Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 10th

Written by scott on February 10th, 2016

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

INTERNET: Twitter has created a new ‘safety’ board of organisations intended to tackle the problem of hate speech on the platform. full story

PEOPLE: Shewired has a list of 10 historical bisexual women artists you should know. full story

POP CULTURE: A new children’s brand at Target will dismantle the pink versus blue aisle divides seen in most department stores. full story

POP CULTURE: “Archie Comics” casually mentioned Jughead is asexual in its newest comic “Jughead #4”, out this Wednesday. full story


SCIENCE: A new study has found that encouraging the belief that some people are ‘born gay’ may not be the most effective way to address and reduce homophobia. full story

AUSTRALIA: The social media giant Facebook said the amount of Australians coming out has “risen significantly”. full story

INDIA: Bangalore in India will play host to an LGBT Executive Forum on 18 February. The aim of the event, which has been organized by tech giant IBM, is to explore issues around LGBTI diversity and inclusion in the workplace and wider society. full story

INDONESIA: Indonesia’s state-sanctioned Islamic authority is recommending Muslims who join LGBTIQ-related activities be prosecuted. full story

MALAWI: A gay man was reportedly beaten and nearly killed by a gang in Malawi. full story

UKRAINE: The European Parliament has issued a dire warning about the rising levels of homophobia in Crimea. full story

UK: An ad promoting ‘non-stop’ gay hook-ups has been pulled from bus stops in Cardiff, after residents branded it ‘disgusting’. full story

USA: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton thinks Florida lawmakers should approve the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which would prohibit discrimination against LGBTIQ people in the workplace. full story

USA: Activists are demanding that California’s Biola University and Oklahoma Baptist University withdraw waivers the schools requested to ignore Title IX protections against sex-based discrimination. full story

USA: While it gets better for most LGBTI youth, discrimination, harassment and assault remain a problem for about a third and can lead to lasting mental health problems such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. full story

USA, ALABAMA: One year ago today, Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after a U.S. district judge in Mobile declared Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: Austin Lacey, an eighth-grade student at Ethan Chase Middle School in Menifee, California, found himself in hot water for dressing like a Frozen princess for the school’s “Disney Day.” School officials deemed it “inappropriate” and confiscated the costume. full story

USA, FLORIDA: Conservatives raised concerns that a bill to ban LGBTIQ discrimination in the workplace would allow ‘anatomical males’ to use bathrooms for women. full story

USA, FLORIDA: An LGBT-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance is still alive in Jacksonville, despite a motion to withdraw. full story

USA, GEORGIA: Lawmakers said they did not want to include sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, disability or veteran status in their anti-discrimination bill. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: A federal judge today ruled moot the ACLU’s lawsuit against Kim Davis, declaring that same-sex marriage licenses she refused to sign are valid under Kentucky law. full story

USA, NEW YORK: The LGBT youth organization has raised $200,000 for purchase of ATLAH Church, run by the infamous “semen latte” pastor. full story

USA, PENNSYLVANIA: A Philadelphia-based lawyer is suing international law firm Blank Rome, alleging that he was fired because its chairman didn’t approve of his LGBT advocacy work. full story

USA, SOUTH DAKOTA: Last night the South Dakota House of Representatives voted on yet another extreme measure attacking LGBT South Dakotans. By a vote of 46 to 10, the chamber passed HB 1107 – legislation that would explicitly authorize recipients of taxpayer funds or other state recognition to discriminate against same-sex couples, transgender people, and single mothers. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: While the Franklin County School Board may revise its policy on school clubs, the top administrator says it wouldn’t retroactively affect the GSA. full story

USA, TEXAS A group of right-wing Dallas pastors is taking the same approach as with the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, raising the specter of restroom predators. full story

USA, VIRGINIA: Michelle Chapman and her transgender son Xander are at the Virginia General Assembly ready to speak out against a proposed bill that would make it illegal for transgender students and adults to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity in public buildings, including schools. full story



Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 8th

Written by scott on February 9th, 2016

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

GENERAL: Bisexual invisibility and biphobia are the LGBT community’s dirty little secrets. full story

GENERAL: A comprehensive, 10-year study of Fortune 500 companies has conclude that greater gender diversity at boardroom level makes for a far more inclusive workplace for LGBT people. full story

