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Posts made in: 'Gay Rights' (23) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 23

January 4, 2014 at 2:25pm

DoD to recognize "spouse" and "marriage" as including same-sex couples

June 26, 2013 the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that denies legally married same-sex couples more than 1,100 protections and responsibilities of marriage. The Supreme Court basically said all loving and committed couples that marry deserve equal legal respect and treatment.

Read more...

January 9, 2013 at 1:33pm

Tacoma is “gayest city in America,” says Advocate

A scene from Pride Day 2011 in Tacoma.

FABULOUS! >>>

Using a highly scientific formula that considers factors including gay rugby, "fabulous shopping" and roller derby teams (uh, no, really), the Advocate magazine released its annual list of the "Gayest Cities in America."

Tacoma was named as America's gayest city for 2013.

Yes, Tacoma has been named the "gayest city in America" by the Advocate, which knows from gay. Here's writer Matthew Breen's rationale in calling us out:

Book a charming B&B, dine at the gay-owned Pacific Grill (PacificGrillTacoma.com), and dance the night away at The Mix (TheMixTacoma.com), and you've got a great recipe for a Northwest honeymoon. The center of LGBT life in Tacoma is the St. Helens District, where the nightlife is plentiful, with some venues rivaling nearby Seattle's. When the indoor fun is done, the environs offer stunning forests and oceans in fairy-tale settings. Consider visiting in July, when the weather is great and Tacoma celebrates pride at Out in the Park (OutInTacoma.com).

As a side story, Gordon Nacarrato, the "out executive chef of one of Tacoma's best restaurants," aka Pacific Grill, receives an extra spotlight with an interview titled What Makes Tacoma Rock. Nacarrato gives a shout out to the city's arts organizations.

So, Tacoma, roll down the windows in your Prius, blast Lady Gaga and flock to The Mix to celebrate the city's victory!

Filed under: News To Us, Gay Rights, Tacoma,

December 17, 2012 at 5:59am

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Fabulous wedding

ONLINE CHATTER >>>

Yesterday's comment of the day comes from Joe Cote in response to the Weekly Volcano's coverage of John McCluskey and Rudy Henry's wedding ceremony Saturday in downtown Tacoma.

Joe writes,

What a fabulous day. I had the pleasure of volunteering for WUFM to pass R-74. I could not be more proud. I was amazed at how much people gave of themselves to make this a reality. Ryan Mello is an amazing young man and will go far in politics if that is his desire. Laurie Jinkins' spirit is incredible. John and Rudy deserve to be married and recognized as so. Congratulations, Gentlemen. May God bless your union in Heaven forever.

December 16, 2012 at 8:31am

After long wait, John McCluskey and Rudy Henry marry in Tacoma

WEDDING DAY: Mayor Marilyn Strickland announced to the congregation that John McCluskey and Rudy Henry were officially married. Photo credit: Ron Swarner

"Oh Happy Day."

This was the song pianist Steve Smith performed to begin the wedding of John McCluskey and Rudy Henry the afternoon of Saturday, Dec. 15 at First United Methodist Church in Tacoma.

And Oh what a happy day it was. Complete with family, friends, dignitaries and the press.

After being a couple for nearly 53 years, McCluskey, 76, and Henry, 78, were first in line to receive a marriage license in Pierce County Thursday, Dec. 6. Marriage licenses became available that day after state Referendum 74 was certified.

McCluskey and Henry wore matching tuxedos with pink accents at their wedding - Henry confined to a wheelchair after suffering a stroke.

Rev. David Alger and Mayor Marilyn Strickland officiated the ceremony, which began with a long moment of silent prayer for the people of Newtown, Conn. dealing with the aftermath of the shooting Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"A marriage must not be entered carelessly or with selfish motives, but responsibly and prayerfully, and it is my understanding that 53 years together should be adequate preparation," said Rev. David Alger to a congregation of that erupted into laughter.

"We give our blessing, and promise our love and support," said Mayor Strickland with the congregation repeating the words.

Rings were exchanged. A kiss sealed the deal. And applause erupted in the church.

The ceremony ended with a flash mob dance of happiness in the church's foyer.

Afterward, a reception was held in the church's basement, thanks to Tacoma City Councilman Ryan Mello, Rep. Laurie Jinkins, Broadway Center Deputy Director Benjii Bittle, Rainbow Center Executive Director Michelle Douglas and others.

