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Content about Congress

April 4, 2014

A US District Court judged has ruled that a gay man’s workplace discrimination case can move forward using laws protecting people from sex discrimination in the absence of specific legislation covering sexual orientation

US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has ruled that federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination in the workplace also cover sexual identity in a gay man’s workplace discrimination case against the US Library of Congress.

Peter TerVeer decided to sue the library after he says he was the subject of a campaign of harassment after his boss, John Mech, found out that he was gay.

TerVeer claims Mech had created a hostile work environment him in which he imposed his ‘religion and sexual stereotypes’ on him.

March 23, 2014

Biden also called on the US Congress to immediately pass ENDA – an anti-workplace-discrimination bill that has been introduced every year for the last 20 years but was never passed

US Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday called on Congress to pass a bill to outlaw workplace discrimination against gay men and lesbians, and declared that the United States is committed to champion LGBT equality worldwide.

Delivering the keynote speech at the Human Rights Campaign gala held in downtown Los Angeles, the Vice President told the almost 1,000-strong audience that it's outrageous that the country is even debating the subject and it's 'close to barbaric' that in some states, employees can be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

March 1, 2014

He didn't get a response after sending 100 letters to lawmakers last year, so he roped in 20 other students to send 2,900 more letters this time

Liang Wenhui, a graduate student from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and founder of Chinese Gay-Straight Alliance, with the help of other students wrote and posted 3,000 individually-addressed letters to individual deputies of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) last week urging them to legalize same-sex marriage.

Twenty-two students from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou are said to have spent five and half hours stuffing the letters in the envelopes, piling them into four big boxes before taking them to the post office.

February 5, 2014

Openly gay Amercian Idol alum gives failing grade to North Carolina congresswoman he wants to replace in US House of Reps

Clay Aiken, the runner-up on American Idol then the runner-up on Celebrity Apprentice, is hoping for a first-place finish that will land him in Washington DC.

The openly gay singer on Wednesday (5 February) announced that he is running for a seat in the US Congress.

'I'm not a politician,' he said in a video on his campaign website. 'I don't ever want to be one.'

Aiken, 35, hopes to unseat Tea Party Republican favorite Renee Ellmers in North Carolina's conservative 2nd congressional district.

January 29, 2014

HRC's Chad Griffin says US president also 'side-stepped' commitment to sign executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors

In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday (28 January), US President Barack Obama had been expected to make some mention of the long-stalled Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

It did not happen.

Known as ENDA, the act would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal anti-discrimination protections. It has been introduced in all but one Congress since 1994 and never had enough support for passage.

January 6, 2014

Gay dad Rob Watson had seen people refuse to eat to get what they want before – but like his sons, he hopes protestor Trestin Meacham will grow out of it

These past few years may end up being known as the years of ‘Conservatives behaving badly’.

December 20, 2013

Goverment is calling on the two Supreme Court judges, who ruled the colonial-era law was still valid, to reconsider their views

India’s government has told the Supreme Court to review their ruling after they shocked the world by recriminalizing gay sex.

The government filed a petition today (20 December), saying it believed the ruling was ‘violative of the principle of equality’.

The Congress-led government insisted they wanted an ‘open hearing on the matter’.

Gay sex was made legal in 2009 when Delhi’s High Court ruled Section 377, a colonial era law criminalizing intercourse ‘against the order of nature’, was an infringement of human rights.

December 18, 2013

Baba Ramdev has said any homosexuals who do not want to be arrested should come for him for yoga classes

An Indian guru has said anyone who supports gay rights must have the ‘gay disease’.

Baba Ramdev, a spiritual leader known for popularizing yoga, was asked for his comments on the leaders of the ruling party opposing a law banning homosexuality.

Last week, the Supreme Court in India shocked the world by recriminalizing 12.5% of the world’s LGBTI population.

He said if the Congress leaders were opposed to Section 377, it seems ‘most Congress leaders must be gay’.

December 13, 2013

Leading members of India’s ruling Congress party say they will fight the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate the country’s Section 377 anti-sodomy law as the party explores the best options to move forward with towards reform

The Indian Government has indicated that it will move to re-decriminalize homosexuality despite Indians going to the polls in five months for general elections.

Congress party president Sonia Gandhi spoke out Thursday against the Supreme Court ruling that reinstated the country’s colonial era Section 377 buggery law the day before – and several other prominent voices within the party have now joined her.

November 19, 2013

Christian Democratic Party candidate Claudio Arriagada became the first openly gay man to be elected to the national Chamber of Deputies on Sunday after coming out in August as a pro-gay rights coalition looks set to take power

Claudio Arriagada has become the first openly gay man to be elected to national office in Chile.

Arrigada stood as a candidate for Chile’s Christian Democratic Party and only came out in August.

Arrigada was previously the mayor of La Granja, Santiago Province, but felt the need to come out in running for Congress out of fear his sexual orientation would be used against him.

‘This condition always makes you vulnerable and can be used to threaten you,’ Arrigada said in coming out in August.

November 7, 2013

After 64-32 vote, attention now turns to House where Republican leadership expected to let legislation die

After nearly 20 years, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has finally passed the US Senate.

The legislation, known as ENDA, has been introduced in all but one Congress since 1994. It was last voted on by the full senate in 1996 when it fell one vote shy of passage.

In the end, the 64-32 vote had every Democratic senator and 10 of their Republican colleagues voting in favor of passage.

