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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

It’s Time for Full Federal Equality for Gay Americans

July 24th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

The Equality Act, a landmark federal non-discrimination bill that would ensure all LGBT Americans have the protections from discrimination in federal law they deserve, is receiving some major endorsements from a civil rights icon, major leaders in Corporate America, prominent Republican and Democratic members of the legal community, as well as new polling demonstrating overwhelming bipartisan support among the American public.

Introduced one month after the historic Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that ushered in nationwide marriage equality, the Equality Act would guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBT people in many of the most important aspects of their lives.  HRC President Chad Griffin joined individuals who have been victims of discrimination and several prominent members of Congress at a press conference today on Capitol Hill to introduce the legislation.

The Equality Act, which was introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley, Tammy Baldwin, Cory Booker, and Representative David Cicilline, has more than 140 cosponsors in the House, including Representative John Lewis, and at least 39 in the Senate. The legislation establishes explicit, permanent protections against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of employment, housing, access to public places, federal funding, credit, education and jury service. In addition, it would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in federal funding and access to public places.

All in the Family, Negotiating in a New LGBT Legal Landscape

July 23rd, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Between marriage, the less celebratory divorces that sometimes follow, and the evolution of rights and laws as far as having children—biologically, adopted, via surrogate, or otherwise—these are also times when LGBT individuals considering families need to look into and brush up on legal responsibilities they may have never considered before. This includes securing counsel educated and experienced in legislation, precedents, and loopholes specific to their situations and specific state of residence. The price of equality may also include some steep legal fees.

North Carolina’s Cheri C. Patrick and Manhattan’s Peggy Brady are two openly gay attorneys who possess not only impressive, extensive pedigrees in LGBT family law, but relatable personal situations that require specialized legal services themselves.

Patrick and her wife Phyllis Sewell are parents of a 24-year-old son, Cash Nelson, while Brady, separated from her longtime partner, shares custody of a 12-year-old boy. Both attorneys intimately understand how what may entail a black-and-white situation for heterosexuals can mutate into something that is precarious and vague for families involving same-sex partners.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…

Baby Trapped in Thailand Because Dads Are Gay

July 22nd, 2015 Comments off
Photo via Gordon Lake/Facebook

Photo via Gordan Lake

A same-sex couple cannot leave Thailand with their baby because the surrogate mother doesn’t approve of their gay relationship. The surrogate, who is not the infant’s biological mother, refuses to sign the documents required to grant Gordon Lake, an American, and his Spanish husband, Manuel, a passport for the child.

“I was flabbergasted, in a complete state of shock. It’s your worst nightmare in a process like this. I didn’t believe it,” Lake, 41, told The Guardian. “We sent messages back. Hoping there was some sort of miscommunication. We were terrified.”

Now half a year later, the family of four, including the couple’s almost-two year old son Álvaro, are living under the radar in Bangkok, fearing that their daughter will be taken from them.

“She said she thought she was doing this for an ‘ordinary family’ and when she found out that it wasn’t an ordinary family, she was worried for Carmen’s wellbeing,” Lake said. The couple has a new lawyer and plan to begin a court case for full parental rights of Carmen later in the month.

“… Carmen has two teeth already and [Lake’s] son calls her little sister,” the Guardian reports.

European Court of Human Rights Rules All European Countries Should Recognize Same-Sex Partnerships

July 21st, 2015 Comments off

Image via Passport Magazine

Image via Passport Magazine

This just in from HRC:

The European Court on Human Rights has ruled that all signatories to the European Convention of Human Rights, including countries like Turkey and Russia, where discrimination and violence against LGBT people has recently made headlines, should recognize same-sex partnerships. This ruling, which could impact 47 countries, and 800 million people, is a major step in granting greater rights and equality to LGBT people across Europe, and around the world.

The case, Oliary and Others v. Italy, was brought by plaintiffs urging Italy to recognize their legal partnerships that had been granted outside of Italy. While arguing that same-sex partnership recognition is a right, this ruling allows signatory countries to chose which form of recognition they wish confer. HRC calls on all country signatories to embrace full marriage equality.

