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New Evidence for the Gay Gene

Friday, June 6th, 2014

gay-geneNew research says there are probably several gay genes.

Queerty reports:

Now, the Washington Post reports new research finds that, despite what some naysayers would like to believe, Dean Hamer was right all along. A gay gene does exist. In fact, there are two of them. Maybe — in fact, probably — even more than two.

Researchers at the Human Genome Project, an international scientific research group that examines human DNA, conducted a study on several pairs of gay brothers. “Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice,” Michael Bailey of Northwestern University, who carried out the research, said. “Our findings suggest there may be genes at play, and we found evidence for two sets that affect whether a man is gay or straight.” The study drew blood from 409 gay brothers and their heterosexual family members. Analysis confirmed that an area on the X chromosome does, indeed, have some impact on sexual orientation. It also confirmed another stretch of DNA on chromosome 8, which affects male sexual behavior.

So it turns out that Lady Gaga was right – I was born this way. 🙂

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New Studies: Many Straights Think Gays Choose Orientation; Many Think Gays Are Dirty

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

titleA couple interesting new studies out this week on how straight people view gays.

First off, a new Gallup poll shows that 37% still believe being gay is a choice.

Queerty reports:

According to Gallup’s latest results, posted on Wednesday, 37 percent of Americans “believe people become gay as a result of factors such as their upbringing and environment,” while 42 percent are siding with Lady Gaga — people are born gay, y’all. What’s surprising is that people in the “born gay” camp are on the decline, if these stats are to be taken literally. The same poll conducted in 2013 showed that 47 percent of those participating believed people were born gay, which is a a full 5 percent drop that “halted the trend” of “born gay” beliefs on the rise for the first time since 2001.

Is the drop in people believing gays are born that way a fluke? We’ll have to wait until next year to see.

In a study out of Portugal, researchers found that many straight people want to wash their hands after having contact with gays.

Gay Star News reports:

Straight people still think gay men are ‘dirty’, according to new research. According to experiments undertaken across the world, the participants felt the need to ‘physically cleanse’ themselves after imagining contact with a gay person. Researchers believe it proves some people think gay men can ‘contaminate’ them in their subconscious mind. If the participant considered themselves to be conservative in their social views, then they were far more likely to need to consider gay men to be ‘dirty’.

So, taken together, these reports show that we still have a lot of work to do.

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USA, Nevada: County GOP Party Removes “Traditional Marriage” Plank from Platform

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Nevada mapIn a small but significant step, the local Clark County republican party made a big change to its platform.

On Top Magazine reports:

The Clark County, Nevada Republican Party has voted to remove language from its platform defining marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The change was overwhelmingly approved Saturday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Another change is the addition of “sexual orientation” to a nondiscrimination clause. “We’re supposed to be a party that believes in the right to make personal decisions,” Nick Phillips, the party’s political director told the paper.

The cracks in the facade are spreading on the right…

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USA, Idaho: Gay Rights Activists Arrested

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Idaho43 gay rights activists from the Add the 4 Words movement were arrested in the Idaho legislature yesterday.

The Dallas Voice reports:

Police arrested dozens of gay rights activists Monday after a protest that blocked entrances to the Idaho Senate chambers for more than two hours. Idaho State Police said they took 43 people into custody on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing after demonstrators stood shoulder to shoulder and prevented lawmakers from getting past. Former state Sen. Nicole LeFavour, the Idaho Legislature’s first openly gay lawmaker and an organizer of the protest, was among those arrested. Ahead of the demonstration, she had said the group would block the entrances until lawmakers agreed to take up a bill adding anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people or until protesters were removed by authorities.

What do the protesters want? Edge Boston reports:

The demonstrators wore black-and-white “Add the Words Idaho” T-shirts and covered their mouths with their hands, a symbolic gesture intended to call attention to a bill that would add four words – sexual orientation and gender identity -to Idaho law banning discrimination in employment, housing and business services. Hill, R-Rexburg, and other Idaho Republicans have blocked passage of such a proposal for eight years, and they have declined to give a hearing to such a plan this year.

And this is happening in Idaho! Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming…

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USA: Persecution of Gays is a Crime Against Humanity, Judge Rules

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Uganda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

In a case against anti-gay activist Scott Lively, a US judge ruled that persecution on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation is a crime against humanity. Joe.My.God reports:

Today, in a first-of-its kind case brought by a Ugandan LGBTI advocacy organization against a prominent U.S. anti-gay extremist, a federal judge ruled that persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a crime against humanity and that the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people are protected under international law. The ruling means that the case brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), a Uganda-based coalition of LGBTI rights and advocacy groups, can move forward over defendant Scott Lively’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

In the end, will there be consequences for pushing extreme anti-gay policies that may result in the imprisonment or death of LGBT folks in other countries? We’ll have to wait and see.

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Washington, USA: GOP Pushes Bill To Allow Businesses to Discriminate Against Gays and Lesbians

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Washington State Sen. Sharon BrownIn the wake of a lawsuit against a Washington state florist refused to provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding, the state GOP is pushing for a law to allow businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Think Progress reports:

Republicans in Washington state have proposed a bill that would allow businesses to openly discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation if they want to do so because of their religious beliefs. SB 5927 carves out a specific exception to the state’s nondiscrimination law that says only federal protections — which don’t include sexual orientation — apply when a person’s religious belief is “burdened”: Nothing in this section may burden a person or religious organization’s freedom of religion including, but not limited to, the right of an individual or entity to deny services if providing those goods or services would be contrary to the individual’s or entity owner’s sincerely held religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs, or matters of conscience.

The discriminatory bill is being sponsored by State Sen. Sharon Brown, whose district includes the flower shop being sued for discrimination.

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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’…

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West Virginia, USA: State Senate Considers Adding Sexual Orientation to Human Rights Act

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

West Virginia Senate President Jeffrey KesslerWest Virginia’s Senate President Jeffrey Kessler is preparing to introduce an amendment to the Human Rights Act that would add protections based on sexual orientation. LGBTQ Nation reports:

Speaking at a Tuesday rally at the Capitol, Kessler promoted non-discrimination against gays and lesbians both as an ethical issue and also as good economic policy. “It is not about gay rights, it is about human rights, it is about equal rights,” Kessler said. “It has been said that the arc of history bends toward justice. Ladies and gentlemen, it bends toward justice everywhere, including in itty-bitty West Virginia.”

In West Virginia? Whod’ve Thunk?

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Idaho, USA: Two More Towns Pass Anti Discrimination Ordinances

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

IdahoTwin Falls and Lewiston are the latest cities in Idaho to take steps to prohibit discrimination for hiring of city jobs based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

In meetings in both cities earlier this week, city councils approved adding sexual orientation language to existing non-discrimination policies.

Twin Falls Councilwoman Rebecca Mills Sojka said adding the language sends an important message to the community about fairness.

See the Full Story at LGBTQ Nation

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FL, USA: Jacksonville Considering Ban on Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Monday, April 30th, 2012

A coalition of business organizations and elected officials are backing legislation to ban anti-gay discrimination which is set to be introduced at next week’s Jacksonville, Fla., city council meeting.

The bill would bring Jacksonville into the same posture as other large Florida cities by formally forbidding discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations — places like restaurants and hotels — based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“You shouldn’t be able to fire someone because they’re gay. You shouldn’t be able to do that in Jacksonville,” said former Mayor John Delaney, who has been active in assembling support for the bill.

Full Story from LGBTQ Nation

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