Featured Gay Wedding Vendor: Tilghman Island Inn, Tilghman, Maryland

Written by scott on November 28th, 2015

Tilghman Island Inn

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

At the Tilghman Island Inn on Chesapeake Bay, we can host celebrations from two to up to 150 guests. David McCallum, our Executive Chef and owner of the inn, and staff enjoy making each event unique. We will design a special menu for you and your partner, not just give you a choice from a list, to create a special celebration with great food! The rehearsal dinner on Friday night can also be held here at our restaurant, and we can make it into a completely different party.

See the Tilghman Island Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Maryland


Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 28th

Written by scott on November 28th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

GENERAL: Facebook has announced that they are expanding their maternity/paternity benefits to include employees around the world in same-sex families for the first time. full story

GENERAL: Trans man Lewis Hancox has teamed up with All About Trans and Intersex UK to make a video that explains the differences between sex, gender and sexuality. full story

PEOPLE: Gay twins Aaron and Austin Rhodes, whose coming out to their dad went viral, spoke with Gay Star News about their life since the video. full story

Aaron and Austin Rhodes

PEOPLE: Gay Star News also spoke with transgender actor Scott Turner Schofield, who plays a trans character on the CBS soap The Bold and the Beautiful. full story

Scott Turner Schofield

BERMUDA: In a decision issued Friday, Bermuda’s Supreme Court ruled that individuals in same-sex partnerships with Bermudian citizens are guaranteed the same rights to reside and seek employment in Bermuda as their spouses. full story

BOLIVIA: Transgender people in Bolivia will soon be able to legally change their name, sex and gender, Bolivia’s justice minister has announced. full story

MEXICO: The First Chamber of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice on Wednesday struck down an article of civil code in the state of Jalisco that prohibited gay couples from marrying. full story

SINGAPORE: The announcement that Queen singer Adam Lambert will be headlining the Countdown 2016 New Year’s Eve concert in Singapore has sparked outrage and support in almost equal measure.
full story

USA: President Barack Obama has won praise from the director of upcoming film The Danish Girl – after he held a special White House screening. full story

USA, ARIZONA: A Native American woman has filed a lawsuit against Arizona’s Ak-Chin Indian Community to force the tribe to recognize her same-sex marriage. full story

USA, NEW YORK: Harlem Against Homophobia protested outside the church of James David Manning on Monday night, where he once again appeared to scream homophobic and racist slurs in the name of Jesus. Also this week Manning’s church was served with notices of heavier zoning fines, which Manning says he can’t pay. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 27th

Written by scott on November 27th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

PEOPLE: Jake Gyllenhaal talks about Heath Ledger and gay marriage full story

PEOPLE: Andres Bustani, who is a rising star at the Lewis Clark State College in Idaho, has written a powerful coming out essay. full story

Andres Bustani

PEOPLE: Eddie Redmayne has responded to a reporter who asked if he questioned his own gender identity, after playing a trans woman in a film. full story


INTERNATIONAL: The YouTube channel Culture Beats got some wonderful (and some horrifying) reactions when they asked random people: ‘What would you do if your child was gay?’ full story

INTERNATIONAL: David Cameron is going to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) this weekend with a personal aim of raising LGBTI issues. full story

INTERNATIONAL: LGBT activists have rallied outside the Commonwealth headquarters to express concerns over the large number of Commonwealth countries that still criminalise homosexuality. full story

INTERNATIONAL: Ahead of this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, a poll found that most people greatly underestimate how many Commonwealth countries still have anti-gay laws. full story

AUSTRALIA: ALL signs point to a reintroduction of civil unions in Queensland with enough support from both sides of the parliament to guarantee legislative success, after the opposition Liberal National Party (LNP) granted a free vote on the issue. full story

AUSTRIA: Austria’s unusual marriage laws are being called into question by five children of same-sex parents, protesting the fact that equal marriage is not yet legal in the country. full story

BERMUDA: The Hamilton Princess Hotel was both applauded and criticised yesterday for pulling the plug on two talks by Ryan Anderson, a prominent same-sex marriage opponent. full story

BOLIVIA: Transgender people in Bolivia will soon be able to officially change their name, sex and gender on legal documents, Justice Minister Virginia Velasco Condori announced in a statement on Wednesday. full story

