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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

Judge Puts Stay on Marriage-Equality Ruling in Ohio, But Will Recognize Some Marriages

April 17th, 2014 Comments off

 

Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Pending an appeal on a ruling that recognized legally married same-sex couples, the state will not be required to recognize gay couples, but will be required to recognize those couples who have challenged the state’s law. Judge Timothy Black earlier this week “struck down Ohio’s ban on recognizing the marriage of same-sex couples wed legally outside the state, but did not address the state’s ban on same-sex marriage within the state,” according to Yahoo. The judge, in order to avoid confusion, has placed a stay on his ruling while an appeal to his ruling goes through the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which could take months. “Premature celebration and confusion do not serve anyone’s best interests. The federal appeals courts need to rule, as does the United States Supreme Court,” Black wrote in an order. According to the AP, though: “Black said the stay does not apply to the four couples who filed the February lawsuit that led to the court case, and ordered Ohio to immediately list both spouses in each relationship as parents on their children’s birth certificates.”

 

Louisiana House Votes to Uphold State’s Sodomy Ban

April 16th, 2014 Comments off
Louisiana Capitol. Image via Passport.

Louisiana Capitol. Image via Passport.

In a surprising decision, the Louisiana House has voted to uphold their controversial anti-sodomy law. In a vote of 66-27, the House rejected a bill that would have repealed the law, which has surprisingly remained on the state’s books. While many may assume that the law is a mere novelty, and that it is never enforced, last summer the state of Louisiana came under fire when sheriff’s deputies used the law as justification to arrest men who agreed to have sex with undercover cops.

Representative Patricia Haynes Smith (pictured above) was the politician to introduce the bill that would repeal the sodomy law. She cited a desire to end negative press brought to her community as the motivation to introduce the bill.

While 2003’s US Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas officially deemed anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional, Louisiana and 16 other states have yet to revise their laws to reflect this decision.

Watch: The Art, Food, and Magic of St. Petersburg, Florida

April 16th, 2014 Comments off
St. Petersburg Thriving Street-Art Scene. Screen Cap via Passport.

St. Petersburg Thriving Street-Art Scene. Screen Cap via Passport.

Discovery is the best part of travel, and when every corner yields a new hidden oasis, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. Join Bob Devin Jones as he shows us why St. Petersburg, Florida is a haven for artists, foodies, and explorers alike.

Check it out over at  Passport TV. 

Mississippi’s Legalized Anti-Gay Discrimination Bill Faces Business Backlash with New Business Coalition

April 16th, 2014 Comments off

 

Blue Stickers Used Throughout Mississippi.

Blue Stickers Used Throughout Mississippi.

It’s been two weeks since Mississippi became the first state in the nation to legalize anti-gay discrimination through a hate-filled bill that is clandestinely referred to as a “religious freedom” law. The bill allows for businesses to refuse to serve customers who are LGBT based on religious conviction. The bill, signed by Mississippi Republican Governor Phil Bryant, is now facing a statewide backlash by small businesses who want to make it clear that they are open for business for everyone. “I’m in a business to sell a product, and I want to sell that product to everybody, and I don’t care what you do in your life,” said Mitchell Moore, owner of Campbell’s Bakery in Jackson, Mississippi. This sentiment rang true for many other businesses who decided to spearhead a campaign “If You’re Buying, We’re Selling.” So far, the new coalition has been backed by the state’s LGBT gay-rights activists, has acquired over 500 businesses. Businesses who participate will receive a blue sticker for their storefront. The bigexample that all of the politicians kept giving over and over was a bakery that might have to bake a cake for a gay wedding,” says Moore. “I own a bakery, no politician called me and asked if this was something we should do.”

“We started brainstorming about ideas, and he mentioned starting a page and coming with a sign that businesses could display,” said Eddie Outlaw, owner of the William Wallace Salon and Fondren Barbershop in Jackson and LGBT rights activist. “We as business owners don’t condone discrimination against anyone because it’s wrong, because it’s bad for business, and it’s bad for our state.” 

So far the campaign has sold out of their initial 500 stickers and anticipate thousands more in the coming weeks to show solidarity with the LGBT community. [MSNBC]

 

Malta’s Parliament Appoves Gay Civil Unions, Adoption, and an Anti-Discrimination Constitutional Amendment

April 15th, 2014 Comments off
Image via PASSPORT

Image via PASSPORT

Malta’s Parliament passed a bill to legalize gay and lesbian civil unions, allow for same-sex couples to adopt, and introduce anti-discrimination constitutional amendment that will protect “sexual orientation.” Although it will not be called marriage, same-sex couples will be granted the same rights as married heterosexual couples. The law will also allow for gay and lesbians who choose to marry outside of the country to have their unions recognized. It will also allow for couple’s to adopt.

