LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about Geography of California

March 4, 2014

An open-air jeep takes you to the Palm Spring domiciles of your favorite gay icons, from the steps of Liberace’s estates to Cher’s former getaway palace

Unless you’re comedian Kathy Griffin, chances are slim Cher’s going to invite to into her house to raid her wig closet.

However, Palm Springs tour guides are giving travelers the ultimate tease with the Gay Icons Tour, a historical journey on an open-air Jeep where you are led to the desert homes of you favorite gay idols.

Old Hollywood glamour had a strong hand in shaping Palms Springs thanks to Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland and more Tinsel-Town divas who made their home in the desert city.

January 23, 2014

Toni Atkins succeeds John Perez who was the first openly gay man in the powerful leadership role

The leadership of the California Assembly will be handed off from a gay man to a lesbian at the end of 2014.

Toni Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego who is currently Assembly Majority Leader, has been chosen by her colleagues to succeed current speaker John Perez who has been termed out.

I am humbled, grateful, and ready to get to work,' Atkins said in a statement Wednesday (22 January).

January 14, 2014

25-year-old gay prisoner Jonathan Franco Hector Martinez had both eyes gouged out by a cell mate at a Puerto Vallarta prison but it is alleged he was left untreated for over an hour by prison staff

A gay prisoner at a Puerto Vallarta, Mexico remand prison has had both his eyes gouged out by a cell mate who was high on drugs on 23 December and there are allegations he was left untreated for over an hour.

Jonathan Franco Hector Martinez had been locked in with cell mate José Francisco Aguilar Hernandez, also known as 'Pancho,’ after being accused of robbing a taxi driver when Pancho attacked him for allegedly masturbating in their cell.

January 7, 2014

LGBTI wine travel company Out in The Vineyard arranges some of the most fun and unique events for wine aficionados, available year-round from Northern California to Southern Africa

You may ask: ‘Why is there a need for an LGBTI-specific wine group?’

Northern California’s wine country is a short drive from the gay mecca of San Francisco, a relaxed and joyous city that helped spark the gay rights movement in the United States. As such, it’s long-been a haven for LGBTI residents and travelers.

Out in The Vineyard gives the LGBTI community direct access to the best of the region’s wine country because, as co-founder Mark Vogler told Gay Star Travel: ‘It’s not about making a statement… some people are just more comfortable being themselves.’

December 27, 2013

'I literally thought I was going to die ... they were beating me that bad'

Dwayne Wynn feels lucky to be alive.

The San Diego man was beaten with a baseball bat by a group of men who he says randomly attacked him because he is gay.

The attack on Sunday (22 December) occurred in the city's gay neighborhood of Hillcrest and left Wynn with a broken eye socket, three cracked ribs and fractured fingers.

November 27, 2013

San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, murdered on same day, to also be remembered

It was 35 years ago today that San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and the city's first openly gay city supervisor, Harvey Milk, were gunned down at City Hall.

The murderous actions of disgruntled former supervisor Dan White broke a lot of hearts that day and tonight (27 November) the city will pay tribute to the two men tonight at a candlelight vigil.

Among those marching will be Dustin Lance Black who won an Oscar for writing the screenplay for the movie Milk which starred Sean Penn as the late supervisor. Victor Garber played Moscone in the film.

November 4, 2013

TV's Ross Mathews headlined parade at weekend event in California desert

Singer Steve Grand was one of the main attractions at Palm Springs Pride, a two-day event in the California desert city that included an official festival, several block parties and scores of unofficial celebrations.

The singer, whose All-American Boy video became a viral hit on YouTube last summer, did a handful of songs for hundreds of fans who crowded around an outdoor stage - many recording his every move for YouTube videos of their own.

September 21, 2013

Cassidy Lynn Campbell makes history in Huntington Beach, California

Transgender student Cassidy Lynn Campbell made history Friday (20 September) when she was crowned homecoming queen of Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California.

Campbell, 16, is believed to be the first transgender student in US history to win such a title at a public high school.

Campbell said running for homecoming queen was initially all about her but that changed as she began to see the bigger picture.

September 17, 2013

95-year-old World War II veteran John Banvard has married 67-year-old Vietnam veteran Gerard Nadeau - his partner of 20 years - at a San Diego seniors home

A Chula Vista, San Diego military seniors home saw its first ever same-sex marriage on Thursday when residents John Banvard and Gerard Nadeau tied the knot.

Banvard, 95, and Nadeau, 67, decided to get married after 20 years of living together after the US Supreme Court upheld the striking down of California’s Prop 8 ban on same-sex couples getting married.

‘We were waiting on the Supreme Court to make that decision,’ Banvard told Fox5 San Diego.

September 3, 2013

Says he needs to focus on problems at city hall rather than an election

Todd Gloria, who has been San Diego's interim mayor for less than a week, announced today that he will not be seeking the job on a permanent basis.

The openly gay Gloria is filling in for the scandal-plagued Bob Filner who resigned last month as part of the settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit.

August 26, 2013

Todd Gloria will replace the resigning Bob Filner until an election can be held

San Diego's incoming acting mayor, the openly gay Todd Gloria, wants a scandal-free city government when he takes over on Friday (30 August).

As City Council president, Gloria will step in for the scandal-plagued Bob Filner who is resigning as part of the settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit.

'Our objective is to provide our citizens with a fully functioning city government with ethics, integrity and transparency,' Gloria said at a news conference.

August 22, 2013

City Council President Todd Gloria will act as mayor once scandal-plagued Bob Filner steps down

San Diego's mayor Bob Filner is expected to resign any time now due to an ever-growing sexual harassment scandal that has dominated politics in the California city this summer.

