Pride Guide® Nevada is now hiring. We are looking for Account Executives in Las Vegas & Reno, available to start immediately. If you are experienced and interested in joining our team, please send your resume to Greg@ThePrideGuides.com.
PHOENIX (AP) — Gay marriage has become legal in Arizona after the state’s conservative attorney general said Friday that he wouldn’t challenge a federal court decision that cleared the way for same-sex unions in the state.
The announcement prompted gay couples to line up at the downtown courthouse in Phoenix, where they began to marry immediately.
It was a sharp turn, less than a year ago Arizona was ground zero in the clash over gay rights after the overwhelmingly Republican state Legislature passed a measure that would have allowed businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians.
David Larance and Kevin Patterson, who were among the couples who sued to overturn the state’s ban, waited in the growing line for marriage licenses and reflected on the effect of the ruling. “The best way I can describe it, is that it gives me such peace of mind,” Patterson said, choking back tears.
Larance and Patterson were the first same-sex couple to get a marriage license in the state. “This is a great day,” Patterson said. “I never thought this would happen in Arizona.”
The decision bookends two weeks of nonstop court rulings across the nation, with judges striking down bans on same-sex unions and conservative state officials pushing back in a struggle that has increasingly gone in favor of gay marriage supporters.
Since Oct. 6 — when the U.S. Supreme Court let stand rulings from three appeals courts that struck down bans on gay and lesbian marriages — same-sex couples have begun to wed in several new states.
In the West, for example, couples already have tied the knot in Alaska, Idaho and Nevada, making Montana the lone state under the jurisdiction of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where same-sex couples haven’t legally wed.
The federal government, meanwhile, announced Friday morning that it will recognize same-sex marriages in seven new states and extend federal benefits to those couples, which brings the total number of states where gay and lesbian unions have federal recognition to 26, plus the District of Columbia.
Based on the flurry of recent court decisions, including Arizona’s ruling Friday, more than 30 states now extend marriage rights to gay couples, and cases are pending in several others.
Arizona’s conservative governor, Jan Brewer, who has clashed with President Barack Obama over immigration and other issues, said in a statement that federal courts have thwarted the will of voters and eroded the state’s power to regulate laws.
“Simply put, courts should not be in the business of making and changing laws based on their personal agendas,” Brewer said. “It is not the role of the judiciary to determine that same-sex marriages should be allowed.”
Nearly eight months ago, Brewer vetoed the bill that would have protected people who assert their religious belief in refusing service to gays. It would have allowed people to claim their religious beliefs as a defense against claims of discrimination. Critics called it an open attack on gay people, saying said it could allow people to break nearly any law and cite religious freedom as a defense.
The proposal set off a national debate over religion and discrimination. Companies such as Apple Inc. and American Airlines urged Brewer to veto the bill, saying it would hurt the state and could alienate businesses looking to expand there.
Horne, meanwhile, reaffirmed his personal opposition to gay marriage as he said further court wrangling would be a pointless waste of taxpayer dollars. “The probability of the 9th Circuit reversing today’s District Court decision is zero. The probability of the United States Supreme Court accepting review of the 9th Circuit decision is also zero,” he said.
The decision from U.S. District Judge John Sedwick bars Arizona officials from enforcing a 1996 state law and a 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment that outlawed gay marriage.
Sedwick, who was nominated to the federal bench in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush, ordered the state to “permanently cease” its ban on gay marriage.
Jennifer Pizer, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, said she was thrilled with the ruling.
“Some of our couples have been waiting decades. Their happy day has come, and we hope that Arizona embraces this decision and allows same sex couples to enjoy their constitutional rights here in Arizona,” said Pizer, an attorney for the Lambda Legal law firm.
Lawyers who pushed both lawsuits argued the state law violated equal protection and due process rights and wrongfully denied their clients the benefits of marriage, such as spousal pension benefits, spousal survivorship rights and the ability to make medical decisions for each other.
Attorneys representing the state urged Sedwick to uphold the state’s definition of a marriage as a union between a man and woman. They argued the ban furthers the state’s interest in connecting a child to his or her biological mother and father and that voters and lawmakers enacted the ban to protect their right to define marriage for their community.
After the attorney general said the state would not fight to stop weddings, a crowd of about a dozen gay couples cheered and rushed into the clerk’s office, smiling and hugging.
Michael K. Jeanes, the clerk who oversees the state’s most populous county, which includes Phoenix, tweeted immediately after the ruling: “Welcome All to the Clerk’s Office. Your marriage license awaits and we are ready to serve you!”
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Today, October 7, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in Nevada and Idaho. Just one month ago, the Court heard oral arguments for cases involving the freedom to marry in Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii on September 8. The ruling also paves the way for the freedom to marry in Montana, Arizona and Alaska, which also fall under the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. It is the fourth federal appellate court to rule in favor of the freedom to marry this year, and the second to do so unanimously. The unanimous opinion, authored by Judge Stephen Reinhardt and joined by Judge Marsha Berzon and Judge Ronald Gould, reads: We hold that the Idaho and Nevada laws at issue violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because they deny lesbians and gays who wish to marry persons of the same sex a right they afford to individuals who wish to marry persons of the opposite sex, and do not satisfy the heightened scrutiny standard we adopted in SmithKline. Read the full ruling here. The cases were in Idaho’s Latta v. Otter, filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, in which a federal judge ruled in favor of marriage for same-sex couples, striking down anti-marriage laws in the state. In the Nevada case, Sevcik v. Sandoval, filed by Lambda Legal, a district court ruled against the freedom to marry in 2012. Lambda Legal appealed the ruling. In the Idaho case, defendants have the chance to ask the 9th Circuit for a rehearing or an en banc hearing, or they could, in theory, petition for review from the United States Supreme Court (although yesterday, note, that the Supreme Court denied review in five marriage cases and opened the door to the freedom to marry in 11 more states). In the Nevada case, where the district court ruled against the freedom to marry, the case has been sent back to the lower court for the prompt issuance of an injunction. Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson said today: Today’s decision from the Ninth Circuit brings to 35 the number of freedom to marry states, and 64% of the American people now live in a state where gay people will soon share in the freedom to marry. We now have more states that have ended the exclusion of gay couples from marriage than had ended bans on interracial marriage when the Supreme Court brought the country to national resolution in Loving v. Virginia. We hope that the other federal appellate courts will move swiftly to end the disparity and unfair denial that too many loving and committed couples in the 15 remaining states endure. Read stories of nearly a dozen same-sex couples in Idaho who are celebrating today’s huge ruling, and then check out the work of Freedom Nevada – the campaign for which we’re proud to serve as leading and founding members – here. This post will be updated with more information as the ruling is analyzed.
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(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to decide once and for all whether states can ban gay marriage, a surprising move that will allow gay men and women to get married in five additional states, with more likely to follow quickly.
On the first day of its new term, the high court without comment rejected appeals in cases involving five states – Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana – that had prohibited gay marriage, leaving intact lower-court rulings striking down those bans.
As a result, the number of states permitting gay marriage would jump from 19 to 24, likely soon to be followed by six more states that are bound by the regional federal appeals court rulings that had struck down other bans. That would leave another 20 states that prohibit same-sex marriage.
But the move by the nine justices to sidestep the contentious issue means there will be no imminent national ruling on the matter, with litigation likely to continue in states with bans.
“Any time same-sex couples are extended marriage equality is something to celebrate, and today is a joyous day for thousands of couples across America who will immediately feel the impact of today’s Supreme Court action,” said Chad Griffin, president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign.
Evan Wolfson, who heads the group Freedom to Marry, said while Monday’s action provided “a bright green light” to gay marriage in more states, gay rights advocates still want the high court to intervene and provide a definitive ruling covering all 50 states. “The Supreme Court should bring the country to a nationwide resolution,” Wolfson said.
Officials in states whose bans were overturned had also wanted the high court to decide the matter. The justices could take up a future case, but their move on Monday could send a strong signal to lower court judges that rulings striking down gay marriage bans are consistent with the U.S. Constitution.
Gay couples in affected states are expected to seek marriage licenses immediately because the high court’s action means the appeals court’s rulings are no longer on hold. Virginia began issuing licenses within hours of the court’s action.
The other states that are likely to be imminently affected are North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado.
The court did not explain why it was not taking up the issue. Among the possibilities are that a majority believes it would be premature to intervene and wants to see more lower court action, or that on this deeply polarized court neither the liberals nor the conservatives could be certain of how the issue would resolved and did not want to risk forcing a national precedent now.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has officiated at a same-sex wedding, said last month that for the justices there is “no need for us to rush” unless a split emerges in the regional federal appeals courts and one of them decides to uphold a state ban on gay marriage.
In order for the Supreme Court to hear a case, at least four of the nine justices must vote to hear it.
