Iconic NOH8 Campaign coming to Idaho!

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If you’ve ever wanted to be included in the iconic and very sexy NOH8 campaign, listen up! The man who made duct tape and make-up fashion symbols of equality will be bringing his cameras to Boise next month.

The four year old campaign, was started by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to California’s Prop 8. It has sense gone on to capture the facebook and social media sites of celebrities, politicians and normal everyday people who are more then happy to show their faces for equality.

Bouska, a famed fashion photographer who has shot some of the biggest names in Hollywood will be in Boise to take the pictures himself.

The fact that the shoot is taking place at the Treasure Valley Community Center makes the Idaho stop even more iconic. March happens to mark the 30th anniversary date for Idaho’s longest running LGBT community center. So, not only do you get to take part in the campaign, but you will also be helping to celebrate one of the community’s most historic institutions.

According to the NoH8 website, the shoot is an open one. You can have your picture taken as an individual or as a group for $40.00 or $25.00 respectively.

“Anyone that would like to join the NOH8 Campaign is asked to wear a plain white shirt to match the look of the signature NOH8 photos. When you arrive, you will receive a numbered model release to fill out, followed by having your NOH8 tattoo applied. We will call numbers throughout the day, and your corresponding release number will signal your time to line up to have your photo taken,” the site says.

“Funds raised by the NOH8 Campaign will be used to continue promoting and raising awareness for marriage equality and anti-discrimination through NOH8’s interactive media campaign.”

What: NOH8 Campaign comes to TCC

When: Saturday, March 16th from 2-5 pm

Where: THE COMMUNITY CENTER

Who: You!

Cost: $40.00 for individual shots. $25.00 dollars for couples or groups.

Click HERE to learn more.

A facebook event page for the Boise shoot has been set up HERE.

Watch a video of the campaign’s celebration of its fourth Anniversary:

Wyoming kills Marriage Equality Bill, Considers Domestic Partnerships

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A bill that would have defined marriage as a civil contract between “two natural persons” was rejected by the Wyoming House Corporations Committee on a vote of 5-4.

Think Progress reports,”Testimony against the bill included threats that gays are pedophiles and that same-sex activity damages colons. Hopes were high that there was bipartisan support for the legislation to pass.”

Instead, the same committee gave approval to House Bill 168, which, according to the bill’s sponsor,”allows same-sex couples to register into a domestic partnership, where they are allowed the same rights as spouses.”

Both bills were sponsored by Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie.

According to the Casper-Star Tribune,”The bill replaces the word “spouse” in state statutes with the phrase “domestic partnership.” Although minors can get married, they are not allowed to enter a domestic partnership. The bill also separates domestic partnership from religion because the registration and filing is done with the county clerk rather than by clergy.”

Wyoming lawmakers have considered similar legislation “three times since 2007, but none of them passed.”

The domestic partnership bill passed with a 7-2 vote. It now moves on to the full house.

(Click HERE to read the full bill.)

“Connolly also is a co-sponsor to an anti-discrimination bill sponsored by Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie. The bill would add sexual orientation or gender identification to the state’s anti-discrimination statutes,” reports the paper.

Add the Words, Idaho to hold “Cookie Day” at Capital Building

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The group that has spent the few years asking lawmakers for a statewide ban on LGBT discrimination will mark Idaho Human Rights Day serving up cookies and a message to state lawmakers, on Monday.

For the past six years, the Idaho Legislature has refused to hear testimony on a bill that would add the words,”sexual orientation and gender identity” to Idaho’s Human Rights Act.

Last year thousands of Idahoans from across the state filled out sticky notes, attended rallies and held vigils under the “Add the Words” banner.  So far this legislative session the group has been a little less visible.

Add the Words, Idaho spokeswoman Mistie Tolman says despite the lack of  headlines that marked the opening of last year’s legislative session, the campaign, and its message, is still going strong , “Daily, people across Idaho, in small towns and in cities, live in fear of being fired from their jobs, being denied housing, public services or educational opportunities because they are gay or transgender. We are often asked if as an organization we are still moving forward.  My answer is always the same. We cannot sit back and rest while good people are being harmed.  We will continue to work every day to keep hope alive. The thousands of voices we carried into the statehouse last year live on.  They continue to tell their story to the legislature, to tell them that they are wrong when they say their constituents don’t care. Add the Words is still collecting sticky notes to deliver to the legislature.”

On Monday, which nationally marks Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the group will be at the Capital building with a table full of cookies asking lawmakers to once again,”Add the Words.” The campaign is also asking Idahoans around the state to take a few minutes to contact their own legislators regarding the act .

Tolman says other Add the Words, Idaho events will be announced throughout the 2013 session,”We are getting to know the new legislators this year, and we have events planned, so please be watching!  (You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter)  This discussion must be had.  It is time that an open dialogue is had inside the walls of that statehouse, and we will not give up until all Idahoans are given protections.  In the words of Dr. King himself, ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’  This year, more than ever, we must all be vocal in our support.  Let your legislators know TODAY that you support amending Idaho’s Human Rights Act to Add the Words.”

