Stonewall Inn Dropping Anheuser-Busch Beer Over Anti-LGBTQ Donations

The historic Stonewall Inn (image via GoFundMe)

The Stonewall Inn has announced it will boycott Anheuser-Busch products during NYC Pride weekend (June 25-27) in response to learning the beverage company has made political contributions to lawmakers who publicly support legislation that targets transgender youth.

Via press release:

Community members will join the bar’s owners in a public ‘pour-out’ of Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA, and Stella Artois in front of the bar on Wednesday, June 23, to demand that the company stop donating to anti-LGBTQ legislators and commit to using its lobbying efforts to advance the Equality Act, which, if passed, would afford LGBTQ people with equal nondiscrimination protections under federal law.

According to data from the Keep Your Pride campaign, since 2015, Anheuser-Busch has made 48 donations totaling $35,350 to 29 anti-LGBTQ legislators behind recent bills attacking trans youth.

Through its nonprofit arm, The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, Stonewall recently launched the Safe Spaces program, which identifies and certifies entertainment venues, food and beverage locations, stores, businesses, and other public venues as Safe Spaces for LGBTQ people.

Under its criteria for certification, businesses that donate to anti-LGBTQ lawmakers would not qualify for designation as a Safe Space.

The temporary ban is part of Stonewall’s “Keep Your Pride” campaign, which focuses on 5 companies that say they stand with LGBTQ customers but have donated to politicians with anti-LGBTQ policies. The other four companies are NBC, AT&T, General Motors, and Coca-Cola.

Anheuser-Busch released a statement in response to the Stonewall ban:

“We support candidates for public office whose policy positions and objectives support investments in our communities, job creation and industry growth. Together, with our brands, we have a clear role to play in bringing real change and creating an inclusive and equitable world where we cherish and celebrate one another.”


News Round-Up: June 30, 2020

Patricia and Mark McCloskey (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

Bear World Magazine: During a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has rightfully taken up space on our news feeds, a conversation has opened up again in Bear spaces about the lack of diversity and inclusion, and the silence of White gays when it comes to the lives of Black people and People of Color. But, it’s a conversation that many White Bears still seem to not want to have.

Local10: In early April, openly gay Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy Shannon Bennett was the first South Florida first responder to be killed by COVID-19. His family was crushed by the loss. Now, they feel like they’ve been dealt another blow after the AIG insurance company denied their claim for accidental death in the line of duty.

NY Post: Mark and Patricia McCloskey (above), the St. Louis lawyers who brandished an AR-15-style rifle and a silver-colored handgun at protesters marching past their home on Sunday, are being investigated for possible criminal charges. The couple insists they were “victims” of threatening trespassers who entered a gated community. Nothing says ‘tough’ as much as a pink polo shirt tucked into a pair of khakis, no?

AOL: Remembering back to 1993 when Mattel released ‘Earring Magic Ken,’ the accidentally gay version of Barbie’s bf that was just about every ’90s gay stereotype in a chiseled hunk of plastic.

Washington Blade: Amid concerns the iconic Stonewall Inn in New York City may close due the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Gill Foundation announced on Sunday it will match contributions of up to $250,000 to protect the business from closure.

Twitter: This Dallas-area ‘Karen’ threw a temper tantrum when she was told she had too many items for the Express lane. She also refused (surprise!) to wear the face mask she’s holding in her hand. #smh

Historic Stonewall Inn Could Become Another COVID-19 Casualty

The historic Stonewall Inn (image via GoFundMe)

The Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the historic ‘Stonewall uprising’ in 1969, could become another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

After being shuttered for months due to the COVID-19 health threat, the owners of the venue launched a GoFundMe campaign writing, “The Stonewall Inn faces an uncertain future and we are in need of community support!”

The Stonewall riots – which stretched over three nights beginning on June 28, 1969 – became a defining moment in LGBTQ history when patrons became tired of police raids and stood up to the police brutality.

