Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hunk of December: Nick Bateman

Nicholas Kevin Stanley Yunge-Bateman (Ontario, 1986) is a Canadian model and actor.
He graduated in Vancouver University at age 20, and then opened his own karate school.
Shortly thereafter, he began modeling professionally, and he is known for his international model work with Abercrombie & Fitch, Dsquared, Fila, Jockey, Calvin Klein and etc.
Bateman is also known as a film actor, having co-starred in the 2011 film Hobo with a Shotgun, and in the 2014 film Tapped Out. He appeared in several TV series too.
In the next movie work Bateman stars a new feature film comedy Total Frat Movie.
A very good looking and talented guy, see more in his website.

Gay couples can marry in Scotland!

Scotland’s first new same-sex weddings are starting, marking the option for gay and lesbian couples to marry across all of Great Britain.
The first couples began to marry at 00:01 on Hogmanay, 31 December 2014.
The move comes after the Scottish Parliament approved same-sex marriage with 105 votes to 18 in February 2014, and the law came into effect earlier this month.
Scotland enforces a 15-day notice period for all weddings, so the first couples not converting to marriage from civil partnerships will marry from 00:01.
17 couples had been reportedly lined up to marry on the first day, with a number set to marry at one minute past midnight, just as the law takes effect.

Joe and Malx can be husband and husband finally

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pride, the best LGBT film of 2014

Already a fully-fledged British classic in the vein of Billy Elliot or The Full Monty, Pride comes courtesy of the current Old Vic director Matthew Warchus, the man behind blockbuster musical Matilda.
Combining pathos and politics to remarkable effect, Pride follows a group of downtrodden Thatcher-era queer rights activists who garner national attention in ways they could never have predicted, after they decide to focus their campaigning efforts on an impoverished Welsh village in the grip of the miners' strike. The consequences are at once dramatic, comedic and romantic.
The impressive ensemble cast, including Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton, playfully subvert stereotypes, whether its curtain-twitching villagers or militant, colourfully-attired 80s gays and lesbians. Andrew Scott as the adorable and reticent Welshman Gethin is a highlight.
With its crowd-pleasing soundtrack and delicate balance of characters, it's no wonder Warchus has hinted he may adapt Pride for the stage. The best British film in years, and, fingers crossed, a dark horse for Oscar glory.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Omaha: the greater support for equal marriage in all state

According to a World-Herald statewide poll, support for same-sex marriage in Nebraska’s largest city is at an all-time high.
Compared to the rest of the Nebraska, Omaha remains disproportionately supportive of LGBT equality. While 46% of Omaha residents reported being in favor of legislation that would mandate marriage equality, only 34% of Nebraskans overall reported support to such a law.
It also comes as Nebraska finds itself in a shrinking minority of states, 15 in all, where gay marriage bans are still in place or where they have survived legal challenges. Opposition to gay marriage is still strong across the state, but especially in rural areas, where voter turnout is traditionally high.
Nebraska voters passed the 2000 ban with 70 percent support. It was later challenged in federal court, but the ban was upheld by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Supporters of same-sex marriage prepare to challenge the state’s gay-marriage ban in court. The ACLU of Nebraska and others filed a lawsuit in federal court last month, arguing that the 2000 ban violates the constitutional rights of gay people to marry.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Best LGBT Documentaries of 2014

These are the best LGBT documentaries of 2014 in my opinion. Check them below.

The Circle

When Ernst Ostertag and Robi Rapp met through Der Kreis (The Circle), an early gay organization in Zurich in the 1940s, homosexuality was legal in Switzerland, but there was virtually no social acceptance of LGBT people. Ostertag, a shy teacher, fell in love with Rapp as he watched Rapp perform in drag in a cabaret. 

Back on Board

The documentary follows Greg Louganis over a three-year period as he struggles with financial troubles, returns to the sport he once dominated but was not welcomed in, and reflects on the choices, relationships, and missed opportunities of his career. This intimate portrait of the trailblazing athlete reveals the complicated life of an American legend whose talents sparked global interest in the sport of diving and whose courage and perseverance as an HIV-positive man moved a nation.

To Be Takei

Actor and gay activist, George Takei has been all of these and more throughout his life and the documentary To Be Takei takes a fascinating look at the 77-year-old icon’s amazing journey. Since his childhood to his turn in the groundbreaking role of Sulu on the original Star Trek TV series to his rise as an Internet phenomenon with millions of followers.

The Case Against 8

A history unfold in The Case Against 8, an HBO documentary that follows Prop. 8 plaintiffs and couples Sandy Stier and Kris Perry as well as Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami as they march toward the Supreme Court decision that would restore marriage equality to California.

