Alaska GOP platform opposes gays, supports creationism and unqualified judges

The Texas GOP platform made headlines for stating that gay sex should be illegal, and anyone issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple should be jailed, among many anti-gay points. The Montana GOP platform calls for "legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal" even though sodomy laws were declared unconstitutional. What does the Alaska GOP platform of 2010 say about gays?
"We affirm the family, defined as people living together related by blood, marriage or adoption, as the foundational unit of society. We embrace the definition of marriage in our State constitution as the union of one man and one woman and support reserving certain benefits to this union alone."
They oppose same sex marriage, and they also oppose domestic partnership benefits, which are legal for state and some city employees in Alaska. Adding insult to injury, their official platform does not want gay and lesbian couples to be called FAMILIES, even when we are living together and raising children.
"We support requiring active, written parental consent prior to teaching any sex education curricula. Any such curriculum must be age appropriate and abstinence based. We also support teaching prenatal development. We oppose teaching or promoting alternative lifestyles as legitimate or desirable."
Only abstinence based sex ed, and the parents can opt out of that. Ignorance is bliss. And that last sentence: they don't want kids to know that some people are gay, that being gay is "legitimate or desirable." They don't even want the gay kids to know they are ok. Perhaps they would rather have the kids commit suicide. And who still uses "alternative lifestyles" as code for gays? That's so 90's.
"We oppose any modification of the application of the current "don't ask, don't tell" policy as adopted in 1993 to implement Public Law 103-106."
Oppose gays serving openly in the military? Check. Oppose same sex marriage? Check. Oppose school programs that lower the suicide rate of LGBT teens? Check. And they also oppose our legal domestic partnerships.

It's fair to say that the Alaska Republican Party platform opposes gay rights and equality.

But what about ENDA? They oppose labor unions, but don't mention non-discrimination policies. Maybe they recognize the inevitable passage of a jobs ordinance and are softening on that. Or maybe they just forgot.

If their statements against gays aren't appalling enough, look at their section on education. They support the teaching of Creationism, and want science teachers to present evidence against evolution:
"We support teaching various models and theories for the origins of life and our universe, including Creation Science or Intelligent Design. If evolution outside a species (macro-evolution) is taught, evidence disputing the theory should also be presented."
Here's another interesting item:
"We support a change to the Alaska Constitution that would eliminate the practice of the Alaska Judicial Council to limit the list of potential appointees to only those it finds "qualified." The council could still give its rating, but the Governor could choose a nominee from all applicants."
They want to put unqualified judges on the bench! Why would they want to pack the courts with judges who don't have strong legal skills, or don't have the temperament for being a good judge?

The GOP could hand pick judges who pass their "morality" test, including their views on gay rights. Like Sarah Palin appointing Wayne Anthony Ross to be the Attorney General... calling gays "degenerates" and comparing us to lima beans (among his many prejudices) made him their perfect choice for the state's top lawyer, despite the low rating by his peers. Expect judges like WAR if the GOP gets it's way on this.

And the platform calls for a constitutional amendment against choice:
"We endorse the Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Man is made in the image of God; therefore, we embrace the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until natural death. We heartily encourage our elected officials to use every legal means to protect the unborn and recognize the worth of even the smallest members of the human race."
The GOP platform also opposes gaming, health reform, embryonic stem cell research, taxes, amnesty for illegal aliens, human cloning, marijuana and assisted suicide. They are the party of "no".

So, what does the Alaska Democratic Party platform say about LGBT rights? The first principle of the platform is Equality:
"We are committed to the protection of full civil and equal rights for all people and the continued efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination."
Nice. That covers all of our issues. Other sections discuss families...
"Alaskans must be guaranteed the freedom to make and act on personal decisions regarding religion, reproduction, medical care, and marriage and life partners."
... and jobs...
"Every worker is entitled to a living wage and a safe, healthy, harassment-free workplace that promotes equal employment opportunity in all terms and conditions of employment. We expect the enforcement of nondiscrimination laws and the promotion of Alaska preference in hiring."
... and international human rights.
"We believe that the U.S. government should support multinational efforts through the United Nations and elsewhere to stop genocide, reduce hunger and disease, protect human rights, and to promote justice, prosperity and peace in the world."
Neither the ARP nor the ADP specifically mention LGBT Alaskans in their platforms. But the Republican platform openly opposes gay rights and the Democratic platform supports full equal rights for all. Although gay rights are becoming a cross-party issue in some states, a big divide remains in Alaska. On gay issues, the choice is clear.

