North America

 

 

 

Emerging Muslim movement embraces gay and interfaith marriages, female imams and mixed prayers

Los Angeles – Omar Akersim prays regularly and observes the dawn-to-dusk Ramadan fast. He is also openly gay. Akersim, 26, is part of a small but growing number of American Muslims challenging the long-standing interpretations of Islam that defined their parents’ world. They believe that one can be gay and Muslim; that the sexes can… Read more »

Bill Clinton AIDS conference speech disrupted by protesters

Bill Clinton’s speech to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne yesterday was disrupted by protesters. Representing his Clinton Foundation charity, the former US President paid tribute in his speech to the HIV activists who lost their lives onboard flight MH17, when it was shot down over Ukraine. He had said: “[Dr Joep Lange] and the… Read more »

US: Obama signs Executive Order banning anti-gay workplace discrimination

Barack Obama has today signed an Executive Order banning workplace discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The US President this morning signed the order in a White House ceremony, banning discrimination against LGBT people by employers, by amending two existing anti-sexism orders to protect gender identity and sexuality. The new order… Read more »

LGBT Youth Homelessness

Names have been changed to address concerns for privacy of individuals in sensitive circumstances. Kid 1 LGBT Youth HomelessnessThe discovery of human sexuality can be fraught with danger, intolerance, criticism, and judgment, particularly for people who stray from the “norm.” No one experiences more of this negativity than someone who identifies as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay,… Read more »

This TV host’s take-down of Uganda’s anti-gay laws is pure freaking brillance.

“Calling Uganda’s laws ‘harsh’ doesn’t really do them justice. That’s like calling Stalin a bit of a grump… Or the Titanic a disappointing vacation.” John Oliver, host of US talk show Last Week Tonight, has added to his history of epic rants against injustice with a brilliant, 20-minute long take-down of Uganda and its new… Read more »

Federal Judge Strikes Down Kentucky’s Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down down Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage, saying it was unconstitutional. In his 19-page ruling, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II wrote: “[T]his Court holds that the Commonwealth’s exclusion of same-sex couples from civil marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause [of the U.S. Constitution].” “In America, even sincerely… Read more »

U.S. takes gay rights global, despite unsure welcome

Embassies offer aid to local activists Waesaw, Poland — President Barack Obama has taken the U.S. gay rights revolution global, using American embassies across the world to promote a cause that still divides his own country. Sometimes U.S. advice and encouragement is condemned as unacceptable meddling. And sometimes it can seem to backfire, increasing the… Read more »

Association between Childhood Physical Abuse, Unprotected Receptive Anal Intercourse and HIV Infection among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men in Vancouver, Canada.

Abstract Introduction: The association between childhood sexual abuse and HIV risk among men who have sex with men (MSM) is well established. However, no studies have examined the potential impact of other forms of childhood maltreatment on HIV incidence in this population. Methods: We explored the impact of child physical abuse (CPA) on HIV seroconversion… Read more »

Canada: A safer haven for LGBT refugees

As the WorldPride festival hits Toronto, a look at LGBT refugees and their struggle for security inside Canada’s borders More than 75 countries have outlawed homosexuality and at least five countries have laws that allow homosexual acts to be punished by death. Because of the physical and emotional abuse that some people who identify as… Read more »

Obama Administration Stalls Response To Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act

“Delay is putting lives at risk,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. The Obama administration has delayed action in adjusting aid to Uganda in response to passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, even though an interagency review process put forward recommendations some weeks ago. Sources familiar with the review process, which the administration announced just… Read more »

Ant-gay Pakistan gets its first LGBTI themed book for children

Canada – A Toronto-based Pakistani author has written an LGBTI themed book for children in the hope that it will teach tolerance and further equality in Pakistan where same-sex relations are illegal. The book “My Chacha is gay” is billed as the first ever resource designed to teach Pakistani young people about different family arrangements.… Read more »

African Homophobes Are Politicians, Not Lunatics, Writer Says

“To think that the Africans are doing something that has never been heard of — it’s not fair,” says the writer of new book about the impact of American anti-LGBT activists in Africa. Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, a Zambian priest, was instrumental in drawing attention to the connection between American anti-LGBT religious activists and the… Read more »

Arkansas issues same-sex marriage licenses

Eureka Springs, Ark. – Gay marriage arrived in the Bible Belt on Saturday, beginning with two women who had traveled overnight to ensure they’d be first in line. “Thank God,” Jennifer Rambo said after Carroll County Deputy Clerk Jane Osborn issued a marriage license to her and Kristin Seaton, a former volleyball player at the… Read more »

