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Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 2nd

Tuesday, 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Marriage Equality Round-Up – February 1st

Monday, February 1st, 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: Titan Men has offered to help Former US congressman Aaron Schock to pay off his huge legal costs following a federal investigation, if he will star in a gay porn video. full story

POP CULTURE: Five more countries – United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan and Kuwait – have banned British trans drama The Danish Girl over ‘moral depravity’. full story

POP CULTURE: Arguably half a dozen characters who have dabbled with bisexuality, and three shows with major bisexual themes were honored over the weekend at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, making it one of the most bi-friendly awards shows ever. full story

INTERNATIONAL: Freedom To Marry has relaunched its website to serve as an instructive tool for overseas activists pursuing marriage equality in their own nations. full story

INDIA: The out lesbian Premier of Ontario has been honoured at a holy Sikh gurdwara in India, in a hugely poignant moment. full story

UK: Merseyside Police have announced plans to replace their uniform’s black boot laces for rainbow-coloured ones to mark the start of LGBT History month. full story

UK: Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has been asked again whether he thinks that gay sex is sinful – and he declined to answer the question. full story

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron

USA: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Sunday he wished the U.S. Supreme Court had left the issue of gay marriage to the states instead of making it legal across the board in its landmark ruling last year. full story

USA: In a landmark decision, the United States Department of Health and Human Services has ruled for the first time that a transgender person is entitled to gender-confirming surgery under Medicare, according to a statement sent to The Advocate by the case’s attorney, Ezra Young. full story

USA: Phil Robertson spoke out about same sex marriage at a Ted Cruz rally: “It’s sickening. It’s repulsive,” he said, referring to same-sex marriage as “depravity” and “perversion.” He called it sinful for the Supreme Court to have legalized same-sex marriage last year. “And they want us to swallow it.… We have to run this bunch out of Washington, DC. We have to rid the earth of them. Get them out of there.” full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: AB1732 would help transgender people, parents with children of different genders, and adults caring for aging parents without putting much of a burden on businesses. full story

USA, FLORIDA: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen represents South Florida including Key West through the keys and parts of Miami. She scores 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional scorecard. full story

USA, INDIANA: Indiana lawmakers have days to decide whether to keep alive a bill this legislative session that would extend civil rights protections to gays and lesbians, but not transgender people. full story

USA, NEW YORK: Late Friday afternoon the Ali Forney Center, which serves homeless LGBT youths, announced a campaign to buy the building and the donation drive has already rocketed above $75,000. full story

USA, WASHINGTON: YouTuber Rachel Whitehurst, 23, of Seattle, Washington, is one of thousands of Americans to identify as bisexual, and recently decided to use her popularity to help herself and others fight against prejudice from others over their sexuality with her #ByeBiphobia campaign. full story

Rachel Whitehurst

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 31st

Sunday, January 31st, 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!

POP CULTURE: Jeffrey Tambor won the Screen Actor Guild Award on Saturday for his performance as a transgender woman on the series Transparent. full story

Jeffrey Tambor Transparent

AUSTRALIA: A poll of voters in the prime minister’s own electorate found a majority wanted a vote for marriage reform to go straight to parliament. full story

AUSTRALIA: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says a marriage equality bill would pass if it were presented in federal parliament this week. full story

AUSTRALIA: Bill Shorten has urged the Turnbull government to drop the $160m plebiscite on marriage equality and allow members to vote on the issue in parliament, predicting it would pass if the Liberal party allowed a conscience vote. full story

AUSTRALIA: The Australian state of Victoria will become the second to issue an apology for historic gay sex convictions, it has been announced. full story

BOTSWANA: The LGBT group LeGaBiBo (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals of Botswana) is seeking to register with Botswana government. full story

EUROPE: With claims from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) that the word ‘GAY’ is “not a well-known abbreviation for the community of LGBTQIA people,” the international organization responsible for maintaining the Internet’s global domain system has denied dotgay LLC’s community application proposal to operate the .GAY top-level domain (TLD). full story

INDIA: India’s colonial-era law criminalizing gay sex was restored in a shocking ruling by the Indian Supreme Court in 2013 after being struck down in 2009. India’s Supreme Court is set to take up the matter again this week full story

