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Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 18th

Friday, March 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!

GENERAL: The Human Rights Campaign just gave a big nod to the bisexual community with its release of “A Resource Guide to Coming Out As Bisexual”. full story

HISTORY: Left on Pearl: Women Take Over 888 Memorial Drive helps us celebrate, remember and cheer one of our most vilified heroes of the last century — the women’s movement, and the lesbians that took part. full story

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POP CULTURE: Appearing this week at PaleyFest, Jeremy Jordan suggested that his character on CBS’ Supergirl should be gay. full story

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INTERNATIONAL: Ahead of its kickoff at the start of next month to recognise same-sex partnerships within the company, Panasonic Corp. is currently grappling with mixed responses from its various offices. full story

AUSTRALIA: The Australian Government is winding back the scope of a program aimed at combating anti-LGBTI bullying in schools, restricting the program to high schools and requiring parental consent before any student can take part in the program, it was announced today. full story

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Gay U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James “Wally” Brewster on Wednesday spoke exclusively with the Washington Blade about a petition that urges President Obama to remove him from his post for promoting an “LGBT agenda.” full story

Wally Brewster

FAROE ISLANDS: Faroe Islands, a self-governing archipelago part of Denmark, has rejected same-sex marriage. full story

MALAWI: Catholic bishops in Malawi have attacked the government for placing a moratorium on harmful homosexual laws. full story

MALAYSIA: A documentary on Malaysia’s religious police clamping down on LGBTI Muslims in the country has sparked off an online debate on the treatment these individuals receive. full story

UKRAINE: A Ukrainian LGBT advocacy group claims “anonymous threats” have been made against a festival it is organizing in the city of Lviv. full story

USA: California congressman Mike Honda wrote a letter, along with 27 of his colleagues and many support groups, calling on the Federal Trade Commission to create a rule to ban the practice of “conversion therapy” under Section 5 of the FTC Act. full story

USA: A nasty new video circulating among various anti LGBTIQA advocacy groups conflates transgender women with male predators, and attempts to portray all transgender women as having malicious intent. full story

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USA, GEORGIA: The Governor of Georgia appears to have signalled that he is against signing a ‘religious freedom’ bill which would allow anti-LGBT discrimination. full story

USA, GEORGIA: Salesforce on Thursday threatened to pull a digital marketing conference out of Georgia if Gov. Nathan Deal does not veto a bill that seeks to protect opponents of marriage equality full story

USA, NEBRASKA: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released a letter from leading national child welfare agencies opposing a bill in the Nebraska Unicam, LB 975, which would enshrine discrimination into Nebraska law by allowing taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to reject prospective parents based on “the child placing agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs.” full story

USA, NEW YORK: LGBT groups are marching in New York’s St Patrick’s Day parade today – after a historic ban was lifted. full story

USA, UTAH: Sen. Jim Dabakis, an openly gay member of the Utah State Senate, saved the day at literally the eleventh hour and fifty-seventh minute Monday evening when he blocked a bill that would have essentially relegated same-sex married couples in his state back to second-class citizenship. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – March 17th

Thursday, March 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!

PEOPLE: After spending one season in the Minor Leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals, pitcher Tyler Dunnington quit the team upon hearing teammates and a coach talk about wanting to kill gay people. full story

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POP CULTURE: Caitlyn Jenner’s reality show, I am Cait, is reportedly about to be cancelled. full story

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POP CULTURE: Joey Fatone’s character of Angelo returns in the sequel to the 2002 smash comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding – and this time he’s gay. full story

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POP CULTURE: Newcomer Casey Cott has been cast as Kevin Keller in The CW pilot Riverdale which is inspired by the Archie comics franchise. full story

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AUSTRALIA: The Labor Party in Australia has hit out at the Green party for blocking a vote on equal marriage for a second time. full story

BARBADOS: The World Congress of Families today fired out a press release announcing an April conference to be held in Barbados, where hate group leaders including Brian Brown and Focus On The Family’s Glenn Stanton will deliver speeches on thwarting LGBTIQA rights in the Caribbean. full story

BOTSWANA: The highest court in Botswana has ruled the government cannot ban a gay rights group. full story

CHINA: Some hope the purchase of Grindr by a Chinese company could be a turning point for equality. full story

FRANCE: A prominently anti-gay French cardinal has been accused of turning a blind eye to pedophile priests abuse in his diocese. full story

GHANA: Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to raise the issue of gay rights with the President of Ghana later today.
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ICELAND: Iceland’s Young Socialists have sent a letter to the Representative Office of the Faroe Islands in Reykjavik urging the Faroese parliament to pass a bill legalising same-sex marriage. full story

JAPAN: A Japanese company will be offering services for LGBTI tourists who wish to hold their wedding ceremonies in the land of the rising sun. full story

PERU: “Canon” is an exhibition comprising two series of photographs of Peru’s transgender community, by collaborative artists Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo and Andrew Mroczek. full story

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UK: A headteacher in East Sussex has been forced to defend her decision to hold a discussion with children about transgender issues. full story

