Anchorage PrideFest 2008

This Week in GLBT Alaska

From Alaska GLBT News (subscribe)

  • IAA Raffle Drawing 6/27, 7 p.m. At the International "Big I" Bar.
  • GLBT Bowling, Wednesdays 9 p.m. at the Arctic Bowl, all ages.
  • SEAGLA Social Fridays, 6-8 p.m. Imperial Bar and Billiards, 241 Front Street in Downtown Juneau.
  • Extended hours for Free HIV Testing at various locations, for National HIV Testing Week, thru 6/28. Contact Lee Wagner, Southeast Outreach Specialist for Four A's.
  • Bac'untry Bruthers at Duggan's Pub 6/28 at 10 p.m.
  • Pride Week! 6/21-6/29
  • Pride Fest Film Festival at Out North, thru 6/28. 5, 7 & 9 p.m. $6.50 online, $7 at the door. Films and showtimes at
  • Mr/Ms/Miss Gay 2008-2009 Anchorage Pageant 6/27, 9 p.m. Mad Myrna's. $10.
  • Lipstick la'Femme Review featuring Silva Stone 6/27-6/28, 10 p.m. at the Kodiak Bar & Grill. $5 cover
PrideFest, Saturday 6/28, Parade 11 a.m., Festival 12-6 p.m. 
PrideFest 2008: OUT is IN - Alaska. Celebrating Diversity Parade WEST ALONG 9TH from E to L followed by the Festival on the Delaney Park Strip between K & L Streets.
  • Pride Dance Party with Ever Ready at The Raven 6/28, 6-10 p.m. 708 E. 4th Avenue. No cover, 21 & over. 
  • Allie's 9th Annual Slave for a Date Auction 6/28, 9 p.m. Proceeds go to ACLU of Alaska Foundation. Mad Myrna's. $4 cover, 21 & over.
  • Naughty Nurses-Dirty Doctors Party, 6/28 at 9 p.m. Out@Night (4600 Old Seward) no cover.
  • AUUF Gay Pride Sunday 6/29, 10:45 a.m. Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. 3201 Turnagain St.
  • MCC Pride Service 6/29, 2 p.m. St. Christopher's Episcopal Church (corner of Duben Ave. & Oklahoma St. in NE Anchorage)
  • The Last Frontier Men's Club presents End of Pride BBQ 6/29, 4-6 p.m. Alaska Bear Co. behind Mad Myrna's (530 E 5th Ave) $5, all ages.

PrideFest Grand Marshals Say Gay Son is a Blessing, Unity is Essential

The Anchorage PrideFest 2008 steering committee selected Jane and Norm Schlittler as Grand Marshals for this year's Celebrating Diversity Parade.

Jane and Norm have been involved with the Anchorage GLBTA community since 1995, when they joined Anchorage PFLAG. They have been PFLAG board members since 1997.

"Having a gay son has been a huge blessing in so many ways," Jane explains. "We've enjoyed being PFLAG parents, promoting the PFLAG message at every opportunity."

If you've heard Jane speak at public events, you may have heard her say that sometimes parents go 'in the closet' when their gay kids come out. "It seems silly now, but that's the typical reaction of parents," she explains. Organizations like PFLAG are a critical resource to parents adjusting to the knowledge that a son or daughter or family member is gay.

While Jane is the determined PFLAG mom you're likely to see speaking to groups around Anchorage, Norm is busy helping make Anchorage PrideFest happen each year. He is the quiet force behind the plethora of permits we must secure from the Municipality before the Parade and Festival on the Park Strip can take place. So this year the PrideFest committee asked Norm to step away from his desk and step into the Grand Marshal carriage with Jane, so we can honor his dedication to PrideFest.

As this year's Grand Marshals and long-time members of the Anchorage GLBTA community, Jane and Norm encourage all groups, organizations and individuals to pull together and work toward our mutual goals for this community.

"We make frequent trips to San Francisco to visit our two daughters and grandchildren," said Jane. "Each time we're encouraged by the amazing progress we see there. If Alaska is ever to move out of the 'dark ages' of civil rights, a strong, unified community of GLBT and straight allies is absolutely essential. Together, we must inform the general public about these issues and increase voter participation."

