An important domain name for potential GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush has been purchased by a gay couple who is now refusing to sell it. Instead of handing JebBushForPresident.com over to Bush’s supporters, the couple will use the domain name to raise awareness on issues facing the LGBT communities. CJ Philllips and Charlie Rainwater from Portland, Oregon actually bought the website back in 2008 when it was originally speculated that the Bush brother would run. The website currently reads: “Hi there, and welcome to the page. CJ and Charlie are two guys in a great relationship who are looking to inform our friends and family about some of the challenges we face being part of the LGBT community. This page is intended to prompt understanding, insight, and healthy dialogue in the ever changing landscape of civil rights and social justice. Now we just need to find some time!”
Chile’s Congress has finally approved gay and lesbian civil unions today, according to the AFP. The law has been hotly debated for nearly four years, and was approved in a vote 78-9. The law, when signed by President Michelle Bacheletsigned, will grant same-sex couples the right to receive pensions, enroll in health plans, and inherit property from one another. “We are happy that the state recognizes, for the first time, that a same-sex couple also is a family and deserves protection,” said Luis Larrain, head of the Fundacion Iguales, a gay rights group. President Bachelet is expected to sign the legislation, but it will also have to be accepted by Chile’s Constitutional Court.
Once signed into law by President Michelle Bachelet, the measure must past muster with Chile’s Constitutional Court before going into effect.
Rome’s city council approved the creation of a civil union register, a big move for the capital city of a country that has remained steps behind on marriage equality compared to the majority of Europe. Additionally, any same-sex marriages that occurred abroad will automatically be placed in the register.
Italy still has a long way to go on marriage equality, but at long last things are moving forward.
US District Judge Callie V.S. Granade ruled in favor of equality, striking down Alabama’s discriminatory constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying. Granade, appointed by President George W. Bush, stated in her ruling:
There is no law prohibiting infertile couples, elderly couples, or couples who do not wish to procreate from marrying. Nor does the state prohibit recognition of marriages between such couples from other states. The Attorney General fails to demonstrate any rational, much less compelling, link…the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama. [HRC]
A three-time All Ireland–winning Cork hurler, Donal Og Cusack, was one of the first high-profile sports personalities to come out in Ireland, and in a recently televised documentary, he looked at how much life has changed for gay people in Ireland since the de-criminalization of homosexuality, which happened in 1993. He talks to professionals in the sports industry about “coming out.” The program highlighted a nine-time All Ireland, Cork Irish football player, Valerie Mulcahy, who openly discussed her sexuality in the hopes of inspiring others. “When I was younger, I didn’t want to be gay,” she says. Now, the well-adjusted openly gay player hopes to change attitudes.
This is just one of the many specials about LGB people airing in Ireland ahead of the national referendum on gay marriage (the first national gay marriage vote in the world). Ireland, by law, is required to give 50% airtime to both sides of the debate.
Nebraska State Senators Adam Morfeld, Sara Howard, and Jeremy Nordquist have introduced and sponsored LGBT rights legislation. Three bills—presented separately—would prohibit LGBT workplace discrimination, allow loving same-sex couples to become foster parents, and give access to second parent adoption.
The HRC comments: “A welcome mat must be dropped at Nebraska’s front door step to tell the nation our state is a place for all people. It is imperative that LGBT people have legal protections, and a fair chance to reach their goals and desires, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, “ said HRC Nebraska Field Organizer Drew Heckman. “As a native of the Cornhusker State, I encourage and strongly urge the Nebraska legislature to advance equality. This is a critical moment to move our state forward.”
True Detective‘s star and Irish-born actor, Colin Farrell, made an emotional plea to his fellow Irishmen when appeared on Claire Byrne Live to support same-sex marriage in Ireland. Farrell talks about his brother Eamon’s rough childhood. “I remember [my brother] coming home with blood on his shirt, and he got plenty of beatings and he got just called names continuously…so he had a very, very, very tough time, a lot of cruelty, like real, absolute shameful cruelty that was placed upon him,” Farrell said.
Previously the star penned a letter urging the people of Ireland to support same-sex marriage ahead of a referendum in the spring. “My brother Eamon didn’t choose to be gay. Yes, he chose to wear eyeliner to school and that probably wasn’t the most pragmatic response to the daily torture he experienced at the hands of school bullies,” he writes. “But he was always proud of who he was. Proud and defiant and, of course, provocative.” Read his full letter here.
The same-sex marriage referendum, the first of its kind in the world, will take place in the spring. Currently, well over half the country now supporting marriage equality (with 67% supporting a referendum allowing civil marriage)
Watch the entire interview after the jump…
Virginia Delegate Patrick Hope and Senator Louise Lucas introduced a bill protecting children and their families from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, joining a growing number of states and jurisdictions to consider and pass legislation to put an end to the discredited practice. The bill reflects the unanimous view of medical, mental health, and child welfare experts that attempts to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are ineffective and unsafe, putting youth at risk of severe long-term health impacts, including depression, substance abuse, and even suicide.
California, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. are the only states to protect children from gay conversion therapy. [NCLR]
Need a fell-good pick-me-up song this Friday, check out up-and-coming gay singer Doug Locke, whose upbeat song “This Could Be Us” puts an insta smile on our faces. The accompanying video features a lifetime worth of warm fuzzy feelings showing a gay couple remembering their love story from first encounter to the final days. [Outlandic]
Check it out after the jump…
A major court decision in Austria has ruled that gay and lesbian couples must have the same rights as opposite-sex couples wehn it comes to adopting children. The Constitutional Court ruling voids a law that said that gay couples could only adopt a child if one of the parents was the biological father or mother. Chief Judge Gerhart Holzinger said in the ruling that there is “no objective argument for a differing rule based solely on sexual orientation,” and also explained that preventing gay couples from adopting is contradictory to anti-discrimination statues of the European Human Rights Convention.
The decision is quite surprising as gay couples in Austria still cannot legally marry, they can only register as living together. [AP]