INDONESIA: Mayor Ridwan Kamil of Bandung, capital of Indonesia’s West Java province, has ordered the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), a hardline Islamic group, to take down ‘provocative’ banners targeting lesbians and gay men, local news reports quoted officials as saying on Friday. full story

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ITALY: Thousands of people opposed to gay rights gathered in Rome’s Circus Maximus to protest against legislation that would permit marriage-style unions for same-sex couples and grant them legal recognition as families. full story

USA: Despite supposedly only opposing civil unions, many of the protesters were openly homophobic – with signs even likening gay people to Nazis. full story

USA: A soldier who was discharged from the US Army 60 years ago for being a ‘Class II homosexual’ has finally been granted an honourable discharge. full story

USA: As presidential Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a final push before the Iowa caucus, she faces fire from the Log Cabin Republicans. The LGBT GOP organization’s web ad takes the candidate to task for her stance against marriage equality, which is ironic, because they gave Mitt Romney a pass on the same issue in 2012. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: For the first time, the military spouse of the year nominee at Naval Base Coronado is gay. full story

USA, IOWA: Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, who has initiated an investigation into an LGBT youth conference, took offense at the suggestion that he and another male lawmaker are lovers. full story

USA, TEXAS: A trans woman has been shot and killed in Texas – but police officials referred to her as a man. full story

USA: Legislation that would require Utah judges to favor heterosexual couples over same-sex couples in adoptions or foster care placements is blatantly unconstitutional, say gay rights advocates. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 30th

Saturday, January 30th, 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: Michael Sam has not yet given up his dream of playing in the NFL. full story

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AUSTRALIA: The Miss Gay and Ms. Transsexual Australia 2016 offers gender reassignment surgery as their grand prize, and they’re taking a lot of heat from people who think they’re trivializing a major surgery. full story

AUSTRALIA: Sydney councillor Christine Forster has sent two pretty pointed tweets to her big brother Tony Abbott after the former prime minister spoke against same-sex marriage to a conservative group in the U.S. full story

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ITALY: Hundreds of thousands of Italians were expected to descend on Rome on Saturday to protest a bill that would legalize same-sex unions across the country. full story

ITALY: It seems that Dolce & Gabbana is stitching a different tune when it comes to same sex marriage. full story

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NIGERIA: In what may be a first, a Nigerian podcast features a conversation between a bisexual man and a gay man, and debunks some myths about being bisexual. full story

PAKISTAN: The Pakistani printer of The International New York Times removed a photograph showing a gay kiss from the front page of Friday’s paper in what critics are characterizing as a blatant act of censorship. full story

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UK: A Manchester pastor is offering a special service for transgender Christians – allowing them to get baptised again after changing their gender. full story

UK: The Church of England is growing drastically out of touch with its members on same-sex marriage, a poll has found – 45% of C of E members now support same-sex marriage, with just 37% opposed. full story

UK: The Speaker of the House of Commons has warned about the rise in homophobic violence – and promised a debate on global LGBT issues. full story

USA: The U.S. Department of Justice has made a move toward establishing that discrimination based on sexual orientation is sex discrimination, already banned by federal law. full story

USA: Ben Carson’s campaign chair Robert Dees said in a radio interview Thursday that gay men and women in the military have been militaristically flaunting their sexuality since the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Dees says this poses a threat to unit cohesion. full story

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USA: The Democratic National Committee announced on Friday it has named the lesbian former mayor of Houston and a longtime HIV/AIDS advocate to chair a new LGBT advisory board. full story

USA, IDAHO: The Idaho House has cleared a new federal tax conformity bill that says the state considers marriage to be between a man and a woman but will recognize same-sex marriage for tax purposes. full story

USA, MICHIGAN: The proposal to add civil rights for LGBT people to Michigan’s constitution will no longer aim for the 2016 ballots, its organizer announced. full story

USA, NEW YORK: The Ali Forney Center, whose Harlem based programs provide 50,000 meals a year for homeless LGBT youth and offers interventions such as medical and mental health care, case management, educational and career services, hopes to buy the Harlem hate church site to provide housing to LGBT youths. full story

USA, UTAH: Since a severe new anti-gay policy was enacted in the Mormon Church last fall, 32 LGBTI people between the ages of 14 and 20 have committed suicide. full story

