Celebrity Cruises to Offer Legal Same-Sex Marriages Onboard

The Historic First For The Brand Was Made Possible Following A Monumental Vote In The Fleet’s Country Of Registry

Celebrity Cruises is proud to announce that same-sex marriages performed onboard are now legally recognized, marking a historic first for the modern luxury brand.

Celebrity Cruises Logo

Celebrity Cruises Logo

The motion follows a transformative vote in Malta, where a majority of the Celebrity fleet is registered, which passed the country’s parliament 66-1. The long-awaited referendum opens the door for Celebrity to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed onboard, and have the fleet’s captains officiate the ceremonies.

Celebrity Cruises has a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and I cannot think of a more important time in our history than right now to do all we can to support inclusion. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that starting today, we welcome same-sex couples to marry on our ships while in international waters,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “This is one for the history books!

The Celebrity Weddings program offers onboard ceremonies and destination weddings for lovebirds. The Nautical Nuptials at Sea package includes a Captain-led ceremony, an event coordinator’s services, live music, one hour of photography, cake for two, bottle of Champagne, a bouquet and boutonniere, plus additional romantic turndown amenities post-ceremony.

Celebrity Weddings has already hosted many same-sex weddings in the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean, where legal,” said Barbara Whitehall, Managing Director, The Wedding Experience. “We are ecstatic that this new Malta ruling opens up marriage equality for anyone and everyone sailing with Celebrity Cruises while in international waters.

To learn more about the Celebrity Weddings program and The Wedding Experience, visit www.celebrityweddings.eweddingcalendar.com.

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New York City Gay Men’s Chorus Announces Their 2017/18 Season Of Performances And Fundraisers

The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus (NYCGMC) has announced their 2017/18 season schedule of concerts featuring special guest stars, a ten-year anniversary celebration of the beloved sing-along sensation, Big Gay Sing X, and important fundraising events.

New York City Gay Men's Chorus (NYCGMC) logo

New York City Gay Men’s Chorus (NYCGMC) logo

YOUTH PRIDE CHORUS
MAINSTAGE PERFORMANCES BY LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, GENDER NON-BINARY, AND STRAIGHT YOUNG PEOPLE AGES 13-22
December 9, 2017, and April 21, 2018, The Center, 208 West 13th Street

NYCGMC HOLIDAY SLAY
BEARS, TWINKS, AND SUGAR PLUM FAIRIES, Featuring the NYC-based dance company, The Bang Group
December 14, 15, and 16 | 2017, NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place

HARMONY: VALENTINE’S DAY EDITION
LOVE WILL FILL THE AIR FOR THIS YEAR’S ANNUAL BIG APPLE PERFORMING ARTS GALA
February 14 | 2018, Current, Pier 59

BIG GAY SING X
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF BIG GAY SINGALONGS IN THE GAYEST WAY KNOWN TO MAN
March 9, 10, and 11 | 2018, NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place

QUEER GENIUS: DAVID BOWIE AND BEYOND
A CELEBRATION OF NON-CONFORMITY FEATURING SPECIAL GUESTS ANGEL CITY CHORALE FROM LOS ANGELES
May 19 | 2018, NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place

LILY GARDEN 2018
LILY PUTIAN’S ANNUAL GARDEN PARTY BENEFITING NYCGMC
July 31 | 2018

After a year of rallies and marches, NYCGMC and YPC are bringing you a collection of concerts that address the wrongs of the world with music that celebrates what’s right in all of us,” said Charlie Beale, Artistic Director for NYCGMC. “Our aim is to ease your mind, get you to your feet, get you dancing in the aisles and back out to the streets with a newfound energy to support equality and human rights,” Charlie added. Continue reading

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Debuts Evocative #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched an unprecedented new destination brand initiative to serve as a warm welcome and visitor invitation to the international travel community. The campaign, which includes a new brand video and comprehensive digital marketing strategy, launches on United Nation’s World Tourism Day, a day that celebrates the importance of tourism and its cultural, political and economic values.

New GFL Logo

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau logo

From the seagrass to the sawgrass, Greater Fort Lauderdale, located in Broward County, boasts more than 34,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings reflecting a vibrant cosmopolitan vibe. Visitors enjoy 23 miles of Blue Wave certified beaches, discover 300+ miles of inland waterways that run from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Everglades, dine at thousands of restaurants and eateries, get immersed in a thriving arts and culture scene and indulge in top shopping.

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Image from the new Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers.

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Image from the new Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers.