Find out more after the jump…
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Snap for Equality and Win First-Class Trips from Orbitz

July 20th, 2015 Comments off

 

ORB_SnapForEquality_hdr_960x300_20150625_final

How do first-class flights and hotel stays around the US or Europe sound? All you have to do is take a video or photo of how you celebrate pride. So what exactly do you win? The Video grand prize: Choose from 2 business-class flights to Europe with hotel stay or 4 first-class flights within the US with hotel stay. Photo grand prize: 2 first-class flights within the US with hotel stay. ORB_SnapForEquality_Enter_img_428x385_20150625

For more information, visit Orbitz’s contest page. 

EEOC Ruling Affirms that Lesbian and Gay Employment Discrimination is Prohibited

July 17th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) affirmed that it considers employment discrimination based on sexual orientation to be prohibited under the sex discrimination provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Commission ruled that “allegations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation necessarily state a claim of discrimination on the basis of sex.” The ruling constitutes the EEOC’s official interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the primary statute governing employment discrimination claims against both public and private employers and will guide future EEOC enforcement of federal nondiscrimination laws.

 

Watch Caitlyn Jenner Give Groundbreaking Speech at ESPY Awards

July 16th, 2015 Comments off
Screen cap via ESPY

Screen cap via ESPY

Caitlyn Jenner, who was being honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, took the time to not only make quips about getting ready for the big night, but also how she hoped to “reshape the landscape” on how transgender individuals are viewed.

Watch by clicking here. 

Senate Fails Gay Students

July 16th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Today, in the first major vote on LGBT equality since the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, the Senate failed to pass the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA)—a bill that would prohibit public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, decried the Republican-led defeat of the critical legislation for LGBT youth.

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) offered SNDA as an amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act, which would update federal education law. The amendment failed on a vote of 52 to 45.

“Although a solid majority of Senators voted for this vital legislation, we are deeply disappointed that Republican leaders insisted on a super majority 60 vote threshold for passage,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “Every child deserves to learn in an environment free from discrimination and harassment, including those who are LGBT. Seven fair-minded Republican Senators joined every Democratic Senator in favor of protecting our nation’s kids from discrimination based on who they are. It’s time for Senators who voted against equality to put politics aside for the sake of our nation’s youth and instead reflect the strong support among the American people for these vital protections.”

Federal statutory protections address discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and disability.  Unfortunately, federal civil rights laws do not expressly protect students from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Decades of civil rights history shows that civil rights laws are effective in decreasing discrimination because they provide strong federal remedies targeted to specific vulnerable groups.

Modeled after Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, SNDA would explicitly prohibit public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, SNDA prohibits discrimination against any student because of the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of a person with whom a student associates or has associated.

Watch People’s Reactions to Men Holding Hands in Russia

July 13th, 2015 Comments off
Screen Cap via YouTube

Screen Cap via YouTube

Because of legalized institutional discrimination against gays and lesbians in Russia, attitudes toward the LGBT community has grown increasingly more hostile. Posted on a Russian YouTube channel callee Cheburussia, two men walk down the street of Moscow holding hands. The reaction from the general public ranges—the two get bigoted slurs thrown at them and even physically abused.

Watch after the jump…

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Shane Dawson, YouTube Celebrity, Comes Out as Bisexual in Uplifting New Video

July 8th, 2015 Comments off
Image via YouTube

Image via YouTube

In a tearful confession seen by more than 1.7 million people, YouTube personality Shane Dawson came out as bisexual. “Over the last year I have been extremely sexually confused. I mean my whole life, but this last year is when it really hit me,” he said with tears in his eyes. The vlogger, who has over 6.7 million subscribers, joins a growing cast of influential YouTube users who have come out in the last year. Dawson’s video shows the 26-year-old describing the struggle of being bisexual. “And it would be so much easier to just say, ‘Yeah, you know, I’m gay.’ But I’m not completely gay, and I can’t sit here and say that I am. But I also can’t sit here and say that I’m straight [either],” he said. His channel ShaneDawsonTV has more than one billion views making him most likely the most watched LGBTQ person on the website.

Watch the full video after the jump…

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