PEOPLE: Meet Henry Tadebois, a 24-year-old trans guy from Melbourne, Australia. He might have one of the coolest, and very educational, coming out videos ever. full story

POP CULTURE: MTV’s documentary series True Life will look at the life of a gay teen struggling with his church’s rejection of his sexuality. full story

AUSTRALIA: A gay couple has proved same-sex marriage is possible in Australia – as long as it is by using a legal loophole. full story


GEORGIA: In a first for the Caucasus, a Georgian man has filed a lawsuit for the legalization of same-sex marriages in Georgia, a conservative, predominantly Orthodox Christian country. full story

UK: The Deputy Chair of the UK Independence Party says a candidate who advocates ‘gay cure’ therapy could be removed after outcry from supporters. full story

UK: Lib Dem leader Tim Farron is submitting a bill to end the ban on men who have sex with men donating blood. full story

UK: A petition has been set up to protest “insidious political correctness” in UKIP – after PinkNews raised the selection of a candidate who advocates ‘gay cure’ therapy. full story

UZBEKISTAN: The President of Uzbekistan has claimed that homosexuality is “vulgar” and gay people are mentally ill. full story

USA: A gay diner owner in New Hampshire challenged Marco Rubio on Monday over his opposition to same-sex marriage. full story

USA: US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said she will put the Equality Act ‘on the top of my priority list as president.’ full story

USA: After the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, groups dedicated to achieving marriage equality have been closing up shop. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: The Pacific Justice Institute is threatening to sue the city of San Francisco if officials don’t remove an outdoor urinal near the area known as the “Gay Beach” in San Francisco’s Dolores Park. full story

USA, FLORIDA: The Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which would prohibit discrimination against LGBTs in the workplace, is postponed to the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee’s Feb. 9 meeting after initially failing on a tie vote. full story

USA, FLORIDA: Bucking tradition, Sunshine State Rep. Holly Raschein and other members of her party have come out in favor of protecting LGBT people from discrimination. full story


USA, INDIANA: The Indiana Senate has passed hate-crimes legislation – Senate Bill 220, which would require harsher punishments for those who commit crimes rooted in prejudice, will be debated in the state’s House of Representatives this week. full story

USA, MARYLAND: Matt, a junior at Old Mill High School, is a transgender student fighting for the school system to recognize his preferred, not legal, name. full story

USA, NEVADA: Bradley Roberts was harassed and barred from using the men’s bathroom at work unless he provided ‘proof’ that he’d had gender-affirming surgery, his lawsuit claims. full story

USA, OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern pulled her bill from consideration that would have prevented school personnel from referring suicidal LGBT students to counseling without first contacting their parents. The effect of the legislation could have been outing students to their parents, possibly triggering a suicide. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: The formation of a gay-straight alliance at a high school in rural Tennessee has sparked backlash from the community, and its continued existence will be the subject of debate at a school board meeting tonight. full story

USA, TEXAS: A Texas judge who made a splash with claims he is “refusing” to perform same-sex weddings hasn’t actually had a single request from a gay couple. full story


Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Smooth Sailing Celebrations, Weehawken, New Jersey

Written by scott on February 8th, 2016

Smooth Sailing Celebrations

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

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See the Smooth Sailing Celebrations Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Northern New Jersey


Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 8th

Written by scott on February 8th, 2016

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

PEOPLE: Transgender fitness model Ben Melzer is about to grace the cover of Gemany’s edition of Men’s Health, becoming the first trans person to ever cover a men’s fitness magazine in Europe. full story


PEOPLE: BBC radio DJ Adele Roberts has said she thinks people find it hard to be themselves on the radio. full story

POP CULTURE: Athletes in tight pants, Lady Gaga and Beyonce won’t be the only reasons to watch Super Bowl 50. A record six LGBTQ-inclusive commercials will vie for your attention, even though there is not yet a single openly gay player in the NFL. full story


KUWAIT: The oil rich emirate of Kuwait is adopting a more tolerant approach towards same-sex attracted students in the country’s education system, with the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Bader Al-Essa telling the Al-Rai news agency that no students have been dismissed over their sexual orientation during his time in the job. full story

UK: A trans woman has quietly become the first to be appointed as a leading judge in the High Court. full story

UK: A protest is set to take place in London tomorrow, after allegations that a trans woman was sent to a men’s prison facility, and refused her HRT drugs. full story