Councilman Mello met McCluskey and Henry in 2001 when he was fresh out of college, working on his first campaign in Tacoma for then candidate Mayor Bill Baarsma. Then, he worked with the two on the Tacoma United For Fairness Campaign to defend Tacoma's anti-discrimination ordinance.

"John and Rudy are politically active and have worked on LGBT civil rights for decades," says Mello. "Community members like myself and about a dozen others who were very active on R74 in Tacoma produced the wedding for them as a way to say thanks. After R74 passed, a group of us were reflecting on what we should do next and how we celebrate and keep the spirit alive.  Much of it was driven by Laurie and Michelle, and a core group that helped lead 74 and our desire to make sure John and Rudy had the joy of a proper wedding before too much time passed us by."  

Washingtonians overwhelmingly approved Referendum 74 on Election Day by a margin of 7.4 percent. This past week of marriages has been a long time coming for many couples.

"Long ago I felt sad to think that, unlike my siblings, I would never experience marriage," said John McCluskey in a statement released earlier in the month.  "Although we kind of felt married after half a century, it doesn't compare to the joy we feel at finally having our relationship acknowledged by our community. My parents must be looking down and high-fiving."

LeRoy Jewelers donated the wedding rings — kind of. McCluskey and Henry were awarded the rings after receiving the most votes during an annual ring giveaway contest held at LeRoy's holiday party. 

The delicious food was coordinated by Bittle with the help of Adriatic Grill, Cornina Bakery, Jonz Catering and Old Milwaukee Café & Dessert Company.

"It's a magnificent day," said Bittle. "I'm thrilled to be involved."

Indeed it was magnificent.

LINK: More photos from the wedding

Filed under: Tacoma, Gay Rights, Community,

December 12, 2012 at 12:12pm

Gay marriage ceremonies to be held on Bill of Rights Day

PERSONAL FREEDOM >>>

Hands clasped tight, a journey longer than most. Tears of joy and relief rolling down the cheeks of hundreds of witnesses, hoots and hollers and hugs, all felt in collective consciousness of civil rights. This will be the scene at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec 15 when 16 same-sex couples unite in holy matrimony at the State Capitol in Olympia. A reception and potluck with drinking and dancing will follow the ceremonies inside The Urban Onion in downtown Olympia. The date chosen for the monumental event is more than appropriate - it's Bill of Rights Day.

Tina Roose and Teresa Guajardo, together for more than 13 years, are the spearheaders of the event, choosing to make their wedding day an open invitation for the public to join in marrying their partner, or celebrating as a witness.

Long-time friends of the couple Wendy Morissette and Cam Combs plan to attend the ceremonies.

"Though we opted out of being one of the ‘getting marrieds,' we still wanted to go to support our friends - to take the kids and just get wrapped up in the celebration of it all," says Morissette, also stating that her and Combs wanted to preserve their 20th anniversary date next September to say their vows. 

"I look forward to just being able to soak it all up," she says, "to revel in all that queer joy at finally being able to marry - and being a part of history is always amazing."

LINK: Ceremonies schedule

Filed under: Gay Rights, Olympia, Community,

December 11, 2012 at 8:55am

CLAYTON ON ART: Mian Carvin celebrates queer artists

QUEER ARTISTS + THEIR ART: Keep near the talented queer on Facebook.

A FACEBOOK GROUP TO JOIN >>>

Mian Carvin is a painter and a writer and a filmmaker from Olympia. She lives on a farm just out of town with goats and chickens and cats and her life partner of many years. Her abstract paintings, which I happen to like very much, have been displayed at Matter Gallery in Olympia; although there are none shown on Matter's website at the present time. What can be found there is a nice little statement about her paintings:

"I began painting as a means of distraction during an emotionally difficult period in my life.  Before long, it became a form of meditation.  When I paint now, it is more like a dance.

"All my work is done using recycled wood upon which I layer various types of paints (also recycled), as well as oil pastels.  I do a lot of sanding and priming with clear shellac.  This method allows the painting to present itself to me.  I prefer not to title most of my images, leaving the viewer to see them without preconceptions."

