Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

More than 35,000 LGBT customers have signed letter asking them to stop advertising on Fox News; thousands are flocking to Orbitz’s Facebook wall vowing to boycott the online travel agency.

Orbitz may end up losing thousands of customers and revenue because they refuse to stop advertising on Fox News, progressive grassroots organization Courage Campaign said today.In less than four days, more than 35,000 individuals have signed a letter to Orbitz CEO Barney Harford asking him to stop placing travel ads on the anti-gay television network. As of this press release, 1,352 customers have also taken to Orbitz’s Facebook wall to inform them that they will not be using Orbitz to book their travel until they stop.The Courage Campaign, along with Media Matters for America, GLAAD and Equality Matters, launched the campaign on Monday. Orbitz’s travel site, which previously was a strong supporter of and marketer to the LGBT community, has generated strong business growth for Orbitz. “It’s hypocritical to cater to our community, take our money and then turn around and give it to Fox so the network can broadcast lies about LGBT people and our issues,” said Adam BinkDirector of Online Programs for the Courage Campaign. “If Orbitz wants to maintain a gay-friendly image and keep their loyal customers, they should reconsider where they are buying ads because as you can see by some of these Facebook posts, folks are very angry that their money is being used to promote hate. “If you have a ‘strict policy of tolerance and non-discrimination’ then why advertise on a network that blatantly and regularly attacks the gay community?” Rick Jacobsfounder and chair of the Courage Campaign, asked of Orbitz. 
An average of 52 messages per hour are being posted on Orbitz’s Facebook page. Adiva Wayne, a national and international traveler who’s been a longtime Orbitz customer, posted on Facebook: “I will no longer be using Orbitz for bookings. If Orbitz wishes to choose Fox “News” hatred over previously loyal customers (while portraying itself as an LGTB-friendly company, considering other adverts), it can stand to lose the millions of dollars in business. ”David B. Karpf, another former loyal customer in Maryland, said: “I will not use Orbitz in the future as long as they advertise on the Fox News Network, and their advertising dollars support the bigoted, racist, homophobic views and outright lies and pandering espoused by most of the Fox commentators.”The Courage Campaign is taking these actions because we are frankly tired of this station’s history of destructive anti-gay language and actions, including: 
1. Giving Mike Huckabee his own show despite Huckabee’s history of comparing homosexuality to drug abuse, incest, pedophilia, and necrophilia. Huckabee has repeatedly used his Fox platform to campaign against gay marriage, and he has suggested that marriage equality poses a threat to stable society. 
2. Bill O’ Reilly repeatedly using his popular prime time show to warn against the “dangers” of allowing gay people near children, to assert that same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy, nuptials with turtles, ducks or dolphins, and to claim that implementing a hate crimes bill could protect pedophiles. 
3. Perpetuating the claim that repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would impact troop readiness and morale, despite multiple reports — including the Pentagon’s — to the contrary.It’s time Orbitz paid attention to what they are hurting.

Source: http://www.couragecampaign. org/testimony.
‘Like Us' on Facebook – 'Follow Us' on Twitter for a chance to win a trip for two to Toronto Canada.* 

by David Cohen

Every year during Fourth of July WeekendToronto puts on one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the world.  With over one million people attending the festivities, Toronto Pride weekend exceeded all of my expectations. On my last visit to Toronto, I had the best time of my life.  People in Toronto are friendly and  they make you feel at home, and will make your stay enjoyable and one to remember.

Pride Week in Toronto is celebrated over 10 days turning the streets into parades and parking lots into parties. The gay community of Toronto offers some of the best in arts and cultural programming, community activities, and of course one of the world’s largest Pride Parade on the Sunday of that weekend. Don't ever miss the Dyke March that takes place on the Saturday on that weekend, but the best treat on my trip was seeing Cindy Lauper who took center stage at Queen’s Park. This concert was free, and Ms Lauper entertained thousands of people as she performed her cheery “True Colors” hit.

Toronto offers a lot more than just the festival. The city is also famed for good restaurants, museums and many galleries. If shopping is on your list, then a visit to the neighborhood of Yorkville is a must.  Located north of the gay village, Yorkville is the best place for shopping. It has many designer shops, terrific boutiques, and many outdoor restaurants. A visit to one of my favorite museums The Royal Ontario is a must. The Royal Ontario is the home of the biggest dinosaurs collection in north America, as well as to other exhibits that present years of diverse culture.

Toronto has many great hotels, and accommodation that can suite all types of travelers and budgets. Finding the right place will not be a problem at all. I stayed at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on 8 Colborne Street, in downtown Toronto. For reservations call 1.800.958.3488.

One of the best conveniences of staying at the Cosmopolitan Hotel is the proximity to Porters Airlines  airport. Flying to Toronto with Porters Airlines will be the best decision you will make for this trip. Located in downtown Toronto the airport is only five minutes from the hotel. Porters’ approach is revolutionary and they offer one of the best experiences for air travelers today. With a coach ticket you get all the privileges of business class at no additional cost, So if you have a chance to fly it, don’t hesitate for a second.

The 31st Toronto Pride Week will take place from Friday June 24, to Sunday July 3, 2011. For more information visit www.pridetoronto.com and www.seetorontonow

Your chance to win A FREE TRIP TO TORONTO FOR TWO. Airfare by Porter Airlines, and two night accommodations at the Sheraton Hotel will be included. Courtesy of OntarioTourism. To enter this sweepstake you must ‘Like Us' on Facebook  and 'Follow Us' on TwitterLast day to enter is May 26, 2011. Winners will be notified by e-mail on Friday, May 27, 2011.