North America

 

 

 

Video: Montreal a human rights ‘hot spot’

  Montreal – There are no gays in Yemen. That’s the Middle Eastern republic’s official position on homosexuality. But in the event that a person is caught committing a homosexual act in one of Yemen’s southeastern provinces, two kinds of punishment are meted out: flogging and death. In the face of the country’s profoundly homophobic… Read more »

Obama Nominates Two Openly Gay Ambassadors

President Barack Obama on Friday nominated two openly gay ambassadors. Obama named James Costos to be ambassador to Spain and Rufus Gifford to be ambassador to Denmark. The nominations come less than a week after the president named Daniel Baer, who is also gay, to be ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in… Read more »

US Secretary of State releases video in honor of Gay Pride Month

Secretary of State John Kerry declares US foreign policies include gay rights and equality The face of US foreign policy honored June as LGBT Pride Month and asserted a commitment to gay rights around the world. Secretary of State John Kerry released a video on the State Department website. He connected gay pride celebrations to… Read more »

US: High School ‘cutest couple’ finds internet fame and inspire other teens to come out

A gay high school couple who were voted “cutest” in their yearbook, became an internet sensation, finding a huge wave of support, and saying they had received messages saying they had inspired people to come out. Carmel High School students Bradley Taylor and Dylan Meehan, attended their senior prom on Monday, and said they were… Read more »

Mississippi Tops States With Gay Parents

A new report found the highest percentages of gay and lesbian couples who are raising children are located in socially conservatives states where such families are less likely to be recognized. According to new estimates from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, Salt Lake City and its suburbs have the nation’s highest… Read more »

Boy Scouts to allow gay youths to join

(CNN) – Openly gay youths will be allowed to join scouting, a historic decision the Boy Scouts of America says will keep it unclouded by “a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue.” More than 60% of the group’s 1,400-member national council voted Thursday at an annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas, for the change, which takes… Read more »

Peace Corps will accept same-sex couples

AP-The U.S Peace Corps says it will begin accepting applications from same-sex domestic partners who want to serve together as volunteers overseas. Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet says the change will diversify the pool of applicants who want to help improve the quality of education, health care and economic development in host countries around… Read more »

The Neurology of Disgust

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below. Growing up believing you are an abomination is strange. But, if you are gay and grew up in Kansas (or many other parts of the world) — like I did — it’s not all that… Read more »

Minnesota gay-marriage law signed

Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday signed a bill making gay marriage legal in Minnesota, the 12th state to take the step, as thousands of onlookers cheered. “What a day for Minnesota!” Dayton, a Democrat, declared moments before putting his signature on a bill. “And what a difference a year and an election can make in… Read more »

Minnesota State Senate passes gay marriage bill by a close vote of 37-30

Becomes the 12th state in the US to pass marriage equality After more than four hours of debate, the Minnesota State Senate passed a bill that will make their state the 12th in the US to make gay marriage legal. The bill passed by a margin of 37-30. Minnesota is the first state legislature in… Read more »

Minnesota Senate Approves Gay Marriage Bill

The Minnesota Senate on Monday approved a gay marriage bill, paving the way for Minnesota to become the 12th state to legalize such unions. After a roughly four-hour debate, the Senate approved the measure with a 37-30 vote, four days after the Minnesota House approved the measure. It was a dramatic reversal for the chamber… Read more »

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee Signs Gay Marriage Bill

Moments after a gay marriage bill cleared its final legislative hurdle on Thursday, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, an independent, signed it into law on the steps of the State House. The measure cleared the Senate last Wednesday with the help of all 5 of its Republican members. It returned to a House committee on… Read more »

Why Still So Few Use Condoms

With the “next-generation condom” initiative, Bill Gates is acknowledging that the practical reasons people don’t use condoms warrant honest conversation. As the late author Norman Mailer put it, “The only thing you can depend on with condoms is that they will take 20 to 50 percent off your f***.” In a conversation with Madonna on… Read more »

With the Words ‘I’m Gay,’ an N.B.A. Center Breaks a Barrier

In 12 seasons as an N.B.A. player, Jason Collins has never been an All-Star or a scoring leader or even a full-time starter, but on Monday he shattered one of the last great barriers in professional sports. “I’m a 34-year-old N.B.A. center. I’m black and I’m gay,” Collins, who finished this season with the Washington… Read more »

