Monday, May 31, 2021

US State Deptartment will recognize all children of same-sex couples


The U.S. State Department is ending a policy that denied citizenship to the children of many same-sex couples.

During Donald Trump’s Administration, the Department had been sued several times over the policy, which said that children born abroad to married same-sex couples in which one spouse is a U.S. citizen would be recognized as citizens at birth only if they had a genetic relationship to the citizen parent. 

This denied citizenship to many children born through assisted reproductive technology and treated same-sex couples differently from opposite-sex ones, who did not have to prove a biological relationship.

Now the State Department will recognize the birthright citizenship of children with “a genetic or gestational tie to at least one of their parents” in these couples, as long as they meet the other requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Gay dad writes a picture book inspired in his own experience

My Daddies, wrote by Gareth Peter, is the first picture book of its kind to be written and illustrated by same-sex adoptive parents. Gareth said he was inspired to write his debut work after noticing a lack of books on the topic.

Join a book-loving family, two gay dads and their adopted daughter, as they go on a roller-coaster-ride of story-themed adventures in this moving, magical, one-of-a-kind picture book, illustratated by Garry Parsons.

A funny and heartfelt picture-book, perfect for introducing children to the different kinds of family there are in the world today, and celebrating story time together.

Set off on a series of incredible adventures with an adorable family as the stories they read burst into colourful life. Battle dragons, dodge deadly dinosaurs, zoom to the moon and explore the world in a hot air balloon, before winding down in a wonderfully cosy bedtime ending.

Gareth Peter is an author and stay-at-home dad, living in Nottingham with his partner, two huskies and their two adopted children. It was the arrival of his own children that inspired Gareth to begin writing picture books.

Meet Gareth in the next video:

Saturday, May 22, 2021

May 22 is Harvey Milk Day

Harvey Milk Day is organized by the Harvey Milk Foundation and celebrated each year on May 22 in memory of Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist assassinated in 1978. 

He was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in a major city in the US, serving on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1977-1978. His life and political career embody the rise of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights movement.

In California, Harvey Milk Day is recognized by the state's government as a day of special significance for public schools. The day was established by the California legislature and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009 after a series of petitions led by gay rights activist Daren I. Ball.

Many public schools and other educational institutions in California conduct commemorative projects, events and activities in memory of Harvey Milk. Topics such as equal rights are especially promoted on this day. From a global perspective, the Harvey Milk Foundation organizes a series of worldwide events to commemorate Harvey Milk Day.

Although Milk died, his work continues today through the work of the Milk Foundation, founded by his nephew Stuart Milk, in honor of his uncle.

Hope will never be silent.

Thank you, Harvey Milk!

Friday, May 21, 2021

Green Lantern comes out as gay and will be played by Jeremy Irvine


Green Lantern is the name of several superheroes who have appeared in DC Comics since 1940. Each one uses a magical ring that grants them special powers.

With the launch of DC's Infinite Frontier, Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern and co-founder of the Justice Society of America, has confirmed that he is a gay man. Admitting this truth to his two children in the halls of the JSA headquarters, Alan's historic declaration also reveals that his secret wasn't just known, but protected by some of his closest teammates and friends. 

This new side of Scott's character was first explored with his Earth-2 incarnation, leading many readers of DC's New 52 books at the time to wonder if the original Alan Scott was harboring the same secret. 

Launching into a monologue about time and being honest with himself, Alan can't seem to bring himself to say it. He admits how difficult it is to Todd, whose own backstory as a gay hero who's maintained an undisturbed relationship allows him to provide the necessary love and encouragement. "I'm gay" says Alan Scott. He is warmly embraced by his children, admitting that he felt he couldn't take his new position as the Sentinel without being completely honest with his friends and family.

The upcoming Green Lantern series is eying Jeremy Irvine to play the role of Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern in the pages of DC Comics. Irvine got his big break in 2011 as the lead in Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-nominated film, War Horse. Since then, Irvine has appeared as Pip in Great Expectations, a younger version of Pierce Brosnan's character in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, and in Roland Emmerich's Stonewall.

The news of a gay Green Lantern coming to the mainstream public could be big news and a story that could reach a lot more people than ones that typically pick up a comic book. Both Marvel and DC have committed to diversifying their heroes to better reflect the world. Various shows based in the Arrowverse, like Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning feature LGBT characters, and with a high-profile title like Green Lantern on a premium streaming service, many audience members will be introduced to Alan Scott for the first time.

Jeremy looks great in green, doesnot he?

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Sexual orientation laws in the world, by ILGA World


Every year, ILGA World publishes a map of sexual orientation laws in the world.