The site has become so ingrained in the DNA of the fight for LGBTQ rights, the Stonewall Inn became the first LGBTQ historic site to be designated a national monument in 2016.

“Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights,” said President Obama at the induction of the Stonewall Inn as a national monument. “I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country, the richness, and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us.”

Stonewall Inn becomes a national monument in 2016 (photo: Flickr/Interior DeptCC License)

Intoning the “brave souls who first stood up for their rights and the rights of others,” the owners candidly ask for help in saving “one of the LGBTQ+ communities most iconic institutions.”

“Our doors have been closed for over three months to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of patrons, staff, and the community,” reads the appeal from the owners on their GoFundMe page. “Even in the best of times it can be difficult to survive as a small business and we now face an uncertain future.”

“We resurrected the Stonewall Inn once after it had been shuttered – and we stand ready to do it again – with your help,” the owners continue. “We worked diligently to resurrect it as a safe space for the community and to keep the Stonewall Inn at the epicenter of the fight for the LGBTQ+ rights movement.”

Launched on June 13, the campaign has raised just over $19,000 at this writing, with a goal of $50,000.

A separate crowdfunding campaign was launched in early April to help support the staff and employees of the Stonewall Inn. That effort has garnered over $22,000 in donations to date.

In addition to running the tavern, the owners also operate the Stonewall Gives Back Initiative, an approved IRC 501(c)(3).

The non-profit charitable organization is committed to eliminating the social intolerance that is profoundly impacting the lives of LGBTQ citizens throughout America and abroad through awareness campaigns, educational programming, fundraising and candid public dialogue.

The Stonewall Gives Back Initiative supports grassroots organizations scattered across the country and especially those in communities where progress toward equality has been slow and the negative impact of ongoing acts of discrimination and harassment can no longer be tolerated.

News Round-Up: April 21, 2020

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Woofy Steve_in_LA (above) chilled with his bestie today. What a handsome dog…the canine is a looker, too. Follow Steve on Instagram here.

Instinct Magazine: World of Wonder Productions, in partnership with The Stonewall Inn, will present a live-stream concert on Thursday, April 23rd at 8PM ET/ 5 PT, hosted by Michelle Visage and Tyler Oakley with proceeds from the event to benefit LGBTQ+ nightlife industry professionals affected by COVID-19. Among those scheduled to appear are Alan Cumming, Betty Who, Greyson Chance, John Cameron Mitchell, Kim Petras, Lorna Luft, Peppermint, Rufus Wainwright, Shoshana Bean, Todrick Hall, Troye Sivan, VINCINT and a special performance by Cyndi Lauper.

NBC News: The crew for The Ellen DeGeneres Show is furious over lack of communication from the producers, a proposed pay cut during the coronavirus threat, and the hiring of a non-union tech company to help DeGeneres tape remotely from her home in California.

Advocate: According to a new independent poll from Levada Center almost one in five (18 percent) of Russians believe that LGBTQ people should be “eliminated,” while 32 percent of Russians believe that gays and lesbians should be “isolated from society.” And that’s actually an improvement from past surveys.

Pink News: A trans woman was stabbed 20 times and had her eye gouged out to ‘send a message’ to Colombia’s LGBT+ community, say local leaders.

Politico: The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday reaffirmed its support for the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the goal of putting Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Tuesday’s bipartisan report, from a panel chaired by North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, undercuts Trump’s years of efforts to portray allegations of Kremlin assistance to his campaign as a “hoax,” driven by Democrats and a “deep state” embedded within the government bureaucracy.

Out Music: LA-based indie artist Onsen releases the new song “Be There”, a track about the one that got away. Though the track is about lost love, it was written when the epiphany of desire occurred but before the letdown. As a result, it reflects on the relationship in a positive light.

Drew Straus, aka Onsen, gives his side of the story: “After playing it cool for too long, a person I liked had drifted away. ‘Be There’ is a confession, that I took them for granted and realized foolishly late that I’m on board and want to make it work.”

