“Salt Lake City Approves Gay Rights Measures After Historic Mormon Backing!”

Thus read the headlines this morning from the Associated Press, wherein the Mormon church – for the first time – announced its support of gay rights legislation! Although the church still opposes gay marriage this law, which was passed unanimously, bans discrimination against gays in housing and employment. Progress is incremental, and we salute the Mormon church in taking this important step towards tolerance and acceptance.

Chaz Bono

Many of you may be aware that Chastity Bono, the daughter of entertainers Sonny Bono and Cher, has decided to undergo and complete gender reassignment therapy and surgery. Chastity will now be known as Chaz and will continue his life as a man. Chaz has always been in the public eye, through his association with his famous parents. He said that the most difficult part of coming forth publicly with this decision was “finding the courage not to worry about what other people would think of me so much.” We honor Chaz for his courage and hope that his journey of discovery inspires others who may be struggling with issues of gender identity and crisis. Go Chaz!

Hate Crimes Protections, at last!

On Thursday, Congress approved the addition of a sexual orientation clause to the list of federal hate crimes which will be subject to prosecution. CBS news notes that this measure has been on the congressional agenda for over 10 years, and expands the current law to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. It is named for Matthew Shepard, the Wyoming college student who was murdered 11 years ago.

This expansion of our current hate crimes law had been a priority of the late Senator Edward Kennedy. We hope that today, somehow – somewhere, both he and Matthew are aware and smiling.

Matthew Shepard R.I.P.

This is the eleventh anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death… Mathew’s mom has been indefatigable in lobbying congress and rallying supporters for a new hate crimes bill. Please support Mrs. Shephard and help if you can. Matthew – here’s hoping your death and suffering will continue to act as a catalyst to new understanding and tolerance.

Gay student receives death threat at NC campus

A death threat was received earlier this week by a gay student attending Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.  On Monday, the student found a note on his door stating that “nobody wants your kind on campus” and that “death is too good for you.  Almost.”      I spend every summer on the Guilford campus and am deeply saddened and horrified by this development.

Guilford has always had the reputation as an inclusive and progressive community of creative thinkers, which makes this act  doubly reprehensible.  To the many good people and great minds at Guilford – we know you are as horrified as we are.  To the intolerant coward who did this covert act – may you someday know the hate, horror and anguish your action has caused.

Students are organizing a protest march on campus  in response, planned for this Wednesday.   Attend if you can and make your voice heard!

Elton John would make a great parent!

This past week Elton John and his partner tried to adopt an HIV positive orphan from Ukraine.  Alas, John was denied this request because of his “advanced age” (62) and because his union with his long-time partner is not recognized as a legitimate marriage.

How sad it is that we live in a  world where a needy child is denied a loving home due to intolerance and bigotry.

Kimpton Rocks!!

A special thank you to one of our corporate sponsors – the Kimpton hotel chain!  Kimpton was one of the first businesses to step forward and support the PTP, continuing a long line of the company’s philanthropic and social causes.  Kimpton CEO, Mr. Mike Depatie, has been especially generous and Ms. Jennifer Magnone of the Kimpton staff has been patient and conscientious.  Whenever you travel, try to support Kimpton!   You won’t be disappointed!    (Fan favorite:  the Hotel Rouge in Washington, D.C.)

Practicing hard!!

The musicians involved with the PTP are actively engaged in the many practices it will take to bring this exciting program to fruition. These months of hard work before the premiere are critical to our success. Your support is helping to make all this possible!

Super news!! Clerestory joins us!!

I’ve just learned that Clerestory, the San Francisco Bay’s acclaimed classical a cappella ensemble, will be joining us for the Pink Triangle premiere!! Clerestory’s singers, ranging from countertenor to bass, are members of the Bay Area choral community and pride themselves on providing unparalleled performances. Clerestory is named for cathedral windows, that let in daylight. They tell the “clear story” of the music they sing through sophisticated performances grounded in decades of experience singing together. Read more about Clerestory by clicking on “Meet the Artists.”

Welcome Clerestory! We are thrilled you will be joining us!

Bridge Players rock!

Just listened to a new CD by the Bridge Players String Quartet (“Tales from Terezin”). The BPs will be also be performing on our big Pink Triangle concert in San Francisco! We are so lucky to have these gifted artists as part of our program!