Thursday, May 31, 2012

MSM Focus Groups in Fresno

DOMA Suffers Hit in Boston

Breaking news from Boston:

An Appeals Court has ruled that parts of DOMA are unconstitutional.

(From the Wall Street Journal) (Full article here)

"DOMA doesn’t invalidate same-sex marriages in states that permit them, such as Massachusetts, but the law denies same-sex couples federal benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples, such as the ability to file joint federal tax returns and receive survivor benefits if one spouse dies."

Another step towards marriage equality!

Some notes to keep in mind..... 

Thursday's decision applies only to states within the circuit: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire and Puerto Rico.

It is the first federal appeals court to find the section of the law relating to federal tax, health and pension benefits unconstitutional.

The court did not rule on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

And lastly: The US Supreme Court must now decide the matter, since only it can rule if Congress' laws are constitutional.

But still... an important step towards equality!

(Additional reporting from the BBC)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fresno Reel Pride Night Out - GAYBY - June 2nd

TWO SHOWINGS - 4pm and 7pm!!!

Jenn and Matt are best friends from college who are now in their 30s. Single by choice, Jenn spends her days teaching hot yoga and running errands for her boss. Matt suffers from comic-book writer’s block and can’t get over his ex-boyfriend. They decide to fulfill a youthful promise to have a child together… the old-fashioned way. Can they navigate the serious and unexpected snags they hit as they attempt to get their careers and dating lives back on track in preparation for parenthood? “Gayby” is an irreverent comedy about friendship, growing older, sex, loneliness, and the family you chose.

Starring Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas and featuring (alphabetically) Charlie Barnett, Louis Cancelmi, Sarita Choudhury, Christian Coulson, Alycia Delmore, Mike Doyle, Adam Driver, Bridget Everett, Jack Ferver, Randy Harrison, Tommy Heleringer, Dulé Hill, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Alex Karpovsky, Jonathan Lisecki, Ryan McGinnis, Kenny Mellman, Zach Shaffer, Joanne Tucker, with appearances by Samantha Buck, Victoire Charles, Corinne Colon, Jeff Hiller, Lawrence Michael Levine, Maria McConville, Sherwin Parikh, Sophia Takal, Emily Wachtel, and debuts by Zoe Leathers and Satchel Shure.


California Senate Passes 1172

The California Senate today passed bill 1172 by a vote of 23-13. The bill will limit the ability of mental health providers in the state to practice "conversion therapy" or "repartive therapy", therapies used to try to change a person's sexual orientation.

The bill, which applies to minors, and which still has to pass the Assembly and be signed by the Governor, is supported by extensive research and evidence from the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association.

In 2007, the American Psychological Association convened a Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. The task force conducted an intensive review of peer-reviewed studies and concluded that efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm. The American Psychiatric Association published a position statement in March of 2000 in which it states that it “opposes any psychiatric treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder.”

Recognizing that there is no credible evidence that any type of “therapy” can change a person’s sexual orientation and that sexual orientation change efforts may cause serious and lasting harms, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists have also issued cautionary position statements on sexual orientation change efforts.

If it passes, California will be the first state to enact such legislation...

Researcher Robert Spitzer Puts His Retraction of Ex-Gay Study on Video

Courtesy of The Advocate

Scientist Robert Spitzer's retraction of his 2001 study that claimed gays could switch their sexual orientation has been on the record first with The American Prospect, then in a profile in The New York Times, and now an LBGT rights group has gone to Spitzer's home to get his explanation on video.

Obama and The Fight for LGBT Rights

A video to help you get over "hump day."


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Are you volunteering for Pride?

We are trying to get organized for this Saturday’s Pride event….
So please take a sec to read this message.

If you would like to be one of those in hats marching for GCV in the parade, please email or respond to this message with the word “parade”. Please be at the parade starting area at 8:30 on Saturday. (Palm and Olive). Wear whatever you wish, we will have props for you.

If you would like to be one of our flag sellers before the parade, please email or respond to this message with the word “flag.” Please meet us at the beginning of the parade route (Palm and Olive) at 8:30. We will have flags and bags for you.