A useful tool for LGBT human rights defenders, these images expose the arbitrariness of persecutory laws, and starkly indicate the absence of positive law in most parts of the world.

This map is supported by the data collected in State-Sponsored Homophobia 2020: Global Legislation Overview Update.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Tom Daley, the golden guy!

Two weeks ago, world champion diver Tom Daley added two more gold medals to his career collection with his victories at the FINA World Cup competition taking place in Tokyo, Japan. 

Tom bested the competition in the 10m platform and also the synchronized 10m dive with his competing partner Matty Lee at the test event for the Olympics later this summer also in Tokyo. 

This weekend, Tom headed to Budapest, Hungary, to compete in the European Championships, and he has won for first time a gold medal for synchronized diving at the European competition, again with his competing partner Matty. 

Tom has competed at the international level for the United Kingdom since he was a young teen. He’s won bronze twice at the Olympic Games and has 11 World Championship gold medals as well. He plans on representing the UK again this summer at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Throughout the season Tom told how he felt about being away from his husband of eight years, Black, and their son Robbie. 

Congrats Tom!!!

Tom and Matty, they are both golden guys!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

UK to host its first global LGBT conference


The UK will host its first ever global LGBT conference to tackle inequality around the world and urge countries to take action: ‘Safe To be Me: A Global Equality Conference’.

Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, alongside Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the global event, which will bring together elected officials, policy makers, and the international LGBT community including activists, experts, and civil society to protect and promote the rights of LGBT people around the world.

The conference will take place 27-29 June 2022, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the first official London Pride marches. The conference will take place in person and virtually, ensuring all can take part.

The Prime Minister has today announced that Conference Chair Lord Herbert of South Downs will also take on the role of the United Kingdom’s Special Envoy on LGBT Rights. He will promote the conference internationally and lead efforts to champion LGBT equality at home and abroad. He will also be working with the Minister for Women and Equalities to coordinate a year of domestic action on LGBT issues, in the run up to the global conference.

Friday, May 14, 2021

First openly gay man running for National Assembly in Vietnam

Luong The Huy, the Hanoi LGBT rights activist and director of the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE), has nominated himself for the elections to the National Assembly and Hanoi People's Council in Vietnam.

Luong, the first openly gay man running, promises to be a voice for young people, said: "With knowlegde of law and experience in social works, I want to contribute to the development of the country and share my opinions as a representative of the people..., the young and the minority."

After getting a master of law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a specialization in law and sexuality, he returned to Vietnam and took over as director of iSEE, which "works for the rights of minority groups in Vietnam to envision a more equal, tolerant and free society in which everyone's human rights are respected and individuality valued."

In Vietnam, which by Asian standards is quite progressive on LGBT issues, marriage and family laws stop short of recognizing same-sex marriages and attendant rights such as adopting children. However, the media also often tries to find the "causes" of homosexuality, identifying it either as an unfortunate innate biological illness or as a contagious, lifestyle-induced social problem.

as it features a rally on cycles

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Queen Elizabeth announces government's plan to ban conversion therapy in Britain

In her speech to UK Parliament, Queen Elizabeth announced the government’s plan to enact a law that will illegalise the harmful practice of conversion therapy, which has been discredited by the NHS and the World Psychiatric Association.

“Measures will be brought forward to address racial and ethnic disparities and ban conversion therapy,” said the Queen. "The government will strengthen and renew democracy and the constitution” as well as “protect freedom of speech and restore the balance of power between the executive, legislature and the courts,” she added.

So-called conversion therapy refers to any attempt at changing a person’s sexuality or gender identity, and often involves techniques such as electroshock therapy or prayer.

A lot of countries and cities already banned conversion therapy, and United Nations recently urged to ban this "chilling" practice around the world.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

German Catholic churches defy Vatican blessing same-sex couples


Priests from some 100 German Catholic churches are offering blessings to gay couples. They are part of the Love Wins movement, which emerged in March after the Church said God "cannot bless sin".

Thousands of German priests and church employees have also signed a statement calling on the Church to extend blessings to same-sex couples, while some parishes have also displayed rainbow flags outside churches.

"In view of the refusal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to bless homosexual partnerships, we raise our voices and say: We will continue to accompany people who enter into a binding partnership in the future and bless their relationship," the statement says. "We do not refuse a blessing ceremony. We do this in our responsibility as pastors, who promise people at important moments in their lives the blessings that God alone gives. We respect and value their love, and we also believe that God's blessings are on them." 

