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Anti-LGBT Bills Become Law in Michigan, North Carolina

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Two states enshrined anti-LGBT discrimination into law yesterday, legalizing dangerously broad “religious freedom” aka right to discriminate laws.

The first one was North Carolina, where the House rushed through a veto override with no time for discussion. The Washington Blade reports:

North Carolina Map

The North Carolina legislature has succeeded in overriding Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of controversial legislation that would enable magistrates to opt out of performing marriages to which they have religious objection, including a same-sex union. The override succeeded in the House on Thursday by a vote of 69-41, which is three votes more than the three-fifths vote needed for the legislative maneuver. The Senate already succeeded in overriding the veto last week by a vote of 32-16. The legislation, Senate Bill 2, would enable magistrates and registers of deeds to opt out of issuing marriage licenses for a period of at least six months to same-sex couples — or any couple — based on a religious objection.

Up north in Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder wasted no time signing his own state’s bills. The Washington Blade reports:

Michigan

“Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law on late Thursday morning a package of religious freedom bills seen to enable anti-LGBT legislation in the state’s adoption agencies. Snyder announced he had signed the legislation — House Bills 4188, 4189, 4190 — just one day after the Michigan Senate approved the bills. The Michigan House already passed the bills in March. In a statement, Snyder said he signed the legislation as a means to ensure children without homes in Michigan have access to families to care for them. The new laws are set to go into effect in 90 days.”

Let’s be clear that the laws in both states allow someone to refuse service to anyone, not just gays and lesbians, based on their own personal religious beliefs.

Matt Baume’s Field Guide to Sneaky Homophobic Bills

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Matt Baume

In a special two part video, Matt Baume takes viewers on a safari adventure through the country as he points out the four major types of anti-LGBT laws that are stealthily stealing away civil rights for everyone and what we can all do to stand up to this homophobic backlash.

Said Baume:

“Anti-gay discrimination is going extinct. But it’s not going without a fight. A beast is at its most desperate when its facing starvation. So it will do anything to adapt, to survive, and to pass itself on to the next generation.”

See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

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Gambian President Signs Bill to Lock up Gays for Life

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Gambia - Apple MapsAfrica took another huge step backwards on LGBT rights this week.

Pink News reports:

The president of Gambia has signed into law a bill which calls for life imprisonment for people caught having gay sex. The law was passed by the National Assembly in September, and amends the criminal code to bring life sentences for “aggravated homosexuality.” The Associated Press reports that a draft bill contains identical language to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was signed into law earlier this year.

I guess it’s easier to scapegoat the LGBT community than to deal with the real problems afflicting your country.

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Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Discussions Were Worse Than You Think

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Don't Ask Don't TellNewly released documents show just how homophobic the discussions about the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy were behind closed doors.

Queerty reports:

“Homo[sexuality] is a problem for us,” Powell said, according to the notes taken at the meeting. He also recited all the same bogus fears that led to DADT, including the old predator canard; the notes say Powell was “concerned about forced association and immaturity of 18-year-old.”

The most offensive remarks came from Marine Commandant Carl Mundy, who 16 years later was still urging the president (now Obama) not to repeal DADT. According to the notes, Mundy said that the statement “I’m gay” was the “same as I’m KKK, Nazi, rapist.” Coming out “fractures teamwork” and tells the world “I commit [an] act Amer[ica] doesn’t accept.” Mundy wasn’t moved by the experience of other nations either. “It doesn’t matter what the Dutch have done,” he said. “We’re the best.”

Clinton was prone to stereotypes as well. “People I would like to keep [in the military] wouldn’t show up at a Queer Nation parade,” the president said, referring to the activist group.

How much things have changed in the last twenty years. And how much they are still the same.

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Gambia Anti Gay Bill Passes – Life Sentences for Gays

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Gambia - Apple MapsFollowing in the footsteps of other African nations, Gambia is just past an extreme anti-gay bill.

Joe.My.God reports:

Gambia’s National Assembly has passed a bill imposing life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, officials said Monday, potentially worsening the climate for sexual minorities in a country with one of Africa’s most vocal anti-gay leaders. The bill amending the criminal code was passed last month and brings life sentences for “aggravated homosexuality,” minority leader Samba Jallow told The Associated Press. That is a charge leveled at repeat offenders and people living with HIV/AIDS. Jallow said that while his National Reconciliation Party did not condone homosexuality, he voted against the bill along with one other lawmaker. “In our view, (homosexuals) did not commit a crime worthy of life imprisonment or any treasonable offense,” he said. Homosexual acts were already punishable by up to 14 years in prison under a Gambian law that was amended in 2005 to apply to women in addition to men. The bill now awaits approval by President Yahya Jammeh, an autocratic ruler who in 2008 instructed gays and lesbians to leave the country or risk having their heads cut off.