If you would like to help staff one of our booths during the festival, (EITHER from 11 - 1 OR from 1 - 3) please send an email to or respond to this message with the word “Booth” and your preferred time slot. We will have water for you, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to get you a pass to the festival.

You can also sign up and get more information from the facebook page: GCV and Pride Event Page!

Thank you again for your support for Gay Central valley and the Fresno LGBT Community Center!

The 22nd Annual Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade & Festival takes place THIS SATURDAY, June 2nd in the Tower District. The Parade, which starts at the corner of Palm & Olive and moves East down Olive Avenue, starts at 10AM. The Festival, with a $5 entrance fee, starts at 11AM and runs until 3PM.

To those making the trek to see the biggest LGBT event of the year in Fresno, remember that Olive Avenue will be closed in that area after 9AM. 

The festival includes a multitude of vendor and food booths, as well as a bounce house and other activities for families and children. There will be a dance tent and dance floor, as well as an extensive list of entertainment in the entertainment tent. Beer and food will also be available at the festival. 

Gay Central Valley will be marching in the parade and will also have 3 booths at the Pride Festival. Please stop by and see us. We have lots of new merchandise this year for sale, games to play, information about the Fresno LGBT Community Center, tickets to "The Laramie Project - 10 Years Later" on June 16th and 17th, plus information about our 2012 Fireworks Stand and the NOH8 Open Photo Shoot we're sponsoring on July 13th.

Don't miss the biggest LGBT event of the year. Also, there's always work to be done to make Pride come off without a hitch. Feel free to find Jeff or Kirk at the Festival to inquire how you can volunteer to help make this year's event another great success.

My LGBT Plus Video Interview: Ed Decker

Founding artistic director and producer Ed Decker talks to My Lgbt Plus about The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later.

Fresno Premiere of "The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later" debuts June 16 and 17, 2012 at the Unitarian Church of Fresno. Tickets are available online at:

Event information can be found at:

Special Thanks to Gay Central Valley and San Francisco New Conservatory Theater for bringing the play to Fresno. Accommodations provided by the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Clovis, CA.

Support from: Bulldog Pride Fund, Rainbow Delegation, GSA Network, Community Link, GET EQUAL and My Lgbt Plus.

Video and text provided by my lgbt plus

EQCA and Senate Bill 1172

From EQCA:

Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a mental illness. Yet, every day in California, some licensed mental health providers make dangerous claims they can make a person straight through counseling. Youth are often subjected to these practices at the insistence of parents, who, however well meaning, don’t know or don’t believe the practice is harmful. These sexual orientation change efforts—sometimes called “ex-gay therapy”, “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy”--pose critical health risks, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, self-harm and suicide. 

For minors, the risks of long-term mental and physical health consequences are particularly severe. 

Senate Bill 1172, sponsored by Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights and authored by Senator Ted Lieu, will protect young people from psychological abuse by banning any efforts by licensed mental health providers to change a minor patient's sexual orientation. If approved, it will be the first law of its kind in the nation. 

On Wednesday, May 30, the California Senate will likely vote on this important piece of legislation. Opponents of equality have mobilized in an effort to defeat this bill and it's critical that members of the Senate hear from Californians like you who support Senate Bill 1172 prior to the floor vote on Wednesday. 

We need your support to help us put a stop to this dangerous and damaging practice. This is one of the most important bills we have ever sponsored. Take a moment to send a letter to your senator now!

Click here to email your senator!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today we honor all the men and women who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces.

Thank you to all who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Let's also take a moment to honor those who served and died silently.

Have a safe and healthy holiday!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Note About Pride

The following is a message from Jeff Robinson, lead coordinator for the Fresno Pride parade and festival.


To start off the city has changed the time frame in which the Special Events Application may be submitted. Up until this year the application could be turned in 90 days prior to the event. We usually turned in the permit at the first of March. This year they returned the application and told us to not return until April 19th at the earliest. Which we did. Unfortunately this cuts our ability in half to work out any problems the city may have with our proposal. To just 45 days.

It is typical for the city processing of the permit to take quite some time. Since 2003 we usually get the approved permit one to two days before the event. It is crazy that this is the way the city does business. But it is the current reality.