CHINA: A Chinese woman is taking her country’s government to court over textbooks describing homosexuality as a “psychological disorder.” full story


CYPRUS: Cypriot lawmakers voted 39-to-12 to approve a bill giving same-sex couples all the rights of marriage but they will still not be allowed to adopt as couple. full story

ISRAEL: The body of an Israeli transgender woman who committed suicide will be cremated despite her ultra-Orthodox family’s wishes. full story

UGANDA: Andrew Ssebulime, a journalist who fled Uganda in fear of his life after speaking out against anti gay legislation, has finally been resettled by UNHCR as a refugee in the United States. full story

UGANDA: Uganda’s parliament has passed a new anti-gay law to ban non-governmental organizations that ‘promote’ homosexuality or provide help for LGBTI people. full story

UK: Britain will review the rule that bans gay men from giving blood unless they give up sex for a year. full story

UK: Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has come out strongly in favour of the recently announced review of the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood. full story

UK, NORTHERN IRELAND: The Deputy Mayor of Derry is facing a number of complaints – after he claimed that people get addicted to homosexuality like they do to cigarettes and alcohol. full story

USA: Same-sex marriage has contributed an estimated $813 million to state and local economies in the five months since it became legal nationwide, according to a new study reinforcing the idea that marriage equality can benefit business overall. full story

USA: Marco Rubio, pushed by Christian conservatives, said marriage equality could be reversed: “It is current law; it is not settled law. No law is settled. Roe v. Wade is current law, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to aspire to fix it. We think it’s wrong.” full story

USA: Rachel Maddow again delivered an excellent report on Pastor Kevin “Death To Gays” Swanson and the appearances of three GOP presidential candidates on the same stage from which Swanson called for the genocide of millions of gay Americans. full story

USA, ALASKA: A library in Sarah Palin’s Alaska hometown is facing pressure to remove the book ‘This Book is Gay’… because it’s too gay. full story

This Book is Gay

USA, OHIO: Protestors seeking action on a trans-inclusive update to Cleveland’s nondiscrimination ordinance rallied at Cleveland City Hall Monday, demanding the council or its committees take up a proposal that was introduced two years ago. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 25th

Written by scott on November 25th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

PEOPLE: Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor has posed for a photo with the woman who inspired the series. full story


POP CULTURE: The stars of Tangerine could be the first trans actresses to be nominated for an Academy Award. full story

Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor

POP CULTURE: A new Famous Footwear commercial features a family with two dads. full story

AUSTRALIA: Queensland’s premier has commended the state’s opposition for allowing their MPs a free vote on restoring civil unions, but says there’s no need for her side to have the same opportunity.
Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/11/25/12/34/labor-mps-won-t-have-civil-union-free-vote#YYsSjStCOtRcedMr.99 full story

An Australian restaurant owner has responded to reviewers who complained about “rug munchers” in his venue. full story

CANADA: Newly-elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with government ministers Monday to quell security concerns about a plan to give asylum to 25,000 Syrian refugees. One of the anticipated policy changes would allow single gay men to seek refugee status while excluding “lone” straight men as potential terrorists, according to the Ottawa Citizen. full story

CHINA: Homosexuality has long been taboo in China, but the spending power of China’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — or LGBT –community is attracting growing attention. full story

COOK ISLANDS: A Cook Islands lesbian couple has been banned from renewing their vows in front of family and friends. full story

SOUTH AFRICA: A South African pastor who was dismissed by her church over her being gay has lost her final bid to get her job back. full story\

Ecclesia de Lange

UK: A study has discovered that sex and relationship education in schools often continues to neglect LGBT issues – even when claiming to be inclusive. full story

UK: A female trans prisoner has written to the UK parliament stating she is mistreated in prison and suicidal. full story

USA: By the count of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, there have been 22 killings so far this year of transgender or gender-nonconforming people – including 19 black or Latina transgender women. The toll compares with 12 last year and 13 in 2013, and is the highest since advocacy groups began such tallies a decade ago. full story

USA: 15 plaintiffs from the Obergefell Supreme Court same-sex marriage case are calling for a PBS and guest performer boycott of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert over the LDS Church’s anti-gay policies. full story

USA: The U.S. Department of Defense wants male victims of sexual assault in the military to know that their voices are being heard, and the Pentagon is hoping to shed light on the alarming hurdles they face with an informative public service announcement. full story

