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:


Virginia becomes first southern state to enact comprehensive discrimination protections for LGBT+ people

The governor of Virginia has signed into law comprehensive discrimination protections for LGBT+ people, making it the first southern US state to do so. Governor Ralph Northam signed senate bill 868, the Virginia Values Act, into law on April 11. The act protects people in the state from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender… Read more »

Progress toward LGBTQ equality ‘is a jagged line.’ Here’s what has changed over the past decade.

In 2010, no states outlawed conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors, banned health insurers from excluding transgender-related coverage or offered gender neutral options on licenses and birth certificates. Ten years later at the dawn of a new decade, roughly 20 states have these protections in place. Breakthroughs? Or evidence of a plodding pace on the road… Read more »

Which California City Is the Best for Queer Travel?

Should you vacation in San Francisco, West Hollywood, or Palm Springs? As one of the country’s most progressive states, California has long been a haven for queer people. And when you factor in legal marijuana and an abundance of sunshine, spending the holidays there was a no brainer. Thankfully, I was able to build a… Read more »

Senate Confirms Openly Gay Ambassador To Lithuania

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Robert Gilchrist as the U.S. ambassador to Lithuania. Gilchrist is at least the fifth openly gay person to serve in an ambassadorial role under the Trump administration, the Washington Blade reported. Senators confirmed Gilchrist with a voice vote. President Donald Trump nominated Gilchrist, a career Foreign… Read more »

How gay marriage won America

The decade saw a seismic shift in how society views LGBTQ people. When Robin Tyler married Diane Olson 11 years ago, she assured her it would be a small, simple wedding. “I promised Diane something very quiet, not a spectacle,” Tyler said, laughing. The reality was anything but: Friends and family had to stand on… Read more »

One of Chicago’s oldest churches will now become an LGBT homeless youth centre

One of Chicago’s oldest churches will soon be transformed into one of the only holistic, queer-friendly centres for the LGBT homeless at-risk youth in the city. The Black Methodist for Church Renewal has stood in the heart of Chicago’s South Side since 1926. The 12,000-square-foot space remained empty for years after the congregation moved to… Read more »

How Today’s Queer Artists Are Revising History

By revisiting and refuting the cultural history of the West, this group is using time as its primary medium, looking backward to inform a different kind of gay future. 1. Habitations in History Two women and their baby stare straight at us from the American past. Jessie Evans-Whinery, as she is identified in the caption,… Read more »

144 Out LGBT Candidates Won Elected Office In 2019

As of Tuesday, 144 openly LGBT candidates have won election in the United States in 2019. With six races undecided and six candidates heading to a runoff, 99 of the 200 known openly LGBT candidates on the ballot Tuesday won their races. The demographics were released Tuesday by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which works to… Read more »

Suicidal Ideation and Attempt in Transgender and Cisgender Adolescents

Studies that we have published on transgender adolescents have raised concerns about their mental health, especially if the environment in which these teens live is not supportive. But are transgender youth more likely to consider or attempt suicide compared to cisgender adolescents? To answer that question, Thoma et al. (10.1542/peds.2019-1183) studied suicidality in trans- and… Read more »

No single gene associated with being gay

A genetic analysis of almost half a million people has concluded there is no single “gay gene”. The study, published in Science, used data from the UK Biobank and 23andMe, and found some genetic variants associated with same-sex relationships. But genetic factors accounted for, at most, 25% of same-sex behaviour. Advocacy group GLAAD said the… Read more »

Most LGBTI Americans welcome police at Pride parades

They also approve of corporations and ‘sexual kink’ groups A new survey reveals most LGBTI Americans are welcoming of police and other groups, such as corporations, at annual Pride parades. BuzzFeed News and Whitman Insight Strategies conducted the survey from 5-10 June, speaking to 801 LGBTI people in the US. Most of the respondents identified… Read more »

Gus Kenworthy and more finish the first day of the AIDS/LifeCycle

A record amount was raised this year Each year, thousands of people get on their bicycles to make an unforgettable journey. They bike 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the AIDS/LifeCycle, all to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS. The AIDS/LifeCycle first began in 1993 as the California AIDS Ride. Since then,… Read more »

Colorado becomes 18th state to ban conversion therapy on minors

Gay Gov. Jared Polis also signed a bill for LGBTI identification rights Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed into law numerous pieces of LGBTI legislation on Friday (31 May), including a bill banning conversion therapy on minors. Polis, who became the first openly gay US governor when he was elected last year, described conversion therapy… Read more »

Ohio public library cancels Drag 101 day after ‘veiled threats’