Openly-Gay Ray Boltz performs in Anchorage, July 11

Ray Boltz is performing in Anchorage on July 11 - and the concert is FREE! Yes, that's right, you can hear this acclaimed gay singer perform for free by registering HERE before they run out of tickets.

Ray Boltz sold over 4.5 million records and was the recipient of two Dove awards before coming out as a gay man and retiring from Christian music. After a five year break from the stage, Boltz recorded True, with songs about same-sex marriage ("Don't Tell Me Who to Love"), bias crimes ("Swimming Hole"), and the conservative claim of a gay 'agenda' ("Following Her Dreams").

"Don't Tell Me Who To Love" was featured in this Soulforce video on Prop 8. Check it out:

In several of the songs on True, Boltz tries to reconcile being gay with his Christian faith.
"I don't believe God hates me anymore," said Boltz in an interview with the New York Times. "I always thought if people knew the true me, they'd be disgusted, and that included God. But for all the doubts, there's this new belief that God accepts me and created me, and there's peace."
Both Bolz and his ex-wife Carol have been vilified by religious extremists for becoming LGBT advocates. She manages his website and blogs her support at My Heart Goes Out.
Mrs. Boltz also realizes better than anyone how many former fans vehemently object. She fields the e-mail messages that pour into the Web site, the ones that say, "We will be destroying all your cds cassettes etc immediately" and "Instead of converting to man-love, why not goat love?"
Ugh. Sounds like something Prevo would say. So if you enjoy gay-themed songs or contemporary Christian music, go to this free concert and support Ray Boltz in his return to the stage as an openly-gay man. And bring your straight Christian friends and relatives! They need to hear his message as much as LGBT people do.

The Anchorage concert is sponsored by the Metropolitan Community Church (MCCA) and St. Mary's Episcopal Church. For more on Boltz and his tour with another recently out singer Azariah Southworth, visit the Living True tour.

Make "Housing First" a reality, support Karluk Manor

Four A's is a member of the Anchorage Coalition on Homelessness and sent the following message in support of the Housing First program. They explain why this program is important to the fight against Homelessness and AIDS in Anchorage, and how we can lend our voices:
Make It A Reality

A Housing First project is critical to our efforts in eliminating homelessness from our community. RurALCAP is working hard to establish Anchorage's first large Housing First complex (48 efficiency-style units); Karluk Manor. Without a Housing First project, Anchorage will continue to struggle with the negative community impacts caused by the chronically homeless population.

Four A's has approximately 15 clients who are chronically homeless who would greatly benefit from this project. These individuals have been unsuccessful in any of the housing programs we have provided over the years. Without housing, these individuals are unable to remain adherent to HIV medications or consistently access support services. Each year we are serving more and more hard-to-serve/house individuals. Without this project, these people will remain homeless.


To make Karluk Manor a reality, RurALCAP requires a conditional use permit. We need you to voice your support for the project. For more information on Karluk Manor, click here. At the bottom of the page is information regarding Housing First (PDF) and Karluk Manor (PDF).

Click here to voice your support. Without community support, this project will die and we will not have a Housing First project for many years to come. Help us achieve our goal of 100 people providing positive testimony for Karluk Manor. Comments can be as short as "I support Karluk Manor", to more details outlining why you support the project.

Please join us and countless others in letting our community know the importance of Karluk Manor. The Municipality is putting forth many road blocks that have the potential of "killing" this project. Without your voice, they will win. Share this request with friends and family. We need the city to hear we want Housing First….we want Karluk Manor.

What is the Housing First program?
Housing First is permanent housing, as opposed to emergency/transitional housing, and has intensive case management services available. As a result of being permanently housed, the homeless can begin to access medical, mental health, substance abuse treatment, employment and vocational training and life skill resources. Economic studies have shown providing permanent housing for the chronically homeless population significantly reduces the costs of homelessness.
For more information about Housing First, click the links above for the Anchorage Coalition on Homelessness. For information on HIV/AIDS services and resources, visit Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association, aka the Four A's.

Stonewall, the Rosa Parks moment (video)

June 28 is the anniversary of Stonewall, when the queens, gays and lesbians of New York City fought back against a police raid on the Stonewall Bar in 1969. The event taught us the power of honesty and pride, and launched the modern LGBT rights movement.

