United States, North America

Owing to the United States' federal system and the diversity in attitudes toward LGBT rights, the status of LGBT civil rights in the U.S. is at present a patchwork. At the federal level, there is no recognition of same-sex unions and no laws forbidding employment discrimination against LGBT persons. Some states have enacted such laws, however. State legislatures in Connecticut (2005), California (1999), Hawaii (1996), Maine (2004), New Jersey (2006), Washington (2007), New Hampshire (2007), Oregon (2007) Vermont (1999) and the District of Columbia (2001) have enacted either civil unions or more limited domestic partnership options for same-sex couples. Since 2004 marriage is open to gays in Massachusetts; Connecticut made it available in 2008. More states are debating it currently. For more, click here.

 

News & Reports:

 

This Gay Couple Left Iran For A Better Life.

Washington – In the best-case scenario if Ramin Haghjoo and Nima Nia still lived in Iran, they would be married. Just not to each other to women, probably through arranged marriages. Perhaps they could have found women also attracted to their own gender and looking to hide the fact, like one of Haghjoo’s friends did.… Read more »

Court blocks Donald Trump’s transgender military ban

Parts of President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military has been blocked. A federal judge in Washington, DC filed an injunction blocking the order today, ruling that a lawsuit brought by five active soldiers with more than 60 combined years of service was likely to win. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly… Read more »

With $16 million gift, gay causes get a big boost

When he was in his mid-20s, Mel Heifetz made a pledge to himself that if he ever became successful, he would give back, and that the object of his generosity would be the gay community. Successful he was, and now, about to turn 82, the Center City real estate investor is converting 26 of his… Read more »

North Carolina may be about to finally allow transgender people to use whatever bathroom they want

Transgender people may soon finally be allowed to use their bathroom of choice in North Carolina. A settlement agreement put forward by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper would signal an end to a hate-filled year and a half sparked by Republican politicians passing HB2. Passed in March last year, the law forced people to use the… Read more »

Why did the US vote against banning the death penalty for gay people?

The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to condemn the imposition of the death penalty for homosexuality – but the US voted against. On Friday the United Nations body approved a motion opposing the use of the death penalty in an “arbitrarily or in a discriminatory manner”, including for homosexuality. It called for the… Read more »

Schools to begin rolling out ‘transgender toolkit’ guide to support students

Minnesota will begin rolling out a ‘transgender toolkit’ to schools across the state to support teachers and parents in creating a gender-inclusive environment. The guide tells schools to “not assume a student’s name or pronoun,” and to make sure to always ask. “When students are referred to by the wrong pronoun by peers or school… Read more »

US Congress passes resolution condemning anti-gay purge in Chechnya

US Congress has passed a resolution which condemns an anti-gay purge in Chechnya. Months of reports have claimed that as many as 100 gay men have been rounded up and put in prisons in the nation. The bipartisan motion, House Resolution 351, was introduced on 23 May by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The Republican is also… Read more »

A Winning Design for a New York Monument to Gay and Transgender People

Just as NYC Pride festivities got underway, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had some timely news on Sunday: The artist Anthony Goicolea had been chosen to design the first official monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people commissioned by the State of New York. On June 26, 2016, after the attack at the Pulse nightclub… Read more »

First Openly Gay Judge Confirmed for New York’s Highest Court

Justice Paul G. Feinman, of the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, will take the seat left open by the death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam. When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo named the first openly gay judge to the New York Court of Appeals last week, the news thrilled gay rights advocates, many… Read more »

Heroic lesbian cop saved anti-LGBT Republican lawmakers during baseball shooting

A lesbian cop has been hailed as a hero, after saving the lives of Republican lawmakers who fought to deny her the right to marry. Six people were wounded on Wednesday in Virginia, when 66-year-old James T Hodgkinson opened fire on several Republican members of Congress practising for a charity baseball game. Poignantly, the officer… Read more »

What it’s like to be an immigrant, Muslim and queer

Moon Charania met her lover and co-parent of her 14-year-old daughter at Pride 2010, in a “dinky lesbian bar” she says will always represent to her “the power of queer spaces, the power of women’s spaces.” She cherishes those spaces, while also worrying how she’s witnessed them change to exclude the queer people who need… Read more »

Los Angeles Rams become first NFL team to sponsor an LGBT Pride event

Progress is slowly coming to the NFL, as the Los Angeles Rams become the first team to sponsor an LGBT Pride event. The LA-based team was announced today as a sponsor of the Venice Pride event in Venice Beach, Los Angeles. As part of the event, the historic Venice sign that hangs over the area will light up the… Read more »

After Fleeing Bias at Home, Gay Russians Say It Persists in Brooklyn

For many years, Denis Kruglenko treated life as if it were a delicately calibrated performance. A gay man living in Belgorod, Russia, he knew that even appearing to be homosexual could be perilous. He did what he could to conceal his sexual orientation but it never seemed to be enough. Once, he was beaten up… Read more »

