Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A new gay marriage proposal on Beijing subway

A new gay marriage proposal that took place on the Beijing subway has gone viral in China.
The videos posted on social networks show a young man kneel in the middle of a rainbow-colored carriage and propose to his boyfriend with a watch.
He then takes the watch out of its box and puts it on his boyfriend’s wrist, and they embrace to applause.
The happy couple are surrounded by commuters who filmed the proposal on their phones.
Early this year in China, a series of adverts urging people to be more accepting of gay people were launched on TV.
And a few weeks ago, a film about sex-same relationship passed censors and it will become the first gay film to show in Chinese theaters later this year.
In fact, a survey found that economically developed cities and China's southeastern coastal provinces are more gay friendly.
Maybe something is changing in China...

Monday, September 28, 2015

A major Simpsons character is set to come out

After decades of lusting after the skeletal billionaire, Smithers, the besotted personal assistant, will reveal his homosexuality to the object of his affections in Simpsons´ season 27, executive producer Al Jean told.

"In Springfield now, most people know he’s gay, but obviously Burns doesn’t", he said. "We deal with that in two episodes… We actually do a lot with Smithers this year; he gets fed up with Burns not appreciating him and considers his options", he added.

Smithers’s affections for his boss have provided a deep vein of comedy for the show, with dozens of episodes hinting that he is gay and in love with Mr Burns.

Simpsons´ town is home to several gay characters, such as those who work at the Ajax Steel Mill, which turns into a gay nightclub at night, although there are only a few lesbian characters, the most prominent being Patricia Patty Bouvier, one of Marge Simpson’s twin sisters.

Well done Matt Groening!

Nice couple, isn´t it?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

An openly gay reads the Bible at Pope Francis' NYC mass

An openly gay man and supporter of same-sex marriage delivered the first Bible reading at Pope Francis’ New York City mass in a surprise move for the Catholic Church.
Former Daily Show correspondent and political satirist Mo Rocca was chosen to open the Pope’s mass at Madison Square Garden, delivering the first Bible reading of the evening as the event’s Lector.
Born to Colombian and Italian Catholics, Rocca attended a Jesuit boys’ school.
He came out publicly in 2011 in an interview with The Six Pack podcast at the age of 42 revealing that he had visited the site of the Stonewall Riots on the night same-sex marriage was legalized in the state of New York.
Following Pope Francis’ mass Rocca took to Twitter to express his thoughts, tweeting: "I am deeply grateful and humbled to have delivered a reading at a Mass celebrated by @Pontifex".

Rocca worked on The Daily Show to 2003,
and recently on CBS Sunday Morning

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Russia sues Apple for gay propaganda

Apple is to be sued in Russia for gay propaganda over including the same-sex couple emoji in their most recent update.
Officials in Russia’s Kirov region are launching an investigation after attorney Yaroslav Mikhailov has complained the LGBTI friendly company is breaking the law. He argues that Apple is promoting gay relationships to children.
If found guilty, Apple could be fined up to 1 million rubles ($15,000), and the company could also be forced to suspend all activities across Russia for three months.

Absolutely ridiculous!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Breaking news: Germany's Bundesrat approves the same-sex marriage bill

The German federal council Bundesrat approved a bill recognising same-sex marriage by a majority of votes from representatives of the country’s major political parties.
The bill, which includes reforms to German civil law, was submitted by the governments of four federal states, which are dominated by the coalition of the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made clear in recent public remarks that marriage, for her, is the union of a man and a woman, but she acknowledged that there is currently a debate between other different views, even within her Christian Democratic Union party.
The Social Democratic party is in favour of recognising gay marriage, although its legalisation was never stated before forming the coalition with Merkel.

It's time Germany!

Bundesrat has representatives
 from Germany’s 16 states

What's up Angela?

Stonewall org. encourages Christians to be inclusive

Rights charity Stonewall is to release a new book featuring stories from LGBT Christians around the world, to encourage inclusiveness.
The book, titled Christian Role Models for LGBT Equality, includes the personal experiences of 20 Christians around the world all of whom have different identities, backgrounds and stories to tell.
It will be distributed around the UK and internationally, and aims to help break down barriers between Christians and LGBT people.
It includes stories including a Bishop from a Uganda who risks jail and violence by embracing LGBT rights, despite a booming anti-gay faction in the country supported by Western evangelicals.
Stonewall hopes this will provide common ground between LGBT communities and the Church and therefore lead to improved relations between them.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

LGBT guests invited in White House reception to welcome Pope Francis

The White House ceremony welcoming Pope Francis went smoothly, and the presence of LGBT guests proved to be no problem, contrary to the dire predictions of conservative politicians and commentators.
The White House crowd of about 11,000 ticket holders couldn’t have been more polite. The guests included Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church; Mateo Williamson, a transgender Catholic activist; and Sister Simone Campbell, a nun who has publicly supported the Affordable Care Act, which has been denounced by some Catholics because it mandates coverage of contraceptives.
The Pope said that it was right that the American society was tolerant and inclusive, but warned that American Catholics were concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty. That freedom remains one of America’s most precious possessions.
While the Catholic Church continues to oppose same-sex relationships, seems that Francis has changed the church’s tone toward LGBT people