Many of the messages came out of state A public library in Ohio canceled a drag event after receiving ‘veiled threats’ from various messages. The Delaware County District Library planned a one-day Drag 101 class on 5 June. Library officials organized the class specifically for a teen audience in mind. Selena T. West, former Miss… Read more »

Nearly half of US LGBTI employees believe being out will hurt their career

More than half have heard anti-LGBTI comments According to a new survey of LGBTI attitudes in the US workplace, nearly half of all LGBTI employees fear being out will hurt their careers. Glassdoor, a website specializing in workplace reviews, published the survey on Thursday (30 May). The Harris Poll conducted the survey from 26 April… Read more »

‘We won’t slow down’: LGBTI groups and more celebrate the Equality Act

It passed in the House of Representatives this morning On Friday (17 May) morning, the House of Representatives in the United States Congress passed historic legislation for LGBTI equality. In a 236-173 vote, mostly along party lines, the Democrat-controlled chamber passed the Equality Act. This bill provides federal protections for LGBTI people on the basis… Read more »

Trump Administration Says President Is Opposed To LGBT Protections Bill Equality Act

A senior Trump administration official on Monday said that President Donald Trump is opposed to the Equality Act. “The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights,” the… Read more »

Lambda Legal celebrates LGBTI rights advocates at National Liberty Awards

LGBTI rights advocates celebrated in New York City The oldest and largest LGBTI legal group in the US celebrated LGBTI rights advocates at the 2019 National Liberty Awards. Lambda Legal hosted this year’s award show at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, in New York City on Thursday (9 May). The evening honored Kate Kendell, the former… Read more »

New Jersey to require schools to teach LGBT history

Woodlawn, N.J. – New Jersey has become the second state in the nation after California to adopt a law that requires schools to teach about LGBT history in a move hailed by civil rights groups as a step toward inclusion and fairness. Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat who promised to promote equality for gay and… Read more »

Majority of United States schools are unsafe for LGBTI students

Schools need to do better A new report from GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) reveals that a majority of schools in the United States have unsafe environments for LGBTI students. Their State Snapshots looks at 41 states and Puerto Rico, collecting and analyzing data about various forms of discrimination in schools. The… Read more »

Triumphs, tragedies and setbacks: These are transgender voices across Mississippi

In Mississippi, 15,250 people identify as transgender. According to a report published by the Williams Institute in 2016, they make up .61 percent of the state’s population. They are Mississippi natives and transplants, teachers and activists, artists and blue collar workers. They are Mississippians. These are their experiences. Jensen Matar, 31, of Jackson Jensen Matar… Read more »

Sharice Davids is the first LGBTI Native American member of Congress in the US

A great win for diversity and representation The people of Kansas today voted in the first ever LGBTI Native American to Congress with Sharice Davids as their preferred candidate. Davids ran for office in Kansas’ 3rd congressional district. She earned 52.8% of the vote, with 70% of precincts submitting their votes. Her Republican opponent, Kevin… Read more »

Jared Polis is the first openly gay man elected governor in the US

The first big win in the anticipated rainbow wave Jared Polis is a history-maker in today’s midterm elections in the United States. He is officially the first openly gay man elected a state governor. Polis ran as the Democratic candidate in Colorado’s gubernatorial race. He was declared the victor with 52% of the votes after… Read more »

Malcolm Kenyatta makes history as black gay politician in Pennsylvania

Malcolm Kenyatta is the first black, gay man elected to statewide office in the state Malcolm Kenyatta was among the many LGBTI candidates celebrating success in the US midterm elections yesterday. Kenyatta, 27, won the 181st District of Pennsylvania in the states house. He is the second openly gay Representative, joining fellow Democrat Brian Sims.… Read more »

What it’s really like at an LGBTI-inclusive assisted living retirement facility in Palm Springs

LGBTIs from Ohio, Florida, Hawaii are spending their golden years in the desert city. We find out why ‘We say “LGBT community and friends”, so everyone feels welcome,’ says Lauren Kabakoff from her office in sunny Palm Springs, California. ‘But overall, the people who are calling us, looking into us and deciding to move don’t… Read more »

Why every gay man should visit Palm Springs at least once in his life

How a city of 48,000 became one of the world’s foremost gay hotspots – with an all-LGBTI city council to boot Early evening, and the still-blistering heat of Palm Springs, California conspires with the cooling blue of an outdoor swimming pool. I consider downing my Martini, ripping off my dinner wear and diving in. An… Read more »

