LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about Human Rights Campaign

February 26, 2015

Human Rights Campaign fires back at the American Family Association in a scathing blog post

The American Family Association (AFA) has published an 'anti-Christian bigotry map' that pinpoints the exact locations for all the offices of two LGBTI rights groups.

The map divides 'bigots' into four categories: anti-Christians, atheists, humanists and those with a 'homosexual agenda.'

February 24, 2015

Randy Berry will advocate for LGBTI rights globally

The US State Department Monday (23 February) named Randy Berry as its first LGBTI rights envoy.

The openly gay diplomat is currently the US consul general in Amsterdam and has served in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda, and South Africa.

Secretary of State John Kerry said he 'could not be more proud' to announce Berry as the first-ever special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons.

February 16, 2015

Footballer credits his fiancé for giving him the self-confidence to come out

Michael Sam said he knew 'damn sure' he was gay after his first sexual experience and credited his fiancé with giving him the self-confidence to come out.

The first openly gay NFL footballer Friday (February) received an Upstander Award at the Time to THRIVE gay youth conference in Portland, organized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

In his acceptance speech, Sam paid tribute to his fiancé Vito Cammisano.

'Vito has been with me for a long time and actually it is because of Vito that I am here tonight to talk to you guys,' he said.

February 11, 2015

State workers can now be legally fired for being gay or transgender

The Governor of Kansas has removed protections for LGBTI state employees in a move gay rights activists have decried as 'shameful.'

Sam Brownback yesterday (10 February) issued an executive order rescinding a 2007 order signed by former governor Kathleen Sebelius that extended non-discrimination protections to state employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

February 10, 2015

There are still some county courthouses turning away couples due to order from state's defiant supreme court justice

Tori Sission and Shante Wolfe made history Monday (9 February) as the first same-sex couple to marry in Montgomery, Alabama.

They were among the couples able to tie the knot in the state which was thrown into a state of confusion when Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore over the weekend instructed probate judges across the state not to issue licenses.

Some paid heed to his order, some did not.

February 6, 2015

New post will be filled by an openly gay Foreign Service officer

US Secretary of State John Kerry will announce the appointment later this month of a special envoy to advocate for LGBTI rights overseas.

The move pre-empts a bill introduced last week in boths houses of the Senate that would make promoting LGBTI rights a priority of US foreign policy.

February 4, 2015

Los Angeles Confidential magazine's event is intended to honor its cover star

John Legend has pulled out of pre-Grammy party amid a Hollwood boycott of a hotel owned by the anti-gay Sultan of Brunei.

Los Angeles Confidential magazine had planned the first major entertainment industry party at the Beverly Hills Hotel in honor of its cover star.

However, a representative for the R&B singer said he would no longer be attending.

January 31, 2015

'I am a strong believer in traditional marriage and I do not construe homosexual rights as human rights'

A US lawmaker sees no connection between human rights and LGBTI equality.

On 27 January, during hearing on Nigeria, Representative Chris Smith separated gay and human rights.

'I am a strong believer in traditional marriage and I do not construe homosexual rights as human rights,' the New Jersey Republican said, according PolitickerNJ.

January 30, 2015

Legislation creates a special LGBTI envoy in the State Department

US lawmakers in both of houses of congress yesterday (29 January) introduced a bill to promote and protect LGBTI rights globally.

The International Human Rights Defense Act would create a special envoy in the State Department to coordinate efforts to prevent and respond to discrimination and violence against LGBTI people worldwide.

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.