Joe Biden Visits Historic Stonewall Inn In NYC

Former Vice President Joe Biden surprised folks today by visiting the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City.
Former Vice President Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden surprised folks today by visiting the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City.

NBC News reports that, following two fund-raisers, Biden strolled into the West Village bar and chatted up patrons while taking photos with supporters.

Philadelphia Gay News founder Mark Segal, who was present at the 1969 Stonewall uprising, was there during Biden’s visit.

“If you would have suggested something like this 50 years ago, the 18-year-old me would think you were an alien,” Segal told NBC News in an email.

“His staff hearing that there was a Stonewall pioneer in the room brought us together,” Segal added.

He said he and Biden shook hands and that Biden said, “Thank you for your service.”

Chauncey Dandrige, a queer DJ and activist, was also caught off guard when Biden entered the bar.

“Just handed two Stonewall t-shirts to Joe Biden for him and his wife! Just another day at the office,” Dandrige wrote on Twitter.

In that this is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which began the modern LGBTQ rights movement, the landmark has garnered several visits by high profile folks like Madonna, Taylor Swift and now Biden.

Taylor Swift Makes Surprise Appearance At Stonewall Inn

Pop star Taylor Swift surprised the crowd at the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City last night with an impromptu performance of her hit, "Shake It Off."
Taylor Swift makes surprise appearance at historic Stonewall Inn

Pop star Taylor Swift surprised the crowd at the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City last night with an impromptu performance of her hit, “Shake It Off.”

From Variety:

After a rousing pair of songs from Sara Bareilles — including a version of “Brave” that had virtually all of the 100-odd lucky people inside singing along — Swift was greeted by the evening’s headliner, “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

She thanked him for inviting her and said, “I heard this is Jesse’s favorite song to do at karaoke — which is an incredible rumor, I really want to believe it’s true,” she laughed and then turned to him. “So if there’s anything you feel like you want to jump in on, a part that you’re really good at, just sing, dance and be yourself — this is a really safe space!”

Before Swift performed, AEG, which co-hosted the event, presented Stonewall with a $50,000 check to support its Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative’s (SIGBI) development of an LGBTQ+ anti-bias training standard in conjunction with anti-bias training experts.

The performance occurred on the same day she dropped her latest single, “You Need To Calm Down,” which name checks GLAAD and chastises homophobes.

This is all just the latest in a string of actions by the 29-year-old artist in support of the LGBTQ community.

On May 31, Swift surprised folks by posting an open letter to her U.S. Senators asking them to support and pass The Equality Act, which would create federal protections against LGBTQ discrimination by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

During the 2018 midterm elections, she declared her opposition to virulently anti-LGBTQ U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). She also donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project to fight several anti-LGBTQ bills that have been introduced in the state.

Madonna’s Midnight Surprise At The Stonewall Inn

Madonna surprised the crowd last night with a midnight appearance at the iconic Stonewall Inn in New York City.
Madonna prepares to surprise the NYE crowd at the iconic Stonewall Inn in NYC

Madonna surprised the crowd last night with a midnight appearance at the iconic Stonewall Inn in New York City.

Madge was recently named a ‘Stonewall Ambassador’ by Pride Live to help bring awareness to this year’s 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising on June 28, 2019. In honor of the anniversary, World Pride is being held in New York City this year.

Appearing onstage in an appropriate melange of leather, chains and glitter, the Queen of Pop noted, “This is the smallest stage I’ve ever been on.”

She then went on to address the diverse crowd about the memory and revolution of Stonewall (via Boy Culture):

“I see you! I stand here, proudly, at the place where Pride began, the legendary Stonewall Inn, and the birth of a new year.

“We come together tonight to celebrate 50 years of revolution. Fifty years of freedom-fighting. Fifty years of blood, sweat and tears — can I get an amen?! Fifty years of sacrifice. Fifty years of standing up to discrimination, hatred and — worst of all — indifference.

