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January 23, 2015

Human Rights Campaign has published its annual State Equality Index and warns that despite marriage equality in most states, other inequalities persist

Human Rights Campaign has today published its annual State Equality Index, which ranks 50 US states and Washington D.C with regards to the protections that it offers LGBT citizens.

It has broken states down into four categories, with 29 states occupying the bottom slot: those states offering the least protection.

Just seven states fill the top category: those with the most protection.

January 15, 2015

Catholic school says the employee of 15 years broke church doctrine

A gay teacher has been fired in North Carolina after he announced his engagement to his long-term boyfriend on Facebook.

Lonnie Billard, 68, has taught drama and English at Charlotte Catholic High School for more than 15 years.

He retired as a full-time teacher in 2012, but continued to work at the school as a long-term substitute and had classes scheduled this month.

Billard announced his plans to marry his partner of 13 years Rich Dunham on Facebook in summer 2015.

January 9, 2015

Retailer claims the right to discriminate against transgender employees

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has taken the rare step of suspending Saks Fifth Avenue’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) score, following the retailer's claim that transgender employees are not protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The department store made the claim in response to a discrimination lawsuit filed by Leyth Jamal, a transgender former employee, alleging discrimination, harassment and a hostile work environment based on her gender identity.

Saks scored 90 out of 100 on the most recent CEI, the national benchmark for gay-friendly companies.

December 25, 2014

The West African countrywill lose duty-free access to US markets

The US government has removed Gambia from a trade benefits program for abusing human rights, including a new law that imposes life imprisonment for some gay acts.

The White House did not initially give any reason why Gambia would cease being a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), according to the Associated Press.

December 23, 2014

Film's hero, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, 'stood alone and endured unimaginable torment and shame because he was gay'

The cast and filmmakers of The Imitation Game will be honored next month by The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTI civil rights organization in the US.

The film tells the story of the late British cryptographer and computer scientist Alan Turing who was chemically castrated by his government for being gay and later committed suicide.

This despite the fact that Turing (portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film) was a hero who developed a method of cracking previously-unbreakable Nazi codes and shortened WWII.

December 23, 2014

Mayor Vincent Gray signs bill into law - New Jersey and California have similar bans in place

Washington DC on Monday (22 December) followed California and New Jersey in banning conversion therapy for LGBTI youth.

Mayor Vincent Gray (pictured) signed the the Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act into law that was passed earlier this month by the city council.

These therapies are aimed at changing the sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression of an LGBTI person.

December 19, 2014

Contribution will help to advance LGBTI equality in Arkansas, Mississippi and his native Alabama

Openly gay Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a 'generous' personal donation to a gay rights initiative in the American South.

His contribution will go to Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to help advance LGBTI equality in Arkansas, Mississippi and Cook's native Alabama.

The advocacy organization did not disclose the amount but said it was 'generous.'

Cook said 'I'm in,' when he first learned about the One America Project.

December 10, 2014

Activists are 'concerned' after a report finds only 33 anti-trans attacks in 2013

One in five hate crimes committed in the US last year were motivated by anti-gay bias, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The agency's annual hate crime report released on Monday (8 December) found that 20.8% of the 5,928 reported single bias hate crimes were based on sexual orientation, second only to race at 48.5%.

Of these, 60.6 percent were classified as anti-gay male bias.

Gender identity was also added to the list of bias categories for the first time this year.

December 5, 2014

'...We are eager for the opportunity to represent the facts to the court and we look forward to clearing Terry's name'

A major US LGBT donor, who helped create a number of influential gay rights organizations, appeared in court yesterday (3 December) and pleaded not guilty to having sex with a minor.

Last month Terrence P. Bean was accused of having a 2013 September sexual encounter with a 15-year-old boy.

November 27, 2014

Makers of Battlefield and the Mass Effect series of video games, Electronic Arts has yet again been given a perfect LGBTI workplace equality score by the Human Rights Campaign - cementing its place as one of the most inclusive employers in the work

Electronic Arts (EA), one of the world’s top producers of video games has solidified its reputation as one of the most LGBTI friendly companies, being awarded a perfect score by the Human Rights Campaign for the third year in a row when it comes to LGBTI inclusion.

The Human Rights Campaign chose four main criteria for how it determined LGBTI workplace inclusiveness this year.

November 25, 2014

Grand jury does not charge police officer Darren Wilson for shooting the teen

LGBTI rights groups have condemned the lack of indictment in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

A St Louis grand jury has not charged police officer Darren Wilson for shooting the unarmed 18-year-old black man in Ferguson, Missouri three months ago.

The case sparked outrage in majority-black Ferguson and heightened longstanding tensions with the majority-white police force.

The National LGBTQ Task Force (NLTF) described the decision not to indict Wilson as 'shocking and painful for millions.'

November 24, 2014

Eight LGBTI people were arrested and torturted in the country this month

Gambia's president has signed into law a bill that punishes 'aggravated homosexuality' with life imprisonment.

The notoriously anti-gay President Yahya Jammeh approved the bill on October 9, according to documents uncovered last week. 

