National briefs

Posted on 30 Mar 2006 at 7:26pm
By Staff and Wire Reports

Soap stars pitch in for online auction benefitting Shepard Foundation
The Matthew Shepard Foundation will hold a special Soap Opera edition of its “Bear to Make a Difference” online celebrity teddy bear auction, beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday on www.Ebay.com, . The auction features teddy bears and other memorabilia signed by stars from “Days of Our Lives,” “As The World Turns,” “Guiding Light,” “Soap Talk,” “All My Children,” “One Life to Live” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

The auction will last for two weeks. Proceeds will benefit the foundation started by Judy and Dennis Shepard in memory of their son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in 1998. The purpose of the foundation is to “replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance” through educational programs.

Pomie convicted in hate-crime attack against gay man
A jury in Brooklyn, N.Y. this week convicted Steven Pomie on assault charges in connection with the beating of a gay man last June in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. The sentencing phase of the trial is set to begin April 24.
Dwan Prince was attacked outside his apartment in Brownsville by three men screaming anti-gay slurs. In the days following the attack, police identified Pomie as part of the group responsible for the attack.

The attack left Prince in a coma, and he suffered several injuries that require ongoing rehabilitation treatments. Prince was able to testify at Pomie’s trial.

“‘Mr. Sulu’ joins with HRC to launch national speaking tour
The Human Rights Campaign has announced that actor George Takei, best known as Mr. Sulu on the 1960s television series “Star Trek” and in the “Star Trek” movies, will launch a nationwide speaking tour in mid-April to talk about his life as a gay man and a Japanese-American.

Takei will also serve as spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project throughout his speaking tour and beyond.

Takei made national headlines last year when he came out as a gay man and talked about his almost-20-year relationship with his partner, Brad Altman.

Heterosexual couple protest anti-gay marriage laws with Canadian wedding
Holly DeeAnn Smith and Tarek Farouk Maassarani traveled to Montreal this month to get married in a show of support for American gays and lesbians who cannot legally marry anywhere in the United States except Massachusetts.

“It originally felt strange politicizing our personal lives. But the truth is that getting married is a political act,” Smith said.

Maassarani said, “Gay and lesbian Canadians have marriage equality, and we wanted to show our support for them as well as our rejection of American marriage discrimination.”

The newlyweds said, they plan to reach out to other heterosexual couples to develop a network to support marriage equality.

Singer Taylor Dayne to headline Equality Live concert ending forum
Taylor Dayne, a three-time Grammy nominee, will headline the Equality Live concert set to close the Equality Forum 2006 on May 7.

Equality Forum is the largest annual GLBT civil rights forum. The 2006 gathering, being held May 1-7 in Philadelphia, will include more than 70 programs, parties and special events. The concert will be the last of a full day of events in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood, including SundayOUT, a GLBT street festival.

The concert will also feature Pretty Poison and Alo Brasil. Advance tickets are $15 if purchased before April 30. Tickets are available at www.equalityforum.com/2006 or by calling 877-725-8849.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 31, 2006.

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