Stonewall Uprising tells the story of the Stonewall riots in the words of the participants:
"It was the Rosa Parks moment," said one man. June 28, 1969: NYC police raid a Greenwich Village Mafia-run gay bar, The Stonewall Inn. For the first time, patrons refuse to be led into paddy wagons, setting off a 3-day riot that launches the Gay Rights Movement.

Told by Stonewall patrons, reporters and the cop who led the raid, Stonewall Uprising recalls the bad old days when psychoanalysts equated homosexuality with mental illness and advised aversion therapy, and even lobotomies; public service announcements warned youngsters against predatory homosexuals; and police entrapment was rampant. At the height of this oppression, the cops raid Stonewall, triggering nights of pandemonium with tear gas, billy clubs and a small army of tactical police. The rest is history. (Film Forum)
Here is the trailer:

What does PRIDE mean to you?

IN THE LIFE speaks with a diverse group of LGBT people and discovers what Pride means to them. Watch the episode and tell us what LGBT Pride means to you:

TODAY: Alaska PrideFest Parade & Festival - Join the Party!

Alaska's Celebrating Diversity Parade and Pride Festival is TODAY, Saturday June 26 in downtown Anchorage. The Parade begins at 11 am, marching west on 6th Avenue from D Street, and the Festival follows at noon on the Delaney Park Strip around K Street.

Come march with us - join a group you like and show your Pride in being LGBTQ or an ally. If you don't want to march, please cheer us on from the side. Every parade needs a cheering crowd! Then join us for the Festival on the Park Strip.

See you there!

The ordinance one year later (video)

KTVA looks back at the 2009 battle for an equal rights ordinance, and asks where the LGBT community of Anchorage is today, as we celebrate PrideFest 2010.

Four voices speak for fairness and equal rights: Matthew, Rachel, Johnathan and MeMe. Only one person speaks for hate: Prevo. Which side are YOU on?

PrideFest parade route, performers and activities

Tomorrow, Saturday June 26, is the big day: the Alaska PrideFest 2010 Diversity Parade and Festival on the Park Strip! Here is the scoop on the parade route and the festival entertainment, food, and activities for kids and adults, from the NorthView's June Pride issue by Identity.

"Paint your toenails, get out your boas, don your Levis and leathers, and get those dykes on their bikes because Pride is here again!"

Pride Parade - June 26th 11:00 AM
Come to the Pride parade! March, ride in a float, or loudly cheer on those fabulous folks who do! The parade begins at 11:00 at 6th and D Street. We will proceed west on 6th Avenue and turn left on K Street, right on 8th Street, left on L Street, left on 10th Avenue and end at Delaney Park near the flagpole in time for the start of our festival on the park strip. Let's turn up and show some fabulous, finger snapping, glittery pride!

Main Stage Entertainment
Co-hosting the main stage activities are two Empresses: Alaska's current reigning Empress 37, Miss Meme Jenkins, and former Empress 11 of Southern Nevada, Ginger Grant, along with Mad Myrna's Friday Nite Diva Show host, Miss Paige. We'll kickoff PrideFest with the National Anthem and State song followed by proclamations and Invocation by an Alaska Native elder. After that, it'll be one great performance after another! You won't want to miss a minute! There'll be something for everyone. The fun starts at noon on the Park Strip at the big main stage!

This year's performers include a wide array of talent, including some of past year's favorites and some new faces too! Divas Ashley, Jovy and Delicious will strut their stuff for your pleasure. Underground Dance Company will wow you with dance performances. The Lu Lu Small Band will get you dancing on the grass and more live music from local solo artists and bands will keep you dancing.

It's in the large middle section of the Park Strip and we will have lots of entertainment and booths open till 6pm this year. That's one hour longer than in the past.

We've got lots of food!!!! We've got fried food, barbequed dogs and burgers, we've got reindeer sausages and we've got trendy quesadillas, gyros and still more...yep...we scored on the food this year!

Bungee Run - $5 for three runs. Hours and hours of fun, you and your friends can try and make it to the end of the bungee run -- but you won't! Padded harnesses hold you back and will knock you off your feet!

Bucking Salmon - $5 for three tries. Alaskans can sometimes have a difficult time satisfying their appetite for excitement. You can now "Ride the Red" where you can ride our fully functional mechanical bull transformed into a custom made Chinook salmon. Now there's a fish story that you have to see to believe.

