Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 21st

Written by scott on April 21st, 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!

HISTORY: The Mona Lisa is one of the most famous paintings in the world, but it turns out the portrait of a Florentine merchant’s wife could have been based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s apparent boyfriend. full story

PEOPLE: Sharon Osbourne has revealed she’s bisexual. The 63-year-old former X Factor judge, who has been married to husband Ozzy for 33 years, think she’s “missed out” and is now too old to experiment. full story

PEOPLE: Curt Schilling has been fired by ESPN following a controversy over a transphobic Facebook post Schilling shared about so-called “bathroom bills.” full story

AUSTRALIA: An Australian MP’s staffer took to social media to compare homosexuality to incest and bestiality, only weeks after his state’s Premier told members of the party to stop making embarrassing posts. full story

IRELAND: The Irish Blood Transfusion Service says it will make a decision in June whether to change its lifetime ban on receiving donations from gay and bisexual men. full story

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea has signed off on a U.S. decision to give same-sex couples the same legal protections and benefits as military families under the status of forces agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday. full story

UK: Parents are outraged after Brighton and Hove council has urged people to support three and four-year-old children to identify in whatever gender they choose. full story

USA: Today the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute (Victory) released a new research brief titled More Than Represent: LGBT Elected Officials Drive Equality in the States that shows the relationship between the number of openly LGBT public officials a state has and its level of LGBT equality. full story

USA: Leading US truck company JB Hunt Transport Services, which has 16,000 drivers woeking across the US, had advised its investors not to vote for the company to introduce specific LGBT discrimination protections. full story

USA: Jeremy Belanger, a straight ally and comedian, has come up with an ingenious and practical solution for the “bathroom” laws springing up around the country. As Belanger notes, “There’s a group of people that have actually committed sex crimes in public restrooms: Republican politicians.” full story

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USA, ALABAMA: An Alabama House committee has approved a bill that would replace state-signed marriage licenses with contracts in a bid to free probate judges from signing licenses for gay couples. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: An anti-LGBT group protesting a gender-neutral bathroom were confronted by angry students on Tuesday in Los Angeles. full story

USA, FLORIDA: The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau in Broward County is reaffirming its commitment to the human rights of gay couples, gay families and transgender residents and travelers following recent laws that discriminate against the LGBTQ community in some U.S. states. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by County Clerk Kim Davis against the state of Kentucky for forcing her to issue marriage licenses with her name on them. Davis made the news when she refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples despite the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality last summer. full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI: In an interview with Jackson, Mississippi’s WAPT, Governor Phil Bryant made fun of the artists and musicians boycotting the state over the anti-LGBT “religious freedom” bill, calling the boycotts attention-getting stunts for washed-up celebrities. full story

USA, MISSOURI: Executives from Time Warner Cable, T-Mobile US, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Etsy, Zynga, and others have signed onto an open letter now including over 60 major CEOs and business leaders urging Missouri lawmakers to stop the discriminatory Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 39 from moving forward. SJR 39 would lead to a ballot measure that proposes to allow individuals, organizations, and businesses to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people. full story

