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Let’s Admit What Really Went Wrong in Houston

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Hayden MoraIt’s a dangerous myth that Houston was unexpected. National leadership of the LGBTQ movement has known or had very good reasons to suspect that our opponents — still reeling from their defeat around same-sex marriage — would seize on trans issues to energize their supporters, refill their treasuries, and create a new opportunity to gain traction with voters and the public at large.

But our funding has been so focused on marriage equality that we were left fighting for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance without the proper resources for political strategy, organizing, and effective, wide-scale public education. We were caught unprepared and that is inexcusable.

The voters’ decision on HERO comes at a pivotal time in our movement and raises key questions for all of us — especially our leaders — about what happened, why it happened, and where to go from here. How much and how quickly we learn from this loss depends on whether we, as a movement, engage in an unsparing and rigorous analysis not just of the Houston campaign, but also the ways in which we have and have not prioritized trans issues.

The reaction to the loss itself is telling. Many whose engagement is bounded by the victory of marriage equality and the goal of passing the Equality Act are left shocked. On the other extreme, for those who spend most of their lives working on the “margins” of our community — the undocumented, the young, people of color, trans folks, and those that hold multiple marginalized identities — Houston is like a distant rainstorm amid an ongoing level 5 hurricane of profound and pervasive violence and oppression. Identifying how and working toward bridging this divide is part of the crucial work that must occur in order for us to develop a stronger, smarter, and more holistic strategy of how to move forward.

By Hayden Mora – Full Story at The Advocate

Greenland Unanimously Approves Marriage Equality, Gay Adoption

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Greenland

Greenland’s parliament Tuesday voted unanimously to adopt Danish laws legalizing gay marriage and gay adoption.

Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark and has been self-governing since 2009.

The Arctic nation adopted Denmark’s civil union law in 1996. But it did not do the same when Denmark legalized gay marriage in 2012.

The law will take effect on 10/1.

Authored By Darren Wee – See the Full Story at Gay Star News

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Ireland Votes “Yes” on Marriage Equality

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

irelandThe voters in Ireland have embraced marriage equality, the first time this has happened on a national level.

From The Washington Blade:

Local media reports indicate a referendum to allow same-sex marriage in Ireland appears to have passed by a wide margin. “It is about removing discrimination,” Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny told NBC News during an interview after voting in support of marriage rights for same-sex couples on Friday. “It is about removing inequality. It’s historic, and that’s why I’ll be voting yes.” Ireland is the first country in the world to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples through a popular vote.

According to Pink News, the “no” side has conceded defeat:

Anti-same sex marriage campaigners in Ireland have conceded defeat in the referendum. David Quinn of the anti-same sex marriage Iona Institute tweeted, just an hour after the count began, to congratulate the Yes campaign.

It looks like the measure passed with a wide margin:

The Republic of Ireland looked set to pass same-sex marriage this morning, with early counts indicated a margin of up to 2:1 for the measure. According to early tallies, a yes vote was likely in most of the 43 constituencies in Ireland, with some reports suggesting up to a 2:1 split in favour of same-sex marriage. Even in more conservative areas, early reports suggested only a 50/50 split, and an exceptionally high turnout in urban areas offered reassurance to those supporting the ‘yes’ campaign.

It’s an amazing day for Ireland, and for the world.

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Springfield – How to Get By When Your Community Betrays You

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Chance HeltonOn Tuesday, Springfield, Mo., had a very important vote. Sadly, the residents of Missouri’s third-largest city decided that GLBTQ people no longer deserved the right to be protected by antidiscrimination laws.

I, however, had no idea that the vote was going to turn out that way. I was in shock; the news hit me like a brick right between the eyes. How was it possible for so many people to be so filled with hate and fear that they thought such a step backward would ever be a good thing?

Lots of information floating around made me angry, from blatant lies about restroom safety to local churches pressing their members to vote to rescind the recently enacted ordinance that protected LGBT people in matters of housing, employment, and public accomodations. There is a desolate feeling in my heart when my community turns its back on me, leaving me stranded and worried for my safety and livelihood, and it’s unbearable.

Authored By Chance Helton – See the Full Story at The Advocate

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Springfield, Missouri Repeals LGBT Rights With Heartbreaking 51.4% Vote

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Springfield, MissouriThe religious right has it figured out – put LGBT rights repeals on the ballot in special elections, and they can turn-out enough people to get them off the books. It happened again in Springfield, Missouri yesterday:

Voters in Springfield, Missouri today repealed protections for LGBT citizens which were added by the City Council to the city’s non-discrimination ordinance last October, KY3 reports: With all the votes tallied, about 51.4 percent of the voters on Tuesday said they wanted to repeal the City Council’s action, while 48.6 percent wanted to retain it. The raw numbers are 15,347 people voted “yes” to repeal the anti-discrimination ordinance and 14,493 people voted “no” to keep it on the books. For a brief time on Tuesday night, when about 60 percent of the precincts were counted, the “no repeal” votes had a slim lead over the “yes, repeal” votes. As more precincts were counted, however, the “yes” votes went back on top.

