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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

New School Created For LGBTQ People in the Islamic Communitiy

November 24th, 2015 Comments off
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In a world riddled with anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks, Daayiee Abdullah, an openly gay man and Washington D.C.–based Muslim religious leader, has bridged the two communities and created an online school for Islamic Philosophy open for all those in the LGBTQ community.

Abdullah, the first openly gay imam in the United States, started his fight for free religious access to all LGBTQ people, including those with HIV/AIDS, working to bring further inclusivity in the Muslim community since 2002.

In a recent article Abdullah said: “The idea that same-sex-oriented people cant be as faithful or pious as heterosexuals is not something that is found in the Quran.”

For years, Abdullah has been contesting the homophobic ideas and remarks flooding Muslim religion and eventually decided it was time to create the MECCA Institute.

The online school should be offering classes as early as Fall of 2016 and provide more modern take on Islamic philosophy among many other courses.

To learn more about the amazing school Abdullah has created click here.

National Organization for Marriage Violates Federal Law…Again

November 23rd, 2015 Comments off
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Image via Facebook

The HRC has filed a formal complaint with the IRS against the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for violating federal law by refusing to disclose their 2014 Form 990s. Following their November 16 deadline, NOM is required by law to provide a copy of the organization’s Form 990s for the previous fiscal year on the same day any in-person request is made. For the third year in a row, HRC has made such a request at NOM offices and the organization has failed to comply, prompting HRC to file a complaint with the IRS in order to compel the disclosure of the documents.

According to analysis of the organization’s 2013 tax filings done by HRC, NOM raised $5.1 million in 2013, dropping by over 50% since 2012. Just 2 donors accounted for more than half of the organization’s funding – further evidence that everyday Americans have little interest in furthering NOM’s extremist agenda. In addition, the NOM Education Fund also showed a decrease of nearly $3.5 million in funding—a drop of almost 70% since the previous year. NOM ended the year more than $2.5 million in debt.

Last year, the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices voted unanimously to impose record civil penalties against NOM totaling $50,250. The Commission also directed NOM to file disclosure reports after a four-year investigation exposed “a significant violation of law” by the national anti-LGBT organization. The penalties were the largest ever imposed for a campaign finance violation in Maine history.



Commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015

November 20th, 2015 Comments off

Image via Passport.

Today marks Transgender Day of Remembrance. The day was started in response to the murders, violence, and hate crimes that the transgender community faces each day (an emotional list of those who we have lost this year alone). It honors both those who have been tragically lost as well as those who continue the fight against transphobia. To end the violence, discrimination, and bullying, we must continue to educate, empower, and unite behind this important cause.

Click here for a huge list of international events to mark the occasion.

Indiana Republicans Draft Anti-Gay Discrimination Bill That Allows Discrimination

November 19th, 2015 Comments off
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Mike Pence. Image via Facebook

Indiana’s Senate Bill 100, introduced by Senate Republicans, will not cover many Hoosiers from discrimination. While the authors are framing the bill as nondiscrimination legislation, it includes broad exemptions allowing discrimination by a host of religious organizations and small businesses. The bill discourages people from filing discrimination complaints and would preempt many towns and counties from passing their own local nondiscrimination ordinances.

Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of Equality Federation said:
“This bill is so full of exemptions and carve-outs that it could have the unintentional consequence of putting Hoosiers at greater risk of discrimination. The majority of Americans, including Hoosiers, agree that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people should be protected from discrimination and treated fairly under the law. Businesses that serve the public should serve all of the public. While most employers, landlords, and service providers want to do the right thing, we need protections for when there are a few bad apples who will discriminate.”

Thirteen cities and counties already have nondiscrimination protections in place, and 11 out of 12 Indiana Fortune 500 include sexual orientation and/or gender identity in their corporate nondiscrimination policies.

Thousands of Mormons Leave Church Over Harsher Anti-Gay Policy

November 16th, 2015 Comments off
Mormons participating in 2012 gay pride in

Mormons participating in 2012 gay pride in

In a formidable display of support for the LGBT community, thousands of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints resigned from the church yesterday in protest of a new policy that includes a ban on the baptism of children of same-sex couples. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, responded to the mass resignation by urging the Mormon church to rescind the deplorable attack on loving and committed same-sex couples and their families.

“Thousands of the Mormon faithful standing with the LGBT community sends a powerful message that love will always win,” said Mary Beth Maxwell of the HRC. “Turning children away, asking them to disavow their parents, and devaluing the lives of same-sex couples and their families is shocking to people of faith committed to welcoming all God’s children. We hope that church leaders will reconsider this hurtful and deplorable policy.”

The policy characterizes the relationships of Mormons in same-sex couples as “serious transgressions,” calling them apostates of the faith and putting them on par with those who commit murder, rape, sexual abuse, spousal abuse, or intentionally cause serious physical harm to others, as well as those who engage in adultery, fornication, or abandon their family responsibilities. The policy also marks the first time a Christian church has enshrined a baptismal ban on children of same-sex couples.

recent report released by Pew Research shows growing acceptance of the LGBT community by members of the Mormon church. In the new report, 36 percent of Mormons said they agree with the statement, “homosexuality should be accepted by society,” a 12 percent increase from 2007.

