Champions of LGBTQ life and culture in Rochester, NY since 1973.
Tuesday June 28th 2016



Pentagon to announce end of trans service ban on July 1

The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, praised the news that the Pentagon is expected to make history on July 1st by announcing the much anticipated end to the military’s ban on open service by transgender people.

“Our transgender service members and their families are breathing a huge sigh of relief,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “Soon, anyone who is qualified will finally be able to serve our great nation, regardless of their gender identity. We are eagerly anticipating the details of this historic announcement, and we are incredibly grateful for the leadership Secretary Carter has shown in getting us to this critically important point for our military families.”

In July of last year, Secretary Carter first announced that the DoD would finally update the outdated regulations that prevent open service by transgender service members and would take six months to assess the impact of the change and work out the details. The working group started with the presumption that “transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified.”

In June of 2015, the American Medical Association approved a resolution saying there is “no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals from service in the U.S. military.”

In March of 2015, AMPA launched an unprecedented joint report with the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) highlighting the tremendous harm the outdated regulations inflict on military families. The report notes, “The outdated regulations serve no purpose and only dehumanize and prevent qualified and capable individuals from enlisting and serving. The ban perpetuates trauma to all those involved, both the service member and their family.”

There are an estimated 15,500 transgender service members currently serving.

For more information about the American Military Partner Association and LGBT military families, please visit our home on the web at


“We are elated at the news of the pending repeal of the transgender military ban and are thankful to everyone who worked so hard to see this day come to pass. We look forward to working with our military brothers and sisters to see successful implementation. We march forward into an age of greater equality.”

– Kristin Beck (Ret. Navy SEAL) & Shane Ortega (Ret. SSG) | National Transgender Military Liaisons, Military Freedom Coalition 


President Obama designates Stonewall Inn as national monument

StoneWallSign-660x330From the office of the White House Press Secretary:

Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have made historic strides in expanding opportunities and advancing equality and justice for all Americans, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. From major legislative achievements to historic court victories to important policy changes, the President has fought to promote the equal rights of all Americans — no matter who they are or who they love. That commitment to leveling the playing field and ensuring equal protection under the law is the bedrock principle this nation was founded on and has guided the President’s actions in support of all Americans.

Today, President Obama will designate a new national monument at the historic site of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City to honor the broad movement for LGBT equality. The new Stonewall National Monument will protect the area where, on June 28, 1969, a community’s uprising in response to a police raid sparked the modern LGBT civil rights movement in the United States.

The designation will create the first official National Park Service unit dedicated to telling the story of LGBT Americans, just days before the one year anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing marriage equality in all 50 states. Additionally, in celebration of the designation and New York City’s Pride festival, the White House, in coordination with the National Park Foundation and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, is releasing a video that will be played on the billboards in Times Square on Saturday, June 25, beginning at 12:00pm ET.

The new Stonewall National Monument will permanently protect Christopher Park, a historic community park at the intersection of Christopher Street, West 4th Street and Grove Street directly across from the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. The monument’s boundary encompasses approximately 7.7 acres of land, including Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn, and the surrounding streets and sidewalks that were the site of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising.

Today’s designation follows years of strong support from local officials, organizations, members of Congress and citizens in New York City and across the country, as demonstrated recently at a public meeting held in New York City in May. The National Park Foundation is also today announcing that it will support the establishment of a local Friends Group to support the monument and that it will work with local and national organizations and the community to raise funding for dedicated National Park Service personnel, a temporary ranger station and visitor center, research and materials, exhibits, community outreach, and public education.

From the office of Rep. Jerrold Nadler:

Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Chuck Schumer, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman, NYS Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Councilmember Corey Johnson, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Manhattan Community Board 2 and NPCA applauded President Obama’s designation of a new national monument commemorating the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. The Stonewall National Monument is the first ever monument to LGBT history in our nation, and will allow visitors and residents to honor the many brave individuals who stood up for their rights then and since.  Stonewall was a watershed moment in the LGBT civil rights movement—recognized around the world as a clarion call for justice and equality for the LGBT community.  President Obama’s designation is a long overdue testament to the role of Stonewall in the battle for civil rights for all Americans.  The Stonewall National Monument will preserve Christopher Park, located directly across from the Stonewall Inn, and the immediate surrounding area, where the events of the Stonewall Uprising took place in 1969.

“Stonewall is finally taking its rightful place in American history, and I am proud to have championed this effort,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “President Obama’s designation of the Stonewall National Monument recognizes that the events of Stonewall launched the modern LGBT civil rights movement here and around the world —like Selma did for racial justice and Seneca Falls did for women’s rights. We are faced with painful reminders daily of how much further we must go to achieve true equality and tolerance for the LGBT community, but honoring and preserving the stories of all of the diverse participants in Stonewall in our National Park System is a clear symbol of how far we have come.  Thank you to President Obama for taking this important step and to my colleagues in government, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman, NYS Assemblymember Deborah Glick, NYC Councilmember Corey Johnson and our community partners for their leadership.”