The bill targets 'serial offenders' and people living with HIV but because 'homosexuality' and 'homosexual acts' are not defined in Gambian law, human rights groups fear that LGBTI people will be persecuted arbitrarily under the new enactment.

November 23, 2014

'We look forward to the opportunity to clear his name'

A major US LGBT donor, who helped create the country's largest gay civil rights organization, is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old minor.

According to The Oregonian, Terrence P. Bean and his former boyfriend, Kiah L. Lawson, are accused of using the iPhone dating app Grindr to set up a sexual encounter with a 15-year-old boy. 

The alleged incident happened in an Eugene, Oregon hotel on 27 September 2013.

November 20, 2014

Facebook, Yelp, Apple and Xerox are among the top scorers

A record 366 US companies have received a perfect score for LGBTI workplace inclusion in the new Corporate Equality Index released yesterday (19 November).

Top scorers included newcomers Facebook and Yelp as well as stalwarts Apple and Xerox, who have been leaders in LGBTI equality in the workplace since Human Rights Campaign began the biannual survey in 2002.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who recently came out as gay, celebrated the company's 13th consecutive perfect score on Twitter:

November 17, 2014

Letter asking about LGBTI workers rights sent to American Express, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Starbucks and 65 more

A group of US investors worth $210billion are pushing top firms to support their LGBTI workers around the world.

The investors point out that many leading firms now offer equal workplace benefits and protection from discrimination to their gay, bi and trans staff in the US.

But the same firms may be less clear on their LGBTI policies in other countries.

November 13, 2014

'We are thrilled she will be joining the White House team and look forward to working with her on important issues in our ongoing fight for full equality'

This week the White House named a new LGBT liaison in its Office of Public Engagement.

Aditi Hardikar's official title is director of public engagement. She will serve as the White House's point person for the LGBT and Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.

October 27, 2014

Former US president praises speed of LGBTI movement but warns against complacency

Former US President Bill Clinton last night urged LGBTI activists to continue fighting for equality following recent victories for gay marriage advocates.

'I’ve never seen a civil rights movement, at least in our country, move as far and as fast as your movement, ever,' he said at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) annual dinner in Washington DC.

Since the beginning of October, the number of states that allow gay marriage has shot from 19 to 32, as well as the district of Columbia.

October 26, 2014

'Today, we have to fight stigma in the same way we did when we first took on AIDS 30 years ago...'

Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish announced a donation to the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT civil rights organization in the US.

The Elton John AIDS Foundation will award the HRC Foundation $300,000 (€236,000).

October 19, 2014

'When taken as prescribed by a knowledgeable healthcare provider, and paired with other safer sex practices, Truvada can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by upwards of 90 percent'

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay rights organization in the US, is endorsing the use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).

Truvada is the only brand name anti-HIV drug approved for PrEP.

'When taken as prescribed by a knowledgeable healthcare provider, and paired with other safer sex practices, Truvada can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by upwards of 90 percent,' the organization said in a statement.

September 19, 2014

Homophobes killed by gay people: Very few, if any. Gay people killed by homophobes: Countless

Scott Lively has claimed gay people are out to murder him.

The hate preacher, currently on trial for crimes against humanity for his alleged LGBTI human rights abuses in Uganda, has published an article condemning the Human Rights Campaign and their 'hit list'.

As he is number one on the HRC's 'exporters of hate', he says he has 'special cause for concern'.

'Not every “gay” activist is physically violent, thankfully. Most limit their “human rights advocacy” to harassment, intimidation and slander,' Lively claims in his article on Barbwire.

September 18, 2014

'I'm a person who believes in standing up for his friends'

True Blood actor Joe Manganiello has revealed why he is such a staunch fighter for LGBTI equality.

'I had to watch my friends endure challenges not experienced by the straight community,' he said last weekend in Seattle while accepting the Ally for Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign.

Manganiello shared how he saw friends in school struggle with their sexuality and having their families not accept them and later he saw friends struggle in the job market or live in secret.

September 10, 2014

Activists are calling on the US to review its relationship with the African country

Human rights groups have condemned the passage of a bill in the Gambia that punishes acts of 'aggravated homosexuality' with life imprisonment.

The Gambian National Assembly passed the bill last month, which now awaits approval from outspoken anti-gay President Yahya Jammeh. The bill targets 'serial offenders' and people living with HIV/AIDS.

September 10, 2014

Maura Healey, the 43-year-old former Massachusetts assistant attorney general who was instrumental in challenging DOMA, has secured the Democratic nomination for state attorney general

Maura Healey could become the first openly gay attorney general in the nation after securing the Democratic nomination Tuesday (9 September).

When the polls showed she defeated state lawmaker Warren Tolman for the nomination by 62.4% to 37.6%, she went on to thank those who supported her ‘underdog’ campaign, promising to champion the rights of workers, students and homeowners if elected.

September 9, 2014

HRC President Chad Griffin: 'I am sorry for the times you have been underrepresented or unrepresented by this organization'

The Human Rights Campaign has formally apologized to the transgender community for putting their issues on the back burner in the past.

'I am sorry for the times you have been underrepresented or unrepresented by this organization,' HRC President Chad Griffin said over the weekend at the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta.