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Gay-rights and human-rights organizations worldwide are condemning the decision by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to sign into law horrific new legislation that could lead to life in prison for some LGBT people in The Gambia. HRC and other organizations are calling on the Obama Administration to conduct a full diplomatic review of the United States’ relationship with Gambia.
According to a new Associated Press report, Jammeh actually signed the bill into law on October 9, although “no government officials have yet publicly notified the country of the new law.” According to multiple news reports, earlier this year The Gambia’s National Assembly passed the legislation that includes nearly identical language to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, and the bill has since awaited the signature of Jammeh, who has a deeply troubling record on LGBT rights.
Ty Herndon. Image via Facebook.
With 17 Billboard hits and nearly two decades in country music, country music star Ty Herndon has come out of the closet. The singer of the song, “Lies That I Told Myself,” tells ET that he is now an “out, proud, and happy gay man” who hasn’t come out of the closet until now because he feared that he wouldn’t be accepted in country music. Married twice before, the singer admits that they both were both aware of his sexuality.
What made him come out now? “During an Anthony Robbins seminar, I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone’s son or daughter or grandchild’s life not be as difficult as mine has been,” he tells PEOPLE. “Maybe they wouldn’t have to go through as much pain and suffering. It’s time to tell my truth.”
Sorry boys, the 52-year-old Mississippi boy says he is happy with hsi partner and hopes to one day get married and have kids.
Image via LGBTI.org
Two months ago, Turkey became home to the country’s first umbrella organization working to fight homophobia in the country. “Because Turkey is a Islamic country, although not in the same league as Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq in its vehemently anti-LGBTI stance, there is still need for togetherness and solidarity among LGBTI groups to counter homophobia and transphobia that exists in Turkey, Burçin Bordanacı of the Turkey LGBTI Union said. The organization hopes to unite all of Turkeys gay community. Already, the organization has three LGBT websites and three organizations.
Check out their website here.
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True Detective‘s star and Irish-born actor, Colin Farrell, made an emotional plea to his fellow Irishmen when he penned a letter urging them to support same-sex marriage ahead of a referendum in the spring. The reason for this Hollywood heartthrob’s message: his brother. “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.”
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)
Read his full letter here.
Mexico City. Image via Passport
Mexico City’s lawmakers have approved a groundbreaking transgender-rights bill that allows trans* people to change their gender without a court order. The law is the first-of-its-kind for a Latin American country and the overwhelming support for the measure (42-0) signals a major change for transgender people in Mexico. “It eliminates cumbersome trials and judicial proceedings, procedures, to generate the administrative change of a legal action to which everyone has the right,” said Manuel Granados Covarrubias of the Party of the Democratic Revolution. “Their dignity is also recognized.”
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In yet another victory for same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court lifted a stay on issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples making it the 33rd state in the US to grant marriage equality to its citizens. According to WaPo: “The decision indicated that the justices are content to allow the list of states where gay marriages are sanctioned to expand, even as it seems more likely that they eventually will have to answer for the nation whether gays have a constitutional right to marry.”
State Capitol . Image via Passport
US District Judge Richard Mark Gergel ruled that denying marriage for same-sex couples in South Carolina is unconstitutional. The decision also cites a previous ruling from the U.S. Fourth Circuit of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over South Carolina. Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement: “Today’s ruling in South Carolina makes clear that all Americans share the fundamental freedom to marry, and that no state obstruction or discrimination is exempt from the Constitution’s command of equal protection of the laws. The decision adds to the powerful momentum of 50 other victories from a bipartisan cascade of federal and state courts over the past year. But we are one country, with one Constitution, and continuing discrimination in other parts of the country prolongs harms and indignity to families. The U.S. Supreme Court should act now to affirm the freedom to marry for all Americans.”
Image by Karin Hildebrand Lau
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today reversed the district court rulings of six cases from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky. In each of these states, a federal judge had ruled in favor of marriage for same-sex couples and all six rulings were appealed to the 6th Circuit. Today’s ruling essentially upholds marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky and denies same sex couples the right to marry or have their marriages recognized in these states. “This decision is an outlier that’s incompatible with the 50 other rulings that uphold fairness for all families, as well as with the Supreme Court’s decision to let marriage equality rulings stand in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia,” said Chase Strangio, staff attorney in the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “It is shameful and wrong that John Arthur’s death certificate may have to be revised to list him as single and erase his husband’s name as his surviving spouse.”
This court’s ruling will almost certainly force gay marriage to be heard by the Supreme Court of the US. “We believe it’s wholly unconstitutional to deny same sex couples and their families access to the rights and respect that all other families receive. We will be filing for Supreme Court review right away and hope that through this deeply disappointing ruling we will be able to bring a uniform rule of equality to the entire country,” he added.
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A federal judge has ruled that Kansas’ ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The ruling is stayed until November 11 pending appeal. In the ruling, the judge cited the 14th Amendment. “We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment [to the United States Constitution] protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.”
Full ruling in the case of Marie-v.-Moser can be read here.