News Briefs for June 3, 2015

'Tel Aviv Loves all Genders'

(Submitted) The "Nonstop City's" 17th Annual Pride Festival will be taking place between June 7-12, with its highlight being the City's largest ever gay parade, with an expected all-time record 180,000 participants compared to las year’s crowd of 130,000, making it Asia's largest ever gay pride event. This year's events will focus on supporting the Transgender Community, a fact that made Eurovision Star Conchita Wurst, Austrian Winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, decide to come to Tel Aviv to perform in the parade.

Events include parade along the city's world-famous beach, LGBT culture festival, film festival, conferences, ongoing chill-out beach and Tel Aviv's largest ever Gay Party (to host 7,000 party-goers at the City's football stadium).

"We are pleased to see the vision we have cultivated this year - pride events reflecting the diversity of the LGBT community, and bringing the transgender community to the forefront - become a reality, said Yaniv Weizman, Member of Tel Aviv City Council, “Tel Aviv celebrates all those who help make it, every day, the city that loves all genders."

LGBT Human Rights Envoy on 11 day Visit to Latin America and Caribbean

(Submitted) Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons Randy Berry will travel to Chile from June 1 – 2, Argentina from June 3 – 4, Uruguay from June 4 – 5, Brazil from June 6 – 9, and the Dominican Republic from June 10 – 11 to discuss the human rights of LGBTI persons and other historically marginalized groups.

During the 11 day visit, Special Envoy Berry will participate in LGBTI Pride Month activities and meet with government representatives, in addition to members of religious, business, academic, and civil society organizations.

Comcast Sponsors National LGBT 50th Anniversary PSA

(Submitted) Comcast Corporation is providing $1.5 million worth of airtime to broadcast a 30-second National LGBT 50th Anniversary public service announcement (PSA).

On July 4, James Obergefell, plaintiff in the Supreme Court marriage equality case, Edie Windsor, Judy Shepard, Wanda Sykes, and more LGBT leaders and entertainers will gather for the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony. The four-day National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration takes place July 2 – 5 and will include a wreath laying at the Gay Pioneers historical marker, six LGBT history exhibits, panels, parties, National Interfaith Service, "Gay Pioneers" film screening, concert, fireworks, street festival in the gayborhood and more. The Celebration takes place just days after the Supreme Court marriage equality decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

“Through Comcast’s support, the 50th Anniversary PSA will be the most broadcast LGBT television PSA in history,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Chair, National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration. “The PSA commemorates the launch of the organized LGBT movement at Independence Hall, civil rights progress, and shared American values."

The PSA, can be viewed at: or at and will air nationally.

San Francisco Columbarium Rededicates Milk Niche

The San Francisco Columbarium rededicated a larger memorial niche in honor of slain city supervisor Harvey Milk for its observance of Harvey Milk Day.

The niche contains items that were donated years ago by Dan Nicoletta, a gay man and longtime photographer who once worked with Milk at his Castro Camera shop.

In a Facebook post, Nicoletta, who now lives in Oregon and could not be present at the May 23 rededication ceremony, said that the Columbarium was "upgrading Harvey to a larger niche."

The niche contains memorial items; his ashes were spread over the Pacific Ocean and some are buried in the sidewalk under a plaque in front of Milk's old camera store, now a store and action center run by the Human Rights Campaign.

Calling it a "treasure trove of wonderful materials," Nicoletta donated a medium-sized box filled with election pins, magazines, and photos, including one with Milk and former Mayor George Moscone, who was killed along with Milk in 1978. The project was delayed after the flurry of activity surrounding the 2008 biopic Milk, for which Nicoletta served as a consultant.

Nicoletta said that the decision to donate the items came about in a casual conservation with the Columbarium staff as they viewed Milk as an icon for the advancement of the LGBT movement.

"Harvey would find people who believed that they were not worthy, that they were less than or not normal. He looked them in the eye and said that's not true. You are worthy, you are valuable, and you are normal," said Columbarium general manager Bob Yount, 65.

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