QBits
(via In Historic Move, Governor Appoints Lesbian Judge To Puerto Rico Supreme Court | The New Civil Rights Movement)

"Democratic Governor Alejandro García Padilla has just appointed Maite Oronoz Rodríguez to the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico. Rodríguez would be the highest-ranking openly-lesbian or openly-gay judge at the state level in the U.S. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and its Supreme Court is equal to any state’s Supreme Court."

(via In Historic Move, Governor Appoints Lesbian Judge To Puerto Rico Supreme Court | The New Civil Rights Movement)

"Democratic Governor Alejandro García Padilla has just appointed Maite Oronoz Rodríguez to the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico. Rodríguez would be the highest-ranking openly-lesbian or openly-gay judge at the state level in the U.S. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and its Supreme Court is equal to any state’s Supreme Court."

Vanier Catholic graduates wear rainbow socks to ceremony

I’m surprised they were able to find than many pairs of rainbow socks in Whitehorse!

Q.

Students show support for gay-straight alliance following last year’s controversy

CBC News Posted: Jun 02, 2014 7:23 PM CT Last Updated: Jun 04, 2014 6:50 PM CT

More than half of the graduating students at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse wore rainbow socks at their cap and gown ceremony this weekend to support their school's gay-straight alliance.

More than half of the graduating students at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse wore rainbow socks at their cap and gown ceremony this weekend to support their school’s gay-straight alliance. (courtesy of Leslie Leong)

More than half of the graduating students at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse wore rainbow socks at their cap and gown ceremony this weekend to support their school’s gay-straight alliance.

The Grade 12 students lived through months of controversy over the Catholic Episcopal Corporation’s policy on homosexuality. The Yukon government ordered the policy removed from the school’s website in March 2013.

Rainbow socks at Vanier school graduation

Graduating students at Vanier Catholic Secondary School enter their cap and gown ceremony wearing rainbow socks. (courtesy of Leslie Leong)

Liam Finnegan, a student at Vanier who is gay, says his friend Kate Power was the organizer of the rainbow socks at Saturday’s ceremony.

"She wanted to make a statement saying ‘We’re not a homophobic school’ because a lot of people have that perception, so it was a really cool experience to see that," he said.

"I remember my dad telling me afterwards how it was an emotional experience, because it showed my class really supporting me, my cause and just being a really open group of people."

About 45 of the 81 students wore rainbow socks.

The Catholic Episcopal Corporation’s policy described homosexuality as “intrinsically disordered” and homosexual acts as a “grave depravity.” The Yukon Department of Education told the school a new policy should offer the same rights as other publicly funded schools and conform to statutes, including human rights legislation.

The school eventually adopted a policy that enabled students to start the Vanier Gay-Straight Alliance. It has about 30 members.​

"It’s a big difference and it’s noticeable," says Finnegan. "Even though it might have just been a few words that changed in the policy, it’s given us the chance to start a wonderful  group that’s trying to make a huge difference in our school and in our community."

He says it was great to see his classmates demonstrating their support at graduation.

Burgess Brothers on Homophobia and Sports (by Bingham Cup Sydney 2014)

"Rugby league stars and brothers Sam and Thomas Burgess encourages you to help end homophobia in sport. Spend 10 min. and take a survey that’s part of the world’s first study on homophobia in sport. www.outonthefields.com

(via World Health Organization: Eliminate Forced Surgery For Transgender People | ThinkProgress)

“Discrimination on the basis of gender identity,” the report offers, has been recognized as a “human rights violation.” It recommends that laws be revised to “remove any requirements for compulsory sterilization of transgender persons.”

(via World Health Organization: Eliminate Forced Surgery For Transgender People | ThinkProgress)

“Discrimination on the basis of gender identity,” the report offers, has been recognized as a “human rights violation.” It recommends that laws be revised to “remove any requirements for compulsory sterilization of transgender persons.”

Thousands march in Cyprus’s first gay pride parade as protesters were held back by police
Scuffles broke out between a group of some 200 Orthodox Christians and the police as they tried to break a police cordon and approach the parade
Photo: Twitter #CyprusPride

Several thousand people turned out for Cyprus’s first gay pride parade in its capital Nicosia on Saturday to call for equal rights and progress on a bill for civil partnership.

Organizers Accept LGBT Cyprus hailed the event as a ‘huge success’ and said that the turnout shows that Cypriots are shedding their conservative views.

After the parade, organisers said on Twitter: ‘Cyprus is changing. Thank you all.’

Incyprus quoted Alecos Modinos, an 81-year old veteran gay activist, as telling the crowd gathered in Nicosia’s Eleftheria (Freedom) Square: ‘I am incredibly moved. A dream of 25 years has come true.’