In Broward County, we are making sure that we let the traveling public understand that we are a welcoming destination to all people across the world regardless of the color of their skin, whom they choose to love or what religion they believe in. We want to make sure that our message gets through despite the negative clutter they see on their nightly news, every day,” said Stacy Ritter, President/CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The #greatertogether video is an expression of Greater Fort Lauderdale‘s open-door/open heart philosophy for visitors in times of travel bans and safety concerns. Central to the initiative is a 1:45 minute video that draws the viewer’s attention to a story that plays out in a sunrise-to-sunset destination experience with people of different ethnic backgrounds. It opens with an iconic visual of yoga on the beach and continues with a portrayal of diverse activities and visitors, including two Muslim women wearing hijabs enjoying a cup of coffee together with a non-Muslim friend, millennials of mixed nationalities at play, LGBTQI couples and friends in warm embraces, members of the indigenous Seminole tribe, a not-so-mythical mermaid, local African-American street art and ending with a reveal of a human thumbprint and a welcome message in multiple languages. The video will serve to foster resident’s continued pride in the community and let the world know that in Greater Fort Lauderdale, everyone is welcome…every day.

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Image from the new Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers.

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Image from the new Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers.

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Image from the new Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers.

An international marketing campaign will launch the #greatertogether video to consumers and international tour operators. The video will be featured on the CVB’s website (www.sunny.org/greatertogether) including the stories of diverse residents and visitors describing why they enjoy living in Greater Fort Lauderdale and how they welcome visitors to the community. The “Faces” social media component of the program will include key local residents that were featured in the video and communicate the diversity of the destination and how proud they are of the community that they live in. Continue reading

Art News: The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994

STEPHEN BARKER, “The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994”

Exhibition dates: September 14 – October 28, 2017

Daniel Cooney Fine Art (508-526 West 26th Street, Suite 9C, New York, NY 10001, 212 255 8158. dan@danielcooneyfineart.com. Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 11 – 6) is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of photographs, “The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994“, by renowned photographer Stephen Barker. The exhibit will showcase approximately 15 never before seen black and white photographic portraits of AIDS activists – in the studio and at home – taken by Barker during his time working within the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) 1991-1994, and Barker’s unique artist’s book Funeral March, which chronicles the carrying of Mark Fisher’s body in an open coffin from Judson Church, up Sixth Avenue, to the steps of the Republican National Committee on the eve of the presidential election in 1992.

Rod Sorge (1969-1999) ACT UP Needle Exchange, 1991

Rod Sorge (1969-1999) ACT UP Needle Exchange, 1991

Barker became involved with ACT UP in the late 80s working primarily with the needle exchange program. The photographs were never intended as an encyclopedic project, but rather the portraits evolved organically out of Barker’s working relationships, friendships, and intimacies. The exhibition is especially timely during this 30th anniversary year of ACT UP when once again all underserved communities, including those living with HIV/AIDS, are threatened by our own government. It is a call to arms for activism and a reminder of the distance we have traveled and battles we have won.

Stephen Barker, 'Gay Wachman, ACT UP Needle Exchange,' 1992, Gelatin Silver Print

Stephen Barker, ‘Gay Wachman, ACT UP Needle Exchange,’ 1992, Gelatin Silver Print

Continue reading

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Embarks on Lavender Pen Tour

Funds Raised Will Support Local LGBTQ Non-Profit Organizations

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC), whose mission is to create extraordinary musical experiences that inspire community, activism, and compassion, will kick off its 40th season by embarking on the Lavender Pen Tour from October 7-15, 2017. The tour will visit various cities and small towns in Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee while raising much-needed funds for local LGBTQ+ non-profit organizations. (View a video with more information about the Lavender Pen Tour here
http://www.sfgmc.org/ )event_photo596e217f428b4

(In 1977, a year before his death, Supervisor Harvey Milk sponsored a gay civil rights bill. Mayor George Moscone signed that bill into law with a lavender pen given to him by Milk. The Lavender Pen remains a symbol of the fight for equality for all, and the reason for the tour’s name.)

With an increasingly divisive political climate in the United States, marked by an uptick in dangerous and hostile rhetoric against the LGBTQ and other marginalized communities, SFGMC will take its message and music on the road to promote universal equality and inclusiveness, and the value in treating all individuals – irrespective of differences – with dignity. The Chorus will marshal its mosaic of powerful, positive voices to empower fellow Americans, especially LGBTQ+ youth, to come together, provoke conversations and action around civil liberties for all, while raising funds for local communities.

San Francisco Gay Mens Chorus Logo

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Logo

As has been evidenced in the recent weeks, we as a country have a long road to travel. After spending a week in the South last month with our beneficiaries and community partners, I learned that hope – the unbreakable and audacious idea that Harvey Milk built his life on and inspired us to do the same – is very much alive,” said Chris Verdugo, SFGMC Executive Director.We will amplify the work of these organizations across the South, raise tens of thousands in additional funding so they may continue their vital work and empower and inspire them with our music and mission. We believe this tour is another step in the right direction that will build bridges of understanding, compassion, and empathy.”