UK, NORTHERN IRELAND: The Appeal Court in Northern Ireland has ruled that the Health Minister in Stormont should decided whether gay men can give blood. full story

UK, SCOTLAND: The Scottish National Party has backed a motion supporting LGBT inclusive education in all Scottish schools. full story

USA: Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland’s history with the LGBT community is not extensive but it is spotty. full story

USA: If a Major League Baseball player comes out of the closet, team leaders and advocates are ready to welcome him with open arms, reports USA Today. full story

USA, CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on March 15 announced the creation of a council that will advise city officials on transgender-specific issues. full story

USA, GEORGIA: The Georgia House lawmakers approved a rewrite of a bill that made changes to a contentious bill protecting same-sex marriage opponents. full story

USA, GEORGIA: The Georgia legislature has approved a “religious freedom” bill seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination in the state, leaving a signature from Gov. Nathan Deal the only thing remaining before the measure becomes law. The bill allows faith-based organizations to deny services “that violate such faith-based organization’s sincerely held religious belief.”full story

GUAM: A federal court judge has ordered the government of Guam to pay more than $85,000 in legal fees for a same-sex couple that sued Gov. Eddie Calvo after they were denied a marriage application last year. full story

USA, KENTUCKY: The Kansas House of Representatives has passed SB 175 – a bill that would put LGBT college students at even greater risk of discrimination. Now headed to Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk, the legislation would force public universities to fund student organizations that discriminate by restricting their membership and denying LGBT students from participating under the guise of “religious beliefs.” full story

USA, PENNSYLVANIA: Practitioners of ‘gay cure’ therapy tried to cure a woman of lesbianism by making her carry a bag of rocks. full story

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USA, TENNESSEE: A bill that would require transgender students to use bathrooms that match their sex at birth is gaining momentum in the Tennessee legislature after passing in a House subcommittee. full story

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USA, VERMONT: The Vermont Senate has voted overwhelmingly to advance a bill banning the use of “conversion therapy,” which is most often directed at young gay and lesbian people in a bid to make them heterosexual. full story

USA, VIRGINIA: Virginia lawmakers considered a number of LGBT-specific bills in their 2016 legislative session that ended on Friday. full story

Third Circuit Upholds New Jersey Ban on Conversion Therapy

Friday, September 12th, 2014

New Jersey mapAnother court has upheld New Jersey’s ban on so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors.

Towleroad.com reports:

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld New Jersey’s ban on ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy for minors, which was being challenged by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and other ‘ex-gay’ activists. Last year, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the bill into law banning the dangerous practice.

So far, these bans have survived all their court hearings. It’s time for some more states to block this practice.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Jersey.

USA: Nine Former Ex-Gay Leaders Join Campaign to Ban Conversion Therapy

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Gay RightsA group of former ex-gay leaders is joining NCLR to fight to ban the practice in the US.

Pink News reports:

Nine former leaders of the ‘ex-gay’ movement have published an open letter in support of the #BornPerfect campaign of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), which aims to ban ‘conversation therapy’ across the US within five years. The letter was signed by: Brad Allen, Michael Bussee and Yvette Cantu Schneider, formerly of Exodus International; Jeremy Marks, founder of Exodus Europe and Courage UK; Bill Prickett, founder of Coming Back; Tim Rymel and John J. Smid, formerly of Love in Action; Catherine Chapman, formerly of the Portland Fellowship; and Darlene Bogie, founder of Paraklete Ministries. “Together we represent more than half a century of experience, so few people are more knowledgeable about the ineffectiveness and harm of conversion therapy,” the letter reads in part.

Wow – the whole ex-gay thing is just falling to pieces.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA: Another Ex-Gay Activist Now Supports LGBT Rights

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Yvette Cantu SchneiderYup, another one – ex-gay activist Yvette Cantu Schneider is distancing herself from the ex-gay movement and supporting LGBT rights.

Towleroad.com reports:

Yvette Cantu Schneider, one of the most vocal and best known representatives of the ex-gay movement, has announced that no longer wishes to identify with anti-gay groups, reports GLAAD. Schneider is known for her high-profile start at hate group the Family Research Council and her work with California’s Proposition 8 campaign. She is still one of the key people who anti-gay voices cite in order to prove that “change” works. The American Family Association continues to sell a video, It’s Not Gay, in which Yvette appears as a talking head. Her “personal testimony” still appears on Ex-gaytruth.com. However, Schneider has said that she is sorry for the pain she has caused to LGBTI people, is questioning of the idea of “ex-gay” itself and is now fully supportive of LGBT people and their families.

The ex-gay movement, like the anti-gay marriage one, is crumbling, probably inevitable when you build your house on a foundation of lies.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

China Gay Cure Clinic Sued

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Great Wall of ChinaA China gay cure clinic is being sued by LGBT activists.

