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USA, Louisiana: Effort to Repeal Shreveport LGBT Rights Ordinance Halted

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Louisiana mapAn attempt to repeal a new LGBT rights ordinance in Shreveport, Louisiana has been put on hold.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Shreveport council member Ron Webb had cast the only dissenting vote when the ordinance was approved last month. Webb has since been pushing a repeal measure. However he withdrew the proposal at Tuesday’s council meeting after an hour of public comment. He said the issue would be discussed at a later date. Advocates for the new law showed up in force to oppose repeal. Transgender and gay community members who supported the new law at Tuesday’s meeting included a man who identified himself as one of Webb’s former teachers.

It’s a small but significant victory, especially given that it happened in Louisiana, not exactly a bastion of LGBT rights.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Louisiana.

Brazil: Senator to Defy Government, Call for Vote on LGBT Discrimination Bill

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Brazil - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Defying her government’s wishes to put off a vote on an LGBT anti-discrimination bill until after the presidential election, a Brazilian senator plans to bring the measure to a vote today.

Pink News reports:

Government Minister Ideli Salvatti explicitly advised Senator Ana Rita against voting on the bill before the election as it could damage President Dilma Rousseff’s re-election chances. The bill would criminalise discrimination or inciting violence on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, increasing prison sentences by three years. This year, 292 LGBT individuals were murdered in Brazil while campaign group Grupo Gay De Bahia stated that 44% of the world’s anti-LGBT attacks occurs in this country, with a single LGBT person killed every 21 hours.

Kudos to Senator Rita for putting people’s rights before political expediency. We hope she doesn’t pay a price for this brave act.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Brazil.

Brazil: As LGBT Murders Mount, Evangelicals Force Shelving of Anti-Discrimination Bill

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Brazil - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Brazil’s LGBT community was handed a defeat by the country’s evangelical forces.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Brazilian lawmakers on Friday shelved a draft law that would have prohibited discrimination or inciting violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The measure has been stalled for years in the senate and congress, despite Brazil having one of the highest murder rates of LGBT people in the world…

Ideli Salvatti, Brazil’s Minister of Institutional Relations, instructed the ruling party’s senators shelve the bill until after next year’s presidential election. The move comes after Senators managed on Wednesday to read the bill’s report in the Senate’s Committee for Human Rights, despite an attempt by the Evangelical lobby to get members not to attend the meeting so as to invalidate the procedure. That meant the last hurdle was overcome with an imminent vote due next week in the Senate on the bill, without any further possible delay tactics by the evangelical lobby. According to reports, Minister Salvatti acted under the instruction of President Dilma Rousseff to prevent this from happening.

Shame on Brazil’s President for acting in this manner. Clearly, political concerns are more important to her than the well-being of her people.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Brazil.

USA, Michigan: Linden Bans Anti LGBT Discrimination

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

MichiganAnother city has jumped on the LGBT rights bandwagon, even as the state overall fights it.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The City Council in Linden voted this week to approve the ordinance covering employment, housing, public services and other areas, reports The Flint Journal. Mayor David Lossing says the ordinance in the Flint-area community wasn’t in response to any particular concern or complaint. Lossing says he hopes to see a state law passed that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

City by city, step by step…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Michigan.

USA, Texas: San Antonio Passes Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Texas mapGood news out of San Antonio – an LGBT anti discrimination ordinance just passed there in the heart of the red state.

The Dallas Voice reports:

Despite loud and vocal opposition from Christian extremists, the San Antonio City Council on Sept. 5 passed a nondiscrimination ordinance that includes protections for LGBT citizens and veterans. The vote was eight in favor and three against. The newly passed ordinance amends sections of the city code that cover public accommodations, fair housing, city employment, city contracts and appointments to city boards and commissions. The language in the code now includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and veteran status as protected classes. The changes will take effect immediately.

The language that had been added previously to allow businesses to deny access to bathrooms for transgender citizens:

“Nothing heron shall be construed as directing any policy or practice regarding the use of restrooms, shower rooms, or similar facilities which have been designated for use by persons of the opposite sex.”

Was ultimately softened:

“Nothing in Division 5 shall be construed as allowing any person to access to any sex-segregated place for any unlawful purpose.”

A small step forward.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

USA, Michigan: Gay Teen Takes Down National Anti Gay Leader

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Justin BarrAfter Michigan teenager Justin Barr spoke out at the Greenville, Michigan city council in favor of an anti discrimination ordinance, he was attacked by the American Family Association of Michigan’s Gary Glenn. Queerty reports:

“To date, homosexual activists have failed to produce a single example anywhere in Michigan, and we doubt the results will be any different in Greenville. Thus, if the report from a city resident is accurate, you are being asked to adopt a discriminatory solution to a non-existent problem.”

Barr struck back:

“Adopting a nondiscrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation and gender identity affirms core America values of fairness and equality for all. It also makes a statement about what kind of city Greenville strives to be, which is a community that values all of its residents and welcomes the contributions of a diverse population.” Barr then he went on to question how a national group like AFA knows what the people of Greenville would want in regard to a non-discrimination ordinance, and reassured that the ordinance request is “locally grown, locally led and locally supported by the grassroots movement started by none other than a high school student.”

We love this kid.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Michigan.

Bermuda: Senate Says Yes to Anti Discrimination Bill

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Bermuda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

A new anti-discrimination bill passed its final legislative hurdle wednesday in Bermuda. LGBTQ Nation reports:

The Human Rights Amendment Act was passed Wednesday without objection in Bermuda’s Senate, which gave the measure its final legislative approval. House lawmakers authorized the bill last month after hours of hot debate. The measure will amend a 30-year-old human rights act once it is signed by Bermuda’s governor. It also bans age discrimination in all sectors except at work.

A big step forward for the island nation. Could marriage equality be next?

Bermuda: Country Adopts Anti Discrimination Law

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Bermuda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

The Caribbean country of Bermuda just passed an anti-discrimination law. Pink News reports:

A change to Bermuda’s Human Rights Act prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexuality was passed on Friday, despite concerns that it would override the country’s ban on same sex marriage. The same day, an amendment to the Act prohibiting same-sex marriage was defeated by the nation’s House of Assembly on Friday, 18 votes to 12. Wayne Fubert, the MP who tabled the anti-equal marriage amendment, said the Human Rights Act change was controversial as Bermudians were worried it would lead to the adoption of same-sex marriage.

So far, only some islands of the former Netherlands Antilles recognize or are close to recognizing marriage equality – seems like there’s a hole in the market a savvy Island Nation might exploit…

South Carolina, USA: LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill To Be Introduced

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

South Carolina Rep. James SmithA South Carolina Democrat, Rep. James Smith plans introduce an LGBT non-discrimination bill next week. LGBTQ Nation reports:

A bill protecting all workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity will be introduced in the South Carolina House of Representatives next Tuesday, according to staff at a state LGBT equality group. “All hardworking people in our state should have the chance to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families,” South Carolina Equality Executive Director Ryan Wilson said in a release… The legislation, the Workplace Fairness Act (H. 4025), is being introduced by state Rep. James Smith (D-Richland), a leading employment and civil rights law attorney.

It’s a small but welcome step forward in the state that has historically been very conservative and anti-gay.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in South Carolina.

Utah, USA: State Senate Considers Anti Discrimination Bill

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Utah Anti Discrimination BillEven in Utah! Who knows if it will pass, but the Utah state Senate is considering a bill offering protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBTQ Nation reports:

This is the fifth consecutive year the legislation has been introduced but the first time it’s ever successfully been approved by a committee. After a 1 1/2-hour hearing where lawmakers heard testimony that was at times emotional, a Senate committee voted 4-3 to approve the bill. “This is a historic day. This has never happened before,” said Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, a co-sponsor of the legislation who in 2011 became the first openly gay person to lead a state party in Utah.

The winds of change they are a blowin’…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.