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Over 60 Same-Sex Couples Married at
Puerto Rico Wedding
(AP) Over 60 couples from around the region
gathered in San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital,
Sunday to exchange vows at a same-sex marriage
ceremony while a crowd of supporters snapped
photos and cheered.
The mass ceremony at a promenade in San
Juan's colonial district took the same-sex couples
through the traditional marriage vows and
exchange of rings.
The event follows the landmark U.S. Supreme
Court decision in late June requiring every state to
recognize same-sex marriages. The U.S . Island’s
governor signed an executive order soon after
that ruling to comply.
Organizer Ada Conde, an attorney who filed
a federal lawsuit seeking to have her same-sex
marriage recognized in Puerto Rico prior to the
Supreme Court decision, said Sunday's ceremony
was a "celebration of the triumph of love."
Most of the couples were Puerto Ricans, but
others from the Dominican Republic, Cuba and
Venezuela also participated in the event.
Puerto Rico until recently prohibited same-sex
marriage and the recognition of such marriages,
but the government struck down those laws after
the Supreme Court decision. Officials also now
allow gay couples to adopt children.
In recent days, Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla
also signed two executive orders that allow
transgender and transsexual people to change
their gender on their driver's license and protect
their rights when seeking medical services.
AIDS Help Seeks Memorabilia for
30th Anniversary Book
(EDGE) It started with a handful of very worried people on
a back porch, convening with their own money and precious
few other resources. They just wanted to help some gravely
ill people in their community live to see another day.
Now, almost three decades later, AIDS Help, the only
community-based HIV/AIDS service organization in Monroe
County, is compiling a 30th anniversary publication about
how that little Agency on a little island took on the darkness
of HIV and AIDS.
And, like then, they're looking for a few locals to help shed
From those early days, the goal was always the same; to
help people survive, which turned into enabling people to
thrive. Now, a full-length compilation of written, oral and
pictorial history of the Agency and its role in the community
is the personal goal of Dr. Michael Hayes, Behavioral Health
Therapist with AIDS Help, to guide the narrative toward
Spring 2016 publication.
"Over the past 29 years the Agency has served nearly 3,000
individuals," Hayes notes, "and this warrants recognition
and preservation. From the early fundraisers, the neighbor
who brought the casserole, the complicated navigation
through the healthcare system, the infected and the affected;
their names are the names of heroism."
"We're in need of photographs and archival materials.
Clippings, diaries, notes, anything from 1985 forward that
may be yellowing in a box could be very important to us in
fleshing out our story," Hayes said. "Anything contributed
will be returned."
Anyone with any material or willing to share a recollection
is urged to contact Dr. Hayes at 305-296-6196, or e-mail him
Michael Sam Leaves CFL's
(AP) Michael Sam is stepping away from pro football.
Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL, has
told the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes that
he is leaving the team.
"The last 12 months have been very difficult for me, to the
point where I became concerned with my mental health,"
Sam tweeted Friday. "Because of this I am going to step away
from the game at this time."
The Alouettes confirmed in a release that Sam has left the
club for "personal reasons" and that he has been added to
the team's suspended list.
He did not play in Montreal's home loss to Edmonton on
Thursday night, with the team citing a sore back. He made
his CFL debut the previous week.
The 25-year-old defensive end, the 2013 Southeastern
Conference defensive player of the year at Missouri, failed to
record a tackle in Montreal's loss to Ottawa.
Sam agreed to a two-year deal with the Alouettes this
summer. He left training camp June 12, citing personal
reasons, and sat out the team's first five games.
Sam was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL
draft by the Rams, did not make the team, and spent some
time on the Cowboys' practice squad before being released.
Wells Fargo and NGLCC Award
$50,000 to LGBT Chambers
(NGLCC) The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of
Commerce awarded 11 grants to local affiliate LGBT
chambers of commerce on Thursday, August 13 at the
2015 International Business & Leadership Conference in
Fort Lauderdale. Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation,
these grants are targeted towards programs that foster the
development, growth, and sustainability of certified LGBT
businesses enterprises (LGBTBEs®).
NGLCC affiliate chambers applied for available grants in
funding levels from $2,500 – $10,000 to expand capacity
and technical assistance of an existing program benefitting
LGBTBEs. Applications were judged based on overall
chamber strength, growth in members and community
presence, engagement with NGLCC and the LGBT Supplier
Diversity Initiative, strength of the program and outlined
goals and metrics.
NGLCC awarded 11 grants to the following NGLCC Affiliate
Chambers for their innovative programming:
Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of
Central Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian
Chamber of Commerce
Golden Gate Business Association
Greater San Diego Business Association
Greater Seattle Business Association
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Chamber of
Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce
North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce
Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley
Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce
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