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir logo

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir logo

Joining SFGMC for the Lavender Pen Tour is the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (OIGC), a community of diverse races, cultures, and faiths, inspiring joy and unity among all people through black gospel and spiritual music. Together, SFGMC and OIGC will perform five anchor concerts during the tour, with each show raising funds for local LGBTQ+ organizations. All funds raised during the tour will support the vital work these organizations are doing to dismantle bigotry and discrimination locally and nationally.

SFGMC and OIGC will also visit schools, churches, government buildings and more to spread the message and share the meaning of The Lavender Pen Tour. The tour’s goal is to open a dialogue between a diverse set of Americans from different backgrounds and empower LGBTQ+ youth struggling with unease and fear of further marginalization. SFGMC hopes to use its voice to affect change in lives of people struggling to live their authentic lives and communities throughout the South.

Concert Information:

  • Sunday, October 8, 2017 (7:30 pm) – Jackson, MS / Thalia Mara Hall
  • Tuesday, October 10, 2017 (7:30 pm) – Birmingham, AL / Alys Stephens Center
  • Wednesday, October 11, 2017 (8:00 pm) – Knoxville, TN / Knoxville Civic Auditorium
  • Friday, October 13, 2017 (7:00 pm) – Greenville, SC / First Baptist Church
  • Saturday, October 14, 2017 (7:30 pm) – Charlotte, NC / Ovens Auditorium

Continue reading

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Embarks On 8th Annual LifeRide For amfAR

Motorcycle Riding Influencers Ride Through the Midwest to Raise Awareness and Funds to Help Find a Cure for AIDS

Kiehl’s Limited Edition Ultimate Strength Hand Salve benefits amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. 100% of purchase price from the sale of this product, up to $25,000, will benefit amfAR. The Limited Edition Ultimate Strength Hand Salve is $28.50 at all Kiehl’s retail stores, Kiehls.com and specialty stores nationwide.

Maintaining its long-standing tradition of supporting HIV/AIDS charities, Kiehl’s Since 1851, the 166-year-old purveyor of the finest skincare, is pleased to announce its continued partnership with amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and the eighth annual Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR.

Inspired by a Kiehl’s icon – the motorcycle – a spirit of adventure and philanthropic heritage, the eighth annual LifeRide continues the brand’s mission to heighten awareness and raise funds for amfAR. This year the multi-city charity ride takes place over 8 days, from July 31-Aug. 7, 2017, beginning in Minneapolis and ending in Nashville.

KiehlsLimitedEditionUSHSforamfAR

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Limited Edition Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

Rallying with the public at nine store stops along the route, Kiehl’s will donate a total of $100,000 over the course of the ride. At each stop, the public can meet the riders, social media influencers, learn more about amfAR and contribute to the non-profit. At the conclusion of this year’s ride, Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR will have ridden more than 11,500 miles since 2010 and raised more than $1.7 million, funding nine cure-related research projects.

Chris Salgardo, President, Kiehl’s USA and Kevin Robert Frost, CEO, amfAR will lead this year’s riders:

  • Ian Bohen, actor, Teen Wolf
  • JR Bourne, actor, Somewhere Between
  • Anthony Carrino, co-host, Kitchen Cousins
  • Gilles Marini, actor, Switched at Birth
  • Grant Reynolds, host/producer, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • Luke Wessman, tattoo artist, Miami/NY Ink
  • Tyler Posey, actor, Teen Wolf

Key partners for the ride include Cadillac, Delta Air Lines, and Hedon helmets.

JOIN THE RIDE!

Kiehl’s and amfAR invite all to be a part of the ride: Press and public are welcome at the following stops:

MONDAY, JULY 31—MINNEAPOLIS

  • Kiehl’s Since 1851, Mall of America, 8100 24th Ave., Bloomington, MN, 11 AM-12 PM
  • Kiehl’s at Macy’s, Ridgedale Center, 12411 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka, MN, 12:30-1:30 PM

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 2—CHICAGOLAND

  • Kiehl’s at Von Maur, Yorktown Center, 145 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard, IL, 1:30-2:30 PM
  • Kiehl’s at Bloomingdale’s, 900 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL, 4:30-5:30 PM

THURSDAY, AUG. 3—CHICAGOLAND

  • Kiehl’s Since 1851, The Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL, 11 AM-12 PM

FRIDAY, AUG. 4—INDIANAPOLIS

  • Kiehl’s Since 1851, The Fashion Mall at Keystone, 8702 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis, IN, 12-1 PM

SATURDAY, AUG. 5—LEXINGTON

  • Kiehl’s at Dillard’s, Fayette Mall, 3625 Nicholasville Rd., Lexington, KY, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

MONDAY, AUG. 7—NASHVILLE

  • Kiehl’s at Dillard’s, CoolSprings Galleria, 1796 Galleria Blvd., Franklin, TN, 11AM-12PM

LIFERIDE FINALE!

