Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PA to possibly fast track gay marriage

Plaintiffs in a challenge to Pennsylvania’s 1996 law banning same-sex marriage made a big change in strategy Monday, asking a federal judge to bypass a trial in favor of a quick ruling in the case.

The civil rights lawyers representing a widow, 11 couples and one of the couples’ two teenage daughters filed papers in federal court in Harrisburg asking for a decision on the law’s constitutionality.

The lawyers said they no longer see the need for a trial, which had been scheduled to begin June 9, because they say lawyers for Gov. Tom Corbett have not disputed their claims.

The plaintiffs say the gay marriage ban is unlawful because it prevents them from getting the same legal protection and tax benefits afforded to married couples.

“Today we have provided the court with moving personal stories from all of our plaintiff families describing how this ban hurts them and their loved ones,” said Witold J. Walczak, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, which is helping represent the plaintiffs. “We hope the judge will see the profound harm caused by this law and strike it down.”

Corbett’s lawyers are defending the constitutionality of the law and have two weeks to respond to the motion, Walczak said. They did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday morning.

If U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III decides to bypass a trial, a summary judgment means he could render a decision on the law at any time.

Every northeastern state except Pennsylvania recognizes same-sex marriages. Seventeen states now recognize gay marriage. The ACLU said there have been 11 consecutive successful decisions in federal district courts in challenges to other state laws banning same-sex marriage.

The lawsuit, filed July 9, was the first known challenge to a 1996 Pennsylvania law that effectively bans same-sex marriage and recognition of such marriages from other states.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs include the American Civil Liberties Union and the Philadelphia law firm of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Playbill to go rainbow for Pride

Playbill will go rainbow in color for Pride month in June. It will be the first time in a 130 years that it will deviate from its familiar yellow/black/white header.

Friday, April 18, 2014

PGN Reporter Wins National Award for Morris Case

The Society of Professional Journalists announced today that longtime Philadelphia Gay News writer-at-large Timothy Cwiek is the recipient of its 2013 Sigma Delta Chi Investigative Reporting Award. Cwiek was given the award for his reporting on the unsolved homicide of Philadelphia transgender woman Nizah Morris.

Cwiek has been reporting on the Morris case since its inception in 2002. Morris sustained a head injury Dec. 22, 2002, shortly after receiving a police courtesy ride in Center City Philadelphia. She died days later. For more than 11 years, Cwiek has pressed law-enforcement and city officials for transparency with case records, filing several Right to Know Law requests. His dedication to the case is largely credited with securing a reopened investigation by the city’s civilian-oversight committee, which last year issued a report calling the investigation “appalling” and urging state and federal probes.

Cwiek has been a PGN staffer since the late 1970s. He said the passion of Morris’ family and friends has kept him committed to the case. “Their steadfastness all these years has made my work possible,” Cwiek said.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Miami Welcomed Record Crowd at Pride

An estimated 100,000 turned out for the 6th Annual Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday, April 12, and Sunday, April 13. The turnout is especially significant for the “billion dollar sandbar” of 92,000 residents as it shows how the popularity of the two-day celebration has grown exponentially in such a short amount of time, said Pride Board Chairman Joel Stedman.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sims Just Misses Out Magazine's Power 50 List

Congratulations to Philly's own Brian Sims who got an honorable mention by Out Magazine's Power 50 list.  Sims was listed with 7 other influential "out" people who deserved a shout-out for their good work but just missed the Top 50.  Check out the 50 Power list here which place Ellen Degenerous at #1.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Philadelphia Pride Raises Admission For 2014

The price to get into Penn's Landing, the home of the Philadelphia Pride Festival, is going up $5 from $10 to $15 this June.  Let's face it, this is still a huge bargain as most prides are at least $20 or more. 

From Philly Pride's website:

After holding the entry fee for the Pride Festival at Penn's Landing at $10 for over a decade, the coordinators have voted to raise the entrance fee to $15 for those buying a wristband on the day of the event, June 8, 2014.  We will still offer the wristbands for $10 for those who buy them in advance at our Pride kick off street party, Friday, June 6,2014.  Increased insurance rates, increased performers' fees, increased rental costs, all have contributed to this decision.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tease: Zac Efron Shirtless

Most viral thing of the day - Zac Eron shirtless at the MTV Movie Awards....who even knew they were on TV last night.....Viacom should give Zac a bonus!

