...now browsing by category


How to Handle Invitations to your Same-Sex Wedding for Unsupportive Family Members – Sandy Malone’s Blog in BRIDES

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Do you have to invite people who don’t support your gay or lesbian marriage to the biggest day of your life so far? We’re in murky waters here for some brides and grooms planning their weddings.

Click here to check out my blog in BRIDES with tips on how to handle the gay wediquette on this one!

Until next time, happy wedding planning from Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and Weddings in Vieques!


Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional home and destination wedding planning company, and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms. Sandy is the star of TLC’s reality show “Wedding Island,” about her destination wedding planning company Weddings in Vieques. She is an internationally syndicated wedding blogger for The Huffington Post and BRIDES, as well as a reality-TV blogger for Monsters and Critics.

Sandy’s book “How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional,” will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.

Sandy and her team (including her husband Bill, a retired SWAT team commander) have planned and executed almost 500 weddings in the United States and the Caribbean. Sandy is a veteran event planner from Washington, DC, with years of experience planning large and small weddings, press conference, and corporate and political events. She has planned countless events on Vieques Island, beginning with her own wedding back in 2004.  Since that time, her professional staff has executed large and small weddings of all styles, including elopements, vow renewals and fabulously posh events at multi-million dollar waterfront villas. She has also planned family reunions, destination baby showers, corporate retreats and a variety of other events for clients from all over the United States and Canada. She is considered the “Queen of Gay Wediquette” and has been rated “Five Rainbows” by her happy gay clients!

Marriage Equality Round-Up – September 5th

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

GENERAL: Dot429 looks at five misconceptions society has about pansexuals. full story

POP CULTURE: Oscar-nominated Hollywood actress Kathleen Turner has been cast a new play exploring transgender issues. full story

POP CULTURE: Trans people react to UK’s new trans sitcom Boy Meets Girl. full story

POP CULTURE: Nearly 7,000 people have called on Brewdog, a British craft beer company, to remove a fundraising advert many are considering transphobic. full story

POP CULTURE: Ellen DeGeneres confronted Caitlyn Jenner on being a Republican and gay marriage. full story

POP CULTURE: ESPN’s Israel Gutierrez came out publicly, and announced that he’s getting married. full story

Israel Gutierrez

POP CULTURE: A television star has said he was blocked from appearing on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing after he requested a male dance partner. full story

AUSTRALIA: If Australia were to hold a referendum on same-sex marriage, it could weaken federal power to legislate on marriage, top legal experts have warned. full story

MALAWI: A spokesperson from the Malawian Government has quashed the notion that it has plans to hold a referendum on the country’s law criminalizing homosexuality or on whether to legalize same-sex marriage just days after President Peter Mutharika appeared to indicate that one would be held. full story

IRELAND: Ireland’s government has given the green light for its revolutionary new Gender Recognition Act to come into effect – meaning transgender people can gain legal recognition from next week without seeing a doctor. full story

USA: Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., urged Attorney General Loretta Lynch to ensure same-sex couples face no barriers to receiving marriage licenses. full story

USA, ALABAMA: Several Alabama probate judges made the same decision Davis made and could also be jailed if sued in federal court for refusing to issue marriage licenses. full story