In the 1990s, Modinos took a case to the European Court of Human Rights which led to the decriminalization of homosexuality in Cyprus in 1998. The anti-gay law is a vestige from the Mediterranean island nation’s British colonial past.

Scuffles broke out between a group of some 200 Orthodox Christian protesters including clerics – who denounced the event they called ‘shameful’ – and the police as they tried to break a police cordon and approach the parade, the Associated Press reported.

The influential Cyprus Orthodox Christian church had earlier condemned the parade and issued a strongly-worded statement saying it considers homosexuality ‘the human being’s fall from grace and an illness and not a natural way of life or choice.’

The gay pride parade is reportedly one of the largest marches seen in Cyprus in several years, and notably bigger than protest gatherings over Cyprus’s tumultuous financial bailout in 2013.

I may be called fat – I am proud of that. I enjoy every ounce on me and every bite of food that made me that way. I may be called old, as I have enjoyed every second of my life. But if you call me ugly, you have only yourself to blame. I am beautiful in every way, and if you cannot see that, I feel sorry for you.

The Whittington Family: Ryland’s Story (by TheWhittingtonFamily)

Parenting, doing it right.

In many areas of the world being gay is still a mutancy which is clearly not tolerated in some societies. You can be put to death for your sexuality. Not in this country. We have advanced – it’s been one of the great joys of my life – since these films have been made.
(via US: Gay male student crowned prom queen in Connecticut · PinkNews.co.uk)

"A gay male student at a Connecticut school has been crowned prom queen.

Danbury High School student Nasir Fleming does not identify as transgender, but says he ran for prom queen to “show the world” that anything is possible.”

(via US: Gay male student crowned prom queen in Connecticut · PinkNews.co.uk)

"A gay male student at a Connecticut school has been crowned prom queen.

Danbury High School student Nasir Fleming does not identify as transgender, but says he ran for prom queen to “show the world” that anything is possible.”

'I remember growing up not knowing it was a thing, feeling very confused, feeling very alone,' she said. 'So that is one of the reasons why I came out publicly, to help another struggling 12 year old who is terrified - just to let them know it's okay and that it is very real. Your trials and tribulations are just as real as anybody elses.'

Jamaica’s Underground Gays | Unreported World Shorts | Channel 4 (by Channel 4)

TW:violence,homophobia, transphobia, slurs, abuse

Preview clip of a report on LGBTQ youth forced to live in the storm drains in Jamaica. A link to the full report is below. Be forewarned, neither the clip nor the full report are easy to watch.
Q.

"Krissy is openly gay in a society where 85% of the population think homosexuality is immoral.

Ostracised by her community, Krissy’s home is a storm drain; her water supply, a broken water pipe; and her evenings are regularly spent dodging hurled stones and broken bottles. Why? Because Krissy is openly gay and transgender in a society where 85% of the population think homosexuality is immoral.”


See the full, 1/2 hour report here:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/4od

Pink Dot 2014 - For Family, For Friends, For Love. (by Pink Dot SG)

This is a very sweet promo for Pink Dot 2014.
Q.

"What does the freedom to love mean to you? LGBT and straight Singaporeans share their sentiments about Pink Dot and their wish for a more open-minded and inclusive Singapore."

Canada: High school banned from flying gay pride flag

The students were told they could not fly the flag

The students were told they could not fly the flag

A High School in the Canadian province of New Brunswick has banned students from flying a gay pride flag during pride week, because of a ban on “non-official flags on public property.”

Students at the Leo Hayes High School, which has flown the rainbow flag for the past two years, were told by Premier David Alward that they could not fly the flag.

In protest, they have begun a petition to the New Brunswick government to change the policy.

The Change.org petition, set up by Tianna Whelan, aims to “allow schools to raise the pride flag because the safety and acceptable of children should be placed at a higher importance than a law that was forgotten about for two years.”

“Flying the pride flag shows students, and the public, that the school is a safe and accepting place for everyone,” the petition continues.

The New Brunswick legislature flew the rainbow flag during the Sochi Olympics to support gay athletes, although some note that it took until the sixth day of the games to raise the flag.

“Government does not move at the fastest pace, that’s for sure,” said cabinet minister Craig Leonard at the time.

“But I think what’s important is that the flag is flying today in solidarity with the LGBT community, and certainly we as a government want to make sure that message is sent loud and clear that we appreciate the LGBT community in this province.”

The Fredericton City Hall is flying the flag, and Friday marks the end of pride week at the Leo Hayes school.

Ugandan gay activists denied visas to World Pride conference

The Harper government in action.

Q.

Renowned Ugandan gay activist Frank Mugisha is the only Ugandan delegate who has a valid visa as the keynote speaker at the World Pride human rights conference in Toronto.