UK: Richard Hendron, openly gay UKIP Greater London Assembly candidate for South West London, has resigned after being pitted by his own party against a radically homophobic politician. full story

UK: Will Young has claimed that Education Secretary Nicky Morgan “doesn’t give a s**t” about gay students being bullied. full story

USA: Donald Trump had a hard time explaining Sunday contradictory statements he made last week on gay rights — promising on one day to consider appointing justices to the U.S. Supreme Court day who would overturn marriage equality, pledging on another to move gay rights forward under his administration — but seemed more inclined toward the former. full story

USA: Anti-gay viewers have accused the NFL of trying to force the ‘gay agenda’ on the audience. full story

USA, FLORIDA: The Palm Bay City Council has rejected a human rights ordinance to protect gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people from discrimination. full story

USA, MICHIGAN: The senate approved a bill that would make anal and oral sex felonies punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment. full story

USA, SOUTH DAKOTA: The audience audibly gasped at what one South Dakota state senator said on Saturday in support of a bathroom bill targeting transgender people in the state. “This is definitely a good bill. What’s this about?” he asked rhetorically. “This is about protecting our children. I’m sorry if you’re so twisted you don’t know who you are.” full story

State Sen. David Omdahl


Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 7th

Written by scott on February 7th, 2016

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

PEOPLE: Hollywood stuntman and stunt coordinator Shawn Balentine has come out publicly as a gay man in a deeply personal Facebook post. full story

INDIA: An Indian filmmaker has locked horns with the country’s tax office over a film about gay people. full story


UK: UKIP has selected a proponent of gay ‘cure’ therapies as a candidate for the London Assembly. full story

USA: Supporters of Hillary Clinton on Saturday pounced on a newly unearthed resolution signed by Bernard Sanders in 1982 affirming marriage is between “husband and wife,” asserting the document undercuts the notion he’s been a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage. full story

USA: Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails got her into trouble last year with same-sex parents, and the campaign is showing its support now by sharing a letter from an anxious gay father who is “scared of what a Republican president will mean for my family.” full story

USA: At the GOP debate, on same-sex marriage, Marco Rubio was emphatic about his opposition, but also left room to “respect” those who may have a differing views in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court decision extending marriage rights for gay couples across the country. full story

USA, ARIZONA: A trans man has been shot and killed by police in Arizona only weeks after announcing he was transitioning, and then the media misgendered him. full story


USA, IDAHO: When the U.S. Supreme Court last summer gave same-sex couples the right to marry, Republican Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho said Congress should move quickly to protect the religious liberty of citizens who believe in traditional marriage. full story

USA, NEW YORK: New York is taking steps to stop therapists from trying to change young people’s sexual orientation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: One Washington County commissioner is speaking out against the anti marriage equality resolution, and asking for it to be removed. full story

USA,TEXAS: A change in Texas prison system policy means transgender inmates who hadn’t started hormone therapy before incarceration can do so behind bars. full story

USA, TEXAS: Dallas Democrats are demanding the resignation of a Dallas County justice of the peace who says he won’t perform same-sex marriages despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling allowing gay couples to wed. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 6th

Written by scott on February 6th, 2016

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

GENERAL: Here’s a guide to words well-known throughout the transgender community and yet misunderstood, misused, or unknown in the world outside the T. full story

PEOPLE: Chelsea Manning has released her own podcast from prison – in which she opens up about her life, from being the victim of homophobic bullying to her transition.
full story

AUSTRALIA: A senior policeman in Coolangatta, Australia has had to write a junior officer a written apology after making a ‘gay’ notation next to the latter’s name on a workplace roster left on his desk in open view of anyone entering his office. full story

GREENLAND: Following unanimous approval in both the Greenlandic and Danish Parliaments, the same-sex marriage and adoption bill was given the ceremonial Royal Assent on Wednesday, and will take effect April 1st. full story

KUWAIT: The family of a US soldier have claimed that she and her girlfriend were jailed for 25 years on “false” charges because of their sexuality. full story

Lesbian Couple Kuwait

MEXICO: A decision by the Mexican Supreme Court could pave the way to marriage equality in all 32 of its states according to the Yucatan Times. full story

MOROCCO: Two men accused of being involved in a secret gay relationship have been sentenced to 18 months in prison in Morocco. full story