USA, VIRGINIA: The Virginia Senate on Friday approved two bills that would ban anti-LGBT discrimination – one to codify into law Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s 2014 executive order that bans anti-LGBT discrimination against state employees, and the other to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Virginia Housing Law. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 29th

Friday, January 29th, 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: Right-wing anti gay activist Theodore Shoebat claims gay men in New Orleans regularly rape and murder young boys during the annual Southern Decadence, while local police sit on their hands. full story

POP CULTURE: Atari®, one of the world’s most recognized publishers and producers of interactive entertainment, today announced the worldwide availability of Pridefest™, an original social-sim game. full story

POP CULTURE: The Advocate features 21 LGBTIQ children’s books that should be read by every child. full story

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SCIENCE: The animal kingdom is anything but cisnormative – here’s a list of animals that don’t follow the binary model. full story

AUSTRALIA: Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull has promised to legalize gay marriage if a majority support it in a popular vote. full story

AUSTRALIA: Isabella Mills is just 11 years old, but she’s being hailed as having more common sense and compassion than any of the fully-grown adults running the country right now. “…the public has already expressed their views and made it quite clear that they want same-sex marriage for Australia. I may not be the Prime Minister, but even I know that Australian could use that money elsewhere. If an 11-year-old girl can see that, why can’t you? full story

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AUSTRALIA: Parliamentary support for same-sex marriage reform appears to have reached critical mass and for the first time could pass in both houses, placing renewed pressure on Malcolm Turnbull to grant a free vote, rather than spend millions of dollars organising a non-binding public plebiscite. full story

AUSTRIA: The city of Linz, Austria will get its gay-themed traffic lights back after opposition from the anti-gay, far right Freedom Party was overruled by the city council full story

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CENTRAL AMERICA: A report on anti-transgender violence and discrimination in Central America urges Honduras and other countries in the region to implement anti-discrimination laws that include gender identity. full story

CHINA: The Washington Post profiles the couple behind China’s first same sex marriage case. full story

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GERMANY: Over two-thirds of Germans want same sex marriage to be legalized, bringing gay rights in line with those of heterosexual couples, a survey by YouGov published on Thursday shows, and 61% of voters for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Union said they were for legalization. full story

ITALY: Italian lawmakers began debating legalizing civil unions for gay couples on Thursday. Thousands of supporters have rallied ahead of the debate. full story

LEBANON: For the first time ever, a trans man in the Lebanon has had his gender legally changed on public records. full story

RUSSIA: A Russian lawyer has accused a tiger and a goat of breaking the ‘gay propaganda’ law. full story

TAIWAN: New Taipei City will start registering gay couples next week. full story

UK: PinkNews catches up with the recently ennobled Lynne Featherstone as she releases a book charting her battle for same-sex marriage. full story

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UK: When teen-aged students in Brighton and Hove were asked to describe their gender on a recent questionnaire, they had 24 options to choose from including ‘Demi-girl,’ ‘Intersex,’ ‘Non-binary,’ ‘Gender fluid,’ ‘Tri-gender,’ Gender queer,’ ‘Agender,’ and ‘In the middle of boy and girl.’ full story

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UK: A high court challenge to extend civil partnerships to opposite sex couples has failed. full story

USA: The You Can Play Project, which aims to ensure equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation. full story

USA: Former prime minister Tony Abbott has told a conservative Christian group in the United States that allowing same-sex couples to wed will contribute to “the erosion of family”, a stance that drew a swift rebuke from his openly gay sister Christine Forster. full story

USA, FLORIDA: The Florida House Judicial Committee postponed a vote on the so-called Pastor Protection Act on Thursday after the committee reportedly ran out of time due to a lengthy debate on a proposed gun bill. full story

USA, GEORGIA: A high-ranking Georgia education official has lost his job over racist, homophobic, and anti-Muslim posts on his Facebook page. full story

USA, HAWAII: Rep. Bob McDermott wants to be able to send his kid to conversion therapy: “What if a child is questioning? They’re on the fence. It happens. As a parent, I want, personally, to steer my child in a particular direction. By this bill, I’m banned from doing that. This is merely more political correctness, nothing more than tyranny with manners.” full story

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USA, IDAHO: Idaho’s Republican lawmakers have sent a tax conformity bill back to the drawing board because it would have removed an unenforceable rule banning joint returns from same-sex couples. full story

