German parliament votes to legalise same-sex marriage

Green party MPs toss confetti across chamber and gay couples kiss in gallery, while Angela Merkel votes no despite permitting bill.

German MPs have voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, prompting joyous and unusual scenes in parliament as Green party politicians tossed glittered confetti across the chamber and gay couples sitting in the public gallery kissed and embraced.

The vote by 393 to 226, with four abstentions, followed 40 minutes of often heated and highly emotional debate, reflecting a wider, decades-long argument over marriage equality. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, voted against the move, despite having paved the way for the law’s passage by inviting MPs to vote according to their conscience.

More on this story here:

Man of the Moons, 11x14 inches watercolor on cotton paper, by Kenney Mencher

Kenney Mencher
Artist - Purveyer of Queer Subject Matter and other Geekery at


Keeping Your Dog Safe for the 4th of July

The July 4th weekend creates a “perfect storm” for missing pets. Statistics show that more dogs are lost over the 4th of July holiday than any other time of the year. Public and neighborhood fireworks displays, open doors and distractions at family gatherings are common reasons for a pet’s disappearance.  Additionally, many pets are lost while owners are either away on vacation and pets are left with pet sitters, kennels or vet clinics. Pets also go missing during camping and road trips where they find themselves in unfamiliar territory.
It is fairly easy to plan for pre-scheduled municipal fireworks displays. Check with your local municipality to determine when public fireworks are scheduled.  Owners can simply keep their pets inside during the hour before, during and after the event (most public fireworks displays last less than 30 minutes). If your pet is highly stressed by loud noises your veterinarian may even prescribe medications to be given to your pet before the fireworks begin. Dr. Bob Murtaugh, DVM, Chief Medical Officer for Pathway Partners, recommends talking with your vet early and asking about prescribing trial doses during June.
It is not as easy to plan for the intermittent neighborhood fireworks and firecrackers in the days and weeks prior to and after the July 4th holiday. All of the extra excitement and stress of unsuspected pops and booms can trigger even the calmest pet to bolt in fear.
Cute Dog in Football JerseyChris and Anna White of Spartanburg County, SC briefly lost their dog Bonnie, a Boykin spaniel, when she was spooked by fireworks on July 4th, 2016.
“We rode around until about 11 o’clock,” said Chris White. Anna White said Bonnie’s microchip provided by PetLink is what gave this story a happy ending. “They (PetLink) put me in touch with the family that returned Bonnie to us,” she said.
How can you tell if your pet is becoming stressed?  They may exhibit the following signs:  shaking, drooling, howling or barking, hiding, abnormal clinginess and loss of bladder or bowel control.  Bear in mind that your pet may not give you these signs in advance. They may simply bolt or panic when the noise becomes unbearable. Also pets who weren’t afraid of fireworks last year may become more sensitive to loud noises as they age.

How can you prevent your pet from being lost or enable a quick reunion if they are lost? Here are some suggestions:
  • Make sure your pet has a legible identification tag with its microchip number and PetLink phone number on a properly fitted collar (new tags are available at the PetLink store).
  • Make sure all of your pets are microchipped and the microchips are enrolled with up to date contact information.
  • Check your fence line for loose boards or openings that your pet could slip through or dig out of.
  • Consider walking your pet on a leash even in a fenced yard during potential problem times in your neighborhood.
  • Take your pet for a walk or play date well before scheduled fireworks start.
  • Keep pets indoors in a small interior room. They may feel safer with a radio or TV playing.
  • Close your windows. Dogs, in particular, can try and get out of the house by pushing out the screen. They will also bolt through a screen door, so keep the inside door closed.
Enjoy your July 4th holiday but please be aware of the dangers of fireworks and keep your pets safe!

The Queer Cultural Center presents From Self to #Selfie, on view at SOMArts June 3–30, 2017



Join us for a tour of QCC's From Self to #Selfie followed by happy hour at The Stud
Thursday, June 29, 5:00 pm

Presented by the Queer Cultural Center (QCC) as part of the 2017 National Queer Arts FestivalFrom Self to #Selfie is on view in SOMArts' Main Gallery from June 3–30, 2017. Curated by artistic director Rudy Lemcke, the exhibition features the work of eight nationally recognized performance and video artists whose work reflects the cutting edge of the complex and intersectional issues facing queer artists and activists today.

Don't miss your last chance to see the show at SOMArts starting at 5:00 pm on Thursday, June 29, followed by a special happy hour at The Stud — SoMa's historic gay bar and SOMArts sibling as a holdout of underground arts and culture in the neighborhood. 
Let us know if you can be there!