USA, MISSOURI: In the face of international furor over North Carolina’s hate law, the Missouri House Emerging Issues Committee yesterday delayed a vote on SJR39, the anti-LGBT “license to discriminate” bill which last month passed in the state Senate after an epic 39-hour filibuster by Democrats. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: The North Carolina Democratic Party today launched a website to highlight how Gov. Pat McCrory’s job-killing discrimination law, HB2, is hurting North Carolina’s economy. The site lists the more than 400 businesses and organizations that oppose HB2 and spotlights the many good-paying jobs put at risk by this bill. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Father John Misty, singer and songwriter, told Rolling Stone the North Carolina law is “obviously bullshit,” and will donate the proceeds from his concert there to an LGBT youth center. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: The three main anti-LGBT hate groups that conspired to push through North Carolina’s hate law are demanding that state legislators sign a pledge vowing to oppose the repeal of any portion of the law. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: A coalition of religious groups that pressed the General Assembly to pass House Bill 2 last month quickly scrapped a plan Wednesday to have state lawmakers sign a pledge to support it. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: In a statement announcing a formal policy position against House Bill 2 and calling for repeal, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce says an unnamed tech company cancelled over the law an expansion that would have brought up to 1,000 jobs to the region. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Today the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute (Victory) released a new research brief titled More Than Represent: LGBT Elected Officials Drive Equality in the States that shows the relationship between the number of openly LGBT public officials a state has and its level of LGBT equality. There is clear evidence that openly LGBT people form relationships with their colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, and change minds about LGBT equality – and votes. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: The real-life impact of North Carolina’s anti-transgender legislation has reared its ugly head with statistics showing an increase in number of calls received at a suicide hotline for transgender people. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: GLSEN’s anti-bullying Day Of Silence was on Friday and Winston-Salem’s Fox affiliate reports on high school students that walked out in protest full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: State Senate leader Phil Berger said Wednesday he doesn’t see the need to repeal or revise a law that limits protections for the LGBTIQA community. full story

USA, WASHINGTON: As part of efforts to make Seattle a safe city for the LGBTIQA community Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle Police Dept. have created a “Safe Places” program, where anybody enduring harassment, intimidation or physical assault can seek refuge while police are summoned. full story

 

Millennium Hotel – Gay Friendly Buffalo Wedding Venue

Written by scott on April 20th, 2016

Millennium Hotel Buffalo

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:

The Millennium Hotel in Buffalo offers 301 Recently renovated beautiful Guests Rooms, including 2 Deluxe Suites; enclosed Tropical Courtyard and 10,000 square feet of ballroom space.

It’s the perfect setting for your Buffalo wedding day.

See the Millennium Hotel Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Western New York

 

Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 20th

Written by scott on April 20th, 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!

COMMENTARY: Do you know what the difference is between bisexuality and pansexuality? As our community expands and reorganizes, it can be difficult to keep up with new terminology and definitions. full story

PEOPLE: Below, via Whisper, we’ve rounded up 18 coming-out stories from people who identify as bisexual. full story

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PEOPLE: ESPN commentator and former MLB player Curt Schilling shared a disgusting, transphobic graphic to Facebook, enhancing it with his own commentary, before deleting it earlier today. full story

POP CULTURE: eople are generally okay with seeing transgender people in ads, but that doesn’t mean they understand who transgender people are. full story

POP CULTURE: YouTuber Joey Salads, known for his viral pranks, has this time taken upon himself to conduct a so-called ‘social experiment’ where he enters a public female bathroom claiming to be transgender. full story

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INTERNATIONAL: Research launched today shows the extent of progress being made by countries across the Commonwealth in upholding the rights of LGBT citizens. full story

CANADA: Supportive South Asian mom and dad Vijay and Sushma Agarwal, who helped their son organize his Hindu gay wedding, have launched a local PFLAG chapter, telling Gay Star News they hope they can help their community to be ‘more open’. full story

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CYPRUS: Sixteen couples have entered a civil union so far in Cyprus, while a European study shows there is still room for improvement on LGBT issues and social acceptance. full story

MALTA: A staggering 61% of the population are ready and willing to accept gay marriage and give the LGBTIQ community an equal treatment to heterosexual couples, the iSurvey commissioned by The Malta Independent reveals. full story

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USA: Transgender university and college students are at a significantly higher risk for suicide attempts when their campus experience includes being denied access to bathrooms and gender-appropriate campus housing, a Georgia State University study finds. full story