“And it all started here, at Stonewall. Let us never forget the Stonewall Riots and those who bravely stood up and said, Enough. Enough brutality, enough violence inflicted on this community, enough stigmatism, enough oppression, enough pain and suffering.

“We must never forget where we came from.”

Madonna then launched into an acoustic version of her mega-hit “Like A Prayer.” That was followed by a duet of the Elvis classic, “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” with her son, David, on guitar.

(h/t Boy Culture)

News Round-Up: December 24, 2018

Some news items you might have missed:

• Here’s hoping Santa shows up looking half as hot as this ‘Santa Daddy.’ He sure isn’t your parents’ calendar Santa… 😉

• The Stonewall Inn announced that Madonna has been named a Stonewall Ambassador for the upcoming 50th anniversary Stonewall celebrations in June 2019.

• Don’t miss the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors set to air Wednesday at 8 p.m Eastern on CBS. Cyndi Lauper is scheduled to sing a tribute honoring Cher; Kelly Clarkson performs in honor of country superstar Reba McEntire; plus honors for Philip Glass, Wayne Shorter and the creators of Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler and Alex Lacamoire).

• A new poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden would beat Donald Trump by 6 points – 42% to 36% – in a hypothetical head-to-head run for the presidency in 2020.

The Advocate has compiled a list of the Top 10 Homophobes and Transphobes of 2018.

• The ‘Old Gays’ at Into were sat down and asked to identify several modern famous gays.

A few of the queer celebs the gentlemen nail immediately (Gus Kenworthy and Troye Sivan are clearly popular in the elder gay set), but others were met with big ole question marks (“These are people I’ve never heard of;” “I just don’t watch current television”).

Watch below. Pretty cute.

President Obama Will Name Stonewall Inn A National Monument Honoring LGBT History

President Obama is poised to announce the nation’s first monument to gay rights located in Greenwich Village, New York City.

The monument would include the historic Stonewall Inn bar, Christopher Park, a sliver of green space across the street from the bar, and parts of the surrounding neighborhood.

New York’s iconic Stonewall Inn, where the modern gay rights movement took root, will become the first national monument honoring the history of gays and lesbians in the U.S. under a proposal President Barack Obama is preparing to approve.

Via ABC News:

Designating the small swath of land will mark a major act of national recognition for gay rights advocates and their struggles over the last half-century. Since the 1969 uprising in Greenwich Village, the U.S. has enacted anti-discrimination protections, allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military and legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

The gritty tavern, known colloquially as the Stonewall, became a catalyst for the gay rights movement after police raided it on June 28, 1969. Bar-goers fought back, and many more joined in street protests over the following days in an uprising widely credited as the start of large-scale gay activism in New York and around the word. Annual pride parades in hundreds of cities commemorate the rebellion.

The White House declined to comment. Yet Obama has paid tribute to the site before, most notably in his second inaugural address in 2013. In what’s believed to be the first reference to gay rights in an inaugural address, Obama said the principle of equality still guides the U.S. “just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.”

Stonewall Inn Named Historical Landmark By NY City Council

New York City’s Stonewall Inn, where a police raid in 1969 ignited what many feel as the beginning of the LGBT civil right movement has been named an official historical landmark by the NY City Council.

The City Council voted Wednesday to make the Greenwich Village bar a city historical landmark, barring it from being torn down or having its exterior altered.

Stonewall became famous in 1969, when a police raid sparked a melee between cops and gay patrons. The confrontation helped spark the movement to secure rights for gays and lesbians.

“It is a tremendous part of our history,” said Councilman Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), who represents the district and is gay. “Because of the real estate boom and pressures we’ve seen in the Village and all across Manhattan, we needed this further level of protection.”

In June, Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the status, but the City Council’s vote was necessary to finalize the deal.