Out in the Line-Up

This is a documentary on the taboo topic of gay surfers. It features two gay surfers who go on a journey around the globe to interview gay surfers. They work with the surfing community to remove the secrecy and create a more accepting environment for gay surfers.

Friday, December 26, 2014

US FDA recommends end to ban on gay men donating blood

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood should end.

In the U.S., men who have sex with men have been banned from donating blood since the mid 1980s, during the AIDS epidemic. Currently, men who have had sex with men any time since 1977 are banned from donating blood.

The FDA statement said new guidelines will be drafted in the new year, and then a consultation will follow. The long-standing ban has been criticised by campaigners who say it perpetuates negative stereotypes about gay and bisexual men, and that it is not backed up by science.

"Over the past several years, in collaboration with other government agencies, the FDA has carefully examined and considered the available scientific evidence relevant to its blood donor deferral policy", the statement read.

"The agency will take the necessary steps to recommend a change to the blood donor deferral period for men who have sex with men from indefinite deferral to one year since the last sexual contact", added.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Is being Gay a Choice?

Chris Thompson, a Californian vlogger, welled up after reading messages that had been sent to him from LGBT people when he asked if being gay was a choice.

"If you could choose to be gay or straight, what would you choose?", that was the question Thompson posed to his followers on YouTube, after watching 19-year-old Georgian Daniel Pearce’s shocking video where he was abused by his family for being gay. 

In his video, Thompson reads the responses aloud. Although some respondents replies that they are happy with their sexuality and wouldn’t change the person that they are in love with, some of the gay followers say that they wish to be straight. 

Moved to tears by their replies, one message reads: "Not many people know that I’m gay. If I had a choice, I’d choose to be straight because as a gay I feel empty and less than other men. I just found rejection from people, even my parents". And other: "Nobody would choose to become a second-class citizen and to get death threats and not be accepted by their own family".

At the end of the video, he urges gay people to be proud of who they are, and to be true to themselves. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

A German Court rules in favour of gay couple who had children via a surrogate abroad

Germany lags behind most of Western Europe on LGBT rights, with a ban on same-sex marriage and only limited registered partnerships, no parenthood rights, and no joint adoption. Surrogacy is also illegal.
LGBT activists are celebrating a limited victory, after the court in Karlsruhe ruled in favour of two men who were not permitted to register as their son’s parents.
The men had a child via a surrogate in California in 2010 but, despite being registered as the child of both men in the US, upon their return to Germany authorities refused to recognise the family.
The court ruled that German authorities must respect the decision of the US in the case, as “part of a child’s welfare to be able to rely on the parents to have continuous responsibility for its well-being”.
The surrogacy will remain illegal in Germany, but same-sex couples wishing to have a child via a surrogate could do so in another country, and will still be recognised when they return to Germany.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Same-sex marriage will begin Jan. 6 in Florida

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday evening denied Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s request to Justice Clarence Thomas that he extend a stay preventing the state from recognizing the marriages of eight gay and lesbian couples.
“The application for stay presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied”, the Supreme Court announced Friday night, allowing Florida to become the 36th state, plus the District of Columbia, to recognize same-sex marriage.
In a statement Friday night, Bondi conceded: “Tonight, the United States Supreme Court denied the State’s request for a stay in the case before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Regardless of the ruling, it has always been our goal to have uniformity throughout Florida until the final resolution of the numerous challenges to the voter-approved constitutional amendment on marriage. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has now spoken, and the stay will end on Jan. 5”.
The case, however, isn’t over. Legal arguments haven't been heard before the 11th Circuit, which hasn’t ruled on the merits of the case.
Also still unresolved: whether clerks in the state’s 67 counties will adhere to the federal court ruling that declared Florida’s gay-marriage ban unconstitutional. The law firm representing the clerks’ association has warned them they could be in violation of Florida law if they issue same-sex marriage licenses before the U.S. Supreme Court settles the issue.
What was clear Friday night is that the Supreme Court refused to extend U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Hinkle’s stay allowing same-sex marriage to be recognized in Florida on Jan. 6.

It´s time Florida!

Chinese court rules homosexuality doesn’t need to be cured

A court in China has ruled that a psychological clinic must re-pay costs to a gay man for trying to cure his homosexuality.
The man had been submitted to hypnosis and electric shocks in an attempt to turn him straight. The court ordered the clinic to pay him 3,500 yuan (£360) to cover the costs of the therapy, but did not award him damages.
The most interesting is that the court also ruled that homosexuality did not require treatment. Remember that China stopped classifying homosexuality as a disease in 2001.
Great news from the Asian giant.

