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Read the latest updates about LGBT issues around the world. The Advocate is an international source for developments pertaining to gay world news, politics, Prides, politicians, and rights that affect the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Learn about antigay laws, human rights violations, landmark victories, and failures of governments to protect the rights of its citizens. From Asia, to North America, to South America, to Europe, to Africa, The Advocate provides transcontinental coverage of the issues that matter to our readers.

The 19th Annual Festival of the Babes, or FOB, as it’s called, took
place in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend, and I was lucky enough to
witness this lesbian soccer-playing mayhem firsthand! What is FOB?
According to the fest's website, it's a "women's soccer festival for lesbians and those willing to be
mistaken for one.”

While events were ostensibly organized around soccer games, FOB really seemed to be a lighthearted lovefest, highlighted by
booze, BBQ’s, dancing, sexual innuendo, after-parties, and, most
important, team costumes. Twenty-four teams participate over two days, sometimes trotting down the field with beer cozies in
hand! FOB draws teams from numerous cities, including Vancouver, Canada, where Shawna Peterson and Martha
Lewis came up with the idea for this festival after attending the Gay Games there in 1990.

Each year FOB gives out two
awards: the Buttercup Award in memory of Sarah Butterworth, a longtime
FOB participant who died of brain cancer in 2003, and the FOB Team Spirit award, which includes a year's possession of the Artemis
Award (an almost complete mannequin) for the team that “best displays
that pure essence of FOBliness ... and teaches us all the best way to
capture that lightness of spirit, in the midst of our competitive
soccer obsession!” While the festival normally rotates among Vancouver, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco, in 2010 FOB will
remain in San Francisco to celebrate its 20th year.


 Cowgirl and Pussywhip, members of the Youmuffisms, celebrate after a win over Baybewatch.

September 12 2009 3:35 AM

An independently owned Holiday Inn in Augusta, Maine, is offering discounts to marriage equality opponents converging on the city Sunday night for a rally supporting Question 1, a November 3 ballot initiative that could repeal the state's legislatively passed same-sex marriage law.

September 11 2009 8:20 PM

Annie Leibovitz, who earlier this week came close to losing the rights to some of her most famous photographs after defaulting on loan payments, has reached an agreement with debtors to restructure debts totaling $24 million.

In a joint statement by Leibovitz and Art Capital Group released Friday, the photographer retains the rights to her work and property, provided Leibovitz repays the loan, originally due on September 8. As a result, Art Capital withdrew a lawsuit filed in July against the photographer.

September 11 2009 3:45 PM

Gay former news anchor Charles Perez and his partner, Miami accountant Keith Rinehard, are pulling up roots in Florida and moving to Connecticut, where they plan to marry September 27, according to Steve Rothaus of The Miami Herald. Perez, who is suing Miami station WPLG-ABC 10 for demoting him from weekday anchor to weekend anchor, allegedly because of his sexual orientation, was then fired after filing the lawsuit. Perez plans to add a retaliation charge to his suit.

September 11 2009 3:00 PM

The House Education and Labor Committee will hold a full committee
hearing on the transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act
on Wednesday, September 23, in the Rayburn House Office Building.

No ENDA hearing has been scheduled in the Senate yet.

Details on the House hearing below:

H.R. 3017, Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009

Full Committee Hearing
10 a.m., September 23, 2009
2175 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C.

September 11 2009 2:35 PM

September 11 2009 1:06 PM

It’s her first full day in the music industry and already Ellen DeGeneres is hitting a sour note. Immediately following the announcement that DeGeneres will replace Paula Abdul on the upcoming season of American Idol, four major record companies have sued producers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show for unauthorized use of music.

September 11 2009 12:55 PM