Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hunk of the month January: Courtney Grant

Courtney Grant (1988, Ocala, Florida) is an experienced model, actor, singer and songwriter.  

He describes himself as "crazy-positive person".

He is a gorgeous guy, isn't he? 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Australians will decide gay marriage in a plebiscite

Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull has promised to legalize gay marriage if a majority support it in a popular vote.

He declared: "If the majority of people voting in the plebiscite vote in favor of it, then same-sex marriage will be legalized".

Plebiscites are used to judge the will of the Australian people in areas of the law that are not covered by the constitution, but, unlike a referendum, cannot change the law by themselves.

Turnbull supports gay marriage but his ruling coalition is divided on the issue.

It's time Australia!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The state of LGBT equality in the U.S.

Out and Equal, an organization dedicated to measuring and extending equality within the workplace and business world, used date compiled from across the country to create a map that skews the representation of states in accordance with their approach to LGBT people. 

The markers used were family status, non-discrimination policies, safety, health, and the ability to appropriately self-identify on ID cards and documentation. 

The two worst states in the union, it was found, are Tennessee and Alabama.

2015 was a year of great progress for LGBT rights in the U.S., but there is still have a long way to go. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Photographies against homophobia

Photographer Olivier Ciappa started his "Imaginary Couples" photo series several years ago to address homophobia at a time when his native France was plagued by anti-gay protests leading up to the inevitable legalization of marriage equality

He shot straight celebrities including Eva Longoria and singer Lara Fabian, as well as a number of other actors, athletes and entertainers portraying positive images of same-sex couples.

"The celebrities that I shot are heterosexual, but it was essential to me that you would believe these imaginary couples and families they portray were real", Ciappa told.

"If you couldn’t identify with their love and feel it was real, then I would have failed. And to show that love is love, no matter who, the exhibition also features real gay families, straight ones, single parents, disabled, people of different skin colors and origins, different religion, young couples, old ones…", he added.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Athens Mayor performs first gay civil union in Greece

Greek same-sex couples began entering into civil unions on Monday after the legislation passed in December by the Greek Parliament came into effect.

The first civil union ceremony was conducted by Athens’ Mayor Giorgos Kaminis. He tweeted a photograph of himself signing the couple’s civil union certificate.

"As the first day that the law is being implemented, today is very important for civil rights in Greece and the country’s compliance to international reality", Kaminis said during the ceremony which was held in his office in Athens City Hall.


Kaminis' tweet

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Canadian NHL team uses Pride Tape for first time

The Edmonton Oilers became the first NHL team to use Pride Tape, a multicolored tape to promote inclusiveness in sports. The Oilers used the tape during their annual Skills Competition at Rexall Place. 

Pride Tape is described as a badge of support from the teammates, coaches, parents and pros to young LGBTQ players. It shows every player that they belong on the ice, that everyone is on the same team and your help is needed to make it a reality.

Defenseman Andrew Ference said: “Many view professional hockey players as role models and our team felt this was a great initiative to let every person know they’re welcome in the game of hockey”. And he added: “We’re all proud to play for a team and city that supports diversity and human rights”.

Other teams do similar actions, for example a Swedish hockey team wears rainbow uniforms in support of LGBT community, and a Spanish premier league soccer team unveils a new away kit to challenge homophobia.

Defenseman Andrew Ference supports Pride Tape

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Italians urge the government to legalize same-sex civil unions

Tens of thousands of Italians have taken to the streets to push the Government to legalise same-sex civil unions.

Across Italy, supporters of civil unions carried rainbow-colored flags, balloons and alarm clocks to show it was time for Italy to ‘wake up’ to the need for a law on civil unions.

The bill for civil unions, introduced by Premier Matteo Renzi’s Government, will be debated on 28 January in the Senate. The bill would legalize civil partnership for same-sex as well as unmarried heterosexual couples.

Justice Minister Andrea Orlando has said Italy must introduce same-sex civil unions to be compliant with the Strasbourg court.

Italy is the only major country in western Europe to not to give same-sex couples any legal recognition or protection on issues from pensions to parenthood.

It´s time Italy!

Rallies held across country demanding 
legal recognition for same-sex couples

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Aussie Midsumma Festival is Back

Melbourne’s biggest LGBT festival is officially back. Midsumma Festival has been held annually since 1988. 

The annual celebration of all things LGBT in the Australian city, which commonly attracts over 100,000, has been blessed with sunny weather.

Melbourne's Queer community and friends come together for this collaborative, innovative celebration of queer arts and culture, presented over three weeks from mid January to early February every year.

On Sunday 31 January 2016, Midsumma Pride March will celebrate its 21st Anniversary, 

Melbourne's iconic annual Midsumma Pride March recognises and celebrates Victoria's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, while remembering the road travelled on the journey to equality. The theme for 2016 is "Marriage Equality".

It´s time Australia!

Friday, January 22, 2016

U.S. Vice President Biden supports LGBT rights in Davos


U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has told business people at the World Economic Forum in Davos to bring do more to combat homophobia and transphobia in countries where LGBT people face discrimination and persecution.

In a speech to executives, which included the CEO of Coca Cola, the co-founder of Airbnb, and representatives from Google and Microsoft, Biden said: "When it comes to LGBT rights in workplace, the world is looking to you. I know that sounds like hyperbole, sounds like an exaggeration. But they look to you".

And he added: "You have more impact than anything the federal government has done, or the Supreme Court of the United States has done, or that Barack Obama or Joe Biden have done lighting up the White House. You have more impact. You have more impact in countries around the world than we do on those social issues".

Well said Mr Biden.

LGBT rights were on the official agenda of
the World Economic Forum for the first time

Thursday, January 21, 2016

First anti-gay marriage bill rejected in Tennessee

A controversial bill that would have nullified the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on gay marriage in Tennessee was rejected in the committee stage.
The state house’s civil justice subcommittee voted 4-1 against the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act, sponsored by Republican Rep Mark Pody, who said God told him to file the bill because gay marriage was ‘wicked’.
Six counties passed resolutions in support of the measure bill and 80% of voters approved a similar amendment to the state constitution in 2006.
This is the first vote this year on the nearly 100 anti-LGBT bills being considered across 24 states.
Good news from Tennessee.

Same love, same rights

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blued, the main gay dating app in China, reaches 22 million users

China’s homegrown hookup app Blued will be a stiff competitor to Grindr in the local market. One in every two gay men in China use the app according to the company, which was founded in 2012.
Blued announced the day after Grindr’s sale to a Chinese gaming company that users topped 22 million in 2015, with 10 million logging in every day, up from 15 million the previous year.
Nearly half of all users are 18-25 years old, and most of them are concentrated in economically developed, densely population and socially tolerant areas, on the east coast and metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Blued also rolled out internationally in 2015, and claims 5 million users in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Europe.
Last week, Blued was named one of China’s 100 most promising startups of 2015 by Cyzone, having raised $30 million the previous year.

Geng Le, the founder of Blued