USA: Target took a stand yesterday with regard to “bathroom” laws being proposed around the country and the encroaching discrimination on the rights of LGBTIQA people. full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI: The Governor of Mississippi has claimed that without his anti-LGBT law in place, churches would be forced to close. full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI: Belinda Carlisle, singer, Go-Gos founder, and gay rights supporter, has ripped into Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant for signing into law HB 1523, which has been called ‘the worst religious freedom bill to date’ in the U.S. full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI: Stand-up comedian Tracy Morgan has canceled an upcoming Mississippi gig in protest of the state’s new law allowing business and public employees to discriminate against LGBT individuals. full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI/NORTH CAROLINA: The UK is now warning people about going to the US over the anti-LGBTI laws in North Carolina and Mississippi. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: The Governor called for more dialogue on the issue of transgender people and bathroom use while saying he stands by provisions of a bill regarding access to facilities. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Since, North Carolina is part of the 4th Circuit, the Virginia ruling could have major implications in the battle against HB2 – including the threat of losing millions in federal funding if the law isn’t repealed. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Attorney General Roy Cooper has a growing lead over Gov. Pat McCrory in their race for governor, a new poll shows. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: The governor says he will abide by the ruling but is seeking input from lawyers regarding how the state should respond. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Stephen Colbert last night pointed out all the musical acts and companies that have been boycotting North Carolina over its anti-LGBT law – Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, PayPal, even adult site xHamster. full story

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USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Neal Gottlieb, a US ice cream company owner and activist, climbed to the top of Mount Mitchell, to fight for LGBTI rights. ‘I proudly placed a rainbow-painted outhouse displaying a trans pride flag at the summit of North Carolina’s tallest mountain this morning in protest of the state’s repressive HB2 legislation.” full story

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USA, RHODE ISLAND: Lori Franchina, an ex-firefighter, has been handed a huge payout after suing her former employer for homophobic harassment. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: House Republican leader Gerald McCormick seeks revenge for companies that spoke out against Tennessee’s transgender bathroom bill. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: Police investigated after a group of rainbow colored nooses were discovered hanging from a tree on a college campus in Tennessee. full story

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USA, UTAH: The Salt Lake City Council has decided to name a street after pioneering gay leader Harvey Milk, the latest display of its position as a blue island in a sea of deep-red, where the prevailing Mormon faith still has a fraught relationship with the LGBT community. full story

USA, VIRGINIA: A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled in favor of a transgender student who sued his Virginia school district over its policy that does not allow him to use the boys restroom or locker room. full story

 

Marriage Equality Watch: April 19th

Written by scott on April 19th, 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!

NATURE: An intersex kitten is getting a lot of attention – after being born with a mix of male and female characteristics. full story

Intersex Kitten

PEOPLE: Award winning actress Viola Davis has promised to fight for LGBT families everywhere, as she expressed her outrage at the lack of LGBT rights across the world. full story

PEOPLE: La’Porsha Renae has apologized for comments she made earlier this month at a press conference, during which she said, “I am one of the people who don’t really agree with that lifestyle” when asked to discuss the new anti-gay legislation in Mississippi, her home state. full story

POP CULTURE: The all-girl superhero group The Powerpuff Girls are using their powers to educate kids on transgender issues. In the new episode “Horn, Sweet Horn,” the girls meet a pony named Donny who wants nothing more than to be a unicorn. full story

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PEOPLE: Marnie Simpson, the Geordie Shore star once engaged to Ricky Rayment, has come out as bisexual ahead of unveiling her new clothing range with Forever Modo on Tuesday. full story

Marnie Simpson

POP CULTURE: After 12 issues, Midnighter, the first comic with a gay lead. is coming to an end. full story

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FRANCE: Air France has begun serving a new route to Iran – despite protests from gay air stewards. full story

KUWAIT: 41 allegedly ‘gay men and trans women’ have been arrested for prostituting themselves in a massage parlor in Kuwait. full story

UGANDA: Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament has said the Anti-Homosexuality law could return at any time. full story

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UGANDA: Uganda’s former national football manager Chris Mubiru was cleared of sodomy charges. full story