Poll: 53% of LGBT people are not out at work

A poll by a leading US human rights group has found that over half of LGBT people are still in the closet at work. The poll by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) found that 53% of LGBT employees are not out at work. A quarter also said they continue to hear offensive comments such as… Read more »

Gay Arab-Americans find room of their own in NYC

New York (AP) – With a loud hiccup and a hand over her mouth in coy embarrassment, Madame Tayoush mimics Lebanese diva Sabah in her performance of the sultry classic “Atshana” – or “I’m Thirsty” – as Arab-Americans hoot and cheer. The burst of a trumpet vibrato sends her into a dramatic swoon, basking under… Read more »

Queer New World: Radically Creating And Existing Together

This is the twenty-fifth and final installment in an ongoing series that explores drag culture and the nightlife scene in Brooklyn, N.Y. Over the past several years, following the large-scale exodus of artists across the East River and into northern Brooklyn, those engaged in drag culture in this outer borough have created a new, queer… Read more »

Cab Drivers Refuse to Drive Cabs With Gay Games Ads Because Allah

Nearly 20 cab drivers at Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport are refusing to drive cars displaying ads for the upcoming Gay Games, citing religious objections. But this time it’s not fundamentalist Christians doing the complaining: most of the protesting drivers are Muslims. The Plain Dealer reports: Hopkins released a statement saying that two of the three… Read more »

Gay Bishop Gene Robinson Leads White House Easter Prayer

Gene Robinson received quite a surprise this Monday, April 14, when President Barack Obama unexpectedly tapped the former first openly gay Episcopal bishop to lead the closing prayer at the White House Easter celebration. UPI reports that 150 Christian leaders were in attendance at the Fifth Annual Easter Prayer Breakfast, which marks the beginning of… Read more »

When People with HIV Became Suicide Bombers

Maybe we should blame the criminal prosecutions of people with HIV on the mythical legend of Gaetan Dugas, also known by his slanderous nickname, Patient Zero. Dugas was a gay flight attendant from Canada who, according to Randy Shilts’ 1987 book And the Band Played On, was among the first people with HIV in the… Read more »

Putting Prisons on the LGBT Agenda

“[T]here’s a big chunk of [today’s] prison population that is involved in nonviolent crimes. And it is having a disabling effect on communities. You have entire populations that are rendered incapable of getting a legitimate job because of a prison record. And it gobbles up a huge amount of resources.” –Barack Obama “When one in… Read more »

US cuts funding to tourism, religious council

Kampala – The US government has continued to cut aid to Uganda with the tourism sector and the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda becoming the latest to experience cuts because of the anti-gays law. At least $6.4 million (about Shs16 billion) intended for Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) to fight HIV has been diverted to other… Read more »

US suspends some aid to Uganda over anti-gay law

The United States has suspended some of its aid to Uganda’s ministry of health as a response to President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to sign anti-gay legislation. Following the recent decision of several countries and the World Bank to halt aid donations destined for the Ugandan Government, the US has now cut a portion of its… Read more »

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes ‘turn away the gays’ bill

Says SB 1062 ‘has the potential to create more problems that it purports to solve … It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine’ Arizona Governor Jan Brewer ended days of suspense by announcing she has vetoed the state’s controversial ‘turn away the gays’ law. Brewer said at an evening press conference Wednesday… Read more »

Big rise in US support for gay marriage

Numbers of Americans supporting the idea have highly increased over the past decade, after it became possible for gay and lesbian couples to have a legal marriage Support for gay marriage has shot up in the US with over half of Americans now in favor. A survey by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute released… Read more »

UK celebs, Russian gay activists honored by GLAAD

US gay media advocacy organization announce they will be honoring an international LGBTI rights activist for the first time Three British celebs, two Russian activists and an Indian actor are among the nominees in an inaugural international honor awarded by GLAAD. The US media advocacy organization announced they will be giving out an award later… Read more »

Edie Windsor goes to The White House, visits with President Obama in The Oval Office

DOMA plaintiff was among those invited to State Dinner for President of France President Barack Obama was flying in Air Force One last June when he placed a call to Edie Windsor to congratulate her on making history. It was the day that because of Windsor’s landmark lawsuit, the US Supreme Court gutted the anti-gay… Read more »

Michelle Obama congratulates gay college football player Michael Sam for coming out ahead of NFL draft