USA, GEORGIA: Leaders of an Atlanta museum want the space focused on modern and historic civil rights to contribute to a national push to ensure LGBT rights, particularly in southern states. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Deputy clerks in Rowan County, Kentucky have begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. James Yates and William Smith Jr were the first same-sex couple to receive a license, after five previously unsuccessful attempts. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: At least three gay couples received marriage licenses Friday in Rowan County, embracing and celebrating as the defiant clerk sat remained jailed. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: The Advocate collected the most heartwarming images from today’s long-overdue victory. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Dozens of protesters gathered outside the clerk’s office: One group cheered on the gay couple who got the license, while the other group preached and supported the clerk on Friday. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: At least one religious protester called out “perverts” as same sex couples received their licenses. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: The husband of a Kentucky court clerk jailed for refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay couples says she won’t resign and will stay in jail for as long as it takes. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Davis’s husband also greeted gay couples arriving at the clerk’s office with a sign that said “Welcome to Sodom and Gomorrah”. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Kim Davis will appeal the contempt of court ruling against her by the end of the day, her attorney told reporters today at a press conference outside the detention center where she is being held. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Kentucky Republicans have wasted no time in capitalizing on Kim Davis’s incarceration for their own political gain, lashing out at Democratic Governor Steve Beshear. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: According to hate group leader Mat Staver, Kim Davis has declared from her jail cell that the marriage licenses issued today in Rowan County are invalid without her signature. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, on Wednesday compared Kim Davis’ plight to that of a Jew living in Nazi Germany. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: The Anti-Defamation League has condemned comments by the lawyer of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis – after he compared his client’s treatment to the gassing of Jews in the Holocaust. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is scheduled to visit a Kentucky jail next week to meet with a county clerk imprisoned because she ignored repeated court orders to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Huckabee also bought the domain name FreeKimDavisNow.com to use for money begs. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Donald Trump hedged on the Davis situation – “I’m a believer in both sides of the picture.” full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz fired off a statement defending the antigay Christian martyr and calling for “every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis.” full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took to Twitter to blast Trump for not condemning the jailing of Davis who is against same-sex marriage on religious grounds. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: The Human Rights Campaign has launched a new digital campaign asking Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Donald Trump to take a position regarding the Davis situation. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Breitbart legal editor Ken Klukowski criticized Davis for trying to force her will on other employees full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Matt Baume looks at the Kim Davis controversy. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Queery has a handy flow chart for deciphering Davis’s marriage past. full story


USA, KENTUCKY: John Gallagher looks at why the right loves Kim Davis, despite (or because of) her hypocritical past. full story

USA, OREGON: Marion County Judge Vance Day, a former chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, has requested his clerks send same-sex couples planning to be married to other county judges. An ethics investigation has been launched as a result of his decision. full story

USA, TEXAS: A chef at a Dallas-area Hilton hotel who allegedly refused to cater a gay couple’s wedding no longer works at the property. full story

USA, TEXAS: Texas should be ordered to pay almost $741,000 in legal fees after losing the court fight to preserve its ban on same-sex marriage, lawyers told a federal judge Friday. full story

Vatican: HRC condemned the Catholic Church for its “harmful” decision to deny trans people the right to be godparents. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – August 6th

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

POP CULTURE: Would a family ever disown their gay son for NOT having a ‘Gay Wedding’? Matthew Ware created a comedy sketch exploring what would happen if a gay couple refused their supportive family’s demand to plan a wedding. full story

POP CULTURE: As Jon Stewart prepares to sign off for the last time, Queerty looks at the six gayest moments on the Daily Show. full story

Daily Show Gay

AUSTRALIA: Same-sex couples are barraging Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott with wedding invites – as he decides whether to block equal marriage. full story

NORWAY: Children as young as seven years old will be able to change their legal gender with parental consent under new legislation proposed by the Norwegian government. full story

USA: On Monday, President Obama echoed remarks made in favor of gay rights during a recent trip to Africa while addressing a group of young African leaders, equating racial discrimination to anti-gay discrimination. full story

USA: The Nielsen research team gathered data from around the United States and discovered that LGBT shoppers make ten percent more trips to the cash register than straight people. They also found that LGBT shoppers opened their wallets to spend $4,135 on average in retail stores in 2014. That’s seven percent more than non-LGBT consumers. full story

USA: Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced that it is launching a new social media campaign featuring Ohio native Jim Obergefell, asking candidates to #StandwithJim and defend his marriage in advance of the debate Thursday in Cleveland. full story

USA: Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has made Betty and Richard Odgaard, the couple who plans to put 1,000 anti gay billboards up around the US, part of his Iowa leadership team. full story

USA: The Republican National Committee has nixed a pair of controversial anti-gay resolutions that were proposed for consideration during its summer meeting. full story

USA: A auto rental company jumps on the Caitlyn exploitation bandwagon. full story


USA: A mother of a bisexual teen reacted perfectly to anti gay graffiti sprayed on the family’s garage door. full story



USA, ARKANSAS: Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says that justices of the peace could use the state’s new religious objections law as a defense if they refused to preside over a gay wedding ceremony, but it’s unclear whether such a defense would prevail in court. full story

USA, INDIANA: Advance America, led by Eric Miller, is working overtime to hold back LGBT rights in towns across Indiana. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Anti-gay Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has filed a lawsuit against the state’s governor, Steve Beshear, alleging that by forcing her to obey the law of the land and grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples he violated her so-called “religious freedom.” full story