But I didn't set out to write about her painting. I set out to write about how Carvin is an out and proud queer woman and she celebrates queer artists. She has made a great little short film called This is What QUEER looks like. It consists of lots and lots of queer folks - lesbians, gays, transgender, bi-sexual, genderqueer, the whole alphabet soup of queerness, saying, each in their own delightful way, "This is what queer (or lesbian, gay, etc.) looks like." The film played at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival and recently was screened at Capitol Theatre in Olympia. You can see the final theatrical version at http://youtu.be/LAUkKNVLgVM or at FINAL THEATRICAL RELEASE VERSION : this* is what QUEER looks like. Full disclosure: I make a brief appearance in the film.

Carvin's latest project is posting bios and photos of queer artists on Facebook. She has created a Facebook group called queer artists + their art. Anyone can go to the group page for information or to join. In order to see the images, you need to join the group.

She uses a broad definition of artist to include visual and performing artists, writers, filmmakers. You'll find information on many artists you may have never heard of as well as many famous artists whom you may have never known were queer. Frida Kahlo, for instance, who was married to a man but loved to cross dress and had affairs with other women - most notably Josephine Baker, as depicted in the film Frida.

For other examples go to the group on FB and scroll down. You'll see choreographer Alvin Ailey, painters Frances Bacon and Jasper Johns, composer Steven Sondheim, singer Bessie Smith, actor Raymond Burr of "Perry Mason" fame, and many more along with some terrific photos.

Check out all the queer artists. It will be fun and educational.

LINK: Other Facebook pages to follow for updates on the arts

Filed under: Gay Rights, Arts, Olympia, Screens,

December 4, 2012 at 9:54am

Same-sex marriage is a go Dec. 6 in Pierce County

THIS JUST IN >>>

Last week the Human Rights Campaign unveiled its Municipal Equality Index, which rates the public policies and legal rights of LGBT citizens in 137 U.S. cities. Seattle is rated one of the most progressive cities in the country. Seattle was one of only 11 cities to score a perfect 100. The Emerald City was right up there with St. Louis (who knew?), New York and - shocker - San Francisco. Olympia came in with an index of 60. Tacoma wasn't rated. Seattle serves as a shining example of LGBT inclusivity, with excellent policies ranging from non-discrimination laws, equal employee benefits and cutting-edge city services. 

Of course Seattle's gayness rubbed off on the rest of Washington state, at least in regards to its view on same-sex marriage. "Washingtonians overwhelmingly approved Referendum 74 on Election Day by a margin of 7.4 percent and voters in Maine, Minnesota and Maryland, states where marriage equality was also on the ballot, all voted in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples," states statement released by Tacoma City Councilperson Ryan Mello this morning. Mello's press release to the Weekly Volcano World Headquarters - announcing marriage licenses issued for Washington state same-sex couples will be available beginning Thursday, Dec. 6 - felt like it was going to burst into confetti.

According to Mello, the Pierce County Auditor's Office has updated its marriage certificate and website.  The Pierce County Auditor's Office will open at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 6 "for this historic moment."

Here's the rest of Mello's press release:

"We have been having a long conversation about our families and our lives with lawmakers and voters in Washington State," said State Representative Laurie Jinkins, one of the lead authors of the freedom to marry legislation in the state legislature.  "I'm thrilled that all committed and loving couples who choose to marry can now do that.   It's going to make thousands of families stronger and I'm overjoyed this day has come in Washington."

Tacomans John McCluskey and Rudy Henry have been together for 53 years. Due to Rudy's ill health, they will take a "cabulance" to make sure they are the first in line at the Pierce County Auditor's Office as soon as the doors open at 6:30 a.m. on December 6th

"Long ago I felt sad to think that, unlike my siblings, I would never experience marriage," said John McCluskey, long-time Tacoma civil rights advocate, age 76.  "Although we kind of felt married after half a century, it doesn't compare to the joy we feel at finally having our relationship acknowledged by our community. My parents must be looking down and high-fiving."

John and his soon to be husband, Rudy Henry will be wed at a ceremony produced by close friends and community members on Saturday, December 15th at First United Methodist Church in Tacoma (621 Tacoma Avenue South) from 3 - 5:30 p.m.  Everything from the invitations to the food and music have been organized by their friends so that John and Rudy can have the wedding they always dreamed about.  After Rudy suffered a stroke a couple of years ago and other health problems, it became even more important to John and Rudy that they publicly acknowledge their  lifelong commitment, sharing the joy that comes with making that commitment before friends and family. 