 

Homoerotic Tom of Finland Stamps to be Released in Finland

April 15th, 2014 Comments off

 

Image via Itella

Image via Itella

Finland is celebrating the life of the late artist Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen) by releasing commemorative stamps in September 2014, according to the Finnish postal service, Itella Posti Oy. “His emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on, for instance, pop culture and fashion. In his works, Tom of Finland utilized the self-irony and humor typical of subcultures. The drawings on the stamp sheet represent strong and confident male figures typical of their designer,” the post office said of the homoerotic artist’s work that they chose to highlight.

 

ACLU Files Lawsuit in Michigan to Recognize 300 Legally Married Same-Sex Couples

April 15th, 2014 Comments off
Picture via Passport

Picture via Passport

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has filed a lawsuit today so that the legal marriages of 300 tqy and lesbian couples performed in Michigan last month are recognized by the state. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight same-sex couples who were married after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban and before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put the decision on hold. “As a matter of law and fundamental fairness, the state is obligated to extend the protections that flow from marriage to all those who celebrated their weddings last month,” said Kary L. Moss, ACLU of Michigan executive director. “Doing anything less treats legally married gay and lesbian couples like second-class citizens, and adds to the confusion and instability these loving families have endured.”

The lawsuit argues that once same-sex couples are legally married in Michigan, they gain protections that cannot be taken away retroactively. Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution compels state officials to recognize those protections regardless of the ultimate outcome of the appeal of Judge Friedman’s ruling.

We have the full backstory after the jump in case you forgot….

Read more…

NCAA Basketball Player Comes Out Becoming First Active Gay Division I College Basketball Player

April 9th, 2014 Comments off

 

Screen Cap via ESPN

Screen Cap via ESPN

A sophomore starter for the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team came out as gay publicly as the first openly gay player in Division 1 men’s college basketball. Derrick Gordon, a 22-year-old shooting guard, came out to his family, coaches, and teammates earlier this month, and sat down with ESPN and Outsports to discuss his team’s acceptance and how his family took it.  “I just didn’t want to hide anymore, in any wayI didn’t want to have to lie or sneak. I’ve been waiting and watching for the last few months, wondering when a Division I player would come out, and finally I just said, ‘Why not me?’” Gordon explains that he mustered up the courage to come out after seeing Brooklyn Nets’ Jason Collins come out. He has received widespread acceptance from the university. “UMass is proud to have Derrick Gordon as a member of our athletic family and to honor his courage and openness as a gay student-athlete,” said athletic director John McCutcheon in a statement. “UMass is committed to creating a welcoming climate where every student-athlete, coach and staff member can be true to themselves as they pursue their athletic, academic and professional goals.”

Check out the sit-down interview over at Espn. 

Debbie Harry Comes Out as Bisexual in New Interview

April 7th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook.

Image via Facebook.

Although it has been long rumored, Blondie-rockstress Debbie Harry came out as bisexual in an interview. When asked whether the rumors were true regarding her sexual relationships with other women, Harry replied: “‘Yeah Let’s say women are more sensualI don’t know if I have any specific requirements….Just somebody nice, who has a good sense of humour and loves to have sex. What more could you ask for?”

Harry also reveals that Blondie was invited to perform at the Olympics in Sochi, but she quickly turned down the invitation over the country’s anti-gay propaganda laws. “Why make such a big thing out of a personal choice or a natural instinct? It seems barbaric and idiotic,” she said. [DM]

 

Gay Russian Couple Marries and Seeks Asylum in Argentina

April 7th, 2014 Comments off
Image via BA Herald

Alexander Emereev and Dmitry Zaytsev (R). Image via BA Herald

Two Russian men recently married in Buenos Aires, Argentina are now seeking asylum in the South American country claiming extreme discrimination if they were to return home. A large crowd gathered at the civil registry in the San Nicolas neighborhood to celebrate their union, as well as draw attention to the need for countries to protect gay and lesbian Russians. The Buenos Aires Herald describes the wedding: “Dressed in matching outfits, which featured pinned-on flowers with the colors of the Russian flag, they walked hand-in-hand, their eyes fixated on the doors of the marriage office, in an act that could be considered a criminal offense in modern Russia, where a law prohibiting “gay propaganda” was passed just last year, effectively prohibiting anyone from acknowledging being part of a sexual minority.”

“They’ve come to seek political asylum. They can’t go back to Russia because they’ll be arrested,” explained gay-rights activist Alex Freyre who wed the first gay couple in Argentina in December 2009.

Argentina’s National Commission for Refugees will review the couple’s case.