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International Gay-Rights Organizations Condemn Malawi’s Proposed Anti-Gay Laws

April 17th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) today raised serious concerns about discriminatory provisions in a law signed by Malawi’s President Mutharika that is expected to go into effect today. The Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Law creates new forms of legal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals.  While the law raises the minimum marriage age to 18—a positive move to combat child marriage—it also promotes a policy of exclusion against LGBTI Malawians that would likely translate into discrimination in education, housing, jobs and elsewhere.

Find out exactly what the law would do after the jump…

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Conservative Group Bans Log Cabin Republicans From Convention

April 17th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

Just when the Log Cabin Republicans thought that this would be the year that the Republican party accepted them, they get banned from a large conference in Denver. Organizers of the Western Conservative Summit, an event held in June, returned the gay conservative group’s $250 registration fee to secure a booth at the three-day summit. That doesn’t mean that members can’t attend the conference to hear GOP hopefuls address the crowd, they just can’t advocate their cause. “We’d love to have them attend the summit and be in the discussion. But we have to draw the line at a formal relationship between two organizations with diametrically opposed policy beliefs,” the president of the Centennial Institute, John Andrews, said. [AP]

 

Alabama’s Religious Freedom Bill to Have Severe Consequences for the State’s Population

April 16th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

Gay-right’s organizations are continuing to put pressure on Alabama’s legislature to halt the progress of Indiana-style “religious freedom” bills (H.B. 56)(H.B. 296/S.B. 261) that would allow discrimination in the arenas of marriage recognition and adoption.

With H.B. 56 set receiving its first hearing in a Senate committee yesterday (Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, State House Room 304), fair-minded Alabamians are calling on their elected officials to refuse to send the state down the wrong-headed path that cost Indiana tens of millions of dollars in economic activity and put hundreds of millions more at risk. Condemned by more than 100 major corporations and job-creators—as well as a broad majority of the American people—legislation like H.B. 56 has nothing to do with personal religious practice and everything to do with discrimination.

Find out what kind of damage these three bills could potentially do to the people of Alabama after the jump…

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Vlogger May Become Men’s Health’s First Cover Featuring a Transgender Man

April 15th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Men's Fitness

Image via Men’s Health

“I think I would have laughed if someone said that in five years I was going to be in a competition to be on the cover of Men’s Health magazine,” says Aydian Dowling, a transgender male blogger. “I would be like, ‘No way would you be putting me shirtless on a magazine!’ ” Dowling is currently leading in online votes for Men’s Health’s Ultimate Guide Search. The 27-year-old New York native has been hitting the gym. “I started bodybuilding because I wanted my outer body to feel more masculine like my inner soul does, so I started training and it really just changed my whole life,” he says. “I started to feel better. You’re forced in front of a mirror to make sure that you’re doing an exercise properly, and after five days a week in front of a mirror, you start to get used to your body. You start to appreciate it.” He decided to share his fitness obsession with other transgender individuals via a YouTube Collaboration BeefHeads Fitness.

Click here to vote.

 

Hillary Clinton Wants Supreme Court to Allow All Gay Couples to Marry

April 15th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Facebook.

Image via Facebook.

After an article that appeared in Buzzfeed called out Hillary Clinton for not taking a clear enough stance on same-sex marriage, particularly when it comes to the Supreme Court’s upcoming same-sex marriage case, a spokesperson for Hillary gave the following statement:

“Hillary Clinton supports marriage equality and hopes the Supreme Court will come down on the side of same-sex couples being guaranteed that constitutional right,” Hillary’s spokesperson, Adrienne Elrod, told BuzzFeed.

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Ad Gets an 18+ Rating Because of Gay Couple

April 15th, 2015 Comments off
Screen Cap via YouTube.

Screen Cap via YouTube.

A Russian television station that aired Hillary Clinton’s campaign ad marked the family-friendly spot with an 18+ rating because of the country’s draconian anti-gay propaganda laws. In the ad, a gay couple is seen holding hands, so the station, TV Rain, said it was simply following the “law.” “There are no legal precedents for this law, so we just don’t know what comes under this law and (what) doesn’t,” a TV Rain spokesperson told CNN. “Therefore, fearing to break the law—especially given the high attention to TV Rain from the supervising authorities—we decided to put a marker (on the video).