UK: A review has found that government-appointed prison chaplains have routinely distributed homophobic literature to prisoners. full story

USA: Sen. Ted Cruz today invoked the protections included in the Constitution when a gay man asked the Republican presidential candidate about his work protecting the rights of gay voters. full story

USA: With no public notice, a gay man last December agreed to settle a potentially groundbreaking gay rights lawsuit he filed in 2012 accusing the Library of Congress of violating the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 by firing him because of his sexual orientation and gender. full story

USA: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest lashed out Monday over the delay on confirmation an openly gay nominee poised to become the next Army secretary, saying the senator responsible for the hold “relishes the opportunity to be before the camera.” full story

USA: Donald Trump’s legal team has reportedly threatened to sue a gender-fluid artist for painting a nude portrait of the Republican candidate. full story

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USA, COLORADO: A pre-school that refused to allow a four-year-old student to opt out of education on gay relationships and gender issues has told Gay Star News that it stands by its anti-bias curriculum. full story

USA, ILLINOIS: As wedding season gets underway, more than 9,200 same-sex marriage licenses have been issued in Cook County since February 2014, including civil unions converted into marriages, and the county is expecting to hit the 10,000 mark this summer. full story

USA, MARYLAND: The Montgomery County Council will introduce legislation condemning discrimination against LGBTQ individuals on Tuesday. The Council hopes to influence County Executive Ike Leggett to suspend all official travel to states where discriminatory laws exist. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: After apologizing for supporting North Carolina’s anti-LGBT bill, Billy Richardson hopes to strike it down. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Boston has cancelled their NC tour dates: “It is with deep regret, that I must announce the cancellation of our upcoming shows on May 4, 5 & 6 in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh in order to raise awareness, and protest in the strongest terms, the recent passage of HB2, the so called “North Carolina bathroom law.” full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Duke University leaders condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the North Carolina law which requires people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender they were born with, and called for its repeal, adding to the heated national debate over gay and transgender rights. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Pearl Jam: “It is with deep consideration and much regret that we must cancel the Raleigh show in North Carolina on April 20th.” full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Raleigh’s tourism agency says losses have reached $3 million because of cancellations prompted by the protests of North Carolina’s law on LGBT rights.
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USA, TENNESSEE: The House sponsor of a controversial bill that would require students in public school grades K-12 and higher education institutions to use the restroom that corresponds with their sex at birth is delaying action on the bill until next year. full story

USA, TEXAS: A Whole Foods in Austin is being sued by a pastor who claims he ordered a cake from them with the personalized message “Love Wins,” but instead recieved a cake with the phrase followed by a gay slur. full story

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USA, TEXAS: Chris Sevier has filed a lawsuit against the Harris County district clerk, Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton for denying him the right to marry his Mac. He is trying to prove that, essentially, marriage between a same-sex couple can be equated to marriage between a man and a machine. full story

USA, WASHINGTON: Washington state’s Family Policy Institute went to the University of Washington to grill students about their support for transgender rights. Watch as their spokesman demands to know why these trans-friendly students won’t recognize his right to identify as a Chinese woman, a 7 year-old boy, or a 6’5″ man. full story

 

A&C Wedding Ravello, Ravello, Italy – Gay Friendly Wedding Planner

Written by scott on April 18th, 2016

A&C Wedding Ravello

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:

Marriage equality is an important right for gay and lesbian couples – love should have no constraints or boundaries.

A symbolic wedding, organized by Wedding Ravello, is always a success – we work with love and passion to make your ceremony unique and beautiful, according to your tastes and budget.

No matter whether you choose a wedding on the beach or in the mountains, we promise that you will have a wedding day that you will never forget.

Say “I Do” with Rainbow Weddings by Wedding Ravello: we serve the most beautiful cities of Italy – Venice, Florence, and Rome – as well as the Amalfi Coast, Cilento, and the Lakes. If your favorite place isn’t listed, don’t worry – we will be there for you.