Sumo Wrestling - $5 for 2 people to play 3 bouts. Belly up to this one! The Sumo Wrestling Suits let everyone experience authentic Sumo Wrestling first hand. Adults try to pin their opponent.

Obstacle Course - $1 per run. This is an inflatable course of obstacles for you to navigate. Test your level of butch or show off for your honey.

What's Happenin' for Youth at PrideFest
We have new booths and activities this year that are geared to the children in all of us. No need to look for them--they will be right in the middle of things. Get silly and have fun!

For the little ones we have a very inexpensive Kiddie Carnival. We've got a hang-out booth for teens. No older adults and no babysitting of the small fry allowed. Strictly a space for teens to kick back on the bean bags and chill!

Wear Your Pride
This year's way cool PrideFest t-shirts are short sleeved and black with the 2010 A Pride Odyssey logo on the front. They cost $20 (unless you are a volunteer and get a $5 discount) and come in sizes XS to 4XL. You can purchase your shirt at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center (336 East 5th Avenue), Pride on the ParkStrip, and other Pride events.

Of course, the best logo on the blackest t-shirts will be at the Identity Booth. There will be stickers and t-shirts, and hopefully, some rainbow boas, too, for you to purchase!

Visit the Alaska PrideFest website at for more information about the Diversity Parade, the Pride Festival on the Park Strip, and other Pride Week events.

Drag Queen Bingo at Snow City tonight

The 3rd annual Drag Queen Bingo is on Thursday June 24 from 6-9 p.m. at Snow City Café in downtown Anchorage, and it's a fundraiser for the Four A's Anchorage Mpowerment Project (AMP). This PrideFest event is bigger and better than ever, according to The NorthView:
Question: When is a drag queen not a drag queen?
Answer: When she becomes a political statement!

After last year's summer of hate it is time for a little love. This event will feature Daphne DoAll La Chores as our hostess, performance by the beautiful Ashley, prizes, games, 50/50raffle, songs and a lot more fun. We plan to have a great time playing bingo at this all ages event, but the best part is enjoying the costumes worn by the crowd, so be sure to dress for the occasion. Last year we filled the Snow City Café to above capacity, so this year we have closed the sidewalk to add more seating and performance space.

Four A's staff will be on hand and in drag to welcome you and provide bingo sheets at a cost of $15.00 or, if you come in drag, $10.00. This buys you 3 games of bingo, several group games, performances, and a lot of fun from 7-9 PM. The doors open at 6:00 PM.

Stopping the spread of HIV and reducing rates of unprotected sex among young gay/bisexual men continues to be a challenge for many HIV prevention programs. The Anchorage Mpowerment Project AMP is a community level HIV prevention intervention designed to reduce the frequency of unprotected intercourse among young gay/bisexual men, ages 18-29, by mobilizing them to support each other about safer sex and to build a stronger, healthier community.

The Four A's provides safe and sane activities for this peer to peer intervention in order to build a strong peer group with the skills to discuss HIV openly. The project led by Teddy Jones and Waylon Waddell hosts 4-6 social events, 2 volunteer opportunities, and one HIV education session per month.

You may see our group if you go to a community event. They will be the guys handing out condoms and providing HIV testing. This group is one of the best in the country at what they do, and we are very proud of the fact that last year we won the Peter Dispirito award for service to the GLBT community.

Please come out and support Drag Queen Bingo and let the greater Anchorage community see that we are not afraid and we will not go away. We feel that filling the streets with fun-loving community-minded drag queens is a good reply to those who try to spread intolerance in our community.

Denali Moose Scat Race benefits Interior AIDS

The annual Moose Scat Scoot in Denali National Park is on June 26 at 5 p.m. and this year all proceeds from the race go to benefit the Interior AIDS Association!
Prizes for race winners and top fundraisers include flightseeing, rafting and a variety of tours. Register at Riley Creek Mercantile, near the entrance to Denali National Park, between 2-4pm. Buses leave at 4:45 to take participants to the race start.
ARAMARK parks and resorts is kicking off their season with the annual Moose Scat Scoot Race. Thanks to the community's previous donations and assistance, our staff can continue to bring various recreational and social events to Denali. The goal of this event is to raise funds for the Interior Alaska AIDS Association.

This year's Moose Scat Scoot will take place on Saturday, June 26, 2010 inside Denali Park. The race consists of a half marathon bike/run, 5k run/walk, and a 1/2 mile fun run/walk. There will be an entry fee of $25 for each runner, with sponsorships to raise money for the Alaskan Interior AIDS Association.

