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Gay New Jersey couples seek marriage rights

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gay and Lesbian Wedding Expos Set Sights on Capital

Following a dynamic series of Gay & Lesbian Wedding Expos in 2009, set in cities including Chicago, Hartford, Seattle and Las Vegas, is for the first time planning an event in the heart of the nation’s capital.

The extensive gay & lesbian wedding resource, Rainbow Wedding Network, has produced over 35 events in fifteen states since 2003, developing the events out of the company's online successes over the past decade in bridging gay-friendly businesses with the gay & lesbian wedding market. The upcoming 'Same Love, Same Rights' LGBT Wedding Expo is scheduled for Sunday May 2, 2010 from 1:00-4:00 pm at the distinctive Renaissance Washington, DC Dupont Circle Hotel, and is free for the public to attend.

"A wonderful addition and we're glad to be apart of it", Elle Froneyberger, founder of The Little White Box Company".

Asheville, NC (PRWEB) March 2, 2010 -- As the nation's capital begins to provide the full rights and responsibilities of marriage to its LGBT citizens, the founders of proudly announce plans to produce their latest Gay & Lesbian Wedding Expo in Dupont Circle later this Spring. (The December vote by the DC Council) is an important victory not only for the gay and lesbian community but for everyone who supports equal rights,” said Councilman David A. Catania, an independent and the author of the bill, which then passed by an 11-to-2 vote. (NY Times) Rainbow Wedding Network's upcoming LGBT Wedding Expo on May 2nd will be a timely resource for same-sex couples planning their weddings as a result of the legislation, as well as all those who support marriage and family equality.

Since 2000 The trusted gay and lesbian wedding resource. The Same Love, Same Rights® LGBT Wedding Expo will be held on Sunday May 2, 2010 from 1:00-4:00pm at the Renaissance Washington, DC Dupont Circle Hotel. Over forty local Wedding-related exhibitors who actively support equal rights in marriage and adoption will participate, as well as those representing the Travel, Gift, Legal, Real Estate and Family-related industries.

The event will include Music, Ceremony Tips, Samples and interactive Presentations, specifically aimed to inspire the community's ongoing efforts in seeking greater equality in the District and throughout the nation. Admission is free, and all supporters of marriage rights are encouraged to attend.

"It is truly a victory for our minority that same-gender marriage is being recognized in our country's capital," states RainbowWeddingNetwork co-founder Cindy Sproul . "It's a time to celebrate, for all citizens to actively and enthusiastically join together and envision the next steps for the LGBT community. This Expo will provide a forum in which advocates and allies, both gay and straight, from all walks, classes and backgrounds... can communicate, become more cohesive, and realistically connect with others who seek to end discrimination."

Attendees of the Same Love, Same Rights® LGBT Wedding Expo will receive a complimentary Walkaway Bag brimming with valuable contacts for planning their own Special Day, along with fresh ideas regarding upcoming ceremony trends anticipated for 2010. Couples will also be invited to add a photograph to the Commitment Photo Album,™ an ongoing project to document LGBT couples and their families throughout the nation.

All LGBT couples throughout Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware and beyond are encouraged to attend, as well as allies interested in the issues of equal marriage & family rights. The event is free to the public.

Launched in 2000, (RWN) has grown to become the most extensive wedding resource for the gay and lesbian community in the United States. Following the success of its first LGBT Wedding Expo in Minneapolis in 2003, RWN has produced over thirty-five such events in fifteen states throughout the nation. In 2006, the company began publication of the first wedding magazine specifically dedicated to gay & lesbian weddings. An updated version of the main website, offering a high degree of social networking and other interactive features, was launched in 2009.

For more information about nationwide events visit and for more same-sex wedding resources, visit For assistance with Washington events,

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Halt Anti-Gay Campaign - KENYA


Protect Health Workers, Activists; Condemn Mob Violence, Incitements to Hate
-February 17, 2010

Kenya's government should act quickly to protect people accused of homosexual conduct and groups offering HIV/AIDS services from vigilante attacks, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Kenyan authorities.

The vigilante violence has hit Mtwapa, a coastal town northeast of Mombasa, in recent days and appears to be spreading to Mombasa and elsewhere. Human Rights Watch called on Kenya's government to speak out against the voices that incite hatred and foment the attacks.

"The government is sitting silent while mobs try to kill human rights defenders and assault people they suspect are gay," said Dipika Nath, researcher in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) rights program at Human Rights Watch. "Inaction is complicity, and silence can be lethal."

In late January, 2010, unsubstantiated rumors about a "gay wedding" scheduled for February 12 started circulating in Mtwapa, in Kilifi District. Local and national radio stations picked up the unconfirmed story. On February 7, several imams and muftis (Islamic scholars) told their congregations during Friday prayers to be vigilant and to "expose" homosexuals in Mtwapa.

On February 11, Sheikh Ali Hussein of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya and Bishop Lawrence Chai of the National Council of Churches of Kenya held a news conference. As reported by Daily Nation and by other witnesses who have spoken to Human Rights Watch, the two religious leaders demanded an investigation of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), a government health center that provides HIV/AIDS services to the community. They criticized the government for "providing counselling services to these criminals" and demanded that the KEMRI office in Mtwapa be shut down, the reports said.

Local activists told Human Rights Watch that, in a statement after the meeting, the religious leaders promised to "flush out gays." The Daily Nation reported that Chai is the leader of a network called "Operation Gays Out," whose actual numbers and aims are not known.

On February 12, an armed mob of 200 to 300 people surrounded the KEMRI health center. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that a man called "Faridi," an organizer of the mob, said a KEMRI staff member was homosexual because he wore a T-shirt promoting safer sex. In response, police who were at the scene took him and another KEMRI staffer into custody.

Earlier the same day, Faridi, with police, forcibly entered another private individual's home, claiming that the two people in the house were homosexual. Police took the two into custody, too. Local activists have informed Human Rights Watch that none of the men were charged and they have all since been released, and that the police were attempting to protect them from violence by taking them into custody.

The mob beat senseless another man who was approaching the health center and was about to set him on fire when the police arrived and took him into custody as well. Folks this is really happening on a governmental level with top officials sanctioning this.

A large crowd gathered outside the police station where the five were being held. A religious leader addressed the mob, saying all homosexuals should be driven out of Mtwapa, and another speaker encouraged the mob to not bother bringing homosexuals to the police but rather to take the law into its own hands, witnesses said. Other speakers said that homosexuals had appeared in Mtwapa when KEMRI opened its offices there. Smaller groups reportedly went to the homes of other people suspected of being gay and threatened them.

Local sources told Human Rights Watch that the mob attacks appeared planned rather than spontaneous. According to reports received by Human Rights Watch, none of the attackers have been arrested.

A mob attacked and severely beat up another KEMRI volunteer on February 13, and the police again took the victim into custody. The same day, a person was beaten up in Mombasa on suspicion of being gay, and a second person was attacked in Mombasa on February 16.

"The police need to arrest the attackers and put a halt to what appears to be a coordinated nationwide attack on people perceived to be homosexual," Nath said. "The disruption of lifesaving HIV/AIDS work could mean a public health catastrophe as well as a human rights disaster."

Although the declared reason for the six men's detention was to protect them, news reports said authorities asked the men to submit to forensic examinations to determine if they are homosexual. Five of them refused and the sixth consented and was examined, although no "evidence" of homosexuality is reported to have been found. Forensic medical examinations to "prove" homosexual conduct are archaic and discredited. If conducted without genuine consent, they may constitute torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, Human Rights Watch said.