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May 15, 2015

‘Chubbing’ by Democratic politicians – engaging in prolonged debate around other bills – meant the legislation could not be approved before its midnight deadline

In a move welcomed by LGBT advocates, proposed  legislation targeted at preventing same-sex marriage in Texas has failed to be approved by the Texas House of Representatives.

Earlier this year, a record 20 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation were proposed for the Texas legislative session. Most of these were quickly abandoned or failed to receive sufficient support.

May 13, 2015

‘Anti-equality lawmakers must abandon their attacks on LGBT people and their families or risk undermining the state's pro-business reputation.’

‘Anti-equality lawmakers must abandon their attacks on LGBT people and their families or risk undermining the state's pro-business reputation.’‘Anti-equality lawmakers must abandon their attacks on LGBT people and their families or risk undermining the state's pro-business reputation.’

‘Anti-equality lawmakers must abandon their attacks on LGBT people and their families or risk undermining the state's pro-business reputation.’‘Anti-equality lawmakers must abandon their attacks on LGBT people and their families or risk undermining the state's pro-business reputation.’‘Anti-equality lawmakers must abandon their attacks on LGBT people and their families or risk undermining the state's pro-business reputation.’ - See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/businesses-urged-speak-out-against-anti-lgbt-legislation-texas130515#sthash.90g1SJgw.dpuf‘Anti-equality lawmakers must abandon their attacks on LGBT people and their families or risk undermining the state's pro-business reputation.’ - See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/businesses-urged-speak-out-against-anti-lgbt-legislation-texas130515#sthash.90g1SJgw.dpuf‘Anti-equality lawmakers must abandon their attacks on LGBT people and their families or risk undermining the state's pro-business reputation.’

When religious freedom bills were being discussed in Indiana and Arkansas earlier this year, voices from the business community were among the loudest in condemning the proposed legislation.

May 8, 2015

Who is Hayden and why has he got a list? Gay Star News talks to the creators of the website Hayden’s List to find out how it can help you make smart business choices

The fight for LGBT equality has increasingly become intertwined with the world of business in recent months.

In March, 379 organizations – mainly large companies – wrote a letter to the US Supreme Court to explain why marriage equality is good for business.

On the other hand, there have been a number of small businesses that have refused to provide services for same-sex weddings – leading to a number of high-profile court cases.

April 24, 2015

'Celebrate by not annoying the shit out of everyone about your sexuality'

Posters promoting Straight Pride have appeared on a Ohio university campus days after a Pennsylvania high school made headlines for organizing an anti-gay day.

The anonymously posted flyers popped up at Youngstown State University (YSU) earlier this week and invite students to celebrate during finals week 'by not annoying the shit out of everyone about your sexual orientation.'

'Brought to you by the students that are sick of hearing about your LGBT pride,' they read.

April 18, 2015

'This Court believes that marriage, regardless of whether the union is between members of the same sex or opposite sex, is a fundamental right'

A Kentucky judge found the state's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate released his decision this past Thursday (16 April).

'This Court believes that marriage, regardless of whether the union is between members of the same sex or opposite sex, is a fundamental right,' the judge wrote in his 33-page decision, according to The Courier-Journal.

April 10, 2015

Two weeks after voting to allow same-sex couples to adopt in the state, the Florida House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow private adoption agencies to reject them as potential parents on religious grounds

The Florida state House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow private adoption agencies that have contracts with the state to discriminate against same-sex couples if the owner says they have a religious objection to them.

Representatives voted 75-38 in support of the bill with most of the votes against it coming from House Democrats.

Republicans say the bill is needed to protect religious adoption agencies from having to either go against their conscience or close down if another bill formally allowing same-sex couples to adopt becomes law.

April 5, 2015

The state governments of Washington, Connecticut and New York banned state-funded travel to Indiana to boycott the passage of its Religious Freedom Restoration Bill but they have now lifted the sanction after Governor Mike Pence relented

State government employees from New York State, Washington and Connecticut can once again travel to the state of Indiana after it relented over its Religious Freedom Restoration Bill which would have allowed people of faith to discriminate against pretty much anyone they wanted to.

The travel ban included all state agency employees as well as public colleges and universities so the ban covered state sponsored trips by students and teachers as well.

April 1, 2015

San Francisco, Seattle, Oakland, Denver and DC also join boycott

Connecticut, New York, and Washington have banned state-funded travel to Indiana and any other states that pass 'religious freedom' laws.

The Indiana Religous Freedom Restoration allows businesses to turn away LGBTI customers on religious grounds, which has led to a mass boycott of the state.

Gov Dannel Malloy of Connecticut called the law 'disturbing and outright discriminatory' before signing an executive order on Monday (30 March) 

March 21, 2015

Russia has called for a vote on Tuesday on its proposal to stop the UN from extending benefits to staff members who are in same-sex marriages

Last July United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the organization would recognize and allow its staffers, who are in same-sex marriages, to receive equal benefits as those in opposite-sex marriages.