USA, MISSOURI: The Ridge Haven Chalet in Hawk Point turned away a lesbian wedding. full story

USA, OHIO: A local radio host is taking aim at Caitlyn Jenner’s transition on a new billboard ad – in a town where a trans woman was nearly beaten to death last year. full story

Star 105 Billboard

USA, OHIO: The billboard was taken down today. full story

USA, SOUTH CAROLINA: Attorney General Alan Wilson says the state shouldn’t have to pay legal fees for a couple who challenged the state’s gay marriage ban because he was merely defending the law of the land as it stood before the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling on gay marriage in late June.. full story

USA, TEXAS: The Houston City Council continued to support the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) today, rejecting a move to repeal the nondiscrimination protections and instead sending it to the ballot for a vote this Nov. 3. full story
USA, TEXAS: The state of Texas is facing not one but two likely lawsuits for failing to issue accurate vital records to same-sex couples in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. full story

USA, TEXAS: Following the refusal of a Texas agency to amend the death certificate of a deceased gay man to reflect his same-sex marriage, a federal judge on Wednesday ordered the state to make the change — and directed officials to appear before court to possibly hold them in contempt of court. full story

USA, WISCONSIN: Business is booming at the Wisconsin restaurant Gracie’s Gyros and Wraps, after its owner schooled an antigay commenter on Facebook. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – July 26th

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

AUSTRALIA: A group of Canberra young people are planning to give federal Parliament a wake-up call on marriage equality on Sunday, with hundreds expected at a walk around Lake Burley Griffin. full story

AUSTRALIA: Labor leader Bill Shorten will move to legalise same-sex marriage in his first 100 days if he becomes prime minister. full story

AUSTRALIA: At the same time, the Labor Party has confirmed its MPs will be given a free vote on upcoming same-sex marriage legislation – and will not be forced to vote in favour. full story

ITALY: Italian activists say civil unions aren’t enough, and are calling for full marriage equality. full story

KENYA: At a joint news conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi today, President Obama made good on his plan to discuss the issue of gay rights in Africa. full story

USA: The Boy Scouts of America is set to confirm on Monday that it will end its ban on openly gay adult leaders. full story

USA: GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz was all doom-and-gloom at his sparsely attended congressional hearing about the dangers of ‘judicial tyranny.’ full story

USA, GEORGIA: Openly gay Pastor Rick Sosbe, whose church was vandalized with anti-gay phrases, said his church will continue to “spread the message of God’s inclusive love” by welcoming all to worship, feeding the homeless and doing volunteer work in the community. full story

USA, ILLINOIS: Earlier this week, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed HB 3930, an enhanced hate crime protections law that explicitly includes crimes against transgender people. full story

USA, MICHIGAN: Lawyers for a Hazel Park couple who helped legalize same-sex marriage across the nation asked a federal judge Saturday to force the state to pay more than $1.9 million in legal fees. full story

USA, MICHIGAN: The Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a respected group that publishes reports on public policy, believes it’s time to ask voters to erase parts of the constitution that are dead, including the ban on same sex marriage. full story

USA, NEW YORK: A gay couple living in Wynantskill, New York had their home and car struck by vandals this week, including the phrase “Jenner Fags”. full story

Jenner Fags

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: A mixed-race couple who was denied a marriage ceremony in Forsyth Co. decades ago thinks that history is repeating itself. full story

USA, OREGON: In an interview with Willamette Week, Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, the lesbian couple turned away by Melissa’s Sweet Cakes, finally break their silence on the story and detail the shame and embarrassment felt after being turned away from Sweet Cakes owners Melissa and Aaron Klein. full story


USA, SOUTH CAROLINA: In a heartwarming new video from Mashable, trans teen Chase Culpepper and her mother Teresa recall the conversations they’ve had together over the years as the two of them came to terms with who Chase really is. full story

VATICAN: The Pope’s approval rating has plummeted among US citizens – after the Church ditched planned to ‘welcome’ gay people and rallied against same-sex marriage. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – Supreme Court Edition – June 27th

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!