USA, NEBRASKA: Lawmakers who want to repeal the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage had some harsh words for those who would oppose the effort on Wednesday. full story

USA, NEW YORK: The Harlem church that thinks “Jesus would stone homos” is scheduled to be put up for public auction next month because their pastor hasn’t paid his debts. full story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: The number of divorces filed in North Carolina dropped to a 25-year low in 2014, the same year a U.S. District Court judge effectively legalized same-sex marriage here. full story

USA, OKLAHOMA: Freedom Oklahoma, the Sooner State’s LGBT advocacy organization, is currently tracking at least 26 different bills that in someway limit, threaten, or actively discriminate against LGBT people. Many mirror efforts in other states, but a few are unique and particularly dangerous to the state’s LGBT population. Here’s a look at the many bills LGBT activists are preparing to fight. full story

USA, OREGON: A distressed mother is suing an Oregon school district and five teachers after one allegedly threatened to kill her gay son. full story

USA, UTAH: GOP state Rep. Kraig Powell wants to partially reinstate the discriminatory adoption law, saying he believes it’s better for children to have a male and female role model, exposing them to diverse gender roles. full story

USA, UTAH: A new proposal could make it a hate crime in Utah to harm someone because they are LGBTIQ. full story

USA, UTAH: One of the authors of the “Utah Compromise” is trying to convince other states to use it as a model, but it doesn’t have the LGBT community’s best interests in mind. full story

USA, VIRGINIA: A federal appeals court on Wednesday for the first time considered the question of whether Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972 allows transgender students to use facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. full story

USA, WASHINGTON: Anti-gay state Rep. Brad Klippert has introduced a bill that would prohibit the state’s ferries from flying any flag other than the Stars and Stripes, the Washington state flag and maritime signal flags, The Tri-City Herald reports. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 28th

Thursday, January 28th, 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: According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, some of the men interned for their homosexuality in Nazi Germany were immediately sent to prison again after World War II, forced to serve the Nazi sentences. full story

POP CULTURE: On Monday, “The Daily Show” aired a hilarious segment about the couple’s “father-son” relationship, playing on the right-wing “slippery slope” argument about same-sex marriage and incest. After visiting the couple and asking Esposito why he’s “banging” his son, correspondent Ronny Chieng determines that they have “some gross human equality fetish.” full story

AFRICA: The US’s first ever special envoy for LGBT rights has said there are “seeds of hope” in Southern African countries for sexual and gender minorities. full story

AUSTRALIA: Homophobic hate is alive and well in Melbourne, Australia. Someone is pasting signs in public areas of South Yarra that read “Cure AIDS: Kick a Poofter to Death.” “Poofter”, of course, is a gay slur equivalent to “faggot”. full story

AUSTRALIA: The Australian Government’s plan to hold a non-legally binding vote on same-sex marriage by the Australian people that will cost $160 million has been put in doubt after two government backbenchers revealed they would still vote against the reform even if the poll was successful. full story

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GEORGIA: Gay attorney Giorgi Tatishvili says he has ‘started the fight for the legalization of same-sex marriages and expects a positive decision by the Constitutional Court of Georgia’. full story

GREECE: Dimitris Konstantopoulos, a Greek MP, has asked God’s forgiveness because he voted for a measure to legalise same-sex civil partnerships. full story

INDIA: India’s Supreme Court could make a decision over the country’s law banning gay sex, according to a new report. full story

INDONESIA: An Indonesian government official is calling for gay and transgender students banned from college and university campuses if they show any public displays of affection or inappropriate behavior. full story

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IRELAND: A bisexual woman who alleged she fled her native Nigeria after her family threatened to kill her over being involved in lesbian activity has lost her High Court challenge to being refused refugee status. full story

ITALY: Crux looks at Pope Francis’s past and current positions on civil unions, and why he changed. full story

ITALY: Italy’s Senate on Thursday begins examining a civil union bill for same-sex couples, a topic which has profoundly divided the country and could prove toxic for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government. full story

LITHUANIA: Lithuania has refused to issue a temporary residence permit to the husband of a Lithuanian man. full story

TAIWAN: Tainan mayor William Lai announced Wednesday evening the city would become the fourth Taiwanese city to register gay couples. full story