The Anchorage GLBTA community is united in our love and appreciation of these two dedicated PFLAG parents, and we welcome them as Anchorage PrideFest 2008 Parade Grand Marshals!

Know Your Status: Four A's Extends Hours for National HIV Testing Week

National HIV Testing Week
June 23-28, 2008
Mission Possible: Know Your Status


Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to get tested to KNOW YOUR STATUS. Even though it is 100% preventable, 30-40 Alaskans are diagnosed with HIV each year. One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from HIV is to KNOW YOUR STATUS and get tested.


Extended HIV Testing Hours at Four A's
June 23-26, 2008
9 a.m. -7 p.m.
1057 W. Fireweed, Suite 102


Free HIV Testing at PrideFest
Saturday, June 28, 2008
1-5 p.m.
9th and L Street Clinic (Across from the Parkstrip)


All tests will be performed with the OraQuick Rapid Test which produces results in 20 minutes.  For more information on National HIV Testing Week, contact Alex Barros, Director of Prevention: 

Extended hours are also available for free HIV testing at various locations in Juneau, June 24-28. Contact Lee Wagner, Southeast Outreach Specialist.

UAF Guest Speaker on Masculinity Says All Men Harmed by Homophobia

by E. Ross

What does it mean to be a man?

Dr. Michael Kimmel, sociologist, author and lecturer, will bring that question and his thoughts on masculinity to Fairbanks as part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Summer Session program.

Kimmel is a speaker for the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS), a network that focuses on three different aspects of feminist work for men. One is the anti-violence movement, offering public education about violence against women, and interacting with men convicted of violent crimes against women. Another promotes fatherhood issues and education.

The third topic is particularly important in terms of the social pressures men face: Homophobia.

"One of the things that hold men back from living this emotionally rewarding and impacting life available to them is homophobia. The fear of being marked as gay or connected to homosexuality is one of the most constraining elements in men's lives," Kimmel said.

He gave an example, asking how many seats two men would use if they went together to the movies. The answer: usually three or four. If two female friends go to the movies together, they use only two seats, unafraid to sit next to each other.

"That is what homophobia does. It distorts life," he said.

During his discussion of masculinity in Fairbanks, Kimmel will focus mostly on relationships between men and women. He will encourage his audience to think about the costs of maintaining certain beliefs about masculinity "that we've been brought up with" — that it is not acceptable for a man to show emotion, that men should be domineering, that men and women are not equal — and the benefits of restructuring those beliefs.

"You can live a happier, more robust life by not fighting women's equality but embracing it," he said.

"Mars and Venus or Planet Earth: Men and Women in a New Millennium," will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday June 24 at the Davis Concert Hall. The event is free to the public.

Five Days and Nights of GLBTQ Movies at Out North

PrideFest Film Festival at Out North 
June 24-28 at 5 pm, 7 pm & 9 pm 
(except 6/24: 7 pm & 9 pm only)
$6.50 online, $7 at the door.

Out North celebrates PrideFest with a week of GLBTQ features, documentaries, shorts and animations, sponsored in part by 4A's.

The festival kicks off Tuesday night with the feature "Eleven Minutes," a documentary about Jay McCarroll, winner of the first season of Project Runway. Wednesday's features are "Out Late," about people coming out later in life, and "Ask Not," about the military ban on gay soldiers.

Three features screen on Thursday. "Be Like Others" shows the difficulty of gay life in Iran. "Eternal Summer" follows the romantic life of a young man in China. In "Whirlwind," a sexy man upsets the relationships of a group of friends in NYC.

Friday is teenage girl night with "Sonja" (photo) a coming out feature from Germany, and "Same Sex Parents," a French drama about a girl with gay parents.

Saturday's feature is "Before I Forget" and is sponsored in part by 4 A's. This witty French movie shows what happens to an aging gay gigolo after his sugar daddy dies.

The festival also includes five programs of short films.

