Champions of LGBTQ life and culture in Rochester, NY since 1973.
Tuesday January 27th 2015



Justice Thomas hobnobs with anti-gay hate groups

ClarenceAntiGayYesterday Heritage Foundation staffer and anti-gay marriage activist Ryan T. Anderson posted this photo of himself, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and former NOM chairman Robert George, who wrote the Manhattan Declaration, whose signees avow that they will disobey (somehow) the legalization of same-sex marriage. Using hate group logic, Thomas must now recuse himself from the coming marriage case before his court. 

RELATED: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia must also recuse himself, as last summer he was the keynote speaker at an event organized by anti-gay marriage activist and Catholic Bishop Paul Loverde, who helped spearhead Virginia’s battle against same-sex marriage.

Cuomo calls for passage of GENDA

thThe Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today applauds New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for calling for the long overdue passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA, in the text of this State of the State Address.

“We’re incredibly pleased that Governor Cuomo delivered on his campaign promise to push for life-saving protections for transgender New Yorkers with his support for the passage of GENDA in his State of the State address,” said Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Nathan M. Schaefer. “We are inspired by the remarkable progress in transgender visibility and equality all across the country, and especially in New York, that has been made since the Governor’s last State of the State address. We look forward to partnering with the Governor in moving the leadership of the New York State Legislature, the Senate in particular, to pass this basic civil rights bill into law during this session.”

Governor Cuomo’s call for transgender protections in New York comes on the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union last night which, for the first time, explicitly condemned the persecution of transgender people and the entire LGBT community, and in light of the increased national discourse on the lives and experiences of transgender individuals and the urgent need for equal rights. In the past year alone, New York has removed significant barriers for transgender residents to access services and care, including to correct gender markers on birth certificates and access medically necessary transition related healthcare through private insurance and Medicaid. GENDA is the next logical and necessary step.

In addition to GENDA, the Pride Agenda is advocating for a bill that will prohibit state-licensed therapists from practicing damaging conversion efforts on LGBT youth. These issues are deeply linked, as expressed in a widely successful petition launched last week urging Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and the New York State Legislature to pass both of these lifesaving bills. Over 10,000 people have already voiced their desire for New York State not only to protect and value our LGBT youth, but also to guarantee them the opportunity to grow up in a state which regards them as equal.

Under the leadership of Assembly Member Deborah Glick, the Pride Agenda helped to pass the bill through the State Assembly in 2014 with significant bipartisan support. Every major medical and mental health professional association, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, have condemned conversion therapy, citing its many negative effects, including anxiety, depression and suicide.  All agree that efforts to change a person’s innate gender identity or sexual orientation simply do not work. To date, California, New Jersey and Washington D.C. have passed laws protecting minors from conversion therapy.

The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) would add gender identity and expression to the list of classes protected under New York State’s existing Human Rights Law. The bill would prohibit discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers in housing, employment, credit, education and public accommodations. Eighteen other states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have already passed similar laws, and eleven local governments across New York State have passed non-discrimination ordinances, which means nearly 60% of New Yorkers already realize such protections.

Under the leadership of Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, the Pride Agenda has worked tirelessly to pass GENDA through the State Assembly – seven years in a row. Yet the State Senate has repeatedly failed to bring the bill to the floor for a vote year after year. Each day that the State Legislature fails to act is another day we risk losing transgender New Yorkers who live or work in parts of the state without anti-discrimination laws.  They remain unprotected and without recourse when faced with hate and ignorance.


Dear Abby helps grandmother rejected by homophobic son

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d0c5ed9c970c-200wiA gay grandmother wrote a heartbreaking letter to Dear Abby asking for advice on how to reconcile with her homophobic son, and religious daughter-in-law, who is keeping her from seeing her grandchildren claiming that he needs to protect his children from people that are gay and that he doesn’t want them to know anyone who’s gay, including their own grandmother.

“Heartbroken’s” letter reads:

I came out of the closet when my son was 4. I thought I had taught him not to judge because of a label.

He is now 30, with a wife and two adorable children who own my heart.

When my granddaughter was born, my partner and I were at the hospital. We have visited them often, and they have visited us.

But after my grandson was born last year, my son quit speaking to me.

I have asked him numerous times what the issue is.

His response is: “I have to protect my children from people who are gay. I don’t want them to know anyone who is gay.”

His wife and her family are very religious, and I think this is the real reason. What can I do?

-Heartbroken Gay Granny

Dear Abby wisely responded, telling the heartbroken grandmother to redirect her maternal instincts toward LGBT youth whose parents have rejected them after coming out and justly commented on her son’s homophobic antics with Abby’s signature wit.

Abby’s response:

Dear Heartbroken: If your son is under the mistaken impression that he is going to somehow “protect” his children by isolating them from gay people, he must be living in an alternate reality.

Does he also plan to immigrate to the moon?

I suspect that you have put your finger squarely on the reason why your son is now ostracizing you.

His wife seems to wield the power in that family, and she could benefit by learning more about homosexuality and her religion, which I assume preaches love and tolerance for one’s fellow man rather than judgment and exclusion.

You can’t force your son and his wife to have contact with you if they don’t want to.

Leave open the possibility that they may, over time, reconcile their love for you with their faith.

For your own emotional well-being, it’s important that you find other outlets for your maternal instincts and go on with your life because any child would be blessed to be a part of it.

Sadly, a large number of LGBT young people are rejected by their parents when they come out.

These kids would benefit greatly from having a positive adult mentor such as you.

This could be your golden opportunity to make a significant, positive difference in someone’s life. Contact Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays at to find out how to get involved.

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