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

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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


Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Inn At The Round Barn Farm, Waitsfield, Vermont

Written by scott on November 21st, 2015

Inn At The Round Barn Farm

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.

Are you and your partner looking for the perfect Vermont wedding venue? Come see us at the Inn at Round Barn Farm, a beautiful Vermont wedding venue that’s surrounded by lush annual and perennial gardens, lovely ponds, and our certified organic vegetable gardens. The Round Barn Farm offers one of the most magical and romantic settings for your Vermont wedding.

See the Inn At The Round Barn Farm Expanded Listing
on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Vermont


Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 21st

Written by scott on November 21st, 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: Caitlyn Jenner and Chandi Moore have released a video for Transgender Day of Remembrance calling for an end to anti-trans violence. full story


POP CULTURE: The first clip from The Danish Girl has just been released showing trans pioneer Lili Ebe before her transition. full story

IRELAND: Religious-run institutions in Ireland including schools and hospitals will no longer be allowed to discriminate against gay teachers and other employees on the basis of their sexual orientation. full story

PORTUGAL: Portugal’s Parliament has approved laws allowing same-sex couples to legally adopt children and permitting lesbians to obtain medically assisted fertilization. full story

UK: The partner of a trans woman who died after being put in a men’s prison has called for changes to the law. full story


USA: Ted Cruz says he can’t think of a not-horny reason why someone would want to use a bathroom corresponding to their identity. full story

USA: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today proposed a new regulation for federally funded emergency shelters aimed at assuring that transgender people are housed according to the gender with which they identify. full story

USA, ALABAMA: Justice Thomas has denied the request for a stay of the state supreme court’s ruling.meaning the petitioner in the case currently can’t see her adopted children. full story

USA, ILLINOIS: Today, Lambda Legal settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of two gay men who were unlawfully forced to exit a taxi after they exchanged a brief kiss. As part of the voluntary settlement, the driver of the taxi has apologized to the men and has agreed to make a donation to a local LGBT-focused charity, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance. 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, KENTUCKY: Nearly 200 businesses have signed up for the Kentucky Competitive Workforce Coalition to support legislation aimed at protecting LGBT Kentuckians from discrimination in the workplace, housing and public places. full story

USA, PENNSYLVANIA: Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter signed legislation requiring restaurants, bars and other private establishments to designate all single-occupancy restrooms as gender neutral. full story

USA, TEXAS: More than two years after filing a federal lawsuit challenging Texas’ same-sex marriage ban, marriage equality plaintiffs Mark Phariss (above, right) and Vic Holmes will finally tie the knot on Saturday. full story


USA, WASHINGTON DC: The D.C. Attorney General’s Office is moving forward with prosecuting transgender activist Jes Grobman for failure to obey a lawful order to discontinue blocking traffic at the bustling intersection in the city’s Columbia Heights business district. full story

USA, WISCONSIN: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has condemned the leadership of the Wisconsin Assembly for allowing a hearing on legislation that would expose transgender and gender nonconforming students to increased harassment and discrimination. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 20th

Written by scott on November 20th, 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: Nathan Lane is a married man! PEOPLE confirms that the Tony Award-winning star wed his partner of 18 years Devlin Elliott at City Hall on Tuesday. full story

PEOPLE: A new petition has been launched demanding that Men’s Health put Aydian Dowling on the cover, and it’s already received plenty of traction. Dowling earned 72,672 votes compared with only 23,572 for the runner-up full story

Aydian Dowling

POP CULTURE: A new trailer for the Gold Globe and Emmy Award-winning series Transparent provides an inside look into the emotional rollercoaster in store for viewers in season 2. full story

INTERNATIONAL: The world is remembering the 271 trans people reported murdered for Trans Day of Remembrance. full story

Transgender Day of Remembrance

AUSTRALIA: The Australian Christian Lobby has asked supporters to fund a $200,000 “war chest” in defence of traditional marriage, ahead of a federal election in which the same-sex marriage debate is likely to feature heavily. full story

INDIA: MTV India has broadcast a program about a lesbian romance in spite of homosexuality being illegal in the country. full story


KENYA: A ground-breaking study has been issued on LGBT workplace diversity and inclusion in Kenya. full story

SOUTH KOREA: A lesbian was elected Thursday (19 November) as the first LGBTI student president of South Korea’s top-ranked Seoul National University. full story


TURKEY: The Turkish military has relaxed a policy that until now had humiliated gay men seeking to avoid military conscription by forcing them to undergo medical examinations and even take photos of themselves having sex with men before they were believed. full story

UK: A 10-year-old has been disqualified from a swimming gala after coming second in a race, because his mum says he was “outed” as trans to the judges.
full story

UK: A 21-year-old trans woman has been found dead in a men’s prison. full story


UK: Labour’s Cat Smith has asked an urgent question in Parliament, after it emerged that a transgender woman died while being housed in a male prison. full story

UK: English Premier League chief Richard Scudamore has said footballers would be treated respect if they came out as gay. full story

USA: Republican presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and recent pullout Bobby Jindal have refused to back down on their support for ‘kill the gays’ pastor Kevin Swanson. full story

Kevin Swanson

USA: An LGBT activist explains how the Salvation Army promised to apologize to the LGBT community for its past behavior, but instead went on a PR offensive. full story

USA: The newly released “American Family Survey,” from the Center for the Study of Election and Democracy in collaboration with Utah’s Deseret News, found that Americans are still very much split on whether or not they believe that June’s Supreme Court ruling will “strengthen the institution” of marriage. full story

USA: A Supreme Court birth control ruling that favors discrimination under the guise of “religious liberty” would negatively impact LGBTQ people. full story

