The cable movie network Showtime will be serving as a major sponsor of some 20 homosexual “pride” events across the U.S. this year.

Showtime Networks, known for airing original series such as “Queer as Folk” and “The L Word,” is putting its money where its programming is in 2005.

Over the weekend, Showtime sponsored events in Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Future sponsorships include events in Cleveland, Atlanta, Columbus, Seattle, Chicago and Raleigh.

Ilene Chaiken, the executive producer and creator of the series “The L Word,” will serve as one of the grand marshals at the San Francisco Pride Parade, June 26. Additionally, lobbyist Arlene Isaacson, who is featured in the Showtime documentary “Same Sex America,” will speak at the New York Pride Rally, June 19.

In many instances, Showtime Networks will partner with LOGO (MTV Networks’ television network for homosexual viewers) as well as local affiliates.

Showtime Networks will also sponsor various homosexual film festivals, including one ending yesterday – NewFest, an international festival held in New York City, in which the company serves as a presenting sponsor and an exclusive sponsor of the Showtime Vanguard Award.

Showtime Networks will also be involved in three Los Angeles OutFest events including the “2005 Queer Brunch at Sundance” as a presenting sponsor, and a major sponsor of Outfest Wednesdays, a weekly screening event, and an exclusive sponsor of OutFest 2005.

The company is also working with various advocacy groups as sponsors, such as the Human Rights Campaign, in which, as a silver sponsor, Showtime will have recognition at 23 regional dinners and appear in HRC’s quarterly newsmagazine entitled Equality.

Additionally, Showtime Networks will be a diamond sponsor for the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Leadership Awards today in New York City honoring former Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle.

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