Most legal experts had believed the justices would want to weigh in on a question of national importance that focuses on whether the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal treatment under the law means gay marriage bans were unlawful.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that “there may ultimately be a role for the Supreme Court to play” on gay marriage and that the justices must make that call. Earnest emphasized that President Barack Obama’s view is that “it’s wrong to prevent same-sex couples who are in loving, committed relationships and want to marry from doing so.”
Opponents of gay marriage said they would continue to defend state bans in court. “The people should decide this issue, not the courts,” said Byron Babione, a lawyer with the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom.
In June 2013, the justices ruled 5-4 to strike down a key part of a federal law called the Defense of Marriage Act that had restricted the definition of marriage to heterosexual couples for the purpose of federal government benefits.
But in a separate case decided that day, the justices also sidestepped the broader question of whether state bans violated the Constitution, but allowed gay marriage in California.
The momentum within America’s courts in favor of gay marriage reflects a sea-change in public opinion in the past decade, with polls showing a steady increase in support. It was only as recently as 2004 that Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay marriage following a state court ruling.
State officials defending their bans say the Constitution does not dictate how states should define marriage and that there is no deeply rooted legal tradition that supports a right to gay marriage.
When the nine justices ascended their mahogany bench at 10 a.m., they betrayed no concern for the possible uncertainty or confusion arising from their orders rejecting the same-sex marriage cases. Proceeding with the usual practice, Chief Justice John Roberts announced only that “orders have been duly entered and certified” and were on file with the clerk’s office.
The justices then heard an hour of arguments in a case involving a police search.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Additional reporting by Joan Biskupic in Washington, Heide Brandes in Oklahoma City and Marti Anne Maguire in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Will Dunham)
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“The Biggest Little City in the World” has a big new attraction, as Wizard World announced the addition of Reno, Nevada, as the 16th show on its 2014 Comic Con calendar. November 21st – 23rd, 2014 www.WizardWorld.com
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LuckyBear 2014: The Eleventh Year
LuckyBearWeekend is a fun-filled, unscripted weekend in Las Vegas for Bears and Friends from all over the U.S. and beyond.
There’s lots of extra time built-in for gambling, shopping, being a tourist, enjoying a new show and/or having fun with the locals…
LuckyBearWeekend is not your typical Bear-Event: No Fundraising, No Contest, No Show, No Bear Club Affiliation… No Registration Fees.
Consider this a “free-flowing” weekend for everyone to enjoy Las Vegas their own way – in the company of fellow Bears and Friends… All you have to do is to bring a fun, uncomplicated attitude and “Let Vegas do its Magic!” Are you in? Las Vegas, here we come!
September 26th – 29th, 2014
Las Vegas, Nevada
Friday September 26th, 2014 – Meet the Lucky Bears!
Meet & Greet the Lucky Bears who came here from all over and join the locals at our weekend kick-off event.
Where: Poolside at the Blue Moon, from 6pm to 9pm.
Admission is free – Day Pass not needed for this event.
Check-in and cocktails at 6:45 PM Ceremony at 7:30 PM Dinner to follow.
Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel and Event Center 1201 Las Vegas Blvd. S Las Vegas, NV 89104
Gay, straight, or in-between… you are ALL cordially invited to the craziest celebration this side of Palm Springs! Attend the nuptials of Joni Gottlieb & Gina Spaulding in all its hilarious glory. Dine, drink & dance the night away! Meet the brides at their ALMOST HOLY union where 2 very different families are brought together through love and laughter.
This six mile run will take you through “dead” zones, obstacles and revive stations as the undead try to grab your flags and the living insane pelt you with color bombs. Thankfully, the Revive stations are safe zones where runners can relax, enjoy the music, grab a beer, water, sports drink or even more flags (if they are available).
Register as a single runner or as a team (4pp minimum for teams) and experience some of the most haunted places in the living ghost town of Virginia City: the Graveyard, China Town, the original Virginia Truckee Railroad Station, the railroad tunnel and downtown Virginia City. For a map of the run route, click here.
This run will not be timed; you just need to finish… alive, which means crossing the finish line with at least 1 flag in hand. If you can’t cross the finish line with a flag, you will be considered deceased with the option of entering the mortuary tent where professional makeup artists can resurrect you as a Zombie.
Don’t want to run? You can still participate in the mayhem by registering as a zombie or as a living insane. Included in your registration is access to a team of professional makeup artists who will transform you before the race begins.