USA: Ted Cruz assured voters that his presidency would not endorse the Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right, calling it “fundamentally illegitimate, lawless, and unconstitutional.” full story

USA: Since June, Wolfson and his colleagues have been carefully preserving as much as possible from their successful campaign. full story

USA: Lou Correa, a southern California congressional candidate has pledged to push for undoing the dishonorable discharges of gay veterans under the military’s former “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. full story

USA: Susan Sarandon has slammed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s record on gay rights. full story

USA, INDIANA: The Senate Rules Committee just decided to not advance SB66, the “Super RFRA” bill, meaning the bill is almost certainly dead for this legislative session. full story

USA, INDIANA: Barronelle Stutzman, a Washington state florist who became a national figure for refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding is scheduled to testify in Indiana against two LGBT rights bills that will be taken up by a state Senate committee. full story

USA, INDIANA: During a town hall meeting Saturday in his hometown of Whiteland, in central Indiana, Republican Rep. Woody Burton compared LGBT rights protections to protections for psychopathic killers, pedophiles, and overweight people. full story

Republican Rep. Woody Burton

USA, INDIANA: After hours of testimony from local and national hate groups as well as sobbing out-of-state martyred anti-LGBT business owners, the Indiana Senate Rules and Legislative Procedures committee tonight advanced a heavily-amended “LGBT rights” bill that actually worsens the already poor civil rights status of LGBT Hoosiers. full story

USA, NEBRASKA: The state’s defunct same-sex marriage ban could once again go before voters under a measure that seeks to remove it from the state constitution. full story

USA, NEBRASKA: On Wednesday, Nebraska Family Alliance and the Nebraska Catholic Conference both came out opposed to measures that would update language in state law to reflect last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down bans on gay marriage. full story

USA, SOUTH DAKOTA: By a vote of 58 to 10, the South Dakota House of Representatives passed discriminatory legislation targeting transgender students. full story

USA, TEXAS: David Watts Jr., who’s running for the House District 7 seat in ultraconservative East Texas, refuses to let the LGBTIQ community gays might actually prefer to bend him over and dominate him. full story

David Watts Jr.

USA, VIRGINIA: “If I have a child who has cancer, there’s a chance we can cure that cancer with chemo therapy rather than watch that child suffer,” said state Sen. Charles Carrico (R-Galax) during a subcommittee hearing on a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy in Virginia. “It is a form of therapy, the chemo therapy, and to know it goes in remission and find out the child has cancer again, that is a parents’ decision to try and help the child.” full story

USA, VIRGINIA: Brad Kutner, a journalist who writes for the Virginia paper GayRVA (you may remember he also broke the story of the anti-gay attack at Amazon that’s now being prosecuted as a federal hate crime), has penned an open letter to an anti-gay Republican lawmaker he discovered cruising on Grindr over the weekend. full story

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USA, VIRGINIA: Dan Savage thinks the closeted lawmaker is fair game:I disagree: this legislator’s votes against workplace protections for LGBT people, adoption rights for same-sex couples, and the judicial appointment of a qualified out gay man speak loudly of his hypocrisy and the the particular kind of damage done when closeted conservatives abuse their political power to protect their closets. full story

USA, VIRGINIA: A state senator’s effort to allow local clerks to opt out of issuing marriage licenses to gay couples narrowly cleared committee Wednesday. Senate Bill 40 is heading for the Senate floor. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 27th

Wednesday, January 27th, 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!

POP CULTURE: Bindle & Keep, a custom clothier that specializes in dressing people across the gender spectrum, is the subject of “Suited,” a documentary premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. full story

AUSTRALIA: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended his predecessor Tony Abbott’s right to speak at an anti-gay event in New York. full story

AUSTRALIA: The prominent conservative senator Eric Abetz says every Coalition MP will be free to decide how to cast their parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage, contradicting the prime minister and, according to the marriage equality lobby, rendering the promised $160m national plebiscite pointless. full story

AUSTRALIA: Australian rugby pro Simon Dunn, the first openly gay man to represent Australia in the sport of bobsledding, took to Instagram on Tuesday (26 January) to speak put against his country’s ban on same-sex marriage. full story

Simon Dunn

CHINA: A court case demanding marriage equality caps a trend of increasing acceptance for homosexuality in China. full story

CHINA: Nearly 92% of Hong Kong youth support LGBTI protections, according to a new study published Tuesday. full story

GERMANY: A branch of Germany’s leading right-wing party is demanding LGBTI people shouldn’t be discriminated against – while implementing discriminating policies themselves. full story

INDIA: MP Shashi Tharoor said today that he will continue to fight bigotry after his bill to decriminalise gay sex failed. full story

ISLE OF MAN: A recent government consultation on British dependency the Isle of Man shows that the majority of respondents are in favor of same-sex marriage – of 176 respondents, 76 were opposed to gay marriage, 90 were in favor and 10 were neutral. full story

ITALY: Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland on Tuesday encouraged Italy to pass a civil unions bill guaranteeing rights for gay couples. full story

MEXICO: Gays and lesbian can now marry in six of the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico with the Mexican Supreme Court ruling unanimously that denying them the right to marry in the state of Jalisco is unconstitutional. full story

SAUDI ARABIA: Two same-sex couples have been arrested in Saudi Arabia for holding a gay marriage ceremony, cross-dressing and possessing alcohol and hashish. The men were arrested in the capitol city of Riyadh by the nation’s religious police, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. full story

SPAIN: Metro Metro will give out 38 free annual passes in an effort ‘to promote the full social integration of women and transgender men.’ full story

USA: A study released Tuesday (26 January) by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law shows that US states that legalized same-sex couples from November 2012 through July 2013 experienced the most dramatic drop in anti-gay attitudes. full story

USA, ARKANSAS: A gay graduate student in Arkansas says he lost his job as a teaching assistant after putting up a poster in his high school mathematics classroom saying “Tolerance = Peace,” below a rainbow-colored peace sign. full story

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USA, FLORIDA: The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-3 to move forward the so-called Pastor Protection Act “providing that churches or religious organizations, related organizations, or certain individuals may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for related purposes if such action would violate a sincerely held religious belief,” according to the bill’s text. full story

USA, FLORIDA: The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee today postponed until next week its hearing on SB 120, a comprehensive LGBT anti-discrimination bill. full story

USA, HAWAII: Lawmakers have proposed a law that would protect LGBTI teens from the practice that the World Health Organization calls very dangerous to a person’s mental and physical health. full story

USA, MISSOURI: Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon used his final State of the State address to implore lawmakers to bar discrimination against LGBT people, but leaders in the Republican-dominated Legislature say that’s unlikely to happen before Nixon leaves office. full story

USA, OKLAHOMA: With state lawmakers set to convene Feb. 1 for the 2016 legislative session, at least 26 bills attacking LGBT Oklahomans and their families are already in the docket for consideration – the most of any state in the nation. full story

USA, OREGON: An Oregon judge who has refused to perform gay marriages and has drawn a formal ethics complaint for a raft of other issues should lose his job, a judicial commission leading an investigation into his conduct has found full story

USA, SOUTH DAKOTA: The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee yesterday voted in favor of legislation that would prevent transgender students in public schools from using facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. The legislation would also require educational institutions to pay the costs of any resulting legal challenges. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: Thanks to a proposed resolution against same-sex marriage on the Washington County agenda that would have no legal impact, commissioners were forced to postpone the meeting for at least 10 days. That’s because an estimated 350 people showed up, with many wearing red in opposition to the anti-gay marriage resolution. full story

USA, VIRGINIA: A federal appeals court on Wednesday will hear the case of a transgender student who is challenging a Virginia school district’s controversial restroom policy. full story

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USA, VIRGINIA: Members of a Senate committee on Monday approved two anti-discrimination bills, one of which would ban anti-LGBTIQ discrimination against state employees, and a second that would codify into law Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s 2014 executive order banning discrimination against state employees based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. full story

USA, WEST VIRGINIA: West Virginia lawmakers from both sides of the aisle vocalized their support for the state’s LGBT community in video released Monday, a little more than a week after a bill that would allow discrimination on the basis of religious freedom was introduced in the state’s House of Representatives. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 26th

Tuesday, January 26th, 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: President John F Kennedy had a special room in the White House just for his gay best friend, a book claims. full story

