Wednesday, October 18, 2017

95% of gay couples are afraid to show public affection on holiday

An overwhelming 95% of same-sex couples say they are afraid to show any sort of affection in public while traveling, according to a survey conducted by Virgin Holidays.

The airline polled 1,000 LGBT couples and 1,000 straight couples in order to get the startling results, in which only one in 20 same-sex couples reported being comfortable showing affection abroad.

The research also revealed that 58% of the gay couples polled had been stared at while on holiday, 29% had been verbally abused, and one in ten were threatened with physical violence.

Virgin Holidays recently created a video that highlights the problem as part of the airline’s three-year plan to become one of the most LGBT-friendly travel companies in existence.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Two-thirds of Australians have voted in equal marriage ballot

Two-thirds of Australians have voted in the country’s ballot on same-sex marriage.

The country is currently holding a public vote on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. The informal postal vote is entirely advisory and non-binding, but will inform MPs in the country when the issue goes to Parliament.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics, which is responsible for running the vote, confirmed the amount of votes cast so far. With just weeks until the November 7 deadline for ballots, it has been confirmed it had received 10.8 million forms (67.5 per cent) back.

The Equality Campaign released an image of former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, 87, backing the YES campaign for marriage equality.

It's time Australia!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Explaining gender, love & family

There’s finally a book that explain the complexities of gender and love to children: You Be You! Explaining Gender, Love & Family, by Jon Branfman and illustrated by Julie Benbassat.

Branfman was inspired to write this book not only because of his own life experiences, but also because of his professional experiences teaching as a grad student at The Ohio State University.

"I believe teaching children accurately about gender, sexual orientation, and family at an early age is important for two reasons", Branfman explains. 

"First, because kids are already absorbing many harmful, inaccurate beliefs on these subjects from peers, TV, and implicit (or explicit) messages from adults around them. So it’s not a choice between letting kids receive an education about these topics or not. Rather, it’s a choice between proactively educating kids in a way that’s accurate, or passively allowing them to learn all kinds of untrue ideas".

"Second, because social beliefs about gender, sexuality, and family have profound real-world consequences. These ideas shape how children see themselves and others for the rest of their lives: Whether they can accept themselves, whether they treat others well, whether they participate in persecuting others or help to end persecution".

The illustrations are significant too. They break from the conventions of children’s books, that often show only white and able-bodied faces. Julie’s beautiful illustrations feature people of all genders, orientations, colors, ability statuses, and ages, as well as many different religions.

The book is just as informative to adults as it is to children. It really helps them get a handle on these topics.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hundreds march in New York to protest anti-gay purge in Chechnya

Hundreds of New Yorkers marched from the Stonewall National Monument, the birthplace of the modern gay liberation movement, to Trump Tower, demanding humanitarian visas for those who’ve escaped from Chechnya, and are now hiding in safe houses in mainland Russia,

An urgent action is needed: Trump's Administration and the Department of State must help LGBT Chechen survivors and must commit to grant public benefit paroles (aka humanitarian visas) to victims in the immediate danger, and to accept refugees and expedite refugee resettlement process.

Human Rights Watch reported that police in Chechnya are rounding up men believed to be gay, holding them in secret detention, and beating and humiliating them. Sometimes police forcibly “out” these men to their families, hinting that they should be taken care of in an “honor killing”.

Sign a petition to stop atrocities against gay men in Chechnya here.

The march started at Stonewall Inn...

... and finished in front of Trump Tower

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Aussie celebrities speak out for marriage equality

Some of the most well-known Australian celebrities encouraging Aussies to vote 'Yes' in the country's marriage equality survey. 

Australia is in the final weeks of its national postal survey and some leading stars of film and television are joining together to encourage all Australians to "Vote Yes!" in this pivotal moment for LGBTQ equality. 

While non-binding and voluntary, should the majority vote 'Yes', Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that he would introduce pro-marriage equality legislation to a free vote in Parliament. 

Polls have shown that 63% of Australians support marriage equality.

It's time Australia!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Gay spouses become first same-sex couple in Germany to adopt

Two gay men have become the first same-sex married couple to adopt a child in Germany.

Michael and Kai Korok married on October 2, just one day after same-sex marriage was made legal in the country.

Now, the pair have become the first same-sex couple to adopt, becoming the proud parents of two-year-old Maximilian. The Berlin Kreuzberg district court approved the couple’s application eight days after the pair officially married.

The Koroks have known the child since he was born as they took him in as foster parents. Then, when Germany finally legalised gay marriage and gave gay couples equal rights in adoption, they took legal responsibility over Maximilian.

When asked about being the child’s legal parent, Michael Korok said: “It is a wonderful feeling to be jointly registered as parents”.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"Yes" is winning in Australian poll on gay marriage

Australians appear to be unmoved by anti-same-sex marriage warnings of creeping gender ideology, social destruction, or sexual confusion, with the case for change surging ahead.

With more than a month to go in the government’s controversial postal survey, an aggregation of public polling and some recent unpublished research shows the “yes” case for legalising same-sex marriage has maintained its strong lead among ordinary voters.

Nearly 60% of eligible voters have already returned their surveys with a month to go before the deadline. Stirton’s summary of recent polls shows that 65% say they voted “yes”. 

The result will be announced on November 15th.

It's time Australia!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Now more than ever, Philly Trans March stands for trans rights

Last Saturday was held the 7th Annual March for trans rights in Philadelphia, the Philly Trans March.

The March is not only a rally and demonstration, but also a revolutionary movement. Open to people of all gender identities, expressions, and experiences, Philly Trans March welcomes everyone towards equity and liberation.  

