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February 27 2014

February 25 2014

January 28 2014

Grammys Wedding Couple: 'It Was Too Fantastic to Be Real'

Spencer and Dustin Reeser-Stout — a couple from Salt Lake City, Utah — never expected that the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., would be their wedding venue when they ventured to San Diego two months ago to scout locations for their impending nuptials.

But that's exactly where the Reeser-Stouts found themselves on Sunday night; accepting congratulations on their union during the Grammys live show from the likes of Katy Perry and Beyonce.

Along with 33 other couples — young, old, gay, straight — the Reeser-Stouts were wed during hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' performance of the anthem "Same Love," accompanied by featured vocalist Mary LambertMadonna sang "Open Your Heart" as Queen Latifah officiated the weddings. Read more...

More about Wedding, Gay Rights, Gay Marriage, Grammy Awards, and Madonna

September 28 2013

Bertolli Pasta Ad Jabs at Barilla Chairman's Anti-Gay Comment

Two pasta companies are sparring over gay rights after Barilla Chairman Guido Barilla told an Italian radio station on Wednesday that his company would never run an ad featuring a same-sex couple.

Bertolli Germany quickly responded with an ad that translates to "pasta and love for all," including pairs of the same types of pasta walking side-by-side down a spoon. The new ad, which was posted on Facebook, already has over 3,000 likes


It's not the company's first pro-equality ad, either, according to AdWeek. Bertolli U.S. ran a commercial that featured a gay couple back in 2009

SEE ALSO: Equality Everywhere: Coming Out in the Digital Age Read more...

More about Lgbt, Gay Rights, Italian, Business, and Advertising

May 09 2013

Powerful Video Asks When You Chose to Be Straight

For years, gay people have been asked when they realized their sexual orientation. Now, a video asks the same question to the straight demographic and the results are profound.

Travis Nuckolls and Chris Baker conducted a series of street interviews in Colorado Springs, Colo., asking people if sexuality is a choice for homosexuals. And then, the duo asks, "When did you choose to be straight?"

"It depends on what people grow up finding out. I think it's a choice later in life, but it depends on upbringing," one respondent said. After being asked when he chose to be straight, he said: "That's a good call, man. I didn't choose to be. I was born [straight]." Read more...

More about Gay Rights, Us, World, Watercooler, and Conversations

March 29 2013

Marriage Equality Campaign Causes 120% Increase in Facebook Pic Swaps

If you thought you were seeing all your Facebook friends swap their photos to red equality signs Tuesday, you were right. Facebook reported a 120% increase in profile picture swaps, as compared to an average day

According to a post from Facebook data scientist Eytan Bakshy, 2.7 million more users swapped their photos Tuesday, March 26, than on the previous Tuesday, due to the viral marriage equality Facebook campaign started by the Human Rights Campaign

The HRC kicked off its call to action Monday afternoon at 1 p.m. EDT, in anticipation of the two gay marriage cases argued before the Supreme Court Tuesday and Wednesday. Read more...

More about Facebook, Us, Social Good, Gay Rights, and Supreme Court
The Strategy Behind the Viral Red Marriage Equality Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign's Director of Marketing Anastasia Khoo didn't decide to change the organization's equality sign logo from blue to red on a whim

The team at the HRC, the largest lobby organization dedicated to fighting for LGBT rights, knew that the two cases the Supreme Court heard this week on marriage equality were major, that Monday and Tuesday were moments of historic significance. The organization also foresaw that people would want to show their support for marriage equality. During the planning process, Khoo had the idea to turn the iconic blue and yellow equality sign logo red. Read more...

More about Facebook, Us, Features, Social Good, and Gay Rights
Marriage Equality's Huge Week on Twitter

Facebook users weren't the only people affected by the Supreme Court's two gay marriage cases Tuesday and WednesdayTwitter was full of conversations about marriage equality, Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act

Top tweets came from President Obama and Seth MacFarlane; Kennedy was the most mentioned Supreme Court Justice; and "marriageequality" was the most-used term.

Our friends at the Meltwater Group sent along this infographic, which dissects the conversations dominating the social web Tuesday and Wednesday.

More about Us, Gay Rights, Supreme Court, Infographics, and Scotus

March 28 2013

August 12 2012

Madonna Breaks Speech Ban, Spins Russian Concert Into Pride Rally [VIDEO]

Following through on her promise, Madonna spoke out against discrimination of people based on sexual orientation during her MDNA tour concert in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The city of St. Petersburg recently passed laws banning pro-LGBT speech, and as The Advocate reported, Madonna vowed to break those laws during her concert in the city.

"At the center of non-violence, stands the principle of love," Madonna read from a fan's t-shirt, which quotes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

She distributed rainbow "No Fear" posters, and she and her dancers incorporated rainbow flags into the show.