Scouts to allow gay members, not leaders

Los Angeles – Leaders of the Boy Scouts of America agreed on Friday to admit gay youth members while maintaining a ban on adult leaders, drawing criticism from both homosexual groups and conservatives. The executive committee of the organisation – which launched a review of the contentious issue in February – passed a resolution that… Read more »

UN chief Ban Ki-moon to lead global campaign for gay rights

UN Secretary-General says ‘culture, tradition or religion’ is no excuse, governments have to protect gay, bisexual and trans people in strongest speech yet on issue The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has promised to lead a global campaign for LGBT rights. And he has told governments around the world that they have a… Read more »

USAID launches partnership to promote LGBT rights

The U.S. Agency for International Development on Monday unveiled a public-private partnership designed to promote LGBT rights around the world. USAID will work with the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law and Olivia Companies on… Read more »

Loving Uganda to Death: The Global Reach of Far-Right Christian Hatred

While conservative evangelical and Catholic leaders complain loudly about the “persecution” they suffer in the United States, the culture wars they are igniting and supporting around the world subject LGBT people and their allies to very real persecution. The role that American religious right leaders have played in fomenting anti-gay bigotry in Uganda has been… Read more »

Who Wanted to Take the Case on Gay Marriage? Ask Scalia

Washington — Why did the Supreme Court agree in December to hear a major same-sex marriage case and then seem to think it had made a terrible mistake on Tuesday when it came time for arguments? The answer lies in the gap between two numbers. It takes four votes to hear a case and five… Read more »

Supreme Court pursues pragmatism, not justice in LGBTQ rights

The Supreme Court of the United States, if oral arguments heard on Tuesday and Wednesday are an indication, is not likely to expand civil and human rights for LGBTQ Americans in all 50 states. It reflects pragmatism, not justice. Polls show increasing support among Americans for marriage equality. Telling Alabama, Mississippi, or Kentucky, however, that… Read more »

Gay people live in 50 Americas

(CNN) – Three years ago, when Scott Hamilton moved from New York to Oklahoma for work, his marriage, and all the rights that went with it, dissolved in the transition. That’s because Oklahoma — a deeply conservative place — is one of 38 states that bans marriages between same-sex couples. To make the move, Hamilton,… Read more »

Indigenous LGBT political leaders bring concerns to D.C.

On Saturday, March 16, indigenous LGBT elected officials and candidates from North and South America provided testimony at a public hearing at the Inter American Commission on Human Rights at the Organization of American States. Three leaders representing indigenous populations in Bolivia, Mexico and the United States testified at the panel “Situation of the Human… Read more »

American Academy of Pediatrics declares support for same-sex marriage

American scientific study shows that same-sex marriage is in the best interests of children The American Academy of Pediatrics declared its support for same-sex marriage yesterday when it published a report showing that children will benefit if their parents are allowed to marry. ‘Children need secure and enduring relationships with committed and nurturing adults to… Read more »

When the Movement Does Not Save Your Life

We enter social justice work as survivors. We seek to find community among our own. As black gay men particularly, but by no means exclusively, we learn to endure and inevitably resist racism and homophobia. What’s less clear is how we survive each other. Movement work can be beautiful. It can be transformative. The most… Read more »

LGBT Immigrants In The United States Amount To Almost 900,000

During a moment when gay rights are being rethought throughout the Hispanic community in the United States and in Latin America, a new study shows a large group of undocumented and documented Latinos are also part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) community. Findings in a study by the Williams Institute at UCLA… Read more »

US State Department launches new online LGBT travel guide

The US State Department has launched a new website designed to help LGBT travellers. With homosexuality a criminal offence in more than 76 countries around the world, the website is designed to make LGBT Americans more informed. Under a quote from former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton of how “gay rights are human rights”, the… Read more »

Documentary On Being Gay, Black, Young

Amir Dixon’s recently released documentary, Friend of Essex, explores the lives of young black gay men and the struggles they face. Dixon, 23, packed the film with one-on-one and group interviews, and jarring narratives that probe the difficult questions surrounding masculinity, identity, sexuality, and race. Viewers get a closer look at the black LGBT church,… Read more »

US: Obama administration files brief urging Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8

