State Department to Host Google+ Hangout on Visa Processing for Same-Sex Couples

The State Department will host a Google+ hangout tomorrow to discuss guidelines for visa application for same-sex couples.

KerryFrom the State Dept:

Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Department of State would begin processing visas for same-sex couples in the same manner that it considers applications for opposite-sex spouses.  On Thursday, August 8 at 1 p.m. EDT, the Department will host a Google+ Hangout to discuss what these new guidelines mean for both immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants.

On hand to answer questions will be David Stewart, Consul General of the U.S. Embassy in London; Don Heflin, Managing Director of the State Department’s Visa Office; and Victoria Neilson, Legal Director of Immigration Equality, which advocates on behalf of LGBT and HIV-positive individuals. Chris Johnson, chief political and White House reporter for the Washington Blade, will moderate the hangout. 

The hangout will be broadcast live on the Department of State’s YouTube channel and Google+ page.  Questions can be submitted in advance via Facebook and Twitter using #AskState and tweeting at @StateDept,@TravelGov, or @USAinUKCGCorner.

via Towleroad News #gay

‘Young Democrats of America’ President Rod Snyder: I’m Gay

Rod Snyder, the President of the Young Democrats of America, wraps up his three-year tenure at the organization, and comes out of the closet:

SnyderBut in the midst of all this historic progress, I’ve never taken the opportunity to tell my own story – that I am a Christian, an American, a West Virginian, a Young Democrat, a rural advocate, a singer-songwriter, a brother, a son, a grandson, a nephew, an uncle, and a gay man.

Growing up in a conservative Christian family in rural West Virginia, my own journey to a place of self acceptance has been a long and difficult one. Over the past two years, now in my early thirties, I’ve finally found the courage to look in the mirror and insist upon honesty and authenticity, overcoming so many negative messages I had internalized as a child and young adult. I’ve reached a place where I believe my story can help increase understanding, provide encouragement and be a catalyst for change.

While society is evolving at a breathtaking pace, there are still many places like my home state of West Virginia where I could be fired from a job or evicted from an apartment simply because of the person I love. I can’t sit by quietly and leave this fight for equality to others. This is my fight.

There are also young LGBT men and women across the country who aspire to careers in public service and need to know that they can achieve success in the political arena. I want to be an example of a leader who succeeds because of my honesty, not in spite of it.

Some Unfinished Business [yda]

via Towleroad News #gay

Daddy Days Launch In Provincetown

Hot on the heels of long-running and wildly popular Bear Week comes Daddy Days, Provincetown’s first get together for older gay men. The event is sponsored, unsurprisingly, by the website DaddyHunt. Via press release:

Gay social network announced that it will kick off its first annual Provincetown Daddy Days this Saturday, August 10th. The week-long event will be a celebration of gay men of all ages, featuring parties, dinners, performances and tea-dances at locations across Provincetown. “We wanted to find a way to bring together the strong, smart men who helped build the gay community we know today,” says Javier Cobo, Community Director for Daddyhunt. “We’ve seen historic changes in the past few years politically, and it’s time for us to realize we’re maturing as a community as well. Love and sex aren’t limited by age. With Daddy Days, we’re hoping to bring together not only daddies and daddy hunters, but guys that enjoy a broader definition of community.”

Bear Week already draws a nice number of older guys, so it’ll be interesting to see how Daddy Days works out. If you go, send us your thoughts.

via Joe. My. God.

McDonald’s Offers a Taste of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi: VIDEO


I’d expect more Sochi 2014 sponsors to be targeted with items like this, sent in by Towleroad reader Robert-John. If you missed the background on its content, click here.


Today, the International Olympic Committee will receive more than 300,000 signatures urging it to denounce Russia’s anti-gay laws. 83 members of Congress this week called on John Kerry to clarify the U.S. State Department’s position on the controversy.

Russian officials have issued conflicting statements about whether athletes and visitors to the Olympics will be prosecuted under the anti-gay laws. Thus far, the IOC has said it is standing by assurances
from the Russian government that the laws will not apply to Sochi
visitors, which does nothing to change the fact of their existence and
the human rights abuses being inflicted upon LGBT people there on a
daily basis.

via Towleroad News #gay

Gay Tennessee Couple Denied Marriage License: VIDEO


Davidson County, Tennessee couple Jeff Laudieri and Will Peyton applied for a marriage license this morning and were denied, Out and About Nashville reports. The couple has been together for nine years.

“It’s important that Tennessee get on board with the other 13 states that have done this … we are at a serious economic disadvantage and a civic disadvantage for not being able to marry,” Laudieri told reporters after he and Peyton were denied based on Tennessee law. “We just want the same piece of mind that every other married couple has always had and we want to do it in Tennessee where we live.”

Chris Sanders, TEP Executive Director, told reporters this was a first step in the necessary court challenge to Tennessee’s same-sex marriage ban. “It’s going to require a court challenge. What happened today was a piece of that. This gives the couples that apply for marriage licenses, but are refused, more standing if they wish to challenge the state constitutional marriage ban in court . . . this is one part of a multi-pronged strategy to overturn Tennessee’s state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.”


In more hopeful news out of the Volunteer State, Collegedale is the first city to offer benefits to same-sex spouses of government employees:

Four on the five-member commission voted to accept the new policy. Before he cast his supporting vote, Commissioner Larry Hanson said, “You don’t know how lucky we are to get to vote on this.”

The lone “no,” Mayor John Turner, said he voted for the 74 who had reached out to him opposing the policy.

“That’s what we’re supposed to do as elected officials, represent the people of our district,” he said.


via Towleroad News #gay