PEOPLE: Britney Spears tweeted her appreciation for GLAAD’S “Accelerating Acceptance” study on Friday but says the fight for LGBT awareness is far from over. full story

PEOPLE: British journalist Rod Liddle has said poppers and lube is ‘God’s way of telling you that…[gay sex] is unnatural and perverse’. full story

PEOPLE: Graham Norton had this great advice for bisexual teen: ‘It is important in life that you strive to be the most authentic version of yourself’ full story

POP CULTURE: Actor Ian McKellen told the Press Association that the diversity issue in Hollywood is a “legitimate complaint” and as a gay man he sympathizes with black actors who feel they aren’t represented. full story

CANADA: New posters have gone up in Toronto District School Board schools, which include 76,000 middle school and high school students. Launched by LGBTQ advocacy group Toronto Pflag, the posters depict a rainbow that spells out the LGBTQ acronym: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Straight, Queer and 2-Spirited. When students use the flash on their camera phones to take a picture of the poster, the words are suddenly accompanied by nouns that illustrate LGBTQ folks are people they know, respect and love: partner, teammate, buddy, friend, ally, supporter, and BFF. full story

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GREECE: Greek same-sex couples began entering into civil unions on Monday after the legislation passed in December by the Greek Parliament came into effect. full story

INDIA: Last month, I made a personal journey home for a BBC Radio 4 documentary, to explore how dramatically India’s sexual landscape has changed in recent years. full story

ITALY: The Local went into the streets and spoke to protestors, both those in favor of and those against the civil unions bill, to find out what they think about gay marriage and gay adoption. full story

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PORTUGAL: Outgoing President Anibal Cavaco Silva has vetoed a bill recently approved by lawmakers that granted full adoption rights to gay and lesbian couples. full story

SENEGAL: The head of an anti-gay coalition says police have arrested 11 people in Senegal’s capital during a demonstration against the release of 11 people accused of homosexual acts. full story

USA: Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said last week that “it’s time to start impeaching” Supreme Court justices in response to the Obergefell marriage equality ruling, which he called an “illegal decision” that amounted to the court declaring itself to be God. full story

USA: Martin O’Malley renewed his commitment to fight for LGBT rights at the federal level on Monday night, although he omitted any mention of federal non-discrimination legislation known as the Equality Act. full story

USA: The legal battle over same-sex marriage that culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges was a costly one for American taxpayers – $13.5 million in plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees in 41 cases. full story

USA, FLORIDA: Pine View, a grades 2-12 magnet school in Osprey, Fla., is now the first school in Sarasota County to pass a transgender student inclusive bathroom policy. full story

USA, INDIANA: Indiana may have lost as much as $60 million in hotel profits, tax revenue and other economic benefits when a dozen groups decided against hosting conventions in Indianapolis last year due at least in part to the controversy surrounding the state’s religious objections law. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: Kim Davis has said it was a ‘joy’ to be chosen by God to stand against same sex marriage. full story

USA, NEW YORK: A new study of the quality of healthcare provided to transgender patients in the New York City correctional system revealed significant areas for improvement and reported a greater than 50% decrease in patient complaints after the healthcare staff at 12 jail clinics received LGBT training. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: State Rep. Susan Lynn (R) has filed a resolution in the House supporting a lawsuit that would invalidate all state weddings after June. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: Despite a few voices of opposition, the Hawkins County Commission approved a resolution Monday asking the Tennessee General Assembly to defy last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: Students at a rural Tennessee high school reportedly wore “straight pride” signs last week to protest a newly founded chapter of the Gay Straight Alliance. full story

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USA, UTAH: An overwhelming majority of Mormons in Utah support their church’s horrific new policy labeling same-sex couples as “apostates” and barring their children from being baptized. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 25th

Monday, January 25th, 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: Ricky was cagey about liking guys back in the ’90s; now he’s giving mixed messages about his feelings for women. Seems like being bisexual is now the big taboo, writes Mike Szymanski. full story

PEOPLE: The head of the Catholic Church sat down Friday for approximately 15 minutes with Apple CEO Tim Cook, beginning at 11:30 a.m. local time, reports ABC News. full story

PEOPLE: Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who was fired by the BBC last year for punching a producer, said parents who support their transgender children are guilty of ‘poisoning’ their minds. full story