They did it with the same pack of lies that has worked elsewhere, using scary lines about men using women’s bathrooms. It just makes me crazy to see these hateful lies used again and again, and even more to see that they work.

76% Plan to Vote for Marriage Equality in Ireland

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

titleA new poll released this week shows that 76% intend to vote yes in Ireland’s marriage referendum.

A Red C poll was carried out earlier this week to assess voting intentions in Ireland ahead of the country’s referendum on same-sex marriage, which will be held on May 22.

With the highest percentage so far, 76% said they would vote in favour of equal marriage, 21% said they would vote against, and 3% said they did not know. With undecided voters excluded, the yes vote percentage showed 78% of those polled were in favour, with 22% against.

See the Full Story at Pink News

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in ireland.

Chile: House Passes Civil Unions Bill

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Chile FlagThe bill had previously been passed by the Senate on a 28-6 vote in a slightly different version.

The Washington Blade reports:

The Chilean House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. La Tercera, a Chilean newspaper, reported the measure passed by an 86-23 vote margin with two abstentions. “People of the same-sex will have the opportunity to demonstrate that they have the right to be happy,” said gay Congressman Claudio Arriagada Macaya after the vote, according to La Tercera.

Rolando Jimenez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, a Chilean LGBT advocacy group, also praised the vote. “We dedicate this day, this moment, to the gay and lesbian families that have suffered a historic burden of misunderstanding and prejudices,” he said in a statement. “Today it will be the state’s turn to strengthen them and protect them on equal terms.”

Some opponents cried foul, claiming God had sparked a forest fire last year in protest.

President Michelle Bachelet says she will sign the bill when it reaches her desk.

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Chattanooga, Tennessee Rescinds Domestic Partnership Ordinance 63%-37%

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Tennessee mapIn a lopsided vote, city voters overturned the domestic partnership ordinance recently passed by the city council.

Think Progress reports:

Voters in Chattanooga, Tennessee overwhelmingly decided Thursday to undo a recently passed law that extended health benefits to the domestic partners of city employees. With a vote of 13,685-8,184, the town overturned the law originally passed 5-4 by the City Council. The Human Rights Campaign decried the vote as “hurtful and disappointing,” but Mayor Andy Berk was still hopeful. He told WTVC, “I have no doubt Chattanoogans value fairness and equality, and I am proud of the volunteers who spent nights and weekends to ensure our employees are treated equally.” He assured city employees, “Your work is valued and you are important to the future of our community.”

Once again, the lie that it’s only about the word “marriage” is exposed. It’s really about denying any and all rights to LGBT individuals, couples and families.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Tennessee.

Houston Gay Rights Opponents Turn in Signatures to Repeal LGBT Rights Ordinance

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

houston-petitions

It looks like opponents of the new LGBT rights ordinance in Houston have turned in more than enough signatures to force a public vote in November.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Opponents of Houston’s new LGBT-inclusive equal rights ordinance on Thursday delivered what they say are thousands of voters’ signatures requesting that it be repealed. The group, consisting of pastors and faith-based organizations, said they had collected more than 50,000 signatures calling for a ballot referendum aimed at repealing the measure; a total of 17,269 valid signatures are required to place the issue on the November ballot. They say they want the public to have a chance to vote on the anti-discrimination ordinance, and not just city council members.

It’s amazing to me that these folks hate us enough to want to block even employment and housing protections for the LGBT community. Remember how they always used to tell us it was just about the word “marriage”?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Ireland Marriage Equality Vote Will Happen next Spring

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Ireland - Google MapsIreland marriage equality will get a referendum vote in the Spring of 2015.

Joe.My.God reports:

Via Ireland’s Journal: Enda Kenny announced that a referendum on same-sex marriage will be held in the spring of next year. Speaking in the Dail today during Order of Business, the Taoiseach confirmed the vote will take place within the first four months of 2015. Responding to a question from Gerry Adams, the Fine Gael leader said, “The referendum will be in spring of next year. We haven’t named a date yet. “There are a number of other legal issues that need to be dealt with, including elements of adoption which are necessary. We’d like to have that cleared before we put the marriage equality referendum. It will be in the spring of next year and the government will decide a date in due course.”

A poll in February showed that 76% in the country support marriage equality – 76%!

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Image via Google Maps