Jennifer Lopez receives the Vanguard Award from GLAAD

The 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards wee held in LA on Saturday night. Jennifer Lopez was honored with the Vanguard Award for her efforts to increase visibility and understanding of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. Lopez is executive producer of ABC Family's The Fosters, about a family headed by a lesbian couple.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Randy Blue Boys Do Beyonce

Grindr hook-up goes wrong

Be careful out there.....A Canadian man visiting Philadelphia was sexually assaulted, beaten and robbed after meeting another man on Grindr. The 34-year-old victim, whose identity we are withholding, tells NBC10.com exclusively that he invited the suspect to his hotel room inside the Hilton Home 2 Suites at 12th and Arch Streets around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday after talking with him over Grindr.

When the suspect arrived, the man says he was held up at gunpoint and sexually assaulted.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sand Blast Weekend to DO AC not Asbury Park

The Asbury Park Press (APP) is reporting that Sand Blast Weekend will be moving to Atlantic City in 2014.  From Tom Gilmour - Asbury Park's director of economic development:

“Brad Hurtado, the creator of Sandblast Weekend sent me an email yesterday to inform me the event is headed to Atlantic City this year on the heels of the Garden State Film Festival,” announced Gilmour in an email sent early Thursday morning to APP.

Sand Blast Weekend will take place on July 18-20, 2014. 

Update:  From Brad Hurtado's Facebook Page:

Sand Blast Weekend News: Despite my efforts to keep Sand Blast in Asbury Park, suitable hotel arrangements & venues, which were needed to preserve the wonderful 12 years I have spent building this event, could not be secured.

Atlantic City, with its dreams of recreating their gay beach & community which has been a big part of their long history, stepped up with support, low priced hotel rooms at the boardwalk, superb venues and a great beach location to keep the Sand Blast event alive and well on the Jersey Shore. The move allows me to continue producing world class LGBT events and support local charities, while providing Atlantic City an opportunity to achieve their goal of attracting gay tourism.

I can’t wait for you all to see the amazing spaces, quality hotel rooms, attractive rates and best of all the Atlantic City boardwalk. I thank each and every one of my supporters for their years of confidence and friendship and I am looking forward to seeing you all in July in Atlantic City. www.SandBlastWeekend.com

CBS names Colbert as Letterman replacement

CBS has named Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman when he retires in 2015.

Drag Queens on Demand

I like this concept. At The Dollhouse Revue tonight at Voyeur Nightclub, the audience picks the songs the drag queens will perform....sounds like it might separate the queens from the princesses.  Check it out late - after 11pm.

Voyeur - 1221 St. James Street - Philadelphia

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kidd Madonny on April 27th - Free Admission for my birthday!

Last week I posted on Facebook that change was coming to bi at Sundown.  Then this week I cancelled it all together.  The parties have been ok but they are geared toward a crowd of 400+....these DJs are not cheap.  Add in dancers and advertising and things add up quickly.

I asked for your thoughts and the feedback I got was it needed to be earlier on Sunday.  I hear that, perhaps if bi at Sundown had started in February at 5pm it might have been different.  Well, lets test it out with this T-Dance and my birthday party! 

Doors open at 5pm with FREE admission and an open bar + the one and only Kidd Madonny.

April 27th @ Lit Ultrabar - 460 N. 2nd Street - Philadelphia

Monday, April 7, 2014

Laughing for Life at the Adrienne

On Sunday, April 27, at 7pm, the Adrienne Theater brings a night of Broadway, musical theater, live singing, comedy, and MORE by some of Philly's best and brightest performers-all proceeds will benefit Itgetsbetter.org

Hosted by Brittany Lynn (Phillydragmafia.com) and Miss Lisa Lisa (of Bob & Barbara's Lounge), with performances by Robert Sandy Beach (La Cage Aux Beach), Joey Josephs live as Judy Garland, Gio Michaels as Liza Minelli, vocalist Luke Grooms, Ariel Versace, Pierre CorVair, Sutton Fearce, Tyjuan Pierce, David Grice, Steven Marc Simon, Jimmy Powers, Amanda Love (Eddie Smith), and some surprise performances throughout the evening!

Doors open 7pm/showtime 8pm/$20
Adrienne Theater
2030 Sansom St.
Phila., Pa. 19103
(215) 567-2848

For ticket click here.

The It Gets Better Project's mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them.

Growing up isn’t easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, leading them to feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens, who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted — even tortured — simply for being themselves.

