ACTION ALERT!  Help Us Pass These LGBT Equality Bills in the Equality State! January 25, 2013 
The below email was just sent to our members in Wyoming. If you have friends or family in Wyoming please send this to them and urge them to take action to support the three LGBT equality bills NCLR is working on with our friends at Wyoming Equality.

NCLR is working hand in hand with our friends at Wyoming Equality, the Human Rights Campaign, and other supporters to pass the first-ever LGBT equality bills in Wyoming—The Equality State. Three bills—marriage equality, domestic partnership, and non-discrimination—have just been introduced, and the first committee votes are only days away.

At noon on Monday, January 28, the House Corporations Committee will hear testimony on the marriage equality and domestic partnership bills. If one or both pass committee, they will proceed to a vote by the entire House of Representatives a few days later. On Wednesday, Jan 30, at 8 a.m., the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on the non-discrimination bill.

The votes will be extremely close and we need you, your friends, and your family to help secure a historic victory.
This is what you can do:
1. Call and email your representatives and ask them to support all three bills. You can use the bullet points below as a guide, but it is always best to personalize your message, explain why the bills are important to you, and why you believe they are good for Wyoming. Contact information for your representatives can be found here, and contact information for your state senator can be found here.
2. Call and email members of the House Corporations Committee and ask them to vote in favor of the marriage equality and the domestic partnership bills that they will consider on Monday. If you live in a district represented by one of the committee members, be sure to let them know. If you don’t live in one of their districts, let them know you are a resident of Wyoming. Committee members, including a link to their contact information, are: 
Madam Chairwoman Rosie Berger • Rep. Gregg Blikre • Rep. Dan Kirkbride • Rep. Jerry Paxton • Rep. Gerald Gay
Rep. James (Jim) Byrd • Rep. Matt Greene • Rep. Ruth Ann Petroff • Rep. Dan Zwonitzer
3. Call and email members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote in favor of the non-discrimination bill on Wednesday. If you live in a district represented by one of the committee members be sure to let them know. If you don’t live in one of their districts, let them know you are a resident of Wyoming. The members of the committee with a link to their contact information are: 
Sen. John Schiffer • Sen. Bruce Burns • Sen. Leland Christensen • Sen. Floyd Esquibel 8 Sen. Larry Hicks
4. If you live in or near Cheyenne, please join NCLR’s Senior Legislative and Policy Strategist Geoff Kors at the Capitol on Monday and Wednesday for the hearings. You can also stop by the capitol and explain to your representative why these bills are important for you, your family, and the people you care about.We have the very real opportunity to make critical progress for LGBT people in Wyoming and, with your help, victory is within reach.Together, we will continue making history!House Bill Number 0168 - Domestic Partnerships Rights & Responsibilities
  • Presently, domestic partners have no rights under Wyoming law. H.B. No. 0168 will provide these families numerous rights including the ability to make health care decisions, funeral arrangements, and handle the remains of their deceased partner. H.B. No. 0168 will instead treat everyone equally and fairly under the law.
  • H.B. No. 0168 provides domestic partners not only rights, but also responsibilities, ensuring that their families and taxpayers are protected. For example, H.B. No. 0168 will help ensure that children are provided for by both parents in a domestic partnership, protecting children and saving taxpayers money.
House Bill Number 0169 - Marriage Definition
  • H.B. No. 0169 supports Wyoming’s tradition of small government, which reserves the right to choose a marriage partner to residents of the state, without government influence.
  • Every gay or lesbian person is part of someone’s family—someone’s son or daughter, brother or sister, cousin, aunt or uncle. A significant number of Wyoming residents have a gay or lesbian family member, and no one ever wants a member of their family to be disrespected or mistreated just because of who they are.
  • In Wyoming, we are taught to treat others the way we want to be treated, and that means treating every member of our community with dignity and respect. We should embrace and love our neighbors, and that includes gay and lesbian members of our state who want nothing more than to be treated with the same dignity and respect that we give others.
Senate File Number 0131 - Anti-Discrimination
  • Leading businesses in the US already support non-discrimination. Businesses across the United States, including 50% of Fortune 500 companies and 75% of Fortune 100 companies, have adopted policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • S.F. No. 0131 extends existing protections to a vulnerable group. Wyoming already has civil rights laws protecting against many forms of discrimination including race, religion, gender, disability and national origin. An inclusive law puts LGBT Wyomingites on the same footing as others in the state.
  • Even though lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are a distinct minority, they deserve equal rights and protection against discrimination. The fact that a group is in the minority, no matter how small, is not a reason to deny them equal rights.
 