We hope that you will consider donating items to provide us assistance with prizes and merchandise that will go toward participants and winners, as well as helping provide friendly benefits for the community. Your contributions will be one huge asset to the race and any donation will go directly to the Interior Alaska AIDS Association.

For further consideration, any business which is able to provide prizes and items in the amount of $200.00 or more will have the benefit of displaying their business' name screen-printed on the back of the event T-shirt.
Please contact Patty Burns at Aramark to donate items for the Moose Scat Scoot 2010 and to make contributions to the Scoot/IAA fund.

The day after the race is National HIV Testing Day. Get tested at IAA on Sunday June 27 from 2-5pm, or on June 28-July 2 from 9am-5pm. Testing is also available at the Fairbanks Regional Public Health Center, Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center, and Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. Take the Test, Take Control! For more information, visit

Assembly passes PrideFest resolution, shelves Bronson

The Anchorage Assembly unanimously passed a resolution supporting Alaska PrideFest at Tuesday night's meeting! Then the Assembly scored a second Pride Week victory by voting to indefinitely postpone the appointment of AFC chair and professional hater Dave Bronson to a school commission.

Time to thank our Assembly members - the longtime advocates, the new members who supported us, as well as the conservatives who stood up to Prevo in support of Alaska Pride.

The PrideFest resolution introduced by vice-chair Patrick Flynn welcomes Alaska PrideFest 2010, recognizes the contributions of the LGBT community to Alaska, and "encourages all residents to enjoy this celebration." The Diversity Parade and Pride Festival is on Saturday, June 26 starting at 11 a.m.
AR NO. 2010–200

WHEREAS, Anchorage is richly endowed with a great diversity of people, cultures, religions, sexual orientations, and languages; and

WHEREAS, the strength of a civil society is measured by the level of outreach, participation and engagement of all its members in the social, economic, and political activities of the community; and

WHEREAS, Anchorage is a more welcoming and stronger place as a result of the inclusion and celebration of so many diverse communities within our greater municipal community; and

WHEREAS, along with others, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities have made significant contributions through active involvement in the Alaska economy, and the cultural, social and civic life unique to Alaska; and

WHEREAS, Alaska PrideFest 2010 is a 10-day celebration involving various non-profit, social, and business organizations hosting special events at venues throughout Anchorage from June 18—27, 2010; and

WHEREAS, on Saturday, June 26, 2010, Alaska PrideFest 2010 activities include the Celebrating Diversity Parade through downtown Anchorage and the PrideFest Festival featuring live entertainment, vendors, food, friends, fun and carnival activities on the Delaney Park Strip; and

WHEREAS, although residents of our community may disagree on issues, Anchorage benefits from the ongoing dialogue, awareness, and celebration that builds bridges and strengthens our interdependence as an Alaskan community;

NOW, THEREFORE, the Anchorage Municipal Assembly

WELCOMES Alaska PrideFest 2010

and encourages all residents to enjoy this celebration themed "2010 A Pride Odyssey."

PASSED AND APPROVED by the Anchorage Assembly this (22nd) day of (June), 2010.
Good work, Anchorage Assembly. THANK YOU!

Ossiander defends position for man who threatened her *UPDATE: Bronson shelved*

UPDATE: The Assembly heard our concerns and voted to postpone Bronson's appointment indefinitely! Only Birch and Starr voted against the postponement. Kudos to Ossiander for standing up to Prevo this time.

Tonight, the Anchorage Assembly will vote to oppose or approve Mayor Sullivan's appointment of Alaska Family Council chairman and ABT member Dave Bronson to a school commission. Please remind the Assembly to oppose this inappropriate choice:

A Bent Alaska reader wrote to the Assembly about Bronson, and forwarded a strange response from Debbie Ossiander:
Dear Assembly Members,

Please reject the nomination of Dave Bronson to any position on any board, commission, or committee in the municipality. His open letter to Debbie Ossiander (during the 2009 AO64 hearings) alone should disqualify him from consideration. He has clearly declared himself to have highly politicized and rigid views which would preclude him from working productively with the wide variety of officials and citizens of our city.

On the other hand, his resume shows that he is clearly qualified to pilot an airplane if any such municipal need should arise.

