Lithuanian Law Targeting Gay Pride Parades Blocked In Procedural Vote

I’m happy for Lithuanian LGBT’s success! Let’s hope it continues.

A bill that would impose a fine for “contempt” of “moral values” failed to get the necessary votes needed to be formally considered by Lithuania’s parliament on Thursday.

The bill was intended to block events like gay pride marches, according to an explanatory memo submitted by the bill’s sponsor, Member of Parliament Petras Gražulis.

Though a plurality of MPs voted to bring the proposal to a vote — 39 in favor, 34 opposed, and 20 abstentions — this was not enough to move the measure to a vote under rules of procedure.
Gražulis responded to the vote by accusing MPs from the Conservative party who did not back the bill of “changing not only their political orientation but their sexual orientation too.”

Full story

signature

Ugandan President Signs Controversial Anti-Gay Bill

I fear for LGBT Ugandans. 😦

ENTEBBE, Uganda (AP) — Uganda’s president on Monday signed a controversial anti-gay bill that has harsh penalties for homosexual sex, saying the bill is necessary because “arrogant and careless Western groups” had tried to “recruit” Ugandan children into homosexuality.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill at his official residence in an event witnessed by government officials, journalists and a team of Ugandan scientists whose report —which found that there is no genetic basis for homosexuality — Museveni has cited as his reason for backing the bill.

“We Africans never seek to impose our view on others. If only they could let us alone,” he said, talking of Western pressure not to sign the bill.

Full story

signature

Homophobic vs “Godophobic”

The Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland has a very interesting stance on homosexuals.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin cautioned Catholics against homophobia in a series of interviews over the weekend, warning that such behavior is an insult to God. “God never created anybody that he doesn’t love,” Martin told The Independent.

“Anybody who doesn’t show love towards gay and lesbian people is insulting God. They are not just homophobic if they do that — they are actually Godophobic because God loves every one of those people,” he said.

In a radio interview about Ireland’s upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage, the archbishop said that the country’s gay community “has suffered enormously” due to the culture of homophobia.

“Anyone who grew up in Ireland would have told jokes that were pointed at the gay community… it is part of the culture we grew up in, but we have to grow out of it.” The country’s anti-LGBT culture has been in the news over the past few weeks after a prominent activist delivered a damning speech about homophobia and an openly gay member of the Irish Parliament revealed he had been harassed, spit at, and even beaten because of his sexuality.

Full story

signature

Olympic Advertisers Come Out in Support of Gay Rights

Well, finally!

There has been no shortage of protests and calls for Olympic sponsors to take a firm stance on gay rights in the lead-up to the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, especially in light of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws last year and international outcry following Russian President Putin’s recent comments linking homosexuality and pedophilia.

But only a few companies have chosen to hop off the fence and voice a solid standpoint on gay rights, at the risk of entangling their brands in political controversy, while the Olympics’ top 10 corporate sponsors have stayed comparatively silent.

Full story

signature

“Mayor” of Sochi’s Olympic Village Defends Russia’s Anti-LGBT Law

Naturally they’re going to appoint a politician who voted FOR the law as “mayor” of the Olympic village. *rolls eyes* Ya know what? If you don’t want your children being exposed in some way to any LGBT view points during the Olympics, how about you just not air any of the Olympics on YOUR television channels? They’re state controlled, aren’t they?

A “mayor” of the Sochi Olympic Village has defended Russia’s law against “gay propaganda” ahead of the Winter Games next month.

Svetlana Zhurova, a gold medal-winning figure skater and lawmaker in the Russian parliament who voted for the bill last June, said in an interview on the independent Russian TV channel Dozhd that she “voted to stop people promoting it to minors.”

Full story

signature

LGBT Rights Group to be an Official Sponsor of Australian Men’s Bobsled Team

Woot! Love those Aussies!!

With just weeks left before the Sochi Winter Games, both the Australian Men’s and Women’s bobsled teams have announced partnerships with the Principle 6 Campaign to show support for Russia’s LGBT community.

“We’re against discrimination in sport, full stop,” said Heath Spence, captain of the Australian Men’s bobsled team. “That means we also oppose discrimination against gay and lesbian athletes.”

The campaign, named after the International Olympic Committee’s nondiscrimination clause, Principle 6, opposes anti-LGBT policies and discrimination in Russia and was formed early last month by two non-profits, Athlete Ally and All Out. Starting this week, the Principle 6 Campaign becomes an official sponsor for the men’s team with its logo appearing on its bobsled at the World Cup event in Lake Placid, New York.

Full story

signature

Holding the Line on Transgender Student Protections

It is true that the religious right will continue to hammer away at us by any means they can find.

During the 1990s and 2000s the two biggest LGBT issues that the religious right flogged their faithful with were gay marriage and gays in the military. From 1998 until now, the religious right has used marriage as a wedge issue to put anti-LGBT laws and state constitutional amendments on the ballot. But with the demise of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT), and the more or less inevitable end of Section 2 of DOMA, even the hard right has come to realize that they’ve lost on these issues. This doesn’t mean that they have given up and gone home, though. Not by a long shot.

They have effectively pivoted to two new arguments. The first is “religious freedom,” by which they really mean, “I don’t want anyone holding me accountable for being awful.” The second issue they have pivoted to is transgender people in public spaces. The attempt to repeal A.B. 1266 (a law ensuring equal access to activities and facilities for transgender students in California) has drawn a mob of hate groups, plus the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). Given the staggering defeats that NOM has suffered in the past year, a search for a new raison d’être is imperative for their organization to survive.

As a result, I believe that the transgender community is facing an imminent wave of anti-transgender laws and amendments. Just as the religious right began learning in 1998 that legislating against marriage equality was a winning issue for them, the current attempt to repeal A.B. 1266 is effectively a test marketing of a new brand of anti-LGBT hate. If they win, you can expect a wave of bills targeting transgender people’s access to public accommodations, just like with marriage. The nature of the anti-transgender bills is bounded only by what few constitutional protections transgender people have (read: nearly zero) and the fertile imaginations of people like Tony Perkins.

Full story

signature