When the run ends, the party begins. Zombies will take over downtown Virginia City including locals, shop owners, participants and tourists. The Zombie Manifestival will feature a Live DJ, vendors, food, dancing and costume contests.
A sinful women’s weekend and hotel take-over in Vegas.
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NGLCC’s Annual Conference
Michael McFall, Publisher of The Pride Guides®, and The Pride Guides® Director of Advertising & Marketing, Greg Linneman, joined hundreds of LGBT business leaders across the country at the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s (NGLCC) 11th Annual National Business and Leadership Conference in Las Vegas at the beginning of this month.
More than 700 LGBT business owners, corporate decision makers, affiliate chamber leaders, and government partners descended on Las Vegas, at Caesars Palace for an amazing three days of educational sessions, top keynote speakers, world-class networking, and unforgettable special events designed to grow business and develop new connections.
Las Vegas Pride Night Parade and Festival SEPTEMBER 5 & 6, 2014
More grand than any other PRIDE parade ever held in Las Vegas, its SNAPI’s 16th Annual PRIDE Night Parade presented by MGM Resorts International! Join us from 7 to 10pm in downtown Las Vegas for the most glamorous, glittering spectacle ever created by the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community of Southern Nevada. This year’s PRIDE Night Parade, led by our Parade Grand Marshal, features Las Vegas’ gay and straight business community, nonprofit organizations, GLBT service agencies, civic groups, and churches as well as SNAPI’s royalty. Don’t forget to come early to grab the best spot and pre-party with PRIDE (at the corner of 4th Street & Bridger Ave.) Then, when the parade ends, make sure to keep the party going at the official after parade party.
The parade route begins at West Charleston Blvd. and heads north along 4th Street to Ogden Avenue. Secure your spot where the action happens early. The main stage is at Bridger Avenue just two blocks south of the Fremont Street Experience.
The Clark County Amphitheater features a beautiful outdoor main stage surrounded by soft, cool grass, plus a food court and convenient drink stations. There will be more than 100 exhibitors on site. You can relax on the lawn as you are entertained by the festival’s featured performers, as well as great local talent. Watch for more expansions to the festival grounds (and overflow parking at the World Market Center with free shuttle service to the festival). We are also pleased to announce the expansion of the Family Activity Zone filled with fun activities for parents and children 12 and under.
Bartenders from local GLBT bars will be will be serving water, soda, Bud/Bud Light, wine, and mixed drinks to whet your thirst. We have expanded our food court this year so you will have even more great food from which to choose.
The PRIDE Festival is open to the public from noon to 10pm on Saturday, September 6th.
If you’d like to take part in the 2014 AZ Wedding & Honeymoon Expo but cannot make the trip to Arizona, please contact Greg@ThePrideGuides.com. We will gladly distribute your marketing materials during the event.
Cost is only $75.00
The Pride Guides, 5229 North 7th Ave Suite 107B, Phoenix, AZ 85013
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The month of May is our special time to recognize the amazing work our foster parents do on a daily basis with our children. A SAFY foster parent is unlike any other parent. A SAFY parent has to embody special characteristics and go through specialized training to understand how to help our children heal. A SAFY parent has to have compassion, empathy, patience, and a nurturing disposition. A SAFY parent understands that his or her foster child comes from a place of hurt and pain. A SAFY parent takes time to build trust, believes in endless teaching possibilities, and will patiently wait for a SAFY child to return love. A SAFY parent sees the good in each child. Our SAFY foster parents are very special! Not only are our parents an important piece to making our kids successful, but our special friends of SAFY too. Due to your generous giving and support to SAFY of NV you provide special opportunities for our foster parents to extra spoil our kids!
May is National Foster Care Month. The best foster parents are SAFY Parents! Many SAFY parents took time out to finish the two statements below…. Enjoy!!
I’m a SAFY foster parent because………
…”he tells me daily that he loves me,” Jesus Calleros.
……”I’m making a difference in a child who has been removed, It’s gratifying to see how love, peace an tranquility can help a child,” Elsa Samuel.
….”I love children, I have the compassion, patience and nurturing to make he difference in a child. I love increasing my knowledge and passing it onto the children in my home,” Alga & Sam Smith.
….”of the consistent support I receive from the SAFY staff,” Alex Bernal.
….”I always wanted to help kids. If my parents weren’t able to care for me or I couldn’t care for my daughter, I would want someone who could fill the gap with love and nurturing,” Marti Brown.