Thank you
On Friday, the reader sent an update saying, "Can you believe her? I got responses from others agreeing, one from Ernie Hall saying thank you for your letter, and this," an odd response from Ossiander:
thanks for the note...I do want you to know that there are no qualifications listed anywhere for this advisory volunteer committee. Historically it has been filled by anyone who is interested and willing to serve. Their sole responsiblity is to write and advisory letter on the ASD budget. I believe it is a 9 member committee and still has several vacant seats.
No comment on Bronson's inability to work productively with the Assembly, his anti-gay activism and political extremism, or his dislike of diversity - diversity that exists in the Anchorage school system and is reflected in the ASD budget.

Would Ossiander really give a city position to someone who threatened and blamed her personally for the downfall of Anchorage? Here is a quote from Bronson's open letter to Ossiander during last summer's battle for an equal rights ordinance:
Madam Chair, when Catholic Social Services (CSS) and Latter Day Saints Social Services cease operations because their faith compels them to adopt children to heterosexual couples only... you, personally, will be to blame. When religious schools close their doors because in obedience to their faith they simply cannot allow practicing homosexuals or transsexuals to teach their children... you, personally, will be to blame. I wonder why you think Anchorage is now such an evil city that it must undergo such a radical transformation just to assuage your guilt that someone you may know and care about is being treated terribly by someone who is simply exercising their right to be ignorant. Mind you, your ignorance, demonstrated by a vote for AO 64 will be far more harmful to many more individuals that you can imagine... and you, personally, will be to blame. Whether you intend these catastrophic consequences to happen or not is simply meaningless. The language in AO 64 is clear and it will cause exactly what I have articulated.
And she would approve him for a city position? Wow.

KTVA on PrideFest 2010 (video)

KTVA Channel 11 in Anchorage reported on the week of events for Alaska PrideFest, with video and interviews from Saturday's Annual Gay Memorial Service and clips of last year's Pride Festival. The intro reads: "A bevy of businesses will host special events around town celebrating PrideFest - a ten-day lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community celebration."

For more information on Alaska PrideFest, visit

NOH8: I am Human (video)

A group of familiar faces speaking nine different languages from all over the world came together for the NOH8 Campaign's new PSA to share one simple message: I am human.

No matter what language you speak or what country you live in, everybody everywhere speaks the universal language of love. We are all human, and we deserve to be treated equally.

Our diverse cast of Familiar Faces include Amber Rose (English), George Takei (Japanese), Kimberley Locke (English), Louis van Amstel (Dutch), Marlee Matlin (American Sign Language), Mayim Bialik (Hebrew), Selene Luna (Spanish), Vassy (Greek & French), and Vida Ghaffari (Farsi).

Watch NOH8's powerful, international message of love:

Miss MeMe's Glee-themed promo for HIV Testing Week (video)

This week is National HIV Testing Week, June 21-27, and the Four A's made a great promo video, "MeMe's Corner" starring the Imperial Court of All Alaska's fabulous Miss MeMe in a Glee parody. MeMe knows best and she is lending her name to a very important cause - HIV Testing.

Watch "Miss MeMe's Corner" and subscribe to the Four A's YouTube Channel:

One of many free HIV testing opportunities that week will be at PrideFest on Saturday June 26. The Four A's and the Municipality of Anchorage will be offering free HIV testing and free gonorrhea and chlamydia testing from 1-5 p.m. Just come visit the Four A's booth.

There will be a week long series of events offering free HIV testing in both Anchorage and Juneau. It's important to know your status for the health of yourself and your loved ones. Getting tested is quick and easy. All events will use an oral swab that gives results in 20 minutes.

The Anchorage testing dates and locations are listed below. The Juneau events were posted with the Juneau Pride schedule. Check out Four A's at for more information about National HIV Testing Week.

Saturday, June 19
Mad Myrna's
10 p.m. -12 a.m.
(530 E. 5th Avenue)

Monday, June 21
Teen Clinic at Transit Center Downtown
12:30 p.m. -2:30 p.m.

Four A's Evening Hours
1057 W. Fireweed Lane, Suite 102
4 p.m.-7 p.m.

Wednesday, June 23
Four A's Evening Hours
4 p.m.-7 p.m.

Friday, June 25
Mad Myrna's
10 p.m.-12 a.m.

Saturday, June 26
1-5 p.m.

Get tested and know your status. MeMe says so.

