Belarus leads group of about 17 nations to block LGBT rights in U.N. cities plan: sources

By Paola Totaro LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A group of up to 17 countries led by Belarus has blocked a plan to include the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender communities in a new urban strategy drawn up by the United Nations, according to sources close to negotiations. Canada, backed by the European Union, the United States and Mexico, had pushed for including the recognition of LGBT people and an acknowledgment of homophobia in a key policy paper to be finalised at a major UN conference in Ecuador next week. The UN’s ‘New Urban Agenda’ is a non-binding agreement… Keep Reading


The 5 Worst States for LGBT People

If you pay attention to the news, it’s hard not to get swept up in the feeling that things are getting better for America’s LGBT citizens. However, after riding a wave of momentum in the courts this year, marriage equality hit a new roadblock in November, when the Sixth Circuit Court upheld bans in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. The decision is likely to force a ruling from the Supreme Court, a body that’s up until now been "leading from behind" on this issue. It’s also a reflection of the broader inequalities that still exist for LGBT people in today’s America,… Keep Reading


Gay rights around the world: the best and worst countries for equality

We have a US president who supports gay marriage, and now a pope who, if not exactly signing up to equality for all, is at least starting to talk in language less inflammatory than his predecessor. "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?" he told an assembled group of journalists on the papal plane back from his tour of Brazil. Then he went on to criticise the gay "lobby" and said he wasn’t going to break with the catechism that said "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered". Still, for a… Keep Reading


Presumably gay-free website poses dumb questions we hate being asked

Are there queers who work at Vice? We mean, other than Khalid El Khatib, an out gay man who skillfully wrote a worthy article that was poorly headlined, “Gay People Tell Us the Questions They Absolutely Hate Being Asked.” “Us?” “They?” That kind of phrasing puts Vice in the role of a modern-day National Geographic, dedicated to serving straight readers who are curious about “those LGBTQ folk we keep hearing about.” It’s like that well-meaning but insulting straight friend we all have, who insists on introducing us as their “gay friend,” their “lesbian roomate,” their “buddy who’s bi,” or “that transgender person I was telling y’all… Keep Reading


Transgender woman gets settlement in workplace discrimination suit

A settlement has been reached in a discrimination lawsuit brought by a transgender employee at a Fargo hospital, according to court documents filed Wednesday. Faye Seidler, who was assigned male at birth and identifies as a female, filed the complaint in December against Sanford Medical Center. The suit was seeking unspecified damages and an order to stop the hospital from discriminating against employees who have undergone or are undergoing a gender transition. Seidler’s attorney, Joshua Newville, says the agreement resolves the matter “to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.” He would not disclose terms of the settlement or comment further. Sanford’s… Keep Reading


Congrats to the brides! Salt Lake City’s out mayor marries her partner

Jackie Biskupski, the out mayor of Salt Lake City wed her partner this past weekend at a private ceremony officiated by their longtime friend, Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The ceremony was held at the Log Haven Restaurant in Salt Lake City on August 14, and the next day, Mayor Biskupski shared a message for friends and followers on Facebook. She wrote, “We have always been bonded by love, but now we are joined by law.” Biskupski is the first openly gay mayor of Utah‘s capital and has been engaged to Iverson since last… Keep Reading


Lesbian legislator who voted against marriage equality loses election

Hawaii state representative Jo Jordan made history when she became the first out elected official to vote against marriage equality. She claimed she was voting as her constituents wanted instead of her own personal feelings. Apparently, Jordan’s constituents didn’t want her to vote against her own community’s civil rights. The Democrat was defeated in Sunday’s primary election by a man who wasn’t even supposed to be on the ballot. Cedric Asuega Gates, who ran against Jordan two years ago as a Green Party candidate, beat the incumbent for a chance to face off with Republican Marc Paaluhui in November. Local Republicans… Keep Reading


Chants of ‘Love Beats Hate’ Fill Vigils, as Obama Plans Fla. Visit

Thousands crowded the streets Monday around the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan where large-scale gay rights activism got its start in 1969. Under banners heralding the upcoming Pride Week event, people held hands and hugged. Some waved rainbow flags and others carried signs showing support for Orlando as they listened to a slew of elected officials, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Spectators watched from fire escapes and windows of nearby apartment buildings as chants of “love beats hate” rang from the crowd. Thomas Dougherty, 23, of Manhattan, said he came to the rally to feel… Keep Reading

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