…”I’m committed to assisting children, families, and team members at SAFY with the best guided practices in mentoring at risk youth and developing long term goals of success,” Tamela Fahie.
…”these are children in the most need, where I can do he most good,” Steve Hamilton.
…”the experience in life with foster care is valuable, foster parents are heroes. Foster parents where invisible caps. Foster parents suit up everyday and show up for our children. Foster children need love, kindness, understanding, wisdom, and patience. Foster children are looking for capes because the capes are invisible, but the parent has arms to hold and comfort each child,” Patricia Jackson.
….”we believe that treatment children are far more likely to be bounced around when they are put in traditional foster home, where specialized training has not been provided to deal with diagnosed children. If my husband and I could just help one treatment child get trough this tough time in their life, then we have been blessed,’ Elena & Russell Milano.
My foster/adoptive child is special because…..
….he has been through so much trauma and he is still the cheerleader of the house,” Eric & Nelson Center.
….he came at the right time for my husband and me. He gave us what we were lacking, a son of our own. We love that he appreciates and loves us,” Jean & Vernon Hix.
….they are so loving and trusting. They brighten or days with their laughter and make us proud of their progress,” Patricia & Robert Garcia.
One day, a little girl named Jewel aged 7, overheard her SAFY caseworker talking about a donation that was made to SAFY of NV. Jewel has always been a very giving and caring girl. She is always concerned about others and loves helping whenever she can. Jewel insisted on helping SAFY of NV too! Jewel quickly disappeared to only re-emerge with a little heart filled with all of her savings of forty cents and a letter to SAFY. SAFY of NV is very proud of Jewel. This is just one of many examples on how great our kids are at SAFY of NV.
My name is Kelsie Fahr and new to the North office, but not new to SAFY of NV. I have worked for Second Start as a PSR worker for almost two years before transferring to the foster care side of SAFY. I’m an extremely energetic and athletic person who enjoys working with kids.
THE MOST EXCITING LAS VEGAS ATTRACTION TO HIT THE STRIP
Shining bright on the Las Vegas Strip, the 550-foot-tall High Roller is the world’s largest observation wheel.
This stunning Las Vegas attraction provides tourists and locals alike the ride of a lifetime. The epic wheel is the crown jewel of The LINQ, the Strip’s all-new outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment district. The High Roller has 28 spherical, Italian-handcrafted glass-enclosed cabins, each weighing 44,000 pounds. Passengers can enjoy breathtaking Las Vegas views in a 30-minute ride, the time it takes for the entire wheel to rotate. Additionally, there are two booths per cabin.
Each stylish, modern-styled cabin holds up to 40 people, totaling 1,120 at full capacity. Whether renting out a cabin for wedding, private party or flying solo, each 44,000-pound pod features dynamic music and video shows as riders take in the 360-degree sights. There’s also an adjacent wheelhouse where guests can reserve private parties and banquets.
A SPECTACULAR YEAR-ROUND LAS VEGAS LIGHT SHOW
Parallel to Las Vegas Boulevard, the massive wheel dazzles with more than 2,000 LED lights and serves as The LINQ’s sparkling focal point. The ever-changing colors are such a beauty and display a nightly glorious light show. The lights turn on starting at dusk and stay on until early morning. Lights range from bright pink, turquoise, purple, green and white, as well as color combinations. If you’re not busy admiring the scenery, each cabin comes equipped with eight monitor screens playing video and music shows.
The High Roller and accompanying LINQ district maintain Las Vegas as a forward-thinking destination. Together, they offer the most exciting range of entertainment, dining, retail and nightlife offerings in the world.
Tickets can be bought individually or in groups. Groups of 10 or more receive discounted rates.
If you’re all about sightseeing, book your ride right at sunset or nighttime – the Vegas lights are out of this world. Also, don’t be afraid to ride during summer days – the cabins offer air-conditioning.
The High Roller’s wheelhouse sells drinks from its bar. Feel free to bring it with you on the wheel.
Save time – The LINQ’s valet is right by the High Roller. If you’re driving east on Flamingo (away from the Strip), turn left LINQ Lane and drive straight. It will be right before The Quad’s back entrance.
Stick around before or after your High Roller experience – The LINQ offers plenty to see and do, from musical acts at Brooklyn Bowl to amazing drink concoctions at Yard House and BLVD. Cocktail.
Memorialize your experience – The High Roller features a gift shop at the base of the wheel, including everything from T-shirts, key chains and other fun souvenirs.