Alaska PrideFest 2010 Schedule

"Alaska PrideFest 2010: A Pride Odyssey" runs from Saturday June 19 through Sunday June 27, with the Diversity Parade and Pride on the Park Strip Festival on Saturday June 26 starting at 11 am.
"The goal of PrideFest is to provide the community with a means to celebrate the diversity within Alaska, and to give expression to the pride we feel as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. We hope this public celebration and affirmation of our heritage and history will serve as inspiration for those who are questioning their own sexual or gender identity."
Here is the schedule posted on, with something for everyone:

Saturday June 19
10am-6pm - Identity will have a booth at the Anchorage Market, at 3rd & E Street, selling the 2010 AK PrideFest T-shirts and rainbow merchandise.

11am - 11th Annual Gay Memorial Service, Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery (6th and Fairbanks St, enter off Fairbanks St or 9th Avenue, NE corner)

9pm - Mr. Miss and Ms. Gay Alaska ICOAA Pageant at Mad Myrna's. Hosted by Ms. Gay Alaska Sarah Alvarez and Emperor Kevin Holtz. Come see who will be Mr/Ms/Miss Gay Alaska 2010-2011! Includes swimsuit competition, talent, evening wear and on-stage question.

Sunday June 20
10am-6pm - Identity booth at the Anchorage Market.

11am - Non-denominational Blessing of Pride service. Gay and Lesbian Community Center, 336 E. 5th Ave.

4:30pm - Pride Week Kick-Off BBQ at the Raven. Free.

Monday June 21
5:30pm - GLBT "mini film fest" at Bear Tooth. Feature Documentary: City of Borders $3

7:30pm - GLBT "mini film fest" at Bear Tooth. Feature Film: The Big Gay Musical $3

Wednesday June 23
8pm - 10pm - Lube Wrestling at The Raven. FREE Admission. Wrestlers will be auctioned off to be lubed up and rubbed down by the highest bidder before they compete! Proceeds to go to the Alaska PrideFest & The Last Frontier Men's Club.

Thursday June 24
6pm - 9pm - Drag Queen Bingo at Snow City Cafe. Admission is $15 for 3 games, or come in drag and it's $10 for 3 games. This is an all ages event. Hosted by Anchorage Mpowerment Project (AMP)

10pm - Anchorage's Hottest Strippers at The Kodiak. Join Jade and her beautiful men for an evening of fun. $5 cover at the door.

11pm - GLBT "mini film fest" Bear Tooth. Feature Film: Priscilla: Queen of the Desert $3

Friday June 25
9pm - Friday Night Diva Variety Show at Mad Myrna's. Cover is $4

10pm - Shawn M and the Lipgloss Revue at The Kodiak. Returning from Las Vegas for a 2 night engagement, welcome back your favorites to the stage (Madonna, Kylie Minogue and More). $5 cover at the door.
Saturday June 26
11am - Celebrating Diversity Parade, with Anchorage Assembly member Elvi Gray-Jackson as the Grand Marshal, will begin at 6th and D and proceed to the Memorial Block of Delaney Park Strip. The 2010 parade route is posted HERE.

Noon - 6pm - Pride on the Park Strip! A festival for all ages with free admission. Bring cash for food, vendors and fun new activities. The Kiddie Carnival is back for the youngest among us. Teens can meet up at the Chill Out Tent. Let out your inner child at the Bungee Run, Bucking Salmon, Sumo Wrestling and more. Plus, you can bike to the park strip where BCA will provide free and secure bike parking beginning at 11am. The festival will be on the Park Strip (between 9th and 10th) near K street.
9pm - GMK and Company at Mad Myrna's. $10 at the door. All proceeds to benefit Alaska PrideFest (Identity, Inc).

10pm - Shawn M and the Lipgloss Revue at The Kodiak. From Las Vegas, the last of a 2 night engagement, with Madonna, Kylie Minogue and more. $5 cover at the door.

Sunday June 27
2pm - 3:30pm - Inaugural Pride Ecumenical Service "The Journey" held at 2222 East Tudor Road.

4pm - Pride Week BBQ at Mad Myrna's. Bring your own meat! Myrna's will supply salads, antipasta tray, condiments, cheese, buns, chips and Baked Beans ala La Choy plus plates, napkins, cutlery and the grill.

7pm - An After Pride Meet n' Greet BBQ at The Kodiak. Free food for everyone. Join Doug and Calvin in a feast made for our Rainbow Family. No cover charge.

Prop 8 closing arguments made, decision in a few weeks

Attorneys for and against Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban, delivered closing arguments in federal court on Wednesday before Judge Vaughn Walker, who is expected to rule on the ban in the next few weeks. Both sides have vowed to appeal the judge's decision to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Alaska, and possibly to the Supreme Court.