See the complete list of films, descriptions and showtimes at

Gay Surfing Romance With Family Values Screens at Bear Tooth

At the Bear Tooth
June 23 at 5:30 p.m. & 7:50 p.m.

Forced to give up his dreams of art school, Zach spends his days working a dead-end job and helping his needy sister care for her son. In his free time he surfs, draws, and hangs out with his best friend, Gabe. When Gabe's older brother Shaun returns home, he is drawn to Zach's selflessness and talent. Zach falls in love with Shaun while struggling to reconcile his own desires with the needs of his family. 

Winner of numerous awards including Best Feature, Best Actor, and Best New Director in over 10 Film Festivals.

"Beautiful and emotionally gripping." -

SHELTER screens twice Monday night as a Bear Tooth exclusive premiere in partnership with Anchorage PrideFest. Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief drug use. $3.

Mapplethorpe Movie at the Museum

Black, White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff & Robert Mapplethorpe 
Anchorage Museum, Movies for Your Mind
June 21 & 22 at 6 p.m.

Sam Wagstaff pulled Robert Mapplethorpe from a Queens suburb and handed him a camera. Mapplethorpe pulled Wagstaff from a stuffy, upper-class existence and brought him to the heights of passion. 

Yale-educated and born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Sam Wagstaff's transformation from innovative museum curator to Robert Mapplethorpe's lover/patron is portrayed in this engrossing documentary. The NYC art world was abuzz with a new spirit during the heady years of the '70s and '80s. Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe was at the center of that world, with images that provoked reactions from awe to anger. 

Documentary. Not rated but contains some sexually explicit images. Anchorage Museum: Movies for Your Mind. Tickets $4 for members, $6 general admission & $5 for seniors. Movie site:

This Week in GLBT Alaska

From Alaska GLBT News (subscribe)
  • Juneau Pride Chorus Solistice Celebration Party & Potluck 6/20, 5:30 p.m. Marsha
  • Anchorage Pride Week! 6/21-6/29
  • Identity Pride Booth at the Anchorage Market (3rd & E) 6/21 & 6/22 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m
  • Gay Memorial Service 6/21, 11 a.m. Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery (6th & Fairbanks St.)
  • Black, White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff & Robert Mapplethorpe, 6/21 & 6/22, 6 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum. $4/members, $6/general, $5/seniors.
  • Annual Pride Kickoff BBQ at The Raven, free, 21 & over. 6/22, 4 p.m.
  • Shelter 6/23, 5:30 p.m. & 7:50 p.m. at the Bear Tooth $3.
  • National HIV Testing Week, extended HIV Testing Hours at Four A's 6/23-6/26, 9 a.m. -7 p.m. (1057 W. Fireweed, Suite 102.)
  • Pride Fest Film Festival at Out North 6/24-6/28, 5 pm, 7 pm & 9 pm (except 6/24: 7 pm & 9 pm only) $6.50 online, $7 at the door. Films and showtimes at
  • MCC's Soul Food for Pride 6/25, 6:30 p.m. at the GLCCA. Dinner (ribs) and a short program. $6 donation. RSVP Edie.
  • Mayor's Diversity Month Organizing Meeting 6/26, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 632 W. 6th Ave. Room 830.
  • Drag Queen Bingo with Adam & Steve 6/26, 7-9 p.m. at Snow City Cafe. $5 unless you come in drag or bring 5 cans of food for the Four A's food drive.
  • Pride Weekend Kickoff at Out@Night 6/26, 10 p.m. (4600 Old Seward) no cover.
  • Amateur Male Strippers 6/26, 10 p.m. at The Kodiak Bar (225 E 5th Ave.) no cover.

First Gay Couple Married in San Luis Obispo Met in Alaska

David and Gerald met on a blind date in Alaska a dozen years ago, and it was love at first sight. 

On Tuesday, June 17, they went to the San Luis Obispo County Government Center, along California's scenic Central Coast, and got a marriage license. They were married outside the building, and held hands so tightly that their knuckles were white. 

