerame Davis as Interim Executive Director

For Immediate Release

June 11, 2014

Pride at Work Announces Appointment of Jerame Davis as Interim Executive Director

Washington, D.C. – Pride at Work, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) constituency group of organized labor, has selected Jerame Davis as the interim Executive Director for the organization. Davis will begin his new responsibilities at Pride at Work’s headquarters in Washington, DC, immediately.

“Jerame’s experience in leading a national chapter-based organization will be invaluable to us,” said Lori Pelletier, Pride at Work Co-President. “And because he has a long-time connection to Pride at Work, we feel confident he will be able to hit the ground running with the help of our national staff.”

“Pride at Work has always held a special place in my heart,” remarked Davis. “I got my start in LGBT and Labor advocacy through Pride at Work and it feels like a homecoming to be joining the staff. I am thrilled to have this opportunity.”

Davis is a long-time LGBT and progressive activist with a background in communications and technology. Originally from the southern Indiana city of Columbus, Davis became acquainted with Pride at Work in Bloomington, IN after a local chapter got involved in a wrongful termination case Davis and his partner were battling. He served a short time as vice president of that chapter before going on to found the first LGBT equality organization in his hometown and serving as one of its first co-chairs. Davis later founded Indiana’s first LGBT direct action group and served on the boards of Indiana Equality and the Indiana Stonewall Democrats.

It was through his work at Indiana Stonewall Democrats that he received an offer to join the staff at National Stonewall Democrats in 2010, which brought him to Washington, DC. In 2011, Davis became the Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats and led the organization through the 2012 election cycle. Late in 2013, he joined the Communications Workers of America as the Field Coordinator in the Legislative Department and will be leaving his position there to join Pride at Work’s team.

Shane Larson, Pride at Work Co-President, said, “I’ve known Jerame for years and have had the pleasure of working with him on multiple occasions. I couldn’t be happier to have the benefit of his leadership and experience at Pride at Work.”


Workers interested in joining Pride at Work or in launching new chapter organizing efforts, can visit or email Pride at Work at

Oklahoma state House candidate defends stoning gays

James Withers | Gay Star News | June 12, 2014

A candidate for Oklahoma’s state House considers stoning just punishment for gays. Last summer Scott Esk, a conservative Republican, responded in a Facebook conversation about Pope Francis’ ‘Who am I to judge gay people?’ statement.

Esk quoted from the Old Testament passages where gay sexuality is punished. According to News Channel Four, Esk was asked if gays should be executed.

‘I think we would be totally in the right to do it,’ the candidate responded. ‘That goes against some parts of libertarianism, I realize, and I’m largely libertarian, but ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss.’

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Meet the world’s first trans footballer to play in the World Cup

Joe Morgan | Gay Star News | June 12, 2014

Back in 2003, an up-and-coming soccer-obsessed teen was chosen to represent her country.

She went on to become the world’s first ever openly trans woman to play professionally in a men’s World Cup qualifier.

Her name is Jaiyah Saelua, a 25-year-old from American Samoa.

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The Supreme Court Confronts 21st Century Technology

Victoria Bassetti | Brennan Center for Justice | Truthout | June 12, 2014

2014 611 tech fwSocial media apps on iPhone. (Image: EL / TO; Adapted: Jason Howie / Flickr, Seal of the Supreme Court of the United States via Wikipedia)

What do the following two questions have in common?

Does the Fourth Amendment permit police officers to perform a warrantless search of an individual’s cell phone confiscated at the time of an arrest?

Does a company “publicly perform” a television program when it retransmits broadcasts of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet?

This is not a law school exam. Please forge ahead.

The Supreme Court docket obsessed among you will know that these were the questions presented in two cases argued before the Supreme Court in the last two weeks: Riley v. California and American Broadcasting Co. v. Aereo, Inc. 

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The Constitution Impaired; the Bill of Rights Annulled

Beatrice Edwards | Berrett-Koehler Publishers | Book Excerpt | Truthout | June 12, 2014

2014 612 const fwRights guaranteed by constitutional amendments are becoming irrelevant. Reporting a crime may be a crime, and informing the public of the truth is treason. Scaffolding over The Constitution Of The United States Of America, Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Washington, DC. (Photo: Takoma Bibelot / Flickr)

Truthout is serializing Beatrice Edwards’ book, The Rise of the American Corporate Security State. To read more excerpts from this book, click here.

Reason to be afraid #3:

The separation of powers established by the Constitution is eroding.

Rights guaranteed by constitutional amendments are becoming irrelevant. Reporting a crime may be a crime, and informing the public of the truth is treason.

Here in post-Snowden America, the language and the principles of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution sound almost quaint:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.41

Fingers to Ashes: The Millennial Disconnect with HIV

Tyler Curry | Huffington Post | June 12, 2014

It is hard to imagine that it was only 34 years ago when the first case of HIV was first documented in the United States. Shortly after, the virus seemed to spread like wildfire, burning a path of hysteria, frustration and sadness across the U.S. and throughout the world. In a short period of time, and thanks to a series of political blunders from the Reagan administration and many other political figures across the nation, HIV went from hundreds to millions and became the closest we have ever come to a modern plague.

Although there is still no cure for the virus, this plague is now classified as a chronic illness with those who are HIV positive living long and healthy lives. So the obscene terror that lived in the hearts of every gay man in the world merely three decades ago has all but been erased in the minfs of the millennial age. In its place now lives a vague but often-impenetrable fear of those who carry HIV and a diluted sense of safety based on the idea that the transmission of HIV is related to a character flaw of promiscuity. This blind faith that the virus is relinquished to “other” types of people has allowed for this disease to continue affecting the millennial generation at staggering rates.

According to the Center for Disease Control’s National Progress Report of 2013, an estimated 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the United States with 50,000 more becoming infected each year. One out of every six people living with the virus are unaware that they are infected, thus continuing the cycle of transmission. And worse, one out of every five gay men are living with HIV, yet the millennial generation often treats the disease as if it is only reserved for the history books.

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