We have to move ahead with our plans. Committing money to printing, advertising, insurance, and contracts that are not cancellable or easily cancelled. We have always been asked to take it blind faith that the permit will be approved and to move forward with all the work that must be done months in advance.

Due to a compliant from the owners from Sequoia Brewing about last year’s parade that they log supposedly with the Fresno City Council, there have been new requirements put into place. 

New hoops we have to jump though. For the first time in the 22 year history of the Pride event we had to go to any business and resident who might possibly be inconvenienced and get their written permission. 

Should one business or resident have objected then the permit would have been denied. I am happy to say we obtained all the permission signatures that we needed to close the streets for the festival. 

We were not required to do the same for the parade because the Fresno City Police do not close the streets for the parade, but do what is called a "rolling" blockage. 

The FPD informed me Thursday afternoon that they will no longer be able to work with us next year and that we will need to contract with a private company to provide barricades and that this will create the situation where permission will be needed from every business and all the residences affected by the parade. 

This will be hundreds of signatures we will need and just one bigoted person will keep our community from having a pride parade and festival. 

To further complicate the process The Fresno Fire Department required a detailed site plan with the estimate possible square footage of all canopies that may be brought for shade by individual venders. 

The FFD has informed us that they will be sending a fire inspector to inspect the festival the day of the event at 9am at a cost of $350. Let us all hope that they are happy with everything or that the issues they may have can be addressed in a two-hour window period. We have never had this requirement placed on us and have never had the FFD inspect us on the day of the event.

And yet are two more requirements. One is that the compliant from Sequoia Brewery is now requiring us to hire someone to clean up the entire parade route.

And two, that we must restore the area to it pre event condition, meaning that we may be required to collect all the a frame street barricades and to disassemble the festival fence. I will have no clarification until Tuesday or Wednesday what this will entail and how we will accomplish this. We will need lots of help at 3pm. If you can help that would be great.

Next year looks worse, there is a new Special Events Czar we will have top deal with, who I have been told is “pretty churchie” and the Fresno City Solid Waste Department is going to be joining the chorus of city departments that will be involved in the permitting process.

Here is what the lists of Fresno City Departments we will have deal with:
Business Tax and Licensing 
Risk Management
Parks and Recreations (new Special events Czar)
Sewage and Sanitation
Solid Waste
Traffic Department
Fresno police Department (FPD)
Fresno Fire Department (FFD)

Add to these the California State Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and the Fresno County Health Department for food safety inspection and permit for the event.

This is just the ever increasing process and costs to put on the Pride Parade and Festival. It seems as if those that oppose us can always find a way to impede us for what may pass for legitimate reason of safety and litter and lord only knows what. But the truth is there still many who what to infringe on our civil rights.

I think it is time we come together and have a “State of the Community” address and roundtable. We must come together and create an action plan to address those who oppose us. How does a meeting in July sound to all of you. We need a LARGE space and hopefully a donated space. I was think Wesley Methodist Church. Let me know what you think and if you will join us to safe guard Pride 2013.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Logo Contest.... We Have A Winner!

The votes have been tallied, the panel of community judges have all weighed in....

We have a winner!

And we could post it right here for all to see..... but what's the fun in that?

You are cordially invited to see the new Fresno LGBT Community Center Logo.... at next weekend's Pride Festival!

That's right, swing by our Community Center booth at the festival and see which of our final 5 submissions has earned the distinction of being our new logo!

Wanna see those top 5 again?

There they are.... did your favorite win?

A very special thank you to all of the talented artists who submitted to the contest! Fresno is lucky to have such a great LGBT community!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Milk and Cookies Event this Saturday!

Just a reminder.... this Saturday at the Fresno LGBT Community Center.... Milk and Cookies Event!

Come enjoy a free screening of "Milk" on our new big screen TV (Thank you to The Express!!!)

There will be snacks!

Fresno LGBT Community Center
1055 N Van Ness Ave, Suite A Fresno
Movie Screening at 1pm

Setting up....

We are in process of getting this new blog all set up. 

We hope to be up and running soon!