 
Don’t miss this spectacular holiday celebration!

Please join REAF for an evening benefiting local AIDS services including Shanti and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
For more information about REAF click here
 
 
Under One Roof returns to its roots with seasonal pop-up stores, expands fundraising efforts and increases volunteer opportunities.

Under One Roof, the first charity retail organization to benefit the AIDS & HIV community, announced today that it will be significantly changing its business model to better support its 20+ AIDS, HIV and LGBT service partners due to a variety of economic circumstances. Part of this restructuring will include the closing of Under One Roof’s permanent retail space in the Castro district in March of 2013.

After much consideration, Under One Roof’s board of directors voted to close its doors and mark a return to the 21-year-old organization’s early business model of operating short-term, holiday-driven retail events in donated or low-cost locations. Board members saw this change as the best, most cost-effective solution to allow the nonprofit to fulfill its mission in the wake of a challenging economy, high overhead costs, a decrease in charitable donations and a changing retail landscape.

Under One Roof is in the process of clarifying the specifics of its next steps, called the ‘Greater DEPTHS’ plan, but will reveal these details at a community event later this fall. “This decision was by no means an easy one; it is the result of much soul searching and effort to try and make our current model work,” said Tony Hart, Under One Roof’s Board Chairman.

“In the end, it was clear that in order for us to remain viable and truly support the agencies we exist to serve, we would need to rethink our model and make some big changes. We are excited to roll out our plans for the future, and are confident that Under One Roof will remain an inspirational and important member of the AIDS, HIV and LGBT community for years to come.”

In its early years, the majority of Under One Roof’s sales came from merchandise provided free of charge by generous vendors. This, in addition to large corporate donations, allowed Under One Roof to provide its agency partners with healthy payouts for many years.

That model evolved into a traditional and permanent gift shop, which involved purchasing merchandise for resale, and pulling together agency donations from the margins generated by selling these items for a modest profit. These payouts were smaller than desired and less than what organization leaders believed should be provided to beneficiaries. As a result, leadership ultimately decided that the best solution would be to revise the nonprofit’s structure.

The Greater DEPTHS vision currently outlines the organization’s return to its seasonal and holiday legacy with periodic pop-up sales events, an expanded fundraising program, new partnerships with other community-based organizations, a strategic focus on ecommerce, and an enhanced volunteer network. Under One Roof’s board believes these changes will lead to increased agency donations and more opportunities for local volunteers passionate about participating in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS and LGBT equality.

Hart emphasized that this change is in no way indicative of Under One Roof’s belief that the disease is over, or that its benefiting organizations no longer need support.

“Quite the contrary,” Hart said. “ We are committed to continuing to provide necessary funds to our agency partners and believe this new plan will help us meet this goal much more effectively.”

For its final holiday season on Castro, Under One Roof is already gearing up to make it lively and festive, with a major celebratory event to take place in mid-November and a splendid array of wonderful holiday gift merchandise to purchase through the end of the year.

ABOUT UNDER ONE ROOF: www.underoneroof.org

 
 
ULTRASONIC: A film by Rohit Colin Rao, Opens June 22 at the Roxie Theater

A musician with hyper-sensitive hearing searches for the root of an ominous sound that plagues him, but is inaudible to everyone else. ULTRASONIC is a Garden Thieves Pictures release, runs for 90 minutes, is in English, and is MPAA-rated R.

ULTRASONIC tells the tale of Simon York (Silas Gordon Brigham), an aspiring musician with a beautiful wife and baby on the way. Ruth (Cate Buscher), Simon's wife, is supportive of Simon's dream, but their recent financial problems prove to be a strain on their relationship. Simon begins to hear an ominous sound that plagues him, but is inaudible to everyone else. While Ruth is convinced it is stress-related, Ruth's brother, Jonas (Sam Repshas), an eccentric young conspiracy theorist, believes the sound is a sign of something much greater and more threatening.  Jonas' theory leads him and Simon into an obsession that spirals out of control and leaves everyone wondering, what is the truth?

About the Director
Rohit grew up in Silver Spring, MD. He is a filmmaker, musician and software engineer. In 2001, Rohit wrote and directed his first film BLOCKS, which was shot on 16mm film and served as his film school graduation film. In 2004, Rohit wrote and directed SOMEONE AND SOMEONE, INC., a seven-minute satirical short about corporate America, which debuted at the Maryland Film Festival in 2004. Since then, he has focused on music projects. He self-released an album with The Translucents called “Roots Run Deep,” and an EP with Tigertronic called “The Potomac Winter Sessions,” both of which are spotlighted in the film. ULTRASONIC marks Rohit's feature-length filmmaking debut.