Pink News reports:

Campaigners in China have taken a clinic to court over its backing of gay-to-straight conversion therapy. It’s the first time a lawsuit of this kind has been staged in the country. China declassified homosexuality as a mental illness in 2001, but scores of clinics still seek to provide so-called conversion therapy. Dr Zhou Zhengyou, of the Nanjing Urban Psychiatric Consultancy Centre, claims to have successfully “cured” 70% of his gay patients. He charges $120 (#70) a session. LGBT activists have begun a legal challenge against the clinic. The case will be heard in court on Thursday.

Wow – this is the first time I’ve heard of such action being taken in Asia, and in China, no less!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

All Gays Are Damaged, And That’s OK

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Neal BrovermanMy boyfriend was sent to conversion camp. An ex was beaten by his gay-hating father and brothers on a regular basis. My father wouldn’t let me take bubble baths because they were too “gay.”

These experiences are not life-affirming. So, during a recent conversation regarding the disquieting behavior of some LGBT peers, it seemed entirely innocuous to note, “All gay people are damaged.” A fellow editor agreed but mentioned many folks would take offense at that. That blew my mind.

Who could argue with that? How could we not be emotionally harmed by a society that tells us we’re screwed up at every turn? I don’t know one gay guy who never had “fag” hurled at him, or many lesbians never told they could switch teams if they wanted to. That’s a cakewalk compared to the beatings and killings we’re still subjected to on the streets or the fear most of us have walking hand-in-hand with our partners and spouses, even in big cities. Most disturbing is that our experiences, as Americans, are much less frightening than those experienced by LGBT people in most of the world.

Authored By Neal Broverman – See the Full Story at The Advocate

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

California Conversion Therapy Ban Survives Challenge

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

California MapThe California conversion therapy ban survived a legal challenge as the US Supreme Court refused to take on the case.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for enforcement of a first-of-its-kind California law that bars psychological counseling aimed at turning gay minors straight. The justices turned aside a legal challenge brought by supporters of so-called conversion or reparative therapy. Without comment, they let stand an August 2013 appeals court ruling that said the ban covered professional activities that are within the state’s authority to regulate and doesn’t violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that California lawmakers properly showed that therapies designed to change sexual orientation for those under the age of 18 were outside the scientific mainstream and have been disavowed by most major medical groups as unproven and potentially dangerous.

One bit of good news on an otherwise dismal Supreme Court rulings day.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.

USA: NCLR Launches Initiative To Abolish “Conversion” Therapy Nationwide By 2019

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

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Advocates of “conversion” therapy often promote the practice as a means for gay children and adults to successfully rid themselves of “unwanted sexual desires.” This aforementioned “conversion” is supposedly accomplished through a wide variety of methods, which can include showing the subject images of gay sex scenes accompanied by sensations of extreme heat, extreme cold, or even extreme pain, and in some cases, may even include electroshock therapy. These methods among others utilized by “conversion” therapy practitioners and the detrimental psychological effect these methods have on the subject are contributing factors to the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the National Association of Social Workers (to name a few) all officially denouncing such efforts to change a person’s sexual orientation as likely to cause severe and long-lasting psychological harm to the subject.

As of this writing, the only U.S. states which have enacted legislation to ban “conversion” therapy for minors under the age of 18 are California and New Jersey. In the past year, there have been several efforts to enact similar bans on the practice in more than half a dozen other states plus the District of Columbia (which is scheduled to hold hearings on the subject starting Friday), however, most of these efforts have stalled.

Enter the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). On Tuesday, the group announced the start of a new campaign entitled #BornPerfect, which aims to ban “conversion” therapy throughout the entire United States of America within the next five years.

The Advocate reports:

The new campaign involves working with activists, organizers, lawmakers, and citizens to enact legislation in all 50 states outlawing the use of “reparative therapy” on minors by licensed therapists and counselors within the next five years. NCLR hopes to accomplish this by providing state legislators and LGBT leaders with comprehensive resources to build local campaigns against the discredited practice, then continuing to work closely with lawmakers and advocates as they draft legislation and testifying in support of such bills in state legislatures. The legal group is already in touch with a number of LGBT adults who were subjected to such treatment as children and can speak directly to the harm it caused them.

The campaign’s website hosted by the NCLR contains sections on the dangers of conversion therapy, survivor stories, proposed and active pieces of legislation, active legal cases, a resource center, and much more. Please do yourselves a favor and check it out. You won’t regret it!

New York Senate Blocks LGBT Bills

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

New York MapThe state Senate killed two LGBT bills by not allowing them to come up for a vote, although both were seen as likely to pass.

Pink News reports:

The New York Senate has blocked bills which banned ‘gay cure’ therapy for minors, and protected trans people from discrimination. The ban on therapy to ‘cure’ homosexuality in minors had already been passed by the Assembly earlier this month, but was blocked by the Senate alongside the Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act. The Senate leadership ended the legislative session without allowing the bills to go to a vote, despite support from both Democrats and Republicans.

The traitorous democrats (or is that DINO’s) who gave control of the state Senate over to the GOP are the gift that just keeps giving.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New York.