Wednesday, July 29, 2015

LGBT website owner fined under anti-gay propaganda law in Russia

Yelena Klimova, the founder of an online LGBT community for Russian teens, has been fined by the government for violating the anti-gay propaganda law.
She was fined by a court for 50,000 roubles on the charge that her website spread LGBT propaganda to minors.
Her web acts as an online support system for LGBT teens in Russia, where homophobia and transphobia thrives. The users often share photographs and stories on both the website and Facebook page about the anti-LGBT prejudices endured in their every-day lives.
She appealed a similar charge earlier in the year and will attempt to appeal this ruling as well. In addition, she was convicted under a 2013 law signed by President Putin, which bans propaganda of “non-traditional sexual relationships”.
Yelena said: "The law against gay propaganda legitimised violence against LGBT people, and they now are banning street actions under it". And she added: "People are afraid because they understand that gay propaganda is banned, and even mentioning LGBT relations is essentially forbidden”.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Zach Wahls' statements after the historic BSA decision to end ban on gay adults leaders

Scouts for Equality, the national organization leading the campaign to end discrimination in the Boy Scouts of America, praised a historic vote by the BSA’s National Executive Board to end the organization’s decades-old ban on gay adults.
Zach Wahls, the Executive Director of Scouts for Equality, declared: “This vote marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Boy Scouts of America.”
“Tens of thousands of people came together because they wanted to build a better future for the Boy Scouts of America, and that future starts today. I couldn’t be more proud of the tireless work of our members, volunteers, and staff over these last three years. As of today, the Boy Scouts of America is an organization that is looking forward, not back”, he added.
“While we still have some reservations about individual units discriminating against gay adults, we couldn’t be more excited about the future of Scouting”, continued Wahls.
“We look forward to collaborating with our supporters, progressive faith partners, allied non-profit organizations, and the Boy Scouts of America to ensure a fully inclusive Scouting movement.”
“We’re calling on gay Eagle Scouts, parents who are straight allies, non-profit organizations who support LGBT equality and anyone else who has walked away from the Boy Scouts to rejoin the fold.”
“Together, we can build a stronger, more inclusive Scouting movement”, he finallly said.


Boy Scouts of America end ban on gay leaders

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have officially ended its longstanding ban on gay scout leaders.

The national ban ends immediately and allows previously removed leaders to reapply for their positions.
Last week, a BSA's executive committee unanimously just voted to get rid of the organization’s ban on gay adult leaders and volunteers, paving the way for the organization to become as inclusive for adults as it is for youth.
The new policy will not prevent church-led groups from choosing adult leaders based on their beliefs.
However, to gain the acquiescence of conservative religious groups that sponsor many packs and troops, like the Mormon and Roman Catholic Churches, the policy will allow church-run units to pick leaders who agree with their moral precepts.
Remember that BSA lifted a ban on gay youth in 2013.
Congrats Boy Scouts of America, you have finally got it!
April 2013:
Scouts for Equality collected almost 2.000.000 signatures to ending ban
April 2015:
NY Boy Scouts defy national ban hiring a gay leader 

May 2015:
BSA's President affirmed time of ban was over

July 2015:
Equality is finally a reality in BSA

Friday, July 24, 2015

Obama will be blunt about gay rights in Africa

US President Barack Obama has said he will be blunt with African leaders about gay rights before he embarked on a four-day trip to the continent.

Obama affirmed: "I am very blunt about my belief that everybody deserves fair treatment, equal treatment in the eyes of the law and the state, and that includes gays, lesbians, transgender persons."

"I am not a fan of discrimination and bullying of anybody on the basis of race, on the basis of religion, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender", he continued.

A number of Kenyan politicians, including Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, and religious leaders have warned Obama not to bring up LGBTI issues while in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by up to 14 years in prison and 90 percent of country believe homosexuality is wrong.

But the president, whose father is from Kenya, said he knew from his personal connection with the country that its discrimination of women and LGBTI people was impeding progress.

Good luck Mr. President!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

ECHR: Marriage equality is a human right

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has set precedent that could lead to all 47 member countries granting equal rights to same-sex couples.

In a historic ruling today, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that not recognising same-sex couples is a breach of their human rights.