It is an affirmation of beauty, strength, and diversity. Organized by members of Philly's Trans and Gender non-conforming communities and accomplices, this endeavor is committed to creating a safer, more inclusive environment for everyone.

Issues such as hate violence, specifically against trans women of color, and the lack of official concern, oppressive healthcare policies, media misgendering, financial and housing insecurity, police brutality, workplace policies and employment discrimination, and the lack of resources for youth and elders trans people, are just a few of the concerns being voiced upon in this year's March. 

The March raises awareness, specially of violence against trans women of color. Marchers chanted: "I deserve equality now. I am somebody". Of course, they remembered that Donald Trump revoked protection for trans people at work or school and banned them from military.

Hey hey! Ho ho! Transphobia's got to go!

The trans flag raised at Philadelphia City Hall

Saturday, October 7, 2017

First gay kiss in Marvel comics

Comics has had another landmark moment as adult Iceman – Bobby Drake – has had his first gay kiss.

But wait, you’re saying, hasn’t Iceman been out and gay with a boyfriend for a while now? To be clear, there are two Icemans currently running around the comics X-Men universe. 

There is the adult Iceman, the same one that comic fans have grown up with since the 1960s. There is also a time-displaced Iceman, after teenage Bobby was brought from the past to the present. 

Teen Bobby was outed by psychic Jean Grey, and has since come out, kissed a guy and got a boyfriend. It was revealed it wasn’t just teen Bobby that was coming to terms with being gay, it was adult Bobby too.

In a new mini-series penned by gay writer Sina Grace, the first Marvel solo series to star a gay lead, adult Bobby is seen exploring his sexuality.

Meeting a guy in Los Angeles named Judah, he hilariously nervously flirts his way into his first gay kiss.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Increasing gay purge in Egypt

Fears of a homophobic purge have been confirmed in Egypt after dozens of arrests targeting the LGBT community.

A number of arrests were made in Egypt last month after a rainbow flag was waved at a concert by the Lebanese band Mashrou Leila, whose lead singer is openly gay.

However the incident has sparked a wider crackdown, and there have been reports that Egyptian authorities have begun actively targeting the gay community, implementing a harsh crackdown.

Amnesty International said today that Egyptian authorities have arrested 33 people over the past weeks, stepping up a campaign of persecution.

Though the crackdown has largely targeted gay men, one woman was detained by authorities on suspicion of “promoting sexual deviancy” and “habitual debauchery” for waving the rainbow flag.

The Egyptian government, by rounding people up based on their presumed sexual orientation, is showing flagrant disregard for their rights.

The gay purge in Egypt follows the same ones denounced in Chechnya and Azerbaijan.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Trump opposes UN resolution against death penalty for homosexuality

Trump's Administration voted against a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution that condemns the death penalty for those found guilty of committing consensual same-sex sexual acts.

The resolution passed by a 27-13 vote margin.

Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Albania, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Slovenia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and the U.K. supported the resolution. 

Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joined the U.S. in opposing it.

Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Cuba abstained.

The resolution specifically condemns “the imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations” and expresses “serious concern that the application of the death penalty for adultery is disproportionately imposed on women”. 

It also notes “poor and economically vulnerable persons and foreign nationals are disproportionately subjected to the death penalty, that laws carrying the death penalty are used against persons exercising their rights to freedom of expression, thought, conscience, religion, and peaceful assembly and association, and that persons belonging to religious or ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented among those sentenced to the death penalty”.

A new shame from Trump.

Pray for Las Vegas

Pray for Las Vegas

Monday, October 2, 2017

Macklemore performs pro-gay anthem at Australian rugby final and calls for marriage equality

The US rapper, Macklemore, issued a call for equality after an emotional performance of his hit single, Same Love, in a much-hyped pre-game show at the NRL grand final.

The performance at ANZ Stadium in Sydney follows a bizarre week in which the hip-hop artist became the focus of national attention due to his decision to play the song as part of his setlist in the midst of the campaign surrounding Australia’s non-binding, voluntary postal survey on marriage equality.

Macklemore has previously described Same Love as a song that “deals with equal rights, human rights” for LGBTI people. “This is an issue that I feel strongly about, that I feel passionate about. These people are human beings that should have the exact same rights as everybody else,” he said.

Same Love, first released in 2012, rocketed back to #1 on the Australian charts this week after the plan to perform it at the rugby final was denounced by former prime minister Tony Abbott. Macklemore has said the latest proceeds from sales of the single will go to Australia’s marriage equality movement.

It's time Australia!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Australia's straight family is the face of new marriage equality campaign

Australia's gay marriage campaigners have just unleashed their ultimate weapon: Australia's straightest family.

Meet the Bowmans, the quintessentially stereotypical suburban family. Mum runs a small business, Dad's a primary school teacher and they have three lovely kids aged between five and nine.

They're nice-looking, nice-mannered and they're whiter than a picket fence. The sort of people who are usually assembled to sell margarine or tissues with three-ply softness.

Except the Bowmans aren't actors, they're a real family. And they really are banal and beige. And that's what makes them so brilliant.

The Bowmans are the face of the latest Marriage Equality ad campaign, a TV commercial that dropped late this week to counter some of the crazier claims of the No camp and rein in the excesses of the Yes.

At a time when the Yes campaign is at serious risk of being derailed by random text messages and random headbutts, both of which coincided with a plunge in popular support, the pro-equality side is trying to take the debate back to ground they can win it on. And that would be, well, equality.

It's time Australia!