Another Tacoma couple, Heather Kawamoto and Kay Lancaster will be the second couple in line early Thursday morning to secure their marriage license.  Heather and Kay will marry after the mandatory 3-day waiting period on Sunday, December 9th at the Primo Grill reception space in central Tacoma. 

"My partner and I getting married is our 9 year old daughter's dream, to have her two moms marry, and I'm thrilled to not only make her dream come true, but mine as well!  Marriage is about love, commitment, and family, and it's my honor to legally commit to and marry the love of my life and continue to instill these core values in our family," said Heather Kawamoto who worked countless hours on the phone and knocking on doors to tell her story to voters in Tacoma during Referendum 74. 

Filed under: Tacoma, News To Us, Gay Rights,

April 10, 2012 at 7:22am

5 Things To Do Today: 'Lost Tribes of Hilltop,' Party for Jim Lynch, 'The Times of Harvey Milk,' food blogger panel and more ...

HILLTOP ARTISTS: The students are making history. Courtesy photo

TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012 >>>

1. It's Tuesday  - you should go support your local budding artists. The students of Hilltop Artists have created glass object based on the archaeological relics of a lost tribe of their own creation. We're curious if the Tempest Haggarty tribe will be represented. Wait. According to hype, "Each tribe has chosen its unique spirit animal and has created work reflecting the tribe's connection to nature, the cultural significance of food, the sacredness of water, and the values shared by all. The individual tribes have also created a petro glyph illustrating the mythos of their origin." Very cool. And creative. Lost Tribes of Hilltop opens today at 10 a.m. at the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory. Check out the world of the Raven, Wolf, Cheetah, Snake, and Iguana tribes. There's no better way to support the fine arts and the fine artists - you know, those 12- to 20-year-olds who keep getting their funding cut? Plus, who knows, you may see someone's art, who could be world famous tomorrow. Then you can say you saw them when, and annoy absolutely every one you know in the process.

2. Joy Eckwood - Diversity Program manager at the Washington State Bar Association and the founder of Emergnz, an effort dedicated to helping individuals along the continuum of self-actualization - will discuss "Empowered to Emerge: Moving beyond America's Power in defining the norms of Race, Gender and Sexuality through Religion" at 12:30 p.m. in the West Coast Grocery Building, Room 104, on the University of Washington Tacoma campus.

3. The Grand Cinema will screen The Times of Harvey Milk at 2 and 6:30 p.m. as part of its Tuesday Film Series. The documentary, obviously, centers on San Francisco's first openly gay politician, city supervisor Harvey Milk. Shown in coordination with the Tacoma Art Museum and its Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture exhibit, UWT Prof. Claudia Gorbman and Executive Director for The Rainbow Center Michelle Douglas will co-facilitate a discussion following the film's 6:30 p.m. showing.

4. Tacoma has a large segment of the population that is obsessively passionate and loves to read about and intelligently discuss food and restaurant-related topics. Feeding those hungry Tacomans are a group of food bloggers, who not only write on their own blogs, but also post and chat on each other's blogs and social media outlets. Tonight from 6-8 p.m. at Bluebeard Coffee, the Social Media Club gathers the local food bloggers for a panel discussion on the local food scene, social media and, yes, tasting the bloggers' favorite homemade treats. The panel of local food blogging aficionados includes Weekly Volcano scribe Adrienne Kuehl (A Big Mouthful), Marisa Mez (Clearance Cuisine) and Roxanne Cooke (RoxanneCooke.com) and will be hosted by SMC Tacoma board member Dawn Quinn (Vegan Moxie). RSVP: http://smctacomafood.eventbrite.com

5. Fireside Bookstore hosts a book launch party for Jim Lynch's new book, Truth Like the Sun, at 7 p.m in the Olympia Ballroom.  The book is an entertaining political novel about the cat-and-mouse story of urban intrigue in Seattle both in 1962, when Seattle hosted the World's Fair, and in 2001, after its transformation in the Microsoft gold rush. 

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs in the South Sound

LINK: South Sound happy hours

March 27, 2012 at 11:02am

Alec Clayton On Art: The gender spectrum in art

"HIDE/SEEK": Cass Bird, "I Look Just Like My Daddy," 2003 (printed 2010). C-41 print. Collection of the artist, New York. Photo courtesy of the Tacoma Art Museum

REASON NUMBER TWO WHY THIS SHOW IS AWESOME >>>

I could write about the HIDE/SEEK show at Tacoma Art Museum every week from now until June and not exhaust the topic. I won't do it but I could. Today I want to talk about two photographs in the show, Berenice Abbott's portrait of Janet Flanner and Cass Bird's I Look Just Like My Daddy, 2. (There's a reason for the number "2" tagged onto the end of the title; this is part of a large series by that title.)