See the A&C Wedding Ravello Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Italy

 

Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 18th

Written by scott on April 18th, 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: The Advocate takes a look at seventeen antigay leaders who were later exposed as being gay or bi. full story

PEOPLE: YouTube singer Sam Tsui has opened up about his sexuality – as he reveals he’s about to get married. full story

Sam Tsui

POP CULTURE: In the game Milo Tosser, it allows you to control three Isis members as they throw a gay man from a rooftop to hit certain targets on the ground. You can hit explosives to get more points. And, also, once the body has fallen to the ground, other extremists gather to stone it to death. full story

POP CULTURE: SNL: From the makers of Angel In Denim: The Kim Davis Story comes God is a Boob Man, in which an antigay small-town baker (Vanessa Bayer) is forced to prove once and for all that the man upstairs is, indeed, a hetero. full story

POP CULTURE: Popular fantasy drama Once Upon a Time has finally introduced fans to the shows first same-sex couple. Ruby from Little Red Riding Hood and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz finally kissed, introducing fans of the show to Once Upon a Time’s first LGBT couple – seventeen episodes in. full story

INTERNATIONAL: The State Department’s annual human rights report that it released last week notes anti-LGBT violence, persecution and discrimination persisted in many parts of the world in 2015. full story

AUSTRALIA: Telstra CEO Andy Penn has now told SBS that the company has had a re-think. ‘Last week we advised that out of respect for the individual our view had been that we would not add further to the debate on marriage equality ahead of a plebiscite or parliamentary debate. It is clear that rather than Telstra stepping back we should in fact step forward and support our view for marriage equality and so that is what we will do. full story

AUSTRALIA: An Australian trans woman says that she was raped thousands of times while being held in a male prison. full story

IRELAND: Ireland is set to review its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood. full story

MALTA: A new video asks what’s it’s like to be LGBTI in one of the smallest nations in the world. full story

UK: The Minister for Women and Equalities is still “working through” a report calling for an urgent shake-up of gender recognition laws, over three months after it came out. full story

VATICAN: In last week’s letter covering marriage and the family, Pope Francis‘ Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) apparently sides with The College of Pediatricians’ recent claim that “conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.” full story

USA: Mike Lee, who rode the Tea Party wave to victory in 2010, is the right wing’s idea of a Constitutional scholar to replace Scalia. Lee believes in the idea of nullification, which allows states to opt out of federal laws that they don’t like, like marriage equality. full story

USA: John Kasich continues to seek a middle ground on LGBT rights compared other Republican presidential candidates, although he thinks LGBT people who face discrimination should “just for a second get over it.” full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Over the nearly 10-minute interview, NBC host Chuck Todd hammered at Governor McCrory’s widely-debunked talking points. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Duran Duran performed in Charlotte last night – behind the pop superstars was a rainbow colored US flag. Singer Simon Le Bon spoke to the crowd, explaining why they kept the gig. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Hollywood actor George Clooney on Sunday panned a North Carolina law that targets the LGBTIQA community. full story

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USA, NORTH CAROLINA: The Washington Post has evaluated North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s statements in the video accompanying last week’s executive order and given him “Three Pinocchios.” full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Brynn Tannehill lists ten things we have learned in the fight in North Carolina. full story

 

Heartfelt Weddings, San Francisco: Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Officiant

Written by scott on April 17th, 2016

Heartfelt Weddings

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:

Kathy and Larry Wilkerson, non-denominational ministers, have performed over 900 weddings in the San Francisco Bay Area over the past 15 years.
Throughout the years, we have whole-heartedly supported the right of same sex couples to marry. We celebrate with you the love which has brought you together and brings meaning to your life!

Whether you prefer a traditional ceremony and vows, or something more contemporary, we honor your wishes to create the wedding ceremony that reflects your individual personalities, your values, and your dreams.