The Catholic Church in Germany is more liberal and wealthy than many other countries and the increasingly vocal acceptance of gay couples will be hard for the Vatican to ignore. The Bishop of Limburg and head of the German Bishops' Conference told he didnot like the Vatican's ruling against same-sex blessings.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Germany since 2017 and the country has also banned so-called "gay conversion therapy" for under-18s.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Young gay man killed by his family in Iran in one more case of 'honour killing'

Ali Fazeli Monfared (known as Alireza), a 20-year-old gay man, has been killed by his family members in Iran in a case of "honour killing". He was to flee to Turkey, to join his boyfriend who was a refugee in that country.

The news of the killing was posted on social media by US-based Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad. According to him,  Alireza was brutally killed by his brother and cousins for being gay. They beheaded Alireza and dumped his body under a tree outside the city of Ahwaz, the capital of Kuzhestan province in southwest Iran.

"Honour killing" is the murder of a family member by another member of the family or social group, due to the belief that the victim has brought dishonour upon the family. Last year, responding to the rising cases, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani had asked law makers to enact a Bill to protect women from "honour killing" by family members. No such protection exists or has been asked for LGBT people.

Iran, because of its discriminatory and criminal laws, is considered one of the most dangerous places to be gay. Under the Islamic Shariaa law practiced in Iran, same-sex relations are a criminal offence and the punishment ranges from flogging to the death penalty. But Iran’s LGBT community is brutalised both by the regime and by bigotry in certain families.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Judge rules that gay couple can adopt in Croatia


A court in Croatia has ruled that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt, bringing to an end a gay couple’s five-year battle for their rights.

Ivo Šegota and Mladen Kožić have become the first-ever same-sex foster parents in Croatia in 2021, having launched a legal battle after their fostering application was initially denied in 2017.

The couple are registered life partners, meaning they have many, but not all, of the same rights as mixed-sex couples

Now, a Zagreb’s administrative court has ruled that same-sex couples should not be discriminated against when it comes to state adoption. The ruling that allow them to foster has now paved the way for same-sex adoption in Croatia.

The couple's lawyer said in trial: “There are children which need their attention, their love. Give my clients this right and give the children this right to be in a family they want."


Thursday, May 6, 2021

German Catholic priests will defy the Vatican blessing gay couples

Dozens of Catholic priests in Germany plan defy the Vatican and bless homosexual partnerships, with many set to live-stream the blessings online. 

In March, the Vatican decreed that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex marriages. In response, more than 230 professors of Catholic theology in Germany signed a statement protesting the decision.

In a statement, the group declared that the decree "is marked by a paternalistic air of superiority and discriminates against homosexual people and their life plans."

Now, dozens of priests in Germany have vowed to defy the Vatican. "In view of the refusal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to bless homosexual partnerships, we raise our voices and say: We will continue to accompany people who enter into a binding partnership in the future and bless their relationship," the group said in a statement.

A group of dissenting priests has also compiled a list of church services that will take place nationwide on May 10, where priests will publicly bless gay couples. Many of the services will be live-streamed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Stand up for LGBT+ migrants!

For many LGBT+ people, leaving their communities in search of a safer and more welcoming place to call home is the only way to find a job, get access to healthcare or find safety from poverty, family rejection, criminalization, threats and violence.

For some, this means moving from a small town to the big city. For others it can require moving from one part of the world to another – surviving a dangerous journey and staggering odds in order to try to find a place where they can live openly as their true selves.

Often, discrimination doesn’t stop upon arrival at their destination. Many continue to face prejudice, harassment and violence both based on where they were born as well as based on their sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics. 

LGBT+ migrants are also more likely to experience homelessness, forced to pay high rent or live in poor conditions. Unable to find a community where they are truly accepted, they often struggle with loneliness, helplessness and depression.

Every human being deserves the freedom to simply be themselves, without facing violence and discrimination. Together we can create a future free from prejudice, where everyone truly belongs – no matter who they are, whom they love or where they come from.

Help to spread the word if you agree.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Strong condemnation to the murder of a gay guy in Latvia

A gay Latvian guy died after suffering severe burns in what LGBT associations denounced as a homophobic attack.

Normunds Kindzulis was a 29-year-old gay medical assistant who had previously received homophobic threats and had moved from Riga to Tukums, a quiet town 70 kilometres west of the capital.

But after a scuffle allegedly broke out in the apartment complex he lived in, he had his clothing soaked with fuel and was lit on fire in what advocates are urging the police to consider as a homophobic hate crime. He died after suffering burns on 85% of his body. 

Artis Jaunklavins, a colleague and roommate who is still hospitalised, told that Normunds had been attacked upon returning home and he had discovered him "burning like a torch" outside the house. "I tried to put out the flames, I carried him and put him in the bathtub, but the burns were too severe, his toasted clothes embedded in the skin," he said.

This is an intolerable attack and cannot go unpunished!

Rest in peace Normunds.