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In the magazine’s fifteen year existence, Instinct has never placed a straight man on its cover until now. They felt it was time to honor one of our unsung straight allies. Jason Mraz has been quietly supporting numerous LGBTQ organizations and charities for some time now. His support for marriage equality even led to the dissolution of his engagement. I’ll discuss this further in this post.

It’s only fitting that Mraz choose the gay publication as one of the few outlets to promote his upcoming album “Love Is A Four Letter Word” hitting stores on April 17. The “I’m Yours” singer shares a childhood experience regarding one of his best friends.

“One of my best friends in high school came out when I was a senior, and I thought that was one of the bravest things in the world,” said Mraz “Where we came from, it just wasn’t the popular thing to do or be. It made me more of a risk taker in my own life because I saw the example of the way he was living in just being himself.”

Along with this admiration for a former classmate, Mraz took a strong stance for the support of marriage equality. He, along with his then fiancee, singer Tristan Prettyman, said they wouldn’t tie the knot until gay marriage was legal. This decision put a strain on his relationship because Prettyman eventually wanted to get marry and have babies. Even though he contributes his stance to the breakup, he has no regrets saying, “It’s still absolutely something I stand behind and feel today.” Check out his Instinct cover below. The issue will be available next week.

check out the cover after the jump

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream gay marriage! Ice Cream brand, Ben & Jerry’s have just revealed a new flavor called “Apple-y Ever After,” in support of gay marriage. The packaging is gay marriage-themed, with two men celebrating their wedding right on the carton!

This March, as the UK government debates whether to legalize same sex marriage, Ben & Jerry’s have partnered with the gay rights organisation, Stonewall, to raise awareness about the importance of marriage equality by renaming their Apple Pie flavour, ‘Apple-y Ever After‘!”

Ben & Jerry’s explains, “Social justice is at the core of our values and this is why we’re taking a stand to campaign for marriage equality in the UK. Show your support and help convince members of parliament that it’s time to say ‘I do’!” When gay marriage was legalized in their home state of Vermont in the U.S. in 2009, they renamed their legendary flavor, Chubby Hubby to ‘Hubby Hubby‘. Get your first look at the “Apple-y Ever After” packaging below.

Check out the packaging for the new flavor after the jump…

A movie trailer for the film ‘I Do‘ has been released, showing the emotional and heartbreaking reality of a gay couple that faces being torn apart because of inequality in America. As the description reads, “This new feature length narrative indie film takes a look at the human cost of DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act), the law that bars same sex couples full federal level rights in America.”

A British gay man living in New York finds himself fighting for love, family and a green card. Because he cannot legally marry his partner and have it be nationally recognized, he faces deportation. Even though gay marriage is legal in a few States in the U.S, married same-sex couples unfortunately have no Federal level rights. That’s over 1300 rights, many of them dealing with heartbreaking, life changing issues like immigration, hospital visitation, social security benefits, pensions and taxes.

The film stars Jamie Lynn Sigler, Alicia Witt, Maurice Compte, and David W. Ross. Check out the emotional trailer below.

Watch the trailer after the jump…

Well I’m not Jewish but OI!!!

Take a breather before you read this one because it might get ya’ as angsty as I am right now. And breath and…

SO! One Million Moms is on another hate mongering campaign and this time they’re not even going after real gay people. For anyone who missed the Ellen debacle , pretty much in a nutshell, a nutcase group of women tried to petition against our power lesbian and all around good person Ellen Degeneres as a JC Penney spokesman. And they lost. Which ruled.

Well now, following suit with Kirk Cameron, Anne Coulter, Westboro Baptist Church, and every other homophobic douche canoe that can’t keep their outdated redneck pieholes shut, O.M.M. is on yet another rant but this time trying to put Toys ‘R’ Us in the hot and hateful seat.

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It looks like discrimination against gays is alive and well in the state of Missouri. Al Fischer, an openly gay music teacher at St. Ann Catholic School in North St. Louis County was fired from his job in mid-February. The reason? Discussing future marriage plans to his partner of over 20 years.

According to reports, church officials had learned that Al was planning to marry his partner in New York, one of a handful of states that allows for same-sex marriage. This coming on the heels of a January 11 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that gives churches and their schools broad powers over employees.

Al released a letter to the media that was given to the kids in his classes and their parents which tells of “my joyful news, and my sad news.” The first being that he plans to marry his longtime partner in New York, the latter that he will no longer be teaching at St. Ann’s. According to one parent at the school, many are disappointed in the school’s decision as his sexuality was open and well known.

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In a triumphant move for gay rights in Maryland, Gov. Martin O’Malley who is a democrat, signed a bill just a short week after its legislative passing to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. The bill would take full effect in January 2013. But, like many of these exciting stories begin, there are a large number of oppressors petitioning to take this to a referendum on the November ballot.

Religious freedom was the very reason for our state’s founding and at the heart of religious freedom is the freedom of individual conscience,” O’Malley said just before adding his signature to the bill. Despite O’Malley’s efforts to tie the church into his decision, opposers are in search of 56,000 signatures to send the measure before voters in November. The groups are relying heavily on churchgoers who feel same-sex marriage is against their religious beliefs. Even gay rights activists expect they will succeed and that a referendum will take place.

Donald Norris, chairman of the department of public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, said black churches could heavily influence the referendum, but liberal voters who come out to support Obama’s re-election could offset the votes against same-sex marriage. But, is it inappropriate to leave what is considered a civil rights issue to the discretion of voters? “It’s sad to me that anyone would think that it’s OK to put up the rights of a minority to a popular vote,” said Lisa Polyak, chairwoman of the board of directors for the gay rights organization Equality Maryland. “We have children, we have lives, we have jobs and we just want to go about them with integrity.”

Check out the battle on same-sex marriage in a map of the U.S. below.

Who knew Oklahoma was so progressive? I certainly didn’t. First of, I had no idea they even had an openly gay member in the state legislature. State Rep. Al McAffrey was elected to the House of Representatives back in 2006. He was then reelected in 2010. In a special election for a Senate position, McAffrey won and became the first openly gay state Senator. Two snaps. McAffrey replaces Senator Andrew Rice who resigned in October 2011.

“Al’s election to the State Senate is another milestone for LGBT Oklahomans, and we are proud to support his campaign,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.  ”There are still a number of states that have never elected any openly LGBT state legislators, so Oklahoma can be proud that Al has been elected to both the House and the Senate.”

read how the Empire State Building got in the gay spirit after the jump

Prop 8 Analysis: What Happens Next?

In: Reader Submissions

Last Tuesday, equality advocates across California and around the world celebrated the decision by a panel of the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit that deemed unconstitutional California’s Proposition 8, which stripped gays and lesbians of the right to marry. Since then, there have been many questions about what the ruling means, and what happens next.

It’s useful to begin with a little bit about the history of the battle for marriage equality in California. In 1977, the Legislature of California amended its family laws to make it clear that marriage in that state was restricted to opposite-sex partners only. The provision drew little attention at the time, since the movement for marriage equality had not yet begun.

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