USA: More gays and lesbians are referring to their significant other as “husband” or “wife” instead of “partner” or “spouse” in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, according to an unscientific survey conducted by one Washington Post columnist. full story

USA, ALASKA: About 50 residents of Wasilla, Alaska, came to Monday night’s City Council meeting to air concerns about the presence of a volume called This Book Is Gay in the children’s section of the public library, with some of them calling the volume pornographic and librarians pedophiles. full story

USA, ARKANSAS: An Arkansas judge has ruled that three same-sex couples can now amend the birth certificates of their children to name both parents. full story

USA, IDAHO: The state has approved an additional payment of $34,502.70 to the attorneys who successfully represented four same-sex couples in their lawsuit challenging Idaho’s ban on gay marriage, on top of the $628,554 the state already has paid in the case. The new payment reflects the costs of the state’s unsuccessful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. full story

USA, KANSAS: The pro-LGBT Wichita Metro Community Church has been repeatedly vandalized. full story

USA, MASSACHUSETTS: A Massachusetts judge on Dec. 1 will hold a hearing in the case of a man who claims a Catholic girls’ school fired him because he and his husband are married. full story

Matt Barrett and husband Ed Suplee

USA, NEW YORK: The owners of Liberty Ridge, an upstate New York wedding venue yesterday appeared in court to appeal the $13,000 fine imposed last year after they turned away a lesbian couple. full story

Liberty Ridge

USA, TENNESSEE: The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is suing school officials in Giles County on behalf of a high school senior punished for wearing a shirt with a pro-LGBT message full story

USA, UTAH: Salt Lake City’s new openly gay mayor Jackie Biskupski speaks out about the Mormon Church and LGBT issues. full story

Jackie Biskupski

USA, VIRGINIA: The defendants’ brief in a teenager’s challenge to his school’s bathroom policy has been filed with the Fourth Circuit. full story

USA: Attorney General Roy Cooper has rejected a call by Governor Pat McCrory to side with a Virginia school district against a discrimination lawsuit. full story

USA, VIRGINIA: An out soldier who was stationed at the United States Army’s Physical Disability Agency located in Arlington, Virginia, told the Washington Blade he was devastated when his HIV status was disclosed by a colonel to his coworkers there. full story

USA, WASHINGTON DC: In a world riddled with anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks, Daayiee Abdullah, an openly gay man and Washington D.C.–based Muslim religious leader, has bridged the two communities and created an online school for Islamic Philosophy open for all those in the LGBTQ community. full story

VIETNAM: Vietnam lawmakers on Tuesday passed changes to a civil code that acknowledges transgender people and gives them rights to change gender in legal documents, reflecting a major advance in the Communist government’s viewpoint on gender issues. full story


Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center, Hallowell, Maine

Written by scott on November 24th, 2015

Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

This green-certified rural farm location with wind and solar power in Hallowell, Maine combines the tranquility of the countryside and an 8-room bed and breakfast with a full service top quality event facility that can seat up to 125 wedding guests (up to 300 with attached heated tent). We’re centrally located and just four miles from I-95 and the capitol city of Augusta. With 20+ years of Maine wedding experience, we customize your ceremony, reception, menu, and bar service. The Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center provides a unique quality location for your Maine wedding in a quiet and private country location, yet with full-service customized event, catering, and bar service.

See the Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Maine


On Going Home for Thanksgiving as the Trans Man I Am

Written by scott on November 24th, 2015

Carl CharlesThanksgiving 2011 was the first time my mother met her eldest son. It was the first holiday I’d spent with my immediate family after coming out as transgender.

Earlier that year, I’d written my mom a letter explaining my transition, and my new name and pronouns, telling her how much I loved her and how grateful I would be for her support. With my siblings, I opted for more casual, in-person conversations. My sister nearly knocked over a whole wheel of cheese, flinging her arms in excitement when I called during her lunch break at the Oklahoma Whole Foods where she managed the cheese department.

Sitting across the table from my brother at my favorite Denver bar, the Thin Man, it was clear he didn’t really understand what I was telling him. But he told me about all the gay dudes he worked with and liked at the Apple Store in Denver. Close enough, I thought.

That Thanksgiving also marked the first time I was to meet my mom’s boyfriend, a guy she had been dating for more than a year, and the first serious relationship since her divorce from my father when I was 22.