"You cannot use religion to treat other people badly, you cannot use God's name to treat other peo…
Continue reading...

More About: LGBT, Video, Watercooler, gay rights, madonna, pride

May 07 2011

This Week in Politics & Digital: Bin Laden Killed, Obama Stays Cool

us flag tech image

This week was dominated by the news of Osama bin Laden’s death, and social media was right there to watch, track and comment on the news as it unfolded. However, the week started on a lighter note with President Obama and Saturday Night Live lead writer Seth Meyers taking the stage for the White House Correspondents Dinner. The jokes, especially those about Osama bin Laden and the fight against terrorism, take on new meaning in the run-up to the military operation.

This weekly series picks out some of the week’s top stories in the intersection of digital technology and politics. Have a look through and let us know what you think by joining the conversation in the comments below.

Osama bin Laden

The biggest news to hit the Internet — and arguably the world — this week was the death of Osama bin Laden. Social media played a large role in how people came to terms with and sometimes celebrated the death of Al Qaeda’s number-one man during a U.S. military operation. Mashable was all over that angle with articles about how the news broke through Twitter, social media reactions on Facebook and Foursquare, infographics, and even an unexpected live tweeter in Abbottabad where the action took place.

The New York Times Lede Blog did a great job trying to cull the facts, including an official narrative released from the White House, which also took to the Internet and social media to help break the news and to spread information.

Inside the Situation Room

obama image

The White House has not released an image of Bin Laden’s body, however, it did release pictures of the president and his team in the Situation Room observing the operation. The pictures, posted on the White House’s Flickr page, have already become some of the most viewed on the popular photo-sharing site. Flickr told Mashable some of the pictures have more than 600,000 views, with some receiving more than 13,000 views per minute when they were released.

The State Department, FBI Investigate Change.org Attacks

Government officials have taken a stand against the denial of service attacks slamming Change.org, a U.S.-based activism platform.

The attacks started shortly after the site created a petition calling for the release of Chinese artist Ai WeiWei. The State department has now joined in, saying that defending against these kinds of hacker attacks is part of the “top tier of American foreign policy,” the Bay Citizen reported.

The FBI has also joined in, says Change.org founder Ben Rattray. “We heard today the FBI’s cybersecurity people are investigating to see what more they can uncover,” Rattray told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Gay Rights Go Viral

When Minnesota Rep. Steve Simon, a Democrat from the Minneapolis suburbs, asked his colleagues to re-think their stance on homosexuality, he probably wasn’t expecting the speech would be put on YouTube and receive more than 244,000 views in four days. He raised the theoretical question that homosexuality is innate, or God-given, “How many more gay people does God have to create before we ask ourselves whether or not God actually wants them around?”

The rhetorical question didn’t actually change the final vote; the committee voted 10-7 to forward a bill banning same-sex marriage.

Obama, Meyers Joke at Correspondents Dinner

Finally, on a lighter note, the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner took place last Saturday. Obama showed he could dish as good as he could take by poking fun at the birther movement. He showed a “video” of his actual birth, instead playing a clip from Disney’s The Lion King, then joking: “I want to make clear to the Fox News table, that was a joke. That was not my real birth video, that was a children’s cartoon. Call Disney if you don’t believe me, they have the original, long-form version.”

Seth Meyers, the night’s comedy speaker, aimed some jokes at both sides of the aisle including jabs at C-SPAN, Donald Trump and America’s international debt: “Let me just say up top that this evening I’m going to be making a lot of jokes about many of the people in this room, but don’t worry, I assure you no matter how harsh the jokes, they have all been vetted by the man at the top, Chinese President Hu Jintao.”

Both Meyers and Obama ended their speeches by thanking the press for their work bringing important issues and stories to the public, even when those stories put them in danger.

Thumbnail Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Pgiam

More About: birth certificate, correspondents dinner, gay rights, obama, osama bin laden, politcs, situation room, week in digital politics, White House

For more Social Media coverage:

October 04 2010

5 Inspiring Celebrity Videos Tell Gay Teens “It Gets Better”

A couple of weeks ago, sex columnist and LGBT activist Dan Savage announced “It Gets Better,” a YouTube project designed to give hope to gay, lesbian and transgendered teens facing discrimination and bullying. Now even more celebrities and activists have stepped forward with words of encouragement.

Savage’s YouTube channel has accumulated dozens of inspiring messages from people all over the country, but not all of these videos are explicitly part of his campaign. The messages from Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog) and Ellen DeGeneres follow the lead set by Savage, though. The former appeared on Ellen’s show, and the latter was sponsored by MTV.

The social media and video campaign was initiated in response to increasing reports of gay teens in rural areas committing suicide in the wake of extreme bullying and discrimination from their peers. The theme: Life seems difficult now, but there are greater opportunities to live openly without fear of abuse just a few years down the line, so it’s important not to lose hope.