The Court ruled in "Oliari and Others vs Italy" that Italy is violating human rights by offering no legal recognition or union to same-sex couples.

Italy remains the only major country in Western Europe which does not have legal protections for cohabiting same-sex couples.  

However, the case has ramifications that extend beyond Italy, and potentially set precedent for all 47 signatories of the European Convention on Human Rights. Just 24 of the 47 member states have laws granting legal recognition to same-sex couples.

The ruling could generate controversy in some signatories as Ukraine and Russia, where tolerance of gay rights does not exist.

One Europe, same rights!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

School Administrator put in jail in Arabia Saudi for rainbows painted on the building

Talee al-Noor, an international school in Riyadh (the Saudi Arabia's capital), has been fined more than $25,000 after authorities claimed the rainbows on its building were emblems of homosexuality.

For that reason, the authorities sent the school administrator responsible for the emblem to jail in preparation to refer the case to the Bureau of Investigation and the general prosecutor, reported the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

The Islamic Religious Police said it was "marketing for homosexuality", and then formed a committee and erased the colors. Now, the Saudi school has been repainted and it looks "normally".

Gay sex is illegal in Saudi Arabia and punishable by up to life in prison, whipping, castration, torture and even death.

The school after being painted

Monday, July 20, 2015

Puerto Rico's Court declares ban on gay marriage unconstitutional

Though countrywide marriage equality in the United States is still in its fledgling stages it’s already spreading from the mainland.
A panel of judges with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Puerto Rico’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.
Ada Conde Vidal and Ivonne Alvarez Vélez filed a lawsuit in March 2014 in their district court to force the U.S. commonwealth to recognize their Massachusetts marriage. A few months afterward, four more same-sex couples and a Puerto Rican LGBT advocacy group joined them.
After their case was dismissed, the plaintiffs appealed to the 1st Circuit Court, which holds Puerto Rico in its jurisdiction and, just 13 days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality.

Lets go Puerto Ricans!

Gay kiss protest in front of Puerto Rico's parliament

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Spain celebrates 10 years of gay marriage

Just after the legalization of gay marriage nationwide in the United States, Spain has celebrated the 10 year anniversary of its own legalization of equal marriage.

From as early as 2004, Spain’s newly elected Socialist government led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero had been petitioning for the legalization of same-sex marriage. The Spanish parliament and senate passed the law on June 30th 2005, with it coming into force three days later on July 3rd.

The law made Spain only the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, after the Netherlands and Belgium and 17 days ahead of Canada.

Despite Spain’s reputation as a traditionalist and religious country, 66 percent of Spaniards supported the law at the time.

The law was strongly opposed by the opposition Popular Party. When conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took office in 2011, he professed his opposition to same-sex marriage, but said he would wait and see what the country's Constitutional Court would rule on the issue.

The law was upheld by the court, with eight supporting votes and three against. The conservative government said it would abide by the ruling and the law would not be repealed.

There were 31,610 same-sex marriages in Spain between 2005 and 2015 according to the country’s institute of national statistics (INE).

All Spanish pride parades celebrate this year
 the 10th anniversary of gay marriage

Pedro Zerolo (left) an important LGBT activist
who recently died by cancer

The townhall with a big rainbow flag for Madrid Pride 2015 

Madrid, Barcelona, Benidorm, Sitges...
some of the most known Spanish proud cities!

YouTube star Joey Graceffa: 'You are not alone'

After eight years of posting videos on YouTube and getting more than 600 million views, Joey Graceffa finally answered the most-often question asked about him.
Yes, he is gay.

He celebrated his 24th birthday on 18 May with the release of Don’t Wait video song, which featured a prince charming with whom Graceffa shared an epic happily-ever-after kiss.

The video has been viewed nearly 9 million times and has only increased Graceffa’s online fame.

Joey said: "People were so loving and supportive and immediately saw it as my coming out video". "It’s been the number one question on my channel: Is he gay? Non-stop and there’s army of each side going at each other so it’s finally putting that to rest. It was such a great response I’m very happy with how people reacted to it", he added.

He hopes his video will encourage others and says it’s the kind of thing he wished was out there when he was a teen.

