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:

 

The Supreme Court on Friday Struck down state bans on gay marriage.

In the 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the high court said that the U.S. Constitution guarantees gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, praised the ruling in a written statement. “Today’s ruling is a transformative triumph decades in the making, a momentous victory for… Read more »

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Forgotten Anti-Gay Sex Crusade

The Newport Sex Scandal of 1919 targeted men having sex with men in the Navy, prefiguring the legalized persecution of LGBT citizens in and out of the armed services. It was one of the first 20th-century anti-gay witch-hunts, a panic that gripped the American Navy between 1919 and 1921. The Newport Sex Scandal, taking its… Read more »

New York’s Stonewall Inn To Get Official Landmark Status

New York — New York City’s landmarks commission has voted to grant official status to the Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich (GREN’-ich) Village bar where resistance to a police raid sparked the modern gay rights movement. The unanimous vote Tuesday marks the first time a site has been designated as a landmark in the city because… Read more »

New ‘State Of Change’ Documentary Short Takes An Intimate Look At South Carolina’s LGBT Community

The Huffington Post is proud to debut GLAAD’s new mini-documentary that examines the triumphs and tribulations of South Carolina’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The 20-minute film, “GLAAD Presents: State of Change — South Carolina,” was produced as part of GLAAD’s Southern Stories program and is the first in a six-part series of… Read more »

Indianapolis Rallies Around Its Gay Citizens After a Law Sets Off a Flood of Support

In a state perhaps best known for its hallowed speedway and lean-to-the-right politics, the pageantry of the past week might have seemed unexpected. On Wednesday, a standing-room-only crowd snacked on rainbow-colored fruit skewers at a forum on transgender issues. On Thursday, men donned blond wigs and high heels at a drag show to raise money… Read more »

Alibaba Helps Chinese LGBT Couples Say ‘We Do’ in West Hollywood

Beijing – It took a trip across the Pacific, but this week seven Chinese same-sex couples finally had the chance to say “I do” in West Hollywood. In an event co-sponsored by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and the Chinese gay dating app Blued, the lucky couples won the chance for a destination wedding and star… Read more »

West Hollywood marries seven contest-winning gay couples from China

West Hollywood, Calif. Seven gay and lesbian couples from China were married in the Southern California gay capital of West Hollywood on Tuesday after winning a contest sponsored by a pair of Chinese Internet companies. The seven couples were selected from among more than 2,000 based on videos they submitted detailing their love stories, after… Read more »

The Beautiful Way Hawaiian Culture Embraces A Particular Kind Of Transgender Identity

In traditional, Western culture, gender identity is often considered a binary concept: You are either male or you are female. This restrictive and defining construct makes it difficult for our society to understand people like Bruce Jenner, who recently came out as transgender, because they don’t always fit neatly into a box. While some transgender… Read more »

Harvard Study Reveals that All Homophobic People are Gay

A shocking, double-blind study released by Harvard, in collaboration with MIT, has revealed that all people who are homophobic are actually homosexuals themselves. The study, which was carried out over the course of 5 years and involved nearly 5,000 male subjects, is being accepted by the American Psychological Association as being “scientifically irrefutable.” This lengthy,… Read more »

It Is Now Illegal For A Federal Contractor To Fire Someone For Being LGBT

Washington – For the first time, companies that have contracts with the federal government are now prohibited from firing or discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, thanks to an executive order that takes effect Wednesday. President Barack Obama signed the order in June 2014 banning workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay,… Read more »

In far-flung US territories, gay marriage hasn’t arrived

While more than 70 percent of U.S. states now allow same-sex marriage, the waves of change have yet to reach America’s far-flung and socially conservative territories in the Caribbean and Pacific. Of the five territories, only Puerto Rico has faced a lawsuit seeking the right for gay and lesbian couples to wed, and a federal… Read more »

US: Barack Obama to appoint LGBT rights envoy

Barack Obama is to create a new envoy role within the State Department, to promote LGBT rights around the world. The US President is expected to announce later this month that he will appoint the first LGBT rights envoy. According to an official within the State Department, the envoy will be an openly gay Foreign… Read more »

Report: 594 LGBT people murdered in Americas during 15-month period

A report the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released on Wednesday indicates anti-LGBT violence claimed the lives of at least 594 people in the Western Hemisphere between Jan. 1, 2013, and March 31 of this year. More than half of these reported deaths during this 15-month period took place in Brazil. These include an 8-year-old… Read more »

Wyoming becomes 32nd state to legalize gay marriage

Wyoming on Tuesday became the 32nd state to legalize gay marriage, joining several other conservative areas in allowing same-sex weddings. Legislators filed a legal notice in the morning that declared their refusal to defend a recently overturned state law that defined marriage between a man and a woman. Their move allows county clerks to begin… Read more »

Gay Marriages Begin In Virginia Hours After Supreme Court Clears Way

Richmond, Va. (AP) — Just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way by turning away several appeals, gay couples have started marrying in Virginia. Thirty-year-old Lindsey Oliver and 42-year-old Nicole Pries received the first same-sex marriage license issued from the Richmond Circuit Court Clerk’s office shortly after 1 p.m. Monday. Upon leaving the… Read more »

Supreme Court Rejects Gay Marriage Appeals From 5 States

Washington (AP) — The Supreme Court turned away appeals Monday from five states seeking to prohibit same-sex marriages, paving the way for an immediate expansion of gay and lesbian unions. The justices on Monday did not comment in rejecting appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. No other state cases were currently pending with… Read more »

How Do You Build A Gay Art Museum? Hunter O’Hanian On The History Of Leslie-Lohman

“We have so many histories,” Hunter O’Hanian explained to me in a recent chat. I had asked him to give me the abridged history of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the institution for which he currently serves as director. Indeed, the museum cites more than a few birthdays on its website —… Read more »

Religious Acceptance Of Gays Is On The Rise, Duke Study

Religious congregations are warming up to LGBT issues more and more, according to the results of a recent study out of Duke University. Conducted by Duke sociology professor Mark Chaves, the National Congregations Study investigated the shift in acceptance of gay and lesbian congregants from 2006 to 2012 — which rose from 37.4 percent to… Read more »

Cleveland closes its Gay Games, passes the torch to Paris

Cleveland, Ohio — On a stage decorated with a model of the Eiffel Tower and the American and French flags, Cleveland officially closed the 2014 Gay Games on Saturday and handed its flag over to Paris, France, which will host the event in 2018. A delegation from Paris’ Gay Games committee accepted the flag from Cleveland… Read more »

The gay rodeo comes to town: On the run at the Gay Games

Tallmadge, Ohio – Just as it is a first for Cleveland to host this year’s Gay Games, it’s a first for the Gay Games to host a rodeo, so I decided to check it out. On Sunday and Monday, more than 100 gay rodeo competitors from as far away as Australia and South Africa descended on… Read more »

Obama Helps Open Gay Games 9

President Barack Obama on Saturday made a video appearance to help open the 2014 Gay Games 9. Thousands of athletes and fans converged Saturday on Cleveland for the games’ opening ceremonies held at The Q. Cleveland and nearby Akron will over the next week play host to the sports and cultural festival. Appearing on The… Read more »

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 »

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 »

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 »