Tyrant Judge Scott Johansen Strips Loving Lesbian Couple Of Their Soon-To-Be Adopted Baby Girl

November 12th, 2015 Comments off
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Image via Facebook

Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland, a Utah couple whose marriage became legally recognized following this summer’s Supreme Court decision.

Wanting to further develop a family, they decided to become foster parents. With the newly legal same-sex marriage law, child services licensed the couple as foster parents.

For a short time all was well on the home front.

On Wednesday, a Utah judge, Scott Joahnsen, a notorious judge among those residing in Utah, declared that the one-year-old foster daughter would be better off in the care of heterosexual parents.

The parents as well as the governor of Utah were all confused by this decision. According to the Washington Post, Utah Gov. Gary Herbet said: “I’m a little puzzled by the action down there, personally. [The judge] may not like the law, but he should follow the law…We don’t want to have activism on the bench in any way, shape or form.”

Thankfully, the courts decision has not gone unnoticed by activist groups. The Human Rights Campaign condemned the decision, which will take effect in seven days.

Chad Griffin, the advocacy group’s president, said in a statement: “Removing a child from a loving home simply because the parents are LGBT is outrageous, shocking, and unjust.”

Attention on this mistreatment of justice is spreading with hopes of an appropriate resolution.

To read more about the many flagrant decisions made by Judge Scott Joahnsen click here.

Ukraine Sides Closer to the European Union, Adopts LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law

November 12th, 2015 Comments off
10 November 2015: LGBT Communities Hold Action Outside Rada in Kiev. They urge the parliament to adopt laws required for the visa liberalization with the European Union. Image via Furyk Nazar

10 November 2015: LGBT Communities Hold Action Outside Rada in Kiev. They urge the parliament to adopt laws required for the visa liberalization with the European Union. Image via Furyk Nazar

The Ukrainian Parliament passed nondiscrimination legislation in the Ukrainian Parliament that will provide needed workplace protections for LGBT citizens and others throughout the country. The bill, which introduces a new clause to Ukraine’s Labor Code, aims to protect a wide range of people seeking to work free from discrimination and abuse in the country. The legislation was part of a series of reforms that the legislature, known as Verkhovna Rada, has been considering in order to establish visa-free travel throughout the European Union for its citizens.  Although the legislation met controversy and required several rounds of voting to pass, this decision is a demonstration of progress for LGBT equality in the nation.

“This is the first time in 25 years where LGBT people in Ukraine have legal protection from discrimination,” said Bogdan Globa, founder and executive director of Fulcrum, an LGBT rights advocacy organization in Ukraine.  “This vote proves that Ukraine can change, and must change, to welcome and protect its LGBT citizens.  The battle for full equality still lies ahead, and we will continue to work for protections from all form of discrimination as part of a free and democratic Ukraine with equal rights for all.”

This is a major step for the Ukraine, though there is a lot more work that has to be done in the country.

The speaker of the Parliament, told the MPs, “I hear some fake information which says that there may be same-sex marriages in Ukraine. God forbid, this will ever happen. We will never support this.”

This summer, LGBT activists in Ukraine were brutally beaten and attacked during Kiev’s annual Gay Pride Parade, and a month later two men were violently assaulted for merely holding hands in public.

The legislation was required for the Ukraine to become part of Shengen and to allow for Ukrainian citizens to travel visa-free throughout much of the European Union. EU officials will meet in two weeks to decide whether the country can travel visa-free. [HRC] & [BBC]

Dallas Votes to Strengthen Anti-Discrimination Language, After Houston Disappointing Vote

November 12th, 2015 Comments off
Dallas Pride. Image via Worldpics

Dallas Pride. Image via Worldpics

The Dallas City Council unanimously approved language strengthening the city’s ordinance for transgender residents and visitors. While transgender people were already protected in the city’s ordinance under a broad definition of sexual orientation that included an “individual’s real or perceived gender identity,” today’s vote in favor of equality appropriately separates the definition of gender identity from sexual orientation and reaffirms the protections.

“Today, the Dallas City Council took action to strengthen protections for transgender Americans and reaffirm their commitment to equality and justice for every person,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “In the wake of a vicious campaign in Houston that attacked transgender people and led to the repeal of common sense protections, Dallas today sent a vital message that they will fight to protect and advance the rights of transgender people.”

Colombian Court Rules Gay Couples Can Adopt Children

November 5th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

A major and progressive milestone in Colombia as a constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples can now adopt children. Previously a gay person could only adopt if one member of the couple was biologically related to the child. The ruling, which took place Wednesday, states that adoption agencies must not discriminate against a gay or lesbian couple.

In limiting, the court order continues, gay couples from adopting “limits children’s right to a family.”

“A person’s sexual orientation or gender are not in and of themselves indicative of a lack of moral, physical or mental suitability to adopt,” said the chief justice of the Constitutional Court, Maria Victoria Calle Correa.

While the decision is progressive and welcomed, gay rights activists still have a cloud looming over them—the country still hasn’t fully legalized same-sex marriage. [BBC]


France Lifts Ban on Gay Blood

November 4th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

France has lifted the archaic ban on gay and bisexual men from donating blood. Beginning next year, blood donors will not be asked if they have had sex with another man in the past 12 months. Gay men can currently donate blood in most of the UK (not in Northern Ireland), Sweden, and the Netherlands.

Currently gay men cannot donate blood in the US, despite mass protest to the discriminatory policy.