MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica’s has signed the country’s marriage equality bill into law, making the South American country the 12th nation in the world and third in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage.
Uruguay becomes the third country in the Americas after Canada and Argentina to eliminate laws making marriage, adoption and other family rights exclusive to heterosexuals.
The DOMA Project: Our Faces - Families Fight to Defeat DOMA (by gaybinationals)
“17 years ago today, the Defense of Marriage Act was introduced to Congress. (http://www.domaproject.org/2013/05/ma…)
Since it was signed into law by President Clinton it has caused immeasurable harm to lesbian and gay Americans and our families. It has destroyed marriages, torn apart families, depeleted savings, forced us to defer plans to start families, to buy a home, start a business or pursue our education. DOMA has robbed us of years of our lives, it has left us poorer, unable to care for our families, forced into exile, separated from those we love, living in fear of a deportation, hiding in a double closet and enduring a constant, crippling burden of stress that few relationships could survive.
And yet we are still here, tens of thousands of lesbian and gay binational couples, DOMA WARRIORS all of us, not waiting, but fighting. Not sitting on the sidelines, but joining a movement made by us for us. We have empowered each other, and we have created a supportive environment to share our stories and lift ourselves up. DOMA has destroyed much, but our love endures.
We have fought this fight for love, and we will win.
On the anniversary of that dark day, we’d like to extend our thanks to thousands of gay and lesbian binational couples who have joined together in the fight to defeat DOMA. We are closer than ever to winning full equality.
Support The DOMA Project: www.domaproject.org/donate
“Gay” (by Theo Chen)
A very perceptive and articulate young man speaks about bullying at school because he is perceived to be gay.
TW: slurs, bullying
This school district just seems to want to rub salt in this poor guys wounds. I hope other students in his graduating class will show their support for him.
Say it will announce transgender male student by his ‘legal’ female birth name at graduation
RED LION, Pa. – The Red Lion Area School District (RLASD) has refused to change its policy regarding transgender candidates for prom court, nor will it agree to allow transgender students to use a name at graduation to match their gender identity, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
In a letter from the school district’s solicitor, the Red Lion School district said it would read the “legal name” of a transgender student at graduation, and not his chosen male name by which he identifies.
RLASD’s treatment of its transgender students became an issue last month after Issak Wolfe, was denied the chance to run for prom king when his principal placed his female birth name in the column for “prom queen,” despite repeated requests to be listed in accordance with his gender identity.
On April 25, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Pennsylvania sent a letter on behalf of Wolfe, asking among other things, that the school allow Wolfe to attend graduation wearing a black cap and gown for boys, as opposed to the yellow cap and gown mandated for girls, and have his male name read at the ceremony.
The letter also asked that the school adopt a policy to allow students to run for prom court in accordance with their gender identity, as well as a broader nondiscrimination policy protecting transgender students in the district.
In his response, the school district’s solicitor agreed to allow Issak to wear a black cap and gown but denied the rest of his requests. The school said it would announce Wolfe by his female birth name instead.
Wolfe has gone by Issak since the summer before his junior year of high school, and his family, friends, and most of his teachers call him by that name.
Now a senior who turned 18 a few weeks ago, Wolfe said he plans to legally change his name, but that process, which involves a court hearing, cannot be completed in time for graduation next month.
“There is absolutely no legitimate reason for the school to refuse to read Issak’s male name at graduation,” said Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “Their failure to do so shows the same lack of sensitivity they exhibited during Issak’s attempt to run for prom king and knowingly mars what should be a happy occasion for Issak and his family.”
Wolfe plans to take his case to the RLASD school board at their next meeting on Thursday, May 16.
“It’s a shame the school district won’t adopt common-sense policies that would protect other transgender students down the line,” said Leslie Cooper, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “All students should feel welcome at school and accepted for who they are.”
The ALCU has previously threatened legal action against the school district if it refuses to meet its demands, including calling Wolfe by his chosen name at graduation.
Here’s to the Moms (by Google)
To all the moms out there!