ROMANIA: In November 2015, the so-called Coalition for Family started a nationwide campaign to ban same-sex marriage in the Constitution, by narrowly defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman. full story

RUSSIA: Prosecutors have begun considering whether media coverage of the unexpected friendship between a male tiger and goat at a safari park in the country’s far east counts as gay propaganda. full story


USA: Four men talked with Buzzfeed about their experience being gay and serving. full story


USA: Hillary Clinton took a swipe at rival Bernie Sanders during the recent Democratic debate – after he claimed she “insulted” all gay people. full story

USA, FLORIDA: A Sarasota, Fla., suburb is waiting for its school board to meet and vote on potentially expanding a new transgender-inclusive bathroom policy, following a packed hearing on the issue. full story

USA, GEORGIA: The “Pastor Protection Act,” the first of several proposed religious exemptions for opponents of the marriages to gain any traction this year, won approval Thursday in a House Judiciary subcommittee and was sent on for a full committee vote. full story

USA, INDIANA: House Minority Leader Scott Pelath is vowing the gay rights debate isn’t over during the legislative session, even though an anti-discrimination bill was abandoned this week in the Republican-dominated Senate. full story

USA, NEBRASKA: A federal judge has issued a permanent injunction striking down Nebraska’s now-negated ban on gay marriage and civil unions. full story

USA, NEW YORK: Ali Forney Center has already raised $186,073 towards buying antigay ‘Harlem hate church’, which will be sold in a foreclosure auction Feb. 24th. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Meet Joe Parrish, he’s like any other 24-year-old political science graduate at the start of his career – and he’s asexual. full story

Joe Parrish

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina legislators and a magistrate who won’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples are asking a federal court to let them defend a religious exemption law challenged as discriminatory. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: Former Tennessee state Sen. David Fowler, now head of his state’s Family Action Council, has filed a lawsuit against a second county clerk which intends to nullify the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling. full story

USA, TEXAS: A judge in the US state of Texas is being urged to step down after revealing that he would not perform a same-sex marriage. full story

USA, UTAH: A group of LGBT-affirming mothers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are alarmed because they say youth suicides in the church are up since leaders condemned LDS gay couples in November full story

USA, WEST VIRGINIA: West Virginia bill would give Christians a “get out of jail free” card. A sweeping religious freedom bill promoted by Republicans in West Virginia would allow people of faith to illegally discriminate against others, as well as break any other law that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 5th

Written by scott on February 5th, 2016

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

PEOPLE: Steve Pauwels – a pastor in Londonderry, New Hampshire – is not very happy about the inclusion of gay and transgender characters in superhero comic books. full story

Captain America

INTERNATIONAL: The UN Postal Administration has released six new postage stamps promoting equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. full story


CHINA: study commissioned by independent statutory body Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), and conducted by the Gender Research Centre of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, found out that 55.7% of telephone survey respondents support anti-discrimination legislation on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity (SOGI) and intersex status – almost a twofold increase from the findings in a 2005 government survey, where 28.7% supported such a measure. full story

COLOMBIA: Colombia is on the brink of joining Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay as South American countries that allow same-sex couples to legally marry as its Constitutional Court is set to decide the issue as soon as next Thursday. full story

INDIA: Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the country’s most senior Catholic priest, has called for gay sex to be made legal. full story

ISRAEL: A group of Jewish so-called gay ‘conversion’ therapists have set up shop in Israel – after coming under fire in the US. full story

UK, NORTHERN IRELAND: Police in Northern Ireland are on the hunt for whoever is responsible for the incendiary leaflets that have been distributed throughout Derry which claim that homosexuals have the “longest child abuse record in history” and that Adolf Hitler used his “homosexual formation” the SS to “commit almost the whole Holocaust.” full story

UK, NORTHERN IRELAND: Trans people living in Scotland still face long delays and discrimination on the NHS, politicians have heard. full story


USA: The National LGBTQ Task Force has launched a groundbreaking income tax preparation guide for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. The new taxpayer resource is intended to guide LGBTQ people with questions they might want to ask when sitting in front of their tax preparer or program. full story

USA: Hillary Clinton on her litmus tests: “We have to preserve marriage equality. We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community. We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade; not let it be nibbled away, or repealed. We’ve got work to do,” she added. full story