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Stonewall by Roland Emmerich is coming

Roland Emmerich has said he made the Stonewall film about a fictional straight-acting white man, Danny, to appeal to a wider audience.
Since the trailer was released last month, the openly gay director has been criticized for whitewashing and erasing the drag queens and transgender women of color who started the 1969 riots.
Emmerich said: "Some people warned me, but I said, well, you know, so be it". And he continued:  "You have to understand one thing: I didn’t make this movie only for gay people, I made it also for straight people".
The director said: "I kind of found out, in the testing process, that actually, for straight people, Danny is a very easy in. Danny’s very straight-acting. He gets mistreated because of that. Then straight audiences can feel for him".
And he finally added: "As a director you have to put yourself in your movies, and I’m white and gay".
The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last week, and it will hit U.S. theaters on Friday, 25 September.

Jeremy Irvine is the lead actor of this film
Look at Eddi's blog to meet the current #1 actor in Hollywood

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Naval Officer is pinned by her wife in a military ceremony

It's been almost five years since Don't Ask Don't Tell was repealed, and one photo released by the Navy this week shows how far the military has come.
In the photo, Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Misty Beck is pinned by her wife during a chief petty officer pinning ceremony.
A pinning ceremony is "the culmination of a six-week intense training program to prepare selected sailors for their new responsibilities as senior noncommissioned officers."

Do you remember this picture?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Prince William speaks out against homophobia

Prince William has taken part in a session on bullying and homophobia in schools, in which he specifically spoke out against homophobia for the first time.

The future King visited Hammersmith Academy today, to take part in a session with pupils to provide practical tips to prevent anti-LGBT bullying, and cyber bullying.

Though the Royal Family are involved in hundreds of charities, they are almost never seen to be embracing the cause of LGBT rights.

However, Prince William actively spoke out against homophobia in the visit, alongside Education Secretary and Equalities minister Nicky Morgan.

Joining a session on LGBT issues, the students were asked how they would react to homophobic bullying. The Duke of Cambridge indicated he would confront those behind any comments and comfort the victims.

Referring to a chart of how to tackle homophobia, he said: “I would start on that side and end up here.”

After a student said they would confront a homophobe, the Duke added: “As the young man said, I would try to confront.”

He also appeared in front of a sign displaying LGBT in rainbow letters in a number of pictures.

The future King has actively participated in this event

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A new romantic proposal in Paris

ABC News reporter Gio Benitez has proposed to his boyfriend in a pretty traditional and romantic setting.

Benitez proposed to boyfriend Tommy DiDario in Paris, in front of the Eiffel Tower, and posted the photos to Instagram.

Congrats guys!

An openly gay could be the next U.S. Secretary of the Army

The White House announced that President Barack Obama intends to nominate Erik Fanning as the next Secretary of the Army, a move that would make Fanning the first openly gay person to lead the Army if confirmed by the Senate.
Fanning has served as acting under Secretary of the Army since June 2015, and previously served as special assistant to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
He has a long record of national security service in the military and Congress which dates back more than two decades. Although he has no record of military service, that is not a requirement for the position and many who have held the position have not served.

Fanning is the highest ranking openly gay
member in the U.S. Department of Defense

Monday, September 14, 2015

It's time Australia!

Australia has a new prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and he supports marriage equality.
You can read Turnbull's reflection on gay marriage here.
Voices from across the political spectrum are loudening in the calls for the legalisation of marriage equality.
Surveys indicate that three-quarters of Australians support marriage equality.

It's time Australia!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Gay movie wins Golden Lion in Venice

Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas’ powerful debut feature movie Desde Allá (From Afar) has won the Venince Film Festival’s top Golden Lion prize.
The drama set in Caracas tells the story of a 50-year-old rich gay man who gets sexually involved with a 17-year-old leader from one of the city’s gangs. It’s based on a story by 21 Grams writer Guillermo Arriaga.
Quietly but powerfully, the movie maps the currents of sex, money and violence beneath the surface of Venezuelan society.
"I want to dedicate this prize to my amazing country Venezuela", Vigas said to an applauding audience. And he added: "I know we have a few problems, but if we talk about them we will overcome them".
"Rarely taking the path of cheap exposition where convincing character psychology will do, this smart, unsensationalized examination of the slow-blossoming relationship between a middle-aged loner and a young street tough trusts auds to make the necessary connections in a narrative that merges its characters’ respective father complexes to moving, equivocal effect", reviewed Variety.

The main characters of the movie

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ben Cohen´s first book is released

Ben Cohen, the straight former professional rugby player who has become a champion against bullying, has published his first book.

The book, called Do You, has been published by Penguin Random House and tackles issues of bullying and how to support victims of bullying.