McGreevey: First outed as gay during Scout camping trip

Asbury Park – Former Gov. Jim McGreevey, who notoriously resigned as New Jersey’s chief executive in 2004 after admitting to a gay affair, took to the stage at the TEDxAsburyPark conference on Saturday to talk about his sexuality and his own prejudices. McGreevey, 59, of Jersey City, said he first felt shame over his homosexuality while on an… Read more »

Russian Activists Say They’ve Been Told US Visas Are Out Of Reach For Gay Chechens

Around 40 survivors of the crackdown in Chechnya are in hiding in other parts of Russia, but can’t find a safe country to take them in. A Russian LGBT advocacy group says conversations with the US embassy have led it to believe that visas to the United States are out of reach for gay Chechens… Read more »

Picturing Queer Africans In The Diaspora

In 1624, as Portuguese colonists were making their way through the east coast of Africa, a woman named Nzinga ascended to the throne of Ndongo (now Angola). She spent decades fighting off invaders, both from Portugal and neighboring African kingdoms, and became a legend among her people and around the world. Nzinga is one of… Read more »

Two men jailed for 30 years for trafficking gay sex-slaves

A Miami court sentenced two Hungarian men to 30 years in prison for forcing young gay men into sexual slavery The two men, Gabor Acs and Viktor Berki, were given their sentence on Friday after being convicted of human trafficking, conspiracy and racketeering in February. They kept up to eight Hungarian men in their 20s… Read more »

Utah just repealed one of its anti-gay laws

Utah has repealed an anti-gay law which bans the “advocacy of homosexuality” in schools. The bill to repeal the law, SB 196 was signed by Republican Governor Gary Herbert on Monday. The law, which effectively bans positive discussion of LGBT+ issues, is the subject of a lawsuit by several students, Equality Utah and the National… Read more »

Another part of the Trump administration just got caught dismantling work on LGBT issues

The Trump administration has acted to ditch data collection on sexuality from a national survey. Since Trump took power in January, there has been a rapid shift in policy on LGBT issues. The Department of Education has reversed civil rights protections for transgender people, the Attorney General has shelved government opposition to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT… Read more »

Kentucky Governor signs law to permit anti-LGBT discrimination in schools

The Governor of Kentucky has signed a law to permit anti-LGBT discrimination in education. Governor Matt Bevin today confirmed he had signed into law SB 17 – a measure that allows student groups at colleges, universities, and high schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students. According to the Human Rights Campaign, SB 17 undermines inclusive “all… Read more »

New Mexico votes to ban gay conversion therapy thanks to gay activist’s campaign

A gay activist and politician just convinced a state senate to outlaw gay conversion therapy. The senate voted to ban the process by a huge margin of 32-6. LGBT rights campaigner and senator, Jacob Candelaria, put the measure forward to the New Mexico state senate. The Democrat, who represents Albuquerque, convinced politicians to pass the… Read more »

North Dakota fails to introduce anti-LGBTI discrimination bill

For the fourth time in eight years, the Bill has been defeated The North Dakota House rejected a bill that would protect LGBTI from discrimination. House Bill 1386 hoped to add legal protections for LGBTI people against workplace and housing discrimination. The bill was introduced into the House for the fourth time since 2009, but… Read more »

Surfing helped gay athlete come to terms with his sexuality

Nick Vallejo is a swimmer, surfer and lifeguard who struggled reconciling his religion with being gay. North shore of Oahu in Hawaii is where I seek solace. Before any surf session, I take a moment to harmonize with my life. Dipping my toes into the white sand laced with seashells and sea glass, while gazing… Read more »

Cherokees’ Gay-Marriage Law Is Traditional

The Cherokee Nation, one of the largest registered Native American tribes in the U.S., has officially decided to recognize same-sex marriage. The tribe, as a separate sovereign, isn’t bound by the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 gay-marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges. But its judgment relies in part on evidence of historical recognition of same-sex relationships… Read more »

The UN’s LGBT expert has advocated for a global partnership to end violence

He advocated for unity in his keynote speech at the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) in Bangkok. Vitit Muntarbhorn said: “resolute action is required to stop the violence and discrimination affecting not only LGBT communities but also the human rights defenders working with them… “this goes hand in hand with the… Read more »

Son Of Immigrants Is First Openly Gay Man Elected To Georgia Legislature

A huge step toward equality. Samuel Park (D), the son of Korean immigrants, made history on Tuesday after he was elected the first openly gay man to the Georgia legislature. The Georgia native defeated three-term incumbent Rep. Valerie Clark (R), with 51percent of the vote, becoming state representative for House District 101 in Gwinnett County.… Read more »