“I applaud President Obama for designating the Stonewall Inn as a National Monument. Now, for the first time, when the National Park Service tells the story of the American people – our culture, our history, our diversity – that story will include voices from our LGBT community. This National Monument designation for the Stonewall Inn is extraordinary news for the LGBT community, for our city, and for the entire nation. I am in awe of all the advocates and activists who have raised their voices for so long to help this historic day come, and I will continue to urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass a bill that would make this designation law,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

“This is a historic day for the LGBT community and there is no better site to serve as the national epicenter for LGBT equality than the Stonewall Inn.  June of 1969 began a long and uphill struggle for LGBT equality, which has made so much progress, but unfortunately still continues today. The Stonewall Uprising  was an iconic and pivotal moment in the essential effort to fully realize America’s founding ideal that we are all created equal. Thank you to President Obama for designating the Stonewall Inn  a national monument; it’s the right thing to do and a momentous occasion for the entire country,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.

“There is no more fitting location for the first monument to LGBT history than Christopher Park across from the Stonewall Inn. Since 1969, New York has led the nation in the fight for LGBT rights. The Stonewall Uprising sparked a movement that we still feel to this day, and I am proud that we uphold that legacy by continuing to push for equal rights for all New Yorkers. From marriage equality, which I signed into law five years ago today, to groundbreaking hate crimes legislation, to securing and protecting transgender rights, New York is a state of unrelenting progress in the LGBT movement. The Stonewall National Monument will honor that history of progress, and I am proud to have signed legislation to help create a symbol that demonstrates to the world how much we have achieved and how much more we must accomplish for equality for all,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“There is no better time to acknowledge Stonewall as a national monument – a place that is central to our history and our values, not only as a city but as a nation,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “When the City of New York gave this historic NYC real estate to the federal government, we couldn’t have known how critical this moment would be. Today, the designation of Stonewall Inn serves as both recognition of the bravery of the activists who fought for their right to love, but also as a national embrace of the LGBTQ community after the devastating attack in Orlando. I am proud to stand here today with those who have fought for equality, justice and love at a site that serves as a profound symbol of a painful past, a hopeful future, and the transformative change that happens when New Yorkers take action.”

“The Stonewall Inn is a living, breathing national treasure, as we saw last week when thousands gathered outside its premises to mourn the Orlando tragedy. In good times and bad, Stonewall is the town square for the LGBT community and an important symbol for human rights. It’s fitting that President Obama has taken the powerful step of conferring national monument status to it. As a gay dad, I’m proud to have played a role by passing legislation in the State Senate to help make Stonewall national monument status possible so my daughter’s generation will never forget the events of June 29, 1969. I’m grateful to Congressman Nadler and Senator Gillibrand for spearheading this effort, along with the National Parks Service, as well as Gov. Cuomo and Assembly Member Glick for providing critical state support and Council Member Johnson and Community Board 2 for their local support,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman.

“I am thrilled that the President has designated the first ever National Monument in honor of gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender Americans here in Greenwich Village, the starting place of the modern LGBT rights movement. June is Pride Month, a time in which the LGBT community celebrates, and this recognition well deserves our celebration. I have worked with my colleagues on the City, State, and Federal levels for over a year, and this is a wonderful culmination of this collaborative effort. I want to particularly thank Congressman Nadler, who has been stalwart leader in Washington which allowed this to come to fruition,” said New York State Assemblymember Deborah Glick.

“This is a profound achievement for the LGBTQ community that will be felt around the world,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “Because of this momentous designation, the struggle for equality that our community has waged for generations will be further cemented in our nation’s history. Christopher Park and the Stonewall Inn are iconic symbols of civil rights, and they have been destined to become part of our National Monument system since 1969. I want to thank President Obama and all who have worked so hard to achieve this designation, particularly Congressman Jerry Nadler, who has been an outstanding leader in this endeavor.”

“The Stonewall Inn is sacred ground in the ongoing fight for freedom, justice, and equality. I am thrilled with President Obama’s decision to honor these efforts by naming Christopher Park the first National Monument which recognizes the LGBTQ community’s long struggle for equal rights. Over the last four decades, this site and the surrounding area have served as a gathering place and rallying point for our City’s LGBTQ community. Today’s decision elevates the Stonewall Inn into a national beacon of hope,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.


WNY Flash hosts Pride Night July 1

SAMPLE 4_edited-2WNY Flash will host a Pride Night on July 1, at 7 p.m., in the Rhinos Stadium. The Flash will take on the Chicago Red Stars.

The Flash announced, “In light of the recent attacks on Orlando the Flash has partnered with the Gay Alliance to raise money to promote support, safety and acceptance.”

Limited edition WNY Flash #RocUnited Pride T-shirts are available for $20. Tickets for the game are also available at a discounted rate of $10. T-Shirts will be available to pick up at the game on July 1 and tickets will be at will call under the name on the order.

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