USA, ARIZONA: Richmond, California Police Chief Chris Magnus has been named Police Chief of Tucson, Arizona, replacing Roberto Villaseñor, who is retiring at the end of the year. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: A demonstration is being planned in San Francisco to call for more shelter spaces for black transgender women. The event starts at 8 a.m. Friday, November 20 at 10th and Mission streets. full story

USA, MONTANA: In the year since Montana’s gay marriage ban ended, 436 same-sex couples have gotten married. full story

USA, NEW YORK: Harlem Against Violence, Homophobia, and Transphobia is organizing a “Love Not Hate” Rally Against Hate Speech to be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at 123rd Street and Lenox Avenue in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, just outside Pastor James David Manning’s ATLAH World Missionary Church. full story

Harlem Hate Church

USA, OHIO: Two Democratic state lawmakers in Ohio are using this week’s Transgender Day of Remembrance as an opportunity to push their bill seeking a ban on therapy aimed at changing the sexual orientation of minors. full story

USA, SOUTH CAROLINA: Many same sex couples are celebrating their first wedding anniversary, one year after South Carolina allowed them to legally wed. full story

USA, UTAH: A Utah man says the college where he worked discriminated against him because he was in a same-sex marriage, denying the couple benefits and forcing him out of a job. full story

USA, WASHINGTON DC: The National LGBTQ Task Force has condemned the treatment of transgender activist Jes Grobman by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. full story

VIETNAM: Hanoi, Vietnam, is due to play host to an LGBT Business Leaders Forum next month. Believed to be the first such forum to take place in the country, it marks the latest initiative in the country to help advance LGBTI workplace rights. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 19th

Written by scott on November 19th, 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: Eddie Redmayne has reflected on playing a trans character, saying it is “shocking” that trans issues have not improved in the past century. full story

PEOPLE: Jill Soloway, the creator of Amazon’s hit show “Transparent,” joined HuffPost Live on Tuesday and weighed in on the negative reactions to Caitlyn Jenner’s Glamour “Women of the Year“ honor. Soloway said she was disappointed to hear that one man even returned his wife’s posthumous “Women of the Year” award, with which she was honored after her death on 9/11. full story

POP CULTURE: A Barbie ad that features a boy playing with dolls for the first time won’t be appearing on TV any time soon, after the product’s limited run sold out. full story


AUSTRALIA: Senator Ricky Muir, who once said he would disown a child who came out as gay, has explained how he became a firm supporter of equal marriage. full story

Australian Senator Ricky Muir

CHINA: Officials in Hong Kong have decided to leave same-sex couples off next year’s census – arguing that some will be too afraid to disclose their relationship in front of family members and that no data is better than inaccurate data on the make up of Hong Kong’s population. full story

ISRAEL: Four years ago, a trans woman became estranged from her family and dedicated her life to LGBTI rights, activism and supporting the community, but now, her mother is attempting to stop the cremation of her body claiming it is offensive to her ultra-Orthodox beliefs. full story

JAPAN: A 38-year-old transgender man named Yoshi Tsuchida was found dead, mutilated and draped in a blanket last Friday the western suburb of Fussa, Tokyo. full story

KENYA: Kenya’s parliament has officially thrown out a proposal that would have punished homosexuality with death by stoning. full story

RUSSIA: The US Embassy in Moscow has called out a Russian newspaper for publishing a forged letter from the state department to a gay activist, helpfully pointing out the many errors that show it’s a fake. full story


UK: A government minister has spoken out about anti-gay laws in the Commonwealth, as the majority of countries continue to enforce colonial-era laws criminalising homosexuality. full story

UK, NORTHERN IRELAND: The leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party is stepping down… but his replacement isn’t likely to be any less anti-gay marriage. full story

USA: Social media giant Twitter has stopped hosting blood drives at their headquarters because of their policy banning gay men from donating. full story

USA: America’s top companies and law firms have stepped up in record numbers to provide their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers around the world the vital non-discrimination protections they deserve, according to the 2016 Corporate Equality Index, released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization. full story

USA: Today, in a status conference with Lambda Legal in federal court in Chicago, the Department of Justice announced that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will apply the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent landmark marriage ruling retroactively and process pending spousal benefits claims for same-sex couples who lived in states that did not previously recognize their marriages. full story

USA: On the National Day of Action to End Trans Detention, Transgender Law Center, along with members of the #Not1More campaign, announced a new national initiative, Honor Trans Immigrant Lives, to build leadership and capacity within transgender immigrant communities. full story


USA, ALABAMA: The Alabama Baptist Convention, meeting this week at Eastern Shore Baptist Church in Daphne, criticized the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission today (Wednesday, November 18) unanimously approved an LGBT historic document that’s meant to help hold on to gay spaces in the city. full story

USA, INDIANA: Indiana republicans have introduced the most anti-LGBT LGBT rights bill ever. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: A member of Survivor yesterday filed a lawsuit against Mike Huckabee for playing Eye Of The Tiger during the rally celebrating Kim Davis’ release from jail. full story

USA, MICHIGAN: A judge has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filedby a group of transgender people against Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. full story

USA, TEXAS: Houston’s haters have launched yet another anti-trans ad in which they warn that men will rape little girls in public restrooms if pro-LGBT City Council members are reelected in next month’s runoff. full story

USA, TEXAS: HRC’s Chad Griffin said stronger business support and pushing back on transphobic lies are two lessons from the Houston defeat. full story

USA, VIRGINIA: Delegate Marcus Simon has proposed a bill that aims to remove the language banning same-sex marriage and unions from the state’s code of laws. full story

USA, WASHINGTON DC: Out of a total of 70 hate crime incidents reported in D.C. in 2014, 29 (41 percent) were motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation and 15 (21 percent) were motivated by the victim’s gender identity, according to an FBI hate crime statistics report released this week. full story