US First Lady calls Sam ‘an inspiration to all of us’ in Twitter message and adds: ‘We couldn’t be prouder of your courage both on and off the field’ US First Lady Michelle Obama took to Twitter today to publicly congratulate University of Missouri football star Michael Sam for coming out publicly as a gay… Read more »

Boy Scouts Policy Allowing Gay Youth Takes Effect January 1

A new policy allowing openly gay youth in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) takes effect January 1. Brad Haddock, a BSA national executive board member who chairs the policy implementation committee, told the AP that he hopes implementation will be a non-event. “My hope is there will be the same effect this Jan. 1… Read more »

World’s first lesbian head of government to headline WorldPride summit

LGBTI rights leaders from around the world to speak at event as part of Toronto’s WorldPride celebrations in 2014 The event, organized as part of the WorldPride celebrations, which next year are in Toronto, Canada, will see presenters from 60 countries. International LGBTI activists will debate human rights around the world at the event from… Read more »

New Mexico: 17th State To Legalize Gay Marriage

A New Mexico Supreme Court ruling handed down Thursday joins the state with 16 others and the District of Columbia in allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. The court in October heard arguments in a case that sought to clarify whether gay couples are allowed to marry in the state. The case has its… Read more »

Google online data expert estimates 1 in 20 American men are gay

A study of Americans’ online habits by economist and Google data analyst Seth Stephens-Davidowitz estimates that five percent of American men are predominantly same-sex attracted but also that more than 1-in-5 are still in the closet New York Times contributor and Google big-data analyst Seth Stephens-Davidowitz says internet data suggests one in twenty American men… Read more »

Cameroon LGBT activist granted asylum in US after receiving death threats for taking part in film

A Cameroonian LGBT activist has been reunited with her family in San Francisco after receiving death threats for appearing in a documentary on LGBT rights. The film documents how the LGBT community in Cameroon is forced to remain at the margins of society. The activist in the film, known only as Gertrude, has been granted… Read more »

Hawaii makes history with first gay marriages taking place at midnight

Dozens of gay and lesbian couples exchanged vows in the middle of the night to celebrate Hawaii becaming the 16th state to allow same-sex marriages As Hawaii’s new gay marriage law came into effect Monday (2 December), couples rushed to tie the knot at midnight. Same-sex couples in Hawaii are now able to register for… Read more »

8th US Native American tribe allows same-sex couples to wed

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe have become the 8th federally recognized Native American tribal grouping to allow same-sex couples to marry, wedding Arnold and Matthew Dahl-Wooley on their reservation Friday afternoon 8 US federally recognized Native American tribes now allow same-sex marriage, with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe marrying their first same-sex couples… Read more »

Illinois Gay Marriage Bill Passes As State Poised To Become 15th To Legalize Same Sex Marriage

Springfield — The Illinois General Assembly passed a bill legalizing same sex marriage Tuesday, putting the Land of Lincoln on course to be the 15th state to legalize same sex marriage. The House of Representatives narrowly passed the bill 61-54-2 shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday and the state senate concurred a little more than an… Read more »

Illinois Becomes 15th State To Legalize Gay Marriage

Illinois on Tuesday became the 15th state to legalize gay marriage. The marriage bill approved stalled out twice – in the Senate in late 2012 and in the House in May – before finding sufficient support to clear both the House and the Senate in one day. With one vote to spare (61-54) the House… Read more »

Justice presides over gay wedding ceremony at U.S. Supreme Court

Washington (Reuters) – Four months after the U.S.Supreme Court issued two major rulings on gay marriage, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on Tuesday presided over a same-sex wedding ceremony at the court building. Court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg confirmed that O’Connor, appointed to the court by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1981, oversaw the… Read more »

New Jersey Supreme Court Won’t Delay Start Of Gay Marriage

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Friday unanimously denied a request to delay a lower court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage in New Jersey on Monday. “The state has advanced a number of arguments, but none of them overcome this reality: Same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today,” the court… Read more »

U.S. Olympic Committee Adds Sexual Orientation To Charter

The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) board on Thursday voted in favor of adding sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy. The move comes as Russia prepares to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Over the summer, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed laws which prohibit gay and lesbian couples from adopting Russian-born children and the public promotion… Read more »

Senate confirms Todd M. Hughes as first openly gay federal appeals judge

The Senate voted 98 to 0 on Tuesday to confirm the appointment of a Justice Department lawyer as the nation’s first openly gay judge on a federal appeals court. Todd M. Hughes, who has served as deputy director of the commercial litigation branch of Justice’s Civil Division since 2007, will join the U.S. Court of… Read more »