MAP: The last US marriage equality map. full story

marriage equality map

MAP: Well, not quite – we also have this beautiful, simple time lapse map. full story

Marriage Equality time lapse map

FULL TEXT: Read the full text of yesterday’s US Supreme Court Ruling. full story

GUIDE: Six LGBT advocacy organizations launched a joint website http://MarriageEqualityFacts.org to provide answers to same-sex couples and their families as they navigate accessing the rights, benefits, and protections that marriage affords. full story


CARTOONS: Joe.My.God rounds up some of the best political cartoons full story

political cartoon - flags

CORPORATIONS: Joe also wraps up some of the best corporate responses. full story

Jello Love

CELEBRITIES: The Huffington Post rounds up some of the celebrity reactions. full story

FASHION: The Observer rounds up the response from the fashion world. full story

ICE CREAM: Ben & Jerry’s is renaming one of its ice cream flavors, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, to “I Dough, I Dough” at participating stores. full story

I Dough I Dough

MEMES: Queerty rounds up some of the best marriage equality memes of the day. full story

Obama meme

FACEBOOK: You can now rainbow your profile pic on the social media giant. full story


NATIONWIDE: The Advocate gathers some of the places that went rainbow yesterday to celebrate marriage equality. full story

Rainbow Niagara Falls

ALABAMA: The state’s Chief Justice has vowed to block US Supreme Court’s ‘illegitimate’ marriage equality ruling. full story

ALABAMA: All couples in Mobile were allowed to pick up marriage licenses once again on Friday when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. full story

ARKANSAS: Marriage equality has returned to the state as the first new same sex marriage license was issued. full story

ARKANSAS: Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the state will obey the ruling. full story

COLORADO: Hundreds gathered at the State Capitol to celebrate the Supreme Court decision, full story

GEORGIA: Same sex couples married in a mass ceremony in Fulton County. full story

INDIANA: Indiana celebrates the ruling. full story

LOUISIANA: Arch-conservative Governor Bobby Jindal and GOP presidential candidate is doing what he can to stop same-sex weddings in his state. full story

MICHIGAN: See the reaction of the Michigan plaintiffs. ” target=”_blank”>full story

MICHIGAN: The Kent county clerk started taking applications for same-sex marriage licenses. full story

MISSISSIPPI: Attorney General Jim Hood is in no hurry to allow marriages in his state, preferring instead to wait until he absolutely has to. full story

NEW YORK: NYC celebrates the ruling. full story

NEW YORK: Celebration at the Stonewall Inn, where it all began. full story

PENNSYLVANIA: Great meme from Brian Simms. full story


PENNSYLVANIA: In Philadelphia’s gayborhood, there was elation over the US Supreme Court ruling. full story

TEXAS: The Dallas Voice liveblogs the various counties as they start to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples (or don’t). full story

TEXAS: Dallas County issued 170 marriage licenses on Day 1 of marriage equality in Texas, according to Dallas County Clerk John Warren. full story

TEXAS: Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said he will continue to defend religious freedom after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage. full story

TEXAS: Chad Mantooth took photos at the rally and march in Dallas celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding marriage equality nationwide. full story

TENNESSEE: The first gay marriage license was issued in Shelby County around 11:30 Friday morning. full story

WASHINGTON DC: Watch the crowd the moment they heard the news outside the US Supreme Court. full story

WASHINGTON DC: The White House lit up with the rainbow. full story

Rainbow White House

WASHINGTON DC: President Obama called Ohio paintiff Jim Obergefell to congratulate him. full story

USA: The Advocate gathers some of the best photos from DC on Decision Day. full story



MATT BAUME: Matt Baume has a new video out – what you need to know full story

SUNNIVIE BRYDUM: The Advocate reporter looks at what the ruling actually says. full story

JORDAN WEISSMAN: Justice Anthony Kennedy closes his opinion with one of the most beautiful passages you’ll likely read in a court case. full story

ZACK FORD AND JUDD LEGUM: Think Progress looks at some of the more ridiculous arguments in the Supreme Court dissents. full story

TARA CULP-RESSLER: There’s still work to be done. full story

ZACK FORD: No, the Supreme Court did not just ‘redefine’ marriage. full story


PRESIDENT OBAMA: President Obama spoke passionately on Friday morning about the Supreme Court ruling legalizing national marriage equality. full story

HILLARY CLINTON: Hillary Clinton has reflected on the just-issued opinion by the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage, saying she is “proud” of the “historic victory” for the country. full story

