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Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 21st

Thursday, 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


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

Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 20th

Wednesday, 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Tuesday, 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


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


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


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


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.
full story

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


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

Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 18th

Monday, 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


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

Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 17th

Sunday, 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

Saturday, April 16th, 2016


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:

Mark and I will continue to support queer-friendly wedding vendors through our 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:

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:

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

Saturday, 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: 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


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

Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 15th

Friday, April 15th, 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!

NATIONAL DAY OF SILENCE: Today is the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network’s Day of Silence, an annual silent protest of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. Each year, tens of thousands of students participate by taking a daylong vow of silence at school and sharing speaking cards that raise awareness of anti-LGBT bullying. full story

HISTORY: The Roller? The False Transvestist? The Ship’s Queer? This list of ‘homosexual types’ is insane. Back in 1958, it turns out they were a little more creative than just your standard bear and twink. Stand-up comic Ivan Kirby shared this insane find on Twitter, a sociological report prepared for the Home Office in the UK. full story

Gay Types

POP CULTURE: Adam Lambert revealed in an interview with Digital Spy that the music industry still has a stigma against gay men singing about men in love songs. full story

BERMUDA: A two-question ballot — which will ask whether voters are in favour of same-sex marriage and whether they are in favour of same-sex civil unions — is likely to take place on Thursday, June 23rd. full story

CHINA: Though it was dismissed by the court in Changsha, China’s first legal challenge to a law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples has galvanized many of the hundreds of young Chinese gay rights supporters who gathered at the courthouse, some of them waving small rainbow flags. full story

AUSTRALIA: The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) have been at the forefront of the attacks against the Safe Schools program, claiming that homosexuality is unnatural, unhealthy, psychologically damaging and a barrage of other homophobic slurs. full story

AUSTRALIA: Two comedians are tying the knot tonight in a bid to highlight the marriage equality issue. Zoe Coombs Marr and Rhys Nicholson, both gay, will be legally marrying tonight at the Comedy Festival Club. full story


AUSTRALIA: Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn has attempted to downplay yesterday’s controversy by reinforcing the company’s support for marriage equality. full story

GERMANY: Stan and Olli, male king penguins, didn’t quite live up to the zookeepers’ plans for them to breed with the females at Berlin zoo. full story

UK: The head of Ofsted had admitted he has “never thought” about how to protect transgender students in bathrooms. full story

UK: Robert Hannigan, Director of British security agency GCHQ, used his morning speech to explain how GCHQ had become a more inclusive employer, and to apologize to former employees who had been dismissed because of their sexuality. full story

USA: Lesbian Country Singer Chely Wright said country musicians need to take a stand for the LGBT community and oppose bigoted laws. full story

USA: New data from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has revealed that there was a 28% increase in discrimination complaints from LGBT employees. full story

USA: Ted Cruz supports anti-trans bathroom restrictions: “Men should not be going to the bathroom with little girls.” full story

USA: Following criticism that he hasn’t aided candidates down ballot from the presidential race, Bernie Sanders has announced three congressional hopefuls he supports — and two of them are seeking to defeat openly gay contenders. full story

USA: Tony Spence, director and editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service since 2004, unexpectedly resigned from that position Wednesday at the request of a U.S. bishops’ conference official, after tweets he had posted against so-called “religious freedom” bills in North Carolina and Georgia. full story

USA: According to a study, children of same-sex female parents fare the same as children of opposite-sex parents. full story

USA: Last night John Kasich reaffirmed his earlier statements that same-sex marriage is a settled issue. full story

USA, FLORIDA: Religious organizations are playing politics with the Florida Department of Children and Families and if they are successful, LGBT foster children lose. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Kentucky’s governor on Wednesday signed into law a bill that removes county clerks’ names from the state marriage license forms at the center of a controversy involving an official jailed last year for refusing to issue licenses to gay couples. full story

USA, MARYLAND: The Maryland House of Delegates on March 9 passed the Equal Pay for Equal Work bill that contains protections based on gender identity by a 133-33 vote margin. full story

USA, MASSACHUSETTS: Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker was heckled and booed when he failed to commit to legislation that would protect the rights of transgender people. full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI: Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant on Wednesday defended a controversial anti-gay bill he signed into law, saying that it was needed to protect ‘the churches’ full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI: Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced that more than 60 leading CEOS and business leaders, including executives from Bloomberg LP, CVS Health, Dropbox, Hilton Worldwide and Salesforce have signed onto an open letter calling on Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and House Speaker Philip A. Gunn to repeal H.B. 1523. H.B. 1523, the so-called “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act,” allows almost any individual or organization to use religion as a justification to discriminate against LGBT Mississippians in some of the most important aspects of their lives, including at work, at school, and in their communities. full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI/NORTH CAROLINA: Cincinnati City Council approved a measure to ban non-essential tax-funded travel to Mississippi and North Carolina by a 7-2 vote today. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Trans rock star Laura Jane Grace will not be joining artists like Bruce Springsteen in boycotting North Carolina, but instead plans to perform there to protest the state’s transphobic law. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Ani DiFranco is the latest musician to cancel an upcoming show in North Carolina in protest of the state’s anti-LGBT law. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Debra Messing is not happy about being made to film in North Carolina over the state’s anti-LGBT law.
full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Governor McCrory’s net approval rating now stands at -4%. 50% of likely voters oppose the new law while only 38% support it. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: San Diego-based premiere consumer electronics audio company 1MORE USA Inc. has announced it will be boycotting sales to North Carolina until HB2 is repealed. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: The Mumford and Sons band has said it will donate profits from a concert in North Carolina tonight to local LGBT charities.
full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: A lesbian waitress in North Carolina has come forward to reveal she was ‘tipped’ with a Leviticus Bible verse instead of cash. full story


USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Charlotte shouldn’t be punished for an ordinance that was ultimately overturned by legislation preventing local and state governments from mandating protections for LGBT people, Mayor Jennifer Roberts said Thursday at a town hall meeting designed to rally support for the repeal of the controversial measure. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, the stars of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, said Thursday that they were ‘furious’ over a recently approved law in North Carolina that targets the LGBT community. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Yesterday a spokesman for North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory called the Human Rights Campaign “a shadowy, left-wing group funded by anonymous donors that is recklessly leading the charge to mislead the public and smear North Carolina.” Today we get the below HRC clip with calls McCrory out on his lies. full story

USA, SOUTH CAROLINA: Video of Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright speaking at the Greenville-Spartanburg Republican Women’s meeting shows the county’s top law enforcement officer threatening bodily harm to any transgender women who uses the ladies’ restroom in his presence. full story

USA, SOUTH CAROLINA: Caleb Laieski wrote an innocuous email to South Carolina legislator Mike Fair asking him to consider a ban on so-called conversion therapy. You won’t believe the response. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 13th

Thursday, April 14th, 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: Even folks who normally express support for LGBTQ rights are buying into specious arguments conservatives are pushing – because they don’t know the truth. full story

POP CULTURE: Without causing a fuss, a nice new ad for Google Calendar features a gay guy breaking up, getting over it, and then meeting someone new. full story


AUSTRALIA: First, Telstra winded back its support for same sex-marriage after pressure from the Catholic Church; one of its biggest clients. Then, a Telstra customer service representative identified homosexuality as an “ideology” and not a sexuality during online correspondence with a customer. full story


AUSTRALIA: Australia’s largest telco, Telstra, says it has abandoned its public campaign for marriage equality to allow clear air during the proposed plebiscite – not because of pressure from the Catholic church. full story

EUROPE: Hundreds of thousands of young Europeans have taken part in a EU-wide poll – and it’s found a lot more are open to gay sex than you might have expected. full story

USA: Faced with a lawsuit seeking a change in policy, the Social Security Administration has lifted the penalty on same-sex couples who received overpayment of benefits after the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act. full story

USA: Legislation has been proposed in states across the country to protect those who — due to religious beliefs — decline to employ or serve certain people. Critics say the laws are aimed at the LGBT community and are discriminatory. Recent laws denounced as discriminatory in North Carolina and Mississippi have prompted a growing backlash from opponents. Here’s a look at legislation around the country. full story

USA: Some of the most famous players currently playing in the NFL are gay, according to former player and LGBTQ rights advocate Brendon Ayanbadejo. full story

USA: The White House declined to rule out federal funds being cut off in states with anti-LGBT laws. full story

USA: The Liberty Counsel group has helped author anti LGBTIQA measures in at least 20 states, “protecting” religion over sexual orientation, CBS reports. full story