Surprisingly, among the Republicans supporting ENDA was Arizona Senator John McCain who was a vocal opponent of ending the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

November 7, 2013

'One house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do'

US President Barack Obama wasted no time Thursday (7 November) in putting pressure on the Republican-led House of Representatives to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

In a statement shortly after the full Senate approved the measure to protect LGBT employees in the workplace, Obama zeroed in on the House where Republican Speaker John Boehner is against the legislation.

October 28, 2013

Long-stalled legislation seeks federal protection from discrimination for LGBTI employees

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is expected to be voted on by the full US Senate before Thanksgiving.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (pictured) is expected to announce later today that he will bring the long-stalled legislation to a floor vote next month.

ENDA seeks to prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian, non-religious employers with at least 15 employees.

September 9, 2013

'It's 2013 and millions of LGBT Americans still lack basic protection from discrimination under the law'

Barack Obama may be preparing for a major speech to make the case for military action in Syria but the US president has not forgotten about ENDA.

Obama took to Twitter today to tweet his support for passage of The Employment Non-Discrimination Act which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal anti-discrimination protections.

'It's 2013 and millions of LGBT Americans still lack basic protection from discrimination under the law,' Obama tweeted. 'Let's fix that.'

August 24, 2013

Progressive Organization of Gays says one person gets infected every two hours yet govt spends more money on corrupt deals than on healthcare

As protests against the misuse of millions of dollars by lawmakers erupted in the Philippines and even outside the islands, a leading gay rights group flayed the government of President Benigno Aquino for neglecting healthcare despite the HIV crisis.

“The Philippines has a rising HIV crisis where one person gets infected every two hours,” said Clyde Pumihic, spokesperson of the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay).

“Yet the allocation for prevention and treatment is paltry, a mere 120 million pesos ($2.7 million) in the national budget.

August 6, 2013

We discover the city of finance and banks has become a city of art galleries, gay clubs, paths along the river and very welcoming locals

Forget its reputation. Frankfurt, in summer (but we can guess in the rest of the year as well) is a vibrant and colorful city.

I have to admit that landing in Frankfurt Hahn was not the best choice. The Ryanair airport is very far from the German city's center and now very cheap flight companies serve the main airport as well – well linked to the city and with its multicultural atmosphere as well.

August 5, 2013

After a long four-month wait, Uruguay is officially the second South American country where gay couples are free to marry

Gay couples will be allowed to legally marry in Uruguay today (5 August).

After a near four month wait, several gay and lesbian couples will be heading to registry offices across the South American nation to get a marriage license.

The celebrations come after Congress approved the bill. President Jose Mujica signed the legislation in May, with it coming into effect 90 days later.

Sergio Miranda, 45, and Rodrigo Borda, 39, are expected to be one of the first couples to say ‘I do’.

August 1, 2013

American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios was certain that thousands of ex-gays would flock to a press conference about the hardships former gays face

To hear American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios and Christopher Doyle tell it, they are at the forefront of a mighty movement.

Doyle is the organizer of 'Ex-Gay Pride Month 2013' (the 'planned' events were canceled).

July 10, 2013

ENDA still faces tough fight to achieve full Senate passage

Is the long fight to pass ENDA going to soon end?

The long-stalled Employment Non-Discrimination Act was easily approved this morning by the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions by a vote of 15-7.

The bill will next go before the full Senate for a vote and is going in with some bipartisan support. This will be critical in getting enough Republicans to join the Democratic majority for passage.

July 3, 2013

A law that would have allowed a return to attempts to cure people of their sexuality has been withdrawn in Brazil after it became clear it would be voted down by lawmakers but the bill's author says it will return

An extremist anti-gay lawmaker and Christian pastor in Brazil is being forced to withdraw a 'gay cure' bill.

João Campos, who authored the ‘gay cure’ bill, requested a motion to bring the legislation for a vote at Chamber of Deputies, Brazil's lower house of Congress.

The bill was controversially approved by the Brazilian congressional human rights committee.

July 2, 2013

ENDA has been introduced in all but one Congress since 1994

With momentum from the Supreme Court's rulings last week on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, the Employment Anti-Discrimination Act will get a committee vote in the US Senate on 10 July.

The long-stalled ENDA, introduced again in April by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, has been schedule for a vote before the Senate's Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee.

President Barack Obama said last month that he wants to see the long-stalled legislation enacted.

June 27, 2013

Democratic lawmakers have re-introduced a bill that would allow legally married same-sex couples to receive federal benefits whether their state recognized same-sex marriage or not following the victories in the US Supreme Court

US Democrats Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Jerrold Nadler have re-introduced a bill to repeal the rest of the Defense of Marriage Act after the US Supreme Court struck out Section 3 of the law which prevented over a thousand federal benefits going to same-sex married couples.

June 26, 2013

Calls for federal benefits and obligations to be implemented 'swiftly and smoothly'

Barack Obama, the first president in US history to publicly support gay marriage, applauded the Supreme Court's decision today to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Obama called the law, approved by Congress and signed by former President Bill Clinton 1996, 'discrimination enshrined in law.'

'It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people,' Obama said in a statement released by The White House. 'The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it.'

June 25, 2013

A huge crowd turned out for the Santiago Pride Parade on Saturday despite grey skies and wet weather to put pressure on lawmakers to pass a civil unions bill and called for marriage equality

70,000 people turned up to march in the Santiago Pride Parade on Saturday despite grey skies and occasional showers in the Chilean capital.

The Santiago Times reported a colorful mix of activists, performance artists, musicians and drag queens in the parade which set off from the Plaza Italia through Alameda past the presidential palace to the Paseo Bulnes promenade where participants gathered for an evening of music and speeches.