Interesting that the local authroities and communities see these couples for who they are, married, just like any other couple.
A Cambodian LGBT rights activist said that some local authorities in the southeast Asian nation already recognize gay couples as married.
‘Some local authorities give marriage certificates to lesbian couples,’ said Srorn Srun facilitator for Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK) in a interview with Gay Star News.
Cambodian law defines marriage as between a man and a woman only but in some provinces in the country local government officials have decided to recognize gay couples.
Some of these local government leaders will share their experiences at an IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) organized by RoCK as part of Cambodia Pride Week on 17 May.
There are 15 lesbian couples that Srorn knows have been issued marriage certificates in Kandal, Takeo, Prey Veng and Kampong Chhnang provinces.
‘After Pride Week my job is to visit more provinces and interview gay couples who been given family books from the local authorities, because when they give you a family book it means that they are officially, legally family.’
This means that lucky lesbian women are the first same-sex couples to be legally recognized in Asia.
‘In practice they are married,’ said Srun. ‘They have lived together for many years and the chief says “they live together for a long time already so we don’t mind, we accept them”.’
Srun said he thinks lesbian couples are accepted more than gay couples because they are more likely to stay in their hometown and live quiet lives.
Posted: May 5, 2013 11:21 AM ET
Last Updated: May 5, 2013 11:18 AM ET
The crowd cheered as Rohit Singh and her husband approached Saturday afternoon.
“I am damn happier than the day of my wedding,” said Singh. “I never thought this kind of crowd would come to support me here in Saskatoon,” she said.
Many people at the peaceful protest brought signs. One read “transgender rights are human rights,” another read “support transgender rights.”
The protesters also circulated a petition to the provincial government that calls for more human rights protection for transgender people.
According to transgender people like Miki Mappin, who was at the protest, the current language used in Saskatchewan’s human rights law to protect the transgendered is too vague.
Mappin feels it needs to be tailored to address the specific discrimination the gender minority faces and hopes the 150 signatures they got Saturday is a step towards preventing others from being discriminated against in the future.
“I lost my job,” said Mappin. “I wanted to go to human rights, but I was told I had to choose one of the acceptable grounds to file a human rights complaint — I didn’t want to accuse my colleagues of sexual harassment because that is not what they had been doing,” Mappin added.
Other protesters were demanding a boycott of the bridal shop. Peter Garden was there holding a sign that read “let’s leave this bride at the altar — boycott Jenny’s Bridal.”
Garden owns Turning The Tide bookstore in Saskatoon. He said as a business owner he was offended by the way Singh was treated because she was transgender, and he hopes a boycott will teach the store owner a lesson.
“You know, I think that people make mistakes,” said Garden. “I think they have a chance to recognize them and apologize for them. I don’t think that is what the owner of this business has done.”
Protesters remained in front of Jenny’s Bridal for over an hour.
Albania amended its criminal code and put hate crimes against sexual orientation and gender identity on par with an offense against gender, race, ethnicity, religious belief, disability and so on.
It also passed a new law punishing the dissemination of homophobic information through any means (including the internet) by a fine and up to two years imprisonment.
Albania’s parliament amended yesterday (4 May) Section 50/j of its criminal code to strictly punish a crime ’when the offense is committed due to reasons related to gender, race, color, ethnicity, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health status, genetic predisposition, or disability’.
If a crime has occurred for the above reasons, including based on sexual orientation and gender identity, then the circumstances are aggravating and the perpetrator will be punished more severely (i.e. with no recourse to ‘mitigating circumstance’).
Albania’s parliament also introduced the concept of crimes against the LGBT community through information technology.
Article 119/a, adds a new crime to the list of offenses that is the ‘distribution of racist, homophobic or xenophobic materials through systems of communication and information technology.’
The law makes it a criminal offence: ‘Providing to the public or distribution of deliberate materials containing racist, homophobic or xenophobic content, through the communication and information technology, is punishable by a fine or imprisonment up to two years.’