Roxie Theater • 3117 16th Street @ Valencia, San Francisco

 
 
FRAMELINE36: SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LGBT FILM FESTIVAL SHARES TRANSFORMATIVE STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

San Francisco, CA—Frameline, the world’s largest LGBT media arts nonprofit organization, is proud to announce Frameline36: the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.  This year’s internationally renowned showcase for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) cinema runs June 14 - 24, with San Francisco screenings at the historic Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street), Roxie Theater (3117 16th Street) and the Victoria Theatre (2961 16th Street), and in Berkeley at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood (2966 College Avenue).

The tagline for Frameline36, Find Your Story, is a direct action statement inviting you to look through the 104 programs and 217 films in the Festival.  During the 11 days of Frameline36, tens of thousands of people from the Bay Area and all across the globe will come together to see the best of new LGBT cinema with more than 30 countries represented including Iran, Chile, Indonesia, South Africa, and Turkey. Tickets for Frameline36 will be on sale through www.frameline.org to members on Friday, May 25, 2012 and to the general public on Friday, June 1, 2012.

The 36th Festival will open with VITO by Jeffrey Schwarz, an empowering documentary about the inexhaustible gay activist and film author Vito Russo, chronicling his work and influence on the LGBT community. Russo, a film lover and founding member of both GLAAD and ACT UP, is known for his groundbreaking book The Celluloid Closet, which changed LGBT cinema forever.

Following VITO, the worldwide LGBT film community will come together at Temple Night Club for a glittering Opening Night Gala.  Film lovers will mix, mingle, dance and flirt their way through three floors of culinary delights, signature cocktails and effervescent beverages from our Gala Partners.

Frameline36 will feature a retrospective on 1990s New Queer Cinema during this year’s festival, celebrating twenty years since film critic and academic B. Ruby Rich coined the term in 1992. Featured films in the retrospective include Gregg Araki’s THE LIVING END, Cheryl Dunye’s THE WATERMELON WOMAN, Alex Sichel’s ALL OVER ME, and Ana Kokkinos’ HEAD ON. In conjunction with the New Queer Cinema retrospective, Frameline will present the annual Frameline Award to B. Ruby Rich.

The Centerpiece Documentary film at Frameline36 will be Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s CALL ME KUCHU, a groundbreaking documentary about the LGBT rights movement in Uganda and the activist David Kato.  CALL ME KUCHU was a recipient of the Frameline Completion Fund in 2010. The Centerpiece Narrative film is Ira Sachs’s much acclaimed drama, KEEP THE LIGHTS ON, which tells the moving story about the ten-year relationship of a couple living in New York City. Both CALL ME KUCHU and KEEP THE LIGHTS ON were winners of this year’s Teddy Awards for Best Documentary and Best Feature at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The laughs are plenty when straight girl, Jenn, and her gay best friend, Matt, decide to have a baby “the old fashioned way” in Jonathan Lisecki’s irreverent romantic comedy, GAYBY. Iranian female director Negar Azarbayjani’s remarkable first feature, FACING MIRRORS, is also the first Iranian narrative film with a transgender protagonist. In Alexandra-Therese Keining’s KISS ME an uptight, engaged woman quickly falls in love with her free-spirited, future stepsister, and must decide between burying her feelings and losing those who love her. Bavo Defurne’s NORTH SEA TEXAS is a coming-of-age story set along the Belgian coastline in the early 1970s. Pim is a boy unafraid of his predilection for dressing up in women’s clothes, putting on makeup or pining for the handsome, older boy who lives next door.

Macky Alston’s latest documentary, LOVE FREE OR DIE, deftly unwinds the riveting story of Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay, partnered bishop fighting for LGBT inclusion in the Episcopal Church. The Bishop is expected to attend the screening. Homophobia in urban London affects the lives of two best mates—a black lesbian stud and her gay male sidekick—and they are forced to reevaluate everything they know about love and friendship in Campbell X’s STUD LIFE. Brothers Mo and Rashid are growing up in a traditional Egyptian household in a modest London flat in Sally El Hosaini’s MY BROTHER THE DEVIL. As they each confront their different inner demons and phobias, they must learn it is love and understanding that take real courage—before they are torn apart.

This year’s short programs include the ever-popular FUN IN GIRLS SHORTS, FUN IN BOYS SHORTS, and TRANSTASTIC! programs that feature the funniest and most touching queer short films from all around the world as well as our own backyard with BAY AREA BUFFET.