A Chinese couple at their symbolic wedding

Friday, December 19, 2014

80 members of US Congress demand repeal of gay blood ban

80 Democrats in both the House and Senate have sent a letter demanding the repeal of a discriminatory and un-scientific decades-old ban on gay men giving blood.
The letter, addressed to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, spans four pages, plus another five of signatures, and states they are "steadfastly committed to ending the outdated MSM blood donation policy and moving forward with securing the nation's blood supply in a scientifically sound manner".
The lawmakers say: "we must embrace science and reject outdated stereotypes". And they add: "Low-risk individuals who wish to donate blood and help to save lives should not be categorically excluded because of outdated stereotypes".

US Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin
sponsoring this demand

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gay rights in Ukraine are in the midst a broader geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West

Ukraine’s LGBT activists were hoping a new pro-EU government would distance itself from a homophobic Moscow. Yes, the revolution of last year was about the European Union and a European lifestyle…European values include the LGBT rights.

When the revolution succeeded in ousting Yanukovych, many gays were hopeful that Ukraine would further distance itself from Moscow, where homophobia has become official state policy. But now Ukraine’s activists are facing an unanticipated obstacle in their quest: the European Union itself.

This week, Ukraine’s Justice Minister announced that the EU had dropped a demand requiring the inclusion of sexual orientation in an anti-discrimination bill. Passage of such a law should be necessary in order for Ukrainians could travel freely throughout the 28-nation European bloc.

This has put Ukrainian gay activists in a bind. Committed to creating a society more accepting of homosexuality, they fear that raising the specter of gay rights, particularly at this politically sensitive moment, gives Moscow an easy propaganda hand to play.

Since the Russian Parliament’s unanimous passage of a law last summer banning the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors, Russia's President Vladimir Putin has articulated a vision for his country leading an alliance of conservative nations.

To take a case in point, a pro-Russian organization put up posters declaring that association with the EU means to allow same-sex marriage and pride parades in Ukraine.

The fight over gay rights within Ukraine is playing out amidst a broader geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West, in which attitudes towards homosexuality are moving towards center stage. Remember that homophobia is deeply ingrained in Ukraine, where a 2013 poll found a full 80% of citizens holding negative attitudes towards homosexuality.

Gay activist were murdered by Yanukovych's security forces as other many fellow protesters during revolution for the same goals, I only hope that now their struggle was not in vain.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Crowded rainbow run in Taiwan for equal marriage

Over 4,000 LGBT people and allies participated in a rainbow run to support gay marriage and equal rights in Taiwan. They wrapped up in rainbow scarfs for the 15 km morning run in Taipei, despite the cold weather.
The event hoped to bring attention to social issues related to gender diversity, anti-discrimination and changing the family system to better understand and in support of same-sex marriage.
Last october tens of thousands rallied in Taipei's gay pride parade to support equal marriage and rights for LGTB people in Taiwan.

Every year Taipei's gay pride parade attracs thousands of people

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

US swimming champion Tom Luchsinger comes out

US swimming champion Tom Luchsinger has come out in a letter which he reflects emotionally on having tried to refuse his homosexuality, and a long struggle around trying to accept who he is.
Luchsinger has written: "For years, my sexuality was the quality I was most ashamed of about myself. But now it seems that being gay is one of the characteristics I’m most proud of. I have accomplishments linked to my name that most heterosexual men will never have. I’ve overcome the fear of being rejected from the people I love the most".
At the 2013 US national championships, he won in the 200m butterfly and qualified for the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona. The Atlantic Coast Conference named him Swimmer of the Year in 2013.
Last July, another swimming champion Ian Thorpe came out as gay too.
Luchsinger with Michael Phelps

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Kyoto temple first in Japan to offer gay weddings

A Buddhist temple in Kyoto (Japan) is offering LGBT couples a place to have symbolic wedding ceremonies in traditional Japanese style, even though gay marriage is still illegal in the country.
Japan’s constitution defines marriage as "mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as basis". This gender-based language reflects the opinions of the majority of Japanese people. According to a 2013 survey, only 24% of Japanese people believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry legally.
However, Japan allows same-sex marriage ceremonies within its borders, according to the Council On Foreign Relations, but these couples won't be given the legal rights and privileges that heterosexual couples have.
Despite these restrictions, priest Rev. Takafumi Kawakami affirms that five couples have come the Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto since 2011 to symbolically tie the knot. Established in 1590, Shunkoin Temple follows Zen Buddhism and is an important site for a 20th-century school of thought that blends Zen and Western philosophy. They also take a strong stand on human rights.
Kawakami recognizes that most people in his country don’t understand that these restrictions have a profound effect on LGBT people, but every couple who would like to have their wedding ceremony there is just accepted regardless of their faith and sexual orientation.
For more information visit their website.