Monday, November 30, 2009

Gay Activist Cathy Marino-Thomas Speaks OUT

Updated Interview: Oct. 11, 2010
In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Cathy Marino-Thomas, President of the Board of Marriage Equality New York. She also served as Executive Director from 2005 – 2008 With the constant buzz that New York may address Gay Marriage by the end of the year we thought we’d get her spin on the situation. When asked what’s coming up for our LGBT civil rights in New York State, Marino-Thomas stated, “We’re looking right now to our state senate to finally give us our vote on marriage equality. And beyond that we will be then reaching out to our federal level state senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer to go after all civil rights and equal rights under the law in all 50 states in general; specifically for me marriage equality.”

On a personal note Cathy and spouse Sheila have been together 16 years and legally married in Massachusetts in 2004. They have a 10 year old daughter through artificial insemination. Cathy is the birth mother and Sheila was able to obtain a second parent adoption making both parents Jackie’s legal guardians. New York recognizes gay marriage from other states so we asked how this is working out. Marino-Thomas answered, “Well it’s a good beginning. It gives us some state level protections as of now. But the problem with that is that because there is no law making marriage legal in New York we are subject to that law changing at any point. And that’s the place we’re in. Although Sheila and I do enjoy state level marriage rights today, we may not enjoy them in the future. We don’t have a law on our actual New York State books that says that marriage is for all families.”
UPDATE: New York State voted down gay marriage by a vote of 38 to 24. Read More...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gay Activist Marc Harshbarger Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with author Marc Harshbarger about his two must-read gay novels “Deep Dish” and “Deeper Dish”, which tell a continuing saga about love and lust in Chicago back in 1975. His first novel, "Deep Dish" is a gay soap opera that turns back the clock to 1975 during the disco culture of yesteryear. It tells the swinging saga of the Davenport and Haze families, who fall in and out of love and lust in one cliffhanging chapter after another while searching for happiness in a crazy world. In the sequel, "Deeper Dish" the many colorful characters return for more sordid misadventures, nail-biting cliffhangers, passionate encounters and disco fever as the Dish becomes Deeper. Both novels are an easy nostalgic read. On a personal note Harshbarger has been in a relationship with his partner for eighteen years. When asked what he thought about gay marriage now legal in five states Harshbarger stated, “What’s the big deal about two people who love each other getting married? I never understood the problem that people have with that but it seems like there will always be people out there who have to hate some other group of people and deny them their rights. I mean it’s been going on forever. And now I guess the gay community is what they’re fixated on these days. I do think though that in time we will get equal rights. I’m not sure how long it will take, but it’s a slow process and we will have to be patient.”

Marc Harshbarger also writes and publishes "Deep Dish", a gay pop culture blog while he completes the third sequel to his novels.
For More Info: marcharshbarger.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gay Activist Tracy Baim Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Tracy Baim, Executive Producer of the new film “Hannah Free", starring Sharon Gless (Burn Notice, Queer as Folk, Cagney & Lacey), that’s receiving rave reviews globally. “Hannah Free” is a passionate lesbian drama about a lifelong love affair between an independent spirited out lesbian and the woman she calls home. Hannah and Rachel grew up as little girls in the same small Midwest town where traditional gender expectations eventually challenge their deep love for one another. Hannah becomes an adventurous, unapologetic lesbian and Rachel a strong but quiet homemaker. Weaving back and forth between past and present, the film reveals how the women maintained their love affair despite a marriage, a world war, infidelities, and family denial. When asked what it was like working with Sharon Gless, Baim stated, “Sharon Gless was absolutely phenomenal. She was such a team player. Anything we needed she was there for us. She helped us with fundraising by signing autographs and attending events. She’s been at a lot of the film festivals when her schedule permits. She’s just been incredible. I could never have asked for someone who’s such a team player and yet as well known as Sharon Gless. We were really lucky to get her to be attached to this film.” "Hannah Free" on Ripe Fruit Films is for distribution in worldwide theatrical and ancillary markets.
Watch Trailer

Tracy Baim is the publisher and managing editor of Chicago’s largest gay and lesbian publications. Windy City Media Group (WCMG) reaches 50,000 readers with its weekly newspaper Windy City Times (founded 1985), OUT!, Nightspots, and Identity. WCMG also produces Chicago’s oldest gay radio program, Windy City Queercast. Baim is founding co-chair of the Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, was recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business 40-Under-40 leaders, received the 2005 Studs Terkel Award, and is an inductee to Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Baim also served as vice co-chair of Gay Games VII; she also co-produced the 2008 event DVD.
For Info: windycitymediagroup.com

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gay Activist Charles Robbins Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Charles Robbins, Executive Director/CEO of the Trevor Project, a non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide 24/7 suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The Trevor Project also provides lifesaving guidance to parents and educators in order to foster safe, accepting and inclusive environments for all youth, at home and at school. When asked what he would like to see accomplished in the Obama administration for our LGBT community, Robbins stated, “There are so many things that are on President Obama’s agenda. I think that we’re moving in the right direction. I don’t think there’s any one particular legislation. I think they’re all necessary. What we’re working on at The Trevor Project is we’re hoping there can be mandated suicide prevention education in high schools across America. The sad statistic is that suicide is the second leading death among college campuses. There are a lot of protection factors that need to be discussed in the classroom when youth are in high school about the warning signs of suicide; how to protect someone who is suicidal and what to do if you yourself happen to be suicidal.”

