The I-5 against the Rest of the World (Or at least those states pursuing religious exemption laws.)

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pg3 By the time you read this, my hope is that you will be sipping your favorite beverage and enjoying the exquisite environment of the Elysian Ballroom, as we unveil our second annual Wedding Edition at the April PQ Monthly Press Party. PQ’s first Wedding Edition came out last year on the cusp of Oregonians gaining marriage equality—we won in the courts and we celebrated our hearts out. Therefore, it is with great honor that we offer our second annual Wedding Edition. We would not be able to do that without the support of our advertisers; it is paramount that all of our LGBTQ community and allies patronizes and supports our advertisers because they support us! I know it’s hard to believe that in this day and age we still continue to find businesses that want to find ways to deny us service but we continue to see it with bakeries, photographers, pizzerias, event taxi drivers in Oregon, Washington, Indiana and across our great nation. I wrote about the “Right to Turn Away the Gay†bills popping up (http://www.pqmonthly.com/right-turn-away-gay-watch/18584) just 14 months ago—now after another political cycle has passed, we see legislatures passing discrimination, and some governors are signing discrimination into law. (Side note: If you don’t think voting matters in non-gubernatorial election and presidential years, this should serve as proof, nationwide, as the GOP seizes many of our state House and Senate legislative floors.) Now we have an uphill battle! Thankfully corporate America has stepped in and thrown their support behind the LGBTQ community through advertising in your local LGBTQ communities’ publications, politically, and by issuing statements of support. Some have even gone as far as boycotting states like Indiana. “There have been times throughout history where people have been persecuted for their religious beliefs because they were unpopular. This bill provides a shield of protection for that.†Rep. Charles Macheers, R-Shawnee, said on the House floor that his bill prevents discrimination. As our country becomes more and more divided, we can only expect that discrimination bills like this will become cleverer; they will craftily string together words that will discriminate against our basic freedoms in America. Therefore, we need to be mindful and proactive in supporting business that support equality. More than ever, our LGBTQ publications are becoming important to showcase businesses that will not discriminate against us. Just as our publications were important to us early on in the '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s and so on—when we were seeking safe places to be who we are, we are again in 2015 seeking those same safe places. I have heard many people say that our community is becoming mainstream—and it is in many ways. However, the opposition has a strategy and they will be relentless in their attacks against us. That being said, and as many of you may already know, we at PQ Monthly are working hard at bringing together our communities.  After being contacted by some significant tech people in the Bay Area, they encouraged me to explore the idea of growing our (PQ’s) digital reach and localization in the Bay and Seattle. So on  April 1, 2015, we at Brilliant Media llc., expanded our digital reach with the creation of www.ProudQueerBayArea.com and www.ProudQueerSeattle.com—our family both north and south of us share the common thread of pride in our culture and community and the willingness to expand conversations with each other. Additional, all 3 sites (Seattle, Portland, & Bay Area) boast the most robust community calendar with direct linkage to their sister sites. This calendar is also free to post your events on. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in blogging/writing/selling or have story ideas. Tonight I will be in the Bay Area celebrating the first ever Queer Fashion Week—and they are hosting the Bay Area’s first ever PQ Press Party, and tomorrow I was invited to walk the celebrity runway in support of Red! Seattle, we will be there next for a Press Party. It is with all of my and our team’s hopes that the I-5 linkage—and media expansion from the Bay to Seattle and the world wide web, and our willingness to expand our conversations geographically with genuine inclusion—we can help our nation push though these intolerable and unjust times and lead by example in our mission of: Every letter and every color being represented. #nojusticenopeace #solidaridad #proudqueer Your Publisher, Melanie Davis