Authored By Carl Charles – See the Full Story at The Advocate

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.


Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 24th

Written by scott on November 24th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

GENERAL: A new study finds that transgender women who had undergone surgery had better metabolic health compared to those only on hormone therapy. full story

GENERAL: Toys R Us will no longer label its toys as “for boys” and “for girls” online – becoming the latest retailer to make the gender-inclusive move. full story

GENERAL: A new surgery could allow trans women to give birth to children within five years. full story

INTERNET: Five years after its launch, the It Gets Better Project is looking toward the future and continuing its work countering anti-LGBT bullying and suicide rates among queer youth. full story

PEOPLE: “Modern Family” star Reid Ewing has casually come out as gay via Twitter this morning. full story

Reid Ewing

POP CULTURE: Eddie Redmayne has credited Matrix co-director Lana Wachowski with helping him prepare for his role as a trans woman. full story

AUSTRALIA: Former Queensland treasurer Tim Nicholls has announced on Twitter that he will vote in favour of restoring civil unions in the Sunshine State. full story

AUSTRALIA: Two of Queensland’s LNP heavyweights are split on the reintroduction of same sex civil unions. full story

CANADA: Prisons in British Columbia will no longer jail transgender women in men’s prisons and transgender men in women’s prisons after its Department of Corrections changed its policies. full story

CHILE: A memorial to a gay Chilean man who was beaten to death was vandalized last week.
full story


USA, NORTHERN IRELAND: A UK Justice Minister has insisted that Northern Irish politicians can make a decision on equal marriage “by themselves” – despite the DUP using peace powers to override a majority on the issue. full story

USA: A pilot who has flown for years was forced by the Federal Aviation Administration to undergo an additional psychological evaluation to renew her license after she decided to transition, despite policy changes. full story

USA: Although the civil union has been made essentially irrelevant, it continues to raise legal questions about the rights and status of its participants. full story

USA: Same-sex marriage has contributed an estimated $813 million to state and local economies in the five months since it became legal nationwide, according to a new study reinforcing the idea that marriage equality can benefit business overall. full story

USA: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talked about marriage equality in an interview with SLATE.com’s Mark Joseph Stern. full story

USA: Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) filed a formal complaint with the IRS against the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for violating federal law by refusing to disclose their 2014 Form 990s. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: The American Civil Liberties Union says a Kentucky county clerk’s office should reissue altered marriage licenses even though the governor has promised to recognize them as valid. full story

USA, LOUISIANA: Governor-elect John Edwards (D) said that he personally opposes redefining marriage, but that it is now a “settled” issue. full story

USA, TEXAS: More than five years after her husband died in the line of duty, a Texas transgender widow has finally won her high-profile battle to obtain death benefits. full story



Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Ring in Love, Takoma Park, Maryland

Written by scott on November 23rd, 2015

Ring in Love

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Let’s get married in Marry-land! Lesbian minister – part of the Maryland community for over 25 years – is ready to assist you in making your dream wedding come true. My job is to make your day easy and effortless and provide all you need for your perfect ceremony. Spiritual or secular. All faith traditions honored.

See the Ring in Love Expanded Listing
on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Maryland


Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 23rd

Written by scott on November 23rd, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

USA: Global LGBT rights organisation All Out has launched the tool, ‘Gay Cure Watch’, which was funded by members and aims to allow members and international partners to report and shut down gay “cures” in whatever form they take. full story

PEOPLE: Actor Johnny Depp on his gender fluid child, Lily-Rose: ‘Lily’s really together – she’s a sharp kid and one of the smartest human beings I have ever met. She’s far surpassed myself there – and my friends, too!’ full story

MEXICO: In an elite public high school in Mexico City, students celebrated ‘skirt day.’ ‘Every year, every guy in my high school in Mexico wears a skirt/dress, and every girl wears a tie,’ one student said. full story


AUSTRALIA: Liberal National Party MPs in Queensland will get to decide for themselves whether they vote for or against restoring civil unions in the Sunshine State. full story

COLOMBIA: Colombia’s highest court is likely to hand down a ruling legalizing same-sex marriage this week, having postponing from making its decision last week. full story

NIGERIA: As many as 21 students have been arrested in Nigeria for having gay sex, local media reports. full story