Cohen has become a symbol of hope since his father was murdered protecting a gay man from a bully. Cohen has also become a champion of the LGBT community. 

The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation works closely with many LGBT-rights organizations and is a founding member of the LGBT Sports Coalition.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

European Parliament urges nine member states to recognize gay couples

The European Parliament has voted in support of a report on fundamental rights in the EU, which contained a number of LGBTI recommendations. In fact, they rejected a number of proposed amendments aiming to curtail its scope or water down its substance. 

One of the adopted resolutions considers that LGBTI people’s fundamental rights are more likely to be safeguarded if they have access to legal institutions such as cohabitation, registered partnership or marriage.

The parliament said it welcomes the fact that 19 member states currently offer these options, and calls on other member states to consider doing so. MEP's have urged nine EU member states to "consider the possibility of offering’ gay couples ‘cohabitation, registered de facto unions and marriage."
The nine EU countries without with gay marriage or civil unions are Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

This report is a clear evidence of the European Parliament’s ongoing commitment to hold EU institutions and member states accountable when it comes to LGBT rights.

Read the report here.

Glad to see MEP's commitment on LGBT rights

Monday, September 7, 2015

A gala gay wedding of police officers holds in Spain

Two male members of Spanish National Police got married, marking the first same-sex union within the Spanish law enforcement agency or, at least, the first to be openly publicized.
Chema, a native of Jerez de la Frontera, and Jonathan, from Algeciras, formalized their five-year relationship in gala uniform at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, a prominent dressage center in Jerez de la Frontera, akin to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
Although they did not personally contact the press, the event got out through the social media and some newspapers becoming viral.
Spain is a pioneer in same-sex marriage legislation, which Congress passed the bill in 2005 under the Socialist administration.
Congrats to the newlyweds!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

PM Renzi announces Italy will legalize civil unions before the end of 2015

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said parliament will pass a bill legalizing civil unions nationwide by the end of this year.
The pledge comes after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italy was discriminating against LGBTI people by not recognizing same-sex relationships. Italy is the only major country left in Western Europe that does not allow either civil unions or gay marriage.
Renzi said: "But a lot will depend on how the debate in the Senate goes". And he added: "We must speed constitutional reforms by the end of September and then wrap up civil unions within the first weeks of October".
A Senate committee is studying the bill, to which opponents have proposed 1,500 amendments in an attempt to block the legislation.
Rome and several major Italian cities and regions have already established civil union registries, but they only have symbolic value and are not legally binding.

It's time Italy!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

First gay film passes censors in China

Seek McCartney will become the first gay film to show in Chinese theaters later this year. It will be the first film about a same-sex relationship in the true sense.
The Chinese/French co-production, starring popular singer Han Geng and award-winning actor Jérémie Elkaïm, passed censors in its entirety after a year of deliberation.
Director Wang Chao hailed the decision as "a small step for the regulator and a big step for filmmakers". And he added: "It was not easy, but was delightful".
Another 2015 film, The Dead End, features a passionate kiss between two male actors and passed censors earlier this year.
In the past Korean film The King And the Clown was not permitted in theaters because of its subtle gay themes. Either the gay cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain, despite it being directed by celebrated Taiwan-born Ang Lee.
Maybe a new step for equality in China.

Starring by Hang Geng and Jérémie Elkaïm


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Belgium leads same-sex weddings ranking

According to the stats, Belgium has a higher proportion of gay weddings compared to all marriages than anywhere else.
A study looked at the ongoing prevalence of weddings across a period of time in early adopters: Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the U.S. state of Massachusetts, all of whom have had equality for around a dècade.
Comparing the rate of same-sex marriages per year to the rate of total marriages, there were widely different results.
Belgium led the pack, with 24 same-sex weddings per thousand marriages (2.4%). At the other end is Portugal, with just 9 gay marriages per thousand (0.9%).
Massachusetts, which legalised same-sex marriage back in 2004, technically leads with 38 per thousand (3.8%), but this is likely to have been skewed by the vast number of people travelling from other U.S. states to marry, before equality became commonplace.
The percentage in each country is:
  • Belgium, 2.4%
  • Canada, 1.8%
  • The Netherlands, 1.9%
  • Norway, 1.1%
  • Portugal, 0.9%
  • Spain, 1.6%
  • Massachusetts, 3.8%
Spain is one of six countries where equal
marriage is legal for more than 10 years

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Australia's football team shows its support for LGBT people

One of Australia’s oldest football teams today swapped tradition for a rainbow show of support for LGBT people.
The University Blacks, as part of a broader campaign to support LGBT people, swapped their traditional colours for rainbow jumpers. The move is part of the ‘gay, that’s ok’, campaign.
As well as having players wear the rainbow jerseys, the team also painted its 50-metre line with rainbows.
The initiative was inspired by former player Lachlan Beaton, who hid his sexuality for years before coming out.
The team in todays show of support became the first of its kind in the Victorian Amateur Football Association to do so.
Other teams have already announced plans to do the same in upcoming matches.