While many of these teens couldn’t see a positive future for themselves, we can. The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.

Westboro Baptist Church run out of Moore Oklahoma

The Westboro Baptist Church was in Moore, Oklahoma to picked the town on Sunday saying that God sent 2013 deadly tornado that killed 24 people, because America is tolerance of gay people. Well, the folks of Moore were not having that and ran them out of town after only 8 minutes. Their permit was good for 30 minutes. Check out this video....

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bianca Del Rio reads a bitch at The Café in San Francisco

Wow....Bianca Del Rio, who has been around a very long time but has gotten some added exposure from the current season of Rupaul's Drag Race, let this kid have it in San Francisco. Check it out.

Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen Tour NYC

Gotta love this....Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen toured NYC and released these amazing photos. The new photos, which were tweeted out over the final production of "No Man's Land/Waiting for Godot" which they both starred in. Check them out....

New Music

Neon Trees - Voices in the Halls:

Erik hassle - Innocence Lost:

Sevyn Streeter - nEXt ft. Kid Ink:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Official Photos From Black Party

Below are a few photos from NYC's Black Party: "A Ruined Paradise"....beautiful.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Philly's Icandy to Celebrate 3rd Anniversary

Icandy nightclub is getting ready to celebrate its 3rd anniversary. Along with some great entertainment a new room and bar call The Flirt Lounge will be unveiled. Save the date: April 12th

Frankie Knuckles - Inventor of House Music Dead at 59

Frankie Knuckles, who invented house music, died Monday afternoon of as-yet-undisclosed causes at age 59. One of the Eighties and Nineties' most prolific house music producers and remixers, Knuckles is, hands down, one of the dozen most important DJs of all time.

"I am devastated to write that my dear friend Frankie Knuckles has passed away today. Can't write any more than this at the moment. I'm sorry," wrote David Morales on Twitter.

From Chicago, Knuckles spun at clubs like the Warehouse and Power Plant, where he layered his sets with disco, Eurodisco, punk and more until he honed in and laid the ground work for electronic music.

Monday, March 31, 2014

DJ Pagano + DJ Grind to during NYC Pride for Dance on the Pier

NYC Pride announced today that the 28th annual Dance on the Pier would be returning to Hudson River Park’s Pier 26. In addition, DJ Pagano and DJ Grind have been announced to spin the event.

“We’re thrilled to be back on Pier 26 again for this year! After last year’s landmark performance from Cher we believe we will continue to deliver the pinnacle Pride event of the weekend. Set next to a world class skyline, Pier 26 provides an unforgettable setting for the official closing event of our annual Pride events,” said Chris Frederick, Managing Director.

Dance on the Pier is NYC Pride’s largest fundraising and community support initiative. The event’s production committee awards over $45,000 in grants to LGBT and LGBT-friendly nonprofits and community organizations each year. The event also supplies NYC Pride with critical operating revenue and pulls in countless visitors, driving attendance to NYC Pride’s other official events as well as various unofficial celebratory Pride events throughout the city.

Out NBA player Jason Collins in Philadelphia on Saturday

Jason Collins became the first active NBA player to come out back in February.  On Saturday night, Jason and the Brooklyn Nets will be at the Wells Fargo Center to play the 76ers.  If you are interested in attending,  LGBTs are encouraged to select seating section 217....it was to short of notice to reserve a block of tickets together.

Click here to purchase your tickets and use the code:   LGBT
Game starts at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 28, 2014

20 Superstar Gay DJs Philly Should Know But Probably Does Not

I have been talking about DJs a lot lately and it is surprising to me how Philly's gay community seems to be unplugged. Below is my list of superstar DJs that any gay person that likes to party should know. When I made the list I took the following into account: U.S. DJs only and they are all currently DJing.

1. Jr. Vasquez
2. Abel & Ralphi Rosario (Rosabel) – Although equally know apart
3. Manny Lehman
4. Tony Moran
5. Morabito
6. Tracy Young
7. Joe Gauthreaux
8. Phil B
9. Roland Belmares
10. Brett Henrichesn
11. Chad Jack
12. Paulo
13. Alyson Calagna
14. Dee Martello (Twisted-Dee)
15. James Andersen
16. Kidd Madonny
17. Eddie Alias
18. Escape
19. Hector Fonseca
20. Grind

Photo: Rosabel - Abel Aguilera & Ralphi Rosario