Hillary Clinton unveils plan to stamp out homophobic bullying in schools

Hillary Clinton has unveiled a plan to stamp out bullying and discrimination in schools. Campaigning in North Carolina ahead of next week’s Presidential election, the former Secretary of State unveiled a major plan to tackle bullying and discrimination in schools. The ‘Better than Bullying’ plan involves more than $500 million in new funding to help… Read more »

White House Staff ‘Goes Purple’ To Support LGBT Youth

White House staffers on Thursday were among the elected and public officials who went purple for Spirit Day. Spirit Day supports efforts to combat the bullying of LGBT teens. Supporters were encouraged to wear purple on Thursday. Since its inception in 2010, GLAAD has played a prominent role in promoting Spirit Day. The White House’s… Read more »

Hundreds find comfort, community at Dallas’ other gay pride festival, for Latinos

For the hundreds of residents who turned out for Dallas’ Texas Latino Gay Pride event, Saturday brought a sense of comfort — and plenty of cumbia. Music was ever-present at the third-annual festival, held from 2 to 10 p.m. at Reverchon Park in Oak Lawn. The crowd sang and danced along with cumbia, merengue and… Read more »

Quakers believe that all are born equal and our love is equal too

For Quaker Week, the Religious Society of Friends is advertising on PinkNews in a bid to reach out and welcome LGBT people. They explain their stance below: Quakers welcome lesbian, gay and bisexual, non-binary and transgender people. We affirm the love of God for all people, whatever their sexuality or gender identity. In 2009 we… Read more »

Pro skateboarder comes out as gay

Professional skateboarder Brian Anderson has come out as gay. Anderson, who took the skating community by storm in the late 90s with his daredevil moves, revealed his sexuality on Vice Sports’ ‘Reda for the World’. He believes that he was able to avoid speculation because he doesn’t fit the stereotype of what a gay man… Read more »

Billboards claim being gay is a choice; Texas LGBT community protests

Waco, Texas (KCEN) – A pair of billboards are causing controversy in Waco, Texas’ LGBT community. They read “Ex-Gays prove change is possible.” The billboards are sponsored by PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays), a Virginia-based volunteer group. The group has a handful of billboards in Texas The group believes people are not born gay… Read more »

Orlando Mayor Wants City To Create Permanent Memorial At Pulse Nightclub

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said Wednesday that he wants the city to create a permanent memorial at the Pulse nightclub to honor the victims of a mass shooting that took place there. Dyer told WMFE that the city should purchase the gay nightclub, “then make some determination, with a lot of input, on what a… Read more »

Obama in Orlando: We must challenge violence against LGBT people across the entire world

President Obama has delivered a speech after visiting victims of the mass shooting in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. 49 people were killed and 53 injured in the shocking terrorist hate crime attack over the weekend,which saw a gunman open fire inside The Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida. With over 100 people dead or injured, it… Read more »

Ex-Wife Says Orlando Shooter Might Have Been Hiding Homosexuality From His Family

“There were things he would do in his daily life that most straight men don’t do” Omar Mateen’s sexuality was the least of Sitora Yusufiy’s worries. Their five-month marriage was abusive from the start. He was controlling. He kept her from seeing her family. He beat her, pulled her hair, dug his fingernails into the… Read more »

Did Orlando shooter have his own gay urges?

The father of the guy who shot and killed scores of men at a gay nightclub in Orlando the other night said yesterday that his son became especially enraged a few years ago at the sight of two men kissing. This suggests to me that the shooter perhaps suffered from a certain form of homophobia… Read more »

The hate behind the Orlando massacre

Omar Siddiqui Mateen’s attack was more of a hate crime than an act ordained by his religion. On early Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, a lone gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub. The shooter, Omar Mateen, killed 53 people – the overwhelming majority of whom were Latina/o, Black and Brown members of the LGBTQ… Read more »

Nightclub shooting in Orlando is the worst in American history

The Murder in the early hours of June 12th of at least 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, apparently by a 29-year-old American-born Muslim wielding an assault rifle and handgun, was swiftly and loudly seized upon by political partisans as a vindication of everything that they already believe about Muslims, the fight… Read more »

2016 Orlando nightclub shooting

On June 12, 2016, a mass shooting occurred inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States. Fifty people died, including the gunman, who was killed by Orlando police after a three-hour standoff. An additional 53 people were injured. It was the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in the United States, and… Read more »

Orlando Gunman Attacks Gay Nightclub, Leaving 50 Dead

Orlando, Fla. — A man who called 911 to proclaim allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, and who had been investigated in the past for possible terrorist ties, stormed a gay nightclub here Sunday morning, wielding an assault rifle and a pistol, and carried out the worst mass shooting in United States history, leaving… Read more »