USA: In an interview with NBC’s New England Cable News, yesterday Donald Trump vaguely promised “forward motion” on LGBT issues should he be elected. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: A gay professor claims he was fired for sexual harassment due to a “misunderstanding” that stemmed from telling a student he would “ride them hard.” full story

USA, FLORIDA: After more than an hour of debate and public testimony, the Florida House Judiciary committee voted to advance the so-called “Pastor Protection Act,” which purports to protect clergy from having to perform same-sex weddings. full story

USA, FLORIDA: Feb. 4 marks the first of three “committee of the whole” meetings, where the Jacksonville City Council will discuss a proposed LGBT-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance. full story

USA, INDIANA: Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg told reporters that LGBT civil rights is high on his agenda and blamed Pence, whose actions last year surrounding an anti-gay “religious freedom” law brought the state national attention, boycotts, and economic disadvantage. full story

USA, MAINE: Governor Paul LePage is blocking rules to protect transgender students. full story

USA, TEXAS: An elected judge in the US state of Texas is refusing to grant same-sex marriages, claiming he spoke with God and set everything straight. full story

USA, VIRGINIA: A Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee on Thursday approved a bill that would require people to use restrooms in schools and public buildings that correspond to their “biological gender.” The subcommittee on Thursday also approved state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County)’s House Bill 385, which would ban municipalities from enacting measures against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. full story

USA, WASHINGTON: Washington state Republican Graham Hunt, a ‘war hero’ lawmaker who tried to ban trans people from going to the bathroom, has resigned – after it emerged he isn’t who he claimed to be. full story

USA, WASHINGTON: A surreal anti-trans bill has progressed in Washington state – which could enforce ‘genital-checking’ for public bathrooms. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 3rd

Written by scott on February 4th, 2016

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

GENERAL: A new video presented by BBC Raw sheds light on what it’s like to be asexual. full story

PEOPLE: Jussie Smollett: “I am a gay man with an extremely open heart. God, I’ve never had to talk about this, so I’m trying to find the words. If I had to label myself, I would label myself as a gay man.” full story

PEOPLE: Theodore Shoebat’s latest video features the unhinged antigay activist declaring that Jesus Christ would personally kill gay people with his bare hands, so gentle and merciful in his grace. “Jesus Christ took up a whip and beat people up in his Father’s temple. Now imagine if sodomites were in his Father’s temple. Jesus would have killed them all. He wouldn’t just have hit them; Jesus got violent!” full story

POP CULTURE: Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy has said he plans to diversify his team of directors by the end of this year. full story

POP CULTURE: fter outraging some conservatives last November by featuring a boy in one of their adverts for Barbie (‘Moschino Barbie is so fierce!’), toy makers Mattel may face further backlash with the news that they’ve created a brand new Barbie version lesbian US soccer star Abby Wambach. full story


USA: Play School, Australia’s favourite television show for pre-school children, is searching for two gay dads to feature in an episode aimed at educating youngsters on diversity within the family. full story

RELIGION: Take a look at the actual facts that should have homophobes who pick and choose what to preach quaking in their boots. full story

ANGOLA: The Angola United Methodist Church condemns marriage between people of the same sex, said Methodist Church bishop, Gaspar João Domingos, who mentioned doctrinal principles. full story

AUSTRALIA: The Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014 was re-introduced in the senate Thursday (4 February), after a British gay man who died on his honeymoon in South Australia was listed as ‘never married’ on his death certificate. full story

INDIA: Just as we were getting ready to dress up with dramatic colourful saris on the Delhi gay scene and show off our bhangra and dandiya dance moves we learnt from our Bollywood dance class, we discovered that being gay in India has become illegal, again. full story

ITALY: A civil union law wouldn’t go unnoticed among gay travelers, said LoAnn Halden, a spokeswoman for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, an umbrella organization of gay-friendly tourist companies. full story

RUSSIA: Russia’s most vitriolic and homophobic lawmakers has offered gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev a one-way ticket out of the country. full story

UK: Pro-LGBT lobbyists within the Church of England have called for ‘affirmation’ services for people who have changed gender. full story

UK, NORTHERN IRELAND: An appeal by the bakers at the centre of the “gay cake” discrimination battle has been adjourned for three months. The adjournment follows a last minute intervention by Northern Ireland’s top legal advisor, Attorney General John Larkin QC, to investigate concerns the country’s equality laws conflict with human rights legislation. full story