Frameline36 has plenty of new works either by local filmmakers or about the Bay Area. A few highlights are Travis Matthew’s I WANT YOUR LOVE, Julie Wyman’s STRONG!, Jack Curtis Dubowsky’s SUBMERGED QUEER SPACES, and Mark Freeman’s TRANSGENDER TUESDAYS: A CLINIC IN THE TENDERLOIN.

The Closing Night film for Frameline36 will be Thom Fitzgerald’s CLOUDBURST, a funny, romantic and moving film starring Oscar winners Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck) and Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot) as an elder lesbian couple who break free from a nursing home and head to the Canadian border to get married.

Sending off guests and visitors in style, Temple Nightclub will play host to the dazzling Closing Night Party.  Enjoying delicious bites, signature cocktails, and sophisticated wines, cinephiles will celebrate the Frameline36 AT&T Audience Award Winners.
Box Office hours are 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily.  Box Office is closed Monday, May 28 for Memorial Day.  Tickets are also available online www.frameline.org and via fax (415-861-1404).

 
 
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DIANA ROSS DAY IN SAN FRANCISCO COINCIDES WITH HER SOLD-OUT PERFORMANCE TONIGHT!
Source: Bridget Dixon, Communications Manager at Hollenbeck Associates

In an official proclamation, Mayor Ed Lee has declared today, Friday, September 16th, as Diana Ross day in San Francisco!  Ms. Ross will be performing tonight at the Golden Gate Theatre at 8pm to a sold-out crowd.  It’s her first performance in San Francisco since 1969 when she performed with the Supremes at the Fairmont Hotels’ Venetian Room.
On Saturday, September 17th, Ms. Ross will be performing in San Rafael at the Marin Civic Center.  There are a limited number of seats available for that performance through the event’s promoter, Rick Bartalini Presents, at www.rbpconcerts.com There may also be a few last minute tickets released to the San Francisco performance tonight online at www.shnsf.com or at the Golden Gate Theatre’s box office at 6pm.

 
 
AIDS Emergency Fund presents CASTRO COUNTY FAIR
Posted on May 21, 2010 by David Cohen

Join AIDS Emergency Fund (AEF), along with dozens of other community organizations, at the historic SF Armory, for a fun-filled day, featuring community awards, amusing carnival-type games, scrumptious county fair food and libations, as well as hooting ‘n’ hollering San Francisco-style entertainment. The weekend of May 22nd and 23rd also marks the first observance Harvey Milk’s birthday as a state holiday. The Castro County Fair is truly the type of event that Harvey Milk imagined for the community.  Sunday, May 23rd 11:00am to 6:00pm
 
 

Posted on May 13, 2010 by David Cohen

Home to over 80 boutique wineries garnering major awards at local and international wine competitions, Lodi Wine Country is the idyllic destination getaway centrally located between Sacramento an the greater Bay Area.

Lodi Wine Country will host the 6th Annual ZinFest Wine Festival – Wine, Food and Fun at Lodi Lake Park 1101 w. Turner Road, May 14 – 16, 2010. This weekend long celebration is the region’s most anticipated wine event of the year.

Friday, May 16th – 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Lodi’s vintners and growers extend hometown hospitality in a festive celebration under the Wine Country stars. Indulge in freshly prepared, wine country cuisine paired with Lodi’s famous old vine Zinfandel. Complete the dining experience while sampling from the dessert bar hosted by the San Joaquin Delta College School of Culinary Arts. An annual sell-out, the Vintners’ Grill is a Lodi Wine Country tradition not to be missed. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $75 per person or $750 for a reserved table of 10.

Saturday, May 15th – 12 noon – 6 p.m. Over 50 artisanal wineries showcase what makes Lodi California’s emerging fine wine region. Taste from an array of local food purveyors, immerse yourself in the ZinFest Wine & Cooking schools, or relax along the Mokelumne River to an eclectic mix of live music. Be among the first to experience the brand new ZinFest Piano Bar. Browse a diverse selection of merchandise from regional vendors and take home a bottle of ZinFest Commemorative Old Vine Zinfandel, custom blended by Michael-David Family of Wines, from the ZinFest Wine Shoppe. Tickets are $45 in advance, and include a ZinFest wine glass, wine tasting, participation in seminars and entertainment.

Sunday, May 16th – Winery Tours & Open Houses. Embark on a self guided journey through the Lodi Appellation as participating wineries host special activities and tastings of their complete line of wines. Visit the tasting rooms that Lodi is home to and get a unique perspective of what’s going on behind the cellar door in Lodi Wine Country.

For more information on the 6th Annual ZinFest Wine Festival, please visit our website at www.zinfest.com