These two portraits, one from 1927 and one from 2003, are indicative of huge shifts in the way sexual orientation and gender identity were viewed in the early 20th century and how they are viewed now in the early 21st century; and that is, in essence, the theme of the exhibition HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.

Prior to the 20th century homosexuality was hardly talked about and gender identity was an unknown concept. If heterosexual males had sex with homosexual males (they weren't called gay) the hetero partner was not particularly frowned upon, but the "gay" partner was reviled and ridiculed. This attitude, which may seem bizarre today, is illustrated in many of the paintings in the exhibition.

There was a shift in attitude in the early 20th century, and GLBT folks were forced into the closet where they had to use code phrases and images to safely out themselves to the select few. They wore masks in public. The great photographer Berenice Abbott showed this in a very stylish manner in her portrait of Janet Flanner. She is wearing not one but two masks, and not on her face but on her top hat. Her unmasked face becomes a third mask, the one she habitually wears in public. And her entire outfit is a kind of mask, men's clothing and a man's short haircut. Flanner is of ambiguous gender in this photograph. She was openly bisexual.

Abbott had been an apprentice to the great Dadaist Man Ray in his Paris studio and along with Ray and Duchamp and other Parisian bohemians of the day would have known many people who enjoyed pretending to be someone other than who they were, including gender bending (Duchamp had a female-persona alter ego named Rose Salévay).

Berenice Abbott, "Janet Flanner," 1927. Photographic print. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Tacoma Art Museum

Cass Bird is a contemporary photographer who documents alternative lifestyles and mores. She's known for portraits of people who manipulate gender roles. The Brooklyn Museum described her photographs as portraying "the beauty and the positive existence of these individuals, their male or female origins overridden by their own will to define their gender, sexuality, and place in society."

Bird's photograph in this exhibition depicts a young person of ambiguous gender, short hair, full lips and just a hint of what may be female breasts under a checkered shirt, the photo cropped so the viewer can't tell for sure. Some of the subjects in the series are clearly transgender or of no obvious gender, while others are unmistakably male or female; i.e., cisgendered. They are all equally and unabashedly what they are.

Bird's photographs illustrate that many young people today defiantly obscure accepted gender roles and identity. Quite a change from the days of Janet Flanner.

These two photographs provide a glimpse into the complexity of themes and ideas explored in this large exhibition. The show runs through June 10 at Tacoma Art Museum.

HIDE/SEEK

Through June 10, Wednesdays–Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Third Thursdays 5–8 p.m., adult $10, student/ military/senior (65+) $8
family $25 (2 adults and up to 4 children under 18), 5 and younger free
Tacoma Art Museum, 253.272.4258
TacomaArtMuseum.org

LINK: Alec Clayton's feature story on HIDE/SEEK

LINK: Alec Clayton's review of HIDE/SEEK

Filed under: Arts, Gay Rights, Tacoma,

February 14, 2012 at 7:06am

MORNING SPEW: Santorum ruckus, lost art of romance, scratch-n-sniff jeans ...

WHAT WE HAVE FOUND TODAY >>>

Occupying The History Museum: Rick Santorum vs. Occupy Tacoma and glitter. (Slog)

Gay Marriage Bill: It's signed. (News Tribune)

Syria: Residents brace for a full-blown war. (CNN)

China In The United States: The man likely to become China's next leader, Vice-President Xi Jinping, begins a closely watched visit to the United States. (BBC)

Valentine's Day: The lost art of romance. (CNN)

Sure Why Not Of The Day: All 22 Bond film intros, shown simultaneously side by side. (The Daily What)

Hey Mattel!: Shouldn't your Back to the Future hoverboards actually hover? (Slash Film)

Finally!: Scratch-n-Sniff Raspberry Scented Denim Jeans. (Laughing Squid)

I Saw U Eating Those Peanuts: When your airplane seatmate becomes your soul mate. (Time)

We're Outta Here

How to Build a Time Machine - Doc Ignite Campaign Video from Jay Cheel on Vimeo.

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