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 13, 2015

If a business wants to discriminate against LGBT people then it must advertise the fact in advance, says a Democratic member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives

An attempt to pass a law in Oklahoma that would allow businesses to refuse certain services to LGBT people has stalled, and it could be partly due to an amendment introduced by an opponent to the bill.

Earlier this year, Republican state Rep. Chuck Strohm introduced his ‘Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act’ (HB1371).

If passed, this would allow businesses to deny services to customers if they felt that such services were ‘against the person’s religious beliefs’.

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 21, 2015

'The rogue actions of Travis County judges do not withstand the scrutiny of law'

Texas wants its highest court to void the marriage license of the southern state's only legally married same-sex couple.

Yesterday, 20 February, state Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he filed a petition with the Texas Supreme Court.

February 18, 2015

But marriage licenses will not be issued to gay couples yet

A Texas judge Tuesday (17 February) ruled the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Travis county probate judge Guy Herman made the ruling as part of an estate dispute, in which an Austin woman sought to have her eight-year lesbian relationship recognized as a a common-law marriage.

Travis county clerk Dana DeBeauvoir commended Herman's order as 'a great step toward marriage equality,' but added that the judge had not instructed her to begin to issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

February 17, 2015

An estimated 30 million Chinese people are in the closet

A Valentine's Day ad campaign is urging the estimated 30 million closeted Chinese people to come out.

The ads, which appeared on social media Friday (13 February), show gay couples relaxing at home.

The text beside the photos reads: 'Love is not a choice. We did not choose to be homosexual. We just are. Happily, the world is big enough for all of us.'

David Li, one of the lead organizers of the China LGBT Awareness Campaign, said he hoped the ads would generate a public conversation about LGBTI issues in China and encourage people to come out.

February 12, 2015

Measure is passed despite opposition from lawmakers who fear the bill will pave the way for gay marriage

A bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity has hurdled the committee level at the Philippine House of Representatives.

The committee on women and gender equality Tuesday (10 February) voted 10 to 2 in favor of the bill authored by Dinagat Islands Rep Kaka Bag-ao.

'This is not only a triumph for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, but for all Filipinos,' she said in a statement.

February 11, 2015

'Having hit a critical mass of states that have recognized same-sex marriage — it doesn’t make sense for us to now have this patchwork system'

US President Barack Obama is weighing in on the confusing state of gay marriage in Alabama where some of the state's probate judges are refusing licenses to same-sex couples.

The judges are caught between a federal ruling that went into effect this week which struck down Alabama's gay marriage ban and an order by the state's anti-gay supreme court chief justice not to issue licenses.

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 5, 2015

Amendment to gun legislation challenges the state's ban on gay marriage

Nebraska may have just accidentally recognized gay marriage despite a state ban on same-sex unions.

The Nebraska Legislature yesterday (4 February) voted 38 to 0 in favor of an amendment to a bill that would waive the 180-day residency period for military spouses who want to apply for gun permits.

Sen Paul Schumacher of Columbus proposed the amendment, which applies to 'anyone receiving the federal benefits of a military spouse.'

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 24, 2015

Conviction of Children-404’s Lena Klimova proves hideous law is alive and well

Lena Klimova, the founder of LGBTI kids’ support group Children-404 in Russia, is the latest victim of the country’s controversial ‘anti-gay propaganda law’.

The social worker has been fined 50,000 rubles ($780, €700) by the Russian courts for creating the online community group in March 2013.

The website encourages young people to share experiences of how it feels to grow up as an LGBTI person. It’s said Klimova, who was previously acquitted of the same charge, did not have access to legal counsel before her conviction.

January 15, 2015

Licenses were issues to same-sex couples during brief legal window in March

A federal judge ruled on Thursday (15 January) that Michigan must recognize the same-sex marriages of more than 300 couples who got married in the state last March.

US District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith (pictured) wrote in his opinion: 'Delaying judicial resolution of these issues would serve no useful purpose. To the contrary, such delay would compound the harms these Plaintiffs suffer each day that their marital status remains unrecognized.'

January 3, 2015

Idaho Governor and Attorney General say marriage is a state's-rights issue and that the state has been consistent in legalizing only hetrosexual marriage

A ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in October legalized same-sex marriage in Idaho after rejecting Idaho Governor CL 'Butch' Otter's argument to uphold the ban. He argued Idaho residents have the right to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

On Friday Otter filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court making good on his promise to take the fight against gay marriage to the highest court.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has also filed a separate petition to the US Supreme Court.

January 1, 2015

Circuit Judge Timothy Shea ruled Wednesday that Orange County won’t be breaking the law if it issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples when Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage is lifted 6 January

A second Florida county will be able to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples next Tuesday after a judge clarified an earlier ruling.

The Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers had previously stated that it believed that only Washington County would be legally able to issue marriage licenses to gay couples starting 6 January when the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is lifted.

However Circuit Court Judge Timothy Shea ruled yesterday that Orange County could legally do so as of next Tuesday as well.