TIM COOK: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do,” the Apple CEO wrote on Twitter. full story

JOE BIDEN: According to his wife: “Joe is running through the halls with a rainbow flagged tied on like a cape high fiving everyone.” full story


JOHN ROBERTS: The Chief Justice’s dissent said that the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states completely undermined America’s democratic process. full story

ANTONIN SCALIA: The Supreme Court Justice compared the ruling to a fortune cookie. full story

CLARENCE THOMAS: The right-wing justice denied that gays had their dignity taken away by anti gay marriage laws, making offensive statements about slaves and those in internment camps. full story

BOBBY JINDAL: The Louisiana Governor and presidential candidate: “I will never stop fighting.” full story

MIKE HUCKABEE: Governor Mike Huckabee didn’t waste any time in attempting to put a downer on the Supreme Court’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage across the US, branding it “tyranny”. full story

LINDSEY GRAHAM: The presidential candidate struck a conciliatory note, calling for everyone to move on. full story

RICK SANTORUM: “…leaders don’t accept bad decisions….” full story

TED CRUZ: Sen. Cruz proposed a constitutional amendment that would subject members of the Supreme Court to a retention election every eight years. full story

TONY PERKINS: The leader of the FRC says it ain’t over yet. full story

KEN PAXTON: The Texas Attorney General says the ruling will lead to more “displays of hate and intolerance against people of faith.” full story

ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM: The badly mis-named group reacts. full story

JONATHAN SAENZ: He thanks the totally unnecessary “Pastor Protection Law” for stopping the Federal Government from forcing pastors and churches to perform same sex weddings. full story

BRYAN FISCHER: The AFA’s radio host says he “saw Satan dancing with delight” and “the twin towers of truth and righteousness were blown up by moral jihadists.” full story

BRIAN BROWN: The head of NOM called the decision “completely illegitimate.” full story

JIM GARLOW: California pastor Jim Garlow on Wednesday equated reversing gay marriage gains to ending slavery full story

JOSH ROBINSON: The Minnesota Vikings player compared marriage equality to pedophilia and incest. full story

A Transgender Soldier pens President Obama – .@POTUS @OnlyShaneOrtega

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Sergeant Shane Ortega


Originally seen on MilitaryFreedomCoalition.org:

To the Honorable President, Mr. Barack Obama:

My name is Sergeant Shane Ortega. I serve in the United States Army and I recently stepped forward into the public light via the Washington Post – to show our country what an active serving transgender military member looks like. So here I am. I have been working on LGBT policy in the military almost as long as I have been serving. It has been ten years this June. Today, like it was before the repeal of Don’t As Don’t Tell I am still fighting against discrimination and lack of equal opportunity protections for all LGBT military personnel. Unfortunately this discrimination doesn’t stop there, it has also permeated into our national legislation as well. In many states it is a criminal act to be your “authentic” self and use a restroom, one of the most basic of human needs.

I joined the military of our nation because I wanted to be an active citizen. I felt that the American freedoms I was fortunate to be born into were not to be met with a sense of entitlement. I have always known that someone before me has suffered and possibly died to make them tangible realities. The good fortune of being born in a democratic country is that it shapes your entire destiny and the quality of life you may lead. Therefore I honor that privilege by serving and giving back to our nation and it’s people the best I can. That means also working on human rights issues for LGBT people; who are often the smallest of heard voices in the crowd. I swore to defend the Constitution. That means, liberty for all.

I created awareness on the negative affects of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and now I want to help open transgender military inclusion and LGBT Equal Opportunity protections. Our nation’s military has some of the finest human beings, which I consider lucky to have the good fortune to serve with. These heroes are highly adaptable and cohesive team players. Our military is a diverse group made up of members of our society from different backgrounds. We evolve with the base knowledge of our society and the global scenarios of combat arenas. That is what makes us the best trained military forces. Without fail the American military has always developed and used the right tool for the right task. We are more knowledgeable and powerful when we encompassed our different experiences and perspectives into a unit to accomplish a mission. The force has gone through desegregation, women’s inclusion, equal pay for both sexes, repeal of DADT and equality benefits for gay married couples – all ahead of the nation on this and not a single failure. We are a “no-fail” organization. As such we learn how to use the new tools we are given and we move forward to greatness. That is who we are. That is our American fighting force.

