Champions of LGBTQ life and culture in Rochester, NY since 1973.
Wednesday September 17th 2014



Sweet: Ben & Jerry’s signs friend-of-court brief backing marriage equality

ben-jerrys-rainbow-thumb-250xauto-39900Ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s has signed on to a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize marriage equality nationwide.

The company announced the move Friday on its website:

“Often, it’s not enough to change the way you do business, or change the practice within your business,” says Chris Miller, Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission Activism Manager. “Unless you’re willing to stand up and advocate for the rights of others, not just here in our backyard but around the world, it’s often just not good enough.”

We’re proud to have signed onto an “Employers’ Amicus Brief.” That’s fancy lawyer speak for a formal legal petition asking the Supreme Court to review these latest circuit court rulings, and make a ruling that state governments may not act to hinder a business from treating all of its legally married employees in the same way. We’ve signed on with 30 other global and local companies who are fed up with a state-level ban on allowing a legally binding marriage, and all the benefits that go with it.

“This amicus puts these corporations on record saying that in addition to this being an issue of civil rights, it complicates the running of our businesses. It creates this really confusing administrative nightmare for companies– from a tax point of view, and from a benefits point of view.”…

The 30 amicus brief signees aren’t a “who’s-who” of lefty business, points out Miller. “If you look at the list, you’ve got some very large, mainstream, well-recognized corps and brands, and I think that brings some credibility to the issue– the broader the base of support you have, the more likely it is you’re going to make a change.”

This isn’t the first time Ben & Jerry’s has publicly backed the freedom to marry: it’s previously renamed its Apple Pie and Chubby Hubby flavors (to Apple-y Ever After and Hubby Hubby) to celebrate marriage equality in the U.K. and the company’s home state of Vermont, respectively.


Colo. trans student chosen as homecoming queen

Sand_Creek_High_School_Homecoming_Queen_Scarlett_LenhBy James Withers on


A transgender student from Colorado has been picked as her school’s homecoming queen.

Sixteen-year old Scarlett Lenh is a junior at Sand Creek High School. She received the majority of votes from her classmates and was given the honor during yesterday’s, 12 September, school football game.

‘It was really exciting. It felt really good. I couldn’t stop smiling,’ she said, according to the Associated Press, after finding out about the vote.

Initially, she was surprised by her nomination. There were three other nominees.

‘One of my friends mentioned it, and I didn’t think anything of it because I didn’t think I’d be nominated. But, now, it really matters to me,’  the student said.

‘This is something I’ve wanted to do since my freshman year. I want people to be themselves and not feel uncomfortable in their own body and mind.’

Sand Creek High is located Colorado Springs. The leaders of the district, Falcon School District 49, released a statement supporting the selection.

‘The leaders at Sand Creek High School and in District 49 respect the decision of the Scorpion student body in electing their homecoming court,’ district spokesman Matt Meister said, as reported by the AP.

‘Our board policy sets the standard that we do not exclude any person from participating in any program or activity on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.’

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Film on gay codebreaker wins award at Toronto fest

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch

The Imitation Game, the upcoming film about gay codebreaker Alan Turing, picked up a big win at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) over the weekend. The movie, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, was honored with the festival’s coveted People’s Choice Award.

From TIFF’s press release:

This year’s award goes to [director] Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal. The award offers a $15,000 cash prize and custom award, sponsored by Grolsch.

The Hollywood Reporter explains what this win could mean for the film come movie awards season:

Indeed, TIFF’s audience award has been one of the better harbingers of Oscar success over the 36 years in which it has been presented, with almost every one of its honorees going on to garner some measure of Academy recognition.

Look for The Imitation Game to be released in US theaters on November 21, 2014.
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