New York gay pride parade marches toward 50th year with new purpose

Thousands marched, emboldened by recent events: ‘We still have people who don’t want to bake wedding cakes for us’ A detachment of “black dykes on trikes” were to the fore as the New York pride march began on Sunday, a year short of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the event now agreed to… Read more »

LGBTQ Russians Are Fleeing To NYC, But They Still Face Hostility

Following Russia’s 2013 anti-gay “propaganda” law, applications for U.S. asylum from Russia have increased every year. Anastasia Orlova and her wife, Anna Elvira Brodskaya, were asleep in their apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia, when bullets hit their window. Male neighbors were shooting at them, angry that the women had previously refused their advances. It was… Read more »

Queer Pride Has Found Its Purpose, Once Again, In Rebellion

Rebellion is in the air as the resistance to Donald Trump’s presidency and the hate it has given license to continues. And both seasoned LGBTQ activists and new, younger queer people are at the forefront of much of it ? organizing, engaging and challenging bigotry. This is true not only regarding the demand for accountability… Read more »

Maryland becomes 11th state to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’ for minors

Conversion therapy aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Maryland Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan, a Republican, signed the Youth Mental Health Protection Act into law on Tuesday, making the state the 11th to ban “gay conversion therapy” for minors. Amit Paley, CEO of The Trevor Project, a national LGBTQ youth crisis intervention… Read more »

Hawaii House of Representatives passes ban on gay ‘cure’ therapy for minors

Hawaii’s House of Representatives has advanced a ban on gay ‘cure’ therapy for minors. The US state could become the latest to outlaw the use of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ to attempt to change the sexuality of minors. ? Performing gay cure therapy on minors is already is illegal in nine US states and counting, as… Read more »

Illinois set to become second state to teach LGBT history in schools

Lawmakers in Illinois have pushed forward a bill that would require schools to teach LGBT history to students in the state. The state looks set to approve a bill that would require all public elementary and high schools to teach “the significant role of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in society.” ? It… Read more »

Maryland lawmakers vote to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’

Annapolis, Md. — Maryland lawmakers voted Wednesday to prohibit health professionals from practicing “gay conversion therapy” on minors, after a legislator spoke of the pain she experienced when her parents sought it for her. Just days earlier, the woman’s father, a state senator, voted against the bill. The House passed the bill 95-27, sending the… Read more »

Kansas House Rejects Bill That Seeks To Allow Adoption Agencies To Turn Away Gay Couples

The Kansas House on Thursday rejected a bill that seeks to allow adoption and foster care agencies to refuse placements to gay and lesbian couples. According to The Kansas City Star, the House voted down the bill with a 58-64 vote just hours after the Senate approved the bill 28-12. Lawmakers from the House and… Read more »

Washington state has banned gay ‘cure’ therapy for minors

Washington has become the tenth US state to ban medical professionals from practising gay ‘cure’ therapy on minors. Governor Jay Inslee signed the bill into law yesterday, after it passed the state legislature earlier this month. ? Washington joins New Jersey, California, Oregon, Vermont, Illinois, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada – and Washington DC… Read more »

CT GOP Blocks Confirmation Of Openly Gay Andrew McDonald As Chief Justice

Senate Republicans in Connecticut on Tuesday banded together to block the confirmation of Andrew J. McDonald as chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. One Democrat, Senator Joan Hartley of Waterbury, joined the chamber’s Republicans to reject McDonald’s confirmation with a 19 to 16 vote, The Connecticut Mirror reported. McDonald, who narrowly won the endorsement… Read more »

CT Begins Confirmation Of Andrew McDonald, First Gay Supreme Court Chief Justice Nominee

The Connecticut Legislature’s Judiciary Committee on Monday will begin consideration of Andrew J. McDonald as the next chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. If confirmed, McDonald would become the nation’s first openly gay chief justice. McDonald, 51, already has made history as the first openly gay member of the Connecticut Supreme Court as well… Read more »

The American who fled ‘gay conversion’ in Africa

A midnight taxi to the US embassy; an emergency flight home; a new life in New York. An ex-Muslim tells his story. Mahad Olad was in a Nairobi hotel room, looking at his mother. She was holding two articles from a student newspaper in New York. In the first article, Mahad, then 19, said he… Read more »

Virginia Senate Approves LGBT Protections

The Virginia Senate on Friday approved two bills that seek to protect LGBT Virginians. Senate Bill 423 would prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, while Senate Bill 202 would prohibit discrimination in state employment, including LGBT Virginians who work in local government and public school districts. (Similar employee protections are currently… Read more »