Once Filner steps down, the city charter calls for City Council President Todd Gloria to become mayor until a special election can be held.

Gloria is 35, openly gay, and was among those calling for Filner to resign.

August 2, 2013

Vodka bottles were filled with water due to environmental regulations

City leaders and bar owners in West Hollywood wanted to make a big statement Thursday against Russia's anti-LGBT laws.

So they decided to pour several waters of Russian vodka into the gutter in front of one of the city's most popular gay bars.

While it made a great photo op, it was really water coming out of the vodka bottles.

It is against local environmental regulations to pour alcohol into a streetside gutter.

July 7, 2013

For three years, active military members have led San Diego's gay pride parade

A few days after the US Supreme Court ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act, the Navy granted permission for active duty members to wear uniforms in the San Diego Gay Pride parade.

The parade in the California city, home of the largest Navy base on the US west coast, will be held on 13 July.

June 29, 2013

Ceremony conducted by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on his final day in office

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo got married Friday evening at Los Angeles City Hall by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on his final day in office.

The event was aired live on some Los Angeles television stations and nationally on Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC.

'On behalf of the state of California, let me pronounce you married,' Villaraigosa said at the end of the ceremony.

The Burbank couple are one of two couples who were the plaintiffs in the case that successfully defeated Proposition 8 which was voided this week by the US Supreme Court.

June 24, 2013

Trans woman says she's still 'fabulous' after four men beat her up late at night, suffering severe injuries to her face and ribs

A 21-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of being one of the four men who brutally beat up a trans woman in Hollywood last month.

Nicol Shakhnazaryan was arrested last week as LAPD detectives on suspicion of felony battery of a woman, identified in published reports 22-year-old Vivian Diego.

His bail is set at $1.05 million (€802k).

His arrest was made three days after Los Angeles city leaders announced a $25,000 (€19.1k) reward for any information leading to the violent beating.

June 20, 2013

Sponsor acknowledges plan 'has only further angered and offended the community'

Singer Michelle Shocked is having a hard time living down the anti-gay rant she went on during a concert last March in San Francisco.

Shocked had planned to do a free concert in the city during Pride weekend later this month. But those plans have now been scrapped and the publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper is apologizing for organizing the event.

Publisher Todd Vogt said Shocked was to have performed and apologize for her recent anti-gay comments.

June 10, 2013

Mark Takano tells GSN: 'We've done a remarkable job of transforming how people feel about us'

Mark Takano rode in the LA Pride parade for the first time on Sunday (10 June) and admitted to Gay Star News: 'I'm thrilled to be here.'

Takano, a Democrat, is the first openly gay person of color to be elected to the US Congress and the first openly gay person from California in Congress.

'Those are my two monikers,' he said of his historic firsts.

A public school teacher for 23 years, the Japanese-American had twice before run unsuccessfully for congress in 1992 and 1994.

May 8, 2013

Hotel spokesperson says Brunei government owners do not effect their policies, but protest organizer says that's not the point

The Beverly Hills Hotel has responded to the accusation that they are owned by the anti-gay government of Brunei.

'There are dozens of countries with laws not as progressive as the United States or the state of California, and extreme conservative religious and rigid forms of law exist in many nations around the world,' said a statement from Leslie Lefkowitz, spokesperson for the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air.

May 8, 2013

Is the City by the Bay still a queer travel rite of passage in 2013? The short answer: of course!

Forget LA – for a certain type of traveller, San Francisco IS California. And by ‘certain type of traveller’, we don’t just mean the gay ones. Consider the top three activities on any respectable San Francisco to-do list: they aren't exactly sexuality-specific.

April 30, 2013

Union in California takes on Asian fight against anti-gay practices in Brunei, by picketing Brunei-owned Beverly Hills Hotel

A union on the other side of the world has taken on the fight of LGBT activists in Asia who were excluded from a meeting in Brunei last week.

US-based hospitality union Unite Here were alerted to the exclusion of LGBT groups from an ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) conference by a Gay Star News report.

March 28, 2013

Chain's president  famously anti-gay marriage, contributed millions to fight it

A group of pro-marriage demonstrators in Southern California got a pleasant surprise this week: coupons for free food at a nearby Chick-fil-A.

In advance of the US Supreme Court's historic hearings on gay marriage, the group was demonstrating at an intersection just outside the Victoria Gateway Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

They were surprised when Corey Braun, owner of the Chick-fil-A franchise inside the center approached them with coupons for free meals.

December 2, 2012

After two days in San Francisco, GSN falls in love all over again

I first fell in love with the idea of San Francisco while reading Armistead Maupin’s iconic Tales of the City series.

Originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle, the first of the Tales of the City novels was published in 1978 and, through the portrayal of characters such as Mary Ann Singleton, Anna Madrigal, and Michael Tolliver, captured a time, a world, and a sprit that was so far removed from my experience that it seemed almost magical.

November 21, 2012

The bill will have to pass a second reading in January and to be signed by the mayor, but the ban is already valid

San Francisco has banned public nudity, with the Board of Supervivors voting six to five in favor of prohibiting the showing of male and female genitalia.

Yesterday’s (20 November) vote will have to pass a second reading in January 2013, but commentators predict that the bill will be rubber-stamped. However, the ban has already come into force.

Nudists in San Francisco are called ‘the naked guys’ and are very popular in the Castro district, San Francisco’s gay neighborhood.

According to the city’s supervisors, public nudity will be subject to fines.