USA, ALABAMA: Private adoption agencies in Alabama could turn away gay couples on religious grounds under a bill passed by a House Committee Wednesday. full story

USA, FLORIDA: It was another packed house at the April 12 Brevard School Board meeting, where supporters wearing red filled the room, pushing the Board to adopt district-wide LGBT protections. full story

USA, GEORGIA: Gov. Nathan Deal said the uproar in North Carolina and Mississippi over new laws that critics say curb gay rights should give supporters of the “religious liberty” measure in Georgia second thoughts, and warned that he’s willing to pull out the veto pen again next year if similar legislation lands on his desk. full story

USA, LOUISIANA: Governor John Bel Edwards’s executive order includes a religious exemption, however, and applies to state contractors but not other private employers. full story

USA, MASSACHUSETTS: The Senate in the US state of Massachusetts is set to debate a bill which would increase protections for trans people. full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI: Sharon Stone has ditched plans to make a movie in Mississippi over the state’s newly passed anti-LGBT law. full story

USA, MISSOURI: A bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people in Missouri has stalled in committee full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Ringo Starr won’t play in North Carolina – the former member of The Beatles followed Bruce Springsteen’s lead in canceling a concert in the state because of the anti-LGBTI law HB2. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: I will be donating all of the profits from the show to Equality North Carolina’s efforts to repeal HB2 and I am proud of my manager and agent for joining me in this effort by donating their commissions from the show to this vital effort. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: TurnOUT! North Carolina announced a series of town hall meetings across the Tar Heel State, focused on engaging and mobilizing pro-equality North Carolinians against House Bill 2 (H.B. 2) in the upcoming legislative session. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Protesters increased the level of noise surrounding the state’s new LGBT law Wednesday evening by setting off dozens of air horns at the governor’s mansion. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: In response to a controversial new state law aimed at gay and transgender people, a group of firms designated as “Certified B” ethical corporations say they are canceling an annual CEO retreat, a street fair, and related meetings. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – April 13th

Wednesday, April 13th, 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!

CORPORATIONS: Chariot for Women, a new ride sharing app for women only, launches in the Boston area on April 19, and welcomes trans women. full story

HISTORY: A history student in Brisbane has uncovered a 1932 newspaper article about same-sex couples getting married, and the reporter’s outrage is almost indistinguishable from the moral panic of today. full story


POP CULTURE: Adam Lambert has claimed that music industry execs are still ‘scared’ of letting gay artists express themselves through music. full story

AUSTRALIA: In February, the Australian anti-marriage equality group Marriage Alliance released an advertisement depicting a young woman in an office with a rainbow noose around her neck. The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) ruled on Monday that the group’s advertisement breached standards set in place. full story

AUSTRALIA: AUSTRALIAN telephone company Telstra has come under fire after it bowed to pressure from the Catholic Church over its public support of same-sex marriage. full story

CANADA: An openly gay and atheist Malaysian student has been granted refugee status in Canada after he was outed nationally by his own country’s media and disowned by his family. full story

CHINA: A judge ruled against a gay couple in China’s first same-sex marriage case that attracted several hundred supporters to the courthouse Wednesday in a landmark moment for the country’s emerging LGBT rights movement. full story

FRANCE: Air France is facing a rebellion from gay air stewards – who are refusing to fly on a new route to Iran. full story

LEBANON: Armed religious vigilantes are rounding up LGBTIQAs at checkpoints around Lebanon and passing them over to the police where they are beaten and humiliated. full story

MALAYSIA: Malaysia’s religious police, also known as the Federal Territories Islamic Department (JAWI), shut down a charity gala dinner organised and attended by transgender women in Kuala Lumpur on 3 April. full story

UK: The release of the results of British Muslim opinion survey caused shock. They revealed, among other things, that more than half the sample of British Muslims surveyed thought homosexuality should be made illegal. full story


USA: Conservatives have long squawked that the studies showing positive outcomes for the children of same-sex couples are lacking methodologically, instead offering their own flawed studies to claim negative consequences. A new study, however, uses their preferred methods — minus the flaws — and proves what the medical community has already long known: same-sex couples make great parents. full story