David Robinson and Gerald Lindemulder were the first gay couple legally married in San Luis Obispo County. The men spoke their vows, and the two dozen witnesses cheered. Some blew bubbles. Then they ate cake. 

SLO County issued a total of 31 certificates to same-sex couples on Tuesday, according to the county clerk-recorder.

A version of this story was in yesterday's New Times SLO.

Pride Foundation Raffle Includes Alaska's GLBT Not-For-Profits

Raffle With a Twist!

What's the Twist? If you win, we'll make a donation to your favorite not-for-profit organization! Why? Because when you care about our community organizations we all win! 

Pride Foundation is the Northwest's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community foundation, awarding grants and scholarships in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. 

Click the link below to enter and tell us your favorite not-for-profit organization. If your name is drawn on September 27, 2008, we will make a $2,500 donation in your name to the organization you've entered. We will also give $1,000 to the most named organizations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. That's it! No entry fee or donation necessary. One entry per email address please.

Gay and Lesbian Couples Say "I DO" in California

Del Martin, left, places a ring on her partner Phyllis Lyon, right, during their wedding ceremony officiated by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, center, at City Hall in San Francisco, Monday, June 16, 2008. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, Pool)

On Monday, California became the second state in the U.S. to grant full marriage equality to gay and lesbian couples. After waiting for more than half a century for legal recognition of their relationship, lesbian community leaders Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon became one of the first same-sex couples in California to legally marry. 

County clerk offices opened their doors Tuesday morning to hundreds of gay and lesbian couples with appointments to exchange vows on the first full day that same-sex marriages are legal throughout California.

Drag Queen Bingo!

Join Adam & Steve at Snow City Cafe on Thursday, June 26, 7-9 p.m for their annual fundraiser. Admisison is $5 unless you come in drag or bring 5 cans of food for the Four A's food drive. Drag Queen Bingo is an all ages event, with fabulous prizes and entertainment.

Route Change for Anchorage PrideFest 2008

The Anchorage PrideFest Parade will go down 9th Avenue this year, due to construction along the usual route and the Statehood Celebration on 4th. 

The Parade will begin on E Street & 8th Avenue, move south on E for one block, then travel west along 9th from E to L. The Festival will be in the usual place on Delaney Park Strip between K & L.

Parking may be more difficult. Plan to carpool, walk, take the bus or ride your bike.

This Week in GLBT Alaska

From Alaska GLBT News (subscribe):

The Pride Month Exhibit at the U. S. Courthouse and Federal Building at 8th Avenue and A Street in Anchorage is on display for the month of June.

Alaskans Together Returns and Gives Marriage Advice

Alaskans Together, the group that led the surprisingly successful fight against the April 2007 anti-gay advisory vote on same-sex partner benefits, is pleased to announce that it is re-forming as two new groups. 

Alaskans Together for Equality, Inc. is a non-profit that can lobby the Alaska Legislature for equal rights for LGBT Alaskans. Alaskans Together Foundation will be an educational non-profit that can receive grants and educate the Alaskan public on the need for equal treatment and civil rights for LGBT Alaskans. 

There is much work to be done in Alaska!


As one of our first projects, we would like to support the new marriage freedoms in California. We ask Alaskan couples who plan to get married in California to please contact us, so we can support you and work with you in our shared goal of advancing LGBT rights in Alaska. There is also media interest in interviewing Alaskan couples traveling to California to get married.  

Although Alaska's LGBT couples deserve full marriage rights, we discourage Alaskan couples who marry in California from suing for marriage rights when they return to Alaska. Given the current constitutional ban on gay marriage in Alaska, a lawsuit demanding marriage rights in Alaska is likely to lose, and this loss could set us back even further.


Please contact us at if you are planning to get married in California, or if you are interested in learning more about Alaskans Together.

We look forward to your future membership and involvement in our organizations.

[Editor's Note: LGBT organizations around the country are urging couples who get married in California but reside in states with same-sex marriage bans to enjoy being married and to share news of their wedding with friends, relatives and neighbors - but not to sue their home states. They believe that the goal of national marriage equality will be set back by such law suits.]

