Take a look at how successful Latino Gay Pride and the AIDS Bicycle Challenge were in September — photos from both events are on pages 24 and 25 of the October print issue. ABC had more than 300 bicyclists, and we expect to be able to report how much money was raised soon. Latino Gay Pride expanded into a two-day festival this year, with a street party as well as the regular festival.
Williams Institute reports on financial benefit of same-sex marriage in Missouri
A new study from the Williams Institute says that allowing same-sex Missouri couples to marry legally could generate $36 million in revenue for the state’s economy in the first three years from wedding arrangements and tourism.
“As an LGBT-friendly destination, we are heartened to see the positive economic impact same-sex marriage can have on our economy,” said Ronnie Burt, president and CEO of the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association. “Right now those dollars are going to other states. We look forward to a time when Kansas City can welcome LGBT travelers to marry, celebrate their commitments and spend more of their dollars here. That means more resources invested into our economy that can be spent to improve services and quality of life for everyone in our community.”
Both Mayor Sylvester James of Kansas City and Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis support marriage for all couples in Missouri. In response to the study, they expressed an understanding for the economic value that marriage could bring to their cities, as well as the value of marriage equality overall.
The 2010 U.S. Census reported that 10,557 same-sex couples live in Missouri. According to the report, 5,279 couples would be expected to marry in the first three years. In the first year alone, the Williams Institute predicts, more than 3,379 marriages would occur, bringing in over $23 million in revenue. Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations would create 312 to 936 jobs in the tourism and recreation sector for Missouri, according to the report.
A.J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO, Missouri’s statewide organization advocating for LGBT equality, concluded, “These key findings, thanks to the Williams Institute, show that the effect of marriage on Missouri’s economy could positively impact the lives of many in this state. Right now, Missourians are traveling to neighboring states and across the country to be married, which means dollars are being spent elsewhere. We have beautiful spaces across Missouri to be married, and ALL Missourians deserve the opportunity to be wed right here in their home state.”
The Williams Institute is a national think tank at the UCLA Law School that conducts research on sexual orientation and gender identity law. The report can be found here: Williams Institute
Renica Just Renica’s 5th Cruise Vacation Giveaway
Renica Just Renica, the Kansas City entertainer and host of the Dirty Game Show at Missie B’s, is hosting the fifth Cruise Vacation Giveaway, celebrating 30 years of RSVP Vacations. The all-new Regal Princess will depart Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 15, sailing to the private island of Princess Cay, then on to Cozumel and Georgetown Grand Cayman. An anonymous donor is sponsoring the airfare for two raffle winners on United Airlines. The winners will receive a Balcony Stateroom for seven days, six nights. Food and shipboard entertainment is provided.
Raffle tickets are available at the main bar at Missie B’s or by finding Renica out and about. A $5 donation is requested per ticket. You can also make a $20 donation online at www.gsp-kc.org/contributions and five raffle tickets will be placed in the barrel in your name. The winning ticket will be drawn Jan. 7 during the Dirty Game Show. Winners need not be present, but they must have valid passports.
After a small fee to cover the taxes and port fees for the winners, proceeds of the raffle will go to support the Good Samaritan Project in Kansas City. Last year, $660 was donated to the LIKEME Lighthouse and $1,000 to the Good Samaritan Project from the same cruise raffle. RSVP has also booked the Dirty Game Show again for its second year on the cruise.
Sept. 25-Oct. 18
Kansas City Diversity Coalition’s ‘Funny Side Up’
This two-act play will have more than 30 short comedic vignettes that were written by members of the cast and other supporters, poking fun about what it’s like to be part of our wonderful LGBTIQ community.
Directed by Rick Bumgardner with stage manager Bonnie Murphy, the cast includes Jayson Aviance, Karydan Elkins, Stephen Howard, Ellie DeShon, Shawn Frederick, Kathy Kane, Josh Krueger, Taylor Perez, Jessica Ruby, Sarahlynn Sandonato and Richard Schons.
Performances will be at 8:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday each week in the Morning Glory Event Space, 313 Westport Rd, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets ($10) are available at Gay Pride
Sept. 27 and the 4th Saturday of every month
MGRA Meet &