Although located in Marin County, we travel throughout the SF Bay Area to accommodate your wedding location. Whether you are planning a large gathering of family and friends, or a small, intimate ceremony, your San Francisco wedding day is the most special day of your life, and the ceremony is the centerpiece of that day.

Let us help make your ceremony warm, personal, and perfect … for a memory that will last a lifetime!

See the Heartfelt Weddings Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in the SF Bay Area

 

Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 17th

Written by scott on April 17th, 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!

COMMENTARY: You have to choose. It’s just a phase. Once you’re in a committed relationship, you’re no longer bisexual. You’re just confused. I came out as bisexual when I was 15, and although my family and friends understood, others told me what we all hear. full story

NATURE: Two male lions have been caught on film in an amazing display of mating by a photographer. full story

AUSTRALIA: Australia’s first ever exclusively LGBT fertility center has opened, offering donor insemination, IVF, donor egg and sperm programs, egg and sperm freezing, and surrogacy services. full story

USA: Transgender advocates are growing impatient with the ongoing review of the U.S. military’s ban on openly trans service, which continues to lag at the Pentagon. full story

USA, GEORGIA: Amid widely publicized complaints about ill-treatment of transgender inmates in Georgia prisons, federal officials have begun an investigation into the treatment of LGBTUQA inmates generally in the state’s prisons. full story

USA, KANSAS: Protesters lined up Friday in front of the Statehouse in Topeka to pressure Kansas legislators not to pass a law similar to those recently passed in Mississippi and North Carolina. full story

Topeka Protest

USA, MISSISSIPPI/NORTH CAROLINA: Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has signed an executive order banning non-essential, city-funded travel to North Carolina and Mississippi because of discriminatorylaws passed there. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina state Representative Billy Richardson wrote an op-ed calling for the repeal of the state’s new law, HB2. ‘Since our hasty vote on HB2, I have been haunted by the fact that in one rushed action, I undermined a lifetime of fighting against those who would demonize a group of citizens to gain political advantage and to advance an unjust agenda.’ full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Stephen Curry, the NBA’s current reigning MVP (most valuable player), has spoken out against North Carolina’s anti-LGBT HB2. full story

Stephen Curry

 

Marriage Equality Watch Will Close Down on April 30th

Written by scott on April 16th, 2016

MarkandScott

Hello to all of our wonderful followers:

We wanted to let y’all know that we’re going to be winding down Marriage Equality Watch at the end of April. This has been a labor of love for us, but after more than eight years of early mornings and at least 7,000 hours devoted to this volunteer project, it’s time to move on.

We want to thank our partner organization, Marriage Equality USA, which has long been supportive of our activism. When MEUSA decided to close down, we took a long, hard look at what we were doing. While we once had 1.4 million page views a month, post-Obergefell our blog traffic has declined 120k a month.

The battle for marriage equality in the US is all but over, but we recognize that the fight for LGBTIQA rights in general continues. And there are many countries around the world where we don’t have any rights at all. Some of the folks from MEUSA are going on to NEAT to fight for housing and employment rights:

http://www.marriageequality.org/neat_joins_ffaa

Mark and I will continue to support queer-friendly wedding vendors through our PurpleUnions.com directory.

And I am personally involved in another same sex marriage project – a new book coming out from Dreamspinner Press on the Marriage Equality Day, June 26th. Called “A More Perfect Union”, the anthology will feature four wedding stories, each one written by an established, married gay author – myself, B.G. Thomas, Michael Murphy and Jamie Fessenden. If you want to be notified when it’s available, please join my mailing list here:

https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com/join-my-mailing-list/

Mark and I wanted to thank all of you who fought for equality with us – it’s been an amazing journey. We will continue to maintain the blog on our site as a history of the struggle. If you are looking for an alternate daily LBTIQA news source, we suggest HRC’s AM Equality:

http://www.hrc.org/blog/topic/am-equality

We are on the lookout for our next volunteer project, but in the meantime, we send our love out to all y’all!