Norway Approves Gay Marriage!

Today, the Norwegian Parliament passed a bill that makes civil marriage gender neutral, giving same-sex couples the right to marry. The law also recognizes both partners in a marriage as equal parents, and gives lesbian couples the same access to "medically assisted reproduction" as opposite-sex couples. The Church of Norway will be allowed, but not required, to bless the gay and lesbian marriages. Passage of the law makes Norway the sixth country in the world to approve same-sex marriages. Go Norway!

Juneteenth Celebrates Emancipation on the Park Strip

The annual Juneteenth Festival, celebrating freedom and diversity, will be held on the Delaney Park Strip, June 13-15 from 1p.m. to 10 p.m. 

OutMusic Award Recipient Irina Rivkin plays at 7 p.m. on June 14. Irina's Alaska Tour, and a review of her cd "upwelling," are posted here.

(This is not a GLBT event, but Irina is 'family' and the event is open to all. Perhaps I need a new category, for other diversity events that the GLBT community can support.)

The 19th of June, known as "Juneteenth," is the date when slavery ended in America. 

Although rumors of freedom were widespread, the announcement of emancipation did not come to the last group of slaves until Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to read General Order No. 3, on the 19th of June, 1865.

This was more than two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, officially ending slavery. 

The Anchorage Juneteenth Celebration started in 1993 as a 1-day celebration at the Fairview Rec Center. The celebration moved to the Park Strip in 1995 and became a 3-day event. The African American Historical Society of Alaska (AAHSA) organizes Juneteenth.

Juneteenth supporters are hopeful that the "19th of June" will finally be established as a national holiday observance in America. Senator Barack Obama has been a key sponsor of Juneteenth legislation, and a keynote speaker at the annual Juneteenth Congressional Reception.

President George W. Bush has not participated in the annual Washington Juneteenth National Holiday Observance since taking office in 2000.

LGBT Community Interest Survey

UPDATE: The survey is now available on Survey Monkey.

What is the biggest problem facing Alaska's LGBT community? 

What legal issues do you support: LGBT parenting rights, marriage and domestic partnership rights, safe schools policies, and/or nondiscrimination laws that include sexual orientation and gender identity?

Tiffany McClain wants to know your top priorities for our community, and your top LGBT priorities for the ACLU of Alaska. The LGBT Community Interest Survey is available through e-mail, and Tiffany will also bring the survey to Anchorage PrideFest.

LGBT people and our allies all over Alaska, please complete this survey. Then ask your friends and neighbors to take the survey.

Write to Tiffany McClain, LGBT Public Policy Coordinator, ACLU of Alaska:

Pride Chorus Spring Concert Touches the Soul

The women of the Juneau Pride Chorus performed a great Spring Concert!

"Songs for the Soul," the 10th annual Juneau Pride Chorus spring concert, presented an evening of music at the new Juneau Arts and Culture Center. The Juneau Pride Chorus is part of Juneau PFLAG, and the Chorus recently donated several hundred dollars to a local PFLAG scholarship for graduating seniors. An earlier article about the concert is here.

The Juneau Pride Chorus is meeting on June 26 to vote on music for next season, and they invite interested women singers to attend. Then the Chorus takes a break for the summer and begins rehearsing again in August. Contact Marsha for the time and location of the June meeting, or check Alaska GLBT News for updates.

Jill, Linda and Paula wrote about the Spring Concert. (Thank you for letting me post your comments!)
Once again, the Juneau Pride Chorus and our fabulous audience created magic in a space that doesn't seem at all magical! Betsy, our sound engineer, was a genius in using a light touch with amplification. I was astounded by the return of that magnificent powerful final note after we stopped if the space confirmed the power and beauty we offered. I am always amazed at the relationship we have with our audience....they always spur us on to be better, brighter, more full of life. We are fortunate to have an audience who engages with us. Thanks to all for the wonderful season full of laughter, tears, beauty. It has a been a real privilege to be a part of this phenomenon for 10 years.  - Soprano 2, Jill Sandleben