The Cracked Xmas event is The Trevor Project’s largest annual fundraiser that brings together top entertainers to support the organization’s programs including its free and confidential helpline, in-school workshops, community outreach, advocacy efforts and educational resources. This year Neil Patrick Harris will receive the Trevor Life Award and premier communications company AT&T Inc. will receive the Trevor Hope Award. The event will be held at The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on Dec. 6. “Neil Patrick Harris and AT&T have both provided significant support to The Trevor Project and the LGBTQ youth whom it serves,” said Robbins. “We applaud them for having the courage and conviction to set positive examples for young people and for inspiring them to take pride in themselves and each other.”
For Cracked XMAS Tix & Info: thetrevorproject.org

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gay Activists Create New LGBT Emblem

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with realist Richard Emmanuel who has designed a bold new emblem for LGBT Equality that’s available on apparel & gift items exclusively at the new online OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE. The emblem consists of universal symbols. Two androgynous figures are meeting each other within the circle of the world. This creates a symbol of unity that is diverse with its differences, yet respectful of each person’s beliefs. The word “Equality” is boldly displayed with the words “LGBT Civil Rights.” This awesome design is empowering and a courageous symbol for our LGBT community; a symbol that reflects our strong commitment to equality. Emmanuel also states that we need to retake control of our language. He believes that the term “same-sex marriage” is language the rightwing created to degrade the issue of our relationships. As we all know sex has nothing to do with marriage. Instead our leaders should use the terminology “same-gender marriage.” He states “Hate is the word that is being used to drive a wedge in our culture. In the 1950’s we dealt with the racist doctrine of ‘Separate but Equal.’ What does separate but equal mean? This kind of hypocrisy has become too common in this country. We need to address the inequalities that have risen in our culture. It’s time we have a real discussion about our civil rights and about being civil to each other.”

Reverend Richard Emmanuel is founder of The Church, a non-profit organization in East Gloucester, MA, which is dedicated to raising individual and collective consciousness and increasing spiritual awareness. Emmanuel, a visionary and dedicated political activist, has designed a bold new emblem for LGBT Equality that’s available on apparel, cups, tote bag, coasters & mouse pads exclusively at our new online OUTTAKE™ EQUALITY STORE.
...Originally Posted September 17th 2009.....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gay Activist Lee Swislow Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Lee Swislow, Executive Director of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), about the defeat of Gay Marriage on Maine’s ballot referendum . This is a slippery slope when the majority votes away the rights of a minority. When asked about this turn of events Swislow stated, “As devastating as it was and I think going to the ballot on civil rights is never a good idea, I support that we also remember how much progress we have made and how many people over the last six years since the Goodridge decision have come to embrace marriage equality. I’m really heartened by the passion I saw not just among the LGBT community, but the non-gay folks who were waiting along with us for the results who had taken on this battle as their own.” President Obama has continued to state that he is in favor of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). When asked if she thought he would follow through Swislow said, “He does say that he’s in favor of repealing DOMA, but there hasn’t been any indication that he’s willing to expend any political capital to do that. I think if Congress presented him with a repeal bill he would sign it, but I also haven’t seen signs that Congress is anxious to take this up any time soon. So although there is expressed support, I don’t think we can rely on anything coming out of Congress for the next few years.” GLAD continues its marriage equality and discrimination work throughout New England and is committed to moving forward with its partners in Maine.

Last March GLAD filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court in Massachusetts challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
For More Info: GLAD.org

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gay Activist Alix Dobkin Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Alix Dobkin, Gay Activist and Feminist Music Icon. Alix began her music career in Greenwich Village in the early 60’s along with legends like Bob Dylan & Joni Mitchell. In the early 70’s she came out as the first lesbian performer of her day. Dobkin's new must-read memoir “My Red Blood” begins in post-war New York City growing up in a Communist family and rubbing elbows with radical left celebrities like Paul Robeson. In the 1950’s in the midst of the McCarthy Era she joined the Communist Party and offers readers a first-hand glimpse of daily life as a teenager living under FBI surveillance.

 When asked her thoughts about President Obama signing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Bill and what she would you like to see accomplished in this administration she stated, “I was delighted to see him signing that bill. That’s a wonderful thing. What would I like to see accomplished? His campaign promises for one thing. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the "Defense of Marriage Act," let’s get rid of them. Mostly is to equal out the income of the American population and let’s not have these crooks taking millions while single mothers, women and children and other kinds of people go hungry. Everyone knows it’s not right. So that’s one of my hopes that Obama will, and not just him, but this country will get better health care. I want single-payer, that’s what I want and that’s what most people I know want. That’s just some of the goals I want to see accomplished.”

For information where Ms. Dobkin will be appearing: AlixDobkin.com