In the case of deliberate dissemination of homophobic materials on the Internet (website, social networks like Facebook, etc.) or in any other form, will be considered a criminal offense that can be punishable by up to two years imprisonment.
Kazakhstan does not have marriage equality, but that didn’t stop Karolina and Kristina from getting married.
Several recent studies have reached similar conclusions, that which we hate most in others is often what we fear most about ourselves.
By RICHARD M. RYAN and WILLIAM S. RYAN
Published: April 27, 2012
WHY are political and religious figures who campaign against gay rights so often implicated in sexual encounters with same-sex partners?
In recent years, Ted Haggard, an evangelical leader who preached that homosexuality was a sin, resigned after a scandal involving a former male prostitute; Larry Craig, a United States senator who opposed including sexual orientation in hate-crime legislation, was arrested on suspicion of lewd conduct in a men’s bathroom; and Glenn Murphy Jr., a leader of the Young Republican National Convention and an opponent of same-sex marriage, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge after being accused of sexually assaulting another man.
One theory is that homosexual urges, when repressed out of shame or fear, can be expressed as homophobia. Freud famously called this process a “reaction formation” — the angry battle against the outward symbol of feelings that are inwardly being stifled. Even Mr. Haggard seemed to endorse this idea when, apologizing after his scandal for his anti-gay rhetoric, he said, “I think I was partially so vehement because of my own war.”
It’s a compelling theory — and now there is scientific reason to believe it. In this month’s issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, we and our fellow researchers provide empirical evidence that homophobia can result, at least in part, from the suppression of same-sex desire.
Our paper describes six studies conducted in the United States and Germany involving 784 university students. Participants rated their sexual orientation on a 10-point scale, ranging from gay to straight. Then they took a computer-administered test designed to measure their implicit sexual orientation. In the test, the participants were shown images and words indicative of hetero- and homosexuality (pictures of same-sex and straight couples, words like “homosexual” and “gay”) and were asked to sort them into the appropriate category, gay or straight, as quickly as possible. The computer measured their reaction times.
The twist was that before each word and image appeared, the word “me” or “other” was flashed on the screen for 35 milliseconds — long enough for participants to subliminally process the word but short enough that they could not consciously see it. The theory here, known as semantic association, is that when “me” precedes words or images that reflect your sexual orientation (for example, heterosexual images for a straight person), you will sort these images into the correct category faster than when “me” precedes words or images that are incongruent with your sexual orientation (for example, homosexual images for a straight person). This technique, adapted from similar tests used to assess attitudes like subconscious racial bias, reliably distinguishes between self-identified straight individuals and those who self-identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Using this methodology we identified a subgroup of participants who, despite self-identifying as highly straight, indicated some level of same-sex attraction (that is, they associated “me” with gay-related words and pictures faster than they associated “me” with straight-related words and pictures). Over 20 percent of self-described highly straight individuals showed this discrepancy.
Notably, these “discrepant” individuals were also significantly more likely than other participants to favor anti-gay policies; to be willing to assign significantly harsher punishments to perpetrators of petty crimes if they were presumed to be homosexual; and to express greater implicit hostility toward gay subjects (also measured with the help of subliminal priming). Thus our research suggests that some who oppose homosexuality do tacitly harbor same-sex attraction.
What leads to this repression? We found that participants who reported having supportive and accepting parents were more in touch with their implicit sexual orientation and less susceptible to homophobia. Individuals whose sexual identity was at odds with their implicit sexual attraction were much more frequently raised by parents perceived to be controlling, less accepting and more prejudiced against homosexuals.
It’s important to stress the obvious: Not all those who campaign against gay men and lesbians secretly feel same-sex attractions. But at least some who oppose homosexuality are likely to be individuals struggling against parts of themselves, having themselves been victims of oppression and lack of acceptance. The costs are great, not only for the targets of anti-gay efforts but also often for the perpetrators. We would do well to remember that all involved deserve our compassion.