Sir, as I near the middle of my career, the question comes up – should I stay or should I go? Can I keep serving authentically? Can I continue to live the values of a warrior – integrity, honor and selfless service? Can I do this while I continue to be mis-gendered and without discrimination protections? I have kept my word, my honor and commitment true for ten years now. I want to continue to serve our nation to the best of my ability. We need immediate action on this issue for our service members and our citizens. Daily I receive correspondence from both active service members and citizens that just want to serve the country they love as the person they are. Some of the active service members are desperate, alienated, alone and suicidal. They range from field grade officers to new privates. Everyone is fighting an internal war that no one wants to speak up for. I love this nation and it’s people more than anything in the world. It’s all that I have to show for my time spent on this planet.

Mr. President, I beg you please use your power as Commander-In-Chief to immediately halt transgender military discharges and begin a review to repeal the transgender military ban. I respect your office to the highest extent and thank you for how far you have lead the LGBT cause.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” – Nelson Mandela

Respectively and Sincerely,

Shane Ortega



SGT Ortega is a three-tour combat veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a former Marine and current Army Soldier.

Petition: Sign to stop Mega-Churches From Abusing LGBT People!

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Originally seen on SeanSala.com

WATCH WFAA story exposing Prestonwood

In a shameful move Prestonwood Baptist Church Clergyman Mike Buster sent an email to 2,500 Church members ENDORSING Political candidates. A CLEAR VIOLATION of their 501(c)(3)

Prestonwood Baptist has RIGGED the election for Plano, Texas and the IRS MUST investigate this.

Share and sign! If we do not stand up to Mega-Churches – this destruction of our dignity will continue. 

Mega-Church rigged Texas election – LGBT Activists Call for IRS Investigation:

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015


Originally seen on SeanSala.com

WATCH: WFAA story exposing Prestonwood

In a shameful move – Executive Pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Mike Buster, sent an email to 2,500 church members endorsing political candidates. The question being poised is, how and why was this email list chosen and where did the list of 2,500 emails come from? The situation surrounding the Executive pastor, and Prestonwood, is a major red flag of a possible blatant violation of their tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status.

It is believed that Prestonwood Baptist Church and their regional influence on their constituents rigged the recent election for Plano and the IRS must investigate this.

Because of Prestonwood’s blatant and presumably unapologetic endorsement,  two politicians were elected who tried to repeal an “Equal Rights Ordinance” that protects Gays and Veterans.

“It is the responsibility of the IRS to investigate any potential wrong doings and violations and we believe the executive pastor’s endorsement of five candidates is a clear and blatant violation. The IRS needs to investigate this fully.”


Sean Sala – National LGBT Policy Activist 

Jason Hanna – Local Plano, Texas LGBT Activist 

Zachary Kolodny – Local Plano, Texas Equal Rights Activist 

A petition has been formatted for a full IRS investigation.


Pastor Mike Buster

Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 16th

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Bahamas: A survey shows 74.5% of respondents strongly disapprove of same-sex marriage, with just under 10% approving of it to any degree. full story

Egypt: A judgement issued from Egypt’s Administrative Court has set a precedent allowing the Interior Ministry to forcibly deport people suspected of being LGBT. full story

France: The French Government says it will not back down on its choice of senior diplomat and openly gay man Laurent Stefanini as its next ambassador to the Holy See but officially the Vatican is giving him the silent treatment. full story

India: Thousands of transgender women in India have pledged to donate their eyes in celebration of the first anniversary of a landmark ruling recognizing them as third sex. “Eyes do not discriminate, the perspective and perception of people do. We have decided to pledge our eyes as a thank you gesture to Justices A K Sikri and K S Radhakrishnan who had passed the landmark judgment,” transgender activist Laxmi Naryan Tripathi told the Press Trust of India. full story

Iran: A prominent Iranian cleric is teaching that men who fantasize about other women while impregnating their wives will cause their children to be gay. full story

Ireland: A new ad was just released by BeLonG To Youth Services which encourages people to bring family members to the polls for marriage equality. full story

Ireland: A mural in Dublin encouraging people to vote for same-sex marriage has been vandalized. full story

Spain: Spain’s interior ministry revealed some disturbing statistics on hate crimes on Tuesday, revealing that 40 percent of bias crimes reported in 2014 targeted gays and lesbians. full story