The Obama administration filed a brief to the Supreme Court on Thursday evening, urging it to strike down the state of California’s ban on equal marriage, a move which has been hailed by equal marriage advocates. Lawyers for the Obama administration’s filed the briefing on the Proposition 8 case, the controversial legislation which bans equal… Read more »

Ontario Gets First Female and Openly Gay Premier

(AP) Canada’s most populous province is getting its first female premier and the country’s first openly gay premier after the provincial Liberals chose a new leader. Former education minister Kathleen Wynne won the party’s leadership race Saturday. Wynne is making history as Canada’s first openly gay premier, a subject she confronted head-on in a speech… Read more »

Obama Inauguration Speech Makes History With Mention Of Gay Rights Struggle, Stonewall Uprising

President Obama made history today when he mentioned both the Stonewall uprising and gay and lesbian people being treated “like anyone else under the law” during his second inauguration speech. “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides… Read more »

Survey: Big drop in Americans who say being gay is a sin

Americans who believe being gay is a sin are now a minority, according to research released yesterday, which links the trend to President Obama’s 2012 decision to support equal marriage. A survey conducted just after November’s US election by Nashville-based LifeWay Research, a Southern Baptist-affiliated group, showed that 45% of those questioned did not think… Read more »

USA – Touching Encounters: Sex, Work, and Male-for-Male Internet Escorting

Call boys and online matches Victor Minichiello hails a study of secret desires that challenges heteronormative notions of masculinity Two people mutually agreeing to get together to share an intimate moment is generally seen as normal human behaviour – nothing out of the ordinary. But two men, with one of them a male escort, mutually… Read more »

Richard Blanco: First Latino, Gay Man Selected as Inaugural Poet

There has not been another inaugural poet like Richard Blanco. Out of the five people selected to read an original poem at a presidential inauguration, the 44-year-old Blanco will be the first Latino, first gay man, and youngest person to serve the role. The presidential inaugural committee officially announced the choice of Blanco, the son… Read more »

Generation LGBTQIA

Stephen Ira, a junior at Sarah Lawrence College, uploaded a video last March on We Happy Trans, a site that shares “positive perspectives” on being transgender. In the breakneck six-and-a-half-minute monologue — hair tousled, sitting in a wood-paneled dorm room — Stephen exuberantly declared himself “a queer, a nerd fighter, a writer, an artist and… Read more »

Washington National Cathedral To Perform Gay Weddings

The Washington National Cathedral is preparing to start performing weddings of gay and lesbian couples. According to the AP, the church will be among the first Episcopal congregations to implement a new rite of marriage for LGBT members. The 106-year-old cathedral has a storied history steeped in presidential traditions. The cathedral’s foundation stone was laid… Read more »

Seven Openly LGBT Members In 113th Congress

The 113th Congress opened on Thursday with the swearing in of new members, which include 6 LGBT House members and a senator. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, became the Senate’s first openly gay member. “Now we can officially call her Senator Tammy Baldwin,” Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian… Read more »

American Psychiatric Association drops Gender Identity Disorder from manual

GLAAD says announcement is a ‘historic change’ but trans advocates are concerned about the definitions that remain in the manual of mental disorders The American Psychiatric Association (APA) announced on Saturday that its manual would no longer list ‘Gender Identity Disorder’. But the new, fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM… Read more »

USA: Young, Gay, Black—and at Risk for HIV

Government neglect and historic patterns of segregated living and socializing have helped fuel the epidemic among very young gay black men. Joshua Alexander was 19 when he found out he was HIV positive in 2006. He had gone to a health fair at the university he attended in Mississippi to get tested, completely unaware he… Read more »

Gay GOP candidate loses House bid

Democratic Rep. John Tierney won re-election in Massachusetts and thwarted Richard Tisei’s historic bid for Congress. Richard Tisei, a former state senator, is an openly gay Republican. Tierney was considered vulnerable for defeat because he was tied up in a gambling scandal. Although there have been other gay Republicans serving in the U.S. House of… Read more »

Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin is first openly gay person elected to Senate

(CNN) – Tammy Baldwin made history Tuesday night — twice. She became the first openly gay politician, and first Wisconsin woman, elected to the U.S. Senate. She told CNN on Wednesday morning that she hopes the Senate will be “more reflective of America” and that it will reflect the “life experience of more women.” The… Read more »