"I remember growing up and feeling like my story was so different from everybody else’s … there wasn’t YouTube at the time to hear other people talk about their stories. I guess I just want people to not feel so alone", he affirmed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Angela Merkel: Gay couples should not be allowed to call their unions ‘marriage’

German chancellor Angela Merkel has said while same-sex couples should get marital benefits, a civil partnership should not be called marriage.
Merkel said she didn’t oppose gay marriage, but would want it to be called something else.
"For me, personally, marriage is a man and a woman living together. That is my concept, but I support civil partnerships", she declared.
Excuse me, but I can't understand how you can marry someone and not to call it marriage.
In any case, the Bundesrat (Germany’s Federal Assembly) recently urged the government to make necessary constitutional changes to open marriage to gay couples.
It's time Ms. Merkel!

It's time Germany!

Who is afraid of a kiss in Italy?

An Italian sports magazine has sparked outrage among readers after putting a gay rugby couple on its cover.
The cover of the 11 July edition of SportWeek features Giacomo and Stefano, teammates in life and in gay-friendly amateur Rome squad Libera Rugby, with the headline: "Who’s afraid of a kiss?"
The magazine contains features on the last taboo in sports and Italy’s first gay-friendly rugby team, and comes at a time when LGBTI rights is picking up speed in the country.
Italy is the only Western European country not to recognize either gay marriage or civil unions.
Last May, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said his country could no longer put off civil unions after Catholic Ireland legalized gay marriage by referèndum.

Together we can! Forza Libera!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Breaking News: Boy Scouts of America Set to Allow Gay Leaders

An executive committee for Boy Scouts of America unanimously just voted to get rid of the organization’s ban on gay adult leaders and volunteers, paving the way for the organization to become as inclusive for adults as it now is for youth.
The Scouts’ National Executive Board, which governs the body, will now vote on the resolution on July 27, and their decision will go into effect immediately.
The BSA board lifted the ban on openly gay youth serving in the program on January 2014. But they didn't on adult members, In a defiant move, last April, the BSA's New York chapter hired an openly gay Eagle Scout as a summer camp leader.
"For decades, the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay adults has stood as a towering example of explicit, institutional homophobia in one of America’s most important and recognizable civic organizations", Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout and the Executive Director of Scouts for Equality, said in a statement. “While this policy change is not perfect, it is difficult to overstate the importance of today’s announcement", he added.

BSA is steadily making headway to full equality

Two Players on the same Women's Soccer Team get married

Two players on the same Women' Soccer Team, Erin McLeod and Ella Masar, tied the knot after playing the Women's World Cup.
McLeod is the Canadian star goalkeeper, and both play on the Houston Dash team.
Congrats to the newlyweds!

Love always wins!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A big rally for same-sex marriage in Taiwan

Thousands of gay rights supporters marched between parliament and the headquarters of Taiwan’s two main political parties, months ahead of the elections.
Led by the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, the marchers shouted in front of the ruling Kuomintang’s (KMT’s) headquarters.
Marchers then headed to the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters urging their lawmakers, who have proposed the marriage equality bill, to make more effort to push the bill through.
Same-sex marriage is becoming a bigger electoral cause for voters, and young people in particular are fed up with politicians’ silence.
The marriage equality bill, which would legalize same-sex marriage and allow married gay couples to adopt children, was reviewed for the first time at the Judiciary Committee in December last year.
The final legislative session that begins in September will be the last chance for the incumbent lawmakers to review and pass the marriage equality bill.
However it has been shelved, largely due to opposition from conservative Christian groups who have formed a network to organize rallies and petition signature collections to lobby against marriage equality.

Same love, same rights!

Friday, July 10, 2015

US extends federal marriage benefits to gay couples in all states

Federal marriage benefits will be made available to gay couples in all 50 US states, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced.
Lynch said that she had instructed the justice department to bring the Supreme Court’s 26 June ruling, which legalized gay marriage nationwide, into effect inmediately.
Most of the benefits were already available to gay couples after the Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal ban on gay marriage in 2013. However, some social security and veterans benefits for spouses still depended on a couple’s state of residence recognizing their marriage.
"Following the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Obergefell that every couple has the same right to participate in the institution of marriage, whether the partners are of the same sex or opposite sexes, I directed Justice Department staff to work with the agencies to ensure that the ruling be given full effect across the federal government", Lynch said in a statement.
"Thanks to their leadership and the quick work of the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, today I am proud to announce that the critical programs for veterans and elderly and disabled Americans, which previously could not give effect to the marriages of couples living in states that did not recognize those marriages, will now provide federal recognition for all marriages nationwide", she added.