Another country cross of my travel list. My vacation possibilities in Africa are getting smaller and smaller.

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New HRC Report Exposes World Conference of Families’ Anti Gay Bigotry

Monday, August 25th, 2014

World Congress of FamiliesA new report from the Human Rights Campaign profiles the anti gay activities of the World Conference of Families.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The report by the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of HRC, documents: WCF’s origins and founding members; a timeline of its major international events; affiliations with prominent American officials, political groups, and religious organizations; engagement and lobbying with leaders and lawmakers abroad; and the primary regions in which the group has been most active. According to the report, the WCF and its affiliates are connected to anti-LGBT advocacy in Uganda, Russia, Nigeria, and many other countries. “This organization and their affiliates’ global advocacy have corresponded with a dangerous rise in anti-LGBT laws, discrimination, and even violence around the world,” said Cobb.

See the full report here.

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Uganda: Court Strikes Down Anti Gay Law

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Uganda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Big news out of Uganda – the country’s Constitutional Court just struck down the draconian anti gay law on a technicality.

Think Progress reports:

Uganda’s Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court, has struck down the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Law, ruling that Parliament passed it illegally. House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, a proponent of the policy, ignored a quorum call before holding a vote last December with less than a third of lawmakers present. As one of the judges explained, “The illegal act of the Speaker tainted the process and rendered it a nullity.” The Court did not weigh the merits of the bill, which criminalized homosexuality and advocacy for gay rights with life sentences in prison.

So, basically, there’s nothing to stop them from passing it again the “right” way. But still…

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25K Rally in Support of Jamaica Anti-Gay Law

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Jamaica - Google Maps25,000 people attended a rally in support of the Jamaica anti-gay law.

Pink News reports:

Jamaican LGBT rights lawyer Maurice Tomlinson says last weekend’s rally in support of Jamaica’s buggery law was a “very frightening” moment. Mr Tomlinson, a legal advisor of marginalised groups at AIDS-Free World, referred to Sunday’s event by saying: “They really poured a lot of money into this, which to me is of great concern”. Participants and church leaders called on Jamaicans to stand up for “strong and healthy families” and “to resist the homosexual agenda”. The Jamaican Observer reports that police say an estimated 25,000 people took to the streets of Kingston for the protest organised by Churches Action Uniting Society for Emancipation (CAUSE).

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NOM Hate March Flops

Friday, June 20th, 2014

NOM Hate March

photo credit: Zach Ford

The NOM hate march in Washington DC drew only about 2,000 people, most of those bused in for free.

The Washington Blade reports:

Many of the estimated 2,000 people from across the country held NOM signs that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Others carried posters reading “each child deserves a father and a mother” in Spanish. “When we hear time and time again from some in the media that the fight to protect marriage is over, we are here today to say no,” said NOM President Brian Brown. “We are here to say that no matter the circumstances, no matter how difficult it may be, we will stand in and out of season for the truth of marriage.”

Metro Weekly reports on some familiar faces who attended the rally:

Rep. Tim Huelskamp was the only current member of Congress to speak at the rally, mere yards from the House Chamber. “There are those intent on destroying marriage who claim history is on their side,” declared the Kansas Republican, who proposed amending the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman mere days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark marriage-equality rulings last June… The most recognizable names at the rally were former Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Santorum, who paused between sentences of his speech to allow a translator to repeat his words in Spanish, insisted that the institution of marriage must be reclaimed.

Think Progress interviewed folks at the rally:

Both on the dais and in the crowd, religious beliefs were the driving force behind attendees’s opposition to same-sex marriage. ThinkProgress spoke with several members of the crowd to get a sense of why they were participating, and most cited their religious beliefs as their primary motivation. In particular, many were religious leaders themselves or specifically came to the march with a church group. Watch a compilation of ThinkProgress’ interviews from the March for Marriage:

And remember how Archbishop Cordileone swore the whole rally had nothing to do with the gays?

SF Gate report:

“Kneeling on the sidewalk across from the U.S. Supreme Court, San Francisco’s Roman Catholic archbishop led several thousand protesters Thursday in prayer against same-sex marriage. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was the star attraction of a rally in Washington organized by National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, the nation’s leading opponent of same-sex marriage. Brown tapped Cordileone as the first speaker at the event and had him lead the group in prayer after a march from the west front of the U.S. Capitol to the Supreme Court steps.”

Oops. Will he be called on it?

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Drag Queen Confronts Anti Gay Protesters at Spokane Pride

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Spokane Drag QueenA drag queen took “Christian” anti gay protesters to task at Spokane Pride this weekend.

Joe.My.God reports:

In the second clip, white-winged counter-protesters show up to block the haters from the view of passersby.

The first clip is here – to see the second, click on the Joe.My.God link above.

We will no longer lay down and let these people walk all over us.

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