Other Human Rights Day events include:

9-10:30 a.m., SUB Jordan Ballroom Poster making at BSU.

10:40 a.m. March down Capitol Blvd.Rally at the statehouse.

Noon: State of Idaho officially recognizes the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
Speaker: Rev. Happy Watkins, New Hope Baptist Church, Spokane, WA. presented in part by the Idaho Commission on Human Rights.

For more info : mlk.boisestate.edu

From Seattle to D.C.: Alan Bounville nears end of Equality Walk

Map_Into the Light Walk

A 6,000 mile cross country walk for equality will come to a close with a press conference in D.C. next month. Alan Bounville started his trek on May 31, 2011 in Seattle. Along the way he’s made new friends, helped to educate thousands with his one man shows and workshops on LGBT equality and spent more than one cold and lonely night camped out in the middle of nowhere.

Accompanied by a push cart with two rainbow-colored signs that read, “Full Equality NOW!”, he’s walked every step of the way, zigzagging from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, often over harsh terrain and in even harsher weather.

Despite the hardships he’s encountered, the New York native never lost site of  his reason for undertaking such a monumental task, “The overarching mission of the walk is to end gender discrimination in all its forms. All people are typed in our society based on how they look. And much of the violence hurled upon people is based on these images. I feel if we open up spaces where we can learn to be better reflectors of our own thoughts and feelings, we can begin to understand what is meant by a pluralistic society where all are treated equally both in law and socially,” Bounville told a reporter in 2011.

It’s a message that he’s been able to share with tens of thousands of Americans, “People stop me all the time to ask what I’m doing and why I’m walking. Many people are supportive. Some are downright discriminatory. I keep walking because I know that the more I share my truth, the more I humanize to others my demand to be treated equally by my government and my neighbors. When people who don’t support my demand look me in the eye, they walk away from me changed. Something always seems to shift in unsupportive people after I tell them why I’m walking and that I’m gay or queer.”

While walking, Bounville has held numerous candlelight vigils remembering people who were murdered or who have taken their own lives due to discrimination based on the victim’s perceived or actual gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Bounville has also talked at religious services about his mission, facilitated social movement and art as activism workshops, and performed a solo interview theatre-based play inspiring people to walk into their own light and true potential.

The final 3 mile leg of the walk will start in Arlington, Virginia on Saturday, February 23 at 3 PM. From there Bounville and those who are interested in joining him will walk across the Potomac River and arrive outside of the White House for a vigil and  the press conference.

“For nearly two years I’ve been invited as an equal into hundreds of homes across this great land. The walk ends at the People’s House, where transgender, bisexual, queer, lesbian, two spirit, intersex, and gay Americans are still not welcome as equals. The time for full equality is now”, says Bounville in a press release.

Earlier this month, Alan’s name was added to Wikipedia’s list of 62 individuals who have completed their walks across the country since 1980.

Participants who are interested in walking those last three miles can join the facebook event page HERE.

You can find out more about Alan and his entire journey on his website at www.intothelightwalk.com or on the walk’s facebook page found HERE.

You can make a donation to  Into the Light Walk by clicking HERE. 10% of every dollar raised through the Into the Light Walk goes to the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, an organization whose mission is aligned with the purpose of this walk.

Save the Date: City Officials To Meet with LGBT Community Regarding New Ordinance

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If you’ve been wondering just how Boise’s new anti-discrimination ordinance is going to affect you, how it will be enforced, or what to do if you are facing discrimination, you’ll want to mark your calendar.

On Wednesday, January 9th from 6:30-8:00 pm, the Boise Police Department’s new LGBT Liaison Katie Davey, Deputy Police Chief Pete Ritter and City Council member Maryanne Jordan will  be among those joining in on a panel discussion regarding the ordinance.

The city’s new law prohibits employers and other businesses from discriminating against employees, renters, leasers or customers because they’re gay or transgender.

It was passed unanimously by the Boise City Council last month and went into affect on New Years Day.

Next week’s meeting will also give community members the chance to meet the police department’s new LGBT  Community Liaison, who assumed the position following the departure of Janet Lawler last year.

“With the new LGBT Liaison Katie Davey being named and the new city ordinance taking effect at the same time, it’s the perfect time to begin discussions like this between the LGBT community and the Boise Police Department. In the past, the LGBT community has expressed concern about contacting the police. Hopefully this meeting will begin to break down some of those fears and barriers and the LGBT community will begin to see the Boise Police Department as an ally.” says Lion’s Pride Director Donna Harwood, organizer of the event.

The discussion follows a more informal meeting held with representatives of the community last month.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided compliments of 3 Girls Catering.

What: A panel discussion/”meet and greet” with Boise City officials regarding Boise’s new anti-discrimination ordinance.

When: Wednesday, January 9th from 6:30-8:00 pm.

Where: The Community Center, 305 East 37th Street, Garden City, Idaho

Who: Everyone who is interested.

Click HERE to join in on the Facebook invite or to learn more.

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