UK: A childless gay couple, two lesbian parents and their children, and a straight couple with their cat are some of the stars of a new advertising campaign from fashion brand Matalan, showcasing the modern family in Britain. full story

UK: The UK Independence Party has defended not making a single mention of LGBT people in its manifesto. full story

UK, Northern Ireland: The Northern Irish Assembly has been warned that a proposed “conscience clause” could lead to the same level of boycott which led the US state of Indiana to hire a PR company to perform damage limitation this week. full story

USA: A Mormon couple in a mixed-orientation marriage are objecting to their inclusion in a U.S. Supreme Court case filing because it argues that legalized gay marriage would demean the marriages of couples like themselves. full story

USA: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) deadline for filing taxes can be a stark reminder for thousands of legally married same-sex couples of the inequality they face if they happen to live in a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage. full story

USA: Hillary Clinton supports a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court granting the right of same-sex couples to marry across the nation, a campaign spokesperson said Wednesday. full story

USA: Marco Rubio said he would attend a gay wedding if it was for someone he cared about. full story

USA: Public support for same-sex marriage has increased in all 50 states since 2004, especially in states that have legalized same-sex marriage, according to a report released today by researchers at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law and Drexel University. full story

USA: Matt Baume looks at how the next president could impact LGBT rights in the US. full story

USA: Richard Wolf at USA Today looks at five key arguments in the pending marriage equality cases before the US Supreme Court. full story

USA: Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s tietheknot.org is allowing users to create custom wedding invitations and then sends their invitations to every member of the Supreme Court. full story

USA: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and HRC Alabama kept up pressure on the Alabama legislature to halt the progress of Indiana-style “religious freedom” bills (H.B. 56)(H.B. 296/S.B. 261) that would allow discrimination in the arenas of marriage recognition and adoption. full story

USA, California: In an unprecedented move, more than 100 prominent Roman Catholic donors and church members signed a full-page ad running Thursday in The Chronicle that calls on Pope Francis to replace San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for fostering “an atmosphere of division and intolerance.” full story

USA, Colorado: Organizers of a conservative conference in Denver this summer have told the Log Cabin Republicans that they cannot have a booth at the event. full story

USA, Florida: Watch as a gay couple, both Disney employees, gets engaged. full story

USA, Guam The governor of Guam, a tiny U.S. territory in the Pacific, on Wednesday backed legislation allowing same sex marriage but said the issue, which has sharply divided Americans, should be put to a referendum. full story

USA: full story

USA, Maine: A Republican Maine senator says he’s withdrawing his “religious freedom” bill that’s similar to proposals that have caused protests in other states, saying the bill wouldn’t get a fair hearing. full story

USA, Michigan: The owner of a Grandville auto repair shop says he won’t hesitate “to refuse service to an openly gay person or persons.” full story

USA, New York: The Harlem hate church sign has a new anti-gay message. full story

Harlem Hate Church sign

USA, North Dakota: One family breaks the silence on marriage equality in the state. full story

USA, Ohio: A new bill is being introduced at the Ohio Statehouse that would allow officiants to refuse to marry same sex couples in Ohio. full story

USA, Texas: A top House Republican, Pasadena Republican Rep. Gilbert Pena, delayed a hearing on controversial legislation Wednesday that would limit transgender students’ use of school bathrooms and locker rooms, saying the author needed to its soften language. full story

USA, Texas: State Affairs Chairman and Republican Representative Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, voiced his explicit support today (Wednesday, April 15) for legislation that would allow same-sex couples and legal guardians of a child to receive a supplementary birth certificate reflecting both of their names. full story

USA, Washington DC: April 17 marks the 50th anniversary of what many LGBT rights advocates believe was the first-ever gay rights demonstration held outside the White House. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 11th

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Gay Wedding - HandsHere’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Canada, Alberta: After fighting GSA’s for a year, the government has done an about-face and will mandate them in all publicly-funded schools. full story

Egypt: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) sent letters to prominent business leaders scheduled to speak at the upcoming Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC), urging them to raise the issue of LGBT rights abuses in the country. full story

Ireland: The Catholic Bishop who said being gay was like having Down’s Syndrome also said gays should wait to have sex until marriage. full story

Ireland: A Catholic priest who compared gays to people with Down’s Syndrome is defending his homophobic remarks. full storyMalawi: Malawi will not change its laws against homosexuality, the country’s Health Minister says. full story