I, too, loved watching the performance. I was so impressed with you all, and especially of the many of you who put yourself out there to do solos, play an instrument, or sing in an ensemble! Everyone had great expressions on their faces and in their body movement. While it was fun to be in the audience and get to be entertained, I will hurry back to join you all when we get going again this fall!  - Alto 1, Linda

Those who weren't there missed a wonderful, wonderful performance. I loved every minute of it and wasn't at all ashamed of some of my tears since they were in the eyes of many around me. "Power Tools" was the biggest kick and the audience loved the "choreography." Have a wonderful summer and I'll see you in the fall. - Soprano 2, Paula Terrel, a Pride Chorus member on spring hiatus.

This Week in GLBT Alaska

From Alaska GLBT News (subscribe)

  • QueerSpace: Celebrating Thousands of Years of Gay & Lesbian Literature, 6/6-6/7, 8 p.m. & 10 p.m. Out North
  • Pedazos, for Out North's First Friday art opening  6/6 Out North
  • KYNT & VYXSIN in Anchorage 6/5 at Club Alano (9 p.m.) and 6/6 at Chilkoot Charlies (10 p.m.) and in Fairbanks 6/7 at the Bat Cave (9 p.m.)
Anchorage PrideFest Wants You!
Get the wheels you love to ride and join Dykes on Bikes & Friends in this year's Pride Parade. We're looking for all riders who wish to share the fun of riding together on this most special day. Bring your own style and let's roar. Deb
If your group or organization wants to host a GLBT-themed EVENT during Pride week, June 20-29, contact We'll list your event on the official Anchorage PrideFest web site and in our printed schedule of events for distribution at venues across Anchorage. New events are always welcome and add variety to this annual celebration of Big Wild Gay Life in Alaska. We're also seeking PARADE ENTRIES for the Celebrating Diversity Parade on June 28 and VENDORS for the Festival on the Park Strip that afternoon. Download parade & vendor apps at Deadline: JUNE 21st.

The Geography of Same-Sex Marriage

by E. Ross

UPDATE: On June 11, the Norwegian Parliament passed a bill that allows same-sex couples to marry, making Norway the sixth country in the world to approve same-sex marriages!

Remember those geography lessons where you filled in information about states and countries on an outline map? Well, get out a new map for the current round in the fight for same-sex marriage.

The chain reaction of change and backlash came fast and furious these past few weeks.

On May 15, the California Supreme Court ruled that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry. In 2005 and again in 2006, the state legislature had voted to legalize same-sex marriage, but the Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the measures.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Canada, Spain, South Africa, The Netherlands, and Belgium. Same-sex civil unions or partnerships are legal in New Zealand, Uruguay, and fourteen European countries, including France, Germany, and the UK.

Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New Hampshire offer civil unions with many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage. Oregon's domestic partnerships also include a broad set of protections, while partnerships in Maine, Hawaii, Washington, and the District of Columbia offer limited protections for same-sex couples.

A case is pending in the Connecticut Supreme Court on whether civil unions fall short of fulfilling the equal rights of same-sex couples.

Massachusetts allows state residents to marry, but only allows an out-of-state same-sex couple to marry in Massachusetts if the marriage is legal in the couple's home state. 

On May 29, New York Gov. David Paterson told state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts, Canada and other places where they are legal. Although same-sex couples cannot get married in New York, the state respects all legal out-of-state marriages. Ditto in Rhode Island and New Mexico, although this has not been tested in New Mexico.

On May 30, Talis J. Colberg, the Attorney General of Alaska, joined several conservative anti-gay groups and the Attorneys General of Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah in urging the California Supreme Court to delay its ruling to legalize same-sex marriage in California.

On May 31, Attorney General Kelly Ayotte announced that New Hampshire was withdrawing from the request and will recognize a legal gay marriage from California as a civil union.

On June 2, an initiative that would outlaw gay marriage in California qualified for the November 4 ballot. It was funded by an evangelical billionaire from Orange County and a Colorado-based anti-gay group, Focus on the Family. It would overturn the May 15 ruling that legalizes same-sex marriage in California.