UGANDA: LGBT rights activists are hoping Pope Francis will preach tolerance toward gays, and even go so far as to condemn violent attacks against gays during his upcoming visit to Uganda. full story

UK: Helpline Switchboard has sent 10,000 posters to GP surgeries across the country, offering free support to people who are struggling with their identity. full story


USA: Ted Cruz: “Look, these guys are so nutty that the federal government is going after school districts, trying to force them to let boys shower with little girls.” full story

USA: The NCAA says it will reconsider host cities based on LGBT rights in the future. full story

USA: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Friday that Congress had failed to block the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down gay marriage bans nationwide as it relates to religious objectors. full story

USA: Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Friday said that she supported an Indiana law that critics argue targeted the LGBT community. full story

USA, FLORIDA: The KKK has distributed leaflets in Florida urging people to “support gay bashing” agianst “disgusting and inhuman” gay men. full story


USA, INDIANA: Officials in some Indiana cities with ordinances that provide protections for LGBT residents are worried that a bill lawmakers will consider in the 2016 session could undermine their local authority. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Over 160 Kentucky-based businesses have formed a coalition to lobby for LGBT people to gain workplace discrimination protections in the state. full story

USA, LOUISIANA: A lawsuit challenging Gov. Bobby Jindal’s executive order offering protections to people who oppose same-sex marriage is headed to trial. full story

USA, OKLAHOMA: A lawsuit involving a same-sex couple and the parenting rights of their child’s non-biological parent received new life when the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled last week it is in the child’s best interest to grant the non-biological parent a hearing to explore custody and visitation rights. full story

USA, TEXAS: Just weeks after Houston voters rejected an equal rights ordinance, a transgender resident says he was assaulted by neighbors with a gun and a knife, and then mocked by police. full story


USA: Among the changes made by a school board was adding “ancestry and sexual orientation” to the equal opportunity section of the school system’s cultural diversity and human relations policy. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up: November 22nd

Written by scott on November 22nd, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

GENERAL: The reaction to a setback shouldn’t be blaming the other side — nor to demonize them as “bigots” or “hicks.” Instead, we need to work to turn out the vote. full story

PEOPLE: Bette Midler has hit out at Caitlyn Jenner after the former Olympian turned reality star recently revealed that she is still planning to vote GOP in the next years election. full story

POP CULTURE: ‘Zoolander 2’ is facing a backlash from LGBT advocates, who say that Benedict Cumberbatch’s character in the film is “transphobic”. full story


AFRICA: It is ‘impossible’ to tackle the AIDS crisis while anti-gay laws exist, reports The Human Dignity Trust. full story

AUSTRALIA: Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer has today called a press conference to suggest that churches be allowed to govern marriage rules, not lawmakers. full story

UK: There has been a 25% increase in hate crimes against transgender people, according to figures released by the Met Police. full story

UK: A minute’s silence was held for Vicky Thompson, the trans woman who died in a men’s prison, earlier today. full story

USA: Hate crime statistics released by the FBI on Monday revealed a shocking increase in violence and threats against transgender and gender-nonconforming people – up from 31 incidents in 2013 to 98 in 2014. full story

USA: Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said on Friday that the debate about whether gay and lesbian couples can marry is not about discrimination. full story

USA, ILLINOIS: The co-owner of a bed-and-breakfast near Paxton who turned down a same-sex couple’s request to hold a civil-union ceremony there in 2011 said he did not intend to come across as hateful, bigoted or homophobic when he sent them a series of emails citing various Biblical verses and denouncing homosexuality as “wrong and unnatural.” full story

USA, OHIO: Leelah Alcorn’s friends and supporters teamed up to participate in the state’s Adopt-a-Highway program, placing a sign reading “In memory of Leelah Alcorn” along the Ohio highway where Alcorn’s body was found full story

Leelah Alcorn sign

USA, TEXAS: Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, the Texas marriage equality plaintiffs, married Saturday, Nov. 21, at a chilly outdoor ceremony at the Westin Greenbriar Hotel in Frisco. full story


USA, WISCONSIN: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has condemned the decision by the leadership of the Wisconsin Assembly to allow a hearing Thursday on disgraceful anti-transgender legislation that would expose trans and gender nonconforming students to heightened risk of bullying, harassment and discrimination. full story