USA: Around half of all heterosexual men and women potentially carry so-called homosexuality genes that are passed on from one generation to the next. This has helped homosexuality to be present among humans throughout history and in all cultures, even though homosexual men normally do not have many descendants who can directly inherit their genes. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: In an interview yesterday with the “John and Ken Show,” a Southern California talk radio program, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, downplayed his opposition to marriage equality, saying that “of course” there should be no nationwide definition of marriage. full story

USA, COLORADO: Colorado is not joining at least six states that ban or limit psychotherapy which seeks to change the sexual orientation of minors. The Republican majority on a state Senate panel voted against a bill Monday to limit so-called gay conversion therapy. The bill would have banned its use on people under 18. full story

USA, INDIANA: The Indiana Republican Party is faced with the decision whether to change its official platform on same-sex marriage, amid divisive stances from members within. full story

USA, LOUISIANA: Louisiana’s version of the Mississippi’s religious law is up for debate Tuesday morning. House Bill 597, also known as the Pastor Protection Act, is a bill that would allow for pastors to refuse to marry same sex couples. full story

USA MISSISSIPPI,: Billy Ray Cyrus, country singer and father of out entertainer Miley, posted a message on his Facebook page in response to Mississippi’s antigay “religious freedom” bill. full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI: John Grisham and 95 Mississippi authors wrote an eloquent letter released Monday that Mississippi “has nourished intolerance and degradation and brutality, which has looked at difference as a threat.” full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI: American Idol winner Trent Harmon: “I think that you should treat all people equally and respectfully, and that’s what I do, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do no matter what law is passed.” full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI: The high consumption of gay pornography by residents of Mississippi on adult e-tail Web site is in stark contrast with the state’s recently signed anti-gay measures. Mississippi ranks #6 in the United States for gay pornography viewed on full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI: The founders of the Mississippi Picnic in Central Park and the New York-Mississippi Society, are officially canceling this year’s picnic in its 37th year. full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI/NORTH CAROLINA: On Tuesday, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the city council drafted a letter encouraging businesses in these Southern states to relocate to Salt Lake City. The mayor also issued a memorandum forbidding city-funded or sponsored travel to Mississippi and North Carolina. full story

USA, MISSISSIPPI/NORTH CAROLINA: Miami Beach may be adding itself to the growing list of states, municipalities that have banned travel to North Carolina and Mississippi in response to new state laws directed at the lesbian, gay and transgender community. full story

USA, MISSOURI: Businesses from around Missouri announced the formation a coalition Tuesday designed to stop a “religious freedom” amendment to the state’s constitution currently making its way through the Missouri Legislature. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Deutsche Bank is freezing plans to create 250 new jobs at its Cary, North Carolina, location after the state passed a controversial law targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Entertainer Jimmy Buffett says he’s not canceling two North Carolina concerts even though he thinks the state enacted a “stupid law” limiting protections for lesbians, gays and transgender people. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: In response to HB2, North Carolina’s new law limiting anti-discrimination protections, the global community of nearly 1,700 Certified B Corporations announced Tuesday it will relocate a cluster of October events out of North Carolina. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina’s governor is standing firm on state’s anti-LGBT law – but as more and more businesses pull out of the state, it’s everyday North Carolinians who are suffering. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Two rainbow flags which had stood in front of a North Carolina church have been burned. full story


USA, NORTH CAROLINA: A group of North Carolina craft breweries is teaming up to make a special beer that will be sold to raise money to fight the state’s new House Bill 2 law. The News and Observer reports more than 30 breweries are taking part. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory did some damage control today, announcing that he has signed an executive order protecting LGBT state employees from discrimination. Today’s action does NOT, however, reinstate local LGBT protections nor does it override the so-called “bathroom bill” portion of HB 2. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Cyndi Lauper won’t boycott the state over its anti-LGBTIQA law. ‘I think that people would need us there. Wherever there’s a shut out, wherever people don’t accept other people, the other people need you.’ full story” target=”_blank”>full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Charlotte pastor and congressional candidate Mark Harris and the Benham brothers, ardent Ted Cruz supporters, were one of the driving forces behind the passage of the anti LGBTIQA law. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: Raleigh is banding with other cities across North Carolina to create an ad welcoming everyone to the state, after feeling the pinch from reactions to the new law. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: A Tennessee bill that would allow mental health therapists to turn away patients based on the counselors’ religious beliefs and personal principles passed Monday and is on its way to the governor. full story