Nine states, including Alaska, have amendments that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Seventeen states, including Michigan, have constitutional amendments that prohibit any type of same-sex spousal rights. The amendments in South Dakota and Nebraska specifically prohibit civil unions and domestic partnerships.

The Michigan Supreme Court recently ruled that their broadly worded amendment prohibits public universities, state agencies and local governments from offering health insurance to partners of gay and lesbian state employees. The Alaska Supreme Court had ruled that the narrower ban requires the state to provide equal partner benefits to gay and lesbian employees.

The Iowa Supreme Court is considering whether the state's legislative ban on same-sex marriage violates equal rights protections in the state constitution.

On June 3, the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group based in Arizona, filed a lawsuit to stop the state of New York from recognizing same-sex marriages legally performed in Massachusetts, Canada and possibly California.

On June 4, California's highest court refused to delay its decision to legalize same-sex marriage, clearing the final hurdle for the nation's most populous state to start marrying gay and lesbian couples on June 17. (AP)

Same-sex couples around the country have four and a half months to get legally married in California, before the California voters decide whether to stop or to continue offering same-sex marriages.

Florida will also vote on an amendment to ban gay marriage. In West Virginia, a group of Republican legislators asked the Governor to place same-sex marriage on the agenda if a special session is called, so they can start the process of a constitutional amendment to ban the marriages.

The Alaska state legislature began a special session this week to discuss the gas pipeline. Raise your hand if you think a ban on the recognition of same-sex marriages will be discussed.

That's where same-sex marriage stands today. Keep those maps on hand and stay tuned for future updates. 

Where to Find GLBT Alaska - Organizations, Groups & Publications

UPDATE: Check out the updated list of LGBTA Businesses in Alaska!

Visitors, new residents and even long-time Alaskans want to know where they can find GLBT Alaska. Previously, I posted our Annual Events and Recurring Events. Here is the resource list for Alaska's GLBT organizations, groups and publications with their current web links or email contacts.

Organizations (in alphabetical order):
  • 4 A's - Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association provides supportive services to persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families, and works to eliminate the transmission of HIV infection and its stigma. Includes Power-On Alaska, Get It On, a quarterly newsletter and the Adam & Steve young men's group.
  • Alaskans Together - formed in 2007 to fight the anti-gay advisory vote, Alaskans Together is now a permanent statewide organization that advocates for LGBT equality in Alaska.
  • Equality Works - a coalition working to protect Anchorage residents from discrimination and harassment.
  • GLSEN & GSA - the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network has an Anchorage chapter, and the Gay Straight Alliance has student clubs in Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks.
  • IAA - Interior AIDS Association is a nonprofit organization in Fairbanks that provides HIV-related prevention, case management, and other support services.
  • ICOAA - The Imperial Court of All Alaska raises money for scholarships and community non-profits through participation in fundraising events, benefits, titleholder balls and other functions.
  • Identity - Identity's programs include a statewide Helpline, the NorthVIEW quarterly newsletter, Anchorage PrideFest, the Pride Conference, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Anchorage (GLCCA), the Identity Advocacy Program, and support for local youth programs.
  • Mat-Su LGBT Community Center - A new Center opened in Palmer, with social groups, a blog and a library.
  • MCC - Metropolitan Community Church of Anchorage, an Inclusive Church: Proud, Courageous and Loving.
  • PFLAG - Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays has chapters in Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, and Homer.
  • RAW - Radical Arts for Women presents Celebration of Change, a short story contest and scholarships for women in the arts.
  • SEAGLA - The Southeast Alaska Gay and Lesbian Alliance provides a supportive social network for GLBT people in Southeast Alaska.
  • TLFMC - a non-profit social club that provides bears, leathermen, cowboys, their respective admirers, and other masculine Alaskan gay and bisexual men with the opportunity to meet socially.
  • Alaska GLBT News - statewide email newsletter with news, announcements and upcoming events.
  • Bent Alaska - blog for GLBT News and Events with a Local Alaskan Bent.
  • Grrlzlist - Anchorage women's email newsletter with news, announcements, ads and upcoming events.
  • Naked Ptarmigan - creative writing journal.
  • NEWS - Sara's emails of current local, national and international LGBT news briefs.
  • Quarterly newsletters - 4 A's and Identity (linked above) print quarterly newsletters.
  • Yahoo! Groups - AnchoragePride, fairbankspride and matsulgbtcc, and some organizations have members-only groups.
  • Facebook - several of the organizations have Facebook pages.
Have I missed something?

