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:


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 »

This is the US army’s first gay active-duty marriage at West Point

And the wedding photos are adorable Two US army captains who met during ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ have become the first active-duty gay couple to get married at a famous military academy. The wedding significantly took place in the glorious surroundings of the United States Military Academy West Point. Capt. Daniel Hall, 30, and Capt.… Read more »

Adam Rippon will be the first openly gay U.S. male athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics

Figure skater Adam Rippon will be the first openly gay man to compete for the United States in the Winter Olympics. The 28-year-old celebrated qualifying for the Games, which take place in February in South Korea, in a tweet on Tuesday evening. He’ll join twice national champion Nathan Chen and 2017 world junior champion Vincent… Read more »

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 »