Peru: Catholic Monsignor Luis Barbaren called the civil unions bill’s sponsor, Rep. Carlos Bruce, the Spanish equivalent of “faggot.” full story

Peru: Congress rejected a proposed civil unions bill, and activists called for protests. full story

Slovenia: On the same day the country’s upper chamber rejected an attempt to veto the marriage equality bill, opponents turned in 80K petitions to try to force a referendum, far more than the 2500 required. Parliament now has to decide if it can move forward. full story

Uganda: Frank Mugisha, the head of the country’s leading LGBT organization, discusses his strategy for changing the nation. full story

UK: A transgender man who was ordered to use a disabled toilet by a nightclub has received an out-of-court settlement of £1,500. full story

UK: The Conservatives look set to lose Brighton Kemptown, long considered the heart of the British gay community, over their support for same-sex marriage. full story

USA: “Christian” conservative John Price, author of The End of America, last week encouraged Americans to flee to escape God’s coming wrath over gay marriage. full story

USA: Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy S. Moore on Friday said that gay marriage opposition should be a litmus test for GOP presidential candidates – isn’t it already? full story

USA: The president of an anti-gay black pastors coalition has expressed his anger that President Barack Obama compared the civil rights movement to that for same-sex marriage at the Selma Anniversary. full story

USA: A new study has found that when transgender young people are allowed to fully identify with their gender and take steps toward transition, it significantly improves their depression and anxiety. full story

USA: The Family Equality Council, which represents LGBT families with children, last week filed along with the LGBT group COLAGE a 40-page “voices of LGBT youth and children” brief arguing the court should strike down prohibitions on same-sex nuptials based on the harms they inflict on children raised by gay parents. full story

USA: Ted Cruz is making a name for himself as the most anti-gay Presidential candidate. full story

USA: In a letter to the US Supreme Court, the conservative Heritage Foundation claims that anti-marriage equality bans are constitutional. full story

USA: A new class-action lawsuit has been filed seeks to recoup Social Security benefits given to married same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. full story

USA: Hot Air looks at the split over marriage equality on the GOP side in a new poll. full story

USA: The GOP-led Senate is calling FRC’s Tony Perkins to testify about “religious freedom”. full story

USA, Alabama: Attorney General Luther Strange is asking a federal judge to keep gay marriage in the state on hold until the US Supreme Court rules on the issue. full story

USA, Arkansas: In the wake of the anti-gay bill that stripped local LGBT protections, Rep. Greg Leding (D) filed HB 1959, which would add four words to the state civil rights law to prohibit discrimination in employment, public accommodations, property transactions, credit or the political process on grounds of “sexual orientation, gender identity.” full story

USA, California: San Francisco Catholics are fighting the church over LGBT rights. full story

USA, Colorado: The House passed a ban on “conversion therapy” for youth 35-29. full story

USA, Florida: Lee County residents may be able to register as domestic partners as early as late spring. full story

USA, Florida: The state’s ban on adoption by gays was ruled unconstitutional back in 2010, but is still in the constitution. A South Florida state representative is hoping to strike the ban from state law. full story

USA, Oklahoma: The House voted 67-24 to get the state out of the marriage business, shifting licensing to members of the clergy. full story

USA, South Carolina: Anti-gay groups held a rally pushing for a bill to halt same sex marriages in the state. full story

USA, South Dakota: The full South Dakota Senate opted not to take up a proposal that would void a South Dakota High School Activities Association policy on transgender student participation in sports. full story

USA, Texas: An anti-transgender bathroom bill would not only prohibit schools from allowing transgender students to use restrooms in accordance with their gender identity, but would also award a $2,000 bounty — plus actual damages, court costs and attorneys fees – to students who spotted someone transgender using the “wrong” bathroom. full story

USA, Texas: Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, announced Monday that he would reconsider his “right to discriminate” bill after the Texas Association of Business, Equality Texas and others expressed concern it would discriminate against LGBT people. full story

USA, Utah: The state Senate has approved a proposal to allow government employees to refuse to marry same-sex couples if they opt out of their right to marry anyone. full story

USA:, Washington DC D.C. Police Sgt. Jessica Hawkins began work on March 3 as the new supervisor of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, becoming the first transgender person to hold the position. full story