USA: Marriage Equality USA on Feb. 3 announced that it would close down later this year. full story

USA: When asked about what she’s looking for in a potential Supreme Court justice, Hillary Clinton took a stand for LGBT rights. full story

USA: A proposed rule would require military health care provider TriCare to cover hormone therapy and counseling for transgender spouses and other dependents of uniformed military personnel. full story

USA: Franklin Graham appeared on CNN today where he declared that the US government has only been secular for “the last few years.” He then called for a national referendum on same-sex marriage. full story

USA: Anti-LGBTIQ former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is ending his presidential bid, and is expected to make the announcement on Wednesday evening, and has endorsed Marco Rubio. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in partnership with the Equality Federation, today released its second annual national report assessing the status of state legislation affecting LGBT equality across America, including in California. full story

USA, INDIANA: Gov. Mike Pence isn’t saying whether he would have signed the state Senate’s failed proposal for extending anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. full story

USA, MONTANA: Denise Juneau, the first Native American woman to win a statewide elective office, has become the first openly gay candidate in Montana. full story

MSU photo by Kelly Gorham

MSU photo by Kelly Gorham

USA, SOUTH DAKOTA: Today, South Dakota lawmakers moved forward with two more pieces of discriminatory legislation targeting LGBT South Dakotans – HB 1112 and HB 1107. Both passed through the House State Affairs committee today by a vote of 10 to 3. HB 1112 could ban transgender students from participating in athletic activities consistent with their gender identity and HB 1107 seeks to explicitly authorize taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT South Dakotans and single mothers. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: The Washington County Commission will consider an anti same sex marriage resolution again on 2/22. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: Nashville’s Metro Council is now on record requesting the city’s delegation in the Tennessee legislature to oppose state bills that are anti-gay marriage. full story

USA, WASHINGTON DC: The D.C. City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to give final approval of a bill that requires continuing education programs for licensed healthcare professionals that include LGBT-related “cultural competency” training. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 3rd

Written by scott on February 3rd, 2016

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

INTERNET: Users of the hashtag #TweetLikeAWhiteGay are turning the tables by poking fun at certain members of the gay community who decry prejudice while simultaneously discriminating against other minorities. But is the hastag itself racist? full story

PEOPLE: “It’s not neat and clean and tidy,” Mennonite pastor Pieter Niemeyer says of his decision to come out after 20 years of lying to his wife, and a lifetime of lying to himself. full story

Mennonite pastor Pieter Niemeyer

PEOPLE: A young girl scout has sold thousands of cookies despite receiving abuse from a neighbour because she is trans. full story

PEOPLE: George Shelley, the I’m A Celebrity star, appears in an emotional video and reveals he has dated men as well as women in the past. full story


POP CULTURE: Bi YouTuber Eliel Cruz just made a witty video on just why bi representation is so important in media. full story

POP CULTURE: As the specter of Valentine Day’s looms, Hallmark have decided to promote their line of greeting cards with a series of videos that highlight real-life couples and their love stories; a gay and lesbian couple among them. full story

POP CULTURE: The Christian Post says: Fans of the TLC series “19 Kids and Counting” will be happy to know that the series will be back for another run. full story

POP CULTURE: Over at The Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta believes the Christian Post‘s story about TLC bringing back 19 Kids & Counting is bullshit. full story

AUSTRALIA: An anti-gay Australian MP has suggested he would probably just ignore a proposed public vote on same-sex marriage. full story

AUSTRALIA: “The ‘think of the children’ argument is among the most hurtful in the marriage equality debate,” Senator Wong wrote in the essay. “It posits that gay and lesbian relationships harm children, that gay and lesbian parents are bad parents.” full story

AUSTRALIA: The Turnbull government could still walk away from its plan to hold a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, opening up the prospect of Parliament voting on same-sex marriage before the federal election, Liberal MP Warren Entsch says. full story

AUSTRALIA: Greens senator Robert Simms has ripped into former prime minister Tony Abbott for speaking to an ultra-conservative anti-LGBTIQ group in the U.S. last week. full story

ITALY: Cardinal Velasio Di Paolis has said that a proposal for legal recognition of same-sex unions would be “fundamentally against the Italian constitution.” full story

MOROCCO: Two Moroccan youths have been jailed for one and a half years and fined 2,000 dirhams each on charges of homosexuality. full story