Transgender bride complains of discrimination
Posted: May 3, 2013 12:11 AM ET
Last Updated: May 3, 2013 3:21 AM ET
Rohit Singh found this gown at another bridal shop and wore it for her wedding. (Courtesy Rohit Singh)
A Saskatoon woman who identifies herself as transgender says a bridal shop in the city refused to let her try on dresses as she planned her wedding.
Rohit Singh says she was looking at outfits in Jenny’s Bridal Boutique but when she asked to try one on, she was refused.
Singh said she plans to file a formal complaint about her treatment with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
“It might happen to some other transgender that might come to the store and she will hurt the same,” Singh said. “It so embarrassed me and my husband.”
“Discrimination,” Singh said of the experience. “I’m damn sure it’s discrimination.”
The shop owner thought Singh was a man and felt other people in the store were uncomfortable with Singh trying on dresses.
“She said, sorry we don’t allow men to wear dresses here,” Singh recalled. “I said I’m not a man, I’m transgender.”
Singh says she has started the process for a sex change.
When contacted Thursday by CBC News, the bridal shop owner, who declined to provide her surname, said she stands by her decision.
“To me it doesn’t matter,” the owner said. “He looked like a man. There was quite a few brides in the store. If you see a man trying on dresses, you’re going to feel uncomfortable.”
Singh later found a red gown at My Lynh Bridal, on Idylwyld Drive North, where she described the service as excellent. Singh’s marriage took place on Monday.
Rhode Island Gives Final Approval to Marriage Equality; Governor Will Sign Bill at 5:45 pm Chafee Rhode Island has approved marriage equality with a final House vote of 56-15! Governor Lincoln Chafee announced yesterday that he would sign the bill at the Rhode Island State House at 5:45 pm today. The law will take effect beginning August 1.
UPDATE: Watch signing LIVE here.
For example, employment discrimination has shaped the long-term financial stability of many LGBT elders of color, many of whom are concentrated in sectors with low wages, few labor protections, routine discrimination and limited health and savings options,” it states. “Economic security is core to the health and well-being of LGBT elders of color.”
It states that, among other things, LGBT elders of color, experience higher rates of illness, isolation, disability and premature death.
The 10 recommendations made in the report addressed issues such as greater access of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), strengthening Social Security Benefits, housing security, strengthening response to HIV and aging and the inclusion of transition-related care in federally funded health programs.
Click the link to download the full report.
Another nail in the colonial coffin as fa’afafine is a traditionally recognized gender category in Samoan society that was almost wiped out by the 1961 Crimes Ordinance.
Fa’afafine, a third gender culture native to Samoa, are celebrating because a new law decriminalizes ‘impersonating a woman’.
The Crimes Act 2012, which came into law yesterday, replaced the Crimes Ordinance 1961 which criminalized ‘the impersonation of a female’ by any male in Samoa. The law was used to persecute fa’afafine with fines or imprisonment as the penalty.
Although the law stopped being enforced by police in the early 1980s. The Samoa Fa’afaine Association (SFA) said the repeal of the law is ‘a huge celebration for the fa’afafine community and vindication for families who have lost members to acts of violence’.
President of SFA Roger Stanley said:
‘SFA is calling out to all fa’afafine of Samoa and fa’afafine of Samoan decent living overseas - come, lets celebrate! Today is when our fight to reform these laws has resulted in great success.
‘This means that you are now legally allowed to dress and act like a lady if it is your choice, and you will not be fined or imprisoned for your choices, ever!’
Stanley thanked Alex Su’a, Phineas Hartson-Matautia and Ymania Brown for spearheading the submission to the government arguing for a repeal of the law.
‘All those that came before us who suffered, and were imprisoned or fined and even died due to their choices, well they did not do so in vain,’ concluded Stanley.
‘We are happily living in harmony here in Samoa,’ said Stanley. ‘So we just don’t want to stir things up.’
Samoa, formerly known as Western Somoa, became independent from New Zealand in 1962. In the 2012 census a population of nearly 200,000 was recorded.