POP CULTURE: Ray Liotta says a bisexual twist for his Shades of Blue character left him doing a double take. full story

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POP CULTURE: The Edmonton Oilers became the first NHL team to use Pride Tape, a multicolored tape to promote inclusiveness in sports. full story

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POP CULTURE:A thought-provoking new photography project captures a host of international celebrities posing as same-sex couples and families in a bid to show ‘love is love’. full story

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AUSTRIA: First launched by the Austrian interior ministry, a new ‘behavior guide’ includes drawings of a man hitting a woman – covered by a red cross – and an image of gay kissing – approved with a tick. full story

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EUROPE: Legal recognition of same-sex partnerships is far from uniform across Europe. full story

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INDONESIA: Muhammad Nasir, minister of research, technology and higher education, said LGBTI students should be banned from university. full story

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ITALY: Different polls show that support for same-sex civil unions has dropped to 46 percent in January, compared with 67 percent last May. A poll conducted in January by Ipr, an independent polling and marketing firm, also found that only 15 percent of respondents supported stepchild adoption for gay couples. full story

NEW ZEALAND: Despite its reputation of being one of the most LGBTI friendly countries on the planet, New Zealand is still holding out on removing past convictions for sex between men from people’s permanent records. full story

USA: Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will give a speech on the topic of “the importance of family” to the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTIQ, pro-Christian, Republican-aligned lobby, which opposes abortion, wants to end gay marriage and is pushing to roll back some feminist advances. full story

USA, COLORADO: As part of a broad reexamination of restrooms on its campuses, Naropa University has created two “all gender” restrooms at its Nalanda campus in Boulder. full story

USA, INDIANA: Fewer than half of convention planners and prospective tourists agree that “Indy Welcomes All” or “Indiana Welcomes All” in the wake of last year’s controversy over the state’s anti-LGBT Religious Freedom Restoration Act. full story

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USA, IOWA: A former Iowa women’s field hockey coach has a “reasonable possibility” of proving that gender or anti-gay discrimination played a role in her firing. full story

\USA, MISSOURI: Senate Minority Leader Joe Keaveny, of St. Louis, filed a bill that would ban housing and employment discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. full story

USA, MONTANA: Greg Gianforte, the front-runner in the race for Montana governor, is one of the state’s leading financial backers for anti-gay organizations including Family Research Council, Focus on the Family and Alliance Defending Freedom. full story

Greg Gianforte

USA, SOUTH DAKOTA: Discriminatory legislation targeting transgender students is gaining traction in South Dakota. Scheduled for a hearing on Monday in the House State Affairs committee, HB 1008 seeks to prevent transgender students in public schools from using restrooms or locker rooms that are consistent with their gender identity and requires taxpayers to assume the costly financial consequences in resulting legal challenges. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – January 24th

Sunday, January 24th, 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!

USA: MTV’s documentary series True Life will look at the lives of two teens with transgender parents. full story

POP CULTURE: or so many people, it was the only book on the shelf that had anything about someone like themselves was “Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out.” It’s the Bible of Bisexuality. full story

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AUSTRALIA: The Victorian government has vowed to crack down on so-called gay conversion therapists who claim to be able to ‘cure’ homosexuality. full story

CHINA: The Chinese couple suing their local affairs bureau for refusing to issue a marriage licence will present their case on January 28. full story

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ITALY: Demonstrators flooded the streets in cities across Italy, urging their government to legally recognize unions for same-sex couples. full story

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UK: Maria Miller has criticised the “extraordinary” hostility from women claiming to be “feminists” following her report into the treatment of trans people across the UK. full story

VENEZUELA: Her historic swearing-in makes Tamara Adrián only the second transgender person to be elected national legislator in the Americas. full story

Tamara Adrián

USA, ARIZONA: Democrats in the Arizona Legislature want a law that requires judges to give preferences to married heterosexual couples in adoption stricken from the books. full story

USA, TENNESSEE: If only Southern states had pursued David Fowler’s anti same-sex marriage legal strategy in the 1950s, he says, they could have avoided complying with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling desegregating public schools in Brown v. Board of Education. full story

David Fowle

USA, WASHINGTON DC: Protesters on Friday forced the cancellation of a reception at the National LGBTQ Task Force’s annual conference that was to have featured two advocates from Israel.
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