Renowned Ugandan gay activist Frank Mugisha is the only Ugandan delegate who has a valid visa as the keynote speaker at the World Pride human rights conference in Toronto.

Canada has refused to issue visitor visas to 10 Ugandan activists invited to Toronto’s World Pride human rights conference in June over concerns they would stay to seek asylum.

Gay rights advocates say the decisions by the Canadian visa posts in Nairobi and London speak to the hypocrisy of the Stephen Harper government, which, in February, joined other Western nations in condemning Uganda for passing one of the world’s harshest anti-homosexuality laws.

“We are shocked and appalled. These individuals from Uganda are some of the most courageous heroes,” said Andrea Houston of #ENDhatelaws, a coalition founded in response to homophobia/transphobia across the globe, amid the controversy over anti-gay laws passed in Russia prior to the Winter Olympics.

“They are here to share their stories and have every intention to go home after the conference, because they all have work to do in Uganda. The assumption is they are here to claim asylum. The question is: Why can’t they, coming from the most hostile place in the world to LGBTQ people?”

The 10 men and women — all working in precarious conditions to support Uganda’s LGBTQ community — are among 160 speakers and 400 delegates from over 40 countries invited to the June 25-27 conference at the University of Toronto.

Conference co-chair Brenda Cossman said the first visa denial was reported in early April, but concerns grew when other Ugandan invitees all had their applications rejected.

Read More

Homophobic attack on LGBTI rights group widely condemned in Chile
The government, the army and all political parties in Chile have condemned a graffiti attack on the headquarters of LGBTI rights group MOVILH in a sign of growing acceptance in Latin America
Alvaro Elizalde (left)
Photo by Warko

The headquarters of Chilean LGBTI rights group the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH) was defaced with homophobic graffiti on Saturday, sparking an outcry from across Chilean society.

Slogans such as ‘gay AIDS patients’ and ‘death to gays’ were scrawled on the building’s facade and footpath by unknown persons on the same day that 50,000 people marched in support of LGBTI equality in Alameda.

It was the first time in MOVILH’s 23 year history that such an attack was carried out on its headquarters.

‘With great sadness we saw this morning that the sidewalk and the front of our headquarters were completely lined with brutal homophobic phrases,’ the group said in a statement.

‘This clearly demonstrates that the more you advance in rights and equality for sexual diversity, the more homophobes and transphobes act with irrationality and violence against those who have a sexual orientation or gender identity different to the majority.’

The group has lodged a complaint with the police, but the incident has resulted in an outpouring of support for the group.

Chilean Government Minister Alvaro Elizalde paid a personal visit to express the government’s concern over the attack, saying that it showed the need to strengthen Chile’s laws protecting LGBTIs.

‘It is very important to be alert to condemn all forms of hate speech and acts of aggression based on sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious or ideological in the thinking of a particular person - any form of discrimination is acceptable,’ Elizalde said.

‘As a government we can not stand idly by, we can not have a passive role when we see this kind of facts occurs.

‘If you do not condemn such attacks from the beginning, then we have dramatic events as was the Zamudio case and so it is very important that as a society we are alert to condemn any incitement to hatred and acts of aggression.’

Elizalde was referring to the 2012 murder of 24-year-oldgay man Daniel Zamudio which shocked Chilean society into passing its first law protecting people from discrimination and hate crimes on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity amongst other categories.

Elizalde, who is also the Secretary General of the ruling Socialist Party was joined by all other parties in the parliament in condemning the attack.

MOVILH also received support from the Chilean Army and the United Nations.

The army’s head of communications, Colonel Cristobal de la Cerda Rodríguez, wrote to the group to share its support.

‘We share the repudiation of this treacherous attack on your headquarters,’ Rodriguez wrote.

‘[This incident] is a sign that a section of our community has not moved towards the inclusion of all. Hopefully you can overcome this and continue your work as soon as possible.’

The Regional Office for South America of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also condemned the attack.

‘This attack is of particular concern, given the role played by such organizations as defenders of human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,’ OCHCR said in a statement.

‘All sectors of society are called to repudiate any act of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It is the duty of the State to thoroughly investigate and punish those responsible for these acts, in order to prevent these forms of violence are reiterated or worsen.

‘The State of Chile has assumed international obligations to respect and guarantee against discrimination on any grounds, including sexual orientation and gender identity. This is essential to promote prevention and generate affirmative action to eradicate the stigma and stereotypes that are the basis of discourses and practices of discrimination and violence against various groups of the population.

‘We reiterate the need to carry out campaigns of public education and information to counter homophobic and transphobic attitudes, and promote the values of diversity and mutual respect. We reiterate to the powers of the State of Chile the need to build a culture of human rights that promotes the value of equality and non-discrimination.’