RUSSIA: The government has given a gay rights activist the maximum fine just for giving advice to LGBTI teens on social media – Sergei Alekseenko, director of the LGBTI group Maximum, was found guilty of violating the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law in Murmansk, north-western Russia, and has been ordered to pay 100,000 rubles ($1,300, €1,200). full story

UK: The Christian Institute claim 8,000 people have signed a petition supporting the anti-same sex marriage Ashers Bakery. full story

UK, NORTHERN IRELAND: Leaflet have been distributed in Northern Ireland linking gay people to child abuse and Nazis. full story

USA: Despite outrage at Germaine Greer’s anti-trans comments, the 77-year-old picked up the ‘Iconoclast’ prize at the Oldie of the Year awards full story

USA: Both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have vowed to pass the First Amendment Defense Act in their first 100 days, a vile bill, introduced by bigot lawmakers Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), that would allow businesses and individuals to discriminate against gay people in the guise of ‘religious liberty’. full story

USA: Brian Brown on Cruz’s Iowa win – Senator Cruz is a champion for marriage and religious liberty and his victory last night sends a powerful message to the nation’s elite that the American people utterly reject the anti-constitutional, illegitimate ruling of the US Supreme Court redefining marriage. full story

USA: More than one third of gay men have been treated badly due to their weight, results of a new survey show. full story

USA: The Advocate profiles the clients of the anti-LGBTIQ Liberty Counsel. full story

USA, ALASKA: Sen. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, an Alaska state senator, suffered from a case of misidentification during a committee hearing Tuesday, introducing assistant Attorney General Bill Milks (one of the state’s attorneys who defended Alaska’s ban on same sex marriage) as “Attorney General Harvey Milk.” full story

USA: Boys wore dresses and girls wore men’s collared shirts to school this week at Buchanan High School this week in Clovis, California after the Clovis Unified School District trustees ignored recommendations and held on to a restrictive dress code – trustees went against recommendations that would have allowed boys to wear long hair and earrings and removed language that says dresses and skirts are for girls. full story


USA, FLORIDA: A bill that makes it easier for both same-sex parents to appear on their children’s birth certificate clears a committee in the Florida House. full story

USA, ILLINOIS: Chicago Catholic priest Rev. Michael Shanahan comes out in an interview on the open secret of gay Catholic clergy. full story

Rev. Michael Shanahan

USA, INDIANA: Republican lawmakers in the Indiana senate have killed a civil rights bill that would have offered non-discrimination protections to gay, lesbian and bisexual Hoosiers. The bill, however, would not have provided protections for the state’s transgender citizens. full story

USA, INDIANA: Indiana corporate leaders warned that the failure of the Republican-controlled Legislature to enact a law protecting gay, lesbian and bisexual people from discrimination could rebound on businesses. full story

USA, IOWA: Phil Robertson, the gay-hating right-wing patriarch of TV’s Duck Dynasty clan, showed up at a rally in Iowa to say “We have to run this bunch out of Washington, D.C., rid the earth of ‘em.” full story

USA, NEW YORK: The widespread discrimination and mistreatment transgender individuals face in the healthcare system could be alleviated with specialized provider training to increase knowledge about transgender health and needs, and to promote positive attitudes. full story

USA, NEW YORK: Activist Scott Wooledge has created a video about Pastor James David Manning for the Ali Forney Center, whose campaign to buy Harlem’s hate church continues to gather steam and garner notice in the mainstream press. full story

USA, NEW YORK: The Ali Forney Center’s campaign to buy Harlem’s hate church got a huge boost this morning when Dan Savage spent the the first five minutes of his widely followed podcast on the story. full story

USA, NEW YORK: “This is the lord’s house! This ain’t no damn bathhouse! It ain’t no fag house! And before you can ever own this property – hook or crook – men who are fags with testicles will be carrying babies in their testicles and giving birth to them through their anus. That’s how impossible it is for you to get this house. When you start carrying a baby in your bags and birthing that baby through your ass, THEN you can own this house! But until I see you pull a baby out your ass, you ain’t gonna pull this church out from underneath us. And boom shaka-laka goes right there! And all you fags can go to hell! I’m James David Manning, everybody. I’m the LORD’S servant!” – Harlem’s hate pastor in a clip titled Foreclosure Message To My Enemies. full story


Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 2nd

Written by scott on February 2nd, 2016

Here’s our daily round-up of the marriage equality / LGBT rights stories from all around the internet. If we missed anything, let us know. Enjoy!

