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March 26, 2015

His potential web designs include lots and lots of rainbows

What do you do when you see a homophobic politician in the news trying to stop gay people getting married?

Well, you could do like one activist did and buy their official website and use it to promote same-sex marriage instead.

This is what happened to Paul Shepherd, an Idaho state representative who wants Congress to impeach any federal judges who allow gay marriage.

March 24, 2015

'Thirty four years is a long time for every president and every Congress to sit back and let us die'

Longtime AIDS activist Larry Kramer blasted the US government while accepting the inaugural Larry Kramer Activism Award from the Gay Men's Health Crisis on Monday night.

Kramer, who turns 80 in June, came to speak his mind.

He pointed out that around the world an estimated 78 million people have become infected - 39 million of whom have died - from AIDS in the past 34 years.

March 22, 2015

Frank also defended his jokes about Schock’s homoerotic Instagram feed which has been recently set to private: 'If [the rumours] are not true, he spent entirely too much time in the gym for a straight man'

Former member of the US House of Representatives Barney Frank, who came out publicly in 1987 and was the first member of Congress to do so voluntarily, has weighed in on the sudden resignation of Illinois Republican Representative Aaron Schock.

Frank said in an interview that if Schock is gay, he should be 'exposed' due to his anti-gay voting record.

March 20, 2015

As long as it can choose priests 'even on the basis of sexual orientation'

The Philippines church has stated its support for an anti-gay discrimination bill, as long as it does not infringe on its 'exclusive right' to choose priests – 'even on the basis of sexual orientation.'

Earlier this month, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) clarified its stance on LGBTI issues as Congress is set to approve the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Bill.

March 17, 2015

Ruben Condori Cusi says he was inspired by Hitler's Mein Kampf to block a bill that would have seen same-sex couples legally recognized for the first time in Peru

A Peru congressman has said he was inspired by Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf to block civil unions for same-sex couples.

Ruben Condori Cusi, a congressman for the right-wing Nationalist Party, made the comments to Arroba Radio saying that Hitler wasn’t wrong about everything.

‘I read Mein Kampf by Hitler ... and in some parts he's right, because some types of misconduct are generated by a certain kind of life,’ Cusi said.

‘Homosexuality is more or less a kind of misconduct.’

March 17, 2015

The briefing, which took place yesterday in Washington, heard arguments both for and against the introduction of federal legislation to protect LGBT workers

Yesterday, in a historic move, the US Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) held its first briefing on the discrimination faced by LGBT Americans in the workplace.

The USCCR is an independent agency that advises the President and Congress on civil rights matters and issues federal civil rights enforcement reports.

The meeting took place in Washington DC, and subjects discussed included general workplace issues faced by LGBT people, specific transgender issues and religious exemption bills.

March 12, 2015

Members of Peru’s Congress will not get to vote on whether same-sex couples should be able to enter into civil unions for the second time in 5 years after a legal committee blocked the bill from moving forward

Same-sex couples in Peru will continue to lack legal recognition of their relationships after a bill to legalize civil unions was rejected by the Congress’ Justice and Human Rights Committee.

Members of the committee voted 7 against the Civil Union Bill, with 4 voting for the bill and 2 abstentions.

The same committee blocked a similar bill from going forward in 2011.

February 26, 2015

'Would you rather me send letters all year? Or you listen the first time? Your choice'

A nine-year-old girl has written a letter to US Congress demanding the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Maggie from Texas decided that for lent this year she is going to write one letter a week advocating for the rights of the LGBTI community, reports Buzzfeed

February 20, 2015

Both countries have severe anti-gay laws

Several prominent LGBTI members of Congress have urged US President Barack Obama to drop Brunei and Malaysia from a major trade deal if they do not repeal their severe anti-gay laws.

In a letter dated 18 February, five of the six co-chairs of the LGBT Equality Caucus praised the president's gay rights record but sought clarification on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which his administration is trying to fast-track through Congress.

'We urge you to bring consistency to the administration’s foreign and trade policy,' the letter reads.

January 5, 2015

Independent candidate is both transgender and an 'untouchable'

An independent candidate yesterday (4 January) became the first transgender mayor of an Indian city after winning election in Raigarh.

Madhu Kinnar, 35, beat the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate by 4,537 votes in Chhattisgarh state's sixth largest city.

December 24, 2014

Governor wants to take his gay marriage battle to the Supreme Court

A federal judge has ordered Idaho to pay more than $400,000 to the lawyers who successfully fought the state's gay marriage ban.

US Magistrate Judge Candy Dale on Friday (19 December) awarded the six lawyers a total $401,663, which is still about 10% less than what they requested.

'There is no dispute that plaintiffs are the prevailing parties and are therefore entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees and litigation expenses,' she wrote in an order.

December 22, 2014

But only Congress can legalize gay marriage

The Philippine presidential palace yesterday (21 December) said it 'respects' the rights of gay couples to marry but any plans to legalize same-sex marriage had to come from Congress.

During a radio interview, Malacañang Palace communications secretary Herminio Coloma Jr was asked to comment on the recent marriage of transgender singer Aiza Seguerra to his actress girlfriend, Liza Dino, in California.