SOMArts Recommends...

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival presents the west coast premiere ofI'm Okay on Friday, July 28. Directed by Pia Lenz, the film tells the story of Syrian refugees through the eyes of children. Learn more here and use the code SOMARTS17 for discounted tickets!

Upcoming at SOMArts...

The Queer Cultural Center presents From Self to #Selfie
Exhibition on view June 3–30, 2017
Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–7pmSaturday 12–5pm

Curated by artistic director Rudy Lemcke, the exhibition features the work of eight nationally recognized performance and video artists whose work reflects the cutting edge of the complex and intersectional issues facing queer artists and activists today. Learn more here!

The Black Lives Masquerade in Oakland
Sunday, July 21–4pm

SOMArts is proud to partner with the Global Street Dance Masquerade and Artistic Director Rashad Pridgen to present The Black Lives Masquerade & Elevation of Black Men on East 14th in East Oakland. Beginning at 1:00 pmat the corner of Seminary and International in East Oakland, this creative direct action will travel through the neighborhood to culminate in a performative photoshoot and closing invocation with the masquerade performers. Learn more here!

The Black Woman is God: Divine Revolution
Exhibition on view July 10–August 26, 2017
Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–7pmSaturday 12–5pm

SOMArts is thrilled to announce the return of the groundbreaking exhibition The Black Woman is God co-curated by Karen Seneferu and Melorra Green. Not only an exhibition, but also a movement-building platform exploring the intersections of race and gender, The Black Woman is God dismantles racist and patriarchal notions of divinity that devalue Black women's contributions to society. Learn more here!
Keep in touch with SOMArts on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!
Image credits (from top to bottom): boychild, DLIHCYOB, directed by Mitch Moore, 2012; Digital film still from I'm Okay, directed by Pia Lenz; The Black Woman is God 2016 opening reception, curated by Melorra Green and Karen Seneferu, photo by Liam Brooks.
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Misfit Art Auction Fundraiser Bids Start at $30
Misfit Art Auction Fundraiser
 Startling Deals While Donating!
Sunday, July 9, 2017
3pm - 6pm
RSVP here
Silent auction sections will close at 4:305:15 and 5:30 
New this year: fun and fierce LIVE AUCTION!

1890 Bryant Street, San Francisco
3-Door Gallery
Admission is free

Food and adult beverages provided

AMAZING deals on end-of-series, scuffed, scratched, slightly damaged, misprints, and perfectly fine works of art by some of San Francisco's most talented artists. All bids will start at $30 and up. Get amazing deals and support LGBTQ and HIV mental health and wellness! Win Win!
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Alliance Health Project, Box 0884, San Francisco, CA 94143

Laocoon's Favorite Serpent, lithograph crayon on acid free sketchbook paper, 9x12 inches by Kenney Mencher

Kenney Mencher
Artist - Purveyer of Queer Subject Matter and other Geekery at


Max Ginsburg's New Workshop in Japan

Dear Friends

I am happy to inform you about an exhibition I have coming up this fall at the Fei Art Museum in Yokohama, Japan.  This should be an interesting and fun trip.

My exhibition in Japan is scheduled for Sept. 22 - Oct.2.  I will give one demo & lecture at The Asahi Culture Center Yokohama on Sept. 23 and a lecture at the Tama Art University in Tokyo on Sept. 27.  The workshop will be given on Sept. 81- 22. I will send a second email with more details about the workshop soon. I hope you can join me!

In addition, this Nov. 8-11, there will be a Figurative Art Convention & Exposition at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami, FL, sponsored by Fine Art Connoisseur.  I am honored to be a participant and paint demos and teach during this event along with the top contemporary figurative artists in America.  This looks like it will be an exciting event.  I would love to see you there.  Don't miss it.

Have a great summer,
Supreme Court Tells Arkansas It Must List Same-Sex Couples on Birth Certificates
The justices marked the two-year anniversary of their Obergefell ruling with a summary ruling that repeatedly cited it.
Director Kat Hidalgo and Actor Anna Martine Freeman on What It Means to Be Proactive Queer Artists
Created by actor Leah Walsh, the podcast documents the lives of artists navigating the waters between art and commerce. Each week, Playbill ...

Iron Man Daddy, oil on panel 11x14 inches, by Kenney Mencher

Kenney Mencher
Artist - Purveyer of Queer Subject Matter and other Geekery at


Rui Pinho

Portuguese artist Rui Pinho’s work is inspired by pop culture.