Help Stop Shell’s Dangerous Off-Shore Drilling Exploration in the Arctic

April 14th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Change.org

Image via Change.org

Tell Shell “Hands off the Arctic” by signing a new Change.org petition.

Royal Dutch Shell’s efforts to drill in the U.S. Arctic have been plagued by mistakes and problems. Yet after years of failure, Shell recently requested that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) retroactively suspend its leases.

If BSEE grants the request, the deadline for Shell’s leases would be extended by five years – giving Shell the opportunity to prolong the Arctic’s exposure to drilling danger for free.

In 1984, I became committed to protecting our planet’s oceans after my family and I moved to Santa Monica Canyon, about ten blocks from the Pacific. At the time I was starring on the show “Cheers” and was taking a walk with my daughters on the beach when we came to a sign that read: “Water polluted, no swimming.” I didn’t know how to explain to them why the beach was closed. That was my call to do whatever I could to protect our oceans.

Shell already has a dangerous track record, and if it’s allowed five more years to drill on the leases in question, the Arctic’s polar bears, ice seals, belugas and many other iconic inhabitants will be thrust further in harm’s way. The oil industry cannot adequately contain or clean a spill in the Arctic Ocean, and a single accident could cause serious harm to the sensitive ocean environment and the communities and wildlife that depend on it.

Shell is the only oil company still actively exploring drilling in the U.S. Arctic Ocean. If BSEE denies Shell’s request for an extension, it will deal a major blow to Shell’s efforts.

Polar bears and hundreds of other majestic creatures depend on a healthy Arctic Ocean for survival, but their habitat is at risk. If the federal government continues to allow Shell to explore and drill in this wild and wonderful environment, we can be sure that spills will follow.

Just because Shell has spent a lot of money trying doesn’t mean the government should bend the rules to accommodate them or any other company.

Click here to sign the petition. 

 

EuroPride Riga Needs Your Help

April 8th, 2015 Comments off
Image via RocketHub

Image via RocketHub

From June 15-21, the beautiful and historic city of Riga, Latvia will host EuroPride 2015—the first time that EuroPride is taking place in a former Soviet republic. The organizers of this year’s event are planning for one of the best EuroPrides ever, including the Baltics’ longest Pride parade march, an LGBT film festival called “Black Carnation,” a Tom of Finland exhibition and a host of other great activities.
But they’re also facing a number of challenges due to their pioneering efforts to bring EuroPride to Russia’s doorstep.  The local government has not provided any financial contributions of any kind, corporate support—a mainstay in the US and Western Europe—has failed to materialize, and anti-gay groups are trying to complicate their efforts.
To offset that lack of support, the organizers just launched a crowdfunding campaign to help them cover some of the costs involved in putting on such a massive event.

 

HRC to Lead Conversation on State of LGBT Rights at the United Nations

April 7th, 2015 Comments off
Image via www.ohchr.org

Image via www.ohchr.org

A delegation from the HRC civil-rights organization, this week will participate in the United Nation’s (UN) assessment of human rights in the United States. During the proceedings in Geneva, HRC representatives will take part in consultations related to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a standing UN process in which every country in the world regularly submits its human rights record for review by the UN Human Rights Council. This year will be the second such review of the United States. Because of this delegation, LGBT Americans—and recommendations for improving the lives of LGBT Americans—will be afforded a full and thorough hearing when the United States government appears before the Council in May.

Find out what the HRC plans to recommend for the US while in Switzerland….

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Rihanna Calls Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law ‘Bullshit’ at NCAA Final Four Concert

April 6th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Twitter

Image via Twitter

The March Madness Music Fest on Saturday, ahead of the NCAA basketball tournament in Indiana, got political as both Rihanna and Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff used their time on stage to call out the discriminatory law. Rihanna, who debuted a new song called “American Oxygen,” also took a few seconds during the show to call out Governor Pence and the law that will allow businesses to legally discriminate against LGBT people. “Who’s feeling these new bullshit laws that they’re trying to pass over here? I say fuck that shit,” she told the crowd as captured in video footage on Facebook. “We’re just living our motherfucking lives, Indiana.” Also, Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff sported a shirt that read “Protect LGBT Hoosiers.” [E!]