  • Kiehl’s Since 1851, The Mall at Green Hills, 2126 Abbott Martin Road, Nashville, TN, 12:30-1:30 PM

In celebration, every customer attending one of the events at the Kiehl’s retail stores will receive a 15% discount on all purchases, with the exception of charitable products and value sets. Continue reading

Fun in the Sun: A Traveler’s Guide to Summer in Miami Beach

The summer season is in full swing, which means longer days, hot nights and more fun, making it one of the best times to visit Miami Beach. Travelers can start packing their bags now and head to Miami Beach’s pristine sands thanks to a few tricks-of-the-summer-trade to keep beach-goers safe and protected from the seasonal elements. Known for its year-round sunny skies, the vibrant destination not only produces its own branded suncare line, Miami Beach Suncare but has been ranked by TripAdvisor as a Top Winter Sun Vacation Rental Getaway Destinations, Top Romantic Destinations, Top 25 Beaches in the World and Top 25 Destinations in the U.S.

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Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority logo (PRNewsFoto/Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority)

From free sunscreen to spa treatments, it’s easy to get a summer glow safely when visiting Miami Beach with these easy-to-follow tips:

Be Sun Savvy. Everyone enjoys a little time in the sun and there are ways to decrease the risk of sunburns. The American Cancer Society reports that people who are heavily exposed to UV rays, found in sunlight, are at greater risk of skin cancer and that putting on sunscreen, a hat or even sunglasses are easy ways to help decrease sun exposure risks.

In support of sun safety, The City of Miami Beach launched the first free Suncare dispenser program for its residents and visitors. There are 50 dispensers offering free Miami Beach Suncare SPF 30 Sea Kelp Sunscreen Lotion throughout the city’s public beaches, pools, and parks allowing users to enjoy fun in the sun safely.

Miami Beach Visitor- Suncare Dispenser

Miami Beach offers free SPF to visitors and locals through the MB Suncare Dispenser program. This nationwide initiative which launched in Miami Beach will now be available in additional cities including Hempstead and Long Beach, NY.

Summer is one of the best times to visit Miami Beach and we are dedicated to making it safe and easy for tourists and locals to enjoy the variety of activities available during this time of year with the Miami Beach free Suncare Dispenser Program,” says Peggy Benua, Chair of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority. “We are a leader in this initiative that is extending to other cities across the nation, including the Town of Hempstead, NY, and City of Long Beach, NY.

Apply Early And Repeat. The strongest hours of the sun are between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Re-applying sunscreen is key throughout the day, no matter where it takes you. From strolling Lincoln Road boutiques to breezy ocean walks, be sure to set an iPhone or watch alarm to sound every 2 hours as a reminder to lather! And remember, it’s just as important for visitors to load up on SPF on cloudy summer days as well!

Take Cover. Sound impossible to stay indoors during the day on Miami Beach? July is the start of Miami Spa Month (runs through August), offering the best excuse to stay indoors and indulge in luxury spa treatments focused on keeping skin hydrated and refreshed. Miami Spa Month Offers:

  • Bamford Haybarn Spa at the 1 Hotel South Beach: Enjoy treatments like the Bamford Swedish Massage or Bamford Radiance Facial for $109 including complimentary valet, a beach chair and Plnthouse Kombucha.
  • The Spa at The Setai, Miami Beach: Unwind with a relaxing Asian Fusion Massage for two or refresh with the Fresh Skin Ritual for $109, including perks like discounted valet and access to the exclusive pool and private beach area.
  • The Spa at Ritz-Carlton, South Beach: De-stress with an aromatic Relaxation Massage, hydrate with a Deep Cleansing Facial or relax in a Zero Gravity Chair part of the Timeless Capsule Experience for $109 along with access to complimentary saunas, steam rooms, and lounges.
  • Lapis Spa at Fontainebleau: Release tension with a Hot Rock Massage or Aromatic Swedish Massage treatment for two in an Oceanview spa suite for $139 and bask in complimentary eucalyptus steam baths and mineral pools.

Miami Beach is a favorite destination among travelers worldwide. Renowned for its unparalleled culinary offerings, extravagant nightlife, rich culture, luxe shopping and plush hotels, Miami Beach is home to unique museums, the New World Symphony, Miami City Ballet, Miami Beach Convention Center, international festivals and art exhibitions, boat and auto shows, over 187 boutique and resort hotels and 12 public parks; it is no wonder the beautifully diverse city is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. Boasting seven miles of breathtaking beaches, Miami Beach is easily accessible from the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport. The City of Miami Beach has been named one of the top cities worldwide for ‘walkability’ and is equally easy to navigate by bike or boat.

For more information on how to play it safe in the sun this summer, events and happenings for Miami Beach Spa Month, download the Miami Beach Information App at www.miamibeachapi.com/app/.