–Scott & Mark

 

Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 16th

Written by scott on April 16th, 2016

POP CULTURE: A production of Shrek The Musical in Canada must change its script after using the word ‘tranny’. full story

IRELAND: At least two gay couples are getting married every day in Ireland since it was legalised last year. full story

KENYA: A Kenyan rights group says it is going to court to decriminalize gay sexual relations between consenting adults. full story

UKRAINE: A gay couple has married in Ukraine, despite the fact that the country does not legally recognise their union. full story

Ukraine gay couple

UK, NORTHERN IRELAND: Marriage equality is a Northern Ireland Assembly election issue, campaigners said yesterday as they launched Love Equality, a new political campaign which aims to deliver equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. full story

USA: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced on Thursday it has revised the definition of the term “spouse” in federal regulations to strengthen an earlier policy change allowing federal employees with same-sex spouses to use the Family and Medical Leave Act. full story

USA, MICHIGAN: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/bruce-springsteen-warns-michigan-not-pass-anti-lgbti-bathroom-bill/#rssowlmlink full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Today, the Human Rights Campaign and Equality NC announced that executives from the American Express Company, AXA Financial Inc., Bloomberg L.P., Capital One, Classical American Homes Preservation Trust, Campbell Soup Company, CohnReznick LLP, CrowdRise, eMaint Enterprises, LLC, Ernst & Young LLP, the Estée Lauder Companies, Inc., John Hancock Financial, Kohler Co., Logitech, Plum Organics, RBC Capital Markets, REI, Strava Inc., The Hartford, Time Warner Cable, United Airlines, Visa Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc. have signed onto an open letter that now includes more than 160 leading CEOs and business leaders urging Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal the radical provisions in the deeply discriminatory law that was rammed through the legislature on March 23rd. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Ted Cruz was evasive on Thursday under questioning over whether he supports North Carolina’s recently enacted anti-LGBT law, but indicated he think the statute is “perfectly reasonable” and lamented Democrats won’t join Republicans to enable discrimination in the name of religious liberty. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Duran Duran is going to push for the repeal of the state’s new anti-LGBTIQA law at Saturday’s Charlotte concert. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday a North Carolina law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people remains “problematic” for the league, but he said there is no decision on moving next year’s All-Star Game out of Charlotte. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Friday that while HB2 is “problematic,” moving the game would be, in his opinion, “grandstanding.” full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: But wait, maybe the NBA hasn’t decided yet? “At no time did Adam affirm that the league would not move the All-Star Game; rather he stressed repeatedly that the legislation is problematic, that we feel it is best to engage with the community to work towards a solution, that change is needed and we are hopeful that it will occur.” full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: The Canadian-based circus company Cirque du Soleil is cancelling upcoming stops in North Carolina by two of its touring shows to protest a state law that limits anti-discrimination protections for the LGBT community. full story

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USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Nearly three dozen Minnesota state lawmakers signed a letter addressed to the governor of North Carolina, saying they support a recently enacted law that ties bathroom use to a person’s biological sex. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Here’s a list of celebs standing against the state, as well as others who took a different tact or are in the wait-and-see category. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: The North Carolina law “overturns all state protections for gay and lesbians and puts new discrimination on the books,” according to Los Angeles Councilman Mike Bonin, who proposed the resolution that was approved on a 12-0 vote. full story

USA, PENNSYLVANIA: A number of same-sex couples joined by civil unions are having trouble getting un-joined, because the law hasn’t kept up with the rapidly changing social issue. Now, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has agreed to hear a case involving one such couple from Philadelphia. full story

USA, TEXAS: The Texas Supreme Court on Friday tossed out Attorney General Ken Paxton’s effort to undo the union of the first gay couple to legally wed in Texas. The court-ordered same-sex marriage of two Austin women had occurred months before such unions were legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court. full story