Attorney Ted Olson, representing the same sex couples, told the court that marriage is a fundamental right and that Proposition 8 designates gay men and lesbians as second-class citizens entitled to "less honor, less status, and fewer benefits." More quotes from Olson's rebuttal (based on the live-blogging at AFER, which will also be posting the official transcripts):
"What we are talking about here is allowing individuals who have the same impulses, the same drives, the same desires as all of the rest of us to have a relationship in harmony, stability, and to form a family in a neighborhood, all of those things that the Supreme Court talked about. And now tell me how it helps the rest of the citizens of California to keep them out of the club? It doesn't."

"... you are discriminating against a group of people, you are causing them harm, you are excluding them from an important part of life and you have to have a good reason for that. And I submit at the end of the day 'I don't know' and 'I don't have any evidence,' with all due respect to Mr. Cooper, it does not cut it. It does not cut it when you are taking away the basic human rights and human decency from a large group of individuals and you don't know why they are a threat to your particular institution."

"You cannot then in the face of all those decisions by the United States Supreme Court say to these individuals we are going to take away the constitutional right to liberty, privacy, association and sexual intimacy that we tell you that you have, and then we will now use that as a basis for not allowing you the freedom to marry. That is not acceptable. It's not acceptable under our constitution. And Mr. Blankenhorn is absolutely right, the day that we end that we will be more American."
In the NCLR analysis of the closing arguments for Perry v. Schwarzenegger, Senior Staff Attorney Christopher Stoll wrote,
Today's arguments overwhelmingly demonstrated the volume and strength of the plaintiffs' evidence, and the complete lack of evidence in support of Proposition 8.

Theodore Olson of Gibson, Dunn did a masterful job for the plaintiffs. He focused his presentation on the two plaintiff couples' moving testimony about why marriage is important to them. Olson also highlighted the testimony from all of the expert witnesses - on both sides of the case - who unanimously agreed that marriage would enhance the well-being of same-sex couples and their kids. Olson hammered home the point that during the election, Prop 8 backers argued that children needed be "protected" from gay people -- but during the trial, the Prop 8 backers did not raise this argument, which echoes themes that anti-gay forces have used for decades to stigmatize and marginalize gay men and lesbians. Instead, the attorneys defending Prop 8 argued that same-sex couples must be excluded from marriage because the purpose of marriage is procreation. Olson countered that the right to marry, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, is about the individual right to form a family, whether or not procreation is involved.

Asked by Judge Walker to describe the evidence supporting his position, Charles Cooper, the attorney defending Proposition 8, repeatedly said that there was no need for evidence to support his case. At one point, he claimed that even the single expert witness on his side, David Blankenhorn, had been unnecessary, because simply looking at the dictionary would show that the definition of marriage presumes procreation. Judge Walker asked Cooper about different-sex couples who cannot or do not procreate, and about different-sex married couples who do not procreate "naturally" because they adopt children or need medical assistance to conceive. Cooper returned time and again to the argument that marriage is needed in order to "channel" heterosexual people into having sex, and procreating, within marriage, but was unable to point to any evidence from trial that allowing same-sex couples to marry would have any effect on the "channeling" of heterosexual reproduction into marriage.

Judge Walker's sharply questioned both Olson and Cooper about the facts presented at the trial. Although it's risky to predict how a judge might be leaning based on the questions he asked, several of Judge Walker's suggested that he might be considering applying some type of heightened scrutiny to Prop 8 because it discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation. Judge Walker indicated that in his view, whether a trait is "immutable" and whether the excluded group lacks political power are not the key factors supporting heightened scrutiny. Instead, his questions indicated that he considers it more important that the group have a long history of discrimination based on a factor that is irrelevant to their ability to contribute to society. Based on the evidence presented at trial, that would certainly be true of gay men and lesbians. Ted Olson and David Boies's team put on compelling expert testimony about the long and painful history of discrimination against LGBT people. If the judge does decide to apply some type of heightened scrutiny, it's very hard to see how Prop 8 could be upheld. The defenders of Prop 8 offered no evidence that there was even a rational reason, let alone a compelling one, for the voters to single out one category of California couples for unequal treatment under the law.
The following In The Life video posted on Tuesday provides a good visual background to the case, the trial, and the closing arguments:

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