Same love, same rights!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New poll finds people of Northern Ireland are now overwhelmingly in favour of gay marriage

A new survey has found 68% of people in Northern Ireland now support same-sex marriage, even higher than the 62.1% who voted Yes in the Republic of Ireland earlier this year.
Support is much higher among young people, with 82% of 16 to 34-year-olds and 75% of 35 to 54-year-olds supporting same-sex marriage.
Despite same-sex marriage has overwhelming popular support. and its recent introduction in England, Scotland and Wales, the DUP government in Northern Ireland continues to block all legislation on this issue. Politicians are badly out of step with the people on marriage equality. 
It's time Northern Ireland!

Yes we do too!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Help Rainbow Flag to be an Emoji

The Unicode Consortium is discussing adding an LGBTI Rainbow flag to the emoji language, after the amendment in America which allows samesex couples to marry

Ken Whistler, technical director at Unicode, said: "The claim that Twitter is including a rainbow flag would be taken into consideration by the Emoji Subcommittee and is a strong factor in favor of additions".

But the new flag would belong to a community, not a nation, and it could create a slippery slope: "Because it would not be part of any sort of structured extension to the geopolitical-entity encoding mechanism […] it would provide no orderly path to encoding additional, similar flags for other social groups or causes", said Mark Davis, co-author of Unicode Standard.

In any case, you can let Unicode know you want the rainbow flag emoji by emailing them here.

We can do it together

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Australian National Rugby League officially endorses same-sex marriage

Ahead of a cross-party bill on same-sex marriage that is set to be debated in August, the NRL has endorsed marriage for all.

The Australian Parliament has voted down same-sex marriage on a number of occasions, partly due to the opposition of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Liberal Party. However, he is under pressure to allow a free vote on the next bill on the issue, following landmark victories for equality in the United States and Ireland.

Announcing the move, the NRL’s Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Young said: “One of the NRL’s core values is inclusiveness and we have put in place practices and policies to support and recognise the rights of our LGBTI community. Accordingly, the NRL supports marriage equality".

“We are very proud that the NRL was the first national sporting organisation to join as a member of the Pride in Diversity Index. For the past three years our welfare and education programs have included homophobia as part of our broader Respectful Relationships programs", she added.

The NRL’s stance simply reflects the growing momentum for marriage equality across all sections of Australian society.

Recently, top Australian underwear and swimwear company AussieBum also supports the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia by releasing a special line of underwear highlighting the issue.

It´s time Australia!

Remeber this awesome video?

Friday, July 3, 2015

One picture for a historic moment

When Mark Heller and his boyfriend Robert Oliver stepped out of their West Hollywood home on Friday evening to celebrate the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on marriage equality, they had no clue that less than 48 hours later, their picture would be seen by millions all over the world.

By Sunday morning, the picture of Robert wearing an American flag and Mark wearing a gay pride flag had gone viral. They were on the cover of the Los Angeles Times, RollingStone and in hundreds of other publications around the world. 

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand word.

Mark and Robert surprised for being LA Times´cover

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A soccer team of Spanish Premier League unveils a new away kit to challenge homophobia

Spanish soccer team Rayo Vallecano, which plays in the country’s top division, has unveiled a new pride-themed kit to challenge homophobia.

The club unveiled a new away kit to challenge social injustices including homophobia, and the design features a prominent rainbow denoting a number of causes.

Sharing the new kit on Twitter, the team explained that 7 euros from every sale of the kit will be denoted to charities, to help:
Red – people fighting cancer
Orange – people fighting for disabled people’s rights
Yellow – people fighting depression
Green – people fighting for the environment
Blue – people fighting against child abuse
Pink – people fighting against domestic abuse
Rainbow – people fighting against discrimination based on sexual orientation

The new kit has had an extremely positive reaction on media, with some calling on other teams to be as serious about challenging homophobia in the sport. 

To demonstrate its support publicly, Rayo Vallecano became the first team playing matches with rainbow laces in their boots last season.

Well done Rayo Vallecano, not only words but acts!