Alaska Air Discounts West Coast Pride and Seattle Softball

by E. Ross

Alaska Airlines has updated their Gay Travel site, adding 10% discounts to more LGBT events. 

(For more on the "gay discounts" controversy, and Alaska's rating on the Corporate Equality Index, see Alaska Still 'Taking Diversity to the Sky')

Flying to Seattle in late August or early September?
As a sponsor of the 2008 Gay Softball World Series, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are pleased to offer a 10% discount on air travel to the 2008 Series. This discount is valid for travel from August 15, 2008, to September 9, 2008, between Seattle and all U.S., Canadian, and Mexico cites served by Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air. (08 Series Promotion)
Flying between Seattle or Portland and San Francisco, Los Angeles or Palm Springs in June?
It's time to celebrate LGBT PRIDE with a trip to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle or Portland for one of the PRIDE festivals celebrating diversity: June 6-8 in West Hollywood, June 14-15 in Portland or June 27-29 in San Francisco and Seattle.

To celebrate PRIDE, Alaska Airlines is offering a 10% discount for flights between Seattle or Portland and either San Francisco or Los Angeles. To top it off, we'll even throw in flights between Seattle or Portland and Palm Springs. We are PROUD to have you on board. (08 Pride Promotion)

Blogging for LGBT Families Day: Two Moms and Two Boys DO Make a Family

by E. Ross

A Juneau lesbian couple and their two sons were included in AK Mom, the Mother's Day program that aired on the Alaska Public Radio Network (APRN) this year.
My Two Moms: When Woodrow Wilson declared Mother's Day in 1914, there probably weren't many two-mom families like the one led by Martha Murray and Jenifer Shapland of Juneau. They've been together for almost 23 years and are raising two boys.
The six minute segment can be heard on the APRN archive (starting at 29:50 of the 48 minute podcast.)

I asked Jenifer and Martha to reflect on the show and it's effects on their family for Blogging for LGBT Families Day.

Why did you choose to do the interview?
We chose to do the interview because we are proud of our family. We feel that having positive media coverage helps change attitudes, and offers support to other gay-parent families. 

Did you like the segment?
We were happy with the show, although we would have preferred to be profiled because of some accomplishment and had a side note that we were also a two-mom family. But in the conservative state we live in, being a two-mom family is an accomplishment in and of itself. 

What responses have you gotten from others?
We have received many positive comments about the show. Our friends, family, and acquaintances are all thrilled. I suppose some folks didn't like it, but had the courtesy not to tell us. 

How did this experience effect you as a family?
The effect on our family was positive. It is good for our sons to hear themselves on the radio, and to be reminded how much support there is for new family structures. We have many friends who are two-mom families, and several who are lesbian couples co-parenting with the dads of their kids. 

It's also good to hear support for families in general. In our individualistic society, it is important for kids (and adults) to remember that the family is the formative unit. It's where we learn our values, morals, and ideals, where we learn to love. 

We have the support of our friends and families, our community, our churches, our kids' schools, their friends' parents, their sports clubs. We really haven't run into problems anywhere we've chosen to go. We avoided Boy Scouts due to their anti-gay stance, but also for their para-military structure. We avoid anti-gay religious groups, but there are many who are welcoming. We don't work in careers that require us to be closeted, but we have our careers of choice. 

Despite the spate of anti-marriage bills being legislated across the country, the state of Alaska and the state of Washington have both recognized us as a family - our kids are legally ours. We can't get married, but we're legally a family! 

It's great to be parents, and we're proud of our kids. 

Check out the many posts on Mombian's Blogging for LGBT Families Day site - they make great reading!

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