These five celebrity videos join a chorus of voices in social media, YouTube, blogs and other places dedicated to preventing suicide and discrimination. Did we miss a particular poignant one? Let us know in the comments.

Dan Savage

Neil Patrick Harris

Ellen DeGeneres

The Cast of "Wicked"

Lala & Ciara

Images courtesy of Wikipedia, David Shankbone

More About: bullying, ciara, dan savage, ellen degeneres, gay rights, homosexuality, it gets better, it gets better project, Lala, LGBT, neil patrick harris, suicide, teens, the ellen degeneres show, the ellen show, video, videos, wicked, youtube

For more Social Good coverage:

September 02 2010

10 of the Web’s Most Insightful News Infographics

New Infographic

A picture is worth a thousand words. But if you include an entire database, make it interactive, and add filtering options, the word-to-picture exchange rate is even better.

Infographics at their best are more than just pictures — they can provide new understandings, succinct summaries, or just plain old fun.

In that respect, reading newspaper archives isn’t the only way to get a deeper understanding of current events. Infographics can help us get a better grasp on what’s going on.

Check out these 10 visualizations to learn more about the news with a quick look.

1. Google’s Appetite for Acquisition

Last month alone, Google acquired social-search service Angstro, visual shopping search engine like.com, and social currency company Jambool. Google has been on an acquisition binge for some time, and it’s getting tricky to keep track of its appetite.

This graphic shows a timeline of Google’s activity in three categories: “Building Revenue Streams,” “Cutting Competition,” or “A Little of Both.”

2. Gay Marriage Chronology

The campaign for gay marriage has passed a multitude of milestones over the last decade. Unfortunately for those trying to keep track of them, the victories and setbacks vary drastically by state. Decisions are reversed and in some cases overturned by higher courts, which makes progress hard to track.

This map from the LA Times shows the status of gay marriage in each state by month. Click on a state for its most recent ruling or watch the country change from being legally similar in its treatment of same-sex couples in 2000 to sharply divided in 2010.

3. IED Attacks from Wikileaks’ Afghanistan War Logs

The frequency and fatality of IEDs (homemade bombs) in Afghanistan was highlighted when WikiLeaks published more than 90,000 secret documents about the Afghan war. Anti-war activists published this illustrative video that includes all of the incidents reported in these leaked documents.

4. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

On April 20, an explosion on a BP drilling rig started what has become the largest accidental oil spill in history. Despite numerous strategies that were deployed to plug the leak, it wasn’t capped until July 15.

This video graphic by New Orleans online newspaper NOLA wraps timeline, graphic, and cumulative damage data into one easy-to-digest piece of media.

5. CIA World Factbook Dashboard

The CIA World Factbook has always been a great resource for putting news stories into the context of their geographic location. But now it’s also easy to get the information at a glance.

The World Factbook Dashboard allows you to color code the countries of the world by population, population growth, infant mortality, agricultural GDP, industry GDP, services GDP, total GDP, GDP/inhabitant, or inflation. Clicking on a country zooms in for more information.

6. Geography of a Recession

This map from The New York Times illustrates not only which areas suffered the highest unemployment rate after the recession, but also offers the option to filter data by metropolitan areas, areas with housing bubbles, rural areas, and manufacturing centers.

7. Afghanistan and Pakistan Regional Violence Map

The Wall Street Journal updates this map constantly with violent conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If you want to learn about the day-to-day details of the war or understand its scope, there’s no better visual resource.

8. What Does the Health Care Bill Mean to Me?

Even if you read through every health care bill article, it could be hard to exactly pick out what the law would change about your insurance coverage and taxes. The Washington Post made it easy by providing this nifty tool. Input whether you have insurance coverage, your family size, your income, and your marital status, and it will tell you how health care reform will impact your life.

For the broader picture on healthcare reform, see this subway-style map from GOOD Magazine.

9. Obama’s $787 Billion Economic Stimulus Plan

The government is still busy spending much of the $787 billion it allotted for the economic stimulus in February of last year. This infographic effectively illustrates how that huge chunk of change is being distributed.

10. American Casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Beyond

This chilling interactive graphic from USA Today simply illustrates the deaths in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Information seekers can search deaths by personal factors like name, age, gender, race, or home town as well as by military service details, date, cause, or place.

CNN has a more elaborate version here.

More Graphics Resources from Mashable:

- 5 Fab Twitter Follower Visualization Tools
- 10 Beautiful Social Media Infographics
- 5 Amazing Infographics for the Health Conscious
- 10 Essential Free E-Books for Web Designers
- 12 Beginner Tutorials for Getting Started With Photoshop

More About: afghanistan, bp, current events, gay rights, graphics, healthcare reform, infographics, iraq, News, oil-spill, stimulus, visualizations, wikileaks

For more Tech coverage:

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