December 16, 2014

She is among the 80 lawmakers demanding ban be replaced with a policy based on individual risk factors

A coalition of federal lawmakers called on the US government to end its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood.

The letter to the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was led by the first openly gay US senator - Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin - as well as fellow Senate Democrats Tom Harkin of Iowa and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Democratic members of the US House of Representatives Barbara Lee of California and Mike Quigley of Illinois.

December 7, 2014

A coalition of Chilean lawmakers from the Christian Democrats, Socialist Party, Party for Democracy and Amplitude political movement will introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the hope that the government will support the reform

There are hopes that Chile may become the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage this month as a cross party group of lawmakers have pledged to introduce a bill on the issue before the end of next week.

The MPs, from the Christian Democrats, Socialist Party, Party for Democracy and Amplitude movement, say they expect the bill to go to the Congress on Wednesday or Thursday and hope that the Government of Michelle Bachelet will back the reform.

December 3, 2014

'Let Glory diadem the mighty dead/Let monuments of brass and marble rise/To those who have upon our being shed/A golden halo, borrowed from the skies'

There is a new Walt Whitman poem to memorize.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate professor Wendy Katz was working her way through penny newspapers at the Library of Congress when she came across a work titled To Bryant, the Poet of Nature. The author was listed as W.W.

October 30, 2014

They say the law is urgent after the murder of a transgender woman by a US marine

Two Philippine lawmakers have expressed their intent to file a bill to curb anti-gay hate crimes following the murder of a transgender woman by a US marine.

Akbayan Party List Representative Barry Gutierrez and Dinagat Islands Representative Kaka Bag-ao have called for a nationwide protection of LGBTI people.

Several cities and states, including Quezon City, have passed local anti-discrimination laws but there is now national.

September 30, 2014

Christians rally in Coahuila a month after the state legalized gay marriage

An estimated 30,000 people marched on Sunday in Coahuila to protest the Mexican state's new gay marriage law.

The march was organized by the Christ Lives group in the state capital Saltillo, a week after the first gay couples were married in the northern state.

Pastor Carlos Pacheco, director of the evangelical Christian group, led the march carrying a large Bible while activists distributed pamphlets on gay 'cures.'

August 8, 2014

14 lesbians and four gay men submitted an appeal to Congress demanding not just marriage equality, but adoption, social security and all the rights that heterosexuals enjoy with marriage

A group of 18 gay and lesbian Mexicans are stepping up the fight for gay marriage in Baja California Sur, bordered by the northern state of Baja California.

According to BCS Noticias, the group this week submitted an appeal to the Judicial Power of the Federation (PJF) urging Congress and the governor Marcos Covarrubias Villaseñor to change articles 330 and 150 of the Baja California civil code to allow same-sex marriages in the state.

August 5, 2014

Bid launched to ensure religiously-affiliated adoption agencies continue to receive US funding even if they refuse to deal with LGBT prospective parents

The Family Equality Council is the latest campaigning group to react with protest at the news that a US Federal Bill could create, what it calls, ‘adoption discrimination’.

July 29, 2014

Because the leaders of the two African countries refuse to change their laws criminalizing homosexuality, 10 American politicians want President Obama to hit them where it hurts: Their economy

Almost a dozen of America’s senators want US President Barack Obama to reconsider trade agreements with Nigeria and Uganda because of their homophobic laws.

Obama is scheduled to meet with African leaders next month from 4 to 6 August during the first-ever African Leaders Summit held in Washington DC.

July 28, 2014

Nigeria’s State Security Service have arrested a ‘homosexual cross-dresser,’ over a an attempted assassination on the country’s former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari but the country’s Opposition think it’s a set up

Nigeria’s Osun Defender newspaper is reporting that the country’s State Security Service has arrested a ‘clearly homosexual cross-dresser’ as the ‘suspected mastermind’ of an attempted suicide bombing attack on former dictator Major General Muhammadu Buhari.

The State Security Service apprehended the ‘homosexual cross-dresser’ near the site of the bombing near a market in Kaduna in which 80 people were killed and three aides of Buhari were injured.

July 18, 2014

Will protect employees of federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

US President Barack Obama has chosen Monday (21 July) as the day he will make good on his promise to sign an executive order to prohibit discrimination against LGBTI employees.

The order will apply to an estimated 28 million people - one-fifth of the US workforce - who work for federal contractors and the federal government.

July 4, 2014

Reverend Irene Monroe explains why two recent Supreme Court decisions could be game changers for straight and LGBTI women in the worst way

This month in the US we celebrate the Fourth of July with rounds of festivities marking America's 238 years of independence.

People will be singing the Star Spangled Banner, or reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, or reenacting the Continental Congress of 1776.

Many will simply be singing reproductions of the ‘rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air’.

All of this and more will be done on a grander and highly commercialized scale. All this happens at home as our American troops continue to soldier on.

July 1, 2014

Makes surprise announcement during White House Pride reception

At a White House reception celebrating LGBTI pride, US President Barack Obama surprised attendees when he announced plans to sign an executive order protecting all federal workers from gender identity discrimination.

This is in addition to the executive order he plans to sign to protect employees of federal contractors from anti-LGBTI discrimination.

Obama's action is taking place as the US House of Representatives continues to stall the Employment Non-Discrimination Act already passed by the US Senate.