GENERAL: Buster Books has announced plans to publish all future books under gender neutral titles. full story


HISTORY: SheWired lists 10 historical bisexual women artists that you should know. full story

PEOPLE: Patti Davis, once regarded as the renegade daughter of Ronnie and first lady Nancy, speaks with activist James Duke Mason, son of pop star Belinda Carlisle and Reagan’s former Chief of Protocol Morgan Mason, about her father’s abject failure in regards to the AIDS crisis. full story

PEOPLE: I was born into a traditional, conservative Sikh family, where neither of my parents spoke English very well. full story


PEOPLE: UK Newsnight presenter and Dragon’s Den host Evan Davis has opened up about staying in his closet earlier in his career – and how it was a “terrible mistake”. full story


PEOPLE: After a very public coming out for skier Gus Kenworthy, last weekend’s Aspen X Games provided the perfect opportunity for his boyfriend, Gayby actor Matthew Wilkas, to cheer him on loud and proud on television. full story

Gus Kenworthy

AUSTRALIA: Members of The Nationals party have rejected the notion of a plebiscite on marriage equality and instead support a parliamentary vote on the matter, according to an Australian Marriage Equality (AME) poll. full story

INDIA: The Indian Supreme Court today heard a curative petition by gay activists to reopen consideration of Section 377, the colonial-era penal code which criminalizes homosexuality, and address its legality. full story

UK: Leading UK gay activist Peter Tatchell has come out in support of a Belfast baker who was found guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”. full story


UK, SCOTLAND: On the first day of LGBT History Month in the UK, SNP MSP Kevin Stewart has lodged a motion with the Scottish Parliament calling for greater LGBTI inclusivity in workplaces. full story

USA: President Barack Obama is the most progressive President for LGBT rights that has ever occupied the oval office, and he took the time to open up about his passion for the issues during his annual YouTube Interview. full story

USA: The Department of Defense announced today, Feb. 1, a proposed rule change extending benefits to transgender troops and their families as part of a comprehensive change in mental health and wellness benefits. full story

USA: You will no doubt be shocked, shocked, to hear that Donald Trump has said something terrible. full story

USA: Bryan Fischer on same sex weddings: “If you have a biblical worldview, you’d be grieved for them,” he said. “You’d be grieved for what they’re heading into, grieved for the way in which homosexual behavior separates them from God, the risks that it’s putting them at, the risk that it’s going to put children to if they’re adopted into that household. So the proper response would not be joy, it would not be celebration; the proper Christian response would grief and sorrow over what these two people are doing to themselves and also to others.” full story

USA: Want to know if transphobic legislation has been introduced in your state? The Advocate has a list. full story

USA: Former Arkansas Governor turned Fox News talking head Mike Huckabee has announced he has ended his bid to become the 2016 Republican presidential nominee. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: The US Department of Justice will launch a probe of the San Francisco Police Department – after a homophobia scandal and a number of race-related incidents. full story

USA, FLORIDA: A Catholic high school in South Florida was vandalized over the weekend and spray-painted with gay slurs and anti-gay images according to local news reports. full story

USA, GEORGIA: A little publicized hearing Monday on legislation that would allow religious non-profit organizations to opt-out of serving gay couples or follow government anti-discrimination requirements has stoked the fears of opponents that Senate Bill 284 may be on a fast track in Georgia. full story

USA, IOWA: Two Massachusetts students say they staged a marriage proposal at a Ted Cruz rally in Iowa as a demonstration against the Republican presidential hopeful’s stance on gay marriage. full story


USA, NEW YORK: Harlem hate Pastor James David Manning today posted a 13-minute rant in which he declares that the coming public auction of his church is illegal because he’s already won court cases exempting ATLAH from paying water and sewage bills. full story

USA, NEW YORK: The Ali Forney Center is already 50% toward the $200k goal to purchase the Harlem hate church at auction, which AFC hopes will help obtain additional support from local government and foundations to close the deal. full story

USA, TEXAS: LGBT groups plan a petition drive to revive the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, but don’t expect the nondiscrimination law to appear on the ballot again anytime soon. full story